Wednesday, February 10, 2021

HOLINESS AND DIVINE BLESSINGS

 Holiness and divine blessings

 

 

 

In this epistle the apostle called himself Simon Peter but the introduces himself as a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. He is writing to them that obtained like precious faith but then he says with us through righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The key verb is they all received Jesus Christ into their hearts and were living for God. This is the group the apostle is writing to so Peter desired grace and peace be multiplied to them. How is grace multiplied to us as Christians? It is through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Jesus Christ is our God of divine power and has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Notice this is the second time Peter urges us to obtain knowledge of God through Jesus Christ and we are only at the third verse. God desires much for His children because we have been called to glory and virtue but at the risk of repeating myself this takes knowledge of the word of God.

 

We as believers in Christ are given to us exceeding great and precious promises. There is a reason for this because it is so we can be partakers of His divine nature. We escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let me quote this passage so you can read this and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.

 

(1) "SI'MON Pe'ter, a servant and an apostle of Je'sus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God, and of Je'sus our Lord, (3) According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2nd Peter 1: 1 - 4.

 

Peter introduces himself as Simon, Peter, a servant and an apostle. Peter knew it was a honor to be a servant of His Master who is Jesus Christ. We as Christians are also servants of the Master. It is great that we have an account of the people to who this epistle was written because they are described as having obtained precious faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. True saving faith is the precious grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ. If we have true faith in Jesus Christ we have a very strong advantage in being an overcomer in the Lamb of God who died for our sins because the Bible says the just will live by faith. The effect of faith in Jesus Christ is closure to receive more of the grace of God. Faith is a gift but it is from God. We can only have belief in God because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Peter writes grace and peace are multiplied but it is through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.

 

If what we received is from God and for God this should in most cases encourage us as Christians to ask for more. If we live in this realm we are on the right path to true salvation through Jesus Christ. If we have true faith in Jesus Christ the life and power of godliness will be in our spirit. The knowledge of God and faith in Jesus Christ is the channel to anything spiritual we will receive from the Triune Godhead. We wonder when we sometimes talk to other people who do not know Jesus Christ why they do not understand the words coming out of our months. Remember the Bible says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2: 14.

 

Peter also writes we must acknowledge God as the author of our calling because in verse three Jesus Christ has called us to glory and virtue. The motive or reason God is calling or converting people to His Son Jesus Christ is to bring them to glory and virtue. It is the glory of God to convert sinners to the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ.

 

The apostle Peter encourages their/our faith and hope to look for an increase of grace and peace. In verse four he tells us to claim biblical promises in context because they are great for our soul. Peter then goes on to explain that the pardon of our sins is not only one of the blessings but the mere fact that we had numerous transgressions against God is only by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Peter explains this by saying having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. As we can see the promised blessings of the gospel is not only very precious but the great divine gift of the Bible is we received the Holy Spirit in our spirit when we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts. Peter through the penned word of the Holy Ghost desired our hearts to be set for God and His service.

 

If we allow the Holy Spirit to work His divine nature in our spirit we are freed from the bondage of corruption. 2nd Peter 1:4 makes it very clear that the dominion of sin in this world is through lust. If we allow our lustful desires to overcome us sin will rule over our spirit as opposed to the Holy Spirit who is perfectly pure. The dominion that sin has over our spirit will always be in accordance to the delight we have in our lust. We should pray about our shortcomings but do not try and hid anything from God. Did you ever pray one of those prayers where you skirt around the issue? I have but this is an exercise in futility because there is not one thing that God does not know. We might as well get very specific and honest when we talk to our Savior and Master because we will receive more results from God.

 

If you would like these blessings that Peter writes about and do not know the Lord then now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Lord into your life. By the way this apostle is not even finished with proper living and the blessings that come through the obedience of the word of God. I will be going over these very special blessings that come with obeying God in future articles. I hope and pray that you just made that all important eternal decision because if that choice was to accept Jesus Christ the Bible says your name was written in the Lamb's book of life.

 

God bless you,

Bob D. 

ADDING GRACE TO GRACE AND ABOUNDING IN THE LORD

 Adding grace to grace and abounding in the Lord

 

 

 

After the apostle Peter finishes explaining to us that now as Christians we escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust he tells us how to live. I will be going over one of the most popular set of verses in the entire Bible. The very first thing Peter writes is before engage in all these spiritual practices be diligent. I look at my life and my job is very difficult because we do so much in one day that our body starts to move faster than our minds. As I read this passage I would be well spiritually if I practiced these biblical truths with all diligence.

 

We are to add to our faith virtue and to virtue knowledge. It is like the apostle Peter is saying put a little effort in your relationship with Jesus Christ and other people. And to knowledge temperance and to temperance patience and to patience godliness. It is like Peter is saying we need self control. And to godliness brotherly kindness and to kindness charity. It is like Peter is saying show a lot of love.

 

Peter then writes if these things be in you and abound we receive the promise from the word of God that we will never be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is like Peter is saying we will never be useless for the kingdom of God.

 

The apostle then says he that lacketh these things is blind and will not be able to see far off and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. We were cleansed from our sins but according to what Peter writes if we as Christians do not engage in these characteristics we for all practical purposes do not appreciate that our transgressions against God were forgiven. Faith without works is dead but forgiveness without works is also dead. Remember it is a huge thing to be forgiven of all our sins because if this is not a reality in our lives we would not go to heaven.

 

Peter then writes give diligence to make your calling and election sure because if we do these things we as believers in Jesus Christ will never fall. Once again we see this word diligence. This is a choice so we will not stumble. Jesus Christ desires us strong in Him not stumbling all over the place, sinning and out of the will of God.

 

I love the very last verse I will be going over because if we do engage in these spiritual practices our entrance will be ministered to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is like Peter was trying to say God has already supplied this for us but we have to show some effort, self control and love in our relationship with God and other people. Let me quote the passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.

 

(5) "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Je'sus Christ." 2nd Peter 1: 5 - 11.

 

We as Christians have already obtained this precious faith but it has to be exercised. We were made partakers of His divine nature but this reality is not to be rested in as if we are already perfect.

 

Peter once again exhorts his listening audience to press forward for obtaining more grace. If we are going to make any progress with our faith in Jesus Christ being industrious in our endeavors with all diligence will be great gain in the work of holiness. Our way is marked out step by step from heaven so we must exercise virtue. There is justice in virtue but knowledge, temperance and patience must follow virtue because there is strength and courage for the reason of standing up for good works. According to the Bible a Christian is not supposed to be a coward. This is one of the reasons virtue is mentioned first. God wants us to have faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

 

Peter then writes add knowledge to virtue which helps with courage. Adding temperance to our knowledge allows us to be moderate in things we see in life and not fall into sin. There is balance in adding temperance to knowledge. This passage goes on to say add patience to temperance. Patience is somewhat similar to temperance but when added together it produces a perfect work. This is good because "When" not if we face trials Godly temperance and patience will go a long way in getting through the ordeal. Remember our sufferings no matter how overwhelming they may be are far less than our sins deserve. Try not to grumble when temptations come your way with the spirit of temperance and patience.

 

We must add godliness to patience. I have learned a very valuable lesson in life. When I bear my afflictions patiently I receive an experimental knowledge of the loving kindness of my heavenly Father because it produces child like fear and reverential love wherein true godliness consists. This is why we should add godliness to patience.

 

We should add brotherly kindness which is a tender affection to our fellow believers in Christ because they are the children of the same God we serve. We all need true Godly tender love from our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are Christians we are partakers of being human desiring mercy and Godly affection. If we are believers in Christ God desires good for His Children.

 

There are advantages to listening to what this passage says for our spiritual journey. If the things Peter writes abounds in us we will not be barren on the inside. It is hard to feel like we have nothing in us on the inside. If we abound in all Christian graces no unfruitfulness will abide in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. If we do what this passage says these practices will cause us to be zealous, lively and fruitful in the works of righteousness. Fruitful and the kingdom of God are always a good combination. If we are fruitful with people for the right reason God will get the glory.

 

Peter in essence writes add one grace to another because this improves and strengthens one another. Most people are in the practice of tearing each other down but that does not represent the kingdom of God. We are used to hearing faith without works is dead but where grace abounds there will be an overabundance of good works. That is precisely the point as to why the apostle Peter writes add one grace to another because it will bear fruit for God.

 

There will always be an element of blindness if we do not apply this passage to our lives so I recommend that you read and review the text so you really understand what the apostle Peter is writing. God desires us somewhat literate of the truths to come in heaven. One of the ways we can acquire more understanding is to show effort, self control and love to other people.

 

Peter talks about two truths or advantages in adding grace to grace. We will be stable in the love of God and have a triumphant entrance into glory. It does take diligence and labor to make our election sure which means that we will have to examine ourselves as much as we can because we are prone to drift away from God. By doing this we will be kept from falling. We as human beings tend to fall into many errors but by adding grace to grace we will be preserved in our faith with Jesus Christ and stand perfect and complete in the will of God. When we grow in grace and abound in the work of the Lord Christians will have His joy and reign with Him forever.

 

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Lord into your life. If you just made that decision by showing effort, self control and love to other people you will be adding grace to grace in your life and glorifying God. This is not going to be simple but very rewarding in the joy of the Lord.

 

God bless you,

Bob D. 

A REVIEW AND PERSONAL TESTIMONY FROM PETER

A review and personal testimony from Peter




Peter writes I do not desire you to be negligent of these that I told you; however, he acknowledges that you already know these biblical truths but he wanted them engaging in these practices present tense. I can not even count the number of Christians that got redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ past tense but really do not want to live for the Lamb of God who died for their sins. Remember Peter reminds his listeners in 2nd Peter 1:4 ... "Having escaped the corruption that in the world through lust." Peter then says as long as I am living I want to stir you up in remembrance on the narrow path to heaven in my earthly body.


The apostle Peter knew that shortly he must put off this tabernacle or die. He remembered Jesus Christ personally told Peter when He (Jesus) was living that Peter would be crucified. I have this feeling inside of me that the main reason Peter denied Jesus Christ three times is because he was afraid of being crucified. He saw with his own eyes many painful long winded executions and knew they were horrible. Then after Peter repented to the Son of God Jesus Christ told him you will be crucified but not until your ministry is finished. God had a plan for the life of Peter and used him to the fullest. In verse fifteen Peter says when I die I desire you to remember these precious biblical truths.


The apostle makes it very clear that we have not followed after cunningly devised fables. Some people want to believe in fairy tails. Jesus Christ came with power and Peter was one of the eyewitnesses of His majesty. Jesus Christ received from God the Father honor and glory. In fact the Father said when His Son Jesus Christ was in His earthly body, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Then Peter goes on to write this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with Him in the holy mount. Let me quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.


(12) "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (13) Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; (14) Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Je'sus Christ hath showed me. (15) Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. (16) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Je'sus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (17) For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (18) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount." 2nd Peter 1: 12 - 18.


Peter was at the point when this apostle was not going to be negligent with his faith in Jesus Christ but exemplarily diligent with his fellowship in His Savior and Lord and ready to serve people and be with them in spirit. We know that Peter was not just ministering to Christians but he really cared about them because in verse fifteen he told them he was concerned for their spiritual well being even after he would die physically.


If we know a spiritual principle we should never forget the precept but practice it by being a doer of the word of God. To improve our knowledge is usually to renew our knowledge. Remember what we were taught and put it into practice. If we are established in the truth of the Bible we will not be shaken by every wind of doctrine. Peter was talking about present truth which is the kind of knowledge that we need for everyday living. We need teaching and exhortation while we are in this body. A minister needs to bring to remembrance what we formerly heard but we as believers in Christ should desire to remind ourselves of the Bible because our spirit needs this for our hearts.


Peter was obviously earnest but what we need to understand is the body is the tabernacle of the soul. In essence Peter is saying our tabernacle must be put off because we are not going to be in our body to much longer. The soul is way more important than our body. Peter understood he was going to die so he engaged in the practice of serving God stronger than he ever ministered in his entire life.


The things that this apostle writes about are not idle tales or a vain purpose but undoubted truth and vast concern for our lives. The gospel is not a cunningly devised fable because these biblical truths needed to be reviewed for our spirit. We do not have a precept unless the Holy Spirit gives it to us in our minds and spirit. This is good because we need to know of the power of Jesus Christ.


Peter writes about His first coming but the Son of God is also coming a second time in the rapture of the church. Are we living for Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God the Father? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords will also return in the second advent to judge the world.


When Jesus Christ walked the earth of course their were skeptics that did not believe He was the Son of God. In verses seventeen and eighteen Peter is writing about a very specific event that happened while Jesus Christ was on earth in His flesh. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee were eyewitness of His divine majesty (this is a reference to 2nd Peter 1: 16 when the Bible says ... "Were eyewitness of His majesty) to when He was transfigured before them. Besides the visible glory there was an audible voice from heaven. God the Father said this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased and clearly this was the best voice that ever came from heaven to earth.


In verse seventeen the apostle Peter writes about the excellent glory. This is referring to the voice of God the Father. This voice was heard and understood by Peter, James and John. They not only heard the sound but understood the sense because it is God who opens up the ears and understandings of His people to receive what they are concerned to know. God did not just desire them to hear but understand because they believed the truth of His Son Jesus Christ. It is obvious that Peter, James and John felt the power of the voice from heaven. Wow what a testimony and eye witness that the apostle Peter for all practical purposes tells the whole world. I have given my testimony but I did not walk with Jesus Christ physically. Peter actually walked with Jesus Christ and saw with his own eyes everything that the gospels writes about to the world.


If Peter was willing to die for Jesus Christ I am very interested in listening to this man. After Peter walked with Jesus Christ, saw Him die on a cross, raise from the dead on the third day and ascend to heaven he was dedicated to serve God for the rest of his lifetime. He even increased his service to the Lord when he knew he was going to die. How did he have so much devotion and passion for Jesus Christ? This is an example of the power of the gospel. If you want the same God Peter had in him and is currently worshiping and serving in heaven now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. I hope and pray that you just made that all important eternal decision. 


In keeping with what Peter is writing about read the Bible and review with yourself and other Christians what you learned because our spirit needs this even though we may academically know the biblical principles. We should also look at the devotion in Peter for Jesus Christ and follow his good example. When Jesus Christ is our all we will continue to abide in Him and obey His precepts.


God bless you,

Bob D.


 

THE BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD

 The Bible is the inspired word of God




The apostle Peter writes about us Christians having a more sure word of prophecy. Then he builds upon that foundation explaining to his readers that we would do well to take heed like a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the day star arise in our hearts. I am not going to give to much of an introduction because there is much to these three verses that I will be going over with this fine internet audience after I quote the original passage that I will be going over in the Bible.


Peter goes on to write knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. One person can not stand up and say, "I know and nobody else knows what this biblical passage means" so if you see or hear this run the other way.


In verse twenty one which is the last verse I will be going over the apostle writes prophecy came not in old time by the will of man but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Ho'ly Ghost. Let me quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.


(19) "We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Ho'ly Ghost." 2nd Peter 1: 19 - 21.


In these three verses the apostle Peter presents another argument to prove the truth and reality of the gospel. What Peter was talking about is prophecy was foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament. These God fearing men wrote according to the direction of the Spirit of God. The apostle Peter explains the description that is given of the scriptures regarding the Old Testament by calling what they wrote a more sure word of prophecy. This was specifically a declaration of the power and coming of our Savior who came for the purpose of dying for our sins.


To explain this prophetic precept the New Testament is history based on what the Old Testament says is going to happen which is not a prediction but a biblical prophecy. God does not predict because He knows the future. If a person reads the Old Testament one of the ways he or she should observe it is in light of the prophecies being fulfilled in the New Testament. Our faith in Jesus Christ should be firm because we have a more sure word of prophecy. All of the prophecies of the Old Testament are more sure and certain to us who have the history of the fulfillment in them.


Peter encourages us to search the scriptures by writing we do well if we take heed to them and apply our minds to understand the meaning and our hearts to believe the truth because of this sure word of prophecy. When God makes a promise He intends on keeping it but if He assures us of something based on condition we better make sure we obey God on our part in our relationship with Him. If we please God this profits us for His glory.


Prophecy is a light that God sent into the world to dispel the darkness which is upon the face of the whole world. In light of this we must acknowledge our own darkness. People need to do this to attain eternal life. If people just pick up the Bible and allow the word of God to shine into their hearts that will lead to true salvation in Jesus Christ. Natural notions or pre conceived ideas about God will not be sufficient for fallen man. When the light of scripture convicts a dark heart because of the Holy Spirit just like 2nd Peter 1:19 says (the passage at the beginning of the article) the spiritual day dawns and the day star arise in our hearts. This enlightening of a dark mind is the day break that spreads and diffuses itself through the whole soul until it makes a perfect day. This is a growing knowledge and process even for Christians who should be coming to the Light who is Jesus Christ.


The Apostle Peter lays out one understanding that biblical prophecy is of divine origin. It is from God but that does not mean this is of any private interpretation because this is the revelation of the mind of God. There is a difference between the prophets of the Lord and false prophets. The true prophets did not speak or do anything of their own mind. These men wrote the Bible which was the mind of God.


I wrote a good amount of articles regarding biblical numbers which is on this blog in the year 2016. I went on to prove that different writers at different time periods wrote for example a subject and every time a group of five's came up it always meant and stood for grace. These authors did not even know most of the other writers in different time periods throughout history and yet the same meaning consistently in context is evident throughout the entire Bible. You would have to go back and read a couple of the writings to understand what I am trying to portray to you but my point is the Bible would have to be the infallible word of God. There is nothing like concrete evidence to prove our point. The divine origin of the Bible should be known and owned by all who read the word of God because we have a sure word of prophecy. This subject is so important because the divinity of the scriptures must be first acknowledged and then known before people can give heed to them.


The apostle Peter explains to us how the Old Testament was compiled. These were holy men of God who were employed with the work we call the word of God. The pen men of the scriptures were holy men of God that He chose for this assignment but they were moved by the Holy Ghost according to verse twenty one. If the Holy Spirit is not involved it is not worth recording. Do you Remember the 400 years before the New Testament? God made a decision not to put a prophet on the earth. Nothing was recorded. At the risk of repeating myself --- if the Holy Spirit is not involved it is not worth recording.


The Holy Spirit is the supreme agent but the holy men that wrote the Old Testament were the messengers. The Holy Ghost inspired and dictated to them what they were to write from the mind of God. The third Person of the Trinity effectually engaged them to speak/write what He placed in their minds and mouths. When we read the Bible we need to remember that this book was written by holy men inspired, influenced and assisted by the Holy Ghost.


If you are not a believer remember God preserved His word for you so you could read the Bible. It is one hundred percent true but that does not mean you will understand everything in the word of God. Do not get hung up on understanding everything you read but remember reading the scriptures usually gives us the blessings. God will give us the answer in His time. Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting all your sins and inviting the Lord into your life. Perhaps you just made that choice and if you did read the King James version because many other renditions are very far off the original text.


If you did not make that all important eternal decision I would still recommend you read the Bible. If anyone is honest with God and desires to get right the Holy Spirit will meet you half way. For example the Bible teaches in the book of James if we draw close to God He will draw close to us. This is the principal. Understand that the Bible is the inspired word of God.


God bless you,

Bob D.      

SQUIRMING IS BETTER THAN BURNING

Squirming is better than burning

 

 

 

Although Lot initially was very taken in by big city living when he saw the constant sin in Sodom and Gomorrha the Bible says that God took him out of this land as judgment was coming down on the city. He was very vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. That means he was troubled in his heart. He was a righteous man dwelling among them but he saw and heard evil all the time and this vexed his righteous soul from day to day because of their unlawful deeds before God.

 

The vexing of our souls is very painful. Peter then gives a very practical solution to sin by writing the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations. He also knows how to reserve the unjust into the day of judgment to be punished. A true believer in Jesus Christ will struggle with his sins but an unbeliever will not because for all practical purpose they are not answering to God. When Peter writes He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations this implies that we have to meet God half way because He is not going to take choice from us in our lives.

 

Peter changes his tone. He writes against people that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness. He then adds those that despise government by calling them presumptuous, self willed and not afraid to speak evil of dignities. This is something to think abut because Peter was unjustly punished by the government many times in his life. Angels who are greater in power and might do not bring railing accusations against them before the Lord. Peter is writing about slander in this context. I will expand on this after I quote the Bible passage.

 

The apostle Peter wrote against created creatures that speak evil of things they do not understand and gives the bad news that they will utterly perish in their own corruption. If we really read the Bible the word of God always gives the good news along with the bad news. If a person just gives the good news he or she is just telling one side of the story. One person once said tell me the bad news and let me squirm as opposed to telling me the good news and let me burn. The problem is people in general do not squirm but take the easy way out by denying God in a settle or deliberate way. They just go on with their lives and usually fall into some sort of sin.

 

Remember the apostle Paul could not even be passive in his approach toward the sin in his life. "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Corinthians 9: 27. If Paul had to do this daily then all the more reason we should be engaging in this practice before God with our bodies. God wants us to live in a godly fashion and He will not settle for half of our spirit. We need to follow the example of the apostle Paul and be proactive in our faith for Jesus Christ. 

 

Peter then writes about the reward of unrighteousness which is a very different way of explaining this horrible reality. He says these people will try and deceive us while they are in our company. They have eyes full of adultery and can not cease from sin. If we have a besetting sin we should put this very high on our pecking order before God. People that live in their own sin may go to the next step beguiling unstable souls. This is a heart they have exercised as a practice of sins in a lifestyle. They are at the point in life when these people have covetous practices which is nothing more than idolatry. God desires all of us for Him so if we are going to walk in the other direction with sin not having any regard for Jesus Christ I don't think this is to difficult to figure out in light of our life and eternity. Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.

 

(7) "And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (11) Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. (12) But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (13) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; (14) Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:" 2nd Peter 2: 7 - 14.

 

When God sends destruction on the ungodly he commands deliverance for the righteous. God had an interest in preserving Lot. He was a just man probably because he was under a very good teacher. Abraham had a lot of influence in teaching him the ways of God. Lot certainly did not follow the multitude to sin or engage in evil in an extremely degenerate city but did walk upright before God. In their company he did not escape guilt or grief. Lot was vexed from day to day. He did see their wickedness but did not reconcile him to it because he wanted to live righteous before God. The Lord knows those that are His because of their faith and obedience to Him.

 

It has got to be comforting that we are in the favor of God. It is not difficult for God to deliver His People. If we are at a loss Jesus Christ will find a way of escape because the deliverance of the godly is the work of God. He has the wisdom to understand the way and the power to work out the deliverance of our temptation. Of course the unjust has no share in the salvation God works out for the righteous. Unfortunately the wicked are reserved to the day of judgment.

 

The apostle Peter again warns us about seducers and again returns to talk about them. They walk in their flesh. Flesh is not defined in the Bible but it is that independent streak that rises up against God. These people that Peter was writing about respond directly contrary to the righteous precepts of God. They are complying with their corrupt nature. God is giving us the choice. If we have evil opinions this will be accompanied with evil practices. Those who propagate error are improving in wickedness.

 

If they continue in their sinful course and increase into deeper ungodliness they also pour contempt on those whom God has set in authority over them and requires to obey the law. The apostle writes about this in verse ten but Peter was talking about those that follow after their own flesh. The apostle also writes that the angels bring their accusations of sinful creatures before the Lord because He is the judge and avenger of all sin and injustice. The angels hold no bitterness with the accusations they bring to God so how much more should we follow their good example. If we can bring our accusations to God without rage but compassion this is being obedient to Jesus Christ and as believers we become more meek and merciful.

 

Peter in verse twelve explains how people under the power of sin are far removed from observing divine revelation that they can not exercise reason. Peter calls them brute beasts who follow after sensitive sinful appetites and as a result have an inclination to their carnal minds. The apostle also writes they will be destroyed in their own corruption. They will get the reward of their unrighteousness. I hope I am writing to an audience that desires a reward in righteousness.

 

One sort of sins prepare for another and as a result their eyes are full of adultery. If a person has impure lusts he or she tends to influence others to a lifestyle of sin. These are the people that are in the greatest danger of being led away into sin and error. Peter calls them the unstable. If the heart of a person is not established with grace he or she is easily turned into a way of sin. This can turn into riotous, lascivious and covetous living. If people chase after riches and desire the wealth of the world because of sin then they do not know God. The problem is people are abandoning themselves to all sorts of lusts but the apostle Peter calls them cursed children. We as Christians need to wrestle with our sins whatever they may be because the best defense is a good offence. Most people go in the opposite direction away from God. We are either going to God or away from God but there is no middle ground. If we stay lukewarm we will fall into some sort of sin/sins.

 

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Lord into your life. Peter once again writes about some really serious issues but we all have to come to terms with the subject of sin. This lifestyle will destroy our lives and eternity. The only way we can live pure and holy is through Jesus Christ.

 

I am amazed as to how many people try and do this without God. It is like they have all the answers but do not know anything. These people tend to drift from one thing to another but never seem to arrive at port. I hope and pray that you chose the Son of God for your life to be in your heart. If you are struggling with sin join the club but pray to God about your transgressions so you can go in the direction of holiness. We are either going toward God in pureness or away from God in our sins. I repent to God at least once a day because I struggle with my transgressions but that is far better than not caring and living my life apart from God.

 

God bless you,

 

Bob D.    

KNOWING THE LORD AND STAYING WITH HIM !

 Knowing the Lord and staying with Him

 

 

 

The apostle Peter continues by writing that people tend to forsake the right way and go astray. He uses an example in the Old Testament of people following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor who loved the wages of unrighteousness. This is another way of saying he loved his sin.

 

This next verse is very difficult to talk about because it is a little out of the ordinary. A donkey rebuked him for his iniquity with a human voice. The out of the ordinary response was for the purpose of restraining this man from his folly. If we are on this road sometimes it takes something off beat to stop us in our sin. If we drive our car down a road it takes a little maneuvering to get on another road.

 

Peter then writes about wells without water in the mist of darkness reserved for ever. This is obviously eternal separation from God but I will expand on what this means in a greater degree after I quote the passage.

 

Some people speak words of vanity but the allure or trap is always through the lusts of the flesh. Peter seemed very comforted regarding the people of his day that were clean and escaped from these false teachers who lived in error. These speakers that give words of vanity almost always promise liberty in one form or another but the problem is they are servants of corruption. Peter is talking about these people being in bondage to wickedness yet they are speakers influencing other people in the form of righteousness but deceiving them into the pits of hell.

 

The apostle then quotes the words of Jesus by writing if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and are again entangled in a lifestyle of sin and (overcome) the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. The reality of this lifestyle is it would have been better for these people to have not known the ways of righteousness then after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. Another observation I would like to make from this passage is if these Christians have the ability to be overcome by the pollutions of the world (sin) wouldn't it only be common sense for us believers in Jesus Christ to pray to Him that we become and stay overcomers through our Savior and Lord?

 

I was indoctrinated in the once saved always saved theory when I was a child. I was walking through life deceived with this idea that a person could just make a decision for Jesus Christ past tense and forget my present tense salvation and still go to heaven. Please do not get me wrong I was trying my best to live for the Lord. In 2009 God kept mysteriously throwing after life testimonies, debates and sermons on this subject in my computer. I called my Dad and he gave me much resistance on the subject. He read the Bible from beginning to end and said, "You are right the Bible does not teach this precept in context of any passage I read in the word of God."

 

I also noticed that the only people that believe this are those that have been taught it in seminary or by their pastor. If prisoners just pick up the Bible and read it they almost never embrace the once saved always saved theory. A person would really have to read into so many verses to come to this conclusion. We are not called to read into verses. We are called to read the entire context, not just one verse out of context which is a pretext.

 

Peter then quotes an old proverb writing a dog is turned to his own vomit again so obviously the principal is when a person gets redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, going back to a lifestyle of sin is not only wrong but very dangerous. Let me quote the passage so you can read it and perhaps make reference to the text if need be in this particular study of the Bible.

 

(15) "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Ba'laam the son of Bo'sor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (16) But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. (17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." 2nd Peter 2: 15 - 22.

 

Obviously the apostle Peter proves in verse fifteen that these Old Testament people were cursed children because they forsake the Godly way of life. They erred and strayed from the righteous way of living to follow Balaam the son of Bosor. Balaam desired riches and honor but he understood that the road he chose displeased the Lord. As a result of his worldly desires this man became a hardened sinner and was rebuked for his iniquity because a donkey spoke to him and rebuked the madness of his conduct. He was living in vain because he chose an evil way so this should make us think and the conclusion should be a righteous way of life. The real truth of the matter is this is the only decision and way of life God will accept from us as human beings living before God. Jesus Christ will always rebuke a sinner for his or her sin but the real question is will these individuals repent and return to a holy life.

 

In verse seventeen the apostle proceeds to a further description of seducing teachers. The word of truth is the water of life but when this verse writes wells or fountains of water then it is obvious that these deceivers are set upon spreading and promoting error. These teachers are empty inside, there is virtually no truth in them and as a result their listeners will fall into a pit. A solid Bible teacher desires his listening audience to be lifted up in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Clouds that yield no rain are clouds carried with a tempest. They change their opinions like the wind because these people are crowd pleasers so any responsible person would conclude that they are not guided by the Holy Spirit because their own ambition is more important to them than the will of God. If we were to look at a bunch of clouds they would obstruct the light of the sun and make the air darker. These people are promoting the darkness of the devil in this world so because of this their portion in the next life will be in otter darkness.

 

Great and swelling words of vanity sounds great to the ear but there is no biblical sense in what they are saying to people. The truth of the matter is this appeals to the corrupt affections and carnal fleshly lusts of people. These leaders tend to be very skilled in promoting error. They are fishers of men but are employed by demons.

 

This idea that Christians who adhere to the truth can not be deceived by their false teaching is simply not true. It is our responsibility to discern if the person we are listening to is a servant of corruption. If their lusts whatever they may be have gotten victory over them then we on the receiving end listening can be in bondage to their false theology.

 

Do not be led away by a seducer because if we are living clean we have the ability for our latter end to be worse than our beginning. If this happens to us we would have to be listening to false teachers, demons, groups, individuals or being carried away by our own lusts. We should desire to be kept from the pollutions of the world by the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We were saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ and we are kept by grace through our faith and obedience to God.

 

If we receive the love of the truth and hide the word of God in our hearts we can expect sanctification from the Holy Spirit for our daily living. On the other hand if we do become entangled with the pollutions of the world which is sinful living we will be easily overcome. If Christians who have once escaped are again entangled then the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. All we have to do is look at the real world --- if a person has been working for a company for five years he or she should know way more than a person that does not even work for the company.

 

A state of apostasy is way worse than a state of ignorance because apostasy is condemning righteousness especially after they have had some knowledge of the truth who is Jesus Christ Himself. The misery of these particular Christians that for all practical purposes deserted Jesus Christ is more intolerable than an unbeliever that falls into ignorance and apostasy. To speak in general terms God is highly provoked by those who by their conduct despise the gospel of Jesus Christ and pour contempt upon His grace either through neglect or rebellion. These people are in big trouble and should repent as soon as possible with the motive of forsaking their sins.

 

The last verse that I quoted in verse twenty two is saying these Christians are returning back to their old sins as a lifestyle without repentance but are also wallowing in that filthiness from which they were forgiven and cleansed from by the shed blood of Jesus Christ Himself.

 

These set of verses are not only thought provoking but should put a reverential fear of God inside our spirit whoever you are in this world. If we over here in America had a proper fear of God and a basic respect for life at least half of our problems would be repaired gradually through time. If you do not know the Lord Peter makes it clear we should desire to be kept from the pollutions of the world through the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. If this is what you desire and please be honest with yourself then now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Lord into your life. There is nothing like being in the will of God because we will have a clear conscience. I would rather have that than live in darkness and be destined for otter darkness. I hope and pray that you just made that decision for your life and eternity.

 

God bless you,

Bob D.     

SCOFFERS WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS 1

 

Scoffers walking after their own lusts

 

 

 

The apostle Peter was not afraid to write to his audience about the bad news. He was tough but honest. In verse one Peter was in essence writing to his dear friends by saying I desire to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance. If we play the Christian dance with sin prepare to do the tango with demons. If God were to give us spiritual eyeglasses we would see angels and demons. Both know about our life but the minions of Satan thrive on our weaknesses. The more we sin the greater legal ground we give demons over our life. Less is obviously better when it comes to us commiting transgressions against God. This is why it is important to store the word of God in our hearts or consistently study the Bible. If he desires to stir up their pure minds it is possible for a Christian to have dirty thoughts. Peter was a very disciplined man in holy living.

 

The apostle then reminds his listeners that a commandment from God is not an option. When we became Christians there are do's and do not's for our life. We can only obey through the grace of Jesus Christ. I can not even count the times I heard believers in Christ say, "The Bible says this but God does not really mean what He said." God does mean what He says and says what He means. 

 

Peter then writes in verse three and four which are a couple of the most popular verses in the Bible knowing this first that there will be scoffers in the last days walking after their own lusts. These people are mockers but it is because their desires are for themselves. If we are sincere before God all we have to do in this context is check ourselves to see if we are walking after our own lusts. Are we devoted to God and desire His will or do we have sensual lusts, anger lusts, prideful lusts or some other type of lust that is hindering our fellowship with God?

 

These scoffers that walk after their own lusts (selfish) will almost always say when a Christian talks about the good news of our Lord's return, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." As if this world can promise them anything. The promises of God are true but the promises of this world will almost always fail. Let God be true and every man a liar.

 

Peter then goes back to Creation and writes these people are willingly ignorant that God created the universe. Then the apostle goes forward in history and writes that they are also willingly ignorant that God destroyed the world with water. Then Peter goes to the future which at the posting of this article has not happened yet because now the heavens and the earth exist with a certain element of order but is being reserved to fire in the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. All we have to do is read the book of Revelation chapters six to nineteen and see the judgment of God being poured out upon planet earth. Let me quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.

 

(1) "THIS second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: (2) That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: (3) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: (6) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (7) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2nd Peter 3: 1 - 7.

 

First Peter points to the holy prophets who were divinely inspired and points to the commandments. I believe Peter was very upright because he saw the damage and hardship of sin that plays out in other people's lives. In fact he saw it in his own life. In essence he says remember the Old and New Testament. I realize the New was not compiled at that point of the writing of this book but he, the other apostles and teachers did a lot of teaching so these truths combined together were suppose to stir up the pure minds of fellow believers in Christ. That is what is supposed to happen in our lives. Trust me it is not going to mysteriously happen so be proactive with the Bible.

 

What about the question of scoffers? These are people that make a mockery of sin and just do not care about the issue. They tend to mock salvation but more specially God's way of saving sinners through Jesus Christ. The simplicity of this message is usually directly contrary to the carnal mind of people. They are working out their own false salvation apart from Jesus Christ. If I were working out my own salvation apart from God I would mock sinners being saved through Jesus Christ. 

 

These persons walk after their own lusts in comparison to true Christians who fight against the lusts of the flesh. They follow the devices and desires of their own hearts which is deception. Remember the Bible teaches, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9. Notice something very interesting in this verse --- Deceitful above all things not wicked above all things. These people walk, talk and think from their own thoughts and form principles which are their own but it is directly opposed to what the Bible says is the right way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Deceitful above all things.

 

So now hopefully I have established these scoffers will say where is the promise of His coming. They tend to laugh at the rapture of the church and the second coming (second advent). I believe He "May" come today/tonight but more important I have the promise that He will return for His children before Jesus Christ pours His wrath on a very sinful world. Notice I did not say more countries will not go through increased persecution before the Blessed Hope but understand there is a difference between the words persecution and wrath. A true child of God can not go through the wrath of God. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Je'sus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

 

A hardened heart in a scoffer does not want Jesus Christ to come. While they laugh they will argue the point that He will not return. This principal and future reality is literally all over the Bible. Their goal is to make impressions to weak minds but they seem to like to talk about this negativity to wicked hearts. Their logic is do not labor over the return of the Lord but that goes directly against the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew chapter twenty five. If they are seducing weak Christians and persuade them, foolish virgins will be the final result and according to this passage in the Bible this type of believer gets left behind to face the horrors to come on this earth. To be a wise virgin we need to be abiding in Jesus Christ from the power of the Holy Spirit and occupying for His kingdom until Lord Jesus Christ comes for His bride.

 

These people will say "All things continue as they were without change even from the beginning of Creation. God has never done this nor will He ever do it in the future." First of all there are many raptures that already happened in the Old Testament and of course Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven. Second God has severely judged the whole world in the days of Noah. I guess they are willingly ignorant of this biblical past tense history that was just horrible.

 

Best to you in trying to talk to these people because they do not want the truth nor do they want their prey to understand something so fundamentally essential to their faith, hope and love for Jesus Christ. They will start to believe their own lies because they do not care about the truth. God created the world by speaking it into existence. He is our all powerful God but He can not overlook a world filled with excessive sin. Just like God spoke the world into existence He will speak judgment on this world when He decides is the right time in the future which may not be to far off so do not let your spiritual guard down. 

 

In verse seven the apostle Peter gives an awful account of the final destruction of the world as we know it but planet earth will continue but in ruins. When Jesus Christ takes over the nations the world will be put together again for one thousand years and our Savior and Lord will rule from Jerusalem.

 

The future day of judgment will be the day of perdition for ungodly people. If you are a scoffer and even worse influencing others you will find yourself in the day of vengeance. We all need to be in diligence and be found in Christ because any reasonable person will desire the rapture (blessed hope) to be a time of redemption for us as opposed to judgment.

 

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Lord into your life.

 

Remember if the Bible says something God says what He means and means what He says. God does invite His children to give them hope in an event called the rapture of the church. I wrote as of now a lost article years ago giving seventy verses in the New Testament talking about the blessed hope (rapture) and in my opinion there are probably one hundred verses. I did not even go over the rapture verses in the four gospels.

 

If you just made that all important eternal decision then abide in Jesus Christ, let the Holy Spirit work through you and occupy for His kingdom until He comes. Do not be obsessed with dates of the return of the Lord because we need freedom from speculation not bondage to foolish predictions. God will give the command for His Son to rapture His bride in His time. Watch with peaceful confidence.

 

God bless you,

Bob D.       

SU

SHUT UP THE WORDS AND SEAL THE BOOK!

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