24/11/19 – 2 Peter 1:12-21
2 Peter 1:12 – 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.
negligent – or careless; make light of; regard not
know – oida (see; perceive by any of the senses; notice; discern; discover; pay attention; observe; inspect; examine; have interview with; visit; know; get knowledge; be skilled in) This relates more to a skills acquisition, learning how to do something.
be established – sterizo (make stable; place firmly; set fast; strengthen; make firm; render constant or confirm one’s mind or thinking)
“Because of the importance of doing these things (in previous verses) I will not neglect my responsibility to continually remind you of those things upon which depends your entrance into the kingdom (Vs 11). Even though you already have knowledge of these things, I will continue to remind you of them so that you may be established in that knowledge of the present truth (that is, the truth that is present with you, the truth that you currently hold to).”
Many Christians know a lot of answers, that is, they have a good knowledge of doctrinal truth, but it is by continued application that they establish that truth in their lives. Knowing enough to be saved is only the first step; you must grow in your understanding of what you know, build upon it until you come to maturity.
Colossians 1:28-29 – 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Ephesians 4:13 – Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Knowing all things isn’t always enough; understanding how to apply that knowledge is also necessary!
2 Peter 1:13 – Yea, I think it meet (right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance;
think – hegeomai (to lead; go before; be a leader; rule; command; have authority over; prince; ruler; governor; any kind of leader, chief or commander; spokesman; consider; deem; think) We get “hegemon” from this root word (a leader, a ruling power; a dominating leader; one who rules by force). Here it may be seen as thinking with the force of authority behind it.
meet – dikaios (righteous; observing divine laws; keeping God’s commands; innocent; faultless; guiltless; approved of or acceptable to God) Used 81 times in the NT; translated “righteous” 41, “just” 33, “right” 5, “meet” 2.
this tabernacle – tent, tabernacle, but here used of himself in the flesh. See next Vs.
putting (you) in remembrance – here it is the noun form of the verb used in Vs 12 above. They are being reminded of the things we discussed last time in 2 Peter 2:1-11.
to stir up …. by putting in remembrance – the same phrase is used in 2 Peter 3:1 and translated I stir up …. by way of remembrance
Peter’s “think” is more of an authoritative order, like a parent telling children that he “thinks” they should go to bed! Peter considers it the right decision to make: to stir them up in this way.
as long as I am in this tabernacle – as long as I remain alive; for the rest of my life, (however short it might be – see Vs 14 below).
2 Peter 1:14 – Knowing that shortly I must put off [this] my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
knowing – oida
shortly – swift; quick. Only used twice in the NT, and translated “swift” in 2 Peter 2:1 (bring upon themselves swift destruction.) It could relate to Peter dying soon, but the wording does suggest that it should be read as “Knowing that swiftly I must put off (this) tabernacle ….”. That is, when Peter’s death comes upon him, it will be swift, such as an execution. This could refer to Jesus in John 21:18 telling Peter something of his future death.
hath shewed – revealed; make manifest; make known; declared; given to understand.
Peter knows (has obtained knowledge; has discerned) something about his death that has been revealed to him by Christ. Although he does not say specifically how he received this information, it is reasonable to assume that it was via the Holy Spirit (see Vs 21 below), and possibly referring to John 21:18.
2 Peter 1:15 – Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
endeavour – spoudazo (hasten; make haste; exert one’s self; endeavour; give diligence) Translated “study” in “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15)
decease – exodos (exit, departure; close of a career; one’s final fate; depart from life; decease) The Book of “Exodus” name comes from the Greek LXX in which exodos is the name given to the 2nd book of the Bible.
in remembrance – mneme (memory; remembrance; call to remembrance) Its only use in the NT. Note “mnemonics” (the use of memory aids to remember things). This is a different term from Vss 12 & 13 above. Here it indicates actively working to remember things.
Peter will give due diligence (exert himself) to ensure that those to whom he is writing may be able to continue to keep in mind that knowledge (in remembrance). That is, Peter’s diligence to keep these things in their minds will not be wasted when he dies. And those to whom Peter is writing may then carry out the same task with others. In this way Peter’s “training” of these people will continue after Peter dies. That is, the work will not cease with the death of Peter.
2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Peter 1:16 – For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
followed – tread in one’s steps; imitate one’s ways of acting; follow one’s authority; comply with; yield to.
cunningly devised – sophizo (make wise; teach; have understanding; invent; devise cleverly or cunningly) Our word “sophisticated” ultimately derives from the same Greek root word.
fables – mythos (speech; narrative (true or fiction); fable; invention; falsehood; myths)
made known – gnorizo (make known; know; have knowledge of) Derived from ginosko (to know) from the same root word as gnosis (knowledge) used in 2 Peter 1:5 & 6.
power – dynamis (See 2 Peter 1:3)
coming – parousia (coming; arrival; advent) Used for the 2nd coming of Christ in And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? (2 Peter 3:4) (Some think that it could be talking about the first coming of Christ as per John 1:14, but this is unlikely.)
majesty – megaleiotes (greatness; magnificence; of God’s majesty; splendour of divine majesty) Used here to describe Christ’s transfiguration (as in Matthew 17:1-8). Also see next 2 verses.
Peter states that he has not followed (imitated; complied with; yielded to) cunningly devised fables (sophisticated myths) (read “We have not taught the commandments of man as the doctrines of God” – see Matthew 15:9) in their proclamation of the power and the coming of Christ. Note that such fables could easily be described as doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1) Some of these “fables” that we see today are very complicated (sophisticated) and deceiving. They include JWs, Mormons, SDAs, and, in particular, calvinism. All of these emphasise that they are in some way (or in every way) “better” than the others (or even the only correct ones); for example, calvinism emphasises the sovereignty of their god at the expense of biblical truth. They claim that they have a higher view of God’s sovereignty, and that those without calvinism are unable to fully perceive God’s sovereignty as well as they can!
were eyewitnesses of his majesty – That is, they could speak from actual fact – they saw it all – instead of a fictionalised account that replaces the actual truth. Primarily this applies to the transfiguration (as per Vss 16-18 below) but Peter then applies it further to the writing of the Bible (Vss 19-21 below), that the Bible itself was written by those who received the message directly from God and not via another indirect method.
In Peter’s day it was those who actually saw it happen who could speak truthfully of the reality, the truth, while apparently others who hadn’t witnessed it all must have been making up their own sophisticated “fables” in order to compete with those who possessed the truth. We see the same today where some will pay attention to the actual truth as recorded in the Bible (which is what Peter is ultimately talking about here) while others will offer competing “fables” (doctrines of devils) which, while sounding good, all fall down like a house of cards when exposed to the truth of the Bible.
majesty – This refers to the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8).
2 Peter 1:17 – For he (Christ) received from God the Father honour 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.
Matthew 17:5 – While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
excellent – megaloprepes (befitting a great man; magnificent; splendid; majesty; full of majesty) Its only use in the NT. Thus mega-glory, majestic glory, sovereign glory.
beloved – agapetos (beloved; esteemed; favourite) From same root word as agape.
This refers to the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) where Christ received both honour and glory as the Son of God, and the voice of God saying that Christ is His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. In a way this is a statement of authentication, that the Christ by whom they were taught was approved by God the Father, and that what they tell to others concerning what they heard and observed may be guaranteed genuine and not made-up fables.
2 Peter 1:18 – And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
That is, the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) with parallel passages in Mark and Luke). It was Peter, James and John who accompanied Jesus to the Mount (Matthew 17:1). These disciples (including Peter) heard this (Matthew 17:6) and were eyewitnesses of Christ’s honour and glory (and thus His majesty).
The approval of Christ as the Word of God (John 1:1-5) and the guarantee of His authenticity was from God the Father who spoke from heaven as a further demonstration of the authority that was behind the life and teachings of Christ.
John 12:49-50 – 49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
John 10:30 – I and [my] Father are one.
2 Peter 1:19 – We have also 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:
dark – or squalid; dirty.
dawn – phosphoros (light-bringing; day star; Venus; the morning star; metaphorically Christ) This is its only use in the NT.
Peter is saying that we may have more certainty concerning the word of prophecy. But more certainty than what? He could mean that the written word is even more sure than that announced on the Mount of Transfiguration, but this doesn’t make sense. (Why would the word of prophecy be more sure than the transfiguration?) He could also mean that it is more sure than the fables of Vs 16 above. That doesn’t really make sense either. What’s the point of being more sure than fairy-tales? But the best way of seeing this (and one I feel is most consistent with Scripture) is that the word of prophecy is “more sure” because of the authentication given it on the Mount of Transfiguration. Somehow the transfiguration and the Bible are tied together here; each relates to the other.
2 Peter 1:20 – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Knowing – ginosko (knowledge; discernment)
first – before anything else (in time, place, rank, importance)
prophecy – propheteia (prophecy; a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; especially but not only by foretelling future events)
from prophetes (prophet = made up of two words “before” + “declare”) – (in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things; one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation)
(Note that prognosis [foreknowledge] is made up of two words: pro = “before” and gnosis = “know”. This destroys the calvinist false teaching of its meaning.)
scripture – graphe (a writing; thing written; the Scripture; portion of Holy Scripture)
private – idios (pertaining or particular to one’s self; one’s own; belonging to one’s self) We get our word “idiom” from this Greek word.
Prophecy here refers to all the scriptural writings (not just prophecies of the future) by men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (see Vs 21 below). And no Scripture is a matter of personal opinion (which are the commandments of men set forth as the doctrines of God – Matthew 15:9). This strongly implies that the fables (of Vs 16 above) are those writings that are of private interpretation.
2 Peter 1:21 – 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 Holy Ghost.
in old time – formerly; aforetime; previously; at some time.
the will – thelema (what one wishes or has determined shall be done; will; choice; inclination; desire; pleasure)
(as they were) moved – phero (carry; move by bearing; be conveyed with suggestion of force or speed; rush like a gust of wind; be moved in the mind; uphold; keep from falling; apply; bring in by announcing; lead; conduct)
We may be assured that the Bible is truly the genuine word of God, that it is truth, as written by holy (set apart) godly men who were led by the Holy Spirit to write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The Bible is not just a collection of writings from individual people who wrote (probably some genuinely) what they believed (or wanted to believe) to be the truth, people such as Joseph Smith (mormons), Ellen White (SDAs), John Calvin (calvinism), Charles Russell (JWs), Ron Hubbard (scientology), Mary Eddy (Christian science), John Thomas (Christadelphian), Helena Blavatsky (theosophy), David “Moses” Berg (children of God), Charles Parham/William Seymour (Azusa Street meetings), Randy Clark Rodney Howard-Browne/John Wimber (Torono/Vineyard) etc, etc etc etc etc. ……. In fact, it’s getting very difficult to find people who would rather believe the Bible alone without opinions added!
A lot of 2 Peter 1 is about the gaining and use (application) of the knowledge a Christian should have. The following forms of “know” and “knowledge” are used in this chapter:
“know” (verb), “knowledge” (noun), “knowing” (verb), “made known” (verb) are collectively used 9 times, using 5 different Greek words from 3 separate root words.
epignosis – a deeper more full knowledge, probably knowledge with understanding of how to apply it.
gnosis (n); gnorizo (v); ginosko (v) – a basic knowledge, discernment between different views.
oida – obtain knowledge as a set of skills necessary to carry out a task.
The Bible must be interpreted as it was written. It was written to tell people the truth that God required mankind to know. It is complete and authoritative. Any conflict between the Bible and another teaching proves a lie somewhere; and the lie will not be with the Bible! Today we have so many people who tell us what the Bible really means (such as MacArthur telling us that doulos always means slave, because calvinists have forbidden the use of free will; or that “all” only means “all without exception” if Calvin permits it.) And there are others who may only interpret the Bible according to their man-made commandments, those who must use extra-biblical revelation such as the book of mormon given by the angel moroni.
Today few churches believe in the Bible alone. Many claim to be sola scriptura (a catch-cry of the calvinists) but in practice they always turn back to their rose-coloured glasses of Calvin, Smith, Ellen White etc. The Bible alone is their standard as long as it agrees with their extra-revelational writings! Their Bible must be interpreted according to the standard of their extra writings. That is, their extra writings carry more weight than the Bible; their writings assess the truth of the Bible. For example, ask a calvinist what the Bible says and he’ll tell you what Calvin (or the Westminster Confession, or MacArthur etc) says that it says.
But not one of these can oppose the truth of the Bible when it says that only the Bible is the authoritative truth against which all other truths must be measured.
2 Peter 1:20-21 – 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Hebrews 6:18 – That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
A final note – I’ve researched Christian mysticism and come up with a few points.
1/. It is based upon Greek philosophy, especially Plato. The Gnostics were a major support for Christian mysticism.
2/. One of its main proponents is Augustine who was involved with Plato beliefs, and also belonged to the Manicheans, a strict sect of the Gnostics.
3/. As a result, the catholic church, plus all others who use Augustine as a basis for doctrine, are infected with Christian mysticism.
4/. The main idea behind Christian mysticism is that there are different levels of biblical understanding, where much of it may be seen as allegorical.
5/. This means that those without the key to understand it cannot understand as much as those who possess the key.
6/. Thus Christian mysticism is an esoteric belief system.
7/. Christian mysticism is supposed to be that which joins all faiths (interfaith) together, that is, ecumenical.
8/. It allegedly leads to a deeper sense of the divineness of God and our fellow man.
It’s clear that calvinism ticks enough boxes above to be declared a Christian mystical belief.