Fred R. Coulter—November 11, 1995

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Today we're going to do 2-Peter 1 (the last half). The study translation is my own way of understanding the Scriptures—study them, translate it. I'm not doing it because I'm trying to set myself up as a greater expert than anybody else. That's not the point. I do it so I can learn the Word of God even more and I can teach you, hopefully, even better. And personally, there's a command in Deuteronomy 17, which says that the king will make a copy of the law for his own personal use and read it all the days of his life.

I've studied sufficiently in Greek to be able to translate it at the level that I'm translating. That doesn't mean that I'm perfect or know everything about it; that certainly is not the case. But there are certain things when you get into the Greek—and I use the Greek from the Berry Interlinear. And the reason that I use that one is because that's the text of Stephens 1550, which is the text used by the King James translators. And I do it because it helps us understand the Word of God, and so we can realize even more what God is telling us. What we have in our hands, with the whole Word of God, is so wonderful and tremendous—and the way that it has been written and preserved for us, actually there are clues of it in the Bible as to how we came to have what we have.

You think about it for a minute. What we have right here in our hands [the Bible] we have coming from the very day of creation all the way down to us. This contains information that is absolutely essential for salvation. When we come to 2-Peter, we're going to learn something very important concerning the Word of God; and very important concerning how we got the New Testament.

2-Peter 1:12: "Therefore, I will not neglect to make you always mindful of these things, although you already know them and have been established in the present Truth." One of the things I've done, you will notice that I translate the present tense with 'ing'—especially the participles: 'though you are knowing them'—because it's an ongoing thing that we do.

We'll read clear on down to the end of the chapter and then we will come back and go through some of the verses in little more direct way.

Verse 13: "Now I consider it my duty, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by causing you to remember these things; knowing that shortly the putting off of my tabernacle will come, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has also signified to me. Also, I will make every effort that after my departure, you may at all times have a written memorial of these things, so that you may continue to practice them for yourselves. For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we spoke as having been eyewitnesses of is magnificent glory; because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased!'…. [and that is a literal translation of the Greek] …And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when wewere with Him on the Holy mountain. Also, we possess the confirmed prophetic Word, to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of anyone's own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs 13-21).

Notice how that also would then include any of the writers of the New Testament. Let's go back and look at some of this and let's understand some things, which are very important for us to realize.

Verse 13: "Now I consider it my duty, as long as I am in this tabernacle…" He's talking of himself, of his body. Let's go to 2-Corinthians and let's see how Paul uses this same terminology: 'this tabernacle.' When you fully comprehend and understand that our bodies being this tabernacle has a special significance to God, which it does—because with the Holy Spirit, God is tabernacling with us. We then are likewise tabernacling with Him. There's the full meaning of part of the Feast of Tabernacles. You could build the whole thing of the Feast of Tabernacles about that. Let's see how the Apostle Paul referred to the same thing.

2-Corinthians 5:1: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [our body] is destroyed… [that's what happens when you die] …we have a building from God, a house not made with human hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we truly are groaning, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven… [That is a spiritual house. What did Jesus say? If I go I will come again. I go and prepare a place for you that where I am you may also be. All of these things fit in and tie together with these verses.] …If indeed that being clothed, we may not be found naked" (vs 1-3).

If you want an interesting Bible study, study naked and nakedness through the Bible—New Testament and Old Testament. It's interesting that of having another god before the true God and getting involved in false religion is called fornication—isn't it? or 'porneia' or adultery. He says to the Laodiceans that 'you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.' So, there is quite a bit to that. So we want to be spiritually clothed and not be found naked.

Verse 4: "For we who are in this tabernacle… [that is our body right now] …truly do groan, being burdened…" I can tell you, yes, that is true. We are burdened; burdened with this society, burdened with troubles and difficulties on every hand; and yet, you read what the Apostle Paul went through and the others went through and we have it very easy.

"…not that we wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon… [then he explains the kind of clothing that it is] …so that the mortal flesh may be swallowed up by life…. [eternal life—a spirit mind, a spirit body, and spirit clothing] …Now, He Who is working out this very thing for us is God, Who has also given us the earnest of the Spirit…. [That's what makes us tabernacling with God!] …Therefore, we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in this body, we are away from our eternal home, which is coming from the Lord" (vs 4-6).

In other words, you can be guaranteed that as long as you have this physical body, you're not with Christ; you're only tabernacling. In translating the Apostle Paul's writings, you have a great and difficult time. The hardest one I've had to translate is the first chapter of Ephesians. That is almost one long sentence.

"…(For we walk by faith, not by sight.)…" (v 7). That's what we need to do, brethren, because of all the difficulties that are coming down in the Church of God today; and let's understand something very important: In the book of Revelation it says of the Laodiceans that 'I'm going to spew you out of My mouth.' And the Greek means to vomit. You know, and I know, when you vomit you get the heaves; and you don't vomit everything all at once. The longer that you have these vomiting attacks the worse that the vomit becomes when it comes up.

I think that's what the Church is going through right now. That's why we've got to walk by faith and not by sight. And especially, especially, that you walk by faith with Christ, keeping your eyes on Him and not on men. We're going to have more casualties and people coming along now who are going to be hurt because they've had their eyes on men and they're going to fall flat on their faces—they just will.

Verse 8: "We are confident, and we are willing to be away from this home (that is, out of this body) and instead to be at home with the Lord…. [Yea, we can say that's true. I would rather not be in this world today the way it is. I would rather be in the Kingdom of God when Christ returns than the way it is right now.] …Because of this, we are also laboring so that, whether present or absent, we may be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ… [when He comes, that's when it will be] …so that each one may receive according to the things done in his body—what he has practiced, whether good or evil" (vs 8-10).

Now, let's go to 1-Corinthians, the third chapter, because this also talks about the tabernacle or the temple. If we have the Spirit of God in us, we are the temple of God—and this becomes very important for us to know and realize and understand concerning the Word of God and how things will be, and what is going to happen here.

1-Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are" (vs 16-17). And God is going to take care of it. God really will take care of it.

The Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul were writing concerning this tabernacle. He says, 'exactly as our Lord Jesus also signified to me.' What did He tell them? Let's go to John 21; and what did He tell Peter? Of course, Peter's always political; good ole political Peter.

John 21:18—Jesus told Peter: "'Truly, truly I say to you, since you were young, you have dressed yourself and walked wherever you have desired; but when you are old, you shall stretch out your hands, and another shall dress you and bring you where you do not desire to go.' Now, He said this to signify by what death he would glorify God…." (vs 18-19).

That, I think, is a kind way of saying that he would be crucified. Remember what happened when they came and they said we want this position or that position or the other position and then Peter and the others got mad and then Jesus looked at all of them and said, 'Can you be baptized with the baptism that I'm about to be baptized with?' And they said, 'Yea, Lord.' He said, 'Yep, you will, you will be baptized with the same baptism.' So, I think this has to do with the crucifixion.

"…after saying this, He said to him, 'Follow Me.' But when Peter turned, he saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had sat at the supper and leaned on His chest, and had said, 'Lord, who is it that is betraying You?' Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, what shall happen to this one?' Jesus said to him, 'If I desire that he remain alive until I come, what is it to you? You follow Me.'…. [I think it's something! You had these three: 'Feed My Lambs, feed My sheep' and then the two 'follow Me'—I think that has a profound meaning in the life of Peter.] …Then this saying went out among the brethren, that that disciple would not die" (vs 19-23).

Now, let's come back to 2-Peter 1:15: "Also, I will make every effort that after my departure, you may at all times have a written memorial of these things… [How are you going to have things in remembrance if it's not written? You can't! I will show that this means written remembrance.] …so that you may continue to practice them for yourselves."

Matthew 23:29: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the sepulchers of the prophets, and adorn the tombs of the righteous." The New King James says 'monuments.' And the reason is says monuments is because on a monument you have something written—a written remembrance. The same Greek word is used by remembrance by Peter in 2-Pet. 1; so that's why I translated it written—I inserted the word written.

Did the disciples know that they were to finish the Scriptures? Let's look at a couple of things first, and what Jesus said. Let's see what Jesus said that He was going to do, and then we'll look at a prophecy to see how He was going to do it. Again, here is a basic Scripture we've gone through many different times.

Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled" (vs 17-18).

  • Did Jesus do things which He did, to fulfill the Scripture? Yes, there are many places which say: 'and He did this that the Scripture might be fulfilled….'
  • How else did He fulfill the Scripture? He filled it full of meaning (Matt. 5, 6 & 7) by giving the spiritual application of all the laws and commandments of God.
  • How else did He fulfill the Word of God to make it full? He inspired the writing of the New Testament! He also gave us the promise that it would be in our own language.

 

Let's go to Isaiah, the eighth chapter, and see where it was inspired that it was going to be finished by the disciples. We're going to see that they knew what they were doing; that the disciples themselves, in fact, Paul, Peter and John canonized the New Testament before the death of John. see that.

Isaiah 8:11: "For thus the LORD spoke to me with a strong hand, and warned me against walking in the way of this people, saying, 'Do not say, "A conspiracy!"…. [a political alliance; all political alliances are going to collapse] …to everything of which this people says, "A conspiracy!" And do not fear their fear, nor be afraid. The LORD of hosts, Him shall you sanctify, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be a sanctuary for you… [Christ is the only One] …—but for a Stone of Stumbling, and for a Rock of Offence to both the houses of Israel, and for a trap and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble and fall and be broken, and be snared, and be taken'" (vs 11-15). That is one that the apostles quoted time and time again, about the 'Stone of Stumbling' and the 'Rock of Offense.'

Verse 16: "Bind up the testimony; seal the Law… [finish it] …among My disciples"—which He did.

Verse 20: "To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."

Let's see something that is very interesting concerning the Word of God; and then we will see the prophecies of it—the original prophecy in Deut. 30; and then we will see how the Apostle Paul applied it. Mark 13:10: "And the Gospel must first be published among all nations." The old King James says published; the New King James says preached. But how can you preach unless you have it? Let's see the original prophecy of this clear back in Deut. 30, and then we will see how the Apostle Paul applied this—and I think it's very interesting. Here's a promise that God gave that He would make His Word available in a language that you and I can understand.

Deuteronomy 30:11: "For this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven that you should say, 'Who shall go up to heaven for us, and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?'" (vs 11-12). Can you imagine the money-raising that would go on to raise the money to build a rocket to go to some planet somewhere so they could get the Word of God? So they could find out how to have eternal life? My you could have a project doing that! It's not there, no!

Verse 13: "Neither is it beyond the sea that you should say, "Who shall go over the sea for us to bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?'" We have lot of people doing that today—don't we? They're running over to Tibet; they're seeing the Dalai Lama. They're seeing other ones. What were all the rock stars doing in the '60s? They were running over to India to see their Indian guru and the Maharishi 'Mooheehaha' and try and find out: What was the secret of life? The other night on Discovery Channel I was watching this special on the Buddhist religion. And it showed the Dalai Lama doing this special mass—whatever they do—they do it every 20-25 years or whatever, and then afterward the commentator was saying this was to help them to be perfected into the divine person—whether in this life or reincarnation. So then, afterward they were asking this expert, 'Do you think there is anyone on earth that has reached that?' and he said, 'Well, we can't ever say that it isn't possible; but somewhere, somehow there must be one.' Yes, my friend, Christ! He was the One!

Now then, God gives a promise, v 14: "But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may do it." This is a prophecy that it would be in a language you could understand—that's what it's telling us. Is the Bible in a language that everyone understands—today and in the world? Yes! Absolutely, yes! The whole Bible is in nearly 300 languages and the New Testament over 1400, and the book of Mark in 2100 languages—that's according to the American Bible Society.

Let's see how Paul applied this. Who is the Word? Christ! Notice how he applies this in Romans 10:5: "For Moses wrote concerning the righteousness that comes through the law, 'The man who has practiced those things shall live by them.' But the righteousness that comes through faith speaks after this manner: 'Do not say in your heart, "Who shall ascend up to heaven?"'…. [then he gives his own interpretation]: …(that is, to bring Christ down)… [Christ is the living Word] …'Or, "Who shall descend into the abyss?"' (that is, to bring Christ up from among the dead.)…. [He's already risen. You want to know the whole truth about God and your purpose here, it's in Christ—that's what he's saying.] …But what does it say? 'The word is near to you, in your mouth and in your heart' This is the word of faith that we are proclaiming…" (vs 5-8)—and they had it in their language in their day—correct? Yes!

We're going to see they also had another mission. They had some things that they needed to do. They needed to write. They needed to make sure that what was written then would be preserved.

2-Peter 3:15: "And bear in mind that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation, exactly as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you." We're talking about writing. We're going focus in on the determined writing of the New Testament by Peter, by Paul, by John—and subsequent to that, Luke.

Verse 16: "Also, as in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things; in which are some things that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable are twisting and distorting, as they also twist and distort the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." Let's notice something here that's very important. He's equating the writings of the Apostle Paul to Scripture—calling it Scripture. Did they know what they were writing? Obviously, they did!@

Jude 1:3: "Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you…" There it is, it is written.

Now then, let's see that there was kind of a change in the approach by the Apostle Peter. Here he's saying that these things are equated with Scripture, and we'll look and see what Paul has to say about that in just a minute; but in 1-Peter, the fourth chapter, we find something very interesting concerning what Peter was writing at that time vs what he wrote in 2-Peter, the third chapter.

Let's see what he wrote concerning the times in which they were living. 1-Peter 4:7: "Now the end of all things has drawn near. Therefore, be serious minded and be watchful in prayers…. [v 12]: …Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial among you, which is taking place to test you, as if some strange thing were happening to you…. [v 17]: …For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it first begins with us, what will be the end of those who are not obeying the Gospel of God?"

2-Peter 3:8: "Now, beloved, do not let this one fact be hidden from you; that with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day…." [It's delayed; but not according to God.] …The Lord is not delaying the promise of His coming, as some in their own minds reckon delay; rather, He is long-suffering toward us…" In other words he's saying: God is not done with His plan; don't think He's delaying it—it's on time. But it's not going to be now.

Verse 18: "Rather, be growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…." Combine that with what we just read, that 'I want you to always have these things in remembrance after my departure.' And 'departure' comes from the Greek, which means exodus. So, if you say you're going to exit the scene and die that is a true Scriptural way of putting it.

Let's see what Jesus said that He was going to do. Notice that we read how that the Holy Spirit inspired those to write; inspired those to speak. Let's see what it was going to inspire and let's look at some of the things that Jesus said would happen.

John 14:26: "But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things, and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you."

He's going to inspire; remind, and that still applies today, brethren. I think we're going to see if we really yield to God and we ask God to open our minds to understand His Word and Truth even more—not that we can exalt ourselves in any way, because it all comes from God—but so that we can understand what God is teaching us. Is the Holy Spirit capable of helping us put together the Scriptures in the way that God wants them to be put together and for us to understand things that we haven't understood before? Yes! Yes! God's Spirit will do it, not only in what is taught but in what we study. And God will open up our mind. I know I've experienced, at times, when I've gone along and it's just been almost like a light is turned on—PING! Why I never thought of that before. And it will happen just that way.

Now, let's see another promise: John 16:12—Jesus said: "I have yet many things to tell you, but you are not able to bear them now…. [So He was going to inspire it later.] …However, when that one… [in the Greek—'ekeinos'] …has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth… [The Holy Spirit is able to do that today, brethren. That's what we need; that we can be inspired of God's Spirit.] …because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come. That one shall glorify Me because it shall disclose to you the things that it receives from Me. Everything that the Father has is Mine; for this reason, I said that it shall receive from Me and shall disclose these things to you" (vs 12-15). It's going to reveal more about Christ and His plan. That's something we need to know and understand.

Now let's look at the Apostle Paul and some of the things that he wrote. Let's see that the Apostle Paul knew that he was going to help fulfill—or fill full—the Word of God. Colossians 1:24: "Now, I am rejoicing in my sufferings for you… [He's talking about himself, a minister, that he was going to rejoice in the sufferings for them] …and I am filling up in my flesh that which is behind of the tribulations of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the Church; of which I became a servant, according to the administration of God that was given to me for you in order to complete… [bring to the full] …the Word of God" (vs 24-25).

  • Why do we have 14 Epistles of Paul?
  • plus Luke and Acts?

which were written under his aegis by Luke.

  • How did he view what he wrote?
  • Did he know what he was doing?
  • Did he know?
  • Did the Apostle Paul know what he was doing?

1-Corinthians 14:37: "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual… [We have a lot of people who think they are, today—don't we?] (I think there are preachers and prophets and spiritual): …let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are… [just my own ideas—NO!] …commandments of the Lord." He knew he was fulfilling the prophecy of Isa. 8. These are the commands of the Lord. That's something! I mean, you really need to think on that!

Let's look at some evidence of editing. In translating the book of Romans, I can see that he edited and inserted some things to clarify Rom. 5; because there are some repetitions there that can only be accounted for by that. But let's notice that it's evident that he edited these three times:

Romans 15:33: "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen." Amen concludes something. Then later he said, 'Okay, I need to remember all of these people'—so he commends all of them, going all the way down: Rom. 16 all the way down through.

Romans 16:17: "Now I exhort you, brethren, to take note of those who are causing divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and shun them; because these are the sort who are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, and are deceiving the hearts of the innocent by smooth talking and flattery" (vs 17-18). That's happening today.

Verse 24: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen…. [He wasn't quite done again, so he adds this other section to it]: …Now, to Him who has the power to establish you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery… [Which then, this had to be inserted after Ephesians was completed—right? Because Ephesians talks about the mystery of God.] …that in past ages has been kept secret; but now is made manifest, and by the prophetic scriptures, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations unto the obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 24-27). So we have three Amens! It shows some editing here.

Now let's look at some other things concerning the writing of the Scriptures. Let's come to 2-Timothy, the fourth chapter, and we're going to see some things here. We'll also look at the third chapter, because there's something for us there that's important for us to realize. The fourth chapter talks about right at the end of his life.

2-Timothy 4:8: "From this time forward, a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who love His appearing. Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present age, and has gone to Thessalonica; Crescens, to Galatia; Titus, to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me…. [Remember, Luke wrote the book of Luke and the book of Acts.] …Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is profitable to me for the ministry of the Word" (vs 8-11).

After Mark left Paul because of a feudality—Mark was considered by Paul not really diligent—there was an argument between Paul and Barnabas so Barnabas took Mark. Later we find in 1-Peter 5:13, we find that Mark is with Peter. And Mark is an assistant to Peter. "The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, as does Mark, my son." That's the same Mark. They just, at that particular point gave the transliterated Greek spelling: Markus.

Let's notice what he is to bring. He is to bring something very specific—several things. 2-Timothy 4:11: "Only Luke is with me. Get Mark  and bring him with you, because he is profitable to me for the ministry of the Word…. [Why? Because he was going to help assist in getting the written compilation of the Word of God together.] …But I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the chest that I left in Troas with Carpus, and the books—especially the parchments" (vs 11-13).

The cloak here is not a coat. This cloak is a special covering in which you would put scrolls. So, he's saying bring him that and bring the parchments. Why? Because he had some more to write! He wanted to write. He knew that it had to be done. He knew that he had to fulfill the Word of God. In the light of that, let's look at a couple of other things that Paul has written, in light of the fact that he said, 'The things which I write to you are the commandments of God.'

2-Timothy 3:12: "And indeed, everyone who desires to live Godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted. But wicked men and imposters shall become worse and worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves…. [watch the nightly news] …But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus" (vs 12-15). That obviously includes the Old Testament. But, does it exclude the New? I mean, we need to think on that! Especially in the light of:

Verse 16: "All Scripture…" If Paul said 'the things I wrote are the commandments of God' is that not part of Scripture? Did not Peter say that the Epistles of Paul were Scripture? He says 'all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.' Did God inspire Paul? Did God inspire Matthew? Did God inspire Mark and Luke and John? Did God inspire Peter? Yes!

Verse 16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

Now let's look at something else concerning some of these things. Let's ask some questions concerning writing; what they wrote. Let's go back to the book of Luke—let's look there first of all. How many here have important contracts that they have signed? We all have—whether it's a house or a car or a piece of equipment or something. Why do they have it in writing? To specify the terms and condition of the contract! Is that not correct? Yes! That's why God had the New Testament written, so that this covenant would be written so we know the terms and the conditions of the covenant—the same thing. If God did not have it written, how should He judge the world? They could say, 'Well it wasn't here, Lord, You didn't send it from heaven. Lord, I didn't live where there were Bibles.' Hardly any place that you can go where there are not Bibles.

Luke 1:1: "Since many have taken in hand to compile a written narration of the matters which have been fully believed among us." Many were doing things, taking in hand, they were writing it down.

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Verse 2: "As they delivered them to us, those who from the beginning had been eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word." What happens when you have stories that are told? If they're told and retold and retold and retold by voice, they can be twisted and distorted and added to and taken away from—can they not? Yes!

Verse 3: "It seemed good to me also, having accurately understood everything from the very first, to write these things in an orderly sequence to you… [that is the events that came about] …most excellent Theophilus, so that you might know the absolute certainty of the things in which you have been instructed." So, this was deliberately written; deliberately put together—just like the book of Acts—deliberately written, an accounting. Why write it if they didn't know it was going to be passed on? They knew it was!

Acts 1:1: "The first account I indeed have written, O Theophilus, concerning all things that Jesus began both to do and to teach." Then he says he's going to set forth what the apostles did—which he did.

Let's see that the Apostle Paul knew that writing would clarify and set things in order, 2-Corinthians 13:2: "I have previously told you, and I am telling you in advance the second time, as though I were present; but since I am absent now, I am writing to those… [because they didn't listen when he was there and spoke to them; told them verbally. It's just like with your children: shut the door; shut the door; pick up your room, pick up your room—sooner or later you have them together and put a big sign] …who have continued to sin until now—and to all the rest—that if I come again, I will not spare."

Verse 10: "For this cause, I am writing these things to you while I am absent…" That's very important.

Let me just tell you this: If you want a good Bible study, go through the New Testament; get out your handy-dandy concordance and look up write, wrote and written—see how important that that became. We'll look at just a few of them, because there are many more than what I'm going to cover here.

Galatians 1:20 "Now the things that I am writing to you… [Which then is everything in Galatians, and Galatians is a pretty heavy book. And he's castigating the Apostle Peter.] …behold, before God, I am not lying." So writing it's very important.

Philippians 3:1: "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.  Indeed, for me to write the same things to you is not troublesome, but for you it is safe." He knew about writing. Had to be written. He understood it. Very profound!

We've covered what Peter was doing; what Paul was doing; now let's look and see what John was doing, John 20:30: "Now then, Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these have been written, so that you may believe… [in other words, this was a purposefully written compilation of those important things relating to the belief] …that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, you may have life through His name" (vs 30-31).

John 21:25: "But there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I do not suppose that even the world itself could contain the books that would be written." We're just showing the internal evidence that we have in here in John.

Let's go to 1-John, the first chapter—we're going to see something very, very significant; probably overlooked by almost everyone as they go through 1-John, and I imagine that you may have overlooked it when you first read it. We're going to see something very important. Again, we—this ties in with what Peter said.

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves… [gazed upon intently to understand] …and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;) that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ. These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full" (vs 1-4).

1-John 2:1—this shows and editing in chapter one; look at chapter two: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin…." It changes—doesn't it? Yes!

  • Verse 7: "Brethren, I am not writing a new commandment…"
  • Verse 12: "I am writing to you, little children…"
  • Verse 13: "I am writing to you, fathers… I am writing to you, young men… I am writing to you, little children"
  • Verse 14: "I wrote to you, fathers… I wrote to you, young men…"

 

All the way through they knew what they were doing in writing. They understood it. Without a doubt, there can be absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

Now, let's come to Revelation the first chapter. Very interesting! Very profound! And there are some good messages—very, very good messages for us—that we have in the book of Revelation concerning writing.

Revelation 1:1: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show to His servants the things that are ordained tocome to pass shortly; and He made it known, having sent it by His angel to His servant John; who gave witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all the things he saw. Blessed is the one who reads… [In other words, this introduction was put on after he wrote the book—as an introduction.] …and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand" (vs 1-3).

Verse 11: "Saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last"; and, "What you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia…" When you read that, brethren, and you see what's going on in the Churches today, trust the Word of God—we are going to have no excuse! We can't say, 'Lord, we didn't have it.' He's going to say, 'Yea, I made sure you did.'

Verse 17: "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead; but He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last, even the one Who is living; for I was dead, and behold, I am alive into the ages of eternity. Amen. And I have the keys of the grave and of death. Write the things that you saw, and the things that are, and the things that shall take place hereafter'" (vs 17-19). Then He gives the explanation of the seven stars and the seven angels—seven candlesticks. Let's look at what He says to every one of the Churches:

Revelation 2:1: "'To the angel of the Ephesian church, write…"

  • v 8: "And to the angel of the church of the Smyrneans write…"
  • v 12: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos, write…"
  • v 18: "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write…"

Revelation 3:1: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis, write…"

  • v 7: "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, write…"
  • v 14: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, write…"

I mean, does that not send and impact? Yes, it does; it really does! He wants us to know something, and we're going to see in closing up the whole Bible, what the Apostle John was inspired to write.

Revelation 21:5: "And He Who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then He said to me, 'Write… [I don't want to sound like a broken record, but it's there—isn't it? Yes!] …for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End…. [That ties up the whole Bible—does it not? Yes, it does—has to!] …To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of life" (vs 5-6).

Let's see how powerful that these words are—we're going to be judged by them, Revelation 22:18: "For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book." That can also include all the plagues of Deut. 28; all the things that are in the whole Bible.

Verse 19: "And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of Life…" That's the second death; that's how important these things are. If you don't believe how important they are, then you go back and you re-study the lesson that we did: Sin Unto Death. We're going to see that there are probably a whole lot more people committing the 'sin unto death'—doctrinally—and teaching people the wrong way than perhaps maybe we have supposed. In order to prevent them from doing that, there's going to be some more vomiting of the Church by Christ. Because if not, then he's going to take away their part from the book of Life where our names are to be what? Written!

"…and from the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book. He Who testifies these things says, 'Surely, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (vs 19-21).

Who do you suppose the we could have been in 1-John? Maybe some of the apostles who were still alive! Maybe even Jude was still living at that time—we don't know. Maybe he died. But here he ends the whole Bible, v 21: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." That's something the way that this has been written.

As we understand that, let's realize that there are some very important things for us to also realize. Let's come back to 2-Peter the first chapter, and let's understand that before we get to chapter two, with all the false teachers, and all the heresies—and we're going to cover that and we're going to spend some time on it and we're going to, in this particular case like the Apostle Paul did, name a couple of names that are important to be named—when we get there.

First we have to go through and build, so we understand what's going on. To build, to come to that point, what did the Apostle Peter write about? He wrote about the Truth of the Word of God, in inspiration of the Word of God, the power of the Word of Godthe power of the Word of God! The only way can handle the reality of heresies and false prophets and men who have deceived and lied to the brethren is to understand the veracity of the Word of God; because then we will know that it was not God who was doing it; but men. When we understand that we're not going to fall. We can pray for every one of them; that they may change; that they may repent. That's what God wants them to do. But in the meantime, we can't let this thing go to destroy any more of the brethren. Somewhere it's got to stop. (When we come to chapter two we'll cover some of that.)

Let's come back to 2-Peter 1:15: "Also, I will make every effort that after my departure, you may at all times have a written memorial of these things, so that you may continue to practice them for yourselves…. [Now, it's very interesting.] …For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority… [What are 'cleverly concocted myths'? Pagan religions—about Nimrod and Simaramis—philosophy, the nature of God, etc.! Those are 'cleverly concocted myths.'] …when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we spoke as having been eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory" (vs 15-16). They saw it in the vision. They saw it two ways:

  • The transfiguration on the mount
  • After His resurrection

 

You can read the accounts of it at the end of the Gospels, but I particularly want to read 1-Cor. 15 because this will help tie several things together in relationship to the Scripture and the Word of God and the seeing of Christ and so forth.

1 Corinthians 15:3: "For in the first place, I delivered to you what I also had received: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures… [That is including all the Old Testament—correct?] …and that He was buried; and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures… [That is New Testament Scripture. That's why he says it twice: one for Old Testament; one for New Testament.] …and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time… [That's a big group, and they all saw Him. We don't know how much glory was able to manifest to them, that they could take it.] …of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen sleep. Next He appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all He appeared to me also, as one who was born of a miscarriage" (vs 3-8).

So, when Peter is writing here and telling everyone that they're basing this upon the eyewitness; they saw Him. We just read where John said 'Our hands have handled; our eyes have gazed upon.' So he's talking about the same thing here.

1-Peter 5:1: "The elders who are among you I am exhorting, even as a fellow elder, and an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that is about to be revealed… [there again, confirming that glory that he saw] …Feed the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight not by compulsion, but willingly; not in fondness of dishonest gain, but with an eager attitude" (vs 1-2). They continually go back to this 'eyewitness of His magnificent glory.'

Now let's come back to 2-Peter 1:17: "Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased!'"

Now, let's go to 1-John, the fifth chapter—we've covered 1-John 3 here just a bit ago—and let's understand something and that is: Can we do the things that please God? Well, if Christ is in us, yes, we can! We can! And here's what John said about it.

1-John 5:13—again, written: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know… [He wants us to know.] …that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we may ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him" (vs 13-15).

1-John 3:22: "And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight." So yes, we can do those things. And where it can be said the same of us, 'You are My Son, the Beloved.'

Now, let's come back to 2-Peter 1:18—to know and understand why he emphasizes that the Word of God so tremendously before he gets into about the false prophets. "And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain. Also, we possess the confirmed prophetic Word… [The confirmed prophetic Word has got to be not only the Old Testament, but the New Testament.] …to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place… [Jesus is the Light, the Light of the world; it's shining in the world; the darkness does not overcome it.] …until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts…" (vs 18-19). Why does he say star?

Jesus said something about the Kingdom of God and those who are in it, and the starts of heaven. Here Peter is talking about it in a little different way. Matthew 13:43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father…." [Now, that's a star—'till the day star rises in your hearts.' In other words, until you are resurrected as a spirit being in full glory.

2-Peter 1:20: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of anyone's own private interpretation." That applies to the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is 'precept upon precept; line upon line; hear a little, there a little.' Also we have that Christ opened the minds of the apostles to understand the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms; and also we have concerning what we read—Peter was writing about the writings of the Apostle Paul. He said, 'Of no private interpretation.' In other words it's got to come from the Word of God put together.

Verse 21: "Because prophecy was not brought at any time… [It says in the King James 'old time' but it really means anytime.] …by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

Let's see Peter's example of that. Did Peter speak as he was moved by the Holy Spirit? Without a doubt! Without a doubt! The whole account on the day of Pentecost, it says:

Acts 2:2: "[After the] …sound like the rushing of a powerful wind… [v 4]: …they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… [v 14[: …Then Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke out to them…" Did God inspire him? Yes, through all the rest of the chapter we have summary of his sermon. And he spoke about Christ; resurrection from the dead. He preached so intently that 3,000 repented that very day and were baptized. That's how the Word of God comes. That which is spoken and later written!

I also know this from just my own experience in writing, that first I study on something and then I speak on it, and then I speak on it sometime again later, and then I think on it more, and then I begin to write about it. When I begin to write about it, I start getting my thoughts clarified and get it down. That's the same way that God inspired the New Testament to come about—that He inspired them to preach; then inspired them to write; then inspired them bring it together and now we have what the apostles did for us: the whole Bible.

It's not possible, as is brought out in the book, The Original Bible Restored, which I didn't read from. It is not possible that God left it to those philosophers and ex-pagan priests who came into the Orthodox and Catholic Church—He did not leave it to them to write the Scriptures. He did not leave it to them to compile the Scriptures. Any writings that you find about the compilation of the Bible, they only list the 27 books of the New Testament as already having authority by the time they get around to doing it. And here's a good example of what they would have done: The New Testament and Psalms, the Inclusive Version.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

  • Exception: 1 & 2-Peter, from The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter—author's translation

Scriptural References:

  • 2-Peter 1:12-21, 13
  • 2-Corinthians 5:1-10
  • 1-Corinthians 3:16-17
  • John 21:18-23
  • 2-Peter 1:15
  • Matthew 23:29
  • Matthew 5:17-18
  • Isaiah 8:11-16, 20
  • Mark 13:10
  • Deuteronomy 30:11-14
  • Romans 10:5-8
  • 2-Peter 3:15-16
  • Jude 1:3
  • 1-Peter 4:7, 12, 17
  • 2-Peter 3:8, 18
  • John 14:26
  • John 16:12-15
  • Colossians 1:24-25
  • 1-Corinthians 14:37
  • Romans 15:33
  • Romans 16:17-18, 24-27
  • 2-Timothy 4:8-11
  • 1-Peter 5:13
  • 2-Timothy 4:11-13
  • 2-Timothy 3:12-16
  • Luke 1:1-4
  • Acts 1:1
  • 2-Corinthians 13:2, 10
  • Galatians 1:20
  • Philippians 3:1
  • John 20:30-31
  • John 21:25
  • 1-John 1:1-4
  • 1-John 2:1, 7, 13-14
  • Revelation 1:1-3, 11, 17-19
  • Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18
  • Revelation 3:1, 7, 14
  • Revelation 21:5-6
  • Revelation 22:18-21
  • 2-Peter 1:15-16
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
  • 1-Peter 5:1-2
  • 2-Peter 1:17
  • 1-John 5:13-15
  • 1-John 3:22
  • 2-Peter 1:18-19
  • Matthew 13:43
  • 2-Peter 1:20-21
  • Acts 2:2, 4, 14

 

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 17
  • Matthew 5, 6, 7
  • Romans 5
  • Deuteronomy 28

 

Also referenced:

Sermon: Sin Unto Death
Books:

  • Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry
  • The Original Bible Restored by Ernest Martin
  • The New Testament and Psalms, the Inclusive Version.

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 8-12-09
Corrected: 3/12

BOOKS