2 Peter 3: As we begin this chapter, it should be remembered in the previous two verses that Peter was just saying that it would be better for people not to have know the way of righteousness, than to have know them and turned away and rejected Torah (2 Peter 2:21-22). In case we do not realize what “righteousness” truly consists of, we are told in Scripture that righteousness is following His Torah (Deut 6:25, Psalm 119:172). His righteousness and His Torah are forever (Psalm 119:142). Righteousness is having His Torah in your heart (Isaiah 51:6-8). His Torah is forever and wisdom comes from obeying His commandments (Psalm 111:7-10). His Torah is perfect. It is His Torah, His Testimonies, His Commandments, and His Precepts and His Judgments that are righteous altogether (Psalm 19:7-10).
Peter knew all these things. Make no mistake about it, when Peter, or any author of Scripture, speaks of “righteousness” they are speaking of following His Torah (Romans 7:12).
(2 Pet 3:1 NASB) This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
(2 Pet 3:2 NASB) that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
2 Pet 3:2: Peter tells us to remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandments of Yeshua spoken by the apostles.
(2 Pet 3:3 NASB) Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
(2 Pet 3:4 NASB) and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
(2 Pet 3:5 NASB) For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
(2 Pet 3:6 NASB) through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
2 Pet 3:6: Once again, Peter was saying to be righteous and remember the commandments spoken by the prophets and apostles. Now he is saying that there will come mockers walking after their own lusts or desires.
The context is those who will mock the ways of Elohim because there has not been any judgment on those who are unrighteous since the beginning. While they claim this, the fact is that the Word of Elohim, which they mock, created the heavens and the earth and that the entire earth was judged and destroyed, being flooded by water.
(2 Pet 3:7 NASB) But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
(2 Pet 3:8 NASB) But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
(2 Pet 3:9 NASB) The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Pet 3:9: While the previous heavens and earth were judged by water, the present day heavens and earth are reserved for fire at the day of judgment and the destruction of ungodly men. While His people are awaiting His return, Peter says that Elohim is not slow concerning His promise. Elohim is awaiting for all that are His to come to repentance. He does not want any that are His to perish.
If the Day of Elohim had come before now, then you and I would have perished, possibly before we were even thought of by our parents. It is good for our sake that He has not returned yet.
Many Christians use this passage to say that they must evangelize everyone possible because Elohim wants everyone to come to repentance. That is simply not what Peter is saying. If Elohim wanted all people to come to repentance, then all people would come to repentance. This is a reference to the fact that all of Elohim’s plan must work it’s way out in it’s own time. If we were to somehow make it happen sooner, then there are those that Elohim created for His kingdom that would not be there.
(2 Pet 3:10 NASB) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
2 Pet 3:10: The Greek word for “elements” is interesting. It is the word G4747. stoicheion, from the same as G4748; one of a row, hence a letter (of the alphabet), by ext. the elements (of knowledge):– elemental things(2), elementary principles(2), elementary principles*(m)(1), elements(2).
This term is saying “elementary principles” or “traditions of men” as it means in other parts of Scripture (Gal. 4:3, 9, Col. 2:8). Therefore this passage is saying that elementary principles of men, or their traditions, will be burned up and judged along with the evil works in the world.
(2 Pet 3:11 NASB) Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
(2 Pet 3:12 NASB) looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
2 Pet 3:12: The subject of Peter’s message in this passage is not to give us details of how the earth will be destroyed, but it is to inspire us to righteousness and away from the traditions of men that will be judged when Yeshua returns.
(2 Pet 3:13 NASB) But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
(2 Pet 3:14 NASB) Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
2 Pet 3:14: We are to look forward to a new heaven and earth where righteousness dwells. With that being the case, we are to be found by Him spotless and blameless when He returns (Phil. 1:9-11).
Before we go into the conclusion of Peter’s last letter, let’s review the overwhelmingly major point that he has stated in this letter. His main message is to be obedient to the Torah of the Father and don’t be taken in by others teaching foolishness and lawlessness (2 Peter 1:2-3, 2:2-3, 6-8,10, 15, 20-22).
With that being the case, Peter gives one final warning. It is the only warning in Scripture that is a warning against another part of Scripture.
(2 Pet 3:15 NASB) and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
(2 Pet 3:16 NASB) as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
2 Pet 3:16: Peter says that the patience of Elohim is our salvation. Then he goes into a very interesting warning.
Peter states that Paul told them of these same things also in his letters. He then says that some of the things Paul states are hard to understand. He states that untaught and unstable men distort Paul’s letters and the rest of the Scriptures to their own destruction.
Men have been twisting the words of Paul and other Scriptures to line up with their pagan and evil traditions. Yeshua warned about forsaking the Torah of Elohim for the sake of man’s traditions (Matt. 15:3, Mark 7:6-9).
(2 Pet 3:17 NASB) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness,
2 Pet 3:17: Peter warns us to be on guard lest we be carried away by the error of “unprincipled men.” The Greek word for “unprincipled men” is G113. athesmos, ath’-es-mos; from G1 (as a neg. particle) and a der. of G5087 (in the sense of enacting); lawless, i.e. (by impl.) criminal:–wicked. He is warning us to be on guard lest we be carried away by the error of lawless men.
(2 Pet 3:18 NASB) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Pet 3:18: Peter ends his second letter by telling the readers to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Yeshua Messiah. We do that by studying His Torah and living it in our lives, just as He did.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas