Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 55
2 Peter 2:9 – 3:18
All right, II Peter chapter 3 and we’ll just pick up where we left off in the last lesson, verse 5.
II Peter 3:5-6
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, (not because they couldn’t help it, but they don’t want to know) 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:” In other words, it wasn’t a regional flood, it was universal. It was covered with water from one end of the globe to the other and it was utter destruction.
I think most people, in their study of the flood, miss the catastrophic part of it. And I want to go back just for a second to Genesis, and it’s just almost one verse that most of your preaching will totally ignore because it doesn’t make for the dramatic preaching material that a lot of people like to use.
You’ve all heard it. The water got ankle deep and a few people woke up and realized Old Noah knew what he was talking about. And then it wasn’t long and it was knee deep and a few more realized that Noah knew what he was talking about. And then it got a little deeper and it kept raining and it kept raining; and it kept getting deeper. And then, finally, when they were chin deep, then they started really almost pounding on the doors of the ark wanting to get in and have their salvation.
Well, you see, that’s not the way it was. It was not the rain that destroyed the population, but it’s in this verse right here. Genesis chapter 7 verse 11, and it was not just a gradual rising of rain water, this was a cataclysmic immediate destruction. All right, verse 11 of Genesis 7.
“In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day (instantly) were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” So what do you have? You had a cataclysmic eruption of all the powers and the energy from beneath that caused the tidal waves and the floods that destroyed everything. And then, of course with it, you had the deluge from above. So, never lose sight of the fact that the flood was an instantaneous total destruction with all of the pent-up energy that rests within the globe. And we know that it’s tremendous, the energy that is below the surface – we see it in volcanoes and earthquakes – the energy that is released.
The scientific world to this day will not admit to a universal flood. I remember when I taught Genesis in our early years on television. I challenged people, “If you ever see a college textbook that gives a definitive account of Noah’s flood, show it to me.” And no one ever has and they can’t. Because college textbooks will never admit a universal destroying flood such as Noah’s.
And this is where the scoffers miss the point. They said that nothing had ever changed. Well, the flood changed everything! The flood took that tranquil tropical original earth and just utterly destroyed it – just brought it down to total devastation under the pressure of all that water. And then as the waters receded, according to God’s Sovereign dictate, we had the planet appear as we now know it today. And when you drive through the country and you see river valleys, and you see mountains, and you see deserts, always remind yourself that they were all formed as a result of the waters of Noah’s flood receding from the planet. And we have a complete inversion, then, of the numbers of square miles of water and land because, before the flood, it was mostly landmass and only a small amount of water – whereas today, we are three-quarters water and only one-quarter landmass. So the whole thing was totally inverted by Noah’s flood and yet these people are “willingly ignorant.” They will not admit that this cataclysmic event took place. So coming back to II Peter chapter 3.
II Peter 3:7a
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now,….” Now, at Peter’s time, the earth is as it is now – the same rivers and the same mountains for the most part were on the scene in Peter’s day as we’ve got today.
II Peter 3:7b
“…by the same word (the Word of God) are kept in store,.…” Now I’ve got to go back to Colossians, chapter 1 and we’ll begin with verse 15, as I need to tie these two Scriptures together.
“Who (speaking of God the Son up there in verse 13) is the image (or the visible, physical appearance.) of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” He was before anything was ever on the scene – God the Son was already there. He’s from eternity past.
“For by him (by the Son, Jesus of Nazareth as we know Him in the New Testament) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” That’s why when I’ve taught over and over, when they nailed the nails through His hands, those created beings were doing it to the One Who created them in the first place. The created beings, those Roman Soldiers, were nailing their own Creator on the cross. That’s what we’re looking at. So Colossians says, “For by him are all things created.” Now the verse I wanted to tie in with where we were in Peter:
“And he is before all things, (he’s from eternity past. He didn’t just come on the scene in Bethlehem, He’s from eternity past with the rest of the Godhead) and by him (by the Son of God, by Jesus the Christ) all things consist.” (or are held together.)
Now back to II Peter 3:7 again. He is the “Word” now then, of II Peter that holds the whole universe together. And if He were to release the power of His word, we’d have instant cataclysmic destruction, which will happen at some point in the future.
II Peter 3:7a
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store,.…” He’s keeping them intact, nothing is destroying itself. It’s all running in perfect harmony by His Word, but He’s reserving it; He’s keeping it for an eternal purpose out there in the future and that is what? An utter judgment.
II Peter 3:7b
“…reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” God’s judgment is going to fall again as it did back in the day of Noah; only, instead of with water, now it’s going to be destroyed with fire and energy. We don’t know the hour or day, but it’s going to happen. All right, verse 8.
II Peter 3:8
“But beloved, (now he comes back to the true believer. To the true Jewish believer and it’s apropos for us as well) be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Now you can look at that in several different ways. I prefer to look at it that God can do in one day what He can do in a thousand years. He can spread out over a thousand years what He could do in a day. On the other hand, you can look at it that, with God, twenty-four hours is like a thousand years. Or a thousand years is like twenty-four hours. And so God is timeless.
In eternity there is no time. I pointed that out several months ago. There is no five minutes back, there’s no five minutes ahead. It’s the constant “now.” And so, for God, a thousand years is nothing. This 2,000 years of Grace is just nothing more than a snap of the fingers. And so time means nothing to our Sovereign Creating God. All right, verse 9.
II Peter 3:9
“The Lord (the Creator, the Savior) is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering (His patience is beyond human understanding) to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God is not willing that any should perish but it’s God’s will, it’s his desire that all should come to repentance. Or to a knowledge of salvation, but mankind won’t do it. God’s not going to force them, but he leaves the opportunity open – and you know you’ve heard me teach it over and over. If the plan of salvation required a million dollar payment, the world would work their fingers to the bone to get that million dollars. If it would cause people to climb a sheer cliff, five-six hundred feet to get their ticket to heaven, it’d be a line a mile long waiting for their chance. But that’s not what it is – it’s free. I always use John chapter 10, the door to the sheepfold, “I am the door. Any that would come in can come through me.” And then I always ask the question, “Where’s the door to the sheep fold?” Up there on that high mountain? Across the river? No, it’s at ground level. It’s in front of every human being, every place they go. The door to the sheepfold is open, but they won’t take it. They rebel against it.
II Peter 3:10a
“But.…” In spite of everything; in spite of all of God’s patience; in spite of His mercy and His grace; in spite of the fact that He was not willing that any should perish; but the day of judgment is coming
II Peter 3:10
“But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night: in the which the heavens (the universe) shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements (that which makes up matter)shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
Now it’s not going to happen until after the thousand-year reign, of course, but that’s all included in the “last days.” That’s why I put it on the board a little while ago, that, after the millennium has run its course and we’re ready for eternity, God’s going to destroy this whole ball of wax – I think the universe – now, I don’t get adamant about that but I think He’s going to call in the whole universe, from the same source that it went out in the first place. And then He’s going to re-create everything new.
Now you see, there’s a logical reason. Is there anything God has created that old Satan hasn’t defiled? I don’t think so. Satan has put his fingers of defilement on everything that God owns, including Heaven itself. So, in order to start out with something brand new with none of the fingerprints of Satan upon it, He’s going to destroy it all and re-create it. And I think that’s exactly what Peter’s talking about, but it won’t happen until after the thousand-year reign and before we slip into the eternal. Now then, verse 11. Peter is reminding us this is the case, this is the judgment of this universe that’s coming, and all the power of God will be exercised to bring it about:
II Peter 3:11a
“Seeing then that all these things (all part and parcel of creation) shall be dissolved,….” Now those of you who have had anything to do with chemistry, you’ll recognize immediately that these are terms of a laboratory. When you reduce things to solution and you dissolve – these are all scientific terms. All right, so:
II Peter 3:11b
“…what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (or manner of living) and godliness.” Well what’s the lesson? If we are living under the control and the love and the mercy of such a God Who can not only create this tremendous universe that’s beyond human understanding, but can also destroy it and pull it right back from whence it came and redo it – then goodness sakes why can’t we give Him His due? But mankind refuses to do it. They treat Him like some Santa Claus or as nothing at all. But Peter is admonishing the believers, “We understand whom we serve, we have an understanding of the God of Creation and it ought to prompt us to be godly in our living.”
Now verse 12, all the while with this knowledge of creation and what is going to happen to it, we should be:
II Peter 3:12a
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,….” All part of the Day of the Lord, coming from His first advent to the end of the millennium, these are all wrapped up in those two terms – the last days, and the Day of the Lord.
II Peter 3:12b
“…wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements (all of the matter of the universe) shall melt with fervent heat?” Oh my goodness, with our knowledge now of nuclear energy, this isn’t hard to believe, is it? All He has to do is release the atoms and everything self-destructs with tremendous heat. All so logical. Now verse 13.
II Peter 3:13
“Nevertheless, we, (as believers) according to his promise, (Not according to the prophets now, but to the Word of God, we) look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Now again, I think, this is one reason I feel that Revelation was written earlier than most people think because John writes the same thing in Revelation. And even though the Holy Spirit is inspiring both men, I think it behooves us to realize that Peter must have had an idea of what John was talking about, so that he could understand as well. Let’s just look at some of those verses in Revelation so that we get Scriptural unfolding.
“And when the thousand years (the Kingdom) are expired, (it’s run its course) Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,” Now you want to remember, he’s going to be locked up all during the thousand-year Kingdom Age. That’s why it’ll be such a glorious period of Heaven on earth. All right, but when the thousand years have finished, Satan will be released for a short period of time.
“And he will go out to deceive (seduce again the multitudes) the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, (in other words, from one end of the planet to the other) Gog and Magog, (again, which are intrinsic to the enemies of Israel, especially) to gather them together to battle: (just about like Armageddon all over again) the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” And these rebels now (coming out of that thousand years of a glorious heaven on earth, with Christ as an absolute righteous King), will immediately rebel against the King, they will follow Satan.
“And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: (which is Jerusalem again. But this time God doesn’t waste any time) and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” (That takes care of the rebels coming out of the millennial reign.) All right now here it comes. The end of time as we know it and the onset of eternity.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast (the Anti-christ, that world ruler of the seven-year Tribulation) and the false prophet are, (after a thousand years they’re still there and the devil is cast in there with them) and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; (that’s Christ Himself now, sitting as Judge of all the lost of the ages,) and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead,….” All the way back from Cain to the last rebel of the millennial reign. Now these are the ones that we referred to a couple of programs back in John chapter 5, where Jesus said, “The just will be resurrected and the unjust will be resurrected.” All right, here’s the resurrection then of the unbelieving world, the unjust.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; (and God in this case is Christ, the righteous Judge;) and the books (plural) were opened: (the record of everybody’s life on earth) and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life:….” Which showed the names of the true believers – and all these people will be given an opportunity to see that their name isn’t in it.
“…and the dead were judged out (their punishment was meted out accordingly) of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” That’s why punishment will vary in the lake of fire. It all depends on the unbeliever’s works while here on earth. The sad part is, they don’t have to go there at all.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: (they were all brought before this great White Throne Judgment) and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (that final separation from their Creator God)15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” All right, that ends the whole 7,000 years then of human history, as we’ve understood it. Now that’s why I went back and recapped that so that when we come into chapter 21, John says:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven (which I think envelops the whole universe) and the first earth were passed away; (they melted in fervent heat) and there was no more sea.” In other words, the new earth evidently is going to be without benefit of oceans. It’ll be a total landmass if I’m not mistaken. Verse 2.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Now this is the onset of eternity. Eternity never ending – never changing. And, yet, we’ll never get bored. You ever think of that? Once in a while, I think that, to go from here to eternity, it’s going to get monotonous. No end? Nothing different to look to? But don’t worry about it. God is going to make it so perfect, so glorious that, no, we’re not going to get bored. We’re not going to wonder when it’s going to end because it’s going to be so glorious. Well, then, over in chapter 22, we get a little more of this same thing about this new heaven and new earth that’s coming.
“And he shewed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Now I don’t think this is to be spiritualized. I don’t think this is a figure of speech, because you see the same thing happens when Christ sets up the millennial Kingdom and He sets up His throne in Jerusalem. There’s going to be a flow of fresh water out from underneath His throne room in Jerusalem, out to the Dead Sea and will purify it. And it’s going to go, also, back out to the Mediterranean – and on both sides of that river it’s going to be lush. And so we have a repeat of it now in the new heaven and this new earth and, again, we have a pure river of water coming out of the very throne of God and the Lamb. See? We’ll also have a repeat of the tree of life in verse 2. And so we have a repeat of many things here, but now everything will be all new. No curse. No fingerprints of old Satan upon it. And it’s going to be glorious beyond our comprehension. And that’s what we’re waiting for. That’s what we’re looking for. And it’s going to be here before we know it.