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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Empty heads, hearts and lives: So much depends upon the knowledge of the true, living God today.. Join me as we ponder..

…Empty Heads and Empty Hearts equal Empty Lives… ([1]) ([2]) ([3])

Hosea 4:6  “…Cut off have been My people for lack of knowledge…” [Young’s Literal Translation]
Hosea 4:6  “…My people are silent for lack of knowledge…” [Aramaic of the Peshitta]
Hosea 4:6  “…My people are destroyed for want of knowledge…” [Complete Jewish Bible]

In any of its iterations, how often have we heard this portion of Hosea 4:6? How many pulpits have thundered under the slap of the preacher’s hands as he (or she) expounds upon their point, that God’s people are destroyed by lack of knowledge? O how the rafters of the church shake and quake at the booming voice of the orator – the one whose carefully crafted cadences stir up the passions and the emotions within those of the congregation; the congregation of the dead. Yes, the dead I say, for while they (the preachers) are right to lament that God’s people are being destroyed by lack of knowledge, why the congregation is dead is because neither those hearing the passionate sermon nor those giving it have any clue as to what knowledge they lack, and unfortunately do they want to be counseled in this Truth, for the Truth requires all to change. Let this epistle be a warning – to all who will hear – for only those with ears to hear are those who will heed it; all the rest will refuse and reject it, at the peril of their eternal soul.
2 Peter 3:1-18 (NET)

3:1 Dear friends, this is already the second letter I have written1 you, in which2 I am trying to stir up3 your pure mind by way of reminder:
3:2 I want you to recall4 both5 the predictions6 foretold by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.7 3:3 Above all, understand this:8 In the last days blatant scoffers9 will come, being propelled by their own evil urges10 3:4 and saying,11 “Where is his promised return?12 For ever since13 our ancestors14 died,15 all things have continued as they were16 from the beginning of creation.” 3:5 For they deliberately suppress this fact,17 that by the word of God18 heavens existed long ago and an earth19 was formed out of water and by means of water. 3:6 Through these things20 the world existing at that time was destroyed when it was deluged with water. 3:7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.21 3:8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice,22 that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise,23 as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish24 for any25 to perish but for all to come to repentance.26 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes,27 the heavens will disappear28 with a horrific noise,29 and the celestial bodies30 will melt away31 in a blaze,32 and the earth and every deed done on it33 will be laid bare.34 3:11 Since all these things are to melt away35 in this manner,36 what sort of people must we37 be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness,38 3:12 while waiting for and hastening39 the coming of the day of God?40 Because of this day,41 the heavens will be burned up and42 dissolve, and the celestial bodies43 will melt away in a blaze!44 3:13 But, according to his promise, we are waiting for45 new heavens and a new earth, in which46 righteousness truly resides.47
3:14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for48 these things, strive to be found49 at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence.50

3:15 And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation,51 just as also our dear brother Paul52 wrote to you,53 according to the wisdom given to him, 3:16 speaking of these things in all his letters.54 Some things in these letters55 are hard to understand, things56 the ignorant and unstable twist57 to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.58

 3:17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned,59 be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men60 and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.61

 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge62 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the honor both now and on63 that eternal day.64 ([4])

“…Unto their own destruction…” “…my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
Read together as one sentence, the sayings of Scripture, from the Tanakh and from the Messianic Writings paints for us a vivid picture, but still the question begs to be asked; what knowledge? The answer is found in Hosea…
(Hosea 4:1-4 LBP)
 “…HEAR the word of the LORD, O children of Israel; for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land,
 because there is no justice or mercy or knowledge of God in the land;
But cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they have increased and they mix blood with blood. Therefore the land shall mourn, and all its inhabitants shall languish, even the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air; and the fish of the sea also shall perish.
Because none judges nor reproves another, for your people is engaged in controversy like a priest…”[5]

No knowledge of God in the land; there is nothing new under the sun. What occurred in ancient times to the people of God in His Land, is happening again today in our own land. I’ve addressed this in previous epistles, but it bears repeating once again…
“…What do you know of God?  What are you taught of God?  What do you know of the following?
 The Solitariness of God
The Decrees of God
The Knowledge of God
The Foreknowledge of God
The Supremacy of God
The Sovereignty of God
The Immutability of God
The Holiness of God
The Power of God
The Faithfulness of God
The Goodness of God
The Patience of God
The Grace of God
The Mercy of God
The Love of God
The Wrath of God
The Contemplation of God [6]

I ask this for a reason.  If the truth be told, God is controversial.  If the truth of the attributes of God were to be taught within most churches today (especially those that concern God’s justice, His wrath, sovereignty, His Supremacy and His Glory), a large part of the church, if I may dare say the majority of it would likely reject those teachings and most would declare: “That’s not my God! I could never love a God like that!”   What a large part of Christianity has grown to love is not the true God or Messiah: they are in love with the image that they have made, with the god that best fits their lifestyle.  Most want the easy way, the way of the flow, the way that will have a minimal impact on their ambitions, possessions, and their pleasures. 

We as a body suffer from the lack of the knowledge of God, the lack of the understanding of the attributes of God.  Instead of a daily diet of repentance, self-sacrifice, carrying our cross and dying to ourselves, instead of a steadfast plan to keep ourselves immersed in the word of God, what do we do?  We work, we worry, we stress, we climb the ladder, we exercise our bodies so that we “look good”, we read all the latest “self-help” books to gain an edge; we covet, we strive, we envy, we gossip…  Because we don’t know God we need all these little tricks of the flesh to fill in the gaps, those deep yawning chasms of emptiness that mark a life that is without the knowledge of God.  Worse of all, we mistake grace for license and the result is rampant sinning!

1 Corinthians 15:34 (KJV)
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.[7]

The question we must ask is “Why this lack of the knowledge of the one true God?”  The answer is simple.  We are not taught who God is.  We are told in Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 11:5 (KJV)
5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. [8]

In Ecclesiastes Solomon tells us in Chapter 11, verses 1-6, four times “…thou knowest not…”  He says in verse 2 “… Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth…” [9]; “…knowest not what is the way of the spirit…” and “…thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all…” in verse 5 [also translated in the Greek Septuagint as “…you shall not know the actions of God, as much as He shall do in all things…”[10]]; and finally in verse 6 he says “…In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good…”[11]

Shame be upon us brethren!  I know we cannot know all there is to know about Him,

(Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.)[12]

and: 

Psalm 139:1-6
1O Jehovah, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. 3Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, And art acquainted with all my ways. 4For there is not a word in my tongue, But, lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest it altogether. 5Thou hast beset me behind and before, And laid thy hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain unto it.[13]

but we must ask ourselves this:

Why aren’t our lives so entwined with His that we share in His most intimate secrets?

In Amos 3:7 the Word of God states: “…Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless dHe reveals His secret to His servants the prophets…”[14]  Yeshua Ha’Machiach addressed this in John’s Gospel:

John 15:15-16 (NKJV)
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, sfor all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 tYou did not choose Me, but I chose you and uappointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father vin My name He may give you. [15]

If this then is the case, why do we “…knowest not…”?  Deuteronomy 29:29 says “…“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law…(emphasis mine)” [16]

Bear with me now.   To understand God’s word, we must define the terms.  Let us define “servant”  When looking at the word in Amos 3:7, servant is the Hebrew word (Strong’s #H5650) עבד ‛ebed eh'-bed.  While technically defined as “slave” or “servant”, a broader context of the word is “one chosen and beloved by God”.[17]  In the context of John 15:15, the word for “servant” is (G1401) δοῦλος doulos doo'-los,  which carries with it the same general connotation, along with the idea that 

“…Often the service involved is voluntary, in which a person willingly offers obedience, devotion, and loyalty to another, subordinating his will to him…”[18]

I believe we have to look even deeper still to find the subtler use of the word by Messiah.  I deduce this from the new name Yeshua uses to describe them with – the word for “friend” (G5384) φίλος philos. 

Yeshua Ha’Machiach (Jesus the Messiah), by His use of this word, has drawn them into a deeper relationship with Him, from one that is subject or bound to Him (even if willingly), to one He associates with, the bridegroom’s friend who on His behalf, asks for the hand of the bride and then renders to Him various services in closing the marriage and then joining in the celebration of the nuptials.[19]

You can see my friends, how we are held in esteem by our Yahvey Elohim.  Think of your friends – who are they to you?  Dare I say that there are few if any you hold close enough for you to send them to the one you love to ask them for their hand in marriage to you, yet this is precisely the distinction Christ holds us in as His “philos.”

O brethren! “…Thou knowest not!...” O pastors! Why don’t you teach who God is!  O teach upon His attributes, His infinite Glory; get to know Him!  This is our eternal life!  Eternal life begins not at the gate of heaven: it starts at the regeneration of our heart!  It started before the foundation of the world!  Look at how He trusts His own - are we included in this trust?  We, who by our former natures were at such odds with Him, yet now are held by Him as עבד ‛ebed – one chosen and beloved.  O shame I say again Believer!  That we know not Him so deeply. O how His heart must ache for our closeness, for the familiarity that He desires, that He craves! Yes, Craves!  Our Master longs for our love, our undivided, unfettered love!  How can we be so fickle, so hard-hearted as to deny Him this intimacy that He seeks.  What holds you away beloved?  Why thou knowest not? 

Start now!  Study the Bible- get to know Him!  It would be better not to have Sunday morning… Sunday morning is the greatest example of idolatry in America today, because most people are not worshipping the one true God, for we have forsaken that which is holy -the Sabbath- and replaced it with a day of our own making.  People are worshipping the god they have created out of their own minds, out of their own flesh and out of their own agendas.  The great masses worship satanic devices and worldly intelligence, making a god just like themselves and he looks more like Santa Claus than YHVH.  I tell you this; God Almighty is a Holy God! Infinite in power, absolute Sovereign in all He does, says and is.

 Psalm 111:10 (NKJV)
10     kThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.[20]
Proverbs 1:7 (KJV)
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginningd of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. [21]

Proverbs 2:5 (KJV)
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. [22]

There is no fear of God before us today because we have no God before us!  No knowledge.
Woe unto us….” [23]

No knowledge of the living God and His Son leads us to have empty heads. Empty heads are dangerous territories. Empty heads are ripe for filling with all kinds of unprofitable things, doctrines of men and denominations, theologies based upon human understanding and images of a blond haired blue eyed Jesus who in no way resembles who He really was – a Torah (The Law or Teachings of God) loving Jew.  We want this Greek Jesus, not the Hebrew Yeshua, for the Hebrew Yeshua challenges our pre-suppositions of who He is. So we fill our empty heads with a Western Christ, not a Mid-Eastern Jewish Rabbi. We turn His disciples into Toga wearing Greek philosophers instead of the talmidim (Hebrew: students of the Master) they were, men who worshipped in the Temple of Elohim, and were zealous for the Torah lifestyle. You see, we want what we want; a safe god, one that doesn’t require us to change (much anyway).  Think of the empty head as a clean house, much like Yeshua spoke of in Mark…

"When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry country seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says to itself, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house standing empty, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they come and live there — so that in the end, the person is worse off than he was before. This is how it will be for this wicked generation."
(Mat 12:43-45 CJB)

If we empty our head of the knowledge of the True God, what comes in to fill the void will leave us worse off than if we had never known God in the first place…

(2 Peter 2:1-21 MKJV)
“…But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who secretly will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their pernicious ways, and because of them the way of truth will be evil spoken of. And through covetousness they will use you for gain with well-turned words; for whom judgment from of old does not linger, and their destruction does not sleep. For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment. And He did not spare the old world, but saved Noah the eighth one, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, He condemned them with an overthrow, setting an example to men intending to live ungodly. And He delivered righteous Lot, oppressed with the lustful behavior of the lawless. For that righteous one living among them, in seeing and hearing, his righteous soul was tormented from day to day with their unlawful deeds.
The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust for a day of judgment, to be punished, and especially those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise dominion. They are darers, self-pleasing; not trembling at glories, speaking evil.
Where angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reproaching accusation against them before the Lord.
But these, as unreasoning natural brute animals having been born for capture and corruption, speak evil of the things that they do not understand. And they will utterly perish in their own corruption, being about to receive the wages of unrighteousness, deeming indulgence as pleasure in the daytime, and reveling in spots and blemishes, feasting along with you in their deceits, having eyes full of adultery and never ceasing from sin, alluring unstable souls, having a heart exercised with covetousness.
They are cursed children who have forsaken the right way and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but had reproof of his lawbreaking, a dumb ass speaking in a man's voice, held back the madness of the prophet.
These are wells without water, clouds driven with a tempest, for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever.
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they lure through the lusts of the flesh, by unbridled lust, the ones who were escaping from those who live in error; promising them liberty, they themselves are the slaves of corruption.
For by whom anyone has been overcome, even to this one he has been enslaved.
For if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the full knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and are again entangled, they have been overcome by these, their last things are worse than the first. For it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness, than fully knowing it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them…

Empty heads lead to the next great tragedy, empty hearts.

(Mat 13:10-16 MKJV)
“…And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? He answered and said to them,
 Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.
For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance.
But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.
Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, "By hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and shall not perceive; for this people's heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear…”

Without the knowledge of God, there can be no understanding of our heart. Our eyes and ears get filled with all sorts of things, pretty things that distract us, easy things that excite us, logical things that appeal to some instinct we have. We have been hurt and blind-sided by religion, or that “religious” person, so we seek an alternative narrative to the Gospel message. We craft theologies that replace Israel with the church, the Jews with Christians, the Law with grace, all of which are contrary to the Word of God; but since this is what our fathers and mothers were taught by their fathers and mothers and so on and so on, we resist any teachings that are in opposition to what we have heard, even if the Word of God plainly tells us that what we believe doesn’t match the written word.  We have emptied our hearts for the empty knowledge of our head, becoming un-teachable and uncorrectable, leaving us without a foundation from which we can build, for we have dismissed the half of the Word of God that tells us who He is – a God of justice and even scales, a God of mercy to those who love Him, and a wrath to those who do not. He is a sovereign King, the Master of Creation, and He demands obedience to His word. You will never find Him setting aside His word; you cannot find a single Scripture in which His Son sets aside His word; you will never find any instance of the Apostles teachings that are contrary to the word of God. If they did so, they would be in opposition to the word of God, and to their Messiah; they would in fact be “anti-Christs”. If Yeshua changed times and seasons, if He advocated the doing away of The Father’s Law, if He changed the Sabbath, He Himself would be the “Anti-Christ”. Friends, an empty head and an empty heart will lead you to these conclusions, all stemming from the fact that you lack knowledge, and by it are being destroyed.

                Now, if we have empty heads and hearts, we have empty lives, and thus are not part of the Kingdom of God. For what did He promise?

(John 10:7-10 KJV)
“…Then said Jesus unto them again,
Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly…”


And what is life? Let us see...

Life is Described as:
New birth            John 3:3–8
     3     Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one ais born 1again he cannot see bthe kingdom of God.” 4     Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5     Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of awater and the Spirit he cannot enter into bthe kingdom of God. 6    “aThat which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7    “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born 1again.’ 8    “aThe wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [24]

Resurrection      John 5:24
5:24 “I tell you the solemn truth,45 the one who hears46 my message47 and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned,48 but has crossed over from death to life. [25]

Translation        Acts 26:18
18 to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me.’ [26]

New creation     2 Cor. 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; e old things have passed away, and look, f new things g have come. h [27]

Seed      1 John 3:9
 (1Jn 3:9 Complete Jewish Bible) No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed planted by God remains in him. That is, he cannot continue sinning, because he has God as his Father. [28]

Crucifixion          Gal. 2:20 [29]
2:20 I have been crucified with Christ,59 and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So60 the life I now live in the body,61 I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God,62 who loved me and gave himself for me. [30]

But is life more?

(Deuteronomy 30:15-20, ASV)
15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16in that I command thee this day to love Jehovah thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, that thou mayest live and multiply, and that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.
 17But if thy heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days in the land, whither thou passest over the Jordan to go in to possess it. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed; 20to love Jehovah thy God, to obey his voice, and to cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. [31]

(Jos 1:8 CJB)
Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed.

(1Ki 2:3 CJB)
Observe the charge of Adonai your God to go in his ways and keep his regulations, mitzvot, rulings and instructions in accordance with what is written in the Torah of Moshe; so that you will succeed in all you do and wherever you go.

(2Ki 17:13 CJB)
Adonai had warned Isra'el and Y'hudah in advance through every prophet and seer, "Turn from your evil ways; and obey my mitzvot and regulations, in accordance with the entire Torah which I ordered your ancestors to keep and which I sent to you through my servants the prophets."

(Psa 40:8 CJB)
Doing your will, my God, is my joy; your Torah is in my inmost being.

(Psa 94:12 CJB)
How happy the man whom you correct, Yah, whom you teach from your Torah,

(Psa 119:18 CJB)
Open my eyes, so that I will see wonders from your Torah.

(Psa 119:29 CJB)
Keep deceitful ways far from me, and favor me with your Torah.

Psa 119:33-40 CJB
 ה (Heh) Teach me, Adonai, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.  (34)  Give me understanding; then I will keep your Torah; I will observe it with all my heart.  (35)  Guide me on the path of your mitzvot, for I take pleasure in it.  (36)  Bend my heart toward your instructions and not toward selfish gain.  (37)  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; with your ways, give me life.  (38)  Fulfill your promise, which you made to your servant, which you made to those who fear you.  (39)  Avert the disgrace which I dread, for your rulings are good.  (40)  See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life!

(Psa 119:41-44 CJB)
ו (Vav) May your grace come to me, Adonai, your salvation, as you promised;  (42)  then I will have an answer for those who taunt me; for I trust in your word.  (43)  Don't take away completely my power to speak the truth; for I put my hope in your rulings;  (44)  and I will keep your Torah always, forever and ever.

(Psa 119:53 CJB)
Fury seizes me when I think of the wicked, because they abandon your Torah.

(Psa 119:77 CJB)
Show me pity, and I will live, for your Torah is my delight.

(Psa 119:92 CJB)
If your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my distress.

(Psa 119:97 CJB)
מ (Mem) How I love your Torah! I meditate on it all day.

(Psa 119:109 CJB)
I am continually taking my life in my hands, yet I haven't forgotten your Torah.

(Psa 119:113 CJB)
ס (Samekh) I hate doubleminded people, but I love your Torah.

(Psa 119:126 CJB)
The time has come for Adonai to act, because they are breaking your Torah.

(Psa 119:136 CJB)
Rivers of tears flow down from my eyes, because they don't observe your Torah.

(Psa 119:142 CJB)
Your righteousness is eternal righteousness, and your Torah is truth.

(Psa 119:163 CJB)
I hate falsehood, I detest it; but I love your Torah.

(Psa 119:165 CJB)
Those who love your Torah have great peace; nothing makes them stumble.

(Psa 119:174 CJB)
I long for your deliverance, Adonai; and your Torah is my delight.

Abundant life comes from the Words of God, from following the path set by Elohim from the before the foundation of the world… Abundant life is found in the Messiah, who is the Word of God. Torah is not salvation: only the sacrifice of Yeshua accomplishes that. But Torah is the way that God expects us to walk when we come into the right knowledge of Messiah.

Isaiah 30:20 The sovereign master46 will give you distress to eat
and suffering to drink;47
but your teachers will no longer be hidden;
your eyes will see them.48
30:21 You49 will hear a word spoken behind you, saying,
“This is the correct50 way, walk in it,”
whether you are heading to the right or the left. [32]

The question is right before us: how must we live? Author Lew White puts it this way:

“…How we live is a mixture of how we were molded, and what we have chosen to accept or reject.  The Hebraic concept of how we live is called “halakah”, from the word halak, referring to our “walk”.  The “way” or “path” on which we do this “walking” is either the narrow path of light (as Torah directs us in its teaching/directions) or the broad road of darkness that follows no directions from Torah.  This road leads to death (the eternal kind).  The Torah is our map, to direct us into “paths of righteousness” which YHVH guides us into “for His Name’s sake”.  All who call on His True Name must depart from all unrighteousness, or it brings shame upon His Name…” [33]

A closer look at our opening verse reveals where most believers and their leaders do not want to go:
(Hos 4:6 CJB)
  My people are destroyed for want of knowledge. Because you rejected knowledge,
 I will also reject you as cohen (priests)  for me.
 Because you forgot the Torah of your God, I will also forget your children.

An even stronger admonition is found here:
Proverbs 28:9 (NET)
28:9 The one who turns away his ear26 from hearing the law,
even his prayer27 is an abomination.28 ([34])

This admonition is almost the same as Yeshua’s:
Matthew 10:24-33 (NASB95)
     24 aA 1disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. aIf they have called the head of the house 1bBeelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
26 “Therefore do not afear them, bfor there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 aWhat I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim bupon the housetops. 28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather afear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in 1bhell. 29 aAre not two sparrows sold for a 1cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
30 “But athe very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 “So do not fear; ayou are more valuable than many sparrows.

32 “Therefore aeveryone who 1confesses Me before men, I will also confess 2him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 “But awhoever 1denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.[35]

To deny the Word of God is the same as denying Yeshua. While I do not hold to the Trinitarian view of the God-head, I do believe that Yeshua is the living Word of God – for in Him is the fulfillment of all of God’s words and plans for the salvation of mankind. God spoke of His son this way also:

Matthew 17:5 (NET)
17:5 While he was still speaking, a11 bright cloud12 overshadowed13 them, and a voice from the cloud said,14 “This is my one dear Son,15 in whom I take great delight. Listen to him!”16 [36]

We are warned to hear Yeshua, to listen to Him. As He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, His words have weight in our lives and give them meaning and purpose. The truth is, it isn’t all about the Torah – but about the full counsel of God’s word. How else are we to live rich, full lives? Is the call of man to go through life empty – empty head, empty heart, empty life? Or do we, man, woman and child, seek something greater, something that fills the voids that exist within a soul that is empty of the things of God?

Empty heads have no knowledge of God. Empty hearts cannot love, cannot find peace or happiness. Empty lives are pointless, meaningless – case in point comes from the CDC:

• Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in 2013.1
• There were 41,149 suicides in 2013 in the United States—a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 is equal to 113 suicides each day or one every 13 minutes.1
• Based on data about suicides in 16 National Violent Death Reporting System states in 2010, 33.4% of suicide decedents tested positive for alcohol, 23.8% for antidepressants, and 20.0% for opiates, including heroin and prescription pain killers.2
• Suicide results in an estimated $51 billion in combined medical and work loss costs.1 Nonfatal Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior
• Among adults aged ≥18 years in the United States during 2013:3
• An estimated 9.3 million adults (3.9% of the adult U.S. population) reported having suicidal thoughts in the past year.
• The percentage of adults having serious thoughts about suicide was highest among adults aged 18 to 25 (7.4%), followed by adults aged 26 to 49 (4.0%), then by adults aged 50 or older (2.7%).
• An estimated 2.7 million people (1.1% ) made a plan about how they would attempt suicide in the past year.
• The percentage of adults who made a suicide plan in the past year was higher among adults aged 18 to 25 (2.5%) than among adults aged 26 to 49 (1.35%) and those aged 50 or older (0.6%).
• An estimated 1.3 million adults aged 18 or older (0.6%) attempted suicide in the past year. Among these adults who attempted suicide, 1.1 million also reported making suicide plans (0.2 million did not make suicide plans).
• Among students in grades 9-12 in the U.S. during 2013:4
• 17.0% of students seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months (22.4% of females and 11.6% of males).
• 13.6% of students made a plan about how they would attempt suicide in the previous 12 months (16.9% of females and 10.3% of males).
• 8.0% of students attempted suicide one or more times in the previous 12 months (10.6% of females and 5.4% of males).
• 2.7% of students made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that required medical attention (3.6% of females and 1.8% of males). ([37])

Sobering thoughts. So many hurting, so many lives in turmoil. All because this world has assaulted the one thing that could spare so much suffering – God. So many say they cannot believe because there is so much suffering, but it is this barrier to belief that causes this pain, this emptiness. And the church locks itself up behind its four walls, and keeps those that hurt out by their unacceptance of the role it (the church) should have – preaching truth, filling empty heads, hearts and lives.

There is enough sorrow in the world today without those who call themselves believers being added to the roles, yet:
“…There is no lack of statistics about pastors and depression, burnout, health, low pay, spirituality, relationships and longevity—and none of them are good. According to the Schaeffer Institute, 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression, and 71 percent are burned out. Meanwhile, 72 percent of pastors say they only study the Bible when they are preparing for sermons; 80 percent believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families; and 70 percent say they don’t have a close friend.
The Schaeffer Institute also reports that 80 percent of seminary and Bible school graduates will leave the ministry within five years. It’s not clear how many commit suicide, but it is clear that pastors are not immune to it. Psychologists point to several reasons why people commit suicide, from depression to psychosis to stressful life situations. But one thing is certain: Whatever drives someone to take their own life ultimately begins in the mind. Suicidal thoughts precede suicide…”[38]

If the shepherds have empty heads, hearts and lives – how can the rest of us not fall? The answer to this is simple – trust no man for your own knowledge of the Living God – study to show yourself approved…   

2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB95)
15     Be diligent to apresent yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling bthe word of truth. [39]

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [40]


Robert Hawker says of this verse and the context surrounding it:

2 Timothy 2:14-18

“…(14) ¶ Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. (15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (16) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (17) And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; (18) Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
We cannot sufficiently admire the very great attention of the Apostle in following up his advice to his beloved Timothy, how to conduct himself in the Church of God, as a minister of Christ. In these verses, he calls off his attention from using words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers; and directs him to study how to approve himself to God: becoming a workman that needeth not to be ashamed: rightly dividing the word of truth.
The dividing rightly the word of truth, seems to be a figure borrowed from the custom in the Jewish Church, when dividing the sacrifice; wherein care was had, that the part consecrated as holy to the Lord might not be kept back; and that which was the portion of the Offerer might be preserved. So that a workman in the ministry which rightly divideth the word of truth, hath an eye to the whole family of Christ. He comforts mourners, supports the weak, rouseth the careless, allures wanderers, and holds up Christ for distressed weary souls, as a rest and consolation. And while speaking to men, hath chiefly his eye unto God: that his blessing may go before, accompany, and follow his labors.
That man can never show himself approved unto God, that doth not make Christ what God hath made him, the whole of salvation. Now if Christ be the Alpha, and Omega, in Jehovah’s view, in his concerns of the Church: he must be so in the ministry of his servants. And by thus holding up Christ as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness; he follows the footsteps of the Holy Ghost, and makes Jesus the whole of salvation, to everyone that believeth, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile…”  [41]
Another way to translate “rightly dividing the word of God” is “correctly cutting the word of God”[42]; this goes along with what Hawker wrote. To know God is to hold what is sacred and holy unto Him in the proper reverence. We cannot subtract or add to His word. I know some say that adding the New Testament to the canon of Scripture was “adding to the word of God”; but, if that reasoning is true, then consider this: if we are to hold literally to the word given by Moshe in Deuteronomy, then both Jew and Christian have sinned. Moshe said:
Deut. 4:2 (NASB)
2 “aYou shall not add to the word which bI am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. [43]
The Jews sinned then by adding to the Torah the Writings and the Prophets. Christians and the Messianic community sinned by adding the B'rit Hadashah (the New Covenant). How can we reconcile this?
Continuity, circulation, translation, survival, teachings, and influence.
(Think about these, and come to your own conclusions; we might touch on them at a later date.)
This epistle (and this author!) cannot hope to answer all the questions and arguments concerning this matter. May it be sufficient to simply say that man did not write the Scriptures, be they the canon of the Tanach or the Messianic writings in the B'rit Hadashah. The author was God through the power of His Spirit as He inspired men:
2 Peter 1:19-21 (NASB95)

     19     1So we have athe prophetic word made more bsure, to which you do well to pay attention as to ca lamp shining in a dark place, until the dday dawns and the emorning star arises fin your hearts.
20     But aknow this first of all, that bno prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
21     for ano prophecy was ever made by an act of human will,
but men bmoved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. [44]

Those that spoke or recorded by writing the things of God did so at His leading. Thus God has preserved all He has desired for us to know, even those words that some feel is not inspired. What is the connection of this train of thought to our epistle you might ask?

To know God means we know Whom it is before which we stand.  How do you, how do I stand today? Is it in reverential awe and fear? Is it in meekness and humbleness? Do we stand in love?  If you know Whom it is that you stand before – then how you stand becomes easy. He told us through His word, through the Torah, through the Prophets, through His son Yeshua who He was and is – it is in this knowledge that we are built up and not destroyed. We cannot perish if we know Him, the true and living God.

So much depends on what we know, and Who we know. Find Him, seek Him – learn of Him and His Messiah, Yeshua.

Empty heads. Empty hearts. Empty lives. Such a waste, something that needs not be. May your heads be filled with the knowledge of God, may your hearts be overwhelmed by His love and may your lives be bountiful and rich in the abundance of His mercy and grace.

May we all live in Him.
And may God richly bless you, his beloved.
…Amein…





[1] Authors note: This site is for education only and is not affiliated with any institution, organization, or religious group. It is the sole production of its editor. Use of information from Jewish-themed websites (or any other source material) should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed.
[2] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I’ll be using the Net® Bible and the Net® Notes: within the notes you’ll see symbols like this: ( א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NetBible© for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NetBible©) used in translating the New Testament. Please go to  https://bible.org/netbible/ and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.
[3] Author’s Note: In these studies, I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of God. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested, but for the sake of brevity (as if any of these posts of mine are brief ) I insert them and let them stand as they are. If I don’t always agree with them, why do I include them you might ask? I don’t believe in censuring anyone’s opinions or scholarship; as I would not want mine censured, so I will not do to that to another. As Rabbi Hillel once stated, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. Go and learn it.” Torah leads me to respect others, even if I disagree; it leads me to present both sides of the coin, even if it could mean I’d lose part of the argument. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe contradicts the truth of God’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles for that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from the NET® Bible (but not exclusively); it has a decidedly Western/Greek mindset to it, but as a wise man once said “How do you eat chicken? Swallow the meat and spit out the bones...” I do though want to present the NET® notes because there is a wealth of information and research contained within them that I hope you find helpful.

·          [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  For more information, see footnote #2 and 3.]
1 tn Grk “I am already writing this [as] a second letter.” The object-complement construction is more smoothly rendered in English a bit differently. Further, although the present tense γράφω (graphō) is used here, English convention employs an epistolary past tense. (The Greek epistolary aorist might have been expected here, but it also occurs in situations unlike its English counterparts.)
2 tn The relative pronoun is plural, indicating that the following statement is true about both letters.
3 tn Or “I have stirred up, aroused.” The translation treats the present tense verb as a conative present.
4 tn Grk “to remember.” “I want you” is supplied to smooth out the English. The Greek infinitive is subordinate to the previous clause.
5 tn “Both” is not in Greek; it is supplied to show more clearly that there are two objects of the infinitive “to remember” - predictions and commandment.
6 tn Grk “words.” In conjunction with πρόειπον (proeipon), however, the meaning of the construction is that the prophets uttered prophecies.
7 sn Holy prophets…apostles. The first chapter demonstrated that the OT prophets were trustworthy guides (1:19–21) and that the NT apostles were also authoritative (1:16–18). Now, using the same catch phrase found in the Greek text of 1:20 (τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες, touto prōton ginōskontes), Peter points to specific prophecies of the prophets as an argument against the false teachers.
8 tn Grk “knowing this [to be] foremost.” Τοῦτο πρῶτον (touto prōton) constitute the object and complement of γινώσκοντες (ginōskontes). The participle is loosely dependent on the infinitive in v. 2 (“[I want you] to recall”), perhaps in a telic sense (thus, “[I want you] to recall…[and especially] to understand this as foremost”). The following statement then would constitute the main predictions with which the author was presently concerned. An alternative is to take it imperativally: “Above all, know this.” In this instance, however, there is little semantic difference (since a telic participle and imperatival participle end up urging an action). Cf. also 2 Pet 1:20.
9 tn The Greek reads “scoffers in their scoffing” for “blatant scoffers.” The use of the cognate dative is a Semitism designed to intensify the word it is related to. The idiom is foreign to English. As a Semitism, it is further incidental evidence of the authenticity of the letter (see the note on “Simeon” in 1:1 for other evidence).
10 tn Grk “going according to their own evil urges.”
11 tn The present participle λέγοντες (legontes, “saying”) most likely indicates result. Thus, their denial of the Lord’s return is the result of their lifestyle. The connection to the false teachers of chapter 2 is thus made clear.
12 tn Grk “Where is the promise of his coming?” The genitive παρουσίας (parousias, “coming, advent, return”) is best taken as an attributed genitive (in which the head noun, promise, functions semantically as an adjective; see ExSyn 89–91).
13 tn The prepositional phrase with the relative pronoun, ἀφ᾿ ἧς (aph hēs), is used adverbially or conjunctively without antecedent (see BDAG 727 s.v. ὅς 1.k.).
14 tn Grk “fathers.” The reference could be either to the OT patriarchs or first generation Christians. This latter meaning, however, is unattested in any other early Christian literature.
15 tn The verb κοιμάω (koimaō) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for the death of a believer.
16 tn Grk “thus,” “in the same manner.”
17 tn The Greek is difficult at this point. An alternative is “Even though they maintain this, it escapes them that…” Literally the idea seems to be: “For this escapes these [men] who wish [it to be so].”
18 tn The word order in Greek places “the word of God” at the end of the sentence. See discussion in the note on “these things” in v. 6.
19 tn Or “land,” “the earth.”
20 tn The antecedent is ambiguous. It could refer to the heavens, the heavens and earth, or the water and the word. If the reference is to the heavens, the author is reflecting on the Genesis account about “the floodgates of the heavens” being opened (Gen 7:11). If the reference is to the heavens and earth, he is also thinking about the cosmic upheaval that helped to produce the flood (Gen 6:11). If the reference is to the water and the word, he is indicating both the means (water) and the cause (word of God). This last interpretation is the most likely since the final nouns of v. 5 are “water” and “word of God,” making them the nearest antecedents.
21 tn Grk “the ungodly people.”
22 tn The same verb, λανθάνω (lanthanō, “escape”) used in v. 5 is found here (there, translated “suppress”).
23 tn Or perhaps, “the Lord is not delaying [the fulfillment of] his promise,” or perhaps “the Lord of the promise is not delaying.” The verb can mean “to delay,” “to be slow,” or “to be hesitant.”
24 tn Grk “not wishing.” The participle most likely has a causal force, explaining why the Lord is patient.
25 sn He does not wish for any to perish. This verse has been a battleground between Arminians and Calvinists. The former argue that God wants all people to be saved, but either through inability or restriction of his own sovereignty does not interfere with peoples’ wills. Some of the latter argue that the “any” here means “any of you” and that all the elect will repent before the return of Christ, because this is God’s will. Both of these positions have problems. The “any” in this context means “any of you.” (This can be seen by the dependent participle which gives the reason why the Lord is patient “toward you.”) There are hints throughout this letter that the readership may be mixed, including both true believers and others who are “sitting on the fence” as it were. But to make the equation of this readership with the elect is unlikely. This would seem to require, in its historical context, that all of these readers would be saved. But not all who attend church know the Lord or will know the Lord. Simon the Magician, whom Peter had confronted in Acts 8, is a case in point. This is evident in contemporary churches when a pastor addresses the congregation as “brothers, sisters, saints, etc.,” yet concludes the message with an evangelistic appeal. When an apostle or pastor addresses a group as “Christian” he does not necessarily think that every individual in the congregation is truly a Christian. Thus, the literary context seems to be against the Arminian view, while the historical context seems to be against (one representation of) the Calvinist view. The answer to this conundrum is found in the term “wish” (a participle in Greek from the verb boulomai). It often represents a mere wish, or one’s desiderative will, rather than one’s resolve. Unless God’s will is viewed on the two planes of his desiderative and decretive will (what he desires and what he decrees), hopeless confusion will result. The scriptures amply illustrate both that God sometimes decrees things that he does not desire and desires things that he does not decree. It is not that his will can be thwarted, nor that he has limited his sovereignty. But the mystery of God’s dealings with humanity is best seen if this tension is preserved. Otherwise, either God will be perceived as good but impotent or as a sovereign taskmaster. Here the idea that God does not wish for any to perish speaks only of God’s desiderative will, without comment on his decretive will.
26 tn Grk “reach to repentance.” Repentance thus seems to be a quantifiable state, or turning point. The verb χωρέω (chōreō, “reach”) typically involves the connotation of “obtain the full measure of” something. It is thus most appropriate as referring to the repentance that accompanies conversion.
27 tn Grk “in which.”
28 tn Or “pass away.”
29 tn Or “hissing sound,” “whirring sound,” “rushing sound,” or “loud noise.” The word occurs only here in the NT. It was often used of the crackle of a fire, as would appear appropriate in this context.
30 tn Grk “elements.” Most commentators are agreed that “celestial bodies” is meant, in light of this well-worn usage of στοιχεῖα (stoicheia) in the 2nd century and the probable allusion to Isa 34:4 (text of Vaticanus). See R. Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter [WBC], 315–16 for discussion.
31 tn Grk “be dissolved.”
32 tn Grk “being burned up.”
33 tn Grk “the works in it.”
34 tc One of the most difficult textual problems in the NT is found in v. 10. The reading εὑρεθήσεται (heurethēsetai), which enjoys by far the best support (א B K P 0156vid 323 1241 1739txt pc) is nevertheless so difficult a reading that many scholars regard it as nonsensical. (NA27 lists five conjectures by scholars, from Hort to Mayor, in this text.) As R. Bauckham has pointed out, solutions to the problem are of three sorts: (1) conjectural emendation (which normally speaks more of the ingenuity of the scholar who makes the proposal than of the truth of the conjecture, e.g., changing one letter in the previous word, ἔργα [erga] becomes ἄργα [arga] with the meaning, “the earth and the things in it will be found useless”); (2) adoption of one of several variant readings (all of which, however, are easier than this one and simply cannot explain how this reading arose, e.g., the reading of P72 which adds λυόμενα [luomena] to the verb - a reading suggested no doubt by the threefold occurrence of this verb in the surrounding verses: “the earth and its works will be found dissolved”; or the simplest variant, the reading of the Sahidic mss, οὐχ [ouch] preceding ἑυρεθήσεται - “will not be found”); or (3) interpretive gymnastics which regards the text as settled but has to do some manipulation to its normal meaning. Bauckham puts forth an excellent case that the third option is to be preferred and that the meaning of the term is virtually the equivalent of “will be disclosed,” “will be manifested.” (That this meaning is not readily apparent may in fact have been the reason for so many variants and conjectures.) Thus, the force of the clause is that “the earth and the works [done by men] in it will be stripped bare [before God].” In addition, the unusualness of the expression is certainly in keeping with the author’s style throughout this little book. Hence, what looks to be suspect because of its abnormalities, upon closer inspection is actually in keeping with the author’s stylistic idiosyncrasies. The meaning of the text then is that all but the earth and men’s works will be destroyed. Everything will be removed so that humanity will stand naked before God. Textually, then, on both external and internal grounds, εὑρεθήσεται commends itself as the preferred reading.
35 tn Grk “all these things thus being dissolved.”
36 tn Or “thus.”
37 tc ‡ Most mss have a pronoun with the infinitive - either ὑμᾶς (humas, “you”; found in A C[*] P Ψ 048vid 33 1739 M, as well as the corrector of P72 and second corrector of א), ἡμᾶς (hēmas, “we”; read by א* 630 2464 al), or ἑαυτούς (heautous, “[you your]selves/[we our]selves,” read by 1243). But the shorter reading (with no pronoun) has the support of P72*,74vid B pc. Though slim, the evidence for the omission is nevertheless the earliest. Further, the addition of some pronoun, especially the second person pronoun, seems to be a clarifying variant. It would be difficult to explain the pronoun’s absence in some witnesses if the pronoun were original. That three different pronouns have shown up in the mss is testimony for the omission. Thus, on external and internal grounds, the omission is preferred. For English style requirements, however, some pronoun has to be added. NA 27 has ὑμᾶς in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.
tn Or “you.”
38 tn Grk “in holy conduct and godliness.”
39 tn Or possibly, “striving for,” but the meaning “hasten” for σπουδάζω (spoudazō) is normative in Jewish apocalyptic literature (in which the coming of the Messiah/the end is anticipated). Such a hastening is not an arm-twisting of the divine volition, but a response by believers that has been decreed by God.
40 sn The coming of the day of God. Peter elsewhere describes the coming or parousia as the coming of Christ (cf. 2 Pet 1:16; 3:4). The almost casual exchange between “God” and “Christ” in this little book, and elsewhere in the NT, argues strongly for the deity of Christ (see esp. 1:1).
41 tn Grk “on account of which” (a subordinate relative clause in Greek).
42 tn Grk “being burned up, will dissolve.”
43 tn See note in v. 10 on “celestial bodies.”
44 tn Grk “being burned up” (see v. 10).
45 tn Or possibly, “let us wait for.” The form in Greek (προσδόκωμεν, prosdokōmen) could be either indicative or subjunctive. The present participle in v. 14, however, is best taken causally (“since you are waiting for”), suggesting that the indicative is to be read here.
46 tn The relative pronoun is plural, indicating that the sphere in which righteousness dwells is both the new heavens and the new earth.
47 tn Grk “dwells.” The verb κατοικέω (katoikeō) is an intensive cognate of οἰκέω (oikeō), often with the connotation of “taking up residence,” “settling down,” being at home,” etc. Cf., e.g., Matt 2:23; Acts 17:26; 22:12; Eph 3:17; Col 1:19; 2:9. Hence, the addition of the adverb “truly” is implicit in the connotation of the verb in a context such as this.
48 tn Grk “dear friends, waiting for.” See note in v. 13 on “waiting for.”
49 sn The Greek verb used in the phrase strive to be found is the same as is found in v. 10, translated “laid bare.” In typical Petrine fashion, a conceptual link is made by the same linkage of terms. The point of these two verses thus becomes clear: When the heavens disappear and the earth and its inhabitants are stripped bare before the throne of God, they should strive to make sure that their lives are pure and that they have nothing to hide.
50 tn “When you come into” is not in Greek. However, the dative pronoun αὐτῷ (autō) does not indicate agency (“by him”), but presence or sphere. The idea is “strive to found {before him/in his presence}.”
51 tn The language here is cryptic. It probably means “regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation.” In the least, Peter is urging his audience to take a different view of the delay of the parousia than that of the false teachers.
52 sn Critics generally assume that 2 Peter is not authentic, partially because in vv. 15–16 Paul is said to have written scripture. It is assumed that a recognition of Paul’s writings as scripture could not have happened until early in the 2nd century. However, in the same breath that Paul is canonized, Peter also calls him “brother.” This is unparalleled in the 2nd century apocryphal works, as well as early patristic writings, in which the apostles are universally elevated above the author and readers; here, Peter simply says “he’s one of us.”
53 sn Paul wrote to you. That Paul had written to these people indicates that they are most likely Gentiles. Further, that Peter is now writing to them suggests that Paul had already died, for Peter was the apostle to the circumcised. Peter apparently decided to write his two letters to Paul’s churches shortly after Paul’s death, both to connect with them personally and theologically (Paul’s gospel is Peter’s gospel) and to warn them of the wolves in sheep’s clothing that would come in to destroy the flock. Thus, part of Peter’s purpose seems to be to anchor his readership on the written documents of the Christian community (both the Old Testament and Paul’s letters) as a safeguard against heretics.
54 tn Grk “as also in all his letters speaking in them of these things.”
55 tn Grk “in which are some things hard to understand.”
56 tn Grk “which.” The antecedent is the “things hard to understand,” not the entirety of Paul’s letters. A significant principle is seen here: The primary proof texts used for faith and practice ought to be the clear passages that are undisputed in their meaning. Heresy today is still largely built on obscure texts.
57 tn Or “distort,” “wrench,” “torture” (all are apt descriptions of what heretics do to scripture).
58 sn This one incidental line, the rest of the scriptures, links Paul’s writings with scripture. This is thus one of the earliest affirmations of any part of the NT as scripture. Peter’s words were prophetic and were intended as a preemptive strike against the heretics to come.
59 tn Grk “knowing beforehand.”
60 tn Or “lawless ones.”
sn These unprincipled men. The same word is used in 2:7, suggesting further that the heretics in view in chapter 3 are the false teachers of chapter 2.
61 tn Grk “fall from your firmness.”
62 tn The term “knowledge” (γνῶσις, gnōsis) used here is not the same as is found in 2 Pet 1:2, 3, 8; 2:20. This term is found in 1:5 and 1:6.
63 tn Or “until.”
64 tc ‡ The vast bulk of mss add ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”) at the end of this letter, as they do almost all the rest of the NT books (only Acts, James, and 3 John lack a majority of witnesses supporting a concluding ἀμήν). The omission in B 1241 1243 1739* 1881 2298 appears to be original, although the fact that some of the best and earliest Alexandrian witnesses (P72 א A C P Ψ 33 co), along with the Byzantine text and early versions (vg sy), add the particle renders such a judgment less than iron-clad. NA27 places the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
tn Grk “day of eternity.”
·         End NET® Bible Notes
[4]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[5] Holy Bible: From the Ancient Eastern Text: George M. Lamsa's Translation From the Aramaic of the Peshitta, electronic edition, Harper & Row (May 8, 1985), e-sword®, ©2000-2014 Rick Meyers


[6] Contents from “The Attributes of God”, by A. W. Pink, first published in the booklets “Studies in the Scriptures”, published without interruption from 1922 to 1953; Reprints now available from Chapel Library; they may be contacted at www.mountzion.org
[7]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. ©1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[8]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. ©1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[9]  Darby, J. N. ©(1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
[10] The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English, by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton, originally published 1851, ©2007 Hendrickson Publishers
[11]  Darby, J. N. ©(1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
[12]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[13]  American Standard Version. ©1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Gen. 6:13; 18:17; [Jer. 23:22]; Dan. 9:22; [John 15:15]
[14]  The New King James Version. ©1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
s  Gen. 18:17
John 6:70; 13:18; 15:19; 1 John 4:10
u  [Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Col. 1:6]
v  John 14:13; 16:23, 24
[15]  The New King James Version. ©1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[16]  The New King James Version. ©1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[17] Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures, translated by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, LL.D., (first issued 1847) ©1979 Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, MI: pp 599.
[18] Hayford, J. W., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. ©(1995). Hayford's Bible handbook. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
[19] Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Joseph H. Thayer, (published originally 1896), 2007 Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA; pp 665.
k  Job 28:28; [Prov. 1:7; 9:10]; Eccl. 12:13
[20]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
d  the beginning: or, the principal part
[21]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[22]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[23]  From the epistle “Before Reformation: 10 Indictments of the Modern Church… an exposition on the sermon of Paul Washer, by Paul Washer with edits and additions by David Robinson. Title taken from a sermon by Paul Washer; see the link at : http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=17378&commentView=itemComments

a  2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:23
1  Or from above
b  Matt 19:24; 21:31; Mark 9:47; 10:14f; John 3:5
*  A star (*) is used to mark verbs that are historical presents in the Greek which have been translated with an English past tense in order to conform to modern usage. The translators recognized that in some contexts the present tense seems more unexpected and unjustified to the English reader than a past tense would have been. But Greek authors frequently used the present tense for the sake of heightened vividness, thereby transporting their readers in imagination to the actual scene at the time of occurence. However, the translators felt that it would be wise to change these historical presents to English past tenses.
a  Ezek 36:25–27; Eph 5:26; Titus 3:5
Matt 19:24; 21:31; Mark 9:47; 10:14f; John 3:3
a  John 1:13; 1 Cor 15:50
1  Or from above
a  Ps 135:7; Eccl 11:5; Ezek 37:9
[24]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
·          [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  For more information, see footnote #2 and 3.]
 45  45 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
46  46 tn Or “obeys.”
47  47 tn Or “word.”
48  48 tn Grk “and does not come into judgment.”
·         End NET® Bible Notes
[25]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
 To open their eyes: though no mention is made of Paul’s blindness in this account (cf Acts 9:8–9,12,18; 22:11–13), the task he is commissioned to perform is the removal of other people’s spiritual blindness.
[26]  Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees, Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, & United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board. (1996, c1986). The New American Bible : Translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources and the revised New Testament. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
e  5:17 Jn 1:3; Rv 3:14
f  5:17 Rm 8:24
g  5:17 Other mss read look, all new things
h  5:17 Is 43:19; 65:17; Rm 6:4; Eph 4:24; Rv 21:5
[27]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2009. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[28] (Jewish New Testament Commentary, ©1992  by David H. Stern ) 1Jn 3:9 : “No one who remains united with him continues sinning.... No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning .... That is, he cannot continue sinning. The Greek verb in the present tense, as used here, implies ongoing action. A number of English versions (among them KJV, the New English Bible, and the Jerusalem Bible) confuse readers by seeming to imply that believers are exempt from sin. For example, the Revised Standard Version: "No one who abides in him sins.... No one born of God commits sin; ... and he cannot sin."
Yochanan is not saying that once a person confesses faith in Yeshua he will never again commit sin; this is already clear from 1Jn. 1:5-1Jn. 2:2. On the contrary, his point is that a believer should never intend to sin, that he should never be a habitual sinner, that he should not continue to reserve for himself an area of life devoted to sinful practices. Instead of being defensive and self-excusing, he should acknowledge his sins (1Jn_1:9) and renounce them. He should not exempt any part of his life from continuous self-scrutiny. No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed planted by God remains in him. "The seed planted by God" is, literally, "his seed." It refers to the seed of the Gospel (Mat_13:1-23), the once-for-all spiritual awareness of who God is and what God wants from his human creatures. The context cannot justify interpreting "his seed" as not God's seed but the person's own seed; from this error spring pagan-style heresies demanding sexual asceticism. “
[29] Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996). Nelson’s quick reference topical Bible index. Nelson’s Quick reference (383). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 59 tn Both the NA27/UBS4 Greek text and the NRSV place the phrase “I have been crucified with Christ” at the end of v. 19, but most English translations place these words at the beginning of v. 20.
60 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “So” to bring out the connection of the following clauses with the preceding ones. What Paul says here amounts to a result or inference drawn from his co-crucifixion with Christ and the fact that Christ now lives in him. In Greek this is a continuation of the preceding sentence, but the construction is too long and complex for contemporary English style, so a new sentence was started here in the translation.
61 tn Grk “flesh.”
62 tc A number of important witnesses (P46 B D* F G) have θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ (theou kai Christou, “of God and Christ”) instead of υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ (huiou tou theou, “the Son of God”), found in the majority of mss, including several important ones (א A C D1 Ψ 0278 33 1739 1881 M lat sy co). The construction “of God and Christ” appears to be motivated as a more explicit affirmation of the deity of Christ (following as it apparently does the Granville Sharp rule). Although Paul certainly has an elevated Christology, explicit “God-talk” with reference to Jesus does not normally appear until the later books (cf., e.g., Titus 2:13, Phil 2:10–11, and probably Rom 9:5). For different arguments but the same textual conclusions, see TCGNT 524.
tn Or “I live by faith in the Son of God.” See note on “faithfulness of Jesus Christ” in v. 16 for the rationale behind the translation “the faithfulness of the Son of God.”
sn On the phrase because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.
·         End NET® Bible Notes
 [30]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[31]American Standard Version. 1995 (Dt 30:20). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
·          [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  For more information, see footnote #2 and 3.]
 46 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai).
47 tn Heb “and the Master will give to you bread – distress, and water – oppression.”
48 tn Heb “but your teachers will no longer be hidden, your eyes will be seeing your teachers.” The translation assumes that the form מוֹרֶיךָ (morekha) is a plural participle, referring to spiritual leaders such as prophets and priests. Another possibility is that the form is actually singular (see GKC 273-74 §93.ss) or a plural of respect, referring to God as the master teacher. See HALOT 560-61 s.v. III מוֹרֶה. For discussion of the views, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:560.
49 tn Heb “your ears” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
50 tn The word “correct’ is supplied in the translation for clarification.
·         End NET® Bible Notes
[32]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[33] From The Torah Zone, An Anthology of Articles by Lew White; Distributed by Strawberry Islands Messianic Publishing, ©2006
 26 sn The expression “turn away the ear from hearing” uses a metonymy to mean that this individual will not listen – it indicates a deliberate refusal to follow the instruction of the law.
27 sn It is hard to imagine how someone who willfully refuses to obey the law of God would pray according to the will of God. Such a person is more apt to pray for some physical thing or make demands on God. (Of course a prayer of repentance would be an exception and would not be an abomination to the Lord.)
28 sn C. H. Toy says, “If a man, on his part, is deaf to instruction, then God, on his part, is deaf to prayer” (Proverbs [ICC], 499). And W. McKane observes that one who fails to attend to God’s law is a wicked person, even if he is a man of prayer (Proverbs [OTL], 623).
·         End NET® Bible Notes
[34]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.

a  Luke 6:40; John 13:16; 15:20
1  Or student
a  Matt 9:34
1  Or Beezebul: ruler of demons
b  2 Kin 1:2; Matt 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18, 19
a  Matt 10:26–33: Luke 12:2–9
b  Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; 12:2; 1 Cor 4:5
a  Luke 12:3
b  Matt 24:17; Acts 5:20
a  Heb 10:31
1  Gr Gehenna
b  Matt 5:22; Luke 12:5
a  Luke 12:6
1  Gr assarion, the smallest copper coin
a  1 Sam 14:45; 2 Sam 14:11; 1 Kin 1:52; Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34
a  Matt 12:12
a  Luke 12:8; Rev 3:5
1  Lit will confess in Me
2  Lit in him
a  Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 2 Tim 2:12
1  Lit will deny
[35]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes.  For more information, see footnote #2 and 3.]
11 tn Grk “behold, a.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated here or in the following clause because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
12 sn This cloud is the cloud of God’s presence and the voice is his as well.
13 tn Or “surrounded.”
14 tn Grk “behold, a voice from the cloud, saying.” This is an incomplete sentence in Greek which portrays intensity and emotion. The participle λέγουσα (legousa) was translated as a finite verb in keeping with English style.
15 tn Grk “my beloved Son,” or “my Son, the beloved [one].” The force of ἀγαπητός (agapētos) is often “pertaining to one who is the only one of his or her class, but at the same time is particularly loved and cherished” (L&N 58.53; cf. also BDAG 7 s.v. 1).
16 sn The expression listen to him comes from Deut 18:15 and makes two points: 1) Jesus is a prophet like Moses, a leader-prophet, and 2) they have much yet to learn from him.
·         End NET® Bible Notes
[36]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[37] http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf Additional references as follows: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2013, 2011) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer). Available from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/ wisqars/index.html. 2. Parks SE, Johnson LL, McDaniel DD, Gladden M. Surveillance for Violent Deaths– National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 states, 2010. MMWR 2014; 63(ss01): 1-33. Available from http:// www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6301a1.htm. 3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-49, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4887. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 2014. Available at http://www.samhsa.gov/data/ sites/default/files/NSDUHmhfr2013/NSDUHmhfr2013.pdf. 4. Kann L, Kinchen S, Shanklin SL, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2013. MMWR 2014; 63(ss04): 1-168. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ ss6304a1.htm. 5. Sullivan EM, Annest JL, Luo F, Simon TR, Dahlberg LL. Suicide Among Adults Aged 35-36 Years – United States, 1999-2010. MMWR 2013; 62(17): 321-325. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/ mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm.
[38] http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/42063-why-are-so-many-pastors-committing-suicide
a  Rom 6:13; James 1:12
b  Eph 1:13; James 1:18
[39]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[40]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[41] The Poor Man’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Robert Hawker 1805 Oxford University, electronic edition, e-sword®, ©2000-2014 Rick Meyers (emphasis mine)

[42] The Sacred Scriptures THE CONCORDANT VERSION  Copyright © Concordant Publishing Concern This publication may be reproduced for personal use (all other rights reserved by copyright holder).

a Deut 12:32; Prov 30:6; Rev 22:18
b Deut 4:5, 14, 40
[43]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Dt 4:2). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
1  Or We have the even more sure prophetic word
a  1 Pet 1:10f
b  Heb 2:2
c  Ps 119:105
d  Luke 1:78
e  Rev 22:16
f  2 Cor 4:6
a  2 Pet 3:3
b  Rom 12:6
a  Jer 23:26; 2 Tim 3:16
b  2 Sam 23:2; Luke 1:70; Acts 1:16; 3:18; 1 Pet 1:11
[44]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.