Reading Insights from Second Peter and Revelation
by Bobby Bruno 5/10/2014 / Bible Studies
p. 365 Second Peter
Why is there so much emphasis on who wrote what book of the Bible? Shouldn't the fact that the books are proclaiming Jesus without contradicting other books of the Bible be enough? As it says on pg 365, why would anyone make up stories about their upcoming death if they weren't telling the truth? I don't believe anyone else has ever done that in history. Shouldn't the fact that the Holy Spirit put the bible together be enough to know that what is written in it is truth? Who cares who wrote the book of Hebrews if it proclaims Jesus and is in line with the Jesus' teachings found throughout the New Testament. In all of the books written in the New Testament we find that the authors spoke of themselves as fallible, mistake-making, human beings with foibles like any of us today. Even though they were writing about Jesus, they left the parts they played in their books for us to see that they were just like us doubtful, fearful, and wondering.
Whenever I read anything that is Christian non-fiction, I read the back, the front, and the blurbs on the inside jacket to see what the book is teaching. I will even flip through it and check out what the author is saying about Jesus. If I find just one thing that does not agree with scripture, or paints Jesus in a way that is not true to His nature, I do not buy it or read any further. I also ask the Holy Spirit if the book I am looking at is one that He would want me to read, if not, I put it back on the shelf. I have found many "Christian" books that were not true Christian books or topics. There are loads of those out there. Reading "Christian" books that aren't truly Christian is the same as listening to false teachers, once you listen to what they say, the easier it is to take their words as "truth" even though they are a lie, and pass the information onto others.
p. 366 -- Second Peter
The book says, "Third, in a lengthy section that is similar to the Book of Jude, Peter warns of the false teachers and doctrines that will arise some day (2 Peter 2:1-22). These people will be false, destructive, shameful, greedy, arrogant, blasphemous, boastful, and sinful. Worst of all, they will turn their backs on God's sacred commandments (2:21). But God knows how to rescue His people from this. They are called to turn to Him in renewed faith (2:9)."
What's the phrase: "The more things change, the more they stay the same"? It's amazing how, 2000 years later, the book of 2 Peter reads as if he were talking about today. Since I didn't live in his time, so I can't be sure, but I think we are living in a time where there are more false prophets and teachers than there were in Peter's time. As I stated above, there are thousands of books claiming to be true Christianity when they are really not. It's a shame that a lot of pulpits in this world have false teachers speaking to those who are being deceived by them.
With the escalation of radio, television, books, magazines, and so on, we now have thousands of more ways to spread the gospel to the world. Certainly more than the first century church did. Unfortunately, that gives these false prophets and teachers more ways to get their evil messages to all of humanity. As, Jesus, Peter, Paul and others, continually wrote about, we have to be very careful about who we listen to as Disciples of Christ. We must make sure that what we are hearing and reading is from the true gospel of Christ, and not a message from the enemy who would love to get us to believe wrong teaching, and to pass it on to unsuspecting, un-churched, and unbelieving people who don't know what their Bible says, or what the truth really is.
p. 380 Revelation
Page 380 talks about the different views held that deal with the end times and how the very end is going to be played out. In the Postmillennial view, it is believed that "we are in the millennium now where good and righteous and justice reign." In the Amillennial view, the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ is rejected. The dispensational view is what I believe will happen in the future, because I believe that it follows the Bible's timetable for the future events at the end of time.
How can the Postmillennial view be believed these days when we can see that good righteousness and justice do not prevail in our world in any way shape or form. Is Jesus every human's choice for truth, peace, and salvation? Not when most of the world is at war with someone they don't like, or whose land they want, but don't really need. Is justice truly prevailing when there is more corruption in the world today than has ever been? And righteousness only lives in the hearts and souls of those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ. The Postmillennialists need to read their Bible again, this time the true Word, not the word of humanists.
All I have to say about the Amillennial view is this: what Bible are they reading, when the true Bible says that there will be a span of one thousand years when Jesus will reign, and at the time's end, the devil will be set free for a short time? To reject the thousand year reign is to take away from the words of Jesus, who said that doing so would bring destruction on those who tried or did. Are Postmillennialists and Amillennialists true Christians to propose such ridiculous ideas?
The Dispensational view is the one that I can see that truly follows the timetable that the Bible sets forth for the end of the age. More has been written and accepted about this view than any of the others, and I'm not just talking about Tim LaHaye. I have read many commentaries about the book of Revelation, some even from the 1930's and 1950's, and all agree to this view of the future. It is the only view that sounds perfectly logical and sound (to me, at least), while a reading of the other views will leave you scratching your head in disbelief or confusion. It's a shame that it's going to take the return of Jesus to finally set people straight. What a world we could be living in if all men would just follow the truth of Jesus Christ.
Elwell, Walter A., Yarbrough, Robert W. (1998, 2005). Encountering the new testament: a historical and theological survey 2 ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Comment: "I hadn't realized that "Peter is one of the best known figures in the early church and is mentioned over 150 times in the NT" (p. 362).
Author Response: I believe that the Holy Spirit did this so that we would see just how mightily Christ used Peter in light of his denying Jesus three times. Peter's denial is something that I believe all Christians are afraid of doing because the Bible speaks a lot about what happens if we deny Christ (ex. He will deny us before the Father). But Peter felt very guilty about doing it and repented of his words and was restored even stronger back to Jesus' plan for his life. Does this mean that if we do the same thing we would be restored? I believe that could happen only if we completely and break our relationship and completely turn away from Christ? But I could be wrong....
Comment: "The Apostle John's writing style was called apocalyptic, a literary style that was highly symbolic. He used beast, dragons, and even the dissolving universe because they were familiar to his readers."
Author Response: I was reading an article this week for our Revelation paper assignment and discovered that Jesus had John use symbols because symbols can be understood in any age and at moment in history. Even today, when we hear of beasts and dragons, we know what one looks like and we know that each is "inherently" evil and from Satan. Too many kids who play these video games with beasts and dragons in them don't realize that Satan is trying to soften them up over the evilness of these beings. Satan's use of zombies is another way to desensitize our youth in these games. Ask a teenager if he likes war and he will probably say he doesn't. But ask him if he likes to kill zombies in a video game, he's all for it. They're both war, so what's the difference? And we wonder why shootings in this country have skyrocketed in the last few years.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.