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Biblical Interpretation
 Shovel Shack : Biblical Interpretation
Subject Topic: Worse Than Before..
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Adam
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-26-02 at 4:26am | IP Logged  

Worse than before?!A dog returns to his vomit..ehw,whats that sopposed to mean?I think it means that the deception hidden so well by the dark forces of evil int his world are keeping the deceived moving another gospel forward!Politics,men,women in power make this place aden of iniquity with the error that so easily gallops through the earth unnotced.This force ruins lives and brings much pain to the true children of God.The messages in their various forms are disguised like a bottle of 409 in a glass of hot cocoa!The infection spreads through the body killing all the good health the original message brought,that of the goodness of GOD not ourselves!The good,wonderful ,saving,soothing love and affection of God is now reversed by this infectious message of subtle self regulation,your heart becomes sick,you loose everything.But then something farr more devastating takes place!This disease actually has the power to bring you farther into your person before Christ!To actually not only rob your new freedom but to then go and take the freedom you had from before meeting the Lord!So that in effect you become bound BACKWARDS!!!!!!!   tHIS IS NOT HOW HE INTENDED HIS MESSAGE.To actually have the law come so deep that it begins to take freedom you had while in the shakels of darkness before you were born of God is unthinkable!Now i trully see why Satan will be bound for all eternity it simply is not profitable to have him loose...no way would God let hIS CHILDREN LIVE IN THAT KIND OF HELL FOR ETERNITY!.......ALL RIGHT COME ON SHOVLPEOPLE RESPOSES ANYONE?

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Sherri
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 340
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 4:41pm | IP Logged  

Hi Adam,

I am having a very rare day to be able to be on the computer and actually have some time to type on it, instead of just reading without joining in the verbalizing.  Not that anyone necessarily wants or needs my verbalizing, but ... I do enjoy joining in from time to time.  

Like I said, you are very good at stirring up conversation!   : )   Have you always been thusly endowed?   : )

I think you are talking about 2 Peter 2, right?  If I am not mistaken, Peter is talking very much about false prophets and false teachers.  He is not talking about those who were, are and will be, "moved by the Holy Spirit" and truly speak from GOD, but warning about the existence (past, present and future) of these "springs without water ... mists driven by a storm for whom the black darkness has been reserved."

Remember that these have been, will be and are even now, those who make 'claims'  to know and speak for GOD.  Beware, because "... these, like unreasoning animals, born as creature of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will  in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong.  they count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime.  They are stains and belmishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you; having eyes full of adulter and that never cease from sin; enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness ..."

"... speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while hey themselves are slaves of corruption ..."

In chapter 3 he talks about mockers and warns the 'beloved' to "... be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unpricipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ..."

Well, anyway ... I have a little 'inside information' ... the Shovel dude has quite a bit of wonderful input on this issue, and he will be sharing it any time now.  I will wait with you as he inputs it for us.   : )

Be encouraged!   : )

Sherri

 

 

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Sherri
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 340
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 5:10pm | IP Logged  

Adam, I also hear your sadness and anger over how these deceivers affect us and our lives ... the pain they cause, etc.  This is true, and I understand and relate with your feelings. 

It seems it has afforded GOD to continue working miracles in the midst of it all, and you and the rest of us are examples of that.  Even tho'  we were caught in the deceptions, HE still grows us out of it all and in spite of it all.  We know it was and continues to be His work. 

We desire so much sometimes to go and untangle everyone still caught in the web, but we find they are more bound by it than any desire or hope for leaving all the bondage they feel they have such a control over. 

It begs the questions, "Why do we see as clearly as we do now, and did not before?"   "Why has HE pulled us out, and not everyone at the same time?"  "Why does HE allow this at all?"  ... and questions like that, yes? 

Sherri

 

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the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 5:13pm | IP Logged  

Hello Adam ... and the rest of you all's!!

I had just responded to somebody a month ago about the same letter of 2 Peter (where your questions stem from), and I wrote a rather long response.  Though long, it barely touches the letter, but gives a basic background.  Here is the letter sent to me:

Hey bro, I am really struggling with 2 Peter.  [somebody] asked a question concerning 2 Peter and I started studying it!  I get a sense or "feeling" as I read 2 Peter that I fall into the category as a false teacher.  I quiver with fear as I read it, especially chapter 2. I find myself wieghing my performance to what Peter says and I fall short.  But then I go back to the first four verses of chapter 1 and realize that I am in Christ and it is not based on my performance.  I begin to get confused as to how 2 Peter is reconciled with Paul's teachings as I begin reading Chapter 2 and by the end of chapter 3 -- I walk away thinking that Peter is telling us that it is based on my behavior and performance to some extent -- only to go back to the first 4 verses and realize that Peter is not saying that.  Thus, I am missing it????

I don't get it...  Why such condemnation?  Why did Peter write this letter in such a way?  I have so many questions that my brain is hurting?  And then on top of that I find myself under that mentality of trying to find what is right and what is wrong -- performance, Instead of resting in Christ. 

Here is my response:

Keep in mind that Peter was a very different man than Paul, but this doesn't mean that he was in conflict, especially considering his comment at the end of the letter:
 
"and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15&16
 
So, obviously, Peter seemed to have this awareness of the grace Paul wrote of fully in his mind while he wrote his own letter.  Now, the fact is that Paul had written some things we find rather "inappropriate" to his own message of grace, and many have almost written them off as "legalistic".  Peter just seems to go so far off course that we can't sweep his comments under the rug as easily.  I think we try to compare his writings to Paul's and since there are less of them we figure it's easier to simply ignore most of his stuff.  That's my opinion on it anyhow.  :)  Tell you the truth, I love Peter's writings!!
 
Let me tell you the sense I get of Peter's letter.  He wrote this because of his many run-ins with false teachers.  His own experience had reached the point of being swayed by their "unprincipled" teachings.  That was what happened to him in Antioch when Paul publicly scolded him and then wrote of it in his letter to the Galatians.  Peter, in turn, was warning others of the nature of the deceptions of such false teachers.
 
No, you are not a false teacher, my friend.  You're too stinkin' honest and transparent to be mistaken for that.  :)  I have no doubt that those Peter referred to in chapter 2 are those without Christ, but are full of "godly" sounding words.  Ah yes, but what do we do first with the better part of chapter 1 then, huh?
 
As you have already pointed out, the first 4 verses are drenched in the reality of God's grace toward us in Christ.  As a matter of fact, properly understood, they would sound nothing but heretical to the religious mind.  I mean, consider his bold statement "partakers of the divine nature".  Consider the magnitude of this claim!!  This is nothing but "blasphemous" to the natural, religious mind.  This is the raw reality of being fully connected with God Himself through Christ.  This is the basis for all his statements that follow.
 
Consider this in verse 5.  "in your faith SUPPLY ..."   What faith?  Why the same kind of faith received by the apostles.  It was given to us "by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ".  Now, look at the word "supply".  What does it entail?  It is connected to the faith that was given to us, and therefore connected to the fact that we are partakers of God's nature.  Where does the "supply" come from?  God, through Christ as the vine.  Peter is describing the living connection we have IN the life of God where the fruit of His Spirit is produced.  Also notice how this "fruit" is all interwoven and interconnected.  He speaks of the fruit of God's life as real substance, and this is important in understanding the "lack" of such.
 
There is no doubt that religion has made us think upon these "qualities" as performance-based, but we must see this fruit of God's supply, not in relative terms, but in the absolute sense.  By that I mean, outside the life of God there is only the APPEARANCE of having these things in a person's life.  But it is this appearance that snags us so easily.
 
For example, "moral excellence" is not a standard of morality.  One is something that comes from the life of God, the other is merely a "belief" or a "stance" taken - which is nothing less than self-righteousness.  Peter refers to an actual substance that cannot be denied.  The reason we find ourselves falling so short in this area is simply because the religious mindset yanks our chain and plays our awakened conscience against us so that we beat ourselves up over our "lack".  But "lack" doesn't refer to a degree as we've been taught, but in the simple fact that the substance is MISSING, as in, NOT THERE.  No, that doesn't describe one who has been joined together with God, but one who has not been joined.  Notice also, the word "quality" is in italics, which means it was added to "help" the translation.  Well, maybe at one time a "quality" would have been seen as part of God's life, but religion has changed it into such a relative concept that we see nothing of God in it.
 
Take a look at those last two "qualities": brotherly kindness and love.  My brother, if there were a couple of things I would describe you as it would be these two things.  No, I don't say this to try to swell your head in any way, because we both know where this comes from.  As a matter of fact, these realities are flourishing at BR.  I think we often try too hard to shatter the old religious illusions of "goodness" that we overlook the obvious that happens among us.  Hey, just our simple honesty blows the religious performance-based illusions out of the water.  I think many of our problems with these things occur because we still think that the empty life of humanity has a degree of this miraculous life.  And this is what Peter describes in chapter 2.
 
We have a difficult time with this because of a few comments like, "his purification from his former sins" (1:9) and "even denying the Master who bought them".  But this fits in perfectly with the nature of Peter's argument.  The major clue is found in the phrases, "false teachers" and "false prophets".  What would a "false teacher" be doing?  Teaching falsely.  This means that he (or she) is opening his mouth and making claims.  What claims?  About his "purification from his former sins", and about the "Master" who "bought him".  If Peter wrote like we did I guarantee you he would be putting quotes around certain phrases, but that's not how they wrote things at that time.  Heck, reading and writing was not very common among the common man.  But consider how Peter's words would have come across to those he wrote to.  They would have heard him describing these false teachers to a "T".  If we would take Peter's words in the manner he wrote them we would find ourselves a little less gullible toward those who make a big religious verbal show about being "saved".
 
Peter wasn't trying to cause suspicion to grow among those born of God so that everybody would be checking everybody's doctrine out.  No.  Peter based everything he wrote upon a substantial reality: the life of God.  The bottom line is that God's work is not in vain, for it produces HIS desire.  His work may be overlooked and misjudged by the natural mind, but it is real nonetheless, and those born of the Spirit know it on the inside.  Those who don't have the life of God but are in the "ministry" only have the power of their own words.  These words are carefully designed to make it appear that life is found in the words they speak, yet the "lack" of life can only have one outcome: an entrapment of their own making.
 
There are another couple statements found in verses 20 & 21 by which we often assume these "false teachers" were believers.  "For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them."
 
But except for these few statements, the men Peter described were totally lacking the life of God.  Once again, consider Peter's statements in view of the "professions" claimed by the false teachers.  What needs to be considered is whether Peter was claiming they had actually "escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" or if these were some of the trademarks claims of the false teachers themselves that Peter was exposing in their true light.  Isn't this the same kind of religious BS we hear preached all the time in the present day?  Peter's point was for the believers to not be carried away by the WORDS of these men, but to simply consider the life factor so that they could see things for what they really were.
 
Love,
Jim

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Adam
Extreme Digger
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Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 6:10pm | IP Logged  

hmmmmm,so youe saying that Peter in a subtle way was trying to draw a contrast between false teachers and the riteous by faith?That he went as far as to use lots of "true believer" indicating statements about them in order to sound sceptical or sarcastic in his description to those were being hurt by them?Why give them this kind of descriptive credit /Is it because of the credentials in the world they held?And then why put it so subtle almost  passive agresssive?
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Sherri
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Joined: Dec-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 340
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 11:55am | IP Logged  

I do not really see any "subtlety" in what he shared with them at all.  I think he was quite clear and straight on, short of giving names and addresses.   : ) 

I think they knew exactly who some of these people were, and they also realized Peter was warning them that there would be more.

Notice how endearing Peter speaks to and of GOD's people in chapter 1, and then how the tone totally changes when he describes those who he is warning against in chapter 2, and then back to being very endearing in chapter 3 and specific again when he describes the mockers,  (not that the original letter was chopped up into those divisions, but ... for 'convenience' sake at this time ... ) 

Also notice that he specifically describes these whom he is warning against and compares them to those who follow Balaam who LOVED the wages of UNrighteousness! 

"... he went as far as to use lots of "true believer" indicating statements about them ..."

What do you mean? 

'destructive heresies', denying even the Master Who 'supposedly' bought them; 'bringing swift destruction upon themselves'; ... many follow their sensuality; they malign the way of the Truth; in their greed they exploit GOD's people with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep ... those who indulge the flesh in corrupt desires and despise authority; daring, selfwilled, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties; like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge; they count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime; stains and blemishes they are as they carouse with GOD's people; eyes FULL  of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children forsaking the 'right' way they have gone astray, followed the way of Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness; springs without water, mists driven by a storm for whom the black darkness has been reserved ... etc ...

None of that sounds like "true believer indicating statements" to me to describe these blasted wolves in sheeps clothing.  Can you explain a bit more what you mean, so that I do not misunderstand you?   Pleeeeze?   : )

There was so much going on in their culture at the time that was bleeding into their gatherings that we just have not a clue about.  We could go back and read about their history and culture and the Gentile pagan practices to better understand what the disciples and the early Church at that time had to come up against. 

These pagan masters were masterfully learning how to say what, and what claims to make to the early Christians, and at the same time were just as masterfully drawing them into their webs of deceit and decay and it was all bleeding into the people of GOD who were 'caught' in that deceit.  Why?  Well, they may not have been aware that they themselves were the pawns of the evil one to shut up the Church if he can not shut it down. 

Down through the ages and generations and cultures and religious evolutionary processes, we today have some of that same 'superstitious' kind of functionality in our gatherings and our moment by moment thought processing.  It gets handed down and we get ingrained and snookered and bored and sleepy and do a kind of sleep-walk for a while ... maybe a lonng while ... maybe a short while ... maybe an entire lifetime ...

Those of us who find ourselves and each other in this 'miraculous awakening' can only praise GOD, for we did not bring it about ourselves.  We know this.

We can only speak of Christ at HIS compelling and know that GOD HIMself will bring the Life and the Awakening.  In the midst and in the mean while, we "... wait for the New heavens and the New Earth in which righteousness dwells. "   And we are now diligent to be found by Him and to find ourselves in HIM in peace, spotless and blameless, for that is exactly what He has made us in Him! We have no more desire or need to be found in the webs of religious deception anymore.  We now know  better what these webs are,  and that we will not be found (or seen) by them to be in peace, spotless and blameless, because with them there is no such thing.  ( I dunno if that made a lick of sense, but I know what I meant.)  ha!

Peter continues ... BE ON GUARD!  Do not be carried away again by the error of unprincipled men (the false teachers and false prophets) as you will fall from your own steadfastness.  In other words, giving in to them at all can bring you right back into their sticky web of lies and deceit!  Who wants it anymore?!  No thank you! They can have their steeencky, sticky ol'  webs!!

He admonishes to simply GROW in the grace and knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ.   : )    Don't worry about any other religious outward appearance or performance.  We can learn about our new selves by learning about Christ and what He has done with us, to us, for us, in us, between us, together, etc. 

Well, anyway ... that is what you stirred up in me ... for now.    : )

If Peter was anything, it was not passive aggressive!    : )   I thought he was quite descriptive and passionate!    A lot like you ... you just missed it is all.    

Hugs, Sherri

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the shovel
Shackmeister
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Joined: Oct-01-01
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Posted: Jan-28-02 at 5:57pm | IP Logged  

Wow, Sherri, I think you answered every bit as well as I would have!!  [:)]

Love, Me  :)

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Adam
Extreme Digger
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Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 11:54pm | IP Logged  

just having many personal struggles hope to be back in the future.
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Adam
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-29-02 at 12:06am | IP Logged  

sHERRI ,AMAZING HOW YOU CAN BE SO SENSITIVE YET SO CRITICAL.iTS A COMPLIMENT.bECAUSE I THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO NOT  LET too much slide by in the way of Christian verbage that gives an impression of legalistic thought when left withoout a more critical description!t.Thank God for you and Jim what a tag team....
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the shovel
Shackmeister
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Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
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Posted: Jan-29-02 at 5:40pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Adam on 1/29/02
sHERRI ,AMAZING HOW YOU CAN BE SO SENSITIVE YET SO CRITICAL.iTS A COMPLIMENT.bECAUSE I THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO NOT  LET too much slide by in the way of Christian verbage that gives an impression of legalistic thought when left withoout a more critical description!t.Thank God for you and Jim what a tag team....

Yes, Adam, I agree with you.  I think Sherri makes an excellent partner with me in this.  And I see your compliment to her as being a very real and delightful statement!!  It's so easy to not want to "rock the boat" and thereby leave things unsaid because of that fear.  [;)]

Jim

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Adam
Extreme Digger
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Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-29-02 at 11:08pm | IP Logged  

Hi Jim...Sherry,Sherry you are essential to our FELLOWSHIP!Critical only meant that you have a very SPECIFIC adressing style ,if you will.IT keeps us from misunderstanding oneanother and from others seeing and being led astray.Critical in a good way!Like an uncanny ability to nail or expose the hurts we have do to our faith we innocently picked up in our local gruops of fellowship or churches[for some] or on the radio or wherever we learned to walk in VERY human wisdom!!!I think we all cry inside to be released from this aganizing poo  poo and it lerks in our verbage..thats were you and Jim come in !I am so  much free'r since 2 mos ago when i first found this website...ive been knocking at all sorts of doors but i really feel at home here.Please dont for 1 minute misread me!It is the very opposite i was pointing out...your "CRITICAL"EYE IS CRUCIAL TO OUR POSTS THANK gOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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