Peter writes his second epistle to the believers, saying, “Beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of Yahweh the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Yahweh, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Yasha Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen,” 2 Peter 3:1-18.
Was Peter writing about the days we are living in? Will heaven and earth truly be burned up like a piece of firewood? When heaven burns up where will the saints, angels, Yahweh, and our Savior stay until the new earth and heaven are formed? What is the answer to this dilemma?
Common sense tells us that the heaven and earth that were present in the days this letter was written were the same heaven and earth that supports us today; therefore, this scripture is either a false prophecy or it must be unfulfilled and in the future. Right? In that case, are we (all creation) about to become homeless?
Wait! Maybe there is a problem with terminology and translation. Word meanings have changed a bit in the past four hundred years. Does this supply us with a third option? It might.
Let us look at two scriptures as an example of confusion in translation. Our first scripture to look at is written by Paul in First Corinthians 11:2: “…keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” The next one is also written by Paul in Colossians 2:20: “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances…?” A contradiction? Only in the translation. In First Corinthians, ordinances is #3862 in Strong’s concordance and means precepts. The second ordinances in Colossians is #1379, dogmatizo. This is where we get the word dogma and dogmatic. Here Paul is not dealing with Sabbath, communion, baptism, or Israel’s annual feast days. These people were Gentiles (heathens); they had never been keepers of the Law that Yahweh gave to Moses. Paul was dealing with “worldly” religious customs, which were full of mythology. He was not teaching them against the divinely instituted ordinances of Yahweh. If he was, he was teaching the church at Corinth one thing and the Colossians the opposite.
Back to Peter’s prophecy, which seems to refer to the end of days, saying, “In the last days.” Are we living in the last days? Some people think so. But are they correct in their interpretation of this scripture? Please reread the whole letter and imagine you are mingling in this crowd of Peter’s listeners almost two millenniums ago. Be honest—if you had been one of his congregations, would you have believed Peter was speaking of an event that was two thousand years in the future? Or would you have believed he was warning you of a near event that would personally affect you?
Notice Peter’s remarks about the flood in Noah’s day in verses 6-10. “World” in Strong’s concordance, is number #2889, kosmos, and refers to society, system, or orderly arrangement. We know that the world that perished in Noah’s day was not the terra firma we walk upon, but the orderly arrangement that people had devised in their corruption.
We frequently talk about the literal earth being destroyed, but seldom mention the annihilation of heaven—Yahweh’s present dwelling place. Peter uses the word elements, or perhaps the translators chose this word, which comes from number #4747— something orderly in arrangement. As I think of elements, I think of ore, mercury, hydrogen, the very air we breathe, etc., but Peter did not use a word here that refers to those things. We can find this word used again in Galatians 4:3, “…in bondage under the elements of the world.” The NIV translates this word as “basic principles.”
We find #4747 again in Colossians 2:8:“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” World, in this scripture, comes from #2289 and means society, orderly arrangement.
The word translated melt in the KJV and destroy in the NIV is #3089 and rendered loosed. We find it in Matthew 16:19. Melt would not be appropriate here, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” So we find that the KJV translated it as “loosed.”
Look at loosed in Revelation 2:7, where satan is loosed out of his prison, and in Acts 7:33, where Yahweh told Moses to “put off” his shoes. What we read about here in Peter, is the power that the religious leaders exercised over the people in that day was about to be loosened.
According to our Lord, heaven and earth was about to pass away, but Peter speaks of generations afar off receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). It is evident that he did not believe that the terra firma was about to be destroyed. The Lord himself spoke of a farther time span in Matthew 24:21. If he was talking about the destruction of the earth, or the end of the terra firma, the statement “nor ever shall be” makes no sense.
Mary, the mother of our Lord, believed she would have honor from future generations (Luke 1:48), said, “For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” Surely she was qualified to have the truth revealed to her. Yet the Lord said, “there be some standing here, which shall not taste death till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom,” Matthew 16:28. Also in Matthew 23:36, “…All these things shall come upon this generation.” And in Matthew 24:34-35, “…This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Look now at Acts 2:15-16: “For these are not drunken as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day, but this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it will come to pass in the last days saith Yahweh, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh (not just the Israelites), your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
Analyze the above scriptures. Did Peter say that the day in which he lived was the last days? Did he think the globe was about to dissolve? Was Joel’s prophecy fulfilled? Read First John 2:18: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” Also read Hebrews 1:1-2: “God (Yahweh), who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (ages).”
Could we not be dealing with the closing days of the Mosaic order of priest with their sacrifices that Paul said was added because of transgressions until the seed should come to whom the promise was made? The single seed he referred to was Christ. Read Galatians chapter three. Had not the promise of the coming seed been fulfilled?
We are appalled as we look back over the horror of that destruction, yet we fathom only a shadow of the reality of what it was really like to those that died struggling against hopeless defeat.
Christ said his kingdom would come before that generation in which he lived passed away. Paul said his kingdom was righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17).
Both Peter and Daniel said it would be an everlasting kingdom “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Yasha Christ.” 2 Pet 1:11. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure,” Daniel 2:44-45. There is no confusion here; the Little Stone (Christ) was cut out of the mountain, and he is in the earth today. He will fulfill the prophecy of Daniel.
Now listen to Paul’s comment in Ephesians 1:8-11, “Wherein he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will.”
Paul also says that Christ shall reign until he overcomes all enemies, the last enemy that is to be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:25-27).
What is Yahweh’s kingdom? “For the kingdom of Yahweh is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” Romans 14:17.
Where is Yahweh’s kingdom? “Behold the Kingdom of Yahweh is within you,” Luke 17:21.
Will I see Yahweh’s kingdom with my natural eyes? Our Lord said the kingdom comes not with observation. We will not see it with natural eyes because “…The Kingdom of Yahweh comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of Yahweh is within you,” Luke 17:20-21.