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Fire from the Heavens

The Fire from the Heavens

Tested By Fire Conference – Day 1 Session 5

 

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Tim walks thoroughly through a key passage in 2 Peter 3 during this conference session.

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The content of this teaching’s notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting,

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Fire from the Heavens

THE SCOFFING SPIRIT & THE DAY OF THE LORD

THE SCOFFING SPIRIT & THE DAY OF THE LORD

A. Scoffers and the Day of the Lord

1Beloved ones, this is already the second letter* I have written to you, in both of which I am trying to awaken your pure manner of thinking by way of reminder, 2in order that you may remember the utterances spoken in advance by the holy prophets and the command of the Lord and Savior [issued] through your holy apostles, 3first of all knowing this: In the latter days blatant scoffers will come, conducting themselves according to their own covetous desires 4and saying, “Where is His promised coming? For ever since our fathers fell asleep, all things continue on in the same way [as they have] from the beginning of creation.”(Author2 Pt 3:1-4)

*Note: Words in italics indicate focal prominence (emphasis and stress) in the Greek text (based on the work of Stephen H. Levinsohn and Steven Runge)

B. False Prophets/Teachers and the Scoffing Spirit

14And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” 15 Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” 16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. 20The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. (NIVJr 23:14-22)

1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (ESV2 Pt 2:1-3)

THE SEVERITY OF GOD

THE SEVERITY OF GOD

A. In order for us to rightly relate to God, we must have clear understanding of both His severity and His kindness. God’s mercy, longsuffering, restraint, and kindness only make sense in view of His zeal for justice and His coming wrath.

B. The Flood: Water Released from the Storehouses

4and saying, “Where is His promised coming? For ever since our fathers fell asleep, all things continue on in the same way [as they have] from the beginning of creation.” 5You see, the thing that keeps escaping their notice, because they want it to, is this: The heavens and the earth existed long ago, held together in proper place by the word of God out of water and through (spatially; or “by means of”) water, 6[and] by means of these things the world of that time experienced destruction when it was deluged with water. (Author2 Pt 3:4-6)

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (ESVGenesis 1:6–10)

8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? (NIVJob 38:8–11)

6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 7He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses (Heb ʾô·ṣārôṯ’). (ESV Ps 33:6–7)

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. (ESVGen 7:11-12)

1But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, (ESVGen 8:1-3)

1Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. 3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; 4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. 5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. (cf Ge 7:17-19) 7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. (ESVPsalm 104:1–9)

• 17 The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. (ESVGen 7:17-19)

C. The Present Heavens and Earth: Stored up with Fire

7However, by the same word the present heavens, along with the earth, are stored up with fire (instrumental dative [content]; most translations: “for fire”), being held back until the Day when ungodly men will be judged and destroyed. (Author2 Pt 3:7)

22 “Have you entered the storehouses (Heb ʾô·ṣārôṯ’) of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses (Heb ʾô·ṣārôṯ’; cf Jer 50:25 – “armory”) of the hail, 23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? 24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? (ESVJob 38:22–24)

17 Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth! 18 He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. 19 The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. 20 The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. 21 On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. (ESVIs24:17-21)

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.(ESVGen 19:23-24)

• 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly (NIV2 Pt 2:5-6)

• 26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. (NIVLk 17:26-2)

9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. 10 And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword. (ESVJsh 10:9–11)

4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. 5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. 6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. 7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. (NIVPs11:4-7)

7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. (ESVRe8:7-10)

1And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. 2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. (ESVRev 9:1-4)

8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. (ESVRe 16:8)

21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD. (ESVEzk 38:21–23)

D. This fire of the last days is a precursor to the Lake of Fire.

THE KINDNESS OF GOD

THE KINDNESS OF GOD

  1. God’s Mercy and Restraint

8Beloved ones, this one thing must not escape your notice: With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day. 9The Lord is not delayed concerning His promise in the way some think of delay. Rather, He is acting with longsuffering toward you, because He does not want anyone one to be lost, but [wants] all people to come to repentance. (Author2 Pt 3:8-9)

1Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth but are obeying unrighteousness; affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 There is no favoritism with God. (HCSBRom2:1-11)

15Furthermore, keep thinking of the longsuffering of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him, 16the way [he does] in all his letters when speaking in them about these things. (Author2Pt 3:15-16)

THE RESPONSE

THE RESPONSE

A. What kind of people ought we to be?

10Now the Day of the Lord will arrive like a thief (for those note anticipating it, cf 1 Th 5:4), [the day] in which the skies (or heavens) will pass away (i.e. not out of existence altogether, but in its present form as corrupted by decay and filled with evil [cf Ge 6:13, 9:11; Ps 72:5, 17, 89:36-37, 102:25-28, 148:6; Is 34:4-5, 65:17-25, 66:22; Jr 31:35-36, 33:20-21; 1 Co 7:31; Heb 1:10-12; Jm 1:10; 1 Pt 1:24; 4:7; 2 Pt 2:6, 3:13;1 Jn 2:17; Rev 12:7-10, 21:1-4]; or “pass by” [ cf cf Ps 57:1, Is 26:20]) with a crackling sound, and the elements (Gk stoicheia—1. Elements (air, fire, wind, water); 2. elementary/foundational principles [knowledge]; 3. celestial bodies; 4. elemental spirits (angelic powers that carry out some sort of assigned function in relation to the elements/creation, cf Jb 1, 38:7; Ps 103:20-22, 104:4; Is 14:12-13, 24:21, 34:4-5; Mk 13:25; Mt 24:29; Eph 2:2; Heb 1:7; Re 6:12-14, 7:1, 9:1, 12:7-12, 14:18, 16:5,19:17) burning with great heat, will be loosed (by the one presently holding it back, keeping things “tied up” in their place), and the earth and the works [done] on it will be discovered. 11Since all these things are certain to be loosed in this way, what sort of people must [we] be, in holy conduct and godly acts, 12as we wait expectantly for (or anticipate) and urgently desire the coming of the day of God—[the day] because of which the skies, blazing with fire, will be loosed, and the elements, burning with great heat, will certainly melt?! 13But according to His promise we are waiting expectantly for “new heavens and a new earth,” (Is 65:17; 66:22) in which righteousness dwells.

14Therefore, beloved ones, since you are waiting expectantly for these things, endeavor diligently to be discovered spotless and blameless before Him, and at peace (like Noah and Lot). 15Furthermore, keep thinking of the longsuffering of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him, 16the way [he does] in all his letters when speaking in them about these things. In his letters are certain matters that are hard to understand, things that ignorant and unstable men twist—as [they do] the rest of the Scriptures, too—to the outcome of their own destruction. 17You, therefore, beloved ones, since you know this in advance, guard yourselves constantly, lest you be led astray by the deceitful error of unruly men and fall from your own firm position. 18Rather, keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and into the day of the age! Amen.

7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, 8 (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) 9—if so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials (cf Gen 19; Ps 91), and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment at the day of judgment, (NET2 Peter 2:7–9)

B. Ps 28, Ps 32, Ps 91

1Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found (during the time of mercy and longsuffering); surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (NIVPs 32:1-7)

 

Tim Miller Tim Miller (124 Posts)

Tim is founder of the Daniel Training Network. His passion is to see followers of Christ embrace a life of the cross. He, his wife Emily, and their four children itinerate regularly as part of their ministry, and are presently living in New Mexico.


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