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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Peter 3:8

 

 

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Be not ignorant - Though they are wilfully ignorant, neglect not ye the means of instruction.

One day is with the Lord as a thousand years - That is: All time is as nothing before him, because in the presence as in the nature of God all is eternity; therefore nothing is long, nothing short, before him; no lapse of ages impairs his purposes, nor need he wait to find convenience to execute those purposes. And when the longest period of time has passed by, it is but as a moment or indivisible point in comparison of eternity. This thought is well expressed by Plutarch, Consol. ad Apoll.: "If we compare the time of life with eternity, we shall find no difference between long and short. Τα γαρ χιλια, και τα μυρια ετη, στιγμη τις εστιν αοριστος, μαλλον δε μοριον τι βραχυτατον στιγμης· for a thousand or ten thousand years are but a certain indefinite point, or rather the smallest part of a point." The words of the apostle seem to be a quotation from Psalm 90:4.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-peter-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years - This 2 Peter 3:8-9 is the second consideration by which the apostle meets the objection of scoffers against the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour. The objection was, that much time, and perhaps the time which had been supposed to be set for his coming, had passed away, and still all things remained as they were. The reply of the apostle is, that no argument could be drawn from this, for that which may seem to be a long time to us is a brief period with God. In the infinity of his own duration there is abundant time to accomplish his designs, and it can make no difference with him whether they are accomplished in one day or extended to one thousand years. Man has but a short time to live, and if he does not accomplish his purposes in a very brief period, he never will. But it is not so with God. He always lives; and we cannot therefore infer, because the execution of His purposes seems to be delayed, that they are abandoned. With Him who always lives it will be as easy to accomplish them at a far distant period as now. If it is His pleasure to accomplish them in a single day, He can do it; if He chooses that the execution shall be deferred to one thousand years, or that one thousand years shall be consumed in executing them, He has power to carry them onward through what seems, to us, to be so vast a duration. The wicked, therefore, cannot infer that they will escape because their punishment is delayed; nor should the righteous fear that the divine promises will fail because ages pass away before they are accomplished. The expression here used, that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, etc.,” is common in the Rabbinical writings. See Wetstein in loc. A similar thought occurs in Psalm 90:4; “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-peter-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This verse is based upon Psalms 90:4, the thought being a refutation of the mockers who took the Lord's delay as proof that he would not act. "Faith orients man to eternity, whereas scoffers remain children of time."[28] Wheaton pointed out that Peter here opposed the mockers with two arguments: (1) "Time is of no consequence to God," and (2) "Through his love for men, God is keeping open the door of repentance for men as long as possible."[29] The first of these arguments is in this verse, and the second is in the next.

Both Robinson and Green considered it very significant that Peter's reference here to Psalms 90:4 omitted all reference to millennialism, or chiliastic claims, the omission being a strong indication that this epistle was not written at a late date. At the very time the advocates of a late date for 2Peter propose to date this epistle, millennialism was running absolutely wild; and Green asks:

If this epistle had been written in the second century when this doctrine was so widespread that it almost became a touchstone of orthodox Christianity, is it likely that the author (pseudonymous) could have refrained from making any allusion to it whatever when quoting the very verse (Psalms 90:4) which gave it birth?[30]

The implications of the truth in view here are a profound denial of a late date for 2Peter; and Green's perception of this prompted Robinson to quote this passage in full,[31] including it in the mass of evidence that led him to change his mind and date it in the 60's.

[28] Barnett, as quoted by Michael Green, op. cit., p. 134.

[29] David H. Wheaton, op. cit., p. 1257.

[30] Michael Green, op. cit., p. 135.

[31] John A. T. Robinson, op. cit., p. 181.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-peter-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,.... Here the apostle addresses the saints he writes unto, and for whom he had a tender affection and regard, and for whose welfare he was concerned, lest they should be stumbled at the length of time since the promise of the coming of Christ was given, and which these scoffers object; and therefore he would have them know, observe, and consider this one thing, which might be of great use to them to make their minds easy, and keep up their faith and expectation of the coming of Christ:

that one day is, with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; referring either to Psalm 90:4; or to a common saying among the Jews, founded on the same passage, הק בה אלף שנים יומו של, "the day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years"F26Bereshit Rabba, sect. 8. fol. 7. 3. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 160. 2. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 14. fol. 216. 1. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 20. 1. Zohar in Exod. fol. 60. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 157. 1. & Nishmet Chayim Orat. 1. c. 5. fol. 12. 1. ; suggesting, that though between thirty and forty years had elapsed since the promise was given out that Christ would come again, and should even a thousand, or two thousand years more, run off, before the coming of Christ, yet this should be no objection to the accomplishment of the promise; for though such a number of years is very considerable among men, ye not "with God", as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, with whom a thousand years, and even eternity itself, is but as a day, Isaiah 43:13. Unless this phrase should be thought to refer, as it is by some, to the day of judgment, and be expressive of the duration of that: it is certain that the Jews interpreted days of millenniums, and reckoned millenniums by days, and used this phrase in confirmation of it. Thus they sayF1Zohar in Gen. fol. 13. 4. ,

"in the time to come, which is in the last days, on the sixth day, which is the sixth millennium, when the Messiah comes, for the day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years.'

And a little after,

""the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man". This is in the time of the Messiah which is in the sixth day.'

And elsewhereF2Ib. fol. 16. 1. ,

"the sixth degree is called the sixth day, the day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years. And in that day the King Messiah shall come, and it shall be called the feast of gathering, for the holy blessed God will gather in it the captivity of his people.'

So they call the sabbath, or seventh day, the seventh millennium, and interpretF3Bartenora in Misn. Tamid, c. 7. sect. 4. .

""the song for the sabbath day", Psalm 92:1 title, for the seventh millennium, for one day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years.'

To which agrees the tradition of Elias, which runs thusF4T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 97. 1. & Avoda Zara, fol. 9. 1. ;

"it is the tradition of the house of Elias, that the world shall be six thousand years, two thousand years void (of the law), two thousand years the law, and two thousand years the days of the Messiah;'

for they suppose that the six days of the creation were expressive of the six thousand years in which the world will stand; and that the seventh day prefigures the last millennium, in which will be the day of judgment, and the world to come; for

"the six days of the creation (they sayF5Ceseph Misna in Maimon. Hilchot Teshuva, c. 9. sect. 2. ) is a sign or intimation of these things: on the sixth day man was created; and on the seventh his work was finished; so the kings of the nations of the world (continue) five millenniums, answering to the five days, in which were created the fowls, and the creeping things of the waters, and other things; and the enjoyment of their kingdom is a little in the sixth, answerable to the creation of the beasts, and living creatures created at this time in the beginning of it; and the kingdom of the house of David is in the sixth millennium, answerable to the creation of man, who knew his Creator, and ruled over them all; and in the end of that millennium will be the day of judgment, answerable to man, who was judged in the end of it; and the seventh is the sabbath, and it is the beginning of the world to come.'


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-peter-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

7 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.

(7) The taking away of an objection: in that he seems to desire this judgment for a long time, in respect of us it is true, but not before God, which whom there is no time either long or short.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-peter-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

be not ignorant — as those scoffers are (2 Peter 3:5). Besides the refutation of them (2 Peter 3:5-7) drawn from the history of the deluge, here he adds another (addressed more to believers than to the mockers): God‘s delay in fulfilling His promise is not, like men‘s delays, owing to inability or fickleness in keeping His word, but through “long-suffering.”

this one thing — as the consideration of chief importance (Luke 10:42).

one day … thousand years — (Psalm 90:4): Moses there says, Thy eternity, knowing no distinction between a thousand years and a day, is the refuge of us creatures of a day. Peter views God‘s eternity in relation to the last day: that day seems to us, short-lived beings, long in coming, but with the Lord the interval is irrespective of the idea of long or short. His eternity exceeds all measures of time: to His divine knowledge all future things are present: His power requires not long delays for the performance of His work: His long-suffering excludes all impatient expectation and eager haste, such as we men feel. He is equally blessed in one day and in a thousand years. He can do the work of a thousand years in one day: so in 2 Peter 3:9 it is said, “He is not slack,” that is, “slow”: He has always the power to fulfil His “promise.”

thousand years as one day — No delay which occurs is long to God: as to a man of countless riches, a thousand guineas are as a single penny. God‘s oeonologe (eternal-ages measurer) differs wholly from man‘s horologe (hour-glass). His gnomon (dial-pointer) shows all the hours at once in the greatest activity and in perfect repose. To Him the hours pass away, neither more slowly, nor more quickly, than befits His economy. There is nothing to make Him need either to hasten or delay the end. The words, “with the Lord” (Psalm 90:4, “In Thy sight”), silence all man‘s objections on the ground of his incapability of understanding this [Bengel].


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-peter-3.html. 1871-8.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The apostle comes in these words to instruct and establish Christians in the truth of the coming of the Lord, where we may clearly discern the tenderness and affection wherewith he speaks to them, calling them beloved; he had a compassionate concern and a love of good-will for the ungodly wretches who refused to believe divine revelation, but he has a peculiar respect for the true believers, and the remaining ignorance and weakness that the apprehends to be in them make him jealous, and put him on giving them a caution. Here we may observe,

I. The truth which the apostle asserts - that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day. Though, in the account of men, there is a great deal of difference between a day and a year, and a vast deal more between one day and a thousand years, yet in the account of God, who inhabits eternity, in which there is no succession, there is no difference; for all things past, present, and future, are ever before him, and the delay of a thousand years cannot be so much to him as the deferring of any thing for a day or an hour is to us.

II. The importance of this truth: This is the one thing the apostle would not have us ignorant of; a holy awe and reverential fear of God are necessary in order to our worshiping and glorifying him, and a belief of the inconceivable distance between him and us is very proper to beget and maintain that religious fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. This is a truth that belongs to our peace, and therefore he endeavours that it may not be hidden from our eyes; as it is in the original, Let not this one thing be hidden from you. If men have no knowledge or belief of the eternal God, they will be very apt to think him such a one as themselves. Yet how hard is it to conceive of eternity! It is therefore not very easy to attain such a knowledge of God as is absolutely necessary


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Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/2-peter-3.html. 1706.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Forget not this one thing (εν τουτο μη λαντανετω υμαςhen touto mē lanthanetō humas). Rather, “let not this one thing escape you.” For λαντανετωlanthanetō (present active imperative of λαντανωlanthanō) see 2 Peter 3:5. The “one thing” (ενhen) is explained by the οτιhoti (that) clause following. Peter applies the language of Psalm 90:4 about the eternity of God and shortness of human life to “the impatience of human expectations” (Bigg) about the second coming of Christ. “The day of judgment is at hand (1 Peter 4:7). It may come tomorrow; but what is tomorrow? What does God mean by a day? It may be a thousand years” (Bigg). Precisely the same argument applies to those who argue for a literal interpretation of the thousand years in Revelation 20:4-6. It may be a day or a day may be a thousand years. God‘s clock (παρα κυριωιpara kuriōi beside the Lord) does not run by our timepieces. The scoffers scoff ignorantly.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/2-peter-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But be not ye ignorant - Whatever they are. Of this one thing - Which casts much light on the point in hand. That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day - Moses had said, Psalm 90:4 , "A thousand years in thy sight are as one day;" which St. Peter applies with regard to the last day, so as to denote both his eternity, whereby he exceeds all measure of time in his essence and in his operation; his knowledge, to which all things past or to come are present every moment; his power, which needs no long delay, in order to bring its work to perfection; and his longsuffering, which excludes all impatience of expectation, and desire of making haste. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years - That is, in one day, in one moment he can do the work of a thousand years. Therefore he "is not slow:" he is always equally ready to fulfil his promise. And a thousand years are as one day - That is, no delay is long to God. A thousand years are as one day to the eternal God. Therefore "he is longsuffering:" he gives us space for repentance, without any inconvenience to himself. In a word, with God time passes neither slower nor swifter than is suitable to him and his economy; nor can there be any reason why it should be necessary for him either to delay or hasten the end of all things. How can we comprehend this? If we could comprehend it, St. Peter needed not to have added, with the Lord.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-peter-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

One day is with the Lord, &c., an expression suggested, perhaps, to the apostle's mind by Psalms 90:4.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/2-peter-3.html. 1878.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8.] But let this one thing not escape you, beloved ( ἓν τοῦτο, as especially important: λανθανέτω ὑμᾶς, in allusion to 2 Peter 3:5), that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (the saying is the completion of that in Psalms 90 (reff.), setting forth also in a wonderful way, that one day may be in God’s sight as productive of events as a millennium: in other words, when both clauses are considered, placing Him far above all human limits of time. “Summa: Dei æonologium (sic appellare liceat) differt ab horologio mortalium. Illius gnomon omnes horas simul indicat in summa actione et in summa quiete. Ei nec tardius nec celerius labuntur tempora, quam Ipsi et œconomiæ ejus aptum sit. Nulla causa est cur finem rerum aut protelare aut accelerare necessum habeat. Qui hoc comprehendemus? Si comprehendere possemus, non opus foret a Mose et Petro addi, apud Dominum.” Bengel).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/2-peter-3.html. 1863-1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.But be not ignorant of this one thing. He now turns to speak to the godly; and he reminds them that when the coming of Christ is the subject, they were to raise upwards their eyes, for by so doing, they would not limit, by their unreasonable wishes, the time appointed by the Lord. For waiting seems very long on this account, because we have our eyes fixed on the shortness of the present life, and we also increase weariness by computing days, hours, and minutes. But when the eternity of God's kingdom comes to our minds, many ages vanish away like so many moments.

This then is what the Apostle calls our attention to, so that we may know that the day of resurrection does not depend on the present flow of time, but on the hidden purpose of God, as though he had said, “Men wish to anticipate God for this reason, because they measure time according to the judgment of their own flesh; and they are by nature inclined to impatience, so that celerity is even delay to them: do ye then ascend in your minds to heaven, and thus time will be to you neither long nor short.”


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-peter-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 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.

Ver. 8. One day is with the Lord, &c.] Nullum tempus occurrit regi; how much less to the Ancient of days! In God there is no motion or flux; therefore a thousand years to him are but as one day.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-peter-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Peter 3:8. One day is with the Lord, &c.— "I have taken notice, that the scoffers are voluntarily ignorant of, or inattentive to these things. But as to the distance of time, with which they insult you, be not you ignorant of, or inattentive to this one thing; namely, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.It makes no differencewith God, whether the thing which he has engaged to do is to be performed now, or a thousand years hence: he will as certainly and punctuallyaccomplish it; and time makes no alteration, as to his wisdom, goodness, power, or veracity." This was a proverbial expression among the Jews, (see Psalms 90:4. Sirach 18:9, &c.) and was plainly intended to signify, that no finite duration bears any proportion to the eternity of God. Plutarch has a passage exactly parallel to it, in his discourse "On the Slowness of the divine vengeance." It may be proper just to observe further, that if St. Peter had been speaking here, as some suppose, of the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened within three years, it is not likely that he would have talked of a thousand years. The most natural answer to the scoffers, if they had inquired about that event, would have been, "It is just at hand; the Jewish war is broke out; and by many of the signs and forerunners of it, you may be sure that the desolation thereof draweth near."


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-peter-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle here answers the cavil and objection of the fore-mentioned scoffers, namely, That if Christ intends to come to judgment, why does he so long defer his coming?

To this our apostle replies,

1. By assuring them that this delay ought not to be judged according to our sense and apprehension of things, for God does not measure time as we do, but a thousand years, which seem so long to us, are but a day, yea, but a moment to him who is eternal, and inhabiteth eternity. To the eternity of God no finite duration bears any proportion; to eternity all time is equally short; God does not measure time by our pole, nor cast up years by our arithmetic.

2. He assures them farther, that God's delay of judgment did not proceed from slackness, but from divine patience and goodness. He delays his coming, on purpose to give men time to repent, and by repenting, on purpose to give men time to repent, and by repentance to prevent their own eternal ruin.

Learn hence, 1. That God's delay of judgment is no ground for sinners to conclude that he will not come to judgment, for our Saviour has now here fixed and determined the time of it. We can neither be sure when our Lord will come, nor certain when he will not come.

Learn, 2. That the true reason why God defers judgment is, to give sinners opportunity for repentance, if this be not complied with, he reserves those who are incorrigibly bad to a more remarkable ruin, condemning them that will not be saved, but obstinately destroy themselves.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/2-peter-3.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Peter 3:8 refers to the reason given in ἀφʼ ἧς, 2 Peter 3:4, on which the scoffers based their assertion; it points out that the delay, also, of the Parousia is no proof that it will not take place.

ἓν δὲ τοῦτο] “this one thing,” as a specially important point.

μὴ λανθανέτω ὑμᾶς] “let it not be hid from you;” said with reference to 2 Peter 3:5.

ὅτι μία ἡμέρα κ. τ. λ.] a thought that echoes Psalms 90:4. The words lay stress on the difference between the divine and the human reckoning of time. It does not designate God as being absolutely without limitations of time (cui nihil est praeteritum, nihil futurum, sed omnia praesentia; Aretius), for it is not the nature of God that is here in question, but God’s reckoning of time which He created along with the world, and the words only bring out that it is different from that of man.(95) For this purpose the words of the Psalms were not sufficient: χίλια ἔτη ἐν ὀφθαλ΄οῖς σου ὡς ἡ΄έρα ἐχθές; and therefore on the basis of them the author constructs a verse consisting of two members.

παρὰ κυρίου] “with God,” i.e. in God’s way of looking at things. Since, then, time has a different value in God’s eyes from that which it has in the eyes of men, the tarrying hitherto of the judgment, although it had been predicted as at hand, is no proof that the judgment will not actually come.(96)


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-peter-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 Peter 3:8. ἓν δὲ τοῦτο) but this one thing; namely, that which pertains to this subject. This one thing only pertains to teaching in this epistle; which (epistle) in other respects admonishes, but does not teach.— μὴ λανθανέτω) do not suffer it to escape your notice.— ὑμᾶς, you) Antithetical to them, 2 Peter 3:5. He does not so fully reply to the mockers, as he instructs the faithful.— μία ἡμέρα παρὰ κυρίῳ ὡς χίλια ἔτη, καὶ χίλια ἔτη ὡς ἡμέρα μία, one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, Psalms 90:4, Septuagint, ὅτι χίλια ἔτη ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς σου, κύριε, ὡς ἡμέρα ἐχθὲς ἥτις διῆλθε, καὶ φυλακὴ ἐν νυκτί. for a thousand years, O Lord, are in Thy sight as yesterday, which is gone, and as a watch in the night. The preceding words convey this meaning: Thou art our refuge, Eternal God; and not we ourselves, frail weak men. The reason is added: for a thousand years, etc. Moses describes the eternity of God much more absolutely: Peter describes it in the relation which it bears to the last day, and to men looking for that day; so that His eternity may itself be perceived, by which in essence and in operation, He wonderfully exceeds all measure of time; and that His divine knowledge may also be included in the idea, that knowledge to which all future things are present: and His Power (may be recognised), which does not require long delays for the performance of its work; and His Long-suffering, from which all impatient expectation is absent and all eager haste. With the Lord one day is as a thousand years (Peter adds this to the saying of Moses): that is, He is equally blessed in one day, or in one moment, and in a thousand years and a whole age: He is able to perform the work of a thousand years in one day. Wherefore in the following verse it is added: He is not slow: It is always in His power to fulfil His promise. And a thousand years are as one day (thus Peter, while in this clause he re-echoes the former one, and accommodates both to the subject in hand, appropriately varies the words of Moses): that is, no delay happens which is long to God. As to a man of excessive wealth, a thousand guineas are as a single penny; so to the Eternal God a thousand years are as one day: wherefore in the next verse it is added: but is long-suffering: He gives us space for repentance without any annoyance to Himself. Comp. Sirach 18:10-11. The sum of Peter’s words is, the age-measurer (so to speak) of God differs from the hour-reckoner of mortals. His gnomon(20) shows at once all hours in the greatest activity and in the greatest repose. To Him the times pass away neither more slowly nor more quickly than is befitting to Him and to His economy. There is no reason why He should consider it needful either to delay or to hasten the end. How shall we understand this? If we were able to understand it, there would be no occasion for Moses and Peter to add, with the Lord.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-peter-3.html. 1897.

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

Part I

The Evidence That The Church Of God Is About To Close Its Earthly History

Even in apostolic days the near return of the Lord Jesus was ever kept before the souls of believers as a present hope; yet there are many scriptures that in a hidden way (as we can now realize) intimated a certain series of events, or succession of conditions, which would run their course ere the blessed hope was fulfilled. In the wisdom of God these prophetic forecasts of the Church’s history were couched in terms of such a nature as not to hinder Christians of any period in their continued expectancy of the Lord’s coming, which was designed to be a great sheet-anchor to their souls, keeping them from drifting into worldliness and kindred folly.

But now that nearly twenty centuries (two of God’s great “days”-2 Peter 3:8) have elapsed, we can look back over the long course of the Church’s pilgrimage and see how all her varied states and experiences were foreknown and foretold, and the heart thrills with joyful expectancy as we look ahead. For the next great miraculous event must be the shining forth of the Morning Star, “the coming of the Lord Jesus, and our gathering together unto Him.”

I purpose to trace this out from several different standpoints. In our introduction we have noticed briefly how the Lord Himself intimated what has been mentioned in the parable of the ten virgins. It was a veiled picture of the whole course of Christendom, and plainly divides the Church dispensation into three distinct stages, or epochs: First, the period of eager expectation. Second, the era of lethargic indifference to the blessed hope. Third, the season of awakening which was the almost immediate precursor of the coming of the Bridegroom. We are living in this last solemn time, and it is well to be trimming our lamps and waiting in holy fear for the summons which may come at any moment to enter in with Him to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

The parable of the Ten Virgins was not given, it is true, to teach Church truth, but it presents in a graphic way the responsibility of saints to wait for the return of the Lord.

There are other passages corroborative of this interpretation, and to them let us now turn.

In the two epistles to Timothy we have two distinct conditions predicted as characterizing what the Holy Spirit designates “the latter times” and “the last days.” In 1 Timothy 4:1-5 He speaks of the first of these periods; in 2 Timothy 3:1-9, of the second. A careful reading of both passages ought, I think, to convince any reader that they show the progress of evil.

At any rate, the conditions of the “latter times” were the first to develop, and out of these grew the anarchic state of the “last days.”

I quote the first scripture in full: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared (Gk., cauterized); forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1911 Version).

Now while the various things here credited to demoniacal influence are found in many modern systems, such as Christian Science, Seventh-day Adventism, and others, it is very evident that it was in connection with the Romish apostasy they were first introduced. The “latter times” were the times of Papal domination. Their evil teachings are still to be found on many sides, but the point I want to make is that the latter times have long since been passed, and we are further down the course of time than many have supposed.

Note well how Rome has fulfilled these predictions to the letter. Departing from the faith of God’s word, she has been misled by evil spirits seducing her devotees to believe that the church cannot err, and that her voice is the voice of inspiration. Thus has Satan foisted doctrines of demons on the blinded nations. Rome, the very citadel of untruth, has spoken lies in hypocrisy, her leaders having cauterized consciences which seemed immune to all Scriptural appeals. This the Reformation proved, when God “gave her space to repent…and she repented not” (Revelation 2:21).

But one might say: “All this is mere assumption. You tell us Rome is demon-led. You tell us her hierarchy teach lies in hypocrisy. But this is the very point to be proven. What outward evidence have you that she is the guilty one?”

In reply we turn to verse 3, where God has given us two great marks which none can successfully deny fit Rome, as they fully describe no other large communion. It was Rome who forbade to marry-enjoining an unnatural celibacy upon her vast clergy and her hosts of monks and nuns, thus setting herself up to be wiser than God (who says: “Marriage is honorable in all,” Hebrews 13:4), be-littling His holy ordinance of matrimony, declaring the celibate nun far holier than the married mother, and the unwedded priest in a higher state of grace than the godly husband and father.

And what of the second mark? Who has so assiduously cultivated the dogma that piety is manifested in abstention from certain foods, as Rome? God created all to be received with thanksgiving. Rome would damn the one who ate flesh on Fridays and gave God thanks therefor! Her numberless rules on such subjects declare all too plainly that she it is who is marked out in 1 Timothy 4:1-5. Others have been deluded by the same demons, but it was in the Roman apostasy that the “latter times” came in.

Now let us turn to the second epistle: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, false accusers, incontinent, savage, haters of good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. For of this sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with manifold desires, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all, as theirs also was” (1911 Version).

These are the great outstanding features of the “last days”-closing the Church dispensation, and to be immediately followed by the coming of the Lord. Can any believer in Holy Writ doubt our being now in the very midst of them?

But it may be here objected: “When have men in general been other than as here depicted? Is not this but a repetition, of what Paul has already said in describing the heathen world in his day? (Romans 1:29-32). In what special sense are they any more characteristic now than then?” To these very natural queries I reply: “Such things, indeed, ever described the heathen; but in 2 Tim. 3 the Holy Spirit is describing conditions in the professing Church in the last days! It is not the openly wicked and godless who are being depicted here. It is those who have a form of godliness, while denying its power. This is what makes the passage so intensely solemn and gives it such tremendous weight in the present day. There are twenty-one outstanding features in this depicting of Church conditions in the last days, and that each may have its due weight with my reader I touch briefly on them in order.

1. “Men shall be self-lovers.” It is men self-occupied, as contrasted with the godly of all ages who found their joy and delight in looking away from self to God as seen in Christ. This is the age of the egotist in matters spiritual as well as carnal. They find their God “within” them, we are told, and not without. They make no secret of it. When they profess to love God it is themselves they love.

2. “Money-lovers.” Is it necessary to speak of this? Colossal fortunes heaped together by men who profess to believe the Bible and its testimony! What a spectacle for angels and demons! There was one Simon Magus of old. He has myriads of successors in the professing church to-day, and the command “not to eat” with a covetous man or an extortioner is in most places a dead letter indeed.

3. “Boasters.” Read the so-called Christian papers; attend Christendom’s great conventions of young people, or old. Listen to the great pulpiteers of the day. What is their theme? “Rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing!” Great swelling words are rapturously applauded by people dwelling in a fool’s paradise, even when uttered by men who are tearing the Bible to shreds, and who deny practically every truth that it contains.

4. “Proud.” So proud as to glory in their shame-congratulating themselves on the very things the Word of God so unsparingly condemns. Proud of their fancied superiority; proud of their eloquence; proud of their miscalled culture; proud of their very impiety, which is hailed as the evidence of broad-mindedness and a cultivated intellect! How nauseating it must all be to Him who said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.”

5. “Blasphemers!” Yes, there it is-that big, ugly word that one hesitates to use, but which is chosen by the Holy Spirit Himself to describe the men drawing salaries as ministers of Christ who use their office to impiously deny His name! Blasphemers! Aye, the whole host of the new theologians, miscalled “higher critics,” and all their ilk-all who deny the deity of the Son, His virgin-birth, His holy humanity- blasphemers, every one, and as such to be judged unsparingly in the harvest of wrath so near at hand! And think of the disloyalty to Christ of Christians- real Christians, I mean-who can sit and listen to such men week after week, and are too timid to protest, or too indifferent to obey the word, “From such turn away!”

6. “Disobedient to parents.” It is one of the crowning sins of the age, and indicates the soon breaking-up of the whole social fabric as at pres- ent constituted. Opposition to authority is undoubtedly one of the characteristic features of the times. Children will not brook restraint, and parents have largely lost the sense of their responsibility toward the rising generation. Does this seem unduly pessimistic? Nevertheless, a little thoughtful consideration will, I am sure, convince any reasonable person of its truth. And it may be laid down as an axiom, that children not trained in obedience to parents will not readily be obedient to God. We have been sowing the wind in this respect for years, as nations and as families. The reaping of the whirlwind is certain to follow.

7. “Unthankful.” It is the denial of divine Providence-utterly forgetting the Source of all blessings, both temporal and spiritual. Straws indicate the turn of the wind, and even in “so small a matter,” as some may call it, as the giving-up of the good old-fashioned and eminently scriptural custom of thanksgiving at the table, we may see how prevalent is the sin of unthankfulness among professed Christians. Go into the restaurants or other eating-houses; how often can you tell the believer from the unbeliever?

8. “Unholy.” The godly separation from the world according to the Bible is sneered at as “bigotry” and “Puritanism.” In its place has come a jolly, rollicking worldliness that ill comports with the Christian profession. Piety-that characteristic Christian virtue-how little seen now! It is not necessary to be outwardly vile to be unholy. Giving up the line of separation between the believer and the unbeliever is un-holiness.

9. “Without natural affection.” The foundations of family life are being destroyed. Un-scriptural divorces and all their kindred evils cast their dark shadows over the professing church, as well as over the body politic.

Of the next unholy octave I need not write particularly. To enumerate them is enough to stir the heart and appal the soul when it is remembered how they are tolerated and spreading through the great professing body. 10-“unforgiving;” 11-“false accusers” (let us beware lest we be found almost unwittingly in this Satanic company!); 12 -“incontinent”; 13 -“savage”; 14-“haters of good;” 15-“traitors”; 16 -“heady;” 17-“high-minded.” This last accounts largely for the daring things proudly uttered by learned doctors against the Scriptures and the great fundamentals of the faith, and complacently accepted by unregenerate hearers. Surely, the time has come “when they will not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desire shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3, 1911 Version).

18. “Lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.” Would you not almost think the words were written by some fiery-souled exhorter of the present day? How aptly they characterize in one brief clause the greatest outstanding feature of the religious world. The Church of God has gone into the entertainment business! People must be amused, and as the Church needs the people’s money, the Church must, perforce, supply the demand and meet the craving! How else are godless hypocrites to be held together? How otherwise can the throngs of unconverted youths and maidens be attracted to the “services”? So the picture-show and the entertainment, in the form of musicale (sacred, perhaps!) and minstrel-show, take the place of the gospel address and the solemn worship of God. And thus Christless souls are lulled to sleep and made to feel “religious” while gratifying every carnal desire under the sanction of the sham called the Church!-And the end? What an awakening!

19. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Men must have some form of religious expression, and so the outward thing is sustained after the life is gone out of it. Thus formality prevails where regeneration, conversion to God, the Spirit’s sanctification, and everything really vital has long since been virtually denied. The bulk of so-called church-members do not even profess to have been saved, or to be Spirit-indwelt. All this is foreign to their mode of thought or speech. The gospel, which alone is “the power of God unto salvation,” is seldom preached, and, by the mass, never missed! Could declension and apostasy go much further? Yet there are still lower depths to be sounded!

20. Feminism. No, you won’t find the word-but read verse 6 again, slowly and thoughtfully. Does it not indicate a great feminist movement in these last dark days? “Silly women, laden with manifold desires”-craving what God in His in- finite wisdom has forbidden them: authority, publicity, masculinity, and what not? Thus they leave their own estate and make a new religion to suit themselves. Is it a matter of no import that just such emotional, insubject women were the tools used by Satan for the starting and propagating of so many modern fads? Need one mention Mesdames Blavatsky, Besant and Tingley of Theosophy; the Fox sisters’ relation to modern Spiritism; Mrs. Mary Baker Glover Eddy and her host of female practitioners in the woman’s religion miscalled “Christian Science;” the neurotic Ellen G. White and her visionary system of “Seventh-day Adventism;” Ella Wheeler Wilcox and her associates in the spreading of what they have been pleased to denominate the “New Thought,” which is only the devil’s old lie, “Ye shall be as gods,” in a modern garb; and the women-expounders of the “Silent Unity,” or “Home of Truth” delusions? All these are outside the “orthodox” fold; -but when we look within, what a large place has the modern feminist movement secured in the affections of women who profess to believe the Bible, but who unblushingly denounce Paul as “an old batchelor” with narrow, contracted ideas, little realizing that they are thereby rejecting the testimony of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the signs of the times, and clearly shows towards what the professing body is so rapidly drifting!

21. “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”-and that by their own confession. They are “truth-seekers.” Ask them if it be not so. They confess it without a blush, and consider it humility thus to speak. According to these apostates, the Church which began as “the pillar and ground of the truth,” is, in this twentieth century of its existence, “seeking” the truth, thereby acknowledging they never yet have found it! Truth-seekers! Yet the Lord Jesus said, “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life.” Why then seek further? Because they have drifted away from Him and His Word, so they go on, ever learning, ever seeking, and ever missing the glorious revelation of the TRUTH as it is in Jesus.

Well-this is the end. Declension can go no further than to deny the Lord that bought them, until He Himself shall remove His own to the Father’s house. Then the apostate body remaining will declare, “We have found the truth at last!” and they will worship the Antichrist, believing the devil’s lie and calling it the truth. And how comes such delusion? “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie; that they all might be judged who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12-1911 Version).

Predictions of two directly opposite conditions are made in the word of God in regard to events to be consummated immediately before the Lord’s return to establish His kingdom and close up the Times of the Gentiles. If therefore we see these predictions within a small degree of being already fulfilled prior to the rapture of the Church, we may be certain that the coming of the Saviour to the air is very near at hand.

The predictions referred to were made-one directly by the Lord Himself; the other by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul. To the question of the disciples, “What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the age?” the Lord gave a lengthy answer recorded in Matthew, chaps. 24 and 25; but the prediction I refer to now is that of the 14th verse of chap. 24: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.” Now I recognize, in common with others, a distinction in aspect between “the gospel of the kingdom” and “the gospel of the grace of God,” but I regard it as a mistake to say that the gospel of the kingdom is not, or should not be, preached now. Each are but different aspects of the one gospel; and Paul preached both.

In Acts 20:24, 25 we find the two aspects intimately connected in the ministry of the apostle Paul: “None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.” See also Acts 14:22. When he wrote, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,” it involved the present phase of the gospel of the kingdom; when he added, “And believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead thou shalt be saved,” it was the gospel of the grace of God. Christ Jesus is Lord. He is also Redeemer. Men are called on to own Him in both characters. In the Jewish age, and in the coming tribulation period, the gospel of the kingdom is the emphatic phase. Now, where there is intelligence, it is the grace of God that the gospel preacher will lay special stress upon.

Now it is the individual believer who owns the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Tribulation era, when Matthew 24:14 will be completely carried out, the whole world will be called on to own the sway of Him who is about to appear as King of kings and Lord of lords to reign over His world-kingdom.

But why this effort to show that the gospel of the kingdom is now being preached? Because, my reader, the end comes when it has been carried into all the world, for a witness! And even now it has gone to the uttermost parts of the earth, so that it can confidently be said that with the possible exception of a few wild tribes of Indians in South America, or negroes in Africa, , there is probably no nation to whom the witness has not already been given. The nineteenth was the greatest missionary century since the days of the apostles. In one hundred years, the gospel was practically carried to the whole world after a millennium of lethargy and indifference to the claims of the heathen. This great missionary awakening is like the trumpet-blasts that herald the King’s approach. In this twentieth century the work of carrying the gospel to the pagan world has gone on more extensively than ever. None can say when the last tribe or nation will get the witness message, but when they do, “then shall the end come.” And, mark it well, it is not before the rapture, but after it, that the final call is to be given. It will be Jewish saints, and not Christian missionaries, who will complete the work of world-wide evangelization; therefore the coming of the Lord as predicted in 1 Thess. 4 must be very near!

But now we turn to consider the other prediction to which I referred in the beginning. “That day,” writes the apostle, “shall not come except there come the apostasy first” (literal rendering of 2 Thessalonians 2:3). This is startling surely-the gospel going into all the world, the apostasy sweeping all before it, and both just before the end, or the day of the Lord, shall come! How strange a paradox, and yet how exactly are both scriptures being fulfilled! Never before such wide-spread missionary activity! Never before such far-reaching apostasy! Earnest workers guided by the Holy Spirit are hazarding their lives to carry the good news of Christ’s incarnation, atonement, resurrection and coming again to the heathen world. Equally earnest, but Satan-inspired, men at home are tearing the Bible in pieces and railing at these very truths once for all delivered to the saints, and, alas! their unholy rationalizing is fast finding its way into the fields of missionary endeavor, where education is taking the place of the gospel; and culture, charac- ter-building, and various accomplishments are put in place of the Son of God, the Saviour of sinners!

Theological seminaries, in many instances, are hot-beds of infidelity. Schools and colleges are busy, as Harold Bolce graphically expressed it, in “blasting at the Rock of Ages.” The rising generation in so-called Christian lands bids fair to be a generation of Bible-rejectors. “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and My people love to have it so, and what will ye do in the end thereof?” That end is almost upon us, and “When the Son of Man cometh shall He find the faith on the earth?” It is fast being supplanted by human speculations and “oppositions of science falsely so-called.”

The leaven of man-worship is rapidly leavening the whole lump and preparing the way for Antichrist who shall, if it were possible, deceive the very elect. Thank God, it is not possible; but it behooves every regenerated soul to hold fast to the revealed Word of God and utterly refuse the lying systems of the enemy. To sit in churches and listen to preachers of the apostasy, or to support such in any way, is treason against Christ! “He that biddeth him [the false teacher] God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

It would be a great mercy if every converted person would refuse positively to listen twice to a minister who denies the inspiration of the Bible, or to give a penny to a church or a missionary society that gave the right hand of fellowship to men of this type. To stay the on-rushing apos- tasy is impossible. To protest against it and to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkess” is a positive duty.

Reader, let me press my point again.-The world-wide gospel proclamation and world-wide apostasy at the same time are clear proofs that the end is close upon us! It is too late to trifle. Let us be in earnest for the few remaining hours!

Another line of evidence is presented in the seven prophetic letters of Rev. 2 and 3. For that they are prophetic, and not merely moral-dispensational, and not simply local in their application-is a fact now familiar to many earnest students of the Scriptures. The proof of this is found in their exact correspondence with the seven stages of the history of the Church on earth. This is incontrovertible, however self-styled optimists may object to it-the objection being chiefly based on the fact that Laodicea closes the septenary series, thus precluding all thought of a triumphant Church and a converted world at the end of the dispensation. Yet the Church shall be triumphant; of that there should be no question. For our Lord Jesus has solemnly declared, “Upon this Rock (Christ as Son of the living God) I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” But between the Church of Christ’s building and the vast complex church of man’s devising there is a great difference. The real Church will be triumphantly raptured to glory ere the judgments fall on the great apostate mass of Laodicea.

I do not therefore attempt to prove by argu- ment that the seven letters give us an outline of the Church’s course from apostolic days to the closing up of the present age. This has been so well done by others that it would be on my part a work of supererogation to try to make it any more convincing.1 I only desire in these necessarily brief pages to refresh the memory of my reader by pointing out how aptly those letters fit the history.

Ephesus then, from this view-point, presents the Church in apostolic days-an unworldly, called-out company who labored earnestly and well in making known the riches of grace, and who walked apart from iniquity; unable to bear those who were evil, as indeed these in turn could not endure the company of God’s redeemed, for we read elsewhere, “Of the rest durst no man join himself to them.” In those days of primitive simplicity men were tried by the testimony they brought, and if they spoke not according to the doctrine of Christ were rejected as “liars”-a “short and ugly word” that aptly designates many profane hucksterers of the Word of God to-day.

But the picture has its shadows too, for even during the very lifetime of the apostolic band declension began: the Church left her first love, and a somewhat mysterious form of evil, the “deeds of the Nicolaitanes,” came in, though largely against the desire of the mass, for Ephesus is commended because of hatred to this unholy thing. Leaving their first love was losing the sense of Christ’s presence: occupation with work, with service, took the place of heart-occupation with Himself. No sect of the Nicolaitanes is known, though some have tried to link the name with the reputed followers of an apostate Nicholas, traditionally held to be one of the seven of the 6th of Acts, who were set apart to serve tables. He is supposed to have taught his disciples that the indulgence of licentious practices was not inconsistent with the grace of God. This, however, is very uncertain and largely conjectural. They seem to be right who consider “NicolaitanQs” to be an untranslated Greek word, properly rendered “rulers of the people.” In that case Diotrephes of 3 John would be a typical Nicolaitane, who has had many successors. It would be the divine condemnation of the clerical sytem. Not yet had this system become an accepted doctrine, but the deeds manifested the spirit behind it. Crystallization into an accredited dogma came later (Revelation 2:15).

The second period followed apace, as set forth in the letter to Smyrna. It depicts, as by a few master-strokes, the tragedy of the Pagan persecutions in their efforts to crush Christianity beneath the iron heel of the Roman emperors, from Domitian to Diocletian. Nero’s persecution was local rather than general, but the monster who succeeded him set in motion a world-wide effort to destroy the Church of Christ. Historians count ten general persecutions, which are connected with ten main edicts of the emperors. The last under Diocletian went on for ten years, ceasing only with the death of the incapacitated tyrant. “Ye shall have tribulation ten days” seems to hint at this. But a suffering Church is more likely to be rich in faith than a Church fawned upon by the world; though in deepest poverty the Church in the Smyrna age was “rich,” and prospered, for as Augustine later said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” Those dark days were days of Christian devotion and heroism unparalleled save in similar times of suffering and danger. And yet the picture is not altogether bright, for the clear gospel of grace was largely obscured by the legal teaching of “those who said they were Jews and were not.” Such are a synagogue of Satan. Judaism was a divine institution, Christianity is a divine revelation. But the strange mixture of Judaism with Christianity is of Satan. It is a corruption and a counterfeit; and “the corruption of the best thing is the worst of corruptions.”

Pergamos followed this, and gives us the period of the Church’s relief from persecution and her subsequent union with the world. It is the era of Constantine the Great and his successors, when the Church became the pet of the emperors (save for a brief period under Julian the Apostate), and Church and State were linked in an unholy alliance. Thus the Church sat at ease where Satan had his throne, clung to this for centuries, until the world itself wearied of her, and wrenched her from her place of power. He who is familiar with Church history can scarcely read the Perga- mos letter without the vast pageant of the fourth century passing before the eye of his mind. The death of Diocletian; the temporary triumph of Maxentius; the Gallic legions hastening eastward led by Constantine; the famous vision of the fiery cross; the “in hoc signo vinces” portent; the Christians coming forth into the glare of publicity from the dens, caves and catacombs which had been their hiding places for so long; the bishops summoned to the general’s august presence; his endorsement of the new doctrine and intellectual conversion; the cross-led army driving all before it; the overthrow of Maxentius; Constantine hailed as Emperor of the world; proclaimed head of the church and pontifex maximus (the title of the head of the heathen hierarchy) ; the bishops seated among princes; the Church’s mourning over, her eyes dazzled by the unaccustomed luxury and splendor, basking in the imperial favor! Then the Arian controversy; Christ’s true deity denied, but maintained at the council of Nicea where despite tremendous pressure the Church “held fast His Name, refusing to deny His faith.” Of Antipas personally we know nothing, but we see in his very name (which means “against all”) the trumpet-note of Athanasius who, when a later Arian emperor sought to persuade him to endorse the hated Unitarian heresy by crying, “All the world is against you,” in holy dignity exclaimed, “Then I am against all the world.”

The Balaam doctrine too was openly advocated by many in those days, and since-urging the mingling of clean and unclean, the unequal yoke of the Church and world, a spiritual marriage, which “Pergamos” seems to imply; while Nicolai-tanism, or clerisy, had now become a full-blown doctrine, and the distinction between clergy and laity was at last complete. The Pergamos letter is a synoptic description of the conditions prevailing from the fourth to the seventh centuries.

And Thyatira followed as the natural result. Things were going down-hill with fearful rapidity. Yet the church of the middle ages was rich in works of mercy and abounded in “charity.” Her monasteries and hostelries dotted the lands and kept open house for the sick and distressed. But doctrinally she had deteriorated tremendously, and the Papal system was fully organized, becoming a church within the Church, to which all had to bow. It was the woman Jezebel teaching and leading the servants of God astray. As the heathen princess of old foisted her idolatry on Israel, so this false paganistic thing crowded out the Christianity of Christ and superseded it by a system unspeakably evil and inherently corrupt.

At the Reformation of the sixteenth century she was “given space to repent, but she repented not,” as the decrees of the Council of Trent bear witness. She spurned the light shining from the newly-recovered Scriptures and continued in her idolatrous course. For “her children” there is naught but death, though grace ever has discerned even in Rome a remnant having not known the depths of Satan, whom a gracious Lord owns as His and commands to cling to what they have till He shall come. It is the first intimation that declension has gone so far that His return is now the only hope.

For Sardis, though it speak of Protestantism and its great State churches, is not a true recovery. They had received a deposit of truth at the Reformation, which became crystallized into creeds and confessions but did not quicken the mass. So of the great Protestant bodies it can be said, “Thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead,” for churchmanship has largely been substituted for new birth, and orthodoxy for conversion to God. Yet there are a few with garments undefiled who know the Lord and love His truth, and who are exhorted to watch for His coming again!

Philadelphia speaks of the great revival period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, assuming different forms in different places, but in all characterized by reality, by brotherly love, by clinging to Christ’s Word and honoring His Name who is the Holy and the True. They who take such ground will never be popular with the world or the world’s churches, but they will be content to know that God approves, and that the Lord Himself has opened for them a door of service which none on earth or anywhere else can shut. They wait in patience for the Morning Star-the Bridegroom’s symbolic title.

Laodicea closes the series. It is the solemn arraignment of latitudinarian Christianity with its pride and folly, marked by impudent self-conceit and utter indifference to Christ. It glories in its breadth and culture, its refinements of thought, and its refusal of ancient formulas. It congratulates itself on its wealth and following, while, in His sight who stands knocking outside, it is “poor and wretched and blind and naked.” All the church machinery can go on without His presence, and without any sense of His absence.

And this is the last state of the professing body on earth. When things are in this condition, the Lord Himself will come, and will spew out of His mouth that which is so distasteful and disgusting to Him. “After this,” says John, “I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven.” As he is caught up through that open door he beholds surrounding the throne in glory the true Church seated in triumph, as symbolized in the twenty-four elders.

Laodicea is the closing period of the Church’s history, and who can doubt that we have now reached the very time depicted? It behooves us to act as men who wait for their Lord, knowing that His coming cannot be much longer delayed.

We have thus glanced at various scriptures having to do with the evidences in the professing church of the Lord’s near return. We must now look at some movements among the nations which point unquestionably to the same thing.

1 The inquiring reader is referred to “The Prophetic History of the Church,” by F. W. Grant, 35 cts. Same publishers.

 

 

 

 


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Bibliography
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/2-peter-3.html. 1914.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Be not ignorant of this one thing; i.e. be sure of it: the same word is here used as 2 Peter 3:5; and so he cautions them against the ignorance of scoffers, and to prevent it, would have them certainly know this one thing, which is extant in the Scripture, which foretells Christ’s coming.

That one day is with the Lord; the Lord Jesus Christ, of whose coming he speaks.

As a thousand years; by a synecdoche, a thousand years is put for any, even the longest revolution of time; and the sense is, that though there be great difference of time, long and short, with us, who are subject to time, and are measured by it; yet with Him who is eternal, without succession, to whom nothing is past, nothing future, but all things present, there is no difference of time, none long, none short, but a thousand years, nay, all the time that hath run out since the creation of the world, is but as a day; and we are not to judge of the Lord’s delay in coming by our own sense, but by God’s eternity.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-peter-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

A thousand years as one day; in comparison with eternity, and as to the certainty of what God has declared. What he has determined to accomplish a thousand years hence, is just as sure as if he had determined to accomplish it to-morrow. Compare the words of Moses: "A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past." Psalms 90:4.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Family Bible New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/2-peter-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

8. ὑμᾶς, emphatic, opposed to αὐτούς in 2 Peter 3:5.

Not only are the mockers mistaken as to the immutability of the world: they forget also (but you must not) that time is nothing in God’s sight. He delays His vengeance in mercy, but it will come.

μία ἡμέρα κ.τ.λ. The words go back to Psalms 90:4 χίλια ἔτη ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς σου ὡς ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ ἐχθὲς ἥτις διῆλθεν, καὶ φυλακὴ ἐν νυκτί.

The writer does not apply the words in a sense which very usually attached to them among Jews and Christians. The belief arose (we cannot exactly trace by what steps), that since the world had been created in six days, and since a day and a thousand years are in God’s sight the same, so it would last six thousand years; and, as at creation the seventh day of rest followed, so the six thousand years would be succeeded by a seventh thousand of Sabbatical rest, the Millennium, as it is commonly called. We cannot dwell upon the importance of the belief in a Millennium: but the text before us was constantly invoked in support of that belief.


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"Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/2-peter-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. Our apostle now returns to the all-important caution in regard to time. It is on this point that the sceptical scoffers will fix. Remember that God’s hours are ages. Note on Acts 1:7.

One day… a thousand years—In the prophetic predictions of the second advent the Spirit speaks by the arithmetic of God, in which the terms soon, quickly, humanly indicating a few days, divinely allow a few ages. Psalms 90.

And now the question may well arise, Why has inspiration thus used phrases of such nearness to designate an event which was to be, as near two thousand years’ experience has proved, so distant? Or, to express the thought in higher terms, Why has a divine arithmetic been thus used to express such a distance to human minds? Our reply would be this: The Spirit’s purpose is, to preserve in our minds an impressive conception of its nearness in spite of its distance. The divine intention is, to prevent our banishing it from our thoughts on account of its far futurity. In its momentousness to us it is nigh at hand, and time is no rightful factor in our calculations. Nay, the very greatness of its distance, far millenniums, perhaps, hence, demands that thought and language should bring it near. Sensible time is very relative. To us in the intervening spirit-world millenniums may pass with inconceivable rapidity. There ever is to us but a step, as it were, to the judgment-day. Note on Matthew 25:6. Hence, Scripture uniformly points us, with warning, not to the day of death, but to the resurrection and the judgment-seat of Christ.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-peter-3.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’

Note again the use of ‘beloved’. His heart yearns for these saints of God who are resisting the false teachers. And he calls on them not to forget that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. In other words with God there is no limit to His thinking as regards time. A ‘day’ and ‘a thousand years’ are both the same to Him. Time is almost irrelevant, because both a thousand years and one day are to Him simply brief periods of time in a much vaster time-scale, that of eternity.

But there is no justification for applying this principle mechanically (an error later made in the Epistle of Barnabas and by Irenaeus). This use here does not mean that we can take other places where prophetic days are mentioned and make them each mean a thousand years. It does, however, suggest that we would be justified in using the principle of boundlessness if we were specifically dealing with ‘days of God’. Some would argue that this is the case in Genesis 1. It is particularly appropriate there as the days are clearly not ordinary days (the lengths of days are not fixed until day 4).

In fact in Scripture generally ‘a thousand years’ is simply indicative of a long period of time. The nearest example to its use here is found in Psalms 90:4, ‘For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night’. There also the idea is that a thousand years is to God as but the passing of a brief period of time, the third of a night (the night was split into three watches). But such a use of ‘a thousand’ in Scripture to indicate ‘a great many’ is common.

Thus we have the following:

· ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as you are, and bless you, as He has promised you!’ (Deuteronomy 1:11). Here it is simply the equivalent of our saying, ‘I have a thousand things to do.’ It simply means, ‘many times’.

· ‘And the man said to Joab, ‘Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom’ (2 Samuel 18:12). This is similar to the first case and simply means a large round number.

· ‘For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills’ (Psalms 50:10). We can assume that no one asks who the cattle on the other hills belong to.

· ‘Your neck is like the tower of David built for an armoury, on which there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men’ (Song of Solomon 4:4). Again the significance is of a large number.

· ‘And it shall come about in that day, that every place, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, shall even be for briars and thorns (Isaiah 7:23). Again the significance is a large number.

· ‘Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand’ (Daniel 5:1). It is doubtful if this is intended to indicate an actual number. It rather means a large number of lords.

2). More significant in this context are the examples where ‘a thousand’ is used with a time word indicating the passage of time:

· ‘Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations’ (Deuteronomy 7:9). We suspect here that no one would suggest here that God’s mercy would fail once the thousand generations were past, nor that it bound God specifically to a thousand generations. It simply means a great many generations.

· ‘For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of My God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness’ (Psalms 84:10). Again the significance of ‘a thousand’ is ‘many’, and once more in a time context.

· ‘For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night’ (Psalms 90:4). Here the idea is of a large number, (he could have used any large round number). It is important here because it refers both to how God sees time, and to a time context.

· ‘He has remembered His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations’ (Psalms 105:8). Here again we have a reference to God’s view of time and it is related specifically to the passing of time and to a time word, ‘generations’. No one would suggest that here the idea is that after a thousand generation He would forget His covenant, nor that He is indicating that a thousand generations will actually be achieved.

· ‘Yes, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet has he seen no good. Do not all go to one place?’ (Ecclesiastes 6:6). Here ‘a thousand years’ signifies a long time, and interestingly it can without difficulty be seen as two thousand.

· ‘And he laid hold on the monster, the old Serpent who is the Devil, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the Abyss, --- that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years be finished’ (Revelation 20:5). There are no Scriptures anywhere else that suggest any other than that this is simply referring to a long period of time.

· ‘And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years should be finished --- they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years’ (Revelation 20:4-6). Again there are no Scriptures anywhere else that suggest that the thousand here is to be taken literally.

All this would seem to stress the fact that when God says ‘a thousand years’ it simply means a long extent of time, although not a long time to God. And this is especially so as his statement is not just that a day can be seen as a thousand years, but that a thousand years is also to God the equivalent of one day. A thousand years is but a blink of His eye.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/2-peter-3.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Again Peter reminded his readers to remember what they had learned previously ( 2 Peter 3:1) and not to forget, as the scoffers did ( 2 Peter 3:5). As far as God"s faithfulness to His promises, it does not matter if He gave His promise yesterday or a thousand years ago. He will still remain faithful and will fulfill every promise (cf. Psalm 90:4). The passage of a thousand years should not lead us to conclude that God will not fulfill what He has promised. The passing of time does not cause God to forget His promises. Peter was not saying that the "day of judgment" will last1 ,000 years since a day is as1 ,000 years with the Lord. This would contribute nothing to Peter"s argument against the scoffers.

This verse does not mean that God operates in a timeless state. Time is simply the way He and we measure the relationship of events to one another. The idea of a timeless existence is Platonic, not biblical. God"s relationship to time is different from ours since He is eternal, but this does not mean that eternity will be timeless. Eternity is endless time.

"Peter did not say that to God "one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years are one day." The point is not that time has no meaning for God but rather that His use of time is such that we cannot confine Him to our time schedules. His use of time is extensive, so that He may use a thousand years to do what we might feel should be done in a day, as well as intensive, doing in a day what we might feel could only be done in a thousand years." [Note: Hiebert, Second Peter . . ., p153. See also Bauckham, p310. See Zane C. Hodges, The Epistles of John , pp106-7 , for a good explanation of how Einstein"s special theory of relativity has introduced a new perspective on time that harmonizes with this verse.]

This statement does not negate the hope of the imminent return of the Lord either. Peter, as the other New Testament writers, spoke as though his readers would be alive at His return ( 2 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14). This was an indisputable hope of the early Christians. [Note: Fornberg, p68; Bauckham, p310.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/2-peter-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

2 Peter 3:8. But let not this one thing escape you, beloved; the mode of expression which has been already used in reference to the mockers in 2 Peter 3:5. The writer passes now from the idea of the supposed constancy of the order of things to that of the apparent delay in the realization of the promise. He calls the attention of his readers first to a single fact, the difference between the Divine measure of duration and the human, which would be sufficient refutation of the scornful incredulity of such scoffers.

that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. As the writer seems to make use of the words of the 90th Psalm here, the designation ‘the Lord,’ both in this verse and in the next, should be taken in its Old Testament sense, and, therefore, not as = Christ, but as = God or Jehovah, without reference to the personal distinctions which belong to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. While the Psalmist (Psalms 90:4), however, speaks simply of a thousand years as being in Jehovah’s sight ‘as yesterday when it is past, Peter throws the statement into a form which presents also the converse truth that one day is as a thousand years, if a thousand years are as one day. His object is not to exhibit the brevity of human life over against the eternity of God, as is the case with the Psalmist, but to express how inapplicable to God are all those ideas of time, those estimates of long and short, of hasting and delay, by which man measures things. The O. T. view of the eternity of God, however, is not merely this comparatively abstract idea of everlasting duration, which seems to be on the surface of the Psalmist’s words, but the deeper idea of changelessness of being which makes God the object of His people’s fearless trust. ‘Whilst God as Jehovah is the eternal, God’s eternity is defined as the unchangeableness of His being, persisting throughout every change of time, and thus it becomes the basis of human confidence. Therefore Moses, in the midst of the dying away of his people, addresses God as the Eternal One, Psalms 90:1; therefore, Deuteronomy 32:40, the idea that God is eternal forms the transition to the announcement that He will again save his rejected people; therefore Israel, when sighing in misery, is comforted, Isaiah 40:28 : “knowest thou not, and hast thou not heard, that Jehovah is an eternal God?” (Oehler). Hence, while Peter meets the scorner by asserting God to be superior in all His modes of action to human reckonings of time, he also exhibits the ground of His people’s continued faith in Himself and His promise through postponements of their hope.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/2-peter-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

2 Peter 3:8. μία ἡμέρα, κ. τ. λ. Cf. Psalms 40:4. The literal application of this statement to the story of creation, employed by patristic writers, in which one day is interpreted as 1000 years, and therefore the creation in six days really means 6000 years, is of course absurd. On the other hand, it can scarcely be said that the writer of 2 Peter has attained to the conception that the category of time does not exist for the Divine Mind. Rather the meaning is that infinite compassion overrides in the Divine Mind all finite reckoning. Cf. Barnabas, 15, Justin, Dialogue, 81.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/2-peter-3.html. 1897-1910.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Peter 3:8. Be not ye ignorant — Whatever they are; of this one thing — Which casts much light on the point in hand; that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day — This is an allusion to Psalms 90:4, where Moses had said, A thousand years in thy sight are as one day, which words St. Peter applies with regard to the period intervening between the time when he wrote, and the last day; denoting thereby, 1st, God’s eternity, whereby he exceeds all measure of time in his essence and in his operation: 2d, His knowledge, to which all things past, or to come, are present every moment: 3d, His power, which needs no long delay in order to bring his work to perfection: and, 4th, His long-suffering, which excludes all impatience of expectation and desire of making haste. But it must be observed, that neither the apostle nor the psalmist meant that God does not perceive any difference between the duration of a day and that of a thousand years; but that these differences do not affect either his designs, or actions, or felicity, as they do those of finite creatures. So that what he brings to pass on the day he declares his purpose, is not more certain than what he will bring to pass a thousand years after such declaration. In like manner, what is to be brought to pass a long time after his declaration, is not less certain than if it had been done when declared. See Abernethy’s Sermon’s, vol. 1. p. 218. The apostle’s meaning is in substance, that in one day, yea, in one moment, he could do the work of a thousand years; therefore he is not slow, he is always equally able, equally ready to fulfil his promise; and a thousand years, yea, the longest time, is no more delay to the eternal God than one day is to us: therefore he is longsuffering; he gives us space for repentance without any inconvenience to himself. In a word, with God time passes neither slower nor swifter than is suitable to him and his economy. Nor can there be any reason why it should be necessary for him either to delay or hasten the end of all things. How can we comprehend this? If we could have comprehended it, St. Peter needed not to have added, with the Lord.


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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-peter-3.html. 1857.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

2 Peter 3:8 ‘But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’

‘But do not let this one fact escape your notice’-Peter seems to anticipate another argument which was popular among the false teachers. ‘Peter warned that delay in judgment does not mean that God’s word is impotent.’ (Lucas/Green p. 137) Mankind can get off track by forgetting one simple fact. To this day, some people think that “time” will save them or that “time” has inherent power of its own. Evolution is built upon the premise that given enough time anything is possible. But it is ironic that the same people who say, ‘given enough time anything is possible’ tend to be the same individuals who mock the idea of a future judgment, because ‘too much time has passed by without anything happening.’ The false teachers had deliberately allowed important facts to escape their notice.

‘that with the Lord’-From God’s perspective. Since God isn’t bound by time and time has no power over God, all time is equal to God, whether great amounts or small amounts.

‘one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day’-(Psalms 90:4 ‘For a thousand years in thy sight, are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.’ First of all, the verse is not teaching that God doesn’t know how to tell time. In addition, neither is it teaching that every ‘day’ mentioned in the Bible was actually a thousand years in length. Or, even that God will punish the wicked a thousand years for each day that they lived in sin.

Points to Note:

Time doesn’t stop God, as it does with mankind. Therefore, God’s promise to judge is just as certain, even though thousands of years may pass between promise and fulfillment. ‘If it is his pleasure to accomplish them in a single day, he can do it; if he chooses that the execution shall be deferred to a thousand years, or that a thousand years shall be consumed in executing them, he has the power to carry them onward..." (Barnes p. 259) 2. ‘As far as God is concerned, He might just as well have decreed the end of the world a couple of days ago!’ (Oberst p. 336) 3. ‘God sees time with a perspective we lack….with an intensity we lack. He can see the broad sweep of history in a moment, yet he can stretch out a day with patient care.’ (Lucas/Green p. 137) 4. Man also needs to accept the truth, that God is not on man’s time schedule. 5. The passing of time doesn’t affect the promises of God. In contrast to man: God never dies, God never forgets, God doesn’t change His mind or lose His moral resolve. And conditions never arise which prevent God from fulfilling His word (Isaiah 46:11). Let not the wicked think that the threat of judgment has died (2 Peter

), or that God has forgotten.

We should be impressed that the apostles refused to speculate about exactly when Jesus would come again (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3). But since their time many have arise who haven’t respected the Bible’s authority in this area. After the apostles there were those who took this verse to mean that the world would last for as many thousand years as there were days in creation, since a day equaled a thousand years. The modern day Jehovah Witnesses have adopted the same view.


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/2-peter-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

be not, &c. Literally let not this one thing be hidden (as 2 Peter 3:6) from you.

with. App-104.

LORD. App-98.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-peter-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Be not ignorant - as those scoffers (2 Peter 3:5). Besides the refutation (2 Peter 3:5-7) drawn from the deluge, he adds another (addressed more to believers) - God's delay in fulfilling His promise is not, like men's delays, owing to inability or fickleness in keeping His word, but through "long-suffering."

This one thing - as the consideration of chief importance (Luke 10:42). One day ... thousand years. Psalms 90:4, Moses says, Thy eternity, knowing no distinction between a thousand years and a day, is the refuge of us creatures of a day. Peter views God's eternity in relation to the last day. It seems to us short-lived beings long in coming; but with the Lord the interval is irrespective of the idea of long or short. His eternity exceeds all measures of time. To His divine knowledge future things are present. His power requires not long delays for performing His work. His long-suffering excludes men's impatient expectation. He can do the work of a thousand years in one day: so in 2 Peter 3:9, He has always the power to fulfill His "promise."

Thousand years as one day. No delay is long to God: as to a man of countless riches a thousand guineas are as a single penny. God's oeonologe (eternal-ages-measurer) differs wholly from man's horologe (hour-glass). His gnoomon (dial-pointer) shows all the hours at once in the greatest activity and in perfect repose. To Him the hours pass neither more slowly nor more quickly than befits His economy. There is nothing to make Him need to hasten or delay the end. "With the Lord" (Psalms 90:4) silences all objections, on the ground of man's incapability of understanding this (Bengel).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-peter-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Second Answer to the sceptical argument: Time is the condition of man’s thought and action, but not of God’s. His thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor His ways as our ways; what seems delay to us is none to Him.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing.—Although these scoffers are willingly ignorant of what refutes their error, do not you be ignorant of what will lead you to the truth.

One day is with the Lord as a thousand years.—This half of the saying is quite original, and has no equivalent in Psalms 90:4. The second half is only partially parallel to “a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday, when it is past.” Consequently, we cannot be sure that the Apostle had this passage from the Psalms in his mind, though it is probable enough that he had. That God Can punish in one day the sins of a thousand years is a thought which is neither in the text nor in the context. What is insisted on is simply this—that distinctions of long and short time are nothing in the sight of God; delay is a purely human conception. Justin Martyr, about A.D. 145 (Trypho, lxxxi.), gives “the day of the Lord is as a thousand years” as a quotation, and in this form it is closer to 2 Peter 3:8 than to Psalms 90:4. As another possible reference to our Epistle follows in the next chapter, it may be regarded as not improbable that Justin knew the Epistle. (See above, second Note on 2 Peter 2:1.) But the saying may have been a favourite one, especially with those who held Millenarian views. In the Epistle of Barnabas (xv. 4) we read,” For a day means with Him a thousand years, and He Himself witnesseth, saying, Behold, to-day shall be as a thousand years,” where for “to-day” the Codex Sinaiticus reads “the day of the Lord.” Irenæus has “The day of the Lord is as a thousand years” twice—(V. xxiii. 2; xxviii. 3); Hippolytus has it once (Comm. on Daniel, Lagarde, p. 153); Methodius once (in Photius’ Bibliotheca, cod. 235). In no case, however, is the context at all similar to the verses before us.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-peter-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
be not
Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 10:1; 12:1
that one
Psalms 90:4

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-peter-3.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

But do not forget. "Do not listen to those who say the fact that Christ has not come yet proves he will not come at all. God is not limited by time as we are, and both one day and a thousand years are the same thing to him!" Peter paraphrases Psalm 90:4 to show that God works in ETERNITY!!!


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/2-peter-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Having made his exposure of the scoffers and their wilful ignorance, the apostle devotes the rest of the epistle to the good brethren. They have been advised against being misled by the false statements of the scoffers, yet they doubtless wished sincerely to have information concerning the seeming delay of the second coming of Christ. Peter will take up that matter and explain it for the sake of them and other readers of the epistle. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years. It should be noted the apostle does not say a day is as long as a thousand years with us for that would not be true. When the earth revolves once man has been given a day. It must make such a revolution365 times to give him one year and that must be multiplied a thousand times to amount to the period of the italicized statement. But with the Lord no such measurements are necessary for He inhabits eternity (or time, which is the same), and as there is no limit or end to it, He can prolong the earth"s existence through hundreds of such revolutions as easily as through one. To man it seems like a drawn-out delay and hence the apostle gives the explanation herein.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:8". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/2-peter-3.html. 1952.


Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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