In 2 Peter, Peter has informed us that all are forgiven and anyone that lacks righteousness has forgotten that he has been forgiven. We must each lose the lonely tabernacles that we have constructed, but only so that we can be united in the eternal temple that God has constructed. Peter seems to believe that Jesus is an entirely successful Savior.

When I share this truth, I’m often confronted with two questions: “What about evil?” and “Why be good?” People almost seem to panic as they ask that second question.

This week, 2 Peter 1:19-2:3 was our text for the morning. It was Mother’s Day. It wasn’t a normal Mother’s Day text.

Peter writes about the authority of Scripture. Then he writes about false prophets and teachers who “deny the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” He then gives three terrifying examples:
1. Angels cast into “hell” (Tartarus)
2. The destruction of the pre-flood world and the salvation of Noah
3. The destruction of Sodom and the salvation of “righteous Lot”

He then says, “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly… and keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” He goes on to describe people like the men of Sodom who blaspheme “the glories,” behave like beasts, and “feast with you!”

“They have followed the way of Balaam… who loved gain from wrongdoing but was rebuked for his own transgression; ‘a dumb ass (KJV)’ spoke with the voice of a man and restrained the prophet’s madness.”

It’s a rather intense bit of Scripture for Mother’s Day.
“Liberalism” will often discount the Word and lead us to debauchery, and despair.
“Conservativism” will often attempt to fulfill the Word and lead us to divination, and arrogance.
The Word of God will cut us and wrestle us but then lead us somewhere else.

There are several strange (holy?) assumptions in 2 Peter 2. For instance:

1. We assume that some are saved, for they do not deny the Lord and have been bought (redeemed) by the Lord. While on the other hand, others have not been bought by the Lord, for they deny the Lord and are destroyed by the Lord. But Peter believes that people destroyed by the Lord deny the Lord and have been bought by the Lord. Didn’t Peter deny the Lord and yet was bought by the Lord, and yet still suffer a swift destruction (He lost his psyche and found it)?

2. We assume that some are condemned and some are not condemned. Peter believes that “from long ago,” all have been condemned, for none have believed (John 3:18). Adam could not believe that the Word of God is good, for he did not know what, or who, the Good was or is.

3. We assume that people are judged and then punished. Peter believes that people are punished, and then comes “the Judgment.” To be more precise, he believes that people are “condemned,” then “punished,” then comes the “Day of Judgment” which is the “Day of the Lord, Day of God, and Day of Eternity” (2 Peter 3:10,12,18).

4. We assume that sinners are not saints and saints are not sinners. But Peter seems to believe that saints are sinners (just check out Lot and Noah) and that sinners can be saints (just check out what happens to the antediluvians in 1 Peter 3:18, 4:6 and what happens to the people of Sodom in Ezekiel 16:53-63).

5. We assume that destroyed things never come back. Peter believes they do come back…or never actually were.

6. We assume that all punishment is retribution. Peter assumes that all punishment is discipline — the discipline of Love who is “Our Father.”

7. We assume that we need to save ourselves from the Judgment of God . . .

The men of Sodom attempted to rape the Judgment of God. Three “Angels” appear to Abraham in Genesis 18 on their way to destroy Sodom in Genesis 19. One of those angels is the Angel of Yahweh, who is Yahweh, the Word of Yahweh, and a Man. I bet the other two angels looked something like him. He is the Judgment of God and the Good that is God in flesh and hanging on a tree in the garden. Actually, the men of Sodom didn’t literally demand to “rape” the glorious ones. They said to Lot, “Bring them out to us that we may know them.”

There are two ways of knowing. One way leads to death. The other way leads to life… even babies. One way is “taking knowledge.” The other way is receiving knowledge, in other words, knowing because you are known.
It’s not only the men of Sodom who want to know the Glorious One, the Good, the Life, and the Judgment of God.

Some people just consume the Good like beasts; they attempt to make the Good themselves. Other people attempt to use knowledge of the Good like Pharisees (and magicians); they attempt to make themselves the Good.

Balaam was a world-renowned magician hired by Balak, the king of the Moabites, to curse the Israelites on the plains of Moab. Balaam (the pagan wizard) inquired of Yahweh, and Yahweh told him not to go… but then relented. As Balaam makes his journey to Moab, the Angel of Yahweh stands in the way of Balaam and his donkey. The donkey sees this glorious Godman holding a drawn sword, but Balaam does not. Three times the donkey stops. Three times Balaam strikes the donkey. But the third time, Yahweh opens the mouth of the “dumb ass,” who says, “What have I ever done to you?” Then Yahweh opens Balaam’s eyes, and he suddenly sees the Glory of God, the Angel of Yahweh. Balaam repents. Yet the Angel of Yahweh then tells him to continue on to King Balak but only to speak the Word that Yahweh puts in his mouth.

On a mountain above the plains of Moab, Balaam opens his mouth and instead of curses, out comes a song of blessing over Israel. Furious, King Balak has him try again with the same results. A third time, the Spirit falls on Balaam, and Balaam not only sings a blessing on Israel, he prophesies the Messiah; Balaam the false prophet and dumbass sings the Wisdom of God — not just knowledge of the Good but the Good and the Life, the living Good, the Word in flesh, Jesus.

He had been asking the question, “Why be good?” And then he saw the Good. And then he spoke the Good. He was undone by the Good and then gave birth to the Good. In the same way, Peter the beast and magician became Peter the Bride and gave birth to the Word of God in us — the Church.

“Why be Good?” If you ask that question, you’re a dumb ass, beast, and magician.

I ask that question “Why be Good?” quite a lot. But sometimes, I’m just good without asking why, without trying, which means I’m just good . . . in flesh and in freedom. And I bet you are as well.

If you ask “Why be Good?”, you or that part of you that asked the question has obviously not seen “the Good.” If you ask, “Why be Good?” you haven’t seen the Good, don’t know the Good, and you cannot be good, for you have already assumed that the Good has an antecedent — that to be good you must be good for some other reason that, by definition, is then not good but evil.

So how can we be good? We can only be good if we want to be good. And we will only want to be good if we have seen the Good, which means we’ll have to sacrifice all of our arrogant illusions. “God alone is Good,” said Jesus, the Angel of Yahweh.

How can we be good? Not by taking more “knowledge of the Good” and trying to make ourselves the Good, but only by seeing the Good and worshipping the Good, allowing ourselves to be known by the Good. Then we’ll give birth to the Good.

Jesus is the Good in flesh. We are his Bride. And we are his Mother — He is the Son of Man (Yahweh is his dad; figure it out.) When we commune with him in the Eternal Covenant of Grace, He is born of our sorrow, anguish, and sin — He is the “increase” of Grace where sin did once abound. Your old man is giving birth to “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” He is who it is that you most truly are.

Your mother knows something about you that you don’t know about yourself: And that is that you have no antecedent. She knows where your “dust” (adamah) came from, and she probably won’t tell you. And yet in you, she has encountered something else entirely — the “Divine Nature, Breath of God, the Imperishable Seed.”

If I were to ask my mom, “Why be good?”, she’d say all sorts of things, get frustrated, and finally say, “But Peter, that is who you are.”

Peter is reminding his children, “You’re not the children of the devil; you’re the children of God.”

7. Peter believes that the judgment of God is to save us from ourselves and tell us who it is that we truly are.

8. We assume that the Judgment of God is bad (evil). Peter believes that the Judgment of God is the Good, that the Judgment of God is Jesus.

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