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 CUNNINGLY DEVISED FABLES!

WE HAVE NOT FOLLOWED THESE!

"Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."  2nd Peter 1:13-16

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 13:

For a few days let's study something Simon Peter said. I am drawn to his comment about "cunningly devised fables," which we have not followed!

Those who negatively criticize our faith often suggest that we believe things that are not historical. Things "constructed" by humankind to meet one or another of our "felt" needs.

Peter disagrees, strongly!

"Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."  2nd Peter 1:13-16

This divinely inspired Text beautifully contains some prudent philosophy, theology, eschatology, and history!

Today we discuss the opening verse, 2nd Peter 1:13. Here the Apostle gives us his "view" of preaching, at least one of its main purposes. "Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance."

That opening "yea" is a conjunction in Greek, spelled "de." It is translated as "but" 1237 times in the New Testament, "and" 935 more times, "now" 166 times, "then" 132 times, and "yea" 13 times. Peter is continuing his advice to his fellow saints, many of whom have been suffering for their faith. This "yea" simply allows him to "flow" into something like a new paragraph.

The verb "I think" is irregular here. This is not the normal verb "to think," It's "hegeomai" and means "to lead, to go before" someone. It is thought to be just a strengthened form of "ago," the basic verb for "leading" a person. Our English word hegemony comes from this term, "having predominant influence" over a person or group.

Peter is the elder statesman of the Believers. He knows this, too. He is not merely preaching here, mechanically so. He is, in a good sense, throwing his weight behind what he is saying! Using his authority! Demanding their attention, rightfully so.

The adjective "meet" is "dikaios," which some of you will recognize as one of the "righteousness" words. It means "just, right, proper," thus for the Christian "meet." Suitable, appropriate, fitting!

The "tabernacle" Peter mentions is his "body," his earthly flesh and blood and bones. Spelled "skenoma," literally a "tent," the word is sparsely used in the New Testament.

The idea of a body being like a tent is suggestive. Paul uses this word picture too. See 2nd Corinthians 5:1-4. Jesus nearly did too, John 2:19. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Though with different words.

The verb "stir up" translates "diegeiro," meaning "to wake up!" To arouse from sleep! It's used of the ocean waters when they become agitated as a storm approaches. "Ageiro" means "to gather" things. The Greek noun "agora" is any assembly, especially of people and especially for public discourse! Even debating!

He's always Peter, the preacher!

How will Peter stir up these followers of Christ?

"Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." That's how, by refreshing their memories! By telling them certain things again and again!

"Putting in remembrance" is "hupomnesis." To place a fact or event "under" someone's mind, never to be lost. Deeply embedded in their psyche! "Mimnesko" is Greek, "to remember." It is believed by some scholars that "meno" is the base of this whole family of words. "To remain, to dwell, to stay in place!" Not to let things "slip" mentally!

According to Simon Peter we Christians need to review the great truths we hold so dear ... hearing them again ... often!

Repetition, when guided by the Holy Spirit, is not a bad thing!

Old people are often accused of repeating too much. Sometimes this is even true. Memory lapses, perhaps.

But with Peter, now elderly by the standards of his day, this repetition is not a health issue!

It's a spiritual matter!

Paul was a "reminder" too! Listen to him exhort young Timothy. "If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ." Here, 1st Timothy 4:6, the verb "to put in remembrance" is "hupotithemi," meaning "to place under" something a stronger foundation! More vital substance! What a word picture of preaching!

Peter's hermeneutical outlook, in one single verse!

And here it is one more time. "Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance."

Tell it to me again!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 14:

One of the most exciting things about reading Peter's epistles is that he knew the Lord so well. He refers to Jesus in this intimate sense several times too! Today's Verse is an example.

"Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me." 2nd Peter 1:14

Not everyone knows when they are going to die!

Peter did!

Generally speaking, anyway!

The Lord Jesus had told him years earlier!

Coming from a word that means "clear, evident, manifest," "deloo" is an aorist verb, a "past tense" we'd say. It is translated "declare" three times and "signify" twice in the New Testament, King James Version.

This "showing" occurred at least 30-35 years prior to Peter's sharing this information, too.

Think of it!

Peter has for three decades lived in the light of a promise from Jesus, an assurance about the longevity of the once-fisherman-now-preacher's life!

Talk about resting your faith in the Word of God!

The participle "knowing" is a form of "oida," that is, "to understand something inherently." I call it "God-given knowledge." As opposed to learning that requires great effort.

"Shortly" serves as a modifier and means either "soon, in the near future" or at times "quickly, swiftly." It's spelled "tachinos." See here our word tachometer, with "tach" meaning "speed" and "meter" indicating "measurement."

"Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me." 2nd Peter 1:14

The "I must" of our Verse translates "eimi," the verb "to be." In so many words Peter says; "I am going to die, just like Jesus told me, but as an older man rather than a younger one." The word can be expressed "it will take place, happen, come to pass, exist." The voice is third person singular.

The "putting off" mentioned uses the noun form of "apotithemi." Keep in mind this is Peter's euphemism for death! "Apo" means "away from." And "tithemi" means "to place, to set, to lay down." Peter when dying is merely (as it were) pulling off his physical skin, dropping it to the ground, and taking a flight to Glory!

No fear!

No mentionable pain, though he may have been martyred!

Just a promotion from earth to Heaven!

Paul uses such innocuous terms for death also! "Innocuous" is from the Latin, meaning "no harm." Not really! Not if one is saved!

We saw last Verse that "tabernacle" means to these Biblical writers the human body. "Skenoma" means a "tent" literally. A temporary dwelling place, for a sojourner. Just pilgrims and strangers live there!

We are, as Christians, not earth-dwellers!

The faithful in Hebrews 11 "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." This is part of verse 13 of that great chapter.

Lastly, look at the "possessiveness" of our Text today. "Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me." 2nd Peter 1:14 

Peter calls his body "my" tabernacle! And Jesus is "our" Lord! This whole thing is personal to Simon Peter!

The body he inhabited; learning to walk as a baby, those years of fishing, then meeting Jesus, being saved, preaching, and finally ... dying! All in that fleshly human "house" as Paul called it. Peter's body.

And Jesus?

He's "our" Lord affirms the Apostle!

This proves he is writing to fellow Christians, "our" Lord, yours and mine! More of the New Testament is written to the saints of God than is addressed to lost sinners. So it appears to me.

Peter depended on all Jesus told him!

He trusted the Lord explicitly.

Based on today's Verse, let me give you an example of the peace such information brought Peter.

In Acts chapter 12, the very night before Peter was scheduled for execution, imprisoned in Herod's maximum security facility, Peter slept so soundly that an angel had to forcibly awaken him! "And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me." Acts 12:7-8

The angel actually had to "hit" Peter to get him awake!

Then he had to "hurry" him!

Then he had to tell him how to dress!

How could Peter have slept so well?

Knowing what awaited him the next day?

I'll tell you how.

He knew he was not going to die that next day!

He was still way too young!

These words of Jesus rang true in his mind and heart. Jesus to Peter in John 21:18. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when Jesus had spoken this, he saith unto Peter, Follow me."

Just notice the words, "When thou shalt be old!"

That was enough for Peter!

You see, in Acts 12 Peters was not an old man yet!

He couldn't die there and then!

Jesus promised!

Just as well get a good night's sleep!

Wow!

What a lesson on living with the promises of God!

He cannot fail!

He cannot lie!

He knows the end from the beginning!

Depend on Him!

And here's the very best promise of all. Jesus to multitudes: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

Amen!

Like Peter did, let's live our faith!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 15:

Peter knew how to plan things. He had the God-given ability to see far into the past ... and into the future! This is Simon Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Really, he even planned things after his death!

Here's an example. "Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." 2nd Peter 1:15

For the second time in as many verses, Peter gives us a word-picture of death. Death as it exists for the Christian, anyway.

Here it is a "decease." Peter, now an old man by the standards of his day, knows that death is coming. Maybe even without further warning! While the Bible does not say for sure, Peter well may have died a martyr's death, violently and painfully.

But, still, it's a "decease."  This noun is spelled "exodus" in Greek! I am not kidding you! It means "a departure!" Just "an exit!"

He has just compared death, that great "grim reaper" according to the world, to merely leaving one place ... and entering another place! Like going out an exit door! From a rather plain room, I might add, into a gloriously appointed Palace!

All of us have waited at some airport, listening for the "departure" announcement for our flight home! Boarding was a pleasure, thinking of those loved ones awaiting our arrival!

Peter compares this pleasant experience to death itself!

It's merely a trip home!

But Peter, wisely, has some advice. Tons of wisdom gleaned from his years with Jesus, no doubt.

And he wants these things to be "remembered."

His particular expression "to have in remembrance" employs two specific Greek words. The verb "poieo" substantiates "to have." It means "to do, to make, to form," that kind of idea.

Making memories!

For Jesus' Sake!

The noun "remembrance" is likely from "meno," a basic verb meaning "to remain, to dwell, to abide." Thus, a memory is something which prohibits worthy thoughts and emotions and impressions from leaving us! Cognitive nails, pegs, on which we can "hang" precious truth! "Mneme" is the word in question here.

"To be able" translates "echo," surprisingly! It means "to have, to hold onto" something dear. To "keep" something!

This is a "don't-let-it-slip" Verse, if one was ever written!

It sounds a lot like Paul in Hebrews 2:1. "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."

Then, working backward through our Text today, the initial verb "will endeavor" surfaces. It's "spoudazo" in Greek, "to give diligence, to hasten, to labour, to show earnest care!" To do one's very best! Energetically! It's the same verb as "study" in 2nd Timothy 2:15. Don't quit, keep on excelling, until you are approved of God! "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed." Amen!

How about us?

Have we, like Peter, made plans? Plans that after we die and go to Heaven others will know the vital truths we held so closely?

I'm leaving tapes!

And CDs, Sermons!

They tell what I believe.

And journals!

And a son who is also a Preacher!

And, come to think of it, a Bible Study Website too!

And a life, I trust, that will be well-documented for Jesus!

Thank you, Peter. "Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance."

Now it's up to us.

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 16:

Second Peter 3:16 uses a familiar phrase, "cunningly devised fables." Peter assures us: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

And Peter should know, being one of the original Believers in Jesus.

The verb "followed" is nearly self-explanatory. "Exakoloutheo" means "to tread in someone's steps!" To yield to that person! To comply with him! In Greek "keleuthos" means a "road." Walking down the same road with Jesus, in harmony! The Prophet Amos rightly asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3

The term "cunningly devised" is "sophizo," expressed here as a perfect passive participle. It means "cleverly made up!" Or, "wisely crafted!" Remember, there is a wisdom of this world that is antagonistic to the Wisdom of God! James 3 describes it. "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. "

The noun "fables" nearly tells its own meaning at first appearance! It's spelled "muthos." In Greek some of their "u" letters assimilate into "y" letters when they are transliterated. Thus, we get "myths" instead of "muthos."

Peter clearly says that we have not followed a bunch of "myths," not at all.

And no matter what the liberal theologians say, the Bible-haters of our day, the Jesus demoters, the basic historical meaning of "myth" still remains "a fiction, a half-truth."

We have not believed a pack of untrue stories!

"Muthos" may have developed from "mueo," to be "initiated or instructed" in the mystery religions of Greece or Rome. The noun "musterion" is related also, "a secretive hidden bit of information."

Our Faith is not based on a litany of superstitious folk tales!

God did create the world!

And man and woman!

The flood did happen!

David lived, and Isaiah (just one of him) and Malachi too!

Jesus is God's Son!

His miracles were real historical events!

He did rise from the dead, from that borrowed tomb!

He went to Heaven too, but don't worry, He's coming back again!

Nothing man-made about Christianity, Bible Christianity.

Peter is right. "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

The verb "made known" is "gnorizo," meaning "to declare, to make to understand," basically "to impart knowledge." It's an aorist here, depicting some past action that is now complete.

And now Peter gives us two main themes of his preaching!

"Power," the power of Jesus!

And "the coming" of our Lord also!

"Dunamis," the most often used power/strength word in Scripture, means "inherent ability," something God placed deep down within His children, at conversion no doubt. See our word "dynamite" here.

Jesus possessed "dunamis" Power! Within our Lord resided the very Power of God! "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." So said Jesus in John 5:17. Also John 14:10. "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Wow! Yet again: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18

Peter preached a powerful Saviour!

If you had seen your Mother-in-Law healed, Jesus walk on water, blind men see, lame men walk, bleeding women made whole, deaf people hear ... you'd preach about Power too, God's Power come to earth!

But Peter didn't stop with Jesus' Power!

Our Lord is coming back again!

Thus: "We made known unto you ... the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." That too!

"Coming" is the Greek noun "parousia," meaning the very Presence of Jesus! The word consists of "para" (alongside) and "eimi" (I am) ... Jesus being right by my side, literally, some day!

He's coming!

In His glorified post-resurrection body Jesus: "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3

Now when  our Lord's coming is translated by "apokalupsis," it primarily means Jesus' "revelation" or "unveiling!"

But "parousia" is much more personal!

Yet Peter (and the other Apostles too, he keeps saying "we") did not preach our Lord's power and second coming arbitrarily!

Not from hear-say!

Not from rumor!

Nor from "fables!"

They were "eyewitnesses!"

They were there when these things happened!

The noun "eyewitnesses" is "epoptes," a blend of the prefix/preposition "epi" and an abbreviated from of the verb "optanomai." It means "to look at" something, right there with your eyes "on" the subject! On the scene, as personal witnesses!

John put it this way: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life," Jesus! 1st John 1:1, eyewitnesses again!

But now, at Verse's end, Jesus' "Majesty" surfaces! "Megaleiotes" means "greatness, magnificence, visible splendor," even "mighty power" once! In Greek "mega" means "big, great!"

But what, specifically, does Peter have in mind?

What event in Jesus' life?

What specific thing, a miracle no doubt, evidenced Jesus' Majesty so clearly? Proof of His Power and a glimpse of His Coming again?

No doubt about it, it was Jesus' experience on the Mountain that day when Moses and Elijah appeared! Bright Light! That Testimony from Heaven!

Our Lord's Transfiguration!

Here's how Peter described it to John Mark, his son in the faith. "And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves." Mark 9:2-8

Had we seen that, you or me, we'd more powerfully testify about Jesus' Power and Coming again too!

It's not a fable, not if you've seen it personally!

Thank you, Peter!

You've strengthened our faith today!

You've "reminded" us well!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, NO ERRORS:

More and more so-called "evangelical" educators are having trouble with the word. It's spelled "i-n-e-r-r-a-n-c-y.

Yes, inerrancy!

It means "containing no errors."

It's from Latin, "in" meaning "no, not" and "errare" meaning "to wander." Literally, "not to veer from the Truth!"

Some of these learned professors still try to say that the Bible is "inspired." Even calling it yet "the Word of God."

Many of them even will speak of Scriptural "authority!"

But, more and more, they will not use that other word!

Inerrant!

They have bought the old liberal, apostate line that Scripture may not be all it claims to be!

For example, they are now saying that such Bible stories as the Creation of the world, including man and woman, and the world-wide Flood in Noah's day, taking just two examples, have parallel accounts in "ancient near east" folklore.

Therefore, these "wolves-in-sheep's-clothing" are now teaching that most of the Book of Genesis is not really history, but "myth" or "fable," merely copying their surrounding heathen cultures!

So, they wrongly tell us, Genesis is in error!

Oh, maybe its writer (writers they assure us) thought he was telling the truth. But we now know better!

Wrong!

They are wrong!

Dead wrong!

And the Bible is right!

I say it again, those false "teachers" are wrong!

The Creation account in Genesis is not in error!

The Flood story is true too!

As are all the other events and characters of the Bible's first Book!

Moses did not write following the "tall tales" of hear-say! He was inspired of the Spirit of God!

He wrote "as moved by the Holy Ghost!"

And he wrote no mistakes!

Oh, I have no doubt that corrupted creation and flood accounts exist in the ancient near east.

But they are just that, "corrupted."

From Adam to Moses there were about 2,500 years of lapsed time. We, if literalists, date Adam around 4,000 BC. And Moses around 1,500 BC. Do the math.

During these twenty-five centuries God "preserved" the Truth by having godly men hand it down from one generation to another!

If it fell into carnal hands, non-guided by the Spirit of God, idol-worshippers and such, of course it was corrupted.

They do have erroneous flood stories!

But God protected the Truth.

Much in the same way Paul taught Timothy. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." 2nd Timothy 2:2

Mouth to mouth, heart to heart, accurately and miraculously!

Overseen by God!

That's how the truth prevailed for those 2,500 years, before a single verse of Scripture was ever written!

Then, when God "touched" Moses and he wrote Genesis and Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers and Deuteronomy, a God-given record (totally without mistake) was established.

We now, undoubtedly, have the Truth!

God's Word is exactly That, Truth in written form!

Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

Amen!

I believe that all the miracles of Genesis are true, literally!

No "myth" included in a one of them!

I believe Exodus too, the Sea parting and manna falling and serpents biting and God delivering!

Just like it says!

The Old Testament is God's Word!

Of it Paul wrote, for there was no New Testament when he penned these words: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

And ... God can make no mistakes!

He cannot err!

"It was impossible for God to lie." Hebrews 6:18

"God, that cannot lie." Titus 1:2

Wow!

Then, the Bible must be errorless!

Perfect!

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6

Totally accurate!

Peter was right! "We have not followed cunningly devised fables." Not at all! The Greek word for "fables" there is the English word "myths" now! Here's the rest of 2nd Peter 1:16 too. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

Eyewitnesses!

It's hard to call that "myth!"

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I want to tell you how the godless liberals have attacked the New Testament as well.

In the mean time, remember Psalm 119:89. "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."

Yes indeed!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, EYEWITNESSES, not myths and fables:

Simon Peter said it best.

No one else ever came close to the beauty of his simple sentence. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables." 2nd Peter 1:16

Enemies, even two thousand years ago, were mocking the Word of God and the Christian faith.

Saying, among other things, "Christianity is a religion of fables!" The Greek word there is "muthos," our very word "myths!"

Yesterday we talked about the Old Testament, today let's focus on the New. It's under attack perhaps as never before!

Concerning the Gospels, on which the rest of the New Testament depends, false teachers affirm that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John merely told what they "heard" about Jesus, not what they saw!

That the stories; be they miracles, sermons or other accounts, are built upon "rumor." Upon what my Dad called "hear-say." Upon "hand-me-down" information, not always accurate!

The liberals, who used to be called "modernists," have now labeled themselves "progressives." But as far as I am concerned they have digressed when it comes to their theology!

They advance theories like this. They tell us (wrongly) that the Gospel writers produced their material decades upon decades after Jesus lived! So long that people no longer remembered precisely what Jesus said and did!

Therefore, they dangerously affirm, certain "tales" and "additions" and "embellishments" grew up around the "core" history of Jesus!

That in time, enough years having elapsed (?) before Mark (probably the first Gospel) was written ... certain "myths" and "legends" and "fables" became a part of the Jesus Tradition!

They, liars that they are, according to God's Word, are in essence accusing us of "following cunningly devised fables!"

I call them liars based on one Verse of Scripture, Romans 3:4. "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar." I say "Amen!"

Some are even telling us that maybe the Gospels were not written until the next century after Jesus' Life and Ministry!

Well, they are just wrong!

Listen to Luke tell how he wrote His Account of Jesus, the Gospel of Luke we now call it. "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." Luke 1:1-3, go back and read it carefully now!

Luke just said that he got his data from ... "eyewitnesses!"

Anybody listening?

Now many eyewitnesses would have still been alive the next century!

Eyewitness testimony is not "old" enough to have allowed falsities into the Story of Jesus!

We have fresh, relatively "recent-to-the Jesus-events," accurate information at hand! The four little Books named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!

Plus, God did not "edit" the Truth about Jesus! He added no fictitious details either! God cannot lie according to Titus 1:2. Go, read it! Hebrews 6:18 too! He does not distort His Own Word!

I'm telling you, there are no "muthos" (mythic) accounts in the Gospels!

Jesus did turn water into wine!

And He made blind men see!

And lame men walk!

And prostitutes pure!

And cheating tax-collectors unemployed!

And lost people saved!

How do I know?

I trust the Bible, its eyewitness testimony!

And not merely the testimony of Matthew or John or whomever, God Almighty was there too! He saw it all! He planed it all!

And He is the True Author of Scripture!

Do you think I'm going to call Him a distorter of facts?

No way!

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2nd Timothy 3:16

"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." This helps too, Psalm 119:89.

And, at the end of the Bible: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Best not to tamper with the Word of God! Not according to Revelation 22:18-19. We reap what we sow when it comes to Biblical interpretation!

I will bring no "scissors" to Bible Study. I will not "edit" God's Text! I instead will have with me a notepad, I just can't fathom it all in one sitting!

Thank God for the Bible!

Oh, let's have Peter speak one more time. I will underline the word I want you to especially notice. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." Yes, it's 2nd Peter 1:16 again, that beautiful verse!

No myths, just eyewitness testimony!

The New Testament is reliable!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, CONCLUSION:

We've been talking about Truth these past few days. Especially since Simon Peter reminded us that as Believers in Jesus Christ "we have not followed cunningly devised fables." 

I believe that today more than ever!

Don't tell me that the Bible is a Book of fables!

Don't tell me that our Lord's miracles are fables!

And, today more than ever, don't tell me that Heaven is a fable!

And here's why.

Yesterday afternoon around 3:30 Sister Norma apparently suffered a heart attack or had a blood clot go to her lungs or some other major physical catastrophe occurred.

Of course we didn't know what was happening at that moment.

I called her doctor, then the ambulance!

And, sadly I tell you, at 11:24 last night the Lord called my precious wife home. Sister Norma died.

I am crying so hard I can't write any more.

But this morning, at 2:00 AM, as I write you with a broken heart, don't tell me that Heaven is a fable or a myth!

No sir!

"Absent from the body, present with the Lord." 2nd Corinthians 5:8

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you." John 14:1-2

There is a Place where there shall be "no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

My darling wife is there today, in Heaven!

And it's not a myth!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

Jesus once said, "If it were not so, I would have told you." That means our Lord tells the Truth! No fables! No myths! No made-up stories!

 

 

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