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"A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY!"

THE BIBLE ... GOD'S HOLY WORD

2nd Peter 1:16-21

 

 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

 

"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. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."  2nd Peter 1:16-21

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 16:

Peter is giving his testimony.

He writes: "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." 1st Peter 1:16

The word "fables" is spelled "muthos" and is our English word "myths!" It means a story, not necessarily a true one either! It can just mean fiction too!

The expression "cunningly devised" translates "sophizo" and means "to invent something that has a skillful appearance." This participle suggests action that has been completed in the past, but still maintains present impact!

To "make known" something is to disclose it. "Gnorizo" is the verb used here. Its aorist sense of timing suggests that Peter's teaching these folks is a thing of the past now.

"Power" is the familiar noun "dunamis," meaning available power, stored power!

"Coming" uses the Greek noun "parousia" which means the very "presence" of the Lord!  ("To be beside" Him literally!)

And do note that the Name Paul uses of our dear Saviour is both full and beautiful! He's the "Lord Jesus Christ!"  As Lord He is the Ruler! As Jesus He is the Redeemer! And as Christ He is the Regent, sitting on His Throne!

"Eyewitnesses" is in Greek spelled "epoptes" and has the idea of "spectator, overseer, inspector or witness." This word is only used here in all the Bible!

Then "majesty" is represented by "megaleiotes" and means vastness or bigness!

Peter is just reminding us that the Faith we follow is not based upon some invention of mankind, but on the Lord Jesus and His great Power and future Presence with us!

Peter is trying to share assurance with those who read his Epistle. He knows Jesus! He has seen Him in His majesty!

He wants us to know that!

The Bible is not a myth filled Book!

It is God's Word!

Anyone who had, like Peter, visibly and physically seen Jesus in His Transfiguration Glory would have to agree!

The Christian life is all about Him!

The Lord Jesus Christ!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 17:

What does Scripture mean when it speaks of the "Glory" Of the Lord, the Lord Jesus?

No doubt the noun "Glory," which is "doxa" in Greek, has a wide range of meaning.

But one thing for sure that it involves is the radiant essence of God Himself!

The "glow" of God!

Read with me Peter's account of the Transfiguration of Jesus, at least part of it.

In 2nd Peter 1:17 he, speaking of Jesus, wrote: "For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The participle "received" is a form of "lambano" and is in the active voice of the aorist tense. This happened to Jesus but one time in the sense of its historical nature. Now in Heaven He radiates that Glory perpetually! "Lambano" means "to take hold of!" It is not as mild and passive as "dechomai," nor as violent and assertive as "haireomai."  But it does mean that Jesus willingly "gripped" that Glory that unique day in front of His three innermost Disciples!

In this light remember what Paul in Philippians 2:6. He was teaching us about Jesus' very deity! "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Now that noun "robbery" ("harpagmos") means "a thing seized" or "something gained and retained!"

What did Jesus rightly and properly "take hold of" from God the Father?

His "honour and glory!"

"Honour" is spelled "time" and means "value" or "worth" or "preciousness!"

"Glory" is "doxa" and means one's opinion or estimate or judgment or view of something or someone. This definition springs from the root verb "dokeo" that means to think or to seem.  Glory is the sense of value one places upon another! And if this evaluation is high and worthy, it results in praise and adoration and brilliance and splendor!

Now appears a passive verb. There "came" a voice to Jesus! "Phero" is another aorist participle, but this time Someone sent this Voice to Jesus! God the Father did! He spoke!

And the Voice of God came from the "excellent glory," from Heaven!

"Excellent" translates "megaloprepes" and means BIG or GREAT ("mega") plus that which is PROPER or OUTSTANDING or CONSPICUOUS ("prepo"). This compound word occurs only here in all the Bible!

And what did God the Father say?

"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The verb "is" ("eimi") is a present indicative here. He was not just the Son of God formerly ... but is currently! And eternally too for that matter! "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Hebrews 13:8

The noun "Son" is "Huios" and often means Son in the sense of the dignity and quality of such a position! He is not merely a "teknon" son, a replica or copy of the Father! He is the eternal Second Person of the Trinity!

The descriptive phrase "well pleased" is taken from "eudokeo" and means pleasurable or delightful or preferable or favorable! Here we see both the Father's eternal attitude toward the Son and His evaluation of Jesus' earthly Ministry too! On both counts God is "well pleased!"

And Peter saw this occur!

He heard that Voice!

He experienced that Radiance!

Today's verse exalts Jesus as much as any in the Bible ... all 31,102 of them!

"For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Praise the Lord!  

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 18:

Simon Peter, in his second Epistle, described for us the Transfiguration of Jesus!

We already have Matthew's and Mark's and Luke's accounts.

Jesus, having taken Peter and James and John up to the mountain peak, began to shine! Actually to glow! To radiate the very Essence of God!

Matthew said: "And He was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light."

Then Mark: "And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them."

Added Luke: "And as Jesus prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering."

But Peter has it: "But we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." 2nd Peter 1:18

The Transfiguration of Jesus was not a dream ... or some eerie spiritual experience ... or just a figment of someone's imagination!

It literally occurred just as the Bible says!

Peter said there was a Voice! This noun, "phone" in Greek, is pronounced fo-nay' and indicates "uttered words" or "speech." It can at times simply mean a sound too, but not here in our Text today.

Peter heard it! He recorded: "There came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." He knew exactly what was said!

Then Peter assures us that He was "with Him," right there near Jesus, when all this happened!

My point is this.

Peter is an eyewitness!

He heard!

He saw!

He could have reached out and touched the Lord at any time!

He even didn't want to leave that holy place!

"Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." Matthew 17:4

Yet having all that sense of the reality of the Transfiguration, Peter knew something even more powerful!

Something more sure!

Something, dare I say so, more glorious!

Even a better Word!

What could that be?

Come back tomorrow!

I'll tell you, Lord willing!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 19:

The Apostle Peter said one of the most amazing things about Scripture!

Immediately after carefully describing the Transfiguration of Jesus, with all the brightness and glory that Event involved, Peter assured us that we today have an even "more sure word of prophecy!"

Yes, something more illuminating than Jesus' Transfiguration!

Read with me 2nd Peter 1:19. "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."

The opening verb "have" translates "echo" and means "to hold, to possess, to wear and occasionally even to marry!" It's a durative verb, continuous action being implied!

The conjunction "also" is "kai" and here means something like "not only." Yes, we do have a more sure word of prophecy ... in addition to the knowledge of the Transfiguration of Jesus! We have the Living Word, Jesus, and the Written Word, the Bible!

But what is this "Word of Prophecy?"

It is the Book of God, the Holy Bible, the Scripture!

And the Bible is the most sure indicator of all!

"More sure" defines "bebaios." It has the root word for "base" in it. It means the foundation of anything! Its very basis for existence! In the comparative degree, the Bible is here said to be more foundational than any other object or objects.

Using our word here, Romans 4:16 says God's Promises are sure! In 2nd Corinthians 1:7 Paul's hope is steadfast! In 2nd Peter 2:10 we are to make our salvation sure also! In Hebrews 9:17 the death of the master puts his will in force!

To "take heed" is "prosecho" and means "to hold towards" someone! To pay attention to them!

The noun "light" is "luchnos" and means a candle or a lamp.

"Shineth" represents "phaino," a burst of bright light!

The adjective "dark" translates "auchmeros" and has the idea of that which is dirty or obscure!

The day here "dawns," combining "dia" and "augazo." The meaning is "to gleam forth" so brightly that it shines "through" that which is nearby!

And the "day star" is in Greek "phosphorus!" It is an hapax legomenon, occurring only once in all the Bible! It means light bearer! It is a Name for the Lord Jesus!

The day star will "arise" too! "Anatello" means "to set out for one's goal!" Jesus will not fully rest until He has accomplished ALL His Father's Will in every area of life, heavenly and earthly!

Does anyone remember when Jesus "arose" in your heart? I mean when He saved you?

I believe that Peter is telling us that Jesus in our hearts is brighter than the Jesus of the Transfiguration! The Jesus we know through the precious Word of God!

How awesome this verse claims the Bible to be!

No wonder Psalm 138:2 tells us that "God hast magnified His word above all His Name."

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

Perhaps this intrinsic glory and awesome brightness of Scripture are two reasons why the Psalmist regularly prayed: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalm 119:18

Maybe when we read the Word of God, we should have protective glasses handy!

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- The noun "prophecy" is spelled "prophetikos" and is derived from "pro" (before, in front of or forth) and "phemi" (to say or speak) ... all of which is based upon the "phaino" stem, "to shine, to lighten, to show!" Bible prophecy can be either the foretelling of future events or the forth telling, proclamation, of God's Truth! And who would have ever linked "prophecy" with the Transfiguration? But that grand Event also tells us Jesus' future Glory ... and proclaims much doctrinal truth as well. For example, the deity of Christ! Of course the Bible, God's Word, both fore-tells and forth-tells!

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 20:

The Bible is God's inspired Word!

God not only wrote that blessed Book, He also conveys its meaning!

He is the Interpreter of His Own sacred Scriptures!

Peter says this: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." 2nd Peter 1:20

We are here on the verge of being given the Bible's fullest description of how the Bible was written!

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2nd Peter 1:21

But before we study these "holy men of God," let's analyze whatever God here calls "first." The verb "knowing" is really a participle. It means to be absolutely sure of something! "First" translates "proton," meaning that which is primary in time or place or rank!

Peter is explaining to us that man did not give us the Bible! The Holy Spirit did! Hence, man should refrain from his own peculiar interpretations and personal explanations of that Book, the Word of God! God is fully capable of conveying what He means!

First of all, "proton," man absolutely must be removed from the miracle we call Inspiration. He does not even have the right to interpret it all by himself!

The noun "interpretation" is spelled "epilusis." The root verb here, "luo," means to loose or untie something! The prefix "epi" merely intensifies the action described.

The Bible has just been pictured as a Text with "knots" of difficulty that must be studied and explained!

Bible exegesis involves leading the meaning out of a Text! ("Ago" = to lead! "Ex" = out!)

Bible exposition involves reaching into the Word and placing right there by It the meaning it conveys! ("Ponere" = Latin = to place! "Ex" = out of!)

Then, real analysis of Scripture means the loosening of its meaning, making it available to the people of God! ("Lysis" = a loosening! "Ana" = up!)

In Nehemiah 8 the Preachers, after Ezra had read the Word of God to the great congregation, ... "Gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading." Nehemiah 8:8

We can interpret the Bible, but just not based upon our own whims and opinions and idiosyncrasies!

The adjective "private" is spelled "idios" and means "one's very own!"

God has built His meaning into the Text, the Bible!

Man is not to tamper with that at all!

Once this fact is clearly settled, we can further understand the process God used in giving us His Word, His inspired Word!

Be sure and study with us here tomorrow!

Verse 21 is crucial!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 21:

The Apostle Peter left us a treasure!

His classic definition of Bible Inspiration is beautiful!

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2nd Peter 1:21

By "prophecy" Peter obviously meant the Word of God. This includes both the predictive and the declarative elements of the Bible.

The Scriptures both fore-tell and forth-tell the Will of God!

The Written Word "came" to man! This verb, "phero," is a passive aorist indicative verb meaning "carried along!"  The Bible is one of God's precious gifts to mankind!

By using the expression "old time" Peter undoubtedly means the era of the Old Testament! Although the same principle of divine inspiration would apply for the New Testament Books as well.

The "will" of man translates "thelema," one's desire or plan! That which one wishes!

Well then, if the Bible was not given to us by man's initiative, how did it come?

Precisely, "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

The adjective holy is spelled "hagios." It pictures that which is set apart or separated from sin and evil, sanctified unto the Lord!

The noun "anthropos" is rendered "men" here. This word combines "aner" (the male of the species) and "ops" (the human face)! This leaves no possibility for a woman writer of Scripture! All were men.

To "speak" represents "laleo." This of course can include writing as well as talking ... with the emphasis being on the sounds uttered and expressions reflected rather than the message conveyed. These men did not compose their own message ... God did! "Laleo" is an aorist here, signifying completed action! The Bible is now a completed Book! No more writing is being done! It is finished!

To be "moved" is again the little verb "phero." Borne along by the Spirit! This expression was used, we are told, of an oceanic sailing vessel waiting for the winds to blow! To blow it toward its selected destination!

Likewise Scripture writers sat and waited, pen in hand, until the Holy Spirit, like a Wind, blew and moved and carried them along as they recorded the Word of God!

The preposition "by" translates "hupo" and means "underneath." That is, underneath the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, under His direction and guidance!

This inspiration verb, "were moved,"  is also here expressed in the passive voice. The men did nothing but yield!  The Holy Spirit did all the rest!

How beautiful today's Truth!

I agree with Jesus, Who said to His Father "Thy Word is Truth!" John 17:17

Thank God for the Bible!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, CONCLUSION:

The Bible is a God-breathed Book! That's literally what the word inspiration suggests! "Spiro" is a Latin verb that means "to breathe!" The prefix "in" just means "within." God breathed into the Word of Truth exactly what He intended!

Furthermore, in 2nd Timothy 3:16, Paul teaches us that Scripture not only is inspired, but is "profitable" also!

This adjective, "ophelimos," is only used four times in the New Testament. 

It is derived from a root word, "ophello," that means "to heap up, to accumulate, to gain or to benefit!"

Yes, the Bible is a great means of benefit for the Child of God! It is more precious than silver or gold! Listen to David in Psalm 19:10. "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. "

Yet there is more! The 2nd Timothy 3:16 statement is continued in the next verse where we are told that the Scriptures can make us "perfect!" This word does not mean sinless of course. It means complete! Properly fitted! One source says "artios" means fresh! Never stale! No mold or mildew! Not out of date!

Then the Bible is said to make us ready for "all good works!" That sounds like balanced Christianity! All good works! That reminds one of Acts 10:38 where Peter was preaching about Jesus! "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Notice the capital letters! Jesus was perfect in all good works!

Now here's my point.

Since God's Word is profitable ... and can make us perfect ... and prepares us for all good works, we must love it and study it and obey it as we live for Jesus!

But today three things are being done to the Scriptures, three deadly things.

1. People now are adding to the Bible! Everywhere we hear some new interpretation or some extra truth not heretofore known! Religion has now inserted ideas like purgatory and praying to Mary and evensome new gospels as well as polygamy and who knows what else!  The Bible needs nothing added! It is complete! It is perfect!

2. People are also replacing the Word of God! Instead we are given steady diets of psychology and social action and self esteem and political correctness! Would you replace a meal of delicious prime rib ... with a plate full of bologna? Why preach cultural theory when you can preach the Truth?

3. Then lastly, people are now displacing the Word of God! Bible studies are yielding to play practices! Drama has overtaken many churches! Preaching has taken a back seat to dialogue! Exposition must be shortened so we can sing twice as much! Bowling leagues have ousted prayer partners! I'll just tell you right now, nothing can ever take its place! If a person has become accustomed to gourmet dining, why would he or she ever want to revert to greasy fast food? Stay with the Real Thing! Jeremiah wrote of the Lord's Word: "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16

Thank God for His Word!

It is without error certainly!

But ... it is also sufficient for every area of life!

Yes ... We do have a more sure Word of Prophecy!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

THANK GOD FOR HIS PRECIOUS WORD!

 

                                                                          

 

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