A More Sure Word

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A More Sure Word

A More Sure Word

II Peter 1:16  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.
17  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.
18  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
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:
20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21  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.

Peter and John and James had the privilege of witnessing Jesus’ transfiguration. That was quite an event. Peter was so taken in by that, that he could not think straight. He wanted to make three tabernacles up there to commemorate the event. God the Father interrupted him and declared:

Matthew 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Peter’s words were not necessary and in fact if carried out would have become a massive hindrance to true faith. God wanted him to remember Who was on that mountain with him.
In verse 16 Peter reminded the readers that he was not following cunningly devised fables. When Peter declared the facts of Jesus’ coming, he declared the facts. Jesus’ coming was not mythology. Many people today believe it is just mythology. They might believe that Jesus was here, but they deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Peter declared that he was eyewitness to Jesus’ majesty. In verses 17-18 he referred to the transfiguration of Jesus.
In verse 19 Peter reminds us that we have a more sure word of prophecy. The facts of Jesus’ coming are definitely more sure than the fables that Peter referred to in verse 16. The Pharisees had many fables. There are still many fables today. There are what is known as “old wives tales”. Not sure why they are referred to only as “old wives” tales. We as men can also come up with tales.
The point that Peter and others were directed by God to make here, is that we need to reject the tales and understand the certainty of God’s Word.

Matthew 12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus rebuked the naysayers of His time for wanting another sign. They lived by signs. They doubted God’s Word, but believed signs. Sounds like the Charismatics of our day. Sadly, the Charismatic philosophy has infected most people’s religion. They believe signs, but doubt God’s Word.
As many people observe this “holy week”, tomorrow will be a day off work for them. Some will find a church to attend, but for others it will be a day off to do whatever. In some countries like the Philippines, they will try to re-enact the trial and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ tomorrow. Some of the people will actually allow themselves to be nailed to a cross to try to prove their sincerity. They are likely sincere, but they are sincerely lost.
For those who have some mathematical ability, it should be clear that from Friday to Sunday does not equal three days and three nights. Those that are truly born again will know that Friday to Sunday does not equal three days and three nights. There is much debate as to the actual day in which Jesus died. The debate is with how a person calculates the start of the day, etc. God did not give us the date because that is not necessary.
We are not told to hold to a certain day when He died. We are told to remember His death whenever we, those who are truly saved, come together in a true church service. I have done chaplaincy service in several hospitals. During orientation, they take you to a little room where there is a desk and a chair. There is a closet that has wafers and little containers of wine as well. They suggest that the chaplain can use that if there is a patient that would like to have communion in the hospital. For many, the purpose of communion is lost. Many use it as a means of offering forgiveness of sins. The Catholics believe that if the priest can be at the bedside of the dead person and place that wafer on their tongue as they take their last breath, that is very special.
The Lord’s Supper is important for true saints. God does not set a certain day to keep it. He says: “As oft as ye drink it . . .”, in reference to the cup. Those who partake unworthily bring God’s judgment upon themselves. A faithful saint that is lying in a hospital bed, is not sinning if they cannot partake of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is not a private matter. It was taught to be done ion a church setting. The reading of God’s Word and having prayer with them is very important and would be comforting to their soul.
Peter was directed by God to remind us that we have a more sure Word of prophecy. He was also told that we would do well to take heed to that Word. We mentioned before that the events followed during this week are designed by the Catholics. The Protestants protested some of the Catholic teaching and either left or were kicked out of the Catholic religion.
Martin Luther was kicked out. He did not want to leave the Catholics. He just wanted to change them according to his ways. The Catholics tried to kill him for his defiance of their laws. Many people assume that Martin Luther was a great hero of the faith. He believed in “works salvation” just as much as the pope did. He died a lost man.
Menno Simons was raised a Catholic but he was converted and became a respected Bible student and teacher in his day. He left the Catholic religion. His followers are embracing that corrupt religion and going back to it again.
Independent Fundamental Baptists, state that they are not Protestants. They state that the foundation of their faith is directly from the Bible. The Fundamentalists are also restricting themselves because they hold to the “fundamentals”. The men who put together the fundamentals were not all Baptist men. They held meetings and determined there were certain things that were essential to true faith and practice. They ignored other doctrines as being of lesser importance.
The blessing of being a Biblical church is that we do not answer to another earthly body. We are under Jesus Christ’s authority and we answer to Him. The Bible teaches local church doctrine.
Those who are saved and seeking to truly honour God will see that it is pointless to follow cunningly devised fables. They will see the importance of God’s sure Word. God’s sure Word was authored by God and given to holy men who wrote it down as God directed them. They were moved by the Holy Ghost. They did not have some private vision and write that down. Their words agree with other prophecies. They are all the Word of God.
Peter was directed by God to declare that we, those who are born again, need to take heed to this prophetic word “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” That light exposes the darkness. It may be surprising to see the light in the midst of the darkness. The light is not grey. It is bright and illuminating. It is something that stands apart from the darkness. It is important and it is declarative.
Those who are saved cannot just yawn their way through life. They desire truth because the Spirit of Truth indwells them. They seek to learn and follow the truth faithfully. They are growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s Truth is not changing. We need to change until we get to the Truth and then we can be settled there. Peter was settled on the Truth of the surety of God’s Word. He was not looking for some way to set up a shrine to the transfiguration. He learned that was wrong and he forsook that. He had other things to learn and he learned them as well.
As long as we live, there will be the need to get a clearer understanding of the doctrines of the Bible. Once we have a certain doctrine corrected, we need to stick with that. The way we will know if we are correct is if we compare what we believe with what the Bible says. No adding to nor taking away from the doctrine is allowed. We have a more sure Word. It is completely accurate. Make sure you actually have the Word of God before you. We use only the Word of God in our devotionals. It would be wrong for me to try to mix truth and error and try to encourage you to do the best you can with fallible writings. God promised to preserve His Word and He has done that. We have It in the King James Bible for the English speaking world. This fact is far too important to shrug off or scoff at.
God wants each person to know the truth. He has made sure that His Word will be available for all eternity.

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Pastor Bartel

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