We ended last week with Peter reminding the church to remember the truth they learned. “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet 1:10-11)
We should emphasize the truth over and over, so we’re “provoked” to act on it. “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent [body], to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.” (2 Pet 1:12-15)
A great number of people believe the claims of Christianity are just fables, folk tales, and legends. Despite the evidence—often, without any at all—these same people are counting on the idea that the Bible is mostly invention with very little truth. “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” (2 Pet 1:16-18)
Peter writes that his personal case for Christ is simple: He saw Jesus’ majesty with his own eyes. He is reporting as an eyewitness. Specifically, Peter will refer to seeing Christ’s “majesty”. Peter was present for an event we commonly call the “transfiguration” (Matt 17:1–8). This is not the only miracle which Peter saw, nor the only piece of evidence he will use. But, for this event is the clearest example of how he knows—for sure—that what he is teaching is the truth.
Peter saw Jesus’ face shining as the sun. His clothes became as white as light. But the part Peter emphasizes here is hearing the voice of God—the Majestic Glory—speaking, declaring that Jesus is His beloved Son and that He, the Father, is very pleased with Jesus. Why were those three disciples allowed to see and hear such an amazing confirmation of Jesus’ deity? Because Jesus wanted them to tell everyone about it after He was resurrected from the dead (Matt 17:9), and the eyewitness testimony vindicates everything which had been written about the Messiah by the prophets of old.
Many of those prophesies were fulfilled with the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Other prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. We still live in a world of darkness. But those prophecies about Jesus, including the ones about His return as judge and king, are a lamp in our darkness. They encourage us, lead us, and educate us. But these lamps, those prophecies, will no longer be needed when the day comes, when Christ returns. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet 1:19)
Peter has been speaking of invented stories and myths, specifically saying his claims are neither of these. Here, Peter emphasizes the fact that the power of prophecy does not come from some human interpretation of events. In other words, the prophecies of Scripture were not “cleverly devised” stories (2 Pet 1:16) or the best guesses of insightful men: “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:20-21).
The prophets spoke God’s Words as they were “moved” by the Holy Spirit. This is proven, in part, by the fact that they are confirmed. And, more powerfully, by the fact that they are not simply guesses or speculation. These are specific prophecies, which were specifically fulfilled. In other words, the prophecies of Scripture are the Words of God about the actions of God. And God always accomplishes what He sets out to do. Be sure to keep this in mind when we look at false teaching and prophesy beginning tomorrow.