THE PRESENT TRUTH
2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
2 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.
2 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: 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.
Before the Lord Jesus’ death he gave Peter an important commission. Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. But at that moment Peter shrugged it off as if he didn’t need such an admonition. Luke 22:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
But the Lord revealed to him the awful truth that Peter would not admit to himself. Luke 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. And it was that actual experience which now motivates Peter’s urgency to call to the remembrance to these believers The Present Truth, though he said ye know them.
The danger of the thorny ground hearers is that growth is being had by the thorns as well as by themselves. Then eventually the thorns choke them out. Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. Many professors have made a good start concerning Christianity. But it’s the finish line, not the starting gate that matters! Matthew 10:22 …but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Therefore Peter’s absolute self confidence bringing on his abysmal failure shockingly prepared him to fulfill his Master’s commission. This is why we read the words, “in remembrance” three times in our above listed context in verses 12, 13, and 15. And he also provides these who profess Christ with knowledge that even after his death, the written word would remain to strengthen them in the faith.
And to enhance the soundness of that word, he gives them an apostles first hand knowledge of just how their “Present Truth” came to them. In doing so he instructs them that the apostles have a “more sure word of prophesy” than even the Old Testament prophets had. For he states that the apostles were “eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 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:
This was also the testimony of the Apostle John. 1 John 1:1 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; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
And the Apostle Paul instructs the church at Corinth that the glory of Christ’s completed redemption far excelled any glory of the Old Covenant age. 2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
And Paul gives his account of having seen the glory of the Son of God to King Agrippa as recorded in Acts 26:12-19.
We also read of Peter that those Old Testament prophets received what they wrote as moved along by the Holy Spirit. This was the case even though some of the things they wrote were “not unto themselves.” 2 Peter 1:20 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.
1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
And as our scriptures were spiritually given, they must also be spiritually received. John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Just read but two verses in this same chapter and you will understand the certainty of those words. John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. For it was at this revelation that many of the Lord’s disciples walked away from him. John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
This is indeed of deep spiritual mystery. For it delves into the mystery of how the Son of God receives his continued oneness with the Father. John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. For even in the same mysterious, spiritual way that the believer feasts off Christ, so the Son is appropriated life from the Father!
And the revelation of the Son to any believer is exclusively the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And in an amazing revelation the Lord states that if he testifies of himself, that witness would not be true. John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. For every deed he accomplished, every word he spoke was by the Holy Spirit! John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
He was indeed, justified, that is, proved genuine by the Holy Spirit! 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
But we must not lose an extremely important statement included in the Apostle Peter’s above listed instruction. Here it is again: 2 Peter 1:20 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.
For it is extremely important for the believer’s daily walk of faith to know that all the scriptures are made available to himself by the Holy Spirit. Those events that happened to even Old Testament believers are for the present believers instruction and encouragement. For as the Apostle Paul taught the Corinthian believers concerning Moses bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, he makes this clearly known. 1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
He even informs them that they can look at the rock from which those wanderers drank for it was their own Christ! 1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Our Lord used the words of the Psalmist David to apply to his own situation. John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. For even though David wrote this concerning his own experienced with one who had betrayed him, his life being directed by the Spirit, was but a pattern of Christ, the King.
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. Psalm 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. The titles of both of these Psalms say, “A Psalm of David.” But they were not meant to have just a “private interpretation for David alone.”
And if the Lord ever taught us anything, it is that everything in the Scriptures are concerning him! For the written word is there to bring us, by the Holy Spirit, to the Person of the Living Word! John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
Therefore the key to the benefit of the written word is not to seek for ought but Christ. We are not to seek the doctrine of any proposed denominational religion! And we must be careful never to “wrest” the scriptures. That is, to stretch it out of shape in order to get it to confirm some personally proposed truth. 2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
The Scriptures actually give us an insight into their purpose. They were not written as a history of man. They were written as a history of redemption. And they were not written as an exhaustive commentary of “the life and times of Jesus!” The world could not hold all that information! But they were written so that any who have a hunger for redemption and righteousness could thereby be directed by the Holy Spirit to reach that end.
John 21:24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. gb