NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATION #2
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.
In order to allow us to more clearly focus on what the Apostle Peter is saying, let us now deal with some of the phrases of this passage. In doing so let us first consider that word “fables.” Strong’s Concordance says it means, “a fiction; a myth.” And both the Apostles Peter and Paul warn of them. So these must be serious deceptions of Satan to turn hearts from the truth of the word.
The Apostle Paul warns of both “Jewish” and “old wives” fables, or myths. 1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
And he later instructs Timothy that those willing to hear the preaching of the gospel at present, can later come to cast it off, coming to an appetite satisfied only with fables and religious myths! 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Let us consider a couple of passages which reveal the induction of myths into the religious realm. (It is amazing how many in our day believed that Hollywood’s term, “Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,” is biblical!)
Matthew 28:11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. This was a lie of the Jewish chief priests and elders to deny the resurrection of the Eternal Son of God! And it was a fable that worked on those not willing to believe on Him! And since the Book of Matthew is reported to have been written in A.D. 50, this ‘fiction’ had already lasted some twenty years!
But let us get much closer to the true believers and see how a fable can start among them. John 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
Peter, with his inordinate, meddlesome attitude, questions Christ concerning John’s future role. And the Lord basically tells him that he is John’s master and will do with him as he pleases: even if it were to his tarrying until he returned. He just used something far fetched to emphasize that he, not Peter, was John’s master. And look what happened! A fable – a myth – was immediately originated!
And it was so strongly entrenched into the minds of the believers that it caused the Holy Spirit to inspire the private-spirited John to have to write that which we read in verse twenty four. Fables are so easily set forth and rapidly spread that the meekest of the disciples is forced to uncharacteristically, ‘testify,’ concerning himself in order to quench it!
And how many of us have fables which we have unwittingly collected as we study commentaries and even the printed ‘notes’ on the pages of ‘bibles’ we have used? And these have greatly hindered our minds in seeking the truth of God’s word. How many of us still have Scofield’s erroneous fictions of the two witnesses of Revelation eleven being Moses and Elijah, when the Lord Jesus plainly and most clearly instructs us that John the Baptist was that Elijah? Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
And we even have the inspired word of God telling us very plainly that the church and the Holy Spirit are God’s two witnesses! Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Receiving this truth, we then have to rectify our erroneous notions that there would be two physical witnesses, who would physically die, and their physical bodies lie in a literal street! Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
But since that Acts 5:32 verse clearly instructs that down through the ages God’s two witnesses are the church and the Holy Spirit, and since nothing can actually kill either, but reading that they are killed, we then understand it is referring to the killing of the effect of their witness out of the world. For this is what Satan has always done! Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
So how do we combat this ignorantly accumulating of fables which have become intwined with the truth? We do as the Bereans were noted for. We carefully, and prayerfully search the scriptures. Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. For it is the truth that sets our minds free!
We must also understand the importance of obedience to the word which has already been revealed to us. John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. For it is in believing the word to the point of living it that further doctrine is revealed. Matthew 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance:
1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
The next phrase we need to consider is found in verse nineteen of our above listed text. There the Apostle Peter states that the apostles had a “more sure” word of prophesy than the prophets. For we find that the prophets prophesied by faith, but the apostles proclaim from fulfillment! Let us go back to Peter’s first epistle to see the former.
1 Peter 1:10 ¶ Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 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.
First we must surely notice in verse eleven that the entirety of the Old Testament is once again summed up under two points: the cross and the crown of the Lord Jesus. For that is exactly the ‘outline’ the Lord used for the two wandering sheep on the Emmaus road. 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? His cross and his crown were said to be “all that the prophets have spoken!”
But we must also take note of Peter’s word that this was “not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister!” Then we must be made aware that the apostles word was “more sure” because they actually saw it become fulfilled! You cannot testify in any court of the land if you are not an “eyewitness!” And that is what the apostles were!
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:
Therefore Peter sums up the entirety of the scriptures in this manner: 2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: We have already seen the relationship of the apostles to the prophets in 1 Peter 1:12, listed above. The prophets foretold by faith. The apostles forth told by fulfillment! The apostles preached the gospel, which included the things which the prophets did minister unto us. As someone has well stated, “The Old Testament has the New Testament concealed. The New Testament has the Old Testament revealed.”
That “perfect day” that the prophets sought, actually dawned upon the apostles at Pentecost. Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
For as the true believer continues to abide in the revelation of the Holy Spirit, manifesting the Person of Christ within his heart and mind, he proceeds from lesser degrees of glory unto higher degrees of glory! That is termed his ‘progressive sanctification.’ For growth is a gradual process. 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Therefore we come to finally realize that the scriptures are not for any private interpretation. They were never intended to begin religious denominations, or to attach ‘favorite verses’ due to our emotional feelings. The Lord said that the primary usage of the scripture was to testify of him! Our understanding will never be opened until we seek Christ on every page! John 5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 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,
Christ Jesus alone is the Eternal Word. He alone is the Word become flesh. And in him alone have we the opportunity and privilege to see the glory which sin caused us to come short of! John 1:14 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. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
For without his glory, the scriptures will be but religious death to our souls! 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Pastor Gene Breed
April 30, 2016