|2 Peter 1:17-21 |
17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when a voice came to him from the excellent glory, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
18 And we heard this voice that came from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mount.
19 Also [like we heard God's voice from heaven on the mount] we have the steady prophetic word [the word in your heart]; to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star [Jesus] rises in your hearts;4 [As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:27. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star. Rev 22:16. He who overcomes, ..I will give him the morning star. Rev 2:26-28. From the Word of the Lord within: "Light comes from faith in the voice. My word is in your heart and mouth. Listen well to my words; attend to them. And to those who obey, he will appear like a magnificent star in your heart. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience."]
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture ever comes about by the prophet's own imagination.
21 For prophecy in old times did not come by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, [and so the prophetic word that you hear also comes from the Holy Spirit],
4 Also, we have the more sure prophetic word; to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. In the Greek of this verse, what has been translated as "more sure" actually means stable, firm, sure, or trusty; and there is no word for "more" in the Greek of this verse. The "sure prophetic word that we possess" in this scripture is Jesus, the word of God, the life of God, the light in all men, the word in your heart and mouth to obey, (pay attention to)— Christ the word, and Christ the light of the word, given to all men so they might believe and obey. Before you can see Christ in the Light, you must listen to and obey the word of God, spoken to you in your heart. Translations of the Bible are from those with only outward Bible-faith, (rather than the true inward faith), and they and their typical readers point in error to this verse claiming "the prophetic word we possess" refers to possession of scriptures; but the believers that Peter addressed in this letter did not all possess scrolls of scriptures; scrolls of scriptures were very expensive, bulky to store, fragile, and typically only possessed in the synagogues; and Bibles were not generally available until the late 1500's. Peter is using an expression: as to a light that shines in a dark place, which is identical John's description of Christ, the word, the life, which is the light of men, that shines in darkness, which is the darkness of men's hearts that has not yet been cleansed and purged to become a new heart. The following defines the true meaning of this verse’s several components with supporting scriptures:
we possess the firm prophetic word;
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was god. John 1:1
- the worlds were formed by the Word of God, so that the visible things were not made from anything we can see. Heb 11:13.
Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom he also made the worlds. Heb 1:2
the heavens were made by the Word of the Lord, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. Psa 33:6
- But what did it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart [so you may hear and obey it];" that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8
- But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, so that you may obey it. Deu 30:14
- And we know that the Son of God is present [with us] 1 John 5:20
- He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, 1 John 5:12.
- Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27
as to [like] a light that shines in a dark place
(what shines in darkness? — Jesus is the light of men and in all men, John 1:4,9.
Since Jesus is the word, John 1:1, then the light is the light of the word ;
and the light of the word shines in darkness, John 1:5, of men's hearts;
for fallen man's heart is full of evil: darkness; he sits in darkness and walks in darkness,
until the light arises so that man walks by the light, as he is guided by the light.)
- In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
(He is the life, and He is the small measure of light in all men.)
- The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:5
(The light of the word shines in man's sinful heart like a light that shines in a dark place, [the same words Peter used to describe the prophetic word in the subject verse of this footnote], to reveal the truth of their ways to them by the light of the word — the light of life, the light of men, the word, Jesus. Jesus is the light, and the word, and the truth, which is in your heart to be obeyed.)
- Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world [every man]. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life. John 8:12
(To follow Jesus is to obey what He commands you to do.)
- This man came as a witness, to bear witness to the Light, so that all men might believe through it [the Light, Christ]. John 1:7.
Which is the true Light that enlightens every man who comes into the world. John 1:9
to which you do well to pay attention,
- Listen to and obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk completely in the ways that I command you, so that it may be well with you. Jer 7:23
- And being made perfect, he [Jesus] became the author and source of eternal salvation to all those who heed and obey him; Heb 5:9
- Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it! Luke 11:28.
- believe in the light, that you may become the children of light. John 12:36
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
- I, Jesus.. am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. Rev 22:16.
- He who overcomes, ..I will give him the morning star. Rev 2:26-28.
- Through the tender mercy of our God, by which the Dayspring [the morning star, Jesus Christ] from on high will break upon us,
To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79
- For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:27
- For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:6
From the Word of the Lord within:
You can read the Bible continuously for the rest of your life, and you will never see the Morning Star arise in your hearts; but if you daily listen for the living word, hear, and obey — the day breaks through and the Morning Star [light] arises in your hearts. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Cor 4:6. Christ is revealed in your heart; you see, and have knowledge of, the glory of God. As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:27.
Until this occurs, you must obey the spoken words of the Lord. Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it! Luke 11:28.
My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice. Luke 8:21.
Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One, My Beloved; listen to, believe, and obey Him!” Luke 9:35.
So you must come to Jesus, listen in humble silence, hear him speak to you, and then obey what he commands you to do. Come, listen, hear, obey.
Beware! There is a counterfeit light, which is a pleasure trip, an ego booster, a pride enhancer, a feel-good experience. The devil can provide this counterfeit experience to anyone he thinks he can fool. The true light is described by George Fox in his Journal when the light arose within Him:
But Oh! Then did I see my troubles, trials, and temptations more clearly than ever I had done. As the light appeared, all appeared that is out of the light; darkness, death, temptations, the unrighteous, the ungodly; all was exposed and seen in the light. After this, a pure fire appeared in me; then I saw how Christ performed as a refiner's fire, and as the fuller's soap. Then the spiritual discerning came into me; by which I discerned my own thoughts, groans, and sighs; and what it was that veiled me, and what it was that opened me. That which could not abide in the patience, nor endure the fire, in the light I found to be the groans of the flesh, that could not give up to the will of God; which had so veiled me, that I could not be patient in all trials, troubles, anguishes, and perplexities; could not give up self to die by the cross, the power of God, that the living and quickened might follow him, and that what would cloud and veil from the presence of Christ, what the sword of the spirit cuts down, and which must die, might not be kept alive.
Several other early Quakers wrote of the arising of the light being a very unpleasant experience for them because the light exposed the evil within them very clearly. However, once the evil had been exposed and then destroyed, then they enjoyed fellowship with the Lord and peace and happiness with the light's guidance through life.
Similarly, Paul writes in Hebrews 10:32, "But remember the former days, in which, after you were enlightened you endured a great fight of afflictions."
But all things [sins] reproved are made manifest [revealed] by the light. For whatever reveals is light. Eph 5:13
To review, the Word of the Lord within has described the true light as: "The light shows us our image, however fanciful we have become; neither is it pleasant what the light exposes. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience."
So, realize the devil's counterfeit light does not do the same; he gives a feel-good light to convince you that you have made great progress and are fit to teach and preach with the plentiful further instructions he will give you; you think you are following the Lord, but you are only adding to the delays in your progress, which will be proportional to the spiritual damage you inflict on your listeners with your teachings, (however true), spoken in the wrong spirit.
There is one advisory to follow that will keep you safe: until you can accurately distinguish the voice of the Lord vs. the voice of the opposition, do nothing for the Lord except obey his instructions to repent.
This verse, 2 Pet 1:19, and Heb 4:12 are frequently explained in error to refer to the Bible by those whose faith is outward Bible-faith. The Greek for word in this verse (click to see) is logon <3056>, which means :1) of speech; 1a) a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea; 1b) what someone has said. Clearly the Bible does not speak, but the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, does speak the word of faith from within your heart, which is the word the Apostles preached.
In the 17th Century, a young George Whitehead writes of the controversy:
Here arose the chief controversy, the priest giving the preference to the Scriptures, from the text in 2 Pet 1:19; “We have a more sure word of prophecy; to which we do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the day-star arises in your hearts." The priest would have this more sure word to be the Scriptures of the prophets, which I was constrained to oppose, considering where and between what the comparison more sure word consisted; as being between the voice that came from heaven to Christ on the Mount — which Peter and James and John heard — and the word, the light, or the spirit of prophecy, in the hearts of those believers, who did not hear that voice from heaven, nor there with Peter, James and John in the mountain, when they heard that voice from the excellent glory from heaven. Yet that voice was certainly true, that Christ was the Beloved Son of God, whom, by that voice they were required to hear. It is not said, you have also a more true word of prophecy, but a more sure word. It was more sure to them who had it in their hearts constantly to take heed to, and to guide them to the arising of the day-star in their hearts, even the bright morning Star. I say this word, this light, which they had in their hearts, must be more sure to them than that voice which they never had heard; it being especially and peculiarly heard by three disciples, not by all believers; but this internal word or light, is generally manifest, and continues in the believers, who wait for the appearance of Christ in spirit.
The priest would have this more sure word of prophecy, unto which Peter directed them, to be the Scriptures of the prophets, who prophesied of Christ to come, before he came. To which I answered; the voice from the excellent glory, which Peter, James and John heard, when they were with Christ on the mount, testified of Christ having come, saying; "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Therefore this voice and testimony so expressed to them, must be more sure than the Scriptures of the prophets, written before he had come. It would be no small perversion of Peter's words, to turn them thus; although we have a voice and testimony from heaven, that Christ the Messiah is come already, yet you have also more sure Scriptures of the prophets, which foretell and declare unto you that the Messiah is to come, and that you do well to take heed thereunto until he comes. This denies Christ to have already come, contrary to the testimony just given him being the Father's son from heaven, to and by three of his faithful and credible witnesses, Peter, James and John. And though that voice from heaven was sure and certain, to them who heard it [the three disciples only], yet that Word, that Light of Christ, which in many appears as a light shining in a dark place, even in dark hearts, is more sure to them than that voice or vision which they have not heard or seen. This word or light, will be known to be a very sure guide and rule; it will prophesy, open, and show things to come, especially to them that do well, that is, in taking timely heed thereunto.
And in his Journal, George Fox also comments on this error in interpreting the sure word of prophecy to be the Bible:
As I went towards Nottingham on a First-day in the morning, with Friends to a meeting there, when I came on the top of a hill in sight of the town, I saw the great steeple-house: and the Lord said unto me, ‘You must go cry against that distant great idol, and against the worshippers inside.’ I said nothing of this to the Friends, but went with them to the meeting, where the mighty power of the Lord God was among us; in which I left Friends sitting in the meeting, and went to the steeple-house.
When I came there all the people looked like fallow ground, and the priest, like a great lump of earth, stood in his pulpit above: he took for his text these words of Peter, ' We have also a more sure word of prophecy, which you do well to heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.' He told the people this was the scriptures, by which they were to try all doctrines, religions, and opinions. Now the Lord's power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold; but was made to cry out, 'Oh! no, it is not the scriptures;' and told them what it was, namely, the holy spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all truth, and so gave the knowledge of all truth. For the Jews had the scriptures, yet resisted the holy ghost, and rejected Christ, the bright morning-star, and persecuted Christ and his apostles, and took upon them to try their doctrines by the scriptures, but erred in judgment, and did not try them aright, because they tried them without the holy ghost.