2 Peter 1:16-21


2 Pet 1:16 (KJB)
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.
Not followed - Follow after or imitate
Cunningly devised - Cleverly imagined, devise skillfully, or artfully
Fables - Tale, legend, or myth
Eyewitnesses - Spectator (used only once in New Testament)
Majesty - Greatness, grandeur, or magnificence
Peter now assures his readership that everything he has been writing to them can be verified. This is because he tells them that he does not follow any of the cleverly imagined myths of the time. When Peter was alive there were many myths, especially those of Greek origin, floating around. There were so many legends, that people did not know what was true and what wasn’t. It is like today with so many internet legends running rampant on line, you do not know exactly what is true and what isn’t. There were also many false teachers at that time who were proclaiming that the miracles, death, and resurrection of Christ were only myths. Some of these myths are around today as some world religions do not believe that Christ died on the cross. Groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Christ rose spiritually but not bodily.
Peter is stating that he was an eyewitness and saw for himself the majesty of Christ. He is referring to the time that he was on the Mount of Transfiguration when Christ was transformed. He saw Christ in His heavenly glory. He also saw the glory of Christ when he spoke with Him after His resurrection. In today’s world there are many cleverly imagined myths. One of these myths which comes to mind is the New Age Movement which makes its adherents a god. Another myth is Hinduism which teaches the belief of reincarnation. As Christians we follow Christ and there is nothing imagined about Him, even though world religions and unbelievers have supplanted His truths with myths like evolution. Nevertheless, the truth of Christ will win out because how many people do you know who have been changed by evolution? How many do you know who have been changed by Christ? Personally speaking, when I was a drinker, I knew about evolution and it did nothing to change my life. When I was a drinker Christ saved me and I have not had a drink since January 1, 1981. So who do you think is real and what do you think is a cunningly devised fable?
2 Pet 1:17 (KJB)
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.
Excellent - Magnificent, splendid, or majestic
Am well pleased - Delight in, approve or consent
(Mat 17:5 KJV) 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.
(Mark 9:7 KJV) And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
(Luke 9:35 KJV) And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
God the Father gave his approbation to His Son on the Mount of Transfiguration. God the Father was confirming the ministry and prominence of His Son. God also spoke from Heaven at the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Mat 3:16-17 KJV) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: {17} And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Two times and two separate events God placed His stamp of approval upon His Son. Peter would have been an ear and eye witness on the Mount of Transfiguration. If you notice, in Matthew 17:5, God says to the disciples concerning Jesus, “hear ye him.” This is confirmed in Hebrews 1:1-2:
(Heb 1:1-2 KJV) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, {2} Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
God the Father was speaking to the world through the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and we are to hear nothing except what is spoken by and about Jesus, for He is the subject of the entire Bible. When we hear the words of Jesus, we are hearing the words of the Father. (1 John 5:12 KJV) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The same principle stands in salvation. If we have not the Son, we have not the Father. If we hear not the Son, we are not hearing the Father.
2 Pet 1:18 (KJB)
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
Once again Peter is assuring his readers that he, James, and John personally heard the words come out of Heaven. He is stating this so the readers do not think it was hearsay but that he actually heard the voice. I am sure the false teachers would definitely attack this scenario as they attack all other divine miracles in the Bible. We can see the difference between having Jesus as a mediator and not. When God spoke to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, no one was allowed to even go near the mountain or they would be killed. On the Mount of Transfiguration, here called the holy mount because of God’s presence, as long as Jesus was there to intercede, the three disciples were safe from being consumed by the glory of God. They were allowed to hear God’s voice without any consequences. Although I believe that Peter was being silenced by God when God said about Jesus, “hear ye him.” God wanted the disciples to hear Jesus and not Peter. This is important because we must follow the same principle today. When we bring the Gospel message, it must be from the Bible or else it might be a fable which we concoct which detracts from the Scriptures. How many times are fantasy stories told about Israel which detracts from the truth of Scripture? How many times we hear charismatic preachers focusing on monetary prosperity which takes away from the essence of the Scriptures? This is why when preaching and teaching the Bible, we must preach Jesus only as the essence of the entire Bible.
2 Pet 1:19 (KJB)
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:
More sure - Firm, stable, secure, or reliable
Take heed - Be attentive, be devoted to, or follow
Dark place - Dry, murky, or dusty
Dawn - Shine through as break of dawn
Day star - Morning star
Peter now builds upon his experience at the Mount of transfiguration by stating that we have a more sure word of prophecy. He is telling us that the written word of God, in both the Old and New Testament, would be more reliable than signs and wonders, such as Peter saw on the Mount. It is what we must take stock in today. Those who believe in signs and wonders are not on a secure foundation as those who are firmly established on the Word of God. He says that we will do well if we follow this pattern of keeping ourselves upon the Word of God rather than seeking signs or miracles. He likens those who stay upon the Word of God as unto a light which shines in a dark or murky place. Have you ever experienced a really cloudy day and then all of a sudden you get a little bit of sunshine for a moment, how does it make you feel? It makes you feel good for that moment until the clouds obscure the sun again. He also likens it to the darkest part of night which is just before the dawn. He likens the Word of God as a light which brings light in the darkest part of the night. This is what the Bible does as it illumines the mind of the believers while we walk in the darkness of this world. The Bible will be our guide until the dawn, when we will see the Morning star who is the Lord Jesus Christ at His second coming. (Rev 22:16 KJV) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Now just a warning: In Isaiah 14:12, the modern versions call Satan the morning star which means the modern versions are pure evil.
Isaiah 14:12
(NIV) How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
(Holman Christian Standard Bible) Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground.
(New Century Version) King of Babylon, morning star, you have fallen from heaven, even though you were as bright as the rising sun! In the past all the nations on earth bowed down before you, but now you have been cut down.
(NASV) "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!
2 Pet 1:20 (KJB)
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Private - One’s own, private, peculiar to oneself
Interpretation - Explanation
This is a verse that cults, false teachers, and purchased preachers hate. The Bible must not be interpreted according to one’s own predilection. There are too many self-appointed Bible teachers who have created systems of theology and then go on to interpret every verse of Scripture to fit under the umbrella of that teaching. This is not how the Bible is to be interpreted. Each verse is to be interpreted in the light of other corresponding Scriptures. (1 Cor 2:13 KJV) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. That means we are to look at the passage to see if it harmonizes with the rest of the teachings in the Bible. If it does not, then we must keep looking at the passage until we find the proper interpretation. We must never use the Bible to our own ends, it is the Word of God and must be interpreted accordingly. Not everyone has the gift of teaching and those who force it upon themselves will normally create some type of system which is of a false nature and must be rejected. Scripture must be interpreted objectively and not subjectively.
2 Pet 1:21 (KJB)
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 old time - Formerly or at some time
Will - Choice, determination, or desire
Moved - Carry, endured, or produced
The Scriptures were written not by the will of men, which means they did not write down what they wanted to, they wrote down exactly what the Holy Spirit told them to. The writers of the Bible were not inspired like a poet or author, who could sit by a waterfall and then become inspired to write. This passage also contains the way we must preach and teach the Bible and that is not through our own will but the way the Holy Spirit intended us to understand it. Holy men of old penned the Scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This means no unbeliever penned any part of the Scriptures. Holy men is a synonym for those who were true believers. God never entrusted His Holy Word to any unbelievers. Unbelievers began to rape the word of God in the modern versions by following the Gnostic manuscripts such as Sinaiticus and Vaticanus which were mutilated by unbelievers. God never authorized anyone to “correct” the manuscripts, simply because they did not need correcting. The holy men of old wrote exactly what God wanted in the Bible, no more and no less. The Bible is not just some religious book but is the only divinely inspired book on earth. All the rest of the religious books by false religions are penned under the inspiration of Satan and will only lead a person to Hell. No false religious book will ever bring a person to grow in knowledge of the Lord nor will it lead them to salvation. We can thank God that He has given us the Bible and when we look at all the false religious books out there, we can gain a better understanding why He calls it a light that shines in a dark place.