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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


2 Peter 1:19-21 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. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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.

It was probably true at the time that Peter wrote this epistle, as well as it is today, that more people are led spiritually by the cunningly devised fables of men, as noted in 2 Peter 1:16, than by the inspired, prophetic word of God itself, referred to in verse 21 of our lesson text. Notice Paul's warning to Timothy. 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; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Practically the same admonition was given to Titus. This witness is true. Wherefore, rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth (Titus 1:13-14).

We generally think of fables as fictitious stories that use plants or animals as characters to teach a moral lesson. Such are Aesop's fables. However, according to Webster's definition, fables also include myths, legends, untrue stories, falsehoods, and lies that are designed to deceive the hearer or reader. The fables referred to in Peter 1:16 are probably the latter definition, designed to deceive, rather than teach a moral lesson. "Spiritualists," (false teachers), to convince people to support and follow their teaching, have used all forms of deceit and deception, in order to receive praise and material gain for themselves. Audiences are persuaded by "flamboyant, enrapturing oratory", showmanship bordering on "magic", "entertainment", falsly devised "miraculous healing" by the "laying on of hands," and by owning and touching so called "holy anointed articles of cloth, stone, and soil taken from the holy land". All of these things can be classified, in the broad definition, as fables, which are designed to deceive and defraud audiences all over the world for personal glory and gain.

It is these audiences that Peter refers to in the lesson text. These are men and women that heed the "prophecies of men," rather than the inspired message from holy men of God. Prophecies, including all scripture found in the bible, do not come from any private interpretation of men. It is the word of God, which came directly from Him, was spoken through His Son, Jesus Christ, or was recorded by the disciples of Jesus, as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. Any message that does not have these truths as their basis, are to be considered the will of man,and disregarded by those searching for salvation through Jesus Christ. Truth can be found only in the word of God. Peter's warning to all readers is to take heed - do not heed the "prophecy" of men, but that of God. He tells us why this should be true. It is because we have a more sure word of prophecy, with "we" meaning Peter and all those to whom he was writing.

Old Testament prophecies were giventhrough various prophets selected by God, and were to deliver His messages to His people. They could very well be, what Peter refers to here as, a light that shineth in a dark place. In darkness, practically nothing is completely visible, with most things totally hidden from sight. The only way to see in darkness is by using a lamp, or other sources of light. Although one is not able to see as clearly as in daylight, a lamp will serve as a guide enabling us to safely travel our paths. Such is Old Testament prophecies. They served as the best possible guide for mankind until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

If Old Testament prophets that brought God's word to His people were the lights that shineth in a dark place, then, in the New Testament, the holy men of God, that spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, can be compared to the dawning of the day when complete light was available see clearly, to completely understand God's will. The appearance of the day star, or the morning star, assures us that the complete light of day is here. Jesus, the Lamb is the light, and those, which are saved, shall walk in the light of it (Rev. 21:23-24).

And finally, Jesus, Himself, tells us I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star (Rev. 22:16). Theday starhas come, the day star is here to stay, the day star is our assurance, through our Savior, that God's plan of salvation is available to all through His Holy Word. The day Star is Christ Jesus, our Lord.Give heed to Him!