The Word of God comes to us tonight comes from 2 Peter chapter 1; 2 Peter chapter 1. We're looking at verses 16 to 21 under the subject, "The Sure Word."
The Bible makes some startling claims for itself that set it apart from every other book in the world. Scripture says, for example, "The law of the Lord is perfect." It says, "Thy Word is very pure." It says, "Thy law is truth." It says, "All Thy commandments are truth." "The sum of Thy Word is truth." "Every one of Thy righteous ordinances endures forever." "All Thy commandments are righteous." "The law is holy, just and good." "Scripture cannot be broken." "Every word of God is pure and flawless." "Not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law until all is fulfilled." Scripture is even called the word of truthfulness. In Isaiah 65:16 the Lord calls Himself, "The God of truth." In Jeremiah 10:10 the prophet writes, "The Lord is the true God."
And the New Testament agrees with the Old in calling God a God of truth. John 3:33 says, "God is truthful." John 17:3 says, "The only true God." First John 5:20 says, "He is the true God." And then there are several passages in the Old and New Testaments that tell us God cannot lie.
And so, His Word is true. The writers of Scripture, thinking, first of all, of the writers of the Old Testament make over 2,000 direct claims to the fact that the Scripture is God speaking Himself. Again and again they write phrases like, "The Spirit of the Lord has spoken to me," or, "The Word of God came to me," or "The Word of God said." Isaiah the prophet in chapter 1 verse 2 said, "Hear, oh heavens, listen, oh earth, for the Lord has spoken." The New Testament has the same claims as the Old Testament and has them even for the Old Testament. Most notably the words of Jesus: "Not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished," Matthew 5:18. James added, "That whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking it all," James 2:10, thereby saying that it is true in every point and cannot be at all violated. In 2 Timothy, chapter 3, the familiar words of Paul, reminds us of Scripture's inspiration. He writes, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." In John 17:17 Jesus said to God, "Thy Word is truth."
And so, over and over again the Scripture reminds us that it is a sure word. That is precisely the message of our text. Let's go back to it, 2 Peter chapter 1 and verses 16 through 21, and let me read you these verses so that you have them in your mind as we consider them. Beginning in verse 16, "For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the majestic glory, `This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.' And we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word, more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this, first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
Now the readers to whom Peter writes were being besieged by false teachers. And one of the things those false teachers were doing was denying the truth of Scripture. Peter writes this epistle to expose these false teachers. He exposes them directly in chapter 2, calls them what they ought to be called, describes them in great detail. But in order to help all of us believers set our defenses against them, he tells us that we must have a true knowledge. If we're going to defend ourselves against error we must know the truth. If we're going to discern what is false we must know what is true.
And so he says you must have the knowledge of salvation. And he gives us that in chapter 1 verses 1 through 11. And then he says you must have a knowledge of matters of sanctification. And he gives us that in chapter 3 verses 3 through 18. And here he's telling us a third thing, you must have the knowledge of Scripture. And that is his theme in the verses which I just read.
If you're going to defend yourselves against false teachers you must know your salvation, you must know your sanctification. You must know your Scripture. Now, how are we to know Scripture is true? How are we to have it verified to us? How are we to be sure about it?
Peter gives us two lines of verification. First, supernatural experience in verses 16 to 18, which we looked at last time. Secondly, supernatural revelation in verses 19 to 21. Both supernatural experience and supernatural revelation attest to the veracity, validity of Scripture as the Word of God. Together they affirm that the Bible is true.
Now remember what we said about supernatural experience. In verses 16 to 18 Peter's basic point is very simple. He says you can trust the Bible writers, you can trust the apostles, namely, because what we have penned we have personally experienced. When we made known to you the things we did, we made known to you things of which we were eyewitnesses. Peter is simply saying that you're not getting secondhand information; you're getting firsthand information from firsthand eyewitnesses. When we wrote to you, as he did in the first epistle, and when the other apostles wrote to them and spoke about the Second Coming, they were eyewitnesses of Second Coming glory on the mount of transfiguration, that's what he says in verses 16 to 18. And so we speak to you as firsthand eyewitnesses. The first line of verification then for the truth of the apostles' writings in the New Testament was their own experience, firsthand. They had walked with Christ, they had talked with Christ. They had experienced His life, His teaching, His miracles, His death, His resurrection. They had seen the living, crucified, risen Christ. They had been exposed to His supernatural, Second Coming glory on the mount of transfiguration. They were eyewitnesses of what they wrote and that is the first line of verification about the truth of their letters.
The second follows in verses 19 to 21 and it is our theme for our study tonight. The second line of verification was supernatural revelation. Not only did they have these personal experiences, which makes them into eyewitnesses, but they were also given supernatural revelation. God did not just depend on their eyewitness account. God, by means of the Holy Spirit, superintended the recording of all of their experiences and all of their writings so that they, in effect, were the revelation of God Himself. So you have firsthand eyewitnesses writing under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, supernatural revelation.
Peter might be expecting someone to say, "Well, Peter, I'm glad you had your experience, but your experience can't be the standard for truth. Lots of people have lots of experiences, real and unreal. So, Peter, as good as your firsthand experience is, as wonderful as it must have been to have walked and talked with Jesus, seen Him on the cross, seen Him after His resurrection, as great as it was to have seen His Second Coming glory glimpsed on the mount of transfiguration, there must be a more sure word than your experience. As true as it was, as valid as it was, there must be more than that."
And the answer is: There is. There is the Scripture. And so in verse 19 Peter writes, "And so we have the prophetic word, more sure." Literally the Greek order is this, "And we have more sure the prophetic word." More sure than what? More sure than experience, even the valid, genuine experience of the apostles. Peter's reply to anyone who wants to question his experience is that there is a more reliable source, that is, the Word of God. If you don't believe me, you'll have to believe the Word of God.
Now as I told you, the phrase in the Greek reads simply this way, “and we have more sure the prophetic word.” Some commentators, and I need to defer for a moment and discuss this so you'll understand because you may run into it in your reading, some commentators have felt that this statement could be understood a different way. Some commentators have felt that the statement should be read to indicate that Peter and the apostles' experience made the Word more sure. In other words, what Peter is saying would be, “By our experience we have the prophetic word made more sure.” The idea there would be that the prophetic word might be true but our experience has validated it. The Old Testament prophets predicted the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus predicted His Second Coming. And all of that prediction is fine and true and right, but our experience on the mount of transfiguration of seeing the transfigured Christ in His Second Coming glory with Moses and Elijah and the voice of the Father saying, "This is My beloved Son," getting a glimpse of Him in His kingdom glory makes the prophetic word of the prophets more sure.
In other words, we had an experience that verified Old Testament prophecy through a personal preview of Second Coming glory. Now that is a possible meaning. But the literal interpretation of the text again reads, "And we have more sure the prophetic word." And so the order seems to lend our interpretation to that which I gave you first of all. As good as our experience is, the prophetic word is more sure. And while it is true that they saw Christ's majesty and that in seeing His majesty they may have in their own mind have had some confirmation of Old Testament prophecy, this would be a very strange statement if indeed it meant that their experience validated the Old Testament prophecy. It would seem a strange admission to me because it would be saying, as strong as the Word is, there is something even stronger and that is our experience. And now you've turned the table and you have experience verifying revelation. But quite the contrary, God Himself has repeatedly emphasized that the Word is a sufficient source of truth, the Word is in inerrant, the Word is in infallible, truth never to be questioned, and never to be helped along or validated, as it were, by experience.
The glory of Christ in His transfigured magnificence on the mountain was perhaps able to make His Second Coming glory more understandable to them, but the Word was already as sure as it would ever be. The Word is always a sure word. At no time in redemptive history has God given supernatural visions of Christ to bolster someone's confidence in the Word. The Word has always stood alone. And I don't believe here God is elevating experience above revelation. The purpose of verses 16 to 18 was not to show the greater source of truth is experience, but simply to show that the writers who wrote the New Testament and who spoke of Christ's coming were not writing fables that they had invented like the false teachers, but they were eyewitnesses. They were not secondhand story-tellers like the false teachers, they were firsthand eyewitnesses. And then Peter is saying that's line of evidence number one, but verse 19, "We have the more sure word, the prophetic word."
"We" here refers really to all of us, it's not the emphatic we of verse 18 which referred to Peter, James and John. It's the very generic usage of it, we together collectively have a more sure word than our own experience. It is ascribing to the Word the surest place. The Word is a more reliable source than the experience of anybody, even the apostles. It is more specific, it is more detailed, it is more exact, it is more full than anyone's experience could ever be.
In Romans 15:8 listen to what Paul said, "For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers." Paul is saying that the many prophecies that were fulfilled in Christ's first coming and recorded in the New Testament are the confirmation of the Old Testament prophecies. The New Testament writers confirmed the Old Testament prophecies so that the New Testament is the written, sure Word, to reaffirm that indeed the Second Coming will come to pass. The writing of the New Testament, which reiterates the Second Coming prophecies, is a more sure word, even than the experiences of the apostles.
Paul is saying that Jesus came to the Jews as the perfect minister, fulfilling the Mosaic law entirely in His person and work. He came first to the Jews. Why? To verify that God keeps His word and to confirm the Old Testament pledges of the Messiah's salvation, kingdom, and future glory. Christ came and confirmed the truth of the Abrahamic covenant with His blood, signaling that God kept His promise and that what the Father said were true.
And then the New Testament writers wrote all about His Second Coming and they confirmed the prophecies of the Old Testament writers. And so whether it was the Word of Christ, the more sure word, or the word of the prophets, a more sure word, the Old Testament was confirmed not by experience but by the New Testament, the words of Christ, the words of the apostles. And this fits the Jewish thinking about the supremacy of revelation.
Michael Green writes about that, a very important paragraph. He says, "The Jews always preferred prophecy to the voice from heaven. Indeed they regarded the latter, the bothcal, daughter of the voice, as an inferior substitute for revelation since the days of prophecy had ceased. And as for the apostles, it is hard to overemphasize their regard for the Old Testament. One of their most powerful arguments for the truth of Christianity was the argument from prophecy. In the Word of God written they sought absolute assurance like their Master for whom it is written sufficed to clench any argument. Peter's meaning seems to be that given in the first suggestion. He is saying if you don't believe me, go to the Scripture. The question, wrote John Calvin, is not whether the prophets are more trustworthy than the gospel, it is simply that since the Jews were in no doubt that everything the prophets taught came from God, it is no wonder that Peter says their word is more sure."
And so, the Jews believed that the written Word was the more sure word. All of these things lead us to believe that what Peter is saying here is we have the more sure word, even the prophetic word, the inspired Scripture.
Now that phrase, look at it there in verse 19, "the prophetic word," refers to the inspired Scripture. From the specific standpoint it was a current expression used in Peter's time to embrace the Old Testament as a whole. When he says the prophetic word, he doesn't mean just the predictive prophecy, say that predicted Christ's first or second coming, but the prophetic word was simply the Word in total, the inspired Word which in general was prophetic of the Messiah. The whole Old Testament was in one way or another anticipatory of the coming of Messiah. That is why in Romans 16:26 Paul talks about the prophetic Scriptures. And he doesn't just mean specific prophecies of Christ's coming, but the whole speaking forth of God as He gives truth that lays down the hope of salvation in the coming Messiah. In both cases here in Peter the prophetic Word, there in Paul the prophetic Scriptures, the adjective "prophetic" simply embraces all of Scripture.
And so Peter has described the Word as carrying a prophetic tone or a prophetic element that characterizes it generally. The whole Old Testament is a prophetic word spoken about Messiah. It all points to the Messiah.
To illustrate that simply and directly, one need only turn, for example, to John's gospel, chapter 5 and verse 39. Jesus said this, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life and it is these that bear witness of Me." Jesus says go through the Scriptures, they're all about Me. And He's referring to the Old Testament.
In Luke, you remember chapter 24 I'm sure, the road to Emmaus scene, verse 27 and beginning with Moses and with all the prophets He expounded to them the things concerning Himself, listen to this, in all the scriptures. And over in verse 44, He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you that all things which are written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." And then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures. Genesis all the way to Malachi, the whole Old Testament speaks of Christ one way or another. He is the seen or the unseen subject. The Old Testament, the prophetic Word, the use of a definite article, singular word, makes us confident that He marks out the Old Testament as a composite book of revelation pointing to the coming of Messiah.
So Peter says this revealed body of truth is a more sure word even than our experience. And, by the way, what Peter says here is not even limited to the Old Testament. Any prophetic word from God is a more sure word than human experience. For the New Testament is an inspired record of the Old Testament being fulfilled in Christ in His first coming. And then it gives more truth related to His Second Coming. So whether it's the word of the Old Testament prophets, or the word of the New Testament apostles, it is a more sure word. Peter is referring to all inspired revelation, just like Paul is referring to all inspired revelation when he says, "All Scripture is inspired by God." So the Scripture, the Word, is a more sure word.
Back to verse 19. We have the more sure word, the prophetic word, "To which," that is to the word, “which” modifying “word,” "To which” listen to this “you do well to pay attention." Great statement. The word "well" is kalōs, right, excellently. You do right, you do excellently, you do nobly, you do well to pay attention to this word.
Peter calls for a careful heeding of Scripture. He is saying to all of us, look, you're going to be exposed to false teachers, you're going to be exposed to those who come along teaching not that which is easily discernable, but that which is very subtle error and in the process of being exposed to this error, first of all, as we've seen, you have to know your salvation. You have to know you're in Christ and know where you stand, and now he says, then you’ve got to know your Scripture. That's safeguard number two. And since you have a more sure word, look not to my experience, look not to your experience, look to the sure word and you will do well to pay attention to it, careful heeding of Scripture.
To make his point even more direct he offers a metaphor in verse 19, a very simple one. He says, "As to a lamp shining in a dark place." It's simply this. If you were wandering in a very dark place, you would desire a lamp to light your path. And so it is with the Word. You do well to take heed to the Word like a man wandering in the dark would take heed to a lamp. The Word, says the psalmist, is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, Psalm 119:105 says. The Word is like a lamp to give light of truth and virtue to an ignorant and wicked world, a dark place, he says. That's a fascinating word. It originally meant “dry” or “parched’ and then as words go through an etymology it came to mean “dirty,” and finally it came to mean “murky,” and then ultimately just “dark.”
The murky, dirty, darkness of this fallen world keeps us without the ability to see the truth until the lamp shines. And the lamp that is the more sure word is the lamp of revelation. Beloved, we must know the Word of God.
I've said this over and over again in these last two weeks in the Soviet Union. These people are vulnerable. They are vulnerable to anything and everything that comes in here because though they believe the Scripture is a more sure word, they do not deeply understand all its truths, and so they're vulnerable. They need the light to shine brightly.
The Scripture is kind of a night light. And it shines, now listen to me, only temporarily. It will endure forever but it shines as a light in the dark place only temporarily because only as long as we are in this world is it dark. And that's what he says. Follow his thought in verse 19. He says we should pay attention to it as a lamp shining in a dark place until — What that means is it's only for a while, it's not permanent — until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
There's coming a dawning, this is a beautiful thought, and the lamp, listen to me, the Word, is not the sun. The lamp, the Word, is not the sun, the sun is Christ. But until the day of the dawning when the day star comes, arising in your hearts, and then dawns into the full blazing light of eternal sun, we need the Scripture.
Think of it this way. Scripture is to ultimate truth as a night light is to the morning sun. It's just a small, little light but it's a sure and a true light. His word picture here is beautiful and Peter is referring to the coming of Christ. When he says, "Until the day dawns," he means the whole return of Christ in all its splendor. Romans 13:12 says the day is at hand. Christ's coming is seen here and it will totally dissipate the darkness as the full, blazing glory of His kingdom arrives and banishes the night.
It also has some overtones to include a reference to the day of the Lord. There's a bittersweet reality there because when He comes in blazing glory He comes not only to bless but He comes to judge. But then he says in verse 19, "And the morning atar arises in your hearts." You know what the word "morning star" is? Phōsphoros, from which we get phosphorous that shines in the darkness. It literally means “light bringer” and was the name of the planet Venus. I don't know if you realize it, some of you who are in to astronomy do, but the planet that precedes the morning sun is Venus. And before the full-blown glory of the day of Christ, the morning star Himself will come, that is Christ. I can't see any difference here between the morning star who is Christ and the dawning of the full-blown sun who is Christ. Christ is called both a star and a sun. Numbers 24:17 says, "There shall come a star out of Jacob," a star indeed, that star, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet in Revelation 22:16 also it says, "I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, morning star." Way back in the Pentateuch it said Messiah would be a star. Clear to the other end of the Scripture in the last book, the Revelation, it said He would be the morning star. But until the morning star comes and until the kingdom dawns in its blazing sunlight, then we have this night light. This is it, the more sure word.
Notice the end of verse 19 he says, "The morning star will rise in your hearts." What does he mean? Is he talking about some spiritual event? Isn't this an actual, visible, physical, real return of Christ? His arrival, the Day of the Lord, the bringing of His kingdom? And the answer is yes. One writer says, "Here the rising in our hearts obviously points to something that happens in a blessed and saving way to Christians in their inner selves. The clause must be a pictorial description of the way in which at His coming Christ will dissipate the doubt and any uncertainty by which their hearts are meanwhile beclouded and will fill them with marvelous illumination." And what he means to say is that when Christ comes not only will His blazing light be physically visible around us but it will fill our lives and dissipate any doubt or any questions that exist. It will have not only an externally transforming impact on the world and the universe. It will have an internal transforming impact on those believers who are alive when Jesus comes. An outer transformation, an inner transformation, I believe both must occur at that time.
And so, Peter says, you have a more sure word. It's this prophetic word, Old Testament and New Testament. The Word of the living God, more sure than anyone's experience, even the experience of an apostle. And you do very well to pay attention to it, to give heed to it, to listen to it because it is like a night light shining in a dark place and it's the only light you have until the morning star arises and brings with Him the golden dawn of His eternal kingdom. But until you enter into that glorious, permanent and eternal glory of the shining Son of God, you have the night light that is your guide.
And then Peter, continuing his emphasis on the importance of Scripture, has a caution. In the study of Scripture, in living by the night light in the dark place, we must approach that lamp in complete confidence because we know it is inspired by God Himself. And so he says this, look at verses 20 and 21, "But know this first of all," this is my very important statement to you, "that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." Peter is saying you can have confidence in this light in the dark place, you can trust it because it is not from human sources, it comes from God.
In the Old Testament, you'll remember, the evidence of a false teacher was that he spoke for himself. He spoke his own words. He made up his own revelations. He made up his own prophecies. And he didn't speak for God. In Jeremiah chapter 23, verse 16, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophet who are prophesying to you, they're leading you into futility, they speak a vision of their own imagination.’" They made it up. Verse 21, he says I didn't send these prophets. They ran. I didn't speak to them, but they prophesied. "But if they had stood in My council then they would have announced My words to My people and would have turned their back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds." And then verse 25, "I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesied falsely in My name saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream.’ How long, is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart?" God says there are those prophets, they don't speak for me, they speak for themselves. Don't listen to them. Their message is not My message.
In Ezekiel 13:3 he says, "Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing." They don't know anything.
So, Peter says, look, the writers of Scripture are not like those prophets. The writers of Scripture speak for God. So he says in verse 20, "But know this." Here is a truth of primary importance linked with that phrase in verse 19, "You do well to pay attention." "But know this." What do you mean this? What he's about to say. Know this fact, "First of all” this is bottom line, point number one, basic lesson, if you're going to be confident about Scripture, if you're going to be certain about Scripture, the first thing you have to know is this, basic lesson, "that no prophecy of Scripture," now that's designating all Scripture, Old Testament and by implication all New Testament, all the holy writings, the graphē, all of it, "is," notice that word, "no prophecy of Scripture is genneti," and the word means "comes into being." "No prophecy of Scripture comes into being, or originates, or arises, or comes into existence from one's own interpretation." That was true not of a true prophet but of what? A false prophet. The false prophet spoke of his own things, spoke out of himself. But no prophecy of the writing of God's truth arises from someone's own epilusis. Now this word epilusis is translated "interpretation." In some ways that's an unfortunate translation because I think it tends to make people think that it's talking about how you interpret Scripture when it's really talking about the very source of it. The word means a releasing. It can mean a solving or an explaining. Some feel it actually has the idea of inspiration. The genitive case in the Greek indicates source. He's not talking about how you interpret Scripture, he's talking about where it came from, how it originated, what its source was. And so he says the first thing you need to know if you're going to trust the lamp that lights the dark place is that no prophecy of Scripture ever came from some human source. It isn't like the teaching of the false prophets. No prophecy of Scripture has originated in the prophet's own understanding.
Peter is concerned with the source of Scripture. Prophets didn't invent it. They didn't invent the Word, not at all. The same God who spoke at the transfiguration about the deity and humanity of Christ, the same God who spoke of the perfection of His Son is the same God who authored Scripture. You do well, he says, to give heed to this holy Scripture like a night light in the midst of worldly darkness because what is in it is not the result of human inventions like the myths of false teachers. The NIV, I think, has an excellent translation. It says, "No prophecy of Scripture ever came about by a prophet's own ideas." He couldn't be talking about interpretation or verse 21 would make no sense. Verse 21 says, "For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." That explains what he means in verse 20. Quite the contrary to Scripture being of human origin, it is of divine origin, for no prophecy, no word of Scripture, no word from God, not any was ever absolutely never. Notice how emphatic this is. No prophecy was ever at any time made by an act of human will. The Bible is not the product of men.
To verify this, go back to 1 Peter chapter 1 for a brief look at a very important parallel passage. First Peter chapter 1, some people might think that the writers wrote out of their own minds and invented all this, that's what the liberals tell us, that the Bible is a human book written by men. Well ask yourself this question after reading this passage, 1 Peter 1:10, "As to this salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow." What an incredible statement. Ask yourself what in the world that could possibly mean if they were inventing their own prophecies. How could they be searching and inquiring into their own inventions to find out what was meant? If they made it up, they could have made up what it meant. But they knew it was the Spirit of Christ within them predicting these things. And so they were looking at the very things they were writing and saying, "What does it mean? How can I understand it?" From Moses to Malachi and even in the New Testament writers who wrote about the Second Coming of Christ there must have been some mystery. Even though God had revealed to them a future, great, redemptive deliverance to be brought by the promised Messiah, and they knew it was future and they knew it was coming, they couldn't fully understand it. They knew about the grace that was to come, but what they wrote was not their own invention or they would have understood it. But they made careful search and inquiry, intensive seeking and searching, a passionate zeal to understand. And they wanted to know, verse 11, who was this Messiah and when would He come. And if they had invented the rest, they could have invented that, too. They actually wrote what they didn't fully understand.
So, back to 2 Peter, what is Peter saying? No prophecy ever came by some act of human will. Just the opposite, just the opposite, alla, quite the contrary, that's the word for "but," but on the other hand, men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
It's important to note that all the authors of the sixty-six books are men. And all those men were moved by the Holy Spirit. It's a present passive participle. It means they were continually carried along, continually borne along. It's used... The same verb is used in Acts 27 twice, verses 15 and 17, of a ship that's blown along by the wind, just moved along.
This is the way to look at it. The prophets raised their sails. They raised their spiritual sails and the Holy Spirit filled them with His breath and blew them along in the direction He chose for them to go and they wrote as they moved along under the power of the Holy Spirit.
I love what it says in Luke 1:70. It says, "God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets.” “God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets." He moved them along.
And so, they were moved by the Holy Spirit and spoke from God. The Holy Spirit then is the divine author, the producer of the prophetic word; not human thought, not human will, this is not a book written by men. This is a book recorded by men, but authored by God the Holy Spirit. When Jeremiah said in chapter 1, "Now the Word of the Lord came to me saying," he spoke for all the prophets. It was the Word of the Lord who came to him. And so it is with all the Bible writers. In the Old Testament alone, 3,808 times the writers refer to their words as the very words of God. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers and moved them along. It had to be Him. Listen to 1 Corinthians 2:12, it says...well, 2:10, "For to us God revealed them through the Spirit for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God for who among men know the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him, even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." The only one who knows the mind of God is the Spirit of God, so the only one who could move the writers along is the Spirit of God.
Totality of Scripture, according to Romans 3:2 is divine oracles written by God, divine oracles written by God, given by the Holy Spirit in a marvelous process called inspiration by which the writers wrote down precisely what God wanted said. That's why Paul said in Acts 24 when he was giving his testimony. He said, "But I admit this to you that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I do serve the God of our fathers” listen to this “believing everything that is in accordance with the law and that is written in the prophets." What a testimony. Paul says, Acts 24:14, I believe every word of it.
The Holy Spirit inspired the writers, moved them along and they wrote the Word of God. They were living men. They weren't lifeless pens. They were not passive, they were active. But the Holy Spirit through them wrote God's flawless, inerrant Word. And that's why we have a more sure word. That's why it is a lamp in a dark place.
You say, "How did they do it?" I don't know. I don't know the supernatural phenomena. I don't know what they felt. I don't know what they experienced. I don't know what kind of phenomena was going on. All I know is that the Spirit of God wrote it and as a result we have a more sure word.
So, Peter says, look, I'm not a false prophet, I'm not like the false prophets. First of all, I was an eyewitness of the majesty of Jesus Christ so I know whereof I speak. But even more sure than that, I write as one moved along by the Holy Spirit like every other biblical writer and so here is a more sure word of revelation, more sure even than the experience of an apostle.
There are some foolish people today who think experience is more important than Scripture. That's not the case at all. So Peter says take heed to the Word, it's a more sure word.
He reiterates this same concern in chapter 3 as he says in verses 1 and 2, "This is now, beloved, the second letter I'm writing to you in which I'm stirring up your sincere mind by way of remembrance." Then he says this, verse 2, "That you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles." You've got to look to the Word, that's the sure word.
So, God superintending human authors so that using their own individual personalities, experiences, thought processes and vocabulary, they composed and recorded without error His perfect revelation in the original copies of Scripture. And so we have a light, a night light in a dark place. And it's going to be our night light until the morning star arises. And immediately following the morning star, the day dawns in the day of glory in the kingdom of Christ and He becomes not just the morning star but the blazing sun who becomes the lamp of the eternal dwelling place of God's people. But until that blazing light dissipates all darkness, we have to have the night light and it's a more sure word. If you're going to stand against error, beloved, know your salvation and know your Scripture. Let's bow in prayer.
Father, thank You for our time tonight, time to consider the great truth of Your Word. Oh how thankful we are for this more sure word, more sure even than the experience of apostles upon which we can base our life. We do well to take heed to it, to remember what was written by the holy prophets and to remember what was written by the apostles, for it is the light in the dark place. Oh God, may it light our feet, light our path until the morning star comes and all is light and there is no darkness. Until that day may we be people of the Word who search out its truths and whose lives are lit by its clear light. These things we ask for the glory of Christ. Amen.