About Jesus Steve Sweetman
his first letter Peter introduces himself as “Peter, an apostle of Jesus
Christ”. In his second letter he
introduces himself as “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus
Christ”. Simon was Peter's real
Aramaic name. Peter,
"Petros" in Greek, was the name Jesus gave him. (Matthew 16:8, John
1:42) "Petros" means
"a rock". Jesus was saying
that Peter will turn out to be a real rock, a stability, in the first generation
church, even though he may not have looked like that stable believer when Jesus
named him Peter.
people believe that first century people changed their names when they became
Christians. For example, Saul became
Paul. This isn't so.
Saul was his Hebrew name and Paul was his Roman name.
Paul was Jewish, but he was also legally Roman.
There is no Scriptural support that any other disciple of Jesus had a
name change, or, that Jesus gave them a new name, other than Peter.
calls himself a "servant", or a "slave" of the Lord Jesus
Christ. All of the early apostles
believed that they were bond servants, that is, servants by their own free
choice. This is really important in
our day when Christian leaders are often promoted more like a rock star than a
servant. Unless a Christian leader
serves, he is not fulfilling his duty as a minister of the gospel of Christ.
In my thinking, he should step down from his position.
When I say "step down" I'm speaking in modern day terms.
A church leader, a pastor, should not have to step down from anywhere
because he should be below those he is serving, not above them.
apostle, that Peter calls Himself, is simply one who is sent, and in this case,
Peter was sent to preach the gospel by Jesus Himself.
need to note that when the word "Christ" is attached to Jesus, that
means Jesus is the long awaited Messiah of Israel.
Christ in its simplest form means Messiah, or, the anointed One.
The word "Christ" in its original meaning is very much a Jewish
noticed over the years that many Biblically illiterate people use the word
"Christ" as if it is Jesus' last name.
It's not his last name. It's
a title attached to his name. Jews
didn't have last names.
second letter is addressed to “those who through the righteousness of our God
and Saviour, Jesus Christ…” This
is a very important verse. One
reason for its importance is that Peter states that righteousness is only found
through Jesus. This is the true
gospel. There is no other way to
stand before God as one who is righteous other than to accept the righteousness
that He has placed on us. Even
though we are far from righteous, God views us as righteous because Jesus was
punished for our unrighteousness.
other major importance of this verse is that Jesus is called “our God”.
This is one of seven or eight verses in the New Testament that claims
Jesus to be God in such a clear way. The
Greek text makes this even more clearer than the English text, although the
English text is clear. There is no doubt in Peter’s mind that “Jesus was God
in human flesh”. Christians call
this “the Deity of Christ”. Believing
in the Deity of Christ is a must for every Christian.
brings up the subject of God in human flesh here, maybe because of the Gnostics
he will refute later on. Gnostics
believed that all flesh was evil and sinful and therefore, there would be no way
that God would come to live within a human body.
What Peter says here would have irritated these Gnostics immensely.
also says in verse 2 that through Jesus we have “received a faith as precious
as ours”. As I always say, faith
means trust. The faith that Peter is
speaking about here is the trust that we have in Jesus.
Peter actually says here that we have “received” this faith, or this
trust. This is very similar to the
thought Paul expresses in Romans 12:3 where he says that “we have been given a
measure of faith”. It is my
opinion that our natural tendency to believe, or trust in Jesus, is quite
defective because of our fallen condition. Therefore
God needs to help us by actually giving us some ability to trust Him.
This faith grows through trials that Jesus provides for us.
that Peter uses the word "faith" as a noun here.
A noun is a person, place, or thing.
The predominant way in which the word "faith" is used in the
New Testament is in the form of a verb, and action word.
This gives us the idea that "faith" produces some kind of
action, and as James says, faith produces work.
Here, Peter uses it as a noun, meaning it's the Christian belief system
that we adopt as Christians. That
being said, "The Christian faith" is based on an active relationship
with Jesus. It's more than a simple
the word "faith" here, scholars point out that in the later writings
of the New Testament the word faith began to take on a secondary meaning.
Faith was still trusting one's life to Jesus, but as it states here,
faith was seen as a body of truths for Christians to follow.
In today's Christian world, this second aspect of faith seems more
predominant than the first, and in my thinking, this shouldn't be.
Faith should first be seen as trust, then, be seen as a body of Christian
doctrine. Christian doctrine is very
important, but it doesn't replace trust in Jesus.
The sad fact of the matter is that in many so-called Christian circles it
personally believe that humans have the ability to trust.
I don't think there's much argument about that.
That being said, I also believe that our ability to trust has been
negatively affected by the fall as seen in Genesis 3.
This is why I said in the last paragraph that when it comes to trusting
Jesus, we need help. God can help us
by helping us trust Jesus as we should.
all of the above being said about faith, there are some Bible commentators that
don't view the word faith as I've just pointed out.
They say the faith written of here is really "trust", as in,
"trusting Jesus". They'd
interpret this verse this way. "… Have received a trusting relationship
with Jesus as precious as ours".
term "God and Saviour" that we see in verse 2 was actually a Roman
term that was used to denote Caesar as being "God and Saviour".
Peter might well have had this in the back of his mind when he wrote
these words. Maybe this was a bit of
a slam against Roman polytheistic paganism.
verse 2 Peter says that “grace and peace” come through the knowledge of God
and of Jesus. We note again that God
and Jesus are linked together. This
is the case throughout the New Testament. Christians
believe in the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We do not believe in any other God. It
is also important to know, especially in our day of unity among religions, that
no other religion believes that Jesus is God in human flesh.
For this reason, unity with these religions is impossible.
has extended much grace towards us through Jesus, both in His life and in His
death. Inner peace is a by-product
of God's grace. Christians in
Peter’s day had little outward peace due to their conflict with the Roman
anti-Christ culture in which they live. They
did however, have access to inner peace.
has two definitions in the Bible. One
is God's unmerited favour. God shows
mercy to us even though we don't deserve it.
The other aspect of grace is the ability that God gives us through the
Holy Spirit to do His will as we should.
Peter tells his readers, who would have been suffering greatly from an
anti-Christ culture, that both grace and peace could be their in abundance, that
might be hard to get our heads around. The
simple fact is that the worse we suffer, the more grace and peace there is for
us. If we can trust Jesus in the
midst of suffering, then grace and peace will be ours.
ends verse 2 with the words "Jesus our Lord".
This was the confession of the early Christians.
They were being pressured by the Roman culture and government to
acknowledge that Caesar was Lord, and when they refused to acknowledge that,
they were imprisoned and executed. So
when it comes to the words "Jesus is Lord', they were more than words for
these believers. These words were a
matter of life and death.
our day we tend to throw around such words as "Lord".
By this, I mean that we take such important Biblical words for granted.
We don't understand the significance of these words.
The word "Lord" as it was spoken in relation to Jesus, really
meant something to the first generation Christians.
As our culture becomes more anti-Christ, the word "Lord" as it
is attached to Jesus will mean more to us as well.
When we speak of the Lord Jesus, what we're really saying is that He is
Lord over all there is, both spiritual and physical.
The hope is that He is Lord over all aspects of our lives, because in the
end, He will have the final word concerning our lives.
verse 3 Peter says that “He has given us everything we need…” to live a
godly life. Peter is not saying that
the Lord gives us everything we need in a material or monetary sense, but in a
spiritual sense. In our hyper faith
prosperity Christian world these days, too many of us believe the word
"everything" here includes material possessions.
Everything we need to live a good Christian life is available to us
through Jesus. This is not New
couldn't have been thinking in terms of material blessings from God hear since
these people were losing jobs, homes, and much of their lives due to
words "have given us' are very important here.
The Greek words translated as "has given us" are only used in
two books of the Bible and that is here in second Peter and also in the gospel
of Mark. This might tell us
something about the gospel of Mark. Remember,
Mark became Peter's helper, and many scholars believe that what Mark writes
about in his gospel is actually the recollection of Peter.
You might say then that the gospel of Mark is actually the gospel of
Peter, and because this particular Greek word is only used here and in Mark,
might confirm this thinking.
the word "knowledge" in verse 3. Remember,
Peter in his second letter appears to be addressing the false teaching of
Gnosticism. Gnosticism teaches that
knowledge is ultimate. Gnostics only
believed that Jesus was a good man, a moral teacher. What Peter says here is
that everything we need is in knowing Jesus, not just knowing.
Greek word translated as "knowledge" means "full knowledge"
here. This too puts a damper on the
Gnostics. Full knowledge is in the
person of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in any other kind of knowledge.
uses the word “called” in verse 2. Those
who have come to true trust in Jesus came to this trust by His Holy Spirit.
If not for God calling people to Himself, people could never come to Him.
You might say that the Bible says for us to call on the Lord and we will
be saved. So who calls on whom here?
Does God call us, or do we call on Him?
This is a good question.
is my thinking that God calls all people to salvation.
This is a general call that was demonstrated at the cross.
The cross in fact was a call to all mankind to be saved.
Yet beyond this general call, I believe God calls specific people at
specific times through His Holy Spirit. I
think Scripture is clear in that we need to have the Holy Spirit speak to our
hearts in order for us to reach out or call on Him.
So, God makes the first move by His call, and we respond by our call
back. At that moment Jesus helps us trust Him as we should.
At that point salvation comes into our lives.
in Peter’s first letter, some of his sentences are long and say a lot.
These verses are no exception. In verse 4 he says that God has given us
divine promises. There are many
promises that God has given. I am
sure we could make a long list.
point to be made about God's promises is that they all come with conditions,
that is, except for His love. If we
want to receive from God, then we must do what is necessary to receive what we
want. Too often as Christians we
quote the promises and leave out the conditions.
Just so you don't get confused; God's love is unconditional.
He loves us despite our sin, but if we want to participate in His
salvation, at that point, there are conditions.
says that these promises are given for a reason.
The reason is so that “we can participate in the divine nature”. What
does this mean? Peter is saying that
the Christian life is in fact a “participation in the divine life of God”.
God’s divine life has come to us through His Holy Spirit.
The English word “participate” comes from the Greek word
“koinonia”. “Koinonia” means
"to have and to hold in common". Therefore,
because of the Holy Spirit we as Christians can all have in common the divine
life that is found in God through the Holy Spirit.
This is what being born again is all about.
We have been born into a whole new life of the Spirit.
This new life is very different from the natural earthly life we live.
Therefore, one who is really born again will exhibit the characteristics
of this new life of the Spirit of God's divine nature.
Being a Christian is not merely following a belief system.
It's participating in the divine nature of God Himself. It's
my thinking that many so-called Christians are only Christian in believe only.
The apostle Paul in Romans 8:9 says that if one doesn't have the Spirit
of God, he doesn't belong to God. That
makes participating in God's divine nature of utmost importance.
is not finished with this thought in verse 4.
He adds that we have “escaped the corruption in the world caused by
evil desire”. Once again we see
Peter’s attitude towards the world. We
see it in his first letter and in the things he says in the book of Acts.
Peter feels that he is a stranger in this world and that this world is
full of corruption. He feels by
being born again, we “escape” the corruption of the world.
He uses the word “escape”. It
is like the world has us trapped in sin and when Jesus comes to us, He rescues
us out of a horribly sinful place. I
am not sure that modern Christians really understand this point.
We are too much in love with this world to even realize that we need to
be “rescued from it”.
I think of the word "rescue", I think of a fireman rescuing people
trapped in a house that's on fire. This
is how the early church viewed the world. They
viewed it as a house on fire, something to be rescued from as soon as possible,
before the flames burn them up. Again,
I don't feel Christians today think of the world in this light.
should note that we are rescued from the kingdoms of men and placed in the
the word "evil desires" in verse 4.
It’s not that the world, that is the earth, itself, is evil.
What is evil is humanity. The
word "world" here speaks of lost and evil humanity.
starts verses 5 through 7 with the words “for this reason”. What
reason is he speaking of? The reason
is that we have been rescued from a corrupt world and have been relocated into
God’s divine life. Therefore he
says to his readers to add to your faith, or trust in Jesus, goodness,
knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and then
love. The addition of these things
to our trust in Jesus tells us that there is growth to be made as a Christian.
We are to mature in all of these areas of life.
Growth in these areas must be seen as a product of our faith, or our
trust in Jesus. That is why Peter
says to add these things to your faith. If
these things are not added because you trust your life with Jesus, then growth
in these areas are purely humanistic. One
might even question the validity of one's faith if there is no growth in these
should note that these qualities that Peter listed here were qualities well
known to his readers and the Gnostics. What
Peter was saying was that these qualities come through faith in Jesus, not
simply through worldly or universal knowledge.
though the above qualities are listed in order, I don't really believe Peter had
in mind that we work on one quality and then move on to the next. All these
qualities and more are to be experiencing growth simultaneously.
8 says, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will
keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ”. Note that Peter’s
hope is that these qualities are in us in “increasing measure”, that is to
say, these qualities are maturing within us.
These qualities shouldn’t be stagnant, they should be growing.
growth of these qualities in our lives will help us be effective and productive
in our knowledge of Jesus. What does
this mean? It means as these
qualities mature in our lives, we will come to know Jesus and the way He wants
us to live, resulting in us being effective and productive in everything
pertaining to Jesus in our lives. Do
we think in terms of being effective and productive in our lives as Christians?
I believe our modern western style church does not think in these terms.
I think many of us think of being a Christian in terms of being a
spectator. For example, we “attend
church”, that is, “we sit and watch”.
We should be thinking in terms of participating in the work of the Lord,
and being effective and productive in this work.
The church was never meant to produce spectators, but workers in the
the word "possess" in verse 8. Doing
things associated with these qualities is one thing.
Possessing these qualities, or, allowing them to be a part of who we are,
is quite another thing altogether.
verse 9 Peter goes on to say that if we do not have these things in our lives,
we are blind and have forgotten that we have been cleansed from sin. This paints
a picture of a person who has merely gotten saved and has stopped growing in
salvation. This also means that if
we have no hint of being effective and productive workers in God’s kingdom,
then we also are blind and have forgotten the sinful state we were saved from.
Peter doesn't seem to be suggesting that those in this state have lost
their salvation, only that they are still, or have reverted back to, being a
Peter is saying here is that there are some Christians who are productive and
some who aren't productive. There
are many Christians today who are unproductive.
I believe in that which we call church today, there are more immature
Christians than mature Christians. This
should not be.
speaks of unproductive believers forgetting that they've been cleansed from
their sins. This is a sad commentary
on those believers. Forgetting what
Jesus has done for them on the cross is probably one of the worst sins a
Christian can commit, but I'd suggest this sin marks much of the identity of the
verse 10 Peter says that in light of these facts we should make “our calling
and election sure”. What does he
mean? God calls us all.
Those who respond favourably to His call are elected, or chosen by God.
We need to make this sure in our lives.
We need to be sure that God has indeed called and chosen us.
We need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are indeed saved.
For most of my life as a child and a youth I was never sure that I was a
real Christian until February 1970. One
day in a moment of time I became sure, and from that assurance came a new life.
We cannot be effective and productive in God’s kingdom if we are not
sure of our salvation and if we are full of doubts.
word "election" as seen in the New Testament simply means
"chosen". God chooses us
to be saved. He sends His Holy
Spirit to knock on the door of our heart. If we let Him in, we are saved.
We become one of God's chosen people.
we think of God's chosen people, we often think of the Jews.
They were God's chosen people in Old Testament days.
However, in New Testament days, God's chosen people are those who have
given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, whether Jew of Gentile.
That being said, there are certain promises to God's Old Testament chosen
people, the Jews, that will be fulfilled at the end of this age.
Those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture would say that at the
rapture, this present age ends, and, God's New Testament people leave this
earth. God's Old Testament people,
the Jews, thus come back into focus when it comes to prophetic history. Part of
God's rationale for the Great Tribulation is to bring His Old Testament people
back to Himself through suffering in judgment.
also says in verse 10 that if we do these things, that is the things that are
added to our faith, we won’t fall. This
is simple. If we are progressing in
the things of the Lord, we won’t fall back into unbelief.
You can’t go forward and backward at the same time.
It's only simple logic.
also says that we will “receive a rich welcome in the eternal kingdom”.
When this life is over for us, Jesus will welcome us, and His welcome
will be rich. His arms will be open
wide for us as we enter His eternal kingdom.
This rich welcome will make up for any material loss that we have
experienced in this life.
Christians we live in the
that the kingdom spoken of here is the kingdom “of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ”. Jesus is both Lord and
Saviour, or Christ. As Christ, He
offers us salvation. As Lord, we
offer Him our lives.
I said earlier, Peter might have had another reason for saying the kingdom is of
our Lord and Saviour. Caesar wanted
to be called Lord and Saviour. Of
course, the Christians could not accept this and that is why they were
persecuted as they were.
verse 12 Peter tells his readers that he is reminding them of truth that they
already know and are very much grounded in.
There is never any problem with refreshing people’s memory when it
comes to the things of our Lord. Really,
the one way in which people learn is by repetition.
If people hear something one or two times, they will forget.
Yet if they hear something over and over again, it will sooner or later
sink in and become a part of them. This
is one important principle in advertising. This
is why Coca Cola has become a household name.
things that we hear, we often don’t retain.
There is a process of integrating knowledge into our lives.
First we need to hear the knowledge.
Then we need to retain the knowledge.
Then we need to understand the knowledge.
Last of all we need to incorporate the knowledge and the understanding
into our daily lives. Then as Christians, we need the Holy Spirit's influence
when it comes to this knowledge and how we should apply it to our lives. The
difficulty is that the knowledge that is presented to us doesn’t always end up
at this last step.
Luke 22:32 Jesus told Peter that once he had returned back to Him, after his
denial, he should "strengthen his brothers".
The word "strengthen" is the same Greek word that is translated
here as "firmly established". Peter
was doing what he was told.
verse 13 Peter says that he believes it is right to refresh the memory of his
readers “as long as he lives in this tent”.
Note the word “tent”. He
does not use the word “building” or even the word “temple” as Paul does
at times. A tent is different from a
building in that it is temporary and moveable.
Peter viewed his existence in his body as temporary.
The tent refers to his physical body.
earthly bodies are associated with this world.
We often see the word “world” used in Christian terminology.
This word has a very wide meaning to it in Christian circles.
John says, “Love not the world”. (1 John 2:15)
What is meant by “the world”? "The
world" means anything that has to do with our earthly and sinful existence.
It doesn't mean the earth.
verse 14 Peter says that “he will soon put it aside.
The word "it" refers to his body. Peter then goes on to say,
"as the Lord has made clear to me”. This
remark by Peter could easily be an illusion to what Jesus told him in John
21:18. Jesus said, “when you were
younger, you dressed yourself and went where you wanted, but when you are old
you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you, and lead you
where you don’t want to go. Jesus
said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God.”
If Peter was thinking of Jesus’ remarks, then he must have been led
around by others. Once Peter got to
the place of being led around by others, that would have clued him in on what
Jesus told him. He would have
realized his time was short. That
being said, it might be possible that Peter heard directly from the Lord.
Maybe the Lord told Peter that his time was short.
states that Peter died in and around 68 A. D..
If this is the case, then we can date this letter just prior to 68 A. D..
verse 15 Peter says, “I will make every effort to see that after my departure
you will always be able to remember these things”.
Just what preparation Peter meant, is questionable.
The fact that he was writing this letter might well have been one way
that he could refresh their memory after he died, or, maybe he might have had
his first letter in mind. It also
might be very possible that he had the gospel of Mark in mind.
Remember, most scholars believe that what Mark writes in his gospel is
actually recollections from Peter. It
just might be possible that while Peter was writing this letter, he was relating
to Mark things that he could put in his gospel account. In this way Peter could
leave these people a legacy.
verse 16 Peter tells his readers that he did not “follow cleverly invented
stories”. I like these words, for
many today believe that Christians follow such “cleverly invented stories.”
Our faith is not based on such stories. It is based on universal truth
that can be proven by many historical facts.
Peter walked the dusty roads of
the "coming of the Lord Jesus Christ" that we read in verse 16, again,
Peter heard of these things directly from the mouth of Jesus.
If the gospel of Mark is really the gospel of Peter as I think it is,
then Mark 13 is what Peter heard Jesus say.
Mark 13 concerns the return of Jesus to earth and the lasts days just
prior to His return.
verse 17 Peter could have been speaking of what is called the transfiguration in
Luke 9:30 – 37. This is where
Jesus appeared along side Moses and Elijah.
A voice from Heaven was heard to say, as Peter quotes, “this is my Son,
whom I love, in Him I am well pleased”. To
me this event represents a revelation from Heaven.
Moses represents the Law, while Elijah represents the prophets.
God. In Old Testament times spoke to His people through the Law and the
Prophets, but in New Testament times He speaks to people through His Son, the
Lord Jesus Christ. This is one very
misunderstood thing in Christian circles. How
we view the Old Testament as New Testament Christians really needs to be well
understood, but often isn't.
words "honour and glory" are important here.
Both of these words have a great Hebrew tradition in the Old Testament.
On many occasions God showed himself in glory and honour. One example was
when God spoke to Moses in the clouds. Clouds
are a symbol of God's glory. Jesus
returning to heaven in the clouds is one such example.
18 in my thinking refers directly to the transfiguration.
When Peter uses the words "sacred mountain" Jews would have
thought in terms of the sacred mountain where God gave Moses the commandments,
but now he is speaking of an even more sacred mountain, that is, the mountain of
verse 19 Peter speaks of the Old Testament prophets.
He is basically saying that these prophets have predicted what he is now
talking about. He says that these
prophets have spoken a very certain word, a word of prophecy that can be trusted
by all who hear them. One example of
what Peter would have been talking about is Isaiah, chapters 42 to 46.
These chapters predict Jesus as being both Lord and Christ, Jesus is Lord
over all there is and He is Christ, the anointed One; the Messiah.
have said that the prophets spoken of here are the Old Testament prophets.
You will note that the text doesn't refer to them as being the Old
Testament prophets. Some might think
they are the New Testament prophets, but I don't think this is the case. It's
generally accepted that when the New Testament speaks of "the
prophets", it is speaking of the Old Testament prophets.
The term "Law and prophets" is seen many times in the New
Testament. The prophets in this term
are clearly the Old Testament prophets. The
simple fact is that when Jews heard the term "the prophets", they
understood these prophets to be Old Testament prophets, not New Testament
New Testament prophets, I do believe in this ministry.
You can see them throughout the New Testament.
I do not believe they ended with the first generation church as I do not
believe the gifts of the Spirit ended with the first generation church either.
our day there are people who pay a great deal of attention to these prophecies,
sometimes to the exclusion of other things.
On the other hand, there are people who don’t feel it necessary to
study the Old Testament prophecies as they pertain to the return of Jesus.
They think that looking into the future takes away from the present work
of the Lord to be done. This
shouldn’t be. There should be a
balance between the two groups of people. I
suggest that the closer we get to the end, the more we should be thinking about
and studying the Scriptures concerning the return of our Lord. As
a matter of fact, if you do pay close attention to these prophecies, you will be
“as a light shining in a dark place” as verse 19 states.
Once again, Peter speaks of the world as a dark place, but for those who
know the prophecies and keep watch for that day to come, they will indeed be a
light in a dark world. So it is
clear that waiting expectantly for Jesus’ return is a good thing, and is also
a form of witnessing in the dark world in which we live.
term "the light shining in a dark place" could possibly be a reference
to Psalm 119:105 and Proverbs 6:23.
can be this light, “until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in our
hearts”. The dawn obviously refers
to Jesus’ return, while the morning star is Jesus Himself.
Jesus will rise in our hearts. Some
in these days take this verse to mean that Jesus will not literally return to
earth, but only figuratively return. This
return will be in the hearts of people, making the world a better place to live.
This is false teaching. When
you read other Scriptures, it is very clear that Jesus will physically return to
earth. Acts 1:11 clearly states that in the exact way that Jesus left this
earth, and that was through the clouds, in that same way He will return.
Jesus' return is a literal return to earth; and, you cannot interpret the
word "clouds" in Acts one symbolically.
That would make no contextual sense.
verse 20 Peter speaks about the nature of prophecy.
Prophecy was not an invention of man’s own mind.
The prophets of old didn't think these prophecies up on their own.
They didn't prophesy from “their own interpretation”.
Prophets of old were moved upon by the Spirit of God, and they spoke what
the Spirit of God told them to say. Peter
says that these prophets were “carried along by the Spirit”.
You get the picture that in a spiritual sense, the Holy Spirit picked
these men up out of the world and told them things that could not be found or
heard in the world. This should tell
us how important the Old Testament is. Too
often Christians avoid the Old Testament but they do so at their spiritual
on your version of the Bible some translations seem to suggest that the
interpretation of these Old Testament prophecies can not be privately
interpreted. It depends on what
translation you're reading that will determine how to think about this verse.
way you view this verse, you have to admit that the Holy Spirit is the primary
One involved in both the giving of these prophecies and the understanding of
is a message that a person gives that is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Prophecy is God speaking to people through a person.
It can be predictive, or it can be a message of instruction,
encouragement or admonishment.
1 Corinthians 12 we see the gifts of the Spirit.
One is prophecy. This would
be the New Testament version of prophecy. I
do believe there is a New Testament version of this gift.
That being said, the prophecy spoken must be in line with the Bible or
else it is false prophecy.
closes this chapter in verse 21 by saying what I've already said.
The prophets of the Old Testament didn't invent their prophecies.
They were inspired by God. Besides,
no human could ever have predicted the things these prophecies predicted with
such exactness without being inspired by God Himself.