The Ace of Spades

The Ace of Spades

2 Peter 1:16-21  For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 [a]And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private [b]interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but [c]holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

These Scriptures focus on fulfilled prophecies about Christ. Peter points to his eyewitness of the transfiguration as confirmation of the OT prophecies as true. These prophetic scriptures are not according to fables of men,  but in accordance with the Holy Spirit. As result, Peter knows that those prophecies yet to be fulfilled will happen one day. The certainty of Christ’s return is the basis of the utterance of the OT prophets who predicted it.

Peter was a direct eyewitness to the transfiguration and he heard the voice from heaven confirming that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Peter says we have “a more sure word” KJV v.19 (a more closer translation to the original)

19 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:

We have a more sure word than the voice from heaven. Peter means that the prophecies recorded in Scripture concerning the Messiah, is a much clearer proof of Jesus being Lord and Savior than any single miraculous fact.

You do well that ye take heed.Scripture is worthy of your study, of your close and careful investigation. This means that OT prophecy is more sure, more steadfast, more to be depended on than even what the three disciples had seen and heard in the mount of transfiguration. The OT prophecies are numerous, and by their number they furnish a stronger proof than could be afforded by a single manifestation, however glorious the transfiguration was.

Peter references the purpose of Scripture, saying “until the day dawn” – Until you have the clearer light which shall result from the dawning of the day. The reference here is to the morning sun as compared with a lamp; and the meaning is, that we should attend to the light furnished by Scripture until Jesus returns to set up His glorious kingdom.

Peter teaches that the truths which the prophets communicated were not originated by themselves; were not of their own suggestion or invention; were not their own opinions, but were of higher origin, and were imparted by God.  The prophets spoke “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 

The Greek phrase here means “borne along, moved, influenced” by the Holy Ghost. The idea is, that  what the prophets spoke is as if they were “carried along” by an influence from above. They moved in the case only as they were moved; they spoke only as the influence of the Holy Ghost was upon them. The illusion is to a ship at sea that is only moved by the wind. 

The point with reference to which Peter makes this observation is abundantly confirmed, that the prophecies demand our earnest attention, and that we should give all the heed to them which we would to a lamp when traveling in a dangerous way, and in a dark night. In a still more general sense, the remark here made may also be applied to the whole of the Scriptures. The NT references the OT Scriptures more than 300 times.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

What does this mean to you?

We are in a dark world that is getting darker. We are in a time of incredible deception, that even the elect can be deceived. The Bible is given to us to shed light on our way. Psalm 119 is all about David’s love for God’s Word because it kept him on the right path.

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

I was hiking in AZ yesterday and I got too comfortable on the trail because it was an easy trail. I typically watch my feet, but took my eyes off the trail to look around at the scenery. AS soon as I stopped watching my path, I stepped wrong on a rock, twisted my heel and fell on my left knee and hands. I got a nice gash, a few bruises and a little embarrassment.

A few years ago- the cave in Tennessee. We turned off our lights and could not see our hands in front of our faces. Then there was a part that required strict attention and light. There is no way I would have made it without light. Even a well trained cave hiker could never make it without light. Now, see how I fell on a path in full AZ sun because I was not watching my feet, how much more so will you fall when the path is completely dark without a light? Scripture is that light that keeps our feet firmly planted on the path.

Who here has ever played spades? There was a time in high school where a group of us played spades every Friday night. What is the highest trump card? The ace of spades. Scripture is the ace of spades, it trumps all and is a more sure foundation than any supernatural experience or coincidence. 

IF Peter said we could trust the OT prophecies MORE THAN what he witnessed on the mount of transfiguration, we might want to pay attention. Obviously what Peter saw and heard was real and it was glorious. I believe it. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe in miracles, signs and wonders. God heals, delivers, saves, restores all in a miraculous way, sometimes unexplainable way. He leads and guides by His Spirit and I have been miraculously delivered because of the Holy Spirit. I speak  in tongues and prophecy.  I have seen supernatural things. But we need to evaluate everything, every man and certainly every ministry by the Scriptures. Let me give you an example.

A friend just sent me a video of an internet preacher and asked me what I thought. Apparently he has wonders and signs in his church and has prophesied a few things correctly. But his life does not line up with Scripture. He has been married three times, all the while claiming Christ and that he divorced each women because one was not compatible in the ministry and one he never asked God if he could marry her. 

HE says his church is led by the Holy Ghost. They don’t do anything unless the Spirit leads them. He wants to deconstruct church and rebuild it according to a new “spiritual” design. You do not get to do this.  Beware of anyone talking about “deconstruction”. There is no new revelation. The Bible gives a template for the church and the affairs of the church. Run from people proclaiming this. Run from people who detached from Scripture and only rely on experience. Scripture trumps your experience.

The Scriptures are worthy of your study, of your close and careful investigation and should be held in great esteem and honor because it is written by God for and to His people.

Psalm 12:6  The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.

Psalm 138:2  I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a new revelation. It is not because God decided to try a “new thing”. The gospel is founded upon the prophecies of Scripture. Scripture tells of a coming Savior. Scripture tells us that He would live and be rejected by men. Scripture tells us that HE would be crucified and that HE would be raised from the dead. Scripture records that God would give the Holy Spirit to His people and we would be given a new heart. Scripture records that His people would speak in tongues. These are not new revelation. All these things and more are recorded in the pages of the Bible. Now, maybe men didn’t fully understand what God meant, but as soon as it came to pass, they understood.

John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

They understood after the day of Pentecost the OT prophecy written by Joel

Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only [e]the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’

Scripture is the written Word of God and you should settle this in your heart. Man wrote it as he was moved by the Spirit. This means we cannot pick and choose which Scriptures we like and which we do not. I was talking with someone who had a conversation with a young man that just started reading his Bible and he said, “I like the NT much better than the OT. God was way scarier in the OT”. This is not an uncommon sentiment and as such has caused many to separate the nature and character of God. Peter is telling his audience that Jesus is the promised Messiah and that He is Lord and the returning king.

Acts 2: 32-36 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted [j]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

When you attack the OT testament God as being “too scary” or “too harsh”, you are attacking Jesus. He is God in the flesh. Every false religion will attack the deity of Jesus and relies on “new revelation” and an experience

Mormons- angel appeared. JW- new revelation. Islam- religious experience. Many Christians today rely  heavily on religious experience, Bethel church to name one.

Galatians 1:6-9  I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert[a] the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be [b]accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Scripture trumps your experience. Family with two gay sons, at one time where considered by others to be strong Christians but have fully embraced their sons sinful lifestyles. Scripture must be elevated above our love even for our family. God will not go back on His word because you do not like it. You do not get a pass because you do not like what Scripture says about something. Scripture trumps your feelings. 

Every prophecy written has come true and will come true. If Christ fulfilled all prophecy, then He will be back for His people. You should study bible prophecy. There are promises in the book of Revelation for heeding God’s Word

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 22:18-19 [a]For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, [b]God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God[c] shall take away his part from the [d]Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

1 Thessalonians 5:20  Do not despise prophecies.

To despise in the Greek is to treat prophecy as a common thing. It is not common. 

Peter directs our mind onward to a period when all shall be clear – to that glorious time when the Savior shall return to receive his people to Himself in His heavenly kingdom. WE will not need the light of Scripture on that day, Jesus will be the light of the whole heavenly city. 

 Revelation 21:23-25  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine [a]in it, for the [b]glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations [c]of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor [d]into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

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