2 Peter Message #3 “Full Mention – The Rising Star” Ed Miller Sept. 21, 2022

Listen to audio above while reading transcript below (also available for download in Word at www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)

Welcome all.  As we come to look in God’s word, I remind my heart and yours that there’s an indispensable principle of Bible study, and that is total reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit.  We need to trust the Holy Spirit to point us to Christ.  I want to share this verse from Luke 10:21,

“At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and He said, ‘I praise you, oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You’ve hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.  Yes, Father, for this way was well pleasing in Your sight.  All things have been handed over to Me by My Father.  No one knows who the Son is except the Father and who the Father is except the son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.’  Turning to the disciples He said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.’”

Father, thank You for Your wonderful plan to reveal Christ to our hearts, to the hearts of infants, those who are helplessly dependent.  Lord, we ask You to work in us that childlike spirit, so that we can receive light and life from You.  Thank You that we can trust You for that.  Now guide us in our meditations.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is now our third lesson in the second epistle of Peter.  One of the things that makes Peter such a powerful message is that it’s the last thing, according to the record, that he wrote, it’s his death bed message.  He was dying.  The Lord had revealed to him that his death was imminent.  He had known the Lord thirty or thirty-five years already.  Usually, on the level of earth, we’ll pay close attention to the dying words of loved ones.  If they’re in a hospital bed or something, and they’re very weak, we’ll lean over and put our ear to their lips and try to hear what their message is as they get ready to enter eternity.  Well, Peter has a great message to share.  2 Peter is the legacy, not only of his life but his final message.  What does he want God’s people to know before he goes to heaven?

What I’d like to do this morning is review two things, the message of the book, and I’ll just do that in a sentence or two, and then the distinctive revelation of Christ in 2 Peter, and then hopefully I want to home in on that revelation, and I want to present what I’m calling the full mention of Jesus as the morning star, the complete explanation of that.  So, God needs to really assist.

The message of the book is in the last verses of the book, 2 Peter 3:17&18, “You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard, so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men, and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.” 

The message in two words is “grow” and “beware”.  Both are true, but I just want to emphasize, “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  How can I grow?  And how can I beware?  How can I be safeguarded from every form of error.  The answer is that there is only one way.  I must grow in grace and in the heart knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  What I call “heart knowledge”, Wuest in his expanded translation calls experiential knowledge. (in error Ed said “experimental”)  I actually gave you the quote from Wuest.  “Be constantly growing in the sphere of grace and in experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and to the day of eternity.” 

Last week we looked at Peter’s testimony as he stood on his graveside and looked back over thirty or thirty-five years of his life, and what a checkered experience he had, so many different experiences with Christ.  But he mentions one, one that stood out above all others, and he said, “As I am getting ready to die, you need to understand this experience and what it has come to mean.  When I first had the experience, I did not understand it, but then I came to understand it, and I can’t think of a better message before I die to give you than the message that is found in this experience. 

The experience he mentioned was the transfiguration.  2 Peter 1:16, “We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We 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.’  We ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mount.”  The spiritual message of the transfiguration illuded Peter.  We don’t know how long but it looks like for many years.  He finally was taught by the Spirit of God what it meant.  

What did Peter learn?  What did the Holy Spirit teach Him?  What did He discover after many, many years, and what is the message that he wants to leave with us?  The answer is, and I’m just going to give you the principle, He learned from the transfiguration how to study the Bible.  That’s the message that he got from that transfiguration.  You wouldn’t get it if you just read the gospel record, but God showed him through the years how to study the Bible, and that’s the great message of this book.

If you didn’t get last week’s meditation, I recommend it because it explains how the transfiguration actually teaches how to study the Bible.  I don’t want to reteach that, but I’ll give the heart of it.  I think it will be helpful if you review that lesson.  The only hope I have for living the Christian life is to grow, and the only way to grow is by grace in the heart knowledge, the experiential knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That’s the only way I’ll be safe guarded from all error, as well. 

Let me summarize last week’s lesson with these two expressions.  They are both in verse 19 of chapter 1, just that first part, “We have the prophetic word made more sure.”  I broke that up into two parts.  #1 We have the prophetic word.  #2 We have the prophetic word made more sure.  That’s not the same thing.  What is the prophetic word?  The answer is that it’s the word of God.  The prophetic is the Bible.  It’s the words that came from the lips of Christ.  We have the prophetic word.  In that verse it’s also called, “A lamp, a lamp to which you do well to pay attention.”  So, the Bible, the scriptures, the word of God, the prophetic word, the lamp is all picturing the same thing.

A week or so before the transfiguration he received the prophetic word.  This was before the transfiguration, a true word, as true a word as any word can be.  It’s recorded in Matthew 16:28, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here that will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”  That was the word of the Lord.  That was the prophetic word that they got a week before the transfiguration, but it was confusing because if the Lord Jesus was telling them that He’s going to come back in power and great glory, the glory of the Father and so on, then it was confusing because He said, “There are some of you who are alive right now who will be alive when that takes place.”  So, that was confusing, because even now it’s been two thousand years since we had the promise of His return, and He’s still not here.  So, they had the prophetic word.  They had the true word.  “Christ is coming back, and some of you that are here will still be alive to witness the coming of Christ in His kingdom.”

They needed something more than the prophetic word.  They needed the prophetic word made more sure, and they got it a week later.  A week later they had the transfiguration.  Matthew 17:2,

“He was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun.  His garments became as white as light.”  Verse 5, “While He was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them.  Behold, a voice and out of the cloud, ‘This is My Beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.  Listen to Him.’  And when the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified, and Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’  Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.” 

So, they were alive to see a vision, a picture in seed form of the coming of the Lord.  They had the prophetic word, and what they needed to make more certain was a revelation of the glorified Christ.  They needed a revelation of the risen Savior.  2 Peter 1:19, “So, we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention, as a lamp shining in a squalid, a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.”  Until the day dawns and the morning star rises.

When do I grow?  When does the Bible, the scripture, the prophetic word become the prophetic word made more sure?  The answer is that it’s when I see the Lord, when there is a revelation of Christ it becomes more certain.  I can’t grow without a heart knowledge seeing Jesus in the book.  You say, “Well all you need is the Bible to grow.”  If all you had was the Bible you wouldn’t grow.  You need the revelation of Christ in the Bible.  Just the Bible itself is the prophetic word.  You need the prophetic word made more certain by the Holy Spirit’s unveiling, progressive unveiling, of the Lord Jesus.

We have a wonderful illustration of that on the first Easter when Jesus rose from the dead.  I’m referring to the Emmaus Road.  Do you remember the Emmaus Road, the disciples walking on the Emmaus Road?  Luke 24, “How discouraged those disciples were.”  They need to see the living Lord, the risen Lord.  Luke 24:15, “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.”  I want you to try to get this in your mind’s eye, because these two disciples, they had been through quite an experience.  They saw the Lord Jesus die, and they thought he was Messiah, but they were a little disappointed.  Now, right next to them, they’re walking about 7 miles, appears the Lord Jesus.  He’s alive from the dead.  What did Jesus do?  Did He do for them what He offered to do for Thomas?  “Here are the nail prints in My hand.  Here are the wounds in My side.  Put your finger in my nail print.  Put your hand in my side.”  No, Jesus didn’t offer that to the Emmaus disciples.  Luke 24:25, “He said to them, ‘Oh, foolish men and slow of heart, to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’  Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”

Now, I speak as a fool.  If I were the Lord Jesus and I had just come back from the dead, and I had conquered sin and death and hell and every evil and satisfied the holiness and justice of God, and I’d come out of the dead, out of the grave, I think I would have, again I speak as a fool, I would have said, “Ta-da!  Here I am, alive.  Look!  Look at my hand.”  Jesus didn’t do that.  Do you know what He did instead?  He opened the Bible.  He’s standing there in Person.  He could have made Himself known in another way, but He was teaching a great principle, that in that day and from then on, we are to know Him as He is revealed, unveiled by the Holy Spirit in the Bible.   Luke 24:32, “Later they testified.  They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us when He was speaking on the road while He was explaining the scriptures to us?”  Praise God for the prophetic word, the Bible, the lamp.  Praise God!  Pay attention to the lamp, but the verse says, “Pay attention until the day star, the morning star rises in your heart, until you see Jesus.” It’s so basic and so important to understand this principle, if I am to grow, I need to see Jesus revealed in the Bible.  That is so important, I want to take this lesson and just press it home.  I need to just press that home.

Some time ago I was sharing with Lex.  At the time I think I was in 1 Peter, but I can’t remember.  Things are getting away from me.  I think I’m getting closer to the time where there is no time, or something.  I told him what was on my heart to share, and I said, “But I have a problem because I’m teaching this book, and this truth is over here.  It’s not in the book, and he reminded me, I am not teaching the book; I’m teaching Christ.  That was such a wonderful reminder.  Thank you, Lex, for that correction, because we’re in 2 Peter, and I hope you’ll know about 2 Peter when we’re done.  We’re not here to learn 2 Peter.  We’re here to see the Lord, and for that reason, and without apology, I’m going to focus in on this great necessity, having the word, having the word made more sure by a present revelation of the Lord Jesus.  So, if you’ll be patient with me, that’s what we’ll be looking at.

Let me begin by reminding you of the general idea of the figure of speech, Christ is referred to as the morning star, the day star rising in your heart.   The morning star, they tell us it’s Venus, is that bright star that ends the night, and if you get up early, you’ll be able to see it, and then the sun comes out and it goes away.  I just like to say it this way, it’s the star that says, “Goodbye night and hello day.”  That’s what the morning star does.  It puts an end to darkness, and it gives you a new day, a beginning.  Christ, when He rises in your heart as the morning star, He’ll say, “Goodbye,” to the darkness and He’ll introduce you to a brand new, wonderful day.

While I’m on the phrase, in verse 19, it says, “We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you’d do well to pay attention, as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your heart.”  That expression, “until the day dawns and the morning star rises,” is interpreted differently by different commentators.  There are some who say that when He finally comes as the morning star, that’s the second coming, that’s the millennium, that’s the beginning.  So, this doesn’t refer to Him coming every day in the Bible.  They say that it refers to the one time when the day star finally rises, goodbye night forever and hello day.

The problem that they have when they take that approach is this expression, “Until the day star rises in your heart.”  So, some who take verse 19 to mean the second coming in glory, say that His coming is not literal and it’s not physical.  It’s in your heart.  He rises in your heart.  So, they look at that verse and they, “That’s talking about His second coming, but don’t expect that every eye will see Him, and don’t expect a literal reign on earth.  The millennium is just a picture.  It’s all spiritual.  It’s in your heart.  It’s not literal.  So, that’s a danger of looking at that passage in that way. 

I hope you know and believe with all your heart that the Lord Jesus is going to return in the body, literally, and He’s going to reign for a thousand years on this earth, actually, and you need to understand that.  The passage, as we’re looking at it, and I think as 2 Peter presents it, has to do more with seeing Jesus day by day.  It has to do with Bible study.  So, it makes sense that it rises in your heart, because studying the Bible is spiritual, and it has to do with a heart knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That will not rule out the literal, bodily return.

The next thing I want you to know is that that title, day star, morning star is general.  It’s not specific.  I’ll tell you what I mean by that.  In other words, you might have the Lord Jesus revealed to you as your Savior.  In fact, if you’re a Christian, at least you’ve had that revelation, that He is your Savior.  The way you got that was that the morning star rose in your heart and presented Christ as Savior.  I didn’t see the morning star.  I saw Savior.  He rose as the morning star to shed light on Christ as Savior.  So, it was by revealing Himself through the rising of the morning star, and then when that happened, the darkness passed away and all human effort and self-confidence and pride passed away, and I came as a helpless sinner, and so on. 

Let’s say that the morning star rises in your heart and presents Christ as the Truth, just as an example.  Then, the night deception and the night of lies and the night of falsehood is going to pass away, and you are going to be walking in the truth and in the light.  If the morning star rises in your and presents Jesus as the Jubilee, if you see Him by revelation as Jubilee, the night of bondage is gone, and you are going to enter into forgiveness and you’re going to enter into liberty and freedom and emancipation.  The day star continually rises, putting a different light on Christ.  If you see Him as your strength, then goodbye weakness.  Do you see what I’m saying?  Every time you see Christ, it’s a new day and the old has passed away.  If you see Him as your hope and comforter and your patience, then the night of anxiety and fear and striving will pass away. 

I think that’s enough to make the point that the rising of the day star in my heart is exhaustive.  It’s a general way that He shows Himself in other ways.  I want to go back to the two titles, 2 Peter 1:19, “The prophetic word,” and, “The prophetic word made more sure.”  First, I want to spend more time just on the prophetic word, the Bible, the scriptures, the lamp shining in a dark place.  And it is a lamp.  Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  You need to understand, and I hope the Lord can communicate it, Peter is not saying one word against the prophetic word.  He’s not against the Bible.  He’s not saying anything against the Scripture.  In fact, he said, “Pay close attention.”  You’ve got to pay close attention to it, but not at the expense of missing Jesus. 

Do you realize that you can be so Bible centered that you miss Christ?  Listen to John 5:39&40.  He’s talking to the Pharisees, and He said, “You search the Scriptures, and you think in them you have eternal life.  It’s these that testify about Me, and you’re unwilling to come to Me, so you might have life.”  They were so academic.  They studied the Scripture inside and outside, one side up and down.  They counted the words.  They measured the space between them.

When I was at Bible school, I took a course called hermeneutics, and that’s the science of interpretation, how to interpret the Bible.  I’ll tell you, I was lost in that course because it was so complicated.  They had hermeneutical rules about everything.  So, we had sections, and we had to learn how to study Hebrew poetry, and how it’s different from our poetry.  Then there were principles on how to study prophesy and how not to study, and how to study parables, and how not to study, how to study figures of speech.  They said that in order to understand the Bible you’ve got to have some background.  So, you’ve got to look at how the Jews looked at marriage and what were some of their customs and how did they look at dress and what was the funeral like for them, and how did they celebrate the feasts, and how did they celebrate Passover, and how does that tie into the Lord’s Table, and how did they celebrate the feast of tabernacles and trumpet and all of that?  Then you’ve got to do the background.  You’ve got to do the political background.  What was the government at the time?  Was it a time of war?  Was it a time of peace?  Were there errors being addressed?  Was there Gnosticism, was it legalism, was it Judaism?  Who are those Pharisees?  Who are the Sadducees?  Who are the Herodians?  Who are the Essenes?  You’ve got to understand all of that. 

Then you’ve got to go to the original.  You’ve got to go the Hebrew, and you’ve got to go to the Greek, and you’ve got to go to the Aramaic, and then you’ve got to use what they call the “Usus Loquendi”.  Trying to be very educated, all that means is how are they using it?  So, if I’m reading the Apostle Paul and he said, “Brother,” that’s brother Christian.  If I’m reading John and he said, “Brother,” that’s brother man.  So, I’ve got to know who is doing what, and what does it all mean.  Then I’ve got to do the context, and then I’ve got to do the covenants, and which covenant is concerned here and what’s the occasion of the book, and where was the author and who is the author.  Was he in prison or was he on a missionary journey?  Who was with him, and all of that kind of thing.  There’s no end.  You can be studying the Bible every minute of your life, and all you’ll have is a head full of knowledge.

Do you know what is dangerous about that?  1 Corinthians 8:1, KJV says, “Knowledge puffs up.”  The NAS says, “Knowledge makes arrogant.”  Do you realize this?  The more you study the Bible without a revelation of Christ, the prouder you are going to become.  The more I study the Bible without seeing Jesus, the more arrogant and prouder I’m going to become. 

Let me make a couple of more observations.  If I study the prophetic word without the prophetic word made more sure, I may be deceived into thinking, since the prophetic word is all about Jesus, He’s in there, in the Bible, and I can study about Jesus, and I might think I’m preaching Jesus when I’m really only preaching the Bible.  It’s a very subtle thing.  When I study the lamp by itself, hopefully I’ll end up orthodox and I’ll have a good credal statement, and I’ll be sound in my doctrine, but I can’t study the Bible without seeing Him as Creator, and as Sustainer, and as Redeemer.  I’ve got to study the Virgin Birth; it’s in the Bible.  I study the Bible and I read, “Jesus is King of kings.  Jesus is on the throne.”  It’s out of the Bible and I can read that.  I can read about the Holy Spirit.  I can read about His ministry, about His baptism, about His filling, about His anointing, about His gifts, about His ministry, about His healing.  It’s in the Bible.  So, I might come, after studying all of that, and then I’ll preach what I have studied.  I’m not preaching Christ.  I’m not preaching Christ unless I’m preaching the revelation that I received of the Lord as I studied the Scripture. 

You might say, “Well, that’s confusing because isn’t the Bible the revelation of the Lord?”  Yes, but I need a revelation of revelation.  I need the Bible, but I need the revelation of the revelation.  Those who preach the Bible would be offended, I think, and would deny it if I said, “You aren’t preaching Christ.”  They would say, “What do you mean that I’m not preaching Christ?  I just said that He’s eternal and He sits on the throne and He’s King of Kings and He’s coming again.  I’m preaching Christ.”  No, you’re not.  You’re preaching what the Bible says about Christ.  That’s not the same thing. 

Another observation, the prophetic word is called a lamp, and you know why.  It’s because it gives light.  The prophetic word made more certain gives life, not light.  The Bible will give you light.  Seeing Christ gives you life.  Those who settle for the lamp alone will receive a lot of light, but not life.  I think one of the saddest realities in all church history are the splits among God’s people.  Do you realize that almost every split in the body of Christ is based on light and not on life?  It’s all based on light.  They get doctrine from the Bible, “I see it this way,” and they say, “Well, I see it this way.”  Having a split is one thing, but if you’ve ever studied church history, I’ll tell you, it’s a sad thing to study church history.  You shudder at the treatment because it wasn’t always just a split in the church.  They had a group that they called heretics.  If you disagreed with my light, you were a heretic, and heretics, according to Augustine, have no right to exist.  They were tortured and they were killed.  If you go into church history there is blood on Augustine’s hands and there’s blood on Calvin’s hands and there’s blood on Luther’s hands.  They were all dealing with the heretics, and they took them aside.  If you disagreed, then you were tortured.  You can read all of that.

We believe in baptism, water baptism.  There was a day if you disagreed on water baptism you would die.  If you had a different view of communion, of the Lord’s Table, that would cost you your life.  You would die.  Christians have died because of their disagreement with whether women preachers should preach.  They were killed for that.  Music in the church, some people say that the only kind of music is Bible music.  If you sing anything that was written by a human being, apart from the Bible, you were a heretic, and you’d need to be dealt with.  There’s blood all through church history on how they dealt with the heretics.  But in our day, in our Christianity, pretty much the idea of dealing with heretics has passed.  In other religions you are still considered an infidel and they’ll kill you if they get a chance.

This idea that if I study the Bible, I have light.  So, I’m just going to give some illustrations of all of these which have come out of my experience.  “I’m sorry, I can’t fellowship with you.  You used the wrong version of the Bible.  My light says the original manuscript were blah, blah, blah.”  “I’m sorry, I can’t fellowship with you because you believe in spiritual gifts, and I don’t believe in spiritual gifts.  I can’t fellowship with you because you believe in a one-man ministry, and I believe in plurality of elders.  So, we’re going to have to break fellowship.”  “You have a certain polity, church government, and you have deacons, and you have bishops, so we don’t agree on that.  I’m congregational and I’m Methodist and I’m Presbyterian, so we can’t do that.”  “I understand you use real wine in your service.  Sorry, I can’t join you because I don’t believe in real wine.”  “I understand that some of you don’t think that when somebody dies, they go straight to heaven, but they’re unconscious and it’s a soul sleep.  I can’t fellowship with those people.”  “I would love to fellowship with that neighbor down the street, but he worships on Saturday, and I believe in Sunday worship.  So, I can’t worship with him.”  “This other group believes in dreams and visions and all that kind of thing.  I can’t go there.  They believe that you can have Jesus, but if you’re not baptized with the Holy Spirit, and you don’t have a second work of grace, then I can’t fellowship with you.”  “I can’t go there; they’re Calvinist.”  “I can’t go there.  They’re covenant.”  “I can’t go there.  They’re dispensationalists.”  “I can’t go there; they’re eclectic.”  “I can’t go there; they’re Armenian.” 

So, there are splits, but every split is over light; I see it this way, and you see it that way, and the way I see it, of course, is the only way.  So, you’ve got to agree with me, and on and on it goes.  We have dear friends, but they believe in baby baptism, and they believe that baptism washes sins away.

Now, there are a few exceptions.  Some divisions are not caused by doctrine as much, but personality conflicts will sometimes cause a split in the church.  “What are you having for Sunday lunch?”  “Roast pastor, of course.  That’s what we’re having.”  Some splits are over money.  I think many of you know that I used to pastor a conservative Baptist church in Rhode Island.  I’m not proud about what I’m about to say, but the church split under my ministry. 

We had a very bumpy driveway.  So, we were going to talk about repaving the driveway or putting in gravel.  Along came a Christian and he owned a fish store.  He said, “I will give you seashells.  The only problem is that for three or four days there will be the smell of fish, but that will go away, and that’s better than gravel.  I’ll give you that for nothing.”  So, we brought it up at a board meeting; did we want to pave it or bring in gravel or want to put in shells.  You can’t believe the fight that broke out at that meeting.  Some were in tears, and they left, “We can’t believe you would spend money when you can get it for free.”  And other ones would say, “It’s going to be a bad testimony with the smell of fish odor.”  The church split over seashells.  You say, “Who was the pastor of that church?”

John 5:40, “You are unwilling to come to Me, that you might have life.”  When I’m seeing Christ, it’s life.  It’s not light; it’s life.  In this study I can’t imagine, I’m not going to do it, but I think I could go person to person and just ask, “What do you believe about this and about that?  Do you believe about the end time?  What about the tribulation?  What about the rapture?  What about the millennium?  What do you believe about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts, and all the rest, and I bet we don’t agree on many, many things.  But because we focus on Christ, we have life.  We have fellowship.  A team of mules couldn’t pull us apart.  If you are rightly related to Christ, and I’m rightly related to Christ, if you are living for the pleasure of the head, and I’m living for the pleasure of the head, we’re one.  If this hand lives for the pleasure of the head, and this hand lives for the pleasure of the head, these hands get along fine.  Christian unity has to do with life and not light.

I want to make a single point about the rising of the star in our hearts.  The theme of Peter is grow.  The only way to grow is to see Jesus.  Everybody in this room, I’m not pretending I can see in your heart, but I’m pretty sure everybody in this room has had at least one honest to goodness Holy Spirit unveiling of Christ.  The day star has risen in your heart.  I don’t care the title.  You came to know Jesus as your Savior, or as your Redeemer, or as the Lamb of God, or as your Mediator, or as your substitute, or as your salvation.  I don’t care what you call it, but there was a day when you came as a helpless, lost sinner and it was discovered to your heart that Christ was the only answer, and he was your substitute, and He died for your sins, and you didn’t have to die and go to hell.  If you opened your heart, He would come in.  Whether or not you can put a date on that experience…  I can say, “January 29, 1958.”  Some people can’t.  Lillian can’t put a date for her experience.  But you received Christ, and here is what happened.  2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he’s a new creature.  Old things passed away and all things became new.”  And the next phrase, “All things are of God.”  It all became new.

To use the illustration of the day star, the night was gone, old things passed away.  The day came, and all things are made new.  Your direction changed.  I don’t know how long ago that was for you.  For many of us it was many, many years ago, and we’re still in that change.  It’s most amazing thing that took place.  I saw Him once as Savior, and I’ve never been the same.  You saw Him once as Savior, and you’ve never been the same, and you never will be the same again.  And after I saw Him as Savior, 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we’re ambassadors for Christ, as though God was making an appeal through us.  We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”  I became a soul winner.  I saw Jesus as Savior, and I just had to tell everybody, because they need to see Him as Savior. I had one revelation, and my life was absolutely transformed. 

How many ways is Jesus revealed in this book?  If you take Nave’s Topical Bible, there are 250 titles of Jesus in Naves Topical Bible.  I’m not going to list all 250, but there’s “The End of the Law,” “The Plant of Renown,” “The Cornerstone,” “The One Who is Altogether Lovely,” “The Priest,” “The Lord,” “The Counselor,” and many, many more.  How many attributes of God are mentioned in this Bible?   He’s infinite, He’s faithful, He’s holy, He’s gracious, He’s good, He’s love, and the Omni attributes of that He’s all-knowing, He’s all-powerful, He’s all-present.  How many times is Jesus pictured under a figure of speech?  He’s a lion, He’s milk, He’s bread, He’s a door, He’s a vine, He’s a horn of salvation, He’s a shield, He’s a Son of Righteousness, He’s a root out of dry ground.  How many titles?  He’s Jehovah, He’s Adonai, He’s El Shaddai, El Elion, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Shalom, and on and on.  He’s revealed in the types, He’s revealed in the history, He’s revealed in the feasts, He’s revealed in the ceremonies, He’s found in the parables, He’s revealed in the miracles.  There are thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of revelations of Christ in this book.

Listen carefully, and may God write it in your heart.  Every one of them, you must receive by a special revelation, and the change that took place in your heart when you saw one, that change will take place every time you see them, but you need to see Him by the Holy Spirit’s revelation.  There are thousands, and such a change to see one.  Can you imagine if you saw ten revelations of Christ?  Every one of those is the day star rising and the night going away and a new day coming.  I feel badly, but I think many Christians have seen Jesus once, and then not had another revelation of Him.  They’ve never seen Him by the Holy Spirit as the end of the law to everyone who believes.  They’ve never seen Him as their Melchizedek, never seen Him as their Counselor.  They can study that He’s a Potter, but they know nothing about the work of God as Potter or as a Smelter.  We need to see Christ, and when you see Him as your friend and as your groom and as the Prince of Peace and as the Overcomer and the Bread of Life and the Last Adam and the Second Man and the Head of the Body and the Mediator of the New Covenant and the first begotten from the dead, when you begin to see Him that way, every time, I promise you, the day star rises in your heart.  Pay attention to this book because He’s everywhere.  He’s in the book, and as you pay attention God will reveal Him.

I used to be very sad because my Christian life was so anemic.  I thought that I’ve known the Lord all this time and I should know by now why am I still having these stupid thoughts.  Why am I still tempted to sin, and all of that kind of stuff?  MY life is so anemic.  Over and over again I was told the same thing, “You need to surrender to the Lord.”  You are not surrendered.  You’re holding back.  I said, “But I’ve tried.  I don’t know how.”  And I think I gave you the testimony that I went through my whole library and surrendered every book, surrendered everybody in my family, and I started with my hair, and I surrendered every part of my body, my eyes, my lips, my brain and everything, and I went out and sinned.  Why?  It was so frustrating. 

I was not really led straight when they said that the problem is surrender.  I saw Jesus as my Savior, one revelation, one, and I was totally surrendered to that.  I didn’t need more surrender.  I need a greater vision of Christ.  I need to see Him again, so I could have something to surrender to.  Surrender is not an issue with earnest people of God.  They’re going to surrender, but I need to have a large view of Christ to surrender to.  The greater my vision of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit’s unveiling of Him in this book, the more my surrender.  So, the problem is not surrender.

There’s not only an unlimited number of revelations of Christ, but every revelation has no bottom.  In other words, I see Him as Savior, you haven’t finished seeing Him as Savior.  You’re going to be in heaven a million years, and you are going to say, “Did you ever see this John 3:16?”  It’s amazing.  So, there’s an unlimited number of revelations, and there’s an unlimited depth to every revelation, and God’s heart is that we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s no wonder that the enemy would want to hide the message of 2 Peter.

I want to present one more thing before we get ready to close.  Verse 20:1, “But know this first, no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.”  Let me tell you what that passage does not mean.  It doesn’t mean that Peter is changing the subject.  Some people say, “He’s talking about knowing Christ in the Bible, and now a word about inspiration, and here is a proof text on inspiration.”  It is a proof text on inspiration, but that’s not what he’s doing. 

When he says that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, KJV says, “Of private interpretation.”  For years it was thought that a private person, in other words not a professional Christian, an everyday ordinary Christian like me or like you, that they have no right to interpret the Scripture, that you need to trust the church, or trust the bigwigs to explain that particular verse, because no Scripture is of private interpretation.  Let me tell you this, brothers and sisters in Christ, and pull out all the stops when I give you this, because this applies today, that’s not true, that you are just a private Christian.  I hate layman, clergy and all that stuff. 

Listen to 1 John 2:27, “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you, as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”  I hope you’re not afraid to believe that.  Nobody is above you.  Nobody is above any Christian.  You have the same Holy Spirit that any teacher has, and you don’t need a human teacher. You have the Holy Spirit to teach.  Pay attention to this to reveal Christ and transform your life.  He does use teachers.  Praise God for that!  It’s God’s provision.  I’m not knocking teachers, and I’m not knocking the study of the Bible.  The more you study the Bible, the clearer the principle.  The clearer the principle, the more precious the revelation of Christ.  So, you ought to study.  You ought to show yourself approved and be students, but some take that to be, “You can’t interpret the Bible for yourself.”

Others say, “What he’s talking about is the balance of Scripture.  Don’t take any Scripture privately, by itself, but Scripture must be compared to other Scripture because this is not going to contradict that.”  I think that is a Bible truth, but not this one.  It’s not a Peter truth.  We need to compare Scripture with Scripture, but I think what he’s saying is that when the prophets prophesized in the Old Testament, no prophecy was made by an act of human volition.  In other words, they were irresistibly carried about by the Holy Spirit.

Let me illustrate this.  Isaiah didn’t wake up one morning and say to Mrs. Isaiah, “I think today I’m going to write about the virgin birth.  Pray for me.”  Isaiah didn’t come up with that.  Micah didn’t say to his Mrs. Micah, “I’m going to predict today where Christ is going to be born in Bethlehem.”   Daniel didn’t say, “I think I’ll write a little bit about the seventy weeks.”  He didn’t just come up with that.  In fact, in 1 Peter 1 the Bible says that after they prophesied, they studied their own writings to see what it would mean.  They didn’t even understand it. The Holy Spirit is the One who told them what to write.  One of my favorite verses on that is Jude 3, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write to you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith.”  Jude was trying his best to write a book like Romans, about common salvation, and the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let him, and he had to write what God said.

I call attention to that because in verse 20, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.”  That word “is” should be the word “becomes” or “originates”.  Wuest translates it “originates”.  In other words, you need to see Jesus in this book, but it’s not going to originate with you.  You can’t take a Concordance and say, “Today, I think I’ll see Him as the rock,” and then go in your Concordance and read all the verses on the rock, and when you’re all done, say, “I’ve seen Him as the rock.”  No, you haven’t.  You can’t determine how you are going to see Christ.  You don’t know what you need.  You might need to know Him as Advocate.  You might need to know Him as Friend.  You might need to know Him as Healer.  You might need to know Him as the Keeper of your soul.  You might need to know Him as the Jubilee.  You have no clue what you need today.  I have no clue, so I study the Bible, I pay attention, and I’m looking for Jesus, “Lord, show Yourself.  Reveal Yourself.”  You will be surprised the different ways you will see Him, but you don’t dictate it. 

You don’t tell God, “I’m going to see you today as Shepherd.  There are three great Shepherd passages, and I’m going to read Jeremiah 20, Isaiah 23 and Hebrews…  That’s not how to do it.  You just pay attention to the Bible.  You study it.  You do your hermeneutics.  You study earnestly with a heart crying out like a child, “Lord, I desire You, like a baby desires his sincere milk of the word.  I want to know you.”  If you come with that attitude, I want to know the Lord, I promise He will reveal Himself and you’ll never be the same.  Thousands of revelations, and everyone without a bottom.  Each one can say, “Goodbye to your night and hello to your day,” everyone to transform you.  That’s how to grow, and that’s what I mean when I say, “This is the full meaning of the day star rising in your heart.”  The day star rises and throws light on the Lord Jesus, not light that you can just get from life. 

Here is the last thing I’ll say.  I can have light and not life.  I can’t have life without light.  If I am knowing Christ, my doctrine will fall into place.  If you are in reality knowing Christ, don’t worry about the doctrine.  If you look at me and say, “You’ve got some weird view about this,” then point me to Jesus, and after a while it will straighten out.  And if you have some different view that I don’t agree, I’m not going to split with you over that.  I’m just going to point you to the Lord.  Let’s all look to the Lord.  Keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come to the unity of the faith.  May God help us!  Let’s pray.

Father, thank You for Your word.  Thank You for the revelation of Christ as the morning star, the day star, who continually rises and unfolds that lamp, that Scripture, that prophetic word, and then rises in our hearts in unlimited ways.  Oh Lord, give us such a heart.  We ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.