2 Peter: 3rd Lesson: The Eclipse Affect
Peter describes his personal experience of what he had seen and heard including the experience he, James and John had in witnessing the Transfiguration of the Lord.
It is here- Peter begins to segue into his instructions about false teaching. He begins by talking about the sure word of the prophets. In other words, Peter is saying my experience is my experience and my testimony. But the word of God is even more sure. That is why we need to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the day star arises in your hearts. He talks about the paying attention to it as to a light shining in a dark place. Psalms 119 describes the Word of God as a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path. In the first chapter of John, we read- in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. Then John tells us this great truth: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In that first chapter of John, we are told the Lord Jesus is the: Word, God, Creator, Life, Light of the world and the One and Only who came from the Father full of grace and truth.
We know the sun, the center of our solar system was created by God in the beginning. It is a star that is visible during the day. It is a daystar. Other stars are present, but cannot be seen. We read in Job 38 about the morning stars that sang together. We interpret this based on Revelation 12- a term that can be applied to angels as it says 1/3rd of the stars ( angels) were swept out of heaven in the revolt of Lucifer against the God Almighty.
What does the sun, our morning star do each day it arises? It drives out darkness. Darkness cannot overcome the morning star, the day star God has set in our heavens which is the source of light and life. It is a reminder every day of the One and Only who is called the light of the world.
I John 1: 5 tells us: God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all.
Peter says pay attention to this light shining in the dark place and places of your heart until the day dawns and daystar arises in your heart. It is that aha moment. It is like that light bulb going off in ones mind, where all at once they realize they have been in darkness and the futility of their own senses as the prodigal son did in Luke 15. It was the love of his father that drew him back. And Jesus said, no one comes to me unless the Father draws him. Since God is light and we are now His children- we are children of light and so should we live. ( remember : God Is Love! It is His very nature.)
What if I was not drawn says one person? What if I did not receive the light? We know God has revealed Himself in the following ways: There is the external witness of creation. Romans 1:18-19 tell us: The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. ( notice this is present tense and ongoing. Suppress means they want to hold back the truth- the enemy wants to take away the seed of Gods Word for the enemy knows the power of Gods word. ) Since what may be known about God is plain to them. For since the creation of this world Gods invisible qualities His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. ( Psalms 19 tells us the heavens declare the Glory of God and there is NO language or speech where their voice is not heard.) We can learn something about the glory and wisdom of God from nature. This is the simplest revelation of God, the light of creation is seen by everyone in the world.
Paul goes on to say For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. In other word, Jesus said in John 3- this is the verdict, light has come into the world, but men loved darkness INSTEAD of light because their deeds were evil. They then begin to change the truth of God for a lie, and that is where we find the world today. And that is why Jesus calls for us to be salt and light. And we are told to put that light on a stand that it gives light to everyone, not under a bowl. ( I wonder if Christians in this country have put their light under a bowl?) Compromised, conformed , fearful and intimidated by ridicule.
The next revelation we discover is internal in the conscience of men which bears witness to them as their thoughts now accuse or defend them. ( Romans 2)
We have as Peter says here- the word of the prophets, the Word of God. The Word of God from the Old Testament to the New- 66 books is a progressive revelation of God. There were 330 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of Christ and all of them have literally been fulfilled. Therefore through the printed word of God, the Bible we have revelation and a sure witness of God.
But without a doubt, the highest revelation we have of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. In the person of Christ we have : the image of the invisible God. Jesus said of Himself- he who has seen me, has seen the Father. And in Hebrews 1- we read that God has spoken to us in sundry ways in the past, but in the last days has spoken to us through His Son. Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person
When we behold his glory in the Word of God we will see the attributes of God: mercy, justice, long suffering , holiness, etc. We also read : God is Life, Love and Light.
Did you realize light is invisible? You cannot see light, you can only see what it reveals. Since God is light,we cannot see God. Only as we see the light reflected in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ can we see God. John said in the first chapter of the Gospel of John: In Him ( Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness , but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:4.John then goes on to explain the role of John the Baptist, who technically was an Old Testament prophet who came as witness to the Lord Jesus. John said he came as a witness to testify concerning the light that through him all might believe. He was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. In other words God used John the Baptist as He did through- out Old Testament history to point mankind to the True Light. John the Baptist and the many prophets of the OT days were points of light.
This battle into which we were born is an ongoing battle between two spiritual kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness vs. the kingdom of light. Certainly Scripture knows the entrance of darkness into Gods creation is described in Genesis 3. The creation account tells us before the entrance of light at Gods command, the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face And we know by the 3rd chapter of Genesis, the enemy, the Prince of Darkness came into the Garden to darken the understanding of Eve and Adam.
Thus we see the battle lines clearly drawn and what had occurred in heavenly realms in a spiritual battle spills out upon Gods creation. The two forces are often referred to as kingdoms- the kingdom of darkness, headed by Lucifer/Satan who is called the Prince of this World, the Prince of Darkness and the kingdom of God, whose Prince of Princes, King of Kings is the Lord Jesus, God the Son, who said I am the light of the world.
When we believe, we receive the Spirit of God and are born again into the kingdom of God, who is light in whom there is no darkness. We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand what God has freely given us. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM, because they are spiritually discerned. I Corinthians 2.
Peter tells us what God has freely given us : His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and goodness/virtue.: (2 Peter 1)
Paul writes even to this very day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But anyone who turns to the Lord the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3: 15-16) Then Paul goes on further to explain: the god of this age( the devil) has blinded the minds of unbelievers , so they cannot see the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ. For God who has said- let light shine out of darkness has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. ( 2 Corinthians 4) The man who was born blind and received his sight in a miracle performed by the Lord Jesus in John 9 is a picture of what happens to an unbeliever, born in spiritual darkness who is touched by the Lord the true light of the world and like the blind man, we can shout: I once was blind but now I see. The unfolding of your word give light, it gives understanding to the simple. Psalms 119:130
Again it is Paul who continues to describe the process, who has you will recall had his physical sight taken, blinded by the light, so that he ( Saul of Tarsus) might receive spiritual light, states in Ephesians 4: So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles( unbelievers) do in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding , and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Before Christ entered in our lives, we were ignorant and pursing an empty way of life.
So Peter tells us: And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the daystar(KJV) rises in your heart. ( 2 Peter 1; 19)
Isn’t it interesting that our sun has in the power of life and death? If we got too close to the sun,we would instantly disintegrate. The surface temperature is 16,000 degrees F. But God in His infinite wisdom created the earth and its atmosphere to protect us from the danger of the suns power.
Moses wanted to see the face of God- God who is light, in who there is no darkness. God said he could not see his face for no man can see his face and live. He put Moses in the cleft of the rock and covered him with his hand and Moses got a glimpse of the Gods back parts, ( his afterglow) but not his face.
Only in Christ can we see the Light. He is our Rock. He hideth my soul in the cleft of the Rock, He hideth my life in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand. The Lord Jesus is our shield. He is our rock- our Rock of Ages. It is interesting that those who rejected the Light , God had sent, will be judged at the Great White Throne of judgment. Those who rejected the light in this world in their life, will spend eternity in darkness, separated from the Light of God. ( See Psalms 84:11)
The Word of God is a continuing miracle today, as much as it was in creation, as it was in the days Jesus walked on this earth. Jesus Himself said: This is the verdict- Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. The Word of God is a source of spiritual light and life to this very day. Just as the sun arises each morning driving out darkness, so does the Word of God day after day shine into the world, and where men by their own choice reject it.
It is obvious everyone has received some light- whether from creation or conscience. It is how they respond to the light that is the issue. Pharaoh was given much light in the miracles performed by God through Moses, yet each time, it tells us he hardened his heart. Herod when told of the great light the Magi had beheld attempted to extinguish the light, by killing all male children under two years of age in Bethlehem. Why did Herod commit such a heinous act? – Because he was defending his kingdom against this perceived threat. He was defending his kingdom of darkness against the kingdom of light.
Knowledge of the truth increases the responsibility of the believer, while at the same time, increases the hardening of the heart of the one who rejects the truth.So with the foundation laid literally in the Word of God, the Rock upon which we stand, we can expect the enemy to attack the foundation to bring down the building.
In this 2nd chapter of 2 Peter, the author reminds us in the past there were false prophets, and now he says there will be false teachers. We do not have to worry too much about false prophets, those who try to predict future events are easily discredited when their prophecies do not come to be. So we must now guard against false teachers. Let us make a distinction here regarding false teachers. A false teacher knows the truth, but deliberately lies for some purpose. They preach and teach what people want to hear- that tickles their ears. There are teachers who teach error out of ignorance. They believe something in error and ignorance.
A false teacher introduces destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord. These are the false teachers referred to as wolves in sheeps clothing, who have one purpose to destroy the flock.
But Jesus said, my sheep know my voice, they follow me. Jesus also said no one can snatch them out of his hand.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7: 13,14)
Jesus said as it was in the days of Noah and as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, so would it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Peter says God did not spare the angels when they sinned and rebelled but sent them into dungeons to be held for judgment.
God also did not spare the ancient world in the days of Noah, when- the Lord saw how great mans wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. ( Genesis 6)
Peter also references to what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and burned it to ashes with fiery judgment while allowing Lot, a righteous man and his daughters to escape His wrath.
Peter assures us: The Lord knows how to rescue the godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. ( 2 Peter 2: 10) Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. ( Galatians 6))
These are described as bold and arrogant. We see them today- shaking their fists at God and railing out at those who believe the Word of God and pursue holiness. These do not want to be partakers of the divine nature, but pursue evil desires. They do not want to escape the corruption of the world, they embrace it and run headlong into it. Many enter the broad way which leads to destruction.
Two kingdoms are clearly seen here: the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.
Now we are born with a sinful nature, born into the kingdom of darkness. We cannot enter the kingdom of light unless we have been regenerated, born again- one cannot see the kingdom of God nor enter the kingdom of God. We are not properly clothed, as the person who came to the wedding feast without the proper garment as told in the parable in Matthew 22. Do you know where he was thrown to? Outside into the darkness.
In the dark, is where the prince of darkness wants to keep everyone. Paul knew this and wrote: the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving lest the light of the gospel of glory of Christ should dawn upon them. ( 2 Corinthians 4) This darkness is the work of the devil and God is against it.
If the work of the devil is to keep people in darkness, then his greatest fear and enemy of darkness is light. Like a vampire- he fears the light of the Gospel of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
If one is lost, the enemy wants to keep their minds veiled to keep them from understanding. However, if we are saved he wants to keep us from receiving more light and he wants us to keep our light under a bowl. Unfortunately today- the darkness spreads.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but no crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal.: (2 Cor. 4) Things are not what they seem. We are more than conquerors and the devil will not prevail.
Beware of false teachers who teach anything not in the Word of God. Be like the Bereans, Paul spent time with in Acts 17: Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scripture every day to see if what Paul said was true.
This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, in Him there in NO darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him, yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves ( James 1) and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ( I John 1)
John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrims Progress shows his genius for illustration in Holy War. Satan and his kingdom of darkness are making their assault on the city of Mansoul. Satan says to his captains: There is one man you must capture. If we capture this one man the city is ours. Focus all your attention upon the Lord Mayor of Mansoul. What is the name of the Lord Mayor? His name is MR. UNDERSTANDING .
When you have captured Mr. Understanding put him down in the DARK DUNGEON so that he does not know what is happening. The rest of the battle will be easy.
Are you darkened in your understanding? Paul insisted we live as children of light and no longer live as the unbelievers do in the futility of their thinking. Have you seen the Light? Are you seeking light in a dark world? Have you looked for truth and settled for lies? Have you been blinded and could not see? I once was blind but now I see. The Star of Bethlehems sky opened my eyes!
I have seen the Light whose holy name is Jesus, His kingdom is forever, He reigns on Heavens throne. I must tell the world what I have seen I have seen the light shining in the darkness, bursting through the shadows, delivering the dawn!
Have you seen the Light? Are you walking in the Light? Jesus said I am the light of the world. Whoever follow me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. ( John 8 :12)
Do you realize if you walk toward the light, your shadow will always fall behind you. But if you walk away from the light- you will continually walk in the shadows.
An eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The view of the sun is blocked temporarily by the moon as it passes in front. This can cause a total eclipse or a partial eclipse.
Whenever you allow something to come between you and the Son, it can cause an eclipse of the One who is called the Light of the World. An idol is anything that comes between you and the Lord. It can be total – putting you spiritually in the dark- or partial- where there is an area where you will not allow the truth to shine into the dark parts.
In essence- you can create your own eclipse through sin, and willful disobedience.
Additional Scriptures: Romans 8:5-8; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1: 3,4; Psalms 84:11
What comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. A.W. Tozer
Why did God create us? To give Himself to us! ( John 3: 16) God is love.