12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, 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 morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.  2 Peter 1:12-15 (NIV)

As Peter made a transition from focusing on the work of God in believers’ lives to the Word of God as the instrument of nurture, he began with a personal note about his readers’ need to remember what he wrote.  Peter, knowing his days were numbered, wanted his readers to retain all he would write in this epistle. Three times he spoke of this: “I will... remind you”, “I... refresh your memory”, “you will... be able to remember”.  Paul does likewise on Philippians: 1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.   Philippians 3:1 (NIV)

Vince Lombardi was once asked the key to the secret of his success and he replied:  “I go over the basics, I go over the basics, I go over the basics.”

It is always good to go over the Truth and over the Truth and over the Truth – so that it rings in our ears.  Meditate on its precepts.  Psalms One tells us:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.  4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalms 1:1-6 (NIV)

Peter was almost apologetic in the second half of Verse 12; he did not want his readers to misunderstand his intention. He was not being critical nor did he suggest they were wavering.  Instead, he said they did know the truths he wrote about and he was aware that they were firmly established (strengthen or be firm) in the truth.  He wanted them to stay that way.  Yet he knew we were not static people – we are either going forward or backward.  Increasing in knowledge or decreasing; becoming more like Christ or self – and we do this through the knowledge and application of the Word.  A problem in many churches today is not that believers do not know what God expects of them, but they either forget or are unwilling to live out the truth they now have.  He does not want us to sit, soak and sour rather to grow up in Him.  This, BTW, is taking hold of the life that is truly life.  

Expecting he would soon be with the Lord, Peter wanted to keep on refreshing their memories as long as he was allowed by the Lord of life to live in the tent of his body.  Peter was about to put that tent aside, as the Lord had made clear to him.  Knowing that he would not be with them very much longer, he desires to stir up these saints to grow in grace, lest spiritual senility set in.  Believer’s never “get there” here.  We never get to completion until we are with Him.  We are always to be growing and sowing.  Out of love, Peter wanted them to remember these things so he eagerly sought to remind them of these precious Truths.    

How could Peter guarantee that after his death his readers would always be able to remember these things?  One way was that he was  laboring to complete this second epistle which, when joined with the first, would provide an ongoing written testimony of the truths so close to his heart. Still another possibility is that he referred to his own life and ministry extending into the lives of others, as Silas and Mark, who would carry on his work after he died.  A disciple to disciple ripple if you will.  One thing is clear—Peter wanted to be sure that the Lord’s people would not forget God's work and God's Word.  And he wrote this for us as well (even though it is doubtful that he realized it!). 

A Christian's faith does not rest on clever stories as did the doctrines of the false teachers Peter attacked.  Instead, true faith is founded on historical facts, which eyewitnesses corroborated.  He plunged quickly into a mention of the Lord’s return: the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He had already talked about that welcome into the eternal kingdom, and had written about his own departure from this life. His defense of the doctrine of the Second Coming therefore is based on his eyewitness experience on the Mount of Transfiguration at which time he truly saw Christ’s majesty.  This is recorded in both Matthew and Mark:

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.  4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”  6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.  Matthew 17:1-8 (NIV)

2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)  7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”  8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.  9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.  11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”  12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”  Mark 9:2-13 (NIV)

Speaking here in Mark of John the Baptist. Peter, James and John were all eyewitnesses of His majesty as well as they were all privy to hear the voice of God declaring His love for His Son and His pleasure of Him as well as and our need to hear and heed Him.   This goes for all of us as well.  Of course they fell facedown, terrified – not an unusual response to be sure when in the Presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  These three jars of clay experienced an encounter with the Almighty and they never forgot it.  They saw it with their own eyes and heard it with their own ears and they testified to it as Truth.  Several times in his earlier epistle Peter spoke of Christ’s return.  He knew He was coming again.  Obviously, Peter considered this doctrine of great importance and one his readers should always keep in the forefront of their minds.

Peter's lofty language that he had been an “eyewitness of His majesty” may stem from his burning desire to communicate the true majesty of the Savior which he, a member of the inner band of disciples, was uniquely privileged to see.  Peter wanted his readers to look beyond Christ’s first coming to the time when He will return with that same honor and glory He demonstrated on the mountain of transfiguration.  And He will return in such glory.  In Peter's preaching during the days of the early church he was firmly committed to the doctrine of the Second Coming. 

Interestingly Peter was more profoundly impressed by what he heard than what he saw on that sacred mountain. The voice that came from heaven, the voice of God the Father, called the Majestic Glory (an unusual name for God), spoke approvingly of the Son.  What an amazing scene for mere mortal eyes to be partakers of!  

As Peter wrote of that unforgettable transfiguration experience, he was reminded of another form of God’s Word, the written Word, given by the prophets.  In fact, God’s voice on the mountain made the word of the prophets... more certain because the transfiguration pictured the fulfillment of their words. Both the prophets and the transfiguration pointed to Jesus’ kingdom on earth.

In an exhortation Peter told how to derive meaning from God's Word—pay attention to it.  As a Light, God’s written Word has validity and authority. The written Word, like the Lord Jesus, the Living Word, is both human and divine.  God has gotten His inspired Word to us through men of different personalities and different skills.  It is the inspired Truth given through the vessel of a human pen. In today's experience-oriented societies many people, including some Christians, seek to determine or assess truth by the particular way God has worked in their own lives. But for Peter the splendor of his experience with Christ at His transfiguration faded as he spoke of the surety of the written revelation of the prophets.

“His Word is alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.  It is able to divide soul and spirit, joint and marrow.  It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  It is not to be merely idle words for us as Moses told the Israelites, it is to be our life.  God’s Word is a balm for every needy soul – and truly, what soul isn’t needy?”   BHY   

“His Word cannot be falsified, disqualified, modified or nullified. His Word cannot be distorted or inverted or reinvented or demerited or interpreted away. His Word is beauty, it is wooing, and it will all be accomplished absolutely.  The debate of the day may change, the crisis may change, the screaming headlines of the genuinely horrifying may change — but, in the entire heaving cosmos, this remains unchangeable, unstoppable, undaunted: The Word of God. His Word is absolute and resolute and it will remain until time concludes.  God’s Word is more permanent than any words written in granite — or in headlines or campaign slogans or PR statements or press releases or laws.  Mountain rock is fleetingly temporary compared to the forever permanence of the Rock of His Word.  Culture cannot shape it and society cannot silence it and scarred people cannot help but be wooed by it, healed by it, held by it.  And the Lover of the letter, He soothes: ‘The mountains may pass away, but my truth will not pass away, the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever, and though the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you.’”   Ann Voskamp 

“The rabbis spoke of the text being like a gem with seventy faces, and each time you turn the gem, the light refracts differently, giving you a reflection you haven’t seen before.  And so we turn the text again and again because we keep seeing things we missed before.  When you embrace the text as living and active, when you enter its story, when you keep turning the gem, you never come to the end.  Inspired words have a way of getting under our skin and taking on a life of their own.  They work on us.  We started out reading them, but they end up reading us.”   Rob Bell   

The apostle wrote of illumination, revelation, and inspiration.  Old Testament prophecy is a light compared with the darkness of a squalid room. God's prophetic Word is a Light (“an oil-burning lamp”) shining in a dark place. Though the world is darkened by sin, God’s Word, pointing to the future, enlightens believers about His ways.  But the day – Christ’s return - is coming. In the daytime, lamps are no longer needed. And a lamp is nothing compared with the Morning Star (“Light-Bringer”).  Until He comes, believers are to let the Scriptures illumine their hearts - though the light which the Word brings on that great day will be greatly exceeded by the understanding which will be in their hearts.

The Word is a sure rock under our feet.  The Scriptures are something that we can have great confidence in.  It is no wonder the Word of God has been attacked more than anything else.  If the enemy can rid us of the foundation, he knows that the building will come crashing down.  Jesus Himself stated in the Sermon On The Mount:

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)

Peter then wrote about revelation. The statement, “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation” speaks not of interpretation, but of revelation, the source of the Scriptures.  The Scriptures did not stem merely from the prophets themselves; their writings came from God.  Prophecy came not from the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.  Scripture tells us:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.   2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is indeed the Word is fulfilled prophecy.  Over one-third of the Scripture was prophetic at the time it was first written.  Fulfilled prophecy is one of the great proofs of the accuracy of Scripture.  Since one-fourth of prophecy has been fulfilled, this means that one-fourth of one-third of the Bible is fulfilled prophecy.  There were three hundred and thirty prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of Christ, and all of them were literally fulfilled.  No human being can guess like that!     

As the authors of Scripture wrote their prophecies, they were impelled or borne along (“borne along” or “carried along”) by God’s Spirit. What they wrote was thus inspired by God.  Luke used this word in referring to a sailing vessel carried along by the wind. The Scriptures’ human authors were controlled by the divine Author, the Holy Spirit. Yet they were consciously involved in the process; they were neither taking dictation nor writing in a state of ecstasy. No wonder believers have a word of prophecy which is certain. And no wonder a Christian’s nurture must depend on the Scriptures. They are the very words of God Himself!

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)

These are Beth’s personal notes, due to this fact sources are not often stated.

What I Glean