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CHAPTER TWO

 

The WAY OF GOD

Following what He Says

 

cf. Deliverance from Disorientation  Ch. 9

and Massifs of Pure Splendour ... Ch. 11

 

II PETER 1:19-21

Looking at this majestic declaration in nearer and further scriptural contexts, principles, patterns, precursors and applications
and progressively comparing the results

A) OVERVIEW

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;
knowing this first, that not any  prophecy of Scripture comes into being
as a matter of an individual's own release,
for not by the will of man did prophecy arise in old time,
but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

That is partly, but not entirely,  the rendering of the NKJV. It appears the best rendering.

You can translate 'is of private origin' or 'of private interpretation' or 'from an individual's interpretation' of the truth, 'of its own release'. The Greek word used by Peter indicates freeing, setting loose, so that either God's release of it or man's acceptance/receipt of it can be in view; but in either case, it is NOT private, as to origin, being divine; and it is NOT manipulated by man, but he was driven to do it. God did not settle for mediocrity with the inhabitants of the creation, as if constrained by economic, physical or psychological circumstances (little, things you are UNDER); for God is under nothing, except in the clouds of comedy which are often tragic obscurantist follies, made by man; and even then, it changes Him and His word not a whit. That is indeed part of the message of this segment of I Peter, which is reflected in I Peter 1:22ff., which reinforces what has been indicated in the above verses, now before us.

Actually, as you find from Moulton and Milligan in their Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, the word in Greek can mean discharging of an account, as as Liddell and Scott reveal in their massive Greek dictionary, it can mean unloosing, or providing a solution or explanation. Poole is of great interest here, pointing out the usage of this term for those to compete in a race, gathering beforehand on a platform, and when the time to start comes, they are LOOSED, or RELEASED or sent or given freedom, set forth into the fray, commissioned. He notes Ezekiel 13:6-7 and Jeremiah 23:2, concerning the actual biblical usage. In this case, the prophet is sent, and runs with the word of God.

Hence, with such an actual background for these two prophets, and the opposite indeed in Jeremiah 23, where some RAN though not SENT, we see a massive index to the idea in setting. God has released and commissioned and loosed and sent His word so that it ran to earth, a general approach similar and parallel to the explicit language for these prophets. Thus not any prophecy comes as a matter of its own sending/release/origin/explanation. It is neither fashioned by man in its nature nor in its transmission. It is NOT IN ANY CASE of that kind, and NOT ANY of it is of that variety. It is not self-made, self-given, self-transmitted. It is SENT, and the writers are DESPATCHED. That is the clear context commissioned by the context. The contrast to the statement is NOT such that man has anything to do with it, is the loosing of what is prophecy, but ONLY that GOD instead has to do with it, and that by divine and overpowering force, commission, despatch.

What after all is the opposite to the affirmation that GOD MOVED the people who wrote it ? It is that the individual who wrote it, in some sense, was self-moved, the idea struck him, the concept was self-commissioning, it floated into his originating capacity, or the like. NO! It did not, is the answer. That is not the way of it at all. The sort of prophetic word which comes into scripture, is the one that is commissioned. That is its nature: not float at all. Its unloosing was not a private affair, an individual action, a mental intimation or anything separable from God. Of old, this was the way of it; and in principle this is the nature of it, at any time.

NOT ANY comes into being by its own arrival; it is SENT. That is how it works, or rather GOD WORKS, and in old time this was the way of it. Hence trust it and act on it.

This brings us to a further parallel to Jeremiah. Naturally, there is NOTHING of THEIR ideas in it, nothing of their getting personal inspiration of some variable kind, dependent on flesh, on their independent entities. They are commissioned to run: but there is a false type. In this, some not commissioned have dreams despised by God and pilloried for their presumption and impertinence (Jeremiah 23:16-18). If only these prophets had stood in the counsel of the Lord (so that they MIGHT be sent with authority and the never failing word of the true God Himself), then says Jeremiah from the mouth of the Lord, then (23:22) "they should have turned them from their evil way."

Jeremiah for his own part was aware of being SO commissioned that he felt in one upset mood, as if he had been driven, taken up and deployed (Jeremiah 20). This is the nature of the case, the biblical background, the milieu into which Peter enters in his statement on what happens in the origination of scripture of the prophetic kind. This negation and affirmation fits precisely in language, concept and contrast with what is exhibited in Jeremiah. Nations arise and fall from the word God gives him, and there is no individual entrance into these things whatsoever. It does not so happen. It is unthinkable that it should be. Individuals do NOT so state and make to happen, and the prophets of old were given their messages in ways so distinctive that there is nothing like it; for the ebullient flow of the creative thinker is without either the authority or the thrusting power of the God of creation, who also determines what will be to each nation, mocking the pretensions of those who would compete as buffoonery (Isaiah 44:24ff.).

The word of God by contrast, breaks rock, and the word of variable man in comparison, is like chaff compared to the wheat. It is imposition to regard as such, words from false prophets who take here a little, there a little, and speak the word of their own heart which naturally has neither empirical nor divine blessing, and does not come to pass. That too, that 'deceit of their own heart' (Jeremiah 23:26),  is a matter of 'false dreams', auto-engendered (Jeremiah 23:32). Their dreams are spurious, they wag the tongues and say of their own dreams, 'He says' (Jeremiah 23:31).

Neither in the gathering of substance, its expression, nor its control in any way, is it the work of man's mind, his 'idios', or for that matter, its own. It has SOURCE, spiritual divine, infinite, sublime, above and apart from the limitation of man, governing its outcome, making this the work of God, the word of God, not that of any man idiotically clamouring in any way for inclusion in the objective reality of what is there, opining for God, or as if a god! NOTHING is to be added to it, substituted for it, mixed with it; for it is sui generis, the word of God, reliable in its own integrity as no other word is. It alone is utterly safe, supernaturally set.

It is precisely this background, so dramatic, so precise, so intensely in parallel to II Peter 1, that is in view, as we compare spiritual things with spiritual (II Corinthians 2). It is point for point the message of Peter. THAT, he is saying with such things in mind (as exhibited likewise in Amos and Isaiah), that is not the way of ANY prophecy in scripture, that it is a matter of its own release.

Not at all: Holy men of God as shown expressly and at length in the Old Testament account of such things, when it came to what became SCRIPTURAL PROPHECY, have no participation in auto-origination. That was divinely condemned. That was not the way of it; and such a way of it was expressly exhibited by God with a loathing made the more intense, in this: that if they only had "stood in My counsel" and SO received what is NOT a matter of private, personal, or individual release, but divine, then BECAUSE it is then divine, souls would have been won.

That sort of debased substitute, God said, it IS a dream (23:17), which "everyone tells his neighbour"; for it is the thing of prattlers. To confuse this with the divinely guaranteed word of the living God, which ALWAYS comes to pass in HISTORY, and EMPIRICALLY is without equal or near equal (Isaiah 44:25ff., 48), is to confuse the living God with frauds, substitutes and idols.

Such is the message of scripture, such is the language, such is the metaphorical sense of sending to run, as in a race, and such is the case now being examined in this overall context, in II Peter 1.

Let us review a little from an earlier treatment of this passage, in Deliverance from Disorientation, here quite substantially extended!

 

B) REVIEW ON A LARGER SCALE

1) The Particular

In fact, better is found from Thayer, who in treating this very verse in his classical dictionary, notes that ginomai with the Genitive case, as here, means "to become i.e. be changed into something, come to be, issue in, something", and he proceeds concerning this verse in Peter, "no one can explain scripture by his own mental power (it is not a matter of subjective interpretation)". However, while these renderings preserve something of the antithesis made by Peter, they do tend perhaps to waft a little into a theme not present. The actual theme is reliability and the exclusion is the will of man. The grammar is centring on something 'coming to be' as Thayer has it.

What however is the topic ? Scripture, its fact, its presence as sure, sufficient and proficient. What is coming to be, then, in the simplest and most unobtrusive sense ? Scripture. That and that alone is the topic here.

Thus we have this: the prophetic scriptures did not come (or generically, do not come as at the time of Paul, whose writings also included this kind) into being through any individual  mortal man or created operation as explanation. No individual process or person in the realm of creation was its source. THIS is not their way, source or origin. It is not through its own intrinsic mental source, that it arises. Not so at all! It is indeed the antithesis. It is not accountable, explicable, resolvable in terms of some normal individual source, the native basics of a mere man. It is not self-explanatory a a literary item.

HOW then DID they come to be ? Not through the work of an individual. Not indeed (v. 21) by the will of man at all. Even the will did not contribute. It was by the power of God. WHAT was by the power of God ? Interpretation of something ?

Of course not. THE ARRIVAL OF SCRIPTURE was by the will of God. THIS is the meaning sustained in the context, through the varied treatments. How such things came is NOT IN THEIR OWN TERMS. Indeed, this, the arrival and production of scripture is not explained by individual perception or enlightenment, power or thought; it not explained as sourced in the will of man: it IS explained by the power and impelling provisions of God in action. It is not explained as to interpretation, but as to existence, origin, presentation, coming to be, arising, becoming as the text has it. One cannot well intrude some other additional material. This is the defined topic, and the defined result, with the negations and affirmations accordingly.

The Berkeley version is good in presenting the clear sense that follows: "Because no prophecy ever resulted from human design; instead, holy men from God spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
 

NOT by the thought of man, then (v. 20), us it explained, and NOT by the will of man (v. 21), and not the first BECAUSE not the second, but for entire explanation of its derivation, regard but one thing: IT IS BY THE POWER of God, His impelling, His thrust and His MUST! That, it is not an 'interpretation' but a creation. THAT is the ONLY explanation of the word of God. NOTHING else can stand in the arena with it, to account for it.

Interestingly, there is the same whole hearted negation as with Elisha's word for Ben Hadad noted above under II Kings 8:10. {That is, earlier in Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 9, as shown here.} The portent there, was this reply from Elisha to an enquiry concerning the future for Hadad. It was this: No, you will CERTAINLY NOT LIVE, for the Lord has shown me that he will die! There is an absolute quality to the rejection. What of such a man as this, falsely and wrongly delivered through the perfidy of a Jewish king, and now sick ? Live ? What an idea. It is rejection with vigour. It is not applicable.

Indeed, with this, there is the same whole hearted negation as with Elisha's word for Ahaziah (II Kings 1:6), where frank unbelief was intercepted with the reminder that other gods cannot deliver health or power, precision or portent, but yet with follies unspeakable are they sought, while the truth of the word of God is despised. Death once again was the outcome of devious unbelief; for in the end, there is no life in departure from the living God, and His negations are manifest and manifold (cf. John 3:19,36, Isaiah 8:20), and as to Him, He has spoken and man SHALL live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

This supernatural majesty is constantly involved in categorical, ironic, iron-clad or penetrating rejections and negations of what is hostile, alien and absurd, strutting and presenting itself as if it counted. It does not count AT ALL. Holy men did NOT AT ALL have some individual motion or commotion within them, for the LORD moved them; and that is the nature of the supernatural case categorically proclaimed by Peter, as the ground of absolute assurance when one trusts in the said prophetic scriptures, applies them and walks in terms of them, as history fulfils itself at the hand of the Lord.

There is no other way to interpret all the facets of the case, no other scripture to find in sympathy and empathy with it, no other categorical and constant background for it, no other Old Testament depiction with complete fidelity here translated into the lips of the apostle by the power of God: there is no other correct entry into the second Chapter of II Peter, but this integral rejection and ascription, this consistent downgrading of the one thing, and upgrading of the other, this normative and normal collision of the divine and the human, centring on what had happened in days gone by, and moving on to what will happen in days to come.

When will it happen ? Why, in the last times (II Peter 2:1ff.). When did the other happen ? Why, in olden times. What is the generic principle ? Why this, that the supernatural is sought as a thing to be paralleled by the natural, and the truth as something to which man can aspire in projecting prophetically. It is the same as in Eden. It is always the same while sin struts. Peter speaks the entire thing as a practical principle, then teaches how it was applicable in the production of scripture of old, and how the same folly which fails to recognise this, will operate in the future. It is Jeremiah all over again; and of course, it is PRECISELY this which Jeremiah himself declares.

Thus, in Jeremiah 23:19-20, the prophet, having spoken with vigour on this theme of the true and the false, the dream and the true, and being about to speak on the metaphorical aspects of the contrast, in terms of wheat and chaff, hammer and broken rock by its means, proceeds to deliver a new datum, from the mind of the Lord who DRIVES HOME these things. It is this: IN THE LATTER DAYS (as we have just seen from II Peter 2:1ff.), "you will consider it perfectly." In other words, the culmination, the crest of this horror, this demeaning of the word of God, this naturalistic deception, this satanic swipe, this seductive pretence: it will come at the end of the Age. It has come, and has been moving with increasing folly and force for the last century in particular (cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 3).

 It is a matter of future reference which now enters, as we pass from our text to the next one in II Peter, in his second chapter. It is NOW! NOW do these false teachers arise, failing to conform to the very manner of which prophetic scripture comes, failing to honour the way it did in fact come in those of old.

The devil's ploy, as old as with Eve, Will you REALLY die! the spirit of seductive deceit, and that evil spirit's sinuous implications that God does not speak truth, whereas his own all too well attested deceits are to be relied upon: this with the human embrace of such follies has made sham, shame and shambles to enter freely into the history of this world. It comes to its abysmal end as the Age ends, and men deny what II Peter 1:19ff., has just affirmed.

Categorical and often shameless has been the distortion, the unbelief, mere manufactured sham from the creative and corrupted heart of man indeed masquerading as faith. That contorted thing which increasingly it is, deceptive, alluring and alien to man, like spiritual viruses, this breaches the barriers of the mind and heart of man, as good is thrust out and evil is imbibed as if a mother's milk. That then is the position, the placement and the portent with which we here are dealing.

It is absolute God as such, and receptive man as such, receptacle and transmitter, sent to run, as was Jeremiah; or else, it is aspiring man, devious and deceitful, trying to have some part of the action, to be as God, to put his naturalistic forays and flurries onto the divine platform, as does of course the pope (SMR pp. 1032ff. 1042ff.), and have done those naturalistic philosophers, masquerading as theologians, who assault the word of God with their baby teeth, which merely break on it.

No, certainly not, absolutely not, this is the tenor of the negation; that way is long out, that landslide of mud is common knowledge as merely a devastation, covered up by pretence.

In this, our passage in II Peter 1 also resembles John 1:12, where we find in parallel in another phase of the declarations and majestic power of God toward mankind, There it is that being born of God is NOT a matter of blood, is NOT a matter of the will of the flesh (it is amazing what it takes to get that across!), NOT of blood, but of GOD, yes God Himself whose inviolable power and undeterrable majesty proceeds with supernatural triumphant power, such as was seen in the resurrection (John 20), with the result inspectable, even pokable for the digits of Thomas, empirical. There was that categorical event in history which brought the whole vast array of miracles to their prodigious summit in the salvation of man (cf. Romans 10:9, Luke 24).

On all sides there is precisely this same contrast, whether to Ahaziah, through Jeremiah, in terms of John's provisions concerning the miraculous and transcendental power of God arriving en scene to man: that between the supernatural, unmoved but moving God and the natural moved and impelled, transformed man, where the supernatural striking the natural, has prodigious effect, comparable to nothing, not in no case, whether in prophecy or regeneration. It is because, as the scripture constantly affirms, the gods of the heathen, the resources of man, are not there for the divine tasks, and the divine actions stand alone, self-generated in the way that man cannot touch. It is not HIS self, but the DIVINE BEING who does all these things.

So it was in the written word; so it was in the smitten butt of divine rebuke, Ahaziah; so it was and is in the supernatural movement of God, driving into being what was not there, whether what is written or what is re-created, the very heart and life of man.

Thus, with this majesty, went mercy, and to procure mercy in the very face of justice for man, there was that entire action of Christ's passion and death, resurrection and ascension till His return (Acts 3:19ff., 1:17ff.). The majestic power of the merciful Messiah indeed is the difference between life and death, and in the overcoming of death, is the blatant exposure of the feeble unbelief of man, who trusts in the flicker of his own candle, and does not understand the blinding light, like a Saul before he became Paul on the way to Damascus; and it is the denial of this power which has been in process since Eden!

NOT of that kind, not of the kind denounced in Jeremiah, illustrated in false prophets, says Peter, no not like that is the coming of prophetic release; for man is driven by the Holy Spirit in all of this. Not ONE scripture is otherwise. This in turn is reminiscent of Christ's declaration that NOT ANY jot or tittle of the scriptures of the law or prophets would fail, till all was fulfilled.

The results, as the world is now seeing, are to be found merely in a national calamity here or there, but internationally. Indeed, it is seen very much as a matter of such a  milieu,  as unbelief now manifests itself even in some utterances from religious bodies. It has done so categorically in the fallen words of the British bishops of Romanism, striving with the word of God, taking it under the wing, not even recognising it for what it is, as reported in this month of October, 2005.

In such affairs, the ample confusion of Romanism reaches its crest, from which it falls as predicted, into the rubble off the beast's back (cf. SMR pp. 946ff.): it is a worldwide disaster.
This ? it too was categorically predicted by Christ in the long run, just as was the destruction of Jerusalem in the short run (Matthew 23-24, Luke 21); and for that matter, the restoration of Jerusalem to the Jews (Luke 21:24). This moreover, it is not only that arising from within what is called the church, as Peter declares, but it is precisely this which HE AT ONCE GOES ON TO SPECIFY, in II Peter 2:1, following the Jeremiah line, the prophetic denunciations of the past with the application to the future.

In other words, we do not have only the double inference in II Peter 1, which we have presented and will view further shortly, but there is a third part of the conspectus for this passage, in its APPLICATION that follows in II Peter 2. Its integrality is complete and unexceptionable. Only eisegesis can touch it, and that for a mauling, inveterate, inapplicable, ludicrous in the extreme.

 

2) The Generic

Such, then,  is the generic of the matter, such are its applications, and such is the immediate application in the next verse of Peter's epistle. Whether the living word or the written, its source is supernatural, its imposition is divine, the power is incorruptible, and the result is to be smitten, whether in Christ, on the Cross, used deftly to secure redemption in His majestic mercy, or in unbelief assailing the word of God written. It is also a fulfilment of these predictions,  for the word of God to be smitten as now by these Romanist bishops. That, to a considerable extent, was the topic of Ch. 1 of this volume, above. Their additions to the snow flurries of human drift, these merely paint the picture the more precisely than had been done so very amply, before.

The historical impact, the dynamic entry, the history-making holiness, the precision of power and the perfection of deity, the mercy of the Lord, through power to present deity face to face in this world, to man, to crucifixion to obliterate Christ: this is the mode of Majesty. Yet the living and the written word alike, continue unmoved. With Christ, it was a matter of leaving the dumbfounded authorities confronted by the same power (Acts 1:1, 4, 5, 12), face to face, and with the word of the same Lord, who having fulfilled all, including the death at their historical hands, proceeded to the resurrection with the historical dynamic inseparable from deity and then poured out His Holy Spirit, so that the majestic applications of His power, continued (Acts 1:1).

Thus having done all (Hebrews 9:12, 10:10,14), He left the world for the interim provided for the proliferation of the Gospel as He had announced.

This,  reported in Matthew 24:12, proceeds until His return. The power is perfect in mercy, in love, in majesty also; and the endeavours to deface it, defile it, deter it or deny it continue, whether in the slaughter of Christians, as in Sudan, and other vile misuses of force, or in simple but ludicrous, assaults on the word that never flinches, but only flexes its power and proceeds to its task.

It is NOT man's power that makes history; it is the divine prescription which, having due regard for all the rebelliousness of man, presents what is to be, like an Army General, outlining millenia ahead, the enemy's plans, but graciously providing an escape (Hebrews 6:18-20). You see this in Psalm 2, where the drama is intense and the prediction from a millenium before Christ arrived on this earth, is clear as to the death intended and the resurrection in view. The former appears in more detail in Psalm 22,  the latter being confirmed  in Psalm 16. In this way, the prophetic word in the scriptures, to which Peter refers,  has the solutions even for millenia ahead; and those declared, history follows meekly, for all the furore of rebellion. It does so,  like a lamb.

Such is always the case with the word of God: GOD NEGATES the power of unbelief, and those who seek to NEGATE the majestic power of God are left like Hiroshima, disgraced in their shams and discarded in their falsities, like Ben-Hadad.

The principle involved is pervasive, applicable on all sides in this world of sin on the one hand, and the undying majesty of the resurrected Christ on the other; and His own life is testimony to the express nature of the conflict, and of the case.

NO, new birth has nothing to do with the absence of the power of God, or the presence of the power of man, but ONLY with the dynamic of the regeneration which the Creator ALONE can perform. NO, Ben-Hadad, Ahaziah, enemies of the faith, renegades astray and wrongly seeking a power which is not found to have parallel in their hearts, in faith: they will assuredly die. In this, there is an absolute certainty, an absolute negation and sham has an absolute repudiation of what is simply unbelief. The scriptures, on the other side, these will assuredly live; and the two, they are assuredly NOT of the same kind, and the PRINCIPLE of the process is as disparate in the arrival of the prophetic word, coming into being, as is the result, the product. The one ? dream. The other ? hammer; and for those who eat ... wheat, not chaff!

Here in II Peter 1:20, the parallel power has this concerning prophecy: No, it does not come at all like that. It is the entire antithesis of such a concept. In fact, Holy men spoke as DRIVEN ... It came from God, and this is how, not from some philosopher's musings.

Thus the negation is followed by the affirmation; the prohibition (on erroneous thought about prophecy) is succeeded by the explanation of such a rejection. This is good NOW and that is why: THEN it came in that way. That is WHY it is good now.

Nothing could be clearer when you ponder it just a little!

 

C) WHOSE SPIRIT ?
THAT OF GOD AND THAT OF MAN, THEY ARE INFINITELY DISTINCT

At once, then,  we need to see that the loosing, the releasing of the word of God NEVER came by the WILL of man. Peter actually says this; that is why it is trustworthy. That is the flow of his argumentation. In turn, the REASON why it never came by the will of man, its release was not private, is that holy men of God were DRIVEN by the Holy Spirit, the word being that used in the driving of Paul's ship by the tempest, before it.

It is perfectly clear and sequential. There is a prophetic word. It is safe and useful as the future predicted,  becomes the present observable and impending. Hence you should examine it and follow it. THIS is the teaching from these words.

Do not fear, for it has nothing whatever to do with some single prophet making use of his mind, which may be more or less informed or reliable: it never came that way. This can be stated categorically because these divine releases, these data transfers, they were never wrought so much as by the WILL of man.  That, all of that is entirely irrelevant to this product, the word of God.  God's own SPIRIT is back of them, impelled them and wrought them. Paul teaches just this in I Corinthians 2:9ff., where the matter is from Him, as also the word to translate it into expressive form or formula.

It IS the word of God, because the Holy Spirit, so far from being under their will, and His deliverance, so far from being limited to the releases of their own minds, in fact DROVE them to declare the word of God.

It is the will of God, not that of man which figures in the scripture; it is the mind of God, not the mind of man which encompasses these words; it is the power of the Holy Spirit, not that of the spirit of man, which ensures that the driving wind of the divine mind is fulfilled in His intimations. Hence so far from being limited by such imaginary human confines, you are dealing with the word of God, and so should realise that it shines as a bright light in dark places, a divine light in a fallen world. Such is the combination of the concepts given through Peter. Interpretation is as far from this as is the fruit from the fertiliser.

Thus Peter exhorts us. Therefore STUDY it and PROFIT by this so great word. THIS is the outcome of it. Its nature on the one hand, and its origin on the other, its producer and itself as product, BECAUSE of the nature of the producer as He produced it: these are the grounds of certitude. You are not surrendering your place to man, as you follow THIS word, since man is neither its author by desire nor by definition, neither by delimitation nor by declaration.

That is the sequence of grammar, of thought and in context, as closely reasoned, as mutually sufficient and supportive as any arch!

It is as simple as ABC, as clear, as sequential, as secure, as certain; and especially, it is as logical as a geometrical theorem. Each step is WARRANTED by that preceding, and to ADD into this, ideas which are not the consequence, each step of the preceding: this is as valuable and as honest as adding a zero to someone's cheque! Do not do it! Heed it, and do not act on some theory about man so delivering the word of God that it is in significant measure the word of man! It is not at all of man, through man or for man: it came in an entirely different way, and has an entirely different objectivity, created in the mind of God, and conveyed infallibly to man by the power of His Spirit.

Any other concept, as if man were a maestro, a master or a component in this divine gift, it is denied with the customary divine vigour; for all such devices are merely one method of avoidance, one serpentine trick to delude, deceive. You need NOTHING of man in this, since NOTHING of man was in its production.

It is in fact precisely what the Roman Catholic (more precisely, the Roman body of tradition and the word of God) religious organisation is now SAYING. Not satisfied with demeaning the word of God in direct defiance of this scripture, and of all the others refusing addition (Proverbs 30:6) to the defined word of God which has been clear for multiple centuries and decreed, by adding its ideas in terms of Canon Law and the thoughts of this or that person of old, it now uses man as maestro. It proceeds to its processor, its papal processor, wholly irrelevant to the divine movement of release of the prophetic word to which Peter refers. It moves  to  this subjugation by the idea of man's sovereignty in a papal state, to make a state of peril for man. Not thus, however, is the way of the prophetic word: it comes not by man, nor does it come by man's will, nor by the desire of some church: it is entirely a matter of God's own gift, by His own Spirit, and thus has come the scriptural word, not promulgated by one, but by many, not determinative by any, but by God.

By implication, of course, ANY other gift is not of this type, whether it be sanctified or not. There is only one determinant, and that is the word of the in Scripture, recognised, but by no means created by the Church, for millenia, for what it is, has been and continues to be, just as it was from the beginning when God spoke to mankind (cf. SMR Appendix   C and  D). The 'boss' is dead in such things; the Lord alone is the Master, and in His mastery, He has inscribed the scripture, wholly diverse from the word of man. When a man, even, preaches, it is still not determinative; it is assessable by the Gospel and by the scripture. When Paul preached (Galatians 1), even he, there was always this condition: even if HE varied from the scriptural word given, the Gospel, he too would be accursed. There is no relief, there is no position, there is no pre-eminence. There is one God, one faith, on book of the Lord (Isaiah 8:20), one salvation, and one unchanging deposition, wrought by divine dynamic, available to man, as separate from all that man can do as the heavens from the earth (cf. Isaiah 55).

It is amusing in a grave way, to find these many bishop of Romanism now declaring precisely what the worst of the liberalism of Protestantism has been saying for a century and more, before it passed into a defeat never acknowledged, but certain for all that in the explosions of knowledge that consorts only with the word of God, its fulfilment and its attestation*1. It was, not least for this reason, that various new methods of subverting the word of God were invented to take the eye of the market, the Athenian way, always seeking for some new thing (Acts 17:21), never at rest; for after all, for the wicked there IS no rest, but they are like the troubled sea, always stirred by some new irrationality, some new wind of doctrine, some folly or other, like a constantly upset stomach.

Yes, in Athens, there we read that they spent their time investigating continually some new thing. What an Athenian world it has become in spiritual things; to fulfil Matthew 24:24.

It is good to find new things about the creation, since this is our task; but it is far more folly than  good, to invent God's words for Him. This is for an actor to become playwright, and a creature to become Creator, the Age-old step of Eve with its Age-old introduction to agony for man, that prelude in the seductive hiss of the serpent, this has its ultimate moment coming. The crucified Lord was to become the resurrected Lord; but the resurrected Lord is to become the judging Lord. He has not hurried. The world has been allowed to have all the liberty in the world; but it has used it to its own destruction, like children playing with an electrical circuit. It is the same ferment: suggesting that man really has this place, as gods with God, so that sharing and equality is the theme. Genesis to Revelation shows it, and the endeavour to escape the simple supernatural fact of the origin of man, of the universe, of the Gospel, of the scripture, of its quality and nature: this is the escape to death-row. What else, when life is defamed, defrauded and make a subject of deviance!

The natural is not the supernatural, and its powers are not those. It is not so.

It is not so, to the point of damnation; for if ANY other Gospel preached by Paul would have damned Paul, and it is HE WHO SAYS SO (in Galatians 1:6-9), how much more is the non-apostolic inventiveness to be condemned; while adding to God's word becomes merely an infinite impertinence (for,  after all, what man is to live BY,  is every particulate word which proceeded out of His mouth, as Christ reminded Satan as seen in Matthew 4, and the praying disciples reflect in Acts 4:24-26).

Indeed, stealing God's word, each one from his neighbour, and giving a dream, a vision, an interpretation, a release, a loosing of the word of God from one's own mind is categorically condemned with the utmost vigour, and that repeatedly, in Jeremiah 23, as in II Peter 2:1ff..

Let us now therefore consider the text before us in some more minute detail in the next two sections.

 

D) II PETER I: 19-21 in its inferential sequence

We find then from all the above, that the meaning is this, that the origin, the design, the coming into being of the word of God was not something which came by the will of man. It did not come out into the open, freely accessible, by someone's will but by a movement, a driving force from the Spirit of God.

The question of interpretation of the RESULT, therefore, does not even arise; indeed, it is not even the interpretation by the writer (as I Peter 1:10ff.) which is to the point, the scribe or prophet to whom these writings came. They were FOR US, and so they were driven and given to gain access to these words of God. The discourse turns on will, whose, on the freeing of the word of God - not man's, but God's. Into this FACT, must be fitted the CONCLUSION of which the fact is given as basis.

The will, driving, indomitable, of God is asserted as the basis, not that of man. Hence what was the occasion of this statement ?

It is this. The revelation is not of an individual as to what ? As to someone else gathering its meaning ? How then  is origin in the will of God as emphatically declared, thrust into words, to become some sort of a case for excluding individuals from seeing its meaning ? To say that this would be unclear would be palpable suppression of truth. It would be wholly alien to the thrust of the passage, which is not how much help you need to understand it, but how sure you can be in trusting it. IT is the object of thought; the WORD of God is the focus, the power of God in providing it is featured, and it is asserted that this did not arise from itself or from any parameters individual to the writer, from anything at all of that kind; for by contrast, it was formed and fashioned into being by the thrusting power of the active enunciating God.

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Further, any thought of suddenly and autonomously switching track
and then pretending this was concerning subsequent interpretation,
not exclusion of interpolation in the origin of the revelation, would contradict Proverbs 8:8.
 

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It would also contradict the nature of the inference: which is one of  producing
what is DESCRIBED in detail in its deposition, and shown in PARALLEL PRINCIPLE,
as the GROUND of what is to be done in fact, using such a light as the guide in spiritual walk.
THAT IS HOW SCRIPTURE CAME: THAT IS WHY YOU CAN TRUST IT. There is NOTHING LIKE IT.
Its authority is over all, its nature is beyond all, its application is for all. Don't be deceived
by dial twiddlers, who would put you on their station, and off this unique and incomparable scripture.

We before this Master, Jesus Christ, are all brethren (Matthew 23:8-10), and His gifts pour out for help, being assessable (I Corinthians 14).

There is no statutary limit  on understanding, which is a gift to be sought and gained (Colossians 1), not a human writ to cover the word of God in the garlands of the great, as was the practice of scribe and Pharisee alike. Babes and sucklings can sing perfected praise and can overturn the fallacies of spiritual intruders (Psalm 8, Matthew 21:16). Yes, the word of God is affirmed to be all clear to him who understands (Proverbs 8:9).

There is, says God with this declaration, nothing twisted, contorted or writhed in these His words of wisdom! You do not need to be a traditionalist in philosophy to understand, for the Spirit of God and careful exegesis in terms of what is there, such as in general, the tinker John Bunyan did with such consummate grace, this is requisite! You do not NEED any to teach, as if it derived in any way from them as I John 2 declares; the Spirit of God teaches, without any one of the brethren becoming 'master'. Such is the word of Christ (Matthew 23). How many contradictions has Romanism made of how many scriptures; and it is now interesting to see them dare to face it outright, and spit in its face, as is in effect the indignity to which these Romanist bishops now treat it. But that ? It has always been so with the enemies of the Cross, and was literally executed when the living Word of God was there, for His face to be near enough to collect the outcome of the disaffection of man.

Any concept of someone struggling to understand what it means, in this robust context, is not merely an imposition into it, then, but a delusion, also alien to its claim, nature and the very nature of scripture, scripturally defined!

Further, in terms of the sequence: the reason why THIS WHOLE SEGMENT (vv. 20-21) is produced is itself in turn, a GROUND for the claim that the prophetic word is a light in a dark place, to which the people of the Lord  should do well to heed, as to a shining light in a dark world. The argument is not in the least scintilla concerned with who thinks it means this or that, for the context is that it is a light, what shines, not something shadowed in some cryptic code as if meant specifically for Pharisaic manipulation (Mark 7:fff.).

Indeed, all such human elevation and scriptural derogation, which is implied, has an intense degree of hatred on the part of God. Small wonder that He detests traditionalistic intrusion with power or place to alter meaning! After all, when your words are so SPECIAL that lawyers make their meaning a part of some legalese, and destroy their actual content with specious and unnecessary argumentation, who would not be ... concerned!

It was in this usage that Christ rebuked the scribes, who neither went into the kingdom of heaven themselves, nor failed to hinder those who were entering to go in! (Luke 11:52). It was precisely these scriptural subtracting agents, and scriptural adding agents, who were the obstruction. They did not help; the word of God is clear in itself, subject to gifts as we help one another, but the hindrance is from schools and authorities who over-write it, as is done these days with disks, when something different is put where once, another thing stood!

Because, then, it is a light, this word of God, the argument of Peter proceeds, it should be heeded.  This word of God, thus produced, propelled, indeed impelled is to be followed, used, deployed into action and so have its wisdom operational in the believer.

Its status, as SUCH a light that it can meaningfully be trusted even in distant, dark-seeming domains of history as it all eventually comes to pass, is this: that it comes from God. It is this also, that it came by efficient, effective and controlling power, for it is asserted that that He drove it home. It is as if a carpenter could say: that will stay put! They are sound nails, surely driven home! Those are the crucial features here in view; and as to the design, the origin, then this also is covered, for the term 'unloosing' covers all, as various translations rightly reflect.

Indeed, so vast is the context in history, over the entire AGE of the New Testament Church with all its defined aspects and developments, as kingdom rises against kingdom and developments of power and fraud arise, that it could ONLY be when such a decisive, direct, supernatural action was back of this word, that anyone COULD logically trust it. Peter, then, declares that this being so, the thing apart altogether from man as the scriptural word of God, His entire pronouncement to the race, and enshrined altogether in the incalculable spiritual dynamic of the Lord, that not only is it reasonable to apply it with confidence in such a distant time (as now is our own), but it is entirely unreasonable not to do so!

Thus there is no slightest danger of man's unloosing it in some variable or unreliable way as it proceeded form the mouth of God (as in Matthew 4:4), to come into existence, to being formed, as Thayer declares from the word usage. Hence it is to be trusted with the certainty attaching to the loving God in His normally effective action, here designated in its scope and power. There is a certain majesty about it all, an omni-competence, not a witlessly concocted something or other,  needing code-breakers to know what on earth it all means! That would be the opposite. Indeed, says Peter, "we were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (II Peter 1:16), of Him whose authenticity was announced from heaven, and whose word was promulgated from the same source, indeed by the very Spirit of Christ (I Peter 1:10ff.).

No, quite to the contrary of any non-scriptural intrusion by some non-authorised interloper, we are in this context concerned with scripture as a trustworthy light because its source is God, and that not passively but actively, driving those who received it past the bounds of any varying from the dictates of His desire, in terms of their own. THAT is entirely excluded. In the incarnation, in the inscripturation, God has precisely, intimately and actually, notably and supernaturally bridged every gap, achieved every nuance and fulfilled all His will. The will of God has been DONE!

HENCE, SINCE no individual is EITHER its origin en bloc, OR in its release, there is an absolute trustworthiness, an ineffable functionality, a base for wisdom: not to display some imaginary powers, as if from man, but rather to exhibit the power and protective authority of God, His wit being there paramount, to make it so that one can take it as it is intrinsically.

God being in entirety its source without suffering any unreliability to arise, intrusion to occur, waylaying to intrude, therefore the light is to be USED, yes even in the dank or dark times of history far off, as it fulfils itself in the uttermost reaches of earthly time.

Interpretation of the result of this divine power and oversight, this is as far from this double contextual series of inferences, as it would be if one were to imagine the reason for the declared reliability of a car in ALL testing conditions, even to the uttermost, to rest on the driver's usage, not the maker's power. It is true that if you try to drive a car up a vertical brick wall, then it is not a test, but a gross folly. But that is simply irrelevant when the TOPIC is this: why the driving populace should trust it, and use it over an entire Age (cf. II Peter 3:9 on that topic!), NOT how someone else can make it work by doing diverse structural operations on it, to make the thing happen.

Hence all endeavour to make the REASON why Scripture, the prophetic in particular, is utterly reliable EVEN in the MOST future and testing conditions is NOT that individuals cannot interpret it by themselves, a thing contrary to the intimation, as to I John 2. That would be something not merely a different topic, but one alien to the thrust of the inference pattern. The point is indeed  that those to whom this revelation was given, loosed,  did not, because they could not, interfere with that,  its release to mankind. God by utter originating power - driving force, did it.  You can trust Him; He does not rust: He utterly undertook as to His mode of release - HENCE you should give heed to it (not to someone or something else), as a light and follow it.

It is of the order of Christ, whose majesty was attested (as the preceding context shows), and its safety is in Him and from Him, just as it arose from His Spirit. In GOD ONLY, in His inscripturated word ONLY, in His salvation in Christ ONLY, proceed as from inveterate and established authority. What is against this, as in II Peter 2:1, immediately following, is pathological, and will become common.

 

E) A CONCURRENCE of FINDING
with that of Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 8

A second substantially expanded excerpt follows, but for the entire original Chapter follow this link,
which has now in some degree, been extended parallel with the amplified work below.

But let us summarise some of our findings. What does it all mean ? It is this: the concept that II Peter 1:20-21 means that private people, that is individuals of any kind, people not specified by Peter in his giving of grounds for faith in the word of God, people not seized in the thrust of the writing of scripture as such, are by no means in the equation of stability or the concept of constancy, yes the favours of faithfulness or the grounds of assurance.

No man can come into this realm. It is exclusive of all but the agents chosen to render the divine messages called scripture. They are neither relevant nor received, neither in this way nor that. The release for scripture is objective, supernatural, final, decisive and signatured by God. It is His word. NOTHING outside this release has this savour, reliability, and EVERYTHING else is excluded from this cover, the grounds for which follow in 1:21.

If however you should extraneously, presumptuously and intrusively seek to put some such idea into the context, there are a number of areas violated.


Let us list a few.

It is


Let us look at these.

WRONG TIME: What the apostle Peter is warranting is the PAST performances of holy men of God in the production of scripture. It is that body of writings alone which is in view.

This, and not something else in terms of authority or assurance, is what is written. Implying a present power or basis is arresting the authority and placing where it is simply not put. The thought is the power of the releasing God who gave to holy men of old, His word,  and the trustworthiness of the resulting product of such power, which is to be followed with absolute reliance. Any other power would be a futuristic, scrambling of the entire point, an additive of alternative options which would destroy the nature of the basis provided and pronounced in the text, and in giving some other idea of a something yet to come, precisely confront what God here says, repelling His exclusion of all else with hauteur, rebellion and dissidence. It is the PAST which is the basis of the assurance, and the past as noted, not as invented by man but given by God in this matter.

All prophetic words which are scripture have this mode of deployment. Nothing else does. The ancient ones (1:21) are but examples for those of apostolic times (1:20, cf. I Corinthians 2:9-13), all bearing the stamp imprint, inviolable by addition, synthesis with the 'idios' of any other force, power, person or process, both substance and words given as Paul shows and Peter indicates. The former are the rule for the latter, so that both categories of them, in their integrity as divinely unloosed, exclude all other. This theme will be developed further in context, DV, in Ch. 4 below.

WRONG THEME: The theme in II Peter 1 as it approaches its terminus, is the certainties of God, in Christ on earth, as attested by God, as attested by prophecy; and of prophecy, as attesting Christ who performed as predicted, in attesting likewise what is to come, this being now an even more verified tool, instrument of faith and guaranteed force in Christian life. BOTH Christ of divine honour and glory, God incarnate (Hebrews 1, John 8:58), and the word of God written, AS provided in the supernatural way noted in II Peter 1:20, are inveterately virtuous, tested, tried and true, sure and steadfast, the majestic Christ divinely attested, the written word divinely given in scripture (II Peter 1:16,19).

One IS God in flesh; the other is the WORD of God in writing.

One reason for this is that it is all a verified work of God, done in the past, aggregating into the depiction of Christ, a total book of the Lord, sure for the future.

WRONG TOPIC: The topic at the point of the text in vv. 20-21 is a carefully sustained and sequential account of HOW scripture came to be, and WHAT is its quality. It is nothing whatsoever to do with untested human authority, or indeed man in his interpretive workings ON scripture at all. Gratuitously to insert the idea is to lose the logic, twist the text.

WRONG TASK: Hence there is, in any concept of a future ecclesiastical domineering or direction, as if this were in view, a failure to realise what IS written, the steadfast reliability of the word of God as already given, its certainties for all future occasions; and there is likewise a negation with dire emphasis of any outthrust away from this, to invent machineries or approaches wholly dissonant. Such things are not even tangential - for in them, there is no point of contact with the emphasis on things past, things sure, things tried, things verified, and with them the correlative scriptures of the same potency, all of one principle, one type, 'the prophetic word', in one place, 'scripture', these being attested as the fulfilled power of God in providing a sure guide: no, of such alien concepts there is not even an iota.

We are investigating the nature of scripture, based on its mode of production (1:21): given the principle applicable to scripture in the prophetic word which it bears (1:20),  the latter the ground and base for the former. Alleged powers of interpretation are outside the scope and compass of the argumentation, which shows why these considerations give to the scripture its kudos, authority and the certainty which such origin produces.

PERVERSION OF THE EXHORTATION:

Hence there is not far off, but for us indeed now looming into sight, a provision for handling even that, the scripture, but an intrinsically sure thing granted its grace by its source and mode of donation from deity AS scripture.

Rather in the twisted concept of later interpretation, you gain  but a perversion of the exhortation to STAND by the PROPHETIC word ALREADY given, one made even more sure and confirmed by the arrival and fulfilments of Christ, relative to that scripture, which alone has the grace in view through the mode of production specified, the ground of hope and sentinel of security. In that specious substitute for the word of God, man's ideas about it, whether papal or other in its intrusion beyond scripture or into it, the concept in logical insolvency, becomes this,  that one should stand by what is NOT already given, NOT tested and verified, not in the catetgory of scripture itself,  and NOT mentioned by Peter at all.

This perverts faith, corrupts the passion for purity and makes by devious means zealots instead of devoted people, those trusting in God alone. That in turn merely illustrates the intrusion of false teaching into the very midst of the Church which Peter immediately specifies, so that the NEGATIONS of 1:20 in principle, become the CORRUPTIONS to come, in prediction, in the verses following 1:21.
 

BYPASS OF THE WARNING:

Indeed, instead of leading naturally into the warning in II Peter 2,  about what people will do, corrupting the faith with damnable heresies, things worthy of condemnation through false motivation, arising even from within the church, such a distortion of 1:20-21 would open up the vulnerable to this very vice by assuming that directors can come in and thrust their own authority into the midst of the word of God, precisely. It is thus not merely an alien, an intrusive interpretation, but a capitulation to the very error which II Peter 2 predicts will happen.

It indeed has happened, fulfilling the prophecy of II Peter 2, Acts 20, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, all parallel,  and that modern vindication of this word of the apostle has come with a rich fertility, impassioned weeds of poison flourishing in the soil that has departed from the faith (cf. SMR pp. 699ff., 743ff., 750Bff., Stepping Out for Christ Chs.  1,   5, Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... Ch. 3, News, Facts and Forecasts 122, 123, Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane  8287, Repent or Perish Ch. 5, Things Old and New Epilogue, Ch. 2, Appendix, With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Ch. 11, It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 11). Panzer division not merely corrupt the countryside of scripture by their invasion, but in contradicting it directly, lay it waste.

Though the word of God continues, endures for ever, is laid up in heaven and granted to earth, yet the onrush for its ruin by pollution and assault is so abundantly verified as to make this prediction of Peter one of the pivots of prophecy, rendering inexcusable those who dare to disregard it.

Thus instead of seeing as attack, this incoming of deceivers, putting their own authority into action as they corrupt the church through false motivation, mediation (yet there is but ONE mediator - I Timothy 2), many welcome the invasion, as some in Austria did when Hitler came in his fatherly manner, to bring 'relief' to Austrian Germans, taking the country with them for his own purposes! How could it be otherwise ? If many are to be deceived as the apostle warns, in the last days, then the deceivers are received!

II Peter 2 proceeds indeed with the indictment. It is with some kind of gain in view, he reveals, that they make merchandise of the people: deceivers who are corrupt, and being justly warned, those who tolerate or even welcome this fiddling with the word of God face a perilous outcome. Modes of covetousness enter, Peter proceeds, and the ways are characterised as destructive!

Indeed, this interpolation of extraneous material, emphasis and thought into what is actually written has no mean result as seen in II Peter 2:17ff.: for it is opening up the church to precisely what Peter warns it AGAINST! becomes a scene of one of the most furious condemnations available in the word of God. In II Peter 2, this warning is long and sustained, devastating in its condemnation and massive in its implications. Jude acclaims the same.

Departing from the faith once for all delivered (News 43, 88; Things Old and New Ch.  2, End-note 2), from the prophetic word which has just been acclaimed as safe, by addition, interpolation or contradiction, as did the Pharisees before them, these Gentile aliens, awakening inside the Church (II Peter 2:1), the apostle Peter shows exposed and composed with motivational and spiritual errors abounding. Indeed, the unnatural prohibitions of Rome as predicted in I Timothy 4, are one of the grounds of the incredible seeming corruption which she has for so long led in the arena of sexual vice, specified by Peter as the second chapter proceeds.

The warning is parallel also to that of Paul in Acts 20:20, where he predicts wolves coming IN, not sparing the flock, yes concerning those of this ilk, who "from among your own selves will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves." That is precisely the intimation of Peter concerning their type of 'work', and their point of origin, the Church of God.

This drawing of people after themselves is precisely what ROMANISM has done, sects have done, false prophets like Muhammad have done (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4). It is precisely moreover not only what Peter and Paul, with Jude, described, but what Christ foretold in Matthew 24:24, with the arising correlate of the corruption of good and the growth of evil in this world, depicted by Christ in Matthew 24:11-14). Despite this, Christ indicated, the Gospel would spread through all the world, and then the end would come. The doctor's divine diagnosis is as always it has been, true in all points, and the agreement between those who have given these scriptures is as always, total and overwhelming, leaving no excuse for ignoring all or any of it.

In such cases, MAN, as excluded in II Peter 1:20-21, is now the focus. NOT what the word SAYS, but what man says, what someone NOT a writer of the prophetic scriptures, the word of God says: this becomes the test, the criterion.

NOTHING, however, could be further from Matthew 23:8-10, which REQUIRES

This is also 11) above, but we shall augment this aspect shortly, DV.
 

LOGICAL NON SEQUITUR:

It really is a massive (literal) impertinence, to trust a concept of human interpretation of scripture as the thrust of this passage, for more than all the above reasons. It is so for quite another. Simply: it DOES NOT FOLLOW that because

a) men did not 'achieve' scripture from any will of their own and
b) in fact God by an impelling vigour and direction secured it by His own inalienable and always adequate power,

therefore no one but important people, special people, can interpret it.

That, then, is to put into the mouth of God a fallacy: some gift!

In fact, and as a point of empirical reality, the stress is quite the opposite. You do not NEED, indeed you MUST NOT HAVE, anything to interfere with this tested scripture; for if you do, then where are you placed under the guarantees given ?

Not only would you then be NOT COVERED (as with any insurance policy, when you go outside the prescribed conditions - NO cover is given for any affirmative action whatever relative to the handling of scripture here) , but you would be UNCOVERED DESPITE A GRAVE WARNING of the dangers of precise the area of your vulnerability! This would be gross, outrageous and reckless to the uttermost point, contrary and contrary, using both pronunciations and meanings of the term!

But what a travesty, to seek so hard to bring in a mischief, or to ignore the point, for whatever reason (including cultural conformity and so forth), that you make God by your mere importation of philosophy into the scripture, to be author of confusion! What a confusion it is which is not merely confused but wishes to put into His word, a logical fallacy! FOR, says II Peter 1:21, "prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit".

WHAT then is the case: BECAUSE holy men so spoke, BECAUSE the word of God did not come from the will of man at all ? Is it that THEREFORE only special authority may interpret the word of God ? Is it the case that since God is authentic, and this word is tested, tried, true and deposited exclusively by divine action, in its outcome infallible therefore, that MEN MUST authorise its understanding ?

Does it follow ? It is the OPPOSITE of what follows. The result in fact: be careful not to pollute it, as II Peter 2 AT ONCE goes on to direct. This IS the authority: do NOT do such a thing. It is not at all, DO IT! Nor would it follow. If God did it like that, it is not implied in the least degree that we must therefore treat this word to a new authority, so that we can try to catch up with what God was 'trying to say'. Not only it is incongruous, but there is also no way in the world that such a thing would FOLLOW from the exemption of the will of man from the creation of the written word of God. It would pollute the premisses of the promise with what is not merely extraneous to the ground of confidence as given, but capable of wholly defiling it. It is assuring consumers of a food package, pure because of stringent production assurances, that it really does not matter if someone penetrates the package with a needle.

Further, since any such authority would be extraneous to anything Peter here or elsewhere says, this is an INVASION by ILLICIT authority of what is NOT provided for, to create an ILLOGICAL assurance, contrary to fact, commonsense and the contextually given grounds.

FALLACY IMPORTED INTO THE WORD OF GOD:

As a result, such a misinterpretation of this text becomes an actual fallacy imported into the word of God. All this comes before we even look at what it is actually saying. It is merely propounding the negative, what it cannot be deemed to say, both because of contradiction of logic, denial of reason and uninhibited abuse of context. It is, in other words, more than a non sequitur. It is an import as well of extraneous material, offensive and contrary. It is moreover a

FECKLESSNESS OF DEVIATION:

It is no mere wavering of thought, lack of concentration which is involved in this error. It is very dreadful. It abandons restraint and wisdom, looking to what is not merely missing, but what is deplored in the context, when it is present, as it is predicted to be. Moreover it is a

PARADE IN THE FACE OF PARALLELS:

Not merely does it collide with the surrounding parallel with Christ, the living and the written word being the topic, in their whole and integral reliability, both in being tested and sure (indeed the prophetic word through Christ's attainments on earth and fulfilments, being made more sure, is confirmed), as found in II Peter 1: it smacks as in a head-on collision into the negative parallel of warning in II Peter 2 into which Peter at once proceeds, and slices recklessly into the very chassis of  I John 2:27, where we are advised that you do not NEED any man to instruct, since the anointing suffices.

Serviceable help is one thing, in brotherhood and liberty; sovereign majesty in man acting as God Almighty on earth, this is totally other, and fully rejected by John. How many more must be broken that this heresy should proceed! Moreover, it is the same from many other sources, who tell you that they have magical glasses, or had them, to read marvellous words, or that they have philosophical perspectives, seen with other glasses as mystical and mythical as the others, which neither stand nor could stand, and that it is with these that you must interpret all things (cf. SMR Ch. 10, Things Old and New Ch.  9,10 Epilogue, Appendix).

This then does not remove the advantages, the expediency if you will, of help in humble ministration, or genuine presentation with assurance of what is manifestly the word of God beyond all human authority, as in Romans 12 where different gifts minister from one to the other. It does however remove any concept of a MASTER, of a NECESSITY, of an actual intrinsic AUTHORITY, which can in any way come into the scene outside the scriptures of God.

Let us hear John's inspired word, itself part of the scripture:

"But the anointing that you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught  you, you will abide in Him" - I John 2:27.

In other words,

AS the anointing TEACHES concerning all things,
AND is true and is not a lie,
AND just as it HAS taught you,

SO you will abide in Him.

What do you not NEED ? That anyone to teach you. What is expressly stated ? This. What is the divine command for keeping ? This.

Is a pope covered by 'anyone' ? Of course, he is a man. Is a church council covered ? Of course, each participant is a man. The thing is one body, one authority. What then can a church council do ? ONLY provide by sound and assured reason what cannot be controverted, applying what is given as it is, and not in any sense as it is merely conceived, as if the body of Christ could command the head, who IS CHRIST (Ephesians 2:20, 4:15).. The trouble with all these things is that they forget the Head, confuse or even dare to seek to be correlative with Him, whose name is above every name, and who is God Almighty (John 8:58, 5:19ff.). Headstrong is their name, and the horror is such that is one of the body being headstrong, and taking over as head! It is in this like a cancer, which kills, and leads to the sense of utter abhorrence which you find so abundantly expressed in II Peter 2.

From John as from Matthew, as likewise we learn that they can have NO authority in themselves. The Westminster Confession is utterly sound here, forbidding an implicit faith in anything of men, and requiring that ONLY the DEMONSTRABLE certainties of what follows from the word of God may be doctrine.

It is even SIN to go further, NOT SANCTITY. It squalid sin, it is an act of peril, of destitution, of repudiation and far more. Read II Peter 2 and tremble; but if you obey God, read it and feel the joy that the Great Shepherd, the ONLY HEAD of the whole Church, has such love that diseases in doctrine and government of this kind and measure, are so abominated by Him, in His own word. One who has borne what Christ bore for His body, the Church (Acts 20:28), which He purchased, as God, with His own blood, as incarnate.

These scriptures utterly exterminate and annihilate the whole authoritarian conception of the church. Its power is only to carry out what is written. Certainly, it can form arrangements expedient, but its power over the faith is zero. The word of God has power over it (cf. Galatians 1:6-9), and if it in anything goes beyond, it runs headlong into all these scriptures. Pompous prelates like honeyed harridans, prostitute the power of God readily enough, when they intrude into divine things apostolically made, and made in the past (Ephesians 2:19-21), into the foundation "having been built", the Master the increate Christ, the number of masters ONE, and that one, Christ; and the word one, the word of God.

There is the gulf of infinity between God and man, and the forgetfulness of this simple fact is the bane of nations, and of many false churches, lords over the heritage of the Lord, having dominion over faith (against I Peter 5:1-3, where he makes himself serviceable in this with the other elders, alien to all lordship), false Masters, not Christ.

With this, He is no more  identifiable than is the heaven with the earth.

Elders eve like Peter are NOT lords over your faith: indeed and rather are they helpers of your joy (I Peter 5). SO says this same apostle. What therefore we have to reject, and deplore multiply is a

CONTRADICTION OF OTHER SCRIPTURES in any such pollution of this text. It is not merely other than these, adding to them: it actually precisely and directly CONTRADICTS them. Further it produces a

COLLISION with PROHIBITIONS; for there is not only a matter of thought as such,  in this matter, the denial, the contradiction of a principle, but there is also an actual collision about practice. YOU must not and CANNOT do the things which some would bring into this text in II Peter 1, as if the word of God were a mere sink for human thought, precisely as  is being DENIED RIGHT HERE, by Peter in II Peter 1:20a. The erected authority in this text, it is scripture (in II Peter 1 in context, after reference to Christ who in times past was so authenticated). It is Christ giving in His majesty its confirmation. It is the written testimonial to the living Lord. It is incomparable, inalienable, immutable, segregated from all pollution which would deceive, by virtue of its purity, inspiration, installation and status from the Lord's own mouth. It is the mould formed, and the only casting.

You must realise that its arrival had nothing to do with the WILL of men, and that is WHY it is to be viewed as surpassing all human explanation (II Peter 1:20). You DO NOT NEED such teachers, and you MUST NOT HAVE them (I John 2:27, Matthew 23:8-10). What obtrudes, intrudes. What suffuses, confuses.

Men may minister; God alone commands.

 

 

Thus, moving in this illicit way in constructing a contrary sense for the text, you actually collide with the word of God about what you MUST NOT DO! Indeed, Paul in II Corinthians 11 shows what folly is wrought when high-minded and mighty individuals start throwing their puny weight around, like wet putty (II Cor. 11:19-20). You suffer it, he says, if some foolish intruder pushes you around and so on! It is however the SAME Jesus, the SAME Gospel, the SAME Christ. NOTHING must alter this at all (Galatians 1), and what chiding comes from the apostle when there is any movement from that sacred and secure, safe and spiritual foundation of all doctrine, the word of God. WHO ELSE knows! WHO ELSE can understand ? Whose word IS IT!

BUT any such  intrusion as this is simply another gospel, another spirit, and another Christ. It is alien to the authority in God only, in the word of God only, which is the indubitable and explicit focus of Peter in I Peter 1-2 in general, and in 1:20-21 in particular. Indeed, here, in such a fallacy imposed on this word of God, you have a

DEROGATION OF SCRIPTURE AS SUCH, IN ITS OWN STANDING AND WEIGHT.

Instead of following what is actually in this text, and noting that the validity and reliability, the teaching power and pure certainty of the prophetic scriptures comes from two facts, that the will of man had NOTHING to do with their production, and that the power of God had everything to do with their inditement, provision and presence, there is a perversely contrary procedure.

What then is this ? It is nothing less than an entangling of the very thing hated, human will and authority, in the sacred places noted, required to be without addition, and provided with warning about additions.

What is not demonstrable from scripture is assuredly an addition, as any judge would know, who examines what the actual data of a crime are, and what the lawyers think they can make of it. The two are distinct and contra-distinct.

Hence, in making this subversion of theme and topic, logic and parallels, such a perverse misinterpretation of this passage, there  is a pushing of powers outside those noted and authorised here, into the arena so specially select, preserved and being of certified purity, safe. This both waters down the word of God and works in another authority, not merely forbidden, but extraneous. It is a simple addition to the word of God, per favour of irrational extension, illicit logic and extensive breach of context and this both immediate, broader in these first chapters and extending throughout the entire epistle, fraught with warning on this very thing.

But let us now look at the actual movement of this passage in Peter. It is not saying that the complete absence of man's will from the production of scripture is a reason why its interpretation should be carried out ONLY by important people, or with deference to their thought, whatever their claims; but that the complete absence of man's will from the production of scripture is a reason why it may be affirmed as having no human explanation, no source in the heart of an individual man, of whatever kind, calibre or character. That is what verses 20-21 are declaring, logically, contextually and in the entire context of the Bible.

What is given is this, and no idios, single or singular action by any man, no humanity, no flesh, has any part at all in it. Man in all his littleness, regardless of his situation, presumption or accolades, is here OUT altogether. The word given by God is outside this domain. Its power rests only on God; its criterion is found in the past; and what is His word has a bearing and autonomy accorded to nothing else. If you want then to attack scripture, as some do, you are directly attacking God, and His word will judge you, as we have continually seen it always does, making a mockery of the movers of sedition.

This, in fact, is what is written. Man can't solve or explain scripture by any of his own thoughts,  since what ? It is because scripture did not even depend on his will at all. HOW COULD you imagine in some humanistic, some naturalistic, some psychic notation of man, that scripture has an explanation! It would be ridiculous. Why ? Simply because it had NOTHING TO DO with the will of man at all. His resources were not the criterion of the advent, his imagination did not create the substance, his powers were not the issue. It was without his very WILL, by which he could summon. Hence the liberal as the Roman intrusion is in such complete hostility to the word of God, the scriptures of truth, that it is entirely another religion, divorced from its beginnings and proceeding to a very different end.

Not only so. It was on the other hand, BY the WILL and POWER of God that the actual impetus, the whole substance, the entire gamut arrived. This is PRECISELY  of course what Paul is saying in I Corinthians 2:9-13. What is involved in the contradiction of this teaching  is BOTH the IGNORING of the SCOPE of the authority, with its GROUND for that scope, AND the REJECTING the warning.

What then of I Corinthians 2  ? There we find that the THINGS themselves, the substance involved in the scriptures, as Paul declares, came from God AND the words with which to express it were likewise from His provision. This is not necessarily the same as 'dictation' in some narrow sense. It IS however the same as an entire provision by whatever divinely directed means the Lord should choose, of the RESULT.

In the end, it is God and not man who supervised and succeeded in securing the input of substance and the output in words to His entire control with the intended consummation: expression in exactitude of His heart and mind toward man, and of what concerns him, with power.  The result has NOTHING of the will of men, and ONLY the output of the power of God, unimpeded, acting as needed to secure the issue of His own will in His own name of His own word. The very will of man is irrelevant to the context, contrary to it, alien to it, and contradictory of it.

HE has spoken! (cf. the almost endless array of sentences like these - Thus says the Lord, and the Lord has spoken or the mouth of the Lord has spoken and cf. Acts 4:25, where once again, it is Peter who is speaking).

This, then, in II Peter 1:20 is the result of the divulgement of II Peter 1:21. This DOES follow with NECESSITY, with ENTAILMENT, without non sequitur, but with robustly apt logic: that SINCE man's will was not involved in the production of scripture, was indeed a wholly alien matter, and SINCE secondly, on the affirmative side, the POWER and PROVISION of God was involved, and that with impelling and imperial thrust, therefore what we have in the production of the prophetic word of God is not a matter of explanation in human terms at all. That is the word of II Peter 1:20. Nothing else fits the sequence, the situation or the scenario, the logic and the validity.

Commander and commissar alike, deceiver and director, patron and disposer, the one with the other, these are as alien to the biblical warrant and basis of all Christian teaching as would be a master man telling God how to create, or a substitute trying on the Cross, or a corpse seeking to come alive in the resurrection by its innate powers, and prior pride. There is precisely ONE who is Lord and Commander (cf. Luke 6:46, Ephesians 4:4, Isaiah 55:4), and He has this distinctive, that He created the worlds (John 1:3), and has all of creation as His resultant. He did not create some other Lord, but is Himself Lord of all.

"For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. For whether we live, we live to the Lord; and whether we die, we die to the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lordís. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living" -  (Romans 14:7-9).

Substitute sovereigns, skilled scribes, philosophic penchants are as welcome to the arena of God's word in their parallel, alternative or additional, their deleting or their destructive work, as are termites in your house, poisons in your arteries or terrorists in your bedroom.

 

 

NOTE

 

*1

See Ch. 1 above, as marked.

See also News 94, Wake Up World! Chs.  5  and    6,

A Spiritual Potpourri 1-9,

Beauty for Ashes
Ch. 3,

Secular Myths and Sacred Truth
Chs.  7 and  8,

Earth Spasm...
Chs. 1 and 7 .