Sabbath School Lesson for May 27-June 2, 2017

Peter finishes the first chapter of his second letter with a spotlight on scriptures, especially Bible prophecy. His eyewitness accounts were important in building up his faith and that of others, but just as valuable was seeing that these events so closely followed what was outlined in the writings of the Old Testament prophets.

Peter must have felt that without a foundation in the written Word, their relationship with the Word Jesus would not be complete. Therefore educating and fortifying ourselves with Bible truth remains critical, especially in light of false teachers that Jesus predicted would appear. Knowing the scriptures not only draws us to Christ, but also protects us from religious error, should make us all the more diligent and eager to fully understand these prophecies concerning our Lord.

Scripture Gem: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19 KJV

Whether translated “a more sure word of prophecy” (KJV) or “the prophetic word confirmed” (NKJV), Peter recognized the quality of evidence found in scripture. Surely, the outstanding predictions found there enhanced, and perhaps even surpassed in some ways, Peter’s firsthand experiences as Jesus’ disciple.

Following the Resurrection, we remember two discouraged travelers Jesus met on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus renewed their faith by engaging them in a Bible study, which included all the prophecies that point to the way Jesus’ life and ministry matched the predictions of the Messiah. See Luke 24:25-27. How we would have loved to hear how He opened the Word of life for these two weary believers. Might our own faith be renewed by reacquainting ourselves with these same prophecies?

Sunday: Jesus in the Old Testament

Of course, Peter’s only “Bible” was the writings of the Old Testament prophets, known as the Hebrew scriptures. There were two strands of truth that came from their study. Peter mentions them in 1 Peter 1:10, 11…

“searching what , or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” 1 Peter 1:11 NKJV

Indeed, the prophecies concerning the Messiah did shift from these two crucial features, making it difficult for them to determine the exact mission and nature of Jesus, their Messiah. They included…

  1. His sufferings
  2. His glories

Peter and the other disciples had, of course, witnessed much of His suffering, and this made them even more anxious to see what “glories” would follow. Part of this glory, His Second Coming, is yet to come. But having seen the first part so miraculously fulfilled, surely we can more easily wait on the second part to be fulfilled in God’s own time.

Discussion Questions: Read 1 Peter 1:10-12. How would Peter have further described Christ’s sufferings and glory, if one could speak to him face to face? What might be the “things which angels desire to look into” (v. 12)?

Read Psalm 22:1, 7, 8, 16-18, Isaiah 53:3-5, 7-9, and Daniel 7:13, 14. Why is more known in the Old Testament about the suffering of the Messiah than His glory?

Just as people failed to see the Old Testament prophecies before they were fulfilled in Bethlehem, why might it be difficult for us to fully understand the ones about His Second Coming till they happen?

Monday: Eyewitness of Majesty

Peter was undoubtedly a witness to many miracles, as he ministered side by side with Jesus. Even his calling to be a disciple was accompanied by a miraculously-provided net full of fish. But think of all the healings that Peter saw, and twice being there when multitudes were fed, with baskets left over. He had to be convinced of the divine nature of this Man they called Jesus.

Twice God had proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God. Once, at His baptism, and again at the Mount of Transfiguration, when Elijah and Moses appeared with Him. Only Peter, James, and John were there when, as Luke describes this transfiguration, Jesus’ face was altered and His robe was white and glistening. See Matthew 17 and Luke 9 for these accounts.

Discussion Questions: Read 2 Peter 1:16-18. What made the stories Peter told not fall into the category of “cunningly devised fables”? What gave his sermons credibility? Can we still benefit from “eyewitness” accounts, powerful testimonies of what Christ has done for us, even all these years after Jesus’ Resurrection?

Why do you think Peter focused on this event of the Transfiguration in his epistle (2 Peter 1:17, 18)? What made it stand out for him?

Read Matthew 17:1-13 and Luke 9:28-36. Why were Moses and Elijah the ones who appeared with Jesus on the Mount? Whom might they represent and why would their presence be comforting to Jesus? Does this prove that all of us go straight to heaven when we die? What was special about these two men’s death?

Tuesday: The Morning Star in Our Hearts

What is Peter trying to tell us by mentioning the prophetic word being like a shining light in a dark place? And who or what is the morning star that rises in our hearts? Well, if the Word is Jesus, and Jesus is the Word, then perhaps He is the One who shines in us, through heaven-sent messages in the Bible. See John 1:14.

The Morning Star is clearly stated to be Jesus, when it says in Revelation…

” ‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’ “ Revelation 22:16 NKJV

Another reference to the morning star in Revelation is seen in the message to the second church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:28). These messages to seven churches are no doubt coming from the Lord Jesus Himself. The light from this star will surely light up the path of the church that is finding its path darker and darker as corruption sets in.

Discussion Questions: Read  2 Peter:19, Psalm 119:105, and Revelation 22:16. How does the Word of God make our way brighter through the Spirit of Christ?

Read Genesis 1:4, John 1:5, 3:19, Isaiah 5:20, and Ephesians 5:8. Why are darkness and light separate entities? Is there no gray area when it comes to God?

Read Matthew 5:16. What constitutes our “light”? How do our lights glorify God?

Wednesday: The More Sure Word of Prophecy

Reflecting on the passage in Peter’s second letter, 2 Peter 1:16-21, we find that Peter relies on two forms of evidence to explain his faith in Jesus being the Messiah:

  1. Peter’s own experiences with Jesus while He was on earth (especially at the Mount of Transfiguration)
  2. the precise, detailed way prophecies in the Scriptures were fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus

Since few of us have been able to participate in the first evidence, (although historical data has been found to verify some of the happenings during the life of Christ), we are left to rely on the second kind of evidence. Peter actually calls the written Word a more sure way. It was the confirmation to Peter that his senses weren’t deceiving him–that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, as prophesied.

We should therefore take every opportunity to understand the many truths found in the Holy Bible. After all, it has been given to us by the Spirit of Christ, and shouldn’t be considered our second best option for getting to know Him. It actually tops the list of credible sources that are available to us for that purpose.

Discussion Questions: Read 2 Peter 1:16-21. Why are the Scriptures considered a “more sure word” to rely on than actual experience with our senses?

Read 2 Peter 1:21. What does it mean that no prophesy is of any private interpretation? Isn’t it possible to have truth revealed to us as individuals? What is beneficial about group study? How does the Sabbath School class aid our study of the Bible?

Read 2 Peter 2:1 and Acts 17:11. How are we to avoid the heresies mentioned here by Peter? Can the majority, the group consensus we were also encouraged to have (no private interpretation), also lead us into these heresies? Why is it even more important for those living in our times to beware of false teachings?

Thursday: The Word in Our Lives

Peter reminds us that the reason prophecies are reliable and important is because they were written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

“for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1: 21 NKJV

Paul, in writing to Timothy, confirmed this belief and gave us an even fuller picture of what scriptures can do for our faith and our Christian walk:

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

From this we can derive three areas of life that are profited by the study of the Bible:

  1. Doctrine–teachings that tell us what we need to know about God and His saving grace
  2. Guidance–teachings that show us the difference in right and wrong conduct through the power of the Holy Spirit
  3. Knowledge of salvation–teachings that point to Jesus as the Savior of the world and keep us on the path of righteousness by making Jesus our Lord and Master

The Bible then is nothing less than the expressed will of God the Father, given to us by the Spirit of Christ. Our lives are thus able to be more closely aligned with God’s will through study of the Bible. Simply reading it has drawn many men and women into a saving relationship with Him.

Discussion Questions: Read 2 Timothy 3:15-17. How does Paul expand the role of scriptures for us? What are they good for?

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Why is it important to believe that the Bible came from God?

Read Romans 12:2. How does knowing the will of God transform us?


Peter explains his belief in Jesus being the Messiah, basing it on these two things:

  1. his own experience with the Word (Jesus)
  2. his knowledge of God’s word (the Scriptures)

Sunday: Old Testament prophets wrote about the sufferings and glory of the coming Messiah, and Jesus closely fulfilled these predictions.

Monday: Three of the disciples, including Peter, witnessed the glorious transfiguration of Jesus into a heavenly being on the mount, where He appeared with Elijah and Moses.

Tuesday: Speaking of when “the day dawns” and the “morning star” point to the future predictions of glory that are to be fulfilled at His Second Coming.

Wednesday: The Bible is a reliable source in confirming our faith (“the more sure word of prophecy”), because men of God were inspired to write as they were moved by the Holy Spirit of Christ. All three persons of the godhead are involved in the making and preservation of the Holy Bible.

Thursday: Besides informing us of doctrines and guiding our lives into God’s will, we receive the knowledge that leads to a close relationship with Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Embracing the Message

Make a systematic study of Old Testament prophecies pointing to the Messiah–both His sufferings and His glories. These are some of those prophetic verses, listed in Strong’s Concordance. Reflect on how Jesus fulfilled these predictions…

Isaiah 53:3–rejected by His own people, the Jews (John 1:11 and Luke 23:18)

Psalm 41:9–betrayed by a close friend (Luke 22:47, 48)

Isaiah 53:7–silent to accusations (Mark 15:4, 5)

Isaiah 50:6–spat on and struck (Matthew 26:67)

Zechariah 12:10–pierced through hands and feet, and side (John 20:27 and John 19:34)

Psalm 22:7, 8–sneered and mocked (Luke 23:35)

Psalm 22:17, 18–soldiers gambled for His clothing (Matthew 27:35, 36)

Psalm 22:1–forsaken by God (Matthew 27:46)

Psalm 46:10 and 49:15–to be resurrected (Mark 16:6, 7)

Psalm 68:18–His ascension to God’s right hand (Mark 16:19, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Ephesians 4:8)

Isaiah 9:7–heir to the throne of David (Luke 1:32, 33)

Psalm 45:6, 7 and 102:25-27–anointed and eternal (Hebrews 1:8-12)

Psalm 2:7–declared to be the Son of God (Matthew 3:17)

  • Just as the Old Testament gives us much information about His sufferings, we find in the New Testament much about His glorious Second Coming, as we anxiously wait for His return.
  • Just as many misinterpreted the meaning of the First Coming before the birth of Jesus, many will find themselves deceived concerning the prophecies about His Second Coming.

Next Week: False Teachers, Lesson 11

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