Prophecy and the Day Star

2 Peter 1:19-21

Prophecy has its place, and a very important place; but blessed as it is there is also something better. A very large portion of scripture, as we know, is composed of prophecy. Now what is the object of the study of prophecy according to the mind of the Spirit in this passage. "We have a more sure word of prophecy," or, "word of prophecy confirmed," "whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place." The light, or the lamp, is the light of the truth as to what God is going to do with the world, and how He looks on it at present.

What are you going to study prophecy for? There is a wrong reason and a right reason. I may be curious, or I may want to pass as a knowing person, therefore I would like to know what is going to happen. Such are very wrong reasons. The right reason is when we want to be with God in the matter, and to understand what is according to God, and what is contrary to God, as to all that is around. We cannot understand these things unless God teach us: otherwise we have an altogether wrong idea of the bearing of things. We need to comprehend what it is that He will spare and what it is on which His judgment will come, so that we may be in correspondence with Christ in all these things. Judgment is hanging over the world, and we want to be morally apart from it, and according to the mind of Christ during His absence. This world is contrary to Christ. It has cast out Christ, and judgment is coming down on it. God is going to judge this world in righteousness by that Man whom He has appointed, and we want to have His mind about the whole matter. Christ is going to reign, and He is going to smash up all that is contrary to Himself.

Prophecy teaches us how He will deal with the things of the earth upon the earth in order to abolish all rebellion and self-will, and will instead establish that which is according to the mind of God. We are walking through a vain show, a scene in which man is magnifying himself, and making himself great on the earth. We want to be on God's side, to judge now what He judges, and to cling to that which He upholds. To be like Abraham on the heights of Mamre, where he had communion with God, who called Abraham His friend. To him was revealed the fate of Sodom, and he knew it would be destroyed before Lot did. Lot was in Sodom, and had not the mind of the Lord about Sodom as Abraham had.

Now what is this better thing, better than the understanding of prophecy according to the will of God. "Until the day dawn." What day is this? It is no outward day. Until the day dawn for you. I do not think it is the rapture at all. I will tell you what I think it is. Recollect that the day-star arises in your heart. It is something in your heart, and not anything in the world. The light of prophecy is to tell us what the world is, its end, and what God is going to set up in its place. But more than this, there is such a thing as the day dawning in your heart. That is something deeper and more blessed even than the light of prophecy, for it is Christ known, not as He is revealed in prophecy as God's King who must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet, but as One in heaven. As He is in Himself in His own person. Prophecy will teach us what He is going to do, but when the day dawns we shall be led in spirit away from the earth altogether to the place where Christ is, then it is that over and above His acts we value Him for what He is: the heart attracted to Himself because of what He is in Himself apart from the benefits we derive from Him. The attraction to Himself for His own sake outside the order of things which is down here is what is doubtless meant by the day star arising in the heart, and in this way Christ is known in a far deeper manner than He can be by the study of prophecy.

Prophecy is most useful for the dark night of Christ's absence as it is a lamp in this dark place, throwing a measure of light on what is around, but when the day dawns it is a far greater brightness to the soul, and there will be an entrance into the love of Christ in a way that is impossible while only prophecy is known.

Let me then ask you, Do you know Christ as the Day or Morning Star because you are attracted to Him away from this present scene? There is nothing that will please the heart of Christ so much as being wanted for His own sake. When you find that He Himself is infinitely beyond all His gifts, and He is the desire of your heart for His own sake; then, I say, the day has dawned for you, and the day star has risen in your heart.