Scripture Notes


2 Peter 1. 19.

It is interesting to observe that the morning star is only mentioned three times in Scripture - here (for while translated "day-star" it is really the morning star) and in Rev. 2 and 22. It would seem, moreover, that the order of mention is the order of apprehension. In Peter, for example, it is the morning star arising in our hearts. The contrast is, as the context shows, with prophecy, the light of prophecy, to which, the apostle says, the saints of that day did well to take heed, until the dawning of the day and the arising of the morning star in their hearts. It must not for one moment be supposed that he was setting aside the guidance of prophecy as to the events which would occur upon the earth; but, writing to Jewish believers, he reminds them of their heavenly portion, of which the possession of Christ in their hearts as the morning star was the pledge and the assurance. To be occupied with Him in this character, as the harbinger of the coming day, would deliver them from the apprehension of coming judgments, whether upon the Jews or upon the nations of the habitable world, and draw them into an attitude of the constant expectation of His return to receive them unto Himself before sharing with Him in the glories of His kingdom. The light of prophecy may, as someone has said, drive us, but the expectation of the coming of Christ will draw us out of the world. To have Christ as the morning star, therefore, shedding His heavenly light upon our hearts, is of all importance. In Rev. 2 the promise to the overcomer in Thyatira, after the prospect of reigning with Christ, is, "I will give him the morning star." This is very remarkable from its very connection. We might have expected this promise to precede that of "power over the nations," etc. It must, however, be remembered that the promises to the overcomers are given in relation to their circumstances and moral condition. Jezebel was seeking power over the nations, and to rule them with a rod of iron; but the Lord says that this place and authority shall be given to those who should be faithful to Him in separation from Jezebel's teaching and influence; and then He adds the promise of the Morning Star as indicating their special privilege as belonging to the heavenly people, and as their solace and sustainment in the midst of all the darkness and corruption by which they were surrounded. Remark that He says, "I will give." When the Lord gives He brings into enjoyment with Himself of that which He gives, shares His own possession with those on whom He bestows the gift. How blessed then for the overcomer in Thyatira to be brought into communion with Himself in this character, and with all that it signifies! To enter into it would be to entrance us with His heavenly beauty, and to have the heart overflowing with joy in the prospect of His coming glory. We advance a stage further in the last mention of the term. "The testimony of Jesus Christ" has drawn to a close, but, ere adding His final warnings as to its complete and solemn character, He presents Himself as the root and the offspring of David, the bright Morning Star (so it should be read). (Compare 2 Timothy 2:8.) The addition of the term "bright" will be noticed, showing, we cannot doubt, that the time contemplated is the very eve of His return, when to the eyes of the eager watchers, those who have waited for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning, He will appear as shining aloft in the heavens with intense brilliancy and beauty. The effect produced justifies this interpretation, for the immediate response is recorded, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come." At last, in unhindered power, the Holy Spirit directs the attention of the bride to her coming Lord, and she becomes the willing vessel of the cry, Come. The reader can pursue for himself further meditation upon this blessed subject; and in the meantime he will, we are sure, unite in the expression of the earnest desire that we all may be more and more absorbed in the contemplation of Christ as the bright Morning Star.


Romans 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:10.

In both of these scriptures the word rendered "immortality" is really "incorruptibility"; and this, as often pointed out, involves resurrection. (See 1 Cor. 15:52.) The difference is thus very great; for immortality signifies unending existence, whereas incorruptibility speaks rather of the nature of that which is deathless, that it is in its very character incorruptible. Both terms are applied in 1 Cor, 15 to the resurrection body (v. 54); and both are used in contrast with the character of our present bodies - the bodies of our humiliation. These are corrupt, as death soon manifests, and they are mortal, liable inherently to death; but our resurrection bodies, being like the glorified body of our blessed Lord, are both incorruptible and immortal. Incorruptibility, therefore, is what will mark our bodies in man's new estate and condition, when, according to God's eternal counsels, he is conformed to the image of His beloved Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; for it is in view of this that the apostle says, We shall also bear the image of the heavenly." It is, in fact, the heavenly condition of the new order of which Christ, as the Second Man out of heaven, is the Leader and Head. So understanding the word, much light is thrown upon the two scriptures at the head of this note. It shows that when the apostle speaks in the Romans of those "who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and incorruptibility," that he is speaking of Christians, as indeed the gift of God to such of eternal life plainly teaches; and that in 2 Timothy the annulling of death, and bringing incorruptibility to light through the gospel, refer, in the first place, to what has been effected through the death of Christ, and displayed in His resurrection. This will be the more clearly apprehended if it be remembered that what prevails, what is seen in Christ risen and glorified, will ultimately prevail, and be manifested, in all His people.