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(A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION)
SCRIPTURE - John 16:13 MAY, 2003
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
SUBJECT - A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION
Have you ever, been in a conversation, or debate with someone, especially when it concerns matters of biblical truths? And have you heard, or maybe you were the one that uttered this, profound statement, 'Well, that's your interpretation!'
As for me, I have heard it many times, and I have read it in correspondence. And there always seems to be the question of "Am I right?' Or maybe, you begin to feel like maybe you should just be quiet, because you don't know as much as you think you do.
There is a whole big fault line, not only in our dealings with the world, but also in the Church, where many disagreements arise, and people will ultimately blurt out, 'That's your interpretation.'
Well, I would like to address this on a level that speaks directly to YOU, the person reading this tract.
If, you are the one that has been confronted by someone in a discussion, of your faith, then you have to know this. You will always be put on the defensive, by those that don't want to see it the way you do, if it means that they have to admit that they are wrong, and have been all along, and that they need to change.
Change, a lot of times, hurts, but, it is a good thing, if the change is for the better.
If you are saved, you no doubt, were put in to a position of having to admit something you didn't want to admit, and that was, that YOU, despite all the good you may have done, the clean life, going to Church once in a while, or every Sunday, were just as wicked as those that you turned your nose up at, out there in the world.
You know the ones I am talking about. The prostitute, the homosexual, the drunkard, the crack head and the rest. For you, you might have had to come to grips with the truth, that in God's eyes, you were no better than them, and that was a hard piece of reality. And, you may have said to yourself, 'I'm doing all of this, and yet God is not pleased with me??' Now, you probably got to feeling like, whoever it was that was making you feel like this, didn't know what they were talking about, and maybe they were misinterpreting the scriptures, and maybe they had an ulterior motive. Whatever the case, you may have said the same thing, either in your mind, or verbally. In either case, you may have been there.
After facing that fact that you need change in your life, you set out to get yourself together. You may have started asking questions of
the one you were so sure was wrong, or you asked someone else. You may have picked up the bible more, and attended more bible studies. And, as time went on, you began to see, that, that person, that you didn't want to admit was right, was, right.
Now, you are saved, and going out in to the world to witness to those that you, at one time turned your nose up at, and what do they say to you, 'That's your interpretation, or that's what you believe.'
Now, think back. Isn't this a mirror reflection of yourself?? Of course it is. And, just as you were wrong, in thinking the person you were upset with, was wrong, so too, is this person you are dealing with, wrong about you.
You see, the job of the enemy, is to keep as many people from getting saved as he can. And, he will use every means possible, to do it.
One of his most effective, is to get those that are saved, and witnessing for the Lord, to not be able to stand up to criticism. And he has a whole lot of tools and tricks up his sleeve to accomplish this. And doubt, is a major factor.
Now, what does the enemy use, to put doubt in the mind of a person witnessing for Christ?? He uses different translations of the bible, He uses the differences in language. He uses numbers (as in, all of these people, can't be wrong. It has to be you). He uses embarrassment, by making you look foolish. Whatever the case, remember, you were in that same boat, at one time.
Now, if YOU, are the one that is saying this to a person that is witnessing to you, think about this.
This person, used to be just like you. They have been confronted by someone, that had their best interests at heart. They had to fight with the fact that maybe they didn't know it all. They had to fight with the fact, that if this person was right, they would either have to change their way of thinking and living, or face the consequences.
These people have walked in your shoes, and have come to the fact , that they didn't know it all, and now they can see how foolish they were.
Let me tell you something. deception, is all around us. Things, that appear to be real and the truth, can easily be deception. It all depends on the source. Is the source reliable, or is it something that is subject to change, depending on the situation at the time, or
over a period of time??
Most of what we accept as truth and reality, have come about, because men have come together, with a meeting of the minds, if you will, and said, 'we don't like this, the way it is, so let's change it!!' Men, became the source of their own truths.
Example, the family.
In the beginning, God created one man, and one woman, and told them to be fruitful and multiply. This was the beginning of, the family. The man, as the head, and the woman, as the helper. The man as the father, and the woman as the mother. It was divinely established from the beginning, and blessed by Him. This is God's plan for, a family, and, He hasn't changed His plans.
Today, we look at the family, and what do we see?? We see, single mothers, raising their child(ren), either because the father has deserted them, or the woman, has put the father out, because she doesn't need him. Or we see a mother, that is a child herself, trying to raise her child(ren). We also see, cases where two women, or two men, seeking a way to get children and calling themselves a family.
Over the past decade, laws have been passed, that, in man's eyes, have legitimized these, distortions of the family, and in some instances, have punished those, that hold to God's design of the family, and speak out against those that defile it.
When I was a child, in the early '50's, the word 'gay' carried the meaning of a person that was overly happy, joyful, and carefree. It also carried the connotation of bright, colors, that brought about happy feelings in those that were exposed to them.
Today, that word has taken on a more, dark meaning. It was co-opted by those that wanted to use it, as their own label. Two men, committing abominable acts, or two women, in like manner, calling themselves 'gay' and in some instance, a family.
Another abomination, that, in God's eyes, is the same as slapping God in the face. Why do I say this??
Because children, are His reward, and heritage, given to mankind. God commanded the man and woman to be fruitful and multiply. God says, that before we were in our mother's womb, He knew us. He also says that he had a specific job, or calling for us to accomplish, after we were born.
Man, has, in all his wisdom, chosen to make himself god, in deciding which child should live or die. Women, flock to abortion clinics, to get rid of something that they call, a nuisance. Something that will ruin their lifestyle. They aren't ready for a child yet. Maybe they cheated on their impotent husband, and a pregnancy, would reveal their sin. Whatever the case, man has, once again passed laws, calling this action, perfectly legal.
What is an absolute?? It is something, that has always been, and will always remain, the same. No matter what occurs, you can always find that there are some things, in which you can be sure of. Gravity pulls us down, fire burns, the result of splitting an atom. 1 + 1 = 2.
Today, there are those that seek to overturn the idea that there are absolutes. Their notion is, if it is something that they don't like, they will simply change it. 1 + 1 doesn't always equal 2. A family is not only a male and female and children. A marriage does not always have to be between a man and woman.
Today, with these few examples out of hundreds, we can see how we have gotten so screwed up in our thinking. We don't know what is what. And as a result,, we begin to doubt everything, and come up with the excuse that things are left up to the interpretation of the particular individual, or group.
However, consider this. If a person is having trouble understanding what another person meant by something that they said, or wrote, who better to clarify it, than the one that made the statement.
Have any of you ever played the game, post office?? Do you remember how, one person would start off, by whispering something in to someone's ear. Then that person would whisper the same thing in another person's ear. And the same thing would continue until all the people had heard the message. In practically every instance, when asked what the message was that they got, the last person would repeat what they heard, and it bore little resemblance to the actual message the first person gave. How do you know that?? Because when asked, the first person would repeat what they said.
Well, the bible, is God's message to us, in written form. And it is there for all of us to see. Yet, there are those of us, and that includes some Christians, that rely on someone else to give us the message, rather than us going to the source, and getting it straight from the horse's mouth, if you will. Second hand and third hand messages, may be a little erroneous, at best, and totally disastrous, at worst.
In seeking the Truth, of God's Word, we need assistance. Though God has given us men, and women, to aid us in this task, the ultimate teacher is God Himself, through the Holy Spirit.
As I mentioned earlier, men, sometimes have an agenda, which will guide them, to either not speak on specific issues, because they will reveal their shortcomings, or, twist the Truth, for personal gain, or aggrandizement. This is why, I encourage everyone to pick up a bible, and read it for yourself.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Does anyone have a problem understanding this scripture? It is self explanatory. If you don't study, you will be walking around, not sure of anything, and challenging those that will tell you something that you have no idea, what it means.
God wants us all to understand His message to us, and the devil doesn't. So, who do you think is the one that is trying to make it hard for you to understand??
Sure, there are things in the bible that may seem difficult to understand, but if you research the scriptures, and compare them with the ones that you do understand, you will begin to see the nature of God. Once you get to that point, all of the rest of the bible, will come alive to you.
Once that happens, you will not have to wonder whether or not your interpretation is correct. You will know it is. No one will be able to shake your faith again. Remember who the true source of persecution comes from. It is not a matter of interpretation.