From time to time you will hear a preacher get up and say something like, “Actually the Bible is really easy to understand. Even a child can understand it. Its simple – we just make it complicated with our various theologies”.
This sounds good, and might encourage some to read the Bible – which would be a good thing, but there are a couple of important things we should observe.
Firstly, we need the Holy Spirit’s help to understand God’s message to us. Natural reasoning alone will certainly not give us the correct understanding.
1Co 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. ”
Inasmuch as the truth of the Bible is something of the Spirit of God, the natural man – that is, the unaided natural reasoning power of the mind of man, cannot discern its true meaning. The truths of the Word of God are spiritually discerned.
Secondly, God often hides the truth from certain people. The Bible tells us that God actually hides important truth from people whose moral disposition towards God is such that they don’t want to do God’s will. Since true knowledge implies moral responsibility, it is actually better for some disobedient people NOT to understand certain things, lest their ultimate condemnation be even greater.
Luke 8:9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
Luke 8:10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.’
Some say that Jesus taught in parables to make important truth accessible to the common man, but this is not entirely true. Jesus used parables to give the message in a way that made sense to DISCIPLES of Jesus, to whom the message of the Kingdom has been given, whilst HIDING it from those who do not receive the love of the Truth. Since Jesus is the Truth, He may hide truths from those who do not love HIM. Some things, if we want to truly know them, we must first really prove to GOD that we love Him, and love the truth, at times, more than our very own lives.
Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”
Observe here that God hides the things concerning the casting out of demons to “wise and prudent” people and reveals them to “babes”. Those who are simple enough to obey God can learn the truths of casting out demons. You would be surprised how many theologians, even pentecostal ones, have little or no place in their practical theology for the ministry of casting out demons. This is another example of how God at times HIDES the truth from certain people while revealing truth to others.
Our spiritual condition before God, our faithfulness with what God has already revealed, determines in large measure the capacity God will entrust to us for understanding more truth. It is not a matter of intellectual power. God does not reveal things to those who work them out by means of a superior intellectual capacity they have been born with. In fact, it is often very intelligent people who are deceived and become the authors of deception to others.
And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. (John 7:15-17)
Here Jesus tells us that the ability to discern true doctrine depends on the willingness to actually BE OBEDIENT to what God has taught.
If this is so, I would suggest that it is very unwise to accept your theology of salvation from someone who you can see is disobedient to the clear teachings of the Word of God. It is not safe to accept doctrine from someone who does not love the brethren.
Loving Jesus, loving the truth, and loving people are key qualifications for knowing the truth. And I suppose that if parts of the Bible are hidden from the disobedient, then parts of even this site will be also, for the same reason.
Seek to be a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only, deceiving yourself. (James 1:22)
And please, do not expect that you have the true spiritual understanding of Bible prophecy unless you are at very least a person devoted to prayer, who has learned to put the desires of the flesh to death and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.