How do we interpret the Word?
Brothers and sisters, today we will talk about how God expects us to interpret his Word. There were always people (and they are in majority), who interpret God’s Word based on their own beliefs, and they live and teach by this belief. But this obviously not right! It is God’s Word that has to shape our lives, and not our lives shaping God’s Word.
Many people like to say: “I have peace in this matter.” By saying this, these people justify their actions as correct. But can we truly justify it? The Word was given to justify our actions, not our emotions, by which we feel the peace. Our peace could be from ourselves, from others (including not just humans, but the devil too), and from God too. Let’s not deceive ourselves!
How can we distinguish this? Solely through the Word. To the things God’s law says it’s forbidden will be counted as sins for us, no matter how much peace we have in our actions. One might steal, the other does not, yet both of them have peace in their choice. Perhaps our conscience is greater than God’s commandments? Here is some food for thought, I wonder why the Jews of today don’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah? For me, this is not surprising at all as one of its reasons is Christianity. If someone says to a Jew to believe in Lord Jesus, and however many sins you commit, He will save you regardless, or if said Jew goes to a Church Service, and all he/she sees is people laughing and wallowing on the floor, lawless people, saying that they don’t need God’s law anymore, instead they replace it with human nonsense, with overly spiritualized bluster and bizarre occurrences. This is what the Word declares regarding these lawless people:
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
The Antichrist and his followers, in other words the lawless and his people. He tramples over God’s commandments, saying we don’t need to pay attention to them, and teaches his followers to do the same. This is how they will go holding hands together onto perdition, as that is what they chose, they will spend their eternity in damnation: because there, they don’t need to be obedient towards God neither, just like how they were in their lives. We can see the lawless since the very beginning:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
The exact same thing is happening today. They belie God’s Word, and this notion finds many followers. God said, that the ones who don’t act by His will end up dying, and today, they reply to this, saying: “we will surely not die!”
They don’t like hearing about God’s laws, replying with a cry that we are not saved by our actions. But if there is no upright action, then there is no true faith neither. When God judges us, He will neither judge us based on our faith, nor the amount of sin He has forgiven for us, but our actions:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
And they say that God doesn’t judge us based on our actions? The upright people has nothing to fear from, as he/she does not transgresses God’s law. An upright person lives a life kind in God’s eyes, while other people, who follow their own ambitions are lawless, as they trample over the law.
“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”
The law wasn’t given for the upright, because the upright lives according to God’s will, lawfully. The law was given for the ungodly, so that their Godless actions can be judged by it. The ones who accept God’s grace, and obey not the word of God, they are want to be free from God. What kind of worship is this? The prophecies of Jesus testify that He magnifies the Father's word (law, commandments), and proclaims clearly:
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: "I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them." Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The LORD goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, "You are our gods." Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see! Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the LORD? He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear. The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious. But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, "Restore!" Who among you will give ear to this, will attend and listen for the time to come? Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey? So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.”
The Jews are waiting for such a Messiah, no wonder they reject the Jesus whom the majority of Christians preach and present with their actions. For if they hear that Jesus has come to abolish the law, and that whatever life we may live, God accepts us, they cannot be blamed if they do not believe, because this is not really the long-awaited Messiah.
It is to be understood that the Tanach prophecies about the Messiah are completely true. In general, no believer has a problem with this, but few continue to think that we can truly know Jesus from the prophecies about the Messiah! At his coming, many did not believe in Him because He overturned all the customs and teachings that rested not on the word of God but on traditions and human wisdom. Nor did many believe in Him because they were waiting for the lion of Judah who would deliver them from Roman oppression. Yet he first appeared as a lamb of God who takes upon Himself our sins! Even today, many people who call themselves deep believers do not recognize the true Jesus because when they hear that God’s commandments have not been erased and true faith involves obedience, it is immediately rejected without thought. Thus, Jesus is still a stumbling block to many, they are stumbled in the true gospel, but on the day of judgment they will not be able to say that they have not heard of it.
How should we interpret the scriptures? Certainly not by the influence of our emotions or signs and wonders. The apostles, and even Jesus himself, taught from the Tanach, so it is important to understand that simply by studying the New Testament scriptures, we cannot understand God’s will, nor can we know God. Paul never quoted from Peter or John, nor did Peter refer to the writings of James. There is a great deal of confusion in Christianity, with most teaching and living their lives without even understanding them. Because if they were a little honest with themselves, they wouldn’t be blind, but they’d rather close their eyes, close their ears, that’s what I call ostrich Christianity.
Author: Antal Farkas