Who can understand the Scriptures?
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 EMTV
(3) But even if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden among those who are perishing, (4) among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine on them.
Those of us who are seeking the true Jesus and His Father through the wreckage of adulterated Christianity, we groan upon the resilience of the unbelievers in their persistence to refuse to get acquainted with the true Gospel of Jesus. The New Testament explains the reason that drives us to dismiss and reject the Gospel of Jesus. It is because the unbelievers are blinded by Satan, according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Worst, even among us professed believers thrive blinded hearts and minds that are more seared than the souls of the unbelievers. As a matter of fact, Jesus said that even the elected are not immune from Satan's power of deception and that they also could have been taken by Satan if He would not intervene.
Matthew 24:24-25 EMTV
(24) For false christs and false prophets will be raised up, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
(25) See, I have told you in advance.
Jeremiah 10:14 KJ3
Every man is being stupid from lack of knowledge; every refiner is put to shame by the carved image. For his molten image is a lie and no breath is in them.
Matthew 22:29 (KJ3)
And answering, Jesus said to them, You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 14:20 KJV)
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
At first, the Disciples did not understand Jesus nor the Scriptures. how can we?
Peter made the greatest confession of faith but, judging from the reaction of Jesus to Peter's confession, we realize that Peter had no idea what he was saying. He had been a medium who was somehow compelled to make the greatest confession upon which the ekklesia of Jesus Christ is built.
Matthew 16:15-18 KJ3
(15) He said to them, But you, whom do you say Me to be?
(16) And answering, Simon Peter said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
(17) And answering, Jesus said to him, Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven.
(18) And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against her.
Did Nathaniel make that kind of statement while Peter was present? John 1:35-49.
John 1:49 KJ3
(49) Nathanael answered and says to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.
Peter must have been there but Jesus does not make it look that way.
In Mark 9:32, it is written that they failed to grasp the simplest statement:
Mark 9:30-32 MKJV
(30) And going out from there, they passed through Galilee. And He desired that no one should know.
(31) For He taught His disciples and said to them, The Son of Man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him. And after He is killed, He shall rise the third day.
(32) But they did not understand that saying and were afraid to ask Him.
Today, we can ask ourselves 'what was so deeply hidden in verse 31 that the disciples could not understand?' Today, verse 31 is a simple statement stating that Jesus will be delivered to be killed but that He will rise again after He is killed on the third day. True but they did not get it.
We have to conclude that when it comes to the Bible, the simplest doctrine we would expect someone to understand can turn out to be a foreign language to the person. We have the example of those Pharisees and lawyers who could not have recognized Jesus no matter how many proofs Jesus would have signified to them, simply because they rejected the baptism of John.
Luke 7:29-30 EMTV
(29) And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. (30) But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, because they had not been baptized by him.
If we find ourselves opposing or discussing from a different point of view a doctrine of the Scriptures, we must get on our knees and pray to get discernment and guidance from the Holy Ghost, in case we have been made blind because of any fault of our own, as it is written in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 EMTV
(7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will continue until one comes out of the midst.
(8) And then the lawless one will be unveiled, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy by the brightness of His coming,
(9) whose coming is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
(10) and in all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
(11) And because of this, God will send them strong delusion, in order for them to believe the lie,
(12) so that they all might be damned who did not believe the truth, but delighted in unrighteousness.
To understand the will of God, we have to be willing to accept the word of God for what it is, irrespective of our own philosophy, culture, credence, and we have to pray to be granted understanding that leads to repentance.
John 7:17 EMTV
(17) If anyone desires to do His will, he will know about the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I am speaking on My own authority.
Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures; (Luke 24:45 ASV)
Long ago, Jesus lamented about the lack of knowledge among His chosen people that caused them to perish (Hosea 4:6). Their lack of knowledge was not from a lack of evangelization that prevented them from hearing the word of Jesus (Jehovah). They lacked knowledge because their rejected the knowledge that they needed to be saved.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6 ASV)
Still, Jesus, as a man in flesh living among His chosen people, could not bring all of them to believe in Him, albeit they were under a curse (Matthew 13:13) as a result of chronic unbelief (Acts 7:51). He wailed again in Matthew 23:37.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those sent to her. How often I desired to gather your children in the way a bird gathers her chicks under her wings! And you did not desire it. (Matthew 23:37 KJ3)
Paul said that we benefit from their unbelief because their unbelief made Jesus take repentance to us, gentiles (Romans 11:20). However, those of us gentiles who believe face another challenge. Though we believe, the Adversary seeks to spin the word of God to us, as he did it with Eve. Very aware of the snares of the Adversary, Jesus never ceases to warn us against false prophets who peddle the word of God (2 Corinthians 2:17).
For we are not as the many, peddling the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God. We speak in Christ before God. (2 Corinthians 2:17 KJ3)
To add more to the rejection of the word, its twisting by the agents of the adversary 2 Corinthians 2:17), there is also the inability to understand the word of God and the Word (John 1:1), the Messenger (John 8:28;Hebrews 1:1-2) to whom He was entrusted by His Father (Revelation 1:1;), that is, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1; John 1; Revelation 1), the incarnated Jehovah, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega.
Even the disciples who heard all the addresses of Jesus to His people, who touched Him, were not immune from the biblical blindness curse. They had no clue of what Jesus was talking about, of His death, of His resurrection (John 20:8-10).
John 20:8-10 ASV
(8) Then entered in therefore the other disciple also, who came first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed.
(9) For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
(10) So the disciples went away again unto their own home.
When they were told that Jesus was risen, we read that they did not know that part of the Scripture yet, even though Jesus had been talking about duplicating the experience of Prophet Jonah in the belly of the fish, to spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:38-40).
Matthew 12:38-40 ASV
(38) Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee.
(39) But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet:
(40) for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
We can sit back today and, as Jesus, marveled at their lack of understanding (Mark 8:17-21).
Mark 8:21 ASV
(21) And he said unto them, Do ye not yet understand?
If the disciples were not allowed to understand yet, even they were face to face, side by side with Jehovah Himself, could it be that we are in kind of the same predicament? The Apostles, having been there, challenge us to double check our belief system (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate. (2 Corinthians 13:5 ASV)
Because, knowing the proliferation of false prophets and their false teachings, you may believe in a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12), or may have rejected the truth for a lie (Hosea 4:6).
The inability to understand the word of God can be for various reasons:
- From God Himself as a punishment for those of us who reject the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 KJV
(11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
(12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
- We have rejected the word of God (Hosea 4:6)
- We may be foolish (Jeremiah 4:22)
- We have been lead astray (Matthew 24:5,11,24; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Timothy 4:1)
- The Father and Jesus has not been revealed to us (Matthew 11:27;16:17; Luke 10:22; Galatians 1:16)
- We defend the traditions of our religion (Mark 7:8-9)
Like the DISCIPLES, we need divine assistance to peruse the will of God and understand it to do it
We need to pray to The Father to open up our minds as Jesus did for the Apostles.
Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures; (Luke 24:45 ASV)
Luke 9:43-45 ASV
(43) And they were all astonished at the majesty of God. But while all were marvelling at all the things which he did, he said unto his disciples,
(44) Let these words sink into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men.
(45) But they understood not this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Updated May 29, 2018