Not Understanding the Bible Without Help

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In Christ,

D____
Hi D____,
Thank you for your honest question. You say:
“I understand the Bible studies and all the lessons on the site when i read them, but when I read the Bible I don’t get the same understanding, unless your spoon feeding it to me!!! So this has me very concerned!! Mike where am I at in my life? If you are always interpreting everything for me is that really me understanding it?”
The first thing I want to do is congratulate you for reading the Bible itself, at least enough to realize that you don’t understand it without the study notes. Reading the Bible for yourself is the first step to becoming able to understand the spiritual symbolism that is part of the very nature of scripture:
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spiri t, and they are life.
Christ here is telling us that HIS words are spirit. The words of Herod or the high priest and the scribes were not spirit, but all of Christ’s Words “are spirit”, and if you and I speak for Him, then we have to be careful to repeat His words or else our words will be no better than Herod’s, the high priests and the scribes. Here is how we should be speaking:
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
“The demonstration of the spirit and of power” is not great physical miracles. That is not what is being said here by the apostle Paul.
John the baptist performed no miracles at all, and yet this is what the scriptures say of John:
Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Paul was not referring to physical miracles when he gave the Corinthians this admonition concerning the fornicator in their congregation:
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
“The power of Elias, [ and’] the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,” are both referring to “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit…”
What is being said when Paul says that his words were “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” is that Paul’s words are the same as Christ’s words. That is why He says:
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I have witnessed you discern a false spirit, and I saw you withstand that spirit, and you did not need my help to do so. I have no doubt that if I were to tell you that you should go fight for God and country, you would withstand me also. So don’t make the mistake that Korah and 250 of the most popular leaders in Israel made, along with Miriam and Aaron just a few week earlier, and compare yourself with others. It is God who has set teachers in “His body, the church.”
You are exactly where God wants you at this moment. Don’t become discouraged because you are not yet a spiritual giant who can expound the deep spiritual meaning of every word of God. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your need for a teacher. That is the very lesson we are given in the example of the Ethiopian eunuch:
Act 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
Act 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Act 8:28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
Act 8:30 And Philip ran thither to [ him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him [ and “guide him”].
What a wonderful humble attitude to have. “He desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him” and give him guidance in the scriptures.
That is the very attitude Christ is looking for in you and in me. He actually insists that we “humble ourselves… and become as a little [ teachable] child” before we can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the very attitude which will make you “greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Mat 18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
So instead of allowing the Adversary to enter in and make you doubt your standing with Christ, turn this experience around and simply “become as a little child” and do what that Ethiopian eunuch did, and be thankful for what God has given you through your brothers and sisters around you who are following Christ. That was the attitude taken by that Ethiopian eunuch:
Act 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Act 8:36 And as they went on [ their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [ here is] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Act 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Act 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Act 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Be thankful for what you have been given, and “go on your way rejoicing” in its nourishing abundance.
Continue to read the studies and continue to have a Berean attitude. Try the spirits to see whether they be of God. That is the proper positive attitude to have. Look at how John words this admonition:
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Yes, “many false prophets are gone out into the world.” But John does not say ‘To prove they are not of God.” Instead he says “to see whether they ARE of God.” That was the attitude with which the Bereans examined the teachings of Paul and Silas:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Like you, these Berean converts were not receiving the revelations God had given Paul and Silas, but they were “searching the scriptures daily, whether these thing were so.”
I hope this helps you to be grateful for what you have been given, and I hope this will help to keep you from “comparing yourself” with others who might seem to know more than you at this time. It is not the great scholars who are promised greatness in the kingdom of heaven, it is the student who “humbles himself and becomes as a little child.”
2Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
2Co 10:13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
There is nothing wrong with needing a teacher. The body of Christ needs teachers, and they have been placed in His body by God.
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
You are an inspiration to many more than you know. Be thankful that you have been given a teachable Berean attitude. Search the scriptures daily to see whether these things be so, and with the Ethiopian eunuch “go on your way rejoicing.”
Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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