It is imperative that we have a clear understanding of how to interpret the scriptures. Presently we have different opinions regarding the understanding of the Bible which have resulted in denominations and separate cults. But in the coming days many false prophets and preachers will arise that will led may of Gods children astray – even the elect. Remember even the enemy can masquerade as an angle of light. For in these last days there will be rumours and false understandings and confusion relating to the Lords return, so much so that confusion sown by the enemy will take hold of many believers.
Add to this the confusion that the end times will create will be the uncertainty over ones job, ones marriage, ones family, ones health;-plus the economic free fall which many nations are in, plus the climate change affecting us all and it is easy to see how many people see no bright future We cry out in anguish “Where will it all end?” We are troubled on the left hand and the right hand, in front and behind.
How do we stay on course with the rise of false evangelists and preachers who are proclaiming a message that will see us through these difficult times? Are they from God? Does the Holy Spirit sanction their teaching? How dos one know if their theology is correct.
For me three are three simple rules:-
Firstly – all scripture is inspired by God . We have to start at this point. Even thought the Bible was written over approx. 2000 years all the authors were men inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed .” Again the Bible says - : "For the word of God is living and active." Because of this fact we need to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the correct meaning. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will teach us.
But this assumes that we can hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us. There are all manner of voices that clamour for our attention. There is our own sinful voice, there is the voice of the enemy who can quote scripture along with these best Biblical scholars. There is also outside voices – a friend, a pastor, a book we have read, or a TV programme we have head or something on a social media page we have seen. Which voice is the Holy Spirits?
Hence it is doubly imperative that we learn to hear the Holy Spirit speak to us. This is why Gods seeks to cultivate a Father/child relationship with us. We have to seek after God, to wait and listen for his still small voice that will whisper to our spirit. The book of Psalms exhorts us many times to “pant” after Gods decrees and statutes. We have to train our spirit to hear God speak to us; more so in these end times.
Secondly we have to apply checks and balances to the Holy Spirits voice by asking these questions.
1. Who wrote/spoke the passage and to whom was it addressed?
2. What does the passage say?
3. Are there any words or phrases in the passage that need to be examined?
4. What is the immediate context?
5. What is the broader context in the chapter and book?
6. What are the related verses to the passage’s subject and how do they affect the understanding of this passage?
7. What is the historical and cultural background?
This assumes that we do our home work – there are many study tools online to assist us in these areas. One cannot neglect this area; but this study does not take precedent over the Holy Spirits voice. This study will confirm or nullify the meaning the Holy Spirit has given to us. If we do not have access to these tools we need to speak to a “godly” person – a pastor or an elder; someone well mature in Gods ways.
Thirdly and this is an overriding aspect of the above two points . All understanding of Gods word and the meaning there-of does not create confusion, nor does it pull us down – rather it will build us up in our most holy faith. Further more the understanding will glorify Christ Jesus.
"In these last days says the Lord I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.Even on my servants, both men and women, and I will pour out my Spirit in those days." He further adds in Ezekiel – “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."
In these end times God will place his spirit within us and he will guide us as individuals depending on the circumstances that we find ourselves in. God’s spirit will speak to each of us in his own unique manner. His message to us will be for our ears only - no ones else will receive the same word from God. Only in this manner will be able to navigate our way through the chaos of the last days. God says in Isaiah – “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it."
I acknowledge the assistance of the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry for part of this blog