Who Interprets Scripture?
by Lawrence Ekdahl
There has been a battle going on for 6000 years. Ever since the serpent said to Eve, “Hath GOD said?” there has been conflict. Satan through his children has two things, actually three.
One: he has tried to destroy God’s word.
Two: he has to keep God’s word from the “laity”, those whom the elitist intellectuals consider too ignorant to understand God’s word.
2nd Peter 1:20 says “knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” Because Ps. 12:6 & 7 says “ The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” We know that we have God’s perfect word today, and it has always been there down through the ages for those who would seek the truth.
In the 4th Century Satan decided to invade the Church with false “Christians” and perverse doctrine. These false professors of the faith brought in damnable heresies and when the true Christians would not go along with them, they were persecuted, killed, and their writings were destroyed. At about the same time, false bibles were written in Alexandria Egypt and when the Roman Church became powerful with its Popes who claimed to be inspired with God’s Truth, the scriptures both false and true were withheld from the people. For about 1200 years as the Pope’s ruled the nations of Europe, the scriptures were not available openly to the people and the people were held in bondage to Roman. The Popes claimed they and only they had the ability to interpret the scriptures. Even the Priests were discouraged from reading the scriptures. I don’t mean to imply the God will not use Bible believing spiritual and obedient men to explain and expound God’s word. But those who preach and teach God’s word the way God would have them do, will always use scripture to prove scripture. When there are words difficult to understand they will give the best explanation of those words they can. But their explanation (preaching, teaching) must never contradict the WORD in any way. That is why when God calls a man to teach and or preach He always calls those who are Godly submissive and obedient to the light which they have thus far received. As we are obedient to that light which God has given us, He is then able to give us more light and as we grow in the spirit and enlightenment God has given, He then can better use us to teach and preach his word. But the scriptures are never of private interpretation.
Around the middle of the 16th century, God used many good Christian men to translate the scriptures into the German and English languages. With the advent of the printing press, the word of God began to be available to the common man. In the English language there were many translations and they culminated, came together in the 1611 King James or Authorized translation. Because of this, Rome’s strangle hold on Europe was weakened considerably. God has protected and preserved His word down through the ages. But who interprets scripture? Does Rome, the Pope, Priests, Protestants, and Baptists? 2nd Peter 1:19 & 20 says “ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation..” If anyone tells you they have found secrets in the Bible such as secret codes that no one but they know; believe it not. They are making false claims. YES! God’s Holy Spirit can open one’s spiritual eyes to light up one’s understanding of the scripture, but there are no hidden secrets. Of course no bible rejecter will, receive light on the scriptures from God. John 14:26 says “ But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
As one can see by these passages of scripture our real teacher is the Holy Spirit. But how does the Holy Spirit teach us? By special revelation or by speaking to us audibly? First of all, one must be saved or scriptures true meaning will be indiscernible. 1st Cor. 2:14 says “ But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” So then, the child of God who has the Spirit can understand. But God will not reveal the light of His word to lazy Christians. 2nd Tim 2:15 says “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
So then how, what methods should we use in our study? Isaiah 28:10 “ For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Verse 13: “ Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; …” Notice how God repeats this study principle in the same chapter. I am sure He does this because it is of prime importance. And so we see it is the Holy Spirit who does the teaching. But He won’t enlighten lazy Christians. We need to study. To dig into the pure gold vein of God’s Holy word. If we are obedient and apply ourselves, the Holy Spirit will give us more light, but only so that we may be of use to God for His purpose. We don’t learn God’s word just so that we can show others how holy, how smart we are. We must never forget to walk humbly before Him and never to exalt ourselves, but in everything we do, glorify our God and our Saviour. All must be done to accomplish what God wants. Not what we want unless what we want is in agreement with God. If we are obedient to God and will serve Him, then 1st John 2:27 will apply. “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” This does not mean that God never uses a man to teach. But those being taught must measure the teaching against the light of the scriptures revealed to them by the Holy Spirit.
So if we want to be taught and to know more and more of the deeper things of the scriptures, we must first of all be obedient to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent and believe in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Then, as we continue in obedience, studying the Holy Scriptures as commanded in 1st Tim 2:15, allowing scripture to interpret scripture, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little. As we dig for the gold nuggets under the direction of the Holy Spirit, God can then open our spiritual eyes shedding more and more light as HE sees fit. Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD..”
Let us strive through God’s Holy Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring our ways and our thoughts into agreement with God. Amen! and Amen!