From the Pastor’s heart
1Jn_2:27 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.
Often time in my itinerant ministry, I have had to travel to countries where I did not speak the language and hence needed an interpreter. Much would be lost in the process of interpretation and along with it came problems of misunderstanding and the abuse of what I said by the interpreter. They would often take what I said and use it to joke, change and corrupt what was said. This was frustrating to me as I knew that both the congregation and I were being compromised by someone who had the power of interpretation but was using it wrongly. One classic example of this was when Benny Hinn came to India and before tens of thousands rebuked the interpreter who happened to be a senior Pastor because Benny Hinn was told by the Holy Spirit that the interpreter was interpreting wrongly.
Interpretation is an extremely important area of our walk with God. When one is not aware of the role of the Holy Spirit, they look for interpretation from other sources and themselves through their intellect and experience rather than from the source. The role and function of the Holy Spirit primarily is to interpret the word of God for us and give it meaning and life to us. This is what the verse given above in John alludes to. What this verse is really saying is; while God has given us preachers and teachers, it is the anointing that should really teach. However, because we are physical and visible people, we often receive things through man rather than through the Spirit in the man.
Is that the preacher’s fault? It could be or it could be the hearer’s fault.
The warnings in the Bible regarding false teachers and prophets are many. Since interpretation of the word can be subject to carnality, many of them come with interpretation of the word to suit themselves. This part, I call modified Christianity. The real danger is when they have successfully taught and led the sheep astray. When they have done this they often abandon them to the wolves. The wolves are false ideas, false doctrines and paths that led to destruction based on another interpretation of the word of God. This leads to spiritual destruction and hurt which turn the hearts away from God.
There is only one word, one truth and one way. Precept upon precept, line upon line. This is the work of the Holy Spirit to perform in our lives. The plumbline of God’s word cannot be altered even a fraction; otherwise, the whole building is offset. When this happens, the foundation is also offset and the building collapses. Psa_11:3If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? That is why many have woken up much later in life to find out that they have believed a lie all along. One such case was a denomination that taught a lie based on their own interpretation of the Bible that a person is not saved unless they speak in tongues. This destroyed countless lives and eventually when the eyes of many were opened the denomination collapsed and the remaining members are now part of a full blown cult that believe in Christ erroneously. Perhaps, God will bring them to repentance. I hope so.
The idea of preaching and teaching the word must always have sound Biblical reasoning and backing. There is enough evidence in the Bible to go around on any subject. We have to burn the midnight oil to find them. Because many do not want the hard work of searching for the truth, they would rather listen to interpretations of men than of God. Do not be like that in your own walk. Take time to read and know the word. The Bereans were such people. Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 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.
Philosophy, suppositions, assumptions and carnal interpretation based on intellect are all absolute nothingness when it comes to interpretation of the word of God. Take for example the gift of interpretation as given by the Holy Spirit. Someone speaks in an unknown tongue in Church as a public declaration of what God is saying to the Church and another interprets that in the known language of the nation it is taking place in. Do you suppose that any intellect was involved in that or was it the Holy Spirit inside of that person giving the interpretation? The classic example of this is given to us in the following verses. Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Act 2:5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Act 2:6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. Act 2:7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? Act 2:8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Act 2:11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. What were they saying? They were speaking of the wonderful works of God. WOW! That is true interpretation.
There is only one Mediator between God and man and that is Jesus and only one Interpreter between man and Jesus and that is the Holy Spirit. If we are to pray to God and cannot articulate our petitions to God, it is so because it has to come from the Holy Ghost. It can come in ways like normal prayer, groanings of the Spirit and in utterances that cannot be understood which could involve speaking in tongues. How does God interpret our emotions and deepest feelings? He does it through His Spirit which knows what is going on in our spirits. When we utter falsities, God knows and says, you call me Lord. Lord but do not keep my sayings. His interpretation of our false claims become our nightmare. You might say; “God, how can you determine such a thing about my utterances to you?” He will say’ “I see what is in your heart which is translated in your speech and actions.”
Let us be wise about how we read the Bible and interpret the word of God. Remember, there is much of a slip between the cup and the lip. Many errors no matter how subtle they are can lead people astray. I say, check everything like the Bereans, have it confirmed by the Holy Ghost and then speak. Otherwise, you will be in error and teach the wrong things. My hope is, we would all learn to hear, listen and obey the Holy Spirit. That way, we will avoid many mistakes and self interpretation and what others say is the truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and what he gives us is living water. Many will come and go with many interpretations of what the Bible says and what truth is. It is easy to believe what man says because we are given stuff that carries 99% truth. However, the 1% lie is enough to contaminate the entire truth. 1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 1Co 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: The admonition for us here is to remove that leaven. It has to do with old doctrines, interpretations of men that have cluttered our minds and hearts and things that glitter like gold but is not. I call them sacred cows. We have to let go and let God be the one who teaches us. We find that not many wise will make it. Don’t become wise in your own eyes. 1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 1Co 1:27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1Co 1:28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
When we get taken by our own interpretation, we become victims of the doctrine of devils. Many have woken up years later to discover this. There was a denomination that woke up to this one day after many years. They were known as the Worldwide Church of God. I thank God for His mercy to them to open their eyes. The Jews till today have their eyes closed to the truth. They love God but go about serving Him in error and wrong interpretation of the word. The Messiah has come and gone and is soon coming back but they are still waiting for His first appearance because they have interpreted the scripture wrongly Joh 5:38And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. They had the scriptures and still did not interpret it correctly. We are no different. In fact, we should be more careful because in addition to the scriptures we have the Holy Spirit living in us and therefore without excuse.
My caution to you is, discern, interpret and do not believe everything you hear. Do not rush into ministry and try to be teachers of the word but wait upon the Lord and learn your ministry and the word at the feet of Jesus through the Holy Spirit (find your place in the body).
May God open our eyes to see what we need to see and walk humbly in the knowledge He has given us and not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to.
Lots of love