Is The Holy Bible Easy To Understand?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, one might also conclude that parables or stories are great teaching tools. Indeed, the teachings of Jesus to the public at large were accomplished through parables. The disciples specifically asked why He spoke to the masses using parables:
Incredibly, Jesus spoke in parables so He would not be understood! Later, in private, Jesus would explain the meaning of the parables to His disciples:
The disciples were a very special group in that Jesus explained all things to them. Are these mysteries known by many other prophets and righteous men?
It was originally difficult for me to understand one verse in Jesus' explanation as to why He spoke in parables:
When mankind speaks of have, we consider physical possessions; food, shelter, clothing, cars, boats, money, etc. Why would God give more to those who already have in abundance while taking away everything from those who hath little? I pondered this question some time before considering its source, Jesus Christ. From the perspective of Jesus physical possessions are unimportant:
Jesus would categorize the richest and most powerful people on earth with the "have nots" if they did not have a relationship with Him and be heirs to eternal life. On the other hand, if a person did have a relationship with Jesus, lived a Christian lifestyle, and would inherit eternal life, he would include that person with the "haves" even if he were penniless. The only possession you really have is your life. The goal is to extend that life to eternity with God. Having said that, look again at verse twelve and see how easy it is to understand:
Regardless of their physical possessions, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ have very little, only their mortal physical life. If they never accept Jesus, the one possession they have will be taken from them forever at the second death:
On the other hand, those who have much (Christians), shall have even more in abundance:
What Christians have is their name written in the book of life. They are heirs under the New Testament to inherit eternal life. Their earthly possessions, whether many or few, are trivial when compared to what their future holds:
So those that have will be given more. Those that have not will lose even that which they have, their life. Have you ever considered the ageless saying that, "You can't take it with you?" When considered as physical possessions, this statement is obviously true. You will not need physical possessions anyway. But in another sense one does have an account in the spiritual world:
But how can humans lay up for themselves treasures in heaven? Of course, the most obvious treasure is to have one's name written in the book of life, thus assuring oneself of eternal life. Those resurrected at the second resurrection will be judged by their works. Of course, works alone will not save anyone:
Although our works cannot save us, they remain very important. Those who face the judgment are going to be judged by their works:
Therefore, you can be banking good works in the books against any future judgment. In that sense, you can "take it with you." So what constitutes a good work? Definitions of good works are scattered throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament teachings of Jesus. The Beatitudes list many characteristics and works which we should strive after:
If Jesus Christ himself came to you hungry, thirsty, naked, or sick, would you help him? If you did, would it be considered a good work? The Bible states that you can do this today:
The most general definition for good works is what we call the "Golden Rule:"
So Jesus spoke in parables so that He would not be understood. In addition, there are several verses which indicate that the scriptures are "sealed." That is, people cannot understand their meanings until the end times:
Why would Jesus speak in parables so that people would not understand, and why would God put all the answers to life's questions into a book, then seal up the book? Does this make any sense? It is a great mystery of the Bible. Between the two following horizontal lines are my thoughts on this mystery:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and placed a host of angels on the earth as caretakers. These were spiritual beings who understood all mysteries of the universe. Some of these spiritual caretakers, led by Satan, rebelled against God's authority. As a result the earth came to be without form, void, and dark.
At this point God intervened and went to Plan B. He recreated the earth and made mortal mankind a little lower than the angels to be trained as replacement caretakers for those who rebelled. Now, if the original angels who understood the mysteries of the universe rebelled, why give the new caretakers this knowledge initially. Let them learn it the hard way through on the job training, the old school of hard knocks. That way they will appreciate the gift of eternal life more when it is given. How does this new "mankind" achieve eternal life? Through believing in the Son of God. The original angels assigned to the earth were obviously not respecters of God at the time of their rebellion. These lower beings (mankind) must respect and believe in the Son of God as a prerequisite to becoming a spiritual being which lives forever.
Man is in training to learn that the best way to rule the earth is under the rules of God. Meanwhile, Jesus has gone to prepare a new place for humans who accept Him. When He returns to save man from decimating the earth as the original caretakers did, He will bring the new place He has prepared with Him. The Genesis recreation required six days, after which God rested on the seventh day. The age of man's dominion over the earth will follow this same pattern, but in God days. Remember that to God a thousand years is like one of our days:
Mankind thus has six thousand years from the Genesis recreation to rule the earth. A sabbath "day" of rest, the thousand-year millennium, will follow these six thousand years. Upon Jesus' return, those who believed on Him will be born a second time as spiritual beings. They will then become keepers of the earth under Jesus' rule. Those of mankind who are not born again as spirits will be cast into the lake of fire and their resurrected physical bodies will be killed a second time. This second death is permanent. There is no way to return from the second death, it is eternal. That is the end of them. There is no Plan C.
Is the process of teaching mankind through the school of hard knocks working? Possibly the second most brilliant man to ever live reached the following conclusion when reviewing his life on earth:
That man was Solomon. Solomon was asked by God in a dream what God should give him. Solomon requested wisdom and knowledge:
One of the world's wisest men after a lifetime of seeking treasure, women, and whatever appeared to bring him pleasure; reached this final conclusion of the whole matter of life:
Is this the lesson we are here to learn in our short lifetime, that we should fear God and keep His commandments? Yes! We learn this lesson by trying our way and failing. The answers about the best way to live are sealed in the scriptures. We learn them through trial and error and hard knocks if at all. The Bible is sealed until after the six-thousand-year training and weeding out period. The harder you have to work for something the more you appreciate it.
Of course, the most brilliant human who ever lived was Jesus Christ. As proof of this statement I submit the following sentence He spoke to a mob as they were preparing to stone a prostitute to death. This fifteen word sentence saved her life:
Those in the mob looked about at each other, then began to wander away one by one or in small groups until only two people remained. The prostitute and her Savior.
Given that the scriptures are sealed, can we understand the Bible? Can it be unsealed? One suggestion is that before reading the Bible you get on your knees and ask God to open your understanding of the scriptures. After all, Jesus said:
Do not feel ignorant that you might not understand the scriptures without help from God. The twelve disciples were in the same predicament! They did not understand the scriptures until Jesus "opened their understanding." He did this as one of His last acts on earth before ascending to heaven:
If the Bible in general is sealed, then the book of Revelation would appear to be especially sealed as much of it is written in symbolism. That is, the word woman can mean the church. Therefore, the great whore would mean the false church. The word star can mean an angel. There are giant weird beasts which have hidden meanings, as well as the 666 riddle of the antichrist. But incredibly, with all this symbolism, John is told the following:
So, is Revelation unsealed? Do we understand it? Entire books have been written on the book of Revelation. David Koresh of Waco infamy claimed to have unraveled the "mystery of the seven seals." But let's skip over the really complicated verses for a moment. Most people do not even understand the simple meaning of the second death as defined in the book of Revelation. From the first three or four pages of the Bible their fate was sealed. When they read in Genesis that man was created a living "soul," and then Satan states, "Ye shall not surely die," they believed a part of them would live forever. Therefore, the second death cannot mean death at all. It means eternal punishment. When John 3:16 states that nonbelievers will perish, they know it cannot mean perish because their "soul" lives forever! Therefore, Satan's lie and man's ignorance combine to keep the Bible sealed. When will it be unsealed? In the end times:
And why will the book be unsealed in the end times?
Knowledge is increasing dramatically. Today, fewer and fewer young people are attending or supporting the church. Why? The reason is not drugs, alcohol, dancing, infidelity, economics, rebellion, or any of the obvious answers. It is because they are getting smarter. They sincerely sense there is something after their death. As children, they sing "Jesus loves me," and "red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight." When they reach the rebellious teenage years and begin to question their basic beliefs, they realize something is amiss. Why would a God equated with love allow the bulk of humanity to suffer in hell eternally? The church cannot answer their questions. Some of the old answers were:
The old answers do not work with today's or tomorrow's youth. If the immortal soul myth is true, the church should be able to successfully and logically defend it through the Bible. Since this is impossible, the youth become discouraged and leave.
Sadly, the main impetus which might induce change today is not logic and knowledge, but something the churches consider to be really important, money! If finances suffer substantially, the churches might be driven to discovering the answer to their problem.