Reflections on Revelation #171

Day 171

3 And he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder a]uttered their voices. When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and do not write them.” REV.10:3,4 (NASB)

When people come face to face with their limitations of understanding, they are often tempted to give up trying to understand the Bible. As we study the Bible we also face the further danger of making the Bible say what we want it to say. We are tempted to use its authority to promote our own opinions. We seize on evidence that agrees with us and ignore evidence that disagrees (Rev 22:18-19?).

A better way to approach the Bible is to take a big picture approach to the text. It is better to read broadly through the text rather than selecting our way through. We should try to discover what each Bible writer meant, rather than imposing ideas from our own time and place. We must seek to be open to the whole text, rather than picking and choosing what looks good to us at first glance. We ought to base our understanding on what is clear in the text, rather than trying to make the less clear things say what we want them to say.

If the Bible is the ultimate source of truth, then no organization should be allowed to control what the Bible says. If you read e.g. the NT from beginning to end you need to then ask, “Do my beliefs reflect the central themes of the NT or do they reflect what someone else has taught me?” Martin Luther did this and it lead to the Reformation.

We need to learn to test every opinion held about the Bible with the plain teachings of the text in its widest context. When we begin to do this, we will be amazed at what you can miss. God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts” (Isa 55:8).

1 Comment
  • Henny Vanderpol
    Posted at 09:51h, 14 July Reply

    That is right Riss. We need to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance when we read Scripture. Definitely not try our own interpretation. The Bible has been after all written through the Holy Spirit!

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