Handling Difficult Scriptures
[ PART TWO ]
Note: It is highly recommended that you read Part One of this teaching before you proceed. This can only help you to more easily understand the purpose and teaching methods that are used in Part Two. However, if you prefer, you can read part two and later on read part one. The point I am trying to make is that you read both parts for you to fully understand the purpose and profit of both of these teachings.
The Scriptures that I am hand picking are some of the most controversial Scriptures in the Bible. This should help you to completely understand many misinterpretations and mistranslations. For example, when we ended part one, we were talking about the man-made doctrine of the Trinity. There is actually a second Scripture that propounds this counterfeit doctrine and we are going to cover that now. If you remember, those were the Scriptures in I John 5: 6 – 8. We studied the words that were added by the scribes as they were pressured to continually propound the man-made doctrine of the Trinity. So they added the words that we deleted from those three verses. I believe I had mentioned to you that there were two controversial verses about the subject of the Trinity. We are now going to cover the second verse that propounds the same doctrine by examining words that were added by the translators. Let’s get to the verse.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: -- Matthew 28: 19
Let me give you some information that will help you to rightly divide this verse. This verse clearly states that the apostles were to teach or to make disciples of all nations. But in the Old Testament, it states that Israel would never be numbered among the nations (see Numbers 23: 9 – ‘nations’ is Gentiles). Therefore this command can only hold true for the Gentiles. That is who God is referring to when he uses the word ‘nations’. However, later on in the epistles, written specifically to born again believers, the Church is “called out” from both Jews and Gentiles. Let’s look at Romans. Remember, we still have not discussed the purpose of rightly dividing Matthew 28: 19. I simply want to clear up some things before we get into that Scripture.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [Gentile]: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. – Romans 10: 12
So you should be able to clearly see that what was written in the Old Testament, in the book of Numbers, changed in the New Testament. No longer were Jews excluded from the promises of God and were now reckoned among all nations. God is no respecter of persons, but of conditions only. Now let’s get to our main point in Matthew.
Look at the words that are in Matthew 28: 19. The phrase “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: ”. This command is never carried out by the apostles or by anyone else in the early Church. Eusebius (340 A.D.), the first great Church historian, quoted from manuscripts which could not have had these words. He quoted Matthew 28: 19 eighteen times without ever using these words. Justin Martyr (165 A.D.) and Aphraates of Nisbis (340 A.D.) never quoted these words either. The difficulty here becomes quite apparent.
Matthew 28: 19 was spoken shortly before Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; it gave last-minute instructions. Whatever Jesus said at that time would surely have been important enough for the apostles to remember. If you would like to take a look on your own at Acts 2: 38, this is the first record after the original outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. Peter said …………. ‘be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ’ ………….. not in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. If the command given in Matthew 28: 19 was truly given, that would mean that 10 days later Peter would have forgotten what Jesus Christ had told him. You can also take a look at Acts 8: 16 which states the basic and correct command that Jesus Christ gave. Also, the same thing is mentioned in Acts 19: 5 and I could go on and on with more examples. The final point that I am going to make pertaining to Matthew 28: 19 is to give you the correct translation of the verse according to usage and according to the available Greek texts.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in my name: -- Matthew 28: 19
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the above verse? There are no complications, it is very simple, and it fits with the rest of the Word of God. Remember, I am choosing some of the most difficult and misinterpreted Scriptures in the Bible. Do not think that this occurs in a majority of verses. It does not. When you read something in the Word that you do not understand, simply skip over that part and continue to read. That is how it was taught to me. Eventually, in time, God will open up that verse to you. For now, all that you need to remember is that the words “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” are words that were added by the translators. Jesus Christ never said those words. If you have read part one of this teaching, I’m sure you are amazed by now at how man tries to manipulate the true Word of God.
I need to speak to you about a subject that is referred to as Old English. When the Bible was written, a type of English was used that does not coincide with our present-day meaning. A perfect example of this which will clear this up for you is in Philippians 4: 6.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. -- Philippians 4: 6
Now something in this verse should stand out to you and it is the second word in the verse, - ‘careful’. How can this make any sense? It cannot. It is saying we are to be careful for nothing and anything that we do in this life. The answer is very simple. The word ‘careful’ is Old English and in modern-day English, that word should be translated as anxious or distracted. Now the verse makes sense.
I wanted to use this example for a more intricate set of Scriptures that use Old English and may appear to you to be somewhat difficult to understand. Let’s go to the gospel of Matthew where we will learn a very clear literal translation of three verses that may be complicated for some people to understand. Here are the three verses in the King James Version:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Matthew 6: 19 – 21
It seems a bit difficult to completely and clearly understand these three Scriptures because it is written with the personality of Old English. Now I am going to give you the literal translation according to usage using our modern English terminology. Notice how clear these three verses will become to you.
Literal translation of Matthew 6: 19 - 21:
Let not your thoughts be centered in material things where fears and worries breed defeat and frustration, and where the doubts break through and steal your thoughts: But let your thoughts be centered in the Spirit, where neither fear nor worry breeds defeat and frustration, and where doubts do not break through and steal your thoughts. For where your thoughts are, there will your heart be also.
Isn’t that just something? This set of Scriptures is talking mainly about material things. God wants us to travel light. Many people do not own their material things – their material things own them. I have first knowledge in this subject area where I at one time, purchased too many material things – multiples of the same item. Now I have begun to sell some of my material things and the more things that I sell, the less I worry. It is just like an albatross around your neck. Our thoughts should be centered in God’s Word and not in material things. You can rid yourself of defeat and frustration by getting rid of excess material things that you own. And then doubts and worry cannot get into your life and steal your thoughts – make you miserable. And when your thoughts are right and you line up your actions with your thoughts, your heart will be there with you also and it will be traveling light like you should be doing. God is not trying to say that we are not to own certain things that bring us some pleasure. God is trying to tell us that anything in the extreme is not from Him and that’s what you need to remember. I am very confident and I believe that the literal translation of those three Scriptures are really going to bless your life. You’ll probably realize what has been bothering you and you’ll take action to make it right.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3: 2
Now we are going to cover a section of Scripture that has caused no end of confusion in Christian circles. There are nine manifestations of Holy Spirit that are available to operate by each person who is born again. I’m going to ask you to go to chapter 12 of I Corinthians and read verses 8 through 10. A very serious problem arises when you look at chapter 12 and read verse one as it is written in the King James Version. To give you an idea of how I sometimes study, I always use a Cambridge wide margin edition because it gives me room to write in notes. You should always own this type of Bible because if you are going to study and continue to learn the rightly divided Word of God, you’re going to do a lot of writing in the wide margins of your Bible. And I have one Bible which I call my working Bible. It is loaded with notes and wite-out and tape to fix ripped pages because the Bible has had so much use. For your own sake, just take note that I also have another Cambridge wide margin edition of the Bible. This second Bible does not have one mark anywhere in the complete edition. If you open it up and skim through this Bible, you will think that it is brand-new. Now in chapter 12: 1, I will read you this verse of Scripture from both of my Bibles. First, we will go to the Bible that has not one single note written anywhere. It translates verse one as follows:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. – I Corinthians 12: 1
Some of you should be able to see quickly where the problem lies. If you take this verse literally, it throws the whole Bible to pieces. How many times have I taught you that words in italics were added by the translators? There has been so much discussion and argument concerning this one word that you cannot begin to imagine. The word ‘gifts’ was added by the translators and is not a part of the original Word of God. Now I am going to use the same Bible and quote I Corinthians 12: 7. This verse does not contain any italics.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. – I Corinthians 12: 7
Take note that in my working Bible that is loaded with notes, this Scripture is written exactly the same. This Scripture is very accurate and speaks the true Word of God. Verse one gives you a mistranslation and is erroneous. The scribes have put the word gifts in italics. How can the nine manifestations be gifts in verse one and be referred to as manifestations in verse seven? This is the major point of this example. If you look at verse 11, you will see that every man is able to operate all nine manifestations. This is because they are manifestations and they are not gifts. People today who know nothing about the true Word of God still argue that they are not manifestations, but that they are gifts. This makes it appear that only certain people can operate certain manifestations of the spirit. How do I know what is right and what is wrong? Well guess what, I can and have operated all nine of these manifestations by my believing. Because I am not with any other believers besides my spouse, it is only available for me to now operate seven of the nine manifestations. Why? Because interpretation of tongues and prophecy requires this to be done only in a believers meeting. The Bible teaches us in more advanced areas that to have a believers meeting, there must be 3 or more believers present. If we are to do things decent and in order according to the instructions in the Word, my wife and I alone cannot have a believers meeting. It is only in a believers meeting that the interpretation of tongues and prophecy is operated. Now do you understand that? It is very simple. Reread the above paragraph if you are having a problem. Now I am finally going to give you the accurate interpretation of I Corinthians 12: 1. You should scratch out gifts in your Bible and write in the following accurate translation that should have been used in place of the word gifts.
Now concerning spiritual matters [pneumatikos] brethren, I would not have you ignorant. – I Corinthians 12: 1
Now you have the correct translation of verse one. Now the Word of God fits like a hand in glove. I will give you a little more information about our example because I do not want to confuse you with too more information than is needed to understand our subject matter. The Greek word for “spiritual” is pneumatikos, meaning “that which belongs to, is determined by, influenced by, or proceeds from the Spirit.”
The word “gifts” is not in any Greek text; therefore, the King James Version has “gifts” in italics. And once again reading the word “gifts” into this verse has caused great confusion, theological arguments, and denominational misunderstandings.
You can now see how one word, especially a word in italics, can hash the Word to pieces. That’s why, in these teachings, I pay as much attention as I can to detail. Attention to detail is the difference between success and failure. We are now going to move on to our next example.
We will stay in I Corinthians, but we will move to Chapter 14. The verses we are going to cover are again completely misinterpreted concerning the Holy Spirit field. They result in no end of confusion in that which you can see and in that which you can hear.
I think I should give you a small introduction about what we are about to cover. I would call this teaching to be slightly advanced for people who have never attended a believer’s meeting. What do I mean by this? I’m hoping that all of you will have been to a large meeting where there is a large number of believers that are teaching and praying. We are going to talk about the intricacies of the Holy Spirit field and how it should be operated according to God’s Word. Here is what happens in many of those meetings.
There may be a teaching by the person who is running the meeting. This could be in someone’s home or in a large auditorium. Before the teaching, the leader who is running the meeting may call on certain people to pray in the spirit - to speak in tongues. Then that same leader will point to a second different person and ask them to give the interpretation - interpretation of tongues. This method is totally off the accurate Word of God. Not only will this leader do this up to three times, but he may do this four five or six times. Again, this is off the accuracy of the Word of God. This example is a little bit involved so I am going to ask you to follow along with me one Scripture at a time and remember the following.
Let all things be done decently and in order. -- I Corinthians 14: 40
The subject matter here is focusing specifically on the Church. That’s what the context of this chapter is about and if you look up to verse 26, it gives you an introduction to the Scriptures that I’m going to help you with. Look at the subject matter of verse 26. It concerns matters that take place in the Church of God. I am going to ask you to read verse 26 on your own so that you can understand what I am about to explain. That is to clear up for you once and for all concerning the operation of the manifestations of speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. We will also touch on the manifestation of prophecy. These three manifestations are referred to as the worship manifestations. We are going to focus on the proper operation of these manifestations in a believer’s meeting.
Verse 26 tells you that you can see that if you are in a believer’s meeting, there are some people standing up at the same time and speaking in tongues. There are people who are standing up and supposedly interpreting the speaking in tongues given by different people. These meetings can result only in confusion and are indecent and out of order. You must remember that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. Confusion comes from the god of this world, the devil. Now verse 27 will give you practically all of the answers that you need to operate the manifestations of the spirit decently and in order. Let’s get to that verse because there was one word in that verse that will just blow your mind. It is a Greek word.
If any man speak in a (unknown - scratch it – it is in italics) tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. -- I Corinthians 14: 27
When we talk about this one Greek word that is in this verse, all of the confusion pertaining to what happens in many believer’s meeting will simply go away and the proper operation of the manifestations will finally become clear to you. But first we are going to talk about the beginning of this verse and you may wonder why we took out the word “unknown.” First of all, the word is in italics and was added by the translators. But there is another logical explanation as to why the word unknown cannot be put before the word tongue. The Word of God clearly states that the tongue that is spoken when someone speaks in tongues is the tongue of men or of angels. This is quite astounding in many ways. I know someone who was in a fellowship with someone who was related to them. A person was called on to speak in tongues and the person who was with a friend of mine understood the tongue that was being spoken. Can you imagine that? This also happened right after the first outpouring of Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. So I don’t want to get too involved here for those of you who may be reading this teaching for the first time. But it should become obvious to anyone that a language that can possibly be known by men in this world cannot be referred to as unknown.
Now the next section I want to cover tells you how many people should be called on to speak in tongues in a believers meeting. Now take a look at verse 27 and it clearly states that it should be by two or at the most by three. Is this hard to understand? I know of believers in the ministry in which I studied who violate this principle to this day. I knew a believer who appeared to be extremely strong in the Scriptures, but she was attending these meetings where five or six people spoke in tongues. This is off the Word. What does the Word say? You see I need to share my heart with you. I have no contact with any other believers except for my wife. Everyone else believes their own way and decided to do things the way they wanted to do after the founder of the ministry in which I owe my life to passed away. The damn devil got in there after everyone who was weak and he takes them out one at a time. This one believer used to contact me on a regular basis from very far away. She told me what was going on in these meetings and I tried to warn her as best as I could to keep away. She went against my advice and now she’s gone for good. You see, people have their own free will and you cannot change that free will. God will not overstep a person’s free will for any reason at all. He may hint to you and He may try to influence you by circumstances around you, but He cannot change your mind for you. Many people do not realize this. I do these teachings out of my own free will. I can start and stop anytime I feel like it. That’s how God set it up. I am not going to argue with Him.
Now let’s get right to the next point. Who is supposed to interpret what is spoken in tongues. Well the answer, my friend, is very, very simple. First I want to mention that when God says ‘by course’, this is old English and it means ‘in order.’ Remember verse 40? Let all things be done decently and in order. That’s what the Word says and that’s what the Word means. Now how does someone speak in tongues in a believers meeting and it is done decently and in order? Here is the answer.
Take a look at the last part of verse 27 and it says ‘and let one interpret’.
Within one of these four words lies the simplicity of the accurate interpretation of the operation of the manifestation of speaking in tongues in a believer’s meeting. That word is the Greek word for ONE. This is the word heis in Greek and it means
“That Same One”
So now you know beyond a shadow of a doubt who is to give the interpretation of what was just spoken in tongues. It is that same person who spoke in tongues who is to give the interpretation. Now it becomes simple, clear, and orderly. I lost a strong believer who got tricked into going to these types of meetings where there were five and six different people speaking in tongues and giving so-called word of prophecy. But we must learn to move on when people do things that hurt us. God will always heal us if we continue to walk by His Word.
While we’re on the subject, I would like to talk about a Word of Prophecy. Now this is very simple so do not let it complicate your mind. The rightly divided Word in a believers meeting contains not only speaking in tongues, but also prophecy. So there is speaking in tongues by a certain person and there is interpretation of tongues by that same person and from a different person(s), there is a word of prophecy. To clear up a word of prophecy I want to show you that very similar rules from God’s Word apply to this manifestation of the spirit. Basically, we are going to talk about the maximum number of people who are supposed to prophesy in a believers meeting. Let’s take a look at verse 29 of I Corinthians.
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. -- I Corinthians 14: 29
What this verse is telling us is that if someone gives a word of prophecy, there should not be more than three people who will prophesy. This verse is similar to the verse that we studied regarding speaking in tongues. Some of this material may appear to be advanced for some people, but it really is not. What we are learning from the Word of God is about speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophesy in a believer’s meeting that is operated decently and in order according to God’s rules and standards.
I hope you have enjoyed these two parts on Handling Difficult Scriptures. I want to leave you with one thought and that is not to think that there are many errors in interpretations and translations in the Bible. I have purposely picked out some of the most difficult areas where misinterpretations and mistranslations occur. This teaching will help you to rightly divide the Word of God and in the long run or maybe even in the short run, it will bless you and help you to become stronger standing Christians.