Do We Have to Understand the Bible?

The author prefers to remain anonymous
His testimony is here.  You should go read it.  It is amazing!

I have often wondered, are we chosen to be saved, or do we choose ourselves to be saved?  In other words, did I come to Jesus Christ because I was irresistibly drawn by God and had nothing to do with it, or did I come to Christ because my heart said, “I want to come to Christ?” and, the answer was yes.  

 My dear friends in Christ the Bible teaches election. It uses that word many times. It says, "...we are elect according to the foreknowledge of God.[1]" It says "...we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.[2]" It says our "...names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from before the foundation of the world.[3]" It says " have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you.[4]" In the book of Acts,  God said, "I have much people in that city.[5]" People who were not even saved, yet, but had His name on them to be saved, I know for a fact that I cannot deny election, Its all there in the Bible.

Paul says in Ephesians 1, "Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world." We know we are elect, so I realize that when I come to a passage on election, I preach it with all my heart. I preach it because it's there. I cannot say anything against it. We are elect. Chosen by God. The Bible says that nobody ever came to Jesus Christ, except the father draw him[6]. So, we are saved because of God’s predetermined love and that, I believe, is the truth. I mean, we are elect of God, and what a marvelous thing that is. That is so important in the doctrine of security because if He elects us, He is going to hold us. Right? So, I will teach that and I preach that, because that is what the Bible teaches.

 But, the Bible, also, teaches human volition, or we have a free will to chose. Jesus said, "You will not come to me that you might have life.[7]" Jesus said, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft I would have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her brood and you would not.[8]” In other words, Jesus, on the one hand said you cannot come to me unless the Father draws you, and on the other hand, if you don't come, you’re to be blamed in one sense. If we try to segregate one line of thought, without including the other things will seem to really get confusing , At this point it is best to prayerfully study the word and pray for the spirit to assist you in an appropriate revelation.

 Now, in our minds, those seem like opposites, don’t they? Paradoxes unresolvable. And, they really are. Over here, if you are saved, it is by God’s election, and over there, if you are damned, it is your own choice. Now, lets see, that should not be a problem for any of us. God’s mind is greater than our mind. Right? If I could understand everything, I would be God, and if I was God, the world would really be in hot water. But man loves to think he is God. He wants everything to fit into his mind, so what he does is take those kinds of things and try to find a truth in the middle that accommodates both, and therefore we get a conglomerate pile of mixed up Theologians running around like headless chickens, and in the end they destroy both.

And, so, you come up with this thing where, well, you see God looks down the road and He says, “Aha! I see the way they are going! I know what is going to happen. Boy! They are going to go over there and so I just will not elect them because I can see that." And, so, God becomes the victim of the things that men do. That is not what the Bible teaches. If we deny election, we have denied something in the Bible. If you deny the choice of man, where it says, “Whosoever will, let him come. Taketh of the water of life freely.[9]”  You cannot deny either one. We just leave them there and if we try to harmonize them in the middle, we will destroy both of them. See, just leave them there. You say, “But I do not understand.” But, that is good. It proves you are not God, and that makes us all very comfortable. If we could figure God out he wouldn't be God.

It appears that God has set up a system to call, convert, and educate a people for Himself. They are a minority, very few in number. The Bible says they are not mighty, noble, and learned, but the weak of the world. God calls them and gives them His Spirit and teachers to help them understand. Of all people on earth, only they have a chance to understand the Bible. In this age anyhow. Don't misunderstand me not being given an understanding of the Bible, doesn't mean that everyone else has missed the boat. God has created people who can't even read. Some are born mentally retarded . Some are born and raised in violent and corrupted homes, in an atmosphere that is not conducive for seeking God. God looks at all the variables that are injected into a individual, on his/her journey from the cradle to the grave. 

There is an apparent paradox in every biblical doctrine, every major biblical doctrine. For example, I will ask someone a simple question, "Who wrote Romans? Paul? God? Holy Spirit? Who? Did Paul write a verse and then, God write a verse? Then did Paul write a verse, then God write a verse? Was it all the Holy Spirit? Is every word in Romans from the mind of the Holy Spirit?"  Yes! Is every word in Romans from the mind of the Apostle Paul in his heart, in his vocabulary? Yes! Who wrote it? Well, it is all God, and it is all Paul. Well, how can it be all God and all Paul? Well, it can't be in our human thinking. That is paradoxical, but it is.

Let me ask anyone this: Was Jesus God? or man? Yes! Half God, half man? What is half a man? What is half a god? A nothing! He was 100 percent God, 100 percent man. You can't be that! That is right. It is paradoxical, and I love it. But, if you try to make it in the middle and mix it and take away a little of His deity and a little of His humanity to come up with a hybrid, what have you just done? You have destroyed the person of Jesus Christ! So, I believe its best we leave it alone. And, you say to yourself, “I can't know that!  The secret things belong to the LORD.[10]" I will not play God and assume that everything has to fit into my computer to be true. 

Here's a good question, Who lives our Christian life? Who does? Do we? Are we out there saying, “I am going to live my Christian life if it kills me!” You say, “No! It is Christ in me. I do not do anything. I just flop and He does it all.” No! No! No! "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live, yet, not I, but Christ lives in me.[11]" It is the same  paradox. See, whenever we try to reduce the truth of God down to the human brain, like the theologians, church fathers, or the likes of us, we are going to have some stuff left over. Consequently, we have to be able to allow for what we call divine tension. Its best to just leave it there.

The Bible teaches election. The Bible teaches human choice. Let it teach both. God understands how it all goes together. We don't. That is a matter of faith, isn’t it? I believe its dangerous to come up with something in the middle. We destroy both. So, anyone who wants to say, “Oh, we cannot believe in election because it messes us up on this end,” is really doing what they have no right to do. They are really saying, “We have got to reduce God to our own thinking processes and assume He is going to do only the things that we can fully understand," and, that is not so. Okay? The closest thing that will narrow down the truth collectively is the RHEMA,  the SPOKEN word.

Jesus said "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you,  and ye need not that any man teach you. [12]"

 We must rely on the Bible. What I want to put to you is that God is very often inconsistent-- to our human eyes. Indeed, the closer we analyze the Bible, the more we meditate upon God's ways, the more evident it becomes that contradictions are woven throughout the fabric of God's self-revelation to us. Of course, there are some apparent paradoxes and contradictions which can be easily resolved. But there are others, that I have found out simply cannot be resolved by us. Exactly why God has revealed Himself in this way is hard to completely understand. But perhaps one simple reason is that He wishes to teach us the extent to which His ways are higher than ours; He wishes to instill into us a far deeper spiritual humility, a deeper sense that as a dog is to a man, so is a man to God.

The word 'acceptance' is absolutely vital in all this. My little dog accepts his dependence on me, and I know he loves me, but he is aware that he simply has no real handle on how to comprehend my actions. If God is not inconsistent, then it follows that God must always appear consistent to human eyes. This would mean that God was somehow bound to act and explain Himself in a way that was neat and tidy in our so called human terms.

It seems to me that this is what a lot of people  would rather have; a God that was a super-man, a man like us who was just super-powerful. But God is God, and not a super-man. Therefore His ways and thoughts must be a lot higher than ours; as far above ours as the heaven is above earth [13].  And if we seriously accept this, it is apparent that God is going to act in ways which are totally and inexplicably inconsistent to our eyes; not just ways which are hard to reconcile, but ways which are irreconcilable. And therefore I have discovered there are seeming Bible paradoxes. Not least is this shown in the mystery of the salvation of man which He brought forth  in Christ.

You will probably recall how the woman of Tekoah realized some of this when she spoke of how “We must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again…yet doth [God] devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him. [14]”  Her point was that as God, in some sense, breaks His own laws, e.g. that sin leads to permanent death, so surely David likewise could have the same spirit of grace and bring about the salvation of someone rightly appointed to death. This explains the many purposeful paradoxes and apparent contradictions within the book of Ecclesiastes. “They are part of the way of things “under the sun”; they are not puzzles to be solved by a crusade of reconciliation...God’s ways are ultimately inscrutable to human view. There will always be things that we cannot fully understand...for the preacher in  Ecclesiastes tells us that we “shall not be able to find it.[15]"

I have found out from experience that it is best to learn from the Holy Spirit. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we shouldn't do our job by introducing people to Jesus Christ. This is part of the great commission. After the introduction it's up to the individual to pursue God, ( if God so chooses to have that individual pursue him at that time).

I always like to use the word pursue rather than the word choose, Lots of folks choose to accept Christ at an altar call, and that's the end of it. The first thing that God showed me in his word after I spent two months sick and searching for him was this scripture, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart [16]". 

Personally I believe everyone should adhere to what God says in ALL of his word. Paul said, "work out your salvation with fear and trembling (FREE WILL) FOR it is God working in you to bring about his own good pleasure" (NO FREE WILL). [17] 

I have found out that one of the most assuring and enlightening scriptures more or less packs the Gospel in a nutshell.  "...And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and  eternal life [18]".

It appears that loving Him is a prerequisite to eternal life. We can't love someone we don't know.

[1]  1Pet 1:2 [4]  Jo 15:16 [7]  Jo 5:40 [10]  Deut 29:29 [13]  Is 55:9 [16]  Jer 29:13
[2]  Eph 1:4 [5]  Acts 18:10 [8]  Lk 13:34 [11]  Gal 2:20 [14]  2 Sam 14:14 [17]  Phil 2:12-13
[3]  Rev 7:18 [6]  Jo 6:44 [9]  Rev 22:17 [12]  1Jo 2:27 [15]   Eccl 8:17 [18]  1Jo 5:20


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