Seeing they will not Perceive, Hearing they shall Not Understand!
(Ver 1.1) Why is it that there are so many varying opinions on what the Bible means? How can I see one thing in the Bible and you fail to see it? If we could somehow solve this dilemma we would all have to get into harmony and finally become one in Christ Jesus. Jesus prays this prayer to the Father concerning His bride and these are His words:
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Jesus informs us that He and the Father were one in the same. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus was claiming He was God. But now Jesus is praying and He makes a specific new request. He asks that all of those that are given to Him should also become one. Has this happened? Will it ever happen? Does Jesus get His prayers answered? That is some interesting things to consider. Looking around in the world today it certainly does not appear that the Body of Christ is one. What does it mean to you to be one? To me it means someone that is unified in purpose. The disciples after Jesus ascended were said to be in one accord while tarrying in the upper room in Jerusalem. I would have to say this is what Jesus was praying for, but what happened to this show of unity between believers? Is it just a problem of sheer numbers? Could 120 get into unity but 2 billion not do the same? Has God shrunk in size or ability? What does it mean to be in “one accord”? According to Strong’s this word means to be unanimous, to be of the same mind. Everyone doing the same thing for the same reasons and motivation. That so far does not resemble any of the church that I have seen in recent years. I have noticed some glimpses of partnerships and unity, but there certainly needs to more effort in unifying the Body.
So what is the main problem? Why does one denomination embrace speaking in tongues and one preach it is of the devil. Those kind of differences are clearly a huge issue to unification. One group of people see and perceive the truth and the other group chooses not to see it. What is the solution? Where do we start to amend? How can we resolve these differences? How can we become reconciled to become one bride who has made herself ready? I believe we can at least start by understanding the problem. By seeing what the Bible says the problem is we can hopefully avoid repeating a failing pattern. But of course even this involves seeing and understanding and therefore we are really back to the original problem. Unless God does something to help us overcome this problem we will not. But that was my opinion of the situation.
Here is a scripture from the book of Acts that describes the situation that they faced while teaching the truth of the God’s Word to the people in the nation of Israel. Paul tried to reach his own people, but encountered great resistance and opposition. Was what Paul was teaching the truth? Did it come directly from God? Was this the same God that gave these Jewish people their law? Was this the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? So why was this new message so easily dismissed as being false and not from God? It would appear that by studying their reaction and reasoning we might see some patterns that could be avoided in our daily routines. After all is God still the same today? Does God still teach or reveal anything new? So in the book of Acts Paul is speaking and says the following about the nation of Israel:
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
You read these verses and it describes a people in a sad condition. These were people who had normal natural senses of sight and hearing, but they are described to be a people who were not using them to learn and understand. God is actually implying that we have a spiritual set of eyes and ears that need to be open and receptive. These people are described as their hearts being “waxed gross”. Here is the definition for this word in the Strong’s:
From a derivative of G4078 (meaning thick); to thicken, that is, (by implication) to fatten (figuratively stupefy or render callous): – wax gross.
It is a fascinating word that has a widely applicable association with the human spirit. It is really a symbolic reference given to us of a spiritual state that we are unable to see. To make thick or to fatten something implies a hardening process. If you think in modern medical terms and cholesterol and the ill effects that it has on the human body, then you can kind of see what this is referring to. The thickening of the arteries and blood vessels in the body with cholesterol causes the walls to become thick and eventually clogged. The results of this is a major physical problem and even death. Believe it or not this is describing a spiritual clogging and thickening process that will also result in another type of death. This word has a figurative meaning of being stupid or acting foolishly. That also applies to the spiritual realm and we all need desperately to learn this lesson. Finally another meaning of the word is to become callous. We can understand this term by looking at the process of creating natural calluses. By working with a specific tool for example long enough you repeatedly wear a specific surface of your skin. This worn area can develop blisters and eventually calluses so that the area is much less sensitive to feeling. This is another lesson to apply to spiritual principles. How can a spirit being become calloused against the truth?
Let’s analyze how people learn. The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). This verse is a simple lesson in learning. People hear what their teacher says and either accept it or reject it. By rejecting the truth you cause a spiritual callous to begin to form. Your heart becomes thicker in that area and the next time you hear the truth it is easier for you to reject it since you have less feeling in that area. People’s heart eventually can become so hard in areas that they have absolutely no feeling when presented the truth of God’s Word. This is why the Bible speaks of God taking out the “stony” heart and putting in a heart of “flesh” (Eze 11:19). People have allowed their spirits to harden against certain things and even the truth and as a result have become very difficult to reach.
So learning starts with hearing. What is hearing and how does it work? Can we hear anything? Jesus taught us that we must be careful what we hear (Mark 4:24). Then Jesus told us to take heed how you hear (Luke 8:18). Jesus is saying there are two factors to consider about what we listen to. God says it matters what we hear and how we hear it. In other words don’t listen to every teaching from every religion and think that you are helping yourself to grow spiritually. All you end up doing is confusing your spirit, clouding your mind and deceiving yourself. No, hearing starts with listening to the Word of God and to those teachers anointed to teach it. If you can’t tell who those are then just study and read the Bible.
Learning starts with hearing or reading out loud to yourself. But there is certainly more to learning the Bible than just reading or hearing. The only part of the Bible that is going to do you any good is the part that you come to “know”. To “know” in the Bible is an important word that means an intimate relationship with. In the Old Testament it is often times used as “Adam knew his wife and they had a son”. You can see that to “know” a subject implies a deep understanding of it. The verse in Acts tells us that if the people would have heard and they would have understood what was being said in their “heart” or “spirit”, then they would have been converted and God could have saved them. However, since they closed their own eyes and refused to see, they were cut off. So understanding the Bible is the next key element to being saved. I believe this is the next key to unity also. If we can gain understanding from God we will be of one mind and then we will have a singleness of purpose.
Pro 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding from God’s Word. God’s Word contains all of the knowledge that we need to live. Wisdom and Understanding are two benefits of knowing God’s Word intimately. If you asked me why do I need to study the Bible, this would be my answer, “to get wisdom and understanding”. We have too many people on the internet that have neither of these qualities, yet they cloud our network with words of confusion. By introducing you to their opinions and personal interpretations to God’s Word they cause more harm than they do any good. This is what we are faced with, this is what we are challenged to do. We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding, so if a website or a blog is not helping you to achieve either of these goals I would recommend that you not waste your time in reading them. May God give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. May your eyes be able to see and perceive the deep spiritual things of God. May your ears hear from the Spirit of God so that you can clearly understand. May you understand with your heart and be converted and be healed.
Posted on February 25, 2010, in Bible Interpretation, Keys to Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Interpretation, Jesus, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
Praise God! I am blessed by your blog…We must always hold to these facts that you teach…Satan is alive and well on planet Earth, We are in the very last days, and he is raging against us.
I see so many believers that do not perceive, nor listen, but rather study the word using their emotional agenda to satisfy their own needs. We must fully submit to our Lord, and LISTEN, to HEAR, and PERCEIVE from the Holy Spirit. If we don’t head God’s teachings, we continue to be selfish, and don’t minister to the needs of others. King Jesus is our Holy servant, and we should learn from Him, as how to love others, for He commands us to love others as ourselves, which is a minimum requirement, but in truth, should we not love others more than ourselves…for Jesus God did so. It is a joy to be a servant when someone is blessed by agape love, for it pleases our Lord, and we reap the filling of God in our hearts…God bless you my brothers and sisters.
Thanks for this thoughtful article on Mark 4:12. I have wondered exceedingly about these words of Jesus, since it seemed a little like He didn’t care if certain people understood Him. This did not seem like the Jesus I know and love. Why did He say “those who are outside, all things come in parables…”
I’m thinking at first that Jesus seemed rather mean!! However, after reading your article, I see that those “outside” are those who have not welcomed His Spirit within themselves. Those who are stubbornly opposed to the idea that God is real or has any relevance to their lives.
Still, why then did the crowds follow Him and listen? Did some of them “hear and understand”? One wonders about this passage.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I value your time greatly and appreciate everything you said. It is very difficult to know and see things correctly in the Bible. I have spent a lot of time questioning God, why is there so much evil in the world, why didn’t you stop the 9/11 terrorists. Why can’t people see you? Why do you hide? Why didn’t you throw Satan into hell after he sinned? Believe it or not God answered all of these questions using the Bible.
I think that most people (Christians included) don’t know there is an enemy that is trying to kill, steal and destroy everything that they have. This enemy is also hidden from view and because they do not see him they don’t accept that he exists. We are spiritual beings in a natural world. We have two opposing spiritual factions competing for your mind, a GOOD GOD and an evil devil. God is a gentleman who plays by rules and will only do things in a positive manner that does not override your desires. Satan is totally opposite and he will attempt to control you, however he can. Either drugs, alcohol, sex, money, power and any other way that he can distract you.
The Bible says that Satan (called the god of this world) has blinded the minds of them that believe NOT! So apparently the battlefield is your mind. If you allow God to shine in the LIGHT of Jesus then it will be much harder for Satan to deceive you. But it is always up to the person to allow God in. Jesus said behold “I stand at the door and knock”. This door is going into the heart of man. If Jesus wanted in, couldn’t he just kick the door down and come in? There is the difference God requires man opening the door to let him in. However, Satan will just try to kick the door down, he is not knocking.
I hope you can come back and read more blogs. I’ll try to answer more questions if you have anything that I would like to talk about. God Bless!