About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Admit To Your Interpretation
Some passages may be hard to understand on the surface. The "donít steal" passage is easy to understand. We donít need to interpret that. We just accept it, agree with it, and repeat is as the truth. But there other passages that arenít so clear and concise that may need some interpreting. This means that we need some help in understanding what these verses are saying. There are different places and ways to find this help. The conclusions we make from this process is called our interpretation of the verses at hand.
What we need to do at this is point is to admit to our interpretation. Way too often someone will say that their interpretation of a verse is the truth. What they in fact should say is that this is their interpretation of the verse at hand. Again, "donít steal" requires no interpretation, therefore we can clearly state that "donít steal" is Biblical truth.
Rev. 4:1 says, "Ö there before me was a door open in Heaven. And the voice I first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, Ďcome up here and I will show you what must take place after thisí". Okay, hereís whatís happening here. The voice is speaking to John, the writer of the Book of Revelation. Without putting any words into the Bibleís mouth, this verse is simply saying that a voice invited John to come up to Heaven so John could see what would happen next. That is it. From this particular verse thatís all we get. It is a literal happening. John, whether through a vision or a literal transportation to Heaven is going to see the future. Thatís the understanding of this verse. Any thought beyond this is an interpretation.
Now some prophetic teachers say that this verse represents a pre-tribulation rapture. They say that the real meaning to this verse is that the church is raptured, or taken out of the world and no longer can be seen on earth in the rest of the book of Revelation. When the voice tells John to come up, they say the voice is really telling the church to come up, meaning the pre-tribulation rapture.
This verse is not clearly saying this. The idea of a pre-tribulation rapture from this particular verse is an interpretation only. Itís an idea derived from presuppositions, pre-conceived ideas. This idea should not be taught as the truth as seen in this verse. This idea should be taught as one interpretation of the verse, or a personal idea that goes beyond the scope of itís clear meaning. It is a secondary idea to the verses original meaning.
It is a mistake to put a secondary meaning to a verse and claim it as truth. We must use a disclaimer when we teach in this manner. Instead of saying, "this is the truth concerning Rev. 4:1", we should say, "this is my interpretation, or opinion of Rev. 4:1, whether right or wrong". Thereís a vast difference between the two statements.
We lead people astray when we claim our personal interpretation as truth. We should let the Bible speak for itself, and if necessary, we should state that our interpretation is only our interpretation. It may be right or it may be wrong. Yet many so-called teachers donít want to admit the possibility of being wrong, so they teach their interpretation as gospel truth.