The reason it is hard for us to understand the bible is because it is written in figurative language or in parable which contains hidden meanings. When we try to understand the bible in the literal sense, it does not make much sense at all. Especially, the Book of Revelation sounds like a fantasy novel with dragon, war, beast coming out of the sea, a woman sitting on waters. Literally, these symbols and images do not make sense at all. That is why we have to know the parable and understand the hidden meaning in it.
Jesus and Parables
Matthew 13:34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
2000 years ago when Jesus came down to this earth, it was the same. Whenever he spoke to teach the kingdom of heaven, he spoke in parables. That is why it was hard for the people of the time to understand the meaning of the stories. Then why was he speaking in parable or in the figurative language instead of simple and easy expression?
Matthew 13:10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
|Revelation 20:11 There before me was a white hore, whose rider is called Faithful and True. Will God appear riding on a white horse in the last days?|
His disciples were curious about that too and asked him for the reason he was using the parables. He said that parable contains the secret of the kingdom of heaven, but the problem is the secret was allowed to know for everybody. It means he was separating through the parables the two types of people: those who are allowed to know the meaning of the parable and those who are not. That is why those who were not allowed to know the meaning were like those who had ear but could not hear and had eyes but could not see. They could not understand the meaning and they could not know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven.
How to understand the parable
Since each parable contains the secret of the kingdom of heaven, those who want to enter the kingdom of heaven must understand the meaning of the parable. Then how can we understand the menaing of the parable? Can we know the meaning of a parable in a newspaper, some dissertations by scholars, or in a library? No. The meaning of the parable can only be explained by the one who spoke the parable. Since the bible and the parables in the bible was given by God and Jesus, we must listen to God’s teaching.
Mark 4:33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Even though he spoke in parables in public, but whenever he was alone with his disciple (or God’s people who were allowed to know the meaning of the parable), he expained the true meanings to them so that they could know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. That is why to understand the true meaning of the parable we must take a look at the teachings of Jesus in the bible. Only through the bible can we understand the true meaning. Many people try to interpret the bible with their clever ideas which seemingly perfectly explains the meaning of a parable, but it should be considered as a theory until it is confirmed through the words of God in the bible.
Sealing of the bible
Even though Jesus came and taught all the parables of the bible, the teachings of Jesus was taken away by the work of Satan during the Dark Ages. Instead of following the teaching of Jesus, people started to interpret the bible by using man’s wisdom, Greek philosophy and finally the ture teachings of God was forgotten. But according to the bible a man cannot fathom the providence of God with his own wisdom and understanding.
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Ultimately all the truth was abolished and only falsehood spread out like weeds all through the world. (Matthew 13:24; 13:36) Even though there were many teachings about the bible and parables, there was no true teaching which could let us know the secret of the kingdom of heaven. About this situation, the Revelation says that the bible is sealed up with seven seals and no one can understand the meaning of the bible. Even though people have eyes they cannot see; ears, they cannot hear.
Revelation 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.
This is our present situation and the bible is sealed up with seven seals or complete seals because seven in the bible means completion or perfection. In this situation, who can expect to enter the kingdom of heaven?
The bible also prophesies that the seals will be broken and the parables would be explained in the last days.
Revelation 22:10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near.
Therefore, those who are living in the last days must know two things to receive salvation: first, they must know that all the teachings of God are parables and second, it is only through God and his words in the bible that we can understand the meanings of the parables in the bible. Jesus opened his mouth in parable to teach us the kingdom of heaven: “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mt 24:30), when the fig tree is blossoming again, “you know that he (the Son of Man) is near” (Mt 24:33).
Do “Clouds and fig tree” literally mean the clouds and tree? Or does it mean something else? Isn’t the answer easy? Since the bible says, “He did not say anything without using the parable.” Therefore, we must know these are all parables and it is only Christ himself who will be able to open the seals and give the true interpretation of the bible. That is why just like 2000 years ago he must come back as man in the flesh and teach us everything again so that we can know the meaning of the bible and to enter into the kingdom of heaven.