There is disagreement among many Christians and Jews who claim to get their knowledge and understanding from God’s Word the Bible. How can that be when every denomination thinks they are beholding of the truth? The word denominations means divisions. Most seem to be sincere and have a zeal and love of God without hypocrisy and have learned to tolerate their differences. So why are there so many differences and beliefs? The Bible teaches that there is one God, one Savior, one Baptism and so on. But the same book teaches why there are so many differences.
God uses many different ways of teaching. All of our learning tools were created from nothing attributed of men but of God. God uses symbols, numbers, figures of speech, a history of people and even nature as it were in how He teaches His children and His creation process. Second Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ”. Where should our growth come from, an institution, a seminary, some ones ideas?
Growth and understanding of Father’s Word is as natural as the growth of a new born child. As in the case of a young child, he or she doesn’t know that the teaching and advise of a parent is always available.
To grasp an understanding of this growth in a Christian life, we would need to use symbology and a reference to agriculture for the understanding of how a plant grows.
A farmer chooses his seed, goes out into his field and plants the seed into the ground. Before it can grow, the seed needs to receive water. The watering starts the growth of the plant. For the seed to grow properly, it needs continual watering. At the time of maturing, the crop is harvested. The farmer would never harvest a crop before it matures. That is the natural process and the Divine process is no different.
To explain the previous paragraph, think of the farmer as our Heavenly Father. The only seed that He would choose to plant is Jesus Christ because He alone was worthy to become a perfect sacrifice and yield a perfect crop. The field would be the world. The ground would be anyone ( we are made of clay therefore earthy) that His sacrifice paid the price for. They would then become members of His body through faith which brings forth a change of heart (repentance).
Many have taken that first initial step and put into practice what the Apostle Paul states in Hebrews 6:1 and 2. In verse 1 Paul admonishes us to go on to perfection and not laying again the foundation that a Christian would build upon. The word for perfection means maturity. Most have had that first rain called early rain. So why then has there been so much division among churchgoers? Whether one is of Judah, a Christian or a Muslim, all would agree that the things that they believe in are Godly and virtuous.
Someone once said that the events that would pertain to religion is compared to a person going to a movie theater and entering in the middle of the movie. One wouldn’t know the beginning plot and each would come to a rationalization that would make sense to him. We’ve all really come in at the middle of the movie and all of us have created our own plot until we were touched by God’s love and have been drawn as one of His children to Himself. Would God enter into His creation process without supplying an instruction manual? And if there is an instruction manual what would be our part in it? If we didn’t have a part in it then we wouldn’t need any instructions. God would do everything for us and we would be compared to living robots.
In reality, if one want’s to examine what Godly life is all about, one would need to start at the beginning. The only literature that mentions a beginning is the Holy Bible. Someone might scoff at the mention of the Bible but the Apostle Peter sums up nicely a Book that some say is full of errors, unbelievable, and pie in the sky hope. 2nd Peter 1: 20, “ Knowing this first, that no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”. Verse 21, “For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spoke as they were moves by the Holy Spirit”.
And John 8: 31, Then said Jesus to Those Jews which believe on him, “ If ye continue in my word, then are ye My disciples indeed; Verse 32, “ And ye shall Know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. Most believe they have the truth but it is important to consider that little word “if”. We need to continue in His word not somebody else’s word. That’s the written word the Bible, not in some church system or institution or saying of men that can’t be proven in the Bible. Deuteronomy 11;13–14 clears up why so many have their own version of truth. “ And it shall come to pass, If ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul”. Verse 14, “ That I will give you the rain of your and in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine , and thy oil. The first rain is compared to the milk of the word,(see Hebrews 12 and 13). The latter rain brings maturity and called strong meat in the word of God (Hebrews 5:14). Many Christians do not realize that one can start out with a good conscience and wonder why they don’t receive God’s blessings. The blessings would be a deeper understanding of the Word of God and what He expects of us not a big house or a fancy car.
The answer to why the latter rain is with held is in the book of Jeremiah 3: 1–4. Breaking into verse 3 reads, “ Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there had been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refuses to be ashamed”. Verse 4, “ Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth”.
God is our heavenly Father and we are all His children. As any parent, He wants what’s best for us and we need to be willing to listen to Him through His Word and not the teachings and imaginations’ of men. Jeremiah 5:23–24 continues with the reason why the latter rain is witheld, verse 23, “But these people have a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone”. Verse 24, Neither say they in their heart, ‘ Let us now fear the lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter rain in their season: He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest’.
Verse 25, “ your iniquities have turned away these things and your sins have withholden good things from you”.
Most churches and church systems raise their ministry from that early rain and never realize that they are lacking in the teachings that lead to maturity in God’s word referred to in the scriptures as the latter rain. Is it any wonder that there are so many different denominations believing different truths in the world? If they all were led by the Spirit of promise, from the one source, and all growing at their own pace toward maturity, they would all believe the same things and all would receive blessings, peace of mind and a understanding heart. But without using the tools
available by God to man, it would be an impossibility considering human nature and the urges of the flesh that hold us captive to ungodliness.
So the question is, what does God expect from His children? The book of Hosea gives us the answer. Hosea, 6;4,“ O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?” Here Ephraim and Judah are a reference to both Houses, the House of Israel and the House of Judah that were taken captive because of rejecting Father’s word. To continue in verse 4, “ for your goodness is as a morning cloud and as the morning dew it goeth away”. Their love for God is lukewarm and shallow. And verse 6, “For I desired mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. God wants His children to love Him. Why? Because we would be better off. The first commandment to love God is essential to our own wellbeing.
Zechariah the 10th chapter verse one says we need to ask for the latter rain. “ Ask ye the Lord rain in the time of the Latter rain; so the lord will make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass of the field”. We all need to prove to God that we would want to grow up as useful children.
James 5:7, “ Be patient therefore , unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the Husband–man waited for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until He receive the early and the latter rain”. That latter rain is for our maturity. Vs. 8, “ Be ye also patient, stablish your parts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.