Why are there more than 41,000 christian denominations, when scripture tells us there is one body and one faith? The answer is that there is only one Spirit, and apart from Him, all man possesses is human knowledge, which does not grasp the things of Yah, because they can only be discerned by the illumination of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).
So many christians look to their English bibles, thinking those are the actual words the Holy Spirit inspired. No, your English bible is a translation of translations of hand-copied manuscripts. And, translations are merely “best-guess estimates” of the literal meanings of physical words.
All men can read the words of scripture—and, from man’s knowledge of literal words, myriad interpretations have followed. When a man comes to a human interpretation of literal words, and that interpretation differs, however slightly, from other human interpretations, a new denomination is born.
The words of scripture are just that—words. And, words have no power, for words are not alive. Words are just a tool to convey ideas, and the best man can do with the words of scripture is to devise interpretations of physical words into what he thinks are their literal meanings.
That is not the purpose of the scriptures, for they are not given to all men. They are given to Yah’s people (2 Timothy 3:17 explains exactly who the scriptures are given to).
But, because so many christians have nothing but man’s interpretations, they tend to equate scripture with the Holy Spirit Himself. They falsely think that their English interpretation of the scriptures is all truth, when no translation of scripture is free from human error and flaws.
Moreover, the literal, physical meanings of the words themselves are not the primary purpose of the scriptures. The spiritual meanings are, and those understandings do not come from man’s thoughts.
Look at Messiah’s disciples. They knew the literal words of scripture (being Jews, they were brought up being taught the scriptures—the tanakh (Torah, Prophets, and Writings)–the Old Testament, which was all they had at that point. They spent three years with their Jewish Messiah, who was indwelt by the Holy Spirit, so they were taught spiritual truth directly by Messiah Yahoshua.
However, after His resurrection, Messiah came to them, and explained that the scriptures they had learned actually spoke of Him, although they had never really understood that. They knew the scriptures physically—literally. But, they didn’t understand their actual meanings, which are spiritual.
Luke 24:45 tells us, “Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”
They knew the scriptures according to their human knowledge. It took the work of the Holy Spirit to open their minds so that they could grasp the spiritual meanings of the scriptures. That is not possible apart from the Holy Spirit.
It’s not the translated words, but the spiritual meanings behind the words, that are how the Holy Spirit uses His scriptures. And, those who believe their human knowledge of literal words gives them the Spirit’s truths actually deceive themselves.
Ultimately, what happens is that many christians equate their English translations of scripture with the Holy Spirit. And, they will pound their English bibles as if they have some supernatural ability to discern those truths with their carnal minds. They actually point to verses of scripture as their confirmation of salvation, which scripture cannot do.
Many of them will vehemently fight, day and night, to prove their human versions of “truth” are THE truth. That is a delusion of Satan, who wants people to think their human thoughts are spiritual truth.
So, when folks concentrate on this English version vs that English version, or quibble about what they think they know simply because of English words, they are actually keeping themselves FROM the Holy Spirit’s truths.
As long as a person thinks he has it all figured out, and considers his knowledge to be “truth,” he makes himself far less likely ever to see the actual truths of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the fiercest of christians, defending their human notions about an English translation of scripture, will often call the messenger of the Holy Spirit derisive names, and accuse those who actually DO have the Holy Spirit of being in a cult.
Messiah Yahoshua went through the same rejection by the most religious folks of His day—some going so far as to say that He was possessed by demons.
The question I would ask YOU is this: when you read what happened to the disciples in Luke 24:45, knowing that they didn’t understand the spiritual meanings of the scriptures before that time, WHEN did that happen with you? HOW did it happen? WHAT were you told?
Spiritual understanding of the scriptures does NOT come by making a decision, or by praying a sinner’s prayer, or by living according to commandments. It comes only by the Holy Spirit, not by the physical words of scripture alone.
So many christians accuse Messiah Yahoshua of being a liar in John 16:13, when He said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into ALL THE TRUTH; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you WHAT IS TO COME.”
Many christians at least IMPLY that Messiah was actually talking about their bible when He said that about the Holy Spirit.
For more information: Christianity’s Holy Spirit–Some Water and a Book