Is it possible that the God of heaven, Who made the earth and all that dwells therein, including man with his mind capable of conceiving the will of God, cannot give a will that can be understood by man? Man has stated various natural laws—rules of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and other complex subjects that the minds of men can understand exactly alike. It then follows that it is a reflection on our Creator for us to infer that men cannot understand the word of God alike. Who gave this word? God gave it.
Suppose we have three teachers who add simple figures, such as 8 and 9. Will they not get the same answer? What if one should say 8 and 9 are 17, another argues that it is 15, while the third argues that 19 is the answer? If the three were to apply for a position in a school system based upon these observations, which would get the job? You can see the answer. I can see the answer, and we see it exactly alike.
If an American citizen should say to two citizens of a foreign country that there are 60 pounds of wheat in a bushel, if they understood they would see it exactly alike. Is it possible that an American citizen can state a simple principle in a more understandable manner to two citizens of a foreign country than the God of heaven can speak or write in his will to man?
Our differences develop over things not found in the word of God. All too many people read the Bible to support their own ideas, rather than honestly and earnestly studying it for God’s truth. Man is commanded to understand what the will of God is. “But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand” (Matt. 15:9–10).
If people do not see the word of the Lord alike, it’s possible that none of them understand the word of the Lord. All who understand the truth will understand it exactly alike. All others do not understand the truth. It was possible in the days of the apostles for a man to not understand the word of the Lord. That’s why the angel spake unto Philip and said,
Arise and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And, he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither unto him and heard him read the prophet Esaias and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? (Acts 8:26-30).
Is it possible that such a high ranking officer misunderstood the truth which he was reading? He was evidently interested in religious matters, and demonstrated this fact by journeying several hundred miles to be in Jerusalem to worship God. Philip knew it was possible for him to not understand what he was reading, so he asked him the question, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” And he said, “How can I except some man should guide me?” Many people today would be highly insulted if a gospel preacher should ask them such a question. The difference between this man and the average citizen of today is that this man loved the truth. The average citizen today loves the faith and practices he has adhered to for so long.
Men understood the will of God until the many different religious theories were developed. One has a great deal of help today in misunderstanding the Bible. If we understand the truth at all, we will understand it alike. It is possible for one to understand the truth and another to misunderstand it, but they do not, “understand it differently.” Let us strive above all to believe the truth, to obey the truth, and trust God for His promises.