It is important to understand why it is that the Bible appears to have contradictions. Let us affirm that in essence the Bible has no contradiction for it is divine truth and divine truth is infinite and in complete harmony.

The Word is divine truth that is accommodated down to mankind. In it there is an angelic level and an earthly level, and this has to be managed for man’s reception (which only the infinite presence and wisdom of God can do). Much of Mankind cannot receive divine truth in its essence. They cannot understand it, but what is worse they may understand it, and love it, and later turn against it, which is a terrible form of profaning. For this reason Divine truths in the literal sense of the Letter are veiled. By ‘veiled’ we mean that it has a meaning that represents the truth but is expressed in a simple or obscured meaning. This is clearly seen in parables that look like a simple story but have a deeper meaning. Jesus himself explains this when His disciples ask him why He speaks to the people in a veiled manner, but to them he speaks plainly.

This phenomenon in parables, that is well known, is true of all the words of the Holy Bible. This is why all the words of the Bible have an external (literal), and an internal sense. For the most part the words are veiled, and being so are called appearances of truth. They are made this way to accommodate to the perception of people, whose thoughts often do not rise above what they see with their eyes on earth.

It needs to be further understood that the external sense is a container and a protector of the precious internal. The internal can only be approached and treated with sincerity and integrity to the end. For those who would not do so the Lord providentially keeps them in an external understanding only for their own protection. As mentioned above if is a terrible state for anyone to take the Word in at one time with love and then turn against it later. This is a terrible thing, that must be prevented. Also, there are those who use the Word and its power for their own power and this also the Lord seeks to avoid. Because of all this there are some things which appear like contradictions, but as we said in its wholeness there is not a single contradiction in the Word. So, let’s look at some examples of ‘contradictions’ in the Bible.

It says “JEHOVAH repents,” Exodus 32: 1- 14; but elsewhere it is said that “JEHOVAH does not repent.” in Numbers 23: 19: 1, and Samuel 15. It is also said that “JEHOVAH visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” Numbers 14: 18; and it is also said that “a father shall not die for a son, neither a son for a father, but everyone shall die in his own sin.” Deut. 24: 16. In the light of the internal sense these passages are not contradictory, but are in perfect agreement.

Jesus says: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matt. 7: 8. But without understanding it might be believed that every one will receive what he asks; but doctrine explains that what is given is whatever a man asks in accordance with the Lord’s will; which the Lord teaches: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15: 7.

The Lord says, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6: 20. Without understanding it might be supposed that heaven is for the poor, and not for the rich; but doctrine teaches that the poor in spirit are here meant, for the Lord says:”Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5: 3.

Again, the Lord says: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” Matt. 7: 1, 2. Without understanding one might think they are not to assess the sins a criminal man; but one can pass judgment, provided it is just, for the Lord says: “Judge righteous judgment.” John 7: 24.

Jesus says: “Be not ye called teacher: for one is your teacher, even Christ. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is Your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.” Matt. 13: 8, 9, 10. One might think from this that we should call no one teacher, father, or master; but good doctrine teaches that we may do so in the natural sense, but not in the spiritual.
In another place Jesus said to the disciples: “When the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matt. From these words it might be concluded that the disciples were also to judge salvation, but they cannot judge any ones salvation, only Jesus. Understanding the nature of explains these things in every case. The Lord alone, who is omniscient, knows the hearts of all, and He is the judge. By His twelve disciples in the internal sense is meant the Church and the principles of truths and good that the church is to live by, and the church possesses these from the Lord by means of the Word; therefore we understand that it the Word which will judge every one. It does so because it is the truth and the true standard of life and in it is the presence of the Lord and these reveal a mans state of being.

There are many other passages in the Word similar to these that have seeming contradiction, and each must by understood in it’s own case by their internal and external meaning.

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