Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider at Tafelsig, South Africa (Image source: N A C YouTube Channel)
6 June 2023

The devil’s interpretation of the Scriptures in Matthew 4:1-11 reminds me of my Sunday School days back at Accra Central. All I knew was either the Pharisees or the Sadducees’ perspective of the scriptures. As I grew up, I also learnt much more about the New Apostolic faith and doctrine but little did I know about the interpretation of scriptures as entailed in the devil’s temptation of Jesus Christ. Ever since then, I have often mused: “What is the best way to interpret the Bible? Do we interpret it scientifically, legally, or do we just apply common sense?” 

I had mixed feelings when the Chief Apostle, during his sermon on Pentecost, recounted the event when Jesus was tempted by the devil. The Chief Apostle said the devil “even quoted the scripture and gave his interpretation as – ‘it said in the scripture’!”. So, Satan also knew the scriptures like we also do, then, this story must be very important to us Christians of today. Then, we dare not be ignorant of Satan’s tactics, ‘lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices’ (2 Corinthians 2:11).

But almost immediately, the Chief Apostle answered, that the help of the Holy Spirit was the best approach to understanding the Scriptures. Jesus Christ could recognize with the help of the Holy Spirit that the interpretation by the devil was not the will of His Father.

He asked: “How often do we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us?” We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and teaches us during divine services. Let us allow the Spirit to guide us in defending the purity and essence of the scriptures.

Anything from the Holy Spirit produces love, peace and joy, kindness, and self-control. Each time something happens or is said or published, let us kindly check if it emanates from the Holy Spirit, according to God’s will and purpose. The Spirit gives us power, love, sound mind, wisdom, and self-control. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can recognize the true interpretation of the scriptures, no matter who interprets it or how it is interpreted.