THE BIBLE AND YOU
What is God's purpose? Is it to please us, or for us to please God? As you read the Bible, try and figure that question out for yourself. Over time, many people have attempted changing the meanings of the Bible. But, the Bible is still basically the same words. The Bible predicted long ago that it's message would be perverted.
This is one of the key questions to keep in mind as you study the Bible: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2ti 4:3-4) "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1jo 4:1) "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (act 20:30) "And their word will eat as doth a canker. (2ti 2:17) "ALL nations deceived." (rev 18:23)
AT THIS LATE TIME
The above verses, quoted from the Bible, the Word of God, stand as a warning to all people that the majority of the religious world claiming to be "Christian" would depart from the Truth of God. We are cautioned also that we cannot leave our instruction concerning the will of God to a separate class called the "Clergy": ministers, priests, pastors, or theologians. The only safe and scriptural course is for us to apply ourselves individually to the examination and study of God's Word, as the "noble" highly-commended believers at Berea examined the Scriptures to check Paul's words - "They searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so" (act 17:11).
During the present times, the Bible makes no distinction between a priestly class and the common people. That ended when the Law ended. The responsibility of searching the Scriptures rests with each individual. A humble, prayerful, consistent study of the Bible itself is the best - the only - way to arrive at a firm conviction of its truth. We grow closer to God and Christ by this exercise; realizing as we read that the natural mind of man, without this direction of God, is lawless and unruly.
In studying the Bible, we should always seek the assistance of God in prayer. It is important that we understand that it is God Who gives us wisdom in these things and can open our minds to see the beauties of His Word, if we seek it humbly. We will realize that the final Purpose of all things is to fill the earth with the glory of God, and that we are the very highly privileged means He is using to accomplish that Purpose, if we work with Him, and submit completely to Him. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it" (psa 127:1). But Paul assures us that: "Our labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1co 15:58). Bible Study is our connection with God. You may not understand that when you begin, but if you study the Bible seriously, and thoughtfully you will begin to see and understand this idea.
Bible study and reading should be done very carefully. We need to keep our minds centered on each word and phrase, and try to understand the relation of one verse to another. We must want to know AND OBEY the truth. We can develop a strong desire to investigate the Bible's pages to become very familiar with its loving message of instruction to us concerning the Way of Life.
A GOD INSPIRED BOOK
To begin with, we must recognize and accept the Bible as the God-inspired, infallible message of God to man. We must believe assuredly that - "God IS, and is a Rewarder of all who diligently seek Him" (heb 11:6).
Further evidence will strengthen our conviction of the truth of these propositions, as we advance into a study of the Bible as we see the internal and external evidence of its truth and Divinity, the sureness of its prophetic words. From what God has done, we will gain confidence that what He has yet to accomplish in the earth is man's only means of salvation from himself and his natural end.
By our investigation of this matter with an open mind, we will learn that this book, the Bible, does not speak like other books, but speaks with absolute authority, in such phrases as: "Thus saith the Lord" and "It SHALL come to pass..."
The Bible is a compilation of a number of books, written by many different faithful people over a long period of time: approximately 1500 years. The times and circumstances of its being written - periods of prosperity, and captivity and servitude - combine, under God's guiding hand, to bring forth a united message from book to book: unfolding a consistent plan of salvation, and illustrating mankind's need of God's mercy and salvation, unattainable by its own efforts. Though it was written down by many, God is the single Author of this work we call The Bible.
GENESIS TO DEUTERONOMY
The first five books, Genesis to Deuteronomy, were written by Moses, the great lawgiver of Israel. They are of first importance because they form the basis of all that follows. Herein we learn of the creation of the earth, and of its populating by animals and mankind. We learn of man's sad fall, and his punishment, and God's loving provision for his redemption; and again of man's failure at the time of Noah. We see the beginning of the Jewish race, in Abraham, and the appointing of them as a "Peculiar People" to God's service and use - "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself above all the nations that are upon the earth" (deu 14:2).
We find in these books of Moses the laws which God gave Israel to regulate their national existence, yet which throughout beautifully teach higher lessons of the coming of a Savior for all mankind, and which make constantly clear the exceeding sinfulness of sin in the eyes of God. The modern world, in its assumed "wisdom" generally questions the writings of Moses. But we will learn that we cannot have Christ without Moses - "If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." (luk 16:31). "Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he (Christ) expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (luk 24:27). "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me (said Jesus), for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (joh 5:46-47).
Christ taught with the writings of Moses. If Moses is not true, then Christ is not true. Christ is of course true and dependable. Moses and Christ stand or fall together.
JOSHUA TO ESTHER
The next 12 books, Joshua to Esther, show Israel's history for 1000 years. And they are much more than just history. They reveal God's attitude, His desires and principles of action in dealing with people and nations. We learn to love God and reverence Him for all He has done and is doing.
The book of Job illustrates the way God chastens and corrects His true sons and daughters; He does not forsake them, but will purify and refine them as gold. Job is considered by many to be the oldest written book of the Bible.
PSALMS TO THE SONG OF SOLOMON
Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon are messages of God-inspired wisdom, portraying acceptable conduct, character, and disposition.
ISAIAH TO MALACHI
The prophetic books, 17 in number, Isaiah to Malachi, contain God's message for Israel nationally, being warnings of coming judgment because of disobedience to God; but also joyfully revealing a day when Israel and the world shall rejoice in universal blessings and peace. The fulfillment of the prophecies on Israel in their scattering throughout the earth assures us of the bright side of these same messages, which tell us the day is very near when Christ will return to bless all nations, in the earth.
MATTHEW TO JOHN
Turning the pages to the New Testament, we find first the 4 Gospel records of the life of Christ, Matthew to John, revealing the manifestation of God in His Son, showing us a Way, or manner, of Life, to develop God's character: "BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT" (mat 5:48). Matthew has a certain aspect to it's language that indicates it was written from a very Hebrew perspective, in it's language and ideas.
The book of Acts illustrates the practical application of Jesus' command - "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned" (mar 16:15-16).
We learn from this book what it really means to devote our lives in all that we do to serve God and His Truth - and not ourselves and our pleasures.
ROMANS TO JUDE
The 21 epistles, Romans to Jude, which consist of letters to various ecclesias and individuals by the apostles of Jesus, expound the basic truths of the Gospel, God's purpose with mankind; and show us the way to a godly life, instructing and directing us in daily activities and associations in relation to each other and to God.
The final book, the rev of Jesus Christ, gives a panoramic view of nearly 2,000 years of world history, from the days of the Apostles to the establishing of God's Kingdom on the earth. It is shown in signs and symbols, whose meaning and application is learned from other parts of the Bible, and is designed to instruct God's servants concerning world events, so they may discern the Signs of the Times.
A CONSISTENT MESSAGE
The Bible is nothing less than a literary miracle! Although it is composed of 66 books, written over a period of many centuries, by different authors from kings to shepherds, it speaks one theme throughout, unfolding over the ages the eternal Purpose of God. Its very character and unity show it to be not possibly of human origin, and confirm the truth that - "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God" (2Ti 3:16).
Many of the writers sealed their testimony for God with their blood being shed by their enemies. The only way to account for the Bible is to see - in its composition, and its preservation to our time through the centuries - a supreme guiding hand inspiring and controlling the statements of its authors, causing them to be in complete agreement in all their records. It is impossible to account for the Bible in any other way.
The Bible can be understood by the person who seeks God in humble faith without the need of theological or churchly training in colleges or seminaries. Such institutions only produce priests or ministers educated or trained to preach the particular doctrines of their sects; whose textbooks are the products of generations of traditions, rather than the Bible message.
We must not leave - we dare not leave - our understanding of Bible principles of salvation to such religious leaders. We must apply ourselves to its pages in prayerful, humble petition to God to open our understanding. Personal investigation in this manner will open our minds to the beauties of God's Word and Purpose.
Read the Bible daily and thoughtfully. Use the course of daily Bible readings suggested in the booklet, The Bible Companion. Stick to it faithfully, and you will read the Old Testament once each year, and the New Testament twice yearly. The Bible Companion plan can be found at
If there is a book containing the revealed will of God and the plan of eternal blessing for man, IT IS THE BIBLE. It has no rivals. If it does not reveal a Way of life, there is none.
The Bible makes all who sincerely study it better, happier, and wiser. God calls people out of the world to be part of His family. With each bit of knowledge you gain from the Bible, you gain more responsibility to God. The offer He makes to people is great. It requires a response from the person who learns from Him.
* The only safe and scriptural course is for us to apply ourselves individually to the examination and study of God's Word.
* "Dispensation" is an arrangement of world affairs and order
* The final Purpose of all things is to fill the earth with the glory of God.
* To begin with we must recognize and accept the Bible as the God-Inspired, infallible message of God to Man.
* Infallible means incapable of erring or failing; certain.
* Salvation means deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.
* The Bible is a compilation of a number of books, written by many different people over a long period of time: about 1500 years.
* "If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. (luk 16:31)
* The final book, the rev of Jesus Christ, gives a panoramic view of nearly 2,000 years of world history.
1. What is the final and most important purpose in Creation, and in God's revelation in the Bible?
2. What frame of mind should we be in as we approach a study of the Bible?
3. What is our duty once we come to a knowledge of God's purpose?
4. In what way is the Bible different from books of the world?
5. By whom were the first 5 books written?
6. State 3 things we learn from these first five books of the Bible.
7. What New Testament evidence do we have for believing the words of Moses?
8. What do the books of Joshua to Esther illustrate?
9. What is the theme of the prophetic books?
10. Of what do the Gospel records speak?
11. What is shown in the book of Revelation?
12. What do we learn concerning the Bible from the fact that it was written over many years by different writers, yet telling a consistent and unchanging purpose?
13. Why can we not leave our religious instruction to church ministers or priests?