The Bible is a revelation from our Heavenly Father, about our Heavenly Father, i.e., his will and purposes. (1 Thess. 2:13) If we take the things we learn and apply them in our lives, we will live a life far more beneficial than those who do not. As we grow in knowledge, we will draw ever closer to God, the Giver of “Every good gift and every perfect gift.” (Jam. 1:17) We will discover the beauty of prayer. We will find that God is strengthening us to cope in times of trouble. If we live and walk in harmony with his Word, the opportunity of eternal life awaits us. (Rom. 6:2) However, there is but one problem that lies in our path. We have to know how to study our Bible if we are going to benefit from it. This author in this book will give you the absolute best information in this regard. Moreover, he will make it an interesting read as well as easy to understand. What lies below will serve as a motivation as to why Bible study is vital to our spiritual growth, as we learn to walk with God like never before.
The Bible Gives Us Answers to Questions about Life
The Bible gives us answers to questions about this life and the one to come, which can be found nowhere else, and offers illumination to its readers. Those who take in this life-saving knowledge are freed from the misunderstandings of life that dominate billions of others. For instance, here is one that might come to us as a shock. We are all Mentally Bent toward Evil.
Psalm 51:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Look, I was brought forth in error,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
King David had his adultery with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband exposed, for which he accepted full responsibility. His words about the human condition give us one reason for the evil of man. He says, “I was brought forth in error.” What did King David’s inspired words mean? Error: (Heb., ʿāwōn; Gr. anomia, paranomia) The Hebrew word awon essentially relates to erring, acting illegally or wrongly. This aspect of sin refers to committing a perverseness, wrongness, lawlessness, law breaking, which can also include the rejection of the sovereignty of God. It also focuses on the liability or guilt of one’s wicked, wrongful act. This error may be deliberate or accidental; either willful deviation of what is right or unknowingly making a mistake. (Lev. 4:13-35; 5:1-6, 14-19; Num. 15:22-29; Ps 19:12, 13) Of course, if it is intentional; then, the consequence is far more serious. (Num. 15:30-31) Error is in opposition to the truth, and those willfully sinning corrupt the truth, a course that only brings forth flagrant sin. (Isa 5:18-23) We can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.–Ex 9:27, 34-35; Heb. 3:13-15.
David stated that his problem was a corrupt heart, saying; surely, I was sinful at birth. He entered this world a sinner in nature long before he became a sinner in thinking, words, and actions. In fact, this internal corruption predated his birth, actually beginning nine months earlier when he was conceived in the womb. It was at conception that the Adamic sin nature was transmitted to him. The problem with what he did, sin, arose from what he was, a sinner.
What is sin? Sin: (Heb. chattath; Gr. hamartia) Any spoken word (Job 2:10; Ps 39:1), wrong action (Lev. 20:20; 2 Cor. 12:21) or failing to act when one should have (Num. 9:13; Jam. 4:17), in mind and heart (Prov. 21:4; Rom. 3:9-18; 2 Pet 2:12-15) that is contrary to God’s personality, ways, will and purposes, standards, as set out in the Scriptures. It is also a major sin to lack faith in God, doubting in mind and heart, even subtly in our actions, that he has the ability to carry out his will and purposes. (Heb. 3:12-13, 18-19). It is commonly referred to as missing the mark of perfection.
What is a sinner? Sinner: (Gr. hamartōlos) In the Scriptures “sinners” is generally used in a more specific way, that is, referring to those willfully living in sin, practicing sin, or have a reputation of sinning.–Matt. 9:10; Mark 2:15; Luke 5:30; 7:37-39; John 9:16; Rom. 3:7; Gal. 2:15; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:26; Jam. 4:8; 1 Pet 4:18; Jude 1:15.
David is not here casting the blame onto his mother, as God never intended mothers to conceive and give birth to children who would sin. Nevertheless, when Adam and Eve rebelled, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden, they lost their ability to pass on perfection. Therefore, every child was born missing the mark of perfection. The Hebrew term translated “sin” is chattath; in Greek, the word is hamartia. Both carry the meaning of missing the mark of perfection, namely, falling short of perfection.
The verbal forms occur in enough secular contexts to provide a basic picture of the word’s meaning. In Judges 20:16 the left-handed slingers of Benjamin are said to have the skill to throw stones at targets and “not miss.” In a different context, Proverbs 19:2 speaks of a man in a hurry who “misses his way” (RSV, neb, KJV has “sinneth”). A similar idea of not finding a goal appears in Proverbs 8:36; the concept of failure is implied.
|Genesis 6:5 The American Translation (AT)
5 When the LORD saw that the wickedness of man on the earth was great, and that the whole bent of his thinking was never anything but evil, the LORD regretted that he had ever made man on the earth.
|Genesis 8:21 The American Translation (AT)
21 I will never again curse the soil, though the bent of man’s mind may be evil from his very youth; nor ever again will I ever again destroy all life creature as I have just done.
All of us have inherited a sinful nature, meaning that we are currently unable to live up to the mark of perfection, in which we were created. In fact, Genesis 6:5 says we all suffer from, ‘our whole bent of thinking, which is nothing but evil.” Genesis 8:21 says that ‘our mind is evil from our very youth.’ Jeremiah 17:9 says that our hearts are treacherous and desperately sick.” What does all of this mean? It means that prior to the fall, our natural inclination; our natural leaning was toward good. However, after the fall, our natural inclination, our natural leaning was toward bad, wicked, evil.
We should never lose sight of the fact that unrighteous desires of the flesh are not to be taken lightly. (Rom. 7:19, 20) Nevertheless, if it is our desire to have a righteous relationship with God, it will be the stronger desire. Psalm 119:165 says, “Abundant peace belongs to those loving your law, and for them there is no stumbling block.” We need to cultivate our love for doing right, which will strengthen our conscience, the sense of what is right and wrong that governs somebody’s thoughts and actions, urging us to do right rather than wrong. It is only through studying the Bible that we can train the conscience. Once it is trained, it will prick us like a needle in the heart, when we are thinking of doing something wrong. It will feel like a pain in our heart, sadness, nervousness, which is the voice saying, ‘do not do this.’ Moreover, if we ignore our voice, it will grow silent over time and will stop telling us what is wrong.–Romans 2:14-15.
James 1:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
We have a natural desire toward wrongdoing, and Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:3-4), and he caters to the fallen flesh. James also tells us “each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15) We resist the devil by immediately dismissing any thought that is contrary to God’s values found in his Word. When any wrong thought enters our mind, we do not entertain it for a moment, nor do we cultivate it, causing it to grow. We then offer rational prayers in our head, or better yet, out loud so we can defeat irrational fleshly thinking with rational biblical thinking. The Apostle Peter, referring to the Devil wrote, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Pet. 5:9) While the Bible helps us better to understand the gravity of our fallen condition, this should not cause us alarm as the Bible also shows us how to control our mental bent toward evil. We can renew our mind (Rom 12:2), acquire the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16)), take off the old person and put on the new person (Eph. 4:20-24; Col 3:9-10), among other things.
The Bible Offers How to Get the Best out of Life Now
Another facet of benefiting from the Bible is that it shows us the way to get the best out of life now, even in imperfection.
1 Timothy 3:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 The overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
All of us can benefit now by being temperate, not just the overseers. What does being temperate mean? Knute Larson wrote, “He must also be temperate, or balanced, not given to extremes. Temperate comes from a word meaning “sober,” or “calm in judgment.” It carries the idea of objective thinking and clear perspective. A temperate person is free from the influences of passion, lust, emotion, or personal gain.
What did Paul mean by “sober-minded” (rendered self-controlled, LEB, HCSB) and how can we all befit from this as well? Sober Minded: (Gr. nepho) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’ Larson wrote, “All Christians are called to be self-controlled; this is an evidence of the Spirit’s life within. Here Paul required that leaders model this quality. A pastor is to be in control of himself, not given to anger, personal ambition, or passions. He is to be sensible and in charge of his life. Peter told all Christians to be “self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Without the power of God’s Spirit, the human spirit is left alone to navigate the forces of evil and personal weaknesses. By the Spirit whom God has placed in all believers, we are given the ability to live beyond these evil influences; we are enabled to have a self that is controlled not by fallen nature but by God’s kingdom goodness.” In just this one verse, simply looking deeper into just two words, we can see what personality changes we need to make that will make us a better Christian, a better person, and help us live a better life even in imperfection.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Richard L. Pratt Jr, wrote, “Paul insisted that the Corinthian believers purify themselves from everything that contaminates. The tabernacle instructions of Exodus 30:20–21 are evidently in view here. In the Old Testament, ritual washings symbolized the repentance and recommitment of worshipers. Paul applied this principle to the Christian life. Although the ritual washings themselves were not to be observed in the New Testament, the inward reality that they symbolized was to be observed. Note that Paul mentioned everything. No defilement is acceptable in the Christian life, however small it may be. In fact, Paul had in mind both body and spirit. Paul probably mentioned the body in light of his discussion of the temptation to religious prostitution. Corinth was full of opportunities for fleshly defilement that led to the defilement of the inner person. Behavior is not just external; it corrupts the spirit of a person as well. Neither the behavior of the body nor the condition of the spirit should be overlooked by believers.”
1 Corinthians 6:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Sexual Immorality: (Heb. zanah; Gr. porneia) A general term for immoral sexual acts of any kind: such as adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between people not married to each other, homosexuality, and bestiality. Richard L. Pratt Jr. wrote, “Flee … immorality. It is likely that the apostle had in mind Joseph’s example of fleeing Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:12). Paul instructed the young pastor Timothy in a similar way (2 Tim. 2:22). Rather than moderate resistance to immorality, Paul insisted on radical separation. Paul’s radical advice rested on the uniqueness of sexual sin. In contrast with all other sins, immorality is against one’s own body. The meaning of these words is difficult to determine. Many sins, such as substance abuse, gluttony, and suicide, have detrimental effects on the body. Paul’s words do not refer to disease and/or other damage caused by sin. Instead, his words are linked to the preceding discussion of 6:12–17. There Paul established that Christians’ bodies are joined with Christ so that they become “members of Christ” (6:15) himself. Sexual union with a prostitute violates one’s body by bringing it into a wrongful “one flesh” union, and by flaunting the mystical union with Christ (6:15). It is in this sense that sexual immorality is a unique sin against the body. It violates the most significant fact about believers’ physical existence: their bodies belong to Christ.”
In review, what have we discovered in these three texts? Is there any doubt that if we possess the quality of being sober-minded (self-control) that we will not have better health and better relationships. Through ‘cleansing ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit,’ we evade damaging our health. Finally, the marriage is on safe grounds by our ‘fleeing from sexual immorality.’
The Bible Offers How to Best Live In an Imperfect World
Another aspect of the Bible is that it will help us to find true happiness in this imperfect world that we live in, with the hope of even greater happiness to come. Bible knowledge helps us to discover the innermost harmony and satisfaction that this imperfect life offers, and gives us faith and hopefulness of an even greater one to come. It assists us to develop such pleasing characteristics as empathy, love, joy, peace, kindness, and faith. (Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 4:24, 32) Such characteristics will help us to be a better spouse, father or mother, son or daughter, friend, coworker, student, and so on.
The Bible helps us to See What the Future Holds
Another facet of the Bible is its prophecies, which will help us to understand where we are in the stream of time, and what is yet to unfold. Notice the conditions that are coming in the text below.
Revelation 21:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and he will dwell among them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be among them, 4 and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
21:3–4. For the third and final time John hears a loud voice from the throne (16:17; 19:5). The word for dwelling is traditionally translated “tabernacle” or “tent.” When the Israelites had lived in the wilderness after the exodus, God’s presence was evident through the tent (Exod. 40:34). Part of the reward for Israel’s obedience to God was, “I will put my dwelling place [tabernacle] among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Lev. 26:11–12). Israel’s disobedience, of course, led finally to the destruction of the temple.
The permanent remedy began when God became enfleshed in Jesus: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). A form of the same verb translated “made his dwelling” in John 1:14 is now used by the heavenly voice: he will live with them. Here, then, is the final eternal fulfillment of Leviticus 26.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God is a divine promise often made, particularly in context of the new covenant (Jer. 31:33; 32:38; Ezek. 37:27; 2 Cor. 6:16). In eternity, it will find full completion in its most glorious sense. One striking note here is that the word translated “people,” while often singular in Revelation (for example, 18:4), here is plural, literally “peoples.” This points to the great ethnic diversity of those in heaven.
The great multitude who came out of the Great Tribulation received the pledge of many blessings including the final removal of any cause for tears (7:15–17). Now this promise extends to every citizen-saint of the New Jerusalem. The picture of God himself gently taking a handkerchief and wiping away all tears is overwhelming. It pictures the removal of four more enemies:
• death—destroyed and sent to the fiery lake (20:14; 1 Cor. 15:26)
• mourning—caused by death and sin, but also ironically the eternal experience of those who loved the prostitute (18:8)
• crying—one result of the prostitute’s cruelty to the saints (18:24)
• pain—the first penalty inflicted on mankind at the Fall is finally lifted at last (Gen. 3:16)
All these belonged to the old order of things where sin and death were present. The last thought could also be translated, “The former things are gone.” No greater statement of the end of one kind of existence and the beginning of a new one can be found in Scripture.
The Bible helps us Share the Good News
Romans 10:13-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how will they hear without someone to preach? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have;
“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the inhabited earth.”
10:14a. Calling requires faith. How … can they call on the one they have not believed in? In the Old Testament, calling on the name of the Lord was a metaphor for worship and prayer (Gen. 4:26; 12:8; Ps. 116:4). No one can call out to God who has not believed in him.
10:14b. Faith requires hearing. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? More than anything else, this question is the crux of all missiological activity since the first century. God has ordained that people have to hear (or read, or otherwise understand the content of) the word of God in order to be saved. One who knows the gospel must communicate it to one who does not know it.
10:14c. Hearing requires preaching. And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Since no other media except the human voice was of practical value in spreading the gospel in the first century, preaching is Paul’s method of choice. And yet, in the media-rich day in which we minister, has anything replaced preaching as the most effective way to communicate the gospel? We thank God for the printed page, and even for cutting-edge presentations of the gospel circling the globe on the internet. But it is still the human voice that cracks with passion, the human eye that wells with tears of gratitude, and the human frame that shuffles to the podium, bent from a lifetime of Service to the gospel, that reaches the needy human heart most readily. Hearing may not require preaching in person today, but it always benefits from it.
10:15. Preaching requires sending. And how can they preach unless they are sent? Even when his servants were unwilling (e.g., Jonah), God has been sending the message of salvation to the ends of the earth from the beginning. Paul, a “sent one” (apostle, apostolos), was sent to the Gentiles, and he needed the church at Rome to help him. But he also wanted them to be available for God to send them. There were many, many Jews in Rome who were still stumbling over the stone in the path of salvation. How would they ever call on the name of the Lord unless someone is sent? Paul wants the church at Rome to get in step with those who have borne good news to Israel before, most specifically those who brought the good news of their deliverance from captivity in Assyria:
Six key terms, taken in reverse order, summarize God’s plan for taking the good news of the gospel to those in need: send, preach, hear, believe, call, saved.
With a final barrage of scriptures from the Old Testament, Paul proves his point that, in spite of sovereign election from God’s side of the equation, Israel is in a state of unbelief by her own choice. Personal responsibility is part of the ministry of the gospel, both in delivering it and in choosing whether or not to receive it. God’s responsibility was to get “the gospel” to Israel; it was Israel’s responsibility to act on it.
10:16–18. Unfortunately, not all the Israelites accepted the good news (the obvious implication being that some did—the remnant; cf. Rom. 9:27; 11:5, 25). Paul uses a situation in Isaiah’s day to illustrate:
The apostle John agreed with Paul’s assessment of Israel’s condition. Even though the Israelites saw Jesus’ miracles with their own eyes, “they still would not believe in him” (John 12:37). John then says this was in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:1, just as Paul did. Paul then reiterates what he said in verses 14–15, that faith can only come through hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. The word of Christ here is perhaps best taken as “the spoken words about Christ,” referring to the preaching of the gospel. Word is rhema, the uttered or spoken word as opposed to logos, the revealed word as expression of thought. A. T. Robertson has christou as an objective genitive (Robertson, 4:390), yielding “the spoken message about Christ.”
Is it possible that Israel did not hear—either in Isaiah’s day, in Jesus’ day, or in Paul’s day? Paul answers as if the answer would be obvious to anyone who cared to look: Of course they [heard]—and he uses another Old Testament quote to prove it, with another fresh application:
If we parallel Paul’s argument in Romans 1:20 with his argument here (Ps. 19:4 being the common element between the two), then just as all people everywhere “are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20) concerning the existence of God, so Jews everywhere are without excuse concerning the existence of their Messiah and his work. Having answered a first objection to Israel’s lack of responsibility, Paul answers a second.
The Bible Helps Us Achieve and Maintain Our Spirituality
Matthew 4:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
John Macarthur wrote, “4:4 It is written. All three of Jesus’ replies to the devil are taken from Deuteronomy. This one, from Deuteronomy 8:3, states that God allowed Israel to hunger so that He might feed them with manna and teach them to trust Him to provide for them. So the verse is directly applicable to Jesus’ circumstances and a fitting reply to Satan’s temptation.” Indeed, Christians are fed by reading and studying the Word of God. In addition, our faith is strengthened when we experience the benefits of applying God’s Word more fully and accurately in our lives as we walk with God, putting him first.
The Bible Helps Us Understand the Will and Purposes of the Creator
When we enter the pathway of walking with our God, we will certainly come across resistance from three different areas. Our greatest obstacle is ourselves because we have inherited imperfection from our first parents Adam and Eve. The Scriptures make it quite clear that we are mentally bent toward bad, not good. (Gen 6:5; 8:21, AT) In other words, our natural desire is toward wrong. Prior to sinning, Adam and Eve were perfect, and they had the natural desire of doing good, and to go against that was to go against the grain of their inner person. Scripture also tells us of our inner person, our heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 The heart is more deceitful than all else,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
Romans 7:21-24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 I find then the law in me that when I want to do right, that evil is present in me. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and taking me captive in the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
1 Corinthians 9:27 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Ephesians 4:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
Ephesians 5:15-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 buying out the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
There are horrific dangers and deceptions that lie within the world that is under the influence of Satan. God recognizes that we are imperfect, knowing that we have human weaknesses that he originally did not intend, meaning that he is aware of how difficult it is to walk in godly wisdom. He is aware that we are all missing the mark of perfection, and that we are all mentally bent toward evil. He knows that our natural desire is to do wrong, and our heart (inner self) is treacherous, and we cannot even know it. It is for this reason that he makes allowances for our imperfection. Jesus Christ offered himself as a ransom, covering our Adamic sin and our human weaknesses when we stumble at times, but only if we demonstrate trust in him.
We need to walk not as unwise but as wise. What does Paul mean by ‘wise’ and ‘unwise’ in this text? God has made known to us his plan of salvation, which was a mystery up until the time of Paul’s writings. At that time, he had lavished upon them/us, “in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.” (Eph. 1:8-9) Yes, God has afforded his people wisdom, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.” (Eph. 1:17-19) It would take a wise person to understand and appreciate the mystery of salvation, and the fact that they are required to bring their life into harmony with God’s magnificent plan of saving the world of mankind who are receptive to accepting Christ. To be wise also means that these ones fully grasp the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21), and are carrying out that will to the best of their ability. Therefore, the wise accept, value, and see the significance of wisely walking worthily with God. On the other hand, the unwise are those of the world of humankind who are alienated from God, living their life in the moment, walking in the desires of the flesh, because they see God’s Word as foolish.
Turning our attention to verse 16 of Ephesians 5, we see that the wise know how to buy out the opportune time from the world, even though they live in the world, but they do not use it to the fullest extent, unlike the unwise. Why, because they know that the world of wicked mankind is passing away. The wise one buys time back from this wicked world. Some of the areas that can be bought from are watching less television, less time playing on the computer, other forms of entertainment, not always working overtime, or maybe even not taking a promotion that would cause one to miss Christian meetings, so he or she can focus on the better things. Some of these better things are personal family time, family Bible study, personal Bible study, religious services, sharing the Good News with others, congregational responsibilities, and so on. Notice below that we were formerly unwise, but are now the wise.
Ephesians 2:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 And you being dead in the trespasses and your sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among whom also we all formerly lived in the desires of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Help in Understanding the Bible
The irony is that hundreds of millions of Christians are humble enough to recognize that the Bible is difficult to understand, it is a deep and complex book. There are tens of millions, who believe they understand everything they read, and for them, the Bible is easy to understand. The sad part is that many of the latter do not understand it any better than the former; they are simply putting a modern-day twist on Scripture and having it say what they want it to say. Even Peter in the first century, one of the pillars of the early church, an apostle of Christ, viewed the Apostle Paul’s letters as difficult to understand.
2 Peter 3:15-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
If we are to appreciate and apply the Bible in our lives, we must first fully understand it. We must know what the author of a Bible book meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his original intended audience. Then, we will be able to attach the significance that it has in our lives. If we are unaware of the correct way of interpreting the Scriptures, grammatical-historical interpretation, then we are going to be one of those ones who Peter spoke of as, “the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction.” Hundreds of millions of Christians unknowingly share an incorrect understanding of Scripture, because they are not aware of the principles of interpretation, and how to apply them correctly. More on Peter’s words in a moment.
Our first step is observation, to get as close to the original text as possible. If we do not read Hebrew or Greek; then, two or three literal translations are preferred (ASV, RSV, NASB, UASV). The second step is interpretation, What did the author mean by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his original audience. A part of this second step would be what the differences between the biblical audience and us are? The Christian today is separated from the biblical audience by differences in culture, language, situation, time, and often covenant. The third step is the implications or principles in this text? This is perhaps the most challenging step. In it, we are looking for the implications or principles that are reflected in the meaning of the text we identified in the second step. Part of this third step is making sure that we stay within the pattern of the original meaning when we determine any implications for us. The fourth step is the application. How should individual Christians today live out the implications and principles?
Certainly, no one would suggest that God intended such division and confusion. If each of us can give our own meaning to a text; then, it has no meaning at all, and has lost all authority over our lives. What does the Bible really teach? Look at the different views the Bible scholar have below.
(Inerrancy) Full inerrancy in this book means that the original writings are fully without error in all that they state, as are the words. The words were not dictated (automaton), but the intended meaning is inspired, as are the words that convey that meaning. The Author allowed the writer to use his style of writing, yet controlled the meaning to the extent of not allowing the writer to choose a wrong word, which would not convey the intended meaning. Other more liberal-minded persons hold with partial inerrancy, which claims that as far as faith is concerned, this portion of God’s Word is without error, but that there are historical, geographical, and scientific errors.
There are several different levels of inerrancy. Absolute Inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is fully true and exact in every way; including not only relationships and doctrine, but also science and history. In other words, all information is completely exact. Full Inerrancy is the belief that the Bible was not written as a science or historical textbook, but is phenomenological, in that it is written from the human perspective. In other words, speaking of such things as the sun rising, the four corners of the earth or the rounding off of number approximations are all from a human perspective. Limited Inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is meant only as a reflection of God’s purposes and will, so the science and history are the understanding of the author’s day and is limited. Thus, the Bible is susceptible to errors in these areas. Inerrancy of Purpose is the belief that it is only inerrant in the purpose of bringing its readers to a saving faith. The Bible is not about facts, but about persons and relationships, thus, it is subject to error. Inspired: Not Inerrant is the belief that its authors are human and thus subject to human error. It should be noted that this author holds the position of full inerrancy.
(Creation Account) Were the universe and man created within the past 6,000 to 10,000 years, or are the days creative periods. Or rather, is there a large gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, or the literary framework view correct that asserts that God was not having Moses address how He created the world, nor the length of time in which to do such? This view holds that this account in Genesis 1 is merely a literary outline that summarizes a theology of creation.
(Providence) Is God sovereign over all things, or does God limit his control by granting freedom? (Divine Image) Is the image of God our soul, or is the image of God our God-given authority, or is it our relations? (Human Constitution) Are we made up of a body and soul, or body, soul, and spirit, or are we the person a soul? (Atonement) Did Christ die in our place, or is it that Christ destroyed Satan and his works, or that Christ displayed God’s wrath against sin? (Salvation) Did God from eternity in the past predestine some to salvation, and others to eternal damnation, or is it that God loves everyone, and we can choose to accept or reject that love, with God not coercing them, while they must maintain an approved standing? (Sanctification) Is sanctification a declaration by God, or a holiness in Christ and personal conduct, or resting-faith in the sufficiency of Christ, or is it entire sanctification in perfect love? (Eternal Security) Do we retain our security in the Power of God, or do we need to persist in faith? (Baptism) Are infants to be baptized, or are only believers to be baptized? (Gifts) Is speaking in tongues a true sign of faith, or did speaking in tongues die out after the first century C.E.? (Millennium) Is there to be a rapture before the reign of Christ, or are we working toward and waiting for a coming reign of peace, or is the thousand-year conquest of Satan symbolic? These sorts of questions could go on for hundreds of pages.
Help in Teaching the Bible
If we are to fulfill the great commission, that Jesus gave to every Christian, to proclaim and to teach the Good News, we must accurately understand it ourselves first. It was in the spring of 31 C.E., and Jesus was about to speak to a very large, mixed crowd on a mountainside, who were anxiously awaiting what he would teach them. He did not let them down in the least, as he was nothing short of astounding in what and how he taught them. “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching.” Astonished: (Gr. thambeō; derivative of thambos) This is one who is experiencing astonishment, to be astounded, or amazed as a result of some sudden and unusual event, which can be in a positive or negative sense. What was so special about his way of teaching, in comparison to what they had been hearing from the Jewish religious leaders? He taught with authority from the Scriptures. He quoted or referred to the Old Testament, to support what he was saying. The Jewish religious leaders referred to other Rabbis as their authority.
At the end of his ministry here on earth, Jesus told all of his disciples that they too were to be teachers. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20, ESV) The apostle Paul also exhorted Hebrew Christians of their responsibility to teach when they were trying to get away with doing the minimum possible. “For in view of the time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things of the words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” (Hebrews 5:12) Paul also told Timothy, “For a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be kind to all, qualified to teach, showing restraint when wronged,”–2 Timothy 2:24.
What about us? Sadly, survey after survey over the last 35 years has shown that 90+ percent of Christians today are in the same position as what Paul had said to the Hebrew Christians. “For in view of the time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things of the words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” (Heb. 5:12) On this verse, Thomas D. Lea wrote, “First, he said, ‘You’ve been Christians long enough to be teachers, but you still need instruction in the ABCs.’ They should have been able to pass on their basic understanding of the Christian message to others. Instead, they needed a good review of the elementary matters themselves. Not only had they failed to move forward in their understanding; they had lost their grasp of the elementary truths of God’s word. ‘If the dark things do not become plain then the plain things will become dark’ (Thomas Hewitt). Second, these believers were in need of milk, not solid food! The term milk represents a beginning level of instruction for Christians. The term solid food describes advanced instruction. Both the milk phase and the solid food phase were important and essential. However, someone who never reached the solid food stage was seriously defective. … The writer of Hebrews was concerned that his readers should be showing signs of Christian maturity. They were still caught up in issues only ‘baby’ Christians found to be important.” Do not be troubled by these words, as to biblical illiteracy among the Christians today, the church and its leaders bear most of the responsibly by far, with some going to the churchgoer as well.
Joshua 1:8-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid, and do not be dismayed, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.”
We see that we need to meditate on God’s Word day and night (See also Ps. 1:1-3). The day and night is really hyperbole for reading it every day. The Hebrew word behind meditate (haghah) can be rendered “mutter.” In other words, as we read, we are to read in an undertone, slightly out load, like muttering to oneself. The process of hearing the words increases our retention of the material dramatically. As Bible students we read to understand and remember what we read, and we are obligated to share this good news with others. Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon (translated by S. Tregelles, 1901, p. 215) say of haghah: “Prop[erly] to speak with oneself, murmuring and in a low voice, as is often done by those who are musing.”
The last phrase in verse 8, “you will have good success” can be rendered to “act with insight.” How was Joshua to acquire this ability “to act with insight”? He was to meditate on God’s Word day and night. What is the equation of Joshua 1:8? If Joshua were to read meditatively (in an undertone) from God’s Word daily, applying it in his life, he would be able to act with insight, resulting in his prospering. Of course, the prospering is not financial gain. It is a life of joy and happiness in an age of difficult times. It is avoiding the pitfalls that those in the world around us suffer daily. Moreover, it does not mean that we are to prosper or be successful in an absolute sense because bad things happen to good people. We must add the qualifier, “generally speaking,” if we follow God’s Word we will have success.
Basics of Biblical Interpretation
Step 1: What is the historical setting and background for the author of the book and his audience? Who wrote the book? When and under what circumstances was the book written? Where was the book written? Who were the recipients of the book? Was there anything noteworthy about the place of the recipients? What is the theme of the book? What was the purpose for writing the book?
Step 2a: What would this text have meant to the original audience? (The meaning of a text is what the author meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his readers.)
Step 2b: If there are any words in our section that we do not understand, or that stand out as interesting words that may shed some insight on the meaning, look them up in a word dictionary.
Step 2c: After reading our section from the three Bible translations, doing a word study, write down what we think the author meant. Then, pick up a trustworthy commentary, like CPH Old or New Testament commentary volume, and see if you have it correct.
Step 3: Explain the original meaning down into one or two sentences, preferably one. Then, take the sentence or two; place it in a short phrase.
Step 4: Now, consider their circumstances, the reason for it being written, what it meant to them, and consider examples from our day that would be similar to theirs, which would fit the pattern of meaning. What implications can be drawn from the original meaning?
Step 5: Find the pattern of meaning, i.e., the “thing like these,” and consider how it could apply to our modern day life. How should individual Christians today live out the implications and principles?
We know that Scripture makes it clear that there is only one acceptable way of worshiping God, the way outlined in God’s Word. Everything that we believe and do needs to be based on that Word, and our understanding of that Word needs to be accurate. There are 41,000 different Christian denominations, and clearly, not all are on the path of doing the will of the Father as outlined in the Bible, for Jesus said, in that day he will say to some, “depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matt 7:23) We can either place our trust in man, who bickers and argues over what the Word of God means, or we can take the Bible’s point of view itself. After all, it is the inspired Word of God, which is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”–2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Milton H. Terry wrote, “It is an old and oft-repeated hermeneutical principle that words should be understood in their literal sense unless such literal interpretation involves a manifest contradiction or absurdity.” Robert L. Towns writes, “The Bible is the best interpreter of itself. As we study the Bible, we should learn to compare the Scriptures we are studying with other relevant passages of Scripture to interpret the Bible.” This book is the first step, HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE. As to the second step, the reader can take advantage of the INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics by this author (ISBN: 978-1-945757-07-5), so that we are not entirely dependent on the interpretation of others. In other words, we will be able to do as the Bereans did with the Apostle Paul, and for which he commended them,
Acts 17:10-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Paul and Silas in Berea
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Note that they (1) “received the word with all eagerness,” and then went about (2) “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” If the apostle Paul was to be examined to see if what he said was so, surely uninspired commentators must be examined as well.
Are We Willing to Spend Time Each Week to Understand the Bible?
Many want to understand, to be fearless, and capable of sharing Bible truth with others. However, if this is to be the case, we must be willing to buy out a small amount of time from the wicked world under the influence of Satan that surrounds us (2 Cor. 4:3-4; 11:13-15) and invest it into a small study program. Many people want to do many things, but they allow their time to be used on frivolous pursuits. The thought of, ‘oh, if only I had started six months ago, I would be so far along now!’ Do not let another six months slip by.
Colossians 4:5-6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, buying out for yourselves the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
The recommendation once more is to set aside one hour each day for God. If we are able to spend more time, this is entirely up to us. What must be realized is just how much time we give to the world around us, a world that lies in the hands of Satan. Is it too much to ask that we give one hour a day to the Creator of life? We can simply get up one hour earlier than we normally do, and we will have our study in before the day even gets started. The beautiful thing about that plan is; it will start our day on a spiritual track, meaning a better day from the beginning.
Psalm 92:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 How great are your works, O Jehovah!
Your thoughts are very deep!
1 Corinthians 2:10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
There is no doubt that God’s thoughts are deep, these deeper things of God are very complex at times, and as Peter tells us in the above, they are not easy to understand. Therefore, we must dig deeper by the use of the many wonderful tools on the market, along with prayerful reflection as we carry on in our studies. However, even before we begin that, we need to know (1) HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE, and (2) that our way of INTERPRETING THE BIBLE is correct.
Psalm 139:17-18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 119:160 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
160 The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever.
As was true of the Psalmist, we should view God’s sharing His thoughts as very precious. We should be very thankful and appreciative that we have access to ‘the sum of God’s Word’ as being truths that He has revealed to us, and therefore, we must dig deeper in the sum of God’s Word.
How Does God Communicate With Us Today?
Setting any possible emotionalism aside, we must ask ourselves if God is truly real to us. Can we say that God is our friend? James tells us in his inspired letter, “‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness,’ and he was called a friend of God.” We all have heard the say, “actions speak louder than words.” Abraham’s actions evidenced that he had a deep, heartfelt faith, and truly loved God. He showed in his life that he was not just a friend of God in mere words but also in deed. The more we draw closer to God in both word and deed, the more he will draw closer to us.
What are some things that we can do to draw closer to God? The primary ways that we can draw closer to God are through communication with him. In prayer, we communicate with the Father. King David, in prayer, said, “Before him I pour out my complaint; before him I tell about my trouble.” (Ps 142:2) How does God communicate with us? The only people in Bible times to receive direct communication from God (namely, spoken audible direction, visions, dreams, and angelic messengers delivered divine messages), were Patriarchs like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Joshua. There were also the Judges like Gideon, Ehud, and Samson. There were the Kings like David, Solomon, Jehu, and Hezekiah. Then there were the Prophets like Elijah and Elisha, or Isiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Then, there were the Minor Prophets like Jonah, Micah, and Joel. Then there were Priests like Aaron and Ezra. Then, after the Babylonian exile, there were Governors like Zerubbabel. After that, we enter the New Testament era with John the Baptist. Then, there were the Twelve Apostles like John, Peter, James, and Matthew. Then, there were the Traveling Apostles or Evangelists like Paul and Philip. There were also more than one hundred Traveling Companions of the apostle Paul such as Timothy, Titus, Barnabas, and Tychicus.
Persons such as these might receive a message from God through a dream or night vision, where pictures of God’s message or purpose are placed on the mind of the sleeping person. The Bible says, “Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night.” (Dan. 2:19) We are also told, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head [that is, in his mind] as he lay in his bed.” (Dan 7:1) There were also visions given when a person was awake, which was actually the more common way of communication. We are told, “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that appeared to me at the beginning.” (Dan. 8:1) Of Ezekiel, it is said, “In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” (Eze 1:1) The apostle John tells us, “And this is how I saw the horses in the vision and those seated on them …” (Rev. 9:17) Then, we have the apostle Peter who fell into a trance and he saw the heavens open, giving him a pictorial vision of his next assignment. (Ac 10:9-17) There are times when angels served as direct representatives of God and visited persons such as Abraham, Moses, Daniel, the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah, and even Mary. The prophet Zechariah was having a vision of some horsemen and being visited by and angel. Then he said to the angel, ‘What are these, my lord?’ And the angel who was talking to me said, “I will show you what these are.” (Gen. 22:11-12, 15-18; Zech. 1:7, 9) The Bible authors “were inspired by God,” ‘speaking from God as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit.’–2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21.
The Bible is a perfect guidebook that was penned to get God’s people up unto the time of Armageddon. The only other future books to be written are to come during the millennial reign of Christ. Once the Scriptures were closed in the first century with the death of the last apostle, John, there was no need for any more books to be written or any more prophets. They then and we now have the complete revelation of God to get us to the second coming of Christ. The only person(s) we have needed since the closure of Scriptures in 100 C.E. has been interpreters. There are two kinds of interpreters. One is a translator of the Scriptures, like Jerome and his Latin Vulgate, John Wycliffe with the first English Bible (written by hand), William Tyndale with the first English Bible in print, Martin Luther, and the German Bible, to mention just a few. From our modern day era, we have translators on translation committees, who have given us the American Standard Version (ASV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the English Standard Version (ESV), as well as the forthcoming Updated American Standard Version (UASV). These ones take the written language of our Old Testament Hebrew-Aramaic manuscripts and our Greek New Testament manuscripts and render them into our modern-day languages. We shall call these specialists Bible Translator Interpreters. Who are the other interpreters?
All Christians are the other interpreters, ones who convey the meaning of our modern-day translations, namely, what the Bible authors meant by the words that they used. We explain the Bible by giving others the meaning, significance, and understanding of the Word of God. We shall call ourselves, who also are a specialist, Christian Evangelist Interpreters. What is an evangelist exactly? Who all are expected to serve in this role? Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Why are Christians specialists like the Bible Translator Interpreters? It is because of the groundwork that needs to be laid. Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they are able to grasp what they are hearing. The Christian Evangelist Interpreter is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics.
Again, we quote what the apostle Peter said of the apostle Paul’s writings, “some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Pet. 3:16) The Christian Evangelist Interpreter needs to read, study, and understand the verses of scripture, in order to obey the command by Jesus to teach and make disciples. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) In order to teach another, we must clearly understand the Word of God ourselves first. Otherwise, how do we, 2,000-years removed from Peter, who felt the Scriptures were hard to understand, make it understandable to others? When we fully, completely, and accurately understand the Word of God; then, we can give reasons as to why it says what it say, and what the author meant by what he wrote. Moreover, we are also able to express it in our own words. There are two reasons why need to be absolutely certain that what we are conveying is accurate. First, it reflects poorly on us, our church and our denomination, and more importantly on God. Second, Peter said it himself, “the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” Whether we distort the Word of God intentionally (false teachers), or unintentionally because we were too busy in Satan’s world to buy out the time to understand better, it all ends the same way, our destruction.
We need to understand the cultural differences in the Scriptures, the Bible backgrounds, as we are 2,000-years removed from the New Testament era and 2,500-3,500-years removed from the Old Testament era. We need to appreciate original language words that are in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. This does not mean that we need necessarily to learn biblical Hebrew and Greek. Some tools can aid us in this. We need to take what the author meant out of the text, not read our twenty-first-century mindset into the text. We need to understand the context. Context is the words, phrases, or passages that come before and after a particular word or passage in a speech or piece of writing and help to explain its full meaning. Context is also the circumstances or events that form the environment within which something exists or takes place. We need to be observant as we study, taking not of persons, place, things and circumstances. Discover who wrote it, what the purpose was, what is being conveyed when it was written, and why it was written. Are we reading historical texts like Kings and Chronicles, or poetical like the Psalms, apocalyptic such as Daniel or Revelations, prophetic like Isaiah or Jeremiah, the laws like Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, or letters like Ephesians, Galatians, Hebrews, or the Gospels? What do we know about the people involved? Can we say that we know anything about Alexander, Demas, Hermogenes, Asyncritus, Hermas, Julia, Philologus, and Phygelus? What are some of the keywords that we can investigate further? What is the main theme of the Bible book we are studying? Interpret literally, unless the author did not mean for it to be taken literally. We need to understand how to apply what the author meant to our lives.
What if we have not been properly trained in how to properly study God’s Word? You are now holding the best book on that subject. It can be very disheartening to struggle through Bible reading and study when we do not know how to properly study, to interpret the Scriptures correctly. In addition, it is difficult to form a long for personal Bible study if we have had no training. We have taken a long way around to answer, how does God talk to us today? Should we expect dreams, visions, a voice from heaven, or a visit from an angel? What about a prophet, should we expect that God would raise up another prophet? No, those days ended over 2,000-years ago. God speaks to us when we regularly read his word, the Bible, and meditate on it.
Roadblocks to Regular and Consistent Bible Reading and Study
Psalm 119:97 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Literally billions of men and women have a Bible. However, while they may own a Bible and even carry the Bible to their church meetings, can they honestly say that they love God’s Word? Is a person’s claim that they love the Word of God true if they are irregular and inconsistent in reading and studying it? Certainly not, the claim would be false based on their actions. On the other hand, there are former atheists, who had absolutely no respect for the Bible, who now read and study it daily now that they have converted to Christianity. They have grown to love God’s Word, and now are very much like the Psalmist, meditating on the Word of God “all the day.” Let us now look at tom roadblock that has gotten in the way for some, so that they have not read and studied their Bible consistently.
- IT REQUIRES DISCIPLINE
Today, many associate discipline with punishment that is designed to teach somebody obedience. For Christians they see discipline as church rules: the system of rules used in a Christian denomination in order to keep the church organized, clean, and pure. This is not how the word is being used here. The primary meaning of discipline is training to ensure proper behavior: the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior. Someone, who regularly and consistently cleans their house, mows their lawn, makes their doctor’s visits, cooks family meals, holds down a job, is a disciplined person. The same hold true of reading and studying the Bible, as well as preparing for and attending church meetings. If they are failing to do so; then, the Word of God is not their priority. Moreover, by extension, growing close to God is not their priority either because only by growing in knowledge of God can one draw closer to him.
Without seeming too insulting, it really comes down to being lazy. If we fail to carry out regular Bible study, prepare for Sunday’s Christian meeting, and even fail to attend that Sunday, yet we go out shopping later that day, or turn on the football games, where are our priorities? Thus, a lack of discipline has become a problem that we must overcome. If we have the time to do things that we desire to do; then, these things are close to our heart. What do we do during our seven-day week? Do we read newspapers and magazines? Do we surf the internet and regularly post on social media? Do we go shopping? Do we watch sports? Do we have a garden that we care for, a pet that we are taking care of, go out to eat, take in a movie, and so on. Then, we need to ‘buy out’ the time from other activities in order to read and study the Bible regularly. (Eph. 5:16) If we fail to buy out this time; then, our claim that we love God and his Word is simply untrue. We may try to rationalize why we are too busy but that will be irrational thinking. We need to have a genuine love for God and for people that need saving, being willing to make personal sacrifices, if we are going to grow in knowledge, so are to share biblical truths with others, to make disciples. (Matt. 22:37-39; 28:19-20; Phil. 4:13) We must cultivate qualities that make us a better Christian, a better disciple, to draw closer to God, namely discipline.
- INEXPERIENCED AND UNSKILLED BIBLE STUDENT
Experience is a knowledge or skill gained through being involved in or exposed to something over a period. I am not mechanically inclined. My father died when I was four, I had no older brother to train me, no uncles, and so I grew up without learning how to repair go-carts, mini bikes, cars, or motorcycles. I also never learned how to fix things around the house. All of my friends through life had these skills, which was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because I had a friend that would repair things for me. I was always clumsy around tools and had no real self-confidence in this area.
The same is true with Bible study. If we have always been told that the Bible is easy to understand, just interpret it as you read it because it is straightforward, we were extremely misinformed. Here again, is what the apostle Peter said about the apostle Paul’s writings, “also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Pet. 3:16) This is not the apostle Peter that Jesus found on a fishing boat, whom Jesus said ‘be my disciple,’ or the apostle Peter that denied Jesus three times. Rather this is the apostle Peter 35-years later, who was one of the main leaders of the entire church, who had decades of study and teaching under his belt, not to mention being an inspired author himself. This experienced and highly knowledgeable, wise apostle Peter, felt that some things in Paul’s letters were “hard to understand.” We are 2,000 years removed, of a different language, culture, and historical setting, and we are going to be so bold as to say, the Bible is easy to understand. Peter also said the ‘untaught were distorting the Scriptures.’ There is the important correlation if you are untaught; you have no choice but to distort the Scriptures. Sadly, Peters last words should be a wake-up call of all of us, ‘distorting the Scriptures, to our own destruction.’ One thing that this book will bring its readers is this; we will acquire the skills on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE. We will also learn how to use the Bible study tools as well.
- LACKING REASONS, ENTHUSIASM & MOTIVATION
If we were never disciplined to regularly and consistently take care of the important things in life and we lack the experience and skills to do so, how are we going to have enthusiasm and the motivation? Reasons are defined as a motive or cause for acting or thinking in a particular way. Enthusiasm is defined as a passionate interest in or eagerness to do something. Motivation is defined as the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something. It is the intention of this author to give the reader many motives, to help form a passionate interest and eagerness, as well as incentives to regularly and consistently read and study their Bible.
- A COMPLETE HEART
We cannot be halfhearted or in want of heart, or even double hearted. (Ps 12:2; Pro. 10:13) As a reader of hearts, God can see any insincere or feigned behavior on our part. He is well aware of our actions and thinking, even when we are alone. He knows our heart condition, what we are trying to do with our lives. If our heart is good, and we love God’s Word, he will know. (Josh. 1:8-9; Ps. 1:1-3; 119:97, 101, 105, and 165) A person who is halfhearted is lukewarmly worshiping God. (Ps 119:113; Re. 3:16) a person who is double hearted (literally, with a heart and a heart), is trying to serve two masters, or deceivingly saying one thing while thinking something else completely. (1 Ch. 12:33; Ps 12:2) Jesus clearly condemned such double hearted hypocrisy (Matt 15:7-8) A person being in want of heart is one who lacks good sense.
If we are not buying out the appropriate amount of time for reading and Studying God’s word, this is because we lack a complete heart. It is because we are not aware of our spiritual needs. Worse still, we might be aware of our spiritual needs but have chosen to ignore them, which will result in a callused, unfeeling heart. Jesus pointed out that humans have an inborn, essential spiritual need. We long to be fed by God’s Word, which gives meaning in our life. In dealing with the heart, let us look at one of Jesus illustrations. The parable of the sower talks about three different types of soil, which can be viewed as three different types of heart conditions.
Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The Parable of the Sower
3 Then he told them many things by parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow; 4 and as he was sowing, some seeds fell alongside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. 8 Still others fell upon the good soil and they began to yield fruit, this one a hundredfold, that one sixty, the other thirty. 9 The one who has ears, let him hear.”
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
13:3–8. The many things Jesus spoke in parables certainly included what was written in 13:3–52. It is possible that there were other parables that Matthew did not record.
The parable of the sower requires little comment, because Jesus himself explained the parable in 13:18–23. Note that the farmer sowed seed or several different kinds of soil. The soil along the path (13:4) would likely have been hard-packed from much traffic. There would be little or no vegetation or loose soil to hide or bury the seeds, so the birds could easily find them. The birds represent the devil, “the evil one” (13:19). Note also the variable quality of even the good soil (13:8); even among that which is conducive to fruit bearing, some soils do better than others.
As is common in storytelling today, Jesus used patterns of threes—three bad soils and three variations on the good soil. Usually the first two examples set a pattern, and the third example departs from that pattern, revealing the central message of the story. In this parable, the first three soils set the pattern of poor response to the seeds, and the fourth soil was the contrasting positive example.
13:9. Jesus repeated the challenge that Matthew first recorded in 11:15, after identifying John the Baptizer with “Elijah, who was to come.” He will repeat the same wording in 13:43, and the challenge is explained thoroughly in the following context (13:10–17).
In fact, the distinction between those who have ears to hear and those who do not is central to understanding all of Matthew 11–13. In chapters 11–12, the conflicts revealed the contrast between those who willfully chose to disbelieve in the face of overwhelming evidence, and those who humbly accepted the evidence and responded in faith and obedience to the Messiah. Those who had ears to hear would not only find understanding about the parable, but would realize that the parable was talking about their willingness to hear. Those who did not have “ears to hear” would go on in denial about the parable’s implications about their own unwillingness to hear.
13:18–19. These verses connect Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the sower and the soils (13:18–23) with the disciples’ privilege as hearers of the truth. Jesus was saying to them. “Because you have responded to what you have already seen with eyes, ears, and hearts of faith and humble obedience, I will show you even more. You have proven faithful with little, so I will trust you with much.”
Jesus identified the seed as the message about the kingdom—its arrival in Jesus and the way to participate in this kingdom. The “message about the kingdom” is probably identical to the “good news of the kingdom” in 4:23; 9:35. 24:14.
The soils were the issue. Throughout the parable’s explanation, Jesus compared the four kinds of soil with various kinds of people who had been exposed to his teaching. The first soil, that “along the path” (13:4), was packed and hardened by traffic. It represented the person who does not understand the word he had heard. The person represented by the hardened soil is one who chooses not to understand rather than a person who wants to understand but cannot. Such a person may actually understand Jesus’ teaching in a literal sense but refuse to accept its truth. The biblical concept of “understanding” goes beyond the idea of mental comprehension. It sometimes includes volitional acceptance. In 21:45, the chief priests and Pharisees knew the meaning of Jesus’ parable concerning them, but they refused to accept its truth.
The person who refuses to accept the word of God will fall victim to the evil one (Satan, represented by the birds in 13:4), who comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. If given even the slightest opportunity, Satan and his evil forces—archenemies of the kingdom of God—are able to remove or distort the truth, thus making that person even less likely to accept the truth in the future. This is one manifestation of the principle Jesus taught in 12:30: “He who is not with me is against me.” To refuse to accept his word is to move away from him. There can be no objective neutrality.
Many people who were exposed to the words and works of the Messiah (especially the religious leaders) fell into this category. They rejected him without any second thoughts.
13:20–21. The rocky soil (13:5–6) receives extra attention in both the parable and its explanation because this person’s response to the truth follows a two-stage pattern. His initial response is unreserved and emotional—joyful acceptance—but only because the circumstances are favorable. The cost of commitment is not yet obvious. This person’s commitment is not deeply rooted. We might say that the truly committed “pay their dues up front,” but the marginally committed cancel their membership when payment comes due. The cost of commitment to the Messiah comes in the form of trouble (thlipsis, “tribulation”) or persecution (diogmos) that come because of the word. As quickly as this individual had committed, just as quickly he defected, distancing himself from the word or message.
There is debate as to whether such a person is truly saved. This question cannot be answered from Jesus’ words, because it is not related to his purpose in the parable, and he does not make the answer clear. It is doubtful than the person was expressing true faith from the start.
13:22. The soil with thorns (13:7) is also assumed to produce some initial growth, as did the rocky places (13:20). But the influence which draws this person away from a sustained interest is not persecution but competing “gods”—the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. Rather than being driven from the truth by hardship, this person is lured away from the truth by promises of something better. Of course, these promises will never be fulfilled, because these competing gods or masters are deceitful.
Is this kind of person saved? The language may lean somewhat toward believing that this person had responded initially with sincere faith, for the seedling is not said to die (as we can presume with the rocky soil, 13:21), but rather to become choked and unfruitful. Still, without perseverance, there is no final evidence of salvation.
We have already seen in Matthew an example of a person who started following Jesus, but then began giving excuses for why he needed to postpone his commitment (8:21–22). But even more prominent in this category would be Judas Iscariot, who sold out Jesus for thirty coins (26:14–16, 20–25, 48–50; 27:1–10).
13:23. All three of the preceding “soils” had heard the word. So also the fourth good soil hears the word, but this one also understands. This person chooses to understand and accept the truth, also accepting the One who is truth (John 14:6). None of the other soils bore any fruit, but this soil yielded much fruit. Jesus did not clarify what caused the variability between the fruitfulness of various faithful followers. One factor may be the degrees of faith. Perhaps another factor has to do with the variety of tasks given to different believers by God. Some may have greater potential for bearing fruit than others (cf. the different number of talents and different levels of return in 25:14–30). Crop represents the tangible results of a life of faith, including godly character (Gal. 5:22–23) and other souls brought into the kingdom (Matt. 9:37–38; cf. John 15:1–17).
In Matthew, where the focus is primarily on Jesus, we are given little opportunity to see examples of the disciples’ responses of faith. The rest of the New Testament, however, is filled with stories about the fruit of faithful hearts. Prominent examples include Peter, John, Philip, Stephen, Paul, and Timothy.
Reasons for Consistent and Regular Reading and Bible Study
- CULTIVATE OBEDIENCE AS IT PROTECTS YOU
Many times this author has heard that God loves us unconditionally. This is not true. There are many conditions in the Bible that his servants are expected to believe, accept as absolute truth, and apply in their lives. Yes, obedience is a condition. If we lived a life of constant disobedience, would we expect that God would just overlook that because God is love? We must be mindful that God’s great love does not negate his other qualities, such as justice. R. C. Sproul says, “There are many facets to the question and countless reasons why we ought to study the Bible. I could plead with you to study the Bible for personal edification; I could try the art of persuasion to stimulate your quest for happiness. I could say that the study of the Bible would probably be the most fulfilling and rewarding educational experience of your life. I could cite numerous reasons why you would benefit from a serious study of Scripture. But ultimately the main reason why we should study the Bible is because it is our duty. If the Bible were the most boring book in the world, dull, uninteresting and seemingly irrelevant, it would still be our duty to study it. If its literary style were awkward and confusing, the duty would remain. We live as human beings under an obligation by divine mandate to study diligently God’s Word. He is our Sovereign, it is his Word, and he commands that we study it. A duty is not an option. If you have not yet begun to respond to that duty, then you need to ask God to forgive you and to resolve to do your duty from this day forth.” (Sproul 2016, 21)
Is it not sad that knowing the Bible’s direction can bring us great happiness is not enough of a reason to have a consistent and regular reading and Bible study? Knowing that a sound foundational knowledge of the Word of God will bring us the most fulfilling and rewarding educational experience of our life is not enough. We, as imperfect humans need to be forced to do what is good for us. How many have suffered a heart attack before they started exercising and eating correctly? Sadly, we must be commanded, forced, demanded to do the right and most beneficial things in life. Deuteronomy 5:33 tells us, “You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.” Joshua 1:8 tells us, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Jeremiah 7:23 tells us “ But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’”
If the command to embed ourselves in the Word of God is not enough, here is one that we can deduct from the Scriptures, which does not end well if we do not have a deep and correct understanding of God’s Word. At Matthew 7:21, Jesus tells us, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” What is the first and foremost question we should ask? What is the will of the Father? Jesus brings up those who wrongly believed that they were doing the will of the Father in verse 22. “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’” However, Jesus has some very bad news for these ones in verse 23. “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’” The apostle John tells us at 1 John 2:17, “The world is passing away, and its lusts; but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” Who will live forever? Oh, yeah, “whoever does the will of God.” There it is again, the will of the Father. We already noted that the will of the Father is the key. Thus, the second most important question is, what is the only way of knowing the will of the Father? Yes, the only way to know is by deep study of God’s Word.
The laws and commands within God’s Word are not an option. The path to eternal life is not clear unless we have the mind of Christ, a biblical worldview, which comes from study, so as to see more clearly. The Psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105) Right before telling us that it is only by the will of the Father, Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” This is the path to eternal life and few are finding it, although many are on what they believe to be the right path.–Matthew 7:13-14.
- BEING GUIDED THROUGH LIFE AS YOU STUDY THROUGH GOD’S WORD
The cynic would view God’s commandments to us are weighing us down and stripping us of our freedoms. The Bible student with his heart and mind being receptive to the Word of God will realize that these commandments are actually a blessing, which gives us access to a better life now and the eternal one to come.
The term commandment(s) translates the Hebrew word (miṣ·wā(h)), which means “command, order, commandment, i.e., an authoritative directive, either written or verbal, given as instruction or prescription to a subordinate (1Sa 13:13; 1Ki 2:43).” All Christians are sons and daughters of the commandment. Psalm 119:76 says, “May your loyal love please comfort me according to your promise to your servant.” An outstanding way in which God comforts his people is by giving them exhortation and guidance. (Ps. 119:105) God’s commandments will guide us in the short term (daily) and the long-term (throughout our lives).
The term law translates the Hebrew word (tô·rā(h)), which means “law, regulation, i.e., a legal prescription of something that should or must be done (Ex 12:49; Lev 6:2); 2. LN 33.224–33.250 teaching, instruction, i.e., information that is imparted to a student (Ps 78:1; Pr 1:8); 3. LN 33.35–33.68 Torah, the Law, i.e., a written code (Ne 8:2).” The author of Psalm 119 faced trials more extreme than most of us will ever know. Enemies of God ridiculed him and smeared him with falsehood. The princes were seeking his demise and persecuted him. At every turn, he life was in danger and he was surrounded by wickedness. Even still, the Psalmist sang, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Ps 119:97) The Psalmist found great joy in life regardless of his hardships from those in opposition to him because he knew the law guided his every move. Apply God’s law in his life, he became wiser than his enemies, keeping him safe in the darkest of times. Being obedient to the law also gave him a clean conscience, which brought him peace.—Psalm 119:1, 9, 65, 93, 98, 165.
The term orders (“precepts” in the ASV, ESV, LEB, CSB, NASB et al) translates the Hebrew word (piq·qû·ḏîm, which means instructions procedures, rule of personal conduct. “precepts, directions, regulation, i.e., a principle instructing to do a certain action, which is to be obeyed by all in same society of the covenant (Ps 19:9[EB 8]; 103:18; 111:7; 119:4, 15, 27, 40, 45, 56, 63, 69, 78, 87, 93, 64. 100, 104, 110, 128, 134, 141, 159, 168, 173+).” With heartfelt gratefulness the psalmist speaks of these “orders” or “precepts.” He writes, “Consider how I love your orders! O Jehovah, according to your loyal love preserve my life.” “From your orders I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” “I understand more than the aged, for I keep your orders.”–Psalm 119:159, 104, 100.
The term regulation (“statutes” in the ASV, ESV, LEB, CSB, NASB et al) translates the Hebrew word (ḥōq), which means “regulation, decree, statute, ordinance, i.e., a clear communicated prescription of what one should do (Ge 47:26; Ex 15:25).” Over and over again the Psalmist asks God, “Teach me your regulations” (vss. 12, 26, 64, 68, 124, 135), and he also praises God for doing so. “Let my lips utter praise, for you teach me your regulations.” (Ps 119:171) The Psalmist not only wanted to learn the regulations set out by God but also desired to observe them. “I will keep your regulations; do not utterly forsake me!”–Ps. 119:8.
The term testimonies translates the Hebrew word (ʿē·ḏûṯ), which means “statute, stipulation, regulation, i.e., a principle or contingent-particular point of law, having authority to give consequences for not keeping, with a possible focus that these commands serve as a warning, urging, or witness to the covenant agreement (1Ki 2:3; Ps 19:8[EB 7]).” The focus is on the fact that these commands are serving as a warning that is gone over again and again, repeatedly, i.e., a reminder. The Psalmist greatly appreciated these reminders and frequently tells of having kept them. (Ps. 119:22, 88, 129, 167, 168) The Psalmist sang, “Incline my heart to your testimonies [reminders], and not to dishonest gain.” (Ps. 119:36) The Psalmist had no shame when it came to talking about God’s testimonies. “I will also speak of your testimonies [reminders] before kings and shall not be put to shame.”–Ps. 119:46.
The above five terms “commandment(s),” “law,” “orders,” “regulations,” and “testimonies,” is used by the Psalmist as he refers to matters that has much in common with the Word of God. Another term that is a bit different is the Hebrew (miš·pāṭ) “judgment.” As God’s people, we are to have a reverential (wholesome) fear of his judgments. The Psalmist writes, “My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.” (Ps. 119:120) This is not dreading the Father, it is dreading displeasing the Father. The Psalmist tells us I will praise you with an upright heart when I learn your righteous judgments.” (Ps. 119:7) He goes on to say, “With my lips I declare all the judgments of your mouth.” (Ps. 119:13) He then says, “My soul is crushed with longing for your judgments at all times.” (Ps. 119:20) He also says, “I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous judgments.” (Ps. 119:106) The Psalmist follows with, “Hear my voice according to your loyal love; O Jehovah, according to your justice give me life. Great is your mercy, O Jehovah; give me life according to your judgments.–Ps. 119:149, 156.
Another word that the author of Psalm 119 seems to be fond of is (Heb. ʾim·rā(h)) “promise.” It is rendered “word,” “saying” (Gen 4:23), “instruction,” “teach” (Deut. 32:2), a “prayer” (Ps. 17:6), a “promise” (Ps. 119:41), and “a word” (or promise). (Ps. 119:133). The Psalmist uses it most often in references to God’s “promises” throughout Psalm 119. He writes, “Let your loyal love come to me, O Jehovah, your salvation according to your promise.” (Ps. 119:41) He then says, “I entreat your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.” (Ps. 119:58) He goes on, “Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope.” (Ps. 119:116) The Psalmist then says, “Make my steps steady according to your promise, and do not let any error have dominion over me.” (Ps. 119:133) In his last use, he writes, “Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your promise.” The Psalmist uses the same word in reference to God’s “word,” i.e., a promise, assurance, or guarantee, namely, God gives us his “word.” The Word of God, i.e., the Scriptures are God’s “word” to us. The Psalmist says, “In my heart I treasure up your word, so that I may not sin against you.” Many verses later he says, “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” Yes, having God’s word and promises is like finding a great treasure.
- GOD’S WORD IN YOUR LIFE
How Will You Know Unless You Study
- The Bible Gives Us Answers to Questions about Life
- The Bible Offers How to Get the Best out of Life Now
- The Bible Offers How to Best Live In an Imperfect World
- The Bible helps us to See What the Future Holds
- The Bible helps us Share the Good News
- The Bible Helps Us Achieve and Maintain Our Spirituality
- The Bible Helps Us Understand the Will and Purposes of the Creator
- Knowing and Applying God’s Word Can Protect Us from False Teachers
- Knowing and Applying God’s Word Can Help Us Deal with Our Human Imperfection
Deep study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues. Dr. Lee M. Fields
Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth. Dwight L. Moody
Remember, Christ’s scholars must study upon their knees. Charles Spurgeon
Beginning with the Right Mindset
Ezra 7:10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to study the Law of Jehovah, and to do it and to teach its regulations and judgments in Israel.
Psalm 119:15-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and keep my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
How Powerful Are the Scriptures?
Hebrews 4:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Joshua 1:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Ephesians 6:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Studying the Bible Helps with Life and Temptation
Proverbs 4:10-13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
11 In the way of wisdom I have taught you;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
Bible Study Can Protect Us from False Teachers
Matthew 24:4-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
Matthew 24:9-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 And then many will fall away, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and will lead many astray.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not a great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
1 Thessalonians 3:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and command to abstain from foods that God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the teaching according to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but has a sick interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain.
2 Timothy 2:15-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid empty speeches that violate what is holy, for they will lead to more and more ungodliness, 17 and their word will spread like gangrene; Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your brothers in the world.
2 Peter 2:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their acts of shameless conduct, and because of them the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Jude 1:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Certain men have crept in among you who were long ago appointed for this judgment, ungodly men who turn the grace of our God into an excuse for licentiousness and who prove false to our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Acts 17:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
1 John 4:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Beloved ones, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Studying the Bible Helps Us Serve God Better
2 Timothy 3:16-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Studying the Bible Makes Us Better Disciple Makers
Matthew 24:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Matthew 28:19-20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Acts 1:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in both Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the extremity of the earth.”
Hebrews 5:11-6:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 Concerning whom we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For in view of the time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things of the sayings of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food belongs to the mature, to those who through practice have their discernment trained to distinguish between good and evil.
6 Therefore, leaving behind the elementary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and faith in God,
Studying the Bible Helps Us In Our Defending God’s Word
2 Timothy 2:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 and the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
1 Peter 3:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect;
We Cannot Live On Food Alone
Matthew 4:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
God’s Word Does Not Fail
Isaiah 55:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Luke 1:37 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
God Guides and Directs Us Through His Word
Isaiah 30:20-21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 And though Jehovah give you the bread of distress and the water of oppression, yet your Teacher will no longer hide himself, but your eyes shall behold your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 48:17-18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 Thus says Jehovah,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am Jehovah your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.
18 Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
Isaiah 54:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 All your sons shall be taught by Jehovah,
and great shall be the peace of your sons.
Studying the Bible Is an Evident Demonstration that We Love, Respect and Honor God and His Word
Colossians 3:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Psalm 119:96-98 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.
97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
Psalm 119:47-48 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 And I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.
John 5:39-40 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness about me. 40And yet you do not want to come to me that you may have life.
Store God’s Word in Your Heart
Psalm 119:11-12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 In my heart I treasure up your word,
so that I may not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Jehovah;
teach me your regulations!
Psalm 37:31 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.
Scripture is God-Breathed and Fully Inerrant
2 Peter 1:20-21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 But know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Proverbs 30:5-6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he reprove you and you be found a liar.
Romans 12:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your rational service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Ephesians 4:23-24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new man, the one created according to the likeness of God in righteousness and loyalty of the truth.
Colossians 3:8-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with its practices 10 and have put on the new man who is being renewed through accurate knowledge according to the image of the one who created him,
Keep This In Mind
Matthew 5:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Romans 15:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
4. Paul explains why he can appeal to Scripture in this way. Everything that was written in the past means “all that was written in Scripture”; it is not an endorsement of every piece of literature that comes down from earlier ages. But we should bear in mind that everything is comprehensive: Paul is not saying that there are some good things in the Bible, but that all of it was written for our instruction (cf. 4:23–24). “Our” evidently has some emphasis: although it was written in earlier ages it was intended for our instruction (cf. 1 Cor. 9:9–10). The reason23 for their being written was that we might have hope. The present tense of the verb points to continuous possession, and the article before hope seems to show that it is not the general hope of mankind of which Paul is writing, but the specifically Christian hope, the hope that is given by what Christ has done in winning our salvation, the hope that leaves no doubts and sustains Christ’s people in the darkest days (see the note on 4:18).
Paul speaks of two things important in bringing this about: endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures. It is not clear whether we should take both endurance and encouragement as deriving from the Scriptures (as GNB, “through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us”) or whether we should see Paul as specifically linking only encouragement with the Scriptures (as Moffatt, “by remaining stedfast and drawing encouragement from the scriptures”). Of course the Christian’s endurance and encouragement both come from God, and it may well be said that Scripture has a part in producing both. The question here is whether Paul is linking them both with the Bible or only one; his construction seems to show that only encouragement is here said to derive from the Bible. The apostle often speaks of endurance and of encouragement. Both are important. We need steadfastness in our Christian life and we need the encouragement the Bible can give; our life is a very poor thing without either.
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Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …
THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. …
This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer. So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.
DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.
What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?
A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.
Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”
THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.
The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …
Translation and Textual Criticism
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …
We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …
THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT intends to examine and evaluate the making of New Testament books, the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early Christian Scribes, the original or earliest text of the New Testament, and the secretaries in antiquity and their materials. We will also assess the early Christian copyists, the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament, scribal tendencies or habits, as well as the sources of New Testament textual criticism, which would include a lengthy chapter on ancient versions of the New Testament. We will also look into how paleographers date the ancient manuscripts and how did textual variations and manuscript families arise? Just how many textual variants are there and how are they to be counted? All of this to determine what guarantee do we have as to the reliability of the Greek text. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text and can we restore the Greek New Testament to its original state. NOTE: If you have read THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by Andrews and Wilkins, you need not read this publication, as it is select chapters from TTNT.
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …
CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …
Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …
In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …
This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …
Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application. …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …
Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it! These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.
The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.
Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”
In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe out humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreack havoc in their hometown, they must journey into the treacherous wild lands of the outback to extinguish the black flames that loom on the horizon. First, Amber must seek the counsel of a mysterious being, who calls himself the light spirit. …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 Anders, Max; Lawson, Steven (2004-01-01). Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms: 11 (p. 266). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.
 G. Herbert Livingston, “638 חָטָא,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 277.
 Or “own lust”
 Or “own lust”
 Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 183.
 ’1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.
 Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 183.
 Richard L. Pratt Jr, I & II Corinthians, vol. 7, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 377.
 Numbers 25:1; Deuteronomy 22:21; Matthew 5:32; 1 Corinthians 5:1.
 Richard L. Pratt Jr, I & II Corinthians, vol. 7, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 101.
 Lit he will tabernacle
 Some mss peoples
 One early ms and be their God
 Kendell H. Easley, Revelation, vol. 12, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 394–395.
 Quotation from Isa 52:7; Nah 1:15
 Quotation from Isaiah 53:1, which reads, “Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed?”
 Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 314–316.
 Deut. 8:3
 MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 38817-38819). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
 (an idiom, literally ‘to redeem the time’) to do something with intensity and urgency (used absolutely)–‘to work urgently, to redeem the time.’–GELNTBSD
 B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”
 Mark 1:27; 10:32; Lu 4:36; 5:9; Acts 3:10.
 Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 95–96.
 See also Psalm 35:28; 37:30; 71:24; Isaiah 8:19; 33:18.
 Robert L. Thomas. Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old (p. 280). Kindle Edition.
 Towns, AMG Concise Bible Doctrines (AMG Concise Series) (Kindle Locations 1011-1012). AMG Publishers. Kindle Edition.
 Or with all readiness of mind. The Greek word prothumias means that one is eager, ready, mentally prepared to engage in some activity.
 Some have a tendency to be easily swayed by their emotions. They have an exaggerated or undue display of strong feelings, which makes their relationship with the Father and the Son based entirely on emotions. Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” We have to have knowledge of the Father and the Son to know that they are real, which does not negate that we need to have emotions as well. However, a relationship that is based entirely on emotions cannot withstand difficult times.
 Quoted from Gen. 15:6
 THE POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER: A Healthy Prayer Life by Edward D. Andrews (ISBN: 978-1-945757-41-9)
 Lit I, Daniel
 B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”
 (an idiom, literally ‘to redeem the time’) to do something with intensity and urgency (used absolutely)–‘to work urgently, to redeem the time.’–GELNTBSD
 Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 192–197.
 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
 This (Heb. sā·mǎr) is literally to “bristle up” from some fearful expectation.
 This (Heb. pǎ·ḥǎḏ) is literally “to shake” because of fear, terror or dread over an expectation or anticipation of an impending judgment.
 I.E. your favor
 Lit be caused to stumble
 Or hand over
 Or accurately handling the word of truth; correctly teaching the word of truth
 Or to tell them what they want to hear
 Sober Minded: (Gr. nepho) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’–1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8
 Or their sensuality; their licentious ways; their brazen conduct
 Lit irreverential (ones)
 Or loose conduct; shameless conduct (Gr aselgeia) behavior completely lacking in moral restraint, usually with the implication of sexual licentiousness—‘licentious behavior, extreme immorality.’
 Or with all readiness of mind. The Greek word prothumias means that one is eager, ready, mentally prepared to engage in some activity.
 Or in the whole world
 Hearing, Dull of: (Gr. Nōthros tais akoais) This is an idiom, which literally means that one has ‘lazy ears.’ In other words, they are slow to learn, to understand, to react, lacking intellectual perception, with the implication that this is so because they are lazy. Have we become lethargic in the truth, to the point of having lazy ears? Are we slow to learn, to understand, to react, lacking intellectual perception?–Heb. 5:11.
 Sayings: (Gr. logia, on [only in the plural]) A saying or message, usually short, especially divine, gathered into a collection.–Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11.
 Or argument; or explanation
 A quotation from Deut. 8:3
 One of 134 scribal changes from YHWH to Adhonai.
 Lit your teachers. The Hebrew verb is plural to denote grandeur or excellence.
 The Scriptures do give us the path, the direction, the guidance to what leads to eternal life. Jesus was not condemning the study of Scripture for that purpose. He was condemning their motive, studying the Scripture, not out of love for God’s Word, but for dishonest gain. The Jewish religious leaders also misinterpreted the Scriptures.
 Lit the reasonable (or rational, logical) service of you
 Or well-pleasing
 An interpretive translation would have, “put on the new person,” because it does mean male or female.
 Or old person
 Or new person
 Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.
 ὅσα, “whatever things”; NIV is not an exact translation but gives the sense of it. Notice that προεγράφη is followed up by ἐγράφη, “a classical idiom by which the preposition in a compound is omitted, without weakening the sense, when the verb is repeated” (M, I, p. 115). προεγράφω is used in a different sense in Gal. 3:1.
 εἰς conveys the thought of purpose, “with a view to”.
 This is Paul’s one use of ἡμέτερος in Romans (it is found once each in 2 Timothy and Titus, and eight times in all in the New Testament). His “our” refers to the Christians, which leads to the conclusion, “This statement is a bold generalization expropriating all Scriptures for the infant church” (Denis Farkasfalvy in William R. Farmer and Denis M. Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon [New York, 1983], p. 105).
 διδασκαλία may be used in the active sense, “instruction”, or in the passive, “that which is taught”; here it is the active (BAGD). The word occurs 15 times in the Pastorals, and 19 times in the Pauline corpus out of 21 times in the New Testament.
 Cf. William Watty, “May I therefore suggest that this is our unique contribution to the world of to-day? It is to offer the Biblical message of hope from the God of hope to a world of shattered hopes” (ET, LXXXVII [1975–76], p. 50).
 Paul has διά before τῆς ὑπομονῆς and another διά before τῆς παρακλήσεως. It is this repetition of the preposition that seems to show that the two are separated. If he were saying that both qualities are derived from Scripture we would expect only one διά. Käsemann says that the first διά “denotes an accompanying circumstance, the second is causal.… Scripture gives comfort and leads to patience” (p. 383). NEB has “that through the encouragement they give us we may maintain our hope with fortitude”, but there seems no reason for linking “hope” with “fortitude”.
 ὑπομονή is found in Paul in exactly half its New Testament occurrences (16 out of 32; six in Romans); see the note on 2:7. It is often taken to mean “patience”, but this is too negative a virtue for this word. It is rather “fortitude” or endurance. Griffith Thomas quotes A. Beet on the importance of this word in the present context: “Our Christian character is seldom so severely tried as when we are put to inconvenience by the spiritual childishness of members of the Church.”
 παράκλησις is found in Paul 20 times out of 29 in the New Testament, three being in Romans. See the note on the corresponding verb in 12:1. It is often understood of comfort (as KJV), and it can refer to exhortation, but encouragement seems right in this place.
 Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press, 1988), 499–500.