Category Archives: Rules
(Ver 1.1) I was watching the news on TV and there was a policeman speaking about a crime that had just occurred. He was on the news asking for people who were near the crime scene to come forward. He then made this statement, “People don’t know what they know”. In other words he was saying you might have been a witness to the crime and not realized that you were because you did not know it was a crime. Maybe you happened upon the crime right after it happened and saw the culprits walking or running away from it. Maybe you saw a car drive away from the scene and this is the key that will unlock the identities of the guilty parties. He was clearly saying that someone saw something and that if they would come forward with this information it might be very important to solving the case. When he said that statement, God spoke to me and said this is the way the Bible is. People will read something in the Bible and not realize how important it is because they do not understand what it says and how it relates to other subjects in the Bible. I wrote a very similar lesson a long time ago called “People Generally Don’t Know What They Don’t Know”. If you did not read that article you should go back and review the concepts given. They are very profound revelations. Today’s subject while being very similar to this concept is also diametrically opposed to it. In the first lesson you have the concept of not knowing the bridge is out and driving off of the missing expanse in the dark to your death. If you would have just known that the bridge was out, then you would have been spared the tragic outcome. This is a concept found in the prophet Hosea. In this verse God reveals some very significant Bible truths to us:
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
It would appear to me from this verse that “Knowledge” is the key to not being destroyed in this world. While this could apply to natural knowledge, this verse is speaking of spiritual things as being what is important to know. The Law of God at the time of this writing represented the Words of God. The Words of God are what is important for us to know. Knowledge of the Word of God is the opposite of Ignorance of the Word of God. A Lack of Knowledge is totally related to your current ignorance level. So in the one case God says people perish from this world because they do not esteem the Word of God and count it as valuable to know. They in effect kill themselves because they have rejected the truth. This in effect, is not knowing what you do not know. But, we also have the lesson today, which is very similar in nature. You might know a little bit, but not understand the importance or significance of that knowledge because you lack the knowledge of how important it is to know or to share with others. In the case of the policeman on the news someone held the missing link to identify the perpetrators but did not know that they had it.
Take for example, the virgin birth of Jesus. There have actually been churches who have taught that the virgin birth is not important to know to be saved. However, if Jesus was not born of a vrigin then He was just a man like me. If you have read my lessons on “Understanding the Virgin Birth” then you already know this is not true. To listen to an ignorant preacher who teaches something is not important in the Bible, is a very foolish thing to do. You should never let any preacher do your Bible study for you, and that includes me! If you hear me say something from the Bible then go and read your Bible and study it for yourself to see if it is true or not. It is only the Bible that you have seen for yourself that will do you any good in life. Your pastor’s Bible knowledge will not do you any good when Satan comes and attacks you. If you are a Christian then the Spirit of God is also inside of you and if I say something wrong the Spirit of God inside of you will bear witness that I am wrong. So you will have two witnesses that will always agree to show you the reality of every truth in the Bible. The Bible says the Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree and bear witness to the truth (1 John 5:7).
So today’s Bible lesson is not a long or complex something to do or understand. It is actually a very simple concept of seeing what you have seen and then going back and figuring out if it was important. I do this all the time when I study the Bible. I constantly review my past Bible readings and notes for things that I may have learned but not fully understood. I then use these little facts to build a greater knowledge of the truth when reading today’s Bible studies. I think I have said this before, but it bears repeating for those to remember, that truth always builds upon truth. When building a house of truth if your house is built upon false teachings then these are weaknesses that will cause your house to topple like a house of cards. If you build your foundation on the rock of the Word of God, then your foundation is firm and unshakeable. God’s Word is Truth, Jesus is Truth, but yet the Bible is written in a complex spiritual way that forces us to divide the truth correctly. I wish I could say this was easy, but after over 20 years of studying the Bible, I am only a little bit closer to understanding everything that the Bible says. So learn the lessons given today about recognizing that what you don’t know is important. Then go and continue in your Bible studies to learn more.
(Ver 1.2) This is now “Part 2” of the lesson series concerning modern computer concepts found in the Bible. In the first lesson I talked about how computers are rules based systems. Nothing exists by chance or by random within a computer by design. Every component of a computer system interacts with the other parts using strict rules and guidelines. What I have been doing is attempting to show how these same principle conform to God’s design of the Bible. Therefore I desire to teach computer concepts and show you how to apply them in your relationship with God and to increase your understanding of His Word. I believe that God understands computers far better than we do and I also believe that He knew that we would have computers in these last days before He comes back to the earth. I strongly believe that God created these amazing machines for us to learn with and to share the Gospel with others and that is why I take the time to write things that some of you may not fully understand if you are not a computer programmer also. I have learned that computer programmers have a different approach to Bible study, usually more logical because we are forced by our jobs to think this way. It is not necessarily a better way to think, but it is certainly very different. In my last computer related post I talked about “Rules Based Systems”. This is a vast complex subject that applies to the Bible and interpreting the Bible correctly in very direct ways. If you would like to read this lesson first before continuing with today’s lesson, you can go and start with “Part 1”.
In today’s lesson I want to discuss some very basic computer concepts and show how they also apply to the Bible. A computer in its simplest form is a binary machine. What may you ask is a binary machine? This is a machine that relies entirely on one of two numbers, either a 0 (zero) or a 1 (one). At the most rudimentary levels of every computer that is all there is; just two numbers. The computer is therefore solely dependent upon the simplest of all number systems the binary number system. You see the most rudimentary element of a computer is a single “bit” of information and this “bit” can either be off or on (zero or one). Computers of course are tremendously more complex by the sheer numbers of these “bits” that exist within a modern computer, but that is not my subject today. What I want to do is focus on Binary concepts in relationship to the Bible. The Bible is very much like a complex computer system. It is probably the most complex book that you will ever attempt to understand, but many of the concepts given in it can be reduced to a simple binary number system choice. Today I want you to focus on what is a Bible binary system? Here are some definitions of a “Binary System” from the internet:
- The number representation system, used in computers, with only two digits, 0 and 1
- A system of arithmetic used with computers, also called base 2, that is based on the digits 0 and 1.
- A system in which information can be expressed by combinations of the digits 0 and 1 (corresponding to “on” and “off” in computers).
Fortunately for most programmers today, we are not required to program a computer at the bit or binary machine level. If you have ever done this you know how complex it can be. We do not even use the computer machine’s language to program a computer anymore, because we have higher level languages that are translated to the machine level. While some of today’s computer languages can still manipulate information at the binary level, most do not normally do this. So why am I talking about binary systems in a Bible study Blog? That is probably the biggest question that you have right now. While not everything in the Bible can be simplified to a binary state, many things in the Bible can. For example, God says this:
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
If you do not yet understand binary concepts, you probably just read over this verse and missed the basics that God is trying to get you to see. In this verse found in Deuteronomy God places before all people a choice. A choice involves making a selection between two or more things. In this case there are just two choices that can be selected and this is a binary decision. One choice is “Life” and the other is “Death”. This is a very basic binary concept; we could say that life is the number 1 (one) and death the number 0 (zero). This is the way all computers work. It is based upon a simple light switch on or off idea. You flip the switch on you get light, you turn the switch the other way and you get darkness. It is the most basic choice in life that you can make. Another binary concept found in this verse is “blessings” = 1 and curses = 0. So God suggests that we choose life and blessings and that sounds much better to me too. There are a number of binary concepts like this found throughout the Bible. Starting in Genesis 1, there is the mention of Light and Darkness. Light = 1 and Darkness = 0. Day and Night are the same concepts in different words. Here is the binary concept in this verse:
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
The Binary theme in God’s Word is used extensively throughout the Bible. You might also remember in Genesis 2 God put two trees in the Garden, one the Tree of Life and the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What we can see from these trees is that they represent a choice. God says do not eat from one or you will die, which implies the other is good to eat from. These are very simple concepts given yet they have far reaching consequences based upon what you choose in this life as you can recognize from Adam’s poor choice to eat from the wrong tree. What I find interesting about God is that He never forces you to solve a complex riddle to be saved for example. God simply says here is my Son Jesus Christ sacrificed for your sins, make Him your Lord and believe I raised Him from the dead and live. Don’t believe and die and go to hell. These are the basis of a simple binary choice but with very, very severe consequences to making the wrong choice. A binary number can only be 0 or 1, off or on. So they are directly opposed opposites. You cannot be in both categories simultaneously. It is a universal truth that you are either in one or the other states of existence. It is a classic division of opposition. Zeros are always the opposites of Ones. Light is the complete opposite to darkness and you do not have both at once. Back when I was an Assembler programmer I used binary bits as flags to the state of something. If set to “off” the state would be false, “on” the state would be true. That is probably too much computer terminology for many of my readers, but it is useful to describe what God has presented us in the Bible. I pray that you understand the simplicity found in the Bible. Here is a list of some of the Binary States that I have found as common themes in the Bible:
|Kingdom of Satan||Kingdom of Heaven|
|Wide Path||Narrow Path|
That of course is not a complete list, just introductions to some things that you can clearly see are taught in the Bible that represents a clear binary choice from every man or woman. So I believe that the Bible is a highly complex book of information which also contains very simple binary choices being presented to everyone. You just don’t have to understand the whole Bible to become saved! It is more a simple choice or acceptance of some of the basic Bible information, called the Gospel. Too many Christians want to say that people are not saved because they do not believe exactly like we do. All that does is prove your ignorance of the Bible. You assume that you are God and that you know everything when you preach with this attitude and you are sadly mistaken. God will demonstrate your ignorance on judgment day if you are not very careful. Do not cause other Christians to stumble because they do not believe what you do. I try to teach this way, but I have had many religious spirited people attack me for what I say sometimes. I have decided not to post negative critical comments on my blog anymore. I read them, see if I can learn anything from them, and sometimes respond privately or in a follow-up post on my blog. It is very difficult to help people who criticize other people because they think that they know everything already. However, since they do not know everything that I know, or have experienced everything that I have experienced, they really should not try to judge me. You can learn from Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness. What did they do right and what did they do wrong? God only met with Moses on the mountain top and the others were not in on the private conversations unless Moses shared them. The people one time gave up on God and Moses because Moses was gone too long for them. They started to build idols and worship other false gods. Why was this? Was it a lack of Patience? Was it a lack of knowledge? I mean it could have been several problems combined. They obviously mumbled and complained and probably criticized God and Moses while he was gone. What was the net result of all of their opposition? Most of them died in the wilderness and never saw the promise land. So what is different today with some Christians mumbling and complaining about other Christians today? What do you think the result will be for those who do this? Do you think it will be the same as the children of Israel in the wilderness? I guess I should get back on the subject that I’m supposed to be on.
Maybe I’ll wrap this up for today. I do not want to overwhelm you with new concepts. When I say that the Bible is like a large complex computer system most people will not understand my analogy. However, I know it is true. Within this complex spiritual book of information God has placed a series of simple Binary choices before all mankind. These are the basics of life; the simplest choices can make the greatest differences in our life. By choosing life, blessings, light, salvation and Jesus you have gone through a binary selection and made the right choice. It is a simple choice that turns you from one state to another and I pray that you choose wisely. God Bless you today as you learn to choose!
(Ver 1.3) This Part 1 in a series of lessons on modern computer concepts that are found in the Bible. If I learned anything from being a computer programmer for over 20 years, I learned that everything in this life has very strict rules or it is useless. In this life you do not get to do everything that you can do just because you can do them. You do not get to drive on any side of the street that you want to. You do not get to drive through any intersection as fast as you want to when you want to. You do not get to do many things because rules exist to keep you from hurting yourself and others. This is the basis of the majority of the problems in this world today. The problems of the world are caused by people who do stuff to other people just because they have the ability or power to do them. It comes from a self-centered ME mentality! The world is all about ME! What I need, what I want, what feels good to ME! People then use their attitudes of Me to take what they need or want from others without thinking about what they are doing to the ones that they are hurting. If everyone takes this attitude, then only the strongest survive to live. This attitude of ME is a self-centered absence of the feelings of the God kind of “LOVE” for anyone else. As long as people care more about themselves than they do about others, they will remain apart from the life of God. Today I want to talk about a computer programming concept called “Rules Based Systems” in relationship to what God and the Bible say about the concepts of them or the absence from them. Why are rules important to live by? Why do rules exist? The Bible is a highly complex book of spiritual information and it cannot be interpreted correctly without knowing God’s rules for interpretation. I’ll start by giving you a definition of this term from the internet:
rule-based systems are used as a way to store and manipulate knowledge to interpret information in a useful way.
I believe that God taught me about rules based systems as I learned computer programming. A rules based system is one that adheres to a strict set of laws in order to work correctly. When I first started learning computer programming in High School, I started with the Basic programming language. I also played with another early computer language called FORTRAN. Then I started working for a company and going to night school to learn mainframe programming. I learned Mainframe Assembler and COBOL and became an expert in both of these languages. This was of course way before there were any PC’s in the world. What I learned from programming languages, is that they have very strict rules that must be followed, or guess what they do not work. You create your program and then compile your program and get nothing but a long list of errors back. This is not fun, when this happens, but it happened a lot until I learned to follow the rules more closely. As I became more detailed oriented, I learned to pay attention to the little things that use to be where I made most of my mistakes. I would just automatically learn to look for them and try not to repeat them. I do not think that I ever got so good that I wrote a new program that complied cleanly the first time, but I did get much better. So why am I describing my work experience to you? Because it helps me more with Bible interpretation and understanding the Bible that you can imagine.
Did you notice two key words in the definition of what a rules based system was? The two key words are “knowledge” and the “interpretation” of the knowledge. A rules based system helps us to process vast amounts of information and then come up with the correct interpretations of that information. So what is the Bible? The Bible is the Spiritual knowledge of God written down in a book for us to read. However, the Bible is widely interpreted in many different ways resulting in contrasting and conflicting points of view. That is probably the major problem in the church today. Everybody has their own opinion to what the Bible means. Why is that? It is because of a complete disregard to the rules of Bible interpretation. Some people know one rule and they sometimes follow it and then sometimes they do not. They are very inconsistent. Other people know of no rules and they are all over the board with their interpretations. Only a few know more than one rule to Bible Interpretation and try to adhere to them consistently.
While I read and studied the Bible, I started to recognize patterns of a rules based system. Since God does not give us a list of the rules in any one place in the Bible, the correct understanding of the Bible must start with figuring out what are the rules that God has established for us to follow. You see I know that every computer language has their own individual set of rules to follow. However, I also learned that many of these rules cross languages and apply to other languages. Even though each language was uniquely defined, the application of the rules applied across the board. So in order to even begin to understand the Bible, you must first establish God’s rules for interpretation and not your rules. This is the first step of understanding God and the Bible.
Do you realize that God follows the rules that He has established? That is the beauties of God; He is a highly intelligent being. His ability is so far beyond our most powerful computer. I see the world around us and I recognize an intelligently designed world full of natural laws, systems and sub-systems. This is the basis of any large complex computer programming system also. Anything with an intelligent design has organization and rules. So why do people not recognize that the Bible is also an intelligently designed rules based system? Obviously they do not understand the importance of rules and following them. If you are a Christian you should be following rules in everything that you do. Following rules does not save you; it just helps you live the life that God intended for you on this earth. Christians who do not follow rules are no different than unsaved people who rob banks because they want money or rape women because it feels good to them. I know that is an extreme examples of bad Bible interpretations, but yet I feel that strongly about the subject. I do not mean to reduce rape and robbery to minor offenses, I hope you understand the point and forgive the analogy.
So what ire my main points today?
- Start by Recognizing that the Bible is a Rules Based System.
- Then find out what the rules are!
- Next follow the rules with all diligence!
When I was computer operator, on the top of our mainframe CPU, there was a big sign that said “THINK”. Wow, if more people would do that one word! To think before you act or speak is a widely ignored talent of many people in the world today. I have many blogs on the subject of Bible Interpretation, I hope you that you will go and read them and then learn to follow them. Life is a rules based system of existence. This is the intelligent design of God. If you learn the rules and follow them there will be great benefits to being a doer of the word of God and not just a hearer only. By learning the rules and following rules I believe that the Body of Christ will finally come into agreement to what the Bible says. So I challenge you today to apply what you’ve read today. By learning rules and living within their guidelines you make the Bible useful as God had intended it to be. You take the words of an intelligent God and you can finally begin to understand them. There is no greater benefit than knowing the real God.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2” now.
(Ver 2.4) People generally do not like to follow rules. If the speed limit is 35 they like to push it 41 or 42 and see if they get away with it. Life is full of rules and we should begin to realize that these laws have benefits and reasons for existence. Laws should be viewed as positive things in the world. You live by them every day, they govern what you do and if you violate them, you pay the consequences. Without laws we would live in a world of chaos. There are natural laws, scientific laws, laws of gravity, laws of aerodynamics, laws of governments and these all provide structure to our world. When we abide with them and cooperate with them, we usually live in a world that is safer and generally a better place to exist. So do people not realize that the spiritual laws in the Bible are also given to us for these same reasons. By learning about the spiritual laws of God in the Bible we can better understand what the Bible means. By ignoring these spiritual laws, we have what we have a lot of today, we have a church of chaos, disagreement, contention, arguing, controversy, and the lack of agreement and harmony.
Without people following the laws of Bible interpretation, we have hundreds of possible interpretations available about what the Bible means. I’ve got bad news for most people, not every Bible interpretation is the truth. A lot of the teaching in the church is just someone’s opinion of what they think the Bible says and this is not how God intended it to be. If God was interested in your opinion, he would have asked you to write the Bible. Your opinion is not worth a dime, in the eyes of God. Your intelligence is so far below that of God, that it is probably humorous to God to hear what you have to say and what you think is right.
NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS
So what are these laws of Bible interpretation that we should learn to follow? I hope you understand the importance of laws, for I will not expand that part of the discussion any further. Up until now I have just introduced you to some basic concepts of the usefulness of laws. Now I will talk about a couple of the major rules of correct Bible interpretation that not too many are following. The first law of Bible interpretation should be one that everyone knows, because I think it is the most important to know and use. I’ve already touched on it a little bit in the introduction and it has to do with keeping your opinion out of your interpretations. An interpretation represents a biased opinion of the facts given. People cannot interpret the Bible without putting what they know and have experienced into it. Your personal experiences, your prejudices, your upbringing, even the words of your pastor are all factors into how you view the Bible. What you see in the Bible is always slanted by the many complex factors of influece and these are sometimes very difficult for people to get out of their minds in order to see clearly what God is saying.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
God writes this as being something that we should know first. That makes it sound very important for us to know. Some do not know how God writes the Bible and therefore come to the wrong conclusions. God can hide the most important things in obscure verses deep in the middle of the Bible. I wish I could give you a good reason why God does some of the things that He does, but I’m not God and I do understand all of them, by far. I just do the best that I can with what I have learned so far, and you should do the same. Anyway, this verse in 2 Peter tells us very clearly that the Bible is not open to our private interpretations. In other words, God is not interested in your opinion or what you think that it means. If people would learn this one simple rule, it would help them tremendously. You see in the word “private” carries the meaning of “self”. That means that people are putting their own spin on what God has said. Instead of learning what God says about the subject, they want to ignore God’s words for what they think is correct.
What we learn from this verse in 2 Peter is that the Bible interprets itself. What does that mean? It simply means that God is smarter than you and I, and He has given us His own explanations on what He has said in the Bible. While this sounds good on the surface, it is also a challenge to us. Finding God’s explanations and definitions are not always as easy as you would like to think. It involves an effort and a level of work to study the Bible and find out what God has said. God could have made the Bible easier to understand, but He didn’t, so we work with what He has given us. We bow to His greater wisdom on the subject and submit to His design. If you do not do this you will continue to be lost in your mindless reality and you will miss what God has for you. So learn this first rule and it will change your perspective greatly. It will also cause you to ignore what other people think the Bible means. That alone is worth a fortune of your time and Bible study effort. People on the internet who do not give Bible verses, I very quickly just turn off and do not read. It sure saves a lot of time not to have to listen to the opinions of ignorant people.
Another aspect of what a private interpretation is, can be the use of any other book or source other than just reading the Bible. You see I talked to a guy on the internet the other day and he gave me his interpretation for some prophetic scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. His major problem was the fact that his interpretation was dependent upon information from history books, internet calendars and way too many sources that did not include God or the Bible. That is an obvious example of interpreting the Bible in error. Once you set foot outside of the Word of God you are treading on Satan’s realm and domain of deception. Another example of error is interpretations that name modern individuals, entities, governments, organizations or whatever else you care to interpret into the Bible. I have heard repeatedly the reference to the Pope being the antichrist and this is crazy speculation and a clear example of a private interpretation. The pope did not exist when the Bible was written, but Satan did exist.
Some like to read that God knows the end from the beginning and therefore in Revelation He can tell us of caoming things that do not yet exist like the Pope. While this is certainly possible we must still attempt to interpret the Bible with the Bible and the Pope interpretation is a major conflict with many other verses in the Bible that teach us something differently. Understand that the Bible does not contradict itself in the proper correct understanding of the words written. In other words one verse is not going to conflict with another vese so we must balance the correct interpretation between both truths given. First, God says there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). The thing that has been is the thing that shall be again. That right there tells me that the Pope is not God’s enemy and to declare him the anti-Christ is in opposition to God’s Word that there is nothing new. Then there is this verse in the N.T. that says “While we look not at the things that are seen, because the things that are seen are temprorary and the things that not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). God is basically telling us if we are looking for natural signs and ignoring the spiritual world you are going to miss it. Can you see the Pope? If you can see the pope then the pope is not what we should be focused on. What God is teaching us in this verse is that we should change our focus and not be fixated on the external things and try to perceive the spirit behind the external visible person. Ok, do not misunderstand what I am saying. We do live in a natural world but we should be dominated with the Spiritual things of God and not the flesh. If the anti-Christ comes in the flesh, people are only going to be able to discern him with their spiritual awareness and not by looking at the outward appearance that will easily deceive many.
Therefore learn to change your perspective to God’s point of view and see scriptures and things in the spiritual realm first and then you will understand what is happening in the natural realm. Correct bible interpretation is not easy, but it is achievable by simply learning the rules and this was only one small aspect of the subject and it is impossible to cover it fully in this one lesson.
IN THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES
The next thing that I would like to discuss is often misused and ignored. This law is a law found in the Bible and one that God has clearly spelled out. However, I guess people do not apply it to Bible study and Bible interpretation. Did you know everything in the Bible is not plainly laid out? God gives us some very valuable information in some very minor scriptures. For example, the virgin birth of Christ, which is a basic foundational Christian theological position and critical to the identity of Jesus, is only mentioned a couple of times in vague references. You would think that God would talk about this more clearly and give us many more verses that told us about this, but yet He does not. I was reading a blog the other day and this very deceived man was speaking about “homosexuality” not being mentioned in the Bible clearly so therefore he concluded that it was not important to God and that he could still be a Christian and a homosexual at the same time. What people do not understand is that it only takes two verses in the Bible to say the same thing and that means it is an established truth of the Bible. Because this man only found two or three verses against homosexuality, he came to the wrong conclusion and said it is OK to stay in sin. This is what God says:
2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Did you see what God says in this verse? God says that if you can find at the least two references in the Bible to the same subject, then that establishes the truth that you should live by. This is a basic truth that our courts and legal system needs to abide by. If it is just the word of one against the other, then you will have a very hard time figuring out what the truth is. But, if you can find two witnesses who agree, then that establishes the basis of the truth. So we learn that we cannot just go read a single Bible verse and try to make it say something that it does not say. We are required by God’s design to get a corresponding and collaborating witness to every truth. Knowing this fact will change almost everything found in many church doctrines. That means the people who try to teach snake handling in churches have a major problem with what they teach. They do err in their interpretation of the Bible by selectively preaching a single verse out of context. I’ll go even further than that today risking offending someone in the Catholic church. The Bible does not teach we need a Pope. Peter was not the first pope that they claim that he was. They take one verse out of context and try to make a man-made doctrine to establish the office of the pope and this is a dangerous way to treat God and the Bible. You can make the Bible say anything that you want it to. There is proof of this in every denominatio of the church. However, if people would only read and study the Bible using the rules of God to understand what is written we would all benefit and come closer to a unified set of beliefs. Learn to search your Bible for at least two verses to establish the truth and this will help you tremendously in how you view the truth.
These are just two of the most important basic spiritual laws of correct Bible interpretation that you need to learn and put into daily practice. Once you finally do this, you will begin to see that there is a major difference between God’s Bible truth from what some people are trying to convince you is the truth. There is a conept from our history that applies to today’s lesson on God’s laws. The Law of aerodynamis always existed from the time of Adam, but no man knew or understood it so we did not benefit from it. Do you see the application that I am getting at and the importance of knowing about God’s laws? People who do not know that spiritual laws exist can never follow them or utilize them to their advantage to understand God’s Word. However, once you discover them and learn to use them they have great potential for the same dramatic change in our lives as the invention of the airplane. Just a short time ago no one knew how to fly and today it is a common occurrence that everyone participates in. This is why I am teaching this subject today so that we can all benefit and begin to use God’s laws to understand the Bible. Thanks for reading my Bible lesson on the Laws of correct Bible interpretation. God Bless!
(Ver 1.1) I received a comment on one of my blogs a while back asking if I was a Bible expert. I replied by asking for a definition of what he thought a Bible expert was. So far I haven’t gotten an answer to my question. You see it appeared by the arrangement of his question that this individual was not going to believe what I wrote, if he could not find an expert that also said what I was writing about. In other words it looked like to me that he was looking for a man to be his source for what he believed. I can only assume that if he found an “expert” based upon some unnamed criteria as to what makes one an expert, that he would suddenly accept something new to be the truth. I do not know about you but I feel that is a very dangerous position to take. You see anybody can say they are an expert. However, I do understand being cautious about accepting something that someone has written on a blog. If you do not know this person, their character, their background and their intention for writing the blog then you could be easily deceived into believing something that is not true.
So what do you do? Are there any Bible experts? What exactly is an expert? I guess since I didn’t get an answer to my question I can look in the dictionary and can get someone’s definition for what they consider to be an expert. So let’s start there.
Expert: A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject
According to this definition this could apply to anybody about anything. It is obviously a general definition that goes across many boundaries. It also sounds very subjective. Do you understand what I mean by that? Something is subjective if it depends upon the perspective or opinion of someone else to whether or not anyone could be considered an expert. Yo Yo Ma could be considered an expert cellist. I guess this would be my opinion of the man based upon listening to him play the cello. However, since I do not play the cello does my opinion count for anything. Now there are other things like in certain sport fields like archery and target shooting, that people can be measured to determine if they are experts. Based upon the number of perfect shots that they pull off and judging the result from looking at their targets. This is not a subjective designation for being an expert. Bowling is another example, if you can bowl a consistent perfect game and never miss you would automatically qualify to be called an expert bowler. However, there is a huge difference in a subjective designation and a non-subjective designation that is quantifiable and measureable.
When you say somebody is a Bible expert, what are you saying? Let’s see if we can quantify it or measure it. You should understand that God is what I would call the ultimate Bible expert. Only God knows everything the Bible says and exactly what everything in it means. So if we would place God on the upper end of our scale as the ultimate Bible expert, where would you fall on the scale? Where would any man fall on the scale? I believe firmly that there are some men and women who know more than other people on this planet, but I would never call any of them experts as God is an expert. That also means I do not consider myself to be an expert. If I said I was an expert I would be saying I have confidence in my ability to figure out everything that I read in the scriptures. That would in fact make me no different than the man who wrote and asked if I was an expert. I would be placing too much emphasis on my skills and giving no credit to God who has given me the information that I blog in the first place.
I know men who are in their 80’s and who have studied the Bible and ministered for over 50 years. But I also know that as much as they know, they do not know everything. Sure I have learned from them and I do not say there is nothing that they cannot offer me. But, I have learned that God can show me a single verse in the Bible and ask me a simple question and I learned more from that one question than I could ever learn from the 80 year old man in a much shorter period of time. If you think that God doesn’t do that you would be wrong. If you think God doesn’t do that for you, you would be wrong again. I have studied the Bible in great depth for the last approximate 25 years. I cannot even count the number of hours that I have spent exploring the Book and asking God questions. In that time God has spoken some very direct things to me and revealed some awesome things that I have not told anybody. Some of it is coming out in my blogs, simply because I can’t help it. You have to teach what you know, that is just a basic principle of life.
So am I an expert? You be the judge if you want to, I know I am not. I am just a man who knows an expert God. I know I write a lot of things that are radically different than anything you will find in any Bible commentary or seminary. However, consider the source, if everybody got everything they taught from a seminary how would God ever introduce you to anything new? You might be amazed to find out that God does not always work through man’s organized systems. Why didn’t God recruit Jesus’ disciples from the priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, etc., the religious leaders of the day Too many times men have established set procedures and traditions that keep God from doing anything to help them. So what does God do? You would be amazed at how God uses the most unlikely candidates to bring out a new message. If you read your Bible and look you will see God selected a group of men, some fishermen, some business men, a doctor, a lawyer, every kind of profession God would surround himself with. God chose a shepherd to be the King of Israel. You can go on and on with who God used in the Bible and ask yourself, would any of these men have been your top candidate for the job? So is God any different today? I’ll ask you again, has God changed? Does He do things differently than He did in the past? Does God still use the foolish things to confound the wisdom of men?
What are you suppose to do? Do you believe something based upon the source qualifications of an individual or do you simply just read the Bible for yourself and see if it says what is being taught? I have written about this next scripture in several of my blogs and I’ll repeat it today because it applies to our subject. What did the early church do? Is this a pattern that we should be following? If you think about the situation of the early church you can learn a significant lesson. Here we have a group of people who do not have an organized seminary or theological group of experts to consult. These people were handed something that was completely new to them, a totally radical change to anything that they had ever heard before. They were taught about things that they had never imagined or even heard taught by anybody on the planet, especially the Jewish religious leadership of the day. These people faced an extremely important decision and probably the most important eternal decision that they would ever face. This is really no different than what you are facing right now. So you can learn this lesson and apply it or you can choose to ignore it and do what you want to.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Paul and the other disciples were travelling about the countryside preaching the Word of God. They brought such a new radical teaching that I am sure it was immediately rejected by a lot of people just because it was completely new. However, this verse in Acts describes a group of people that God calls very noble. You could imply this also means brave and courageous. These people we are told, kept an open mind to the new things that were being taught them by Paul and the other disciples. Being open minded is an essential quality to a successful Christian growth process. But that is not where the verse ends, that was just the key essential ingredient that allowed them to be more noble. If you read the verse, we are given the key to Bible understanding in determining what we should believe and what we should reject. This verse says these more noble people heard what was being spoken and then they looked in the scriptures to see it for themselves. In other words they based their beliefs upon a personal knowing of what they saw in the verses and not based upon what an expert man was telling them to believe. Did you hear what I just said? Paul was probably the most expert man of his day and knew more about the scriptures than anyone else. But Paul never said believe what I say, because I’m an expert and you are not. Paul always pointed people to the scriptures and the Word of God. The Bible should be your only source for what you ultimately believe. You should never take the words of any man, even experts without finding out for yourself what the Bible really says. If this lesson applied to the early church it still applies to us today. We are still in the same church that they were in. We are still in the same body of Christ that they started, and what we believe must be based upon what God has spoken and not any man.
Having said all of that I should also tell you that God does use teachers to help you learn. God many times will pick one man, like a Paul and give him information and revelation from the scriptures to teach to His children. So God has anointed some men and women as pastors and teachers and He has given many of them specialties in specific areas of Bible knowledge. But, if they are not showing you Bible verses for you to see for yourself and for you to study, you should run away from them very, very fast. Stop looking for an expert to follow and follow God and your Bible. Use your relationship with God, the author of the Bible to help guide you into the truth that you need to learn today. Don’t try to make me or anyone else do your Bible studying for you. If you are depending on what I know for what you believe you will soon be deceived, if you are not already. I believe what I believe because I have studied it out in the scriptures for endless hours and I am confident in what I teach as being the truth because of this intimate and personal scriptural knowledge. You of course do not know everything that I know and cannot have the same confidence in anything that I say. I also understand that concept fully, and I hope that you do to. As we continue to follow God’s leadership through his Holy Spirit who indwells us, we will continue to grow in spiritual strength and faith and finally become the mature Christian that God is seeking.
So do I think that I am an expert, No! Are there really any experts in the world? None that I know of! After all what is there that we can measure that determines a Bible expert? Is it a title from a seminary or university? Is it a duration of a time of study? Does studying the Bible for 10 years make you an expert? How about 50 years of studying the Bible does that make you an expert? I hope that you see the problem with man’s qualification system. Make God your expert, and use the Bible as your source of knowledge and beliefs. Listen to God’s anointed teachers and then check out every word that they teach using your Bible and you’ll continue to grow spiritually with the rest of us. This is God’s system and design for getting people to see and understand the Bible. I have a responsibility and you have a responsibility. It is an equal partnership working with God and He will bring the increase from our labors.
Here is an interesting topic to consider when thinking about keys to understanding the Bible. One of the keys to understanding the Bible is understanding the systems and methods that God uses in our everyday lives. The Bible says God is not willing that any should perish, so we know that God wants everyone to be saved. So what is He doing to solve this problem, how does God try to reach people and get them to believe and know Him? That is a question I think many have never thought of. God is of course capable of solving the atheist and agnostic beliefs in everyone in an instance of time, by suddenly appearing and proving His existence. Why didn’t Jesus when He rose from the dead, go to everyone and prove His existence? Why did He only appear to a select few? If He would have walked into the synagogue in Jerusalem, every Jew would have had no choice but to believe on the one that they crucified. There would have been an instant establishment of a kingdom of God on the earth. There would have been no room for any other religion in the world. But, God chooses to do things differently. God has implemented a system based around people. Throughout the Bible we see that God selected certain individuals to bring His message to the rest of the people. We can see this in the life of Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. Here is a verse that demonstrates God’s system to us:
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
God created a faith based system of beliefs for the human race. We can see in this verse that it speaks of people calling on God to save them. But how can they call if they haven’t heard of Him. No one has ever seen God so we are all in the same boat. We can clearly see a reference in this verse to the human element in God’s plan of salvation. We can see that unless men and women preach and teach about God and His ways, no one will be able to hear, no one will be able to believe, and therefore no one will be saved. The weakest link in the chain is people. God has left the process in the hands of people. Those that teach the Word of God have been called by God, selected by God, given the responsibility by God to get His message out. No man or woman on this planet can save anyone, yet God has chosen a system that is totally dependent upon people who are imperfect and capable of failing. On one hand you can see that God is either crazy or He has great faith in the ability of His Word to accomplish change in the hearts of men.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
We can see in Ephesians 4:11 that the verse contains one key repetitive word, this word is “SOME”. Some means not everybody, it could even mean a few, as in a small percentage. The key emphasis is that not everyone has the same function, the same level of responsibility, the same knowledge, the same spiritual growth level, the same whatever. God selected some people to specifically teach His Word. That implies the rest are responsible to learn what is taught. If everyone was a teacher no one would need to be taught, no one would need to teach. If everyone knew everything God wouldn’t need to say anything.
So the point to today’s blog is for you to recognize that God uses people. Just as he did throughout the Bible. We can see David the giant slayer, Samson, even Saul of Taurus, who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament. God has always selected specific men and women to get His message out to His people. This is still happening today, your challenge should you choose to accept it is to recognize those whom God has sent and ignore those that just went. So understanding the Bible will depend upon you understanding how God works and the systems that He has implemented and working with Him to accomplish His goals and purposes. I hope this has been a blessing to you.
(Ver 1.1) When it comes to Bible interpretation and understanding the Bible, did you know it matters how you search the Bible? Did you also realize it matters what you search for in the Bible? You can apply this same principal to searching for gold or oil under the earth’s crust. Does it matter where you drill for oil? Does it matter what type of soil you are drilling through? Does it matter how deep you go? Could you drill a mile down and miss the oil by 10 feet? You know natural things say you can do the right thing but do it the wrong way or at the wrong time, or at the wrong place and the net results will be as if you had done nothing at all. There is a biblical principal or as I call it a spiritual law that applies to us and how we search the Bible and what we search for in the Bible. Jesus said “He who seeks will find”.
Matthew 7:7 Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.
This Bible truth tells you something that is so profound yet it can be so easily missed. What you seek after is what you find. The clear implication to this verse is that it matters what you are seeking after? It matters what you are asking for? It matters what doors you knock on. It makes a huge difference to what you find. If you search for the wrong thing in the Bible you will find the wrong thing. It is a spiritual law from God. There lies the primary problem of people searching the Bible just to prove something is true. Instead of just looking for the truth, people search and look for scripture to support their opinion or their position or what they think it says or what they think they heard someone say. I’ve seen people search the scriptures and give references to why they think abortion is OK scripturally and they supported their position based upon their findings in the Bible. Any idiot can find scriptures that support whatever position they want to take but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth and what God intended for us to follow. Always start by reading the Bible and asking God to reveal to you the truth and refuse to allow your pre-conceived ideas or opinions to sway or influence your search.
So the bottom line is this, it matters what you are searching for. If you are searching for the wrong things, God said that you will find the wrong things. If you search for the right things, God will make sure you find the right things. So what you find is determined by what you are searching for and not so much as what is really there. This might not make much sense to you, I don’t know. However, people have proven this repeatedly. Jesus didn’t lie, he who seeks will find. He who knocks it will be opened to him and it doesn’t matter if he is knocking on the wrong door. Make sure you are seeking the right things and knocking on only God’s doors. So why is this law possible? If the Bible contains the truth, why can’t we just read it and understand it. It really all goes back to a recent Blog I did where I told you that God wrote the Bible in a fashion or style that would allow man to make a choice. You see if the Bible was explicitly written in a textbook style, man would have NO other choice but to believe it. Understanding some of these key principles and spiritual laws of how to study the Bible will help you gain a much clearer understanding of God’s word, if you truly apply them.
(Ver 2.0) Here is an interesting statement to ponder. People generally don’t know what they don’t know. I don’t remember where I heard that statement for the first time or if I got it from God. I just realized that it was the truth. It is certainly related to another subject that people are generally resistant to change. In one of my last blogs on this subject I talked about the importance of having an open mind as being a key to understanding new things in the Bible. Change is inevitable, but most of the time people like the status quo and are creatures of habit. They learn something and then live it out on a daily basis, being repetitive and finding it hard to accept something new. These days technology is changing so fast, that you either have to live in a cave somewhere to not realize that what you have today will be obsolete tomorrow.
Now back to what people know. What makes one man a doctor and another man a homeless bum. The main difference is knowledge. One has extended an effort to learn and knows how to help other people and the other one lacks this knowledge and motivation to obtain and use the knowledge. In effect he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. You know one thing I noted about doctors was that it appeared people who learned a lot to be a doctor are more readily able to accept that there is so much more to learn. People who know little to nothing sometimes come across as the kind of people who talk the loudest and think they know everything they need to know. The doctor is usually smart enough to know when his expertise is exhausted and he needs to call in a specialist that knows more than he does. These are all examples and lessons that can be easily applied to us and the Bible, knowing the Bible, understanding the Bible and applying the Bible to our lives. Because people don’t know what the Bible says, when God sends a teacher with something new they resist it automatically, they criticize the speaker, they do stupid things that result in the rejection of Jesus himself. When Saul persecuted the early church and he threw them into jail, beat them and stoned them, Jesus took that very personally. Here we have an example of Saul not knowing what he didn’t know. Being raised a Jew under the law he thought he was doing all the right things. This is a very strong lesson for all of us to learn from even today. God is not through with teaching His people new things so you need to be open to hear it and to accept it. You need to keep your stones in your pockets and quit throwing them at God’s chosen servants.
Act 5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Act 5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Be as one of the wisest men in the Bible did, choose to keep your mouth shut and tell the others that if it is of God it will grow and prosper, if it is not of God it will die. This man knew to fight against God was a very foolish thing to do. If you read the verses prior to this statement, he gives examples of men who rose up with false messages and how they came to naught. It is very much like the story of Balaam in the Old Testament, he said “How can I curse what God has blessed”. This is a lesson for STUPID Christians in the world who are fighting against God’s servants. Learn the lesson given in Acts 5 and ignore false teachers. Do not attack false teachers, if they are from God they will prosper, if they are not from God they will come to nothing. It is not up to you to put it down, God has not appointed anyone as the watch dog of the Theology that men are preaching and teaching. The main reason for this, is the fact that you just do not know what you do not know. So if someone comes around teaching something new, it could very well be of God and thus you will not be able to stop it. If it is not of God, then it will die of its own self destruction. Learn this lesson and it will cause you to be much wiser.
Here is a natural example of what I’m talking about today, of not knowing what you don’t know. Say you are traveling down a dark highway in the middle of the night. You are going along with little to no traffic on the road. Up ahead a tragic accident happened and a barge hit the bridge and took the bridge completely out. If you continue at your current speed in the dark you will soon come upon the missing span and be unable to stop and plunge into the river. What is the lesson of this story? The lesson is you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know the bridge is out. You don’t know you are about to die. If you only had a flashing warning sign or cop in the road with flashing lights and a flashlight flagging the oncoming traffic down to stop you have a chance at being saved. Otherwise, you are doomed to go to a tragic outcome in this life. This is generally symbolic representation a true story of the situation of the world today. We have a tremendous number of people traveling on the road that Jesus called the road to destruction. This road is wide and long and many people will go that way not knowing the outcome that the symbolic bridge is out. But God has sent certain individuals into the world to draw attention to the fact that the bridge is out and to try to warn them. Jesus said that those who believe it will be saved and those that don’t believe will be damned. Those are tremendously important words to consider today. Try to figure out what you don’t know, because it just might save your life someday.
(Ver 1.2) I’ve seen many pastors and teachers attempt to go through a book of the Bible and teach it independently verse by verse. While you can certainly learn stuff by doing this, is this really the best way to approach the Word of God? In my opinion it is not. For example, take the book of Revelation. Probably the most complex, confusing and hard to understand book in the Bible. I’ve seen teachers stand up and attempt to do a verse by verse walk thru of this book in isolation and the end result is usually just more confusion. When you teach even a single verse of scripture independently of the rest of the Bible, many times you miss God’s commentary on the subject. I believe one of the keys to understanding the Bible is letting the Bible interpret itself. You do this by getting God’s definitions and commentary on all of the subjects that you are studying. When you do this, you have a much better chance of getting it right. For example, in books like Revelation that is filled with symbolism, you absolutely have to let the Bible define what these symbols mean or you will get it wrong.
Many times people are guilty of introducing their own opinions into what the Word of God means. God being so much smarter than us, knew we would do that, but yet did not make the information in the Bible any clearer or easier for us to understand. There must have been a reason for that and I’ve addressed some of those in other lessons. One of the reasons was to allow man to have the freedom of choice. Another reason was to hide information from His enemies. Finally, I think another reason was to give us a challenge to figure it out and allow God the opportunity to reveal it at His perfect timing. It’s funny but humans are naturally curious and they like puzzles, riddles and intellectual challenges. God did not create humanity to be cave men, they were just created ignorant of so, so many things. Ignorance is a reality for everyone. No matter how much you learn and know, you haven’t come close to what God knows. Will Rogers said “We are all ignorant, just about different things.” How incredibly true that statement is.
The information, clues, explanations and commentaries of God are spread throughout the Bible. Sometimes or many times they are very difficult to find. We are faced with challenges because God uses various techniques to conceal information in the Bible and I will get more into them in other lessons. One technique that God uses is symbolism. Another is allegory. Another technique is calling one object by many different names and descriptions. Another technique is to call multiple objects by the same name making it more difficult for you to figure out which one God is talking about. There are many other techniques that God uses to hide the truth and I call this “hiding the truth in plain sight.” The truth is all right there for anyone to view and read, but yet it causes so much debate as to what it all really means. Isn’t this fun? You see the other day I did a search on the just one subject on the internet. I searched Google for “The Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12” and guess what I was returned with over 6000 opinions what she meant. That is a classic of example of how 6000 different people can have 6000 different interpretations on what God calls only one truth.
So is it a good idea to teach the Bible verse by verse, I guess it depends on how you do it. If you research, study and see what God says about a subject in other places in the Bible and include that also in the teaching I would say that it would be OK to do it that way. If however, you isolate yourself into a verse, chapter or book of the Bible and teach it independently of what God says about it in other places, then you are making a huge mistake. Don’t become a Robinson Caruso Bible teacher and strand yourself on a verse island. When you do this you will eventually starve your spirit, which will cause you die of spiritual malnutrition. I hope you enjoyed my little Bible lesson about teaching in isolation and that it will help you to learn more about God’s Word.
This will obviously be controversial to some. But nevertheless this is what God says so I stand by it. What I have been attempting to do is give you some keys to understanding the Bible. If we can understand God’s intentions, motivations and purposes for the book, we will better understand what is written. So in today’s blog I want to give you another perspective of why the Bible is so hard to understand, to many. This principle is based upon the concept that God has enemies and that in order for God not reveal everything to His enemies, He has to write things in an encoded method. , This encoded method allows God’s people to see the truth while at the same time keeping the information from His enemies. It is a very tricky way of writing with many complex twists, mysteries, hidden meanings, symbolic representations and other tricky methods. I call it God’s method of hiding the truth in plain site.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosever therefore will be a friend to the world is the enemy of God.
From this verse in James we see a fact revealed that God has enemies. If you didn’t know that it would be good to study and find out who those enemies are. I’ve heard some fools think and teach that Satan was just a pawn of God. A spirit being that appears before God to get permission to make somebody sick or kill their children. People read things like in the book of Job and make too many assumptions. Satan is not working for God. Satan doesn’t have to ask for permission to put some evil plan into work against you. Most of the time it is our own fault when Satan attacks us. We open the door to the enemy and let him do the things he does. There are a lot of Bible verses that I could give you to back that statement, but I won’t spend a lot of time on that subject since that is not what we are talking about.
This may also be news to some of you and maybe you’ve never heard anyone teach on this, but God has enemies. The church has the same enemies. Satan is still a spiritual force in the world in opposition to the church and our God. Satan I think sometimes people look at him as this evil red suited, horned and pitch fork carrying spiritual entity that resides in hell and comes to earth to bug us when he wants to. Nothing could be further from the truth. Satan does not live in hell, he has never been to hell, doesn’t want to go to hell and he’s doing everything in his power to stay out of there. But there is good news Satan doesn’t know everything. He can read the same Bible that we can but he doesn’t understand it any better than anyone else in the world. As God gives new revelation to the church, that is the first time Satan hears about most of this stuff. There are scriptures that back this up. Look at this verse:
1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
You see from this verse that Satan and his fallen angels are ignorant of the plan of God. This verse says clearly if they had known the consequences to killing God on the cross, they would not have done it. So apparently we don’t yet fully comprehend the ramifications and consequences of God being nailed to the cross. Not only did He provide salvation for us, he sealed the fate of Satan. Interesting isn’t it? So when Jesus said I didn’t come to do away with the law but to fulfill it he was saying that he was here to fulfill those things which were written about him.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are they words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
So couldn’t Satan read the Bible and see and hear what was being said in the synagogues? Sure he could, the problem is he didn’t understand anything that was written and neither did any man. Jesus fulfilled countless prophesies in his birth, life, death, burial and resurrection and Satan didn’t know any of them. I can only assume that Satan thought by killing God he could rid him from his planet and now he could go on and continue to rule for as long as he wanted. These are all interesting thoughts but these concepts are also applicable to the unsaved human race. Notice what is written on this subject and the words spoken by Jesus himself:
Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.
Jesus speaking to his disciples said the mystery is for only you to know, those that are on the outside they will never know or understand the things of God. It has always occurred to me that people in hell don’t know why they are there. They don’t have a clue that Jesus paid for their sins and they rejected the free gift of salvation. I wonder if someday they will come to the knowledge and realize the things they missed out on. So were we enemies of God before salvation? Here is a scripture that says we were:
Romans 5:10 For if, we when we were enemies , we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.
So we discover a fact that God said that while we were still enemies, Jesus paid the price to reconcile us back to God. This of course was one of the primary reasons for the death of Jesus on the cross. Clearly it was not all that transpired, but I’m sure glad He did that for us.
So what can we conclude from all of these scriptures? If God had enemies, He was forced to conceal information in His Word in a manner that His enemies would not understand what He was doing that would effect them. We will eventually discuss the methods in more depth that God used to accomplish this, but that is enough for now.
I’ve been going through some of the key elements that people need to know in order to understand the Bible correctly. Knowing how the Bible is written and why it is written like it is helps us to better understand what is written. Seeing things clearly and thus better understanding God’s goals and purposes. So continuing in this line of thought I want to address a key personal characteristic that will help you to increase your understanding.
Reading and studying the Bible has to be done with an open mind. What I mean by that is people who are already set in what they believe, will have an extremely difficult time learning about and accepting the truth. People who are indoctrinated with traditions of their church, the theological thoughts and concepts of error will probably never really understand the Bible. I’ve heard those types of people as being called “Concrete” Christians, thoroughly mixed up and firmly set. Think about it, why did Jesus go around and constantly say “let him who has ears, hear”. Apparently, what people received from him was not up to what he dealt out or said. Jesus put the responsibility of hearing on the hearer and not the speaker. You can say the most profound and important thing in the world and if no one cares to hear it, then it really does no good to say it. Some heard what Jesus said and some didn’t. Judas was with Jesus the same as Peter, James and John. Judas obviously didn’t hear anything Jesus said.
Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and should be converted and I should heal them.
This is probably one of the key scriptures to Bible interpretation that many wouldn’t associate with it. But I feel the application is right on. So what is the subject of this verse in Acts 28:27? It would appear it is the heart of the people and their ability or inability to understand with it. Isn’t that what we are talking about? Why don’t people read the same Bible and come to the same conclusions? Why do some see things one way and others don’t see them at all? It is a perplexing puzzle? But the Bible tells us that people close their eyes to the truth and they therefore refuse to see it or allow it to effect their lives. It is not God’s fault is it? Unfortunately, a lot of people want a God on their terms and conditions. They want a God that they want. The want to see a God that fits their concept of God. That is the definition of religion whether you realize it or not. Religion is man’s attempt to please a God they don’t know. Christianity should be radically different than a religion. Christianity is based upon a relationship with the Creator. Here is another scripture from the book of Acts that speaks to the subject of being open minded:
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.
This verse speaks so very much that it should not be bypassed. It directly compares two different groups or types of people. One was said to be more noble than the other. Nobility is a term often times inferred upon royalty, kings and queens. The word “noble” literally means “of a higher rank”. Did you realize that your rank in Christ can grow or diminish? It is all up to you however. What made these more noble than the others. It tells us they had a ready and willing mind. I’ve often heard a mind described like a parachute, it only works when it is open and engaged. This is so true that God put direct conformation in his word. But also notice that these more noble ones just didn’t swallow anything anyone was teaching them. No, you see an incredibly important lesson given here for the entire church of God. This is an example to learn from and to follow. It tells us that they searched the scriptures daily to see for themselves if what was being taught was really what the Bible says. So whoever is teaching, including me you should do the same. Never accept the words of any man or woman unless it totally agrees with the word of God.
So what is the net, net, or bottom line of this blog? What is the primary take away? I’ve heard it called low hanging fruit. What you should take away may be an attitude adjustment. If your attitude is that you already know everything you need to know about the Bible you need to change. If you hear something new that you’ve never heard before, you should be open to at least research it in the Bible and study it out for yourself before you reject it. That is one of the most obvious problems that I have observed with many pastors and Bible teachers today. God raises up someone with a new focus on a part of his word and because it doesn’t fit what they learned in seminary, they automatically throw it under the bus, not knowing they just threw God under the bus with it. How can God get over something new if no one is open to hear it. How can God teach you something radically different when you think it is from the devil?
The eyes and ears are windows to your mind and to your spirit. In order to get things into your heart, you are going to have to leave your windows open and get them past your mind. The mind is the battle ground for Satan. If you let something in your eyes and your ears, Satan will come immediately to steal it by attacking your mind. If he can get you to reject it before you understand it with your heart, you are defeated and he has won. This is a spiritual battle and it takes place inside of you. If you learn about it and understand how he works you can use it to defeat him.
God created natural things to give us views into spiritual things. Jesus taught us in the parable of the sower, that there are six types of or conditions of the human heart. Only 50% of these six types produced any lasting harvest. Jesus told us that of he 50% who produced good fruit, that 1/3 of them produced 30 times, 1/3 produced 60 times and the other 1/3 produced 100 times. But, we can see that the other 1/2 of the people who also heard, allowed circumstances, persecution, lack of understanding and the cares of the world kill the harvests that God had wanted to give them. It is interesting to note that they all had the same seed sown in them, but only 1/2 produced anything worth while. We should all take note that the seed is constant, it is only the soil that changed what was produced and how much. This is a very critical lesson to learn. The seed or Word of God will never change, so that leaves only one place that changes can and should occur. Guess where that is?
So getting back to natural things showing us spiritual things, there is a comparison given to us in the Bible about Christians being born again. Jesus told us in John 3, “ye must be born again.” He of course was speaking of a spiritual rebirth. When Nicodemus asked him can a man go back into his mother’s womb? Jesus replied that “What is born of flesh is flesh, but what is born of the spirit is spirit”. Jesus was speaking of a spiritual birth process, that many times corresponds to a physical birth process. What are the implications of being born spiritually? You can see by looking at new born natural babies that these children are completely helpless and totally dependent upon someone else for nourishment and care. Well even though new born Christians can be fully grown natural people, from a spiritual stand point they need the same level of care that any new born needs.
As babies grow, they begin to develop more and more skills and abilities. By the time they are 4 years old they can do a lot of things that grown ups can do, but just not as quickly or as well. With continued training and development these children will eventually become responsible adults. So all of these physical developments are analogous to spiritual development. Just like a college student can not have a calculus conversation with a 2 year old, so are there many things in the Bible that are as equally as hard for a new Christian to accept. By realizing there are differences and by placing yourself somewhere on the following scale, you should be able to determine how much you need to grow.
So where would you fall on the scale? Zero being a new Christian and 9 being where Jesus is today. It think we all are striving for the 9, but none of us are very close to it yet. What does all of this have to do with Bible interpretation and understanding the Bible. Well more than you can imagine. Most of the dissension within the Body of Christ is coming from baby Christians. Babies holler the most, cry the most, complain the most, ask why the most and oblivious to what they are doing to others. Babies are self centered and focused only upon themselves and what they need or what they want. Children do many things that are harmful and hurtful without regard to anyone else. They’ll take toys away and bite and fight not caring about anyone else. Sounds like a lot of Christians I know. When a two year old comes to me and criticizes something that I do, I don’t let that bother me. Why because I’m older and I know they don’t know any better. It is funny, Jesus took the same attitude towards the Jews, while hanging on the cross, Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”. It is no different today, when someone criticizes me for something I say, I just say “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
(Ver 2.1) Today’s Bible lesson is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding truth in the Bible. This of course is a very difficult and tricky question to answer correctly. How do you approach this subject without offending someone? Too many people approach the Bible like every word came from the mouth of God and therefore the entire book is completely true from cover to cover. I am forced to disagree with that assumption but before you write me off, you should hear why. You see, I do know that God is the author of the Bible and every word it contains was inspired by Him for us. But is everything in the Bible the truth? That would be like asking is everything you watch on the ABC World News the truth? I don’t mean to say that the national news correspondent is intentionally trying to mislead us or lie to us. That is not what I’m saying at all. You see, if you’ve ever watched the news, you probably know what I’m going to say. You may remember when we had a president get up on the news and say ‘I did not have sex with that intern’. So was that the truth? Did it make it true because it was on national TV or reported by a popular news anchor on a respected news program? You see the problem, don’t you? The Bible has many quotes from similarly unethical and ignorant people and just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is the truth.
This is in fact a very important and a key element to correct Bible interpretation, first determine who is speaking and then determine what their character and moral background is before you embrace what they say to be the truth. If they are the words directly from God, like it says” Thus saith the LORD”; or if they are the words in red ink in the New Testament from Jesus, or the words of one of God’s chosen prophets or apostles then it can be easily confirmed to be the truth. If however, Moses, David, Paul, John or Luke or whoever, quotes what somebody else said like Ananias or Sapphira in Acts 5, then it is very possible that what is said is not the truth. Again it depends upon the speaker. If the speaker is Satan for example, whatever is said could be a partial truth, the complete truth or a complete fabricated lie. So it definitely matters who is speaking before you can judge whether it is a truth or not.
In the book of Job, in the Old Testament it contains a lot of words from Job, Job’s wife and Job’s friends. Now while there are many valuable lessons in the book of Job, not every word spoken is the truth. You see here is Job’s problem, he didn’t have any Bible. He couldn’t understand most of the things of God. He couldn’t really know or understand what he was saying, after all what would it have been based upon? There is not any established basis for the thoughts of Job. For example, Job said “God has given and God has taken away.” I’ve heard preachers in church and at funerals stand up and quote this like it was God speaking. However that is not the truth. It is true Job said it, it is true it is in the Bible, it is true that God inspired someone to record what he said, but it is not a statement of truth. I’m sure I’m going to get a lot people upset at me for saying this, but this is the way the Bible was written. If you read later in the book of Job 38:2, you will see that God asks Job a simple but direct question and it says this “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?” It is very clear to me that God is saying that at least some of Job’s words are baseless ramblings from an ignoarant man. Yes, Job believed they were true and was not intentionally deceiving anyone, but according to God they were just the words of an ignornat man. So you must judge what Job says by what God says about Job’s words and then and only then will we better understand the Bible. According to 2 Timothy 2:15 there is a right way to divide the Word of Truth and by reverse/antithesis implied truths there are also potentially many wrong ways to divide this exact same Words of Truth. You have to make a determination how you want to do it. You can do it your way or you can do it God’s way. The Bible is much more complex than you can imagine and there are specific rules and guidelines which God has given to us to follow and if you learn them and follow them you will not fall into error very often.
So if the Bible contains specific historical information such as names of cities, countries, dates, times, and people can we count on them to be accurate? Absolutely, the Bible is not a book of mythology, fables, fairy tales or man made legends like Paul Bunyan, Atlas or Methuselah. The Bible contains actual historical events, places and people. You can count on every one of them to be more accurate than any text book or history book you had in school. God knows exactly what happened when and where.
If the Bible has an account of some miraculous event transpiring in a supernatural story, like the parting of the Red Sea, can we rely on that as being a true fact within human history. Absolutely, people who don’t believe in God will of course try to convince you that this is fiction, but I know better. God who is capable of creating the world and everything we can see, is certainly capable of doing something on a much smaller scale that is still very spectacular.
Knowing how to read and study the Bible will greatly increase your understanding of God’s Word. Understanding that not every word in the Bible is the Truth will help you figure out what is the truth. You do realize that if everything in the Bible was the truth, it would not be necessary to “divide the truth”. What is a division? A division is a separation of one thing from another thing. To divide something entails effort, work, tools, study and understanding. If you were a doctor about to do surgery on someone you are about to cut them open or divide their flesh to look inside. If you don’t know what you are doing your patient is in trouble. Well dividing the word of God is somewhat similar, if you don’t know what you are doing, you are the patient that is in trouble.
If you would like to continue reading about Understanding Truth in the Bible please go to “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.1) This of course is an interesting question. Technically speaking you have 66 books of text within the standard KJV Bible. We know that approximately 40 different men shared in the writing of the Bible over a span of approximately 1600 years.
Here are some basic Bible facts that I found on the Internet:
There are 8,674 different Hebrew words in the Bible, 5,624 different Greek words, and 12,143 different English words in the King James Version
- Number of books in the KJV Bible: 66
- Chapters: 1,189
- Verses: 31,101
- Words: 783,137
- Letters: 3,566,480
So let me ask you a simple question. What would happen if you attempted to get 40 different writers together in order to publish a book of such volume. What would the net results be? Could you get any of them to agree? How many times would they contradict each other? How many times would they cross paths and overlap information? How many times would they come up with anything that could predict what was going to come to pass a 1000 or more years in the future? I think you see the problem? Here we have a book that many approach with wrong assumptions, based upon wrong information, drawing incorrect conclusions and are generally just screwed up. I’ve heard so many people who want to write an exposition of why Paul said this, or Moses said that, like it was their ability and knowledge that produced what we are reading. If you approach the Bible with wrong ideas, you generally get back wrong ideas. There is a basic computer programming law that says if you put garbage in you get garbage out. That is the way the studying the Bible works.
What you first must do is understand who wrote the Bible? Establish a correct focus first. Forget the names of the 40 different men that copied the words onto the pages or scrolls I should say. Forget the commentaries of men who don’t understand or have a clue what God is saying and focus on this, God spoke and dictated the exact text and words that He wanted recorded and He gave the task of recording these words to 40 men over 1600 years. Now that changes everything in my view. Now you are not attempting to explain why Moses wrote anything that he did and left out other things that were not recorded. If you approach every word as being important and a word directly from God that has purpose and meaning you start looking at the Bible differently and can now begin to see it correctly.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Jer 30:2 Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
According to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible was inspired by the Spirit of God. I guess it actually says given by inspiration of the Spirit of God. While the Bible has multiple scribes or men that were given the task to record the words of God in book form, we must realize that all of the words were given and inspired directly from God. This book says nothing that God would not want you to know and to understand right here and right now. It doesn’t say anything that God wouldn’t say to you if you could stand before His throne in heaven and ask Him questions directly. This book contains the thoughts, ideas, wisdom and knowledge of God and is available to you 24 hours a day. It is totally up to you to tap into this vast treasure of information.
(Ver 1.4) This of course is a very difficult subject for many Christians to accept or acknowledge. So many Christians struggle with believing the concept that God would intentionally hide important information from us. How could a loving God ever keep us from easily finding that which He desires us to learn and know? I once heard a minister say that studying the Bible is like a natural man searching for natural gold and I found that I could really not improve on that analogy so I’ll use it to help you understand how the Bible was written by God’s design. If you’ve ever panned for gold in Colorado or California you will have already discovered how difficult it was to find anything of significant value on the surface. I tried it but I came up empty even after several attempts when I was in Colorado, I guess it was fun, but it would have certainly been better if I had left with something that I could have said WOW, look at this!!! Look at what I found. This is a lot like reading the Bible and many do it everyday, but never walk away with the WOW, look at this. “Look what I found in the Word of God”. Why is that? There are probably a lot of reasons and I cover many of them in this Blog. Here is a verse of scripture about God and it describes a characteristic of His nature that must be understood if you are going to be a serious student of the Bible:
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
What an amazing statement of universal truth. This verse clearly states that God is glorified by Him hiding information for us to find. Oh yes, I should have told you first that we are the kings and priests of God that He is referring to in this verse. Jesus is called the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). The reference to “kings” is us! I know that bugs the heck out of religious people, but please get over it see what the Bible says.
Like digging for gold in the natural world so it is in the spiritual world with the Word of God. People don’t usually find many big gold nuggets of truth on the surface of God’s Word by just reading the it. There we must ask, how do we find them? We find them by digging deep for them. It involves work and that is a four-letter word to many. Proverbs 25:2 said that the honor of kings was in the searching of the information. Searching involves effort and that is spelled W O R K! There is a lot of information that can be found on the surface of reading the Bible, but the really good stuff is always found much deeper within the text. Did you ever notice the world’s largest gold producers are finding most of the valuable stuff deep underground using tunnels, blasting, digging and a whole bunch of effort. Occasionally they might find a large vein and strike it very rich by digging deep. Bible study is the exact same thing. I noticed this scripture in the Old Testament that confirms that God has secrets:
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets.
This verse informs us that God has secrets, but it also says that God will not do anything without first revealing his secrets to His servants, His prophets. That tells me the Old and New Testaments both have the potential of an extraordinary number of hidden secrets of God. Some we have discovered and most that we have not yet found.
Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
God says in this verse in Proverbs that He will make known His words after He has poured out His Spirit. We can see that the work involves the Holy Spirit. We can also see the clear implication that the meanings of the words must be hidden if God is going to make them known. You see we have had these words recorded for us to read for thousands of years. But yet the implication is that there is still more to know. Many will try to explain this away as having happened back with the apostles. But that event was only the former rain and now is the time of the later rain. Now is when God is again pouring out His Spirit unto men. Now is the time for the harvest. There are so many scriptures that tells us the same information, here is one from the book of Daniel:
Daniel 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changed the times and the seasons: he removes kings and sets up kings: he gives wisdom unto the wise and knowledge to them that know understanding. 22 He reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with him.
You see from these verses that God is the one that holds all wisdom and that He gives it to us so that we can become wise. But verse 22 says the main point of this Blog, God reveals the deep and secret things to us. A “Deep” thing is an implied truth that is not easily understood or seen. These are very strong statements of truth and teach us a lot about the Bible. It tells us that everything in the Bible is not shallow and easy to find or understand. It implies that there is an extended effort and a commitment necessary from those who want to find these “deep” secrets. Let’s jump into the New Testament and look at another verse:
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
Here we read another verse that declares God has hidden things in the Bible and it even refers to them as mysteries. What is a mystery? A mystery to me would be a complex puzzle, a code, riddle or something that is not plain or obvious. If you could look at it and immediately know what it was, it wouldn’t be a mystery would it? So apparently if you haven’t figured it out, the Bible is written in a style that conceals many things and makes hidden much of the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God.
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.
This is another great example of the fact that God hid the revelation of Jesus Christ from the very beginning of our created world. We can observer clearly in this verse that God must reveal this information to us in the form of a revelation given to us in this instance by the writer Paul. If you didn’t know it, there are still Pauls in the world today that God uses. God is revealing things, giving revelation to many within the body of Christ and all you have to do is recognize it when you hear it. Yes, there will be false teachers, prophets and etc. in this world But, the Word of God will always be correct when rightly divided. Judge what people say by the Bible. So we can see so many verses that declare that the Bible contains the mysteries and secrets of God, here is just one more:
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, now is made manifest to his saints.
This is a fantastic verse if you are one of God’s saints. For if you are a saint of God then this verse assures that you are potentially destined to know these hidden secrets. The implication is clearly given that they are intended for God’s saints to know and understand. Some will attempt to explain, that was only for them, the early church and not for us now. I can hear it all now. But there is no way it is not for us right here and right now. This is what Jesus said about the secret things of God:
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest: neither anything hid that shall not be known and come abroad.
This is of course a little difficult to see in the King James version of the Bible, but it basically says that there is nothing that was hidden or secret that will not be made known or revealed so that we can see them, understand them and know them. That is a powerful prophecy and the words of God himself speaking. Has this occurred yet? I really only think we have scratched the surface of this prophecy, but I believe it will be fulfilled before Jesus’ return. You of course can believe whatever you like. You might ask how can this be, is it possible that the body of Christ could unify and see the truth? I think it is possible if we allow God to do it. This scripture in Daniel shows us what God is capable of by just one Old Testament prophet:
Daniel 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets seeing that thou could reveal this secret.
So the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar recognized the power of God. By God revealing a bit of information to him the king was convinced that he was the true God. You see God just has to reveal a few key things to get people to see and He knows what those are. I believe that is why we will see major changes in attitudes and major changes in the true church of the living God.
So what have we seen? That the Bible contains mysteries, secrets, riddles and puzzles that God is starting to reveal to us in these end times. If you start looking for them, and expecting them to happen, God will make sure that they do happen. But since there are so many false teachings going around, here is what the Bible recommends for us to do:
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
You should follow this example of the early church. Be open to hear and learn, but search God’s Word everyday to see if they are really true. Don’t buy into anything I say or anything anyone else says just because they said “Thus saith the Lord” or I have a revelation from God. Too many ignorant people have done that and burned or died in a compound when their leader suddenly said it was time for them all to die. God can and will show us if what is being taught is true or not in His word if we stop and ask and listen to His leading. If God doesn’t bear witness within your own spirit that its right, reject it and run far away very fast. Just remember that God still expects us all to search and work for it and to see what His word says. God will reward them that diligently, meticulously, conscientiously, thoroughly seek Him. It will be up to you, what you learn in these last days, more than it will be up to God. Thank you for reading these Bible lessons and I pray that they are all a blessing to you. Please tell someone about this website and help the Gospel go forth to as many as we can reach.
(Ver 1.2) This Bible lesson may be a brand new perspective for you and it just may be something that you may have never considered to think on. Have you ever studied the many different writing styles of books? College text books are written radically differently than fictional literature. Technical writings and software documentation are written consderibly different than a President’s biography. Realizing that there are so many different writing styles, let me ask you what literature style is the Bible written in? I believe that is an interesting and very important question to consider. From my research and study I’ve discovered that the Bible is significantly different than anything else that I’ve ever read. I believe that this makes it difficult to label it as just one writing style and say that it is only that one. For example Psalms many times resembles a poetry writing style but it certainly cannot be labeled that alone because it contains so much more than that alone.
It is almost easier to determine what the Bible is not rather than to try to assign it a specific style. For example, the Bible was certainly not written in a text book style using technical documentation methods. However, the Bible does contain great technical information about creation. Why didn’t God write these creation facts, events, descriptions and dates using more revealing, plain and indisputable evidence? Do you think that God is not capable of describing all of the little creation design intricate details of DNA, Sound Waves, Laws of Physics, etc. using the scientific terms involved and the background proof data behind every part of His creation? Can God not compete intellectually with the modern PHD professors in our colleges and universities? Are the scientific discoveries and the theories of men superior to God? Do believe that God not able to dispel the theory of human evolution using His knowledge of creation?
I personally believe that God’s intelligence is so far beyond the Einstein’s in our world that He could solve the debate with only a few lines of specific information. But, if He did that, what would be the end result of that type of information? It would be like the classic movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, when the man from another world went to the professor’s house and solved a very complex technical equation on the chalk board, that the professor had been trying to figure out for a long time. What that information did was take away any doubt that he was not from this planet and that he was much smarter than the professor and anyone else in the world.
If God provides us undeniable evidence that proves His awesome power, knowledge and ability to us all, the net result would be that every human man would no longer have any other option but to believe what God says is truth. I believe that this type of strong evidence would result in the loss of all human freedom for a man to believe whatever they wanted to by faith. If God proved that He was God, no longer does any man have any freewill choices or decisions to make about the existence of God. It is an interesting paradox. The God who proves His love for us by coming personally and shedding His blood to pay the cost of our sin and He doesn’t even write down one letter in any book or leave any evidence proving His appearance. He doesn’t us leave any photographic proof of His existence. He doesn’t leave any scientific or DNA evidence other than the words of a few witnesses, some people who are told to go and tell the world that He appeared. He tells these witnesses that those that believe their words spoken to them will be saved, but those who do not, will be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
Therefore, every man on the earth is left with only one choice, to believe or to not believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The ball of decision is not in court of God, but was specifically designed to give man the choice in a human court of faith. A man must be sent to preach the good news to others (Romans 10:15-16). This preacher man must believe that he is called to preach and then choose to preach. Then men that he is sent to must choose to listen, hear, understand and believe the message. This method of salvation is a spiritual system called faith that was designed, created and implemented by the sovereign God alone. Knowing this should change everything about our perspective when we read the Bible. We should change to begin to look for the hidden evidence in the Bible and we should start by believing in things that we can not understand completely without overwhelming evidence.
We can learn from just the simple story of Adam and Eve in the first 3 chapters of Genesis, that God provided everything that they had need of and it was all said to be created good in the eyes of God. But, God said there was one thing that they shouldn’t do and that was to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He didn’t say they couldn’t do it, but He did warn them that the day that they did eat they would surely die. The Bible does not say that God fully explained what death was or that Adam remotely understood the consequences of disobedience. But yet, God gave man the choice to make. This is called freewill and every man has a right to it.
Apparently, Adam didn’t listen to the warning when he was faced with one of the world’s greatest decision choices that anyone could possibly make up until that time. I do not believe that Adam understood the consequences of his choice for himself or all of his descendants and he definitely chose wrong. Could God have stopped Adam from making this bad choice by providing more information, proof and evidence? I believe the answer is YES! Should God have stopped Adam by force from making this bad choice using His great knowledge? I believe the answer is NO based upon His love alone! Those are both interesting questions that only God can fully answer, but I believe the further involvement of God would have taken away the free will of the man to make his own choice to choose to obey and that is something I believe that God does not do.
So why is the Bible written in such a controversial way that appears to allow men to believe whatever they choose to believe? I believe the primary reason is the fact that God has continued to give man a freewill choice in everything that he believes. We can believe in Jesus is the LORD GOD or we can choose to believe that Jesus was just a prophet like Islamic teachings say. We can believe in the existence of eternal damnation and hell or we can choose to believe in universal salvation. We can believe in evolution or creation. We can believe in whatever we want to believe in. God wrote the Bible in this manner to allow us to find whatever we wish to search for in the Bible. But, of course that right to believe in something that is so wrong will not help us on judgment day. On judgment day, God will not be interested in our opinion or our beliefs. It won’t matter if we think we are right with all of our heart. We’ll not get to share our opinion with God on why we believed what we did on earth. We better make sure what we believe is right here, right now and is based upon the most truthful and accurate information that we can search and find in God’s word.
Thank you for reading this little Bible lesson. Infinite choices are presented in the Word of God. However, there is always only one true interpretation and understanding and this will agree with God’s opinion and not mine or yours. God Bless you and keep you and please leave a comment if can.
(Ver 1.2) Here is a topic that might raise a huge debate. Is the Bible hard to understand? Can you read the Bible cover to cover and know exactly everything that it says? There are many that I have heard who think that you can. However, I believe based upon the number of divisions, dominations, unbelievers and atheists in the world, it is clear that the Bible is very, very difficult to read and understand. So why is this such a delicate subject? I think it could be partially because there are so many people in the world that have learned something that they think is in the Bible and are holding fast to it like there is nothing else to learn. I see this all over church denominations, they learned something great a hundred years ago and they stopped learning. There is a famouse statement that applies to this discussion and it says “The greatest enemy to knowing the truth is believing that you alread do”. That statement precisely describes a great number of people in the world. God brings along someone new with a new revelation of something that He wants to teach His people, and we have idiotic denominations preaching these people are of the devil and saying they are all heretic teachers. If only they would be open and receptive enough to study and find out if it was true before they condemned it, most of them would have to change their minds and ask God to forgive them and then they would have to change what they are teaching. Pride causes many to fail this requirement quickly. No one wants to admit I was wrong please forgive me for what I use to teach.
So why is the Bible so difficult to understand? The Bible is a highly unique book written by over 50 different human authors in many different writing styles. But that is not what makes it so complex to understand for you see the entire book is really written by only one author and He is God. God used different men to write down what He wanted to say but it all goes together in harmony. So what is the difficulty? Here is a scripture that helps to explain at least part of the problem, if not the majority of the problem.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
There are some really strong words given to us here and this verse contains the primary reason why even many Christians don’t understand the Bible. You see this verse doesn’t say it is talking about an unsaved man, just a natural man. What is a natural man? If you look up the word it means one that is dominated by their senses. In touch with how they feel more than what they believe. The Bible speaks of a carnal mind being an enemy to the things of God (Romans 8:7). A carnal mind is a mind that is dominated by the flesh and not the spirit. So we begin to see a pattern to the problem. The unsaved world doesn’t have a clue that they are a spirit living temporarily in a human body so there is absolutely no way they would ever be able to understand the Bible. It is only after we let Jesus come into our hearts that we can begin to see and understand the Words of God.
So then what do Christians need to do to become more spiritual and less flesh dominated? That is another point of controversy but I’ll tell you what happened to me, because I can’t speak with any authority about what happened to you. I was saved, I believe as young child in Vacation Bible Schools and Christian Summer Camps. I was raised in a Christian home and my father was a pastor of several churches. However, as I grew up I drifted away from the things of God and became flesh dominated and controlled. I married and we had kids and finally through a series of events that occurred, God had my complete attention. I began to seek God for more of Him and started asking to be filled with His Spirit. Before, all of this I really never understood the Bible, didn’t like to read the Bible and didn’t care about anything that was in it. However, God answered my prayer and filled me with the Holy Spirit and all of sudden the Bible came to life and the words on the pages spoke with meaning, power and authority. A new awareness of God, a knowing God on a deeper level, an actual personal relationship with God occurred. So many people read the Bible to learn about God, when God really is more interested in them knowing Him first. So that was a quick testimony of my story and how God was able to change my heart and as a result while I don’t know everything, He has certainly been able to teach me a lot more than I use to know. God is capable of teaching you whatever you need to know, but the problem is not with God, the problem is always with us being able to change and receive from Him. It is a complex world we live in, we were created by a highly complex God who has developed complex rules and systems that He operates within. The idea of an omnipotent God that places limitations upon himself and what He can do, is probably offensive to many religious minded people. But, I didn’t create the systems, the rules, the guidelines, the laws that He imposes upon us and himself. We are required to figure out how He operates and change to fit His requirements, we should all know and understand, that God will not change to fit our requirements.
This was not a long lesson, but it requires a lot of humility and deep thought for the reader to see what is covered. I thank you for reading it and I pray you learned something from it. God Bless you and if there is anything that I can do leave me a comment and I will try to respond in a timely manner.
(Ver 1.1) I believe many times it is a good idea to review the basics and establish a firm foundation to build upon. In thinking about this topic of Bible Interpretation I thought I would review the obvious. Of course it may be obvious to me, but to a new Christian it might not be common knowledge, so here I go. There are rules to Bible Interpretation by God’s design. God has established rules and guidelines to follow and once we learn these, they often time become second nature and you don’t have to think about them in order to follow them automatically. It is much like the law of gravity, it doesn’t take us long to discover that if we climb in a tree and we slip, we fall quickly and hit the ground. I learned this as a kid in my backyard and I never forgot it. I didn’t want to disregard this law of gravity again. If you ignore God’s laws of Bible Interpretation, you might not get the wind knocked out of you physically, but spiritually it can be the same.
So what do we need to do first? Learn that there are rules to follow. Then learn what the rules are. Then follow the rules. This is not rocket science, just a simple truth about understanding the Bible and the author of the Bible. The same God that established natural and physical laws has also established spiritual laws. He lives by them and He expects you to learn them and apply them also. These are the basic principles that we all should live by everyday. We drive our cars using the traffic laws everyday. Normally once we learned how to drive and passed the test for the license we don’t go back constantly and review all of the laws that we learned every minute of the day while we drive. No, the laws and rules have become second nature and we follow them while we drive without even thinking about them.
I do not profess to know every rule of Bible Interpretation, but the ones that God has taught me, these I will transfer to you for your benefit. By reading the rest of these posts in this blog, you can learn some of the do’s and don’ts of Bible Interpretation and apply these to your study and improve your learning capacity, I guarantee it.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 6 in the study series of Correct Bible Interpretation Rules. If you have not read from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” first. The last time I taught on this subject of Bible interpretation rules we talked about a very specific type of erroneous interpretation called the private interpretation. We of course now realize that a private interpretation simiply is one that is dominated by our opinions and they contain our personal subjectivity in determining the meaning of what we have read in the Bible. If you are smart you will realize that your opinion is not what is important to God or to me. Just as my opiniion should not be important to you. God is not going to ever ask our opinion on what we think the Bible means. You do realize that, don’t you? So as a result we discovered that we should let the Bible interpret itself. What we think has no determination on the final outcome of what truth is. God is so smarter than all of us combined and He wrote down very specific words that mean very specific things and we should find out what He said and what He thinks and then we should go by that as being the truth only.
So here is a related topic to no private interpretations allowed. Let God define the Words in the Bible and not you or even Daniel Webster. I look up words all the time in dictionaries to learn what they mean, but I have found that God’s definitions of these words are many, many times not in the dictionary. Let me give you a couple of quick examples. We have been studying the 1st chapter of Genesis and it refers to the 6 days of creation and then the 7th day when God rested. But if you have been following the lesson, the term “day” is defined a little bit differently in the Bible. When the Bible says “A Day is…” that indicates a direct definition is about to occur. It is about to tells us what God thinks a day is equivalent to.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
So if God says a day is as a 1000 years and that a 1000 years is as 1 day we can attempt to apply this definition to the scriptures we find “day” mentioned. I know this doesn’t work everywhere all the time but it does help us in many places, especially Genesis the 1st chapter. The difficulty comes when we realize that words have multiple definitions and this is the same with Bible words. We are going to have to use the word in context to see if it fits. I know this defintion fits nicely with Genesis 1 based upon what else the Bible says on the subject. You can read about a coming 1000 year day of rest in Revelation chpater 20, for example. This day of rest is described as a coming event in Hebrews chapter 4. Therefore the clarification of a day being as 1000 years directly applies to Genesis 1 with ease.
Let me give you another example of when God’s definition is better than a man’s definition. In the 9th chapter of John, Jesus comes upon a blind man and his disciples start asking him questions of why. I’m not going to get into the details of this story just one comment that Jesus makes in answering the question. Jesus says “I must work the works of him that sent me…” in John 9:4. In reading this verse I automatically assumed like many others that healing the man was the work that Jesus was talking about because we can see that this is what Jesus did at least at first. If we look up the word “work” in the dictionary it would refer us to a manual labor task or a place of employment or occupation among other related meanings. Of course none of these definitions would help us to understand what Jesus did and why. What is work to God? What is God’s definition of work? Did you realize Jesus tells us the definition, if we only look for it. If we back up in the book of John to the 6th chapter and the 29th verse we can see God’s definition for what work is:
John 6:29 “This is the work of God, that we believe on him whom he has sent.”
That definition changes everything so dramatically about what we read in John 9 that it is almost ridiculous and it shows us why we should be looking for God’s definitions in the Bible and leaving our opinions and our definitions out of the mix. You can now go back to chapter 9 of John and reread the entire story based upon this new definition and you will see that God did accomplish this work. Jesus met up with the former blind man and asked do you believe in the Son of God (John 9:35)? The man asks who is that to Jesus and Jesus says it is who you are speaking to now. The man then says “Lord I believe”. This was the defined work of God demonstrated. Getting people to believe in Jesus in still our primary work today.
Let me give you one more example on getting God’s definitions to help you see that this is a very important subject to learn. We are all told in the Bible to expect eternal life as our reward. However, every spiritual being in the world saved or unsaved will live forever somewhere. Those that are saved will live with Christ and those that are not will be in hell. So what is the Bible defintion for eternal life? Let’s read God’s definition of eternal life for the believer:
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
There is a direct explicit definition for eternal life in this verse and there is also an indirect definition for eternal death in this verse. Since every truth has an opposite truth associated with it, we can learn both definitions from a single verse. Eternal Life is us knowing the True God forever. We can conclude that Eternal Death is the opposite of not knowing the True God forever but knowing the false God Satan forever. These are very important definition of eternal ife and death. Because they came from God’s word and not the dictionary they contain truth that is unrefutable by human reasoning.
I just gave you three quick examples of letting God define the words we read in the Bible but there are so many others to be found in the Bible. It will help you so much in understanding what God wrote if you let God show you what those things mean. The Bible is one Book by one Author and He is smarter than I am. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 5 in the series of lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. If you have not read through this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you return back to “Part 1” first. I’ve been going through various rules and the keys to successful and correct Bible Interpretation and now want to touch on probably one of the most important rules that I have been shown by God. The ignorance and the misuse of this one rule gets more Christians into the hot water of error than probably the others all combined. It seems like humans are naturally opinionated and like to express their opinions usually very loudly. Whenever a person doesn’t understand what is being said, many times they close their eyes to it and attempt to come up with their own explanation of the meaning of the verse. This is called a private interpretation. The Bible actually warns us not to go there, but still this is a common human trait we all must face and conquer. Here is a definition of interpretation that I found on the web:
Interpretation: Opinion regarding a set of facts. A degree of subjectivity is involved on the part of the individual, based on his or her experience, personality, and biases.
Did you notice what that definition said? It said people often times use their own experiences, their personalities or their biases to determine what they think about a stated fact. I see ministers doing this all the time in what they teach. They are letting something external to the Word of God dictate what they believe it says. That is a very dangerous approach to take when studying the Bible. Here is a verse of scripture that I referred to earlier:
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
That is a critical word from God with far reaching consequences. It says we shouldn’t use our own private interpretations to explain God’s Word. The clear implication that is made is that the Bible interprets itself. Some would read 2nd Peter 1:20 and say that is a restrictive context that only applies to prophetic books like Isaiah or Revelation and other books that were written by God’s prophets. But I’ve got news for you that almost every book that I’ve studied has some very clear prophetic words recorded in them. It’s easier to find a scripture of prophecy than to find a scripture that is not prophetic.
So the bottom line, is if you don’t understand what is being said shut up and don’t try to teach it like you do. Unless you can find scriptures that back what you think is true and accurate leave it alone and don’t speculate. I’ve recently heard some ministers teach Revelation and they said some things that were clearly just their own opinions. The problem is when they stand up and teach it with authority like it is a word from God they influence others to believe a lie. This makes it much harder when God does reveal the truth for people to accept.
Here is another example of a private interpretation. Many in the body of Christ teach that healing went out with the death of the last Apostle. God doesn’t heal anymore, we have doctors that have replaced God. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have any scripture to back what they are teaching, the damage is done, people’s faith is destroyed and many Christians die as a result. There are more private interpretations of the Bible on the internet than there is the truth of God. That makes it extremely difficult to place the truth at the top of the list. I have heard men leave me comments and tell me why I am wrong over and over and almost everytime, it has to do with their private interpretation of the scriptures. Whenever you have to look for a reality outside of the Word of God by studying commentatires or history books, you have departed from the truth to teach a lie. Please learn to give God more credit than that. There is much more information in the Bible than what you currently know and understand. God help us all from people teaching their own opinions.
(Ver 2.2) This is Part 4 in the series of Bible lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation Rules. If you have not read this series from the beginning it would be advised that you go back and start reading at “Part 1” first and continue forward through the series. Getting a firm grasp on God’s usage of symbolism is very critical to correctly understanding and interpreting the Bible. Many times we read the Bible and see the mention of something that can be taken either literally or symbolically and this makes correct Bible interpretation infinitely more complex. The Bible is full of symbolism from the very 1st chapter of Genesis to the very last chapter in Revelation. We will eventually discuss why God uses symbolism but for now let’s attempt to define what it is. I like to view symbolism as a method used by God to convey hidden spiritual information in a coded format or reference. Symbolic Bible reference almost always describe concealed and hidden spiritual things using the terms, descriptions, names or titles of natural things, events or people that we all should be familiar with or at the least should be able to look at them and then learn to understand them with study. For example, have you ever seen God? No, God is a hidden spiritual being and the Bible says no man has ever seen God, but yet for you to get to know who God is, He describes Himself in the terms of natural things like the Sun so that we can understand Him and learn about His hidden qualities.
If while you are reading the Bible you encounter a reference to something or someone that doesn’t make a lot of sense to be a real physical entity it would be a good time to ask is this a symbolic reference to a higher spiritual truth. Let me give you an example in Genesis 3, the Bible speaks of a creature called the serpent in Genesis 3:1. Most Bible scholars agree that this is Satan, but the controversy comes when they attempt to say that Satan appeared in the garden of Eden as a physical snake. If you ever attended Sunday School as a child you have seen the picture of a naked man and woman in the garden with an apple in their hand and a talking snake near them tempting them. I guess this is the picture that these verses in Genesis 3 have conjoured up within the minds of men and women who have read the story. I could give you several scriptures in the Bible that directly contradict this account that helps us to see the real meaning behind this symbol, but I guess because of the time it would take to do that, I won’t go into that level of detail until we get to those verses in Genesis 3 later. What I will say is that this serpent in Genesis 3 is a symbolic reference and not an actual literal physical talking snake and you will have to wait for why I know this until later.
Please realize that the first three chapters of Genesis are heavily covered with symbolic references and not literal references. God is attempting to teach you about spiritual things and not about natural things and this is the failure that many Bible students fall into by simply ignoring which references are natural and which ones are just symbolic of a much greater spiritual reality. The book of Daniel has many symbolic references throughout the book. The beasts seen in the visions, are all symbolic of earthly empires and spiritual beings behind them. The book of Revelation is literally the most symbolic book that I know of. There are very literally few things in the book of Revelation that are mentioned that are not symbolic of something that is spiritual. You can find Daniel’s beasts repeated in Revelation, you can find the serpent from Genesis 3 repeated and finally being revealed to who this was in Revelation 12. There are two major symbolic women in Revelation, one in Revelation 12 and the other in Revelation 17 called the Whore of Babylon. There is another symbolic city called a woman in Revelation 21 named the New Jerusalem and the bride of the Lamb.
I hope that you understand symbolism and can learn to identify God’s usage of this technique. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 3 in the series of Bible lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation Rules. If you have not read from the beginning of the series I would recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” first. This is one of those obvious Bible facts, but sometimes it is really good to state the obvious for public general knowledge and for clarification to help avoid misunderstanding. The Bible does not contain a complete story, account or description of anything, anyone, any place, or any event within human history. The Bible omits more details than it includes on any subject given to us by God. I believe God puts only the most relevant and pertinent facts in the Bible that He wanted us to see and know and that He omitted whatever He felt was not important or too dangerous for us to know at that time. For example it is very clear that Genesis is not a complete account of creation. The Old Testament is not a complete account of the natural nation of Israel. The Gospels are not a complete account of the life and ministry of Jesus. The book of Acts is not a complete account of the early church. The book of Revelation is not a complete account of the end. On and on I could go. What we must begin to realize is that the facts and information given to us in the Bible are all extremely important and then we must learn to focus on what they say or don’t say in order to understand what God wanted us to know. Did you notice what I just said? There is more than one way to learn from what God wrote in the Bible. One direct way is to learn what was written to us. The other indirect way is to observe what was not written to us. Wow that could get really complex, couldn’t it?
In the book of John the 20th chapter and the 30th verse it says there were many other things that Jesus did that were not written for us to see. Why were some things recorded and other things not recorded. Correct Bible study and interpretation is certainly more complex and involved than anything that you can imagine.
Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Notice what God declares to us in this last verse of the book of John. God very clearly states that the world could not contain the volumes of information that were performed and spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ. That just amazes me tremendously. God was obviously highly selective to which words that He wanted us to see and understand. It certainly does not belittle the words that were not included but God placed great value upon these words that were written to us. Seeing the value of these words has been the theme of the last two lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. If you do not value God’s Words then you will never correctly understand them.
Understanding that God has written the Bible using a technique of limited and confined information is one of the keys to unlocking the meaning. Look at the Bible as a single piece of the pie from the much larger complete knowledge of God’s wisdom. Gaining a correct perspective of the Bible will great assist in the correct interpretation of the Bible. This technique of limited information displays the extreme intelligence of God and His ability to say a great deal in a few words. Often it is not the amount of the words but rather the purpose and content of what was spoken that makes them most valuable to us. I hope you are grasping the significance but we have only initiated the subject of Correct Bible Interpretation. We will continue on in the next lesson and learn more important concepts.
If you would like to continue reading about Correct Bible Interpretation please go to “Part 4” now.
(Ver 2.1) This lesson is Part 2 of the Correct Bible Interpretation Rules series. If you have not read from the beginning I would recommend that you start with “Part 1“. In this series I discuss the proper approaches and rules to interpreting and understanding what God has given to us to know. When reading and studying the Bible, I have learned that it is absolutely critical to pay close attention to every word that is written. If it wasn’t important, God would not have written it down for us to read and study. Think with me and consider the fact that God could have written us any words and these are the ones that the most intelligent being in the universe wrote down for you to personally read. That tells me that God thinks they are important. Did you ever notice that God pays attention to the smallest details in your life? The Bible says He knows how many hairs are on your head (Mat 10:30). Since this number changes on many people’s head daily this is an amazing attention to some details that we do not even know. That is an amazing revelation to the level of detail that God is interested in you. If He cares that much for you, I believe that He expects you and I to care that much for Him and His words.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
This scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16 informs us, that every word of God is important for us to see and learn. If you continue reading in the next verse you will that it claims that these words will help a man to grow up spiritually and become mature to do great works. Sometimes I think we either do not understand what this means or we forget that this is true. Especially when we read through boring genealogies or lists, laws or something that we are not interested in. Does “ALL” mean every word? I believe it does and we need to read it like God is saying something very important to teach us or correct our life’s course.
Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
You can clearly read from the mouth of God some words that are extensively ignored by some Christians. According to God Himself, He says that man will only live by knowing every Word of God. God is comparing His Word to that of symbolic natural bread. It just so happens that I really like bread so I can relate to this analogy and type of symbolism with ease. You see I also like the Word of God and that is what makes me different than a lot of people. What I want you to see is the emphasized qualifier in this verse that it states that “EVERY” word of the Bible is important to feed on spiritually. The next time that you read a genealogy like in Genesis 5 you should change your attitude towards it and find out why God put it there and then try to learn what it means. When I discovered that the Genesis 5 genealogy had a hidden message within it, I changed how I looked at the Word of God. Suddenly every word seemed to have more significance and meaning attached to it than I ever realized before. I began to look at every word differently and just because I did not understand why it was there, it did not deter me from taking away what I could find out about it and then making notes about what I still needed to learn. Writing down your questions and praying to ask God to answer them will open the door for Him to show you what they mean.
Maybe I’m different than you are. I learned as a computer programmer to pay close attention to every jot and tittle that existed within the programming text. Every bit and byte of information had great significance to whether the program that I wrote worked or failed. Believe it or not, this is what God is trying to teach you today about the Bible. Become a detail oriented person in your Bible study and it will change your point of view and I will guarantee that you learn more than you ever have before. Learn to feed your spirit on every word of God and treat them all as being valuable for your life. There is a famous quote that states “Success is in the details” and I believe this more today than I ever have. I hope you do this also! Ignoring little details will most often lead us into errors of wrong interpretation. Taking a portion of a verse out of context is often a main way people fall into error.
I thank you for reading this short lesson on Correct Bible Interpretation. It had only one main point and I pray that you understood the significance. If you would like to continue reading in this series please continue to the next lesson called “Part 3“.
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 1 of a series of lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. In this series I try to present basic rules governing correct Bible interpretation. Today is a very simple rule to learn and to follow, yet so many have totally missed it. Everyone needs to understand that no single verse of scripture is an island. You might not understand that analogy but what I mean is that no verse of scripture is independent of the rest of the scriptures in the Bible and stands alone. So many people read one scripture and get so excited by what it says they seem to forget how it fits with the rest of the Bible. As a result of an overabundance of enthusiasm for the one solitary verse they have taken it and tried to treat it like God didn’t say anything else in the whole book. Many take a single verse of scripture and change it into a verse named Robinson Crusoe and have stranded it on an island in their mind. This kind of reasoning makes the Bible very easy to change the meaning into saying something that it does not say. If you isolate any verse in the Bible you can make the Bible say some very bad things. This is a common error found in incorrect Bible interpretations everywhere. Here is a verse of scripture that Jesus taught us and it actually says a lot about this subject that I am talking about today:
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
What you can see is that Jesus contrasts two realities, physical food and the Word of God. God compares both of them to be essential, but for the later to have precedence over the former. In this verse Jesus says one key word that is essential to apply correctly. This word is “EVERY” and that implies you better know more than one verse on any subject. It is clear to me that the Word of God is spiritual food and you must feed on it as often as you do natural food in order to grow strong spiritually. If you are only feeding on one verse then you are probably being starved spiritually. If you are focused on one verse only, you are ignoring the rest of God’s comments on the subject. Here is another very relevant verse for this subject of isolated verses:
2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
God tells us that every word that we believe must be based upon more than one witness. A witness is someone who speaks the truth in a court case or a trial. A witness is always sworn to tell the truth and the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This is a Bible basic concept of correct Bible interpretation. Do not take one verse which is one witness and teach anything. Go and search the Bible for a corresponding witness to the verse. Many times this is one verse from the Old Testament and one verse from the New Testament. Other times it is two or three verses in just the New Testament. What we find in doing this is that God’s truth is rightly divided based upon our ability to find multiple witnesses in the Bible of what we have read. This is why some people are very foolish in their practice of handling snakes in their church services because they found one verse in Mark that they think says for them to do this. That is STUPIDITY gone to seed bursting forth into great error!
What we should be doing is asking how does this verse that I found fit into the Bible’s big picture? How does this verse relate to the other verses on the subject? What else does God and the Bible say about this subject? Can I find more than one witness in the Bible in order to declare this verse a truth? This is the way God designed the Bible and this is how the Bible works. If you learn these concepts they will help you tremendously in changing how you study the Bible.
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lesson concerning correct Bible interpretation please continue to the next lesson Part 2.