Bible Study, making it personal: Bible study is a very personal thing. It can be done with others but the bottom line is, it is very personal between you and God. It is my deepest belief that studying of the Scriptures is very important to mankind and pleasing to God who loves us and sacrificed His son so that man could be reconciled to God through Christ. For both the Father and the Son, this sacrifice had to of been extreme and of horrific pain, way beyond our comprehension, and how it must be comforting to God our Father to find those with an open heart that are sincerely interested in wanting to learn all they can about Him and His only begotten Son, Jesus our Lord and Savior and His plan for mankind. God’s divine gifts do greatly benefit our everyday lives to eternity and we need not neglect such a great divine opportunity. As it is written in Hebrews 2:3. how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him
The Scriptures also warn us not to place our trust in tradition because what has been taught for many years may not be accurate and according to Christ. Colossians 2:8. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Consider this, no one knows they’re deceived, not until they’ve realized the truth, and the bible teaches that all truth is revealed only through God’s Holy Spirit.
In studying I find it very important to search under every rock and stone, allowing God to reveal any traditional or any other teaching that might be adding or taking away from the intent of Scripture. Please consider that false interpretations can do both. We learn in the book of Jeremiah that the Lord God is not happy with those that make claim to things that God has said, when He didn’t and the following verse warns us about the outcome of those that do. Revelation 22:18. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Study of the Inspired Scriptures
I sincerely believe in the idea that the early Scriptures of the bible were inspired by God and to be understood, we need to seek the same divine anointing through Christ for understanding and that is done through sincere prayer and having an open heart for truth. I believe that everything written in the bible is for our benefit but not everything was written to us. Some things was God’s will for them and today God has a will for each of us which will be divinely revealed as our hearts are opened in sincerity and truth. Sometimes there will be Scripture that seems to contradict but I have found it best, to put some things that don’t make since, on the back burner until God reveals more and then I’ll find a much deeper and richer understanding. Our learning experiences are built on blocks of learning that support the next level of growth. As we grow in the knowledge of God, the more confident our faith will be demonstrated in our own lives and to those around us. The following verses also warn us about allowing others to deceive us and instead directs us to the Scriptures that are inspired by God. The more we study, we will find that there is an indwelling presence of God for those that are open and welcome His presence. And within this divine presence is where all truth is revealed.
2 Timothy 3:16. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (Please, take Notice!) 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When we do most anything right, there are rules or guidelines that take us to where we can find the outcome we are seeking. One of my rules is to identify the basic message of a verse. Whom was the verse written to, what was God’s purpose, when and where was this message applicable. Some verses can be taken more than one way but understanding for truth normally will be supported by other verses. Sometimes some verses need to be shelved for the moment until more study and prayer will prove better understanding. Some verses are what I call “absolute” verses. The Scriptures teach us that there is no confusion with God. 1 Corinthians 14:33. For God is not the author of confusion… So when there is confusion, we can be assured that, that is not the intent of God and we would do well to focus on Him and His truths, through His Holy Spirit and continue to place our trust and faith in Him. There are many teachings that are confusing and that confusion should be our first red flag that it’s not a reliable precept of God. That is what I like about the absolute verses. They are our foundational building blocks for truth. Absolute verses are verses that cannot be misinterpreted and are a good foundation to better understanding of the Scriptures. The following are a few examples of what I call “absolute” verses.
John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. There is no misunderstanding here. God gave His Son and those that place their trust in the gospel of His Son will inherit everlasting life. The absolute in this verse is that God did not offer Himself, but rather He gave His only begotten Son which is a much greater sacrifice than the offering of Himself. This I personally know for I lost a son in a traffic accident and I personally know that the life of a son or daughter is much much greater than my own life. So when that verse says that God gave His son, that places a much greater value to that sacrifice. Another absolute is that whoever believes in God’s only begotten Son will not perish but have everlasting life. Another absolute is the message of the love of God for everyone. A very basic absolute verse loaded with absolute truth of God’s love and will for mankind.
John 4:24. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." Jesus tells us in this verse Whom we are to worship in Spirit and truth. More study will show the divine relationship Jesus held with His Father and what He did for us on the cross, was to reconcile man to God, so we could also be included in this relationship. This verse assures us that worship is not dependant upon a location nor a building but in the heart. Divine understanding will prove this verse to be another absolute treasure!
Hebrews 13:8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is an absolute promise of divine faithfulness.
1 John 4:12. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. There is no way anyone can misunderstand that no one has seen God at any time. But God can be manifested in each of our lives if we choose to love one another.
James 1:13. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. Another absolute, God cannot be tempted and He does not tempt us in any way. A very good verse in identifying the source of temptation.
1 John 4:15. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. The Scriptures are very clear to what we are to confess about Jesus. This is absolute truth, Jesus is the Son of God.
Ephesians 4:4. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. I love this verse, it clearly identifies that there is one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father. This verse is simple, absolute and to the point, for it clarifies a lot of confusion and is fundamental in identifying deceptive teachings.
1 Corinthians 6:17. But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Not only is this absolute but also so precious when it is believed and accepted by faith. One spirit with the Lord, every day in our lives.
Revelation 21:7. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." No confusion here!
1 John 4:13. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. Another absolute that will prove to be very valuable in one’s spiritual walk in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:5. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. Another comforting absolute verse with promise.
Hebrews 10:39. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Another comforting absolute verse with promise.
Some verses need a good biblical foundation to be better understood such as with the following verse.
2 Corinthians 13:5. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified This verse will become an absolute when one has or finds a better understanding of the word “Christ”. As one learns and understands about the anointing of Christ, this verse will become an absolute, manifesting confidence in those that are in Christ.
Harmony of the Scriptures
There is perfect harmony in the Scriptures that only God could of inspired. There are verses that better explain certain precepts and when we are diligent in studying with prayer, we can find original doctrinal harmony throughout the older and established bibles such as the KJV bible. The question in the following Scripture is: who are “they” that Jesus was speaking to? So they asked Him, saying… As we read through the following Scripture, that answer becomes clear who, “they” are. Also take notice that Mathew, Mark and Luke record this same account, slightly different as they perceived it, but it is clear that they are all speaking of the same discussion they had with Jesus.
Luke 21:5. Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, 6 "These things which you see--the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down." 7 So they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?" And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them. 9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." 10 Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
In this verse, we find that “they” are Jesus’ disciples and we also discover where this conversation took place, …”Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives” but further study will give us even better understanding.
Matthew 24:3. Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Now this next Scripture not only tells us who “they” actually were but also give us a better understanding where this conversation took place.
Mark 13:1. Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" 2 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down." 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?" Now we know that “they” would include Peter, James, John, and Andrew. We also learn in this Scripture that the Mount of Olives was opposite the temple.
There is a big difference between simply reading the bible vs. studying the bible. When we study seeking the revelations that are freely given through Christ, we can find a deeper understanding that can so often be applied in our everyday lives. Now the following are verses that harmonize with other Scripture that reveals things that we can apply and use in our own everyday living. In the following gospels of Mathew, Mark Luke and John we see how God revealed His Son to all. Matthew writes as though God was speaking to all saying "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Mark and Luke writes as though God was speaking to only Jesus but for all to hear. Notice: “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” and "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.". Worded slightly different but the same message. But when we get to what John writes, take notice for this is a more personal revelation that was divinely given to John.
Matthew 3:13. Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Mark 1:9. It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.
Luke 3:21. When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." 23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,
John 1:29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.' 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water." 32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." 35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"
Notice how God had revealed to John and John testified without question that Jesus was truly the Son of God. Notice that John saw the Spirit descending from heaven and how it remained on Jesus which God had prior revealed to John that that Spirit was proof of whom Jesus was, yet later when John was arrested and locked in prison, notice how John began to doubt.
Revelation of the Scriptures
Matthew 11:2. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" 4 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." Take a look at our own lives, look at all the blessings of God, the miracles of life and yet it comes so easy, especially when times get hard for us, to begin doubting God and His promises. We do not know why John begin to doubt, maybe he listened to the leaders of that day and was expecting a different type of King, more of a man King, a kingdom here on earth rather than the divine kingdom of God, the body of Christ, that is only recognized by those in Christ. But Jesus returned and answer on a much more personal revelation by sending the message to John, assuring him to observe what Jesus had actually done. He was saying the prophecies that were given of God had been fulfilled. Jesus promoted dependency upon the revelations given through the Holy Spirit for truth over the ideologies of man. Also the bible tells us more about John the Baptist. He, from the womb of his mother, was filled with the Holy Spirit and I personally believe that he was a forerunner of God’s Spirit being poured out on all flesh. And even with this divine presence, he still struggled with unbelief. Take a look at the following prophecy of John even before he was born.
Luke 1:14. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
How do we apply this to our everyday living? For those today that are filled with the same Holy Spirit, need to realize the importance of walking in faith and not let the flesh of doubt take root in our Christ-like walk with God our Father. Doubting is a part of the flesh that we must daily overcome through Christ.
Revelations are from God our Father, not from “Flesh & Blood”
Peter observing all the things that Jesus did, realized in his heart, who Jesus was. I doubt that Peter , at that moment, was giving credit to God for that revelation. But Jesus, realizing Peter’s heart, pointed out to him, Whom was to be praised for that revelation. Matthew 16:13. When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
When we study the Scriptures in prayer, God will reveal many precious treasures through His Holy Spirit to us and we need to realize that flesh and blood does not do this, it is God our Father, through His Spirit, which He has given to us as our guarantee for truth leading to our salvation. In our everyday lives that are lived in prayer and faith, it is God our Father that will direct our every path and we need to do this in faith without doubting.
This is a verse with promise that was fulfilled on that Day of Pentecost when salvation was given to all that is willing to accept. No one is without excuse. Acts 2:16. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
Thank you heaven Father for this wonderful gift! 1 John 2:26. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.