“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20)
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20)
A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago it was the time of Jesus.
A billion hours ago it was the time of the Stone Age.
A billion days ago nothing walked on the earth on two feet.
Top 10 Greatest Things About Studying the Bible
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim 3:16-17) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) Psalm 138:2: I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Psalm 119: 1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. 9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. 10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. 13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. 16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. 17 GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. 18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. 20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. 21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. 22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies. 23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. 24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. 25 DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. 26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. 27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. 28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. 29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. 30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. 31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. 32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33 HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. 39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. 40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. 41 VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. 43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. 44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. 46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. 49 ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. 51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. 52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself. 53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law. 54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. 55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law. 56 This I had, because I kept thy precepts. 57 CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. 58 I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. 59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. 63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes. 65 TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. 68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. 69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart. 70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. 71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. 73 JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. 74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. 75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. 76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. 77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. 78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. 79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. 80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. 81 CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. 82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? 83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. 84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? 85 The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. 86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. 87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. 88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. 89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. 92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. 93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. 94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. 95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. 96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. 97 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. 107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. 108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. 109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. 111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end. 113 SAMECH. I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. 114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. 115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. 116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. 117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. 118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. 119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. 120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. 121 AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors. 122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. 123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness. 124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. 125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. 126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. 127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. 129 PE. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. 130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. 131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. 132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. 133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. 134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. 135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. 136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. 137 TZADDI. Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. 138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. 139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. 140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. 141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. 142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. 143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. 144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. 145 KOPH. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes. 146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. 147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. 148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. 149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment. 150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. 151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. 152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. 153 RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. 154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. 156 Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments. 157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. 158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. 159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness. 160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. 161 SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. 162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. 164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 166 LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. 167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. 168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee. 169 TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. 170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. 171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. 172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. 173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. 174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
So many people spend a great part of their lives believing that the Bible doesn’t have the answers. So many people who had been willing to search carefully anywhere but there and to readily accept other things which actually had far less credibility. People do not understand the extent of mind-control we are subjected to from infancy, at school, in society, through the media and all forms of entertainment, through our peers, friends and even our own families. So often we think it is ‘cool’ not to respect the Bible and/or to think that we have searched the Bible properly and know what is in it even, when actually we haven’t even adequately looked through it
Often there is also an element of pride that we have in thinking that somehow the Bible is just too ordinary and we need something more special, something different from everyone else. If we would take the time to find out the real truth for ourselves without being influenced by any random beliefs we have acquired along the way, and try out what we discover, we would find out that Bible is more than adequate to give us all the guidance we need.
[For a free online KJV Audio Bible please see the links at the foot of the home page under "Bible Resources".]
Arrangements for first-class accommodation have been made in advance. “In my father’s house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you”. (John 14:2)
Persons seeking entry will not be permitted past the gates without having proper credentials and having their names registered with the ruling authority. “There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth – but they which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27)
The exact date of departure has not been announced. Travellers are advised to be prepared to leave at short notice. “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.” (Acts 1:7)
Your ticket is a written pledge that guarantees your journey. It should be claimed and its promises kept firmly in hand. “He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come unto condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
Only one declaration is required while going through Customs. “I declare unto you the Gospel… that Christ died for our sins… and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day.” (1 Corinthians 15:1,3,4)
All passengers are classified as immigrants, since they are taking up permanent residence in a new country. The quota is unlimited. “They desire a better country, that is, an heavenly… for He hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:16)
No luggage whatsoever can be taken. “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:7)
Travellers going directly by air are advised to watch for daily indications of imminent departure. “We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
Vaccination and Inoculation
Injections are not needed, as diseases are unknown at the destination. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” (Revelation 21:4)
Supplies of currency may be forwarded ahead to await the passenger’s arrival. Deposits should be as large as possible. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
A complete and appropriate new wardrobe is provided for each traveller. “He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61:10)
Resetting of watches will not be necessary, nor will the watches. “The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. There shall be no night there.” (Revelation 21:23,25)
Booking is now open. Apply at once. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2)
The highlight of the journey is the welcoming reception and coronation which await each new arrival. “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (II Timothy 4:8)
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
1. The Bible warns us to be careful about what doctrines we believe and teach.
2. The Bible teaches that church leaders (including teachers) must be held to very high standards.
3. God repeatedly warns His people that some who claim to speak for Him are actually false teachers.
4. The Bible teaches that false doctrines can be dangerous.
5. The Bible teaches that we must test every teacher, correct their errors, and even rebuke them if necessary.
6. We are to humbly love and respect our leaders and teachers. We must never judge them self-righteously, hypocritically, or with sinful motives.
1. The Bible warns us to be careful about what doctrines we believe and teach
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:13)
You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor. 13:6)
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. (Hebrews 13:9)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)
I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law. (Psalm 119:163)
The righteous hate what is false (Prov. 13:5)
2. The Bible teaches that church leaders (including teachers) must be held to very high standards
[The LORD said,] “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)
Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:7-9)
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)
…Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:6-9)
3. God repeatedly warns His people that some who claim to speak for Him are actually false teachers
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)
Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD… Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:16,32)
Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them” (Ezekiel 13:6)
“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (1 Tim. 6:3-5)
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. (2 Cor. 2:17)
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned…By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Rom. 16:17-18)
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)
4. The Bible teaches that false doctrines can be dangerous
(1) False Doctrine can confuse immature Christians.
Then [when we become spiritually mature] we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. (Eph. 4:14)
(2) False Doctrine can destroy people’s faith.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Tim. 4:1-2)
Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. (2 Tim. 2:17-18)
…there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies… (2 Peter 2:1)
They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain. (Titus 1:11)
(3) False Teachers can ruin the credibility of Christianity
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
5. The Bible teaches that we must test every teacher, correct their errors, and even rebuke them if necessary
Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thess. 5:21)
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.’” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. (Revelation 2:2)
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work–which is by faith. (1 Tim. 1:3-4)
He [an overseer] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9)
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith… (Titus 1:10-13)
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. (Titus 2:15)
[It is sometimes necessary to point out false teachers publicly by name]: Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. (2 Tim. 2:16-18)
6. We are to humbly love and respect our leaders and teachers. We must never judge them self-righteously, hypocritically, or with sinful motives
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (1 Tim. 5:17)
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. (1 Thess. 5:12)
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing…Love is patient, love is kind…it is not proud. It is not rude… (1 Cor. 13:1-7)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
…correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Phil. 2:3)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Col. 3:12)
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (Titus 3:1-2)
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Eph. 4:2)
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
The Bible is full of warnings against false teachings. Just because someone quotes the Bible doesn’t necessarily mean they are teaching the truth. Even the Devil quoted Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Mattheew 4:1-7). The devil does not feed us poison outright; he hides it in the meat.
It is important that we seek hard after the truth and study out Bibles carefully. But we must do so with a pure and humble heart. Our goal should never be to attack, mock, or ridicule, but to humbly defend the truth with love, conviction, and humility.
Remember, truth is truth and error is error, regardless of our motives.
Compiled by Cedric Hohnstadt, August 2004
Throughout this life’s journey we live with countless kinds of advice, counsel and teaching. We remember our parents’ thoughtful counsel, and beneficial advice from friends and neighbours.
Though the words of wisdom and counsel were based on their loving concern for us, they were still very limited. Our God who created the heavens and earth, loves us so infinitely. He sent Jesus to the cross where He died to save us, and now He continues to show His great love by counselling us. God’s counsel in His Word has become a beacon of light revealing His directions to all believers for eternal life, and in all areas of everyday living. For this reason it is important to know His counsel and live by it. Then we will glorify God through a successful Christian walk. Those who do not, live in uncertainty and confusion with their lives ending finally in misery.
God counsels us in Romans 12:1 to: ”…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” The sacrifices in the Old Testament involved killing animals, shedding their blood, placing the blood on the altar of God, to be consumed by fire. But, here God tells us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, to totally dedicate our bodies to God.
Even after becoming a Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, unless one determines to give himself to God as ”a living sacrifice”, he will still be captivated by the sins of the body and continue to live in pursuit of sin and worldly greediness (2 Peter 2:22). Since Jesus shed His Blood and died on the cross as our sin sacrifice, we no longer have to be slaves of sin. So, we must shake off the old habit of committing sin.
If we earnestly seek the help of our Lord in prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit will quicken our conscience so that amazing will-power and determination will arise from our inner person. Then we will be able to live boldly with the power of the Holy Spirit and be able to exercise our personal will-power to walk rightly.
For us to offer a ”sweet smelling sacrifice” to God we must know that the ”old man” was crucified, buried and is now resurrected with Christ, enabling us to truly worship God and praise Him. Our praise and worship has become a sweet smelling sacrifice, we have become an acceptable offering to God. We are His children. We need to mortify the wrong desires of our body… becoming a living sacrifice every day, as we behold Jesus’ cross.
Worship to God by those who have not crucified their sinful desires on the cross, but are still carrying old habits of sin, cannot be true worship. It may follow a form of worship, but it has not been accepted by God. They are hypocrites and religionists. Because a few Christians have not totally consecrated themselves to Christ, society has often falsely accused all Christians of being the same.
We must staunchly choose to live by the counsel of God in the Word. We must offer our bodies as a ”living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God”.
By our own human ability or effort, we cannot overcome the sinful desires of our flesh. The apostle Paul confessed: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).
To overcome the lust of the flesh, we must totally cling unto Jesus Christ every moment of every day. When we humbly come to Him on our knees and seek His help, the Holy Spirit will empower us to overcome the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Our effort is powerless. His effort is powerful and gives us strong will-power and divine enablement.
God’s children must believe in God, who not only saves their souls from hell, but who gives them power and authority to fight against sin; so that they are not afraid of any challenge of sin, but are confident they will overcome and glorify God through their daily battles. We must offer our bodies to Him as clean vessels that live in His righteousness.
God admonishes us to: ”…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (ROMANS 12:2). Originally, God gave the dominion and authority of the earth to Adam and Eve. But when they fell, they surrendered it to Satan, and evil has increased in the world since that day. However, we should not be conformed to the world. We should not be conformed to a humanistic kingdom.
We must resolutely turn toward God and walk in Christ’s number one living principle. We must staunchly forsake atheistic secularism and not even drift toward such a trend.
We are living in a wicked world, so we should renew our hearts and minds daily. We must educate ourselves in the Word of God instead of obeying the humanistic guidelines of the world. We must fear God and absolutely follow His will regarding all the issues of life.
Believers should learn at the foot of the cross, in prayer, that they became righteous because their sins were forgiven at Calvary and they were reconciled to God through Jesus’ death on the cross. They were healed when Jesus took their infirmities on the cross. Their curse was broken and removed when Jesus Himself became the curse on the cross. Believers must remember they are in Christ Who overcame the power of death and now, because He lives, they too can live victoriously every day.
As believers, dwell on these truths, and you will be transformed, enjoy the peace that Jesus has given, and live by faith. The more knowledge we learn and retain of the kingdom of God, the deeper our hearts will be renewed. We should continually study the Word of God, and then live it out in our daily lives.
Some Christians obey God’s will only when it is profitable to them. They immediately turn back when God’s will seems to contradict their personal views for gain. Such people are really selfish people and are not men and women of faith. Our Christian attitude should be: “Even if this should bring some personal loss to me I will choose to obey God’s counsel.”
As we live in tune with God’s Word we are easily led by the Holy Spirit. If one truly wants to walk with the Holy Spirit he must live with integrity and joy, discerning what is God’s good, acceptable and perfect will, and then totally follow it.
If we truly want a peaceful and good life, we must not follow the trend of the world, but daily behold the cross of Calvary, through the help of the Holy Spirit, and renewal of our hearts and minds in His grace, obeying His will. God wants us to live and follow His will all through this life.
God counsels us to live according to the gift He bestowed upon each of us and according to the degree of faith apportioned by God. God does not have any unwanted children. He loves and needs each of us. Because of this He gave each of us a particular measure of faith to use in His Kingdom.
Some are given the gift of prophecy, which proclaims the good news of God to His people. God admonishes these to minister according to their degree of faith.
Some are given the gift of serving, so they should serve faithfully, looking to God instead of being affected by people’s comments. Being recognised, or not, they should work according to the degree of their faith. God will recognise them and reward them accordingly.
Some are given the gift of exhortation. These are believers who are good at encouraging people in despair. These gifted people visit and pray for people when they are passing through trials, comfort them, and share the Word of God, so that the suffering can repent, be comforted and strengthened. If you are a person who feels urged to encourage those fallen or discouraged Christians you have the gift of exhortation. You must sincerely practise your gift according to your degree of faith. We find many such Christians among the deacons and elders in our church.
Some believers have received the gift of almsgiving. They have a fervent desire to give something to the hungry, the forsaken, or those in need. These people should sincerely practise their gift and God will bless them abundantly. Koreans were helped greatly by foreigners who sent tons of goods when we were suffering in the aftermath of the Korean Conflict. Now it is our turn to help the needy of our global town. I pray many more Korean Christians will receive this gift of almsgiving and benefit the kingdom of Christ.
Some are given the gift of administration. With this leadership quality they manage and organise well. Through the loyalty of these people, God’s kingdom is continually being expanded.
Some are given the gift of mercy. Wounded hearts can only be healed by Christians who minister to others with mercy. Believers with this gift visit and console Christians who are hurting.
When we minister to people in our gifted area, we should minister voluntarily, not expecting any repayment from the recipient. We are to exercise our gift with a pure motive and glad heart for the glory of God. Our heavenly Father apportioned His gifts to us according to His measure. We, as God’s children should consider, “What gift did I receive from God?” Then we should minister to one another accordingly. If we say it is enough that we attended church faithfully, then we must ask ourselves what does the work of God mean to us? An indifferent attitude is simply a rejection of God’s will and place of ministry for us in the body. God expands His kingdom through His children. What gift do you have? Do not bury it in the tomb of laziness. For the glory of God, find your gift, develop it, practise it and you will grow as an obedient child of God.
The purpose of God’s counsel is to assure overflowing life and benefit to every believer. By faith, we must receive His counsel, live rightly and return the glory to God through our maturity. God wants each of us to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable.
by Paul Cho
The Bible is holy! It is inspired by God and it is the oldest book in existence. The five books of Moses were written in approximately 1675 B.C. The religious manuscripts of the Eastern Religions were not written until centuries later. For example, the Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster (holy scriptures of the Parsee (Persians) in the old Iranian language) was written about 1200 B.C.; the Veda of the Indians about 1100 B.C.; the books of Confucius (Chinese philosopher) about 1100 B.C.; the writings of Buddha (Indian founder of Buddhism) approximately 600 B.C.; and the Koran of Mohammed (Islam) about 600 A.D.
Prof. Montiero Williams, a well-known professor of Sanskrit, the native language of India and the language of the Vedas, studied Eastern books for 42 years and compared them with the Bible. He said: “Stack them (the Eastern books) on the left-hand side of your desk, put your own Holy Bible on the right-hand side, and create a wide space in between, because there is a gulf between the so-called holy scriptures of the East and the Holy scriptures of the Bible, a gulf which cannot be bridged. Their light seems like a flicker compared to the light of the Bible!”
The Koran even contains a few quotations put together from the Old and New Testaments. The so-called holy books of the heathen reveal many erroneous and superstitious ideas which are only the product of human understanding. There is little understanding of the true living God. In comparison however, the laws in the books of Moses are not a human invention – they are God’s law. The Bible is the foundation of Godly revelations to mankind. No man could have compiled such a work. Exclusively showing this are Ivan Panin’s discoveries of a system of numerical values flowing throughout the whole Bible, which form its basis like a mosaic. The tyranny and religious guile of priests in these other so-called holy scriptures are not found in the Bible. The Bible is free of mysteries, witchcraft, lascivious habits and magic, which turn the heathen scriptures into abominations before God.
The Bible’s principles point towards God’s Holiness and mankind’s sinfulness. They also demonstrate the necessity of atonement, redemption and the holy state to which the Creator promised to lift up fallen mankind. God’s punishments are just and His rewards show forth His love.
The word “bible” originates from the Greek word “biblia” – books. The modification from plural to singular took place in the 13th century. Since then the books have been called “book”, i.e. “Bible”. As an introduction thereto you can read Isaiah 34:16: ”Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.” The importance of the Bible is described in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: ”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
The Bible is unique in its continuity. It was written over a period of roughly 1,700 years by over 40 writers from different backgrounds. Moses was a leader of a nation, brought up as a prince and future Pharaoh, Amos was a shepherd, Peter a fisherman, Joshua a general, Nehemiah a governor, Ezra a high priest, Daniel a prime minister, Luke a doctor, Matthew a tax collector and Paul a rabbi.
The Bible was written at different locations – in the wilderness of the desert, in palaces and in jail. It was written on three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. It was written in three languages. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, except for Ezra 4:8 to Ezra 6:18, Ezra 7:12-26 and Daniel 2:4-7, 28 which were written in Aramean, the so-called ‘Chaldean’ of those days. The language of the New Testament is Greek, which was the commercial and colloquial language of the whole Roman Empire at the time of Christ.
The lost paradise of creation has become a regained paradise of revelations. The Bible is not a book of ‘godly expression’ in a ‘supernatural language’ – it is the revelation of God which came in the form of a simple human language, understandable to everyone throughout all the ages. Even though the Bible was written over such a long period of time, it shows complete uniformity, considering the writers did not know of each other and did not intend to write a book. It is a book written by men whom God used to record His revelations.
The Bible does not conform to the tastes or habits of a certain people, nor is it calculated for a certain period of time, but it is suitable for all people and for all periods of time. It is God’s will – God’s testament for all mankind.
Seen as a literary work, the Bible is the most remarkable book ever written. It is a library of 66 books, some of considerable volume, others no longer than a leaflet. They contain various forms of literature, history, biography, poetry, proverbs, sayings, hymns, letters, laws, instructions, solemn adorations, parables, riddles, prophecies and all other forms of human expression. Anyone can read it to be wise; believe it to receive salvation; practise it to be holy; or to fill their mind to lead their heart. You can read it prayerfully, reverently, in continual study, and still it will always be new and full of life and power to you.
The Bible has been read by more people and translated into more languages than any other book. It is the first book that was printed by Gutenberg in Mainz. It is truly the Word of God! It is also the first book to have been translated into another language – from Hebrew into Greek in 250 B.C. It was translated by 70 Hebrew scholars in Alexandria, and as Greek was the world’s main language then, it was given the name “Septuaginta”, i.e. “seventy”. In 366 to 384 A.D. the Bible was translated into Latin and was called “Vulgata”, which means “the popular”.
Time and again the Bible was copied, centuries before the invention of the art of printing; time and again it was copied, because the material became old. There are more manuscripts and handwritings of the Bible in existence than of any other book in the world. The Bible is better preserved than Shakespeare’s literature, and he only lived about 300 years ago. His writings contain more doubtful texts than, for example, the New Testament. The Bible has survived all persecution and criticism.
The Bible is also unique in its teaching. Jesus Christ conquered millions more people than Alexander the Great, Caesar and Mohammed put together, without weapons and without science. He shed more light on human and divine things than all the philosophers put together. He spoke such words of life as had never been spoken before and have never been spoken since.
We have more than 5,300 known manuscripts of the New Testament, more than 10,000 of the Latin Vulgate and more than 24,000 copies of manuscripts of the New Testament. The copies were so scrupulous and exact, that they were often considered to be originals. The Jews had great respect for the Word of God and took care not to add, correct or omit anything. This was also strictly prohibited – see Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2 and other passages. This is a phenomenon, an occurrence, which is incomparable in the history of literature. Archaeological discoveries also confirm the genuineness of the Bible, e.g. that the walls of Jericho did not fall to the inside (as they would have in a military attack), but to the outside (Joshua 6:20). The Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke, are unparalleled in their historical accuracy – Luke was a perfect historian.
Modern historians start their so-called “critical, open and honest” examinations of the scriptures with suppositions like: ‘there is no God’, ‘there are no miracles (they are impossible)’, ‘we live in a closed system and there is nothing supernatural’. If they examine the life of Christ, the miracles and the resurrection, they conclude that there are no miracles and no resurrection as they believe that there is no God. These are not historical facts, but philosophical prejudices at best. History can only be based on reports. For example, no living historian has ever seen Abraham Lincoln or Frederic the Great. However, everybody believes they existed because of reports that Lincoln lived and was the President of the United States, and that Frederic the Great lived and was the founder of the State of Prussia. And what happens with the perfect reports about Jesus and His miracles? – They are being denied by many.
As the Bible is the Word of God, it is a book of crucial importance for man. Man’s destiny depends on his attitude towards it. It challenges him to make a decision and shows him that as he naturally is, he cannot stand before the Holy God. It shows him clearly that he is a sinner and that sin separates him from God, but it also tells him that God still loves mankind and has created a way for a relationship to be established. This was accomplished by the work of our redeemer Jesus Christ, and by His death of reconciliation on the cross at Calvary. He could say of Himself:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
It depends solely on the decision of each individual, either to accept, in faith, that the works of our redeemer Jesus Christ occurred, and thereafter to walk on the path leading to heaven, or to reject them and to be lost in everlasting darkness, separated from God. There can be no indifference towards God’s offer. He who thinks he can dismiss it with an indifferent attitude needs to know that God will one day require him to give an account.
There is power in the Word of God. In Hebrews 4:12 it is written: ”For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Word of God also gives power – It has given thousands and thousands of people the power to leave home, house and country rather than to be without the Bible. Millions of people have given their lives for their faith.
Anybody can experience for themselves that the Bible is the Word of God. If anyone reads the Bible with a sincere desire (you should start with the Gospels in the New Testament), and asks God beforehand to open their understanding of the Holy Scriptures, then they will soon experience a change in their life to the positive. Once they realise the greatness of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, trust in Him and put their life into His almighty hands (i.e. when they no longer run away from God but go towards Him), they will receive the assurance of salvation. When they recognise the mistakes in their life and acknowledge them, they will experience a happiness and peace in their heart which can no longer be taken away by anyone. In other words, they will experience for themselves that the Bible is the Word of God and that it creates new life. They will also be able to see that the promises which are given to those who ask, have special significance for their everyday life. For example, the promise of Jesus in Matthew 7:7, ”Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”, does not only refer to spiritual things, but also to all situations in everyday life, as a help for various difficulties whatever they may be.
The peculiar thing about reading the Bible is that it keeps man from sinning (see Psalm 119:11 and John 15:3). Taking the time to read the Word of God is the way to keep sin at a distance. Then the Lord will be able to keep our thoughts occupied with the Word and so prevent a multitude of evil thoughts from arising. This leads to the cleansing of the spirit, soul and body. Nobody wants to sin, but the Bible shows the way to keep sin at a distance. This power which is in the Word of God has also caused people to be healed just by reading it. Since there is so much power in the Word of God, it has to be read with prayer, because the enemy of the soul, who wants to keep man away from God by all means possible, contends very strongly for your thoughts.
Most of the prophetic messages of the Bible have already been fulfilled and the remainder which are still to occur, are nearing fulfilment. This is why the person who knows the contents of the Bible will also know about things to come, and will be assured that God holds everything in His hands. Therefore, they can look into the future with confidence and not with fear.
The first recorded words of the devil constitute a challenge to God’s word: “Yea, hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1). To this day, he hasn’t dropped that challenge. It’s the heart of his strategy. Both outside and inside the church, the devil works to impugn the word of God as we find it today in the Bible. Has God really said this? Is the Bible really the word of God?
The Bible Claims to Be God’s Word
When you receive a letter, how do you know whom it’s from? It’s signed by its sender. The Bible is likewise “signed by its sender,” God. In the Old Testament alone, the expression “thus saith the Lord” or its equivalent occurs over two thousand times.
Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ insisted that the Old Testament is the very word of God. He submitted to its authority himself. Read Matthew 4:3’10. Jesus warded off each temptation of the devil with an appeal to the Bible: “It is written ‘ It is written ‘ It is written.’”
Jesus believed that the Bible spoke about him and was fulfilled in him, and so he interpreted his life in light of the Bible. For example, he stopped Peter’s effort to prevent him from being arrested by saying, “But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matt. 26:54). Whenever he debated the Jewish religious leaders, he quoted the Bible as the final court of appeal. On one such occasion, Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6 and then added, “and Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Clearly Jesus treated the Old Testament as the very word of God.
Likewise, Jesus ensured the writing of the New Testament. He chose, called, trained, ordained, and inspired the apostles to write his very word. In the Upper Room, he promised that his Holy Spirit would remind them of all that he had taught them: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). This promise was fulfilled in the writing of the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus also promised that his Holy Spirit would guide them into additional truth: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:12’13). He fulfilled this promise in the writing of the rest of the New Testament. And so, our Lord Jesus declared that the whole Bible—Old and New Testaments—is the very word of God.
The apostles held this view of the Bible, too. Paul insisted that “all Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). Of himself and the other apostles, he claimed, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words” (1 Cor. 2:13 niv). He claimed that the gospel of Luke was God’s word when he quoted Luke 10:7 as Scripture in 1 Timothy 5:18, “For the Scripture says’ ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ “
Peter was just as resolute: “For no prophecy of Scripture was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). He also insisted that the epistles of Paul, which make up about half of the New Testament books, are Scripture. He wrote, “Our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:15’16).
Someone might be able honestly to say, “I don’t believe the Bible is God’s word.” But there’s no way that one who knows his Bible can honestly say, “The Bible doesn’t claim to be God’s word.” All through the Old Testament and all through the New Testament, the Bible claims to be God’s word.
The Bible Seems to Be God’s Word
But the Bible doesn’t just claim to be God’s word. I keep getting e-mails from people who claim that they want to give me millions of dollars. All I have to do is help them make the transfer by giving them my credit card number or sending them a certain sum of money. You know how it goes. They claim to be my benefactors, but they have the earmarks of being scam artists. But the Bible is nothing like that. It not only claims to be God’s word, but also seems to be God’s word.
Our Confession of Faith makes this point: “The heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God” (I:5).
The Bible attests itself to be the word of God by its teaching. The Bible insists that the absolutely supreme God created and sustains all things, including us, for himself. Consequently, we owe him everything; we are entirely answerable to him. The Bible tells us how we tried to declare our independence from God, and how that brought us into guilt and bondage and misery, and how it provoked God’s white-hot wrath and made us liable to his everlasting judgment. The Bible tells us how gracious he is and how desperately we need his merciful intervention through the one and only Mediator, Christ Jesus, in order to rescue us and set things right. The Bible tells us how we need to surrender to him unconditionally in order to escape his wrath. Now really, is this the kind of stuff that people make up in order to give themselves hope? If so, then why does every other religion and ideology—biblical Christianity is the one exception—contend that we, with or without supernatural help, can make ourselves and our situation better? No, the Bible goes against our natural grain.
Thus, John Wesley argued:
The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God. It could not be the invention of good men or angels, for they neither would nor could make a book and tell lies all the time they were writing it, saying ‘Thus saith the Lord’ when it was their own invention. It could not be the invention of bad men or devils, for they could not make a book that commands all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their souls to Hell for all eternity. Therefore, the Bible must be given by Divine inspiration.
It’s easy to tell that the Bible is a single, unified book. That’s why it is so remarkable that this one book is an anthology of sixty-six different books, written by at least thirty-six different authors in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) over a period of about fifteen hundred years. These human authors didn’t sit down as a committee and agree what to write. They were separated by time, space, and circumstances. But there’s no contradiction or confusion. The agreement is amazing.
The Bible tells one story that revolves around one Person. The Old Testament points forward to the Savior to come; the New Testament tells of the Savior who came. Look at Luke 24:27: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Look at Luke 24:44: “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me ” (NKJV). Look at John 5:39: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”
In that light, isn’t it noteworthy that so many of the Bible’s prophecies are so clearly fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus? Over seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the prophets predicted that he’d be born, how he’d be born,where he’d be born, what kind of person he’d be, and what he’d accomplish. Here’s a sample:
“I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son” (2 Sam. 7:12’14).
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14).
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days” (Mic. 5:2).
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” (Isa. 9:6’7).
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:3’6).
When I was a seminarian in the late 1970s, another student, Rich Ganz (now a minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America), told how God used the prophecy of Isaiah 53 in his conversion. He had turned from his Jewish upbringing to a modern, humanistic skepticism. With a doctorate and position in psychiatry, he was traveling in Europe and arrived at L’Abri Fellowship, the ministry of Francis Schaeffer. People tried to share the gospel with him, only to encounter his keen rebuffs. Finally, someone said, “Well, at least listen to this Bible passage.” Without identifying the passage, he read from Isaiah 53 and asked, “Who do you think that’s talking about?” Rich replied with gruff sarcasm, “Well, obviously it’s about Jesus.” The fellow responded, “But this was written by the prophet Isaiah about seven hundred years before Jesus was even born.” Rich said that chills went from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. He came under conviction of sin and embraced the Lord Jesus as his Savior.
The Bible Proves to Be God’s Word
You see, not only does the Bible claim to be God’s word; not only does the Bible seem to be God’s word; ultimately, the Bible proves to be God’s word. As John Stott affirms, “[The Bible] has brought forgiveness to the guilty, freedom to the oppressed, guidance to the perplexed, consolation to the dying, and hope to the bereaved. Everyone who reads it with an open spirit testifies to its power to disturb and to comfort. As a Chinese Christian once said, ‘every time I read that book it kicks me!’ “
The Bible ultimately proves itself to be God’s word by the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit, speaking by and with it. This is what is ultimately convincing. The Bible explains: “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one” (1 Cor. 2:14’15). In other words, the person without the Holy Spirit simply doesn’t have the ability to believe the Bible or to understand its true import. Only the gracious, internal working of the Holy Spirit can open the eyes of a person’s heart to the things of God.
I knew a man who was sure that the Bible was a mass of contradictions. He hated Christianity. Ironically, his favorite recreation in life was going to church and arguing with the pastor. He’d show the pastor one Bible difficulty after another. If the pastor could answer his questions, that just made him study the Bible all the harder to find something else with which to trip the pastor up. But during this process, the Holy Spirit supernaturally opened the man’s heart and converted him. He submitted to Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. And, he said, the many Bible difficulties that he’d imagined suddenly evaporated. The Bible had seemed like folly to him. He couldn’t understand it, because it is spiritually discerned. But now the Holy Spirit enabled him to “judge” the Bible truly and to understand its real meaning.
The Bible claims to be, seems to be, and proves to be God’s word. The Bible is God’s word. That’s not just interesting information; it demands a response. Do you believe it? In the Bible, God speaks to you. Therefore, as B. B. Warfield put it, “How unquestionably we must receive its statements of fact, bow before its enunciations of duty, tremble before its warnings, and rest upon its promises.” Does that describe your response? Anything less than that is wicked. In the Bible, the living God himself speaks to you. How do you respond?
David’s sins were severe and so were the consequences of his sins. He didn’t try to hide from them or blame God for their consequence. He accepted responsibility for his actions and dealt with the pain they caused.
Compared to David, many of us try to hide from our sins and even deny them. We get angry on the problems that we caused instead of accepting and having responsibility for doing better.
Nowadays, if anything happens to us, we try to blame it on someone or anything else than ourselves. David never denied his sins or blamed it on someone else. He took the responsibility of his penalty.We can also learn how to pray by David. By studying psalm we can see how David could reach God and hear his answers.
Psalm 138 begins: “ I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your loving, kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name”
David never blamed God for his causes but always gave thanks to God. Although things could be difficult, he never forgot to thank God.
Psalm 103: “ Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving, kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. “
David was an amazing man. Very patient, he relied entirely on God. When he did stumble, he was quick to repent and ask forgiveness and didn’t repeat his sins. He took personal responsibility for his actions and didn’t try to get out of the consequences. He took the time to learn God’s voice and thank God in everything. All of us could learn from David.
By Judith from Sweden
What should we learn from the account of David and Goliath?”
The story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) is a factual account from biblical history that demonstrates how the Lord intercedes for His people. David was a shepherd, the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. King Saul and his men were battling the Philistines, one of which was a 9-foot giant named Goliath. The men of Saul’s army were afraid of Goliath, and there was no one to stand up to him. But David, filled with faith and a passion for God’s name which was being blasphemed by Goliath, slew Goliath with a stone and a sling. Then he cut off Goliath’s head with the giant’s own sword. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled before the Israelites, who had a great victory over them.
An important point in this story is that Goliath was taunting the sovereign Lord of the universe. He was challenging God’s people to stand up to him and demonstrate that their God was more powerful than he was. Until David came into the Israelite camp, there was no one who was willing to step out in faith and face the giant. However, David’s faith was so strong that he was willing to believe that the Lord would go with him and enable him to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17:36-37). David’s faith was born out of his experience of God’s grace and mercy in his life up to that point. The Lord had delivered him out of dangerous situations in the past, proving His power and trustworthiness, and David relied on Him to deliver him from the Philistine.
From the story of David and Goliath, we can learn that the God we serve is capable of defeating any of the giants in our lives—fear, depression, financial issues, doubts of faith—if we know Him and His nature well enough to step out in faith. When we do not know what the future holds, we have to trust Him. But we can’t trust someone we don’t know, so knowing God through His Word will build our faith in Him.
As Christians who have trusted Christ as the only way to heaven (John 14:6), our battle with the giants in our lives will result in victory if we cling by faith to God and His power. The illustration of David and Goliath is only one of many examples of the supernatural power of our Lord. He cares deeply for His children and wants only our best. Sometimes that involves trials and battles, but these are ultimately for our good and His glory. James tells us to consider it pure joy when we encounter trials because they test our faith and develop patience and perseverance (James 1:2-4). When we are tested by these trials, we can stand up against any giant that comes to defeat us.
“How could David be considered a man after God’s own heart?”
To understand why David was a man after God’s own heart, we need to see what characteristics he had to qualify for such an exalted description. In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul is speaking before the men of Israel, and he tells them of God’s feelings about King David. Speaking first of King Saul the Apostle Paul states, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22). The obvious question is, how could God call David “a man after His heart” when David was such a terrible a sinner, having committed adultery and murder?
Much has been written regarding the meaning of the verse and its applicable value today. Much has also been written about David, especially in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles and 1 and 2 Kings. However, we find much of his character in the book of Psalms as he opened up his life for all to examine. David’s life was a portrait of success and failure, and it highlights the fact that he was far from perfect. But what made David a cut above the rest was that his heart was pointed toward God. So what does it take to be a man after God’s own heart? Let’s look at some key characteristics of David’s life to find out.
First, David had absolute faith in God. Nowhere in Scripture is this point better illustrated than in 1 Samuel 17 where David as a young shepherd boy fearlessly slew the Philistine, Goliath. Shortly before the duel, we see direct evidence of David’s faith in verse 37 where David says, “’The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’” David was fully aware that God was in control of his life, and he had faith that God would deliver him from impending danger. How else would one venture into a potentially fatal situation with such calm and confidence? David knew early on in life that God was to be trusted and obeyed. As we see in Scripture, David’s faith pleased God, and he is rewarded for it by the Lord.
Second, David absolutely loved God’s law. Of the 150 psalms in the Bible, David is credited for writing over half of them. Writing at various and often troubling times in his life, David repeatedly mentioned how much he loved God’s perfect Word. We find a beautiful example of this inPsalm 119:47-48: “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” It is not hard to see his complete adoration for God’s Word. But also notice how he mentions that he “meditates” on God’s statutes. God granted David understanding and wisdom through daily meditation. We would do well to not only read God’s Word but also think about it throughout the day for God loves when we think about Him. “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:2-3).
Third, David was truly thankful. “I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 26:6-7). David’s life was marked by seasons of great peace and prosperity as well as times of fear and despair. But through all of the seasons in his life, he never forgot to thank the Lord for everything that he had. It is truly one of his finest characteristics. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4, ESV). As followers of Jesus Christ, we would do well to follow David’s lead of offering praise through thanksgiving to our Lord on a daily basis.
Fourth, David was truly repentant. “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant’” (2 Samuel 11:2-5).
The mighty fall hard, and David’s fall included adultery, lying and murder. He had sinned against God and he admits it in2 Samuel 12:13: “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” But admitting our sin and asking for forgiveness is only half of the equation. The other half is repentance, and David did what we should all do: repent of our sins. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance to God: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1-2).
In conclusion, David demonstrated his faith seemingly on a daily basis which pleased the Lord. Throughout his life his faith would be tested on a grand scale and in the final analysis he passed most of the tests. David also loved God’s law and he sought to follow it as best he could. He spent many days meditating on it and trying to apply it to his own life. He knew that God’s law had the power to change lives if it was followed to the letter.
Another important character trait that David exhibited was that he had the attitude of gratitude and was very thankful for his life. During his life he had all sorts of trouble, but David thanked God every day no matter the circumstances.
And, finally, David was truly repentant. Let us not forget that he was a man just like us who sinned on a regular basis. But, despite his sin, he always loved God and sought to repent of those sins. He is a role model for all of us sinners who need to repent earnestly. David was indeed a man after God’s own heart.
Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes you need to make in your life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. Please, follow these ten guidelines:
1. Quit Worrying
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?
2. Put It On The List
Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can’t help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all… God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.
3. Trust Me
Once you’ve given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.
4. Leave It Alone
Don’t wake up one morning and say, “Well, I’m feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here.” Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It’s simple. You gave Me your burdens and I’m taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don’t you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.
5. Talk To Me
I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I’m in control. But there’s one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don’t forget to talk to Me – OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.
6. Have Faith
I see a lot of things from up here that you can’t see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I’m doing. Trust Me; you wouldn’t want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?
You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven’t heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.
8. Be Patient
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.
9. Be Kind
Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.
10. Love Yourself
As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only — to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. To love also means to take care of, nurture. It doesn’t mean we never have to go through anything difficult, but when you do remember to call on Me. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don’t ever forget…