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The Bible: God’s Message System                                                                                              Back to Articles

 

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God's word is the breath of life; it was His word that spoke the universe into existence and His word that sustains it from day to day. God places His word above His name, “For You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all our name!” (Psalm 138:2). God does not and will not lie. He says what He means and means what He says. “So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 Amplified Bible).
 

The Bible does not just contain God’s word; it is God’s word. Everything that has been recorded is “…profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.” 2 Tim 3:16. As Bible study teacher Chuck Missler says, “Sixty-six books penned by forty authors over thousands of years, and yet we discover it is an integrated message system from outside our time domain.” Missler also points out that “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.” In other words, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He does not change.
 

The Old Testament does not just reveal God’s wrath, but also His great mercy and grace. It reveals the basic wickedness of man resulting from the fall of Adam. It foreshadows our need for a Redeemer. It prophesies of God stepping down from His throne into humanity, taking on the role of a servant. The New Testament is the realization of those prophecies. In the gospels we read firsthand accounts of God the Son becoming man and giving His life on the cross as a propitiation (reconciling us to God) for our sins. In the epistles we see that “the gospel” is the message that Christ died for our sins and rose the third day and that we are saved, not through works of our own righteousness, but by His work on the cross.
 

With this in mind, how can we study and apply scripture to our daily lives and to what end? There are many reasons we should make Bible study a priority. Following is just a few. First, we study the Bible to know God and His character. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). We must know Who He is and what He requires. There are many voices today that would lead us into error; the voices of false prophets and false teachers who would deceive us into embracing false doctrines and notions about God. These are some of the voices in our midst today, perpetuating erroneous teachings about God:
 

Christian Science: Life, truth, and love constitute the triune Person called God---God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; Divine Science or the Holy Comforter (Science and health, 331:26-31)
 

Spiritualism: Infinite intelligence pervades and controls the universe, is without shape or form, and is impersonal, omnipresent, and omnipotent. It teaches that the spark of divinity dwells in all.
 

Jehovah’s Witnesses:  God’s personal name is Jehovah (The Truth Shall Make You Free, pg. 17); only Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting (Make Sure of All Things, [1965] pg. 486); Jesus Christ is not one God with the Father (MS, pg. 485); The Holy Spirit is God’s Active Force, not a person (MS, pg. 487)
 

Armstrongism: God is a family, a Kingdom, not a limited trinity (The Plain Truth, Aug. 1958, pg. 17); God is a family: God is reproducing Himself and man was created to literally become God (What it Means to be Equal With God, pg. 43)
 

Mormonism: There are three Gods…separate in personality, united in purpose, in plan, and in all attributes of perfection (McKonkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 270); God is an organized being just as we are who are now in the flesh. He is a progressive being, and possesses the capacity for eternal increase. Perhaps once a child and a mortal like ourselves (Gospel Doctrine, p. 64; Articles of faith, p. 529; Journal of Discourses, 1:123); God is not omnipresent…cannot be physically present in more than one place at a time (Talmage, DC, p. 48); There was never a time when there were not Gods and worlds (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, pp. 22-23); each god, through his wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters (Pratt, The Seer, 1, no. 3, p 37)
 

Eastern Mysticism: Brahma, the Absolute, other than which there is nothing else---without qualities, unknowable, impersonal, beyond all appearances, changes, differences. God is all there is. “All visible objects are but modifications of self-existence, of an unconscious and impersonal essence which is called God.” (Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, p. 239)
 

Unity: God is not a person having life, intelligence, love, power. God is that invisible, intangible, but very real, something we call life. God is the total…of all good, whether manifested or unexpressed” (Cady, Lessons in Truth, p. 6)
 

The Way International: Elohim, God alone, is Creator of heaven and earth. The Bible teaches there is only one true God, that God was in Christ, that God is Spirit, and that God is eternal whereas Jesus was born (Wierwille, The Word’s Way, p. 26).

(The above was excerpted from a Moody Bible Institute pamphlet entitled, The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error, compiled by Keith L. Brooks”)

 

The above list is by no means inclusive. There are other false religions and even some false teachings about God that come over so-called Christian pulpits. We can find false teachings in some presumably Christian books, television, and radio programs. That is why God gave us His word, so we could “study to show ourselves approved” (2 Timothy 2:15). Some of the false teachings of various religious groups are obviously wrong to a mature Christian. Other falsehoods are very subtle. They have the appearance of being Biblical, but when one looks deeper, one can find grave error.
 

Through the Bible, and the Holy Spirit Who reveals truth, we can avoid deception. Once we are saved, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts to the things of God so we can know Him. We have not been left in the dark. God gave us minds with which to reason, think, ponder, and discern, however, those abilities cannot develop in a vacuum! If we are not increasing our knowledge of God through the prayerful study of His word, we will fall prey to false teachers who convince by the power of their personalities rather than by sound doctrine.
 

The second reason to study the Bible is to know God’s will for us. God can speak to us in many ways, but most often He speaks through scripture. If we are to understand God’s word, we must be in His word regularly. If we are to know what He wants for our lives, we must see how He has worked in the lives of the men and women in the Bible. The Bible won’t specifically tell us whether to buy a house on this or that side of town, but if we have truly become His children through Christ’s redemption and rely on Him, He will guide and direct our paths. “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23)
 

For example, if you want to know if you should date or marry a certain person, and that person is not a Christian, we know from the Bible that God tells us not to be yoked with unbelievers. If we become a Christian after we are married and our spouse does not, we are told to stay married as long as the unbelieving spouse is content to do so. We don’t have to struggle to know whether or not to steal or lie, because God clearly tells us in His word that it is wrong. Outside of moral matters, we are given liberty. However, we are to glorify God in all we do.
 

The third reason to study the Bible is to discern truth from error, “correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We cannot recognize error if we do not know the truth. We cannot expect to avoid deception if we don’t know and understand God’s word. We must take in the whole counsel of God to know and understand His ways. That means we must study the whole Bible, not pick and choose verses that support our presuppositions. It is only by giving diligent attention to God’s word that we can grow in our walk with Him and keep ourselves and our families safe from the wiles of the Devil.

 
 
 

 

 

"For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God's powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile."

(Romans 1:16, CJB) 

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