Understanding the Bible

Lesson 1

1Cor.5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus…

A Tribute to the Bible

The Bible hasn’t changed in 2000 years. Over 40 different authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible through the Holy Spirit during a period of over 1,800 years, and they all had one theme-the creation and redemption of the human race by God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

These books of the Bible were written by men from all walks of life such as kings, priests, judges, lawyers, princes, shepherds, soldiers, courtiers, statesmen, musicians, inventors, singers, poets, preachers, prophets, fishermen, farmers, tentmakers, publicans, physicians, rich men and poor men.

They were written in various lands of three continents-Europe, Asia, and Africa.

They were written in different ages and by many men, some who never saw each other or knew what the others wrote on the same subjects.

Yet when their writings became one book, there is not one contradiction among them.

Suppose 40 medical men, each in a different land and age, would write 40 books on how to cure a disease, what kind of cure would such a collection make?

How much unity would one find among their writings?

Collect together 40 books of man on any subject and one can see many contradictions and controversies among the authors.

Some will be found trying to prove how the others are wrong and why his theory is right.

This is all too apparent to those who have read different authors on any one subject.

There is no unity of thought between the books of men on any subject.

But there is perfect unity between the books of the Bible, which speak of hundreds of subjects in the realm of religion, politics, science, etc.

This proves there is one divine author for all 66 books. Who but a divine author could produce such a work?

Read it to be wise, believe it to be sate, and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter.

Here Heaven is opened, and the gates of Hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.

It should fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your feet in righteousness and true holiness.

Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully, meditatively, searchingly, and devotionally.

Study it constantly, perseveringly, and industriously.

Read it through and through until it becomes part of your being and generates faith that will move mountains.

It is a mine of wealth, the source of health, and a world of pleasure.

It is given to you in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and will last forever.

It involves the highest responsibility will reward the least to the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

It is a mirror to reflect (Jas. 1:23);

a hammer to convict (Jer. 23:29); a fire to refine (Jer. 23:29);

seed to multiply (1 Pet. 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.); water to cleanse (Eph. 5:26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the [a]washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish; Jn. 15:3); a lamp to guide (Ps. 119:105);

and food to nourish, including milk for babes (1 Pet. 2:2),

bread for the hungry (Mt. 4:4), meat for men (Heb. 5:11-14), and honey for dessert (Ps. 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the extract of the honeycomb.).

It is rain and snow to refresh (Isa.55:10 For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky, and doesn’t return there, but waters the earth, and makes it grow and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater;);

a sword to cut (Heb. 4:12);

a bow to revenge (Hab. 3:9);

gold to enrich (Ps. 19:7-10);

and power to create life and faith (1 Pet. 1:23; Rom.10:17).

It is the living breathing eternal expression of a Sovereign God…!

Class Teaching

1). When did you read the Bible last?

2). What did you read?

3). How much do you treasure God’s word?

Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commands from his lips; I have treasured the words from his mouth more than my daily food.

Some people may remember the last meal they ate but won’t remember the last Bible verse or passage they read.

Christians who don’t study their Bibles every day are not really serious. You don’t have to be a seminarian to read and understand the Bible.

If you’re a true follower of Jesus; you have no greater task than reading and understanding the Bible. Properly studied and understood, the Bible will enrich and strengthen your faith like nothing else can.

However, reading the Bible without understanding can be worse than not reading the Bible at all.

In order to understand the Scriptures, we must study, and not just read.

We chose Unmasking Bible Truths as the name of our school, because it is our desire to unmask the many plain, simple, and clearly–stated biblical truths that are unnecessarily hidden from many Christians in every denomination. The devil himself is chiefly responsible for these truths being unknown. He not only blinds the minds of them that believe not (2 Cor. 4:3-4), but he steals the Word of God from the hearts of Christians, lest they should discover the means of complete victory over him—victory that is the heritage of every believer.

Satan and his agents are transformed into angels of light and ministers of righteousness to deceive (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

He even uses the best of saints and ministers of churches to propagate fallacies of every kind in order to rob people of the richest blessings of the Gospel of Christ.

We propose to uncover many of these truths in the following lessons.

We promise to provide a wealth of clear Scriptures as we seek to unmask truths that have been hidden for generations—truths that have not been fully experienced by Christians since the days of the apostles.

It's quite possible that you'll be astonished at some of our claims, perhaps arguing at first that such is not the teaching of the Bible. But if you'll be honest and open to what the Scriptures really teach, you will be convinced of these truths—and that they are intended to be experienced by all believers.

Some of the Scripture we present may contradict what you have been taught in Church or anywhere else.

In these cases, be sure that you do not allow preconceived ideas and doctrinal teachings to cause you to be biased.

Do not seek to make the Bible conform to your ideas. Conform your ideas to the Bible. Let the plain language of Scripture settle every point of difference and confirm what you believe.

 

Ten Classes Who Find the Bible Hard to Understand

1. Those ignorant of its contents

2. Those too lazy to read it

3. Those biased contrary to its true doctrines

Matthew 15:7-9

You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

John 8:43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

 

4. Rebels against what it says because they have listened to religious teachers who explain it away

5. Those uninterested in trying to understand it due to the satanic theory that it is hard to understand

6. Those too worldly and sinful to believe it because it condemns them

7. Unstable souls who wrest at it to their own destruction

2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

some things hard to understand untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction This should not be taken as proof that the Bible is hard to understand, or that the common man cannot understand it, for the unlearned and unstable not only stumble at the so-called things which are hard to comprehend by some, they also twist the so-called simple scriptures to their own destruction, not wanting to understand (Mt. 13:15-17; 1Cor. 2:14).

This is one of the reasons they are unstable.

 

8. Deceivers who use it to further their own interests (2 Cor. 4:1-4) v.2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

 

9. Those who permit Satan to blind and rob them of truth

2 Cor. 4:3-4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Matt.13:19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path.

Unspiritual people 1Cor.2:12-14 v.12,14 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, v.14  But a natural man (unspiritual man) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (judged).

 

10. Those who refuse to humble themselves and be converted

Matt.18:3 and (Jesus) said, Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

You see the great trouble in our world is not so much outward failure to adjust to the demands of one’s environment as it is inward depravity caused by sin and rebellion against God.

If we are to have complete and eternal victory, we must find our help in God, through the Truth found in Scripture, and not through psychology and human effort.

The Bible must be accepted as the inspired and infallible Word of God. What it says must be accepted as the final word of authority on all questions (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Ps.33:6).

The law of the Bible is that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established (Mt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1).

We propose to follow this law and to prove everything by that which is plainly written in Scripture.

It is important that anyone be willing to lay aside any thing you may believe that may be contrary to the plain Word of God.

Let us accept at face value what God says and refuse to question God or to make His Word a lie about anything it says. Amen!

No Room for Misunderstanding

There can be no excuse for misunderstanding the Bible concerning anything it says.

The Bible is the most simple book in the world to understand.

It is self-interpreting and covers every subject of human knowledge and need now and forever.

If it was difficult to understand and in need of much interpretation, God would be unjust to judge humanity by it in the end.

It was written in the language of the people.

So you need a Bible that is in readable language.

We are only required to believe the Bible and accept the truth of the Scriptures.

Not one passage in the Bible even hints that it is difficult to understand.

It is only the unlearned and unstable that are referred to as the ones who wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3:16).

It is the fools, and slow of heart to believe that misunderstand Scripture (Lk. 24:25-27).

It is unbelief and hardness of heart that causes people to question what the Bible says (Mt. 13:14-17; Mk. 16:13-14).

People who desire to know the truth can easily understand it if they will make up their minds that what the Bible says is final as far as they are concerned.

The secret of knowing truth is to find out what God says and then believe it.

To try and find deep and hidden meanings, or to super spiritualize what is simple, plain and clear will automatically rob one of a simple faith in God and in His Word.

True understanding and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:11-18).

About ninety times in Scripture there is an appeal for people to believe what is written, as if everything was simple enough to understand if they wanted to believe.

Seven Reasons Why the Bible Is Simple

1. Because it is a revelation (2Tim. 3:16-17; 2Pet. 1:21; Heb. 1:1).

2Pet.1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Heb.1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

 

2. Because of its repeated truths (2Cor. 13:1). All one needs to do with the Bible is find out what God says, where He says it and then believe it.

 

3. Because it is written in the most simple human terms possible. If it is understood as it is written then it is a simple book (Lk. 24:25,45).

v.25 And He said to them, O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

v.45 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures.

4. Because God is the author (2Tim. 3:16-17; 2Pet. 1:21).

A deity that could not express himself as clearly as man does would not be the living, all-knowing God.

One who could, yet would not make himself clear and sought to hide from man the very truth he expected to judge him by would be an unjust person.

A deity who had to be interpreted every time he spoke would not be worthy of our consideration.

The fault in Bible complications is not with God or the Bible, but with people who refuse to believe what God says and think we have to interpret what He says in order to get the meaning.

 

5. Because it was given by God to be understood by the most simple and trusting people (Dt. 29:29; Mt. 11:25; 13:19-23; 2Cor. 4:1-6; 2Tim. 3:16-17).

Mt.11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.

Mt.13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.

This is from the seed and the sower. Even with this person that didn’t understand, the Word was sown in their heart!

So, this illustrates those who hear the Word of God and refuse to obey it or profit by it.

6. Because simply reading and believing is all that is required to understand it (Ps. 1:2-3; 2Tim. 2:15; Mt. 11:15, Mk. 4:22-23).

Psalm 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its [b]leaf does not wither;
And [c]in whatever he does, he prospers.

Mt11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Most spoken statement in the Bible! Jesus said this 13 times!

Mk.4:22-23 For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light. 23 If any man has ears to hear let him hear!

(In this passage Christ makes clear that previously unrevealed truth will be completely revealed so that all can see it alike. This has been done in the completion of the New Testament.)

7. Because 80% of it is plain history, promises, and simple instructions on how to live. The other 20 percent is simple prophecy, or history written beforehand.

 

Seven Reasons Why the Bible Is Not Understood

Mark 8:17-18 Aware of this, he said to them, Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? 18 Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear? And do you not remember?

Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread?

1. Reasoning, implying doubt and unbelief (Mk. 8:17)

Don’t you understand or comprehend?

2. Lack of perception, implying dullness (Mk. 8:17)

3. Ignorance, implying lack of interest and study (Mk. 8:17)

Do you have hardened hearts? 

4. Hardness of heart, implying stubbornness and rebellion (Mk. 8:17; 1 Sam.15:23)

Do you have eyes and not see?

5. Dull eyes, implying willful blindness to truth (Mk. 8:18; Mt. 13:14-15)

Do you have ears and not hear?

6. Dull ears, implying willful rejection of truth (Mk. 8:18)

And do you not remember?

7. Dull memory, implying willful forgetfulness (Mk. 8:18)

 

Note that all these reasons are willful!

People do not have to reason, doubt, question, harden themselves, be dull of seeing and hearing, or be forgetful!

There was no excuse for the disciples to be in this class because they had seen multiplied thousands fed, healed, and delivered from every kind of destruction and curse.

They saw Him…!

They should have had faith enough in Christ by now to meet every problem!

Causes for Misunderstanding

So let’s just be real here…It is pride, willful unbelief, doubt, and rebellion against what is written…these are the causes of misunderstanding the Bible!

The difficulty is not in understanding what is plainly written, but in being willing to believe and obey it.

If one could not understand the truth, he could not reject it.

The trouble with the rebels in Matthew 13:15 was not a problem with understanding what had been said, but with rejecting what they had heard. This passage says,

For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’

This all implies CHOICE.

And there’s that word understand again. We will find any Scripture difficult to understand or stand under if we make up our minds that we are not going to believe it.

When one rejects what he hears and refuses to obey it, he will naturally be hardened and turned against it.

When one closes his mind to truth, there can be no simple understanding of it.

We must be willing to accept the Bible as God's Word.

We must believe that God could not be honest if He sought to hide from us the very things He will judge us by in the end!

We must accept what the Bible says, not what people interpret it to say.

We must believe that God knew what He said and that He meant exactly what He said.

God's Promises are Especially Simple

We've stated that many people think the Bible is hard to understand.

In particular, this belief is held by many concerning the prophecies, the proverbs, and some figures of speech.

Prophecy is nothing more than history written beforehand and should be understood in this light.

All riddles, allegories, types, symbols, and figures of speech are either explained in Scripture, or are clear in themselves as to their true meaning.

When it comes to the promises of God, there shouldn't be any misunderstanding about what they say or mean.

Every promise of God is a simple statement of obligation to people that God will give them certain benefits when they meet certain conditions.

All the promises of God are conditional, including eternal life as can be seen clearly in the Scriptures themselves.

If you want to receive the promised benefits, you must accept the promise for what it says and meet the conditions required.

You can then depend upon the fulfillment of God's promise in this life

Since God cannot lie, man is assured that what God has promised He is abundantly able to perform (Mk.11:22-24). 

None of God's promises need further interpretation.

All that we must do is act upon what the Bible says and believe that God's promise will be fulfilled in our lives.

Do not attach any other conditions to God's promises than what is plainly written.

When the conditions are met the blessings will be realized.

As the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:20, For every one of God’s promises is Yes in him. Therefore, through him we also say Amen to the glory of God.

According to the following verses there are two ways we are to listen.

Mk. 4:24  He said to them, Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear. 25 For whoever has, to him will more be given, and he who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him.

Lk. 8:18 Be careful therefore how you hear. For whoever has, to him will be given; and whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he thinks he has.

 

The secret of understanding is to accept the truth.

Because if we reject the truth all that is left is to believe is a lie and even what we have will be taken away!

Matt. 15:10 And he called to him the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand

This is all God ever requires. Scriptures are so clear that if one will only hear he will understand.

 

And according to the following verses, the Word of God is the will of God.

Mk. 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.

Lk.8:21 But He answered and said to them, My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.

Let us all look at the Bible as the will of God, read it, study it and put it into practice!

 

UNMASKING BIBLE TRUTHS School