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When Studying the Word
(2 Tim 2:15 KJV) "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Determine if the Literal Meaning Is or Not Intended

There are some important facts to consider when reading and studying a portion of the Word. One first needs to determine if the literal meaning is intended, and if not there could be a figurative one. When the LORD God revealed Himself and gave His messages, it was by His Son (Heb 1:1-5), angels, prophets, His Word, revelations (2 Cor 12:1-4), dreams, visions (Num 12:6), similitudes (Hosea 12:10), likenesses (Ezek 1:5-6, 10), images (Heb 10:1), parables, (riddles) proverbs (Hab 2:6), etc. But then He spoke unto Moses face to face (Deu 34:10), as a man speaks unto his friend (Exo 33:11), mouth to mouth, plainly, clearly and not in dark speeches (riddles), and he beheld the similitude of the LORD (Num 12:7-8).

Prophecies and Parables

The various recorded and written (Rev 1:1-3) prophecies (2 Pet 1:20-21) -- believed to be in part (1 Cor 13:9-13) -- were at times put forth as riddles and spoken in parables (Ezek 17:2). A prophecy can be about an event, a person, people, place and/or something in the future with a time period to be fulfilled, and be twofold with both natural and spiritual (1 Cor 2:9-14) connotations with both Old and New Testament references. As for some parables, especially Jesus', I find narratives (similitudes, adages, proverbs) -- often giving moral lessons and at times prophetic -- to be understood (Mat 13:23 6) by those spoken to, to babes (Mat 11:25-27), and to whoever was to know (Mat 13:11) and receive (Mat 11:14; 19:12) the hidden and manifested (Col 1:25-29) mysteries (secrets) and things which have been kept secret (Rom 16:25-27) from the foundation of the world (Mat 13:34-35).

On prophecy, consider when the Word talks about threescore and ten years and their Sabbaths in 2 Chronicles 36:21-23 (Zec 1:12; 7:5), which is seventy years (Jer 29:10), and seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-27. Seventy years (Dan 9:2) in the desolations (Dan 12:11; Mat 24:15; Mark 13:14) of Jerusalem were completed before the Temple was rebuilt after it was destroyed. But then, in Daniel 9:24-27, take the seventy and multiply it by seven (a week), and you have 490 years that have to be completed.

On parables, one of Jesus' truths is in His story about the coming of Elias (Elijah). Was John the Baptist he? He was to the person who received what Jesus talked about in Matthew 11:7-15. In another truth (about a sower who went forth to sow in Matthew 13:3-9 and 18-23), Jesus talked about seed being sown. He who received seed into the good ground is the one who hears and understands the Word, and bears fruit, but the others mentioned did not. In addition, it could be one who understands (Mat 13:10-17) the parable, who prepares his heart with repentance (Mat 3:1-3), hears the Word with an honest and good heart, kepts it and brings forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).

Literal Meaning

Now take the creation account, it is neither a prophecy nor a parable. The evenings and mornings of the seven days are literally 24-hour days, not eons as the Day-Age Theory might imply. And then too the LORD God did not create the heavens and earth long before (Isa 45:18) He made (Job 33:4) the first humans (Gen 1:26-27), Adam and Eve (Mark 10:6), as the Gap Theory might suggest differently. 2

May Differ

Our understanding of some Bible and the scriptures contained within may differ. (The scripture and scriptures spoken about in the N.T. are the O.T. and its passages.) Just remember God is speaking to more than just one individual at a time. The best way to begin understanding the Word is to first let God lead. You do not have to be a master or scholar of the Bible; just let the Holy Spirit guide you into the truth (John 16:12-15).

(John 16:13 KJV) "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

Father Always Knows Best

Father always knows best -- what is necessary, and needs to be comprehended and taught will come through at the right time.

Holy Spirit Intercedes (Rom 8:26-27)

It is similar to praying. When one does not know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes for the Saint according to the will of God.

(Rom 8:26-27 KJV) "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. {27} And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

In One Accord (Acts 2:1)

(Acts 2:1 KJV) "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

Prayer can tremendously help when the Lord God is trying to get the right message through. He understands and knows how to harmonize Bible related differences, bring Christians together in one accord (Acts 2:1, 46) and destroy racism (Acts 2:6-13).

(Acts 2:46 KJV) "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,"

Jesus desires us to be one as He and His Father are One (John 17:20-21).

(John 17:20-21 KJV) "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; {21} That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

Prefer King James Version

With the help of today's computer technology and its software, learning can be fun, easier and faster. Not including them when following all the various changes in the modern Bible versions, studying and dividing the Word can be rather complicated at times. I prefer using a King James Version (KJV) as my leading Bible with some references but without the footnotes, and at times comparing to it other versions to get clarification. However, following some footnotes and references in a Scofield Reference Bible can be misleading. False teaching and racism is even at work from where you would least expect it to be interpreted and placed. The Living Word Reference Edition (KJV), along with the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Dictionaries, Lexicons at StudyLight.org and my Quick Verse Bible computer program are sufficient Bible sources for me at this time.

(Dan 12:4 KJV) "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

Going Directly to Biblical Sources

By going directly to Biblical sources first and receiving information from Jesus and the eyewitnesses who saw God at work, we can get a more accurate account of the Gospel truths instead of gossip. It is great learning something new, like I do at times while in the Word; but when we take a Bible passage completely out of context and seek for an understanding outside of the Word, going into non-Biblical sources first, we are only asking for extra trouble (tribulations). Instead of going from one Bible passage to another, many are going from one passage to their imaginations and to wrong sources to get an understanding.

Rightly Dividing the Word (2 Tim 2:15)

When I'm studying the Word, I like to take the unveiled information and put it into a readable format, like what you see here, so others can study it. When the Lord God leads me to become knowledgeable about a particular subject, the study can go very deep into the Word. If I go off on a tangent while there, it could take me an hour or longer to come back to were I first started.

If a passage is hard to understand, I look up its keywords in Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries and/or Lexicons. In them, for example, I find that the Hebrew word tsar (H6862) and the Greek word thlipsis (G2347) for "tribulation" were also translated "affliction, trouble," etc. Then I take each of the words tsar and thlipsis, find other passages where they are used, see if they are relevant with my main subject and on to what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to me. This way of studying has helped me to solve some difficulties I sometimes encounter.

You perhaps have different methods of studying that can be beneficial to others. I try to keep an open mind to proper, efficient and feasible ways of learning.

Note: With the Spirit searching the deep things of God (1 Cor 2:9-14) and by gathering together all the relevant passages that reinforce each message I'm seeking to convey in these studies, more Spirit given revelations and soundness have come forth.

Twisting Words to Fit Own Scheme

We have to be very careful when we say the Word does not really mean this or that, diminishing its meaning (Deu 4:2), and add (Prov 30:6) our personal interpretations and ideas which could contradict the Word. When some Bible scholars (who have believed non-Biblical and uninspired sources) interpreted the Word, they assumed things not really there, which were never intended by the Author (2 Tim 3:16-17). They read between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and added a form of evolution to the creation account; 2 twisted the word "day" in the same account to mean eons; twisted the words "falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to mean the Rapture, and took 2 Thessalonians 2:7 out of context and twisted some of its words to help teach non-Biblical rapture dogma. 3 And then called their interpretations the Gap, Day-Age and Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theories respectively.

As you see many have yielded to the ways of Satan. From the beginning he has temped and deceived man, twisted the words of God and His scriptures and added his lies (at times mixed with truths), and continues to do so today. Satan meeting Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen 3:1-6), and meeting Jesus in the wilderness and on the pinnacle (Mat 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13) are the first conversations that come to mind.

When reading or listening to another, just because the writer or speaker may perhaps say he knows Christ, does not mean he has been born again. The devils even knew Him when casting them out (Mark 1:34 1) during His ministry. Too many are teaching man's interpretations [wisdom] instead of Bible [1 Cor 2:1-16]. We need to go first to Jesus and the eyewitnesses who saw God at work, and teach what is recorded in the Bible, not letting Satan persuade us to add to His words (Prov 30:6; Rev 22:18-19) or twist (2 Pet 3:14-18) them to fit our own scheme.

When Words Are Twisted

When the words "falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and some words in 2:7 are twisted to help teach a [Gentile] secret pre-trib rapture dogma, 3 and then compared with many other end time Bible passages, confusion and contradictions arise regarding the various Second Advent details, which will weaken the faith of some believers, and can cause a follower to go astray and backslide. The confusion and apparent contradictions gives the adversary more ammunition to shoot down the struggling Christian.

Leading Many Astray

No matter what, many Church leaders still persist on duping new converts into believing what men have concocted. They, who derive their doctrine from J.N. Darby, Pseudo-Ephraem 4 and others who have a pre-trib mind-set, are leading many astray and down the broad way (who are unknowingly going that way, like I did at first) that leads to destruction (Mat 7:13).

(Mat 7:13 KJV) "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:"

Not everything that Darby said, and others like him, might be error. Satan can use any of us to speak and write lies.

Lies upon Lies

We know that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). Instead of precept upon precept, line upon line (Isa 28:9-13), many are learning lies upon lies (Jer 14:13-15).

(John 8:44 KJV) "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Gone Outside of the Word

A secret pre-trib rapture (which goes well along side of the Gap and Day-Age Theories) can be called theory, fiction, false teaching, Satan's lie and propaganda or whatever you want to call it.

There is no real Biblical basis for it. Maybe that is one of the reasons its prophets (Satan's cohorts) and teachers (2 Pet 2:1-3) have gone outside of the Word to build upon their doctrine and used others' testimonies, misinterpretations and false visions (Jer 14:13-15), have gone to Astrology and Pyramidology, and used the symbols of the Zodiac and interpretation of the constellations, and to whatever else with an attempt to substantiate it with things that sound good, appear highly intellectual and are appealing to the masses. Many have prostituted themselves with pagan (Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, etc.) religions and occults that are contrary to the Word.

I have read this book, The Three R's (sent to me by Author Dave MacPherson), that has helped me to understand the plagiarism for monetary profit that has been going on amongst pretribber authors, and more on where these ones who hold to a pre-trib dogma get any grounds (which is only sinking sand) for their belief.

Narrow Is the Way (Mat 7:14)

(Mat 7:14 KJV) "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Numbers do not always count. Escapist (pretribbers) can have the largest following in the world and still be wrong. For instance, broad is the way that leads to destruction and many will go that way. On the other hand, "narrow" (from the Greek word thlibo (G2346) that has translated "afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble," etc. in other verses) is the way that leads to life and few will find it (Mat 7:14). On that narrow way, one will suffer tribulation and will experience trouble coming from the enemy. 5

What You Need

For you to begin understanding the one and only Post (after) Tribulation Rapture (catching up), first, you need the inspired Word of God and the Holy Spirit to be your Guide (John 16:12-15), and a Bible Concordance with Dictionaries and/or Lexicons. Although we have translations of the vernacular languages (do not let them throw you), you will see God's infallible, inerrant, inspired Holy Word come through for you when studying. Like said before, I prefer using the King James Version as my leading Bible with some references but without the footnotes.

One other thing, besides these Bible studies and a Bible computer program which will help learn some truths a little quicker, need to forget most of what you have learned about the secret pre-trib rapture escapist dogma. If done, you will absorb more of the Biblical truths early on. Might not forget all about the lie like the way the LORD forgets our sins (Jer 31:34 7), but you can at least put it in the back of your mind and on a shelf to collect dust like many Bibles have done over the years.

If your Bible is like some, wore and have scribble marks all in it, perhaps you need a fresh, clean or new version of your choice (without defacing it) that you can start marking in if necessary. Do not fret putting references in the Bible if you have not done it before. It can begin as a non-mastered way similar to the already chapter and verse numbers and references that will help you locate information later.

The Bible is extremely important, for it is a record, wherein we can call a love letter from the LORD, of the high points that He needs for us to know first. If everything what Jesus did was written, "...I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25 KJV). Can you imagine everything being written about what God has done in all of history?

The Holy Spirit is there to guide you into all truth (John 16:12-15), not just part of it. With His help you can rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). That means dissect the Word correctly and not the words of error from wrong sources like so many are doing.

At times you will need to study, divide and search (Acts 17:11) out the truths in the Word on your on, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor 2:9-14). I dare you to dive deep into the Word of God and stay in there for a few hours at a time, and let the Lord unveil to you the truths. You will not regret it.

Strive Not about Words...Study (2 Tim 2:15)

(2 Tim 2:15 KJV) "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Search the Scriptures (John 5:39)

(John 5:39 KJV) "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Search the Scriptures Daily (Acts 17:11)

(Acts 17:11 KJV) "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Better Refined

When studying the Word and living it, one can be better refined. Like the secular song that goes something like this, "I'm just an old chunk of coal, But I'm gonna be a diamond some day." Christians have to endure much pressure and heat, but are not those some of the ways diamonds are made and gold is refined?

References:

Father:

2 Sam 7:12-17; 1 Chr 17:11-15; 22:6-11; 29:10; Psa 68:4-5; 89:26-27; 103:13-14; Prov 3:12; Isa 9:6-7; 64:8; Jer 31:9; Exo 4:22-23; 2 Cor 6:17-18; Mat 6:9-15; Luke 11:2-4; John 14:8-11; 20:17; Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:1-3; 2 Cor 1:1-3; Gal 1:1-5; Eph 1:1-3; Phil 1:1-2; Col 1:1-3; 1 Th 1:1-4; 2 Th 1:1-2; 1 Tim 1:1-2; Phile 1:1-3; Phil 4:19-20; 1 Th 3:11-13; 2 Th 2:16-17

1) Mat 8:28-34; Mark 1:23-26, 34; 5:1-20; Luke 4:33-36, 41; 8:26-39
2) "In the Beginning..." study
3) "Meaning of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 in Context" study
4) "Pseudo-Ephraem's Prior to the Tribulation" response
5) "Tribulation" study
6) Dan 12:10; Mat 13:23, 51-52; Luke 24:44-45; 1 John 5:20
7) Isa 43:25; Jer 31:34; Heb 8:12; 10:17

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