So, the Christian's First and Last Rule for Bible study is:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15)
Rule 1. Make sure you're saved
The Seventh Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness (ie those listed under Rule 25) have buckley's of understanding the Bible - they're not saved “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”(1Corinthians2:14)
Rule 2. Only use the King James Bible
It's 100% error free, no mistakes, slip-ups or boo-boos. Corrupt manuscripts have white-anted all other versions. Lack of study, laziness or believing bible college lies cause man to think otherwise eg in Acts 12:4 the correct word is `Easter' and not `Passover'. Acts 12:3 explains: `Then were the days of unleavened bread. (These were seven days that followed the Passover. See Ex12: 13-18).
Rule 3. Use the King James inbuilt dictionary.
Words are explained by the words around them eg chapmen and merchants (2Chron 9:14) and "waters asswaged ... fountains stopped" (Gen 8:1-2).
Rule 4. Put aside bias about word meanings
It surprises many that Jesus made unfermented wine at the Cana wedding. Grape juice is referred to as "new wine is found in the cluster" Is. 65:8; "presses shall burst out with new wine" Prov 3:10; `fruit of the vine" Matt 26:29
Rule 5. Use a Webster’s Dictionary
Noah Webster used the King James as his basis with the earliest editions being the best.
Rule 6. Use a Young's Concordance
Far superior to a Strong's with the words being grouped. Also, Strong's Concordance has word meanings based on the corrupt Westcott and Hort manuscripts.
Rule 7. Ignore the Greek and Hebrew
Don't waste your time fiddling with Greek or Hebrew. It's like sticking an `Elvis Doll' on your dashboard - it'll entertain and distract but won't add a thing to the performance. The King James translators were unsurpassed in their Greek & Hebrew. (Going back to the `Greek' produces the same English word already used in the King James Bible).
Rule 8. Believe what you read
The Bible isn't hard to understand - Just hard to believe.
Calvin couldn’t write a commentary on the Book of Revelation because he wouldn't believe what he read.
Rule 9. Let scripture interpret scripture
The Book of Revelation isn't hard to understand as it explains itself eg Rev 1:20 explains Rev 1:12. Lev 18:8 reveals what Ham's father's nakedness was (Gen 9:22).
Rule 10. Take the literal meaning
There is no need to spiritualise. Always take the literal meaning unless it is obviously figurative eg in John 15:5 Jesus says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." Also. God used English words to say exactly what he did - creation took six literal (24 hour) days.
Rule 11. Understand the terms and phrases
Phrases that are different are not the same eg Kingdom of heaven - the coming literal reign of Jesus on earth; Kingdom of God - a saved person's spiritual home; Day of Christ - the rapture; Day of the Lord - the coming tribulation on earth. Son of man - Jesus when Jews are addressed: Son of God - Jesus' title for Christians
Rule 12. Use the "Law of 1st and Last Mention"
Whenever a word or phrase is first and last mentioned, is an indicator of how God uses it through the Bible. The 'fig tree' in Gen 3:7 and Rev 6:13 is associated with shame and curse. In Gen 4:10 the 'blood' (and what it stands for) is established. See Rev 19:13.
Rule 13. Understand the dispensations
Methods of salvation vary. Today - God says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is by faith alone and it can't be lost: Adam - strict obedience (a temporary salvation that was lost); Noah - faith in God + build an ark - (temporary); Moses - faith + obedience to the law - (salvation was temporary); Pentecost - faith + baptism (Acts 2:38 - a transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from Peter to Paul): The Tribulation - faith + works - those who persevere to the end will be saved - (salvation can be lost); The Millennium - like Adam and will require absolute strict obedience - (a temporary salvation).
Rule 14. Remember that context is crucial
Countless unsaved people die and go to hell because they take verses out of context. Jesus said: “ Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:8-9). Here, Jesus (a Jew who came to save his people) addresses Sabbath observing, pork abstaining Jews (not Christians) about the coming Kingdom of Heaven where works will be needed for salvation. Paul preaches the Kingdom of God to those who would be saved by faith alone. Two different kingdoms with different entry rules. Millions are also hell-bound by misunderstanding "...by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2:24). This refers to the Tribulation with works needed for salvation.
Rule 15. Treat Paul's doctrine as first priority
All Christian doctrine is Pauline. Paul writes his 13 epistles to Christians - Romans being the Christian's doctrinal manifesto. Every Bible verse belongs to one or more of three categories: historical, doctrinal, spiritual. If it doesn't agree with Paul. It’s just spiritual and/or historical. All cults get their pet verses out of Matthew, Acts, Hebrews, James and Revelation. The Book of Hebrews is written to the Hebrews (not the saints), with James being written to the twelve tribes.
Rule 16 See the 'new covenant' as Jewish
The Book of Hebrews (written by Paul to unsaved Jews) reveals that the `new covenant' applies only to the Jew (Heb 8:8). Christians are ministers of the 'New Testament and never the `new covenant' (Matt 26:28; 2Cor 3:6).
Rule 17. Believe the Bible not a denomination
The following are not Paul's doctrine: tithing, pastors only married once, `we are the only true church'. Infant baptism, confirmation classes, apostolic signs and wonders, the unpardonable sin See Rule 26 for more.
Rule 18. Be aware of non-Bible words
The world forces us to Use words like `nature' instead of 'creation'. The Bible says to 'train' children not 'educate' them. Other words not in the Bible are gifting. Humanitarian, idea, concept, humanity, evolution, education, communicate and improving.
Rule 19. Recognize prophecy as vital
There are three groups in the Bible – Jews, Gentiles and the Christians (1 Cor 10:32). The church is wrongly substituted into the Jewish promises (Joel 2&3 are for the Jews. not the church). Calvin spiritualised the Bible as he didn’t believe the Jews would return to their homeland. Why? He refused to believe the King James English
Rule 20. Know the numbers and their meaning
The Bible is the original Source of numbers and their meanings. Five is the number of death (the first mention of someone dying in the Bible is in Genesis 5:5 In 2Samuel 2:23 a man is speared under the 5th rib.
Rule 21. Learn `line by line'
God reveals more and more as the Bible unfolds. The lazy or willingly ignorant are prevented from forming sound doctrine in God's Biblical jigsaw’. As the saying goes "The old is in the new revealed. The new is in the old concealed. Doctrine that disagrees with Paul's epistles, is of historical and/or spiritual value only.
Rule 22. Discover the types
Go through the Bible and see Christ on every page.
In Genesis, Christ is the creator and the seed of the woman In Exodus he is the Passover lamb etc. Noah’s ark is a type of Christ: the sun is a type of Christ in Malachi. Moses and Joshua are also types of Christ. The offerings and feasts in Leviticus depict various aspects of Jesus Christ Many of Israel's kings (David- Solomon, Josiah) are types of Jesus Christ.
Rule 23. Check for two meanings
Scriptures can have more than one meaning with Isaiah 53 Psalm 22. Isaiah 9:6-7 being references to Jesus Christ. Also, Hosea 11:1 can stand alone as the nation of Israel but is also Jesus of Matthew 2:15.
Rule 24. Value the 'Thee's, Ye's' and Italics
The use of "thee's" and "ye's" is the correct English with 'thee' being singular and 'ye' being plural. Jesus says: "...I said unto thee (Nicodemus), Ye (everybody) must be born again. " (John 3:7)
Italics show the delicate and accurate technique necessary for translating from one language to another, " God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." (Psalm 7:11). If "with the wicked" is taken out, the verse has another meaning. Q: What's God angry at every day? The righteous? No, God judgeth the righteous, but God is angry with the wicked every day.
Rule 25. Be able to refute error
Get a little notebook and compile some key scriptures. For the Jehovah's Witness use Isaiah 40:3 together with Matt 3:3 to show Jehovah of the OT is Jesus of the NT. For Catholics, use Rom 4:5 and Heb 10: 14. The SDA's need Ex 31:13 (Saturdays were Jewish and not Gentile). Do this for the Moslems, Hindus. Jews and Buddhists.
Rule 26. Avoid the ‘whacko’ cults
They are: Roman Catholicism. The Ecumenical Movement (churches joining together). Christian Science. Scientology, Church of Christ, Unity. Seventh Day Adventism, Jehovah's Witnesses Mormons. World Wide Church of God, Freemasonry the Bahai's, Christadelphians. If they can’t get you saved in a million Years how can they teach you?
Rule 27. Avoid the ‘ whacko’ doctrines
Contact the address below for greater understanding of the following false doctrines: A-Millennialism. British-Israel theory, Jesus Christ is not God, mass 'Gap theory, annihilation, soul sleep. Apostolic signs and wonders, Baptist Briders. Christians can't sin, baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire Calvinism, water baptism to be saved, the church goes into the Tribulation, baptismal regeneration, charismatic gifts, speaking in 'tongues. Celibacy, no eternal security, worship of images. Mary worship, denial of blood atonement, denial of eternal security, no eternal burning hell, Jesus didn't rise physically. Women preachers, quenching the Holy Ghost as the unpardonable sin, purgatory. Sabbath keeping, denial of the Trinity, salvation through works, religious tradition important, men not born sinners, confession of sins to men, the deity of man, theistic evolution. “We are the only true church”, infant baptism, confirmation classes, tithing, the necessity of Greek and Hebrew, no virgin birth. Pastors married once, original' manuscripts.
By Harley Hitchcock