December 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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How I Study The Bible .. It Might Help You, Too

Bible study is something that most people aren't able to do very well. Most just read the Bible and when they run across something interesting, they will stop and perhaps just check a few words in a dictionary, because a lot of people don't own an exhaustive Concordance like Strong's. Perhaps they don't even know how to study.

A concordance is very necessary if someone is serious about Bible study. There are several on the market but Charles Strong's Exhaustive Concordance is the most popular.

Another thing I would like to suggest now, especially for those who have just been reading, and not studying, their Bibles is that whereever your favorite reading site is, place a notepad and pencil or pen that is easily accessible. Mine is the recliner in the living room.

Whenever you are reading and come across something interesting, make note of it in your pad and then come back later and make a study of just that one subject.

When do you read or study your Bible? For me it has to be in the evening after all have gone to bed. My wife retires at 7 p.m. and my daughter usually goes to her room about 8 p.m. So my reading/study time is in the evenings after about 8 p.m.

I turn off the television (unless there is something on that relates to what I want to study) and get out my laptop computer and get my Bible.

How do you study? Have you slacked off of bible study? Has it gotten to be too much trouble for you? Are you only interested in certain things like prophecy?

I thought with this article I would go into detail about how I study the Bible and perhaps some others might be able to adapt it to the way they study. Of course, this is just MY way. You and others might not even consider using my way, but it does work for me.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, someone might learn HOW to study God's Word and begin to gain knowledge they never had before!!! Let's hope so.

Would you like to see my way?

Alright, we'll give it a try.

Let's examine Genesis 1:1
Ge 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Would you say that is an interesting scripture? What is it telling you?

Personally, I see four separate parts to this scripture.

1. In the beginning ...
2. God ...
3. Created ...
4. The heaven and the earth.

Let's take this scripture apart and see if we can see something much deeper within it.

For the first part my mind comes up with the question .... in the beginning of what? Of course we see the creating of heaven and earth. But what else is there? Is that all this verse is about?

I don't yet see anything else in this verse, do you? Then let's put this on a mental shelf in our mind for later research and study and go on. Maybe we will even find out more in this study.

The second part is probably well known because almost all of the members of the Church of God (circa -H.W. Armstrong) have been taught that the original word for God here is Elohiym, which is uni-plural in the Hebrew language and can be used in a singular or plural way.

In this verse the word God is used in the singular, but the rest of the chapter uses it in the plural. I'll get into that a little later.

In verse one we have God mentioned but we aren't told in English how many this singular/plural word is referring to. Some assume one, others think three, while a minority believe it is two.

This is where traditional Christianity strengthens their belief in the Trinity, and recently in the Church of God some have become proponents of the "only one God" theory!

It seems there are as many theories about God and who and what He is than there are people and churches.

Back to the scripture. The word 'created' is Heb.-'bara' and simply means 'to make, create, shape or form', so God MADE the earth. He FORMED the heaven and the earth.

We have a small problem in the fourth part of this scripture because the Hebrew for heaven is another word that can be used in the plural.

It can mean all of the things here:
1) heaven, heavens, sky 1a) visible heavens, 1a1) as abode of the stars 1a2) as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc 1b) Heaven (as the abode of God)

The word should have been translated 'heavens' because we know of two 'heavens' don't we? The atmosphere around the earth and the universe where the stars exist. Two heavens and one earth.

Are there more? We will talk about that in a little while.

It seems in this verse we only have a little bit of knowledge we can use, kind of like a summary.

So where can we go to find out more?

There is another verse in the scriptures that almost parallels Gen. 1. Does anyone know where that verse is?

Look at John 1:1 ...
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God."

Here we see the same phrase 'in the beginning'. This still doesn't tell us much information yet so we will go on and see what comes up.

When we parallel this verse with Gen. 1 we see that the God mentioned in Gen. 1 is described as 'the Word'. The verse tells us that The Word was WITH God, and The Word WAS God.

This tells us that there are TWO beings spoken of 'at the beginning' doesn't it? Two beings, ONE God. It is like the word `company'. The company can be owned by more than one person but it is still called by the singular name `company', just as two beings are called by the singular name of God.

The Greek for The Word is 'Logos', and the Greek for God is 'Theos'. Many have tried to say that 'The Word' means something SPOKEN BY GOD, or perhaps a word in His mind that He 'might' speak.

Is this what it means? Let's read another scripture to find out. .

John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

NOTE: All things were made by HIM.... NOT some spoken word from God, but THINGS WERE MADE. This verse also tells us that The Word is a "him", doesn't it? Yes, it is TWO beings 'at the beginning', not just one, even as Genesis 1 also shows!

This verse also tells us that the God in Gen.1 was the "Creator God". ALL things were created by Him, weren't they?

What else does the following verse tell us that is VERY important?

John 1:10 "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."

This 'Him' was in the world (Greek=cosmos -this society) which had been made by Him, but this world didn't know Him.

We can learn a lot more about 'Him' by reading verse 14:

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

This 'Him', The Word (who created the heavens and the earth) was in the beginning with God (with Theos). He was the one who was EQUAL with God but gave up everything He had with God to become a TOTAL human being in order to DIE for our sins!!

What did He give up?

Php 2:7 "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"

He gave up His God form, His ever-living, immortal form and took on a human fleshly FORM, as a man.

Equal with God?

In verse 6 we find when He was in the FORM OF GOD, a spirit being, He was EQUAL with God.

Php 2:6 "Who, being in the form of God (as an immortal spirit being), thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"

He gave up that spirit form and that equality with God to become a human being, JUST LIKE US! He gave up everything He had, and was, to become like us so He could DIE! He placed Himself under God's authority and then when He was resurrected He was STILL under God's authority.

There was THEN only ONE supreme God!!!

This is where many get off the track and begin preaching that there was only ONE God always.

So what do we have then?

We find that "In the beginning" God (Almighty) created (through The Word --)

Eph 3:9 "And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"

In Genesis 1 we see that human beings were created in the image of God, and it was for a GREAT purpose. (Gen. 1:27)

Through this study we have found that "In the beginning God "created the heavens and the earth." The REASON the earth was created was for mankind to live upon, but we see in verse 2 that "the earth was without form and void!"

Why would God create something which man could not live on, and then re-create it for man's habitation?

The scriptures show us that anything God does is done to perfection!!! He wouldn't create something in chaos and emptiness!!

Between verse one and two is a period of time (we don't know how much) where something destroyed the earth. It has been called the 'gap' theory by many theologians, BUT we can solve that puzzle!

We know that Lucifer went up to heaven and tried to force God to allow him to sit on the third throne with Him and Jesus.

He wanted to be "LIKE" God, and be over the angels and congregation of God.

Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Lucifer wanted to be OVER the "stars" (angels) of God AND OVER "the congregation of God. (body of Christ). Had God ALLOWED that, Lucifer would, in effect, BE God because everything would have to pass through HIM to get to God. He would be "in control" of all things at that point.

God, of course, has a different plan for that third throne and He rejected Lucifer. When Lucifer put up a fight, God threw him back down to earth and CHAINED him here.

Scripture says he and his angels were cast back to "hell", or (Heb.) `Sheol', which means `the grave'. (Isa. 14:15)

This verse deserves more explanation but in order to not make this article too long, I will have to write a new article about this "hell" to give a fuller explanation. Thanks for understanding.

Isa 45:18 "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."

Yes, God formed the earth perfectly for man's habitation. He did that "from the beginning" so that He could, at the right time, place man upon it.

He didn't form it in waste and emptiness, but perfect AT THE VERY FIRST!

But WHY did He do that?

It is a tremendous reason, and the whole point of this study!

Let's go back to Genesis and begin to see the very REASON God formed the heavens and the earth!

However, before we go on, we need to get a problem out of the way.

Gen 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

The earth was (Heb. Tohuw = without form, waste) and (Heb. Bohuw = and void, emptiness).

In the latter part of the verse, the word `moved' should be (Heb. Rachaph = brooded).

The scripture should have been translated:

"And the earth was waste and emptiness; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God brooded upon the face of the waters".

When translated this way and considering Isa. 45:18, we see that something happened to the earth AFTER God created it for mankind's habitation and God was considering how to overcome this problem.

Yes it ties in with Lucifer's desire of wanting to be like the most High, being thrown back to this earth and CHAINED, imprisoned, here waiting for God to JUDGE and sentence him FOR HIS REBELLION.

Although it isn't documented in scripture, I BELIEVE Lucifer, renamed Satan, began to try to "outdo" God and create his own mankind before God had a chance to do it. I THINK LUCIFER WAS THE FIRST SCIENTIST who began to experiment with what God had created to try to build himself a family before God could build HIS!!
The more he tried the worse it got until He had  mutated everything God had created, so God had to destroy with a flood what Satan had done.

Gen. 1:3 comes on the scene at this juncture showing us the destruction and then what God had to do to RECREATE the earth for man's habitation.

It was here in verse 27 that God created male and female in His Image, but not yet after His Kind.

The complete focus of this chapter is that God created mankind AFTER THE GOD KIND to LATER be IN HIS LIKENESS, at the First Resurrection!

Yes this scripture is prophetic in nature telling us that God created us to be IN HIS LIKENESS. Spirit beings with the same character and attributes He has such as total perfect character, and immortality!

Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Yes, IN THE BEGINNING, God planned to create Himself a FAMILY by creating human beings and placing them on this earth to be trained in the ROYAL WAY... GOD'S WAY!!

He placed Lucifer here to dress and keep the earth until God created humanity, and then Lucifer was to be the "Light Bringer", to bring the truth and way of God to mankind and to teach them, to be a "schoolmaster" to them until they were of sufficient spiritual age to become a viable part of the family of God.

Problem was, they were then to be OVER Lucifer, just as royal children eventually are placed over the servants in a royal family!

Lucifer grew to hate the position He would be placed within the family and decided to prove that He was MUCH better than those lowly human beings God was planning to create, so he set out prove himself.

Thus the destruction of the earth and the re-creation of it, along with the creation of human kind.

Eventually,at that resurrection to SPIRIT life, we will be JUST LIKE GOD and will help Jesus Christ rule over the Kingdom of God upon this earth.

Isn't it AMAZING what a little bible study will add to our knowledge and allow God to help us UNDERSTAND?

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