November 16, 2017
We live in a time that’s exciting, but also can be frightening. Moral issues are at the forefront of much controversy, we continually hear of wars being fought or threatened, and people seem to snap and become violent for no reason. What’s going on? You won’t find the answers on the nightly news or in self-help books. The answers are found in God’s word. Scripture is a collection of history, prophecy, moral guidance…and evidence of God’s love for us. History begins at the beginning. God was there and spoke everything into existence, yet very few people believe Him. He told Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit, but Adam and Eve both ate it. They didn’t believe God when He said they would die but chose to believe Satanic lies and learned the hard way that God was telling the truth. If people today would believe God and follow His ways we would live in a better world. Satan’s lies and deceit have caused all of the pain, suffering, and death that we face each day. When things go wrong in your life, blame Satan not God. Every word of Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit and if we don’t study it we miss out on a treasure trove of knowledge, wisdom, and guidance. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.“2 Timothy 2:15. God wants us to know Him. When you set yourself on a deep study of God’s word you’re taking on a challenge that’s both exciting and rewarding. Begin your study with prayer and let the Holy Spirit guide you so that you’ll grow in your faith in God and knowledge of His word. Search the Scriptures each day.
Throughout the ages people haven’t always found it easy to study Scripture. The early Scriptures were written on large scrolls that were kept in synagogues. These weren’t New Testament Scripture but were the Old Testament. Before the New Testament was compiled people found that by studying the Old Testament scrolls they were able to easily understand that Jesus Christ was pictured and prophesied throughout Scripture. The Apostle Paul was very knowledgeable of the Hebrew Scriptures and encouraged others to use them to prove what was being taught regarding Jesus. When Paul went on mission journeys he would go to the synagogue and reason with the Jews using the Old Testament. One such place was in Thessalonica. “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” Acts 17:2-3. Can you do that? You could start in Genesis chapter 3 where God covered Adam and Eve in coats of skin (this would require a blood sacrifice) to cover their sin or in chapter 22 where there’s an account of Abraham’s willingness to offer his son Isaac and Isaac’s willingness to become the sacrifice. God didn’t allow Abraham to sacrifice his son, but it’s a picture of the very real sacrifice of God’s only Son on the cross at Calvary. There are many more such examples and you should take time to search for them. Some of the people in Thessalonica found the truth, but others became angry and ran Paul out of town. He traveled to Berea where he once again went to the synagogue. This time instead of getting angry they studied Scripture. He commended the Bereans for being willing to listen to what he said, but filtered what they were being told through Scripture. “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.” Acts 17:11. The Scriptures they searched were the Old Testament. It’s easy to be deceived if we don’t know Scripture and it’s easy to miss finding the truth if we don’t search diligently.
Scripture has been given to us from God. The words contained in the Bible are all inspired by the Holy Spirit and need to be taken seriously. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, ,for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. When Scripture is taken seriously the confusing and contradicting doctrines of men are cleared up. Doctrine should never be built around one or two Scriptures nor should it be taken out of context. Erroneous doctrine such as the “name it and claim it” deception is built around one or two Scriptures rather than the whole of God’s word. That’s why it’s important to study all of Scripture. God doesn’t want anyone to be deceived. When Scripture differs from denominational teaching, always put God’s truth above men’s ideas. Whether something is taught by a Catholic priest, a Baptist preacher, or a man on television, search Scripture to be sure it’s correct. That’s what “reproof and correction” means. When we study Scripture and find differences between what we’ve been taught and what God’s word says, we need to correct our doctrine. If the denomination you attend professes a doctrine that doesn’t align with God’s word, then they are in error. Our righteousness only comes through Jesus Christ and our study of His word should help us to grow more like Him. Through study of both the Old and New Testaments we grow closer to Jesus and become more like Him. God wants us to know Him, and doesn’t want us to stumble in our Christian walk from lack of knowledge. A good study tool is a concordance. Scripture is God breathed, but the truth is clear in the original languages. There can be some translation problems in going from Hebrew to English, for instance. A concordance will help you to a deeper understanding of His truth. “NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. Here’s a challenge, do you know what “nun” means and why it’s at the beginning of this verse? God’s word can’t light our path unless we study it and understand it. In times past it wasn’t so easy to study Scripture. The Catholic Church opposed anyone who tried to translate Scripture so it could be understood by regular people. Many false teachings were the result and the clergy gained too much control over the uneducated. This control happens today, but that’s mostly because the “sheep” don’t do their own study. Not only are many people willfully ignorant of Scripture but many countries make it illegal to own or read a Bible. If you’re blessed to live where Scripture isn’t illegal then search the Scriptures diligently and learn what God says.
Study prophecy too. Most preachers ignore prophecy and omit an important part of God’s word. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21. The prophets of old told of the coming Messiah and those prophesies were fulfilled by Jesus. Scripture also gives signs of the end times. Study prophecy to understand the times in which we live. Are we living in a time similar to that which the prophet Amos spoke about? “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11-10. Both the Jewish Northern and Southern Kingdoms would eventually be taken captive because they didn’t heed God’s warnings. They disobeyed God’s laws and they ignored prophecy. Could this be a lesson for us today? God’s word is translated into virtually every language on earth yet many people refuse to listen or read it. The internet is full of Christian information, but search engines and sites like YouTube are hindering people from getting accurate information. By the way, search Scripture to be sure what you read on the internet is accurate. Jesus said “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6. Dust off your Bible and begin to read it. Search for truth that can only be found in God’s word.
It’s easy to slip into sin if we don’t study Scripture. “BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:9-11. Moral decay is constantly making news headlines. Parents don’t teach their children Scripture and public schools promote satanic lies. How can a young man or a young woman live godly lives if they aren’t taught God’s truth? Parents, take time to read Scripture with your children. Don’t just send them to Sunday school but take them. Answer their questions and always hold Scripture as authority. Teach your children to pray and to love the Lord. If you don’t teach them, who will?
We’re living in the last days. Very soon this world will be plunged into a seven year period of judgment. According to Jesus this will be a time such as never seen before. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. By searching Scripture you’ll understand just how close we are to the end of time which has been prophesied. You’ll also understand how important it is for you to draw near to Jesus. Prior to the final seven years of judgment, Christians will be Raptured. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:50-52. Everyone will leave this life one day, either by dying or by the Rapture. Either way, the only difference between eternal life and eternal torment is your choice to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour. God doesn’t condemn anyone to eternal death. Each person makes their own choice by either accepting Christ’s shed blood for salvation or rejecting Him. Search the Scriptures to be sure you understand the choice you make.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.