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John 1:5
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


Calendar With Holy Days




Revelations means to reveal... Here you will find the mysteries and the wisdom of God that have been sealed for over 6,000 years...

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world"
Revelation 12:9

Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie
2Thessalonians 2:10-11

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Romans 11:32







It's your choice


Click on the images...


And the 2300 evenings and mornings of Daniel




Just as the days of Noah...


But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:37-39


Are Homosexuals born that way? ....... Interracial Marriage




America Israel, And Great Britain In Prophecy


The Mark Of The Beast


The True Church


The Secret Rapture


The Dreadful Day Of The Lord



Answer To An Atheist


For The Evolutionist


Can a Christian Believe in Evolution?


Pre-Existence Before The Material Universe


Does God Exist?


7 Proofs God Exists


The Bible Superstition Or Authority


Seven Keys To Understanding The Bible


How To Study The Bible


How To Understand The Bible


How Do We Know We Have The Complete Bible


Answers To Questions About Genesis


Why There Seems To Be A Gap In The Bible


How The Bible Counts A Generation


The Bible Verses The Dead Sea Scrolls


Should We Use The Old Testament


The Hidden Knowledge


How Religion Deceives You


A World Held Captive


The Ark And Noah


Weeks Of Daniel


The Exile In Stone





The Bible Story For Children


Volume I


Volume II


Volume III


Volume IV


Volume V


Volume VI



Genealogy And The Bible Family Tree


God As King


Who Really Discovered America


Oldest Known 10 Commandments Were Found In America


USA And Britain's Common Wealth In Prophecy


Tea Tephi


Britain's Coronation Chair And Jacob's Pillow Stone


Jacob's Pillar Stone


The Two Witnesses


Russia In Prophecy


The Middle East In Prophecy


Who Are The Arabs


Seeing The world Throgh Islamic Eyes


The Race Question


The Origin Of The Races


Military Service And War


Why Does God Allow Wars


The Sure Way To End The Fear Of Nuclear War


What Is Armageddon?


There Is A Way To Escape


Understanding The Way To Peace


World Peace How It Will Come


The key To Human Survival


Petra The Safe Place


Is There Life After Death


World Peace And How It Will Come



The Mark Of The Beast


Mark Of God's People


The Key to Revelations


The Book Of Revelations Unveiled At Last


Christian Symbols, The Fish, Cross, And Crucifix


The Pagan Cross


The Cross


The Council Of Laodicea



Why The Church


Fundamental Doctrines


How And Why We Know We Have The Truth


The Abomination That Maketh Desolate


God's Temple Excepts The Mark Of The Beast


Joseph Tkach Sales God's Church


WCOG Changes Name


WCOG vs. Philadelphia COG Court Records


God's Church Is The Temple


The True Church


The History Of The Church


Where Is The Original True Church


Beginning History Of The Worldwide Church Of God


The Real History Of The True Church


Foundation, History, Authority, And Doctrine Of The Worldwide Church Of God


Philadelphia Era Of The Church


Just What Is The Church


God's Church Does Not Compromise


Worldly Churches Are Social Clubs


The Tongues Question


Tongues- Is The Pentecost Experience Being Repeated Today



Does God Exist


7 Proofs God Exist


What About God Revealed Knowledge


Why God Is Not Real To Most People


Is God Fair


How To Put God First


God Was King


God's Divorce


Is Jesus God


Should We Pray To God Or Only To Christ


70 Weeks Of Daniel


Was Jesus Really Dead


Why Christ Died


If You Lived At Time Of Christ Would You Have Believed Him


The Mystery Of MELCHIZEDEK Solved


What Is Man


How God Planned To Reproduce Himself


What Led To The Creation Of Man


What Is The Soul


Why You Are Alive


The Incredible Human Potential At Last Revealed


Why Humans Were Put On Earth


The only real value of a human life


Bridging The Gap Between Human Mind And The Ultimate Spirit Composed Sons Of God


What Science Can't Discover About The Human Mind


Human nature - Did God create it?


Human Nature And How A Whole World Is Deceived About It's Origin


Why Were You Born


You Were Born To Be King


The Great Purpose Of Your Life


Man To Rule The Universe


Your Children - FUTURE GODS


If You Were God How Would You Look At The World Today


God's Invisible Agents


Where Is Enoch And Elijah


Lazarus And The Rich Man


Can Men Actually Communicate With Departed Spirits?


Life After Death


Is There life After Death


Did God Create A Devil


Is There A Hell



God's Holy Days Or Pagan Holy Days


List Of Holy Days


How Often Should You Partake Of The Lord's Supper


Should The Lord's Supper Be On The 14th Or 15th


How To Observe The Passover In Your Own Home


The Resurrection Was Not On Sunday


Does Easter Really Commemorate The Resurrection


Easter


What Is The Purpose Of The Resurrection?


The Plain Truth About Easter


The Pentecost


How To Figure The Pentecost


The Sabbath A Perpetual Covenant


Which Day Is The Sabbath Of The New Testament?


Why Do You Observe Sunday


Neglecting The Sabbath


Christmas


Should You Celebrate Birthdays


Halloween


New Years Eve


Valentines Day



Is Tithing In Force Under The New Testament


Should Christians Tithe


Should You Pay Tithes


The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Tithe


Did You Ever Know Why Money Is The Root Of All Evil


Does God Hate The Rich



Has Time Been Lost


God's 19 Year Cycle


Calendar With Holy Days


God's Calendar


What is a Prophetic Year



The World's Oldest Surviving Inscription Of The Ten Commandments Found In America



Job, Joseph And His Brothers (Israel's Sons) Built The Great Pyramid



The Truth About The Free Masons



There Is Nothing New Under The Sun


The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11



Sex


God's Great Sex Law


Abortion


Makeup


Are Homosexuals Born That Way


Interracial Marriages


Why Marriage


Polygamy


Divorce And Remarriage


The Family Breakdown


Child Rearing


The family - God's Plan For Mankind


Conspiracy Against The Family


The Surprising Origin Of Modern Education



Pre-Existence Before The Material Universe


Does God Heal


The Plain Truth About Healing


What is Faith


What kind Of Faith Is Required Of Salvation


Are We Back On Track When We Lost Faith


How To Receive Answers To Your Prayers


Have Christians Lost Their Power?


The Plain Truth About Fasting


The Importance Of Fasting


Is all Animal Flesh Good Food


What Fish And Fowl Are Good For Food


The Key To Radiant Health


10 Simple Rules That Lead To Health


Why Man Must Suffer



Christ's Gospel Was Suppressed - Not Heard From First Century Until Now!


The Startling Revelation Of What Was Christ's Gospel


What Is The True Gospel?


The Gospel Jesus Taught


The Gospel Is Education


Choose


All About Baptism


Baptism By Fire


What Do You Mean Born Again


Are The Ten Commandments Necessary


Were The Ten Commandments Nailed To The Cross


Were The Ten Commandments In Force Before Moses


The Ten Commandments


What Is Salvation


What Is The Reward Of The Saved


What Do You Mean Reward For Your Works


Just What Do You Mean Conversion


What Is True Spirituality


Conversion Sudden Experience Or Life Long Process


False Conversion


A Letter From Armstrong To The Newly Converted


What Is A Liberal


Is It Wrong To Be A Cultured Individual


The Old And New Covenant


Let God Fight Your Battles


The Law, The Catholics, And You


Do Christians Sin


Education For Life


Keep Your Eyes On The Goal


How FAR May I Safely Go, In Doing What I Want But Know I Ought NOT?


Christianity Is A Growth Process


Are You Being Tested


How You Can Overcome


How To Prevent Sin


What Is The Worst Sin


How You Could Commit The Unpardonable Sin


What Do You Mean The Unpardonable Sin


Ending Your Financial Worries


The Blessings Of Abundant Living


How To Live Life Abundantly


The Way Of Life That Causes Success


The Seven Laws Of Success


Should You Try To Change Others


Should You Listen To Others


We Must All Speak The Same


The True Meaning Of Predestination


Is Your Ultimate Fate Decided For You In Advance


What Is Friendship


What Is Emotional Maturity



The Incredible Human Potential


Christ's Gospel Was Suppressed - Not Heard From First Century Until Now!


The Startling Revelation Of What Was Christ's Gospel


The Incredible Human Potential At Last Revealed


Pre-Existence Before The Material Universe


What Led To The Creation Of Man


How God Planned To Reproduce Himself


Bridging The Gap Between Human Mind And The Ultimate Spirit Composed Sons Of God


Why Today's World Evils


Why The Church


Just What Do You Mean Conversion


Human Nature And How A Whole World Is Deceived About It's Origin


Is There Life After Death


World Peace And How It Will Come



Jesus Is Coming Soon...Too Good To Be True


What Is The Kingdom Of God


What Will You Be Doing In The Next Life


Looking Into The World Tomorrow


Where Will The Millennium Be Spent


TheWonderful World Of Tomorrow



Mystery Of The Ages


The Seven Mysteries


How The 7 Mysteries Were Revealed


Who And What Is God


Mystery Of Angels And Evil Spirits


The Mystery Of Man


Mystery Of Civilization


Mystery Of Israel


The Church


The Kingdom Of God



Software


Theophilos


ESword



Herbert W. Armstrong


Armstrong's Calling


Armstrong's Conversion


How Christ Educated His Apostle


This Is The Life


How I've Been Providentially Protected From Harm And Death


No! I Was Never A Jehovah's Witness Or Seventh Day Adventist


The Little Book


The 19 Year Time Cycle


The Need To Make The Truth Plain


Must God's Ministers Be Ordained By The Hands Of Man?


You Won't Believe It Armstrong's Final Sermon


End Time Elijah


Armstrong's Autobiography



Josephus Antiquities Of The Jews


Josephus War Of The Jews


Josephus Against Apion


Josephus Hades


Josephus Autobiography







Part I



Why is the Bible the most misunderstood book in all history? The most twisted, distorted, maligned, misrepresented and lied-about book there is? Because people refuse to believe it means exactly what it says!
Apply these simple basic rules and you will begin to really understand the plain truth of God's Word!

WHAT are we? Were we put on earth for a PURPOSE? And WHAT is that purpose? WHY are human lives empty, discontented, unhappy? How may human life become HAPPY, FILLED with interest, ABUNDANT, successful, prosperous? WHAT is the real cause of wars, and THE WAY to world peace?

WHAT lies on after death -- what is THE WAY to a happy, abundant, ETERNAL life? No book ever written, except the Holy Bible, REVEALS THE ANSWERS to these fundamental questions of life!

Yet, why do we find such confusion -- such disagreement as to what it says? WHY don't the hundreds of differing church denominations and sects AGREE on what their acknowledged textbook SAYS? WHY do so many individuals, capable of understanding almost any OTHER book, say: I just CAN'T understand the BIBLE?



Study for Yourself



You yourself need to understand HOW to get the most out of God's Word.

You need to KNOW that GOD DOES EXIST -- and you need to KNOW that THE BIBLE IS GOD'S INSPIRED WORD! If you are in any doubt about these two basic points, see Does God Exist and Proof of The Bible. Before even beginning to seriously STUDY the Bible, you must realize that your Creator is the Divine author of it!

In Bible study, as well as with anything else, there is a RIGHT and a WRONG WAY to accomplish. There are certain rules which, if followed, will give you a more thorough understanding of God's Word -- leave you with fewer questions, begin to help you think and act as God does because you understand what He says in His Word.

The following rules are not necessarily in order -- they are certainly not ALL the rules of Bible study -- but they are BASIC and IMPORTANT and will help you gain the Truth from God's Word.



Pray for Guidance



FIRST, before you even open the Bible, you must ask God in PRAYER to open your mind to His Word in the study that you intend to make. David was a man after God's own heart -- he studied that portion of God's Word which was available to him in his day. He meditated, thought about and considered God's laws and His ways. He was close to God in every way and yet many times throughout the Psalms we read how David ASKED God to GUIDE him in his study, to OPEN his mind, to REVEAL His Truth.

TEACH ME, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. GIVE ME understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. MAKE ME TO GO in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. INCLINE MY HEART unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness ... STABLISH THY WORD unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear ... Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: QUICKEN ME in thy righteousness (Ps. 119:33-40).

Without sincerely and believingly asking GOD'S DIRECTION in your Bible study -- without seeking GOD'S Kingdom and His righteousness first (Matt. 6:33) -- Bible study of itself would be futile. Just as you can worship God in vain (Mark 7:7), so you can study His Word in vain! Many wise and intelligent men have made a life study of God's Word in its original languages, and profited nothing from it!

Men like Moffatt, who TRANSLATED THE ENTIRE BIBLE from Genesis to Revelation -- certainly HE studied God's Word, but he did not get the Message, he did not understand the Gospel -- even in the introduction to his translation he explains how he feels the Old Testament is a compilation of Jewish literature! Adam Clarke wrote six volumes of commentary on NEARLY EVERY VERSE IN THE BIBLE -- yet not by any stretch of the imagination could he be construed to have understood God's Plan.

The study and work that men of this intelligence have contributed CAN be HELPFUL TO US. But not because of any special intelligence that we may have -- only because we have asked God to open our minds and give us HIS understanding of His Word.



Formal Education Not Necessary



Don't use the excuse that you have not had enough education, or that you are NOT INTELLIGENT ENOUGH to really study God's Word. God tells us plainly that it is not the wise, the mighty or the noble that He is calling to an understanding of His word now -- read I Corinthians 1:25-27.

Take for granted that you do not know OF YOURSELF how to understand the Plan of God -- that's why you must ASK Him to make it plain!

If all that was needed to understand God's Word were BRAINS, then a vast number of the people of the world would have a thorough understanding of God's Word! God says, ... they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge (Jer. 4:22). As long as you know HOW TO READ, you get down on your knees and sincerely ask God to guide you in a study of His Word. He will open your mind to understand things that the most intelligent minds of mankind have not been able to understand. PRAYER will open to you an understanding of God's Word that Einstein did not have. PRAYER will open your mind to understand God's Word in a way that the graduates of Harvard and Yale, Oxford and Cambridge, the great universities of Europe and Asia, are not able to understand.

PRAYER -- your contact with God -- is important in the beginning of your study of His Word. Without this contact with God, you may spend endless hours of studying His Word like a Pharisee.

The time spent in memorization of how many verses there are in the Bible will be of NO AVAIL at the return of Jesus Christ! ONLY THAT PART OF HIS WORD WHICH YOU HAVE MADE A PART OF YOUR VERY CHARACTER WILL BE OF ANY ACCOUNT TO YOU!

HEART-FELT PRAYER for God's guidance in your own personal Bible study will insure success!



Attitude Must Be for Self-Correction



This SECOND rule really goes hand-in-hand with the first. Before you rise from your knees in prayer, you should fully recognize in your own mind and heart that your PURPOSE for this Bible study is not just to gain academic knowledge, not only to prove or disprove a certain doctrine or fact -- but to get you closer to the stature of the fullness of the very character of Jesus Christ. The only way this can be done is for the CARNAL YOU TO BE CORRECTED!

God's Word is written directly to each of us as an individual -- it is personal, direct -- and as far as our achieving salvation is concerned has nothing to do with anybody else on the face of the earth!

Therefore your attitude should be the same as Jeremiah's. In fact, since you're going to be STUDYING the Bible, turn to Jeremiah 10:23 and read two verses there meaningfully and as part of your prayer! O Lord, I know that the way of man is NOT IN HIMSELF: it is NOT IN MAN that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, CORRECT ME, but with JUDGMENT; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

Don't just go through this mechanically, really mean it! Don't just do this because this article SAYS to do it, but because YOU WANT CORRECTION FROM YOUR CREATOR!

How? For your attitude to be proper in your approach to God's Word, turn to one other scripture. This passage will aid you in understanding what your approach should be -- in educating your attitude to be right before you begin. Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but TO THIS MAN WILL I LOOK, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and TREMBLETH AT MY WORD ... Hear the word of the Lord, YE THAT TREMBLE AT HIS WORD! (Isa. 66:1-2, 5.)

This Bible that you are studying is the very MIND AND THOUGHTS OF YOUR CREATOR-GOD! It is not to be argued about. It is not meant to be a club to chastise OTHER people with! In other words, if you are a husband, DO NOT use Ephesians 5:22 as a weapon against your wife -- or, if you are a wife, DO NOT use Ephesians 5:25 as a weapon against your husband! But each of you as husband or wife apply TO YOURSELF AND YOURSELF ONLY that scripture which refers to YOU!



Prove All Things



This THIRD rule is in a way an extension of the proper attitude of rule number two. Your approach to God's Word should be COMPLETELY POSITIVE! The example given by the Bereans in Acts 17:11 -- 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 -- this was a POSITIVE attitude! The Bereans were not searching the Scriptures to prove Paul was WRONG! They were NOT negative, angry, bitter.

So if you have heard something about the Bible that you do not fully understand, your approach in your own personal Bible study should be to prove that it IS so.

The common MISunderstanding of I Thessalonians 5:21 which says, Prove all things, is that this PROOF must entail a deep research into the Hebrew or Greek backgrounds, and into encyclopedias and historical references, lexicons and musty historical records. This is erroneous. If your research takes you into references of this sort, and you are endeavoring to PROVE POSITIVELY God's Truth, this is perfectly all right -- but it is NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY.

This word PROVE, is POSITIVE. That is the one main point of this particular law of Bible study. But the word itself means, TO PUT TO THE TEST. There are PROVING grounds on which the modern automobiles manufactured in Detroit are TESTED. In the parable Jesus Christ uses regarding the wedding supper, there is a reference to a man who had just bought five yoke of oxen. The excuse he gave for not coming to the supper was that he wanted to PROVE these oxen (Luke 14:19). This is the SAME GREEK WORD as used in I Thessalonians 5:21. Yet this man did not mean that he was going to go to his local library and look up in some dictionary a description of oxen to find out for sure WHETHER THEY WERE OXEN -- it meant he wanted to be excused from the wedding supper so that he might take the oxen out to the field, yoke them up, hook a plow behind them and find out whether they would be able to do what oxen are supposed to be able to do! This is basically what God means in I Thessalonians 5:21.

For example, God commands us in the book of Malachi to prove Him in tithing. What He wants us to DO is not to technically search lexicons to find out Greek and Hebrew derivations, but -- just as the principle is throughout the entire Bible -- to DO WHAT HE SAYS TO DO. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and PROVE ME (TEST ME) now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Mal. 3:10). This is a POSITIVE GOING FORWARD, a finding out of what God DOES say, not a search for ERROR or DISproof.



Bible Never Contradicts Itself



If you have difficulty in understanding any particular scripture -- if it SEEMS to say something different from another scripture, you may just need to study further. Always remember beyond any shadow of a doubt the principle of rule FOUR: that GOD NEVER CONTRADICTS HIMSELF. Therefore, either your understanding of the particular scripture or the translation that you are reading is incorrect or misunderstood.

Malachi 3:6 -- For I am the Lord, I CHANGE NOT; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed -- MEANS what it says. Hebrews 13:8 -- Jesus Christ THE SAME yesterday, and to day, and for ever -- MEANS what it says.

The very SOURCE of truth is God's Word (John 17:17) -- and unless your approach to it, your study of it is from this point of view you will never gain any understanding from it.

Let's notice an APPARENT contradiction appearing in Proverbs 26:4, 5 -- verse four reads ANSWER NOT a fool ACCORDING to his folly. Yet, the very next verse tells us, ANSWER a fool ACCORDING to his folly.

Actually, these two verses are not contradictory -- BUT COMPLEMENTARY! The use of either verse -- that is, its principle applied to a particular use -- depends on the SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES. Both these verses contain gems of wisdom that each one of us needs to learn to properly apply in answering other people's questions.

The LAST PART OF EACH VERSE holds the KEY which unlocks the meaning of these verses -- and shows them to be PRACTICAL, USABLE and wise PRINCIPLES.

Verse four reads, Answer not a fool according to his folly, LEST THOU ALSO BE LIKE UNTO HIM. The last part of the verse holds the KEY: don't degrade yourself by descending to HIS LEVEL in an ARGUMENT! Don't harangue -- don't bite back -- don't try to ARGUE BACK with someone who is obviously trying to stir contention.

The perfect example of this is found in Luke 20:1-8. Here Christ was teaching in the temple. The Pharisees came to Him with these words: Tell us, BY WHAT AUTHORITY doest thou these things? or WHO is he that gave thee this authority?

Quite obviously, they weren't interested in learning anything -- they weren't coming as humble individuals hungering after new knowledge. THEY WERE THERE TO ARGUE WITH CHRIST!



Notice, how Christ handled the situation.



And he answered and said unto them, I will also ASK YOU ONE thing; AND ANSWER ME: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?

But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

And Jesus said unto them, NEITHER TELL I YOU by what authority I do these things (Luke 20:3-8).

Christ answered their question with a QUESTION! To answer their question directly would have only resulted in a verbal battle. An argument would have ensued. Christ avoided strife by NOT ANSWERING THEM ACCORDING TO THEIR FOLLY.

Now, understand verse five in Proverbs 26. Again, the last part of the verse holds the KEY: Answer a fool according to his folly, LEST HE BE WISE IN HIS OWN CONCEIT.

In this case -- if you don't answer his question -- if you don't accept his challenge -- he is going to THINK HIMSELF to be wise!

The Apostle Paul had this problem. FALSE APOSTLES in Corinth were claiming THEY WERE the TRUE APOSTLES of Christ. The CONGREGATION was being LED ASTRAY!

Now was not the time for silence -- or clever questions! Now was the time to SMASH the contentions -- to ANSWER these false apostles!

Notice II Corinthians 11:23 -- and how he answered these FOOLISH men.

Are they ministers of Christ? (I SPEAK AS A FOOL) I am more; in labours MORE ABUNDANT, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one........ and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Paul showed the people HE was their true minister! He ANSWERED and DEBUNKED the claims of these other men.

There is no contradiction! But rather much wisdom in these two verses. Wisdom we need to APPLY IN OUR DAILY LIVES!



What DOES the Bible Say?



This FIFTH rule of Bible study often solves many problems. Many times our misunderstanding comes from the CONFUSION THAT THIS WORLD CAUSES -- from a misinterpretation, a direct TWISTING of a scripture to conform to the doctrines of demons promulgated by Satan's ministers.

Woe unto them that CALL evil good, and good evil; that PUT darkness for light, and light for darkness; that PUT bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are WISE IN THEIR OWN EYES, and prudent in THEIR OWN sight! (Isa. 5:20-23.) Many who CLAIM to be representatives of God, the INTERPRETERS of His Word, TWIST and WREST that Word to their own destruction and the destruction of their hearers.

So always remember to ask yourself -- AND, ANSWER -- the question: What DOES the BIBLE say?

John 3:6 is a good example of this. That which is born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit IS spirit. This is a very clear scripture, explaining that flesh is flesh and Spirit is spirit! That's what the Bible says! But that's not what PEOPLE SAY the Bible says!

Sometimes you may have to refer to a reference work (which we will cover under a separate rule) for scriptures such as I John 5:7.

Or perhaps a note in the MARGIN of your Bible will help you understand a scripture that SEEMS to contradict what you know to be the truth. Take the example of Luke 17:20-21 -- The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU. Here, the Bible DOES say, The kingdom of God is WITHIN you. But here it is only the King James TRANSLATION which says this -- not necessarily God's exact Word. So, since it is not clear in the KING JAMES Translation, other aids are necessary to find out what it does say.

This leads automatically to the next rule of Bible study, rule number SIX.



Check the Context



Context means, con -- WITH, text -- TEXT. In order to check the context you merely read the TEXTS WHICH COME WITH the text that is in question. You read the texts BEFORE and the TEXTS AFTER. In this example of Luke 17:21, you need to also ask yourself a number of questions regarding the context. The text that is with (CON) Luke 17:21, is Luke 17:20! This verse JUST BEFORE answers the question regarding Verse 21, but in order to ANSWER that question you must ASK yourself the question, WHO?

In other words you must ask yourself, if the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you -- WHO is the YOU that the Bible is referring to? In this case verse 20 explains that it is the PHARISEES! Now you KNOW that certainly Jesus Christ wasn't saying that the Kingdom of God is inside of PHARISEES! Therefore, the con (WITH) text helps you to see that there must be a MISTRANSLATION in this particular verse.

And sure enough, when you check the margin of your Bible you will find that the word within should be translated among -- referring to Jesus Himself as a Representative of God's Kingdom who was at that time among the Pharisees!

In order to understand any scripture thoroughly, in its context, you need to ask yourself -- and answer for yourself -- all the following questions: WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? WHO? HOW? When you have answered these questions regarding any particular text, and you have read all of the accompanying texts, WITH the text in question, YOU WILL HAVE GOD'S ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM.

Many people misunderstand Mark 7:19 -- thinking that in this place unclean meats were cleansed by Christ -- simply because they do not read the context. In this case the context is the ENTIRE CHAPTER. You must go back from verse 19, until you begin to find the subject about which verse 19 is talking. That subject has to do with whether or not to wash your hands ceremonially before you eat, and has nothing to do with whether the food you eat is clean or unclean according to the laws of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

There are even LIES written in the Bible and you have to be careful that you ask yourself EXACTLY what the Bible says in the ENTIRETY of the context of any one statement. THE BIBLE SAYS, Ye shall NOT surely die (Gen. 3:4). This is a BIBLICAL statement! But in order to find out whether it's true or not you have to find out WHO said it. In this particular case the same verse explains that Satan the Devil said it, but in order to find out whether it is true or not (because sometimes even Satan tells the truth) you have to go back in the CONTEXT until you come to Genesis 2:17 where the Creator-God is quoted as saying, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE! -- then you know what the BIBLE, IN ITS ENTIRETY AND IN ITS TRUTH, DOES SAY!



Part II



Why is the Bible the most misunderstood book in all history? The most twisted, distorted, maligned, misrepresented and lied-about book there is? Because people refuse to believe it means exactly what it says! This second installment explains twelve simple, basic rules to help you understand the plain truth of God's Word!

Do YOU UNDERSTAND the Bible when you read it? Or, have you not even bothered to study your Bible because you felt it was out-of-date? Because the old English is difficult to understand? Or because you felt the Bible was SUPPOSED TO BE MYSTERIOUS.



You Can Understand!



The Bible is the instruction book of the One who created you. It is His instruction TO YOU, explaining clearly and plainly how you can have a happy, filled-with-interest, abundant and successful life! God's Word reveals the purpose for your being! It explains the REASON for human suffering. It explains WHEN and WHY and HOW GOD IS going to intervene to relieve that suffering! It therefore ought to be the one book everyone should understand! But why has it been so grievously misunderstood? Because almost no one, it seems, has been willing to apply the twelve rules of Bible study.

In last month's PLAIN TRUTH, the first six of the twelve simple, basic rules of Bible study were explained thoroughly. If you are a new reader and missed this first article because you were not on The PLAIN TRUTH mailing list last month, just write and ask for the August issue of The PLAIN TRUTH -- it will be sent to you just as freely as you received this issue.



The First Six Rules



To summarize, briefly, before going on to the seventh rule of Bible study, here are the first six rules: ONE -- Pray for guidance. Two -- Be willing to accept correction. THREE -- Prove all things. FOUR -- Realize the Bible never contradicts itself. FIVE -- Be sure to read the Bible exactly as it is written. SIX -- Check the context carefully -- that is, read all the scriptures around any particular verse in question.

This brings us to rule number seven.



Get All the Scriptures



No one scripture can OF ITSELF, taken OUT OF CONTEXT, be used to establish the Truth. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any PRIVATE interpretation (II Pet. 1:20).

God has put His Bible together in a very unusual manner. He has written it so that men could study it intricately in its original languages, poring over its pages for their entire lifetime -- AND YET NEVER COME TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. Many people have memorized great sections of the Bible and yet not come to realize what those sections mean. You must take the whole Bible in its entire context, getting ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES in that Bible ON ANY ONE SUBJECT BEFORE you can come to the knowledge of that particular subject from God's point of view.

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little ....

That is how the converted mind is to study the Bible. Yet, when the unconverted study God's Word a little here and a little there they are STILL NOT ABLE TO UNDERSTAND the Message of God's Truth because they do not have His Holy Spirit guiding them. That Holy Spirit -- the very mind and understanding of God -- is the power that inspired those words in the first place, and WITHOUT THAT SPIRIT TO INSPIRE THE UNDERSTANDING, THE DOOR TO THE WORD OF GOD REMAINS SHUT! (The Holy Spirit is given ONLY to those who OBEY God -- Acts 5:32.) Continuing from Isaiah: ... But the word of the Lord WAS unto them {those who DISOBEY} precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken (Isa. 28:9-10, 13).

Oftentimes people think that the Bible is CONTRADICTING itself when actually all it is doing is SUPPLEMENTING itself. A good example of this is found in Matthew 27:37 as compared to Luke 23:38. Here Matthew and Luke APPEAR to contradict one another in their statements as to what was written on the sign affixed to the stake upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.

Now while you're going through this article, just take time to GET YOUR BIBLE and USE this example to PROVE that getting ALL of the scriptures on any one subject WILL give you God's understanding on it. In order to find out WHAT was written on that sign, WHO wrote it, and HOW MANY languages it was written in, you will need to put at least four scriptures together, not just two. So turn first to Matthew 27:37, and WRITE DOWN what the Bible says was written on that sign. Then, GO RIGHT ON to Mark l5:26 and write beneath what you have written what MARK says was written on that sign. Then do the same with Luke 23:38 and also John 19:19. Put them all together and you will see what was written on that sign.

If ONE of these scriptures were left out you would not know that it was PILATE who did the writing. If TWO of these scriptures were left out you would not know that the writing was originally done in THREE LANGUAGES. These four bits of information, each from a different author, supply us with a complete record of what was written there originally. No one scripture contradicts the other -- each only serves to complement and round out the information of the other.



Let the Bible Interpret the Bible



So many people write in to The WORLD TOMORROW and comment how much they enjoy MR. ARMSTRONG'S INTERPRETATION of the Bible. Over and over again you will hear Mr. Armstrong explain to the radio audience that it is NOT HIS INTERPRETATION that is being heard over The WORLD TOMORROW, BUT ONLY PLAIN BIBLE TRUTH!

In your edition of the King James Bible the book of Revelation will probably be entitled, The Revelation of ST. JOHN THE DIVINE. This is an excellent example of MAN'S INTERPRETATION. Now in order for you to understand WHAT the book of Revelation IS -- WHOSE revelation it is, TO WHOM it was written and WHAT it is about -- all you have to do is read the first few verses of THE BOOK ITSELF! In fact the very first words of the very first verse DIRECTLY CONTRADICT MAN'S INTERPRETATION of the Bible with the plain Bible statement that this book is, THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST! (Rev. 1:1.)

Romans 3:4 is a good clear principle to live by in this EIGHTH rule of Bible study -- ... let GOD be true, but every man a liar.

This book of Revelation has long been an enigma to the people of the world -- GOD SAYS it is a book of REVELATION. THE WORLD SAYS it is a book of HIDDEN MYSTERY. PEOPLE have come up with many weird interpretations for the book of Revelation -- yet the book of Revelation is VIVID in its own clear description and needs no interpretation! Continue in Revelation 1:

As you read in verse 12 that John saw seven GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS, you don't have to WONDER what these seven golden candlesticks are -- all you have to do is READ ON until you come, in the CONTEXT, to verse 20 and that verse tells you plainly that the seven candlesticks ARE the seven churches. In verse 16 it states that John saw SEVEN STARS in the hand of the Son of man. There is no need to go into great, eloquent illustrations of what the seven stars are, because again verse 20 reveals the plain Bible truth -- no interpretation necessary -- that the seven stars ARE the angels of the seven churches. And so it goes through the rest of the Bible.

All you have to do is be patient and search God's Word and you will come up with God's clear answers to the muddled questions of mankind.



Don't Put Vague Scriptures First



Perhaps a better general statement of this NINTH RULE of Bible study would be: NEVER ESTABLISH A DOCTRINE BY A VAGUE OR DIFFICULT-TO-BE-UNDERSTOOD SCRIPTURE.

Too many people ASSUME that the vision which Peter had regarding the unclean beasts lowered to him on a sheet affirms that God cleansed unclean meat. Because they TAKE OUT OF CONTEXT a verse, unclean of itself, that says, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common (Acts 10:15). However, all they need to do is read on TWO MORE VERSES and verse 17 very plainly says that PETER HIMSELF DOUBTED what the vision meant when he saw it -- he didn't jump to any conclusions, but vague-scripture quoters are eager to! Further reading in the same chapter will explain what Peter finally came to understand about the vision -- read verse 28: God hath showed me {by means of this vision} that I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY MAN COMMON OR UNCLEAN.

Don't overlook TENTH rule.



Use Several Translations



In Matthew 27:46 Jesus Christ, while hanging on the stake before He died, used the ARAMAIC translation of the first verse of Psalm 22. Even though the original Word of God was inspired in the Hebrew or the Greek, God has allowed it to be translated into nearly every language spoken by mankind. If we were going to be particular about which language we used or which translation, then we would all have to learn Hebrew and Greek and study the Bible in its original languages.

The King James Version was written 353 years ago. In the time since, the English language has undergone many changes. Sometimes those texts which are vague and unclear in the King James can be cleared up very easily by just reading a MORE MODERN TRANSLATION, such as the Moffatt or the Revised Standard Version.

There is one thing to note about the King James translation and that is regarding italics. This word ITALIC is written in italics. Words that look like this in your King James Version are NOT in the original languages but are SUPPLIED by the translators. So everywhere in the King James Version where you notice words in italics they are supplied to help you understand the meaning of the sentence. However, since the translators were carnally minded, they did not always supply the words correctly. So some of these words in italics are incorrect and do not help but rather hinder your understanding.

On the other hand, NOT ALL OF THE WORDS WHICH ARE SUPPLIED by the translators are in italics. Take I John 5:7 for instance, where the reference to three who bear witness in heaven is a completely erroneous reference inserted by a monk-copyist in the Middle Ages. The fact is this particular verse appears only in the King James Version and is in NONE of the other translations of the Bible.

Often these difficulties will be cleared up by merely reading another translation and comparing it to the King James. Any questions arising after a thorough reading through several translations of any one verse will be few, and can be handled by studying further in Bible helps.

If there are WORDS that you have difficulty in understanding, remember not only to look them up in an English dictionary such as Webster's, but if possible in A BIBLE DICTIONARY OR IN STRONG'S CONCORDANCE so that you can see what the meaning of the word in the original is. Sometimes people will look up a word in a modern dictionary and find a definition that is not at all the SENSE of the word as used in the King James Version. Take for example the word conversation in I Peter 3:1. Conversation to us today means talking between two people. A modern dictionary will give this definition. However, in the time of King James this particular word meant THE ENTIRE CONDUCT of a person and that is the meaning in the BIBLE usage of this word. In order to understand it then, you need to understand the meaning of the ORIGINAL word, and not just the meaning in a modern dictionary.

But this leads to our ELEVENTH rule.



Don't Establish Doctrine With Bible Helps



Clarke's Commentary and the commentary by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown are good reference works -- as is Halley's Pocket Bible Handbook. Sometimes in the back of Bibles there will be sections called Bible Helps. Even the marginal references in your Bible, which SOMETIMES prove to be very helpful, are often misleading. These helps often turn out to be the insidious instruction of Satan himself and they may lead you astray.

Therefore, all of these Bible helps should be used ONLY to establish historical or grammatical facts related to the Bible and MUST NOT be used TO ESTABLISH DOCTRINE OR TO INTERPRET THE MEANING OF THE BIBLE ITSELF. The chain reference in my Bible in the center of the two columns at Revelation 1:10 says, I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day ... and by the Lord's day there is a little z. In the column by the z there are two scriptural references -- one to Acts 20:7 and the other to I Corinthians 16:2 which both refer to the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK but have nothing to do with the Lord's day which is explained in the rest of the book of Revelation.

Yet to find out what the BIBLE says about what day Jesus Christ is Lord of, read Mark 2:27-28! And he said unto them, the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore THE SON OF MAN IS LORD ALSO OF THE SABBATH.

So, with Bible helps you must remember to use them only for technical facts and not for interpretative facts. And now, rule TWELVE:



Mark Your Bible!



Perhaps you have thought the Bible should not be marked. But realize that what is HOLY about the Bible is not the paper, ink and leather out of which it is made, but the WORDS OF TRUTH the SPIRITUAL FACTS! Any PHYSICAL tool you can employ -- such as marking with a pen or colored pencils -- to help you remember and apply the spiritual truths in your life, is right with God! He expects you to USE His written Word to worship HIM -- not physical paper and ink! Sometimes we hold back from marking the Bible and think that we'll do it later -- especially when we're listening to a point that we need to remember about a particular scripture -- but we never seem to get around to it. It's always so difficult to get out the pencil and ruler, and have our hands clean. So I have found over years of experience that the best way to mark the Bible is to JUST MARK IT!

When you find out for instance that the word conversation in I Peter 3:1 ought to be conduct, the thing you need to do is to IMMEDIATELY WRITE DOWN conduct in the margin and draw a little line and circle the word conversation in the verse. This way you will always remember.

Use These Rules

Apply these twelve rules diligently, and your Bible study will be both interesting and rewarding.

And if you are not already one of the nearly SEVENTY THOUSAND students of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course -- WRITE in for it NOW! Don't put it off! This course is designed to help you study YOUR BIBLE. It employs all of these twelve rules of Bible study -- it can help YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND YOUR BIBLE as you never have before.






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