Category Archives: Bible

Bible – in-depth useful information

The Black Holes of the universe are hot items of interest in the scientific community.  Astronomers are excited about “ripples in space” they have again discovered.  They figure they originated from the collisions of massive celestial bodies that created even more massive black holes in the universe, causing the “ripples” in sound waves.  While Einstein suggested they would be detected, the first discovery didn’t come until 2015.  San Diego U-T, 6/2/17

Not qualified to comment on that, this writer will emphasize the Biblical truth from the scientific theories.  And that is…any information gained by studying the universe will be of intense interest to a few, intellectual interest to a few more, but of practical value to hardly anyone.

However, if even the youngest child hears stories from a children’s Bible; if the most mature spiritual mind reads Bible texts, colossal lessons of practical value will be learned.  Things about God as Creator through Jesus Christ.  About Jesus loving people and helping them with everyday problems.  About apostolic labors teaching doctrinal truths useful in everyday life.

The relative value of any teaching or belief is how close it is to God’s eternal truth in Christ; how it offers solutions to everyday-life problems; and how it positively impacts the greatest number of people for life here and hereafter.  On every single issue God’s word scores perfect marks.  It engenders wisdom as it shares information.  It embodies practical answers to everyday problems and eternal questions.  Why would we be so interested in what benefits a few and have so little time for what benefits so many every day and eternally?

Yours for a Christian life that seeks God’s wisdom in his word, God’s Son in his glory and discipleship deepening in FACTS that impact every single person ever to live.

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Bible – know where to look

A college student on summer break in 1960 found employment with the Good Humor ice-cream company.  While subbing for a driver of a regular route he found kids waiting, change in hand.  He exchanged their coins for his goodies, then returned to the cab.  To find a large dog in the driver’s seat.  After fruitlessly trying to remove him he decided to bribe him with an ice-cream cone.  It worked.

He found the same dog sitting on his driver’s seat the next day.  He used the same bribe to evacuate him.  On the third day an older gentleman stood with the usual complement of kids, the big dog at his side.

The driver had hardly stopped when the gentleman explained the mystery.  The regular driver had forgotten to inform him:  a very big dog would meet his truck.  He would find a quarter taped inside his collar in exchange for an ice-cream cone.  Reminisce Magazine, July 2016, 40-41.

Mystery solved.  The regular driver had failed to inform his substitute.  Maybe he was too anxious for vacation.

The incident does surface a spiritual truth.  If we want to know the truth about God in Christ, we need to know where to look.  First, it’s in God’s Holy Bible, no other writing.  Second, it’s in the Gospels and Epistles, not in books written by Christian authors—where Christians most often look for information.  Nothing mortals write about their experience in Christ tells so clearly and persuasively what Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record about Jesus Christ personally living among them, explaining himself in the days of his flesh.

Vikings admired book covers and saved them.  They cared nothing for the contents and discarded them.  Many people love the family Bible as a receptacle of family history:  births, weddings, funerals.  They don’t value the Living God and his Living Word revealed there.

If we want God’s word for everyday life, or in crises, or in witnessing to others, we need to know where in the Bible to look.  Do we?  Forewarned is forearmed.

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Bible – never an end to its treasures

Archaeologists continue to discover meaning from King Tut’s mummy.  While studies in the 1970’s – 1990’s felt that the iron dagger came from a meteor, recent technology has verified it.  The Egyptians called it “iron from the sky”.  San Diego U-T, 2016.  Scholars discover more about Tutankhamen as technology advances.  Nevertheless, a time will come when the corpse will reveal no further information.

Contrast that with God’s word.  At no time will scholarship, or lay reading and study find themselves at an end in what God’s word means.  Instead, as Christian discipleship deepens, so does one’s insights into the word—with no end in view.

That’s also true with the life in God’s Son all believers possess.  Even now we have a fullness of life denied everyone else.  But is that life to ever become so full now that we need not enter Heaven to receive more?

Never.  When eternity is needed for God to show us all he is and has; when in the new world, delight after endless delight will surprise us with JOY, no blessed experience now will ever exhaust the meaning of discipleship.

If anyone looks to this life, and its information for tutoring, STOP.  It can’t teach us what we need to know.  If anyone isn’t looking to God’s word and God’s Son for tutoring, START.  Whatever this world teaches has an end.  Whatever Jesus teaches continues eternally, world without end.

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Bible – God’s true Covenants

A 400 year old painting called Judith Beheading Holofernes, found in a Southern France attic, may be the product of Italian artist Caravaggio.  The French art expert involved claims its value at $135 million American.  Previous to its discovery it had been in the property for 150 years.  San Diego U-T, 4/13/16

Is it or is it not a verified Caravaggio?  Time will tell, but it looks likely now.  The art world has convulsions of delight at such discoveries.

While America is presently in a “The Gospels aren’t true records of Jesus” phase—the Jesus Seminar has been Satan’s handiworkers—God’s word stands firm.  The Covenants of Moses and Jesus—Jesus succeeding Moses—are God’s true, only, full and final word to humanity.  Every other religious covenant, by whomever offered, with whomever established, is flawed, incomplete or false to one degree or another.

Human opinion differs as time passes.  God’s fact remains the same.  He never took a vote among the angels to see what he should say to humanity.  Jesus never weighed his claims by what supporters accepted or critics denied.  The apostles never began the bad habit of asking their generation what they wanted to hear.  Only our church-growth generation decided to poll the public before determining our preaching.

God has given freedom of choice to all mortals.  But don’t mistake freedom of choice with the delusion of authority.  Our opinions will never impress God.  If not surrendered, they will damn us to Hell.

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Bible – regretting a loss of reading

While hurrying from Gettysburg to apparent safety at the Jacob Weikert farm east of the Round Tops, 15 year old Tillie Pierce witnessed the furor, excitement and danger of war.  As a Union artillery man hurried his caisson to its emplacement, an accidental explosion flung him into the air.  When rescuers found and carried him into a house, she noticed that his eyes were blown from the black mass that had been his face.  Yet, oblivious of his wounds, his first words were regret that he hadn’t read his Bible that morning.  Witness to Gettysburg, 161.

What spiritual longing inspires us to read our Bible at least 5 days a week?  What would it take to cause regret that we hadn’t read our Bible today?  If we establish a pattern of consistent Bible reading, we’ll often discover the Holy Spirit speaking to and resolving personal spiritual issues we face.  Try it.  You’ll find it true.  You’ll find you like it more and more.

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Bible – substantial knowledge of an essential

In deep-rock mining, unscrupulous profiteers would salt played-out or worthless shafts.  Cutting silver dollars into pieces, they blackened them, pounded them into lumps, then mixed them into dirt in the shaft.  Fooled by the deceit, unwary prospectors paid inflated prices for NOTHING.  The scams continued, prices boomed, profiteers banked their ill-gotten gain and the victimized assuaged their naïveté.

On one occasion, however, at the bottom of a shaft, a rookie investor pried a lump from the dirt and read “ted States of”.  Even he understood:  ore in a shaft shouldn’t have printing on it.  Time-Life.  The Miners, 139-140

A lot of religious nonsense and Satanic lies are believed as Bible truth because ignorant or unconscionable purveyors “salt” their teaching with just enough reason to make it seem rational.  The only way Christians remain undeceived is to have a personal, solid, maturing knowledge of God’s word, particularly the New Testament.  Even better:  have enough knowledge that one instinctively detects falsehood in any contrary teaching.

There’s another perspective to this point.  Christians can enter many professions as careers, with a few exceptions.  But when they do, they need to be very sure of the Almighty Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit.  Only that conviction, reinforced with substantial knowledge of God’s word, can grant a living while retaining the spiritual life Jesus Christ provides.  Without that knowledge and commitment, while Christians make money, their witness will be swallowed by career and its culture and vanish into OBLIVION.  Which will be the great catastrophe.  For what career, wealth or goal will ever be worth losing your soul?

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Bible – education in needed

Colonial Americans had a love affair with the law.  Other than devotional literature, Americans purchased more volumes on law from England than any other subject, even buying nearly as many copies of Blackstone’s commentaries as the English.  This led to a litigious society, for even the most rural people prided themselves on knowing how the law related to their lives.

More importantly, such knowledge led to an awareness of what was right and wrong; what could be reasonably demanded of people by their ruler, and what was impermissible.  Thus the Bostonians refused to allow General Gage to billet his troops there in 1775.  The law protected them from such impressment, they asserted.  In his report to Britain Gage sulkily remarked that the law was studied by everybody.

In writing II Timothy 3:14 to his protégé, Paul encouraged his continued Bible education.  Timothy would need to study the Scriptures, both Old and New, to reach conclusions in his belief.  Once educated, he needed to stand there, whatever opposition he faced.

How frivolously most Christians have disregarded the apostle’s encouragement.  The best-selling is often the least-read volume in the house.  Yet, how much we need the information the Bible gives on every subject.  It provides a touchstone of authority, a bedrock of fact on which we can build our life, value and goals.  Only its truth replaces the meaningless nonsense so evident everywhere in the media, newspapers, magazines. textbooks, and everyday life.

Those who leave themselves uninformed about Bible teaching will find themselves open to all the misinformation available in a world glutted with misinformation.  We need to know Bible teaching, be convinced of this truth and stand on it, whatever challenges, disputes and doubts we experience in doing so.

Bible – always open dealing

German bacteriologist Robert Koch approached the study of microbes objectively and selflessly.  He studied carefully, anticipating questions and problems.  He actually studied his work as if it were another person’s.  Always open with his opinions and ideas, he served as prototype of the scientist who knows he’s only searching for truth rather than one who’s found it.  And he always modestly appraised his efforts.

As he said in John 18:19-21, Jesus conducted that kind of open, public ministry, so all could hear.  True, he oftentimes explained in private things not fully understood while preaching, but that’s not unexpected.  The Jews could never say that Jesus organized a secret society or sect, open to but a few.  All who wanted could stand, listen and ask for explanations.  He had come to reveal, not hide, God’s truth.

Some people seem to think that the deepest things about religion and God must be confined to the fewest possible persons.  Some of the cults have made great claims to truth because their leader was privately contacted by Jesus and given exact instructions.  Christianity, however, began as a public faith and remains such.  Its claims are best seen when put to a public test.  The Christian faith isn’t a monastery where its sacred truths are kept from all contact with people.  It’s a daily public forum where its truths are applied to, and pass, the tests of life.  The hidden agreements and conditions in human treaties can embarrass their authors once known.  The Bible has nothing to hide and, consequently, nothing to fear, however many read its words.

The Bible – alone is sovereign

Jacob De Shazer served as bombardier-gunner on one of the planes that catapulted from the carrier Hornet April 18, 1942 for a strike at the Japanese homeland.  After successfully dropping its bombs, the plane crashed and the airmen parachuted into Japanese-held territory.  Thus began a 40 month horror that brought the survivors an animal-like existence that threatened their survival.  De Shazer himself developed huge boils and often fainted in delirium.

As the war turned against the Japanese, the guards were often more sympathetic to their POW’s, even offering vitamins, medical treatment and better food.  As important, the prisoners received books to read, including the Bible.

From the time he opened God’s word, De Shazer experienced a profound change in his life.  He read and re-read the words until he memorized them.  As he memorized they began to alter his thinking and behavior.  He no longer hated the guards, even though they still brutalized him.  His fear of torture fled before the greater awareness of God’s presence in his life.  The Bible alone, unencumbered by commentaries or dictionaries, exercised that sovereign power.  Just God, his word and a human in desperate need.

The Samaritans would understand that, as seen in John 4:41.  Jesus performed no miracles for them.  He simply taught and preached, and his word alone convinced, changed and converted them.  It still does that today where it’s read, preached and taught; old habits fade and new goals emerge.  We do things we never dreamed we could—love, forgive, pray.  We surrender things we never dreamed possible—grudges, drugs, immorality, pride.  Wherever the Bible is turned loose and preached, taught or read!

Bible – the better it gets

The earliest settlers in the Hill Country of Blanco County, Texas, delighted in its wildlife and full streams, its thick, knee-high grasses and great oaks.  Just the place to grow cotton and graze cattle, they thought.  To those pursuits they abandoned themselves.

To their dismay they found that the grasses and oaks had grown only because the land had never been farmed or grazed.  As a  virgin country, it would have remained a paradise.  But even with nutrients returned to the soil, the first 20 years of ranching and farming stripped the hills first of grass and its roots and then of its soil.  The land couldn’t tolerate use.  Path to Power, Robert Caro, 11

What a different face the Bible presents.  Long ago the Psalmist extolled it for the wisdom, insight and understanding it gave him Psalm 119:97-100.  And, ever since the same, the Bible continues to offer substantial, intuitive meaning to all its students.

Yet…the more we plough the Word with our minds, and the more harvests our studies reap, the more limitless its capacity appears.  Its treasures, like deep, black loam, lurk timelessly inexhaustible, inviting all to dig, richly rewarding those who do, but always promising more treasure beneath our deepest mental penetration.  Our needs become more complex; its meaning becomes more complete.  Millions have reaped benefits from its vast acreages, but its still-untilled areas offer continually boundless resources to all who use it.  Brilliant minds have studied all the Bible books, yet every Bible book retains mysteries and beauties for succeeding scholars and students.

The more it’s used, the better it gets.  It not only tolerates use, it rewards use beyond containment!  Let us go down into that Word; out into the world as its witnesses; and up into Christ-likeness as its goal.