Advanced Bible Studies, Lesson 1 of 8
"I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing" (Hosea 8:12).
This is the beginning of a very important study. It will enable you to know the blessings of this life and what you must do for eternal salvation in the life which is to come. Those who do not have this knowledge are lost, but those who have this knowledge and do not act upon it are in a worse condition, for the Bible says;
" . . the last state is become worse with them than the first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them" (2 Peter 2:20-21).
"And that servant, who knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more." (Luke 12:47-48).
Therefore, prepare yourself to receive these things gladly, with an open heart, and with all readiness of mind. If you will believe and obey, you will be greatly blessed.
This is a study of the Bible. If you do not have a Bible, do all within your means to secure one. It is the world's most amazing book. It took a longer time to write this book than any other book ever written, and it contains some of the oldest writings in the world. It has been translated into more languages than any other book, and it is the first book that was ever printed. The impact that it has had on the world is greater than any other book, and it has the power to change your life.
The Bible claims to be the word of God:
"knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:20-21).
"But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth..." (1 Corinthians 2:12-13).
"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).
While other writings may make this claim, only the Bible has evidence necessary for confirmation. For example, the Bible was written by about 40 men, on three different continents, in three different languages, over a period of 1,600 years. Some of these men were kings, some were captives, some were prophets, some were scribes, some were doctors, some were shepherds, some were scholars, some were fishermen. They were from all walks of life. Yet, when one puts all of their writing together, one has one book.
There are 39 books in the Old Testament, 27 books in the New Testament, 66 books in all; yet, when one puts them all together they are one book. No single book of the Bible is complete without the whole, and the whole is incomplete without every single book. Together it has a theme, a plot, a conflict, a climax and a conclusion. It is the longest thread of thought woven in the fabric of history. These men wrote on some of the most controversial subjects in the world, yet all their writings harmonize. There is not one clash or contradiction in all they have to say.
Their writings make reference to the disciplines of science, history, geography and topography; and in all cases the references are amazing in their accuracy. Archaeologists often use the Bible as a reference book and have come to appreciate its reliability. In the field of science the Bible writers often spoke beyond the bounds of the human learning of their of time, and their statements were found to be correct only by later discoveries.
In the field of history they often recorded events which had not yet taken place. This recording of history before the events happened is called prophecy. These were not mere guesses and broad general statements. They involve the foretelling of hundreds of episodes in detail of both major and minor events which were not fulfilled until hundreds of years after the prophecies were made.
Unity, harmony, accuracy, and fulfilled prophecy of the Bible are but four of the reasons it is impossible for this book to have originated with men alone. There is no other book like this. This is a book from God.
Yet the greatest proof of all is in the message that it brings. Here God reveals to man things which he cannot know through his own wisdom.
"But as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him. But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
This book tells us who we are, where we came from, why we are here and where we are going. Here God reveals to us that He was our creator, that He is our ruler, and that He will be our judge. He shows us His favor and His wrath, His power and His patience, His judgment and His mercy. This is the greatest story ever told, the wonderful story of love. You will see as you come to a knowledge of its contents, that no man could write a book like this.
This study of the Bible will consist of eight lessons. This first lesson concerns the Bible itself. The next lesson will teach you the message and purpose of the Old Testament. This will be followed with lessons on Jesus Christ, The Gospel, The Church, The Christian Life, Sound Words, and The Hope Set Before Us. You are encouraged to complete all these lessons, to learn, to believe and to obey that you may enjoy the best of this life, and in the end, everlasting life.
Did you enjoy this lesson? Why not take the Truth For The World Bible Course? Enroll now.