Introduction to Biblical Studies

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forbiddenBook

THE FORBIDDEN BOOK
God’s Holy Word was Prized 
When ‘Twas Unsafe to Read It

Preface

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

Titus 1:10-11

The Bible, the most published, sold, given away, personally owned, outlawed, read, neglected, loved, hated, praised, despised, book ever to have existed. Esteemed as the very words of God, renounced as merely the work of men, cherished as truth, scorned as fable, it promises peace beyond understanding but with trials and tribulation to all who trust in and live its precepts. It warns of false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, of Satan and his ministers appearing as an angel of light and ministers of righteousness, all deceiving and misleading on what the Bible says and means.

It’s quite a book. If it is what it says it is, all the contradictions and confusion over and about it are to be expected. In studying the Bible its many truths come to light; one such truth is: considering the life we now live in the flesh, what does one lose by embracing it?nothing; what does one gain by rejecting it?nothing. It is a book that admonishes to have charity for all, to recompense to no man evil for evil, provide things honest in the sight of all men, to love and care for your family and others as yourself. In short, there is no reason to disparage and reject the Bible nor the God of the Bible except for the fact that many hate the idea of the God of the Bible bringing all things into judgment. Nevertheless, the Bible not only warns of that judgment but provides the means for all who will turn to its God to pass that judgment justified and guiltless.

Understandably, all men without the saving grace revealed in its pages fail that judgment as the Bible presents the strictest of religions in that it requires absolute sinless perfection to be saved. Unlike other religions that leave you hanging, unsure, as to whether you are good enough, the Bible tells us flat out?we are not. We can stand securely and confidently on this solid ground, the knowledge that we are not good enough, cannot save ourselves, next to God “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” With this knowledge, we can do something no other religion affords, look to the God of the Bible, the God of creation, the God of justice, judgment, and loving-kindness, and we see that he has freely provided absolute sinless perfection for us?on one condition that we believe him.

Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me,…

Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

The series of studies in the Scriptures introduced in this volume is all about believing and accepting what God said, letting the Bible speak for itself. It is taken without reservation that God wrote and preserved to this day his word. This series does not cover the controversy of which Bible, suffice it to say that God is not producing the new versions that are published every year. Without apology the studies herein are based on the 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly called the King James Version.

The studies presented here are written to and for the common man, such as myself. You will not find words such as hermeneutics, Epistemology, Exegesis, Soteriology or any such like contained in them. Nor, except for minor things as the meaning of a name, will the Greek and Hebrew be relied upon to understand the English of our Bible. I hope you will enjoy these studies as much as I enjoyed preparing them.

Although, there are those, “Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not,” as a biblical apologist I do not believe in the necessity to attack and condemn individuals. These studies compare the teachings and doctrines as taught by men and denominations with what the Bible says. Individuals knowing the truth through a personal knowledge of what the Bible says is the only way to stop the mouths that need to be stopped. So with Christian charity for all, I present these studies of the doctrines of Scripture for your consideration. If studied with a heart’s desire to learn and understand God’s word it is felt that the truth will shine through.

I realize that we are in the last days and that many, even those who have never studied or read the Bible, are having their interest piqued by books and preaching on the Lord’s return. Knowing the exact time and day of his return will not make you turn to or be a better Christian and witness for him. Knowing the doctrines and teachings of Scripture will.

This series of Studies in Scripture are all about believing and honoring God’s holy word. It is about letting the Bible speak for itself comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Make the word of God as much as possible its own interpreter. You will best understand the word of God by comparing it with itself. "Comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

Sir Isaac Newton 1642-1727
English Physicist & Mathematician

The studies in this series are here listed:

Vol. 1—An Introduction to the Study of the Bible

Vol. 2—Seven Precepts to Understanding the Bible / The Precepts of the Bible

Vol. 3—Salvation

The Methodology of Salvation
Dispensational Salvation
Liberty in Christ

Vol. 4—Predestination / The Foreknowledge of God

Vol. 5—Theology of Grace / Faith of Jesus Christ

It is my considered opinion that if you will compare these studies with the Scriptures and learn their lessons you will be greatly enabled to maintain doctrinal purity in all your understandings of God’s word.

With these few words of admonition, I commit these studies to the Holy Spirit of God from which I hope they came. It is my fondest hope that they will help others in their desire to understand God’s word and escape the many errors that are with us today.

Your Servant in Christ Jesus,
D. Paul Walker


To begin a study of God’s word it is best to start by finding our place within the world of religion in general. It is affirmed by some of those saved by the grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that they do not have a religion, they have salvation. I would agree with that to an extent. We have salvation but it is obtained by a belief. Religion will be looked at here in this broadest sense as simply beliefs held. An examination of religion on this level will lead us to a noteworthy truth.

The world is full of different beliefs on God, spirituality, theology, etc. By any loose definition there are hundreds of distinct belief systems.

Buddist1
Buddhist lookWithin
CatholicCommunion
CatholicChurch
IslamicWomen
IslamPilgrimage
IslamPrayer
yingYang
Hindu
Hindu Man
Sola Scriptura
Bible child

 

The following chart by Prew Research shows the percentages of the worlds major religions.

PewResearchChartofReligions

In searching for the right one as opposed to the wrong one the vast number of religions becomes a huge stumbling block. It is just too many for the common man to manage. We need just two the one or the other to be able to choose. This leads us to the study of comparative religion.


Comparative Religion

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15

There are those that actually spend their time in the pursuit of the study of comparative religions. Be thankful for them. Whether they are just nerds living in their parent's basements or PhD’s with professorships at prestigious university, these fine fellows have performed a tremendous amount of work for us in having tracked and studied the religions of the world comparing, categorizing and organizing them into twenty-two groups. Here are the groups listed by the number of adherents.

  1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
  2. Islam: 1.5 billion
  3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
  4. Hinduism: 900 million
  5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
  6. Buddhism: 376 million
  7. Primal-Indigenous: 300 million
  8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
  9. Sikhism: 23 million
  10. Juche: 19 million
  11. Spiritism: 15 million
  12. Judaism: 14 million
  13. Baha'i: 7 million
  14. Jainism: 4.2 million
  15. Shinto: 4 million
  16. Cao Dai: 4 million
  17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
  18. Tenrikyo: 2 million
  19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
  20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
  21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
  22. Scientology: 500 thousand

Although all the religions of the world have been categorized into twenty-two categories, it is still far from what the average student of religion or Bible is able to distill in determining the right one from the wrong one, the one from the other.

In a final attempt to narrow the distinctions between religions, those resolute undiscouraged fine fellows have reduced that number to five major groupings containing all the religions of the world based on criteria of how they perceive or conceive of God.

  1. Hindu Type—Polytheistic, many gods and/or goddesses
  2. Buddist Type—Atheistic, no God
  3. New Age Spiritualistic—Man is or will be God
  4. Islamic—God is Unknowable
  5. Christianity—God is Knowable and desires to be known

These can also be listed as the following and using the criteria of how God is perceived or conceived of, it may be determined as one deems fit to place a particular religion into any of the five categories.

  1. Many God's
  2. No God
  3. Man is God
  4. Unknowable God
  5. Knowable God

Who did the original research is unknown; it is certain that they were not all Bible believing Christians. Nonetheless their work turns out to be rather miraculous in that these five groups are five categories of religion found within the Scriptures.

Five Major Religions groups referenced the Bible:

  1. Polytheism

Jeremiah 11:13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; …

Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols;...

  1. Atheistic

Psalms 14:1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God….

  1. Divinity of Man

Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

  1. Unknowable

Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

  1. Knowable

Jeremiah 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

It is far easier to deal with five than hundreds and much better than twenty-two. However, our quest is to narrow our choice down to two, the right one and the wrong one. Meditating on this conundrum without the vast number of choices we begin to see a dividing line between these groups.

Looking carefully it will be seen that we can use different criteria and divide these five groups into two. Now two is a number we can handle as we are looking for just two religions?the one or the other.

If we change the criteria from their perception of God which gave us five categories to their scheme for progression we can reduce the number of categories to two. By progression I mean their method for moving up, whether it is termed salvation, nirvana, becoming one with the universe, obtaining a better reincarnation, etc. In biblical terms, what is their plan of salvation? Under these criteria, we only have two choices.

  • By Man’s own efforts, his works, his self-righteousness, earned or received as payment for a debt owed to him or

  • By the Grace of God received as a free gift

You could use different terms to denote the two columns:

Works Grace
Hindus Christianity
Buddhists  
New Age  
Islam  

For our purposes the column heads used will be the biblical terms “Works” vs. “Grace”.

It is evident that the two theological extremes are mutually exclusive one of the other.

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Where does faith come in?

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;...

If you are graciously given a free gift with a payment book attached, it is not gracious, free, nor a gift. Adding works disannuls grace, free, and gift.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Biblically, works refer to establishing self-righteousness denoted by keeping the law of God, doing good, etc.

There are two facets to the religion of works. Being self-righteous by having done good and kept the law, not having done anything to be condemn for.

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

It is often expressed as pure self-righteousness, “I’m a good person, I’ve never killed anybody, I treat others as I want to be treated. Why should God condemn me?”

Then there is the expanded on definition of works of doing penance, voluntary self-punishment, to pay for or cover one’s sins, or

When comparing the world’s religions by the parameters of their individual plan or method of progression, salvation, upward mobility, or whatever term is used, it becomes obvious that the progression of Christianity, by grace through faith and not of ourselves, not of works, is a religion that is unique among the worlds religions. It stands unequaled, distinct, unparalleled, among all the worlds religions. It is exceptional, uncommon, peculiar.


The One or the Other

We have succeeded, we have concentrated all the religions of the world down to two to choose from. There are only two religions in the world, the one or the other, the wrong or the right. They are quite easy to tell apart. The one is based on man's works; the other is not of man's works. The one says rely on yourself, find yourself, heal yourself, clean yourself. The other says your lost, incurable, filthy. The one says you've got time, it will all work out in the end; the other says seek help today, now. The one is a struggle, a constant effort; the other is a gift bringing peace, the product of grace and mercy. The one will make a few allowances, nobody is perfect; the other demands the sinless perfection that you can never provide yourself—and provides it for you.

The one or the other, the wrong or the right one, how to chose? The easy answer to that question is look in a mirror.

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

It is your decision, your choice. Are you righteous, holy, clean, pure? Contemplate just your thoughts over the last week. If your able to make yourself pure choose the one, if you are not so clean and pure and unable to get that way, choose the other. 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

By grace are ye saved through faith, it is the gift of God, not of works, is a singular unique religion separate out of all the religions of the world. This where the contention arises. One the one hand all those religions can come together without condemning each other, for they are all the same religion—works. On the other hand, you have a religion that condemns all the rest—by grace through faith.

At this point it must be taken note of that there are those that pervert the gospel of by grace through faith and teach a doctrine of works in whole or in part as Christian doctrine. This will be covered later in our studies. Suffice if for now to say that as much as they try to mix Christianity with and make it just another religion of works, they are sadly mistaken. As we have already referenced, grace and works are mutually exclusive.

By grace through faith is not the only thing unique about our other religion. Its God is unique among the gods, one true living God, ever existing, knowable, gracious and merciful. There is also one unique book that leads us in the way of all truth. The Bible is unique among all the world’s religious writings. There is also one unique Bible among all the contenders for the title of God’s word?the AV 1611. We will have to cover more about this later but to show its uniqueness one item to remember is that no one will say that they have the inerrant persevered word of God in their language in their hand unless they are holding an Authorized Version of 1611 or a direct translation of it.

We need to take one last look at the worlds religions and see some of what the God of the Bible has delivered us from.

Catholicism

CatholicFlaglletion

Islam
IslamicFlagellation

Hindus

Hindus Hook Hanging

Hindu Flagellation

The God of the Bible forbid the practice of self-mutilation and physical abuse as penance or a show of earnestness in one’s devotion. It also forbid many other practices like widows being burnt alive along with their husband's corpse and many other religious/cultural customs that permeate the religion of works.

For the moment we have gone as far as reason alone can take us. We must now turn to the light of revelation. And so we begin our study of the God’s word and its religion.


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