World issues in the news, past history, health issues, and ongoing wickedness examined
in the light of the King James Bible

Steve Van Nattan






2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself
approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth.

This is a word study in the above text to see how we can prepare to study the Bible with zeal and start a Bible study group.

By Steve Van Nattan



This article is an example of the study process. I had to ask myself these questions.

What does the reader need to hear from God about Bible study?
What Bible texts tell me about the steps to study?
What have I learned over the years about Bible study?
What parables can I use to help the reader understand?
What should I ask the reader to do to be a good Bible student or teacher?

If my questions look useful, use them without credit as you wish.

Then, it is time to sit still, open the Bible, and dig as deep as my mental faculties will allow me. Once I have a load of God revealed principles, I have to organize them. This is a word study. I just let God arrange the points to teach in his order as found in the Bible.

There is no alliteration, there are more than three points, and there is no poem. Sorry about that. You see, a word study is not packaged according to the rules of hermeneutics as taught in seminaries. I word study is a lesson from God using his words and the Bible alone. And, God is a lot more wise than to be stuck with three points and a poem.

I follow Martin Luther's steps of preaching which he gave to his preacher boys:

Read the text clearly and forcefully I did that by making my Bible text a subtitle above. There is no way you can miss the point.

Explain what the Bible means by what it says I use the Bible to be its own best commentary. That is why you see very few quotes from other Bible teachers of commentaries.

Illustrate the Word with parables from everyday life You will find several stories, mostly from my experience, that help you men get the point of the Bible truth. I do this because Jesus did it.
Mark 4:34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
If something does not make sense to you in this article SEND MAIL, and I will "expound" it more to you.

The ladies do not need parables as much as you men because they are blessed with more submissive faith than you men. They receive the teaching and simply believe it. They do not need a fishing or hunting story to get the point. If that gives you men a knot in your undies, go tell it to your favorite shrink. He will tell you I am right.

What is the point of reference of a Bible study?

It is not you. It is not your pastor of Bible college professor. It is not to be wise and intellectually spiritual.

The epicenter of ALL Bible study is the Word, that is, the living Word of God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, of everything important to a Bible believer. Jesus Christ is also the Master of everything between the beginning and the end. So, he has given us a Book that tells us everything we need to know about him and how to live the Christian life. If you want to follow Jesus close, it will not do to only attend church and listen to a couple of sermons every week. You will have to put in the plow and dig deep for yourself. And, once you do this for a while, the Holy Spirit may send you to someone who is ready to start studying the Bible. Are you ready for that sort of divine assignment?

Who are you?

In this article, I am talking to any Bible believer who has or has not started studying the Bible for himself. I am also talking to any Bible believer who is thinking of starting a Bible study or is now leading one.



2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thys
elf approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.



It is work. It is hard work. It is hard work that will leave you tired. If you think you can read the Bible, make a couple of notes in the margin of your Bible, and that is study, you are very deluded.

When a farmer breaks up a new piece of ground, he will plow very deep. This is because he wants all the weeds buried so they will die and become mulch. If he plows shallow the weeds will come right back up. The only way your life will be changed by Bible study is if you really work at it. This article will give you some principles by which you can be sure to plow deep.

And, if you are starting a Bible study for other believers, you must let them know that you expect them to plow deep also. A real Bible study is not a gathering of people who sit and listen to the leader tell them what he found in the Word of God. A real Bible study is when every member studies and comes to each session with a full load. Out of this zeal, the Holy Spirit can lead you all into all truth, as Jesus promised.

Psalms 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.


Approved unto whom?

First, approved unto God.

If a Christian is approved unto God, and if the listeners do not approve, he is still faithful. YOU are not the measure of faithfulness. Remember this when you decide to hold court and condemn a preacher for not preaching what you approve of. If God approves, you do not count. Shut up, and pay attention.

Now, if God does not approve, that changes the picture entirely. It now means absolutely nothing if you approve of him. If God does not approve, the preacher is a hireling and should be run off.

I watched a YouTube documentary about the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. There were several camera visits to the kitchen while everyone was running flat out to cook things just right, and then to get the food to the tables hot. The chef was snapping this way and that at the workers. He was not mad, but he was being a bit of a nag. When it was all over, and the guests were happily eating, the chef relaxed and called the workers together. He told them he was delighted with their performance, and they all clapped in relief. God is not a nag, but HE IS WATCHING. Does he approve of your zeal for his Word?

How do you know if God approves of you?

A. John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

You have been chosen to serve God. Bible study is just one of several ways a Bible believer may be chosen to serve God. If this is you, you will only be approved by God if you bring forth fruit. Step one in bringing forth fruit is not the study session..... it is the time you spend BEFORE the study session as you plow deep in the Word.

A word to preachers here. All over America there are preachers who do not study more than an hour for their Sunday morning sermon. These men are lazy slobs. They use the same clichés Sunday after Sunday, and they sound like a broken record skipping, skipping, skipping. Every sermon tends to sound a lot like the last one. If you are one of them, you are a serious hazard to the spiritual health of the church you serve. If you will not repent and covenant to plow deeper for your sermons, God will chasten you. If he does not chasten you, that means you are not his, and you are a servant of Satan. Count on it, a sluggard of a preacher will soon be visited by God.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

The Greek word used for "approved" was used in Bible times to describe genuine coins to indicate the metal was really what it should be. Are you the real thing, or are you a counterfeit Bible teacher? The way to be sure you are genuine is to STUDY.

B. Again, how can you tell you are approved of God? Do you have any dedicated enemies among sinners? Jesus and the Apostles all had dedicated enemies. A faithful servant of Jesus Christ should be ashamed of himself if he has no enemies for the Gospel's sake.

My Dad pastored a church in Salina, Oklahoma in the 1950s. Since it was the only non-Catholic church in town, Dad was called on by community people to do "man of the cloth" things. One of these was to do funerals. Dad was always reluctant to do the funeral of anyone who had refused to confess Christ as Savior.

The town rebel was quite old, and he died one day. The family pleaded with Dad to do the rascal's funeral. Dad had mercy on them because unchurched people end up miserable if they do not have a preacher on hand to say something religious at the graveside. Dad did not talk about the man in any negative way, but Dad gave the Gospel very clearly. After it was over, an old granny came up to Dad and wagged her finger in Dad's face, and said, "You preached him straight into Hell, Brother Van." Dad said that was the last funeral he would ever do for an unsaved person. There is simply nothing one can say when a sinner is gone and in Hell. Dad had a new enemy that day.

1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

C. Are you totally whipped and weary by Sunday evening after the services? Like a race horse after the finish of the race?

When I pastored churches, my family knew that Daddy needed to unwind Sunday evening after the people had gone home and the doors were locked. We had crazy times speculating about all sorts of imaginary inventions and silly topics. I WAS WHIPPED. I could not go to sleep until I unwound for a while. But, it felt very good. I had the satisfaction that I had used up my energy exalting Christ and feeding sheep. I am sorry for this rather self-serving illustration, but I know many preachers who have the same experience. This is also why most pastors take off Monday. The work started on Tuesday and went all week long until Sunday evening at about 10 PM. The most important part of that work load was the study of the Word of God.

Never start a Bible study to get the approval of people. The only reward worth going after is the approval of God.

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.


A workman

Bible study is work.

Some preachers do not like work. They became pastors in order to have an easy life, and their sermons show it. They are all fluffy and silly and full of blather and bluster. They love to sit in the barn and smell the fresh hay, but they refuse to shell the corn for the critters. When a preacher spends more time shouting than explaining what the Bible means by what it says, he is a wretched loser and should be horse whipped.

One pastor I know says he spends forty hours a week studying for his sermons. He also finds time to do other things that a pastor must do. What this means is that a Christian has to designate time during the week and the day for study of the Bible. It also means that he cannot let the tyranny of the urgent tempt him to fill the Bible study time slot with stamping out brush fires.

Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Are you over weight and flirting with a heart attack? How about replacing one meal a day with Bible study? When you get to Heaven, Jesus will not ask you if you ate well. But, he may very well ask you why you did not spend more time studying the Bible he gave you.

Why is it appropriate to give a salary to a pastor?

Answer: 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Bible study is labor, or at least it should be. A faithful pastor works hard at Bible study. If your pastor is preaching sermons that taste like pabulum, it is because he refuses to labor in Bible study and has nothing to feed the sheep but blather, bombast, and bull.

Then again, your pastor may be doing many of the things in the church's life that YOU and others should be doing. If you will not get involved and help carry the load, do not be surprised if the pastor's sermons are fluffy and a bit muddled. You have taken the horse that plows out of the harness and forced him to carry silly loafers around and amuse the masses and play social games.

Honest, I am not mad at you. But, I am not called to sugar coat the message. Either take it waist high and straight across the plate, or click out of here. Thanks


Not ashamed

You are still here. Thanks. I will try to back off with the hammer now.

Preacher, and Sunday School teacher, you should be ashamed of yourself......

1. If you come to the pulpit Sunday morning with only three points and a poem, you should be ashamed. If a man studies diligently, he will have way too much to deliver in one sermon. You can tell if your pastor studies if he tells you, "We have run out of time, so we will finish this passage next Sunday."

2. If you tell coon hunting stories and quote famous men, but you fail to quote Jesus, you should be ashamed.

3. If you never got tired studying the Bible, you should be ashamed.

Jude 1:3 Beloved , when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation , it was needful for me to write unto you , and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints .

"Earnestly contend" is from the Greek word, "Epagonizomai." This is where we get the English word Agonize. This is all about blood, sweat, and tears. You have not plowed deep until you were whipped from the intensity of study. Do you agonize fiercely to defend the faith by using the Word of God as your weapon. I know hunters who have spotless hunting rifles, and they go to the shooting range regularly to really master shooting the rifle. They spend a lot of cash on ammo so that they can shoot many rounds in practice. This will give them a great advantage when they try to shoot an animal under pressure. If that is not how you use your Bible, you should be ashamed. Only if you study zealously will you be able to give an answer to every man who asks you about the Bible.

4. If you spend all your free time playing or surfing the web, you should be ashamed. If God has given you leisure and free time, it is not your own. You are bought with a price, and God wants time with you in the Word of God.

5. If there are not Post-It notes all over your computer and work area, you should be ashamed. I will give you a pass if you have a note posting app which lets you put notes up on your computer screen in the background. Every time you read the Bible or listen to another preacher preach, you should be making notes of things you missed in your personal study. I know a man is serious about Bible study when his Bible looks like a road map of West Virginia.

I used to do a lot of marking in my Bible, especially when I was pastoring churches. But, lately I only use a pencil and make a minimum of notes. This is because I do not want anyone to pick up my Bible after I die and think they have a special Bible because of my notes. The safest Bible marking is to add cross references in the margin. I bought a monster Bible with huge margins for adding personal notes from Cambridge, England and with Morocco leather covers. The thing was expensive. I have not been able to mark it up because I want one last Bible in my life that has nothing about me in it. Do I sound like a nut case? Well, that is the risk of getting old. Is it wisdom or folly? I have no idea..... you tell me.

If you decide to follow my example in this, you must have someplace where you keep a record of your study time in the Word and with the Lord.


Rightly dividing

Cutting the pattern correctly.

When I was growing up in Tanzania in Africa I learned that all the tailors in the cities were men. They had Singer sewing machines. If you wanted a coat or suit, you went to the tailor, and he would measure you carefully. He would tell you when to come back for your finished suit, and it was not many days. We often watched tailors as they sewed garments for people because they liked to work on the sidewalk in front of their store. They had no pattern like we are used to. But, they had the right way to cut the cloth and sew it together in their head. They seldom made mistakes, and the suit would fit well and hang right. There is no such thing a getting it close. If a suit is ALMOST perfect, it will hang crooked, and the effect from the rear is disgusting.

The Apostle Paul was a tent maker and repairman. There were many caravans coming from the East and going from Ephesus and other cities where Paul evangelized, and he needed income to support his ministry. So, he mended tents. Aquila and Priscilla were Christians who let Paul work in their tent making business to help him. When he said, "Rightly dividing," he was using a trade term of his craft. A tent made carelessly would not stand right when pitched.

We might add that Jesus grew up the son of a carpenter, and he would have known the importance of rightly dividing the wood to make a chair or table. It is either 100% right, or it is 100% wrong.

When you study the Bible, you must use study methods that lead you to the truth, not methods that justify some notions you already have about the text. Here are some principles to rightly divide the Word of God:"

1. Read the whole context of what you are studying. Even the whole book you are studying must be considered in order to be sure you keep each verse in context with the objective of the whole book and the whole chapter.

2. What other passages in the Bible speak about what you have in front of you? Never give a verse an interpretation which does not fit perfectly with the whole Bible.

3. Either purchase a Bible study tool like Sword Searcher, or load eSword free from the Internet. You want to check on the Greek or Hebrew meanings of English words. How is the word used elsewhere in the Bible? If the Greek word has a different meaning than what you want it to mean, YOU ARE WRONG. If you cannot teach by staying true to the language the Bible was written in, you need to stop teaching rather than make your own interpretations. Some preachers mock at anyone who wants to check the meaning in the Greek or Hebrew. Those preachers regularly make serious errors in their teaching and send the listeners down silly rabbit trails. Long ago, many preachers could not check the Greek and Hebrew, but today, with so many study tools available to us, we must make the effort to add this level of diligence.

A classic example of sloppy attention to the language is here:

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Was Jesus talking about corn or wheat? In fact, King James era English used the word "corn" for any grain. This would be learned by doing a short Greek study, or by checking an old era dictionary like Samuel Johnson. But, I have heard arrogant preachers who mock at checking the Greek meaning tell their people that Jesus was talking about Kansas corn, not wheat. Fact..... maize corn was a new world grain and not found in the Middle East until hundreds of years after Jesus' day. When you do something like this, you can expect the Holy Spirit to walk right out the door and leave you to make a fool of yourself.

4. Beware of commentaries. Commentaries are written by theologians who have their own bias as to meanings of Bible texts. They may be very enlightening, and they may be flaming heretics. Can you tell the difference? Beware of leaning on the crutch of scholars. Do your own plowing. You will get help from the Holy Spirit. If you ask a pastor about this who is full of himself, he will tell you I am crazy. Frankly, I have come to the point where I have almost no confidence in famous commentators. So often, when I have an obscure Bible text, these wise boys skip that verse. I give them credit for not trying to explain a verse they do not understand, but why waste the time and money on them?

Do get a Strong's concordance, and you may benefit by a word study help. Also, buy an exhaustive cross reference, The Bible study helps online linked above have all of this though.

I would also encourage you to get Vine's An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. This book gives the meaning of every word in he Greek New Testament. Find the Greek word using Sword Searcher or eSword, and then see what Vine's says. This study book is not on Bible study software.

5. When you teach, you must use parables. Jesus certainly did:

Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

Bible teachers and pastors who do not use parables are lazy. It takes time to sit and meditate until God jars your memory of a story, yours or from the media or Internet, that will illustrate a lesson you are teaching. Just do not let the parable be complicated or trendy. It must lay along side the truth being taught but not distract from the teaching flow.

Example of a parable that fits this article well:
Bill's wife was a great seamstress. Though she sewed many sorts of clothes for her family, she was fearful of trying to sew her husband a suit. She knew that it was one of the hardest garments to get right. She finally decided to sew Bill a dress coat. It was stylish, an attractive color, and looked pretty good from the front. But, if you were behind Bill and looked at the coat, it very obviously hung cockeyed, and there was no way to fix it. Bill's wife had simply wrongly divided the cloth when she cut it. Bill wore the coat anyway because he loved his wife and did not want to offend her after she tried that hard task. But, she never made another one for him.

Another short parable for this topic:
My wife sewed ties for me. I got to pick out the cloth, which made my ties totally unique. They were great ties too, and hung straight. The reason they were right was that the cloth for a tie MUST be sewed on the bias across the cloth at 45 degrees. Get that wrong, and the tie, once tied, looks like a strangled rattle snake. Be careful how you choose the cloth though, gentlemen, I picked out cloth with cowboys riding bucking horses. I thought it would be a real Western tie. When completed, and from a distance, it looked like two roosters fighting. I dared not wear it to preach in because people all over the church were grinning and snickering.

Now, that last bit about picking the cloth with cowboys on horses illustrates a blunder in a parable. I should have left out the cowboy and rooster bit and returned to the flow of teaching. The rule is KISS- Keep It Simple Saint.

Avoid parables that make you look wise, cute, or clever. It is supposed to be all about Jesus, not you. A story about your experiences is OK if it teaches and leads the listener to the truth, not to you. Your job is to lift up Jesus.

Finally, make sure your parables are not complex and technical. Notice that Jesus used parables with simple every day imagery, and the interesting thing is that after 2000 years almost all of his parables work real well today.

6. Our text is followed by two verses where the Apostle Paul tells Timothy what to avoid as he studies:

2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

If you are leading a Bible study, you must avoid vain and pointless discussions. There seem to be a few people in every church who are obsessed with rabbit trails. Paul named two in the church community in his day. They love novel and sensational teachings which they get from alleged Christian books, the Internet, or from fluffy brained preachers. You must squelch this sort of thing. See if you can do it gently, but if not, DO IT anyway. Otherwise, your Bible study will become a loonie bin, and the Holy Spirit may abandon you.

If you do not want to go to the trouble of rightly dividing the Word of God, get out of the Bible teaching business at once. Your best effort will border on heresy. Teachers who are not diligent in study lead the sheep astray.


The Word of Truth

Not the word of YouTube, not the word of John MacArthur, not the word of Zondervan. It is OK to quote sources, but if they exalt a man, they are doing harm to Christ. Using some fact you found on YouTube or Wikipedia is fine if it has a real Bible text to prove it is true. Handing out famous Amos's opinion, just for color, is devilish, and you may have people in your hearing who are smart enough to know you are skating on thin ice. Cast your line in the pool in front of you, not upstream or downstream where the snags are.

That last sentence is a teaching moment for the men reading here. Any man who is a fisherman will have a very graphic mental image, and I did that to keep him from clicking out of here. But, I have to realize that most of the ladies here did not necessarily get the imagery. So, for you ladies..... See if you can make the cake from things in your own cupboard instead of running next door to borrow some exotic ingredient. So there..... that is probably a sorry effort to help the ladies, but I tried.

The Master of quotations is Jesus:

Matthew 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

Make your one liners from back on the farm, and you will keep the adults with you. You will keep the kids because they cannot leave..... their ride home is with the adults. Can you tell I am hammering you with one liners?

President Harry Truman regarding the press, "They are always looking for a bug under the chip." That one liner made him famous. What is the word picture? When you watch a big black crow waddling around a cow pasture, he will go up to a cow chip, stick his beak under it, and flip it. That way, he will find a juicy bug or beetle for lunch. Harry Truman used that word picture to mock at the press in his day. Not much has changed since 1950.

Jesus used farming parables all the time. So did Charles Spurgeon. They work. If you grew up in the city, you need to put farm reading on you bucket list for Book Finder, and catch up. Also, look for John Plowman's Talks by Charles Spurgeon. "We hear a lot of noise in the kitchen, but we never get any pudding." "That man is all squeal and no bacon."

Stop using stupid clichés you heard at the last preacher's conference. They are used only by self-serving smart alecks. Try them on me, and I may walk out on you. I hate hick burp clichés. Then again, there is the one liner that is a gentle slap that will wake up a sleepy deacon, like this verbal meme by John MacArthur, "If you can get this into your head, you have it in a nutshell." Be sure to smile when you say such things, and don't do it frequently.

One more caution:
Be sure you are preaching from a real Bible. There are hundreds of English versions of the Bible today. Some of them are Dick and Jane Bibles, and they do not lift the level of teaching to cause people to think and learn new things. Furthermore; simple dimple Bible versions insult any visitors with an education. Other Bibles have verses and whole passages missing. The NIV has dropped one of the names of Jesus 1200 times. Personally, I stay with the King James Bible. It is the one used in schools and quoted in literature and the media. It is also the one God was content with for 350 years as the Gospel went around the world with missionaries. I have a section in this journal on these and many more issues with modern Bibles.



Thus ends our word study of 2 Timothy 2:15

I now invite you to consider other issues involved in Bible study.


Study versus Devotional reading

If you are going to do a devotional reading, that is commendable, but call it that, not a Bible study.

D L Moody's church in Chicago was quite full, and he preached several times on Sunday. But, he was finding it hard to get so many sermons ready and do them all well. So, on Sunday evening he told the people he would change to a Bible reading every week. All he did was make a few comments as he read, but he spent a long time actually reading. To his amazement, the from then on the church filled up and was packed solid Sunday evening. I suspect he thought that a few comments would be enlightening, but he did not call it a Bible study. I have never known a pastor to use this method. It is very valid, but it would take discipline to not end up being distracted down rabbit trails.

When you study to rightly divide, the objective is usually so that you can exposit (correctly explain) the text and suggest an application for Christian life action. If that is what you are doing, you cannot fake it. It takes hours of serious concentration in study. I have heard many sermons preached that I could tell at once were prepared by a preacher who was simply too lazy or stubborn to spend the time which would result in edifying Bible teaching. A preacher who does a lot of shouting, and drops in dozens of clichés, is a dead beat and should go sell insurance. He is not studying. If you are doing this and want to change, SEND MAIL, and I will try to help you start rightly dividing.


How to start a Bible study in your home or work place

Philip knew how to start a Bible study:

Acts 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Note the aspects for starting a Bible study:

1. Verse 27- Find someone who is God fearing, whether born again or still unsaved.

2. Verse 29- Be right spiritually with the Holy Spirit so he can trust you with a Bible study candidate.

3. Verse 30- Ask the person if he understands the Bible?

4. Verse 31- There must be desire to be taught. Do not waste your time with a skeptic.

5. Verse 32-34- Wait for a question. That is the first point in the Bible study. Do not choose the passage for the candidate. You may try to learn of some doctrine or truth the person does not understand, and start with a text that will help him. Do not choose your favorite Bible book. Scratch where it itches.

6. Verse 35- Start where the person is, and find your way to Jesus. You can start anywhere in the Bible and find a path to Jesus if you are very faithful in personal Bible study. If you do not spend personal time reading the Word, you should not try this. You will end up in a cul de sac and dishonor Christ.

You can buy all sorts of whiz bang books on how to do a Bible study, but Philip's method is the best plan you will ever find. It is very obvious that the Holy Spirit put it in the book of Acts so that we would use it.

And, this Bible study plan applies to anyone, from a serious born again church member to a Mormon bishop on his way to Hell. If they ask, "What does that mean," they may be ready for a Bible study. I have been asked about what the Bible meant by Catholics, spiritualists, witches, fluff head feminists, and sodomites. If they are serious, I never back off. If they will stay with you all the way to Jesus, you may win them to Christ.


Bible study and the local church

There is no Bible reference directly teaching that you must get permission from any human to start a Bible study. Our theme text makes it very clear that God tells you in his Word to study his Word, not to find a guru to study for you. This applies whether the study is in your home, at work, over coffee at a restaurant, or at school. On the other hand, Bible studies are sometimes a source of sorrow to pastors because they can turn into gossip sessions, and some Bible teachers turn out to be agents for Satan to destroy the local church.

So, tell your pastor about your plans to start a Bible study, whether with one person or with a group. Invite him to attend. If he tells you not to start a Bible study, or if he tells you he must lead it, either submit to him or find another church where the pastor is eager to see the members use their spiritual gifts. If your pastor does not approve of you teaching the Bible, you will have only sorrow if you do so anyway. Simply move on to another church and a pastor who is not paranoid about the members doing the work of our Lord.

Now, if your pastor tells you that you are not qualified to teach a Bible study, find out why. If the pastor tells you that you lack the gift to teach, you have a problem. He may be right, but he may be dead wrong and simply not telling you that you are threatening him. He may tell you that you must attend a formal school setting and study the Bible formally before you are qualified. You probably need to be under another pastor.

It is interesting that there was only one formal training ministry in the New Testament Church. It was Paul's midday school in the Hall of Tyrannus in Ephesus. Otherwise, all training was done by training disciples like Paul mentored Titus and Timothy (Acts 19:9). Also, Jesus had no formal school. He had twelve men who were taught by him to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. Do not be discouraged if you have no formal training in the work of the ministry.

But, if your pastor is open to you teaching a Bible study, I again strongly suggest you keep him informed regularly what is happening.

If your Bible study includes members of the church you attend, the following applies:

1. If you know that you interpret some Bible text different from your pastor, NEVER talk about that text. You have NO permission from the Holy Spirit to teach contrary to your pastor. If it is a large doctrinal issue, find a church where you agree with the pastor.

2. Do not plan a Bible study which will in any way conflict with your church's schedule and programs. Find a time and location for the study that has no conflicts so that members are not disrupting the local church as they attend your study.

3. Invite the pastor to attend your Bible study. If he cannot, invite a deacon or elder to attend. You need to make it VERY clear that you are not causing any conflict or competition.

4. If a member of your church in the Bible study brings up a question about the pastor's sermons or teaching, NEVER answer for the pastor. Insist that the member talk to the pastor, and run them off if they will not stop bringing up such contrary topics.

5. Do not allow any gossip or rancor toward any member of the church not attending your Bible study.

6. Avoid distracting discussions of politics or civic issues. Do not allow the study group to become distracted by good works like fighting abortion or influencing public school programs.

7. If a member of the study shows a really obvious tendency to dominate the study, or if they keep getting controversial, run them off. DO NOT tolerate this. It will destroy the study, and other members will flee from it.

8. Do not use a Bible study plan with a handout book. The only book you should study is the Bible. Do ask every member to keep a notebook of the study so they have a record of what they learned.

9. Use ONLY one version of the Bible. Comparing versions is NOT Bible study. It is a feast of confusion. I strongly suggest you use the old King James Bible because it is the one God used for 350 years without any revision. Recent translations and versions are all based on Greek texts from the Catholic Church Vatican basement and a heretic Nestorian monastery in the Sinai desert. All modern Bibles violate the true teachings of the Bible. The only other Bible with the same heritage as the King James is the Geneva Bible, but the footnotes are heavily skewed toward Reformed theology. There is one Geneva Bible published which has no footnotes. I have seen it, but I do not recall who printed it.

10. Do not permit the group to develop a superior attitude because they are part of the study. This will cause dissimulating and bad feelings in the local church.

11. See if you can find some way for the group to minister to others with acts of mercy and helps to church members and in every day life. All in, and no out, makes for stagnant water, and the same applies to spiritual things. We are ultimately called to serve one another.

12. Make a prayer list of the Bible study members, and pray for them daily. Ask them to pray for one another and for you.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.


The first point ends up last.

Because I based this lesson on a Bible verse, I did not ask the obvious question that should have been at the top of the page. Here it is:


The answer is glaringly obvious if we go find it in the Bible.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Normally, it is impossible to change people's minds. You and I come to any situation with preconceived ideas about what is and what is not truth. And, we also have our own idea about what to do with truth.

Bible study is based on the Word of God which is founded in a Person..... Jesus Christ. So, if I study the Word of God honestly, I will soon find teachings that show me I am not thinking like Jesus. The reason to study the Bible is so that I will make the changes that I have refused to make because of my stubborn self-will.

That is your job. First, you need an attitude adjustment and a change of life choices in yourself. Second, the people who study the Bible with you, whether as a friend or a teacher, need to be making changes in their thinking and life also. If changes are not happening somewhat regularly, you and your friends have failed, and you are wasting your time. A mini revival is in order.

You should also seek to enlighten yourself and group members in the meaning of many things in the Bible that you have not understood in the past.

What is the key? Answer: Talk about changes regularly, and hold one another accountable. I am not talking about being thought police. I am talking about inviting one another to share thoughts and life action changes. I am talking about praying for one another to make and reach change based goals.

Let this mind be in you..... the mind of Jesus and all those heroes in the Bible who followed him closely.


How to study reviewed

First, pray to God, and ask him for help from the Holy Spirit to understand what he is saying to you in the Bible text in front of you. There is a promise to anyone who studies the Word of God.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

The key to life changing Bible study is reading the Bible. Even if you are alone, read it out loud. This way, all of your senses are engaged in the process of learning.

Some expository pastors will dissect the text ad nauseum until you cannot keep up with the fine points. Often, the reason for this is that the preacher has recently attended a seminary, and he is showing off instead of feeding sheep. DO NOT use his example for your own Bible study.

CAUTION: Some pastors will tell you that you cannot successfully study the Bible unless you are a Greek and Hebrew scholar. That is hog wash. On any Sunday morning, thousands of zealous pastors preach sermons that the Holy Spirit gave them, and they are not Greek scholars. In fact, if you invest in Bible study software, these programs have Greek and Hebrew study helps that do much of the work for you which your pastor claims you must have.

I truly believe that if the Apostle Paul sat in on a sermon by some of these modern Bible scholars, he would say, "My, my, I had no idea I was writing such complicated stuff."

Choose a Bible book, and read it all the way through, preferably in one sitting. This will help you see the reason for that book, and it will cause you to see things you do not understand. Write down questions about such texts to study later.

Now, start through verse by verse. Try to determine the main point of the passage you have read. This will help you to stay on topic and not wander around in details. Keep a notebook that you are comfortable with, and write down what you see.

I am assuming you study the King James Bible. You will find words that are either old English, or they simply pop out at you as significant. If you are using Sword Searcher or eSword from online, see how Strong's Concordance defines those words. If you read a commentary, keep it short, and do not get lost in long verbose blather. Remember, commentaries are written by men who put their trousers on one leg at a time, just like you. Do not become the disciple of a man. Always come back to the Bible text as the final authority.

These two dictionaries are found online

Noah Webster's English Dictionary of 1828- This dictionary gives old English definitions and quotes Bible verses to illustrate.

Samuel Johnson's English Dictionary of 1755. I prefer this dictionary because Johnson heavily quotes King James Bible texts, and he was British whereas Webster was American. Also, Johnson was a fanatic for correctness.

To learn all the other Bible texts that relate to the one in front of you, you need a chain reference. If you buy Sword Searcher, or download eSword, they will have a chain reference. As you look at other related verses, look for added truth that is implied in the text you are studying.

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.


Now, look again at the verses before and after the verse you are studying, and see how the verse is affected by the context. This is VERY important, Many heresies have come from interpreting a single verse all alone without considering context.

Isaiah 28:9 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.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Next, how does the verse you are studying fit in the context of the whole book, and the whole Bible? Is there any teaching somewhere else in the Bible which helps explain the meaning of the verse?


Psalms 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

The context in this passage tells us that man is the subject. God created the earth and its creatures for man to rule as his dominion on behalf of God. God told Adam to "keep the garden."

Now, we have a real puzzling word in verse 5. The word for "angels" in this verse is the Hebrew word "Elohim" which is the name of God in Genesis 1:1 and many other times in the Bible. But, the KJV translators give us the word "angels." Is this an error? Should it read that man is "Somewhat less than God," as many modern translations today do?

Question: Does any other Bible text help us understand this puzzle? Yes, and here it is:

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

The writer of Hebrews, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, quotes Psalm 8 which we just discussed. In verse 7 he used the Greek word "Aggelos" for angels (not Elohim).

This is now what we may call "advanced revelation." There is NO advanced revelation by anyone but Bible writers in Bible books. Charismatics teach that they can get advanced revelation as a gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. There is NO advanced revelation after Revelation 22. But, Hebrews 2:7 IS new revelation by the Holy Spirit which we may use to determine that, indeed, the right word for Psalm 8:5 is "angels."

Also, we find that it is appropriate, based on Hebrews 2:9, to apply Psalm 8 to both man, as David saw it, and to Christ, as the writer of Hebrews saw it, AND, that is just fine with the Holy Spirit who inspired both writers.

Now, finally, if you have a modern Bible which says, in Psalm 8:5, "You have made him somewhat less than God," you have a bible which is heretical. The modern translation wording makes Jesus less than God in Psalm 8. The translators of your bible were too stupid to do the cross referencing to Hebrews to get the correct words. This is a classic example of using the context of the whole Bible to explain a particular text.

You may now accuse me of being too dogmatic. I ask you to consider that nowhere in the Word of God is it said that Jesus was less than God. He WAS AND IS God, and he told us so himself. But, in his humanity, he was made a little lower than angels, just like you and I are. The doctrine of the deity AND humanity of Christ is at stake in this little study, and the modern translations make Jesus less than God. Blasphemy.

The historic point in all of this is..... the King James Bible translators in 1611 were REAL Bible scholars, and they knew about the Hebrews text when they were translating Psalm 8. They trusted the Holy Spirit to give the correct meaning, and they used the word "angels" in Psalm 8:5 because Hebrews 2 was far more powerful authority than any KJV translator with three doctorates from Oxford.

Finally, ask yourself and the Lord, "Is there anything in this text that the Holy Spirit is using to change my opinions, my moral choices, or my poor knowledge of how God works? Write down what you hear from the Holy Spirit.

Now, on to the next verse or group of verses.

If you are studying with other Christians, there needs to be one member of the group who prepares ahead of time for each session. This person must not dominate the study, but he must keep the discussion on topic. Also, he must start the Bible study with prayer, and he must end the study by asking, "What did we learn from this study?" The members should then share what they learned.

Regarding discussion during Bible study, it is wicked for every member to give a different meaning to the text being studied. That means everyone missed the point. So, the leader must end the session by giving a conclusion statement of what was learned in which he makes it clear that there is only one correct interpretation. If this causes discord, the leader must talk person to person with anyone of a contrary spirit and ask them to stop being disagreeable. Always finding a contrary meaning to the text is the sign of a proud and arrogant spirit and must be either changed or they must be asked to leave the group. The point here is that God does not give us a multiple choice Bible. Each text we study has one meaning to God.


Last Thoughts- Who should teach?

Never assume a Bible believer knows how to study the Bible. I was asked to lead a Bible study on a ranch in the Mojave Desert long ago. I took along some study helps, and I led the folks in digging for the meaning of the Bible verse by verse through a book of the Bible. Everyone was asked to keep a personal notebook of the study. About the fourth week, a married man who was a leader in a Christian youth camp nearby told me, "Pastor, this is all new to me. I graduated from Bob Jones University, and they never taught me how to study the Bible this way." I was horrified. Then I realized that I also had graduated from BIOLA University, and they also never taught me to do Bible study like that. I have had to learn this with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Do not fake it. If you are not walking close with the Lord, and WANTING to think like Christ, you will only create chaos if you try to lead a Bible study. Get your life totally under the authority of Christ, and then see if God will let you start a Bible study.

In a church I pastored, I decided to preach five sermons to Pope John Paul II. This was done for five Sundays, and we put ads in newspapers in the area, including in Grand Rapids, a large city thirty miles away. The first Sunday the Grand Rapids Press sent a reporter to cover the story of my preaching to the Pope. It brought many visitors to see the sparks fly, and I did my best not to disappoint them. About the second Sunday we had five young adults walk in. Their appearance was very unlike our people, but I asked the Holy Spirit to help me treat them like anyone else.

It turned out that all five were highly motivated to be zealous for Christ. They also had informed themselves in many issues affecting the Lord's Church in America. They came back and attended quite faithfully. Our people caught their zeal and overlooked their odd dress styles. Over time, I visited with them in Grand Rapids where they all lived.

After the series to the Pope was finished and the tapes sent to the Vatican, a man in our church offered to do a Bible study with the young adults in Grand Rapids. I liked this idea and suggested this to the five young adults. They also liked it. This was before I realized that the man offering to teach the Bible study was an agent provocateur who was doing damage to our church in subtle ways.

He did teach the Bible study, but he took it everywhere but in a direction that would honor God. I learned about this too late to do damage control. The young adults all found other fellowship in Grand Rapids, and the teacher abandoned them. He had done his work for the adversary. One couple kept up their friendship with us, and we are still in regular contact. But, I learned a serious lesson the hard way.

Beware of helpful people. If you want to start a Bible study, do it yourself. Do not hand it off to even the most sincere volunteer. If you feel you have someone to help teach, ask them to attend the Bible study for a good number of sessions. See if they participate and contribute real spiritually mature thoughts to the study. Once you feel good about them, and you hand the study to them, stay with the Bible study, and move to the background as the new teacher takes over. If he is making a mess of it, train him. If he is offended to be taught, or if he loses interest, run him off.


This also applies to Sunday School teachers. Some of the most evil destruction I have seen over the years has been done by men who volunteer to teach the adult Sunday School class. I have seen several pastors destroyed by such men. Use the same technique I suggested above to put anyone in a Sunday School class to teach.

The man in the story above who went to Bob Jones University would have made a mess of a Bible study. He was very zealous and would have tried to be an asset to any program he helped. But, he needed to learn how to do a Bible study before he took one over. Sincerity will not compensate for inexperience.

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

A pastor who puts a teen ager (which always means a novice) into the pulpit to preach should be horse whipped. Jesus did not start his ministry in Galilee until he was thirty years old. I don't care how zealous a young man is to one day be a preacher, he does NOT belong in the teaching place until he is a mature adult. I am all for discipling such young men. But, when you exalt them to preach, they are not respected by older adults, and they are easily spoiled by pride. Nor should a young man teach adults. I might agree that he could teach children, and that would be a great way to see if he is humble enough to serve in a larger ministry some day. But, if you put a young man in a kids' Sunday School class, TRAIN HIM FIRST, and then sit in the class until you are sure he is really studying the Word, and be sure his life is a model of godliness for kids.

A lady who wishes to teach the Word should observe the following:

1. She must be approved to teach a class by her husband. If he is not happy with it, DO NOT DO IT. A pastor who pushes a lady into any ministry in the local church against her husband's wishes must be assumed to be hustling the lady to get her into bed.

2. She must be approved by the whole church counsel of leaders AND the aged godly women. Any pastor who uses democracy and voting to select teachers in the Lord's Church is a fool. Democracy is a mongrel form of election which replaces election by Almighty God and his Church leaders.

3. She must never teach with authority with men present.... NEVER.

4. She must support the pastor and church leaders 100%.

5. She must be qualified to be the wife of a deacon or elder in the biblical model given by the Apostle Paul.

Make exceptions, and all Hell will break loose. I have had godly women teach wives, and the thing was a great blessing. But, the lady met all of the above standards. The best lady to teach women in the church is a woman who does not seek the task, and she will be known as a woman who is often sought for godly advice by other women. Such women are pure gold and must be given opportunity to bless many other women.

Do not skip this. It is not what you at first might think.


Bible Study Story Number One- Vivian and the Episcopal Church Bible study

Vivian attended our church and was very zealous to study her Bible on a personal basis. She had been a member of an Episcopalian church in a nearby city, but her testimony of faith in Christ was genuine. After attending our church for quite a long time, she was approached by the pastor of her former Episcopal church. He told her that the people in that church had asked their pastor to start a Bible study. He told Vivian that he did not have any idea how to do a Bible study, and he asked Vivian to ask me permission for her to teach him and the members to study the Bible.

My first instinct was that a lady should not lead in such a situation. But, I also realized that the Episcopal pastor might get into some church house politics if he asked me, a Fundamental pastor, to lead his Bible study. So, I gave Vivian permission, and we agreed to a time frame so that she did not get trapped in the thing for many weeks or months.

Vivian did teach the Bible study in the Episcopal church, and we were all amazed that such a thing could possibly happen. Vivian said she did not pull any punches but did literal study of the Bible. At the end of the period she had agreed to, the Episcopal pastor sent her back to our assembly, and he and the members thanked Vivian for helping. That pastor then went on teaching the Bible study.

A couple of years later, I made a friendship with a very conservative member of the public school board. He fought liberal tendencies in the schools, and he told me he was a member of that same Episcopal church. After some time, he was talking about all the evil in the high desert where we lived and the Satanism and witchcraft rampant. He told me he had brought it up with the same pastor of the Bible study, and that Episcopal priest told my friend that he was taught nothing about Satan in Episcopal seminary, but that the evil in the area had also convinced him that Satan was real, and Christians had to be at war with Satan.

I have always assumed that most Episcopal pastors are not even born again. That denomination is very dead. But, the events in that church made me feel that one Episcopal preacher will be in Heaven one day. And, it all started when he and his people decided to study the Bible.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.


Bible Study Story Number Two- Testimony of Bill who got saved in a bar on Supulvada Blvd in San Fernando Valley, California.

This encounter is given exactly as Bill told me the story.

You may not like it, but I defy you to tell God he was not in it. One reason for this article on Bible study is to help you escape the notion that God is a Fundamental Baptist or a Lutheran or a Pentecostal. He warned you that you might hear things that offend you and see him doing things that you cannot explain.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

I walked out of HEB supermarket on my way to my car, and I saw a Harley Davidson motorcycle parked at the front of the parking lane. I intentionally navigated that way so I could admire my mental symbol of big power in toys. As I looked the Harley over, I saw a man sitting in a pickup truck right next to where I was standing, and I turned to him and said, "That there is a piece of real iron." He laughed, and said, "I know, I used to race those Hogs."

Bill then went on to tell me how he raced motorcycles in the Los Angeles area in California, and he said his racing days ended when he wiped out and injured his back so badly that it left him partially handicapped. Bill said he hung out in one particular bar on Sepulvada Blvd in San Fernando Valley in his earlier days. Bill admitted he had been a rough character at that time.

One day he was shooting pool with some buddies at the bar, and one of the men made a comment about God. Bill announced to the men that he did not believe in any God, and he boldly dared God to knock him dead if God really existed. One of the men who had some fear of God cautioned Bill to be careful because God might take him up on it. Bill laughed and cursed at the man.

Later, Bill left the bar, and he was walking down an ally when it suddenly hit him that he might be in deep trouble with God, if there was a God. Bill then fell under the fear of God in a big way, and he ended up on his knees, in the ally, crying out to God. The bar maid had told Bill she was praying for him, and she had told him he needed to repent of his sins and cry out to Jesus for forgiveness so he could be born again. Bill did that in the ally in the best way he could with his limited idea of who God was. He said a great burden was lifted off of him, and he at once walked back to the bar.

Bill told the men there that he had gotten saved. They were confused at first, and he finally explained that he had repented and believed in Jesus. The men told him it was an emotional thing, and he would soon get over it. He kept the faith, and the bar maid was delighted. Bill wanted to know what he needed to do next, and the bar maid told him he needed to study the Bible. He got a Bible, and he took it around to the bar.

Soon, Bill was gathering the men in the bar around to read the Bible and discuss it. This turned into a real Bible study, and other men in the bar started getting saved. The bar maid was also witnessing to the bar manager, and he was a tough nut. But, eventually the manager got saved, and nearly all the regular customers got saved.

They had a discussion one day about the music in the juke box, and they decided to change all of it to Christian music. I know you are having a hard time to believe this, and I don't blame you. But, what would you have done? Would you tell them to stop studying the Bible? Bill said there was no pastor involved with this scene for a long time. What pastor would agree to lead a Bible study in a bar?

One day the owner of the bar came in, and he heard the Christian music. He blew up, and he demanded the music be put back to the usual rocka Billy bar music. The men told him they would have to change bars if he did that, so the owner gave up and let them keep the Christian music. The second bar maid had gotten saved, and both bar maids told the owner they were praying he would get saved. He laughed. Then, somehow the Gospel sunk in, and the owner of the bar did get saved.

Bill said the owner soon came to the conclusion that he could not be a very good Christian and run bars. He owned three. So, the owner sold them all and got out of that business.

At that point Bill said the group of men from the bar all agreed that they needed more Christian fellowship and teaching. Every man went his own way to find a church to attend.

Again, this is a strange story to say the least. But, as I listened to Bill tell the story, I did not have any indication from his eye contact and demeanor that he was making it all up. I had to conclude that God's Spirit was doing something that I could not explain, but I refuse to degrade the thing. It simply shows that God can do his work on the steps of Hell if he so chooses, and it is not my job to question him.

Psalms 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Psalms 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way


Last Grenade

I went on the Internet with this journal in 1995 when such things were not common. From the get go I have determined not to coddle and pamper anyone. If this article makes you uncomfortable, so be it. My greatest fear is to please everyone who reads here. But, I do not write these articles for shock value. I DO intend to jolt you a bit and see if we can all become a little more like Jesus as we go on down the road.

Luke 5:23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Do a word study of the word "Amazed" in the Bible. God likes to amaze us, and Jesus seemed to like to amaze his disciples. Frankly, I am amazed at how few Christians these days are amazed at the work of God. God did not go on vacation. Maybe it is we who need to get back our first love for his mighty acts. God went to a lot of trouble to deliver the message to us by inspiring about 40 men to write it all down, beginning with Moses, and ending with John on the Isle of Patmos. It is a shame if we do not study the Bible God gave us.

Some Christians believe that all the Bible they need is what they get on Sunday and Wednesday evening from their pastor. Tell me, friend, how would you look if you only ate three meals a week? Hmmmm

Study to show thyself approved......







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