How to Understand the Bible

phipps

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Some people think that the Bible is so difficult to understand that they are afraid even to try. Others wonder why, if the Bible really can be understood, there are so many different denominations, all claiming to believe the Bible and yet teaching different things. The reason for so many different beliefs is that, although many people claim to believe the Bible, they have not studied it the way God has told them to. God has told us how to understand the Bible. If we will just follow the method He has outlined, we can know exactly what it means. We can know truth! We can have eternal life!

Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
 

phipps

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1. We must believe that the whole Bible is the inspired Word of God, and we must be willing to abide by it's teachings, even if they go contrary to our own personal ideas and practices. The Bible says:

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

"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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Note: Faith in the Bible grows as the inspired Word of God is developed by studying it.

2. We must be humble and teachable. However great and extensive our knowledge and educational achievements, we must come humbly to the word of God, not seeking to study it from a secular standpoint as a scientific or philosophical work, and with a dependence upon human intellect. Trusting in intellectual pride and humanistic opinion will prevent us from being able to understand the deep spiritual truths of the Bible. God requires us to come humbly and with a teachable attitude, sincerely and prayerfully seeking to understand His word.

Jesus said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes" (Matthew 11:25).

1 Corinthians 1:21, 26-31 says, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe ... For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

3.
We must compare scripture with scripture, letting the Bible explain itself. It is common to find individuals and groups of people who build a whole theology upon one single statement of the Bible. This can be very dangerous and misleading, depending upon the method of interpretation employed in their Biblical research. The only correct and safe way of securing an understanding of a particular truth is to study everything that the Bible has to say about that specific topic.

We must study broadly, permitting the Bible to define its own terms. This will preserve us from the practice of some, in taking an isolated passage and twisting it to fit or "prove" their own ideas. We should always approach the Bible with an open and honest attitude, willing to lay aside any established beliefs and practices, whenever we find them to be without scriptural foundation.

Luke 24:27, 44, "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself... Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

1 Corinthians 2:13, "These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
 
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phipps

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4. We should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we study the Bible. Though written by men, the Bible has been supernaturally inspired. We therefore need the Holy Spirit, the author of all scripture, to guide and instruct us as we study. Prayer for divine instruction and enlightenment should always precede a study of God's word. Without heaven's assistance to render our minds spiritually receptive, it is not possible to properly interpret and appreciate the truths of the Bible, which are often "hidden beneath the surface" and readily missed by the casual, superficial approach.

John 16:13, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."

"(For) no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God …The Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"
(1 Corinthians 2:7-14).

5. We must truly want to know the truth before we can know the truth. Our motives for studying the Bible must always be honourable and acceptable to God if we would receive instruction and guidance from the Holy Spirit. If it is our determined purpose to research the Bible in order to find an argument against the truth, God will leave us to our own devices. For example, some people use a few scriptural verses to supposedly prove that God's Law was abolished when Jesus Christ died upon the Cross. A proper method of research will clearly demonstrate that such is not the case, and the verses used to substantiate this idea are found to be unsupportive when placed in their proper context.

Only those who are willing to love and accept the truth when it is made plain, and do not seek to construct arguments against it, will be preserved from the dangers of self-deception. God will not force us to believe anything against our will. However, His word clearly describes what will happen to those who still choose to believe, contrary to what He has plainly said:

2 Thessalonians 2: 10-12, "...and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Romans 1:28, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting."

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

6. Bible study must become a priority in life.
Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to "a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matthew 13:45-46). We must earnestly search for truth, recognizing that it is worth more than anything else in life. This quest must be made priority, especially when other things seek to crowd out the time that should be allocated to Bible study.

God's Promise to us is that, "You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). Our desire, our relish and our love for the Bible will strengthen and deepen as we discipline ourselves to study it every day.

7. We must live up to all the light we have before God will teach us more. As truth is opened to our understanding, we should determine by God's grace to walk in its light. God has set before us an upward pathway and it is His will that we should walk in His footsteps. As our Saviour therefore leads us further along the pathway of advanced truth, we must determine to follow if we would keep in step with Him and remain His disciple. Also, living according to the truth that we already have qualifies us to receive more light and truth from God.

John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 7:17, "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."

Matthew 13:12, "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."


Matthew 7:24-27, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”


Why should God reveal more truth to us if we are not following what He has already revealed to us?


Most of this material was printed from www.SabbathTruth.com.
 

phipps

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Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children."

"A failure to study God's word is the great cause of mental weakness and inefficiency. In turning from this word to feed on the writings of uninspired men, the mind becomes dwarfed and cheapened. It is not brought in contact with deep, broad principles of eternal truth. The understanding adapts itself to the comprehension of the things with which it is familiar, and in this devotion to finite things it is weakened, its power is contracted, and after a time it becomes unable to expand." --Counsels to Parents and Teachers, p. 441.
 

phipps

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Reading vs. Studying

Did you know that there’s a difference between reading and studying the Bible? King David, stressed the importance of taking in the words of Scripture with care. Check out this little bit of the second-longest Psalm in the Bible:

"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word" (Psalm 119:9-16).

Notice how David includes active ways to regard Scripture. It’s not only for casual reading—it’s to memorize, to meditate upon, to obey. And even to bring us delight as it provides guidance and meaning. The Bible is meant for action.
 

phipps

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Practical hints for optimum Bible study

- Tools. A good Bible version that you can understand. A loose-leaf notebook, pen, pencil and ruler. You might like to underline the verses that mean most to you in your Bible for future reference. If you do this with a soft pencil you can remove the marking at any time. Note down any thoughts or verses that were new to you. It may be that you will see links to other topics too at the same time. In this way the study of the Bible builds up.

One additional tool to consider is a reliable Bible Concordance. A Concordance is like an in-depth index to the Bible. It keeps track of where certain names, phrases, and terms were used and lists the verse references for each of them. Concordances come in handy for topical studies, as it helps you find each place in the Bible the topic is addressed. There are god online concordances like https://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/

- Time. Try to set aside a regular set time for your study when you can spend time undisturbed with no distractions. Don’t make it too long. Ten or fifteen minutes well spent are better than hours when you are not fully concentrating. You do not want to have spiritual indigestion!

- Prayer. The Bible is God’s Book, written as holy men of God were impressed by the Holy Spirit. So to understand it, you too need the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised that the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and guide you into Truth, all Truth. Prayer is the essential preparation, before you even open the Bible. You can pray with confidence for Christ will always do as He has promised. Without it you will see only words, facts, stories, or an ancient piece of literature, with nothing to touch your heart and lead you into a growing knowledge of Truth. Truth is what God has revealed about Himself especially through Jesus. Then, when you finish your study for the day, pray that God will prompt you to do what He has shown you, so that it is not lost in the rush of the day.

- A clear conscience. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you if you are not at peace with God. If there is bad feeling between you and someone else, or something needs putting right, take courage and make it right before you come to your Bible study. With peace in your heart, the words will come alive. You will discover things you had not realised before.

- A drink. Don’t laugh - it’s true! Our bodies are largely made up of water and, if the water levels are not up to optimum levels, you will be unable to concentrate and think clearly enough to understand what God is saying to you. So have a long drink of water beside and sip as you read. A pure, simple drink matches the purity and transparency of the words you will read. You could even sit in the fresh air.

- Memorising verses. This is not just an optional mental exercise. As you memorise, your mind is constantly making new pathways and connections of understanding. In this way Bible perspectives will widen and deepen.

"These [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).
 

phipps

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What kind of book is the Bible?

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out how or where to start reading it.

The Bible is a rich, diverse, complex collection of 66 books written over thousands of years, and by all sorts of different authors. It’s an important book that has shaped major parts of history—and it can also help us find meaning, guidance, and insight as we get to know more about God, the Creator of the Universe, and His plan for each one of us.

The Bible was written by commoners and kings. It was written by prophets in the thick of the action, as well as curious bystanders, both rich and poor, all eager to document as many details as they possibly could. God’s Word is for anyone and everyonenot only for clergy or elite scholars! We can all understand the Bible and benefit from the powerful principles within it.

Here are seven things we need to keep in mind as we study the Bible.

- The Bible is one complete, true story.

When we think of reading a book, we often think about taking it to our favorite chair, leisurely taking in the words, reading a chapter or two, and sticking a bookmark in it to resume when we have another free moment.

The Bible, however, is different from your typical novel, biography, memoir, etc. The Holy Scriptures read more like an anthology. But even beyond that, each book of the Bible works together to tell one powerful, complete story.

It may not seem like a chronological work of literature if you read it straight through. One book doesn’t necessarily start where the previous one left off. In a big picture view, however, it is chronological in that it begins with the creation of humankind and the world, and ends with Earth’s re-creation into a perfect New Earth.

To tell this story in the most complete, relatable way, the Bible includes poems, songs, letters, memoirs, eyewitness accounts, prophecies, parables, allegories, historical records and more. All these types of literature work together in harmony to reveal a bigger picture of who God is, how much He loves us, and His plan to ultimately conquer evil for good.

- The Bible has real people with real problems – just like us.

Throughout the Bible you’ll find all different types of people, and you’ll learn with them through their struggles with temptation, sin, repentance, and finally victory as they learn to let God lead. You’ll notice many of their stories still relate to the challenges we encounter today.

All in all, Scripture provides us a profound perspective on what it really means to be human. And it can get messy.

Some of the things you’ll encounter in the Bible are sad, infuriating, or even disturbing. Yet we know that God is an ever-loving God who seeks to save the human race. So what’s going on here?

Remember, you’re reading the whole story: How people were created with free choice, how they chose to find out what both good and evil were like, and how this turbulent process of learning, growing, and redemption is playing itself out on Earth—and beyond.

You’ll learn about how and why free will is the distinguishing trait of humanity that demonstrates God’s unconditional love for us. You’ll read about the origin of evil through a once-angelic being, and how his influence became part of our history through Adam and Eve, the first humans.

It’s not only Genesis, the first book of the Bible, that tells about God’s creation of the human race and how sin entered the world. The history of humanity involves the whole universe, and different parts of the Bible expound upon different pieces of the puzzle.

Most importantly, you’ll read about prophecies yet to be fulfilled—ones that involve Jesus Christ coming back to earth to ultimately save us from this corrupted world and restore humanity and the earth to the perfection originally intended (see Acts .1:4-11). Now that’s something to look forward to!

- You will read Biblical text that seems confusing – and that’s ok.

What happens when you come across a Bible verse you don’t know what to do with?

(I mean, “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him.” ?? {Proverbs 27:14} What?)

You’re not the only one. And it only makes things muddier when people quote single Bible verses as commands or stand-alone thoughts…or when they print a single verse onto signs or bumper stickers. Sometimes the underlying meanings can get twisted around or even misused when words from Scripture are removed from their context.

This is why we study the Bible as a whole book. It was not written to be chopped into chunks and used to suit people’s own agendas.

But even as you read, you’ll probably encounter a verse or ten that sounds bizarre or radical. That’s why it’s crucial to consider:
  • Context—What is happening at the time of the writing, who is writing it, what is the purpose of it, what was the culture like at that time, what style of writing it is, etc.
  • Translation—Different versions of the Bible may use different words or descriptions, or varying sentence structures.
  • Underlying principles—Many passages of Scripture contain metaphors, stories, symbolism, or heavy reference to the culture of the time—though the overall principle can be made clear through study.
During your study it can also be helpful to consult biblical commentaries, history books, or other materials to help describe what the setting was like when that part of the Bible was written.
 

phipps

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- Prophecy is an Essential Part of the Bible.

Some of the seemingly bizarre verses we just talked about have to do with prophecy. Which is why they can seem perplexing. But God has many reasons for communicating with humanity through prophecy.

God has historically selected certain individuals to reveal divine details to their people group. Sometimes it’s to warn them about potential enemies or about behavior that will ultimately lead to destruction. Sometimes God’s prophets would provide healing, or acknowledge a radical act of faith.

And in many places you’ll find extensive prophecies about the future.

Some prophecies are fulfilled later in the Bible, such as the prophecy that Jesus Christ would come to Earth as a baby, born in a stable. Some prophecies were fulfilled after the Bible was written…and some are yet to be completed.

The symbolism used by the authors to describe these prophecies is vibrant, dramatic, and can often be unsettling. Keep in mind that there was—and is—a purpose to each prophecy. Diving into their meanings can be absolutely fascinating.

- Scripture often relies on symbolism to provide clarity.

In the same way symbolism is used in countless other works of literature, in the Bible it’s used to describe something to the reader they have never seen before. Readers have no existing frame of reference on the topic yet, so it makes sense to compare this new concept to something readers are already familiar with.

As for the Holy Scriptures, they exist to describe an infinite God to finite minds. Often the only way to do that is through various forms of symbolism, such as metaphors, similes, parables, allegory, and more.

You’ll notice this colorful symbolism throughout the whole Bible, regardless of the author or type of writing—though you’ll see a lot of it in those prophecies of the distant future.

While it can feel overwhelming at first, take it slow. Some of the imagery might make you feel like you’re reading a fantasy novel, but it’s meant to ultimately make things clearer. Even the most complicated symbolism can be broken down into its fundamentals to be studied in-depth.

What’s more, you’ll soon find that even the wildest and weirdest of the Bible’s symbolism ultimately illustrates that no matter how mixed up and evil things can get, God will always prevail. You can always have hope in Him.

When encountering parts of the Bible heavy with symbolism, this is where taking notes, sketching a picture of what is being described, or referencing history books or Bible commentaries can also be helpful.

- It’s OK to Say “I Don’t Know.”

Throughout your study, you will come across things that don’t yet make sense. That’s OK.

The Bible is a huge book about…everything. Reading something like this will naturally be a lot to take in.

If you come across a passage you’re not sure how to process, or even a whole book you don’t know what to do with, don’t let it stop you. Take notes. Write down what you found confusing and why.

Remember, the Bible isn’t compiled chronologically. To keep your study moving forward, it’s alright to save things for later.

You may find clarification later on, as you continue reading.

You may also want to share your notes with someone else like your study buddy, pastor etc.

- Prayer is the key to effective Bible study.

Again, before you begin your study each day, a quiet moment in prayer helps get your head in the game. We recommend finding a quiet, solitary place where you’re least likely to encounter distractions. By intentionally turning your mind toward God, you’re inviting His Holy Spirit to guide your study of the Scriptures.

While it’s absolutely true that the Bible’s words were written for everyone, studying them still requires care, respect, and guidance. And the best guide you could ever hope for is God Himself, who sends us his Holy Spirit to help us understand His profound, infinite truths (see John 14:26, Acts 2:39, 2 Timothy 1:14).

Rest assured that even if you’ve never prayed before, God hears you. He wants you to get to know Him, and the best way to begin that relationship is through His Word—the Holy Bible. Simply acknowledging that you want to get to know Him can begin this process.

Your prayer can be as simple and straightforward as this:

Dear God, I want to believe in You. I want to get to know Who You are. I pray for Your guidance as I start studying the Bible. Amen.

Yes, that’s all it takes to begin a relationship with God. He recognizes your decision to get into the nitty gritty of the Bible and learn more about Him. Even if it feels awkward or unfamiliar at first, remember that trying anything new can feel strange until it becomes a habit.

As far as habits go, putting these two things together is indeed the healthiest habit you can ever develop.

Link.
 

Axl888

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John 10:27 - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

His sheeps hear His voice and therefore understand the Bible/Gospel, goats on the other hand dont recognize His voice and therefore will never ever understand the Bible.
 

phipps

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John 10:27 - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

His sheeps hear His voice and therefore understand the Bible/Gospel, goats on the other hand dont recognize His voice and therefore will never ever understand the Bible.
God intended for everyone to understand Him and His Word and be His sheep. But we are created with free will and we have got to choose to want to hear Christ and follow Him. Goats can change their minds and choose to hear and follow Christ. Thankfully many people around the world are choosing Christ everyday and becoming His sheep because of God tirelessly working hard to reach people in different ways around the world.
Christ's sheep too can stop hearing and following Him, the Bible has strong warnings for those who choose to do that. But in the end, the goats who chose not follow God and understand Him will lose their lives eternally. The Bible makes it clear sadly that that will be most people.

Many Christians who believe in predestination use this verse to prove that God already chose those who are going to be saved and those who aren't. But that is not biblical at all and contrary to the rest of God's Word. Jesus is simply saying, if you choose and follow me, you are my sheep.
 
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Axl888

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God intended for everyone to understand Him and His Word and be His sheep. But we are created with free will and we have got to choose to want to hear Christ and follow Him. Goats can change their minds and choose to hear and follow Christ. Thankfully many people around the world are choosing Christ everyday and becoming His sheep because of God tirelessly working hard to reach people in different ways around the world. Christ's sheep too can stop hearing and following Him, the Bible has strong warnings for those who choose to do that. But in the end, the goats who chose not follow God and understand Him will lose their lives eternally. The Bible makes it clear sadly that that will be most people.

Many Christians who believe in predestination use this verse to prove that God already chose those who are going to be saved and those who aren't. But that is not biblical at all and contrary to the rest of God's Word. Jesus is simply saying, if you choose and follow me, you are my sheep.
Romans 29-30: For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

John 44-45: No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.


All His sheeps will be called at His appointed time, and not by the self righteous work of any man/"preacher".
 
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phipps

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Romans 29-30: For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
You forgot to put the chapter from Romans. Its Roman 8:29-30.

This comes back to what I'm posting in this thread about understanding the Bible and how to study it. What we have to do is read all the scripture in the Bible that talks about predestination and similar words to predestination and compare scripture with scripture.

Below I am going to post the answer about predestination according from Amazing discoveries. They have compared a few passages from the Bible that talk about predestination or similar word to predestination and have compared scripture with scripture. Plus they are better at explaining this than I am although I have read and studied the subject.

"Q. Does the Bible teach Predestination or Freedom of Choice?

A.
The greek word translated as predestine is "proorizó" [προορίζω]. According to the Strong's concordance, it means to predetermine, foreordain or to determine before. The Doctrine of Predestination has been mostly associated with the teaching of St-Augustine of Hippo and John Calvin.

John Calvin is often credited with teaching the doctrine of "double predestination" which basically states that God has chosen some people to be saved and the others to be lost. Man's choice have no impact in God's decision. The Wesminster Confession of Faith of 1643 puts it this way: "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.”

Calvinists usually do not use the expression “Double Predestination” since it implies that God works to both ensure the salvation of the righteous but also works to ensure the destruction of the wicked. This would imply that God is the minister of sin, since sin is what ultimately causes the sinner to be lost and eventually destroyed. Calvinist do not adhere to this idea, but simply believe that God leaves the sinners to continue in their sinful ways without intervention, which will eventually lead them to their destruction.

However, both of these views comes in direct contradiction with many other Bible verses that explain how God is actively working for the Salvation of all men most particularly the sinner.

"But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learnwhat that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" {Matthew 9:12-13}.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that anyshould perish, but that all should come to repentance" {2 Peter 3:9}.

"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"
{Ezekiel 33:11}.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
{John 3:16}.

"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" {1 Timothy 2:4}.

Let us see what the Bible teaches then about predestination. The Scripture uses the word "proorizó" six times. Four times it is translated as "predestine", the other times as "determined" and "ordained". In each cases the emphasis of "proorizó" is positive and never refers to damnation or destruction of the wicked.

The first occurrence is in Acts 4:27-28
"For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done" {Acts 4:27-28}.

In the context of Chapter 4 of Acts, Peter and John and the rest of the Apostles had been arrested for preaching Jesus Christ. After their release they come together praising God, and in v.25, they quote Psalm 2, a very famous Messianic Prophecy that describes the last hours of Christ. What the passage is really establishing is that the fate of Jesus had been prophesied and it could not be altered, changed or modified.

Next we have 1 Corinthians 2:6-8
"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" {1Corinthians 2:6-8}.

Here the Bible teaches us that God had placed His wisdom at our disposal even before the world had even been created. We then come to Ephesians chapter 1 where Paul uses the same "proorizó" word in two different instances this time translated as “predestine”:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved"
{Ephesians 1:3-6}.

"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ"
{Ephesians 1:11-12}.

Here we are told that those who have accepted Jesus, have received adoption into God’s family as well as an inheritance, both of which had been established according to the will of God.

So far all 4 instances, do not directly apply to salvation nor condemnation, but rather to what God has placed at our disposal. The last two mention of “proorizó" is found in Romans chapter 8.

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" {Romans 8:29-30}.

This passage may be the closest to come to associating “predestination” to salvation. Here, however, the act of predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge of each man’s destiny. It is important to understand that God’s foreknowledge does not dictate events. The foreseen events do not happen because they are foreseen: They are foreseen because they will take place. And God’s knowledge of what is to come in no way impacts the fact that man must still make each choices that God has foreseen.

In God’s sphere the events are set. But in our sphere, because we are deprived of foreknowledge, events are not fixed. As a result we have no clue of what is coming and we must still exercise our freewill and choose. For God, however, He knows the string of events that is to come where He calls us to be conformed to the image of His Son, justified and glorified. We therefore must go on "unto perfection" (Hebrews 6:1), one choice at a time."
 
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phipps

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John 44-45: No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

All His sheeps will be called at His appointed time, and not by the self righteous work of any man/"preacher".
This needs a separate answer.

Christ calls and draws all of us to Him. That is what His Father sent Him to do. Not only did the Father send Christ to draw all of us to Him, He sent Him to die on the cross for all of us not just a select people who have been chosen. We've all been chosen but its up to us to accept Christ's gift of salvation and follow Him. My Bible says:

John 1:29, "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again."

1 John 2:2, "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."


Christ died for all, intending and hoping that all would accept Him and be saved from sin. However Christ knows and foresaw that He would not be able to save all, because not all would accept Christ and repent of their sins (Revelation 2:21; 9:20-21; 16:9, 11). Nevertheless, God provided all of us with the same wonderful opportunity by atoning for our sins and giving us all the ability to choose Him as our Substitute (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).
 
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phipps

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The “Inductive” Bible study method.

This approach to Bible study is comprised of only three steps:

1. Observation: What are these verses saying?

2. Interpretation: What do these verses mean?

3. Application: What does this passage mean to me?

As you read, first try taking each verse at face value. If that doesn’t seem to fit, look at the chapter you just read as a whole. What is the setting? What is the focus? Who’s talking to whom? Often the answers to these questions can also help you figure out how to apply the underlying principles to your own life.
 

Maldarker

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Just remember this is SDA (amazing discoveries) take that with a grain of salt when looking at the study material.... Why not just sit down read it for your self with a good concordance & an open heart willing to pray for the answers.
 

phipps

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Many Christians do not know how to study the Bible and so that is why I posted this thread. They do not know how to compare scripture with scripture (Isaiah 28:10), how to study a subject from all over the Bible and do not question what they are taught in Church unlike the Bereans who questioned everything they were taught and went back home to study their Bibles to prove if everything they'd been taught was indeed biblical (Acts 17:11) .

SDA's study the Bible as the Bible teaches. So there is nothing that is questionable about what I've posted plus I proved it with actual scripture. I would advise all Christians though to always consult the Word of God about any subject posted here no matter who posts it. Please take your time to read the scripture I posted but also study your Bibles further and find out for yourselves if what I've posted is the truth or not, just like the Bereans. We should never take people at their Word but always check in with God's and His Word. Please pray before studying the Bible.

I would also warn Christians to be very careful of anyone claiming to be a Christian but telling them to do anything that is not based on Bible teaching, especially if they do not show direct scripture to prove their points.

You have Christians here who keep harping on about SDA's yet they do not observe the true Sabbath of God that was given to us at creation (Saturday), instead they worship on the false Sabbath which is the first day of the week, some are Zionists who believe all Jews are more special than other humans and will be saved whether they accept Jesus as their personal Saviour or not, they believe in the false teaching of the rapture that is man made, they believe once they are saved they can sin and do anything and still be saved, they do not think that we should be obedient even though Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) and “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; ... These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:10, 11), they believe Jesus did away with the law even though that is completely contrary to biblical doctrine, believe that angels procreated with human beings (again not biblical) etc.

They say they believe in the Bible completely but clearly only when the Bible agrees with their doctrine. If it doesn't, they choose their doctrine over the Word of God.

The Bible says, "And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother,‘ Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye (Luke 6:41-42).
 
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Maldarker

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You need to think for yourself...Ask the HOLY SPIRIT to help you study HIS word who else should you ask man or the GOD that wrote?
 

phipps

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You need to think for yourself...Ask the HOLY SPIRIT to help you study HIS word who else should you ask man or the GOD that wrote?
I posted that already. I will repost it again.

"4. We should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we study the Bible. Though written by men, the Bible has been supernaturally inspired. We therefore need the Holy Spirit, the author of all scripture, to guide and instruct us as we study. Prayer for divine instruction and enlightenment should always precede a study of God's word. Without heaven's assistance to render our minds spiritually receptive, it is not possible to properly interpret and appreciate the truths of the Bible, which are often "hidden beneath the surface" and readily missed by the casual, superficial approach.

John 16:13, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."

"(For) no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God …The Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"
(1 Corinthians 2:7-14)."

Its a given that Christians or anyone else who wants to get to know and understand God should ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding. No Christian worth their salt would talk about studying the Bible and not mention prayer for guidance from the Holy Spirit. This is a very important part of biblical doctrine as the scripture I posted above says and more if you study this subject more from the Bible.

But you just wanted to attack me and my beliefs again which are based on the Bible because its open season for you guys since you're in the majority here. The Bible tells us to test every spirit (1 John 4: 1-2) and that is the way we find out if they speak according to God's Word and have light in them (Isaiah 8:20), but you are actually dismissing the truth of God's Word because I posted it and not someone else you agree with. Remember this is not about me, its about God. The truth of God's word is the truth whether you like the person or not who posts it and how or where the information came from.

Goodbye.
 
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phipps

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More on comparing scripture with scripture.

As I posted above, when studying the Bible, we must compare Scripture with Scripture, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line: here a little and there a little" (Isaiah 28:10). We must remember that the Bible is not one book but 66 books written over a period of 1500 years. That very fact allows us to use the Bible to interpret itself. When we do this, we will discover truth.
As we study the Bible, we need to approach it with an open mind, willing to follow what it shows us. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17).

God does not desire us to be ignorant. He has caused His Word to be written so that anyone can understand it if they want to. When studying prophecy, the Bible is its own interpreter, giving definitions for the symbols it uses. We don't need to guess or make wild assumptions.

Use all of the Bible.

We must not ignore parts of the Bible that don't suit us, or discard portions of the Bible as not applicable, or add our own words to it.

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18-19).

If we come across a text that seems to contradict other texts, we can safely assume that we do not have a complete understanding of the doctrine that is being studied. Reading the text in context is important. But equally important is to look at the verse in context with all other verses on the same subject. God's Word never changes, and certainly never contradicts itself. If we believe this, then we can have parameters for interpreting Scripture. God cannot lie. If He says one thing in one part of the Bible, He cannot be saying something else elsewhere. Only one understanding can be the right one.

As you open up your mind to the Word of God, be sure to ask God for His Spirit to enlighten you as you study. With an earnest willing heart, free of preconceived ideas and interpretations, God can and will show you the true understanding of what you are studying.
 

Maldarker

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Shouldn't you be a follower of JESUS instead of a denomination? Your letting men dictate your beliefs. I have done studies and joined most of the denominations that exist quite a few ever wonder why? Ever wonder that the praises of men tickled those new denomenations leaders ears? I know the truth GOD revealed it to me looong time ago. Took two years of extensive research before i even decided to start looking at other peoples view points of the bible....For those two years did nothing but read and pray pray & read. So yeah i don't need other puffed up leaders that we see fall all the time. I will trust in CHRIST & only CHRIST. Stuff you post is true to a point thats the scary thing isn't it.
 
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