I know I haven’t been very consistent with my blogs, but that is changing right now. I believe strongly in being able to understand the Bible and allowing the Spirit of YaHavah (our Creator) to teach his understanding of it. Each blog will be excerpts from my books. Entries will be identified in parts beginning with Part 1-a.
THE SIMPLE BASICS OF THE BIBLE
There are more than 6,000 years of history in the 66 books of the Bible; a daunting bit of information to say the least, and reason enough for a multitude of misunderstandings about it. The first 4,000 plus years features the survival of a righteous line of peoples leading to the birth of the Son of YHVH, aka, Son of Man; this is called the first coming of Jesus Christ. The remaining 2,000 plus years is about the survival and subsequent salvation of Jesus’ disciples at his second coming.
The Bible is straightforward, says what it means, and means what it says. So in the spirit of truth and simplicity, here is a quick study of what the Bible is about.
The main characters:
1. YHVH—Creator of all
2. Jesus—Son of YHVH and Son of Man
3. Satan—son of deceit
4. Humans—created by and loved by YHVH
The catalysts and interaction or cause and effect:
1. Sin—original sin initiated by Satan through Adam
2. YHVH’s Law—given to identify sin
3. YHVH’s Grace—the gift of YHVH’s favor through Jesus
4. Salvation—escape from original sin and its final destruction by YHVH through Jesus
1. Creation of the heavens and earth—by YHVH and the reason for the creation of all
2. The gist of YHVH’s prophecies
3. The purpose of the first and second coming of Jesus Christ
4. YHVH’s calendar from beginning to end—Bible chronology and Daniel’s seventy sevens.
The stories of the Bible artfully weave bits and pieces about the characters, catalysts, and timing into the sixty-six books of the Bible. It’s pretty amazing that 40 writers wrote 66 books over a period of 2,000 years from Israel’s Wilderness Journey to John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ, and even more amazing that it is perfectly coordinated in context and purpose.
If the first Bible I picked up when I was a child had the simple explanations and guidance offered in this booklet, I probably would have become a born-again Christian then rather than many years later. That was around 1948; I was nine. The King James Version (KJV) with only Scripture references on the side or middle columns was the most commonly used Bible version in those days. The KJV contains the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) written in 17th century Old English style. Because it contains the OT (Judean or Jewish text) and NT (Christian text), it is also known as the Judean/Christian Bible. The KJV is also the base of most other translations written in modern English, although it was compiled from other versions. Wikipedia presents an interesting history of the Bible at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible.
We are blessed in this 21st century with a rich and instant source of information contributed by millions of people on the wide world web. I am thankful that I have lived long enough to experience it. However, the knowledge base is wide and does contain some discrepancies. As with anything, approach with caution.
In 1947, my family rented a house belonging to a Latter-Day-Saints, aka, LDS, family. They left a small LDS literature library in a built-in shelf unit in which there was a KJV Bible. I was only a child, but I had a deep hunger to find out who God and Jesus were, and since my family did not own a Bible and we were not permitted to discuss the subject of religion, I asked permission to read that Bible. Unfortunately, the Old English style of writing was too difficult for me, and I didn’t get past the first page of Genesis. Any Bible knowledge I received was from Christmas carols, and the Ten Commandments posted in the halls of the schools I attended. I was lucky because after I finished school, people who hate God were instrumental in creating a law forbidding the public posting of the Ten Commandments, especially in schools.
Religion was one of three topics that were not discussed in our household. The other two were politics and sex. That was my mother’s solution to avoiding discussions that were uncomfortable for her, even though these three topics are primary to having a well-rounded family and worldview education. Judging from some recent advertising experiences, I would say the world has gone full circle and is now back in the taboo of those three topics. Ignorance is one of Satan’s work tools and one of the seven spirits of lawlessness. (More on this topic later)
When I asked Mama how to respond to other people if they asked me what religion I am, she said I could say Christian or Protestant. She gave me no explanation of what either meant. I wonder now if she even knew the difference and simply repeated what she had been taught.
My parents taught my siblings and me right from wrong in a general sense of honesty, integrity, and love. With that said, I was still a Bible illiterate until I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at 40 years of age. Great things can happen at that age; Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and his successor, Joshua, led them across the Jordon River into the Promised Land. So far, half of my life has been in the serious study of the Bible and passing on what I learn to others in the hope they can become more knowledgeable of Bible truth in the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Truth is the key.
Until the day I heard the gospel message of Jesus Christ, I had never read the Bible past the first page in 1948. I perused the front pages and learned there were, not one, but sixty-six books in one volume. I could not see how all of the different books were connected. I wanted to know about God and Jesus, but there was much more than that, and there was no indication of how to sort it out. There was no basic instruction on the content and use of the Bible in those days. How could I have possibly understood it without help, since I did not attend church and it wasn’t discussed at home? Frankly, I am thankful that the time for learning came later in my life. I settled in, married young, raised two daughters, and was widowed at the young age of thirty-seven. My eldest daughter is an atheist and activist for LGBT. She knows I cannot stand with her in these choices. It was a battle, but now we accept each other as mother and daughter and leave it there; with a prayer from my side. She is also an activist in educating the public on bipolar syndrome; since she herself is bipolar and overcoming it without prescription drugs. My second daughter is born again and stands with me in the truth of the Bible.
Today, even degreed Theologians mentoring and working together haven’t really understood the Bible. I don’t say this to attack them. They are simply repeating what they’ve been taught. The danger of a status quo state of mind is that it blocks the hearing of the truth that comes from the Bible. They know about the people and their history, but most of them don’t know the Judean/Christian Bible by the Spirit of Truth. Theologians are well-versed on the human failure of attaching alternatives and diversity to their understanding of the Bible, though they do not see this way of thinking as a failure. More on this later, also.
What are my qualifications for what I write about the Bible and Christianity? I follow the one and only golden rule; love YHVH with all your heart, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. It is the first step to becoming born again. I understand the Bible because my teacher is the one who inspired it. The Bible says YaHavah is our teacher. I not only believe it; my writing is proof of it. Theologians and ministers will say that, too, but their fruit says otherwise.
To be continued in Part 1-b
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