Understanding the Bible
Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me." He also told us, "from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Therefore, if we are to learn of Jesus, we must hear His words, and find out what he really meant by what he said in both the Old and New Testaments, because, all of the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God and of Christ.
In our searching to find out what the Bible really means, we will find it especially helpful if we let the Bible define its own terms. Much of the Bible is misunderstood, and many errors are being promoted among Godís people today, because of the use of catch phrases and the practice of basing doctrine on terms which cannot be found anywhere within the Holy Scriptures. So, in dealing with any Bible subject, we must deal solely within the framework of Bible terminology. Some may find it to be less colorful than they would like, but we shall find it far more enlightening than some other approach.
The Holy Scriptures were written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in his own specially coded fashion. Likewise, they can be understood only by that same unction and with the use of what Jesus called the Key of Knowledge in Luke 11:52.
The function of this key of knowledge is briefly summarized in Eccl. 3:14,15. "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." Paul used a little different phrasing in Heb. 13:8, but the connection can readily be seen.
All of the works of God in Paulís day had already been: in the types, shadows and allegories of the Old Testament. By the same token, that which is to be in our day, and in the future, has already been. There is no question whether those things will or will not happen, because God "requires" that they do.
We see in Acts 1:15-26 that Peter confirmed this when he declared the fulfillment of Psa. 69:25 and Psa. 109:8. He said, "Wherefore,Ö must one be ordained" to replace Judas.
Thus we may better grasp the true meaning of the words of Paul, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever." Of course, we can never fully comprehend this saying if we think of it apart from the verse above it.
We think we believe God when he said, "I am the Lord, I change not." So let us truly believe it.
The Old Testament is a compilation of types, shadows and allegories, as well as direct prophecies of what God intends to do in the Grace Age. Once we understand that fact, we can begin to address any Bible subject with some hope of rightly dividing it.
The words of Jesus, in Matt. 11:13, are so helpful to us on this point. He said, "All the prophets and the law prophesied." Again in Matt. 11, Jesus said of John the Baptist, What did you go out to see? "A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written."
This scripture, together with several others similar to it, show us that much of the work of the New Testament ministry is to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. Consider Heb. 10:1; Heb. 11:39,40 and Acts 13:46,47 for example.
What do the scriptures say? "How do you read?" There is history in the Old Testament, but it is more than history. It is written in such a way that it prophesied of things that were to come in the Grace Age.
Did not Jesus say that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Himself? Luke 24:44.
Now, when we go to The Word of God, let us look at, and rejoice in, the revelation it contains.