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 The Bible and You

www.bibleone.net

 

(This presentation is predicated upon a personal study of the Bible and various in-depth works by astute authors of the Christian faith, e.g., Arlen L. Chitwood of www.thelampbroadcast.org)

 

The Bible Defined

 

The Bible, often referred to as the Holy Bible, is a word stemming back to the 13th or 14th century, which eventually referred to the Hebrew and Greek sacred writings that encompassed the Christian faith.  It consists of sixty-six (66) separate books penned by the Spirit of God through approximately forty human authors of various backgrounds and experiences over a period of several thousand years.  Yet, it is an integrated and unified message system.  Every passage, every word, every number, and every place-name is there for a specific reason.

 

The Bible’s Nature

 

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORDFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

 (Isaiah 55:8-11)

 

The Bible is a message of divine authority, a claim made clear by two critical texts, as follows:

 

1)      It is God-breathed

 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [Gk: theopneustos – God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete [Gk: artios – complete, mature], thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

 

2)      It was penned by the Holy Spirit through select human authors

 

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, (21) for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20, 21)

 

There are numerous passages in the Bible (also referred to as the “Scriptures”) that support the claim that it is a message directly from God through men of God, e.g., Deuteronomy 18:18; 2 Samuel 23:2; Isaiah 51:16; 59:21; 2 Chronicles 34:14; Zechariah 7:12; Matthew 22:43 (Psalm 110:1); Luke 1:70Acts 1:16; 3:18; 4:24, 25; Hebrews 4:7; 1 Peter 1:11, to mention a few.

 

There are numerous passages of Scripture wherein the human author states that the message is from God, e.g., Genesis 1:3, 6; Isaiah 1:11, 18; Jeremiah 1:1:2, 4, 11, 13; 2:1, 3; Jeremiah 34:1; Ezekiel 30:1; Leviticus 1:1; 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19; 7:22; Ezekiel 12:8, 10, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28; 20:3, to mention a few.

 

Jesus told the Jew of His day, “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6).  Paul speaks of the Scriptures as “the Oracles [Gk: logion – utterances] of God” (Romans 3:2).  Peter declares to the recipients of his letter that they have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23).  And the writer of Hebrews affirms that “the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (4:12).

 

And there are numerous other passages of Scripture wherein the Bible claims divine authority, i.e., all of it (2 Timothy 3:16), even its very words (Matthew 22:43; 1 Corinthians 2:13), even the tenses of words (Galatians 3:16), and even the smallest parts of words (Matthew 5:17, 18).

 

A skillful design pervades all of Scripture, i.e., the New Testament is concealed in the Old and the Old Testament is revealed in the New and one cannot be fully understood without the other.  It is a message system that is from outside our dimensions of space and time, i.e., it is literally of extraterrestrial origin.  In one way or another every word and phrase of the Bible centers on:

 

1)      A central theme – the purpose and redemption of man

 

2)      A  central Person – Jesus the Christ, God in the flesh

 

Both the central theme and the central Person are intricately tied together throughout all of Scripture, from the initial verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation, as is evident in the following passages of Scripture.

 

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began [Ephesians 3:3-5; Colossians 1:26, 27] but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith. (Romans 16:25, 26)

 

The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26, 27)

 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:8-10)

 

Finally and most importantly, the reader should understand that the Written Word is a tangible expression (revealing) of the Living Word.  To fully comprehend Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, one must come to an understanding of the Written Word of God.  The following, which will complete this section of this study, aptly expresses this truth (taken from Chapter 4 of the book, Signs in John’s Gospel, by Arlen L. Chitwood):

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophetshas in these last days spoken to us by [by means of] His Son, whom He has appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds [made the ages]. (Hebrews 1:1, 2)

In time past, throughout the first 4,000 years of human history, God revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes to man through various means — e.g., theophanies – related direct communications (Genesis 3:8-19; 4:6-16; 6:13-7:5; 18:1ff), or dreams and visions (Genesis 37:5-10; 41:1ff; Daniel 2-12; Zechariah 1-6).  But these different means of communication are not seen as separate from the Word, for they form part of the Word.

 

God simply does not reveal Himself apart from His Word.  He never has, and He never will.  Revealing Himself apart from the Word would be tantamount to revealing Himself apart from Himself, for “the Word [the “Word” alone] was [eimi, always has been, always will be] God.” 

 

Thus, this Word alone — living or written — reveals “God.”

 

Moving through the complete panorama of the Word being made flesh is the manner in which the Spirit of God moved the writer of Hebrews to open his epistle.  The same One who had spoken to man through various means in time past has now, “in these last days,” spoken to man by means of His Son, the One whom He “has appointed Heir of all things.”  And the Father can speak to man by means of the Son, while still remaining completely within the confines of the Word, for the simple reason that the Son is the Word made flesh.

 

The Canon of Scripture had not yet been completed when the Son appeared.  Only the Old Testament had been completed — Genesis through Malachi.  Following the completion of the Old Testament, about four hundred years elapsed before God again spoke to man (forming part of the Word).  And that silence was broken through events surrounding the incarnation, the Word being made flesh (a star in the East, angelic ministry, etc.).

 

God, at this time, once again stepped into the affairs of man.  But this time the manner was so unique that only an infinite, omniscient mind could conceive of this type manner of breaking the silence, and only an omnipotent God could bring the matter to pass.

 

God, this time, acted in the person of His Son.  God took upon Himself flesh; the Word, which always has been and always will be God, was made flesh.

 

The completion of the Canon of Scripture following the appearance of the Son, in this respect, served the purpose of completing the written Word after a manner that would line up perfectly with the living Word, who had already appeared (through whom God’s complete revelation of Himself, His plans, and His purposes could be seen).  And once this Canon had been completed (during the first century), for the first time in history, there existed a completed written revelation as well of God the Father and/or God the Son, brought into existence through God the Spirit moving men to pen this Word.

 

Is it any wonder that numerous religious groups today (cults, et al.) seek to cast reproach upon the entirety of the matter through their seemingly endless attempts to deny Christ’s Deity, or their seemingly endless attempts to validate extra-biblical revelation through supposed dreams, visions, theophanies, tongues, etc.?  God always has and always will speak to man through one means alone — His Word.  And, whether this is looked upon as the living or the written Word is immaterial, for the two cannot be separated.

 

The dreams, visions, theophanies, or any other form that revelation took prior to the completion of the Canon of Scripture, ultimately formed part of the Canon.  And once the Canon had been completed, any type of extra-biblical revelation could only be completely out of place.  In the final analysis, such supposed revelation could only be outside the realm of Christ Himself — God manifested in the flesh — for it would be outside the Word.  And One (the Word, or Christ) must line up perfectly with the Other (Christ, or the Word), for the incarnation is simply — no more than, no less than — the Word being made flesh.

 

In that respect, supposed extra-biblical revelation could only be extra-Christ revelation, or extra-God revelation.  That is to say, such revelation, outside the realm of the completed Canon that the Spirit moved men to pen, would be outside the realm of both the Father and the Son.

 

The revelation of Christ is seen in the Word, or the revelation of the Word is seen in Christ.  And if a person moves outside of this realm in supposed revelation (e.g., the Book of Mormon, numerous things seen in the Charismatic movement today), he, as previously stated, could only find himself outside the realm of Christ.  The entire matter can be summed up in a manner that simple.

 

The Bible’s Structure

 

As previously mentioned, the Bible is composed of sixty-six separate books structured in the following (book totals in parenthesis) arrangement:

 

1)      Old Testament (39)

 

a)      The Torah (5)

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

b)      Historical Account of the Nation Israel (12)

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles,

2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

c)      Poetic Books (5)

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon

d)      Major Prophets (5)

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel

 

e)      Minor Prophets (12)

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

 

2)      New Testament (27)

 

a)      Gospels (4)

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

b)       Post Resurrection History (1)

Acts

c)      Epistles (22)

Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation

 

The Bible’s Mandate

 

First, as the Bible is the clear and definitive revelation from and about God, all Christians are instructed to read and absorb it.

 

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

 

You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you. (Deuteronomy 6:17)

 

Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 11:18-20)

 

Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

 

You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. (Psalm 119:4)

 

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.  (Matthew 28:19, 20)

 

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

(John 14:23)

 

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

 

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

 

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

Second, since the Written Word is indeed the expression of the Living Word, encompassing all its benefits (many of which are identified in the following section of this study), all Christians (and especially those who have been called to be “ministers [pastors, evangelists, teachers] of the Word) are instructed to scrupulously (honestly) and comprehensively teach (feed) it to the family of God (Christians) under the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

 

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28:19, 20)

 

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed [Gk: bosko – to graze or feed] My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend [Gk: poimain - to tend as a shepherd] My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

 

How I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house . . . For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd [KJV: feed] the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20: 20, 27, 28)

 

Shepherd [Gk: poimaino – to tend as a shepherd, supervise, feed] the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2, 3)

 

For we are not, as so many, peddling [Gk: kapeleuo – to adulterate, with deceit] the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

(2 Corinthians 2:17)

 

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the Word of God deceitfully [Gk: doloo – to ensnare], but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every mans conscience in the sight of God.

(2 Corinthians 4:2)

 

These things we also speak, not in words which mans wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

 

The Bible’s Benefits

 

The Bible is portrayed in many ways, all quite beneficial to any who will read it.  The following are a few of its most profitable functions.

 

1)      It is the Source of Spiritual Salvation

 

The Bible alone reveals how a person who is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), a condition existing in and with man since his spiritual collapse in the Garden of Eden, may be “born from above” by faith in Jesus Christ.  This “salvation of the spirit,” a one-time exercise of faith (a faith-based decision) only in Jesus Christ and Christ’s payment for sin on the cross of Calvary is only one facet in man’s total redemption. 

 

Spirit-salvation is eternal, never able to be retracted by man or God.   Following “spirit salvation,” there is “soul-salvation” (James 1:21), a salvation based on a person’s spiritual life and which has millennial (not eternal) consequences.  Finally and eventually there is “body-salvation.” All of these three facets of man’s redemption cover the total composition of man, his tripartite nature (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

The following passages of Scripture are applicable to spirit-salvation, a salvation that is eternal (non-reversible) in nature.

 

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:3, 16)

 

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

 

And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved . . . .” (Acts 16:30, 31a)

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

 

Since you have . . . been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever. (1 Peter 1:22a, 23; cf. John 1:13; 3:3)

 

Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:18)

 

For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel [Gk: euaggelion – the good message or word]. (1 Corinthians 4:15)

 

2)      It is the Source of Spiritual Nourishment

 

The Bible is the only spiritual food enabling a Christian’s a) spiritual growth [sanctification], b) fruit-bearing [divine good works], c) effective prayer, d) acquisition of the inheritance, e) salvation of the soul, f) joy in a future hope [confidence], and g) spiritual discernment [good from evil, i.e., false doctrine].

 

a)      Spiritual Growth (Sanctification [to be set apart])

 

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby. (1 Peter 2:2)

 

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food [KJV: meat]. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

 

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105; cf. Proverbs 6:23)

 

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)

 

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)

 

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

 

Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine . . . .  (Ephesians 4:13, 14a)

 

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart. (1 Peter 1:22)

 

As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

(2 Peter 1:3, 4)

 

b)      Fruit-bearing (Divine Good Works)

 

If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for youBy this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:7, 8)

 

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9, 10)

 

c)      Effective Prayer

 

If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)

 

d)      Acquisition of the Inheritance

 

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

 

e)      Salvation of the Soul

 

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

 

Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. . . . Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to allTake heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1Timothy 4:13, 15, 16)

 

f)       Joy in a Future Hope (Confidence)

 

These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

 

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

 

g)      Spiritual Discernment (Good from Evil, i.e., False Doctrine)

 

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

 

Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teachingFor the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

 

Holding fast the faithful Word as he has been taught that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (Titus 1:9)

 

3)      It is the Source of Effective Spiritual Warfare

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devilFor we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly placesTherefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to standStand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked oneAnd take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

 

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. (Hebrews 4:12)

 

The Bible’s Principles of Study (Interpreting Scripture)

 

Understand the Nature of the Word, i.e., it is God-breathed and Alive

 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [Gk: theopneustos – God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete [Gk: artios – complete, mature], thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

 

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. (Hebrews 4:12)

 

Trust Only in the God-established Teacher of the Word

 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)

 

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth . . . . He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13a, 14)

 

These things we also speak, not in words that mans wisdom teaches but that the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

 

Begin at the Beginning — its Foundation (Genesis 1 & 2)

 

Teachings drawn from the opening two chapters of Genesis form the key to the entire matter, and a correct understanding and interpretation of these opening chapters is not something that should be taken lightly.  Scripture is built upon a structure [Septenary Arrangement of Scripture] that is laid down in these two chapters, and an individual’s understanding and interpretation of numerous things throughout the remainder of Scripture will be governed by his understanding and interpretation of this opening section of Scripture. . . . The foundations have been established in the Old Testament, and both Testaments together comprise one continuous, complete revelation of all the various facets of the person and work of Christ.  And the only way one can grasp the complete picture is to look at the whole of Scripture after this fashion.

 

 (The Study of Scripture by Arlen L. Chitwood, The Lamp Broadcast, Inc., 2005)

 

Compare Scripture with Scripture

 

These things we also speak, not in words that mans wisdom teaches but that the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

 

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. . . . Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 1:6, 10)

 

Recognize the Type-Antitype Relationship of Scripture

 

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Romans 5:14)

 

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)

 

Rightly Divide the Word

 

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

Concluding Remarks:

 

Three things above all else must be adhered to in the study of Scripture.

 

            1)  A person must recognize that all Scripture is God-breathed.

            2)  A person must begin where God began.

            3)  A person must study Scripture after the fashion in which it was written.

 

God gave His Word to man through man in a particular manner:

 

. . . holy men of God spoke as they were moved [borne along] by the Holy Spirit.

(2 Peter 1:21b)

 

The manner in which God revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes in His Word (a God-breathed revelation, penned as the Spirit moved men to write) is what makes Scripture different from all other writings.  Scripture stands in a category solely by itself, completely alone; and all other writings stand in a completely separate category.

 

Then, in the process of giving to man, through man, the God-breathed Word, at the very outset God set forth a skeletal structure covering the whole panorama of revelation that was to follow, along with foundational building material.  And if a person would understand Scripture correctly, he must begin where God began and follow that which God has set forth, after the manner in which He Himself established the matter.

 

The person must follow the skeletal structure and build upon this structure after the manner in which God Himself began and set matters forth, establishing them in a particular manner at the outset.  At any point in the whole of Scripture, any teaching must have a connection with and be in complete agreement with the God-established skeletal structure and subsequent foundational material set forth at the beginning.

 

Then, beyond that, God structured His revelation to man after a particular fashion, alluded to in Luke 24:25-27, 44 and stated in so many words in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11.  Scripture not only deals with a completely accurate history of certain events surrounding God’s dealings with the earth, angels, and man, but biblical history has been recorded after such a fashion that it is highly typical as well.  God has established His primary means of teaching, not through history per se, but through inherent types (seen in past history) pointing to antitypes (seen in later history and/or prophecy).

 

The manner in which God revealed Himself to man is as stated in 1 Corinthians chapter ten:

 

Now all these things happened to them for examples [Greek: tupos, for “types”] . . . .

(1 Corinthians 10:11a)

 

The reference is to events during Moses’ day, drawing from the wilderness journey of the Israelites.  But the reference would, of necessity, have to go far beyond simply the specific events listed in verses one through ten, preceding the statement in verse eleven.  In the light of other Scripture, as becomes increasingly evident when one views the whole of Scripture, the reference would have to be enlarged to encompass not only all biblical history during Moses’ day but all biblical history beginning with Genesis 1:1.

 

That would be to say, God has structured His revelation to man after a fashion in which not only true, correct history is presented but this history is presented in such a manner that it is highly typical in nature.  God, within His sovereign control of all matters, brought things to pass after such a fashion (within the history of the earth, angels, and man) that He could, at a later time, have these events to draw upon in order to teach His people the deep things surrounding Himself, His plans, and His purposes.  And this would be accomplished mainly through types and corresponding antitypes.

 

Thus, God draws not so much from history per se as He does from the spiritual content set forth in the historic accounts — the great spiritual lessons, taught mainly from types pointing to corresponding antitypes.

 

Anyone can understand facts within revealed biblical history (saved or unsaved man).  This would pertain more to the letter of the matter.  But only saved man can go beyond the letter to the spirit of the matter (2 Corinthians 3:6-16).  Only the saved can understand the spiritual lessons drawn from history.  Only the saved can look within biblical history and see spiritual content (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).

 

(Taken from The Study of Scripture by Arlen L. Chitwood, The Lamp Broadcast, Inc., 2005, pages 123-125.  To read the entire book, go to http://bibleone.net/SS.htm)