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What the Holy Bible is not

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It is most amazing that the majority of the current generations have such views towards the Holy Bible. This along with a near complete lack of knowledge and understanding of it. This may sound exaggerated and derogatory...but it isn't. It is, of course, treasured and held in deep reverence by many even though not understood.

Some actually carry a small Bible or New Testament with them as one might carry a rabbit's foot. Hoping that it will bring them good luck. Some have one on display in their homes, for reasons other than to study. The bound volume of paper with beautiful covers, in itself is totally worthless if it is simply to be owned to frighten evil away. The only thing the Bible is for is not of the paper and ink but the message it contains.

If I may make a personal reference, perhaps we can get an idea of what message I am attempting to make. For several years before I retired from secular work. I had a commute of about 30-35 miles, most of which was open highway. It required about 45 minutes to make the trip, each way. I had purchased a set of disk tapes of the entire Bible read by an Englishman, Alexander Scourby, who spoke so articulately, that everything he read, was interesting. The tapes held 45 minutes of reading on either side, which made the trip almost precisely covering one side of a tape. I played those things daily until I had gone through the Bible 5 times. Now my point is this, the message I received was the same as is contained in a printed Bible and I think, due to this repetition, I retained more concerning the Bible than at any other such period. But there was no printed book involved.

So, the point is, the printed book is not a sacred book in itself...it is the message that is sacred. Therefore, in order to benefit from it in any way, we must know what it says. And then obey its instructions. Let us briefly consider just what the Bible is, what it contains and the benefits it offers. Even though the Bible was written over a period of some 1500 years by as many as 40 different men, many of which never knew each other, it weaves a message from start to finish. This fact, that so many writers were involved so isolated from others, and still their writings brought the entire Biblical story to the world without error, without contradiction, and with prophetic accuracy, is the reason we can know for certain the Bible is inspired of God. There is no other possible answer.

You see, if uninspired men had written the Bible, you would have 66 books which would be simply individual stories with different messages. Whereas, the 66 writers of the Bible, over all of these many years and locations, wove a message of God's creation through the periods of time preparing the world for the coming of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God! And then his teachings and establishment of his church whereby all men, before his coming as well as afterwards, could receive remission of their sins.

Let us, very briefly skim through the Bible as it develops its purpose and its message.The book of Genesis starts the explanation of God's creating the universe and all things in it, including life and all living things. It was built for the purpose of being populated by mankind, and with the intent that man would be a free moral agent and could choose to accept God and His Son as our creator and sustainer. Man was not created to be rebellious, even though he was given free moral agency. The purpose for creating man is thoroughly explained in the following three scripture quotations:

"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:" (Ephesians 1: 4)

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)

"To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

Genesis then gives a concise story of what happened concerning God and man for approximately 2,494 years. This is a history of man for the longest period of any other book in the Bible. This covers man's evil nature developing to the the degree that God could not watch it any longer and destroyed all humanity from the face of the earth, except Noah's family of eight souls, by the global flood. Following the flood and after the repopulation of the earth the Genesis record tells of God's choice of peoples to furnish the lineage of the coming messiah. They were providentially confined to servitude in Egypt until God miraculously led them out.

In addition to Genesis, the next four books also written by Moses, are Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These four books covers the history of the children of Israel, the 12 families of the sons of Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel), from the time they were led out of Egyptian bondage, and covers their receiving the law given to Moses shortly after they crossed over the Red Sea at Mount Sinai. Their journeying for forty years in the wilderness due to their lack of faith in God. To read of this event, read Numbers chapter 14.

During this period, the Law, given to Moses from God, was indoctrinated into the people. Much of the writings of Moses is concerned with this and there are numerous incidents recorded which are pertinent to us today even-though the law itself was not intended for anyone other than the Israelis (Jews) in order to set them apart from the rest of the world and to show them and the world, that God existed. The entire Old Testament is devoted to bringing the world to the position for the coming of the messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Why is it necessary that we have it? So we can be assured that this Jesus was indeed the Son of the living God. Following the five books of Moses, comes the history of the

Israelite nation whose purpose for being chosen to furnish the lineage to the messiah was because of faithful Abraham. The story includes their waxing and waning of faith. Their

becoming disobedient of God and becoming extremely idolatrous and then being led back into God's favor. This went on for centuries and finally God allowed them to be taken captive. They eventually became subjects of the Roman empire and it was then that the "fullness of time" arrived for the messiah to be sent to this earth.

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Galatians 4:4 KJV)

The first four books of the New Testament are proclaiming the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His choosing and teaching his apostles who was to be given the keys to his kingdom (church) which he had come to establish. It covered his entire life up to the time he was to ascend back up to heaven. Following that, he ascended into heaven in the first chapter of the book of Acts and sent the Holy Spirit to his apostles, to guide them into all truth and bring to their remembrance all things he had taught them. The book of Acts contains more, by far, of the information people who live today need to learn to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. It contains the origin of the church, many instances of varying peoples who were converted to truths of Jesus Christ and the progress of the church during the first century.

Our souls depend upon our diligence in learning the contents of this great and unequaled book and our obedience to its precepts. Don't carry some semblance of it, such as an emblem or a small testament on our person expecting it to protect you or to impress others of your dedication. One might as well take a doll, a rabbit's foot, or any other insignificant item to touch or to refer to when trouble is near. That amounts to idolatry even though the intent is perhaps acceptable, the item is not.

To carry a pocket Bible or Testament is fine and commendable if one has intention to read and/or refer to it in discussions. But to have it as a guardian to protect you from evil of some kind, is folly and mistaken devotion. The apostle Paul tells us in his letter to young Timothy wha we must do with God's word:

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

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