Studying a book of the Bible

Using A Study Bible

The most broad, yet rewarding way to study the Bible for me is to study a book. if you are going to study a book I recommend using a Ryrie Study bible to assist you. The Ryrie Bible includes all necessary information for a book study including; Author, date, outline and timeline. each book is broken up into parts and sub-parts which makes book study easier. The Ryrie also contains comments on most verses in the Bible. With much of the work for a book study already done, you will have more time to devote to study itself.

What to Look for

When studying a book of the Bible it is important to make note of key words and themes throughout the book. Studying is not a quick thing, nor is it meant to be done in a day, take your time and absorb the message of the book.  

What to use

  • Study Bible
  • Notebook specifically for the purpose of your study
  • Concordance (to look up words and find definitions). the Strong’s Concordance has an edition for most Bible translations.

Tips for Study

Start with a small book first, they are easier to study and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time which can give you a sense of accomplishment before you begin with longer books. James and First Thessalonians are short books that do not have much deep theology so i would start here before attempting a study on the book of Ephesians.

Always pray before you get started and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth in the book you are studying and how to apply it to your life. The life Application Study Bible is also helpful in this area.

I do recommend both the Ryrie and Life Application Bibles because they have two different purposes and have proven immensely helpful in my own studies. I use my primary Bible and these two as a help when I need an outline or practical application of a verse or verses. You can never have too many tools when it comes to helping you study the Bible.

How to Study    

Read the book through once.

Identify main themes as you read through the second time (This will take several days for longer books). Underline or circle key words.

Pick a key verse in each chapter.

Summarize each chapter in your own words and write a paragraph on how it applies to your everyday life.

Write a positive confession based on the theme of the book.

Write out a prayer based from the theme of the book. (Some books have prayers in them you may want to adapt for your life.)

3 Keys to Building Faith

Have you ever had the thought ‘is my healing ever going to come?’ or ‘am I ever going to receive a breakthrough’? Sometimes we can find ourselves discouraged when what we are believing for doesn’t come in our timing. There is a truth for us concerning this in Mark 4:16-17 AMPC “And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; 17 And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.”

Romans 10:17 says, “faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.” When we hear the Word faith will come but that faith is not without opposition. Mark 16:17 says trouble arises on account of the Word. We have an enemy who is going to fight the process of building our faith every step of the way. This is why we must determine at the outset of whatever we are believing for that we will not be denied and we will not back off of our faith.

Something from our thoughts to our circumstances will always try to knock us off our faith, so how do we stay in faith? The following are three keys to building your faith and keeping it strong all the way through to manifestation.

Proverbs 4:20-27 KJV “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

Keep your eyes on the Word

The Message Bible says, “keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions”. When thoughts come that say you won’t get what you are believing for, that is a sideshow distraction, it is something to be ignored!

Matthew 6:22 KJV “The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

When we are singularly focused on the Word, the Word will produce results. It goes back to what we read in Mark chapter four a moment ago, we can’t allow the Word to be stolen from us through wrong thoughts or hardships. The Bible says persecution comes because we decide to grab hold of the Word, to stay with that Word we must focus on it and keep our eyes off of anything contrary to it. We must take the full Word, we can’t wonder about God’s will. His Word is His will, when we allow doubt and unbelief in, the light in us actually becomes darkness. Stay singularly focused on the Word and it will begin to bring forth results.

Keep your ears on the Word

Proverbs 4:20 NLT “My Child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.”

Mark 4:23-24 AMPC “  If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend. 24 And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”

When we hear something the first time it is seed, every time after that it is being watered and when we’ve heard it enough to take root we will have results. We can’t just hear teaching on healing once, faith comes by hearing and hearing. We must continually hear the Word for our faith to be built. The Woman with the issue of blood heard the things Jesus had done. Not one thing but things, when we continually hear the Word faith comes alive.

The measure of thought and study you give to the truth you hear is what you receive from. If what you hear is contrary to the Word and faith that is what you will receive from. I can’t spend my nights in front of shows that don’t build me up and expect to be strong in faith. We must give our ears to hearing the Word and good and positive things that are in line with it to see our faith built up.

Speak the Word

Mark 11:23 KJV “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass shall have whatsoever he saith.”

Our words are so important and so powerful, they are a key component to our faith. This verse says we can’t doubt, we must believe. This goes back to ignoring those sideshow distractions. When we speak the Word faith is built, when we speak things contrary to faith doubt and unbelief are built.

2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak.”  We train ourselves in negativity by thinking it, hearing it and speaking it, we train ourselves in faith the same way.

Let today be a new day, let today be a decision day that from today forward you will keep your eyes on the Word, you will listen to the Word and you will speak the Word. When we give the Word first priority it will produce the promises of the Word in our lives. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged, when we mess up, we simply repent and get back to the Word and get in faith. Get in faith, let’s stay in faith and let’s watch faith produce in our lives.

Benefits of Bible Study

Many of us, no doubt as we sit and read our Bibles each day desire to find deeper meaning in what we read. I’m sure, like me, you have sat and wondered how exactly does this apply to my life? My desire is to answer that question as we discuss different methods of Bible study.

When it comes to our daily reading most of us will read a chapter or go through a plan on our Bible app and that’s great but when we take the time to study the Bible we see the depth of it and learn how it applies to our everyday life.

Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek God’s kingdom first and everything we need will be added to us. The word seek in the Hebrew means to research and study. When we research and study the Scriptures we learn how to apply them and walk in the benefits and blessings promised in them.

God’s will for us is to be blessed in every area of our life; to have good friendships, a good family life and to be happy, healthy and whole. The Primary reason to study of course is to develop our relationship with God and become closer to Him but as we get close to God He wants to bless us. Remember Jesus saying, if you know how to give good gifts, doesn’t it stand to reason my Father gives great gifts, (my paraphrase). We will not walk in blessing if we don’t see it as God’s heart for us to be blessed. Studying the Bible brings not just spiritual blessing but mental, physical and financial blessing as well and those are just as much benefits as spiritual growth and God does not want us to shy away from that.

Studying the Bible brings success

Joshua 1:7-8 NLT “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”  

God intends for each of us to fulfill our God given purposes and each of us have a great purpose to fulfill. Everyone is important, everyone has a purpose and god’s plan is for everyone to succeed but a key to succeeding is spending time Studying the Bible.

Studying the Bible brings about a good life and health to our bodies

Proverbs 3:1-2 NIV “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.”

Proverbs 4:20-22 KJV “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them and health to all their flesh.”

The first promise of healing and health came when the Israelite’s left Egypt. God said, I am the Lord who heals you. In order to walk in the promise of health we need to know what the Word says. We know what the Word says by studying it. We often quote that the truth shall set you free but the verse actually says, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. To know truth means to own it and apply it. We can only own and apply what we know and that knowing comes through study.

A closing thought

Psalm 119:9-11 NIV “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hid your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

We learn the word, we gain victory through the word by studying it, the Amplified Bible says conforming our life to it. As much as I believe in reading, we can’t conform our life to something we have read but something we have studied and as earlier Scripture pointed out studying and meditating has to be a daily thing. In the beginning your daily study may only be fifteen minutes and that is great. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. As you look at different study methods start with an easy, short book, start with an interesting character or a favorite subject. It’s important to build up to the longer books and the deeper subjects.  

Check the recommended reading page for Bible study materials. If you don’t have a study Bible my first recommendation would be the Life Application Study Bible because of all the practical helps. As you look at the different study methods don’t rush through your book, chapter, or character study. Bible study is meant to go more in depth than your reading, allow it to go slow in the beginning and enjoy the learning process. The more efficient you become with different methods the quicker you will be able to spot the different key things in each.

I believe studying the Bible can be and is a very rewarding experience, you just have to find your niche and that’s what I want to help you do.

The Freshness of God’s Word

Centuries ago Moses was given the Torah on Mount Sinai and every year since then the Jewish people have celebrated. That same day after the ascension of Jesus and His instruction for the disciples to wait for power, the Holy Spirit came.  The celebration of Shavuot and Pentecost are one and the same. Shavuot is the second of three appointed times on God’s calendar. Each year at the appointed time we get to receive the freshness of that event.

Today’s post is about receiving the freshness of God’s Word in our lives. Each feast has a purpose of causing us to remember and bring us up higher. We are familiar with the giving of the commandments in Exodus 20 but it was more than just the Ten Commandments, it was the entire Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy). When we think of Jesus, we often think of Him in “New Testament” terms. Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi, He fulfilled the law and did not come to destroy it but to fulfill it and show us how to live it. From the very beginning God has always been about a heart of obedience. God told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 10:16 to circumcise their hearts. Jesus said if we love Him that we will walk in obedience to Him. The Holy Spirit was sent when Pentecost was fully come so that we would be able to live out the teachings of God’s Word and be empowered to witness.

The day begins at sundown according to God’s time. It is customary for Jewish people to stay up all night studying the Torah and the next morning go to the Synagogue for prayer (this is the day fully come). At Pentecost the disciples would have been up all night studying the Bible before going to the Synagogue for morning prayers. If we will receive the fullness of Pentecost, includes a fresh perspective and understanding of the Scripture. We have always hear it said and it’s true, we can never reach the end of studying and understanding God’s Word.

If you have ever found yourself at a loss when it comes to getting in the Word, Shavuot is a Moedim, an appointed time, for you to connect with God’s Word and through the Holy Spirit teaching you, to gain fresh revelation during this feast.

Next Tuesday (May 30) set aside a few hours of your night to read and study the Bible. You can study alone or with friends. It is customary to read the book of Ruth because it takes place during harvest time and she converted to God’s ways. It is also customary to read the accounts of creation, the exodus, giving of the Torah as well as the first and last chapter of each book. This is probably a different form of study than most of us are used to but do it in faith believing to receive revelation and new insight because that is what this holiday is all about. As part of the celebration it is also tradition to eat cheesecake as you study because the promise land flows with milk and honey.

Each feast is an open window for different things, Shavuot is our open window to receive a deeper understanding of God’s Word and financial breakthrough. Take the next few days and ask Holy Spirit to show you what to read, if you’re needing a specific need met, find verses on that issue and believe God during this open window to meet that need. As Deuteronomy 16:16 says, we are not to come before the Lord empty handed during this time but to give according to the blessing on our life. Give your firstfruit offering and believe God for your harvest.

Putting The Word to Work

Last week we talked about how the Word will work for us in any situation and how it is important that it is a revelation in our own hearts and minds and not just something we heard from someone else or read in a book. I enjoy listening to good Bible teaching and reading books but unless I am in reading and studying the Word for myself, taking what I learn from others and studying it out it hasn’t become revelation it’s just information and it’s revelation not information that leads to transformation.

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJV says, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”

Let’s break this down. The spirit of wisdom and revelation – In the knowledge of Him.

Why? That the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened.

For? That we know the hope of our calling and our inheritance.

This is a snapshot of the Christian life. We grow in wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus who is the word of God (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13) and in knowing the Word and applying it in and to how we live we can know our calling, fulfill our destiny and have an inheritance now and in eternity.

The Greek word for revelation in this verse means an uncovering, a manifestation, a coming to light. As we read and study there needs to be an uncovering of truth that produces light in our lives that causes transformation which leads to the manifestation of the goodness of God in every area of our lives.  Many believers though can have a hard time knowing where to start, what to do and how to apply what they read. This is the reason why so many of us at times have tried to copy our favorite teachers and wonder why it doesn’t work. Copying what someone else did does not necessarily mean we have a revelation of what we’re doing, we could be doing something without understanding the why behind it.

The Apostle Paul commended a particular church group for studying out what he taught. Paul would come in and preach but in turn the congregation would review their notes, study and apply the teaching to their lives. We can be great note takers but unless we’re reviewing our notes and studying them out during the week it does us no good. Today I want to help us put the Word to work in our lives by talking about how to read, study, confess and pray the Word of God. I also want to end with an ancient secret in the Bible about a very special portion and promise in the Word of God.

Reading a chapter a day

The easiest way to develop the habit of Bible reading is to make a quality decision to read a chapter of the Bible every day. Proverbs is a great place to start; it has thirty-one chapters and can be read through each month. There are many daily Bible reading programs available on the Bible app you use. While it is good to read through the Bible at least once, I personally do not encourage it yearly because if you miss a day or more it can get frustrating and often times we can tend to hurry through the reading.

Reading and studying are not synonyms, when reading make note of things you would like to study later.  It is also good to read through the gospels, Paul’s epistles (excluding First and second timothy), and first five books of the Bible, this gives you 364 readings.

The benefit of developing and maintaining a daily reading habit is found in Proverbs 3:-2 AMPC “My son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you”. And Proverbs 4:20-22 AMPC “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”

Studying the Bible

In the summer we will do a series covering each Bible study method, today, we will do an overview of how to study the notes we take from a message and/or study the message of a book or devotional you may be reading. Many pastors provide outlines of their messages so it makes studying a bit easier. if your Pastor does not give out outlines make note of the title/topic, each Scripture reference and main points.

To study read the chapter of each text. It is important to note that studying isn’t done in one day but it is done continually over several days. Some studies will be short and others will take more time based on the interest you have in the subject. It’s important not to rush studying but take your time and allow yourself to dig in to the material.

To help you study I recommend:

A Bible with cross-references, if not a study Bible

Concordance (Strong’s Concordances come available in many translations

Pen and highlighter(s) – I color code by subject.

As you read write down words that stick out to you and look them up in the concordance (find the word and the verse, and look up the number next to it in the back of the concordance, Old Testament is Hebrew and the New Testament is Greek. Example: (Faith – Mark 11:22 – 4102, I’ll flip back to the Greek and look for 4102). This helps understand the deeper meaning of words in the Bible, the Amplified Bible is also a good tool to help you dive deeper.

Bible study can sometimes feel like you are chasing rabbits with going from verse to verse using cross references and looking things up in a concordance but we are actually following the thread of Scripture connecting one verse to another and one promise to another. You can study a chapter, a verse, a book, a character, or a subject and we will go over all of these in the summer. Using your pastors notes or a devotional to base your study off of will help guide you in what to study and give you deeper insight into the message, so take the verses and look up key words and find others that relate to it. This brings us to the next area.

Confessing and Praying God’s Word

When something sticks out to you in a message, relates to something in your life, or just encourages you, take that verse and make it into a confession.

Psalm 107:20 says that God sent His word to heal and deliver us. Mark 11:23 and 24 says we have what we say and what we pray. It is important for us to speak the Word over our lives and pray the Word of God into situations. If you don’t know where to find a verse on a particular situation look up the subject or word in your Bibles concordance, get a book of Bible promises at your local Christian bookstore or visit the Real Help section of Kenneth Copeland Ministries website .

find a verse or two and make it part of your prayer life and confess it over yourself. For example if you need healing take Isaiah 53:4-5 in the Amplified and make a confession like this, “Jesus bore my sicknesses and weaknesses, He carried my sorrows and by His stripes I am healed and according to Mark 11:24 I am praying in faith and I believe I receive my healing and I call it done.” no matter what the situation is you can find some verses to pray and make a confession with. When we speak God’s word instead of negative things we get good results.

An Ancient Secret, An original Bible Teaching  

All the Bible is available to us but like we talked about in the beginning there are things that must be revealed to us. Just as Jesus taught in parables because it was given to the disciples to know mysteries, they had to search out the meaning of the parables. many things in Jesus day were understood so Jesus didn’t go into a lot of detail but we have a Western-Greek mindset while Jesus and his listeners had an Eastern-Jewish mindset so much of what was known then has become lost to us, so many of us are rediscovering the Bibles original teachings for the first time. One of those teachings is the Mezuzah.

In Deuteronomy chapter six the Hebrews were instructed to teach the Word to their children at home, on the road, when they wake up and when they go to bed. They were also instructed to put the Word on their doorposts. Today this is observed with the use of a Mezuzah a container that is attached to the door frame of the doors of the home (all except the bathroom). The Mezuzah contains a parchment with the words of the Sh’ma of Deuteronomy 6:4 CJB “Sh’ma Yisra’el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad (Hear, Israel! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one).

Moses received the Torah (first five books of the Bible) on Mount Sinai, this is the written Torah, but there was also the Oral law which taught how to live the Torah which was not officially written until the destruction of the Temple, these writings are known as the Talmud. The teaching is, the home is a mini sanctuary and by placing the Mezuzah on your doorpost your home is dedicated to God and the enemy is not allowed to enter. It is also customary to put the Mezuzah on every door frame inside the home except the bathrooms. this is a reminder of the Word and presence of God in the home. You attach it slanted as a sign of love, compromise, and that differing opinions are both correct in some manner.  Think about this, if every time we walked in and out of a room we paused for a second and honored the Word (you do this by touching your fingers to your lips and then touching the Shaddai), how much more peace would we experience in our home? How much less strife and anger would be present if we were constantly reminded of the Word and presence of God?

This is not a legalistic thing, God intended for this to help remind His people of His Word and presence not just in the Synagogue but in their homes as well. Just as the blood stopped death at the door during Passover, so dedicating our homes, placing Mezuzah’s and making the quality decision for God to be the center of our homes stops the enemies plans in his tracks. All this because we devout time to reading, studying, speaking and praying God’s Word.  

The Word Works

Today we’re beginning a new series on spiritual weapons. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Since the Scripture says our weapons are not carnal that means we have spiritual weapons, our first thoughts probably include the Bible, prayer and worship; all these are weapons that we will be talking about in the coming weeks along with some others.

Let’s look at a few Scriptures about the Word;

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Proverbs3:1-2 AMPC “My son forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you.”

John 15:7 NKJV “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

There are many more verses we could get into but for the sake of length we won’t. Many of us have probably heard messages on these Scriptures, have confessed Scriptures, take copious amounts of notes in church but don’t see the Word working for us, I want us to address that for a moment. I truly believe the title of this post, the Word works, but honestly, sometimes we don’t work it correctly.

I listen to some really good preachers, I go to a good church and I read books but that can’t be my word supply. If I am not in the Word for myself, if I’m not reading and getting my own Scriptures to stand on the Scriptures aren’t going to work for me. Almost all of us have probably heard the verse, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. This is a false statement because the Scripture is out of its context.

John 8:31-32 NKJV “Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.””

We cannot know the truth if we are not abiding in the word. The word abide in the Amplified Classic is defined as, hold fast to my teachings and live in them. The word know means to own the truth, to apply it in every instance and area of life. There was a moment when I realized that just because I listened to someone, took notes and quoted the verses they gave didn’t mean it was a revelation to me. The Word has to be alive to us, we need to dig out the deeper things from notes we take. Devotionals and reading plans are good but unless we develop our spirit man to come to a place to be able to make our own reading plans, finding verses on our own to pray from we are not abiding in the Word. if I rely on my pastor for all my daily reading material I’m only alive (and even then, just barely, only because of him). Many of us have done things we have heard taught that just haven’t worked for us, I submit to us that it didn’t work simply because, yes, it is true, but, no, we didn’t own it.

I believe the Word works, it’s just that many times we don’t work the Word. So how do we get the Word to work for us? I have a challenge for each of us, let’s take the notes we’ve taken over the years find some that really speak to us, read the Scriptures slowly, take them in and study them out. If you don’t have a concordance (a dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words) I would encourage you to get one from a Christian bookstore or online. Most people use the Strong’s Concordance, it is available in many translations. You will look up a word and it will list all the Scripture references, next to every reference is a number that either goes with a number in the Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) in the back of the concordance. Look for the number and it will give you the definition. You don’t need to do this for every word, just the ones that stand out to you.

If you need healing, a financial breakthrough, family restoration, whatever you need just do a search and go through the Scriptures that come up. We know the Word is alive, but it is truly only alive in us if we are spending time in it.

This may sound very basic to some but I think after a few years of walking with God we can forget the basics and need to be refreshed. We can get in the routine of doing church and see that as our relationship with God, when it is actually our relationship with the rest of the body of Christ.

The Word works, sometimes we don’t work the Word, sometimes we just don’t know what we need to know. Hosea 4:6 says my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Just as ignorance of the law won’t get us out of a ticket, ignorance of the Word does not get us out of the issues of not obeying it. We are also responsible for what we are taught, if we are taught a truth and do not obey it, we can hold up the blessing in our lives until we walk in the truth. yes there is grace, but grace does not excuse disobedience. Like the Scripture says, the truth, the truth that you own and do makes you free.

I Know I have made some hard statements in this post, before I write them, I get it for myself. Proverbs says the ones God loves He corrects, let’s take what’s been said and examine our lives and our doings. Many of us have faith, but James says faith without works is dead.

Ask yourself this week, am I working the Word or am I hoping it will work by osmosis?

Next week we will specifically look at how to put the Word to work in our lives.

Part 6: Pentecost – The Word and Spirit

shavuotPentecost is a Greek word meaning fifty. The Pentecost Celebration is fifty days after Passover. In the Hebrew it is called Shavuot, “feast of weeks”. Each feast finds its fullness in the new covenant, that being said we cannot ignore the foundation in the original covenant. The Power of the Spirit without a foundation in the Word will lead to error. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us in all truth, and the Word is truth. Acts chapter two says when the day of Pentecost was fully come, what does that mean? For the believer it means a double celebration, the Word and the Holy Spirit.

It was fifty days after the Exodus that God called Moses up to Mount Sinai and gave him the Torah (Exodus nineteen and twenty). Deuteronomy 16:9-12 NIV “Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given you. And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place He will choose as a dwelling for His name – you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless, and the widows living among you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees”.

You’ll notice not a lot of instruction is given as to how to celebrate these feasts, I believe that is because God wanted us to enjoy these appointed times and receive them and participate in them according to the purpose of them and not have them become legalistic observances. There have been helpful books written in both the Jewish and Messianic communities to help guide our celebration, but the moment things become ritualistic or legalistic they have lost purpose and power.

Look at Psalm 91:14-16 in The Message, “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says GOD, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care, if you only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you long life, give you a long drink of salvation.” This is the feasts – this is God throwing parties every year! We go from faith to faith and glory to glory, this is the cycle of the feasts, to bring us higher every year and keep us cleaned up.

Pentecost has three areas of celebration; celebrating the Word, celebrating increase, and celebrating the Holy Spirit.

  1. Celebrating the Word of God

Many of our translations use the word law in place of Torah but the word in Hebrew actually means the teaching of God rather than the law of God. The word law for many as they read the Bible carries a negative connotation since the new covenant says we are not under law. Law in this sense means legalism. The teaching of God in both covenants still very much are applicable to our lives. The feast of Pentecost is a celebration of the Word. Reading Psalm 119 is great during this celebration, have a Bible study with friends, dig into the Word of God as part of your celebration. Psalm 119:10-16 in the Amplified gives a wonderful picture for this celebration. “With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; Oh, let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments. your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. With my lips have I declared and recounted all the ordinances 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 have respect to your ways [the paths of life marked out by your law (*teaching)]. I will delight myself in your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”   

There is awesome power in the Word of God. Hosea 4:6 NIV “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” I know many will say we are under grace so this doesn’t apply to us but Jesus’ grace does not do away with God’s teachings. The sermon on the mount reiterated the ten commandments on a heart level. Now grace does allow for freedom to celebrate or not to celebrate the feasts but there is blessing that comes in the celebration. Yes, you can be blessed outside of these feasts but the blessings in the celebration are clearly given in Scripture.

  1. Celebrating Increase

Deuteronomy 16:10 NIV “Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing the LORD your God has given you.”  At Passover everyone gives an equal offering but at Pentecost the offering is based on increase and when you give in a mindset of increase, you increase more and more.

Psalm 115:14 in the Amplified says, “May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children”. The NIV says, “may the LORD cause you to flourish”.  Provision and increase is not just a financial thing but a physical thing as well. God instructed, remember and celebrate coming out of the bondage of Egypt. Exodus 15:26 KJV “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

In the season of Pentecost give. Give and it shall be given unto you. Receive increase, receive finances, receive healing, health and divine life. Claim increase as yours based on how you’ve sown into others and given to God.

  1. Celebrating the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:1-8; 2:1-4 KJV “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

We cannot look at this even apart from the festival context they would have been participating in. The night before Pentecost had fully come the disciples would have given offerings joyfully in the temple and stayed up late into the night studying the word of God. To see the Holy Spirit’s coming purely through the lens and purpose of tongues is to miss why Jesus said the Spirit would come. John 16:12-15 KJV “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine, therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

It is interesting that in the three chapters Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit, He never mentions tongues. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe in tongues and I do pray in tongues, however, the fullness of the feast is not found in a prayer language or tongues and interpretation but the Spirit revealing the truth of the word to us and empowering us to witness. If we dismiss these two things from our understanding of Pentecost, we have truly lost its power and only have a form in the manifestation of tongues.

Pentecost for the believer is a celebration of the word and the power of the word through the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the continued celebration of the provision of healing and finances. When Scripture talks about receiving thirty, sixty and one hundred fold, I would submit that it has something to do with celebrating Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles; thirty, sixty and one hundred. At Pentecost gather with some friends; give joyfully, study the Scriptures and ask for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.

Part 2: Seeing the Bible as One

bibleLast week we talked about the Jewishness of the New Testament, this week we are continuing the teaching on the Bible and talking about viewing it as one complete book and not two separate teachings with two different God’s. Many Christians see the Bible as God changing between Old and New Testament; going from anger to grace, from hate to love. Malachi 3:6, Jeremiah 4:28, Hebrews 7:21, 1 Samuel 15:29 and Psalm 89:35 are just a few Scriptures that speak of how God does not change.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 CJB “But you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, recalling the people from whom you learned it; (15) and recalling too how from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which can give you the wisdom that leads to deliverance through trusting in Yeshua the Messiah. (16) All scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; (17) thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.”

 I want to highlight a few things from these verses; we must be convinced of what we have learned, we are to recall those whom we have learned from, wisdom leads to deliverance through trust in Jesus and Scripture is valuable for multiple reasons and equips us to do good.

The truth does not set us free, the truth that we know and apply sets us free. When we look at the Bible we must remember that the Old Testament says of the New Testament in Jeremiah 31:27-40 that the New Covenant is the Old written on our hearts. In our Bibles there is a since page separating Malachi from Matthew, it’s a page that says New Testament. Our perception would be better served if we tore that page out. There may have been no prophetic utterances in-between the time but God was still on the move. It was during the inter-testament period that the celebration of Hanukkah was instituted, which Jesus celebrated in John chapter ten.

Jesus came to fulfill the sacrificial law and he carried forward the teaching of the Torah in His Sermon on the Mount. It is crucial to our understanding of Scripture to see it as one book that has one teaching and not two separate systems of following God. As we go throughout the rest of this series we will see the keys and values in the feasts of the Lord, walking in the understanding and timing of the Hebrew months, the blessing of the Sabbath rest, and the importance of the One New Man.

In order to progress forward we must renew our minds concerning God’s Word and as we began to see though they eyes of a Jewish Jesus last week, this week we must understand we are talking about Biblical Judaism, not following man made ordinances, that is the very thing Jesus had against some of the leaders of His day, that they taught man made rules as the law of God.

All things written in the TANAKH (The Torah, the writings, and the prophets) was given for our understanding and instruction. four hundred and eighty four passages from the Old Testament are repeated multiple times in the New Testament, this shows us the connectedness of the Testaments.

We are transformed by the renewing of our minds and many of us as believers in Jesus need to have our minds renewed in seeing the Bible as one book and not two separate accounts of the nature of God.

As Jeremiah prophesied, let us allow God to write His Word on our hearts, let’s apply it to our lives and let it renew our minds. As Jesus taught and instructed from the Old Testament, let us receive it in our hearts and lives.

I pray that as we continue to progress through this series our hearts will be open to seeing the beauty of the roots of the faith, that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit has for us – the understanding and realization of the beauty and roots and the oneness of faith, the truth of knowing we are grafted in to the wonderful roots of Abraham.

Believing for More in 2017!

dtProverbs 4:20-27 NKJV “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet , And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.”

I posted back in October that 5777/2017 would be a year of awakening and miracles. In order for us to see that personally and in our churches we must be in the word. I am normally not a proponent of reading through the Bible in a year, I think most people can become to rushed and miss most of what they are reading but in 2017 I feel like I need to read through the Bible so I have decided to read through it chronologically.

Proverbs 4:20-21 in The Message says, “Dear friends, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart!” We must fully give ourselves to the word in 2017; reading, listening, thinking and speaking it. The Pastor of the church I am a part of has declared 2017 a year of the word and anyone in our services can tell his excitement has been building for 2017! But whether you attend Harvest Christian Center or not, 2017 can be a year you fully immerse yourself in the word!

Proverbs goes on to say in The Message, “Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul they’re bursting with health.” 2017 is the 70th anniversary of the start of the healing revivals of the late 40’s into the mid 60’s. I believe this 70th anniversary year will see a revival of that movement to those who give themselves to the word on healing and live in the manner in which those revivalists lived. As Paul said follow the faith of those, so we should follow the faith of them that walked in healings and miracles.

Believe for BIG things in 2017! Believe for your greatest dreams to come to pass! As Proverbs four ends with talking about our words and being on the right path, purpose in your heart to speak faith and speak nothing contrary to the Word. Purpose in your heart even now, before January first that 2017 will be a year of the Word, it will be a year of victory and a year of more of God’s goodness than you have ever experienced before!

5777/2017: Letting the Word Shift us into Awakening & Healing

5777 – Ayin Zayin: The Sword of the Lord

bibleandswordOn the Hebrew Calendar we are in a decade of seeing and revelation and a specific year of the sword of the Lord. Zayin is represented by the picture of a sword and has a numerical value of seven. When you put two sevens together that means shifting or movement.

While many are focusing and rightly so, about the movement of governments and particularly the elections in the United States we must also remember the sword is also a picture of the Word of God. I will allow others to focus on the governmental aspects of the year because the Lord is speaking to me concerning the shift, awakening and renewal coming to the Church.

While I was focused on the elections beginning in 2015 the Lord reminded me my call is not to focus on the political realm but the Church and seeing heaven come to earth.

The Hebrew year starts on Rosh Hashanah (October 3-4, 2016). As this year is marked by double sevens (5777) we need to pay close attention to how the Lord is leading us to shift and in what areas we need to move forward in. This being the year of the sword of the Lord we must remember that part of our armor, the Word of God. It is important to be in the Word, that is where our direction comes from.

Psalm 119:105 NKJV “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”.

Joshua 1:7-8 NLT “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do”.

2017: The 70th Anniversary of the Start of the Healing Revival

Cover of The Voice of Healing Magazine - edited by Gordon Lindsay

Cover of The Voice of Healing Magazine – edited by Gordon Lindsay

While the Hebrew calendar is primary God also uses the one our year is based on and in Hebrew there is no word for coincidence. So it is not a coincidence that in the seventieth decade on God’s calendar we are celebrating the seventieth year anniversary of the start of the healing revival.

William Branham and Oral Roberts were the first on the scene in 1947 with healing crusades under big tents by 1950 you had other well known evangelists flowing in healings, miracles, signs and wonders; A. A. Allen, Jack Coe, Gordon Lindsey, Kathryn Kuhlman and others.

The signs and wonders movement ended in America the same year Roe V. Wade became law. As the Church has become serious about repentance in this area and not just made it political but has acknowledged the sin and repented on behalf of the nation through ministries like The Call, I believe this young generation of thirty and younger have opened ourselves us to walking in the flow of the healing revival again.

For any of us who will pursue the heart of God in 2017 and contend once more for The Voice of Healing we will see it in this 70th Anniversary year. I believe where they stopped is where we will pick it back up. While some of these ministries did not end well, we need to learn from their mistakes yet still pick up the torch they left.

Healing Race Relations in America

handsThe growing racial divide in this country will not be solved by our politicians but by pastors, churches and individual believers. There is no black church, white church, Hispanic church or any other kind of church. There is one Church, the Church Jesus is the cornerstone of.

In 2017 the Church needs to rise up. It doesn’t matter who becomes president or which party controls what, for too long Christians on both sides have been co-opted into believing the parties can fix these problems. The only thing that will fix race relations in America is the love of God and it must begin in the Church and flow out from us.

I am praying and believing that in 2017 America will see a supernatural healing of racial divisions, and that communities will come together and that the hash tags will end. Every life matters regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or anything else. Jesus died for everyone. That fact alone is the only thing that will bring healing to this nation and to the world.

Final Thoughts

I do not know what will happen politically or economically in 2017, in the end it does not need to concern us to the point that we forget we are Kingdom representatives on this earth and regardless of what goes on; good, bad or indifferent we have a mandate to make disciples of nations, bring heaven to earth, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers and cast out devils.

That is the mission of the Church – That is where our focus needs to be. We need to be awakened to our commission, return to the word and bring healing to our land.

The Person of the Word

bibleOne of the most amazing Bible passages to me is John 1:1-5, 14. The Wuest Expanded Translation really puts things into a new perspective. “In the beginning the Word was existing. And the Word was in fellowship with God the Father. And the Word as to his existence was absolute deity. This Word was in the beginning in fellowship with God the Father. All things through His intermediate agency came to being, and without  Him there came into being not even one thing which was come into existence. In Him life was existing. And this aforementioned life was the light of men. And the light in the darkness was constantly shining. And the darkness did not overwhelm it.”

Before we read verse fourteen, let’s look at Genesis 1:2, 3-5, 14-19 NKJV “…and darkness was on the face of the deep…And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.”

Before there was ever sun, moon and stars there was light and the light was the pre-incarnate Jesus.

John 1:14 (Wuest) “And the Word, entering a new mode of existence, became flesh, and lived in a tent [His physical body] among us. And we gazed with attentive and careful regard and spiritual perception at His glory, a glory such as that of a uniquely-begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

This just makes my brain go crazy, the bigness of our savior Jesus is amazing. Too many times when I pick up my Bible I treat it like a book and not the living person that the book is. When I sit down with my Bible I am actually sitting down with Jesus himself.

It is too easy to just mentally agree with the verses in John, we must do more than that. We must receive the reality of the person-hood of the Bible into our lives.

Many times we can pick up our Bible read and not receive anything from the reading. I believe that happens because much of the time we pick up a book and don’t enter a conversation with the person.

Scripture says Jesus was tempted in every manner we are yet did not sin, that tells me there is victory in the Word to defeat every temptation. Just reading Romans six helps us to develop a mindset of victory.

When he have difficulty getting in the Word we need to go to prayer and ask that the Person of the Word would come alive to us.

If we want to develop the love of the Word Psalms 119 talks about we must approach the Word as the Person of Jesus our savior, redeemer, healer, and teacher.

Developing and Sustaining Joy

ESVPsalm 119:11 ESV “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart”.

Psalm 119:9-10 MSG “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.”

If we are to find our joy In God we must make reading and studying the Bible a priority in our lives. The Bible is basically history, wisdom, and letters written from God to us. In order to know Him we need to be familiar with what He’s written to us.

The book of Psalms alone is full of such joy, not just in good times but it helps us learn to develop joy in negative situations. Philippians is a book all about joy and Paul wrote it from prison.

Real and lasting joy is not based in circumstance but relationship with God. The fifth chapter of Desiring God is all about how Scripture is the kindling of Joy. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 is all about Scripture itself.

God never promised us a life of ease, but He has promised us blessing. Yet even in the midst of blessings we can face things. How was Paul writing about joy in prison? He found His joy in relationship not circumstance.

James 1:2-4 AMP ” Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.”

Reading the Scripture chapter in Desiring God has reminded me again of the importance of time in the word. The Bible is not simply a tool to receive health or finances, life is life and the ups and downs happen to all of us and without being anchored in the Word of God, without knowing God is God we will never be able to sustain our joy even in the midst of hard times, just look at the life of Job.

Many times we wonder why our prayers aren’t answered, we make sure we use a verse. Maybe instead of using a verse or two in our prayers at times and in certain situations we should just pray the Word without our spin on it, without our desired outcome attached to it.

When we pray and sing the Word our attitude changes, our atmosphere changes. It’s the Word of God that changes us.

If you feel distant in your relationship with God, read through some of the Psalms, we see every emotion one could have, yet regardless of what was going on David always relied on God.

We can be like David, Job, and Paul. No matter what we are going through we can develop and sustain our joy through time in God’s Word.

“Normal Christian life is a repeated process of restoration and renewal. Our joy is not static. It fluctuates with real life. It is vulnerable to satan’s attacks”. “But the Holy Spirit has given us a sword called the Word of God for the defense of our joy”.  – John Piper, Desiring God

*click here for Bible study resources

Can we Trust the NIV?

LIES on NIV

NIV Bad

 

Hey, have you had the crap scared out of you by this post on Facebook?

This coupled with the scary picture of the devil holding the NIV makes you want to throw it out right? If it does hang on just a second and lets really look at this.

 
Before we get into these things I first want to say, “Hi, my name is Casey and I’m a former King James Onlyist. {Hi, Casey (said, in a very creepy voice)}. I was pulled in by things like this and Gail Riplinger’s book and I thought every Bible but the King James was of the devil. When I allowed myself to clearly look at all sides, I found the facts, I found truth.

 
This post is not an attack on the King James, the only reason I’m even defending the NIV is because of how much traction this post on Facebook has gotten. There are those way more qualified than me to address this issue and I’ll link their stuff at the end. I want people to hear from someone who used to believe these claims and find like I did, none of them are based in fact or truth. Full disclosure, I do use the NIV now (I know, scary). In fact, the King James, NIV, Amplified, NKJV, New American Standard, and New Living Translation are all sitting on my desk. (Cue scary dark side music).

 
I do not believe this will do anything for a KJO person, Holy Spirit will have to take the blinders off the eyes. I’m writing this to let people know they can trust the NIV and that they don’t need to be afraid of these fear tactics of KJO’s. Now onto the Facebook post.

 

On the HarperCollins + Zondervan X satanic “bible” = demonic NIV, this is very simple. Many corporations have parent companies, publishers have imprints, smaller companies overseen by bigger ones. Zondervan has its own board and the NIV has a translation committee made up of Christians not unsaved people and lesbians (like some claim).

 
“The NIV has removed 64,575 words” as scary as that sounds something must be pointed out. King James Onlyist set the KJV as the standard, going so far as to dismiss the Hebrew/Greek text it was based from. The Hebrew and Greek must be the standard not the King James.

 

 
Now about those verses,

 
KJV: Matthew 17:21 “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

 

NIV: Matthew 17:21

 

Seems scary. The NIV “removed” this verse, but wait, go down to the bottom of your NIV.

 
“Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 9:29”. In reality this has not been “removed” it’s not present in the majority of manuscripts. If that worries you, it shouldn’t you can still see this in Mark’s Gospel.

 
This is something called textual variants. We have to remember that the Bible was transcribed by hand, numerous times. Many times scribes would add marginal notes for clarity. These “missing verses” most times are marginal notes taken back out of the text. Manuscripts have been found in various locations and compared, this is why we have new translations.

 
What we need to note about the Gospels is that they were done by four writers, they are bound to tell the story differently, that doesn’t make anyone wrong, each person remembers different events and things click with people differently. What happened here is simple, to clear up perceived disagreement in the text, scribes took parts of Gospels and inserted them into others to present what they see as uniformity.

 
Back to the verses, Matthew 18:11 that is “missing” is Luke 19:10.
Matthew 23:14 that is “missing” is Luke 20:47.
Mark 7:16 that is “missing” is Mark 4:23. [If anyone has ears let him hear].
Mark 9:44 that is “missing” is verse 48. It’s not missing its four verses later. This same thing is found in Romans chapter eight verse one. The “second half” of the verse is “missing” but its verse four. The truth is there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ. We are convicted not condemned. That’s why the added words have been removed.

 
As you can see King James Onlyist are very dishonest, if you look at the footnotes in your NIV verses are not missing they are simply elsewhere. If the verse are not in the NIV text at all, this is because they are not found in the Hebrew/Greek manuscripts. Even then the footnote says something like is found on Acts 8:37. The verse is not in the NIV but the footnote says, “Some manuscripts include here Philip said, If you believe with all your heart you may. The eunuch answered I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God”.

 
King James onlyist will try to make us think Jesus’ deity has been removed, salvation and many other doctrines have been removed this is simply untrue.

 
I want to point out something, if you get a copy of the 1611 King James Bible you will see textual marginal notes just like the NIV. The King James translators themselves said they wanted to make a good translation better. That’s what Bible translation is about. It’s been many years since 1611 and many discoveries have been made, surely we should compare manuscript pieces and make the text better.

 
If you want to know more about this issue there are wonderful resources, I simply want people to be able to trust their Bible, be it the KJV, the NIV, NKJV, NLT or NASB.

 
You can trust your NIV, in fact the 2011 edition lines up more with the Hebrew text than the original NIV, imagine that, they improved their own text. One thing I really enjoy is the 2011 edition restores the term Messiah in the Gospels in place of Christ. This is accurate knowing that Jesus came to the Jews not the Greeks. Each time a translation is updated it becomes, or should become better and more accurate. This is not a slam on the KJV but the standard text edition is 1769. Much has been found since then. I reference the KJV often but if we are honest, even if someone wants to use the KJV they have to admit that it is beneficial to look at versions that continually keep up with textual discoveries.

 
I hope this has helped put your mind at ease concerning your NIV and maybe even other versions you may like. Be sure that regardless of the version you read that Holy Spirit can teach you through it.

 
For the love of God’s word,
Casey

 

Resources to help us understand why we can trust the NIV:

The King James Only Controversy: Can you Trust Modern Translations by Dr. James White

Discussion between Onlyist and NASB, NIV, NKJV Committee Members. (Youtube Videos).

The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation by Kenneth Barker

A WORD Based Life

biblePsalm 119:9-11 AMP “How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it]. (10) With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of you and yearning for you; O let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments. (11) Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

 
before we go to the next Scripture let’s look at what this is saying. Today, we are going to talk about living a word based life and what a powerful verse to start with.

 
You see many of us claim that we live our lives based upon the Word of God, yet if we were to closely examine ourselves we would find that is not true. As I once read,“we do not need to dig up in doubt what we planted in faith.”

 
E. W. Kenyon said, “Our attitude toward the Word determines the place that God holds in our daily life”.

 
If we plant faith for healing yet go around talking about pain and saying you feel bad when people ask instead of saying you are standing on the word getting better day by day, you are digging up in doubt what you planted by faith.

 
If you’re struggling in your finances declare the word of prosperity over them. The Bible says we can have what we say, so why do we say what we have?

 
Psalm 119 tells us to conform our life to the word. Too many of us try to fit Bible reading into our schedule, when we need to be arranging our schedule around our reading and prayer time.

 
With my whole heart have I sought You, we cannot say these words if we are not putting the Word first place in our life.

 
We all know we need to read and study daily, so why is it so hard? The answer is simple, we haven’t made a habit of it.

 
You don’t miss your favorite show, we even DVR stuff so we won’t miss it. Why do we do that? Because it’s a priority. We can just as easily make the Word priority, we just have to choose to do so.

 
Proverbs 4:20-27 AMP “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. (21) Let them not depart from your sight; keep them at the center of your heart. (22) For they are life to those that find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”

 
These three verses explain why people get moved off of their faith. If we don’t submit to the word, if we don’t keep the word in front of our eyes and in our heart we can’t stay in faith and we won’t walk in divine health.

 
When we take our eyes off the word that’s when doubt comes in. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.

 
In order to have the life God wants for us we must have His Word at the very center of everything we are and everything we do.

 
Verses 23-27 “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard , for out of it flow the springs of life. (24) Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you. (25) Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. (26) Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. (27) Turn not aside to the right hand or the left; remove your foot from evil.”

 
We must guard our heart for everything flows from it. What comes out of our mouth originates from our heart. If we really want to know what we believe we will listen to what comes out of our mouths when were alone, when we pray, and when were with those close to us. It’s easy to put on the positive confession show when were at church but what really matters it what flows from us when nobody is there for a performance.

 
Let’s all take a moment and truly examine the place the Word has in our lives. Let’s examine our mouths. The hard truth is, if the Word is first place in our mouths, what we say will line up with that Word.

 
My prayer for us today is this, that we put the Word first place in our life and that we will build our life around the Word and not try to find a slot to stick it in. I pray that our mouths and minds will be transformed by the Word of God.

 
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I pray this post has helped and encouraged you, but I don’t want to leave you without some tools you can get a hold of to help make the Word first place in your life, in your mind and in your mouth. Faith doesn’t come from having heard but hearing. So please take advantage of these resources so you can get the Word in you so that when you find yourself in the situations of life you aren’t having to reach for your Bible, it’s already flowing out of you and taking care of the situation.

 
If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, why don’t you do that today so you will never miss your time to receive a word of encouragement, and if you haven’t already why don’t you friend me on facebook or follow me on twitter so we can connect more on our journey of faith.

 
Resources for a Word centered life:

God’s Master Plan for Your Life: Gloria Copeland

ReThink Your Life – A Unique Diet to Renew Your Mind: Stand Toler

New Creation Realities: E. W. Kenyon

The Power of Your Words: Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon

Believing for the Supernatural in 2015

imageMark 16:15-18. KJV “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Matthew 10:7-8 KJV “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

John 14:12 KJV “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

We entered the Jewish new year at the Feast of Tabernacles. We are now in 5775, the year of the whirlwind of Heaven. It is a year when angelic activity will continue to increase and to find the eye of peace in the middle of the storm. This is also a year of warfare and faith.

With the understanding of the Hebrew year received from Dr. Robert Heidler, I began to press in also concerning our year 2015. As I have prayed I sensed Holy Spirit saying that 2015 will be a year to believe for and expect the supernatural (signs, wonders, healings, and miracles).

This was confirmed in a service I was attending last night. Today I began to seek the Lord concerning how I was to prepare myself to walk in the supernatural in the coming year. This post will be the outline He gave me as well as an overview of where we will be heading in 2015.

I would like to say at the outset I believe others can hear other things, we each have a piece of the puzzle, so to speak. That being said I do believe what we hear will be confirmed by others if it is a Word from the Lord.

The first thing Holy Spirit told me to do in order to prepare and be in a place to see the supernatural in 2015 was to be in the Word. We all know we need to be in the Word daily but most believers end up getting busy and reading and studying goes by the wayside. Commit now to reading and studying the Word daily.

I have been lead to read the Bible through four times in 2015 using the 90 day plan. Not everyone will be lead to do that but if you do or if you read it through once we need to remember reading does not constitute studying.

Secondly, I will spend the year reading books that deal with the supernatural, signs, wonders, miracles, healing, the Holy Spirit, and tongues. There will be a special topic on the blog, 2015: Supernatural reading list. Each book I read will be linked and summarized so that you can get resources that will benefit you in this area. I also want to hear what you’re reading and listening to as well. Let’s build each other up in the supernatural in 2015.

Lastly, the majority of the blog will follow in this Word via teachings and recommendations in 2015. It is my prayer that you will be encouraged in believing for and to seek to see the supernatural in and through your life in 2015.

Let the Scriptures at the beginning of this post stir your heart to believe, stir up your hope and faith to see the supernatural. I would encourage you to read Acts as 2014 closes. Write out what you want to see God do in 2015, begin to declare by faith that you will see the supernatural in 2015!

I am already anticipating a great year in 2015! I look forward to journeying together on the blog and through social media.

I want you to know I pray for my readers daily, wether I know your name or not. I’m humbled you stop by the blog each week and pray it is a blessing to you.

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What are your thoughts on where we’re headed in 2015, what is Holy Spirit saying to you?
Do you have any books you would recommend on the subjects mentioned?

The Law & Love of God

dtThe law and love of God are synonymous.

Hebrews 12:6-7, 10b-14 NIV “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 10b “They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

Too many times the love of God is separated from the law of God. The word law, while it is a positive thing, most of the time comes with a negative connotation. However, as we see in this passage, God’s law is meant for our good.

Instead of looking at the Bible as the do’s and do not’s of life look at in the way God intends. He wants us to have a good life, He wants us to enjoy the life He has given us and walk holy before Him.

There are a couple of things we see from this passage, the first I want to look at is this, because God loves us He disciplines us and He gives us rules (ex. The Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount, etc.) In hopes that we will obey and He will not have to discipline us. Parents set rules for their children not to make life miserable and to take away fun but for their child’s betterment and protection.

God is the same way, because Jesus came that we may have and enjoy life, abundantly, to the full (John 10:10) the scriptures outlines commands so that we can have that abundant life and not be in bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

We don’t go to a holiness church and ascribe to holiness theology for a list of “thou shalt not’s” We live a holiness understanding because it is that understanding that tells us we can be free from the bondage, acts, and drive to sin.

Secondly, we see that discipline and the command to live holy is a benefit to us. A benefit of peace for those of us who will be trained by the Word.

Psalm 119:9-11 NIV “How can a young person stay on the path to purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commandments. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

1 Timothy 3:16 NIV “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”.

The Bible says the one who keeps his mind on the Lord will be kept in peace. The law and love of God should never be separated and grace should never be used to nullify the law of God.

Because God loves us, He gives us the law. Jesus said in John fourteen and fifteen; if you love me you will obey me.

The law of God is the love of God and the love of God is the law of God.