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INTRODUCTION TO PMI BIBLE STUDY METHODOLOGY

Dr. Mike Johnston, Editor

 

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)

 

INTRODUCTION TO PMI BIBLE STUDY METHODOLOGY

Copyright © 2012-2015 by Dr. Mike Johnston All rights reserved.

You may copy, quote, and distribute the material enclosed with two stipulations: you do not charge, and you provide proper credit for our publication.

 

Published by PMI Center for Biblical Studies

POB 177 Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177

PmiMinistries.com

All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible unless noted when directly quoting or refuting another source.

Works for Hebrew and Greek Word Clarification:

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by
James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890

(as found in e-Sword® Version 7.8.5 © 2000-2007

Rick Meyers All Rights Reserved Worldwide)

 

 

COLLATERAL READING ASSIGNMENT FOR PMI STUDENTS

  • Collateral reading and reporting is part of your required coursework. Read and explain (don’t opine) each of the SECTIONS BELOW in about 100+ words each.
  • Prepare a final 300-500 word report entitled: What I Learned From Studying (insert the title of this collateral)  (be sure to include truths contained in each of the sections above in support of your essay paper).

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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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

Let’s be clear! Everything we need for doctrine and duty in our Christian life has been given to us in the Bible. That’s why Satan is waging an all out war against the Word of God in these last days just as he did in the garden some 6000 years ago: yea hath God said (Gen. 3:1)? [1]

The PMI Center has been committed since 1981 to helping some 26,000 students obey this wonderful mandate: 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). However, we must bear in mind that when studying Scripture, wrong conclusions can be reached by employing improper hermeneutics. [2] Here are two possible lenses from which to view God’s Word: the first lens is called eisegesis, which means you read a passage with a preconceived agenda or outcome thus forcing the interpretation (heretics, new agers, and other cults are famous for this); or you will view it through the lens of exegesis, where you discard your agenda thereby allowing the Bible to say what it says. In light of employing the latter lens, here is a kind of template for evangelists, pastors and teachers desiring to undertake an honest inductive and deductive study of the Bible.

  1. View the Setting [3]
  • Who is writing or speaking and to whom?
  • What is the passage about? (or What problems were the recipients facing?)
  • When does this take place?
  • Where does this take place?
  • Why does the author write what he does?
  • How does this passage fit in with the context? (What goes before and after?)
  1. Understand the Theme

Look for commands and repeated words or phrases- which I often circle, connect with a line, and highlight in a certain color. These hold the key to intent and interpretation. King James haters often tell us it contains archaic words, and yet when you read it you will discover those words are often defined within the passage itself. Still, words you are unsure of provide you a perfect opportunity to expand your vocabulary with a good dictionary (I love my Webster’s 1828- FREE with e-Sword.com).

  • What does the immediate context suggest?
  • What does the broader context suggest?
  • What are the meanings of specific words? (English, Hebrew, Greek)
  • What do cross-references suggest? (need an exhaustive concordance)
  • What is the cultural meaning? (What did it mean to those to whom it was originally addressed?)
  • What do commentaries suggest (if available)?
  1. Develop an Outline

Take the main theme, and all subordinate verses into consideration. For instance, if I were going to outline John 3:16, I’d do it as follows: (this is a good skill for preachers to acquire)

Theme: Salvation

  1. Motivated by God’s love for the World
  2. Came to us through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ
  3. Is available simply by believing
  4. Will last forever
  1. Draw an Application

This is where your heart (aka the soul– which is the seat of your mind, emotion, will) desires more than anything to line up with God’s Word (James 1:22-25, Matthew 7:24-27). But applying (aka obeying) the Word will not happen accidentally; it is the product of your volition (will). As the Spirit of God enlightens the spirit of the child of God from His Word, conviction is brought to bear on our soul (aka heart– mind, emotion, will) to do according to what God’s Word tells us to do. In the process, we ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Is there a sin to confess or avoid? (See 1 John 1:9)
  • Are there commands to obey? (See Joshua 1:8)
  • Are there promises to appropriate? (See Hebrews 6:12)
  1. Mature as a Christian

                Every Christian should memorize the Bible, beginning with this verse: 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Here’s a simple outline we’ll close with:

  • Doctrine: The Word of God is my Theological Text [4]
  • Reproof: The Word of God will tell me exactly where I’ve gone wrong
  • Correction: The Word of God will clearly tell me what I need to do to change
  • Instruction in righteousness. The Word of God will show me how to live
  • Perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works: The Word of God will mature me

All PMI students are required to read through the Bible one time for each academic year they’ve completed. Biblical Studies students read it 6 times; Ministry and Prophecy Students 2 times, etc.

Section: Prophecy and Mystery Overview
CR Stam                                                               

When the Bible was written it was divided into Old Testament and New Testament, but the Bible is basically divided into two more well defined, descriptive terms, and these are prophecy and mystery. Prophecy is basically the purpose God has for the earth and Christ’s reign upon it, which includes the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem (2 Peter 1: 16-19). This is the Kingdom of heaven that will in the future be set up on the earth, literally. The Mystery is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul, concerning heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ in heaven, together there with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, 3: 1-4).

The titles “Old Testament” and “New Testament” are not accurate descriptions of the two sections in the Bible that they represent. The Old Testament is really the old covenant of the law and was later titled “Old Testament” or old covenant. This covenant of the law was not even made until 2500 years of human history had taken place. The covenant of the law was given through Moses (John 1:17). It was given to the people of Israel through Moses at about 1500 B.C. as seen in Exodus 19 and 20. But what was the system of government before Moses? What about the time from Adam to Moses? There was “no law” or “old testament” from the time of Adam until the time of Moses (Rom. 5:13-14). The covenant of the law had not yet been given in the period of time between Adam and Moses. Technically this means that the book of Genesis does not have one word of the Old Testament, or old covenant of the law, in it. There are some Jewish people today who believe that the Old Testament is for the Jews and the New Testament is for the gentiles. If that were true . . . then who is the book of Genesis for? Since Israel did not even begin as a nation until after she was delivered by God and Moses from Pharaoh and the Egyptian army.

Mankind lived under the Dispensation of Conscience from Adam to Noah and then the minor Dispensation of Human Government once Noah and his family survived the Great Flood and human government was set up for the first time. A dispensation is a program that God administers or dispenses out to mankind, the word “dispense” means to deal out. God never changes but the dispensations or programs He deals out to man have changed throughout human history.

The New Testament or new covenant in actuality was not made until the death of Christ on the cross, ” . . . He is the Mediator of the new testament (covenant) that by means of death . . . they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15). Also in (Luke 22:20) “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you”. This means that the major part of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all actually under the Old Testament rather than New Testament history and that the Lord Jesus and the disciples were all under the old covenant at that time. Both the old and new testaments were made WITH THE NATION ISRAEL. The new covenant only promises that Israel in the near future will render the obedience that was required of her under the old covenant (Deut. 5:1-3) (Jeremiah 31:31). The separating of the Bible between the Old Testament and New Testament is really not a very accurate division. The most descriptive, most accurate and most important division in the Bible is between “prophecy” and the great “mystery” which was proclaimed by the Apostle Paul. Again, “prophecy” is the purpose God has for the EARTH and Christ’s reign upon it. The “mystery” is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul concerning the Body of Christ in HEAVEN.

The very first words in the Bible state: “In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1). It does not say God created the UNIVERSE; it does not say God created the heavens and the earth as many people make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning the earth which is completely different from His purpose concerning heaven. His purpose that concerns the earth has to do with Christ’s future reign upon it, and this is the subject of “prophecy” (2 Peter 1:16-19). His purpose for heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ is the subject of the “mystery” (Ephesians 2:4-10, 3:1-4). This is why the Bible is really divided into two great subjects: Prophecy and Mystery

Prophecy

What is at the heart of Prophecy? The Messianic kingdom; that is, the “kingdom of heaven” which was spoken of by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples, which will be set up on the EARTH; (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). Since the “kingdom of heaven” is not yet established on the earth, it will be set up in the near future when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, returns to the earth on the Mount of Olives, then on to Jerusalem at the Second Advent and sets up His kingdom and reign upon THE EARTH for one thousand years. This is also called the Millennium. The main purpose or the main goal of prophecy is the establishment of the “kingdom of heaven” upon THE EARTH (Rom. 11:25-29). The Messianic Kingdom will be set up on THE EARTH: (Psalms 2:8) “I shall give Thee . . . the uttermost parts of THE EARTH for Thy possession”. (Jeremiah. 23:5) “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH”. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the second member of the Godhead, who is God, will rule as God, from Jerusalem and He will reign over the entire world. It will be a theocracy. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) (Matt. 1:23). “And His name shall be called . . . The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). “The Lord shall be King over all THE EARTH” (Zech. 14:9).

 

Mystery

 

God’s purpose concerning HEAVEN and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, is the subject of “The Mystery”. What is the Mystery? There are many mysteries in the Bible, but this refers to “THE MYSTERY” which is that great body of truth given to the Apostle Paul by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” one day being set up on the earth and the coming Messiah was well known and prophesied by the holy prophets. But, the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling and position was not prophesied. Nothing, not even one mention can be found in the pages of prophecy about the Body of Christ. God kept this a complete secret until the proper time when He brought the Body of Christ into existence, revealing THE MYSTERY only to the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 16:25) “kept secret since the world began”. Then also in (Ephesians 3:9) “from the beginning of the world . . . hid in God”. “hid from ages and from generations” (Col.1:26).

The nation Israel was temporarily set aside along with the unbelieving Gentiles. “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” (Rom. 11:7). “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Rom. 11:12). A new dispensation was slowly being brought in and mercy was shown to all. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (gentile)” (Rom. 10:12-13). No longer is the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed, but the gospel of the Grace of God, which is Christ’s finished work on the cross. The Apostle Paul declared “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD” and “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you-ward” (Acts 20:24) (Ephesians 3:2). [5]

The Prophetic Word and the Believers Today

 

All Scripture is equally important AS THE WORD OF GOD, and all is profitable to the Man of God. Yet the thoughtful student of the Word soon discovers that certain passages have a more DIRECT bearing upon other men than upon himself and are in that sense more important to those DIRECTLY involved.

 

The command to keep the Passover, for example DIRECTLY involved the Israelites under the law and was, in that sense, of greater importance to them than to us. In the same way prophecy (except Paul’s) deals DIRECTLY with Israel and the nations, not with the Body of Christ. While a deep interest in the prophetic word is commendable, we must not forget that here is never-the-less another great body of truth which more DIRECTLY concerns us.

 

When God finally sat the nation of Israel aside, He said, “BE IT KNOWN…THAT THE SALVATION OF GOD IS SENT UNTO THE GENTILES..” (Acts 28:28). Therefore, Paul says, by inspiration, “I SPEAK TO YOU GENTILES” (Romans 11:13). Thus, while Israel and the Prophetic program are temporarily set aside the Church of this age is made up pre- dominantly of Gentiles in the flesh, with Paul as their Apostle. This is why the Apostle speaks of “THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES” (Colossians 1:27) and explains to the Gentile believers of today that blindness in part has happened upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles come (Romans 11:25). When GOD’S MYSTERY PROGRAM has run its course, God will again resume His dealings with Israel and bring the prophetic program to a conclusion, as we see in Romans 11:26 and 27. This interruption of the prophetic program must be borne in mind in any consideration of the importance of the prophetic Word. While prophecy is fully as important as any other part of the Scriptures, but we must remember that it deals DIRECTLY with Israel and the nations, not with the BODY OF CHRIST.

 

This is why it is PETER, not Paul, who speaks of Prophecy. Note Second Peter 1:19. It is also interesting that it is JOHN who writes about PROPHECY in his introduction to the Book of Revelation (Revelation 1:3). Prophecy will always be a blessing to any individual who studies ANY part of the Scriptures, but a special blessing will await those who study the BOOK OF THE REVELATION while keeping in mind that its precepts pertain to that day when the revelation of Christ, in His glory, will again be “AT HAND” to be made manifest here ON EARTH. Hence, it is important to remember that while all Scripture is FOR US, Paul’s epistles constitute our PRIVATE MAIL. It is Paul who was specially chosen of God as the Apostle to the Gentiles and the one through whom the Mystery was to be revealed.

 

What a pity that in this Dispensation of the Grace of God the Church abounds with PROPHETIC EXPERTS, while “Experts” in “THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES” are so rare!

The Church
Clarence Larkin

 

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.

 

  1. It is not a continuation of the “Jewish Dispensation” under another name.

As we have seen in the chapter on the Jews, the Jews have been shunted to a sidetrack that the “Main Line” may be clear for the passage of the Church. Jesus said-“The Law and the Prophets are until John.” If the Scriptures put Moses and Law in one Dispensation and Christ and Grace in another let us respect the Divine order and not join together what God has put asunder.

 

  1. It is not “The Kingdom”

John the Baptist came preaching that the “Kingdom of Heaven” was “at hand” and Jesus sent out the Twelve and the Seventy to do the same, but the Jewish people rejected their King, and the setting up of the Kingdom was postponed. There cannot be any Kingdom until the “Nobleman Farmer” who has gone into a “far country” to receive the Kingdom returns. Luke 19:11-13

 

  1. It is a “Mystery”

The Kingdom was no mystery. The Old Testament prophets describe it in glowing terms. But there was something that was a Mystery” to them, and that was what was to come in between the “Sufferings and Glory” of Christ. 1Pet. 1:9-11.

 

That is, between the Cross and the Crown. Jesus intimated that there was to be something that He called the “Church, ” but He did not say when it should appear, or what it would be like. Matt. 16:13-15.

 

The “Mystery of the Church” was first revealed to Paul.

“For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of ‘The Dispensation of the Grace of God’ which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation He made known unto me ‘THE MYSTERY’ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that THE GENTILES should be fellow heirs and of THE SAME BODY, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel….. according to the ‘Eternal Purpose’ which He purposes in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3:1-3

 

  1. It is a “Called Out” Body

The word Church comes from the Greek word “ecclesia” which means “Assembly” or a congregation of “called out ones.”

 

But the word is not used exclusively as to the Church. Israel was an “ecclesia” or an Assembly of people “called out” from other peoples and nations, and is called in Acts 7:38, “The Church in the Wilderness.”

 

Any Assembly of worshipers banded together as a church or congregation is an “ecclesia.” Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 14:19, 1Cor. 14:35.

 

While Israel is a “called out body” it is a “National Body, ” composed exclusively of the descendants of Abraham, but the Church is not a “National Body” for it is not composed of the people of any one nation, but of individuals from every kindred, people, tribe and nation.

 

That Israel and the Church are distinct and separate and cannot be blended, is clear from the fact that their “election” was made at different dates, and that the “election” of the Church antedates the “election” of Israel, for Israel was chosen in Abraham from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34), while the Church was chosen in HIM (Jesus) BEFORE the Foundation of the World. Eph. 1:4-6.

It is the “Body of Christ”

 

In Eph. 1:22, 23 we read- “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave HIM (Jesus), to be the HEAD over all things to the Church which is His BODY.”

 

The context shows (vs. 20), that this “Headship” was not possible until Jesus had been raised from the dead, and seated at the right hand of the Father. The Church, therefore, could not have been in existence before there was a Head, for God does not make headless things. The Church then is the Body of which Christ is the Head.

 

In 1Cor. 12:12, 13 we are told how this “Body” is formed. “For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

 

From this we see that it is the “Baptism of the Spirit” that incorporates us into the “BODY OF CHRIST.” Therefore there could be no Church until the “Day of Pentecost.” Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:1-3

 

  1. It is to be the “Bride of Christ”

At present the Church is a virgin espoused. Paul said to the Church at Corinth, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste VIRGIN to Christ.” 2Cor. 11:2.

 

In Christ’s day an espousal was as sacred as a marriage. The First Adam had his Bride, and the Second or Last Adam must have His Bride. In Gen. 2:18, Gen. 2:21-23, we are told how the First Adam got his Bride.

 

“The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and with the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made (builded) He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”

 

Now Jesus during His life on the earth as a man, abode alone, but a deep sleep-the sleep of death-fell on Him, and out of His wounded side, as the result of the Atonement He made on the Cross, there came that from which the Church was formed, and to which the Holy Spirit gave life on the Day of Pentecost; so that, as Adam said of Eve-“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, ” so we can say of the Church-“We are members of His Body, of his Flesh, and of his Bones.” Eph. 5:29-31

 

The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (aka The Tribulation): If “all” the Church are to pass through the Tribulation, then instead of waiting and watching “for the Lord, ” we should be waiting and watching “for the Tribulation ” which is contrary to the teaching of Christ Himself Matt. 24:42-44

 

The Tribulation is not for the perfecting “of the Saints.” It has nothing to do with the Church. It is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer. 30:7), and is the “Judgment of Israel, ” and it is God’s purpose to keep the Church Out Of It. Rev. 2:10. The Book of Revelation is written in chronological order. After the fourth chapter the Church is seen no more upon the earth until she appears in the nineteenth chapter coming with the Bridegroom “from” Heaven. The entire time between these two chapters is filled with appalling judgments that fall upon those that “dwell on the earth, ” and as the Church is not of the earth, but is supposed to “sit together in, “Heavenly Places” in Christ Jesus, ” (Eph. 2:6), she will not be among those who “dwell on the earth” in those days. [6]

Paul’s Gospel
William R. Newell

 

THERE are two great revelators, or unfolders of Divine Truth in the Bible—Moses in the Old Testament and Paul in the New.

 

Someone may say, “Is not Christ the Great Teacher?” In a sense this is true; but in a real sense Christ is the Person taught about, rather than teaching in the Gospels. The Law and the Prophets pointed forward to Christ; the Epistles point back to Him; and the Book of Revelation points to His Second Coming, and those things connected with it. The Four Gospels tell the story how He was revealed to men and rejected by them.* Christ, Himself, therefore is the theme of the Bible. Moses in the Law reveals God’s holiness, and thus by means of the Law reveals human sin and the utter hopelessness and helplessness of man. Paul in his great Epistles reveals Christ as our Righteousness, Sanctification, Redemption, and All-in-All.

 

The twelve Apostles (Matthias by Divine appointment taking the place of Judas) were to be the “witnesses” (Acts 1:22) of Christ’s resurrection—that is, of the fact of it. They were not to unfold fully the doctrine of it as Paul was. The twelve were with Jesus personally and knew Him as a man, and when He died they saw it. When He was buried, they knew it personally as eye-witnesses. And when He was raised, they found it out experimentally, visiting His actual tomb and seeing that it was empty. They were also to see and handle the physical, risen body of our Lord. And it was with them that our Lord abode on earth forty days after His resurrection, “shewing Himself alive [physically, in a body] by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).

 

This great fact—that is, that the Person whom the Jews themselves well knew they had crucified and buried, was risen from the dead and ascended to Heaven—this tremendous fact the twelve Apostles witnessed to Israel at Jerusalem and everywhere else. Thus we find the opening chapters of the Book of Acts filled with the single testimony that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead and that remission of sins was through Him. But unto none of these twelve Apostles did God reveal the great body of doctrine for this Age. Just as God chose Moses to be the revelator to Israel for the Ten Commandments and all connected with the Law dispensation, so God chose Saul of Tarsus to be the revelator and unfolder of those mighty truths connected with our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection and His ascended Person. And all the “mysteries” or “secrets” revealed to God’s people in this Dispensation by the Holy Spirit are revealed by Paul. Finally, Paul is the unfolder of the great company of God’s elect, called the Church, the Body of Christ, the individuals of which Body are called members of the Body of Christ—members of Christ Himself. No other Apostle speaks of these things. Peter himself had to learn them from Paul (2 Pet. 3:15-16). When Paul finishes his thirteen great Epistles (Romans to Philemon) those which belong to the Church, God indeed permits him to give a message then to the Hebrews. This is not part of the Church’s doctrine, but is simply explaining to Hebrew Christians the character, the real application, the typical meaning, of their Levitical system—that is, how it pointed forward to Christ.

 

James addresses his Epistle to “the twelve tribes”—that is, his Epistle has special reference to the Jewish Christians in the early days and to such throughout the Dispensation, for that matter. Peter writes to “the strangers who are sojourners of the Dispersion,” that is, to the dispersed Jews who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. In the second chapter of Galatians we are distinctly told by Paul that James, Cephas, and John were to go to the circumcision, while Paul tells us that his message was to the Gentiles. Since then the testimony by the Jewish Apostles to the Jews was duly given, there is now no distinction between Jews and Gentiles; and Paul’s message holds good for the world, both Jews and Gentiles. So that we find Paul finally sets the Jewish nation aside in the last chapter of the Book of Acts and opens his great Epistle to the Gentile’s center of the world with the statement that “there is no difference” between men; for “all have sinned,” and there is again “no difference,” for “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” since the same Lord is “Lord of all” (Rom. 3:22-23; 10:12).  God does as He pleases, and it pleased Him to choose —first to save people in this Dispensation through “the foolishness of preaching” [the “preached thing”]—that is, through the message about the Cross and what was done there (See 1 Cor. 1:21). And second, it pleased Him to choose Paul to be the great proclaimer and revealer of just what the Gospel is for this Dispensation.

 

You can judge any man’s preaching or teaching by this rule—Is he Pauline? Does his doctrine start and finish according to those statements of Christian doctrine uttered by the Apostle Paul? No matter how wonderful a man may seem in his gifts and apparent consecration—if his Gospel is not Pauline, it is not the Gospel; and we might as well get our minds settled at once as to that. Paul calls down the anathema—that is the curse of God Himself—upon anyone who preaches any other Gospel than that which he declared (Gal. 1:8-9).

Not for one moment are we to believe that James, Peter, and John were at variance with Paul—not in the least. They were given certain things by the Spirit to say to certain classes of people. They do not conflict with Paul. And their words are included in the statement that “All Scripture is profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16).

 

But nevertheless, Paul is the declarer and revealer of the Gospel to us. Take Romans to Philemon out of the Bible and you are bereft of Christian doctrine. For instance, if you were to take Paul’s Epistles out of the Bible, you cannot find anything about the Church, the Body of Christ, for no other Apostle mentions the Body of Christ. You cannot find one of the great mysteries, such as the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4; 1 Cor. 15) or the mystery of the present hardening of Israel (Rom. 11). No other Apostle speaks of any of those mysteries. Paul alone reveals them—the great doctrines such as Justification, Redemption, Sanctification. And what is perhaps the most tremendous fact of every real Christian life, that of his personal union to the Lord in glory. Paul is the great Divinely-chosen opener to us of truth for this Age.

 

The great doctrines that Paul reveals may be outlined as follows—

 

  1. The unrighteousness before God of all men.

 

  1. The impossibility of justification by works before God— that is, of any man’s attaining a standing of righteousness before God by anything done by him. Do what a man may, he is a condemned sinner still.

 

  1. The fact and the Scripturalness of righteousness on the free gift principle—that is, of Divine righteousness, separate from all man’s doings, conferred upon man as a free gift from God.

 

  1. Propitiation—that satisfaction of God’s Holy Nature and law for man’s sins rendered by Christ’s blood.

 

  1. Reconciliation—the removal by Christ’s death for man of that obstacle to righteousness which man’s sin had set up between God and man.

 

  1. The plan of the actual conferring of the gift of righteousness upon all who believe, without any distinction. This change of a sinner’s standing before God, from one of condemnation to one of righteousness, is called Justification. Negatively, it is deliverance from guilt on account of Christ’s shed blood and deliverance out of the old creation by identification in death with Christ on the Cross. Positively, it is a new standing in the risen Christ before God.

 

  1. Redemptionthe buying back of the soul through the blood of Christ from sin; from the curse of the law—even death, involving exclusion from God under penalty; from the “power of death,” which involves the hand of the enemy; and from all iniquity.

 

  1. Forgiveness—the going forth of Divine tenderness in remitting the penalty for sin in view of the blood of Christ trusted in, and in complacency and fellowship to creatures who before were necessarily under Divine judgment.

 

  1. Remission of sins—that is, the actual removing of transgressions or trespasses from the sinner, so that for all time and eternity his sins shall not again be upon him.

 

  1. Identification—(see above, Justification). The great fact that those who are in Christ were united with Him at the Cross by God’s sovereign inscrutable act and were crucified with Christ and buried with Him, so that their history is now ended before God. And when Christ was raised up as the Firstborn of the new creation, they also were raised up with Him and their history began as new creatures in God’s sight in Christ, the Last Adam. Of course, in the experience of the Christian there comes a time when he is actually made partaker of this new life—that point of time when he is, as we say, saved, or converted, or born again, etc. Nevertheless, the life that is in every Christian came up out of the Tomb, and it is in Christ Jesus that a man is created anew.

 

  1. Incorporation—This tremendous doctrine Paul alone mentions, and he makes it practically the foundation of all his exhortations to the saints with regard to their conduct and life. By “incorporation” we mean the fact that all those who are really saved and are new creatures in Christ Jesus become members of one organism (called “the Body of Christ”), which is more real than the very earth we tread upon—Christ Himself in Heaven being the Head of this Body and every real Christian a member of it. So that believers are thus members of Christ in Heaven and also members one of another here on earth. No wonder Paul is able to exhort the saints to love one another when they are members one of another! (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4).

 

  1. Inhabitation—The wonderful fact that the Body of Christ and each member of it individually is inhabited, indwelt, by the Holy Spirit Himself, and not only so, but that the Church is being “built together” as a great temple of God so that in the future God’s actual eternal dwelling place will be this wonderful, mysterious company built into a building called “a holy habitation of God in the Spirit.”

 

This mystery is a great and marvelous one—the fact that we are saved, are partakers now of the life of the Lord in glory, that the Holy Spirit indwells us.

 

  1. Divine Exhibition—That is, that through the Church in the ages to come is to be made known that which God counts His “riches,” even His Grace (Eph. 2:7; 3:10).

 

The failure or refusal to discern the Pauline Gospel as a separate and new revelation and not a “development from Judaism,” accounts for two-thirds of the confusion in many people’s minds today as regards just what the Gospel is. Paul’s Gospel will allow no admixture with works on the one hand or religious pretensions and performances on the other. It is as simple and clear as the sunlight from heaven. The end of man is where God begins in Romans 3, at what might be called the opening of the Pauline revelation. Most unsaved people today believe in their hearts that the reason they are not saved is because of something they have not yet done, some step that remains for them to take before God will accept them. But this is absolutely untrue. When Christ said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant that He had, then and there, paid the debt for the whole human race. “He gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6).

 

Now Paul in his wonderful revelation declares that God hath reconciled the world to Himself; that God was in Christ (at the Cross) reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Men do not know this, but they conceive that something stands between them and God before God will accept or forgive them. If you tell a man that God is demanding no good works of him whatsoever, no religious observances or church ordinances, that God is not asking him to undertake any duties at all, but that God invites him to believe a glad message that his sins have already been dealt with at the Cross, and that God expects him to believe this good news and be exceedingly happy about it. If you tell an unsaved man such a story as this, he is astonished and overwhelmed—yet this is the Gospel!

Dispensationalism Defined and Described

 

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: One of my best investments was an Old Scofield Bible. The reason for the existence of so many denominations is eisegesis usurping exegesis resulting in not rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:2). A thorough study of God’s work through the ages- aka Dispensationalism- helps immensely. –Dr. Mike

 

  • Dispensationalism [7] is more than just one doctrine. It is a doctrinal system.
  • Doctrine refers to something taught.
  • Bible doctrine is something that is taught in scripture no matter how simple or complex.
  • A major doctrine is a doctrine about which the Bible says much, like the blood atonement or prayer.

 

The seven dispensations in the Old Scofield Study Bible [8] and which appear by majority reckoning to be: Innocence,  (Gen_1:28).  Conscience, (Gen_3:23). Human Government, (Gen_8:21).  Promise,   (Gen_12:1).  Law, (Exo_19:8).  Grace  (Joh_1:17). Kingdom,   (Eph_1:10).

 

Dispensationalism deals with all of the above but is none of the above. It is a doctrinal system. This is an organized framework designed to give greater meaning to the entire body of biblical doctrine. It acts as a lens through which the truth of scripture is viewed. [Editor’s note: The Old Scofield Bible  is designed from the dispensational viewpoint].

 

In all doctrinal systems, there is an element of human invention. In other words, God has not done all the organizing for us. Man may attempt to organize Bible doctrine with all honesty and integrity, but he cannot avoid being human. So, whereas the text of scripture is infallible, no doctrinal system can make that claim.

 

This means that no doctrinal system can be used to interpret scripture. Rather, scripture must be used to define and refine the system. Much trouble arises when the system rises to the place of interpreter and removes the Holy Spirit from the office of Teacher. No system should be used as a substitute for thinking, studying, or praying.

 

Doctrinal systems are built around some unifying theme (ie, Christology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology).  Dispensationalism declares that the most central purpose of history is to bring glory to God. Dispensationalism looks at history as a series of tests in which man is given a particular set of circumstances. Each set of circumstances is different from all that have come before it and in each man is given an opportunity to serve God and know Him. In each testing period, mankind fails and rebels against God. But God gets His glory in the judgment He bestows and in the remnant who are saved by His wondrous grace and love.

 

Rightly Dividing the Word

 

What does it mean to rightly divide the word of truth? First, this statement tells us that there are divisions that must be made in scripture if we are to understand God’s truth. That is the essence of dispensationalism. But this act of dividing scripture must be done rightly. That means that it can be done wrongly. We must be very careful to rightly divide God’s word lest we wrongly divide it. Dispensationalism is rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This verse teaches that we must study God’s word in order to be approved by Him as a workman. And His word must be rightly divided. Specifically, God is talking to preachers but it applies to all believers. If you do not rightly divide the word you will wrongly interpret it.

 

Consider also the exact grammar of the command. There is a reason God said rightly dividing the word instead of finding right division. The word dividing is a verb in the active tense and the word rightly is an adverb that describes the way in which the word should be divided. Rightly dividing is dynamic. It is an active work requiring the active assistance of the Holy Spirit. God must give you the wisdom to rightly divide His word. Rightly dividing the word is the work of spiritual men and women. It is a spiritual art. [Editor’s note: see 1 Cor. 2:14].

 

However, many of the dispensationalists you meet today talk a lot about right division. They stress the importance of knowing right division. By statement or by implication, they communicate the idea that you can learn the right places to draw the lines in scripture and you will automatically interpret the scriptures correctly. The word division is a noun and the word right is an adjective describing the kind of division to be made. There is significance to this. The concept of right division is static. It assumes a solution that can be written in a set of laws and given as a set of mental concepts from the teacher to the student. There is no great need for the teaching of the Spirit of God. It is a science and not an art. Just learn where to draw the lines and you will have the answers.

 

But God does not give us right division. He does not give a set of solutions or laws that answer all of our questions. Rather, He tells us to rightly divide His word. We cannot determine whether something applies to us or does not simply by what book of the Bible it is found in. The book where a passage is located gives us help in interpretation. But it does not solve all problems. It does not tell us what this verse teaches us. To do this, we need the leading of the Spirit of God. We need Him to teach us.

 

What Dispensationalism Teaches

 

Dispensationalism   teaches us that God gives different demands and responsibilities to the people living in different ages. Some people have trouble with that. But the truth is that anyone who believes anything about the Bible is dispensational to some degree. How many people are still trying to do all of the Old Testament sacrifices? Dispensationalism means that God has had a purpose throughout history. In each age He accomplishes a particular work as a part of His eternal plan.

 

Some sincere believers are frightened from dispensationalism because they fear that it takes a great portion of the Bible from them. True dispensationalism does not take the Bible away from you; it gives the Bible back to you. It makes you understand what is applicable to you and how to apply and use things in the right way without being afraid of scripture. It turns on the light in a dark room helping you know where you can freely walk and where you need to make a detour for the furniture.  This is the major benefit of dispensationalism. God works different ways at different times. Before the flood, people were vegetarians, but that does not mean that I cannot eat meat today. Neither do I need to put myself under the dietary laws given to the Old Testament Jews. Dispensationalism shows me that these laws- all 613 of them- were given specifically to Israel and are not mandated for the church which is under a completely separate dispensation. This allows the Bible student of dispensational hermeneutics to see the spiritual and practical applications of these laws without being compelled to practice them. Dispensationalism brings a liberty from things like the law, yet gives greater weight to the spiritual applications for today.

 

Dispensationalism takes God’s word literally. It solves many apparent contradictions. Dispensationalism answers many doctrinal heresies. If you understand dispensationalism you will not be caught up in many false doctrines. You will understand that much false doctrine comes from trying to obey scriptural commands that were given to people of another age but are not given to the New Testament believer.

 

Dispensationalism comprehends the Bible as a whole. People in the Bible are lost. Dispensationalism unfolds God’s purpose in history and makes sense of His overall plan for reaching and dealing with them. Every dispensation sets up the next one. Each one develops God’s purpose and plan a bit further. Dispensationalism exalts God’s glory as the ultimate goal. God gets the glory and not man. We need to get believers back to a solid understanding of dispensationalism in this age of ignorance and confusion.

Premillennialism Proponents
(Moody Magazine)

 

The Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ’s return prior to His thousand-year Millennial Reign is not only scriptural but an ancient belief that was held by the overwhelming majority of notables of Church History. Although their views on this important doctrine varied, they nevertheless believed Jesus Christ would return BEFORE the thousand-year reign of Christ. Premillennial ism is in conflict with Roman Catholic eschatology. Some enemies of this doctrine imply that it is a recent invention.

 

Found in the January 1914 issue of “The Christian Workers Magazine” of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago

By “Premillennial ism” is meant the teaching that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will come again to this earth personally and visibly, and that this coming will take place prior to that period of a thousand years of which the Scriptures speak, when peace and righteousness shall prevail upon the earth. In other words, it is the coming of our Lord that shall introduce this period and make it a possibility. As to the details of the event opinions differ among Godly students of the Bible, but in broad outline the foregoing is a sufficient definition for our present purpose.

In the language of Dr. James H. Brookes, one of the most distinguished Bible teachers our country has known, “The Premillennial  advent was the common heritage of both Jewish and Gentile Christians, and passed from the Jewish Christian to the Gentile Christian church precisely in the way the gospel passed. It was as fragrant at Antioch as at Jerusalem, at Rome as at Ephesus. History has no consensus more unanimous for any doctrine than is the consensus of the apostolic Fathers for the Premillennial  advent of Christ.”

Passing from the apostolic period to that of the early Christian fathers, we have a witness, equally eminent, in Dr. H. Grattan Guinness, of England, who says: “It cannot be denied that for three centuries the church held the doctrine of the Premillennial  coming of Christ. I think I have gone through all the writings of the Fathers for three centuries pretty carefully, and I do not know of an exception unless it be Origen. It was the faith of Barnabas, Polycarp, Clement, Ignatius, Papius, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Nepos, Irenaeus, Victorinus, Methodius, Lactantius, Hermas and many others-all were at one.”

To the above might be added the name of Dr. Bengel, author of Gnomon Novi Testamenti, who says, “The Early Church fully believed that it (i. e., the Second Coming) would precede, or usher in, the thousand years of His reign with His saints. A general change of view came in after the establishment of Christianity under Constantine, and when corruption in doctrine and practice had begun.”

To come to modern times, it is to be noted that many divines of the Westminster Assembly were Premillennial ists, and that according to Charles A. Briggs, D. D., in the new Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, “In America Premillennial ism has appeared in three different camps: Christian scholars, the Adventists, and Evangelists.”

We have been asked by several to publish a list of eminent exponents of Premillennial ism, living or dead, of different nations, with their denomination and professional connections. We undertook the task with pleasure, feeling that it would redound to the glory of God in the strengthening of the faith of some and the quickening of their hope in the Second Coming. On going into the matter, however, we found a much greater task than we had expected, the difficulty being not to discover the exponents but to reduce their number to a workable list.

We began by eliminating the early Christian fathers, of whom there were many. Then we were obliged to reduce the number in the Reformation Period. Coming to the Missionary Era of the last century, so many witnesses were found that it was difficult to make a selection. The same may be said of the modern era of Evangelism, for practically all the evangelists of the United States and Great Britain are Premillennial ists. In taking a census of pastors at present in the active ministry, we were again embarrassed by the number of whom we heard. Finally it became necessary to entirely eliminate the long list of distinguished Christian laymen who have borne more or less notable witness to the Premillennial  coming of Christ.

[PMI Editor’s Note: Not only did the early church fathers teach Premillennial ism, they also taught the PreTrib rapture. Historical preservationists using modern technology now make it possible to access and study ancient documents 24/7 that easily refute the false allegations made by the self aggrandizing enemies of the rapture. Dr. Hutchings disclosed that Edward Gibbons on page 187 of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire describes the clear imminent expectation of Christ held by the early church. [9] Along with that, Clement, Polycarp, Barnabas, the Didache, Shepherd of Hermes, Dialogue with Trypho, Ephraem the Syrian, and many more all attest to a belief in the imminent, PreTrib rapture of the church. Dr. Walvoord quotes the Didache- a compilation of the Apostle’s teachings- dated about 100-120 A.D., containing the exhortation: “Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh.”

In his book Maranatha Our Lord, Come Dr. Renald Showers [10] writes: [11] “The early church holding this Premillennial  view looked for the imminent return of Christ as witnessed by the writings of Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodus, Commodianus, and Lactantius.”

Adolph Harnack, although a member of the liberal theological school, out of sheer honesty as an historian, has written:”In the history of Christianity three main forces are found to have acted as auxiliaries to the gospel. They have elicited the ardent enthusiasm of men whom the bare preaching of the gospel would never have made decided converts. These [include] a belief in the speedy return of Christ and in His glorious reign on earth …. First in point of time came the faith in the nearness of Christ’s second advent and the establishing of His reign of glory on the earth. Indeed it appears so early that it might be questioned whether it ought not to be regarded as an essential part of the Christian religion.”

 

Jesse Forest Silver, in his excellent book The Lord’s Return has written of the Apostolic Fathers: “They expected the return of the Lord in their day …. They believed the time was imminent because their Lord had taught them to live in a watchful attitude.” And concerning the Ante- Nicene Fathers, he says: “By tradition they knew the faith of the Apostles. They taught the doctrine of the imminent and Premillennial return of the Lord”. [12]

 

 

Intro to Typology
Dr. Mike Johnston, Editor

 

A type is a divinely purposed illustration of some truth. It may be: (1) a person (Rom_5:14); (2) an event (1Co_10:11); (3) a thing (Heb_10:20); (4) an institution (Heb_9:11); (5) a ceremonial (1Co_5:7). Types occur most frequently in the Pentateuch, but are found, more sparingly, elsewhere. The antitype, or fulfillment of the type, is found, usually, in the New Testament. -Old Scofield Study Bible

 

A Bible type is like a metaphor or a symbol. How should we identify and study Bible types? What are some examples of Bible types?

 

One of the things that make the Bible so convincing is that it hangs together so well. Written over many centuries, by many authors, this Book remains consistent and true. The parallels between the Old and New Testaments are astounding. Some of the links within the chain of continuity and consistency are Bible types. A type is like a metaphor or a symbol. Throughout the Bible hundreds, if not thousands of types connect the themes and truths of the Bible. How should we identify and study Bible types? What are some examples of Bible types?

 

In some ways, Bible type studies are word studies. Generally, objects are used as types. The object serves as a metaphor for what is being described. We study the characteristics of the object and gain understanding of the type. There are three basic kinds of types, the direct reference type, the implied type and the interpreted type. Using the type, “rock”, we can look at examples of each type. Start any type study with a direct type.

 

Christ is referred to as a rock on a number of occasions in the New Testament. One example where He clearly refers to Himself as a rock is found in Matthew 7:24: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” Here, Christ is saying that building our faith on Him is like building a house on a rock, both have strong foundations. Christ has the characteristic of strength that a rock has. He also implies that He is our house, the place where we will be safe. This is an example of a direct type.

 

In Balaam’s fourth blessing, he says: “And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.” (Numbers 24:21) A strong reference to Christ is implied here, especially if we consider surrounding verses in this passage that also imply the Christ. Here again Christ is compared to the strength of a rock. Again there is also the reference to the rock being the safe place to dwell. Though Christ is not speaking here and referring to Himself as a rock or a safe dwelling, there is an obvious metaphor that is intended to be taken figuratively. For this reason, we can be certain that this use of the word rock is a definite type.

 

In Proverbs, Solomon talks about small things on the earth that are wise. One of the references in his list may be a type using the word rock to again describe the Christ. The interpretation is reinforced by the use of another reference to a rock as a safe dwelling. “The conies (small rock badgers) are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;” (Proverbs 30:26) This is only possibly a type because there is no direct reference and the passage is not a clear metaphor.

 

Clearly, not all references to rocks in the Bible are types of Christ. Sometimes rocks are just rocks and other times rocks are types for something else entirely. When studying types, caution should be used, especially with types that are not direct. If a type is misinterpreted, the student is misled and may make serious errors in the understanding of doctrine. This is how schisms and cults form and how entire churches are divided.

 

But the study of types is valuable to the serious Bible student. By studying types, we gain deeper understanding of the Word of God and are able to apply it to our lives with more confidence. We are better witnesses when we have a deep understanding of the Bible and as we learn more, our relationship with God deepens.

 

Beyond the intrinsic values of Bible study, type studies help us connect themes that are carried throughout the Bible. There are valuable life lessons for us all through the Bible, some of them are very clear and some of them are a puzzle. The entire book of Revelation is a puzzle filled with types, lessons and warnings. The Bible is our instruction book from God on how we should live. Through the study of types, we get a better picture of what God wants for us and promises us.

 

Some types weave consistently through the Bible, evidencing a particular point such as the example of Christ as our solid foundation and safe haven. Other types only appear once or a few times, with or without the same meaning each time. Individual occurrences of types and chains of types are worth studying. When we gain understanding of the metaphor, parable or figure that God has presented us, we get His meaning and can apply it to our lives.

 

When you first begin to learn about types, it’s best to stick to direct or pure types. Type studies are made much easier with electronic Bibles that allow word searches. Looking for each instance of a word can also be done using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Sort out those instances that appear to be direct types and record them in a study notebook or electronic document.

 

With each instance, take a close look at the type. Look for comparisons, contrasts, likeness, characteristics and opposites. What you’re trying to do is grasp the deeper meaning in the metaphor. Using the example of a rock as a type of Christ, look at the following:

 

  • A rock is strong and solid

 

  • Rocks make a strong foundation and a strong house

 

  • Rocks are good hiding places

 

  • Rocks are unchanging

 

These are all qualities that we attribute to Christ. Perhaps the least obvious is the hiding place. We hide keys under rocks; we hide behind rocks or in caves. We are hid in Christ, too. Christ shields us from the punishment of sin, which is death. When we ask Him into our lives, He becomes our safe shelter; He protects us from spiritual death.

 

This is only a starting point. There are many kinds of types, not all of which are objects. People are often types, too. Consider Joseph as a type of Christ and look at the similarities in their lives and the impact of their lives on others. This can serve as a beginning type study.

 

It’s helpful to have good reference materials when you plunge into Bible study at this level. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is an excellent reference for any Bible study. For type studies try “A Dictionary of Bible Types” by Walter Wilson for reference. It’s also wise to share your study and the interpretations you arrive at with a pastor or spiritual advisor with more experience.

 

Your time will not be wasted as you pursue type studies. A whole new world of understanding will open up to you and your interest and excitement with the Bible will grow. Don’t forget to ask God for guidance with your study, too. You’ll be amazed at the directions He leads you as you tackle deeper understanding.

 

Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types

Lesson One

The student should first decide whether the word under consideration is used by the Spirit as a type. Not all objects are types. Care should be used in arriving at a conclusion on this matter lest one distort the Word of GOD and thus arrive at decisions which were never intended by the Lord.

 

A safe rule is to ascertain whether an object is said plainly to be a type. When Paul wrote in 1Co_10:4, “They drank of that spiritual rock … and that rock was Christ,” we know that the rock in the wilderness was a true type of CHRIST.

 

When we read of the good and bad fish in Mat_13:47, we know that these fish are types though the passage does not say so. The story is a parable intended to teach a lesson. It is needful therefore to learn just what they do represent and also what the net represents.

 

When we read of the “Red Sea” or “the Jordan,” we know this to be a type just because it teaches so many very interesting and profitable lessons.

 

But even though we decide that an object is a type there still remains the problem of learning what it represents. Here great care is needed. Let us ask, “What constitutes a type?” Let us seek an answer by a series of comparisons:

 

– There is likeness of appearance as “clouds” and “dust.” (Nah_1:3)

– There is likeness of action as “the leopard” and “Alexander the Great.” (Dan_7:6)

– There is likeness of effect as “rain and snow” and “the Word of GOD.” (Isa_55:10)

– There is likeness of relationship as “nurse” and “Paul.” (1Th_2:7)

– There is likeness of value as “gold” and “the Lord JESUS.” (Isa_13:12)

– There is likeness of position as “head” and “Israel.” (Deu_28:13)

– There is likeness of character as “the spider” and “the sinner.” (Pro_30:28)

 

Lesson Two

Certain principles and processes are essential in the study of Typology. It is Scriptural to study this subject for the writers of the Scripture and our Lord Himself used types constantly for teaching great lessons. As a good knife is of most value in the hands of a skillful surgeon, so the Word of GOD is most effective when used by those who best understand its hidden meaning. The study of types is illuminating, for the Spirit uses the things which are seen, to teach us concerning the things which are unseen. The study of types equips us with a handy means and method of presenting the truth of GOD, for types are about us on every hand ready to be used.

 

Some suggestions for the study of types:

 

Think of the opposite of that which is under consideration;

 

– as the golden city (Rev_21:18) and the gilded city (Rev_18:16);

– the lion (Rev_5:5) and the lamb (Rev_5:6);

– the woman clothed in red (Rev_17:4) and the woman clothed in white (Rev_19:8).

 

Think of comparisons:

 

– great Goliath and little David;

– Joseph of the Old Testament and JESUS;

– the river in Ezekiel 47 and the river in John 7.

 

Look up the several occurrences of the type to ascertain how it is used.

Learn whether this type is referred to anywhere else in the Scripture as a type. Consider the characteristics of the type being studied as the sea with its greatness, its depth, its restlessness, its size, its waves, its commerce.

 

Think of the lessons which may be learned from the type as the leaves in Isa_64:6,

 

– how they fade,

– how they reveal the kind of tree,

– how they show whether young or old,

– how they fall from the tree or hold on.

 

By considering these various thoughts, the student will be enabled to quickly and easily learn lessons from the subject under consideration.

 

If questions should arise in regard to any of the suggestions given, the reader may feel free to address an inquiry to the author. Such communications will receive prompt attention.

 

Lesson Three

 

Quite often an object is used as the same type or a type of the same thing by several writers. This repetition confirms the object as a type and assures us of his true meaning.

 

– Moses uses the rock as a type of CHRIST in Num_20:8.

– David uses the rock as a type of CHRIST in Psa_18:2.

– Isaiah does the same thing in Isa_32:2.

– The Lord Jesus also refers to Himself as the Rock upon which the church is built in Mat_16:18.

– Balaam used trees to represent the nation of Israel, Num_24:6

– David used a tree to represent a godly man in Psalm 1.

– Jeremiah follows the same plan in Jer_17:8.

– Daniel used a tree to represent the king in Dan_4:10. He received this message from GOD.

– Isaiah used the same type for the eunuch in Isa_56:3.

– Jesus used the tree as a type of the people of Israel in Luk_13:6. It is well also to note that an object cannot be a type of certain things.

 

I heard a preacher use “Joseph’s coat of many colors” as a type of the doctrine of sinless perfection. It was a very grotesque comparison, utterly without foundation or truth.

 

Leaven is often used as a type of the Gospel which, of course, it could not be. The contexts concerning leaven all through both the Old Testament and the New indicate clearly that it is a type of some evil which should be removed. It will be most helpful for the student to ask himself certain questions in regard to the study of types and this will guide him in his investigation.

 

How is this object or subject first used in the Scripture? What meaning does it have in the first place where it occurs? To what does this object or subject refer in the last passage where it occurs in the Scripture? What are the characteristics of this object or subject which make it a suitable type?

 

CHRIST is compared to a lion in Revelation 5. In Isaiah 53, CHRIST is compared to a lamb.

 

As the characteristics of these two animals are studied, then the likeness will be more clearly understood. This plan should be followed in each case.

 

Types should be grouped according to that which they represent.

 

There are types of CHRIST, Israel, the nations, the Christian, the hypocrites, the worker, the state of the soul, Satan, and many others.

 

Types may also be grouped according to their character.

 

There are types taken from the mineral kingdom, the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the celestial kingdom, the human family, human actions, human attitudes, postures, etc. It will help the student to understand types more fully if these groupings are made while the study is being pursued.

 

Hermeneutics

General Rules of Biblical Interpretation

 

DEFINITION: Biblical hermeneutics is the science of studying and interpreting the Bible. It is perhaps summarized best by 2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Scripture is divided into Old and New Testaments for reference purposes. However, this dichotomy has produced an plethora of unsavory results with include hundreds of denominational divisions and cult deceptions. Students choosing to rightly divide the Word are quick to admit that the Gospels through mid Acts are actually a continuum of the OT and as such are demonstrably Jewish. Those wrongly dividing it generally impose teachings upon the church that were specifically meant for Israel alone (ie the Law, the Sabbath; the tribulation or Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) to name a few.

 

Several things must be at the forefront of a student’s mine when studying the Scriptures. For example, a psalm should often be interpreted differently than a prophecy. A proverb should be understood and applied differently from a law. This is the purpose of Biblical hermeneutics – to help us to know how to interpret, understand, and apply the Bible.

 

The most important law of Biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted literally. Literal Bible interpretation means you understand the Bible in its normal/plain meaning. The Bible says what it means and means what it says. Many make the mistake of trying to read between the lines and come up with meanings for Scriptures that are not truly in the text. Yes, of course, there are some spiritual truths behind the plain meanings of Scripture. That does not mean that every Scripture has a hidden spiritual truth, or that it should be our goal to find all such spiritual truths. Biblical hermeneutics keeps us faithful to the intended meaning of Scripture and away from allegorizing and symbolizing Bible verses and passages that should be understood literally.

 

A second crucial law of Biblical hermeneutics is that a verse or passage must be interpreted historically, grammatically, and contextually. Historical interpretation refers to understanding the culture, background, and situation which prompted the text. Grammatical interpretation is recognizing the rules of grammar and nuances of the Hebrew and Greek languages and applying those principles to the understanding of a passage. Contextual interpretation involves always taking the surrounding context of a verse/passage into consideration when trying to determine the meaning.

 

Some mistakenly view Biblical hermeneutics as limiting our ability to learn new truths from God’s Word or stifling the Holy Spirit’s ability to reveal to us the meaning of God’s Word. This is not the case. The goal of Biblical hermeneutics is to point us to the correct interpretation which the Holy Spirit has already inspired into the text. The purpose of Biblical hermeneutics is to protect us from improperly applying a Scripture to a particular situation. Biblical hermeneutics points us to the true meaning and application of Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 declares, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Biblical hermeneutics is keeping the sword sharp!

 

Prerequisites for Proper Biblical Interpretation:

 

  • Be saved, filled with and dependent on the Holy Spirit to guide you (John 16:13)
  • Sola Scriptura- the Bible alone! Romanists eschew this which allows their papist heresies to flourish
  • Understand the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired. If it says it, THAT settles it!
  • Study from a King James Bible! Not only is the manuscript authority reliable, but the best resources are KJ Bible compatible. If possible, get a fundamentally sound Old Scofield Study Bible.   Dr. Mike has preached the Scofield notes over 30 years.
  • Study the text first. Study all key words in a concordance with Hebrew/Greek Definitions
  • Place evidence above experience by allowing the Bible to interpret itself (exegesis) rather than forcing an interpretation based upon prejudicial notions or experiences (eisegesis)
  • While church historical teachings add light, they are not equal to Scripture
  • Remember, God unfolds His truth in progressive revelation rather than all at once

 

Grammatical Rules of Biblical Interpretation 

 

  • Scripture has only one meaning but can have many applications
  • Take Scripture as normal language; “plain sense of the language”
  • Interpret words and Bible Books in light of the author’s times
  • Interpret according to the context
  • If an inanimate object describes a living being — then it’s figurative
  • If an expression is out of character with the thing described — it’s figurative
  • Parables are heavenly stories earthly meanings. Many on “Christian” television assign meanings to them the Lord never intended which causes deception in the church
  • Prophetic statements are to be taken literally and normally — unless the context compels otherwise

 

Historical Rules of Biblical Interpretation 

 

  • Interpret in light of Biblical historical context
  • Revelation is basically Jewish and is progressive; later revelation explains earlier
  • Events of history become spiritual truths only if Scripture designates

 

Theological Rules of Biblical Interpretation 

 

  • Any text without a context is a pretext
  • Scripture must be understood grammatically before it can be interpreted theologically
  • A doctrine is not Biblical unless it sums up all that Scripture says (The Old Scofield Bible offers many of these doctrinal summaries making for great study)
  • No contradictions in Scripture
  • An implied teaching must have support in another passage
  • If a verse seems to contradict established truth, the passage must be contextually evaluated to be rightly understood (this is where cults become egregious)

 

Dispensational Rules of Biblical Interpretation      

 

  • Paul tells us we must rightly divide the Word of truth in order to understand it. Viewing it through a dispensational lens- the most widely accepted hermeneutic- allows us to do that. The Old Scofield Study Bible provides a great framework for studying these seven specific periods of time whereby God deals with mankind- and more specifically Israel, Gentiles, and the Church. If you can understand this indispensable truth, you will possess a most important Bible study tool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLISHED BY

POB 177 – Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177 – (269) 282-9381 – PmiMinistries.com

[1] This attack includes use of the heretical Alexandrian Manuscripts which omit thousands of words. These documents are the foundation for cult translations as well as every version on earth except the King James. That includes the NIV, NASB, CEV, NLT, and even the New King James! PMI uses the KJV only.

[2] The science of proper Biblical interpretation.

[3] We have a tract discussing The 7 Dispensations that may be of some help to you

 

[4] One main reason we use the Old Scofield Study Bible is its theological soundness and faithfulness to the Scriptures. We have these Old Scofield Study Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $34 to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

 

[5] Adapted from Things that Differ- Cornelius Stam

[6] Adapted from Clarence Larkin’s great book, “Dispensational Truth” chapter 11

 

[7] Adapted from Pastor David F. Reagan- http://www.learnthebible.org/dispensationalism001_need.htm

[8] We have these Old Scofield Study Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $34 to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

 

[9] Page 189 of Why So Many Churches?

[10] Unless otherwise noted, all quotes for Renald Showers are from his book Maranatha, Our Lord Come.

[11] Dr. Showers also says the ante-Nicene fathers were committed to imminence.

[12] I have quoted several excerpts from Stanton and others found at: http://www.focusonjerusalem.com/thedoctrineofimminency.html

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