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How to Study the Bible: Part 2

Eugene Prewitt


Eugene Prewitt

Director, The Institute of East Asia Training (IEAT)

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our father in heaven as we study your holy Bible passage teach us what it means to give us of your Holy Spirit we can comprehend correctly and I ask the name of Jesus and turn in your Bibles to second Timothy chapter two and are looking at verse twenty three seconds seventy chapter two and looking at verse twenty three there was a something like this that there's no such thing as a foolish question or no such thing as a stupid question here should just know that it is not true there are questions that are foolish and I don't like to use the word stupid so I won't saw the state again there are questions are foolish second Timothy chapter two and looking at verse twenty three it says but foolish and unlearned questions what to say avoid me Harper 's but progress is clear second Timothy were in chapter two verse twenty three it says but the lesson unlearned questions avoid knowing that they do gender strifes gender means yet produce stripes as light arguments if you've ever wondered why people argue so much about religion this is first given idea why people argue so much about religion and I'm foolish questions for us to unlearn questions trying to be example of the lesson unlearned question the number one hundred and forty four thousand is it a literal or symbolic number try just talking about that question for a minute it is the least useful question anyone could ever ask about the hundred and forty four thousand questions about how you become one of them what is their character like what is their purpose on this earth inspiration is full of information on that but you come to the question isn't literal or symbolic it's one of those things that isn't revealed plainly in any part of inspiration is not sealed by people that will wax eloquent when you than its literal and those who wax eloquent telling you that is symbolic and if they make initial bet once and I have in common is they have failed to avoid unlearned and foolish question and what you unlearn and foolish questions do according to this verse they knew gender strife and you can just watch that your life and you'll see it so I guess were talking about work in your outline we are on the points number three eight things not to do in your Bible study one is to entertain foolish questions that require speculative answers outline number three nine it says do not search the Bible for evidence to support your position there is a way but I'll tell you a story that happened login page long long ago my fact I suppose it was just about the time that the oldest of you here were being born I do not find that for the rest of you your older siblings are being born of his nineteen ninety one I was teaching a Bible class was the first one ever taught a high school Bible class and I noticed that the students in my class were from families that some of them thought that was okay to pay tied to self-supporting institutions and some of them thought the ties should only be paid to the church organization brings North Dakota question and so I thought you know my students the opinion I have about this it really doesn't their own opinion they have the same opinion of their parents had their parent thought it's okay to pay it to itself for institution and when the children think it's okay if the parents thought it must be paid to the conference one of the children think the most beta so I assigned them first of all I took a survey to find out what might so much as thought I was holding my children I took a survey and I wrote down the names one side and the other side and then I assign them to write a research paper I told them I would not grade them on their conclusion I would only grade them on the quality of their evidence and information how much they had I required them to write something like four five pages enough of my students wrote one of the row over twenty pages another one row of eleven pages diet but I require them to write that much they really went into this research project they started up for themselves and when they were all done I compared their conclusions to the conclusion I had before their study now tell you the shocking soup result every person that thought the title should be paid to the conference before he did his research thought the same thing after he finished his research every person who thought it's okay to pay title sulfur institution before he did his research thought the same thing after he did his research zero of my students change their opinion by doing their own study I hope that mutual nervous you see in that story that is not necessarily so that just because you studied yourself that you end up finding what is true that's certainly a bunch of my student studied for themselves what after earnestly and still ended up with a sampled opinion ahead before they started this point number nine has to do with why that kind of thing can happen is look at it again line number nine it says do not search the Bible for evidence to support your position rather seek for evidence regarding your position if you come to the Bible and you have an idea what my students did and then you begin searching the Bible your mind will be attracted to verses that seem to support your idea imagine for example that you believe that Sunday keeping is the right thing and you begin to study the Bible to see if it's okay to keep Sunday turn in your Bibles for minutes of first Corinthians sixteen and verse two first Corinthians chapter sixteen and verse two now told you to turn their garden turned their first friend in sixteen in the first two and says up on Wednesday the week up on the first day of the week let every one of you laid by him in store as God has prospered him that there be no gatherings or offerings Michael on what they were they together offerings if you believe that Sunday keeping was right with this verse makes you think wow it's the truth you look at it and think wow I should pay my offerings on Sunday Sunday keeping must be with the Christians were doing would I be right as the per se that we should be gathered together on Sunday were his essay delayed by you up I asked no question where does that put your offering it says by you in storage in other words you're not a church yet when you begin laying aside your offerings first aid week because you lay them aside nowadays your parents try get paid every two weeks some I get paid every weeks of every month when people get paid back in the days of Jesus Natalie got paid every day write your member that the story of the workers and so when's the last either offerings and the first day lay aside that are suffering I don't want to spend too much time on this ballot assayed again when you come to a question that you want to study you want to look for evidence on both sides of it if you can find any otherwise you'll never go to find out when you're wrong look at the second point under number nine rather take no position until the evidence is in this happened when my students about four years ago he was traveling in North Carolina and he met a man who really knew his Bible that man began to show him a Bible study showing young but the seventh day Adventist church was babbling I know I tell you how he came to conclusions I don't have time to fix it but my student who heard it it made sense when he was seen a strongly realized Seventh-day Adventist church is now he got on his computer he sent out an e-mail to everyone in his address list times in his address list so I got it and it was the starting up and said who run websites which I wrote in his first things John I wrote John said some like John you don't want to run the something until you've taken time to really consider it the fact the matter is that almost every heresy looks true if you listen to someone teach it I emphasize that again we try if you want to meet a talented Jesuit teacher he could take your Bible and show you evidence that you should pray for the dead evidence he should confess your sins to a priest evidence that there is a purgatory evidence that Peter was the first pope in fact he can give you a Bible study that make it look very convincing that you ought to join the Roman Catholic Church it's sad I had one of my students because of the eight years ago he was a Pentecostal he joined Adventist church started under me for about four months I had to discipline him and I learned about a year later that he and his wife and join the Roman Catholic Church is not because he was a fool and Roman Catholic Roman Catholicism look sensible in the Scripture you know almost every false idea can look sensible in the Scripture might recognize that almost every foolish idea can so what should you do when you're confronted with a new idea Reese used to take a position you have to say it's wrong you don't have to say it's right you might also parse to say at the moment it looks like it might be true but the wisest thing for you is just just refuse anyone more examples you can see it and will go on haven't you ever heard of entrée to think of a false prophet that may be you've heard of Janine Cintron there are a think that was when you are about six cylinder stuck by her in late October she has is a false prophet delivered in France and when she began writing her prophecies they look very much like things are familiar with arena testimonies but some of them are just quotes from the testimonies and people around you begin to think don't be really dangerous you'll can be really dangerous if God is speaking through Mister Citroen and we resisted wouldn't that be dangerous I'll tell you it's not nearly as dangerous to reject initially a true prophet as it is to accept initially a false one so that it is probably legitimate and bring you all of as young people this is legitimate possession for many of you it is legitimate for you to refuse to take a position on the truthfulness or false fullness of a profit why would you want to read why would you want to refuse to take a position because once you take a position ride begins to put itself between you and reevaluating the position that you took it so hard imagine poor Aji Jones in eighteen ninety something key there was a young lady who began having visions her name was an guy Meyer Michigan having visions and she would tell people her parents realizes the Rabin rebuke mother and daughter and accepted it in order to begin except her agent Jones read her test was about this lady she's inspired L White was in Australia it takes a long time to get mail from Australia to Battle Creek in the eighteen nineties a long time and so supposed something goes wrong the day God can get us a letter to White for over a month doesn't make sense that God would give us a profit right here in Battle Creek that's where they were thinking and then this lady began having visions one day agent Jones got up in front of the dying Creek tabernacle she began to read from John ten John ten says my sheep hear my voice and not to paraphrase forgot the exact words the point is that the shape of Jesus notes his voice that follow him and then he would reinvent something from Ellen White's writings and say future the voice of Jesus anointed to say yes I like when you do the chance a campfire Caroline together yes they'd say it and then he would read them some knows no much friends as they do you're the voice and the so as I SAS and then he read something and tell them he read them a testimony from Anna Guy Meyer he said do you hear the voice and they probably thought was something from peanut they said and he began to explain to them that God raised up a prophet in their next and their eyes were open they were so amazed the next day Mister her agent Jones went to the post office there was a time when you can get mail on Sunday and he went to the post office and there was a letter from Ellen White it had been sent more than a month before and when he read it and described to him what he'd done the day before how an element rebuked him for recommending this poor confused child to the audience as a prophet I guess the good news is that the next Sabbath AP Jones went for the whole nine tabernacle and said last week I recommended these writings I was wrong now I'm right and he sat down and also at a gunfire ended up accepting the fact that her dreams were just dreams and so should commit faithful worker maybe as a side sermon I ought to tell you that if you have very interesting dreams about religious things it is not evidence that God is calling you to be a prophet you know if you think about car crashes you're likely to have dreams about car crashes but if you think about heaven heavenly things are likely to have dreams about heaven heavenly things and all of the devil tell you you're the next one that could really mess up your life if you're looking at your outline terms rebuttal to Proverbs eighteen thirteen said a good point Proverbs eighteen and verse thirteen are vacant thirteen says he that answers a matter before he hears it it is a folly and shame unto him if that principle so in every controversy there are three valid positions you can take the one side you can take the other side but what is the unknown position is often the most valid is to refuse to take a position because you haven't had time to really check it out for yourself look at the second outline second outline this is on topic it's the last page in your handout additional thoughts about how to study the Bible the first one there says study when you are alert so here's the comment and devotional goof the devil uses to mess you up you set your alarm because you want to wake up early in the morning your alarm goes off I know at least one young man who is living on campus right now who it doesn't work when his alarm was off balance we would as your alarm goes off you wake up you're kind of groggy you have set up an bad and you begin to read your Bible so you know I experience what happens next the Bible is one of the deepest most will move most mentally challenging books you have to read and you can't really get into it when you are trying to stay awake right you can't so I would recommend for example that when you first wake up that you give your prayer of consecration give your life to God in the morning I recommend before you do your devotions that you take a shower or get some exercise or do something unless you're dishonest people who just wakes up bright and worked two study with appropriate material incrementally challenging if you are beginning your Bible study you should not begin by trying to study Revelation chapters nine eleven where's a good place to begin if you're just become a Christian I would recommend to you the book of James the book of first John the books of Chronicles and Kings and the book of numbers one of these things have in common these are stories and send Paul and also the Gospels are full of stories and simple material these are just beautiful places were you can find plenty of rich material look at three and you never thought about this is is how to study the Bible but memorization is a big part of Bible study what I mean is that when this morning or tomorrow morning if you're studying Psalm eighty five and you read something that looks a little familiar to you if you memorize Scripture the Holy Spirit can bring one of those verses backed your mind and help you make a connection did you know that this is how the Holy Spirit save the thief on the cross you know that that when the thief on the cross next to Jesus was there there were many ideas that she had heard during his life the headlights in his mind and while he was dying the Holy Spirit began to put them together and have a Bible in front of him when he was hanging there not viable but the ideas began to be put together until accrued a picture of Jesus as Messiah and he began to realize what was going on and he accepted Jesus at that point in that place that has assembled what God can do for you in the morning if you have spent time in memorization memorization into the day could help you with the critical passage in the future so there's a lot more to this outline on the go for a little bit of it tomorrow during Sabbath school I've just read through it myself into the ins and outs of you will understand there was something there was something on that page we just left I remember now look back on how to say the Bible that outline four number two zero says use the plain practical clever test that should be cleaver not clever if you got an a in there I think that might be how you fix it what is the playing a practical cleaver test is this true that with a good example for this that inter when he went fishing that one day hold up on Gerrard and one of numbers a hundred fifty three over ten as the number of road was really a hundred and fifty three fish suppose that you discover that that's a truth that is in a practical truth I mean would it have mattered was a hundred and fifty two hundred fifty four fish there are some things that you discover in your Bible study that aren't practical and if they are practical it doesn't mean they're not true but it means they're not useful when not playing there are some things in your Bible study that you think you fine but it's not very certain that so if it's not certain or it's not practical it's not reachable what do you want to preach and are playing and practical but suppose you find something that's plain and practical you done once for underneath the plane practical test if it passes test it with the this is where many medical doctors have lost they have studied the prophecies of Daniel and suddenly they realize they see something no one before has ever seen us because it wasn't true but they saw it and now they're quite excited and they begin teaching any available even wanted to believe him man because there were no Doctor Smart and if a doctor is also a Christian reads the Bible you must know what's true is not so that people think so they believe what God intends it to identify up with an idea that before I begin teach Jeanette the balance is often brother and unexperienced to see if they can see it and if they can't see it there's a good chance that something 's wrong with my now with my eyes my spiritual eyes and I just wouldn't want to go forward go to the back to the seconds in additional file line looked down and out twelve it acts I carefully use phase -based commentaries like those from the online Bible like those from SGA pioneers notice points see particularly trading commentaries was the say as friends and not as teachers went I use my commentary my commentaries I don't remake trade thinking wow that must be true I read a kind like I'm talking with you like authors an idea I'll check into that one is a possible these men who studied for their whole life and learn things I don't know yet it is as I like the other wrong about a lot of things it is if I read them I'm looking for ideas country alike appear less kind of following them and to some false path looked down the point fourteen that's X EV know that God uses curiosity to make assignments when you wonder why it is often because you arrange for you to wondering by writing something out of the ordinary have you ever wondered why the Bible says something the way it dies many of often wondered why doesn't God just make a simple this is so this is so this is so this is so this is so the reason is that we would pay very little attention to it God it uses curiosity take to motivate us to gag or to search the devil would like to trick us when we don't understand something they just can't ignore it but curiosity is the key word God wants you to dig and if every time you're curious you just flopped by it you miss the opportunities God has given for discovery maybe you've wondered why God made the sanctuary dancers and those persons listed under that line God made the sanctuary because he wanted children to ask questions like that why do we have to kill the lamb dad why are we brushing the Blythe on the lintel dad why are we finding around rocks the kind of question children ask would be opportunities for them to learn and understand look at that point fifteen in complex passages by Winslow the most useful things on this whole paper this point if I put a view asleep is a good time to wake up and complex passages try this starts with the last phrase and work backwards if a very sad read truth for it will help those who for the love of God are giving their lives for the benefit of others to see them saved that's not a real verse but I wrote it in kind of a Hebrew way of writing on to read it when you reader wasn't her place of our sad that you would read that like this to see people say is the benefit that is worth dying for the love of God motivates us to this kind of getting those who are motivated like that are benefited from reading truth you have to take your time to see how those two things relate but less than it she rose tend to write the fact cause cause cause English Nintendo rights cause cause cause effect reading it backwards will help simplify many long sentences this is especially true in Paul's writings Paula many times writes just like this he writes a sentence like that like I just described that is three versus line the order doesn't make any sense to you and you sort of that almost put you to sleep reading because you tend to get peregrine things you don't get how to use this method got to the end of it in turn the last part of it into a sentence and then say that's true because of an ad that part just before and work your way backwards and it just matches more your way of thinking in English that makes sense I got the weakest yes sir I've received from this group and him to okay good turn with me in your Bibles to Isaiah Isaiah fifty eight I brought my what Mike my cell phone the how time it is underneath to recording devices with someone tell me what time it is thank you Isaiah fifty eight and were looking at verse twelve and they that shall be of these shall build the old waste places do you know what it means and you see they that shall be when you see that that's in italics that's why it was added not just for the fun of it but to help it make sense to literally it says and something of the road and those of the human at some simple shall build the old waste places notional to raise up the foundations of many generations now shall be called the repairer of the breach the restore of paths to dwell in have you noted in your memorization the connection between revival and Reformation what is Reformation Reformation is getting things back into the right shape what is renaming the again what is form and shape Reformation is getting things back into the right shape religion back into the right way so for example bring people back to having family devotions were in them back to keeping God 's holy Sabbath bring them back to eating that eugenic diet bring them back to having one husband with one wife to stay together until death does them part ninety like Reformation is bringing things back to the rights shape this verse is about Reformation is assembled talks about building up the old waste places repairing the foundations what happened to those of us come before or after you cultivate selfless service I heard three right answers I just turned twelve right answers and I heard eighty five right answers and has a right and comes after selling the verses before this this is when you're giving your bread and giving your close and bring people in your house first to cultivate selfless service and once you have copies selfless service it doesn't say that you're the one that bills who builds it says they that be of the other words there is an order there's a foundation of cultivating selflessness that lays a good groundwork for bringing things back into the right form what would happen if things got to the right form first you know it wouldn't be the right form if it wasn't with selflessness initially the same same idea same order turned the chip to the chapter sixty one is two pages forward for most of you Isaiah sixty one are looking at a prophecy that's about Jesus but also about us verse one the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me why does God 's Spirit necessary reason listen to verse one because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meat he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives the opening of the present of them that are bound as this remind you of your memory work Isaiah fifty eight participants who want to do Isaiah fifty eight and in Isaiah sixty one what leads to these things that's been filled with the spirit if I riot father in heaven please give me of your Holy Spirit I should know in my mind why I want the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit is given for these reasons as to how we cultivate selfless service selfless service does have some message to a look at verse two to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord Jesus did that but we just quit this mercy left out this next race what else should be proclaimed and the day of vengeance of our God that's because that wasn't the work for him not to work for us we need the spirit be poured out on us to help us cultivate selfless service and to proclaim the fact that God 's judgment is soon coming to comfort those that mourn then burst three talks about those were practicing the right kind of fast that is the people who have really been humbling her heart spring away their sin look at verse four and they would say shall build the old waste the old ways they shall raise up the former desolation they shall repair the waste cities the desolation that many generations does it remind you of Isaiah fifty eight isn't that the same idea what is a app for us it shows us that the Holy Spirit is the big part of this that the revival comes first the spirit tells us in with the spirit doing revival the spirit moves us to selfless service I can illustrate this for you if I had a piece of bamboo would be so easy if I had to even be easier around you ever cut down then do yourself a growth in a lot of places here in the United States a bunch of it grows like an behind my back yard it's really down the hill I thought when I was a kid I lived alas there's no bamboo there I thought when I figure that if I can just talk about a piece of bamboo I could put a small stone in one and engulf him and I would have a blowgun but you know that doesn't work and what doesn't work because every so far bamboo has a yeah I'm joined right and if they want to make a blowgun out of that what I have to do have to break those joints right can clean it out our selfishness is very much like those joins in the bamboo God would like to give us knowledge to share God would like to give us blessings and resources to share he would like to fill us with his spirit so we can teach about the spirit to others but if we haven't cultivated selflessness you just can't put too much into us I'm an illustration of this my life out of a silly one and can understand remember seeming a meal just get up and start walking around in the millennial Internet that observant eye maybe eight or nine of you just cannot wonder what is he doing up I have my esophagus a shaper cutter like this info against my stomach that shape like this which means if I swallow watermelon seed logo mostly down in the nugget stomach top my stomach my hands the next bite I swallow the stuff and although the watermelon seed and another I swallow stuff and how that might affect takes about two and a half bytes before it gets deep enough for there's nerves to feel what's going on the biggest as you so what I do and I'm walking around and hope no one else it will go right hoping I cannot really keep eating until the foot I had been there goes through that's an illustration of your spiritual growth related got more blessing from heaven and for what you have has gone through and tell what you've received you haven't given until what you've learned and you are living that wasn't good English but almost rhymes why Senate if you want to receive more from heaven you're going to have to be giving more of a review this will be looked at Isaiah fifty eight talks about revival and reformation in which comes first the revival Isaiah sixty one talks about revival in Reformation which comes first and what kind of revival isn't a spirit motivated cultivation of selflessness giving and sharing and teaching so that you can be receiving and when we've done that while promises that there will be able to build up properly the things that have been destroyed behind us I would love to hear your guests are again if it's true do you understand I'm saying him to control the bigger the data consists of the basic feel-good turn is when your Bibles Tucson eighty five 's be our last point song chapter eighty five I looking for the person at the mailbox is the last one the whole chapter is verse thirteen let's read a verse that says righteousness shall go before him Ansell sent us in the way of his steps this verse was exciting to me this morning why was exciting to me because the Bible has some passages that even though we know all the words we don't quite get what in the world Amy and one of those was Isaiah fifty eight for me it was the phrase that said about righteousness what is it about righteousness yes it your righteousness will go before you then we wonder what that meant I wondered what it meant maybe you knew it and no I was thinking it could mean I could think of several different things it could me and I didn't know which one is right so what was I doing I began looking for other passages that had the same idea and I found this one and it was so helpful instead of righteousness will go before him that is the good man and shall set us in the way of his steps who goes before she and what is the relation of the shepherd of the sheep in terms of where they're going that's it this idea just made sense to me this morning when I do the wrong thing it takes me the wrong direction and trust me going the wrong way and when I'm lost England the wrong way if I did the right thing it puts me going the right direction I'm off the path and I began doing the right thing what does the right thing to my righteousness goes before me doing the right thing puts me going back into the right path it's a guide to me and isn't that a beautiful thing if you gone astray so was the Senate and Revelation you've lost your first love so do your first works if you're going the wrong way start don't know on the right Venable now your righteousness will go before you as a guide all right I believe I guess I'd better stop of star has for a closing prayer our father in heaven I thank you for how able and willing you are to make us a flowing channel of your truths and of your blessing I thank you for helping us to see the relation of revival to Reformation the relation of the filling of your spirit to a true revival bands for all the young disciples hear that you would teach them opportunities and a half for being selfless today that you can use selfless net 's to prepare us to put things back into the right shape in our church I ask for these gifts in the name of Jesus Pena


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