Open our heart as we open the Bible
Amos prophesied against Israel in 8:11,12 that the LORD God would send a famine of the hearing of the words of the LORD. Consequently, Israel would travel the world over to seek the word of the LORD and not find it.
Today, in Apostolic churches, we have great preaching & teaching and we have the word of God available at our disposal; in print and in digital form on phones, tablets & computers. Almost everyone has a Bible. None of us are without excuse for not reading the Bible. The Bible has been called 'the talking book'. It is a living, supernatural book like no other! In it, God has showed us his ways. If we do not read the Bible we will not see God’s ways. In the natural realm, the words of the antichrist dominate all information day and night, competing with the word of God for our time, our mind, soul, body & spirit through media, people and everyday events.
It is alarming to find that so many of us, young and old, do not have a habit of reading the Bible, let alone studying it. Regular Bible reading is a discipline, meaning it is accomplished through making one’s self do it; it is not second nature. We know the scripture declares that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, which requires a preacher. If we don't read God’s word, how can we confirm the preaching and teaching we receive in Church?
Where to start? It goes without saying that it helps tremendously to be able to read. Many Americans cannot read very well. Others are very good readers. Interestingly, some highly educated people have a hard time reading the Bible. The Bible is a spiritual book that can only be spiritually discerned no matter how well we read (1Cor 2:14). God has written it to each of us. He is the Author and he alone will give us understanding. Our God "...is a God of gods, and a LORD of kings, and a revealer of secrets.." Dan 2:47.
We have been told we don’t have all the word of God in the KJB or any Bible, nor in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic, since much has been lost in translation.1 This belief is deeply entrenched in all of Christianity much like Evolution is believed as fact by the world. We get frustrated with the language of the KJB and so, we get the idea that it would be easier and better understood from a modern translation, from the Greek and Hebrew or from a commentary. We say, "the bible scholars are the ones that would know".2 That seems to make sense, but there’s no proof that the true word of God has been lost in translation or hidden from us, especially when God says his word will never pass away. Both cannot be true.
You may have heard that the KJB is the most accurate Bible. It doesn’t take much comparison with modern versions to find out that those versions do not agree with each other, nor do they say the same thing as the KJB. We give in to them because they are said to read easier. You may also notice in comparing modern versions and even Hebrew and Greek dictionary words side by side with the King James Bible, the KJB's readings are supernatural and forceful when the others read natural, secular and flat. In these versions and "helps" you’ll find a God who is limited, cold, distant and relates on a secular level, where in the KJB God is unlimited, affectionate, very near, and all powerful.
Let's believe it is altogether possible that God has had his hand on his word in the KJB just as it is. If so, we can understand it...just as it is. God's word, then is "right under our noses".
The language is not the real problem. The Hebrew, Greek and commentaries are not the answer. We are not handicapped because of unfamiliar language, grammar, phrases, old spellings, or thee’s and thou’s (understanding all that will come). Our understanding of the Bible is handicapped because we are not following God’s precepts for understanding his word!
The Bible tells us the way to understand God's word. This is the key. Here's what it says:
Let's, start at the beginning.
1. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge & understanding. Pr 1:7; 9:10; The prerequisite for understanding is a right attitude toward God. As the Author, God does not like us to complain about his word i.e. how it is written, whether or not he repeats himself, the odd sounding names of people and places or whatever our pet peeve is with his word. He’s put it all in there for a reason. He would like to reveal it to us but he’s not going to if we have a cocky or light attitude about his word. Yes, we have to humble ourselves. It is not that God has to come down to our level, but we must ascend up to him Ps 24:3,4 “…Who shall ascend …?... He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;” He has already condescended to us by giving us his heavenly Word which "came down from heaven" to die for our sins. Jn 6:38
2. Depart from evil & do right - “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28. “...a good understanding have all they that do his commandments…” Ps 111:10 We need to slow down, get off our electronics, music, videos, movies, inordinate time spent on pleasures and stop doing whatever things we know we should not be doing.
3. Prayer - Crying out to God: “Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.” Ps 119:169; “ Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Pr 2:3-5.
Do you see that getting understanding from God's word is conditional? God has prerequisites.
Start with these three steps and God WILL increase your learning. Be patient. Learning does not come all at once. Study the Holy Bible as God commands, “line upon line, precept upon precept...” Is 28:9,10. It will give you the “sense.” 3
by: B. Haley
This is Part 1 in a series on How to Read and Understand your King James Bible; a Bible approach to understanding the word of God, avoiding unnecessary, unreliable, burdensome resources, unfounded rules and many so-called Laws of Interpretation which should not be applied to the word of God. These lead to an earthly design of the Bible.
1 The world of so-called "scholarship" has lifted itself high above the common people (mostly through seminaries and now Bible Colleges) having done an efficient job convincing almost everyone of this idea.
2 Where do we get the idea that somehow God reserves hidden meaning for scholars and did not already reveal it to the rest of us? But, the LORD spoke to Israel through Moses in Deut 29:29 saying, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."
3 When they gave the sense in Nehemiah 8:8, they had only one book in front of them, the book of the Law, not a row of commentaries. In fact, it was the Hebrew commentaries that prodded the apostasy of Israel and affirmed the rejection of their Saviour. When a book of the Law was read to King Josiah, in 2 Kings 22, he rent his clothes because of what he heard against Israel. Josiah just listened to the reading of the Bible. It wasn't filtered through commentaries or helps of any kind. Simply reading straight from the Bible was understood.
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Updated June 2022