Archive for March, 2007
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
There is much for the true church to do and the time is short! Do you truly believe in God’s Word? If so, are you where you need to be, the point where you will personally hear from God on a continuous basis and forsake all else to do what he says no matter what it is? Are you doing what God really wants you to be doing right now? Have you given up all that is a detriment to your doing whatever God commands of you?
Now I am not God – big news flash there – so the purpose of this ministry is not to tell you what to do. Rather, my goal is to help you get to the point where GOD and GOD ALONE will tell you what to do in every phase of your life; where you can hear God and obey him for yourself. Do not necessarily abandon your notion of churches with their pastors, preachers, and teachers. Don’t think that this will result in everyone going about with their own activities, that this will be contrary to “everyone being on one accord touching and agreeing”, that it will lead to a lack of unity.
Why? Because the every man doing what is right in his own eyes, the lack of unity, the discord is what is going on right now. We have removed God from being the head of our churches, our families, and our lives, and replaced it with man and the inventions of man. So everyone has their own tribe, their own denomination, their own doctrine, their own little castles and kingdoms where everyone is either a ruler or content to be ruled. And that is precisely what Satan wants; exactly what the devil desired when he moved the children of Israel to demand of God by Samuel he put a king over them.
It is only when we cast that off and start receiving our instructions from God when we will attain true unity and agreement. It is only when we are of the same spirit, the Holy Spirit of God that lives inside of us and tells us what to do, that we will agree, and that agreement will not be the corrupt fallible changing thing of man but in the perfect constant will of our God! So please use the resources on this site to develop your own personal relationship with God so that he may use you as only he sees fit.
Here are links to resources to aid the saved in their mission to know and love God.
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Do not be deceived: we are saved not by works, not by some combination of works and faith, but by faith alone. Evidence of this is given in Galatians 3:6, which reads: “Even as Abraham belived God, and it was accounted unto him [Abraham] for righteousness.” God is the author and finisher of our faith, but Abraham is called the father of faith. So, the father of faith, the founder of Judaism and the line through which Jesus Christ came and established Christianity and made possible a personal relationship with God through His death and resurrection, was himself made righteous and therefore saved not according to anything that he did, but rather what he believed. And it is fortunate that it was not on the basis of what Abraham did, because even as the father of our faith, Abraham did a lot of bad things. He was born to a family that practiced a false religion (moon god worship), so he almost certainly did the same at some point. He also lied, rebelled against God, and disobeyed God, especially when he took Hagar as a wife and had Ishmael with her. In doing so he was true to the desires of his his wife Sarah and to the wicked practices and traditions of the time, but make no mistake, it was not what God wanted to happen, and was the cause of much trouble later. And not only that, but the son of Abraham (Isaac) and his grandson (Jacob, later renamed Israel) ALSO did a lot of bad things. But in spite of the bad things that they did, they believed, and because of that belief they were considered righteous – or saved – by God.
Indeed, sometimes it is BECAUSE of our sins that we ultimately believe, because the guilt that comes from the bad things that we do and the mess that we create when we do wrong drives us to seek help, relief, and answers, and it is the search for that which leads us to God. To the contrary, those who convince themselves that they never do anything wrong and are saved already because of who they are and what they do, people like that almost never find God because they already are the righteousness of God in their own eyes.
I mentioned that Abraham had a son with Sarah? Well, they had Isaac when Abraham was very old and impotent, and Sarah was very old and had been infertile her whole life. So, there was no way that they were going to have a child through natural means no matter what they did. The only way that it was going to happen was if God did it, and the only way that God was going to do it was if they believed. Romans 4:15 – 21 explains this beautifully. So, just like Abraham and Sarah were not going to have a child by anything that they did, you are not going to be saved by anything that you do. But just like they had Isaac by believing that they would have a child, you can be saved just by believing what God said in the Bible about your salvation.
God predicted through His prophet Joel in Joel 2:28 and fulfilled it with the declaration by His Son Jesus Christ in John 3 and Romans 10 (among other places) that we are saved merely by A) asking God to save us and B) believing that we are saved as soon as we do so and by doing so alone. Some people teach that there is this special process that you have to go through before and in order to be saved: that Calvinistic doctrine and similar are wrong. Others believe that in order to be really saved or for your salvation to be “proven” you must speak in tongues. That is a doctrine that was created by the “Jesus Only” or “Oneness Pentecostal” group of false Christians who deny Trinity, and is now common in the Word of Faith movement. Both contradict the Bible. The Calvinists believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross only accomplished partial redemption and salvation. The anti – Trinitarians believe that righteousness is accomplished by works and proven by outward signs: they are what Paul refers to as “of the circumcision” (meaning Jews who believed that person had to follow the law and – if male – had to be circumcised in order to be saved). There is also a false doctrine of “baptismal regeneration” and a similar one of “salvation by baptism”, which teaches that salvation is either accomplished or completed by virtue of baptism. While being baptized is a requirement of Christianity, it is NOT a requirement of salvation, but rather serves as a testimony to MEN (not to God) to represent what God has already done inside you through your faith in His ability and willingness to save you.
We cannot be saved by our own efforts. Why? Because what man does through his own effort can be either undone or nullified, as the power of man is limited. But God’s power is unlimited, unchallengeable. So, what God does for you cannot be undone or nullified. Therefore, if your salvation is due to some process, that process can be interrupted. If your salvation is due to works, then those works can be corrupted or undone. Now Calvinists to their credit do teach that one cannot “lose their salvation” through the sin or flaws that exist in all humans, but they wrongly teach that sin is not accomplished until you become completely aware of and therefore filled with guilt over all the sin that you have done and that you were born into, how evil you are, how you have hurt and angered God, etc. and tell God you are sorry, and then God takes you through this process where He gradually removes the sin out of you and saves you over time. Anti – Trinitarians do not teach this, but they do teach that if you commit “a really bad sin” or if you “sin over and over again”, then your salvation will be lost, and you will have to “be saved again.” So both are of the circumcision and therefore “legalists”: Calvinists regarding what needs to be done in order to be saved, anti – Trinitarians regarding what needs to be done after you are saved. As both believe to some degree in works and process, they both deny grace. Now while the Calvinist error is not fatal, it is problematic, especially regarding their utterly false and damaging belief that children cannot be saved because they are too young to be conscious of the depths of their sin, what it means to be a sinner, how they have hurt God, etc. Anti – Trinitarians, meanwhile, are just completely wrong; they willfully specifically deny the Bible on every point regarding salvation and the very nature of God.
But to summarize, go back to Abraham’s righteousness as described in Romans 4:15 – 21. Just as Abraham did not consider his impotence, his wife’s being barren, or their own age, you do not have to become consumed with grief concerning your own rottenness. You know that you are a sinner and that only God can save you from your sins and the punishment for your sins, that is all that matters. And do not think about how you have been unable to live righteously in the past, or be overwhelmed at the daunting task of having to live for God in the future. Just know that you are saved by what you believe, not by what you do. Know that you are getting something that you do not deserve; that is being freely given. If it is something that you do not deserve but was given to you, then what sense does it make to go out and try to get a job and work for it? Where is the gain in trying to earn some money to try to make it appear that you were worthy to receive it? Look, you were going to get it anyway, and God knows it. So rather than trying to make yourself worthy or appear worthy of the gift, just accept the gift and THEN WORK to show your LOVE and your GRATITUDE towards the giver. And just as Abraham had hope against hope that he would have a child, you need to have hope against hope that no matter what you have done or will do – for you will sin! – that God is going to save you anyway. You are not putting your faith in your own ability not to sin, but rather God’s ability to save you no matter what you do so long as you have faith.
It seems unfair? Well yes, it is unfair. But if God is willing to abide by those terms, who are you to say no? Just take what God is giving you and be happy, stop beating yourself up over it. Jesus Christ took the beating over your sins when He went to the cross for you, and since Jesus Christ is God, there is nothing that you can add on top of God Himself taking on such humiliation by dying the painful death of a criminal at the hands of sinners! “And being fully persuaded of what he had been promised, he did not waver but was able to be perform.” You have been promised salvation in the Bible, and if you are sure of what the Bible says, you will know that you are saved by belief alone, and you will be able to believe in your salvation because you will believe in the God that saved you. If you fall short, however, you will never believe in your salvation because you will reject God’s Word that promised you salvation in the way that the promise was made, you will never believe in your salvation, and you will never trust the God that saved you. You will always try to add to it with your own efforts, the way Abraham did when he had the child with Hagar. Abraham failed to believe that God would give him a child the way God said that he would, with Sarah. So he tried to help God with his own works and had a child that God never intended.
Once you read the Bible, especially John 3 and Romans 10, it is obvious that all that need happen for you to be saved is to A) know that you need to be saved, B) know that only God can save you and C) know that God will save you no matter what if you cry out to Him and D) cry out to Him. If you have never done so, or even if you have and are not sure, you can accomplish A – D right here, now, today. This prayer is all you need, say it, believe it, and be ready to both go to Heaven and serve God with the rest of your time on earth!
This is my personal version; quite a bit longer than the salvation prayer in the Bible.
Father God, the One True God of Heaven Who Created The Land, Sea, and All Things In The Earth, Above, And Below,In The Name Of Lord Jesus Christ.I Am Sorry For All My Sins. Please Forgive me.I believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)Born of the Virgin MaryDied for my sins on the crossRose from the dead on the third dayAscended into heavenAnd is the one begotten Son of GodAnd is God and part of the One GodThat is The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit)And who was God and man while on Earth.
I submit that you are greater than I and all elseI submit myself to your complete authorityAnd promise to zealously seek and obeyYour will and your will aloneAll the days of my life.
I humbly request, Father God, In The Name Of JesusThat I be baptized with the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)And receive evidence thereofAt the time that you in your infinite wisdomWould deem appropriate.
I believe that if I have said this prayer and fully believe and have faith in the contents therein that I am saved.I believe that this prayer and belief is all that is necessary to be savedAnd will hold fast to my salvation and the belief thereinWhatever the words or actions of any man or spiritSave God himself.
The Word Of God is the only Truth there isAnd I renounce all else.
In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus ChristI thank you God for having mercy on meI thank you God for saving meI thank Jesus Christ for dying for my sins on the cross and rising againFor defeating death, hell, and SatanAnd thereby through him giving me the victory over the sameAnd thereby through him making a way for me to enter heaven.Thank you Father for accepting me into the Body of ChristFor my salvationAnd for my entrance into heaven should I sincerely obey and serve you henceforth and for the rest of my life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
We do things differently here at Heal The Land, and in keeping with that, we have contained our doctrinal statement within our Salvation Prayer! Why? Because to borrow from Midnight Cry Ministries, our actual doctrinal statement is the Holy Bible. Now we strongly prefer King James version despite its flaws, and because of that are not like unto the anti – Christian cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness or Jesus Only Pentecostals, Mormons, and other folks who insist on using ONLY the King James Version because only it contains the regrettable flaws on which they base their doctrine that denies Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ. So why do we adhere to the King James Version? Because the other modern Bibles contain not regrettable translation flaws, but purposeful deviations from the true and final revelation from God to man that are even worse! But in any event, our Salvation Prayer contains all that you need to believe and keep to be with God in eternity and be spared your deserved fate in the lake of fire, so it suffices. For everything else that you require, read the Holy Bible! Note that I did not say “go to church” or “listen to and obey the preacher.” I said read the Holy Bible! For yourself! Regularly and consistently, and believe and keep what is therein and nothing else! That is THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL GET TO HEAVEN! Salvation Prayer
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
1. Admit to God that you are a sinner, and that this gives God the right to punish you for your sins. If you are deny or are unsure of that your being a sinner, then take this challenge: Have you ever told a lie? Stolen something? Wanted something that belonged to someone else? Disobeyed or disrespected your parents? Used the Name of God in a swear or curse word? Looked at someone other than your spouse in a sexual manner? Hated or become very angry with someone? Have you practiced another religion, taken part in any ritual, or cared about anything more than you do God? If you have done any of those things at any point in your life, then you have disobeyed a direct order from God. It is not an issue of your character or morals, but the fact that you have broken one of God’s Commandments at some point, which is what sin is. Yet, you should take this personally, because one day God will judge you for disobeying Him, and if He finds you guilty, He will punish you forever. What gives God the right to judge and punish you? The fact that He is God, that He created you, and that the very same rules that you broke in your short life He obeys for eternity. Realize this: no matter how moral and upstanding you are, you still sin each day of your life, usually without even knowing it, and the main way is not in what you do but in what you think! Even if you never made a single movement for your entire life, you would still sin! So reject your pride and admit to God that you are a sinner! And what does this mean? That you owe God something, that you are in debt to Him. But it is a debt that you can never pay. So like any creditor, God has the right to punish you for your unpaid debt, and He will exercise that right, with the punishment being an eternal death in a lake of fire. This is called acknowledgment of sin.
2. Know that you have no right to disobey God, and that God has every right to punish you forever for all present, future, and past known and unknown sin, even honest mistakes. Then desire not to disobey God anymore. Whether it is the things that you did in the past or may do in the future, whether it is things that you remember or not, whether it was things that you knowingly or not , or something that you knew was wrong when or not, and whether it is easy to stop doing these things or not, know that all disobedience to God is unconditionally wrong, and that your desire is to not disobey God again at all costs. This is called repentance of sin.
3. Know that only God can forgive your sins and keep you from being punished for them. How? God came to earth as the only man born to a virgin: Jesus Christ. Being fully man while on the earth, the opportunity to sin was constantly presented to Him just as it is to you. But being fully God, He was able to do what for you is impossible: live an entire life without having a single sinful thought or action, known or unknown, willingly or by accident. But though Jesus Christ never committed any sin, He died anyway. Why? To take the punishment for your sins. If someone else pays your debts for you, then you do not have to pay them, right? And that is precisely what Jesus Christ did. After Jesus Christ paid your debt with His death on a cross, He rose from the dead three days later to prove that those who are not guilty of sin will not be punished. Since only God is without sin, knowing that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that accepting that His death was only way that you can be spared the punishment of sin is the same as believing that Jesus Christ is God, and also that God alone has the ability to find you guilty of sin and make you innocent of it. This requires more than simply acknowledging some bit of information as factually correct such as what you do when reading a newspaper or history book. This is you being absolutely certain that Jesus Christ exists, that He died on the cross to pay your debt to God that you alone created with your own sins, and that He resurrected from the dead to prove that because that He paid your debt for you you will not be punished. Then you must trust God that it is because of this knowledge alone that He will save you from being punished for owing the debt to Him that you cannot pay. This called believing on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The “on” in that phrase is key. It is not merely believing that Jesus Christ lived, or even that He was God who died for your sins and was resurrected. It is knowing what His life, death, and resurrection means for you: that your debt of sin can be paid by God alone through faith and trust in God alone, and only in the manner that God requires.So, if you right now before God acknowledge your sin, repent of your sin, and believe upon the resurrection, then you are saved!
Please do a few things to make it official. In the Bible, Romans 10:9 says that if you openly state that Jesus Christ is your God and believe in your heart (meaning with your mind, emotions) and will) that God raised Him from the dead, then you are saved. So if you can speak, say “Before God I have acknowledged my sin, repented of my sin, and believed on the Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.”
Next, Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 10:32 and Luke 12:8 that you must tell others that you believe in Him and that He paid your debt because of it. So, if there is anyone around you, tell them so. Or, if you wish, you can tell me at email@example.com!
Also, God commands us to receive a full – immersion baptism, which represents how Jesus Christ died for us and rose again, and allows us to participate in His actions symbolically. The ideal place to have this performed is at a church.
You also must immediately become a faithful, regular reader of the Bible, and the only true way is to do so the whole way through from start to finish. Why? Because the Bible should be the foundation and motivation for all that you believe, say, and do from this point on. You will not be accepted by God unless you love Jesus Christ, and the Bible says in John 14:15 that you cannot love Jesus Christ except by obeying Him. As God’s Commandments to you are in the Bible, you must read it in order to obey Him.
I would further greatly appreciate it were you to click on this link (Make Your Testimony To Jesus Christ Right Here!) to let me know that God used this outreach ministry to cause you to give your life to Him. (It solicits a testimony, but you do not have to provide one unless you want to!)
At this point you may be confused about certain things. That is perfectly fine, and understandable. Foremost, let me inform you about God. First of all, He loves you. That was why He left the paradise of Heaven to live as a man (not only that, but the common life of a laborer, a carpenter as a Jew during the time that Jews were living in poverty and brutal oppression by the Roman Empire) and experienced death (and not only that, but the humiliating excruciating public death of a criminal in a manner that the Bible calls cursed in Galatians 3:13) so that you could be saved and be with Him in Heaven. Second – and this is a mystery that men are incapable of understanding and should not try to – though there is only one God, God is composed of three distinct personalities: the Father (or the Ancient of Days), the Son Jesus Christ (or the Word of God), and the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost). The three personalities combine to make one Entity, one God. God is used in referenced to all three personalities as a unit – commonly called the Holy Trinity (though I prefer Tri – Unity) or when speaking of a personality in separate. Each personality is equal, and each personality is distinct with a clearly defined role. How does this make for one God instead of three? First, consider not that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 but rather 1 X 1 X 1 = 1. Second, again realize that it is a mystery, accomplished by the God that has always existed in this state and makes it so. But this is the reason why God refers to Himself in singular when speaking of Himself to others and plural when speaking of Himself about Himself. The first example in the Bible of God referring to Himself in plural is Genesis 1:26 . Isaiah 6:8 (with Isaiah 6:1 – 7 being the salvation narrative on which this 3 step method is based, allowing for the fact that Jesus Christ had not yet openly been revealed to the world in the time of Isaiah) is an example of God referring to Himself as singular and plural. All three personalities of the Trinity are equal, but Jesus Christ willingly subordinates Himself to and obeys the Ancient of Days – whom Jesus Christ called Father in scripture and the Father called Jesus Christ His only begotten Son – and the Holy Spirit does the same regarding both Jesus Christ and the Ancient of Days. One of the duties of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to Jesus Christ, and one of the duties of Jesus Christ is to bring us to the Ancient of Days. One of the duties of the Ancient of Days is to be a prosecutor and judge: to put people on trial regarding their sins, to determine their guilt or innocence, and determine their fates. (One that has not allowed the Holy Spirit to bring them to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ to bring them to His Father will be tried and convicted by the Father.) For more information on the vital Christian doctrine of the Trinity, read this link and this one as well.
Second, the Bible commands us in Hebrews 10:24 – 25 to keep regular frequent company with other Christians, and the most common way of accomplishing this is with membership and regular attendance and participation of a local church. If this is what you choose, make certain that such a church professes that the Protestant Christian Bible is the inerrant, God inspired, completed revelation to man, and is the final authority in all matters, and this profession is verified by the actions of the church’s pastor and members. Finding such a church is very difficult in this day and age, so many Christians are now seeking to fulfill Hebrews 10:24 – 25 by regularly meeting to pray and study the Bible in small groups, which is what the early church did – often in each other’s homes but also at times in public places like synagogues and on each day of the week – until the Roman government took control of the church and commanded under penalty of death that people could only meet in government – designated buildings on Sunday. It was at that time that the term “church” came to mean a building where people met to worship, or a particular group of people that meet at buildings to worship.
Third, here is a link that does an excellent job of briefly defining common Christian terms, many of whom are often misunderstood, misused, and abused. Please become familiar with it, and it will help you both in your understanding of the Bible, and those who either honestly misunderstand it knowingly dishonestly seek to profit from the popular misunderstandings of others.
Finally, God bless you in your new life!
J. King of Heal The Land
J. King of Heal The Land
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
This ministry has two purposes. The first is to win new souls for Christ. To all who are ignorant of the true message of Jesus Christ, to all who wish to be saved but don’t know how to be, to all who are feeling frightened, poorly adjusted, or insecure, welcome! I do not care about your race, sex, class, religion, background, culture, or personal history, because my God does not care. I am here to tell you today that salvation is for you, right here, right now. You may mutter to yourself how simple, corny and unsophisticated it sounds, about how you have heard it so many times but nothing ever changes. How many times have you heard that 2 + 2 equals 4? How simple, corny, and unsophisticated is that to all but theoretical mathematicians? But that doesn’t make it any less true. Don’t believe me, just go get two apples, two oranges, put them together, and see what you get, and if it gets too complicated for you go to any preschool, find any one of the future Einsteins for Christ there and receive a demonstration. Salvation is easy! All you have to do is tell God that you are sorry for everything wrong that you have ever done, accept Jesus as the son of God who was born of a virgin, died for those very same sins, rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven. That is all. Why? Because telling God that you are sorry for your sins is submission to his singular authority over your life. Belief in the Virgin Birth is belief that God can do anything and that his word is true. Belief that God’s own Son died for our sins is belief that sin – which is rebellion against God – can only lead to separation from God – which is death – no matter who you are. Belief that Jesus rose again from the dead is belief that God can and will overcome sin and death for whomever will ask. Belief that Jesus ascended into heaven and is now sitting on the right hand of the Father is belief that Jesus is God himself who came to the Earth in the form of a man in order to conquer the sins of whoever will receive him out of his love for us, and that all who allow God to conquer sin and death on our behalf will join him in heaven one day. The hard part is what happens AFTER you get saved: how you must turn your belief into knowledge, your knowledge into faith, your faith into obedience, and your obedience into submission. You must not only become without spot before God – which is only possible if God himself does it after you seek it from him – but you must maintain that state until he comes for you. And that brings us to the second part of this ministry. Upon accepting Jesus into your life, you become part of the TRUE church that Jesus is coming back for; the Body Of Christ that will inhabit the Bride of the Lamb, which is New Jerusalem, which is Heaven. The church has become quite competent at publicizing itself and increasing its size. While that may seem good, the truth is that such endeavors often come at the expense of actually doing the work that God commanded us to. The modern church has two factions. One is more concerned with appearing righteous than being righteous, making them no different from the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees that Jesus exposed. The other faction is doing its level best to make peace with, accommodate, and even incorporate within itself the world and all its wickedness, no different from how the children of
Israel began sacrificing and burning incense to other gods in God’s own temples, tabernacles, and synagogues. The vast majority of today’s churches are either in one camp, the other, or to some degree have taken on both. Simply put, today’s church isn’t doing its job, which is obeying the commandments of our God. We have gone off to pursue our own desires and in doing so have become more wicked than many who have never set foot in a church. For that reason God is about to judge the church, and when that judgment comes it will be better to be outside the church than to be a sinner in it! That is completely opposite from the mentality that most church attendees have … they believe that because they attend church, do good works, and have the appearance of virtue they will “earn” another chance. But do not be fooled, and do not be among them. Jesus said at various points in the Bible – see Matthew 11 for instance – that rank sinners will be shown more mercy on the Day of Judgment than will wicked churchgoers, because unlike “the world” the latter knew better, had every chance to plead for God to make them right, and still did not because they loved themselves more than God.After God finishes pouring out his wrath upon and scattering the church, he will, as he always did in the Bible and throughout history, gather together a remnant of his true dedicated believers and servants to rebuild the congregation so that once again the church will begin to do his will and to make way for the coming of the Lord. I pray that I will allow God to use me in this ministry and all those who have similar ministries, such that all who receive this and similar teachings will be spared God’s wrath, be part of God’s remnant, and do his will. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
Prayer Assistance 1. General Prayer Points
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
It is my belief that the Holy Bible, no matter what version that you use, is not for the lost, but rather for the found. Why? First, if you are unsaved, the only thing that you need (or that does any good) is the prayer to be saved, and that does not require any knowledge or belief other than the contents of the prayer itself. (There are plenty of other versions of the salvation prayer, including some in the Bible itself, which can be easily found with a little research or by asking someone else who is truly saved.)
Next, the Bible simply cannot be understood without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Realize that much in the Christian walk is paradox. The Bible’s text should be literally read, taken, and believed, true. But it is also true that the Bible has allegorical meaning. The Bible is the Word of God. But it also represents the Word of God, which God himself will reveal to you while you are reading it, and while you are not. There is One God, One Word, One Faith, and One Baptism, and everyone who is truly saved will have the same understanding. Yet, some understandings of the Bible and the Word of God that will be different for different people; indeed saved, fire – baptized people WILL read the same scripture and get different meanings, understandings, and revelations. As a matter of fact, the SAME person may read the same scripture over and over again, and often get a different meaning, understanding, or revelation. Despite the differences – and because of them – it is all one continuous consistent unchanging Word of God, which is God himself. It and it alone should you put your trust, and that trust should be total, absolute. Not only that, you are duty bound by your God to obey his Word and put it in action at the time and in the manner that he tells you to, no matter what it is, no matter what the consequence.
The Bible is more than just a set of instructions, stories, parables, and explanations. Through the Bible God reveals to you Himself. Knowledge of God gives a person great power, and God is not going to give that power out to people who, knowingly or unknowingly, will use it to do harm. For that reason, the true meaning and power of the Bible is hidden to all except those who it is revealed to by God himself through the Holy Spirit. Even if a person with the Holy Spirit tried to reveal the meaning to someone without it, they would not understand it even if they sincerely wanted to and sincerely want to be saved. As a matter of fact, there are many instances where a person with the Holy Spirit cannot reveal certain meanings to others with the Holy Spirit! Indeed, even among fire – baptized completely dedicated individuals, there are going to be some things that will be revealed to some but not others. And yes, there are some things in the Bible and of God’s word that will never be revealed to anyone on this Earth.
And that is why though Satan, his demons, and his human agents on Earth may know every word in the Bible and will use it against you; to tempt you, it will not and cannot work unless you allow it. No matter how familiar they become with the Bible and all its translations, interpretations, and implications, it will have no power. It will have no power because they are walking outside of the source of the power, which is God Himself. And it will have no power because despite all their knowledge and understanding, they truly have no knowledge and understanding.
So, to read the Bible, you must first get saved and receive the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, the things that you will read in the Bible – and the things that others tell you is in it – has the great potential to confuse you, and even become a source of temptation and detriment. I am not saying that you should not read it, but rather read it knowing that you need something else in your life, heart, and spirit to truly understand. I would liken it to an elementary school student reading a college textbook. You may – indeed you most likely will, if you are sincere about your desire to love God – get some level of understanding and benefit, but you will still be wanting.
After you are saved and receive the Holy Spirit (or perhaps after you get saved) you should ask the Lord to guide you in what you should read. You should pray before you start reading, pray during your reading, and pray after you finish. If there is something that you do not understand, pray and ask God its meaning. If you do not get an answer (or are unsure) just continue reading.
Now when you are specifically being led by the Holy Spirit, God will tell you what to read and when. Otherwise, there is no set way to read the Bible. Despite what you may have heard, there is absolutely nothing wrong with starting from the beginning and reading the Bible cover to cover. In fact, I strongly recommend it! If you are newly saved and looking for a place to start in lieu of or in addition to reading the Bible cover to cover (which I do believe that all Christians should do at some point and also more than once), I highly recommend the Book of Psalms. The reason is that much of the Psalms contain clear, easy to understand prayers to God and praise to God that are intense and powerful. Indeed, you can recite many of the Psalms to serve as your own prayers and worship! If you are new to praying or have concerns about whether you truly know how to pray effective, I recommend that you start with The Lord’s Prayer and then go to the Psalms.
I recommend for the newly saved to stick with the same version of the Bible. There will be plenty of time to read other versions. Going from one to another, especially when trying to cross – reference, may be time – consuming and confusing. I do recommend, however, occasionally checking another version or two in order to try to attain a better understanding of selected passages that you really desire to get a better grasp of before you move on. Which version to read? More on that later. Bible study guides, references, concordances, interpretations, and the like will be helpful, but be aware that they are no substitute for what the Holy Spirit will reveal to you. Indeed, the potential for being mislead into spiritual harm by those is much greater than reading the Bible itself without any reference, so watch and pray.
That brings us to the many versions of the Bible. There are two great Internet references to help you among the competing Bible versions: http://www.biblegateway.com and http://www.bible.cc. The former has the many versions of the Bible. The latter lists several versions (at the time of this writing 7) simultaneously a verse on a page at a time.
As you can probably already tell, I strongly prefer the King James Version. I also sincerely believe that some Bible translations are misleading, some to the point of harming even a sincere reader. However, I will not go so far as to recommend the King James Version or tell you which versions to avoid. That is something between you and your God and is definitely an issue to pray on. I will only say to use care, caution, vigilance, and due diligence, especially if you are newly saved and/or not yet fire – baptized with the Holy Spirit with evidence thereof. (If you wish to know about the evidence of having the Holy Spirit, the Book of the Acts of the Apostles is an excellent starting point, and you will arrive to the first mention very quickly).
Last but not least, be both unmovable and humble. No matter what level you have obtained in your walk with Christ, have complete confidence that not only is the Word of God entirely true, it is all the truth that there is. Have a strong level of faith in what you have personally read for yourself and what understanding you have received, and have faith that what you have read and received is sufficient for you to put your trust in and live by. God knows that you haven’t gotten the whole story yet; indeed he is expectantly waiting and desirous to reveal it to you! Furthermore, do not engage in any dispute or disagreement on the Bible, and do not arbitrate any dispute. Fighting over the Bible and its meaning is one of the main ways that Satan has used to prevent people from becoming true Christians. Further, true Christians who engage in such behavior run a great risk of their own spiritual destruction. The Bible itself says in Timothy 3:9 “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” The Word of God is completely true and absolute. There is nothing to debate over. There is nothing to arbitrate. The Bible itself stands on its own, and so does what the Holy Spirit reveals to any and all that has it. Sincere questions and discussions on the Bible and its meaning are fine, indeed highly recommended and may be extremely beneficial. In many cases (but not all) there is nothing wrong with hearing someone else’s beliefs on God’s word. After all, true preachers, teachers, evangelists, etc. impart God’s word to the world, and God commands all of us to do so. But do not argue. Do not try to force your opinion. People have to freely accept the Word of God AND earnestly seek it themselves! Indeed, only attempt to correct someone if God himself through the Holy Spirit tells you to.
So go forth, read the Bible, and receive all that God has for you in it. Father in the name of Jesus Christ, I ask that all who seek and desire you and read the Bible be saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive guidance, understanding, and revelation from you and you alone. I ask that their reading the Bible be an integral part of pleasing you to get into heaven, and that such be their only goal in reading the Bible and of all that they do. I ask that everyone who desires to follow you will have access to the Holy Bible, and I have faith that for those sincere who lack access that you will make a way. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.