The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Bible Study Help

Judaism, Christianity & Biblical Commands: Sorting Out the Confusion

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The modern Christian Bible is filled with commandments, instructions, and guidelines—many of which are not applicable to Christians.  So before you pin up a copy of the Ten Commandments or start stressing over some rule that you find God laying down in Scriptures, you need to understand some basic facts about Bible commands.  So let’s get into it. Read more of this post

What We Teach About the NT Epistles

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If you go to any Christian church (in any Christian denomination), you’ll be taught many things about what the NT writers say.  Much of that teaching will be wrong.  The Church grossly misrepresents what the Bible says, and she doesn’t even come close to teaching you how to properly apply its contents.

When we write articles that are focused on a particular passage of Scripture, our goal is to help you understand what the original author meant.  Some portions of Scripture include a lot of direct messages or quotations from God–especially in the OT prophetic books, the Torah, and the NT Gospels.  But God is not doing any of the talking in the NT epistles.  The NT epistles and the Psalms were written by humans, and many of those humans were not listening to God in their personal lives, thus their teaching is lousy. Read more of this post

Defining THE WORD OF GOD: Its Biblical & Modern Day Meanings

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The Word is one of those phrases that has become a jumbled mess in the minds of Christians.  Today we’ve got a ton of false prophets running around declaring, “I have a word!”  Then we’ve got Christians referring to their modern day Bibles as The Word.  The author of Hebrews says that the Word of God is living and active.  The apostle John refers to Jesus as The Word.  The apostle Paul instructs people to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  So what should we make of all this?  If the Bible is the Word, and Jesus is the Word, does that mean that Jesus is a book or that the book is a God?  No, it  means that we’ve all confused ourselves by attaching too many definitions to the same phrase.  The purpose of this post is to sort out the mess. Read more of this post

It’s Personal: Understanding How God Communicates with Humans

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When God is talking to Americans, He talks like an American—using terms, slang, and metaphors that Americans understand.  When He’s talking to Russians, He talks like a Russian.  When He’s talking to Italians, He talks like an Italian.  Because God gave us all of the language tools we use today, and because He understands us better than we understand ourselves, it’s a very simple thing for Him to communicate to us in ways that we will understand.  It’s also a very simple thing for Him to stonewall us, confuse us, and prevent us from pondering certain questions and possibilities.  The point is that if God wants you to understand something, there’s no way that you can stop yourself from receiving that information.  At the same time, if God wants to withhold information from you, there’s no way that you can pry that information out of Him.   Read more of this post

Imitating the Idolatry of NT Jews: All Scripture is God-Breathed

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Why do Christians today say that the entire Bible is God-breathed or Divinely inspired?  Where do we get that idea from?  We get it from the apostle Paul.  Paul once said to Timothy:

All Scripture is Divinely inspired and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. (2 Tim. 3:16)

Of course when Paul said this, he was only talking about the Old Testament, because that was the only “Scripture” that he knew.  But today when we quote Paul’s words, we pretend that he was referring to both the Old and New Testaments, even though the New Testament that you know today wasn’t compiled until long after Paul’s death.  It simply doesn’t matter to you that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Hebrews, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation were all written after Paul had died.  You still insist that when Paul said all Scripture was Divinely inspired, he was including documents that he’d never personally heard of.  Are you starting to get a feel for how ludicrous the modern day application of Paul’s words is? Read more of this post

Bible Study Help: Which translation should you use?

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By now you’ve probably noticed that there are many English translations of the Bible.  In fact, you could easily say that there are too many.  Having all of these choices becomes overwhelming and confusing to Christians who are wanting to do some serious Scripture study. So what do you do?  How can you—a Christian without any special training in biblical study—study the Bible all on your own and actually get something out of it?

Well, let’s start with the basics.

You don’t have any formal training on how to study the Bible—congratulations!  This is actually a huge advantage.  You see, when you go to some expensive Christian school and pay people to tell you how to study the Bible, all you get out of it is a bunch of denominational brainwashing.  Formal Christian Bible study courses and Bible helps actually teach you to read the Bible through a mental filter—and that means they teach you to ignore much of what the Bible actually says.  So if you want to do it right, don’t pay.  If you’re shelling out a bunch of money for Bible study materials, you’re buying the wrong things.  In this post, we’re going to teach you a method of Bible study which won’t cost you a dime and it will help you actually learn the right things—the things that God wants you to learn.  After all, the whole purpose in studying the Bible is supposed to be to get to know God better so that you can treat Him better.  We don’t study the Bible to become show offs and braggarts. Read more of this post

Biblical Backup: Why does it matter?

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Of all of the gods being talked about, worshiped, and defended in this world, only three of them are real: Yahweh, Jesus and the magnificent Holy Spirit.  It was these three glorious, uncreated Beings who brought everything that is into existence.  It is these three Beings who we humans are totally dependent on, and it is these three Beings who we will be judged by.

Now if you want to be an idiot, you totally ignore whatever the real Gods tell you and you end up eternally paying for your defiance.  But if you want to be wise, then you listen good when the real Gods pipe up with some bit of instruction about how They want you to treat Them.  And while we’re all on our own individual journeys with our Makers, there are certain commands that are given to us all.  One of those commands is that we humans must reverentially submit to the real Gods as the Supreme Authorities that They are. Read more of this post

How We Got the Bible: A Reality Check for Christians

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God hates idolatry and the common Christian attitude towards the Bible is quite idolatrous.  Today we are taught to think of the Bible as a replacement for God in our lives.  Don’t believe it?  Well, consider how we refer to it as the Living Word.  What kind of foolishness is this?  A book is not alive, yet we talk as if the Bible is, because to us, the Bible is not just a book, it is a deity.  Then we go on to say that the Bible speaks to us.  No, it really doesn’t.  God speaks to us, but God is not a book.  God will certainly use material in the Bible to communicate some point to us at times, but so will demons, and so will other humans.  The Bible is hardly some magical talisman which we can use to force God Almighty to speak at our command.  And yet this is how we’re taught to use it by the Church.  Need a word from God?  Need guidance?  Need comfort?  Don’t talk to God, crack open the book.  Here’s a popular Christian ditty: “God can’t speak until you part His lips for Him,” and when we say this, we’re referring to the covers of our Bible as His lips.  This is quite an irreverent and derogatory way to talk about God, and yet we do this all the time because the Bible is not only our replacement for God, it is also a means by which we try to control God. Read more of this post

The Prophetic Books of the Bible: Who’s Talking?

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When you’re taught to view every word in the Bible as falling from the lips of God, you don’t notice that a vast amount of verbiage in the Bible isn’t being spoken by God at all, but rather by human beings.  Speaking for God is an entirely different thing than speaking about God.  Once God Himself confirms to your soul that a prophet has spoken directly for Him, then you need to treat what was said as a direct message from God, because that’s what it was.  But if a prophet is only speaking about God, or interjecting his own thoughts in the middle of messages from God, well, that needs to be handled quite differently. Read more of this post

Practicing Discernment: Bible Promises

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If ever there was a topic that is grossly abused in the Church, it is that of God’s promises. On all sides, you are told that God’s Word is filled with promises that are just waiting to be claimed in faith. And according to promise promoters, the only reason you’re still struggling with that addiction, depression, fear, demon, poverty, disease, or any other problem in life is because you are such a sad slacker in the faith department. If you’d just crack open the book and start claiming the promises God has given to you, you could fix your life. You see, in the world of promise promotion, God is nothing more than our super powerful robot. He can do all of these really fabulous things, but not until we speak the right verbal commands. If you want to get your robot to perform the way you want, you have to familiarize yourself with the robot command manual, which is the Bible. In the Bible, you can find commands to make the robot do whatever you want. Experiencing a sweet life on earth is simply a matter of flinging the right commands. This is how disrespectfully Christians treat their Gods, and then they wonder why Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are less than thrilled with them.     Read more of this post