Section 1: The Bible: A Book for Today
Many people think of the Bible as simply an old book that talks about long-ago things and long-ago people. How is the Bible relevant to our “postmodern” world in the early years of a new century? Could the Bible possibly talk about world conditions in our time? Jesus Christ was the greatest newscaster ever! Instead of merely talking about yesterday’s news, as do conventional newscasters, He announced tomorrow’s news in advance. He discussed the state of the world in the years immediately preceding His return to this earth to establish the Kingdom of God. The Bible is much more than a book of ancient stories and poetry—it is a vital book for today.
The questions below show you where to find answers in the Bible. Open your Bible and look up each verse. If you don't have a Bible, get a Bible app for your phone here.
1. Was Daniel ever told that his writings were not intended for his day, but were sealed until the end time? (Daniel 12:9)
And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
2. In the end time, who would understand what Daniel had written? (Daniel 12:10)
Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
3. In Proverbs 9:10, what does Solomon tell us is the starting point of wisdom?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
4. Check Proverbs 8:13, 15:33, and 16:6 for the biblical explanation of “the fear of God.” (Note: The word “fear” in this context refers primarily to awe, not terror.)
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
5. Psalm 111:10 gives us what important key to understanding God’s word?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.
6. Did Christ’s disciples ever ask Him about the “end of the world”? See Matthew 24:3. (Note: The Greek word aeon in this verse means “age.” There are two words translated “world” in the New Testament: kosmos, which refers to society, and oikoumene, which refers to the land, or globe.)
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
7. Does God know the future? Does He reveal that knowledge in His word? See Isaiah 46:9–11.
(9) Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
(10) Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
(11) Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.
8. Did Christ want His servants to know the general time of His return to the earth? See Matthew 24:32–33.
(32) “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. (33) So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!”
9. Did the Apostle Paul expect the Day of the Lord to come upon true Christians as “a thief in the night” or did he teach that Christians would be able, through Scripture, to understand the general times and not be caught totally by surprise? See 1 Thessalonians 5:1–5.
(1) But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. (2) For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (3) For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (5) You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
10. Does God alone know His exact timing? Matthew 24:36.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
The Arrangement of the Bible
There is an inspired order of the Bible as preserved in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. While our English Bibles contain all of these books, the order is different and therefore the pattern of arrangement is not as evident. The Old Testament (OT) consists of three divisions, while the New Testament consists of four. This makes a total of seven—the number God uses in Scripture to indicate completion and perfection. The Jews anciently counted the books of the OT as 22 in number. When the 22 books of the OT are added to the 27 of the New Testament, the total is 49, seven times seven. God’s hand is found in the arrangement of this remarkable book! A chart displaying these divisions and arrangements is provided on page 7 of this lesson.
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