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Lesson 1: The Bible - The Word of Elohim

by Jeremy Mwangelwa

You may Download the entire lesson here

Table of Contents

I.       INTRODUCTION

II.      WHAT IS THE BIBLE

A.     THE OLD TESTAMENT.

B.      THE NEW TESTAMENT

C.      PROGRESSIVE REVELATION

III.         THE NATURE OF THE WORD

A.     ALIVE AND POWERFUL

B.      ETERNAL. 12

IV.         HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE WORD.. 13

A.     MIX FAITH WITH THE WORD.. 13

B.      PLANT THE WORD AS A SEED.. 14

V.     How to Establish the Word in Your Life. 15

A.     READ THE WORD.. 15

B.      STUDY THE WORD.. 17

C.      MEDITATE ON THE WORD.. 18

VI.         Summary - Give the Word First Place. 19

VII.        Assignments. 19

VIII.      Bible Survey. 19

A.     Old Testament. 19

B.      New Testament. 23

IX.         Study Questions. 26

A.     Lesson One – Day One. 26

B.      Lesson One – Day Two. 27

C.      Lesson One – Day Three. 28

D.     Lesson One – Day Four. 29

  1. INTRODUCTION

A study of the Bible must begin with recognition of its divine authority as the Word of Elohim. The Bible is a record of Elohim's word to man, recorded by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Since it is the Word of Elohim and not the word of  men,  its  power  and  authority originate with Elohim Himself. All scripture is inspired by Elohim ("Elohim-breathed" - 2 Timothy  3:16)  and  so has all the integrity and dependability of Elohim.

For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from Elohim. 2 Peter 1:21

All Scripture is inspired by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

Any attempt to understand Elohim  and His ways without the Word of Elohim is fruitless. The Bible must be the starting point of all doctrinal discussion,  because  it  is Elohim's revelation of Himself to mankind.

  1. WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

The Bible is made up of 66 books, divided into two testaments: the Old Testament and the New Testament. It was written down by approximately 44 inspired authors over a period spanning 1600 years. The Old Testament contains 39 books, spanning the period from the creation of the world to the return of the Israelites from Babylonian exile. The New Testament contains 27 books, covering the time from Yahshua's birth to the end of the 1st century. (See the end of this lesson for an overview of all the books of the Bible.)

    1. THE OLD TESTAMENT

The 39 books of the Old Testament can be divided into five major parts: Pentateuch, History, Poetry, the Major Prophets, and the Minor Prophets. These books contain the story of Elohim's dealings with His chosen people, the Israelites, and are recognized by Jews today as their canon (the genuine and inspired scriptures, Elohim's Word to the Jewish people). The major divisions in English Bibles of the Old Testament are as follows:

The Law:

 

History:

 

Poetry & Wisdom:

 

Major Prophets:

 

Minor Prophets:

 

 

      1. Original language

The Old Testament was written down in Hebrew, a Semitic  language akin to Arabic. Small segments of Ezra, Daniel, and one verse in Jeremiah, are written in Aramaic (the language of Palestine in Yahshua's day).

      1. Archaeological Proofs

Numerous attempts by critical scholars have failed to prove that facts listed in the Old Testament are erroneous. Here is just one of many examples:

At least 47 times the Old Testament makes mention of a group of people called the "Hittites." However, in no other ancient writings was there any mention of this nation. Skeptical scholars, during the late 19th century, used to point out this "mythical" kingdom as proof that one couldn't trust the historical facts written in the Old Testament. Then, in 1906, a German archaeologist unearthed the ruins of a large city in modern-day Turkey, which proved to be the capital of a vast empire, the Hittite empire. Its existence had up to this time been little known and only suspected by archaeologists, yet the Old Testament had been speaking of Hittites for thousands of years.

Merrill Unger -

Unger's Bible Dictionary

Today, archaeological expeditions in the Middle East continue to prove the authenticity of the Old Testament.

      1. How it was recorded

Although at first Elohim's revelations were oral (Genesis 15:1), He later commanded that what He had spoken should be written down (Exodus 34:27). Throughout the history of Israel, there were men who recorded what Elohim was doing or saying (Numbers 33:2; Deuteronomy 17:18; Joshua 24:26; 1 Samuel 10:25; Isaiah 8:16; Jeremiah 36:2).

Please read all referenced verses.

These writings were the scriptures to the people of Elohim at that time, and Elohim expected them to revere them as such (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2). These books have been passed down to our day and  make  up  what  is  now  known  as the Old Testament.

Please read all referenced verses.

When reading the Old Testament, it is important that one realize that all the books in it look forward. When man fell, Elohim promised a redeemer (Genesis 3:15), and the  books of the Old Testament point to that Redeemer. Whether by allusion or direct prophecy, you'll find Yahshua in every book of the Old Testament (see Oral Roberts' Christ in  Every  Book  of the Bible).

The Old Testament is the story of the nation Israel, but it is also Elohim's repeated promise that He was going to send a Redeemer to purchase our salvation.

    1. THE NEW TESTAMENT

The New Testament consists of 27 books, written by  8 authors over a 50-year period. It can be roughly divided into five segments: the Gospels, History, the Epistles of Paul, the General Epistles, and Revelation.

The Gospels are a record of the life, death, and resurrection of Yahshua Messiah; the Acts give you a history of the early church; the Epistles are letters from apostles to churches, explaining Christian doctrines; Revelation is John's record of a vision of the end times that he received while in exile on the isle of Patmos.

While the Old Testament contains Elohim's promise of a Redeemer, the New Testament tells us how that Redeemer came and what He accomplished.

The major divisions of the New Testament are as follows:

Gospels:

 

History:

 

Epistles of Paul:

General Epistles:

 

Prophecy:

 

      1. Original language

The New Testament was written in Greek. This includes the gospels, even though the language which Yahshua and all the men of Palestine spoke at that time was Aramaic, not Greek.

At the time the New Testament was written, Greek was a worldwide language. A gospel written in Aramaic or Hebrew would only be useful in Palestine, but one written in Greek could be read anywhere in the known world. Thus, the Greek language was an invaluable tool in the early spreading of the gospel.

      1. How it was recorded

Although the books of the New Testament are arranged somewhat chronologically, they were not written  in  that order. The  first  New Testament "scripture" anyone received in those days was oral, coming from the mouths of those who preached the gospel. Paul commended those who received his teaching "not as the word of men," but as the divinely inspired Word of Elohim (I Thessalonians 2:13).

The first part of the New Testament to be written down was the Epistles (specifically, the Epistles of Paul). These were written during the period 48-60 A.D. The gospels, written from about 60-100 A.D., were recorded from the memory of those who had walked with Yahshua while He was on the earth (Luke 1:1,2).

It is generally believed that the entire New Testament was written before the end of the first century A.D.

Please read all referenced verses.

      1. How it was compiled

It was common practice among the churches in the 1st century to share and exchange  letters written  by the  apostles to the churches. In fact, this practice was encouraged by Paul himself (Colossians 4:16). In this way, each church began to accumulate the various writings of the apostles.

Remember, at that time there were no printing presses; these handwritten copies of the gospels and epistles were the only available scripture. One had to come to the place of fellowship to hear the scriptures; that is why Paul exhorted Timothy to practice the "public reading of scripture." (1 Timothy 4:13).

Please read all referenced verses.

Consider what those early believers had for New Testament scriptures - a handful of laboriously written copies. What a privilege it is for us to have such easy access to the Word of Elohim. Let's not waste that privilege by failing to read what modern technology has made so conveniently available to us.

    1. PROGRESSIVE REVELATION

When studying the Old and New Testaments, the following guideline is an aid in rightly dividing  the word  of  truth: Always  interpret the  Old  Testament in  the  light  of  the New Testament!   The   Bible  is  progressive  revelation.  The Old Testament foretells the coming of a  Messiah; the gospels tell us of His coming; the Epistles (especially the epistles of Paul) tell what He accomplished through His death and resurrection.

One cannot understand all the things written in the Old Testament without a knowledge of the New Testament revelation of Messiah. Ever). The men who wrote the Old Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit didn't fully

understand what they had written, because Messiah had not yet been revealed (1 Peter 1:10,11). The Ethiopian  eunuch needed someone with a working knowledge of this New Testament revelation to explain to him the meaning of Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:30-35).

With the New Testament to shed light on it, the Old Testament becomes a rich treasury of the knowledge of Elohim, full of examples and instructions, which are invaluable to a New Covenant believer (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Please read all referenced verses.

 

  1. THE NATURE OF THE WORD

Although it is interesting and helpful to study how the books of the Bible were written down and compiled, we must not lose sight of its real nature. The Bible is much more than a book. It is the Word of Elohim, and as such it is supernatural! By His Word Elohim created the world and the universe (Hebrews 11:3), and even to this day "... all things are upheld by the Word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). Elohim's Word is alive and full of power (Hebrews 4:12), imparting life to all who will partake of it (John 6:63; Proverbs 4:22).

Please read all referenced verses.

    1. ALIVE AND POWERFUL

Far from being a dead book, the Word of Elohim is living and powerful. It has within it all the life and power necessary to maintain a believer  in victory. Paul had such confidence in this fact that he could leave the Ephesian church while it was still in its infancy;  he was convinced that the Word was able to build them up and sustain them (Acts 20:32).

Please read all referenced verses.

      1. Elohim’s agent

Elohim's Word is the agent by which He accomplishes His will on the earth. Elohim created the world by His Word (Genesis 1:3; Psalm 33:6,9). Men are born again by the Word (1 Peter 1:23). Elohim heals by His Word (Psalm 107:20). Elohim's Word is  His power.

Please read all referenced verses.

      1. The effects

Because it is alive and powerful, Elohim's Word has a profound effect wherever it is preached. In Acts 19 we find the record of  a mighty move of Elohim's Spirit which took place in Ephesus and affected all of Asia Minor  (modern-day  Turkey). The sick were healed,  demons were cast out, and many came out of occult practices to serve Yahweh. Acts 19:20 gives us a clue as to why all this took place: "So the Word of Elohim was growing mightily and prevailing. "

Elohim's Word was the source of all this outpouring because Elohim's Word is His power. Here we see an example of what Paul meant when he said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel (Word of Elohim) because it is the POWER OF ELOHIM unto salvation to all who believe . . . " (Romans 1:16).

Please read all referenced verses.

    1. ETERNAL

Read 1 Peter 1:23

Yahshua said to His disciples, "Heaven and earth  will  pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

Elohim's Word is an eternal, absolute reality that cannot be altered. It is as unchanging as Elohim is unchanging. As far as Elohim is concerned, what He has spoken is "... settled forever in Heaven" (Psalm 119:89).

      1. Unfailing

One can be assured of the  absolute integrity of Elohim's Word; it cannot fail. Elohim Himself stands behind every promise that  He has made (Jeremiah 1:12) and has stated that His Word will not return to Him empty, or fruitless (Isaiah 55:10,11).

Please read all referenced verses.

      1. Reliable

Elohim is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19 KJV).

A person's word is only as reliable as that person's character warrants. The word of a liar or a  cheat  would  not  be very valuable; even a good man's word is not absolutely reliable because that good man could change with time. We have this assurance about  Elohim:  He  does  not  lie,  and  He  cannot change (Numbers 23:19; James 1:17). Elohim's Word is reliable because Elohim Himself is reliable.

Our assurance and faith lie in the Word of Elohim, an Elohim who cannot lie and who cannot fail.

Please read all referenced verses.

 

 

  1. HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE WORD

We have seen that the Bible is a supernatural book, and as Elohim's Word, it contains all the power and life necessary to meet any one of our needs. However, there is a part which we must play in order to appropriate all the power that the Word has for us.

    1. MIX FAITH WITH THE WORD

In Hebrews 4:1-3 we are told that although the Word was preached to the children of Israel, it did not profit them, because they didn't mix it with faith.

Read Hebrews 4:1-3 and Numbers 13:17-33.

      1. The evil report

Here we find the account of the spies going into the land of Canaan and coming back with a report that was directly opposite to what the Word of Elohim said. The ten spies with the evil report said that they were as grasshoppers in their own sight.

In reality, with Elohim on their side and with His Word promising their victory, they were conquerors; they could not have failed. But they chose to put their faith in what they saw and so perceived themselves as grasshoppers.

      1. The truth

All the power needed for them to take possession of the land was made available when Elohim spoke His Word;  yet that power was of no avail to them, because they didn't appropriate it. The problem lay not with Elohim, nor  with His Word (the truth), but with the people of Elohim. Their lack of faith kept the Word from prospering them as Elohim had intended.

      1. Faith vs unbelief

Faith is the factor that activates the Word of Elohim and brings out the great power resident in it. The Word won't work for you unless you mix faith with it. This doesn't mean that the Word lacks for power; all scripture is profitable, even if some don't profit through unbelief. Their unbelief doesn't decrease the profitability of Elohim's Word in any way.

      1. The Word vs. circumstances

The children of Israel chose to put their faith in the circumstances (how thick the walls were, how tall the giants were) rather than in Elohim's promise that He would fight for them. Thus, they failed to appropriate the power and blessings of Elohim.

The lesson we can learn from their mistake is this: Never base your judgments, with regard to any situation, upon the circumstances which you face. Always judge the matter by the Word of Elohim!

    1. PLANT THE WORD AS A SEED

In numerous parables in the gospels, Yahshua likened the Word of Elohim to a seed (Mark 4:14,26,31). The Word is called many things in the scriptures (e.g. a sword, a light, a rock, etc.), but in these parables Yahshua is trying to show how the power in Elohim's Word can be released. As a seed has life and power, so Elohim's Word has life and power. If you know how to release the power in a seed, then you'll know how to release the power in the Word.

Please read all referenced verses.

Seed is of  benefit only if it  is planted; seed in a seed bag won't grow. The same is true of Elohim's Word;  if  it's not planted in our hearts, but left sitting on the  shelf or even in our minds, it will never produce the harvest which Elohim intended  it  to. The Word contains all the power that will ever be needed to produce results, but as with seed, if it's left sitting, and not planted, nothing will happen. However, if you treat it like seed, and plant it in your hear , it will work for you.

Read Mark 4:26-28. From this parable, we can see some principles regarding how to receive a harvest from the Word.

      1. The first step

The first step in getting Elohim's Word to work for you is to put  it in your heart. Find the appropriate scriptures that pertain to what you need from Elohim and plant it in your heart by meditating upon it. Faith is the way to receive from Elohim, and faith won't come until the Word is planted in you.

      1. Time

Once the seed is planted, the man in the parable sleeps and rises,  that is, goes about his business,  and the seed sprouts. We must believe Elohim's Word is working even when we see no  results; seed doesn't sprout the instant it is planted. Put the Word in your heart and don't become  discouraged  if you don't see immediate results.

      1. Trust & patience

The seed grows, and the man doesn't  know  how. It  is not necessary for you to understand how Elohim is going to work, just believe the Word and leave it planted. "Trust in Yahweh with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

      1. The full harvest

The fruit, in this parable, comes forth and matures in stages: first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Elohim's Word brings forth the manifestation in stages, so you may not see full deliverance, prosperity, or healing immediately. Some, when they see improvement, but not total manifestation, become discouraged, and give up. They see a blade and think that's all they're going to get; or they see an  ear and think that's all they'll receive. But the farmer in the  parable waited and received the blade, then the ear, and finally the full corn in the ear. If you leave the Word planted and don't give up, you'll receive the full harvest  that Elohim intends His Word to produce.

  1. How to Establish the Word in Your Life

We have seen that the Word.is the power of Elohim, and how it will prosper anyone who puts faith in it. But how does a believer establish Elohim's Word in his own life? How can he deepen his knowledge of Elohim and His Word?

This doesn't happen accidentally! It only happens when a believer makes a quality decision to come to know the scriptures. Throughout the Bible Elohim speaks of the value of giving careful attention to His Word (Deuteronomy  11:18-31; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 19:7,8; 119:9,11; Proverbs 4:20-22; Acts 17:11).

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it  flow the springs of life" (Proverbs 4:23). The key to establishing your heart in the Word is diligence. If a believer will diligently give attention to the scriptures, he'll find his knowledge of Elohim and Elohim's Word growing deeper and deeper.

Please read all referenced verses.

 

 

    1. READ THE WORD

Giving careful attention to the Word begins by establishing a daily discipline of Bible reading. Any believer's knowledge of the Word will not start with "heavy-duty" revelations, but with disciplined daily Bible reading. You've got to read it before Elohim can reveal anything to you.

Many Christians get discouraged with daily Bible reading because they don't get revelation every time they read. The fact is, however, that whether you feel like it or not, reading the Word has a very positive effect on your inner man. "The precepts of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart, (Psalm 19:8).

Yahshua said, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim" (Matthew 4:4), and "the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life"  (John 6:63). The Bible is food for your spirit, and every time you read, your inner man is being fed, even when your emotions don't feel like this is the case.

Please read all referenced verses.

Here are some suggestions to help you establish a daily Bible reading habit:

      1. Set a time

Set apart a time of the day when you can read your Bible. This time should be compatible with your schedule, so that you can keep it consistently.

      1. Set a goal

Set a Bible reading goal for yourself. There are many reading schedules available which will enable you to read through the entire Bible in one year. There might be one at the end of this lesson and you can find many online.

      1. Pray

Pray before you read. "Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law" (Psalm 119:18). Also read Ephesians 1:17,18.

      1. Make no exceptions

Make no exceptions once you have established your daily reading schedule. Don't allow anything to pre-empt it. Our daily time in the Bible should be as important to us as our daily bread (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119:103). Some have committed themselves to the following rule: No Bible, no breakfast.

It's obvious that establishing this time of Bible reading will involve some degree of discipline. But lest we think that discipline is "bondage" and "unspiritual," let's read what Paul wrote to Timothy: "Be diligent to present  yourself  approved to Elohim as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word  of  truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). Paul also said that we should discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).

    1. STUDY THE WORD

Studying the  Word involves a little more than  just  reading. In Acts 17 the Bereans are noted for ". . . examining the scriptures daily  ... "  (Acts 17:11)  in order to understand what Paul was preaching. Sometimes, in order to fully understand a certain doctrine or passage of scripture, one must read the text more than once and compare it with other scriptures on the same subject (i.e. cross-reference). This,  of course, demands more time than reading, but the rewards in understanding the scriptures are rich.

      1. Some tools for studying
  1. An accurate Bible translation, one with which you are comfortable and accommodates your vocabulary (e.g. New American Standard, New International, King James, Revised Standard Versions).
  2. Amplified Bible - A translation of the Bible that expands the meaning of the original languages.
  3. Bible concordance - A concordance lists alphabetically all the words used in the Bible with their context and location (be sure that the concordance you buy matches the translation of Bible that you read, e.g. Young's, Strong's, Cruden's).
  4. Bible Dictionary - Defines Biblical names, places, and concepts (Unger's, Zondervan, Davis).
  5. Bible Handbook - A synopsis of the entire Bible, giving much historical and geographical background information (Halley, Unger's).
  6. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
  7. Pen and notebook - Write down what you discover from your examining of the scriptures.

The above listed tools of study are suggestions to help you in your study of the scriptures. They are not requirements for this course, neither are they requirements for a real understanding of the Bible. They are, however, very useful if they  are kept in their proper perspective. They are tools for study, not the thing to be studied.

      1. Some methods of study
  1. Read your entire Bible. Every Christian should read the Bible all the way through. Use a daily Bible reading plan that will systematically take you through the whole Bible in  a specified  period of time. The original text of this course contained a Bible reading plan that will take you from Genesis to Revelation in one year at the rate of about 20 minutes of reading per day. You may also find reading plans online.
  2. Bible study by chapters. Outline chapters according to author, time period, main  subject, main  thoughts, key verses, and key words.
  3. Bible study by words. By tracing certain words, such as love, grace, healing, the  tongue, you'll gain greater insight into the nature of Elohim and  the  nature of the  new creation. Use a concordance or the cross-reference in your Bible margin. (A reference Bible will give a notation in the margin or by footnote of related scriptures.)
  4. Bible study by topics. Closely related to word study is a study of basic Bible topics. By choosing fundamental subjects such as prayer, sowing and reaping, faith, healing, freedom from fear, you can group related scriptures for a greater understanding of Bible principles.
  5. Bible study by Proverbs. This book is rich in wisdom  and basic moral instruction. It can be studied by outlining    each chapter or by tracing basic principles: e.g. contrasts - wisdom and folly, good and evil, diligence and sloth; honesty,  family life, mercy, love.
  6. Bible study by prophecy. It is of great value to trace the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, particularly as it relates to Yahshua. It can be done easily in  a  Bible  with marginal cross-references.
    1. MEDITATE ON THE WORD

Elohim told Joshua: "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success" (Joshua 1:8).

The word meditate means to mutter to oneself, to muse, to ponder, to reflect. In effect, it is saying the Word to yourself over and over again. Meditation will unlock the scriptures to your spirit and enable the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the things of Elohim (1 Corinthians 2:11,12).

As we meditate in the Word and allow the Word to "dwell in us richly" (Colossians 3:16), the Holy Spirit will begin to show us the reality of the spiritual realm which the Word describes (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).

Please read all referenced verses.

  1. Summary - Give the Word First Place

Elohim Himself has exalted His Word (Psalm 138:2). As His children we also need to exalt the Word and make it the priority in our lives. By putting the Word first in your life, you'll experience far more of Elohim's life and blessing. The Word shows clearly who Elohim is and what He has done in us and for us. Elohim's Word is full of His life and power, and if we'll meditate on it, plant it in our hearts, and mix it with active faith, we'll begin to experience that life and power in fuller and fuller measure.

  1. Assignments

Be sure to have read every scripture in this lesson. Complete the study questions and turn them to your group leader. The study questions must be completed before your group meeting.

  1. Bible Survey
    1. Old Testament
      1. Pentateuch (5)

Genesis - The book of origins. Our introduction to the Bible tells of four outstanding events - the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Babel dispersion;  and  four  outstanding  persons  -  Abraham,  Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Elohim reveals His plan of redemption.

Exodus - By the power of Elohim and the  leadership of Moses, Israel is delivered from Egyptian bondage.  The  Law  is  given;  the  Covenant  established; and the tabernacle built.

Leviticus - Israel is taught the  holiness of Elohim  and  how  to  approach  Him in a holy manner through  the sacrificial system, the  precepts of  the  Law, and  penalties for violation of the Law.

Numbers - Israel's 40 years in the wilderness. We see Elohim's "goodness and severity" - He judges the old generation and preserves the new.

Deuteronomy - Elohim renews His Covenant with Israel before they enter Canaan. The message is Elohim's faithfulness - to His promises, His purposes, His people.

      1. History (12)

Joshua - Under Joshua's leadership, Israel enters and sets out to possess her predestined inheritance, Canaan - by conquest.

Judges - Elohim raises up leaders (judges) to deliver  Israel from  her enemies when she cries out to Him. Covers roughly the first 350 years of Israel's history in Canaan.

Ruth - A story of faith, love and loyalty. The ancestry of David and Yahshua are traced to this Gentile woman.

1 Samuel - The book of transition. Israel turns from leadership by  divinely­ appointed  judges (theocracy) to a king (monarchy). It is the   book of three  remarkable  men  -    Samuel, the  last of  the   judges;  Saul, the first of the kings; David, the greatest of the kings.

2 Samuel - The book of David's reign includes his triumphs and his trouble, resulting from his faith and his sin, and  how Israel is affected  by them.

1 Kings - The remarkable reign of Solomon; the building of the temple; the division of the kingdom (north and south); the ministry of Elijah.

2 Kings - The history of the divided kingdom -  the fall of Israel and Judah; the Babylonian captivity; the ministry of Elisha.

1 Chronicles - Geneologies of the patriarchs. The reign of David is recounted with emphasis on worship, the ark, the Covenant, and the temple of Yahweh.

2 Chronicles - Solomon's  40-year  reign;  the division  of the kingdom;  the 20 kings of Judah; the Babylonian exile.

Ezra - Restoration of Israel. Exiles return from Babylon; temple is rebuilt; prophets Haggai and Zechariah arise; worship life of Israel rebuilt under Ezra's leadership.

Nehemiah - Reconstruction of Israel. Under Nehemiah's leadership, the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt; the people are reinstructed in the Law and reconsecrated to Elohim.

Esther - Israel escapes extermination. Elohim delivers His Covenant people, who remain in Babylon after the exile, through the Jewess Queen Esther.

      1. Poetry (5)

Job - The source of our suffering and the source of our deliverance and blessing are clearly defined.

Psalms - The hymnbook of the ages. Poetry written for music encompassing  both praise and prayer. Themes range from thanksgiving, recognition of Elohim's presence, power and mercy, His deliverance individually and corporately, personal  communion  and adoration   to Messianic prophecy.

Proverbs - The teaching of moral and ethical precepts. Wisdom for practical  living in sonnets and maxims.

Ecclesiastes - A sermon with "vanity of vanities; all is vanity" as its text. Personal experience of the preacher  proves that when wisdom and pleasure are sought as ends in themselves, the quest fails to satisfy the human  soul. Reverence and obedience to Elohim are extolled.

Song of Solomon - A poem glorifying wedded love; a type of the love relationship between Elohim and His chosen people, Christ and the Church.

      1. Major Prophets (5)

Isaiah - The prophet entreats Judah to repent and obey the Law to avoid judgment, assures them of Elohim's grace and comfort, and describes the Prince of Peace - the salvation of Jews and Gentiles alike.

Jeremiah - Judah receives her last warning to repent before the Babylonian seizure and rejects Jeremiah's message of judgment.

Lamentations - A memorial poem written by Jeremiah on the destruction  of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

Ezekiel - Prior to the captivity, Ezekiel preached repentance and judgment; subsequently, he envisions the  restored Israel -    the  new temple and the new law.

Daniel - Daniel prophesies of  the  nations of the  world and of ·Israel's future in relation to them in the plan of Elohim.

      1. Minor Prophets (12)

Hosea - Hosea prophesies of Israel's unfaithfulness and judgment, the exile, her later conversion and renewal.

Joel - Joel calls Judah to repentance to avoid judgment on her dis­ obedience. Predicts outpouring of Holy Spirit and judgment on the nations.

Amos - Amos prophesies of coming judgment on Israel's injustices and spiritual corruption.

Obadiah - A sentence of judgment is pronounced on the Edomites (descendants of Esau) for their alliance with Israel's enemies and participation in the sacking of Jerusalem.

Jonah - Elohim warns Nineveh of impending judgment through a reluctant prophet, and the people respond with earnest repentance. Reflects Elohim's concern for the salvation of sinful men.

Micah - Micah declares the imminent judgment of Israel and Judah, envisions the ultimate triumph of Jerusalem, and foretells the coming of the Messiah.

Nahum - Nahum follows Isaiah as Elohim's prophet to Judah and picks up 100 years later where Jonah leaves off with Nineveh. Nineveh refuses to repent, and Nahum describes her seige and destruction.

Habakkuk - The prophet protests Judah's lawlessness and reveals Elohim's instrument of judgment to be the Babylonians (Chaldeans). Also describes the triumph of faith.

Zephaniah - Elohim's witness to Judah warns of impending judgment, exhorts them  to repent, and promises future restoration.

Haggai - Haggai rebukes the Jews for their disobedience and apathy, encourages them to rebuild the temple, describes the future establishment of Elohim's earthly kingdom and Elohim's judgment on ungodly nations.

Zechariah - Elohim's prophet-priest exhorts Judah to rebuild the temple and describes for them the first and second comings of their Shepherd­ King.

Malachi - Through this last Old Testament prophet, Elohim calls out to lsrael one more time before the 400-year silence. The appeal is made with promise (blessing) and warning  (judgment), and again Elohim  allows His people to choose.

    1. New Testament
      1. History (5)

Matthew - The first book of the New Testament books links the Gospel to the Old Testament scriptures. His account of the life of Messiah is clearly directed at the Jews in an attempt to reveal Yahshua Messiah as the Jewish Messiah.

Mark - In this gospel, Yahshua is presented as the Miracle-Worker with power over the natural and spiritual realms. It is the  Good News in action.

Luke - The Greek physician Luke bridges the gap between Jew and  Gentile as he presents the common humanity of the  perfect Son of man with all the human family.

John - The  eye-witness apostle John  plainly declares Yahshua the  eternal Son of Elohim, Israel's Messiah, Yahweh Himself, the world's Savior, the world's Creator, the Truth, the Word made flesh, the  Life of  the world.

Acts - Luke explains how the Gospel began with the promise of Israel's restoration and ended with the Gentile church in Rome. The Holy Spirit is poured out; and the Church is born and grows.

      1. Christian Church Epistles / The Pauline Epistles (9)

Romans - Messiah, Elohim's power to the believer. Paul relates how the Gospel saves the sinner, how the Gospel relates to Israel, and how the Gospel practically applies to our behavior.

1 Corinthians - Messiah, Elohim's wisdom to the believer. Paul reproves the church at Corinth for its divisions and disorder and then replies to specific problems concerning marriage, women, the Lord's Supper, spiritual    gifts, and the doctrine of resurrection.

2 Corinthians - Messiah, Elohim's comfort to the believer. Paul answers  his critics, gives an account of his ministry, and vindicates his apostolic office.

Galatians - Messiah, Elohim's righteousness to the believer. Paul corrects the Galatian error - circumcision was not necessary for salvation. He exhorts them to receive Elohim's grace by faith and walk   in the liberty of love and the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians - Messiah, Elohim's riches to the believer. Paul writes to the church at Ephesus of the believer's position in Messiah (our wealth)  and conduct in the world (our walk).

Philippians - Messiah, Elohim's sufficiency to the believer. Paul writes to Philippi of Christian joy and rejoicing, our gain in Messiah, teaching by example,  and Messiah as our Life, our Mind, our Goal, and our Strength.

Colossians - Messiah, Elohim's fulness to the believer. Paul writes to Colosse of the Lordship of Yahshua and the completeness of believers in Him.

1 Thessalonians - Messiah, Elohim's promise to the believer. Paul describes for the Christians at Thessalonica how they were saved, how they are to live, and the glorious hope of the second coming.

2 Thessalonians - Messiah, Elohim's reward to the believer. Paul urges believers to wait patiently and work diligently until Yahshua returns.

      1. Pastoral Epistles / The Pauline Epistles (4)

1 Timothy - Paul instructs Timothy of order and positions of  leadership in  the local church  as well as his conduct as a pastor in  faithful teaching and exemplary living.

2 Timothy - Paul discusses ministry in the local church. In his last epistle, Paul writes of the Gospel as a trust to be preserved, cherished and com­ mitted to faithful men.

Titus - Paul emphasizes the connection of sound doctrine with godliness of  life and the need to maintain good works.

Philemon - Conversion of a runaway slave. A practical illustration of Christian principle applied to social relationship.

      1. Hebrew Christian Epistles (8)

Hebrews - Yahshua is  presented  as the  new and  better High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and also as the mediator of a new and better Covenant.

James - Yahshua's brother gives the proof of true faith - endurance of temptation, impartial  benevolence, control of  the  tongue, godliness in all things.

1 Peter - Peter encourages Christians in trial and instructs them in holy living.

2 Peter - Peter discusses the true knowledge, false teachers, and the sure promise of the second coming.

1 John - John defines Elohim as love. His main thoughts are mutual Christian love, abiding in Messiah, how to know truth from error, the traits of the born-again, and the believer and the world.

2 John - How to continue in the truth: walk in love and guard against error.

3 John - Truth and love vs. pride and strife.

Jude - Warning to believers of the Gnostic heresy - a philosophy that distinguished between matter as inherently evil and spirit as inherently good.

      1. Prophecy (1)

Revelation - Prophetic visions given to John portray the end of the age: the risen  Messiah enthroned, the Great Tribulation, the wrath of Elohim, the millennial reign of Messiah, Satan's final destiny, the Great White Throne Judgment, the  new heaven and  the  new earth. The ultimate triumph of Messiah, the Church, and the Kingdom of Elohim!

References

Unger, Merrill F.           Unger's Bible Dictionary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1979), page 49.

Sources

Baxter, J. Sidlow Explore The Book  (Grand  Rapids:  Zondervan,  1976). Roberts, Oral Christ In Every Book Of The Bible (Tulsa: Oral Roberts, 1965).

Whitcomb, John C. Chart Of Old Testament Patriarchs and Judges (Winona Lake: Grace Theological Seminary, 1965).

Whitcomb, John C.     Chart Of Old Testament Kings And Prophets (Winona Lake: Grace Theological Seminary, 1965).

LESSON 1: STUDY QUESTIONS

  1. Study Questions

Your Name:_____________________________________

DATE:___________________________________________

    1. Lesson One – Day One
  1. Where does the power and authority of the Bible originate? Give scripture to back up  your answer.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How many books are there in the Bible? _______ O.T.: ______ N.T. __________
    1. What time period does the 0.T. cover? _________________________
    2. What time period does the N.T. cover?_________________________
    3. The O.T. can be divided into five major parts. Name them: ___________________________________________________________________
    4. The N.T. can be divided into five segments. Name them: ___________________________________________________________________
  2. What is the original language of the Old Testament?                                                        

of the New Testament?                  

 

  1. To whom or what do the books of the Old Testament point? Why is it important to interpret the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament? Explain your answer.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. The Bible is readily available to all in this country. Yet, it has not always been so. In the past, before the advent of the printing press, only a few had the privilege of owning a Bible. Even today, in some countries, believers greatly treasure any portion of the scriptures in print that they can obtain. How does this fact affect your thinking about the scriptures? Explain-how you view the Bible, and  what it means to you to have such easy access to the scriptures.

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    1. Lesson One – Day Two
  1. Each of these scriptures reveals to us a characteristic of the Word of Elohim - the Bible. Briefly state what each scripture reveals about Elohim's Word.

a. Psalm 119:89 _________________________________________________________   

b. Proverbs  4:22  _________________________________________________________            

c. Isaiah 55:10,11 _________________________________________________________

d. John 6:63 ____________________________________________________________               

e. Acts 20:32 ___________________________________________________________    

f. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 _______________________________________________           

g. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 _________________________________________________                      

h. Hebrews 1:3 __________________________________________________________              

i. Hebrews 4:12 _________________________________________________________  

j. 1 Peter 1:23 ____________________________________________________________           

  1. The Word of Elohim is His agent by which He accomplishes His will on the earth. List three specific things which Elohim accomplishes by His Word. Give scriptures to back up your answer.
    1. _____________________________________________________________
    2. _____________________________________________________________
    3. _____________________________________________________________

 

  1. The Word of Elohim is absolutely reliable, and we can put our full confidence in it. Why? (Numbers 23:19; James 1:17)

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  1. What is the connection between a person's word and his character? How does your knowledge of Elohim's character affect the way you view the Bible? (Psalm 119:90)

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    1. Lesson One – Day Three
  1. The Word of Elohim is alive and full of power, having within it all of Elohim's power and ability. Why was this powerful Word of no use to the children of Israel?

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  1. What is the definition of an “evil report”?

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  1. What lesson can we learn from the children of Israel?

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  1. Describe the principle of the seed as regarding the Word of Elohim. (Be sure to include where the "seed" must be planted, and what must be done and/or not be done to insure its proper growth.)

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    1. Lesson One – Day Four
  1. What is the key to establishing the Word in your heart?

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  1. How would you respond to a fellow Christian who said, "I gave up daily reading of the Bible, because I didn't get anything out of it. I felt the same when I got up from reading as when I sat down"?

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  1. Give one example from your own life how you have benefited from reading, studying, and / or meditating Elohim's Word.

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