THOUGHTS ON UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
The Bible itself is its own best commentary and study help. Some Bible books have a “key” or “theme” that is repeated again and again. When taken into consideration as you study a particular Bible book these help to understand the meaning and purpose of each one.
For instance: in the Book of Judges this statement is made twice and serves as a key to this book: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” (Judges 17:6 & 21:25). Such was the spiritual condition of the people of Israel in the days of the judges. Bear this in mind when reading and studying that book.
Another example: The Book of Ecclesiastes has this phrase, “under the sun” repeated exactly 27 times. This expression does not appear anywhere else in your Bible. The phrase refers to natural life and has nothing to do with spiritual things. Written by “the Preacher, the son of David,” or Solomon, the purpose seems to be to show the emptiness and futility of life apart from God. He wrote, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit,” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
The word “vanity” appears 29 times in Ecclesiastes and is the word used to describe the unsaved man's life “under the sun.” Solomon wrote: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Keeping in mind the purpose and attitude of the writer will enable us to understand this Bible book. The lives of the unsaved are just chasing after the wind!
One further example, this time the Divine outline given of the Book of Revelation. John was told by “one like unto the Son of man,” (Revelation 1:13) exactly what the outline of his book should be. Revelation 1:19 says: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” And that is exactly what John did! He was told first to write “the things which thou hast seen:” these things were the vision of the glorified Christ. They are to be found in chapter one. Next he wrote “the things which are:” the letters to the seven churches which existed in John's day. And finally he wrote “the things which shall be hereafter,” or after these things – i.e. after the churches.
That John did this is seen in an examination of Revelation 4:1 where we read, “After this [after John wrote to to the seven churches] I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” So John wrote from chapter four verse one onward of things that shall be after the churches. [Brackets added].
Only the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation position on the return of Christ in the air for His bride and her friends fits with John's Christ-given outline. The “mid-trib,” “post-trib,” “pre-wrath,” etc., eschatological positions on the rapture ignore this outline of the Book of Revelation. Consequently they divide this Bible book contrary to its proper outline.
Let us be careful students of the Word of God paying attention to repeated words and phrases and instructions given for the writing of our Bibles. Only in this way will we properly understand the meaning and intent of the penmen and of God the Spirit who superintended their writings to give us the Word of God.
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726