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Herm (Hermaneutics) is a simple, common sense way to study and understand the Bible. This technique is based on 8 rules that never change, no matter where they are applied in the Bible:
The rule of definition states that the reader should have a clear understanding of all the words that are being read. There are two main tools used for this purpose a dictionary, and a concordance. A good dictionary will provide the user with the definition of an English word. A concordance provides the user with a direct translation of the original Greek or Hebrew word that was used, and there by clarifying the meaning of what is being said. For instance, in 1611 when the King James Version (KJV) Bible was being translated, The translators translated three different words from the manuscript into the word "wine." Let's take a closer look.
Acts 2:13, new wine highly inebriating.
Proverbs 23:31, wine mixed with spice or water.
Isaiah 49:26, fresh grape juice, sometimes called sweet wine.
Granted, at first glance these are rather small differences, but to an alcoholic that's on the verge of salvation, they could be very important. It says in:
|10.||For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little".|
Be sure to take the time to study and understand each thought. They
are all very important.
Look at what is being said carefully, so you can learn to recognize changes in the way some words are used. example:
|2 Corinthians 12:|
|7.||And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.|
Question: What is the thorn in the flesh?
|3.||Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.|
Here, and in Numbers 33:55, and also Joshua 23:13 we see thorns used to describe the way people treat each other. I'm sure you are thinking. Well there might be a chance that Paul was talking about people persecuting him. Well, let's look a little further. Turning back to 2 Corinthians 11:23, you will see a rather long list of some of the persecutions that Paul went through. Truly, 2 Corinthians 12:7 is not an example of God denying a request for a healing, but simply Paul talking about the Devil sending a persecutor to him in an attempt to slow him down. (By the way, it didn't work.)
A study of history is very important to the understanding of the Bible. In the 1500 years it took to write the Bible, many cultural and physical things happened that affected the way people lived. In the days when the Bible was first being written, the Jews were simply a few small tribes, but by the time Christ came, the Jews had already become a great nation, and had been conquered by and living under the oppression of the Roman Empire. Be sure to study each event along with the history and culture of that day.
To say that it is important to read the Bible carefully is an understatement beyond measure. There is no situation where I recommend speed reading the Bible! The more you read and study the Bible, the more you will find that each word and verse interacts so subtly that it is practically impossible to remove or leave out a word or verse without affecting words and verses all over the Bible. More than that though, is the fact that word meanings change from place to place, each word should be studied to find it's true meaning or relationship with the other words around it. For instance, let's look at the word, "word."
|St. John 5:|
|24.||Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hearth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.|
Here "word" refers to the teachings of Christ and the fact that they are used to guide people into salvation.
|St. John 1:|
|1.||In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.|
Here we see "Word" refer to Jesus Christ and the fact that He has been part of the God head since the beginning of time, and that God and his word are one.
This rule states that the teachings of God are logical and reasonable, not weird or crazy. God says it this way:
|1 Corinthians 14:|
|40.||Let all things be done decently and in order.|
|1 Corinthians 14:|
|14.||Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.|
The question is, how peculiar is peculiar? Well, for starters the concordance defines peculiar as, special or one's own person. Christians truly are peculiar, and we're peculiar because we are so special, and because we do set ourselves aside, not as simple sayers of the word, but as real doers of the word.
This rule states that it takes more than one appearance of a scriptural thought to establish a doctrine. For this example, let's look at people problems in.
|15.||Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against (you) thee, go and tell him his fault between (you) thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.|
|16.||But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.|
|17.||And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:
but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen
man and a publican.|
(Also found: 2 Corinthians 12: 19-13: 2, and Luke 17: 3-4 to mention a few)
As you can see, God doesn't want your little problems to turn into big ones. If you take care of problems when they are small, they are much easier to solve and that in turn, makes a happier, healthier church.
The rule of unity simply states that if you find conflict or discord between any of the parts of the Bible, you are the one that blew it not the writers of the Bible. In other words, go back and check your work, you missed something somewhere!
States that there are many implied meanings in the Bible and you should learn to look for and identify each of them. Probably the best known inference in the Bible is that of Jesus Christ in the sacrifices of the Old Testament. In each case you can see that it took the shed blood of a sacrifice to make the atonement, and not just any sacrifice but it had to be a sacrifice without spot or blemish. Each sacrifice, an example of the atonement Jesus Christ would be for us when He died on Calvary's cross. The greatest sacrifice of all time. Now that I've shown you some of man's rules for studying the Bible, I am going to spend a few minutes showing you what God says about the Bible.
|2 Peter 1:|
|20.||Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.|
|21.||For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.|
|2 Timothy 3:|
|16.||All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:|
|1 Corinthians 2:(Amplified Bible)|
|12.||Now we have not received the spirit (that belongs to the world, but the (Holy) Spirit Who is from God, (given to us) that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts (of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly) bestowed on us by God.|
|13.||And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the (Holy) Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language (to those who possess the (Holy) Spirit. (talking about speaking in tongues)|
|14.||But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them - of progressively recognizing, understanding and becoming better acquainted with them - because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.|
|2 Timothy 2:|
|15.||Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.|
For those of you who have tried to read
the Bible and gave up, let me offer a few suggestions that may help a little.
First, I would recommend starting at the beginning of the New Testament
at the book of Matthew, mainly because the teachings of the New Testament
more directly apply to today. Besides that, the names are a lot easier
to pronounce. In fact, I would recommend reading the New Testament two
or three-times start to finish before even looking at the Old Testament.
There is only one book in the New Testament that might be too hard and
that is the book of Revelation, the last book. This book interacts so subtly
with several other books in the Bible that you may find it a bit difficult
to understand. Even seasoned Christians have a hard time understanding
it. Second, when you start reading, read consecutive verses. Don't jump
all over the Bible reading a verse here and a verse there. By jumping around,
you never get a complete thought or teaching. You just get scattered confused
glimpses of a book that covers thousands of topics. Third read consistently,
by that I mean read at least one chapter at a time to insure that you get
the entire teaching or thought. But just as important, try to read every
day so you don't find yourself constantly in a state of trying to remember
what you covered the last time you read. A diligent person averaging three
chapters a day could actually read the whole Bible, cover to cover in one
|8.||Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.|
The same kind of interacting relationship that Noah, and Abraham, and all the apostles had, God wants to have with you, if you would only give Him a chance!
In the great order of things, church wise that is, there are two great corner stones that must interact smoothly. One is the ANSWER and the other is the MEANS. The answer to all things is Jesus Christ. For instance.
Who is the head of the church?|
|23.||Christ is the head of the church; and is the saviour of the body.|
What is the gift of God?|
|23.||The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.|
How can you be saved?|
|9.||If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.|
Who should we use as our example?|
1 Peter 2:
|21.||For ever hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:|
Now, in the same way that God gives us
the answer to all our questions, He also gives us a means to come to the
answer. The Means is the church. Unfortunately for those of us living now,
in the days before the Rapture of the church (the believers, not a particular
building or denomination), picking a good church seems to be an almost
impossible thing to do. There is a church for practically any conceivable
belief and churches that will preach practically anything you want to hear.
How do you choose? How do you separate the good from the bad? Well, first
you have to establish what is good and what is bad. Perhaps the best way
to show you what is good is to show you what is bad. As sort of a definition,
we will say that "bad" is anything that does not line up with God's "word"
or "will." In other words, any doctrine that is "man made," not "God made."
Now, I would like to clarify my position. First of all, the Bible is a
very strong advocate of church attendance and even though parts of this
book may not sound that way, I am too. Secondly, this chapter may actually
bring you to realize why you've been going to church. Have your reasons
been good ones?
|7.||Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,|
|8.||This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honourth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.|
|9.||But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.|
|13.||No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon (worldly things).|
|15.||Ye are they which justify your selves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.|
For those of you trying to apply Herm rule #6 try these verses:
Hypocrisy is just one way individuals fail to please God. A list of possible sins would cover pages. What most people fail to realize is that churches and church leaders can also sin by changing God's word or will, perhaps in very subtle ways but changed nevertheless. An unbalanced gospel is every bit as dangerous as having a lunatic for a church leader. When God inspired the writing of the Bible, He put everything in precisely the correct prospective so that you would get the correct amount of each teaching. Both blessing and damnation, not just one or the other but both. Not just salvation, but also the rules and the victory for living the life. Not just the beginning of time, but also the end. All of it makes up God's will, leaving out anyone part of God's word brings confusion into the church because if you bend the rules in one area you find that you are constantly trying to explain around the bend. You're left having to make excuses for what you teach. God never stated that anyone had the authority to change the word of God. In fact, in Revelation 22:18-19, we see:
|18.||For I testify unto every man that hearth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.|
|19.||And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.|
People that change God's word or will are known as "False Prophets." Let's take a few minutes and look at some of the warnings God gives us concerning these people.
|1 Timothy 4:|
|1.||Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils:|
|2.||Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;|
|3.||Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.|
|21.||And then if any man shall say to you, lo, here is Christ; or lo, he is there; believe him not:|
|22.||For false Christ and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.(Note that there are good signs and wonders from God, and bad ones from Satan. You should realize that God brings life and healing, and Satan brings death and destruction.)|
|2 Corinthians 11:|
|13.||For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.|
|14.||And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.|
|15.||Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (I can assure you their end will not be pleasant.)|
|9.||Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both Father and Son.|
|10.||If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:|
|11.||For he that bideth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.|
|19.||Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:|
|14.||That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (fraud) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;|
|2 Timothy 2:|
|15.||Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.|
Now, for those of you that still believe
that all churches lead to heaven and that this writer is really blowing
God's concern on this topic out of proportion, I offer the following verses,
to mention a few:
Now it should be pointed out that this partial list only covers false teachers and does not contain any of the verses that cover good teachers or churches. Perhaps this sounded like a rather long oratory on a rather unimportant subject, but what it does show is that it is very important for you to know the Bible yourself, because unless you study the word for yourself and know it yourself, how else are you going to know the truth from a lie.
From the beginning of time God has been
dealing with people, trying to get them to conform to His will. But, all
through history we can see where all but a very few exerted their will
over God's will.
|1 Thessalonians 1:|
|10.||And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.|
He "delivered us" past tense, from "the wrath to come" future tense, with the salvation He bought for us on Calvary's cross.
|1 Timothy 2:|
|3.||For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;|
|4.||Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.|
|5.||For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;|
|6.||Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.|
Jesus Christ (our ransom), is where we fill our own personal tribulation survival kit. All the rope, first aid kits, and hidden ration in the world won't get you successfully through the tribulation that's about to come, only Jesus Christ can do that!
|16.||For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.|
|17.||For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.|
|18.||He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.|
|19.||And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,|
|20.||For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.|
|21.||But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that; they are wrought in God.|
|1.||I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.|
|2.||And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.|
God, even today, is warning us that the
time is getting short! On May 14,1948 the prophecy of Ezekiel 36: 22-38
was fulfilled. Israel had retaken the promised land and had become an independent
nation after 2,500 years without self-government and 1,800 years without
a home land, against all odds, the prophecy was completed.
|1 Thessalonians 4:|
|16.||For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:|
|17.||Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so
shall we ever be with the Lord.|
No one knows when the Rapture and Tribulation will occur, it could be at any moment. Those who are saved will be taken by God to heaven for their protection from the seven years of Tribulation. Those who are not saved will be left here on Earth to suffer at the hands of the Devil.
|1 Corinthians 15:|
|50.||Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.|
|51.||Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (be dead), but we shall all be changed.|
|52.||In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.|
|53.||For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal(body) must put immortality.|
At the instant that God commands the rapture to take place, the true believers-- first the dead and then the living-- will put on spiritual bodies of the kind Christ had when He was resurrected, actually changed from mortal to immortal beings in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.
|21.||Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father is in heaven.|
|22.||Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works?|
|23.||And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Sin).|
I have heard many people say that on the day after the Rapture the churches are going to be full, and I'm sure they will. They will be full of good people that thought they had done enough to please God. People that never lied or cheated in their business dealing much, and never came to help the sick or the poor, and people that never really "knew" God, that never really had a true, deep commitment to God. They never really took the time to ask God to forgive them, because they were so busy finding the things that were wrong with everyone else, and never really did please God themselves. Even some people that we would generally consider to be great workers for the Lord, will be shunned because of their sin, and lack of love, because God's anointing of agape LOVE in your life is what keeps you out of sin. Where do you stand? Now is the time to decide what you will do with your life. For truly, if you can't follow Jesus Christ now, you will never be able to during the tribulation.
PRAY with me now, and really make Jesus the Lord of your life. Heavenly Father, your word say's "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness. With the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10: 9-10), and Father, I do believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead the third day, and I pray that you would forgive me of my sins for truly I forgive all those that have sinned against me. I receive you now as Lord of my life, and thank you for filling my life with your anointing of agape love, and leading and guiding me in all the things that I do, in Jesus' name. Amen.
The glue that holds the whole Christian experience together is prayer. Prayer is the method used to receive salvation and it is the method that is used to talk to God. No other system works, because no other system is meant to work. God ordained prayer in order to give man fast access to the throne for every need. Prayer, like most things, only operates correctly when its rules are applied correctly.
|3.||Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust.|
As you can see, the things you ask for must be in line with God's word or will. He won't give you anything that will lead you into sin or could cause you to fall.
|31.||Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.|
He only answers the prayers that are asked of the Father in Jesus' name, when God's word is applied to the problem. If God's word "abides" in you, then it is alive and active and should be used to demonstrate your authority or right to the promise you want.
|7.||If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.|
|23.||And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.|
|24.||Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name (Jesus): ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.|
You should clear the slate with God every day to insure that there is nothing, sin wise, hindering your prayers, and then firmly believe that God will make good on his promise.
|24.||Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them (with your heart, not your head), and ye shall have them.|
|25.||And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.|
|26.||But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.|
(Ask the Father) Father, I come before
you and forgive (Forgive all others) all those that have trespassed against
me. I lift them up to you that you would guide them into a closer and more
personal walk with you. I pray that you would heal me of the things that
have come against me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
I stand upon your promise that your words will not return to you void,
and upon. Isaiah 53: 4. Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our
sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities;
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
The blessings of God take many forms. The list of needs that God will meet is almost endless. God can touch your heart in so many ways if you would only give Him a chance. It all comes by yielding to and trusting in Him. Don't be moved by the things you see and touch, but be moved "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 4)
or we can be E-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to use this lesson: copy, teach, translate into other languages, place on the Internet and electronic Bulletin Boards, and distribute for non profit personal ministry reasons, as often as you wish. Yes, you can copy this lesson and use it on your web site, but please leave these "Notes from the author" with the lesson. Freely you have received this lesson, and freely you should give it to someone else. (Copyright 1982, revised 6/26/02)