EZ Bible Study Method
Posted by adventbiblestudy on September 10, 2008
You may be asking yourself, can I really study and understand the Bible? I think the Bible contains a simple test to answer that question. Read Matthew chapters 5 and 6. Now answer the following questions.
1. Did you understand the text?
2. Do you agree with the text?
3. Does this text describe the life you want to have and be able to lead?
If you can answer yes to any of the above questions concerning Matthew chapters 5 and 6 the following studies may be just what you have been searching for.
Learn to understand all parables by simple word studies.
1. Pray for guidance of the Holy Spirit
2. Identify keys words in the Bible verse.
3. Look up these key words in a Bible Concordance or computer Bible program. Other verses in the Bible will lead you to the spiritual meaning of the key words.
4. Substitute the spiritual meaning for the key words and paraphrase the text using the spiritual words.
Example Number 1:
KJV Proverbs 25:4. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
The very first step is to look at the physical aspects of the text. It helps to actually rewrite the text and write your understanding of the text.
Take away the dross (impurities) from the silver and it will become a container for the refiner.
A refiner is someone that refines silver by removing impurities. The refiner melts down the silver, bringing it to a certain temperature at which time the impurities, called dross, separate from the silver, floating to the top. The refiner can now remove the impurities. When the silver is pure it can be used to make something such as a container which is useful and valuable.
The next step is to identify the key words you feel may have a spiritual meaning. In Proverbs 25:4 we have four key words to investigate. They are dross, silver, vessel and finer. Now look up text containing these key words.
KJV Proverbs 26:23. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
KJV Psalms 119:119. Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
The Bible shows us the wicked of the earth are like dross. Dross represents wickedness or wicked people. Notice how key words are defined within the Bible. Often times the definition of key words will be given much like we would explain a definition, by using phrases such as, “are like” or, “of the”. We would use the same terms to form a description, such as, “dolphins are like a fish” or dolphins are of the mammal family.”
KJV Proverbs 16:16. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
KJV Psalms 12:6. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
KJV Psalms 119:72. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
The above texts tell us understanding is more valuable than silver. We need to look further to know what it is we are supposed to understand. The Psalms tells us the law of God and the words of God are spiritually represented by silver.
Here are other terms God uses indicating definitions of keywords, by using comparative context. Here terms such as, “understanding rather to be chosen than silver“, “words: as silver” and “law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Conjunctions such as, “than” or “as” indicate a comparison between words or phrases. Another commonly used conjunction is the word, “like.” We use these words in everyday language to create comparisons. “The juice tasted like freshly squeezed grapes.” This example gives a definition to the juice, we now know what the juice was made from. In the same manner God uses conjunctions to give His key words spiritual meaning.
KJV Psalms 2:9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
KJV Psalms 31:12. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
When we look at texts containing the word vessel we see the Bible compares people to a vessel. A vessel is used to represent a person.
KJV Malachi 3:2-3
2. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
A finer or refiner is used to represent God.
Now that we have identified the key words and found text to explain what each word represents we can create a chart.
DROSS = a wickedness, a wicked person
SILVER = the word or law of God
VESSEL = a person
FINER = GodWe can then look at the original text and see how the spiritual words help explain the hidden meaning.
KJV Proverbs 25:4. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
We can paraphrase the text using the spiritual meanings for the key words we looked up in the Bible.
Take away the dross (wickedness or wicked people) from the silver (law and word of God), and there shall come forth a vessel (person) for the refiner (God).
Take away the wickedness (put there by other people) from the law and the word of God and there shall come forth a person fit for God.
We can now look and compare the physical aspects of original text with the spiritual aspects of the paraphrase that we made using the spiritual words found in the Bible. Silver is purified by taking out the impurities called dross. When the silver has been purified and prepared by the refiner, the one working with it can now use the silver to make a useful object, in this case we see that a vessel or type of container is being made.
Using the spiritual words substituted for the physical objects in the text we have found the words and or the law of God has been mixed with impurities. But you may be asking, “how can the word of God contain any impurities?” The pure word of God does not contain any impurities. But when the word of God is changed by man or is mixed with man’s words, ideas or concepts it becomes polluted. Whenever we paraphrase Biblical text we need to prove the paraphrase using nothing but the Bible. To prove this paraphrase we need to see if the Bible contains texts supporting the idea there may have been changes to the word or law of God.
KJV Daniel 7:25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
The book of Daniel gives us a story of a beast power that will, “speak great words against the most High and think to change times and laws”. This is evidence certain powers will attempt to change the laws of God.
Every year the United States spends millions of dollars in court costs arguing phrases and even individual words written in the Constitution. At times these people are arguing a point in an attempt to persuade others that the writers of the Constitution meant to say one thing or another in a particular manner that would give greater weight to the beliefs of the individual or group. Most often these points involve something that may result in a great benefit for a particular group. The reason these points need to be considered with great care is, the benefit for one group usually results in a sacrifice on the part of others.
Given the chance many people would be very eager to alter the laws and words of God in an attempt to strengthen their beliefs an a particular point. This is happening and has been happening since the early days of the church. If you have access to a number of Bibles look up Exodus 20 and see how many translations agree. Some churches have created major modifications to the ten commandments in an attempt to change God’s law to suit their beliefs.
“For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God. The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Malachi 2:7-8, Isaiah 30:1, Isaiah 30:9-12, Zephaniah 3:4, Psalms 12:3-4, Psalms 53:1-4, Daniel 12:10
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. They refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. They made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:” John 8:47, Zechariah 7:11-12, Amos 8:11
It is not difficult to find evidence in both the Old and New Testaments verifying the fact people refused to follow the word of the Lord. Who is responsible for all of this?
KJV Isaiah 14:13. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Satan introduced the first deception by changing a few words of God in the garden of Eden. Satan will twist words, question others and add words of his own all the time polluting the word of God in an attempt to mislead people.
KJV 2 Timothy 2:15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Now that we have learned the meaning to four spiritual words we can check other Bible text to see if these interpretations remain true.
Example Number 2:
KJV Isaiah 1: 22. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
To rewrite Isaiah 1:22 we may say, “Your silver has become impure (dross), your wine is mixed with water.
In this case pure silver has either become mixed with impurities, something has been added or the silver has been changed. The wine is clearly been watered down. Water has been added to the wine. But for what reason?
Since we have already studied the words silver and dross we can use our findings to paraphrase the first half of Isaiah 1:22.
Your (man’s use of) silver (Gods words and law) has become dross (wicked), your wine is mixed with water.
We can test our paraphrase by studying the second part of Isaiah 1:22 to see if it will agree with the interpretation of the first part. To begin we need to find the spiritual meaning for the words wine and water.
KJV Proverbs 4:17. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
KJV Proverbs 20:1. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
KJV Proverbs 23:30. They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
KJV Isaiah 5:22. Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23. Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Solomon tells us that wine is a spiritual word for violence and is equivalent to mocking. It is also poisonous. Isaiah tells us that wine is used by the wicked to justify their actions. What does it mean to justify the wicked? Does it mean that people are getting drunk from the wine and using it as an excuse for them to carry out violent acts?
We have to remember we are looking for a spiritual meaning to the word wine that will agree with the first part of Isaiah 1:22, dealing with God’s law and or words.
KJV Isaiah 51:21. Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
Isaiah 51 tells us these people are, “drunken, but not with wine“. We can see from this verse wine is indeed a spiritual representation of something other than the liquid we are familiar with. To answer the question we need to look at the word water to see if it will help us understand the verse.
KJV Isaiah 17:12. Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
KJV Isaiah 57:20. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
Isaiah shows water can be used to represent people. Most of us are familiar with Revelation 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” It is not difficult to grasp the concept that water represents people. We should also note, Isaiah indicates that the wicked, “waters cast up mire and dirt.” This should remind us of the silver mixed with dross. As we look further into the Bible we gain a better understand of the spiritual concepts of water.
KJV Proverbs 18:4. The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
KJV Proverbs 20:5. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
In the book of Solomon we are given a spiritual concept reflecting quite the opposite of what we have seen in Isaiah. Solomon seems to be telling us water can represent positive aspects of men while Isaiah deals with negative or wicked aspects.
KJV Isaiah 44:3. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
KJV Mark 1:8. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
KJV Acts 10:47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
These three texts give us a spiritual link between water and the Holy Spirit.
KJV Revelation 7:17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
KJV John 4:10. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
KJV John 7:37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) 40. Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
Here are three additional texts establishing a link between water, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. After we have investigated the word water using only the Bible and found two meanings do we simply accept this fact? Or we can look deeper into the Bible to see if the Bible will justify a dual meaning to the spiritual word water.
KJV James 3:10. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
James makes it clear there are two distinct opposite types of water, “sweet water and bitter”. Each of these have their own source just as we have seem in the text we have studied. The physical water described in the Bible has two different sources. One for sweet water, the other for bitter water. Spiritual water also has two sources. One from the Holy Spirit, the other from men.
KJV Isaiah 1:22. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
After we have investigated the key words in our text we can now compile a chart.
SILVER = the word or law of GodDROSS = wickedness, a wicked person
WINE = violence, mocking, the actions of the wicked
WATER = troubled or rushing water = wicked peopleWater is also used to represent the Holy Spirit.
Now that we have collected all of the key words and their meanings we can now paraphrase the text.
Your (man’s use of) silver (law or word of God) has become dross (wicked), your wine (actions of the wicked) is mixed with water (wicked people or the Holy Spirit).
Since we have a dual meaning for the word water we can write two paraphrases.
Man’s use of the word of God has become polluted by the wicked, the actions of the wicked are mixed with wicked people.
This paraphrase may sound correct but the second part, “the actions of the wicked are mixed with wicked people” appears redundant.
Man’s use of the word of God has become polluted by the wicked, the actions of the wicked are mixed with the Holy Spirit.
This paraphrase of wine and water fully agrees with the first part of the text silver and dross. When we look up the spiritual meaning for the key words of this text we find the word of God and the true meaning of the Holy Spirit are being changed, altered or polluted by wicked men. When silver contains dross it has something added to make it impure. When wine is mixed with water it also has something added that makes it appear less harmful. The wicked attempt to justify the things they do by sprinkling in a bit of the Holy Spirit. We can see they are trying to falsely justify what they are doing. Remember Isaiah 5 tells us wine will be used to, “justify the wicked, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him”. We now understand Isaiah is telling us the wicked will use their own ideas to change the word of God and take away the righteousness of men.
We once again look at the physical traits of the text and compare them with what we have found using the spiritual definitions. Physical silver is made impure by adding dross. Spiritual silver, the word of God is made impure by adding spiritual dross or adding man’s words to the word of God.
Physical wine may appear less threatening when mixed with water just as spiritual wine or the works of the wicked attempt to appear less harmful when mixed with the Holy Spirit.
We are familiar with little sayings called a maxim or adage that may be commonly known in some regions of the country and never used in other regions.
A couple found a home for sale priced $100,000 below market value. This house was priced in the lower $200,000 range. They had to make a decision to sell their existing home which they had purchased three years ago when the market exhibited it’s highest prices. Since that time they had invested $10,000 in remodeling the home. After looking at the marketing figures for their neighborhood they determined they would be lucky to sell the house for the original purchase price in the $160,000 range. They viewed this transaction as if they would be loosing the $10,000 they invested in remodeling. They were so caught up in the idea they wanted to make a profit on the existing home, they completely missed the fact the new home was potentially worth $100,000 more than the list price. After spending a few days grieving over the idea of selling their existing home for less than what they had invested, another couple made the decision for them and purchased the $200,000 home. In this case you could say that this couple was not the brightest penny in the roll.
This is an example of an adage or a short proverb making perfect sense to some people but could leave others confused. What does it mean when we say, “not the brightest penny in the roll?” It means they do not make the wisest decisions. We can reveal this adage by later explaining, a wise person is like a bright penny. Once you understand a bright penny is used to symbolize a wise person, you would know a person that was not the brightest penny may not be a wise person.
This is an example of what God has done while inspiring the Bible. God has used a series of short sayings to protect His word. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Matthew 13:13, Deuteronomy 29:29
Using this method God has placed hundreds or possibly thousands of links in His word that make a connection between everyday physical words and their spiritual meanings. The Bible is the only book in the world written in this method. It is a sophisticated method of writing God has put together in sixty six books over a span of thousands of years. By using this method of writing God has ensured His word against change. The method of understanding has been hidden from those that would change the Bible if they could.
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:” Isaiah 28:9-10, Psalms 19:7-8, Psalms 49:3-4, Psalms 37:31, Amos 3:7, Habakkuk 2:2, Isaiah 30: 8
God does not want to you remain a baby being fed with only milk. A baby depends on someone else for every little thing. This is exactly what happens when you rely upon others to do your studying for you. God wants you to stand on your own, to know how to prepare your own meals. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” KJV Rev 3:20-21
God wants you to know how to study on your own. Take hold of the promise, God will make “wise the simple”. As we have seen, studying the Bible involves looking up key words and comparing them with Biblical text. Study line upon line and the Holy Spirit will reveal His secret to you. Once you learn a few words you can put them to a test using other text that will introduce new words. This is precept upon precept, the way the Bible was meant to be studied. Write it upon a table so you will understand, “that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:”