Bible Basics (5th edition): A study manual revealing the joy and peace of true Christianity

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So far in this study we have spoken of our personal spiritual responsibilities. However, we have a duty to meet together with others who share our hope. Again, this should be something we naturally desire to do. We have shown that after baptism we enter a wilderness journey towards the Kingdom. It is only natural that we should desire to make contact with fellow-travellers. It seems we are living in the last days before Christ’s coming; to overcome the many complex trials which assail us in these times, we need to fellowship with those who are in the same position: “Let us not give up meeting together .. .but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day (of the second coming) approaching” (Heb. 10:25 NIV cf. Mal. 3:16). Believers should therefore make every effort to make contact with each other through letters and travelling to meet with each other to share Bible study, the communion service, and preaching activities.

We have each individually been ‘called out’ of the world to the great hope of the Kingdom. The word ‘saint’ means ‘a called out person’, and can refer to all true believers rather than just to a few notable believers of the past. The Greek word which is translated ‘church’ in the English Bible is ‘ecclesia’, meaning ‘an assembly of called out ones’, i.e. believers. The ‘church’ therefore refers to the group of believers, rather than the physical building in which they meet. To avoid misunderstanding in the use of this term, some tend to refer to their ‘churches’ as ‘ecclesias’.

Wherever there are a number of believers in a certain town or area, it is logical that they find a meeting place in which to meet regularly. This could be in a believer’s house or in a hired hall. Ecclesias meet world-wide in places like community centres, hotel conference rooms, self-built halls or private homes. The purpose of an ecclesia is to help each other on the way to the Kingdom. This is done in a variety of ways such as collective Bible study or witnessing to the world through preaching. A typical schedule for an ecclesia could be something like this.

SUNDAY 11 a.m. - Breaking of Bread service

 6 p.m. - Public preaching activity

WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. - Bible study

The ecclesia is part of the family of God. In any close-knit community, each member needs to be sensitive and submissive to the others. Christ himself was the supreme example in this. Despite his evident spiritual supremacy, he acted as the “servant of all”, washing the disciples’ feet whilst they argued amongst themselves as to who was the greatest among them. Jesus bids us follow his example in this (Jn. 13:14,15; Mt. 20:25‑28).

Believers refer to each other as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, being on first-name terms regardless of their differing positions in secular life. This said, it is evident that there should be respect for believers who have known the true God for many years, or who have rapidly matured in spiritual matters through their commitment to God’s Word. The advice of believers like this will be greatly valued by those who are seeking to follow God’s Word. However, they will only take the advice of other believers insofar as it is an accurate reflection of God’s Word.

Bible Basics: Contents

Part 1: "The things concerning the Kingdom of God" Study 1: God 1.1  The Existence Of God || 1.2  The Personality Of God || Belief In Practice 1: Knowing God || 1.3  God's Name And Character || Belief In Practice 2: Grace (John Parkes) || Belief In Practice 3: The All Seeing God || Belief In Practice 4: God Is Omnipotent || Belief In Practice 5: Responding To The One God || 1.4     The Angels || Belief In Practice 6: God As Creator || Digression 1: God Manifestation || Digression 2:  Why The Trinity Was Accepted || Study 1: Questions Study 2: The Spirit Of God 2.1  Definition || 2.2  Inspiration || 2.3  Gifts Of The Holy Spirit || 2.4  The Withdrawal Of The Gifts || 2.5  The Bible The Only Authority || Digression 3: Is The Holy Spirit A Person? || Digression 4: The Principle Of Personification || Belief In Practice 7: The Implications Of Inspiration || Study 2: Questions Study 3: The Promises Of God 3.1  Introduction || 3.2  The Promise In Eden || 3.3  The Promise To Noah || 3.4  The Promise To Abraham || 3.5  The Promise To David || Belief In Practice 8: Covenant Relationship With God || Study 3: Questions Study 4: God And Death 4.1  The Nature Of Man || 4.2  The Soul || 4.3  The Spirit || 4.4  Death Is Unconsciousness || 4.5  The Resurrection || 4.6  The Judgment || Belief In Practice 9: Judgment Now || 4.7  The Place Of Reward: Heaven Or Earth?|| 4.8  Responsibility To God || 4.9  Hell || Digression 5: Purgatory || Digression 6: Ghosts And Reincarnation || Digression 7: The 'Rapture' || Belief In Practice 10: The Motivational Power Of Understanding Death || Study 4: Questions Study 5: The Kingdom Of God 5.1  Defining The Kingdom || 5.2  The Kingdom Is Not Now Established || 5.3  The Kingdom Of God In The Past || 5.4  The Kingdom Of God In The Future || 5.5  The Millennium || Digression 8: The Kingdom Of God Now (Graham Bacon) || Belief In Practice 11: What The Kingdom Of God Means Today || Study 5: QuestionsStudy 6: God And Evil 6.1  God And Evil || 6.2  The Devil And Satan || 6.3  Demons || Digression 9: The Implications And Origin Of The Belief In A Personal Satan || Digression 10: Witchcraft || Digression 11: What Happened In Eden? || Digression 12: Lucifer || Belief In Practice 12: Battle For The Mind || Study 6: Questions

Part 2: "The things concerning...the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12) Study 7: The Origin Of Jesus. 7.1  Old Testament Prophecies Of Jesus || 7.2  The Virgin Birth || 7.3  Christ's Place In God's Plan || 7.4  "In the beginning was the word" || Digression 13: Jesus The Son Of God (Michael Gates) || Digression 14: Did Jesus Create The Earth? || Belief In Practice 13: Jesus Didn’t Pre-exist: And So What? || Study 7: Questions Study 8: The Nature Of Jesus 8.1  Introduction || 8.2  Differences Between God And Jesus || 8.3  The Nature Of Jesus || 8.4  The Humanity Of Jesus || 8.5  The Relationship Of God With Jesus || Belief In Practice 14: The Real Christ || Digression 15: How The Real Christ Was Lost || Digression 16: The Divine Side Of Jesus || Study 8: Questions Study 9: The Work Of Jesus 9.1  The Victory Of Jesus || 9.2  The Blood Of Jesus || 9.3  Jesus As Our Representative || 9.4  Jesus And The Law Of Moses || 9.5  The Sabbath || Digression 17 The Crucifix || Digression 18: Was Jesus Born On Dec. 25th? || Belief In Practice 15: The Meaning Of Christ’s Resurrection For Us || Belief In Practice 16: Christ Died For Me- So What Should I Do? || Belief In Practice 17: The Real Cross || Belief In Practice 18: The Inspiration Of The Cross || Study 9: Questions || Study 10: Baptism Into Jesus 10.1  The Vital Importance Of Baptism || 10.2  How Should We Be Baptized? || 10.3  The Meaning Of Baptism || 10.4  Baptism And Salvation || Digression 19: Re-baptism || Digression 20 The Thief On The Cross || Belief In Practice 19: The Certainty Of Salvation || Study 10: Questions Study 11: Life In Christ 11.1  Introduction || 11.2  Holiness || 11.2.1  The Use Of Force || 11.2.2  Politics || 11.2.3  Worldly Pleasures || 11.3  Practical Christian Life || 11.3.1  Bible Study || 11.3.2  Prayer || 11.3.3  Preaching || 11.3.4  Ecclesial Life || 11.3.5  The Breaking Of Bread || 11.4  Marriage || 11.5  Fellowship || Study 11: Questions ||