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

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2.5 The Bible the only Authority

From what we have seen so far in this study, God’s spirit refers to His mind and purpose, and to the power by which He puts those things into operation. We have emphasised that that spirit is expressly revealed to us in the pages of God’s Word. The many problems of contemporary Christianity all come down to a dire lack of appreciation of this. Because it is hard to believe that such great power is vested in one book, parts of which we find hard to understand, it is tempting to feel that there is some other form of God’s revelation to men, other than the Bible. Because our fundamentally faulty human condition (Jer. 17:9) finds the pure truth of God’s Word (Jn. 17:17) so hard to stomach, many have given in to this temptation by claiming other forms of revelation which are more attractive to the natural mind. A few examples are now given.


Other form of revelation claimed

Human advantage/attraction of this

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Publications of the Watchtower Society, which are treated as inspired

No personal effort required to think out the correct interpretation of the Bible; an answer for everything

Roman Catholicism

The pronouncements by the Pope and opinions of priests, which they claim are automatically the true reflection of God’s mind

No need for personal Bible reading - in the past, Catholicism has discouraged and even forbidden this. Trusting in men rather than having to make the effort to verify things for oneself


The book of Mormon

Takes away the need to believe in Biblical doctrines which are hard to accept – the Book of Mormon offers a chance of universal salvation, whilst the Bible says that there are many people who live and die with no hope through not being called to a knowledge of the Gospel

All this underlines the need for a fundamental acceptance of the Bible as God’s Word, and to search its pages for the true message. The question, “One Bible, many churches - why?” is largely answered when it is appreciated how many churches have, to some degree, claimed another form of revelation of God’s spirit, i.e. His will, doctrine and thinking, in addition to that of the Bible.

If you wish to find the one true church, the one true faith and the one true baptism (Eph. 4:4-6), the call must be coming to you loud and clear - “Back to the Bible!”. It’s not my purpose to recommend a mere denomination to you. For now, read through the early chapters of Acts some time; it is evident that it was Peter’s logical, Bible-based reasoning that really touched the hearts of men and converted them, rather than the miracles he did.

All this said, it must be conceded that many Pentecostal churches exhibit a tremendous vitality and assurance when one enters them. Why is this? My own observation is that many join these groups and then leave them. Therefore those one meets within them tend to be relatively recent converts, who are full of the verve of having found a new church, a new understanding. And so the churches tend to exude energy, rather like the Jehovah’s Witness organization does. But what one doesn’t immediately perceive are the millions of disillusioned folks worldwide, who have been there, seen it all, and quit. If true miracles were being done, would so many become disillusioned with them?

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 ||