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

Free copy of Bible Basics



A lot of vaguely Christian or church-going people sense that there’s something missing in their experience. And that it’s a big ‘something’. The idealized worldview preached by so many church leaders just doesn’t add up. Health and prosperity don’t come because you tithe. There’s a big gap between the reality of daily life, and what church leaders preach. We sense that many of the jigsaw puzzle pieces which we have in our possession are real and valid, but all the same, we don’t see the big picture. The pieces are all hopelessly jumbled up, even if we hold them in our hands. And we don’t even know precisely what the big picture is; we don’t have the lid with the picture on it. Although, we think we know what that bigger picture roughly is. But of course, it’s taken as read that you don’t share these doubts with anyone at church. Not a soul. It’s an unconscious conspiracy of silence.

What we’re crying out for is a systematic, no-nonsense approach to what God is saying to us through the Bible. We want to see the picture on the lid of the jigsaw puzzle, and then fit everything together according to it- both the pieces of understanding of God which we have from the Bible, and our personal experiences of life.

Now if that’s you, as it was me, then read on…

It’s the purpose of Bible Basics to analyze the Bible's message in a business-like, systematic way. It is designed to be read straight through as a book, or alternatively to be used as a correspondence course. Answers to the questions at the end of each study can be sent to the address below; your answers will then be passed to a personal tutor who can then correspond with you as you progress further through the Studies. It’s appreciated that some readers will shy away from the idea of answering questions, but would rather ask questions concerning areas which they are unclear about, or disagree with the interpretation presented here. Again, if such correspondence is directed to the address below, personal answers can be given. What I’ve tried to do is to outline the basic elements of the Gospel in a series of studies. There are some digressions which cover specific issues which may or may not be of concern to you. And then there are the studies called ‘Belief in practice’. These are inserted at appropriate places in the basic studies, seeking to demonstrate how those basic Bible doctrines, the theory if you like, is worked out in human life in practice. This is the practical means whereby you can find the joy and peace of true, Biblical Christianity revealed in human life.

The Bible translation often used in these studies is the New King James Version. However, other versions are quoted: The Revised Version (R.V.), Revised Standard Version (R.S.V.), Authorized Version (A.V.) and New International Version (N.I.V.). At times a literal translation of the original has been attempted.

There are many people who ought to be thanked for their help in producing this book; I am particularly indebted to Clive Rivers for the masterly series of photographs he has contributed, and to those who have commented on the drafts. However, my main debt lies with the hundreds of people in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, whose searching questions and thirst for truth have forced me to think through these ‘Bible Basics’ time and again. Their beauty and strength only increases by being viewed from so many different angles. In crowded taxis, on open trucks and lorries, on endless train journeys across Siberia, in sedate conference rooms to sweltering hotel balconies and starlit bush villages, these topics have been discussed, argued over and enthused about with Bible students from all walks of life. My brethren with whom I have been privileged to work in this have been a ceaseless source of strength and help. The substance of many of the Digressions in this book was often thrashed out between us in hotel rooms, after a gruelling session with a group of interested contacts. The fellowship and unity that comes from being bound together by these basic doctrines of Bible truth is surely unsurpassed in human experience. This 5th edition benefited from extensive input and discussion with a number of experienced preachers: Graham Bacon, Michael Gates, Mark Gilbert, Marcus Heaster, John Parkes, Steve & Robin Jones, Robin & Jean Field deserve special mention. So to all these "my fellow workers unto the Kingdom of God" I now pay tribute, hoping they will find this volume a help in the great work of publishing the true Gospel "into all nations".

Grasping the real truth of the Gospel as taught in the Bible's pages will affect every part of our lives, leading men and women the world over to properly give glory to God as He intended, both now and for eternity. Every one who finds the truth finds the "pearl of great price", and will know the feelings of Jeremiah for themself: "Your words were found, and I did eat them; your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer.15:16). To achieve this, be sure to pray for God's help in understanding the word before you tackle each of these studies. "And now...I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). 

Duncan Heaster

June 2006

Abbreviations used in these studies for books  of the Bible






1 Cor.-I Corinthians



2 Cor.-2 Corinthians












1 Thes.-1 Thessalonians

1 Sam.-1 Samuel


2 Thes.-2 Thessalonians

2 Sam.-2 Samuel


1 Tim.-1 Timothy

1 Chron.-1 Chronicles


2 Tim.-2 Timothy

2 Chron.-2 Chronicles








1 Pet.-1 Peter



2 Pet.-2 Peter



1 Jn.- 1 John



2 Jn.-2 John



The questions at the end of each chapter are of two types: multiple choice (whereby you must choose one of the answers listed as the correct answer to the question), and ordinary questions which require a few sentences in response. Write your answers on a separate piece of paper, not forgetting to write your name and address clearly. You’re welcome to email them too. Whatever, please, contact us!

You may send your answers to the address in the box below, should no address be inserted send to:-

Bible Basics, P.O.Box 3034, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0ZA ENGLAND


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 ||