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Don't Be Fooled! Know Your Bible!

Don’t Be Fooled!

Know Your Bible!

By Joyce Webb 2011

A few months ago, a preacher made an announcement that the "rapture" was going to happen in May. God was going to take all the Christians to heaven. The people left behind would go through a very bad time, and then the end of the world would come-----in October sometime.

Many people believed this preacher. He had a radio program and many people across the nation listened to him. They trusted him.

One man in New York spent $40.000---most of his life’s savings---to put up ads on billboards to warn people.

Other people quit their jobs, sold their homes, gave away the money---and waited for that day in May for the "rapture".

The "rapture" did not happen. The people were still here. Now they had no job, no home, no money----nothing. They had been fooled by a preacher that they trusted.

Afterwards the preacher could not be found to ask him about his mistake. I guess he was hiding somewhere.

I can only imagine what those people thought who had believed him. How very sad for them!

Many people listen to other people to explain the Bible to them. They find the Bible hard to understand. So they trust others to explain it to them.

There is always a little danger in that, because preachers can be wrong. Or preachers sometimes have selfish reasons for saying things.

I listen to many preachers and teachers of the Bible. I have learned a lot. Sometimes what I hear them say I do not believe----because I know what the Bible says and it is different from that preacher.

Knowing for yourself what the Bible says is important.

Some parts of the Bible are hard to understand----there are many, many parts that are easy to understand. Knowing what God says is important.

We need to know for ourselves what the Bible says.

Hundreds of years ago, before there were machines to print books, people did not have a Bible. They did not know how to read. Only a few men knew how to read and write. They told other people what the Bible said.

People had to depend on what they were told. Sometimes the men telling them what was in the Bible turned the meaning of the verses so that those men could get people to do what they wanted. That was wrong. But the people had no way of knowing the difference. Some of the people had an idea that they were being told wrong things, but they could not read the Bible for themselves to find the truth.

Today we have Bibles. We have Bibles that are written in easy English. Bibles are written in every language around the world.

If you do not want someone to fool you----you need to know what the Bible says for yourself.

Let’s go back to the story about the preacher who said the "rapture" would happen in May of 2011.

There are Bible verses that show clearly that the preacher could not know when the "rapture" would happen.

Even on TV, other preachers were telling people that the preacher was wrong because of verses in the Bible. They told the people not to believe that preacher.

People who knew the Bible, knew that the "rapture" would not happen when he said----because no one can know when it will happen.

Jesus and his disciples were talking about the world coming to an end some day. The disciples asked Jesus when it would happen. Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knows no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my father only." Matthew 24:36 Mark13:32 says the same: "But of that day and that hour knows no man, no not the angels in heaven, not the Son,  but the father." Even Jesus does not know the day and hour.

Acts 1: 6,7 Jesus said, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father has in his own power."

These verses are talking about when Jesus comes back to earth the second time. The "rapture" happens before Jesus comes back to the earth to rule as King.

Since we can not know when Jesus will come back in person the second time to rule as king, how can we count when the "rapture" will happen before it?

There are other verses that say Jesus will come back "like a thief in the night"---in other words, there will be no warning----He will just come when you do not expect it.

Jesus did tell about things that would be happening in the world at the time of the end. He talked about the change in the weather---storms, earthquakes, etc. He talked about wars, famines, disease and sickness going around the world. He talked about changes in the oceans, in the heavens.

The prophets and the book of Revelation talk about things happening in the countries near Israel and how they will all hate Israel and they will try to kill all of Israel’s people.

When we see what is happening in that part of the world, we know that the "end times" are getting close. Because the things happening there are to happen at the end of time.

We know this because of prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel.

Some of the people who believed the preacher from California sold their homes, gave away their money, quit their job.

That idea did not come from the Bible. The Bible says just the opposite.

Luke 19:13 Jesus said, "Occupy until I come." Occupy means to keep doing what you always do. Keep on living in a normal way. Go to work, buy food, take care of things----just like always---do it until I come.

When the time comes for the "rapture" when the Christians are taken up in the clouds---it will happen in a blink of an eye. There will be no time for getting ready for it.

We do not know when it will happen. It will happen before Jesus comes back to earth to be King.

Some of the things Jesus told about were warnings for the Jewish people. Since most of them do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, not very many of them will be going up in the rapture. There are many prophecies about what will happen here on earth after the rapture.

After the rapture, the tribulation time starts. This is a time when terrible things begin to happen here on earth.

Also, there will be men who will come and say that they are Christ the Messiah. Jesus said, "If any man shall say to you, Here is Christ, or there is Christ; do not believe them. For there will come false Christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so much that, if possible they would deceive (fool) the very best among you……….For as lightning shines from the east to the west, in the same way will be the coming of the Son of Man." Matthew 24: 23 -27

Jesus second coming will not be a secret. Revelation 1:7 "Behold, he comes in the clouds: and every eye will see him…." Just as lightning flashes across the sky.

Knowing the Bible for yourself is so important!

You may think the Bible is too hard to understand. There are parts of it that are hard, but there is much of it that is easy to read.

Get a Bible that has easy English words.

Start with the New Testament. Read carefully. Take notes. Underline important verses. Write important verses on paper. Memorize them.

The first 4 books in the New Testament Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written by 4 of the disciples. They wrote what they remembered while they were with Jesus.

Acts is a book written about the time after Jesus went back into heaven. It tells how the people who believed in Jesus began to meet together----they started the Christian churches.

Paul is a main person in this book because Paul traveled all around to different countries telling people about Jesus and starting small groups of believers. After he left that town, he wrote them letters to explain things. The KJV of the Bible calls them "epistles"---this means long letters.

Now days we call them "books" of the Bible.

After Acts are the "letters" Paul wrote to these small groups of believers.

Then there are a few more books: James, the brother of Jesus, Jude, the brother of Jesus, John, a disciple, and Peter, a disciple.

The Old Testament is important, but it is harder to read---some books are very hard to read and understand.

The first book in the Old Testament is Genesis. The word means "beginning". The stories in it are about how the world began and how the first people knew God and how God talked with them.

Exodus means "exit"---it is about the Hebrew people going out of Egypt and go to the land God promised Abraham many years before.

It also has a lot of laws in it-----so in about the middle of the book all the laws begin. That part is harder to read.

Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy have many laws and history of the Hebrew people. These can be hard to read.

Joshua tells about the Hebrew people going into the land God promised Abraham. There are many stories about how God helped them.

Judges has many stories about how different men and one woman were the leaders of the Hebrew people and how God helped them.

Ruth is about a woman named Ruth. It is a nice story of how God helped her.

I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles all have stories about how the kings ruled the people and the things that happened. Some of the same stories are repeated in the different books.

Ezra and Nehemiah are prophets telling the people to obey God because the people are doing wrong.

Jonah is about a prophet who did not obey God and got swallowed by a big fish.

Esther is another story of a woman who God uses to help the Jewish people.

Job is a story about a man who God tested by taking away all of his riches. It is a hard book to read and understand.

Psalms and Proverbs are easy to read and have many good things in them. Psalms means "songs" and Proverbs means "wise sayings".

Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon are poems and thoughts of Solomon. Parts of them are hard to understand.

Isaiah and all the other after it are books by prophets. Prophets were preachers who God talked to them and told them to say things to the people.

Some of the things they said were things that would happen in the future of those people’s lives. Some of the things they said would happen----came during Jesus’ lifetime. Some of the things they said would happen---will happen yet in the future.

Daniel and Ezekiel have many prophecies about the end times.

These books of the prophets are harder to read and understand.

Some people have the idea that they must start at the beginning of a book to read. For the Bible that is not the best idea. It is best for a new reader to start with the New Testament. Then some of the easier Old Testament books. Some of the Old Testament books are for when you feel sure of your ability to read and understand. I would not worry about reading them for awhile.

There is a lot of reading and learning in the Bible of easy things to read. If we knew all of the easy things well----that alone would be good.

After the Bible began to be printed and people learned to read, church leaders and kings could not fool the people by saying, "The Bible says this and the Bible says that." The people could look in the Bible for themselves and read and see what was true.

This is why it is so important to know the Bible for yourself.

You need to know for yourself if what people say about God is true or not.

Churches are not teaching the Bible as much as they used to do.

So many churches are for "getting in a big group of people" …making church fun and interesting----entertainment. Sunday Schools are not teaching the Bible stories----they have cartoons stories that have good moral truths.

It is hard to find a church that has Sunday evening services.

If the churches are not giving us the truth and teaching us carefully about the things of God----where will we learn it? How will we know when someone tells us something that is not true?

Why was it that so many of those people believed that preacher from California? They trusted him so much they sold their homes and quit their jobs? They did not know the Bible for themselves. They depended on a man to teach them all they knew about God. They believed something that was false.

The Bible warns us that in the last days their would be a "famine" of the word of God. Amos 8: 11 It also says that people would not want to hear good deep teaching, that they would have "itching ears", they want their ears "tickled", they want to hear nice things, fun things, pleasant things. They do not want to hear about sin, and judgment. They do not want to study to learn what God says. They want an easy service that is fun to go to.

More and more people are preaching their own wisdom for truth. People are going to Eastern religions to learn how to think. They learn that it is all about them. They feel that deep inside they are "good". If they would get in touch with their inner selves they would find their "goodness". They are told to get to know themselves.

The Bible tells us that we are sinners. That our goodness is as "dirty rags". Isaiah 64: 6 That without Jesus we are lost forever. The Bible tells us that we need to get to know God. We need God’s spirit inside our inner selves. 

Eternal life is too important to let it be up to someone else to teach us. We have the Bible we need to read for ourselves. We need to take the time to study it and learn. We really do not have an excuse not knowing the truth.

We need to read the Bible every day. There should be a time in the morning or evening or some time that we read every day. Pray and ask God to help you understand and remember. Memorize important verses. Write them on note cards---go over them often.

Don’t be fooled by false teachers. Know the truth.






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