Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
"And Enoch walked with God . . ." (Gen.5:22).
"And Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Gen.6:9).
"I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Gen.17:1).
How to Walk with YEHOVAH God!
One of the keys to receiving more faith is found in Romans 10:17: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Reading, listening to and studying the Word of YEHOVAH God is one of the key avenues to gain faith and to grow spiritually. If you desire to WALK WITH YEHOVAH GOD in your life, then Bible Study must become a regular and consistent part of your daily experience.
by HOIM Staff
The Word of YEHOVAH God is full of examples of men of faith-examples for us to live and learn by. Researchers have discovered that one of the key methods to become a success in life is to study the lives of successful people. Men who read biographies and autobiographies of successful leaders and great men of accomplishment tend to become inspired and thrilled by what they read. It motivates them, challenges them, and inspires them to go out and sometimes even accomplish more than those whose lives they studied. This is true of the life stories of captains of industry such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, or such scientists as Thomas A. Edison, the Wright brothers, inventors such as Henry Ford, or famous presidents such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
It is also true of the study of the Word of YEHOVAH God. The Bible is full of the stories of successful, famous, inspired men of YEHOVAH God -- men who were human, just like you and I. But they overcame obstacles, they were used mightily by YEHOVAH God, His Spirit came upon them MIGHTILY and they proclaimed His message with BOLDNESS, without fear or favor, without being muzzled by men or pressure groups of men!
The examples of faith in the Bible, and faith-filled men and women, are written there for our admonition, instruction and learning, so that we might profit from them, and so that we also might mightily grow in faith and be used by YEHOVAH in a great manner in this day and age and in the midst of this perverted, corrupt generation upon whom the ends of the world are fast coming!
How much, and how often, do you stick your nose into the very Word of YEHOVAH God, the Bible? How much do you read it, study it, pray over it and drink in and absorb of its priceless, wonderful message?
Do you study it, with your family, out loud, every day? "The whole Bible was given to us by INSPIRATION FROM GOD and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God's way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone" (11 Tim. 3:16-17, Living Bible).
The real way to true freedom, and increasing freedom and liberty, which we all prize very much, is through the portals of knowledge. Ignorance of truth is slavery. The greater our ignorance, the greater our thraldom and servitude. Do YOU like the idea of being bound in chains and irons, shackled to error and falsehood, wrong concepts and ignorance, because of a lack of true knowledge?
Ignorance is slavery! Refusal to grow in truth and knowledge and understanding is tantamount to mental bondage and spiritual thraldom and dooms you to future disaster. Only those growing in truth and knowledge will live and enter YEHOVAH God's Kingdom. Those who stop growing have DIED spiritually! Life is a growth process. Once you stop growing you begin dying. A tree or a plant which is not growing and sending out new shoots, or branches, or leaves, has died, and is merely cluttering up the ground. It is only worthy to be chopped down with an ax and thrown into the fire!
Are you still growing spiritually?
Are you still researching, and studying, and applying yourself to attain greater knowledge and truth? Or are you smug and self-satisfied, content with things as they are?
Do you thrill to the exploration of new worlds, new horizons to conquer, new thresholds to explore? Do you love the search for knowledge? Do new discoveries excite you, thrill you and amaze you, and send chills tingling up and down your spine? Do you love truth? Then you must not close your mind to it! Then you must open your mind and maintain an inquisitive, childlike curiosity about things, nature and the fathomless Word of YEHOVAH God! This is the way to grow, mentally, emotionally, intellectually and also spiritually!
You must exercise the character and self discipline to keep an open mind, and rejoice in every nugget of truth which you discover. You must pray to YEHOVAH God for His guidance, and then in faith and without fear of man, continue the quest, the search, the discovery process, the adventure, the journey, the exploration of new frontiers of knowledge!
Study, Grow, and PROVE All Things
Don't give up! Don't allow yourself to be intimidated! Don't quit because of the opinions of ne'er-do-wells and bigoted men and malcontents. Keep at it! Have faith in YEHOVAH God, keep on studying and learning and never give up. YEHOVAH's Word challenges skeptic and layman and minister alike: "PROVE ALL THINGS, hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21).
The Living Bible in modern English says: "Do not smother the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at those who prophesy, but test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it."
Paul commands: "STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Tim. 2:15). Study YEHOVAH's Word -- study the Bible itself, the inspired Scriptures. Don't neglect it. Paul admonished and exhorted Timothy, and us as well: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be [or, become] perfect [fully mature in Christ, fully grown], thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (11 Tim. 3:16-17).
Once we begin the Christian life, we must continue to GROW. Beginning with faith is not enough. Peter admonishes us further: "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue [power]; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance [self-control]; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall NEVER FALL: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Pet. 1:5-11).
The Living Bible has this passage: "But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who fails to go after these additions to faith is blind indeed, or at least very shortsighted, and has forgotten that God delivered him from the old life of sin so that now he can live a strong, good life for the Lord.
"So dear brothers, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen, and then you win never stumble or fall away" (11 Pet. 1:5-10).
The Key To Power With YEHOVAH God
Lack of Bible study is a major reason so many people -- even true converted Christians -- lack power with YEHOVAH God. One of the true keys to spiritual power and prevailing with YEHOVAH God is simply studying the Word of YEHOVAH God, the Bible, daily -- and it would not hurt to study it on our knees!
How many Christians, even ministers, faithfully do this?
YEHOVAH God says each one of us should tremble before His Word. We read in Isaiah the prophet, "But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and TREMBLETH AT MY WORD" (Isa. 66:2).
Isaiah writes: "but the word of our God shall stand for ever" (Isa. 40:8). Yeshua says we are to live by "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4). The apostle Paul declared: "All scriptures is given by inspiration of God [literally, God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for report, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [that is, become perfect, wholly mature spiritually], throughly furnished unto all good works" (11 Tim. 3:16-17).
Do we regard the Word of YEHOVAH God with such reverence that we study it and pray over it upon our knees? As you spend time praying to YEHOVAH God daily, do you open the Word of YEHOVAH God and allow it to wash over you, cleansing you from evil thoughts, vanity, pride and the cares of this life?
David wrote: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word" (Psa. 119:9). He added, in verse 11: "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee!"
Have you memorized many portions of YEHOVAH's Word, literally writing it and hiding it deep within your heart? Do you pray over it daily, as you study it, and drink deeply of its message? Do you let YEHOVAH God speak to you often, through His Word, while you are humbly read it and study it, as you are in His Presence? Do you even study it before Him while you are literally on your knees?
Failure to do this is one of the primary reasons so many are far from YEHOVAH God and seemingly out of focus spiritually -- and are on a wasted mission in life, going about trying to work out their own righteousness and not submitting to the will and word of YEHOVAH God. Failure to commune daily with YEHOVAH by studying His Word is a major reason hundreds, even thousands, fall away from YEHOVAH's truth and succumb to the wiles of the Devil and the siren songs of Satan. Reading articles written by men or ministers is not enough. Reading books written by men is not enough. Nothing can replace careful, considerate, cautious BIBLE STUDY in the privacy of your own home!
Yeshua the Messiah is the "Word of God" (John 1:1-3, 14). The words of the Bible are "His flesh" which we are to eat for our spiritual nourishment (John 6:48-58). Yeshua said to his disciples: It it is the spirit that quickeneth [gives life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT, and they are life" (John 6:63).
Every strong man of YEHOVAH God down through history has spent much time studying the Bible for long periods of time. Every truly strong woman, strong in faith, has also spent much time habitually reading, studying and praying over YEHOVAH's Word!
Have you formed this very important habit in your personal life? Or is regular Bible study still a haphazard thing in your daily routine? And is Bible study on your knees something you seldom, if ever, do? Examine yourself-your heart and attitude. What better way is there to study the Word of YEHOVAH God than humbly, asking Him to guide and correct us by His Word?
How to Begin
George Mueller, a powerful servant of YEHOVAH God during the nineteenth century and widely known as "the apostle of faith," wrote in his Autobiography about his own beginnings in the Word of YEHOVAH God: "That the Word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things, that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, He is the teacher of His people. The result of this was, that the first evening that I shut myself into my room, to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously. But the particular difference was, that I received real strength for my soul in doing so. I now began to try by the test of the Scriptures the things which I had learned and seen, and found that only those principles which stood the test were really of value" (George Mueller's Autobiography, p. 33).
Does reading the Bible sometimes seem tedious, boring, tiresome, to you? Would you rather partake of the world, television, movies, or various forms of entertainment? But they cannot give you eternal life! Nothing can compare with precious time spent with the Word of YEHOVAH God!
George Mueller, a man used mightily of YEHOVAH God to preach the gospel to many nations in the nineteenth century, bears witness to the power of faithful Bible study. YEHOVAH used him to raise up five magnificent orphanages to care for the daily needs of over 2,000 orphans, solely depending on YEHOVAH God to send the money necessary to take care of them. Here was a man who never asked another human being for money to carry on this great work, but who simply fell upon his knees and asked YEHOVAH daily for all the tremendous financial necessities needed. Here was a man who really learned to walk with YEHOVAH God, and to whom YEHOVAH God sent, in terms of today's dollar value, something in the neighborhood of $300,000,000 during his ministry of 64 years, from 1834 to 1898.
George Mueller was truly a mighty man of YEHOVAH God whose whole life was a testimony of the power of faith and believing, expecting prayer. The truly astonishing thing about his ministry is that never once did he ask others for money to support YEHOVAH's Work in his time. Rather, he went to YEHOVAH God alone for the needs of the work and the orphans. And without fail YEHOVAH answered his earnest, believing prayers for sixty four years, and blessed the work under his hands.
Regarding Bible study, George Mueller wrote: "If the reader understands very little of the Word of God, he ought to read it very much, for the Spirit explains the Word by the Word. And if he enjoys the reading of the Word little, that is just the reason why he should read it much; for the frequent reading of the Scriptures creates a delight in them, so that the more we read them, the more we desire to do so" (p. 21).
Mueller understood much about the value of Bible study. His life of service to YEHOVAH God, and the powerful way in which YEHOVAH used him to carry on His Work, proves it. Therefore, let me give you the basic principles of Bible study which George Mueller shares in his Autobiography. Mueller writes:
"It is of immense importance for the understanding of the Word of God, to read it in course, so that we may read every day a portion of the Old and a portion of the New Testament, going on where we previously left off. This is important -- (I) Because it throws light upon the connection; and a different course, according to which one habitually selects particular chapters, will make it utterly impossible ever to understand much of the Scriptures. (2) Whilst we are in the body, we need a change even in spiritual things; and this change the Lord has graciously provided in the great variety which is to be found in His Word. (3) It tends to the glory of God; for the leaving out some chapters here and there, is practically saying, that certain portions are better than others; or, that there are certain parts of revealed truth unprofitable, or unnecessary. (4) It may keep us, by the blessing of God, from erroneous views, as in reading thus regularly through the Scriptures we are led to see the meaning of the whole, and also kept from laying too much stress upon certain favorite views. (5) The Scriptures contain the whole revealed will of God, and therefore we ought to seek to read from time to time through the whole of that revealed will. There are many believers, I fear, in our day, who have not read even once through the whole of the Scriptures; and yet in a few months, by reading only a few chapters every day, they might accomplish it."
Have you ever read the Bible all the way through? What about your children? How much progress are they making?
Family Bible Study
In our home, when our children were younger, we used to have a family Bible study every day, usually in the morning at breakfast time. We would try to read at least one chapter in the Bible every day, sometimes two or three. On the Sabbath we usually read even more. Often I would read, and expound the Scriptures as we went along, bringing in lessons and making comments. At other times, I would have the children each read a portion and explain what they have read.
We enjoyed this family custom, and it helped bring us all together for the priceless privilege of sharing the Word of YEHOVAH God. We didn't bother with "tracts," or so-called "daily Bible verses" put together by men, with some "thought for the day." Instead we would drink in of the Fountain of Life, the holy Scriptures themselves. I believe our children benefited much from this precious time, although they were grievously hurt by the scandals in the Church that exploded around us, and the problems and trials we endured because of the sins in the ministry and in the headquarters church during those years.
Abraham was the father of the faithful and YEHOVAH God mightily blessed him. What was one of the reasons, one of the good things YEHOVAH found in Abraham? We read in the book of Genesis, that YEHOVAH God said to Abraham: "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do [YEHOVAH was about to bring punishment upon the wicked worldly cities of Sodom and Gomorrah -- which stand as types of our wicked nations, today!]. . . . For I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment" (Gen. 18:17-19).
Children who are left to themselves, even ministers' children, far too often grow up haughty, proud, arrogant, filled with self-will, vanity, lust, and perverseness. Children of high level ministers in YEHOVAH's Church whom I have known, were womanizers, fornicators, drug-abusers, and guilty of every foul vice one could imagine! And these were the children of the top ministers! Why? Because their parents totally neglected true Bible study, and spent precious little time with their own children going over the Word of YEHOVAH God in a humble, godly manner!
The Key of Meditation
Another vital area of Bible study is daily meditation -- pondering, musing, thinking deeply -- about what we read in the Word of YEHOVAH God. George Mueller wrote, "It is also of the greatest importance to meditate on what we read, so that perhaps a small portion of that which we have read, or if we have time, the whole may be meditated upon, in the course of the day."
Isaac, the son of Abraham, set us an excellent example of meditation. We read in Genesis, "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide . . ." (Gen. 24:63).
David meditated on YEHOVAH's Word all the time. He wrote in the Psalms, "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day" (Psalm 119:27). He said: "I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation" (v. 99). David also wrote: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly [margin, "wicked"], nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he MEDITATE DAY AND NIGHT" (Psalm 1:1-2).
How important is meditation upon the word of YEHOVAH God -- spending time reflecting upon it, musing upon it, considering its meaning and lessons, and applying them to ourselves?
David went on, explaining his approach toward YEHOVAH's Word: "I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word" (Psa. 119:15-16). "Princes [even so-called "leaders" amongst YEHOVAH's people] did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors" (vs. 23-24). "My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes" (v. 48). "Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts" (v. 78). "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might MEDITATE IN THY WORD" (v. 148).
Meditation upon the Word of YEHOVAH God is a powerful KEY to spiritual SUCCESS!
YEHOVAH God commanded Joshua, "This book of the law [the law of God, encompassed in the first five books of the Bible in Joshua's day] shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Josh. 1:8).
Paul told Timothy, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" (I Tim. 4:15).
When you spend time in the study of YEHOVAH's Word, do you also spend time meditating upon the lessons contained therein? Do you give thoughtful consideration and contemplation upon what you are reading? Do you compare Scripture with Scripture, in order to come to a fuller and more complete understanding?
Bible Study Aids
Sometimes you may want to use various Bible study aids in study of YEHOVAH's Word. Very helpful to thousands, in helping to look up passages where you only remember one word, or in studying all the passages where a particular word, such as "love," "faith," "mercy," etc., may be found in the Bible, is a Bible Concordance. The two best are Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, and Young's Analytical Concordance. Both of these also have a Hebrew and Greek dictionary in the back, where you can look up the original Hebrew and Greek words for each of the words listed in the main concordance section. This, also, is a very valuable study in itself.
What about Bible commentaries? These also may help out at times, but should not be trusted too much, as they are often the opinions of men about various passages and sometimes are in error. Often, however, they add insight and can be useful. Adam Clarke's Commentary, and the Jamieson Faucett and Brown Critical-Experimental Commentary are two of the most useful whole Bible commentaries on the market.
Nevertheless, nothing can replace the pure study of YEHOVAH's Word itself! I have found George Mueller's comments strike right on target. He said: "Learned commentaries I have found to store the head with many notions, and often also with the truth of God; but when the Spirit teaches, through the instrumentality of prayer and meditation, the heart is affected. The former kind of knowledge generally puffs up, and is often renounced when another commentary gives a different opinion, and often also is found good for nothing, when it is carried out into practice. The latter kind of knowledge generally humbles, gives joy, leads us nearer to God, and is not easily reasoned away; and having been obtained from God, and thus having entered into the heart, and become our own, is also generally carried out. If the inquirer after truth does not understand the Hebrew and Greek languages, so as to be able to compare the common translation with the original, he may, concerning several passages, get light by an improved rendering, provided he can be sure that the translator was a truly spiritual person" (pp. 22-23).
What Bible translation is the best? Generally, for family and personal Bible study, I use the King James Version. Although translated into English during the reign of King James of England in 1611, it is still overall the best and most accurate English translation.
Other useful translations one might consider are the Moffatt, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, Amplified Bible, New International Version, and a host of others. However, for accuracy none compare with the King James Version, as it is based on the best original texts and was not subjected to the false reasoning of modern criticism which assumes that the more "ancient" a text the better it is -- despite enormous evidence to the contrary! The King James Version employs the Greek texts of the New Testament faithfully copied and reproduced through the centuries by the Greek Church. Modern translations, on the other hand, tend to give too much credence to old manuscripts which are known to be shot through with error -- such as the Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Siniaticus.
An useful modern paraphrase of the Bible is the Living Bible. Its author and translator, Henry Taylor, has a tremendous gift with words and phrases, and many of the renditions in the Living Bible are powerful modern statements that strike to the heart. However, in some areas he is far too free and loose in his assumptions, and certain technical matters should not be trusted to him.
Have you formed the habit of reading the Bible? George Mueller wrote, regarding himself in his early years:
"I never had been at any time in my life in the habit of reading the Holy Scriptures. When under fifteen years of age, I occasionally read a little of them at school; afterwards God's precious book was entirely laid aside, so that I never read one single chapter of it, as far as I remember, till it pleased God to begin a work of grace in my heart. Now the Scriptural way of reasoning would have been: God Himself has condescended to become an author, and I am ignorant about that precious book, with His Holy Spirit has caused to be written through the instrumentality of His servants, and it contains that which I ought to know, and the knowledge of which will lead me to true happiness; therefore I ought to read again and again this most precious book, this book of books, most earnestly, most prayerfully, and with much meditation; and in this practice I ought to continue all the days of my life. For I was aware, though I read it but little, that I knew scarce, anything of it. But instead of acting thus, and being led by my ignorance of the Word of God to study it more, my difficulty in understanding it, and the little enjoyment I had in it, made me careless of reading it (for much prayerful reading of the Word, gives not merely more knowledge, but increases the delight we have in reading it); and thus, like many believers, I practically preferred, for the first four years of my divine life, the works of uninspired men to the Oracles of the living God. The consequence was that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and grace. In knowledge I say; for all true knowledge must be derived, by the Spirit, from the Word. And as I neglected the Word, I was for nearly four years so ignorant, that I did not clearly know even the fundamental points of our holy faith. And this lack of knowledge most sadly kept me back from walking steadily in the ways of God. For it is the truth that makes us free (John 8:31, 32), by delivering us from the slavery of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The Word proves it; the experience of the saints proves it; and also my own experience most decidedly proves it. For when it pleased the Lord in August, 1829, to bring me really to the Scriptures, my life and walk became very different. And though even since then I have fallen very short of what I might, and ought to have been, yet, by the grace of God, I have been enabled to live much nearer to Him than before" (pp. 20-21).
Often it seems once we begin to study the Bible, Satan comes along to distract us and to tempt us to do something else. He doesn't want us to feast on the living Word of YEHOVAH God! He doesn't want us to be spiritually well nourished. George Mueller found this out. He wrote:
"I am aware that it is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were of no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer; whilst the truth is, in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer, is, to continue praying; for the less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray" (p. 38).
George Mueller was a man of faith and prayer. His life showed what can be accomplished when a man trusts YEHOVAH God alone for everything he needs in life, including clothing, food, shelter, healing, direction, guidance in work and inspiration. He often read the Bible on his knees.
But Mueller knew that merely reading the Word of YEHOVAH God was not enough. We must also obey it! He wrote: "We have to carry out that which we receive from the Holy Scriptures; we must practice the truth we know. Erring and failing we may be; but we must be honest, upright in not living in sin, in not going on in a course we know to be contrary to the mind of God. Should the latter be the case, we cannot enjoy fellowship with God, nor shall we be able practically to trust Him as our friend, and this will be the greatest hindrance to having our prayers answered, according to that word: 'If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me'" (see Psa. 66:18; quoted from page 357 of Mueller's Autobiography).
As we read YEHOVAH's Word, we must begin to obey it. As it points out errors and wrong-doing in our life, we must be willing to admit our errors and to correct them. We must be willing to change, to alter what is wrong, and to walk uprightly, living by every word of YEHOVAH God. We must be willing to repent, when proven that we are wrong! If you ever stop doing this, and become UNWILLING TO REPENT, and change, when you are proved WRONG, then you will cease to walk with YEHOVAH God from that point onward. Or, to turn it around, when you stop growing in truth and admitting error, then YEHOVAH will cease to walk with you!
When to Study
What is the best time to study the Scriptures?
Many people have the habit of putting Bible study off to last and consequently never seem to get around to it. Or, when evening comes, they feel too tired and need to relax, so they skip the study of YEHOVAH's Word. This is a great evil.
We should give to YEHOVAH God the best part of our time. We should put Him FIRST, before all else! We should especially seek His guidance in the beginning of our day -- that is, BEFORE everything else! This way we will have His presence with us much more completely and fully during the course of the day, and we will be stronger and more enabled to call upon Him when cast down, or tempted, or in making decisions regarding our work.
The best part of our time, when we are fresh, is in the beginning of the day. This means, since YEHOVAH God begins each day at sunset (Lev. 23:32), the early evening is a good time for Bible study. Also, early in the morning, after one awakens, and freshens up, would be a good time to devote to the study of YEHOVAH's Word.
As George Mueller wrote: "Any one need but make the experiment of spending one, two, or three hours in prayer and meditation before breakfast, either in his room, or with his Bible in his hand in the fields, and he will soon find out the beneficial effect which early rising has upon the outward and inward man. I beseech all my brethren and sisters into whose hands this may fall, and who are not in the habit of rising early, to make the trial, and they will praise the Lord for having done so" (p. 126).
George Mueller learned the importance of both Bible study and prayer before breakfast. He said, in his Autobiography, "Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord. . . . The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer" (p. 153).
Bible Study Strengthens Faith
Many of YEHOVAH's people wish they had more faith in life. They complain about their lack of faith. They seem to think faith is some supernatural gift only given to a few, and that they cannot expect to have very much.
What was George Mueller's secret of faith? The foundation key, he tells us himself, is "the careful reading of the Word of God, combined with meditation on it."
Mueller added: "Through reading of the Word of God, and especially through meditation on the Word of God, the believer becomes more and more acquainted with the nature and character of God, and thus sees more and more, besides His holiness and justice, what a kind, loving, gracious, merciful, mighty, wise, and faithful Being He is, and, therefore, in poverty, affliction of body, bereavement in his family, difficulty in his service, want of a situation or employment, he will repose upon the ability of God to help him, because he has not only learned from His Word that He is of almighty power and infinite wisdom, but he has also seen instance upon instance in the Holy Scriptures in which His almighty power and infinite wisdom have been actually exercised in helping and delivering His people; and he will repose upon the willingness of God to help him, because he has not only learned from the Scriptures what a kind, good, merciful, gracious, and faithful Being God is, but because he has also seen in the Word of God, how in a great variety of instances He has proved Himself to be so. And the consideration of this, if God has become known to us through prayer and meditation on His own Word, will lead us, in general at least, with a measure of confidence to rely upon Him; and thus meditation on the Word of God, will be one special means to strengthen our faith" (p. 175).
Truly, as the apostle Paul wrote: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10: 17).
Whether you personally are new to the Bible and its study, or whether you have been a devoted disciple of the Messiah and a habitual reader of the Word of YEHOVAH God, let us all commit ourselves to putting the Word of YEHOVAH God first in our lives, and study it daily and be sure to guide our family and children in the study and love of the Word of YEHOVAH God!
The Word of YEHOVAH God is spirit, and it is Life!
Do you want to be a man of faith, a man of prayer -- a real "man of God"?
Walking With YEHOVAH GOD
Do you want to walk with YEHOVAH God? Then you must begin studying the Word of YEHOVAH God and praying to YEHOVAH as never before in your life. We draw close to YEHOVAH God in this way. As we study His Word and let Him speak to us, we must do what He says. We must daily put sin and sinful thoughts, out of our lives and never compromise.
The apostle James put it so clearly: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (Jas. 4:7-10).
Millions of people have the wrong idea about YEHOVAH God. They don't know where to find Him, where to look for Him. They think He is so far off, and so high above us, that He would never condescend to speak with us. But YEHOVAH God is not proud and lofty. It is humans themselves who become proud, lifted up and lofty. YEHOVAH is humble. To walk with YEHOVAH God, therefore, we must also humble ourselves and walk where He walks.
I have found, personally, that a big help to me, in walking with YEHOVAH, is to spend time in a garden -- to plant, maintain, and do all the work connected with a garden. People forget that YEHOVAH God Himself is the original Gardener. He planted a garden in Eden (Genesis 2:8). He personally planted the trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. One of the first commands He gave man was to "dress" the garden and to "keep" or maintain it (verse 15).
When I humble myself to get my hands dirty and my fingernails caked with dirt by planting seeds in a garden, and when I get down on my knees to pull the weeds and cultivate the soil around the individual plants, to encourage their growth, my attitude becomes more loving, more childlike, more appreciative, more like that of YEHOVAH God Himself.
An old proverb among gardeners is: "The best fertilizer of all is the footprints of the gardener." Any garden left to itself will soon become overpowered with weeds, grass and choked with obnoxious plants. Maintaining a garden teaches us a great deal about the principles of YEHOVAH's Word. Yeshua used the parable of the sower which teaches lessons from the gardening experience. In this parable, each of us is like a delicate plant in the sight of YEHOVAH God; and in order to grow spiritually, we must keep ourselves away from the weeds of the world, the thorns and choking, entangling thistles. We must be "watered" deeply of the Word and the Spirit of YEHOVAH God. We must spend much time in communion with YEHOVAH.
King David, a man after YEHOVAH's own heart, wrote: "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple" (Psa. 27:4). He said: "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (v. 8). With humble faith and boldness David went so far as to say: "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up" (v. 10).
What about you? Do you desire to walk with YEHOVAH God? To inquire of Him and receive His counsel? Would you like to converse with YEHOVAH God in wonderful conversation and hear His Words spoken to you?
Well, then, let me say it again -- YEHOVAH's words to you are written down in the pages of Holy Scripture. He is willing to talk with you every time you open the pages of His Book. The Bible is YEHOVAH's message to you written down. You have access to it all the time. But most of us ignore it far too much. If you really want to get to know YEHOVAH God, and converse with YEHOVAH God, then read the Bible thoughtfully, carefully, and prayerfully.
I have often found that when I begin reading the Bible, I may spend a whole hour or more just in reading and praying about the contents of just one of the shorter Psalms of David. The thoughts recorded in the Bible are YEHOVAH's thoughts. They are profoundly deep, like a deep and quiet river. They flow deeply, not like the shallow waters of human thoughts. I can literally spend hours in communing with YEHOVAH God over the words of just a few passages of Scripture. Such meditation over the Word of YEHOVAH God is sweet, pleasant and very humbling. It also imparts tremendous faith, confidence in YEHOVAH and inner joy and peace of mind -- literally the "peace of God which passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7).
The Word of YEHOVAH God strengthens you "with might, by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:16-19).
The only way to literally become " filled" with YEHOVAH's Spirit is to spend long, fruitful, pleasant, humble hours with Him, communing with YEHOVAH God in continual prayer and the careful study and reading of His Word. There are not any substitutes. Nothing else will do.
How much time daily do you spend "inquiring of God"? How much time do you spend praising Him and thanking Him for all His wonderful works and blessings that He has given to you? How much time do you spend daily contemplating and meditating on the various works of His hands -- His Creation itself -- the marvels of plant life, animal life, minerals, flowers, fruit trees and their precious fruit, or the mountains, the oceans, the lush valleys or primeval forests, or the stars in the sky? How much do you study the works of YEHOVAH's hands?
Think of the magnificent creation of YEHOVAH God! Spend much time meditating on His Word and the works of His hands. This is the way you will get to know YEHOVAH God intimately, as a son gets to know his loving Father, by spending time with Him.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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