1 Four Questions You Must Answer Before You Can Correctly Understand The Bible Lawrence Blanchard Published in the United States of America Published under the jurisdiction of Fellowship of God s Covenant People P.O. Box 321 Union The Commonwealth of Kentucky
2 Copyright January 2006 by Lawrence and Sandra Blanchard All rights reserved. You are encouraged to make as many copies as you wish of this book and pass it on to your friends. Disclaimer The information contained within this book is intended for educational purposes only and for no other purposes. In no event shall the author or publisher be held liable for any loss, risk, damage, consequential or inconsequential, use or misuse of any of the information either directly or indirectly presented herein. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
3 Page 1 Four Questions You Must Answer Before You Can Correctly Understand The Bible Introduction We think and act in a particular fashion because of what we believe is true. But if we stop and consider this, a lot of what we believe to be true is actually assumptions ideas or concepts we take for granted as true. And these assumptions may or may not be true. Below are a few examples of assumptions that we might believe to be true: The cure for cancer is just around the corner. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Fluoride in the city water protects your teeth. Chronic pain is a natural consequence of aging. The NASDAQ is a natural market controlled only by supply and demand. The Federal Reserve System is a part of the federal government. Paper dollar bills (Federal Reserve Notes) are money. Income taxes go to fund the federal government. Communism is dead. Christians, Muslims, and Jews all worship the same God. Christianity sprang from Judaism. Think about how these and other assumptions determine our perspective about life.
4 Page 2 Of course, we could have the right perspective of many aspects of life if the assumptions we believe are true could actually be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true. On the other hand, if the assumptions we believe cannot be proven to be true, well, then we would believe in something falsely and would not have a true and correct perspective. If our assumptions are false, but we are not aware they are false, we will think and act out of an erroneous belief. Assumptions and the Bible We can also make assumptions about what the Bible says without necessarily knowing whether those assumptions are in fact true. If those assumptions turn out to be false, then our understanding about what the Bible says and means will be false too. But if we correct those false assumptions, after we verify that they are indeed false, we can change those false assumptions into a belief that is true and correct. Thus, we would be able to apply that true and correct belief to contribute to a more accurate interpretation of what the Bible says and means. Two Problems with Assumptions Sounds like a rather straightforward simple process. But there are a few common obstacles that get in the way of analyzing assumptions to determine whether they are true or not. The first problem is that we sometimes don t even recognize that we have certain assumptions until they are pointed out. All of us tend to drift along in daily living without being consciously aware that we think and act in certain ways that reflect our masked assumptions. For example, many people observe Christmas with lights and gift-giving festivities because they assume that Jesus was born on December 25. Is that an assumption or a verifiable fact? It is not difficult actually to find out the truth of the matter. Any authoritative historical reference would tell you that December 25
5 Page 3 was not originally the celebration of the birth of Jesus but the Mithra (the Persian sun god). This celebration was later linked with the worship of the Roman sun god Saturnalia. And in 379 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church later adopted December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus to encourage a common religious festival for both Christians and Pagans (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/christmas), incorporating all the pagan customs and rituals so that the people would more easily convert to Catholicism. History reveals that Jesus was born in the time period of the Feast of Tabernacles. This was a feast that God instituted for his covenant people to look forward to the time when He would dwell with His people. That feast was celebrated near the end of September into early October the time of the year when the shepherds could still be out in the fields with their sheep at night. It was a time when many Israelites could still travel and sleep outdoors on their way to register at the census commanded by Rome. The second obstacle we encounter, although we might be aware of certain assumptions, is that we avoid questioning whether those assumptions are true. There may be at least three reasons for this: 1) They are assumptions everybody believes and no one else has questioned them, or 2) Nobody really considered that there were other possible alternatives to those assumptions, or 3) Perhaps those assumptions never were questioned because everybody was too fearful to question them afraid of what others may think, for example. This last reason might be one of the main ones that keeps us from questioning our assumptions, especially if those assumptions raise sensitive political or religious issues.
6 Page 4 Four Questions and Four Assumptions This small booklet presents four questions that reveal four assumptions most people make as they attempt to understand what the Bible says and means. Your answers to these questions will determine in large part how you interpret what the Bible says and your conclusion as to what it means. Here is a preview of these four questions: 1) Was Adam the father of all races? 2) Does the term Gentiles mean all other races except Israel? 3) Who are the recipients of the New Covenant? 4) Did God change His mind? As you may suspect, these questions and their answers are fundamental to correctly interpreting the Bible. As you get into this book you ll understand why. Now, are you ready to engage? Are you ready to encounter difficult-to-face questions? To find out, take this simple test: Is it your desire to find out what the Bible says and means to your satisfaction? Is it important for you to find out for yourself what you believe and not let others tell you what you should believe? Are you willing to overcome any fear of tackling these important questions regardless of what others may think of you? Is the Truth more important to you than anything else no matter what the implications? If your answer to all these questions is Yes then you re ready to read. Take each question and the commentary below one at a time. Don t be afraid. God will not let you be led astray.
7 Page 5 In fact, won t you ask Him right now to teach you and lead you into all truth as you consider each of these important questions. Question #1: Was Adam the father of all races? If you believe that all races came from Adam and Eve then you would be in good standing with the vast majority of Christian who has concluded the same thing. It s perhaps the most widely held belief in Christendom today. Or is it an assumption? Most people have never even considered that there could be another possibility. After all, God created Adam and Even first and the Bible says that Adam was the first man (I Corinthians 15:45). So, all races must have come from Adam. Right? My book, Did All Races come From Adam? takes a closer look at the context and meaning of this phrase identifying Adam as the first man. Click here for more information about this book. Not so fast. There are many problems with this belief. First, how did all the different races actually come from one man and woman? One popular theory explains that Adam had all the genetic DNA and that, after the Adamic descendants of Noah scattered, the different global environments they were exposed to caused a natural selection process. That process acted upon their genetics and amazingly created the different races in a very short time of about 200 years. Some would call that hyper evolution. (As a side bar, there was once a theory believed not too long ago that assumed that God created Canaan black because he was cursed. But that was eventually scrapped because that became unacceptable with the advent of political correctness. Otherwise,
8 Page 6 such a belief would reflect badly on Negroes. It was too offensive. Back to the drawing board.) Another theory states that the only way that all the races could have come from Adam and Eve was that God had to supernaturally intervene and do it by a miracle. The problem here is that there is nothing in the Bible about such a miracle. These two theories are examined biblically, scientifically and historically in my book, Did All Races come From Adam? Click here to order your copy and start reading today. The second problem is that the different races are so different that, from a common sense perspective, it is difficult to believe that all races came from the same origin. Not only do we not look alike but we don t think or act alike. Whether it is physiological, cultural, or intelligence there are major differences. Could that be the logical reason why every race instinctively gathers with their own kind? It s a natural sort of thing. Here s the issue. If the law of nature described as kind after kind is self-evident like Caucasians producing offspring who are also Caucasian, or Negroes producing offspring that are Negroes how can so many different looking two-legged beings come from one man and one woman? There is nothing in our experience that has ever shown that two purebred Caucasians could every produce a Negro or Chinese child, for example. Did All Races Come From Adam? examines this law of nature that only kind can reproduce after kind from biblical and genetic points of view. Click here to order your copy and start reading today.
9 Page 7 Truthfully, both these theories (natural selection and miracle) have a lot of problems in the believability department. But there is another possibility that few ever consider as an answer to the question, Was Adam the father of all races? Here it is: Only one race came from Adam. Only one race of the many races descended from Adam. You might be asking, So what? What difference does it make? Well, think about it. If all races came from Adam, then the Bible is to and for all races. Make sense? But if only one race came from Adam, then the Bible is about that race. Logical conclusion. Either the Bible is universally inclusive of all races or exclusively about one race only. Let s look at it this way. If you have a book about your family s history then it is exclusive to your family. Right? Can my family be included with your family? No, unless we share the same family lineage somehow. Do you see my point? Either the Bible is about all races (the human race as it is called) or one race but not both. The answer to the question Was Adam the father of all races? is either yes or no. Your conclusion would dramatically determine how you would interpret the Bible what it says and means. Okay. It s a sensitive subject. But perhaps you have more questions about this common assumption. Do you have enough integrity to search the matter out for yourself? Until you examine the evidence, you will never know for sure if Adam was the father of only once race or many. Did All Races Come From Adam? explores the biblical, historical and scientific evidence on both sides of the question. Click here to order your copy and start reading today.
10 Page 8 Question # 2: Does the term Gentiles mean all other races except Israel? Unless the Gentiles as used in the Bible is understood in its true meaning, the Bible cannot be interpreted correctly. It has been commonly assumed that Jews mean Israelites and Gentiles means everyone else inclusive of every person of every race on planet earth. If this assumption is true then the Bible can be interpreted from a universal, all-inclusive perspective. In other words, the Bible, all its promises and the gospel of the kingdom preached by Jesus and His apostles apply to all races. On the other hand, what if you discovered that the term Jews does not necessarily mean Israelites and that Gentiles does not mean everyone else other than Israel? What if the term Gentiles actually refers to a limited group of people and is not inclusive of all races? Would this affect the meaning of the Bible? Yes, it would! Jews First Let s look at a few pieces of evidence about the Jews mentioned in Scripture. The first time Jews (translated in the King James Version) is used in the Bible is II Kings 16:6. This verse refers to those Israelites belonging to the house of Judah. This is verified by Strong s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by the Hebrew word yehuwdah (#3064) which means, a Jedudite (i.e. Judahite or Jew), or a desc. Of Jehudah (i.e. Judah). This concordance also reveals the same thing for the meaning of Jews described by its Greek word Ioudaios (#2453). It means, Judaean, i.e. belonging to Jehudah: - Jew... of Judaea. A Jew of the Bible basically referred to either a member of the house of Judah or an inhabitant of Judea the land of the southern kingdom of Israel. The Hebrew and Greek words translated Jews never refer to all the 12 tribes of Israel.
11 Page 9 Here s another way to look at it. Some assume that Abraham was a Jew. But nowhere in the Bible is Abraham referred to as a Jew. For the sake of argument, let s say that the Bible did say that Abraham was a Jew. Then Abraham s father would be a Jew. Likewise all of Abraham s ancestors would be Jews and thus, you would have to include Adam as a Jew as well. But if all races came form Adam, and Adam was a Jew, then all races would have to be classified as Jews, too. Where did the Gentiles come in? I hope you grasp how the meaning of the term Jew as it has been believed by many is a false assumption. But in fact, Jew(s) has a limited biblical meaning. And Gentiles? The term translated Gentiles by either the Hebrew word goy or the Greek word ethnos is also rendered nations or heathens. If Gentiles (goy) means all non-jews or non-israelites, then why is it used to refer to Isaac s two sons, Jacob and Esau? God told Isaac s wife, Rebekah: Two nations [goy] are in your womb; and two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger. Genesis 25:23 So, one of the sons in Rebekah s womb was to be called Jacob who was also to become the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. In other words, Jacob would be the father of the nation of Israel. Or how about Jacob s prophetic blessing concerning his grandson, Ephraim? In Genesis 48:19, Jacob explained to his son Joseph that his son Ephraim shall be greater than he, [his brother Manasseh] and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations [goy]. If these nations (or Gentiles ) meant non- Israelites, then the above verse would read that Ephraim shall be greater than he, [his brother Manasseh] and his descendants shall
12 Page 9 shall become a multitude of non-israelites. But obviously, Ephraim s descendants comprised a large portion of the Israelite people. Gentiles or nations cannot simply mean non-israelites. In the New Testament Scriptures, Gentiles or nations translated from the Greek word ethnos can have at least 5 different meanings, but never in any case does this term refer to all races on planet earth. Find discussion of the meaning of Gentiles (ethnos) in Chapter 8 of my book, The Fall and Redemption of Adam s Race. Click here to order your copy and start reading today. Unless you study the context where the words Jews or Gentiles are used, you cannot understand their meanings. But perhaps this brief discourse will at least raise questions in your mind about those widely believed assumptions. As you may suspect, the meaning of Jews and Gentiles is critical to correct biblical interpretation since both terms are used widely throughout Scripture as major players in the biblical story. Who are the nations of the Great Commission Jesus spoke about in Matthew 28:18-20? Who are the Gentiles or Greeks the Apostle Paul wrote about in his letters? Does Gentiles refer to spiritual Israel or physical Israel? Find detailed discussion of these questions and more in my book, The Fall and Redemption of Adam s Race. Click here to order your copy and start reading today.
13 Page 10 Question #3: Who are the recipients of the New Covenant? Almost everyone assumes that anyone can enter into the New Covenant relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. Although there may be various opinions about who can be elected and how God chooses one to be saved unto eternal life, all basically agree that the New Covenant is open to all races. Commonly selected verses are used to prove that the New Covenant gospel is racially all-inclusive. Here are some favorites: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. Mark 16:15 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. I John 2:2 So sure is this belief that God has made a New Covenant with anyone, that it is not even considered as assumption but a fact of Scripture. Thus, the Bible (or at least the New Covenant part of it) and the gospel preached by Jesus and His Apostles is open to all.
14 Page 11 Another Look On the other hand, what if you discovered that the very words of Scripture describe the recipients of the New Covenant as exclusive to a particular group of people? In other words, the New Covenant did not include every person? Let s look at what the Bible says: Behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Jeremiah 31:31 Hebrews 8:8 says the same thing. Did God make the New Covenant with only one people? Well, yes. That s what it says. I know. It s mind-boggling. There must be some other explanation. And there are probably plenty of questions racing through your mind trying to figure out how an exclusive covenant can also be inclusive of everyone else. In my book, The Fall and Redemption of Adam s Race, I show how all the gospels and all the Apostle s letters consistently support the exclusive New Covenant relationship. Click here to order your copy and start reading today. If it is true that the New Covenant is exclusive to one people, how would that affect your understanding of the Bible? How about everything else?!!
15 Page 12 Warning If you choose to search out this alternative view for yourself, you will walk down a narrow, lonely path. And if you discover it is true, correct, and certain, it will change your life forever. You won t win any popularity contests, but you will know the truth. And remember what Jesus said about entering the narrow gate: Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14 Question # 4: Did God change His mind? Another assumption believed to be true is that the God of the Bible changed His mind about who would be His covenant people. Let me explain. There is no argument that God chose a particular people to be His people by covenant as testified in the Old Testament Scriptures. But somewhere, somehow, this same God (who declared He does not change) decided to open that covenant relationship to everyone else in the New Testament Scriptures. So, God changed His mind declaring that He chose the descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as His exclusive covenant people and then later declared that everyone of every race are now His people through the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.
16 Page 13 Exclusive Covenant Let s begin with God s dealings with Abraham. God made a covenant with him that contained certain promises. This covenant would also be for Abraham s genetic descendants. God told Abraham: I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. Genesis 17:7 Romans 4:13 also declares: For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. This covenant promise was also given to Abraham s son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob: By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise. Hebrew 11:9 And to the sons of Jacob also who became the 12 tribes of Israel: O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant. Psalm 105:6-10 In no case in the Old Testament Scriptures did God choose any other people to be His covenant people.
17 Page 14 In my book, Is The Judeo-Christian Gospel The Biblical Gospel?, discover the real religious, philosophical and political influences promoting a universal gospel, and why the biblical gospel is still consistently exclusive to one particular people. Coming online soon. Did God Change His Mind? Well, what does the Bible say? For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6 KJV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 Either God made an exclusive covenant with a specific people and changed His mind later or He didn t. And if God did change, then it still needs to be explained how, when, and why. This question about God changing His mind must be answered in order to correctly interpret the Bible. If you are looking for Christian books that are popular and accepted by orthodox Christianity, then my books are not for you. Don t waste your money. If you are seeking Christian books that honestly challenge the unproven assumptions of modern Christianity, and present God s Holy Scriptures with a new perspective then make your investment now. You may discover the original intent and meaning biblical Christianity according the Scripture.
18 Page 15 Satisfaction Guaranteed If, within 10 days after purchasing any of my Christian Books offered on CovenantTruth.com, you can honestly say that they do not fit and fulfill the description written about them here (Click here for Christian Books Description), regardless whether or not you agree with the conclusion of any of these books you purchase, I will give you a full and courteous refund. You have nothing to lose.