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The Bible, which is the most widely known of books, encourages and baffles study at the same time. Even a non-believer, rightly feels that it isn't wise to be totally ignorant of the most famous and ancient of  books. And yet even the most sincere of  believers soon gives up any serious effort to master the content of the sacred writings. The reason is not hard to see. It is because no particular portion of Scripture can be understood out of  its context. The Bible story and message is like a picture within a picture: each book, chapter, and verse and even word forms a necessary part and has its own appointed place. Therefore, it is impossible to just gain a general knowledge of the Bible.

First.  The Bible is one book. Seven great marks proves this unity. (1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Whenever He speaks or acts, He is consistent with Himself and with the total revelation of Himself. (2) The Bible forms a continuous story—the story of humanity in relationship with God. (3) The Bible dares the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and when the centuries have brought the appointed time around, records their fulfillment. (4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once, and once for all. The rule is, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn”. Without the possibility of conclusion, and often with centuries in between, one writer takes up where another left off, adds to it, and in time the Holy spirit moves on another, and then another adds new details until the whole is complete. (5) From beginning to end, the Bible testifies to one redemption. (6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme---the person and work of Christ. (7) And finally, these writers, about forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in a progressive unfolding. This is to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the Divine inspiration of the Bible.

Second.  The Bible is a book of books. Sixty-six books make up the one Book. Considering the unity of the one book, the separate books may be regarded as chapters. But that is one side of the truth, for each of the sixty-six books is complete in itself, and has its own theme and analysis. In most modern editions of the Bible, these are fully shown in the introductions and divisions. It is important that the books be studied in the light of their distinctive themes. Genesis, for instance, is the book of beginnings which is the seed-plot of the whole Bible. Matthew is the book of Christ the King.

Third. The books of the Bible fall into groups. Broadly speaking, there are five great divisions in the Scriptures, and these may be helpfully remembered by five key-words, with Christ being the one theme (Luke 24:25-27):


MANIFESTATION - The Gospels   


EXPLANATION - The Epistles 

CONSUMMATION - The Apocalypse

In other words, the Old Testament is the preparation for Christ: in the Gospels He is manifested to the world: in the Acts He is preached and His Gospel is explained: and in the Revelation all the purposes of God in and through Christ are consummated. And these groups of books in turn fall into groups. This is especially true of the Old Testament, which is in four well defined groups. Over these may be written as memory aids:




I, II Samuel
I, II Kings
I, II Chronicles


Song of Solomon



Care should be taken not to overlook, in these general groupings, the distinctive messages of the several books composing each group. For example: while redemption is the general theme of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible ascribed to Moses), telling as it does the story of redemption of Israel out of bondage and into “a good land and large,” each of the five books has its own distinctive part in the whole. Genesis is the book of beginnings, and explains the origin of Israel.

Exodus tells of the deliverance of Israel; Leviticus of the worship of Israel as a delivered people; Numbers the wanderings and failures of the delivered people, and Deuteronomy warns and instructs that people in view of their approaching entrance upon their inheritance.

The Poetical books record the spiritual experiences of the redeemed in various scenes and events through which God led them. The prophets were inspired preachers, and the prophetical books consist of sermons with brief connecting and explanatory passages. Two prophetical books, Ezekiel and Daniel, have a different character and are largely apocalyptic.

Fourth. The Bible tells the Human Story. Beginning with the creation of the the earth and man, the story of the race sprang from the first human couple and continues through the first eleven chapters of Genesis. With the twelfth chapter begins the history of Abraham and of the nation of which he was the ancestor. It is that nation, Israel, with which the Bible narrative is chiefly concerned, from the eleventh chapter of Genesis to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The Gentiles are mentioned, but only in connection with Israel. But it is made increasingly clear that Israel fills the scene only because entrusted with the accomplishment of great world-wide purposes (Duet. 7:7).

The appointed mission of Israel was: (1) To be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Duet. 6:4, Isa. 43:10); (2) to illustrate to the nations the greater blessedness of serving the one true God (Duet. 33:26-29, 1 Chron. 17:20-21, Ps. 102:15); (3) to receive and preserve the Divine revelation (Rom. 3:1-2) and (4) to produce the Messiah, earth's Savior and Lord (Rom. 9:4). The prophets foretell a glorious future for Israel under the reign of Christ.

The Biblical story of Israel past, present, and future, falls into seven distinct periods: (1) From the call of Abram (Gen. 12) to the Exodus (Ex. 1-20); (2) From the Exodus to the death of Joshua (Ex. 21 to Joshua 24); (3) from the death of Joshua to the establishment of the Hebrew monarchy under Saul; (4) the period of  the kings from Saul to the Captivities; (5) the period of the Captivities; (6) the restored commonwealth from the end of the Babylonian captivity of Judah, to the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70; (7) the present dispensation.

The Gospels record the appearance in human history and within the Hebrew nation of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, and tell the wonderful story of His manifestation to Israel, His rejection by that people, His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.

The Acts of the Apostles record the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of a new thing in human history, the Church. The division of the race now becomes threefold--the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church of God. Just as Israel is in the foreground from the call of Abram to the resurrection of Christ, so now the Church fills the scene from the 2nd chapter of Acts to the 4th chapter of the Revelation. The remaining chapters of the book complete the story of  humanity and the final triumph of Christ.

Fifth. The Central Theme of the Bible is Christ. It is this manifestation of Jesus Christ, His Person as “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16), His sacrificial death, and His resurrection, which constitute the Gospel. Unto this all preceding Scripture leads, from this all following Scripture proceeds. The Gospel is preached in the Acts and explained in the Epistles. Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, Son of  Abraham, Son of David, thus binds the many books into one Book. Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) He is the ultimate destroyer of Satan and his works; Seed of Abraham He is the world Blesser; Seed of David, He is Israel's King, “Desire of all Nations.” Exalted to the right hand of God, He is “head over all to the Church, which is His body”, while to Israel and the nations the promise of His return forms the one and only rational expectation that humanity will yet fulfill itself. Meanwhile the Church looks momentarily for the fulfillment of His special promise; “I will come again and receive you unto Myself” (John 14:1-3). To Him the Holy Spirit throughout this Gospel age bears testimony. The last book of all, the Consummation book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev.1:1).


God Bless You All,

Pastor Moser
Jan./Feb. 2013


Be like a bird that, halting in flight,
Rests on a limb too slight
And feeling it give way beneath him, sings
Knowing he has wings...Amen!