4/14/08 Pastor John Thompson
I wanted to go over some very important facts for all those who study
with Smyrna, as well as those who have asked me to teach them how to Study
the Bible more indepth. I must as a teacher make sure that all who
study with us here at the Church of Smyrna or at home on there own
are studying the correct way. I want to share with you all how the Spirit
The Bible is a storehouse of whose contents no one can afford to be
ignorant. It repays reading and study whether it be approached only
because of it's literary value, or it's ethical teachings, or it's
practical use in our everyday life, as for instance, in the book of
Proverbs. While reading may bring a measure of blessing, however, in
accordance with the scripture- "Blessed is he that readeth, and they
that hear the words of this prophecy" (Revelation 1:3), I believe
that God reveals His deeper truths to the eyes of faith.
Those who come to the Bible in a real way with a devotional Spirit,
seeking to know more of God and His will regarding us, are the most
However, it is necessary, at the very beginning, that the reader
should be a partaker of that new life which alone can digest Gods
heavenly food. The natural man receiveth not the things of the
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he
know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).
But they that are after the Spirit, who have been born of the Spirit,
do mind the things of the Spirit, and the Spirit breathed Word is
sweeter to them than honey and the honeycomb. And greater than Gold
I believe further that you must have faith in the Bible, and love for
it, before you will receive much good from it. As I've sayed before
"Human Knowledge must be understood to be loved, but Divine Knowledge
must be loved to be understood," Those who are full of doubts will
never be much blessed.
The Book or letter comes to us as a whole with the same authority,
and no man has the right to cut out any portion. Have you ever
noticed that the things that men find fault in, or raise trivial
objections about are the very things that Christ set His seal to?
The story of Noah and the flood; of Lots wife; of the brazen
serpent; of Jonah and the whale-Christ taught them all, and if I
give them up, I must give up all Christs teachings. What we want is a
faith that believes in the Bible from cover to cover. I know that this
is the faith that you and our students, as well as others in the many
member body of Christ possess.
Here are some suggestions to proper Bible study. Any teacher will
make sure their students have the tools needed to be able to study
the Word with the ability to receive great profit.
1. Read the Bible as intelligently as you would read anything else. If you
receive one of my letters five pages long, and read the fourth page today,
the last page tomorrow, then turn back to the first page, it will be
unintelligible to you. To grasp it intelligently it must begin at the
beginning and read through in order. Chapter by Chapter, Verse by Verse.
Now remember, the Bible is not only a letter in itself, with one distinct
purpose running through it from Genesis to Revelation, but it is also a
collection of sixty-six books, each complete in itself. Therefore, it is
only fair and reasonable if you want to understand it, that you should
read them through.
2. Do not read too fast or too much. Butterflies cover more ground, but bees
gather more honey. Imitate the bees.
Studying goes deeper than just reading. There are surface nuggets to be
gathered, but the best of the Gold is underneath; and it takes time and
labor to secure it. Skimming over large areas of truth is not so
profitable as the careful turning of every passage. °Selah
3. Have some definite object in view.
If a friend should see me searching about a room and should say; "Pastor, what
are you looking for? have you lost something?" and I should say: "no", I
haven't lost anything; I'm not looking for anything in particular," he
would think I'm very foolish. But if I tell him I am looking for something, I
may expect him to help me find it.
Numbers of people take the Bible without any definite desire to receive anything
out of it. We should hunt it thoroughly for it's great truths, and not read it at
In private devotions or for family prayers, select passages as carefully as for
public services. All the medicines in a druggist's shop may be helpful, but they
have different properties that make them suitable for different cases. In the
Bible there is a word for every condition and circumstance of life. Every case
is met; but passages should be selected according to the needs of that case. For
instance, in time of trouble, read Psalm 91. For consolation in bereavement or
death, turn to John 14 or 1 Corinthians 15. For devotional reading, turn to the
Psalms or Epistles.
4. Learn to feed yourself. The great trouble with most church members is that
they don't know how to do this. They have to be fed with an ecclesiastical
spoon, If they happen to have a minister or teacher who feeds them, they get on
pretty well; but otherwise their souls are not fed at all, and become lean and
Of course you have obtained a good Bible if you have a 1611 Authorized KJ Version Bible.
Of course you also need a good Concordance. I only recommend the Strongs
Exhaustive Concordance. My library will also have a Smith's Bible Dictionary and
a copy of the Massorah, as well as the Pentateuch, and the Hebrew Septuagint. This would be a good start and
a decent library for the indepth Bible student.
Every man or woman cannot fight in Saul's armor, and perhaps my methods may not suit
you; but if one method does not help and interest you, try another. However, if you
seek with all your heart the promises given in Gods Word, then His Comforter will
appear, and teach you all things, through the Spirit of Truth, His own Holy Spirit will
guide you to His Truths.
Most important pray, pray for guidance, and wisdom in Christ Jesus name and it will be
In His Service
Pastor John Thompson