Congratulations to all who have completed this course. At the beginning, we stated the following: “Our goal in this Bible Introduction Course is to guide you in a program of self-motivated, exciting Bible study. The groundwork will be covered, providing foundational understandings upon which one can build a lifetime relationship with God through intense personal Bible study.”
Since this course has been introductory, we hope that you will continue learning through study of the Bible, while referring often to our vast reservoir of literature.
Review of Subjects Covered
We began Lesson 1 by focusing on where we are now in the unfolding of world events in Bible prophecy. Lesson 2 continued on this same crucial introductory theme.
Lesson 3 introduced the correct concept of the true God-the Father, Christ the Son, and the future God Family. (Read our booklet The Trinity – Is God Three-In-One?) Lesson 4 emphasized that in order to appreciate the Bible’s authority, you must prove that it is the inspired Word of God.
Lesson 5 introduced a short series about impending events that will soon stun all humanity. This was followed by lessons 6 and 7, which focused on the Seven Seals of Revelation 6-depicting the many horrific end-time events leading up to the Return of Christ.
Next, a series of lessons was presented to expose and disprove traditional Catholic and Protestant doctrines that counterfeit the plain truth of God’s inspired Word. Lesson 8 answered the question “Do the saved go to heaven?”; Lesson 9 addressed the false belief that man has an immortal soul; Lesson 10 exposed the false concept of an ever-burning hell awaiting the wicked; and Lesson 11 explained the truth about being “born again.”
Lesson 12 focused on the crucial but maligned truth about obeying the Ten Commandments. Lesson 13 examined God’s laws of tithing. Lessons 14 and 15 addressed the foundational understanding of the Old and New Covenants. Lesson 16 addressed the pivotal issue of the Holy Spirit, which naturally had to be connected to the lesson on the New Covenant.
Lesson 17 explained the origin of Satan the devil and his influence over all the nations of the world. Lesson 18 covered the next logical subject-human nature-leading into a series of lessons designed to help students understand the process of repentance (Lesson 19) leading to baptism (Lesson 20). Lesson 21 focused on God’s commanded weekly Sabbath; Lesson 22 addressed the counterfeit of the Sabbath-Sunday observance.
Lessons 23 through 29 carefully explained the seven festivals that depict God’s Master Plan of Salvation for all mankind. Without knowledge of these feasts and how each one fits into the overall plan, one could never understand what God has in store for mankind. Now that you have been given this overview, you can begin to appreciate why Christ called His message the “gospel”-the GOOD news-of the kingdom of God.
This short final lesson will focus on this knowledge you have recently acquired from this course and how God expects you to act upon it. It has been said that knowledge is of no use unless it is acted upon. Surely, there can be no more true application of this principle than with the knowledge obtained in this course.
Acting On What You Have Learned
(1) Did God say that knowledge at the time of the end would be increased? Daniel 12:4.
Comment: Not only would knowledge of a technical and scientific nature increase, but also knowledge in virtually every category of mankind’s fund of available information. Today, the already rapid expansion of knowledge has been incredibly accelerated by use of computer technology, as “many run to and fro” at an ever-increasing rate using modern modes of transportation. Knowledge of God’s truth has also been restored and made available to all whose minds are opened to understand it.
(2) By whom was the knowledge of the truth restored in this end time? Matthew 17:10-11.
Comment: The “Elijah to come” was to “restore all things.” The things that he was to restore pertained to the knowledge necessary for salvation, not the totality of knowledge about every conceivable subject. Christ’s comment in verse 12, “But I say unto you that Elijah is come already,” did not exclude the fact that an Elijah was to come at a future time. This comment referred to an additional fulfillment.
(3) Does God’s Spirit guide one into all truth and open the mind to understand things to come (prophecy)? John 14:26; 16:13.
Comment: Even though many students of this course might not yet be baptized and therefore will not yet have received the Holy Spirit, it is helpful to know that this Spirit can and does work with those being called. It works in an external way (see John 14:17). This applies not only to those being called, but also to those who seriously commit themselves to learning God’s Way.
(4) In order to benefit from such power, is effort in acquiring this knowledge required on our part? II Timothy 1:6-7; 2:15; 3:14-17.
Comment: Individually, we are to stir up the Spirit of God (primarily through prayer and fasting) and to diligently study the Bible. To continually expand our knowledge of the Word of God is crucial-as the Scriptures are given by God’s inspiration and are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and for instruction in righteousness.
(5) Are true Christians to grow in grace and knowledge? II Peter 3:18.
Comment: The word “knowledge” in this passage comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge, perception and understanding.” To grow in knowledge, as admonished here, means to achieve a more complete understanding.
(6) Are those who follow God’s Way expected to highly value true knowledge? Proverbs 15:14; 2:3-11; 28:5; Psalm 111:10.
(7) Why does The Restored Church of God put such strong emphasis on proving all things? I Thes. 5:21; Acts 17:10-11.
Comment: Proving all things is a prerequisite to having a true depth of conviction. Things that are accepted casually can be forgotten or dismissed just as casually. “Proving all things” is best exemplified by someone extending genuine effort to prove such foundational issues as (1) whether God really exists; (2) whether the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God; (3) whether God’s true Church still exists and where it can be found today.
Only after thoroughly proving these points does one have a basis for a lasting depth of conviction. The Bereans were considered “more noble” simply because they searched the Scriptures daily to prove what they had been told-building a basis for a true, lasting conviction.
(8) Once someone has acquired knowledge of God’s truth, is more expected of that person? James 4:17; Luke 12:47-48; Numbers 15:27-31.
Comment: To choose to remain ignorant of the truth in this end-time is to reject the knowledge already given. One who desires to be like the world will reap the consequences coming upon the world.
(9) Once someone becomes interested in God’s truth, can he continue to practice his former ways? Will he find that the world will resent him for choosing God’s Way? I John 2:15-17; John 15:19.
Comment: As discussed in Lesson 24, coming out of the world is a process. Yet, certain conduct will have to be avoided completely and immediately by any new convert into God’s Way. Once one embarks upon this new course of life, his friends and associates will not approve.
(10) Does God expect each person to decide whether to act on the truth or do nothing (which is actually a willful decision not to act upon it)? Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; Acts 17:30.
Comment: Because of the extent of the knowledge that has been given, the choice before each reader of this course is even more profound than that put before ancient Israel.
(11) Does God accept indecisiveness? I Kings 18:21; Luke 16:13.
Comment: To make no choice is to make the wrong choice, just as Israel “halted between two opinions.” One must decide which master he will serve, since he cannot serve two masters any more than he can follow two incompatible principles of living.
(12) Is it acceptable with God for one to agree with His way of life without being expected to actively live it on a daily basis? James 1:22-25; Matthew 7:21, 24-25; 28:20; Romans 2:13; Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:7.
Comment: From these scriptures, we can clearly deduce the following:
- One is only blessed to the extent that he practices what he is learning.
- To hear and do the words of Christ is to build on a solid unmovable foundation.
- Ultimately, these are the only ones who will enter the kingdom of God.
Being Called Into God’s Way
(1) Who is it that calls people into God’s way of truth? John 6:44, 65.
Comment: Christ made it clear that no one could come to Him unless the Father made the decision to draw or call him through the Holy Spirit (John 14:17).
(2) Should one’s calling be so important that it becomes his very reason for being? Ephesians 4:1; Romans 12:1; II Thessalonians 1:11; II Timothy 1:9.
(3) How can one know for certain if he is being called by God?
Comment: The answer to this question involves many scriptures along with much explanation, which would require more space than is available for this lesson. You are strongly advised to carefully read our article “Are You Being Called?”
(4) Is being called by God a moment in time or a process? Romans 8:28-30.
Comment: Verse 28 defines the subject, which is “them who are called according to His [God’s] purpose.” Verses 29 and 30 go on to define those who make it through each successive step of this process:
- The first step references those God did “foreknow”: These are the ones God considers potential candidates for the positions He needs to fill. This can be compared to an employee who is being considered for a promotion, but is yet unaware that he is under consideration.
- The next phase described is those God did “predestinate”: It is at this point that God has begun working with an individual. This could include the arranging of events to bring the candidate into contact with the truth. (For more information, read our booklet Does the Bible Teach Predestination?)
- Then, the passage refers to those God “called”: At this level, the person becomes aware that God is working with him. If he accepts this calling, he can be led into more understanding, as God, upon heartfelt prayer, grants the gift of repentance. Certain trials can occur to test one’s desire to continue in God’s Way. One’s responsiveness determines whether he continues beyond this level (analogous to an interview).
- Those God “justified”: To be justified is to be reconciled to God by the blood-the sacrifice-of Christ (Rom. 5:9). This means that the individual has been baptized and given the Holy Spirit. But this is not the end of the conversion process. The individual must overcome, spiritually mature and endure to the end-in spite of occasional stumbling, followed by repentance and forgiveness. (You may wish to read our booklet Just What Is Salvation?)
- Those God “glorified”: This means that those who overcome sin and continue to endure to the end will be changed to Spirit Beings at the First Resurrection. To be glorified means to be honored, exalted, and worshipped. When Christ ascended back to heaven, He was glorified (John 7:39) and restored to His former glory (John 17:5; Rev. 5:12). The saints shall partake of this same glory, as revealed in Romans 8:30.
(5) What is the end result of acting on right knowledge, responding to God’s wonderful and high calling and remaining faithful to the end? Matthew 25:21, 23; James 1:12; Revelation 3:12, 21.
Acting Upon What You Have Learned
Most likely, what you have learned from the Bible through this course is completely new to you. Prior to this, you probably knew nothing of God’s Master Plan of salvation. You have been given knowledge that only a relative few have understood throughout history. Your mind has been privileged to be opened to understand this precious information. You must recognize that with such knowledge comes responsibility. (Notice again James 4:17, Luke 12:47-48 and Numbers 15:27-31.)
This towering question looms: What will you DO with this knowledge? Will you disregard it and merely move on with your life? Will you think about it at some more “convenient time” in the future? Or will you act on what you have learned and go on to fulfill your incredible human potential?
Listed below is a list of all the lessons of this Bible Introduction Course. Upon completing the lessons, you should keep your written Bible scriptures in a three-ring binder, along with each associated lesson. A series of three-ring binders should help you to keep the lessons well organized.
One of the most valuable assets of having completed this course is the reinforcement it provides in reviewing each lesson upon seeing the need to refresh the memory about any of these subjects. The lessons on the seven annual Feasts should help you approach each Holy Day with greater understanding and appreciation of the profound meaning that applies to these days.
Lesson 1 – “Is This The END?”
Lesson 2 – “WHERE ARE WE GOING?”
Lesson 3 – “WHO and WHAT IS GOD?”
Lesson 4 – “PROOF OF THE BIBLE”
Lesson 5 – “WHO WILL RULE THE EARTH?”
Lesson 6 – “CHRIST OPENS THE SEALS”
Lesson 7 – “THE DAY OF THE LORD”
Lesson 8 – “IS HEAVEN the Reward of the Saved?”
Lesson 9 – “WHO AND WHAT IS MAN?”
Lesson 10 – “THE TRUTH ABOUT HELL”
Lesson 11 – “When Is One ’BORN AGAIN’?”
Lesson 12 – “Are the TEN COMMANDMENTS In Effect Today?”
Lesson 13 – “Does God Require Tithing Today?”
Lesson 14 – “What is the Old Covenant?”
Lesson 15 – “Preparing to Become the Bride of Christ”
Lesson 16 – “What is the HOLY SPIRIT?”
Lesson 17 – “Who Rules EARTH’S AIRWAVES?”
Lesson 18 – “What is HUMAN NATURE?”
Lesson 19 – “REPENTANCE – Turning Your Life Around”
Lesson 20 – “About Water Baptism”
Lesson 21 – “Should You Keep The Sabbath?”
Lesson 22 – “Who Authorized Sunday Worship?”
Lesson 23 – “First in God’s Plan – THE PASSOVER”
Lesson 24 – “The Days of Unleavened Bread”
Lesson 25 – “The Feast of Firstfruits – PENTECOST”
Lesson 26 – “The Feast of TRUMPETS”
Lesson 27 – “The Day of ATONEMENT”
Lesson 28 – “The Feast of TABERNACLES”
Lesson 29 – “The LAST GREAT DAY”
Lesson 30 – “Putting the Pieces Together”