For the majority of my life, I tried to learn what I was taught by my pastors and Sunday School teachers. Then I started to read the Scriptures for myself. That’s when my problems started. The Scriptures did not seem to support what I had been taught. I had run straight into the issue of, ‘You have heard it said, but I say, it is written!’ Then, the Lord lead me to three books, and, together, they totally changed the way I read and understand the Scriptures. I will not tell you I understand everything, because I don’t. However, I will tell you that there are far fewer things that don’t make sense to me, and nearly nothing that seems to contradict itself. If you have a moment, I’d like to share these books with you.
The first, and probably most important, is written by a Biblical scholar whom I have come to trust. He is very prolific, and can be found on Face Book as well as You Tube (not to mention his own ministry in Jacksonville, Florida). His name is Dr. Michael Heiser, and I strongly encourage you to get to know him and his tutelage. Among his many books, the one that made the greatest impression on me was, “The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible.” This book will help you better understand the Ancient Near East world view, and how real the spirit world was to those people. This is literally a book about the story that lies behind the scenes of every passage in the Scriptures. It will help you put the Lord’s Word in its proper context. You will also discover that a great deal of the Bible you think you know does not say what you believe it says — not even close. For me, this is the most important book I have read outside the Scriptures, Themselves.
Book number two, and second in importance to me, is, “Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright,” by John Harden Allen. First written in 1903, this book will take you through a painstaking proof that the Lord divided His people into two Peoples, two Nations and two Witnesses. Allen will also use verse after verse to prove to you that the Scripture foretell the House of Israel being uprooted and re-planted in another country. In fact, Allen will show you so many things you did not catch in reading your Bible, you might start to wonder whether or not you ever understood the Lord’s Word at all. Ultimately, Allen will lead you to realize what Yeshua said His Gospel message is truly about (HINT: individual salvation is not really ‘it.’). Again, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
The third book changed the way I understand prophecy. In fact, this book taught me how to understand prophecy. Before reading it, I only thought I understood. I did not! The book is, “Hidden Beast 2,” by Ellis Skofield. Brother Ellis will teach you the prophetic language, and open Daniel’s 70 Weeks for you (HINT: they are all behind us now). He will teach you about bifids and chiasims, and why they are crucial to the understanding of prophecy — especially The Book of Revelation. While I have come to believe some of what Skofield believed may not be quite right, the majority of what is in this book is solid. In fact, I would dare say it should be required reading for all prophecy scholars. If you can find a copy, grab it and read it!
My understanding of Scripture has been greatly influenced by these three books. What’s more, if you focus just on the core of what they reveal and don’t try to pick at the edges of what the Lord may not have shown these authors, you will find these three books actually harmonize very well. Not only are they in agreement with each other, more importantly, they are in agreement with Scripture! If you have the money, buy the books, then make the time to read them.