Saturday, November 29, 2008

Levels of Study

I feel like writing a post expressing my thankfulness to Pastor Stephen Bohr. As I've stated in my story, I came to Bible truth in the Fall of 2004 by watching a series of Bible study seminars, as well as devouring sets of Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides (which earned me a couple of neat certificates).

Well, those teachings eventually became a little "inadequate" for my edification. At which point God led me to a different set of sermons and books that were of a more practical nature, although still thoroughly grounded in the Bible. Eventually those studies also felt "inadequate" and I wanted even more. We have a tendency to always want something more, something fresh, don't we?

So recently I've caught a few sermons (maybe 4) from Pastor Stephen Bohr and, once again, I am amazed by God's Word. Admittedly, I realize that I should be finding these things for myself and spending more of my own time in Bible study, and I have begun doing that but I still like to be fed some good stuff every now and then to freshen my own perspective.

So this is just the thought I had today:

There are different levels of Biblical truths,

1. The Basic Level, which includes things like Leo Schreven's Revelation of Jesus Christ seminar, Doug Batchelor's Millennium of Prophecy seminar, and recently Mark Finley's Discoveries '08. These are all wonderful tools to establish a firm foundational understanding of Bible truths. These help people study the Bible for the first time and come to understand how amazingly accurate and easily understood it is. This is milk. Full of nutrition to help the babe grow, yet not sufficient for the more mature Christian (though never to be neglected).

2. The Advanced Level, which includes things like Stephen Bohr's Studies in Matthew 24 as well as his messages on Sabbath Reform, Steve Wohlberg's Israel in Prophecy, and other material that I cannot recall at the moment. These messages give insights to insights. They dig deeper than the Basic Level studies and reveal scriptural links that give profound glimpses into the unity of God's Word. Messages of this level often concentrate on very specific topics in very great detail and assume that the hearer is already firmly grounded in the fundamental Bible truths. These messages can sometimes be confusing without a firm grasp of Basic Level truths. Even today, I watched a fascinating sermon by Pastor Bohr that showed the clear biblical link between heavenly manna, Christ's body, redemption and the Sabbath. I am loving this stuff and can't wait to see more messages from Pastor Bohr. This is meat. It strengthens mature Christians but is usually too much for babes.

3. The Practical Level, which includes all of the amazing messages from Jim Hohnberger such as Escape to God, Come to the Quiet and Men of Power, his wife Sally Hohnberger's messages to mothers such as Parenting by the Spirit, Ron Halvorsen's book Prayer Warriors, as well as some of the random sermons you hear from great preachers which are not part of a seminar. These help us draw always nearer to God in a practical, day-to-day sort of way. If the Basic Level is milk and the Advanced Level is meat, this would have to be the fruit, which is good for both babe and mature, and also leads to us bearing (you guessed it) the fruit of the Spirit.

4. The Personal Level, which is an essential type of Bible study where we leave all of our motives and baggage at the door and simply come to God through His word. This is when we don't seek to study a specific doctrine or issue, but rather take a verse or two or three and really let them sink in. At this level, we are simply trying to get a glimpse of God's character, we plead, "Show me your glory, Lord." This is a very intimate time spent between you and God. Some people refer to this time as "Devotions". An apt description, as this time is a result of our true devotion to Him who created us, our Heavenly Father.

I only know as much as I've experienced and am sure that there are even more levels of truth for God to reveal to us, an inexhaustible amount of truths that we shall be ever-learning and always amazed by throughout eternity. Praise God for His greatness.

Are there any specific messages that you are thankful for? If so, leave a comment and let us know. Which category do you think they'd fall into, or is there a whole new category?

1 Corinthians 3:2, "I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now are still not able;"

1 Peter 2:2, "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."

For extra credit: I seem to recall Jesus telling His disciples at one point that He wanted to tell them more, but that they wouldn't be able to bear it. I have looked and looked but I can't find the scripture. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but if you can find the verse I'm thinking of, you get a gold star!

Update: The extra-credit and gold star go to Deb, from Baby Steps to Christ, who told me the text is John 16:12, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." - Thanks, Deb! Also, thanks to Bringer of Peace for your reminding us of perhaps the most important level of Bible study!

God bless you and keep you!


  1. Is it too late to claim my gold star!?!

    I just now read this post, so thought I'd send you the Bible reference, whether or not I get the extra credit:

  2. Awesome!! You get the gold star! Thank you very much, I still hadn't found it! You are an A-student :-)

  3. Nah, just did some googling is all!

  4. I fully relate to your comments on levels of 'study'. May I suggest that another level (may not be higher or lower but simply another) is that of using God's word as His letters to you (or me) right now, today, for a reality check, for real time, etc.

    In some of my own time I have been unpacking some of the Psalms. I look up the meanings of words in Strong's Concordance and then ask God to give me the meaning for the 'here (and hear) and now'. There have been many, many surprises. But even more thrilling has been applications of what I have been learning in my life and at times I have also been able to share with others helpful applications - as the Lord opens the way.

    I fully believe in prophecy and preaching. Application and Experiential are also vital to a living Christian in Christ.

    Yours in Christ,

  5. Amen and Amen! Thank you for reminding us of perhaps the most import level of study. I added it to the post. Again, thank you and bless you!

    If you get a chance I'd love to read about some of the insights you received into the Psalms. :-)

    God bless you and keep you!