In 1999 I became so frustrated with my own Bible study that I determined that I was not going to read the Bible any faster than I could understand it–at least to some reasonable level. My frustration was that after 50 years of age I was not seeming to learn new things in study but was simply seeing the same things I had many times over in previous years. If course I could imagine what God was saying in scripture, but I wanted to understand what he had to say, not what I imagined he was saying. I turned to Matthew chapter one to begin and it was about 14 months later that I finished reading this single book of only 24 chapters. This probably involved almost 500 hours of study.
Without a better method I simply began to read a chapter or section at a time over and over again until I began to understand the overall themes and messages. It would not be unusual to read each chapter 15 or 20 times while taking my own notes before I would move on to the net one. What began to happen is that I would see similar or related concepts between passages, chapters or even multiple chapter sections. I was beginning to understand underlying themes in the New Testament Gospels I then referred to as God’s Sermons.
Discovering God’s Sermons in the Gospels
I found that The book of Matthew had about 24 sections that did not fall on chapter boundaries that each formed a sort of sermon. They began with an introduction statement which stated somehow what the teaching was about; then an example such as a parable or historical event; this was followed by a teaching about the event; and then the section ended with sort of a moral or closing statement of the section. Following are listed five of these sections of the Book of Luke.
- Luke 7:36 to 8:21 Faith
- Luke 8:22 to 9:17 Tell others
- Luke 9:18 to 10:24 Follow Me
- Luke 10:25 to 11:13 How to get Eternal Life
- Luke 11:14 to 11:54 Decide/Division
So this discovery began to open my eyes to patterns in the Bible we were not aware of. I became so excited about these “sermons” in scripture that I began studying and writing about them. This drew me deeper into the study of God’s Word.
Luke 10:25 to 11:13 –Section about how to get eternal life
Following is a brief overview of one of what I believe to be God indended section teachings in the Gospels. From Luke 10:25 to 11:13 is an organized teaching including an introduction, teaching statement, examples and a closing statement that reinforces the teaching.
- THE OPENING — Someone asks – What do I need to do to have eternal life?
- 10:25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
- THE TEACHING — Love God and Love/care for others…
- 10:26 ….Jesus asks….what is written in the law?….
- 10:27 And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
- LESSON PART 1 — The Good Samaritian — About caring for others (could also be about Jesus)
- 10:29 But he wanted to justify himself…but who is my neighbor
- 10:30 Jesus gives an example of the Good Samaritan
- 10:36 Jesus – Which of these do you think was the neighbor
- 10:37 …Go and do the same
- LESSON PART 2 — Sitting at Jesus feet — Doing what’s important — Listening to Jesus
- 10:38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way…Martha-.Lord, don’t you care…
- 10:41 Martha, Martha you are bothered about too many things
- 10:42 What Mary has chosen will not be taken away from her
- LESSON PART 3 — The Lord’s Prayer–If we ask we will receive — Asking for Salvation
- 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place…Lord, teach us to pray
- 11:5 Story about a friend who comes and askes a man for bread
- 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
- THE CONCLUSION AND CLOSING – Our Heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit (salvation) if we ask him
- 11:9 “…ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
- 11:11 Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a snake…..
- 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.
Discovering Patterns in Chapter and Verse Designations
As I was concentrating on studying the sermons I began noticing other patterns that I for a long time rejected — That numbers seemed to have a pattern as well. Not only numbers in the text but chapter and verse numbers. I did not know what this meant when I first noticed them, but they were the beginning of years of an ever so gradual process of learning about God’s Redemption Pattern and Numeric Map. Here is one of the most amazing early finds that caught my attention. It may not be meaningful to others but seeing it made me believe I was looking at more patterns that were not just coincidence.
Chapter, Verses and Text Line up in Luke 11 and 12
|I’ve always questioned my understanding of the eye being the Lamp of the Body until one day I happened to notice (or God showed me) the relationship between the verses at Luke 11:33-37 and 12:33-37. Five verses that lined up on the same verse numbers in chapters next to each other. Each of these five verses helps in understanding the counterpart verse in the other chapter. In my mind they match up perfectly. When examining them together they illuminate each other. At first I just noticed the similarity in the text and how one set help explained the other–but then I went to write down what I found and I was almost shocked to find they shared the same verse numbers. Of course, this could have been coincidence but it was one of many little clues that there might be more to chapter and verses than I was taught. Following is a brief explanation of one of these best early examples.
Verses in Luke 12 directly correspond and help explain corresponding verses in Luke 11. When you study each set in context of one another you can see the picture of Jesus being the Lamp of the Body and we are to have his lamp inside us (Holy Spirit?) when he comes for us. The strongest clues for these sets of verses intentionally lining up is verse 37 and 38. First, 37 contrasts how the Pharisees asked Jesus to recline vs how Jesus will come ask us to recline. Then in 38, the Pharisees were surprised when Jesus did not wash to be ready for the meal vs how when Jesus comes those who are ready will not be surprised.
|Luke 11:33 No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in may see the light.||May also correspond to Luke 12:33, but only shown here as a help to put it all in context.|
|Luke 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body is also full of light. But when they are bad, your body is also full of darkness.||Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (This helps explain what the lamp of the body is. It’s our treasure, whatever we make it to be. It should be God’s truth and Jesus)|
|Luke 11:35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. (be actively seeking the darkness in your heart and doing the things necessary to grow and remove the darkness.)||Luke 12:35 “Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning, “ (both verses give orders to continue to work to keep God’s truth and light in our lives. This is deep, heart truth, not just reading his word, but to obey it.)|
|Luke 11:36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you. (difficult to comprehend the meaning until you read Luke 12:36 – Jesus comes to shine on us–Amazing!)||Luke 12:36 Like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. (his light comes and shines on us, that is, He does)|
|Luke 11:37 When Jesus has finished speaking , a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. (Jesus finished speaking – All the talk was done, time for Jesus to come…, Pharisee was doing the inviting to Recline – Wrong! The word “reclining” is not a coincidence between these two parts of scripture. )||Luke 12:37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come wait on them. (Jesus invites us to recline at the table. We are not the ones to do the inviting of him to come to us. We accept his invitation).|
|11:38 But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not wash before the meal was surprised. (The Pharisee who was judging Jesus’ acceptability to him, will be surprised).||Luke 12:38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. (will be good, salvation…they will not be surprised)|
The discovery of The Bible’s Redemption Pattern and Numeric map involved literally 1000’s of small observations that all continually pointed to the existence of patterns between numbers and text. None of the examples by themselves could be considered proof, but the preponderance of so many of them demanded only one conclusion — God had inspired book, chapter and verse numbers and lined up the text of scripture such that they may illuminate each other. Only a supernatural God could have developed the Bible with this incomprehendible perfection.