The Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). It is not a book by men, but it is written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit to record for us the will of God (2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:10-13). Reference to the scriptures is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the scripture is considered the final word. GOD forbids adding or subtracting to His words (Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18-19). The Bible will be the final basis of judgement (Jn. 12:48; Rom. 2:16). Hence we SPEAK WHERE THE BIBLE SPEAKS AND REMAIN SILENT WHERE THE BIBLE IS SILENT.
The Bible is the only guide for mankind to reach Heaven. However, the Bible is one of the most misinterpreted books so as to create divides despite of the emphasis of UNITY as the overall theme of the Bible (Eph. 2:11-22). In order to handle the word of God for the salvation of mankind, Apostle Paul instructed us through young Timothy “to rightly divide the word of TRUTH” (2 Tim. 2:15). This is necessary because God has spoken to mankind at various times in different ways (Heb. 1:1-2). A careful study of the Bible can vividly reveal that God has spoken to mankind in THREE DIFFERENT WAYS since creation;
a) The period before the Old Testament (THE PATRIARCHAL AGE)
There was no record of a Common plan of salvation if we read from the first chapter of Genesis till the delivery of the LAW at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20). God reveal His will directly to the head of the family (patriarch) during this period. For instance, God spoke to Adam (Gen. 2:16-17), Noah (Gen 6:13-14), Abraham (Gen. 12:1) etc., separately giving them different instructions. Whatever command given to Adam was not necessarily binding to Noah or Abraham or vice-versa. Apostle Paul described this period as the period before the law covering from Adam to Moses (Rom 5:13-14). GOD SPOKE TO THE PEOPLE OF THIS PERIOD THROUGH THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY. We, at this generation, are not bound for instructions given during the Patriarchal Period. For instance, we are not bound to build a literal ark as was commanded to Noah.
b) The Period of The Old Testament (THE MOSAICAL AGE)
During the Patriarchal age, God had chosen Abraham and promised him to give the PROMISED LAND (Gen. 12:1-2). His grandson Jacob was renamed Israel (Gen 32:28). Israel had 12 sons who were the patriarchs of the TWELVE TRIBES OF THE ISRAELITES (the chosen nation). God appointed Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt after bondage of about 400 years. God then gave a common commandment (called THE LAW/OLD TESTAMENT) to the chosen nation at Mt. Sinai (Exod. 20:1ff; Jn. 1:17). The Old Testament/Law was given NEITHER for the people during the PATRIARCHAL AGE (Deut. 5:2-3) NOR for the GENTILES (People other than the physical Israelites) (Eph. 2:11-12; Num. 3:10; Deut 23:1-3; Ezek 44:9). But the Old Testament/Law was exclusively given ONLY FOR THE ISRAELITES (Lev. 26:46; 27:34).
Prophet Jeremiah foretold that the law given at Mt. Sinai will be abolished and a better law will be given (Jer. 31:31-32). As foretold, Jesus Christ came on earth and done away with the OLD TESTAMENT by nailing it into the cross (Col. 2:14). Christ is the end of THE LAW (Rom 10:4; Eph. 2:15). Whosoever is trying to put the LAW back into effect is AGAINST CHRIST (Gal. 5:4). Hence, the Old Testament covers a period from the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai until the death of the Christ on the Cross. GOD SPOKE TO THE PEOPLE OF THIS PERIOD (THE ISRAELITES) THROUGH MOSES (THE OLD TESTAMENT). The Old Testament is no more binding for those of us during the Christian age.
c) The New Testament Period (THE CHRISTIAN AGE)
God did not leave mankind without a law after abolishing the Old Testament. In fact, He gave a PERFECT LAW that includes not only the Israelites but all nations on earth (Hosea 2:18; Heb. 8:13; 10:9). The Hebrew writer specifically stated that “God has, in these last days, spoken to us BY HIS SON” (Heb. 1:2). After His resurrection, Jesus commanded His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples OF ALL THE NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU” (Mt. 28:19-20). The commandment of Christ (THE NEW TESTAMENT) is binding for you and me today and we shall be judged by the same at the end of the day (Jn. 12:48; Rom.2:16; Rev. 20:12). GOD SPOKE TO YOU AND I TODAY THROUGH HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS CHRIST AS REVEALED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.