(Continued: Part 3)

  1. The fourth rule of interpretation is THE LAW OF FIRST MENTION.

    1. The meaning of the law of First Mention: The Law of First Mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine.

    2. When this law is applied the simple precedes the complex.

      1. A history of the development of anything will show that it sprang from something in the very simplest form (for example the steamship; airplane; automobile).

      2. In the Scriptures the growth and development of ideas and doctrine might be illustrated by some simple word.

        1. Throughout the history of a term it may have increased its meaning and undergone certain changes, yet the basic, original, fundamental thought is seldom lost.

        2. The fundamental concept usually controls or is dominant in coloring every shade of idea expressed by a term in its current usage.

    3. Exercises--

      1. Trace how the writer of Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 related their messages to the doctrines which are mentioned for the first time in Genesis 1:2-2:3. These doctrines are as follows:

        1. The original creation;

        2. Disaster which overtook the primitive earth;

        3. The reconstruction and repairing of this damage;

        4. The beginning of the present human race.

      2. Study the doctrine concerning man in his original state and his fall given in Genesis 2 and 3.

      3. The first mention of the doctrine of sin is given in chapter 3 of Genesis. Study how the writer of Romans 7:17 developed his message upon the doctrines given in Genesis 3.

      4. Study the doctrine concerning sacrifices.

        1. When man first disobeyed God and tried to cover his nakedness with fig leaves the Lord gave him a covering made from the skins of animals. Why the skins of animals? Why couldn't He have used another material? No answer is given in Genesis

        2. The account of Cain and Abel bringing their offerings to the Lord reveals that Abel by faith brought his flock and placed such on the altar to atone for sin. This pleased the Lord. See Genesis 4 and Hebrews 11:4.

        3. Animal sacrifices in the beginning of the history of man were typical of the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary's tree.

      5. Study Bible chronology.

        1. Chronology is to the story of redemption given in the Bible what the skeleton is to the rest of our body.

          1. If all the bones of our body were removed our flesh would be a pile of jumbled matter.

          2. If chronology were removed from the Scriptures, the Scriptures would be a mass of jumble facts.

        2. Biblical chronology had its beginnings in the book Of Genesis, and God was very careful to give hundreds of dates here and there throughout the Scriptures to show the orderly development of events recorded in the Bible.

          1. Study the six days of creation recorded in Genesis 1.

          2. Study the genealogies of the theocratic line given in Genesis 11.

          3. Observe how God dated events in the Bible from the time of the creation of man, "Anno Homonis" (A.H.).

      6. Study the doctrine concerning the wrath of God and His judgments.

        1. Observe how God has dealt with the sinfulness of man on an international scale (Gen 6 to 8).

        2. Observe how God must deal with the sinfulness of mankind yet in the future (Luke 17:26-30; Rev 19:15).

      7. Study he Rainbow Covenant which God made with man (Gen 9:1-16) and observe the following:

        1. The Rainbow Covenant is an everlasting covenant.

        2. God entered into this covenant with all humanity.

        3. God's obligation under this covenant, "the everlasting covenant" is never again to destroy the earth water.

        4. Man's obligation under this covenant is to obey the four provisions of the covenant God laid down for man's benefit (Genesis 9:3-7). (Read Isa. 24:5; Rev 4:3).

      8. Study the beginning of Hebrew history.

        1. God made a covenant with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3).

        2. To confirm the fact that God chose Israel, read Deut. 32:8,9.

    NOTE: The Book of Genesis is the seed plot of every doctrine found in the Scriptures for every doctrine is found there in simple form.

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