The Bipolar Bible Teacher

A Place Where the Holy Scriptures Are Honored and Studied

From time to time, I will be posting teachings and discussions of books of the Bible, the essentials of the Christian faith, random observations of life and events, and encouraging those of you who are dealing with varied issues and situations. Remember, you don't have to go at this alone. Trust in the LORD, and He will guide your thoughts and life.

Some Information About Myself

I've had a nearly thirty-year run as a minister for Jesus Christ, serving everywhere from small-town pastorates, to pulpit supply, to high school and Bible college teaching, and then to end up working in the field of healthcare chaplaincy for the past few years in eastern Oklahoma. I was born, reared, and educated in the area known as "Cajun Country" in southern Louisiana. I have been married to the love of my life for the past 36 years and have been blessed with three children, one of whom is in heaven. Due to health concerns that limit my ability to go places, I have now decided to focus my time and attention to internet evangelism and the teaching of the inerrant, all-powerful, all-sufficient Word of God, the Holy Bible, which is the primary reason I decided to start this website. I'm also a contributing writer for the prophecy websites "Rapture Ready" and "Inspirational Christian Blogs". Along with these responsibilities, I also work with Paul Begley Prophecy Ministries as a writer of study guides and Bible curriculum for the ministry's new online Bible school. The LORD has seen fit to bless this work, and I invite you to leave your comment and ideas at the bottom of this site and let me know if I can help you to understand Bible doctrine, issues, or leave a prayer request. I do ask that, if you would, tell your friends, church members, pastor, and colleagues about this site and be a part of a ministry dedicated to teaching the truth of God's Word and for the glory and honor of the Lord Jesus Christ. I can also be reached at:  drwhitchard@aol.com. May the LORD bring peace and mercy on you this day.

Where Bipolar Disorder meets the Grace of God

The Sovereign God of creation makes no mistakes or second guesses His work. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder over twenty years ago, but still I have been able to serve the LORD as a pastor and Bible teacher as well as a hospital chaplain. Don't let a diagnosis prevent you from trusting the LORD to give you direction and guidance. This site was designed to bring glory to God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as well as to be an example of a life that while flawed, can still be a chosen vessel of service.

Some Troubling Issues I See in the Body of Christ Today

When I first started writing articles for noteworthy prophecy websites, much of my material stemmed from a standpoint based on my years of ministry, with the uneasy conclusion that the body of Christ is currently suffering from a near fatal case of deliberate biblical ignorance. I truly beleive that this is why we see, for example, some church services that resemble rock concerts instead of being sanctified places of holiness and reverence before the LORD, along with the rise and acceptance of the spiritually putrid false teachings by morally bankrupt so-called "preachers" who adhere to a heretical gospel of health, wealth and prosperity at the cost of the eternal loss of people's souls. We have repetitive, hollow worship that is centered on emotions and experiences and not upon the majesty and awe of the Sovereign God. We see youth and young adults dropping out of church and abandoning the faith they thought they possessed. We are now witnesses to an ever growing acceptance of trends and lifestyles that blatantly defy Scripture, yet are overlooked in the name of "tolerance" in order to be accepted by "seekers" and those in the world who want the church to operate in a way that make them feel comfortable and not be convicted of sin or make them look to the cross of Christ as their only hope of real, eternal peace. I am concerned about all of these situations and their obvious harm to the church, but I am also not surprised that these events occuring at such a fast pace. The Scriptures tell us that these things would come to pass (Matthew 24:1-14; Mark 13:1-13; Luke 21:5-19; Romans 1;18-32, 3:10-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 4:1-5; 1 John 2:18-25, 4:1-3; 2 John 7-11; 3 John 9-12; Jude 1-25; Isaiah 5:20-21). My viewpoint, however, is not the foundation upon which to build a more sound and righteous life for the body of Christ. We must return to the Scriptures and them alone for  guidance and instruction in the ways of what the Sovereign God expects and demands of us. We must understand that the Lord Jesus expects nothing less from us than absolute obedience and devotion. We must devote our time and energy to the reading and study of Scripture, have times of fervent specific prayers to confront and rebuke false teaching and the works of the enemy, find and support a church and pastor who believes in the truth of the Word, have the Christ-focused ability to stand firm in our faith, and to continually devote ourselves to seeking the direction and guidance of the LORD as these last days draw to a conclusion. We must remember that we who are the true body of Christ are on the winning side and we must be vigilant in getting others to embrace the only hope offered, and that is eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ. While I will devote some writing on this site to personal observation and conclusion, the bulk of what will be presented here will be teachings based solely upon the word of God. Let God be praised and glorified forevermore. Amen.

Who is Like Unto Thee, O Lord? You are the Creator and King of All

Christianity On the Firing Line: A Study of the Book of Hebrews

The main focus of this site is to present truths from God's word, the Holy Bible. There is a severe drought of biblical knowledge and literacy in this country, even though most homes in the United States have at least one Bible, most likely collecting dust in a closet. Even those who profess to have no belief in God will admit to having glanced through the Scriptures at least once in their lives. The attitude we possess towards God and His influence is indifferent at the least and hostile at the worst. This attitude has been a constant part of the invisible war between the forces of God and those forces that are allied with the Prince of Darkness, Satan, with the end result being the destiny of every person's soul at the end of life. Christians have been the target of the evil one since Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven, securing the salvation for all who come to Him in faith. This hostility towards Christ in the first century caused a lot of beleivers who came from Jewish backgrounds to wonder if their commitment to Christ was worth the trouble. The book of Hebrews was written to address that crisis, and we will examine the Scriptural and historical foundations that show Jesus Christ was and is the centrality of real faith.

The Basics About the Book of Hebrews - Lesson 1

The book of Hebrews, I've noticed, does not get a lot of attention when it comes to online sermons and biblical study. It is not a book that is recommended by believers to new converts due to the amount of doctrine concerning the authoritive positions that the Lord Jesus Christ now holds in heaven and there needs to be a knowledge primarily about the old method of worship and ceremony that was undertaken by the Jewish priests for the purpose of interceding before God for the sins of the nation of Israel and obtaining forgiveness of those sins by sacrificing an innocent animal on an altar. This act was found first in the Tabernacle designed by God and built by Moses, and then was a part of worship in the Temple built by King Solomon when the nation of Israel was in its prime. The sacrificial system was in place during the time of Jesus, and by His death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and His resurrection, the sacrifice of an animal was no longer necessary. Jesus Christ had completed the task by His actions and mission of redemption for the sake of His people and those who would follow Him in the future. The book of Hebrews was a defense of Christ's redeeming work and was a teaching on how He fulfilled all of the tasks associated with the sacrificial system that had been a part of Jewish life for centuries. Next time, we shall look at issues such as authorship, date of writing, the main theme of the book, and the key word, "better", showing that the Lord Jesus was better than any work on our own for the purpose of peace with God and the promise of forgiveness and eternity with Him.

The Book of Hebrews, Lesson 2

     Let's look at some background material before we dig into the text itself. First, who wrote this book? The author does not give his name, but there have been worthwhile suggestions, such as the apostle Paul, Barnabas, his former missionary partner, Luke, the author of the third gospel and Acts, and the skilled preacher mentioned in the book of Acts named Apollos. When you read the book as a whole, it's not hard to see the influence of Paul, but the truth is, only the LORD knows who wrote it.

     The time in which it was written has also been a point of study, but most Bible scholars place it as before the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The book itself highlights the sacrificial system and there is no mention of its demise. All sacrifices ended after the Temple's demise by the hands of Rome. This destruction had been predicted by the Lord Jesus prior to His crucifixion and resurrection. It was written to show the Jews who had come to Christ that His sacrifice on the cross for our sins was superior to that of the sacrificial system they had known since the days of  Moses. There was no further need to place an innocent animal on the altar as a means of atoning for our sins. The work of Jesus Christ had settled the issue once and for all.

     The key word in Hebrews is "better". Through the work of Christ, we have a better revelation (1:1-4); a better hope (7:19); a better priesthood (7:20-28); a better covenant and promise (8:6); a better sacrifice (9:23); a better possession (10:34); a better country (11:16), and a better resurrection (11:35). Hebrews shows us the finished work of Christ for our sins. There is no other gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) and there is no other way of salvation (John 14:6; Romans 10:9-10).

     This letter, or book, is meant to be a source of spiritual comfort to us as a certainty of what Jesus Christ has done for us (2 Timothy 1:12). This book also shows us, as Gentiles (non-Jews), that we do not need to add any works or rituals of our own alongside that of Christ's atonement for us. The Scriptures as a whole tell us that we cannot in any way, shape, or form, do anything to save ourselves. We must throw oursleves on the love and mercy of Jesus Christ in order to have real peace with God and the assurance of our salvation. Christianity is not another religion, but is the work of the LORD in securing an eternal relationship based in love and compassion. It is the LORD who has sought us, and not us seeking Him (on our own terms). With that said, we will begin our study of the text when we meet again. May the Lord Jesus  Christ be honored and glorified always. Amen.

The Book of Hebrews, Lesson 3

The title that I give to this lesson is "God's Supreme Revelation" (1:1-4). The author starts by declaring that in the past, the LORD spoke audibly to men like Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel, and Daniel, and these words became the foundation for what is referred to as the Old Testament, venerated by righteous Jew and Gentile alike. These men that are presented here are referred to as prophets, or spokesmen for God. They were given specific duties that were often met with persecution and revilement by the public, but they were obedient to the call of God nevertheless. They were to teach the people about revelations from God, they taught the people how to worship God, warn them about disobeying God, proclaimed judgment from God, told of a coming Redeemer to save them, anointed kings, brought unwelcome messages, emphasized the need for repentance, encourgaged solitude with God, and sometimes suffered dire consequences for being truthful about what God expected of the people. Those who preach God's word today face the same situations. Solomon was right when he said that there was nothing new under the sun. So, how does God speak to us today? Verse 2 tells us that God has now spoken through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose words were authorative (Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:27). We also know that He condemned religious pretenders (Matthew 23). He comforted the hurting (John 11:25), foretold things to come (Luke 21:7-28), forgave sins (Luke 23:39-43), and was the promised Messiah of prophecy. He is the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:18; John 1:1-4)and has the power to save and is the only way to God the Father (John14:6). He is much better than the angels or creation itself. No one had precedence over Him. He is to be worshipped and glorified, and we will get into the specifics of that truth as we continue in this study.

The Book of Hebrews, Lesson 4

We're continuing our study in Chapter 1, where last time, we looked at how God has spoken to His people in the past, and He now has spoken by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. When the canon of Scripture was closed at the end of the first century, the LORD has said all He needed to say to us concerning how to live holy lives, the importance of obedience, salvation only through Christ, the ministry and gifts of the Holy Spirit, sound doctrine, and the comfort of knowing that He has the final word on how things will come to a conclusion at the end of days. Nothing else needs to be added. Scripture plainly teaches that there is an eternal consequence for adding to or deleting of His word (Revelation 22:18-19). There are no such things as a "new revelation from God", or "a fresh move of the Spirit" as some people teach. God's eternal presence, salvation, authority, and wisdom never needs refreshing or an update. We're the ones who get spritually dry and need a continual drink of Living Water (John 4:10, 7:38; Revelation 22:1). We are the ones in need of refreshing. God doesn't have to improve or rewrite His original plans or His words. We tend to forget that our God is Sovereign and has complete and total control of the affairs of the universe and as such, our very lives. He is also holy and righteous, and we often don't approach Him with the reverence He deserves. We are at worst, flippant and apathetic towards Him and ignore the fact that we cannot take our next breath without His will. Despite the bragging and activism of misguided politicians and zealots, we don't run the world, and our opinions men nothing in terms of the right of God to do with us as He pleases and give mercy to whomever He wishes (Romans 9:14-24). We also tend to catagorize our Lord Jesus as "meek and mild" and always "loving" without reading passages of Scripture such as  Matthew 23 where He essentially curses the Pharisees to hell for their religious hypocrisy and blasphemous attitudes towards Him. When we read about His return in Revelation 19:11-21, He is coming back to rule ths world with a "rod of iron" and will slaughter His enemies and send them to hell. He will be the absolute ruler over this world and His word is final. There will be no debates in a Congress or overruled decisions from an earthly court. There will be no elections with majority rule. What He says will be obeyed. All of humanity and the supernatural beings will bow the knee before the Lord Jesus and will acknowledge Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Philippians 2:5-11; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25). No other being has this authority, certainly not the angels of heaven, of whom we shall cover next time.