Introduction

Are we as transient as a butterfly and flowers?

Do you sometimes wonder if life has any meaning? Are we here just to survive a little while, then cease to exist forever? Is this meaningless cycle to go on generation after generation until mankind itself is no more?

Not at all. We were created for a purpose. Try to imagine the whole earth at peace, with all people really caring for each other. No hatred, no selfishness, no war, crime, or poverty. This is not impossible; it is promised by the most authoritative source: the One who formed the Earth and designed mankind for it. He explains how he will make it so in a book that most people have in their homes — the Bible.

If you have tried to research the Bible already, you have discovered that there is much bitter disagreement on what it means or even what it says. Many give up in disgust after seeing its supporters fighting, or after listening to scoffers ridicule it. Why is there so much argument? Could the truth be much simpler than most debaters realize?

Many who sincerely feel that they understand the Bible's message do not realize the degree that misinformation and bias, insistently taught on every side, has distorted and limited their knowledge. For example, some believe that God has absolutely everything planned in advance, that He has scripted our every joy and injury to serve some divine plan of the ages. All we can do is yield. Resistance is futile, or if we try it, it is part of the script too. Such a view makes freedom of will an illusion. It also eliminates personal responsibility: if it were true, every genocidal slaughter was fated by the Deity, so why blame the murderers? The real Perpetrator would be God! No, such a view defames and dishonors the Creator, yet many religions teach variations of it. They do not really know God. So who do you listen to? Does anyone have the truth? You will find a satisfying answer in this online book.

You do not need a degree of philosophy or doctorate in theology to understand the Bible. Sophisticated philosophies of worldly men actually obscure rather than reveal its essential message. The Bible assures us "if you search for understanding as for hidden treasure, you will find the very knowledge of God." (see Proverbs 2:3-5.) God is watching for those who desire to know Him accurately, and He helps them. He has packed this knowledge into His Book for all people, almost like the DNA code folded into the nucleus of a cell. With His help, unfolding it and reading it out is something anyone can do. And like DNA, a world of life is available through that knowledge. So, in this website we cite many scriptures to support what we say. Most are clickable links. Please read them all, as you will find they add important detail beyond the discussion in this book. Also a few notes and comments are in the scripture pane.

CloseIf you call out for understanding and raise your voice for discernment, if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and you keep searching for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God.

The scripture texts are primarily from the modern New World Translation (sometimes modified for clarity, as informed by other translations) and, in chapter 1 only, the traditional King James version. Other translations are used occasionally to illustrate variations. You should compare your favored version; chapter 3 explains why so many versions exist.

Although the author is associated with a religious organization (mentioned in the book), this book is not produced or supported by that organization, and it does not directly represent that organization. This is a personal effort to obey the command "Preach the Word... correct, reprove, and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction." (2 Timothy 4:2, NIV)

For best comprehension, it is best to start at the beginning and work through in chapter order. Each chapter assumes you understand matters addressed in previous chapters.

Differences between the Desktop and Mobile-Friendly versions

The desktop version makes more use of javascript to place the scriptures to the left of the chapter, and show only the last scripture clicked. Footnotes appear floating over the chapter and can be moved around by mouse or finger, with some resizing possible for most of them. Both versions have a small set of icons (a 'toolbar') above the chapter title that use javascript to navigate the site. Without javascript, the toolbar is absent, and on the desktop version the scriptures will show in order in the sidebar with review questions at the end. If you select that area, you can move the text quickly with the Page Up and Page Down keys, or your finger if the screen has touch. Footnotes will show stacked at the end of the chapter. Scripture links and footnote anchors (*) will not work. You will have to figure out what paragraph each one connects to.

The mobile-friendly version uses much less javascript. If it is turned off, the toolbar at the chapter top is missing; everything else should work. The scriptures and footnotes are on a separate page from the chapter, and clicking on a scripture reference or a footnote anchor opens this page in a second tab or window and puts the relevant portion at the top of the screen. All of the scriptures are visible, in order, with the footnotes among them in the order they occur in the chapter, so you can just scroll instead of selecting the reference links in the chapter. To return to the chapter, touch the chapter tab, or if the browser has no tabs, the device's Back icon. The chapter and the scriptures do not appear side-by-side in the mobile version unless the browser allows two tabs to be open side by side.

Safari on the iPad will open and show the scripture page the first time you select a reference, but once the tab is open and you return to the chapter, selecting another reference will not bring the scripture tab back to the front. Just touch its tab, and it will show the reference you last touched.

How to search this site (desktop version):

In FireFox, click Edit>Find, (or Ctrl-F on the keyboard; this seems to be used by many browsers) then type the word you want. It searches only the current chapter and whatever scripture quotation is visible in the sidebar. You can widen your search by going to a chapter most likely to discuss your topic (use the compass icon at the top, above the chapter title), and do Edit>Find there. Note that a few chapters have 2, 3 and even 4 sections; as independent pages, they need to be open for Find to search them. To access these quickly, use the icon with lines on it (on the right, next to the scholar icon). This will open a box listing all the headings of the entire chapter. Click a heading to go directly there.

Or try this: in the internet search bar, put the word(s) you are looking for, followed by site:lifespurpose.net. For example, if you are looking for comments about holy spirit, enter "holy spirit" site:lifespurpose.net. (Holy spirit should be in quotes, else it will also find "holy" by itself and "spirit" by itself.) The results may not show every instance, but you can then go to the pages that look promising, and use Ctrl-F as above.

Sometimes I change the javascript as I learn more about it. If something doesn't work right that did work on a previous visit, either I have not tested thoroughly or your browser is working with an older copy cached on your machine that is incompatible with the new code. In that case, refreshing (reloading) the page should solve the problem. (On some mobile devices, if doing several refreshes doesn't help, you will actually have to flush the cache, which will forget every site you have visited. This is the nuclear method, but anything else is ridiculously complicated. It does have the advantage of freeing up a fair amount of memory.)

This site is a work in progress. Some updates are minor, such as improved code and corrected spelling or grammar. Others are substantial, such as whole sections added or revised, and pictures inserted or changed. Significant changes are noted in the Update Log.