Rightly Dividing The Word
Seems like everyone has a Twitter, Facebook or some kind of social media account, well everyone except me. Thus far, I have avoided social media platforms, unless of course, you count the occasional religious article like this. But, I do read and listen to a lot of news, much of it digital. So even though I have no social media accounts, I still have exposure to everyone else’s social media rants via the news. I liken social media to the 1970s phenomenon of “Streaking”. Sooner or later you are going to get flashed! “Look out Ethel” If you don’t get the reference look up Ray Stevens song, “The Streak”.
We have been studying God’s Covenant with mankind, in particular the “Terms and Conditions.” In the previous two editions of this subject we first examined the “Verbal Agreement” between God and man. Next, we examined the “Terms and Conditions” of the “Written Agreement”. This written agreement is commonly known as the “Ten Commandments.” Nearly every Christian is familiar with the Ten Commandments; however, most don’t know or have conveniently forgotten that there are “Terms and Conditions” attached to God’s Law.
Introduction: The Bible weaves a tapestry picture of a city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God. Just as Jacob(Israel) made his beloved son a coat of many colors (Genesis 37:3), God has made us a coat of many colors in Jesus. These true stories are natural examples, given by God, that we might understand a Spiritual concept. (John 4:24)
“The Bible Scriptures are like a stream of water that a lamb can wade in and so deep that an elephant may swim in them.”
That saying or some form of it has been attributed to various authors. I think the first time I encountered it was someplace in the Matthew Henry Commentary, possibly in connection with Ezekiel 47. It does not really matter who said it, what matters is that it is true.
Last time we concluded by talking about how we can use The Acts of the Apostles as a guide book for better understanding all the Letters (Epistles) which follow it. We proposed to do exactly that regarding Paul’s Epistles to the Thessalonians and what that had to do with Antichrist. So, let us begin.
First, I want to point out something that Luke, the writer of the book we refer to simply as ACTS, had to say in The Gospel of Luke:
Well, it did not take long for someone to ask for more details about the can of worms we opened up last week, regarding antichrist! First, let me get one piece of literary etiquette out of the way, by noting that, The Rest of the Story is a registered trademark of Paulynne, Inc. I always loved listening to Paul Harvey tell the story behind the story, usually about some well-known person in history. I listened from my early childhood in the 60’s all the way until the program ended in 2009, shortly after Mr. Harvey’s passing.
Today we have much confusion in the Church about the word antichrist. However, when taken in context the scriptures are very plain about antichrist. The actual word “antichrist” is only mentioned 4-times in the Bible and all 4-times by the Apostle John. Just because the actual word is only used 4-times, does not lessen its importance, because the concept of "antichrist" is throughout the entire Bible.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Above is the beginning line of the 1914 poem by Joyce Kilmer about trees. Those of you following these articles about "rightly dividing the word of truth", might ask: What in the world could a poem about trees have to do with interpreting the Bible. Well the short answer is, EVERYTHING!
This is part 6 of a continuing series about how to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We are following Jesus' own example for doing this as illustrated in Luke 24:27. In which, Jesus begins at Moses to expound all the scriptures concerning himself. So far, we have lightly examined how that Moses is synonymous with God’s Law or covenant with mankind. The Law (Ten Commandments) teaches us that none of us are perfect. Paul expounds on this in Galatians among other places.
It is very hard to get people’s attention and even harder to keep it, especially with the written word. Our attention spans are very short, even more so in this information age, with multiple social media platforms clamoring for our participation constantly. Old time preachers used to harp against the evils of TV and how it was leading people away from the straight and narrow path.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to this Week’s Article.
Now I don’t mean funny ha, ha, I’m talking funny in terms of things which make you go HMMM!
God’s Emergency Alert System! Yep! I am trying to get your attention and so is God! In a fortuitous stroke of the keyboard last week we compared the Old Testament Prophets to today’s EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM. How timely this was considering the False EMERGENCY ALERT in Hawaii this weekend.
This is the third article in a series, about rightly dividing the word of truth. We are following Jesus’ own example, in which He begins at Moses…, to expound all the scriptures concerning himself. Last time, we began looking into one of the reasons why Moses is the important place to start if we want to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Bible scriptures show that Moses is synonymous with the Law, (i.e. the Ten Commandments). Further examination of God’s Law illustrates that the Ten Commandments are more than just rules, but, in fact, are the basis for God’s Covenant with mankind.
Last time we started with 2 Timothy 2:15 and talked about rightly dividing the word of truth. We surmised that the proper way to do this was by following the example Jesus illustrates in Luke 24, in particular verse 27.
Luke 24:27 KJV
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul charged Timothy to … “rightly divide the word of truth.” Every Christian Church quotes that passage and yet we disagree on the interpretation of many scriptures. Sometimes these disagreements are so vast that professing Christians simply cannot get along. Proof for this statement is plentiful, all you have to do is look at all the different denominations.