Sunday, June 5, 2011
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
This is the key to Bible study and understanding Bible “contradictions.” God designed His Word to be studied, not casually skimmed. God also wants us to study “rightly dividing the word of truth.” We seek to be “approved unto God”—we do not seek man’s approval! Christendom’s greatest error is its refusal to study God’s Word, God’s way.
God created two realms, the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1); He designed a program to govern each realm. The prophetic program is that “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). Romans 16:25,26 speaks of the mystery program, “which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest….” Every Bible verse fits into either the prophetic program or the mystery program. When we take verses from one program, and force them into the other program, Bible “contradictions” arise.
God’s people in the prophetic program are the nation Israel, His earthly people to whom He promised an earthly kingdom (Genesis 13:16; Genesis 17:8; Deuteronomy 4:38; 2 Samuel 7:23-25). God’s people in the mystery program are the Church the Body of Christ, His heavenly people to whom belongs the promise of a heavenly kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:1; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-3).
Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, as members of the Body of Christ, Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13). Everything that God has to say to us today in the mystery (secret) program is found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. The remainder of the Bible is God speaking to Israel concerning her prophetic program. All of the Bible is for us, but not all the Bible is to us or about us.
May we never take Israel’s doctrine and force it on others or ourselves. May we always seek God’s approval by “rightly dividing the word of truth!”