Wednesday, March 19, 2014
“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).
The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to understand the Bible!
Throughout Paul’s epistles, we discover “mysteries,” what Scripture calls “the hidden wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:7), truths that had been “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but which the risen and ascended Lord Jesus revealed directly to Paul, and finally to us via Romans through Philemon (Romans 16:25,26). Unfortunately, this mystery dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace, is still a mystery to most—today, Satan, not God, hides it. God kept Pauline doctrine secret in order to destroy Satan’s work (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). Now, Satan keeps Paul’s doctrines secret to hinder God’s work—ironically, Christendom cooperates!! Centuries of church tradition and denominationalism still cause many to view Paul as an “extension,” a “supplement,” to Peter and Israel’s other 11 apostles. Paul is not understood as our apostle (Romans 11:13), a unique apostle, but rather an apostle who did and taught exactly what Peter and the 11 did.
The agency associated with Paul’s ministry (the Church that Body of Christ) is not clearly defined (we are thought to be Israel’s “extension” or “replacement”). The Gospel of the Uncircumcision that Paul preached is not distinguished from the Gospel of the Circumcision that Peter preached. Legalistic doctrine such as repentance and water baptism for salvation, tithing, Sabbath day keeping, and confession of sins that Paul spoke against (because it belongs in Israel’s program rather than ours) is still held by many denominations today. Ignorance about spiritual gifts (which Paul corrected) still severely afflicts Christendom. Confusion involving prophecy and us still abounds (even though Paul exhaustively wrote that we are not related to prophecy).
Indeed, the mystery is still a mystery, and what a shame! This mess is to be expected, for the verse after today’s Scripture warned, “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16). A “simple” failure to understand the Bible dispensationally has introduced a literal inundation of false teaching. God foresaw Christendom’s current dilemma almost 20 centuries ago, but the solution was (and still is) ignored….