By Jack Eberle
“Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, there a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10).
These verses have some good advice to those wanting to learn the Scriptures. God counsels a good practice in learning in this life: “Line upon line”. This methodical principle culminates in “The Body Epistles” for these are the last portions of Scriptures in point of time. To actually and accurately learn the Scriptures (i.e. God’s Word) one will have to “walk accurately”. This is found in Ephesians 5:15. The word there translated “circumspectly” is akrobose = accurately.
Again in II Tim. 2:15, we have an exhortation to the Body member to “straightly cut” the Scriptures. But it not only tells one that it is a good policy to do this right-dividing, but it is necessary that a person who pleases God will work to do it. The work will be that person’s “right” division of the Scriptures. With these few references, it doesn’t sound like the Bible, our Holy Word for the Body, is a “bowl of hash” or a collection of figurative, allegorical, and encouraging life tips. I submit that it sounds closer to a mechanic’s manual. Remember, the One who put together His Word is the same being Who created the entire universe! So God’s latter letters of the Bible are not flagging in purpose. Neither are they decorative. And, sadly, neither are they placed chronologically in “the canon”. They are the latter seven epistles of Paul. They particularly are written “to” the Church who is His body. The great divide of Acts 28:28 occurs in 60 A.D. Then, a year later, the Gospel of John. Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon were written 62 A.D. while Paul was in bondage in Rome. Acts was finished 64 A.D and I Timothy and Titus in 67 A.D. and finally, II Timothy, Paul’s and God’s last words to man upon the earth. Where does Revelation come in? It was written in 43 A.D. the same year Mark’s gospel was written.
Of course, not everyone agrees with this chronology coming from Oscar Baker, the great “sower of seed”, God’s man among men. You should also consider Paul’s last seven epistles as Body epistles. This means that these letters are written TO the church Who is His Body.
Once again, the reference has nothing to do with brick and mortar or man-made earthly organizations. The latter may have their places, but little, if anything directly concerns such efforts of mankind. Through these last seven epistles, the Church, Who is His Body is foremost, only second to the Head, Who directs this body.