By Jack Eberle
“It must mean…” is the thinking and teaching of a lot of probably well-meaning Bible teachers. “What did God say?” is the question. Of course, we know, as Bible believers, that God’s word is true and without error as is written in II Peter 1:21. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Therefore these men were infallible in their writings. They made no mistakes because the Spirit simply did not let them! Whatever mistakes came into the scriptures were the results of an unknown number of copiers through the years. Also, we must understand that beginning with the scribes and Pharisees there were countless interpreters of God’s Word.
God instructs His true believers to Rightly-Divide His holy Word. See II Tim. 2:15. Without trying to analyze those who interpreted and copied the Scriptures down through the ages, the best policy of the true workman in the Word is to find and use the best tools available. One of the best tools to have is a Companion Bible. To those who have a Companion Bible, see Appendix 151. Many profitable hours can be spent trying to digest the teaching of this section. In my experience, few, if any, have done it. Yet, the serious scholar will plumb this portion.
The emphasis we want to make in this short article is that somehow folks have gotten turned around in their thinking. They are saying “everlasting” or “eternal” when they should be saying “ages” or “ ages to ages” or some similar term. As you study this great teacher’s work, you will see many cases when these translations are awry.
Look at Eph 3:11, KJV. It reads, “According to the eternal purpose which He purposes in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It should read, “…according to the purpose of the ages.” God is referring to His own purpose of the ages. Now, I’m certain you can see the difference. If so, you have rightly-divided in this particular instance. It is to your advantage, beloved saint, that you take up “right division” not as a hobby, but as an earnest endeavor to study and learn His Holy Word. Though good men have studied and written about the Word, Satan has been much too successful in steering people in the other directions. It is called “misdirection”. II Tim. 2:15, there is another word key to the student’s success. It is the word spudazo. It is translated “study” but more directly means “be diligent”.
We have only touched on this subject. This is a process, not just a case in time. Commitment is prelude to crown. See II Tim. 4:8.
By Jack Eberle