By Joseph L. Watkins
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15
Well over ninety-nine out of a hundred people that contact us here at TFT are Saints in Christ Jesus. Most are seeking a better understanding of the Word of Truth For Today, and most of these already have some knowledge of the Divine Law of Right Division. However, a good number of others who write us have very little or no understanding of this most vital truth. One can fully expect this from young Christians in other parts of the globe, but many seasoned saints, both here and abroad, are also in the dark concerning this divine study principle.
I cannot help but ask why? And who is at fault? Or perhaps I should ask, where do we direct the credit? I am sure most of our readers will say, "hell, of course, Satan himself is behind it" and no one will try to dismiss that. But how is he doing it? Who is doing his beguiling and defrauding work for him? Who is it that keeps the saints in darkness? "MEN" in high places - that is who, and that is how. Self deceived men who stand above, or higher, in their own view, than the saints of God. High minded man who find it to their personal advantage to keep folks in the dark concerning Right Division.
For when the truth of this divine law comes into view, and is faithfully honored, the deep dark clouds of religious observance, fleshly tradition, and imposed ordinances can and will, dissipate as the light of God's Word of Truth is made known. And that is only made possible when the Word of Truth is Divided Rightly.
One of the most effective weapons against truth, is to just "ignore" it, to react to it by not reacting to it. Have you not read some word of truth that pricked your conscience and you almost wished you had not read it, or you wished that you could forget it, and while you were trying to forget it you kept ignoring it as best you could? This is the way of men, the way of the flesh.
But when we just can't forget it, and the troubled conscience persists, then we try to somehow change what we think it is saying, or twist it just enough to free our self from the truth of it, but of course the truth, if and when reworked, is then man's lie. And so the sad reality is that those who find it too difficult to totally "ignore" a word of truth, will most often find a way to adjust or alter it to suit their needs.
But in the end, perhaps the most difficult folks to help are the ones who have fully recognized this divine law and have been working at dividing it, perhaps for years, but have been making their incision in the wrong part of the body of truth. I, for one, sympathize with these dear saints, for I, also, for some years did my own dividing wrongly, but never with intent to deceive anyone. I was sure I was right at the time, and I am sure I am right now, but I could be wrong. And I am still open to and seeking "The Truth" - for I am resolved to remain a "Learner" of Divine Truth. For we have also seen that when a man takes on the mind-set of "teacher" that he is most likely to stop being a learner.
An inflated ego, and an exaggerated self esteem, is the fertile soil of Satan' s workings. And a teacher who has closed his mind to the truth, especially that truth which comes as the result of one's faithfulness to "Right Division", is a spiritual danger to any and all under his influence.
I know we have caused "not a few" raised eyebrows and some outright scorn as we have used the term "The Divine Law of Right Division". Some feel that is just too strong and that we discourage and alienate others. However, we do need to fully realize that this whole matter does hold in view eternal consequences. And we reject the idea that these words are a suggestion on God's part, or a mere part of a set of guide lines to help Timothy and others to do a better job of analyzing, and more skillfully handling and teaching the whole Bible.
Some of the other translations listed below miss entirely, or severely distort, the clear Word of Truth.
"Do your best, properly presenting - the truth."
"No need to be ashamed of the way you handle the word of truth."
"Cutting a straight path for the message of the truth."
"Driving a straight furrow -in your proclamation of the truth."
"Rightly laying out the word of truth."
"Correctly analyzing the message of truth."
"Accurate in delivering the word of truth."
"Declaring the word of truth without distortion."
Now I feel every one of these translators have "distorted" this Word of Truth to some degree, and we see this last one as an insult to the honesty and integrity of Paul's right hand man, and beloved son in the faith, Timothy.