By Joseph L. Watkins
The expression, or perhaps I should say "my" expression "Paul's Book", has resulted in not a few raised eyebrows, but as yet, we have not been shot at. It is only my way of emphasizing a point, a very important truth as I see it.
Paul was given a new dispensation, a new divine message at Rome (Acts 30-31), after having sent co-workers abroad with this new gospel message of hope, himself at the time being in bonds. He wrote four of his post-Acts epistles, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, about a year or so later. After he is released from his house arrest some two years later, and before he is again taken prisoner, he also writes his first letter to Timothy, and his letter to Titus, both probably in A.D. 66-67 (see Comp. Bible). Shortly after this, Paul is again put in bonds. He then writes his second letter to Timothy.
Some folks have put the Colossians letter as the last of Paul's written witness, because of what he says in Col. 1:25. Yes, Paul was given the very last divine word out of God, and that great message did fill up, or complete, all that God had as gospel truth. That was His last message given to mankind. That message filled full both The Word of God and The Age of Divine Revelation (see Col. 1:25 and Eph. 1:8-10).
We have tried to set forth some of our reasoning for including Philippines among "The Seven" that together make up Paul's Book or "The Last Message Out of God" - seven epistles that were written under the influence of this Last Message.
Now, Ephesians and Colossians bring forth few doubters and it is clear Philemon went out from Paul with Colossians. There are those who question II Timothy as being Paul's last letter, pointing to his statement in Col. 1:25, holding that makes it to be the last. As we have acknowledged, this message was the last revelation, but that does not say Paul did not write some of his letters later. The internal evidence found in II Timothy is most conclusive.
Now then that leaves us with just First Timothy and Titus, to try to defend as having their rightful place in Paul's Book of Seven Chapters. And in all honesty, we must say that there are some things in these two letters that make them seem out of place with the other chapters of his book, until we bring into view the whole range of saints that The Spirit of Truth is desiring to work with. But in the Acts times, and down throughout the last two thousand years, and on to our day, The Spirit of "All Truth" needed a lot of words for a lot of people, in a lot of different circumstances. Among which perhaps the most needy was the thousands of saints, both out of Israel, and out of the nations, and all having come out of "Acts Times" holding the old Acts-times hope toward "The Kingdom on Earth." Oh, what a time of potential confusion and needed adjustments.
The political opportunists of the times took full advantage of the situation. Keep in mind the greatest political battles and the religious battles were all one war, and the powers of the hour were fighting to keep their power and authority, and that power all resided in "The Law". Yes, those battle lines had been drawn for some years. Israel and her laws, her power, and their favored position before God - over against the rest of the nations of the world. Oh, what troublesome times, these.
First, this disgustingly ugly rumor coming out of Rome that God had started divorce proceedings against the people of Israel, and that they are now "lo-ammi" not my people.
Secondly, some are saying that God has reconciled all men unto Himself, so all, even whosoever that can believe this great message of life in God, through and by the death and resurrection of The Son of God, Christ Jesus, which one of His personal and closest disciples, even one who is to rule with Him when His kingdom is to come, John is his name, and his message is going throughout the world like wildfire. But oh, how the Jews hate this message, for it has no place or regard for nether "The Law of Moses" or The Circumcision given in Abraham.
And thirdly, this "Craziest of Crazy Message'' that is being rumored ...to every creature which is under heaven, that God has in view a certain body of "Out Called Saints in Christ Jesus" that are to be resurrected in the Heavenlies above heaven, there to serve the Lord of both heaven and earth. Such a foolish thing had never before been heard of and cannot be the truth. The Holy Scriptures conclude that Heaven is the Lord's and the earth is man's. Is it any wonder that "the war rages on" and is intensifying with each passing day, as Paul is directed of his Lord to write both I Timothy and his letter to Titus?
Now - as we share our understanding about these two chapters of Paul's Book and their dispensational position, never lose sight of the wide range of saints that the one doing the writing must hold in view.
As we have just about run out of space again, rehearsing necessary things, we would just like to set before you one very interesting and important point that helps fuel the fires of contention.
Dispensationally, both First Timothy and Titus must stand together, and we suggest that they must stand on this side of Acts Times, because Paul could not have written
I Tim. 5:14 or Titus 2:13, before that time frame.