By Joseph L. Watkins
In our last paper we were encouraging our readers to divide the word as rightly and as simply as we can, always keeping each of God's many messages unmixed and sanctified unto itself. To do this one must first identify each message and to whom it was given. We noted that all Scripture is out of God, and all was given to be profitable, but the enemy seeks to make it unprofitable by the intermixing of God's messages; we seek to make it profitable.
The enemy has centered his work on mixing the message of Israel's Kingdom in with the message of Truth for Today. He has fooled most folks by giving this message another name - he calls it "the Rapture," but it is the same message.
As that nation of people was cut off from being "the people of God," their God-given message ceased to be a living, faith-producing word of truth. Not one man can have a true faith in the Messianic Kingdom, nor can he have a position and portion in the New Jerusalem, so we are trying to encourage folks to just set all of those portions of God's word of truth to one side for now. That was God's word, or message for yesterday, and much of it will again be God's message for tomorrow, but we only need His message for today. We must identify and believe God's appointed word of truth which was divinely given with this age and this day in view. For only His Truth for Today can result in bringing Faith for Today.
Many, many men believe many, many things- much of which is even in the truth of God's word, but these words of truth were not intended or given as Truth for Today, and they will not, they cannot, produce a true living faith, they are but man's beliefs, and not God-given faith.
Faith comes to us through hearing (hearing implies believing). Believing and trusting, or resting in that which is said, but it must have been intended for one's own hearing. A word of promise given to and only intended for another cannot be received by anyone else. Only the man Noah and his own could ever have had a position and a portion in his Ark. In the end many may have sought it, but it could never be theirs. Many may have found a personal salvation to life in the coming resurrection, but that was all Noah's message held out to those people. Only Truth for Today can ever produce Faith for Today.
Yes, if we are to have a true living faith, it must rest only in the word of God that He gave with this age in view, and each man must judge and determine for himself which of God's many messages was given as Truth for Today. The divine charge found in 2 Tim. 2:15 to "rightly divide the word of truth " is incumbent on each saint of God in Christ Jesus. Will you stand before Him approved, or bow there in shame and in great loss?
We here at T.F.T. have determined for ourselves that which we call Truth For Today. You may find another way to divide the word of truth, that is your responsibility before your Lord. We only want to share with our readers how we have met our own personal responsibility.
Our approach is quite simple and to the point. We have noted that man on his own cannot receive or understand the things of God because he is dying and is seen as already dead. God's words are living words, and being dead man just cannot receive them, so in grace God came to his rescue and gave all men-hearing. This act of divine grace we read of in Acts 28:28.
This allowed the reconciled world of mankind to hear one message. This message is a divine record, a divine statement, a divine declaration and a divine proclamation, and this great life-giving message can only be found in that portion of Holy Writ we have come to call The Gospel of John.
This is God's Salvation-Bringing Message of Life in Christ Jesus. Yes, most men would prefer to use other messages they see in God's Word, but this is the ONE message of Life that He has chosen to give all men to hear. This is His Preferred Gospel Message.
The Spirit of Truth moved on John to write his record of the Son of God being the light of the world. When the Son of God was first manifest to His Chosen People they could not believe this One to be the true Lamb of God that was to take upon Himself the sin of the world, all men's sin. This was to be Israel's message to all men, as it is laid out in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
But they rejected Him in unbelief. Israel, now having been cut-off, a new way to reach the world of dying mankind was established. God would do the work Himself in the "hearing" of a dead people. The message was so simple all mankind could, and would make it known, and they have. Many not wanting to do so, but this message is being heard throughout the world. The one believing this message of life has life, and is in Christ Jesus, but this is all he has, Life and the hope of Life in resurrection.
However, there is more, much more than just life in Christ Jesus. Oh, that is wonderful, for God desires that all men be saved, but He also desires that all saved men come to the knowledge of HIS truth, to have an understanding of His Purpose in saving them in the first place.
His great Heavenly Purpose is only made known after His Earthly Purpose is suspended. Paul only writes of it in Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1&2 Timothy and Titus.