By Joseph L. Watkins
We have tried to be objective, and take into our consideration the many poor attempts on man's part to mistranslate and misapply what the Spirit of Truth has said in
2 Tim. 2:15. And we have tried to share with our readers what we see as a true and honest presentation of what is being said in 2 Tim. 2:15 - now our task before God becomes one of presenting our line of separation unto Him, seeking His approval.
Now, it seems to me that the first line must be drawn with a view to knowing that which was Israel's before being cut off as a nation, and what came after the "lo-ammi" judgment; that which is given to and intended for all nations.
Let us first draw a line around Israel and all that was included with, and incorporated under, her papers and her name It is within that circle we find the promised "Parousia" (#3952) which is the personal presence, and the revelation (#601 & #602) of Messiah King in Israel, on earth.
Read and study closely all of the places where this hope is the subject: Matt. 24:3,
25-31, 36-39; Lu. 17:20-37; Jas. 5:1- 20; 1 Pet. 1:3-13, 4:12-19; 2 Pet. 3:1-18;
1 JO. 2:15-29; Jude 11-15, all of which were words of truth spoken to the people of Israel. Now to that list must also be added what the Spirit of Truth had given unto the believing Gentiles that had become grafted in among the believing Jews, thus becoming partakers of Israel's spiritual blessings.
Here again we are called upon to read and study very closely such divine words as we find in Rom. 9, 10, 11 and 15; 1 Cor. 15:19-28 1; Thess.2:1-20, 3:11-13, 4:11-18,
5:1-11 and 2 Thess.1:7-13.
Now all that we have here identified and determined as coming under the hope of the nation Israel is GONE as a basis of hope for anyone today. The words of truth that once produced a living faith in many hearts, both Jew and Gentile, cannot and is not now resulting in faith. Many still are believing that message, perhaps many times more number that believed it when it was faith producing, but there is not one that will ever realize such a hope today. Only Truth For Today can result in "FAITH" for today and that truth of God with its promised hope has been taken off the table, until that coming day when the Lord shall once again set the table for His one beloved nation Israel.
We said we must determine what was Israel's before her judgment and what has come as the Truth of God after that, even as a direct result of that action of God.
This is what Timothy was called upon to do in 2 Tim. 2:15. He would set the example for all that follows, however, the task that was before him was much more complex. Let us consider first the new message that the Spirit gave through Paul at Acts 28:28, which we say should read: "Be it known therefore unto you that the salvation bringing message of God is authorized unto the Nations, and they will hear it." We also say this was given unto the care of John the Beloved and is now being realized in the hearts and lives of many, as it is Truth For Today for all, or for Whosoever will believe that Jesus is the CHRIST, The Son of God, and that believing you might have "LIFE". This single message of life in Christ Jesus for Timothy would fall within that dividing line AFTER Acts 28:28, and not come under the "lo-ammi" judgment which came on Israel.
The next major consideration Timothy was faced with would be to rightly distinguish between the faithing saints in Christ Jesus which had become Joint-Members of that "out-calling" (#1577) which is The Body Church, and "The OTHERWISE-MINDED" saints (Phil. 3:15) that had chosen to remain in their first calling and hope, which was their portion in the "Parousia". We cannot see the Lord taking any more into that number after Acts Times, but He is still very much concerned with each one that had become a part of that hope throughout those closing years, even until such time that each would just die off, but one day they will each have their part in the "Promised Kingdom of Jesus Christ."
So Timothy, you, and I, still have one more major work of dividing to do before we can hope to secure the Lord's approval as a faithful workman. Paul was given to write seven epistles AFTER our dividing line is drawn at Acts 28:26-28: Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, these first four being sent out from Paul at his first imprisonment. While he is free, some time later, he writes his first letter to Timothy, and to Titus. Then finding himself in chains one last time he writes his second to Timothy. For our own understanding we think of these 7 epistles as ONE BOOK having 7 chapters, with each holding in view one central purpose, but each also having other issues to address. It is apparent that each of the 7 chapters was written under the influence of the mystery truth of "The One Body".
Timothy appreciated the great diversity of ideas that held court in those complex days and each saint's edification is on his heart. He must divide to each the truth called, for those remaining in the Parousia hope still need much encouragement, and those that followed Paul in pursuit of "The Prize of The High Calling" would be in need of edification in The Musterion Truth.
The dear ones now entering into LIFE Through His Name, would be in need of much spiritual food and light.