By Joseph L. Watkins
"God our Saviour ... will have all men to be saved, and (He also desires that all SAVED MEN) to come unto the knowledge of The Truth." 1 Tim. 2:3,4
In our own feeble way we are doing what we can to help other men reach this end, to come "unto" the knowledge of The Truth for Today. We also greatly desire to help other saints to learn the art of 'Dividing The Word of Truth' - RIGHTLY.
Some have used the English words 'cutting straight' to translate the Greek word orthotomeo"(#3718). We cut with a view to "dividing" one word of truth from another word of truth, with straight implying doing it rightly.
Now our purpose is to have at our service the right words of God - His Truth For Today. We do not do this by making a straight cut, but rather by making a Precise or Exact, Perfect, Flawless, and Accurate Designating Separation of one word of truth from another - for two truths mixed together may become far less than Truth. And more importantly, the actions called for by the mixing may be very displeasing and disobedient unto our Lord.
Now, a general separation must be made between the 7 epistles of Paul, written in Acts Times concerning God's earthly purpose with that one chosen people of Israel, and the few Gentiles that became a grafted in part of that people and their hope. Namely, in the order written, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thess., 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans, and Hebrews, all of which was an offer of "The Day of The Lords PAROUSIA" - His Personal Presence in His Kingdom on Earth. These 7 epistles MUST be kept separate from The Seven Mystery Epistles of Paul which were, and could only be, written after he received the divine revelation of The Dispensation of The Mystery also in the order written (as I see it) Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, from Paul's own hired house in Rome. Also 1 Timothy and Titus when he was free, and 2 Timothy from prison the last time.
After having established this very vital line of separation which is absolutely essential to a true understanding of OUR HOPE and CALLING today, we now need to learn and more fully appreciate the more precise lines and designating separations that must be made within each of these post-Acts epistles.
When the "lo-ammi" judgment of Acts 28:28 came on the nation of Israel, all the Hopes and Callings enjoined on that people were also put on "hold" or set in "abeyance". All of the saints of God in Christ Jesus that held the hope of His "Parousia" in their hearts must now make a very major decision, to stay with that earthy hope of "The Kingdom", or to believe and cast their lot with the now imprisoned Apostle Paul, and this new message of a "heavenly" out calling.
The reactions and decision-making of the saints are, as always, varied. Most will not believe this new message of Paul's. It is so "radically different", it is impossible for most to accept. All know that the Earth is for man, and Heaven belongs to God and the Angels. Paul has just gone too far this time. We see in Phil. 3:13-17; Titus 1: 9-16;
2 Timothy 1:13-15, 2:16-21, 3:6:9, and 4:9-18 that the truth is rejected by most.
And today some would discount all but the Ephesians and Colossians epistles as having been given to "the Out-Called Body of Christ". Because some of what we read in the other five post-Acts epistles, sound far too church-like. We do acknowledge that there are some things we might have questions about. But as we have learned to more fully appreciate the immediate circumstances in those local churches, and sundry mind sets of those folks, we have become more artful in our task of "dividing the Word of Truth".
And yet I have uncovered nothing that I have been called upon to do, or have a part in, that would be found unworthy of my own "position" as a joint-member of that great Out-Called Body. Paul could not have written what he did in Philippians 3:10-21 before he received the Revelation of The Mystery, and our position in "The Heavenlies far above". In view of what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 7:17-40, before The Kingdom Hope was withdrawn, and what he wrote in 1 Tim. 5:14 concerning marriage and "the present distress", we are sure a great dispensational change had taken place.
In Acts times, just a few days before the judgment of Acts 28:28, many were healed at the hand of Paul but as we read what he told Timothy to do in 1 Tim. 5:21-25, we are convinced it was written after Acts times and under the influence of new dispensational institutions. In Titus 1:2 we have the divine promise of life that was made "before" age times, which came before the promises given to Abraham or any of his seed. Also in 2:13, we have the glorious "Epiphaneia" of the Great God, and Saviour of Us, Christ Jesus.
Now the same critics that would discard the five post-Acts epistles because of church-like statements, also find fault because each one does not give a full discourse of The Mystery. However, when we see all "seven" epistles as ONE, seven chapters of ONE book, we need not that all address all points of truth.