We have learned, and we are learning, many wonderful truths from God's Word. "Right division" is, beyond question, the Spirit's Key to true biblical knowledge - and by it we shall stand before our Lord "approved", or we shall bow there in shame and loss.
Some folks have a bit of a problem with the words "Rightly Dividing". To them it suggests a weakening - as a house being divided against itself falls, or there is strength in numbers. But that which poses the most questioning difficulty in many folks minds are the words we find in II Tim. 3:16, "All Scripture" is given by...God" - so they reason - if GOD gave it ALL, that is, except that which they find to be inconvenient or unacceptable to their way of worship. Few want anything to do with the Law of Israel or her judgments. On the other hand, they see nothing evil in usurping her divinely given name and blessings. To such men, the giving of any credence to the Divine Law of Right Division would, in effect, destroy that man-made system of philosophy.
I have been studying the Word of Truth for over forty years, and in that time I have never read a man's book, or talked to any that did not in some manner or other "divide" the Bible, if only by the Old and the New Testaments, or before Christ and after the Cross, or Law vs. Grace. So all are dividing the Word of Truth, but most are doing so in error, which we conclude to be wrongly dividing the Word of Truth.
All Scripture is Given by Inspiration of God. All is "truth", and all is profitable, however two truths tied together, like two sticks, do not make both stronger. Some truth will be all but canceled out when mixed together - law and grace, election and free will, the old nature and the new nature, and spirit and the flesh. We dare not mix two distinct messages from the Giver of All Truth. Two dispensations, or two messages, may occupy the same time frame without violating the divine truth of either, but to allow the same two Words of Truth to become mixed may, in all likelihood, render both of none effect. We are to test the things that the Lord has said, and if finding them to "differ" we must not join them together, for when we do they become our own words of error
All Scripture if Profitable only when it is free to give forth its OWN TRUTH. The plans the Lord gave Noah were good and true plans, but should I choose to build an ark my actions would be a lie. Right Division puts in my hands the plans God has for me to follow.
There is another word that is a puzzle to some folks, and that is Dispensation. It is a big word so they tend to run from it, but it is a very simple word and all it means is "message"; a new message, or as we used to say in the Army, a new ORDER of the day, and that from the ONE who directs all things.
From time to time, because of the dark condition of men's hearts and their failure to respond in a faithful manner to the revealed will of God made known in a former dispensation, it became necessary for Him to bring about certain changes in His workings and His orders to certain segments of the human race. So the Spirit of Truth came unto a man of His own choosing, revealing unto that man those desired changes with that Divine Message thus becoming The Dispensation and the one chosen then becoming the Depository of that Dispensation of Truth. He was to dispense the Word of Truth unto those to whom it was directed and intended. That faithful servant became known as God's steward, or the administrator of that Deposit of Divine Truth.
Now that is all a dispensation really is - no more and no less. It can only serve the purpose of the enemy to make it more complicated than that. The corresponding word, "dispensational", simply has reference to a point of truth that came under the change God was calling for.
That man who desires to be found faithful and well-pleasing unto the Lord will make any and all dispensational changes his highest priority, for there is no way a man can truthfully be said to be a man of God and go about denying the Lord His right to establish dispensational change and dispensational truth. It seems the expressions Dispensationalism and Ultra-Dispensational also need a bit of friendly clarifying.
It is my joy in the Lord to bear witness to the fact that we here at Truth For TodayBible Fellowship are "dispensationalists". That means we "study" to be able to recognize and to acknowledge "things that differ" (Phil. 1:10), and to establish our understanding and our teaching in harmony with the Creator's dispensational change in each of His messages to mankind. Right Division of the Word of Truth "governs" our understanding and our ministry of His Words of Truth.
Ultra-Dispensational is an expression that some folks use to describe the views and teachings of those who go beyond their dividing the Word of Truth. Those who draw the line at Acts 2 say that the line being drawn at Acts 9 (with the calling of Paul) to be Ultra-Dispensational or extreme. Then those of Acts 9 view say that those who draw the line at Acts 28:28 are Ultra-Dispensational. However, we have come to appreciate that TIME is not so much a factor as THE MESSAGE. Time did not bring the change. The Lord's message is what should bring about the desired change, but men are still "mixing" the messages when we are divinely instructed to Rightly Divide the Word of Truth.
So we are rejoicing in our Ultra-Dispensational views, if by that we mean one who receives each and every dispensational change that the Spirit of God sends down to man as truth, and without question. We are Ultra-Dispensationalists if by that ALL fleshly religious holidays, ordinances, rites, and clericalism have been denied a place in the present truth of God. Yes, we do thank and praise the Spirit of ALL Truth for the spiritual enlightenment He has given which enables us to discern for ourselves that truth which He has designated as Truth For Today.
So with this divine study principle as our guide and our "Key" to a true and right Biblical Knowledge, we would like to share a brief outline of our understanding of the dividing of His Word of Truth.
-Joseph L. Watkins
President / Editor 1986 - 2002
Truth For Today, Inc.