Right Division

The One Great Requirement of the Word:

"Rightly Dividing" It.

The one great requirement of the Word is grounded on the fact that it is "the Word of Truth." And this fact is so stated as to imply that, unless the Word is thus rightly divided, we shall not get "truth"; and that we shall get its truth only in proportion to the measure in which we divide it rightly.

In this section, the great principle of ‘right division’ by reason of its importance is giving consideration as it is the key that unlocks the rules and should govern our entire approach to the Scriptures. The Scripture that enjoins the practice of this principle is 2 Timothy 2:15, ‘study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth’.

This verse divides naturally into three parts:

  1. The approval of God.
  2. The unashamed workman.
  3. The essential principle of interpretation.

In Chapter 1 of 2 Timothy, there is an anticipation of the great principle of right division, for the apostle emphasizes ‘the testimony of the Lord and of me His prisoner.' He refers to that calling that goes back ‘before age times’ but is manifest ‘now’ that he is a prisoner. He draws attention to his own special ministry to the Gentiles and the ‘good deposit’ entrusted to him and afterward committed to Timothy, when he urged upon him the importance of having a pattern of sound words which he had heard of him and in Chapter 2 he exhorts Timothy to commit to faithful men ‘the things he had heard of him’. What is all this but the application of right division? Here a distinction between the apostle’s earlier ministry and his ‘prison ministry’ is intimated. Here is a recognition of the distinctive calling of Ephesians 1, ‘before the foundation of the world’. Here is the claim that the apostle, preacher, and teacher of the Gentiles is Paul, and here the distinction is made between ‘that good deposit’ and other parts of God’s purposes.

If Timothy is to be unashamed of his work, he must know and appreciate these distinctions; otherwise (by occupying himself with service that belongs to other callings and dispensations, and so not being engaged in ‘God’s building’), his work, being revealed by fire, will be found worthless. While Timothy might be expected to perceive the necessity of right division, Paul is anxious that he should not be left to his own inferences. How, then, shall the apostle best put the principle that is vaguely seen at work right through chapter 1? Shall he once more go back in mind to the child Timothy at his mother’s knee? Shall he visualize the teaching of those Holy Scriptures that had made Timothy wise unto salvation? Does he remember that a Jewish mother would most certainly teach her boy some of the Proverbs? and that Timothy’s father, being a Greek, and living in Galatia, would most certainly have read the Greek version of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint? We cannot tell, but we do know that Timothy needed no explanation of the term ‘right division’. We can dismiss all attempts by commentators to discredit this fact and feel perfectly safe in doing so because we shall be ‘comparing spiritual things with spiritual’. In the Bible used by Timothy occurs the following verse:

Pasais hodois sou gnorize auten, hina orthotomo tas hodous sou (Paroimai 3:6).

‘In all, thy ways acquaint thyself with it (fem. ref. to sophia wisdom, in verse 5) in order that it may rightly divide thy paths’ (Prov. 3:6).

We find the same word in Proverbs 11:5, where it is again used as a ‘way.' These are the only occurrences in the Septuagint (LXX). We are not now concerned with the differences here observable between the A.V. and the LXX but are desirous that all shall see that the words used by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15 and known by Timothy are identical.

Orthotomeo, ‘To rightly divide’.

Temno, ‘to cut’, does not occur in the New Testament, but several combinations of the word are found.

‘Sharper,' Tomoteros. ‘Sharper than a two-edged sword’ (Heb. 4:12).

‘Sharply’, Apotomos. ‘Rebuke them sharply’ (Tit. 1 13).

Peritemno and peritome refer to circumcision, and there is no need to stress the literal meaning of either the Greek or the English. The word finds its place in our own language, and in such surgical expressions as anatomy, tracheotomy, and phlebotomy, the primary meaning of cutting is retained unaltered. With this evidence before him, the reader will need no refutation of the many suggestions put forward as translations, such as ‘handling aright the Word of Truth’. Again, there is no possibility of mistaking what was to be rightly divided. It was not the believer’s conduct or service or anything to do with himself, but the ‘Word of Truth’. Just as Timothy was subsequently exhorted to ‘preach’ the Word, so is he here commanded to ‘divide’ the Word aright. What this principle involves when put into operation cannot be detailed here, but every book, teaching, and article on Believer.com is subject to this one great principle. Right division distinguishes administrations. It does not confound Kingdom with Church, Gentile with Jew, Mystery with Gospel, Earth with Heaven. It is beyond us, however, to attempt even a summary of its bearings, for there is no item of Scriptural teaching to which the principle does not apply.

Moreover, let us repeat that what is here to be ‘rightly divided’ is, and remains, the Word of Truth. No ‘higher critical’ cutting up of the Scriptures is countenanced by this Word, and indeed we have only to read on to find in 2 Timothy 3:16 one of the most emphatic statements concerning the inspiration of the Scriptures that the New Testament contains. We can, however, easily rob the Word of its ‘truth’ if we fail to ‘rightly divide’ it. We can confound law and grace to our undoing; we can preach Moses where we ought to preach Christ. We can be concerned with ‘earthly things’, to our loss, if our calling is associated with ‘things above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God’. If we attempt to spiritualize the promises made to the Fathers, we rob the Word of Promise of its Truth. If we misinterpret Israel as of The Church; if we confound The Bride with The Body; if we preach the Gospel of the circumcision to the Gentile today; if we do any of these things, we rob the Word of its Truth.

One glorious result of ‘rightly dividing The Word of Truth’ is that every statement of God may be taken without alteration. For instance, in the case of The Promise, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’, a rightly divided Word has no need to substitute ‘heaven’ for ‘earth’.

‘Let us heed this word of exhortation. If we are not occupied with that part of God’s purpose which has a present application, we shall most certainly be ashamed of our work. In other words, whether found in Genesis, Romans, Ephesians, or Revelation, "Dispensational Truth" is The Truth.

Happy is the workman who, though suffering under the disapproval of tradition, is approved unto God; that workman who will have no need to be ashamed of his work because he has obeyed the great all-covering principle of interpretation - ‘Rightly dividing the Word of Truth’.

Passing from the meaning of ‘Right Division,’ let us take an illustration of the application of this principle from the ministry of the Lord Himself. In Luke 4:16-21 we read that the Saviour, upon returning from Galilee to Nazareth, entered the synagogue and stood up for to read. He was given the book of the prophet Isaiah and He found the place where it was written:

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord’ (Luke 4:18-19).

According to Moses Maimonides, a public reading of the Scriptures should consist of some twenty to twenty-five verses, and had the Saviour read the whole of Isaiah 61, even though it contained but eleven verses, no one would have been surprised. What He did, however, was something extraordinary. He read one verse and one sentence of the second verse, stopped, shut the book, and sat down. The second verse of Isaiah 61 reads:

‘To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn’.

but had He continued His reading so as to include the reference to the day of vengeance, He could not have said, as He did, THIS DAY IS THIS SCRIPTURE fulfilled in your ears, for the day of vengeance, even after nineteen hundred years, has not yet come. There is but a comma, in our English version, between the two periods, yet that comma represents a gap of nearly two thousand years. In the original Hebrew or the Greek from which the Saviour read, there would have been no punctuation mark at all. The Lord by no means set aside the dreadful fact of future judgment; He simply kept both references in their true dispensational place. This same gospel, in chapter 21 speaks of that future day, saying: ‘For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled’ (Luke 21:22). The relations between these two passages may be set out thus:

The Acceptable Year of the Lord.                    4 <-------------------> 21                 The Day of Vengeance of our God.
     Fulfilled at first advent                                  (over 1900 years)                               Fulfilled at 2nd advent      

The books of the Bible were all originally addressed to some particular hearer or company, and before we take all that is written in the Scriptures as truth for ourselves, we should observe several things which in reality will be but the application of ‘Right Division’. If we hold the faith that is common to evangelical protestants, we shall strenuously maintain the great doctrine of Justification by faith apart from works of the law, and by so doing, we of necessity ‘divide’ the Word of Truth for the law of Moses is equally as inspired Scripture as is the epistle to the Romans. And so the principle of right division enables us to say:

‘While the Word of God is written FOR all persons, and FOR all time, yet it is true that not every part of it is addressed TO all persons or ABOUT all persons IN all time’

Hence, we can say that the Scriptures refer to three companies or classes, ‘Jew, Gentile and Church of God’, or we can say that the Scriptures relate to three spheres of blessing, ‘The Earth, The Heavenly Jerusalem and Far above all’. Yet again, the Scriptures are concerned with The Kingdom of Israel, The Bride of the Lamb, and the Church, which is His Body. Some of the Epistles are specifically addressed to the Dispersion.

‘To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting’ (Jas. 1:1).

‘To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus ... Bithynia’ (1 Pet. 1:1).

To which should be added the epistle to the Hebrews, for Peter, writing to the Dispersion, said, ‘our beloved brother Paul ... hath written UNTO YOU’ (2 Pet. 3:15).  This principle of interpretation ‘right division’ observes the ‘sundry times’ and ‘divers manners’ in which God has spoken, and these different ‘times’ are called for convenience ‘dispensations’.


(1) One part of the PAST is not necessarily to be read into another part of the PAST.

(a) Matt. 10:5-6 and 28:19-20.
    (b) Luke 9:3 and 22:35-36.

(2) The PAST is not to be read into the PRESENT.

(a) Law and Grace.
    (b) Imprecatory Psalms.
        (c) The Sabbath.
           (d) The Kingdom.
               (e) The Gospels.
                   (f) The Sermon on the Mount.
                     (g) The Lord’s Prayer.
                         (h) The Priesthood.
                              (i) Baptisms.
                                  (k) The prophecy of Amos. Amos 9:11-12, Acts 15:14-18
                                      (l) The title ‘Son of Man’.

(3) The PRESENT is not to be read into the PAST.

(a) The Mystery.
     (b) ‘Sons of God’.
          (c) The ‘Church’.

(4) The FUTURE is not to be read into the PRESENT.

(a) The Great Tribulation.
     (b) The 144,000.
        (c) Sundry Prophecies. Psa. 2; Isa. 2; Isa. 40.
            (d) The Day of the Lord.

(5) One part of the FUTURE is not necessarily to be read into another part of the FUTURE.

(a) The Advents.
    (b) The Resurrections.
       (c) The Judgments. 2 Cor. 5:10; Matt 25:31-36; Rev. 20:11-15.

(6) The truth and teaching of the CANONICAL ORDER to be distinguished from the CHRONOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL ORDER.

(a) The Tabernacle.
    (b) The Great Offerings.
        (c) The Four Gospels.
            (d) 1 Samuel 16 to 18.
                (e) The book of Jeremiah.
                    (f) The Pauline Epistles.

The expansion of this principle of right division is only limited by the limits of Scripture itself, and under whatever subdivisions it may fall is from first to last but an exhibition and exposition of this great principle. Having given the term an examination and the application of the principle an illustration, we must leave its full unfolding to the separate articles as they appear in this section menu on the right side of the page.

The One Great Requirement of the Word:-"Rightly Dividing" It.

The one great requirement of the Word is grounded on the fact that it is "the Word of truth." And this fact is so stated as to imply that, unless the Word is thus rightly divided we shall not get "truth"; and that we shall get its truth only in proportion to the measure in which we divide it rightly.

The Requirement is thus stated in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Give diligence to present thyself approved to God, a workman having no cause to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth."

The word in question here is orqotomounta (orthotomounta).*

* From orqoV (orthos), right, and temnw (temno), to cut.
As this word occurs in no Greek writer, or even elsewhere in the New Testament, we can get little or no help from outside, and are confined to Biblical usage.
It is used twice in the Septuagint for the Hebrew r#$ayaf (yashar), to be right, or straight. In Proverbs 3:6, 11:5, the Hebrew is Piel (or causative), to make right (as in 2 Chron 32:30; Prov 15:21; Isa 40:3, 45:2,13).

But it is the Greek word that we have to do with here, in 2 Timothy 2:15; and we cannot get away from the fact that temnw (temno) means to cut; or, from the fact that we cannot cut without dividing. To divide belongs to the very nature of the act of cutting. Even as applied to directing one's way, it implies that we divide off one way from others—
because we desire to follow the right way and avoid the wrong.

The only Biblical guide we have to the usage of the word is in Proverbs 3:6:

"In all thy ways acknowledge him
And he shall direct thy paths."

In the margin the RV gives, "make straight or plain" as an alternative rendering for "direct." But our ways can only be made straight or plain by God's causing us to proceed on our way aright—i.e., by avoiding all the ways that are wrong, and going in the one way that is right; in other words, the right way is divided off from all the wrong ways.

What else can the word mean in 2 Timothy 2:15?

It matters little what others have thought or said. We could fill a page with their names and their views, but we should learn but little and only become confused. The duties of Priests, Furriers, and Ploughmen have been referred to as indicating the correct meaning. But we need not leave the Biblical usage, which associates the word with
guidance in the right way.

The scope of the verse plainly teaches that:

Our one great study is to seek GOD'S approval, and not man's.
We are to show all diligence in pursuing this study.
As workmen, our aim is to have no cause to be ashamed of our work.
In order to gain God's approval and avert our own shame we must rightly divide the word of truth.
To do this we must direct our studies in the right way.
This great requirement is associated with the Word in its special character as being the Word of truth; i.e., "the TRUE Word."
All this tells us that we shall not get the truth if we do not thus rightly divide it; and that we shall get the truth only in proportion to our "rightly dividing" it.
Other titles of the Word have their own special requirements. As "the engrafted Word" it must be received with meekness (James 1:21). As "the Faithful Word" we must hold it fast (Titus 1:9). As "the Word of life" we must hold it forth (Phil 2:16).

But, because this is "the Word of truth," its paths must be well noted, the sign-posts must be observed, the directions and guides which are in the Word itself must be followed.

We are to "give diligence" to this great Requirement of the Word just because it is "the Word of truth."

It is true that there are many who altogether ignore this precept; and have no thought as to obeying this command in their study of the Word.

There are many who make light of our insistence on obedience to this precept.

On what ground, we ask, are we to treat such an important command as though it had never been given?

Why is not this command as binding on Bible students as any other command in the Word of God?

What motive can such have to blunt the point and dull the edge of this "Sword of the Spirit" in this matter?

Strange to say, those who would be-little our efforts in rendering due obedience to this command, are themselves obliged not only to accept its division into chapters, and verses, and punctuated sentences; but they go further, and adopt the division of its subject-matter which is made by the insertion of chapter-headings and running page-
headings according to man's own ideas.

The only question is, Do they divide it rightly, or wrongly?

For example, in the English Bibles which our readers use, over Isaiah 29 we notice the running page-heading "Judgment upon Jerusalem"; and on the opposite page, over chapter 30 we notice the page-heading "God's mercies to His church."

Again, over Isaiah 59 we note the chapter-heading "The sins of the Jews"; in the chapter-heading of chapter 60 we note "The glory of the church." And this in spite of the declared fact that this book contains "the Vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (ch 1:1).*

* If these headings are not found in some of the current editions of our English Bibles, it is only a proof that still greater liberties are taken in changes of these headings.
Surely, this is dividing the Word. But the only question for us to ask is, whether it is divided "rightly" or wrongly.
In the consideration of this great and important requirement there are four principal spheres in which we are to give diligence so that we may follow the right ways which are so clearly cut and marked out for our studies.

We must rightly divide the Word of Truth:

As to its Literary Form.
As to its Subject-matter.
As to its Times and Dispensations.
As to its Dispensational Truth and Teaching.
We will consider these in their order.
i. Rightly Dividing the Word as to its Literary Form.

The "Word" comes to us in our English Translation. But it comes with much that is human in its Literary Divisions; and it is far from being rightly divided.

1. The Two Testaments.
"THE WORD OF GOD" as a whole comes to us in two separate parts: one written, originally, in Hebrew; the other in Greek. Only in the Versions are these two combined, and bound together in one Book.

These division, of course, are not human, though the names are by which they are commonly known.

Up to the second century the term "Old Covenant" was used by the Greeks to describe the Hebrew Bible. This passed into the Latin Vulgate as "Vetus Testamentum," from which our English term "Old Testament" was taken.

By way of distinction, the Greek portion was naturally spoken of as the "New Testament." But neither of these names is Divine in its origin.

2. The Separate Books of the Bible.
When, however, we come to the Separate Books, though their origin is Divine, the human element is at once apparent.

(a) The Books of the Old Testament.—The Books as we have them to-day are not the same as in the Hebrew Canon, either as to their number, names, or order.

The change first came about when the first Translation of the Hebrew Bible was made into Greek in the Version known as the Septuagint.

It was made in the latter part of the third century BC. The exact date is not known, but the consensus of opinion leans to about 286-285 BC.

It is the oldest of all the translations of the Hebrew Text, and its Divisions and arrangement of the Books have been followed in every translation since made.

Man has divided them into four classes: (1) The Law, (2) The Historical Books, (3) The Poetical Books, and (4) The Prophetical Books.

The Lord Jesus divides them into Three classes: (1) The Law, (2) The Prophets, and (3) The Psalms. And who will say that HE did not rightly divide them! But His Division was made according to the Hebrew Bible extant in His day, and not according to man's Greek Translation of it—which was extant also at that time.

In the Hebrew Canon these three Divisions contain twenty-four Books, in the following order:—

(i) "The Law" (Torah)
These five books form the Pentateuch
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy

(ii) "The Prophets" (Neviim)
"The Former Prophets" (Zech 7)
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Samuel
9. Kings

The Latter Prophets
10. Isaiah
11. Jeremiah
12. Ezekiel
13. The Minor Prophets

(iii) "The Psalms" (K'thuvim) or the [other] writings
14. Psalms
15. Proverbs
16. Job

The Five "Megilloth" (or scrolls)
17. Song of Songs
18. Ruth
19. Lamentations
20. Ecclesiastes
21. Esther

22. Daniel
23. Ezra-Nehemiah
24. Chronicles

This is how the Books are rightly divided in the Hebrew Bible. And it is sad to find so many good men exercising their ingenuity in order to find some Divine spiritual teaching in the utterly human and different order of the Books given in the Translations. One actually manufactures "five Pentateuch's," quite dislocating the books of the Bible; and
he arbitrarily re-arranges them to suit his theory. Another divides them by re-arranging them in what he conceives to be the chronological order, which results, among other calamities, in the Psalms being dispersed among the Historical Books.

The "Higher" Critics would have us make a Hexateuch instead of a Pentateuch.

We fear it is hopeless ever to look for the books to be rightly divided and arranged in the order of the Hebrew Canon; so we shall have to make the best of man's having wrongly divided the Word of truth from the very outset.

The number of Concordances and Commentaries and general works where reference is made to the present chapters and verses would be sufficient to make such a change impossible, however desirable it might be on other grounds.

Nevertheless, it is well for those who would study the Word of truth to have this information, and to be in possession of the facts of the case, even if the result is only to prevent them from attaching any importance to the present order of the books, and keep them from elaborating some scheme of doctrine or theology based on what is only
human in its origin.

(b) The Books of the New Testament.—As to the Books of the New Testament the problem presented is somewhat different. We find them in the Manuscripts generally in five groups: (1) the Gospels, (2) the Acts, (3) the General Epistles, (4) Paul's Epistles, and (5) the Apocalypse.

The order of these groups varies in certain MSS; and the order of the books also in the different groups varies. There is, however, one exception which we have elsewhere pointed out: The Epistles of Paul which are addressed to Churches are always in the same order as we have them in our English Bible to-day. Out of the hundreds of
Greek MSS not one has ever yet been seen where the Canonical order of these Epistles is different from that in which they have come down to us.

We can therefore build our teaching on a sure foundation, though we cannot do so on the order of the other New Testament books.

3. The Divisions of the Hebrew Text.
The Hebrew Text is divided (in the MSS) into five different forms:—

(a) Into open and closed Sections, answering somewhat to our paragraphs. These were to promote facility in reading.

(b) Into Sedarim or the Triennial Pericopes;* i.e., Portions marked off: so that the Pentateuch is divided into 167 Pericopes or "Lessons," which are completed in a course of three years' reading. There are 452 of these Seders** in the Hebrew Bible, indicated by p, in the margin.

* Greek, from peri (around) and kopto (cut); a portion or extract Pronounced Pe-ric'-o-pe.
** From rdasaf (sadar), to arrange in order.

(c) Beside these the Pentateuch was divided into 54 Par'shioth* or Annual Pericopes, by which the Law was read through once a year.
* From #$rap@af (parash), to divide.
(d) The division into verses. The verses in the Hebrew Bible are of ancient origin, and were noted by a stroke called Silluk under the last word of each verse.
These words were carefully counted for each book. Hence the Scribes were so called not because of their writing (from the Latin word Scribo), but they were called Sopherim or Counters (from the Hebrew, Sopher, to count). The Massorah gives the number of verses as 23,203.

4. The Divisions of the Greek Text.
In the Greek MSS of the New Testament there is an indication of sections in the margin, dividing the text according to the sense.

There is also a division of the Gospels ascribed to TATIAN (Cent. II.) called Kephalaia, i.e. heads or summaries: these are known also as Titloi or titles. AMMONIUS, in the third century, divided the Text according to sections, known by his name: "The Ammonian Sections." In the fifth century EUTHALIUS, a deacon of Alexandria, divided
Paul's Epistles, the Acts, and the General Epistles into Kephalaia; and ANDREAS (Archbishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia) completed the work by dividing the Apocalypse into 24 Logoi or paragraphs, each being again divided into three Kephalaia.

These dividings of the New Testament can be traced back to individual men, and are all essentially human.

5. The Divisions of the Versions.
(a) The Chapters.—There are other more modern divisions into CHAPTERS. These are quite foreign to the Original Texts of the Old and New Testaments. For a long time they were attributed to HUGHES DE ST. CHER (Hugo de Sancto Caro). He was Provincial to the Dominicans in France, and afterwards a Cardinal in Spain: he died AD
1263. But it is now generally believed that they were made by STEPHEN LANGTON, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1227.

(b) The Verses.—Hugo made use of Langton's chapters and added subdivisions which he indicated by letters. This was in 1248. ROBERT STEPHENS, finding these letters inadequate, introduced numbers in their place in his Greek Testament of 1551. This was the origin of our verse-divisions, which were first introduced into the English
Version known as the Geneva Bible (1560), and from that into our Authorized Version in 1611. These verses do not correspond always with those of the Hebrew Bible.

(c) The Chapter Breaks—As to these chapter divisions, they were not of Jewish origin; and were never associated with the Hebrew Bible until AD 1330, when RABBI SALOMON BEN ISMAEL adopted the Christian chapters by placing the numerals in the margin, to facilitate reference for purposes of controversy.*

* This appears from a note appended to MS No. 15, in the Cambridge University Library. See Dr. Ginsburg's Introduction, etc., p. 25.
In many cases they agree with the Massoretic divisions of the Hebrew Bible, though there are glaring instances of divergence.*
* Up to AD 1517 the Editors of the Printed Text of the Hebrew Bible closely adhered to the MSS and ignored the Christian or Gentile chapters.
The first to reverse this practice were the Editors of the Complutensian Polyglot of CARDINAL XIMENES (1514-1517); but still confining the indications to the margin, in Roman Numerals.

FELIX PRATENSIS was the first to substitute Hebrew Letters for the Roman Numerals in his Edition printed by Bomberg, Venice, in AD 1517; though he retained the Massoretic divisions.

JACOB BEN CHAYIM adopted the same practice in his standard Edition (AD 1524-5); and it was continued down to 1751, when

ARIAS MONTANUS actually went so far as to break up the Hebrew Text, and insert the Hebrew Letters (or Numerals) into the body of the Text, in his edition printed at Antwerp in 1571.

From this, the "pernicious practice," as Dr. Ginsburg well calls it, has continued in the Editions of the Hebrew Text since printed, though it is discarded in his own Massoretico-Critical Edition, printed in Vienna in 1894, and published by the Trinitarian Bible Society of 7, Bury Street, Bloomsbury, London.

It will thus be seen how very modern, and human, and how devoid of all authority are the chapter and verse divisions which obtain in the version of the Bible generally, and in our English Bible in particular. Though they are most useful for purposes of reference, we must be careful never to use them for interpretation, or for doctrinal teaching.
They seldom accord with the breaks required by the Structure.* Sometimes they break the connection altogether; at other times they materially affect the sense.
* See Part II, Canon II.
As examples, where the chapter-breaks interfere with the Connection and the Sense, we may notice Genesis 1 and 2, where the Introduction (1:1-2:4) is broken up, and the commencement of the first of the Eleven Divisions (or, "Generations") is hidden. This wrong break has led to serious confusion. Instead of seeing in 1:1-2:3 a separate
Summary of Creation in the form of an Introduction, many think they see two distinct creations, while others see a discrepancy between two accounts of the same creation.
The break between 2 Kings 6 and 7 should come after chapter 7:2; that is to say, 7:1, 2, should be 6:34, 35.

The break between Isaiah 8 and 9 is, to say the least, most unfortunate, dislocating, as it does, the whole sense of the passage.

Isaiah 53 should commence at chapter 52:13. This agrees with its Structure:

A. 52:13-15. The foretold exaltation of Jehovah's Servant, the Messiah.
B. 53:1-6. His rejection by others.
B. 7-10. His own sufferings.

A. 10-12. The foretold exaltation of Messiah.
Isaiah 52:1-12 should have been the concluding portion of chapter 51.
Jeremiah 3:6 begins a new prophecy which goes down to the end of chapter 6.

Matthew 9:35-38 should belong to chapter 10.

John 3 should commence with 2:23, thus connecting the remarks about "men" with the "man of the Pharisees."

John 8:1 should be the last verse of chapter 7, setting in contrast the destination of the people and that of the Lord.

In Acts 4 the last two verses should have been the first two verses of chapter 5.

We can quite see that Acts 7 is already a long chapter; still, the break between it and chapter 6 is unfortunate, because the connection between "these things" in 7:1 is quite severed from the "things" referred to in chapter 6.

The same is the case in Acts 8:1. Also in 22:1.

Romans 4 ought to have run on to 5:11, as is clear from the argument, as shown by the Structure.

In the same way Romans 6 ought to run on, and end with 7:6, which concludes the subject. The commencement of 7:7, "What shall we say then?" would thus correspond with 6:1.

Romans 15:1-7 really belongs to chapter 14.*

* See Part II, Canon VII.
1 Corinthians 11:1 should be the last verse of chapter 10.
2 Corinthians 6 should end with 7:1; for 7:2 commences a new subject, and leaves the "promises" of 7:1 to be connected with the rehearsal of them in chapter 6.

In the same way Philippians 3 ought to end with 4:1 to complete the sense.

Colossians 3 should end with 4:1. Thus "masters" would follow, and stand in connection with, the exhortation to "servants"; and 4:2 would commence the new subject.

In 1 Peter 2:1 the word "wherefore" points to the fact that this verse is closely connected with chapter 1.

2 Peter 2:1, in the same way, concludes chapter 1, and the "false prophets" are contrasted with the Divinely inspired prophets.

In 2 Timothy 4:1 the force of the word "therefore" is quite lost by being cut off from the conclusion of chapter 3.

Revelation 3, as a break, ought to be ignored, as it quite dislocates the seven letters to the Assemblies.

Revelation 13:1 belongs to, and is the conclusion of, chapter 12. The break is thus actually made in the RV, and the correct reading of the Greek MSS followed shows the close connection of the words "and he [i.e. Satan] stood upon the sand of the sea," with 12:17, and also with chapter 13 as containing the result of Satan's thus standing.

In the same way the break between Revelation 21 and 22 is unfortunate, as the real chapter-break should correspond with the Structure and should come between verses 5 and 6 of chapter 22.

Other examples may easily be found, but these will be sufficient to show the importance of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth," even as to the Chapter Divisions.

(d) The Chapter, and Running Page-Headings.— When these chapter divisions are combined with (1) the chapter headings, and (2) the running page-headings, they become positively mischievous, partaking of the nature of interpretation instead of translation. It is needless to say that we may absolutely disregard them, as always
aggravating the chatper-break, and often misleading the reader.

The running page-headings are a fruitful source of mischief. Over Isaiah 29 (as we have said above) in an ordinary Bible we read "God's judgments upon Jerusalem." On the opposite page we read over Isaiah 30 "God's mercies to his church." The same may be seen in the concluding chapters of Isaiah, both in the running page-headings
and in the chapter-headings. But there is no break or change in the subject-matter. It consists of all "the vision which Isaiah saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (1:1). Here is a "dividing" of the Word. But, the question is, can it be called "rightly dividing" when God's "mercies" are claimed for the Church, and His "judgments" generously given
over to the Jews? Such "dividing" of the Word can hardly be said to be "without partiality."

(e) Punctuation.—One other mode of dividing the Word as to its Literary Form is by Punctuation; which is a still more important manner of dividing the Word, as it seriously affects the Text by dividing its sentences, and thus fixing its sense.

The importance of this will be seen when we note that its effect is to fasten the interpretation of the translator on to the Word of God by making his translation part of that Word. It thus comes to the ordinary reader as part and parcel of the Truth of God, whereas it is absolutely arbitrary, and is wholly destitute of either Divine or human authority.*

* Sometimes a change of punctuation may be made through inadvertence or through ignorance. We have heard of 1 Corinthians 9:24 being read aloud thus: "They that run in a race, run. All but one receiveth the prize." The ignorance that perpetrated this failed to see the bad grammar which resulted in the last clause.
The Greek Manuscripts have, practically, no system of punctuation: the most ancient, none at all; and the later MSS nothing more than an occasional single point even with the middle, or in line with the top of the letters. Where there is anything more than this it is generally agreed that it is the work of a later hand.
So that in the Original Manuscripts we have no guide whatever to any dividing of the Text, whether rightly or wrongly. Indeed, in the most ancient MSS there is not only no division at all, but there is not even any break between the words! So that we can find no help from the MSS.

When they came to be collated, edited, and printed, a system of punctuation was introduced by the respective Editors. Each one followed his own plan, and exercised his own human judgment. No two editors have punctuated the text in the same way; so that we have no help from them.

When we come to the English Authorized Version we are still left without guidance or help.

The Authorized Version of 1611 is destitute of any authority; for the Translators punctuated only according to their best judgment. But even here, few readers are aware of the many departures which have been made from the original Edition of 1611; and how many changes have been made in subsequent Editions.*

* These changes affect not merely punctuation, but the marginal notes and references, the uses of capital letters and italic type, orthography, grammatical peculiarities, etc.
Some of these differences arise doubtless from oversight, but other changes have been made undoubtedly with deliberate intent. Who made them, or when they were introduced, no one can tell. A few, however, can be traced.*
* A full account of these may be seen in the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Queen's Printers' Patent, 1859, a Blue Book full of interesting information; also in DR. SCRIVENER'S Preface to The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of 1873.
The edition of 1616 was the first edition of the AV which shows any considerable revision. The first Cambridge Editions of 1638 and 1639 appear to have been a complete revision, though done without any authority.
The Edition of 1660 added many marginal notes. That of 1701 was the first to introduce the marginal dates, tables of Scripture measures and weights, &c.

The Edition of 1762 contained serious attempts at improvements made by Dr. Paris. He was the first to substitute a full stop for the colon of 1611 in Zechariah 11:7, after "staves." This edition considerably extended the use of Italic type; and incorporated Bishop Lloy'ds chronological notes.

Dr. Blayney's Edition of 1769 introduced many changes and many glaring errors which, unfortunately, have been followed without enquiry and without suspicion. These imperfections led to a great controversy, and a Public Enquiry, which included the policy of the Royal Patent and the working of the University Presses.

A Revision of the American Bible Society (1847-1851) prepared the way for our English Revised Version (1881-1885).

The "Advertisement" to the Universities' Edition, called "The Parallel Bible" (of the RV and AV), fully endorses all we have said:—

"The left hand column contains the text of the Authorized Version as usually printed, with the marginal notes and references of the Edition of 1611, the spelling of these being conformed to modern usage. In the left hand margin are also placed, in square brackets, the more important differences between the edition of 1611 and the text now in
use, whether these differences are due to corrections of the edition of 1611 or to errors which have subsequently crept in."
In spite of all these facts many ill-informed readers of the English Bible take the punctuation as "Gospel truth"; and not only build their own theories, and bolster up their traditions upon it, but treat as heretics, and cast out almost as apostates any one who dares to question the authority of this human interference with the Word of truth, if it should
run counter to their Traditions, which are generally based on such human foundations.
In view of this indefensible attitude we shall have to show its utter groundlessness.

It is beside our present object to enumerate all the cases where the punctuation has been changed, though all are of interest, and many are of importance.

These changes may be classed under three heads.

Where the Edition of 1611 is to be preferred to the later Editions.
Where the changes in the later Editions are improvements; and
Where there are other proposed changes which we suggest as being most desirable.
We shall proceed to give a few examples under each of these three heads.
(1) Changes in punctuation where the Edition of 1611 is certainly to be preferred to the later Editions.

1 Kings 19:5, "And as he [Elijah] lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold then, an angel touched him." In 1769 this was altered to "behold, then." This comma after "behold" has continued to the present day.

Nehemiah 9:4, "Then stood up upon the stairs of the Levites, Joshua, &c." In the Edition of 1769 this was changed to "Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Joshua."

Psalm 79:11, "come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power: Preserve thou, etc.": instead of "come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou." This change was made in 1769.

Psalm 89:46, "How long, LORD, wilt thou hide thyself, for ever?" instead of "How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever?" The third comma of 1611 was removed in 1629,* 1638, 1744, 1769, and in the current editions.

* Not 1630. In 1762 this comma was replaced by a semicolon.
In Proverbs 1:27, the final colon of 1611-1630 after "cometh upon you": is preferable to the present full-stop, introduced in 1629, and retained in the current editions.
In Proverbs 19:2, the comma before "sinneth" should be restored, which was discarded in 1762.

In Proverbs 21:28, the comma before "speaketh" should be restored, which was removed in 1769.

Hosea 7:11, "a silly dove, without heart" instead of "silly dove without heart," since 1629; as though the last two words related to the dove, instead of to Ephraim.

John 2:15, "and the sheep and the oxen." In 1630 (not 1638 and 1743), 1762, and current editions, a comma was introduced after "sheep."

John 18:3, "a band of men, and officers." In 1769 the comma after "men" was dropped; hence, the Roman cohort is not distinguished from the Jewish officers.

Acts 11:26, "taught much people, and the disciples were called." This was so from 1611 to 1630, both clauses being dependent on the verb "it came to pass." Two things came to pass, (1) that the people were taught, and (2) that the disciples were first called Christians. But in 1638-1743 the comma was replaced by a semicolon, and in 1762 by
a full stop: the latter being quite against the Greek.*

* The RV goes back to the semicolon, but not to the comma of 1611.
2 Corinthians 13:2, "as if

Did you know that The Great Mystery or Secret was hidden in God from Ages and Generations until it was first revealed to the Apostle Paul?  Ephesians 3:9 states "And to make all {men} see what {is} the fellowship of The Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:" Click Mystery Teachings

Frequently Asked Questions

1. In John 16:12,13 we read, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth . Does this refer to the administration of the mystery?

In Eph 3:1-4 the apostle Paul makes it clear that it was by a special administration of the grace of God that he was the sole recipient of the gospel of the mystery which he might give to the Gentiles. Down in verse 8 he speaks of himself as less than the least of all saints, but that he should make known the administration of the mystery. The 12 had a part in the administration of promise. They are to sit with Christ in the millennium and judge the nations of the earth and evangelize them. The Church of the mystery has no such mission. The 12 have their names written in the foundations of the New Jerusalem which is to be here on the earth. There were things that the 12 could not bear to hear at that time, but which had reference to further truth in the administration of promise. There was a perfection to be attained in that administration as well as in the other. They were to be given all the truth that they would need to proclaim the coming of the King and His kingdom during the period of the Acts.

2. Some claim that the term Israel refers to the 10 tribes and that Jew refers to Judah (with Benjamin and Levi). Is this true?

The Word of God makes no such distinctions. This is another example of men bending the truth to fit the lie. The 10 tribes were in Persia at the time of Esther, yet in that book they are called Jews 6 times. Our Lord came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, according to His own words. But some would have you believe that the 10 tribes were in Ireland at that time. Did the Lord go to Ireland seeking them? Paul said he was a Jew (Acts 22:3) yet he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Our Lord Himself was a Jew (John 4:9) while Nathaniel called Him the King of Israel (John 1:49). If you use the concordance, you will find many more examples.

3. I still have a little difficulty about the deity of Christ. Where does He come out and say that He was God?

May I ask, Where did the Lord ever come out and say that He was the Messiah of Israel? The signs and the testimony were sufficient and those who could read the OT and see the signs had all the testimony they needed. It is the same with the deity of Christ. Every attribute of God is also attributed to Him. So where is the difficulty? There is no lack of proof, but there is a great lack of belief. That was also Israel's trouble. As for Scripture references look at John 1:18, John 5:18-27, John 8:23-24, John 10:30-38, John 20:28, Eph 3:9 and there are many others.

4. If people do not really die, then why did the Lord say, Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19)?

It was not God that said, Ye shall not surely die, but Satan (Gen 3:4). All in Adam do die. Man's only hope for survival is in resurrection. All in Christ will be made alive. He is the first fruits of them that slept. No hope is given for those outside of Christ.

5. Does the Holy Spirit indwell the believer of this age, those in the administration of the mystery? If so, why?


Yes. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit (new nature within), that we are the children of God. Although found in Romans 8:16 this statement is undispensational, truth for all time. Verse 9 tells us that if we do not have the spirit, the new nature, we are none of His. And verse 11 tells us that there is a quickening here and now in our bodies, in our lives, that comes from this indwelling spirit. So it is this indwelling Spirit that seals the believer (Eph 1:13) and it is this indwelling Spirit that can be grieved (Eph 4:30). It is by this indwelling Spirit that God can make The Church, the temple, which is the body of Christ, His habitation (Eph 2:22). The vain and foolish philosophies of the Gnostics of course would have no place for this doctrine.

6. What is this mystery in Romans 16:25 which had been hid since the ages began?

This is not the mystery that had been hid in God from ages and generations which you will find in Colossians and Ephesians. The context of this verse reveals that it is the mystery of Christ which Paul is preaching to the Romans. The mystery of Christ began with the creation in Gen 1:1 of which we find later He is the Creator. Eph 3:3-5 tells of the mystery of Christ. It was known to the sons of men in past ages. But not as fully as when Paul finishes the Word of God, the canon of Scripture, showing Christ to be Head of The Church which is His body. Romans 16:26 tells that this mystery of Christ is manifested by the Scriptures of the prophets. Now the prophets of Eph 4:11 had not written Scriptures at this time of writing. A part of the mystery of Christ is well set forth in Isaiah 53. In fact all the Scriptures speak of Him and further reveal the mystery concerning Him. And in Romans, Christ is brought out as a federal head in contrast to Adam, showing that by Adam came sin and death, but the hope of resurrection by Jesus Christ. So Romans 16:25 tells nothing about the great secret or mystery which had been hid from ages and generations in God that the Salvation of God is now sent to the Gentiles.

7. What is the gospel of the grace of God in Acts 20:24?

It is the gospel of the uncircumcision that we find mentioned in Acts 15 and also in Gal 2:7. It is the good news that the Gentiles could become a part of the congregation of Israel and partake of their blessings (Romans 15:27) without being under the law. So in that early church the Jew walked by law, the Gentile by grace.

8. What gospel must one preach today lest he be accursed (Gal 1:9)?

No one can be accursed today for preaching any so-called gospel. For one to be accursed, he had to be subject to the law. Israel and the law are set aside today and so no one has been accursed for about 1900 years. Where there is no law, no sin can be imputed. We are under grace today.

9. Why at the end of the prophecy of Jonah does it speak of over 120,000 children and then mention much cattle? What can be the connection?

God definitely said by the mouth of Jonah that He was going to destroy Nineveh in 40 days. There were no conditions or if's about it. But the people, including the king, believed God and they repented. So God in mercy and kindness did not do what He said He was going to do. No one can find fault with a judge that will excuse one at the bar thru mercy. We have 2 other instances of like doing by the Almighty. Adam did not die the day he ate of the fruit, and God did not destroy Israel and make a nation from Moses and his family as He said He would. The sentence was lifted in mercy each time. But there is something there to connect the children and the cattle. In Ecc 3:19,20 we see that in dying there is no difference between man and beast, and they go to the same place. But we also find in Deut 8:3 that even though man was barred from the tree of life, he can live by faith, by believing what God has said. These children were not yet old enough to believe unto life, so like the cattle they would have no resurrection.

10. What does repentance have to do with salvation? What is it?

According to the usage of the word, it means a change of mind, and that for the better. We cannot read any more than that into the word. It does not occur in John's gospel which is the great salvation book for the human race today. But it is obvious that if a man believes, he has changed his mind from unbelief. However, the word repentance is used much more in the case of those who belong to God and rarely of those who do not believe. It was Israel that was called to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Today this word has lost much of its original meaning and most folks think it means penance. But the word penance cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. It is not there.

11. Did Paul write any epistles while in the prison at Caesarea?

There is no evidence that he did. And there is strong evidence that he did not. When Paul's testimony was not received at Jerusalem, the Lord said to him, Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. This cannot be said of Caesarea, for it was not far from Jerusalem. Paul's ministry was in Asia, Europe, and ended at Rome.

12. Can it be true„that God will raise up the unbelievers in their original bodies, punish them, and then destroy them?

Resurrection or raising up these people would be an act of creation. Does God create sin or sinners? Would that be according to His attributes? Furthermore why should He punish them? They were slaves of sin and could not help themselves. Also 2Cor 5:19 tells us that Christ died for their sins and no trespasses are imputed. So there is no reason for punishment. The question is just this; What part would this play in redemption?

13. It says in 2Cor 5:18 that all things are of God. Does this include sin and death and also Satan himself?

In the verse before, it says that old things have passed away for the believer and that all things have become new. So all things that are of God are these new things. Never neglect the context. If all things were unlimited, as some suggest, then we can go back to Ecc 1:2 and prove that all things are vanity. But in that case it is the human labors referred to in verses 3-8 that are vanity. Always look for the antecedent.

14. What does the Bible say about birth control?

Nothing, absolutely nothing. There are some things written in 1Cor 7 which seem to pertain to the subject, but it is in view of the coming tribulation and is in keeping with what is revealed in Matt 24:19. After Acts 28:28 Paul advised the younger widows to marry and no longer spoke of the coming distress which was postponed.

15. How did the tradition get started that the church began at Pentecost?

Rome said so. There is no other evidence either historical or Biblical.

16. Some say that Paul never proclaimed the kingdom of God, but preached only the mystery. What is the evidence?

Paul was told first of all by the risen Lord to preach the things which he had seen (Acts 26:16). What he had seen was what the 12 and others were doing. So if Paul preached only the mystery, then we will have to say the same of the 12 and also of Stephen whom Paul heard. In Acts 17:7 the men of Thessalonica heard Paul preach and reported that he preached another King instead of Caesar. Evidently Paul was preaching the kingdom, the same as the 12, up to Acts 28:28.

17. Did not Paul begin a new ministry when he turned to the Gentiles in Acts 13:46? Was not this the beginning of the church?

If you read the next verse you will find that Paul quotes from Isaiah 49:6 for his authority to turn to the Gentiles. Then this was no mystery or secret hid from ages and generations.

18. What was the purpose of the ministry of Peter in the house of Cornelius?

We must note some things that are not true in order to appreciate that which is true. Nothing is said about Cornelius attending temple or synagogue. All we know is that he was a centurion at the head of an Italian band of soldiers and that he was devout, feared God, gave alms to poor Jews, and prayed to God always. This sums up all we know about him. Even after his experience at the preaching of Peter there is nothing said about him, whether he went to the temple or synagogue or whether he ever joined with the band of Christians at Jerusalem or elsewhere. With that out of the way, we can see that this was a preparation for Paul and his ministry to Gentiles during the Acts period of time.

19. How shall I choose a church or place of worship to attend?

In John 4 you will find that this was also the question of the Samaritan woman. And what was the answer? But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. So today worship has no place designated, but the quality is stressed. It is to be a true spiritual worship. What better place to start it than in the home?

20. You have said that John was preaching to Israel only. What proof do you have for saying that?

Acts 13:24.

21. What would be the condition of our country if there had been no churches? Have they not been a great force in keeping our civilization?

We have a great many people today who have gotten all mixed up and they equate civilization and salvation. There are many ministers today dedicated to the task of saving our society at any cost. We have the do-gooders who want to improve the world and the old nature of man so that he will finally reach the peak of evolution and become as God and be fit for heaven. It is true that the churches have improved and preserved a moral tone of our civilization. But that does not save men. Billy Sunday once said, "There is no difference between the up-and-out and the down-and-out. They are all out." That is right. So we cannot say how many would have been saved today without the churches. Many are being saved in spite of them. We do not know how much of the message of salvation would have been preserved in the families of our country if there had been no churches. We just cannot answer your question, for there is no way of knowing. Conditions might have been better or they might have been worse as far as true worship is concerned. Speculation is useless.

22. What are the basic differences between the kingdom and the church?

The kingdom is a part of the promise made to Abraham and pertains primarily to Israel; but The Church is made up of nations without any distinctions. The kingdom will have a King; The Church has a Head. The kingdom is to be here on the earth where David's kingdom was with Jerusalem as the great world center; The Church has its place in the heavenlies. The kingdom has laws; The Church walks by grace. In the kingdom there is a promise of a bride; but The Church is the body of Christ of which He is the Head. But there is one great common truth; all are saved by grace.

23. Is it true that the nation Israel must repent before the Lord can set up His kingdom?

From the human standpoint, Yes. For prophecy tells us that they will mourn and that they will say blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. From God's standpoint, the day cannot be hastened. He will come in the fullness of time.

24. It is said in Rev 1:7 that when the Lord comes every eye shall see Him. Does this mean that all people of all ages will be there to see?

This is a figure of speech, synedoche, where a part is used for the person. Only those who have eyes and can see with them when He comes will see Him. Dead folks cannot see. And some living folks may be blind. They will not see either. We have a similar figure in Ph’p 2:10 where at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord. This points to a time farther on than that in Revelation. But it will all be voluntary and only the living and the resurrected will do it. No one will be forced to bow. There are many other Scriptures in which this figure can be found.

25. Is not Christ reigning as King now in the heavens and will not this rule continue? How come some say that he is coming down to earth again to Jerusalem and rule over the nations here?

At the present time Satan and his angels are in the heavens. They will be cast out in the midst of the last week of the 70 weeks determined on Israel (Dan 9:24). This is described in Rev 12:9. So it is patent that Christ is not supreme ruler in the heavens now, but rather that He is hid (Col 3:3), and that whenever Christ is manifested in the heavens the members of His church (not the bride) will be manifested with Him (Col 3:4): That is the hope of The Church of the administration of the mystery. But Christ will come and reign on the earth on the throne of His father, David. In Acts 1:6 the apostles wanted to know if the kingdom was going to be set up at that time. Now since the kingdom is primarily of Israel and they are to be a blessing to the nations of the earth, how will the Lord and Israel reign over the earth as pictured in Psalms 2 if they are in heaven? It is wise to take what the Word says instead of trying to force some private interpretation upon it, or change it.

26. Was the prophecy of Joel fulfilled at Pentecost and the kingdom established there and then?

No, the prophecy has not been fulfilled yet. At Pentecost the Spirit was not poured out upon all flesh in Mt. Zion and Jerusalem. There were many Roman soldiers that did not even know about it. There were no wonders in heaven and signs in the earth at that time. There was no change in the sun and the moon. True, Peter spoke of it as the last days when these things should happen, but many years later John says that he is in the last days (1 John 2:18), and Peter many years later speaks of the last days as still future (2 Peter 3:3). At Pentecost Peter mentions the prophecy of Joel merely to show that what was working in the apostles was the same Spirit as Joel spoke about. Peter did not say that Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled. The Lord's house was not established (Isaiah 2) but was totally destroyed shortly later. David's throne has not been occupied by Christ yet. No kingdom was set up and the apostles set on thrones.

27. What is a mortal sin?

It is a sin unto death (1John 5:16). Under the law, murder was a sin unto death. In the case of Ananias and Sapphira lying unto the Holy Spirit was a sin unto death. In 1Cor 11:30 Paul speaks of some who sin and are sickly, and some even died. That was a sin unto death. Mortal sin was never spoken of a Gentile. It was to those under the law. Today the law is not in effect, so we see no examples as above among Christians.

28. Should a Christian go to war?

When Jews who had hired out as soldiers came to John at the Jordan, he baptized them, but never told them to quit the army. Our Lord healed the son of a centurion, but never told this man to quit warfare. Peter was in the house of Cornelius, but there is no record that he told Cornelius to leave the army. No Scripture can be quoted for either side, except that we are to be subject to the powers that be. One who is in the will of the Lord and trusts Him, will have no difficulty with the question. The Lord will put him where he wants him, whether it be on the battle front or in some peaceful occupation. Such questions as this are from the fearful and unbelieving.

29. Can Satan leave hell and wander on the earth at will?

There is no Scripture that says or even hints that Satan was ever in hell or ever will be. At the present time he is just where he has always been from the time of his creation. Some day he will be cast down from that position in heaven to the earth with no power to ascend to heaven again. Hell is for those who are made of the dust of the earth. Satan is not such a creature.

30. What about men taking upon themselves the title of Reverend?

This word occurs in Scripture just once, Psalms 111:9. It is used of the name of God. It is blasphemous for man to take to himself that which pertains to God and His holy name.

31. Did our Lord wear long hair when here on the earth among men?

No. Unless a man were a Nazarite, it was a shame for him to have long hair (1Cor 11:14). Our Lord was not a Nazarite, for a Nazarite was not permitted to drink wine, and our Lord did.

32. Can a Christian become wealthy?

There is no reason why he cannot. Of course those who take the story or parable of the rich man and Lazarus as literal, make it mandatory that one has to get rid of all personal property and beg if he is to be saved. But there is no premium on poverty in God's Word. Abraham was wealthy and was a friend of God. David was wealthy and he was a man after God's own heart. Isaac and Jacob both were wealthy. Solomon had much wealth. And Joseph who buried the Lord was reputed to be the wealthiest Jew of the time. Wealth can be a curse, and it can be a blessing. But poverty can make a man steal. We have wealthy men today who have contributed much to the spread of the gospel.

33. I hear that you teach that there are two churches instead of one. Is this true?

Why not read what we write and see for yourself? From time to time we have written about the 7 churches in Asia. We have recognized that there was a church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38). We have taken note of the fact that the Lord was going to build His church on a rock (Matt 16:18). And besides these were the churches at Rome, Corinth, and many other places to which Paul addressed letters. But it is noteworthy that after Acts 28:28 the word church is never in the plural and it is The Church, not A church. And every church is a body. So today there is one body (Eph 4:4), One Church.

34. According to 1Cor 16:1 should there be a collection taken up in the meeting each Sunday?

There is one collection only in this passage. It is for the saints at Jerusalem. These saints were believing Jews. This one collection was to be taken up on the first of the weeks. The word day is not in the Greek. This is the first week after the Passover. Paul would then take up this collection and carry it with him to Jerusalem.

35. What is this resurrection in Php 3:11?

The out resurrection from among the dead is the prize of the high calling and is for those who have remained faithful and suffered like unto the suffering of Jesus Christ. Paul is saying he is not sure if he will attain to it so as to show it is a prize for believers that suffer and remain faithful to the end and to contrast it with other hopes and resurrections taught by the apostle. In Hebrews 11 he does speak of some who attained to a better resurrection. But they were of a different administration. It is not the resurrection that is the result of believing and obtaining everlasting life. For that is by faith, and not by attainment. By 2 Timothy Paul is confident of attaining the prize and also knows his life shall soon end by the hands of his captors.

36. I have heard, life defined as union with Christ and death as separation from Christ. Does this fit the Scriptures?

Try it for yourself. Read Romans 6:1-10 and use these definitions for life and death. Does this fit?

37. I notice that in the records of the baptism of our Lord in Jordan, that it says that He came up out of the water. Does this mean that He was immersed in the water?

Not necessarily. A river flows, as a usual thing in a bed, for water seeks the lowest level possible. So to get into the river it was necessary to go down into the water and to get out, meant going up out of the water.

38. Who are the other sheep of John 10:16?

The word other is allos which means others of the same kind. Since Israel are the sheep and these are of the same kind, they cannot be Gentiles. That fold ceased to exist at Acts 28:28. There is no fold now. But God will deal with Israel again some day and then there will be another fold and other sheep, not the same ones of this fold in John 10. The present era is between the folds. For, other references to these sheep, see Matt 22:9,10 and 24:31. Are not these all the same?

39. How is it that you teach Pauline doctrine, but do not advocate the Lord's table (1Cor 10 & 1l)?

We do not teach Pauline doctrine for the simple reason that there is no such thing. Paul preached 4 separate gospels during his ministry. In 1Cor 10 and 11 Paul is writing to Jewish believers whose fathers had crossed the Red Sea (10:1). And the feast he is talking about is the Passover which was observed in the homes, not in public. This feast was a supper, observed in the evening, never at morning or noon. These 2 chapters cannot be used for a proof text in support of the observance of the heathen Baal's supper which had been taken up by Christendom.

40. I wonder why that Satan is usually pictured as a black man with horns, hooves, and a tail, when it says in 2Cor 11:14 that he is transformed into an angel of light. What did he look like when he appeared in the garden to Eve?

The popular conception of Satan is really a picture of Nimrod, the great rebel of Babylon. It is told in the legends that he killed a wild bull of extraordinary strength and fierceness. He is supposed to have taken the horns of the bull and made himself a headdress. It did not take the artists long to add the hooves and the tail (always pointed as a spear) and you have the concept of Nimrod the great hunter of his fellow men. We are told in Ezekiel 28 that Satan was created as a covering cherub and when he appeared to Eve it was as the Nachash (shining one). So to Eve he did appear as a great and shining angel, one to revere and believe. No snake deceived Eve.

41. Why do you persist in using the King James version when there are so many modern ones that are more easily understood and which do not use obsolete words?

There are a number of reasons for retaining the Authorized Version. Many concordances would be useless, there would be difficulty with lexicons and the like for they are mostly founded on the AV. It is a sample of the best English of the past centuries. And no modern version can express the holiness and majesty of God as it does. It presents no difficulties to those who have been brought up in Christian homes where the Bible was read and prayers made. Neither does it present any difficulties to one who knows God. But the Bible will remain a closed book to the ungodly no difference what version it may be in. We are very suspicious of versions, for all too often they reflect some man's private belief which may be partial unbelief. None yet has surpassed the Authorized Version which also has the benefit of putting many words in italics where there were no corresponding Greek or Hebrew word in the original manuscripts. It is also one of the earliest English translations and although not perfect does contain less license to private doctrines and added words.

42. Who should keep the Passover?

All circumcised Israelites. It was to be eaten in the home. There was to be no leaven in the house. No manner of work was to be done on the day it was observed. Do not forget that this is all about the kingdom and not The Church. The children of the household were to ask why it was observed and the master of the house recited the story of the exodus from Egypt. The law never made any provisions for any uncircumcised to observe it. See Ex 12:47-49. It was in force till the end of Acts, where The Church began.

43. Should I put something into the collection plate when 1 go to a church?

Most certainly, yes, unless you are the type of person that would slip under the side of the circus tent to avoid paying admission. If you go for the show, then pay your share. Jonah paid his fare, even when running from the Lord (Jonah 1:3).

44. What is the meaning of Gal 2:20? How can one be dead and yet alive?

Christ is our life, we have no eternal life of ourselves. Christ is our supply. Holding Him we have nourishment ministered. This is the fact concerning ourselves as His own, a fact we are required to acknowledge against the background of our own death. He has accomplished for us our death to the end that He may now abide in us. The one has first to happen before the other can be. This is the meaning of the words: I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me (Gal 2:20). But for an acknowledgment that we, as to our human life, are mortal we can never believe that we are accounted to have died with Christ. Those of our fellow-brethren who hold that the soul of man is immortal may use the term that they died with Christ - but they cannot in actuality believe that they did die. They cannot envisage the truth that, as to their human life, they are accounted to have ceased to be.

45. Paul expected to be among the living at the rapture (1Thes 4:15-17; 1Cor 15:51,52). Is this rapture still Paul's hope, even though he died and will be among the dead believers of that time?

The rapture is only for the children of promise, primarily Jews but also Gentiles who became the children of Abraham by faith from Acts 10 to Acts 28:28. It has to do with the kingdom here on the earth. The rapture is just a little trip up into the air (not heaven) to meet the Lord as He comes with clouds of angels who will execute judgment as He sets up His kingdom seated on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Since the husbandman is to be the first partaker of the fruits, then Paul must surely have a part in the administration of the mystery which was entrusted to him to proclaim. Therefore he will have an earlier resurrection than that at the coming of the Lord and will be manifested with Him in the heavenly places.

46. Matthew 8:11 seems to indicate that Gentiles from the East and the West will have a part in the kingdom, but not from the North and the South. Is there any explanation for this?

There is no explanation that we can give at this time except the suggestion that it may be that the Russians and the Egyptians will not have a part in it. That could also include Lebanon and Syria. But this is only a guess. These nations might be all changed around by that time. But it is something to think about. The Word is exact and there is good reason for these words being written. The prophecies will be plain to all when fulfilled.

47. If the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 begins at the dedication of the temple, 1 always thought it had its beginning with the decree of Artaxerxes or Astyages in 454 B.C. Can you explain your position?

Very briefly, you will find 2 distinct prophecies in Daniel chapter 9. The first one is in verse 24 and speaks of the second advent of the Messiah. Note that 70 weeks are determined upon the people and the city. This cannot begin with the decree for the simple reason that the people are not in the city till about 49 years (7 weeks) later. So the 70 weeks determined on the city and the people must begin about the time of the dedication of the temple or 405 B.C. It is not hard then to figure that the coming of the Messiah to set up His kingdom would have been AD. 85. However the course of the city and the people did not run to this end, but the people were set aside at Acts 28:28 and since then have not been a people. The city was destroyed in 70 AD. Now if the people were cut off at the end of Acts, about A.D. 63, then there are about 3 weeks yet to run till the coming of the Messiah. We do not know when this prophecy will be resumed. Now the 7 and 62 weeks after the going forth of the decree brings us to A.D. 29, the date when Messiah was cut off. That has been completed.

48. Does Genesis 6:3 indicate that God will not always strive with men,. but that one can cross a deadline where there will be no more conviction by the Holy Spirit and they are forever lost?

Man, in this verse is Adam in the Hebrew: The verse means that God is getting weary of striving with Adam, for Adam (like others) is erring. See note in Companion Bible. So Adam is given another 120 years to live and he died at the age of 930. So we can take it that Adam was 810 years old when God finally made up His mind not to put up with him.

49. Is there any escape from hell once one is in it? If so, how?

The common notion of hell is far from what the Word says that it is. It is sheol in the Hebrew and occurs 65 times in the OT. It is translated hell 31 times, grave 31 times and pit 3 times. The RV is consistent in that it renders it sheol each time. It could be translated grave all 65 times and not mar the meaning. In the NT hades is used 11 times. It is also used in the LXX to translate sheol. So it is the same thing. It is translated 10 times as hell and once as grave. Gehenna does not enter into this discussion, for although it is translated hell, it is the city dump outside of Jerusalem. Neither does Tartarus enter in either. The grave or hell is a place where people are dead and live not again till resurrection (Rev 20:5). Our Lord was in hell 3 days and 3 nites. He came out by resurrection and was the first fruits of the great harvest that is still to come forth. Death and hell are to be destroyed (Rev 20:13,14). So all go to hell or the grave at death. Those who have everlasting life will escape by resurrection.

50. What is the difference between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God?

The former includes the latter in one sense. The gospel or good news of the kingdom was first proclaimed by John the Baptist, the Lord Himself, then the 12, and finally the 70, this being before the death of Christ. Then the apostles were further instructed as to the kingdom and this was the gospel preached by all up to Acts 28:28. The gospel of the grace of God began in the house of Cornelius, about 9 years after Pentecost. This was the only instance that Peter preached this gospel. None of the other 11 preached it at any time. And about 17 years after Pentecost Paul began to preach the gospel of the grace of God at Antioch to the Gentiles (just as Peter did) and continued it till the end of Acts. But in every instance Paul was careful to preach the gospel of the kingdom to the Jew first, and then turned to the Gentiles and preached to them the gospel of the grace of God, which meant that they could partake of all the spiritual blessings of Israel without keeping the law (being circumcised, keeping feasts, and the rituals). The same salvation (not eternal life) of the kingdom was at that time for both Jew and Gentile, but to the Jew first.

51. What is the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25)?

In this context we learn that the mystery that is in view is one that had been hushed since the ages began. So it is not the administration of the mystery which was hid from ages and generations and had its plans made before the ages began. This mystery, that had been hushed had been made known by the prophets as the context tells us, so it is not the mystery of Ephesians and Colossians. Also this mystery in Romans is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. In the structure outline of Romans this is explained by the same words appearing in 1:1-5. It is the preaching of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but connected with His being the seed of David. So then this is kingdom preaching and declares Jesus Christ not only the anointed one or Messiah, but truly the Son of God.

52. In what sense, if any, did works ever save?

Basically we have all through the Bible record the revelation of life as the gift of God, received by faith and in no connection whatsoever with works. But on that life we find based at least two salvations or lines of blessing. One is the promise made to Abraham. At least the kingdom aspect of the administration of promise has much to do with works as the sermon on the mount will indicate. Also Mark 16:16 adds that when the kingdom was being preached to Jews only, they must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. From 1Cor 3 we may infer that good works of themselves did not save, but could be burned up and the worker saved as by fire. When works were connected with salvation, they were for the most part specific rather than general. But today we have a salvation revealed in Eph 2:8-10 which is obtained by faith only. This salvation is a creation unto good works, not of works.

53. I am puzzled by Mark 13:32. Does this take away from the truth of the deity of Christ?

This passage says, But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. This has been a favorite verse for those who deny the deity of Christ. But it may be that it does prove His deity. He knows that no man knows the day and the hour. He knows that the angels in heaven do not know the day and the hour. Does not this knowledge indicate deity? And what if He does not choose to know? Deity can forget or remember at will. He can forget our sins. That we cannot do. If the Lord chose not to know the time, then that was His business and we have no right to question Him.

54. Is glory a place?

If at any time it answers the question, Where?, then it is a place. Whenever the question of place comes up with any terms, this is a good question to ask. If it designates where something is to be or to happen, then it is a place. But you will note when you look up the word glory in the concordance that it is not always used the same. It may speak of the glory of God. It may speak of the glory of Christ. And there are other usages. In the mystery of godliness in 1Timothy 3:16 it says that He was received up into glory. This answers the question of Where?, and is definitely a place. You may try other passages with the same method.

55. What is dispensational truth?

It is the body of truth, doctrine and practice, that is for a particular household of God. Some dispensational truth may be common to both dispensations. Some truth may be peculiar to its own particular dispensation. For instance, citizenship in the heavenly places is peculiar to the dispensation of the mystery. On the other hand, a part in the new Jerusalem is peculiar to the dispensation of promise. The word chosen is common to both, but time of choosing makes the distinction. The choice of some is before the overthrow, and the choice of others since the overthrow. This is where the workmanship of right division comes in.

56. What is meant by falling from grace?

You probably refer to Gal 5:4. In the first place this epistle to the Galatians is written to the members of the administration of promise, and especially to the Gentile members who had been grafted into the blessings of Israel and the kingdom. To these Paul had preached the gospel of the grace of God, that they might receive all the benefits of the administration of the promise without being circumcised and keeping the law. But there were Judaizers who were convincing some of these Gentiles that they must be circumcised and keep the law. So Paul says to them, For I testify again to every man (Gentile) that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you (Gentiles) are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. So to fall from grace was to leave the grace principle or gospel and go back to circumcision.

57. Was the crossing of the Red Sea literal, or was it just a figurative story?

If it was just a story, then we fail to see the point. If it was just a story, then how did the few million Hebrew slaves get out of Egypt?

58. What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Ghost? Acts 1:4,5.

At Pentecost the apostles were baptized with the Holy Ghost in fulfillment of the promise in Luke 24: 49. They received power from on high. This power enabled them to speak in languages and perform many miracles. This was in connection with those who proclaimed the kingdom. It was not in any way connected with The Church. See The Giver and His Gifts by E. W. Bullinger for further light.

59. Can Gentiles partake of the New Covenant?

Jer 31:31 plainly states that the New Covenant is to be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. This is again quoted in Heb 8:8. This is with Israel, not The Church or the Gentiles. The Gentiles do have a promise (Eph 3:6; 2Tim 1:1; Tit 1:2). But Gentiles have always been strangers from the covenants of promise (Eph 2:12).

60. In Acts 20:27 Paul declares that he has shown the whole counsel of God, yet we are led to believe that the mystery which was later proclaimed had been hid from ages and generations and that Paul did not know it there in Acts 20. How can we reconcile these?

If you will look at Eph 1:9 and 11 you will see two words used which do not mean the same thing. One is counsel, and the other is purpose. Paul did not say that he had proclaimed the whole purpose of God, but God's counsel (in accordance with the purpose then revealed). But when a new purpose or further purpose was made known, then there was a counsel or working out of that purpose as you see in Ephesians one. Be careful with terms.

61. What are the gates of hell in Matthew 16:18?

Since no explanation is given in that place, we must then go back to the OT which the disciples at that time had. In Isaiah 38:10 we read, I shall go to the gates of the grave. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? (Job 38:17). Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death (Psalms 9:13). Can this be resurrection from the grave? And we read in Psalms 107: 18, And they draw near unto the gates of death. Now going back to the passage in Matthew, we must conclude that the doors of the grave or hell cannot hold His church when He calls. They will come forth from the state of death.

62. If being born again in John 3:3 means resurrection, then what does it mean in 1Peter 1:23?

The same word is not used in these two passages. The latter means begotten (See margin in Companion Bible). So we must conclude that there can be no rebirth or resurrection without a begetting by the Word of God. Try using begotten in John 3:6 and see what the meaning is. Further study is needed in this subject.

63. Is it true that "ALL Paul's early epistles are addressed to Gentiles." References, such as Romans 11:13; 1Cor 12:2; Gal 4:8; and 1Thess 2:14, are given to prove the point. Can you give more light on this?

There is little doubt that Paul's first epistle was Galatians. And it appears that it was written to the Gentile Christians of Galatia. But at the same time it is evident that he wrote Hebrews, and that epistle is not to Gentiles at all! Romans 2 is to the Jewish believers, verse 17 emphasizing it. Chapters 10 and 11 of 1Cor are to those whose fathers crossed the Red Sea. Surely they must have been Jews. The fathers of the Gentiles never crossed the Red Sea. You will note in these chapters the directions for keeping the feast (the Passover) which was never lawful for Gentiles to keep.

64. Must the Roman empire be revived?

For many years we have heard this debated, but really have never yet found a Scripture which would indicate that this must be true. We are open to any proof anyone may offer for this, but we are afraid it is merely a tradition someone started.

65. How can every knee bow confessing Christ Lord, to God's glory, unless reconciled? (Philippians 2: 10,11).

Lest any be misled, we must emphasize the fact that reconciliation is not life nor is it salvation. The definition is given in 2Cor 5:19. It means that a work was accomplished so that the sins of the world are not imputed against it. This is good news for those who do not have life, for it gives them access to God to receive the precious gift of everlasting life. Those that have this life shall live. And in resurrection, they will be given knees which they can bow, and be given tongues with which they can confess. But those who do not have life and will never see life (John 3:36), but remain in the dust of the earth, will never have knees or tongues.

66. What does it mean in Philippians 2:12 where it says we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling?

It is well to consider what salvation is before making any applications. It does not say that we are to work out our everlasting life. To equate salvation and everlasting life will only get us into confusion. And somebody has said that confusion is ignorance. When our Lord said to the woman of Samaria that salvation was of the Jews, He was not talking about everlasting life. By faith the Samaritans or any other people could have life. Peter recognized this fact in Acts 10:43. Israel had a salvation to work out. It was that they were to be a priestly nation and make known to the nations the name of Jehovah. They were promised the blessings of the kingdom. To them pertained the preaching of the kingdom. All this was their salvation and they were expected to work it out. And so when the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles in Acts 28:28, it does not mean that they are then to obtain everlasting life. Their salvation was the administration of the mystery with all its hopes and blessings. This they were to work out.

67. What is the meaning of 1Timothy 1:8?

This verse states that the law is good if one uses it lawfully. There is law today, but not in the sense of the Mosaic law given at Sinai, although that law did reveal the righteousness of God and man's utter inability to attain unto such a state of holiness. But the law or will of God is given to us in the last seven epistles of Paul in the form of exhortations and the like. This is a good thing for us providing we do not attempt to use it as a means of boasting in the flesh. We can walk worthy of our vocation or calling, but there is nothing to brag about, for such a walk is where Christ lives in and acts thru us.

68. What is the difference between eternal life and everlasting life?

They both translate the same phrase in the Greek. However God alone can have eternal life for He has no beginning or end. His children do have a beginning and are given everlasting life through the works of His Son.

69. Your teaching seems very queer. How can Christ be King of kings on the earth and at the same time be Head of a church which is His body in heaven? This is absurd, is it not?

For finite beings such as you and I, this would be impossible and therefore absurd. But if Christ were deity, God manifest in flesh, then He is the Infinite and could appear in as many different places and forms as He might choose.

70. Was Christ a soul after the resurrection?

Psalms 16:10 says, Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. This is quoted in Acts 2:27 by Peter, and part of it is quoted in Acts 13:35 by Paul. Christ went to hell just as have all others who have lived and died on this earth. But His soul was holy and so did not see corruption. It was raised from the dead. If He was a soul before death, then He was a soul in resurrection.

71. I have heard it said that God is acting in grace today to all the world, and that if He does not act in grace, He does not act at all. Is this according to the Scriptures?

In theory, this is but another version of universal reconciliation or salvation. It just happens that the Redeemer in the Hebrew is also the Avenger. The redemption of Noah and his family brought vengeance on the wicked world of that time. The redemption of Israel from Egypt brought vengeance on Pharaoh and his hosts. The very fact that God loves His people makes Him hate their enemies. We are told that Buddha loves everybody. He sits and does nothing about it. But that is not our God. His grace is for those that will partake of it. His wrath abides on others (John 3:36).

72. I am a little mixed up. It speaks of the inheritance of God in the heavenlies in Ephesians 1:18, and in Colossians 1:12 it says that we are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance in the holiest in light. However Ephesians 5:5 indicates that one may lose this inheritance. How is this?

The Church has an inheritance, even as did Israel. Individuals may lose it, even as many thousands of Israel lost their inheritance.

73. In Psalms 1:5 it says that the ungodly would not stand (arise) in the judgment, and that this meant no resurrection for the unbelievers. Somebody said that this word stand did not mean resurrection. Can you answer this?

A lot of people are quick to set forth their own ideas as gospel truth, but err, not knowing the Scriptures. You will find this word quwm (koom) on page 1101 of the Englishman's Hebrew Concordance. There is a long list of the places where used, but one or two will suffice. See Job 14:12; Psalms 88:10; Isaiah 26:14. You can also check this with Strong's concordance. The word number is 6965. This is what Scripture says.

74. Do you believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible? If so, then how would you translate sheep and vine and the like for people who know nothing of these things? After all, is not the Bible just the words of men?

The Bible time after time claims to be the Word of God. If it is not, then it is false and should be thrown out altogether. It would even be dangerous if it were just the words of men. But look at Psalms 12: 6, The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. God has spoken in man's language to man, but He does not use those words carelessly as man does. And the fact that some might not understand some of the terms used is no excuse to make any changes in the Word of God. How many understand love? How many comprehend the term righteousness? We who are teachers have to teach what these things are. And so it is up to a man to teach what a sheep or a vine is when speaking to the Eskimos. Some tribes do not know what a home is. It is up to Christians to teach and to show these what a home is. We must not tamper with the Scriptures. But we must remember that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable...

75. What is the sin mentioned in Hebrews 12:1?

It is the sin of unbelief. That is the root of all other sins. Self-will nourishes it.

76. It seems strange that Rahab the harlot should be so well spoken of in the Bible. Why?

In this day when men think that respectability is Christianity, this does pose a real question. But Rahab was saved by faith and not by any moral qualities she may have had. So we can say that she was a sinner saved by grace. People who do not know the love and power of God cannot understand His works. Our Lord was criticized because He kept company with publicans and sinners. God is able to take the worst sinner living today and make a saint of him. But men with all their do-good programs and reformation cannot do this.

77. Why don't we hear more about Jobs wife?

She was not much good as a wife. When Job was in trouble and grief, she was no comfort. All she had to say was that he should curse God and commit suicide (Job 2:9). God did not see fit even to put her name in Scripture. The same with Lot's wife.

78. Why did God have a program of healing in the apostolic times and not have it today?

During the time covered by Acts, the kingdom was still at hand. If any at that time would have been careful to study Daniel 9, they would have been able to set the date of the Lord's second coming and the setting up of His kingdom. It would have been A.D. 85, just 490 years from the dedication of the temple after the exile (405 B.C.). With that near coming at hand, it would be fitting that those who believed and entered into the kingdom would be alive and ready to meet the King at His coming. So the sick were healed and the dead raised during the time that the kingdom was in view. But when the kingdom was postponed at Acts 28:28, the gifts of the Spirit ceased. The two days of Hosea 6:2 must intervene before Israel will be raised and come into their kingdom. Resurrection and being manifested with Him in the heavenlies is the hope of the members of The Church which is His body today. A resurrection at about the time of the great white throne of judgment is the hope of those who have everlasting life, but no adoption (See Job 14:12 and compare with Rev 20:11). Thus we can see that there is no gifts of healing and the like today.

79. How about the common teaching that the church is Spiritual Israel? Is it true?

I am afraid that we will never be able to find the expression Spiritual Israel in the Bible. It is not there. History tells us that this expression originated with a man by the name of Origines. He was a Greek writer and teacher of the third century. It was a theory that God was forever thru with the Jew and now all the blessings and covenants had been transferred to the church. A few years later the Emperor Constantine saw in this a great chance to improve his position as ruler. This would make a fine basis for a church-state, making war in the name of and with the aid of religion, for ritual, pomp, splendor, and ecclesiastical theatricals. We have on hand today the tragic results of that lie, that theory, which has caused to much bloodshed and misery in centuries past. And if we are not careful, organized religion will again take over and rule the world. Then there will be great tribulation.

80. Is water baptism essential for the remission of sins?

Isaiah had a coal of fire laid upon his mouth, which in touching his lips took away all his iniquity and purged all his sins. Our Lord spoke to many during His earthly ministry, remitting their sins without baptism. The members of The Church of the administration of The Mystery are not under law, and they today have redemption through His blood, and the forgiveness of sins. They have only one baptism and this is explained in Col 2:12,13 as being identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, even to a quickening with Him with the accompaniment of forgiveness of sins. No water baptism is mentioned in connection with The Church. It is a part of the law and the kingdom of Israel. But there are even now those who claim that they are Jews (Rev 2:9; 3:9)

81. It would seem that Romans 2:14 proves that man did not have a fall, but by nature does the things of the law. How do you see it?

The epistle to the Romans has suffered much at the hands of its friends, the commentators and the expositors. It is a case of being very careful to read the address on the envelope, to find out to whom the apostle is speaking. This epistle is written to the church at Rome which was made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. The man spoken to in verse 1 of chapter 2 is seen to be the Jew (see verse 17). When we read Galatians we see that the Gentile believers in the churches were not subject to the law of Israel. This is also brought out in the council at Jerusalem (Acts 15). So here in Romans 2:14 Paul is reminding the Jewish believers that the Gentile believers did by nature (the new nature in the believer) the things contained in the law. This would only be natural, for the law did contain the righteous requirements of God for His people. This does not say that the Gentiles observed the ritual of the law. That was settled in Acts 15:24-29.

82. There is a great deal of mention of the book of life in the Revelation. There seems to be a danger of being blotted out of it. How can one know his name is in this book?

This is another example of carelessly reading the Word. The book of life is mentioned about 7 times in the Revelation. Once it is called the Lamb's book of life (21:27). This might give us a clue. But the best explanation for it is given in Daniel 12:1. The names written in the book are those of Daniel's people, that is, Israel. So we do not look for the names of Gentiles to be written in that particular book. The Revelation is about Israel, their tribulation, and the overcomers. It is possible that there might be a book for the Gentiles, but you will find that elsewhere.

83. Do we today have need of the Advocate mentioned in 1John 2:1?

Under the law, men were judged by the law (Romans 2:12) and those that do not have the law cannot be judged by it. Where there is no law, sin is not imputed and therefore there can be no summons to court or a charge made against the sinner (see 2Cor 5:19 and Romans 5:13). Those under the law prayed that they might be forgiven as they forgave others. But we who are under grace are to forgive others freely because we have been forgiven (Eph 4:32). We have no need of an Advocate today, for we have forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7 & Col 1:14).

84. What was the spiritual condition of the rich young ruler when he came to the Lord and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life?

This young man who must have been a "somewhat" in the synagogue was already a believer. He recognized the Lord as the Messiah, the King of Israel. His request was what he must do to have a place of importance in the kingdom. The reply of the Lord was very similar to His words in Matt 19:29. It meant the forsaking of everything in the world for His name's sake. The price was too high for this man.

85. Did Paul continue establishing churches or assemblies after Acts 28:28?

There is no record that he did. Neither is there any record that such churches or assemblies were in existence after Acts 28:28.

86. What part, or parts, of the gospel of John are truth for this administration?

In the first place, we do not use the term "this administration." If the administration of The Mystery is meant, then John's gospel is not to or for it. But John's gospel is truth for today. So many are misled by the expression "this administration," thinking it means this age or time in which we live and that it means a way in which God is dealing with mankind today in general. God does have a special way of dealing with the administration of The Mystery, a church already seated in heavenly places. But for the rest of humanity today, John's gospel applies (John 3:16). There is no administration teaching for today in this gospel. That which applies today and which is for Gentiles (the Jews have been set aside, 1:11), is 1:1-18; 3:13-21; and 3:31-36. The reason for the writing of the gospel is given in 20:30,31. There are some short explanations through the book for Gentile readers, and then the last 2 verses of the book are up-to-date.

87. Should those who are Christians gather together at some place for worship today?

It may be that the word worship is somewhat overdone these days. Even in Israel, the temple was the designated place of worship. The Synagogue was not a place of worship, but a place to teach the Scriptures and also as a court where men might be tried under the law and penalties meted out. Paul knew this very well, for he had been beaten in the Synagogues many times. In the epistles written after Acts 28:28 the word worship occurs just once. That is in Ph'p 3:3 where Paul says, For we are the (true) circumcision, which worship God in the spirit. This is an echo of John 4:23 where the Lord said to the woman of Samaria, But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshiper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. That worship has nothing to do with a place, a priesthood, nor a ritual. It is natural for those who love the Word and the One of whom it speaks to gather together, but we have no such command today. Leaders often wish it and even pretend it so they can get a following and a big collection.

88. Do you believe that there are 2 bodies?

In the administration of The Mystery there is 1 Body (Eph 4:4). In the administration of promise there was 1 body (1Co 12:13). Whether that included all believers I cannot tell. It may have been just the church at Corinth. So there was one body, and there is one body. But they are not the same. The first was of Israel with an earthly hope. There is one now of Gentiles already seated in heavenly places. The first was to minister to the nations of the earth. There is one now making known the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places. We are aware that most of Christendom does not know much about right division and the mystery.

89. I am curious about Acts 17:11. What was it that Paul told the Bereans, and what Scriptures might they have looked up to see if it was so?

You have done well to stop and ask such a question. Not many have done that. In the same chapter, in verses 2 and 3, you will find what Paul preached; And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them (the synagogue of the Jews), and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus-whom I preach unto you, is Christ. So it is clear that Paul was preaching and arguing from the Scriptures that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed their Christ and Messiah, the King of Israel. In verse 7 his enemies charge him with saying, that there is another king (than Caesar), one Jesus. The theme of their Scriptures, the OT, is of the coming kingdom and the King. And this is what the Bereans found. Paul was not preaching the administration of The Mystery. Even if he had, they could not have verified his message from the Scriptures they had, for it was a subject that had been hid in God from ages and generations (Eph 3:9; Col 1:26). Be sure to check this.

90. How can we know that the "voice" in Isaiah 40:3 refers to John the Baptist?

The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to write of John the Baptist, For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. This is quoted from the reference you gave. Also you will find that a messenger is to be sent to proclaim the coming of the Lord, the God of Israel (Mal 2:16,17; 3:1-4). This is the same Lord and God referred to in your text. Not only does John the Baptist fulfill the place of the messenger, but Jesus of Nazareth is the Lord and the God of Israel whose way is to be made straight. Christ is Jehovah.

91. Could it be that Philippians 2:9-11 refers to the man, Jesus, who is another creature or a god?

In this reference it is plainly stated that the highest name possible is given to Jesus of Nazareth. That name is found in Psalms 7:17, the first of 36 places it occurs in the OT. It is Jehovah-Elyon, or, Jehovah the Most High God. There is no name above this one. If Jesus of Nazareth was not Jehovah, the Most High God, then our Bible is wrong, not inspired, and can not be trusted. We might just as well throw it out and lean on our own understanding. Here is a further quotation from Isaiah 45:23, I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. In this same context it is made plain that there is no other Savior. However Satan still is saying, Yea, hath God said! We find our directions made clear in 2 John 9,10, Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ (what the Word testifies of Him) , hath not God ...If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. Just remember, the greatest of sins is unbelief.

92. What is the meaning of Romans 9:6 where it says, " For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." Does this have to do with the true seed?

The true and the false seed are not in this context. Rather, the downfall of Israel and the blessing of the Gentile believers is the subject of chapters 9-11 here in Romans. Paul is making it plain that the true Israel of God is not all made up of the descendants of Israel, but also includes Gentiles. In his first epistle, Paul said to the Gentile believers, And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:29). In verse 9 of the same chapter we read, So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Now keep in mind that this is in the administration of promise, not The Mystery. Israel is still first.

93. Did John the Baptist have a message and a baptism for Gentiles?

There is no record that he did. In fact, there was no ministry to Gentiles in the NT until the day that Peter went to the house of Cornelius in the city of Caesarea (Acts 10 entire).

94. There is much talk these days about Moses being married to a black woman, and also that Philip preached to a colored man of Ethiopia. Do these have any bearing on truth for today?

None that I can think of. Zipporah was the wife of Moses. She was the daughter of a priest in Midian. His name was Reuel, Raguel, or Jethro. The Midianites were children of Abraham by his second wife, Keturah, and so would be the same race and color as Moses. Since Midian was in Arabia, a part of the land of Cush, she would be a Cushite by nationality, but a Midianite by race. So what? The eunuch, to whom Philip spoke, is not. said to be an Ethiopian, but from Ethiopia. He had the Scriptures and had been to Jerusalem to worship. So we must conclude that he was a Jew that was a slave in high position with the queen of Ethiopia. This would correspond with the condition of Daniel in the court of Nebuchanezzar and later in the court of Darius the Mede. I might add that the queen of Sheba was very probably not of Ethiopia, as tradition says, but queen Hatshepsut of Egypt (Sheba meaning south).

95. What is meant by the evil day in Ephesians 6:13?

There is a chance that at some time during the truth of the administration of The Mystery there may come a time of tribulation or trial upon those who dare to speak this truth. The spiritual failure and barrenness we see in Christendom today can well lead to such a condition.

96.  Are we to approach the throne of grace in prayer today as indicated in Hebrews 4:16?

The word throne does not appear in any of the epistles Paul wrote after Acts 28:28. It is not found in the gospel of John which was also written this side of Acts. Throne has to do with a King and a kingdom. There is no place for a throne in The Church. In the plural, it occurs in Col 1:16, but it is concerning thrones, dominions, and the like in heaven and earth, not the throne of God.

97. In Romans 6:14,15 it speaks of not being under the law, but under grace. Was not the Jew still under the law then?

Yes, the Jew was still under the ceremonial law, known as the law. But in the reference you gave, there is no article. Under faith, love, and grace, the Jew was no longer subject to the moral law. The moral law is contained in the last 5 of the 10 commandments. You can readily see that if one loves his neighbor as himself, then this moral law is made void. It is rather a strange thing to say that law is for the lawless. But that is right. The Gentile believers in Rome had the new nature and so did the things of the law, even though they never had it (Romans 2:14). Romans 13:8,10 shows that love is the fulfilling of the law (the moral law).

98. According to Ephesians 3:2 is not this the age or administration of grace?

No. This verse tells us that a special administration of grace was given to Paul that he might preach the gospel of the administration of The Mystery. Just notice how Paul follows this statement up in verses 7 & 8. Compare with Col 1:25 where he speaks of his ministry being an administration of God to him. The next verse speaks of this ministry as The Mystery.

99. When did water baptism cease to be the rule for God's people?

The apostles and Paul baptized with water in the Acts era. Paul makes it known that after Acts 28:28 there is one baptism (Eph 4:5) and in Col 2:12 this baptism is described as being identified with Christ in death, burial and resurrection. So we must conclude that water baptism ceased at the end of Acts.

100. Is it true that two distinct purposes of God are revealed in the Bible?

Yes that is true. (1) There is a distinctive purpose revealed concerning Israel, the kingdom, and the earth program (not connected with powers in the heavens). The kingdom phase culminates in the coming of the King, the rapture of His people, Israel, and the setting up of the kingdom. (2) There is another distinctive purpose revealed after Acts 28:28 which has to do with the Gentiles (nations) and this in connection with heavenly places and heavenly beings. This is The Church. All believers outside these two distinctive purposes from Adam till now will have their part with the dying malefactor in paradise (the new earth). This groups all believers into 3 groups, but with 2 spheres of blessing, the earth and the heavens.
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