Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth
By David J. Stewart | December 2013 | Updated April 2015
2nd Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The phrase “rightly dividing” in 2nd Timothy 2:15 is the Greek word orthotomeō and means “to make a straight cut, that is, (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message).” God Himself tells us in the Bible that we must study (which requires work to understand) so that we may correctly dissect the Scriptures, cross-referencing Scripture-with-Scripture. Most people casually read the Bible like a newspaper, but that's not how to study the Word of God.
There has been much debate in recent years amongst the churches over the age of the earth, the timing of the Rapture, and where the Old Testament saints went after death. May I kindly say, much of the doctrinal confusion today has been caused by religious students who casually read through the Bible, instead of rightly dissecting (studying) it as God commanded. If you casually read through the Holy Bible, you won't find the words Trinity, Rapture, Tribulation, New World Order, et cetera. And for that matter, you won't find the word “Bible” either!
Yet, the diligent Bible student can only conclude a Pretribulation Rapture (that is, the saints will be Raptured, removed, at the onset of the 7-year Tribulation period). This type of dissection of the Scriptures (rightly dividing) is called “Deductive Reasoning,” that is, forming logical conclusions based upon known Biblical facts. I hear critics of the Pretrib Rapture doctrine saying ridiculous things like, “I've read the entire Bible multiple times and there's nothing mentioned about a Pretribulation Rapture.” Such foolish statements reveal their woeful ignorance of the Scriptures.
Our text verse says in 2nd Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The correct way to learn the truths of God's Word is to dissect it, skillfully. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is quick (alive) and powerful (working). By comparing one verse with another verse, building our understanding line-upon-line and precept-upon-precept, we are able to form logical conclusions and sound doctrine from the Scriptures. This is God's method for learning the Bible. If a suggested doctrine is in disagreement with other Scriptures in the Bible, then you've got the wrong interpretation. When all the puzzle pieces fit, then you know you've got the right meaning.
Old Earth; Young Human Race—Evolution is a Bogus Lie!
I am firmly convinced from rightly dividing the Scriptures that the Bible teaches an Old Earth, but a Young Human Race. There is an abundance of evidence in support of an Old Earth, but hardly nothing (except bizarre claims) to support the heresy of a Young Earth.
Psalms 102:25, “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.”
Evolution is laughable! Young Earth advocates (supporters) often attempt to yoke proponents of an Old Earth along with evolutionists, which not only confuses people, but unfairly represents the Old Earth crowd. I am 100% convinced of an Old Earth, yet I do not believe in any form of evolution. I am totally against Theistic Evolution, which is the teaching that God created everything billions of years ago, but then it evolved. I agree with science that the universe is 13 billion years old. However, mankind has only been upon the earth since God remodeled it around the year 4,000 BC. This doctrine is commonly called in theological circles, the “Gap Principle.”
The Bible says that Adam named every living creature (Genesis 2:19), yet modern scientists named all the 1,047 known species of dinosaurs (and that's not including all the prehistoric mammals).
Also, the Holy Bible mentions the names of over 200 different varieties of animals, yet there's no mention of any dinosaurs or prehistoric animals. Young Earth advocates desperately grasp for straws trying to turn the “behemoth” mentioned in Job into a dinosaur (Job 40:15). The Hebrew word for behemoth is actually plural, referring to multiple beasts. There is much debate over whether this word refers to hippopotamuses or elephants, but not one respectable Bible scholar interprets this to mean a “dinosaur.” Remember, the word is PLURAL, a herd. That's why they drink Here's a bunch of commentaries on Job 40:15, so you can see what many leading theologians think on the matter. I kind of lean toward an elephant, whose bones are like bars (Job 40:18).
The Bible identifies the lion is the strongest of all beasts. Proverbs 30:30, “A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any.” Certainly, a Sabertooth Tiger (whose skeletal remains I have seen on display at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California) would have been much stronger than a lion. Have you ever seen a Sabertooth? They're giant!!! And how about a Woolly Mammoth? There's no way that a lion would be the strongest of all beats if the dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures lived amongst mankind. It is absolutely laughable that religious shyster Ken Ham's new Noah's Ark Theme Park being erected in Kentucky will have dinosaurs aboard the ark. Oh boy! The $73 million project is projected to generate several billions-of-dollars in revenues!
Abraham's Bosom (Paradise)
Another popular debate is over Abraham's bosom, aka, Paradise (Luke 16:19-31; Acts 2:27; Ephesians 4:8-9), a temporary holding place for Old Testament saints. A few Bible scholars, such as Matthew Henry and John R. Rice, refuted this idea, instead teaching that all Old Testament saints went directly to Heaven. Although it is tempting to agree with John R. Rice and Matthew Henry, I cannot, because of a handful of Scriptures which plainly indicate that Jesus “DESCENDED FIRST INTO THE LOWER PARTS OF THE EARTH” (Ephesians 4:9). Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” I have a serious problem believing that the Bible's references to Christ DESCENDING, going down INTO THE LOWER PARTS OF THE EARTH, in fact, into THE HEART OF THE EARTH, as meaning that Christ's body was placed into a tomb. That's all some pretty strong and elaborate language for a simple burial. Remember, the Lord wasn't lowered into a grave as we commonly see in America today. Christ was carried and laid in a tombstone, cut in the side of a hill. Furthermore, Jesus said in Acts 2:27 that He knew the Father would not LEAVE MY SOUL IN HELL (HADES).
Do You Remember the Game 'Husker Du'?
To properly study the Bible, it's a lot like a board-game that I used to play as a kid called Husker Du.
The game “Husker Du” is a Swedish memory board game. The game has plastic pieces (markers) to cover various small images. When it's your turn, you lift a marker and see the image. Then you put the marker back down and the next person takes their turn. When it's your turn again, you lift a different marker. If you can remember where the other matching image was located, you lift that marker (piece) and keep both pieces, removing them from the playing board. The object of the game is to remember where you saw the same image. You keep playing as long as you can remember where matching images are located. When you get the wrong image, your turn is over. Whoever collects the most plastic markers wins! There's a wheel that you turn that changes all the images each new game.
Likewise, studying the Bible is much like playing the game Husker Du, that is, when you read a Scripture you REMEMBER and COMPARE other Bible passages that are related or have applicable meaning and you try to establish the correct interpretation. For example: We read in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Taken by itself, this Bible verses seems to teach that water baptism is required for salvation. Yet, we learn that this is NOT the correct interpretation when we read 1st Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” If water baptism were necessary for salvation, then the apostle Paul never would have said that he didn't come to baptize anyone. It is believing the gospel that saves a person (Romans 1:16). Notice also in Mark 16:16 that “he that believeth not” is damned, not “he that is not baptized.”
Jesus told the Sadducees who didn't believe in a resurrection...
Matthew 22:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures...”
Once you get a certain mindset toward the Scriptures, then everything follows. It's like buttoning a shirt, that is, if you get the first button wrong then all the other buttons will be wrong too. This is why is is critically important to establish the proper fundamentals.
You NEVER base an interpretation upon any particular Scripture by itself. You always COMPARE Scripture with Scripture. If the suggested interpretation is in agreement with other Scriptures, then you know you have found the correct meaning. However, if there is a conflict, then further study will be required to reconcile the apparent contradiction, or else you have the wrong interpretation. I've heard many preachers lift a particular Bible verse out of context to preach a subject that has absolutely nothing to do with the surrounding verses. Always read the surrounding Scripture verses in a particular passage to make sure you have the correct context.
Search the Scriptures!
In John 5:39 Jesus commanded, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” Amen! The Bible testifies of Jesus. Revelation 19:10, “...worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Here we are commanded to worship God; not the Devil nor the Antichrist. Alice Bailey's mentor was Helen Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), who stated in her writings:
“Lucifer is the LOGOS in his highest, and the 'Adversary' in his lowest aspect — both of which are reflected in our Ego,” (The Secret Doctrine II; pg. 162).
Blavatsky even published a magazine in London in 1887 called, LUCIFER. She writes in one of her works that:
“Satan is the god of our planet, and the only god,”
SOURCE: The Secret Doctrine II; pg. 234
This is the truth behind the entire New Age Movement. Alice Bailey started a publishing house in 1922 called THE LUCIFER TRUST. A year later due to public outrage it was renamed LUCIS TRUST, and is the spiritual foundation of the United Nations today.
"No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation."
-David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations
Satan can only deceive people who are woefully ignorant of the Words of God. If you SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES for the answers as Jesus commanded, then you will be prepared to ward off demonic attacks against your faith. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Bible is our sword, our weapon to fight the Devil. Even Jesus Christ Himself used the Scriptures to defeat Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-10). If Jesus needed to use the Scriptures, then why are churchgoers today buying all the New York Time's books on the Best Seller List? Max Lucado has written 2 books per year for over the past 22 years; and he promotes ecumenical unity between Catholics and Protestants, between unbelievers and believers. The Bible teaches for us to divide over truth, instead of uniting by error (2nd Corinthians 6:14-17).
I hope and pray that those who read this article will search the Scriptures concerning the Doctrine of Christ, and learn exactly Who our Lord Jesus Christ really is, because you'll be deceived if you don't. Mark 13:22, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” Did you read that... TO SEDUCE, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, EVEN THE ELECT. The elect simply refers to every born-again Christian. The Bible teaches that times will become so deceptive that even Christians would be seduced if it weren't for the Holy Spirit of God that seals (Ephesians 1:13), protects (John 10:28) and guides (John 16:13) them into all truth. Thank God for His wonderful Holy Spirit and the precious Words of God.
The doctor says, “I practice medicine.” The attorney says, “I practice law.” The Christian says, “I practice Christ!”
Study to Shew Thyself Approved Unto God
If you get a King James Bible and study its truths as a born-again believer, then you will see the truth as John 16:13 promises. The Holy Spirit is our awesome teacher!
There are thousands of websites promoting mind, body and spirit teachings that are completely lacking of the Doctrine of Christ. They are websites published by heathens, psychologists, witches and New Agers. They are all Christ-rejecters, although they may vaguely mention some teachings of Christ to deceive others. Many churches today have fallen hook, line and sinker into the Devil's trap of allowing psychologists to enter the pulpit. Modern psychology is of the Devil.
I love the promises of God, for they are the power of God in a believer's life. It is the promise of God by which we are saved (2nd Peter 1:4). Romans 10:13 is a promise that WHOSOEVER calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved. That is the same promise found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Eternal life is a PROMISE from God to those who come to Him for forgiveness of sins by way of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation is not a born-again experience nor a feeling that one has been born-again; but rather, being born-again is a miracle of God, where God honors His promise to save those who believe (John 1:12; 20:31).
The Holy Bible defines THE GOSPEL, by which we are saved, as:
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
I love what Jesus told His disciples in the following verse . . . Luke 9:43-44, “And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears...” That's a royal command for all of us!!! May we all let the inspired Scriptures SINK DOWN INTO OUR EARS!!! Amen!
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