Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Episode 55

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Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Someone once described the Bible as a bear trap for those who don’t rightly divide it. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, but not all scripture is inspired by God because there are lies recorded in the Bible, even the words of Satan. It’s imperative we rightly divide God’s Word. Did you know 69% of the Book of Job, records words spoken in error either by Job or his friends, which God later rebuked them for? It’s foolish to compare ourselves to Job, who lived without a mediator, prior to the Mosaic Law, in a very vulnerable time in history. Join Carl now for this eye-opening podcast…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Friend, I want you to get a hold of what I’m about to say to you, are you ready? Your faith won’t go further than your understanding of God’s word. An absence of knowledge about a topic in the bible leads to doubt. Once you have a hint of doubt, then your ability to believe in God’s promise in that area; will be hindered in some way. That’s why we have these daily teachings about God’s word on the radio because with teaching comes knowledge and then understanding. When understanding comes, your faith will rise in the glorious God we serve and your doubt will dissipate rapidly. Once you have this understanding, you will better be able to trust in God in specific areas in your life. Friend, a faith that’s not practical is no faith at all. We need to make sure the promises of God leap from the pages of our bibles and into our hearts. Once His word abides within us, we may better appropriate these promises in our lives. Remember what Jesus said, in Jn 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Remember, the word must abide in you in order for it to manifest in your life.”

Now I’m going to give you some precepts here in the next few minutes that I live by and they are an amalgamation of findings by bible scholars down the years, to help us rightly divide the word of God. Now, one thing we need to be very careful when we read the bible my friend is who is saying what to whom and when was it said, because Not all scripture is inspired by God….but all scripture is given by inspiration. I will say that again, Not all scripture is inspired by God, but all scripture is given by inspiration. Did you know there are lies in the Bible and they are accurately recorded? So, we need to be very careful, what we take on board as truth to live by, when read God’s word on a daily basis. Just because something is stated in the Bible does not make it doctrine or even God’s will, so you need to be very careful when reading the word of God and always ask the Holy Spirit to assist you in fully understanding the meaning. We need a re-occurrence of scriptures time and again to correctly forge orthodox doctrine from the Holy Writ. We also need to judge everything in the OT based on what we know in the NT. We interpret the old, in light of the new because we have a better covenant.

For example, much has been revealed in the New Testament that was not privy to the Old Testament saints specifically about Satan, his nature and the scope of operation. The best example of this is when it comes to the Book of Job. In fact, many things Job said were wrong and God later rebuked him for it. Twenty chapters or so contain well-meaning but incorrect advice from Job’s friends which represents more than half of the book of Job! Many false doctrines regarding suffering have been forged by theologians down the years using the book of Job as a case in point; heck people have even written volumes about it, when all the while they failed to check up on who said what and to whom.

Did you know that only Chapters 38 through 42 (that’s 5 chapters) are God speaking and addressing Job directly? 29 out of 42 chapters document what Job and his friends spoke and they were rebuked for it! So why on earth should we base doctrine on what God rebuked them for? I don’t think so. Therefore 69% of Job can be thrown out the window when it comes to using it as a source text for our theology. Friend, only what God said himself has value for doctrinal purposes…. so be careful. Remember, God reproved Job for his arrogance. Job ch: 32-37 was spoken by Elihu, who was not mentioned previously and what He said has merit and agreed with God’s narrative later on. He was not listed as one of Job’s three friends either and is somewhat of a mysterious character, more on that another time.

Friend I’d like to make something very clear to you when reading the Bible. Choice always wins and God honors our choices because He is not a respecter of persons. There is a vast difference between foreknowledge and predestination. God knows everything that will happen in advance, this is foreknowledge. In other words God already knows the choices man will make but He did not predestine them to happen. If God predestined man’s choice, that would mean He is somehow covertly influencing man behind the scenes without His knowledge, to sway him in God’s direction, this is not so. I touched upon this when I spoke about God’s sovereignty in another broadcast, so if you missed that go to our website. In that message I listed 17 things that God cannot do and there are perhaps even up to 30 things God cannot do in Scripture, so check that out. To re-iterate, God doesn’t tamper with man’s will, ever and this is a boundary He will not cross. Friend, God’s word is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing to those who rightly divide it and a curse to those who wrongly divide it. We have commands and statues to live by, in the NT and there are consequences for disobeying God’s word today, but not many want to hear this, and it’s not a popular topic. So we need to rightly divide the word of God, or we will fall into error. That’s why we need to dive in the Bible for ourselves and not let someone else tell you what is in the bible, even your Pastor for that matter and that includes me friend!

One point I want to get across to you, is that the more faithful you are to being diligent to understanding God’s word, more understanding will be given. The more faithful you are with what God has given you, the more you will receive. It’s like when you enter a dark room and turn the light on, initially you squint your eyes as there is a lot of light coming into the room. Then gradually you allow more light to come into your eyes as you adjust to the greater light of the light bulb. It’s the same with God’s word. God’s word is light; as it penetrates your spirit you have the option of opening your eyes of understanding, to more understanding, or shut them altogether and walk away. This is what the Pharisees were doing. Let’s read Matthew 13:15 and Jesus is speaking here: –

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

Because the Pharisees hearts were not open to hearing the truth, the little light they had was diminished. God was not closing their eyes, but they closed their own eyes because they didn’t accustom their eyes to the little light they had. As a result, their hearts waxed and they became spiritually blind. When you choose not to hear the truth, you become more blind to spiritual truths. I.e., the light came; they squinted their eyes and closed them. We all have a choice whether to squint and close them or open them further. We are all accountable friend, for the truth that is revealed to us, when we hear the truth; we are no longer ignorant and have a choice to make.

One of the favorite verses people use to validate their belief in predestination is this one, Rom 9:13 “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” however, the Hebrew is better translated as ‘loved less’ rather than ‘hate’ in this passage. But why is this so? Once again, foreknowledge comes into play. God knew in advance of Esau’s choice to reject his own birthright but God did not predestine it. God knew Esau’s DNA and his personality etc. because He created Him but choice always wins. No friend, man is not predestined, God simply reads your mail before you’re born, He foreknows the choices you will make, even to the point he knew that Adam and Eve would sin in the Garden of Eden, long before it happened. God wanted a creation that would reciprocate His love. He didn’t want robots! If your mother or father or wife, grabbed your hand and with teary eyes, said, “I love you, because I have to” you wouldn’t be too pleased friend, because it wasn’t a choice for them. But as far as God’s concerned He loved us even when were sinners in our rebellious state.. Rom 5:8., “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Christ died for His enemies and we were His enemies, because we were hostile toward God because of our sin issue. Now another aspect of so-called predestination that I’d like to raise today in addition to Romans 9:13, is in 2nd Timothy 2:17-20 and I will read this passage to you now:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

“And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

This passage is sometimes used out of context to say that some people are vessels of wood and some gold; some are worthless and some are valuable to God. In other words some people are born poor and that’s the way they have to stay, some people are important in life because God made them that way and others aren’t and they use this scripture to validate this false premise. Some contend that God decides in advance who’s going to be special and who’s not. But notice friend, Hymenaeus and Philetus were marred by their own choices, clearly they strayed in their doctrine and began teaching that the resurrection of the dead in Christ had already occurred, which was false. Let’s read verse twenty one more time shall we? But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 2Ti 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

Friend, did you catch that? It says “if a man purges himself” from these, ..purges himself, from what? From iniquity. It says it in verse 19, “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Friend, iniquity is another way of saying, get rid of deliberate sin in your life. Get it out, confess it, read God’s word, pray and ask the Lord for help, purge it out. God can’t get rid of it for us otherwise He wouldn’t be telling us to get it out. It’s the same iniquity that was found in Lucifer but the reason there is no redemption for Lucifer or Satan, is because there was no-one to tempt him, but Adam and Eve were tempted that’s why God sent Jesus the redeemer to make us right with Him. Our own personal choices will determine if we’re going to be ‘wood’, ‘earth’, ‘gold’ or ‘silver’ and a valueless or valuable vessel in the hands of the Potter. The choice is up to us. If we cooperate with God’s word, we can be more useful to Him because He trusts us and thus we can become a ‘vessel of honor’ at the Judgment seat of Christ. It is at this judgment seat that we Christians will be judged according to our works for the service of the Gospel because our salvation is already assured. In sharp contrast, all unbelievers will have to stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and they will be judged according to their works also, because they have no covenant with God but unfortunately their works won’t be good enough, because in the eyes of God, there is none righteous, no, not one. Friend, it is obvious from this broadcast that God did not predestine some men for honor or dishonor, it was up to them to respond to the potter’s hand accordingly and God equips and helps us to respond correctly.

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1 comment
  • Brother Carl,

    I so appreciate your views on God’s omniscience of all future choices, yet not determining people to make those choices. Early in my Christian life I attended a church which over-emphasized God’s sovereignty so much so that I eventually began thinking I had no power of choice.

    I especially appreciate your warnings on rightly approaching the Word. We need not be so afraid that we avoid reading it at all, but should ask the Spirit to guide us, and also discuss our findings and ideas with reliable believers, books, and writings/broadcasts of sound teachers.

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