An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 154 of 270
'... how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is
the church of the living God.  A pillar and ground of the truth, and
confessedly great is the mystery of godliness' (1 Tim. 3:15,16).
It is Christ Himself Who is the Pillar and Ground of the truth, even as
He is the Foundation of 1 Corinthians 3:10,11 and of 2 Timothy 2:19.  This
foundation is 'firm' and 'sure'.  There is no possibility of Him ever
failing.  The only room for doubt is connected with the building erected by
the believer, which building is likened in 1 Corinthians to erections made of
gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble; and by a change in the
figure, the likeness is to that of gold, silver, wood and earthen vessels in
2 Timothy, chapter 2.  Consequently our attention is directed in 2 Timothy
2:19 not to the foundation, about which no doubt is entertained, but to the
seal that is found upon it.  There is an interesting note in Calmet's
Dictionary which we transcribe:
'Among the representations of seals collected by Mr. Taylor, is one
from Tavernier, being that of the first minister of state of some
oriental prince.  The seal, in the original, is set on the back of the
patent, no man daring to affix his seal on the same side as the King;
and this, Mr. Taylor thinks, may give the true bearing of the apostle's
expression (2 Tim. 2:19), The foundation of God standeth sure having
this motto around the seal -- this inscription, "The Lord knoweth them
who are His".  And this inscription is on the enclosed, the folded,
side of the patent, not visible to us: whereas, on the open side, the
exposed part of the patent, is the counter -inscription, "Let all who
name the name of Christ depart from iniquity"'.
Here we have in the two inscriptions of this seal, the two great
doctrines of Divine sovereignty and human responsibility brought together.
We are encouraged as we realize that we are known to the Lord, but this
fundamental truth is stated but not elaborated.  In this passage the apostle
is enforcing the necessity for those who know they were chosen before the
overthrow of the world (Eph. 1:4), and whose calling goes back before the age
times (2 Tim. 1:9), to act accordingly and to realize that such a calling and
such a choice necessitates that there shall be no conscious compromise with
iniquity, even though it mean the 'shunning' and 'avoiding' of believers by
reason of their evil doctrine.
The present volume of this Alphabetical Analysis is devoted to
Doctrine, as we could not feel happy in issuing the volumes devoted to the
dispensational aspect without some assurance being given to the reader of our
complete acceptance of the fundamentals of the Faith.  While we stress, and
rightly so, the command to 'Rightly Divide the Word of truth', we must stress
equally and with priority the fact that we must 'Rightly divide the Word of
Truth'.  For the purposes of study we can consider these as separate items,
but in reality they are as inseparable as the two sides of a penny.  Like
many another Scriptural term, the word foundation is relative.  Where no
building is erected, a solid rock, or a mass of concrete may be an
insufferable nuisance, but it certainly is not a foundation.  (For the
teaching of 1 Cor. 3:10 -15 with its emphasis upon building and works, see
Judgment Seat2,6).
Freedom.  'The words, liberty and freedom are often used interchangeably.
Properly speaking, however, liberty hints at previous restraint, freedom does
not; hence a slave is set at liberty, not at freedom, whilst a rude man