| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 193 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
This is "right division", and the moment the principle of II Tim. 2: 15 is applied to
the ministry of Paul light dawns. The whole truth will not be seen at once, and as our
brother experienced there will be some misgivings and some retrogression, but the dawn
cannot be hidden long by the clouds of man's making.
We commend this aspect of truth to all our readers, particularly to those who may be
teaching others. If only hearers can be made to face the characteristics of the present
time, e.g., the absence of Israel, and the cessation of gifts among the negative features,
and among the positive features, the new sphere, "heavenly places", and the new
constitution, "one new man", we feel sure that many now hesitating will be led on to
conviction. Remember the presence of "now" in Col. 1: 26 as you seek to enlighten men
as to "what is the dispensation of the mystery" (Eph. 3: 9, R.V.).
The testimony of the words "hidden" and "manifest".
pp. 73 - 75
The testimony which was given in #5 of this series spoke of the illuminating
conviction brought about by the word "now" in Col. 1: 26. And we sought to show, in
the article dealing with this, the importance of the time element in our testimony to the
mystery. Col. 1: 26, however, is not exhausted. The friend whose testimony is now
before us writes:--
"With the help of the chronological order of the scriptures, it appeared that the
scriptures previous to Ephesians and Colossians could not contain the revelation of the
mystery, when the apostle could write by inspiration and say, "Which hath been hid from
ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints" (Col. 1: 26).
By the phrase "chronological order" the reader must not understand our brother to
mean the precise dating of the epistles. Whether Galatians was the first epistle, as we
believe, or, as some believe, nearly the last, is not the point. Whether the dates of the
epistles given by various authorities are accepted or rejected, makes no difference to the
present witness. Whether I Thessalonians was written in A.D.52 or in A.D.54 is, for
our present purpose, of no importance. Whether it was written before or after Acts 28:
is of supreme importance. It is to this chronology of the epistles, and not to debatable
dates, that our friend refers. No man's faith need rest in the wisdom of men, as it would
if the exact dating of an epistle were of importance. It is not necessary to read one word
outside the pages of the Bible to arrive at a complete understanding of the disposition of
the epistles in relation to Acts 28:; and that is all that is necessary here.
Having been prepared by this application of "right division", our friend was ready for
the illumination that came from the words "hid" and "manifest". If Col. 1: 23-27 be true,
then the apostle was the first to receive the revelation of the mystery. He was the only
one to whom this dispensation was entrusted, and until he received the command to make