We have covered the topic of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" in many ways on these pages (it's the underlying scripture for Context or Confusion). But I wanted to pause again and remind us that while "all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable," not all of it is written to us.
We've looked at obvious examples like the command to build an ark and the command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the promise to sit on one of twelve thrones in the coming earthly kingdom, etc. But these age-specific commands and prohibitions and promises go far beyond our few examples. The New Covenant itself is claimed by the vast majority of Christendom while this covenant has nothing to do with the grace of this current age.
As noted, we've looked at this topic in many ways over the last few years, so I will simply pull out two of the more common abuses from the many examples of the robbing of Israel.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.-Jeremiah 29:11
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
-2 Chronicles 7:14
The ripping out of these verses from their contexts is a symptom of Christendom starting from the position that anything they want in scripture is theirs for the taking. God has a plan. That plan has many gaps in it. It has many facets. It has many families. Our goal is to find our place in God's plan and learn to "walk according the calling to which we have been called."
And much of this is coming from supposed, confessed dispensationalists. The problem gets much darker and far more sinister when we examine the current and historical evil fruits of Reformed and Replacement Theology. We have also looked at the evil coming out of the various Hebrew Roots movements.
For this short study, let's quickly look at the context of the two verses we've chosen. This should remind us how we are to handle many things in scripture. First, let's look at the context of our verse from Jeremiah 29:
For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
This part of an immediate and a future application for the nation of Israel. Of course, we can learn about the character of God from this passage (it is profitable), but we can't claim, as individual Christians, that God will "prosper" our business ventures or career choices or anything in particular in this age. We are not a nation being brought back to a promised land from captivity. The greater context of this promise is chastisement. Israel was brought back from a national chastisement. It's not really an individual promise at all.
Now we turn to 2 Chronicles. We looked at the context of this oft-quoted verse in a previous study from last April: CONTEXT OF 2 CHRONICLES 7
Pulling the lens back, this is what this blog is all about; rightly dividing the Word of Truth. We don't do this to be clever or to simply promote a theological position or distinction (certainly not to push any denomination). We do it so we can properly serve God in the age in which we live. We want to walk in truth. We want to walk according to the new nature according to the calling to which we have been called.
Just as sacrificing animals in this age is a denial of the work of Christ, so too are many things Christendom practices which are given to other ages and other families of God. Those sacrificing animals may feel holy, but it is an illusion. Similarly, those practicing water baptism and the Lord's Supper may feel they are being obedient, but they are missing the true blessings of the current dispensation and its hope.
We've looked at this topic in many ways on these pages. But for those who may be new to this understanding, let me link just a few studies and helpful website.
- The Bible from 30,000 feet
- Rightly Dividing the Epistles
- The Place of the Book of Acts
- The Present Age - Part 1