Following the concept from Part One, that the law of God, as given to Moses was a shadow of a coming reality, and that reality being Christ (in whom dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily, Colossians 2:9), let’s look at another controversial arena that demands consideration and a better, more consistent interpretation.
I wrote in my prior article, Part One, of the connection of the directive to Timothy to “rightly divide the word of truth” as a good student, and how the “dividing” is a referral to the dispensations of time in God’s plan for the ages of His relationship with mankind. Any other approach seems to be greatly lacking in the demonstration of the orderliness usually ascribed to the conduct of God. He does things decently and in order. God records His actions in a forward flow of fulfillments, according to the passage of time, as it relates to man. Yet, God’s plan has not evolved only as time passes, it was put in place long before creation. Note Titus 1:2:“… in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began….”
Otherwise, one might suppose that God operates erratically, springing up some Tuesday morning and telling Gabriel, “This is a good day for us to go down to earth and take care of that perfect sacrifice idea I thought of last week.” No, it doesn’t work that way, of course, and thankfully so. On that particular subject, Galatians 4:4-5 tells us: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (There’s that reference to dispensations of time, again.)
It’s no wonder some folks are greatly confused with end-time prophecy, having no idea “when these things began to happen,” as Jesus spoke of it, and when He said to “watch,” for what does He mean, we must watch. (Matthew 25:13: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”) We have been warned that a “thief-type” is yet to come, but not when.
The day and the hour are not known, but ample evidence has been given for when the “times and seasons” of His coming are upon us. The “confirming of a covenant with many,” which Daniel predicted in Daniel 9:27, is for a seven-year period. The missing 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy appears to begin at that same time, and Jeremiah labels it, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), a seven-year period.
Attention is then fixed on Israel, for the confirming of the covenant is certainly involving the Jews, and the permission to rebuild their temple on the old location in Jerusalem. Why? Because the one who confirms the covenant will enter that temple after three and a half years of the seven and declare himself God, thus desecrating the holy place, just as the Scriptures have foretold.
In that scenario, rightly dividing the Word includes looking at all of the converging events as predicted to make sure the total picture is in place. Like a jigsaw puzzle, if one or more pieces are missing or you have squeezed a piece in where it does not fit, the picture is not “rightly divided” or connected.
The related pieces of the end-time “puzzle” would appear like this:
The Jews would have to be back in their own land; in connection with the Jewish restoration to their land, the physical and religious preparations for restoration of their temple.
An ongoing demand for peace because of the raging anger and confrontations involving Israel and its neighbors; thus, the potential of a covenant of peace being signed, with its attendant elements, as predicted in Daniel 9:27.
The strong potentiality of a raging conflict from which would come that peace covenant followed by the cry, “Peace and safety”, as noted in 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
All of these elements now exist, are in place or on the horizon. Add to that other matters of worldwide importance, such as economic conditions, geophysical occurrences (and I don’t mean so-called “global warming” or “climate change” as is the label now), but the various disasters in nature that Jesus spoke of and Paul wrote of in Romans 8:23 and following—the groaning of creation expressing its own desire for justice and redemption.
What I am trying to say is that it is not all that complicated when you are careful to take into consideration all of parts of the puzzle. And, most important of all, believe that the Scriptures, the Holy Bible, is indeed the actual word of God. The fact that the pieces are not
lined-up under their particular heading, like it would be in an encyclopedia, does not make them untruthful. Jesus did not seem to have a problem with that issue. In John 5:39, He is recorded as saying to the religious leaders, “You search the scriptures for in them you think you find eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me, but you will not come to Me that you may find life.”
In that same vein, Jeremiah recorded the Lord saying, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Lay that thought down beside that of 2 Peter 3:9 and you will have a true picture of the intensity of where God stands and what He requires as a “must” on the issue: “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Here’s a little tag teaser: If the events of Revelation have taken place already in the first century, at the time of the fall of Jerusalem at 70 A.D., yet John recorded his visions in Revelation some 25 years later (as most Bible students date it), it seems like things just don’t add up there! It stands to reason to this old country boy, that squeezing a piece of a puzzle into where it does not belong really does foul up the picture. God is not the author of confusion! (So, who is?)