Posted by: SandreS | May 16, 2015

Using All Scripture in Light of the Most Recent Revelation

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We have a question from Tony B. in North Carolina:

Q: I am a firm believer in interpreting Scripture from a dispensational viewpoint. However, you seem to take it a step further and divide the Body of Christ into early and late dispensations, in which case today’s Church would have only 3 or 4 short epistles by Paul to guide it. Is that how you see it? I can understand why critics might think you are throwing 99.9% of the Bible under the bus as far as direct application to the church.

A: Thank you for your question, Tony. I certainly understand your concern, but as one who is a firm believer in the dispensational viewpoint, you’re probably already used to those who accuse us of throwing out most of the Scriptures. However, this is simply not the case, as we actually embrace ALL Scripture as a guide, since Paul has declared that it is all profitable (II Timothy 3:16). We do, however, use all Scripture only as a guide in light of the most recent revelation. That is the foundation of our understanding. Thus, direct application starts with the most recent revelation, working its way backwards, all the while asking, “How does the fullest revelation affect this passage?” This then is not just merely “dividing the Word of Truth” by some personal or theological whim; instead, it is “RIGHTLY dividing the Word of Truth” by divine standard. This even extends to the early ministry of our Apostle. Let us consider a few simple examples from Paul’s early epistles.

Do members of the Body of Christ still speak in tongues as Paul and early members did (I Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30; 14:5, 18)?

Do members of the Body of Christ still work miracles as Paul and early members did (I Corinthians 12:10, 28-29; Galatians 3:5)?

Do members of the Body of Christ still have healing ministries as Paul and early members did (I Corinthians 12:9, 30)?

Do members of the Body of Christ still prophesy as Paul and early members did (Romans 12:6; I Corinthians 12:10; 13:3, 9; 14:1, 24, 31)?

In these few examples, either we directly apply Paul’s early epistles for today and have members of the Body of Christ speaking in tongues, working miracles, healing and prophesying, or we “rightly divide the Word of Truth,” using his latter epistles to adjust the doctrine and practice of the Body of Christ as found in his earlier epistles. While certainly all of the Bible is for us, not all of the Bible is written to us or about us.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

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