Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bonus Lesson (Rightly Dividing the Word By Clarence Larkin)


Dispensational Truth
Rightly Dividing the Word


We may be down for a bit but there’s no reason to “postpone” Bible study…as I’ve so often pointed out to you all this should to a regular activity in every Christian home. 

And Bible study is NOT Bible reading.
You read the newspaper but you study your Bible.

I have interrupted my teaching on the book of Romans to again talk about what it means to “Rightly Divide the Word of Truth.”  Les Feldick and I have been teaching on this subject for years and we’ve both mentioned how essential it is for accurate Bible teaching and comprehension.

  
Until you understand this concept, you will not be able to “…show yourself approved of God…rightly handling the Word of Truth.” 

And these are the words of the risen Lord given to the Apostle Paul.

Here is some background info on Mr. Larkin:

Clarence Larkin was born in Pennsylvania in 1850 and was converted to Christ at the age of 19. He worked as a professional draftsman for a period and was later ordained a Baptist minister.

Larkin was not a premillennialist at the time of his ordination, but study of the Scriptures led him to adopt the premillennial position.  Using his former drafting skills he began to make large wall charts for use in the pulpit.  These led to him being invited to teach in two Bible institutes.  During this time he published a number of prophetical charts which were widely circulated.

When World War I broke out in 1914 God laid it on his heart to prepare a work on Dispensational Truth (or God's Plan and Purpose in the Ages) containing a number of charts.  He spent three years of his life designing and drawing the charts and preparing the text.  The popularity it has received since its publication in 1918 seems to indicate that the world was waiting for such a book.

Larkin followed this masterpiece with other books: Rightly Dividing the Word, The Book of Daniel, Spirit World, Second Coming of Christ, and more.

During the last five years of his life, the demand for Larkin's books made it necessary for him to give up the pastorate and devote his full time to writing.  
He went to be with the Lord on January 24, 1924.

*****
I have copied an excerpt from the writings of Mr. Clarence Larkin and posted it below.

Mr. Larkin gives you a more “in-depth” teaching on the subjects of “dispensational periods” and “Rightly Dividing the Word.” 

Please take your time going over the material at hand.
Remember, this is a Bible study and not a Bible read.
There is a lot of information here.  Slow down…

Gary

*****

Clarence Larkin

Writing to Timothy, Paul said-
"Study to show thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth" 2Tim. 2:15.

The student of the "Word of God" is here spoken of as a "Workman" A workman cannot intelligently do his work without a plan.  He must have drawings and specifications.

God said to Moses as to the Tabernacle, "See that thou make all things according to the 'Pattern' showed to thee in the mount." Heb. 8:5.

The student of God's Word must understand "God's Plan and Purpose in the Ages,” or there will be confusion in his work of interpreting the Scriptures.

To this end charts are indispensable.  But care must be taken not to depend on them alone.  While the drawings and specifications of a building are separate they must correspond.  So a Biblical chart must correspond with the "Word of, God,” or it may lead to error.  The two must be compared.

St. Augustine said-"Distinguish the 'Periods' and the Scripture will harmonize.
“After an address by Rev. Dr. A. J. Gordon on "The Plan of the Ages,” a gentleman said to him, "Why, Doctor, you have a 'Pigeon Hole' for every text."

We must learn to "Rightly Divide the Word of Truth."

While the "Word of Truth" is written FOR all classes of people, and FOR our learning, it is not addressed to all peoples in general.  But part of it is addressed to the JEWS, part to the GENTILES, and part to the CHURCH.  These three constitute the THREE CLASSES into which humanity is divided 1Cor. 10:32. 

It follows therefore that while the whole Bible was written for the INSTRUCTION of the Church, it is not all written ABOUT the Church.  The Church is not mentioned in the Old Testament.  It was hid from the Old Testament prophets, and was a "Mystery" first revealed to Paul, and disclosed by him in Eph. 3:1-3. 

The Old Testament is mostly taken up with one nation, that of Israel. 
In the first five chapters of Genesis we gave the history of Creation, and 1700 years of human history.  In the next four chapters we are given the account of the Flood.          
The tenth and eleventh chapters give the account of 400 more years of human history, and then God singles out one man, Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3), and from there on the whole of the Old Testament centers on the Jewish Race. 

When we take the Old Testament promises and apply them to the Church we rob the Jew of that which is exclusively his.

For illustration, the prophecy of Isaiah is largely applied to the Church, whereas the very first verse declares that it is-"Concerning JUDAH and JERUSALEM" Isa. 1:1.

In the New Testament the Epistles of Hebrews and James are Jewish. 
The Epistle of James is addressed, not to the Church, but to the "TWELVE TRIBES scattered abroad" James 1:1.  Therefore the "Prayer of Faith" (James 5:13-15) for the sick, is not primarily a promise to the Church but to Israel.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews many Christians stumble at the words "fall away" (Heb. 6:4-6), and "if we sin willfully" Heb. 10:26.  But these words do not apply to Christians.  They were spoken to apostate Jewish professors of Christianity who had never been born again, and who, if they did not accept Jesus as their Messiah, practically crucified Him again, and were as bad as their brethren who did crucify Him.

Some books are general, as for instance the Epistle to the Romans. 
No one would apply Romans 8th to the Jews, or Romans llth to the Church, for in it Paul speaks not only to Israel but also to the Gentiles Rom. 11:11-13.

ALL Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, (2Tim. 3:16), and what happened to Israel was written for our LEARNING and ADMONITION, (1Cor. 10:11), but we must not apply to the Church what does not belong to it.

We see then that to misapply scripture is to not "Rightly Divide the Word" and tends to confusion and error.

While "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth,” we must discern the work of Christ.            
We are told in the Scriptures that He is a "Prophet,” "Priest" and "King."                                     
 But He does not hold these offices conjointly but successively. 

From the fall in Eden to the Cross, He was a "Prophet."
He is now a "High Priest" and when He comes again He will be a "King."

From Eden to the Cross there was an "Altar,” from the Cross to the Crown there is a "Table" (the Lord's Table), and from the Crown to Christ's surrender of the Kingdom there is a "Throne."

In Heb. 1:1, we read-God hath spoken "at SUNDRY TIMES, " as well as "in DIVERS MANNERS, " and if we are to understand what He has spoken, we must not only distinguish between the class of people He has spoken to, as the Jews, Gentiles or the Church, but we must also note the "SUNDRY TIMES" at which He spoke, and the "DIVERS MANNERS."

We must also distinguish between the "TIME PAST" when He spoke by the Prophets, and these "LAST DAYS" in which He hath spoken to us by His SON Heb. 1:1-2.

We must not forget the "DIVINE CONJUNCTIONS" and "DIVINE DISJUNCTIONS" of the Word of God.  We must not separate what God has joined, as the "Word of God" and the "Spirit of God,” "Christ and Salvation…Faith and Works." 

Neither must we join what God has separated, as "Heaven and Hell,” "Baptism and Regeneration, ““Natural Heredity" and "Spiritual Heredity,” "Standing and State, " "the Church and the Kingdom."

We must also distinguish between the "TIMES" and "SEASONS" of the Scriptures.                   Daniel said of God-"He changeth the 'TIMES' and the 'SEASONS', " (Dan. 2:21), and Jesus said to His Disciples-"It is not for you to know the 'TIMES' or the 'SEASONS'"
Acts 1:7.                      

Job testified that the "TIMES are not hidden from the Almighty" Job 24:1.   And of the Children of Issachar it was said that they had "understanding of the TIMES" 1Chron. 12:32.

By the "SEASONS" we are to understand the climatic changes of the earth due to the movements and changing characteristics of the 'Sun, Moon and Stars, which God ordained to regulate the "Seasons." Gen. 1:14. 

As to the "TIMES" we have them designated as the "TIMES OF IGNORANCE, " (Acts 17:30); the "TIMES OF THE GENTILES, " (Luke 21:24); the "TIMES OF REFRESHING, " (Acts 3:19); the "TIMES OF RESTITUTION, " (Acts 3:21); and the "Dispensation of the FULNESS OF TIMES." Eph. 1:10.

From the statement, "The Times of the GENTILES," we see that when the "Gentiles" are in power the "Jews" are not.  And as the "Times of the GENTILES" is still running, the Church cannot be in this Dispensation a governing or Kingdom power.

The Times and Seasons

But it is not enough to classify the Scriptures in the manner already mentioned. 
We must learn to separate the Scriptures as to "TIME" and "ETERNITY" and the different "AGES' and "DISPENSATIONS" of "Time." 

The Scriptures mention "TWO AGES:" before "Time, “the "ALPHA" or "CREATIVE AGES, “and after "Time, “the "OMEGA" or "AGES OF THE AGES."  

In "Time" there are three "AGES" and seven "DISPENSATIONS."                               

The three "AGES" are-
1 THE ANTEDILUVIAN AGE.
This extends from the "Fall" to the "Flood."

2. THE PRESENT AGE.
This extends from the "Flood" to the "Second Coming of Christ."

3. THE AGE OF AGES.
This extends from the "Second Coming of Christ" to the "End of Time." This last "Age" is a "Dual Age" composed

1. The Millennial Age.
2. The Perfect Age.
The "Millennial Age" is also a "Dispensation" in its relation to the six preceding Dispensations.

An "Age" in Scripture is from one "cataclysmic" or "climatic “change to another in the earth's surface or condition.  This corresponds to what is called in Geology an "Age."    So we see that Science and the Bible agree as to the meaning of the word "Age."

We know that at the time of the Flood there were great "cataclysmic" and "climatic' changes, for the "fountains of the great deep were broken up." Gen. 7:11.  That is, there was a subsidence that resulted in great physical changes that affected the climate of the earth, and divested the atmosphere of some of its life-sustaining properties, so that the length of life was reduced from 900 to 100 later to threescore and ten.

At the beginning of the Millennium all this will be reversed, for when Christ returns -
"His feet shall stand in that day (Millennial Day) upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south."  "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem and it shall be lifted up." Zech. 14:4, Zech. 14:10. In verse eight we read- Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the 'former sea' (Red Sea) and half of them toward the 'hinder sea' (Mediterranean)."

That means that the Dead Sea, that is now 1200 feet below the Mediterranean, is to be elevated, and its water flow south to the Red sea, and that it shall lose its saltiness and be filled with fish, for we read in Eze. 47:1-3, that fishermen shall spread their nets upon its shores.  This great "cataclysmic" change is going to make a great change in the climate and restore the life-sustaining power of the atmosphere like unto that before the Flood, for we read in Isa. 65:20, that in the Millennial days that are to follow- "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old."   That is, a person a hundred years old shall only be considered a child, which means that men shall live again in the Millennium to the age of Methuselah.

The Chart is divided into 3 "Ages, " corresponding to the Divine number "Three" (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) ; and into 7 "Dispensations, " to correspond to the Perfect number "Seven" composed of the Divine number "Three" and the World number "Four" -Winter Spring, Summer and Autumn, or the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

The difference between an "AGE" and a "DISPENSATION is that an "AGE" stands for a period between two great physical changes in the earth's surface, while a "DISPENSATION" stands for a "moral" or "probationary" period in the world's history.      

The form of "Administration" is different in each "Dispensation." 

For illustration, the Administration of the Jewish Dispensation was that of "LAW," the Administration of the present Dispensation is of "Grace," and of the on to follow is "Righteousness."                                                   
                                              
 All the confusion about the "Ages,” "Dispensations, “and "End of the World" is largely due to the mistranslation of two Greek words in the New Testament.

The first word is "Kosmos."  It means the external arrangement and beauty of the natural world, and includes the thought of nations, peoples, and worldly possessions, as in Matt. 4:8 "Again the Devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them."

Also Matt. 13:38, "The Field is the World."  And Luke 11:50, "That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the 'foundation of the World, ' may be required of this generation."      

This word "Kosmos" occurs 170 times and is always translated "World."
The second word is "Aion" and means "Age," "Dispensation," Indefinite Time."
This word occurs 28 times, and is translated "World."        

To show how misleading this translations is we need only cite a passage or two.      

Take Matt. 13:39, Matt. 13:40, Matt. 13:49 "The enemy that sowed them is the Devil; and the harvest is the end of the world."  It should read-the "end of the Age."                         

"Be not conformed to this world (Age)" Rom. 12:2.

"In whom the god of this world (Age) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not" 2Cor. 4:4.

"Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (Age)" Gal. 1:4. 

"Charge them that are rich in this world (Age)." 1Tim. 6:17.                                 

"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (Ages).” Heb. 1:2.                                                                            

"Through faith we understand that the worlds (Ages) were framed by the Word of God (Jesus).” Heb. 11:3. 

From this we see that Jesus not only made the "earth-worlds,” John 1:1-3, but He also made the "time-worlds,” that is, He planned the "Ages" and "Dispensations."


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