|Volume 18 Number 5 May 2016||
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
“Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:9 KJV). Surely one of the most misunderstood pages in the Bible is the page between the Testaments. So many good, religious folks fail to really understand the divisions of the Bible. Because of a failure to rightly divide God’s Word, religion becomes extremely confusing. To young Timothy, Paul penned, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Without “rightly dividing” God’s Word, we can never understand the Bible. God’s revelation to mankind was meant to be understood! In fact, Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Our goal should be just that, to study God’s Word so that we can rightly divide it! The Old Testament has been taken out of the way, and the New Testament has been established for our authoritative law today. How do we know that? How can we be sure?
Firstly, we know He taketh away the first because of the people. Interestingly, the Old Law was never given universally, but rather it was given to a specific group of people, namely the Hebrews (Jews). God, through Moses affirmed, “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day” (Deuteronomy 5:1-3). For more biblical proof study Jeremiah 31:31-34 in conjunction with Hebrews 8:8ff.
Secondly, we know He taketh away the first because of the problem. Sin was a constant reminder due to the fact that under the Old Law sin could never be forgiven completely. Speaking of the Old Law and its sacrifices, God said, “…there is a remembrance again made of sins every year” (Hebrews 10:3b). Paul was clear regarding the problem, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39). The Law of Moses was never intended to forgive sins and wholly justify the worshipper. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Why would anyone want to go back to a time when sin was consistently remembered (Hebrews 10:1-3)?
Lastly, we know He taketh away the first because of the prophet. Moses declared clearly that he was not a permanent prophet for the people; “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deuteronomy 18:15). Of course, God Almighty thundered from heaven with this truth centuries later when He said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). The apostles proclaimed this same truth (Acts 3:20ff). Then to seal the deal even more clearly, the writer of Hebrews declared, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2a). The Lord Jesus Christ is our universal Prophet, and anyone who will not listen to Him will be cut off eternally (Acts 3:23).
Sadly, the most often misunderstood page in the Bible is a result of a lack of honest study. When we truly “study to show ourselves approved…” we really can “rightly divide the Word of Truth”! He taketh away the first, so He could establish the second. Thank God we have a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6) and all are invited to take part in the covenant today!
The Importance of Godly Mothers
We are first introduced to Timothy in Acts 16:1. We are told that his mother was a Jewess, and his father was a Greek. We are also informed of the fact that he is a disciple and well-spoken of by the brethren in the surrounding areas. While we are not told much of anything about how Timothy became a Christian, we do know that his faith first lived in his grandmother Lois and in his mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). It is a very simple question, yet quite profound: Where would Timothy be if his mother had not taught him, or if his mother was not taught by her mother? Think about all the lives Timothy impacted as he travelled with Paul and later as he did his own work in Ephesus. Where would all those be if Timothy had not been guided in the faith by his mother and by his grandmother? Influence can never be fully measured, but we know that it is quite powerful. Perhaps the greatest influence of all is that of a godly mother.