author unknown

One young fellow got all tangled up as he was preaching from the parable of the good Samaritan, or so the story goes, and he said: "Once upon a time long ago, a young man went to Jerusalem and he fell among thieves. Thorns sprung up around him and choked him.

"But he went on and met the queen of Sheba and she gave him thirty pieces of silver that she got out of the mouth of a fish. With that the young man bought ten changes of raiment and a foal that he rode into the city as the people put palm branches in his path.

"As he was riding he caught his long hair in a tree and he hanged there forty days and forty nights. Ravens brought him food and he got water from a rock until one night Delilah showed up and cut off his hair where he fell on stony ground and when he got up he went into the highways and the hedges looking for the fields which were white unto harvest.

"When he got back to Jerusalem he saw Jezebel sitting in the top of a sycamore tree and the young man told her to come down. She refused saying that she had just bought five yoke of oxen and must go to prove them.

"At that point the young man took his sling and five smooth stones and knocked Jezebel out of the tree, and he knocked her down seventy times seven times so that great was the fall of her. And of the fragments of her they took up twelve baskets full."

At which point the confused young preacher ended his sermon with the profound question: "Now whose wife will she be in the day of judgment?"

While everything in the story is Bible-based, clearly the telling of it is entirely wrong. So, it is not enough to be 'scriptural', one having verses to preach from or to use, but the verses preached must be left in their immediate context and dispensational setting. Further, verses must be applied to their intended audience and not just anybody. To do otherwise would be to handle Godís Word dishonestly.

Did you know that there is a verse which says to take your plowshare and make a sword (Joel 3:10) and another verse which tells the reader to take his sword and make a plowshare (Micah 4:3). Since you cannot do both because the verses are mutually exclusive, the concept of identifying the context and the intended audience are clearly critical. That is why the sincere Bible believer must obey the only command in the Bible on how to study the Word of Truth. It is 2 Timothy 2:15 wherein God instructs the Body of Christ to rightly divide all the Holy Scriptures. And how would one rightly divide the Word of Truth? Since Paul, Godís apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13), wrote it then he knew how to do it. You can too as long as you stay away from religionís influence. Simply study his thirteen epistles and you will find that right division of Godís Word is between Time Past, But Now, and the Ages to Come wherein God made a difference between:

  1. Israel and the One Body of Christ
  2. The earthly Kingdom of Davidís son, Jesus Christ, with his redeemed brethren Israel and the heavenly kingdom for the Church which is Christís body composed of Godís reconciled enemies
  3. The difference in Law contracts between God and Israel and the riches of Godís grace for us Gentiles, without the Law.

These things and a whole lot more compose the great differences between things spoken before the world began called PROPHECY and those things revealed to Paul alone which were kept secret since the world began but is now made manifest by preaching committed unto Paul and preserved in his epistles. These things compose the revelation of Jesus Christ according to the MYSTERY (Romans 16:25;

By the way, have you heard that which was NOT made known?

Ephesians 3:1-10---"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Have you ever noticed how Paulís epistles just read different in scope, content and intensity? They read that way because they are different than the other 53 books of the Bible. For in them alone is found the Gospel of the Grace of God for us Gentiles so we might be eternally saved. And once saved, we can find the knowledge of Christ according to the Mystery whereby we grow up in Him, Who is the Head of all things, even the Church which is His Body.

A wise man once wrote:

"It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after."
Miles Coverdale 1485-1569
Translator of the first complete printed English Bible