By John LaVier
In talking with one of the Christian leaders in this city, he pressed the idea that so many have; namely, that we who seek to rightly divide the Word of Truth, reject completely the so-called four gospels as not being for us as members of the Body of Christ. Certainly all of Gods word is FOR us (1 Cor. 10: 11), but it is most assuredly not all TO us (Rom. 3:19), nor even about us. While it is true that much of the teaching found in the historic records can and should be obeyed by members of the body of Christ today, still there are many other things that can not, for they are contrary to the ‘grace’ teaching found in the epistles. To bring over the religious program and kingdom teaching found in the historic records, and endeavor to practice it in this dispensation, would frustrate the grace of God. During this age of grace all religion has been abolished, and the kingdom program has been suspended.
We quote herewith a passage from Authority, written by William R. Newell, noted Bible teacher:
“Many people when reading the Bible do not know but what any man who may be talking is talking to them. They make no discrimination. Instead of learning what God wants them to learn for discipline and instruction, they put themselves right under the words of the person they may be reading. There are those for instance, that take the Lord Jesus in the four Gospels for their authority, and they really think there is no authority but Him, forgetting that He had spoken in another way since then … I want to say that our Lord Jesus didn’t come to us. You will never learn the truth unless you believe what Christ said. Jesus Christ said He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel … If He says that He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, then He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel!”
The Lord Jesus’ authority, in the days of His flesh, did not extend to the Gentiles. He came to this world as the Messiah of Israel. Therefore if you go back and put yourself under the Sermon on the Mount, you are going to have trouble.”
The above is strong language, but Mr. Newell goes on to say,
“Wouldn’t it be a good thing for you to know the epistles and love the epistles and be acquainted with the epistles and delight in the epistles and stay in the epistles that are according to faith of God’s elect? … Did you ever hear of a heresy based on the Pauline Epistles? Come on now! You stay in the house God gave YOU.”
In Philippians 1:10 (R.V.) we are told to “Distinguish the things that differ,” and if we would be, “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,” we must study all Scripture in the light of the revelation given by the resurrected, ascended, glorified Christ at God’s right hand, to and through His servant the Apostle Paul. Everything that we, as members of the church of the mystery, need to know concerning our calling and our hope, as well as our walk and behavior, is to be found in the epistles of Paul, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).
In rightly dividing the Word of Truth we do not discard or lose any portion of the Word. Rather, we regain much that was formerly, to all practical purposes, lost. Many portions of the Word which were formerly unintelligible, confusing, and contradictory, have, when put in their right place, and studied in the light of Paul’s final and complete revelation, taken on new meaning and we have been able to understand the message which God wished them to convey to us. The Bible has become clearer and dearer when we have seen what is our hope, calling, position, and riches as members of Christ’s Body. We are one with Him who is the Head.