THE THREE GREATEST TRUTHS I KNOW
Oscar M. Baker
Recently I stood before a group to teach them for the last time. Some, if not
most of them, I realized I might never see again. What should be said on such an
occasion? The Lord seemed to place upon my heart the above subject. Following is
a brief summary of those remarks.
LIFE ONLY IN CHRIST. This is where we
begin. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath
not life" (1 John 5:12). No, immortality is not something inborn in all men. The
gospel is more than just a question of better housing in eternity. God alone has
imperishability and immortality (1Tim. 1:17; 6:16). But Christ has brought it to
light (2 Tim. 1:10). We may receive life in Christ as a gift of God (Rom. 6:63).
The Scriptures make it plain that immortality is put on in resurrection, not
before (I Cor. 15:53). For the church which is His body, it shall be in the Out
Resurrection (Phil. 3:11).
RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD. This is
the command of 2 Tim. 2:15. To fail to do so brings utter confusion in
Christendom and in one's own Bible study. RIGHTLY DIVIDING is the translation of
"orthotomeo". Abbott-Smith's Lexicon defines it as "to cut straight, as a road."
To rightly divide is the only straight road through the Scriptures. It is simply
a matter of keeping things (i.e. books) in their proper categories. How clear
the New Testament becomes, and many perplexing verses therein, when we see the
1. Matthew, Mark, and Luke present the preaching of the kingdom at hand.
2. Acts presents the re-offer of the kingdom to the Jews. In this category
belong the epistles of James, Peter, John, Jude and Paul's first seven. They
reflect that time when God was still dealing with Israel as a nation. Hence we
still have many Jewish practices, right up to Acts 28. There should be nothing
puzzling about this. Let us illustrate by saying that as long as we have a
Republican administration we expect Republican policies and practices. So there
was a Jewish administration till Acts 28: 28.
3. After Acts we have John and the last 7 letters of Paul. Salvation is sent to
the Gentiles. John tells the world of everlasting life. Paul now brings to light
(photizo) what is the administration of The Secret (Eph. 3:9). Read carefully
all of Ephesians 3.
4. Next, we have the fulfillment of the prophecies pertaining to Israel and the
kingdom. This follows the administration of The Mystery (Secret), and is after
the Joint-body has been united to the Head (Christ) in heaven. It is described
in The Revelation.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED TO PAUL. Besides
this right division, we need to see that God is accomplishing a secret purpose
in the period in which we now live. A body of people is being united to Christ
here in order that they might be with Him there in the heavenly places. It was
kept secret - From the ages and from the generations (Col. 1:26 ASV margin). It
was revealed to Paul (Eph. 3:3; Col. 1:25). It fulfills the Word of God (Col.