The Berean Expositor, has been so titled, due to our desire for our readers to emulate the “Bereans” (Acts 17:10-11):
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.KJV Bible, Acts 17:10-11
Our desire also is to open up the Scriptures to unfold the Word of God.
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…KJV Bible, Ephesians 4:1
This “calling which you are called with”, is more than a personal desire to serve the Lord. This calling represents a further truth of which Paul speaks in Ephesians 3:8-9:
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which from all ages hath been hid in God who created all things;Revised Version 1885, Ephesians 3:8-9
Can we believe this, that it is our privilege in the Purposes of God, to be living at a time when that which was hid in God has now been made clear? This is why we produce our biblical expositions to guide the student through the Scriptures.
Scripture, given by Inspiration of God
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.KJV Bible, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.2 Peter 1:20-21
From Genesis 1:1 to the last verse in the Book of Revelation, every word in the Scripture is given by the Inspiration of God. They are from holy men of God who spake “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.
If we look into the circumstances under which The Bible was written, holy men wrote The Bible at intervals in the space of more than 1,300 years.
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets…KJV Bible, Hebrews 1:1
They wrote in various geographical locations, spanning vast distances over hundreds of miles. Men from all walks of life were chosen, being moved by The Holy Ghost. While these writers were separated by hundreds of years, and many miles, yet, the written Word remains interconnected and cohesive, a unity. We receive it not as the word of men, but as the word of God.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.1 thessalonians 2:13
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.KJV Bible, 2 Timothy 2:15
“Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”, we regard as a principle of Biblical Interpretation. It is agreed that, All Scriptures are written for us, for all time, but not everything in the Scripture is written about us, and in all time.
E. W. Bullinger DD (1837-1913), says, “While the Word of God is written for all persons, and for all time, yet it is true that not every part of it is addressed to all persons or about all persons in all time”.
Miles Coverdale, who published the first English Bible in 1535, has the following dictum:
It shall greatly helpe ye to understande Scripture,
if thou mark:
Not only what is spoken, or wrytten,
But of whom,
And to whom,
With what words,
At what time,
To what intent,
With what circumstance,
Considering what goeth before, and what followeth.
Applying this principle, in light of the above, brings us to “Dispensational Truth”.
Scripture must be interpreted in strict accordance with its dispensational setting. This means that, for example, if a passage speaks of the “kingdom of heaven” of “Israel”, or “Jerusalem”, we do not interpret it as of the Church of today.
A dispensation is a particular economy of administration of God’s dealings with any particular people, having its own peculiar and distinctive characteristics. For example, there was a dispensation of law under Moses; a dispensation of miraculous gifts during Pentecost. Today we are in a dispensation of grace, that of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:3). The right division of truth with regards to the various dispensations is called “dispensational truth”.
Christ came to save His people from their sins, and to proclaim the near advent of the kingdom, which was the kingdom promised to David (Psalm 89:20-29). In Romans 15:8 which also, is in harmony with Matthew 10:5-6 and 15:24, we read:
15 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:KJV Bibile, Romans 15:8
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.KJV Bible, Matthew 10:5-6
Jesus, even, said:
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.KJV Bible, Matthew 15:24
And his first Ministerial words were “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.KJV Bibile, Matthew 4:17
Indeed, a church began at Pentecost, which differs from the churches of today. However, “the church which is His body”, a title we meet only in Ephesians 1, is entirely different from previous announcements. Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 is largely an exposition of the prophet Joel, and there is certainly nothing about the Church age in Joel. The book of the Acts is a continuation of the witness concerning the kingdom of heaven (refer to the use of word began in Acts 1:1 and Hebrews 2:3-4). The same people (Israel) are addressed, the same keyword of “Repent” is heard, and the same miraculous accompaniments as are recorded in Matthew 10:1-10 are there. These miracles continue right to the end of the book of Acts. At that point, in the narrative of Acts, Paul is inspired to quote Isaiah 6:9-10 to the representatives of the Jews of the Dispersion in the city of Rome consequent upon their rejection of Christ and His claims, therefore Paul is moved to say:
Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.KJV Bible, Acts 28:28
We believe that the Prison Epistles, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and 2 Timothy, were written after the crisis of Acts 28:25-28, and we therefore speak of The Dispensation of the Mystery.