“…And their word will eat as doth a canker…” (2 Timothy 2:17 KJB)
“Canker” comes from a word that means “to gnaw”. Basically, it is theological cancer. In the medical field, leukemia (leukos=white+hemia=blood Grk) is a relentless and insidious disease that actually is cancer involving the blood.
“The life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11 KJB).
Hypertrophy and Hyperplasia are medical terms that have to do with abnormal cell growth. Hypertrophy has to do with the size of cells while hyperplasia has to do with the number of cells. Cancer is a cell gone rogue, devouring healthy cells while increasing in size or in number.1 Every cancer cell is different from its parent cell, and that is one of the reasons a cure is so elusive.
Normal body growth is accomplished by proper division of the body’s tissue cells. Abnormal division of a cell inhibits natural and normal growth. This principle is true in human, animal, and plant life. We live and we die according to proper division! I am persuaded that it is also true in spiritual matters, abnormal division (hyper-division) inhibits normal spiritual growth of a Christian. Theology uses the term Hyper-Dispensationalism to denote an excessive, over emphasis, on dispensations in the Bible.When Paul, by inspiration, gave “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) it was both command and warning: “rightly dividing” and thereby warned of wrong division.
“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18 KJB).
Hymenaeus and Philetus are certainly instructive names for men caught up in wrong division. Hymenaeus is from a root word that has to do with the wedding of man and woman, the highest form of human union. Philetus comes from brotherly love. While bearing names that would promise unity and love, their practice actually split the unity of the Body of Christ and produced everything but love between the brethren. Paul’s example of wrong division by H & P has to do with the timing of the resurrection and not the resurrection itself. So it is with all Hypers: they are consumed with when a matter happened, rather than what happened.
For example, Hyper-Dispensationalism is founded upon when the Body of Christ began. Notice also that the timing of the resurrection does not only affect that particular doctrine but that it extends to “overthrow the faith of some” and this is why it is said, “their word will eat as doth a canker.” Hyper-Division will not only affect one doctrine, it permeates the entire scope of Bible doctrines.
When the Body of Christ began is the clarion call of the Hyper-Dispensationalist. Proudly denominating themselves as “Mid-Acts” “Acts 28” or whichever chapter in Acts they may select on websites, books, and tracts–all of this is done with great authority as though the Church began where they indicate–but the one problem every one of them has is this: the word of God never states when the Body of Christ began! “”Mid-Acts” is simply an admission of ignorance (“We don’t know where it is, but it’s got to be in here somewhere!”) and “Acts 28” is one of assumption (“Since Paul doesn’t writesome things he did before, he must be giving us something new.”). Hypers are so engrossed with “when it happened” they miss the more important: what happened.
By hook or crook, the Hyper-Dispensationalists of all shades of heresy then spin their doctrines of “churchoftheonebody” “one baptism” “unity” “traditions” “two raptures” “two bodies of Christ: Acts body and Prison body” “polygamy” “homosexualism in the prison ministry” “New Covenant preached by Paul” “Paul baptized with same baptism as Peter” “NIV better than KJB” “washings are baptisms” “no Judgment Seat of Christ” “the devil will be reconciled to God” “NT begins in Matthew 26” “KJB book order is wrong” etc., etc., etc.
I would not be surprised to find an Acts 28er who believes Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were married in Modesto, California, bought Michael Jackson’s mansion with a three dollar bill, and became lifetime partners.
1 Those who wish to read the history of cancer research will find excellent material in The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer a book written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an Indian-born American physician and oncologist. Published November 16, 2010 by Scribner, it won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.