Sin Divides #1

Friday, January 31, 2020

“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” (Micah 7:5,6 KJV).

In religious circles, it is frequently bemoaned, “Doctrine divides! Doctrine divides! We should throw away ‘doctrine’ and just assemble around ‘love!’” Today’s Scripture and its context expose that dictum for the utter foolhardiness that it really is….

Dearly beloved, just look at the world around us. Have you ever attempted to fathom this mess we the human race are truly in? If you have, does it not boggle your mind? To say the least, all around the globe, society’s problems are monumental! There is something terribly wrong, and all are aware of it to some extent. However, most cannot pinpoint the problem—let alone solve it. While we usually have an inflated opinion of ourselves, bragging about being the “pinnacle of evolutionary theory via natural selection,” our thoughts and behavior indicate mankind is declining! Although enjoying improved technology, it is wishful thinking to say we ourselves are becoming more sophisticated internally.

Let us face the blunt reality of the matter, friends. Human civilization—even its “best”—will continue to prove itself to be totally inept as touching reformation. Try as hard as we might, we can never—and will never—achieve paradise. However, we refuse to learn this lesson. Deceived by sin, we just struggle more and more in an attempt to “do better.” Doing the same thing over and over, we expect different results. Alas, we continue to aggravate the problem! Insanity and futility still reign!

The most noticeable aspect of the human condition is man simply cannot love his fellow man. Yes, people can get along with others… but only temporarily. The disagreement was merely delayed. Emotions escalating, war suddenly breaks out. And, there it is: the closest ally is now the bitterest enemy! Unfortunately, the family unit is no exception to this rending. Whether a nation’s history or an individual’s life, the ancient world or the modern age, the global problem is that the deepest divisions involve blood relatives….

Inspired and Declared

Thursday, January 30, 2020

“With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth” (Psalm 119:13 KJV).

Do we agree?

The Psalmist viewed the Scriptures—which were just the “Old Testament” at the time—as “the judgments of [God’s] mouth.” Here is a veiled reference to Bible inspiration. Although often enigmatic and misunderstood (since “natural men” masquerading as “Bible scholars” have generated much of that confusion), the doctrine of inspiration is really not difficult to grasp. As long as we let the Bible describe itself, we will be on solid ground.

The famous Bible “inspiration” text is 2 Timothy 3:16,17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” In Greek, “given by inspiration of God” is one word—“theopneustos” (literally, “God breathed”). “Spirit,” “air,” “wind,” and “breath” are closely related in the Greek language. Therefore, the Bible is words God spoke forth or breathed out.

“Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). Scripture is “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3; cf. Matthew 4:4). “The Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake…” (Acts 1:16). “Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,…” (Matthew 22:31). Compare to today’s Scripture: “With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.” The Psalmist spoke of the “judgments” (decrees, conclusions, laws) originating from God’s mouth.

Almighty God uttered “words,” not just thoughts. The Holy Spirit gave these inspired words to special men and He led them to write those Divine words. Either we believe this is the Bible’s origin (faith), or we do not (unbelief). There is no middle ground. Additionally, He gave those inspired words to preserve them throughout the centuries via a multiplicity of manuscript copies. We have those inspired, preserved words even now: in English, it is the King James Bible. So, the Psalmist had spoken to others what God had spoken to him. May we take the Bible and do likewise! “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Our latest Bible Q&As: “How was there healing in touching Jesus’ garment hem?” and “Should it be ‘virtue’ or ‘power’ in Mark 5:30, Luke 6:19, and Luke 8:46?

My Father’s Business #25

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

Trusting the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as our personal Saviour, we are then able to understand our new identity and destiny. First Timothy chapter 2: “[3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [7] Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; ) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” Christ giving His life a ransom for all was the message committed to the Apostle Paul (cf. Matthew 20:28).

Father God’s “business” today involves the Holy Spirit edifying us—building us up internally—that we appreciate the “full picture” of His work spanning the ages (past, present, and future). Closing Romans, the Holy Spirit moved Paul to pen: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:…” (16:25,26).

Saints, approaching the Bible dispensationally, we gain great insight into Father God’s mind. Firstly, Christ’s finished crosswork has saved us from the penalty of sin (Hell). Secondly, it gives us victory over daily sins right now. Thirdly, we are members of the Church the Body of Christ, capable of glorifying Jesus Christ in the heavenly places in eternity future. Finally, God’s work with us complements His work with the nation Israel (also delivered from sins, they are His earthly people in eternity future). Ephesians 1:8-10—“the dispensation of the fulness of times”—is thus accomplished!

May we now say with Christ, “I must be about my Father’s business!” 🙂

-FINIS-

My Father’s Business #24

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

Young Jesus was just 12 years old in Luke chapter 2. Luke’s theme underscores His perfect humanity: He was the literal epitome of how a Man was originally designed to function for Father God’s glory. Christ was consumed in learning His words, believing them, and teaching them to others. Whereas Israel had drifted far from the Bible truths once delivered them, He was motivated to bring them back to God’s Word. Israel—whose number is 12 in Scripture—should have been in their spiritual understanding and activity where young Jesus was in His spirituality and conduct.

As a Man who studied and trusted the Old Testament Scriptures, Christ knew the nature of His Father’s “business.” Luke chapter 2 again: “[46] And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. [47] And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers…. [49] And he said unto them [Joseph and Mary], How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? [50] And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. [51] And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. [52] And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

While the God of Scripture was revealing to mankind the details of the prophetic program, He was deliberately withholding mystery truth. Through the Apostle Paul’s ministry and message, He showed man an additional aspect of His “business.” As God had been forming an earthly people with the hope of an earthly kingdom in order to glorify Christ Jesus in the Earth (the nation Israel), so He had predetermined (but only recently divulged) the founding of a heavenly people with the hope of a heavenly kingdom meant to glorify Christ in the Heaven (the Church the Body of Christ—us!). We now conclude this devotionals arc….

My Father’s Business #23

Monday, January 27, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

Near the beginning of His earthly ministry, Christ entered the Jerusalem Temple and literally “cleaned house.” John chapter 2 reports: “[13] And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: [15] And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; [16] And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. [17] And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

Jesus understood not only His Father’s “business” in Israel, but also recognized and counteracted a competing “business.” Apostate religious leaders had established their own “business” in the Temple. Yea, in the very place where they should have been proclaiming truth and upholding justice, they were defrauding people by charging exorbitant prices for sacrificial animals. Jesus entered—and actually forced them to exit! Father God’s words had burned in His heart so passionately that He purged that Jerusalem Temple of its spiritual corruption. Indeed, as the Psalmist, King David, saw concerning his descendant (the future Messiah), “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up…” (Psalm 69:9).

Even now, Father God’s “business” has a rival “business.” Satan’s evil world system still uses a false religious system to distract us. Ignoring dispensational Bible distinctions, we thereby focus on something God did in the past (“time past”) or what He will do in the future (“ages to come”). Thus, we totally miss His “but now” operations. Friends and brethren, unless we give attendance to reading and believing the Apostle Paul’s writings, Romans through Philemon, we will actually be enthusiastically opposing God’s Word to the extent Jesus Christ was avidly advancing it. We now summarize this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did the Lord forbid public prayer?

My Father’s Business #22

Sunday, January 26, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

Father God has one “eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11): He will glorify His Son, Christ Jesus, in both Heaven and Earth. That is, He wants to fill us, the Church the Body of Christ, with the very life of Jesus Christ. While we are on Earth, this is temporary, for a kingdom in the heavenly places is our ultimate eternal destiny. He will also fill the nation Israel with the very life of Jesus Christ, and they will enjoy a kingdom in the Earth throughout the endless ages to come.

“In the dispensation of the fulness of times he [will] gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him [Christ]” (Ephesians 1:10). The result is Jesus Christ’s very life being expressed in Heaven and on Earth—what should have happened before Satan rebelled and man joined that revolt. Here is the wise plan of Father God, an outsmarting of His chief nemesis and all his associates! Had Satan really known the great lengths Father God would go to accomplish His eternal purpose, he would have never let Jesus Christ die on Calvary’s cross! Satan did not know it, but he was assisting in his own defeat when he incited Israel to crucify Messiah!

First Corinthians 2:6-8: “[6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” With Christ’s shed blood (cf. Colossians 1:16-20), Father God purchased unto Himself two groups of souls to form two agencies (Israel and the Body of Christ). Calvary’s full benefits are now disclosed, no longer hidden, and Father God’s “business” is completely known today….

My Father’s Business #21

Saturday, January 25, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

Father God’s “business” involves not only rescuing us sinners from our eternal destiny in Hell. He also desires to use us with a new eternal destiny in mind. Our forgiveness, redemption, justification, and sanctification are all really just minor components of a wise, magnificent plan that spans the ages.

Colossians 1:16-20 reveals that purpose: “[16] For by him [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Ephesians 1:8-11 supplements, “[8] Wherein he [Father God] hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; [9] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:….” Not only do we understand God’s will for the Earth, but, with Divine revelation given to the Apostle Paul and now delivered to us, we understand God’s will for the Heaven as well.

In saving us from sin, and making us members of the Church the Body of Christ, our Father has qualified us to reign for Christ’s glory in the heavenly realm as Israel will rule for His glory in the earthly realm. What sinful man and Satan have defiled, Almighty God has a plan to reclaim those offices of government….

Bible Q&A #685: “Was Israel’s fall a secret?