My Father’s Business #20

Friday, January 24, 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?”

If you ask the average church member or professing Christian, “What is God’s will for your life?,” you will likely receive one of two responses. Either the poor soul will look at you with a most confused facial expression, speechless, or, the dear individual will be honest and declare, “I really have no idea!” While indescribably tragic, this is absolutely nothing new. The Bible, from cover to cover, abounds with people in the same dilemma. Although possessing the Scriptures, Christians and Jews were unfamiliar with them 2,000 years ago!

Dispensational Bible study affords us the opportunity to understand what the God of the Bible is doing today. It enables us to pinpoint exactly where we are on the Bible timeline. Unless we know what God is currently doing, we do not have a prayer in the world of doing His will. If we can discover God’s present-day work, then we can go and do that by faith… and that is how we know and do God’s will!!

First Timothy chapter 2: “[3]… 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.” The Bible is explicit: God’s will is twofold, and it is not complicated or mysterious like religion and sinful human hearts make it out to be. God wants all people “saved,” and He wants all “saved” people to “come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Our first step in knowing and doing God’s will is recognizing our sin problem, our unworthiness, our evil, when compared to His righteous standard. Our second step is realizing how He has worked—and desires to work in and through us—to underscore His righteous standard….

My Father’s Business #19

Thursday, January 23, 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?”

Dear friends, it will help us immensely in Bible study to notice these two profound antithetical concepts. First, Isaiah 60:1-3: “[1] Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. [2] For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. [3] And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” This is the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3. God’s salvation and blessing to all the world is here coming through Israel’s rise to kingdom glory.

Now, read Romans 11:11-13: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:….” This is not the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3. God’s salvation and blessing to all the world is here coming through Israel’s fall and temporary setting aside.

Here is one dispensational difference in the Bible that could not be more evident. Provided we are willing to let verses of Scripture speak for themselves, and not try to force a denominational view into them, the Bible will be such a huge blessing rather than a sizable burden. While Father God will indeed cause Israel to rise to kingdom glory one day, He has temporarily interrupted that prophetic program with our mystery program. Here is the introduction of the Apostle Paul’s ministry, the apostleship of Romans 11:13, and the Gospel of the Grace of God of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (cf. Acts 20:24). Although Father God’s program has changed, His overall purpose, however, remains the same. He will glorify His Son, both on Earth and in Heaven….

My Father’s Business #18

Wednesday, January 22, 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?”

Going all the way back to Abraham, God in His grace had offered to bless and make Israel His people in Earth. However, Israel rejected God’s grace and insisted on making herself God’s people. She preferred the Law, performing to get the blessing. Exodus chapter 19: “[5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” That expression “if…then” is serious, for Israel must perform absolutely perfectly in religion or she will never be God’s people. Here is the Old Covenant.

Jeremiah 31:32 says, “…the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:….” While Israel promised to obey God’s every command (“All that the LORD hath spoken we will do”—Exodus 19:8), she did not. Like Adam, Israel sinned! “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).

Israel refused God’s purpose and plan for her, ultimately opposing Him when He sent His Son (Jesus Christ) to minister to them. Her people overwhelmingly had no interest in doing Jesus’ “Father’s business.” She did not want to glorify Him in the Earth, and did not desire to reach the idolatrous Gentiles with God’s Word. It was Israel who conspired with the Roman government to crucify her Messiah. Moving into the Acts period, unbelief and resistance remain among the majority of the Jews. Here, God, rather than pouring out wrath, inaugurates a plan that He has kept hidden in Himself. He begins to form a heavenly people, according to a heavenly purpose He devised long ago….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is that sinless perfection in Matthew 5:48?

My Father’s Business #17

Tuesday, January 21, 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?”

The Bible’s introductory verse proclaims: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Creation is divided into two realms—Heaven and Earth. Accordingly, God’s work within creation can be viewed as occurring in Heaven or occurring on Earth. From verse 2 onward, the Scriptures focus on His purpose and plan for Earth. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Job, and so on, all understood their Heavenly “Father’s business” concerned Earth.

In Genesis 1:26-28, we see the first man, Adam, commissioned to fill up Earth for God’s glory. Adam, of course, sinned and handed Earth’s governments over to Satan (cf. Matthew 4:8-10). The LORD introduced the Great Flood, cleansing Earth and restarting the human race with Noah and his family (Genesis chapters 6–8). Instead of remaining spiritually pure, mankind followed Satan nationally: the nations engaged in pagan idolatry at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapters 9–11). God thus gave the nations (Gentiles) over to Satan and began to form the nation Israel with Abraham. Israel, taking Adam’s place, became God’s earthly people.

Genesis chapter 12 opens: “[1] Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: [2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: [3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” After forming the nation Israel, God would give Israel His words and they would take them to the Gentiles. Here is Israel’s—here is God’s—earthly kingdom.

Matthew 25:34 summarizes, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:….” Christ’s earthly kingdom would have been inaugurated back in Adam’s day, but Adam sinned. Unfortunately, Israel sinned as well, resulting in God’s change in program yet again….

My Father’s Business #16

Monday, January 20, 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?”

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). The Lord Jesus Christ knew exactly (!!) what His Father was doing as touching His earthly ministry. He did not wonder or guess: having a clear understanding of His Father’s will for Israel, He worked with His Father to accomplish it. At the end of that ministry, He prayed to His Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I (!) have (!) finished (!) the (!) work (!) which (!) thou (!) gavest (!) me (!) to (!) do (!)(John 17:5). What was that “work” exactly? Keep reading.

“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word” (verse 6). Christ’s earthly ministry was designed to overpower spiritual darkness in Israel, expel Satan’s influence from Palestine: “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is spring up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:16,17,23).

For three years, Christ tirelessly taught, preached, and performed miracles in Israel’s land. While most of Israel preferred to remain in their ignorance, a believing remnant was nonetheless formed. These saints—headed by the 12 Apostles (with Matthias instead of Judas Iscariot)—are the “men” to whom Jesus gave the Father’s words. “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me” (John 17:8).

Dear friends, if we are to be about “our Father’s business” today, we have to know what “our Father’s business” today even is….

NOTE: Happy 40th spiritual birthday to my Mom, who will be reading this. We joy in our Lord Jesus Christ, He who used you to interest in me “our Father’s business” nearly a quarter-century ago!

My Father’s Business #15

Sunday, January 19, 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?”

Friends, provided we are willing to set aside our preconceived ideas and church traditions (which most refuse to do), Scripture will become ever so clear. Passages commonly seen as “contradictions” and “mistakes” are simply changes in program. Looking at the Bible timeline, Genesis through Revelation, we can easily see how God changes “stewards,” managers, or “house-distributors” (“oikonomous”) because He changes “dispensations,” administrations, or “house rules” (“oikonomia”). What is true today in the “but now” is not necessarily true in “time past” (and vice versa)—both differing from “the ages to come.”

For example, Moses was (!) God’s spokesman to the nation Israel: through Moses, JEHOVAH God gave Israel the Law at Mount Sinai. The Law was issued so Israel would understand God’s purpose and plan for her (see Deuteronomy 4:1-10, for instance). Those were God’s instructions—that was His “business”at the time. Christ’s earthly ministry was designed to bring Israel back to that Word of God from which she had drifted centuries prior. Of course, that is the Dispensation of Law, sitting contradistinction to the Dispensation of Grace given to the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 3:1-11).

It would be wholly inappropriate to say to the master of the house, “But, you used to govern your house this way, and I want to go back to those former administrative rules.” Yet, people today boldly tell this to the God of the Bible when they rebel against dispensational Bible study: “I do not follow Paul, I follow Jesus. I do not follow Paul, I follow Moses.” (Seemingly impressive, utterly meaningless!) They are appealing to house rules that no longer apply!!! Jesus’ earthly ministry, Matthew through John, is not what God is doing today. Moses’ writings, Genesis through Deuteronomy, are not what God is currently doing either. They are Scripture, they are God’s Word, but they are not pertinent to us in this the Dispensation of Grace.

The resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ spoke 13 epistles through the Apostle Paul, Romans through Philemon. Paul is “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13)….

My Father’s Business #14

Saturday, January 18, 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?”

The master of the house chooses the manner in which it is to be run. He can elect who manages it for him, and that person, being under his authority, is to follow his orders. Furthermore, over the course of time, he can change those rules. Thus, he will not accept what he once tolerated in his house. He can also choose another manager, picking someone else to oversee his affairs so that new manager may conduct his business accordingly. Here is how the God of the Bible administers His work in His creation.

Titus 1:7 says, “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;….” The church leader—sometimes called the “pastor”—is likened to “the steward of God.” In Greek, “steward” is “oikonomon.” Ordinarily, that term would be nonsense to the English reader. However, we should see the connection to “dispensation” (“oikonomia;” “house laws”). The “steward” is “the house-distributor:” he parcels out whatever the master of the house has given him to dispense.

Paul the Apostle thus wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 4, the first two verses: “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” He and his ministry companions are said to be “stewards of the mysteries of God.” That word “stewards” loops back to Titus 1:7. Almighty God gave to Paul (firstly) and his ministry coworkers (secondly) a series of “mysteries” or secrets. This body of Divine revelation—called “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2)—was delivered to Paul that he would then distribute it to us.

With Paul’s ministry arrived a new dispensation, a fresh way the Lord desired His creation to run. Paul is God’s “steward” for today. As the Lord Jesus Christ sees fit, so He runs His “Father’s business,” making that business known through the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon….