To Pray a Better Way #10

Saturday, March 7, 2020

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26,27 KJV).

How does the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God?”

Father God “searcheth [investigates, looks into] the hearts;” He is aware of “the mind of the Spirit” (today’s Scripture). The Holy Spirit works in us by activating His inspired words that we have read and believed rightly divided. Consequently, we can pray in agreement with Father God’s current will. The Holy Spirit uses sound Bible doctrine to work in the grace saint as that child of God prays with a heart of faith. He enlightens the believer’s understanding, so that saint not only perceives God’s will for the present age, but can also pray accordingly. Unlike in religion, in the Bible, the Christian is not left clueless, wondering how to pray!

Provided we are aware of “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2)—the doctrine outlined in Paul’s Epistles, Romans through Philemon—then we will not be disappointed with “unanswered prayer.” We cannot make God do something He is not doing. If the content of our prayers conflicts with Pauline doctrine, then displeasure and doubt will constantly beset us. Praying like a saint in Israel’s prophetic program, will get us nowhere because we are the Church the Body of Christ and we are in the mystery program. We cannot take Israel’s verses, assume God will respond that way, and then complain He “lied” when our expectations are not met. Indeed, non-dispensational prayer is more harmful than no prayer!

Saints, if we have any hope in the world of praying effectually, we must let God speak first. He has already spoken in Paul’s Epistles. Have we listened to Him before asking Him to listen to us? Or, are we operating in unbelief, naming and claiming non-Pauline Bible passages as though they are to and about us? Articulating dispensationally-correct prayers is to pray a better way! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who are the ‘Scythians’ and the ‘Barbarians?’

To Pray a Better Way #9

Friday, March 6, 2020

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26,27 KJV).

How does the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God?”

Friend, provided we are willing to “read” Paul’s epistles (Ephesians 3:4), if we are ready to “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), provided we are willing to “consider what [Paul] say[s]” (2 Timothy 2:7), and if we are ready to “believe” those Divine words (1 Thessalonians 2:13), the indwelling Spirit of God will take that sound Bible doctrine and transform us from the inside out.

Living in this fallen, sin-cursed world, our circumstances are complex. It is also daunting to try and express our concerns in words (groanings which cannot be uttered;” today’s Scripture). We are really unable to say what God’s will is regarding the matter. It is here that the Holy Spirit intervenes to transform our minds, using the verses we have read and believed. Exercising the mind of Christ, we seeing the matter as He Himself does. Difficulties distract and cloud our thinking. We entertain the notion that God does not love us and He does not care. How wrong we are!

In great tenderness, the Lord spoke to soothe suffering Paul: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Once asking the Lord to remove his “thorn in the flesh”—that mysterious, multilayered hindrance—Paul learned to think differently. The Apostle publicized what he had learned: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (verse 10). Yes, the grace saint can find great value in his troubles rather than escaping them.

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Keep Your Priorities Straight!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Friend, if you want to keep your thinking straight, you had better keep your priorities straight!

Every time we turn on televisions or computers, every time we pick up newspapers or books, we are really sitting in a classroom. Not only are we being programmed what to think, we are being trained how to think. The world’s philosophy entices us most subtly. Politicians tell us what is “best” for our country. Educators say what is “good” for our children. Counselors tell us what is “good” for our marriage. Indeed, we are seated in a classroom. Unless we have personal, daily Bible study to counter it all; we will surely adopt the world’s view concerning every aspect of life. Hence, much carnal thinking abounds in most professing Christians!

Reading the Bible for ourselves is unfathomably crucial. It is not enough to possess the Bible. It is not enough to listen to a priest or preacher read the Bible. We must open the Bible and “read” it for ourselves. All too often, the only “Bible” people really know is what they have heard others say about it (usually nothing but assumptions and misconceptions). How dangerous! “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Ephesians 3:4). Unless we read the Bible for ourselves, we cannot understand it!

Moreover, it is not enough to read the Bible. We must “study” it too. It is not enough to study the Bible; we must also “rightly divide” it. “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). Lastly, we should “believe” what we read, study, and rightly divide. “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).

As Bible-believing Christians, Pauline dispensationalists, we should “exhort” or urge one another to maintain this manner of life, stressing “doctrine” as opposed to sentiments and ignorance.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is ‘Abiathar’ a mistake in Mark 2:26?

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 #13

Friday, January 17, 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 word “dispensation” appears four times in a King James Bible. “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” (1 Corinthians 9:17). “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” (Ephesians 1:10). “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ephesians 3:2). “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God” (Colossians 1:25).

In Greek, “dispensation” is “oikonomia,” from which our English word “economy” is derived (they have similar pronunciations). The Greek term literally means “house rules”—a set of guidelines a master has laid out so his household runs as he sees fit. In Scripture, a “dispensation” is thus: “a unique set of instructions God distributes [dispenses] for man’s faith and obedience during a particular time.” God’s message to and dealings with mankind have changed through time because man has changed. We now analyze the above four passages in light of this information.

God has given to the Apostle Paul a body of Good News (Gospel)—“a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” (1 Corinthians 9:17). The Divine truths revealed to Paul were imparted to him that he may then teach us, thereby being the final installment of God’s Word to man—“the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God” (Colossians 1:25). Jesus Christ entrusted Paul with an exclusive body of doctrine—“the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ephesians 3:2). (We will expound Ephesians 1:10 later.)

Our goal in dispensational Bible study is to see the Apostle Paul as God’s spokesman to us during His current affairs or “business” with man….

My Father’s Business #10

Tuesday, January 14, 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 LORD God informed Abraham in Genesis 17:10 concerning the formation of the nation Israel: “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised” (read verses 1-14 in your own time). In “time past,” physical circumcision—the cutting off of the male Jew’s foreskin—was absolutely critical in God’s purpose and program. Those physically uncircumcised were Gentile, outside of God’s will (Ephesians 2:11,12). In the “but now,” however, God sees no difference between Jew and Gentile, physical circumcision and physical uncircumcision (verse 13). “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6). “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Galatians 6:15).

Read Ephesians chapter 3: “[1] For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

Currently, Father God is creating a group of believers, the Church the Body of Christ, using Jews and Gentiles alike. Unless we recognize the above dispensational change, we will believe the Bible is contradictory and contains mistakes. When we accept that the Lord Jesus Christ introduced this change through the Apostle Paul’s ministry and message, then we hone in on our “Father’s business” for today….

My Father’s Business #9

Monday, January 13, 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?”

Since the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul instructed us to “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), it stands to reason that the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul also told us how to “rightly divide the word of truth.” When we study the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, we discover one insightful passage in this regard.

Ephesians chapter 2 states, “[6] And [Father God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus…. [11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

God’s dealings in creation, His work in Heaven and Earth, His affairs in the world, His will for people—yes, His “business” with His creatures—can be neatly segmented or divided and arranged on a timeline (which is precisely dispensational Bible study). Ephesians chapter 2 specifies three time periods, which we can easily see as corresponding to past (“time past;” verse 11), present (“but now;” verse 13), and future (“ages to come;” verse 7). In “time past,” God dealt with people on the basis of physical circumcision (Jew) and physical uncircumcision (Gentile). “But now,” currently, God sees no difference between the two: both are equally sinful and both equally access Him through Jesus Christ’s shed blood.

Surely, if we desire to learn how to be about our Father’s “business” for today, we must listen to His words as found in the Pauline Books of the Bible….