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….

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 #12

Thursday, January 16, 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?”

In “time past,” the nation Israel was spiritually advantaged. Given God’s Word (Romans 3:1,2), they were to then believe it, accept their King (Jesus), and ultimately teach the Gentiles in His kingdom. Alas, Israel refused Jesus, demanding His crucifixion on Calvary’s cross. Her religious leaders shouted, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15)! Christ died the death of the worst criminal—but then resurrected victoriously! He returned to His Father in the third heaven as a rejected exile. The Holy Spirit descended and empowered the 12 Apostles (Matthias being Judas Iscariot’s replacement) to preach and call Israel to repentance. Israel ardently declined to change her mind: even now, she would not have Jesus.

Unfortunately, Israel’s unbelief culminated with her stoning the Prophet Stephen in Acts chapter 7. Stephen’s sermon was her final chance to turn to JEHOVAH God in faith so she could do her “Father’s business.” Alas, she fell, losing her spiritual position before God. Leading Israel’s rebellion against Jesus Christ was a religious leader named Saul of Tarsus. As unbelieving Saul was en route to arrest fellow Jews for believing on Jesus as Messiah; the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ intercepted him in grace, mercy, and peace (Acts chapter 9). Saul, having now believed on Christ, is commissioned as the Apostle Paul. The Lord orders Paul to go to the Gentiles with a new Gospel message.

The Holy Spirit moved Paul to pen in Romans chapter 11: “[11] I say then, Have they [Israel] 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: [14] If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” Here is our “Father’s business….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “When Paul says ‘there is no difference,’ is he referring to people outside the Body of Christ, or in it?

My Father’s Business #11

Wednesday, January 15, 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 Jesus Christ knew His nation Israel was spiritually powerless. Consequently, during His earthly ministry, He worked in His “Father’s business” to expel Satan’s influence and spiritual ignorance. “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35). Father God wanted His people to learn His Word, and His Son faithfully taught them. Once Israel understood she was God’s earthly people, Jews trusting Jesus as their Messiah, Israel would become God’s kingdom of priests to the nations/Gentiles (see Luke 1:46-55,67-79).

God creating Israel as His earthly people is “the prophetic program.” The Apostle Peter preached in Acts chapter 3: “[19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Since God placed Adam on the Earth, He had been sending spokesmen to declare His will for Earth: prophetic truth is that “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

The Apostle Paul’s ministry, however, involves “the mystery program.” Romans chapter 16 says: “[25] 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, [26] 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:….” Here is mystery truth, that “which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest [through Paul’s ministry].” While God was forming Israel, He was keeping a secret that He would one day create a heavenly people, the Church the Body of Christ….

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….

My Father’s Business #8

Sunday, January 12, 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 Jesus had a thorough knowledge of precisely what Father God wanted Him to do on the Earth. By faith, He worked in accordance with those verses (Luke 4:16-21 cf. Isaiah 61:1,2): He was spiritually mature, able to make decisions His Heavenly Father approved. Sadly, however, millions of today’s Christians are utterly clueless concerning God’s will for their life. They wander aimlessly, wondering exactly what God is doing and exactly what He would have them do. It is not God’s fault. He has given them the Holy Bible, and He has imparted His Holy Spirit to those who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as their personal Saviour, but they have still wound up in spiritual darkness!

Friends, dispensational Bible study is how we understand where we are in the purpose and program of God. Jesus Christ Himself was a dispensationalist as demonstrated in Luke chapter 4. He stopped reading the Old Testament passage to precisely match God’s plan at that time. It was not time for God’s vengeance—that would be at His Second Coming—so He did not read it as fulfilled at His First Coming. He understood the “dispensational boundaries” that divide the Scriptures. For example, He did not go to Genesis chapter 6 and build an ark as though God had told Him to do that. He understood that was God’s instructions to Noah. Like Christ, we also understand that not all the Bible is true at the same time. We do not grab just anything from anywhere in Scripture and follow it as though it were God’s Word to and about us.

The only verse in the King James Bible that commands us to “study” the Scriptures also tells us how to do 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). When we “rightly divide the word of truth,” we recognize the differences that God has already delineated in His Word. In doing so, we as Christians can honestly claim, “I must be about my Father’s business….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How can the King James Bible say horses are “in” the chariots of Zechariah 6:2-3?