What is God Doing? #15

Saturday, January 19, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Returning to the opening chapter of Ephesians, we recall one of the Book’s main themes: “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 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: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (verses 9-11).

Through the Apostle Paul’s ministry and doctrine, the God of creation has revealed His secret will. In prophecy, Israel’s prophetic program (His plan to reclaim the Earth), He had disclosed only part of His plan for creation. However, while revealing prophecy, He was withholding information—the mystery program (His plan to reclaim the heavenly places). Whatever Father God is doing, no matter where we are on the Bible timeline, there is one ultimate goal: “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.” The two realms of creation—Heaven and Earth (Genesis 1:1)—have their respective governmental offices (Colossians 1:16). Overall, universal administrative authority is to be consolidated in Jesus Christ.

Sin has complicated and delayed God’s original purpose in creation. Nevertheless, Scripture shows us a gradual unfolding of how the Creator has wisely devised, arranged, and enacted strategies to bring it about anyway. As we look at the world, we not only see the Creator God at work. We see one chief Adversary opposing it all, a spirit creature who, while wise, is not wise enough to outdo his Creator. It is the work of this evil being that we must now consider….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How should we view dispensationalists of bygone days?

What is God Doing? #14

Friday, January 18, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

After penning nearly three thrilling chapters of doctrine, the Apostle Paul prays for the mature Ephesian saints: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).

What is the breadth of God’s current work? He is bridging the former chasm or division between Jew and Gentile, joining them to make “one new man,” “a new creature,” the Church the Body of Christ, the dwelling-place of His Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-22; Ephesians 3:6,9). What is the length of God’s present work? The Body of Christ was not a “last-minute decision,” but rather something God planned long ago—“before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). It is part of His “eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11).

What is the depth of God’s current work? Ephesians 2:1-9 says He is reaching down to the very pits of sin to be reconciled with such evil creatures (people willfully following Satan, the flesh, and the evil world system). Before we came to faith in Christ, this was our lot! What is the height of God’s present work? As God empowers us members of the Body of Christ to function, He is impacting the “heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3,20-23; Ephesians 2:6,7; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12).

It is Paul’s wish—yea, the Holy Spirit’s objective—that we understand exactly what God is doing….

What is God Doing? #13

Thursday, January 17, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Chapter 3 of Ephesians opens: “[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.” Be sure to notice Paul’s apostleship is connected to the Dispensation of Grace—our dispensation!! Jesus Christ directly revealed to Paul the information God has for the Church the Body of Christ.

“[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; [9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: [10] To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, [11] According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: [12] In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. [13] Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”

Now, in one succinct summary, the exact ramifications of what God is doing….

NOTE: The two Genesis videos have been added to our Old Testament Survey Project. Click here to watch.

What is God Doing? #12

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Ephesians chapter 2 explains the dispensational change that affects us: “[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.” Once Gentiles cut off from God, we are now made close to God by Jesus’ shed blood.

“[14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; [15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: [17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. [18] For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” God is taking Jews and Gentiles who will believe on His Son, Jesus Christ, and forming one Body—the Church the Body of Christ.

“[19] Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; [20] And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; [21] In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: [22] In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” God is building His house, we Christians in and through whom He expresses His life….

Words Precious

Sunday, September 23, 2018

He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD (Psalm 147:19,20 KJV).

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1,2).

Ephesians 2:11-12 tells us: “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; 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:….”

In “time past,” the nation Israel had a special privilege. She had been given the words of the living and true God. Romans 9:4,5: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

Moses said to Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

Israel, however, did not keep herself doctrinally pure. She threw aside the words of God in order to pick up the traditions of men. May we Gentiles learn from her mistake, and not repeat it! “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13). “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).

Translated Judgment #7

Saturday, September 22, 2018

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:21,22 KJV).

While it is commonly overlooked, today’s Scripture describes God’s righteous judgment on a certain group of unbelievers. Who are they? What is God’s message to them? Who is delivering that message?

First Corinthians chapter 14 outlines the six rules that regulated the gift of tongues (which gift the Corinthians were abusing). When the Holy Spirit was involved, these six principles were always in place. Any deviation, even slightly, meant that the experience was artificial and satanic. Someone was striving in his or her flesh to mimic or counterfeit God’s work.

Primarily, tongues served as a sign to the nation Israel (today’s Scripture). Secondly, twoor maximum, three—individuals were to speak in tongues during one meeting (verse 27). Thirdly, the speakers had to take turns, and not talk over each other (verse 27). Fourthly, the tongue had to be translated or the speaker was to remain silent (verses 27,28). Fifthly, only men spoke in tongues (verses 34,35). Lastly, there was to be decency, order, self-control (verse 40). These six rules describe the only type of speaking in tongues the Holy Spirit has ever (!) endorsed!

It was particularly important that tongues be translated. This interpretation allowed unsaved Jews to not only hear a foreign language (recognizing God’s judgment on their nation), but also learn God’s Word in their own native tongue (whatever it happened to be). An intelligible message, as opposed to gibberish, afforded them an opportunity to be convicted of their sin and converted to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Now that that Acts transitional period is over, God dealing with Israel has passed, so the spiritual gifts have ceased (1 Corinthians 8:8-13). We have a completed Bible, total revelation from God, and thus temporary spiritual gifts and fragmentary revelation are unnecessary (2 Timothy 3:16,17; cf. Colossians 1:25-27).

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Did Saul of Tarsus ever meet Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry?” and Did Paul just hear Jesus’ voice, or did he see Him, too?

Translated Judgment #6

Friday, September 21, 2018

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:21,22 KJV).

While it is commonly overlooked, today’s Scripture describes God’s righteous judgment on a certain group of unbelievers. Who are they? What is God’s message to them? Who is delivering that message?

Here are two simple Bible verses that will revolutionize the way you view God’s Word. “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Signs are Israel’s national heritage (see Psalm 74:9). When we come to today’s Scripture, we thus see that one of these “signs” is the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues: “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not….” The unbelievers during the Acts period were the nation Israel (Acts 9:23,24; Acts 13:45-48; Acts 17:5,13; Acts 18:6,12; et cetera).

In Isaiah’s day, Israel hearing foreign languages meant that her LORD God’s judgment had fallen on her for her unbelief and disobedience. Similarly, Israel hearing the gift of tongues working amongst Paul’s Gentile converts signified to Israel that her God was now operating in the world without her. It was a drastic change in program. God had taken the spiritual gifts—what had belonged to Israel—and given them over to the Gentiles. The gift of tongues operated amongst Paul’s Gentile converts so as to provoke to salvation in Christ the unsaved Jews scattered around the world.

The gift of tongues was not meant to be entertainment (as the Corinthians were using it—see 1 Corinthians chapter 14), but rather a clear testimony to Israel. It was important that the Corinthians correct their abuses of this most special spiritual gift. Today’s Body of Christ would do well to take heed to these verses, and address and fix their misunderstandings and misuses of spiritual gifts….

Bible Q&A #535: “Who are the ‘Grecians’ in the Bible?