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 #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….

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….