Who is Jesus the Son of Man? #5

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Matthew 16:13 KJV).

Who is Jesus the Son of Man?

Re-read Peter’s grand confession as recorded in the three Synoptic Gospel Records. “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). “And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ (Mark 8:29). “He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God (Luke 9:20). This, of course, is the Gospel of the Kingdom, that Jesus is Israel’s King-Messiah-Christ. Father God had expected the Jews to believe this “Good News” during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Now, be careful to notice how the Lord replied to Peter’s declaration of faith.

Again, all three Synoptic Gospel Records document it. “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ(Matthew 16:20). “And he charged them that they should tell no man of him (Mark 8:30). “And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;…” (Luke 9:21). Jesus ordered them, He commanded them, not to tell anyone that He was Christ. Why? Does He not want them to believe on Him? Is not this Gospel of the Kingdom the only way at the time for them to come to His Father by faith? Then, why does He mandate His disciples keep His identity secret?

Remember, this Gospel of the Kingdom has now been preached in Israel for at least three years. John the Baptist proclaimed it, Jesus Himself has preached it, and the 12 Apostles have proclaimed it. In spite of this spiritual light, darkness abounds in Israel. The nation itself is both unable and unwilling to see Jesus as Christ (Matthew 16:13,14; Mark 8:27,28; Luke 9:18,19); they have wasted their time with unbelief and spiritual silliness. Therefore, six months before Calvary, Jesus orders His disciples to stay silent concerning His identity. Essentially, “If they still have not believed, they will not believe, so leave them in their ignorance. Do not tell them who I the Son of Man am!”

That They All May Be One! #8

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20,21 KJV).

What exactly is this unity?

Israel and Judah divided was foreseen in the Jewish religious calendar given to Moses. Leviticus chapter 23: “[15] And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: [16] Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. [17] Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” Roughly 50 days after Passover, the Jews were to bring two wave loaves of two tenth deals,” or a new meat [meal/grain] offering.”

As touching the fulfillment of the aforementioned Leviticus passage, the issue of harmony among Jesus’ disciples is accentuated. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” (Acts 1:14). “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place(2:1). “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,…” (2:46).

“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:….” (4:24). “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (4:32). “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch(5:12). This was a foretaste of the New Covenant friendship…..

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why does ‘revived’ appear in Romans 14:9?

That They All May Be One! #7

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20,21 KJV).

What exactly is this unity?

Once Israel and Judah split, their civil wars lasted centuries (1 Kings chapter 12 onward). Instead of fighting the Gentiles, they turned on each other! As opposed to doing God’s will in the Earth, they wasted all their time and energy on endless battles—not to mention their pagan idolatry that continued up until their respective captivities in Assyria and Babylon.

Continue reading Ezekiel chapter 37, God delivering them from their political, social, and religious factions: “[23] Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. [24] And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

“[25] And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. [26] Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. [27] My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [28] And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Indeed, when Christ reigns as the ultimate Son of David, all 12 tribes will come under one government as before, with resurrected David ruling too….

That They All May Be One! #6

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20,21 KJV).

What exactly is this unity?

The Prophet Ezekiel was afforded a glimpse into the future, when the LORD restores the Jewish people to Himself under the New Covenant. Read chapter 37: “[15] The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, [16] Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah [Southern Kingdom], and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph [Northern Kingdom], the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions: [17] And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. [18] And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

“[19] Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. [20] And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. [21] And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: [22] And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

Christ had this passage in mind as He prayed in today’s Scripture. He was sending forth His 12 Apostles with the Gospel of the Kingdom, a message of a united Jewish kingdom….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘palsy?’

Throwing Them Out! #3

Monday, September 14, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Never should we forget that, when the Lord was performing miracles, the purpose was much more than simply to excite people or rescue them from difficulties. Chiefly, most importantly, “the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22). A miracle in Scripture is for Israel’s benefit, designed to signify or communicate a particular doctrine or teaching.

For example, recall when JEHOVAH God commissioned Moses to return to the Israelites enslaved in Egypt. The Bible reports in Exodus 4:1: “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.” God then endowed Moses with miraculous power to authenticate his ministry and message. His rod could transform into a snake, he was able to heal leprosy (skin disease), and he could turn the river’s water into blood (verses 2-9). “And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed…” (verses 30,31). “Signs” belong to Israel, for they are Israel’s national birthright (cf. Psalm 74:9). The same is true concerning Christ’s earthly ministry.

Let us consider Luke 8:1, “…[Jesus] went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,….” Not only did Christ preach, He validated those words with miraculous deeds: He “preached” and “shewed” the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe (John 4:48). The last verse of Mark notes: “And they [the 12 Apostles] went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

With all that said, why did the Lord raise Jairus’ little daughter from the dead? He was authenticating His message. The key is to remember the girl’s age, and all will be clear….

The Cup of Cold Water

Friday, May 1, 2020

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward (Matthew 10:42 KJV).

In the world’s eyes, a cup of cold water is so insignificant. However, the LORD God sees it as notable. Even the cup of cold water given to the believer in Christ has an eternal reward attached to it….

Matthew chapter 10 is the first installment of the so-called “Great Commission.” The Lord Jesus Christ is sending out His 12 Apostles—and other members of the Little Flock. Read today’s Scripture in context: “[40] He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. [41] He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. [42] And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

Lost Israel should receive Jesus’ messengers, bring them into fellowship, that they may hear and believe that Gospel of the Kingdom: “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68,69). Christ said, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me” (Luke 10:16). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (John 13:20).

In the hot, arid Middle East, a cup of cold water is a precious commodity. As Christ’s preachers minister to Israel, giving them that life-giving message, so Israel is encouraged to give these preachers that life-giving liquid. God does not overlook even a cup of cold water given in His Son’s name.

Bible Q&As #719 and #720: “Are the Christian life and ministry about bossing people around?” and “Why did God command Abraham to physically circumcise Ishmael?

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 #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….