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?

Human Eyes Versus Divine Eyes #3

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth (Matthew 27:39-44 KJV).

It is the same event, viewed from two different perspectives. Which assessment is reality and which is folly?

Approximately 1,000 years before Calvary, the Holy Spirit moved King David to write Psalm 22. That psalm is “Messianic,” as it is a vivid portrait of Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Christ is quoted throughout the chapter. Verses 6-8 are most interesting in light of today’s Scripture: “[6] But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. [7] All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, [8] He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”

Yea, 10 centuries in advance, the Bible predicted the very insults of Jesus’ ridiculers. They had crucified Him in unbelief, declaring at the closing moments of His trial, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). However, Almighty God was not surprised or outsmarted. He knew beforehand His Son would be rejected. Yet, He let it come to pass. By letting sinful man crucify Jesus, God’s grand purpose would be accomplished. From man’s perspective, it appeared to be a complete failure. Israel had given His Son over to Rome, and Rome carried out His execution! Despite the outward “weakness” of Christ on Calvary (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:4), He was fighting a spiritual battle in the invisible realm.

Through man’s eyes, it looked hopeless—through Divine eyes, victory was certain….


All Kings and All Nations

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

“Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him” (Psalm 72:11 KJV).

Who is this really about?

The subheading of Psalm 72 is, “A Psalm for Solomon.” King David, Solomon’s father, penned it: “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended” (verse 20). David prayed it on Solomon’s behalf. The Holy Spirit had David write it down, preserving it as Psalm 72. Once Solomon assumed Israel’s throne, it was to be sung in his honor.

Solomon and David are the most famous Jewish kings, reigning at the apex of Israel’s political strength. David fought battles and conquered neighboring Gentiles. By the time Solomon became king, Israel’s land and people enjoyed peace and prosperity. (This was temporary, of course, because Solomon eventually turned from JEHOVAH God.) Solomon’s reign is recorded in 1 Kings chapters 1-11 and 2 Chronicles chapters 1-9. Parts of Psalm 72 correlate with these events. However, some of Psalm 72 never occurred under Solomon. For example, today’s Scripture says, “All kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.” Solomon certainly did not reign over “all nations.” “All kings” did not “fall down before him.” Is the Bible wrong? Not at all.

Psalm 72 has a wider application than simply “dead history.” It is prophecy awaiting fulfillment! Solomon, like David and other Bible characters, is a picture of Jesus Christ. Christ is also David’s descendant and heir to his throne (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 2:30). Remember, God had promised David that he would have a son to sit on Israel’s throne forever (2 Samuel 7:12-17; cf. Psalm 89). Jesus Christ will fulfill that Davidic Covenant.

Zechariah 14:9: “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Revelation 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Isaiah 2:2: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain 1 Corinthians 5:7-8?

Return, LORD! #2

Friday, November 20, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

God was not at all surprised when Israel conspired with Rome to sentence Jesus Christ to death. The Holy Spirit had written in Psalm 2 nearly 10 centuries prior: “[1] Why do the heathen [Gentiles] rage, and the people [Israel] imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth [Gentiles] set themselves, and the rulers [Israel] take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [“Christ” Jesus], saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them [Gentile and Jew] in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them [Gentile and Jew] in his wrath, and vex them [Gentile and Jew] in his sore displeasure.”

The Old Testament provides various previews of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath (cf. today’s Scripture). Amos chapters 1 and 2 identify the “flight path” the Lord Jesus Christ will take once He leaves the third heaven, His return “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). He will enter Earth’s atmosphere in Damascus, Syria, along the eastern Mediterranean shore. Flying southward, He visits (Gentile) Gaza and Edom. Turning northward on the Sinai Peninsula, He sends fire also into the land of the Ammonites, and Moab. Finally, flying westward, He crosses the Jordan River, reaching Palestine, judging the Jews—Judah (southern kingdom) and Israel (northern kingdom). Judgment not only falls on the Gentiles, but also on Israel.

Zechariah 14:4 says Jesus Christ lands and stands on the Mount of Olives, exactly where He left Earth some 2,000 years earlier (Acts 1:11,12). He and His angelic armies defeat the Antichrist and his armies (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:1-3,11,12), and all lost Jews (Zechariah 13:8,9), allowing only the Little Flock (Israel’s believing remnant) to enter His earthly kingdom. The King has “returned” to Israel!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Have we been ‘grafted into Israel?’

Rise Up, LORD! #3

Sunday, November 15, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

Remembering that this passage has a prophetic counterpart to mirror it, we ask, what is the significance of JEHOVAH God “rising?” We know Psalm 68, which parallels Moses’ words, involves Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath. But, in the future, from where exactly will He be “rising?” And why is He “moving from a lower position to a higher one?”

Mark 16:19 says that, after 40 days of post-resurrection ministry, Jesus Christ “was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Psalm 110:1 predicted 1,000 years earlier: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In His magnificent Pentecost sermon, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter interpreted for us: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted… For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool” (Acts 2:32-35).

Jesus Christ would sit at His Father’s right hand in heaven temporarily. He would not sit there forever. When it was time for Father God to judge and conquer His enemies, then Jesus Christ would stand. “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him” (Psalm 68:1). In Acts chapter 2, Peter warned unbelieving Israel about that wrath to come—the Man they had rejected and murdered was alive and coming back to deal with them. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (verse 38). That was the only way for Israel to be prepared for her Messiah’s return. Did national Israel hearken to Peter’s words? No, and thus, Jesus Christ stood.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God give Israel King Saul if Saul was evil?

The Christ of God

Sunday, July 19, 2015

“He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God” (Luke 9:20 KJV).

The King James Bible’s “New Testament” contains expressions such as, “The Christ of God,” “The Lord’s Christ,” and His Christ.” Why is qualification needed? Why not simply read “Christ?”

Peter the Apostle declared in today’s Scripture, “[Thou art] The Christ of God.” The Holy Ghost told elderly Simeon that he would not physically die until “he had seen [Baby Jesus] the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26). Israel and Rome conspired against the LORD (Father God) and His Christ” (Acts 4:26)—that described Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary. One day, this world’s kingdoms will become “the kingdoms of our Lord [Heavenly Father], and of his Christ [Jesus]” (Revelation 11:15). A voice in heaven will one day utter, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ” (Revelation 12:10).

To better understand the language of “God’s Christ” and “the Lord’s Christ,” we need Ezekiel chapter 28, the passage that describes Lucifer (Satan) before his fall into sin/pride. Lucifer was the “anointed cherub that covereth” (verse 14). “Anointed” in Hebrew is Mishiach (Messiah) and in Greek it is Christos (Christ). Now, please note the following. Psalm 2, verse 2, foretold in Hebrew: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [Jesus], saying….” Acts 4:26, written in Greek, quotes it as, “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.”

Every Berean Bible student knows Satan is the master counterfeiter. The Devil uses false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, and false brethren to counter God’s prophets, God’s apostles, God’s teachers, and God’s brethren. Satan causes us to concentrate on him (the false Messiah) and his policy of evil so we ignore Jesus Christ (the true Messiah) and God’s plan of glory! When our program concludes and Israel’s program resumes, Satan will come in the person of Antichrist, the epitome of prideful imitation (to be destroyed, thankfully). In the end, what Satan failed to do (lead creation in worship of the one true God), Jesus Christ, the Christ of God, will do!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus forbid others from preaching that He was Christ?

That Thus It Must Be

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:54 KJV).

To go to Calvary’s tree, to suffer and die for you and me, it had to be, for Christ had to die for you and me!

People die for their religion all the time, but the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was extraordinary. It was determined long, long, long ago, before there ever was a creation. The triune Godhead gathered, unanimously decreeing that God the Son would die for man’s sins. He would do it to the glory of His Father, and the Holy Ghost would see to it that it would be accomplished to the very last jot and tittle. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23).

As Judas led the crowd of religious leaders, elders, and Roman soldiers to where Jesus and His disciples were, the Lord Jesus Christ grew ever so peaceful. What had begun as a very stressful time of intense prayer, speaking to His Heavenly Father that His will be done, and not His own, was now completed with total faith in His Heavenly Father’s will. Though Peter drew his sword at the advancing crowds, ready to slash anyone who approached Jesus, our Lord did not put up a fight. He went so far as to rebuke Peter, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52,53).

By faith, having taken His stand on His Father’s words to Him (the hundreds upon hundreds of Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament scrolls), Jesus Christ preferred not to call down tens of thousands of angels for military assistance. He had to fulfill the Scriptures; there was simply no way around it. He knew it had to be, that He would go to Calvary’s tree, to die for you and me!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Where in the Bible did God give Satan domain over the Earth?

Aerial Attack! #2

Monday, July 7, 2014

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines(2 Samuel 5:24 KJV).

Some 3,000 years ago, Israel had aerial military support, and it is only a preview of the “fighter jets” yet to come!

Moses, just before death, spoke prophetically, “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun [another name for the nation Israel], who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them” (Deuteronomy 33:26,27). Centuries before David, Moses described JEHOVAH as riding upon the heavens and on the sky when He delivers Israel from her enemies.

Now, consider the first four verses of Psalm 68, written by King David (who, interestingly enough, witnessed God’s aerial attack against Israel’s enemies in today’s Scripture): “[1] Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. [2] As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. [3] But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. [4] Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.” Verse 33 continues, To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.”

Some Messianic Psalms describe His First Coming in meekness and lowliness, but Psalm 68 is Messiah’s return in power, great glory, and wrath. Psalm 68 describes Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, an event that will parallel His actions with David battling the Philistines. Israel’s enemies are God’s enemies, so when Psalm 68 speaks of God destroying His enemies (still future from our day), it parallels the account of when God defeated Israel’s enemies in today’s Scripture. Let us briefly survey this forthcoming “aerial attack….”