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II. THE MATERIALIZATION OF THE GOD’S PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR BUILDING THE TRUE CHURCH
by Dr. Fred Wittman
Heb. 10:5-10; Lk. 2:42-50; Jn. 2:13-17; Mk. 11:11,12a,15-19; Mt. 16:18
“5Wherefore when coming into the world, He says,[Ps. 40:6-8] Sacrifice and offering You$ did not determinedly will, but You$ furnished a body for Me. 6In whole burnt offerings and |offerings| in behalf of sin, You$ delighted not. 7At that time I said, [Ps. 40:7,8] Lo, I arrive (in heading of the scroll it stands written concerning Me) in order to do the determined will of Yours$, O God. 8Earlier[in the scroll] while saying,[Ps. 40:6] ‘You$ did not determinedly will neither did You$ delight in sacrifice and offering and whole burnt offerings and |offerings| in behalf of sin, which are being offered[to the face of] according to the law,’ 9at that time it stands said, Lo! I arrive in order to do the determined will of Yours$, O God, He abolished the first[will], so that He establish the second[will]! 10By means of which determined will we are ones standing sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus The Christ once for ever” (Heb. 10:5-10 APT).
“42And when He became twelve years |old|, they ascended unto Jerusalem$ according to the custom of the Festival. 43And after perfectly completing the days, in the process of them returning, The Boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph[Yōhsayf] and His /mother did not know[from experience] |it|. 44But they, after assuming Him to be in the company of fellow travelers, went a day’s journey. And they began thoroughly searching for Him among their relatives and among their acquaintances. 45And when they did not find Him, they returned unto Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46And it came to pass, after three days they found Him in the Temple, being seated in midst of the teachers, both hearing them and questioning them. 47Now all the+ ones hearing Him were continually amazed over His /understanding and His /answers. 48And when they[His parents] beheld Him, they were astounded. And His /mother said to[the face of] Him, Child, why did You$ treat[do to] us in this way? Lo! we, Your$ /father and myself, were continually seeking You$ anguishing. 49And He said to[the face of] them, Because of what were you& seeking Me? Did you& not perceive that it is absolutely necessary for Me to be in the~ things [possessions .including house, cf. Jn. 19:27] belonging to My /Father? 50And they themselves did not understand the declaration[spoken word] which He spoke to them” (Lk. 2:42-50 APT).
“13And the Passover [Festival] of the Jews was getting near. And /Jesus ascended unto Jerusalem$. 14And He found in the Temple[entire sacred structure] the+ ones |who| sold oxen and sheep and doves and the coin-changers+ sitting. 15And when He made a flogging whip out of ropes, He drove out all |people| out of the Temple[entire sacred structure], also the sheep and the oxen. And He poured out the coins[small change] of the money changers and [He]turned up the tables. 16And to the+ ones who sold the doves He said, Carry& off these~ things from this place at once! Stop making My /Father’s /house an house of merchandising[emporium]! 17Then His /disciples remembered that it is standing written[Ps. 69:9], The fervent[boiling envious] zeal over Your$ /house has devoured Me” (Jn. 2:13-17 APT).
“11And /Jesus entered into Jerusalem$ and into the Temple. And after looking around on all things~, since the hour was already second evening[after sunset cf. Mk. 1:32], He exited unto Bethany[Baythah-néeah] [in company]with the& twelve. 12And on the morrow[Tuesday, 11 Nisan (March 31), A.D. 33] after they exited away from Bethany[Baythah-néeah], . . . 15And they come into Jerusalem$. And when /Jesus entered into the Temple, He began persistently to drive[cast] out the ones+ continually selling and continually buying in 0marketplace in the Temple and He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of the ones continually selling the doves. 16And He was not permitting that anyone carry a vessel between, through the Temple. 17And He began teaching and saying to them, It stands written[Isa. 56:7c], does it not? ‘My /house shall be titled by all the nations, A House of Prayer.’ But you& yourselves made [cf. Jer. 7:11] it a den[cave] of robbers.[cf. Jer. 7:11] 18And the scribes and the chief priests heard |it| and they were continually seeking how they could utterly destroy Him. For they were continually fearing Him because all the crowd was continually astounded at His /teaching. 19And when it became evening[first guard, 3-6:00 P.M.], He was journeying out off away from the city” (Mk. 11:11,12a,15-19 APT).
Introduction: Jesus said,‘‘I will build my church’’ (Mt. 16:18) -- five words.
In the first consideration of The God’s Plan for Building The True Church, it was observed that The Lord Jesus Christ progressively revealed The God’s plan and purpose for His Church. It was also noted that The Lord Jesus Christ had plans for building His Church. We need to study those plans so we may build with Him according to plan or there will be chaos! Then when we are called upon to give an account of our service at The Bayma (Judgment Seat on steps) of Christ in Heaven, we may be approved and commended and not condemned and ashamed.
The materialization of those plans were in the mind of The Lord Jesus even when He was a newborn (Heb. 10:5-10) and as a boy of twelve (Lk. 2:42-50). As a twelve-year-old, The Lord Jesus was deeply concerned for ‘the things of His Father’ and particularly ‘His Father’s House’. He began to prepare The God’s people for a new era and a new relationship to His Father by means of a New Covenant, The New Will of The God. We observed in our previous paper that there was no indication of The Church previous to the third year of His ministry (Sivan or June A.D. 32), but there is indication of The New Covenant in The Old Testament (Jer. 31:31-33; 32:37-40; Ezek. 34:25; 37:24-26} which was emphasized in his Epistle to Hebrews (Heb. 10:5-10).
“31Behold, the days come, saith The LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith The LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith The LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:31-33).
“37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me” (Jer. 32:37-40).
The prophet Ezekiel also prophesied of this future everlasting covenant with Israel (Ezek. 34:25; 37:24-26).
“25And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. . . . 24And 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. 25And 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. 26Moreover 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” (Ezek. 34:25; 37:24-26).
However in early spring A.D. 63, the apostle Paul made reference of this future everlasting covenant with Israel twice in His Epistle to the Hebrews (10:5-10 and 12:22-24).
“5Wherefore when coming into the world, He says,[Ps. 40:6-8] Sacrifice and offering You$ did not determinedly will, but You$ furnished a body for Me. 6In whole burnt offerings and |offerings| in behalf of sin, You$ delighted not. 7At that time I said, [Ps. 40:7,8] Lo, I arrive (in heading of the scroll it stands written concerning Me) in order to do the determined will of Yours$, O God. 8Earlier[in the scroll] while saying,[Ps. 40:6] ‘You$ did not determinedly will neither did You$ delight in sacrifice and offering and whole burnt offerings and |offerings| in behalf of sin, which are being offered[to the face of] according to the law,’ 9at that time it stands said, Lo! I arrive in order to do the determined will of Yours$, O God, He abolished the first[will], so that He establish the second[will]! 10By means of which determined will we are ones standing sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus The Christ once for ever. . . . 22But on the contrary, you& have approached: Mount Seeōn and 0City of 0Absolutely Living God, Celestial Jerusalem and to countless thousands of angels, 23to 0festive gathering and Church of 0Firstborn& ones standing written on account in Heavens, and to God, 0Judge of all, and to 0spirits of righteous ones standing perfectly completed, 24and to Jesus, 0Mediator of 0New [in age, recent] Covenant, and to 0blood of sprinkling speaking better things than that of Áhbehl” (Heb. 10:5-10; 12:22-24 APT).
Two things that must be noted well in connection with the materialization of The God’s plan to build The Church: the Preparation by Jesus and the Purification of His Father’s House.
I. THE PREPARATION by Jesus (Lk. 2:42-50).
Concerning the preparation Jesus made in materializing His plans for His Church, there are two aspects to consider: communication and contrast.
A. Communication -
At the age of twelve after communication with the Doctors of The Law in The Temple by means of questions and answers to them, Jesus indicated the preparation He was making by replying to His mother’s concern, ‘‘Wist[did not perceive] ye not I must be about My Father’s business?’’ (Lk. 2:49 AV). -- The words in the Greek εν τοîς τοû πατρός μου should be translated ‘‘in the[which] things[possessions including house cf. Jn. 19:27] belonging [genitive of relationship]to My Father’’ (APT). What Things? There are four couplets in contrast which designate the specific concerns The Lord Jesus Christ had for The Church: holiness and righteousness, homage and worship, honor and glory, and house and household..
1. Holiness and righteousness: (Ex. 15:11; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 6:25; Ps. 11:7; 33:5; 45:7; 97:2; Jer. 33:15,16);
The prime couplet embraces these two characteristics or attributes of Jehovah which are absolutely essential and required by The God of every regenerated disciple in The Church belonging to The Lord Jesus Christ.
First note that these are attributes of The LORD God and He loves and requires them in His people.
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11).
“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor” (Lev. 19:15).
“And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us” (Deut. 6:25).
“For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright” (Ps. 11:7).
“He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD” (Ps. 33:5).
“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Ps. 45:7).
“Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne” (Ps. 97:2).
“In those days, and at that time, will I cause The Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 16In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD Our Righteousness” (Jer. 33:15,16).
It is interesting to note that when Zahkh-ahréeahs, the father of John the baptizer, forerunner and announcer of The Christ, extolled Jehovah after naming his newborn son, John, he coupled these two attributes and concerns of The God together (Lk. 1:73-75).
“73The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Lk. 1:73-75 AV).
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11).
“” (Lev. 6:25).
a. Holiness -
This is an attribute that describes The God’s perfection. Holiness is the foremost attribute and ranks highest in priority of The God’s character. Why? The God Himself is holy. He is absolutely separate from and above all His creatures and equally separate and unalterably opposed to all moral evil and sin. He requires humans whom he regards as His people (Israel in the Old Testament and regenerated disciples in The New Testament to be separated unto Him away from Sin. Holiness is positive and not negative. (Lev. 19:2-4; 20:7-11; 24-26; Ex. 31:13) - Jehovah M’Qaddiskem). Holiness has to do with position and attitude.
b. Righteousness -
This is The God’s attribute seen in His treatment of His creatures in acts of judgment against evil in any sense (Deut. 6:25; Ps. 11:7; 33:5; 45:7; 97:2; Jer. 23:4,6; 33:15,16 - Jehovah Tsidkenu; Lam. 1:18; Rev. 16:5-7). Righteousness has to do with practice and action.
2. Homage and worship:
a. Homage - means ‘‘to prostrate before Deity or royalty without a sacrifice.’’ It is used to refer to individuals or families who bow in homage to The God (Mt. 2:2; 8:2; 1 Cor. 14:25).
b. True Worship - Jesus expressed concern about ‘true worship.’ True worship is ‘‘the heart occupation with The Christ, wrought by The Holy Spirit and expressed to God The Father by a congregation of regenerated disciples gathered to render homage in the presence of sacrifice’’ (Ps. 96:8,9; Jn. 4:22-24; Heb. 10:2; 1 Cor. 11:23-32). It includes praise, thanksgiving, adoration, laud, gratitude, expressed honor, exaltation, blessing, the sacrifice of our lips, and remembrance of the agonizing and vicarious death and resurrection of our Savior in obedience to His second command.
3. Honor and glory:
a Honor - Jesus was concerned about His Father’s honor (Jn. 5:23; 8:49; Rev. 4:10,11);
b. Glory - Jesus expressed that He came not seeking His own glory but His Father’s glory (Jn. 7:17,18; 8:50 17:4; Jn. 11:4; Lk. 17:18).
4. House and household:
a. ‘House’ pertains to The Building, The Temple. Jesus was concerned that His Father’s House be clean and holy, therefore He purged The Temple twice: the first time at His first Passover observance after His Baptism in Nisan (April) A.D. 30 (Jn. 2:13-17); the second time four days before the Passover at which time He was crucified (Mk. 11:11,12a,15-17; Mt. 21:10-13; Lk. 19:45,46).
b. ‘Household’ pertains to the people of the house, offspring, servants, and bondslaves. Jesus was concerned that His household be holy and pure (Jn. 17:15-20). Later Paul wrote that the household of The God must be clean and holy (Eph. 2:21,22; 1 Cor. 6:15-20).
B. By contrast, Jesus indicated to His mother the difference between the physical and the spiritual house. Contrast the phrase ‘‘Thy father’’ with ‘‘My Father’’ (Lk. 2:48,49). His Heavenly Father took priority over the earthly one. Such conflict must be resolved in favor of The Heavenly. Consider Abram’s conflict with The God’s command to ‘‘get out from his father’s house’’ (Gen. 12:1-3 cf. 11:31,32). Note what Jesus said! (Lk. 9:59,60; 14:26).
Note that Jesus returned with His parents and worked in His earthly father’s business - carpentry until He was an adult of c. thirty-two years old. Now consider with me the second thing that must be noted well in connection with the materialization of The God’s plan to build The Church.
II. THE PURIFICATION of His Father’s House (Mk. 11:15-17).
A. Twenty-one years after He sat at the feet of the law doctors and after beginning His public ministry at c. thirty-two years of age, He returned to Jerusalem (10 Nisan, April 7, A.D. 30) and purged the Temple (Jn. 2:13-17). It was not Solomon’s, nor was it Zerubbabel’s Temple, both of which were destroyed. But it was the Temple built by wicked King Herod. The Jews and The Lord Jesus regarded it as The God’s House. Jesus called it ‘‘My Father’s house’’ because it is where the Jews offered their sacrifices to The God which were commanded by Him, even though it was not built by them as the previous two Temples and The Tabernacle were built before this Temple. Then again on Tuesday, 11 Nisan (March 31), A.D. 33, Jesus expurgated The Temple the second time just four days before His crucifixion. Later Paul wrote that The Body of Christ is The Habitation of The God and must be holy and pure (Eph. 2:20-22; 1 Cor. 6:15-20; 2 Cor. 11:2; 1 Jn. 3:3). Purification is absolutely necessary in the local church, which is part of The Body and Building of Christ, The Church (2 Cor. 7:1). This verse follows the context of Paul’s exhortation to the church at Corinth, to separate themselves from all forms of sin that existed in the fellowship of the Corinthian local church, and the promise that The God will walk in them and will be their God and they will be His people if (conditioned upon) they separate from all those sins as directed.. The future tense indicates that it is not so presently, but is a promise based upon their action.
‘‘Therefore since having these /promises, O beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves away from every kind of filthiness of 0flesh and of 0spirit, in result perfectly accomplishing holiness in 0fear of 0God’’ (2 Cor. 7:1 APT).
We have some understanding of the meaning of cleansing ourselves from filthiness of the flesh corporately by separating from all forms of immorality in the congregation, but what is meant by cleansing our selves from filthiness of spirit? It calls for the corporate separation of the several aspects of unequal yoke mentioned in verses 14-16. This includes corporate separation from: those who are immorally yoked, and those socializing with the unrighteous, and with those involved in sinful practices, and those obviously living for or serving The Devil (Behléeahl), or in association in business, in politics or religiously with unregenerated people or with idolaters. The spirit of such people cannot be subject to nor in fellowship with The Holy Spirit, therefore the local congregation must separate or segregate from such in the congregation and by doing so we are cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of spirit. Otherwise we are separating or segregating ourselves away from The Holy Spirit Who will not and can not fellowship with Sin and Darkness.
This does not mean we are not to endeavor to lead them to Christ or to disciple them. But only to purify the local body of Christ first by personal (two or three) admonishment and then by the whole congregation. Then if they will not break their association, the congregation is to withdraw fellowship from them. Failure to obey this precept to cleanse ourselves will reflect our true relationship to The Father. Those who do not obey are not regenerated and The God will not indwell them and they shall not be His people (2 Cor. 6:17,18).
‘‘Wherefore 0Lord is continually saying,[Is. 52:11b LXX] Exit out of midst of them at once! And be& segregated[limit away from] at once! and, [Is. 52:11c LXX] Stop embracing an 0unclean one! And I Myself shall welcome you& in and I shall be 0Father to you& and you& yourselves shall be sons and daughters to Me, says 0Lord Almighty’’ (2 Cor. 6:17,18 APT).
What steps will you take to comply with this exhortation? What will you do to be pure and holy in flesh and spirit?
The Lord Jesus made preparation to communicate The Father’s concerns with regard to His things which involved His possessions, His business, and especially His House. We noted that it particularly involved holiness and righteousness, homage and worship, honor and glory, and House and household. The Church is built by Him to be an Habitation in which The God is to dwell. What concerns should be ours? yours? His concern was to build His Church which is holy, for homage and worship in Which His Father will receive honor and glory. He delights to use you and me to be co-workers in this building process. He contrasted His Father in Heaven and the things belonging to Him with His earthly father’s business. He worked in His earthly father’s business until past 32 years of age. But then at the first Passover after His baptism, He demonsrtrated his concern for His Father’s House and drove out those who polluted It.
What does The God want to teach us - you, me, from this study? To be holy personally; to give personal homage and true corporate worship; to honor Him according to His desire and not according to your desire or mine or some religious human or church leader’s, and not as you or I conceive it; and to give priority to his house (The Body or Church) by purity - that calls for each one of us individually and corporately to drive out all that defiles (including all forms of sexual immorality) and not permit it to reenter as The Lord Jesus did The Temple.
What will you do today to grant the desires of The Father and thus please The God and The Lord Jesus Christ?
| |understood $singular &plural /the 0no article +masculine ~neuter
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