Being about our Father’s Business
Issue No. 286
In the FFI from last November (#280), I explained why the St. Louis conference was held over the Day of Atonement, instead of the usual Feast of Tabernacles.
It marked the end of the 15-year extension of life that God gave to King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:6, saying, “I will add fifteen years to your life.” (1996-2011)
On the Day of Atonement of 1996, we were led to declare the Jubilee ten years “late” according to the Hezekiah Factor. This Factor is patterned after the story of Hezekiah, because when the king got his 15-year extension of life, the confirming sign was that God would turn the clock back 10 steps on the sundial of his father, Ahaz.
Hence, in 1996 we saw two noteworthy events: (1) we were able to declare the 120th Jubilee from Adam ten years late, because God turned the clock back ten years to 1986, which was the actual 120th Jubilee; and (2) it began a 15-year extension, ending on the Day of Atonement, October 8, 2011.
For this reason, we understood at the St. Louis conference that the “Hezekiah” had died, prophetically speaking, and that his son Manasseh was replacing him on the throne of divine authority. We read in 2 Kings 21:1 that Manasseh was 12 years old when he came to the throne, so by extension, we understood that prophetic “Manasseh” had been born in 1999 at the time of Jesus’ 2000th birthday (dating from 2 B.C.).
Manasseh is the Remnant
The reason God gave Hezekiah an extension of life was because he was childless and had no heir to the throne of David. Isaiah had prophesied great things about Hezekiah and his son. The first prophecy, found in 2 Kings 19:30, is somewhat obscure, but when linked with further revelation from Isaiah, it is clear that it is a reference to Manasseh being a type of the Remnant of Grace:
30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
Much of Isaiah’s prophecy had to do with the remnant, which Paul says is the group which actually fulfills the promises of God that were given to Israel as a whole. After speaking of the Remnant of Grace in terms of the 7,000 men in the days of Elijah, Paul says in Romans 11:5-7,
5 In the same way, then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice . . . 7 What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened.
The twelve tribes of Israel never had sufficient faith to fulfill the promises of God. However, the overcoming Remnant did receive the promises by faith.
Paul quotes Isaiah more than any other prophet. Isaiah actually had a son who was prophetically named Shear-jashub, “the remnant shall return” (Is. 7:3). He was named to prophesy first of the remnant of Israel that would return from captivity. In the Hebrew language, to “return” was synonymous with repenting, or turning to God.
The remnant of Judah and Benjamin that returned to the land after the Babylonian captivity was the first-round fulfillment of the prophecy. At that time, about 49,000 returned to Jerusalem.
However, Isaiah’s prophecy was more about Israel than about Judah. Whereas 2 Kings 19:30 spoke of the remnant of Judah, Isaiah 10:22 spoke of the house of Israel.
Manasseh represented the repair of the breach between Israel and Judah, since he was actually of the tribe of Judah and yet named for the son of Joseph-Israel. So the Remnant prophecy applied to both groups. Together, they represent the full Remnant of Grace.
Manasseh was one of Judah’s most corrupt kings. We are told in 2 Kings 21:16,
16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Jerusalem sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
How, then, could he be a type of the Remnant of Grace? Because Manasseh repented in a Babylonian dungeon. 2 Chronicles 33 says,
10 And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains, and took him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
God had chosen Manasseh before he was even born. God therefore manifested His sovereign choices by judging Manasseh and causing him to repent and return to God (and to Jerusalem). His repentance was like a new birth, and his return to the throne was like a fresh coronation to the throne in Jerusalem.
His first coronation began Manasseh’s time as an unbeliever, much like the rest of the people. His second coronation began Manasseh’s life as a type of the Remnant that had “returned.” It was a fresh start, doing what he ought to have done when he was twelve.
Hence, from a prophetic standpoint, we see that God forgave and forgot the intervening years that he had spent in unbelief, idolatry, and bloodshed. And for that reason, he becomes a type of Christ as well as the Remnant. He is a type of Christ at the age of twelve, when Jesus said that He must be about His Father’s business.
It also shows clearly that the Remnant of Grace throughout the ages has not been a group of perfect men and women, but rather those who have repented and returned to God in humility. When Manasseh returned to Jerusalem, he “built the outer wall of the city of David” (2 Chron. 33:15). The wall of Jerusalem symbolizes the law of God. Lam. 2:8, 9 says,
8 The Lord determined to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion… And He has caused the rampart and wall to lament… 9 the law is no more.
The law is the moral boundary of New Jerusalem, even as the wall was the physical boundary of the old city. Hence, when Manasseh repaired the wall, he prophesied of the work of the Remnant of Grace in re-establishing the law of God which was in need of repair, due to the neglect of the Church.
Secondly, Manasseh removed the idols from the temple, threw them outside the city (probably in the valley of Hinnom, or gehenna). Verse 16 says,
16 And he set up the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.
This too is the job description of the overcoming Remnant of Grace when they would have the authority to do so.
When is the Remnant Given this Authority?
From a prophetic standpoint, Manasseh came to the throne at the age of twelve in October of 2011. As I said earlier, the Day of Atonement of 2011 was the precise end of the 15-year extension of Hezekiah’s life. When Hezekiah died, Manasseh took the throne at the age of 12. Therefore, we can say that prophetic “Manasseh” was born in 1999, coinciding with Jesus’ 2000th birthday.
We received revelation on October 8, 2011 while in St. Louis that Hezekiah was dead, and that Manasseh had come to the throne. However, because of Jesus’ pattern in Luke 2, we also took note that being about our Father’s business was dated in the three days following the feast of Passover, when Jesus was actually 12½ years old. We read in Luke 2:45-47,
45 And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him. 46 And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
Because of these verses, we understood that we still had another six months to wait until this time would reach its fullness. Passover this year fell on April 6, 2012. The three days after Passover, then, fell on April 7, 8, and 9. So April 9, 2012 was the precise day in which we would have to watch for the start of the prophecy.
Of course, Jesus had ALWAYS been about His Father’s business. We, too, have been doing the same throughout the past years. Yet there is something unique and prophetic about this particular date. In my view, the Remnant of Grace passed an important threshold in prophetic history, not so much on an individual level, but as a Body on a historic level.
The Manasseh Decree
Now it so happened that April 9, 2012 fell on a Monday, and that I have been holding Bible studies each Monday evening for the past year and a half. I was thus led to make a decree that evening after teaching how that particular night was so significant in long-term prophecy. Here is the decree:
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus we declare that we must be in our Father and must be in our Father’s house and about our Father’s business—all of these things. We commit ourselves to you this night, Father, for training as Sons of the Covenant,
that you would train us in the art of being who You are and in the profession of our Heavenly Father;
that we can be Your hands and your feet on the earth, even as You are our Head;
that everything that we speak will be Your words, and everything we do will be Your doings, everything that we touch, You would touch, and that every place the sole of our feet goes will be hallowed and holy ground and be claimed for Your Kingdom.
You may recognize the term “Sons of the Covenant.” It is the meaning of bar-mitzveh, a ceremony that was done when a son was twelve and was ready to begin seriously learning the trade of his father. The Remnant of Grace is now twelve, ready to learn to do that which our Father does in the earth.
What is our Father’s Business?
It is a Kingdom-building business. To do this requires considerable understanding, depending on the calling of each person. First and foremost, it is most helpful to understand that the Kingdom is being built here on the earth, not in heaven. Heaven does not need to be built. The problem is here on the earth.
If we understand that the Kingdom was prophesied in Daniel 2:35 to fill “the whole earth,” then we can catch the vision of the scope of this work. When we look at the work that Manasseh did in repairing the wall, then we can see that the law must be restored to its proper place in Church theology and understanding. When we see how Manasseh removed the idols out of the temple, then we can see that we must remove the idols of the heart residing first in the Church and also in the world at large.
An idol is a man-made attempt to define or know God. Therefore, idolatry is man’s carnal concept of God’s character. Many religions believe in God, but their concept of God is faulty. Christians, too, have the same problem, even if they do not build physical idols per se.
When Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the Temple, the rabbis were amazed at His understanding of the law, the prophets, and the psalms. They were not amazed at His recollection of what the rabbis had taught in previous years, but at His answers that were different and yet obviously true. They were amazed that the rabbis had not understood these simple truths that Jesus seemed to know so naturally.
This is the job description of the Remnant. We ought to be found in His Temple, listening, asking the right questions, and giving answers that explain the mind of God. This is what Jesus did, and it is what we are to do.
Jesus comes Suddenly to His Temple
This brings us to the prophecy in Malachi 3:1,
1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
When Jesus was found in the Temple at the age of twelve, He was foreshadowing a greater appearance that was to come many years later. As we often see, prophecy is fulfilled many times, starting small and rising to a crescendo with the final act.
Jesus appeared in His Temple again in John 7 in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles (7:2). He came “in secret” (7:10), and then suddenly revealed Himself in order to teach the truth of the Word. Verse 14 says,
14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. 15 The Jews therefore were marveling…
Once again they were amazed at His teaching, because it was so different from what the rabbis had taught in the past or present. So when the Remnant of Grace begins to teach the Word, we ought to see the same amazement among the people—and for the same reason. It is because there are so many truths of the Word that have not been known to the general Church, even among the doctors and theologians, priests and popes. It is not that these truths are so hidden, but rather that the eyes were blind to them until the appointed time.
16 Jesus therefore answered them, and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If any man is willing to do His will, he shall [come to] know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.
The will of God is expressed in His Word. The Word consists of the law, the prophets, the psalms, and now the gospels and New Testament in general. The foundational revelation of His will is the law. The prophets show the application of the law. The psalms clarify the law and prophets through music and timing. The New Testament gives us greater clarity after the day of Pentecost.
“If any man is willing to do His will, he shall (come to) know of the teaching.” In other words, it is a heart matter. Those who are truly willing to do the will of God, without heart idols getting in the way, will be able to hear, believe, and learn what Christ taught.
This is not as easy as it sounds. Heart idolatry is deeply rooted in the hearts of men, including Christians. The natural man wants to create God in his own image. He wants God to be a certain type of God, having the kind of character that fits his own understanding of the world. It is often difficult for a man to submit his own will to that of God and to presume that God is correct in all His ways. It is normal for a man to twist the plain Word to conform to his own understanding.
One of the most foundational twisting is seen when men put away the law and then claim that Jesus did so, or that Paul did so. It seems to me from the story of Manasseh that one of the first projects for the Remnant of Grace is to repair the wall of the City of David.
This was important enough for Jesus to issue His warning in Matthew 7 in regard to bearing good fruit:
18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
In other words, Jesus says that even those who recognize Him as Lord are not necessarily “trees” that are bearing good fruit. So what type of “tree” bears the fruit that God requires?
22 Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” 23 And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”
The work that the Remnant is to do will undoubtedly be accompanied by the power of the gifts of the Spirit. There will be prophecy, exorcism, and miracles. However, the gifts of the Spirit are the TOOLS which help us to bear fruit. If the tools fail to accomplish this goal, then even Spirit-filled believers do not really know Him as they ought. Worse yet, Jesus does not know them in that sense.
The fruit of the Spirit thus takes priority over the gifts, even though the gifts are a very important part of the life of believers. The main purpose of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to bring forth fruit, and the gifts are designed to help us in achieving that goal.
Many have inaccurately defined the “fruit” in terms of winning converts to Christ. While this may be a secondary goal, the primary fruit is defined in Gal. 5:22, 23,
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
It is about manifesting the character of Jesus Christ. We read in 1 John 2:6,
6 The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
While this certainly refers to doing the miracles that He did—and doing even “greater works” (John 14:12)—it is primarily about one’s character and being.
On a historic level, God is also bringing forth fruits of the Kingdom. He planted the Israelites His first vineyard in Canaan, but they failed to bring forth fruit (Isaiah 5:4). The Remnant is called to succeed where Israel failed. So let us be encouraged, knowing that both individually and as a Body, we are destined to obtain the promises of God.