Luke (Program #21) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in Galilee (12)
The gospel of Luke reveals the Jubilee prophesied in the Old Testament; the release of the oppressed from their bondage and captivity and the return of God’s people to their rightful portion of the enjoyment of God. Yet even as He proclaimed the Jubilee to His disciples and began to apply it to the oppressed people, it was clear that they themselves were far from it in their own experience. likely we also may rejoice at the hearing of such a word but are we living in its reality? Well, take heart. For just as the Lord was patient and faithful with the disciples to lead them step by step into the Jubilee, He is doing the same with us.
Ezekiel (Program #24) – The River Flowing from the House
An outstanding feature that appears again and again throughout the pages of the Bible both in the Old Testament and the New is a river. The river was prominent in Genesis and the river appears in the books of history and the books of the prophets in the Old Testament. This river is still flowing in the gospels especially in the Gospel of John where the river flows out of the pierced side of the Lord Jesus. And it continues to flow right through the final chapters of Revelation where it is seen proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem. In all of these mentions the river is a very positive factor, very much related to the matter of the divine eternal life. One of the more striking appearances that this river makes is in Ezekiel 47 where it’s seen flowing out of the house of God. In this chapter it becomes a deep river – too deep and too wide to be passed over. The one that we have no choice but to abandon ourselves to and swim in.
Luke (Program #20) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in Galilee (11)
In the gospel of Luke, the Lord Jesus initiates His ministry with a visit to the synagogue in chapter 4 as He reads from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. He proclaims that His ministry is the fulfillment of the hidden but marvelous prophecy in the Old Testament regarding the Jubilee. Chapter 4:14-19 “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. And reports about Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues and was glorified by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and according to His custom He entered on the Sabbath day into the synagogue and stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, theyearofjubilee.” As we fellowship now beyond just a proclamation, declaration of the Jubilee we come to its application in chapter 9.
Ezekiel (Program #23) – The Priests and the Offerings
The Lord revealed to Ezekiel that above all, He desires a place on the earth where He can put the soles of His feet that would also be the place of His throne. In other words, God desires to have a dwelling place, a place of rest and satisfaction; and, a place where He can administrate His heavenly rule and His divine move over the entire earth. This is the real significance of the house of God as revealed to Ezekiel and as revealed to us, the church, which is the reality of the house of God in the New Testament. But after we receive such a high revelation concerning the significance of God’s building, we need a further realization as to the kind of persons that are qualified to serve Him in His house.
Luke (Program #19) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in Galilee (10)
In chapter 4 of Luke as the Lord Jesus was initiating His earthly ministry, He stood as was His habit in the synagogues and read from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, theyearofjubilee.” This was the announcement, the proclamation, the declaration of the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of Jubilee. When we come to chapter 9 as we are today on our life study from the gospel of Luke, we find that Jubilee not just proclaim and announce but apply and spread.
Ezekiel (Program #22) – The Return of God’s Glory to the House
Early in his ministry as recorded in chapters 9 and 10, the prophet Ezekiel had seen the glory of Jehovah depart from the temple and even from the earth. It was the gross sin of the people, the abominations, the whoredom, the carcasses and the degradation that caused the Lord’s glory to depart. But after receiving the vision of the completion of the building of the temple in chapter 43, Ezekiel saw another vision. This time a vision of the glory of Jehovah returning to the earth and filling the temple. This is Ezekiel 43:1-5, “Then He brought me to the gate, that is, the gate that faces toward the east. And the glory of the God of Israel was there … and His voice was like the sound of many waters, and the earth was illuminated with His glory. And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, that is, like the vision that I had seen when He came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I had seen by the river Chebar. And I fell on my face. And the glory of Jehovah came into the house through the gate which faced toward the east. And the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court, and just then the glory of Jehovah filled the house.”
Following the vision of the glory of the Lord filling the house, the Lord had many things to say to Ezekiel as He also does to us concerning His house. Question is, do we have ears to hear and eyes to see the house of God?
Luke (Program #18) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in Galilee (9)
What does it mean to follow the Lord? As believers we all should have this desire that day by day even moment by moment, we want to take the way that He is directing. We probably heard the Christian life is described as a journey. This is a valid way to look at the Christian life. But a surprise thing to many of us is that once we finally to give ourselves to follow Him on this journey, the way He often leads us is not what we’d expected or hope for. This is also the case with the Lord’s disciples in the first century as we see unfolded in the gospel of Luke.
Ezekiel (Program #21) – The Building at the Back, the Walls, the Incense Altar, the Holy Chambers, and the Boiling Places
Ezekiel, a book of visions, begins in chapter 1 with the vision of God’s glory. The final vision in chapter 40 is a vision of the house of God or the building of God. Hopefully, we like Ezekiel, have seen both of these great visions in our life – a vision of God’s glory and a vision of His building. But the sad truth is that though Christians speak much concerning the glory of God, there are precious few words spoken concerning His building. Most likely, it’s because this great vision is yet to be seen by the vast majority God’s children.
Luke (Program #17) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in Galilee (8)
The progression in the gospel of Luke is truly marvelous. Chapter 7 concludes with several very touching stories of sinful people being forgiven and drawn to the Lord Jesus in love. Surely their cases match our own. Then after teaching His follower with parables we come to the most interesting passage in chapter 8, where the Man-Savior instead of acknowledging His flesh mother and brothers, identified His chosen ones, His believers as His real family members and relatives.
Ezekiel (Program #20) – The Temple and Side Chambers
The gospel of John gives us the unforgettable picture of Jesus coming into the temple in Jerusalem. And in the display of the most righteous anger, the sight of God’s house being turned into a place of merchandise and commerce, He cleanses the temple – overturning the tables and chasing the peddlers away. Immediately following this comes a profound exchange between the Lord Jesus and the religionists. In John 2:18-21, “The Jews then answered and said to Him, What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things? Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, This temple was built in forty-six years, and You will raise it up in three days? But He spoke of the a temple of His body.” What makes this word so meaningful is that John clearly identifies Jesus as the real temple, the real house of God. This means even as we consider the temple in the Old Testament such as in Ezekiel’s great vision in chapters 40 to 48, we must realize that this is a type of the Lord Jesus Himself and of the church, the New Testament, the enlargement of God’s house.