Luke (Program #65) – The Man-Savior’s Ascension (3 & 4)
The Gospel of Luke concludes with one of the mysterious and difficult to understand items in the entire New Testament and that’s the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ to the heavenlies, some forty days after His resurrection. Luke 20:4 says “while He blessed them He parted from them and was carried up into heaven and they worship Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple blessing God.” One of the reasons that seems to be mysterious and difficult is that it appears to be very removed even remote from us. Yet when we see His ascension properly in view of the entire New Testament revelation we realized that it has tremendous implications for us.
Mark (Program #56) – A Life Fully According To and For God’s New Testament Economy (16)
The gospel of Mark ends with the Lord’s ascension. So what is the Lord Jesus doing now that He has resurrected and ascended?
In order to find out what the Lord is doing after His ascension, we need the book of Acts. Acts 1:5 says, “For John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” And Act 1: 8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.“
Mark (Program #35) – The Preparation of the Slave-Savior for His Redemptive Service (9)
Just two days prior to His death the Lord Jesus gathered with His disciples in a small house in a tiny village of Bethany just outside of Jerusalem.
This little house, the house of a leper that Jesus had cleansed in the beginning of His ministry has become His dwelling place during His final days. Each night He would depart Jerusalem and return to this very humble and simple home. Now as the hours of His death approaches one of the great encounters in all the scriptures take place. Let’s read the account in Mark 14:1-8
“Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were two days away. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to seize Him by craftiness and kill Him, For they said, Not at the feast, lest there be a tumult by the people. And while He was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He reclined at table, a woman came, having an alabaster flask of ointment, of very costly pure nard, and she broke the alabaster flask and poured it over His head. But there were some who were indignantly commenting among themselves: Why has this waste of the ointment been made? For this ointment could have been sold for over three hundred denarii and given to the poor. And they were infuriated with her. But Jesus said, Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a noble deed on Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.
And truly I say to you, Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be told as a memorial of her.”
Mark (Program #29) – The Preparation of the Slave-Savior for His Redemptive Service (3)
During the period of His gospel service, the Lord Jesus was traveling from Galilee first north toward Caesarea Philippi and Mount Hermon. Then returning south all the way to Jerusalem. With Him on this long journey which took roughly three years were a small number of faithful disciples particularly Peter, James and John were with the Lord step by step. And thorough out this period they witness first hand all the items, including the miracles, the teachings, the healing and His dealing with the religious opposers.
As those who desire to know Him and to know His word richly today, we need to realize that this long journey and all these events were not random. From the beginning the Lord’s intention was to arrive at Jerusalem, the religious, cultural and governmental capital. For it must be in Jerusalem during the specific month and even on the appointed day that He would be offered up as the Lamb of God to accomplish His all redeeming and all-inclusive death. But we also need to realize that all the preceding event were part of the Lord’s preparation and in addition for the real preparation of His disciples not just to be witnesses but to be those who would pass through His death and enter into the reality of His resurrection.
Mark (Program #27) – The Move of the Slave-Savior’s Gospel Service (16) & (17)
The second half of Mark chapter 10 brings us to the city of Jericho. The Lord Jesus has arrived at this place very near Jerusalem, near the end of the long journey He had taken with His disciples. Jesus knew that the time of His appointed death on the cross to be the real Lamb of God was only days away and He would not be kept from that hour.
Twice before on this journey on the way to Jerusalem the Lord had spoken to His disciples of approaching rejection and death in Jerusalem. But the disciples never seem to hear the words. And so here the Lord mentions it again for the third time. But still the disciples had neither ears to hear nor eyes to see as these verses in Mark 10 so clearly illustrate. Beginning at verse 32-37:
“Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus led the way before them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that were about to happen to Him: Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and to the scribes. And they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles, And they will mock Him and spit at Him and scourge Him, and they will kill Him. And after three days He will rise. And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying to Him, Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask You. And He said to them, What do you want Me to do for you? And they said to Him, Grant to us to sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.“
Isaiah (Program #2) – The Salvation of Jehovah to His Beloved People and the Nations (1)
“The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Hear, O heavens, and hearken, O earth, For Jehovah has spoken: I have brought up children, and I have raised them; And yet they have rebelled against Me.” These are the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah as he began his book of prophecy. God’s people have rebelled and their righteous and loving Father after confronting them with His complains begins the work of chastisement and drawing the stubborn people back to Himself. How does God deal with His own when they strayed? What can we see from this ancient account that is meaningful for us today as we live the Christian life?
Psalms (Program #39) – The Preciousness of Zion and Jerusalem in the Experiences and Praises of the Saints (1)
15 Psalms from Psalms 120 to 134 comprised a section known as the Psalms of ascent. They are all very short and very sweet. Lord will we will see they bring us to the high peaks.
Psalms 120:1 ” In my distress I called out to Jehovah, And He answered me.”
That tells you a lot right there. The whole thing starts with distress and up until Psalms 119 is full of the law and they loved the law but they can’t keep the law, eventually the children of Israel don’t follow the law. And eventually start to serve idols. So, the result is they go to captivity and they are in distress. These Psalms of ascent started out with distress. If you do not have the distress where you go down you can never come up. So there is a lot of appreciation. more…
Psalms (Program #26) - Christ as the Center of God’s Move on the Earth
Did you know that the book of Psalms actually contains 150 different Psalms in all? So many poetic and prophetic utterances. Of course, as we have seen, some of these Psalms have a very high and profound content expressing the divine thought revealing Christ in brilliant detail. Others are not so high. In fact some are very low in the thought that they convey. Bit by bit as we read and study this book, we can learn to cultivate a taste for the high peaks contain in the Psalms. Perhaps the highest peak of all in the divine revelation of Christ in the book of Psalms is found in Psalms 68. This oft quoted Psalm actually begins with a quotation of its own. David the Psalmist quotes Moses from Numbers chapter 10 “as he sets out with the completed tabernacle to lead the children of Israel away from Sinai and ultimately into the good land of Canaan with the ultimate destination being Zion in the midst of Jerusalem and the cloud of Jehovah was over them by day when they set out from the camp”, Moses writes in Numbers 10. “And when the Ark set out, Moses said, Rise up, O Jehovah, and let Your enemies be scattered; And let those who hate You flee before You.”
Nehemiah (Program #2) – An Introductory Word and the Rebuilding of the Wall of the City of Jerusalem under Nehemiah
Ezra and Nehemiah are unique Old Testament books that give us the story of the Lord’s recovery. These two recovery books of the Bible gives detail about the recovery of God’s people back to Jerusalem from their seventy year captivity in Babylon. Stay with us as we apply the principles from this Old Testament picture to our situation in the Lord’s recovery today.
Ezra (Program #4) – The Need for Ezras—Those Skilled in the Word of God
Ezra and Nehemiah are the recovery books of the Bible. That’s because they talk about the recovery of Israel, God’s people, in the Old Testament back to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon. Today we are going to see the crucial need in this recovery for Ezra and many that would follow his pattern today.