Zechariah (Program #13) – The Prophecies of Encouragement (4)
In the Old Testament book of Zechariah, we are given extraordinary revelations of the New Testament Christ. We see Him as the Shepherd coming in an intimate and loving way to care for His scattered flock. We also see Him being rejected and even crucified for our redemption. But one of the most striking views of Christ in Zechariah is as the coming Triumphant Warrior to fight against Anti-Christ, the embodiment of Satan and to rescue God’s people, Israel, from their destiny on this earth, the war of Armageddon.
Zechariah (Program #9) – The Prophecies of Encouragement (1)
About 2500 years ago, the prophet Zechariah’s burden was to help the returned people of Israel to see God’s purpose. Today, God’s intention and His desire is that we will be one with Him. He’s brought us back to the very site, to the ground, even to the foundation of the temple typified by the recovery back to Jerusalem from Babylon in Zechariah’s day. Now God wants us to see that His interest, His desire and His burden are to finish the building of the temple, to build up the Body of Christ.
Zechariah (Program #3) – The Visions of Consolation and Promise (2)
Zechariah chapter 2 is one of the mysterious chapters in the Bible and to be sure the book of Zechariah is considered quite mysterious by many, if not most believers. A man with a measuring line appears in verse 1 and this man is measuring Jerusalem. Then, Jehovah declares that He will be the glory within Jerusalem and the fire round about her protecting the city and His people and its inhabitants. All of this is against the backdrop of the previous seventy years of history where Jehovah seemingly was silent and inactive. What has caused the Lord to rise up and take such an active and vigorous stand on behalf of His people? The answer is clear – His people has returned from captivity in Babylon and they are re-inhabiting Jerusalem and Jehovah is re-inhabiting His house, the temple.
During the days of the degradation of the house of Israel, God’s word was primarily limited to his overcomers, the prophets, such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. But as the people’s hearts began to turn back to the Lord, other prophets were still needed to bear Jehovah’s testimony and to release His speaking for His people in that age to accomplish His purpose and plan. Among these prophets were Haggai and Zechariah who shared in the captivity of Israel in Babylon but who were raised up by the Lord to accompany His people back to Judah and to encourage and exhort them to go back and rebuild the temple of Jehovah within Jerusalem.
Haggai (Program #1) – The Building of the House of Jehovah in Relation to Israel’s Welfare and Messiah’s Coming
Some of the most penetrating words in all of Scriptures are found in the Old Testament Prophet, Haggai. They are penetrating because they have immediate relevant to every believer. And they touch us in some of the most carefully guarded places in our hearts.
“Is it time for you yourself to dwell in your paneled-up houses?” he writes, “while this house,” God’s House “lies waste?..Consider your ways, you sown much but you bring in little, you eat but there is no satisfaction.”
Haggai was a prophet raised up by the Lord to accompany His people on their return to Judah and Jerusalem following the 70 long years of captivity in Babylon. And when they returned they faced the temple, God’s house in ruin and in desperate need of rebuilding. But they like so many of us today have become completely preoccupied and engrossed with their own needs and situations. And the result as imply by Haggai probing questions is that, in spit of all of their effort and dedication without God’s hand of blessing in their lives, they and we would never be satisfied regardless of how much material wealth or possession we acquired. These are questions that must be asked again and again among God’s people.
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.
Luke (Program #64) – The Man-Savior’s Ascension (1 & 2)
The final Chapter of the Gospel of Luke is marvelous. It begins with the Lord Jesus revealing Himself to His dear ones, that He had resurrected from the dead. Then we see Him in resurrection appearing and disappearing repeatedly in order to train them to experience His invisible presence and finally He brings us to this concluding words that He uttered to His disciples:
Chapter 24:46, “And He said to them thus it is written that the Christ would suffered and raised up from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaim in His name to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem. And behold I send forth the promise of my Father upon you. But as for you stay in the city until you put on power from on high.”
24:51 “And while He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into heavens.” Here was His promise that He would cloth them with power from on high. But not before His visible ascension to the third heavens. What happen in that ascension? And why is it important for us to know about it?
Luke (Program #50) – The Resurrection and Ascension of the Man-Savior (2)
Following the Lord’ Jesus resurrection, He first appeared to two disciples as they were traveling on the road to a village called Emmaus. After revealing Himself to these ones and then disappearing, they hurry back to Jerusalem to make the account to Peter and the other disciples. And as they were telling this incredible story, the resurrected Lord miraculously appears again. Not as a ghost or as a Spirit, but with a physical body that can be handled and touched. But then in the midst of their astonishment, just as He had done to the two men traveling to Emmaus, He not only open their eyes to recognize that it was truly Him. He also open their eyes and minds to understand the scriptures, it was this unveiling that would stay with them and enable them to stay in His invisible presents long after His physical presence were no longer with them. How we need the same opening and unveiling even today.
Luke (Program #43) – The Man-Savior’s Presentation of Himself to Death for Redemption (2 & 3)
The ministry of the Lord Jesus during His human life took place primarily in Galilee, a region far to the North of Jerusalem and away from the center of religious activity. But as the lamb of God, He has to be offered to God at the prescribed place, Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Issac. It was there that He had to be delivered according to the counsel of the Trinity. In order to establish His absolute qualification to be the unique offering to God for the sins of mankind, He first had to submit Himself to the examination and question of religious and political leaders of the day.
Luke (Program #42) – The Man-Savior’s Presentation of Himself to Death for Redemption (1)
Try to imagine in ancient times when a king or a prince would come and visit a certain place, the nature of that procession no doubt the king would come in either riding in a royal carriage or at least riding on a great white steed. Now we come to the climates of the Lord Jesus long journey to Jerusalem and His triumphal entry as the King of the Universe into the city of God. One that His disciples would certain would accommodate in taking His proper place on the throne of David in the temple and establishing His earthly kingdom and in splendor and majesty. It is against in this backdrop that we read Luke 19 in His actual entry into Jerusalem not on a great white horse or in a royal palanquin but instead riding on a most humble of all creatures, a young donkey.