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 #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.
Luke (Program #8) – The Preparation of the Man-Savior with His Divinity (7)
Following the account of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in Luke chapter 3, there are two very interesting items. First of all, the genealogy of Jesus – beginning with Jesus and working its way back to God. The second is the temptation or the testing of Jesus – forty days in the wilderness with Satan directly tempting the Lord, yet Jesus in His perfect humanity, fully withstanding every temptation and thereby defeating God’s enemy. But it’s interesting that the Lord was led there to face that temptation by the Holy Spirit. We will look at both the genealogy of Jesus and His passing this test of tests in today’s life study of Luke.
After the revelation of the four living creatures and the great wheel of the move of God in Ezekiel chapter 1, we are presented with the striking description of the spiritual sky above these four living creatures. In 1:22, Ezekiel writes, “And over the heads of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the sight of awesome crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” This vivid picture conveys that when God’s people are fully experiencing Him in Christ and are connected to one another in a way that expresses and glorifies Him, then they have a clear sky above them – so clear that they can see without limitation into the very third heavens where our dear Lord Jesus sits so preeminently on the throne. Verse 26, “And above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, like the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was One in appearance like a man, above it.”
Luke (Program #5) – The Preparation of the Man-Savior (3 & 5)
In the opening chapter of the gospel of Luke there is the account of two miraculous conceptions. First John the Baptist was born to Zachariah and Elizabeth who both being well advanced in age were beyond any hope of conceiving a child short of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. The other conception of course is that of the Lord Jesus, who also was conceived in a miraculous way. But the conception of Jesus involved much more than mere divine power because it brought forth the mingling of two natures; the divine and human to produce not just an unique man as John the Baptist surely was but a God-Man, who became our Savior, the Man-Savior Jesus. John’s father Zachariah saw much of what was involved in this greatest of all miracles. We will look at it in His prophecy on our life study today.
Luke (Program #4) – The Preparation of the Man-Savior with His Divinity (2)
The gospel of Luke tells the story of a wonder meeting between two mothers to be – Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and Mary, of course who was the mother of our Lord Jesus. Listen to this marvelous account given in chapter 1 “And Mary rose up in those days and went to the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, And entered into the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she lifted up her voice with a loud cry and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby leaped with exultation in my womb. And blessed is she who has believed, because there will be a completion of the things spoken to her from the Lord.”
Song of Songs (Program #9) – Sharing in the Work of the Lord
There are many ways to study the Bible. We may study it from a historical perspective or from a theological doctrinal perspective or we may study it as a book of moral precepts or as a pattern for our living. Surely the Bible is a book of truth but preeminently, the Bible is also a book of life. “I have come that you might have life”, the Lord Jesus said in John. And also in John He said, “The words that I speak are spirit and are life”.
Psalms (Program #10) – What Kind of Man May Dwell with God for His Heart’s Desire and Good Pleasure?
In the gospel of Mark in chapter 8, there’s a marvelous account of the Lord Jesus healing a blind man. After laying hands on the man, the Lord asked him if he could see anything. The man responded by saying that he could see man, but as trees walking. Well, his sight was partially restored but not yet cleared. So the Lord touched his eyes again and this time the Bible says, ‘And he began to see all things clearly’. This is how we are in our spiritual seeing. We need the Lord’s continual touch and healing of our spiritual eyes, especially when we come to His word. Take a book like Psalms. It’s quite easy to see something on the surface, but do we see all things clearly? Do we see Christ unveiled, magnified and exalted? Lord be merciful to us all, touch our seeing again and again.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #14) – The History Concerning David (2)
Throughout the ages, many have opposed God and oppressed His people. On one hand, it could be said that God has many enemies; but actually God has only one unique enemy – man. Man fights against God and this man is the flesh. The teaching regarding the flesh is found in many New Testament books and passages like Galatians 5 that tells us that, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these oppose each other that you would not do the things that you desire.” But it takes the Old Testament pictures and types to illustrate how we all are subject to the evil of the flesh and how diligent we all must be to keep it where the Lord Jesus left crucified on the cross. If our eyes are open, we will see these Old Testament books such as 1 Samuel in a different, fresh and very new way that brings these things into a sharper focus.