Luke (Program #39) – The Ministry of the Man-Savior in His Human Virtues with His Divine Attributes from Galilee to Jerusalem (19)
Luke Chapter 18 presents us with a parable of two men going up to the temple to pray. One, a religious leader, a Pharisee, and the other a sinner even an evil extortioner. The contrast in their prayer gives us an interesting insight into why the Lord Jesus was drawn not to the so called righteous but to the unrighteous, those who knew they were in captivity and in need of the Jubilee.
Ezekiel (Program #25) – The Holy Land and the Holy City
Clearly the subject and central focus of the last section of the book of Ezekiel is the temple, the house of God. Show the house to the house, the Lord tells Ezekiel and that is exactly what he does in the final chapters. Yet, there’s a very profound postscript to Ezekiel’s vision that is found in the final chapters of the book and that is the land upon which the temple sits. In fact the land and the house are the central focus of the entire Old Testament. Recall Jehovah’s words to Joshua following the death of Moses as the children of Israel were encamped at the border of the good land in Canaan, “Moses My servant is dead; now then arise, and cross over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads I have given to you, as I promised Moses…Be strong and take courage, for you will cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give to them.” (Joshua 1:2-3,6). Well if the temple typifies the church as the fulfillment of the house of God, what then does this land typify?
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?
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.
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.
Ezekiel (Program #18) – The Outer and Inner Courts
In the temple in Ezekiel, there are two courts – the outer court and the inner court. Originally, we were all wandering outside the wall, in the world and apart from God’s purpose. But praise the Lord, we pass through Christ as the gate and by the mercy of the Lord, we began to enjoy Christ in the outer court of God’s temple. Eventually, we pass through Christ again into the inner court. And that’s when the service and ministry to God begins.
Mark (Program #33) – The Preparation of the Slave-Savior for His Redemptive Service (7)
At a critical time during the final few days before His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus took the disciples to the Mount of Olives. From that spot looking across to the temple in all its’ splendor, He spoke to them of the coming events that would ultimately usher in the kingdom of God to the earth
Let’s pick up His word to the disciples in Mark chapter 13:1, “And as He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, Teacher, behold, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!
And Jesus said to him, Do you see these great buildings? There shall by no means be left here a stone upon a stone which shall not be thrown down. And as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished? And Jesus began to say to them, See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ! and will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; it must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These things are the beginning of birth pangs.”
This phrase, birth pangs is a clear reference to a coming delivery, a child is been born. But what is this birth that He spoke of and has it taken place, even yet? Many clear signs were unveiled in Mark chapter 13.
Nehemiah (Program #5) – The Leadership of Nehemiah for the Reconstitution of the Nation of God’s Elect
Nehemiah loved God and he loved God’s interest on earth concerning His economy. This interest included the good land, the temple and the city of Jerusalem all of which Nehemiah loved. Even though he was a common person, without a rank such as that of a king or of a captain in the army, he took care of God’s interest on the earth.
God’s purpose is to build Himself a house and establish His kingdom on the earth. In the Old Testament the recovery books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we see three sections of God’s work. Firstly. related to the rebuilding of the temple under Zerubbabel and then the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #19) – The Reign of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, & Zedekiah over Judah and the Governing of Gedallia
In the final chapters of 2 Kings, the Lord was ultimately forced to give up His people Israel because of their continual degradation and the hardness of their hearts. Even when He allowed the Syrians to conquer the northern kingdom of Israel and carried them away into captivity those in the southern kingdom of Judah refused to heed this warning and continue in their evil ways. Eventually the great king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and the walls of the city and took the king Zedekiah to Babylon. Soon the entire nation of Israel was taken in captivity. But through the following several hundred years though the nation of Israel was never again fully restored, Jehovah maintained a linage of the descendant of King David until ultimately Christ, the promised seed of David could be brought forth in Israel. This maintained God’s original intention and made possible both our redemption and our regeneration.