Archive for ◊ June, 2019 ◊

30 Jun 2019 1 Peter (Program #1)

1 Peter (Program #1) – An Introductory Word

Of all the disciples called by the Lord Jesus in the gospels, probably the one we can most readily identify with is Peter. Simon Barjona as he was known before the Lord changed his name to Peter. In John chapter 1 was as impetuous as he was fervent and often found himself as the target of the Lord Jesus’ reprove.

Recall for example in Matthew chapter 16, Peter’s sympathetic suggestion to the Lord that He should keep Himself from the suffering of death that He knew awaited Him. “get behind Me, Satan” was the Lord’s reply. “You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.” How could Peter possibly recovered from such a stinging rebuke?

And of course it was also Peter, who denied the Lord three times during the hour of trial preceding the actual crucifixion. Yet only days later it was this same Peter who stood on the day of Pentecost and usher thousands into the kingdom with his powerful and dynamic speaking.

And not only so, in his two epistles, Peter uses language and phrases so rich and full of high and profound meaning that we can’t help but marvel at the power of God’s full salvation. That this unlearned fisherman could write such thing. Listen to his word in 1 Peter,

1:18 “Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers,

19 “But with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ;

Welcome to our first life-study of the book of 1 Peter.

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30 Jun 2019 Exodus (Program #21)

Exodus (Program #21) -The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart

God’s people Israel spent hundreds of years in slavery and bondage in Egypt.  Ultimately, the Lord heard their cries and initiated through His called one Moses, a personal battle with Pharaoh.  During the course of this lengthy conflict, Pharaoh is repeatedly subdued only to have his heart harden again to resist the demand of Jehovah God to let His people go.  This is the stuff of great Sunday school lesson to be sure.  But does it hold a meaningful lesson for all of us?  For all serious believers?

We are considering a very difficult question that has been the source of theological debate over the centuries; that is the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in Egypt.  During this long conflict between God and Pharaoh, at times we see God hardening Pharaoh’s heart and at other times Pharaoh harden his own heart.  more…

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29 Jun 2019 James (Program #11)

James (Program #11) – A Life Not Fully According to and for God’s New Testament Economy (2)

The book of James has many wonderful expressions and utterances that many Christians love to quote.  His exhortation on bridling an evil tongue for example, and on other various Christian virtues are the stuff of many good Sunday school lessons.  In chapter 4, we have another admirable example of the practical Christian perfection that James espoused.   He says in verse 13 “Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit; Whereas you do not know the matter of tomorrow, what your life will be; for you are a vapor, which appears for a little while and then disappears. Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will both live and do this or that. ”  Who could argue or take issue that such an expression “if the Lord wills”?  But by comparison we must consider another angle, another perspective. It’s the perspective of the dominant New Testament writer, the apostle Paul, who did not exhort the believers simply to follow God’s will in an objective outward way, but rather to be those that live moment by moment under the influence and direction of the indwelling Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Romans 8:14, “or as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

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29 Jun 2019 Exodus (Program #20)

Exodus (Program #20) -Pharaoh’s Subtle Bargaining

We may not think of ourselves as particularly crafty or skillful negotiators in a worldly sense.  But oh how we bargain with the Lord!  There are a lot examples of subtle bargaining with God in the Bible.  But the story of Pharaoh in Egypt found in the book of Exodus is a particularly striking one.  For Pharaoh can at one time represents Satan but also represents ourselves or even our family members.  There is a lot for us to relate to in today’s program.

Today we are coming back to this conflict that took place between God and Pharaoh.  Initially it seems that the Lord’s demand of Pharaoh was clear enough, very straightforward: “let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.”  He tells him in Exodus 5:3, but it take 10 long chapters and 12 different encounters before this ultimately takes place…

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28 Jun 2019 James (Program #10)

James (Program #10) – A Life Not Fully According to and for God’s New Testament Economy (1)

In Acts chapter 2, the apostle Peter spoke boldly to his Jewish kinsman, “be saved from this crooked generation.”   Some time later, the apostle  Paul reminded the Jewish believers that God had rescued them out of the present evil age.  The context of both passages makes it clear that these strong words, “the crooked generation” and “the present evil age” both refer to the religious system that had become modern Judaism at the time when God was ushering the New Testament economy.

Peter and Paul made it very clear God was calling people out of that religious system.  Yet in other New Testament passages, it is equally clear that the apostle  James was not only comfortable receiving the Jews into the fellowship of believers, he was even willing to accommodate the major practices of Judaism into the church.  Well what lessons can we glean from this confused situation today?

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28 Jun 2019 Exodus (Program #19)

Exodus (Program #19) – God’s Demand and Pharaoh’s Resistance (5)

Bible scholars have long agreed that Egypt, the land that held God’s people, Israel in slavery for more than 400 years typifies the world, the system of commerce, culture, education and even entertainment is today’s Egypt, complete with its accompanying slavery and bondage.  God’s way with Israel was to change their view of the land they had grown to love.   He wants to do the same with us today.  When we see the world as God sees it, our heart like Israel’s heart will be changed.

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27 Jun 2019 James (Program #9)

James (Program #9) – Practical Virtues of Christian Perfection (9)

Most Christians today view the Lord’s coming in an altogether objective way. In a way that has nothing to do with our spiritual condition or our spiritual growth. Their expectation is that one day the Lord will suddenly come and that His coming will have nothing to do with their maturity. It may be that the concepts many Christians hold regarding Lord’s coming back are actually causing Him to delay His coming.

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27 Jun 2019 Exodus (Program #18)

Exodus (Program #18) – God’s Demand and Pharaoh’s Resistance (4)

God’s desire is that His people will build Him a dwelling place on the earth. This was His intention for the children of Israel even as they were held in bondage under Pharaoh in the book of Exodus and it’s His intention for us today. In Exodus, a struggle ensued between God and Pharaoh whereby He manifested not only judgment upon the Egyptian world but also the real nature and issue of the life of the world – the life that usurps God’s people. If we receive mercy, we’ll take this warning given to all God’s people about the usurping worldly system.

It has been a tremendous journey thus far, as we just get into the book of Exodus.  We come to that portion in the last few days, we have been reviewing the conflict between God and Pharaoh.  It is a fairly well-known story to most Christians and believers.  But Witness Lee has been pointing out that we are going to see very directly today that these 10 plagues and these 10 encounters, actually a dozen encounters that took place over all between God and Pharaoh were not just God’s judgement on Pharaoh and on Egypt but are really intended as an exposure and a kind of education for God’s people as well, to realize the real situation that Egypt represents.  Why do we know that this is a picture to expose but not just a matter of God’s judgement on Egypt and Pharaoh?

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26 Jun 2019 James (Program #8)

James (Program #8) – Practical Virtues of Christian Perfection (8)

This is actually the 8th radio program we’ve done in the life study of James and is covering printed message number 10. We have seen a lot so far,  life study of James is a little bit different than other life studies because James was not fully clear about God’s New Testament economy.

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26 Jun 2019 Exodus (Program #17)

Exodus (Program #17) – God’s Demand and Pharaoh’s Resistance (3)

The book of Exodus reveals God’s desire to rescue His people from everything other than Himself.  After the Exodus from Egypt, God’s people saw a heavenly vision by which they came to know God Himself and to know the kind of living that’s in accordance with God.  This way they can be built up as God’s dwelling place on earth. This is the basic concept of the book of Exodus and it is also the basic concept of our Christian life.

We are going to continue to look at God’s demand and Pharaoh’s resistance on our broadcast today.  This conflict going on between God and Pharaoh that lasted 10 chapters in Exodus…

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