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13 Nov 2018 Ezekiel (Program #5)

Ezekiel (Program #5) – Eagle’s Wings, Man’s Hands, and Calf’s Hoofs

Ezekiel, like the books of Daniel which is also in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New Testament, is a book of signs and figures typifying important spiritual realities. It begins with a storm wind and a cloud with a fire out from which is a golden silver glowing called the electrum. And out of these four come an indelible image – an image of four living creatures joined together to produce one corporate expression. The details of these four living creatures occupy much of Ezekiel chapter 1; and each of the details is worth our examination because each aspect of this mysterious image reveals much about God’s purpose as well as about our genuine experience of Him in the Christian walk and life. Let’s remember from our previous program that in each of these four living creatures itself has four faces – here’s Ezekiel 1:10 “As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side, and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four of them had the face of an eagle.”

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12 Nov 2018 Ezekiel (Program #4)

Ezekiel (Program #4) – The Four Living Creatures

Ezekiel is a book of figures or pictures that portrays spiritual things. For example in the beginning of the book, in the first 4 verses it says, “The word of Jehovah came expressly to Ezekiel the priest…And I looked, and there came a storm wind from the north, a great cloud and a fire flashing incessantly; and there was a brightness around it, and from the midst of it, there was something like the sight of electrum, from the midst of the fire.” These four items, the wind, the cloud, the fire and the electrum actually depict various aspects of how we experience God. God is like a wind to us, He overshadows and broods over us like a cloud; At times He’s a burning refining fire to purify us; and He’s also like a shining glowing electrum of gold and silver depicting His divine nature and Christ’s redemption. But if we genuinely experience God in these aspects, it will also produce something which we also come to today in verse 5, “And from the midst of it there came a likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: They had the likeness of a man.”

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11 Nov 2018 Ezekiel (Program #3)

Ezekiel (Program #3) – The Wind, the Cloud, the Fire, and the Electrum

At the beginning of the book of Ezekiel, there are some very striking verses that talks about the heavens being opened and Ezekiel seeing visions of God. And then in verse 3 it talks about the word of God coming expressly to Ezekiel. And then, the hand of Jehovah was upon him.

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10 Nov 2018 Ezekiel (Program #2)

Ezekiel (Program #2) – Introduction (2)

Ezekiel is a book of visions. The prophet Ezekiel was a young man, just 30 years old and having just concluded his apprenticeship to the priest when he received these visions. We also need a vision from God concerning His divine plan and His eternal purpose. And like Ezekiel, it’s critical to pay attention to three things if we are to receive such a vision. First, is the place that we are in. Second, the kind of person that we are. And third, the conditions necessary to receive these visions.

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09 Nov 2018 Ezekiel (Program #1)

Ezekiel (Program #1) – Introduction (1)

One book in the Bible that always seem to stir interest is the book of Revelation. This book gives the account of the apostle John receiving the revelation from God. This revelation actually came as John saw vision after vision, prophetically revealing the key elements of God’s eternal plan. But if one is really to understand the book of Revelation, it is equally important to know the parallel Old Testament book, the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel and Revelation go together in many critical aspects as you’ll see in the coming weeks.

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08 Nov 2018 Lamentations (Program #5)

Lamentations (Program #5) – Conclusion

The emphasis on this life study was very New Testament in flavor. In both Jeremiah and Lamentations, there are some real gems of New Testament divine thought and revelations that come through. And we touch some of these early on in this life studies. So we’d thought that it will be interesting today to pull together three portions of those earlier programs as we review these high points.

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07 Nov 2018 Lamentations (Program #4)

Lamentations (Program #4) – God’s Eternal Being and His Throne

The book of Lamentations has often been praised for its rich poetic expression of the human suffering and anguish that was experienced by the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. And from this perspective, it is an astonishing work. But recall that Jeremiah, more than any other Old Testament figure, has seen much and experienced much of God in the principle of God’s New Testament economy. Even in the midst of His lamentation, he offers a very new testament encouragement in 3:22-24, “It is Jehovah’s lovingkindness”, he wrote, “that we are not consumed, For His compassions do not fail; They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Jehovah is my portion, says my soul; Therefore I hope in Him.” It is Jeremiah’s realization and expressions of God’s New Testament economy that should leave the deepest and most profound impression on us in reading his two Old Testament books.

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06 Nov 2018 Lamentations (Program #3)

Lamentations (Program #3) – The Third Lamentations (2)

The prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament had much to be sorrowful for.  For all around him is God’s judgment.  This judgment fell upon God’s people Israel because of their degradation and their unfaithfulness.  It also fell upon the nations that surrounded Israel for opposing God’s people and His purpose.  And finally God’s judgment fell upon the prophet himself, not so much for his own failures and sins but rather because the prophet Jeremiah properly identified with his people Israel and thereby shared in their judgment.  It was these sufferings that brought him to pour out his heart and soul to Jehovah in the short book called Lamentations.  But in so doing, we see some wonderful passages that can be immense help to those of us in the New Testament economy.  For Jeremiah learned to practice three marvelous things that sustain him and likewise can sustain us.  We will look at these three in today’s program.

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05 Nov 2018 Lamentations (Program #2)

Lamentations (Program #2) – The Third Lamentations

The book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah after he had witnessed the devastation that had befallen on the nation and people of Israel.  Altogether he includes five lamentations in this short book.   The third of which is perhaps the most important for us, God’s New Testament people because this lamentation is one of the prophets being identified with the rebellious people of God, the apostate nation of Israel.  Even though Jeremiah himself had remained utterly faithful to the Lord.  Yet because he still was an Israelite, God was demonstrating to him that every true prophet must identify with God’s people even in their chastisement and suffering.  But another striking element of this lamentation bears a uniquely New Testament quality and even hints of God’s desire to restore His chosen people, even to impart Himself to the deepest part of their being.

With that in view, now listen closely to Jeremiah’s own words in this third lamentation. “It is Jehovah’s loving-kindness that we are not consumed, For His compassions do not fail;They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Jehovah is my portion, says my soul; Therefore I hope in Him. Jehovah is good to those who wait on Him, To the soul that seeks Him.

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04 Nov 2018 Lamentations (Program #1)

Lamentations (Program #1) – Introduction

No two books of the Bible are probably more linked than the Old Testament books of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  Jeremiah, a book of God’s judgment and punishment upon His rebellious people Israel is followed by the prophet Jeremiah’s lamentations over the sufferings of Israel.  Listen to his word in the first of these lamentations, chapter 1:1-2 “How the city sits alone That was full of people! She who was once great among the nations Has become like a widow; She who was a princess among the provinces Has become tributary.  Bitterly she weeps in the night, And her tears are on her cheeks. There is no one to comfort her Among all her lovers; All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies.”  This was Jeremiah’s speaking of the utter destruction and devastation that had been visited upon the city by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar.  And the suffering of Jeremiah reflects that of all of God’s people, especially no doubt the few righteous among them.

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