Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; The moral quality of prophecy and miracles.
Tuesday October 15, 2019
Most people on earth live in a fantasy. A fantasy in our day made more concise by television and social media. Awareness of reality requires the seeing eye which comes to those who are born-again in Christ. Christ has lifted the mist from our eyes and shown us through His own eyes. Conscious of His life and His home (heaven and holiness), everything in the world is more beautiful than it was, despite its perversion by men of the world. It is more beautiful because it is related to the reality of the next world, making every thought clearer, love deeper, joy more abounding, hope more certain. The old eye only sees the brochure of the desirous vacation spot. The ink on the paper is made a deeper blue and a brighter yellow or orange, but when we arrive at the actual spot, it is nothing like it. The eyes of Christ see the reality of the world, and God is in it, in all and through all, and we have eyes to see Him.
In all the communication that is around us, from cable TV to news media to social media to Hollywood – every imaginable, and soon the unimaginable, facility exists for making ourselves heard and seen. But have we anything to say? Jesus Christ lived a pretty obscure life, never went to Rome, wouldn’t jump off the pinnacle of the Temple as He was tempted in order to promote Himself. Yet, He, the living Word, spread from Palestine to the east and west taking over the whole of the Roman Empire and from there, the whole world – no cable or internet necessary. Remember, it is the content of what you say and not how you say it or what medium you use that matters.
The miracle of the cleansed Jewish leper was the miracle done by Jesus to reveal to Israel that it was true, the prophecy of Ezekiel [“I will cleanse you from all your filthiness”] was fulfilled in Him.
Eze 36:22 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God," It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.
Eze 36:23 "And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord," declares the Lord God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.
God then reveals how He is going to vindicate and prove His holiness and the holiness of His great name.
Eze 36:24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.
Eze 36:25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
Eze 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
Eze 36:28 "And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.
Eze 36:29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.
Eze 36:30 "And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, that you may not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.
Eze 36:31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.
Eze 36:32 "I am not doing this for your sake," declares the Lord God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!"
Israel rejected her Messiah, and by doing so, the regathering of her from all the nations into the Promised Land and the turning of that land into an abundant producer of materialism would have to wait. Yet, the cleansing of man and turning his heart of stone to flesh, the removal of his idols, and the Holy Spirit making his body a home would all happen.
So, as we have seen, a covenant does not all have to be fulfilled at one time. It can be partially fulfilled while other parts wait to be fulfilled, which in this covenant, will happen at the Second Coming of Christ. Thus, we would conclude that the New Covenant could only be totally fulfilled by the nation of Israel, while the church receives the benefits of its spiritual parts.
We must be careful and refuse to be tempted with false exegesis which has for its aim at any cost to reconcile scripture with our conception of scripture as we think it ought to be. We must also understand that simplicity is not the same as narrowness. As it is with our Lord’s explanation of the Kingdom of Heaven, so it is with all truth that there are many truths connected to the various realities of God. The Lord used several parables (15), as well as many sayings to describe the Kingdom of Heaven, each of which seemingly different from the others. His kingdom has enough sides to it that it takes many pictures to describe it. If we only examined one parable, our picture of His kingdom would be very incomplete.
Luk 5:12 And it came about that while He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."
Luk 5:13 And He stretched out His hand, and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." And immediately the leprosy left him.
Luk 5:14 And He ordered him to tell no one, "But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them."
This man was the first and only Jewish man ever cleansed of leprosy. By command of the Mosaic Law, he was to show himself to the priests at the Temple who were to confirm the cure over a period of seven days. Thus, being a confirmed case, the only confirmed case, news of him spread fast throughout the Jewish people.
Luk 5:15 But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and great multitudes were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
Luk 5:16 But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
As with this man, all in this age who have believed in Christ have been made clean. The Greek noun is katharos, which is also translated as “pure.” Paul wrote to Titus, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure.”
As with prophecy so also in the miracles there is a moral quality.
They do not point to a moral but have within their fabric moral quality.
The cleansing of this man from leprosy is an obvious indication that all men must be cleansed from sin if they are going to enter the kingdom of God and fellowship with its King, and only God can cleanse us. We can easily find the moral fabric of every miracle – casting out demons, healing blindness, deafness, lameness, leprosy, and even raising from the dead.
This is also true of prophecy. Every prophecy has a moral fabric to it. All of it points to Christ, so then it is not surprising since everything Christ did contained a moral fabric.
So then, Christianity is the fulfillment of a great portion of the Old Testament, but there is still more to come, specifically to the nation of Israel.
The claims of the NT are based on the OT. If the OT is in doubt then the NT has nothing to stand on.
The Ethiopian eunuch was reading Isa 53 to whom the apostle Phillip revealed the subject was Christ.
Christianity is not something brand new but the fulfillment of that which is very old.