Review of Jonah: Christ as the Greater Jonah

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"But He answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." (Matthew 12:39-40)
"Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come up before Me." (Jonah 1:2)
This week we focus Christ as the greater Jonah, seen in Matt. 12:38-41. From these verses we can see two striking points about Christ as typified by Jonah: that He passed through death, burial, and resurrection victoriously (Heb. 2:14; 1 Pet. 3:18-29; Rev. 1:18), and that He has announced peace as the gospel to us, although we are evil Gentiles (Eph. 2:17). Today we must enjoy the full victory that Christ accomplished and be one with Him to announce Christ as peace to all of the nations on this earth (Matt. 28:19).

Minor Prophets: Christ as the Real David

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"In that day I will raise up The fallen tabernacle of David, And I will wall up its breaches And raise up its ruins And build it up as it was in the days of old" (Amos 9:11)
"But He said to them, Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, and those who were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and they ate the bread of the presence, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, except for the priests only?" (Matthew 12:3-4)
In the Minor Prophets, God speaks to His people of the restoration of David's kingdom and the coming of David (Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11). This is fulfilled in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is not only the son of David (Matt. 1:1), but the real David (12:3-4). As believers living in the church as God's kingdom, we should know Christ as our King, the One with the key of David (Rev. 3:7), meaning that all authority has been given to Him!

Review of Joel: The Descent of the Mighty Ones

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"Hurry and come, All you surrounding nations, And be gathered. There cause Your mighty ones to descend, O Jehovah!" (Joel 3:11)
"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and they who are with Him, the called and chosen and faithful, will also overcome them." (Revelation 17:14)
Joel 3:11 is a prophecy of Christ's return at the end of this age, accompanied by His overcoming believers (Rev. 17:14; 19:11-21; 2:26-27). These overcomers, the mighty ones, are those who stand on the basis of Christ's victory to fight against God's enemy. Christ is the Overcomer, and He is calling His believers today to match Him!

Minor Prophets: The Divine History Within the Human History

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"This man, delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you, through the hand of lawless men, nailed to a cross and killed;" (Acts 2:23)
"I drew them with cords of a man, With bands of love; And I was to them like those Who lift off the yoke on their jaws; And I gently caused them to eat." (Hosea 11:4)
In this universe there are two histories: the history of man, the human history (Joel 1:4; Daniel 2), and the history of God, the divine history; the former is like an outward shell, and the latter, like the kernel within the shell. The Bible is a record of these two histories. God's history is of two portions—the history of God with man, found in the Old Testament, and the history of God in man, found in the New Testament. This week we take a look at the divine history, the autobiography of God seen in the Minor Prophets.

Review of Joel: The Central Thought of the Book of Joel

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"What the cutting locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the licking locust has eaten; And what the licking locust has left, the consuming locust has eaten." (Joel 1:4)
"Always rejoice, unceasingly pray, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophecies" (1 Thes. 5:16-20)
The book of Joel speaks of human history prophetically as four kinds of locusts (Joel 1:2-4). Throughout history, the empires of this world are really "locusts" which devour everything, especially the children of Israel. But the Lord sovereignly uses the consuming human history to carry out His divine history: to increase the manifestation of Christ! Today, God is moving to build up the Body of Christ to gain His overcomers, His mighty ones (Joel 3:11), to end this age and bring in Christ's kingdom for the restoration of all things. We can participate in the divine history for the increase of Christ by loving the Lord (John 14:21). We can also call on His rich name (Joel 2:32), pray-read His word (Eph. 6:17-18), pray unceasingly (1 Thes. 5:17), fan our spirit into flame (2 Tim. 1:6-7), and prophesy (1 Cor. 14:4b), that is, speak Christ to others that He could be spread over the entire earth.

Review of Hosea: Three Rich and Marvelous Implications Concerning Christ

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"When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son." (Hosea 11:1)
"I drew them with cords of a man, With bands of love; And I was to them like those Who lift off the yoke on their jaws; And I gently caused them to eat." (Hosea 11:4)
Simply by a few phrases in Hosea 11:1 and 4 we can see some wonderful and marvelous implications concerning Christ. The phrase "My Son" in verse 1 opens up a broad vista to us, showing us that God desires not just an only Begotten Son, but many sons -- all of the believers who are begotten of God (Rom 8:29). In verse 4, God draws us with cords of a man, with bands of love. These cords of a man include His incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension by which He draws us to Himself. Lastly, verse 4 also points us to God's desire that we would eat Christ as our heavenly manna so that we may live a heavenly life on earth.

Review of Hosea: The Restoration of Israel and Transformation in Life by God's Love

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"I will be like the dew to Israel; He will bud like the lily and will send forth his roots like the trees of Lebanon." (Hosea 14:5)
The book of Hosea shows us the restoration of Israel and her transformation in life based on God's everlasting love. Our relationship with God is of the divine, eternal life (1 John 5:11). This life enlivens us, regenerates us, sanctifies us, renews us, transforms us, conforms us, matures us, and glorifies us (John 3:5-6, 15; Eph. 5:26; Rom. 12:2; 8:29; Matt. 5:48). At the beginning of the book of Hosea, Israel was a harlot, but at the end of Hosea, Israel has become a son; thus the outcome of this book is transformation in life by God's love (Hosea 11:1; cf. Rom.8:28-29; Heb. 12:5-10).

Minor Prophets: The Centrality and Universality of Christ and God's Union with His People

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"And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He explained to them clearly in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27)
"That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith…" (Ephesians 3:17)
The Minor Prophets, like the rest of the Scriptures, reveal Christ (Luke 24:27). God's purpose has Christ as its center and its circumference: Christ must be all in all (Col. 3:11)! For this to take place, God is working out a divine romance in which He draws His people to Himself in love to match Him. The Minor Prophets begin with this divine romance in Hosea, and point us to the restoration of all things that will be brought in by our giving more room in our heart to Him (Eph. 3:16-21).