Luke chapter 04 - God moves to the Gentiles
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
Luke, a Gentile doctor, hints at God moving to the Gentiles. Elijah went to a Gentile woman. Elisha cured a Syrian leper.
Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness. Physically weak, He was subjected to the temptations of the Devil. He used no supernatural gifts or power to withstand Satan. To each temptation He responded with a reference to the written Old Testament , “It is written…”
As a Man, Jesus resisted temptation by staying with the written Word of God. That was His only defense.
Jesus is our perfect example, so we humans need to adopt exactly the same strategy. We must know what is written in the Bible and stay with that. We must not deviate from the written Word in order to agree with human opinions and traditions.
Jesus then went to Nazareth and stood up in the synagogue.
LUKE 4:17 And there was delivered unto him (Jesus) the book of the prophet Esaias (Greek for Isaiah). And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
He stopped halfway through the last verse. Why?
This is what Isaiah actually said :
ISAIAH 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Jesus provides a brilliant insight. Verse 2 in Isaiah refers to two events separated by about 2 000 years.
“the acceptable year of the Lord” refers to the First Coming of Jesus to save us.
“the day of vengeance of our God” refers to the great Tribulation that follows His Second Coming when He takes His Bride away.
Thus we have to learn to rightly divide the Word of God. We must know what each Scripture refers to.
II TIMOTHY 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Take another example :
MATTHEW 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
The disciples realized Jesus was Messiah. But they wanted to know why Elijah had not come before the First Coming of Jesus. In other words the disciples had completely missed what John the Baptist’s ministry was all about. So we must be careful. A man of John the Baptist’s calibre can come in our day, and we can just as easily completely miss the significance of his ministry like the disciples did with John the Baptist.
Jesus then speaks of a future Elijah who will come before the Second Coming of Jesus. This prophet will restore us saved Christians back to the full Gospel, which were the teachings of the New Testament church that were lost during the Dark Ages.
This cannot be John the Baptist because John did not restore the full Gospel. John’s ministry was the beginning of the Gospel as he introduced a water baptism and pointed out the Messiah to Israel.
MARK 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Then Jesus referred back to the ministry of John the Baptist which was by then well in the past tense of history.
MATTHEW 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Rightly divide the Word of God.
Jesus first spoke of a future Elijah who would come before the Second Coming of Jesus.
Then He referred to John the Baptist who had come before the First Coming of Jesus.
Two separate ministries in the spirit and power of Elijah, separated by about 2 000 years.
MALACHI 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
“the day of the Lord” is the great Tribulation.
:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Rightly divide the Word. There have to be two distinct ministries. God only turns the wrong beliefs to the good beliefs that are correct.
First a ministry to turn the wrong fathers to the good children.
Then another ministry to turn the wrong children to the good fathers.
How is this possible?
The good children were Jesus and the disciples who had the truth.
John turned the wrong Jewish fathers to their good children, Jesus and the disciples.
After Jesus left, the disciples grew up to become the good apostolic fathers of the early church.
Then the church lost the truth in the Dark Ages.
With 30 000 different denominational and non-denominational churches that exist today, we are the wrong children who desperately need to turn back to the good New Testament beliefs of the original apostolic fathers who were the disciples, with Paul taking the place of Judas Iscariot.
We need an Elijah to restore the Bible truths in our divided denominational age.
Between the two Elijahs who appear before the First Coming and the Second Coming, the church had to go through seven different stages (white light is broken up into seven dominant colours in a rainbow). During these ages the church would be mainly Gentile.
The church started with many Jewish converts, but soon grew to be a basically Gentile church.
To emphasize this point, Luke, who favours the Gentiles, quotes how Jesus suddenly refers to two Old Testament events where God had also used Gentiles in His great plan.
LUKE 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
Elias is the Greek for Elijah. Sidon was Gentile territory.
LUKE 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
Eliseus is the Greek for Elisha. Syria was Gentile territory.
So both Elijah and Elisha (who had a double portion of Elijah’s spirit) were involved with Gentiles. Thus it is no surprise to find the Elijah, who comes just before the great Tribulation, is also a Gentile prophet to the end time Gentile church.
LUKE 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
This is typical of human nature. The Jews thought that they were closest to God. Hearing of the possibility that God would rather favour the Gentiles, the Jews were driven to rage and wanted to kill Jesus. Once again God was turning away from those who thought they were favoured (the Jews) towards the unfancied Gentiles that the Jews rejected.
The church has the same problem today. Christians get angry at the suggestion that Jesus is outside the church (because we think that He is impressed with us) and is planning to turn to the Jews whom He is establishing in their promised land. Saved Christians are so complacent in their various denominational and non-denominational churches that they refuse even to listen to someone who tells them that they are wrong. Yet all these different churches disagree with each other. Thus there is plenty of error in the church systems.
As a doctor, Luke records a miraculous healing.
LUKE 4:38 And he (Jesus) arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.
:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
Here Luke points out a mistake in the future Roman Catholic church. Simon Peter had a wife. The Roman Catholics claim that he was the "first Pope". But then why do their Popes not marry? This is an obvious contradiction in their beliefs.
Peter, if he was the first Pope, baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. The Catholics claim that all Popes are infallible, and thus all Popes should agree with each other.
So the Popes should baptize the same way as Peter.
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Why do modern day Popes not baptize like the "first Pope", Peter, did?
Ours is also an "untoward generation" that believes in all sorts of strange beliefs that are not in the Bible.
Jesus gave Peter the keys to Heaven, and Peter opened the Door to Heaven for us by telling us to repent, and to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, and to receive the Holy Ghost. This rule applies to all those who God calls. We have no right to change it.
There is One God. He has three Titles : Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But the human Name of God is Jesus Christ.
The New Testament began with the Spirit of God manifesting Himself in the human body of Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
I TIMOTHY 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,
When God took on His new human Name of Jesus Christ, the Bible never again in the New Testament ever refers to God by His usual Old Testament names of Jehovah or Yahweh.
Thus the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament.