These monthly perfecting fellowships were given to the saints in the downtown area of the church in Los Angeles to address particular local needs. While we hope that all the saints in LA would be edified by the speaking, the applicability and implementation may vary from place to place. In The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life, Brother Lee says, “We should not say that a certain way is the best way to practice the church life or that a certain way is the best way to have a local church….[We] are open to the Lord. We do not know how far the Lord will go on. We all have to admit that there is still a big field for us to explore. It may be that after two years something new will be discovered. We should not be so definite, so set” (p. 30). May we be open to the Lord for His leading in our local situations.

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).

Psalms 146-150: The Highest and Consummate Praise to God


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"Let everything that has breath praise Jehovah. Hallelujah!" (Psalm 150:6)
"After these things I heard as it were a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Hallelujah! The salvation and the glory and the power are of our God." (Revelation 19:1)

The book of Psalms is a book of praise; in the Psalms we find the greatest and highest praise. Actually, praise is the highest work carried out by God's children and Psalms 146-150 show us the highest and consummate praise to God in the Bible. Taking these Psalms as our pattern, in the church life and in our personal life, we need to be those who offer the consummate praise to God!

Psalm 133: Jehovah’s Blessing on Brothers Dwelling in Oneness


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"Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace:" (Ephesians 4:3)
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell in unity! It is like the fine oil upon the head That ran down upon the beard, Upon Aaron's beard, That ran down upon the hem of his garments; Like the dew of Hermon That came down upon the mountains of Zion. For there Jehovah commanded the blessing: Life forever." (Psalm 133)

This Psalm shows us a blessed condition of oneness in the Old Testament. Within believers in Christ, there is a longing for the oneness that the Lord prayed for in John 17:21. This oneness, called the oneness of the Spirit in Ephesians 4:3-6, is typified by the ointment that anointed Aaron from his head to the hem of his garment, and by the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion. When we follow the leading of the Spirit (1 John 2:27) and enjoy God as our grace (2 Cor. 13:14), we can practically live in real oneness with Christ and His entire Body.

Psalms on the Recovery of the Earth through God’s Reigning in Christ and His Kingdom


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"Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth." (Matthew 6:10)
"O Jehovah our Lord, How excellent is Your name In all the earth, You who have set Your glory over the heavens!" (Psalms 8:1)

The Psalms show us how much God desires to reign over the whole earth. It was God's original intention for man to have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26), but man fell. It was Christ as the real King who brought God's kingdom to earth, and He taught us to pray that God's kingdom would come on earth as in heaven (Matt. 6:10). Eventually, He will return and restore the earth, and He will reign forever and ever (Rev. 11:15). Hallelujah!