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The Fathers Savior for mankind started from humble beginnings, but, He knew the entire world was dependent upon the success of His mission (Luke 2:7).
PS 102:19-20 “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
Jesus began His ministry by being baptized by John and was led in the desert where He fasted 40 days. Going to His home town in Nazareth He made a public proclamation. Jesus chose to let the Spirits Words speak for Himself. Reading directly from Isa. 61:1-2, He officially declared mans rescue was at hand.
Luke 4:17-21. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the scroll and found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has Anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor
He has sent Me to Proclaim Release from the captives,
And Recovery of the sight to the blind
To set free those who are oppressed
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord’
And He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
‘Today’ Jesus says, the heavens will open and the rescue begins. The Word says men knew Gods presence was ‘in the air’ for they gazed upon Him, amazed and in anticipation from the words falling from His lips! (Lk. 4:20-22).
Jesus stopped in the middle of Isa. 61: 2. The Day of Vengeance (Day of the Lord) will come at a later time (see Prophecy–Site Map). The focus of His life on earth was to ‘Set The Captives Free’ and it starts-Immediately!
‘Today’ this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. The fulfillment of
-setting the captives free -a release from darkness for those in bondage (Isa. 61:1)
-opening blind eyes and preaching the good news to those in need- a favorable year of the Lord
All of these ‘cures’ by Jesus are a directly related to Him taking away the curse from sin. ( Jn 8: 34-36, Rom. 5:12-19, Rom. 8:18-25)
He proclaimed this truth however before He went to the cross.
Today– the mission starts to set the captives free
Today–is a favorable year of the Lord
The Lord did not confuse the order. We know from the above verses that Jesus is referring to His redeeming the world from sin, starting with an individual receiving Christ by His sacrifice on the cross- set the captives free (Jn. 3:16).
Most commentaries mention a favorable year of the Lord as the ‘Year of Jubilee’ where ‘all the people’ are set free from a slave owner and creditor (Lev. 25:8-17). To proclaim freedom for an individual in sin and an entire country from a ruler of bondage (Satan-the illegitimate ruler of this age 2 Cor.4:4, Heb. 2:14-18) takes a special message. Jesus explicitly explains this message a few verses later
LK 4:43 But He (Jesus) said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
In simple terms, the Lords sacrifice at the cross (and resurrection) grants freedom for an individual captive by sin (Rom. 6: 5-8),but proclaiming Gods kingdom on earth initiates His master plan to liberate the entire world from darkness. That very day-Today, Jesus was going to start proclaiming the Kingdom of God which will start to bring the Fathers heavenly glory to earth. This will allow His glory to radiate on earth and bring ‘His Light’ to a world in darkness Jn. 1:1-14.
Two things will happen
1) Individually His light will allow a heart that has been humbled the ability to see and receive Jesus as their Lord and savior-set the captives free (Jn. 1:1-14, Jn. 9:25).
2) His people (the church-see below) will receive their authority and power in Christ to ‘dethrone’ Satan, the illegitimate evil ruler of this age. This will release an entire people from the one who has been enslaving them and bring in the Lords reign on earth!-the year of the Lords favor (Heb. 2:14-15, Gal. 4:8, Matt. 24:14, Rev. 12:9-11-seeKingdom of God-site map.
Today-the Lord was excited, Gods glory was forthcoming. (Lk. 9-1-2, Lk. 10:1-21)
Matt 4:16-17 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (from Isa. 9:1-2). From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
The Word mentions how Christ, John the Baptist, the 12 apostles, the 72 disciples and Paul diligently preached the Kingdom of God (see Turning the Light of Your Spirit On-Kingdom of God). Included in their message was
1 Cor. 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles
This essential part to the Kingdom message is extremely important, but being spiritually ‘born’ into a heavenly Kingdom is only part of the Lords mission for Christians. The church has to fulfill the purpose of Christ, we have to accomplish our task after we are ‘born again’. Let’s see what the writer of ‘we preached Christ Crucified’ emphasized when he proclaimed the ‘full gospel’.
Acts. 19:8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
Acts. 28:23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God
Acts 28:30-31 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Included in this full gospel is not only Christ ‘setting the captives free’ from sin by His death and resurrection, but also the churches role in liberating men from darkness.
The Body Of Christ-Setting The Captives Free
Before we start to examine His Word, I would like to take a ‘time-out’ and briefly examine our Christian walk. Let’s start with my shortcomings.
Friends, I am guilty of totally underestimating the bond Jesus has with His church. I believe the church as a whole also shares my error.
Bros-sisters included, take a moment and think seriously about your Christian life. Think of the times that you were touched in the deepest way by His Word and His presence. Does His glorious presence heighten the truth found in His Word! When someone receives a revelation, whether from the darkness of hell or the heights of His throne in heaven, is there not always a reality that is deeper than anything that can be expressed by human words (Rm. 8:26, 2 Cor. 12:3-4). Having God reveal His glorious presence and Truth is beyond any human experience. (Ish. 6:1-7, Ex. 33:17-22, Rev. 5:8-14)
The same is also true-
The love and unity Christ has for His church (body) is beyond any earthly comprehension! His love is infinite, so His love for ‘the bride of Christ’ is infinite-beyond measure
Eph. 4:17-19 May your roots go down deep into the soil of Gods marvelous love, and may you be able to feel and understand, as all Gods children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high His love really is, and to experience this love for yourself, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.. and so at last, you will be filled with God Himself.
Now, let’s follow through with this truth. If we really are the ‘body and bride of Christ’ and share in His heavenly reign,are we not called to share is His earthly work? Eph. 2:6, 1:3.
1 Cor. 3: 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
While Jesus (from divine origin) is the only human that can atone for our sins on the cross (to make amends for our sins Heb. 2:17) we share ‘completely’ with His work on earth. We are HIS BODY!
The body of Christ should be in ‘total awe’ of using His presence inside of us to complete His Work
MT 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
HEB 10:12-13 But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,
Christ is the head and we are His body-thus WE finish the work He has started. When we ‘disconnect’ from each other the body dies instantly! This is the example the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostles to describe His Church
EPH 1:22-23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
1 Cor. 12:12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.
The church is the body of Christ and we have been ‘grafted’ into the blessing given to Israel (Rms. 11). Jesus has become the ‘cornerstone for both the Jews and the Gentiles
EPH 2:19-20 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens (the Gentiles), but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,…with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
GAL 3:27-28 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free,… for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
All the blessings and promises of Israel are now shared with all believers in the Lord. Thus the Lord gives these next verses to all the church in Christ Jesus.
ISA 42:6-9 “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you …As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon, And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare NEW THINGS;
The Lord says I will appoint you to bring prisoners from dungeons. There is a ‘New Way’– A New Church arising. Beloved, BE READY! You are about to behold the church realizing HIS TRUTH!! The church, His body –Setting The Captives Free!! Your heart will be ‘set aflame’ when the church sets out to bring His Glorious Kingdom on earth-‘Our’ hearts will explode with His presence and mission…there will be a great purpose in our heart through Christ to- Free Those in dungeons and darkness. (see Harvest-part one–two, Kingdom of God-site map).
Now we understand. The Church! His Body! is given the responsibility to complete the work of ‘setting the captives free!!.
This is awesome! Years ago, before I knew of the next verses-the Lord showed me ‘His Own’ cowering underneath a type of ‘grid’ where Satan had authority over them. They were in bondage (Rms. 6:6). Jesus came and ‘set the captives free’. They knew this in their mind but still cowered when the devil walked over them. The devil did not want them to discover the locks are gone, we have authority and power ‘In Christ’ over the works of the devil.
ISA 51:14 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.
Ish. 49:8-9 This is what the LORD says: I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land … to say to the captives, `Come out,’ and to those in darkness, `Be free!’
Again, the Lord is saying to His people, ‘Say to the captives, `Come out,’ and to those in darkness, `Be free!’
I have a question to the church. Do these two teachings from His Word give us enough authority and power to ‘set the captives free’?
EPH 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
EPH 1:19-21 his incomparably great power for us who believe… which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him…far above all rule and authority
The Lord, talking to ‘ALL’ who are in Him tells us
To say to the captives, `Come out,’ and to those in darkness, `Be free!‘ Praise God! We have the authority and power in Christ to Set the Captives Free!
As with all Biblical truth, if the teaching is correct, it will ‘flow’ throughout the entire Word of God. Our task of preaching ‘seizing’ His kingdom in heaven and ‘binding-loosening’ Satan’s darkness on earth will indeed be part of God’s plan to liberate darkness on earth and ‘Set the Captives Free!’ This ‘freedom from bondage’ that comes by bringing in His Kingdom and will on earth(Matt. 6:10) will include setting hearts free from darkness and physical bodies from sickness-any Satanic affliction on earth. (Mk. 16: 15-20, Lk. 9:1-2, Lk: 10:1-20, Heb. 4:12, Rev. 12:9-11)
Note: We do not want to imply in any way that for a season Satan’s wrath will be ‘easy’ for believers when he is ‘dethroned’ because Christians advance the Kingdom of God (Matt. 24:14, Rev. 12:7-12, Rev. 13:10). That is why the Word says we must be ready, watching, surrendered in heart-knowingly aware of our weaknesses so we can be praying ‘NOW’ for strength to endure. (Matt. 25:1-13, Matt. 24:42-51, Rev. 13:10, Lk: 10:12, 1 Thess. 5:2-4-see Prophecy, Kingdom of God-site map)
The Church To Finish His Work
Taken from Ps. 68.18 Paul says in Eph. 4:8-13
Eph. 4:8-Wherefore he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
When the Lord ascended to heaven after the resurrection, He Captured those who were in captivity(set the captives free-in context from next verses) and gave gifts to men. These gifts were offices or positions to build up the body of Christ (see below).
Eph. 4:9-10 Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? …is also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.
When Jesus descended He brought the saints up from captivity (Hades) into a heavenly abode (Lk 16: 19-31. Rms. 6:8-10). The glory of God will ‘fill all things‘ when the church pursues bringing His kingdom on earth. (Pms 57:11, Matt. 6:10)
Eph. 4: 11-12 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
The whole purpose of leadership is to spiritually build up the body of Christ to advance the Kingdom of God, not ‘our’ ministry.
Eph. 4: 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Jesus set the captives free and gave gifts to the church to attain the full measure of Christ.
By a unity in our calling His body will continue to set the Captives free Ish. 42: 6-9, bringing in the Holiness (fullness of Christ) on earth.
EPH 1:9-10 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,…
to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
The secrets of the Kingdom of God have been made known to you (Lk. 8:10). This is such an honor. In order to achieve the fullness of Christ, we have to apply His Biblical principles, not our teachings. This is called surrender, and we have to search our hearts before the Lord to see if we are ‘hanging on’ to traditions taught by men (Mk. 7:8). The church must become as one and march in unity to defeat Satan and his armies. (Matt. 11:12)
To say to the captives, `Come out,’ and to those in darkness, `Be free!’ Ish. 49:9
May the Lord bless you as you pursue His truth