Jonah – Revealing Our Sign of Christ’s Resurrection

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jonah was such an amazing man and prophet of God. In the Book of Jonah, we find his life typifies the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I know some of the stories of Jonah living in the whale’s belly for three days and nights, warming himself by a fire and enjoying fish-sticks or something, like in Pinocchio. However, Jonah died and was dead for three days and three nights and then resurrected and put back on the shore. In Jonah’s prayer he said “yet hast thou {God} brought up my life from corruption” (Jonah 2:6), “corruption” means the grave in which the body begins turning back to dust, for Jonah was resurrected from the corruption that death produces. In Acts 2:31 we can read about Christ’s resurrection and salvation from corruption.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonas {Jonah} was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” As Jonah was dead and lifeless “so” was Jesus Christ dead and lifeless.

Jonah 2:9 – But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed {to be a faithful prophet}. Salvation is of the LORD. {As Jonah’s salvation was of the Lord, his resurrection was also of the Lord.}

God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and prophesy unto the Ninevites, for their wickedness was incredible. What is interesting is that Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria (and they were unbelievers); they were oppressing the northern kingdom of Israel.

Jonah had prophesied already to Israel to turn from their evil ways, and to be restored in the blessings of God (II Kings 14:25-27). Nevertheless, Jonah thought in himself that if Nineveh continued in their own wickedness instead of repenting, then they would eventually consume themselves in their own wickedness and thus they would be unable to inflict any more harm on Israel. So when God said go to Nineveh, Jonah went in the opposite direction to Tarshish.

Jonah boarded a ship and they went into a storm with a mighty tempest. Jonah actually said to the crew that if they would “take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you:” (Jonah 1:12).

Jonah would rather drown in the sea than to prophesy in Nineveh. He hoped that committing his life to the sea would save Israel. Yet only one could save Israel, that would be Jesus Christ. Jonah gave his life in what he believed would save his people. We cannot fault Jonah for having a heart to save his people.

Jonah simply needed a sign from heaven to assure his heart that what he would do was indeed the will of God.  This is exactly what God did for him in raising him up, and then Jonah went to Nineveh and prophesied following God’s instructions, though he truly still hoped that Nineveh would not repent from their wicked ways and simply be destroyed by their own wickedness, but they did repent.

The righteous judgments of God are always true and just and in Nineveh we can discover God’s graciousness even upon the unbeliever. Luke 11:30 records Jesus’ words “for as Jonas {Jonah} was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.” As Jonah was a “living” sign and example to the Ninevites who changed their evil ways, so Jesus Christ also becomes a sign to Israel of resurrection and eternal life by his own resurrection (Matthew 12:38-41).

Today when we accept and believe in the resurrection (Romans 10:9-10), then we receive in our very hearts Jesus Christ, and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10a; Romans 8:11).

The Bible teaches us that signs will follow them that believe (Mark 16:17-18). God is not in the business of performing tricks, like the man who kept praying at night on his bed saying “God if you are real, then please turn on my light for then I would believe.” Jesus said to Thomas “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29), because today believing precedes signs, while before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, signs preceded believing.

The greatest sign that we have today is knowing, believing, and receiving spiritual wholeness, which is our Sign of Christ’s Resurrection, because today in grace we have the resurrected Christ within our very hearts.

Today we have the promises recorded in God’s healing Word as a written sign so we may continue believing on our resurrected Savior, and his spiritual power within us, so that we may walk with God in the power of Christ Jesus’ resurrection.

Amos – Revealing Our Salvation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Amos reveals Jesus Christ as the Raiser of David’s tabernacle that was rejected by Israel in Zion. David’s tabernacle is where the Ark of the Covenant was, and the covenant represented the presence of God. Jesus Christ’s very life was the complete embodiment of everything that David’s tabernacle symbolized.

The raising of the tabernacle represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and through the resurrection of Christ, salvation is granted to those who would believe (Amos 9:11, Acts 15:15-17).

Amos 5:14 – Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

“As ye have spoken” represents the fact that they were saying that God was with them, yet they had rejected Him, and so God was not literally with them as they were saying. Amos was exhorting them to again “seek good, and not evil” and the reason for seeking good was so they “may live.”

The word “live” represents life eternal, not merely physical life (that, they already had), but eternal life (salvation) was promised to them if they would seek good. To “seek good” is to seek God, and when God is sought out and recognized, it is because He is made known through Jesus Christ, and without Christ, God is simply an enigma. This is why people refer to God as “the man upstairs,” or “the spirit in the sky,” rather than truly recognizing Him as our heavenly Father Who indeed blesses those who truly seek Him through Jesus Christ, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father (John 14:5-7).

I John 5:11-12:
-11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
-12: He that hath the Son hath life {eternal life}; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

The question then arises: “Do we have the Son of God?” The Son of God is Jesus Christ, and salvation is acquired through his name and no other (Acts 4:10-12).

When we receive our salvation, it is because we have received the Son of God, believing in the record that God’s Word says of Jesus that he indeed did come, that he indeed did die for us, and that he indeed did become resurrected by God to become our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10).

In the verse, “Knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Romans 2:4), the word “repentance” means our salvation, for salvation is ours through the goodness of God, and Jesus Christ is the epitome of the goodness of God, “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Romans 1:16-17:
-16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek {the Gentile}.
-17: For therein {our salvation} is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Amos encouraged them to “seek good” {rather than reject good), that they may live with the assurance of having eternal life.

Today in God’s grace, we who seek the goodness of God through our acceptance of Jesus Christ receive salvation, and with Christ we may partake and enjoy his spiritual life (Colossians 3:4). “I {Jesus} am come that they {believers} might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

The reason that we can enjoy the more abundant life is because we have received Our Salvation, for we have found him who is the goodness of God.

The Song of Solomon – Revealing Our Beloved

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Song of Solomon (also called Solomon’s Song) has been debated and misinterpreted for centuries, some believe that it is a love story or a sexual book; others think it is just plain pornography. Some believe it is an allegory about Mary the mother of Jesus, some think it is about the Church of God, and others hold to the suspicion that Solomon’s Song should not even be in the Bible.

In order for us to begin understanding any of the Book we need to discover the master-key which will unlock its meaning to us and this key will give us true spiritual understanding.

The key is Christ: Jesus Christ is the subject of the Bible, and in the Song of Solomon, Jesus Christ is our “beloved,” he is the bridegroom of the bride (Israel), and he is the “chiefest among ten thousand.”

Solomon’s Song 5:10; 16a:
-10: My beloved is white and ruddy {“ruddy” means red ─ “white and red,” means that he is distinguished}, the chiefest among ten thousand.
-16a: His mouth is most sweet {for he would speak the sweet words that come from God}: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, . . .

I was once at a concert with literally hundreds of thousands of people, I could not even see my friends who were only about 10 feet away because all of the faces in the crowd were so close together. Yet as Jesus Christ becomes our beloved, then we will be able to see him clearly because he is the “chiefest among ten thousand.” He said that his disciples were indeed his friends (John 15:15), and he can become our best friend.

In Solomon’s Song there are many passages that we cannot presently understand: there is nothing wrong whatsoever to admit that we do not know it all (this is an honest view). Realizing that we are not “know-it-all’s” is the first step in our quest for spirituality because we are all students of the Word.

The folly of man comes into play when we act as though we know it all when in truth we do not; it would be better to understand a single byte of Scripture than to scan a thousand verses without really knowing what we read. Instead of worrying about what we do not understand in the Song, let us focus on what we can know, for then and only then will Christ the Master-key (and Golden Thread who holds the Word together) appear in our searching hearts as he begins revealing spiritual truths to us.

The Song of Solomon can only be understood in the light that the book was written first and foremost to the twelve tribes of Israel, to the believers who anticipated and hoped in the Beloved’s coming.

All of the external interpretations given today, even with the best intentions, that leave Christ out of the picture, are in error.  Solomon’s Song was written to Israel (who were living before the coming of Christ). We cannot apply or fully understand the complete significance of what Solomon wrote because we live in the age of grace, rather than in the age of those who lived under the Old Testament Law.

But this we do know for certain, that God inspired, blessed, and sanctified every word in the book, and when we come to God’s Word knowing that Christ is the subject, then we will be able to glean tremendous truths that have been unseen for centuries.

I John 3:2a – Beloved, now {not someday, but NOW} are we the sons of God, . . .

God said of Jesus Christ “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). When God said that His Son is Beloved, it was because God was “well pleased” with him, and today God is also well pleased with us because we too are also beloved of God. However, without Christ, without knowing him as the golden thread that binds the Scriptures together, we could only condemn ourselves, never elevating our believing up to the standards that the healing Word presents to us because of our Savior Jesus Christ!

The more we see Jesus Christ as the Beloved of God, the greater he will show to us how beloved we really are to him and to our heavenly Father. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 12:42 “a greater than Solomon is here.” By referring to himself as “greater than Solomon,” he means that he came to give us understanding in order that we may absolutely know him and his Father (I John 5:20).

When we look to Jesus through the Scriptures and see him as being our true friend, and as our Beloved, we will enable him to continue revealing himself to our hearts.

Proverbs – Revealing Our Path of Righteousness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Proverbs has thirty-one chapters with over 560 proverbs. Many people read proverbs on months that have 31 days, a chapter per day. In Proverbs we can find Jesus Christ as “the wisdom of God,” for he is our “path” (to God) and the “light” lighting our pathway to the Father. When we discover Jesus Christ in Proverbs as him who lights our path, he begins revealing himself as our Path of Righteousness to the right hand of God. Rather than simply finding common sense knowledge, when Jesus Christ comes to light in Proverbs, then true spiritual wisdom will appear and direct our path having the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it {without being hindered}, and is safe.

“The name of the LORD” represents everything that God’s name stands for, such as His strength and power, which gives the believer a refuge.  The Lord is our “strong tower,” which is our elevated position with Him in the tower of His strength. The word “safe” means to be set up on high, for this is where the righteous safely thrive with God in Christ. We have been given the righteousness of God through the completed work of the righteous one, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:9 – And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Once our lives were lost, but now in Christ Jesus we have been (thankfully and gratefully) found.  The believing faith of Jesus Christ has given us God’s very own righteousness. On the path of our God-given righteousness we can come to know Him as our strong tower of strength. The more we recognize Christ in the Scriptures, the greater our God-given righteousness will shine in our hearts.

Proverbs 12:28 – In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

“In the way of righteousness is life,” because with the righteousness of God we can know that we have received eternal life. In the pathway of righteousness “there is no death,” means that we being righteous will receive a future immortality. Today we have the absolute guaranteed promise of receiving our complete redemption, our total immortality, and our heavenly home in eternity to live forever with God, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:23).

Proverbs 4:14-15; 18; and 26:
-14: Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
-15: Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
-18: But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
-26: Ponder the path of thy feet {“feet” represent our standing with God}, and let all thy ways be established {by following Jesus Christ who reveals the way to our God}.

“The perfect day” means the brightest time of the day when the sun seems to pause still in the sky above as it reaches the highest point on the meridian around noontime, this is the example of our elevated position in the light of our being the children of God. The more we walk with God, the brighter our future is realized. This is our Path of Righteousness, and is the way that Jesus said we should follow him: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). For example, in the time of Noah, he and his family out of the world populous were the “few there be that find it.” When we look to Christ Jesus, he begins leading us through the gate of the straight way, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father of lights, and along our way Jesus reveals our Path of Righteousness.

A Heart of Testimony (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

We Christians have the wonderful opportunity to express our personal testimony about God’s personal intervention in our lives that only we can express as we become personally involved with our own tangible proofs of God’s loving care and concern for us. The Heart of Testimony is speaking up with your true story about what God has done for you personally. This is the greatest way to witness! The Heart of Testimony is a story of how God has touched our life in some way, and as we learn to recognize how much God has been enlightening, blessing, and encouraging us individually, we can begin to release our own true stories of deliverance that I like to call the Heart of Testimony. The Heart of Testimony inspires us to become more involved in our communities, Churches, or fellowship groups to help our families, our friends, and our neighbors see the greatness of God’s healing Word on a really personal level.

Spiritually, physically and mentally we can at times receive so much truth and understanding from God’s Word that a release becomes almost necessary, and the Heart of Testimony is a wonderful way to release and begin receiving more from God. Having an inlet and an outlet will prevent the Christian believer’s life from becoming stagnant, for it replenishes our ability to give and to receive.

In the Gospel of Mark, we have the story of Jesus delivering a man who had a “legion” of spiritual problems. This man became so blessed that he wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go home and share his own testimony with his family, neighbors, and friends.

Mark 5:19-20:
-19: Howbeit Jesus suffered him not {did not allow him to go with him}, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
-20: And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

The word Decapolis was not the word for a single city, but for an entire region, Decapolis means ten cities. This man whom Jesus healed in so many ways began spreading his own heartfelt testimony, his own experience that he had with Jesus throughout Decapolis, so much so that when Jesus himself passed through Decapolis it was easier for him to teach and heal (Mark 7:31-37).

When people express their own testimonies, even if it is only to their families, the wonderful healing Word of God becomes living and real to those who hear of them. In the Old Testament we read: And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: (Exodus 17:14). God wanted Moses to rehearse over and again the testimony of Joshua’s victories about his personal battle that would continue to inspire him. Knowing ourselves that we are more than conquerors with God in Christ (Romans 8:37), and knowing that we can be victorious in our endeavors is something that God desires for His children to know and understand, for the Heart of Testimony can continue to build us up as individuals as well as those with whom we share them.

To see countless examples of the Heart of Testimony, see the book of Psalms and Hebrews 11.  The Book of Acts is also filled with wonderful testimonies that the believers shared with one another. In Acts 14:27 we read that the believers: “rehearsed all that God had done with them.” In Acts 12:17 Peter: “declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.” In Acts 11:4 after delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles, Peter and his company: “rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them.” These are all hearts of testimony that always bring glory to God, excitement into our families and acquaintances, and joy into our lives.