Hebrews – Revealing Our Heavenly Calling

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Hebrews presents convincing arguments to Christians who were formally from the nation of Israel, to show them that with God’s grace they could walk with the freedom of our heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1), rather than by the works of the Law, which they were used to practicing.

Hebrews reveals Jesus Christ as Israel’s true high priest for sin, and that Jesus fulfilled the inner heart’s desire of men and women to walk with God, because with Christ the walk of grace becomes significantly more abundant through the absence of the Law.

Hebrews contains more Old Testament quotations than any other book in the New Testament (which were taken directly out of the Septuagint version, which is a Greek Text, rather than from the Hebrew Text).

One way to look at Hebrews when reading is to see the first seven chapters as though one were standing outside (and on the grounds of Old Testament Law), and peeking in the windows of a glorious mansion and seeing all kinds of wonderful things (in God’s grace). Then from chapter eight onward it would be similar to being inside this mansion, but rather than sitting on the furniture and really appreciating what’s inside (rather than noticing all wonderful things that God has given to men and women in grace, revealed to the believer in the Church Epistles), one would stand at the window and focus on what was outside (the Law), only the Law seems to have vanished away.

Hebrews details many truths that can prove beyond any doubt that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and that he was the substitute in every detail so that Israel (as well as anyone in the world) could receive the blessings that emanate from God’s grace. This may help give you a wonderful mind picture when reading Hebrews.

In Hebrews we see Jesus Christ, who was perfect in all that he accomplished for every believer, as he completely fulfilled the Law and revealed our heavenly calling that is founded and built upon God’s divine grace and presented to us to enjoy.

Hebrews 13:5-9:
-5: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have {in grace}: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. {the Amplified Bible reads: I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax my hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]}
-6: So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
-7: Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith {believing faith} follow, considering the end of their conversation {in the Word of God that they speak and more importantly the Word of God that they themselves follow and practice}.
-8: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.
-9: Be not carried away with divers {many} and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

“Meats” does not mean food, but rather strange doctrines that feed the mind, and which bring no profit whatsoever into one’s life.

The Christian believer is always better off to have their lives flooded with God’s grace, and grace literally means that we have received unearned, undeserved favor from God above. The reason that we can establish our hearts with grace is because we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8), rather than any works that we might do or have done.

We are all partakers of our heavenly calling, given to us in grace and enjoyed by us the more we come to appreciate that our hearts can be established by God’s grace.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need {and that time is now, and with the comfort we have knowing that God will not leave us alone, we may absolutely enjoy Our Heavenly Calling into God’s very own household – Ephesians 2:18-22}.

Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.

Habakkuk – Revealing Our Joy in God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Habakkuk, Jesus Christ is the marvelous wonder whom God would send to redeem, and he is our joy in God. The marvelous wonder of Jesus Christ’s life is so thrilling to our lives as we come to know him more and more, the greatest and most marvelous wonder of all is his Resurrection and our subsequent new and eternal life that we receive through him.

Habakkuk 1:4-5:
-4: Therefore {because of strife and contention} the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for wickedness doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
-5: Behold ye {Israel} among the heathen, and regard {look and behold}, and wonder marvellously {in astonishment}: for I will work a work {miraculous miracles} in your days {in the days that the Messiah would be present}, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Israel was living among the heathen, i.e., the unbelievers, and they refused God’s Law that was written and spoken to them, and they refused the righteous judgment that only God’s Word could reveal.

Verse 5 is a prophecy regarding the coming of Jesus Christ, whom Israel would behold with their very eyes. They would see him and be completely astonished with utter amazement at the miraculous ways he presents himself and his Father to them, and still not believe that he was the Messiah.

This prophecy is also written in Acts 13:41 in the past tense, because Christ came, and today we can be astonished in his completed work on our behalf and rejoice in him.

Following are only a few examples of Israel’s astonishment in the miraculous work that Jesus would do.

Matthew 7:28-29:
-28: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, {the Sermon on the Mount}, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
-29: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 5:42 – And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

The damsel in Mark 5 was dead and Jesus raised her, which was nothing short of a miracle. When the people saw this miracle they were greatly astonished.

Everywhere Jesus walked he gave infallible proofs that he was the true Messiah, yet in the end of his ministry they refused to believe on him, and so Israel as a nation rejected and crucified him. There were some who always believed in hope, but they were few, and the few had great joy because of their steadfastness in their believing God’s healing Word.

Habakkuk was a prophet of the Most High God, and Habakkuk in the midst of Israel’s unbelief received joy from his God because he believed.

Habakkuk 3:18-19:
-18: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
-19: The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

A hind is a deer that places his two back feet in the exact place his front feet were, and his front feet went first to check and make sure that the ground was safe.  What Habakkuk was saying is that when we believe and look to God through our Savior, then we will also be walking in the steps of Jesus Christ, who always walked perfectly with his heavenly Father.

Walking with God will always bring to us joy and rejoicing in the God of our salvation, and in our Lord who made our salvation a reality, and today our “high places” are at the right hand of God.

Nehemiah – Revealing Our Heavenly Pardon

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Nehemiah parallels the Book of Ezra. Ezra focuses great attention to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, while Nehemiah focuses mainly on the rebuilding of the city walls and gates in Jerusalem. Nehemiah reveals Jesus Christ as the Savior of God’s people, and that he would become the believer’s heavenly pardon from all their sins, faults, and shortcomings.

Nehemiah tells us of the bread from heaven that sustained the lives of the children of Israel and the water that came out of a rock when they were en route to the promised land. As the bread and water preserved their physical life, there is a correlation between Christ who is the true bread and water from heaven who preserves our spiritual life and who is the salvation of our souls (compare Nehemiah 9:15-21; with the Gospel of John 4:14 and 6:58; I Corinthians 10:4).

Nehemiah 9:17b –. . . but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

When is God “ready to pardon?” When we have the petition of pardon! Jesus Christ is our petition and our pardon, who continually reveals to our conscious minds complete forgiveness!

I John 5:13-15:
-13: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
-14: And this is the {God-given} confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us;
-15: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Since we believe on Jesus Christ, we receive confidence from God that He indeed has pardoned us with complete forgiveness. When we begin believing, this is when we absolutely know “that we have the petitions that we desire of him.”

Our petitions that we desire of God are to know with understanding that He has completely forgiven us, for God will always give us the desires of our hearts (Psalms 37:4), and we can know that our petition to the Father was presented to Him by the Son of God.

Ephesians 4:32 – And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The word “forgiven” in both instances means to receive complete pardon. We have been pardoned for the sake of Jesus Christ, and in the same manner we are to be as gracious to one another.

Colossians 3:13 – Forbearing one another, and forgiving {pardoning} one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave {pardoned} you, so also do ye.

As we are able to forgive one another, we will become ever abler to believe in our hearts that our God has spiritually forgiven us and pardoned us with His gracious mercy and great kindness, for He has not forsaken us (Hebrews 13:5-6).

In Nehemiah the believers had great expectation in receiving their pardons as they continued to believe that their Messiah was indeed coming for them, and the work of rebuilding the gates and walls gave them assurance of God’s protection as they looked forward to the hope of Christ’s coming.

Currently we also have and enjoy our great expectation in the coming of Jesus (the Savior) Christ (the Messiah) for he gave his life for our acquittal of any wrongdoing.

Today we can build up the walls (of our minds) to believe in him, and continue preparing the gate (the door to our hearts, Revelation 3:20) that spiritually allows Jesus Christ to enter into our lives.

I AM THAT I AM

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

For so many, God is simply an intangible Being with various titles, concepts, and ideas that hold vague meanings and implications. People sometimes refer to God as the man upstairs or the great I AM or the spirit in the sky, while others speculate, I know that there is something (or someone) out there (or up there) because I can see the order and perfection of life all around, but whatever power it is or wherever that power may originate, I just cannot grasp its real source. Some of us may have thought of God in suchlike terms before knowing Jesus Christ, “the Prince of life” (Acts 3:15), who introduced our searching hearts to His Majesty’s loving embrace and eternal purpose.

One could see all the works of man and easily believe that there is no God, but how can he look up into the starry heavens or view the perfection of life all around and still believe there is no God? The more we understand God via knowing Jesus Christ, the greater our spiritual lives grow as our union with the heavenly Father and with nature itself begins harmonizing with tranquility. All of the Prophets in the Old Testament preached about Christ and through knowing him, God becomes more magnified and detailed.

Exodus 3:14:
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The most basic understanding of these words I AM THAT I AM means that God cannot deny His own existence. Simply put ― God is Who He is. The Apostle Paul said of himself in I Corinthians 15:10 “by the grace of God I am what I am.” Paul could not deny who he was, and that he was who he was only by the grace of God; it is the same with us, we are who we are only by the grace of God, for He is our Maker. Even Popeye understood who he was, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam, I’m Popeye the sailor man,” (“toot, toot!”). It is no mystery understanding who God is; it is a mystery why so many people do not know who God is when Jesus Christ our Savior reveals Him to our inner hearts.

Man is truly something to behold from God’s perspective; Hebrews 2:6-9 records that the Son of God as well as Man were made just “a little lower than the angels.” The Hebrew word for angels in Hebrews 2 is Elohim and is the word for God, corresponding to the Greek word Theos, not angels. This is a huge mistranslation, which has greatly lowered expectations. Angels is the Hebrew word malak corresponding to the Greek word aggelos.

Man was made a little lower than the Creator of the universe, which is actually quite high up on the pedestal of God’s creation, higher than the angels who were created to be servants and ministers of God (Psalms 104:4, Hebrews 1:14). In contrast we, the children of God, are His sons and daughters (I John 2:1-2), and masterpieces of His creative “workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10), and the saved man becomes the crowning achievement of God. He “crowned us with glory and honour” (Psalms 8:4-5), creating nothing less than Christ in us, thus, we truly are what we are by the grace of God, and it is something to behold.

In Exodus chapter 3, God, by referring to Himself as I AM THAT I AM was showing Moses the true essence of Himself, and as Moses saw for himself the immensity of God, Moses began believing that he could rise up to his God‑given calling to deliver Israel.

God was preparing Moses to do some extraordinary exploits by way of delivering the children of Israel from the bondage of cruel slavery where they were imprisoned in the land of idol worship and servitude. Moses was also going to teach Israel about the spiritual realities of the Golden Thread, of him who was prophesied; the Christ, the awaited Messiah and Savior, and their rock of strength and hope (Deuteronomy 32:30-31).

I AM hath sent me unto you is not all that God exclusively told Moses to say to the children of Israel to inspire them to follow him off into the desert without food and water. Simply saying I AM hath sent me unto you was not (is not, and never will be) a magical phrase that mysteriously empowered Israel (or anyone else for that matter) to get up and get going into the barren desert (that only happens in the movies).

I Corinthians 10:4:
And {the children of Israel} did all drink the same spiritual drink {given by Moses}: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them {or rather who came after them}: and that Rock was {is, and will always be} Christ.

Moses began revealing the Messiah to the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 18:15, Acts 3:22-23). Then, as the Israelites began to figuratively drink and savor the comforting words that flowed from the mouth of Moses, they began perceiving the subject of all true prophecy, the rock Christ who came after them, as is recorded for posterity in the Gospels.

The hope of the coming of Christ was what inspired them to get moving over to the Promised Land where their Redeemer would come to redeem them. Jesus Christ became known through the spoken Word of God by Moses. This is how Moses strengthened Israel to the point that they also began believing in He Who could not deny Himself, in He Who said to Moses: I AM.

Hebrews 11:6:
But without faith {believing faith} it is impossible to please him {God}: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The reward itself inspired Israel, as well as Moses, to boldly go through the sweltering desert to the other side, to where the promise awaited, to the place of hope, to home, and to their destiny. Within the heart of their hearts they had the knowledge of Christ (who is the Word, John 1:14) who not only followed after them in the fullness of time, but to the very place where he would redeem, in their Promised Land of milk and honey.

Hebrews 11:24-27 (The Amplified Bible):**
-24: [Aroused] by {believing} faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
-25: Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life.
-26: He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all {ALL} the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward {the eternal reward that God gives}.
-27: [Motivated] by {believing} faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king {Pharaoh}: for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.

The Greek word for faith is pistis, and means believing faith, of which Christ is man’s author and finisher, (Hebrews 12:2), and if one is in need of more faith, then faith will be found through knowing Jesus Christ in the Word of God, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). By Moses choosing to believe in Christ, he chose an apparent life of hardship with the bound slaves of Egypt. He walked away from Pharaoh’s household and the life of luxury and looked to the invisible God of his conscious mind Who comforts and rescues from fear and rewards believing-faith in Christ.

Moses’ standing as a leader in Egypt was perhaps similar to that of the Apostle Paul who regarded his social standing as a blameless Pharisee in the Law and being in the top echelon of his class (Philippians 3:4-10). Yet in comparison Paul counted it all as nothing but “dung, that I may win {or gain} Christ” (Philippians 3:8). Why? Paul and Moses, as well as you and I, have access to the “the riches of Christ” (Colossians 1:27), and the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3), leaving no comparison between being in Christ and life without him. Moses chose to place the rest of his life and future in Christ who was to him the prophesied spiritual rock who would follow, and with whose knowledge would strengthen him as well as Israel, as they were assured of a much better life. By believing-faith, Moses chose temporal hardships rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life in order to receive “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Corinthians 4:17), more than Egypt could ever offer.

Exodus 3:15a:
And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. . .

Moses had much more to go on than simply to say I AM sent me unto you, but also to inform Israel that the same God their ancestors believed in and hoped on has sent me unto you. One blissful benefit that Moses received for choosing to believe was that he spent personal time with God the Creator. As Moses enjoyed his time with the God of his life and hope, he learned from His actual voice the realties of the coming Redeemer and Moses grew to know the love of his life would indeed be his Messiah.

Today we may also experience this kind of personal relationship with the Father and with Christ Jesus in the household of God; “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2). “I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.