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.

Ezra – Revealing Our Spiritual Revival

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the children of Israel (or more specifically the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) were finally released from their Babylonian captivity of seventy years (II Chronicles 36:21), they returned to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding their temple and the walls of the city (the Babylonians had destroyed their city and temple).

With the joy they had in knowing that it was God Who saved them (from bondage), they took courage to rebuild not only their lives but their relationship with God and His house, the Temple. Because of this, they began experiencing their own God-given revival. In the Book of Ezra, we can see Jesus Christ as our spiritual revival.

A spiritual revival bypasses the physical realms, for it emanates directly from God, and is manifested out from our own hearts.

Revival becomes known in our lives as the healing Word of God begins appearing real, and we actually begin relying on our God as our true sufficiency. When this happens; our believing begins growing with spiritual effervescence because God not only is holding us up and delivers us from bondage, but He is also directing our steps and we absolutely know this in our hearts.

The more we find (and discover) Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, the more he begins revealing his heavenly Father to our spiritual lives, as our spiritual revival begins growing within our lives.

Ezra 9:8-9:
-8:  And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in {from} our bondage.
-9:  For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

“For a little space grace” does not mean that God has given us a little grace for only a moment in time, rather it means that God’s grace came quickly in a moment of time. At one time in their lives (by their own rejection of God’s Word and the rejection of His instructions given to them by His prophets), they refuted God’s divine grace and care upon their lives and went into captivity. Yet when they began looking to God again, then, at that moment God’s grace was manifested to them in great abundance.

The phrase “give us a little reviving” again does not mean a teeny little reviving, but rather an instant reviving. Reviving literally means to be quickened and spiritually made alive with holy spirit.

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of him {God} that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit {God’s gift of holy spirit given to you (Romans 5:5)} that dwelleth in you.

This is why our revival is spiritual, it is not just having a good feeling, but more so it is enjoyed as our hearts and lives begin changing from the inside out. It is an inner awakening to the truth that we have received Jesus Christ and that he is our Lord. He is the rebuilder of our spiritual lives, and the spiritual reviver of our souls.

As the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt by the believers, today we allow the Master-builder, Christ Jesus into our lives.

In Christ we (collectively) make up the true Temple of God. The “nail in his holy place” (Ezra 9:8 above) means a sure guarantee, for we have Christ within for eternity.

We can become rooted, grounded, and built up into the spiritual temple made without hands (Acts 7:48 and 17:24; and Ephesians 2:21), eternal in the heavenlies, and revealed through the spiritual revival that comes to us by knowing our Christ within.

Today in God’s grace, we can believe on Jesus Christ who already has completed the work (John 2:19-22), and he freely gives to us our spiritual revival that continues blessing us.

That I Might Know Him

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus Christ is who makes known the heavenly Father to His children (Matthew 11:27b and John 1:18; 14:6). The more we learn about Jesus himself, the more he can introduce God to us.

John 17:26:
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

When we believed and confessed in the resurrection (Romans 10:9-10) we became totally saved. But saved for what, and from what? The answer lies in knowing our Savior, for when we become saved we automatically have a personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When we first became truly acquainted with him, we believed the Scripture that God raised him from among the dead. Consider what it took to raise and rescue a brutally battered and totally lifeless man from the clutches of the grave and death. Power – enormous power, almost unfathomable might. Yet we believed in it, and the hope of our own eternal life is contingent upon this power.

Philippians 3:10a:
That I may know him {Jesus Christ}, and the power of his resurrection . . .

Why do you suppose that writing this was so important for the Apostle Paul? Because as Paul began realizing the enormous spiritual power that was now in him (as well as in us), he also understood that it was the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). After our salvation, the power of Christ begins revealing the true characteristics and attributes of God to men and women (I Corinthians 1:24).

Philippians 3:8a:
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord . . .

The more we learn about the power of our personal Lord and Savior’s resurrection, the more he begins to introduce the ways of God to us, and then the more we become able to live a life not called the abundant life, but “the more abundant life” (John 10:10b). As we continue learning about our personal Savior’s resurrection, power, and the subsequent more abundant life with him that follows, the more Christ Jesus will teach us about his heavenly Father, Who is also now our heavenly Father.