The Greatest Hope

“How many Christians are there who feel almost reticent or guilty just for being a believer, or embarrassed because they go to church, or ashamed for being associated with others who are of their same belief who have wrongfully abused their religion? But on the other hand, the Apostle Paul taught, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth- Romans 1:16. Hope is what invigorates the believer to stand with God and fellow believers through adversity, and to help us endure the difficult times in life, because we have been given the hope of a blissful future. The greatest hope that the Christian has is the return of Christ to gather us up together with him in the clouds, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words- I Thessalonians 4:17-18.” ~LMJ~

The Resurrection and the Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One day a group of the Sadducees (religious leaders) came to Jesus taunting, “that there is no resurrection” (Matthew 22:23ff), yet they purposed a hypothetical question about resurrection in an ill attempt to debase Jesus. They told him the story of a woman who ended up marrying seven brothers; after one died she married the next one and on down the line, but the men kept dying and so she kept on marrying until she finally died herself. They then wanted Jesus to explain whose wife was she to be in the resurrection, hoping to make a fool of Jesus in front of a crowd because they did not believe that a resurrection was possible. The Sadducees were attempting to downgrade the value of the Scriptures they disapproved of, and yet they were so-called very pious men.

Jesus first addresses the Sadducees’ doubts about the resurrection, saying, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). The word not in the Greek Text is used subjectively, meaning that they did not “wish” to understand the Scriptures nor the power of God, and thus, this is why they err. Jesus’ expeditious confrontation in front of the multitude embarrassed the Sadducees as Jesus “had put the Sadducees to silence” (Matthew 22:34). Perhaps this was why they were so “sad-you-see.”

According to the Bible only “a fool” would deny God (Psalms 14:1, 53:1). This is the err of fools, plain and simple.

Jesus further corrects the Sadducees:

Matthew 22:30:
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven.

In the Book of Acts 23:8 it says: “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angels, nor spirit.” Denial of resurrection, angels, and spirit was the core foundation of their belief system, rather than on anything truly spiritual.

In Matthew (above), Jesus said that those in the resurrection would be as the angels of God in heaven, which the Sadducees did not believe existed. Angels according to Psalms 104:4 are spirit, something the Sadducees also did not believe existed either. The Sadducees were a microcosm of unbelief and, in fact, against everything that was truly spiritual, godly, and consequently everything Jesus stood for as the Savior of mankind.

It should be noted that Jesus was speaking to those of the Nation of Israel, and so in the resurrection of Israel they neither marry, nor are given in marriage. But for us, the Christian believers in this age of grace, we are the sons and daughters of God, and if we are married in this life, then when Christ returns we will stay married in the next life. Angels are servants of God, as Israel will be in the next life. But when we become saved we are born again and are the sons and daughters of God now and forever, and the married children of God will eternally be “heirs together of the grace of {eternal} life” (I Peter 3:7)!

Jesus continues:

Matthew 22:31-32:
-31: But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
-32: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

If God is the God of the living (and He is), then this can only mean that the dead must live again in order that He may continue to be their God. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all had this hope of living again in (and because of) their future resurrection. God had promised them a future life in the Promised Land, the land in which they were actually buried in after their death. God promised them each an inheritance in that land, Abraham in Genesis 13:15, Isaac in Genesis 26:3, and Jacob in Genesis 28:13.

If we were to read carefully in the Book of Genesis, we would see that none of them ever acquired this Promised Land, so should we conclude that God’s Word is in error as the Sadducees believed? No, there must be a resurrection in order for them to receive their promised inheritance. “These all died in faith {believing faith}, not having received the promises {of the Promised Land}, but having seen them afar off {in their resurrected future}, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them {in the hope of their mind}, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth {in their lifetime on earth before the resurrection}” (Hebrews 11:13).

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all buried in Canaan (Genesis 49:29-30, 50:13, Canaan is the land that would be known as the land of Israel). They all believed in their hearts that at some future time they would rise to literally inherit the Promised Land. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wanted to rise up at the place God promised them and is why they were buried in that land, for they knew that what God promised them, He was also able to perform (Romans 4:20-21), and as common sense ordains they are not yet living there, hence it is still a future event. This is why Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day {for Jesus was his hope of resurrection}: and saw it {as a future reality}, and was glad {in his heart}” (John 8:56). Note that Abraham was glad “past tense,” but Jesus did not say that Abraham IS GLAD “present tense,” because he still needs to be resurrected.

Isaac in his day also saw his future, “Accounting that God was able to raise him {Isaac} up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:19).

Jacob also believed this when he explained his hope of resurrection to his son Joseph at the end of his earthly life:

Genesis 48:3-4:
-3: And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
-4: And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed {to Israel} after thee for an everlasting possession {and you cannot have an everlasting possession without resurrection and eternal life}.

The resurrection of the human body for the Nation of Israel will be their true anticipated inheritance! They will receive this inheritance, and it will be enjoyed through an eternal lifetime on the Promised Land, lived and enjoyed on the new earth.

Haggai – Revealing Our Desire

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Haggai, Jesus Christ is the desire of all nations, who brings glory into the house of God by his very presence. In Haggai’s day, Christ, the coming Messiah, was their hope in whom they anticipated coming to rebuild the temple.

For the Christian believer, Jesus Christ is our desire who has come and now abides within our hearts showing us the glory and praise of God.

Haggai 2:7 – And I {God} will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

The word “shake” in the Hebrew Text often represents a vigorous shaking of heaven and earth because of the power of God, but it also represents a shaking that would bring about something new and exciting. Here in Haggai “shake” represents the newness of life we have in Christ, who can fulfil the desire of our searching hearts. It is an innate quality of life to look for God because without Him, men and women will always know something is missing and that “something” is their spirituality with God in Christ in their lives.

However, when we accept Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior, then we will receive spiritual wholeness and know that we have received it from God and His healing Word (Matthew 5:6, John 4:14).

 Luke 10:22-24:
-22: All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
-23: And he {Jesus} turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
-24: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seem them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Today, not only can we discover Jesus Christ within the Old Testament Scriptures, we can discover him spiritually alive within our own souls, and he reveals the heavenly Father to anyone who genuinely quests for spirituality.

Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets and kings searched diligently throughout the Scriptures and found mere shadows of what we today have in God through Christ, because Jesus Christ did come, he did deliver, and he now does reveal to searching believers their divine inheritance in God’s family.

Ephesians 1:11-14:
-11: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
-12: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
-13: In whom {Christ} ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth {that even the prophets and kings of old never heard}, the gospel of your salvation {Romans 10:9-10}: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise {our gift from God of holy spirit},
-14: Which {promised holy spirit} is the earnest {an “earnest” is a token of so much more to come when Christ returns} of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession {you and I are the purchased possession}, unto the praise of his glory.

Today we have the praise of God Himself because we have searched for and discovered Jesus Christ and he has shown us how to walk with God.

Walking with God in His love is revealed to us in ever increasing splendor because Jesus Christ reveals spiritual knowledge to us, fulfilling Our Desire to know Him Who created all things, and Who loves us so much.

As Thou Hast Believed, So Be It Done unto Thee- Matthew 8:13

“You have been given the power of God (II Corinthians 4:7), and His true guidance in His Word to achieve all things, whatsoever ye shall ask- Matthew 21:22. When you ask God, you have access into the exceeding greatness- Ephesians 1:19 of God’s divine power that will work, and as you believe it, it shall be done.” ~LMJ~