Better in the Book of Hebrews

The writer of Hebrews (the Holy Spirit) uses words, phrases, and themes in the book to present Jesus for who He is – the Messiah.  This post will introduce “better” as one of these tools in the construction of this great book.  (I have written on the phrase “let us” in a post several years ago.).  Kreitton is the Greek word that is most often translated to our word “better” in Hebrews (Strong’s 2908).  Polys or a form of it (4118) is the other word that is used.  Diaphoras (1313) is translated to our word “superior”.  The exact number and use of these words depend on the translation you use.  

Kreitton is used in twelve verses and polys is used once.  Twice Kreitton carries the idea of useful and twice it is used as excellent.  I will point these out later as they are discussed.  

For this post, I will loosely divide the times the words are used into two sections.  The first section begins with 1:4 (superior/excellent, one of the variations) and goes to 10:34.  I see the focus here as the work of Jesus and His ministry.  Between 1:4 and 6:9 are the “elementary teaching” about Jesus that we need to “drink in” to produce a “useful crop”.  From 7:7 to 10:34 we get a taste of the “solid food” of Melchizedek, the high priest, and the covenants and sacrifices that Jesus fulfilled and took the place of.

  1. Hebrews 1:4
  2. Hebrews 6:9
  3. Hebrews 7:7 This use of kreitton is seldom rendered better.  In the NIV it is “greater”.
  4. Hebrews 7:19
  5. Hebrews 7:22
  6. Hebrews 8:6 (2 in KJV).  In the NIV there are two superiors and one better.  So, it is Diaphoras and then Kreitton, Kreitton.  This verse and 1:4 will be discussed later.
  7. Hebrews 9:23
  8. Hebrews 10: 34

The second set starts with 11:4, which is the word polys and refers to Abel’s sacrifice.

  1. Hebrews 11: 4* great number of times.  
  2. Hebrews 11:16
  3. Hebrews 11:35
  4. Hebrews 11:40
  5. Hebrews 12:24

This set deals with our faith and the things we will see because of our faith.  11:40 and 12:24 have a context of “useful” according to Strong’s Concordance. 

11:4 MAY infer that Abel offered “more” than Cain.  Loosely, you can get that idea in Genesis 4 depending on the translation. I do not know enough about Hebrew but there is a plural form of “firstlings” which is where I got this thought.  My other thought was that Abel had offered this sacrifice before.  A final thought on these sacrifices is that in the Law, grain or “fruit of the soil” was a part of the offerings at the Tabernacle.  (Something to think about!)The second section begins and ends with Abel and his sacrifice.  To me, that is a frame that keeps all of the “better” things in context. 

Clip art http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1586342461/Bible_Characters_Clipart/Abraham_Clipart/Abraham018.jpg

Seven Miracles of Jesus +1, +1, +++++

Just seven miracles of Jesus!!??  Okay, I have to ask forgiveness – Jesus, I am sorry for putting you in a box and giving any appearances that all you did was seven miracles in the Book of John!  This is in response to a comment on the post of Seven Miracles in John.  The writer pointed out John 2:18 +19 and called it miracle number eight.  His spirit is correct and we call it the Greatest Miracle. 

Why do we only talk about seven?  No idea!  John does point out the first (2:11) and second (4:54) and points out other miraculous signs but he does not number them.  In 20: 30+31, John says Jesus did other miraculous signs so that we will believe and in 21:25 John says – “many other things”.  My best guess on “seven” is that is the number associated with completion (day God rested from creating).  This will seem strange but what else is new!  I use a 1990 copyright NIV Bible, the newer versions and even the KJV is different.  Which is “correct”?  In my Bible, the NIV was much freer in the use of the word “miraculous”.  In other copywrites, they just use the word “signs”.  If you look in the Strong’s the term signs carries the unspoken idea of miraculous.  

John was proving that Jesus was God/had His approval, etc.  I am going to list the use of the miracle or miraculous in between the “seven” miracles, and I did do a post called Plus One which will not be listed because of the wording.

These are the Seven Miracles.  

* Turning water into wine in Cana (2:1-11)

2:18+19 – The greatest miracle

2:23 – people believing in His name because of miracles

3:2 – Nicodemus

*  Healing an official’s son in Capernaum (4:46-54)

4:48 – Jesus on the Jews needing signs

*  Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (5:1-18)

*  Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (6:5-14)

6:2 – people followed Jesus because of miracles, vs 14 the people talking about Jesus

6:26 and 30 Jesus exposing the crowd for wanting free food and they wanted another sign

*  Walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21)

7:3 – His brothers acknowledge He does miracles and mocking Jesus.

7:21 – Jesus to the crowd about one miracle, 31 – the crowd knowing about the “Christ” showing signs. 

* Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7)

9:16 – Pharisees saying how a sinner could not do these miracles.

10:25,31,38 Jesus tells them to believe the miracles because He gave glory to God.

10:41 – John never did miracles

*  Raising dead Lazarus in Bethany (11:1-45)

11:47 – the Pharisees talking about Jesus’ miracles and that He must be stopped

12:18 – refers to Lazarus

12:37 – they would not believe in Jesus

15:24 – the miracles will condemn them

20:30 – other miracles

I think John made his point about Jesus!  For a full picture, we would need to place all of the other miracles from the other Gospels into this list.  To answer a question of how did John know what the Pharisees talked about – many of them did believe and followed the Way (Acts 21: 20) and Nicodemus. 

see – MiraclesPlus OneSeven Miracles in John

Two Gardens – Easter 2020

This post is an extension of the Two Gardens post from 2019 and the Birth of a New Adam. (The link will take you to my wordpress.com post.)  The “seven exchanges” are from the book Praying Grace, it is from TBN and Hillsong Church – pgs. 80 to 93.  I am comparing and contrasting things in Eden with a similar event in Jesus’ gardens.  In this post, some of these extend past the borders of the garden.  In reality, this is also comparing Adam to Jesus (the second Adam).

  • Adam was born in Eden. Jesus was resurrected (born again) in His garden.
  • Adam could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They were removed from Eden so could not eat from the tree of life.  Jesus’ tree gives us the opportunity to eat from the tree of life.  We will see the tree of life again!  They grow next to the river that flows from the throne in Heaven. Revelation 22: 2 adds that they produce fruit for every month of the year.
  • Adam “ran” or hid from God.  Jesus “ran” to God and His will.

The book Praying Grace has seven devotions that are labeled the “great exchanges”.  Each “first” item is what we bring to the cross and the “second” item is what Jesus gives us to replace the problem.

  1. Sin for Righteousness – Adam let sin into our lives.  Jesus covers our sin with His righteousness and allows us to be accepted by the Father. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  2. Curses for Blessings – There were curses given in Eden.  There are curses that have been spoken or given to us, even though we may not have deserved them!  Jesus’ blood covers those, ending them in our lives.  Revelations 22:3 states that there will be no more curses. Galatians 3:13-14
  3. Rejection for Acceptance – Adam rejected God when he ate the fruit.  Rejection is rooted in sin.  When we come to Jesus and make Him Lord, we are accepted again into God’s planIsaiah 53:3
  4. Sickness for Health – “By His stripes, we are healed.”  The Father has a plan for us and healthy living is part of it. Isaiah 53:5
  5. Shame for Glory – Adam and Eve felt shame and hid in the Garden. Shame is not something we have to live with because Jesus took our shame and covered it with His blood. Hebrews 12:2
  6. Poverty for Abundance – Tough times occur, but the Father has more for us than we can imagine. 2 Corinthians 8:9
  7. Death for Life – This is spiritual death.  The Father wants us coming to Jesus and accepting Life (His way). Romans 5:12

Pic is from http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/gnpi-101-jesus-resurrection/

Thoughts On Out Of Egypt

Israel wanting to back to Egypt

Exodus 32: 1 is a progression in the story of the People’s discontent with God and Moses.  They had crumbled and test God ten times in this progression and it will come to a head in Numbers 14.  In this installment of the story Moses is on Mount Sinai getting the tablets of the Law, he was gone a long time and the people want a physical “god” they can follow.  

In Numbers 14 the spies have come back from the Land and Joshua and Caleb are the only ones to have a good report.  The people lose their minds and work themselves up to pick a new leader and go back to Egypt!  Most of the time when I have heard this taught the speaker says something about slavery and all of the bad things that happened.  What if, they were planning to go back and attack Egypt and enslave them!  They had been trained and were ready to go fight for the Land. It is only two years since they left Egypt and they had left Egypt in shambles.  (It is interesting that in Numbers 13: 33 they saw themselves as grasshoppers.  The hordes of grasshoppers that do invade the lands of the Middle East are still today viewed with dread!). It would make sense that they felt they could conquer Egypt or at least a part of it and live there.  How many times are Christians plagued with the thought that at least some portion of the old life could be made acceptable because going forward seems so hard?  

Caleb and Joshua

This thought about Joshua and Caleb has left me hanging!  Did their families (wife and children) go in with them, if they were over nineteen years of age?  Numbers 14:20 starts the consequence part of failing to obey the Lord’s voice.  God drew a boundary of twenty years as the age of who would get in.  We know from Joshua 15:13 and Joshua 24: 15 that both of those men had families in the Promised Land.  Caleb tells his age in Joshua 14: 7 (40 yrs.) when he explored the land. He could have had “family” by then.  I know a lot can happen in thirty-eight years, Caleb had a daughter in Joshua 15: 16.  She was the reward for taking the land that Caleb had received from the Lord. 

Since everyone over nineteen years old did not make it in, I will go that they had their families after the spying incident.  (Remember, girls, married in their teens and sometimes the men were older and established before they took wives.)

Caleb was eighty-five at the time he asked Joshua for the right to “take” his land.  so, 45 – 38 means that at that point the conquest was seven years old. Forty-five is how long he had been kept alive and thirty-eight was the wandering time.  (See thirty-eight) (See Out of Egypt)

It would have been hard for me to watch everyone I know to die!  On a different note -Numbers 14: 20 does say that the people had been forgiven, just that they were not going into the Land.

Miracles are given to confirm the word of the Lord and strengthen our faith – learn from them!

Featured pic Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org

Study of the Kingdom – Miracles

Preach the Kingdom and Do Miracles

Jesus’ Kingdom is one of miracles!  Jesus did miracles, He sent His disciples out and they did miracles and people who came from their ministry did miracles.  Ananias who laid hands on Saul was a second-generation Christian, so that makes Saul/Paul a third-generation Christian and he did miracles.  It never really stopped, and the Azusa Street Revival was just one of several revivals that were used to reawaken the concept that God is a miracle-working God!

Matthew 4:23 says Jesus preached the “good news” and healed diseases and sickness.  Matthew 9: 35 restates that thought in almost the exact words and then Jesus sent the Twelve out to preach, heal diseases and sickness, and cast out evil spirits.  In between those two statements was a practical lesson from the Master Healer and Master Teacher.

  1. The Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes – preached the kingdom
  2. Healing a leper as a witness to the priest.  Mark 1: 40 tells the same story, only the man was disobedient. (The devil is a liar.)
  3. Heals the centurion’s (a Gentile) servant
  4. Calms a storm
  5. Heals the Man of the Gadarenes
  6. Heals the paralytic that dropped in through the roof
  7. Heals a sick woman and a dead girl
  8. Heals the blind and the mute

Preach the Good News of the Kingdom and Heal!  Hopefully, the point was made! 

Logos and the Rhema

The Logos (Jesus) spoke the rhema of the Kingdom and the crowds were amazed because of the authority of the teachings (Matthew 7:29).  The Logos also spoke the rhema of God and healed every illness and calmed storms.  As believers we needed the logos to preach and the rhema from Holy Spirit to heal!

Who Did You Ask and Who Gets the Glory?

Emotionalism!  Seeking some parts of the Holy Spirit’s ministry and rejecting others!  The Spirit accepts you, do you accept Him?  Knowledge and understanding of the moving and power of the Spirit are necessary, but head-knowledge does not replace the relationship.  

If you are asking the Father for the Holy Spirit why should you expect something harmful or hurtful?  Is Matthew 7:11 wrong?  The Father knows how to give good gifts, He gave us the Holy Spirit!  

Holy Spirit’s mission is to give glory to Jesus.  He will use willing people to channel His power to humanity and the glory goes to the Father and the Son!  Willingness leads to relationships!  “With your whole heart seek God and He will reward you.”  (Hebrews 11: 6) The Spirit will use you and do great things if you are willing.  How great? How willing!  Oh, you do not get to define great, the Spirit of God does that and it is on a person to person basis.  I can attest, unfortunately, it is very easy to replace a Holy Spirit relationship with works, rules, and many other things.  And then wonder why you are empty (the wrong way), shallow, and unproductive.

Peter and John worked at building a relationship with and knowing the Spirit.  At the Beautiful Gate when they healed the beggar they continually gave glory to God/Jesus for the healing.  (I wonder what happened to the beggar after their court appearance?).  Paul and Barnabas, in Acts 14 gave the glory to the Lord for the healing of the lame man.  Who gets the glory will tell you a lot about the miracle worker. 

Wait A Week

For Jesus, it was Sunday to Friday and they were hanging Him on the cross.

For the Church in Jerusalem, it was not long before favor went to headhunting.

Paul and Barnabas had a short time before the mob stoned Paul to death and Jesus healed him.

The devil hates it when Jesus gets praised!  The devil hates miracles because they undo his evil plans and works.  Unfortunately, it seems that the religious, who want the rules, are the ones who do the killing.  In the Welsh Revival, the leaders of the established church actually paid people to harm the revivalist and those who attended.

Miracles are an important part of the Church of Jesus Christ!  Just remember, the logos is spoken first and then comes the rhema with signs and wonders to confirm the miracle of Jesus on the cross.

See – Seven Miracles of Jesus +1, +1, +++++

http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/lame-beggar-healed/