We read in the letter to the Hebrews: “Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus; who was faithful to him who appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house. For he has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone; but he who built all things is God. Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken, but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end” (Heb. 3:1-6). What does this text say to us?
1. There are two callings: heavenly and earthly (Heb. 3:1-2). Moses was the mediator of the earthly calling, whose eternal inheritance is the land of Canaan (Gen. 17:8). And Jesus was the mediator of the heavenly calling. Paul declared: “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18).
2. It was not Jesus the builder of the house of Moses, which is also the house of Jehovah, for it is written: “He said, “Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house” (Num. 12:6-7).
The text of Hebrews makes it clear that Moses edified the house of Jehovah as a servant, and Jesus edified his house, which is the Church, whose members are going to inherit a kingdom in heaven. Peter refers to the heavenly calling with the following words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn’t fade away, reserved in Heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
They are, therefore, two different houses, edified by different leaders and with different projects. The Old Testament tells how Moses, in obedience to Jehovah, edified his house. The New Testament tells how Jesus, in obedience to the Father, edified his own house. Why do we say that it was in obedience to the Father? It is because the Father was not pleased with the project of Jehovah: “‘Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them’ (those which are offered according to the law” (Heb. 10:8).
“Then he has said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will.’ He takes away the first, that he may establish the second by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:9-10). Now, if Jesus did not edify the house of Jehovah, but Moses did, the house that Jesus edified is also of the Father, and not of Jehovah or of Moses. And Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also” (John 14:2-3).
3. The difference between the two houses lies in the method used to edify them. The house of Moses, which is the house of Jehovah, was edified with the prohibitions of the law, with repressions and violence, with plagues and pestilences, in order to impose the law, and with cruel vindications wherever the covenant of the law is broken: malignant infirmities from which one cannot be healed (Deut. 28:27), captivities and slavery, humiliations and dishonor (Deut. 28:36-37; Lam. 5:3-15). And god Jehovah did this all with much pleasure and delight: “It shall happen that as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you; and you shall be plucked from off the land where you go in to possess it” (Deut. 28:63). And all before death.
The house of Jesus Christ is edified with love, forgiveness, consolation, with the grace of salvation and with the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Christian (Rom. 8:14), intercedes for the Christian and helps him in his weaknesses (Rom. 8:26), open the eyes of the understanding (Eph. 1:17-18), teaches all things (John 14:26), reveals the mysteries of the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 2:9-10), puts right words, in the right time, in our mouths (Matt. 10:18-20), gives power to perform healings and wonders (1 Cor. 12:7-11). In Moses’ house the blessing is just a promise, and the curses are a cruel reality. In Jesus’ house the curse was removed on the cross (Gal. 3:13), and the blessings are unquestionable reality.
4. In Moses’ house, Satan had permission to touch the innocent and the saints, but in Jesus’ house they are protected, and the chosen, that is, those who believe, can receive power to overcome him and tread on his head. “Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The apostle John tells us: “I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, little children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:13-14).
What a difference there is! In the New Testament, even if he is not holy (for the Christian churches preach that everyone sins, even those who are born again), the Christian has power over Satan. And in the Old Testament a holy man such as Job, of whom Jehovah spoke to Satan, saying, “Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8), this man of such good spiritual standing did not have spiritual power to overcome the devil, and the very Jehovah gave Satan the right to sift him. If Job had lived in the New Testament times, Jesus would have said to him: “We know that whoever is born of God doesn’t sin, but he who was born of God keeps himself, and the evil one doesn’t touch him” (Job 5:18).
5. They are two houses, with two different inheritances. The house of Israel is on the earth, that is, in this world. The prophet Ezekiel declares this, speaking on the part of Jehovah: “Say to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, where they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all” (Ezek. 37:21-22). “They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers lived; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children’s children, forever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever” (Ezek. 37:25). And Jehovah will be the king: “Jehovah will be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9). Jehovah never included in his plans to have a kingdom that was not in the earth. Paul received from Jesus this revelation: “For we know that if the earthly house of our tent is dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). And Jesus revealed him more, for he said: “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18). In the house of Jesus all are like Jesus, for they do not go the second mile, only, but leagues and leagues until they conquer the offender. They do not offer their faces one or two times to the blow, but do it always, ten, twenty, fifty times, for as Christ does not change, the Christian does not change either, for love bears everything (1 Cor. 13:7).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira