Hebrews – Chapter 7

Description of Melchizedek

Verse 1 – For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

Verse 2 – to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “King of righteousness,” and then also King of Salem, meaning “King of peace,”

Verse 3 – without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

The name Melchizedek in Hebrew means “King of righteousness – being compounded of two words – “King and righteousness. He is introduced to us with an air of mystery, concerning his birth, parentage, and death. The silence of the Scripture is intentional and refers to the great anti-type. He was the king of Salem and also the high priest of the Most High God.

Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils which he had taken from war.

This is another mystery of this Melchizedek. There are no Hebrew genealogy recordings of his birth, father, mother, or death. His name does not appear in any ancestry recordings of the priestly office.

It is mentioned in Psalm 110:4, that the Messiah was to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. So then we turn to the only recorded mentioned of him – the very brief narrative in Genesis 14 – that he was a pious Canaanite king, who officiated as priest. So at what point does the Messiah resemble him? (1) That there is no account of his ancestry as a priest – neither father nor mother being mentioned as  indispensable in the records of the Levitical priesthood. (2) There was no account of any descendants in his office and no reason to believe that he had any, and he thus stood “alone.” (3) There was no commencement or close of his office as a priest and it was just as if his priesthood had no beginning nor end.

Superiority of Melchizedek

Verse 4 – Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.

The object of the apostle was to exalt the rank and dignity of Melchizedek. The Jews had a profound veneration for Abraham, and if it could be shown that Melchizedek was superior to Abraham, then it would be easy to demonstrate the superiority of Christ as a priest to all who descended from Abraham.

Verse 5 – And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who received the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;

The Levi priest had a right, according to God’s instructions, to receive tithes of their brethren. However, not all descendants of Levi were priests. The apostle, therefore, specifies particularly those who “received this office.”

Verse 6 – but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

Meaning – Melchizedek was not of the order of Levitical priests. He was of a different order.

Verse 7 – Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.

“Less” here means inferior rank, who is less in office, honor, or age, It does not imply inferiority of moral or religious character, for this is not the point the apostle was making. Melchizedek was thus superior to Abraham, and is declared that he “blessed” him.

Verse 8 – Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.

They who thus received tithes, though by the right to do so, were mortal. Like others, they would soon die; and in regard to the most essential things they were on a level with the brethren. They had no exemption of sickness, affliction, or bereavement, and death came to them with just as much certainty.

Verse 9 – Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak,

Verse 10 – for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

The apostle does not mean that Levi had actually paid tithes to Abraham, for he had not yet existed. Abraham was the distinguished ancestor of Levi and the head of the Hebrew race. He stood therefore as if it were the act of all who descended from him. (Confusing? It is to me too.)

Verse 11 – Therefore, if protection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?

If perfection had come through the Levitical priesthood, as the Jews supposed, then there would have been no other need for a priesthood of a different order. This priesthood was not permanent; it could not make the worshipers perfect; the blood that was offered could not take away the sin and could not render those who offered it holy.

Verse 12 – For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.

This does not apply to the Ten Commandments, for there was no institution of the priesthood, nor could it apply to any other part of moral law, for that was not dependent on the appointment of the Levitical priests.

Verse 13 – For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe (not Levi) from which no man has officiated at the altar.

Jesus is of the tribe of Judah and no man laid hands on Him and appointed Him as priest. Only the Levites could be ordained as priest, until the Messiah came.

Verse 14 – For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.

Verse 15 – And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest

Verse 16 – who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.

That means – it was not concerned mainly with outward observances, and did not pass over from one to another by death, but was unchanging in its character, and spiritual nature. It was far exalted above the service performed by the priests under the formal dispensation.

Verse 17 – For He testifies: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Verse 18 – For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,

That is; it was not adapted to save men; it had no power designed to accomplish what was necessary to be done in human salvation.

Verse 19 – For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

The law made nothing perfect; it did not produce a perfect state; it did not do what was desirable for the sinner; it did not put away guilt and reconcile man to God. The “better hope” here refers to a more sure and certain expectation of heaven introduced by the gospel.

Verse 20 – And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath

Verse 21 – (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ “),

Verse 22 – by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

The Levitical priest were set apart and consecrated without their office being confirmed to them by oath on the part of God. They received it by regular descent, and when they reached a certain age, they entered on it.

Surety – on who pledges a bond of property or influence, that a certain thing shall be done. In the case of the new covenant between God and man, Jesus is the “security” or the bondsman. He is the pledge that we shall be saved. He is not security that we shall be saved at any rate, without holiness, repentance, or faith.

Verse 23 – And there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.

Verse 24 – But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.

Verse 25 – Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.

So may Christians never or have ever studied or cared about understanding what was written about he Old Testament Law and the priesthood. So then, when we try to explain why we have to go through Jesus Christ in order to get to God, they don’t understand why they can’t just do it their own way.

One has to go to Jesus for salvation because He is the only One who can save us! And then, He is our intercessor, our go between, to God on our behalf. There is no other way and never will there be.

Verse 26 – For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Verse 27 – who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

The priests of the old covenant were in no way perfect, so they not only had to make sacrifices for themselves continually, but also for the people. When Jesus came, He was sinless and without blame of any kind. He offered Himself for all sin, once and for all! All we have to do is accept His payment for our sin. The blood was already shed by Jesus for the remission of sin.

Verse 28 – For the law appoints as high priest men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

After Christ rose from the grave there was never any need again to go to a man, appointed priest, to obtain forgiveness for sin. There is only One who paid the price for our sin and only One who forgives our sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. Only One is worthy to be called Father and that’s the One who died for you and me. There is no need for an earthly man to make himself a priest to offer forgiveness of sin for anyone. That is an illegitimate office. There is only One intercessor and only One that forgives sin. His name is JESUS CHRIST!!

 

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Hebrews – Chapter 6

The Need For Maturity

Verse 1 – Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Verse 2 – of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Those who have been acquainted with the basic foundations of Christianity for a while, should move on to the greater mysteries. The idea is to advance to higher doctrines.

In other words: Let us advance to a higher knowledge of truth and holiness His intent was for them and us to advance from the elementary foundations to the point where we would not turn back – the danger of apostasy.

Note: The word baptisms has a S, because there are two baptisms involved with Christianity – water and then by or in the Holy Spirit by Christ.

Laying on of hands; in healing the sick; in ordination to office; and the imparting influence of the Holy Spirit.

The resurrection of the dead is one of the important foundations of Christian beliefs. It is the foundation of all hope in Christianity for an eternal life with Christ. No other system of religion can be found where the believers are raised to a life with God for all eternity, with proof such as Christianity has.

Verse 3 – And this we will do if God permits.

Meaning: Paul believed and had confidence that though they had lingered long around the elementary foundations of Christianity, they would advance to higher attainments.

Verse 4 – For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

Verse 5 – and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

Verse 6 – if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

Some believe these verses are not intended for the true Christians, but only those who have been awakened and enlightened by the gospel and then fall back. We have to keep in mind that Paul is writing to true Hebrew Christians at that time. He was endeavoring to keep them from apostasy. It was to preserve those who were already true Christians, from going back to perdition. Paul was talking about Christians that had tried Christianity and had then rejected it, because they had rejected the only plan for salvation. They cannot be saved twice because Christ cannot be crucified again.

“Falling away” – going back to a state of Judaism, paganism, or a life-style of sin.

Let me make something clear: Most people who are concerned about these verses, that at one time or another have back – slidden, more than likely didn’t have the understanding of truly being born-again, so yes there was and is repentance. But I don’t know of anyone who back-slides more than once. I believe that they were never truly saved in the first place. Why? Because I was one. I thought I had done too much to be forgiven for and therefore stayed away. I had very little understanding of the gospel at that time. All I knew was, “Get saved or You are going to hell!”

However, when a light goes off and the Holy Spirit grips your heart, there will be no turning back!

Verse 7 – For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessings from God;

Verse 8 – but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Land that produces, shows that it has been cultivated and nurtured. Land that produces thorns and briers, is worthless and will be burned up.

There is a strong warning in these two verse for those who profess to be renewed, but yet show no evidence of such faith.

Verse 9 – But beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

Paul is saying he trusts that they are true Christians; that they will produce proper fruits of holiness; in the things that pertain to salvation.

Verse 10 – For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

God never forgets what a Christian is doing for the kingdom. He sees the sincere heart that labors for Him.

Verse 11 – And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,

Verse 12 – that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

As Christians, we are to persevere in our faith; doing good works; encouraging others; praying; and studying God’s word. Sometimes discouragement is a deal-breaker for some. They will stop praying and believing that God is able to turn their situation around and then before long, they fall away. Our hope and assurance is not placed in man. People will fail where only God can prevail.

Verse 13 – For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

Verse 14 – saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”

God cannot lie! Did His promise to Abraham come to pass? Yes, it did! Why is it so hard for Christians to believe that all God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen!”

Verse 15 – And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Did you catch the words “patiently endured?” We are to endure and wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises.

Verse 16 – For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of dispute.

Abraham’s faith in God’s promise, did not waver. He had a confident expectation that what God promised would come to pass. He believed God! Shouldn’t we as Christians also believe what is written about us being His children and giving us an abundant life?

Verse 17 – Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

Verse 18 – that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

For God to lie, it would be against His nature. God’s promises do not change  This hope of eternal life with our beloved Savior, has been set before us and is not subject to change!

Verse 19 – This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

Verse 20 – where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Our hope in Christ, our anchor for our very soul. Hope accomplishes for the soul the same thing an anchor does for a ship. The anchor secures a ship when the waves beat and the winds blow, as long as the anchor holds. So with the soul of the Christian. In the tempests and trials of life, our mind stays calm as long as our hope of heaven is firm, not giving way to “feelings.”

Steadfast and steady on course will lead us to that blessed promise land!

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – For every high priest takes from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.

The Jews had one high priest who was regarded as the successor of Aaron. The high priest was to be of the family of Aaron, Exodus 29:9, though in later times the office was frequently conferred on others. The high priest was the head of religious affairs, and was the ordinary judge of all that pertained to religion and even of the general justice of the Hebrew commonwealth.

He had the privilege of entering the most holy place once a year, on the great day of atonement, to make a sacrifice for the sins of the people.

Verse 2 – He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also beset by weakness.

Verse 3 – Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Verse 4 – And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.

Verse 5 – So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”

Verse 6 – As He also says in another place: “You are Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”,

Verse 7 – who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

Verse 8 – though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

Melchizedek was a priest of Salem which is now called Jerusalem. (His profile is found in Genesis 14:18.) Jesus had all the qualifications for high priest, and more. Christ’s priesthood was on a much higher level than Aaron’s. Unlike Aaron, Christ learned obedience through suffering and the salvation that He brought was and is eternal.

Jesus chose to obey the Father’s will even though it led to death. Because Jesus obeyed perfectly, He can help us today.

Verse 9 – And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

Verse 10 – called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”

Verse 11 – of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

The Apostle knew that what he was saying about Melchizedek being a type of Redeemer, required a familiar acquaintance of the Scriptures, and a strong elevated faith. A young convert could hardly be expected to understand this. But he was talking to the more mature Hebrew Christians when he said, “You have become dull of hearing.”

Imagine today if you could ask over half of the Christians, “Who was Melchizedek,”? and they wouldn’t know.

Verse 12 – For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

In other words: “You have been a Christian long enough to be expected to understand such doctrines.” This verse proves that to whom the author wrote, and they were not recent converts. They should have been instructing others by now.

Needing milk instead of solid food shows that they were ignorant of some of the very elements of the gospel.

Of the oracles of God – of the Scriptures of what God had spoken about he Messiah.

How sad it is today, when I try to talk about the deeper things of God with other Christians, and they are clueless. Some are ignorant of the basic foundations. No wonder their lives don’t show a spirit filled life.

Verse 13 – For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

Verse 14 – But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

In order to grow from an infant Christian to a mature Christian, we all have to learn discernment of the spirits when we are about to be tempted. Also, knowing the difference when to use Scripture correctly and incorrectly.

Hebrews – Chapter 4

The Challenge to Enter His Rest

Verse 1 – Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

This type of “fear” used here, is to caution and be careful. So we who have the offer of heaven, and who are in danger of losing it, should take all the necessary precautions that they can.

These are those who expect to enter heaven on their own works and who have professed Christianity, but never truly gave their lives over to Christ.

Verse 2 – For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

The Israelites of Moses day had the same problem that many today have. They sit in church and know a lot about Christ, but they don’t know Him personally – they don’t combine their knowledge with faith. If they don’t believe in the promises that God has spoken, how can they believe in eternal life?

Verse 3 – For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

God had promised His people rest in the “Promise Land,” Canaan. However, they continued to grumble and complain, not believing Him. That’s what complaining does, it shows doubt and unbelief in what God has said will happen. Those Israelites of that generation died in the wilderness and never entered Canaan.

Now for the believer in Christ, we have to believe that what God has said is a promise, will come to pass, and will be raised to an eternity with Him. Believe and receive!

Verse 4 – For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;

Verse 5 – and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

God rested on the seventh day, not because He was tired, but becasue creation was complete! Our Sabbath – rest in Christ, begins when we trust Him to complete His good and perfect work in us.

Verse 6 – Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter becasue of disobedience (unbelief),

verse 7 – again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

“Today” is stressed here. Even in the Israelites day, “today” was the day to believe God. Today is the day of salvation becasue tomorrow is not promised.

Verse 8 – For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

Verse 9 – There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (eternal rest)

Verse 10 – For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Those who enter rest in Christ are finished with the toils and labors and all anxiety of this life. Never again will they know fatigue. Complete and total rest is what awaits every believer.

Verse 11 – Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

Heaven is never obtained but by diligence, and no one enters there who does not earnestly desire it, and who does not make a sincere effort to enter it.

That road that leads to eternity with Christ, is very narrow. We’re not going to get there by doing it “Our Way!”

Verse 12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

There is absolutely no deceiving our God, not in insincerity, unbelief or hypocrisy, all will be detected!

The Word of God is what “God speaks” – whether it be a promise or a threatening; whether by law or gospel; whether it be a simple declaration or a statement of doctrine. The idea here is, that what God has said is suited to detect hypocrisy and to lay open the true nature of feelings of the soul, so that there is no escape for the guilty.

Verse 13 – And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

God is a just God. On the day of reckoning, we all will give an account for what we have said and done. There is no escaping this judgment. However, those who belong to Him have been cleansed in the precious blood of the Lamb. Keep in mind, He knows the intent of the heart, so on that day there will be no fooling Him.

Verse 14 – Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Verse 15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Verse 16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

How we approach God says a lot about a person. Christ is our mediator between us and God. Come with thanksgiving and humility, becasue we all need mercy. He is a merciful God and will lead us in all His ways. Practice to do His will and watch your world change!

 

 

Hebrews – Chapter 3

Christ Is Superior to Moses in His Work

Verse 1 – Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

Verse 2 – who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.

“Apostle” in this context refers to Jesus as sent by God.” The apostle was saying here that, the Lord Jesus, under the new dispensation, filled the place of Moses and of the high priest under the old and that the office of “apostle” and high priest, instead of being now separated, as it was between Moses and Aaron under the old dispensation, was now blended and complete in the Messiah.

“Who was faithful,” to God in all His ways as was entrusted to Him. And also Moses, as he was faithful to the Jewish people, which were called a “household”, or the family of God, and Moses was appointed to preside over it, and was faithful in the functions of his office there.

Verse 3 – For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He built the house has more honor than the house.

The architect is worthy of more respect than the house itself, or He who is the founder of a family is worthy of more honor than the family of which He is founder. Christ is the head of the church, the body of believers, and the family of God.

Verse 4 – Every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.

Christ, in His divine character, was the Author of both the Jewish and the Christian dispensations, and He must, therefore, have a rank far superior to that of Moses – which was the point which the apostle designed to illustrate. In the beginning He laid the foundation of the earth, and was the agent int he creation of all things. He presides, therefore, over everything.

Verse 5 – And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward,

Verse 6 – but Christ as a Son over His own house whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

And there is that little word again, “If.” So what does it mean to “hold fast?” The only evidence which one belongs to the family of Christ, is that they have confidence in the truth till the end. On the other hand: If they do not hold fast to this confidence in Christ, then they never belonged to His family, because they did not persevere to the end.

The Danger of Hardening the Heart

Verse 7 – Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear His voice,

Verse 8 – do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness,

Verse 9 – where your fathers tested Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years.

We should all regard the solemn warnings in the Old Testament against sin, and against the dangers of apostasy, as addressed by the Holy Spirit to us. These warnings still apply today.

A hard heart is where the conscience is seared and insensible; where truth makes no impression; where no religious effect is produced by afflictions; where preaching is listened to without interest, and where the mind is unaffected by the appeal of friends.

Just as the Israelites tested God in the wilderness, don’t refuse to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit when being tested or tried, because this will cause a hardening of the heart.

Verse 10 – Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’

verse 11 – So I swore in My wrath they shall not enter My rest.’ ”

“My rest” is the land of Canaan. That entire generation, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness.

Verse 12 – Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

Disobedience, unbelief, and rebellion in us will as certainly, exclude us from heaven as their rebellion did from the promised land.

Verse 13 – but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Verse 14 – For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

That same confidence that we had when we first believed is the same confidence that we need to hold fast until the end. We do not waver in the foundational truths. Be careful of how far you “backslide!”

Verse 15 – while it is said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Verse 16 – For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?

Verse 17 – Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?

Verse 18 – And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but those who did not obey?

Verse 19 – So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

The rest is our promise of eternal life in Christ. Rebellion and disobedience are the same as unbelief. And God says unbelief is an evil heart. Trusting in one’s self and one’s own works is also unbelief!

 

Hebrews – Chapter 2

The Danger of Neglect

Verse 1 – Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

Since Christ, the author of the new dispensation, is so far exalted above the prophets, and even the angels, we ought to give the more earnest attention to all that has been spoken.

Drifting away doesn’t happen over night. It’s a gradual thing. Neglecting the word of God and compromise will start to be the norm when a person starts to fall away.

Verse 2 – For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,

Verse 3 – how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him;

Verse 4 – God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

How is anyone going to escape the punishment for neglecting the salvation that was so graciously given through Jesus Christ?

Verse 5 – For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

Verse 6 – But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?

Verse 7 – You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.

Verse 8 – You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” (Psalm 8:4) For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

Paul is saying: That there stood in the sacred Scriptures a declaration that “all things were placed under the control and jurisdiction of man,” but that they had not yet been accomplished.

God originally gave dominion to man over the creatures on earth (Genesis 1:26). The argument the author of Hebrews seems to be is this: Originally this control was given to man, but man rebelled and this dominion has been in some measure lost. It is found complete only in the “second Man, the Lord from heaven, the Lord Jesus to whom this control is absolutely given.

Verse 9 – But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

“Who was made a little lower than the angels,” as a man on earth. Jesus assumed rank, while on earth, was inferior to angels. He took upon Himself the nature of man, but without sin. By “voluntarily” suffering and dying for all mankind, He immediately was crowned with glory and honor. He was also immediately exalted to universal dominion, and as Mediator was raised to rank far above the angels.

Verse 10 – For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

God’s grace and mercy to us led to the suffering and death of Christ. He did this so that we would have eternal life with Him. Jesus perfected obedience in His perfect sacrifice. He completed the necessary work for our salvation.

Verse 11 – For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Verse 12 – saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You.”

Verse 13 – and again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.’

People who have accepted Christs’ sacrifice on their behalf are adopted into God’s family. Therefore, Jesus says we have become His brother or sister.We have the same Father. We now belong to Christ because He died for us.

Verse 14 – Inasmuch then as children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

Verse 15 – and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Jesus had to become human, flesh and blood, so that He could die and rise again, in order to destroy the devil’s power over death (Romans 6:5-11). Christ’s death and resurrection set those who believe, free from the fear of death. Death for a believer is the doorway to an eternal life with Christ. Until a person knows Christ, they stay in bondage, held by the devil, and are without hope.

Verse 16 – For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.

Verse 17 – Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

In the Old Testament, the high priest was the mediator between God and the people. He had to sacrifice animals and intercede for the forgiveness of their sins. Forgiveness couldn’t come without the shedding of blood.

Now, Jesus Christ is and was our only, perfect sacrifice, that became a man to show mercy and become our faithful High Priest. He once and for all paid the penalty for sin by His own sacrifice. He took our place!

We are released from sin’s dominion over us when we commit ourselves fully to Christ, trusting completely in what He has done for us.

Verse 18 – For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

When a Christian is tempted, their true character is “tried.” Our true self will be put to the test. Do we trust in the Lord, who overcame every temptation known to man, or do we go it alone?

Our Savior was subject to both temptations and sufferings. His sufferings surpassed all others, and the temptations of Satan were presented in the most alluring form in which he could exhibit them. Being proved or tried in both these respects, Christ showed that He had strength of virtue which could bear all that could ever occur to seduce Him from attachment to God, and at the same time to make Him a perfect model for those who would be tried in the same manner.

 

 

 

The Book of Hebrews – Chapter 1

Introduction: The name of the author is not mentioned nor to whom it is addressed; nor the church to which it was sent. There are no certain marks of time in the Epistle, as there often are in the writings of Paul, by which we can determine the time when it was written.

However, at the conclusion, Timothy is mentioned as Paul also did in the other epistles. Does it really matter?

The Book of Hebrews is so full of the revelation of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, you might need to “buckle up” and get ready for some insights to an amazing God!

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

In ancient times, the series of revelation began, as recorded by Moses, with Adam, Genesis 3, and terminated with Malachi – a period of more than three thousand five hundred years. From Malachi to the time of the Savior there were no recorded divine communications, and the whole period of written revelation, or when the divine communications were recorded from Moses to Malachi, was about a thousand years.

Verse 2 – has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Jesus Christ is the heir of creation for whom all things have been made. He is the Creator through whom all things have come into existence.

Verse 3 – who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

The book of Hebrews links God’s saving power with His creative power. The same power that brought the universe into being and that keeps it operating, is the same power that removes our sin.

Christ Is Superior Because of His Deity

Verse 4 – having become so much better than the angels as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

(By nature, Christ is exalted far above the angels.)

Verse 5 – For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? and again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?

Verse 6 – But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

The writer refers to something that is said in the Old Testament. This is plain because the passage occurs among quotations designed to prove a specific point – that the Son of God, the Author of the Christian system, was and is superior to the angels.

Verse 7 – and of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

The angels obey God’s will just as the wind and the lightening do. Psalm 104:4 – Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.

Verse 8 – But to the Son He says; “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; as scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

(scepter – ruler’s staff.)

Verse 9 – You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

Verse 10 – And: “You Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands;

Verse 11 – they will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment;

Verse 12 – Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”

The author of Hebrews quotes Psalm 102:25-27. In this quotation, he regards God as the speaker and applies the words to His Son Jesus.

Verse 13 – but to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

Verse 14 – Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

Angels were created by God to do the Fathers will. They have several functions; serving believers; protecting the helpless; and proclaiming  God’s message. No one turns into an angel when they die.