Christ Appointed Heir Of All Things
The Eternal Spirit Creator was incarnated in Jesus. Paul said that God made the world by Christ, affirming that Jesus is the embodiment of the Great I Am - the Word made flesh. Following Calvary, the human Son of God was exalted to the Throne, and "appointed heir of all things." "A throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne," Revelation 4:2.
Hebrews 1:3 - "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, ...sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
The Express Image Of His Person
Jesus is "the express image" of the person of God. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD," Deuteronomy 6:4. "The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man," Isaiah 42:13. "Who is the image of the invisible God," Colossians 1:15. "Jesus saith unto [Philip], ...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself," 2 Corinthians 5:19. Jesus is the visible form of the invisible Spirit Father.
Hebrews 1:3 - "...being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."
Jesus, Made So Much Better Than The Angels
Jesus was the first begotten of a kind. Men and angels were sons of God by creation. But God had never begotten - sired - a Son. Nine months after the Holy Ghost conceived in Mary, God's only-begotten Son was born.
Hebrews 1:4-5 - "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?"
Let The Angels Worship Him, His Throne Is Forever
Everything about the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is of the highest prophetic order. Nothing in all the universe is more divinely ordered than the embodiment of God in flesh.
Hebrews 1:6,8-9 - "When he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. ...But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
They Shall Wax Old, But Thou, Lord, Art The Same
The writer of the book of Hebrews eloquently expounded upon the doctrine of the Son of God. Suddenly, he broke from his exposition to magnify God, quoting Psalms 102:25-26. Oh, worship the Lord!
Hebrews 1:10-12 - "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
The Earth And Heavens Will Perish, But Jesus Remains
Jesus could have chosen INIQUITY, but chose RIGHTEOUSNESS. "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Immortal God inhabited that mortal man. "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment."
Hebrews 1:12 - "As a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
The Angels Serve Jesus Christ And His Joint-Heirs
When Christ was born, God said, "Let all the angels of God worship him." In Gethsemane, Jesus warned His captors that He could merely pray to His Father, "and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?" The angels minister not only to Christ, but to all of us who shall be heirs of salvation.
Hebrews 1:14 - "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
Give More Earnest Heed To The Gospel, Lest It Slip
The BIGGEST single problem in Christianity today is the departure from the true Word of God. Countless thousands of books, audio and video teachings, and other media are propounding the most exotic, most bizarre, most UN-scriptural teachings the world has ever heard. We need to soak our hearts and minds with the pure Word of God. It is the only way to stand firm. We must not abandon our origins.
Hebrews 2:1 - "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."
The Word Spoken By Angels Was Steadfast
Acts 7:53 says that children of Israel "received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it." Galatians 3:19 says that "the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator [Moses]." The Law, as delivered by angels, infallibly judged every person under it. How much more will the Gospel of Jesus Christ judge us infallibly? Take heed, lest it slip from your pure conscious.
Hebrews 2:2 - "For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape..."
How Shall We Escape If We Neglect So Great Salvation?
If you want to be saved, you must initiate the redemptive process, which begins by no other means than repentance. Unless and until you have confessed your sins before God, and asked His forgiveness, you cannot be saved. That is the very first step. If you neglect repentance, there will be no escape. The New Birth requires Death, Burial, Resurrection: Repentance, Water Baptism, Spirit Baptism.
Hebrews 2:3 - "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?"
World To Come Not Subject To Angels, But To Christ
God has not promised the world to come to angels, but to Christ and His Redeemed. God came as the man Jesus Christ, (and lower than the angels), shed His blood, and delivered men who were in bondage to sin. In doing so, Jesus brought many sons into glory, elevating men, who were made lower that the angels, to a position higher than the angels, by His redemptive act.
Hebrews 2:5,9-10 - "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, ...But we see Jesus, ...crowned with glory and honour; ...bringing many sons unto glory."
Jesus, Made Lower Than Angels For Suffering Of Death
David asked prophetically, in Psalm 8, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? ...For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." Paul added, "But now we see not yet all things put under him," - until we see Jesus.
Hebrews 2:9-10 - "But we see Jesus, ...made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death ...to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
In The Midst Of The Church Will I Sing Praise Unto Thee
Jesus Christ, the only-begotten manchild of God, came into the world to manifest His Father, and His Father's name. “I have manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world,” John 17:6. “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it,” John 17:26. How much more should the Church of the Living God declare the name of Jesus in our constant praises and testimonies?
Hebrews 2:12 - "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."
I Will Put My Trust In Him
Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, inasmuch as a human is lower than an angel. In His flesh-and-blood body, Jesus "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," (Hebrews 4:15). He NEVER yielded to anything but His Father's will. Jesus submitted completely, to the point of tasting death for every man. Jesus exemplified for us how a man can completely trust God with his life. Psalm 18:2 foreshadowed His statement of faith, "my God, my strength, in whom I will trust."
Hebrews 2:13 - "Again, I will put my trust in him."
Bruise Satan's Head
The infinite omnipotent God could have easily annihilated Lucifer instantly for his transgressions. Rather, God chose to defeat him by a mortal - a humiliating defeat, to be sure! God swore to raise a seed of the woman to bruise Satan's head, saying "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head," (Genesis 3:15).
Hebrews 2:14 - "...(Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."
Jesus, Our High Priest, Made Intercession For Us
One of the most important roles that Jesus Christ filled is that of the High Priest. A priest is one who stands between God and men, to plead with God for men, and plead with men for God. Jesus fulfilled the ultimate role of High Priest when He prayed in Gethsemane, "...nevertheless, not my will, but Thine," (Luke 22:42).
Hebrews 2:17 - "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people."
Having Suffered, Jesus Is Able To Ease Sufferers
God might have permanently manifested Himself to us in a beautiful angelic form, but He chose NOT to. Instead, He took upon Himself the form of man, specifically, the seed of Abraham. He could have presided over His creation from a remote and secure distance, but instead, He walked among us, suffering the very worst hatred, humiliation, pain and suffering. Because of His ignominious (humiliating, dishonored) experience, He is able to succour (help, relieve, ease) those who are similarly tempted.
Hebrews 2:18 - "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
The Builder Is Greater Than The House
Franklin Lloyd Wright, greatest architect of all time, built over 500 notable structures, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, and museums. Before his birth, his mother declared that her son would be a great architect, and decorated his nursery with pictures of great cathedrals and other structures. Jesus was conceived by His Father to build His Church and His Kingdom.
Hebrews 3:3-4 - "This man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God."
Jesus - Apostle And High Priest Of Our Profession
We often speak of Christ as our great High Priest. But Paul also addressed Jesus as the Apostle of our profession. He compared Jesus to Moses. Because both were faithful in their respective calling, we conclude that they were both built by God. Moses faithfully served the Old Covenant. Christ faithfully served the New Covenant.
Hebrews 3:5-6 - "Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, ...But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
We Are The House Of Christ If We Remain To The End
We are not fully redeemed until we have passed from this mortality into the immortality of Christ. After having been delivered, as Israel was from Egyptian bondage, we must not frustrate the grace of God with unbelief and disobedience "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness."
Hebrews 3:12,14 - "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. ...For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end."
Exhort One Another Daily
Knowing that every person is vulnerable to unbelief and the never-ending temptations of sin, Paul instructed us to "exhort one another daily ...lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." We should exhort one another. That means "call near, invite, invoke, implore, beseech, intreat, pray." We should constantly appeal to one another to stay on the right track. I want to help everyone I can. I want someone to help me, too.
Hebrews 3:13 - "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
They Shall Not Enter Into My Rest
Our insubordination to the will of God always costs us something. After witnessing the mightiest works of God in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, the Israelites provoked God to wrath with their unbelief. God swore that their generation would not enter the Promised Land - and they did not. Now, God warns that "an evil heart of unbelief" can prevent us from entering into His Kingdom.
Hebrews 3:13,19 - "Exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin....So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
"The Provocation" is the term which refers to Israel's temptation in the wilderness. Paul said that GOD IS NOT TEMPTED by any man. But then he immediately stated that the Holy Ghost said, "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When YOUR FATHERS TEMPTED ME, proved me..." Like Israel, you can TRY to tempt God, but He cannot be tempted. Evil efforts only provoke Him.
Hebrews 3:15 -"To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke."
Do not doubt God. Unbelief will cost you everything. "The fearful, and unbelieving, ...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone," Revelation 21:8. The children of Israel were unbelievers, and consequently died in the wilderness without ever entering the Promised Land.
Hebrews 3:17 - "With whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
The Preached Word Did Not Profit Them - They Had No Faith
We hear the Gospel, believe it, obey it, and are saved by it - born again unto eternal life. The Old Testament Church in the wilderness had the Word of the Lord for their generation, but they would not believe it. Instead, they resisted. The greatest preacher or prophet cannot help you if you will not believe what you hear. Have faith in the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:2 - "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
A Promise Of Entering Into His Rest
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." We should actually FEAR that we fail to enter into God's rest. God's REST is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. (Isaiah 28:11-12). If you do not enter into that rest, you have totally missed the purpose of God. Jesus came to baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Hebrews 4:8-9 - "If Jesus had given them [Old Testament saints] rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."
Rest: The Baptism And Infilling Of The Holy Ghost
"Let us therefore FEAR..." lest we come short of entering into God's rest. Some demand a DAY OF REST on the seventh day of the week. But that is NOT God's rest. "With stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. ...This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest," Isaiah 28:11-12. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is our REST.
Hebrews 4:10-11 - "He that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest."
Throughout the Bible, God's Word and God's Spirit are interchangeable terms. The Spirit and the Word of God are the same. His Word speaks, but His Word also listens. If you think DNA defines human life, you would be shocked to know how MORE definitive God's Word is than DNA! His Spirit communicates His Word silently to our hearts, but OUR hearts also communicate our words silently to Him. Watch your thoughts!
Hebrews 4:12 - "...the word of God is quick, and powerful, ...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Organic Thought Versus Spirit
Science is increasingly able to identify channels of thought within the human brain. With Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other procedures, researchers can now track human thoughts and emotions with some reliability. This might tempt us to believe that all human thought and behavior is organic. But man is also a living soul. Thoughts and feelings occur in the spirit dimension that will NEVER be tracked by research tools. Some things are truly known only to God.
Hebrews 4:12 - "...piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit..., and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Sword - The Word Of God
The Word of God is quick - ALIVE! Sharper than a sword, it divides the soul (of man) from the Spirit (of God). It invades bone marrow, and knows thoughts and intentions.
Hebrews 4:12-13 - "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him..."
A Great High Priest Who Feels Our Infirmities
Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are. Some people believe that Jesus was incapable of sin, but that simply cannot be true. You cannot be tempted to do something you are totally incapable of doing. From His forty days in the wilderness with Satan, to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus faced constant temptation, but NEVER sinned. Jesus knows how to help you through temptation.
Hebrews 4:15 - "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Come Boldly Unto The Throne Of Grace To Obtain Mercy
From the day that Moses anointed Aaron to be the High Priest over Israel, the office of the High Priest was established to make atonement for the people before God. The Old Testament priest had nothing but the blood of bulls, goats and other creatures, but Jesus made atonement for us with His own blood. Seeing how our High Priest died for our sins, we can trust that He cares supremely about our plight.
Hebrews 4:16 - "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
The High Priest Offers Gifts And Sacrifices For Sins
Since Melchizedek first blessed Abraham, God has ordained His Priests to serve God and men. Both the Old and New Covenants depended profoundly upon the ministry of the High Priest. God established Priests to attend the altar, and offer gifts and sacrifices to atone for peoples' sins. When sin had utterly condemned the human race, Jesus Christ became our ultimate High Priest, mercifully making intercession for us with His own life.
Hebrews 5:1 - "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins."
Priests Taken From Among Men To Offer For Sins
Every man whom God calls into the ministry comes from the same common stock. Neither angels nor perfect men preach the Gospel, but men of God who have the same strengths, weakness, lusts, worries, and troubles as do the laity for whom they minister. Why does God prefer an ordinary man? Because he "can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity."
Hebrews 5:1,3 - "Every high priest taken from among men ...ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."
The Order Of Melchisedec
Jesus is our High Priest, but NOT after the order of Aaron or the Levites. Aaron served centuries after Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, Priest of Salem (Jerusalem). Melchisedec had no known earthly lineage, foreshadowing Christ, who was born of no earthly father.
Hebrews 5:5-6,10 - "Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. ...Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec."
Christ, A Priest Forever After The Order Of Melchisedec
You cannot and must not enter the sacred priesthood by your own will. "No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." God must call and ordain a man to that office. The ministry is defiled by men who are not called of God. "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee."
Hebrews 5:6 - "As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."
Strong Crying And Tears
Sometimes, God ordains you to a particular trial, and no amount of prayer will change that fact (i.e., Job, Noah, Joseph, Jesus). In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed "with strong crying and tears," saying, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt," (Matthew 26:39). You must learn to "count it not strange concerning your fiery trial," (1 Peter 4:12).
Hebrews 5:7-8 - "When he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears ...yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."
Milk And Strong Meat Of The Word
Paul might have shown us many mysteries about Melchisedec, if he had only trusted that his readers were interested enough. But he lamented, "we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing." What meat we could have partaken of, except that we were still inappropriately immature!
Hebrews 5:12-14 - "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again... [ye] have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe."
You Ought To Be Teachers
There is a scarcity of men and women who have a strong desire to know the things of God. This generation has been "dumbed-down" to believe so very little. We desperately need teachers and preachers who love the strong meat - not just the milk of the Word of God. Reach now for the mastery, and begin teaching others.
Hebrews 5:12,14 - "When ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."
The Foundation Of The Church
The Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." The "doctrine of Christ" is the basis of everything the Church is. "The foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment," are all part of that foundation. However, there is a superstructure beyond the foundation. Up with the walls!
Hebrews 6:1 - "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection."
Not Laying Again The Foundation Of Repentance
At some point, the foundational doctrines should become so deeply ingrained in us that we have no more need of being reminded. There are many more things in the Word to teach. You should know by now that repentance is continually necessary to living an overcoming life. "Leaving the principles..." to "go on unto perfection," does not imply ABANDONING repentance. It presumes that repentance is fully operational in your daily prayers.
Hebrews 6:1 - "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works..."
It Is Impossible To Renew Them Again Unto Repentance
There should be no question about what Paul intended when he mentioned "leaving the doctrines" to "go on unto perfection." Of those doctrines, he said, "This we will do, if God permit." Paul fully intended to live by every doctrine, and elaborated that people who fall away from the doctrines cannot be renewed unto repentance. You cannot genuinely repent until you embrace or reaffirm the core doctrines, neither can you grow if you abandon your roots.
Hebrews 6:4,6 - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, ...If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance."
Show Diligence, Assured Of Hope Unto The End
God sends rain to bless the harvest of the laborers. "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." "Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, ...For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." God will burn those who bear thorns, but the diligent have great hope in the end.
Hebrews 6:11 - "Shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end."
Flee To Him For Refuge, And Lay Hold Upon Hope
"When God made promises to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee." Two immutable (unchangeable) things - the vow of God, combined with the fact that God cannot lie, provides a strong consolation to all "who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." After Abraham patiently endured, he obtained the blessings. You can have them, too. Flee to Him for refuge.
Hebrews 6:12 - "Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises"
An Anchor Of The Soul
Storms of life batter our souls like waves batter ships at sea. In great storms, we need an anchor, or mooring, lest all hope be lost. We find two immutable (unchangeable) things about God. 1. His counsel is unchangeable. 2. He warrants His counsel with an oath. His counsel will meet your needs, AND He vows that it will work. That is our strong consolation, our refuge and our hope.
Hebrews 6:19-20 - "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus."
Abraham Was A Tither
Tithing is controversial to some people. Some people go to the greatest lengths to prove that they do not have to pay tithe. Abraham did not pay tithe because there was a law. Jacob voluntarily promised God that he would give Him a tenth of all his substance (Genesis 28:22). The patriarchs established a precedent of giving to God. In reality, we owe God everything. Why would anyone argue that they owe God nothing? Something must be wrong.
Hebrews 7:1 - "For this Melchisedec, ...priest of the most high God, ...To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all..."
A True Believer Will Abide A Priest Forever
Every believer follows the order of Melchisedec. Your new-born Spiritual man has no earthly father or mother. You have a new beginning. Your new man has no history, no past, and your future is known only to God. And like Melchisedec, once you are in Christ, you will abide a priest unto God forever. Abraham never lived under the laws of sin and death. His priest, Melchisedec, represented endless life.
Hebrews 7:3 - "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually."
The Less Is Blessed Of The Better
Melchisedek was the first priest mentioned in the Bible. He blessed Abraham long before Moses, Aaron, Levites or the Law ever arrived. David prophesied of Messiah, in Psalms 110:4, "The LORD hath sworn, ...Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." Jesus Christ, after the order of Melchizedek, is ordained to bless our righteous souls, as Melchisedek blessed Abraham. Melchisedek, the better, blessed Abraham, the less. Jesus Christ, the better, blesses you and me, the less. Thank God for His glorious blessing.
Hebrews 7:7 - "And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better."
The Levites Tithed Melchisedec (Law Tithed Grace)
It was prophetically symbollic. The Levites, whose entire tribe became the Priest of Israel, and who were subsequently supported by the tithe of the people, first paid tithe to Melchisedec while yet in the loins of Abraham. Since Melchisedec pre-dated the giving of the Law, and since Christ and Grace came in the order of Melchisedec, we can see that the Law paid tithes to Grace. Grace is greater than the Law.
Hebrews 7:9-10 - "Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him."
Melchisedec Represents The Power Of An Endless Life
Jesus did not come to perpetuate the Aaronic/Levitical Priesthood. "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, ...what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec?" Levites only represented Law and Death. Melchisedec represented eternal life. If you want eternal life, follow Jesus, after the order of Melchisedec!
Hebrews 7:12,15-16 - "The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. ...for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest. Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life."
The Law Made Nothing Perfect
God's law defined right and wrong for all mankind. Without God's law, anarchy and chaos would ensue. Nevertheless, nobody can ever keep every point of the law perfectly, and law prescribes death for failure. Although it EXPOSES sin, the law cannot stop us from doing wrong. The law offers no hope of a remedy. But Jesus Christ introduced grace to us. Now we have hope, because of His grace. Grace is better than the law.
Hebrews 7:19 - "...the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God."
Jesus, First Priest By An Oath, For A Better Testament
Melchisedec became a Priest mysteriously. The Levites became priests by commandment (never by an oath). But God SWORE that Jesus would be a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchisedec. Why? He is the Everlasting Savior.
Hebrews 7:22-25 - "Jesus [was] made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
He Ever Liveth To Make Intercession
The Levites were priests after the Law. Their ministry commenced with Aaron, and ended at Christ. Christ was not a High Priest descended from the Levites (He came from the tribe of Judah), but as Mechisedec had no known lineage, Christ was from heaven. The Levites died, one by one. But Christ, "because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood." No other man can make intercession for you so assuredly as Jesus.
Hebrews 7:25 - "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Our Priest And Intercessor Is Consecrated For Evermore
What kind of intercessor would you have? A lacadasical, unpredictable, compromising fellow? An unholy, corrupt sinner? A common, infirm, inept kind? No. Our High Priest, and model Intercessor, has an unchangeable priesthood. He is "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." Unlike the Old Testament priests who had to first offer sacrifices daily for their own sins, Jesus offered His own body and blood once and for all.
Hebrews 7:28 - "For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore."
Jesus, The Mediator Of A Better Covenant
Jesus, our High Priest, "is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." This man-child of God, the incarnation and image of the invisible God is the only body you will ever see on the throne. (God is a Spirit.) This glorified man, born mortal, but raised immortal, is our mediator (go-between, reconciler, intercessor). Whatever your needs, He is the One to go to.
Hebrews 8:6 - "Now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."
I Will Put My Laws In Their Minds And In Their Hearts
Jesus is the High Priest, sitting on the right hand of the Throne in heaven, Minister of the Sanctuary and True Tabernacle. That means that the EARTHLY High Priests are no longer needed. "If that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second."
Hebrews 8:10 - "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
Tabernacle Ordinances Were Done Away
God prescribed ordinances - laws, with symbols and rituals - in the Old Testament Tabernacle. Each furnishing and ritual symbolized some important spiritual precept that would be revealed later in Jesus and His New Covenant. THOSE ordinances were done away with. God did not abolish MORAL or SOCIAL LAWS. He abolished the ORDINANCES.
Hebrews 9:1,9,23 - "The first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. ...Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, ...It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these."
Typology In Tabernacle Taught Repentance And Baptism
The High Priest entered the Holiest of Holies, "alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people." The blood was acquired at the altar, which symbolized repentance - death to sin. Next, he washed at the Brazen Laver - symbolizing water baptism. You must acquire the blood of Jesus at the altar of repentance, and wash yourself in the waters of baptism before you can enter the Holiest place.
Hebrews 9:8 - "The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing."
Jesus' Blood - Remits Sins, Opens Holiest Place
The High Priest could not enter the Holiest Place without blood. NO SINNER can enter into the holy presence of God without the blood of Jesus. Ever since the Garden, God has required death for sins. Jesus' blood paid for that requirement.
Hebrews 9:8,11-12 - "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: ...But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, ...by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
The High Priest Typified Christ Making Intercession
The High Priest standing before the Ark of the Covenant in the Holiest of Holies was a figure of Christ standing before the Throne in Heaven.
Hebrews 9:9-11,24 - "Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, ...Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances... But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, ...is not entered into the holy places made with hands, ...but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."
Intercession Is The Greatest Role Any Man Can Play
The greatest role any man can ever play is that of an intercessor for sinners before God. The High Priests took the blood of animals into the Holiest of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people. But Jesus Christ took His OWN blood, and paid for the sins of all who would obey His Gospel. Jesus is the Great Intercessor.
Hebrews 9:25-26 - "...the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; ...but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
Once To Die, And After This The Judgment
What is death? The physical body expires. Then what happens? About 1.5 billion people believe that the human spirit migrates to either a plant, animal or human reincarnation. But over two billion people adhering to various forms of Christianity reject the reincarnation theory. Martyrs of Islam expect to awake in paradise surrounded by rushing fountains and buxom virgins. But Jesus said that when the rich man and Lazarus died, the rich man went straight to hell, and Lazarus joined Abraham in paradise.
Hebrews 9:27 - "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
The Destiny Of Man
If we are annihilated when we die, we have little reason to restrain ourselves from uninhibited, indulgent living. If there is no account to be made for the life we live, we might not be dissuaded from riotous excesses. But we will give account. Jesus said, "...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment," (Matthew 12:36). Make no mistake - beyond the grave is either great reward or frightening punishment.
Hebrews 9:27 - "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Animal Sacrifices Foreshadowed Things To Come
Every Old Testament animal sacrifice prefigured Jesus' blood poured out at Calvary. Theirs was only a SHADOW, inasmuch as ANIMAL blood never, ever washed away anybody's sins. That shadowy blood only POSTPONED men's sins until the sinless, spotless blood of Jesus paid the debt of sin.
Hebrews 10:1 - "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect ...But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year."
Our Repentance, His Sacrifice
Old Testament laws for offering animal sacrifices for sins conspicuously did NOT include emphasis on repentance. By sacrificing an animal, one was essentially buying his forgiveness. But since Christ offered His body and His blood, we cannot buy our pardon with the blood of an animal. Jesus offers His sacrifice in behalf of anyone who will obey His Gospel. If we confess our sins, and fully repent, He will provide His body to purchase our pardon.
Hebrews 10:5 - "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me."
Jesus' Perfect Obedience Rendered His Blood Spotless
"Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire," (Psalm 40). David prophesied of Christ, "Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God." The writer of Hebrews quoted David, "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure." From the beginning, God wanted obedience, not sacrifice. Jesus' perfect obedience rendered His blood spotless, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
Hebrews 10:9 - "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."
Henceforth Expecting His Enemies To Be His Footstool
The Priests of Israel offered daily sacrifices in mind-numbing rituals. But Jesus sacrificed His blood expecting to conquer the world by it, including death, hell and the grave. Every knee will soon bow to Him.
Hebrews 10:11-14 - "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
I Will Make A New Covenant With Israel
From the first time God promised to make a new covenant with Israel, the first covenant became the old. Paul said that it "decayeth and waxeth old," and "is ready to vanish away." But that was only referring to Temple ordinances and rituals. God NEVER canceled His MORAL laws! He emphatically said, "I will put my LAWS into their hearts, and in their minds..."
Hebrews 10:16 - "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them."
Draw Near With A True Heart In Full Assurance Of Faith
Many prayers were prayed in Old Testament times which were encumbered first by the necessity to make a sacrifice of blood for the atonement of sins. We cannot imagine how tedious and troublesome that ritual was. But Jesus, our High Priest, forever resolved that matter by sacrificing His own blood once and for all. Now, we may approach the Throne with simple faith in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:19-22 - "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, ...having an high priest ...Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith."
You Must Go To Church
God gave Moses the Tabernacle plan, and instructed the people, "unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose... to put his name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come," (Deuteronomy 12:5). They brought tithes and offerings, made vows and prayed. Since those days, God has always required His people to go to church faithfully. Watching TV preachers won't do.
Hebrews 10:25 - "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Peter warned believers against becoming entangled again with the pollutions of the world from which they came. The end of such is worse than the beginning. It would have been better if they had never known the way of righteousness, than to know and turn from it. He compared it to a dog returning to his own vomit, or a fresh-washed sow to wallowing in the mire. Backslider, be warned. You face a bitter end!
Hebrews 10:29 - "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God?"
The Difference Is Commitment
Paul affirmed that, "He will keep that which I have committed..." Calvinists argue that once a man is saved, he cannot be lost - if lost, he was never saved. I say that nobody living is yet saved. We are still in the fray. Crying, "Lord, Lord..." will not suffice. Many, once sanctified, return to the beggarly elements, spurning the atoning blood of Jesus. God is committed to you. Are you committed to Him?
Hebrews 10:29 - "Of how much sorer punishment, ...shall he be thought worthy, who hath... counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing...?"
If We Sin Willfully, There Remaineth No More Sacrifice
"If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, ...He that despised Moses' law died without mercy ...Of how much sorer punishment ...shall he be thought worthy, who hath ...counted the blood of the covenant ...an unholy thing?" Anytime you sin willfully, your insurance policy is cancelled. Renewed sin renews damnation. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive," 1 John 1:9.
Hebrews 10:30 - "Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord."
The Frightening Hands Of The Living God
Sometimes it seems that men have forgotten that Almighty God is a living, personal being. Ministers stoop lower and lower with generic definitions of spiritual matters, totally refusing to consider the "negatives" of religion, and choosing instead to always focus on love, grace, and the perceived "positives." But it is a grave error to live in denial of the goodness AND SEVERITY of God. If we do not live according to His commandments, we have much to fear.
Hebrews 10:30-31 - "The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Gazingstock - One Scorned, Abhorred With Contempt
Do Christians experience this anymore? "After ye were illuminated," the early saints "endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used." Unbelievers despised the early saints. Compromising preachers have given Christianity a makeover - no reproaches or afflictions. If your Christianity is popular, you have the wrong one.
Hebrews 10:34 - "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance."
Confidence Yields Reward, Patience Receives Promise
If you live for God, you will be severely tried. Expect it. "Every man's work shall be made manifest: ...the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is," 1 Corinthians 3:13. Your fiery trial is the thoroughfare to your divine destiny. No matter how difficult life becomes, persevere! There are eternal rewards for those who remain confident. Be patient. You WILL receive His promise.
Hebrews 10:35-36 - "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."
Have Faith Unto Salvation, Or Draw Back To Perdition
Keep the faith. There is no alternative if you want to be justified when you stand before God. Keep the faith. If you draw back, you will be destroyed. Keep the faith. You are almost home. Jesus is coming!
Hebrews 10:37-39 - "Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."
The Patriarchs And Matriarchs Of Our Faith
Their faith in God is what earned the ancients honorable mention in the textbook of God. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." These famous believers knew that God rules everything. Their lives proved it. For all of eternity, you will be branded by your faith, or absence thereof. Have faith in God.
Hebrews 11:1-2 - "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report."
Abel - He Offered A More Excellent Sacrifice
Cain offered the very first offering to God, but God rejected it because it did not fit prophetic typology, which required blood. The crops from Cain's fields did not have prophetic significance. Abel had never been told what to bring, but the fact that he was willing to sacrifice a living creature demonstrated that he was spiritually intuitive about the dynamics of divine atonement. Tragically, Cain was derailed by faithless selfishness.
Hebrews 11:4 - "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts."
Enoch - He Pleased God
What did faith have to do with Enoch being translated to heaven? He had this testimony, that he pleased God. He walked with God. Faith is a step in God's direction. In an age where there were no preachers, no Churches, no law, no priests, nothing... Enoch focused his attention on God, and had intimate fellowship with Him. In this godless age, you can too.
Hebrews 11:5 - "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
He Is A Rewarder Of Them That Diligently Seek Him
Before you begin your first prayer, you must believe that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. "Ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord," James 1:6-7.
Hebrews 11:6 - "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Noah - He Moved With Fear
How will you respond when you finally realize that God is shaking the earth, preparing for impending judgment? Signs and wonders in heaven and earth warn us that our time is running out. Can you be moved with the fear of God? Noah was moved, and built an 800-foot wooden ship. That takes real faith.
Hebrews 11:7 - "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
Abraham - He Went Out, Not Knowing Where
The "Father of the faithful," of whom every true believer is a descendant, began his immortal saga with completely blind obedience to God. He had absolutely no idea where he was going, or what would befall him when he got there. If and when you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God has instructed you to do a thing, there is only one option. Do it.
Hebrews 11:8 - "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."
A City Whose Builder And Maker Is God
The author of Hebrews made it clear that Abraham was not looking for an ordinary city. At first, Abraham had no idea where he was going or what he was looking for. I think that is true with every believer. When we first start out with Jesus, we have no clue where we are headed. Eventually, we realize that nothing down here satisfies. Our divine destination is that Holy White City - Heaven's New Jerusalem.
Hebrews 11:8,10 - "...he went out, not knowing whither he went. ...For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
Sarah - She Laughed, But Believed
Sarah laughed at God when He said that she would have a child in her very old age. God replied, "Is there anything too hard for the LORD?" Sarah denied that she had laughed because she was afraid. Eventually, you must accept God's will. When you do, faith will come.
Hebrews 11:11-12 - "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, ...so many as the stars of the sky in multitude."
They Saw The Promises Afar Off, And Were Persuaded
"These ALL died in the faith, not having received the promises." NOBODY receives all of God's promises down HERE. We are strangers here! PILGRIMS! Aliens! Foreigners! If you find your life here, and if you are not an alien to this world, something is dangerously wrong.
Hebrews 11:13-16 "If they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Confess That You Are A Pilgrim, Seek The Heavenly City
Everyone who finally overcomes the world, the flesh, and the devil, will overcome "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony," Revelation 12:11. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, ...embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Confess that this world is not your home. Quit seeking things below, and seek that heavenly city where God dwells.
Hebrews 11:14-15 - "They that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. ...they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly."
Desire A Better Country
You follow the desire of your heart. If your heart is fixed on things of this world, you will seek them. If your heart is fixed on God and Heaven, you will seek Him. Like Abraham, you must forget your old life, and seek God and His will.
Hebrews 11:15-16 - "If they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Put Your Sacrifice On The Altar With Faith In God
The Spirit of God tugs at your heart, telling you to give up something very dear on an altar of sacrifice. God called Abraham to offer his only son, Isaac. By faith, Abraham gave God what He wanted. Believe, as you obey, that the outcome will be good. It will be.
Hebrews 11:17-19 - "He that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure."
By Faith Isaac Blessed Jacob And Esau
Isaac unwittingly blessed Jacob, giving the birthright to him instead of Esau. When Esau realized that Jacob had cheated him out of his inheritance, he made an emotional appeal to his father for another blessing. Isaac prophetically set into motion Jacob and Esau's destinies. Never underestimate your ability to pronounce blessings or cursings upon your loved ones. "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not," Romans 12:14. "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing, My brethren, these things ought not so to be." James 3:10.
Hebrews 11:20 - "By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come."
Bless Your Family And Worship God Before You Die
Jacob might have grown bitter after his sons painfully disappointed him. He might have been bitter about the death of his much-beloved wife, Rachel. He might have been bitter about losing his beloved son, Joseph. But God was merciful to Jacob, and re-united him with Joseph. The spirit of Jacob revived, and he believed again in the blessings of God. You may have been sorely tried, but you can still bless someone.
Hebrews 11:21 - "By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff."
Joseph - He Prophesied The Exodus By Faith
What story in human history elicits such emotion as that of Joseph? Beloved of his father, betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, framed by his master's wife, falsely imprisoned for years, and more. But Joseph never lost faith in God. God reconciled him with his brothers, and planted them in the land of Goshen. Joseph foresaw the day when they would return to their Promised Land, and commanded them to take his bones with them. Great faith!
Hebrews 11:22 - "By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones."
Jochebed - Hid Baby Moses By Faith
Her name is not mentioned, but this speaks of Jochebed, Moses' mother. Nobody in world history ever had faith that impacted more people. If Jochebed had not had faith for Moses' survival, we would not have had the Exodus, the Law, the Tabernacle, the Promised Land, or the nation of Israel. Jochebed was divinely destined to her role. By faith, you will also fulfil your divine destiny.
Hebrews 11:23 - "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment."
Moses - Chose Affliction Over The Pleasures Of Sin
A modern prosperity-minded Christian would probably keep the wealth and power of Pharaoh's court, and rule over Egypt, thinking it was the blessing of God. But Moses simply did not want Egypt. He wanted to be the Jew that God created Him to be. Will you quit the world to be a Christian?
Hebrews 11:24-25,27 - "By faith Moses, ...[chose] to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. ..By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible."
The Reproach Of Christ Is Greater Riches
Are you capable of making the kind of choice that Moses made? Can you walk away from a rich family, a powerful family, from politics, from great inheritance? Will you go into a frightening wilderness alone for forty years for no other reason than that you want to do the will of God more than anything else? You may soon find out.
Hebrews 11:24,26 - "By faith Moses, ...refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward."
Children Of Israel - Faith To Cross Red Sea And Jordan
The children of Israel are infamous for their unbelief in the wilderness. A journey that should have taken no more than eleven days from Egypt to Canaan, took forty years, during which all unbelievers died. Notwithstanding, faith originally got them out of Egypt, and faith (forty years later) got them across Jordan into the Promised Land. We should have faith for the whole journey!
Hebrews 11:29-30 - "By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days."
Rahab - By Faith, She Received The Spies
Rahab was a harlot living in Jericho when the children of Israel came across the Jordan River to take possession of the Promised Land. The people of Jericho greatly feared because they had heard that God was with Israel since they left Egypt. Rahab hid Israel's spies from her own king. She told them, "I know that the LORD hath given you the land." By believing, Rahab took a gigantic leap of faith into the lineage of Christ. She became an honored matriarch of Messiah.
Hebrews 11:31 - "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not."
By Faith, Be Strong, Valiant, Stand Against Armies
It can be said that Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David and Samuel all "subdued kingdoms," by war and conquest. That is no small commentary. In the name of the Lord, many great men of faith "wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, and escaped the edge of the sword." Faith can turn a reluctant bystander into an aggressive warrior. When the hounds of hell have you cornered, fight the good fight of faith.
Hebrews 11:34 - "Out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
By Faith, You Can Endure Anything
Faith is a miraculous catalyst. Faith conjoins the worst of all conditions with the infinite power of God. By faith, "women received their dead raised to life again: ...others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: ...others had trial of cruel mockings ...scourgings, ...bonds ...imprisonment: ...stoned, ...sawn asunder, ...tempted, ...slain with the sword: ...wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; ...destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) ...wandered in deserts, ...mountains, ...dens and caves of the earth." With faith, you can endure anything.
Hebrews 11:39 - "These all, ...obtained a good report through faith."
They Without Us Should Not Be Made Perfect
No man lives and dies alone, especially in the Kingdom of God. The Church of the living God is a vast multi-generational body. If you are born again, you are as much a part of the family of Abraham as if you had lived in his day. Time limits our perspective. The ancient saints will not be complete until we arrive in their presence.
Hebrews 11:39-40 - "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
Lay Aside Every Weight And Sin
You are NOT in this Christian journey alone. Countless multitudes have gone before you, and countless multitudes are on the journey now. You must not allow the immediacy of your difficulties to encumber you. Go to God. Put away every sin with repentance, and place every care on the altar. Press forward. You will make it!
Hebrews 12:1 - "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."
Looking Unto Jesus, Author And Finisher Of Our Faith
Bowed down, or standing tall, look to Jesus. When burdens weigh you down, look to Jesus. He was burdened too, but He kept His eyes on the prize. Look to Him!
Hebrews 12:2-4 - "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
Do Not Despise The Chastening Of The Lord
The wise man said, "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth," (Proverbs 3:11-12). Do you NOT want to be chastened? Are you defying His correction? Do you love your folly? Thank God for His chastening.
Hebrews 12:7-8 - "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
Divine Chastening Produces Righteousness, Holiness
Our parents chastened us to make us better children. That is why God chastens us. He wants us to be holy. He wants us to be righteous. He wants us to put away everything unholy and unrighteous. Let Him chasten as much as is needed. It is only good for us.
Hebrews 12:9-11 - "For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his HOLINESS. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Make Straight Paths For Your Feet
It is every believer's duty and responsibility to prepare the way of the LORD. You must clear the path for Messiah in your own life and home by removing every obstacle, every besetting sin, and every worldly, carnal, sinful distraction. Furthermore, when you have been crippled by sin, you need a clean, straight path of holiness so your lameness can be healed.
Hebrews 12:12-13 - "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
Without Holiness, No Man Shall See The Lord
When God chastens you, do not be bitter, rebellious or despondent. "Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed." Cleanse your path of everything for which you were chastised. Make your path straight. Remove everything unholy and unrighteous and be holy, or you will be "turned out of the way." Without holiness, no man will see God.
Hebrews 12:14 - "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:"
He Found No Place Of Repentance
Anybody can fail. No matter how long you have followed God, your flesh will always be tempted again and again. On one calamitous day, Esau allowed a bowl of beans to mean more to him than his entire inheritance. Not surprisingly, he soon became bitter. God can forgive such a failure, but you may never again have access to that particular blessing. Be diligent not to fail. Some things cannot be corrected.
Hebrews 12:17 - "Afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."
You Are Come To Mt Zion, To Jesus, The Mediator
Mount Sinai represents the Old Covenant in the Law given to Moses. In ultimate contrast, Mount Zion represents the New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus. Sinai was dreadful and frightening, with fire, blackness, and storms. Even Moses feared and quaked. But Zion welcomes our approach. It is the City of the Living God. Heavenly Jerusalem. Countless angels. The General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn. You are come to God, the Judge of all, on His Throne.
Hebrews 12:23-24 - "And to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant."
Refuse Not Him That Speaketh From Heaven
Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years because they rejected the Word of the Lord at Mount Sinai. God sentenced the unbelievers to die in the wilderness without ever seeing the Promised Land. Still, Joshua and Caleb not only survived the journey, but eventually inherited the land, because they believed the word of the Lord. Whatever God says - just believe it!
Hebrews 12:25 - "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven."
I Shake Not The Earth Only, But The Heaven
God's voice shook Mount Sinai, but the people refused to obey. Now, God promises, "Once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." God is going to shake heaven and earth in these last days, and when He does, the terror at Sinai will seem like nothing. He will remove everything that can be removed, "that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." Get ready. Your wood, hay and stubble will be burned and lost. Only the precious will remain.
Hebrews 12:28-29 - "Serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."
Respond To God's Voice With Reverence And Fear
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh." If the rebels in the wilderness perished for refusing to hear Moses, how much worse will it be for those who refuse to hear the voice of God? The Voice that shook the earth at Sinai says, "Once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." God will shake everything that can be shaken, so that which cannot be shaken may remain. Hear Him. Respond reverently.
Hebrews 12:28-29 - "Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."
Our God Is A Consuming Fire
In Deuteronomy 32, God said, "They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger... For A FIRE IS KINDLED in mine anger, and SHALL BURN UNTO THE LOWEST HELL (grave)." HADES is NOT the fire. Hades is the grave. But the FIRE OF GOD reaches to the lowest grave. Furthermore, the FIRE of God's wrath will consume the earth as it spreads, even setting on fire the foundations of the mountains. The doctrine of hell fire was revealed in Moses' earliest teachings.
Hebrews 12:29 - "Our God is a consuming fire."
Strangers May Be Angels
You can never know enough about the people you deal with every day to pass judgment on them. Sometimes we criticize good people unjustly. Sometimes we endorse people without realizing that they are in the wrong. Since God orders our steps, He may be placing good or bad people in our pathway to affect us and turn our steps one way or the other. You never know when you may be dealing with a messenger from God. Treat everyone well.
Hebrews 13:1-2 - "Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
Whoremongers And Adulterers God Will Judge
We live in a promiscuous, immoral, "anything goes" day and time. It is easy for members of our generation to get by with gross misbehaving without being censured by their peers. But God will make the final judgment call. "Ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out," Numbers 32:23. Whether you believe it or not, Judgment Day is coming. It is prophesied, and it WILL come to pass. Keep yourself pure, or pay the price.
Hebrews 13:4 - "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
Remember Those In Bonds, And Those Who Rule
Have a heart and a conscience for both those who are not as fortunate as you, and also for those who have authority and responsibility over you. Say a prayer for those who are suffering, (as earnest a prayer as you would have prayed for yourself), and a prayer for those who watch for your soul in the ministry.
Hebrews 13:3,7 - "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. ...Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God."
Them That Have Rule Over You
If you are not conscientiously in submission to the authority of a godly Pastor, you are out of order. God ordains men of spiritual maturity to lead His flock. Get in line.
Hebrews 13:7,17 - "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. ...Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
Jesus Christ The Same Yesterday, Today, And Forever
God never changes. From the eternal past, God has always been the invisible Spirit who created all things. He is the Father of all Spirits - of men, angels and all living things. God is incarnate in the body of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. And He resides in His Church by the Holy Ghost. His body was formed in the womb of the young virgin, Mary, but He has always been, and always will be God. You will see Him on His throne some day.
Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Do Not Get Carried Away With Strange Doctrines
Some people have a weird fascination with the most bizarre, exotic interpretations of scriptures. Admittedly, anyone who studies the scriptures seriously will be considered extreme by most people, but there is no need to venture into far-fringed interpretations. There are plenty of scriptures of great substance to be concerned with, without getting into strange niches. Stay close to the core doctrines.
Hebrews 13:9 - "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein."
Jesus: Our Shepherd And Our Lamb
Paul showed Jesus as both the Great Shepherd, and a sacrificial Lamb. "...Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant." Our Lamb supersedes the lambs of the old tabernacle. Our altar supersedes that old altar.
Hebrews 13:10 - "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate."
Go To Him Without The Camp, Bearing His Reproach
Tabernacle priests were permitted to eat the flesh of certain sacrificial animals, but NOT the SIN offering. The body of that animal was taken outside the camp and burned as refuse. Jesus, our sin offering, was crucified, not in any mean place, but outside the camp, among criminals, as refuse. We, too, must forfeit any status of means, willingly suffering as refuse any reproach, as a follower of Christ.
Hebrews 13:12-13 - "Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."
We Have No Continuing City, But Seek One To Come
Jesus sacrificed His life as refuse without the camp. Paul admonished us to follow Him outside the camp to bear His reproach. The overriding premise embedded in this teaching is that our temporal lives are expendable. This world is not our home. What do you profit if you gain the whole world, and lose your soul? You can and should sacrifice all earthly significance with anticipation that the life hereafter is our true and eternal reward. Seek no city here below. Seek the Celestial City.
Hebrews 13:14 - "For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."
Offer The Sacrifices Of Praise To God Continually
The scriptures teach us to watch and pray ALWAYS; pray without ceasing. Paul said to give thanks ALWAYS. We are also told to ALWAYS abound in the work of the Lord. Another places says "ALWAYS laboring fervently for you." Here, he says to offer praises to God CONTINUALLY. Do you see the theme? ALWAYS pray, give thanks, praise and work for Jesus! PRAISE HIM! Sacrificially, always and everywhere.
Hebrews 13:15-16 - "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. ...for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
God Make You Perfect In Every Good Work
Some say "Down with religion! (WORKS), Up with Jesus! (LOVE)." But Jesus said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good WORKS, and glorify your Father..." Matthew 5:16. Over 100 New Testament verses stress good works (i.e., works of Christ, mighty works, reward according to works, greater works, many good works, believe the works, (Dorcas) ...full of good works, etc. Works are only condemned when done with ungodly motives.
Hebrews 13:20-21 - "The God of peace ...Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight."
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