The Epistle To The Hebrews
This is a new series of recordings going through the book of Hebrews, and if you listened to my series of clips on the book of Revelation earlier this year, then this is going to be something similar to that, but it probably won’t run as long as the Revelation clips did. And along the way, I will look at other subjects which are relevant to the book of Hebrews. But first and foremost, this will be a verse-by-verse expository through the book of Hebrews.
VERSE 1: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,”
First of all, we start with the word GOD in upper case in the King James Bible, and I think it’s worth spending a few moments offering some thoughts to those that are in the Messianic movement or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And the reason I flag out these groups is, the one thing that they all have in common — for the most part, anyway — is their belief that the word “Jehovah” should be used throughout the Old and New Testament. Of course, the word Jehovah is a Latin word, first of all, and it’s only found a handful of times in your King James Bible. Never once is it found in the New Testament, and if you go to any Greek Bible, any Greek New Testament, any lexicon, you will not find the word Jehovah. Now, if the word Jehovah was as important as some of our brethren would have us believe, then why don’t we find it in the New Testament? Why didn’t the Holy Spirit tell the apostles to put the word Jehovah into the New Testament? Why didn’t the Holy Spirit tell the apostles to put the word Yeshua or Yahweh into the New Testament? He didn’t do it because it’s not important.
Now, in the Old Testament, Yahweh , Jehovah, Yeshua or Joshua — all important words and I’m certainly not undermining it or playing it down — but you must remember that the Hebrew-speaking Old Testament was for the Jews with parts of Daniel and, I think, Ezra in Aramaic. But, nonetheless, the Jews, their tongue was Hebrew; their tongue was Aramaic so you would expect the Tenach, the Old Testament, to be written in their own tongue, whereas the New Testament is a book to the entire world, and the world in the first century spoke in Greek. So I just wanted to make that brief observation right from the outset.
And I want to say one other thing briefly. Some of our Messianic brethren will also spell the word God “G-d.” Now, again, there’s nothing wrong with that and they are doing it to show reverence to the Lord, and I certainly salute them for that, but I would just make one additional point, if I may. You don’t find this abbreviation in any lexicon. If you want to go to the Greek, you won’t find it there, and you certainly won’t find it in any mainstream English Bible.
Just a couple of points. I don’t want to be dogmatic about this, but these questions, these issues do get raised. And one of the most popular arguments put forth by the Messianic movement — not all of them but some of them — is that you must call Jesus Yeshua, and I just beg the question that most of these people didn’t get saved calling on the name Yeshua; they got saved calling on the name of Jesus. In fact, pre-1960 the Messianic movements were almost nonexistent. So this is very much a new trend which has come into the church in the past 40 years or so.
It says here “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” The fathers are obviously Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets could be anybody from Ezekiel to Daniel to Jeremiah and so on and so forth. And also note that this is past tense, which links in quite nicely to verse 2, “Hath in these last days.” Of course, the last days and the latter days have two distinctions. The last days could be a reference to the Messianic movement, God’s timetable of revealing His Son to the Jewish people, whereas the latter days are eschatological days and a reference to the Second Advent.
VERSE 2: “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”
Jesus Christ is the last revelation from God. He’s the Alpha and the Omega. There are no more prophets to come after Jesus. Mohammed came in the eighth century, and he offered us nothing that we didn’t already know from reading the Bible. Seven hundred forty-seven thousand words, I believe, both Testaments make up, give or take a few words here or there. Mohammed offered us nothing new to what the Lord Jesus Christ had already given us through the New Testament writers. Jesus is the heir of all things as the unique Son of God. He is the express image of God, which I’ll get to in the next verse, but as the Son of God, He gets everything, and you won’t find anybody else in Scripture that comes anywhere near what Jesus Christ claims and who Jesus Christ is.
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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
I want to start verse 3 in reverse order. In the Old Testament the Jews could never sit down in the Temple. The high priest would offer the sacrifice and the Jews would stand. Why? Well, the offering was presented to the high priest as only a covering. Only Christ could take away the sin of the world, and, of course, John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” Everything that went wrong at the fall of Adam was rectified in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus here is spoken of as the “express image of God.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus says to Philip, “He that sees the Son sees the Father.” Now, Jesus Christ isn’t the Father, the Father isn’t the Son, and the Holy Spirit isn’t Jesus, but Jesus is a reflection of His Father. God has chosen to reveal Himself to the world through Jesus Christ. My understanding of the Father is that He has never taken human form. When we go through the Old Testament and we find revelations, whether it’s from Genesis 18 when Abraham speaks to the Lord or Exodus or any of the appearances of deity in the Old Testament, it’s always a reference to the Son of God. That’s a Christophany, meaning that Christ has appeared in the flesh pre His incarnation. Now, I don’t know if everybody agrees with me on that — I’m sure some don’t — but I don’t believe, as of making this video in 2010, that the Father has ever taken on human form. Jesus said to the Jews that they hadn’t seen the Father at any time but He has chosen to reveal Himself through His Son. Now, in the Millennium, in Matthew 5 Jesus said that the pure in heart would see God, and, of course, in Revelation you see the Lamb and the Father side-by-side. So I do believe in the future state that the triune God will very much be on display for His redeemed to see and to worship. But from creation to the current time, I don’t believe that the Father has ever taken on a human form.
The middle part of verse 3 says by Himself he purged our sins. I could say so much about that. First of all, Jesus hung on the cross, period. If you go to some South American countries, you see the Madonna on the cross — Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Columbia, so on and so forth. For some reason, Central America, South America, the Philippines, and other parts of the world which are predominantly Catholic countries don’t educate their laity, and, of course, where you have an ignorance, you have a controlling. If the priest class of people can control the multitudes, then that is power; that is real power. But the Scripture says that He purged our sins by Himself. That’s already done. That’s a past action, by the way. There’s no need to go to church to have the transubstantiation offered for you if you’re a Catholic or, if you’re in a works-righteous church, by keeping the Ten Commandments or any of those things. That won’t save you. It says here in verse 3 that He’s already purged our sins, and He did it by Himself. And I’ll say one final point. Purgatory is probably the biggest hoax predating evolution because what purgatory does is it keeps people in bondage. It stops Catholics from having any assurance that they can be saved. Even if a Catholic dies in a “state of grace,” he or she will never go straight into Heaven because, according to Catholicism, he or she may have forgotten to tell the priest of some of their sins. They may have deliberately withheld some of these sins or just not wanted to confess to these sins, and therefore they have to go to purgatory to be purged. And, once again, that undermines the atonement, and it contradicts flatly Hebrews 1:
VERSE 4: “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses will tell you that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, and yet verse 4 in the first chapter refutes that. His name is much higher than the angels. In fact, Psalm 138 says that the Lord will put His Word above His name. Philippians 2 says that at the name of Jesus every knee would bend and every tongue would confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the book of Acts the apostles preached in the name of Christ, and that expression “in the name” means “the authority.” Some people go to Acts chapter 2 and they say you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and they stop there, and they fail to understand that all that means is that the apostles initially had the authority from the Lord to baptize. That authority is given vicariously to all Christians, by the way, not just the apostles. It may have been given to them initially, but it went out to everybody. Paul had the authority; he gave it to Timothy, Titus, and it went out from these early saints, and now everybody has it – those, of course, who are truly born again. I’m not just saying anybody without exception, but those who are saved have the authority to baptize. But, like I say, Acts 2, when it says to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ means with the authority of Jesus Christ you can baptize somebody. And, of course, you go to Matthew 28 and follow the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit. But here it says He has a more excellent name than anybody who’s gone before Him, and, of course, here its context is speaking of angels.
VERSE 5: “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?”
This in some ways is a rhetorical question, but it can also be written down, if you will, and understood to be literally asking the question, “Which angel did he ever say this to?” and the answer is, “No angel.”
“And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”
This is a unique relationship between the Father and the Son in Trinitarianism, and, of course, if you’re not a Trinitarian, then you have to force the Scripture to teach the Lord appearing as one person with three personalities, which I believe feeds into modalism, which is a very difficult concept to defend from the Scripture. If you go to Matthew 3, for example, Jesus is being baptized, and the Father speaks to Jesus from Heaven, and the Holy Spirit descends in physical form on the Lord. In John 12, I think it is, the Father speaks to the Son and everybody hears it. Jesus on the cross said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and everybody could hear what He was saying. And I’ll say one other thing quickly on that point. When Jesus hung on the cross and He said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,” He was simply speaking as the son of man dying for the sins of the world. He didn’t say, “My Father, why have you forsaken me?” He said, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
VERSE 6: “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
Scripture says that God is a jealous God and He won’t share His glory with anyone else. Now, Jesus says in John 17, I believe it is, that He shared that glory with God before the foundation of the world. Now, the only way to deal with this is to take the Scripture as it stands. When Christ says there is only one God, there is only one God, and yet here we find Jesus is sharing that worship with God. The Lord Himself is allowing — in fact, He’s ordaining the angels to worship His Son. Now, you can take that as it stands or you can force the Scriptures to contradict itself, which I wouldn’t wish you to do, but if you take it as it stands, it’s quite clear to me that Jesus Christ is God. And I said it before and I’ll say it one more time: If you sin against God, only God Himself can forgive you, period.
VERSES 7-9: “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the son he saith”- now, watch this – “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever:”
This is the Father speaking to the Son, and He calls Him God.
“A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou has loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
There’s a reference to the Holy Spirit, of course, and it says here that He hated iniquity. And some Christians, I’m ashamed to have to tell you if you didn’t know, but some Christians do believe that Jesus could have sinned if He had wanted to, and I don’t find that in Scripture. I find the complete opposite. If you go to Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 7 — I do not have any notes prepared. If you go to Isaiah 7:15, it says, “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Now, some people use this part of Scripture to put forth their argument — I won’t use the word hypothesis because the word hypothesis means there’s some substance behind it — but they use this bit of Scripture to argue that Jesus could have chosen evil from good, but I don’t get that from Scripture. I get this part of Scripture showing me that He had already chosen to choose good and not evil, and, of course, this is a reference to the virgin birth. This is in Scripture hundreds of years before Jesus was born, and He wasn’t going to choose evil; He was going to choose good. So I just wanted to share that quick point with you.
VERSE 10: “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.”
Again, this is still deity here. This is marvelous.
VERSES 11-12: “They shall perish; but thou remaineth; 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.”
Scripture says Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away. This, again, should show you the eternality of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is wonderful praise from the Father to the Son. And, again, Scripture says He won’t share His glory with anybody else, but He will share it with His Son because the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one.
VERSE 13: “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”
Again, it’s a rhetorical question, but it’s not.
VERSE 14: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall are heirs of salvation?”
Just before I get to the second chapter of Hebrews, I want to just spend a few moments talking about the author of this wonderful epistle. One thing we know for sure, according to 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
In other words, once a man gets saved, all he needs is the Scripture and he will judge everything by the Scripture — sola scriptura. That is what the Reformers meant when they said Scripture alone. And according to 2 Peter 1:20 & 21, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
In other words, every word in the Scripture — over 700,000 words — is God breathed. None of the men who wrote the Bible — all Jewish men — gave you their own opinion on anything. They wrote as the Holy Spirit commissioned them. And it’s the writings, of course, which are inspired, not the writers. Some people make the mistake of comparing the writers of the Bible to people like Shakespeare and others, and they say that Shakespeare was inspired to write what he wrote. It’s not the same thing at all. Shakespeare wrote from his own intellect, whereas the writers of the Bible wrote as they were led by the Holy Spirit.
Because Hebrews is a Jewish book written by a Jewish writer to the Jews, we need to be very, very careful how we approach this book.
If you go to 1 Corinthians 10, verse 32, Paul says, “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” There are three groups of people there. If you’re not a saved man or woman, you’re either a Gentile or a Jew, but by Galatians 3:26, again the apostle says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” You may be a human descendent from Adam, but you’re not a child of God in a spiritual sense until you are born again. Verses 27 & 28: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
So our positional standing when the Lord looks at us is that of a non-nationality, a non- gender person.
VERSE 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.”
Now, of course, I’m making a deliberate emphasis on the word “we.” Who is the “we”? The Hebrews. Again, this is an epistle written by a Jewish writer to the Jews, the chosen race. John 4 says that salvation is of the Jews. Paul says that the Gospel went to the Jews first. This is a Jewish book. Always, always, always keep that in mind.
VERSES 2-3: “For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;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.”
One thing you must always keep in mind is that the New Testament was written by the Jews, first and foremost to the Jews, and the main theme was not only that Christ was the Messiah but that He was the only Lamb of God; He was the only sin offering, and if you didn’t stay with Him after coming to Him, then you couldn’t be saved. In other words, there’s no more atonement outside of Jesus Christ, and the writer here is saying that we, the Jews, must give heed, must take note.
Go back to verse 3, second part: “which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord” — of course, that’s Jesus – “and was confirmed unto us” — that’s the Jewish people – “by them” – that’s the apostles – “that heard him.”
VERSE 4: “God also bearing them” — the apostles – “witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”
The Jews seek after a sign. The apostles were all Jewish, as were their early associates, and they had the sign gifts. Never, never make doctrine from the book of Acts. Acts is a transitional period going from law to grace. The only place to really build any solid doctrine would be in the epistles.
VERSES 5-6: “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
I find it really interesting that the writer of Hebrews doesn’t give you the quote from the book of Job because the people he’s writing to know what he is referring to. I believe it was the Geneva Bible that was the first Bible to have chapter and verse divisions, and every Bible since the Geneva Bible has followed that trend, and we are certainly blessed to have that. But if you go back to the Greek New Testament, the Greek manuscripts — and I saw one in Manchester just last week, the Gospel of John, I think it’s the 18th chapter – there’s no break. It’s just paragraph after paragraph.
VERSES 7-8: “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.”
One of the problems that the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups have is they fail to distinguish between the Son of man and the Son of God, and therefore they focus pretty much all their attention on the human side of Jesus Christ. And, of course, that is folly and it’s very dangerous. Paul says in Philippians that Jesus didn’t think it was robbery to make Himself equal to God. The Gospel of John — I think it’s the 10th chapter — says that the Jews took stones to throw at Christ, and He said, “Why do you stone me?” And they said, “Because you are a man that make yourself out to be God.” And they got that completely right. And on that occasion the Lord did not correct them.
VERSE 9: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
There is no limited atonement in the Bible. Limited atonement came out of Augustine’s flawed City of God. Augustine was the first Calvinist, if you will, in the history of the “church.” I don’t consider Augustine a saved man. I believe Augustine has caused more damage to the church than probably anybody else.
Go to 1 John. Always go to Scripture to define the Scripture; otherwise, you are going to have a lot of problems understanding anything. First John 2:2: “And he”- Jesus – “is the propitiation for our sins” — that is a reference to the church, of course – “and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Now, what normally happens is people will bicker over the word “world” and force it to mean something which it doesn’t mean, but, nonetheless, the early church in the Bible believed that “the world” was a reference to everybody, and the writer of Hebrews says Jesus tasted death for everybody. And if you just take the Bible as it is written, just interpret it as it’s clearly presented, you won’t fall into any of these philosophical traps and, in the end, force the Bible to teach what it doesn’t teach. That is eisegesis when you read into the text what’s not there. The correct way to read the Bible is exegesis, to read into the text what is there and then take from it what is clearly presented.
And I’ll just show you one other Scripture before I move on. Second Peter 2:1: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” I’ve heard so many sermons on this part of Scripture, and a lot of the new Bibles change the word “Lord” to “Master” to get out of the fact that Jesus died for every man, woman, and child. Everything that went wrong at the fall of Lucifer, at the fall of Adam, Jesus Christ has resolved through His death, burial, and resurrection. There is no unfinished business in eternity. That does not mean that everybody goes to Heaven. Far from it. But the sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross when He hung for six hours naked, I might add, appeased the Father. So everything that went wrong back in the Garden was rectified initially in the Garden of Gethsemane but ultimately resolved on the cross.
So go back to Hebrews. I’m just giving you a few Scriptures to help you see these things.
VERSES 10-11: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
Once you are born again, once you are justified, which is a legal term, once you’ve been exonerated, once Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to your account, then you are sanctified; you are set apart. You are declared holy.
VERSES 12-15: “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he 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; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
So the devil had some authority here over death, and, of course, by Jesus dying on the cross, He’s now abolished the grip that the devil had. And the only way we can be redeemed, the only way we can be saved is by faith in Jesus Christ, and the only way we can overcome fear is to meditate on the Word of God, to totally focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.
VERSE 16: “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”
Again, Jesus is not an angel. When the Scripture says the Angel of the Lord, that is a reference to a messenger. Jesus is spoken of in the Scripture as the Angel of the Lord, but it says He took on human form, not angelic. The Jehovah’s Witnesses — and I will probably refer to them more than one occasion on this video — make the bogus claim that Jesus was Michael the Archangel, and that’s not what the Scripture says.
VERSE 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.”
Jesus Christ is the only person in any mainline, mainstream world of religion who is God that took on human form. Never mind Greek mythology and all that nonsense of the gods taking on form. Jesus as the God is the only person to take on human form, and He did so to be a merciful and faithful high priest.
I’ve had conversations with Muslims over the years, and they’ll say to me, “Well, Allah has no sons; therefore, Jesus cannot be Allah’s son.” And I say, “That’s right. Jesus isn’t Allah’s son because Allah is not God.” But I also turn the statement around and I say, “So you can do something that God can’t do. You can produce children, but He can’t. Who’s all powerful now? Are you all powerful or is God all powerful?” God took on the form of a dove in Matthew chapter 3, and He spoke through a donkey in the book of Numbers. If He wanted to become a man, He would, and He did become a man.
VERSE 18: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
In other words, the Lord can more than understand, He can more than appreciate what we go through as human beings. And if you go to any so-called holy man or holy book, whether it’s Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius or any other so-called holy person, whether it’s Josemaria Escriva of the Opus Dei, Ron Hubbard from the Scientology, Charles Taze Russell from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Joseph Smith from the Latter Day Saints, the Mormons — none of these people — none of them — died for the sins of their people — none of them. In eternity past the Godhead knew that man was going to fall, and they decided that Jesus would be the one who would come to earth, live as a man for 33 years, die a horrendous death on the cross, and after three days, the Father, according to Galatians 1, the Spirit, according to Romans 8, and the Son, according to John 2 would resurrect the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a clear Trinitarian fact that the three members of the Godhead worked together in the second most important event in the world after the creation of the universe. They came together to resurrect the Lord Jesus Christ — three-in-one, one-in-three, and the one in the middle died for me.
VERSE 1: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.”
Here Jesus is called an apostle, and in the gospels, an apostle is somebody who was an eyewitness to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are no apostles today. When you have people who call themselves Apostle A or Prophet B, then you know you’re dealing with a rather ignorant person. But here the Lord is referred to as an “Apostle and High Priest.”
VERSE 2: “Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.”
Here you see a comparison between Christ and Moses. Moses is a type of Christ. He gathers the chosen race. He takes them out of Egypt, which is a picture of the world, and he takes them to a land full of milk and honey, the Promised Land. Those that leave with Moses — the true Jews, people like Joshua and others — remain with him throughout. That is a picture, of course, of our salvation. Christ takes us out of the world. We come to Him by faith, and we follow Him. We become His disciples. We start out with Him and we finish with Him, but, of course, in that sense, we get eternal life.
Now, there’s some possibility that there’s some leeway where you can take the Promised Land and spiritualize that to the Millennium because we know that our salvation is a free gift. We can’t lose our salvation. We can’t forfeit our salvation. Once you become bone of His bone and seed of His seed, you cannot lose that. If you have a father, for example, who disowns you, he may take his name from you or you may take your name from him, but you’re still his son. That seed from him lies within you. It’s the same with the New Testament. Once you are bone of His bone, once you’ve been grafted in, you are forever His.
VERSE 3: “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”
Time and time again you’ll see that Moses is put forward as quite possibly one of the greatest Old Testament saints along with David, and the writer here is saying that Jesus is greater than Moses. Who is he speaking to? He’s speaking to the Jews. This is a Jewish book. There’s no way that a Gentile would have need of thirteen chapters explaining to him how the Old Testament sacrifice is now done away with through Jesus Christ. This book is aimed at Jewish Christians first and foremost, but behind that, it’s aimed at the Jewish community. And like I’ve already said, Jesus is the Lamb of God. He takes away the sin of the world, and there are no more prophets. There’s no more atonement needed. Everything that Jesus achieved at the cross has more than satisfied the Father.
VERSES 4-6: “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 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.”
I’m going to show you two Scriptures here. Go to the Gospel of John, John chapter 6, verse 65: “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” They rejected Him as the Lamb of God, the Bread which came down from heaven, and they went back to the law.
Go to 1 John chapter 2, verse 19: “They” — false disciples, a reference to those that started with the Lord but were never actually saved – “went out from us” — those that were saved and are saved – “but they were not of us” — now, watch it – “for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” In other words, they weren’t saved in the first place. They started with the early church, but their hearts were never circumcised. Hence, they went back to where they came from, and in the context of the book of Hebrews, they went back to the law. And like I’ve already said, the plea here is that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, and you’ve got to come to Him and you’ve got to trust Him, period.
VERSES 7-9: “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.”
Everybody hears the word of God. In fact, go back to John. This teaching of total depravity is another hogwash that’s come out of the Reformation, and we have people like Augustine to thank for this. Go to the Gospel of John, John chapter 1, verse 9: “That was the true Light” — in reference to Christ – “which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
I’ll show you one more. Go to chapter 5. And, again, that doesn’t mean everybody is going to be saved, but it means that Christ lights everybody. Everybody has the light. They all have a conscience. They all know they are created. John chapter 5, verses 28 & 29: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves” — these are dead people, obviously – “shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Go back to verse 25: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” So the emphasis is put onyou to hear. The Word went out but the hearts of men are desperately wicked, and men love darkness rather than light. So the burden is put back on the recipient: You heard the Gospel and you rejected it. So this teaching is nonsense that says until God regenerates you, until He reprograms you to believe on Him, you can’t be saved. The Gospel is preached to everybody.
Mark 16 says to “preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” It doesn’t say that he that believes not and isn’t baptized is damned. You get saved by your faith in Christ alone and then you get baptized. Your baptism doesn’t save you.
I was talking to some Mormons just last week, and I had a good ten-minute witness to these two missionaries, and I said that Christ didn’t send Paul to baptize but to preach the Gospel. That, of course, is from 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Baptism does not save you. You’re saved by the precious blood of Christ alone.
VERSE 10: “Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.”
Who is the Lord speaking to here? The elect or the non-elect? He’s talking to everybody, and He’s putting the emphasis back on them. Listen: Nobody will stand at the Great White Throne and say to Jesus, “You didn’t die for me. You didn’t atone for my sin.” They’ll stand at the Great White Throne because they rejected the Lord for their wickedness, their depravity, and they chose the broad road. Their conscience convicted them when they became of age, and they chose to live in sin. Don’t ever think that people are going to go to Hell because Christ didn’t atone for them, that He didn’t love them, that He had pleasure in sending them to Hell. No. They went to Hell because they chose darkness rather than light, and the Scripture makes it very clear that the Lord stretched out His arm all day long to a gainsaying people pleading with men to repent.
VERSE 11: “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)”
Again, you can apply this spiritually to the Millennium, the rest that we get at the end of the Tribulation. At the end of the Millennium, we’re going to eternity ultimately, but I think Moses and the Promised Land are the equivalent to Jesus and our salvation.
VERSE 12: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
Again, who is the Lord speaking to here? If we go with the Calvinist route for a moment, they teach that the Lord chooses a group of people in every generation, and as and when it pleases Him, He flicks the switch and they become alive and they become good Christians, if you will. They can’t fall away because they’ve already been atoned for. And yet here it says, “Take heed, brethren.” Now, this expression “brethren” could just be a generic term. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these were all regenerated people. When we go on the streets, we talk to people, and sometimes we’ll say, “Take a tract, brother, take a tract, sister.” It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are acknowledging that these people are saved. Most of the time we don’t even know who these people are. But here it says “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” And I would give you John 6:66 and 1 John 2. Again, the writer of Hebrews is pleading with the Jewish people, his initial audience, not to do what the unbelievers did in Moses’ day and go back into Egypt. They lusted for the world. He’s saying, “You stay where you are.”
VERSE 13: “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Again, the emphasis is put on the recipient.
VERSE 14: “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”
Now, some people believe in perseverance of the saints, that you have to keep persevering on — and if you are saved, you will persevere. That’s pretty obvious. But even that isn’t evidence that you are saved. We know a lot of religious people in all walks of life who can pray until the cows come home; they can fast; they can do all sorts of wonderful religious acts, but they’re not saved; they’re not born again, and they would tell you that. We know people that aren’t even professing Christians that are very religious. But here the writer is saying you need to hold the beginning of your confidence; you need to stay firm; you need to focus on the Lamb of God. He died for your sins. You stay with Him. And, again, if you are saved, if you’re born again, you’re neither Jew nor Gentile. You are genderless according to Galatians 3, and you know that you’re saved according to 1 John 5:13. So this isn’t aimed at you. This is aimed at the early church, the early Jews and the wider Jewish community.
VERSE 15: “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
Once again, this teaching of total depravity doesn’t wash. In fact, if you go to Luke 15, you have the prodigal son. He was his father’s son regardless of what some people say, and he fell into sin, and yet he came to himself. He repented and came back to his father. Now, there are so many different arguments about this. Some say that he wasn’t saved to begin with, which is possible, and yet his conscience pricked him and he called on the Lord, and he came back and was received. Nonetheless, it shows a picture of a man who is in sin, because the Lord tells us the man was dead, and if you’re dead, you’re dead. He wasn’t physically dead; he was spiritually dead, but he still knew right from wrong, and his conscience pricked him and he came back to the Lord.
VERSE 16: “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.”
Not everybody that came out with Moses went into the Promised Land. Many fell away. We know people that we used to work with that we used to consider to be good Christians, people that were saved. Some of them have just fallen away. And it’s difficult to understand this because you can go to Galatians 5 and look at the fruits of Spirit, but even then it’s difficult to ascertain whether or not somebody really is saved. They will tell you that they have all the fruits of the Spirit, but, of course, they could be kidding you, and more importantly, they could be kidding themselves.
VERSES 17-18: “But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses 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. And, again, I believe that to be a reference first and foremost to a person’s salvation. You have to come to Christ believing He is who He says He is, and then you can possibly apply this spiritually to the Millennial reign. And I’ll just squeeze one cross-reference in to maybe make the case. Go to 2 Timothy 2:12: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:” — there’s your Millennium – “if we deny him, he also will deny us” — in the Millennium. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”
So thankfully — and we give the Lord all the praise and glory here — our salvation does not depend on how great we are or think that we are. We come to the Lord as beggars. We come broken. We cry out to Him. We don’t just say a quick prayer and then think we are saved. We are not saved by words. We’re saved by faith, true faith, real faith, broken faith.
We had a woman who contacted us through one of our brothers last year, I think it was, who wanted to be baptized, and she was introduced to us. And we sat down with her and I probed. I asked her some questions to make sure she was actually born again, but I wasn’t sure. From the first meeting with this woman, I wasn’t convinced that she was saved. And some of the brothers said, “Oh, she should be ready to be baptized.” And I said, “No, I wasn’t happy to do it.” I didn’t think she was ready to do it. And I remember giving her an MP3 player and I put some sermons on there, and it was a gift from myself to her to help her grow, to help her understand what it was that she was going to be baptized into. And some months passed, and I felt she was becoming lukewarm. She didn’t meet up with us. She didn’t want to commit herself to what we were doing, and I said to the others that I wasn’t prepared to baptize her, and they agreed. And some months later she’s gone back to the Anglo Catholic church that she was once a part of, and for me, that is evidence that she hasn’t actually repented. She simply had a change of mind. She’s gone from being agnostic about religion in general to being interested in religion but not really understanding that once you come to Christ, you don’t need religion; you don’t need the sacraments. There’s no holy communion in the Scriptures. There’s the breaking of bread, but it can’t save you. It’s something you do because you are saved. You don’t do it to get saved or stay saved. And I don’t think she really grasped what repentance was.
But in verse 18 it says that they could not enter in because of unbelief. You’ve got to come to the Lord broken. You’ve got to come totally dependent on Him. You just cry out to Him and say, “Lord Jesus, I know I’m a wicked sinner, but I believe that you died for my sins.” And if you truly believe that and you truly turn from a position of unbelief to belief, then the Bible says that you will be saved.
VERSE 1: “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.”
Once again, the Jewish writer speaking to the Jews.
VERSE 2: “For unto us was the gospel preached” — again, the Gospel went to the Jews first, then to the Gentiles — “as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them” – not all the Jews receive it – “not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
Romans 10, verses 1 through 3 say, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” They thought they could do it their own way, and, of course, that’s not going to work. So these two Scriptures, I believe, are talking about the Jews.
VERSES 3-4: “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.”
Again, there’s no reference given because the Jews had the oracles given to them, and they knew exactly what the writer is saying and what Scripture he is referring to.
VERSES 5-6: “And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief.”
You find in the Gospels where the Jews are constantly rejecting the Lord, trying to trip Him up, and, of course, they fall into the sin which was later called the unpardonable sin, which isn’t applicable today, I don’t believe. But for those that were alive on the earth when Jesus appeared, for those that committed the unpardonable sin, they were completely lost. Why? Because they called Jesus a demon-possessed Beelzebub, and they didn’t credit the Holy Spirit for what He was doing but they credited the devil, and their hearts were so hardened that they couldn’t be redeemed. This didn’t happen before time; this happened in time. The Lord didn’t predestinate them to go to Hell; they willfully were ignorant, and they sent themselves to Hell for their depravity — not total depravity, of course.
VERSE 7: “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
Go to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and look at verse 19: “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Look at verse 2 from chapter 6: “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”
So we teach men to repent and to come to the Lord. He’s already reconciled the world unto Himself. He’s now waiting for you to come to Him. And I’ll show you one more Scripture because some people, you may be surprised to know, don’t care what I’ve just said. They say that unless the Lord grants you repentance, you cannot be saved. Well, Acts 5 says that the repentance was given to the Jews. Acts 11 says it was given to the Gentiles. And, again, go back to my Scripture from 1 Corinthians 10:32 — Jew, Gentile, and church. If the Jew and the Gentile have been granted repentance, which was also affirmed in Luke 24, then there’s nobody that hasn’t been given repentance. There’s no other group outstanding.
And one more Scripture that some of our Calvinist friends go to is 2 Timothy 2:25: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure” — old English for “perhaps” – “if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” This is speaking to saved people, and the repentance here is not repentance to Jesus as Savior; it is repentance to get out of sin. Go to first Corinthians 5, and I’ll come back to Timothy in a minute. First Corinthians 5:5, Scripture with Scripture: “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Some people will fall into sin and they won’t repent, in which case they are to be given over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, which normally is a reference to excommunication. You put them out of whatever fellowship you have, and they go solo. That is one of the most historical understandings of what 1 Corinthians 5:5 is referring to.
Go back to 2 Timothy. I just want to reinforce my view on this so you don’t think it’s not speaking to a saved person. In fact, 1 Corinthians 11 says that many of the saints slept because of their sin. Second Timothy 2:16: “But shun profane andvain babblings; Who concerning the truth have erred; The Lord knoweth them that are his; If a man…purge himself from these; Flee…youthful lusts; But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes; And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men.” This is speaking of a saved person who has fallen into sin, and the plea here is that the Lord will grant them repentance to see the error of their ways. And He will do that, of course, if you call, if you turn from your sin as a saved man. You don’t turn from your sin as an unsaved man to get saved. You are born in sin. You come to the Lord as a broken vessel. In fact, if you go to Acts, I’ll give you two examples. Look at Acts 14:15. Now just picture this. Paul is preaching to non-Jews, pagans, Gentiles. They’re superstitious. They’ve probably been involved in all sorts of wickedness. Look at verse 15: “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.” That doesn’t mean God overlooked everything they did. They’ll still give an account of themselves. “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
So the Lord has always had a light on display, if you will, for those that were seeking Him; but like I say, Paul tells these people to turn, turn from their vanities. Of course, what is their vanities? It’s pagan worship. They’re worshipping a false god. Go to chapter 17. Again, very similar. Paul is in Athens this time. Verse 23: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” In other words, you’re worshipping this god in ignorance. I’m now going to declare Him unto you. Go down to 30: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
So you have the Apostle Paul telling unsaved people to turn from their superstition to the living God. That is true repentance. You change your mind; you stop doing what you are doing and you turn to the Lord in complete faith. And also you can get from Acts 17 affirmation that if you’re witnessing to a Muslim or a Hindu or a Sikh or any non-Christian group, they are commanded to repent to come to the God of the Bible. We don’t just leave them as they are. We don’t just hold hands and fellowship with them or journey with them as the ecumenical movement would have you believe, but we tell them that God commands them to repent, and if they don’t repent, then we move on to the next person. That is Scripture one hundred percent.
VERSE 8: “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”
Jesus here is a reference to Joshua, and Joshua, of course, is a type of Christ.
VERSES 9-11: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For 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, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” There’s only one rest in the Bible, and there’s only one route; there’s only one way to get that rest, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John speaks about the Lord being a door, a gate, and in Matthew 7 He’s spoken of as being a narrow gate or narrow way. You’ve got to go to Him and through Him. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
So if you are one of those Christians that get off about the Sabbath and you think that perhaps you should be keeping the Sabbath, if you look at this carefully, you’ll see that Jesus is our Sabbath rest. We rest with Him and we approach Him by faith.
VERSE 12: “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.”
What an amazing statement that is. If you know the Bible, if you believe it, if you preach it and you keep it in your heart, then you can overcome anything. And you can use this Book to win souls, to bring strongholds down, and you’ll be a mighty warrior for the Lord. But if you don’t approach the Bible with reverence and fear and trembling, then you’ll just be a very shallow Christian and you’ll always be a babe in Christ. And later on in the book of Hebrews we come across those passages.
VERSE 13: “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
If you watch any of these new films, you see these satellites and you see people being followed around by these spy agencies, and it’s all very interesting and amazing. You have people’s phone calls and e-mails being intercepted. And who would have thought that the omnipresence, the omniscience, the omnipotence of God Almighty written thousands of years ago and just found again in verse 13 is happening all around us? And, of course, the Antichrist will no doubt use that during the Tribulation. But here the all-powerful God sees everything that goes on, and if you think you can avoid Him, if you think you can beat the rap, as they say, think again.
VERSE 14: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
Again, a statement of faith: Hold fast, stay firm.
VERSE 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, yetwithout sin.”
Allah has no emotions. He doesn’t really understand his creatures, whereas the God of the Bible knows exactly what you’re going through, and more importantly, it says yet He was without sin. I’ve got seven references in the Quran and Suras where Allah tells Mohammed to repent. You can’t show me one reference in the Bible where Jehovah told Jesus to repent. In fact, I can give you one reference when He said to the Jews, Which of you convinceth Me of sin or convicteth Me of sin? And nobody said a word. Why? Because He was without sin.
VERSE 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.”
Okay. We’ve just finished the fourth chapter, and I just want to make one final point if it hasn’t already been made very clearly. Although the book of Hebrews is a Jewish book written to the Jews, you can certainly and most definitely take a lot from this and apply it spiritually and some of it maybe even doctrinally, possibly; and we’ll get to the later chapters, and I may elaborate a bit more on that. But we can certainly apply this to anybody who is saved because all Scripture is inspired of God, and while it’s true that all Scripture is for us, it’s not all to us, and I think if you’ve listened to any of the other videos we’ve done, I hope you will know by now what I mean when I say that.
VERSES 1-3: “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: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.”
I just want to stop there and make a pretty obvious point that the priests in the Old Testament in the line of Levi were all human beings. They were all sinners. They weren’t perfect, and, of course, the comparison being made in the fifth chapter, which will grow in the sixth and the seventh and the latter chapters, is quite clear that the Son of God, the Savior of the world, was sinless. And I think verse 3 is interesting. It says, “by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.” Of course, the high priest wasn’t only atoning for the sins of the people, but he was also atoning for himself.
Now, when you go through the Old Testament, you get people like Moses and Aaron, Daniel, Jeremiah, and so on and so forth — all types of Christ, all interceding on behalf of the people of Israel, and yet they themselves had to atone for their own sins. And when you go through Numbers and Deuteronomy, you see that Moses and Aaron both died prematurely for their own sins. The Lord won’t overlook the sins of His own people. He is holy and He is righteous. And, of course, when we get to the Gospel account, the Lord Himself, Jesus Christ, the sinless Savior of the world, was put on a cross and tortured to death, and that was done to appease the Father, and it was done in a substitutionary manner. And all that means, in essence, is that for a man to avoid being consumed in the presence of the Lord, God Himself became a man in Jesus Christ and literally paid the price for your sins and my sins. There’s no other way to be reconciled to God. He’s holy; He’s sinless, and when we sin against God, only God Himself can forgive us, and He’s chosen to do that through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. All other religions teach works righteousness or Autosoterism, which means, in essence, that I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that and hope for the best.
Muslims and Catholics are very good at pushing the works, but works won’t save you. Works are important once you’re saved, and they go some way towards the Millennial inheritance as to what rewards and responsibilities you get, but if you’re working or if you think you’re working your way into Heaven, then you’re going to be severely disappointed when the Lord says in Matthew 7, “Depart from me; I never knew you” — not that I once knew you and you fell into sin, but I never knew you. It’s obvious from that part of Scripture that you were never saved to begin with.
VERSES 4-6: “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 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. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Now, this is a very interesting part of Scripture, and it’s also a very vague part of Scripture. If you go to the Old Testament — in fact, if you go to Genesis 14:18, we find the first reference to Melchisedec. He’s only mentioned twice in the Old Testament, and in verse 18 of Genesis 14 it says, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him” — this, of course, is Abraham – “and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
This is the only reference in the early part of Scriptures, in the Torah, to Melchisedec, and to find out who he is, you have to go to extra-biblical sources, which is all very well, but can they be trusted? Are they inspired? And the answer is no. So all we can ascertain is that he was a priest of the Most High God, obviously, and he’s also the king of Salem, so he’s a very important person. Some have put the case forward that this is a Christophany again, a pre-incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m not convinced of that, and therefore I will allow the jury to stay out on this particular issue.
VERSES 7-8: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”
I must stop there and show you a cross-reference to this. Go to Micah chapter 1 and look at verse 8: “Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked” – First Advent – “I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.” There’s quite a lot in there. You’ve got the first coming and you’ve got the second coming. Look at verse 3: “For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.” This is quite easily a reference to the First Advent and the Second Advent. Look at Micah chapter 1, verse 8, again: “Therefore, I will wail”– this is the Lord speaking – “and howl, I will go stripped and naked” — and, of course, that’s a picture of the Lord being interrogated by Pilate and Herod and ultimately ending up on the cross. “I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.”
So back to Hebrews 5:7. And when you cross-reference those, you get a pretty vivid and a pretty distressing account of what the Lord was going through, and we know from the Gospel accounts that He was sweating blood, something which happened to soldiers in the first World War. And go back to 8 again: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” One of the reasons why Christians suffer in the world is to learn obedience, is to learn humility, and it’s not always convenient; it’s not always popular to overthrow this prosperity message. But, nonetheless, the apostles all lived pretty rugged lives, very difficult lives, and they were all martyred for the faith — apart from John, of course, who died an old man. But look at nine. This is interesting.
VERSE 9: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Two things to say here: First of all, your salvation is eternal, quite obvious from here. When you believe on the Lord, all your past, present, and future sins are done away with. Go to Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” When you believe in the Lord, truly believe in the Lord, all of your sins are washed away by the blood, and they are remembered no more.
The second part of verse 9 says “unto all them that obey him.” How do you obey the Lord? Go to Acts, Scripture with Scripture, something which Luther, I believe, coined. It’s pretty helpful to repeat this expression. Acts 16:30: “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Here’s your Philippian jailer minutes from death. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Look at 34: “And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” All of his house believed, hence why they got baptized (v. 33).
So the only way to obey the Lord is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And I’ll give you one more reference in case you’re not convinced. Go to the Gospel of John, chapter 6. It’s very easy to get saved, but it’s not easy to be a disciple of the Lord, to be a faithful disciple of the Lord. John 6:29: “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” And I’ll squeeze one more in. Verse 40: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” If you’re going to obey the Lord, you believe on His Son. There’s no works involved. It’s pretty simple. He’s the author of eternal salvation. And when we get to the seventh and the ninth chapters, we’ll see that the atonement was provided once. Christ went into the Holy of Holies once. There’s no need to go to mass. There’s no need to go to church and keep repenting all the time, keep calling on the Lord all the time. You’re only saved once; you repent once. Repentance is a change of mind, and you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ once. Now, you confess your sins, according to the first epistle of John, and you do so to stay in fellowship with the Lord, to have your prayers answered, to have a strong Christian walk. But you only repent once. You only repent once to get saved. That’s a clear distinction which must be drawn.
VERSE 10: “Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”
And, of course, reading this you would think that there’s a long line of priests going through the Old Testament which all claim the keys to the office of Melchisedec, but that’s not the case. Like I say, Melchisedec is only found twice in the Old Testament. And there is a slight difference on the spelling here, by the way, for Melchisedec, but that’s simply because the Greek going into the English has a different translation, where, of course, the Old Testament is based on the Hebrew going into English. But, nonetheless, it’s the same person, but there’s no office here.
It reminds me of all of the conversations I’ve had with Mormon missionaries over the years who are in the Aaronic priesthood or the Melchisedec priesthood, and I’ve made the case as clear as I can and go back to verse 6 where it says, “Thou art a priest forever.” You are a priest, period. This is a non-transferrable office, and I’ve made the case as best as I can to Mormons that they can’t be in that line. There is no office, if you will, of the Aaronic or Melchisedec priesthood. It began in the book of Genesis, the king of Salem, and it’s fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. And like I say, we’re all priests and kings and we’re a royal priesthood according to the Apostle Peter, but there’s no special, magical priesthood which people can get into. That, of course, is non-biblical, and it’s folly to those who would teach this doctrine.
VERSES 11-14: “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God…”
Again, that’s a very Jewish expression. Romans chapter 2, I think it is, says that the oracles were given to the Jews. Again, this is a Jewish book, and I will continue to repeat that throughout these series of videos to hopefully make it crystal clear to anyone who’s still to grasp this.
“….the oracles of God; and are become such as 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. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
It’s quite obvious that this is a reference to discernment, and in the current age that we live in, discernment is at an all-time low. It’s something which we are mindful of at this ministry, and we try to produce videos of pretty mixed content to reach as many people as possible. And what the writer is saying here is you should be teachers now. You shouldn’t be babes. You need to get off the milk and get on to the strong meat, the substance, like a child starts with the milk and then he goes on to solids. But, of course, here it says in verse 11 that these people are dull of hearing.
VERSES 1-2: “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, 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.”
Let’s look at this in reverse order. First of all, eternal judgment should be quite clear. Heaven is eternal and Hell is eternal. Somebody once said that there was a day when you did not exist, and there will be a day when you will never cease to exist. Pretty frightening stuff. Because the Lord is eternal, all of His creation becomes eternal through their souls. If you’re saved, you go to Heaven and you are with the Lord forever; and if you’re lost, you go to Hell, which is the second death, and that goes on forever. Even a thousand or a million or even a trillion years from today, there will be no amnesty in Hell. The new Bibles translate it Hades, but, nonetheless, it’s still a holding area, and the rich man in Hell in Luke 16 is still there now awaiting the Great White Throne. And, of course, that is a reference to the first death. But if you take that account literally — and I do; I don’t take it as a parable -that man has been in Hell for – what? — let’s say 3,000 years? Jesus went back to glory 2,000 years ago, and when the Lord gave the account, it obviously predated His physical birth. So we could say it’s at least 2,000 years ago. Maybe 3,000 was a bit of a stretch, but at least 2,000 years ago that man died and he’s in Hell now.
But verse 1 says, “leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” And this is interesting because it makes me think of some of the characters that have ministries. And sometimes I’m sent videos to watch or I come across videos; and I watch these characters, and they teach that if you don’t do A, B, or C or if you’re not as holy as they are — at least they think they are holy — then you will lose your salvation. And there’s a particular ministry, which I won’t name because if I name one, I have to name them all, and, in essence, they’re all saying the same thing anyway. But there’s one ministry of a particular chap who constantly goes over the same message. It’s always a very negative message, and he’s always saying that you have to do this and you have to do that, and he’s the sort of person that Paul says is always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. And what you’re getting from these types of people is emotional blackmail because most Christians have some form of sin in their lives; their conscience is always pricked, and when they come across a particular ministry which teaches once saved you can be lost, then, of course, they are hooked on that sort of ministry, and they want to know what the Prophet A or the Apostle B has to say. And, of course, the writer here is saying we have to move on beyond this.
We were saved when we called on the Lord, when we believed on the Lord, and we only repent once. Repentance is a change of mind. We don’t keep repenting every night before we go to bed. We can’t keep ourselves saved, and salvation doesn’t depend on us. We confess our sins, according to 1 John, to stay in fellowship with the Lord, to have a strong prayer life and to have a peace of mind, but we don’t keep going over the same ground again and again. And yet these ministries, these characters which I’m now a little bored of listening to or watching, never are able to move on. They are babes in Christ themselves, and I think, in reality, a lot of them aren’t even saved.
But here in verse 1 you’re told to move on. And, again, this is talking to the Jews and the Jewish community in general, but you can certainly apply this spiritually to anybody living today.
VERSE 3: “And this will we do, if God permit.”
Again, to move on unto perfection.
Okay. Let’s look at verse 4. This is one of the tricky passages, and this is one part of Hebrews which causes a lot of people a lot of anguish.
VERSES 4-6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
Keep everything in mind that I said from the outset that this is a Jewish epistle dealing with the atonement. In the Old Testament, if you wanted to please the Lord, a sacrifice was called for, with faith, of course. In the New Covenant, if you want to be received of the Lord, you have to go through the Son. People think there are different routes to Heaven, and there’s a way which seems right, but, of course, the end thereof is death. Jesus said in John 10:1, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” You’re stealing the glory from the Lord. You’ve got to go through Him. Verse 2: “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”
If you want to be saved, you’ve got to go to the Shepherd. But verses 4-6 say that if you’ve been a partaker of the Holy Ghost and you’ve tasted the heavenly gift and the power and the world to come and so on and so forth, if you would fall away, then you can’t be renewed again unto repentance. Now, there are many different interpretations for this, and the most common position is that a person who is saved, if he or she falls into unbelief — for example, falls into sin and doesn’t repent — they go to Hell, which is complete nonsense. Go to 1 John chapter 1, verse 6: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
If you find yourself in a sinful situation, you can confess it, and the Lord will forgive you. But here it says something a little different, so you’ve got to take all these Scriptures together to get a clear picture. First John, of course, is dealing with fellowship with the Lord, not salvation, but, nonetheless, you can apply this spiritually to a person who is not saved in the first place and he wants to get saved and he calls on the Lord, and the Lord will save him.
Then, of course, he starts to confess his sins. There are different chapters and verses where Paul speaks about the Corinthians who have fallen into sin, and in the eleventh chapter it says many of them slept, which, of course, is a metaphor for dying. They died in the Lord, but they didn’t repent, so the Lord simply took their physical lives from them like Moses and Aaron. But here it’s speaking about somebody who has come to the knowledge, somebody who has experienced the Lord. And, of course, Judas Iscariot is a pretty good character, a pretty good person to cite. He had a good knowledge of the Lord. He was with Him three and a half years, and, of course, he turned and later took his own life. There are other people in the Scriptures.
Some of Paul’s associates had a knowledge of the Lord, but in 2 Timothy Paul says that they’ve all left him, and he’s cold and he’s waiting for his cloak and his parchment.
So the best way to understand this part of Scripture — and I’ll deal with this in a bit more depth when I get to the tenth chapter — but in brief, the best way to deal with this bit of Scripture is to go back to the fact that it’s a Jewish book and it’s saying to the Jews first and foremost that if you have had an experience — for example, you’ve had the Gospel preached to you, you’ve had the apostles go into the synagogues and preach Christ to you or you’ve even seen the Lord as the thousands who saw Him in the Gospels — if you’ve had that experience, if you’ve had a head knowledge or whatever and you don’t build on that (the Gospel of John says you are my disciples if you continue in my Word), if you don’t remain with the Lord, there’s no more sacrifice for you. I think that’s pretty common sense. That’s pretty standard with the main theme of the epistle to the Hebrews.
VERSES 7-8: “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”
Some people will also quote this and say this is a picture of a person’s works being burnt at the Judgment Seat. It’s a possibility, but I still remain convinced of my initial premise that it’s talking to unbelieving Jews who have come into some knowledge of the Lord; they’ve become partakers, but for reasons only known to themselves, they come back to the law. And, again, John 6:66 and 1 John 2:19 would be some good cross-references to deal with this bit of Scripture.
VERSE 9: “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”
Again, there are two groups of people here. The believing Jews received the Lord, and, of course, the Apostle Paul says in the book of Romans he wished he was accursed for his own people, and he wanted all men to be saved. The Scripture says that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But like I’ve said in other videos, the Lord isn’t going to force His way on you. You have to make the decision yourself. The atonement has been made for you, but whether or not you receive it is up to you.
VERSE 10: “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.”
Again, works are very important once you are saved. Do as many works as you can. Start with ministry, obviously. Get some good tracts. Be busy in your own time. Don’t neglect your family, obviously, or your work commitments, but as and when you have any spare time, get yourself some good tracts, go on the streets if you’re able to, and if you have a strong voice, do some preaching. Get a sign, perhaps, and do whatever else you can to glorify the Lord. But just remember that the works don’t save you and the works don’t keep you saved. Your works are done because you are saved. And do it properly. Don’t do it to be seen but do it of sincerity.
VERSES 11-16: “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise 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. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.”
I just want to give a quick picture of how a person gets saved in the Old Testament and how this reflects into the New Testament. Go to Genesis 12. Now, this part of Hebrews which we just looked at is dealing with Abraham, and, of course, the promise was to Abraham and his wife that she would be the princess, she would become the mother of many nations and Abraham would be the father of many nations; and ultimately, Isaac would come from Abraham, which is a type of Christ, obviously. Ishmael, unfortunately, also came from Abraham through Abraham’s seed. And we must call a spade a spade. A lot of Muslims don’t like the patriarchs being called sinners, but they are. And Abraham was told to wait for Sarah to conceive, but he didn’t, and, of course, Ishmael was born, and the Muslims believe that Mohammed was a descendent from Ishmael. And, of course, these two warring tribes, the Jews and the Arabs or the Muslims, continue to fight until this day.
But go back to Genesis 12. This will just be a general outline. I haven’t got time to go through all this. But in Genesis 12:1, Abraham is called. The Lord calls him out of his land. And that’s like a sinner. The Lord calls an unsaved person. Some respond; some don’t. But here you see Abraham called. Go to the fifteenth chapter. Abraham believes and he’s justified. Look at verse 6: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” He’s saved by believing on the promises, which are clearly found in the fifteenth chapter. No circumcision, no good works. He’s been saved by his faith. If you go to the latter part of the seventeenth chapter from verse 23 down to 27 you find that Abraham has been circumcised, and the nearest equivalent of circumcision in the New Testament would be baptism.
So Abraham is called in Genesis 12, he’s justified in Genesis 15, and he’s circumcised in Genesis 17. Today you are called, which is a general calling. If you respond, if you believe on the Lord, you’re justified, and, of course, then you are baptized. So that’s a similar picture as to how Abraham got saved, and Paul quotes Abraham in the book of Romans and says that’s how Abraham got saved — he believed in the Lord, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And that’s how you are going to get saved also.
VERSES 17-20: “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 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, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Again, this mysterious character Melchisedec was found in the early part of the fifth chapter, and he closes the sixth chapter. And as I said in the previous video, we haven’t got enough information about Melchisedec to be sure who he was. He’s also referred to in the later parts of Hebrews, especially the seventh chapter. But it’s interesting that he closes the sixth chapter, and he was pretty predominant in the fifth chapter. But what we can say from reading the Scriptures is there’s no line, there’s no clear unequivocal line. This Melchisedec priesthood began with the king of Salem and it’s finished with the king of the Jews.
The seventh chapter of Hebrews is a very mysterious chapter, and there’s really only one of two thoughts as to who Melchisedec is. He’s either a pre-incarnation of Jesus or he’s a type of Christ. And I’ll be honest and say right from the outset that I don’t know who he is. If I were in the camp that stated that he was Jesus, I would go to John 8:56 where Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” And that would be a Scripture that I would probably cite to put forward the argument that Melchisedec is Jesus, but I’m not convinced by that at all. So I’ll leave the door open and I’ll take my time going through this chapter, and, God willing, I’ll do it in one video.
VERSES 1-2: “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace.”
Whenever you go through the Old Testament and the Angel of the Lord appears or deity takes on form, you have Scripture which says, “Take off your shoes; you’re standing on holy ground.” Joshua comes to mind, and some of the kings also got glimpses of the Lord. Moses caught the back part of the Lord up on Mount Sinai. And you read those passages carefully, and they know they’ve come into the presence of deity. But here Abraham meets Melchisedec, and he doesn’t take his shoes off; he doesn’t bow down. There’s nothing from Genesis 14 to suggest any reverence that you find when Joshua or Abraham, these two Old Testament saints, come into contact with the Lord. So, as I say, you can look at this either way. You can go to John 8 and quote that Scripture and say this proves that he’s a pre-incarnation of Christ, or you can take the other accounts that are given and remain unconvinced. And, as I say, I don’t know who he is, so I’ll stay where I am.
One other quick point. Abraham gives a tenth of what he has at that period of time to Melchisedec as an offering, not a sacrifice, which you find later, but as a gift to the Lord. Nothing wrong with that. Everything that we have is the Lord’s, and if you’ve been blessed with money, for example, then you can give that back to the Lord in many different ways. But we’ll get back to tithing a little later.
VERSE 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 best you can do with verse 3, if you’re with me on this issue, is simply refer to Melchisedec as a type of Christ. I don’t think there’s enough Scripture to be dogmatic either way, but he’s a mysterious person. Some of the commentaries that I’ve read simply take verse 3 to put forward the case that his genealogy wasn’t written down, and therefore the writer of Hebrews is referring to that. But let’s move on.
VERSE 4: “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”
Again, Melchisedec is referred to as a man here, and, yes, the Lord is referred to as a man in the epistles and the Gospels. We shan’t negate that. But, again, if this was a reference to deity, which you’d have to affirm it is a pre-incarnation of Christ, then you’d expect a bit more substance here, but we don’t get that.
VERSE 5: “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham.”
When you go through the Old Testament, you read of the Levitical priesthood, you read of the tithe system. And, yes, it was mandatory in the Old Testament, but you have to wonder why. You have to ask the question, “Why did the Jews tithe?” They tithed as a type of tax. The Temple cost money to build; it cost money to run. Now, you can’t apply that today. If you’re meeting in somebody’s house, for example, and you’ve got half a dozen people or a dozen people, you don’t tithe to the elders. And we’ll look at the elders later in this epistle. But the church is like a family, if you will. You don’t pay your parents to raise you, but you pay them through respect. But here they were expected to tithe, like I say, for the upkeep of the Temple. And today we are the temple of the Holy Spirit according to 1 Corinthians 3 and 6.
VERSES 6-11: “But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?”
I think I’ve said in previous videos that the Mormons have two priesthoods in their “church,” the Aaronic and the Melchisedec priesthoods, and they believe these two offices are transferrable. And I’m told by Greek scholars — take it or leave it — but I’m told by these people that know Greek that in verse 24 where it says the priesthood wasn’t transferrable, that word means non-transferrable. It means unchangeable. It’s a unique expression in the Greek language. And I’ve tried to explain to Mormons over the years that the best any of us can ever hope to be is a Christian, is to come to the Lord as a beggar and be born again. We are automatically a royal priesthood through the new birth. But they do quote Hebrews to affirm. They would have you believe that these two offices are applicable.
VERSE 12-16: “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: 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.”
This is twice that we’ve seen the expression “another priest,” verse 11 and verse 15. If Jesus was Melchisedec, why is He being referred to as “another priest?”
VERSES 17-19: “For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
I remember getting into some correspondence with a quite well-known Jewish Rabbi from a very strong Jewish community, and I shan’t name the ministry that this gentleman is a part of, but I will say that he is diametrically opposed to everything I stand for as a Bible-believing Christian. And I went back and forward with him trying to convince him that the Messiah of Israel was Jesus. And one of the comments that he made has stuck in my mind — that there’s nothing in the Old Testament which says, “To be continued, dot, dot, dot.” And I thought, well, you’ve got 400 years of silence before Jesus arrived. Everything in the Old Testament was pointing to the Messiah — Ezekiel, the Temple, world peace, Daniel — so he wasn’t being very honest with me. Verse 19 says that the law made nothing perfect, but you have people trying to keep the Sabbath, and you have people that are in the Messianic movement — and not all Messianic movements are in error. I know a few saved people that are Jews; their parents are Jewish, and, of course, the mother has to be Jewish for the Knesset to recognize that person as being a Jew.
But, nonetheless, not all Messianic Christians are in error, but there are some that are very dogmatic on the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. And I’ll just share one more account that I had with another Jew over this whole area of the Sabbath and so on and so forth. I said to this person, “You want to keep the Sabbath?” And he said, “Oh, yes, we keep the Sabbath.” And he said, “We can’t have any electricity; we can’t use our car because obviously it sparks at ignition.” So I said to him, “I assume you shut your website down from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.” And he said, “What do you mean?” And I said, “Well, the whole point of the Sabbath wasn’t to make money; it was to rest. You’ve got six days to do your business, and on the seventh day you rest” — much like the church had for many, many years. You worked Monday to Saturday. Sunday was the Lord’s Day, a day of rest, and people put their Sunday best on, went to church in the morning, came home from church, and then walked in the parks and spent valuable time together. That’s what the good people of England did probably a hundred years ago or so. But I said to this Jewish party — who I’ll say is not a Christian, by the way — I said, “So I do hope you switch your websites off during the Sabbath.” And he went rather quiet. So obviously he doesn’t do that.
But the Old Testament made it quite clear that if you were found working on the Sabbath, you were to be put to death. You had a whole week to get ready for the Sabbath. Praise the Lord, we’re no longer under the law. We don’t have to force the Sabbath. And we remember that Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday, not on a Saturday.
VERSES 20-24: “And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus 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.”
You can just see clearly the distinction between the Old Testament priests that all died. They all had to offer up sacrifices for their own sins, and yet here it says this man continues forever and He has an unchangeable priesthood. And, like I say, in the “Greek” that means it’s unchangeable; it’s non-transferrable. This office isn’t open for anybody living today.
VERSE 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.”
No purgatory, no water baptism, no circumcision, no confirmation, no penance, no good works, no good deeds. If you come to Him, He will save you to the uttermost. And the Catholic Church doesn’t understand this. The Church of England doesn’t understand this. In fact, 90 percent of churches in the world don’t believe in eternal security. It could even be higher than that. But it says here that He will save them to the uttermost if you come to Him. Why? Because “he ever liveth to make intercession for them” — Deity, clear deity.
VERSES 26-27: “For such an high priest became us – a human being — who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins – He was without sin — and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
If you’re a Catholic listening to this video, how do you reconcile your mass with verse 27? The mass is a reenactment of Calvary. Here it says Jesus paid for the price of the sins once. It was a one-off deal. Either your church is right and the Bible is wrong, or the Bible is right and your church is wrong. The laws of logic are transcultural. That means this: We could all be wrong, but we cannot all be right.
VERSE 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.”
VERSES 1-2: “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
Earlier on in the epistle to the Hebrews the Lord is spoken of as an apostle, and here he is spoken of as a minister. A minister in the New Testament is nothing more than a servant. In the new Bibles, that word is changed to a “slave,” but in the King James they correctly translate it to “servant.”
VERSES 3-6: “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But 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.”
The only mediator between God and man is Jesus Christ. Nobody else can mediate. Mary cannot mediate. The saints that are dead cannot mediate. We can pray to the Lord as living saints on the earth and we can pray for one another, but the minute you pray to dead people or you call on dead people to intercede for you, you are falling under the sin of necromancy. It’s a very dangerous heresy. It’s something which has no precedent in Scripture, and the reason and the way that the Catholics get around this is to go to apocryphal books, books which were never inspired.
VERSES 7-9: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”
Go to Jeremiah 31, Scripture with Scripture. In Jeremiah 31:31, the language is identical: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD.” Now, you can read the rest of this chapter, and I would certainly invite you to do so, but also I’ll just quickly take you to verse 35: “Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name.” Now watch this: “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.” Pretty clear language here, and the context is speaking about the children of Israel, the land of Judah and the land of Israel. You cannot apply this doctrinally to people living today, those of us in the church age.
VERSES 10-11: “For 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: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
I just want to stop there and lay my cards on the table and say that I believe that this has some eschatological application. I believe that in the Tribulation when the Lord sends the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (which are all male) into the world, it’s going to be a similar rerun to the Day of Pentecost, and the reason I think this has some application to the Jews is because a lot of Jewish people living today are very agnostic and very secular, and most Jews I know and have spoken to don’t even know what tribe they are from or what lineage they have. During the second World War and during the dark days of the concentration camps — in fact, even after the war and before the war with the build-up to Hitler’s march on Europe — a lot of Jews changed their religion and converted to Catholicism, to Anglicanism and other religions just to get away from the stigma which was being whipped up by the German propaganda machine, and subsequently, a lot of Jews have no idea where they come from. And a lot of famous Hollywood actors changed their names in the 30’s and 40’s and 50’s, and it’s only now, two or three generations later, that their grandchildren want to know where they come from. But here it says that He’s going to be a God to them, and they will be a people to Him.
VERSE 12: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
Again, you can go back to Romans 10 and compare this with Scripture for the church age. I see no reason why you can’t apply this to anybody living today, Jew or Gentile, and say that the Lord has made an atonement for all people (and I’ve dealt with that in previous videos) even though the wider application is to the Jews, not only in the first century when they’re reading this but in the Great Tribulation period still to come when the Lord is going to turn all His attention to the Jews, per se, once the church, which is neither Jew nor Gentile, once the bride has been raptured.
VERSE 13: “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
The first Covenant couldn’t save anybody. It was only provided temporarily. The ordinances may have been given to be eternal, but always keep the word “eternal” in mind where it says “in your generations.” These two expressions nearly always go together. The first Covenant couldn’t save anybody. It was simply a covering until the Messiah arrived and abolished the civil and ceremonial aspects of the law, and according to Romans 13:8, it says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” And the Gospel of Mark says to love the Lord thy God and to love thy neighbor as thyself. On these all the law hangs. In other words, the law is fulfilled once you believe in the Lord and you trust Him as your Savior, and once you love the Lord with all your heart, you will love your fellow man with all your heart. But like I say, the Old Testament, the Old Covenant, was only given temporarily until the Messiah arrived and fulfilled it in his death, burial, and resurrection.
VERSES 1-10: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 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: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”
An interesting word “reformation.” When we go back through church history to 1517, we find a Catholic monk named Martin Luther. And we’ve just gone past Reformation Day. But this Catholic monk realized that what he was a part of was completely foreign to Scripture, and he set out initially to reform the Church of Rome. Now, the Reformers, to commence with, didn’t want to overthrow the Catholic Church. They wanted to reform it from within, and it was the Church of Rome that ex-communicated Martin Luther for his “heresies.” But it’s interesting that the Scripture here calls this a “reformation,” whereas in the New International Version, the word is changed to “a new order.” Very interesting language.
VERSES 11-12: “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
This is remarkable Scripture. Again, go back to any Catholic mass, and those of you that are former Catholics will recall when the priest would hold the chalice up and he would say “the blood of Christ” and hold the wafer up for the body of Christ and the chalice for the drink or the wine. Catholics would be on their knees, and, of course, they’re on their knees because the belief is that the priest has the ability through the transubstantiation to literally call the body of the Lord down from Heaven and offer His body and soul up for the sins of the church. And the mass, of course, is an ongoing sacrifice, whereas here the language is crystal clear that Christ entered in once — once, period. He went in once into the Holy place having obtained eternal redemption. All of our sins — past, present, and future — are forgiven the moment we believe on the Lord. We don’t come to the Lord hoping that our present sins are forgiven or our past sins are forgiven; we need to trust Him totally for all of our sins to be forgiven. It’s a legal transaction, and it simply means that when you believed on the Lord, His imputed righteousness was given to you so that when the Lord looks at you, He doesn’t see you as a sinner; He sees His Son in you. And I’ve said it before that when you sin against the Lord, only the Lord Himself can and does forgive you.
VERSES 13-14: “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
This Scripture says that the Father is eternal, that the Son is eternal, and here clearly and unequivocally the Holy Spirit is referred to as being eternal. Only God is eternal. Angels were created in time, and, of course, man was created in time along with the animals and the trees and the seas and everything else that we can physically see. But here it says the Holy Spirit is eternal, and that, of course, is a reference to deity.
VERSES 15-17: “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”
It’s quite obvious that until the Lord died, the New Covenant had no direct application. The Jews were still living under the Old Covenant. And I’ll just add one quick point. The book of Acts is a transitional period going from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Even though the testator had died and the early church was proclaiming that to their Jewish audience initially, nonetheless, there is a period of grace, if you will, from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.
VERSES 18-20: “Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.”
This is very symbolic, of course. Moses is a type of Christ, and here he’s sprinkling literal blood, whereas in the New Testament Jesus dies for the sins of the world, and His blood is figuratively sprinkled on those of us that are saved. And, yes, I do believe that the precious blood of Christ, the literal blood of Christ does save us. I don’t spiritualize that. But, nonetheless, those of us that are living in the 21st Century and never saw the Lord Jesus Christ know that His blood is figuratively given to us to be saved. And it has been said, it has been written about that the Lord literally went into the Holiest of Holies with His own blood and literally deposited it. And, again, I have no real problem with that. And when you weigh it all up together, it is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ that saves us, but when we get down to verse 22, it does say that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. So we need the literal blood of Christ shed for us, and our faith in that is what saves us.
VERSE 21-24: “Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”
What a remarkable statement.
VERSES 25-26: “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
That reference to “world” simply means “ages” or the end of his age, the end of a dispensation of time, or you could say the end of the Old Covenant.
VERSES 27-28: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
When a Christian dies, he goes to the Judgment Seat. That is his judgment. He’s not judged for his salvation; he’s judged for his works. When an unsaved person dies, he or she goes to the Great White Throne. So there’s one death, one judgment. The first judgment is for a saved person; the second judgment is for an unsaved person.
Go back to verse 28: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Now, in the second chapter of Hebrews, the Word of God says that Christ tasted death for every man, and when this word “many” appears, it’s normally used interchangeably with the word “all.” Go to Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew 8:16: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.” So you can see that the words “many” and “all” are used interchangeably. When it talks about tasting death or bearing the sins of many, you can simply apply that to mankind, per se. So here the reference to many, I personally would cross-reference that to John 10 where it refers to the sheep, and the sheep are those that have appropriated the atonement. They are the ones that have received forgiveness. So don’t think that only some people are going to be saved, only a group of people are going to be saved because only they were chosen. No. Those people got saved because they believed on the Lord, and once they believed on Him, then they became the sheep, and they’re the ones that are saved.
VERSE 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.”
This is what distinguishes all world religions from Bible Christianity. All world religions teach faith and works and ultimately it’s your works that will save you. The book of James says faith without works is dead, and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again that works without faith is dead also. If you come across any of these “A-list” Hollywood stars, they’re very good at raising money for all sorts of charities, but unless they have faith in the Lord of the Bible, unless they have real repentance towards the Lord Jesus Christ, then their works won’t save them. And what they are doing, in essence, is bribing the Lord. They think that their good works will outweigh their wickedness. And, of course, that’s not how it works.
There’s a reference in the Gospel of Matthew to a banquet, and the king tells his servants to go out to the highways and the by-ways and compel everybody to come into the wedding. And a man appears in his own wedding garment, and the king says, “Take him and slay him.” That is a picture of an unsaved person trusting in his own righteousness even though the Lord, even though the king had offered him his own garment, and he snubbed the Lord and decided to wear his own garment. And, of course, the king saw that as an affront, and they put this sinner to death. And here in verse 1 it says that the yearly sacrifices couldn’t make the sinners perfect.
VERSE 2: “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.”
This is another interesting point. Those of us that are saved, those of us that are born again are quite able and quite willing and permitted to rest in the Lord. We don’t keep going over our old sins from 10, 20, or 30 years ago. We know that we have been redeemed. We know that we are saved, and yet organized religion, per se, and false religions also continue to feed their parishioners, if you will, this ingredient of works righteousness, this belief that you can’t know that you’re saved and you’ve got to keep coming back year after year or week after week. And, of course, in the Catholic system you have to go to confession or you should go to confession if you’re a good Catholic before you receive communion. But here it says that they would not have ceased to be offered. Why? Because the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
VERSES 3-4: “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again madeof sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
Some of these pagans and these Satanists will sacrifice animals. We’ve just gone through Halloween, and we’ve just gone through Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night on the 5th of November. And this time of year all of the pagans and the witches come together, and those that are really into it will start sacrificing animals as some kind of atonement, some kind of covering. But here in verse 4 it says that the blood of bulls and goats doesn’t take away sins. Again, it’s a form of works righteousness. It’s “I’m doing this” and “I’m doing that” and “I’m going to appease the Lord.” And, of course, in the New Covenant, that is totally redundant, totally unnecessary.
VERSE 5: “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:”
That is Jesus Christ speaking from the Old Testament.
VERSES 6-7: “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
In John chapter 5 Jesus said to the Jews that Moses wrote about Him. When we go through the Old Testament, every prophet, every writer from the Old Testament wrote directly and indirectly of Jesus Christ. In Deuteronomy 18 Moses said that a prophet will be raised up from among their own people, and the Lord will speak to that prophet, and that prophet would speak to the people, and they would have to listen to that prophet. That prophet, of course, is Jesus Christ. You won’t find anything in the Old Testament pointing to Mohammed, pointing to Buddha, Confucius, or any other self-proclaimed prophet or guru. All of these other people are self-proclaimed, self-appointed “holy men of God.” But here we find Psalm 40 being quoted in the tenth chapter of Hebrews. And I will say it again: This Bible, this book is divine in origin, not human.
VERSES 8-10: “Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasuretherein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Sanctification in this context means separation; it means set apart to be holy. In the third chapter of Hebrews we are called “holy brethren.” Again, that’s a past action. That took place the moment you were born again. And, again, here you are sanctified, you are set apart, and you are now bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.
VERSE 11: “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:”
How tragic it is when we look at religions around the world that still go through this daily slaughter of animals trusting it in vain to atone for their sins, and yet the Scripture says that it doesn’t take away their sins. It’s all done in vain.
VERSE 12: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”
Of course, that is language meaning that the Lord God had received the atonement and the Son of God had fulfilled His ransom, if you will, His atonement. And, of course, in Jewish theology the priests from the Temple never sat down because the atonement was a continual, ongoing action. But here the Lord Jesus Christ sat down. And, once again, this was a one-off offering. And I’ll give you a cross-reference to the next verse in one moment.
VERSES 13-14: “From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Go to John 19. Again, you need to have all these Scriptures in mind when you look at the atonement of Christ, and if you go to John 19, verse 30, it says, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” That is a completed action on the part of the substitutionary Savior. It is finished. No need to go to mass, no need to go through your catechism or your church rituals or your common prayer book or your 39 Articles of Faith or any of these extra-biblical rituals. The Bible says, “It is finished.” You come to Him, you trust Him to save you, and He will save you.
VERSES 15-16: “Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 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;”
Speaking to the Jews, of course.
VERSE 17: “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
Go back to Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” As far as the East is from the West, the Lord will separate your sin from Himself. And, of course, this message was first and foremost given to the Jews, and then from the Jewish apostles it went out to the world. And that Great Commission is an ongoing commission. It didn’t cease with the apostles. Somebody told you about the Lord, and somebody told that person about the Lord, and, of course, somebody told the initial person about the Lord, and you tell your friends, your family, your neighbors about the Lord; and you do so because you are saved, because the Lord has done something miraculous in your life. It’s not down to anybody else to preach the Gospel. It’s down to you. All Christians are evangelists.
VERSES 18-22: “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
This is one of the clearest Jewish calls to repentance in the New Testament. The writer of Hebrews is calling on the Jewish people to draw near, to come unto Him, to stop trying to save themselves through going through the rituals which, of course, at this point of time were still in place. The Temple wasn’t destroyed until 70 AD, and those that were not saved, of course, were still going through the Old Testament rituals. But here he’s saying, “Let us draw near,” and the latter part says our bodies are washed with pure water. And you can take that one or two ways. You can take that metaphorically speaking about the new birth, the blood of the Lord is sprinkled on the sinner and he/she gets saved, or you could refer to that as a water baptism. But what we can say for sure is that water does not save us. If water could save you, if you were saved by a water baptism, which is a work dependent solely upon yourself, then why did Jesus Christ have to die?
VERSES 23-25: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.
This part of Scripture is very clearly Jewish, and the writer is saying to the Jews that we as Jewish believers in Yeshua, in the Messiah must stick together. We must assemble together as a Jewish body of believers, and we mustn’t break away – and, in reality, fall away — and become the tares, become the people that don’t bring any fruit to perfection. This is also a reference by a lot of people that think it has direct application to church attendance, and it doesn’t. What I would say, of course, is how do you define the word “church”? Let’s just say, for example, that this is a reference to a church meeting or a weekly fellowship. How do you define “church”? Would you define church as two, three, four dozen people? The Scripture says where two or three gather in the name of Christ, He is there in the midst of them. We don’t need to have 30, 40, or 300 people. Just two or three would be sufficient. And, of course, even if you had a large number of people, that doesn’t negate the church, either. So I would say that it’s not the numbers which are important, but it’s the substance. It’s whether or not you have the truth and it’s whether or not you have people that are saved feeding and teaching off the Word of the Lord. And if you look at 26 carefully alongside 25, you will hopefully see that my hypothesis is correct.
VERSES 26-27: “For 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, which shall devour the adversaries.
The willful sin of verse 26, I believe, is to come to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, which the sixth chapter and the third chapter speaks about, and then turn from that. That’s your willful sin. If you go through the Old Testament, David, Solomon, Samson, Saul, all those guys sinned willfully on many, many, occasions, and yet the Lord saved each and every one of them. And just because the Scripture says that the Lord took His mercy from Saul and not Solomon doesn’t mean that Saul wasn’t saved. The mercy spoken about in that instance is his life. He spared Solomon’s life, but He did not spare Saul’s life. And if you go to the book of Acts, Ananias and Sapphira, two saved Christians, I believe, that lied willfully, sinned willfully, and along with the Corinthians in the eleventh chapter, they died. The Lord took His mercy from them, but He didn’t take their salvation from them. And I’ve already looked at 2 Timothy 2 which speaks about Christians that are in sin, and Paul says “if God peradventure will grant them repentance.” The Lord doesn’t always grant people repentance. If they get into too much sin and they refuse to repent, then He just leaves them where they are. They don’t lose their salvation, but they will lose their rewards, and many of them, I believe, will not receive their Millennial inheritance.
VERSES 28-29: “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
In other words, the Jews died without two or three witnesses. How much more are you going to be judged? All the light, all the information that you’ve been given, you’re far more accountable than anybody from the Old Testament.
VERSE 30: “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”
Who are His people here in verse 30? His people are the Jewish people, the chosen race, the Israelites, and the cross-reference in my Bible is to Deuteronomy 32:35. Again, this is a Jewish epistle aimed first and foremost at the Jews, saved and unsaved, and you can only apply this spiritually to people living in the church age, I believe.
VERSE 31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Yes, it is if you’re not saved, but if you’re saved, you’ll be chastised, you’ll be whipped, and like I say, from 1 Corinthians 11 and 2 Timothy 2, the worst that can happen to a saved sinner is he or she will lose their Millennial inheritance. That’s the worst thing that can happen.
VERSES 32-34: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye 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. 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.”
Those that argue for this being a Pauline epistle use this part of Scripture to affirm that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Now, in my heart, I’d like to give this to Paul, but in my head, I just don’t find this being Pauline. The whole theme of Hebrews could so easily have been written by Paul. He was more than qualified to write this epistle, but I don’t find enough Pauline mannerisms in this epistle. And he wasn’t the only one, of course, that had been in bonds, that had been locked up. So I’m not convinced by this part of Scripture alone that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews.
VERSES 35-39: “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. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith….”
Now, that is so important. We don’t live by sight. We don’t live by revelations. We don’t live by prophecies or tongues or what have you. We live by faith. We’re living in the church age now, and when you have people that are still arguing over the sign gifts and the tongues and all those things, you’re dealing with babes in Christ, for the most part. We need to move on to maturity and make the Bible our final authority. Okay. Second part of 38:
“….but if any man draw back….
This is the main theme of Hebrews if you’ve missed it.
“….but if any man draw back….
To the law, obviously, or even back to wherever you were before, to an unbelief or pagan or whatever you were.
“….my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
The only way you will ever be saved is to put your faith in the Son of God, and you stay where you are. And those that are truly born again will finish with the Lord — I do believe that — and yet I have said in other videos that it’s not always as clear-cut as you would like it to be. There are a lot of people who fall into sin, and they fall away into the world. They are considered as false converts and others are considered as people who have lost their salvation. But you can’t say that, because there are many people who have fallen away from the Lord for 10, 20, 30 years but have come back later. And, of course, 1 Corinthians 11 is another Scripture which I will refer to one more time — a picture of saved people that were put out of the fellowship according to the fifth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Not all of them were put out, of course, but some of them were put out, and they would have been considered by the community of believers at the time as being unsaved people, perhaps, or those that have simply fallen into sin and the Lord just took them home. So it’s not always as clear-cut as you would like it to be, but, nonetheless, we are not of those who draw back. We don’t go back to our good works. We don’t go back to a works righteous system. We started with faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will remain living by faith. And, of course, faith finishes the tenth chapter, and it’s going to start the eleventh chapter.
VERSE 1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Jesus said to Thomas in the Gospel of John, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29.) Peter wrote in his epistle that the church in his generation hadn’t seen the Lord, and yet they believed on Him. Paul said in Romans that the just shall live by faith. We live and we walk and we exist by faith. If we hold to the position that the Lord speaks to people and gives revelations and even comes down from Heaven and takes people back to glory with him or gives people a glimpse of Hell, then that undermines the Scripture. Now, it’s true that the early church had visions and prophecies and so on and so forth, but that was for a limited time. It was only given to a limited group of people — (a) the apostles and (b) their associates. We know by the end of Paul’s life that he was sick and he couldn’t heal himself. He couldn’t heal Timothy, and other associates of Paul were ill, and it took the Lord Himself to intervene. But the point is that we live by faith, and here it says that it is “the evidence of things not seen.”
Go back to the first chapter. Look at chapter 1, verse 1: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Before the Old Testament was written, the Lord spoke to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, going back even further than that, of course, to Adam and Eve and their sons and their sons and, of course, Noah and so on and so forth. But in the Old Covenant the Lord spoke through a group of people, again, for a limited period of time, and they wrote down the Scripture, the Tanakh, which was passed down to faithful Jews, translated, preserved, and so on and so forth.
Look at the second verse: “Hath in these last days…..” Again that can have two references: eschatological, which means the end times before the Lord returns, His Second Advent, but it can also have reference to the Messianic time clock of the Lord’s First Advent. “Hath in these last days spoken unto us” – again, audibly – “byhis Son.” Everything that we need to know is found in the New Testament. Any other religion outside of Christianity has to add to the Bible to contradict the Scriptures. The Mormons have the book of Abraham, Doctrines and Covenants. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have the Watchtower, the Catholic Church with their tradition, and other groups have other bits and pieces. But as Bible-believing Christians we are told in 2 Timothy that the Scripture is all that we need to be perfectly equipped unto all good works. God has spoken to us through His Son. That needs to be made crystal clear. We don’t expect revelations from Heaven. And if you look at these Marian Shrines in Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje, so on and so forth, that entity, that angel of light which Galatians 1 speaks about is from the pit of Hell. Nothing that this so-called Mary, this so-called “Queen of Heaven” is telling these ignorant people is found in the Scriptures. And, of course, because most Catholics have no idea what the Bible even says, they can’t discern right from wrong. And those Catholics that have some knowledge of the Scriptures are unfortunately indoctrinated so they can’t think clearly for themselves.
But we are told to check everything in light of Scripture. In fact, only today we were doing some street work, and we got talking to a brother from the Midlands who was telling us about some crazy charismatics, which I shan’t name because they’re pretty notorious, and he was of the same opinion as we were that many were taken in by these crazy charismatics. And I told him of a very well-known television station, again, which I won’t name, which put a lot of money into this particular chap, and they got egg on their face big time. Why? Well, they didn’t go to the Scriptures; they didn’t check what this so-called prophet was saying, and we need to check everything in light of Scripture.
VERSES 2-3: “For by it the elders obtained a good report. 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.”
Again, that reference to “world” can be beyond our own solar system and millions if not billions of light years from here. Without getting into the world of Star Trek and other science fiction ideologies, what we can say for sure is that the Bible says that Christ died for the sins of the world. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that something went wrong outside of planet earth which the Lord had to deal with, and yet in the Millennium we are told that we are going to rule angels. And it’s even been put quite interestingly by some futurists that maybe we will have our own planet. Who knows? But what we do know is that in the Millennium there will be a lot of power, a lot of opportunities given to the children of God to reign with Christ. Amen to that.
VERSE 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: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
Most of the people in the eleventh chapter — and it’s not a comprehensive list of people, I should say — but most of the people that are found in the eleventh chapter heard the Lord speak to them verbally, and some of them even saw Him. But we can’t be sure whether Abel had any direct communication with the Lord, but we know that his brother did, so I would say that it’s quite likely that Abel spoke to the Lord and had a personal revelation of His majesty.
VERSE 5: “By faith Enoch was translated – that means changed — 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.”
That’s a lovely bit of Scripture there. Do you please the Lord? Do you know the Lord? Do you walk in the Holy Spirit? That’s something that we all need to ponder. A lot of us do our own things in our own little ways and in our own strength, and that won’t do. We need to do everything through the Holy Spirit. There’s been times when I’ve been out on the street, and I wanted to preach but I just did not want to do it in the flesh. And many times I just have not street preached because I didn’t feel that I was doing it through the Holy Spirit but I was going to do it through my own strength, and that is horrendous, and we must be very careful not to do so.
VERSE 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.”
This is a pretty obvious part of Scripture. I said in the previous video that faith without works is dead and works without faith would be dead also. You’ve got to have faith in the Lord. You’ve got to come to Him on His own terms. Never mind coming on your terms. It’s all or nothing with Him. You’ve got to pick up your cross; you’ve got to deny yourself, and, in essence, that means you’ve got to stop trusting in yourself. You’ve got to die to yourself and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — total obedience to the Lord, total surrender to the Lord. And the Bible says when we seek Him with all our hearts we will find Him. The problem is that so many people are falling into this trap of saying a prayer or getting caught up in some emotions, and the Lord isn’t revealing Himself to them, and they go away with a rather agnostic attitude, and the truth of the matter is that their hearts were never right. You must seek the Lord with all your heart. You must wait on Him. And you’ll know when you’ve been saved. You can’t miss it.
VERSE 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.”
Other parts of the Scripture say that Noah preached right up until the ark was ready, and it’s pretty tragic that a remarkable man such as Noah probably preached with tears in his eyes like Paul did and Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and yet the people of his generation just did not want to know. And some estimates suggest that a million people lived possibly in the time of Noah, and out of a million people only eight were saved. And if you go to Acts chapter 1 you find only 120 people in the upper room, and the Gospel of Luke says that when the Lord returns will he find any faith on the earth? It is tragic, and yet we are mindful to state once again that the Scripture says that few will be saved. Many people think they are saved, and many people wish to be saved, but the majority of people that are professing Christians are not saved. And one of the reasons why they are not saved is (a) they don’t truly believe on the Lord and in the Lord, (b) they don’t have a real understanding of their own sin nature, hence they don’t see the necessity for total faith in the Son of God, and (c) most people think that they can help themselves along the way. Most people are into conditional security. Most people have this odd view that if they confess their sins every night — and you can be sure that they wouldn’t have remembered all of their sins from the day gone by — but nonetheless, if they confess the “biggies,” the big sins, as they would have you believe, that the Lord is going to save them every night. They’re constantly being saved, constantly being born again, which is nonsense. And what you’re doing with that is you are becoming a junior partner with Jesus in your atonement. He saved you totally when you believed on Him. The Scripture says that while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us. We can do nothing whatsoever to get ourselves saved, and we certainly and absolutely cannot keep ourselves saved. Either He did everything and has done everything for us or we are somehow junior partners in the atonement.
VERSE 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.”
Many times the Lord will tell us to do something, and fear just grips. Real faith takes you to the ends of the earth. All of the apostles but John were killed. They were executed. They were martyred for their faith. And the Lord tells you to do this or to do that, and if you know that the Lord has told you to do this or do that, you must do it. That is real faith. We don’t just give the Lord lip service; we do whatever He tells us to do.
VERSES 9-10: “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Now, again, the picture here is of a literal land flowing with milk and honey, and that was the initial aim of the chosen race — to inherit the land. In fact, had the Jews been faithful, they would have conquered the entire earth. And even today, for those Jews that still reject the Messiah being Jesus Christ, they are still under the law, and they are still expected to be evangelists. And I’ve never had a Jew come up to me on the street warning me of Hell fire. I’ve never had a Jew do anything to show me my error. In fact, even Muslims have never come up to me and offered me any literature. It’s always Christians that seem to take the initiative, and, of course, at the top of that list would be the cults. But like I say, the Jews were expected to be evangelists, ambassadors for the Lord, and for the most part, they have failed to do that.
But like I say, the picture here is of a literal land, and we can apply that spiritually to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Kingdom of Heaven has two applications: The first part is the physical realm, the literal Kingdom of God where Christ will reign from Jerusalem for 1000 years. That, of course, is still to occur. And the other application would be the spiritual sphere, and, of course, we are living in the Kingdom of God now. Paul said it wasn’t meat and drink but righteousness, and Paul preached about the Kingdom of God throughout the book of Acts. So there are two applications to the kingdom of God: You have the physical realm, which is still to come, and you have the spiritual realm. But keep those two points in mind with verse 10.
VERSE 11: “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.”
One of the interesting facts and one of the glorious signs of the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness is when we go through the New Testament reading about the Old Testament saints, we don’t find any sins listed in the New Testament — washed away by the blood of the Lord. In Genesis the Lord appeared to Abraham and Sarah, and Sarah laughed at the Lord’s promise and she then lied when the Lord challenged her. And even Abraham laughed at the thought of being a father into his 90’s. But here the writer of Hebrews with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration doesn’t even touch that because our sins have already been separated and we are already in the beloved. Amen to that.
VERSES 12-13: “Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Get a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs if you get a chance, and you can skim through that book and meet some remarkable people. But some of the best saints that have ever lived never saw the Rapture, and some of them died very young. Some of them got glimpses of Heaven in this life and never saw anybody saved under their watch. I’ve spoken about people like William Carey. He spent years and years in India, and I think he buried two wives out there. We are called to live by faith, and I’m going to keep repeating this because there’s far too much focus on signs and wonders today, and we need to be focusing on the finished work of Christ, and we must, we must mature. We must get past this obsession with signs and wonders and take on some real maturity.
VERSES 14-16: “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, 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.”
There’s your New Jerusalem, and, again, it can have two applications here. It’s going to have the spiritual side of it, which would be more than applicable for today, but a literal New Jerusalem was coming down at the end of the Tribulation commencing the thousand year reign.
VERSES 17-19: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and 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.”
Total faith there. Abraham was more than willing to sacrifice his son because the Lord had told him to do it, knowing, according to this, that the Lord could and would have resurrected Isaac from the dead. The Lord God sent His Son to the cross, and He died on the cross, and that was more than sufficient to please the Father. And like I said before, the triune God decreed this in eternity past, and it was carried out in time at a time pleasing to Him.
VERSES 20-25: “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. 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. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”
That is an amazing part of Scripture, and I cross-reference that to chapter 12, verse 4: “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Put those two verses together, and you can preach many sermons on that. But look at 25 again: “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” To be a faithful disciple of the Lord will always cost you something, and too few people are prepared to divorce themselves from the world system. And we are all prone to the flesh. We are all prone to giving in here and giving in there and compromising here and compromising there, and the more we do that, the less fruitful we become, and ultimately we become rather barren. And I just think verse 25 could be meditated on for days and days, and I think it shames all of us — it really does.
VERSES 26-27: “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
Again, no mention here of Moses haggling with the Lord and having to have his brother become his spokesman because Moses was fearful. Moses didn’t really have any faith that he could do what he was going to do, and the writer here doesn’t even look at that. Moses is a great Old Testament saint. Yes, he died prematurely; yes, the Lord put him to death. But was he saved? Absolutely. His salvation didn’t depend on how good he was or how faithful or righteous he was. His salvation, like your salvation and my salvation, is dependent on a Person. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We don’t keep ourselves saved. Again, conditional security must be dismantled. The only true understanding of salvation in the Bible is eternal security.
VERSES 28-31: “Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 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. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
There’s no evidence in Scripture that the Lord spoke to Rahab personally, and yet here she’s found in the hall of fame.
VERSE 32: “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:”
Again, this is not a comprehensive list. Many people have been omitted, but you get the main theme here. These are the best of the best, I suppose.
VERSES 33-35: “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again…”
There are not many occasions in the Old Testament of bodily resurrections, no more than half a dozen, I would say, and outside of the Gospels and outside of Acts, there is no mention of resurrections. And yet to listen to some people, it’s something which we would expect to see. But that’s not what the Scripture says.
“…..and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:”
Again, this goes back to the rewards at the Judgment Seat for the saved man or woman, and this has nothing to do with salvation, per se. Again, your salvation doesn’t depend on how wonderful you are or how successful you are and what you’re able to achieve or not achieve. This is talking about your rewards as a saved person.
VERSES 36-37: “And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;”
Do you know anybody living in the 21st Century, do you know anybody living in the West, do you know anybody living in England or America, France or Germany that comes anywhere near this? “They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.” I don’t know anybody that even resembles verse 37, and yet Jesus said if they hate me, they will hate you, and Paul says all those that are in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. There’s something terribly wrong when Christians can go day by day, week by week, month by month and have no persecution. Something is very, very wrong.
VERSES 38-40: “(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 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.”
That completes the eleventh chapter. Some of the best people that ever lived are found here. In fact, if you go through the history of the world, whether it’s Julius Caesar, the Queen of Sheba, the pharaohs, any of the American Presidents, any of the British Prime Ministers, any of the Chinese Emperors, they’re not a patch on these guys, these girls. The people found in the eleventh chapter were exceptional, and, like I say, just go back to 37. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder. Some people think this is a reference to Isaiah. Extra-biblical sources suggest that Isaiah was sawn in half. Again, if that’s true, that’s a horrendous death. But verse 37 says “they” in the plural not “he” in the singular.
But look at it again: “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.” Go to 1 Corinthians. Let me give you one cross-reference here. This is heavy stuff. First Corinthians 4:11, Paul speaking: “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place” — no castles, no mansions, no private housing estates here. Here’s the greatest man that ever lived. Jesus said that John was the greatest up until the Kingdom of God, but he that went in after the Kingdom of God was greater than John, and it’s my belief that Paul was the greatest man to ever live. First Corinthians 4:12: “And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” This is a picture of a pretty typical person living in the first century. And, again, just ask yourself the question, Does anybody you know living in America, living in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Holland, Denmark, wherever — do you know anybody that comes anywhere near 1 Corinthians 4:11 to 13 or Hebrews 11, verse 37? And I will put my hands up and say that I don’t know anybody that comes anywhere near this.
VERSES 1-2: “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 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.”
Verse 1 speaks about the witnesses, and, of course, they are found in the eleventh chapter, and the latter part of verse 1 speaks about a race. And Paul uses “the race,” and when he speaks about the race in his epistles, he’s referring to the Judgment Seat. When a saved man dies, he or she goes straight to be with the Lord, and they have their Judgment Seat, the Bema Seat, as it was called in ancient times, and they will be judged by what they did on this earth, how they lived. Their salvation isn’t the issue but the responsibilities that the Lord gave them — what they did with their responsibilities, and, of course, what they didn’t do. And I’ve said before that my own thoughts of the Judgment Seat won’t necessarily be what I did do but what I didn’t do. But maybe more on that in another video.
Verse 2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Jesus says, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). It’s very, very important that we understand substitutionary atonement. For those that don’t know what substitutionary atonement means, it’s quite simple: He died in your place, period. Some people try to make this very complicated, and they get to the book of James, chapter 2, and they force works into the equation, and once you go onto that route, then there’s no way of ever knowing whether or not you’re saved because if you’re trusting in your works or you’re leaning on your works, then your life will become a roller coaster. You may have weeks or even months of goodness, great works, great advances for the Lord. You may overcome all sorts of things. But I guarantee you that just around the corner there will be a trial and tribulation and you’ll be knocked to your knees. You’ll be on your face crying out to the Lord asking Him to release this trial, this tribulation that’s come upon you.
So works are important for a saved person, but the minute you start to bring those into the equation of a sinner’s salvation, you’re teaching a heresy; you’re denying substitutionary atonement, and you’re teaching faith and works. And, of course, that leads into Autosoterism, which I’ve spoken about in other videos, and that puts you into the camp of every other religion in the world, and you are no longer a Bible-believing Christian.
How do we overcome the world? First John 5:4: “For whatsoever is born of God” — there’s your new birth – “overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” No works involved.
One final point: “Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” We spoke about this in other videos, but the Catholics, for those that don’t know, have a belief system that when one of their saints dies, Catholics can pray to that person, petition that person, and these communion of saints are able to intercede to the Lord on their behalf. Now, of course, the problem with that is the people that are praying to these dead folks don’t even know if they are in Heaven. In fact, most Catholics taught for many years that the majority of saints were in purgatory. So just bear with me for a minute. Let’s just say that Catholicism is right. Let’s just say that purgatory is right. Let’s say Saint A dies and Catholic B is praying to Saint A, and Saint A is in purgatory, which, let’s just say for a moment that it’s true, is a place of purging. These Catholics believe that folks that die don’t go straight to be with the Lord because of their sin which they haven’t atoned for, their sin which hasn’t been forgiven. So they’re going to be purged. And Catholic B is praying to Saint A, who is in a place of torment. Now, that is really quite bizarre; it’s quite morbid, really. But the point I’m trying to make is that you have no idea, if you are a Catholic whether the person you’re praying to is even in Heaven or not. But from a biblical standpoint, it wouldn’t make any difference anyway whether the person was saved or not. There’s just no Scripture in the inspired writings of the Word of God that anybody who is saved not only could hear you but would have the authority to intercede for you. We approach the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the mediator, and He will intercede for you. His intercession will get you saved, and His intercession will give you power in your daily walk with Him, and any problems you have, you take it to Him.
And I’ll just squeeze one quick analogy in which might help. Let’s say that you had the Queen of England’s phone number, and she said to you, “Whenever you need me, whatever problem you’ve got, you give me a ring, and I will take care of it for you.” Why would you want to go to her private secretary? Why would you want to contact a minister in her government? If you had her own number, you would contact her, and she would honor her promise to you. It’s the same in biblical Christianity. We don’t need to go to third parties. We don’t need to have dead people praying for us. The nearest you’re going to get to intercession in the New Testament outside of the Godhead would be for saved people praying for one another. We don’t pray to dead people. We don’t even know where these people are. But, anyway, that’s enough of that.
VERSES 3-6: “For 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. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
I was watching a video debate some years ago of a well-known Catholic debating a well-known Protestant, and the issue of sin came up, and the Protestant was a strong believer in eternal security. And this Catholic apologist mentioned some abuse case that had happened, and he was trying to overthrow eternal security. And these two went back and forth, and the Protestant apologist raised all of the problems with the Catholic sex abuse and the billions and billions of dollars which they paid out around the world to silence their critics and their victims. But what I would have said, had I been there, was that maybe some of these people who claim to be saved and walk and live a very safe life perhaps are not saved. In fact, if you know anybody who says they are saved and lives year and year, month and month, week and week and never has any trials, any tribulations, any problems and they always seem to be hunky-dory, then I would suggest that you’re not dealing with Christians; you’re not dealing with saved people, but you’re dealing with religious people, because Hebrews 12:6 does say that who the Lord loves He chastens. He chastened Paul, He chastened Peter, and He even put His own Son on the cross. So don’t think for a moment that if you’re saved, your life is going to be a bed of roses. It won’t be. You will suffer, and the Scripture says that you will suffer for His Son’s glory.
VERSE 7: “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Of course, if you have a child, you’re going to discipline that child, and if you don’t discipline that child, then you’re going to be a very bad father or bad mother, and you’ll just watch your kids go off the rails.
VERSE 8: “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
Again, if you walk through life and it doesn’t touch you, and if you’re in a family and you’re not disciplined, then it says here that you are bastards; you’re not sons. You’re illegitimate. And if you are a child of God, you will be chastised, and it will be a regular occurrence, I can assure you.
VERSES 9-10: “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 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.”
That is why chastening occurs regularly. The Gospel of John in the fifteenth chapter speaks about the Lord purging, and He will purge His tree; He’ll purge the branches. And we are grafted in, of course, to the root. And, of course, He does that so that we will grow in grace. A physical parent will discipline his or her child to stop them from sinning, stop them from falling into bad ways, and the writer here says we respect our parents when they do that. Why would the Father of Spirits be any different?
VERSE 11: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Some of the greatest Christians have had some horrendous trials and tribulations, and yet, they’ve gone on to achieve some remarkable, outstanding successes for the Lord. And the point, the key to this whole area is perseverance; it’s patience; it’s enduring; and above all, it’s abiding, abiding in the vine.
VERSES 12-14: “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. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
So this holiness which we find in the fourteenth verse of the twelfth chapter is something which all Christians have. You got it by automatic default once you were born again. In other words, if you are not holy, then you’re not saved. In fact, go to Romans chapter 8, and I’ll try to give you another verse which might help you understand this. Romans 8, verse 9: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
So if you haven’t got the Holy Spirit, you’re not a Christian. You need to be born again. And if you haven’t got holiness through the new birth, through an imputed righteousness, then you are not saved. Now, again, this isn’t perfection; this isn’t the super-duper position which some people hold to that you can live sinless lives and once you become a Christian you’re no longer a sinner. No. You’re still a sinner, but you’ve been saved by grace. And sometimes Christians make a bit too much noise about their own righteousness. Again, positional righteousness is fixed, but your practical standing will fluctuate. I may come back to that a little later.
VERSE 15: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that 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.”
Esau is cited here as an Old Testament saint, one of Isaac’s sons, and he lost his birthright. And I’ve heard a lot of people over the years say this is a reference to a person’s salvation. It is not a reference to a person’s salvation. Esau lost his birthright; he didn’t lose his salvation. In fact, I don’t think Esau was ever saved anyway. Esau went off with one of Ishmael’s daughters, got involved with her. And, again, if you’ve ever looked at Islamic history, the Muslims believe that Ishmael is their great, great, great times 2 or 300 generations grandfather. They believe that Mohammed and Ishmael are linked together. And, of course, Esau is thrown into the mix too. At best, you can only apply this to a person’s Millennial inheritance. If you live after the flesh, you will die. You don’t go to Hell. Your salvation doesn’t depend on you. When you came to the Lord, your account was dealt with. But like the Corinthians that didn’t repent, the Lord just took them home.
Acts 5 would be another good example of Ananias and Sapphira, two saved people. I’ve heard many arguments for and against these early Christians, and I’ve heard people arguing against their salvation, but I remain convinced that they were saved. But look at verse17: “for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Go to Acts. I’m going to give you two Scriptures. Acts chapter 8, verse 18: “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Verse 24: “Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” This, of course, is Simon Magus, a very dubious character. But there’s nothing in Scripture to suggest that the Lord granted this man repentance.
I’ll give you one more Scripture. Go to 2 Timothy 2:24: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Judas Iscariot sought repentance and did not receive it, and here Paul is speaking about saved people that have fallen into sin, and he’s hoping that the Lord might grant them repentance. Many times the Lord does not grant saved people repentance, and therefore they die in their sin and go straight to Heaven, because they are still saved but they lose their Millennial inheritance. So the best you can do with Esau from the book of Hebrews is compare that to a saved man losing his Millennial inheritance.
VERSES 18-21: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)”
When you read through the Old Testament, you find only a handful of people that were able to commune with the Lord and mediate with the Lord. Anybody that came to the Lord with unclean hands, anybody that touched the Covenants, anybody that did anything without the Lord’s permission, without the Lord’s ordination would be consumed. And yet post Calvary, God Almighty through His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, has given a way for anybody to come boldly into His presence. That is a remarkable blessing to mankind, and yet, tragically, the overwhelming majority of people in the United Kingdom couldn’t care less; and yet for anybody who’s been saved, anybody who’s been redeemed, we know that is remarkable.
VERSE 22: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.”
The New Jerusalem spoken of here I would put to you is a spiritual reference. And like I’ve said in other videos, there are two applications here: There’s the physical and the spiritual. And dealing with the book of Hebrews, reading through Hebrews, I am convinced that this is the spiritual New Jerusalem, whereas the physical New Jerusalem comes down during the Millennium, the thousand year reign.
VERSE 23: “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
“Firstborn” here from 23 isn’t a chronological meaning. It doesn’t have a chronological connotation. “Firstborn” here means in preeminence. Colossians chapter 1 speaks about the preeminence of Jesus. And I’ve shown you in other videos — I think it’s Psalm 89 — where David is spoken of as God’s firstborn, but he wasn’t the first born chronologically of Jesse’s children; he was the youngest of Jesse’s children, but he’s spoken of as being the firstborn because he was chosen by the Lord, anointed by Samuel, and he became the King of Israel, and he is, of course, a type of Christ. So don’t fall into the erroneous trap that the Jehovah’s Witnesses will set for you to teach this. They believe that Jesus was the firstborn of Jehovah’s creation. No. He’s the firstborn in God’s preeminence. And, of course, going through the earlier chapters of Hebrews, I’ve already shown you conclusively that Jesus is very God and very man.
VERSE 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:”
Chapter 6, chapter 3, and chapter 10: “For if we sin willfully,” speaking, of course, of the Jewish race, first and foremost. Yes, you can apply that spiritually to anybody living today. If this person or that person has heard somebody preach the Gospel and they haven’t received it, then they have turned away from it, and they will be lost. But here in verse 25 it’s speaking about the Jews turning away from the Gospel and going back to where they came from.
VERSES 26-29: “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
Who is “our God” referring to? He is Jehovah God. He is Elohim. He is Yahweh. He’s the God of the Israelites, first and foremost. Romans 11 says that we are grafted in and that we got saved through the Jews’ unbelief. Jesus said in the Gospel of John that salvation is of the Jews. Paul took the Gospel to the Jews, and then he went to the Gentiles. Peter stood up on the Day of Pentecost and preached to the Jews. Jesus said in Luke 24 that repentance should be preached to the Jews at Jerusalem and then to the uttermost parts of the world. The Bible is a Jewish book written by Jewish men to the Jewish people, and by God’s grace and mercy, He has allowed everybody who believes in the Gospel and who wants to be saved to be saved. But, like I’ve said from the beginning of this video, the book of Hebrews was written by a Jewish writer to saved Jews and also indirectly to unsaved Jews, but you can apply a lot of this book spiritually to anybody living today.
Here we are in the final chapter of the book of Hebrews, and many thanks to those of you who have listened to all thirteen chapters. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback, and maybe in the New Year I will look at another book of the Bible, and if you have any thoughts, let me know.
VERSE 1: “Let brotherly love continue.”
First John chapter 3 says if you hate your brother — and the context there is of another Christian — you are a murderer. Now, it’s not always easy to like all brothers and sisters in the Lord, and I will put my hands up and admit to having my own problems with certain groups and certain individuals, but I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say I don’t hate anybody. And if you are a Christian that hates another Christian, then there’s something severely wrong with you. It is a fine line, I will grant you that, but we do need to love one another a lot more than we do, not a fuddy-duddy love but a real love. Jesus said to the apostles if you love one another the world will know that you are my disciples indeed. So I think a little more emphasis on real love wouldn’t go astray.
VERSE 2: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Some Christians hold to the position that angels can and do still appear today in the flesh, and others take a more reformed view of that. I am cessationist, for those that don’t know, so I will leave verse 2 as it stands aimed at a Jew in the first century. And I should just say quickly that this epistle was written probably about the same time as the book of James, so it is a very early epistle, and the earliest books in the New Testament are still dealing with signs and wonders. The book of Acts covers a 30-year period, and during those 30 years, the Holy Spirit was very much working among the Jewish evangelists, the Jewish disciples and above all, the Jewish apostles. You may have some application here to the Tribulation when we have a rerun of Pentecost, but for the church age, I’m not sure this verse has any direct application.
VERSE 3: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; andthem which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
It’s very important that we don’t forget Christians around the world. I was listening to the radio just this morning, and a lot of Christians in the Middle East in the Palestinian areas, if you will – there’s no Palestinian state, as such — but there are parts of Palestine which are occupied by Bible-believing Christians, and even parts of Iraq have Bible-believing Christians. Now, when the press speaks about Christians living in the Middle East and rioting and causing disturbances, normally they are referring to Catholics. But there are a lot of Christians in the Middle East, and we should always be mindful of some of their problems. And Matthew 25 does speak about the brethren which were treated well by those that were the Lord’s brethren, and they are given a reward, and part of their reward was their Millennial inheritance.
VERSE 4: “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
The latter part of this verse speaks about adulterers. It could have a two-fold application. It could be a spiritual adulterer, which the book of Revelation and the book of James speak about. The Jews were called adulterers, and Jesus said an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. But here I would suggest to you that it refers to immorality, sexual immorality. And adultery in the Bible is quite simple. The biblical grounds for divorce would be infidelity, desertion, or death, and they are probably the only three grounds that would allow a Christian to remarry, and only then, according to 1 Corinthians 7, could you marry another Christian. But in verse 4 adultery would be in reference to a man or woman who have divorced and gone on to remarry. Now, if you haven’t got grounds for remarriage and you’ve gone on and remarried, then 1 Corinthians 6 says you have no inheritance. You forfeited your right to a Millennial inheritance. So you need to be very careful if you’ve fallen or if you’re in the process of marrying somebody who’s divorced. Or if you are divorced and you didn’t have grounds for divorce, then be very careful because 1 Corinthians 6 doesn’t mince its words when it speaks about a loss. Whoremongers, it’s quite obvious, are those that sleep around, whether they’re men or women, and the Lord has no time for either groups.
VERSE 5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and becontent with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
This is a wonderful part of Scripture. There’s your eternal security. Isaiah spoke about the hand of the Lord saving you, and John chapter 10, again, spoke about the Son of God and the Father gripping you with a hand, as it were, and never letting you go. I’m going to say this one more time: Our salvation does not depend on how faithful or even how faithless we are. Our salvation — praise God — depends on Him. He called you, He drew you, He redeemed you, and He will finish what He has brought to pass.
VERSE 6: “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
It’s very important that we fear the Lord. The Scripture says that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10, Prov. 9:10.) And that fear isn’t just a reverential fear; it is a real quaking fear. I spoke about David Brainerd in another batch of videos I did back in the summer, and this man of God would go out into the woods and he would pray in the dead of winter, and his prayer was so intense that by the time he finished praying on his knees or on his face or whatever, the snow had melted away. And we need to have a real fear, an absolute humbling when we come into the Lord’s presence. We don’t call the Lord “Dude” or “Buddy” or what have you. We need to come with reverence. But, like I say, this part of Scripture says that “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” If you fear man, then you don’t fear God; but if you fear God, you shouldn’t fear man.
VERSE 7: “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.”
If you’re in a fellowship, whether it’s two or three or 30 or 300, you will have elders that have the responsibility to teach the Bible to you. They’re not full-time clergy. You don’t find full-time clergy in the New Testament. That came in the second and third century. But you’ll find elders who have the rulership or the teaching office. And this is the first of three references, by the way, in this chapter to those that have authority, and you are told here just to remember them, to be mindful of them. And I’ll come back to that in a moment.
VERSE 8: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Christ is eternal. Micah chapter 5 says He is eternal. The Father, of course, is eternal. Genesis 1 would be a good Scripture to go to. And Hebrews chapter 9, the Holy Spirit is eternal — three-in-one, one-in-three, and the one in the middle died for me.
But this part of Scripture is speaking, I would suggest, of Christ’s priestly role. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. And I’ve already said that you don’t need Mary or the saints or the mass or the priests or the vicars or the pastors or anybody else to save you or help you get saved or keep you saved. You need to come to the Great Shepherd, and you need to fall on your knees in repentance, cry out to Him, and the Bible says if you come to Him, He will not cast you away. And, again, verse 5 says He won’t leave you or forsake you. Amen to that.
VERSE 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.”
It’s quite an obvious part of Scripture that you need to have the Word of God, the doctrine of Christ, and not to be carried around with strange doctrines, with foreign doctrines.
VERSES 10-12: “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.
This word “without” simply means outside the gate.
VERSES 13-14: “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
There’s your New Jerusalem. And, again, it has two applications: It has a spiritual application, which we found in the eleventh and twelfth chapters, and here it says we have no continuing city but we seek one to come, and that will be the New Jerusalem which, like I’ve already said, comes down during the Millennium.
VERSES 15-17: “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 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.”
Verse 7 tells you to remember them that have the rule over you; verse 17 tells you to obey them. Go to 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. Always compare Scripture with Scripture here. Look at 1 Thessalonians 5:12: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” Now, I have two things here. First of all, those that have the rule over you are spoken of in the plural, not the singular; and secondly, they are laboring among you. That means they are doing a job. The job isn’t to be elders. It’s not an occupation to be an elder or a pastor, but it is a privilege, and it’s a call which not many men, I believe, are actually given nor actually equipped to do.
VERSES 18-21: “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
This expression “everlasting covenant” should be quite simple. There’s only one Gospel in the New Testament. There aren’t two or three or four gospels. There’s just one Gospel. Go to Revelation. Some people teach that faith and works is needed in the Tribulation to be saved. It’s a very problematic teaching. In Revelation 14:6 the Scripture says, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
One more. Go to Galatians chapter 1, verse 6: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” There’s only one Gospel in the New Testament and that is to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Now, Revelation 14, yes, it’s a Tribulation passage, but that doesn’t negate, that doesn’t change the plan of salvation. The rules of engagement don’t change in the Tribulation. You’re not going to have one group of people being saved by their wonderful works and then church age saints saved by their grace, their humility, their brokenness. No. You come to the Lord in repentance, in humility and you cry out to Him to be saved. That’s how Abraham got saved, that’s how you got saved, and if you’re one of the unfortunate crowd that goes through the Tribulation, that’s how you will get saved.
VERSES 22-24: “And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. Know ye thatour brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.”
And Paul also spoke about this in 1 Timothy 5 where he says that you are to give double honor to the elders. You honor your parents, and you give double honor to your elders. You don’t pay them a salary. You don’t pay your parents to raise you, but you can give them gifts. The evangelists, those who go out full-time, can be given gifts and looked after, but you won’t find a one-man, paid pastor in the Scripture. That is Roman Catholicism, which sadly was retained at the Reformation and has remained until this day.
VERSE 25: “Grace be with you all. Amen.”
And that concludes the book of Hebrews.