Deal with the witches and the devil runs

We live in an era where witchcraft has become the new norm. It is now one of the most socially acceptable practices that people don’t even know they’re being drawn into it. However, such practices are of the damned, and will not serve God’s Purposes. You can identify them as the following practices: Channeling (the most common and most troublesome), tattooing, masochism, drugs (of course) including alcohol, heavy sugar diets, collection of animal statues, collection of idolatrous and/or witchery statues, other psychotropics, diabolical hypnosis, third eye focusing, use of violence to influence the mind in many factors (such as using threats of violence, glorifying violence, collecting weapons of warfare, media about violence glorification, and more), and finally the rejection of Jesus Christ or GOD in any form (such as, “I will do this but not that, even though GOD tells me to”, or “It’s not bad to sin, besides, I want what I want”).

Be vigilant. Even career/job pastors are working witchcraft from their very stage in many ways I have observed. From talking about violent incidents they were involved in to making sarcastic threats. Even more would be those who preach the Bible in all its worth, yet live a lifestyle of tattooing, intimacy with both men and women, glorifying of personal choice rather than God’s Choice (such as pastors or priests who approve of violence, abortion, or even LGBTQ-whatever community). Yes, it is true people will do what they want to do; however, glorifying such things from the very pulpit that is to be holy for the Lord is completely seared of a conscience.

Deceived society lives with a seared conscience, that even though they know what is socially acceptable, the brainwashing of right and wrong is happening and people don’t know they are doing it. Like the woman I knew years ago, who eventually decided like many of the children she teaches, to be genderless. If anybody can make sense of that, I would be surprised.

People in this era are making GOD look bad, and I know He is angry about it. Folks made in His Image, supposedly children of GOD, being involved in other wicked spirits’ work instead of God’s Work.

Foul and irresponsible workings of the devil are all around us, but people want to chalk it up as “immaturity”. Do you know what an era following the Lord is composed of? Plows, farming tools, gardening tools, and shepherding supplies.

Do you know what era this is? It is the era of the magic hammer and manic gunpowder.

The Lord declares to turn such weapons into plowshares, because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.

You the elect, heed His Words and regard them forcefully in a society that seeks to shut you out. Even if someone will not listen actively to you, talk at them anyway because faith comes by hearing (not necessarily active listening – AHA!).

Love, peace, grace, and mercy unto all of you in the name of God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – who seeks to be closer to you.

Lessons from the Bible on clean and unclean meats | Holiday special 5

The Bible speaks rather intently about clean and unclean meats, which was mainly for the Jews to follow; however, following the guidelines is proven to boost health significantly and make our bodies better for God’s Work. We are doing this in time for the holidays to instruct you on the better ways to eat, especially if you want to avoid gaining excess weight or doing something unhealthy (like maybe over-snacking on candy LOL).

Notice: God gave His Laws to instruct us on what is right and wrong, not as a means to strictly enforce things in our life or have a complicated conscience. They are for our own protection. Now, we don’t practice as the Jews do when it comes to strict enforcement of laws; however, sin is never tolerated by God, and a good believer knows to repent before God when he or she has sinned.

For most of the laws, there are certain risks with consuming certain foods. For example, pork is extremely popular; however, the Israelites were informed by God that it is forbidden, because diseases they might catch if they consume it, such as Trichinosis (ref). God is the authority on our conduct, and He never changes. Things did not suddenly change for God’s Law to be followed once Christ Jesus liberated the Law, because that does not modify who God is. Christ Jesus fulfilled the Law, but He did not abolish it, which meant it was still to be followed to best of a person’s ability, but that the Christian should not feel so guilty, but still repent, to show God that they are interested in pleasing Him.

Nothing will stave off the consequences of breaking God’s Law. For example, adultery and sexual immorality can destroy marriages and family, stealing can land someone in jail, and numerous other calamities that people can suffer. As said before, the Law was given to help people understand what right and wrong is, so that they can avoid those consequences. Using “liberation” doctrine to give yourself a license to sin is obviously wrong, and the Bible does not teach this whatsoever. To teach that sin is acceptable is to blaspheme God (see Ezekiel 20:27; Romans 6:1-2; 1 John 3:6; Romans 6:15-23).

Man alone cannot please God, but with Christ, all things are possible including pleasing God. Life is all about relationships: with God, with others, with animals, with plants, with foods, with material things, etc. It’s how the human mind works. God’s Word is not just a legal book, it is a book about God’s Love being demonstrated in all facets of life to send to each of His People only the best that they deserve and to challenge them. Life is also about challenges, for they prepare us for Heaven!

As relationships develop, we learn what these relationships expect of us. For example, we learn about what God expects from us, and this is highest calling, one that we should never be reprobate to. His direction and instruction provide guidelines for developing this relationship with Him. It is awesome! Everything good and respectful to God in this life is worth it!

CLEAN ANIMALS

Animals that chew the cud and part of the hoof

  • Antelope
  • Bison (buffalo)
  • Caribou
  • Cattle (beef and veal)
  • Deer (venison)
  • Elk
  • Gazelle
  • Giraffe
  • Goat
  • Hart
  • Moose
  • Ox
  • Reindeer
  • Sheep (lamb and mutton)

Fish with fins and scales

  • Anchovy
  • Barracuda
  • Bass
  • Bluefish
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Cod
  • Crappie
  • Flounder
  • Grouper
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Halibut
  • Hardhead
  • Herring
  • Kingfish
  • Mackerel
  • Mahimahi
  • Minnow
  • Mullet
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pollack
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shad
  • Snapper
  • Sole
  • Steelhead
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Whitefish

Birds

  • Chicken
  • Dove
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Guinea Fowl
  • Partridge
  • Pheasant
  • Pigeon
  • Prairie chicken
  • Quail
  • Sparrow
  • Swan
  • Teal
  • Turkey

Insects

Locusts, crickets, grasshoppers.

UNCLEAN ANIMALS

  • Swine such as boars or pigs.
  • Canines such as coyotes, dogs, foxes, hyenas, jackals, or wolves.
  • Felines such as cats, cheetahs, leopards, lions, panthers, or tigers.
  • Equines such as donkeys, horses, mules, or zebras.
  • Others: Armadillos, badgers, bears, beavers, camels, elephants, gorillas, groundhogs, hares, hippopotamus, kangaroos, llamas, moles, monkeys, mice, muskrats, opossums, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, rats, rhinoceroses, skunks, slugs, snails, squirrels, wallabies, weasels, wolverines, worms, and all insects except for locusts.

Fish without scales and fins

  • Fish such as bullhead, catfish, eels, marlins, paddlefish, sharks, swordfish, sturgeons, or squids.
  • Shellfish such as abalone, clams, crabs, crayfish, lobsters, mussels, prawns, oysters, scallops, or shrimp.
  • Soft body such as jellyfish, octopus, squid, or cuttlefish.
  • Sea mammals such as dolphins, otters, porpoises, seals, walruses, or whales.

Birds of prey, scavengers, etc.

  • Albatross
  • Bats
  • Buzzards
  • Cranes
  • Crows
  • Eagles
  • Flamingos
  • Gulls
  • Hawks
  • Osprey
  • Ostrich
  • Owls
  • Parrots
  • Pelicans
  • Penguins
  • Ravens
  • Roadrunners
  • Seagulls
  • Storks
  • Swallows
  • Vultures
  • Woodpeckers

Reptiles

  • Alligators
  • Crocodiles
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Turtles

Amphibians

  • Frogs
  • Newts
  • Salamanders
  • Toads

Do not be deceived! – 15 guidelines the Bible instructs

In this broken and fallen world, hope is always for us Christians as we have our joy and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord! The following is a list of guidelines the Bible instructs to avoid deception in this turbulent world.

  1. Death never solves anything, is not the end, and was not God’s intent in the first place (Matthew 25:45; 2 Peter 3:1-18; Ezekiel 18:23).
  2. Giving up on life or in life is the worst choice, because there are so many helpful resources to boost your life. We mourn in hope in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:14).
  3. Sin may please at first, but proves its destruction and it sacrifices many good things (Romans 7:11; Hebrews 3:13; Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9).
  4. Criminality is an abomination to the Lord (2 Timothy 3:13).
  5. Violence is never the answer and does not solve anything (1 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 3:3; Proverbs 3:29-31; Titus 3:2; Psalm 11:5; Galatians 5:19-21).
  6. God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).
  7. Bad company corrupts moral character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
  8. Do not turn away from the Lord to serve other gods (Deuteronomy 11:16).
  9. Do not trust in vanity (Job 15:31).
  10. Watch out for false prophets who bring false visions and lying messages (Lamentations 2:14). Beware of prophets who promise peace to those who pay them, but threaten war for those who don’t pay them (Micah 3:5). Also beware of false teachers who try to mislead you from the truth of God’s Word with their mankind philosophies (vain philosophies/new age beliefs).
  11. People are deceived when they don’t know the Scriptures or Power of God (Matthew 22:29).
  12. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon Earth (Matthew 6:19).
  13. Beware of those pretending to be Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:19; 2:18).
  14. Hypocritical judgment should be avoided (Matthew 7:1-5). This means that you should not point fingers at someone for a thing they did wrong, when you are guilty of doing that same thing at the moment (unless you repented and have not been doing it long enough that you can dissociate yourself from it).
  15. Lacking humility (Matthew 5:3; James 4:6; 2 Peter 3:17-18).

We do hope this was ultimately useful to you. We do hope that you will no longer be deceived by the enemy in this life, and that you can live happily! Praise the Lord!

Book of Hebrews: A letter to the Jews

Welcome to this entire course worthy exposition of the Book of Hebrews. This is meant to be read in sections at a time. It is not recommended to read all at once, as the digesting of this information is very important. It is recommended to bookmark this to save for later.

Discovering good things in chapter one

Israel prepared the way for Jesus Christ, for He brings God’s Plan of Salvation to fulfillment. In the Old Testament times, we saw God speak to people through various Israelite Prophets; however, He now speaks more directly through His Son, Jesus Christ! His revelation is much clearer to Man, for Jesus Christ is the Express Image—the exact expression, of the Divinity of God! All things created by Him; organized by Him, and will be returning unto Him as His rightful possession! Glory to God!

Instead of just revealing God to deprived sinners, Jesus rather brought destitute sinners to God by providing them with purging of sin through His death on the cross. Because of whom Jesus is and the work of Christ, God has given Him a position far above all things (including angels). The Jewish system was always strict that angels were beings of a high order that worked in the giving of God’s Law to Israel; however, the writer reveals that the Old Testament proves Jesus Christ is greater than angels. His birth in this world as a man did not make Him inferior, because He was (and is) the Express Image of the Living God—inseparable to the Father!

Angels are just servants; however, Christ is King and exalted by God to the highest! He lived the life of righteousness day and night; to which, God has given Him an Eternal Kingdom. Christ is the Creator, and He never changes but lives eternally. He had victory in the earthly work He was given, and is awaiting final victory over all things. Angels do, however, have the ability as well to share in the victory that Christ has won!

Jesus is better than…

  • 1:4, Jesus is so much better than the angels.
  • 6:9, We are persuaded Jesus is better than any.
  • 7:7, He that blesses is greater than He that is blessed by Him. He is better than us!
  • 7:19, He is that better hope brought in; “by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
  • 7:22, He is the better testament.
  • 8:6, He is the mediator of a better covenant (so His Covenant, the New Covenant, is better).
  • 8:6b, He established the covenant on better promises. The promises He makes are better.
  • 9:23, Christ’s sacrifice is better than the Old Covenant sacrifices, because it brings better cleansing (more permanency).
  • 10:34, We have in Heaven a better and enduring substance (inheritance presumably). He provides a better inheritance or substance for us!
  • 11:16, We desire a better place that He provides; a Heavenly abode set out for us that He will be our God!
  • 11:35, Many people have been suffering such extreme tragedy, but held on in faith, for they know they have a better resurrection coming (as we pass from death to life in Christ).
  • 11:40, The Lord has provided something better for us to enjoy that all believers shall be part of as God reigns over us.
  • 12:24, Jesus speaks better things than Abel.

Jesus is seated by God…

  • 1:3, After purging our sins at the cross through His death, He resurrected and became seated at the Right Hand of God.
  • 8:1, We have a High Priest that is seated at the Right Hand of God. Christ lives in the Presence of God forever.
  • 10:12, The Great High Priest offered one sacrifice for sins forever, and then sat at the Right Hand of God.
  • 12:2, Jesus endured many sufferings and reaped the Heavenly reward of being seated at the Right Hand of God.

Correlation of Psalm 2 and Hebrews 1

Psalm 2 speaks of the Kingdom of Christ that is coming. We see the coronation of a King (David), to which, he is named a son of God and a representative that no one can withstand his power to conquer. David stands as a prelude to Jesus Christ, the future reigning Eternal King of kings. However, the markedly odd things in this chapter is that David does not fulfill all of this as Jesus does, therefore, this is considered a prophetic Psalm, because it speaks of a King ordained by God that will be the most victorious conqueror, that shall also bring judgment of the good and evil.

Psalm 2:7 is a parallel to Hebrews 1:5 – Compare: Psalm 2:7, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Hebrews 1:5, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”

Lessons from each verse in chapter one

  1. God always spoke, several times and in several manners, through the prophets in the past.
  2. However, in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son who is the heir of all things, and the One in whom He made all things—therefore, all things are His.
  3. Jesus is the Express Image of God, the One who represents best His Glory, especially as He purged all of our sins in His death at the cross. This gives Him the right to be seated at the Right Hand of God.
  4. He is so much better than the angels are, and even has a better name than they do.
  5. The angels may question that Christ is His Son; however, His eminency was higher than theirs was—for they soon realized Christ as the next King, and final/Eternal King. This proves He was higher than angels.
  6. When Jesus was brought into the world, God ordered angels to worship Him.
  7. Angels are just servants that carry out His commands through wind and fire.
  8. His Son is the most righteous that He was given an Eternal Kingdom, through which, He rules by righteousness.
  9. He has always loved righteousness, but hated iniquity—therefore, He anointed Jesus higher than anyone ever with the Holy Ghost.
  10. The Lord laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens by His Hands.
  11. Created things may change and pass away.
  12. Christ shall never pass away.
  13. Angels are servants, nonetheless.
  14. Angels are servants, then, sent by God to minister to them that shall be heirs of Salvation.

Chapter 2 unraveling

God’s Law was given to Moses by the angels; however, God’s Salvation was made known only by His Son. For this reason, people should not turn from the Gospel, but believe it. The people who saw and heard Jesus Christ testified of the Divine Origin of the Gospel, and their testimony was confirmed by the miracles and evidence of the Holy Ghost’s power that boosted the early Apostolic preachings.

Jews always considered humans as inferior to angels; therefore, they depicted Jesus Christ as inferior as well, because they could not grasp how He could be superior to angels when He was a man. The writer then states that the status of inferiority to angels for humans is only temporary and that God’s original purpose was that humans rule over all things. However, because of sin, they lost the authority and are in need of Salvation.  Jesus Christ, as to save them, took their position of being temporarily beneath the angels so that He might accept sin’s penalty on their behalf. He died in the shame of the cross; however, God exalted Him to the highest place in Heaven.

Per the sin of Adam, humanity lost the God-given glory, and brought suffering on to the human race. Jesus Christ decided to join in the suffering and bear it completely, if He wished to save the fallen race from sin’s consequences. Because He identified Himself with the human race, those who now identify themselves with Him have had their sins removed and therefore share His Glory. The position God intended originally for them is what they can attain.

There are three Old Testament quotations stated in this chapter that emphasize the union between Christ and Christians. He calls them His brothers and sisters, He trusts in God as they do, and He and His children are God’s new people. Christ became human to save humans, and did so by living and dying for them. His death brought victory, instead of defeat. By His Victory, He freed people from satan’s power. Those whom are saved are free from fear and bondage of sin. By sharing their experiences of human life, He could be a representative in taking away sin, and could be the helper to them in obtaining victory over life’s temptations.

Better Covenant

Jesus Christ ushered in the “Better Covenant”—as we see in Hebrews 8:6, because the old priesthood failed along with the old covenant. The new and greater Priesthood was necessary for a new and greater (better) Covenant. This new Priesthood is Christ’s Priesthood!

Hebrews 8:6, “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.” 2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” Hebrews 8:8, “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.”

Jesus crowned with glory: We see in verses 7-9 that Jesus was crowned with Glory, as He was the One, in order to save the human race from the consequences of sins, died on the cross. God exalted Him to the highest position, to which, He is crowned with Glory! (This was prophesied in Psalm 8:6, “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”)

Made a little lower than the angels: We see this in verses 5-9 the discussion. Humans, overall, in Jewish standards, were inferior to angels. Therefore, Jesus Christ, since He became a man as well, was also one to be considered lower than the angels were, and inferior (so how could He resurrect to be higher than they were, they asked). Nonetheless, when Jesus Christ came down to save the human race, He was made a little lower than the angels were so that He could do this: die in shame on a cross, but be exalted to the highest place in Heaven.

Jesus has the seed of Abraham: This is believed to mean that the reason Christ descended lower than the angels was that the people He wanted to save were already lower than the angels were. He had to take on the same form, in the seed of Abraham, as the people have done to be able to share their experiences and feel with human. Through this, He would be able to say that He has experienced such things, and be more trusted in mercy and faithfulness to His People.

The beauty of Chapter 3

Thoughts pertaining each verse in this chapter

  1. Moses was God’s special messenger to Israel, Aaron was God’s appointed high priest; however, Christ was better (and greater) than both!
  2. Christ was faithful in His Work as Moses was in his work.
  3. Christ is more glorious than Moses was, and has built the house deserving much honor unto Him!
  4. Christ built the house and is the Head over it!
  5. Moses was a servant faithful in the house of God.
  6. Christ, however, was over the house, to which, the house is the Church—in that, we shall hold firmly unto Jesus Christ in all of our days.
  7. The Holy Ghosts states that if you will hear his voice, [listen].
  8. Don’t harden your hearts, or remind yourself of experiences in the wilderness
  9. Don’t be bitter, because even He was tempted and proved in the wilderness, and then was busy forty years serving.
  10. He even spoke that they [the fathers] do not know what they are doing (hurting, persecuting, and trying Him).
  11. Those that have done evil unto Him will not enter into His rest—but be punished.
  12. Believers should avoid any bit at all of unbelief or any kind of evil.
  13. Believers should instead exhort each other daily that they won’t be hardened through temptations and sins.
  14. If we hold firmly to Jesus Christ, we are made partakers of Him.
  15. Therefore, don’t harden your hearts or be stubborn, for we are all of Christ—us who believe!
  16. Not everyone came out of Egypt.
  17. Forty years long was the length of this trouble of entering the Promised Land, for the people were very stubborn in their sins.
  18. Some did not enter into the Promised Land.
  19. The reason some didn’t enter, was because of their unbelief.

Heavenly Calling: In verse 1, Heavenly Calling connects us with the prayer of Jesus in John 17, “they are not of this world, even as I am not of the world.” We will partake of the Heavenly realm in the consummation of all things if we have received Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Hebrews’ “Earthly Calling” became a “Heavenly Calling” through a transfer by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul, Peter, and Jude warned against testing God

Paul warns in the Scriptures 1 Corinthians 10:5, 10, “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” Christians should not put God to the test by seeing how far they can go without ending in judgment, because the Israelites did and they were destroyed/punished.

Peter warns in the Scriptures 2 Peter 2:4, 7, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” Just because God is loving doesn’t mean that sin goes unpunishable. Sin is against God, and we need to honor Christ’s Work for redemption of our sins.

Jude warns in Scriptures Jude 5, 7, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” People may say they believe in God, but do things that are against Him just to test Him. However, such people will suffer vengeance, just as Sodom and Gomorrah did, for example.

Chapter 4 exploration

Through Jesus Christ, believers can enter His Presence and ask for God’s Help during temptations and struggles. We can depend on Christ, because He can sympathize with us (since He was once man as we are/were). God can give them aid in the time of need.

Verse 15: Christ is able to sympathize with us, because He was tempted as we are even though He didn’t sin. He is able to help us realize we can defeat temptation that leads to sin. Verse 16: Believers may enter through His Way into the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in the time of need. Our prayers will reach Him, especially bold prayers.

Rest: We see notes on rest in verse 9-10, “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.” This is to say, that the real rest that God promises is Salvation through faith, for just as God rested after His Creation Week, so people will find true rest when they don’t work so hard to earn Salvation, but trust in Christ’s work.

The Word of God: We see this referenced in 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.”

Symbols of the Word of God

The Word of Righteousness – Hebrews 5:13, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” This refers to the Word spoken by Christ (that is always righteous), for He is the Word! Similar to “the righteousness of God revealed faith to faith” (Romans 1:17), or “the ministration of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 3:9). Christ is the King of Righteousness, the true Melchisedec (comparison in Matthew 3:15).

The Word of Christ – Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Paul is exalting the Word as Christ and Christ as the Word—for He is the Word come forth into Creation that brought forth Creation in the first place. To bring Glory to Him even more, let us sing unto one another, teach each other, and sing to the Lord who is to be celebrated always! The Word is Christ, about Christ, and exalts Christ in every way.

The Lively Oracles – Acts 7:38, “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” What Jesus speaks is the Word, and they are lively oracles—literally, “Logia of Jesus,” which refers to oracles. This seems similar to Peter’s use of “lively stones.” This all means that the words from God spoken through Jesus in His Word are still “living” today! Paul notes the substance of law and of prophecy is truly living because of Christ! Hallelujah!

The Word of Faith – Romans 10:8, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” The message concerning faith is what the Bible is about. The word of faith is the Gospel message that maintains our spirit in faith upon the Lord Jesus. He ministers to us personally, helping us speak rightly, think rightly, and live rightly. We preach these good things, in turn, because we love Him.

The Word of Life – Philippians 2:16, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” The Word of Life, God’s beautiful words, through Christ, is held forth in service unto us as a reward. We have the “guidebook” for life that will help us in every way!

The Gospel of Christ – Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” This is to speak as if the entire Bible is the Gospel of Christ, not just what is contained in the Synoptic Gospels and John’s Gospel. Since the whole Bible tends to be all about Christ, this was a “stumbling-block to the Jews and to the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23). Those that didn’t know about Christ in the Old Testament were not involved in the wisdom of God or didn’t know God (1 Corinthians 1:21; Matthew 11:25). The biggest issue with the Jews was that they required a sign, and the biggest issue with the Greeks was that they sought after wisdom (but not in God) (1 Corinthians 1:22).

Old Testament names of the Bible

The Scripture of Truth – Daniel 10:21, “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” This is the decree and purpose of God that is unconditional, authentic, and unalterable than other Laws. It was and is pure truth, because it came from Him!

The Book of the Lord – Isaiah 34:16, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.” This refers to the volume of prophecies and Scripture, which is of the Lord through and through. This book is a great helper because it comes directly from the Lord.

The Law of the Lord – Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” The delight is in the study and practice of the Word of God, which is the Law of the Lord! All of the doctrines, precepts, promises, etc. are good and holy, and bring good character in Man. Such things may be burdensome to a wicked man, but are great and wise words to a good man!

The Book of the Law – Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” The Word of God, the Bible, is called the Book of the Law here, as it is described as a tool, and an important text to observe and keep handy to have good success. We not only have God’s Word, but it is on our lips!

A hardened heart

A “Hard Heart” provokes God, and sorely displeases Him, because it “comes short” of His plans for our “rest.” We know the Bible describes the heart as being a center of human personality, to which, there are many components or products of the heart:

  • Desires (Matthew 5:28)
  • Grief (John 14:1)
  • Joy (Ephesians 5:19)
  • Thoughts, reasoning, and understanding (Isaiah 6:10; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 13:15)
  • Faith and belief and much more (Hebrews 3:12; Romans 10:10; Mark 11:23)

Our heart is commonplace for good and evil, and that what comes from the mouth originates in the heart (Luke 6:43-45). A hardened heart makes it “hard” for a person to perceive and understand. Anyone’s heart may harden (even Christians), to which, might misalign the ability to see, understand, hear, and remember. We need to remember God’s provisions for us, however, and know He will not leave us (Hebrews 13:5).

Sin also causes the heart to harden, especially in continual and unrepentant sin. However, if we confess our sins to the Lord, He is just and faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Lack of confession or being unrepentant can cause disastrous hardening of the heart and the welcoming of evil into one’s life. Pride is one of the worst sins that harden the heart. A soft heart allows you to be in the  boat with Jesus, but a hard heart will leave you out of the boat and possibly in the water. Other things may harden the heart and cause the mind to become reprobate, however, Jesus Christ can help us in our time of need and soften out heart over time.

Beauty of rest

  • Rest comes by faith (verses 3-4).
  • Rest is lost through unbelief then (verses 5-7)
    • By His Own Blood, we obtain rest (Hebrews 9:12)
    • Those that work hard for Him will obtain rest through Christ (Matthew 11:28)
  • Rest remains for the people of God (verses 8-10)
    • This is confirmed in Revelation 14:13, where the People of God get to rest.
  • Let us labor to enter His Rest (verses 11-13)
  • The throne of Grace is a place of mercy, grace, and rest (verses 15-16)

God’s rest was available from the time He created the world as a dwelling place for man; however, man has not found it because of sin. It only becomes available through faith now.

Word of God is quick: This verse says, “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.” The Word of God is sharper, quicker, more powerful, and more dividing of any sword physically, mentally, or spiritually—this is because it can divide the soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and thoughts and intents of the heart. Therefore, He knows everything, and all of His Word can help in any situation, no matter what it may be.

Chapter 5

Thoughts concerning each verse

  1. The Israelite High Priest had to be a sympathetic one, and be aware he was a sinner.
  2. The High Priest was one that needed to have compassion on the ignorant, and others; for he too deals with infirmity.
  3. He was appointed the office of High Priest for a purpose, therefore, he should be aware of that purpose to do as he is called to do.
  4. One must be called of God to do this office—not just anyone can do it.
  5. All was true of Christ, except He did not sin and did not have to sacrifice for Himself.
  6. He was God’s Son, and a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.
  7. He dealt with the normal experiences of man, for He was here to experience troubles, prayer, tears, etc.
  8. His sufferings here on Earth taught Him obedience to the Father’s Will—even though it led to His eventual death.
  9. This is what made Him perfectly qualified to carry out Salvation for them that are obedient.
  10. He was indeed called of God as a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.
  11. The writer would love to say more of Christ’s Priesthood, but is more expedient to move on in the letter, because he feels his readers may not understand (because they’re dull of hearing).
  12. Instead of being mature Christians, they are just spiritual babes, even though they have received so much instruction already.
  13. They have no ability to decide for themselves, and need to follow the lead of others in their spiritual walk.
  14. Mature Christians are like adults that can eat any food, for they have trained themselves to discern between good and evil.

Remembering Jesus in Gethsemane

Matthew 26:37-39, “And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Here, He is saying unto Peter and the two sons of Zebedee that He is every sorrowful. Soon, He began praying that if it is possible, let the cup pass from Him, but only as He Wills!

John 12:27-28; 6:38, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Here, Jesus trembled at the thought of suffering that was awaiting Him; however, He was determined to finish the work He had come to do. God let Him know everything would work out and His Prayers would be answered.

Mark 14:35-38, “And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Here Jesus is praying to God that if all things are possible, then take the cup from Him. However, if it is to be as He Wills it to be, He will do as He needs to. He speaks that the spirit is indeed ready, but the flesh is weak.

Luke 22:42-44, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Here, we see a deeper take on it. Jesus is praying to have God remove the cup from Him, but only so that His Will is done. Soon, an angel strengthened Him. He was still in agony, however, as His sweat was of blood gushing from His pores.

Hebrews 5:7-9, “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; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” This is a remembrance Scripture, to which, Jesus dealt with the sufferings of everyday life, and was so sorrowful but still completed the Will of the Father. He did all He could, no matter what the price of suffering, to fulfill the Will of the Father.

The sixth chapter

Thoughts concerning each verse

  1. The Jews have made little progress in learning Christ, and that hanging onto the doctrine of Christ would be too much for them—therefore, pursuing perfection better come next.
  2. Christ needs people to work for Him, and therefore, pursuing perfection involves the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
  3. Even in persecution, we shall continue pursuing maturity, because God will lead us to do so!
  4. We all become partakers of the Holy Ghost through Christ’s death on the cross, which makes Judaism worthless—as we now have a heavenly gift that cannot be replaced.
  5. We have also tasted the good Word of God and powers of the world to come—how can we not be satisfied?
  6. If someone were to deliberately denounce Christ, nothing is left but judgment—as renouncing Him would bring shame to His Name just as the cross did.
  7. Just as the earth receives rain, those who meet in the Church receive God’s blessings.
  8. As some soil later may prove to be bad, some in the Church later prove to be without life.
  9. Some have shown to be good Christians who are genuine.
  10. God will not forget the work and labor of love of those that have ministered for His Name.
  11. He encourages them to stay diligent, because there is hope in the end.
  12. Therefore, you should not be lazy—but rather, followers of them that have inherited the promises.
  13. When God promised Abraham, He kept His Word.
  14. He told and proved Abraham that he would be blessed and multiplied.
  15. After patient endurance, he obtained the promise.
  16. People may swear oaths in court to confirm their statements, which may relieve the pain of a situation.
  17. God does the same in swearing His oaths.
  18. He will completely commit to His oaths, because He doesn’t lie.
  19. The hope we have in Jesus Christ is an anchor to the soul—as He is our representative to God just as the Levitical High Priest entered into the veil as representative for God’s People.
  20. Jesus is the One who enters for us into the veil, because He is the High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.

Chapter Seven

Thoughts concerning each verse in this chapter

  1. Melchisedec was both a priest and a king, who had met Abraham and blessed him.
  2. Abraham acknowledged his priesthood and kingship by giving a tenth of his spoils blessed from God (for Abraham knew God was the source of this blessing).
  3. No records were kept for Melchisedec: not birth, death, qualifications for priesthood or kingship, etc.—to which, none were needed, because time or Levitical laws didn’t limit his priesthood.
  4. Melchisedec was greater than Abraham, as it was Melchisedec that blessed him.
  5. Abraham acknowledged his superiority by allowing him to collect his tithe, for it was law that he do so.
  6. Melchisedec received tithes from Abraham, and then, Melchisedec, blessed him, the man of promise (for God assured Abraham of the blessing that was coming through him).
  7. The greater one must be blessed by the lesser one, for this is part of the order.
  8. The writer cannot acknowledge the death of Melchisedec, because there is no evidential record of it.
  9. Even Levi was lesser than Melchisedec, because he paid tithes in Abraham (which means those of the Levitical order paid tithes in Abraham, deeming them even lesser than Melchisedec).
  10. Levi was not even born yet, when Melchisedec met with Abraham, therefore, this is proof that Melchisedec was greater than Abraham and Levi (overall), because the Levites were in the loins of Abraham at that time.
  11. The Levitical Priesthood was a failure (for it was ancestral), however, the Priesthood after the order of Melchisedec would bring forth Christ’s Priesthood (for it was Eternal).
  12. The Law of Moses failed to bring perfection as well, because Melchisedec’s order would have required the change of the Law from ancestral appointment to eternal appointment of Priesthood.
  13. Christ couldn’t be a priest of the Levitical order, because He was not of that Tribe.
  14. Rather, the Lord Jesus Christ came from Judah, which had no part in priestly affairs.
  15. Another priest, Jesus Christ, arose after the order of Melchisedec, which had no relation to the Aaronic line.
  16. Laws of birth and age concerned those of the Levitical line, but those of and after the order of Melchisedec had no record of birth and age laws.
  17. Jesus is the priest forever (eternally) after the order of Melchisedec.
  18. What those of the Levitical order were able to do was weak and ineffective.
  19. What Jesus did was give them a better hope, to which, they can draw nigh unto God through His Priesthood.
  20. His Priesthood is guaranteed by the oath of God (Jesus shall forever be High Priest).
  21. Other priests, those of Levitical order, were made priests without an oath; however, Christ was made High Priest with an oath from God after the order of Melchisedec.
  22. Jesus was made the One who would usher in the New Covenant (a better one).
  23. The priests of the old order were not commissioned to continue after death.
  24. His Priesthood shall never end, for He will always remain the same High Priest!
  25. He brings people to God, giving them Salvation, so they could escape death.
  26. His Life on Earth proved to us that He is Holy, Blameless, Harmless, Undefiled, Perfect, Did not sin, and therefore, He was made worthy of Highest Honor!
  27. The old order was required to offer sacrifices for himself and the people; however, Jesus Christ did not need to sacrifice for Himself, but did sacrifice Himself once for the people, to which, no more sacrifice is needed.
  28. The Law made men high priests that had infirmities, which could not make other people perfect; however, Christ came through His sinlessness and made people perfect, because of His one sacrifice.

Melchisedec priesthood

  • Melchisedec had no recorded genealogy or pedigree, which, by all of the world’s standards, would say he was unfit for priesthood. He had no record of father or mother, his birth, etc.
  • He was a type of Christ with no beginning or end (Eternal). This was so Christ could be made a Priest after the “Order of Melchisedec.” It didn’t mean that he lived forever, but that Christ lives forevermore. His death is not mentioned, which means he is a type of Christ, for Christ could only come after an eternal priesthood since He is eternal!
  • It is believed he was an ordinary man, but by some, he was, in fact, “Jesus.” He was called a “patriarch,” which indeed points to humanism.
  • He was greater than Abraham was, and even Abraham recognized his priesthood by giving him a tenth of his spoils.
  • This priesthood seemed to be 400 years before the Aaron.
  • He was a Gentile. The office of priesthood came through the Levitical tribe, and Melchisedec was not Jewish, nor a descent from any priestly tribe we know of today.

Look at this from perspective… Melchisedec was described as a forerunner to Jesus, for Jesus’ Priesthood is after the order of Melchisedec. John the Baptist was, as well, a forerunner to Jesus, for John baptized with water, but Jesus would baptize with fire. This not only appears to be a worthy comparison, but that Jesus is indeed greater than Melchisedec, in that Melchisedec was the water quenched with the fire of the Holy Ghost for the coming of Jesus Christ. How can fire extinguish water? The fire must be so much greater than the water that it dehydrates it.

All these speculations need so much Scripture, though. It’s too bad, but we shall know one day, I’m sure. But then again, look at verse 17 of the same chapter, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” John, here, told the people that the fan (the fan to fan the flame of the Holy Ghost) was in His Hand, who will thoroughly purge his floor (override the ground of John the Baptist, as in become much greater than he will). The chaff of wheat (the shell) would be burnt up, which is useless, because the fire is unquenchable (which is why it could dehydrate even water). Jesus, in the same way, had to override the ground of Melchisedec, because He was the One Greater than Melchisedec and would truly be the greatest of all High Priests!

Melchisedec’s priesthood came 400 years before Aaron, Abraham gave tithe to him, and, since Abraham was the progenitor of Aaron, Abraham’s loins tithed to Melchisedec. The usual case is that the one who tithes is tithing to one that is greater. Therefore, since Abraham tithed to Melchisedec, anyone after Abraham that descended from him would be less than Melchisedec.

Verse 12 says, “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” This means literally that the new priest, Jesus Christ, belongs not to the order of Aaron’s, but to Melchisedec’s. God’s choice for another kind of priesthood for His Son left behind the Levitical tribe, wherein, we find the eternal High Priesthood of Jesus Christ after the order of Melchisedec. The inferiority of the Aaronic Priesthood meant that another priesthood was promised (and apparently was already established before the foundation of the world, since there are no birth records of Melchisedec and because Jesus is eternal). The entire legal system of the Levitical Law centered on the Aaronic Priesthood, but Jesus came to fulfill the Law, and therefore, could not be part of a priesthood that was created for legal reasons (and nonetheless imperfect). He needed a spiritual priesthood ushered in, which was from Melchisedec’s, because that priesthood appeared also to be a spiritual one.

The greatest issue seen in the Aaronic Priesthood, and why it cannot be the one from which Jesus became High Priest, is that it was created to deal effectively with sin, so that people could be united with God. If the Law failed to affect whether people united with God, then the Priesthood was a failure as well, and then must be abolished—because God and His Manifestations were perfect in every way and would not control a system that was prone to failure. A different priesthood, however, was controlled, we must assume, by Divinity, which was Melchisedec’s, according to the Book of Hebrews’ writer here. Since Jesus came to fulfill the Law, this abolished the entire legal system and priesthood. The Book of Hebrews’ writer said this in pre-refute of anyone that asks, “What is the need of a new covenant?” The Levitical Priesthood failed to bring perfection, therefore, this new priest, Christ, comes after Melchisedec.

The tribes Aaron, Jesus, and Melchisedec came from: Aaron belongs to The Tribe of Levi (Exodus 6:16-20; 1 Chronicles 6:1-3; 1 Chronicles 23:6-13; indirect references: Numbers 3:9; 8:13-22; 2 Chronicles 13:9-10; 2 Chronicles 31:19.). Jesus belongs to The Tribe of Judah (Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 1:3; Hebrews 7:14; indirect reference John 4:22; by prophecy: 1 Chronicles 5:2; 28:4—Jesus was chosen to come from Judah. Also, Jeremiah 23:5-6; Micah 5:2; Romans 1:3; Revelation 5:5; 22:16. {Not an exhaustive list}). Melchisedec/Melchizedek does not belong to a tribe (Without father, mother, descent, birth, death, or any other records… Hebrews 7:3, 6).

Priestly functions of Aaronic Priesthood

  • The high priest was appointed that he might offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins, and might exercise forbearance toward the ignorant (Hebrews 5:1-2; Leviticus chapter 9).
  • Teach the children of Israel the statutes that the Lord spoke (Leviticus 10:11). ·        Be the messenger of the Lord of hosts (Malachi 2:7).
  • Daily offered incense and attended to lamps of the candlestick.
  • Entering the Holy of holies once yearly (Exodus 30:10).
  • Other various rituals, ceremonies, meals, etc. based on regulations.

Chapter 8

Information on each verse in this chapter

  • In verses 1-2, we see that only once a year could the Levitical high priest enter God’s dwelling place (the Most Holy Place); however, Christ, the Great High Priest, lives in the actual presence of God eternally.
  • In verses 3-5, we see that Levitical priests offered animal sacrifices; however, Christ offered Himself. He did not make this offering as a priest of Levitical status; however, the work of the Levitical priests pictured His Work—that is, the sacrifices they offered were a picture of Christ’s personal sacrifice.
  • In verses 6-7, we see that the old priesthood failed along with the Old Covenant; therefore, a new a greater priesthood is necessary for a new and greater covenant: Christ’s Priesthood and New Covenant!
  • In verses 8-10, we read that God did not intend for the Old Covenant to be a permanent one, but that it was given for Israel’s benefit. It did fail to produce the promised blessings, because the people failed to obey its commandments. The New Covenant will never fail, because it depends not on obedience to set laws, but on God’s Grace in changing people from within. He gives them an inner spiritual life that brings loyalty to Him, and enables them with skills and other abilities to do His Will.
  • In verses 11-13, we see that priests are no longer necessary to mediate between people and God, because all believers know God personally because of Jesus Christ. Believers have a direct fellowship with Him, because He has taken their sins away, therein making them righteous. This should make the Old Covenant go away permanently, bringing in the New Covenant eternally!

Thinking from Galatians 3

It is no longer sufficient to live by the statutes of the Law, but it is sufficient to live by Salvation based solely on Christ’s Work! Yet, many Galatians have not properly understood that Christ is the Only Way, to which, they may be made righteous and perfect. The miracles, they must understand, came by faith, and not because of Law-keeping. If they keep forsaking Christ for the Law, it has not done them any good.

Abraham’s life demonstrates that God justifies by faith, not by Law-keeping, to which, he believed God. The Law had not been given, and the real children of Abraham are not those circumcised according to the Law, but those saved by faith. The Gentiles were declared long ago to be saved the same way as Abraham, which was by faith.             Trying to win God’s favor by keeping the Law condemns people to death by that Law when they break it. Since all break it, all are condemned then. People cannot be justified through the Law, because justification is only by faith (for the Law requires obedience, not faith). Christ bore the curse of God and suffered death on behalf of all of us law-breakers. Now, all that believe in Him might escape the Law’s curse and be like Abraham: justified by faith.

Christ brought Salvation unto all who have faith in Him. The Law was originally given not to bring Salvation, but to show people how far they fell short of God’s standards. In falling short, it encouraged them to acknowledge their sin and seek forgiveness. The Law revealed the filth that could not be removed. Because of this inability to keep God’s commands, He prepared them to welcome the Savior. God had made His Promise to Abraham, which was not in Laws, but that Salvation depends upon His Grace alone—and not a reward for Law-keeping. Those who trust in Jesus are forgiven, and do not have to feel controlled as the Jews do under the Law. All believers are united in Christ and are God’s children no matter what. Those justified by faith are Abraham’s true descendants.

What about 2 Corinthians 3:6-11

This Scripture reads, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.”

The Old Covenant may have set out written laws, but in the end, it only brought death, because people were unable to keep it. Moses, after receiving the Law from God, came down from the mountain and his face had shined with the brightness of the Glory of God. It was so bright he needed to cover his face with a cloth. Paul was stating simply that if the covenant that brought condemnation and death came with glory, then how much more glory would the New Covenant have as it brings righteousness and life? The temporary covenant already had some glory, but how much more does the New Covenant have as it is permanent? It must contain much glory!

Gentiles are partakers of the New Covenant

  • In verse 8, the Lord said that He would make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, which wasn’t as the Old Covenant is.
    • We also see in 2 Corinthians 3:6-11 that we have been made ministers of the New Testament, not based on the Old Covenant, but by which the Spirit of God gives people new life (New Covenant). The Old Covenant set out written Laws, but in the end brought death because people couldn’t keep it.
    • In addition, the New Covenant is much more glorious than the Old Covenant!
  • In verse 10, we see that this covenant will be one that the Lord puts His Laws in our mind and writes them on our heart, so that He is our God and we are His People.
  • In verses 11-12, we see that we, as Gentiles (and enlightened ones in Christ) will know God personally and have direct fellowship with Him because our sins are removed.
    • We see something related in Galatians 3:7-8, where we that are of faith are also the children of Abraham. The real children of Abraham are not those of circumcision according to the Law, but they are of the ones saved by faith. The Old Testament had declared, long ago, that Gentiles would be saved as Abraham was, and that is by faith.

How Gentiles were prophesied to accept the New Covenant

  • In Jeremiah 31:31-34, we see that the people of Israel had been unfaithful in the Covenant that God made with them at Sinai, to which; they never enjoyed fellowship with God that was intended. God promises here to make a New Covenant, to which, God will change people by working within them, giving them a better knowledge of His Will, and giving them inner strength to do His Will. All will know God instead of having priests, and God will deal with their sins for them and remove any barriers of fellowship with Him.
  • In Isaiah 11:10-11, we see that the blessings of the Messiah’s Kingdom were foreshadowed in the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon, and that God’s People would come from many nations to dwell together under His Rule. The Gentiles will seek the sign, and will be saved.
  • In Isaiah 42:1, 6, we see that the man that His Spirit is upon (Jesus Christ), will bring forth judgment (here likely meaning sweetness or mercy) to the Gentiles—which are the elect He upholds! We also see that the Lord will bring Salvation to people of many nations, and that it will bring them from darkness to light and from bondage to freedom!
  • In Isaiah 49:6, 22, He is the servant that will raise up the Tribes of Jacob, and restoring the preserved Israel by bring Salvation to the Gentiles. Heathen nations will see the light of Salvation.
  • In Isaiah 60:3, we see that the Gentiles will respond to the call of Salvation.
  • In Isaiah 66:19, His Glory is said to be declared to the Gentiles through many signs sent to many nations.
  • In Amos 9:10-11, we see that God’s judgment is sure to come to sinners, however, despite judgment; Amos is able to see God’s forgiveness.
  • In Malachi 1:11, we see that His Name would be great among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles will offer sincere worship unto Him. More of the chronicling of the Old Testament prophecies for the Gentiles is found in Romans 9:25-33, where we see that God is able to call people that may not have previously been His People. This is what has been done for the Gentiles in building His Church, to which, He has included the minority, since most of the Israelites have been rebellious. The Jews would be responsible for the troubles, and cannot say God has rejected them, because they were the ones rejecting God. Gentiles, however, are justified by faith, and Jews have the opportunity to be as well. Instead of winning the favor of God through obedience, Jews need to believe in Him only. Even though they cannot accept the same way of Salvation as the Gentiles, they need to do so, because Jesus is the only Way!

Gifts and sacrifices: Gifts and Sacrifices are offerings. Gifts likely acknowledge God’s governance and providence in the universe, and sacrifices acknowledge that we are sinners in need of atonement. It was required of the Old Testament priests to make offerings. Thus, for Jesus to fulfill the Law there would also need to be gifts and a sacrifice. Jesus offered Himself as the gift and He became the Sacrificed Lamb of God. He didn’t do it as a Levitical priest, but did so as Himself!

The exploring of Chapter Nine

Summarizing of this chapter

  • In verses 1-5, we see that before discussing Christ’s Priesthood further, the writer decides to speak about the Tabernacle and its furniture, which included:
    • The Golden Altar of Incense, which, when kept in the Holy Place was connected with the Ark of the Covenant in the ritual of the Day of Atonement. The writer mentions that the Golden Altar of Incense belongs to the Most Holy Place.
    • Three objects kept in the Ark: Golden Pot of Manna, Aaron’s Rod that budded, and Tables of the Covenant.
    • The Cherubims of Glory spread wings over the Mercy Seat.
  • In verses 6-8, we see that only priests could go into the Holy Place, and only the High Priest into the Most Holy Place. He did this only once a year, wherein on the Day of Atonement that he would sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial animal and asked forgiveness for himself and the people. This ritual was arranged by God and showed that under the Old Covenant, people could not freely enter God’s Presence.
  • In verses 9-10, we see that the sacrifices did not cleanse the worshippers of sin, because the people were still at distance from God. The sacrifices were a temporary arrangement for the era before Christ. They brought ceremonial cleansing, but no actual cleansing, however. Now that Christ has come, and cleansed sin completely, such ceremonies are of no use.
  • In verses 11-14, we see that when the Jewish High Priest would enter the Most Holy Place, he took the blood of the sacrificed animal with him, showing this a sign that an innocent substitute died for the guilty sinner—so that the barrier to God’s Presence through sin might be removed. Jesus, the Great High Priest, offered Himself as the sacrifice and through His Blood, He entered the Presence of God obtaining eternal Salvation for sin and cleaning the sinner’s guilty conscience. This effectively replaced the ceremonial cleansing of the Old Covenant, by actual cleansing through Christ’s Sacrifice.
  • In verses 15-17, we see that under the Old Covenant, repentant sinners offered sacrifices for sins, but the sacrifices could not bring forgiveness. They did nothing more than just ceremonial cleansing. The actual cleansing of sins depended upon the sacrifice of Christ—for Christ is the only way for sins to be forgiven. Through Christ, God made His New Covenant, and the inheritance for the promises under this covenant is one of total/eternal forgiveness. An inheritance can be received then, only after the death of the person promising it—therefore, people can receive forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ.
  • In verses 18-22, we see events of the Old Covenant that point to the necessity of Christ’s death for making the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was established on sacrifices, even though the ritual of killing animals and sprinkling of blood as just the dramatic way of swearing to keep the covenant. It had signified the removal of past sin so that Israel could enter the covenant cleansed. Cleansing through sacrifice was one of the basics of the Old Covenant.
  • In verses 23-26, we see that Levitical sacrifices were just part of a “physical order” and that it only brought symbolic cleansing. Christ’s death is concerned with “spiritual order” and brings actual cleansing. We glory in Christ’s death that brought us actual cleansing. The Levitical High Priest had to repeat the ceremony yearly; however, Christ entered God’s real presence on account of His Blood (His Own Blood that is), and did so only once. His death is sufficient to remove completely the sins of the whole world—past, present, and future! GLORY TO GOD!
  • In verses 27-28, to finish the chapter, the writer points out that people die once and face judgment. Christ died once and gained eternal Salvation for all those who believe and trust in Him. By His death, believers are forgiven (sins are removed completely). They will, then, enjoy the fullness of their Salvation when Christ reappears, coming out of the Heavenly Tabernacle to be with them forever!

Proof of New Covenant

  • We now enter into the Holy of Holies, which is the throne room of our God through the veil of Jesus’ flesh. (Hebrews 10:19-20; John 10:7-9; 14:6)
  • He has abolished the veil in the Tabernacle (Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 9:11, 24; Acts 7:48)
  • We come bold in His name (Hebrews 10:19; Ephesians 3:12)
  • By the Sacrifice of His own Blood. (Hebrews 9:12, and indirectly verses 24-26)
  • Now we are able to approach God. (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 10:19-21)
  • He is the Bread of Heaven (John 6:33-35, 50-51, 58)
  • Much more than the Manna (John 6:49, 58)
  • He is the Rod of Jesse that has sprung forth and blossomed. (Isaiah 11:1; Romans 15:12; Hebrews 7:14)
  • He is the Light of the world. (John 8:12; 9:5; indirectly 1 John 1:5)
  • The tablets of stone no longer hold His Word (2 Corinthians 3:3-7; Romans 7:6; Jeremiah 31:33)
  • He has written it upon our hearts and in our minds. (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26; Hebrews 8:10)

In Numbers 17, we see overall Aaron’s rod being described, for it was a dead stick that miraculously budded to reveal God’s power of choice. Originally, Dathan and Abiram had challenged the right of Moses to lead the country (for Moses was a Levite). The Levite, Korah, had challenged Aaron’s family their right to be the sole priestly family of the Levites. In destruction of the rebellious people, God clearly proved that the Tribe of Levi was indeed his specifically chosen tribe, and that the family of Aaron was His specifically chosen family within that tribe. He did this by miraculously changing the rod identified with the Tribe of Levi and the priest Aaron. Moses decided, after this miracle occurred, to keep Aaron’s rod in front of the ark to remind them of the divinely chosen positions of Levi and Aaron in Israel. Later, it was placed inside the Ark – Hebrews 9:4). The people had understood His Message and feared of going near the Tabernacle.

The Golden Censer is where incense is burned. It was, more or less, a vessel of metal fitted to receive the burning coals from the altar, and on which the incense for burning would be sprinkled (2 Chronicles 26:19). Sweet-smelling smoke from this incense would represent the people’s prayers ascending to God. However, due to Christ’s Sacrificial Work and in the fulfilling of such ceremonial pracitces, Christ is the one who intercedes for us—taking our prayers to God, because He is our High Priest. Just as the incense carried a perfumed/beautiful odor, our prayers are now carrying the scent of righteousness from our Savior, Jesus Christ. John says in Revelation 8:3-4 that our prayers ascend to the Altar in Heaven before the throne of God. Lastly, we read in Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

The Cherubim

As we see in Exodus 25:18-22, two Cherubims would be on either side of the Mercy Seat with their wings arching above it, lightly touching wing-tips. This was to be a type of God’s Throne, a place where His Presence dwelt among the people. Since His People were kept from His Presence, these Cherubims appear as guards probably.             Cherubims have been used for guard at another time, for example, in the Garden of Eden—when Adam and Eve were restricted from the Tree of Life, a Cherubim guarded it so that no one could partake of it or access it (Genesis 3:24).

The Lord would be called the Lord of hosts, or some other name (Lord God of Israel or Shepherd of Israel), and “that dwelleth between the (two) cherubims,” or similar expressions—as we see in 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; and Psalm 80:1. This was because the Mercy Seat was the symbolic throne of God, and the cherubims were the symbolic guardians of that throne to restrict people from accessing God. This seemed to be their significance. In our minds, we might think a couple of “cute cherubims” that were small and sat over the Mercy Seat; however, we learn in 1 Kings 6:23-28 that they were quite large, stretching from wall to wall across the room.             In other ways, craftsmen and other designers would use the cherubims in their ornamentation of the Tabernacle, which Cherubims would be pictured on the coverings and curtains of the Tabernacle, the walls of the Temple, and the mobile lavers that belonged to the Temple (Exodus 26:1, 31; 1 Kings 6:29; 7:29, 36).

By the Holy Ghost!

  • Through the Holy Ghost:
    • Jesus Christ was conceived (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:31-35)
      • Matthew 1:18-20 says, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
      • Luke 1:31-35 says, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
    • He was taught (Isaiah 11:2-3; 42:1; 61:1; Luke 4:18; indirectly John 3:34)
      • Isaiah 11:2-3 says, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.”
      • 42:1, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.”
      • 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
      • Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
      • Indirectly John 3:34, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”
    • He was tested through manifold temptations (Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1, 14)
      • Matthew 4:1, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
      • Mark 1:12-13, “And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.”
      • Luke 4:1, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”
        • Special mention Luke 4:14, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.”
    • He offered Himself as a Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:14; Matthew 26:41)
      • Hebrews 9:14, “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?”
      • Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
    • He was justified (1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:3-4)
      • 1 Timothy 3:16 says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
      • Romans 1:3-4, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
    • He was Resurrected (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 8:11; indirectly Romans 1:4)
      • 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
      • Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
      • Indirectly 1:4, “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

Detailing Chapter 10

  • We see in verses 1-4 that the repeated offering of the Levitical sacrifices had shown that they were unable to bring any complete cleansing. The Law was a shadow of good things to come. It was simply not possible for those repeated offerings to bring complete cleansing
  • In verses 5-10, we see that God’s plan was not to have animal sacrifices forever, but these sacrifices would prepare the way for Jesus Christ—to which, He spent His Life doing God’s Will, even though it had Him end up offering His Life in sacrifice. His death ended old sacrifices, and cleansed people of sin forever!
  • We see in verses 11-14 that Israelite priests stood offering sacrifices every day, to which, their work would never be complete, because the sacrifices couldn’t remove sin. The Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, offered Himself, however, in One Sacrifice for forever, and then sat down in God’s Presence at His Right Hand. The Work of Salvation is complete and available for those who believe. Judgment, nonetheless, will be for those refusing His Gift.
  • In verses 15-18, we learn that there is no further need for sacrificial offerings, since the complete and permanent work is done spiritually for God’s People, and that God’s Work through Christ removes all sin giving believers New Life in Christ!
  • For verses 19-25, God’s Presence was shown as limited under the Old Covenant, as only the high priest could pass through the curtain that closed the entrance to the Most Holy Place. They could only do so at certain times and under strict conditions. Now that Christ, per His death, atoned for sin and opened the way for fellowship with God, all of God’s People are able to come before Him confidently and reverently. We must trust in God’s Promises, and help others by encouraging them.
  • In verses 26-31, we see that those who are tempted to go back to Judaism ways are reminded that, apart from Christ, there is no Salvation. If they decide to reject Christ, they can only expect judgment, as rebellion under the Old Covenant would be death. Those in apostasy can expect punishment along with the ones rebellious.
  • Lastly, for verses 32-39, we see an encouragement not to forsake Christ, even though they have suffered. By persevering through persecutions, they can have confidence of a lasting reward. The promised reward will come for Christians at Christ’s Return, to which, He will judge between those who persevered in faith and those who apostatized.

What Jeremiah had to say

Jeremiah 31:33-34, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

God’s New Covenant is coming, and this covenant will not result from people’s imperfection, because it won’t depend on people’s obedience. God will change people by working within them, perfecting them from the inside out by sending His Spirit within them—therefore, all will know God, and God will redeem them of their sins removing any barriers of fellowship with Him. Hebrews chapters 8-10 full discuss the length of this entirety of covenantal change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. This will eventually lead to the rebuild of Jerusalem where God will dwell with His People forevermore!

Great Central Exhortation: Verses 19-21 talk about the Great Central Exhortation, which, to the Hebrews, this is not just a letter but a big exhortation. This letter represents a glorious invitation to receive Jesus’ Blood, so that you can come boldly into the holiest in the Presence of God. He gives us this New Living Way with full benefits including liberty, which has been consecrated for us when Jesus stepped through the veil, the veil of His Flesh.

The importance of the Veil and Jesus Christ

Besides the veil being used to help women obscure their faces, the veil is so often used symbolically in Scripture to be what hides the glory of God. When Moses came down from the Mount, his face shone bright because of the glory of the Lord he had seen, to which, the people could not endure it. It rests on the hearts of the Jews when they read the Law (Exodus 34:33-35). In time, God will remove the veil, and under the shadows of the Law (referencing types and shadows), they will see Christ and receive Him (instead of rejecting Him as they have done and do now). Nonetheless, the glory had to be veiled because of Israel’s incapability to witness it. Christians (Gentiles and enlightened Jews) can now gaze at the Glory of the Lord, whose face is now unveiled, and be transformed into that image from glory to glory, just as the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:7, 13-18; 4:4-6; indirect prophetic reference Daniel 12:3 and Matthew 13:43).

Referring to the veil of the Tabernacle and of the Temple, was that under the dispensation of the Law, entrance into the holiest was not manifested—for God had not come in full blessing that could allow man to enter in. By Christ dying, the veil was rent from top to bottom (couldn’t be from bottom to top, as it didn’t want to seem like someone took a string from the bottom and pulled up so as to rip it like tapestry can be) (reference: Matthew 27:51). By the rending of the veil, God exhibited in full light, to which, the believer, with boldness, could enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus, which is the New and Living Way that Jesus prepared/consecrated for us through the veil (His Flesh). Redemption has been attained for the people of God, and God made Himself known in full grace so that the believer may enter in (with no strict laws or other guidelines) (reference: Hebrews 4:16; 6:19; 9:3; 10:19-22).

Provoke one another in Love: In verse 24, we see where we are commanded to provoke one another in love, to which, means that we should stir one another up and encourage each other through love (sincerity & brotherly love). The love we express should be the product of the Fruit of the Spirit within us (Galatians 5:22-23), and the product of the abundance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we can be filled with fruits of righteousness (Philippians 1:9-11). It is good to love in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18), therefore let everything you do be with love (1 Corinthians 13; 16:14).

Continue gathering together: Here, in verse 25, Paul/the writer is encouraging people to continue gathering (churches and fellowships), and not to forget about this. He wants the exhorting and encouragement to each other to continue, so that we may all be prepared for the Return of Christ!

We know that apostasy will continue, and the easiest ways people apostatize is through quitting in attendance of the church. Without being in fellowship with one another, one is at greater risk of temptation to leave the faith, therewith; he/she could have been fine if stayed in the church. He is hoping that people continue to meet together in the church as they all have thus far, therefore, to avoid apostasy as much as possible. Apostasy will become much more intense as the Return of Christ draws near, for we have seen in church history over the last couple thousand years the periods of apostasy; however, lately, records of apostasy are not noted, because widespread apostasy continues in a gradual way to allow for the enemies’ plan to sneak in. Techniques such as this are typically imposed upon those who have left the church or have been hurt from the church, and need some relief. This is why those who don’t attend church are at greater risk for apostasy. We need not let the enemy have his foothold, lest we fall away. We must remain steadfast and build each other up in encouragement!

Notes on God’s Judgment: We see in verses 26-31 the judgment God involves, to which, those that apostatize are at risk of greater punishment than those who have no knowledge of Him. Per rejection, judgment shall come. Even under the Old Covenant, rebellion meant death; therefore, those who apostatize will be punished worse.

Types of Judgment:

  • No other sacrifice
  • Fear
  • Fiery indignation, devouring of adversaries – eternal punishment
  • Sorer punishment (verses 28-29)
  • Vengeance from God (30)
  • Total judgment for sins committed (30-31)
  • At the fearful Hands of God (31)
  • If any man draw back (39)

Call to remembrance: He told them to call to remembrance the former days, which was after they were illuminated, for they endured great afflictions. In these verses, 32-37, the Hebrews are reminded of the former days when they were illuminated (that is to say they were seen). Their actions were well noted by the opposers of the Gospel. He exhorts them that they endured a great fight of afflictions (tribulations, suffering, anguish, persecution, troubles, etc.). Nonetheless, they are encouraged to hold on to their confidence, because a great reward is coming!

Perdition: Perdition is defined as “total destruction, ruin, loss of the hope of happiness in a future life.” Those who draw back, fall away, come short, or depart from will return to perdition and lose their soul.

A/the son of perdition

  • Adversaries (Philippians 1:28)
  • antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:2-4)
  • The rich man (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
  • Ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7, 10)
  • the beast (Revelation 17:8, 11)

Chapter 11 – The bountifulness of faith

Hebrews 11:1-3: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 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.”

Faith seems to be a “firm persuasion” and “a conviction based upon hearing.” Faith seems to be an attitude, conviction, and conduct, which is based upon a right relationship with God. It is something dynamic, in that it grows in strength as we continue our relationship with God.

If people have faith, they believe that things hoped for are according to God’s Promises, and that His Promises will be achieved. People, in faith, believe in the unseen powers of God, and know that faith is looking beyond what they can see. The existence of the world is not based upon a reasoning of things that can be seen.

People with faith usually:

  • Look beyond a higher fulfillment of the promise (as Abraham and Sarah; Isaac; Jacob; Joseph)
  • Be faithful unto God even in most dire circumstances (as Abraham and Moses did; indirectly the Israelites)
  • Believe in what God is doing (Moses’ parents)
  • Knows the fulfillment of faith will be done (verses 39-40)

The illustrations of faith we are given in this chapter

  • Abel’s sacrifice, Enoch’s daily life, and Noah’s obedience had all pleased God, because they arose from faith. These men trusted in the unseen God, and in His Faithfulness, oversaw those who sincerely sought Him. God rewarded these faithful men, and also rejected those of no faith (Verses 4-7; Genesis 4:2-7; 5:21-24; 6:8-14).
    • (Abel had the first example of a blood offering that was pleasing to the Lord (Hebrews 12:24))
    • Enoch’s walk of faith was very pleasing to God, and some believe he may have been one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3 (Hebrews 9:27). He represents a walk of faith and of righteousness that pleased God. He even prophesied of the Lord coming with ten thousands of saints. (Jude 14-16; Revelation 11:3-11; Zechariah 4:11-14; Malachi 4:5-6; Hebrews 9:12).
    • Noah walked in the knowledge of God, communicating with Him in a personal way, so that he could hear God speak unto him. He put his faith into action by workin building the Ark, and expected to be preserved by it. (Genesis 6:8-9:29; 2 Peter 2:5)
  • Abraham’s faith caused him to venture out into the unknown for his inheritance, to which, caused him to be patient when he did not experience fulfillment in his lifetime. By faith, however, he looked upon a higher fulfillment of the promise (Verse 8-10; Genesis 12:1-5). His wife, Sarah, shared his faith, and trusted in God’s Promise that they would have a son and a multitude of descendants—even if they were past the age of childbearing (Verses 11-12; Genesis 15:5; 18:11-13). Abraham and his family did not ever give up despite difficulties; however, they looked beyond death to be a greater fulfillment of the promise than they could ever experience in their Earthly lives (Verses 13-16; Genesis 23:4). When God had told Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, his faith was being tested, because Isaac was the one through whom the multitude of descendants would come. Abraham, however, had faith in obedience, and believed God could resurrect Isaac, therefore, he went ahead. However, God intervened, and Abraham received his son back (Verses 17-19; Genesis 22:1-18).
    • Abraham was such a good example of faith that we even see more info about him in Romans 4:17-21, “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
    • God cut a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17:1-19.
    • Sarah represented a life-giving faith, to which, she received strength in her old age to bear a son of Promise. She knew God was faithful, so the child sprang forth (Genesis 17:15; 18:9; 21:1; Romans 4:17).
  • Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and Joseph were all certain of the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, which is why Joseph left instructions at his burial. He knew he’d die in Egypt, therefore, he instructed his bones be buried in Canaan—to which, was a declaration of faith that one day, his people would inherit the Promised Land (Verses 20-22; Genesis 28:1-4; 47:29-31; 50:24-25).
    • Through faith, Isaac pronounced blessings upon his children (Genesis 27:33).
    • Through faith, Jacob blessed his twelve tribes, which is a family blessing, for we must have faith to believe that God will save our family.
  • Moses’ parents had faith in their belief that God had chosen their child for great things, therefore, they risked their lives to preserve his life (Verse 23; Exodus 1:22; 2:1-2). As Moses grew up, he exercised good faith, despite the sacrifice and hardship that came with it. He endured because he too was confident of the future reward, and was sure in his trust of the unseen God (Verses 24-27; Exodus 2:10-15).
    • Moses, even by faith, protected the firstborn of the Israelites by applying the blood on the doorpost, so that the death angel would pass over them.
    • Moses and God’s People were saved, protected, and preserved going through the Red Sea.
  • Through faith, the Israelites were protected at the time of Passover judgment, and delivered from the Egyptian army (Verses 28-29; Exodus 12:1-13; 14:21-31). Through faith, they entered the Promised Land to conquer Jericho. It was also through faith that Rahab was saved when others of Jericho were eliminated (Verses 30-31; Joshua 2:1-14; 6:15-25).
  • There were many other heroes of faith that the writer wanted to note, but wanted the letter to be short. The ones he thought of were from the Books of Judges, Samuel, Kings, Daniel, etc. People suffered such hardships and tragedies, to even torturous persecutions; but still held on to faith (Verses 32-38).
    • Gideon’s miraculous faith (Judges 6:1-8:35)
    • Barak’s triumphant-victorious faith (Judges 4-5)
    • Samson’s physical faith, seen as a great power of strength (Judges 13-16:31)
    • Jephthah’s bold faith (Judges 11-12:7)
    • David’s faith that utter relied upon God (1 Samuel 17:32-51; 23:2, 11)
    • Samuel’s faith that bore integrity (1 Samuel 3:18; 7:1-17; 8:1-3; 12:16-24)

What Moses would view Jesus as: We see evidence of Moses’ vision of the Messiah and how he looked forward in faith to the day of the Lord’s Coming. We see this in verse 26, “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Moses had a fearless faith as his parents; Moses protected the Israelites from the death angel, and protected and preserved the Israelites in the journey through the Red Sea—All by faith! Moses’ identity was with Jesus the Rock, to which, God hid him in the cleft of the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

Chapter 12

Jesus is the great forerunner (author) of our faith, and the chief leader of the Christians, to which, He perfects those running it. He perfects those looking to accomplish the finish of their race of faith. In other words, He showed us what personal faith was, and how to perfect it!

Running the race of life

  • Luke 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
  • Philippians 2:16, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
  • Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Joy in endurance: He obtained the joy, to which, we see that this was His Heavenly Reward He was looking forward to. We can also see this joy that is set before us, as we see in Revelation 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” That is where the joy takes us. The Joy is at the Right Hand of the Father, sitting in the Throne Room of God. The Joy He had for the Salvation He would bring to men was much more than just suffering on the cross. It showed His humility as well.

Remembering when Abraham was tested: When God had told Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, his faith was being tested, because Isaac was the one through whom the multitude of descendants would come. Abraham, however, had faith in obedience, and believed God could resurrect Isaac, therefore, he went ahead. However, God intervened, and Abraham received his son back (Genesis 22:1-18).

Root of bitterness

The root of bitterness is something that may spring up to trouble you and defile you, to which we must be alert. 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.”

When we are constructing holiness among one another, we must remove the root of bitterness from our hearts as to not have a bad influence upon one another. We see such exhortation to rid of it in Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” This verse exhorts us to remove bad influences and behaviors from ourselves so that we can bud and help each other with good influences in the end.

To help solve this, repenting will be one of the first steps and can help through the stages of rooting out any bitterness. We see a similar situation that repentance helped in Acts 8:22-23, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” (Note “gall” may have a close relation or reference to root.)

Esau’s life as a warning

What Esau sought carefully with tears was for his father to return the blessing to him. To be profane is to despise sacred things, such as Esau’s shamefully mistreating of his Birthright, which was a sacred thing. He acted irreligiously. He was a bad influence, because: He was legally the heir, therefore, he had the birthright as the son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob (Genesis 25:1-34); however, he sold his birthright to Jacob, He had many ill-advised marriages (Genesis 26:34), Troubles mounted with him that included disreputable behavior to Jacob, and also Esau losing his father’s blessing (Genesis 27:1-46), and Esau tried to kill Jacob, but Jacob was able to escape (Genesis 27:30-45).

Diligence

We are commanded to do the following things diligently (Verses 12-15):

  • Lift up our hands
  • Strengthen our feeble knees
  • Make straight paths for our feet
  • Let the lame be healed
  • Be peaceable with all people
  • Follow after holiness
  • Be alert lest we fail of the Grace of God

Mount Sinai versus Mount Zion

Mount Sinai is the place where the Law was given to Moses (Exodus 19:12-21; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:4, 23-26). It was a place where His People would not touch, it burned with fire and was full of blackness, darkness, and tempest, there was a sound of the Trumpet and the full voice of God, they could not endure what was said from the mountain, and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake!”

Mount Zion (Sion) is where Grace is extended to us, for out of Zion came the Deliverer who shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Romans 11:26). The 144,000, that is, the elect, shall stand on the mountain with Him, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1). It is the Capital City of the Living God (Revelation 3:12; chapter 21), it is the Heavenly Jerusalem filled with an innumerable amount of angels (Revelation 5:11-14), it is the Church of the Firstborn, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Colossians 1:18), where God is the judge of all, where the Spirits of just men are made perfect (Revelation 6:9-11), unto Jesus, the Mediator of our Covenant (Matthew 26:38; Hebrews 9:15), and where the Blood of Jesus has been offered, for it speaks better things than that of humanity (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 1:18-23).

What Haggai had to say: Haggai prophesied what we see in verse 26, “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” His prophecy is found in Haggai 2:6-7, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.”

God is the consuming fire: Those who come before God on that great Day of Judgment with unconfessed sins will experience the Consuming Fire of God (reference from Verse 29)—One to be feared with Godly Reverence. On Mount Sinai, He was called a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24). The consuming fire will be for those who sin, nevertheless, as we read in Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Just as God once went ahead of the Israelites and destroyed all of the enemies so that Israel could enter the Promised Land (referring back to Deuteronomy 4:24, et al.), so God will do the same for His People, to which, the enemies (sinners who rebel against God by not accepting the Savior, Jesus Christ), will be destroyed so that His People may live in the Promised Land: The New Jerusalem. God is preparing the way so that His People will live peacefully with Him Eternally!

Chapter 13

Thoughts concerning this chapter

  1. We should all act with love, which I try to do as well on a daily basis to everyone, not just family.
  2. Some strangers we might show love to could be messengers from God, which I realize sometimes and try to be kind
  3. People who are imprisoned or ill-treated need love to, which I am aware of the different ministries and may be willing someday soon to visit.
  4. Marriage is good and firm, and best when faithful completely only for husband and wife, which I strive to do at all times!
  5. We must know that God will provide for us, so to try to be wealthy is a lack of faith—to which, has helped me remain calm, and when I have, new opportunities to earn money have appeared.
  6. God is our helper, our provider, and we have nothing to worry about—this is what I declare daily, especially based upon this verse.
  7. It is good to honor those over you, especially those who have spoken the Word of God—to which, this is an attribute I always try to pay attention to is honor.
  8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever—this I declare as well, because I know it to be true that He is always the same and ever-wonderful.
  9. We don’t need to pay attention to false doctrines or eat any special meals anymore—it is great to rejoice in being free from the bondage of the Law, because Christ has fulfilled it!
  10. We need not worry about sacrificial feasts that belong to the Old Israelite religion—as once again, it is great to rejoice in the partaking of the Bread of Christ (Bread of Life)!
  11. I am glad that we no longer have to burn animal meat.
  12. Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem (outside the camp as referred in the previous verse),  to which, He forgives me of any sin and cleanses me.
  13. We must come to Christ without Judaism, meaning, if you are a Jew, you must renounce that system first of the old Jewish religion, so that you can come to Christ—to which, I am glad to not be a Jew of the old system, for I have been believing in Christ for most of my life.
  14. I look forward to Heaven, which is to come for all who believe in Jesus Christ—Glory to God!
  15. I will always sincerely praise God, because it shall always be on my lips, including gratitude!
  16. The sacrifice of praise that comes from me is one that God is well pleased.
  17. Once again, I will continue to honor those who have rule over me, for honor and submission is necessary for a leader to function well and hopefully with joy.
  18. Praying for others is something I like to do sincerely, and hope to continue living honestly!
  19. Visiting family and friends is helpful to them and to me, and I hope others will realize this value.
  20. I shall pray also to the God of peace that resurrected our Lord Jesus through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.
  21. I hope too that He would make me perfect in every good work to do His Will, so that His Work in me is well pleasing, especially through Jesus Christ.
  22. I will acknowledge the Book of Hebrews, as the writer commands, for it is an important exhortation.
  23. I will continue to greet friends and family when they visit.
  24. I gladly acknowledge them and they do to me as well usually.
  25. I pray for grace frequently.

Exhortations

  1. Let brotherly love continue: we should all continue to act with love toward each other, stranger or not.
  2. Entertain strangers, as you may actually be entertaining angels. Some strangers may be sent from God, and may say just what you need or do for you something. Be kind to all!
  3. Remember them that are in bonds. Don’t be afraid to visit those in prison or jail; helping them, ministering to them, etc. It is important to remember everyone, and not discriminate.
  4. Marriage is honorable, so keep the bed undefiled to avoid punishment from God.
  5. Let your conversation be without covetousness (don’t hunger for wealth).
  6. Be content with such things you have, as God is our Provider and will not leave us nor forsake us.
  7. Boldly speak about God’s help for you.

Angelic appearances to humans

The initial mention in this chapter is verse 2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Per this reference, we have many examples:

  • Genesis 18:1-2, “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.”
  • Genesis 19:1, “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.”
  • Genesis 32:1-2, “And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.”
  • Exodus 3:2, “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”
  • Numbers 22:23, “And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.”
  • Judges 6:11, “And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.”
  • Judges 13:9, “And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.”
  • 1 Kings 19:5, “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.”
  • Matthew 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
  • Matthew 4:11, “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
  • Matthew 28:5, “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.”
  • Luke 22:43, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”
  • John 20:12, “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”
  • Acts 5:19, “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said…”
  • Acts 8:26, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.”
  • Acts 10:3, “He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.”
  • Acts 12:7, “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.”
  • Acts 27:23, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve…”
  • Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”

Advice against false teachers

Hebrews 13:9, “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” Establish your heart with Grace, and don’t be swayed by every wind of Doctrine of strange teaching. We follow Grace in Christ Jesus, not the Law.

  • Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”
  • 1 Timothy 4:1-8, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
  • Philippians 3:17-19, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

The different altars

The Physical Altar of the Old Testament: This served a purpose for the sacrifices, for the bodies of the sacrificial animals were burned outside the camp and their blood brought into the sanctuary by the High Priest. The High Priest would offer it for the people’s sins, to which, the people could not come into the Holy of holies where God’s Presence abode.

The Christian’s Altar: This stands for the benefits given to us because of Christ’s death, and allows us to have a personal meeting place with God. We are able to come, through Jesus Christ, into the very Throne Room of God.

Titles of God given

  • The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:31)
  • God, The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3)
  • God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory (Ephesians 1:17)
  • One God, Father of all—above all, through all, in you all (Ephesians 4:6)
  • Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9)
  • Father of lights (James 1:17)
  • God of peace (Philippians 4:9; Hebrews 13:20)

Titles of Jesus given

  • Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
  • Shepherd of Israel (Psalm 80:1)
  • Shepherd of the sheep (John 10:2)
  • The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
  • Our Lord Jesus; Great Shepherd of the sheep (Hebrews 13:20)
  • Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (1 Peter 2:25)
  • Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)

What we are admonished to do for rest

  • Fear coming short of the promise of rest (Hebrews 4:1)
  • Labor therefore to enter into that rest, so as not to fall short of it by unbelief (4:11)
  • Hold fast our profession of Jesus Christ as the Great High Priest. (4:14)
  • Come boldly before the throne of Grace to find mercy and grace. (4:16)
  • Go on to perfection by faith unto God and of rebuking dead works. (6:1)
  • Draw near to Him with a sincere heart of full assurance of faith, in that our conscience is being renewed by the Lord Jesus with His Blood and the water. (10:22)
  • Hold fast the profession of our faith with no wavering to look forward to the promise of the Faithful One. (10:23)
  • Consider one another to love and good works; encourage each other (10:24)
  • Lay aside weights and sins that may set us back, so we can run with patience the race before us. (12:1)
  • Go forth unto Him without the camp (without any hesitance), and share His shame by praising Him for His Sacrifice. (13:13)

Conclusion on the Book of Hebrews

Per the study on the Book of Hebrews, we find many different characteristics that would obviously confuse many readers. However, the writer, whom we have referred to as Paul, has given many different facts on the Old Covenant and the New Covenant including how Jesus is much better than those “old things,” how Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant so the New Covenant could be grafted into His People, and to display His Majesty so that people can be changed and transformed by the renewing of their mind. What the writer meant to do through this Letter of Exhortation, was weave Old Covenant themes with New Covenant themes, to show the Jews (and other readers) these things just mentioned in the previous sentence—as Paul had likely figured that many Jews were being converted, but were withdrawing back to Judaism. Paul gives stern warnings in this letter, exhortations (positive and negative), rewards, concepts of the Kingdom of God, and much more to help the reader understand the depth of the Transcendence of Jesus Christ.

The Old Covenant, when talked about, we think of Laws, rules, regulations, rituals, feasts, abstinence on certain things, etc. However, the Law was just part of it, for sacrifices were another part. Paul did not care so much about the Law, as he did talking about the sacrifices. Not that he did or didn’t negate the Law, but that the sacrifice part of the Law was the most important, for through this, people attempted to be redeemed of sin. In hopes of receiving divine favor, the remission of sins, people would have to follow a strict set of guidelines in the Law to sacrifice an animal, that by doing so, an innocent life was just sacrificed for a guilty person. This was to be the way for the remitting of sin; however, Paul noted many times that it was invalid, because the Law could not be perfected. We learn that whoever breaks one part of the Law has broken it all (James 2:10). Paul was aware of this as well (Galatians 5:3 in dealing with circumcisions). Therefore, the perfection of the Old Covenant and sacrifices could not be obtained, which made the cleansing process external instead of internal.

Since the sacrifices under the Old Covenant could not bring cleansing, how were people saved? Salvation was only available by grace through their faith in Him, which is the only way sinners have been saved—for no one can be saved by keeping the Law (Romans 3:20, 27-28; Ephesians 2:8-9). Abraham lived before the Old Covenant was established, and David lived under the Old Covenant—yet both were saved by faith (Romans 4:1-16; Galatians 3:17-18). When Christ came; however, He did what the Old Covenant could not do, by paying sins’ penalty, He made forgiveness possible for the repentant (Romans 8:3-4; Galatians 3:23-25). God’s original plan from the foundation of the world was that Jesus would be the One in whom people are Saved and Forgiven.

The first thing, then, that Paul instructs the readers in, is the transcendence of Christ, in respect to His Deity (Hebrews 1:1-14). Christ was shown as better than angels (Hebrews 2:1-18). He was even shown as a Prophet that exceeded Moses (Hebrews 3:1-4:13) and a Priest that exceeded Aaron (Hebrews 4:14-5:9). Overall, however, He was the King and Priest that exceeded Melchisedec—and Melchisedec was the one that exceeded Abraham (Hebrews 5-7 interweaved). This was to show, overall, that no prophet, priest, king, or other principality or power was greater than Christ that ever walked the earth. Christ is better than all of them, to which, the writer now includes how great His Majesty is, because He sacrificed Himself and then was seated at the Right Hand of the Father in Heaven per His Reward.

The second thing he instructs is the doctrine of the Heavenly Church pitched only by Christ. His Heavenly Church far exceeds the Mosaic one, for His Covenant is most excellent (Hebrews 8:1-13). Per His One Sacrifice, better ordinances, better administrations, and better overall effectiveness—all exceeding the Levitical ones (Hebrews 9:1-10:18). Everything that Christ has established has been better than the old ways, and therefore, He is said to have fulfilled the Old Covenant and Sacrifices, to usher in the New Covenant. In the New Covenant, we believe in Him to enter in, to which, this is a one-sided Covenant from there on out. Jesus allows grace and mercy upon us, as we follow His Law of Love, and have the opportunity to make sacrifices of praise and of fellowship that please God (Hebrews 10:19-13:20). Overall, we, as Christians, are part of a New Covenant that is so much better than the Old Covenant. We have it without the tension, curses, pain, struggles, and other tedious principles that only seek to ruin the conscience. God wants us changed from the inside out, and does so through the Holy Ghost thanks to the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our lives, overall, are better, because of the New Covenant. Not only did He provide a better way for us here on Earth by making us feel so much better and less tense, but He also promised us Eternal Life as a gift—a promise of rest, to which, we can be with Him eternally! This is such great news, that it should cause us to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fellowship with one another, praise His Name and give Him Glory in all the earth, and acknowledge Him in all things! Let all of our work and labor for the Kingdom of God be put to good use in love and honoring of other people, making them feel blessed, and conjoining relationships to bud a more characteristically Christlike atmosphere wherever we go! We are part of the Promise, to which, when the Lord Jesus returns in all His Power and Majesty, He will rescue us, and bring us into Eternal Life, where He will rule over us forever as we worship Him. Let the Praise of God always be on our lips as we seek to bring glory to Him in every way possible. We can do this by loving God, loving people, being kind, praising Him, and thanking Him for all that He has done. The biggest amount of thanks we can give is for the Sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, because it has brought for us a better way: Eternal Life! Glory to God and Thank You Jesus!

Why Jesus Christ is God | Bible verses

There are many religions, cults, and other organizations (including books and other media) that say that Jesus Christ is not God, but they do not provide enough credible evidence. Apparently, about 30% of US Christian people say that Jesus is not God. However, we can, as Christians, prove that Jesus Christ is God, and the Bible along with historical/archaeological finds can help.

Jesus Christ is the Word and created the earth:

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.

John 20:28 – And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (This references back to when God first said that He is called “I AM” in Exodus 3:14.

Jesus was to come upon the earth as an inhabitant inside of a man vessel, but still be fully God:

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Other info:

Acts 20:28 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Titus 2:13 – Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:1 – Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:8 – But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Jesus receives worship in the following verses, but did not tell anyone not to worship Him: Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38

If He were not God, the sacrifice for sins would not be possible (1 John 2:2). Only God could take on the sins of the entire world (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Walk in truth and lead people well | 3 John commentary

This is another short letter by the apostle John, written between 85-95 A.D. John addresses this letter to a loyal believer called Gaius. The second letter of John spoke of not helping missionaries who speak falsely. Well Gaius was a gracious helper of missionaries. Therefore, John had a few things to say, and some comparisons to make to other leaders, Diotrephes and Demetrius.

John starts the letter addressing Gaius and wishing him prosperity. He praises Gaius’ faithfulness and charity unto the church. This is because he helps missionaries faithfully. This sets a good example of other Christians, which is why John praises it. It also allows other audiences to realize the importance of helping missionaries. Now, missionaries are not beggars, they are simple people doing God’s work by carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Therefore, it is important to support their endeavors.

Next, John comments on another leader, Diotrephes, who is like an opposite of Gaius. Diotrephes was someone who did not receive John well, thus firing malicious words, and not being content with himself enough to help people in the church. Lastly, he comments on Demetrius, another leader, who had good reports from all men. People loved Demetrius. John claimed that Demetrius does well. John ends the letter letting Gaius know he would see him face-to-face soon (which is probably why the letter was short).

When it comes to walking in the truth, as John wrote in verse 3, this literally means to be good in your faith so much that people observe and testify of you. Gaius was a man that John thought mentionable as walking in the truth. Of course, Diotrephes was rebuked, mainly for undermining an office in the church and preventing people from being hospitable. Moreover, it is only right to not imitate evil (but rather to do good of God). Demetrius was another good example just like Gaius, which is why he was also mentioned.

It is important in the body of Christ, that God’s people do not mock the example of Diotrephes, but rather take on a better approach like Gaius and Demetrius. Therefore, we, as Christians, should support missionaries and help those who are in need. While doing this, we heed John’s warning in 2 John, where he warns about false teachers. If we heed those warnings, and give faithfully – then we will also walk in the truth, prosper, and be in good health. By supporting the Great Commission, we are doing the Will of God for all His people. We can expect to be blessed in this degree as stated, if we do God’s Will.

As such, we can put labels on these three men. Then, we can know what people would follow as an example. Gaius was a dependable leader in the church, who helped people. Diotrephes was the dominating or controlling official. Last, Demetrius is the kind messenger, who seems to have a good heart like Gaius. These are great examples.

Lessons and other notes from John here

PEOPLE: Gaius is a helpful man who provides hospitality to traveling preachers. He supports these people and wishes them well. He is warm, especially in welcoming people to preach into the Church, and helps strangers as well. He also helps preserve God’s truth.

Diotrephes is a man who acts out of selfish ambition – kind of a counter to Gaius, as this man was simply one who opposed the authority of John; refusing to pass on his instruction to the Church. He made false accusations about John and was very domineering. He didn’t welcome traveling preachers, and would be subject to John’s punishment if he had to come.

Demetrius was a man with a good report among men, and was to be a reliable helper in the difficult time of preserving the Gospel in the time of great false teaching.

Dangers of the defiled road:

  • Romans 13:13 identifies: Rioting, drunkenness, chambering, wantonness, strife, envying
  • 2 Peter 2:10 identified: Walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, Despising of government, Presumptuous are they, Self-willed are they, They speak evil of dignities
  • 1 John 1:6, “If we say we have fellowship with Him, but walk in darkness, we lie and don’t know the truth.”

Instructions to remain of the prosperous road:

  • We should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10)
  • Walk in Christ Jesus, be rooted and grounded in Him and stablished in the faith – abounding with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7)
  • If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other (1 John 1:7)

Conclusion of the matter

The teaching on the Characteristics of Diotrephes was good, because he was inhospitable, and therefore, this was not Christlike. It’s good to learn what not to do, because it helps you do what you’re supposed to do. This was a prideful man that did not receive others, was selfish, and forbade others to receive the brethren. He did not care much for people, and had an attitude of arrogance among them. These are different ways that authority can devour a person’s personality and intentions. Give a person a good amount of power, and you may have a problem on your hands if that person misuses the power they’re given. John was so angry at this man that his old self was starting to boil, because he could not believe the insolence stemming from him. He was just one example of someone who isn’t Christlike.

John, once again, is amazed at the hospitality of those under his care and those that are his friends. He is so happy that Gaius is a hospitable person and glad that he is prospering. He is so excited when his people walk in truth, and he hopes that he will continue. He is not happy at Diotrephes, who is a near mere polar opposite of Gaius. He warns about Diotrephes and talks about him quite a bit for the issues that he has brought to the Church, and hopes he can stop the nonsense. Other than all that, he is still against the false teachings of the day, and hopes that they can continually be dealt with, so he appoints people to help (namely Demetrius) to preserve the truth of the Gospel.

We could learn from these examples. We could learn the great hospitality of Gaius and put it into practice immediately, and we could learn how not to be in our hospitality through the example of Diotrephes. Being a hospitable person requires selflessness, self-control, compassion, showing mercy, and other virtues – and therefore, selfishness, arrogance, pride, mean-spirited attitudes, and other evil or negative things should not be welcome in a hospitable place.

Some have said the Church is a hospital for sinners. Whether that’s true or not is of no concern, but what is of concern, is that we do treat people in our everyday lives with hospitality, whether they are a Christian or non-Christian (for John told Gaius to not just treat Christians, but also strangers). We should follow suit on the admonitions given to Gaius, for it can help us improve our ministry and methodology of helping people in our everyday lives.

Even John warned against false teachings and heresy | 2 John commentary

In 2 John, John puts a similar focus on truth as he does in the first letter. This letter was written between 85-95 A.D. This is a very quick but important letter from John. It is best to decide upon whom John is addressing. John speaks of “the elect lady and her children.” This could mean a local church and its congregation, or it could mean an unknown widowed woman. Nevertheless, John places a warning on the “elect lady” about giving hospitality and support to traveling ministers (missionaries) who have departed from the apostolic truth and have migrated toward false teachings.

John once again warns against false teaching as he did in 1 John. We learn also in this letter that truth and love are inseparable. We should walk in truth, not just admire it. We should also love one another, a genuine love. Therefore, John starts the letter with his greeting before talking about walking in truth, and that we had a commandment from the beginning to love one another. The love we have, we should walk in it.

Next, John talks about the deceivers who have entered the world who do not confess Jesus as Christ. These deceivers are an antichrist. John warns next that those who transgress and abide not in the doctrine of Christ do not have God. However, those that do abide in His doctrine do have both the Father and the Son. The warning right after that is if these deceivers come to your house with this kind of (false) doctrine, do not receive him or help him out. That is how this second letter ended.

False teaching is a major problem in the body of Christ today, because people are focused on their own will, instead of humbling to God’s Will. John points out that even in his day, false teaching is prevalent. He also speaks to keep an eye out for those that practice unrighteousness and do not hold true to the apostolic truth. This can be reflected to a contemporary principle of watching out for false teachers (and prophets), especially in the last days before the Lord’s coming.

John seemed to have some kind of apostolic love toward the “elect lady,” as he spoke that he loved in truth. John seemed to end the letter early, because he expected to see the “elect lady” soon. So, John’s letter, in a quick summary, went like this: He encourages the people to persevere in love and belief in God, to have nothing to do with false teachers – not even to support or give them hospitality, and then a hope to see them soon.

It also seems that John has a strong will against those who deny Christ, as in verse 9, we also see this in 1 John 2:23. This is to be expected by someone who loves Christ so much. John was a very faithful disciple, so seeing his love manifest into feelings of discontentment against those who do evil, speak falsely, and deny Christ. John is a good example of a disciple who was well trained in the beautiful teachings of Jesus Christ. John teaches this audience these things, because he is setting the example that the Lord crafted in him to make other people more like disciples of Jesus.

Lessons & other notes from John

This epistle is unique, because it is the only book in the New Testament that is addressed to a lady. Some believe the elect lady is a title for a woman in the higher social realm or official/dignitary – or married to such. Many traditions teach that the person addressed is Martha of Bethany. Others believe that it is the Church he is referring to, but nonetheless, there are many beliefs on who it might be.

Trinity: As for the personage of the Trinity, it seems that each member of the Godhead has a particular personality. The Father is the creator and Law Giver, Jesus the Son of God is the Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Soon Coming King, and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Truth, the Convictor, the Comforter, and the Illuminator. However, each possesses all these things.

They are always working together no matter what, for Jesus was Baptized by John, a Spirit like a dove descended upon Him – and then a voice came from Heaven (from God) that said “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus, as we see in John 17, wants the same unity for the believers that exists between the Father and the Son, so that through them, others would believe as well. He hopes that they share in the love that the Father has for the Son. He desires that they give themselves to God for the task of spreading the Gospel. Overall, He is telling them to have unity just as the Father and the Son have unity.

Being unified: Being in unity in the Body of Christ is highly important, and it tells us to love one another, walk in truth, and follow His commands – for He is looking after us and hopes that we keep our joy and peace. Practicing love and unity on a normal basis is the key to living more successfully with others.

What he appears to mention the most is that we love one another (we see in 2 John 5, John 13:34, John 15:12, 1 John 2:7, 1 John 3:23, and 1 John 4:21). He speaks of the Great Commandment in many verses, because Jesus had spoken of it, and then John repeats Jesus and keeps reassuring the people that if they love one another, they are doing the Will of the Father.

John is so glad to be united with this lady and her children, and hopes that they continue doing the good work they have done, especially in hospitality – for hospitality is important in the Body of Christ, because this world does not show mercy, so His People must show mercy to give people hope. The hope we have is of the Lord, and He hopes that we all will love each other and be in unity just as the Father is to the Son, because we need to spread around His Message much! False teachers have come, but we need to spread around the actual truth to hopefully blot those false ones out.

John rejoices when his teachings have done well to success, and is thankful that the people he is addressing have maintained their loyalty to the Gospel, and hopes for them to continue. We must look to ourselves and know what we have and have not done – make the change – and then we will receive a full reward, as he encourages. Truth and love are inseparable from the Gospel, and we are saved by this Gospel.

What he wishes most though is the love that we must share and in unity. He is glad that so many are united in love, and he is trying to be tolerant of the false teachers and false teachings of the day – so he gives us warnings and hopes that we will understand how to identify those who are false. We can also look back at the other tips, which are helpful to identify false teachers and doctrines. He loves those whom he teaches, and hopes that they will always be united!

No fear in love; We Christians are sons of God | 1 John commentary

This first letter of John’s, written between 85-95 A.D., is one of a few letters by the apostle John. Overall, there are no greetings in this book, so it is unclear as to who this letter is addressed – however, we can safely assume he is addressing Christians, nonetheless. John presents a defensive against false teaching. He does this by instructing truth and righteousness.

John begins the letter by talking about the Word of Life being made to manifest eternal life into God’s people. He also explains, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” He first addresses an issue in verse 8, where he says, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” He goes on to say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Next, John declares that Jesus Christ is our advocate, and that we should keep His commandments. That is, we should love one another, but not the world. We should not love the world, because the spirit of the antichrist dwells in the world. John warns the audience of those who deny the Son, Jesus Christ, and for His people to not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Now, in chapter three, John puts out a couple ways Christians can classify themselves as children. To be children of God, it is important to be saved, as His people are under the “Spirit of adoption,” according to Romans 8:15. Also, in Romans 8:16, it says “the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” After this, John identifies the children of Satan as those who disobey or transgress the law. It says in verse 8 that those who commit sin are of the devil, since the devil sinned from the beginning. The Father sent the Son to destroy the works of the devil. Now, John speaks again of the children of God and who they are. They are ones who practice righteousness, do not commit sin, and that they love one another.

Next, we learn several valuable things from John. One of them is that if you hate your brother, you’re a murderer – and no murderer has eternal life. In addition, whatever we ask, we shall receive from Him, because of keeping His commandments. We learn in the next chapter that “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Next, John instructs that love be of God, because God is love. If we love on another, God dwells in us. We learn several other things about love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear” (4:18a). We learn throughout 1 John that God loved us before we loved Him. Also, that it’s because God loved us that we love Him.

In chapter five, John instructs about faith being so important, that the victory we have being born of God, we use to overcome the world by faith. It is because of our faith in Jesus Christ that we overcome the world. John acknowledges the trinity in verse 7 and 8, before stating that we have life through God’s Son. John then declares why he wrote this letter in verse 13, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” He then gives his audience assurance that “if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us.”

John then gives his final testimonies and instructions. We can be sure that we are of God, and we know the Son of God is come and given us understanding that we are in Him. He testifies in 5:20b, “this is the true God, and eternal life.” His final warning is to “keep yourselves from idols.” A lot of what John was hitting at is that the world is a slave to evil and wickedness, and that we must remain in Him, if we have hopes of surviving spiritually and being children of God.

Lessons and other notes from John

In the opening words, John states certain facts about Christ that are good to know: He is the eternal God who became a real man through incarnation. John mentions that few have seen Him, heard Him, or touched Him. He explains what God is like, as it pertains to His incarnation as Jesus Christ, that He is light, which means He is holy, true, pure, and glorious. Darkness cannot co-exist with light, so there is no darkness in God. People can enjoy fellowship with God, who is perfectly holy in every way!

John mentions it, so people can know God’s majesty (for John experienced it firsthand and just cannot get enough of it – he’s in so much awe that he talks about it a lot), and that people will stop misunderstanding Jesus as a false one and stop misunderstanding God as a hateful, angry God. God is impressing upon people to live good lives, and loves people much. He gives assurance of forgiveness, and John wants them to know that. John is the best one to give us a great example of who God is, which repeats after Jesus – not because Jesus was unsuccessful, it’s just people didn’t accept Christ very well. However, Jesus was intentional on giving us a good picture of who the Father was, what He was like, etc. so people would quit misunderstanding Him. John continued this, and kept proclaiming God’s Love and Kingdom so that people would understand and know that His Holiness can be imputed upon us and give us a new hope and outlook on a life of love.

The anointing that we have received of Him abides in us! The indwelling Spirit confirms the truth of Christ to us – for we know that the Spirit bears witness of Christ (1 John 5:6). Believers will learn then to reject teaching of the deceivers, and know that they have been taught, therefore, they do not need any new (false) teachers to come and give them anymore teaching (albeit false). He teaches us all things and we don’t have a thing to worry about. John is telling us that all that we need to know is in the writings of the past, and that no further things are necessary to teach us. He believes it is sufficient that the Spirit leads us into all truth as it was said to be doing anyway!

The reality and mystery of deity robed in flesh: This is God incarnate as the person of Jesus Christ – to which, we have fellowship and relationship with the Father. We see in 1 John 1:2 this explained, “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.”

How to test spirits to see if they are of God:

  • Try the spirits whether they are of God
  • Know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God
  • Every spirit that doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is NOT of God!
  • He that knows God hears us. He that doesn’t know Him doesn’t hear us

It seems also that there are many evil spirits that attempt to influence us with lies about our faith, and telling us that we aren’t good enough for God. People teach wrongly about Christ, however, we don’t have to worry, because God’s Spirit is in us and will lead us into all truth. God’s People would rather listen to His Truth!

The dividing wall between Jews & Gentiles: The wall of partition has always been the “wall” between Jews and Gentiles – which still ‘seems’ prevalent today. In Christ, however, there is no longer a distinction between Jews and Gentiles, for all who believe are God’s People. All have equal status, and the New Temple is where all of our spirits dwell. It is built around and built into Christ, and therefore, there is no wall to Jesus, even if people define a wall.

What about those false teachers? The false teachers claim that knowledge is all-important, and that behavior doesn’t matter. John, however, contradicts this, point out that sinning breaks God’s Law. If people deliberately sin, they don’t know God, nor do they know Christ who takes away sin. John is not saying that Christians cannot sin; however, they should not sin as they like. There are many failures and mistakes, but sinning habitually should not occur. The behavior of people shows whether they belong to Christ or to the world/evil. You cannot belong to both, because they are opposed to each other. If you are a true Christian, you will have divine power that will fight evil so you don’t sin. Therefore, the admonition given is to stop the sin.

False teachers were everywhere creating problems, and this didn’t help, because people did not feel free to learn. John had to give them plenty of admonition to reject false teachings and know whether the spirits are of God or not. True Christians are self-disciplined (keeping away from sin) and obedient to God’s commands. His way of taking us on a journey to remind us of the love of God through living in the light, knowing the enemies of Christ, living a life of love overall, and the assurance of eternal life helped me a lot to understand the beautiful depth of the Lord’s Love!

Right before execution, Peter warns against false teachers | 2 Peter commentary

Peter constructed his second letter around 67-69 A.D., just before his execution. Peter gives stern warnings about false teachers in the church. Peter encourages believers also that good qualities will help believers avoid false teachings. He writes to them that have obtained precious faith through the righteousness of God and our savior, Jesus Christ.

Peter greets the readers, before talking about the Lord’s divine power given to us all things pertaining unto life and godliness. God has called us to glory and virtue. No additional knowledge or wisdom is needed to complete the sufficient Word of God, especially through salvation in Christ. Being partakers of the divine nature, believers have escaped the corruption of the world through lust. Virtue and knowledge shall also be added to believers’ faith. Therefore, Peter hopes that the calling and election of each believer should be sure, as so to never fall.

Next, Peter writes about the prophecy of Scripture, where he contrasts worldly ideas with God’s Word. God’s messages are free from error; His Word is true and reliable. Writers in the Bible did not write from their own interpretation, ideas, etc. – but it came from the Holy Ghost. Then, Peter talks about false teachers in the church. Teachers and leaders in the church and began to introduce heresies among God’s people. Through covetousness, false teachers commercialize the gospel. They also tell fake stories and other experiences to try to gain extra money from believers.

Peter explains that false teachers have destruction awaiting them. False teachers are described as natural, brute beasts that speak evil of the things they do not understand, and shall perish in corruption. They also receive the reward of unrighteousness and are blemishes. False teachers have eyes full of adultery, cannot cease from sin, who beguile unstable souls, who exercise covetousness, and are cursed children. False teachers, Peter explains, are willingly ignorant. Soon, the Lord will come back in the Day of Judgment, and false teachers will be destroyed by fire.

Peter writes next that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years is one day. In addition, that the Lord will keep His promise, so that no one should perish, but instead come to repentance. “The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” – to which the Heavens pass away, the elements will melt, and the earth and its things will burn up. Peter encourages believers to live holy until that day, and concludes the letter by warning them to be careful and grow in grace.

As much as Peter and Paul disliked heresy, it seems that Peter was just as intent on getting them to stop just as Paul did. What is troubling is that even today, we are still dealing with heresies and other false teachers. Nothing has changed, because people have a common craving and that is money. Where there is a craving for money, there is recklessness in decision-making that leads to these heresies, for example.

People naturally create their own “bible” or “truth” that people are so drawn to, because they have a hunger or need for money and know they can make it if they align with the desires of men instead of the desires of God. It is a common bait-and-switch situation. But, what needs to happen, whether people like it or not, is that Biblical truth needs to be ministered on a truthful, Spirit-led level – so that people can be properly furnished with the Word of God, instead of a false truth that this world system creates. People are sucked into the teaching that they miss important details. These apostles were intent on straightening men back to the truth and making sure they focus on the truth of the Word.

Lessons from Peter and other notes

What he means by “cunningly devised fables” is that he hasn’t been giving them some kind of theory from his own imagination, but that, he himself had an experience of God’s Power through Jesus’ transfiguration, by being an eyewitness of His Majesty.

Precious faith: Peter refers to the faith as “precious” in verse one, which seems to be the thought that this is precious because it’s of great value, for a great price was given that this faith might be ours. This priceless gift comes from the “righteousness” of our God and through His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His Life – in that, we might have this treasure.

Power: The word “power” used in 1:3 is referring to “divine power” – which probably means some form of glory of the divine that is worth of note. He has given all of us this power of Divine Nature, to which, He does so for life and godliness – for He has called us to glory and virtue. He gives for us great and precious promises – we are partakers of the divine nature and we have escaped the corruption that is in the world of lust. We have everything we need to live lives of holiness in a world that is so corrupt of uncontrolled desires, to which, we must be keeping with the life that God has given us, for His Promises are the assurance of Him helping us!

Peter’s list of Christian virtues that he believes Christ taught in his parables and other messages:

  • Diligence: People need to apply determination and effort in their lives, especially in faith, for it will produce goodness.
  • Virtue: This refers to moral excellency, for virtue should be involved in how we minister. The development of good character.
  • Knowledge: We should have knowledge of God’s Will, especially in what we do for Him.
  • Temperance: We should have a form of self-control, and should be able to keep ourselves cool, especially as we minister to another. It’s important to keep ourselves sober, so that we don’t minister negativity from our heart.
  • Patience: There are many difficulties and exercises His People must endure, and should strive them in patience, so that they are not easily discouraged.
  • Godliness: Our internal exercise of the Fruit of the Spirit, expressed in everything that we do.
  • Kindness: Being kind to one another is a great way to be Christlike, just as love can be (see charity). Kindness involves doing nice things for others with delight and for their benefit.
  • Charity: We should be showing love to one another by acknowledging them as beloved by Christ, and making them feel connected in unity through kindness.

The marks of a false teacher:

  • They have no power to hold the flesh in check concerning the untruths they proclaim. (They proclaim things that are contrary to what Jesus taught, or minister in hypocrisy)
  • They secretly and often live in lust, uncleanness, and make excuses for their ungodly behavior. Or they attach God’s name with their evil. People like this seem to always find a way to involve God as a “helper” for influence by using His name to gain. It’s similar to people who commit violence in the name of God, as if God ordained such violence, even though He never does.
  • They despise authority and will not be subject to anyone (Law, government, mate, employer, etc.). These kind of people tend to be very prideful, and seems like they never learn from anyone else but themselves (and wallow in their folly – dung).
  • They are presumptuous. They are self-willed and determined to have their own way (even if against God), so they can gain a higher rank (and pride).

Strange sayings from Peter:

Natural brute beasts: Imitating wild animals that are void of any reason and following their own depraved lustful instincts. Not possessing intelligence and give way to their vicious appetites. Thus, Peter warns and reminds us “total” destruction awaits them.

Receive the reward of unrighteousness: They that count it pleasure to riot in the day time – spots they are and blemishes, who sport themselves with their own deceivings. (For the Lord is coming for a Church that doesn’t have a spot nor blemish.) These teachers of error mingle among the saints with their “spots” and “blemishes” marring and disturbing the fellowship of the Children of God.

Loved the wages of unrighteousness: Balaam, the son of Bosor, loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity. He forsook the right way and went astray, as many have in the world. They found pleasure to destroy God’s People morally and spiritually, because they desired personal gain (power and wealth, most likely).

Willingly Ignorant: Many people will become willingly ignorant for their own protection. They purposely would act dumb or do things contrary to what’s right, so a certain desire or reaping could be attained. Some people will hear truth, but not adhere to it, because they don’t want to follow it, they want to be rebellious, or they don’t think it’s true (because they don’t trust the speaker or the one who inspired the speaker).

The example of Balaam: He explained the example of Balaam, because like Balaam, false teachers would use and destroy His People, both morally and spiritually, because of their own desires for personal gain. Balaam was a false teacher, because he (falsely) announced God’s approval of the Israelites, and comforted himself with the idea that if Balak killed him, at least he could have “felt” like he did something right. Balaam tried not to see misfortune on Israel, but Balak told him to curse Israel – but since God was on Israel’s side, He defended the Israelites from Egypt. Balak then told Balaam to stop blessing them, and continued to try to get him to curse Israel – but he just kept speaking blessings over Israel as if nothing was wrong. He prophesied a victorious and prosperous time for Israel in the future, to which, never came, however. He failed to give them proper warnings, because he didn’t want to be cursed, and didn’t want the people to hate him.

Connecting thoughts

A good and sharp warning to false teachers is what usual writers would do, and Peter was not much different. He had good warnings to stay away from false teachers and anything that looks like them. Similar to Paul and other disciples, he made sure to mention the false teachers were lurking about, and he wanted to make sure other Christians knew about it, so they weren’t easily deceived.

At the time he was writing, it seemed that Peter was in prison in Rome, most likely in term of potential execution – and Peter was well aware of deceivers, for he had heard of their activities. He wanted to reassure Christians of certain truths and hoped they would remember His goodness. People taught gnostic heresies, and Christians needed to be far away from such so that they didn’t backslide.

Peter illustrated their tendencies and hopes that Christians would know the signs so they could avoid mimicking such liars, and hoped that they would only emulate Christ. If people would “think” they were false teachers, they could encounter even worse unwanted persecution or even judgment. Overall, his ministry was very helpful to me concerning God’s power at work in believers, his warning against false teachers, and his increased significance he placed on Christ’s return, which all provided good fuel for everything us “good teachers” do! We must keep to the faith in every way, and we can do this by growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord!

James believed in a real relationship with God | James commentary

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote his letter around 60 A.D. or earlier, which aims to encourage Jewish believers outside of Jerusalem (“the tribes scattered abroad”), especially those who have suffered through persecution, as well as to provide instruction so they can work out their faith in righteousness and godly living. Therefore, James wants believers to view trials as an opportunity for spiritual growth. James provides practical wisdom for the Christian life, and shows how we can do well unto others.

Now, James starts out introducing himself as a servant of God and Jesus, and gives his first encouragement in the next verse to “count it all joy when ye fall in divers temptations,” and then, “…the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Believers should have a right relationship with God – one that bears fruit and that is full of love. Then, we learn that if one lacks wisdom – to ask of God – and God will give it. In addition, those believers should ask in faith without doubt, and that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Next, James talks about temptation. For starters, temptation is not of God, but that man “is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” When lust occurs and is conceived, it brings forth sin. Moreover, when sin finishes, it brings forth death. James also teaches that every good and perfect gift is from the Father, who gives us the Word of Truth so believers are made first fruits. James moves on in his instruction that believers should be quick to listen and slow to speak (as the proverb instructs). In addition, those believers should be doers of the Word, not just hearers.

In chapter 2, James goes on to talk about faith. For those that say they have faith, but do not have works – then the faith is dead. Therefore, there is no evidence of devotion to Christ, if you do not have faith with works. True faith must be able to be endured. By works, a man is justified. Therefore, faith is true when works evidence it. Then, James talks about the tongue and how it can get believers in trouble and cause strife and confusion. Now, James warns about a slew of problems that believers can face. One of them is greed, which is stated as lusts. Lust is equivalent to a strong desire, so this type of greed is more about general lusts, not just money or sexual desires.

Another problem he warns about is being friends with the world. Instead, believers should draw nigh to God, cleanse their hands, purify their hearts, and humble themselves before God. Next, he warns about speaking evil (slander), before talking about depending only on God. Finally, he warns against rich men, whose riches are corrupted. Also, that those who are rich have a lustful attitude, and don’t use it for the glory of God or to help people. They just live in pleasure. James moves on to give them final encouragement and instructions. He tells the believers to have patience when they suffer in persecution, to pray for the sick and afflicted with the prayer of faith. Lastly, James states if anyone errs, then believers should do what they can to turn the erred person back to God.

James encompasses a perspective that believers should be wholly focused on God, without lust and confusion. People should follow God’s direction by depending on Him and walking in faith. If people do this, they can begin to do His Will for their lives.

Lessons from James and other facts

Two of the Apostles had the name, James. The less known one was James the son of Alphaeus (as we see in Matthew 10:3, “Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus.”). Then, the other Apostle James was the elder brother of the Apostle John (as we see in Matthew 10:2, “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother.”).

Next, there was James the brother of Jesus. This man was not an Apostle, but rather, he called himself a servant of God, as we see in his book, the Book of James. His relation with Jesus is obvious in Matthew 13:55-56, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” This is also proof that Mary and Joseph had relations after Jesus was birthed, to produce more sons and daughters. However, Jesus was Mary’s first son, as we see in Matthew 1:18, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” 1:25, “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” In addition to note: Isaiah had prophesied this birth, and spoke that it would be a virgin who would birth the Messiah in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The apostle James was humbling himself in Scripture, because he said that he is a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ – which is acknowledging that his own brother is of highest regard to him. To acknowledge himself as only a servant, and not the brother of Jesus Christ (even though he is) was a very humble move, because he could have used that “fame” to promote himself, but clearly chose not. There is no other info on him, either, which means that he was truly a humble servant at heart, hoping to relay the things of God!

Instead of teaching only the Law of Moses, the Scribes and Pharisees added a bunch of laws of their own. They seemed to have wanted to make a display of their religious devotion by wearing decorations large on their “long clothing” of God’s Law written on them. It seemed that they also wanted to be recognized and quickly took the most important seats, “the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts.” They would also try to appear even more religious with their long prayers, but yet, they took advantage of and oppressed the poor, “devour widows’ houses.” They will be in greater damnation, however. They seemed to focus on the minor details of the law, but ignored the most important teachings of it. Jesus had to have known that they were going about it all wrong.

What does James have to say about all this? Well, they fail his test of genuine faith badly, as we see in James 1:26-27, for he says, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” People are instructed to: 1. Have a bridled tongue, 2. Visit the fatherless and widows, and 3. Keep self unspotted from the world. The Scribes and Pharisees noted in Mark 12:38-40 go around speaking loudly with salutations, refuse to visit the widows (they take advantage of the poor), and they try to make themselves appear important by wearing long clothing with lots of writing of God’s Law, getting the best seat in the house, and praying loudly to get people to notice how “holy” they are. All of these things the Scribes and Pharisees do, Jesus did not like. Truly religious people are those who control their speech, and express their own faith in acts of kindness.

James warns his readers and the people that they shouldn’t be too hasty in being teachers, because if they instruct others and fail themselves, they will receive greater judgment – which places teachers in danger, because they can’t avoid such mistakes. However, if a person can control their tongue, they can control their whole self, and be able to teach well without envying and strife.

In Luke 12:48, we see that all are guilty of wrongdoing and will be punished, but the one who had more knowledge of his master’s will (God’s Will) will be punished more severely. Everyone shall be accountable to God, and He expects more of those who have more knowledge.

David would acknowledge his sin to God, and confess. He then had the assurance of forgiveness from God. He also prays that troubles would not come nigh unto him, and he is assured of the Lord’s safekeeping. David says to trust in the Lord, for many sorrows shall come, but He will lead us to rejoicing. James teaches that if you have committed sins, you shall be forgiven – just as David prayed and confessed his sins, he was forgiven. If you pray for others’ suffering, your prayer will avail, for the prayer shall save the sick and the Lord will raise him up.

It seems that James had a gift of love and teaching, that he could minister out of a servant heart, and therefore, do God’s Will. Christians were so devoted to the Law, that James wanted to unbind them and bring them to the truth of God’s grace and love, so they realize that love is the fulfilling of the Law. Loving your enemies is very important, as Jesus taught, and James was major teacher in this.

Through his teachings, James radically taught to love your enemies, and that includes being careful not to judge others, sticking to God’s Will, praying for others, and keep up the faith so it changes the thinking and behavior. Christians should live positively for God, even in an ungodly society, and be able to do His Will; sacrificing their own desires. James was so devoted to encouraging others in their trials and difficulties that God is with them and answering their prayers, that we can learn to put our faith into practice instead of going through the motions, to avoid worldly ambitions and to focus on God’s desires, and then a call to be patient and to pray.

James emphasizes what daily Christianity should look like, and that’s why many have called this a manual for Christians, because it packs so much wisdom into concise statements, and is catered to the early Christians who needed to learn how to be more Christlike and get away from the Law. He appears to talk a lot about OT wisdom, prophets, and other truths in the OT – but then, he bathes them in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount teachings to show people what was old, and that it has now become new.

The measure of a true Christian is by expressing love through everything that they do, and showing people, that God is real by setting an example. James advocated and demonstrated an example of love, and even poured out other examples to show us that love is the only way that works, and that is what Jesus has been saying all along.

Many people miss what Jesus has been saying all along, because they’re too focused on the OT teachings and worried about the wrath of God, instead of looking upon Jesus, who told us that we fulfill the Law through the Great Commandment. It is because of Him that we have peace, joy, love, and righteousness. These are all parts of the Kingdom of God, and we have inherited them because of the work of Christ. He reasonably provided a way for us to enter into the Kingdom of God, even though that we are imperfect.

James, Paul, and Peter were just a few of the many that have tried to pry new Christians away from the Jewish ways, and other blasphemies of God – and help transform them into new creatures in Christ. That is, ones that become lovers of God and of men, and actually serve from a genuine heart; putting faith into practice. What a marvelous revelation of His love, just through the Book of James. James pressed that people would pry their minds out of the world’s desires, and focus only on God’s desires and Will, because it is best. God’s Will is Jesus, and Jesus is the truest expression of love, no doubt about it!