Hebrews 11 gives 15 heroes of faith

Faith is something that is extremely important in our lives, as our faith determines our walk with God, how we live our lives, and how we govern our behaviors. There is more we have discussed about this: Here and here and here and here. 🙂

The Bible gives a large lesson on faith in Hebrews 11, it is magnificent. In that Scripture, it also states 15 heroes of faith. We tabulate them below…

NameWhat they did by faithHebrews ScriptureOther ScriptureFaith topic
AbelOffered an acceptable sacrifice11:4Genesis 4:2-10Devotion to God
EnochPleased God and taken to Him bypassing death11:5-6Genesis 5:21-24Devotion to God
NoahBuilt the ark to withstand the flood11:7Genesis 5:30-9:28Family, safety, devotion to God
AbrahamFollowed God, believed God’s Promise of a son, and offered the son as a sacrifice11:8-19Genesis 11:26-25:11Devotion to God, family
IsaacHe blessed his sons’ futures11:20Genesis 24:4-66; 25:9-11; 25:19; 26:1-40Family
JacobBlessed Joseph’s sons11:21Genesis 37:2-36; 39:1-23; 40:3-50:26; Exodus 1:5-8; 13:19Family
JosephHe spoke prophetically of the exodus from Egypt11:22Genesis 37:2-36; 39:1-23; 40:3-50:26; Exodus 1:5-8; 13:19Prophecy
MosesChose to be with God’s People and kept the first Passover11:23-28The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and DeuteronomyDevotion to God
RahabShe kept the Israelite spies safe11:31Joshua 2:1-24; 6:16-17; 6:22-25; James 2:25; Matthew 1:5Devotion to God
GideonWon a great battle against the enemies of Israel11:32-40Judges 6:11-8:35Devotion to God
BarakWon a great battle against the enemies of Israel11:32-40Judges 4:1-5:15Devotion to God
SamsonFought the Philistines11:32-40Judges 13:1-16:31Devotion to God
JephthahWon a great battle against the enemies of Israel11:32-40Judges 11:1-12:7Devotion to God
DavidA man after God’s Own Heart11:32-40Ruth 4:17; 4:22; 1 Samuel 16:1-2 Samuel 24:25Devotion to God
SamuelA prophet and judge of Israel11:32-401 Samuel 1:9-28:20; Psalm 99:6; Acts 3:24; 13:20Devotion to God
Name ^What they did by faith ^Hebrews Scripture ^Other Bible references ^Faith topic ^

As you can see, these great men and woman of God were fully willing to live their lives for their faith. What are you doing with your faith? Do you want to be a hero of faith?

6 great Bible affirmations to brighten your mornings

We all have those days in which we struggle to do the Lord’s Will. However, we must continue our fight against evil and do the Lord’s Will anyway. There are different things you can draw from the Bible that will help you in this very thing. These are paraphrased.

  1. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27).
  2. “Even before I was born, you had written in Your book everything I would do” (Psalm 139:16).
  3. The Lord says, “You are precious to Me. You are honored and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).
  4. “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  5. “All that matters is your faith that makes you love others” (Galatians 5:6).
  6. “His Divine Power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

It is hoped that this has simply blessed you with joy today and filled your day with hope. Blessings to you with joy and peace in Christ Jesus!

The Crowns of Inheritance

Works are and always have been based on God’s Will. When a man does a good work, it is based on how he/she feels God led them to do. This is the operation of a spiritually mature Christian, according to Hebrews 13:21. But… in the same verse, the glory is given unto Jesus Christ. This is important, because it shows our good works are not for nothing. However, God does remember these things (Hebrews 6:10). Good works are good and profitable unto men (Titus 3:8). Jesus commanded good works to glorify God (Matthew 5:16). However, as Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us, we are saved by grace through faith, not from ourselves, but a gift given by God that has nothing to do with works to avoid men from boasting about their own works, such as “works helped me be saved” or “works gave me eternal life.” We are His Workmanship, meaning that our good works stems directly from Jesus Christ, because God foreordained us to walk in these good works. Yes, all believers have been foreordained to be ministers. Faith is expressed by our works, because works are faith in action (James 2:14-20; Hebrews 11).

Paul tells us that we are able to obtain an award/prize, an incorruptible crown. What is the key to this? Not works, according to 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, but temperance (self-control). Peter affirms this is true that an imperishable crown is available (1 Peter 1:4). We will also be able to have a crown of rejoicing that is tied to hope and joy, and will be given shortly before the arrival of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19). Some have equated that this would be the case of wiping away every tear, with no more death and sorrow and pain (Revelation 21:4), but this is a stretch. Although this is true that we will eventually have this, it is not related to the crown of rejoicing.

Next, is the crown of righteousness, which is given to those who loved His appearing, because they endured such a hard race and fought the good fight keeping the faith (2 Timothy 4:5). Then the crown of glory, which is given by the Chief Shepherd Jesus Christ to those who feed the flock willingly without constraint, and being an ensample/example unto the flock (1 Peter 5:2-4).

Lastly is the crown of life, which is tied in with not worrying about suffering, but being faithful unto God until death – which will allow the crown of life to be given to us. He promised us eternal life, and we shall have it (Revelation 2:10; John 2:25). The crown of life is for those who endure temptation, and loving the Lord (James 1:12). So then, what are works, if Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith? These are things that emerge from the Lord unto our heart that He desires us to do. When we do them, we glorify Him (Repeat from above information).

Believers are expected to abound in good works because of their Salvation, but works do not lead to Salvation and Salvation does not lead to works. Works reveal faith to be real, while dead works or no works denote faith as useless. (Romans 3:27; 4:2-6; Galatians 2:16; 3:2-10; 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; Hebrews 9:14; 10:24). Judgment is according to works, with evidence of new life (Matthew 16:27; Romans 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17). Faith and good works are never contrasted in the Bible enough, but justification is based on Salvation, not referencing works (repeat of above reference).

Since we know we will be receiving an inheritance, we should work for the Lord and serve Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:23-24). We are rendered inheritance rewards according to Salvation, which include eternal life (The crown of life can be presumed), glory and honor and peace to those who do good (the crown of glory can be presumed) (Romans 2:6-10). Where will this judgment be for believers? It will be at the judgment seat of Christ that we will be judged based on every good or evil work (2 Corinthians 5:10). Good works are separate from works of the Law, because no human is justified by works of the Law for Salvation reasons, because the Law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).

We can conclude that works evidence faith; therefore, a fellow Christian can determine that someone may or may not be of faith based on their works. However, since Salvation is not based on works, it is impossible to tell whether someone is saved or unsaved just by their works. This is why required baptism for Salvation fails to function, because it is requiring works to be completed for Salvation to be given.

Back on subject, the crown of righteousness is presumed to be part of the rewards that are bestowed upon us by the Holy Ghost, because we learn that righteousness, peace, and joy are part of the Kingdom of God. Since we are granted access to the Kingdom of God through Salvation, we receive these benefits (Romans 14:17). Joy, hope, and peace overflow in us as we believe in God (Romans 15:13). This also means we are not judged by what we eat or drink or by festivals we celebrate (Colossians 2:16), but we appear to be judged by being given certain portions of the Kingdom of God that we may safely assume without heresy are an inheritance – this is found deeply interwoven with the Fruit of the Spirit. But why no crown of love? Is love the incorruptible crown? The Scripture does not say (Galatians 5:22). But what we do know is that God is Love and since He gave His Spirit to be with us, His Love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:1-5).

Where then does the incorruptible crown come in? It is the overall crown, we may assume, as we see in 1 Peter 1:4 that the inheritance we receive from God (any inheritance) is incorruptible. We become incorruptible in Salvation, and will resurrect in our new bodies as incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:52-54). Therefore, we put on, literally immortality (2 Timothy 1:10), because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – not because of works!

Do your good works grant you an inheritance? No. Does your Salvation grant you an inheritance? Yes. What is that inheritance? The Holy Ghost is given unto us as a mark, which allows us to put on immortality, and thereby receive each crown: glory, life, rejoicing, righteousness. God already planned for us to receive all of what He has for us. We are given grace by the measure of the gift of Christ, because we must reflect on the power of Oneness with God: One body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling, One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all – and God is above all, through all, and in all of His Believers (Ephesians 4:4-5).

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!

Explanatory guide to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The first place in Scripture to see the existence of the Holy Spirit is in Genesis 1:1-2, where we see God speaking in the midst of the Spirit, who was present at the beginning of time. The usage of Spirit as it moved in Genesis 1:1-2 is “rachaph,” which means “to brood over.” The Holy Spirit brooded over and around God’s men and women. The usage of Ghost as it moved in 2 Peter 1:21 is “phero,” which means “to bear, bring forth, or carry.” I believe this New Testament usage means that the Holy Ghost carries, bears, and brings forth The Word of God, who is Christ.

An important prophecy: Joel 2:28-29 says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

In life, you must find the fullness of the Holy Ghost, we follow Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jesus called the Holy Spirit/Ghost four different titles, which include “Comforter,” “Teacher,” “Spirit of Truth,” and “Convictor.” The Holy Spirit comes and comforts me all the time, helping me through daily trials and teaching me about God’s Love. Whenever I hear lies, I consult the Lord, and He allows the Spirit of Truth to come and comfort me and tell me good things to build me back up. When I do wrong, He convicts me and tells me what I should be doing instead that would bring Him greater joy.

Jesus said that the Holy Ghost would come in power, as we see in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We see the first time the Holy Ghost comes upon someone is in Jesus’ baptism, as we see in Matthew 3:16-17, “and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove…” Who shall receive it? To everyone, as we see in Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Personal benefits of the receiving of the baptism of the Holy Ghost include communication in worship, which involves praying directly to God in the Spirit. You also gain spiritual strength, which comes by knowing you’re a child of God. Intercessory prayer is also a benefit, which allows you to pray in a supernatural way so that the Spirit will pray through us the Will of God. It allows us also to have the mind of Christ when we pray. Another benefit is the boldness or spiritual power we gain, along with rest and refreshment. Another good benefit would be protection from the enemy, for we need protection from all forms of evil. We pray in the perfectness of the Spirit, which is in truth, and since the devil is a liar, we triumph over him with truth!

Spiritual gifts begin with the impartation of the Holy Ghost, so once you have received the Holy Ghost, you already have the start of them. Over time, you’ll understand each spiritual gift and be able to use them as the Holy Ghost helps. “The “Manifestation” of the Holy Spirit/Ghost is the VISIBLE evidence of Him dwelling with us – speaking in an unknown tongue.”

The nine types of “Manifestations,” which are found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, include, The Word of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, Working of miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of spirits, Divers kinds of tongues, and Interpretation of tongues. If an individual speaks in tongues in the Church in a solo manner, it is called, “a message in tongues,” and is in order if it is interpreted. An “interpretation,” involves making the meaning of the message in tongues known. Tongues used in our personal prayer life are for strengthening, empowering, edifying, and building up the Spirit within us. Tongues are a “sign” for the unbeliever, actually, as we see in 1 Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a part of our salvation, which helps us in our everyday activities – including troubles and trials. Love is the first fruit of the Holy Spirit, and the most important, because everything must be done in love. Everything and everyone is rooted in love, and also God is Love. Everything that comes from God is rooted in Love! We see in 1 Corinthians 13 why love is the most important, especially the first few verses, “1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

Now, we read what the fruit of the Spirit is in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” They are listed: -Peace -Joy -Longsuffering -Gentleness -Goodness -Faith -Meekness -Temperance.

Before we get too far, let’s answer contradictions:

“Doesn’t the Bible say, “Tongues shall cease?”” – This would be a true statement based upon 1 Corinthians 13:12, where it says, “…then shall I know even as also I am known.” This refers to eternity, when we have entered into Heaven. With this, we would be known by each other and will know all things. This would be the perfect state, a more all-knowing position, because we would be like Him.

“I can’t find in Scripture where Jesus spoke in an unknown tongue” – This is because all tongues were known to Him, for He knew all things. He was given dominion and glory, and a kingdom that all languages should serve Him.

“The Baptism of the Holy Ghost was just for the early Church” – Acts 2:39 says, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Ephesians 3:6 says, “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

“Tongues are of the devil” – This is not supported by Scripture or by experience. If it were true, the devil would use tongues, in opposition to Jesus, to curse Him. However, the Scriptures tell us this is impossible, and also the satan and his demons cannot understand tongues, as only the Holy Ghost has the gift of true interpretation.

“Tongues are the least of the Gifts” – Paul stresses the importance of sharing the Word, but he doesn’t demean the gift of tongues. His examples are in 1 Corinthians 14:5, 18, 39. In these verses, he says things such as, “I speak with tongues more than ye all…forbid not to speak with tongues…”

“It is emotionalism” – Emotion is very important, for God gave emotions to us. Love is the greatest of emotions. We are commanded to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. We even see Jesus have many emotions, as we see in Scripture.

“Sure tongues are Scriptural, but I don’t need them for assurance that I have the Holy Spirit/Ghost” – he one manifestation that had satisfied the apostles and other disciples that a person had received the Baptism was speaking in an unknown tongue. Paul felt that praying in an unknown tongue had went far beyond an assurance of having receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is a need in our lives. He will strengthen us.

More Gifts of the Spirit

The Word of Wisdom: This is a portion of the infinite Wisdom of God, made known through the instrumentality of a believer. Jesus promised His followers in Luke 21:15 that He would give them a mouth and wisdom, which adversaries can’t gainsay or resist. The reason for this is in Luke 12:12, where we see that the Holy Ghost shall teach what is needed to say.

The Word of Knowledge: This is the revelation of facts that an individual didn’t know beforehand. The Bible contains numerous examples where men received knowledge of facts that could only have come from a supernatural bestowing. We see much foreshadowing of this gift in the Old Testament, and see Jesus display this gift in His Earthly ministry. We see it was used many times in the early Church.

The Discerning of Spirits: This allows people to know if something is divine or not, but it is not a judgmental, nor a faultfinder. One example is seeing a wrong spirit in someone. The danger of deceiving spirits prior to the return of the Lord were increasingly great. We know through this gift which spirit is at work.

Faith: This gift is necessary to the operation of the Gifts of Healing and the working of Miracles. It is a gift of the Spirit, and we all have a measure of it. However, it is a special power given for special occasion.

The Working of Miracles: This is a gift of power, which cannot be comprehended by humanity, for a miracle is an event or effect in the physical world that deviates from the known laws of nature, or transcending our knowledge of those laws. God uses those humble enough for this gift to work miracles upon people.

Gifts of Healing: In His Church, there is the potential for healing the sick, and the purpose of these gifts is to relieve the suffering of the sick.

Prophecy: 1 Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” Prophesying involves making known a future event that is to help build up the Church, so that the Church can prepare.

Divers kinds of Tongues: Tongues used in our personal prayer life are for strengthening, empowering, edifying, and building up the Spirit within us.

Interpretation of Tongues: If an individual speaks in tongues in the Church in a solo manner, it is called, “a message in tongues,” and is in order if it is interpreted. An “interpretation,” involves making the meaning of the message in tongues known.

Sins of the Spirit

Blasphemy is to utter abusive words against the Holy Spirit and to reject His conviction power of warning about your sins. (See more of the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost)

Believers can also sin against the Holy Ghost, though their sins are of a different nature. It grieves the Holy Spirit when we do something that brings a wrong reflection on the honor of God or Jesus, or when we are involved in things or conversations that harm our spiritual life. We would quench the Holy Spirit by being reserved or stifling His ability to move upon our lives. Quenching implies the illustration of fire, to which a fire is put out by taking away the fuel or by suffocation. When the Spirit finds no fuel of consecration and no atmosphere of prayer, worship, and praise, He cannot work for the fire goes out. The Holy Ghost came as tongues of fire and therefore wants our fuel.

Gifts of Ministry (Romans 12:3-8)

Teaching: The Holy Spirit will be my guide in wisdom so that I can understand the Bible more, and then distribute my knowledge out to people the same way He helped me.

Exhorting: He will help me proclaim the things of the Lord by instructing me, and providing me maybe Word of Wisdom or Word of Knowledge, for example, so I may exhort another.

Ruling: He will give us wisdom based on how His Kingdom is run, because He is interested in making things better through us.

Giving: We shall give with simplicity and as the Lord leads us to do so. He will direct us in how we give.

Showing mercy: He is gentle with us, and He teaches us to be gentle with others; therefore, showing mercy to them and helping them.

Helps: This allows us to learn hospitality from the way that Jesus may have been, or He will lead us on how to be hospitable to people better.

More Spiritual benefits

The Holy Ghost helps us pray as we see in Romans 8:26-27, by making intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. The intercession He makes for us is according to the Will of God, therefore, when we pray in tongues, it will be translated to God through His Will. When we pray to the Will of God, our prayers are much more effective!

The Holy Ghost is used as an instrument in praise and worship through praying, adoring, singing, and making melody in our hearts as we speak or sing to the Lord. Those that speak in unknown tongues speak not to men but unto God, as we see in 1 Corinthians 14:2.

The Sword of the Spirit is the word of God, as we see in Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”