For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Making Strong Your Confidence in Christ
Bathing our souls in the Book of the Finished Work
The Epistle to the Hebrews
DEAR FATHER, Bring forth in these ones I hold before You the clear knowledge of what you want to do in them. Send Your Spirit to renew their minds so they can understand the out-workings of your will. Give them the wisdom to relate properly to their families, their cellies, and their responsibilities to others as they walk in Your will. Lord teach us to pray, “Not our will but yours be done”...
In the Name of Christ Jesus, our Lord…
The "prayer starters" for this month don't immediately seem to relate to the discipline of intercession prayer taken from Colossians 1. But, if we are to be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, we must come to the place of knowing that the Covenant under which we now live is in fulfillment of what Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and recorded for us in the Old Testament. It is this to which the Epistle to the Hebrews leads us.
OCTOBER is the Month for
Making Strong Your Confidence in Christ
Several years ago, as I was preparing to depart over seas, the Lord spoke to my heart that, while I was traveling, I was to bathe my soul in The Book of Hebrews, “The Book of the Finished Work.” It sets forth how the Lord Jesus brought to completion the work of the Old Covenant and released the power of the New.
For my devotions, as well as on planes, on long train rides, whenever I had to wait some place, every day in every place I could find time, I read and meditated on Hebrews. I wasn’t trying to interpret its passages. I was just soaking in them, letting their truth and revelation come over upon my spirit.
As I did this, something of a new confidence about the Lord Jesus developed in me. I knew that the prime attack of the enemy in the last days would be to discredit Him as God’s Son. The Holy Spirit was directing me to know Him in such a way that I would not entertain any deception regarding Him. Two powerful forces would work to accomplish this in me—God’s Spirit and His Word.
I might come up short in my guidance as to what to do. I might go astray in some of my doctrinal understanding. I might lose some of my faith to do great works. I might become discouraged about ministry and the Church. But, I knew I must abide in the place where no doubt could ever enter as to Who and what and where Christ Jesus is.
One morning as I was on a rooftop in a distant village, in the midst of a culture different so from my own, an impression came to me to write down everything the Book of Hebrews reveals about Jesus. I did. I’ve taken that powerful list and reviewed it over and over. Oh, how it worked to strengthen my relationship with the Lord, that relationship that will be so contested by the enemy as the time of the end comes on.
I share this now with you.
|DAY 1—Jesus is God’s Supreme Revelation.
Jesus came first for the people God chose to receive His Covenants, that is, to Israel. He was God’s Messiah, His Anointed One, the Christ of the New Covenant. But Jesus came not only for the Jews. His “Great Commission” was that the Gospel be preached to ...all the nations (Matthews 28:19). See this opening passage from Hebrews, then take note of the points it reveals regarding Jesus.
The Epistle to the Hebrews was written for the many Jewish believers who had stepped out of Judaism into Christianity in the first century. There was persecution. They needed assurance that what they were embracing was true. The Epistle—was written to help them know the Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme revelation of the Lord God.
Hebrews 1:1-4—God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
NIrV—In the past, God spoke to our people through the prophets. He spoke at many times. He spoke in different ways. But in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one whom God appointed to receive all things. God made everything through him. The Son is the gleaming brightness of God's glory. He is the exact likeness of God's being. He uses his powerful word to hold all things together. He provided the way for people to be made pure from sin. Then he sat down at the right hand of the King, the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became higher than the angels. The name he received is more excellent than theirs.
1) As God’s Son, Jesus is the appointed heir of all things.
2) He is the One by whom God made the worlds.
3) He is the brightness of God’s Glory.
4) He is the express image of God’s Person.
5) He is the One upholding all things by the Word of His power.
6) He is the One Who has made purification for our sins.
7) He is the One sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
8) He is the One made better than the angels, with a more excellent Name than they.
PRECIOUS FATHER, I praise You for the way You have opened for us so we can walk with triumph. I’m beginning to learn how that real triumph comes to us from the resurrection of Your Son. Please let the understanding of what was accomplished when You raised Him from the dead come on over my own heart, and on into the hearts of these I hold before You.
Paul’s Great Statement about the Resurrection and Us—Ephesians 2:4-6
|DAY 2—Jesus is so much better than the angels.
From the beginning, angels have been admonished to worship God’s Son. He is the One Who God sent forth in the fullness of time to accomplish our redemption (Gal 4:4), to become the propitiation for our sin (Rom 3:25). There is much Covenant Word concerning Him, such as is in Psalm 2. There the Promise of the Father is recorded offering Him the nations as His inheritance. Now, there is no Covenant Word regarding the angels. They are spirit beings sent forth to serve those who are heirs of salvation. Concerning them, Hebrews 1:7 says God maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.
But, before the above verse we have these words concerning God’s Son. They are presented to confirm that the Son is higher than the angels.
Hebrews 1:5,6—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? And again, when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.
NIrV—5 God never said to any of the angels, "You are my Son. Today I have become your Father."—(Ps 2:7) Or, "I will be his Father. And he will be my Son." —(2 Sam 7:14; 1 Chro 17:13) 6 God's first and only Son is over all things. When God brings him into the world, he says, "Let all of God's angels worship him."—(Deut 32:43)
9) Jesus is the One to Whom God said, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” (Psalm 2:7 and Acts 13:33)
10) He is the One to Whom God said, “I will be his Father, and He shall be my Son.”
(II Samuel 7:14)
11) He is the One of Whom God said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
(Ps 97:7; I Peter 3:22; Rev 5:11-13)
LORD JESUS, again, today, I worship You. I join with the angels in adoration and ultimate respect for Who You are. Oh, but You are more to me than You could ever be to angels. You are my Lord! If I did nothing more today than worship You, what a wonderful day it would be. Thank You for sending Your Spirit Who assists me, and these around me, in worshiping You. Please move by Your Spirit in the lives of these I hold before You. Let them know the wonders that are ours who have access unto Your Throne.
The Access We Have by God’s Grace—Romans 5:1,2
|DAY 3—God’s beloved Son Is Exalted far above the Angels
The writer of Hebrews considered—and we believe he was under the inspiration of God’s Spirit—that the Word he quoted from Psalm 45 was addressed to the One we know as the Son of God. He did this, even though they are addressed to God. See those words here in verse 8.
Hebrews 1:7-9—And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
NIrV—Here is something else God says about the angels. "God makes his angels to be like winds. He makes those who serve him to be like flashes of lightning" (Ps 104:4). But here is what he says about the Son. "You are God. Your throne will last for ever and ever. Your kingdom will be ruled by what is right. You have loved what is right and hated what is evil. So your God has placed you above your companions. He has filled you with joy by pouring the sacred oil on your head" (Ps 45:6,7) .
Paul, who many believe was the writer of Hebrews, had no qualms about Who Jesus was. See what he said here in Colossians 1:19—For it pleased the Father that in Him should all (the) fullness dwell. And again, see this in Colossians 2:9—For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
12) Jesus is the One to Whom God said, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever... [You are God. Your throne will last forever and ever. NIrV]
13) He is the One to Whom God said, “A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom.” [Your kingdom will be ruled by what is right. NIrV]
14) He is the One of Whom the prophetic psalmist said, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. [You have loved what is right and hated what is evil. So Your God has placed You above Your companions. He has filled you with joy by pouring the sacred oil on Your head.—NIrV]
O, my REDEEMER, what glory, what majesty, what righteousness we are finding in Your Kingdom! My supplication today is that we who are in fellowship here with You will bring glory to Your Name. Let the people—even strangers—who come among us become aware of Your presence. Let them discover Your Love in us.
|DAY 4—The Lord Jesus brings eternity, with Himself, into us, when He saves us.
Today we will discover more of Who our Lord Jesus is. He is The Eternal One. While everything around us changes, He changes not. While everything of the world grows old, He maintains the dew of His youth (Psalm 110:3). The Apostle Paul, in
Colossians 1:15-17 tells us ...Christ is the exact likeness of God, Who can’t be seen. He is first, and He is over all of creation. All things were created by Him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by Him and for Him. Before anything was created, He was already there. He holds everything together.—NIrV
Colossians 1:16, as we find it in the King James Version, takes our attention. There we see that by Christ ... were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.
When we perceive that these dimensions of Government were created by Him and for Him, it helps drive it home in our spirits that He rules now, and shall continue His rule into eternity. With this base firm in our understanding, we can speak to the principalities, even now. In His Name we can demand the cessation of their interference in our lives.
Hebrews 1:10-12—And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.
NIrV—He also says, "Lord, in the beginning you made the earth secure. You placed it on its foundations. The heavens are the work of your hands. They will pass away. But you remain. They will all wear out like a piece of clothing. You will roll them up like a robe. They will be changed as a person changes clothes. But you remain the same. Your years will never end." —(Ps 102:25-27)
15) Jesus is the One to Who ... laid the foundation of the earth.
(Ps 102:25-27; Is 40:12-15; John 1:3; I Cor 8:6; Eph 3:8,9)
16) The heavens are the works of His hands.
(Ps 8:3,4; 19:1)
17) He shall remain, forever ...the same, even when all creation as we know it
... shall wax old as doth a garment.
(Is 50:9; Is 51:6,8; Rev 1:11,17,18)
DEAR LORD, my mind cannot comprehend eternity, but I have the feeling that my heart has begun knowing it. I praise You for drawing me, and these dear ones, with You into it.
|DAY 5—Jesus is the One the Lord God told to sit at His Right Hand.
There is only One to Whom God said Sit Thou at My Right Hand. That One is His beloved Son. The writer of Hebrews rehearsed from Scripture that God’s Son is the exalted One. Angels, though they carry a spiritual mystique with them, are by no means to be compared with God’s only begotten Son even though the role of angels is important in God’s Kingdom. There are passages, such as Genesis 6:2 and Job 1:6, where reference is made to the sons of God, but the strong evidence is that this is a term used to designate the angels who have served with the Lord in His eternal Kingdom. They are not sons in the same dimension as the Lord Jesus who became flesh and dwelt among us. There are many distinctions between those sons and God’s only begotten Son. But, the finest distinction drawn in the Epistle to the Hebrews is seen in the two closing verses of chapter 1.
Hebrews 1:13,14—But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
NIrV—God never said to an angel, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your control." (Ps 110:1) All angels are spirits who serve. God sends them to serve those who will receive salvation.
18) Jesus is the only One to Whom God said, ...Sit on My Right Hand. (Psalm 110:1 is the passage from the Old Testament with more reference to it in the New Testament than any other. This certifies the immense significance of this Word from the Old Covenant that reaches over to help establish the New Covenant into which Hebrews leads us.) Psalm 110:1-3—The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.)
HEAVENLY FATHER, reach into the depths of our hearts and settle us in the Covenant that has been made firm by the death and resurrection of Your Son Jesus. This has been a matter too few of us have known or understood. Please work a work within our midst. Draw these I name before You into a strong knowledge of who they are in Him. Draw us all into a stronger knowledge of Who He is in us.
|DAY 6—We must not neglect the great salvation given us in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 2:1-4—So we must pay more careful attention to what we have heard. Then we will not drift away from it. Even the message God spoke through angels had to be obeyed. Every time people broke the Law, they were punished. Every time they didn’t obey, they were punished. Then how will we escape if we don’t pay attention to God’s great salvation? The Lord first announced that salvation. Those who heard him gave us the message about it. God gave witness to it through signs and wonders. He gave witness through different kinds of miracles. He also gave witness through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He gave them out as it pleased him. NIrV
What a powerful and important passage Hebrews 2:1-4 is! Let us see it again as it occurs in the King James Version. Many of us are familiar with it in these words. Though it does not speak directly of the Lord Jesus, in an overall way it does.
Hebrews 2:1-4—Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (...become like leaking vessels and lose what we have known). For if the Word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him? God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His Own will?
FATHER, in whatever way I, or those in our fellowship, have neglected the great salvation given us in Christ Jesus, convict us. Bring the moving of Your Spirit in our midst. Grant us a Spirit of Repentance. Bring us into line with what You are bringing to pass among Your people today. Make us into sons and daughters of Your Kingdom.
Let us tell the nations what God has done!—Isa 12:1-6
|DAY 7—God’s Plan for Man Held Back
This is an amazing passage of Scripture. Its words require that we look into the depth of their meaning. When we do this, we discover things concerning angels, ourselves and the Lord Jesus Christ. We will start with the passage as we see it in the King James Version. Here’s Hebrews 2:5-8.
Hebrews 2:5-8—For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come (the inhabited earth as it shall be), whereof we speak (about which we are speaking).But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him (that You, O Lord, would see to his needs)? Thou madest him a little (for a little while) lower than (the) angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands (This is the original intention God had for mankind): Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
NIrV—God has not put angels in charge of the world that is going to come. We are talking about that world. There is a place where someone has given witness to it. He said, "What is a human being that you think about him? What is the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels. You placed on him a crown of glory and honor. You have put everything under his control." (Ps 8:4-6) So God has put everything under him. Everything is under his control. We do not now see everything under his control.
It is not in the purpose of the Lord that angels rule the inhabited earth in the age to come. It is in His ordination that man—that is, mankind—shall govern the earth. We can go back to God’s original intention as recorded in Genesis 1:26 to see this. He said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion... We have stopped this verse in its middle. When God first told of His governmental plan for man, it covered only animals, etc. When this determination was repeated in Psalm 8:4-8, it remained the same. But when we see it in the New Covenant—in Hebrews 2:8—we note that He has put all things in subjection under us. But then, there follow these words: not yet.
The above is preparing us for tomorrow.
DEAR LORD, please open the eyes of our understanding that we might be enabled to grasp what Your purpose is for us. Let us know why You are saving a people for Yourself. Fill us with the knowledge of Your will. Give us the wisdom and spiritual understanding necessary for the calling You have for us. I’m coming to see it’s more than just going to heaven.
David had some understanding. Let’s see.—Psalm 47:1-9
|DAY 8—But now we see Jesus—again.
Verse 8 of Hebrews 2 comes to an abrupt halt. But—verse 9 starts wonderfully: But we see Jesus! He’s the answer, the Bright Light that shines in upon a world gone dark and crazy. Whether it’s for the whole world, or just for our own crazy problem, He is the Hope.
I’ve been recording some teaching on Romans lately and I can’t seem to get past 5:5. And hope maketh not ashamed (is not frustrated, or put to shame); because the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us. Here we see our answer in God’s Love again. But, what about Hebrews? It presents our most wonderful Hope.
Hebrews 2:9-10— But we see Jesus, Who was made a little (for a little while) lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
NIrV—But we do see Jesus already given a crown of glory and honor. He was made a little lower than the angels. He suffered death. By the grace of God, he tasted death for everyone. That is why he was given his crown. God has made everything. He has acted in exactly the right way. He is bringing his many sons and daughters to share in his glory. To do so, he has made the One who saved them perfect because of his sufferings.
19) For a little while Jesus was made lower than angels that He might undergo Death. (Isa 53:2-10; Phil 2:6-9; Acts 2:22,23)
20) Now He is crowned with glory and honor.
(Acts 2:32-36; Acts 3:13; I Pet 1:18-20)
21) By the grace of God, Jesus took on Death to break its dominion for us all.
(Acts 17:2,3; Rom 6:5-11; Rev 1:18)
22) We are reminded that all things are for Him and by Him.
(Col 1:16; John 1:3; Rom 11:36; I Cor 8:6; Eph 1:18-23; Eph 3:9)
23) Jesus, as the Captain of our salvation, has been made perfect through suffering. (Lk 24:25-27; Lk 24:46-49; Isa 53:5,10)
LORD JESUS, I acknowledge You as my Captain. I submit my all to follow and obey You in the greatest and in the smallest matters that are placed before me. I want to honor You. I want to glorify Your Name. May Your Spirit give me the wisdom and strength to walk perfectly in all Your will. Let the Light of Your Love shine through me to these whose names I am calling before You each day.
|DAY 9—The Lord Jesus is bringing sons to glory.
Because of the immense spiritual value it holds for us to hear it, we repeat Hebrews 2:10. For it became him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
The Lord has more purpose in our redemption than spending eternity in Heaven. He is redeeming a people who will serve with Him in His Kingdom. And, from what we gather from the teachings of Jesus, it does indeed seem that this is a Kingdom that will be here on this earth. In preparing us for whatever His purpose may be for any one of us, it involves a salvation through the sufferings of Jesus Christ that brings us unto glory.
Hebrews 2:11-13—For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren,saying, I will declare Thy Name unto My brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
NIrV—The One who makes people holy and the people he makes holy belong to the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.He says, "I will announce your name to my brothers and sisters. I will sing your praises among those who worship you." Again he says, "I will put my trust in him." (Is 8:17) And again he says, "Here I am. Here are the children God has given me." (Is 8:18)
The above is a quotation from Psalm 22:22, put in the Epistle as words spoken by Christ Jesus Himself.
The parable of the tares of the field—recorded in Matthew 13:24:30, and explained in verses 36-43—makes it clear that the field in which the good seed are planted is the world. This word is from the Greek kósmos, meaning the secular order. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom. The word children is from huíos, meaning those who are mature enough to receive their inheritance. While we cannot follow through with all these parables have to reveal, it is clear that the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus, has in His hands those through whom His Kingdom shall spread in the earth.
LORD, I am ready to follow Your command! (Jn 12:26)
24) Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brethren. (Matt 28:10)
25) He makes known to us the Name, the character, of God. (Ps 102:16-22)
28) In the midst of the congregation He celebrates the honor of His Father. (Ps 40:10; Acts 7:38; Acts 16:25. Could it have been any other than God’s Spirit dwelling in these men enabling them to sing under those circumstances?)
|DAY 10—Jesus became flesh and blood that He might render Satan powerless.
This is one of the greatest mysteries of God’s Love and grace—that the One Who was eternal with Him became like us that He might bring to us a salvation so complete that the devil himself must withdraw from us. This passage from Hebrews 2 is one of the greatest statements of salvation’s power. Let us view it carefully and be in awe of its Word.
Hebrews 2:14,15—Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
NIrV—Those children have bodies made out of flesh and blood. So Jesus became human like them in order to die for them. By doing that, he could destroy the one who rules over the kingdom of death. I'm talking about the devil. Jesus could set people free who were afraid of death. All their lives they were held as slaves by that fear.
Following is a quotation from Adam Clarke. He put forth a statement far beyond my capability of expression. You may have to read it several times, but what you gain will be worth the time and effort.
“But Christ, the great Prince of mercy and life, graciously interposed, that he might deliver those miserable captives of Satan—mankind in general, and the dark and idolatrous Gentiles in particular—who, through fear of death, were, or justly might have been, all their lifetime, obnoxious to bondage; having nothing to expect in consequence of it, if they rightly understand their state, but future misery; whereas now, changing their lord, they have happily changed their condition, and are, as many as have believed in Him, the heirs of eternal life.”
29) He became flesh and blood that, through death, He might render powerless him that held the government of Death. (Acts 2:23-28; Rev 1:18)
30) Through His death He sets people free who are afraid of death.
(Rom 8:37-39; I Cor 15:50-57; II Tim 1:7)
FATHER, I just have to praise You, and praise You today! Thank You for the wonderful liberation that has come into my life, and into the lives of these I have been holding before You. Now, here are some others yet who stand in need of what Your grace will do in their lives. I call their names before Your Throne of Grace. I praise You for what You, even now, are doing in them.
|DAY 11—The Lord Jesus has become our merciful and faithful High Priest.
Here is one of the most powerful Statements of our faith. So powerful is it that I feel unworthy, and incapable, of making any further statement of my own. But, in glancing further through what Adam Clarke said, I will include a brief comment from him following the passage.
Hebrews 2:16-18—For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted (He has the power to run to the aid of those who cry for help.).
NIrV—It is certainly Abraham's children that he helps. He doesn't help angels. So he had to be made like his brothers in every way. Then he could serve God as a kind and faithful high priest. And then he could pay for the sins of the people by dying for them. He himself suffered when he was tempted. Now he is able to help others who are being tempted.
“Jesus Christ, intending not to redeem angels, but to redeem man, did not assume the angelic nature, but was made man, coming directly by the seed, or posterity, of Abraham, with whom the original Covenant was made, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed.”—Clarke
31) Jesus did not take on the nature of angels to help those who fell.
(Col 2:18; review Heb 1:4-6)
32) He came in the lineage of Abraham with whom God had made a Covenant.
(The main Scriptures of the Abrahamic Covenant—Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 17:1-9; How the Covenant relates to Jesus—Gal 3:16-19)
33) He became man that in His death He might reconcile us to God. (Rom 5:1,2, and 10; II Cor 5:18-21; Eph 2:13-16)
34) Having Himself suffered trials and temptations; He is able to help others who suffer the same.
(The Temptation of Jesus—Matt 4:1-10; The II Corinthians twins—8:9 and 9:8)
JESUS, my great High Priest, how I praise You! Please teach me to trust You more. Teach me to lay these burdens down at Your feet. Teach me to know You as my High Priest—constantly. Now, LORD, please teach these I hold before Your Throne of Grace. Teach them that they can trust you completely, in whatever trial they face. As I name these before You, let the power of Your Spirit draw them into Your bosom.
|DAY 12—Today we begin considering the Apostle and High Priest of our Confession.
Whereas we have considered Jesus related to the angelic realm, and we have seen Him related to the seed of Abraham, now we will consider His relation to Moses. In the economy of God’s Kingdom, Jesus is better than the angels. With regard to Abraham, his was the lineage by which Jesus took the form of man to effect the atonement. Since the Covenant with Abraham embraced all the families of the earth (Gen 12:3), what Jesus accomplished as the Son of Abraham (Matt 1:1) reaches for all the families of the earth. The understanding of this relationship becomes the primary theme of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and is explained further in Galatians.
As we proceed through Hebrews, we will begin seeing how Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses, both the legal part and the ceremonial part. Though the Old Covenant reached its height through Moses, he was not himself a “covenant” man. He has no lineage of note. However, we see Jesus compared with Moses, not related to him as he was to Abraham and to David, both of whom were Covenant men. Wonderful Jesus!
Hebrews 3:1-3—Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house.
The Covenant with Moses points us wonderfully toward New Covenant realities with the High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle.
35) Jesus is now our great and faithful High Priest.
(Ps 110:4 —There is much more to see in Hebrews regarding this.)
36) He has built the house, which we are.
LORD JESUS, being a living stone in the house You are building is one of the greatest honors I could ever think of having. I bless You for laying Your nail-scarred hand on me and placing me in Your building. Hallelujah!
|DAY 13—We will learn about more good things to come.
This part of Hebrews 3 becomes somewhat heavy, until we understand where the writer is taking us. He is leading us to one of the most important principles of our life with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the principle of ceasing from our own labors, and entering into the work He has finished for us.
The writer of Hebrews is leading us to see there was a “house” built, as it were, by Moses, according to a pattern that God gave him of things in the heavens. That “house” was the Tabernacle, the marvelous prototype of God’s dwelling on the earth. Seeing the Tabernacle with all that pertained to it provides us with a pattern for our own being in Christ and of God’s Kingdom on earth as we have part in it. What God gave Moses will guide us toward knowing the fullness of the salvation that is ours in Christ Jesus. Knowing the pattern will help keep us in line with God’s eternal purpose.
Moses was the overseer in the construction of that Tabernacle, a word meaning “a tent to dwell in.” It became God’s dwelling place with His people Israel, and was of particular significance as they wandered in the wilderness forty years. In this Hebrews 3 passage, it is referred to as the house that Moses built, over which he was a servant, and a testimony, or witness, of those things which were to be spoken after.
All pertaining to Moses, the Tabernacle and the Law that God gave, proved to be ...a shadow of good things to come (Heb 10:1). Now, under the New Covenant, with no longer a pattern, or a shadow, we have the reality. Christ has now come ...as a Son over His Own house which we are. The Law that God gave Moses for Israel was detailed in its legal system as well as in the directions for ceremonies and feasts Israel was to observe. Those were shadows. Now, ...if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end, we have the hope of living in the realities cast by the shadows of Moses’ time.
HEAVENLY FATHER, my strong desire is to live in unbroken communion with Your Son. I want to know Him as my Life. Let my being become a dwelling place through which He can make His grace, peace, healing and deliverance known.
|DAY 14—Amidst all the powerful hope, there are warnings against losing out.
To bring us on, let us take a simple view of the opening verses of Hebrews 3. On a third grade reading level, but with the integrity of its message retained, we view it here from the New International reader’s Version.
Hebrews 3:1-6—Holy brothers and sisters, God chose you to be His people. So keep thinking about Jesus. He is our Apostle. He is our High Priest. We believe in Him.Moses was faithful in everything he did in the House of God. In the same way, Jesus was faithful to the One Who appointed him. The person who builds a house has greater honor than the house itself. In the same way, Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses.Every house is built by someone. But God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as one who serves in the House of God. He gave witness to what God would say in days to come. But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s House. We are His House if we continue to come boldly to God. We must also hold on to the hope we take pride in. NIrV
37) As a Son, not a servant like Moses, Christ Jesus is the Head of God’s house, and we are that house.
Reminding us of Israel’s hardness of heart in the wilderness, we who live under the New Covenant are admonished not to respond as they did when Moses was their leader. We continue...
Hebrews 3:7-11—Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
NIrV—The Holy Spirit says, “Listen to his voice today. If you hear it, don’t be stubborn. You were stubborn when you opposed me. You did that when you were put to the test in the desert. There your people of long ago put me to the test. For 40 years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with them. I said, ‘Their hearts are always going down the wrong path. They have not known my ways.’ So in my anger I took an oath. I said, ‘They will never enjoy the rest I planned for them.“ (Ps 95:7-11)
Hardness of heart develops out of bitterness, which we are admonished later in Hebrews not to allow within ourselves.
DEAR JESUS, please set the guard of Your Spirit upon our hearts lest we allow bitterness and unbelief to enter. Please help us keep our hearts tender toward You and Your people.
|DAY 15—We are moving close to becoming a partner with Christ.
The hope that is developing before us is marvelous. But there are some strong warnings in Hebrews lest we loose that hope. The first warning we come upon is very close to the hope presented to us of becoming a partner with Christ. See it. It is take heed. Be on the watch so that no one in your fellowship develops an attitude of heart that is called evil. This is from the Greek pońeros, a word associated with Satan himself.
Next we see exhort one another daily. This is a word that carries encouragement with it. It means stay in close enough contact with one another so as to be able to encourage one another when one seems to be slipping in faith.
Then we see harden not your hearts. It means do not allow unbelief and disobedience to arise in the part of you where your relationship with the Lord has taken its beginning. These warnings are close to the wonderful promise about a high relationship that can be ours with Christ.
Hebrews 3:12-15—Take heed (be on the watch), brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day (Don’t let time slip right out of your hand.); lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (We remember how the first sin in Eden began with a deception.) For we are made partakers of Christ (In His Kingdom.), if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; while it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. (When Israel turned from following the Lord in the wilderness.)
NIrV—Brothers and sisters, make sure that none of you has a sinful heart. Do not let an unbelieving heart turn you away from the living God. But build one another up every day. Do it as long as there is still time. Then none of you will become stubborn. You won't be fooled by sin's tricks. We belong to Christ if we hold firmly to the faith we had at first. But we must hold to it until the end. It has just been said, "Listen to his voice today. If you hear it, don't be stubborn. You were stubborn when you opposed me." (Ps 95:7,8)
The promise of being ... made partakers of Christ means keeping watch on the foundation of our faith while we’re being built up in the faith. That toward which our faith is bringing us is into a partnership with Christ. How wonderful!
38) We have become partakers with Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence firm toward this perfect end.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps 139:23,24).
(Memorize this passage and make it your prayer throughout the day.
See what the Lord will perform in you, particularly in response to the last part of the prayer.)
|DAY 16—We will soon learn of a perpetual Sabbath that can be ours in Christ.
The passage at which we will look today warns us more about the danger of allowing unbelief to enter into our hearts. Let’s get right to it at the conclusion of Hebrews chapter 3.
Hebrews 3:16-19—For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
NIrV—Who were those who heard and refused to obey? Weren't they all the people Moses led out of Egypt? Who was God angry with for 40 years? Wasn't it with those who sinned? They died in the desert. What people did God promise with an oath that they would never enjoy the rest he planned for them? Wasn't it those who didn't obey? So we see that they weren't able to enter. That's because they didn't believe.
Unbelief—what an ugly word! It seems as though it might be the very same animal-like spirit about which the Lord warned Cain in Genesis 4:7. See this: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him (better, “over it”). Before Cain murdered his brother and lost his place in God’s purpose, he had the above warning. Sin was crouching at the door of his life like a tiger ready to pounce on him. He could have become an overcomer, perhaps even the one who crushed the head of the serpent. But, he was not watchful. Sin came upon him while he was unaware of what was happening.
The sin of unbelief came into the line of Adam’s descendents. Even now, it is ours to watch out after. It crouches at the door of anyone of us. Giving in to it means we will lose our rest. Its subtle intrusion can cause the immediate loss of peace and joy. So, we are about to learn to withstand its attack. That’s one of the many things into which Hebrewsis leading us.
Before you pray, read the Psalmist’s words about those who perished in the wilderness. See the unusual insight he expressed in Ps 106:24,25. Then see the consequence of their unbelief. (Ps 106:26,27)
FATHER, I do not want what happened to Cain, or what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness, to come upon me, or upon these for whom I have been praying. Oh, won’t You please increase in use the discernment and the faith, both born of Your Spirit that will make us into overcomers.
|DAY 17—We renounce a hardness of heart so we may enter that rest.
We are about to enter into one of the choice portions of Scripture in all the Bible. When I but hear a mention of the reference, or even think of it, Hebrews 4 draws me toward the promised land of faith. It draws us toward a promise in Christ that becomes ours now, even while living in “this old sinful world.”
We will see it in the King James Version, with the understanding that it needs some “tweaking” to make its Word more clear.
Hebrews 4:1-7—Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.* (“God’s promise of enjoying his rest still stands. So be careful that none of you fails to receive it.”) For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest (Ps 95:11): although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Ps 95:7,8)
NIrV—God's promise of enjoying his rest still stands. So be careful that none of you fails to receive it. The good news was preached to our people long ago. It has also been preached to us. The message they heard didn't have any value for them. They didn't combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enjoy that rest. God said, "When I was angry I took an oath. I said, 'They will never enjoy the rest I planned for them.'" (Ps 95:11) Ever since God created the world, his work has been finished. Somewhere he spoke about the seventh day. He said, "On the seventh day God rested from all his work." (Gen 2:2) In the part of Scripture I talked about earlier God said, "They will never enjoy the rest I planned for them." (Ps 95:11) It is still true that some will enjoy that rest. But those who had the good news preached to them earlier didn't go in. That was because they didn't obey. So God again chose a certain day. He named it Today. He did that when he spoke through David a long time later. As it was said earlier, "Listen to his voice today. If you hear it, don't be stubborn." —(Ps 95:7,8)
FATHER, I renounce the hardness of unbelief that has tried to take over in my heart. I renounce the worry that has been mine lately. I renounce what has given me that “lump in my stomach.” I stop, right now, and throw the arms of faith open to Your forgiveness. Oh, forgive me for not trusting You lately. I open my heart to Your faithfulness. And—please receive these I have been holding before You into the strong arms of Your protection, and of Your provision.
|DAY 18—Through Christ the way is open for us to enter into that spiritual rest.
Hebrews 4:8-11—For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
NIrV—Suppose Joshua had given them rest. If he had, God would not have spoken later about another day. So there is still a Sabbath rest for God’s people. God rested from his work. Those who enjoy God’s rest also rest from their work. So let us make every effort to enjoy that rest. Then no one will fall into sin by following the example of those who didn’t obey God. (Ps 95:7,8)
We look now at the passage as it is in the King James Version. In a classic way, it expresses a divine truth. I encourage you to memorize it so it may be stored in the memory bank of Your heart. There you may keep it, meditate on it and draw it forth as you would money from a large deposit. But, with this in your account, every time you make a draw on it, it only increases in value. The more you take it out and spend it on some need that presents itself to you, the greater will be the amount you have in deposit. On the other hand, leaving it in deposit, it will never accrue interest. Read the following and you will understand what we mean.
Hebrews 4:12-15—For the Word of God is quick (alive), and powerful (dynamic), and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
NIrV—The word of God is living and active. It is sharper than any sword that has two edges. It cuts deep enough to separate soul from spirit. It can separate joints from bones. It judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart. Nothing God created is hidden from him. His eyes see everything. He will hold us accountable for everything we do. We have a great high priest. He has gone up into the heavens. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us hold firmly to what we say we believe. We have a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin.
39) We now understand that Jesus is our great High Priest. (Isa 53:3-5; II Cor 5:21)
40) Since He’s been tested in every way as we have, we can come to Him with bold confidence that He will help.
JESUS, You are my great High Priest. I come to You with the bold confidence that You understand my need. I know You will not turn me away. This is so even though my faith is small as I face this present trial. Your faith steps in for me.
|DAY 19—Through Christ the way is open for us to enter into that spiritual rest.
On the basis of what we have learned, we see that the way is open for us to come with a bold freedom unto the Throne of God’s grace. Thus, by moving forward in what the Lord Jesus has obtained for us, there will never be a time of need coming upon us, that we can’t discover His grace to help us while in it, and as we move on through it.
If we heed the divine promises laid out for us in Hebrews, the times of need we face will only make us into stronger and better persons for God’s Kingdom. All of this is summarized in verse 4:16—Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The word boldly in this verse is from the Greek parresia. It means freedom of speech. That’s how we can come before the Lord. It is meaningful even when we are at a loss for words and can only cry unto the Lord.
David knew God’s Throne and cried unto it. How much greater can be our discovery of the Throne of Grace when we come unto it through our great High Priest!
Psalm 22:24—For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard.
Psalm 30:2—O LORD my God, I cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed me.
Psalm 30:8—I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
Psalm 31:22—For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before Thine eyes: nevertheless Thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto Thee.
Psalm 34:6—This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
LORD JESUS, You are my High Priest. You are also my great King. I recognize Your right to rule my own life. I confess that You have authority in all the world. Today, I can but cry unto You. The needs of these I hold before You are so great I know not how to express them in words. The same is so for myself. Oh! My heart cries out—and it believes, even while my understanding sees no hope.
|DAY 20—We will learn of an eternal priesthood opened for us by Jesus.
We are about to learn of Jesus as our Great High Priest, the One by Whom we may come to God with any sin, burden, sorrow or worldly care. As our introduction to Him in this His most caring role for us, let us learn first about high priests in general. Before the Lord Jesus finished His work, every one of them had to deal with his own sinfulness. Jesus was different. He had no personal sin or imperfection with which to deal.
See these words as interpreted in the version we sometimes use that sets forth Divine Truth in the simplest form possible.
Hebrews 5:1-5—For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
NIrV—Every high priest (of the human order) is chosen from among men. He is appointed to act for them (other persons) in everything that has to do with God. He offers gifts and sacrifices for their sins.He is able to deal gently with those who have gone down the wrong path without knowing it. He can do that because he himself is weak. That’s why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins. He must also do it for the sins of the people. No one can take that honor for himself. He must be appointed by God, just as Aaron (the first high priest) was. Even Christ did not take the glory of becoming a high priest for Himself. God said to him, “You are My Son. Today I have become Your Father” (Ps 2:7).
Because Christ Jesus was raised from Death’s domain, He has been appointed by God to be our eternal High Priest. He is above every other priest who has ever been appointed. At any time, for any reason, we can come to God through Him. There is no other mediator between God and ourselves. Through no saint, nor preacher, nor Apostle, nor Prophet can we reach God. But, anyone of us can come to Him, at any time, through Jesus.
41) Jesus glorified not Himself to be made an high priest, but He that said unto Him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten Thee. (Heb 5:5; I John 5:14,15)
DEAR LORD, I have no other hope. You are the only One to Whom I can go with this burden. I will not forfeit having this relationship with You by trying to reach God some other way. So, here I am before You, LORD, with something that is so great, so heavy, I can no longer bear up under it. I roll it over onto You. And, oh, I believe—I know!—You take it. I know You are even now resolving my greatest burden.
|DAY 21—The Father appointed Jesus to an eternal priesthood.
There is another important factor in Jesus receiving an eternal priesthood. It is through the Covenant Word that came to Him through David.
Psalm 110:4. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
NIrV—The Lord has taken an oath and made a promise. He will not change his mind. He has said, "You are a priest forever, just like Melchizedek."
This is then quoted, and used as part of the thesis presented in Hebrews that Jesus has become, through the suffering of death, our great High Priest.
Hebrews 5:6—As He saith also in another place, Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
NIrV—In another place he said, "You are a priest forever, just like Melchizedek."
We first learn of Melchizedek in Genesis 14 when Abraham was returning from war with the nations by whom his nephew Lot had been taken captive. Melchizedek came out to meet Abraham and ... brought forth bread and wine. He was the priest of the most high God and acknowledged Abraham by saying, Blessed be Abram of the most high God.
We don’t know much about this Melchizedek. Was he an appearance of Christ before He came in the flesh? Or, was he but a type of the Christ. We do learn he was also King of Salem, a word meaning “peace.” Salem became Jerusalem. His name means “King of Righteousness.” His position means “King of Peace.” What strong implications there were back when Melchizedek and Abraham met! There was the priest of the most high God meeting Abraham with whom God was in Covenant. The implications of their meeting come down to this day and are probably too deep for our minds to fathom, though many have tried. We will see more on him in Hebrews 7.
42) After the Order of Melchizedek Jesus has an eternal Priesthood. (Gen 14:18,19; Heb 6:20; 7:1,10,11,15,17,21)
DEAR LORD, how grateful I am that Your priesthood is eternal! I praise You that I need no appointment. I praise You that You receive me today on the basis of the grace by which You redeemed me. Oh, GREAT HIGH PRIEST, draw these souls into Your bosom that I name before You now! Let them know the justification and redemption that can be theirs through the shedding of Your pure and precious blood.
|DAY 22—The Father appointed Jesus to an eternal priesthood.
There are things for us to pursue about Jesus being a priest after the order of Melchizedek. We see this continuing Word in Hebrews 5 as it picks up on His being a Priest forever ...after the order of Melchizedek...
Hebrews 5:7-10—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; called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedek.
NIrV—Jesus prayed while he lived on earth. He made his appeal with loud cries and tears. He prayed to the One who could save him from death. God heard him because he truly honored God. Jesus was God's Son. But by suffering he learned what it means to obey. In that way he was made perfect. Eternal salvation comes from him. He saves all those who obey him. God appointed him to be the high priest, just like Melchizedek.
Adam Clarke’s words are grand and require more than one reading. Yet, they hold immense value for us at this point.
“The Redeemer of the world appears here as simply man, but He is the representative of the whole human race. He must make expiation for (satisfaction of God’s wrath against) sin by suffering, and He can suffer only as man. Suffering was as necessary as death for man, because he has sinned, must suffer, and because he has broken the law, should die. Jesus took upon Himself the nature of man, subject to all the trials and distresses of human nature. He is now making atonement. He begins with sufferings, as sufferings commence with human life. He terminates with death, as that is the end of human existence in this world. Though He was the Son of God, conceived and born without sin, or any thing that could render Him liable to suffering or death, and only suffered and died through infinite condescension (humiliation), yet, to constitute Him a complete Savior, He must submit to whatever the Law required. Therefore He is stated to have learned obedience by the things which He suffered, that is, subjection to all the requirements of the Law. And being made perfect, that is, having finished the whole(of the Law’s demands) by dying, He, by these means, became the Author of eternal salvation to all them who obey Him.”
JESUS, my great High Priest, how I praise You! What grace You have demonstrated toward us who have sinned!
|DAY 23—There is much more to learn about the priesthood of Jesus.
Even the writer of Hebrews, as he wrote of Melchizedek, realized we have entered into matters that are too deep for most of us. He offers up a bit of judgment on his readers by saying this about Melchizedek,
Hebrews 5:11-14—...of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (the logos) of God ; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word (the logos) of righteousness: for he is a babe.But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
NIrV—We have a lot to say about that. But it is hard to explain it to you. You learn too slowly.By this time you should be teachers. But in fact, you need someone to teach you all over again. You need even the simple truths of God's word. You need milk, not solid food. Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby. That person does not want to learn about living a godly life.Solid food is for those who are grown up. They have trained themselves with a lot of practice. They can tell the difference between good and evil.
On the admission of the one who wrote Hebrews, we have passed through some deep waters. Yet those waters are sweet to the ear, and to the heart, of any spiritually thirsty soul. These chapters of Hebrews are of such value to us who would grow into the maturity required of Heaven’s Kingdom, that none of us should pass over them so quickly as to miss any part of what is being presented.
I, myself, have found that the only truly valuable means of receiving what these chapters present is by doing what I call “soaking” in their Word. The pure Word of God carries within itself an energy that both cleanses and instructs. It also empowers. It will work its way into the deep parts of one’s soul and take lodging there, waiting for the Holy Spirit to bring it to life, sometimes, out on the dusty roads of life.
FATHER, please increase in me the desire to receive Your Word. Bring it to life in me. Let me become an example of the “Word made flesh,” so that others may see it at work in me, for Your glory.
“No one who believes in Him shall have reason to feel ashamed.”
|DAY 24—There is much more to learn about the priesthood of Jesus.
Let’s review here things we may have missed of our Lord Jesus as we passed through Hebrews 4 and 5. Some of these may already have been noted and given a number. But here we number them again since we may have given them a slightly different expression.
43) He is our Great High Priest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. (Heb 4:14)
44) He is the One Who was tempted ...in all points like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)
45) He glorified not Himself to be made a High Priest, but He that said unto Him, Thou art my Son; today have I begotten Thee. (Heb 5:5)
46) He is the One Who in the days of His flesh ...offered up strong prayers and supplications, and was heard in that He feared. (Heb 5:7)
47) Though He were a Son, yet ...learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. (Heb 5:8)
48) Being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him. (Heb 5:9)
49) He is ...called of God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 5:10)
FATHER, as I have reviewed these wondrous statements about Your Beloved Son, please let the light the Scriptures gives forth shine deep into my soul. I know I’m one of those who is somewhat dull of hearing. Please help me in this matter. Where my understanding cannot go, please help my heart go there so it can believe, even when my mind stumbles. Let the energy of Your Word work in me. Let it be demonstrated in me so others can see You, and want You in their lives. Give me the ability to share a good testimony before those in the world who don’t yet know You.
|DAY 25—Let us go on to maturity.
The writer of Hebrews is really on the offensive with us. He wants us, for sure, to become mature believers. He wants us to have a clear perception of what the Old Covenant presented and how it moves cleanly and clearly into the New Covenant through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s see his ongoing attack on our spiritual lethargy.
Hebrews 6:1-3—Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.
Let’s see how the NIrV interprets this important passage. It’s one that we should spend some good time with—later. But, for the present, we want to move on toward the wonderful insight of what the writer calls the “summit” of ...the things which we have spoken.
NIrV—So let us leave the simple teachings about Christ. Let us grow up as believers. Let us not start all over again with the basic teachings. They taught us that we need to turn away from doing things that lead to death. They taught us that we must have faith in God. They taught us about different kinds of baptism. They taught us about placing hands on people. They taught us that people will rise from the dead. They taught us that God will judge everyone. And they taught us that what He decides will last forever. If God permits, we will go beyond those teachings and grow up.
He’s really laying hold on us and is ready for us to grow up. We might as well brace ourselves. While there are some beautiful, and important insights into what Christ obtained for us, we’re going to find some very serious words to those who turn, or fall, off the path.
PRECIOUS LORD, I am ready to grow up! Thank You for the mercy You have shown me through the Years. I still need that mercy, and so does my family. But, please draw us on into the maturity that Your Kingdom demands. Help us become part of those seeds You will sow into the world.
Become very familiar with the parables of Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23; 24-30 and 36-43.
This is some of the most important teaching for today.
|DAY 26—Here is a warning we must heed.
Now, we really are about to face something challenging—especially to us who grew up as Baptists or Presbyterians. When I was first saved, our Pastor gave a strong lecture telling us that now we’re saved there is no way we can become “lost” again. My family moved so I didn’t continue going to that church. One day I became discouraged with being a Christian and decided I would just stop being one. Then, I remembered that teaching and thought to myself, “I can’t stop being saved.” That settled it—and I’ve been saved ever since. So, I kind of have an affection for that doctrine. Not long after that, I gave my will completely over to the Lord and have found Him exceedingly faithful through over sixty years of wonderful salvation.
Hebrews 6:4-6—For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world (aión, age) to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.
NIrV—What if some people fall away from the faith? It won't be possible to bring them back. It is true that they have seen the light. They have tasted the heavenly gift. They have shared in the Holy Spirit. They have tasted the good things of God's word. They have tasted the powers of the age to come. But they have fallen away from the faith. So it won't be possible to bring them back. They won't be able to turn away from their sins. They are losing everything. That's because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross all over again. They are bringing shame on him in front of everyone.
First, let us take note of several words that describe what may have taken place in a believer’s life. First, see they were once enlightened. The word once is from the Greek hápax. It means “once for all, forever.” It isn’t just a flash. The word enlightened describes an enlightenment that came with such intensity that it must be seen as a revelation bringing with it a convincing edification, or change in one. In other words, it’s like Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road. (Acts 9:1-20)
Having ...tasted of the heavenly gift describes one who has experienced what God gives us from the heavens. This, too, speaks of something life-changing.
FATHER, please open the eyes of my understanding so I might know that I know You. Cause me to know that I know Your beloved Son as my Savior. Seal me with Your Spirit.
A very instructive and thought-provoking passage—I John 2:1-11
|DAY 27—The most important matter regarding assurance.
Look back and see those words ...have tasted the good Word of God. This describes those who have experienced what God’s Word tells us. It brings us to consider what Paul said in I Thessalonians 2:13.
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh (an effective force of energy) also in you that believe.
NIrV—We never stop thanking God for the way you received his word. You heard it from us. But you didn't accept it as a human word. You accepted it for what it really is. It is God's word. It is at work in you who believe.
Those who have come to know the Word of God as the spiritual force that it is can have little doubt but that it is, indeed, a Word from God. It’s life-changing. Some people who read the Bible do not know it in this way, however. It is the Holy Spirit Who will bring it to life in a person.
Then there is something else. He speaks of one who has experienced the powers of the “age” to come. This means they have lived out of the resources of God’s Kingdom, which will one day fill all the earth.
All of the things listed in Hebrews 6:4-6 are powerfully transforming, for any person. Yet, if anyone ...shall fall away from them, meaning “make a defection from them,” there is no way to give them a new kind of repentance. There is no other means of salvation. There is no other way. There is no other hope.
Does he mean it is possible to be committed to knowing and serving the Lord and then turn from it all and become “unsaved”? I chose not to let it be so with me. I believe you can do the same. The “many dangers, toils and snares” of life might make some people turn away from the Lord. But, it’s far better to let those things crowd you closer into Him.
HEAVENLY FATHER, I’ve been through some pretty rough times. A lot of the things I’ve been through have tried to drive a wedge between You and me. But, I’ve decided not to let this happen. From this day on, I’m going to let You sanctify these things that have happened to me. Let them make me better for Your Kingdom’s purposes.
|DAY 28—We have a good example in the world around us.
As an example of having good and bad mixed, we are reminded of the world itself.
Hebrews 6:7-9—For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
NIrV—Some land drinks the rain that falls on it. It produces a crop that is useful to those who farm the land. That land receives God’s blessing. But other land produces only thorns and weeds. That land isn’t worth anything. It is in danger of coming under God’s curse. In the end, it will be burned. Dear friends, we have to say these things. But we are sure of better things in your case. We are talking about the things that go along with being saved.
Now—I want to say this to those who read this: Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you. This word persuaded is built upon the same root word as the word “faith.” It’s a strong word. It means to be confident, to be sure, to hold a settled conviction.
I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to settle in you that nothing shall separate you from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Even something like the blow of a hammer on the head of a nail will do nothing more than drive you on in to a deeper relationship with Your Lord. There you will find new things that accompany salvation. This means the things that go along with being saved.
What a list this could be! Hebrews goes on building upon this, but not before reminding us again of Abraham and how he had to wait, and wait, and wait for the fulfilling of God’s promise. Actually, we’re seeing that God is more concerned with the development of our character for His Kingdom than He is with giving us immediate blessings. See now how he tells us that what we do for others goes not un-noticed, and that those of us who are patient in faith ... inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:10-12—For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
NIrV—God is fair. He will not forget what you have done. He will remember the love you have shown him. You showed it when you helped his people. And you show it when you keep on helping them. We want each of you to be faithful to the very end. We want you to be sure of what you hope for. We don't want you to slow down. Instead, be like those who have faith and are patient. They will receive what God promised.
HEAVENLY FATHER, I’ve been prone toward impatience. Today I want to give that up. I’m ready to trust You completely to bring to pass in myself, and in these I’ve been praying for, the things we all so desperately need. In these, especially—give them a heart that seeks You and believes You.
|DAY 29—We hold to two immutable things: God’s Promise and His Oath.
To tell you the truth, I’m pretty well convinced that the Apostle Paul wrote The Epistle to the Hebrews. The style is different and his name is not in it, but the love for the Truth that took over in him when he met Jesus is evident throughout.
Here again, he brings up Abraham, as he did in Romans and Galatians. Abraham was the first man to believe God. Thus, he became the father of those who believe. Against all hope of ever seeing the promise fulfilled, he maintained his confidence that what God had promised him was a faithful and true promise. We’re being drawn into the same. Believing God against all odds makes us useful for His purpose in our lives.
Hebrews 6:13-18—For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
NIrV—When God made His promise to Abraham, He took an oath to keep it. But there was no one greater than Himself to take an oath by. So He took His oath by making an appeal to Himself. He said, “I will certainly bless you. I will give you many children.”—(Gen 22:17) Abraham was patient while he waited. Then he received what God promised him. People take oaths by someone greater than themselves. An oath makes a promise certain. It puts an end to all arguing. So God took an oath when He made His promise. He wanted to make it very clear that His purpose does not change. He wanted those who would receive what was promised to know that. God took an oath so we would have good reason not to give up. We have run away from everything else to take hold of the hope offered to us in God’s promise. So God gave His promise and His oath (to us). Those two things can’t change. He couldn’t lie about them.
Now, let’s see this next verse as expressed in the King James Version as it speaks about the hope that is ours.
Hebrews 6:19—Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;.
NIrV—Our hope is certain. It is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure. It goes all the way into the Most Holy Room behind the curtain.
Our hope is an anchor reaching into the very presence of God Himself. What a mooring we have! No storm can separate us from what God has given us in Christ Jesus, our Great High Priest Who brings us within the veil.
FATHER GOD, “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” He’s my anchor. He’s the rock of my salvation. I praise You for sending all Your fullness to earth in Him, and then dying for us who were slaves to sin.
|DAY 30—Our Forerunner, Jesus, has entered within the veil.
Let me repeat the last verse of yesterday: God’s Promise confirmed by an Oath:
Hebrews 6:19,20—The ...hope we have as an anchor of our soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek.
NIrV—Our hope is certain. It is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure. It goes all the way into the Most Holy Room behind the curtain. That is where Jesus has gone. He went there to open the way ahead of us. He has become a high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.
The word Forerunner is from the Greek pródromos. It doesn’t just signify someone who goes or runs before another. It also means one who shows the way by being the first one to do a particular thing. Then, there is this interesting information. The same word pródromos is used in the Septuagint version of Isaiah 28:4 to signify the ...hasty fruit that comes before the summer when all the fruit ripens. So, Jesus is become the first to be raised from the dead, leading us in a resurrection that is sure to come. Though Paul did not use this word in I Corinthians 15:20, he did speak of the same when he said, But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
As our Forerunner, He has entered ...within the veil, where He securely holds the anchor for our souls. He is there, in the Holy of Holies, dwelling in the presence of God Himself, the First of a company attached by faith to Him, and who shall follow Him there.
50) Jesus is our Forerunner Who has entered within the veil. (Ex 25:8-22)
51) He is made a High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek.
GRACIOUS LORD, please bring upon us the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation as we follow on day after day acknowledging Your will.
|DAY 31—Knock, Knock, Knock..."TRICK or TREAT"
Do you know what Halloween is really all about? If you’re a pagan you know exactly what it is. But, just in case, let me fill you in with a few things I found on the Internet that might interest you.
It began over 2000 yrs ago with the Celtics of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales who became known as Druids. It was their belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, “the lord of death,” called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals. On this night the dead spirits would visit their earthly dwellings and former friends. Sacrifices were offered and they would set out food and provide shelter for them during the night in order to free their homes and families from their evil sway. If they were satisfied with their offerings, they would leave them in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on them.
This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest. Halloween, which became known through the Catholic Church as All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day, was a festival held to honor the "lord of death."
This celebration in the Roman Catholic Church originated in the 7th century when the Pantheon at Rome was wrested from the barbarians, made into a cathedral, and renamed the Church of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs. Thus, from honoring "all gods" (which is the meaning of the Greek word "pantheon") the Pantheon became the center for glorifying all saints. Thus, without forcing the pagans to drop their pagan practices and accept Christianity, the Roman Catholic church merely made room to accommodate the barbarians.
So, is Halloween a TRICK or TREAT? Most absolutely a TRICK. Oh, we do it in the name of fun to accommodate the children, but what is the real meaning? Is it still the same as in the old days? The real meaning of Halloween has been watered down to accommodate a less “satanic” or “pagan” culture. However, through this “harmless” practice, it is Satan's objective to get all to worship him. God tells us to not have any thing to do with this.
John 1:5—And the light shineth in darkness; an the darkness overcame it not
Peter I 5:8—Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.
1 Thessalonians 5:22—Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Timothy 4:1—Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.
Now, Christians, have no reason to be part of this “holy day” of Satan. Don't use the old cop out "well every body does it." No everybody is not doing it. Will you go ahead and participate in it? Or will you pass along the word and let someone know what the real meaning is.
LORD, I magnify Your Name today. I lift You up as Light of the world and Light of My world. You dispel the darkness; You shatter the night with the Light of Your love. You're my shelter and my protection against the onslaughts of the enemy of my soul. You are Lord and I love You and pledge my life to You.
In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ...
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