Hebrews



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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Hebrews Explained





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Book of Hebrews Explained

Title: When the various New Testament books were formally brought together into one collection shortly after A.D. 100, the titles were added for convenience. This epistle's title bears the traditional Greek title, "To the Hebrews," which was attested by at least in the second century A.D. Within the epistle itself, however, there is no identification of the recipients as either Hebrews (Jews), or Gentiles. Since the epistle is filled with references to Hebrew history and religion and does not address any particular Gentile or pagan practice, the traditional title has been maintained.


Authorship - Date: One of the great mysteries surrounding the Book of Hebrews concerns its authorship. For some unknown reason the author remains anonymous to us, though he was known to his original readers (13:23). Discussion of the author's identity dates back to the second century, but convincing evidence was lacking even then. Indeed, the great critical scholar of the third century, Origen of Alexandria, had to concede that only God truly knows who the author of this epistle is. The author, whether Jew or Gentile, had a superb knowledge both of Jewish Levitical thought and also of Greek literary style (which is often regarded as the finest in the New Testament). Yet he does seem to be Jewish in that he apparently identifies himself with his Jewish readers by writing: "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp" (13:13; see the note on this verse). These and other factors will help to show the strengths and weaknesses of the more common views of authorship.


Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Luke, Philip, Priscilla, Aquila, and Clement of Rome have been suggested by different scholars, but the epistle's vocabulary, style, and various literary characteristics do not clearly support any particular claim. It is significant that the writer includes himself among those people who had received confirmation of Christ's message from others (2:3). That would seem to rule out someone like Paul who claimed that he had received such confirmation directly from God and not from men (Gal. 1:12). Whoever the author was, he preferred citing Old Testament references from the Greek Old Testament (LXX), rather than from the Hebrew text. Even the early church expressed various opinions on authorship, and current scholarship admits the puzzle still has no solution. Therefore, it seems best to accept the epistle's anonymity. Ultimately, of course, the author was the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).


The use of the present tense (in 5:1-4; 7:21, 23, 27-28; 8:3-5, 13; 9:6-9, 13, 25; 10:1, 3-4, 8, 11; and 13:10-11), would suggest that the Levitical priesthood and sacrificial system were still in operation when the epistle was composed. Since the temple was destroyed by General (Later emperor), Titus Vespasian (in A.D. 70), the epistle must have been written prior to that date. In addition, it may be noted that Timothy had just been released from prison (13:23), and the persecution was becoming severe (10:32-39; 2:4; 13:3). These details suggest a date for the epistle around (A.D. 67-69).


Background - Setting: Emphases on the Levitical priesthood and on sacrifices, as well as the absence of any reference to the Gentiles, support the conclusion that a community of Hebrews was the recipient of the epistle. Although these Hebrews were primarily converts to Christ, there were probably a number of unbelievers in their midst, who were attracted by the message of salvation, but who had not yet made a full commitment of faith in Christ. One thing is clear from the contents of the epistle: the community of Hebrews was facing the possibility of intensified persecution (10:32-39; 12:4). As they confronted this possibility, the Hebrews were tempted to cast aside any identification with Christ. They may have considered demoting Christ from God's Son to a mere angel. Such a precedent had already been set in the Qumran community of messianic Jews living near the Dead Sea. They had dropped out of society, established a religious commune, and included the worship of angels in their brand of reformed Judaism. The Qumran community had even gone so far as to claim that the angel Michael was higher in status than the coming Messiah. These kinds of doctrinal aberrations could explain the emphasis in Hebrews chapter one on the superiority of Christ over the angels.


Possible locations for the recipients of the epistle include Palestine, Egypt, Italy Asia Minor, and Greece. The community that was the primary recipient may have circulated the epistle among those of Hebrew background in neighboring areas and churches. Those believers probably had not seen Christ personally. Apparently, they had been evangelized by "those who heard" Christ and whose ministries had been authenticated "by signs and wonders and by various miracles" (2:3-4). Thus, the recipients could have been in a church outside Judea and Galilee or in a church in those areas, but established among people in the generation following those who had been eyewitnesses of Christ. The congregation was not new or untaught ("by this time you ought to be teachers"), yet some of them still needed "milk and not solid food" (5:12).


The generation of Hebrews receiving this epistle had practiced the Levitical sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem. Jews living in exile had substituted the synagogue for the temple but still felt a deep attraction to the temple worship. Some had the means to make regular pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem. The writer of the epistle emphasized the superiority of Christianity over Judaism and the superiority of Christ's once-for-all sacrifice over the repeated and imperfect Levitical sacrifices observed in the temple.


Historical - Themes: Since the book of Hebrews is grounded in the work of the Levitical priesthood, an understanding of the book of Leviticus is essential for properly interpreting Hebrews. Israel's sin had continually interrupted God's fellowship with His chosen and covenant people, Israel. Therefore, He graciously and sovereignly established a system of sacrifices that symbolically represented the inner repentance of sinners and His divine forgiveness. However, the need for sacrifices never ended because the people and priests continued to sin. The need of all mankind was a perfect priest and a perfect sacrifice that would once and for all actually remove sin. God's provision for that perfect priest and sacrifice in Christ is the central message of Hebrews.


The epistle to Hebrews is a study in contrast, between the imperfect and incomplete provisions of the Old Covenant, given under Moses, and the infinitely better provisions of the New Covenant offered by the perfect High-Priest, God's only Son and the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Included in the "better" provisions are: a better hope, testament, promise, sacrifice, substance, country, and resurrection. Those who belong to the New Covenant dwell in a completely new and heavenly atmosphere. They worship a heavenly Savior, have a heavenly calling, receive a heavenly gift, are citizens of a heavenly country, look forward to a heavenly Jerusalem, and have their very names written in heaven.


One of the key theological themes in Hebrews is that all believers now have direct access to God under the New Covenant and, therefore, may approach the throne of God boldly (4:16; 10:22). One's hope is in the very presence of God, into which he follows the Savior (6:19-20; 10:19-20). The primary teaching symbolized by the tabernacle service was that believers under the covenant of law did not have direct access to the presence of God (9:8), but were shut out of the Holy of Holies. The book of Hebrews may briefly be summarized in this way: Believers in Jesus Christ, as God's perfect sacrifice for sin, have the perfect High-Priest through whose ministry everything is new and better than under the covenant of law.


The epistle is more than a doctrinal treatise, however. It is intensely practical in its application to everyday living (see chapter 13). The writer himself even refers to his letter as a "word of exhortation" (13:22; compare Acts 13:15). Exhortations designed to stir the readers into action are found throughout the text.


First century Jewish Christians were confronted with the anguish of having given up long held godly traditions only to experience increased persecution and unfulfilled promises. Both family and foe now harassed them. Further, Christ had not yet returned, and there were no apparent indications that His return and the restoration of Israel would ever occur. The first generations of Christians had passed, and Israel was still unsaved. Outwardly, Christ remained unvindicated before many of them. The Book of Hebrews is an exhortation to Jewish Christians to hold fast to their faith in Christ.


Throughout the epistle, the author stresses the continuity and flow between the Old Testament revelation and the new faith in Christ, while emphasizing the superiority of both Christ and His New Covenant, using such words as better, perfect and heavenly. By so doing, he assures the Jewish Christians of the biblical heritage contained in the New Covenant. (Hebrews contains 29 direct quotations from and 53 clear allusions to the Old Testament"). He challenges them to run with endurance the race that is set before them (12:1), even as their Jewish ancestors had done (chapter 11). The style of the epistle is one of encouragement, comfort, and warning. The book leads one from superficial thinking to profound depths concerning the person and work of Christ. Its argument is the superiority and finality of Christianity. Its theme is the high priestly mi





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Hebrews 1 Hebrews 6 Hebrews 11
Hebrews 2 Hebrews 7 Hebrews 12
Hebrews 3 Hebrews 8 Hebrews 13
Hebrews 4 Hebrews 9
Hebrews 5 Hebrews 10

Hebrews 1



Hebrews Chapter 1

Verses 1-2: The author immediately shows that Jesus Christ, as the agent of God's revelation, is far superior to the Old Testament prophets. Their message was fragmentary and incomplete. It came bit by bit through visions, dreams, events, and direct communication as men were ready and able to receive it. Christ's revelation is climactic and complete, because He is the Son and because His is the message for the last days. His incarnation initiated the end time, and it will be fulfilled when He returns to earth to reconcile and restore all things (Acts 2:16-17; 3:19-21, 1 Peter 1:20).


1:1 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,"


Over the course of possibly 1,800 years (from Job 2200 B.C. to Nehemiah, 400 B.C.). The Old Testament was written in 39 different books reflecting different historical times, locations, cultures, and situation.


"Divers manners": These included visions, symbols, and parables, written in both poetry and prose. Though the literary form and style varied, it was always God's revelation of what He wanted His people to know. The progressive revelation of the Old Testament described God's program of redemption (1 Pet. 1:10-12), and His will for His people (Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).


God has revealed Himself through various means, such as visions (Isa. 6), dreams (Dan. 2), poetry (Psalms 139), biography (especially the Gospels), sermons (Matt. 5-7), face-to-face conversations (Deut. 5:4), tablets of stone (Deut. 10:4), miracles (John 6), parables (Luke 15), inner compulsion (Acts 21:10-13), history (1 and 2 Chronicles), angels (Luke 1:26-38), historical research (Luke 1:1-4), and the person of Christ (John 1:14).


His means of self-revelation today is the Bible.


When God wanted Peter to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, He imparted this through a vision (Acts 10). Even then, Peter appears to have been somewhat reluctant to obey God completely.


Today we do not depend on dreams and visions to learn about God and His will for our lives, but rather on God's revelation in the Scriptures. God did not impart the gospel to Cornelius in a vision, but commanded a man to and preach the Word of God to him.


God in the Scripture above means the supreme Divinity.


Luke 1:55 "As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever."


This is saying that God all through the ages at specific times had spoken to chosen vessels. Each encounter was different. He spoke to Moses from a burning bush. God spoke to Elijah in a still quiet voice. Many times, His voice was mistaken for thunder. God cannot be put in a little category and say that He has to do it any particular way.


Paul himself found that God blinded him with His Light. God is God. The best thing for us to do is not to try to figure out God. Whichever way He communicates with you, just accept it.


Prophets are men and women who God has given a message to. Many times, their message will be one of warning of things about to happen. God sends the message by them to give the offenders a chance to repent. If they do not repent, then God sends His wrath.


Hebrews 1:2 "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"


"Last days": Jews understood the "last days" to mean the time when Messiah (Christ), would come (Num. 24:14; Jer. 33:14-16; Mica 5:1-2; Zech. 9:9, 16). The fulfillment of the messianic prophecies commenced with the advent of the Messiah. Since He came, it has been the "last days" (1 Cor. 10:11; James 5:3; 1 Pet. 1:20; 4:7; 1 John 2:18).


In the past God gave revelation through His prophets, but in these times, beginning with the Messiah's advent, God spoke the message of redemption through the Son.


"Heir": Everything that exists will ultimately come under the control of the Son of God, the Messiah (Psalms 2:8-9; 89:27; Rom. 11:36; Col. 1:16). This "inheritance" is the full extension of the authority which the Father has given to the Son (Dan. 7:13-14; Matt. 28:18), as the "firstborn".


"Worlds": The word can also be translated "ages". It refers to time, space, energy and matter, the entire universe and everything that makes it function (John 1:3).


We are requested of God the Father to listen to the message His Son brings.


Matthew 17:5 "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."


Even when this was written in Hebrews, it was the beginning of the last days. We know that God does not count time the same way that we do. With Him a thousand years can be as a day and a day as a thousand years.


2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."


You see, the time table is not the same for God and man. We see in the book of John that Jesus was creator God.


John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."


The Word of God became the Son of God for His stay here on earth.


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


Romans 8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together."


Hebrews 1:3 "Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"


"Brightness" The term is used only here in the New Testament. It expresses the concept of sending forth light or shining (John 8:12; 2 Cor. 4:4, 6). The meaning of "reflection" is not appropriate here. The Son is not just reflecting God's glory; He is God and radiates His own essential glory.


"The express image of his person": The term translated "exact representation" is used only here in the New Testament. In extrabiblical literature, it was employed for an engraving on wood, and etching in metal, a brand on animal hide, an impression in clay, and a stamped image on coins.


The Son is the perfect imprint, the exact representation of the nature and essence of God in time and space (John 14:9; Col 1:15; 2:9).


"Upholding": The universe and everything in it is constantly sustained by the Son's powerfully effective word (Col. 1:17). The term also conveys the concept of movement or progress - the Son of God directs all things toward the consummation of all things according to God's sovereign purpose. He who spoke all things into existence also sustains His creation and consummates His purpose by His word.


"Purge our sins": By the substitutionary sacrifice of Himself on the cross (Titus 2:14; Rev. 1:5).


"Sat down on the right hand": The right hand is the place of power, authority and honor (verse 13; Rom. 8:34; 1 Pet. 3:22). It is also the position of subordination, implying that the Son is under the authority of the Father (1 Cor. 15:27-28). The seat that Christ has taken is the throne of God (8:1; 10:12; 12:2), where He rules as sovereign Lord.


This depicts a victorious Savior, not a defeated martyr. While the primary thrust of this phrase is the enthronement of Christ, His sitting might also imply the completion of His atoning work.


Christ's person, power and position are all expressed in this verse. He is described as being the brightness of God's glory. The word "being", whose force is "eternally being," guards against the idea that Jesus became the Son at some point during His earthly ministry. He did not become deity; He always was equal with the Father.


The attributes ascribed to Him express His very nature. They were neither added to nor taken from Him during His earthly life. The "brightness" spoken of here refers to a radiance or a shining forth of the divine glory. As the rays are intrinsically related to the sun, with neither one existing apart from the other, so the Father and the Son are essentially one.


Further, the son is the express image or imprint (as of a die perfectly representing the original design), of the Father's person (nature). The radiant light implies perfectly representing the original design), of the Father's person (nature).


The radiant light implies the oneness of the Son with the Father; the imprint expresses the distinctness of the son from the Father. Yet, oneness and distinctness are implicit in each; thus, they enhance and balance each other.


"Upholding all things": manifests the power of the Son, (verse 2), has already presented Him as creator and hence the heir of all things. Certainly, He is far superior to the prophets with whom He has just been compared, and to the angels to whom He will be compared.


"Upholding" (Greek pheron), more precisely stated, describes the Son as "carrying" all things. Christ is not viewed simply as an Atlas supporting the dead weight of the world, but as the Creator who is now sustaining and bringing it to its goal. Compare the similar teaching of (Colossians 1:16-17).


"Sat down ... on high": reveals the position of the Son. When He had provided purification for sin, He sat down on high. This sitting does not imply a present inactivity; rather it suggests His finished redemptive work, quite in contrast to the unending sacrifices of the Levitical priest (chapters 7, 9, 10).


The author of Hebrews is virtually silent concerning Christ's resurrection, yet he repeatedly stresses the Ascension and its significance (4:14; 6:19-20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:24; 10:12; 12:2).


John 14:9 "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?"


John 14:10 "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."


These Scriptures leave no doubt that Jesus is the image of His Father. In fact, it is difficult to say where one ends and the other begins. I believe they are one in the Spirit.


1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."


We see three personalities, but we cannot deny that something about them is one. Perhaps, this Spirit of God that took the form of a man explains it. Their Spirit and their will were one. The flesh of Jesus sets Him aside from the others while He is on the earth.


Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."


The word brightness in the 3rd verse above means to shine forth from. Express image (in verse 3), means exact copy. Upholding means "be" (in verse 3). Word (in verse 3), is the spoken Word. Power is the word "dunamis", the word dynamite came from. This power then is explosive power.


Purged has to do with total purification. This is saying that Jesus did it all for us and went and sat down at the Father's right side. He sat down, because He finished the job. In fact, it was finished when Jesus made that statement from the cross "it is finished". No one or nothing else purchased our salvation for us, Jesus did it all.


This brightness of His glory is speaking of Jesus who is the Light of the world. God is spoken of as Father of lights (in James 1:17).


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."


Verses 4-14: The main point of (chapters 1 and 2), is that Christ is superior to "the angels" because of the work He has accomplished. In (verses 4-14), the writer of Hebrews proves Christ's superiority by citing seven Old Testament passages.


It was necessary that he prove to his readers Christ's superiority over the angels, for in the first-century world, pagan and Christian alike accorded great significance and power to angels.


Some had possibly taught the Christ Himself was an angel and for that reason able to perform miracles. There is evidence from Scripture (Col. 2:18), that some even worshiped angels. Angels were also involved in the giving of the Mosaic Law (2:2; Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19).


Thus, if the author wishes to prove the overall superiority of Christ, he must prove that Christ is superior to the angels. Jesus' superiority to the angels is presented in a sevenfold manner.


Being the Son, He has a better name that they (verses 4-5);


(2) He is worshiped (verse 6), and;


(3) Served (verse 7), by the angels;


(4) Jesus is God (verse 8);


(5) He created the angels (verse 10);


(6) Is from everlasting to everlasting (verses 11-12); and


(7) Sits at God's right hand (verse 13).


"The dignity of the Son is the dignity of God, but the dignity of the angels is that of mere servants (verse 14).


Hebrews 1:4 "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."


"Being made": The Greek verb used here refers to a change of state, not a change of existence. The Son in His divine essence has eternally existed, but for a while He was made lower than the angels (2:9), and afterward was exalted to an infinitely higher position by virtue of what He had accomplished in His redemptive work.


"Angels": Spirit beings created by God to minister to Him and do His bidding. The Jews held angels in very high regard as the highest beings next to God. The sect of Judaism which had established a community at Qumran taught that the archangel Michael's authority rivaled or surpassed that of the Messiah.


The writer of Hebrews clearly disclaims any such concept. The Son of God is superior to the angels.


"More excellent name": That name is Lord. No angel is Sovereign Lord (verses 6:13-14).


Angels are created beings and Jesus is Creator God. There can be no comparison. The Creator is always greater than the thing He creates.


Ephesians 1:20-22 "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places]," "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:" "And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,"


We know that there is no greater than Jesus. God the Father, on several occasions, called Jesus His only begotten Son. We have discussed in the four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, how the Holy Spirit of God hovered over Mary and she conceived of the Holy Spirit of God. The Baby within her was the Spirit of God. We will see in the next few Scriptures that everyone everywhere must bow to Jesus.


Philippians 2:9-11 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:" "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;" "And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


We see from this that all the angels shall bow to Jesus. Lucifer (the devil), and all of the demons (who are the fallen angels), have to bow to that name. That is the reason we have power over the devil and his angels. Jesus has given us permission to use His name. It is the name of Jesus that has the power.


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?"


Quoting from (Psalm 2:7 and 2 Sam. 7:14), the writer presents the unique relationship which the Son has with the Father. No angel ever experienced such a relationship.


"Son" A title of Christ expressing the voluntary submission of the Second Person of the
Godhead to the First Person, for the purpose of fulfilling the program of redemption established in eternity past (verses 2, 8; 3:6; 4:14; 5:5, 8; 6:6; 7:3, 28; 10:29; 11:17). And many other references in the New Testament.


His sonship was also expressed in the Old Testament (Psalms 2:12; Prov. 30:4). The word "today" indicates that God's Son was born in a point of time. He was always God, but He demonstrated His role as Son in space and time at His incarnation and was affirmed as such by His resurrection (Rom. 1:4).


The angels (including Lucifer), were created beings and Jesus Is Creator God.


Acts 13:33 "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."


Matthew 16:16 "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."


Notice Jesus is (the), Son not (a), son. When you specifically use "the", it means only one.


Hebrews Chapter 1 Questions


  1. Hebrews was obviously written before what event?
  2. Name several people that were thought to be the penman of Hebrews.
  3. Who does the author believe the penman to be?
  4. What message was the penman trying to convey to the Hebrew people?
  5. When was the way opened to the Father for the believers?
  6. If Jesus is not the perfect sacrifice, what is the fate of all humanity?
  7. What is the main theme of Hebrews?
  8. In times past, who did God speak to the people through?
  9. In verse 1, what does the word God mean?
  10. From what did God speak to Moses?
  11. How did God speak to Elijah?
  12. What was the peculiar happening when Paul met Jesus?
  13. Many times, the voice of God was mistaken for what?
  14. Who are prophets?
  15. What kind of message does a prophet bring most times?
  16. In verse 2 God changed the way He sent His message, who did He send it by?
  17. What request did God the Father make in Matthew 17-5?
  18. What are we told to not be ignorant of in 2 Peter 3-8?
  19. In what book of the Bible do we read that Jesus was Creator God?
  20. John 1-14 says the Word was made what?
  21. What does Romans 8-17 tell us we will share with Jesus?
  22. What does express image mean?
  23. How are Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Father one?
  24. What is Jesus called in 1 John 5-7?
  25. Colossians 2-9 tells us that what fullness dwells in Jesus?
  26. What does brightness in verse 3 mean?
  27. What does upholding in verse 3 mean?
  28. Power comes from what root word in verse 3?
  29. What root word does the word dynamite come from?
  30. When was Jesus' work finished?
  31. Where is Jesus now?
  32. This brightness of His glory is speaking of whom?
  33. Hebrews 1-4 says Jesus is better than whom?
  34. What makes Jesus higher than the angels?
  35. Who must bow to Jesus?
  36. How do the Christians have power over the devil and his demons?
  37. How do we know that Jesus and Lucifer were not brothers?
  38. Notice Jesus is ___ Son of God not _ son.



Hebrews Chapter 1 Continued

Hebrews 1:6 "And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."


"Again": This adverb can be taken with "brings" as a reference to the second coming of Christ or with "says" to indicate yet another quotation from the Old Testament ("and again, when He brings the firstborn into the world. He "says" (verse 5; 2:13).


"First begotten": Christ was not the first to be born on the earth, but He holds the highest position of sovereignty. As "firstborn" He is also set apart to the service of God and, being preeminent, is entitled to the inheritance (verse 2; Gen. 43:33; Exodus 13:2; 22:29; Deut. 21:17; Psalm 89:27).


"Let all the angels" (quoted from the LXX translation of Deut. 32:43; Psalm 97:7). Since the angels are commanded to worship the Messiah, the Messiah must be superior to them. Five of the 7 Old Testament passages quoted in this first chapter of Hebrews are in contexts related to the Davidic Covenant, which emphasizes the concepts of sonship, kingship and kingdom.


Although (Deut. 32:43), is not in a Davidic Covenant context, it has an affinity to the teaching of (Psalm 89:6; a Psalm of the Davidic Covenant), which declares that the heavenly beings themselves must recognize the lordship of God. Reference is made to "the firstborn" is mentioned (in Psalm 89:27).


1 Peter 3:22 "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."


This Scripture in Peter and the one in Hebrews above show that Jesus is greater than the angels. The angels are in fact, under His control. I will quote a Scripture in Revelation that will show that Jesus is above all in heaven and is the only one worthy to even open the book.


Revelation 5:9-12 "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;" "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;" "Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."


We see from all this that there is no greater in heaven or earth than Jesus Christ our Lord.


Hebrews 1:7 "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."


"Of the angels": The writer continues biblical proofs that the angels are subservient to the Son of God by citing (Psalm 104:4). This is the only one of the 7 Old Testament quotations (in chapter 1), which has no connection at all to the Davidic Covenant. The quote merely defines the primary nature and purpose of angels.


Many times we see the angels of the Lord appear in fire of one kind or the other. The best example of this that I can think of was when the chariot of fire came and escorted Elijah to heaven when he went up in the whirlwind.


2 Kings 2:11 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."


Elisha was promised that if he could see this great happening, he would get a double portion of the blessings God had given Elijah, and he did. Let us see in this next verse just what happened on another occasion pertaining to angels and fire.


2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."


This was an army God had sent to help Elisha. Elisha knew they were there, but the young man with him had not seen them until Elisha asked for him to be able to see. We have friends that sing a song about having a band of angels camped all around you to help you if you are a Christian. This is the same thing that is here in Kings.


Angels are ministering spirits. The fallen angels who followed Lucifer out of heaven are now called devil spirits, and they are commonly called demons. They minister evil and not good. The angels who did not fall are ministering only good to the Christians. We read the purpose of angels in this next verse.


Hebrews 1:14 'Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"



Verses 8-9 "He saith" (quoting from Psalm 45:6-7), the writer argues for the deity and the lordship on the Son over creation (verse 3). The text is all the more significant since the declaration of the Son's deity is presented as the words of the Father Himself (Isa. 9:6; Jer. 23:5-6; John 5:18; Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20).


It is clear that the writer of Hebrews had the 3 messianic offices in mind: Prophet (verse 1), Priest (verse 3), and King (verses 3, 8). Induction into those 3 offices required anointing (verse 9). The title Messiah (Christ), means "anointed one" (Isa. 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-21).


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


We see in this Scripture above that God the Father called Jesus, God. I have chosen 2 Scriptures from Isaiah to show the greatness of Jesus.


Isaiah 9:6-7 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." "Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."


Jesus (the Word of God), earned the right to be all these wonderful things. He paid for the privilege on the cross of Calvary.


Hebrews 1:9 "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."


"Fellows": The term is used only in Hebrews (3:1, 14; 6:4; 12:8), and (in Luke 5:7), where it is rendered as "partners". In this occurrence, it might refer to angels or to other men who were similarly anointed for their offices: The Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings.


If the "oil of Gladness" here is the same as "oil of gladness" referred to (in Isa. 61:3), the reference would clearly be to those who had mourned in Zion but who would one day be clothed with praise and called "oaks of righteousness", references to men, not angels. No matter how noble such men were, Christ is superior.


God cannot look upon sin, He will burn it up. Even in the Tabernacle in the wilderness, there was a cup of silver under the legs that held the Ark of the Covenant, when they set it up. Silver is symbolic of redemption. This caused redemption to be between Almighty God and the sinful world even in the wilderness.


We Christians do not have any righteousness in our own right. The only righteousness that we have is the righteousness of Christ. He paid for our sin, so that we might partake of His righteousness. Jesus brought righteousness to whosoever will accept Him as Savior.



Verses 10-12 (quoted from Psalm 102:25-27). The Son who created the universe (John 1:1-3), one day will destroy the heavens and earth that He created, but He remains unchanged. Immutability is yet another characteristic of the divine essence. Once again, the Old Testament testifies of the Son's deity.


Hebrews 1:10 "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:"


Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."


John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."


Jesus was Creator God. The Scriptures above leave no doubt. I have said this before, but Jesus seems to be the doer part of the Godhead. The 2 powers in this world are the spoken Word and the written Word, and Jesus is both.


Hebrews 1:11-12 "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."


We know that The Word of God (Jesus), is the everlasting one. He has no end and no beginning.


Revelation 1:8 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."


Revelation 1:17 "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:"


All of these Scriptures are stating that Jesus [the Word] is eternal.


1 Timothy 1:17 "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."


Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."


You see the earth that we know will pass away. It was created by the Word of God, so we know it had a beginning and we know that it will pass away and be replaced with a new heaven and earth.


Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."


Revelation 21:1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."


We can easily see that nothing or no one except God the Father, God the Word, and God the Holy Spirit are eternal.



Verses 13-14: The writer re-emphasizes the lordship of the Son (by quoting Psalm 110:1). While Christ's destiny is to reign (verse 3; Matt. 22:44; Acts 2:35), the angels' destiny is to serve the recipients of salvation. This is the seventh and final quotation from the Old Testament to bolster the argument that as Son and Lord the Messiah is superior to the angels.


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?"


We can easily find examples of angels appearing to men and women here on the earth. Sometimes they are dispatched of God to protect us. Sometimes they bring an important message from God. A good instance of them bringing a message of warning is when the angels warned Lot and his family to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah, before God destroyed it.


Several people were brought a message of the upcoming birth of a child. Mary the mother of Jesus was one; the parents of John the Baptist were two more. We read earlier of God sending an army of angels ( see article about "angels "), to fight for the saints, we also know that God placed angels at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to stop Adam and Eve from re-entering.


There is only one time mentioned in the Bible when Jesus was standing at the right hand of the Father. It was when Stephen was stoned to death. I believe He stood to receive Stephen into heaven. There are many Scriptures where Jesus is sitting at the Father's right hand, because He has finished His work to redeem us. I will quote a few here.


Hebrews 10:12 "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"


1 Peter 3:22 "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."


Hebrews Chapter 1 Continued Questions


  1. Who were the angels of God to worship?
  2. In 1 Peter 3-22, who are subject to Jesus?
  3. Who is the only one worthy to open the book in heaven?
  4. In Revelation 5-12, the Lamb is worthy to receive what?
  5. What are angels?
  6. Name a time when the angels were associated with fire.
  7. What would Elisha receive, if he saw Elijah rise to heaven?
  8. What are the angels now who followed Lucifer out of heaven?
  9. What is the purpose God has for angels?
  10. What does Father God call Jesus in Hebrews 1-8?
  11. Jesus is called by what names in Isaiah 9-6?
  12. What is silver symbolic of?
  13. Where does the Christian get his righteousness?
  14. Who laid the foundation of the earth?
  15. Who is the Word of God?
  16. What are the 2 great powers in the world?
  17. Give several names that show the eternity of Jesus?
  18. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my ____ shall not pass away.
  19. What is unusual about the new heaven and earth?
  20. In Hebrews 1-13, Jesus is to sit on the right hand of the Father until when?
  21. What are some of the jobs God has for angels to do mentioned in the Bible?
  22. Who does the author believe Gabriel and Michael are?
  23. When is the only time Jesus was mentioned standing at the right hand of God?
  24. Besides sitting on the right hand of God, what is Jesus?



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Hebrews 2



Hebrews Chapter 2

Verses 1-4: The Book of Hebrews contains five warning passages (2:1-4; 3:7 - 4:13; 5:11 - 6:20; 10:19-39; 12:18-29). These passages contain much exhortation but also some explicit warnings, a danger sign. This first passage warns: Do not neglect Christ's message.


Since God has no greater messenger than His Son, He has no more important message than the gospel which the Son has given. And if the law given through angels was steadfast, producing sure judgment, how shall we escape, if we ignore the sure message of the Son?


This message was proclaimed by Christ to His apostles and then by the apostles to the author of Hebrews (verse 3).


In order to drive home the importance of the superiority of the Son of God over the angels, the writer urges the readers to respond. "We", includes all those who are Hebrews. Some had given intellectual assent to the doctrine of Messiah's superiority to the angels, but had not yet committed themselves to His as God and Lord.


He deserves their worship as much as He deserves the worship of the angels.


Hebrews 2:1 "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip."


"Ernest heed ... let them slip": Both phrases have nautical connotations. The first refers to mooring a ship, tying it up at the dock. The second was often used of a ship that had been allowed to drift past the harbor. The warning is to secure oneself to the truth of the gospel, being careful not to pass by the only harbor of salvation.


The closest attention must be paid to these very serious matters of the Christian faith. The readers in their tendency to apathy are in danger of making a shipwreck of their lives (6:19).


It appears to me, from the Scripture above, that Paul is trying to tell us the importance of learning God's ways and then living the life God would have for us. We must not only be saved, but walk in that salvation. These Scriptures from Proverbs tell us the best.


Proverbs 2:1-6 "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;" "So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding;" "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding;" "If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures;" "Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God." "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding."


In our society today, it seems as if the standards God gave us in the Bible are being totally ignored. Men are doing whatever is right in their own sight. This society is interested in fulfilling the lust of the flesh. The only solution to the problems we face is a return to God and His ways.


Hebrews 2:2 "For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;"


"If": "The Greek term assumes a fulfilled condition and here carries the idea. "In view of the fact that ..."


Transgression and disobedience": The former means to step across the line, in an overt sin of commission. The latter carries the idea of shutting one's ears to God's commands, thereby committing a sin of omission. Both are willful, serious and require just judgment.


Hebrews 2:3 "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];"


"How shall we escape": If disobedience to the older covenant of law brought swift judgment, how much more severe will be the judgment of disobedience to the New Covenant gospel of salvation, which was mediated by the Son who is superior to the angels (Matthew 10:14-15; 11:20-24)?


The messenger and message of the New Covenant are greater than the messengers and message of the older covenant. The greater the privilege; the greater the punishment for disobedience or neglect (10:29; Luke 12:47).


"By them that heard": This phrase reveals the succession of evangelism. That generation of Hebrews would not have heard if the previous generations of witnesses had not passed the message along (1 Tim 2:5-7).


The angels who followed Lucifer sinned in full knowledge. They were in the very presence of God and still decided to go against God and follow Lucifer.


Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"


Revelation 12:4 "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born."


It is much worse to sin in full knowledge than it is to sin unknowingly. These fallen angels (devil spirits), recognized Jesus, because they had been in heaven with Him. When they came into contact with Jesus, they would ask Him if He had come to torment them before time.


Matthew 8:29 " And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"


They know that their fate is to burn in the lake of fire.


Revelation 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."


1 Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."


Mark 16:15-16 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."


There are only 2 ways to go. One way belief in Jesus leads to heaven. To reject Jesus as your Savior brings damnation. "Believeth" means to continually believe. You must not put off salvation. To put off salvation is to reject it for right now. There may not be tomorrow.


1 Thessalonians 5:3 "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."


There is a great falling away of even the Christians, what in the world will happen to them who do not believe?


1 Peter 4:17-18 "For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?" "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"


Hebrews 2:4 "God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"


"Signs ... wonders ... miracles ... gifts": The supernatural powers demonstrated by Jesus and by His apostles were the Father's divine confirmation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His Son (John 10:38; Acts 2:22; Rom. 15:19; 1 Cor. 14:22). This authentication of the message was the purpose of such miraculous deeds.


"The Holy Spirit": The epistle's first reference to the Holy Spirit refers in passing to His ministry of confirming the message of salvation by means of miraculous gifts. Mentioned elsewhere in the epistle are the Holy Spirit's involvement in the revelation of Scripture (3:7; 10:15), in teaching (9:8), in pre-salvation operations (6:4), perhaps His convicting work (10:29), common grace, and in ministry to Christ (9:14).


God verified the Son's message with miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. The author states that these sign gifts were given to the first-generation witnesses. He does not suggest that his readers possessed these same miraculous gifts.


The phrase "gifts" of the Holy Spirit Himself upon every believer (Rom. 8:9; Gal. 3:5; Eph. 1:13), or more likely it refers to the gifts given by the Spirit (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12).


The miraculous sign gifts of the Holy Spirit were present in the first century to confirm apostolic revelation (2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:2-4), and are not expected today.


Just as it is necessary to erect a scaffolding to aid construction when a building is being erected, so sign gifts were the spiritual scaffolding used by God to give credibility to His revelation which became the foundation of the church. When the written Word of God was complete, God removed the scaffolding. These gifts were given primarily as signs for the Jews (1 Cor. 1:22).


Also, as the apostles were primarily communicating an oral tradition, they needed signs to authenticate their message (2 Thess. 2:15). When considering a sign gift, one should remember that gifts, such as the gift of apostles, were foundational gifts needed in the first century. And were characterized by certain qualifications that could not be met today (Acts 1:21-22).


Also, Paul specifically indicated that some gifts would cease (1 Cor. 13:8), and he referred to miracles seemingly in the past tense. They were still prevalent at the time of writing (verse 3).


The sign gifts would include apostles (Eph. 4:11), healing (1 Cor. 12:9), tongues, miracles and interpretations of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10). Some might add to that list the discernment of spirits (1 Cor. 12:10).


Just as God gave Moses the power to do miracles before the pharaoh, He gave the disciples power to perform miracles before the people. We read that Jesus did so many miracles that if they were all written down there would not be enough books in the whole world to hold them all.


John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."


No one but God could bring sight to a man who had been blind from birth. Everyone should have believed who saw these fantastic miracles of God, but they did not. Jesus told them if they did not believe for any other reason to believe Him for the works.


John 10:37-38 "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not." "But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father [is] in me, and I in him."


Notice (in verse 4 above), that all of the miracles are according to God's will. Paul found this to be true when he prayed three times for God to remove the thorn in his flesh, and God said no. Signs and wonders will still follow those who believe. The difference in Jesus and us, is that we must do these miracles in Jesus' name. Read the 14th chapter of John beginning with the 12th verse. I will give just two verses here.


John 14:12-13 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."


Notice in verse 12 who can do this, "he that believeth".


Verses 5-9: If Christ became a Man and partook of death, how can He be superior to the angels? This apparent contradiction is presently answered as reasonable and logical. The writer states that the angels do not have authority in the world to come.


Throughout the past and present ages angels have administered judgment on man: at Sodom (Gen. 19:13), on Israel (2 Sam. 24:15-17), on kings (Acts 12:23), during the Great Tribulation (Rev. chapters 8, 9). But in the age to come angels will have no authority over the saints.


In fact, the saints will judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3). Quoting (Psalm 8), the author shows that man will rule in God's coming age. Psalm 8 describes man as made by God a little lower than the angels. "A Little" (Greek brachu ti) has two possible interpretations. It can refer to time (for a little while), or degree (a little lower). Both concepts are true, but the second fits the context better.


Although God has made man slightly lower than the angels for the present, He also has crowned him with glory and honor and set him over His creation. Man, is the capstone and crown of God's creation. Into man's hands God will ultimately place His creation. As He proclaimed from the moment of creation (Gen. 1:26, 28), God will ultimately place His creation into man's hands through Christ.


By death Christ will regain for man what he lost by sin and death, namely, the dominion of the world. The author interprets all things to mean that God left nothing, including angels, independent of man's dominion. So as Man, Jesus will rule the earth. He to whom world dominion is divinely committed is greater that the angels, who do not have this privilege.


Hebrews 2:5 "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak."


"World": The term refers to the inhabited earth. The reference is to the great millennial kingdom (Zech. 14:9; Rev. 20:1-5). Angels will not reign over the messianic kingdom.


Revelation 11:15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."


Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."


We can all clearly see that the angels will not rule. Jesus will be the supreme ruler and His followers [Christians] will rule with Him as His subordinates.


Hebrews 2:6 "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?"


"Certain place": This is not an indication that the writer was ignorant of the source of the quotation that follows. The location of the quotation is not as significant as its divine authorship. Perhaps it is significant that the author of Hebrews is not identified either.


The writer may have desired that his readers understand that the Holy Spirit is the real author of all Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).


"Him ... Son of Man": Both refer to mankind, not to Christ. The passage asks why God would ever bother with man. As the following verses demonstrate (Verses 9-10), the incarnation of Christ is the greatest proof of God's love and regard for mankind. Christ was not sent in the form of an angel. He was sent in the form of a man.


This son of man is not Jesus. If this were speaking of Jesus, Son would be capitalized. Another reason we know this is not speaking of Jesus is that Jesus here is the one visiting the son of man. In our church services, I love to sing the song "WHO AM I". In this song, it says who am I that a King would bleed and die for? It also says who am I that He would pray "not my will thine for"?


The answer I may never know; why He ever loved me so. If we stop and really think about this, it is almost unbelievable. Why would God the Father be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son so that someone as unworthy as I am might live? It is a big question, isn't it?


1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins."


Propitiation means atonement.


Hebrews 2:7 "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:"


"Angels": Angels were given supernatural powers by the Creator. They have continual access to the throne of God (Job 1:6; 2:1; Rev. 5:11), and are not subject to death.


When Jesus came to the earth, He took on the form of flesh that He might be tempted in all the ways we are. He took on the flesh of man that He might relate to us better.


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


Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not a 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."


Jesus was tempted in all things when Satan tempted Him 40 days and nights while Jesus was fasting. Jesus did not succumb to the temptation, but withstood the devil. He also tells us, if we will withstand the devil, he will flee from us.


James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."


Hebrews 2:8 "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."


"Subjection": In spite of the superiority of angels to mankind, God had originally placed the administration of the earth into the hands of mankind (Gen. 1:26-28). Due to the Fall (Gen. 3), however, mankind has been incapable of fulfilling that divinely ordained position.


Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."


We know this was true even when Jesus walked the earth in His house of flesh. When He told the sea to quiet down and it did, the disciples were amazed that even the sea had to obey Him. He spoke to unclean spirits and they had to leave.


Even the 2000 devil spirits asked permission of Jesus to go into the hogs that ran violently into the sea. He had to give permission for them to go, because they were subject to Him. We could go on and on about how three times he told the spirit to go back into someone assumed dead. Jesus is the God of the living and the dead.


Revelation 5:13 "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."


To sum up this lesson, we would have to say that Jesus Christ our Lord is also King of kings and Lord of lord's that the real power and authority is the Word of God; (spoken and written). We must truly accept the spoken and written Word as absolute Truth and continue in the teaching of both to the end.


Hebrews Chapter 2 Questions


  1. In verse 1, why are we told that we should take earnest heed to the things we have heard?
  2. After we learn God's ways, what is the next step we must take?
  3. In Proverbs 2-4, we are told that we should search for the truths of God as one would look for what?
  4. Who giveth wisdom?
  5. What is the mistake being made in our society today?
  6. What is the only solution to our problems?
  7. What is the most important question asked in Hebrews 2-3?
  8. Why can the angels who followed Lucifer not be forgiven?
  9. What portion of the angels in heaven followed Lucifer?
  10. What are these fallen angels referred to on the earth?
  11. Why did they recognize Jesus when He cast them out of people?
  12. What is the terrible fate awaiting the devil, and the beast, and the false prophet?
  13. What warning is given to those who think they are standing?
  14. What does this tell us is possible?
  15. Mark 16:16 tells us who will be saved, who are they?
  16. What does believeth mean?
  17. To reject Jesus as our Savior brings what?
  18. Where does judgment begin?
  19. How did God bear witness that what they were teaching was the Truth?
  20. We could say that miracles are according to whose will?
  21. Name 2 other people God gave miracle ability to, besides Jesus.
  22. How many miracles did Jesus do?
  23. Does God always do a miracle when we pray?
  24. Give one example when God said no.
  25. In whose name do we do miracles?
  26. How long shall the saints reign with Christ on the earth?
  27. How do we know that son of man is not Jesus in Hebrews 2-6?
  28. What question do most Christians ask themselves about God giving His Son to save us?
  29. Why can Jesus know the temptations and hurts that we feel, if He was God the Son?
  30. Hebrews 2-8 says that all things are subject to Jesus, name 3 different things that happened when He was on earth that let us know this is true.
  31. Who is Jesus God of?
  32. How can we sum this lesson up?



Hebrews Chapter 2 Continued

Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little 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."


Verse 8 ends with the confession that Man's present status does not suggest that he will someday be over all creation. But Christ's status does. Unlike man, He already has been crowned, and because of His identity with and victory for man, He makes (Psalm 8), a future reality for man. Death is one significant quality that makes man lower than the angels (Luke 20:36), but Christ has conquered death for man.


"Glory and honor": Because Jesus became "obedient to the point of death ... God highly exalted Him" (Phil. 2:8-9). By His redemptive work, Christ has fulfilled all that is required as the supreme representative of mankind. By His incarnation, substitutionary sacrifice and victory over sin and death (Rom. 6:23; 1 John 4:10), He has fulfilled man's original purpose.


As the Second Adam (1 Cor. 15:47), He was for a short time lower than the angels. Now He has glory and honor, and all things (including angels), are subject to Him.


"Taste death for every man": Everyone who believes, that is. The death of Christ can only be applied in its efficacy to those who come to God repentantly in faith, asking for saving grace and forgiveness of sins (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Tim. 2:6; 4:10; Titus 2:11).


We must notice in the Scripture above, that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels. He was not lower at all, but took on this state of being lower for His stay on the earth. The death of the cross that Jesus died was in payment for us, so that we would not have to die this way to pay for our sins.


Philippians 2:7-9 "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"


We should see in this that we have done nothing to deserve to be saved. It is a gift of grace. This is a free gift of God; all we do is accept it.


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."


"Became": What God did through the humiliation of Jesus Christ was perfectly consistent with His sovereign righteousness and holiness. Without Christ's humiliation and suffering, there could be no redemption. Without redemption, there could be no glorification (Rom. 8:18, 29-30).


"Perfect": In His divine nature. Christ was already perfect. However, His human nature was perfected through obedience, including suffering in order that He might be an understanding High-Priest, an example for believers (5:8-9; 7:25-28; Phil. 2:8; 1 Pet. 2:21), and establish the perfect righteousness (Matt. 3:15), to be imputed to believers (2 cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:8, 19).


"Captain": The term is also used (in 12:2 and Acts 5:31). It could be translated "pioneer", "leader," "author," or "originator". Christ is the source (5:9, which has the meaning of cause), the initiator, and the leader in regard to salvation. He has led the way into heaven as our forerunner (6:20).


The concept of a suffering Messiah was a real stumbling block to the Jews. The author tackles this problem by declaring that the sufferings of the Cross were an integral part of God's redemptive plan. In fact, Christ was made perfect through the suffering of death. Not that His deity lacks perfection (1:3, 8), but His humanity was vocationally perfected.


That is, as Man, Jesus was enabled through suffering to become the captain of man's salvation; suffering allows Him to experientially empathize with us (verse 18), and death was the means of His destroying Satan (verse 14), and securing our redemption (9:12).


Luke 24:26 "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?"


Luke 24:46 "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:"


The suffering that Christ did was not because He deserved to suffer, but because we deserved to suffer. He was our substitute. He suffered in our place. We are His creation and He bought us back out of sin.


There is a penalty for sin, but Jesus paid our penalty for us that we might be judged not guilty of sin. If we suffer with Christ for the cause of Christianity, then we shall reign with Him, as we read (in Romans 8:17).


"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together."


A Christian is a follower of Christ. If our leader suffered, so will we.


1 Thessalonians 3:4 "For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know."


Hebrews 2:11 "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,"


"Sanctifieth": Sanctification sets a person apart for service (means to make holy), through purification from sin and conformity to the holiness of God (10:10).


Matthew 12:48-50 "But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" "And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!" "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."


We who are sanctified are set aside for God's purpose. He made us holy in God's sight. We Christians are covered in the blood of Jesus. When God the Father looks at us, He sees the blood of His Son. We are righteous because we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).


Hebrews 2:12 "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."


"My brethren" (quoted from Psalm 22:22). Jesus had taught that those who do the will of the Father in obedience to His word are His brothers and mother (Matt. 12:50; Luke 8:21). He never directly referred to His disciples by the title of "brethren" or "brother" until after His resurrection (Matt. 28:10; John 20:17).


Not until He had paid the price for their salvation, did they truly become His spiritual brothers and sisters. The use of the term demonstrates His full identification with mankind in order to provide complete redemption (Phil. 2:7-9).


Psalms 22:22 "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee."


We see here, the same Scripture in the Old Testament as we see in the New Testament. We see from both of these Scriptures how important it is to praise God in the church. It also, is very important to open our mouth and confess Jesus.


Matthew 10:32 "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."


You can see how important it is to confess Jesus here on earth.


Hebrews 2:13 "And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me."


The citation of Isa. 8:17-18 (2 Sam. 22:3), emphasizes the point made (in verses 9-11): that Christ had fully identified Himself with mankind by taking a human nature. He demonstrated the reality of His human nature by His reliance upon God during His earthly sojourn.


John 10:29 "My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand."


John 17:6-8 "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word." "Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee." "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."


"Men" in this Scripture (from John 17), means the face of humans. Manifested means made real. The Father gave them to the Son, because He paid for them with His blood. Jesus said over and over that His message was also the message of the Father.


John 14:10 "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."


Hebrews 2:14 "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;"


"Partakers ... took part": The Greek word for "partook" means fellowship, communion, or partnership. "Share" (or partakers), means to take hold of something that is not related to one's own kind. The Son of God was not by nature "flesh and blood," but took upon Himself that nature for the sake of providing redemption for mankind.


"Death ... power ... death": This is the ultimate purpose of the incarnation: Jesus came to earth to die. By dying, He was able to conquer death in His resurrection (John 14:19). By conquering death, He rendered Satan powerless against all who are saved. Satan's using the power of death is subject to God's will (Job 2:6).


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


To be able to fully understand His followers, Jesus took on flesh that He could be tempted in all points that His followers are.


Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not a 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."


1 Corinthians 15:54 "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."


Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. Jesus endured the cross to bring us life.


1 Corinthians 15:45 "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit." Adam brought death to all mankind, Jesus brought us life everlasting.


Hebrews 2:15 "And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."


"Fear of death": For the believer, "death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:54). Therefore, the fear of death and its spiritual bondage have been brought to an end through the work of Christ.


Romans 8:15 "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."


In our time, there is so much danger of nuclear war that many people live in constant fear. In the (14th chapter of John), we are told not to fear. The only assurance that we have is in our Savior Jesus Christ. It is a natural thing to fear death, if you are not saved, because hell awaits that person. We Christians have hope of the resurrection in Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 2:16 "For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham."


"Nature of": This is speaking about giving help, in this case not to angels but to the descendants of Abraham. The sense of "giving help is from the picture of a taking hold of someone in order to push or pull them to safety, to rescue them. However, there was no thought in Judaism that the Messiah's entrance into the world would be to give help to the angels.


The contrast, using this translation, is weak in comparison with all that has been previously said about Christ's superiority to the angels. The context presents the identification of Christ with mankind in His incarnation, He took upon Himself a human nature (verses 9-14, 17).


When the writer wished to express the concept of giving help, he chose a different Greek word (in verse 18; also 4:16). Therefore, the translation, "take on the nature of," is to be preferred.


"Seed of Abraham": Christ is that promised descendant. Since the readers are Hebrews, they would certainly identify themselves with this description. The Messiah had been born in the line of Abraham in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies (Matt. 1:1).


One of the chief purposes for the incarnation was the salvation of Israel (Matt. 1:21). Yet another purpose was the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant regarding the promised descendant. Of all peoples, the Hebrews should be first to recognize the significance and importance of the incarnation.


Galatians 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Just as we had been studying, Jesus took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us. The purpose of His taking on flesh was that He could overcome the flesh nature for us. He was the only person who ever lived completely without sin.



Verses 17-18: The author provides three reasons for Christ's suffering:


(1) To identify with humanity (verses 10-13);


(2) To destroy the power of death (verses 14-15); and


(3) To become an intercessory High Priest (verses 17-18).


One of the key thoughts of this epistle is the High Priestly work of Christ. As a Man, He can compassionately serve as our High Priest. His primary role as High Priest is to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. The verb (Greek hilaskomai), means "to propitiate," (a covering), for our sins; He satisfactorily and actually takes sin away.


The word succor (Greek boetheo), means "to come to the aid of" someone. How much easier it is to help someone when we ourselves have gone through similar trials! Christ as Man has fully suffered the greatest of trials and so can ably comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-5). These suffering Jews needed to hear that Christ had suffered as they were suffering.


Hebrews 2:17 "Wherefore in all things it behooved 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."


"Reconciliation" or propitiation: The word means "to conciliate" or "satisfy." Christ's work of propitiation is related to His high-priestly ministry. By His partaking of a human nature, Christ demonstrated His mercy to mankind and His faithfulness to God by satisfying God's requirement for sin and thus obtaining for His people full forgiveness (1 John 2:2; 4:10).


2 Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


1 John 2:1 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"


Jesus is at the throne of God praying for us continually. He is our great High Priest.


John 17:9 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."


Jesus understands our problems and has given us permission to use His name to pray to the Father.


John 14:13 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."


Hebrews 2:18 "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted."


"Tempted": The genuineness of Christ's humility is demonstrated by the fact that He was subject to temptation. By experiencing temptation, Jesus became fully capable of understanding and sympathizing with His human brethren (4:15). He felt the full force of temptation.


Though we often yield means to make holy to temptation before we feel its full force, Jesus resisted temptation even when the greatest enticement for yielding had become evident (Luke 4:1-13).


1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]."


Jesus is our way of escape. It is a wonderful comfort to know that temptations that come can be overcome through the name of Jesus. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.


Hebrews Chapter 2 Continued Questions


  1. In Hebrews 2:9, who was Jesus made a little lower than?
  2. Why was Jesus made lower?
  3. "But made himself of no ___________".
  4. Jesus was made in the likeness of whom for His stay on earth?
  5. Jesus was obedient to _____.
  6. Who has exalted Jesus above every name?
  7. What is Jesus called in Hebrews 2:10?
  8. The suffering Jesus Christ suffered was not because He deserved to suffer, but why?
  9. In Romans 8:17, we Christians are called what?
  10. What is the "if", attached to this?
  11. What unpopular statement is made in 1 Thessalonians 3:4?
  12. Why is Jesus not ashamed to call us His brethren?
  13. In the 12th chapter of Matthew, we find out who Jesus' brothers and sisters are, who are they?
  14. What does sanctifieth mean?
  15. We who are sanctified are what?
  16. When Father God looks at a Christian, what does He see?
  17. What makes the Christian righteous?
  18. What Scripture in Psalms is the same as the one in Hebrews 2:12?
  19. Why is it so important to confess Jesus here on the earth?
  20. Who is able to pluck us out of the Father's hand?
  21. Men, in John 10:29, means what?
  22. What does manifested mean?
  23. Where did Jesus tell the people that His message came from?
  24. Why did Jesus take on the form of flesh?
  25. Where, in John, do we read about Jesus taking on the form of flesh?
  26. In Hebrews 4:15, what is Jesus called?
  27. Where did Jesus defeat Satan?
  28. The first Adam was made a living soul, the second Adam was made what?
  29. Why were we under bondage until Jesus came to save us?
  30. What is the name that only believers can use for God?
  31. We Christians have hope of the _____________ in Jesus.
  32. Jesus reconciled ___ to ___.
  33. In 1 John 2:1 Jesus is called what?
  34. Who does Jesus pray for?
  35. Jesus said that whatever we ask in His name, He would do it, why?
  36. What consolation can the Christian have when he or she is tempted?
  37. Resist the devil and he will ____ ____ ___.



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Hebrews 3



Hebrews Chapter 3

Verses 1-6: Jesus is both the Apostle and High Priest of the Christian faith. These titles do not involve His divine essence; they speak in regard to His superior ministry. Moses is very highly regarded by the Jews, so the author of Hebrews now attempts to make his argument for the superiority of Christ without belittling the ministry of Moses.


The author's use of the word "Apostle" (used of Christ only here), expresses the superiority of His commission, He being sent directly from God as a messenger. As High Priest, He is man's direct intercessor with God.


This section presents the superiority of Jesus over the highly-revered Moses. The Lord had spoken with Moses "face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11), and had given the law to him (Neh. 9:13-14). The commandments and rituals of the law were the Jews' supreme priorities, and to them Moses and the law were synonymous.


Both the Old Testament and the New Testament refer to the commands of God as the "law of Moses" (Joshua 8:31; 1 Kings 2:3; Luke 2:22; Acts 13:39). Yet, as great as Moses was, Jesus was infinitely greater.


Hebrews 3:1 "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;"


"Holy brethren": The phrase occurs only here and (in 1 Thess. 5:27), where some manuscripts omit "holy." The writer addresses believers who have a "heavenly calling" (Phil. 3:14). They are elsewhere described as desiring a "heavenly country" (11:16), and as coming to "the heavenly Jerusalem" (12:22).


They are "holy" in the sense that they are set apart unto God and identified with the heavenly realm, citizens of earth.


"Calling": The reference, as always in the New Testament epistles, is to the effective summons to salvation in Christ (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 7:21).


"Consider": The writer asks for the readers' complete attention and diligent observation of the superiority of Jesus Christ.


"Apostle and High Priest": An apostle is a "sent one" who has the rights, power and authority of the one who sends him. Jesus was sent to earth by the Father (John 3:17, 34; 5:36-38; 8:42). The topic of the High Priesthood of Christ, which was begun (in 2:17-18), and is mentioned again here, will be taken up again in greater detail (in 4:14 - 10:18).


Meanwhile, the writer presents the supremacy of Christ to Moses (verses 1-6), to Joshua (4:8), and to all other national heroes and Old Testament preachers whom Jews held in high esteem. Jesus Himself spoke of His superiority to Moses in the same context in which He spoke of His being sent by the Father (John 5:36-38, 45-47; Luke 16:29-31).


Moses had been sent by God to deliver His people from historical Egypt and its bondage (Exodus 3:10). Jesus was sent by God to deliver His people from spiritual Egypt and its bondage (2:15).


"Of our profession": Christ is the center of our confession of faith in the gospel, both in creed and public testimony. The term is used again (in 4:14 and 10:23; 2 Cor. 9:13; 1 Tim. 6:12). In all 3 uses in Hebrews there is a sense of urgency.


Surely, the readers would not give up Christ, whom they had professed and reject what He had done for them, if they could understand the superiority of His person and work.


This is directed to the believers in Jesus Christ. In fact, this is directed to those who have made Jesus their Lord, as well as their Savior. Jesus is the great High Priest of all believers. He intercedes for us continually before the Father. Let us consider these followers of Jesus in the following verses.


2 Peter 1:3-9 "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;" "And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;" "And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."


We can easily see that there is a lot to being the called of God. God expects our life to be so different from the life the people of the world live, that we will be called peculiar people.


Hebrews 3:2 "Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house."


"House": The term refers to a family of people rather than a building or dwelling (verse 6; 1 Tim. 3:15). Those who were stewards of a household must above all be faithful (1 Cor. 4:2). Both Moses (Num. 12:7), and Christ (2:17), faithfully fulfilled their individual, divine appointments to care for the people of God.


Numbers 12:7 "My servant Moses [is] not so, who [is] faithful in all mine house."


We see an almost identical Scripture in Numbers here. We know if we were looking at types and shadows, we would be able to say that Moses was a type of Christ. Moses led his people out of bondage, Jesus led his people out of bondage. Mighty signs and wonders followed Moses, even mightier signs and wonders followed Jesus.


We do not want to belabor this point, but, the Father sent them both on a mission. The difference in the two (possibly the smallest difference), is that Jesus was the real Deliverer and Moses was His shadow. The last statement on this that I will make now is that Moses was leading his people to their promised land, Jesus is leading us to our eternal Promised Land.


Verses 3-6: More glory than Moses: Christ's superiority and greater glory are not based on His faithfulness (both were faithful, verse 2), but on His superior position. Christ is the One who hath "builded" the house, whereas Moses is part of the house, being a servant in it (verses 3, 5). Christ is identified as a son over his own house.


The translation, "his own,' is somewhat stronger than the Greek (autou). It is His house, but His house is the same as God's. Only one house is involved in these verses. It is not Moses' house, and it is not ours. It is God's.


Moses was a part of this one house. It is what Paul calls the household of God (Eph. 2:19; 1 Peter 4:17), or the household of faith (Gal. l6:10). It includes all believers of all time.



Verses 3-4: Moses was only a part of God's household of faith, whereas Jesus was the creator of that household (2 Sam. 7:13; Zech. 6:12-13; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-5), and therefore is greater than Moses and equal to God.


Hebrews 3:3 "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."


As we said above, Jesus is the real thing, Moses is His shadow. Jesus Christ was the Creator of all the world and everything in it. Moses, as great as he was, was still Jesus' creation.


Zechariah 6:12-13 "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name [is] The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:" "Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."


From the foundation of the world, Jesus was the Builder.


Hebrews 3:4 "For every house is builded by some [man]; but he that built all things [is] God."


Ontological Argument for the Existence of God: The word ontological comes from the root "being" and is a deductive argument that only indicates the probable existence of God. (See Rom. 1:20 and Psalm 94 for stronger arguments). It reasons that the idea of a perfect and infinite Being who exists must have placed the idea in mankind.


John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."


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


These Scriptures in John, which we have used over and over in this series of lessons, leave no doubt at all who built everything. Jesus Christ was the Word of God in heaven, as we read (in verse 14) above. We also read above, that the Word made everything. In the first chapter of Genesis, we read that even the heavens were created by God.


Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."


Now go back and look at (Hebrews chapter 3:4), and you will see the full impact of what it is saying. I will show just one more Scripture and then go on.


Hebrews 1:2 "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"



"Verses 5-6" "Servant ... Son": The term for "servant" implies a position of dignity and freedom, not slavery (Exodus 14:31; Jos. 1:2). However, even as the highest-ranking servant, Moses could never hold the position of Son, which is Christ's alone (John 8:35).


Hebrews 3:5-6 "And Moses verily [was] faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;" "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."


"Spoken after": Moses was faithful primarily as a testimony to that which was to come in Christ (11:24-27).


"If we hold fast": This is not speaking of how to be saved or remain saved (1 Cor. 15:2); it means rather that perseverance in faithfulness is proof of real faith.


The person who returns to the rituals of the Levitical system to contribute to his own salvation proves he was never truly part of God's household, whereas the one who abides in Christ gives evidence of his genuine membership in that household (Matt. 10:22; Luke 8:15; John 8:31; 15:4-6). The promise of God will fulfill this holding fast (1 Thess. 5:24; Jude 24-25).


"Hope": This hope rests in Christ Himself, whose redemptive work has accomplished our salvation (Rom. 5:1-2).


1 Corinthians 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"


2 Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."


We see above, that the salvation that Moses brought was for the body here on this earth. This salvation for the people was a shadow of the great salvation to come. Just as the first Adam was a man of the flesh and the second Adam (Jesus Christ), was Spirit; we see these 2 salvations were flesh and spirit. Let's look at one more Scripture that should really clear this up for us.


Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


This leaves no doubt that we Christians are Christ's abode here on the earth. Realizing this, how could we continue in sin?



Verses 7-11: The writer cites (Psalm 95:7-11), as the words of its ultimate author, the Holy Spirit (4:7; 9:8; 10:15). This passage describes the Israelites' wilderness wanderings after their delivery from Egypt. Despite God's miraculous works and His gracious, providential faithfulness to them, the people still failed to commit themselves to Him in faith (Exodus 17; Num. 14:22-23; Psalm 78:40-53).


The writer of Hebrews presents a 3-point exposition of the Old Testament passage:


(1) Beware of unbelief (verses 12-19);


(2) Be afraid of falling short (4:1-10); and


(3) Be diligent to enter (4:11-13).


The themes of the exposition include urgency, obedience (including faith), perseverance, and rest.


The second of the five great warnings of Hebrews begin here (see 2:1). The first concerned neglect; this one warns against doubt. Do not doubt God's promise. As is common with the other warning passages, exhortations and illustrations are incorporated with the warning.


Israel's disbelief and hardness of heart, under the godly leadership of Moses and then Joshua, serve as examples.


Hebrews 3:7 "Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice,"


"Today": The reference is to the present moment while the words of God are fresh in the mind. There is a sense of urgency to immediately give heed to the voice of God. This urgency is emphasized by repeating the reference to "today" from (Psalm 95:7). Three more times (verses 13, 15, 4:7), and is the theme of the writer's exposition (2 Cor. 6:2).


Hebrews 3:8 "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:"


The terms "provocation" and "temptation" are taken from the Septuagint (Greek), reading of (Psalm 95), which are etymological translations of the Hebrew words, Meribah and Massah, respectively. These Hebrew terms are likewise descriptive translations, rather than the rendering of proper names.


Both terms originate with Moses' smiting of the rock for water while in Rephidim (Exo. 17:1-7). Following that experience (verse 7), states concerning Moses, "And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?"


At that time, Israel had been out of Egypt only one month and had repeatedly witnessed God's miraculous deliverance and provision. This incident became symbolic of Israel's temptation (Massah), of God (Deut. 6:16). David (in Psalm 95), uses it to speak of Israel's continuous rebellion throughout the 40 years in the wilderness.


Hebrews 3:9 "When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years."


The Holy Ghost is saying, Learn from their mistakes. Whatever you do, do not harden your heart to God. God was grieved with that generation, because in spite of all the miracles He did, they still did not have faith in Him. Faith in God pleases Him more than anything else. We read at one point where God was so disappointed in man that He wished He had not made them.


Genesis 6:6 "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."


Our generation is doing the very same thing. Few people really are searching for God. Sin is rampant in our society. Movies are one of the downfalls of our people. Rock music has ruined our young people. Adultery is even laughed at now. The moral structure of our society is crumbling.


Drugs and alcohol are what our society is doing to hide from the reality that we are out of fellowship with God. If we do not change our ways, I believe God will turn His back on us. We are in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ. I will give a few Scriptures that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are in the last days.


2 Timothy 3:1-5 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy," "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good," "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;" "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."


This leaves no doubt of not only what time we are living in, but also what we must do. We must separate ourselves from this type of life. One more Scripture and we will have this complete.


2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."


God is a God of individuals. You do not have to follow the crowd. Repent and live for God. Live your faith in Jesus Christ every day. Be a separated people for Christ.


Hebrews 3:10 "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways."


"The generation of the wilderness", as the Jews often call them. And which they say was more beloved than any generation. And yet they will not allow them a part in the world to come (see Heb. 3:11). When God is said to be grieved with them, as speaking after the manner of men (see Gen. 6:5). The word signifies, that he was wearied by them, and weary of them. That he loathed them, and was displeased with them. It shows the notice God took of their sin. The heinousness of it, his dissatisfaction of it, and determination to punish it. The cause of his grief and indignation were their unbelief, ingratitude, and idolatry.


"And said, they do always err in their heart": All sins are errors, or aberrations from the law of God": All men err in this sense. These people erred in their hearts, for there is error in the understanding, and will, and affections, as well as in life and actions. And they may be said to err in their hearts, because their sins not only sprung from the heart, but they were done heartily, or with their hearts, and that continually. Which shows the senselessness of this people: their stubbornness and rebellion. Their lack of integrity, and their constancy in sinning. Heart sins, as well as others, are taken notice of by God.


"And they have not known my ways": They did not take notice of God's ways of providence towards them; nor did they approve of, and delight in his ways of worship and duty, or in his commands.


Hebrews Chapter 3 Questions


  1. Who is the Apostle spoken of in verse 1?
  2. Who are the holy brethren addressed in verse 1?
  3. What 2 things has Jesus called us to in 1 Peter 3:2?
  4. Of whose nature can the Christians partake?
  5. The corruption is in the world through what?
  6. Name some of the virtues the Christian should have.
  7. Who, from the Old Testament, was faithful in all his house, except Abraham?
  8. Who, like Christ, delivered his people out of bondage?
  9. Who is a type of shadow of Christ in this lesson?
  10. Name at least 3 things in Moses' ministry that reminds us of Jesus' ministry.
  11. In Hebrews 3:3, who is the Man spoken of?
  12. Jesus is the ____ thing, Moses is His ______.
  13. In Zechariah 6:12, what name is Jesus called?
  14. Every house is builded by some man, but He that built all things is ___.
  15. What name was Jesus called in John 1:1?
  16. Who made all things?
  17. What was Jesus' name in heaven?
  18. What is the temple of the Holy Ghost?
  19. What was the difference in the salvation that Moses brought and the salvation that Jesus provided?
  20. What Scripture, in Galatians, tells us that Christ lives in us, if we are a Christian?
  21. What does God tell us not to do in Hebrews 3:8?
  22. How many years did God show His greatness to the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land?
  23. In Genesis 6:6, what did God repent of?
  24. What do you personally think is the downfall of our present society?
  25. What would you personally suggest that we should do to change all of this?



Hebrews Chapter 3 Continued

Hebrews 3:11 "So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest."


"My rest": The earthly rest which God promised to give was life in the land of Canaan which Israel would receive as their inheritance (Deut. 12:9-10; Joshua 2:44; 1 Kings 8:56). Because of rebellion against God, an entire generation of the children of Israel was prohibited from entering that rest in the Promised Land (Deut. 28:65; Lam. 1:3).


The application of this picture is to an individual's spiritual rest in the Lord, which has precedent in the Old Testament (Psalm 116:7; Isa. 28:12). At salvation, every believer enters the true rest, the realm of spiritual promise, never again, laboring to achieve through personal effort a righteousness that pleases God.


The Lord wanted both kinds of rest for that generation who was delivered from Egypt.


Not only for the people then, but for the Christians now, there is a Sabbath of rest. Many call this Sabbath of rest for the Christian, the millennium reign of Christ. Notice in this next verse, there is a Sabbath for believers.


Hebrews 4:3 "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."


Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."


I believe this 1000-year rest for the Christian will occur at the end of 6000 years of labor on the earth. In fact, I believe we are very near that time now. It has been just about 6000 years since Adam and Eve. God set everything up on this earth for 6 days of work and one day of rest.


It really does not matter whether that day is 24 hours long or 1000 years long. God does not measure time the same way we do. With Him 1000 years can be a day.


2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."



Verses 12-13: The second warning (see verse 7), begins here and is addressed to "brethren," professing believers, lest any have unbelief in his heart and thus depart from God. This "departing" (Greek apostenai), is the source of our word apostasy, which is a deliberate departure from God's full revelation.


These Hebrew brethren were being tempted by an "evil heart of unbelief" to return to Judaism. To do so meant they would have to reject the fuller revelation they had received in Christianity and return to the incomplete revelation of Judaism. Thus, they are admonished to "Exhort one another daily", with the truths that will strengthen their faith in Christ, such as the truths contained in this epistle.


Hebrews 3:12 "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."


"Brethren": This admonition is addressed to those having the same potential characteristics as the generation which perished in the wilderness without ever seeing the Land of Promise. They were unbelieving Jewish brethren who were in the company of the "holy brethren" (verse 1). They were admonished to believe and be saved before it was too late.


An evil heart of unbelief": All men are born with such a heart (Jer. 17:9). In the case of these Hebrews, that evil manifested itself in disbelief of the gospel which moved them in the opposite way from God.


Mark 7:21-23 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders." "Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:" "All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."


We are born in sin, and all our life long, the lust of the flesh tries to draw us away from God. When we become a Christian, we become a new creature in Christ. The desire of our heart should be to please God. We may sin sometime or other and quickly repent, but it must not be the desire of our heart to sin. We must not have a sinful way of life.


Hebrews 3:13 "But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."


"Exhort one another daily": Both individual accountability and corporate responsibility are intended in this admonition. As long as the distressing days were upon them and they were tempted to return to the ineffective Levitical system, they were to encourage one another to identify completely with Jesus Christ.


"Hardened": Repeated rejection of the gospel concerning Jesus results in a progressive hardening of the heart and will ultimately result in outright antagonism to the gospel (6:4-6; 10:26-29; Acts 19:9).


"Deceitfulness of sin": Sin lies and deceives, using every trickery and stratagem possible (Rom. 7:11; 2 Thess. 2:10; James 1:14-16). The Hebrews deceived themselves with the reasoning that their rejection of Jesus Christ was being faithful to the older system.


Their willingness to hang on to the Levitical system was really a rejection of the living Word (4:12), of the "living God" (verse 12), who through Christ had opened up a "new and living way" (10:20). Choosing the path of unbelief always leads only to death (verse 17; 10:26-29; 2:14-15; Jude 5).


2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."


John 9:4 "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."


We are warned over and over in the Bible to make use of today, because we have no idea whether there will even be a tomorrow or not. Do not put off salvation, this might be your last opportunity. When Jesus returns, we are to be working trying to get one more into the kingdom.


Hebrews 3:14 "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;"


The exhortation is similar to (verse 6), as it repeats the theme of perseverance.


One's conversion to Christ, which occurred in days' past ("we are made partakers of Christ"), is proved to have been genuine by perseverance in the days to come ("if we hold ... our confidence stedfast unto the end"). This means that continuance in the faith is to test of the reality of one's faith in Christ.


Jesus' salvation is offered to everyone, but only those who take it, have it. Notice from this verse above, that we are not only to receive it, but to hold fast to it. This is what I call walking in the salvation the Lord has given us. It really is a daily struggle. Even Paul, said that at times his flesh got in the way.


Romans 7:19-20 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."


This does not mean that Paul was a sinful man; it just means that once in a while his flesh (for a moment), would overcome his spirit. Paul lived as good as anyone could. He said, at the end that he had run the good race and had a crown of glory awaiting him. Paul had no desire in his heart to sin.


If we are a Christian, that should be the way we live, too. We should, all the time, desire to live a pleasing life to God.


Galatians 3:27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."


Christ is in us and we are in Him, if we are Christians. We are grafted in to the Tree of Life which is Jesus Christ our Lord.



Verses 15-19: The quotation from (Psalm 95:7-8), is repeated (verse 7). The first quotation was followed with exposition emphasizing "today" and the urgency that word conveys. This second quotation is followed with exposition emphasizing rebellion (verses 15-16), and presenting the theme of obedience by means of is antithesis, disobedience.


Four different terms are employed to drive the point of rebellion home: "provoked" (verse 16), "sinned (verse 17), "disobedient (verse 18), and "unbelief" (verse 19). This initial third of the writer's exposition of (Psalm 95:7-11), is summed up by the obvious conclusion that the Israelites who died in the wilderness were victims of their own unbelief (verse 19).


Hebrews 3:15 "While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."


Galatians 3:11 "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith."


Provocation in this particular passage means irritation. Do not get irritated with God. Many times, when someone very close to you dies, you first get irritated at the one who died, and then wind up getting irritated with God about the death. For the natural man, this is a normal thing to do.


This is not a good thing for a Christian to do. God loves us and has our best interest at heart. He did not take your loved one to get even with you. Don't turn against God when you need Him the most. He is our Comfort. If there is ever a time to be irritated with anyone, we should be irritated with our own short comings.


Hebrews 3:16-17 "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?"


We should learn a lesson from these Israelites. Every time a little hardship arose they blamed God. They angered God many times during the forty years they travelled through the wilderness.


The trip could have easily been made in less than 6 months, but they sinned over and over and God caused them to wander until all of those who had doubted that they could take the land had died off.


God forgave them over and over, just like He does us, but there was a day of reckoning and there will be one for us too. Someday, God will say that is enough. God is a forgiving God, but He is also a God of Judgment.


1 Corinthians 10:1-11 "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;" "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;" "And did all eat the same spiritual meat;" "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness." "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." "Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand." "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer." "Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."


We see a strong warning in this that we are forewarned. These examples of how they failed should help us not make these same mistakes. Look now at the hope in Jesus.


1 Corinthians 10:12-13 " Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]."


God will help us, if we will let Him. Stay in the will of the Lord and you cannot fail.


Hebrews 3:18 "And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?"


The ticket into heaven, is faith in Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."


Hebrews 3:19 "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."


Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."


This is just about as clear as it could be made, those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ will wind up in hell. To be saved, we must believe in our heart and confess with our mouth. One more time I will give my favorite Scripture on this.


Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."


Live for God. Live your faith in Jesus Christ every day. Be a separated people for Christ.


Hebrews Chapter 3 Continued Questions


  1. What did God swear in His wrath about these unbelievers?
  2. What do many people call the Sabbath of rest for the Christians?
  3. Blessed and holy is he that takes part in what?
  4. How many years has it been since the time of Adam and Eve?
  5. One day with God can be as a ________ years.
  6. In Hebrews 3:12, what is the one word that makes the heart evil?
  7. Where do evil thoughts originate?
  8. What defiles the man?
  9. When we are born again, what happens to us?
  10. What is God going to judge?
  11. How often are we to exhort one another?
  12. How does our heart get hardened?
  13. In 2 Timothy 3:13 we are instructed to do what?
  14. The night cometh when no man can _____.
  15. What are we to be doing when the Lord comes back?
  16. Jesus' salvation is offered to whom?
  17. What must we do to have it?
  18. As many of you as have been baptized, have done what?
  19. What are we warned not to do in Hebrews chapter 3 verse 15?
  20. The just shall live by ______.
  21. If we are to be irritated with someone, who should it be?
  22. Who was God grieved with forty years?
  23. God is a forgiving God, but He is also a God of __________.
  24. How were the Israelites baptized on the way to the Promised Land?
  25. Who was the spiritual Rock?
  26. How many who had committed fornication died in one day?
  27. Why did these things happen to these Israelites?
  28. When temptation of great magnitude comes, what will God do for us?
  29. Who will not enter His rest?
  30. What is the ticket into heaven?
  31. So, we see that they could not enter in, because of ________.
  32. He that believeth not shall be ______.



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Hebrews 4



Hebrews Chapter 4

Verses 1-10: The second section of the writer's exposition of (Psalm 95:7-11), goes beyond the description of unbelief and its dire consequences (3:12-19), to define the nature of the "rest" which the disobedient had forfeited. The first section had dealt primarily with (Psalm 95:7-8); the second section deals primarily with (Psalm 95:11).


Hebrews 4:1 "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."


"Promise": This is the first use of this important word in Hebrews. The content of this promise is defined as "entering His rest."


"His rest": This is the rest which God gives, therefore it is called "My rest" (Psalm 95:11), and "His rest." For believers, God's rest includes His peace, confidence of salvation, reliance on His strength, and assurance of a future heavenly home (Matt. 11:29).


"Come short": The entire phrase could be translated "lest you think you have come too late to enter into the rest of God" (12:15). With reverential fear, all are to examine their own spiritual condition (1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Cor. 13:5), and to actively press for commitment on the part of others (Jude 23).


We will see in many Scriptures throughout the Bible that it is possible for a person to have walked with God, and then turned their back on God and missed heaven. The best example is of course, Judas Iscariot. One of the best explained Scriptures of a person missing the Promised Land because of backsliding is:


Numbers 14:34 "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."


Numbers 32:13 "And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed."


The Promised Land of God is not for the sinful man, whether it be the Holy land promised to the descendants of Abraham in the flesh, or whether it be his descendants in the spirit, (Christians).


The thing that concerns me in our society today is that too many people believe that just the fact that they were baptized will get them to heaven.


They are really not living in the will of God. They act as if they have purchased their (fire insurance), and they will go ahead and live just like all the other people in the world. They believe that they are safe, because they have made that one-time confession of faith. Salvation is a day to day walk. We will either grow stronger in the Lord each day, or we will return to sin.


This next few Scriptures in Jesus' own words tell it all.


Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."


Matthew 25:1-12 "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom." "And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish." "They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:" "But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept." "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." "Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps." "And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out." "But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves." "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." "Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us." "But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."


This leaves absolutely no doubt that our walk with God is every day until He returns.


Hebrews 4:2 "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]."


"Faith": Mere knowledge of God's message is not sufficient. It must be appropriated by saving faith. Later in the epistle a much longer exposition will take up this topic of faith (10:19-12:29).


The writer's point of comparison is that, like the Jews who left Egypt (3:16-19), his generation had also received God's message through the preaching of the gospel, they had been evangelized.


I truly believe, that all who are the true ministers of God desire, more than they desire life itself, to see everyone saved.


1 Corinthians 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."


There are two things that happen when we preach. Some, who hear the Word of God, receive it unto salvation: others do not receive it and are damned. We see in the next few verses that God sent the message first to His chosen family. When they refused it, then God sent it to the unbelieving world that all who would receive His message might live.


2 Thessalonians 2:12-13 "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:"


Hebrews 4:3 "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."


"We ... enter": Those who exercise faith in the message of God will enter into their spiritual rest. This is the corollary of (Psalm 95:11) which states the opposite side: that the unbeliever will not enter into the rest which God provides.


"Finished from the foundation of the world": The spiritual rest which God gives is not something incomplete or unfinished. It is a rest which is based upon a finished work which god purposed in eternity past, just like the rest which God took after He finished creation (verse 4).


"If they shall enter into my rest": should be rendered exactly as it was (in 3:11): "They shall not enter into my rest."


Revelation 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."


We see in this next Scripture that God Himself established 6 days of work and one day of rest. It really does not matter whether this day is 24 hours or one thousand years.


Exodus 20:11 "For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."


One of the greatest promises that Jesus made was the rest for the believer. We find this in His own words (in Matthew 11:28-29).


"Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."



Verses 4-5: By way of explanation for the statement in verse 3, the writer cites the illustration of the seventh day of creation and quotes (Gen. 2:2). Then he repeats the last part of (Psalm 95:11).


Hebrews 4:4-5 "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."


We cannot say enough about this rest of the Lord. Work for the night cometh, when no work can be done.


John 9:4 "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."



Verses 6-9: "Today": Long after Israel's failure, David (in Psalm 95), was still looking for a rest in his own day. Likewise, the author of Hebrews uses that word repeatedly in this passage to declare that a rest can still be experienced. The reference to "Jesus" (in verse 8), is to Joshua of the Old Testament. The names Joshua and Jesus are identical in Hebrew and Greek.


The context certainly involves Joshua the son of Nun. Joshua brought the second generation into Canaan, and they did enter into a rest as the Scriptures record (Deut. 12:9-10; Josh. 21:44; 22:4; 23:1). Yet the author suggests that there must be a permanent, better rest for the people of God, or David would not have still been looking forward to it in his day.


Verses 6-7: The opportunity to enter God's rest remains open "a promise remains" (in verse 1). It is not yet too late. God had offered the rest to His people in Moses' time and continued to offer it in David's time. He is still patiently inviting His people to enter His rest (Rom. 10:21).


Quoting (Psalm 95:7-8), once again (see 3:7, 15), the author urges an immediate, positive response. The themes of urgency and obedience are thus combined in a clear invitation to the readers.


Hebrews 4:6 "Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:"


Abraham believed, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. There is only one way to heaven and this rest with our Lord Jesus Christ. We must believe, not only with our mind but in our heart, the Lord Jesus.


Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."


One of the best Scriptures, in all the Bible on this is:


Romans 10:10. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


Matthew 21:43 "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."


Jesus came to His own in power and great glory and they did not receive Him.


John 1:11 "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."


We know that Jesus did everything He could to show them who He was and they just did not believe. Their lack of belief opened the door for the Gentiles to receive salvation.


Romans 11:11 "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."


Hebrews Chapter 4 Questions


  1. What lesson are we to learn from Hebrews chapter 4 verse 1?
  2. Who is the best example of someone walking with God and then turning against Him?
  3. Where in the Scriptures, do we find a people losing their chance to enter the Promised Land for backsliding?
  4. The Promised Land of God is not for whom?
  5. Why did God make the doubters wander 40 years?
  6. What is the thing that concerns the author in our society today?
  7. What does Matthew 7:22 tell us about those who profess Christianity, who do not really live it?
  8. Who are all 10 virgins in Matthew chapter 25 symbolic of?
  9. Why were 5 of them not acceptable to Jesus?
  10. Who are the "them", in Hebrews 4:3?
  11. Why did the message given not become profitable to them?
  12. The world by wisdom knew _____ _____.
  13. What are the two things that happen when we preach?
  14. God hath chosen you from the beginning to salvation through what?
  15. For how long have the works of salvation been done?
  16. What does Revelation 20:4 say the Christians will be doing, during the thousand year rest?
  17. Who established the 6 days of work and one day of rest?
  18. What is one of the most wonderful promises Jesus made the believer, found in Matthew chapter 11?
  19. What caused the people of the earth to have to work the land for a living for the last approx. 6000 years?
  20. Where do we find the Scripture that a day can be as a thousand years with God?
  21. When is the return of the Son of man?
  22. Abraham's _______ made him righteous in the sight of God.
  23. He that cometh to God must ________ _____ ___ ___.
  24. Without what, it is impossible to please God?
  25. With the _____ man believeth unto righteousness: and with the ______ confession is made unto salvation.
  26. What did the Jew do, that opened the door to the Gentile for salvation?



Hebrews Chapter 4 Continued

Hebrews 4:7 "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."


Those who hear the Word of God have an obligation to receive the Word. God will not always strive with man. God offered salvation to the Jew first, but when they refused to accept it, He turned from them and sent the message to the Gentiles, who readily accepted it.


God deals with each of us on an individual basis. There is a time when God will say, That is enough, and will not call us any longer. We must accept salvation, the day it is offered.


2 Corinthians 6:2 "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation".


How can we neglect so great salvation, knowing that today might be the last time it is offered to us?



Verses 8-10: Gods true rest did not come through Joshua or Moses, but through Jesus Christ; who is greater than either one. Joshua led the nation of Israel into the land of their promised rest. However, that was merely the earthly rest which was only the shadow of what was involved in the heavenly rest.


The very fact that (according to Psalm 95), God was still offering His rest in the time of David (long after Israel had been in the Land), meant that the rest being offered was spiritual, superior to that which Joshua obtained. Israel's earthly rest was filled with the attacks of enemies and the daily cycle of work.


The heavenly rest is characterized by the fullness of heavenly promise (Eph. 1:3), and the absence of any labor to obtain it.


Hebrews 4:8 "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day."


This is just explaining that this day of rest offered to the believers is not for their time here in the flesh, but is a promise of things to happen in the future at the second coming of Christ. This time of rest is not for the world to experience, but for those who endure to the end, and remain faithful.


Acts 14:22 "Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."



Verses 9-11: "Rest": involves more than mere inactivity. It follows the satisfactory completion of a task. Salvation-rest is the gift to the believer, resulting from Christ's finished work (Romans 5:1-2).


Hebrews 4:9 "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."


"Rest": A different Greek word for "rest" meaning "Sabbath rest" is introduced here, and this is its only appearance in the New Testament. The writer chose the word to draw the readers' attention back to the "seventh day" (mentioned in verse 4), and to set up the explanation in verse 10 ("rested from his works, as God did for His").


This means that the people of God will have a time when they cease from labor. In fact all of the troubles of this sinful world will be no more for those who have chosen Jesus Christ as their Savior.


Revelation 7:14-17 "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."


Hebrews 4:10 "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his."


Revelation 14:13 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."


We know that after we are dead we can do no work for the Lord. We must do our work while we are alive, because after we are dead, it is too late. Work is for this earth, and the rewards come in heaven, as we see in Jesus' own words in the next Scripture.


Revelation 22:12 "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."


The earth, and heaven, and all therein contained were created in 6 days and God rested; Jesus worked 6 hours on the cross, and now is resting, sitting at the right hand of the Father. We, also, will rest with Him at the right hand of the throne, if we continue in the faith of Jesus Christ.


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."



Verses 11-13: The concluding third part of the exposition of (Psalm 95:7-11), emphasizes the accountability which comes to those who have heard the Word of God. Scripture records the examples of those in the wilderness with Moses, those who entered Canaan with Joshua, and those who received the same opportunity in David's day. It is the Word which must be believed and obeyed and the Word which will judge the disobedient (1 Cor. 10:5-13).


Hebrews 4:11 "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."


2 Peter 1:10 "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."


The sad thing sometimes, is that some who start out with Jesus do not remain steadfast. When troubles come, they falter. Trials of this world have a way of separating those who truly belong to God, from those who are just pretenders.



Verses 12-13: "For the word of God:" The reason given for one's careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is "Quick" (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis.


God's Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it is "powerful" (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man's mind to discern even his "thoughts and intents." Likewise, God's eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense.


Hebrews 4:12 "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."


"Twoedged sword": While the Word of God is comforting and nourishing to those who believe, it is a tool of judgment and execution for those who have not committed themselves to Jesus Christ.


Some of the Hebrews were merely going through the motions of belonging to Christ. Intellectually, they were at least partly persuaded, but inside they were not committed to Him. God's Word would expose their shallow beliefs and even their false intentions (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Pet. 4-5).


"Dividing asunder of soul and spirit": These terms do not describe two separate entities (any more than "thoughts and intentions" do), but are used as one might say "heart and soul" to express fullness (Luke 10:27; Acts 4:32; 1 Thess. 5:23). Elsewhere these two terms are used interchangeably to describe man's immaterial self, his eternal inner person.


Throughout the Bible, we are taught that the weapon of the Christian is their Bible; the Twoedged Sword. Christians are in a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. You might even say that this war is between the world and God's people. Christians make up God's army. The object of this war is the salvation of the people. We are in the last hours of battle.


True Christians must put on their uniform and come forward to the front lines. Our uniform is the same one mentioned (in the 6th chapter of Ephesians), except we have patches on our knees from praying.


Ephesians 6:13-18 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"


We must keep our powder dry. We must not water down the Word of God as many of the new Bibles do. Some are watered down to the extent that Jesus is no longer God. The battle is in the last hours and all good soldiers of the Lord are needed in His army now. This army must be willing to fight to the death, if necessary. There is no time left for fun and games, we are at war.


The heart of man is really what he is. If you have a wicked heart, then you are a wicked man, if you have a good heart you are a good man.


Luke 6:45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."


Sometimes to be a Christian, a person has to give up family and friends. Christianity divides families sometimes. The two great powers in the world are the spoken and the written Word. The power of God is in His Word.


Hebrews 4:13 "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."


"Opened unto the eyes of him": "Open": is a specialized term used just this one time in the New Testament. It originally meant to expose the neck either in preparation for sacrifice or for beheading. Perhaps the use of "sword" in the previous verse triggered the term.


Everyone, is judged not only by the Word of God (John 12:48), but by God Himself. We are accountable to the living, written Word (John 6:63, 68; Acts7:38), and to the living God who is its author.


God knows not only what you have done, but He knows your thoughts and He knows the desires of your heart. His eyes look into the very soul of man.


1 Peter 3:12 "For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil."



Verses 14-15: At this point the author begins his discussion of Christ as "high priest". His priestly ministry is far superior to any other priests, because of the intercession He provides.
The earthly high priest, with fear, once a year gained access to the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies; Christ not only has access to but is seated in the very presence of God the father.


Yet, prior to this position, He partook of man's nature and temptations so that He might sympathize (2:14-18), "yet without sin". To imagine that since Jesus could not sin He could not suffer, misses the point of the passage. Temptation can be a reality apart from sin.


"God cannot be "tempted with evil" (James 1:13), yet God is tried or tempted (Greek peirazo), by men (3:9; Acts 15:10). Yet, beyond the statements of this passage, He who was God, though made like man, could not sin (being impeccable); and indeed, He need not sin to be human.


Before Adam sinned, he was completely human. The glorified saint will never again be able to sin, yet he remains human. Temptation is greatest in duration and intensity when one does not accept the "easy" way out by sinning. If man's temptation is greater when he endures it, surely Christ's was great since He had no alternative in His humanity, but to endure it.


Hebrews 4:14 "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession."


"Passed into the heavens": Just as the High-Priest under the Old Covenant passed through 3 areas (the outer court, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies), to make the atoning sacrifice, Jesus passed through 3 heavens, the atmospheric heaven, the stellar heaven and God's abode; (2 Cor. 12:2-4), after making the perfect, final sacrifice.


Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the High-Priest of Israel would enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people (Lev. 16). That tabernacle was only a limited copy of the heavenly reality (8:1-5).


When Jesus entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies, having accomplished redemption, the earthly facsimile was replaced by the reality of heaven itself. Freed from that which is earthly, the Christian faith is characterized by the heavenly (3:1; Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:5; 1 Peter 1:4).


Hebrews 8:1 "Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;"


Hebrews 9:12 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]."


Romans 8:34 "Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."


These Scriptures above tell us that Jesus Christ is the High Priest for all believers. He is our way into the holy of holies. He is constantly pleading our case to the Father. Jesus' sacrifice of His body on the cross was our payment for all time. He is our High Priest forever.


Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not a 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."


"Tempted like as we are": The writer here adds to his statements (in 2:18), that Jesus was sinless. He was able to be tempted (Matt. 4:1-11), but not able to sin.


Impeccability of Christ: Two words, temptability and impeccability, describe Christ in His temptation. The basic idea of temptability is "to be appealed to." Christ was in this sense tempted, but He was not tempted with evil nor was He tempted by evil desires (James 1:13).


As God, He could not be tempted with evil. The word impeccability means Christ as God could not have sinned. The comparative attributes of God made it impossible for him to sin when He was tempted.


As you read about Christ's temptation, notice that He did not rely on His attributes, but on the Word of God to resist the temptation of Satan. In this same way, the Christian today can overcome temptation (Psalm 119:9-11).


Jesus Christ the Righteous "our Lord", took on flesh so that He might relate to us in our flesh. Jesus fasted 40 days and was tempted by the devil. Jesus Christ was the only one who ever lived above sin.


Philippians 2:7-8 "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."


Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."


"Come boldly unto the throne of grace": Most ancient rulers were unapproachable by anyone but their highest advisers (Esther 4:11). In contrast, the Holy Spirit calls for all to come confidently before God's throne to receive mercy and grace through Jesus Christ (7:25; 10:22; Matt. 27:51).


The Ark of the Covenant was viewed as the place on earth where God sat enthroned between the cherubim (2 Kings 19:15; Jer. 3:16-17). Oriental thrones included a footstool, yet another metaphor for the ark (Psalm 132:7). It was at the throne of God that Christ made atonement for sins, and it is there that grace is dispensed to believers for all the issues of life (2 Cor. 4:15; 9:8; 12:9; Eph. 1:7; 2:7).


"Grace to you" became a standard greeting among believers who celebrated this provision (Rom. 1:7; 16:20, 24; 1 Cor. 1:3; 16:23; 2 Cor. 1:2; 13:14; Gal. 1:3; 6:18; Eph. 1:2; 6:24; Phil. 1:2; 4:18; Col. 1:2; 4:18; 1 Thess. 1:1; 5:28; 2 Thess. 1:2; 3:18; 1 Tim. 1:2; 6:21; 2 Tim. 1:2; 4:22; Titus 1:4; 3:15; Philemon. 3, 25).


Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest. The figure of a "throne" suggests place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God's grace when it is especially needed.


Jesus Christ tore down the curtain separating God from mankind when He died on the cross.


Matthew 27:51 "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"


The way to the Father is provided through the name of Jesus. Jesus gave us the right to use His name. We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. When we pray in the name of Jesus, God answers our prayers.


John 14:13-14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]."


Hebrews Chapter 4 Continued Questions


  1. What is the warning given in Hebrews 4:7?
  2. What is the obligation of those hearing the Word of God?
  3. When is the acceptable time of salvation?
  4. When is this day of rest for the believers?
  5. We must through much _____________ enter the kingdom of God.
  6. These who have come out of great tribulation have done what to make them righteous?
  7. Who is the Lamb?
  8. Describe the problems that we had on earth, that we will have no more in heaven.
  9. Work is for the earth, and what is in heaven?
  10. God is going to give us according to what?
  11. How long did Jesus work on the cross?
  12. Who will sit with Jesus on His throne?
  13. What is a sad thing about some Christians?
  14. What is the Word of God called in Hebrews 4:12?
  15. The battle that Christians are in is between whom?
  16. What is the object of this war?
  17. What is the difference in our uniform, and the one in Ephesians chapter 6?
  18. Describe the uniform in chapter 6 of Ephesians.
  19. What is meant by keeping our powder dry?
  20. Why is there no time for fun and games?
  21. Out of the abundance of the heart the _____ _________.
  22. The power of God is in His _____.
  23. The eyes of the Lord are over the __________.
  24. Who is Jesus called in Hebrews 4:14?
  25. With what did Jesus acquire eternal redemption for us?
  26. Why is Jesus able to relate to our feelings?
  27. Jesus was obedient to what extent?
  28. Where do we read that the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom?
  29. When did this occur?
  30. What was the purpose of the veil being torn?



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Hebrews 5



Hebrews Chapter 5

Verses 1-10: Three qualifications for the Levitical priest are presented (in verses 1-4). First, he must minister in behalf of other men by offering "sacrifices for sins". Second, he must have "compassion" on those who inadvertently sin out of ignorance. Third, he must be appointed by or "called of God".


No angel or supernatural power could serve as High-Priest. Only men with the weaknesses of humanity could serve as High-Priest (verse 2; 7:28). The position of High-Priest in the Levitical system was by appointment only. No man could legitimately appoint himself High-Priest. The use of the present tense in these verses would seem to indicate that the Levitical system still was being practiced at the time of this epistle.


In (verses 5-10), the author demonstrates that Christ meets these requirements. He reverses the order showing. First, Christ's divine appointment (verses 5-6), second in (verses 7-8), His compassion, probably relating His Gethsemane experience (Mark 14:32-42). And third (in verses 9-10), His perfect offering for sin.


Hebrews 5:1 "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things [pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:"


"Gifts and sacrifices": The first term might refer especially to the grain offerings under the Old Covenant, which were for thanksgiving or dedication. That would leave the second term to refer to blood offerings for the expiation of sins (see Lev. 1-5).


However, "gifts" is used (in 8:4), to refer to all the various sacrifices (8:3). The 3 occurrences of the phrase in the New Testament (8:3; 9:9), employ a Greek construction which expresses a closer relationship between the two terms than is normally indicated by the word "and." This could indicate that no distinction should be made between the terms, and the "for sins", should be taken with both.


We know that the high priest in the temple was the only one to go into the most holy place. He was not to go in unworthily, and he must carry the blood with him into the most holy place. This blood was not only for the people, but for his sins, as well.


The high priest was the representative of the people to God. God spoke to the people through the Urim and Thummim which was behind the breastplate worn by the high priest. This was symbolic of God speaking to the people through the heart of the high priest. The people had no direct contact with God at this time, but were represented by the high priest.


Hebrews 5:2 "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."


"Have compassion": This verb occurs only here in the New Testament. It carries the idea of maintaining a controlled but gentle attitude in the treatment of those who are spiritually ignorant and wayward. Impatience, loathing, and indignation have no part in priestly ministry. Such moderation and gentleness comes from realizing one's own human frailty. The priest would be reminded of his own sinful humanity every time he offered sacrifices for his own sins (verse 3).


The high priest was not a perfect man, but was chosen of God to represent the people. Aaron was a good example of the weakness of the high priests. He was the first high priest. Even though he was chosen of God for this job, and had actually heard the voice of God, he still built the golden calf which God had forbidden.


Moses was gone to the top of the mountain to receive the 10 commandments from God. Aaron and the people decided that he was not coming back, and they did this terrible thing. We find that Aaron's 2 oldest sons were no better than he was. God killed them for their sin.


Leviticus 10:1 "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not."


Numbers 3:4 "And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father."


Most people believe this strange fire, that they offered was that they were drunk when they made the offering. This is not in the Bible, however. Some of the other sons of high priests sinned and were killed, but we have already covered that here. It is enough to say these were not perfect men.


Hebrews 5:3 "And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."


This Scripture should cover this fact that even the high priest was many times guilty of sin.


Leviticus 4:3 "If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering."


Hebrews 5:4 "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as [was] Aaron."


"Called of God": A High-Priest was selected and called by God into service (Exodus 28; Num. 16:1-40; 1 Sam. 16:1-3).


Ministry, for the priest, or for preachers today, should not be undertaken as a profession. Those who minister must be called of God. To go into the ministry without God calling you to that job, would be a sin.


2 Chronicles 26:18 "And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, [It appertaineth] not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither [shall it be] for thine honor from the LORD God."


This Old Testament Scripture shows that not even a king could take it upon himself to minister in the temple; God is the only one who can ordain someone to minister. I will give one New Testament Scripture on this and then go on.


John 3:27 "John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven."


We see that even the Christians must be called to be God's children.


1 Thessalonians 2:12 "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory."



Verses 5-6: With the quotations of (Psalms 2:7 and 110:4), the writer demonstrates that Christ's Sonship and His priesthood were both by divine appointment (John 8:54). That means that the two titles are titles of subordination, the subordination not being in regard to essence or nature (John 10:30; 14:9, 11), but in regard to the fulfillment of the program of redemption.


Neither office diminishes the eternal deity of Christ of the equality of the Trinity. Both offices had a beginning. It is noteworthy that (Psalm 2), recognized the Son as both King and Messiah. Christ is the King-Priest.


Hebrews 5:5 "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee."


There are so many Scriptures that pertain to this, that it is difficult to choose just one or two. Jesus Christ (for His stay on earth), was the Son of God. In heaven, He is the Word of God. We know that the birth of Jesus was not a natural birth. Jesus was born of a virgin. The Holy Spirit hovered over Mary and she conceived of the Spirit of God.


It was planned by the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost from the foundation of the world for Jesus to die for the sin of the people. In fact, not only did Jesus not glorify Himself, but all 3 of the Godhead glorified Him. The people were the Word's creation, so it was only proper for Him to save them.


John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."


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


We can easily see from this that not only are we all, the creation of the Word of God, but that Word took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus Christ, The Son of God. He took the name of Jesus, for His stay on the earth, because Jesus means Savior.


Hebrews 5:6 "As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec."


(Quoted from Psalm 110:4), from which this whole section is expounded.


This Melchizedec is the same as Melchizedek in the Old Testament. The name is different, because the Old and New Testaments are translated from different languages. This Melchizedek has been a mystery for thousands of years.


Genesis 14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God."


This Melchizedek appeared to only one man that we know of, and that man was Abraham; the father of all the believers. For us to be a spiritual son or daughter of Abraham, he would have to believe the same thing we do.


If this Melchizedec is an appearance of our Lord, then he would believe the same as believers do. This Melchizedec appeared approximately 2000 years after the birth of Adam. Jesus the Christ Child appears approximately 2000 years after this happening. The King of kings and Lord of lords will appear about 2000 years after the birth of Jesus.


Abraham paid tithes to this High Priest. This High Priest served Abraham the same elements that Jesus served the disciples at the Last Supper, bread and wine.


The Melchizedekan priesthood is discussed in detail (in chapter 7).


Hebrews Chapter 5 Questions


  1. What are the 2 things the high priest does for the people in verse 1?
  2. Who was the only person allowed to go into the most holy place in the temple?
  3. What must he carry with him when he goes into the most holy place?
  4. Through what, did God speak to the people?
  5. Was the high priest a perfect man?
  6. Who is a vivid description of how bad the high priest does sin sometimes?
  7. What did He do?
  8. What did Aaron's sons do, that was displeasing to God?
  9. How did God punish them?
  10. Was the high priest above the law?
  11. What was the high priest's sin offering?
  12. How did they become high priest?
  13. Should our ministers today preach for the purpose of making a living?
  14. Where do we find the Scripture that tells us it was wrong for a king to do the duties of priest in the temple?
  15. Who actually glorified Jesus as High Priest?
  16. Why was it important for Jesus to be the one to save us?
  17. When was the plan made to save us by the way of the cross?
  18. How do we know that the Word is Jesus?
  19. What does the name Jesus mean?
  20. Jesus was a priest after the order of whom?
  21. What is the author's opinion of who this is?
  22. Who was the only man that Melchizedek appeared to?
  23. Approximately how many years after Adam's birth did He appear?
  24. What two elements did He feed Abraham?
  25. What did Abraham do that showed Melchizedek's priesthood?
  26. What does Melchizedek mean?
  27. Why was it important for Abraham to see Him and believe He existed?
  28. How many different names in the Bible indicate Jesus?
  29. Who is THE KING OF PEACE?



Hebrews Chapter 5 Continued

Hebrews 5:7 "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;"


"He": The subsequent context makes it clear that this refers back to Christ, the main subject (in verse 5). In Gethsemane, Jesus agonized and wept, but committed Himself to do the Father's will in accepting the cup of suffering which would bring His death (Matt. 26:38-46; Luke 22:44-45).


Anticipating bearing the burden of judgment for sin, Jesus felt its fullest pain and grief (Isaiah 52:14; 53:3-5, 10). Though He bore the penalty in silence and did not seek to deliver Himself from it (Isa. 53:7), He did cry out from the agony of the fury of God's wrath poured on His perfectly holy and obedient person (Matt. 27:46; 2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus asked to be saved from remaining in death, i.e., to be resurrected (Psalm 16:9-10).


This is speaking of Jesus, who took on the form of flesh for His stay here on the earth. It was necessary that He be in the flesh of man, that He could be our substitute on the cross. The flesh of Jesus was from His mother Mary, and was normal flesh as you and I have. The Spirit within the flesh was the Spirit of God.


The Holy Spirit had hovered over Mary (who was a virgin), and she conceived of the Holy Spirit of God. This Scripture above is speaking of the time when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James, and John and prayed to His Father to let the cup pass from Him.


Gethsemane means an oil press. The garden is full of olive trees. This press is used to make olive oil. Olive oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus' Spirit was strong and ready to face this horrible death of the cross, but His body (flesh), was weak, and He came to the garden to pray to strengthen His body for this suffering.


Let us read a few Scriptures pertaining to this and see if that might be the case.


Matthew 26:39-42 "And he went a little farther, 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]." "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?" "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak." "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."


We see from this, that the flesh of Jesus was not looking forward to this death. Here are two more Scriptures where Jesus accepts God's will in this.


John 12:27-28 "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."


Hebrews 5:8 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"


"Learned obedience": Christ did not need to suffer in order to conquer or correct any disobedience In His deity (as the Son of God), He understood obedience completely. As the incarnate Lord, He humbled Himself to learn (Luke 2:52). He learned obedience for the same reasons He bore temptation: to confirm His humanity and experience its sufferings to the fullest.


Christ's obedience was also necessary so that He could fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3:15). And thus prove to be the perfect sacrifice to take the place of sinners (1 Pet. 3:18). He was the perfectly righteous One, who righteousness would be imputed to sinners (Rom 3:24-26).


We are told that it is better to obey than to sacrifice in (1 Samuel 15:22):


"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."


Jesus told Paul that He would show him what great things he must suffer. We also must face suffering if it comes, and be victorious over it, if we are to reign with Jesus Christ. He is our Leader, and if He suffered, we may have to also.


2 Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:"


We are taught that tribulation comes to bring patience.


Romans 5:3 "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;"


Hebrews 5:9 "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"


"Perfect ... author of eternal salvation": Because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice for sin, He became the cause of salvation.


"Obey him": True salvation evidences itself in obedience to Christ, from the initial obedience to the gospel command to repent and believe (Acts 5:32; Rom. 1:5; 2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:2, 22; 4:17), to a life pattern of obedience to the Word (Rom. 6:16).


We know that Jesus is the only one who ever lived on this earth completely free from sin. He took our sin on His own body that we might take on His righteousness. He is our Salvation.


Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."


Just the name Jesus means Savior. He is the only way to heaven. (Romans 10:9 tells us), if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, we shall be saved. One more Scripture that says it all is (1 John):


1 John 5:20 "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."


Hebrews 5:10 "Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedec."


Referring to (Psalm 110:4 a second time; verse 6), the writer mentions again the call of God to the priesthood (verse 4).


Melchizedec here and Melchisedec in the Old Testament is the same name. They are spelled differently because they were originally written in different languages. This Melchisedec has been a controversy for thousands of years. In the next few chapters here we will go into detail about this.


He appeared only one recorded time. His appearance was to the father of the believers [Abraham]. If we are the spiritual children of Abraham through faith, then we must believe the same thing he does.


He believed that Melchizedek was divinely appointed High Priest, because he paid tithes to him. He was not of the Levitical tribe, because the Scriptures say he had no father or mother. He was a High Priest forever. Melchizedek fed the same elements to Abraham that Jesus fed the disciples [bread and wine].


The most interesting thing of all to me is that he appeared to Abraham about 2000 years after the birth of Adam. Jesus Christ appeared as the Babe in a manger about 2000 years after this happening and He (Jesus), will appear again about 2000 years after this babe's birth as King of kings and Lord of lords.



Verses 11-14: The third warning passage of Hebrews (5:11-6:20), does not involve insecurity of salvation as many suppose, but immaturity (see 6:4-6). The author wishes to continue discussing Melchizedek but must wait until (chapter 7), because his readers are "dull of hearing".


This adjective (Greek nothroi), which is use elsewhere in the New Testament only at (Hebrews 6:12), is there translated "slothful." The warning of this passage is that what is now described as lazy hearing can result in an entire life of sluggishness (6:12).


Hebrews 5:11 "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing."


"Of whom": An alternate translation would be "of which" (meaning the relationship of Christ's High-priesthood to that of Melchizedek). Logically and stylistically (verse 11), appears to introduce the entire section from (5:11 - 6:12). The same Greek verb "become" forms brackets around the section: "become dull" (verse 11), and "be sluggish" (6:12).


"Dull": The Hebrew's spiritual lethargy and slow response to gospel teaching prevented additional teaching at this time. This is a reminder that failure to appropriate the truth of the gospel produces stagnation in spiritual advancement and the inability to understand or assimilate additional teaching (John 16:12).


Such a situation exists also among the Gentiles who have received revelatory truth (natural or general revelation), from God in the creation (Rom. 1:18-20).


Rejection of that revelation results in a process of hardening (Rom. 1:21-32). The Hebrews had not only received the same general revelation, they had also received special revelation consisting of the Old Testament Scriptures (Rom 9:4), the Messiah Himself (Rom (9:5), and the teaching of the apostles (2:3-4).


Until the Hebrews obeyed the revelation they had received and obtained eternal salvation (verse 8), additional teaching about the Messiah's Melchizedekan priesthood would be of no profit to them.


Jesus had said before, Seeing they will not see and hearing they will not hear. This seems so strange, but God does not want to win them to Him through their great intelligence, He wants them to believe in their heart. Even the disciples did not understand the meaning of the parables that Jesus spoke in, until Jesus explained them.


Remember this letter is written to the Hebrews. To understand the things of God, the Holy Spirit must reveal the meaning. Unless they could see it with their eyes, they would not believe. If you can see something, it takes no faith to believe. Faith is the opposite of fact.


Matthew 13:15 "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."



Verses 12-13 "Milk". Knowledge without obedience does not advance a person. In fact, by rejecting saving faith, the Hebrews were regressing in their understanding concerning the Messiah. They had long enough been exposed to the gospel to be teaching it to others, but were babies, too infantile and unskilled to comprehend, let alone teach, the truth of God.


Hebrews 5:12 "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."


"Teachers": Every believer is to be a teacher (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 3:15; Deut. 6:7; 2 Tim. 3:15). If these Hebrews had really obeyed the gospel of Christ, they would have been passing that message on to others. The Jews were instructed in the law and prided themselves because they taught the law, but they had not really understood or appropriated its truths to themselves.


"Oracles": These are contained in the Old Testament Scripture, which had laid the foundation for the gospel and had been committed into the care of the Hebrews (Rom 3:1-2). The ABC's of the law tutored the Hebrews in order to lead them to faith in the Messiah (Gal. 3:23-24). They had also heard the New Testament gospel (2:2-4; 1 Pet. 4:11).


The Hebrews had the Old Testament to guide them, but they did not truly understand what they were saying, and they turned down the Lord of glory. I will give a few verses of Scripture in Paul's words on this.


1 Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ." "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able." "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"


Hebrews 5:13 "For every one that useth milk [is] unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe."


"Word of righteousness": This is the message about the righteousness of Christ which we have by faith (Rom. 3:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5). The phrase is equivalent to the gospel of salvation by faith rather than works.


The secrets of life are in the Bible. That is the reason I am encouraging people to study the Bible. Notice these promptings from the Word.


1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."


2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"


Ephesians 4:14-15 "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;" "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:"


The only way that we will not be deceived is by reading our Bible every day, pray the Holy Spirit reveal it to you, and try every spirit by that Word of God.


Hebrews 5:14 "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."


"Full age": The same Greek root is also translated "maturity" (in 6:1), and is elsewhere translated "perfect" (7:11; 19:28; 9:9; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:23). It is used in Hebrews, including this text, as a synonym for salvation. In that sense, it refers to the completion which comes when one becomes a believer in Christ, rather than referring to a Christian who has become mature.


Jesus invited unbelieving Jews to the salvation perfection which came only through following Him in faith (Matt. 19:21). Paul wrote that those who had come to Christ by faith were thereby mature and able to receive the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2:6).


Paul also declared that the apostles warned and taught everyone "that we may present every man complete in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:28).


"Exercised": The deeper, more "solid" truths about the priesthood of the Lord Jesus could only be given to those who knew Him as Savior. Athletic training and competition form the metaphor implied by this particular word (1 Tim. 4:7-8).


The person who has come to Christ for spiritual completion is then trained by the Word to discern truth from error and holy behavior from unholy (2 Tim. 3:16-17).


The more you read and study the Word, the stronger you will become. This is the hour of great deception. We must not be deceived.


Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect."


The only way to not be deceived is to stay in the Word of God.


1 John 4:1-3 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:" "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."


So many are trying to say that Jesus was no more than a man when He walked on the earth. Do not believe that. He was God with us (Immanuel). He was God the Word, who took on the flesh of man to save us from an eternity in hell. He paid our debt to God when He shed His blood that we might live.


Hebrews Chapter 5 Continued Questions


  1. Who is chapter 5:7 speaking of?
  2. Why was it necessary for Him to be in the flesh of man?
  3. Who did Mary conceive by?
  4. Who went up the mount of Gethsemane with Jesus?
  5. What is a Gethsemane?
  6. What is olive oil symbolic of?
  7. What request did Jesus make of the Father in prayer?
  8. The ______ is willing, but the _____ is weak.
  9. For what cause had they come to this hour?
  10. What did the Father answer back from heaven, when Jesus said Father glorify thy name?
  11. Jesus learned obedience through what?
  12. What is more important to God than sacrifices?
  13. In second Timothy chapter 2 verse 12, we find if we suffer, we shall do what?
  14. Tribulation comes to bring what?
  15. Jesus being perfect, He became the author of what to all who obey Him?
  16. Who is the only one who lived above sin?
  17. Jesus was a High Priest after the order of whom?
  18. Who is The King of Peace?
  19. How many years after Adam's birth did Melchizedek appear?
  20. What did He feed Abraham?
  21. What did Abraham do, that recognized Melchizedek as The Divine High Priest?
  22. Who has to reveal the meaning of Scriptures to us?
  23. Faith is the opposite of what?
  24. They still need to feed on milk and not what?
  25. In first Corinthians, Paul says he is speaking not to spiritual people, but to whom?
  26. In Hebrews 5:13, they are called what?
  27. All Scripture is given for what?
  28. What are we to try every spirit with?
  29. Every spirit that denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is what?

Hebrews Chapter 5

Verses 1-10: Three qualifications for the Levitical priest are presented (in verses 1-4). First, he must minister in behalf of other men by offering "sacrifices for sins". Second, he must have "compassion" on those who inadvertently sin out of ignorance. Third, he must be appointed by or "called of God".


No angel or supernatural power could serve as High-Priest. Only men with the weaknesses of humanity could serve as High-Priest (verse 2; 7:28). The position of High-Priest in the Levitical system was by appointment only. No man could legitimately appoint himself High-Priest. The use of the present tense in these verses would seem to indicate that the Levitical system still was being practiced at the time of this epistle.


In (verses 5-10), the author demonstrates that Christ meets these requirements. He reverses the order showing. First, Christ's divine appointment (verses 5-6), second in (verses 7-8), His compassion, probably relating His Gethsemane experience (Mark 14:32-42). And third (in verses 9-10), His perfect offering for sin.


Hebrews 5:1 "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things [pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:"


"Gifts and sacrifices": The first term might refer especially to the grain offerings under the Old Covenant, which were for thanksgiving or dedication. That would leave the second term to refer to blood offerings for the expiation of sins (see Lev. 1-5).


However, "gifts" is used (in 8:4), to refer to all the various sacrifices (8:3). The 3 occurrences of the phrase in the New Testament (8:3; 9:9), employ a Greek construction which expresses a closer relationship between the two terms than is normally indicated by the word "and." This could indicate that no distinction should be made between the terms, and the "for sins", should be taken with both.


We know that the high priest in the temple was the only one to go into the most holy place. He was not to go in unworthily, and he must carry the blood with him into the most holy place. This blood was not only for the people, but for his sins, as well.


The high priest was the representative of the people to God. God spoke to the people through the Urim and Thummim which was behind the breastplate worn by the high priest. This was symbolic of God speaking to the people through the heart of the high priest. The people had no direct contact with God at this time, but were represented by the high priest.


Hebrews 5:2 "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."


"Have compassion": This verb occurs only here in the New Testament. It carries the idea of maintaining a controlled but gentle attitude in the treatment of those who are spiritually ignorant and wayward. Impatience, loathing, and indignation have no part in priestly ministry. Such moderation and gentleness comes from realizing one's own human frailty. The priest would be reminded of his own sinful humanity every time he offered sacrifices for his own sins (verse 3).


The high priest was not a perfect man, but was chosen of God to represent the people. Aaron was a good example of the weakness of the high priests. He was the first high priest. Even though he was chosen of God for this job, and had actually heard the voice of God, he still built the golden calf which God had forbidden.


Moses was gone to the top of the mountain to receive the 10 commandments from God. Aaron and the people decided that he was not coming back, and they did this terrible thing. We find that Aaron's 2 oldest sons were no better than he was. God killed them for their sin.


Leviticus 10:1 "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not."


Numbers 3:4 "And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father."


Most people believe this strange fire, that they offered was that they were drunk when they made the offering. This is not in the Bible, however. Some of the other sons of high priests sinned and were killed, but we have already covered that here. It is enough to say these were not perfect men.


Hebrews 5:3 "And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."


This Scripture should cover this fact that even the high priest was many times guilty of sin.


Leviticus 4:3 "If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering."


Hebrews 5:4 "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as [was] Aaron."


"Called of God": A High-Priest was selected and called by God into service (Exodus 28; Num. 16:1-40; 1 Sam. 16:1-3).


Ministry, for the priest, or for preachers today, should not be undertaken as a profession. Those who minister must be called of God. To go into the ministry without God calling you to that job, would be a sin.


2 Chronicles 26:18 "And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, [It appertaineth] not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither [shall it be] for thine honor from the LORD God."


This Old Testament Scripture shows that not even a king could take it upon himself to minister in the temple; God is the only one who can ordain someone to minister. I will give one New Testament Scripture on this and then go on.


John 3:27 "John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven."


We see that even the Christians must be called to be God's children.


1 Thessalonians 2:12 "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory."



Verses 5-6: With the quotations of (Psalms 2:7 and 110:4), the writer demonstrates that Christ's Sonship and His priesthood were both by divine appointment (John 8:54). That means that the two titles are titles of subordination, the subordination not being in regard to essence or nature (John 10:30; 14:9, 11), but in regard to the fulfillment of the program of redemption.


Neither office diminishes the eternal deity of Christ of the equality of the Trinity. Both offices had a beginning. It is noteworthy that (Psalm 2), recognized the Son as both King and Messiah. Christ is the King-Priest.


Hebrews 5:5 "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee."


There are so many Scriptures that pertain to this, that it is difficult to choose just one or two. Jesus Christ (for His stay on earth), was the Son of God. In heaven, He is the Word of God. We know that the birth of Jesus was not a natural birth. Jesus was born of a virgin. The Holy Spirit hovered over Mary and she conceived of the Spirit of God.


It was planned by the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost from the foundation of the world for Jesus to die for the sin of the people. In fact, not only did Jesus not glorify Himself, but all 3 of the Godhead glorified Him. The people were the Word's creation, so it was only proper for Him to save them.


John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."


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


We can easily see from this that not only are we all, the creation of the Word of God, but that Word took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus Christ, The Son of God. He took the name of Jesus, for His stay on the earth, because Jesus means Savior.


Hebrews 5:6 "As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec."


(Quoted from Psalm 110:4), from which this whole section is expounded.


This Melchizedec is the same as Melchizedek in the Old Testament. The name is different, because the Old and New Testaments are translated from different languages. This Melchizedek has been a mystery for thousands of years.


Genesis 14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God."


This Melchizedek appeared to only one man that we know of, and that man was Abraham; the father of all the believers. For us to be a spiritual son or daughter of Abraham, he would have to believe the same thing we do.


If this Melchizedec is an appearance of our Lord, then he would believe the same as believers do. This Melchizedec appeared approximately 2000 years after the birth of Adam. Jesus the Christ Child appears approximately 2000 years after this happening. The King of kings and Lord of lords will appear about 2000 years after the birth of Jesus.


Abraham paid tithes to this High Priest. This High Priest served Abraham the same elements that Jesus served the disciples at the Last Supper, bread and wine.


The Melchizedekan priesthood is discussed in detail (in chapter 7).


Hebrews Chapter 5 Questions


  1. What are the 2 things the high priest does for the people in verse 1?
  2. Who was the only person allowed to go into the most holy place in the temple?
  3. What must he carry with him when he goes into the most holy place?
  4. Through what, did God speak to the people?
  5. Was the high priest a perfect man?
  6. Who is a vivid description of how bad the high priest does sin sometimes?
  7. What did He do?
  8. What did Aaron's sons do, that was displeasing to God?
  9. How did God punish them?
  10. Was the high priest above the law?
  11. What was the high priest's sin offering?
  12. How did they become high priest?
  13. Should our ministers today preach for the purpose of making a living?
  14. Where do we find the Scripture that tells us it was wrong for a king to do the duties of priest in the temple?
  15. Who actually glorified Jesus as High Priest?
  16. Why was it important for Jesus to be the one to save us?
  17. When was the plan made to save us by the way of the cross?
  18. How do we know that the Word is Jesus?
  19. What does the name Jesus mean?
  20. Jesus was a priest after the order of whom?
  21. What is the author's opinion of who this is?
  22. Who was the only man that Melchizedek appeared to?
  23. Approximately how many years after Adam's birth did He appear?
  24. What two elements did He feed Abraham?
  25. What did Abraham do that showed Melchizedek's priesthood?
  26. What does Melchizedek mean?
  27. Why was it important for Abraham to see Him and believe He existed?
  28. How many different names in the Bible indicate Jesus?
  29. Who is THE KING OF PEACE?



Hebrews Chapter 5 Continued

Hebrews 5:7 "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;"


"He": The subsequent context makes it clear that this refers back to Christ, the main subject (in verse 5). In Gethsemane, Jesus agonized and wept, but committed Himself to do the Father's will in accepting the cup of suffering which would bring His death (Matt. 26:38-46; Luke 22:44-45).


Anticipating bearing the burden of judgment for sin, Jesus felt its fullest pain and grief (Isaiah 52:14; 53:3-5, 10). Though He bore the penalty in silence and did not seek to deliver Himself from it (Isa. 53:7), He did cry out from the agony of the fury of God's wrath poured on His perfectly holy and obedient person (Matt. 27:46; 2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus asked to be saved from remaining in death, i.e., to be resurrected (Psalm 16:9-10).


This is speaking of Jesus, who took on the form of flesh for His stay here on the earth. It was necessary that He be in the flesh of man, that He could be our substitute on the cross. The flesh of Jesus was from His mother Mary, and was normal flesh as you and I have. The Spirit within the flesh was the Spirit of God.


The Holy Spirit had hovered over Mary (who was a virgin), and she conceived of the Holy Spirit of God. This Scripture above is speaking of the time when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James, and John and prayed to His Father to let the cup pass from Him.


Gethsemane means an oil press. The garden is full of olive trees. This press is used to make olive oil. Olive oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus' Spirit was strong and ready to face this horrible death of the cross, but His body (flesh), was weak, and He came to the garden to pray to strengthen His body for this suffering.


Let us read a few Scriptures pertaining to this and see if that might be the case.


Matthew 26:39-42 "And he went a little farther, 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]." "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?" "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak." "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."


We see from this, that the flesh of Jesus was not looking forward to this death. Here are two more Scriptures where Jesus accepts God's will in this.


John 12:27-28 "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."


Hebrews 5:8 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"


"Learned obedience": Christ did not need to suffer in order to conquer or correct any disobedience In His deity (as the Son of God), He understood obedience completely. As the incarnate Lord, He humbled Himself to learn (Luke 2:52). He learned obedience for the same reasons He bore temptation: to confirm His humanity and experience its sufferings to the fullest.


Christ's obedience was also necessary so that He could fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3:15). And thus prove to be the perfect sacrifice to take the place of sinners (1 Pet. 3:18). He was the perfectly righteous One, who righteousness would be imputed to sinners (Rom 3:24-26).


We are told that it is better to obey than to sacrifice in (1 Samuel 15:22):


"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."


Jesus told Paul that He would show him what great things he must suffer. We also must face suffering if it comes, and be victorious over it, if we are to reign with Jesus Christ. He is our Leader, and if He suffered, we may have to also.


2 Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:"


We are taught that tribulation comes to bring patience.


Romans 5:3 "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;"


Hebrews 5:9 "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"


"Perfect ... author of eternal salvation": Because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice for sin, He became the cause of salvation.


"Obey him": True salvation evidences itself in obedience to Christ, from the initial obedience to the gospel command to repent and believe (Acts 5:32; Rom. 1:5; 2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:2, 22; 4:17), to a life pattern of obedience to the Word (Rom. 6:16).


We know that Jesus is the only one who ever lived on this earth completely free from sin. He took our sin on His own body that we might take on His righteousness. He is our Salvation.


Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."


Just the name Jesus means Savior. He is the only way to heaven. (Romans 10:9 tells us), if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, we shall be saved. One more Scripture that says it all is (1 John):


1 John 5:20 "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."


Hebrews 5:10 "Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedec."


Referring to (Psalm 110:4 a second time; verse 6), the writer mentions again the call of God to the priesthood (verse 4).


Melchizedec here and Melchisedec in the Old Testament is the same name. They are spelled differently because they were originally written in different languages. This Melchisedec has been a controversy for thousands of years. In the next few chapters here we will go into detail about this.


He appeared only one recorded time. His appearance was to the father of the believers [Abraham]. If we are the spiritual children of Abraham through faith, then we must believe the same thing he does.


He believed that Melchizedek was divinely appointed High Priest, because he paid tithes to him. He was not of the Levitical tribe, because the Scriptures say he had no father or mother. He was a High Priest forever. Melchizedek fed the same elements to Abraham that Jesus fed the disciples [bread and wine].


The most interesting thing of all to me is that he appeared to Abraham about 2000 years after the birth of Adam. Jesus Christ appeared as the Babe in a manger about 2000 years after this happening and He (Jesus), will appear again about 2000 years after this babe's birth as King of kings and Lord of lords.



Verses 11-14: The third warning passage of Hebrews (5:11-6:20), does not involve insecurity of salvation as many suppose, but immaturity (see 6:4-6). The author wishes to continue discussing Melchizedek but must wait until (chapter 7), because his readers are "dull of hearing".


This adjective (Greek nothroi), which is use elsewhere in the New Testament only at (Hebrews 6:12), is there translated "slothful." The warning of this passage is that what is now described as lazy hearing can result in an entire life of sluggishness (6:12).


Hebrews 5:11 "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing."


"Of whom": An alternate translation would be "of which" (meaning the relationship of Christ's High-priesthood to that of Melchizedek). Logically and stylistically (verse 11), appears to introduce the entire section from (5:11 - 6:12). The same Greek verb "become" forms brackets around the section: "become dull" (verse 11), and "be sluggish" (6:12).


"Dull": The Hebrew's spiritual lethargy and slow response to gospel teaching prevented additional teaching at this time. This is a reminder that failure to appropriate the truth of the gospel produces stagnation in spiritual advancement and the inability to understand or assimilate additional teaching (John 16:12).


Such a situation exists also among the Gentiles who have received revelatory truth (natural or general revelation), from God in the creation (Rom. 1:18-20).


Rejection of that revelation results in a process of hardening (Rom. 1:21-32). The Hebrews had not only received the same general revelation, they had also received special revelation consisting of the Old Testament Scriptures (Rom 9:4), the Messiah Himself (Rom (9:5), and the teaching of the apostles (2:3-4).


Until the Hebrews obeyed the revelation they had received and obtained eternal salvation (verse 8), additional teaching about the Messiah's Melchizedekan priesthood would be of no profit to them.


Jesus had said before, Seeing they will not see and hearing they will not hear. This seems so strange, but God does not want to win them to Him through their great intelligence, He wants them to believe in their heart. Even the disciples did not understand the meaning of the parables that Jesus spoke in, until Jesus explained them.


Remember this letter is written to the Hebrews. To understand the things of God, the Holy Spirit must reveal the meaning. Unless they could see it with their eyes, they would not believe. If you can see something, it takes no faith to believe. Faith is the opposite of fact.


Matthew 13:15 "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."



Verses 12-13 "Milk". Knowledge without obedience does not advance a person. In fact, by rejecting saving faith, the Hebrews were regressing in their understanding concerning the Messiah. They had long enough been exposed to the gospel to be teaching it to others, but were babies, too infantile and unskilled to comprehend, let alone teach, the truth of God.


Hebrews 5:12 "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."


"Teachers": Every believer is to be a teacher (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 3:15; Deut. 6:7; 2 Tim. 3:15). If these Hebrews had really obeyed the gospel of Christ, they would have been passing that message on to others. The Jews were instructed in the law and prided themselves because they taught the law, but they had not really understood or appropriated its truths to themselves.


"Oracles": These are contained in the Old Testament Scripture, which had laid the foundation for the gospel and had been committed into the care of the Hebrews (Rom 3:1-2). The ABC's of the law tutored the Hebrews in order to lead them to faith in the Messiah (Gal. 3:23-24). They had also heard the New Testament gospel (2:2-4; 1 Pet. 4:11).


The Hebrews had the Old Testament to guide them, but they did not truly understand what they were saying, and they turned down the Lord of glory. I will give a few verses of Scripture in Paul's words on this.


1 Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ." "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able." "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"


Hebrews 5:13 "For every one that useth milk [is] unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe."


"Word of righteousness": This is the message about the righteousness of Christ which we have by faith (Rom. 3:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5). The phrase is equivalent to the gospel of salvation by faith rather than works.


The secrets of life are in the Bible. That is the reason I am encouraging people to study the Bible. Notice these promptings from the Word.


1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."


2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"


Ephesians 4:14-15 "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;" "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:"


The only way that we will not be deceived is by reading our Bible every day, pray the Holy Spirit reveal it to you, and try every spirit by that Word of God.


Hebrews 5:14 "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."


"Full age": The same Greek root is also translated "maturity" (in 6:1), and is elsewhere translated "perfect" (7:11; 19:28; 9:9; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:23). It is used in Hebrews, including this text, as a synonym for salvation. In that sense, it refers to the completion which comes when one becomes a believer in Christ, rather than referring to a Christian who has become mature.


Jesus invited unbelieving Jews to the salvation perfection which came only through following Him in faith (Matt. 19:21). Paul wrote that those who had come to Christ by faith were thereby mature and able to receive the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2:6).


Paul also declared that the apostles warned and taught everyone "that we may present every man complete in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:28).


"Exercised": The deeper, more "solid" truths about the priesthood of the Lord Jesus could only be given to those who knew Him as Savior. Athletic training and competition form the metaphor implied by this particular word (1 Tim. 4:7-8).


The person who has come to Christ for spiritual completion is then trained by the Word to discern truth from error and holy behavior from unholy (2 Tim. 3:16-17).


The more you read and study the Word, the stronger you will become. This is the hour of great deception. We must not be deceived.


Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect."


The only way to not be deceived is to stay in the Word of God.


1 John 4:1-3 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:" "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."


So many are trying to say that Jesus was no more than a man when He walked on the earth. Do not believe that. He was God with us (Immanuel). He was God the Word, who took on the flesh of man to save us from an eternity in hell. He paid our debt to God when He shed His blood that we might live.


Hebrews Chapter 5 Continued Questions


  1. Who is chapter 5:7 speaking of?
  2. Why was it necessary for Him to be in the flesh of man?
  3. Who did Mary conceive by?
  4. Who went up the mount of Gethsemane with Jesus?
  5. What is a Gethsemane?
  6. What is olive oil symbolic of?
  7. What request did Jesus make of the Father in prayer?
  8. The ______ is willing, but the _____ is weak.
  9. For what cause had they come to this hour?
  10. What did the Father answer back from heaven, when Jesus said Father glorify thy name?
  11. Jesus learned obedience through what?
  12. What is more important to God than sacrifices?
  13. In second Timothy chapter 2 verse 12, we find if we suffer, we shall do what?
  14. Tribulation comes to bring what?
  15. Jesus being perfect, He became the author of what to all who obey Him?
  16. Who is the only one who lived above sin?
  17. Jesus was a High Priest after the order of whom?
  18. Who is The King of Peace?
  19. How many years after Adam's birth did Melchizedek appear?
  20. What did He feed Abraham?
  21. What did Abraham do, that recognized Melchizedek as The Divine High Priest?
  22. Who has to reveal the meaning of Scriptures to us?
  23. Faith is the opposite of what?
  24. They still need to feed on milk and not what?
  25. In first Corinthians, Paul says he is speaking not to spiritual people, but to whom?
  26. In Hebrews 5:13, they are called what?
  27. All Scripture is given for what?
  28. What are we to try every spirit with?
  29. Every spirit that denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is what?



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Hebrews 6



Hebrews Chapter 6

The readers are encouraged to go on to maturity by leaving the elementary teachings of the Word. The word for "perfection" (Greek teleiotes), has both an absolute and a relative sense. Its relative sense involving maturity is expressed here.


The six representative doctrines listed here involve three sets: the elementary teachings concerning conversion itself, the post-conversion experiences, and teachings on "last things." Eschatology is included here among the first truths, rather than as deeper truth.


The mere study of last things does not demonstrate spiritual maturity. The practical changes these eschatological truths produce manifest maturity.


Fundamentalism is a movement growing out of the controversy with religious liberalism at the beginning of this century, when godly Christian leaders insisted that certain truths were fundamental to Christianity and could not be compromised.


This included divine substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, and physical return, and the existence of a literal heaven and hell. Though good Christians might disagree in other areas, to deny these essentials is to abandon the Christian faith.


History records the sad accounts of some who refused to accept scriptural authority and made shipwrecks of their faith. For example, Diotrephes opposed an epistle from John, and then began harming the ministry of faithful Christians under his influence (3 John 9-10). Christians are wise to build their lives and ministries upon the solid foundation of Christ's teaching (Matt. 7:24-25).


Hebrews 6:1 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,"


"Leaving": This "leaving" does not mean to despise or abandon the basic doctrines. They are the place to start, not stop. They are the gate of entrance on the road to salvation in Christ.


"Principles of the doctrine of Christ": As "the oracles of God" (in 5:12), refers to the Old Testament, so does this phrase. The writer is referring to basic Old Testament teaching that prepared the way for Messiah, the beginning teaching about Christ. This Old Testament "teaching" includes the 6 features listed (in verses 1-2).


"Go on unto perfection": Salvation by faith in Messiah Jesus. The verb is passive, so as to indicate "let us be carried to salvation." That is not a matter of learners being carried by teachers, but both being carried forward by God. The writer warns his Jewish readers that there is no value in stopping with the Old Testament basics and repeating ("laying again"), what was only intended to be foundational.


"Repentance from dead works": This Old Testament form of repentance is the turning away from evil deeds that bring death. (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23), and turning to God. Too often the Jew only turned to God in a superficial fashion, fulfilling the letter of the law as evidence of his repentance. The inner man was still dead (Matt. 23:25-28; Rom. 2:28-29).


Such repentance was not the kind which brought salvation (verse 6; 12:17; Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10). Under the New Covenant, however, "repentance ... toward God" is coupled with "faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Christ's atoning sacrifice saves from "dead works" (9:14; John 14:6).


"Faith toward God": Faith directed only toward the Father is unacceptable without faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; James 2:14-20).


Hebrews 6:2 "Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."


In the Old Testament Levitical system, there were many ceremonial cleansings, which were outward signs of heart cleansing (Exodus 3):18-21; Lev. 16:4, 24, 26, 28; Mark 7:4, 8). The New Covenant called for an inner washing (Titus 3:5), that regenerated the soul.


"Laying on of hands": Under the Old Covenant, the person who brought a sacrifice placed his hands on it to symbolize his identification with it as a substitute for sin (Lev. 1:4; 3:8, 13; 16:21). There could also be a reference here to solemn priestly blessings (Matt. 19:13).


"Resurrection ... eternal judgment": The Pharisee believed in the resurrection from the dead (Acts 23:8), but were still spiritually dead (Matt. 23:27). They also believed in the judgment of God and were headed for it. It is significant that all of the doctrines listed (in verses 1-2), can be associated with the Pharisees, who were attracted to and sometimes associated with Jesus (Luke 7:36-50; 13:31; 14:1; John 3:1).


Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion (Phil. 3:5). The Pharisees were products of the pursuit of righteousness by works of the law rather than by faith (Rom 9:30-32; 10:1-3). A portion of the Hebrews to whom this epistle was written may have been Pharisees.


We see from this, that basic Christianity includes repentance of sins, being baptized into new life, receiving the promise of the resurrection, being warned of the judgment to come, and even includes the laying on of hands by the presbytery whereby we receive the gifts, of the Holy Spirit. You might say then, what is left that is not basic?


This is where we walk in the knowledge of God producing fruit fit for the kingdom. We have already been saved, now it is time for us to work for the Lord in whatever job He has for us to do. We will find, that we, like the disciples of old, have been given a commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel.


I said in a previous lesson, that all who have passed beyond the basic Christianity and who have studied and know the Word of God, are obligated to teach those who do not know. This next Scripture tells us exactly what God would have us to do.


Matthew 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"


We are in a war with the devil. We must do our best to win our young people back to God, before the devil enlists them.


Hebrews 6:3 "And this will we do, if God permit."


"Will we do": The writer is likely both giving his own testimony about going on from Old Testament teaching to embrace the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, and also identifying himself with the readers. Salvation always requires God's enablement (John 6:44).


Almost everyone who is studying this Bible study has already gone beyond the step of basic Christianity. We are all seeking for the deeper truths which the Holy Spirit of God teaches us.


The most important statement in this short verse above is, "if God permit". Without His permission, we would not even wake in the morning. The first thing for a true Christian to do, is turn our will over to God.


James 4:15 "For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."



Verses 4-6: This passage does not teach that one can lose his salvation through disbelief or apostasy. These verses refer to a hypothetical situation whereby the author stresses what would happen to a saved person if he could fall away.


The author does not believe one can lose his salvation or that his readers had (verse 9); but he so speaks to demonstrate the folly some might have in imagining that they can turn back to Judaism without suffering loss. Though the author is not writing about his readers (verse 4; "those"), he still is writing for their sakes (verse 9; "you").


"If they shall fall away" is the translation given to the fifth participle of the passage. This is a legitimate and even grammatical usage by the author within the warning passages (2:3; 10:26; and even 6:8). The first four participles refer to actual blessings whereas number five describes a potential situation, and so can be translated unlike the first four.


The important point about Hebrews 6 is that it agrees with the general tenor of Scripture concerning the security of the born-again believer. One basis for the security of the believer involves the promises recorded in God's Word (verses 18-20; 7:24-25; 8:12; 10:10-14; John 10:28-30; Rom. 8:28-39; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; Phil. 1:6; 1 John 5:13).


Yet, an even stronger basis for security is found within the nature of the new life God gives. Though conversion involves man's will, it is God's will that produces regeneration (John 1:13).


Thus, salvation is infinitely more than a decision that one can make and then break. It is the work of God that transforms one from darkness to light (1 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:13), from death to life (John 5:24), from a child of the Devil to a son of God (Rom. 8:14-17).


It is a completed, regenerating work (10:14; Eph. 2:8 "you are saved," or "you have been saved and stand saved", Greek perfect tense).



Verses 4-6: Five advantages possessed by the Jews are yet insufficient for their salvation.


Hebrews 6:4 "For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,"


"Enlightened": They had received instruction in biblical truth which was accompanied by intellectual perception. Understanding the gospel is not the equivalent of regeneration (10:26, 32). (In John 1:9), it is clear that enlightening is not the equivalent of salvation (10:29).


"Tasted of the heavenly gift": Tasting in the figurative sense in the New Testament refers to consciously experiencing something (2:9). The experience might be momentary or continuing. Christ's "tasting" of death (2:9), was obviously momentary and not continuing or permanent. All men experience the goodness of God, but that does not mean they are all saved (Matt. 5:45; Acts 17:25).


Many Jews, during the Lord's earthly ministry experienced the blessings from heaven He brought, in healings and deliverance from demons, as well as eating the food He created miraculously (John 6). Whether the gift refers to Christ (John 6:51; 2 Cor. 9:15), or to the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 1:12), experiencing either one was not the equivalent of salvation (John 16:8; Acts 7:51).


"Partakers of the Holy Ghost": Even though the concept of partaking is used (in 3:1; 3:14; and 12:8), of a relationship which believers have, the context must be the final determining factor. This context (in verses 4-6), seems to preclude a reference to true believers.


It could be a reference to their participation, as noted above, in the miraculous ministry of Jesus who was empowered by the Spirit or in the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), which obviously can be resisted without experiencing salvation (Acts 7:51).


Hebrews 6:5 "And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,"


"Tasted": This has an amazing correspondence to what was described (in 2:1-4). Like Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24), these Hebrews had not yet been regenerated, despite all they had heard and seen (Matt. 13:3-9; John 6:60-66). They were repeating the sins of those who died in the wilderness after seeing the miracles performed through Moses and Aaron and hearing the voice of God at Sinai.


Hebrews 6:6 "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."


"Shall fall away": This Greek term occurs only here in the New Testament. In the LXX, it was used to translate terms for severe unfaithfulness and apostasy (Ezek. 14:13; 18:24; 20:27). It is equivalent to the apostasy (in 3:12). The seriousness of this unfaithfulness is seen in the severe description of rejection within this verse: they re-crucify Christ and treat Him contemptuously.


Those who sinned against Christ in such a way had no hope of restoration or forgiveness (2:2-3; 10:26-27; 12:25). The reason is that they had rejected Him with full knowledge and conscious experience (as described in the features of verses 5-6). With full revelation, they rejected the truth, concluding the opposite of the truth about Christ, and thus had no hope of being saved.


They can never have more knowledge that they had when they rejected it. They have concluded that Jesus should have been crucified, and they stand with his enemies. There is no possibility of these verses referring to losing salvation.


Many Scripture passages make unmistakably clear that salvation is eternal (John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:35, 38-39; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:4-5). Those who want to make this verse mean that believers can lose salvation will have to admit that it would then also say that one could never get it back again.


John 15:6 "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned."


To abide means to dwell continuously. It is not possible to have your name blotted out of the book of life. You have to be saved for your name to be written in the book of life. Read this Scripture and you will see it is very important to continue with Christ after you have received Him.


Revelation 3:5 "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."


We must walk daily in the salvation that we have received.


Hebrews 10:29 "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" This says it all.



Verses 7-8: Here are illustrations showing that those who hear the gospel message and respond in faith are blessed; those who hear and reject it are cursed (Matt. 13:18-23).


Hebrews 6:7 "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:"


We hear so much about the devil being in control of the earth, but he has to get God's permission for what he does. Jesus is the ruler of the earth.


Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"


Notice also, that God is the one who allows the rain.


Matthew 5:45 "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."


We know that God withholds the rain, sometimes for years to cause repentance of the people.


Deuteronomy 11:17 "And [then] the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you."


The earth receives the blessings of rain from God, just as our blessings come from God. We could go into this in greater detail by telling how Jesus told the sea to be still and it had to obey. Do not be deceived, God is in control of everything.


Hebrews 6:8 "But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned."


"Rejected (or worthless)". See the use of the term (in Rom. 1:28 "depraved"; 2 Cor. 13:5). "Fail the test"; and (2 Tim. 3:8), "rejected".


The easiest way to explain this, is, by their fruits you shall know them. Thorns and briars are part of the curse on the ground when Adam fell. They are of no use to anyone, so their fate is burning to get rid of them.


Genesis 3:17-19 "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;" "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;" "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."


We see here, that he is not just speaking of just plants which are thorns, but people, as well. As we said before, it is terribly important that we be doing the work God has called us to do. We want Him to say when we stand before Him, Well done thy good and faithful servant. The fruit that should be showing in our life is spoken of in these next two verses.


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."


We can easily see from this what God has in mind for useless things. Are you a fruit bearer?


Hebrews 6:9 "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak."


"Beloved": This term shows a change of audience and a change from a message of warning to a message of encouragement. That the address is to believers is further confirmed by the expression of confidence that "better things" could be said of them (as compared to those who were being warned in the preceding verses).


The "things that accompany salvation" are their works which verify their salvation (verse 10; Eph. 2:10; James 2:18, 26). The very statement implies that the things described (in 5:11 - 6:5), do not accompany salvation but are indicative of unbelief and apostasy.


"Though we thus speak": Though it had been necessary to speak about judgment in the preceding verses; the writer assures the "beloved"; those who are believers, that he is confident of their salvation.


We need to be working to get as many more people in the kingdom as we can, when the Lord returns. Some of us work in small places and may just have a few, but the angels in heaven rejoice when you bring one sinner to Jesus. There are a few more Scriptures here that I will give you on this subject.


Titus 2:11-14 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;" "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."


Hebrews 6:10 "For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."


"Work and ... love": 1 Thess. 1:3-4.


"Toward his name": Throughout this epistle "name" has the Hebraic sense of the authority, character, and attributes of the Son of God (1:4) or of God the Father (2:12; 13:15; and John 14:13-14).


"Saints": All true Christians are saints, or "holy ones" (13:24; Acts 9:13; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2).


Everything we are doing in the name of the Lord here on the earth is being recorded right now in heaven. Your rewards will be in heaven. Jesus said, In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me. These Scriptures in Jesus' own words say it much better than I can.


Matthew 25:35-40 "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:" "Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?" "When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?" "Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?" "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me."


I will end this lesson by saying, if we are to be like our Savior (Jesus Christ), then we must forget about ourselves and the so-called pleasures of this world, and spend every extra moment telling someone about Jesus. Won't it be wonderful to see the people you brought to Christ in heaven? Lay up your treasures in heaven; not on this earth.


Hebrews Chapter 6 Questions


  1. In Hebrew 6:1, we are told to leave the principles of doctrine and go on to what?
  2. Name some of the things that are covered in basic Christianity.
  3. When we go beyond basic Christianity, what is left?
  4. What are we Christians, who have already received basic Christianity, and have studied the Word, obligated to do?
  5. What are three very important words found in Hebrews 6:3?
  6. What happens when a seasoned person, operating in full knowledge, chooses again a sinful way of life?
  7. What does enlightened mean here?
  8. This person spoken of in question 7, not only sins, but it is the desire of their ______ to sin.
  9. John 15:6 says, what happens to those who do not abide in Jesus.
  10. Who shall be clothed in white raiment in heaven?
  11. Who is really in control of the earth?
  12. Philippians 2:10 says, who must bow to the name of Jesus?
  13. Who does God send rain on?
  14. Where in Deuteronomy do we read that God would not let it rain because of His wrath?
  15. In Hebrews 6:8, we read that worthless things shall be _______.
  16. Who brought the curse of thorns and briars to the earth?
  17. Are you a fruit bearer?
  18. What fruit should be showing in a Christian's life?
  19. How does Titus chapter 2 say we should live?
  20. What are we Christians to be zealous of?
  21. When will you reap the rewards for what you have done on earth?
  22. What does the 25th chapter of Matthew teach about doing for others?
  23. If we are to be like Jesus, what must we do?
  24. Where should our treasures be?



Hebrews Chapter 6 Continued

Hebrews 6:11 "And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:"


"You": The author is speaking again to unbelievers but appears to intentionally distance this particular group from the would-be apostates of (verses 4-6), who are in danger of being impossible to restore.


"Diligence": This term can carry the idea of eagerness or haste. It is a plea for unbelieving Jews to come to Christ immediately. If these uncommitted Jews followed the example of the active faith of the saints (verses 9-10, 12); they would obtain the salvation which gives "full assurance of hope until the end" (10:22; Col. 2:2). Salvation should not be postponed.


In the last lesson, we were talking about the responsibility of the mature Christian. We are to work the work of a Christian right up until the hour the Lord returns. We sing a song here at the church I attend that says, "we'll work till Jesus comes".


So many Christians are falling away today. Many think it is too hard. We are told in advance that in this life we will have tribulation.


John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."


In the next Scripture in Jesus' own words we find out just what we must do.


Matthew 24:13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Those who are weak in the faith will give up, and fall away.


1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."


Hebrews 6:12 "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."


"Slothful": The same Greek word is translated "dull".


"Followers": This concept is repeated (in 13:7), and is inherent in the many illustrations of faith given (in chapter 11).


"Inherit the promises": The inheritance and the promises of salvation are a theme of this epistle (verses 13, 15, 17; 1:14; 4:1, 3; 9:15; 10:36; 11:7-9, 11, 13, 17, 33, 39).


Slothful means lazy. Captain John Smith, in the colonies, was not the first one to say "no work no eat".


It is in this Scripture;


2 Thessalonians 3:10 "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."


There are numerous Scriptures on this subject of not being slothful. I will give two here.


Proverbs 12:24 "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute."


Proverbs 13:4 " The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."


The faith that we have must be the type which wears well with time.


Romans 2:7 "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:"


Those who endure to the end receive the promise of eternal life.


Matthew 24:13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."


These Scriptures leave no doubt what we must do.



Verses 13-18: God's covenant with Abraham, which involves salvation (Gal. 3:15-25), is secure, being based upon "two immutable things", that is, elements that cannot change. First, God's promise is based on His own unchanging Word. He cannot lie, nor will He allow His Word to fail (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17).


Further, His Word was confirmed "by an oath". And since He can swear by none greater, He swears by Himself. He rests His Word on His holy character.


We see here, that he is not just speaking of just plants which are thorns, but people as well. As we said before, it is terribly important that we be doing the work God has called us to do. We want Him to say when we stand before Him, Well done thy good and faithful servant. The fruit that should be showing in our life is spoken of in these next two verses.


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."


"Verses 6-13": Abraham. To encourage the Hebrews to rely upon faith as opposed to holding on to the Levitical system of worship, the writer cited the example of Abraham, who, as the great model of faith (Romans 4), should be imitated (verse 12).


"Swore by Himself": As recorded (in Gen. 22:15-19), God promised unilaterally to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant.


Hebrews 6:13 "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,"


Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught that we should not swear by anything. We cannot even swear by our own head, because we cannot make one hair white or black. God, on the other hand, controls everything. He can swear by anything He wants to, because He controls everything.


He swore by Himself, because there is no greater. He is the Truth. The Truth cannot lie.


Titus 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"


Hebrews 6:14 "Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee."


(Quoted from Gen. 22:17), this summarizes the essence of God's promise. The fact that God had said it, assured its fulfillment. It is significant that the quote in Genesis is in the context of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, who was the immediate fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. Ultimate fulfillment would also take place through Isaac and his descendants.


We know that the promises made to Abraham were for him and his seed forever. These promises are for the Christians, because we are the seed of Abraham.


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Now that we know these promises are for the believers in Christ, let us see what they are.


Genesis 48:4 "And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee [for] an everlasting possession."


Genesis 12:2-3 "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."


When we read of the Christians in heaven dressed in white robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb; we find there are so many that they are without number. I quote:


Revelation 7:9 "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"


Revelation 7:13-15 "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."


God's promise to Abraham is fulfilled in the believers in Christ.


Hebrews 6:15 "And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise."


"Patiently endured": Abraham was an example of the patience mentioned (in verse 12). He received the promise in the beginning of its fulfillment by the birth of Isaac, but he did not live to see all the promises fulfilled (11:13).


Romans 4:18 "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."


This was so impossible in the flesh, because Abraham would be a hundred years old and Sarah would be ninety. Isaac was a son of promise, not of the flesh.


Genesis 21:5 "And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him."



Verses 16-18: God's Word does not need any confirmation from someone else. It is reliable because God Himself is faithful. People confirm their promises by appealing to someone greater (especially to God), as witness. Since no one is greater than God, He can only provide an oath from Himself. By doing so He is willingly (verse 17), accommodating Himself to human beings who desire the confirmation because of the characteristic unreliability of human promises.


Hebrews 6:16 "For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation [is] to them an end of all strife."


Even ungodly men like Herod honored their oath. When a man took an oath, it was the penalty of death if he lied, so everyone believed when someone took an oath.


Matthew 23:20-22 "Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon." "And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein." "And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon."


An oath is a very serious thing.


Hebrews 6:17 "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:"


Who are the heirs according to the promise? We will see in this next Scripture.


Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Immutability means unchangeable. This means then, that the promises God made will not change. They are forever.


Psalms 33:11 "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."


Isaiah 14:24 "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand:"


We see from these Scriptures that once God has thought it, He will never change it.


Hebrews 6:18 "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:"


"Two immutable things": These are God's promise and His oath. The Greek term behind "unchangeable" was used of a legal will, which was unchangeable by anyone but the maker of the will.


"Fled ... refuge": In the LXX, the Greek word is used for the cities of refuge God provided for those who sought protection for avengers for an accidental killing (Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Jos. 20:1-9; Acts 14:5-6).


"Hope": Hope is one of the themes of Hebrews. It is also the product of Old Testament studies (Rom. 15:4). Hope for the fulfillment of God's salvation promises is the "anchor of the soul" (verse 19), keeping the believer secure during the times of trouble and turmoil.


God's spoken and written Word are unchangeable. Truth cannot lie, as we said before. God is Truth.


Numbers 23:19 "God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"


We read how important to God His Word is; in Jesus' own words.


Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."



Verses 19-20: Starting (at the end of verse 18), the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32). Second, our hope is "sure and steadfast" as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven.


The third figure is that of a "forerunner". Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of heaven. As our forerunner, Jesus is far different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary, they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves.


As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly), we might enter in with Him.


Our hope is embodied in Christ Himself who has entered into God's presence in the heavenly Holy of Holies on our behalf. By this line of reasoning the writer returned to the topic which he left (in 5:10), the Melchizedekan priesthood.


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;"


The Christian's hope is of the resurrection. We see in this next Scripture that the Christian is not like the rest of the world who is without hope.


1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" "Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."


Jesus opened the way to the Father for us when He was crucified for us. He brought down the veil of partition for us.


Mark 15:38 "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."


Hebrews 6:20 "Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."


Jesus is even now seated in heavenly places. In fact, He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is preparing a place for us, and when the Father says it is time, we will join Him at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is our High Priest. He carried His own precious blood to the Father to pay for our sin. Jesus represents us before the Father even now. The promise to the believers in John is beautiful.


John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." "In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also."


All believers are the bride of Christ. He is coming back for us, if we have remained faithful to Him.


2 Corinthians 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ."


Hebrews Chapter 6 Continued Questions


  1. How long are we to work for the Lord?
  2. In the world ye shall have ____________.
  3. In Matthew 24:13, we find that who shall be saved?
  4. What are we told to be in 1 Corinthians 15:58, 2 things?
  5. What does slothful mean?
  6. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, what commandment was given about those who would not work?
  7. Who did God swear by?
  8. Why did He swear by Him?
  9. Why can we not swear by our own head?
  10. Where is the Scripture found that says God cannot lie?
  11. Who were God's promises made to?
  12. How do the Christians fit into these promises?
  13. What are the promises?
  14. Who are the great multitude in heaven that are without number?
  15. How are they dressed?
  16. Why did it seem impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have Isaac?
  17. What is final, and leaves no room for strife?
  18. If you swear by the altar, what else do you swear by?
  19. Who are the heirs according to the promise?
  20. What does immutability mean?
  21. What is the hope, for the Christian?
  22. How was the veil in the temple torn?
  23. Who was made our High Priest forever?
  24. When will Jesus come back for His bride?
  25. What wonderful promise is made to the Christian in John 14?



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Hebrews 7



Hebrews Chapter 7

Verses 7:1-28: Using the two Old Testament references to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20; Psalm 110:4), chapter 7 explains the superiority of Christ's priesthood to that of this unique High-Priest, who was a type of Christ in certain respects. Chapter 7 is the focal point of the epistle to the Hebrews because of its detailed comparison of the priesthood of Christ and the Levitical High-Priesthood.


Verses 1-3: "Melchizedek" appears only briefly in the Old Testament, yet our author minutely scrutinizes him (see Gen. 14:18-20; Psalm 110:4). "Being by interpretation": The writer sees in Melchizedek a type or figure of Christ and draws parallels between the two.


"Without father, without mother": What is true of Melchizedek typically only because of silence is intrinsically true of Christ. Melchizedek is without parents only in that they are unknown. He is "without descent" in that his genealogy has not been preserved.


Genealogy was essential to a priest, for under the Levitical system one could not serve if he could not prove his pedigree (Ezra 2:62; Neh. 7:64). Melchizedek had no papers. Further, he is without beginning and ending due to the Old Testament never mentioning his birth and death.


The author explicitly states his point when he declares that Melchizedek is "made like", or resembles, the Son of God. But has the author taken to much liberty with his typology? No, for God Himself first made the similar connection (in Psalm 110:4), "Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."


Some understand these verses in Hebrews to suggest that Melchizedek was a theophany, and appearance of Christ Himself, rather than a historical king at Salem. Neither Hebrews nor Genesis, however, supports that view. Even in Hebrews, such phrases as "made like unto the son of God" (verse 3), and "after the order of Melchizedek" (verse 17), indicate a clear distinction between Melchizedek and Christ.


The Genesis account provides sufficient historical data to disallow the idea that this is a temporary manifestation. This Melchizedek was a king of a literal city in Canaan. The setting (of Genesis 14), is unlike any of the settings involving a theophany. In those settings, the theophany is recognized as the Lord or is declared within the text to be the Lord (Gen. 16:7-13; 18:1-33; 22;1-14; Exodus 3:2-4).


The scripture states, "now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of his spoils." A requirement for being a priest is they had to be of human ancestry. This is one of the strongest arguments against Melchizedek being a pre-incarnate Christ.


Another strong reason for his not being Christ is that in the Old Testament theophanies', He gave his message and disappeared. He did not stay permanently to function in the office of a priest or king. Whoever this man was, he presided as the King of Salem, a historical city at that time.


When scripture compares Christ to the Melchizedek priest it states that he was "made like the Son of God" not "he is the Son of God" (Heb. 7:3b). What are stressed are some similarities about paralleled in ministry, but not in the nature of his being. Thus, in this way he was a type of Christ in his mediatorial office but he was not Christ himself.


Additionally, note this was probably not a Christophany. Reason being, when the Angel of the Lord appears there is an awe and worship. There is none in this setting of tithing and communion which we would certainly think should be if he was in fact the angel of the Lord.


Further, to argue from etymology that since the name means "king of righteousness," Melchizedek is not historical lacks substance. Both historical and archeological evidence demonstrate that the Jebusite kings of that area used compound names including "zedek" for their titles. For example, Adoni-zedek was the Zebusite king for the same city several centuries later (Joshua 10:1).


Hebrews 7:1 "For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;


We have discussed this Melchizedek at length in a previous lesson. King of Salem, means King of Peace. Notice here also, that this High Priest comes from God and not through bloodline into the Levitical tribe.


The main element in all of this is that the only one He appeared to was the father of the believers, Abraham. He also, had some heavenly authority, because He blessed Abraham. Notice in the Scriptures that I will give next, what these blessings were. He is called "the" High Priest of God. Notice also, that He gave Abraham the communion elements of bread and wine.


Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God. "And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:" "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."


Notice, in this last Scripture, that Abraham recognized Him as divinely appointed High Priest sent from God, when he paid tithes to Him.


Hebrews 7:2-3 "To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;" "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually."


The Levitical priesthood was hereditary, but Melchizedek's was not. His parentage and origin are unknown because they were irrelevant to his priesthood. Contrary to some interpretations, Melchizedek did have a father and a mother.


The ancient Syriac Peshitta gives a more accurate translation of what was intended by the Greek phrase: "whose father and mother are not written in genealogies." No record existed of Melchizedek's birth or death. This is quite a contrast to the details of Aaron's death (Num. 20:22-29).


"Like": Literally "made to be like"; this word is used nowhere else in the New Testament. The implication is that the resemblance to Christ rests upon the way Melchizedek's history is reported in the Old Testament, not upon Melchizedek himself.


Melchizedek was not the pre-incarnate Christ, as some maintain, but was similar to Christ in that his priesthood was universal (verse 1), royal (verse 1-2; Zech. 6:13), righteous (verse 2; Psalm 72:2; Jer. 23:5; 1 Cor. 1:30), peaceful (verse 2; Psalm 72:7; Isa. 9:6; Rom. 5:1), and unending (verse 3; verses 24-25).



Verses 4-10: Even Abraham, the great patriarch of the Jewish people; considered Melchizedek enough superior that he tithed to him willingly and humbly of his spoils. So, Levi and the entire Levitical priesthood which proceeded from Abraham are inferior to Melchizedek and his priesthood.


Even though Abraham was the recipient of the covenant (and later, his descendant Moses, of the Law), he is the receiver, rather than the bestower, of the blessing. Thus, Melchizedek is his better, and is certainly superior to Abraham's offspring.



Verses 4-28: This section presents the superiority of the Melchizedekan priesthood to the Levitical. The major arguments for superiority are related to the receiving of tithes (verses 2-10), the giving of blessing (verses 1, 6, 7), the replacement of the Levitical priesthood (verses 3, 8, 16-17; 20-28).


Hebrews 7:4 "Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils."


In antiquity, it was common for people to give a tithe to a god or his representative. Abraham, the father of the Hebrew faith, gave a tithe to Melchizedek. That proves that Melchizedek was superior to Abraham. The lesser person tithes to the greater (verse 7).


This alone recognized Him as High Priest of God.


Hebrews 7:5 "And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:"


By the authority invested in them after the establishment of the Mosaic Law, the Levitical priests collected tithes from their fellow Israelites. The submission of the Israelites was not to honor the priest but to honor the law of God.


The difference in the sons of Levi and Melchizedec is that they are priest, because of their blood line and they are priest just for a short time. This Melchizedec is a Priest forever, and has no bloodline, He is divinely appointed of God for this service. The Scripture above is clearly making a difference in the type of priesthood.



Verses 6-7: Melchizedek not only received a tithe from Abraham, he also blessed him. This proves again Melchizedek's superiority.


Hebrews 7:6 "But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises."


We clearly see the distinction made here that the Levitical priesthood and the priesthood of Melchizedek are totally different. The Scripture above, again, says, He blessed Abraham.


Hebrews 7:7 "And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better."


This is just saying here, that as great a man as Abraham was, he was less than Melchizedek. Abraham is thought of as one of the best men who ever lived.


Hebrews 7:8 "And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth."


This refers to the Levitical law whose system was still active at the time ("and here"), and to the earlier historical incident recorded (in Gen. 14; "but there").


The Levitical priesthood changed as each priest died until it passed away altogether, whereas Melchizekdek's priesthood is perpetual since the record about this priesthood does not record his death (verse 3).


Hebrews 7:9-10 "And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham." "For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him."


In an argument based upon seminal headship, the writer observes that it is possible to speak of Levi paying tithes to Melchizedek It is the same kind of argument Paul employed to demonstrate that when Adam sinned we all sinned.


This statement here, is saying that not only did Abraham pay tithes to Melchizedek, but the high priest of the Levitical tribe paid tithes to Him in reality, because he is descended from Abraham.



Verses 11-12: The author raises the question as to why the Old Testament should make reference to "another" priesthood. If the Levitical priesthood were producing "perfection", meaning completion or fulfillment of its role, why is another needed? The old system pronounced its own doom by speaking of another.


Further, the author teaches that the passing of the Levitical priesthood necessitates the removal of the Mosaic Law, for they are inextricably united. The law did not produce the Levitical priesthood; rather the priesthood required the law. Both Moses and Aaron were chosen by God before the law was given.


The law was given at Sinai to provide the procedures and ordinances for the functioning of the priesthood God had already established. So, our author accurately acknowledges that the passing of the Levitical priesthood demands the passing of the Mosaic legal system.


Note Paul's teachings concerning the passing of the law in relation to the believer (Rom 7:1-6; 10:4; 2 Cor. 3:7-11; Gal. 3:9-25). God has not, however annihilated the law. He has removed it from the life of the believer because it can neither save nor sanctify. The unsaved man, however, still lies under its convicting and condemning work (1 Tim. 1:8-11).


Verses 7:11-28: In this section the argument is extended a step further. Since the Melchizedekan priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood (verses 1-10), Christ's priesthood is also superior to the Levitical priesthood, since Christ's priesthood is Melchizedekan rather that Levitical.


Hebrews 7:11 "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?"


"Perfection": Throughout Hebrews, the term refers to complete reconciliation with God and unhindered access to God, Salvation. The Levitical system and its priesthood could not save anyone from their sins.


Galatians 3:11 "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith."


The law did not save, it just showed us how badly we needed a Savior. The law, then and now, shows that no man can live up to the law and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.


Galatians 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."


I want to break from the detailed explanation for a moment here and say; The Tabernacle in the wilderness was patterned after the real Tabernacle in heaven. The holy place and the most holy place that Moses had built in the wilderness was just a model of the real Holy of Holies in heaven. Moses was warned to make it in detail as the one in heaven.


The Tabernacle in the wilderness had a high priest. This leaves no doubt, that the Holy place in Heaven has a great High Priest also. We are told over and over that The High Priest forever is the One we call Jesus Christ.


Verses 12-14: Since Christ is the Christian's High-Priest and He was of the tribe of Judah, not Levi (Matt. 2:1, 6; Rev. 5:5), His priesthood is clearly beyond the law which was the authority for the Levitical priesthood (verse 11). This is proof that the Mosaic Law had been abrogated.


The Levitical system was replaced by a new Priest, offering a new sacrifice, under a New Covenant. He abrogated the law by fulfilling it (Matt. 5:17), and providing the perfection which the law could never accomplish (Matt. 5:20).


Hebrews 7:12 "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law."


Romans 8:3 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:"


Romans 5:20 "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"


Abraham was saved by grace through faith just as we Christians are.


I will end this lesson on this note. God knew that man could not live up to the law, so He gave us a way of escape. That Way is Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Hebrews Chapter 7 Questions


  1. What 2 things was Melchizedek called in Hebrew 7:1?
  2. Where was Abraham coming from when he met Him?
  3. What is the meaning of Salem?
  4. What was different about His priesthood?
  5. What are the 2 things we call communion elements?
  6. What blessing did Melchizedek speak on Abraham?
  7. Name 3 titles given Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:2.
  8. What is mentioned in Hebrews 7:4 that also shows His greatness?
  9. Whose sons are the earthly priesthood?
  10. Who was these earthly priests' ancestor?
  11. Who blesses mankind?
  12. The less is blessed of the ______.
  13. How did Levi pay tithes to Melchizedek?
  14. The Levitical priesthood was not ________.
  15. Where do we find in the Scriptures that the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ?
  16. The tabernacle in the wilderness was patterned from what?
  17. Who is our High Priest forever?
  18. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the ___.
  19. Where sin abounded, _____ did much more abound.



Hebrews Chapter 7 Continued

Verses 13, 15 "Another": In both cases, the term is "another of a different kind" (heteros), emphasizing the contrast with the Levitical priesthood.


Hebrews 7:13 "For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar."


In the previous lesson, we were studying about Melchizedek who was High Priest forever. We were discussing the similarities between Him and Jesus Christ. This Scripture above explains, again, that this Melchizedek is not of the Levitical tribe.


Hebrews 7:14 "For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood."


Neither Jesus nor Melchizedek sprang from the Levitical tribe. The only way Jesus sprang from the tribe of Judah was in the flesh. His Spirit which is eternal sprang from no one. The priesthood of Jesus and Melchizedek was of God.



Verses 15-28: Though the author has repeatedly mentioned the unending nature of the Melchizedekian priesthood, this now becomes the central point. Because of its unending nature, it provides a "better hope" and an "unchangeable priesthood", resulting in an unending salvation and intercession through a perfect, one-time sacrifice.


Hebrews 7:15 "And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest," "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life."


"Law of a carnal commandment": The law dealt only with the temporal existence of Israel. The forgiveness which could be obtained even on the Day of Atonement was temporary. Those who ministered as priests under the law were mortals receiving their office by heredity. The Levitical system was dominated by matters of physical existence and transitory ceremonialism.


"Power of an endless life": Because He is the eternal Second Person of the God-head, Christ's priesthood cannot end. He obtained His priesthood, not by virtue of the law, but by virtue of His deity.


Revelation 1:18 "I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."


Hebrews 7:17 "For he testifieth, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."


Quoted from (Psalm 110:4).


Hebrews 7:18 "For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof."


"Disannulling": The law was weak in that it could not save or bring about inward change in a person (Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:9).


We see in this, that the law came first. When the weakness of man to keep the law was evident, God sent another plan to save mankind.


Hebrews 7:19 "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God."


"The law made nothing perfect": The law saved no one (Rom. 3:19-20); rather it cursed everyone (Gal. 3:10-13).


"Draw nigh unto God: This is the key phrase in this passage. Drawing near to God is the essence of Christianity as compared with the Levitical system, which kept people outside His presence. As believer priests, we are all to draw near to God, that is a characteristic of priesthood (Exodus 19:22; Matt. 27:51).


Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."


This Scripture in Galatians explains that with faith in Jesus Christ plus nothing, we are saved. The law condemned man and the grace of Jesus Christ brought hope to all who will believe.


Hebrews 7:20-21 "And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made priest]:" "(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek:)"


"Oath": God's promises are unchangeable, sealed with an oath (6:17). The Melchizedekan priesthood of Christ is confirmed with God's oath (in Psalm 110:4). God's mind on this matter will not change (verse 21).


This oath, that Jesus was a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, was an oath that God took on Himself. This leaves no room for dispute.


Hebrews 7:22 "By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament."


"Surety": This is the only use of the Greek term in the New Testament could also be translated "guarantee". Jesus Himself guarantees the success of His New Covenant of salvation.


Testament means a contract or a covenant. Surety means pledge. We see then from this that the new contract between God and man is much better than the law.


Hebrews 7:23 "And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:"


"Many priests": It is claimed that there were 84 High-Priests who served from Aaron until the destruction of the temple by the Romans (in A.D. 70). The lesser priests' numbers were much larger.


Hebrews 7:24 "But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."


If we were to look in the book of Chronicles in the Old Testament, we would find many, many names of priests and high priest beginning with Aaron. Some of these were sincere ministers of the temple, but some of them were bad. Two of Aaron's sons brought strange fire into the temple and God killed them.


God spoke to the people through the high priest. The high priest also represented the people before God. The only Eternal High Priest was Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 7:25 "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."


"Uttermost": Virtually the same concept as was expressed in "perfection" (verse 11), and "make perfect" (verse 19). The Greek term is used only here and (in Luke 13:11) "the woman's body could not be straightened completely".


"Intercession": The word means "to intercede on behalf of another." It was used to refer to bringing a petition to a king on behalf of someone. Since rabbis assigned intercessory powers to angels, perhaps the people were treating angels as intercessors. The writer makes it clear that only Christ is the intercessor (1 Tim. 2:5).


The intercessory work of Christ for the Christian is similar to preventive medicine. In one sense, intercession identifies Christ's present work of mediation in heaven. The biblical use of the term more specifically describes Christ's intervention on behalf of believers' weaknesses and temptations.


Christ is continually and actively interceding on our behalf. The assurance of the believer should rest in part on this present ministry of Christ's intercession.


There is a beautiful prayer of Jesus to the Father and in it, it tells so much about how He intercedes on our behalf. It begins (in John 17:9-26). I quote:


John 17:9-11 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]."


John 17:12-15 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." "And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves." "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."


John 17:16-19 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."


John 17:20-21 "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;" "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."


John 17:22-23 "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:" "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


John 17:24 "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.


John 17:25-26 "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me." "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."



Verses 26-28: Christ's divine and holy character is yet another proof of the superiority of His priesthood.


Hebrews 7:26 "For such a high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;"


In His relationship to God, Christ is "holy" (piety without any pollution; Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:24; Luke 4:24; Acts 2:27; 13:35).


In His relationship to man, He is "innocent" (without evil or malice; John 8:46).


In relationship to Himself, He is "undefiled" (free from contamination; 1 Peter 1:19), and "separated from sinners" (He had no sin nature which would be the source of any act of sin; "without sin" in 4:15).


2 Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


We have no righteousness of our own. We are made righteous when we accept Jesus as our Savior and are washed in His blood and made righteous in Him.


Hebrews 7:27 "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself."


"Daily": Whenever the Levitical High-Priest sinned, he was required to offer sacrifices for himself (Lev. 4:3). Whenever the people sinned, he also had to offer a sacrifice for them (Lev. 4:13). These occasions could be daily.


Then annually, on the Day of Atonement, he had to again offer sacrifices for himself and for the people (Lev. 16:6, 11, 15). Christ had no sin and needed no sacrifice for Himself. And only one sacrifice (by Him), was needed, one time only, for all men, for all time.


"He did once": A key emphasis in Hebrews. The sacrificial work of Christ never needed to be repeated, unlike the Old Testament priestly sacrifices. (9:12, 26, 28; 10:2, 10; 1 Peter 3:18).


The blood of an animal could not do away with sin, it just covered it up. There is absolutely no way that anyone could even remember all the ordinances of the law, much less keep them. The blood of animals did not clear a person's conscience of sin.


Hebrews 9:12-14 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]." "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:" "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"


Hebrews 7:28 "For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore."


"Word of the oath": God confirmed Christ as High-Priest (verses 20-21; 6:16-18).


We see from this that imperfect men were the high priest of the people while the law was in effect. Our Eternal High Priest (Jesus Christ), is the perfect one. His dedication and love for His followers is everlasting.


Romans 8:34 "Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."


He sits at the right hand of the Father and pleads our case before Him.


1 John 2:1 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"


Hebrews Chapter 7 Continued Questions


  1. Melchizedec and Jesus were not from the _________ tribe.
  2. Our Lord Jesus sprang out of _____.
  3. Jesus was made a High Priest forever not after carnal commandment, but after the power of an _________ _____.
  4. When the weakness of man to keep the ___ was evident, God sent another plan to redeem mankind.
  5. Man is not justified by the law, but by what?
  6. What difference was there in the priesthood of Jesus and the earthly priesthood?
  7. Jesus was made a _______ of a better pledge.
  8. What does testament mean?
  9. What does surety mean?
  10. What book in the Old Testament list many of the earthly priests?
  11. Which high priest had two sons who brought strange fire into the temple?
  12. What was the job of the high priest?
  13. He ever liveth to make ____________ for them.
  14. John chapter 17:9-26 is what?
  15. Who does Jesus pray for?
  16. Who was the only one Jesus lost of His?
  17. Who hates the Christians?
  18. Why do they hate them?
  19. Jesus prays not that they will be taken out of the world, but what?
  20. How is the Christian sanctified?
  21. Describe Jesus from Hebrews 7:26.
  22. How often did the earthly priests sacrifice?
  23. The blood of an animal could not do away with sin, what was all it could do?
  24. Who is the perfect One?
  25. Who is He that condemneth?
  26. Who is Jesus called in 1 John 2:1?



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Hebrews 8



Hebrews Chapter 8

Verses 8:1 - 1:18 This entire section is an exposition of the New Covenant promised (in Jer. 31:31-34), and its contrast to the Old Covenant of Law.


Verses 8:1-5: A brief description of Jesus' priesthood in the heavenly sanctuary, which is better than Aaron's because He serves in a better sanctuary (verses 1-5; 9:1-12).


Hebrews 8:1 "Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;"


"Of the things": Here the writer arrived at his central message. The fact is that "we have" (current possession), a superior High-Priest, Jesus Christ, who is the fulfillment of all that was foreshadow in the Old Testament.


As we said, in the last lesson, The Tabernacle in the wilderness was a model of the one in heaven. The heavenly Tabernacle was not made with human hands. Moses had been warned of God that every detail must be exact as the one God had shown Moses. Our High Priest is Jesus Christ, who carried His precious blood to the throne of God.


We mentioned that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father, because His work is done. His 6 hours on the cross, was His 6 days of work, for all of mankind. He said "It is finished", and went to heaven to be with the Father. Jesus is our representative before the Father. He is our Advocate, because He pleads our case.


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."


This statement, in Jesus' own words is in red in my Bible. By this, I know this is Jesus speaking.


Hebrews 8:2 "A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."


"Minister": This is the same word used of the angels (in 1:7). In (Jer. 33:21), it was used of the priests.


"Sanctuary": (9:3). The holiest place where God dwelt (Exodus 15:17; 25:8; 26:23-24; 1 Chron. 22:17).


"True tabernacle": The definition is given in the phrase "which the Lord pitched, not man," as well as (in 9:11, 24; and 8:5). It refers to the heavenly dwelling place of God.


We must not fear problems of this earth, because we have a promise of a better life in heaven with Jesus.