Sunday sermon [Video made 8-5-18]
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Sunday sermon videos-
ON VIDEO [Links to all my sites at the bottom of this post]
.See the angel?
.Victory songs of scripture are for a remembrance of the mighty acts of God
.These are an ‘established testimony’
.Remember the miracles- don’t seek signs- but when God does great acts- they are a testimony of his character
.The most important sign
.Jesus is the true Bread from heaven
.How does the temptation of Jesus by satan fit all the verses for this day?
.God has established a testimony- his Son is risen indeed
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
NEW [Other videos below]
This Sunday I spoke on the verses for the Catholic mass for 8-5-18-
I’ll copy all the verses below in the ‘verses’ section.
The passage from exodus is the famous ‘Manna’ from heaven account.
Right after God delivered the people from Egypt- with a great wonder- the parting of the Red Sea- they immediately began to doubt his provisions for them- in the wilderness-
Exodus 16:2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
Exodus 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Exodus 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Though the bible teaches us to not seek signs- or miracles- yet when God’s people seek him- and he intervenes in a miraculous way- these are events that were to be remembered for generations.
When the people grumbled about provisions- food- natural bread- it was a reaction of them not remembering what God just did- the parting of the Red sea.
We see the same in the passage from John’s gospel- last week I covered the first part of John 6- where Jesus multiplied the bread and fish.
The passage for this week began with the people who saw that great miracle- following Jesus- not because they saw [remembered] the miracle- but because they were filled with natural food.
Jesus himself rebukes them for following him for the natural provisions- and not because of the miracle-
John 6:24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.
John 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
The miracles of both the Manna and of Jesus feeding the multitudes- were indeed great acts of God.
These events were to be remembered- yes- though we do not seek signs- yet when we seek God- and he gives us a sign- then yes- these are great stories to recount and even pass on to the generations to come.
Which just happened to be another reading from the Mass-
Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
Psalm 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
Psalm 78:6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
Psalm 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
If you read a few verses below- these acts are indeed the miracles God did-
Psalm 78:10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
Psalm 78:11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.
Psalm 78:12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
Psalm 78:13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.
Psalm 78:14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
Psalm 78:15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.
Psalm 78:16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers
Psalm 78:23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
Psalm 78:24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
Psalm 78:25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.
Psalm 78:26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
Psalm 78:27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:
I’ll copy this entire psalm below- it fits the context of this teaching.
I also mentioned a verse that is not in the actual reading- but a part of the Mass where the people sing-
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
On the video I did teach from it- because it tied all the passages together.
The tempter ‘tempted’ Jesus to multiply natural provision to turn the stones into bread.
Jesus just fasted for 40 days and nights- and was indeed hungry.
Yet Jesus response was the answer to all the passages for this Sunday.
Man does not live by natural bread alone- but by every Word of God.
Jesus is that Word of God- he is that Bread from heaven- if we seek first the kingdom of God- then all the natural needs will be taken care of.
It is ok- even commanded- to remember the miracles that God has done.
These are testimonies to the greatness of our God.
The lesson we learn is to trust in God- that if he is able to part the red sea- then surely he can provide food in the wilderness.
Yet- we don’t seek him for that-
We seek him for who he is- when our hearts pant for the living God- then yes- the natural bread will come.
But if we are simply seeing God thru the lens of him meeting our natural needs-
Then we are in danger of missing out on the true Bread-
The Bread that a man may eat from- and never die-
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
OTHER VIDEOS [These are the videos I upload nightly to my various sites- PAST POSTS below]
Ramblings 1 https://youtu.be/WgAD_FNUoMQ
Sunday sermon https://flic.kr/p/28r64Ka
8-4-18 Real time update- local and world news https://youtu.be/vdEwKDOrsIo
Ramblings 2 https://youtu.be/p1YsXZTbn0s
Sanctify them https://youtu.be/1F22umvewOE
Real time teaching https://flic.kr/p/L5Yroz
Pops [he has since died] https://youtu.be/mdA3XFsoTxo
Spiritual Rock https://youtu.be/Go0WlBBwUVw
Collapse of tower 7 https://trello.com/c/D6ehqCzz/123-11-12-15-the-collapse-of-tower-7mp4
2nd Samuel 6-7 https://flic.kr/p/29NxAVs
Hebrews 4-6 https://youtu.be/Q93cYNhCiOA
Waters cover the sea https://youtu.be/HiNUck_1a2g
Teaching- 3rd time today! https://trello.com/c/5Ld2wIMV/125-11-14-14-teaching-3rd-time-todaymp4
Ephesians 3 https://flic.kr/p/MM2T51
Hebrews 7-9 https://youtu.be/YAxA-rITCaY
Rest in peace https://youtu.be/vMPWxzWl4Nw
Galatians 3 https://flic.kr/p/MNVBKU
8-9-18 Update- local and national news https://youtu.be/v0Zm3fgxXtU
Hebrews 7-9 https://youtu.be/Yg8mxHCRb2g
Bringing in the sheaves https://youtu.be/KXiJek0KR3Q
The seed https://flic.kr/p/29TStxJ
Aristotle and the city of God https://youtu.be/v1dW6UX2vOA
Hebrews 10-13 https://youtu.be/nyauaS1elec
Gate shut https://youtu.be/HdM3vQWf3gw
The unknown God https://trello.com/c/hOA0nmg9/129-11-17-15-the-unknown-godmp4
PAST POSTS [These are links and parts of my past teachings that relate in some way to today’s post- Verses below]
Jersey City ride [Mark 1]
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
CITY [Mark 1]
ON VIDEO [Past links- verses below]
.See Jersey City- Journal square- Kennedy Blvd. to 41st st.
.CNN and Jesus?
.Why no miracles before Jesus baptism?
.Alone with God
.Who said this ‘Prayer is strength for the weak’?
.Another Mustang story
NEW- Took a drive thru Jersey City and did the video from the car.
In Mark 1 we read about the forerunner- John the Baptist.
He baptized in water but said ‘a mightier one is coming- he will baptize you with the Spirit’.
Sure enough- Jesus shows up and John baptizes him in the Jordan.
As Jesus comes up out of the water we hear ‘this is my beloved Son- in whom I am well pleased’.
The Father is testifying of the Son.
Jesus is now anointed for the 3 year earthly ministry we read about in the gospels.
He begins going to the synagogues and preaching- casting out demons.
The people are shocked ‘he preaches with authority- not like the regular preachers we are used to’.
Jesu beings gathering his team of men- and the crowds are being drawn.
Yet- he seems to be avoiding the crowds.
He heals a leper and tells the man not to spread the word about it.
Yet the man ‘blazes’ the matter to everyone.
The Spirit descending on Jesus like a ‘dove’ was right before his temptation of 40 days- in the wilderness- by satan.
It was this test that prepared him for the work.
We read in another gospel that he returned in the power of the Spirit after his temptation.
The same Spirit that anointed Jesus also is now with us.
The Spirit of God is in all who believe-and that same Spirit empowers us for the task.
Jesus rose up early in the morning and went to a place where he could be alone with the Father.
Even after the anointing of the Spirit- and the test- yet he taught us to have ‘alone time’ with God.
Jesus told his men ‘Pray- the spirt indeed is willing- but the flesh is weak’.
In this chapter we see the beginning of the ministry of Jesus- and his proclamation that the kingdom of God is near.
He called the people to repentance- and to believe the good news of the kingdom.
John [the Baptist] served his purpose well- he introduced the Lamb of God- and then fades from the scene.
Yes- John showed us what it was all about.
26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
PAST LINKS- [My past teaching that relates to today’s post]
VERSES- [I quoted/talked from 3 accounts of the baptism of Jesus and the temptation of Jesus as recorded in the gospels- below are all 3 accounts- as well as the verses I quoted on the
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Mark 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mark 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Mark 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Mark 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mark 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Mark 1:12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Mark 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Mark 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Mark 1:18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Mark 1:19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
Mark 1:20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
Mark 1:23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Mark 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
Mark 1:25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
Mark 1:26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
Mark 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
Mark 1:28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
Mark 1:29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Mark 1:30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.
Mark 1:31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
Mark 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Mark 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
Mark 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Mark 1:36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.
Mark 1:37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
Mark 1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
Mark 1:39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Mark 1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
Mark 1:42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
Mark 1:43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
Mark 1:44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Mark 1:45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Matthew 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Matthew 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Matthew 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
Matthew 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Matthew 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Matthew 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
4 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
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END NOTES OF POST-
Judaism in transition.
Did they ‘move on’ ?
Who was Elazar ben Yair?
End notes of chapter-
IS THERE MEANING TO THE ACTUAL ORDER OF BIBLE VERSES?
HOW DID THE SPIRIT ‘TESTIFY’ TO THE FINAL SACRIFICE?
WHY DOES THE WRITER CONTINUE TO SAY THE NEW COVENANT IS HARSHER?
‘For the law having a SHADOW of good things to come, AND NOT the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshipers once purged should have no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year’. Paul shows how the simple fact of ongoing sacrifices in and of itself testifies of the insufficiency of the law. The on going sacrifices were a reminder that the peoples sins were still there. If the sacrifices really worked, then why do it over and over again every year? He will contrast this with the singular sacrifice of Christ. The fact that Jesus did it once shows the superiority of his sacrifice over the law.
‘Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. THEN SAID HE, lo, I come to do thy will O God. ABOVE WHEN HE SAID sacrifice and offering…THEN HE SAID, lo, I come to do thy will O God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second’ Here Paul uses the actual order of the verses in Psalms to prove that the Old law will pass away and a New covenant will replace it. The fact that David [Psalms] says ‘sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for me’ in this order shows that God always planned on taking away the sacrificial system and replacing it with Christ [or fulfilling it!] So even in the simple prophetic order of these statements Paul sees the Old law passing away and a new one being instituted. Wow again!
‘By the which will we are sanctified thru the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every high priest STANDETH daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God’ The comparison here is that the priests under the law stood, showing their sacrifices were never sufficient, they could never say ‘it is finished’. The fact that they stood while offering sacrifices showed the incompleteness of the system. Jesus sat down. This showed that his sacrifice was once and for all. Now, no where does scripture teach this concept between ‘sitting and standing’. Where does Paul get this stuff from? From ‘revelation’, that is God is supernaturally showing this stuff to Paul as he writes. This is the prophetic element of scripture. While we don’t ‘write scripture’ any more today, there are still lots of hidden meanings that we don’t fully see yet. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to ‘bring to our remembrance all the things that Jesus taught us’ [also all the things about Jesus!] So when you read the Old Testament, look for Jesus! He is there in more ways than you realize.
‘For by ONE offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us [of what? Of the singularity of Christ’s offering. The fact that the Holy Spirit thru Jeremiah prophesied that God would never remember our sins any more speaks to the truth of the one offering of Christ, we will read ‘if there is no more remembrance, then there is no more sacrifice’] this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin’. Do you see the point Paul is making? It is common for preachers and Christians to read these letters and to simply glean practical truths from them. That’s OK. But like I said in the introduction, when you see these things in context, then you can still make practical application, plus you are seeing the relevance behind the teaching. The practical part of this is ‘wow, God will not bring my sins back up into remembrance before his face!’ Now that’s practical!
‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [true holy place, that is Gods presence in the throne room] by the BLOOD OF JESUS, by a new and living way[ the early Christians were at times called ‘the way’] which he hath consecrated for us, thru the veil, that is to say his flesh’ We now have total access to the Father thru the Son. This is the ONLY WAY man can have this access! It is common today to teach a type of pluralism that says ‘all religions will eventually lead us to God’ some will lead straight to hell! Sorry. The only way to the Father is thru the Son. God ordained it to be so. Don’t fight over it, God says ‘come freely’ those who don’t come, they will never GET THERE! Jesus flesh is called the ‘veil’. During the crucifixion the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. Most believers know the significance of this. I would submit to you that when the scripture says ‘the veil was ripped’ that it was not only speaking of the actual veil that was in the temple on that day, but it was also prophetically speaking of the true veil, Jesus Body, that was being torn apart on the Cross.
The veil of the temple not only restricted access for man coming to God, but it also separated God from the true community of people. The tearing of the veil [Jesus body] not only allowed man to have access to Gods presence in heaven, but it also opened the door for the Spirit of God to tabernacle with men on the day of Pentecost. After the tearing of Jesus flesh [which Jesus is also called the door] it is like a door opened, both letting man into the presence of God, as well as ‘letting’ God tabernacle with men [note- Jesus ‘Emmanuel’ was ‘God with us’ so in a sense God was already tabernacling among men thru Christ, but at Pentecost God ‘spread’ this ‘tabernacling’ to a community with worldwide potential, as Christians would increase thru out the ages, so would Gods presence increase as he dwells in men. Thus the Kingdom starts small, like a little leaven, and before you know it the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord. It culminates at the second coming of Christ].
‘And having an high priest over the house of God [remember, even though in Hebrews Paul speaks of heaven itself as the tabernacle, yet he also told the Jews ‘who’s house are we, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end’] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water [baptism]. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering [for he is faithful that promised] and let us provoke one another to love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another…’
A few things here. First, Paul is exhorting them to ‘get washed in pure water’ [baptism]. Remember, some of the recipients of this letter were believing in the message as Paul preached it as he traveled thru their cities, others were still on the edge. In this chapter it seems as if he is saying ‘some of you who have heard and seen all of these things, it’s time to make the decision to go all the way. Others have made a good profession, you too need to stick with the message’. Now, to those who would ‘revert’ back to the law, after they ‘received’ the truth, Paul says there is only judgment down the road. Even though they heard and the message reached them. Even though Paul presents the gospel in a way that says ‘you are all sanctified’ yet there was always the danger of apostasy. Those who believe you can lose your salvation [Arminians] take these verses and say ‘see, those who were once sanctified, if they sin, they face judgment’. I have actually viewed this chapter in different ways in the past. I never saw it as the Arminians, but I have debated over whether or not Paul was saying ‘now that you are believers, don’t think you can get away with sin, remember there is only one sacrifice, if you keep sinning God will judge you’ [not hell, but chastening]. But I have come to view it more along the lines of ‘those of you who are still in transition, you have made a good profession, Jesus blood has sanctified everyone [in a sense] so if you continue to sin [go back to the old system that taught that continual sin was part of the plan. Remember, the law made provision for continual sinning. This worldview of sin and judgment was unique to the Jewish community of the day.
It really should have been easier to convert Israel, they already had a ‘Jewish’ world view. But one of the dangers of this world view was they had provision for ongoing sin. The idea of ‘continuing to sin’ was engrained in their culture. Paul is warning them that in Christ the fact that there is only one sacrifice means you cant still live with the worldview of ‘I will continue to sin’] In essence Paul seems to be saying ‘if you continue to sin, and think that the Cross is like the old system, then you are fooling yourselves. The fact that the Cross happened only once means that it is sufficient to truly cleanse you once and for all from your sin’ to those who wanted to keep sinning, because it was fun, Paul says ‘watch out, judgment awaits’. So in keeping with what I showed you in chapter 6, I see this chapter continuing to appeal to Jews, some who have even made an initial profession, but he still had to warn them about going back to their old way of continuing to sin. Remember, there were many who were preaching that the law was still necessary for salvation, Paul is telling them it isn’t.
‘For if we sin willfully [something that was expected under the law, that’s why they had all the sacrifices!] after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses law died without mercy under 2 or 3 witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?’ Once again Paul contrasts the severity of the law to the New Covenant. Remember how earlier Paul showed that those who ‘neglect so great a salvation’ have more to worry about than those who rejected ‘the word of angels’ [law] Here Paul again says ‘Those who disrespected the old system died without mercy, how much worse shall it be for those who disrespect the blood of the everlasting covenant’ I see this being directed at those who never fully convert to Christ.
While Gods discipline is also harsh on believers who continue to live in rebellion [Corinthians] this language is never used of believers. So Paul is saying ‘beware, if you decide to walk away from all that has been presented to you, you will bear a much harsher punishment than those who sinned under the law’. What was the punishment of those who sinned under law? They died. What is the punishment of those who reject so great salvation? Eternal judgment. Let me add a note about ‘not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together’. It is common to use this verse to defend ‘Sunday church’ a lot of times it is used in this way to fight against the house church movement. What is the context here? The Jews already met together regularly before they believed in Christ. They had both temple and synagogue. Paul is simply saying ‘after you convert, keep getting together’ this is not a verse for defending Sunday church! [It is OK to go to church on Sunday]. ‘For we know him that hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me…the Lord shall judge his people’ In context, remember how I already showed you that ‘his people’ and ‘holy brethren’ and other terms like this in Hebrews can be speaking of 1st century Israel in transition? They were still considered ‘his people’ at the time the gospel was presented to them. Ultimately when they rejected Christ they would lose that designation, but many of the terms in this letter speak to Israel this way. So ‘his people’ can most definitely describe believers. But in context in this letter it more than likely is saying ‘don’t forget Israel, God does judge his people. So don’t think that your natural heritage of ‘being his people’ will get you out of the crunch this time!’
The Jews were always appealing to their privileged position with God ‘we have Abraham as our father’ they would always appeal to their ‘pure’ orthodox heritage, here Paul says ‘God will judge all of us based on what we do with his Son, even ‘his people’! ‘For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods’ many of the Jews who were embracing Paul’s message did suffer persecution. Historically we know many of them were plundered. They lost their goods! It’s funny, Paul doesn’t say ‘get back what the enemy stole from you’ [though you can!] but he says ‘don’t worry about the loss of your wealth and stuff, you have a better inheritance of eternal things in heaven’. Most modern preaching doesn’t even think about this. We are so consumed with preaching a gospel that says ‘come to Jesus and you will be rich’ that we never even give a second thought to these verses. We will read in the next chapter how Moses ‘forsook the pleasures of Egypt so he could bear reproach with Gods people’. Now I know that when they fled God gave ‘the treasures back’ but the point was Moses went thru a period of leaving all of it behind for a higher calling. Don’t always tell people [to you preachers!] that the wealth of the world is waiting at your doorstep if you receive Christ. They might be on the verge of ‘getting their goods spoiled’ for a season knowing that in heaven they have a better and enduring substance.
‘NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him’. In the original bible you didn’t have chapter divisions. Sometimes the divisions interfere with the meaning of the text. It is important to see that right before Hebrews 11, Paul makes this famous statement on justification by faith! He will go into chapter 11 with this theme in mind. We often read chapter 11 as believers and see the great stories in it of the heroes of the faith, but this is not the primary reason for the chapter. The main reason is for Paul to make the case of law versus grace. He has just spent 10 chapters explaining the superiority of grace over law. Now he will show Israel that all of the great heroes of the faith PLEASED GOD BY FAITH! He will be laying out a grand overview of the great Old Testament figures and be saying THEY ALL RECEIVED A GOOD REPORT [JUSTIFIED] BY FAITH.
It is real important for you to see this as we head into the chapter. When you read it with this in mind, then you begin to focus in on the statements of faith in a different way. While chapter 11 will give all believers a great boost in faith, the primary reason behind it is to say to Israel ‘look, all of our great forefathers [and fore mothers!] pleased God by faith, not the works of the law. Some of them were even law breakers! [Rahab, Samson] yet they were JUSTIFED [pleased God] by faith!’ Well, lets get into the chapter before I preach the whole thing right here.
IS THERE MEANING TO THE ACTUAL ORDER OF BIBLE VERSES?
HOW DID THE SPIRIT ‘TESTIFY’ TO THE FINAL SACRIFICE?
WHY DOES THE WRITER CONTINUE TO SAY THE NEW COVENANT IS HARSHER?
If the sacrifices under the law were sufficient- then why did the priests keep offering them?
The writer says that’s proof they ‘didn’t really work’.
But Jesus offered himself once- for all- and that shows us that his death was the final one.
He quotes Psalms 40- and once again- like we saw earlier- he sees the actual order of the verses in this Psalm as having meaning.
‘Sacrifice and offering you do not want’ first
‘But a body you have prepared for me’ second.
He then says ‘see- God took away the first’ [meaning the Old Law covenant is ending]
‘Then- he established the 2nd’ [meaning the Body of Christ being offered].
He then says ‘the Holy Spirit also testifies to this”
He quotes Jeremiah 31-
‘I will make a new deal with the people- not like the old one- in this deal [covenant] I will not REMEMBER their sins any more’-
If God had some new covenant- in which HE would not remember the sins of the people- that shows that in the new deal- there would be no more sacrifices.
Now- he exhorts the reader ‘let us have faith- draw near to God with a clear conscience- having our bodies WASHED WITH PURE WATER’.
See- this is an exhortation to COME INTO this covenant- he’s saying ‘believe- and be baptized’.
This letter is not speaking to ALREADY BAPTIZED PERSONS.
We also see- once again- the writer saying that this New Covenant is MUCH HARSHER than the Old.
‘If those under the law disobeyed- and died under 2 or 3 witnesses- how much worse will it be for those who have the light [thru their Old Law- Christ was indeed in there- thru types and images] and reject it.’
‘for if we/you continue to sin- after having these truths revealed- there is no more sacrifice left- but a fearful waiting for judgment’.
In time I’ll develop this more- but in the New Testament letters- written to the Gentile churches- you don’t read stuff like this.
You do see God judging his people [in those letters- meaning Christians].
But you don’t see the New Covenant compared to the Old Covenant in this way- saying ‘it’s much harsher than the old’.
But- to those outside of the covenant- to the ‘unbaptized- unbeliever’ then yes- this warning holds true.
The theme thru out Hebrews is ‘if the first century Jew does not BELIEVE in Christ as the Messiah- then he in effect does disgrace to the Blood of Jesus’-
He will not find repentance any more [under the old system]-
And he will face a stricter punishment then those who rebelled under the law-
[They died physically- but in this new covenant- if you reject Christ- you suffer spiritual death- and the ultimate judgment of God].
One last note- as we study the letters of the New Testament down the road- we see a theme- yes- about how we should view earthly riches/wealth.
Here we read ‘you suffered the loss of your earthly goods- knowing that in heaven you have a more enduring substance’.
The theme is never ‘claim your covenant rights to wealth’.
But ‘the things in this life- material wealth- are nothing to be compared to the spiritual riches we have in Christ’.
And yes- this is true.
Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
Psalm 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jeremiah 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
CHAPTER 11: [see commentary on Acts 21]
JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.
TORTURED- BY FAITH?
REJECTED MONEY- BY FAITH?
THEY ALL WAITED FOR THE CITY- THE CHURCH.
‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, FOR BY IT THE ELDERS OBTAINED A GOOD REPORT [JUSTIFIED]’ This is the key verse to the chapter. Paul will go on to prove that all the Old Testament figures that ‘pleased God’ did it by faith, and not by works! ‘Through faith WE UNDERSTAND that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear’ Faith is not ‘blind’. It informs and gives understanding. This understanding is real! Let me show you what I mean. All of the universe and creation had a beginning point. Science did not always know or believe this. Today science teaches this. It is called ‘the point of singularity/density’. Science has traced back the origins of all things and has found scientific evidence to prove that all things had a ‘beginning point’. Now if you were to ask science ‘what did you have right before the beginning point’? They are stumped. Some of course believe in God and will boldly proclaim him at this point. To the others they can not answer this question. Why? Because they realize, thru science, that matter is not infinite.
Some have theorized that either all things always existed [which science has now disproved] or that at one point nothing existed [which science also teaches that if this were true then you would have nothing today. You can not get something from nothing!] So all true science has gone back to this ‘point of singularity’ and can not see what is right before ‘the point’. The Christian ‘sees’ God at this point! He ‘understands’ that by necessity there has to have been something that existed before creation, science teaches this. This something can not have been created also, because then where did the ‘being’ who created ‘it’ come from? So science teaches us that whoever got the ball rolling [Saint Thomas Aquinas calls this the ‘prime mover’] had to have been preexistent/ self existent in order to have done it. And we know that creation couldn’t have done it by itself, so therefore all reasoning and understanding leave us at the philosophical point of ‘there had to have been something/someone who existed forever in order for anything to be today’. So now you see how ‘by faith we understand that all things that now exist were brought into existence by someone who we can not see’. FAITH UNDERSTANDS!
As we go thru the rest of this chapter I want you to focus in on all the references of justification by faith. You will be surprised [I think?] on how many examples Paul gives to Israel from their own history [his too!] on God justifying people by faith. I will also try and show you [if I remember] how this chapter links the division between Paul’s epistles to the gentiles [Romans, Galatians] with James letter to the Jews. James was one of the lead Apostles at Jerusalem [Acts 15] and the Judaizers who were always accusing Paul of preaching grace in a way that justified sin, they came out of Jerusalem. James and Paul were rivals in a sense. James had the difficult job of overseeing the Church at Jerusalem, who had all the Pharisees who believed, while Paul was preaching this radical message of grace. This is why James’s letter [book of James] focused so much on faith and works. James was seeing the Genesis 22 account of Abraham’s justification when he offered Isaac on the altar. James will say ‘see how Abraham was justified by his works’. While in Paul’s letters he focuses on the Genesis 15 account of Abraham believing God and being made righteous. James was not contradicting Paul; he was showing the actual outcome of the life of a person who was previously justified by faith. James was saying ‘When God made Abraham righteous [Gen 15] he later actually became what God made him!’ [Gen. 22].
Now when Abraham would later do righteous things, he only did them because he previously had faith in Gods promise. But the fact still remains that when Abraham did a righteous act, God still justified him [in a sense, God has the prerogative to say ‘good job son, I am pleased with you’ so this can be described as an act/function of justification]. Well, now that I already showed you all this, I guess I wont have to remember telling it to you later. The point is in this chapter Paul will go down and show all these examples of Jewish leaders acting by faith and doing righteous deeds. This sort of bridges the gap between the strong emphasis on faith in Paul’s letters, with the strong emphasis on works in James letter. Paul is telling Israel ‘yes, all the old saints did do good works that pleased God, but they did them by faith!’ ‘Faith without works is dead’ [James]. So in a sense this single chapter bridges one of the key divisions in the early church between Jerusalem and Antioch [Acts 13 and 15]. Note; I believe all the chapter references above are correct, I write all this from memory so you might want to go back and double check the references. I know all the stories are right.
‘By FAITH Able offered …by which he obtained witness that he was RIGHTEOUS…by FAITH Enoch was translated…he had this testimony that he PLEASED GOD…without FAITH it is impossible to PLEASE HIM [all these ‘please him’ references are like saying ‘being justified’ when a person is justified by God, God sees him as acceptable, pleasing. ‘Thou art my beloved son in whom I am well PLEASED’ God to Jesus!] By faith Noah… prepared an ark to the SAVING of his house…and became heir to the RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS BY FAITH [wow, he makes this one real plain] By faith Abraham…went out into a strange land…and sojourned’ interesting, both the aspect of ‘going out to a new land’ and ‘staying in it when you get there’ are both functions of faith. Let me throw in some practical stuff here. Over the years of ‘doing ministry’ I have seen and been a partaker of both of these experiences. Sometimes it takes an act of faith to uproot us from familiar territory and move on to the next level. And do you know what can happen next? The enemy will try to intimidate you once you get in the land of promise, and tell you ‘you cant stay here, look at all the people who hate you. Look at all the mistakes you made’ and it often takes an act of faith to STAY IN THE LAND. Don’t leave the land of your destiny; all true leaders will go thru both of these dealings.
‘For he looked for a city which hath foundations [Jesus is the foundation of this city!] whose builder and maker is God’ All of these great heroes of the faith were looking forward towards a future promise of being in Gods true church, the ‘City of God’ the Bride, the Lambs wife. Paul shows Israel that this 1st century appearing of Messiah was for the purpose of Israel coming into the ‘new land’ the Body of Christ. It is important to see this. There are many preachers today who are treating natural Israel as in if everything is just fine. It isn’t! They need Christ as much as the Muslim does. God was telling Israel ‘come into this new city’ [New Jerusalem versus Old Jerusalem] he wasn’t appealing for them to stay in ‘old Jerusalem’ and be a ‘completed Jew’. [I know this sounds harsh, but I want to emphasize to all my evangelical friends that Jews need Jesus, they play a special role in Gods plan, but ultimately they need Christ!]
‘Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed’ it takes faith to produce spiritual offspring! It might look impossible, but with God all things are possible. ‘Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky and the sand by the shore’ sometimes God will allow you to bring forth one ‘seed’ [person or act of ministry] and you will be surprised how much fruit can come forth from this singular effort. This is why it’s so important to simply hear and obey God. Often times in ministry we do tons of ‘leg work’ which is OK. But when God gives you an idea or mode of function that you weren’t even thinking of, go with it. These are usually the ‘little seeds’ that produce the great harvest! ‘THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES’ I want to emphasize here that it is possible to live your whole life in faith without actually seeing the fulfillment of all that God has told you.
Now faith does obtain promises [verse 33] but sometimes we also see things many years down the road and we must realize that the measurement of faith is not whether or not you are currently getting the actual promise. In the above [and below] verse’s we see Abraham and Sara being told that their offspring would number in the millions. They believed these promises, but it is obvious that they didn’t live to see it fulfilled, but they sure knew that after they were gone it would come to pass. So I want to exhort you to believe to see certain things fulfilled in your life time, but have some greater goals that you initiate while here on earth, knowing that after you depart they will be fulfilled. ‘And truly if they had been MINDFUL of the country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned’ what is Paul saying here? The greatest threat to the gospel taking root in the Hebrew community was the desire to go back to old law and culture. How many believers ‘revert’ back to an older form of church simply because they missed the old culture and ‘feelings’ that they had when they were younger? Many of the Jews would not go all the way with the gospel because they were ‘mindful’ of the good old days of law and sacrifice.
I just watched a show the other day that told how even some gentile believers began celebrating certain feasts of Israel with their Jewish neighbors. While it is good to understand and see the significance of the feasts, yet we know Paul wrote the early believers and said ‘you observe days and times and feasts, and I am concerned about it’. So when we [or 1st century Israel] are ‘mindful’ of the ‘good old days’ then there is always a danger of going back! ‘By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…of whom it was said in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure’ Abraham exhibited characteristics of the Father [God] as well as Isaac being a type of the Son [Jesus]. It’s interesting that these verses show that Abraham knew for a fact that God was going to give Isaac millions of children, Abraham also knew the voice of God so well that when he ‘thought’ he heard God say ‘offer up this boy’ that in the mind of Abraham, the only way these 2 things could be reconciled, is he came to the conclusion ‘I guess God will have to raise him up, being he has told me this boy will have millions of children, plus he is telling me to kill him’. Most of us would not have come to this conclusion! We would have doubted either the original promise, or said ‘surely this can’t be God telling me to offer Isaac’ [most likely we would have doubted the latter!].
There is a real important reason for Abraham to have been a real man of faith. God wanted this ‘picture’ of the offering up of Isaac for a type of the Cross and Resurrection. The only way he could have shown this example was to have had someone so radically filled with faith, that he would have come to this conclusion of ‘well, I guess God will just raise him’. It was necessary for the figure to have been truly fulfilled. It took Abraham many years of hearing and believing God before he would get to this stage. The part of Abraham’s mind that said ‘God will just have to raise him up’ was important for the figure to truly work. God knew he could only bring someone to this conclusion by arranging the whole scenario around a person of faith. It truly took a real person of faith to have come to the conclusion of resurrection as being inevitable! [For Abraham to fulfill the type of God, he had to have been convinced beyond all doubt that after he offered up his son, that he would be raised again. This is exactly what the Father [God] believed and knew about his own Sons death. So not only did Isaac fulfill the type of Jesus in this story, but Abraham also fulfilled a type of God!] [NOTE; Today is September 22, 2007. Israel’s Day of Atonement. I just heard a brother preach on the feasts of the Lord [I have done this also] but he preached it in a way that said ‘because God said you were to observe these feasts perpetually, therefore all gentile believers need to start observing these days’ he added ‘I know Paul taught the law passed and all, but these feasts are supposed to be forever because God said so’.
How are the feasts ‘perpetual’? Thru the fulfilling of them in Christ! Paul makes this plain all thru the New Testament [as well as this letter!] I was surprised to hear the brother preach that the first 2 feasts [out of the 3 main ones] were fulfilled and memorialized, but the 3rd one [Atonement/tabernacles] has yet to be fulfilled! What? Jesus fulfilled Passover and Pentecost for sure, and they are still being ‘fulfilled’ God is still bringing people in thru the blood of Christ and the Spirit is continually being poured out on people, and of course the ultimate reality of our atonement thru our high priest is a daily reality [he ever lives to make intercession] that is ‘fulfilled’ all the time[ I understand what the brother meant, that both Passover and Pentecost were fulfilled at the Cross and the day of Pentecost, and Tabernacles still has a future fulfillment. That Jesus will ‘ingather’ all peoples to himself at the end. The way he said it was in a way that he said Atonement, the beginning of Tabernacles/booths, still has to be fulfilled. It really came out badly!] I just thought it worth noting that today is natural Israel’s feast day, and we hold this feast in reality 24/7!]
‘By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of pharaohs daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward…by faith the harlot Rahab perished not…’ I want you to see that faith in Moses situation caused him to forsake great riches and leave a successful future. This is in keeping with all the times Jesus called people in the Gospels ‘forsake all and follow me’ mentality. We too often equate the ‘treasures of Egypt’ with following Jesus; the scripture puts a different spin on it! Also Rahab ‘perished not’ because she ‘believed’. Paul teaches in Corinthians that those who believe are ‘being saved’ and those who don’t believe are ‘perishing’. I want you to see that Paul is really making a theological argument for ‘being saved by faith’ in this chapter. Even a harlot can be saved! Wow. The law seemed to have no mercy on someone like that!
‘Who thru faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions…women received their dead raised to life…others were TORTURED not accepting deliverance…others had mocking and scourging and bonds and imprisonment, they were stoned, cut in half, were slain with the sword… being destitute, afflicted, tormented…they wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and caves of the earth, ALL THESE [both the ones who shut the mouths of lions as well as the one’s who were tortured without deliverance] OBTAINED A GOOD REPORT THRU FAITH, AND RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE’ Faith does not always cause you to be better off in this life. I am very familiar with all the verses of God blessing us and providing for us ‘the blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow to it’. I believe and claim these verses just like the next guy. I also don’t want to tell people ‘give your life to Christ and all will go well’ did it go well for the ones who were tortured not getting delivered? Sure did. It went well the moment they saw the face of God. The same for those who were cut in half. It also went well for the women who received their dead raised to life. The point is ‘going well’ is not always defined by your outward circumstance.
We must see the overall biblical worldview of all things here being temporary, while all true spiritual riches are eternal. Moses actually was ‘less rich’ by the choice to follow Christ. But he was ‘more rich’ in that he fulfilled Gods purpose. It is important to see that many of these great heroes of the faith died without fully seeing the promise in this life. Now the last verse does say ‘that they without us should not be made perfect’ and this does show that the promise is now fulfilled thru Christ. We have all become recipients of eternal salvation thru Christ. The Old Testament patriarchs have ‘found that city’ in that we are all now members of the great ‘City that comes down from God out of heaven’ we are all in Christ today, even our Old Testament brothers who had faith. The point is don’t always measure a persons faith by their outward wealth and condition. James rebuked this idea in his epistle, he taught us not to show partiality to people who were rich while despising the poor.
When believers see faith only from the standpoint of outward things, they are missing the true riches. Jesus taught that all these outward things were not the true riches; I am surprised how many believers spend so much time hoarding and storing things that will all pass away some day. Let’s close this chapter on a good note. Paul has offered Israel all of their Old Testament heroes as an example of being justified by faith. He is saying ‘look, all the great fathers of the faith pleased God, just like you have said and taught for ages. I am declaring unto you they were all ‘justified/pleasing to God’ by faith, not law’. Therefore if you want to follow the example of Abraham and Moses and all the other wonderful fathers, then you too MUST BELIEVE!
JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.
TORTURED- BY FAITH?
REJECTED MONEY- BY FAITH?
THEY ALL WAITED FOR THE CITY- THE CHURCH.
This chapter is loaded with the history of the Jewish people-
I could teach on each story- but that would be a bit much-
So I pasted the verses below to show that the writer is saying ‘see- all of our forefathers were justified- received a GOOD REPORT- by faith’.
Wait a minute- they DID THINGS- in these stories-
Isn’t that WORKS?
If you read the letter of James- and the letters of Paul- some scholars says there is a disagreement-
Paul says a man is justified by faith- and not by works.
James says ‘see how a man is justified by works- and not faith only’.
If this letter [Hebrews] was written by Paul- then it’s a true masterpiece- because he is combining the examples that James uses [Rahab- and Abrahams Genesis 22 experience- which James uses to say ‘see how works justifies’].
So- to me- Paul would be saying ‘no- I’m not contradicting James- we both believe/teach the same thing’.
If the letter was written by Barnabus- then it also is a masterpiece- because Barnabus might be trying to bridge the gap between Paul and James.
We read about this tension in Acts chapters 13 and 15.
This chapter is certainly not showing us how to obtain stuff [money- etc.] thru faith- because look at the examples- ‘Moses chose to suffer- and reject the wealth of Egypt- BY FAITH’-
‘SOME WERE TORTURED- SUFFERED- CUT IN HALF- by faith’- ‘CHOOSING TO not be delivered- because they had faith’.
We also see the heavenly city- as the goal of the patriarchs- they were all waiting for THE CHURCH- the city that the apostle John spoke about in the book of revelation.
The writer says ‘if they were mindful of the city they came out of [a reference to the law covenant- meaning if the Jews kept clinging to the law- the ‘city they came out from’- they will have a hard time moving on- into the New Covenant revelation of Messiah].
I didn’t quote verse 2- but we could teach modern physics from that one [the bible says all things were made from something invisible- modern physics has come to that reality in the 20th century- yet this verse was penned 2 millennia ago]!
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
So yeah- lots of good stuff in this chapter- but the main point is these ancients were justified by faith- the example of Noah and Abraham actually use that very language- salvation/righteousness [it’s a bit clearer in the King James Version- the above verses are from the NIV].
Yes- the writer is saying ‘everything is based on faith- and even our ancestors were justified by faith- they did all these things because they believed God- and God saw their faith- in action- and they too were made righteous- by faith’.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
A HEAVENLY CITY.
DON’T BE SAD, HE’S TREATING YOU LIKE A SON.
NO REPENTANCE- OUTSIDE OF CHRIST THAT IS.
CULTURE SHOCK IS HARD ON US ALL.
‘Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses [all the heroes of the last chapter!] let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us’ a few practical things. Paul compares the journey to a marathon, not a sprint! The patient runner who paces himself will receive a reward. The sprinter will look good at the start, but you never see him again! I have been blessed by so many gifted people over the years. Some who were on radio, or were doing some type of ministry for the Lord. The gifts and callings were truly on these people. A few years would go by and they were no where to be found. Where did they go? Some of them jumped on the latest ‘Christian movement’ [I am not against movements from God, I just feel we get enamored by them and give up on the main thing the Lord has called us to] some walked away from the Lord.
I have come to realize that God will put certain things in you from the early days, things that he predestined for you to fulfill before you were born. These are the things that you should be faithful to. Don’t abandon the original calling, it’s still there! You can spend your whole life leaving one ‘track’ and ‘sprinting’ in another. But God wants you to stay on the original course and run it with patience. It might not seem as glamorous or exciting as the newest race in town, but at the end you will receive a reward. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him ENDURED the cross, despising the shame and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that ENDURED such contradiction of sinners…and ye have forgotten the exhortation that speaketh to you as children [remember what we said about this type of privileged language in Hebrews? It is speaking to Israel] my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art REBUKED of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If you endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons’.
Now, for many years I read this just like you. That God was telling Christians that he disciplines them. True enough. But in context what is Paul saying here? He spent 11 chapters ‘reproving’ Israel. He told them that all the sacrifices and wonderful holidays and family traditions are no more. That Messiah has fulfilled it and you can’t keep doing it. Now, how would you feel if some know it all preacher came along and totally dismantled your whole way of worship? And you knew in your heart he was right! You would take offence. You would feel like you just got ‘chastened’ up and down and all over. Your initial reaction would be ‘this is too much correction in one letter, I am tired of reading it!’ so Paul is telling Israel ‘Don’t take all this reproof the wrong way, Gods intent is to get you to move on with the program. He loves you guys; don’t forget that scripture [Old Testament] says ‘who God loves he chastens’ hey, God is just dealing with you as children who he loves’ get it? ‘We have had fathers of the flesh that corrected us…shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of spirits and live?’ Paul is saying ‘you guys want to live [eternal life] then you need to submit to the correction the father is giving you’.
‘For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness’ Now, God does chasten believers for the purpose of holiness. Scripture says ‘those who have suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin, that they should no longer spend the rest of their days in the flesh pursuing the desires of the flesh, but the will of God’ ‘before I was afflicted I went astray, but after I kept thy word’ ‘thou in faithfulness hath afflicted me’ ‘though he were a son yet learned he obedience from the things he suffered’ ‘the captain of our salvation was made perfect thru suffering’ [the last 2 are in this letter, the others are some where in scripture, I just quoted them off the top of my head. As you can see I have some familiarity with this subject! Ouch] In context Paul is saying to Israel ‘you have tried to attain holiness thru legalistic means, by keeping the law [Romans 9-the last few verses] but until you submit to Gods chastening, and have faith in God, you will not truly have his ‘holiness’ [righteousness].
So God is disciplining them thru this letter so they will ‘believe and become righteous’ as opposed to staying in the old system of law. ‘Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous [old brother Paul, he sure knew how to understate things!] nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS to them that are exercised [or exorcised! Just kidding, but it can feel like this at times] thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down…and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame [broken] be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed’ David said ‘restore to me the joy of your salvation that the bones which YOU HAVE BROKEN may rejoice’ The danger of chastening [both for Christians and Israel] is that we get so broken that we never fully recover. Paul is telling Israel ‘I know it’s been hard on you guys to hear so much rebuke. Don’t walk away totally discouraged. There is a danger that you might respond to Gods correction the wrong way. Lift up your hands, shake off the depression, and let yourselves be healed. God wants to restore you!’
‘Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for HE FOUND NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE though he sought it carefully with tears’. This is another reason why reading Hebrews in context is important. One of the themes of this letter is ‘if you miss out on it now, you can’t repent later!’[Chapter 6]. We know that Pauls other letters to the churches leave open future repentance for those who have sinned. In Paul’s letters to the Corinthians we see this being done. But in Hebrews the idea is ‘if you pass on the Cross, you can not find repentance thru any other means. There is no other place for repentance’. So this is the reason why Hebrews has this theme of ‘no future repentance’ thru out the letter. Paul is certainly not telling Israel that if they decide to repent and accept Christ at a future date, they can’t! But he is saying ‘if you pass over this sacrifice of Christ, all the other ‘sacrifices’ and means of repentance that are contained in the law will have no future effect, remember Esau!’
‘For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched…but ye are come to Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem [the church]…and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Able’ Here Paul comes back to a ‘scarlet thread’ that runs thru out this letter. He says ‘hey, you think the first covenant was a fearful thing, watch out! If you disregard this covenant [Jesus blood] then you have gone against something that is much greater than the law’. Also the ‘blood of Able’ cried out from the ground for vengeance, the blood of Jesus cries out from heaven for mercy and forgiveness! It ‘speaks’ better things than that of Able! ‘See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth [Moses and the law] much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him which speaketh from heaven’ again Paul repeats themes he hit on earlier in this letter. He says ‘Moses spoke Gods Word [law] to you from an earthly mountain and place, you are come to a heavenly mountain [Sion-spiritual Jerusalem] and Jesus is speaking to you from heaven. This is much more strict than he who spoke from earth’.
‘Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom that can not be moved, let us HAVE GRACE, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire’ Though Paul doesn’t say it [I think he should have!] but this alludes to the ‘God’ of Moses day, who did not consume the burning bush, compared to the ‘God’ of today [new covenant] who will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire! This fits in with the theme of a harsher punishment for those who reject the covenant of grace as opposed to those who rejected the covenant of law. I know these themes are not popular, but this is clearly the way Paul is presenting them. I also am not saying the ‘God’ of the Old Testament is different from the ‘God’ of the new [this is the heresy of Marcion! I think that was his name. He was an early Christian heretic who comprised the first canon of scripture for a ‘new testament’ it included basically Paul’s letters, and he taught that The God of the new testament was different from the God in the old] but Paul is presenting the new covenant in a way that says ‘don’t neglect this new way of salvation, those who do will receive a harsher judgment than those who rejected the law’.
A HEAVENLY CITY.
DON’T BE SAD, HE’S TREATING YOU LIKE A SON.
NO REPENTANCE- OUTSIDE OF CHRIST THAT IS.
CULTURE SHOCK IS HARD ON US ALL.
Once again we see the contrast between ‘he that spoke from earth’ [Moses- the law]- and he that ‘speaks from heaven’ [Jesus covenant is more strict- to those outside of it and reject it- because he has heavenly authority- Moses had earthly]. Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
The writer says ‘don’t be sad- God disciplines every son who he receives’- though this certainly applies to Christians- Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Remember this- though the message of grace and Jesus as the Messiah is wonderful- especially to us Gentile believers-
Yet- it was indeed a cultural shock to the 1st century Jew-
Even though Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophets- yet in order for the Jewish person to accept this [Like the apostle Paul]
He had to accept a real cultural change in the religion he practiced from his youth-
He was being asked to stop the animal sacrifices- to ‘move on’ from the Law covenant- and to embrace Christ.
Now- in reality- it would be the fulfillment of all that was contained in the law- but it’s often hard for anyone to ‘move on’ from former religious practices that are embedded in his culture.
So- in context ‘Don’t be sad- God is disciplining you- showing you new stuff- and it’s tough for sure- but he does this with all the sons he receives’.
We also see the promise of the heavenly city- As opposed to the earthly one. Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
The writer is speaking about the church- and how both Jew and Gentile are part of this spiritual community coming down from God out of heaven.
And again we see the warning- of no repentance- for those who keep sinning.
I stress that this is never taught to the Gentile churches- as a matter of fact the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians- about a sinning brother- sleeping with his father’s wife [his step mom].
And In the 2nd letter- this brother repented- and Paul exhorted the church to receive him back into fellowship.
But to the 1st century Jew- still not fully in the covenant- he says ‘Hebrews 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
In keeping with the theme of the letter- Jesus is now the only acceptable means of repentance- and if you reject him as the Messiah- and continue in sin- then yes- there is no repentance.
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
JAMES 3-5 [I’ll be in New Jersey June 19th-21- with my daughters- won’t have enough time to see my friends on this trip- but I’ll be back after that- see you then. Flying in on the 19th– out on the 21st– only have one day in town].
James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
James 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
In the tradition of wisdom literature [Proverbs- etc.] James gives practical advice about what we say.
Proverbs says wise men spare their words- fools don’t.
James tells us not to seek after a big audience- or any for that matter.
Teachers will give an account- they hold special responsibility for what they teach.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
James 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
James 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
James 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
NOTES- War is never a noble thing- it comes from the heart of sinful men.
Life is short- like smoke- it’s here for a short time- then gone.
The Christian life is one of discipline ‘resist the devil- draw near to God’.
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
James 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
James 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
James 5:6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
James 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Last night I read Luke 6- Jesus says-
‘Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
Luke 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
I mentioned earlier in this study that James was the brother of Jesus- and that the letter of James is the only New Testament book that fits the category of wisdom Literature- besides the teachings of Jesus in the gospels- The Sermon on the Mount/ beatitudes.
Look at the similarity of James and Jesus-
James rebuked the rich- said if we hear the Word- but don’t do it- we are in trouble.
James said to not judge- to show no partiality-
All of these teachings are short- pithy- and get straight to the point.
We live in a day where much of the popular preaching is very ‘flashy’- we desire great audiences- for people to sit- and hear.
Many see this act- ‘going to church- and hearing’ as their main responsibility as Christians.
Yet the bible puts a huge emphasis on being ‘doer’s’- seeking justice in society- James warned the upper class- Jesus too.
They said ‘woe to you that have it all- that hold the seats of power- and yet take no thought of the plight of the suffering and afflicted- your day is coming!’
We read this theme all thru out the Prophets of the Old Testament-
We see it in the life of John the Baptist-
And we read it in the prophetic praise of Mary- Jesus Mom!
Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
Luke 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Luke 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Luke 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luke 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Affliction- difficulty- these are ways God forms our character- not things to be ‘rebuked’.
Pray during times of testing-
Pray for one another- God heals us.
Have you been treated unjustly?
Don’t hold a grudge-
Know that God is a just God-
Confess your mistakes- faults- to each other- don’t live a hidden life of sin.
If people are straying from truth- and you recognize it- then help them see this.
Proverbs says the wounds of a friend are better than false flattery.
END NOTES- As we go thru the letters of the New Testament- I want you to follow the underlying theme about riches/money- how both leaders in the church as well as church members are to view the ‘wealth of this world’.
Over the years- I have heard/seen many of the verses- even from this letter [chapter 1 ‘Don’t be double minded- don’t listen to people who are against a wealth building mindset- or you won’t get your harvest of money’] and use them to focus believers on the actual thing the verses teach against.
When we read the bible- it’s important to understand that even though we believe the bible is the Word of God- ‘Every Word is True’- yet- it’s the ‘Word of God’- in context.
So- if we read warnings against riches [like in this letter] you don’t take those actual warnings- out of context- and then teach the opposite.
I didn’t comment much on these last 3 chapters- because I wanted you to simply read them.
We can stay balanced as Christians if we regularly read thru the bible.
In chapter one James said if we lack wisdom- we should ask God- and he will give us wisdom.