Posts Tagged ‘Moses’


Faith - Hebrews 11_6When it comes to our relationship with God, our mind is a battlefield. God wants us to communicate with Him, but often what we think about and dwell on is a roadblock to an intimate and growing relationship with God. We condemn ourselves and go about trying to please God through wrong methods or wrong motivations. We can’t imagine how we could possibly please a holy God. The more we try the more we realize our failures. We find ourselves with Paul in Romans 7, longing for the freedom of Romans 8, but not understanding how to get there. The effects of “stinkin’ thinkin’” is being researched by Dr. Peggy Zoccola, Asst Professor at Ohio University.

The research team recruited 34 healthy young women to participate in the project. Each woman was asked to give a speech about her candidacy for a job to two interviewers in white laboratory coats, who listened with stone-faced expressions, Zoccola said. 



Half of the group was asked to contemplate their performance in the public speaking task, while the other half was asked to think about neutral images and activities, such as sailing ships or grocery store trips. 



The researchers drew blood samples that showed that the levels of C-reactive protein were significantly higher in the subjects who were asked to dwell on the speech, Zoccola reported.

Dr Peggy Zoccola 
For these participants, the levels of the inflammatory marker continued to rise for at least one hour after the speech. During the same time period, the marker returned to starting levels in the subjects who had been asked to focus on other thoughts.



The C-reactive protein is primarily produced by the liver as part of the immune system’s initial inflammatory response. It rises in response to traumas, injuries or infections in the body, Zoccola explained. 



“More and more, chronic inflammation is being associated with various disorders and conditions,” Zoccola said. “The immune system plays an important role in various cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease, as well as cancer, dementia and autoimmune diseases.”

C-reative protein is widely used as a clinical marker to determine if a patient has an infection, but also if he or she may be at risk for disease later in life.



The study concludes that dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body. I also contend (unscientifically of course) that dwelling on your sin and failures and inadequacies causes inflammation of your faith eyes, hindering your ability to walk by faith! Faith is absolutely critical to being a God-Pleaser! Our focus must be on His power, and not our failures. If our focus is wrong, we will develop crippling faith, faith that is weak and ineffective.

What we think, speak and act impacts our faith:

Jesus knew that our lives are impacted by what we think about. He even extended it to include what we say and what we do. The following verses can be backed up by many more:

  • But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:18-20
  • For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7
  • “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue” Prov 18:21
  • As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. Job 4:8
  • Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

Our Heart & Mind can serve as roadblocks to being what God wants us to be: God-Pleasers.

Walk-Minding-the-Holy-Spirit-goodI was told in Bible College that Martin Luther ripped the book of James from his Bible. Actually, he did not, but he did preface it in his Bible as a “Book of Straw.” He found some of its teaching as being contrary to his understanding of Salvation by grace alone. For example, James wrote in chapter 2:

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:17-24

I have struggled with this concept of faith, grace and works as well. After all, we read from David’s flagship Psalm the following:

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. Psalm 119:1-4

Implied in my relationship with God is an expectation from Him that I obey Him, and keep His commands. However, my life has been one complicated by selfishness, sinfulness and failures. If anyone deserves Hell, it is me.

If I struggle with this, then I imagine that you may struggle with it as well. I believe as we continue to look at Hebrews 11:6, that the Holy Spirit will affirm some truths for our soul that will reassure us, or perhaps spur us.

Faith vs. Works

You cannot really separate faith from works. We must not see them as two separate things, but rather joint expressions of relationship with God. This is the Hebrews 11:1 definition of Faith. This is the Hebrews 11:6 definition of the one who pleases God.

  • Faith is substantiating and demonstrating.Faith is the substantiating Hebrews 11_1
  • Faith is believing and showing that belief in your diligence and priorities.
  • Faith is listening to God and building an Ark.
  • Faith is the language of God.
  • Without faith you cannot please God, and you cannot communicate with God.

Faith & Focus

If you do not have faith in God, you have faith in something else. Faith and Focus go hand in hand. What would people say you focus on?

Moses proved what the focus of his life was when he fled Egypt. His focus (faith) empowered his fleshly eyes to see the invisible God as if He was visible! “By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

Moses saw Him who is invisible Hebrews 11_27

Vs 27 illustrates the power of Faith… The key is furnished by v. 27, as seeing him who is invisible. Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. It rests on that fact, acts upon it, and is upheld by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it. Faith is a real seeing[1].

Noah proved by his actions what his focus was on:

  • Noah had faith, and showed it by obeying God and building an Ark.

On the other hand, the people of Noah’s day showed what their focus (faith) was on: themselves. They wanted to keep on having fun as if there was no tomorrow, and ignored the warnings of Noah, and could not see the signs of God’s existence and power! This reveals a truth that many refuse to admit:

We all have Faith in something…

You life is lived in faith. Many live by faith only in what they see, what they can do. Faith in themselves, or in their possessions. I know, True Faith applies only to making UNSEEN things real. But unfortunately, most people are too pragmatic or self-sufficient to have True Faith. They are content with their lives, and really don’t need a power beyond themselves. To self-sufficient people, faith has no application. Only those who realize there is a real Creator God will even begin to sense their need for faith.

Are You ready to Discover the Power of Faith? Are you ready to make a HEBREWS 11:6 Commitment?

Hebrews 11:6 is a powerful verse. It is a verse that once committed to, means your life will forever be intertwined with God. You are staking everything on Him! Faith that will give you a personal and family connection with the Creator of the Universe! When you have it, your life will bear evidence of it!

To develop and understand this Faith, you need to wrap your life around Jesus Christ! Have you come to Jesus as the Son of God, your Minister, your Mediator, your Intercessor, your Savior and Lord? You have not made a decision to center your life upon and around Him! If so, it is pointless to explore the power of Hebrews 11 Faith. Your faith is in yourself, and this will not make sense to you.

For we walk by faith, not by sight: 2 Corinthians 5:7

FAITH SUBSTANTIATES the UNSEEN AS REALITY!

Who are kept (guarded) by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

Faith allows you to be fully vested in GodFaith Allows You to Be Fully Vested

Being fully vested in God means He is fully vested in you as well. The key to this relationship is Faith.

  • Faith is the only communication that God accepts.
  • Faith is the only way you are accepted in God.
  • This is the lesson of Hebrews 11:6

Examples of faith that fully ‘vests’ us in God

Romans 4:18-22: Abraham was fully convinced!

Faith-and-Obedience-IntertwinedIn hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:18-22

Romans 5:1-5: All those who endure Suffering!

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

1 Cor 2:5: All those who don’t trust in their own wisdom!

that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

HEBREWS 11:6

Faith Translates us to be a God-PleaserAnd without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

1.  How important is Faith?

  • Without it, you cannot please God, you cannot draw near to God, you cannot receive anything from God

2.  Can you communicate with God without Faith?

  • True Faith is the only Means of Pleasing God
  • Without faith you are ‘adynatos’ – without power.
  • You have no ability whatsoever to do anything to please God.

You say “I believe” but belief alone is not faith. Remember how God defined faith-it makes real things that are invisible. It substantiates the reality and power of God. Anyone can say they believe in God. But does your belief accomplish what faith does, it brings you into His presence. Your faith carries you and all your problems to the very throne of God, where He works His mercy, justice and righteousness in your life. No one comes to God without being effected and affected by His holiness. Does mere “belief in God” work His holiness effect upon your life? No, because belief by itself is hands-off, academic and simply “good-to-know.” That is six-degrees of seperation stuff. Only FAITH brings you to the throne, puts you in the inside and allows the Holiness Effect to transform you!

3.  True Faith in God transforms from part-time to “Fully Vested”

  • If you are fully vested, you are in God’s “crew.” You are his ‘hommies’, friends, gang, posse, people who have God’s back
  • You are not a groupie or a fan, someone there just for the fun.
  • Faith demonstrates the reality of your being in God and depending upon Him NO MATTER WHAT!
  • Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8
  • You Must believe God IS!

The idea is not merely that God exists as a rewarder, but that He will prove Himself to be a rewarder of that person who diligently seeks Him. As Vincent puts it: “He who approaches God has, through faith, the assurance that his seeking God will result in good to himself.”

This is not an academic belief, but one that grows from being fully vested in Him! This is reflected in your heart, your mind and your actions. Do you believe in an unseen Deity that watches you and who is eternal and powerful. Do you have faith to believe that He is powerful enough to work in your life?

Faith Translates You (in)to the Majesty

Faith is the language that reaches God’s ears. He listens to those who pray and think and act in faith in Him! Faith tranlates our prayers into God’s heavenly language! Faith translates us to a place of power before the throne! Do not offer prayers without faith in God! They are gobbledygook to him!

  • faithHow does your Heart reflect your belief that God is?
  • Negative thoughts, hatred of others, wicked plotting, desire for revenge, bitterness over events.
  • How does your Mind reflect your belief that God is?
  • Do you rely on yourself?
  • Always thinking about yourself
  • Always excusing the way you live being contrary to what God’s Word says?
  • Neglect the meditation on God’s Word?
  • How do your hands reflect your belief that God is?
  • Are they selfish?
  • Do they steal?
  • Do they give to others?
  • Do they react in anger, fear
  • You Must believe God is the Rewarder who is worth seeking with all you have.

The words “diligently seek” are literally “seek Him out,” the prefixed preposition being local in its force in this translation. But those who seek Him out are diligently seeking Him, and here we have the perfective use of the preposition.

Vincent says in this connection: “God’s beneficient will and attitude toward the seeker are not always apparent at the first approach. In such cases there is occasion for faith, in the face of delay, that diligent seeking will find its reward. One is reminded of Jesus’ lessons on importunity in seeking God (Luke 11:5-10, 18:1-8)”[2]

The Only way to have faith and be fully vested in God is through Jesus Christ

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

  • Jesus is the archēgos – leader, captain, founder of our faith.

Christ is the leader or captain of faith, in that he is the perfecter of faith[3].

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

  • Jesus is the “teleiōtēn” “to carry through completely, to finish, to make perfect or complete.”[4]

If you want to please God, you do so in faith, from faith and by faith. Faith empowers you to be fully vested in this invisible Creator God. Faith demonstrates a heart, mind and life that is fully vested in God and all that He is, regardless of how your life plays out, for your know that He is fully capable of rewarding your faith and commitment.

GodPleaserbannerfbssFaith translates [5] YOU to a God-Pleaser!

  • Faith is the way to please God. (Abel)
  • Faith is the substantiating of His Word and Power (He is)
  • Faith is the Demonstrating of the Value of Pleasing Him (seek)

Heart – Head – Hand

  • Heart=God is a rewarder of all those who seek after Him
  • Head=Good report is obtained not by what you do, but your substantiating in your life the truth and power of God by demonstrating through your life your trust in Him
  • Hands=Put on Jesus each and every day by faith, and serve others in the power of His name.
    • You offer your life in faith. You profess your testimony without reservations before your friends and acquaintances.
    • You continue to use your hands to diligently seek after God, knowing that He will reward the work of your hands, as long as they are working in the Faith of Jesus Christ!

Three frogs deciding to do nothing but sitNow, are you going to be like those frogs and sit there on that lily pad, professing your decision to jump? Or you actually going to leap off and into this mighty God, and demonstrate with your life the power of this unseen God.


[1] Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (New York: Scribners, 1887), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews Chapter 11″.

[2] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 198.

[3] Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (New York: Scribners, 1887), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 12:2″.

[4] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 214.

[5] transitive verb to move or carry somebody or something from one place to another, usually with a complete change of condition or scene

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Those who draw near to God will know His holinessWe must re-visit the incident with Nahab and Abihu. We still have much to learn about the Blood of Christ and presumptive worship of God.

Lev. 10:3 Moses then said to Aaron, ‘The *LORD spoke about this. He said, “I will show myself to be holy among those people who come near to me. Everybody will see that honour comes to me.” ’ But Aaron was silent. v4 Moses ordered Mishael and Elzaphan to come. They were the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. (Moses) said to them, ‘Come (here). Carry your cousins’ (bodies) outside the camp. (Take them) away from the front of the *meeting tent.’ v5 So they came and carried them away outside the camp. This is what Moses had ordered them to do. (Nadab and Abihu) were still wearing their (priests’) clothes. v6 Then Moses said (this) to Aaron and to his (other two) sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. ‘Do not make your hair untidy and do not tear your clothes. (If you do,) you will die. Then (the *LORD) will be angry with all (the *Israelites). But your relatives (and) all the *Israelites may *mourn because of the fire that the *LORD sent. v7 Do not leave the entrance of the *meeting tent, or you will die. (This is) because of the *LORD’s *oil that *anointed you. It is still on you.’ So they did what Moses said.

Nadab and Abihu were the oldest of Aaron’s four sons. Their names are in 1 Chronicles 6:3. A censer was a flat pan that carried fire. What they did was not legal. It was wrong, for several possible reasons.

  • They should have put fire into the censers from the altar, Leviticus 16:12. But perhaps they did not take their fire from the altar.
  • Perhaps they tried to enter the most holy place. Only the chief priest could do this. He could only do it once a year on the Day of *Atonement, Leviticus chapter 16.
  • Perhaps they decided to do this in order to oppose Moses and Aaron. Perhaps Nadab and Abihu thought that they themselves should be the chief priests.
  • Perhaps Nadab and Abihu had drunk too much wine. So the LORD gave Aaron another rule in verse 9.

Priest ministers in the TabernacleWe can perhaps understand better the reasons for their deaths because some other people died in a similar manner (Numbers chapter 16). Those people decided, on purpose, to oppose the LORD (Numbers 16:11). Moses warned them severely about their actions. But they still decided to approach the meeting tent, with fire in their censers that God would not accept. Fire came from the LORD and it killed 250 men (Numbers 16:35). In both instances the Holiness of God consumed people who thought they had a right to draw near to God the way they presumed. They were putting themselves before God.

God has a Design for Man. That design dictates how we worship, how we relate to others, how we live. When we presume we can do whatever we want, we oppose the holiness of God. God said that all those that come near Him will know His holiness. To know His holiness is to be aware of our sinfulness. To approach Him without reverence is to presume upon His acceptance. I believe there is too much presumption in our worship of God today. You hear evidence of that presumptive “God Loves Me no matter what” philosophy in Christian music, movies and sermons. Tha Marican God is a Blessing God no matter what. The Lesson of Hebrews is that there is still a specific way we must approach God, and if we learn that, we will enjoy His presence and His power, and our faith will grow, and His works in and through us will grow.

Questions answered by Hebrews 10I am hopeful that at the conclusion of Hebrews 10 we will be ready for Hebrews 11. Hebrews 10 will allow us to answer questions such as these:

  • „Is God more tolerant of sin today?
  • How can we presume that such a Holy One would favor us with His presence & blessing?
  • How can we have confidence and boldness before such a Holy One?
  • Is there a precise way that we must follow to honor such a Holy One and not incur His wrath because of our sinfulness?
  • What happens when we deliberately disregard the holiness of Jesus Christ?

The Major Point of Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10_1 The Law contained shadowsFor since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. Hebrews 10:1

Review of Hebrews 8 & 9

1. Christ is our Heavenly Minister (Heb 8:2)

  • Christ is our MinisterHe is the one who ministered to the Holy Righteous demands of Jehovah God.
  • Through His sacrificial death, He allowed the Mercy of God to come to man from His Holiness and Glory.
  • He sits in the dwelling place of the Majesty and ministers to all those who answer the call and draw near to God.
(A.) Christ is Uniquely Qualified to Minister to both God and Man (Heb 8:6)

Our Problem is our Conscience

    1. The Eternal Value of the Covenant secured by His Blood
    2. The Better Promises which are the Foundation of this Covenant.
    3. The Promise of changed hearts and minds
    4. The Promise of eternal presence of the Holy Spirit
    5. How can we approach the Holines of God
    6. How can we be sure our works are pleasing to Him
    7. How can we be forgiven for not doing enough?
    8. How can I have God’s blessing even when I keep sinning?
    9. Purifies our concience
    10. Cleanses us from sins of omission and commision
    11. Allows us to serve the Living God with Living Works
    12. Christ is our Mediator (Heb 9:15)
(B.) Only Christ Ministers to our Great Need (Heb 9:9)
(C.)  Christ’s Ministry is Through the Power of His Blood (Heb 9:14)

Christ is our Mediator

2. The Blood empowers Christ to be our Mediator

(A). Who is He a Mediator to?
    • Mediator to those who answer the call
(B). What Does our Mediator Offer?
    • His mediation allows the called to receive the promises (eternal inheritance)
(C). What makes His Mediation so Powerful?
    • His mediation is based upon the power of His death to redeem us from the transgressions which separate us from Holy God.
    • He mediates from the very presence of God on our behalf.

Hebrews 10 is about Pumping up or shrinking backHebrews 10 explains the impact of our Minister and our Mediator upon our lives. If you accept His ministry and mediation, you will never shrink back, you will always be going forward to Him and in Him!

All because of the Value you place on the Blood of Jesus, you are either drawing closer or shrinking back.
The Law was but a shadow of good to come. (10:1)
  • Never perfect those who draw near.(10:1)
  • Never clear conscience of sin.(9:9)
  • Never produced Living Works.(9:14)
The Law reminded you of your sin. (10:3)
  • Sin focus rather than freedom focus
Christ came to do the Will of His Father (10:7)
  • No pleasure in sacrifices and offerings (10:5,6)
  • They had no provision for mercy justice and righteousness (Jer 9:24)
  • Had no way to deal with the power of the sin of the flesh (10:4)

How Did Christ Open the Father’s Will to us?

Christ came to do the Will of GodJesus offered His body once and for all, opening the Will (Presence) of the Father to us (10:10)

“I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; John 14:30

  • God was totally satisfied with His Son
  • He has sanctified us (have been-it is our permanent state) (10:10)

What is the Father’s Will?

  • That we be justified, righteous, sanctified and COMPLETE in Jesus Christ!
  • having translated us from a state of unholy alienation into a state of consecration to God, having “no more conscience of sin” [1]

We are Now Perfected in Christ

God's Will is that We enjoy His PresenceWe are now perfect and forgivenHis sanctification has perfected us for all time and is based upon our sanctification accomplished by His once for all sacrifice. (10:14)
  • The word “perfected” is the translation of teleioo which means “to bring to a state of completion.”[2]
  • Them that are sanctified—Τους ἁγιαζομενους· Them that have received the sprinkling of the blood of this offering. These, therefore, receiving redemption through that blood, have no need of any other offering; as this was a complete atonement, purification, and title to eternal glory[3].

The What (Way)

The What of Hebrews 10This sanctification allows the covenant of God’s law being written on our hearts and minds (10:16)
God will remember our sins and deeds no more (10:17)

The So What (Truth)

This Sanctification Gives us Confidence to enter the Holy Places by the Blood!(10:19)

Liberty, full access to the entrance of the holy place[4]

  • A New and LIVING Way (10:20a)
  • Through His broken Flesh (veil) (10:20b)
The So What of Hebrews 10Keep Confident!
  • Confidence in our priest (10:21)
  • Confidence in our clean heart (10:22)
  • Confidence in a clean conscience (10:22)
  • Confidence in clean flesh (10:22)
  • Confidence resulting in f.a. faith (10:22)

The Now What of Hebrews 10The Now What (Life)

HOLD FAST the CONFESSION of YOUR HOPE for He is FAITHFUL! (10:23)
LOOK for ways to Stir one another Up! (10:24)
  • Love and good works
  • Meet together
  • Encourage one another
  • Look for the DAY!

Be Careful…Just Because the Veil is Torn…

Just becasue the Veil is torn-never presumeYou must never, never presume that you are free to worship God any way you chose. Just because the veil was torn you may believe you have free access to God, that He is at your beck and call, at your disposal for whatever need you may have. There is only one reason that the veil was torn…God was satisfied with the blood sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ! We must always approach God in the one whose blood tore the veil!

Understand the Altar…We Must Never Presume…

 The Cross of Christ rose from the ashes of the Brazen Altar of Sacrifice. Habakkuk says that

The Cross is based upon the brazen altar

“his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand…Habakkuk 3:4 The reference of the horns in his hand is a prophetic reference to the Cross. The four points of the Cross correspond to the four horns of the altar. In his hands refers to the scars that he bears from the crucifixion. We must always approach God through the horns of the altar,  for they are in the hands of His Son!

 

 

 

 


[1] Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, David Brown, A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments, (Toledo, OH: Jerome B. Names & Co., 1884), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “HEBREWS”.

[2] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 176.

[3] Adam Clarke, A Commentary and Critical Notes, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 10″.

[4] Adam Clarke, A Commentary and Critical Notes, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 10″.


nadab and abihuFor us to gain insight into the power of the blood of Christ, we must first grasp what happened the first time the Priests presumed they could worship God as they wanted. Examine what Moses said in response to God’s reaction to the worship of Nadab and Abihu, who were dressed in their priestly garb, and acting as priests of Jehovah:

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them ⌊to do⌋. Then fire came from the LORD and burned them to death before the LORD. So Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when He said: I will show My holiness to those who are near Me, and I will reveal My glory before all the people.” But Aaron remained silent. Leviticus 10:1-3

Anyone who approaches (worships) God will know the holiness of God. We can never approach God as if He is common or accepting of sin or the flesh. He will always show His holiness to sinful man. And as He reveals His holiness, all will see His glory!

Aaron in the Holy of HoliesAfter this, Aaron is given by Moses exact instructions for observing the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Do you think Aaron was careful to do exactly as God said? Leviticus 16 details what the High Priest was to do to allow God’s glory to be revealed to sinful man. That glory could only be revealed after man’s sin was dealt with, for all who draw near to God will know His holiness, and His holiness demands that our sin be dealt with!

Notice in verse 16, “…and because of their transgressions in all their sins.” Then in verse 22, “And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities…” and in verse 21, “…and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel….” He will make atonement for all their transgressions, all their iniquities, all their sins! This was the best that the Law had to offer until Christ should come[1].

On the Day of Atonement, the Blood was sprinkled not only on the Mercy Seat, but throughout the Tent of Holiness. It was sprinkled in the courtyard, upon the altar. When it was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, who was observing.

darkness covered the crucifixionWhen Jesus shed His blood on the cross, many were watching, but at about noon, something happened that continued for three hours. What was it? (Mt 27:45)

  • The world was covered by darkness from noon to three.
  • Why did God do this? I’ve heard multiple preachers say it was because God could not look upon His son as He became sin. Yest Scriptures says otherwise.

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He ponders all his paths.” Prov. 5:21

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Prov. 15:3

“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.” Jer. 16:17

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Heb. 4:13

So, the question we must answer – What was Jesus doing in the darkness, obscured from man but seen by His Father, and does it relate to the offering of the High Priest in the darkness of the Holy of Holies?
value the blood of JesusThe darkness surrounding Christ as He bled out upon the Cross was to reinforce the truth of the importance of the blood sacrifice-it was first and foremost for the eyes of God!
You may think it was for man’s sin, and you would be partially correct. But the truth is that the blood was for God. God’s holiness demanded cleansing and purification. And darkness fell upon the earth as Christ offered His Holy blood for His Father. Christ’s offering on the Cross was for His Father, so that His righteousness and holiness could be satisfied! God found eternal satisfaction in the offering of His Son!

Do you Value the Blood of Christ the same way?

  • What is the difference between the Priests sacrifice and Christ sacrifice? (Christ offered with the strength of an indestructible life)
  • What is the difference between dead works and living or eternal works? (Living works are done through the one who has Life-Jesus Christ)

REVIEW-Our key passages which are the foundation of understanding the value of the Blood of Christ

  • Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. Hebrews 8:1-2
  • But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. Hebrews 8:6
  • Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. Hebrews 9:1
  • (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:9-10
  • For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:13-14

Jesus Christ is the Mediator

  • Therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:15

MInistry to the Majesty1.  Is Jesus Christ Your Mediator?

  • For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5
  • But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6

The word mediator is from mesites, which in turn comes from mesos which means middle, the midst. Thus a mediator is one who intervenes between two, either to make or restore peace and friendship, to form a compact, or ratify a covenant[2].

Can you name an example of an Old Testament mediator?

so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance,

  • For the Benefit of the Called
  • To Deliver the Promised Eternal Inheritance

since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15

  • Death that redeems
  • Voids the penalty of the first covenant
    • The first covenant promised blessing or cursing
    • Blessing was based upon obedience
    • It set people up to fail, Romans 3 being the conclusion – all have sinned
priestly_blessing_pix_2Our mediator guarantees our blessing
Our mediator guarantees our presence before the majesty
Our Mediator allows us to live in the LIGHT!

Are you living in the Light? Are you Living in the Presence of the Majesty? If not, then you are not allowing Christ to be your mediator! You are not valuing  His blood the same way God does.He can only be your mediator if you give Him your Heart and Life! For where He mediates, there is the Presence of the Majesty of God!

Questions for Discussion
  1. Why does this mediator guarantee the presence of God?
  2. Why does Jesus guarantee our blessing?
  3. What light does this shed on your efforts for blessing?
  4. What can you do to warrant God’s blessing?
  5. What brings Life and Blessing to your dead works? (refer back to vs 13, 14)
  6. What requirement must you and I meet to enjoy this guaranteed blessing?

He is our Mediator ONLY when we answer His Call! (Hebrews 9:15)

2. Is Your Name in His Will?

new-covenant-written-in-blood1A New York writer, wanting to will his body to science, selected Harvard as the recipient – because…I quote…“my parents wanted me to go there & this is the only way I could get in!”

A wealthy French Industrialist(capitaine Furrer) being disturbed by the impatience & greed of his heirs adopted a blood-sucking leech & bequeathed his fortune to it!

For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hebrews 9:16-17

Are you named in His will?

Have you heard of a Holographic Will (from law.com a dictionary of terms) – a will entirely handwritten, dated and signed by the testator (the person making the will), but not signed by required witnesses. Under those conditions it is valid in about half the states despite the lack of witnesses. A letter which has all the elements of a will can be a holographic will, as can a will scratched in the dust of an automobile hood of a person dying while lost in the desert.[3]

Here Jesus writes a holographic will for us, not in the dust, but with his own blood! It is recognized as legally binding in the greatest court of all time-Heaven!

Jesus writes in bold crimson letters across our lives…Forgiven!

last will and testamentWhat Must be involved for a Will to Be Empowered?

  • There is only one way for a will to be in effect-the one who made the will must die.

There is only one way for you to know the power of this will…you must die to your own will. Do you want to be named in this will, this will that promises you the blessing of God for all eternity? Then die to your will at the Cross, grab hold of the feet of our crucified Savior, and let His blood be sprinkled upon you.

This Will is in effect now…the testator has died…You can live in His will even today! Even better, His will can become your will! You can work to leave this will with others…

3. Are you Living in the Power of His Blood?

Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. power of Jesus BloodIndeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:18-22

“ALMOST”

The apostle says almost, because a very poor person could bring an offering of flour instead of an animal. (Lev 5:11-13 But if he be not able to bring two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put [any] frankincense thereon: for it [is] a sin offering. 12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, [even] a memorial thereof, and burn [it] on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.

Inanimate objects: because in some cases certain vessels were purified by water, some by fire, Numbers 31:23, and some with the ashes of the red heifer, Numbers 19:2-10, but it was always understood that every thing was at first consecrated by the blood of the victim.

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22

(Exodus 24:6-8 KJV) And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. {7} And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. {8} And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

priest covered in blood Kent Hughes maintains that, “During the thousand plus years of the Old Covenant, there were more than a million animal sacrifices. So considering that each bull spilled a gallon or two of blood and each goat a quart, the Old Covenant truly rested on a sea of blood.” During the Passover, a trough was constructed from the Temple down the Kidron Valley for the disposal of blood – a sacrificial plumbing system.”(5)

4. Do you know the Full Power of His Blood?

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:23-24

A.   God required His Blood in Heaven

“The earthly tabernacle, as God’s dwelling, might have been supposed to be hallowed by His presence and to need no cleansing, but being also His meeting-place with men it required to be cleansed. And so our heavenly relations with God, and all wherewith we seek to approach Him, need cleansing. In themselves things heavenly need no cleansing, but as entered upon by sinful men they need it. Our eternal relations with God require purification[6].

B.   His Blood only need be applied once.

Minister_of_true_tabernacleNor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:25-26

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:7-8

No need to be washed in the blood. We need to say thank you for the blood, for the power of the blood will continue as we walk with the light giver!

5. Are You Aware of How Late it is?

A.   The Power of the Blood is Your Only Hope

hebrews-9-27-appointed to die and face judgment“it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

(1)  Men/women/children need to be reminded of their appointment with God…their date with Eternity!

    • Put it on your calendar…IT IS ON GOD’S!

(2) “He is the Great Divider, & He does not divide men horizontally (high-class, middle class, low-class) – but vertically, to the right & to the left.”(7)

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28

B.   Is Your Life Focused on Jesus Christ? 
    • A Past appearing for our Salvation

(26b) “He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

    • A Present appearing for our Sanctification

(24b) “now to appear in the presence of God for us”

    • A Future appearing for our Glorification

(28b) “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

6. Are you Still Defeated by Your Sins?

You will be if you do not learn to value the Blood of Christ the same way that God does. Your conscience will continue to nag at you, and you continue to drown out its voice through your default escapes-alcohol, drugs, pleasure, music or what ever you do.

So, how do we value the Blood the same way that God does?

The Gospel is the Way Truth and Life(1) What? (WAY) What about this passage has drawn us into the mercy and love of God?

  • My worse sins are forgiven through the blood sacrifice of Jesus
  • My best sins are forgiven through the blood sacrifice of Jesus
  • I am in the presence of the Majesty through the ministry of Jesus made possible by His blood sacrifice.
  • I do not have to focus on my sins. I do not have to let my conscience drag me down
  • Do not focus on your sin, Focus on His Blood and His coming for you!
  • I don’t have to do works for the sake of doing works. Dead works are produced by people still focusing on their sins. Their conscience is clouded, evil or seared.
  • I can do Living Works by living in the power of the Blood. They are living in the Minister, enjoying the Mediator and eagerly waiting for Him.
  • To build the Word into my life, I must die to my will, and submit my will to my minister, and enjoy living works held by Him!

(2) SO WHAT? (TRUTH)How is this to build this Word into my life?

Learn to apply the Blood of Christ to those sins that haunt you, those regrets that eat at your soul. Daily thank God for the Blood of His Son, and profess your faith in the value of His sacrifice. Imagine God looking upon your life as though He was looking upon HIs Son as He bled out upon the Cross, and know that He values you as much as He values Jesus. Confess your feelings to Him, but assure Him , Father, not my will, but thy will be done! Thank you for the blood of Christ that makes me white as wool before your eyes! I place my sins and my regrets and my failings under that blood, and know that because you value His Holy blood, because you are satisfied with His blood, you see me in Him, forgiven and pure, righteous and justified. I lay everything at the Cross and confess my need for Christ to be my Life!

High Priest sprinkled blood upon mercy seatYou must daily value the Blood of Christ as much as God values it! Learn to see the power of His blood over your sins and failings. Focus on Him and His provisions for you! Change that ‘stinkin-thinkin’ that causes you to focus too much upon your sins and failings. They are continually forgiven, and you are continually cleansed, so live like it and walk in the Light!

(3) NOW WHAT? (LIFE) How does this empower me to live righteously this week?

1)  Take your pulse. Are you alive or are you dead?

2)  Look above you. Is your name written on the Will?

3)  Look behind you. Do you see your dead self lying on the ground?

4)  Look at your clothes. Is there any blood sprinkled on them?

5)  Look at your hand. Is it being held by your heavenly minister?

6)  Look in front of you. Can you see the Majesty?

7)  Look all around you. Is there anything that you hold more dear than the coming of your Savior? Get rid of it and eagerly look for Him!

8)  Focus on His coming and get excited!

9)  Commit your life to living works!

The Power of the Brazen Altar

The fire of the brazen altarWalking into the Tabernacle, you immediately see the Brazen Altar. You smell the flesh, the blood. You are reminded of death and the awfulness of sin. We must all begin there. We must realize God’s Holiness and hatred of sin. Sin is awful, a blight upon our soul and conscience. But we must not dwell there. The Cross of Christ rose from the ashes of the Brazen Altar. It must daily touch our lives, but we must go on, for we belong in the Holy of Holies. We belong in the presence of the Holy One! That is where our High Priest is. That is where He ministers and mediates. If we dwell at the altar of sin, we will never know the beauty of the majesty.

Just as the fire of the Brazen Altar was used to light the candles and burn the incense, we must take that fire with us, and go into the Majesty. The fire of the Holy Spirit burns only when we have first laid at the Cross. We are to be “living sacrifices,” with the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within our souls, drawing us into the Light of the Majesty!

You will not see the Holiness of the Majesty unless you first go to the Cross. This is God’s way. The Cross is Glory to Him. If you approach Him any other way, He will reveal His Glory, but only as you learn His Holiness the hard way. You will learn that the flesh must be burnt away if you are to know God. It is so much better to learn the proper way to approach the Holiness of God, rather than learn the hard way, because you acted presumptuously.

Go to the Cross, be washed in the Blood. But take the fire from the altar and light the candlestick, light the fire of the incense, but go into the majesty and take your ministers hand. Focus on Him, walk with Him, and you will be continually cleansed through the power of the Blood! 


[1] J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Chapter 16″.

[2] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 1: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 106.

[3] Law.com; Holographic will definition.

[4] Adam Clarke, A Commentary and Critical Notes, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 9″.

[5] R. Kent Hughes. Hebrews: An Anchor For the Soul. Vol 1 (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1993) pp. 233-234

[6] “Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 167.

[7] Vance Havner; Day by Day Oct.6th.

[8] Vance Havner; Day by Day Oct.26th.


“Sourness in apples is no mark of maturity”

SourAppleWhen I was younger (a long time ago) I thought that old people were supposed to be curmudgeons (a bad tempered or surly person). When I saw old people in movies or TV they were sour, cane-wielding people that got their way because they forced their way upon other people. And people let them. I looked forward to that day when I could raise my cane and say “Outta my way” and push my way to the front of the line.

old-man-with-cane1As I grew and matured, I realized that such behavior was not really appreciated. However, I did observe that older Christians seemed to take on a “sour apple” type of behavior similar to those movie characters that I thought typified old people. Many seemed to look down on the behavior of younger folks (especially teens) and even used their “canes” to force concessions from the church leadership. I am fearful that Jesus had old sour apple Christians in mind when He warned us about not causing little ones to stumble.

Sour apple Christians are not mature Christians. They are the furtherest thing fom maturity. Paul paints a picture of true maturity in Galatians 5:13, “through love be servants one to another.”

Older folks should set the example for the younger followers of Christ. Ripe (mature) apples are sweet. Instead of growing sour like we’ve been stewing in vinegar, mature Christians should be the sweetest servants because they have been drinking that sweet water of the Savior longer than anyone else.

If you find yourself becoming a little sour in your old age, take the Cross and apply it to your life. Just as Moses discovered, the wood of the Cross will turn poisoned water into the sweetest, most refreshing drink!


Hebrews-study-in-contrasts

Hebrews was written by the Holy Spirit to a people who believed they knew Jesus Christ as Savior. Most everyone who read this letter had heard the voice of Jesus, whether in reality or spiritually. Most everyone had made a decision to follow Jesus. All the readers attended church, and probably gave a tithe, said a prayer, read the Old Testament, and took communion. By man’s measure of salvation, they were there, they could stand up and testify they knew they were going to heaven when they died. Some say it is hard to understand, others say it has some passages that are difficult to interpret. Everyone says there are passages that are hard to explain to young Christians. Hebrews is not normally the book given to new believers to study. However, this book is exactly what new believers need. I believe that the writer had young believer’s in mind as he or she penned it. They need to understand this truth, and learn the importance of living in it.

Who-is-the-Christian

This letter is powerful but difficult to understand. Plain but obscure. Pointed yet vague at times. Before we dig deeper into Chapter 4, I must be very honest and blunt with you, for our author is very blunt as well. Most preachers do not preach honestly about what we are going to begin discussing in Chapter 4. They either ignore it, spiritualize it or gloss it over with a thick coat of marine varnish so it appears shiny. I will not gloss it over, and if this truth makes you uncomfortable, a little squirmy, then great. This is what the Holy Spirit wants. In order to grasp the truth of Chapter 4, we need to understand the underlying purpose of Hebrews. Hebrews presents several Contrasts to bring home the truth:

CONTRASTS

A. Hebrews is a Study in Contrasts (differences)

  • „ contrasts-of-hebrewsJesus vs Angels – 1 & 2
  • „ Jesus vs Moses – 3
  • „ Jesus vs Joshua – 4
  • „ Jesus vs the Old Testament High Priest – 5
  • „ Jesus vs Abraham – 6
  • „ Jesus vs Mechizedek – 7
  • „ Jesus vs the Old Covenant – 8
  • „ Jesus vs the Earthly Temple – 9
  • „ Jesus vs earthly sacrifices – 10

THE KEY CONTRAST IS: DO YOU SHARE OR NOT?

B. Those who share in Christ and those who do not
(they have no life, no rest-now and forever)

  • Christ came to bring many sons to Glory-He had to do what was necessary to restore this world to the Glory of God and to bring many sons to God

Christian-heart-issueHebrews 2:10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

PROOF THAT HEBREWS IS ABOUT WHETHER YOU SHARE IN CHRIST OR NOT

Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

  • Christ had to become exactly like us in flesh and blood so that we could share in His Life and victory

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

  • Through Christ, we share in a heavenly calling, whereby we can hear the Voice of God

Hebrews 3:14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

  • Contrasts2We share in Jesus Christ

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,

  • We share in the Holy Spirit, and He brings certain assurances with Him.

Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

  • We share His holiness through His discipline

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

  • We share with others

Hebrews 12:1 We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

C. How do you know if you share in Christ?

HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE WORD OF GOD?

The Writer gives us the Key and it is the Word of God.

I want you to look at something that will at first appear obvious, but then I want to bring it a little closer to your heart:

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 

Hebrews 11:3 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.

Right away the author lets us know that all of creation understands the Power of the Word of Christ! You will never realize the power of His Word without faith.

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

Hebrews 4:6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,

Lack of Faith and Disobedience are tied together. Evidenced by refusal to hear the Word!

faith_vs_unbelief - CopyThe Jews in the wilderness actually begged Moses to stop speaking the Words of God to them! They stopped their ears and “NO MORE!” Hebrews 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

  • The truth is that many people hear the Word of Power, but most do not know its power, because they are unwilling to believe and obey

How Do You Know if you share in Christ?
The Word is Alive to You!

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

  • The Word is only powerful to those who are honest in their heart, and willing to submit to the power of the Word

heart contrastHebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

  • Faith and Obedience to the Word of God extends to those who preach the Word for they Evidence the reality of Faith by their Lives

D. The Greatest Contrast has to do with your Heart. (Chapter 3 & 4)

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

Contrast-of-heart-belief-or-unbeliefYes, the truth is that regardless of your view of Salvation, whether Arminian or Calvinistic, whether you can lose your Salvation or whether you believe in once-saved always saved-the truth is that your heart is the KEY to whether Jesus Christ makes any CONTRAST in your life!

God does not sit up in heaven and say “yes, you are saved because you said a prayer when you were 8.” That is how we tend to judge whether we are saved or not.. That is a man-centered view of Salvation.

God has a different determination of whether you are saved or not. He details it in the Letter to the Hebrews. It has to do with your heart-whether it believes or not! God doesn’t just listen to your confession of belief, He looks into the darkest corner of your heart and sees how that confession of belief interacts with your life.

God wants to see contrast, a contrast with your life in comparison to the lives of those who don’t care. You say you care and you are saved, but God wants to see a contrast.

Belief that actuates the Power of God to affect your life everyday is the aim of Hebrews.

EVIDENCE OF A BELIEVING HEART

evidence-of-believing-heartYou are either dead to God, or you have His life. I don’t care how alive you think you are. If your life has not been affected by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, you are dead to God.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

You can say a prayer, you can join a church, you can get baptized all in the strength of your flesh and will, but if the Word of God and the Holy Spirit have not touched your life in such a way that you obey in faith, you are dead.

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 2:1-7 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Here is evidence that you share in the Life of Jesus Christ:

1 John 5:4-5 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

experience-Christs-power-to-restRest in Christ. Does that mean you don’t do anything? No, what it does mean is that you are yoked to Him and He is your primary focus. He gives  rest to your souls no matter what news you are hearing, or what situation you are facing.

  • The Word of God that penetrates your heart on a daily basis. (Manna)
  • Power to overcome the Giants of sin.
  • Courage and Confidence in the face of trials and hardships.

ARE YOU RESTING IN THE REALITY OF A LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST IN HIS VICTORY?

  • The FOCUS of your belief is to actuate the REST we have in Jesus Christ.
  • The FOCUS of the Jews in the Wilderness was to get to the Promised Land, a place of REST

overcome the world - CopyHebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Hebrews 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

Hebrews 4:10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore strive (1 below) to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

    • “to make effort, be prompt or earnest :- do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavor”
    • Not working as if it depends upon you, but effort born from a sense of urgency and need.
    • Knowing that our ways are opposite God’s ways

This is not talking about heaven. This is talking about NOW! God wants us to know and experience the Belief that brings the Life of His Son into our lives. This is eternal life. This is the Promise. This is the Rest!

1-ephesians-2-vs-4-61As Paul said, we SIT with Jesus in the Heavenlies! We REST in Him! That Rest is evidence of our salvation.

Is Salvation confidence in a prayer, or even in a better life you think you are experiencing?

Not according to God’s Word. Salvation results in a change in your life and your desires!

Here is Evidence that you do not share in the Life of Jesus Christ:

1. Being overthrown in the wilderness (the world).

1 Corinthians 10:5-6 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Fail to reach – hystereō (see footnote 2) -to be last, behind, posterior in place or time. In the NT, figuratively of dignity, condition, strength and the like, to be behind, inferior, to lack (see footnote 3) - fall short of recognition by God.

    • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
overcome_the_world - CopyChristians are to Overcome the World by their Faith and Belief in God and His Word!
  • For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.
    Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5  

2. Having an Unbelieving Heart

Do-you-have-unbelieving-heart

  • Look at what happened in the Wilderness because of unbelieving hearts:

Exodus 17:1-7 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the LORD said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of  Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

  • Testing God by thinking He doesn’t care about your situation.
  • Turning back to the world and what it has – Achan
  • Relying on your own strength to get what you want.
  • Not believing and obeying God.

3. Living in your Flesh

black-heart-89479 - CopyNumbers 13:30-31 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”

The Jews did not believe they could take the land, so they refused and desired to go back to Egypt, in spite of seeing all that God had done! Then Moses pronounced God’s judgment upon them, that they would never be allowed to enter the Promised Land. So they said, let’s go in and show God that we can do it!

Numbers 14:39-45 When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people mourned greatly. And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the LORD has promised, for we have sinned.” But Moses said, “Why now are you transgressing the command of the LORD, when that will not succeed? Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies. For there the Amalekites and the Canaanites are facing you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned back from following the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.” But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed out of the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah.

The REST of God is a REST that is supernatural, it can not be attained by fleshly efforts. They were doomed to encounter defeat!

TO GOD, THE PROOF OF YOUR BELIEF IS WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE ENTERED INTO HIS REST.

  • This REST is only possible in Jesus Christ!unbelieving-heart - Copy

(1) Because Christ is Exalted above the Angels, being the Creator God and Managing this Creation with His Life:

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. „

The Danger is that we miss out on LIFE by drifting away from our Savior „ He will roll up all the old and useless stuff in a coat-do you want to be rolled up too?

(2) Because Christ is our mighty Captain, having become a man yet still conquering sin and making atonement for us, 

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling,consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

„ If we are to share a heavenly calling, we will focus our lives upon Jesus „ Jesus has shown us that He the truth from God. „ Jesus has shown us that He is our High Priest who can be trusted and find comfort in.

(3) Because Jesus is the Builder and Faithful of God’s House:

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

„ We must watch our hearts, lest we fail to reach God’s house. „ The promise of rest requires our cooperation, desire and effort.

(4) The Rest which Christ promised is His Rest but it is not a passive rest.

Cure-for-unbelieving-heart-is-plenty-of-lettuceHis Rest is built on a bed of LETTUCE, as the next post will show.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Romans 4:16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

  • 1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
  • Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

More on how to obtain this rest in the next post…

1 “to make effort, be prompt or earnest :- do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour” James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “4704″.

2 James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “5302″.

3 Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “hystereō“.

REST: Usage Notes: signifies “to cause or permit one to cease from any labor or movement” so as to recover strength. It implies previous toil and care.William E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1940), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Eased”.

anapaúō; fut. anapaúsō, from aná , again, and paúō , to cease, give rest. To give rest, quiet, recreate, refresh (Matt. 11:28; 1 Cor. 16:18; Phile. 1:20); in the mid. / pass. form, to be refreshed (2 Cor. 7:13; Phile. 1:7, 20; Sept.: Prov. 29:17; Isa. 14:3; Ezek. 34:15). In the mid., anapaúomai, to rest oneself, to take one’s rest 

(Matt. 26:45; Mark 6:31; 14:41; Luke 12:19; 1 Pet. 4:14; Rev. 6:11; 14:13; Sept.: Deut. 33:20; Esth. 9:16; Job 10:20; Prov. 21:16; Isa. 13:20, 21; 27:10; Mic. 4:4). In relation to 1 Pet. 4:14, compare the Sept. of Isa. 11:2, where anapaúomai is also applied to the Holy Spirit resting upon Christ. Deriv.: anápausis , inner rest; epanapaúō , to cause to rest; sunanapaúomai , to rest with or together.Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 156-157.