Survey of Corinthians & Hebrews

Fred R. Coulter11/12/1988

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

Today we're going to learn how valuable the lesson is to understand the Scripture by knowing what it's really talking about.

2-Peter 1:20[transcriber's correction]: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs 20-21). We're going to learn that very clearly today.

2-Corinthians 3—I want to again go through that so that we understand it. What I'm also going to do is go back and ask:

  • Why did Paul write it?
  • What was the reason?
  • What was he talking about?
  • Why bring that up anyway?

I'm going to read out of the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament. This will help us to have the clarification and understanding of it.

2-Corinthians 3:5 (Int): "Not that competent we are from ourselves to reckon anything as of ourselves, but our competency is of God; Who also made competent us as servants of a New Covenant…" (vs 5-6). In the King James it is the New Testament, but in the Greek it is a New Covenant. That shows one of the reasons why we are calling this series The Covenants of God, because this is a New Covenant not just the. It can be properly translated the New Covenant, but where does this covenant hearken from in the first place? It hearkens from Abraham! In a sense it's really not new. In a sense it is new, because this was not done before.

"…not of letter, but of Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit quickens" (v 6). Why does he say the letter kills? We talk about the letter of the Law¸ and I might bring your attention to something that is very important. No place in the New Testament does it say the Spirit of the Law—doesn't say it!We're to keep the Law spiritually, but it does not say the Spirit of the Law. We hear the letterof the Law quite a bit.

  • Why is he referring to 'the letter of the law kills' (KJV)?
  • We all deserve the death penalty!
  • Why?
  • We have sinned!

If you do something according to the letter of the Law, you deserve to die—correct? Does that ring a bell for the problems they had in the Church in Corinth? Yes! This is why it's important to know your Bible. This is why it's important to know what the context is. He's not putting a Scripture in there without some relationship to something else that has already been covered. But this is in relationship to the problem in 1-Cor.—one of them—and the result and repentance by this fellow as noted in the book of 2-Cor.: the letter kills, the spirit gives life! Where it says quickens, it means gives life.

Again, the covenant with Israel was a covenant between the nation of God—Israel—and God for an inheritance of land and it was a nation, and God was supposed to be their King. They were promised long life and physical blessings for obedience! They were promised short life—plagues and death—if they were disobedient; that is as a nation as a whole. For the individual citizen of the country was to obey the laws of the land based on the laws of God. If he sinned, the letter of the law stated that they would come before the judge, and whatever the judge and the priests ruled was the sentence thereof, and they would do it.

If it was a small infraction, they would pay money. If it was a larger infraction, they would pay with their life. There was not any mercy written in the law—please remember that, though God is merciful. When it says the letter kills, it's referring to what would happen if they administered the death penalty. Who would be dead? We'll see a little later there would be a couple of people dead!

"…but the Spirit quickens" (v 6)—gives life. The Greek word is 'zoopoiei' which means gives life.

Verse 7 (Int): "But if the service… [administration] …of death in letters, having been engraven in stones, was produced with glory…" A little different translation there:

  • glory of God coming on the mountain
  • glory of God speaking with Moses
  • Moses—when he came down—was filled with the glory of God

Can you imagine what kind of experience that must have been for Moses? Sitting right there in the presence of God and God says, 'Write this, Moses, and write that, Moses; draw these plans, Moses, and make the tabernacle this way, Moses'? Then he comes down out of the mountain and his face is shining because he absorbed some of the glory of God; he had to put a veil on his face. This is what it's talking about here. That was done in glory, was "…produced in glory…"

"…so as not to be able to look instantly the children of Israel in the face of Moses, on account of the glory of his face, which is being annulled" (vs 7). It's a little bit different than being 'done away' (KJV)—isn't it?

What happens when you annul something? You cancel it! If you annul a marriage, do you do away with the people? No! You cancel the contract; the people still live. It's the same way with the commandments and laws of God that God gives. Because He annuls a covenant, does not mean He's thrown away the laws.

Has what is commonly called the Old Covenant been annulled? Yes! Even though it was "…produced in glory…"? Yes! The glory, if you read it in the King James, was done away from Moses' face—because after a time it faded away—and that was symbolic that he was telling the children of Israel, in time, that covenant is going to fade away. You need to understand that.

Compared to that, he says, v 8 (Int): "How not rather the service [administration] of the Spirit shall be… [more or much more] …in glory. For if the service of condemnation be glory… [the administration of death be glorious] …much rather abounds the service of righteousness in glory."

  • What righteousness are we talking about? Someone says spiritual and someone says Christ's righteousness. We're talking about Christ's righteousness!
  • What is being administered to the people? The righteousness of Christ!
  • Did Christ sin? No!

If you are having the administration of righteousness, that one statement in itself shows the commandments are binding; just that one statement in itself because Christ was righteous.

Verse 10 (Int): "For even neither has been made glorious… [the covenant given to Israel] …that which has been made glorious is this respect, on account of the surpassing glory"—of the administration of righteousness.

Isn't it a greater thing to have your sins forgiven, and you have contact with God, and God is able to Himself forgive those sins? Isn't that much more glorious than taking someone out here and stoning them? As far as a spiritual thing is concerned? Yes! Much more! It's designed to give life; the other was designed to just bring them as a nation to have a national relationship with God. The whole thing now is completely different.

Then they had the sacrifices and everything in the temple worship, they were justified to the temple; that was it. We're going to see that we're justified to God in heaven. How much more glorious is that. The result of this is going to be eternal life! Whose glory? The glory of God! {Eph. 3:16[transcriber's correction] —that you be filled with all the glory of God!}

Is that not much better than being filled with good food? Good wine? Living in good land? That's fine, that's nice; the physical things are fine, but that which is going to last forever is much more glorious—right? Sure! That's what it's comparing.

Verse 11: For that which is being annulled" Why does he say being annulled? You can get a lot out of the Greek, but you must understand the Bible and the function of God and it all becomes clear. Why did it say it was being annulled? The priesthood and the temple were still there even though God showed that it was inoperable through the death Christ by the renting of the veil from the top to the bottom on the day He died.

One of the biggest difficulties that people misunderstand is the 40-year overlap of the phasing out of the Old Covenant and the phasing in of the New. Even though in an instant of time God said, 'This has ended and this one has begun,' there was still the overlap. We will see that that was part of the problem here.

It was "…being annulled was through glory; much rather that which remains is in glory." (v 11). It means much rather that the righteousness—the administration of righteousness—exceeds in glory.

Verse 12 (Int): "Having therefore, such hope… [notice that the whole emphasis is different—it is hope!] …much boldness we use; and not according as Moses put a veil on the face of himself, for not to look intently the sons of Israel to the end of that being annulled" (vs 12-13). That could refer to:

  • the glory being annulled
  • the Old Covenant being annulled

We'll say that it refers to the Old Covenant, because the glory a type of what was going to happen to the Old Covenant anyway. It was going to be annulled, be brought to an end.

If it is brought to an end, then we have to look and see how God did it. God says, concerning His Word—what we call the Old Covenant—'Hear, O Israel, do these words; you shall not go to the right hand or the left hand; you shall not add or take away from. You shall do as I command you.' Do you think it's any different in the New Testament, or are there things God has to tell us what to do?

Verse 14 (Int): "But were hardened their thoughts… [minds were blinded (KJV). You've heard someone say, 'Your mind is set in concrete.'] …for unto the present the same veil at the reading of the Old Covenant remains… [they don't understand the intent of God's Word] …not uncovered… [the veil over their mind] …which is Christ in being annulled." That has got to do with the Old Covenant.

Verse 15 (Int): "But unto this day, when is read Moses, a veil upon their heart lies. But when it [they]… [referring to the children of Israel] …shall have turned to the Lord, is taken away the veil." What is that called? Conversion!

Romans 8—what does it say about the carnal mind, the mind with the veil, the mind of the flesh; and we'll gradually bring in here concerning the laws of God and the Spirit of God.

Romans 8:5: "For those who walk according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh…" If you've never had this happen to you, if you've never had this experience—I'm sure you have—that you get around people that you've known for years. You've got your mind on God's way, His Word and the meaning of life, where we're going and the return of Christ—all of these great, huge, marvelous, wonderful things. Then you start talking to someone who doesn't know anything about it, and the conversation becomes absolutely worthless in the shortest period of time.

The only thing you can talk about is this physical thing or that physical thing, or this other physical thing: the food they ate, the clothes they wear, the car they drive or the home they live in, don't have, want to have or should have, or who Aunt Martha has, Uncle Joe and they all have that, and you have squabbles and fights in the family: who's going to get what mom leaves when she dies, and all this sort of thing.

The mind of the flesh! Isn't that true concerning relationships with people? Sure it is! My wife gets bugged all the time—which is true and I don't blame her for being bugged—that on television they show all these men as lustful creatures. Well, in the world it is true! Everyone has their mind on the flesh! Nice looking woman walks by and every man stops and looks. Mind of the flesh!

You're concerned about what you're going to eat, where you're going to sleep, what are the clothes going to be. What did Jesus saying in Matt. 5 & 6 about that?

"…but those who walk according to the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, because the carnal mind… [the mind with the veil on it] …is enmity against God… [same word for enemy] …for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be. But those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (vs 5-8). Why? Because the veil is there and their hearts are hardened! Set in concrete!

2-Corinthians 3:14 (Int): "But their minds were blinded; for to the present hour the same veil has not been removed… [not uncovered, not taken away] …but remains at the reading of the Old Covenant; which veil is removed [annulled] in Christ." The veil is being taken away, also the covenant is being annulled.

Verse 15: "For to this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their hearts. But when their hearts turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (vs 15-17). That's a little bit different connotation than liberty. Liberty has the connotation that you have license to do something. Freedom means that you are free from something. What are you free from, liberated from what? The veil! Yes! You have freedom from the veil; it is lifted through the circumcision that is in Christ (Col. 2).

Verse 18: "But we all, with uncovered faces beholding the glory of the Lord as in a mirror…" That tells you the difference in the relationship—doesn't it? The difference in the relationship is glorious! Isn't it much better to have that kind of relationship that God has brought you into, that He has established with you than to just live in the nation of Israel and have the blessings of food, drink and all of that? Even the best in Israel are not going to have a chance for salvation until the second resurrection. So, it's much more glorious!

"…are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (v 18). In other words, it's being done from the Spirit of the Lord, being transformed from glory into glory. He's talking about the relationship that you have with God as compared to the relationship that they had under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was being annulled.

Let's go back and review some of the problems. We've gone back some of the book of 1-Corinthians; let's just review chapter by chapter, I'm not necessarily going to read a verse. But just to refresh our memories;

1-Corinthians:

  • Chapter 1—talks about contentions among you and Christ is divided
  • Chapter 2—tells us the only way you understand the spiritual things are with the Spirit of God
  • Chapter 3—says they are carnal; they are fighting
  • Chapter 4—Paul gets very ridiculous and cynical with them, and even says, 'Would to God you would reign that we could reign with you.' In other words the Kingdom of God is here.

If you haven't gone through this recently, go back and read it.

  • Chapter 5—'It is commonly reported that there is fornication among you, such fornication as not so much as mentioned among the Gentiles that a man should have his father's wife.'

Under the Old Covenant—the Covenant of Israel—what should have been done with this man and woman? Executed! Yes! In either case, it was still sin—right? Yes! The difference is how it is handled.

Can you imagine how far the Gospel would have spread if the administers were given the administration of death within their own group? Not very far! Who is the one who is authorized to take a life? The sovereign, being God #1! If the Sovereign delegates it to—like He did to Noah—the sovereign government must exercise the death penalty.

Are the ministers or the Church a separate sovereign? No! In some churches; that's why that is so sinful in that church, because they're taking to themselves something they shouldn't do. What did Jesus say to the apostles? You shall not be as the kings and the Gentiles and their benefactors to lord it over them!

  • We are administering the grace of God
  • We are administering the gift of God
  • We are administering the righteousness of God

So, that in that, with God's Spirit, you would be inspired to repent, so you are rescued from death! Isn't that a much more glorious relationship than grabbing this guy and saying, 'All right, you did this…' Yes, I did it! Next! That's the administration of death.

You know the rest of the account here; what did Paul say? Get rid of them from the Body of Christ! Spiritually speaking, if it is truly a disfellowshipment from the Body of Christ, I mean truly—legally, properly, authentically—being expelled from the Body of Christ is worse than death—isn't it? You have to live with the torment!

So, Paul says 'put him away; get rid of him; maybe he'll repent.' Hopefully by the Day of the Lord he'll be saved.

1-Corinthians 6:9 (FV): "Don't you know that the unrighteous… [Who are the unrighteous? Those who are breaking the Law!] …shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?…." What are we to inherit? The land? NO! The Kingdom of God! Greater inheritance, greater promise, done by the Spirit! Isn't that much more glorious? Which would you rather have, the whole world and die or eternal life? What did Jesus say? 'What good would it do if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul?'

That's why we need to get our comparison right; that's why we need to understand what this is talking about; and that's why so many people go off half-cocked. Just like a gun. If you get a gun and think you're going to protect yourself, and you get it half-cocked and you try pulling the trigger, it's not going to work. It's the same way with people. They get their brains half-cocked and they get some idea and some great spiritual thing and run off and say 'this is the interpretation of the Word' when they don't even know what they're talking about.

You can't understand 2-Cor. 3 unless you know what the heart and core of the problem was in 1-Cor. They had a sin worthy of death, among other things. That's what he's saying.

"…the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators… [against law] …nor idolaters… [against law] …nor adulterers… [against law] …nor abusers of themselves as women… [against law] …nor homosexuals… [against law] …nor thieves… [against law] …nor covetous… [against the 10th commandment] …nor drunkards… [not contained in the Ten Commandments, but a matter of character and control] …nor revilers… [all those who have no serious thing to do but party and play around] …nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified… [How are you sanctified? By the Word of God and the Spirit of God!] …you were justified… [From what? Those sins that he just innumerated!] …in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (vs 9-11).

Is that not consistent with what we read in 2-Cor. 3? Yes! Because it all has to be consistent and fit together!

  • Chapter 7—talking about whether to marry or not marry; thinking the Lord is coming right away or what if someone leaves, are you bound? What about circumcision/uncircumcision.

1-Corinthians 7:19: "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing… [Under the Old Covenant it was the beginning of everything. It is nothing because we're not dealing in the flesh. We're dealing with the mind and spirit.] …rather, the keeping of God's commandments is essential"—the important thing!

  • Chapter 8—had the problem with eating things sacrificed to idols or not
  • Chapter 9—arguing over who is going to get the money
  • Chapter 10—we have a reference to Israel coming through the Red Sea. Notice that God was displeased with them because they sinned. You can't combine Gentile things and the cup of the Lord.

1-Corinthians 10:18: "Consider Israel according to the flesh.… [See how consistent it is in what he's writing about?] …Are not those who eat the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What then am I saying? That an idol is anything, or that which is sacrificed to an idol is anything?" (vs 18-19).

Is it? Is an idol anything? No! It's just a bunch of material things put together by some stupid man's hands where he bows down and worships the thing. Or he puts it on a chain on his front mirror in his car hoping that he won't have an accident or something. It's the same as a rabbit's foot in a pocket. What is it? A dead rabbit's foot! It's nothing! But people attribute everything to it. 'It's going to bring me good luck.' How can a dead rabbit's foot bring you good luck? It's dead! Maybe it won't stink, whatever. Am I going to say it's anything? No! Paul said, 'It isn't anything.'

Verse 20: "But that which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not wish you to have fellowship with demons." If you can't eat something that's sacrificed to an idol without a guilty conscience, don't eat it, don't get involved in it. I don't want you blending the two together. What do we have today? The quaint, nice little religion of mixing everything together, because after all everybody is going to meet God. Absolutely no different today.

Verse 21: "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and the table of demons. Now do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?" (vs 21-22).

Do you forget what happened to those people in the Old Covenant when they rebelled against God? Don't you remember what happened when Moses came down from the mountain and they were all having their rock concert and sex all over the place? What happened? The earth opened up and they were gone! Or the rebellion of Korah, he was gone!

  • Chapter 11—more problems—right?
  • Chapter 12—the important thing is the Spirit, which is the Body of Christ
  • Chapter 13—after all this is done, 'brethren, please pay close attention, I'm going to show you a more excellent way'—and the more excellent way is called love! 'Isn't it much better to have a forgiving heart, a loving heart, to be working with each other the way that you should instead of up there trying to kill each other over every little thing that takes place.' That's what he's saying.
  • Chapter 14—don't get carried away with tongues
  • Chapter 15—listen, you have to focus in on the greatest thing of our hope, which is the resurrection. There are some of you people who don't have the knowledge of God and who say that the resurrection is past.

I tell you, I don't think I would be as kind with my words.

2-Corinthians:

I'm doing this survey for a purpose, so we get 2-Cor. 3 in the proper perspective. You can't go along and say that God has abolished His laws. Then how on earth is God going to judge us and judge the world?

2-Corinthians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (vs 3-4).

What are we talking about? He's saying, 'The guy has repented!' Let's see what we're talking about here:

2-Corinthians 2:4: "For out of much distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears—not that you might be sorrowful, but that you might know the overflowing love which I have for you. But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has not grieved me, but you all, at least in part (in order that I may not overcharge him). To such a one this punishment, which was inflicted by the majority of you, is sufficient" (vs 4-6). In other words the Church made the judgment and said 'out the door' until you repent. So, he did.

Verse 7: "So that on the contrary, you should rather forgive and encourage him… [What did he start out at the beginning of the chapter with? The God of all comfort!

  • Let God comfort him!
  • Let God heal the situation!
  • Let God forgive them!

Isn't that much more glorious than going out and killing this guy? Yes! That's what it's talking about. The difference between the administration of death and the administration of Spirit. Nowhere does it throw out any of the laws of God. Nowhere does it say the commandments of God are annulled. Nowhere!

"…lest such a one be swallowed up with overwhelming sorrow. For this reason, I exhort you to confirm your love toward him. Now for this cause I wrote to you, that I might know by testing you whether you are obedient in everything…. [Not just commandments but all things.] …But to whom you forgive anything, I also forgive; and if I also have forgiven anything, to whomever I have forgiven it, for your sakes I forgave it in the person of Christ; so that we may not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes" (vs 7-11).

  • Chapter 3—we've already gone through
  • Chapter 4—talks about handling the Word of God properly

2-Corinthians 4:15: "For all things are for your sakes, so that the abounding grace may cause the thanksgiving of many to overflow unto the glory of God. For this reason, we do not lose heart; but if our outward man is being brought to decay, yet, the inward man is being renewed day by day. For the momentary lightness of our tribulation…" (vs 15-17).

Look how he looked at these things. You know for sure that Paul was not a Democrat because he would have been nothing but complaining with all the things that he went through. That's not to denigrate Democrats, but that's just using modern terminology. He didn't complain, he said, 'our light affliction.' Look what he went through! I would have been beside myself with all this.

Can you imagine how I'd feel if I walked into church one day and a letter was sent saying, 'Did you know what's going on over there. There's a man sleeping with his step-mother!' He said, 'light affliction.'

"…is working out for us an immeasurably greater and everlasting fullness of glory; while we consider not the things that are seen… [notice what he does immediately, he turns them from the physical things of seeing] …but the things that are not seen. For the things that are seen are temporary; but the things that are not seen are eternal" (vs 17-18).

  • Chapter 5—we are looking for a spiritual body, which Christ is going to give us when He returns
  • Chapter 7—talks again about Godly sorrow works repentance.

If you examine 2-Cor. 3 in the light of all of 1-Cor.—which we had a very hurried review—and all of 2-Cor. then you understand what it's talking about. You can go in and pick out a verse, and you can stand up and say, 'I think it means this…' You may or may not be right, because you haven't gotten the whole context.

(go to the next track)

Hebrews:

In order for us to understand what things have been changed, because, obviously, some things had to be changed going from one covenant to another covenant. Again, I'm going to summarize several of these chapters in the book of Hebrews.

  • Chapter 1—starts out showing that Christ is the same as God, with the brilliance of God, with the glory of God, with the character of God
    • v 3: "…purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high"—please, please understand that! Please keep that in mind!

Instead of coming a temple where there's a physical priest, you're coming to now to the Son of God Who sits at the right hand of God. That's much more glorious!

Hebrews 2:1: "For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away." Not just those things slip.

Verse 2 will be very important when we come to Gal. 3 later on: "For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense… [up to and including the death penalty] …how shall we [Christians] escape, if we have neglected so great a salvation…" (vs 2-3). Now we're talking about something entirely different than just living in a law and order society. We're talking about the realities of spiritual life and death.

Then it talks about how Christ was made lower than the angels, made the same as we were, took on actual flesh and blood.

Chapter 3:1: "Because of this, Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of the faith we profess—Jesus Christ." What is Paul laying the groundwork for? We will see!

Just like Melchisedec of whom we have many things to say and hard to be understood, which they couldn't grasp because they had just let everything fall by the wayside.

Verse 2: "Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, even as Moses was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses… [notice the comparison: the glory of Moses, the glory of Christ] (then he makes a little different comparison): …even as He Who built the house has so much more honor than the house itself" (vs 2-3). That's something—isn't it? The person who built the house can always build more. He's the Creator! He's the Designer! He is the Maker!

Verse 4: "For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God. Now on the one hand, Moses was faithful in all his house, as a ministering servant, for a testimony of those things which were going to be spoken afterwards. But on the other hand, Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts…'" (vs 4-8).

Their minds were blinded? No! Their thoughts were hardened! Don't harden your thoughts "…as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years" (vs 8-9).

Verse 12: "Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God. Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (vs 12-13).

Again, I draw your attention to the fact that there are sins caused by knowledge of the law! Law is applicable, but law is secondary to the tremendous thing of the New Covenant. That's why in the New Covenant and the grace of God, the grace of God has to be the predominate thing. However, too many Churches of God—because we live in an evil, lawless society—in order to get their bearings emphasize the law. But if you emphasize the law too much, the letter kills! That's why you have to have grace. Law must be kept, absolutely.

Verse 14: "For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end."

  • Chapter 4—proving the Holy Days, showing that there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God, because God's plan is not yet been completed.
    • v 12: "For the Word of God [Christ] is living and powerful ['dunamis'], and sharper than any two-edged sword…"

There are some things that are so sharp. Every once in a while you see this in a movie where they take a sharp sword and WHISH! I saw this in a Danny Kaye movie where he took the sword and WHISH! cut the candles and the candles didn't move it was quick and fast. The Word of God is sharper than that! It's living!

"…piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (v 12). Completely different.

Then the Old Covenant where if you were law-abiding you could have your mind raving with things, but you still would be law-abiding. There are some people who are that way today. 'As you think in your heart, so you will be.' But here now we are having to deal with God, our thoughts, everything about us.

  • Verse 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 13-16).

Now he's laid the ground work.

    • Chapter 5—talks about how Christ is our High Priest.
  • v 1: "For every high priest, being taken from among men to act in behalf of men, is appointed to serve in the things pertaining to God in order that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins."

He says that you're dull of hearing; you need milk.

    • Chapter 6—Paul says, 'Do you suppose that we'll be able to go beyond the basics of Christ? Go to perfection in Christ? Can we go beyond the basics of repentance and baptism from dead works and faith toward God?

The laying on of hands? The resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment. Can we go beyond if God will permit it? Can we go beyond talking about those little basic things? Let's go beyond and really understand about the Word of God.'

Then he warns them of the unpardonable sin and reminds them of the promise of Abraham. The two immutable things that is impossible for God to lie.

    • Chapter 7—we've covered tithes and offerings, so I won't have to go through too much of this. I won't be bogged down in the detail at this point to go through about who Melchisedec was and all that sort of thing.
      • v 11: "Therefore, if perfection was indeed possible through the Levitical priesthood… [that's the whole comparison] …—for the law that the people had received was based on it—what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchisedec, and not to be named after the order of Aaron?"

What was the need? For eternal salvation! That's what the need was, because the Covenant given to Israel could not bring eternal life! There was nothing wrong with it, it was fine for what it was designed to do, but it couldn't bring eternal life.

  • v 12: "For since the priesthood has changed, it is obligatory that a change of the law also take place… [for tithes and offerings, but also for a change in the covenant] …because the one of Whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one was appointed to serve at the altar. For it is quite evident that our Lord has descended from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning the priesthood. And it is even more evident because a different Priest arises according to the order of Melchisedec; Who was not invested according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but by the power of indestructible life" (vs 12-16).

That is the key pivotal verse that Paul starts out comparing the two covenants and the two priesthoods.

  • v 17: "For He testifies, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.' For there is indeed an annulment of the earlier commandment delivered to Aaron because of its weakness and unprofitableness" (vs 17-18).

What does that mean? That's another one of those difficult Scriptures that they go to, to show that the Law is done away.

  • v 19: "Because the law brought nothing to perfection…"

So we throw the Law away as the Protestants reason. NO!

    • Was the Law intended to make anything perfect? No!
    • Could the Law make anything perfect? No!

Law is stated without.

  • What makes perfection?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Has to come from within!
    • "…rather, perfection is brought about by a superior hope, through which we draw near to God" (v 19).

Note on v 18:

It says, 'putting away or annulling' (KJV). It's the same as annulling; there is no such thing as disannulling. It's like 'im-flammable.' I had a tough time with English and when I was a kid growing up and started delivering papers in the morning, I'd see these big tanker trucks go by and it would say 'im-flammable'—it was trying to tell you that it could burn up.' I looked at that and would way, 'Why if I do something that is impossible to do, it can't happen. So, if it says, 'im-flammable' it's really saying it's not possible to be burned—'im' is a negation, Now they've changed that and you see all the tanker trucks with 'flammable.'

Same way here with the word 'disannulling' (KJV). It is 'annulling.' We saw that God was annulling the process of the covenant for the death penalty. That's what it's talking about here, exactly the same thing.

There is a annulling of the commandment for the priesthood, because nothing under it was changed. You couldn't change human nature. There has to be something better.

  • v 19: "Because the law brought nothing to perfection; rather, perfection is brought about by a superior hope, through which we draw near to God. And according to this superior measure, it was not without the swearing of an oath that He was made a Priest. (For those who descend from Aaron are made priests without the swearing of an oath; but He was made a Priest with the swearing of an oath by Him Who says concerning Him, 'The Lord swore and will not revoke His Word, "You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec."') By such a greater measure then, Jesus was made the Guarantor of a superior covenant" (vs 19-22).

The Covenant with Israel was sufficient for what it was to do, but did that bring eternal life? No! This then is a better covenant. What inspires you to do things in a way that is pleasing to God? The hope of eternal life! You have hope! Hope does more to change, convert, than law does. Law is necessary, but the Law never made anyone do anything. You have to obey the Law. The Law in and of itself never made anyone do anything.

You hear the phrase 'the strong arm of the law.' The law doesn't have an arm. The 'strong arm of the law' is the representative to carry out the law. Now we're dealing with something entirely different.

  • v 23: "Now in the one case, there were many priests because they were not able to continue to serve by reason of death; but in the other case, because He [Christ] is living forever, His priesthood never changes… [Going right back to the Covenant with Abraham; and it's tied in with Abraham and Melchisedec again.] …Therefore, He has the power throughout all time… [not just save them from the enemy; not just give them physical blessings, but beyond] …to save those who come to God through Him because He is ever living to intercede for them. For it is fitting that we should have such a High Priest Who is Holy, blameless, undefiled, set apart from sinners and made higher than the heavens" (vs 23-26). That's the atmosphere around us.
  • v 27: "Who has no need, as do the other high priests, to offer up sacrifices day-by-day, first for his own sins… [as we read that Aaron was to offer sacrifices for himself and then for the people] …and then for the sins of the people; for this He [Christ] did once for all time when He offered up Himself. For the law makes high priests of men who have weaknesses; but by the word of the swearing of the oath, which supersedes the law… [the oath that was given to Christ: You are a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec] …the Son, Who has been perfected forever, has been made High Priest" (vs 27-28). Makes the Son the High Priest!

If there are no laws, what does He have to forgive? There would be no sin! He's High Priest!

If people want to understand what we keep today and why we should keep it, then we have to understand the technicalities of the Law. God is Lawgiver! He gave it!

Hebrews 8:10 "'For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days,' says the Lord: "I will give My laws into their minds… [That's where law-abiding begins—in the mind! Not by a sign on the wall; not by something written in stone—but into the mind!] …and I will inscribe them upon their hearts… [they will have understanding and compassion and concern of the law] …and I will be their God, and they will be My people.'" That will set the stage for part five.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

    • 2 Peter 1:20-21
    • 2 Corinthians 3:5-15
    • Romans 8:5-8
    • 2 Corinthians 3:14-18
    • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    • 1 Corinthians 7:19
    • 1 Corinthians 10:18-22
    • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
    • 2 Corinthians 2:4-11
    • 2 Corinthians 4:15-18
    • Hebrews 1:3
    • Hebrews 2:1-3
    • Hebrews 3:1-9, 12-13
    • Hebrews 4:12-16
    • Hebrews 5:1
    • Hebrews 7:11-28
    • Hebrews 8:10

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ephesians 3:16
  • Matthew 5; 6
  • Colossians 2
  • 1 Corinthians 3-5; 8-9; 11-15
  • 2 Corinthians 5; 7
  • Hebrews 6

Also referenced: Book:
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament
by George Ricker Berry

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 12-16-12

BOOKS