Survey of Hebrews

Fred R. Coulter11/19/1988

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Today we're going to survey Hebrews 8-10. This becomes very important to understand about the sacrifices. It becomes very important to understand which commandments have been changed. I'm not going to say in anyway that things have been done away. I want us to remind ourselves again of Deut. 12:30-32—how that only God would add or take away from; human beings were not to add or take away from the laws of God.

Hebrews 8:1—he gives a little summary: "Now here is a summary of the things being discussed: We have such a High Priest Who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens"

I want to make a differentiation here that we need to understand, which we will cover a little bit later, and that is through the sacrifices that were given it only justified them to the temple on earth! They weren't justified to God in heaven above. Now we have an entirely different relationship in which the operation of law and works is different.

  • Our justification is not to the temple.
  • Our justification is not in the flesh.
  • Our justification is in the spirit and to heaven above.

Verse 2: "A minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord set up, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer both gifts and sacrifices; therefore, it is necessary for this one also to have something that He can offer…. [referring to Christ]: …Now on the one hand, if He [Christ] were on earth… [as a physical man] …He would not even be a priest…" (vs 2-4). Why? Several reasons:

  • God chose Aaron for the priesthood and his family.
  • God chose the Levities to be for the assistant priests.

Once God sets something, God Himself does not break His law. Please keep that in mind. If God is Lawgiver, God is also Law-keeper. The giver of the law must also keep the law. Therefore, when Jesus Christ was here in the flesh, and He came out of Judea, out of the house of David from the tribe of Judah, He did not assume any priestly role. Why? Because God gave it to Aaron and to Levi!

We will see when we come Rom. 7, when it's likened to the Old Covenant and New Covenant to marriage, one of the reasons why Jesus did not marry was because if He had married, He would have broken the law that says you shall not commit adultery. Technically, He was still married to Israel. That's important to remember. God keeps His own laws!

"…since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law; who serve as a representation and shadow of the heavenly things, exactly as Moses was Divinely instructed when he was about to construct the tabernacle: 'For see,' says He, 'that you make all things according to the pattern that was shown to you in the mountain'" (vs 4-5). Here again I want to emphasize and stress: No one does anything without God's instruction and permission! Notice that Moses didn't make the tabernacle or anything after the way he wanted. God gave him the model, the plans and he came down and says 'here's how it's going to be built.'

Then when they started building and putting all the things together for the tabernacle—and later for the temple—God gave a spirit of wisdom to the workers so they would have extraordinary craft ability to do the working for the temple and all the work that they did (Ex. 36-37). God gave them a spirit of cunning; a spirit of skill. All of this was done and inspired by God.

The point I want to make is that nothing is going to be done unless it's by the instruction of God. So likewise, in the New Covenant! Nothing is going to be done without the instruction of God! We do not dare to presume to take upon ourselves of being lawmaker or lawgiver by saying what should be done and what should not be done if God has not said. Then we presume to judge the Law.

If we become lawgivers—James said there is 'only one Lawgiver'—then you judge the Law. That's why you cannot take everything that is pagan or your own idea and say it's of God or it's Christian and it really is. NO! Unless God makes it so, it is not! It doesn't matter how many affirmations you have.

Verse 6: "But on the other hand, He [Christ—Who has ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven] …has obtained a supremely more excellent ministry… [than the Levitical priesthood] …as much greater as the superior covenant of which He is also Mediator, which was established upon superior promises." That's a thing that is important to remember. It is a better covenant. Why is it a better covenant? Because as we have learned, it is the administration of righteousness, administration of life, rather than the administration of death! It is also a better covenant because the promises are better. Why are they better? Because they are spiritual! Instead of being given a plot of land and good crops and good weather—rain in due season—and long life, you are now given the promise of:

  • eternal life
  • the Holy Spirit
  • the mind of Christ
  • the resurrection from the dead
  • intervention of God to give you His mind and understanding of His Word

Those are all better promises because they last forever!

Verse 7: "For if the first covenant had been faultless…" What does it mean faultless? Did God intend perfection to come through the first covenant? No! He did not intend perfection to come through the first covenant. That's where most people make the mistake: there's dispensation for Adam, dispensation for Noah, dispensation for the nations, dispensation for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, dispensation for Israel, dispensation for us Christians—now we have liberty to do whatever we want. NO! That is a misconception!

God never intended that the first covenant be perfect. Therefore, it was flawed—

  • deliberately flawed by limitation
  • deliberately flawed by human nature
  • deliberately flawed by the fact that it did not justify them to heaven above.

Were the Ten Commandments first given as part of the Old Covenant? or Were they a reiteration of existing laws previously? They were a reiteration of laws existing previously! That's where the confusion comes with people. Therefore, they say now we can do away with all law and 'we'll start again with what we decide.' That's the fatal error!

Verse8: "But since He found fault with them, He says, '"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they did not continue in My covenant…"'" (vs 8-12). That was the fault. There was also a fault in them that was not corrected by the covenant. What was that? What was the fault inherent within them that was not corrected by the covenant? Their heart!

Deuteronomy 5:29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!"

Hebrews 8:9: "'…because they did not continue in My covenant' and I disregarded them,' says the Lord." God says, 'All right, these things were an example; these things were done so that we could show that law alone will not change the human heart.'

Even psychologists recognize that in order for something to become of value to you, you have to internalize it; in other words become part of you. All the laws on the outside—don't do this, don't do that, don't the other thing—will not make you do it, even under the pain of death. That's why the administration of death was flawed; it didn't change the heart. The New Covenant changes the heart!

Verse 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, and I will inscribe them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.'" That's the relationship that God wants. That's the only one that is going to bring perfection.

Verse 11: "And they will no longer teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord' because all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them." Obviously, in this proclamation and prophecy, it stretches out for a long duration of time. It isn't like it is today. You can't get out here and say, 'Do you know the Lord, brother?' You might get beat up!

Verse 12: "For I will be merciful toward their unrighteousnesses, and their sins and their lawlessness I will not remember ever again." I want you understand that. Check this verse because it will come up later.

Verse 13: "In speaking of a new covenant, He has made the first covenant obsolete. Now that which has become old and obsolete is about to disappear [vanish away (KJV)]."

Let's tie that in with what we had in 2-Corinthians 3:11: "For if that which is being set aside [annulled] came into being through glory…" the King James mistranslates it; that ties right in with Heb. 8:

Hebrews 8:13: "In speaking of a new covenant, He has made the first covenant obsolete… ['decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away' (KJV)] …Now that which has become old and obsolete is about to disappear." Being annulled, same terminology those two verse—1-Cor. 3:11 & Heb. 8:13. There was that overlap. We need to understand that overlap.

Hebrews 9:1: "Truly then, the first tabernacle also had ordinances of worship and an earthly sanctuary. For the first tabernacle, which is called Holy, was furnished; in which were placed both the lampstand and the table, and the loaves of showbread. But behind the second veil was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, containing a golden censor, and the ark of the covenant, which was overlaid on all sides with gold; in which was the golden jar containing the manna, and the rod of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant; and arching above it were the cherubim of glory spreading their wings over the mercy seat, concerning which now is not the time to expound in detail" (vs 1-5).

Verse 6: "Now with these things prepared in this manner, the priests enter into the first tabernacle at all customary times in order to perform the services." They went in everyday to offer the incense. They went in everyday to bring in those things that had to do with the worship of God. That coincided with the morning and evening sacrifices, etc.

Verse 7: "But the high priest enters alone into the second tabernacle once a year, not without blood…" You cannot have the forgiveness of sin without blood. Why? Because sin requires death! Death requires the taking of life. Therefore, you cannot have the forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood.

"…which he offers for himself and for the sins that the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit signifying this: that the way of the Holiest has not yet been made manifest, while the first tabernacle is still standing" (vs 7-8). I know this gets a little technical, but I know that it's very important for us to understand.

Verse 9: "Which is a symbol for the present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are being offered that are not able to perfect the one performing the service, as pertaining to the conscience." In other words, it didn't change the heart and mind. It had to be done over and over again.

Verse 10: "These services consist only of meat and drink offerings, and various washings and physical ordinances, imposed until the time of the new spiritual order [reformation]." Absolutely abundantly clear that the covenant that Israel had was not a covenant for eternal life! It was not a covenant for the forgiveness of sin in heaven above. It was only justification to the temple.

The point is this: Can you take those things that were designed—those sacrifices, works, justifications to the temple—for justification in the flesh? Can you take those same things and apply them to justification of the spirit? NO! That's where the big harangue came concerning circumcision.
Verse 11: "But Christ Himself has become High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by human hands (that is, not of this present physical creation). Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by the means of His own blood, He entered once for all into the Holiest, having by Himself secured everlasting redemption for us" (vs 11-12).

  • What do we have?
  • Do we still have sacrifice?
  • Yes! But now Christ's!
  • Do we still have the shedding of blood?
  • Yes! Not of animals, but of Christ!
      • Why was an animal used?
      • Have you ever wondered why an animal was used?
      • No sin!
      • Why?
      • Because the animal did not have the law of sin in it! It had the law of death, that it would die, but not the law of sin!

Animals do not sin. You can train certain animals to sin. But even when an animal was used in a sin of copulation with a human being, what was done with that animal? It would be killed! So, the same thing applied when it was involved, manipulated, into sin by a human being.

We have the same thing today when people train dogs to kill, animals to kill, their innocency is taken away. They are no longer innocent animals. The reason that an animal was taken was because it was the closest thing to innocency that you could have. They had no knowledge of sin, could not sin, and therefore, when that blood was shed, it was the closest thing to innocent blood.

The same thing with Jesus Christ, only now you see how much greater the sacrifice of Christ is. Not only did He not sin, He carried the law of sin and death within Him and did not sin. That sacrifice became applicable to all human beings.

Verse 13: "For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who aredefiled, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh." Key, important verse, which shows abundantly clearly that whatever was done in the Old Covenant, whatever was done with the sacrifices, was only to justify for the sin in the flesh!

What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the Law! When you transgress the Law there has to be justification. Justification then was in he flesh to the temple. Where does the justification come for us today? Must be with Christ at the right hand of God! What does this tells us? If there has to be justification, then there still has to have been the breaking of the commandments, because there was sin! Otherwise no justification would be necessary.

That's why when the laws of justification have been upgraded and superceded by Christ you cannot with that throw out all the commandments of God that are left over. If you did, where there's no law, there's no sin! Where there is no law, there's no knowledge of sin. If He's going to redeem us; if it's going to be done in heaven above, this shows there has to be laws and commandments, which have been transgressed, that when they're forgiven must be kept. Otherwise, the whole thing is an exercise in futility.

Verse 13—the key thing: "…[It] sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh." So, the justification to the temple went no further than the temple.

By comparison, v 14: "To a far greater degree, the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." You can have dead works or works of death. What are works of death? Anything that does not bring eternal life! Law-breaking is one of them.

If God never intended the first covenant given to Israel to forgive sin spiritually in heaven above, and if it was only to justify them in the flesh to the temple, is that system, therefore, affective for salvation spiritually? NO! That's where the big problem came.

"…shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." I want to dwell for just a minute on dead works. What if, like many of the Jews today—we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say we'll set all their traditions aside, we won't hold them responsible for their traditions and say they keep the commandments of God—you keep the commandments of God to the best of your ability but do not accept Christ? Do you have contact with God? Even though they are God's laws? NO! Because you've rejected the means by which you would have contact with God! Even though you would keep these commandments in the letter, those are still dead works because they are not believing in faith in Christ!

I know that's a very fine line, but I hope you understand the principle involved.

  • Do the Jews understand which day is the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Does their Sabbath-keeping bring them salvation? NO!

They reject Christ, so therefore, they are not justified to God in heaven above. Furthermore, they are using the mode of rejecting Christ, which God has already set aside! So, all their works of law do not accomplish anything. All the circumcision on the eighth day of every one of their male sons does not make them better. That's the whole point of the New Covenant. I know this is technical, but it's very important that we understand it.

Verse 15: "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the New Covenant: in order that through His death, which took place for the release of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant…"

What is he saying? Not one of those sins were really truly forgiven until Christ died! Not one of them were truly forgiven! The only ones that that applied to, at that particular time, were the prophets and certain of the kings that God had called. They are the only ones that the sacrifice of Christ applied to when Christ died going retroactively back in time.

"…those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (v 15). I want you to notice that no eternal inheritance is given unless there is a calling.

We're going to see that one of the important things for eternal life is there must be the calling. You don't select it. You don't choose it. You don't take it to yourself. It is an impossibility for you to take it to yourself, because how can the mortal call the Eternal to make the mortal eternal? NO! It's the other way around. The Eternal God calls the mortal—us—that we may be given as a gift eternal life! We all understand that and know how that works.

Verse 16: "Now where there is a covenant, it is obligatory to bring forth a symbolic sacrifice to represent the death of the one who personally ratifies the covenant." That is true! You can have a will at home all written up. When does the will apply? When you die! It's an instrument that is effective after your death, not before.

Verse 17: "Because a covenant is ratified only over the dead sacrificial animals, since there is no way that it is legally in force until the living ratifier has symbolically represented his death." Someone can come in and change their mind.

I just got an original copy of a will from my mother because she decided to change her will. It may make some people unhappy that she changed her will, but it's her right to do so. I put in my file and it's going to be there until such a time that it becomes effective, which will be at her death. I don't know when that will take place, it may be soon, it may be more years, you never know, but sooner or later it's going to happen. It's exactly the same thing here.

Verse 18: "For this very reason, neither was the first covenant inaugurated without blood, because after Moses had spoken every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats… [there's the death sealed by those animals] …with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and he sprinkled both the book of the covenant itself and all the people, saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.' And in the same manner, he sprinkled with blood the tabernacle, too, and all the vessels of service. Now, almost all things are purified with blood according to the law, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins" (vs 18-22).

That's what was wrong with the sacrifice of Cain. He decided he didn't like the shedding of blood, that he was going to do it his way, and it was called sin! 'Sin lies at the door!' "…without the shedding of blood there is no remission…"

Verse 23: "Therefore, it was indeed obligatory for the patterns of the heavenly things to be purified with the blood of these animals, but the things in heaven themselves with superior sacrifices than these." He's saying that the tabernacle was made after the instructions that God gave to Moses. They built it, they purified it with the blood of bulls and goats. But the heavenly throne—the heavenly tabernacle, the heavenly altar, the heavenly presence of God—must be sanctified by better sacrifices than these. So, it's the sacrifice of Christ.

Verse 24: "For Christ has not entered into the Holy places made by human hands, which are mere copies of the true; rather, He has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that he should offer Himself many times, even as the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies year by year with the blood of others; for then it would have been necessary for Him to suffer many times since the foundation of the world [age]…." (vs 24-26). Did it not end an age? Did not the ending of the Old Covenant end an age? Yes, it did! That's what it's talking about. It's not talking about the end of the world in our time.

That's where the Seventh Day Adventists got all off on the 2300-year/1844 thing. Christ didn't enter into cleanse the sanctuary until 1844 and then oops! they went past 1844 and Christ didn't return. Now what are you going to do? The end of the world here refers to the end of the age that ended with the ending of the Old Covenant. That's what it's talking about. It's not the end of the world!

"…But now, once and for all, in the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested for the purpose of removing sin through His sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgment; so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear the second time without sin unto salvation to those who are eagerly awaiting Him" (vs 26-28).

This clearly tells us the function of the temple and the sacrifices of the Old Covenant as compared to the function of the heavenly temple and the sacrifice of Christ.

  • What has been changed?
  • The law of sacrifices!
  • Who changed it?
  • God changed it!
  • Did God take away from?
  • Yes, He did!
  • Did He add to?
  • Yes, He did!

It's the work of God. He's the One Who sets the parameters.

Hebrews 10:1: "For the Law…" In this case referring to the Old Covenant. The term the Law in many cases refers to the whole Old Covenant, or the first five books of the Bible.

"…having only a shadow of the good things that are coming, and not the image of those things, with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, is never able to make perfect those who come to worship" (v 1).

  • What makes a person perfect?
  • The Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit is the earnest until the redemption!

  • How are we make perfect now, in the presence of God?
    • through the sacrifice of Christ
    • through the righteousness of God

We are made perfect in the presence of God, though we are still in the flesh.

That doesn't mean we go around and toot our horn and say, 'Oh, I'm a perfect Christian, everyone listen to me.' NO! That is done, imputed to us—we haven't earned it, it was given to us, Christ did it, He administers it, it's of God—therefore, you can't go back and take the sacrifices and say, 'This will make me perfect.' You cannot go back and take circumcision and say, 'this will make me perfect.' You cannot go back and take commandment-keeping and say, 'this will make me perfect.'

Commandment-keeping was designed to keep you from sinning. You must keep the commandments, but that will not perfect you. Christ alone will perfect you! The sacrifices they gave couldn't perfect them. Only the sacrifice of Christ can perfect us!
Verse 2: "Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? For once those who worship had been purified, they would no longer be conscious of sin. On the contrary, in offering these sacrifices year by year, there is a remembrance of sins" (vs 2-3).

When we take the Passover, what do we celebrate? We celebrate the fact that the sins have been forgiven! We're not going back and digging up all of our old sins. Now you see how some of the wrong approach could be brought into the operation of the New Covenant, and I'm sure that there are people who have said, 'If you didn't remember every sin before you were baptized, maybe God didn't forgive it.'

Listen, God is not forgiving a sin when you're baptized. He is forgiving you, the sinner, which includes all of your sins! Technically then, if you had to remember every sin you ever did to be forgiven, you would have to do a work of law to remember that so God would forgive it.

  • Does that follow?
  • Do you understand that?
  • Am I talking in a circle?
  • No, I'm not talking in a circle! You either all are, or all or not!

Some ministers have put a guilt trip and a fear trip on people by saying, 'Unless you do this and remember every sin…' And you go around and say, 'Do I really need to remember all my sins? I've been in the church five years and I can't remember them. Why?' That shows you're converted and have God's Spirit, because if you can't remember them, there's no remembrance of sin on your conscience! Why? Because through the New Covenant it is removed!

Verse 4: "Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…. [not possible] …For this reason… [You can't live with that situation forever. If you're going to undo sin, you've got to get a process by which you're going to undo it.] …when He comes into the world, He [Christ] says, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me'" (vs 4-5).

This is Christ's body to be sacrificed. This is also likened unto His Church, which is called the Body of Christ. What is the body and the mind supposed to be? Dedicated to God, to do the will of God from the inside out, not from the outside in!

Verse 6: "You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin…. [those would have to be done over and over again] …Then said I, 'Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book) to do Your will, O God'" (vs 6-7). What is the will of God in referring to Christ?

  • That He come and live and sin not!
  • That He come and live and shed His blood for the sacrifice of the sins of all people!

That was the will of God!

Verse 8: "In the saying above, He said, 'Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin (which are offered according to the law) You did not desire nor delight in'; then He said, 'Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant" (vs 8-9). Again, it was being annulled; it was being terminated. He is taking away the first that He may establish the second.

Verse 10: "By Whose will we are sanctified… [to be justified in heaven above]: through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Now, every high priest stands ministering day by day, offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which are never able toremove sins; but He, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God" (vs 10-12).

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Verse 13: "Since that time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified… [to the sanctuary in heaven above] …And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds; and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again.' Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart…" (vs 13-22)—purged of sin and conscience of sin; operating now under the gracious operation of God through the sacrifice of Christ.

"…with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water…. [by the operation of baptism] …Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful; and let us be concerned about one another, and be stirring up one another unto love and good works" (vs 22-24).

Next time I'm going to a little more to say about works, good works and works of law; and what are they? What do they accomplish? What is the purpose of them?

Verse 25: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, even as some are accustomed to do; but rather, encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we willfully go on sinning…" (vs 25-26). I wanted to get this point to show that law-keeping, commandment-keeping, is still required!

  • We do not decide which laws.
  • We do not decide which commandments.

God alone decides that, because it says here if we sin—sin is the transgression of the Law—willfully "…after receiving… [the sacrifice of Christ] (and): the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins" (v 26). Why? Because you have thrown away the greatest sacrifice there is for the forgiveness of sin! You have thrown away the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!

Hebrews 6:4 begins with the same thing as we end with here in chapter ten: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and who personally obtained the heavenly gift, and became partakers of the Holy Spirit, and who have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt" (vs 4-6). That is the sinning willfully:

  • in a rebellious attitude
  • you do not care
  • you are hateful
  • totally destructive toward God
  • totally rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ
  • absolutely no remorse for what you have done

You might even say pride in sinning, that you have sinned this sin. That's sinning willfully. Now, sometimes you willingly go along with some of your temptations, but you feel rotten afterward and you repent. That is not a willful sin! A willful sin is a total mindset to do it.

Hebrews 10:26: "For if we willfully go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of inevitable judgment and of fierce fire, which will devour the adversaries of God" (vs 26-27).

  • Now who is going to administer the death?
  • Now who is going to carry out the death penalty—eternal death penalty?
  • God is!

So, Paul makes the comparison, v 28: "Consider this: anyone who rejects the Law of Moses dies without mercy under the testimony of two or three witnesses." They still have plenty of stones in the Holy Land today, and they use them against each other—don't they?

Verse 29: "How much worse punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, as an unholy thing, and has scorned the Spirit of grace?"

Look at the difference. Everything instead of being minimized, instead being relegated to 'now we don't have to do this, it's done away'—NO!—it is magnified! Isn't that what it said that Christ would do? That He would magnify the Law and make it honorable! How does He make it honorable? By putting it in your heart and mind;that that's the way you live, think, act and with the power of God's Holy Spirit, you conduct your life. So, it's going to be a sorer punishment.

  • Who is going to administer this punishment?
  • What is this punishment?
  • We know that it is the second death in the Lake of Fire forever!

A person may be stoned under the Old Covenant for their sin, but since they were not offered eternal salvation, they're going to be resurrected in the second resurrection and have an opportunity to choose God's way at that time. But for those who have been called now it is a different proposition. That's why

  • God alone judges the heart.
  • God alone will execute the death penalty if need be.

Verse 29: "How much worse punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, as an unholy thing, and has scorned the Spirit of grace? For we know Him Who has said, '"Vengeance belongs to Me. I will recompense!" says the Lord.' And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (vs 29-31).

Under the Old Testament what did you do? You fell into the hands of the priest and the judge! Now you're going to fall, if you sin and you don't repent, into the hands of the living God Who is a consuming fire! Who will devour the enemies! When you sin you are an enemy—right? Yes!

I'm being a little over-dramatic on this from the point of view that I want to emphasize that no way can we discount the keeping of the commandments of God, but that is only one part of what God requires from us.

Verse 32: "But remember the earlier days… [Remember he said 'you're dull of hearing,' so dull that you need to have milk again.] …when after you were enlightened, you endured much conflict in your sufferings." Go back and read in the book of Acts, what they endured.

Verse 33: "On the one part, you were made a public spectacle by both insults and severe trials; and on the other part, you became companions of those who were enduring the same things. For you not only showed compassion to me in my bonds, but also gladly endured the plunder of your possessions, knowing within yourselves that you have a greater and more enduring possession in the heavens. For this very reason, do not cast away your confidence, which is bringing a great reward. For you need to have endurance, so that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. For it is but a short time until He Who is coming will come, and will not delay. Now it is written, 'The just shall live by faith…'" (vs 33-38).

Notice that after he goes through all of that—and you might say that this v 38, and on into chapter eleven is the culmination of one thought from chapter one. From the very beginning of the book of Hebrews this culminates the thought. Everything it goes through, it starts out about God with Christ at the right hand; forgiven our sins; Christ came and was made flesh just like us. Look to the example in:

  • Chapter 3—the Israelites who sinned, don't do after they do.
  • Chapter 4—Christ is our High Priest
  • Chapter 5—open your dull ears
  • Chapter 6—talks about the promises given to Abraham
  • Chapter 7—talks about Melchisedec
  • Chapter 8-10—operation of the Old Covenant

Here we are at the end of Heb. 10 and here's the summary: "…The just shall live by faith…" Takes a long time to get there—doesn't it? That's why it's important that you know your Bible when we're going through and studying these things.

Now you see why it's so dangerous to pick a verse out and say that it says this, when it doesn't say that. That's why I laboriously went through every verse. I know it was laborious, I understand that. But in today's 30-second television byte, now they got it down to 9-second television bytes, and the attention span of most people is 12 minutes.

If I had to sit down to a group of people who never heard this, in about a 12-minute segment and then we would have to do a little something and then another 12-minute segment. Just to show you how your attention span is, next time you watch a non-commercial television show, I guarantee you in about 12-15 minutes you're going to be up to either go do something or get something to eat. Then you'll come back. I don't think that very many people today can sit through a two-hour television thing that they're going to watch without losing their attention span, let alone having to retain their attention for 10-7/8 chapters to get to that one thought.

"…'The just shall live by faith, but if anyone draws back, My soul does not delight in him.' But we are not of those who draw back unto destruction; rather, we are of faith unto the saving of the soul" (vs 38-39)—eternal life!

Then what do we have? The next logical extension of this? The faith chapter: Hebrews 11:1: "Now, faith is the substance of"

by faith Abel

  • by faith Noah
  • by faith Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  • by faith Moses

All the rest all the way down through; then what do we do? That's a fast summary of chapter 11.

I want us to get the story flow and what Paul is talking about so that when we come to the books of Romans and Galatians, I'm going to guarantee you that it will be easy to understand. But you can't understand the book of Galatians until you completely understand what we've covered here and the basic things in Romans.

Hebrews 12: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin… [again, I remind you: sin is the transgression of the Law] …that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance." Where do we end up? Where we began!

Verse 2: "Having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 2-4).

If you have to resist unto blood, striving against sin, pray tell how important are the commandments of God to those in the New Testament? Very important! To the point that Paul said, 'You have not even resisted unto blood, yet.' I don't recall that I have. I've been hurt! I've been wounded by people's actions, words, thoughts and deeds. But I haven't bled blood. Look what he's saying:

Verse 5: "And you have already forgotten the admonition that He addresses to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor grow weary of being reproved by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He severely disciplines every son whom He receives.' If you endure chastening, God is dealing with you as a Father with His sons. For who is the son whom the Father does not chasten?" (vs 5-7). But the one who becomes a gang member with no father—or respect of his mother—who destroys other people's lives. That's a good analogy there.

Verse 8: "But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons."

Then Paul goes on to say to let it be profitable: "…it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness…" (v 11).

Verse 12: "Therefore, lift up the hands that are hanging down, and revive the weakened knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned aside; but let it rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and Holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; looking diligently, lest anyone fall from the grace of God…" (vs 12-15).

Not this great wonderful Robert Shuller brand of Christianity where everything is greater, better, good, nicer, positive. NO! His crystal house is going to come shattering down; one of these days there will be an earthquake and it will happen right there and that crystal palace is going to fall to the ground.

"…lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and through this many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator or godless person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright" (vs 15-16). What would you do to sell your birthright of the resurrection birth? That's the analogy and parallel there.

Verse 17: "Because you also know that afterwards, when he wished to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; and he found no room for repentance, although he sought it earnestly with tears." What's going to happen at the Lake of Fire? There's going to be weeping and gnashing of teeth!

Verse 18: "For you have not come to the mount that could be touched and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; and to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words, which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. (For they could not endure what was being commanded: 'And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow'; and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I am greatly afraid and trembling'.)" (vs 18-21). That's an awesome sight!

Verse 22: "But you have come to Mount Sion… [in heaven above] …and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering; and to the Church of the Firstborn, registered in the book of Life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected" (vs 22-23). What a contrast!

Verse 24: "And to Jesus… [not Moses] …the Mediator of the New Covenant… [I suggest you go and review Heb. 3 where it talks about the difference between Moses and Jesus.] …and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel. Beware that you do not refuse to hear Him Who is speaking! For if they did not escape judgment, who refused to hear the One Who was on the earth Divinely instructing them, how much more severely will we be judged, if we ourselves apostatize from Him Who speaks from heaven" (vs 24-25).

  • Notice the difference in the severity.
  • Notice the difference in the punishment.
  • Notice the difference in the reward.
  • Notice the difference in the operation.

Verse 26: "Whose voice then shook the earth, but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven also (Hag. 2; Isa 2)'"—where God arises to 'terribly shake the earth.' I cannot help but think of this earth of a huge, giant bowl of jello at that time when God rises to shake it; it's just going to 'go bananas' as it were.

Verse 27: "Now the words 'once more' signify the removing of the things being shaken, as of things that were made, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

  • if you're going to build on that Rock of Christ
  • if He's going to arise to shake the earth
  • if you are on Christ's side
  • if you are in Christ

It doesn't matter if the earth be shaken and everything out of its place—what's going to remain? The spiritual part of what you have done!

Verse 28: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, through which we may serve God in a pleasing manner with reverence and awe; for our God is indeed a consuming fire" (vs 28-29).

Hebrews 13—covers the niceties; God says that He will never, never leave us or forsake us; even though the earth be shaken to the core!

Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Do not be carried about by all kinds of strange doctrines. For it is good for the heart to be confirmed by grace and not by foods, which have brought no spiritual benefit to those who have been preoccupied with them. We have an altar from which those who are serving the present earthly tabernacle do not have authority to eat; for pertaining to those animals whose blood is brought into the Holy places by the high priest for a sin offering, the bodies of all these are burned outside the camp" (vs 8-11).

"For this reason, Jesus, in order that He might sanctify the people by His own blood, also suffered outside the gate. So then, let us go forward to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For we do not have a continuing city here on earth; rather, we are seeking the one that is coming…. [heavenly Jerusalem] …Accordingly, let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually to God through Him; that is, with the fruit of our lips openly professing our faith in His name" (vs 12-15).

I realize that is a quick review of Hebrews. We could take all kinds of time and go through it in greater detail, but I think that we have covered all that we need to, to show the difference between the operation of justification in the flesh to the temple and justification in the spirit to God the Father in heaven above. Those are the two key things that I want you to remember.

Referring to a chart:

Old Covenant:

  • circumcision for the males only
  • sacrifices of animals for the service at the temple
  • commandments to keep and works of law

Works of law becomes an important factor when we come into the books of Romans and Galatians.

  • justification was to the temple
  • physical blessings
  • administration of death
  • inherit the land
  • rule the world (Rom. 4)—the promise given to Abraham was to culminate in ruling the world.

New Covenant

  • calling of God
  • repentance
  • baptism
  • sacrifice of Christ
  • the Holy Spirit
  • circumcision of the heart—male and female
  • commandments to keep and good works
  • administration of righteousness
  • justification to God in heaven
  • worship in Spirit and in Truth
  • spiritual blessings as well as physical blessings
  • resurrection to eternal life—Family of God
  • inherit the Kingdom of God
  • rule the world and the universe

There are the major differences between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. I suppose that if you wanted to, you could also say, 'God called Israel out of Egypt; they were under the oppression of sin and slavery and they were in a repentant attitude. They were baptized in the Red Sea.

You could draw many more parallels to extend this out even more, I realize that. But I just wanted to cover this to show the difference in how God is operating under the New Covenant, so therefore, everything that we do becomes magnified because there's a spiritual ramification to it.

Questions:

  • Referring to #11 (under the New Covenant listing above)—spiritual blessings and physical blessings

I'm sure the spiritual blessings with the Holy Spirit will be the same in degree to everyone that God calls. Physical blessings may or may not be there in the same way depending on the nation that they live in.

For example: If a person is living in India, obviously, they will have spiritual blessings; they may not have the physical blessings that we may have living here in the land of Israel. But I am sure that they are blessed with enough to eat, they are kept from starvation, they are kept from disease, so there are those physical blessings that would come, too.

  • Because the Old Covenant ceased, does that mean that the other promises to Abraham also ceased? No!

Even though the Old Covenant ceased at the sacrifice of Christ—there was a 40-year overlap—effectively it had stopped the instant Christ died as far as God was concerned. Practically, on the earth, God let it continue for another 40 years. There were several covenants to Abraham.

This covenant of the Old Covenant was placed alongside the promises. The promises given to Abraham are irrevocable. They are going to go on down through time. So, the fulfillment of the physical blessings to Israel are going to be fulfilled because of the promise to Abraham, in spite of the fact that God no longer uses the Old Covenant as a means of dealing with the nation.

Of course, God judges all nations collectively in the amount or degree of sin or righteousness that is in the nation.

I tell you, the first time I went though the book of Galatians, I did not understand it like I understand it now. I understood it somewhat, so if there are questions, by all means ask so that we can really understand what we're doing. This is going to be one of those things I'm not going to do again for a long time.

It is very necessary because there are so many people that are listening to the sermons that want to know: What should I do? Why should I do it? They're being beseeched on every side with these 'virus' doctrines. They come sweeping in, new truth. NO! It's a new sickness! It's not new truth, it's an old, cold re-caught.

  • Is God going to bless us or curse us according to our obedience? Yes, He will!

I'm sure not in the way we think or want. There are other things that He just totally overlooks and lets it go by. Each individual's life will be different. Each circumstance will be different in working with the individual. There's no set thing that I can say applies to each and every Christian. It may or may not apply; it will vary.

That's the best way I can answer the question because sometimes we attribute things to God as a blessing or a curse when it may not be a blessing or a curse either way. It may be just something that has happened in our lives, and it would happen whether God called us or didn't call us.

I think that we need not necessarily read blessings and cursings into everything that comes along—one way or the other. We are being tried for spiritual salvation, so some of the things that we might look at, which would be considered very unsavory to have to go through, actually is a blessing in the long run because of the spiritual consequences when it's all over with.

For example: In Matthew 5:10—and this is a hard one for anyone, I don't care how strong you are: "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness…" It's not a blessing when you're going through the persecution. It's horror; it's misery; it's mind-boggling! But God says it's a blessing.

"…for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and shall persecute you, and shall falsely say every wicked thing against you, for My sake" (vs 10-11). We're all upset, angry, down at the mouth and feeling bad when this happens. I know, I've gone through it.

When I went through it, I didn't do v 12: "Rejoice and be filled with joy, for great is your reward in heaven…" It took me a long time to come to this attitude. But like it says, when you go through it, it's not pleasant, but afterward it will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness!

You can't have a hard and fast rule to say spiritually and physically that this is a blessing or cursing from God. We may look at something that may turn out to be a blessing as a curse at the time we're going through it, because we haven't gone the full cycle with it.

You get caught up under the blessings and cursings of the nation that you're in and it has nothing to do with you as an individual; you just happen to be there. If I were in Uganda right now I might be dead in the next five minutes and have nothing to do with spirituality, but the circumstances in the country.

I think the cycle of drought and storms and all the things we've gone through are all progressively things having to do with the nation of more and more sin, and getting further and further from God. But for which exact sin, I don't know. To the extent of sin I have a fair idea, but I really don't know. Even God came down and said, 'Look, we're going down to sea if the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is as bad as the cry that has reached Us.'

How that's communicated to God I don't know. But if a sparrow falls dead and God knows it, then He keeps good track of what's going on. I wouldn't be surprised that these people praying for rain, if they were sincere and prayed to God, as part of the promise that was given to Israel through Solomon: 'If your people who are called by My name will turn to Me and pray to Me and repent of the their sins' that You will send the rain.

Even applies to nations other than Israel. If they will turn to God; and Paul even said, 'These nations which were not given the Law, which by nature keep the Law and turn to God, are a law unto themselves, and you Jews ought to be utterly ashamed.' God leaves Himself plenty of latitude to do what He's going to do.

It's easier, somehow in our mind, to compartmentalize everything that we do. And there's a little niche for everything. Well, sometimes everything doesn't necessarily fit in a niche. I find myself doing that. I might be going down the road and someone does something driving and I think that's a dumb thing to do. I'm sure the other person may know it's a dumb thing to do. Maybe it was done not for the reason I thought it may have been done.

I can't go along and put that person in a niche in my mind and say that's a dastardly, horrible driver. I might be able to do that if I see a car that's all smashed up and it was due to the negligence of the driver, then I might be able to say for sure that, yes, bad driving, drunk driving, guilty! Send him away!

All the refuges being sent to us are going to end up being a curse to fulfill the prophecy that 'the stranger in your midst shall rise up very high above you.'

IF we turn to God as a nation, then they would not become that curse to us. But that happening is very remote at this point.

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

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 8:1-9
  • Deuteronomy 5:29
  • Hebrews 8:9-13
  • 2 Corinthians 3:11
  • Hebrews 8:13
  • Hebrews 9:1-28
  • Hebrews 10:1-26
  • Hebrews 6:4-6
  • Hebrews 10:26-39
  • Hebrews 11:1
  • Hebrews 12:1-8, 11-29
  • Hebrews 13:8-15
  • Matthew 5:10-12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 12:30-32
  • Romans 7
  • Exodus 36; 37
  • Haggai 2
  • Isaiah 2
  • Romans 4

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 12/16/12

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