Hear, Listen and Pay Attention to GOD!

(Chapter 1)

Fred R. Coulter—August 4, 2001

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I want to pick up where we left off last time, and I want to go back and just review a little bit, so let's go to Acts 13. Then we can see the style of how Paul preached. Hebrews is not an epistle; it is a sermon. Now, in scholarly terms they call it a homily, but it is a sermon. What we want to do is see exactly how Paul used the Scriptures, and we will see that's the exact same pattern that is used all the way through the book of Hebrews.

I think that the book of Hebrews was a written sermon that he had given over and over again. That's why it is so perfected. I just might mention that the only commentary I ever use is the Word Biblical Commentary. What that does, it just analyzes the words. The comment that was made in that commentary was that Hebrews has the best Greek of all the New Testament. It also mentions something very interesting, that a good number of the verbs are in the infinitive form; meaning that instead of saying, for example: said—he said, they said—it's put in the form, to say. Now, Greek for I say is 'lego.' The infinitive form is 'legin.' That is a distinctive thing, which is very similar to what Luke has, the way that Luke writes.

I also noticed in going through and translating Hebrews that there are a good number of what are called articular infinitives, which is a very sophisticated way in Greek of saying something. We have nothing like it in English; except, if you would say, 'the going to town,' which is very awkward. But that's what you have in Greek. For example, if you go back and look at the booklet The True Meaning of Acts 2:1 {truthofgod.org} you will see that the whole problem there, or the whole understanding lies in what is called an articular infinitive. This is another sign that it is Paul's words, written and refined, and perfected by Luke; and Luke was always with Paul. He would not get it even in the door of Jerusalem if it had his name on it.

Let's see how Paul uses the Scriptures. Not only does he quote the Scriptures, but he uses the Scriptures in a way to tell the whole story in a summary without necessarily going to a direct verse, in this particular case in Acts 13:17: "The God of this people Israel…" That starts out very familiar, similar to Heb. 1:1, where the very first word is God.

Verse 25: "And as John was fulfilling his course, he said, 'Who do you suppose that I am? I am not He; but behold, there is One Who comes after me, of Whom I am not worthy to loose the sandals of His feet.'"

Now where did he get this, except out of Matthew? Because Matthew was written very shortly after the resurrection! This whole thing of saying that nothing was written down for years and years, and was passed by word of mouth from generation-to-generation until we come to the beginning of the fourth century, about 310A.D.; then the disciples, out of the imagination of their minds, began to write down the things that they learned, and it was passed on; so therefore, there are many, many errors in what is called the New Testament. That is a satanic lie! It is not true!

Matthew 3:3[transcriber's correction]: "For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying… [he is saying that he is not the Christ] …'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths."'"

Verse 11: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but the One Who is coming after me is mightier than I, of Whom I am not fit to carry His sandals; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire."

What also makes sense is—since Luke wrote Acts—that part of the book of Luke was already written. He says in the book of Acts that he had already written the book of Luke.

Acts 1:1: "The first account I indeed have written, O Theophilus…" is a beginning part of the book of Acts.

Luke 3:15: "But as the people were filled with expectation, and they were all reasoning in their hearts about John, whether or not he might be the Christ, John answered all of them, saying, 'I indeed baptize you with water; but He is coming Who is mightier than I, of Whom I am not fit to loose the thong of His sandals. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire" (vs 15-16).

What Paul does is summarize Acts 13 that, at least the summary of the sermon that Luke wrote, summarizes the answer of John. This shows that they were totally familiar with what John had preached, what he had done, and that it was written down.

Acts 13:26, Paul says: "Men, brethren, sons of the race of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the message of this salvation was sent… [this is also referring to the things here] … for those who were dwelling in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor the voices of the prophets who are read every Sabbath, have themselves fulfilled them in condemning Him" (vs 26-27). You also have that where? In Matthew, Mark and Luke, 'Thus it was fulfilled by the prophets.' So, he's summarizing that.

Again, he shows the use of Scripture while he's speaking, v 40: "Take heed, therefore, lest that which is spoken in the Prophets come upon you: 'Behold, you despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work that you will in no way believe… [this is cited from Hab. 1:5] …even if one declares it to you'" (vs 40-41).

I missed the one where he quotes Psa. 2; v 33: "As it is also written in the second Psalm, 'You are My Son; today have I begotten you.'"

Quoting Psa. 16; v 35 "Accordingly, he also says in another place, 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.'" Then he repeats the same thing in v 36 that Peter did on the Day of Pentecost, that David is both buried and dead, and in the grave to this day.

I want you to see how the Scriptures are used. One quote, after another quote, after another quote. This becomes important:

Hebrews 1:1: "God Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son."

Then he explains about Him being superior to the angels, v 5: "For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You'? And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'?"—quoting from Psa. 2:7.

Verse 6: "And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.' Now, on the one hand, of the angels He says, 'Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.' But on the other hand, of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom'" (vs 6-8)—quoting from Psa. 45:6-7.

Verse 9: "You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.' And, 'You, Lord, in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands'" (vs 9-10)—quoting from Psa. 102. And he quotes that for another couple of verses.

Verse 13 (quotes Psa. 110): "But unto which of the angels did He ever say, 'Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet'?" And we'll see this all the way through. Almost every chapter is that way: chapters 2-8, all the way through. This is the only book of the New Testament, by the way, that clearly defines the special things of Christ in the New Covenant.

Now, one other thing I want to cover; this is another hint of Paul; Hebrews 10:33: "On the one part, you were made a public spectacle by both insults and severe trials…" Who caused those? Paul did, when he was Saul!

"…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… [that has to be referring to Paul] …but also gladly endured the plunder of your possessions, knowing within yourselves that you have a greater and more enduring possession in the heavens" (vs 33-34).

Then as we covered in part one in chapter 13, it talks about Timothy, and Timothy was always with Paul. So, those are all evidences that this is from the Apostle Paul. We have the use of Scriptures; and also, the same way of preaching that Paul did of a chain of Scriptures.

Now then, we're going come to something very important here. Understand that one of the things that Hebrews is telling us: How to view, use and understand the Word of God.

Hebrews 1:1: "God Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets…" Who's doing the speaking? God! You go back and you go through the first part of Genesis, and Who's doing the talking in the first person? God is! All the way through His dealings with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God is dealing with them either in person, as He did with Abraham, or in person and dreams as He did with Isaac and Jacob. Then when you come to Moses He dealt with him face-to-face.

We will see that as the book of Hebrews unfolds, he is showing the superiority of the Son. In other words, what we're going to find in the book of Hebrews is this:

  • Christ is the ultimate Word of God
  • Christ is the ultimate Son of God
  • Christ is the ultimate Sacrifice of God
  • Christ is the ultimate High Priest of God

Why is this necessary? Because He was paving the way for the time when there would be no temple and no priesthood in Jerusalem!
We also need to understand that when God sent His Son, you had to have:

  • a greater revelation
  • a greater sacrifice
  • a greater priesthood
  • a greater covenant

That's why Paul starts out this way, referring to the prophets. All of the prophets prophesied that, as we will see when we get into the book of Hebrews here. So, the thing to understand is that God is speaking through His Word. And since His Word is still here, when you read it God is speaking to everyone who reads it—to you, to me, whoever it may be—whether they are converted or unconverted. For the unconverted it's a witness against them because if they read it and don't believe, it's a witness against them. God expects this, which is very important to realize: Since this is the Word of God, this is the same as if God:

  • is personally telling you
  • is personally telling me
  • is personally telling anyone who reads the Scriptures

That's why when you read of Christ, He's called the Word of God! There's a reason for it.

Hebrews 1:1: "…has spoken to us in these last days by His Son." Then Paul immediately begins to point out the superiority, or the ultimate reality of Christ, Who is the ultimate Son.

Verse 2: "Whom He has appointed heir of all things… [which means the universe! Note Rom. 8, that we're co-heirs with Christ.] …by Whom also He made the ages."

He brings this out in a very powerful way so that they will know and understand that there is no human being, there is no prophet, no, not even Moses can compare to the Son.

Verse 3: "…Who, being the brightness of His glory…" Moses sure enough absorbed temporarily some of the glory of God when he spent the forty days and forty nights on the mount. But that glory faded away, as a prophetic type of showing that the covenant through Moses was going to fade away for the covenant with the Son.

Verse 3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…" No prophet was ever like this. Then he is going to show no angel was ever like this.

"…and upholding all things by the Word of His own power…" Now that's something! Christ upholds the universe "…by the word of His own power…" But notice what He did:
"…when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (v 3). Now you know why John said, 'No man has ascended to heaven but the Son'; no man has seen the Father but the Son.'

Verse 4: "Having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them."

That's the whole theme of Hebrews: the New Covenant is exceedingly superior to anything that has gone on in the past, save the swearing to Abraham; that comes in second. But this is superior to anything. He never said this to the angels. This one knocks in a 'cocked hat' all of Mormonism. They say that Jesus was a created being, and He became an angelic being; He became Michael the archangel, and joined Moroni who is the angel of the Mormon Church.

Notice what the Scripture says, v 5: "For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You'? And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'? And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him'" (vs 5-6).

Then he goes on to show how much greater that He is than the angels. That's important to understand!

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word…"—Christ! It is absolutely amazing to me how some people can say that Jesus Christ was a created being, when it clearly tells us here that He created everything. If He created everything, He had to create Himself.

Verse 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." He had to be as much God as He could be in the flesh, but He could not be 100% God and 100% man, in the same body; they cannot exist together, because they are two separate kinds of existences. So, when He became the Son of God He had to take on the flesh of man.

By the way, the Jehovah Witnesses' translation was translated by a Jesuit Catholic priest, Did you know that? Their version is called The New World Translation. What's another word for 'world'? Age! It's almost identical to the NIV. Now they do something here with the phrase: and the Word was God. When you look at it in the Greek there is no definite article. If it had the definite article it would read 'ho Theos.' But it doesn't have 'ho'—it just has 'Theos'—and reads this way: 'Kai [and]Theos [God] en [was] ho logos [the Word].' Why, in the Greek, did they not put the definite article the there? To show that Christ was everything that God is; the whole, same characteristic as God!

This is almost telling us, like we have back here in Hebrews 1:3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person..." That's another way of saying the same thing to define it. Without the definite article here, it is not a God, it is the whole of what God is. So, when Christ came to the earth it was a profound thing. Like I said, God's ultimate Son, God's ultimate Word.

John 1:2: "He was in the beginning with God. All things…" (vs 2-3).

We have in Hebrews 1:3?: "…and upholding all things…" Notice how that closely parallels with John's Gospel as compared to the book of Hebrews. Starting out the same way. The same message is brought with greater clarity for one meaning in John, and greater clarity for another meaning in Hebrews. Put together, you have the whole picture.

John 1:3: "All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him."

Why is that put that way? To exclude the possibility that He was a created being! To exclude the possibility that He could have created Himself!

Verse 4: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 4-5). The world is deceived. That's why it doesn't comprehend the Light, because

  • The Light is Truth!
  • The light penetrates!
  • The light exposes!

Men cannot handle that!

Verse 14: "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us…"—the whole theme of the Feast of Tabernacles, God dwelling with us!

"…(and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth" (v 14). Christ was the only begotten of the Father and came directly from the Father.

This is what is so important concerning the Word of God, Christ! The Gospels show without a doubt—confirmed beyond any shadow of question—that before He became a human being He was God! Now that's why in the book of Hebrews Paul is spending so much time on it. Because he is establishing that everything in the rest of the book of Hebrews is going to be contingent on vs 1-4. Everything else!

Comment was just made from someone who studied with the Seventh-Day Adventists, that there are some of them who believe that Christ is Michael. So, you've got Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and some Seventh-Day Adventists who believe that. That's one of Satan's tactics, to come in and to degrade Christ. Why is it an important tactic of Satan the devil to degrade Christ? So that he will pry open your mind to bring in error and lies! I'm sure it was happening there, because we're going to see that in this sermon of Paul's, in Heb. 1 and the first part of Heb. 2, he spends a great deal of time showing the difference between Christ and the angels; and the angels in this world and the angels in the world to come.

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…" Now why does he say let it be in you? Because:

  • you have to choose to let the mind of Christ be in you through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • you have to seek it from God the Father
  • you have to grow in grace and knowledge
  • you have to study the Word of God so that you begin to have the mind of Christ
  • you have to let it…

in order to let it, then

  • you have to fight the carnal mind

That you 'bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2-Cor. 10). When you let the mind of Christ come in you, then you also have the humility that comes from God, the same type of humility that Christ had when He became a human being.

Verse 6: "Who although He existed in the form of God… [existing as God—'hup arkon' in the Greek means to exist] …did not consider it robbery to be equal with God… [if you are equal with God, you are God] …but emptied Himself…" (vs 6-7).

In The Christian Passover book—read The Nature of God and The Nature of Man. That will be a good one to review for this.

Verse 7: "But emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man …" (vs 7-8).

We'll see that again when we come to Heb. 2. Being made exactly like a man. All of His bodily functions were the same as a human being's. Everything that your body does to function, He had the same. Now that's very important so that we understand, no one is going to ever say to God:

God, You never understood what it was like to be a human. God, You made us of flesh and blood, and You put us on this earth, and You turned Satan loose against us. You're way up there in heaven. Why don't you come on down to this earth and share this with us?

God did! We'll see that the very reason for Christ coming was for that purpose; and also to answer the complaint of the Israelites. We'll see that in just a little bit.

Verse 8: "…He humbled Himself…" You talk about humbling yourself. Has anyone ever humbled himself so much as Christ did? to divest Himself of being God, all of His glory and power and being? to put His complete trust and faith in the One Who became God the Father?

And the covenant that They had {note series: Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament} The last one is the covenant that God made with Christ, where He made a covenant with God the Father. The Father said, 'I will become the Father'; and Christ said, 'I will become the Son. Since You gave Me authority to create all of these things, and the whole creation is subject to what I have put it through, then I will take it upon Myself to become as My creation so I can be the perfect sacrifice.' They agreed! So, the One of Elohim Who became the Son humbled Himself to become a pinprick of life to be begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary. And it had to be a virgin, because God could not have His Son born of a woman who ever had contact with a man. Now, that's not Catholic doctrine. That's just Truth!

Was He really at our level? Yes, with the exception that He had the Holy Spirit from conception! He was at our level. Obviously, being the Son of God, it had to be special. But as far as His human existence, it wasn't any different than ours. He had to eat, He had to sleep, He had to breathe; He had all the bodily processes; and He was subject to death. So, why don't you go back and review The Nature of God and The Nature of Man in The Christian Passover book. That will go through it in great detail.

Verse 8: "And being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Wasn't it fitting that He died such an ignominious death, rather than die to the praise of men? Even His own disciples didn't believe it. And that had to be, because it was so profound in what He did.

John 3:13—this ties right in with the first part of Heb. 1: "(And no one has ascended into heaven, except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who is in heaven.)"—meaning at the time he wrote it He's in heaven.

John 1:16: "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." The same as Paul wrote; and we will see all through all of the epistles in the New Testament that they preached the same message. They used many of the same comparisons.

Verse 17: "For the Law was given through Moses…"—which up to that point, the Law and the Prophets were the greatest thing that God had done.

"…and the grace and the Truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (vs 17-18).

Now at the time John wrote this, Christ was in the bosom of the Father. That is explaining their close, personal, relationship as Father and Son. Let's understand why Christ is the ultimate Word of God.

This is why it becomes so important to understand the way that Hebrews has been written, and the very things that are brought out in the New Testament. {see sermon That Prophet} I can guarantee you it's not a minister who's living in the flesh today, who's supposedly a head of a church—'that Prophet' is Christ! You find that very clearly explained in Acts 3 by Peter. Even John said that he [John] wasn't 'that Prophet'.

Deuteronomy 18:15: "The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, One like me. To Him you shall hearken." We're going to pick up on this about obeying the words of God. But what I want to do is to bring to you the reason why Jesus is the ultimate Son, this is the ultimate Word of God, and that in the Scriptures God speaks today! You need to understand that. Whenever you're reading the Scriptures, God is speaking to you! That's why sometimes when you've sinned you don't like it.

There's was 'big flap' because a Seventh-Day Adventist rented a billboard right along Hwy 5, going up out of Northern California into Oregon, which said, 'The Pope Is the Antichrist!'—which is true! That man received death threats. It shows Catholics are not concerned with Truth. They're not concerned, to say, 'Well, if that's true, I've been deceived.' No! They want to kill the man. How's that for Christian love? No!

They don't want the Truth! Rather than saying, 'Boy, I ought to check out the Scriptures.' I do believe that even in the Douay Version of the Bible that Rev. 17 is still Rev. 17, though they deny it. I do believe that in their Bible, Exo. 20:4 still says, 'You shall not make any graven image of any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth, and you shall not bow yourself down to it'. They don't read the Bible, but the Bible witnesses against them!

I think we need to understand that God means business! They need to realize that.

  • We're not dealing with a 'religion,' we're dealing with God!
  • We're not dealing with personal interpretations; we're dealing with the Truth of God!

Verse 15: "…To Him you shall hearken… [listen] …according to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying… [that's when they received the Ten Commandments] …'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die" (vs 15-16).

What did they tell God? This is important. What is it that human beings want? They want another human being to talk to! Today it's put this way; let's just use the example of the pope as the antichrist: 'I don't want to find out whether that is true or not. I'm going to go ask my priest whether it's true or not: 'father, is the pope the antichrist?' Why, no, my son. Those are just the heretics, the enemies! Rather than checking the truth.

We have the similar thing here. The people were right in the presence of God: Exodus 20:18: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings…" If there's one thing that really sends it through a person's being is to hear thunder crashing and rolling, and lightning sparking and flying back and forth; especially if it's close to you. How do you think that sounded when they were as close to Mt. Sinai as they were? Have you ever been close to a real cracking, sparking lightning storm? and the thunder just right over your head? It about blows you away!

"…and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled…" (v 18). No question about running up on the mountain to go up, 'Let me run up and see God!' No, indeed! They backed away!

"…and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die'" (18-19).

What is it that humans want? They want a human being to talk to them: 'I'll talk to a man, not to God.' But did they listen to Moses? No! They said,'Moses said…' And isn't that the way that human nature is? What is the favorite trick of Satan and other human beings when you don't want to listen to someone? You make them out a bad guy! You demonize them! Does that not sound familiar? Yes, indeed! That's what happened.

God in the person of Christ took the children of Israel up on their proposition to let a man speak to them. With this Man, as we're going to see, it's going to be entirely different than a regular man because this one is going to be the only begotten of the Father.

Deuteronomy 18:17: "And the LORD said to me, "They have spoken well what they have spoken…. [He said 'I'm going to take them up on it.'] …will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you…" (vs 17-18). Moses was a lawgiver! a priest! What was Christ? In the flesh He was Lawgiver! When He was resurrected He was High Priest!

"…and will put My words in His mouth.… [remember, everything that Jesus spoke came from the Father; that's what we need to understand] …And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him" (v 18). God is saying, 'Since I am going to do it…'—and we can put it today, past tense: 'Since I have done it…'

Verse 19: "And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words, which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him." That's anyone who will not listen.

For preachers and prophets, all pay attention, v 20: "But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name…" {Note sermon series The Epistles of Peter where I cover this quite a bit more in depth}.

"…which I have not commanded him to speak or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die" (v 20). That's pretty profound! So, every minister who picks up the Bible and says, 'My interpretation is…'—if it is not God's, you're in deep trouble!

Referring to Christ; here is the way that it has to be. John 3:33: "The one who has received His testimony… [anyone who receives the testimony of Christ, the Word of God] …has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God..." (vs 33-34). What did it say back there in Deut. 18? 'He shall speak all that I command Him. All My words!' What did Jesus speak? Words of the Father!

"…and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him" (vs 34-36). That's a summary of all of the book of Hebrews; no question about it!

John 5:30 "I have no power to do anything of Myself; but as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father Who sent Me." Never did Christ at any time do anything other than the will of God.

Verse 45: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, in whom you have hope. But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me" (vs 45-46).

We just read what he wrote of Him. What does that do with the licentious grace of the Protestants, that you don't have to keep the commandments? Wipes it out!

Verse 47: "And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?"

John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word…'" It's very important, because we're going to do a study here, we may begin part of it in just a little bit, concerning obeying the voice of God. As a matter of fact, that's really the whole story of the Bible: to obey or not obey the voice of God!

"…'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him'" (v 23). Everyone wants God to love them—don't they? But they want it in their own way. However, it's going to be God's way or no way! Because so many say, 'Well, God knows my heart, and I'm good. So therefore, before God, I'm good.' Not so! It has to be God's way!

Verse 24: "The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me." That agrees 100% with Deut. 18.

The book of Hebrews clearly defines the New Testament worship, clearly defines:

  • the ultimate Son of God
  • the ultimate sacrifice
  • the ultimate High Priest
  • the ultimate Word of God

If Christ has said it, that's what the Father commanded Him to say.

John 12:42—we'll show the problems that people have: "But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him…"

In other words, as he said in another place, they loved the praises of men more than the praises of God. They are political and seek to do their will in the name of God, if I could put it that way.

"…so that they wouldnot be put out of the synagogue" (v 42). They should have said, 'Hey, we believe on Him since He's the Son of God; Hooray! I'm put out of the synagogue. Let me leave the synagogue.' But what would they lose?

  • their power
  • their control
  • their prestige

They would have no hierarchical position.

Verse 43: "They loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. Then Jesus called out and said, 'The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. But if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day'" (vs 43-48). Now that's why it is so important.

Hebrews 1:1: "God Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things… [which He did not do to Moses, which He did not do to the angels] …by Whom also He made the ages; Who, being the brightness of His glory… ['If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father'] …and the exact image of His person… [having the same character as God the Father] …and upholding all things by the word of His own power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…" (vs 1-3).

In other words, Paul is saying through this sermon, 'Wake up, pay attention! This is the ultimate Word of God.'

John 12:49: "For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself… [Does that not agree with Deut. 18? Absolutely!] …what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me" (vs 49-50).

Let's see why Paul wanted all of the Hebrews to know that when God speaks, and He speaks through His Son in particularly, you better pay attention!

2-Timothy 3:15: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings…" That's all the Old Testament, and how much ever of the New Testament was that was written up to that point.

"…which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed…" (vs 15-16). If it is God-breathed, that means God said it! So, if you read it, God is speaking to you!

Verse 16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 16-17).

When you really want to summarize the whole Bible, let's understand that it boils down to obeying the voice of God. So, let's just do a little survey. We'll go through the Old Testament and New Testament, and we will back up and we will see that everything in relationship to God and human beings has to do with whether you obey the voice of God, or whether you do not obey the voice of God. If you don't believe the words of Christ, then you don't believe God the Father.

What gets you in trouble with God? When you listen to another human being instead of God! In this case, the only other human being was Eve, his wife. With a whole lot more people, there are other human beings that you can listen to; and if you listen to them instead of God, you're going to get into the same trouble that Adam and Eve got in when they both listened to the devil.

Genesis 3:17: "And to Adam He said, 'Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife…"—instead of Me.

Adam saw Him face-to-face. God appeared to them in a form that they could see, they could talk to, they could understand. How many people have said, 'Well, if God would come down and tell me, I'll do it.' God was right there! He just created them! They still did not.

"…'Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat of it!"—…'" (v 17). Whenever we put anyone else's words—regardless of who it is, how important they may be—above God, we don't believe God; we're not listening to Him. We'll look at some of the places where it is to obey.

Genesis 22:15: "And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, 'By Myself have I sworn,' says the LORD, 'because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son; that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens… [that's the spiritual seed through the resurrection] …and as the sand, which is upon the seashore…" (vs 15-17).

All the physical seed first; because in order to be the sons born of the resurrection, you have to first be a human being.

"…And your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice" (vs 17-18).

If we are Christ's, we are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise! What makes us the children of Abraham? That we do the works of Abraham: we believe and we obey!

We've gone to this one many, many times. But I tell you what, it's very important that we go back and review these things and we understand them.

Genesis 26:5: "Because that Abraham obeyed My voice…" That's the first key thing. Since we have the words of God, and God has spoken them, if you obey what's in the Bible, you're obeying the voice of God! If you do not obey, then you are not obeying the voice of God.

It's very important to remember John 12, if you won't listen to the Son, there's no eternal life. What does that tell you about the coming one-world religion where everything is amalgamated in? The first thing they have to do to come to common ground is reject Christ, to lower Him to the status of another human being! That has happened in many so-called Christian-professing religions already; we've covered three of them.

Verse 5: "Because that Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws"—which are same ones that He gave to Israel.

God did the same thing to Israel. That's the first thing that God told the Israelites, the very first thing. That's why when we first come to the knowledge of the Truth, this is the most important thing for us to realize. It's just like with what happened when God brought the children of Israel to Mount Sinai. He wanted to know first—before He began to speak—would they obey His voice?

Exodus 19:4: "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself. Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine" (vs 4-5).

Exodus 24:3: "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.'"

God does something every time it's required to obey the words of God—when God is not going to be there in person holding your hand—He has it written down by human instrumentality, and recorded and preserved so you will have it, so you will have no excuse.

Verse 4: "And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the Book of the Covenant… [our covenant is the New Testament] …and read in the ears of the people. And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient'" (vs 3-7).

When we get to the book of Hebrews we're going to see that the Son is so much greater. That's why He said, 'If you don't believe Me, you have no life.' But there's the agreement to obey the voice of God.

Deut. 5—where Moses reiterates it again just before they go into the 'promised land.' It's kind of like what parents do when their kids go out. They sit them down and they talk to them 'I want you to remember this; I want you to remember that.' Why? Because Mommy and Daddy 'ain't' coming with you this time! 'Now, you're on your own, and you have to be responsible for yourself. What is it you are to do?' At this point, the presence of God was no longer going to be there with them in the same way that it was in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. It wasn't going to be with them to be giving them manna everyday, give them the food to eat. Now they were going to be on their own with God's blessing and protection, if they obeyed!

Comment was made concerning the Jewish tradition of 'oral law.' That is absolutely no different than the Catholic traditions of the 'fathers.' It was added to, never was from God, never given as oral commandments. God would not leave it to word of mouth in spite of what men would say. That is their excuse so they can change the Word of God when they have an oral tradition that contradicts the Word of God; they must have some authority, so they dream up the authority. Just like the pope has dreamed up the authority of perverting the interpretation of:

Matthew 16:18: "…upon this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven…" (vs 18-19). So, the pope says, 'That's me!' No, it's not! When we get done you will understand why the pope can never be the 'Vicar of Christ.'

Deuteronomy 5:24—after giving the Ten Commandments: "And you said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has revealed His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire. We have seen today that God talks with man yet he still lives. Now, therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die'" (vs 24-25). That's is why He took them up on the proposition (Deut. 18).

Verse 26: "'For who of all flesh has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? You go near and hear all that the LORD our God shall say. And you speak to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you, and we will hear it, and do it.' And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people…'" (vs 26-28). This tells you what? Be careful what you say! God is going to take you up on it!

"…which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken" (v 28). In other words, they are well-intentioned in all that they have said, but there's one thing lacking.

Verse 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!"

Deuteronomy 6:3: "Hear… What are the last three letters of that word? Ear! That means, listen!] …O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you…" All human, carnal beings, and hate God say, 'Why does God treat human-kind so miserable, rotten, and let all these things come upon them?' The answer is that:

  • you won't hear the Word of God
  • you won't keep His commandments
  • you reject Jesus Christ
  • you trample Him underfoot
  • you desecrate His Holy Days
  • you desecrate His Sabbath
  • you desecrate His Word
  • you ministers out there stand up and use His Word for your own benefit and your own merchandise
  • you ask why God brings these things upon you

Be thankful that lightning bolts do not fall from heaven for those who disobey God as it did when they made the golden calf, and Moses came down and Moses said, 'All of those on the Lord's side come over here, and all the rest that are not…' God created a new thing and opened up the earth and killed them! God holds us responsible if we hear, we have the words of God written right here. It tells us to hear, to listen and to hearken!

What are we to do? And the job of any elder and minister is to say, 'Here, this is the Word of God. God says to do it, you do it.'

Verse 3: "…so that it may be well with you, and that you may greatly multiply, as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the LORD, the LORD" (vs 3-4).

  • Hear!
  • Listen!
  • Pay attention!

That's what the whole book of Hebrews is about. The whole book of Hebrews says listen to Christ!

Deuteronomy 11:26: "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day; and a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but will turn aside out of the way, which I command you this day to go after other gods which you have not known" (vs 26-28).

Deuteronomy 27:9: "And Moses and the priests the Levites spoke to all Israel, saying, 'Take heed and hearken… [listen attentively to obey] …O Israel. Today you have become the people of the LORD your God. You shall therefore obey the voice of the LORD your God and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.'" (vs 9-10).

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References

  • Acts 13:17, 25
  • Matthew 3:3, 11
  • Acts 1:1
  • Luke 3:15-16
  • Acts 13:26-27, 40-41, 33, 35
  • Hebrews 1:1, 5-10, 13
  • Hebrews 10:33-34
  • Hebrews 1:1-6
  • John 1:1
  • Hebrews 1:3
  • John 1:2-3
  • Hebrews 1:3
  • John 1:3-5, 14
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • John 3:13
  • John 1:16-18
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-16
  • Exodus 20:18-19
  • Deuteronomy 18:17-20
  • John 3:33-36
  • John 5:30, 45-47
  • John 14:23-24
  • John 12:42-48
  • Hebrews 1:1-3
  • John 12:49-50
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • Genesis 3:17
  • Genesis 22:15-18
  • Genesis 26:5
  • Exodus 19:4-5
  • Exodus 24:3-7
  • Matthew 16:18-19
  • Deuteronomy 5:24-29
  • Deuteronomy 6:3-4
  • Deuteronomy 11:26-28
  • Deuteronomy 27:9-10

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Habakkuk 1:5
  • Psalms 16
  • Acts 13:36
  • Psalms 2:7; 45:6-7; 102; 110
  • Romans 8
  • 2 Corinthians 10
  • Hebrews 2
  • Acts 3
  • Revelation 17
  • Exodus 20:4

Also referenced:

  • Word Biblical Commentary
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Booklet: The True Meaning of Acts 2:1

  • Prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament
  • That Prophet
  • Epistles of Peter

Transcribed: 08/23/2003
Reformatted/Corrected: bo—January/2017