Having Ears to Hear!

(Chapters 1-2)

Fred R. Coulter—August 18, 2001

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Before we get back into the book of Hebrews, what I want to do is again show the style of writing and preaching which connects the authorship of Hebrews to the Apostle Paul. Many people do not believe that Paul wrote it. As I pointed out, these are the words of Paul, undoubtedly written by Luke. Because the style is very, very similar to the way that Luke writes. Especially the Greek and 2-Cor., because you read at the end of 2 Cor., it says 'by Luke.'

Luke was the one who traveled with Paul, and I'm sure that he did a lot of the recording and the writing and taking notes. Hebrews is not an epistle as a regular epistle is, which is a letter that was sent out like the other ones, but it is a written-out sermon, and probably one that was given many, many times, well refined, and, therefore, Hebrews turns out to be one of the best written books of the New Testament.

Let's come to Romans 9, and I want to show how Paul quotes Scripture and then gives some instruction from that Scripture, just like we saw in Heb. 1 & 2.

Romans 9:6: "However, this does not mean that the Word of God has failed because not all of those who descend from Israel are Israel, nor because they are Abraham's seed does it mean that they are all children of the promise. But, 'In Isaac shall your seed be called'" (vs 6-7). So then, Ishmael and Esau had no part of the promises that were given.

Verse 9: "Because this is the word of promise… [O.T. quote]: …'According to this set time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.'…. [then he also refers to Rebecca]: …And not only that, but Rebecca also having conceived by one, Isaac our father, but before the children had been born, or had done anything good or evil (in order that the purpose of God according to His own selection might stand—not of works, but of Him Who calls). It was said to her, 'The elder shall serve the younger.' Accordingly, it is written, 'Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated'" (vs. 9-13).

Notice the Scripture quotes right there, just coming, boom, boom, boom, one right after another.

Verse 15: "For He said to Moses, 'I will show mercy to whomever I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion.' So then, it is not of the one who wills, nor of the one who runs; rather, it is of God, Who shows mercy. For the Scripture said to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I raised you up in order that I might show in you My power, so that My name may be declared in all the earth.' So then, He shows mercy to whom He will, and He hardens whom He will" (vs 15-18).

Verse 25: "Accordingly, He also said in Hosea, 'I will call those who are not My people, "My people," and those who were not beloved, "Beloved." And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, "You are not My people," there they shall be called the sons of the living God.' But Isaiah cried out concerning Israel, 'Although the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved. For He is accomplishing and limiting the matter in righteousness; because the Lord will limit the matter He is doing upon the earth.' Accordingly, Isaiah also said before, 'Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a seed, we would have become as Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah'" (vs 25-29).

Notice the same exact style that we found in Acts 13—quoting Scripture—as we found in Heb.1 & 2; where then he said, he quoted the Scripture, 'and then again…'; 'and again…'; 'and again…'; and we we'll see that all the way through the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:2: "God did not repudiate His people whom He foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the account of Elijah? How he was pleading with God against Israel, saying, 'Lord, they have killed your prophets, and they have torn down your altars; and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.' But what did the answer from God say to him? 'I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed a knee to Baal'" (vs 2-4).

Verse 8: "(According as it is written, 'God gave them a spirit of slumber, eyes that are not able to see, and ears that are not able to hear,') unto this day. David also says, 'Let their table be for a snare and for a trap, and for a stumbling block, and for a recompense to them; let their eyes be darkened so that they are not able to see, and bow down their backs continually'" (vs 8-10).

We have the same kind of pattern all the way through, especially when it comes to dealing with those things concerning Israel, because Rom. 9 & 11 concern Israel. The whole book of Hebrews concerns the children of Israel and the Greek-speaking converts, and all the Jews. The book of Hebrews has to do with:

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

So, the message of the book of Hebrews is this: hearing God! and obey My voice! This becomes the whole key, the whole important thing. In other words, since God manifest Himself in the flesh—there were the two of Elohim: one became the Father the other became the Son—and the One Who became the Son was God manifest in the flesh to bring the Message of God the Father to mankind, first through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to fulfill His promise. The whole story of the book of Hebrews is:

  • Will you listen to God?
  • Will you obey His voice?

All the Scriptures have come from the voice of God!

After it talks about the importance of Christ and the difference between Him and angels, Hebrews 2:1: "For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things, which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away." If you don't pay attention to it, you slip away, because the Words of God never slip away. They are always there. They are always true.

Verse 2: "For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense, how shall we escape, if we have neglected so great a salvation; which was first received when it was spoken by the Lord..." (vs 2-3).

And that's the whole thing: spoken by the Lord. And I was just kind of struck at the coincidence of it. When we started Hebrews, that was the same time that the third edition of A Harmony of the Gospels went out. What is a harmony of the Gospels? The words and teachings of Christ!

"...and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him; God also bearing witness with them by both signs and wonders, and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?" (vs 3-4).

Hebrews 6:1: "Therefore, advancing beyond the beginning principles of the doctrines of Christ..." When I first read it in the King Jameslet us leave the beginning oracles of Christ—"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrines of Christ…"; I thought: How can that statement be right? Why would they want to leave the principles of Christ? For someone who is not acquainted with the Scriptures when they first read that, they may think they don't have to pay any attention to what Christ says. No! It's the other way around.

Verse 1: "Therefore, advancing beyond the beginning principles of the doctrines of Christ, we should go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God..." (v 1) and so forth.

Verse 6: "If they have fallen away… [it is impossible] …to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt." That ties in with Heb. 2, that they were slipping away!

The whole thing is very imperative, that anyone... That's why it says in another place, 'anyone that names the name of Christ let Him depart from evil.' In other words, since one of the Godhead of Elohim became the Son, God manifest in the flesh, and spoke the Word. That's what John calls Him: the Word! It's not a thing to be taken lightly, and it's not something that you can just go ahead and interpret any way you want to, to make it say what you desire.

Hebrews 10:22: "Let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 22-23). He is saying that regardless of the circumstances, He is faithful. If there is any difficulty in the problem, it's our own lack of understanding.

Romans 14:7 becomes the important thing in our lives: "For no one among us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we should live unto the Lord; and if we die, we should die unto the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. It is for this very purpose that Christ both died and rose and is living again, so that He might be Lord over both the dead and the living" (vs 7-9).

One of the things we need to understand concerning the book of Hebrews and the apostles: When they went out to preach, one of the last things they said to Christ just before He ascended into heaven on the 40th day, recorded there in Acts 1? They said, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' They were expecting Christ to return in their lifetimes.

So, we go on down through all the way through the 30sA.D., the 40sA.D., the 50sA.D., we're coming into the first part of the 60sA.D., and they are seeing the droughts, the famine, the wars, and all of these things. James then is martyred. The book of Hebrews is written, because now the Jews, especially at Jerusalem, and, of course, all those in the churches and the synagogues, were beginning to get very restless because Christ was not coming. 'He may not fulfill His promise. If He doesn't fulfill His promise, that is—in our lifetime—then we best go back to Judaism.' This is what they were doing. They were on the verge of leaving Christ—Who was God manifest in the flesh—and go back to Judaism and the claim of Moses alone. That's why there's so much comparison between:

  • the Old Covenant and the New Covenant
  • Christ and Moses
  • Christ and the angels

—all the way through the book of Hebrews.

Verse 10: "Now then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ because it is written, '"For as I live," says the Lord, "every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God."' So then, each one of us shall give account of himself to God" (vs 10-12).

This is what it is talking about here in Hebrews 10:23: "Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful… [regardless of the circumstances around you] …and let us be concerned about one another, and be stirring up one another unto love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, even as some are accustomed to do..." (vs 23-25).

What they were doing, they were beginning to not assemble together in the churches, and it became habitual. Has that not happened with Laodiceans? Yes, indeed! So, you have the same thing of the wearing out of human nature. Instead of relying on God, they relied on themselves, and then they just start slacking off, and you know what happens when you slack off. A little more slack leaves a little more slack, leaves a little more slack!

I know what that's like. I'll apply it to exercise. I have to exercise. If I don't exercise—say I lay off two or three days—my hip gets real stiff on me. I remember I laid off for two weeks because I took a trip. I tell you, my body and every thought had every reason not to exercise after that two weeks. I would start exercising and I would do a few repetitions of the exercise and think: Oh well, maybe you can get by with a few less. I know none of you ever have these arguments in your own mind. There I am, doing my exercise—no, I don't need to do 800 of these, just 300 will be good enough, and if I do pretty good today, then I don't need to do anything tomorrow.
This happens with people. They become accustomed to not going to church, or assembling together. Then you add into the mix the preaching that becomes lukewarm and watered down, and so you go to church and you're bored; therefore you don't want to go. Then you pray and say, 'O God, give me a good attitude so I can go to church and get something out of it.' Between praying from Monday through Friday, you are ready for the Sabbath and you hope you'll have a good Sabbath this week, and you're all prayed up and you're all ready to go, and you go to Sabbath services and it's another dud. Then someone offends you, or a false doctrine is preached. Well, in the case of false doctrine you have good cause to leave. But don't give up on God! Here they were going through it. So that's why I said in the beginning, the book of Hebrews was written for the Laodiceans today. They are getting tired; they're getting weary, and when you get tired and you get weary then you are ripe for false doctrine. That's what's happened.

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." This was not only a warning to them, but a prophecy for today. We all see two days drawing close.

  • the Day of the Lord, being the end of the life, if we die in the flesh, that day is drawing close
  • the return of Christ, and that day is drawing close

even as it says there in Rom. 13, because it's closer than when it was when we first believed.

Verse 26—notice the end result; notice this warning again: "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).

This is why this is a warning. In other words, Christ's Word is the ultimate word, and everybody better

  • pay attention
  • hear
  • obey
  • repent
  • love and serve God

because that is it!

Verse 28: "Consider this: anyone who rejects the Law of Moses… [which some of them were going back to] …dies without mercy under the testimony of two or three witnesses. 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 28-31). Then he goes on trying to encourage them to really pay attention and listen to what they were to do.

Hebrews 12:25: "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 [Jesus Christ] … how much more severely will we be judged, if we ourselves apostatize from Him Who speaks from heaven." Those are some pretty powerful words.

Now let's go back and let's continue our survey of:

  • to hear God
  • to obey His voice
  • to hearken to His Word

Remember the word 'hear' is the same thing as 'ear' only with an 'H.' And hearken has 'ear' it in it, and hearken means to hear to obey! At one place we'll see Jesus said, 'Let this sink deep in your ears.' In other words, put it in your memory and don't forget it. That's the whole story of the book of Hebrews.

There'll be quite a few Scriptures we will look to here. What we need to understand in Jer. 7 is that the Jews and the Israelites would go to the temple God, they would offer offerings and incense to other gods right there at the temple of God. So, the whole system of burnt offerings, rather than being a thing to draw them close to God, became a thing where they used it for their own means and ends. That's why He said here:

Jeremiah 7:21: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices'" (vs 21-22).

However, that doesn't mean that God didn't intend to give them to them, nor that He didn't have the whole system ready with the burnt offerings. He did, but to put them to the use that they were doing. Burnt offerings without the rest of it, which we find in v 23, do you no good.

Verse 23: "'But this thing I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice...'" Going through this I want you to remember that Christ is the:

  • ultimate Word
  • the ultimate Son
  • with the ultimate message

"...'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you." But they did not obey, nor bow their ear, but walked in their own counsels, in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them" (vs 23-25).

Let's go back and read the first part of Heb. 1. Notice that the first thing he does, he wants to impress upon them that God has spoken to us by His Son, that God spoke to the fathers by the prophets, but now He is speaking to us directly by His Son!

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, by Whom also He made the ages" (vs 1-2). So, this is a greater message.

And yet, look what God did back in Jer. 7. God always sent the prophets. God always sent someone to warn them:

Jeremiah 7:26: "Yet, they did not hearken to Me, nor bow down their ear, but hardened their neck. They did worse than their fathers."

Now then, the words spoken by Jeremiah become a witness and a warning and a testimony against them. If you want an interesting study go through, read and survey the whole book of Jeremiah. As you go through you're going to see how profoundly it fits this nation today, in everything!

So, what is said needs to be a warning, a witness, a testimony whether they will hear or whether they will not hear. That's why Jeremiah said when he started out, 'Ah, Lord, I am just a child!' God said, 'Don't worry. I have known you before I formed you in the womb. I will make your forehead like flint.' Jeremiah had to stand alone against every one of them. Did that make God's Word of any less effect because only one man spoke it? No!

Today, in the age of committee that we live in, you've got to have three or four opinions. The design of that is never to come to the truth, but to only come to a predetermined consensus. Now you watch the news on Sunday, and you go from channel-to-channel, every one of the programs are a panel of two or three people. Listen carefully; analyze what they are saying. None of them want truth. They either want a consensus or a political position. So, if it's the Truth of God, only one needs to say it, and it is so; in this case, Jeremiah; in the case of Christ, the Son of God.

Verse 27: "Thus you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not hearken to you… [even if they won't listen, God says, 'Speak!'] …you shall also call to them, but they will not answer you."

What does this tell us brethren? This shows us the mercy of God, that in spite of the fact that they won't listen, in spite of the fact that they won't answer, God still gives them a witness and a warning. Isn't that amazing? So, you can go through and you can read all of the death and destruction, which is in here—and there's plenty of it, but nevertheless, God is merciful to give them a warning.

Verse 28: "But you shall say to them, 'This is a nation which does not obey the voice of the LORD their God, nor receives correction; Truth has perished, and is cut off from their mouth.'"

Is that not true? When you read the book Vatican Assassins, you are going to understand that there is virtually no truth in anything that you hear or read. It is all a deception! Everything! Now that may sound a little radical, but that's the plain truth of it.

Jeremiah 11:1: "The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying..." Isn't that interesting? Did the same thing as Moses! What did God say to Moses all the time? Moses, you say unto the children of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord.'

Verse 2: "Hear the words of this covenant…" What did we see last time? Yes, all that the Lord has said, all that He has spoken, we will do.

So, He says: …'Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the people of Jerusalem. And say to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant'"'" (2-3).

Think about that in relationship to the New Covenant, in relationship to Jesus Christ. That's what the book of Hebrews is telling us.

"...'Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, "Obey My voice and do according to all that I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God"'" (vs 3-4). That's exactly the same thing as it is with Christ.

Verse 5: "So that I may fulfill the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them 'a land flowing with milk and honey,' as it is this day…."' Then I answered and said, 'Amen, O LORD.' Then the LORD said to me, 'Declare all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, "Hear the words of this covenant, and do them, for I earnestly forewarned your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, rising early and warning persistently, saying, 'Obey My voice.' Yet, they did not obey nor bow down their ear, but walked each one in the imagination of his evil heart. So, I will bring on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did not do them'" (vs 5-8).

Notice what he was up against!We're up against the same thing today! Verse 9: "And the LORD said to me, 'A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the people of Jerusalem.'"

Are we facing a conspiracy today of a grander scale? So we see here that God said again, v 7: "…'Obey My voice.'…. [that's what God wants] …Yet, they did not obey nor bow down their ear, but walked each one in the imagination of his evil heart. So I will bring on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did not do them" (vs 7-8). Here's the conspiracy.

We have a conspiracy today that is so humongous, and is so perfect, that when people are told there is a conspiracy they don't believe it. Now, that's a perfect conspiracy. When you can lay out the Truth right before them and they say, 'You're a nut; you're a radical; that couldn't be.' My answer is, look at all the 'honest' politicians in Washington, D.C. Why do you think that nothing turns out the way that they say when they campaign? Because they are not in control of their own decisions! They're told what to do.

Verse 9: "And the LORD said to me, 'A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the people of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers…'" (vs 9-10).

  • Did this not happen in the Churches of God?
  • Did they not turn back to Sunday worship, and Christmas, and Easter, and all of that?
  • Yes!

Verse 10: "'They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear My words. And they went after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.' Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry to Me, I will not hear them'" (vs 9-11). There comes a point that if you don't listen to God, God won't listen to you!

Verse 14: "And you, do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them. For I will not hear them when they call to Me in the time of their distress."

Jeremiah 12:16: "And it shall come to pass if they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, 'As the LORD lives'… [the Gentiles] …as they taught the people to swear by Baal; then they shall be built in the midst of My people. But if they will not obey…" (vs 16-17).

This is to the Gentiles. Please understand, that's why I had this here, to the Gentiles that live within Israel. He's saying, 'If they will do with the same diligence to Me as they did to Baal, then I will build them.'

Verse 17: "'But if they will not obey, I will utterly uproot and destroy that nation,' says the LORD."

If there's any one thing we need to understand, when God says He means business, He means business! Is anyone going to turn back God? I mean, Job had to learn quite a hard lesson, and he was one who was in good standing with God.

We will see the whole message of all of the prophets was simple: hear the Words of God and obey His voice! That's the same message all the way through the whole Bible: hear the Words of God, and obey the voice of God!

Jeremiah 2:4: "Hear the Word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD, 'What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me and have walked after vanity, and have become vain?'" (vs 4-5). You might say:

  • What did you find wrong with God after you accepted Christ for your Savior to blot out your sins, and were baptized?
  • What fault have you found in God, that you should turn backwards and go back into this world?'

I want you to notice how this prophecy fits this society today to a 'T'; —Jeremiah 6:13: "For everyone from the least of them even to the greatest of them is greedy for gain…" Even the poor buy lotto tickets in hopes of making it. Those who are rich and powerful take and take, buy and take, and buy and take. That's why you have the various cycles, planned and determined by the Federal Reserve to take money. Now remember when we said, when the market was way high, 'Someone's got the money, and they're going to take it down.' So, if you had money in the stock market, and you rode it down, it's nobody's fault but your own—given to covetousness.

"…and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone deals falsely" (13). Everyone who follows Sunday, Christmas and Easter are dealing falsely.

  • Do they not handle the Word of God deceitfully?
  • Do they not make it lie, when it doesn't?
  • Do they not twist the Truth so it justifies their perversion, and their ungodly understanding of the Scriptures?

That's quite a thing!

Verse 14: "They have also healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly…" That's what Protestantism does. It heals sin slightly. It may modify behavior, but it doesn't change the overall results.

Verse 15: "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?...." Now we've got a whole generation being raised on Harry Potter; being raised on witchcraft! By the way, Fox Family Channel was bought by Disney, the witchcraft station of the world! They can't let anything good stay good for long. From an evil point of view, that's the beauty of publicly owned corporations. That sooner or later, someone with enough money can come and buy the whole lock, stock, and barrel and do with it what they want.

"…'No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush… [watch some of these stupid soap operas etc.] …therefore, they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,' says the LORD."

So, there's a time when God visits. That time is not too far down the road. The time of visitation is going to come. We have seen it in the Churches of God. Those Churches of God that have not returned to God, the time of visitation is coming. It's already come on several of them.

Verse 16: "Thus says the LORD, 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it." Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, "Hearken to the sound of the ram's horn." But they said, "We will not hearken." Therefore, hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them'" (vs 16-18). That's us! That's a prophecy for today. Remember what Jesus said, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away'

Verse 19: "Hear, O earth…" Since the people aren't willing to listen, God is going to say it to the earth.

"…behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened to My words, nor to My law, but have rejected it."

  • Now what happened?
  • Did Judah and Jerusalem fall and go into the Babylonian captivity?
  • Yes it did!

Over approximately a 20-year period, from 605B.C. to 585B.C.—three waves of invasions and captivity. Did they listen? No!

Jeremiah 7:2: "Stand in the gate of the LORD's house…" Look at it this way: Picture today someone going to Rome and standing right there at St. Peter's Basilica, and on the day of the 'High Mass,' that he gets up on one of those statues and stands up there right along side it.

"…and proclaim there this Word, and say, 'Hear the Word of the LORD, all Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.'"

Stand there in St. Peter's Basilica and say you are coming to worship Satan the devil. This is not the house of God.

How many people do you think would repent and get on their knees? They would run after you like they did Stephen, they would take you and pull you down and tear you from limb from to limb. Good loving Christians. Never turn the other cheek, but ready to kill at the slightest provocation. But they didn't hear! They didn't listen!

Let's see how he begins the book of Isaiah; very similar to what we read. Is God consistent? Yes! He's always consistent! He never changes!

Isaiah 1:2: "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken, 'I have reared and brought up children, but they have rebelled against Me.'" They didn't listen to God!

Also a part of Heb. 3 is Psalm 95:6 "O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker, for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would but hearken to His voice… [Why is it 'today'? You have to hear God's voice everyday!] …'Harden not your heart as in the rebellion, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness when your fathers tempted Me, tried Me, even though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, "It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways"; to whom I swore in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest.'" (vs 6-11).

In the light of everything that we have read, let's read Matt. 7 and see where all the false doctrine comes from. This follows all the way through with the thoughts. These are the teachings of Christ as recorded by Matthew, who was a Levite, and wrote all these things down. As a matter of fact, it's very clear that most of the book of Matthew was finished by 35-37A.D—many parts of them were already circulating.

Matthew 7:13: "Enter in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it." They're going to go in that gate, that's the majority of people.

What does this tell you about all these polls? The majority think this; the majority think that. Did you know that those polls are lies anyway? They never count the people that hang up on them because they don't want to answer the poll. That makes the poll all skewed. Those that want to answer will give the political answer that they want. So, they come up with the answer that they want, and they only poll 1,083 people for a statistical whatever. Then they apply this to the whole nation.

So, next time you see these polls, watch them, and ask: What are they trying to manipulate by putting this poll this way? What is the outcome they desire from taking this poll? Then you've got your answer for why the poll. That's the broad way. That's the way the world is.

It takes absolutely no faith to keep Sunday. Just go to any church. Takes no faith. You just walk in the door. It takes faith to keep the Sabbath! It takes no faith to lie, cheat, steal and commit adultery. But it takes faith if you're honest before God, and don't do those things.

Verse 14: "For narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it. But beware of false prophets…" (vs 14-15).

I tell you, Christ spoke over and over again, 'Beware of false prophets. Beware that people don't deceive you.' And, lo and behold, what happens? Someone will come along and they will quote Truth for a long time until they get to the point that they want you to do a right or left turn. Then they got you!

"…beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing…" (v 15). I still have never seen a false prophet coming with a placard hanging on his neck, saying, 'Watch out for me, I'm a false prophet.' But if they did, I'm sure CNN would go and find out what he has to say.

"…for within they are ravening wolves" (v 15). You'll understand that when you read Rome's Challenge to the Protestants {Appendix N: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order}. You will understand that!

Verse 16: "You shall know them by their fruits. They do not gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and is cast into the fire" (vs 15-19).

Sometimes God lets it grow, and grow, and grow. It makes a bigger fire, but it's still going to be cut down. Satan and the religious forces of this world are going to think they have total victory when they have extinguished every Christian on earth. Then look out! God is going to answer! They shall be "…cut down and is cast into the fire." You read about all the things in the book of Revelation, what's going to happen. Is that not being cut down? Yes! Where are the beast and false prophet thrown immediately? What is the first thing Christ does? The Lake of Fire!

Verse 20: "Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord'… [How many times have we read this?] …shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing… [practicing] …the will of My Father Who is in heaven" (vs 20-21).

These are the words of Christ. Remember what we read in Heb., that if you refuse Him, there is no more forgiveness of sin.

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name?....'" Whether good speaker or bad speaker, it doesn't make any difference. If they don't speak the words of Christ, He didn't send them.

"…'And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?' And then I will confess to them, "I never knew you.'…." (vs 22-23).

'But Lord, You spoke to me!' How many times have you heard Pat Robertson say, 'The Lord said to me…'? Or Jimmy Baker? Remember when he was in his heyday? With his weeping, streaking mascara wife Tammy? 'The Lord spoke to me.' God never spoke to them!

"…I never knew you…." (v 23). What does it mean to know God? 'And hereby we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments." The test is: Do they keep the commandments of God? Not just some of them, but all of them!

"…'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness'" (v 23). That's what iniquity means in the Greek: lawlessness. Now, lawlessness is a very interesting thing. That is lawlessness against God. But it is so perverse that in their system of lawlessness they even incorporate some of the laws of God. They will denounce:

  • adultery
  • murder
  • thievery

unless it benefits them, of course.

They will extol the virtues of Christ, but they won't keep the Sabbath. They will try and put Christ in Sunday, but He's refused to go in there, never has been in there. And every year when Christmas time comes around some self-righteous preacher who is tired of all the merchandising says, 'Let's put Christ back into Christmas.' He was never there! Workers of iniquity! They are so adept at it, they use the name of Christ, and people believe them. This is what Paul was fighting here in the book of Hebrews.

Verse 24: "Therefore everyone who hears… [actively hearing] …these words of Mine and practices them…" There you go!

Matthew 4:4: "But He answered and said, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."'" He's called the Word of God. And we're going to be judged by what Christ says.

"…and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house…" (vs 24-25). There will be some times when your life will feel like that. But if you're built on the Rock, you'll survive.

"…but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock" (v 25).

You wait and see, when rain time and flood time come again this year, you're going to see houses going down the river, being torn apart as they go, because of the floodwaters! Now remember this Scripture when you see that:

Verse 26: "And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them…" The hearing must result in doing, or practicing. The hearing without action is null and void.

"…shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand" (v 26). Now, that's nice and smooth. I mean, if you go out and you find some nice, good, level land that has compacted sand, I tell you, it's easy digging. I mean, to dig the foundation, all you have to do is just kind of soak it down good, and it's all nice and firm. You just get your trencher in there and it slices through it like soft butter. You got your foundation, you have your trench all ready to go, and you put everything up there, and that compacted sand is a good thing to build upon. But watch out! The dam upstream may break.

Watch Discovery Channel if you have it, because they did a good series on dams. They actually have pictures as to what happened when a dam broke. I used to drive by that dam every couple of months. It was in my territory when I was pastoring up in Salt Lake City. I would go up through eastern Idaho and on into Wyoming. As you go into Wyoming you follow along the Snake River. Just right as you come into Wyoming, just right after you get over the border, there is a little narrow gorge, which the road crosses over a little bridge where the stream down below the dam is. And you go up this road, and you get to the top of the road, right at the top of the dam, and you look out and there's a lake up there that goes for miles and miles.

Dolores and I went up there, and she said, 'I wonder what would happen if that dam would break?' And sure enough, that very dam broke, and swept everything out of its way! Everyone below the dam was secure for years. This dam was flood control, gave them water for irrigation, they had crops, they had things for cattle, and everything, and then one day it broke! That's what it's talking about. I want you to have this in mind:

Verse 26: "And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them…" Kind of like the old farmer that was up on the hill up over the gorge? He said, 'I don't think I'd right likely build my house down there alongside the river.' Well, it hasn't flooded here ever since they had the dam. 'I just don't think that that's a place one ought to build a house.' How long could they go? Sooner or later it's going to happen!

The story of this in life is: How long can you go and everything looks good when you're not obeying God? Maybe a long, long time! Your own deception is that since God hasn't done anything, it's okay. But the reality is, the reason nothing has happened for a long, long time is because God has given you a space of repentance, and you haven't used it. But it's going to come. Just like we read in Jeremiah.

"…who built his house upon the sand; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it" (vs 26-27). That's because he heard the sayings and he didn't do them. That's what it's talking about here in the book of Hebrews.

Verse 28: "Now, it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching." Hello? Is doctrine important? Doctrine means teaching.

Verse 29: "For He taught them as OneWho had authority, and not as the scribes."

A scribe could only say, look into the book of Moses, and say, 'God said…' That's all a scribe could do. He could say, 'That means this…' But notice what Christ said. You go through and read Matthew 5-7. He said, 'You have heard it said in old time, but I say to you…' No scribe could do that. The scribes would always refer back to their teacher, be it Moses, or be it a chief rabbi such as Hillel, or Shemei, or Gamaliel. Christ didn't do that. He didn't refer to any man! As a matter of fact, when you go through here, He talks about 'You have heard in old time…'—he didn't even refer to Moses.

Comment was made that the oral law—which is no different than the Catholic traditional laws; it's in the same category—came from the scribes and the Pharisees. Didn't come from God. But they all claim it comes from God.

Matt. 17 answers the question: If I could talk to God, or if I heard God directly, what would He say to me? There are a lot of people who palm it off on men. Look at a preacher and say, 'Well, you're only a man.' That's true! 'I don't want to believe any man. The Bible says trust no man, so I don't want to believe any man. I won't believe anything you have to say.' The truth is that if what you say is the Word of God, then it's the Word of God! You're just a mouthpiece. If you have anyone who comes up to you ands says, 'Well, if I heard God speak, then I would do what God said to me to speak. What He spoke to me, I would do.'

Matthew 17:1: "And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them…" (vs 1-2)—so that the apostles understood that Christ was the same One Who appeared to Moses, transfigured. This shows His heavenly authority, not the authority of men.

"…and His face shined as the sun, and His garments became white as the light. Then behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him" (vs 2-3). This is a vision! He says later, 'Tell the vision to no man.'
Verse 4: "And Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You desire, let us make three tabernacles here: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was speaking, a bright cloud suddenly overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I delight. Listen to Him!'" (vs 4-5).

That's all that was said. If God spoke to you from heaven today, what would He say? This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased—hear Him! And this, brethren, is exactly what the book of Hebrews is saying: Listen to Christ! Obey My voice! I mean, this is profound. We need to understand that.

Peter recalls this on a couple occasions, so let's look at one of those occasions he recalls it. 2-Peter 1:15: "But I will make every effort that, after my departure, you may always have a written remembrance of these things in order to practice them for yourselves." How are you going to have things always in remembrance? Written down! That's why he wrote it.

Verse 16: "For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory."

When they were on the Mount of Transfiguration, when they heard God the Father's message—which was an angel that spoke the message—This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased, hear Him!'

Verse 17: "Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.' And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain" (vs 17-18).

The basis of what we are to do is based on that. That's what the apostles did. That's what they wrote.

Verse 19: "We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word…" That is not prophetic sayings of the Old Testament. This is the more sure word of the preaching's of Christ. This is what it's referring to.

"…to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place…" (v 19). What was Christ? He was the Light! And the darkness doesn't comprehend the Light!

"…until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture…" (vs 19-20). This does not refer only to the Old Testament, but this can refer also to the New Testament.

"…no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will… [by any time by the will of man, not just necessarily old time] …but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs 20-21).

There you have the whole lesson: hear the voice of Christ!

We'll have a little bit more to finish up on this next week, and then we'll get a little more into the book of Hebrews. But I think it's important for us to really have the foundation and grasp and understand that when you're dealing with Jesus Christ, you're dealing with God manifest in the flesh. If you don't listen to Him, you are in deep trouble!

  • you can't ignore Him
  • you can't reject Him
  • you can't interpret Him any ole way you want to

—to make things your own religion, and your own things. No, you are to do it the way that God wants you to.

Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart!

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

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 9:6-7, 9-13, 15-18, 25-29
  • Romans 11:2-4, 8-10
  • Hebrews 2:1-4
  • Hebrews 6:1, 6
  • Hebrews 10:22-23
  • Romans 14:7-12
  • Hebrews 10:23-31
  • Hebrews 12:25
  • Jeremiah 7:21-25
  • Hebrews 1:1-2
  • Jeremiah 1:26-28
  • Jeremiah 11:1-9, 7-11, 14
  • Jeremiah 12:16-17
  • Jeremiah 2:4-5
  • Jeremiah 6:13-19
  • Jeremiah 7:2
  • Isaiah 1:2
  • Psalm 95:6-11
  • Matthew 7:13-24
  • Matthew 4:4
  • Matthew 7:24-29
  • Matthew 17:1-5
  • 2 Peter 1:15-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Acts 13; 1
  • Romans 13
  • Matthew 5-7

Also referenced:

Books:

  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • Vatican Assassins by Eric John Phelps

FRC:MDS/cis
Transcribed: 10/04/2003
Reformatted/Corrected: January/2017

BOOKS