Hear, Listen, Do!

(Chapters 1-2)

Fred R. Coulter—August 25, 2001

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One of the most important things that we find in the book of Hebrews is that it's telling us about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who was God, and is God, and Who brings the ultimate message from God the Father, because He is the ultimate Son. And how that what is stressed all the way through the book of Hebrews that:
  • we are to hear
  • we are to listen
  • we are to do the will of God

So, let's finish up with just a few things that we did not cover last time in 'hearing, have ears to hear.' Of course, we find that in the New Testament quite a bit. Let's see that one of the things that Jesus said many times over, and over, and over again was that we are to hear! This hearing means that we are to listen and to do! There is a saying of Jesus that we find in many places in the New Testament, and we'll look at quite a few of them. When you put them together back-to-back-to-back, it really brings an impact as to what He said.

After He gets done talking about the parable of the sower, Mark 4:9 "Then He said to them, 'The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.'" That is an admonition, and also a warning that is given time and time again.

Verse 23: "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." Jesus said of the Pharisees, they could not hear because they weren't of God. It's a very interesting thing. If you hear and then subsequently do, then you are going to want to listen again. If you hear and then do, you keep your spiritual ears open. But if you hear and do not do, then as we find that you become like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand (Matt. 7). As long as it doesn't rain, and as long as it is dry, it'll stand. But know for sure, the wind is going to blow, the rain is going to come, the waves are going to beat on it. If you're not founded on the rock—you're founded on sand—you're washed away.

Matthew 11:11: "Truly I say to you, there has not arisen among those born of women anyone greater than John the Baptist. But the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. For from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven is taken with a great struggle… [taken by those who violently strive to achieve it] …and the zealous ones lay hold on it" (vs 11-12).

That sounds like it's kind of conquered. It doesn't mean that. It means that those who put forth the effort are able to enter into it. You have to put forth the effort. It's not something that God is just going to kind of give to you, and you sort of bring it into your system by osmosis, just by being there.

Verse 14: "And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear" (vs 14-15). In other words, hear to understand! What do you do when you come across a Scripture that you don't understand immediately? Well what you do, you just set it on the side for the time being; and you go through and you study the things that you can understand, that you know and that you learn from. Then you can come back to it, and you will understand it, or we can find a parallel of it in the Scriptures.

This has perplexed a lot of people, and the first time you read it, it sounds like that from the time of John the Baptist, the Law and the Prophets are no longer applicable. Therefore you, can ignore the whole of the Old Testament entirely, which is a false interpretation of it. Sometimes when you come to a verse that's hard to understand, you just set it aside for the time being, do some more study, and then come back to it.

Luke 16:16: "The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone zealously strives to enter it." Now then, taking that one verse alone you could say, 'Well, it does look like that the Law and Prophets only were applicable until John.' But what it is really saying is that the Law and the Prophets were the authority until John; from the time of John, who preached the Kingdom of God—the Kingdom of God is the higher authority of the Word of God—which is Christ and His message all brought together.

Notice how Luke clarifies it, v 17: "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail." That explains it. This means that the message of the Kingdom does not do away with the Law and Prophets, but it has a higher authority because it comes from God through the persons of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. And John the Baptist was the messenger to come to prepare the way for Christ. This is what it's saying.

Again, we have the parables that are given, the parable of the sower. All the way through Jesus says, He that has an ear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:9: "The one who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Verse 43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Verse 18: "Therefore, hear the parable of the sower… [to hear, to listen, to understand] …When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the one who was sown by the way" (vs 18-19).

Luke 10:16: "The one who hears you hears Me; and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and the one who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me." It also then comes down to when you hear the Truth of God preached, if you don't hear, then you're held accountable for it.

Luke 14:34: "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes tasteless…" Who is the salt? You are the salt of the earth! That is those who have the Spirit of God are the salt of the earth.

"…with what shall it be seasoned?" (v 34). Think of this in relationship to apathy, about turning back on God's Word. Those who do so have lost their savor.

Verse 35: "It is fit neither for the land, nor for the manure; but they cast it out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear." That ties directly in with the message of Hebrews.

There are quite a few places in Revelation where it says, He that has ears to hear. I think it's very important, because somehow when people are baptized in the Church of God they get into a comfortable routine, and they get into a situation where they're going to Sabbath services, and Holy Days—all of these things are involved—that they reach a comfort level. When you reach a comfort level, then you begin to reinforce that with a social level. Then when you to reinforce that with a social level, and you're not growing in grace and knowledge spiritually, that social level begins to have more hold for you than the Word of God.

Then your Christianity is not based upon Christ. Your Christianity is based on church socialism. Then when it comes time to hear, too many people won't hear because they get into the comfortable position that they won't take any correction. That's why the messages to the seven churches are very important and profound; and especially the way that Christ ends the message to every church. We won't go through the message to all the churches, but we'll just look at the ones where He says, He that has an ear.

Revelation 2:7: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…" What it is that is heard is admonition and correction, as well as recognition for what has been done. God is not going to forget the good things that we do. But we cannot rest on the good things that we do and say that we have accomplished.

Always remember that what you do today is fine; that's for today. What you did yesterday, whether good or bad, if it's good be thankful; if it's bad, repent. Never drag yesterday's problems into today, and never drag today's problems into tomorrow. When you do, you're never going to come to the point of overcoming where you can put it behind you. If you're always fighting the past battle, you're never able to overcome to fight the future battles and go ahead. So hence, you stop overcoming.

That's why He tells them the good things that they have done, He tells them how they have endured; He tells them that they also have left their first love. Now He says, 'Listen to what the Spirit is saying.'

Verse 11: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.…"

Verse 17: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.…"

I find Pergamos very interesting. Pergamos was so wound up in crossbreeding Satan's doctrines, and hierarchy, and government into the Church that God gave the warning that unless they repented Christ Himself would fight against His Church.

I think that when you look at all the misplaced authority that we've seen in the various Churches of God, if I were one of them I would be very afraid at this point, having seen what has happened to Worldwide Church of God. Did not Christ fight against it? Yes! How did He do it? He sent the enemy in to become part of them to take them down! That's a tremendous lesson!

The wrong authority has caused so many problems. The long and short of Pergamos is that any church that has an overbearing hierarchical authority to where the authority of the minister is called 'the government of God'—which it is not—look out! Christ is going to fight against you; and the end is not going to be very pleasant. So, he that has an ear to hear, let him hear!

Now we come over here to Thyatira, v 29: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

To Sardis—almost dead—I have nicknamed Sardis a 'corpse with a pulse.' Revelation 3:6: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." It's very interesting about the things that are coming out concerning the conspiracies, the synagogue of Satan—the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateralists, the Federal Reserve, the Catholic Church, the Jesuits, the Jews—all of it all mixed in together is the synagogue of Satan. Christ tells those who love Him and hold fast to His Word in spite of all of it. Of course, there's a lot of opposition against us.

Today we have so many things to garner our attention. Plus, we've got peace and prosperity so there's no urgency. When you have no urgency it's very tough to be zealous. That's why it is so critical. Everything of Satan is out there to come and take you away:

  • leisure
  • pleasure
  • sports
  • false religion
  • false education
  • your own carnal nature

All of those things are pulling at you. Then you've got to face the conspiracy out there, and everything that is going on. When you get done reading the book Vatican Assassins, believe me, you're never ever going to view the world the same way. You will see the hand of the Jesuits and the Catholic Church and all of their accomplices because they use second parties, third parties, and fourth parties to carry out their work. That's why the admonition is given to stay faithful to the Word of God.

Verse 11: "Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown." There's a lot of crown-stealing going along today! It's a man that can take it away from you. God is not going to take it away from you. If you don't listen to God, if you don't listen to Christ, you're going to lose your crown!

Verse 12: "The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 12-13).

Since we beat up on the Laodiceans plenty enough, and we're all Laodiceans, we better be repenting. We won't beat up on us any more today.

Verse 22: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Rev. 13 shows we are going to come to a time when it's going to be either/or. It's not going to be either this one or that one. It's going to be either your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life and you're going to receive salvation, or it's not!The time is going to come!

Revelation 13:8: "And all who dwell on the earth shall worship him… [the beast who received the deadly wound and was healed] …whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (vs 8-9).

It's interesting that you have the little word if. Because it shows it's a conditional choice that you must make. Everyone who hears must choose to hear, which also means, those who do not hear choose not to hear.

I thought it was absolutely amazing what was written in Rome's Challenge to the Protestants, where they gave the solution of triumph over the Catholic Church; that if you follow Christ and follow the Word of God, and keep the Sabbath of God, you will have the victory over the apostate church. You will stand on the Sea of Glass and have the harps of God and sing the song of Moses.

Revelation 16:15: "Behold, I come as a thief…." You can rest assured if a thief is coming in your house he's not going to wear a placard and walk up and down in front of your house at the sidewalk and say, 'I'm a thief, I'm coming in at 2:30a.m.' No! You don't know. This tells us that the circumstances are going to be such that before it happens it's going to look so great that it's going to be almost unbelievable that the events are unleashed that come. That's why He says,

"I come as a thief…." also understand there's something else that is in this verse: We are to be faithful unto the end! The end of what? There are two ends:

  • to the end of your life
  • to the end of the age

For those who don't come to the end of the age, this warning is for all of us at the end of our lives.

Verse 15: "Behold, I come as a thief…." There are occasions when someone dies just like that. You just gasp, you're struck; the person is gone. In a sense it comes upon you like a thief, that you weren't expecting it; totally unexpected. This is what it's saying.
"…Blessed is the one who is watching..." (v 15).

  • you've got to read and watch the Word of God
  • you've got to watch yourself and your carnal nature
  • you've got to watch against the attacks of Satan the devil
  • you've got to watch that no man take your crown

 "...and is keeping his garments..." (v 15). Remember what it said of the Laodiceans? They are naked; they don't have garments! So, Christ says:

"…so that he may not walk naked and they may not see his shame" (v 15). The garments are what?

Revelation 19:8: "And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints."

How do you keep your garments from being spotted? By not letting sin take over your life! That's how it is. If and when you do sin, repent! Christ is there as a propitiation continually that we come to Him. He knows we're going to sin. He knows that we have difficulties. He knows that we have problems, because we have His Spirit in us, and if we have His Spirit in us, then He is in us! He knows! The way you keep your garments and not walk naked is that you are always going to God.

Now then, all of these things apply to the book of Hebrews. Let me just mention that we've covered quite a few things in the book of Jeremiah last time, so we'll cover just a couple of things here. But let's understand how important this is. In the book of Jeremiah it says:

  • 7 times that they will not hear
  • 15 times that the children of Israel have not heard
  • several times that they will not obey

Jer. 25 contains a summary, as well as a warning. I tell you, if you want something to help sort of perk up your spiritual juice a little bit, just set aside time to read a couple of chapters of Jeremiah every night just before you go to bed. Just think of it from the point of view of how much is in there that is directed to you personally? Take it personally for correction and I think you'll be amazed.

As you go through and read the book of Jeremiah, let me just encourage you to do this: There are many conversations between Jeremiah and God. Jeremiah was the only one who was speaking the Truth, and he had to go in front of all of the people and condemned them, as they would view it.

  • He pleaded with them to repent
  • He pleaded with them to do God's way
  • He pleaded with them to keep the Sabbath

They wouldn't listen!

Jeremiah 25:3: "From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even to this day, that is the twenty-third year, the Word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken to you, speaking again and again. But you have not hearkened. And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets, again and again and sending them again and again; but you have not hearkened nor bowed down your ear to hear" (vs 1-4 What does it take to get through to some people?

Verse 5: "They all said… [the prophets] …'Turn again now, each one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and to your fathers forever and ever. And do not go after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no harm'" (vs 5-6).

Just think of today, how they're going after all these other religions, amalgamating them all in. When I drove on California Avenue, here was a Universal Church. This week they were specializing on having Understanding the American Indian Spirit. The next week they're going to have something on Buddhism. The next week they're going to have something on Hinduism. And then maybe the next week they'll have little something on Christ. That provokes God to anger! Because after all, God is God, and God is the One Who is Creator, and God is the One Who should be worshipped. Every other god is either a demon or a figment of your imagination, which you have made with your hands and you bow down to it. God gets really angry over that. But He says, 'Look, if you stop it, I won't bring it upon you.'

Verse 8: "Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says the LORD, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant...'" (vs 8-9).

You think about that! How far that the Jews had gone down that He would call the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, "…My servant…"! Read the book of Daniel that God did deal with him rather directly. He did write a letter of repentance after his seven years of insanity!

"...and will bring them against this land, and against its people, and against all these nations all around you. And I will completely destroy them, and make them a waste, and a hissing, and everlasting ruins" (v 9).
There's nothing that describes the area of Palestine anymore than that. Maybe it's a little better now that some of the Jews are back there, and they are irrigating and growing some crops and things like that. But I tell you, you look at some of those pictures of the so-called Holy Land. They are desolate, they are barren, they are forsaken, especially if you go into the Negev and south of there. It's just absolutely something!

Verse 10: "And I will take away from them the voice of rejoicing and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment. And these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (vs 10-11).

God did that! We have that recorded right in the history of the Bible, and God brought them back. What did they do as soon as they got back? Read the book of Ezra! Read the book of Nehemiah!

Notice Daniel's repentance for Israel, Daniel 9:3: "And I set my face toward the LORD God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the LORD my God and made my confession, and said, 'O LORD, the great and awesome God, keeping the covenant and mercy to those who love Him, and to those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, and have turned aside from Your commandments and from Your ordinances'" (vs 3-5).

The reason that God allows these things to happen, and yes, brings them about—not because God delights in evil; not because God delights in death and things like that—is it's the only way to bring them to repentance. When you come to the point that:

  • you won't hear
  • that you won't see
  • that you won't do
  • that you won't listen

then God has to do something in your life to bring you to the point that you are willing to do so. Daniel could see that. He admitted all of their sins.

Verse 6: "Neither have we hearkened unto Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our rulers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O LORD, righteousness belongs to You, but to us confusion of face, as at this day…" (vs 6-7).

How this fits right in with the Church of God today! Is the Church of God in confusion today? Yes! Over so many issues, it's incredible.

"...to the men of Judah and to the people of Jerusalem, and to all Israel who are near and who are afar off, through all the countries where You have driven them because they dealt treacherously with You. O Lord, confusion of face belongs to us, to our kings, to our rulers, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgivenesses even though we have rebelled against Him. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God…'" (vs 6-10).

So there it is; that ties right in with obeying the voice of the Lord our God. I'll say it again, because this is the most profound thing of the Bible. The whole Bible is the recorded Words of God, either given by direct speaking or direct speaking from Moses or the prophets. In their examples in what they did, they were not self-willed to do their words. They were not self-willed to preach their preaching's. They did what God said. Why? They were called of God and put into a relationship with God that they always would honor God's way! That's what it has to be with us.

Verse 10: "Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel has transgressed Your Law, and have turned aside, so that they might not obey Your voice..." (vs 10-11).

There's another thing that happens when you won't hear. When you won't hear and turn off your ears from listening to obey, then what do you do? You get busy doing other things so your conscience doesn't bother you. You get busy doing other things so you won't have to think about what you really have to do. Tie that together with apathy and avoidance; what a recipe for disaster!

You've done that; I've done that. How many times have you said, 'I'll do this; I'll do that...'? And then you always find something else that you need to do before you do that, and you never get around to it. Then they even make jokes and make a little teeny round doughnut, which says 'round tu-it,' and pass that out to people who say, 'Well, I'll get around to it.' That's what happened to Israel.

Another thing, the greatest deception that you can have, which is the excuse that the Protestants use for worshiping on Sunday: 'God knows my heart, which is good, so therefore, I'm justified to worship on Sunday because my heart is good.' That is the nicest excuse for the worst rebellion possible! People don't have the gall to stand there and shake their fists at God and say, 'No, God, I won't do it!' However, they can say, 'My heart is right, God knows I'm doing this to Him, Sunday is just fine. And Christmas, I'm glad we can go back and have that. I really missed that all the years that I was in the Church of God.' They don't look upon that as utter, rank rebellion because they couch it in such good terms.

You talk to any Sunday-keeper and you start pinning them down on the Sabbath and the first thing they do is say, God knows my heart!

Doesn't God judge the heart? Yes, He judges the heart! What is His judgment on the heart? Jer. 17:9—deceitful above all things! Isn't that the greatest deceit? You don't want to rebel in harsh words against God, so you use pleasant, good-sounding words so you are justified in your own mind, because that sounds good to you, therefore it must be good to God.'

Daniel is repenting for all Israel, v 11: "Yea, all Israel has transgressed Your Law, and have turned aside, so that they might not obey Your voice. Therefore, the curse has been poured out upon us, and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him." The problem was they didn't listen to the voice of God.

Let's look at Hebrews again, and let's understand:

  • Heb. 1 is the proof of the Divinity of Christ
  • Heb. 2 is the humanity of Christ
  • Heb. 1:1-4—we've read them, so let's just analyze them a little bit more and let's understand some things here that are very important:
  • It tells us that Christ is the heir, the heir of all things. Hebrews 1:2: "Whom He has appointed heir of all things..." Verse 1 tells us that He is the ultimate Son; that He is speaking to us.
  • He sustains the creation: "...By Whom also He made the ages" (v 2). Of course, we're living in the final age.
  • He is eternal and pre-existent, and now in glory, v 3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person..."

Brethren, that's the whole goal of us. The Greek there is 'character' meaning we are to have the character of God with the mind of Christ through:

  • the Spirit of God
  • through the laws and commandments being written in our heart and our mind

Also it talks about the exultation: "...and upholding all things by the word of His own power... [sustaining the universe] ...When He had by Himself purged our sins..." (v 3). Showing that He is the ultimate sacrifice.

These first four verses set the whole stage for everything through the book of Hebrews. And He had to do it alone. Why? Because He created mankind! He brought upon mankind the kind of nature that we have because of sin. So, only He could do it. Then He is exalted with the resurrection, exalted

"…sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them" (vs 3-4).

Verse 5 shows His appointment, by the virtue of what He is.

If God is going to send His own Son on this earth, then what He has to say and bring has got to be so much superior to what was given through Moses, to what was given through the angels. This is the whole purpose of showing it, that this is the ultimate of God's Word and expression to us and message to us.

Verses 5-13 show five things:

  • He is appointed as the Royal Son!

No angel was ever appointed to that.

  • He is God!

Is that not a higher authority than angels? Is that not a higher authority than a man? Yes indeed! He is God! He was God!

  • He is greater than any of the angels!
  • He is Eternal!
  • He is exalted and is told to sit at the right hand of God!

"…until I make Your enemies a footstool…" (v 13). Never said of that of any of the angels.

Verse 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'?…. [Psa. 2] …And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him'" (vs 5-6).

Firstborn! Let's focus on firstborn for a minute, because Jesus was firstborn twice: once in the flesh, and once from the dead. The King James has 'the first begotten.' If it were begotten, it would read 'protogene/protogenes.' But it should be firstborn, because the Greek is 'prototokos':

  • 'protos' means first
  • 'tokos' means born

The verb of the noun 'tokos'is 'tikto'—to be born.

Matthew 1:25: "But he did not have sexual relations with her until after she had given birth to her Son, the firstborn; and he called His name Jesus." There is His physical birth—firstborn—counted from the mother. Christ, being 'monogenes'—the only begotten of the Father—is counted from the Father. He is firstborn in the flesh. And all the angels worshipped Him.

There is another purpose in this, because all the way through the book of Hebrews, what are we going to see? That we are connected with Christ! Our destiny in God's plan is connected with what Christ has already done. This is to give us:

  • hope
  • inspiration
  • strength
  • understanding
  • spiritual tenacity

in the face of difficulties. Another way of putting it is endurance.

Rom. 8:28 fits in with it. This is what we need to know. Now many, many times have we all gone through experiences, and we wonder why is this happening? We don't see anything but the trouble, and when you come to the point the only thing you see is the trouble, then what you need to do is look up and find God and see God in it. Here's the place that you start, because it has to be done by faith. What you see is nothing but the problem, so you must have the faith to see beyond the problem. 

Romans 8:28: "And we know..." This is something we need to come to know, to believe, and to believe with conviction.

"...that all things..." (v 28). Not some things, not part of the things, not most of the things, but all things.

"...work together for good to those who love God..." (v 28). If you don't love God, it's not going to work together for good.

"...to those who are the called according to His purpose, because those whom He did foreknow, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son..." (vs 28-29).

What was the image of Christ? Christ was the image of the person of God the Father! We are to be conformed to the image of Christ. That's why God wants us to really understand that. When you do, then you can have zeal in times of peace. You can have purpose in times of confusion. You can have endurance in times of trouble.

"...He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren" (v 29). That's awesome! Whenever things get tough for you:

  • remember Rom. 8:28-29
  • remember your calling
  • remember your destiny
  • don't let any man steal your crown

—from the point of view that if a man goes bad, not all good men always stay good; some good men go bad! So, if a good man goes bad, don't let that disillusion you in your faith toward Christ, because if it does then he has stolen your crown!

Rev. 1—the King James translates 'prototokos'/firstborn as begotten. It would be 'protogenes'if it were the first begotten. Jesus is referred to as the only begotten!

Revelation 1:5: "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…" showing that the resurrection is the new birth. Not some sort of ethereal spiritual thing that takes place when you open your heart and let the Lord in. It actually works the opposite way around. Christ opens your heart and He lets you in. It's the opposite. "…The Firstborn from [among] the dead."

We have this confirmed in Col. 1 twice. When you put all the Scriptures together, they really form a great and beautiful picture of:

  • what Christ is
  • what Christ has done
  • what He is doing

and the whole plan and purpose of God! You couple that together and you put it on the framework of the Holy Days, and then you have the full plan and picture of God's way. That's why the Sabbath and Holy Days are so important.

Colossians 1:15: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation" Those who believe in a 'created' Christ turn to this Scripture and say, 'There it is, He's the firstborn of every creature' (KJV). Who was His mother? No! You couldn't have that. It says He's the Firstborn. It doesn't say He's the first 'created.' You would first have to have a mother for Him to be Firstborn.

Verse 18 clarifies it: "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…" This means that He's the Firstborn among many brethren who are going to follow Him!

  • Are we going to be a new creation in Christ? Yes, we're going to be a new creation in Christ through conversion and at the resurrection permanently as a spirit being. Yes!
  • Will we be a new creature? Definitely!

I don't want this old one to stick around very long. "…all creation…" refers to those who are going to be born of the resurrection.

Notice how this goes right along and shows why it was Paul who wrote Hebrews.

Verse 16: "Because by Him were all things created… [Sound a little bit like Heb. 1? Yes!] …the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist" (vs 16-17).

Hebrews says He upholds the universe by the Word of His power. You've got to be wholly righteous in order to do that, to be trusted with that power. Christ is!

Verse 18: "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell" (vs 18-19). We're going to share in that, brethren!

Heb, 12 talks about the Church, and the Church is also viewed as the firstborn, as a group. Christ is the Firstborn as the individual, the first of the firstborn. We are called the Church of the Firstborn, as a group. Meaning that we'll be in the first resurrection! We'll be born from the dead! Firstborn!

Hebrews 12:22: "But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering; and to the Church of the firstborn, registered in the Book of Life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel" (vs 22-24). There you have it. We're all part of that firstborn. That's quite a thing, brethren!

Remember that when you get kind of over-pressed with troubles and difficulties, and sort of downcast, always keep that in mind. Just go pray! Get on your knees, get out the Bible, open it up, and just go through these verses again. Ask God:

  • to help you
  • to comfort you
  • to show you the way
  • to lead you
  • to give you the thoughts that you need

I'll tell you what, God will deliver you out of that difficulty or predicament. He will! Absolutely will! Then all of a sudden you'll go along, and one day—BING!—you'll see that God delivered it.

This is why faith is so important; and also the love of God is so important. Remember this: You look at your old, physical, deteriorating, rusting-out, old body, getting old is not the problem, it's the rust that goes along with it. Remember that! At the resurrection God wants to fill you with the fullness of God. That is overwhelming! When that makes a spiritual impact upon your mind—which it will—there will come a day, I guarantee it, you'll be going along and you'll either be praying or you'll be studying, or you'll be thinking on God's way and you'll be thinking on God's plan, and it will come upon you in an overwhelming way that you—yes, youare going to be filled with the fullness of God! That's amazing!

Now Paul ends that section here, Ephesians 3:20: "Now, to Him Who is able… [has the power—'dunamis'] …to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us."

Have you ever just thought of something, and God answered that thought? Maybe you didn't really even pray about it. You just, sort of a passing thought: 'God, You know that would be nice,' but not really demanding anything, not really in a prayer, but just kind of thinking. That's happened to me, and it's one of those things that you don't think about it until it's done, maybe already passed, and then you think, 'Thank You, God, You did that. You heard that thought.' He has the power, He has the ability to do it, and will do it.

"…above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, even into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 20-21).

We have it tied in with Hebrews 1:2: "Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the ages."

Verse 7: "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 Christ God? Yes!] …is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom'" (vs 7-8). This is quoted from Psalm 45:6-7.

The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was Michael the archangel. Even some Seventh-Day Adventists do. So, this knocks it into a 'cocked hat.'

Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God, which brings salvation for all men, has appeared; teaching us that, having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live moderately and righteously and Godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our Savior and great God, Jesus Christ" (vs 11-13).

It calls Him God, Savior and God. It's not talking about two personages. It's talking about our Savior Jesus Christ, Who is the great God.

Verse 14: "Who gave Himself for us, so that He might redeem us from all lawlessness, and might purify for Himself a unique people, zealous of good works."

Titus 3:4: "But when the graciousness and the love of God our Savior… [we know that's Christ] …toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we practiced, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He richly poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior" (vs 4-6). So there it is, clear as can be:

  • Christ is God!
  • Christ is our Savior!

What he's doing is showing that none of this can be said of any of the angels at any time.

Psalm 45:6: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of justice is the scepter of Your kingdom… [a righteous scepter] …You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God…" (vs 6-7).

This is referring to God the Father. Is God the Father the God of Jesus Christ? Yes! {note booklets: The Two Jehovah's of the Psalms, The Two Jehovah's of the Pentateuch, Defining the Oneness of God, and The Trinity}

"…Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows" (v 7).

Hebrews 1:9—almost an identical quote; there is one thing you are to hate: "You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions."

We're to do the same thing: We are to love righteousness! We are to hate lawlessness! And if there's any one thing that's lawlessness, that is Sunday-keeping. You think about that. You can read it in A Harmony of the Gospels.

Verse 10: "And, 'You, Lord, in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands.'"

That confirms John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him" (vs 1-3). He laid the foundations of the earth. I've often wondered what's that like? You know, the earth is quite a phenomenal thing.

Oh, by the way, I have the solution for the Kyoto greenhouse thing. Perfect answer, God's answer: Don't be so stupid, little man. If you want to stop the greenhouse effect, then, God says, 'I challenge you to stop every volcano I have created from blowing up. Because every time one of My volcanoes blows, it spews into the air carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur and sulfuric acid many more times over than all the autos burning on the earth at the same instant.' Foundations of the earth: God laid that!

They talk about the core of the earth being solid iron or whatever? But then you go down in the earth here is all of this molten magma just sloshing around under the surface of the earth. It serves a purpose: It keeps the earth at an even temperature; also with the oceans, and with the universe, and its place in the universe, and everything combined, the earth is always moving. All the land everywhere is always moving. It's really amazing!

You watch on the Discovery Channel; every once in a while they will show you some of these deep-sea things. They will show you some these volcanic vents down at the bottom of the ocean. And clear down there, thousands of feet below the surface of the earth, are animals that God has created to live and thrive right there in an environment, that even other fish higher up in the elevation of the ocean could not survive. God has made so many strange, wonderful different creatures. We look at them and think they are weird, but they are not. God made them, and for a tremendous purpose.

I've often wondered about 'the four corners' of the earth. I've looked at the globe and I've tried to figure out where the 'four corners' are. Where are the four corners of a round sphere? The closest I can come to it is this: the North Pole, the South Pole, then the area in the Atlantic called the Devil's Triangle, and the area in the Pacific where they have the equal thing on magnetism that they do at the so-called Devil's Triangle. Those are four points on the earth. Whether that is, I don't know. 

  • God made it!
  • God designed it!
  • God laid it!
  • God put it together!

Notice the second part of this which is greatest yet, Hebrews 1:10: "'…and the heavens are the works of Your hands." God has made that for His family. Imagine that! There's going to be a new heaven and a new earth.

Verse 11: "They will perish, but You remain forever; and they will all grow old like a garment, and You will roll them up like a covering… [just like you take a blanket and roll it up] …and they shall be changed...'" (vs 11-12).

So, just like God is using this physical body that we have now, it's going to be changed, 'in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye'! Likewise with the heavens and the universe that is out there that we see. It is going to be changed. What is that new heaven is going to be like? The only way we're going to find out is to be in the Kingdom of God so we can travel out there and see it. I tell you one thing for sure, God must have something so great that He has in mind, so marvelous beyond what we can even think or dream that we can't handle it with this physical mind. But He is going to do it. God is absolutely incredible! His Son is absolutely incredible, that He is going to do that. 

"'...they shall be changed; but You are the same, and Your years will not end.'…. [imagine what it's going to be like to live forever, and no rust] …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'?…. [Never!] …Are they not all ministering spirits, being sent forth to minister to those who are about to inherit salvation? (vs 12-14).

I want to go over the first four verses of Heb. 2 to end this section. We will see this all the way through the book of Hebrews. Paul will explain something very profound, give Scripture after Scripture, and then what is he going to do? He is going to give a warning! So, we have Heb. 1, all this inspiration of what Christ is, what God is doing, how much greater He is than the angels, our destiny with Him. Then he gives the warning,

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." It's not that we let the thing we heard slip away, but that we slip away because we're not still listening.

Verse 2: "For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail..." Remember Zacharias, John the Baptist's father? Gabriel came and said, 'When you go home, Elizabeth is going to conceive.' Instead of Zacharias saying, 'Well, thank you. I can hardly wait to get home,' he said, 'How's that going to happen?' The angel said, 'Because you didn't believe, you're not going to be able to speak until after the child is born.' Was that enforced without fail? Yes!

"...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, 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 2-4).

So, if God has intervened in our lives, it puts a great responsibility on us. This book of Hebrews really, I think, is not only for them at that day when they grew weary of doing the things they should be doing, but it is also for us that we may get our eyes up and see Christ, that we may always be inspired with the Word of God and God's plan!

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

Scriptural References:

  • Mark 4:9, 23
  • Matthew 11:11-12, 14-15
  • Luke 16:16-17
  • Matthew 13:9, 43, 18-19
  • Luke 10:16
  • Luke 14:34-35
  • Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29
  • Revelation 3:6, 11-13, 22
  • Revelation 13:8-9
  • Revelation 16:15
  • Revelation 19:8
  • Jeremiah 25:3-6, 8-11
  • Daniel 9:3-11
  • Hebrews 1:2-4, 13, 5-6
  • Matthew 1:25
  • Romans 8:28-29
  • Revelation 1:5
  • Colossians 1:15, 18, 16-19
  • Hebrews 12:22-24
  • Ephesians 3:20-21
  • Hebrews 1:2, 7-8
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Titus 3:4-6
  • Psalm 45:6-7
  • Hebrews 1:9-10
  • John 1:1-3
  • Hebrews 1:10-14
  • Hebrews 2:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 7
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • Psalm 2
  • Hebrews 1:5

Also referenced:
Books:

Vatican Assassins by Eric Jon Phelps

  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

Booklets:

  • The Two Jehovah's of the Psalms by Carl Franklin
  • The Two Jehovah's of the Pentateuch by Carl Franklin
  • Defining the Oneness of God by Carl Franklin
  • The Trinity by Carl Franklin

Article: Rome's Challenge to the Protestants (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, Appendix N)

FRC:MDS/cis
Transcribed: 02/10/2004
Reformatted/Corrected: bo—January/2017

BOOKS