Hear God's Voice and Harden Not Your Heart

(Chapters 2-3)

Fred R. Coulter—October 27, 2001

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Let's review just a little bit; Hebrews 2:9: "But we see Jesus… [Paul is emphasizing Jesus] …Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death … [which covers the sins of all the world] …in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone." Of course, everyone there represents those who repent.

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author… [captain or champion] …of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

Then we covered some of the sufferings that Christ went though. {note sermon series: The Prophesies of Jesus in the Old Testament} That was prophesied right from the beginning what He would go through, beginning in Gen. 3:16.

Let's cover how it was that He divested Himself; in order to do this; in order to be able to taste death God manifested in the flesh. As God, He could not die, because He is eternal. If He lowered Himself to become an angel then He would not have lowered Himself to become a human being because humans are a little lower than the angels. He had to divest Himself of His existence; of His glory; to reduce His existence from eternal to a pinpoint of life.

He didn't lose His existence by doing that, but it was reduced to a pinpoint of life, and then impregnated in the virgin Mary so He could be born of the flesh; and have the same nature that all human beings have. He was tempted in every way but without sin. It was necessary that He do this to bring the judgment upon Himself for what He did as Creator to all mankind.

Verse 11: "For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one…" We're going to be one in the Family of God, and there's a special meaning to that as we saw in part six for those who are in the first resurrection, or the firstfruits, or the Church of the Firstborn; and it has a very profound meaning. The calling that God has given us is absolutely, just amazing!

"…for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (v 11).

Remember that Jesus said to the disciples on the Passover night, 'You are my friends.' Now we are called brethren; we have the same spiritual Father. Notice what He told Mary Magdalene on the day that He was to ascend and be accepted by God the Father as the perfect sacrifice; having been raised from the dead.

John 20:17: "Jesus said to her, 'Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren…" We are all the brethren of Christ. That's something! He's not ashamed to call us brethren. That's quite a thing to understand!

"…and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father…" (v 17). We have access to God the Father , to call him 'Abba Father'; a direct relationship with God the Father.

"…And My God and your God" (v 17). That's really quite a tremendous and wonderful thing that Jesus has done, that He's not afraid to call us brethren.

Hebrews 2:12: "Saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.'" That's something! When is He going to do this? He does it every Sabbath, if we could put it that way! But it's going to happen at the resurrection when the whole Church is resurrected together. He's going to sing praise to you.

Verse 13: "And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.'" That's really quite a tremendous thing that we have that.

This is all part of the result of the crucifixion of Christ. Psa. 22 is a prophecy of that crucifixion and the prophecy of the suffering that Jesus would go through; and of the salvation that would be the result of it. I've often wondered what David thought when he was given this Psalm to write? I wonder what his feelings were? I also have wondered what Christ thought about this when He was in the flesh and knew that this was going to happen on the Passover Day that He was crucified on.

We have it right here, Psalm 22:22: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him; all of you, the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and stand in awe of Him all of you, the seed of Israel" (vs 22-23). That's quite a Psalm!

The thing is, Christ calls us His brethren. When we get into the thing concerning 'church government' {see booklet: The Ministry is not the Government of the Church}

You will know why Jesus instructed the apostles the way He did concerning how to conduct their lives. This also shows why God does not want a hierarchy. This past Feast of Tabernacles was really a great lesson in how church groups can function without a hierarchy yet have someone who's in charge and oversees it.

The coordinator for the Feast in Gulf Shores/Foley, Alabama, said this was the best Feast he's ever had in all the years that he's been in the Church. I would have to vouch for the fact that it was a nearly perfect Feast. But he said there was no strife; there was no contention; everyone pitched in and helped, we didn't have to have a great list of things and people struggling to see who could climb up the ladder of the hierarchy to do whatever; everyone was loving, peaceful, happy, joyful, giving and serving; and it just worked wonderfully. And that's the way Christ wants the Church to work.

Matthew 20:20: "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons…" She wanted to really make it special for her sons. Apparently she felt that her sons really had some great value for Christ.

"…worshiping Him and asking a certain thing from Him. And He said to her, 'What do you desire?' She said to Him, 'Grant that these my two sons may sit one at Your right hand and one at Your left hand in Your kingdom.'…. [that's a tall order; that's a tall request] …But Jesus answered and said, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able'" (vs 20-22).

Now sometimes, when you say something to God or you say you're going to do something, He'll take you up on it. So, sure enough He did.

Verse 23: "And He said to them, 'You shall indeed drink of My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit at My right hand and at My left hand is not Mine to give, but shall be given to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.'" This created a great furor, because here these two were trying to get a political in so they could get a better reward.

Verse 24: "And after hearing this, the ten were indignant against the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Him and said, 'You know that the rulers of the nations exercise lordship over them...'" (vs 24-25)—'katakurieuo'—which is lordship downward; the hierarchy of a dictatorship.

"'…and the great ones exercise authority over them'" (v 25)—'katexousiazo'—meaning the authority comes down.

The way Christ wants it is this: Here's God the Father and here are you. You have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above, and those who are the servants—the elders and teachers—they're the ones who are on the sidelines to help you and lead you, but to lead you and bring you to the full measure of the stature of Christ, because you are brethren. That's the way that God wants it run; and when we really understand that, and when we really comprehend that, then we're going to know why God does not want a hierarchy.

Verse 26: "However, it shall not be this way among you; but whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant… ['diakonos'] …and whoever would be first among you, let him be your slave… ['doulous'] (notice, how He finished this): …just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (vs 26-28).

He is the example; that's Who we need to follow. That's why He's not ashamed to call us brethren, and the 'children whom God has given Me.'

Hebrews 2:14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood…" I went through and showed how that He took upon Himself the same law as sin and death.

"…in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul…" (v 14)—destroy, put down; that is not to bring Satan to a state of non-existence.

But that: "…He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil. and that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren… [you can't call someone your brother unless you are like him] …in everything…" (vs 14-17).

How did He do that? We'll see how He did it; quite a thing that God did!

{note sermon series The Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament. You will see that there was a special covenant that God the Father and Jesus Christ had between them so that the One of Elohim became the Father, and the other of Elohim became the Son.}

So, They had

  • perfect trust
  • perfect faith
  • perfect love

so that God could come down and become a human being to save His creation; to bring upon Himself the same judgment that He brought upon all human beings when He gave the sentence of death, and the law of sin and death in them, when Adam and Eve sinned; and has past for all human beings since them.

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Showing again the humility that Christ had; and

  • His death was in fact the humiliation
  • His resurrection was in fact an exaltation

So, before there is exaltation there needs to be humiliation. God was humiliated, beaten, killed, scourged and crucified by His own creation. That's something; now that's a tremendous mind to have—to go to that end; to that length—to save His creation.

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God… [existing as God] …did not consider it robbery to be equal with God." Well, He was! If you have the same existence as the Father, you have the glory as the Father has; then you're equal with Him. That is why when we're resurrected, and receive the glory that is given to us, we're going to have the same kind of existence that Jesus Christ has, so then we will be spiritually brethren forever. That's something to contemplate. He came to this earth to become a human being so we can become His brethren now. At the resurrection we will become like He is, so that we can be spiritually brethren forever.

Notice what He did, v 7: "But emptied Himself…" He gave up:

  • His glory
  • His honor
  • His power
  • His position

He reduced His life down to a pinpoint of life and then was impregnated in the womb of the virgin Mary, to be born of the flesh.

"…and was made in the like likeness of men… [the same likeness of human beings] …and took the form of a servant" (v 7)—slave—'doulous'

That goes all the way back to the very beginning of the Bible and the creation of men; Genesis 1:26 "God said, 'Let Us… [the One Who became the Father and the One Who became the Son] …make man in Our image, after Our likeness'…"

The whole New Covenant is how we can be made after the God-kind, in the God Family; that's why we're called brethren. So, we're made after the likeness of God. God came and was made after the likeness of man.

That's what is says in Philippians 2:7: "…and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man…" (vs 7-8).

That means every bodily function, everything that a human being does, He did. There's even one humorous account that when Jesus was sleeping—Jesus needed to sleep—back there in the back of the ship when the storm came; the waves were coming and the disciples came to Him and said 'Don't You care for us? Wake up we're drowning.'

Everything that a man does! "…He humbled Himself…" (v 8). How did He humble Himself? A lot of people think, 'Well I won't humble myself.' Look what He humbled Himself to! Look what Jesus Christ did for you! That's the whole theme of the book of Hebrews. Remember what Christ has done so that you can take part in what He is doing! You want to summarize the whole of the book of Hebrews, that's it. Remember what Christ has done, so you can be partakers of what God is doing!

"…He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death… [Not just an ordinary death] …even the death of the cross" (v 8)—which is the cruelest of all deaths, because it is an execution designed for torture and for pain, and that is after He was scourged.

No one in the human realm even comes close to what Jesus did, because they did not start out as God, to become man. So therefore, only the sacrifice of Christ; and only the life of Christ can be given as the perfect sacrifice for human beings.

  • no other means
  • no other method
  • no other religion
  • no other thing

will do what Christ has done!

Notice what's going to happen, v 9: "Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him… [by the power of the resurrection] …and bestowed upon Him a name which is above every name." Remember it says there in Rev. 19 that He has a name that only He Himself knows.

Everyone is going to have to come to this point, whether you're atheist, agnostic, Jew, Gentile, professing Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Animist or any version or mixture of all the above said together. Here's what you're going to have to do, and this day will come and it is going to happen, because it is right here in the Scriptures:
Verse 10: "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 10-11). That means above all other lords on this earth. In that day when that happens, there will be no more religions. Christ and the way of God the Father is going to supersede all of that.

Now, let me just pause here since everyone is all concerned about terrorists. We as human beings are not going to enforce that. Christ is coming! He's going to return to the earth! He is going to enforce it! So, people don't need to look at us and say 'Well that's a terrorist statement.' I mean, we need to qualify it today because that's the way people are. That is an actual prophetic fact, which is going to take place! If that upsets you, don't be concerned; you just wait. One day you will have to do this, because it says every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess. What does that mean to us? Here's the same message that Paul gave in the book of Hebrews:

Verse 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

  • it is your relationship with God that counts
  • it is your standing with God
    • your heart
    • your mind
    • your soul
    • your being

with Him!

It's not a movement, it's not an organization, it's not a power thing that human beings have; and now this group of human beings is going to impose its will upon another group of humans. No, it's not going to work that way. Christ and the resurrected saints are coming, and Christ is going to impose it. Christ is going to make it work. And it's going to happen!

Verse 13: "For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure." This is the whole thing concerning

  • salvation
  • growing and overcoming
  • being the kind of Christians that we need to be
  • being the light to the world

—but believing firmly and absolutely in the Truth of God.

There are some people who think that God is going to literally destroy Satan the devil. Is that true? Will it happen?
Hebrews 2:14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil." It could be translated to render useless, to put down, or to make of no effect or, as the Interlinear has it, to annul.

You can destroy a person by doing things to him, yet, you don't take away his life. This sort of contradicts the Scripture in Rev. 20. Let's read what is says concerning Satan the devil. Is it possible that God could convert Satan into a human being and then destroy him? Anything is possible, but does God reveal that that's what He's going to do? No, it doesn't! Unfortunately the word destroy in the English means more than to annihilate, taking away life.

Revelation 20:10 tells exactly Satan's fate: "And the Devil, who deceived them, was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet had been cast; and they, Satan and the demons, shall be tormented day and night into the ages of eternity."

Wherever Satan is, the demons are. Therefore, the Greek verb shall be tormented, is they. We know that the beast and the false prophet, being human beings—howbeit possessed of Satan the devil at one time or another—would be destroyed in the Lake of Fire; so, they are not being tormented forever and ever. Here we have that Satan and the demons will be tormented forever and ever.

A proper translation of Heb. 2:14 would mean the kind of destruction that is not annihilation of life, but a putting down, an annulling, a rendering useless or of no effect.

Let's look at another one that talks about the ashes. It seems to fit there with the one who was Lucifer, who was cast down, in this case called the king of Tyrus. We're going to see that there are two personages here, and the reason there are two is because it's showing us, that

  • the prince of Tyrus, or the prince of Tyre

possessed of

  • Satan the devil called the king of Tyre

Remember, Satan is called 'the king.' He's called the king of the bottomless pit! (Rev. 9).

Ezekiel 28:1: "The Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre. "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, "I am a god, I sit in the seat of God…"'"'"(vs 1-2).

When a man does that, he is possessed of Satan the devil. We have where that is again going to happen with the one who comes into the temple, which is going to be built, and proclaims that he is God. So here's a prophecy then, of 2-Thess. 2

"'…I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas;' yet, you are a man and not God...'" (v 2). Can a man be turned to ashes? Yes! It shows that Satan is going to be tormented forever.

"'…though you set your heart as the heart of a god; behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you! With your wisdom and with your understanding you have made riches for yourselves, and have gotten gold and silver into your treasuries. By your great wisdom and by your trade you have multiplied your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches.' Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god'" (vs 2-6).

Why would he do that? It is of the influence of Satan the devil who has possessed him!

Verse 7: "Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers upon you, the most ruthless of the nations. And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness. They shall bring you down to the pit, and you shall die the death of those slain in the midst of the seas. Will you yet say before him who kills you, 'I am a god'?…." (vs 7-9).

Are you going to stand up there and say, 'Don't kill me, I am God.' You know it's kind of like the king with his new invisible clothes, remember that story.

Verse 10: "'You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers. For I have spoken,' says the Lord GOD" (vs 7-10).

Then there's a break, v 11: "And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, lift up a lamentation over the king of Tyre…'" (vs 11-12). This gets into being Satan the devil who possessed the prince of Tyrus, which God said was a man, who God said, 'You're going to die.'

Satan is going to be tormented forever (Rev. 20:10). How do we know that this is Satan the devil? Verse 12: "'…"Thus says the Lord GOD, 'You seal up the measure of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God…'" (vs 12-13).

When God made the Garden of Eden, who did He put in the Garden of Eden?

  • Adam and Eve, that's 2
  • God was there; that is 3
  • Satan the devil was there; that is 4

Those were the only four that were in the Garden of Eden. What happened when Adam and Eve sinned? They were expelled from the garden! Satan was also cast out of the garden. So therefore, the king of Tyrus can only be Satan the devil.

Then it talks about all the beauty and glory that he had, v 13: "…'in the day that you were created.… [then it defines what his position was in the Kingdom of God]: …You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I set you so; you were upon the Holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire…. [the glorified Sea of Glass, if you understand that] …You were perfect in your ways …"'" (vs 13-15).

No man is perfect. So, this cannot be talking about a man here, but about a spirit being who then fell; and he fell for the same reasons that he inspired the prince of Tyrus to set himself up as God.

Verse 15: "You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created…" But the prince of Tyrus was born; he wasn't created.

He was perfect "…until iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled your midst with violence, and you have sinned…." (vs 15-16). This would obviously have to do with what he did with the angels. We don't understand all that went on; we don't understand what happened with the third of the angels that fell with Satan to become the demons. But here is the process by which he did it.

"…Therefore, I will cast you as profane from the mountain of God..." (v 16). Was the prince of Tyre (Tyrus) in Tyre? orWas he in the mountain of God? He wasn't in the mountain of God; he was in Tyrus!

He says. "…and I will destroy you..." (v 16)—expel you. This destruction is not unto death, but will expel you!

"…O covering cherub, from among the stones of fire" (v 16). Was he expelled? Yes, he was! Jesus said 'I saw Satan fall from heaven as lightening.' Rev. 12 says, 'His tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven' being the angels that fell with him.

"…I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from among the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness. I will cast you to the ground; I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you" (vs 16-17).
Let's see again it's talking about Satan. Notice he was cast down, he was going to exalt himself, set his throne above the stars of God.

Isaiah 14:14: "'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.' Yet, you shall be brought down to the grave, to the sides of the pit. Those who see you shall stare and watch you closely, saying, 'Is this the man who made the earth to tremble; who shook kingdoms'" (vs 14-16). They're all going to come and see him; this indicates that he will be living.

Verse 17: "'Who made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities; who did not allow his prisoners to go free?' All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But you are cast out of your grave like a hateful branch, and like the clothing of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trampled under foot. You shall not be joined with them in burial because you destroyed your land and killed your people; the seed of evildoers shall never be famous" (vs 17-20). Then it goes on into the king of Babylon from there. So, they're going to come and look at him.

Ezekiel 28:18: "By the multitude of your iniquities, by the unrighteousness of your trade, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore I brought forth a fire from your midst; it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth, before the eyes of all who see you. All who know you among the people shall be astonished at you; you became a terror, and you will not be anymore." (vs 18-19).

Here it comes back to the prince of Tyre, who is killed and burned into ashes. That's the best that we can do on explaining will Satan be destroyed, that is have his life annihilated, or will he live forever? I think if we follow Rev. 20:10 that he's going to be tormented forever and ever. That is a clear statement exclusively about Satan alone; the statements here in Ezek. 28 and Isa. 14 are not quite as clear because it's involving the prince of Tyre, and also the king of Babylon, so it makes it a little difficult to put it all together. But nevertheless, Heb. 2:14 says that he will destroy him. That means render useless; to annul; to put down him who has to power of death that is the devil.

Hebrews 2:17: "For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest… [this is the first time that High Priest is used] …in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people"—a continual source of grace and mercy, to propitiate or to forgive "…the sins of the people." Here's why:
Verse 18: "For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted."
Let's just do a quick review, we had:

  • a comparison of Jesus and the angels
  • a comparison of Jesus and mankind
  • what He's done for mankind
  • what He has done for those who are being called
  • the warning in the first part of Heb. 2 that we need to be careful that we don't slip away
  • an explanation as to why we need to not let them slip away, because of what Christ has done
  • how magnificent that it was that He gave the sacrifice
  • that He gave His life

When we come to Heb. 3 there's another comparison that is made, which is really very profound and important.

Hebrews 3:

We've compared Jesus with angels and with mankind; and Jesus with Satan the devil. Paul makes another comparison, which for the Hebrews is profound and very important; because now the Hebrews have to understand that Moses is not the top man. We're going to see that indeed, it is a very difficult thing for some of them to understand.

Hebrews 3:1: "Because of this… [he's had the warning (Heb 2)] (then he has all this explanation): …Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of the faith we profess—Jesus Christ… [he's going to compare Him with Moses]: …Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, even as Moses was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, even as He Who built the house has so much more honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God. Now on the one hand, Moses was faithful in all his house, as a ministering servant, for a testimony of those things which were going to be spoken afterwards" (vs 1-5).

That means spoken of afterwards by Christ, because that's what we're talking about there in the beginning of Heb. 1. Christ spoke.

Verse 6: "But on the other hand, Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end."

Remember, he who endures to the end, the same shall be saved. There's a process of endurance that's very important for us to understand. Let's go back and consider some of the statements of John in the Gospel of John, concerning Moses, and concerning a comparison that was given here by Jesus.

I think that we're going to find it very interesting. You know, even to this day, it is so difficult to get Jews looking to Christ instead of Moses; even for those who believe in Jesus, like the Messianic Jews claim that they do. Still they have to go back to the tradition of the fathers, which they claim is Moses.

John 3:25: "Then there arose a question between the disciples of John and some of the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, He Who was with you beyond Jordan, to Whom you have borne witness, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.' John answered and said, 'No one is able to receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear witness to me that I said, "I am not the Christ," but that I am sent before Him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the voice of the bridegroom; in this then, my joy has been fulfilled'" (vs 25-29). He could hear what Jesus was doing.

John understood what he was to do, v 30: "It is ordained that He [Christ] increase, and that I decrease. He Who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all; and what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony. The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true" (vs 30-33).

This is important because the Jews came there and they wanted to know about Jesus; and, of course, it has an awful lot to do concerning Moses and concerning their traditions; and concerning what they believed.

Verse 34: "For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God…" This is referring directly to Christ; but this is also a test that you can test everyone who says he's a minister of God. Is he speaking the words of God?

  • if he's not speaking the words of God, then God didn't send him
  • if he speaks the words of God and misapplies them and twists them, then he's not from God

Speaking of Christ, v 34: "For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God; and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him" (vs 34-36). John knew and understood what was going on.

We'll see where then Moses enters into the formula here. Jesus was talking to the Jews who were after Him to kill Him because He healed the man who had the infirmity for 38 years.

John 5:36, Jesus says: "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works that the Father gave Me to complete, the very works that I am doing, themselves bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, Who sent Me, has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form at any time" (vs 36-37).

That's why, this again, is another proof that when Moses saw God it was not God the Father but it was the One Who became Jesus Christ.

Verse 38—a very key important verse, though they rely on Moses, here's something profound: "And you do not have His work dwelling in you, for you do not believe Him Whom He has sent. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life; and they are theones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves" (vs 38-42). Yes, that's why it became such a hateful religion, because it's not based on love.

Verse 43: "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, in whom you have hope" (vs 43-45).

But they didn't know the Scriptures. They trust in the name of Moses; but they didn't believe Moses. Isn't that interesting? Isn't that the way a lot of Protestants are? They trust in the name of Jesus but they don't believe Him! Same sin the Pharisees had.

Verse 46: "But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" (vs 46-47).

That also helps us understand why so many religions are off; because they really don't believe Moses, and they really don't believe the words of Christ. You've got to have both of them, "If you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" That was quite a confrontation.

John 9—this becomes really an interesting and very profound section here. Let's see what they said of Jesus. Remember He healed the man who had been born blind so he could see. And what He did, He made some clay out of spittle, you know, He got some dust and put it on His hands, spit in it and made some clay; put it on his eyes and told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam; he went and washed and he saw.

John 9:13: "They brought him who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Therefore, the Pharisees in turn also asked him how he had received sight. And he said to them, 'He put clay on my eyes, and I washed; and now I see.'…. [it was a simple matter] …Then some of the Pharisees said, 'This man is not from God because He does not keep the Sabbath.'…." (vs 13-16). According to whose interpretation? The Pharisees!

Let's see what they attribute to Moses; and this becomes important as to why Paul in Heb. 3 makes a comparison between Christ and Moses.

Verse 16: "…Others said, 'How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles?' And there was a division among them." They had a fight right there with the council of Sanhedrin, as to whether He was from God or not.

Verse 17: "They said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him since He opened your eyes?' And he said, 'He is a prophet.' However, the Jews did not believe this about him, that he was blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the one who had received sight. And they asked them, saying, 'Is this your son, who you say was born blind?…. [they didn't say, who was born blind] …How then does he now see?'" (vs 16-19). Well his parents were stuck; here they are at the board of inquisition.

Verse 20: "His parents answered them and said, 'We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind. But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.' His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed among themselves that if anyone confessed Him to be the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. For this reason, his parents said, 'He is of age; ask him.' Therefore, they called a second time for the man who had been born blind, and said to him, 'Give glory to God. We know that this Man is a sinner.' Then he answered and said, 'Whether He is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know, that I was blind, and now I see.' And they said to him again, 'What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?' He answered them, 'I have already told you, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you desire to become His disciples, too?'" (vs (20-27).

That really got them upset, v 28: "Then they railed at him and said, 'You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses. As for this Man, we do not know where He has come from'" (vs 28-29). Now you see it's a hard thing to get the Jews to look to Christ as greater than Moses.

Let's see that again with the Pharisees. We've covered this before in the past so I'm not going to go in great detail about it. The Pharisees could not get over the fact that they had to insist that the Gentile proselytes would be required to have circumcision. {see sermons on the Circumcision Wars}

Acts 15:1: "Now certain men who had come down from Judea were teaching the brethren…" They came down from Judea to Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas and the Christians were there.

"…saying, 'Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved'" (v 1). That created a great furor. They went on up to Jerusalem; they told the Church and the apostles what happened.

Verse 5: "But there stood up certain of those who believed, who were of the sect of the Pharisees…" Here are those that believed; they believed in Christ, but they still insisted upon circumcision because that's the way that they did with the proselytes and the synagogue before the advent of the Church.

"…saying, 'It is obligatory to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses'" (v 5).

In this case, the Law of Moses was not the Ten Commandments or the laws found in the Old Testament that we are to keep, this is their interpretation of the Law of Moses as fully expounded in the book called Code of Jewish Law, which are all the traditions of the Jews compiled into one book—thousands and thousands of their laws and traditions—and it begins with circumcision, and they call all of it the Law of Moses, because they feel that in making these traditions and laws they sit in the seat of Moses and have been given by God the authority to do so.

When they say here, "…Command them to keep the Law of Moses" that is as the Jews and the Pharisees kept it, which were vain traditions! Rejected God! So, it was a difficult proposition to get the Jews, or in this case the Hebrews, to separate themselves, to look to Christ instead of Moses—a great, great problem. This is why the comparison is made here. Moses was looked upon as the man, the prophet par excellence, if you want to put it that way. He makes the comparison by saying that Christ was faithful over the house, which He built, and we as the Christians are part of that house.

Hebrews 3:6: "…Whose house we are… [this also shows that Christ is the Head of the Church] …Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end."

Let's look at just a couple of things that are important here for us to understand. We are the house of God—those who have the Holy Spirit of God—part of the body of Christ that are growing in grace and knowledge. They are part of that which is being built up into a spiritual temple.

Ephesians 2:18: "For through Him we both have direct access… [Jews and Gentiles] …by one Spirit to the Father. So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God…. [Christ is faithful over that house] …You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone…. [not headstone, but cornerstone] …In Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (vs 18-22).

This agrees that Christ is over His own house. Now we have exactly the same thing here concerning the body. So the analogy is concerning

  • the house, which is the Church
  • the temple, which is the Church
  • the body, which is the Church

This tells the whole purpose of the ministry, Ephesians 4:12: "For the perfecting of the saints…" I think God is going to hold a lot of ministers accountable if they are not teaching with the view of perfecting the saints, because that's what God wants.

"…for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ" (v 12). Here it's likened unto a body, but it all fits the same thing. Edifying is the building up, and this is the same thing that is used for a house or a household, only instead of a noun this is the verb:

  • to build up
  • edifying
  • with love
  • with service
  • with Truth
  • with grace
  • with correction

all the things that are to be brought.

Verse 13: "Until we all come into the unity of the faith…" Isn't that interesting? Remember what we read, that Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren, to My God and your God; go to My brethren. Now here we have Paul reflecting the same thing here:

Until we all—Paul included with all the saints—"…come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man… [that means a full spiritually mature person] …unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (vs 13).

That's what we need to keep our focus and our mind on. That's what the book of Hebrews is warning as we're going to see when we get back there, is one of the strongest warnings in of all the New Testament. It's given to the Hebrews, and it has all of these comparisons so that they're going to have to understand that they're dealing directly with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

"…stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we no longer be children… [He wants us to grow up in Christ] …tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error; but holding the Truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ from Whom all the body, fitly framed… [joined together] …and compacted together by that which every joint supplies, according to its inner working in the measure of each individual part, is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (vs 13-16). That's the whole work that Christ is doing as a faithful High Priest over the house that God has given Him.

We're going to have to understand here that we're going to have to hold this confidence firm unto the end.

Matthew 24:13[transcriber's correction]: "But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved." It's not how you start, it's how you finish! And finish we must! And finish we will! Because Christ will make sure that we can finish.
Hebrews 3:7: "For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice.'" That's the whole theme of this.

  • God spoke to us
  • we heard His words
  • Christ came in the flesh
  • He was God in the flesh
  • He spoke the words of God

And remember those who won't hear the words of Christ, they don't have eternal life.

Verse 7: "Harden not your hearts, as in the rebellion…" You've got to listen! Regardless of the circumstances, Paul talks about persecution; he talks about difficulties; he talks about martyrdom. We will look at the rebellion in quite some detail a little later.

"…in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, 'They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.' So, I swore in My wrath, 'If they shall enter into My rest—'" (vs 7-11)—showing that there are qualifications for us, just like they are qualifications for entering into the Kingdom of God.

We'll see a little later on, this baloney that 'Christ is our Sabbath' is just so much intellectual stupidity; trying to sound like you don't have to keep anything that God has commanded you. If you don't have to keep anything, why then does He talk about rebellion? Rebellion then is going against what you're commanded to keep. Have to be, no doubt about it!

Verse 12, he gives a strong warning. After all that we've covered through, now here is the strongest warning that he gives: "Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God. Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today'…" (vs 12-13). That's very important because today, not tomorrow:

  • today you must hear His voice
  • today you must yield to God
  • today you must obey God
  • today you must love God
  • today you must apply yourselves

—because there may not be any tomorrow. What's the old saying? The way to hell is paved with good intentions! and good intentions are always done tomorrow. It says today!

"…so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (v 13). That was the whole problem, and is the problem of the Laodeceans, and this you could say is really a letter to the Laodeceans to come out of their sin. Sin is deceptive! There is pleasure in sin for a season and sin becomes deceitful. Every time you sin you figure out a way why it's okay that you do it. Pretty soon if God does not prick your conscience, or you do not allow your conscience to be pricked, then the hardness of the deceitfulness of sin will come upon you and you won't be able to repent! That's what he says when we get to the conclusion of this section coming into Heb. 6.

Verse 14: "For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end." What we might say is, you really need to grow in it, that you are going to have more confidence now then you had at the beginning; because if you do grow in grace and knowledge:

  • you're going to have more confidence
  • you're going to have more faith
  • you're going to endure to the end

and it's going to be stronger at the end rather than at the beginning. He's really trying to stir them up here. 'Look, you need to get back to the beginning.'

Verse 15: "As it is being said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.' For some, after hearing, did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He indignant for forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, except to those who had disobeyed?" (vs 15-18)—not just disbelief.

Now notice, if you disobey you do not have belief; they go hand-in-hand; v 19: "So we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief." Disobedience and unbelief go hand-in-hand!

Now then, he's talking about the Sabbath and he's quoting from Psa. 95, the lead in to Heb. 4 and Sabbath-keeping. Let's go to Psalm 95 which is the Sabbath Psalm. What is it that people disbelieve and disobey? They don't believe the commandment concerning the Sabbath, so they disobey and they harden their hearts and they rebel!

Psalm 95:1: "O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation." This is what we are to do on the Sabbath;

  • praise God
  • serve God
  • study His Word
  • learn to pray for each other
  • encourage each other
  • help each other

All of these things are important, and God knows we all have enough problems and difficulties that we all need the encouragement for everyone the best we can, isn't that true?

Verse 2: "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving…" [When? On the Sabbath Day!] …and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods" (vs 2-3).

Why would you be interested in any of the religions of this world if God is God, and Christ is His Son, and He's a great God, and a great King? What attraction would there be to you of any of these religions which are a counterfeit and substitute for the way if God? It shouldn't hold any attraction to you!

Verse 4 shows that He is in control of everything: "In His hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are also His. The sea is His, and He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. 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…." (vs 4-7).

Note John 10, Christ is the Shepherd. He brings him into the pasture. This is talking about it.

Verse 7: "…Today, if you would but hearken to His voice: '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'" (vs 7-10).

That is in spite of the fact that God was there in the presence of the people, as shown by the cloud in the daytime, and the pillar of fire by night, and Moses could have direct contact with God, they still didn't hear the voice of God and rebelled. So that's why no one should say, 'if I heard the voice of God,' or 'if God would reveal Himself to me then I would hear and then I would do. 'No you wouldn't; you'd be exactly the same as they were. So, they had a penalty happen to them.

Verse 11: "To whom I swore in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest."

That's quite a lesson for us! This, again, gets back to today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart! So this is quite a strong section of correction that we have here in Hebrews the third chapter.

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

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 2:9-11
  • John 20:17
  • Hebrews 2:12-13
  • Psalm 22:22-23
  • Matthew 20:20-28
  • Hebrews 2:14-17
  • Philippians 2:5-7
  • Genesis 1:26
  • Philippians 2:7-13
  • Hebrews 2:14
  • Revelation 20:10
  • Ezekiel 28:1-17
  • Isaiah 14:14-20
  • Ezekiel 28:18-19
  • Hebrews 2:17-18
  • Hebrews 3:1-6
  • John 3:25-36
  • John 5:36-47
  • John 9:13-29
  • Acts 15:1, 5
  • Hebrews 3:6
  • Ephesians 2:18-22
  • Ephesians 4:12-16
  • Matthew 24:13
  • Hebrews 3:7-19
  • Psalm 95:1-11

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 3:16
  • Revelation 19, 9
  • 2 Thessalonians 2
  • Revelation 12
  • Herbrews 1
  • John 10

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • The Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament
  • Circumcision Wars

Booklet: The Ministry is not the Government of the Church

Book: Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried and Hyman Goldin

Transcribed: 02/20/2007
Reformatted/Corrected: bo—January/2017