Christ Our High Priest

(Chapters 4-5)

Fred R. Coulter—February 16, 2002

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Let's understand that the book of Hebrews was written at a time when the Church was beginning to fall apart. That's happened many, many times in history. The reason that God does this—like we've seen in our day—is to scatter the Church. In scattering the Church, God does several things that are very important:

  • those who are false brethren go their way
  • it tests the true brethren whether they believe God or not
  • whether they will stick with God through think and thin

So, it's really quite a thing when you understand how God does that. It's not a matter that God is weak or impotent, or that God is not able to hold His Church together. Christ is doing it deliberately for the purpose of perfecting the brethren, and that's why the book of Hebrews is so important. There's one thing that's going to really help you

  • through thick and thin
  • through every trial
  • through every apparent contradiction
  • through everything that you would go through

is to know and understand that you have a High Priest like Jesus Christ! The whole theme of the book of Hebrews from here on in is about:

  • the greatness of Christ
  • the superiority of the New Covenant
  • how that God's way is so profound

We're here in Heb. 4, and we just finished the section that there is no person that 'is not laid bare before God.' God is a heart-knowing God and knows everything about us. He's the One Who has created us! He's the One Who has made us! We can't fool God!

I suppose we could take Abraham Lincoln's saying: you can fool some of the people all of the time; you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. We can say that you can never fool God at any time!

  • God knows
  • God is merciful
  • God is kind
  • God desires that you come to Him and that you pray to Him

Let's understand how this fits in with what Jesus preached. God uses all of these things to His advantage, to further His plan, because He knows those who are His.

Luke 12:1: "During this time, an innumerable multitude was gathering, crowding so close together that they were stepping on one another. First of all He began to speak to His disciples, saying, 'Guard yourselves from the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.'"

The parallel account in Matt. 16 shows it was their doctrine or their teachings. This has been a problem that has had to be purged out of the Church of God time and time again: false religious views creeping into the Church. You can see that as you read the accounts of the seven churches (Rev. 2-3). How that at various times they are confronted with those who deliberately come in:

  • to destroy
  • to tear down
  • to confuse
  • to bring false doctrine
  • to take away faith

All of those people are the agents of Satan the devil to draw people away from God! That's why he gave the warning here. And the Pharisees in this case represent all the 'religious' factions of the world down in prophecy, because they're really not much different.

Verse 2: "For there is nothing covered that shall not be uncovered, nor hidden that shall not be known. Therefore, whatever you have spoken in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and what you have spoken in the ear in closed rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops" (vs 2-3)

Enron should have read this before they did what they did, because it is being proclaimed from the housetops; likewise, everything else! That's why we have such things as the Vatican Assassin and My 50 Years in the Church of Rome. That's why we have the histories—though they try to be suppressed by the agents of Satan the devil—show the hatefulness that they have toward God. They don't want to admit that what Christ has is greater than anything that can do or produce. Therefore, there is that hatred.

There is another hatred that is there, because now there needs to be no man as a high priest between you and Christ. Christ is our High Priest; you need no man! You need someone to teach you how to have contact with God, to teach you the Scriptures. But your spiritual relationship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ. It's not dependent upon a man.

Verse 4: "But I tell you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that are not able to do anything more."

If you die in the faith—whether peacefully in old age or you're martyred—there's no more that any man can do to you at all; you have it made! The promise of God is sure! What this does, this takes away the grip of fear that 'religionists' hold over people. God doesn't want us to be fearful of a hierarchical system that holds power over us. The power over us is Christ and God the Father—there is none greater! We do not have to fear. That's why the Psalm says, 'I will not fear what man can do to me.' You may have pain or suffering for a while if you're martyred. Or if you're coming close to the end of your life, you may have pain and suffering and struggle.

  • God knows that
  • He designed it to bring you to that point
  • it's no surprise to God
  • God understands it
  • God knows it
  • He's purposed it

We don't have to be afraid.

Verse 5: "But I will show you Whom you should fear. Fear Him Who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into the fire of Gehenna…. [the second death] …Yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But even the hairs of your head have all been numbered. Therefore, do not be afraid; you are of greater value than many sparrows'" (vs 5-7).

When we come before God—God knows everything! God understands everything! He wants us to come before Him realizing that, because God is 'heart-knowing' God.

Verse 8: "And I tell you, everyone who shall confess Me before men shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God; but the one who has denied Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God" (vs 8-9).

This is the whole basis of what the book of Hebrews is for, so that they do not commit the unpardonable sin. There were some powerful forces going on.

Verse 10: "And everyone who shall say a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but the one who has blasphemed against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven. But when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how or what you should reply in defense, or what you should say; for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in that same hour what needs to be said'" (vs 10-12).

God knows that when we come before God in prayer, it is a tremendous and fantastic thing, brethren. You can truly confess your sins to God, because He knows and understands. Many times we don't like to admit, even to ourselves, what we have done, or how we are as human beings. But God knows!

Hebrews 4:14—this is the whole key of the rest of the book of Hebrews: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens…"

  • where no man can do anything
  • where no man can corrupt
  • where no man can take away
  • where no man can defeat

"…Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith" (v 14). You stop and think how many times in Heb. 2-3 where it says:

  • hold fast
  • don't give up
  • don't rebel
  • believe
  • obey

So, we should hold fast; here's the reason why, v 15: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses…" This means not only to sympathize, but have compassion; have the understanding. No human being can do the same as Christ. Why? Too many times we will have the attitude of the Pharisees! Remember the Pharisee that prayed?

I just wonder what it is like for a Catholic priest to sit there in the confessional booth and there is this little screen and the person comes in and the priest says, 'When was the last time you confessed?' It already puts them on the defensive, puts them in a position of shame. Then they tell it to a man! I wonder how many of them really hold the people in contempt when they confess their sins. I'm sure they don't fully confess all of them, because no man wants to tell another man; no woman wants to tell another woman or man everything that are the secrets of her or his carnal nature. Just does not want to do it. Why? Because you're fearful that it will be used against you! That's why!

And, yea, when you read Vatican Assassin they do use it against you, especially political people, to get them to do the political will of the Catholic Church. We don't go before a man, because too many would be like the Pharisee. I wonder how many Catholic priests, when they hear a confession, are like this Pharisee here:

Luke 18:9: "And to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others, He also spoke this parable."

That's the way human beings do. Even when you see somebody in trouble or see a problem that they have, or see a difficulty that they are going through, it is very easy to despise that person. It is very easy to say, 'Thank you, God, I'm not like that person.' Well, that's what the Pharisee was doing.

Verse 10: "Two men went up into the temple to pray…" That is coming right into the presence of God. Today we have access to the temple in heaven above, and we come before God the Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our High Priest and everyone who comes before Him it is open and laid bare.

"…the one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed with himself in this manner…" (vs 10-11). He wasn't really praying to God, he was bragging on himself to God. This is no prayer to God. This is a way of relating to God of 'how good I am.'

"…'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers—or even as this tax collector'" (v 11). The thing is, God expects everyone to obey the commandments of God.

  • if you're not an extortioner, you haven't done anything special
  • if you're not unjust, you haven't done anything special
  • if you're not an adulterer or adulteress, you've done nothing special

God expects that! Or even as this publican.

The publican is a tax collector. Of course, the IRS is the most despised to this day—are they not? You love to get your tax bill in the mail? When the tax bill comes you say, 'Oh thank you, tax man, you are so good.' Then you read it and you think THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! What are they doing with all the money? Tax collectors are the most easy to hate and the most invariably being hated down through the centuries.

Notice, he's still bragging on himself, v 12: "I fast twice in the week… [Hooray! Give him another merit badge!] …and I give a tithe of everything that I gain."—which he should.

Now the publican, v 13: "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat himself on the chest, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.'"

Before God, in his own eyes, he was the sinner! Not there was only one sinner in the world, but he viewed himself from that point of view.

Verse 14: "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled…" God does not want anyone to take the Word of God, create a 'religion' and exalt yourself over other people. Or, to make a 'religion' where you exalt yourself over other people. The whole basis of hierarchical churches is that.

The one who is abased, his day is coming; remember, it may come in a way that you would never expect.

"…and the one who humbles himself shall be exalted" (v 14). Who was one man—a boxer—who went around and said, 'I'm the greatest!' they even made a movie about him. Muhammad Ali! How was he abased? Was he struck down and killed? No! God just allowed the punishment of his sport—where he had his head beaten to a pulp so many times—that now he has Parkinson's disease so bad that it's hard for him to even function. I really feel sorry for him. I don't say that in a way of condemnation. I say that in a way of observation that the Word of God is true and those who do so will be taken care of.

Was not Adolph Hitler taken care of? Did he not exalt himself? Remember when he came to Paris and signed the peace treaty and he jumped up and clicked his heels just before he went into the railcar where they signed the Armistice of 1918? What was his death? Ignominious! Alone!

So, you can take this verse and apply it many, many different ways. Remember, what does the Scripture say, that you receive back into yourself the things that you've done in your life! Those things happen! Those things are automatic! God is there! God's Word is true!

But, "…the one who humbles himself shall be exalted" (v 14). That's why what's so important, brethren, in this day an age, because we live in an age where we have everything physical that we could ever want, and we are deprived of nothing! As you probably have commented and others have commented, we truly live in a Laodicean age. We're rich and increased with goods. If you don't believe that, compare your living standards with Afghanistan, and you'll have a good comparison.

Also, concerning the Word of God, we have more knowledge and understanding of the Word of God than at any time in the entire history of the Church. We are living a time where, at the end of the age that even Daniel was not given the blessing to understand the things that he prophesied. He was told, 'Go your way. At the time of the end, the wise shall understand, the wicked shall do wickedly and shall not understand' (Dan. 12)

We're living in that age. We're living in that time. We have so much of the understanding of the Word of God that we need to be very, very careful that we do not treat it in the same way that we do the physical blessings that we have—that we just take them for course, we take them for granted—because there will be a greater penalty for doing that than putting physical things before God.

That's why the book of Hebrews was written; to inspire you to want to maintain your relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, because you have the greatest gift of High Priest and relationship with God the Father. There is nothing in this life anywhere that can be compared to it. That's the whole purpose of it!

When we come to Christ, we have One Who knows. He knows everything about us, even the hairs on our head. He knows every thought if He needs to know it. Every thought that we've ever thought is recorded somewhere in our brain. God knows!

  • this is why Christ came
  • this is why God divested Himself of being God to become a human being

So that not only could He be the perfect sacrifice, but also He could experience the full range of human existence. Therefore:

  • He took upon Himself human nature
  • He took upon Himself the law of sin and death
  • He took upon Himself and subjected Himself to the temptations of Satan the devil
  • and even the cruelty of the death of the cross inflicted by Satan the devil

yes He did! Not only can He sympathize with our weaknesses, He can have compassion and understanding of our weaknesses.

Hebrews 4:15: "For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses…" The King James says 'infirmities'; but that sounds like 'sickness' today. It really means 'weaknesses.' Human nature has a lot of weaknesses. You end up doing a lot of things that you really don't want to do. Every one of us has to do like Colombo does when he forgets something, he hits the top of his forehead with his hand. We all do our little Colombo's—don't we? Yes!

"…but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin" (v 15). That wasn't because He could not sin. That was because He yielded to God!

Hebrews 5:7: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered" (vs 7-8). Christ was without sin with great difficulty, but:

  • by the power of God's Holy Spirit!
  • by determination of serving God in the right way!
    • knowing His purpose
    • knowing why He was here
    • knowing that He was the Creator and Savior of mankind

He was able to be without sin! That's really quite a thing. The whole operation is summarized in 2-Cor. 5. God thinks the opposite of the way human beings think. God does things differently. No one would think that God would do this, and that's why He did it.

2-Corinthians 5:21: "For He [God the Father] made Him Who knew no sin [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." He did become the spiritual personification of sin. Have to have been! He knew no sin!

Job certainly was not willing to admit that he was a sinner! He looked at his behavior—how good he was compared to other men, and indeed, in the flesh he was righteous—but wasn't willing to admit that he was a sinner. Do you think that Job would have taken the sins—he wouldn't have anyway—of his three friends who were just sitting there and say, 'I'm a miserable mess, go ahead and heap it on me. I'll take all your sins'? NO! But Christ did for the whole world! So He was literally made sin!

"…Who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (v 21).

That's a profound statement! That's why we have the time to grow and overcome, that we might be made"…the righteousness of God in Him." It's a process! So that when God looks at us, when we come before Him, we need to always acknowledge that we have nothing we didn't receive! Every single thing that we have—and this, brethren, is the key—

  • to where we don't get lifted up
  • to where we don't get lukewarm
  • to where we don't get complacent

—is when we realize that everything we have has come from God!

  • everything physical
  • everything spiritual

and yes, in the trials and difficulties that we go through

  • that He might test us
  • that He might prove us
  • that He might give us the conflict so that we can overcome

Christ had that conflict within Him, too; much more profoundly than we do. Then He was without sin!

Here's how we are to approach God. Hebrews 4:16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace…" Don't be afraid! Don't be fearful! If you have sinned, immediately run to the throne of God and repent!

This also has the meaning of being very frank with God:

  • coming to God
  • asking Him to hear
  • asking Him to help
  • claiming the promises of God

In claiming the promises of God it's very important, if God has given the promise, on whom then does it depend for the fulfillment of that promise, according to His will? It depends upon God to do it, and you to believe it!That's why we have to come to the point of really knowing and understanding and believing. That's they whole purpose of overcoming. When we doubt, we're like James said, 'just like the water tossed to and fro with the wind.' Water is very volatile.

When I do my water therapy I get in the pool, no one has been there for a while and it's just perfectly still. The only thing that gives you a hint that there's some motions is when the heater pumps in the warm water. Then you get in and you start making waves and the water is completely subject to whatever force there is against it. Whether it's the wind, or whether it's the motion of something, it has no stability of itself unless it's frozen solid. It's so temporary that even that will melt and it's so temporary that it can evaporate and be mist in the air.

Can you imagine what kind of faith that people would have if they had faith like water? One time they'd be frozen cold, not believe God at all. Other times they'd be driven to and fro like the waves. Other times it would just sort of disappear like a mist. No! We have to come with boldness!Remember this: If you know, God knows! Never forget that! If Christ is in you, He does know when you sin! Yes, He does! That's why you have a portion of the Holy Spirit. He does know.

That's why we need to come frank "…boldness to the throne of grace…" (v 16). It is a gift! You don't deserve it! You don't come like the Pharisee and say, 'God, here I am, I'm so good.' Watch out! Job's punishment may be coming upon you!

"…so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (v 16).

Let's see how this operates. We do have the things that we need to be doing, no question about it! No one can have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ unless they keep the commandments of God as Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.' And the relationship that we have with God is a love relationship, a one-to-one relationship.

1-John 1:3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ." That is a relationship.

I know that it is a tremendous and fantastic thing, brethren, but in the book of Hebrews God wants us to understand how great this is. Remember this: You have been given the blessing of the greatest thing that you can receive in this life with the Holy Spirit and access to God the Father and Jesus Christ! There is nothing greater! That means:

  • you have passed from death unto life
  • you have the gift of eternal life
  • you will live forever

There is no money; there is no position; there is no power on this earth that can do that! Many men have tried to live beyond their physical lives: witness all the mummies of the Pharaohs, but they're still dead. Though they stowed it away in their pyramids, they didn't take it with them. Like the old saying when they're at the funeral: How much did he leave? they ask of the rich man they were burying, Someone says, All of it!

God has called us the 'lowly' of the world—which we are, lest we get exalted and think we're not—to give us this great blessing. He does it in such a way that He wants us to have fellowship with Him. He wants us to be in right standing with Him. He wants us to be in instant communication with Him at any time. That's our relationship and fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full. And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is Light, and there is no darkness at all in Him. If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth" (vs 4-6).

Showing here that you cannot have part of the world and part of the Word of God. You cannot fellowship at the table of demons and the table of the Lord. That's walking in darkness.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light…"

  • the commandments are a light and a lamp
  • His Word is a Light
  • Christ is the Light
  • Christ is the Word

"…as He is in the Light…" (v 7).

How can we walk in the Light as He is in the light? That means we are coming to Christ continually! Then we will be in the Light as He is in the Light. If we're walking in the Light and we're covered by the grace of God and have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, are we not walking in the way that Christ walked? Yes! No doubt about it!

John 3:18: "The one who believes in Him is not judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged…" How many times have you heard people say, 'I don't believe in Christ'? Or the Muslims say they don't believe in Christ the Son of God. The Jews say they don't believe in Christ as the Son of God. They've already condemned themselves.

"…because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (v 18). That's how powerful this is that we're dealing with here.

Verse 19: "And this is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the Light because their works were evil."

They want to keep their own evil deeds. They want to have as much Christ as they can to make them feel good. Or, as much religion as they can to make them feel good, so that they can have a life which appears before men, to be righteous, which it's not. If it's righteousness before men it's not righteous before God. "…their works were evil."

Verse 20: "For everyone who practices evil hates the Light…" They don't like the light shining in on them. Like going down into a dark sewer and you don't know that it's full of rats and rotten putrefication until you turn the light on and they all scatter away.

"…and does not come to the Light… [they don't want to come to Christ] …so that his works may not be exposed; but the one who practices the Truth…" (vs 20-21). This is how you walk in the Light as He is in the Light: if we're practicing the Truth. What is Truth? The Word of God is Truth! We're to live by every Word of God!

"…comes to the Light…" (v 21)—constantly coming to Christ; constantly coming to God on an ongoing basis—everyday—constantly coming to the Light.

"…so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God" (v 21).

That's how we "…walk in the Light as He is in the Light." It's quite a marvelous thing! Therefore, let's understand how God wants us to come to Him with boldness. Here's how we are to do it.

1-John 1:7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another… [with God the Father and Jesus Christ and each other as brethren] …and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Not some of them, ALL of them! You have to understand, your individual sins. Christ died for you individually! He didn't come to just forgive some of your sins and then will throw you into purgatory and will let your relatives pay the high cost of masses until the priest determines that you're out of purgatory. The question is, how does he know? Or, does he declare it after he produces enough money? No!

Christ came to forgive you all your sins, every one of them! Not one is left unforgiven! There's a way you can have all your sins put back upon you, but you don't want that to happen.
Christ "…cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we do not have sin… [that means we have not done sin or we don't have a sinful nature] …we are deceiving ourselves… [Who is the only one without sin? Christ!] …and the Truth is not in us." (vs 7-8).

Like most people say, 'Well, God knows my heart; I'm a good person; I go to church every Sunday.' Mention to them about the Sabbath and they get angry. When a little light is brought on them they're exposed, they don't like it. Or with the Muslims: 'I pray five times in the day; I bow to Mecca and I go to the mosque on Friday; aren't I good and righteous?' Or the Jews who reject Christ would say… Even the Jew who is devout. What is a 'devout' Jew? A non-believer! We need to understand these things.

Here is how we come to the throne of God, v 9: "If we confess our own sins…" We have to do that; it doesn't say to a priest, because we're going to see that we have a High Priest Who is greater than any man could possibly be on this earth.

"…He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (v 9). That is a tremendous, marvelous blessing! We stand before God that way! Not because of what we do.

Let me just mention here something that is important: No law of any kind can make you justified before God! Because the function of law—in relationship to God—is to show what righteousness and sin is. The law of itself has absolutely no power to do anything except define for you the transgression of the law and sin. The Law cannot forgive sin! The Law cannot justify you from sin! No religion, no work of law, that any man can do can substitute for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! You are justified by Christ—His sacrifice, His blood and His alone—but, He requires your obedience!

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

No Catholic priest, no Protestant minister, no imam of the Muslims or Buddhist priest or Hindu priest or shaman of any religion anywhere in the world can forgive your sins. Sin is against God and only God can forgive sins—through Christ—and that is the only means of forgiveness. People go through a confessional and the priest says your sins are forgiven, after you've done a hundred 'hail Marys' and two hundred 'our fathers.' You see how men do it? They do it with a condition so they can hold you in their control. Christ says they're all forgiven! But like He told the woman caught in the act of adultery—when no one came forth to condemn her because they didn't bring the man as well as the woman—'Where are those who condemn you? Does no man condemn you?' No man, Lord. 'Neither do I, go and sin no more.'

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." That's a pretty powerful thing if you make God a liar. How many people do that with the Word of God? How is that Protestants make God a liar? By misinterpreting the Scriptures!

Romans 9:30—there's a very instructive lesson here: "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not follow after righteousness, have attained righteousness, even the righteousness that is by faith. But Israel, although they followed after a law of righteousness, did not attain to a law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by works of law…" (vs 30-32).

That becomes very important in interpreting Rom. 10:4. Also note that in the King James the insertion of the definite article of the works of the law is not correct. Those two definite articles are not there in the Greek. Not having to do with the Ten Commandments, because God requires that we keep those. And even though we keep them, that doesn't forgive sin!

How many times have I mentioned the Code of Jewish Law where they have works of law? One of the works of law of Catholicism is after you confess your sins you do 'hail Marys' and 'our fathers' or you do other charitable works. Those are works of law. I don't know what works of law that the Muslims have, but I also know that they use beads for their prayers and things like this.

"…for they stumbled at the Stone of Stumbling [Christ]" (v 32). What happens? When you come to Christ you give up all your works, all of your works of righteousness. Even if they did follow everything that God said in the Old Testament, and of the rituals to be performed at the temple—even if they did all of those—they still cannot substitute for the sacrifice of Christ. That didn't get them beyond being justified in the flesh to the temple. Here we're talking about being justified to God the Father in heaven above. Remember the phrase: works of law.

Verse 33: "Exactly as it is written: 'Behold, I place in Sion a Stone of Stumbling and a Rock of offense, but everyone who believes in Him shall not be ashamed.'"

Romans 10:1: "Brethren, the earnest desire of my heart and my supplication to God for Israel is for salvation. For I testify of them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" (vs 1-2).

That applies to all Israel—whether they are Jewish, of the ten tribes—which most of them are Protestant and Catholic. "…they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." We saw that happen with the 9/11 event. They go on their way, but as soon as trouble comes they come back and they mouth the name of God. Yes, "…they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." They didn't repent! They didn't change! They came back and said how good they are. How much they deserve 'You help us, God.' "…not according to knowledge"—and that means not according to the knowledge of God and not according to the knowledge of Christ.

Verse 3: "For they, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness… [as we saw by works of law] …have not submitted to the righteousness of God."

The King James Version of v 4, is the biggest violation of the Protestants. Here's where they go to bring in a lawless grace: "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes." Therefore, they proclaim there is no law that you have to keep. All you have to do is believe in Christ and you are saved and anything you do after that time, as long as you feel good about it, that's just fine.

  • that is making Christ a minister of sin
  • that is making the grace of God lawlessness

That is not what that verse means. What is the subject? Rom. 9:32, works of law! And by extension, since it goes right on, v 4 should read:

Verse 4: "For Christ is the end of works of law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

He ended the works of law. Everything else that we have covered in the Code of Jewish Law, all the human traditions which the Jews follow, all the human traditions of the Catholics, the Orthodox, the Protestants, the Muslims, the Hindus and the Buddhists. Because we live in a diverse society, we've got to include all of them. God's controversy is not just with the Protestants and Catholics, it's with the whole human race and all of their religions. It is with the harlot Babylon, the mother of harlots and all of her daughters. They're all the religions of this world.

You have to include all of them. If a person comes to Christ who has been in the steeps of satanic superstition and religion in the darkness of whatever country they may live in—whether it be in the rain forest of Brazil or Africa or Southeast Asia, whatever it may be—they have to give up their works of law or their own righteousness or superstition.

Let me give you an example of how some people do today: People are superstitious so they have little idols and crucifixes. They used to have the so-called St. Christopher, because he was to protect you. Then the Vatican declared that Christopher was not a saint. What's going to happen to all those people who were depending upon him. So, if you have a little statue or idol or cross on the front of your car, on the dashboard, thinking that God is going to protect you because you have it, that's a work of law. That is a superstition. That is an idol and it doesn't come from God.

Rather, if you want to be protected while you're traveling, pray in belief to God the Father and Jesus Christ that They will place the angels about you when you travel, and have faith when you drive and you'll be fine. The idol isn't going to do anything. Is the idol going to stop a car that comes smashing into you? Is your rosary, hung around the rearview mirror, going to give you any greater protection because there's superstition there? NO!

Those are works of law! Just like the Hindu men who wear turbans; they have long hair and that's one of their works of law. God says it's 'a shame for men to have long hair.' Look what happened when some people retaliated against someone with a turban after 9/11. Indignation and wrath, because it's against one of their works of law. Listen, all the stupid religious practices by men are nothing more than works of law. People walk into a Catholic cathedral and they have to genuflect before the idol because 'Christ is in the bread.' NO! Christ is in heaven! Christ didn't come to do away with the laws and commandments of God! No way!

What did He say, Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." So, every Protestant minister, or every minister who goes here to Rom. 10:4 and proclaims that Christ ended the Law and we don't have to keep the commandments is a liar! That's not what it means. It means that Christ brought an end to the works of law for righteousness. What were they doing? They weren't seeking the righteousness of God and being ignorant of that through Christ. If you don't believe in Christ you have to have some religion, so you create your own.

Romans 10:3: "For they, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God."
That's a very profound thing, brethren. You need to understand that. The only way you have forgiveness of sin is through Christ, that's it!

  • Will He forgive you over and over again? Yes! As many times as you repent and ask Him to forgive you!
  • What if you have weakness that just drags you down?
  • Will He forgive you? Yes!
  • Does He understand the weakness? Yes!
  • Does He know it's a temptation? Yes!
  • Does He throw you out, or kick you out, because of it? No!
  • Does He want to punish you because of it? No, if you repent and sincerely ask God to give you the strength, through His Holy Spirit, to overcome!

If you do that continually, lo, I guarantee you the day will come that you will say to yourself: 'Thank you, God, I have overcome it.' You can be guaranteed that will happen.

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin…. [we don't want to sin] …And yet, if anyone does sin… [which we will] …we have an Advocate…" Our great High Priest that is passed into heaven is advocating. Not condemning! Not finger-pointing! Advocating!

"…with the Father… [the Sovereign God of the whole universe] …—Jesus Christ the Righteous—and He is the propitiation… [meaning the continual Source of forgiveness or mercy seat] …for our sins… [lest we get conceited he writes the following]: …and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (vs 1-2).

Of course, we know in God's plan, as it unfolds through the Holy Days, how He's going to bring it to the world. It's a marvelous plan, brethren. Just realize how few really understand it. It's the most precious, greatest knowledge you can have.

He makes it very clear, v 3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him…" God wants you to know that you know Him; He doesn't want you to be in doubt. He wants you to know that you know. If you really have doubts then what you need to do is take it to God and say, 'God, I believe, but help my unbelief.' He will help you.

"…if we keep His commandments. The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (vs 3-4). It sure shows there are a lot of liars out there.

Here's our obligation, v 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word… [live by every Word of God! Live by every Word of Christ] …truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…." That's the whole goal of:

  • growing
  • overcoming
  • confessing sin
  • being cleansed from all unrighteousness

"…By this means… [by the process of perfection] …we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (vs 5-6).

Now, show me one place in the New Testament or in the Gospels:

  • where Christ broke one command
  • where Christ broke the Sabbath
  • where Christ broke the Holy Days
  • where Christ transgressed any commandment of God

He didn't, did He? No!

So therefore, what is our obligation? The Greek means it is 'obligatory for you to walk as He walked.' We do that! That's why we have to have the throne of grace. That's why we have to go before the throne of grace, receive the mercy, forgiveness and kindness that comes from God. That's how you maintain your relationship with Him.

Get out your concordance and go through the Psalms and look up all things where the word 'hear' is: 'hear Me'; come to God—and sometimes in coming in boldness toward God you just have to say, 'God, hear me'—like David did. Just look up all of those in the Psalms and I think that will really help you understand how you need to come to God to pray, to understand the things that are there.

Here is the comparison, Heb. 5. We have the comparison, which is really quite profound, quite good. We're talking about the old office of the high priest.

Hebrews 5:1: "For every high priest, being taken from among men to act in behalf of men, is appointed to serve in the things pertaining to God in order that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; and he is able to deal gently with those who sin in ignorance…" (vs 1-2)—gently in an understanding way, but not as compared to Christ Who sympathizes and has compassion with us.

"…and those who have been led astray, since he himself is also encumbered with many weaknesses. And because of these weaknesses, he is obligated also to offer sacrifices for his own sins, exactly as he does for the people" (vs 1-3).

You can read of that in the books of Leviticus, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. You can see that he has to give those sacrifices, especially on the Day of Atonement. He has to offer all those sacrifices before he can dare enter into the Holy of Holies.

Verse 4: "Now no man takes the honor of the high priesthood upon himself…" We have combined with this the high priesthood. He's to act on behalf of the people. And because he has weaknesses and sins, he has his own humility.

"…but only he who is called by God, in the same way as Aaron also was called" (v 4). That's why God put it by bloodline; to end all arguments.

Remember Num. 12 where they had the rebellion of Korah. They said, 'Who are you to set yourself up, Moses and Aaron, to be rulers over us?' Well, God set it up by bloodline to end the dispute! Any man that would come in there would be encompassed with his own weaknesses and sin. So, God ended the debate! There was no oath that was given; it was by appointment.

Christ we look at and it starts out here, v 5: "In this same manner also, Christ did not glorify Himself to become a High Priest, but He Who said to Him, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You.'" In other words, God did it by proclamation; by begettal.

Verse 6: "Even as He also says in another place, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec'" Now we have for the very first time the introduction of Christ as High Priest.

"…according to the order of Melchisedec": The order of Melchisedec's priesthood was so much greater, and the whole purpose of the rest of the book of Hebrews is to show how much greater the priesthood of Christ in the order of Melchisedec was than the order of Aaron.

Verse 7 shows Christ humiliation; Christ Who gave up being God to become a human being to suffer these things. No priest on earth ever suffered these things. That's why we have a greater High Priest.

Verse 7: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered" (vs 7-8). He understands how hard and difficult it was for human beings.

Verse 9: "And having been perfected…" As a human being, then He was perfected as High Priest; fighting off all the sins; overcoming all the flesh; overcoming Satan the devil. You go back and you read in the Old Testament, even David—who was a man after God's own heart—was provoked to number Israel? Who provoked him? Satan did! Was he subject weakness and sin? Yes, he was! Was he a bloody man? Yes, he was! Christ then:

Verse 9: "And having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, after He had been designated by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 9-10). That's really quite a thing!

Let's see where this is given. It's really quite a very interesting Psalm; Psalm 110:1 "The LORD said unto my Lord…" Jehovah says to Adonai—there's only one vowel point difference between Jehovah and Adonai, so it would not be wrong to say, 'the Lord [Jehovah] said to my Jehovah.

"…'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies as Your footstool'" (v 1). Here we have the revelation of the Father. There are very few revelations of the Father in the Old Testament. Here's one of them.

Remember when the Pharisees were confronting Jesus and Jesus said, 'I want to ask you a question: Who is the Christ?' The Son of David! 'Tell Me, how is it then that David calls Him LORD if He is the Son?' They couldn't figure it out, because they didn't understand the Scriptures. This is a prophecy. The first LORD is the Father; the second one is the Son.' Let's also ask, Who was David's Lord? Was it another man? NO! It was God! "…'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies as Your footstool.'"

We have a reference of this in 1-Corinthians 15:23, and here we have this spoken of by Christ: "But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming. Afterwards the end comes, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to Him Who is God and Father, when He shall have put an end to all rule and all authority and power. For it is ordained that He reign until He has put all enemies under His feet" (vs 23-25). That's taken right from Psa. 110.

Verse 26: "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when it is said that all things have been put in subjection, it is clearly evident that it does not include Him Who put all things in subjection under Him. But when He has put all things in subjection to Him, then shall the Son Himself also be subject to Him Who put all things in subjection to Him, so that God may be all in all" (vs 23-28).

That's why the New Testament greater than the Old Testament. You need both of them, no question about it, but the New Testament is greater than the Old Testament because the New Testament interprets the Old Testament, and shows the fulfillment of the things in the Old Testament.

Psalm 110:4: "The LORD has sworn and will not repent, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.'…. [a prophecy of Christ] …The LORD at Your right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath…. [the second coming of Christ] …He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill them with dead bodies… [the seven last plagues] …He shall shatter chief men over the broad earth. He shall drink of the brook by the way; therefore He shall lift up the head" (vs 4-7).

Showing the fulfillment of the coming Kingdom of God. That's quite a thing: After the order of Melchisedec. This is the first place that that is mentioned.

It's important for us, brethren, to understand and realize that that's the kind of Priest that we have. Let's also see something else that's important, that Christ did not glorify Himself to make Himself a priest. He didn't come to do His own will, but the will of the Father that sent Him.

John 5:19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself…'" He didn't do one thing contrary to the will and purpose and leading of the Holy Spirit of God the Father.

"…but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing. And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder" (vs 19-20).

Verse 30: "'I have no power to do anything of Myself… [that's a profound statement] …but as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father, Who sent Me. If I bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true'" (vs 30-31).

He didn't come to glorify Himself. He asked the Father to glorify Him with the glory that He had with Him before the world was. That means before the world existed!

John 17:4: "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed" (vs 4-5). So, He didn't seek to glorify Himself. He didn't seek to exalt Himself.

You read of all the other mythical gods of the Greeks and the other pagans, and every one of those counterfeit, 'divine' births as it were, were of men who bragged on their abilities because they were conceived of god.

  • Christ did not!
  • He didn't glorify Himself!
  • He did not exalt Himself!
  • But, He did the will of God!

That's why He is designated as a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec!

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

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 12:1-12
  • Hebrews 4:14-15
  • Luke 18:9-14
  • Hebrews 4:15
  • Hebrews 5:7-8
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Hebrews 4:16
  • 1 John 1:3-7
  • John 3:18-21
  • 1 John 1:7-10
  • Romans 9:30-33
  • Romans 10:1-4
  • Matthew 5:17
  • Romans 10:3
  • 1 John 2:1-6
  • Hebrews 5:1-10
  • Psalm 110:1
  • 1 Corinthians 15:23-28
  • Psalm 110:4-7
  • John 5:19-20, 30-31
  • John 17:4-5

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 16
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Hebrews 2; 3
  • Daniel 12
  • Job 31:1
  • Numbers 12

Also referenced: Books:

  • Vatican Assassin by Mike Luoma
  • My 50 Years in the Church of Rome by Charles Chiniqy
  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman Goldin

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 5-1-11
Reformatted/Corrected: January/2017