HEBREWS 3 COMME TARY

Edited by Glenn Pease

PREFACE
I have compiled the teachings of older and newer commentators and preachers. Sometimes I quote entire sermons that deal with the whole contexts of the verses. They do not all agree in their interpretation, and so the reader has to discern the value of different perspectives. I think that each perspective has value, and if we recognize the value of paradox, we can accept opposite views as being a part of the whole. If any I quote do not want their wisdom and insights shared in this way, they can let me know, and I will remove their quotes. My e-mail is glenn_p86@yahoo.com

I TRODUCTIO
1. Review: “Remember that the epistle of Hebrews was written to Hebrew Christians that were in danger of falling back into trusting Judaism to save them. Some of them were trusting in the prophets, but Jesus is greater than the prophets. Some were looking to angels, but Jesus is higher than the angels. Some were looking to Moses, and as chapter three will unfold, the author will compare Jesus with Moses.” 2. It is one of the great themes of American history that all men are created equal. We have seen that all words are not equal, even if they are God’s words. All creatures are not equal for Christ is superior to angels. And now we see that not all leaders are equal. If I say Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which is most famous and the greatest hero of Israel’s history? It is Abraham who is first, and then Jacob, and Isaac is third. If I say Moses and Aaron, which is greatest? If I list all the kings from Saul to Solomon, we see David as among the greatest. The point is, there are clear categories of superiority even on the level of men. When we add the Son of God it is obvious that He will take the place of supremacy. A back to the Bible movement among the Jews meant back to Moses. He wrote their Bible. You can’t get any more important than that. He was the one man by whom God revealed himself, and he was the greatest lawgiver in history. Moses was the only leader of Israel who did what he did. He led them out of Egypt and saved them many time’s, he saw more miracles than anyone. He had face to face conversations with God so that his face shined with brilliance. He carried a heavier burden than any leader we know of in Israel’s history. It is no wonder Jewish Christians were tempted to return to Moses and his law. In the Old Testament the number one problem was that God’s people did not believe God. He sent His prophets and they told them to get lost, and they rejected God’s Word to them. What is your reaction to somebody who will not believe you? God’s reaction to unbelief was anger. Why do we as parents get angry at our kids? It is because they will not listen and do what is best for them and all concerned. Disobedient children are the biggest pain in the world, and if you don’t believe it, ask God. It is a day of much child abuse, and also a day of neglect of discipline. The Christian is caught in a bind. If you spank your kids you can hurt them and get reported by a

teacher or some other authority. But if you let them go undisciplined they become rebels and not submissive to authority. We need to experience pain without scars, so that there is suffering without injury. God said to Israel, you don’t get to go where you want to go-the Promised Land. He deprived them of a desire, and this is a good idea for that can hurt longer and be more painful than a physical hurt. The question is, are these true Christians who are in danger of unbelief? Look at the names he calls them. In verse 1 they are called holy brothers. I looked up every use of this word hagios in the ew Testament, and it is always used of positive holy people, angels, places, saints, Holy Spirit, and things. If these people are not true saints, this is the only use of the word in 161 places that is not positive. They also share in the heavenly calling, and this is not true of non-believers. All of the terms point clearly to these being believers. ew Testament saints are able to be just as hardened as Old Testament saints. Calvinist and Arminians go round and round on this issue, but I believe both are right. How can Christians be once saved always saved, and still be a rebel out of God’s will and under His wrath? The Old Testament people were condemned to die in the desert, and they lost their chance to enter the Promised Land, but there is no basis for believing they will not be a part of the eternal kingdom. Moses did not get in either but he will be heaven. Christians who apostasize are Christians who are lost in the sense that they perish in judgment and lose abundant life, rewards and gifts, but still will be a part of the eternal kingdom. Judgment and hell are not the same. They lose time but not eternity. In I Cor. 5:5 we see one who is turned over the Satan for judgment, and yet they are still saved. 3. Author unknown, “The Context and Superiority of Christ. Chapter 3 opens with a comparison of Christ and Moses as leaders. Moses is praised for his role as a servant (Heb. 5:5), but Christ is praised because He is the Son (Heb. 5:6). Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the future inheritance rest that Christ will bring to those who persevere. The Sin and Possible Problem. The author warns the Hebrews of the hardness of heart that comes from the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:12-13) and of not listening the Christ (Heb. 3:7-8), their leader. The Warning and Consequences. The consequences of hardness is being denied the opportunity to be a partaker of Christ (Heb. 2:14) and of not entering the inheritance rest (Heb. 4:6, 11). The Exhortation and Encouragement. The Hebrews are encouraged to "hold fast" (Heb. 2:14) and to "be diligent" (Heb. 4:11) so that they will not fall and forfeit their inheritance. Old Testament Examples. In umbers 13-14, the Israelites did not trust that God would allow them to enter Canaan ( um. 13:31). Because of their hardness of heart and unbelief, God did not allow them to enter their inheritance, the land of Israel ( um. 14:22-23. Only Caleb and Joshua, because of their belief were allowed in ( um. 14:24). ew Testament Cross References. In I Cor. 9:24-27, Paul likens the Christian life to race that he trains for so he would not be "disqualified" for the prize. In II Tim. 2:11-13, Paul tells Timothy that Christ will deny rewards (which Paul discusses in 2:1-10) to anyone that denies Christ in this life. They are justified and "God will remain faithful," but they will lose reward because of their life. The term "fall away" in Gal. 5:4 is translated from a different Greek verb (Hebrews: aposteenia, Galatians: exepesate) and represents a different concept. In Galations, Paul is

warning against turning to legalism, which results in a believer placing himself under the law. This causes him to fall from a state of grace to living under the Law. 4. “The Original Audience. The book has been labelled "Hebrews" because the audience was composed of Jewish Christians. That the audience is Jewish is obvious from the extensive Old Testament quotations (from Genesis, the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk) and the discussion of topics such as sacrifices, the tabernacle, the Old and ew Covenants and the faith of the Old Testament heros. That the readers are genuine believers is indicated by the use of the word "brethren" (Heb. 2:11; 3:1, 12; 10:19; 13:22) and the word "we" in several of the warnings (Heb. 2:1; 3:6, 14; 6:3; 10:26; 12:25) and of justified people (Heb. 4:15; 8:1; 10:10; 11:3; 12:20; 12:28; 13:6, 14).” author unknown

Jesus Greater Than Moses 1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

1. Barnes, “Wherefore - That is, since Christ sustains such a character as has been stated in the previous chapter; since he is so able to succour those who need assistance; since he assumed our nature that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest, his character ought to be attentively considered, and we ought to endeavor fully to understand it. Holy brethren - The name “brethren” is often given to Christians to denote that they are of one family. It is “possible,” also, that the apostle may have used the word here in a double sense denoting that they were his brethren as “Christians,” and as “Jews.” The word “holy” is applied to them to denote that they were set apart to God, or that they were sanctified. The Jews were often called a “holy people,” as being consecrated to God; and Christians are holy, not only as consecrated to God, but as sanctified. Partakers of the heavenly calling - On the meaning of the word “calling,” see the notes at Eph_4:1. The “heavenly calling” denotes the calling which was given to them from heaven, or which was of a heavenly nature. It pertained to heaven, not to earth; it came from heaven, not from earth; it was a calling to the reward and happiness of heaven, and not to the pleasures and honors of the world. Consider - Attentively ponder all that is said of the Messiah. Think of his rank; his dignity; his holiness; his sufferings; his death; his resurrection, ascension, intercession. Think of him that you may see the claims to a holy life; that you may learn to bear trials; that you may be kept from apostasy. The character and work of the Son of God are worthy of the profound and prayerful consideration of every man; and especially every Christian should reflect much on him. Of the friend that we love we think much; but what friend have we like the Lord Jesus?

The apostle - The word “apostle” is nowhere else applied to the Lord Jesus. The word means one who “is sent” - and in this sense it might be applied to the Redeemer as one “sent” by God, or as by way of eminence the one sent by him. But the connection seems to demand that; there should be some allusion here to one who sustained a similar rank among the Jews; and it is probable that the allusion is to Moses, as having been the great apostle of God to the Jewish people, and that Paul here means to say, that the Lord Jesus, under the new dispensation, filled the place of Moses and of the high priest under the old, and that the office of “apostle” and “high priest,” instead of being now separated, as it was between Moses and Aaron under the old dispensation, was now blended in the Messiah. The name “apostle” is not indeed given to Moses directly in the Old Testament, but the verb from which the Hebrew word for apostle is derived is frequently given him. Thus, in Exo_3:10, it is said, “Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh.” And in Heb_3:13, “The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you.” So also in Heb_3:14-15, of the same chapter. From the word there used - ‫ שׁלח‬shaalach - “to send.” The word denoting “apostle” - ‫ שׁליח‬shaliyach - is derived; and it is not improbable that Moses would be regarded as being by way of eminence the one “sent” by God. Further, the Jews applied the word ” - ‫ שׁליח‬shaliyach - “apostle,” to the minister of the synagogue; to him who presided over its affairs, and who had the general charge of the services there; and in this sense it might be applied by way of eminence to Moses as being the general director and controller of the religious affairs of the nation, and as “sent” for that purpose. The object of Paul is to show that the Lord Jesus in the Christian system - as the great apostle sent from God - sustained a rank and office similar to this, but superior in dignity and authority. And High Priest - One great object of this Epistle is to compare the Lord Jesus with the high priest of the Jews, and to show that he was in all respects superior. This was important, because the office of high priest was what eminently distinguished the Jewish religion, and because the Christian religion proposed to abolish that. It became necessary, therefore, to show that all that was dignified and valuable in that office was to be found in the Christian system. This was done by showing that in the Lord Jesus was found all the characteristics of a high priest, and that all the functions which had been performed in the Jewish ritual were performed by him, and that all which had been prefigured by the Jewish high priest was fulfilled in him. The apostle here merely alludes to him, or names him as the high priest, and then postpones the consideration of his character in that respect until after he had compared him with Moses. Of our profession - Of our religion; of that religion which we profess. The apostle and high priest whom we confessed as ours when we embraced the Christian religion.

2. Clarke, “Holy brethren - Persons consecrated to God, as the word literally implies, and called, in consequence, to be holy in heart, holy in life, and useful in the world. The Israelites are often called a holy people, saints, etc., because consecrated to God, and because they were bound by their profession to be holy; and yet these appellations are given to them in numberless instances where they were very unholy. The not attending to this circumstance, and the not discerning between actual positive holiness, and the call to it, as the consecration of the persons, has led many commentators and preachers into destructive mistakes. Antinomianism has had its origin here: and as it was found that many persons were called saints, who, in many respects, were miserable sinners, hence it has been inferred that they were called saints in reference to a holiness which they had in another; and hence the Antinomian imputation of Christ’s righteousness to unholy believers, whose hearts were abominable before God, and whose lives were a scandal to the Gospel. Let, therefore, a due distinction be made between persons by their profession holy, i.e. consecrated to God; and persons who are faithful to that profession, and are both inwardly and

outwardly holy. They are not all Israel who are of Israel: a man, by a literal circumcision, may be a Jew outwardly; but the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit makes a man a Jew inwardly. A man may be a Christian in profession, and not such in heart; and those who pretend that, although they are unholy in themselves, they are reputed holy in Christ, because his righteousness is imputed to them, most awfully deceive their own souls. Dr. Owen has spoken well on the necessity of personal holiness against the Antinomians of his day. “If a man be not made holy he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. It is this that makes them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light; as without it they are not meet for their duty, so are they not capable of their reward. Yea, heaven itself, in the true light and notion of it, is undesirable to an unsanctified person. Such a one neither can nor would enjoy God if he might. In a word, there is no one thing required of the sons of God that an unsanctified person can do, and no one thing promised unto them that he can enjoy. “There is surely then a woful mistake in the world. If Christ sanctify all whom he saves, many will appear to have been mistaken in their expectations at another day. It is grown amongst us almost an abhorrency to all flesh to say, the Church of God is to be holy. What! though God has promised that it should be so; that Christ has undertaken to make it so? What! if it be required to be so? What! if all the duties of it be rejected of God, if it be not so? It is all one, if men be baptized, whether they will or not, and outwardly profess the name of Christ, though not one of them be truly sanctified, yet they are, it is said, the Church of Christ. Why then let them be so; but what are they the better for it? Are their persons or their services therefore accepted with God? Are they related or united to Christ? Are they under his conduct unto glory? Are they meet for the inheritance of the saints in light? ot at all: not all nor any of these things do they obtain thereby. What is it then that they get by the furious contest which they make for the reputation of this privilege? Only this: that, satisfying their minds by it, resting if not priding themselves in it, they obtain many advantages to stifle all convictions of their condition, and so perish unavoidably. A sad success, and for ever to be bewailed! Yet is there nothing at all at this day more contended for in this world than that Christ might be thought to be a captain of salvation to them, unto whom he is not a sanctifier; that he may have an unholy Church, a dead body. These things tend neither to the glory of Christ, nor to the good of the souls of men. Let none then deceive themselves; sanctification is a qualification indispensably necessary to them who will be under the conduct of the Lord Christ unto salvation; he leads none to heaven but whom he sanctifies on earth. The holy God will not receive unholy persons. This living head will not admit of dead members, nor bring men into possession of a glory which they neither love nor like.” Heavenly calling - The Israelites had an earthly calling; they were called out of Egypt to go into the promised land: Christians have a heavenly calling; they are invited to leave the bondage of sin, and go to the kingdom of God. These were made partakers of this calling; they had already embraced the Gospel, and were brought into a state of salvation. Apostle and High Priest of our profession - Among the Jews the high priest was considered to be also the apostle of God; and it is in conformity to this notion that the apostle speaks. And he exhorts the Hebrews to consider Jesus Christ to be both their High Priest and Apostle; and to expect these offices to be henceforth fulfilled by him, and by him alone. This was the fullest intimation that the Mosaic economy was at an end, and the priesthood changed. By της ὁµολογιας ἡµων, our profession, or that confession of ours, the apostle undoubtedly means the Christian religion. Jesus was the Apostle of the Father, and has given to mankind the new covenant; and we are to consider the whole system of Christianity as coming immediately from him. Every system of religion must have a priest and a prophet; the one to declare the will of God, the other to minister in holy things. Moses was the apostle under the old testament, and Aaron the priest. When Moses was removed, the prophets succeeded him; and the sons of Aaron

were the priests after the death of their father. This system is now annulled; and Jesus is the Prophet who declares the Father’s will, and he is the Priest who ministers in the things pertaining to God, see Heb_2:17; as he makes atonement for the sins of the people, and is the Mediator between God and man.

3. Gill, “Wherefore, holy brethren,.... The apostle calls the Hebrews "brethren", not because they were of the same natural stock and lineage, but because they were in the same spiritual relation; they all had the same Father, belonged to the same family, were the adopted sons of God, the brethren of Christ, of one another, and of the apostle; and they were "holy", not by birth, nor by their external separation from other nations, but through sanctification of the Spirit; and they were so by profession, and in the opinion of the apostle: partakers of the heavenly calling; by which is meant not any business, or employment of life; nor a call to any office in church or state; nor a mere external call by the ministry of the word; but an internal special call of grace, to the enjoyment of the blessings of grace here, and to glory hereafter; and which is not according, to works, but according to the grace of God, and is by powerful, efficacious, and irresistible grace: and this is said to be "heavenly", because the grace by which the saints are called is from heaven, and it is to heaven they are called; and the means of their calling, the Gospel, is from heaven; and this epistle epithet is used to show the excellency of their calling, and to distinguish it from all others: and this the Hebrews are said to be "partakers of"; which shows, that God had not utterly cast off that people, and yet that they were not the only persons that enjoyed the grace of the effectual calling, they were but partners with others; and that the saints are alike sharers in this blessing, they are called in one hope of their calling; and it denotes the truth and reality of it: the duty they are exhorted to is, to consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, read, only "Jesus"; who is called "the apostle", because he was sent of God to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and do the will of God, particularly to obtain redemption and salvation for his people, which mission does not suppose any inequality of persons, or change of place, or any compulsion or disrespect to Christ, but love to men; and is to be understood of him as in office as Mediator, and shows his authority, and that he was no impostor. The high priest among the Jews was, on the day of atonement, considered as ‫" ,שליח‬an apostle", or "messenger" (s); for so the elders of the sanhedrim address him on that day, saying, "Lord high priest, we are the messengers of the sanhedrim, and thou art ‫" ,שלוחינו‬our apostle", or "messenger", and the messenger of the sanhedrim.'' And it follows here, and "the high priest of our profession"; which may be understood either objectively, whom they professed, both by words or deeds; for a profession of him should be public, visible, and sincere; or efficiently, he being the author, sum, and substance of the religion, faith, and Gospel which was professed by them: and he is to be "considered" in the greatness and dignity of his person, as the Son of God; and in his wondrous grace and love in assuming human nature, and dying for his people; and in the relations he stands in to them as a Father, husband, brother, friend; and in his several offices, as Mediator, and particularly as sent of God, to be the Saviour of sinners; and as the high priest, who has offered himself a sacrifice, and ever lives to make intercession; and all this to encourage the saints to hold fast their profession of him.

4. Henry, “In these verses we have the application of the doctrine laid down in the close of the last chapter concerning the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And observe, I. In how fervent and affectionate a manner the apostle exhorts Christians to have this high priest much in their thoughts, and to make him the object of their close and serious consideration; and surely no one in earth or heaven deserves our consideration more than he. That this exhortation might be made the more effectual, observe, 1. The honourable compellation used towards those to whom he wrote: Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling. (1.) Brethren, not only my brethren, but the brethren of Christ, and in him brethren to all the saints. All the people of God are brethren, and should love and live like brethren. (2.) Holy brethren; holy not only in profession and title, but in principle and practice, in heart and life. This has been turned by some into scorn: “These,” say they, “are the holy brethren;” but it is dangerous jesting with such edge-tools; be not mockers, lest your bands be made strong. Let those that are thus despised and scorned labour to be holy brethren indeed, and approve themselves so to God; and they need not be ashamed of the title nor dread the scoffs of the profane. The day is coming when those that make this a term of reproach would count it their greatest honour and happiness to be taken into this sacred brotherhood. (3.) Partakers of the heavenly calling - partakers of the means of grace, and of the Spirit of grace, that came from heaven, and by which Christians are effectually called out of darkness into marvelous light, that calling which brings down heaven into the souls of men, raises them up to a heavenly temper and conversation, and prepares them to live for ever with God in heaven. 2. The titles he gives to Christ, whom he would have them consider, (1.) As the apostle of our profession, the prime-minister of the gospel church, a messenger and a principal messenger sent of God to men, upon the most important errand, the great revealer of that faith which we profess to hold and of that hope which we profess to have. (2.) ot only the apostle, but the high priest too, of our profession, the chief officer of the Old Testament as well as the ew, the head of the church in every state, and under each dispensation, upon whose satisfaction and intercession we profess to depend for pardon of sin, and acceptance with God. (3.) As Christ, the Messiah, anointed and every way qualified for the office both of apostle and high priest. (4.) As Jesus, our Saviour, our healer, the great physician of souls, typified by the brazen serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness, that those who were stung by the fiery serpents might look to him, and be saved. II. We have the duty we owe to him who bears all these high and honourable titles, and that is to consider him as thus characterized. Consider what he is in himself, what he is to us, and what he will be to us hereafter and for ever; consider him, fix your thoughts upon him with the greatest attention, and act towards him accordingly; look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Here observe, 1. Many that profess faith in Christ have not a due consideration for him; he is not so much thought of as he deserves to be, and desires to be, by those that expect salvation from him. 2. Close and serious consideration of Christ would be of great advantage to us to increase our acquaintance with him, and to engage our love and our obedience to him, and reliance on him. 3. Even those that are holy brethren, and partakers of the heavenly calling, have need to stir up one another to think more of Christ than they do, to have him more in their minds; the best of his people think too seldom and too slightly of him. 4. We must consider Christ as he is described to us in the scriptures, and form our apprehensions of him thence, not from any vain conceptions and fancies of our own. 5. Jamison, “Heb_3:1-19. The Son of God greater than Moses, wherefore unbelief towards Him will incur a heavier punishment than befell unbelieving Israel in the wilderness. As Moses especially was the prophet by whom “God in times past spake to the fathers,” being

the mediator of the law, Paul deems it necessary now to show that, great as was Moses, the Son of God is greater. Ebrard in Alford remarks, The angel of the covenant came in the name of God before Israel; Moses in the name of Israel before God; whereas the high priest came both in the name of God (bearing the name Jehovah on his forehead) before Israel, and in the name of Israel (bearing the names of the twelve tribes on his breast) before God (Exo_28:9-29, Exo_28:36, Exo_28:38). ow Christ is above the angels, according to the first and second chapters because (1) as Son of God He is higher; and (2) because manhood, though originally lower than angels, is in Him exalted above them to the lordship of “the world to come,” inasmuch as He is at once Messenger of God to men, and also atoning Priest-Representative of men before God (Heb_2:17, Heb_2:18). Parallel with this line of argument as to His superiority to angels (Heb_1:4) runs that which here follows as to His superiority to Moses (Heb_3:3): (1) because as Son over the house; He is above the servant in the house (Heb_3:5, Heb_3:6), just as the angels were shown to be but ministering (serving) spirits (Heb_1:14), whereas He is the Son (Heb_3:7, Heb_3:8); (2) because the bringing of Israel into the promised rest, which was not finished by Moses, is accomplished by Him (Heb_4:1-11), through His being not merely a leader and lawgiver as Moses, but also a propitiatory High Priest (Heb_4:14; Heb_5:10). Wherefore — Greek, “Whence,” that is, seeing we have such a sympathizing Helper you ought to “consider attentively,” “contemplate”; fix your eyes and mind on Him with a view to profiting by the contemplation (Heb_12:2). The Greek word is often used by Luke, Paul’s companion (Luk_12:24, Luk_12:27). brethren — in Christ, the common bond of union. partakers — “of the Holy Ghost.” heavenly calling — coming to us from heaven, and leading us to heaven whence it comes. Phi_3:14, “the high calling”; Greek “the calling above,” that is, heavenly. the Apostle and High Priest of our profession — There is but one Greek article to both nouns, “Him who is at once Apostle and High Priest” - Apostle, as Ambassador (a higher designation than “angel”-messenger) sent by the Father (Joh_20:21), pleading the cause of God with us; High Priest, as pleading our cause with God. Both His Apostleship and High Priesthood are comprehended in the one title, Mediator [Bengel]. Though the title “Apostle” is nowhere else applied to Christ, it is appropriate here in addressing Hebrews, who used the term of the delegates sent by the high priest to collect the temple tribute from Jews resident in foreign countries, even as Christ was Delegate of the Father to this world far off from Him (Mat_21:37). Hence as what applies to Him, applies also to His people, the Twelve are designated His apostles, even as He is the Father’s (Joh_20:21). It was desirable to avoid designating Him here “angel,” in order to distinguish His nature from that of angels mentioned before, though he is “the Angel of the Covenant.” The “legate of the Church” (Sheliach Tsibbur) offered up the prayers in the synagogue in the name of all, and for all. So Jesus, “the Apostle of our profession,” is delegated to intercede for the Church before the Father. The words “of our profession,” mark that it is not of the legal ritual, but of our Christian faith, that He is the High Priest. Paul compares Him as an Apostle to Moses; as High Priest to Aaron. He alone holds both offices combined, and in a more eminent degree than either, which those two brothers held apart. profession — “confession,” corresponds to God having spoken to us by His Son, sent as Apostle and High Priest. What God proclaims we confess. 6. William Barclay 1-6, “Brothers who are dedicated to God, you who are sharers in heaven's calling, because of all this you must fix your attention on him whom our creed holds to be the apostle and the high priest of God, I mean Jesus, for he was faithful to him who appointed him,

just as Moses was in all his house, For he was deemed worthy of more honour than Moses, in so far as the man who builds and equips the house has more honour than the house itself For every house is built and equipped by someone; but it is God who builds and equips all things. Moses was faithful in all his house, but his role was the role of a servant, and his purpose was to bear witness to the things which some day would be spoken. But Christ is over his house because he is a Son. We are his house if only we keep strong the confidence and pride of our hope to the end. Let us remember the conviction with which the writer to the Hebrews starts. The basis of his thought is that the supreme revelation of God comes through Jesus Christ and that only through him has a man real access to God. He began by proving that Jesus was superior to the prophets; he went on to prove that Jesus was superior to the angels; and now he proceeds to prove that Jesus is superior to Moses. It might at first sight seem that this is an anticlimax. But it was not so for a Jew. For him Moses held a place which was utterly unique. He was the man with whom God had spoken face to face as a man speaks with his friend. He was the direct recipient of the Ten Commandments, the very Law of God. The greatest thing in all the world for the Jew was the Law, and Moses and the Law were one and the same thing. In the second century a Jewish teacher called Rabbi Jose ben Chalafta, commenting on this very passage which declared that Moses was faithful in all his house, said: "God calls Moses faithful in all his house, and thereby he ranked him higher than the ministering angels themselves." For a Jew the step that the writer to the Hebrews takes is the logical and inevitable step in the argument. He has proved that Jesus is greater than the angels; now he must prove that he is greater than Moses who was greater than the angels. In fact this quotation which is used to tell of the greatness of Moses is proof of the unique position which the Jews assigned to him. "Moses was faithful in all his house." The quotation is from um.12:6-7. ow the point of the argument in umbers is that Moses differs from all the prophets. To them God makes himself known in a vision; to Moses he speaks "mouth to mouth." To the Jew it would have been impossible to conceive that anyone ever stood closer to God than Moses did, and yet that is precisely what the writer of the Hebrews sets out to prove. He bids his hearers fix their attention on Jesus. The word he uses (katanoein, GS 2657) is suggestive. It does not mean simply to look at or to notice a thing. Anyone can look at a thing or even notice it without really seeing it. The word means to fix the attention on something in such a way that its inner meaning, the lesson that it is designed to teach, may be learned. In Lk.12:24 Jesus uses the same word when he says: "Consider the ravens." He does not merely mean, "Look at the ravens." He means, "Look at the ravens and understand and learn the lesson that God is seeking to teach you through them." If we are ever to learn Christian truth, a detached glance is never enough; there must be a concentrated gaze in which we gird up the loins of the mind in a determined effort to see its meaning for us. In a sense the reason for that is implicit when the writer addresses his friends as sharers in heaven's calling. The call that comes to a Christian has a double direction. It is a calling from heaven and it is a calling to heaven. It is a voice which comes.from God and calls us to God. It is a call which demands concentrated attention because of both its origin and its destination. A man cannot afford to give a disinterested glance to an invitation to God from God. When we do fix our attention on Jesus what do we see? We see two things. (i) We see the great apostle. o one else in the ew Testament ever calls Jesus an apostle. That the writer to the Hebrews does so deliberately is quite clear, because apostle is a title he never gives to any man. He keeps it for Christ. What does he mean when he so uses it? The word apostolos (GS 0652) literally means one who is

sent,forth. In Jewish terminology it was used to describe the envoys of the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of the Jews. The Sanhedrin sent out apostoloi (GS 0652) who were clothed with its authority and the bearers of its commands. In the Greek world it frequently meant ambassador. So then Jesus is the supreme ambassador of God and an ambassador has two supremely important and relevant characteristics. (a) The ambassador is clothed with all the authority of the king who sends him. On one occasion the king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, invaded Egypt. Rome desired to stop him and sent an envoy called Popillius to tell him to abandon his projected invasion. Popillius caught up with Antiochus on the borders of Egypt and they talked of this and that for they had known each other in Rome. Popillius had not the vestige of an army with him, not even a guard. Finally Antiochus asked him why he had come. Quietly Popillius told him that he had come to tell him that Rome wished him to abandon the invasion and go home. "I will consider it," said Antiochus. Popillius smiled a little grimly; he took his stall and drew a circle in the earth round Antiochus. "Consider it," he said, "and come to your decision before you leave that circle." Antiochus thought for a few seconds and then said: "Very well. I will go home." Popillius himself had not the slightest force available--but behind him was all the power of Rome. So Jesus came from God and all God's grace and mercy and love and power were in his apostolos (GS 0652). (b) The voice of the ambassador is the voice of the king or country who sent him. In a foreign land the British ambassador's voice is the voice of Britain. So Jesus came with the voice of God; in him God speaks. (ii) Jesus is the great High Priest. What does that mean? This is an idea to which the writer to the Hebrews returns again and again. Just now we only set down the fundamental basis of what he means. The Latin for a priest is pontifex, which means a bridge-builder. The priest is the person who builds a bridge between man and God. To do that he must know both man and God. He must be able to speak to God for men and to speak to men for God. Jesus is the perfect High Priest because he is perfectly man and perfectly God; He can represent man to God and God to man. He is the one person through whom man comes to God and God comes to man. Wherein then lies the superiority of Jesus over Moses? The picture in the mind of the writer to the Hebrews is this. He thinks of the world as God's house and God's family. We use the word house in a double sense. We use it in the sense of a building and also in the sense of a family. The Greeks used oikos (GS 3624) in the same double sense. The world, then, is God's house and men are God's family. But he has already shown us the picture of Jesus as the creator of God's universe. ow Moses was only part of God's universe, part of the house. But Jesus is the creator of the house and the creator is bound to stand above the house itself. Moses did not create the law; he only mediated it. Moses did not create the house; he only served in it. Moses did not speak of himself; all that he ever said was only a pointer to the greater things that Jesus Christ would some day say. Moses, in short, was the servant; but Jesus was the Son. Moses knew a little about God; Jesus was God. Therein lies the secret of his superiority. ow the writer to the Hebrews uses another picture. True, the whole world is God's house; but in a special sense the Church is God's House, for in a special sense God brought it into being. That is a picture the ew Testament loves (compare 1Pet.4:17; 1Tim.3:15, and especially 1Pet.2:5). That building of the Church will stand indestructible only when every stone is firm; that is to say, when its every member is strong in the proud and confident hope he has in Jesus Christ. Each one of us is like a stone in the Church; if one stone is weak the whole edifice is endangered. The Church stands firm only when each living stone in it is rooted and grounded in faith in Jesus Christ.

7. “In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. "Your Majesty," said Prior Richard, "do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king." "I understand," said Henry. "The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you." "Then I will tell you what to do," said Prior Richard. "Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you." When King Henry died, a statement was written: "The King learned to rule by being obedient." When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we'll rule together with him.” - Steve Brown, Key Biscayne, Florida 8. What we are called from and called to: I. Called from labor to rest (Matt. 11:28) II. Called from death to life (1 John 3:14) III. Called from bondage to liberty (Gal 5:13) IV. Called out of darkness into light (1 Pet. 2:9) V. Called from bondage to peace (1 Cor. 7:15 VI. Called to the fellowship of His Son (1 Cor. 1:9) What we are made by obeying the call: I. We are made sons of God (John 1:12) II. We are made the children of God (Gal. 3:26) III. We are made the servants of God (Matt. 25:21) IV. We are made God's saints (Col. 1:1) V. We are made God's witnesses (I Thess. 2:10) VI. We are made workers together with God (2 Cor. 6:1) VII. We are called to a high calling (Phil. 3:14) VIII. We are called to a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9) IX. We are called to a heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1) Pulpit Helps, August, 1992, Page 11 9. Calvin, “Wherefore, holy brethren, etc. He concludes the preceding doctrine with a necessary exhortation, that the Jews should attentively consider what sort of being and how great Christ is. As he had before, by naming him a teacher and a priest, briefly compared him with Moses and Aaron, so he now includes both clauses; for he adorns him with two titles, as he sustains a twofold character in the Church of God. Moses was a prophet and a teacher, and Aaron was a priest; but the two offices belong to Christ. If then we seek rightly to know him, we must inquire what sort of being he is; yea, he must be clothed with his own power, lest we lay hold on an empty shadow and not on him. [53] First, the word consider, is important, for it intimates that singular attention is required, as he cannot be disregarded with impunity, and that at the same time the true knowledge of Christ is sufficient to dissipate the darkness of all errors. And to encourage them the more to pursue this study, he reminds them of their calling; as though he had

said, "God favored you with no common grace when He called you into his kingdom; [54] it now remains that you have your eyes fixed on Christ as your leader in the way." [55] For the calling of the godly cannot be otherwise confirmed than by a thorough surrender of themselves to Christ. We ought not therefore to regard this as said only to the Jews, but that it is a general truth addressed to all who desire to come into the kingdom of God; they ought sedulously to attend to Christ, for he is the sole instructor of our faith, and has confirmed it by the sacrifice of himself; for confession, or profession, is to be taken here for faith, as thought he had said, that the faith we profess is vain and of no avail, unless Christ be its object. 10. Calvin's editor adds, “ This is the only place in which Christ is called an Apostle, the design no doubt was to institute a comparison between him and Moses, who is often said to have been sent by God, as Christ is said to have been sent by the Father: they might both therefore be rightly called Apostles, i.e., messengers sent by God. And then he adds, high priest, that he might afterwards make a comparison between him and Aaron. He had before exalted Christ as a teacher above all the prophets, including no doubt Moses among the rest; but here refers to Moses as the leader of the people, as one sent especially by God to conduct them from Egypt through the wilderness to the land of Canaan. But as our call is from heaven and to heaven, Christ is sent as a messenger to lead us to the heavenly country. We hence see that in this connection the "heavenly calling" is to be taken most suitably as a call to heaven. 11. “They are also "partakers of a heavenly calling." All Christians are spiritually united (cf. I Cor. 6:17) with the living Lord Jesus, and are "partakers of Christ" (Heb. 3:14), "partakers of the Holy Spirit" (Heb. 6:4), and "partakers of the divine nature" (II Pet. 1:4). To be "partakers of a heavenly calling" does not mean that Christians are just "anticipators of a future calling to go to heaven," but implies that Christians participate presently in the heavenly realities that are "in Christ Jesus." Christians are "seated with Christ in the heavenlies" (Eph. 2;6), participating in the "heavenly things" (9:23), the "heavenly gift" (6:4) of Christ Himself in the realized "heavenly Jerusalem" (12:22) of the better "heavenly country" (11:16) of which they are "citizens" (Phil. 3:20). This "heavenly calling" gives Christians the privileged access (10:19) to enjoy God's presence, peace and rest presently, despite the turmoil of their surroundings. The Christians in Jerusalem were being pressured to align themselves with an "earthly calling," a cause celebre to join the Palestinian revolt against Rome, which was not destined to bring peace and rest, but destruction and death.” unknown author 12. S. L. Johnson, “ ow before we consider this matter, I want you to notice what he calls us: "Wherefore, holy brethren." ow he called us "brethren" in the second chapter because, when Jesus Christ came into this human race and took to Himself humanity,-from that time on, Jesus Christ has liberated believing sinners from the guilt of sin. Jesus took a little bit of Adam to Himself and that is why he is called "The son of man." And

so I am rightly called " His brother". He is not ashamed to call us his brother-amazing is it not? Fallible deceitful, wicked sinners, it is true this is what we are. Just read the list of 22 sins at the end of Romans 1 and you will agree. But the author says, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Holy brethren". It is not enough to call us "brethren", he calls us, "holy brethren". ow I want to stop for just a moment and point out that this word means, "a set apart one". In fact, in the Biblical language we could translate this, "saintly brethren". ow remember, the Biblical term for saint or holy does not mean ultimate holiness. It means that we are "set apart" for the worship of God. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, holiness is required, for no one, who is not a partaker of holiness, shall enter into His presence. You cannot come into the presence of God if you are not qualified worshipers! A Related Story by Dr. Ironside Dr. Ironside tells a story of when he was on a train and found some Germans who liked to sing songs while another man played his violin. They were Roman Catholics who had just come from Europe. Dr. Ironside told them that some of the American Indians sang the same songs since they came to know the Lord Jesus Christ. The German woman said, "Since you speak of missionary work among the Indians, I sure hope that you are a member of our Catholic church. Dr. Ironside said, "I want to assure you that I am a member of The Holy Catholic Church which has been washed in the blood of The Lamb-our Lord Jesus Christ." He went on to say that he was a believer, and soon the subject of "the Saints" came up. Ironside quoted one of the Roman Catholic saints who said, Holy Jesus, Thy wounds are my merit". The German woman replied, "Oh you know something about the saints?" Ironside said, "Yes, I do, and I want to say one other thing to you, Madam I am a saint." Then Ironside went on to explain to this woman that one does not have to be canonized by the Church to be a saint. So when we read in the Bible that we are "Holy Brethren", that does not mean that we are sinless. The saints are not sinless, but they certainly should sin less. We have been set apart by God for worship of Him. THE WORD "CO SIDER" ow we are asked to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. The English word, "consider," comes from a Latin word which means "to look at the stars" MEDITATI G A D REFLECTI G O OUR LORD JESUS So it comes out of the study of astronomy. Think of those ancient shepherds as they spent nights under the stars studying their movements. To the Greeks it means "to fasten the mind upon". Jesus used this word when He said, "Consider the ravens how God supplies their needs". And so here we are told to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. I dare say that one of the reasons we are so weak in the Christian life is because we never consider our Lord Jesus Christ. We never really sit down and reflect upon Him. We never really look at Him as He wishes us to-as an Apostle, The One sent from God and as The High Priest, The One who has closed the gap between God and man! Then also, consider Him as faithful. The text lays a great stress on this point. He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses was faithful in his appointment. God spoke to men in the Old Testament in visions and dreams, but to Moses face to face because he is faithful in all

His house. Moses as a Type of Christ Moses stands a "type" of our Lord Jesus Christ-even when he was rejected by his brethren. When he took to himself a Gentile wife he reflected in his own experience, the fact that in this present day, both Jews and Gentiles are united to the Lord Jesus. The fact that Aaron and Miriam spoke against Moses speaks of the fact that today there is a great deal of opposition in the selection of the Church and its uniting to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is tremendous "typical significance" in all this and our author says, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession who has been faithful over His house. He is greater than Moses. I want to say to you that this is one of the most solemn things in the Bible. Every careless word a man says against Jesus Christ is remembered by God. And the LORD heard them! Moses had a temporal glory, for remember that He who builds the house is better than the house. Two questions then arise:   What is the house that he is talking about? And, How is Christ superior?

The house is the company of the Redeemed-both Old and ew Covenant. The house represents the believers. Some are under the Old Covenant, and as time passes the house grows until finally, the house encloses the believers of both Old and ew Testaments. There is a great deal of similarity between them. They are both the company of the Redeemed of the LORD and both belong in then same company. So the House of God is the house of the Redeemed. Christ is a High Priest over the House of God (Heb. 10:21). Who is responsible for this house? It is the Father who has created all things. It is He who is responsible for this house. Who has built the house of the Father? It is our Lord Jesus who has come from heaven as the Apostle of God and gone to the Cross and cried out "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? And then "It is finished". This was the last stone, the last nail into the house of God! It is Christ who has built the house as God's builder, and Moses is one member of that house and a servant at that. Who is the greater? The one who built the house, or a person who serves within the house as a servant? Why it is obvious that Jesus Christ is greater than Moses-greater than the man whom the Jews thought was greater than angels. Then the author says in Heb. 3:5: And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after but Christ as a Son over His house. The Glory of Moses and the Greater Glory of Christ. The glory of Christ and the honor of Moses are simply reflective of their places in and over the house. The honor of Moses was great for he spoke with God mouth to mouth and Divine Glory was reflected upon his face, and beheld by the people. He ministered to Israel in the ten commandments given to him on the mount. Moses drew an outline of all that the house of God should be and sketched in forms of this world which would typify Christ. The ways of suffering that broke upon Christ fell upon him, for Moses bore the reproach of

Christ. At last he stood on the mount of transfiguration and gave over his work as servant into the hands of the Son less he should claim some of Christ's glory. But all this honor was but the refection of the glory of another. His approach to God was but a "temporary manner", while Christ's was an "eternal propitiation" to the full satisfaction of God's infinite holiness and righteousness! The glory on Moses was but a passing radiance, fading away both from men and from the whole old Testament ministry. But the glory of Christ is an abiding light and the face of the Son is over the house of God. Moses was a servant in the house. Christ was a Son over the house. Therefore, Christ is greater than Moses.” 13. HARRY HEI Z, ““In chapter 3:1 he is called "the apostle and high priest of our confession." Those are religious words, pointing us to the reality that Jesus fulfills what religion was promising. In Hebrews 12:2 he is called "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith." In the King James Version he is the "author and finisher." In the Phillips paraphrase he is "the source and the goal of our faith." My own paraphrase is, "he is the starting line and the finishing line." That is who he is: the one with us when the race starts and the one welcoming us when the race ends. Those are not religious words, as such, but words from everyday life. The two sets complement each other. He fulfills the highest aspirations of religion-to give us a relationship with God-and he leads us in the day-to-day journey of staying on course, keeping focus, and finishing well.” 14. HARRY HEI TZ, “The second therefore has a similar tone. Hebrews 11 reminds us of the faithful saints who have gone before us. That is followed by this admonition: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." Both admonitions are to focus on Jesus that we may stay on course, keep focus, and finish well. The key is looking to Jesus, who was faithful, stayed on course, kept focus, and finished well. Our hope of doing the same is wrapped up in getting a grip on him. Two truths follow from these two admonitions. First, the ew Testament consistently presents Jesus as the unique Son of the Father, the only Lord and Savior. Last summer we saw this same theme presented from seemingly every angle imaginable in Galatians, and now we see it being presented in yet new ways in Hebrews. A careful listener might be tempted to say, "we get itenough already." God foresaw that the challenges to this understanding would be many and would always be with us, so God’s written word leaves no doubt whatsoever about the unique glory of Jesus. There is no other like him. ot Moses, or Mohammed, or the Buddha; not King David, or the Virgin Mary, or the Apostle Paul; not Mother Theresa, or the Dalai Lama, or Billy Graham; not any of the gods and goddesses of the ancient world or the modern world; not any of the heroes of the faith. C. S. Lewis served us well in "Mere Christianity" by setting before us the consistent and insistent claims of Jesus and then pushing us to the conclusion that either he is God incarnate, as he claimed to be, or he was a well-meaning fool, or he was an intentional liar and therefore evil in attempting to delude us. What he cannot be is just another good religious leader. He didn’t leave that option open to us. His claims were too bold, his miracles too miraculous. Jesus alone is in the central place of God’s redemptive drama. I’m with songwriter Fanny Crosby: "This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long." I shall never tire of this truth; I will sing it to my dying breath, then throughout eternity.”

15. PI K, “It remains now for us to notice the people to whom this exhortation is addressed: they are denominated "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling." These Hebrews were addressed as "brethren" because they belonged spiritually to the family of God. "He evidently refers to the blessed truth just announced, that Jesus, the Son of God, is not ashamed to call us brethren" (Heb. 2:11). He means therefore those who by the Spirit of God have been born again, and who can call God their Father. He addresses those of God who are in Christ Jesus, who were quickened together with Him; for when He rose from the dead He was ‘the first-born among many brethren’. He calls them ‘holy brethren,’ because upon this fact of brotherhood is based their sanctification: ‘He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one’" (Saphir). o doubt the "holy brethren" was also designed to distinguish them from their brethren according to the flesh, the unbelieving Jews. By his use of this appellation the apostle to the Gentiles evidenced his interest in and love for the Hebrews: he acknowledged and esteemed them as "brethren." "What an interesting and delightful view is thus presented to our minds of genuine Christians scattered all over the earth-belonging to every kindred, and people, and tongue, and nationdistinguished from one another in an almost infinite variety of ways, as to talent, temper, education, rank, circumstances, yet bound together by an invisible band, even the faith of the truth, to the one great object of their confidence, and love, and obedience, Christ Jesus-forming one great brotherhood, devoted to the honor and service of His Father and their Father, His God and their God! Do you belong to this holy brotherhood? The question is an important one. For answer, note Christ’s words in Matthew 12:50" (Dr. J. Brown). "Partakers of the heavenly calling." This at once serves to emphasize the superiority of Christianity over Judaism, which knew only an earthly calling, with an earthly inheritance. The word "partakers" signifies "sharers of." The calling wherewith the Christian is called (Eph. 4:1) is heavenly, because of its origin-it proceeds from Heaven; because of the means used-the Spirit and the Word, which have come from Heaven; because of the sphere of our citizenship (Phil. 3:20); because of the end to which we are called-an eternal Heaven. Thus would the Holy Spirit press upon the sorely-tried Hebrews the inestimable value of their privileges. Finally, the whole of this appellation should be viewed in the light of the relation between those addressed and Christ. How is it possible for sinful worms of the earth to be thus denominated? Because of their union with the incarnate Son, whose excellency is imputed to them, and whose position they share. We are partakers of the heavenly calling because He, in wondrous condescension, partook of our earthly lot. What He has, we have; where He is, we are. He is the Holy One of God, therefore are we holy. He has been "made higher than the heavens," therefore are we "partakers of the heavenly calling!" Just so far as our hearts really lay hold of this, shall we walk as "strangers and pilgrims" here. Where our "Treasure" (Christ) is, there will our hearts be also. That is why we are here bidden to "consider" Him. "The Apostle" (ho apostolos). In chapter 3:1 we are told to " . . consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession." This section of Hebrews involves a comparison and contrast between Jesus and Moses designed to demonstrate Jesus' superiority. This is the only place in the ew Testament that Jesus is called "apostle." Here apostolos carries associations of authority. It refers to more than a mere envoy, and suggests an ambassador or representative sent with powers, authorized to speak in the name of the one who dispatched him or her.

When we see Jesus, we see him who was sent as Heaven's representative, whose voice carries the authority of God. He comes with the call of God from heaven, to heaven; the Apostle of our faith. "The Author" (ho archegos). Twice in Hebrews Jesus is called "the Author" or "the Captain" (2:10; 12:2). The title is archegos, which can mean either "source" or "leader." In the Greek Old Testament, it is commonly used in the sense of "chief," or "head," of a tribe or family. In Greek literature it is used of heroes venerated as founders of cities. Closely related to archegos are two other titles in Hebrews. Jesus is called "Source" (aitios): He is the "author (aitios) of external salvation" (5:9). The other related title is "Forerunner" (prodromos): Jesus, as our prodromos, has gone on ahead into heaven on our behalf (6:20). Taken together, these titles demonstrate that Jesus is both source and leader. When we see Jesus we see One who himself first takes part in that which he establishes. Because he has gone on ahead, we know our own ultimate arrival is assured.

PI K, “The exhortation given here is, "Wherefore . . . consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession." Three questions call for answers: what is meant by "considering" Him; why we should do so; the special characters in which He is to be considered. There are no less than eleven Greek words in the ew Testament all rendered "consider," four of them being simple ones; seven, compounds. The one employed by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 3:1 signifies to thoroughly think of the matter, so as to arrive at a fuller knowledge of it. It was the word used by our Lord in His "consider the ravens, consider the lilies" (Luke 12:24, 27). It is the word which describes Peter’s response to the vision of the sheet let down from heaven: "I considered and saw fourfooted beasts" (Acts 11:6). It is found again in Matthew 7:3, Romans 4:19, Hebrews 10:24. In Acts 7:31 "katanoeo" is rendered "to behold." In Luke 20:23 it is translated "perceived." In all, the Greek word is found fourteen times in the ew Testament. To "consider" Christ as here enjoined, means to thoroughly ponder who and what He is; to attentively weigh His dignity, His excellency, His authority; to think of what is due to Him. It is failure to thoroughly weigh important considerations which causes us to let them "slip" (Heb. 2:1). On the other hand, it is by diligently pondering things of moment and value that the understanding is enabled to better apprehend them, the memory to retain them, the heart to be impressed, and the individual to make a better use of them. To "consider" Christ means to behold Him, not simply by a passing glance or giving to Him an occasional thought, but by the heart being fully occupied with Him. "Set Me as a seal upon thine heart" (Song 8:6), is His call to us. And it is our failure at this point which explains why we know so little about Him, why we love Him so feebly, why we trust Him so imperfectly. The motive presented by the Spirit here as to why we should so "consider" Christ is intimated in the opening "Wherefore." It draws a conclusion from all that precedes. Because Christ is the One through whom Deity is now fully and finally manifested, because He is the Brightness of God’s glory and the very Impress of His substance; because, therefore, He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than the angels; because He, in infinite grace, became "all of one" with those that He came to redeem, having made propitiation for the sins of His people; because He is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High, and while there is "a merciful

and faithful High Priest;" because He has Himself suffered being tempted and is able to succor them who are tempted;-therefore, He is infinitely worthy of our constant contemplation and adoration. The opening "Wherefore" is also an anticipatory inference from what follows: because Christ is worthy of more honor than Moses, therefore, "consider" Him. There are two special characters in which the Holy Spirit here bids us contemplate Christ. First, as "the Apostle." This has reference to the prophetical office of Christ, the title being employed because an "apostle" was the highest minister appointed in ew Testament times. An apostleship had more honors conferred upon it than any other position in the church (Eph. 4:11): thus the excellency of Christ’s prophetic office is magnified. The term apostle means one "sent forth" of God, endowed with authority as His ambassador. In John’s Gospel Christ is frequently seen as the "Sent One," 3:34, 5:36, etc. The general function of Christ as a prophet, an apostle, a minister of the Word, was to make known the will of His Father unto His people. This He did, see John 8:26, etc. His special call to that function was immediate: "as My Father hath sent Me, so send I you" (John 20:21). Christ is more than an apostle, He is "the Apostle," that is why none others, not even Paul, are mentioned in this Epistle. He eclipses all others. He was the first apostle, the twelve being appointed by Him. His apostolic jurisdiction was more extensive than others; Peter was an apostle of the circumcision. Paul of the Gentiles; but Christ preached both to them that were nigh and to them that were far off (Eph. 2:17). He received the Spirit more abundantly than any other (John 3:34). With Him the Messenger was the message: He was Himself "the Truth." The miracles He wrought (the "signs of an apostle" 2 Corinthians 12:12) were mightier and more numerous than those of others. Verily, Christ is "the Apostle," for in all things He has the preeminence. The special duty for us arising therefrom is, "Hear ye Him" (Matt. 17:5)-cf. Deuteronomy 18:15, 18. The second character in which we are here bidden to "consider" Christ Jesus, is as the "High Priest of our profession." As the priesthood of Christ will come before us, D.V., in detail in the later chapters, only a few remarks thereon will now be offered. As we have already been told, the Lord Jesus is "a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God" (Heb. 2:17). This at once gives us the principal feature which differentiates His priestly from His prophetic office. As Prophet, Christ is God’s representative to His people; as "Priest," He is their representative before God. As the Apostle He speaks to us from God, as our High Priest He speaks for us to God. The two offices are conjoined in John 13:3, "He was from God, and went to God." Thus He fills the whole space between God and us: as Apostle He is close to me; as Priest, He is close to God. "Of our profession." The Greek word here is a compound and properly signifies "a consent." In the ew Testament, it is used for the confession of a thing (1 Tim. 6:12, 13), and to set forth the faith which Christians profess (Heb. 4:14). Here it may be taken either for an act on our part-the confessing Christ to be "the Apostle and High Priest," or, the subject matter of the faith we profess. Christians are not ashamed to own Him, for He is not ashamed to own them. The apostleship and priesthood of Christ are the distinguishing subjects of our faith, for Christianity centers entirely around the person of Christ. The confession is that which faith makes, see Hebrews 10:23. The cognate of this word is found in Hebrews 11:13 and Hebrews 13:15, "giving thanks:" these two references emphasizing the "stranger and pilgrim" character of this profession, of which Christ Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest.

16. "Holy brethren" does not refer to our virtue but to the righteousness God imputes to us

because of our faith in Jesus Christ. As "partakers of the heavenly calling" we look not unto our earthly situation for fulfillment but to our final home with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:19). Consider means to "study carefully" in the Greek. It is the same word Jesus used in Matthew 6:28 when he said, "Consider the lilies of the field..." Apostle means "One who has been sent, ambassador". This is the only place Jesus is called an apostle. An ambassador represents all the power and authority of his country (Matthew 28:18). An ambassador speaks for his nation. Jesus spoke God's thoughts (John 14:10). Jesus is the high priest of our profession (confession). Job asked for a daysman to bridge the gap between God and man (Job 9:33). Priest means "bridge builder". God has built the bridge to man.” author unknown 17. MCI TOSH, “There are two main thoughts in this verse, the object of contemplation and the subject of application. “The obvious point and purpose of this verse is to present to us Christ, and so we would say: Behold the Redeemer. John said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. Here the apostle would say, Behold Christ in all His redemptive fulness. Two thoughts are here: first, the saints' consideration and secondly, the Saviour considered. "Wherefore" - that word is most significant. It has a fund of direction in it. “Here is the connection. That is what I have stated", says the apostle, "in these first two chapters." What is the application that we are to make of Christ set before us in chapters 1 and 2? When he calls upon us to consider the Apostle and High Priest, he has referred us to the Apostle in chapter 1 and the High Priest in chapter 2. Take the truth and connect it and see how the Spirit of God would direct our minds to an intelligent understanding of the truth as set forth. There is a solidity and conviction about such consideration of the word. Go back afresh, after reading what he has said, and reconsider it. "Wherefore consider what I have stated." Indeed we will find as we go back into it, we have more than we can take in. Those two chapters might well occupy a great deal of time and meditation on the part of God's people. That is how the Spirit directs us to search the truth, to meditate upon the word and to give consideration to what is revealed. “As believers we have our understandings opened; we see Christ. Once we saw no beauty in Him that we should desire Him; He was a root out of dry ground, with no form nor comeliness. But now we see to some extent the beauty of holiness, and He is the chiefest among ten thousand. He is the apple tree among the trees of the wood; He is as the lily of the valley; as the rose of Sharon. He is God manifest, and we who see God, must love Him. The next thought expressed in ch. 3:1 is, "partakers of the heavenly calling." "Partakers" that too is an interesting word. It is suggested by the relationship to Christ in ch. 2:14. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood..." ow, that is a very close participation. The flesh and blood of which we partake make up the nature in which we are created. This partaking is sharing in possession our essential being, so close is it. Apply that conception to the partaking of the heavenly calling. We are possessors now of this heavenly calling - it is not simply that we are going to inherit something in the dim distant future. Yes, when we enter glory, heaven in its fulness will be partaken of, but we are here and now partakers of the heavenly calling. Is it part and parcel of our spirituality? The saints are able to consider Him who is their inheritance. "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not WITH HIM freely give us all things?" Do we see how these things are wrapped up with Christ, so that, having Him, we have all the possession of the heavenly inheritance? othing comes to us but by Him; nothing is bestowed upon us but from His hand. And so we are partakers as we have possessed Him and all that is His. All that He died to purchase and lives to

bestow, we have as the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ, the children whom God has given to Him. What is His, is ours. We have it now - not in fulness, but in measure. Then the apostle goes on to show that the brethren are partakers of this HEAVE LY CALLI G. Every word is packed with significance to the spiritually discerning soul. What is this heavenly calling? A calling FROM heaven which comes to us from the mouth of God, by whom that calling is made effectual. It is a heavenly calling also in that it is TO heaven. He calls us unto His kingdom and glory. So the heavenly calling calls us to heavenly possessions, the inheritance of the saints in light, "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." That is our objective in life. We are not living an aimless existence, tossed hither and thither by every wind and wave of opposition. We have an objective before us: this heavenly calling to which we are called. For us, to live is to live in the hope of the redemption which is given to us in Christ, and everything else is channelled into that stream, for there are a number of tributaries combining to fill the stream of the full purpose of life here. We are living not for anything temporal or perishing, but we are living for that which endures for evermore. Paul said, "I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is by the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith in Jesus Christ." We are called also to the heavenly substance of the faith, which is true godliness. This calling is heavenly in its nature. It is not earthly. "My kingdom", said Christ, "is not of this world." It is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. It is far beyond, far greater than all earthly things, but it includes them. It is spiritual but it is also material; it is eternal, but it is also temporal. Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is as well as that which is to come. There is all this and heaven too. That is the fulness of that heavenly calling. Is that yours? Those of you who have neglected and despised it - will you let it go for the sake of this perishing, fleeting time which is compared to the vapour, the rising mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes away? Would you sell eternity for a few passing pleasures? Be like Moses who chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. These things are pressed upon our minds, almost weekly. God's providence brings back memories of the uncertainties of life and the certainties of death; the frailty of the flesh; the awful extent of eternity. OW is the accepted time. Those who have gone into the possession of their inheritance, surely call to us to follow them as they followed Christ. They would say as Moses said to Hobab, (only they have entered into it), "We are journeying to the place of which the Lord hath said, I will give it you. Come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel." ( umbers 10:29) So the apostle says, "Consider the Apostle and High Priest." One thing which seems to mark the present day church is lack of consideration, lack of study of the truth of God, lack of meditative searching into the word which conveys the fulness of Christ. The meaning of that word "consider" helps us to feel the weight of obligation. The apostle says, "Contemplate with a constant beholding, gaze at." It is the word that James uses when he describes one who hears the word as being like a man beholding himself in a mirror. He is looking into it with constant fixed attention. Our English word "consider" includes the Latin word that means "a star". The astronomer is marked by his fixed gaze, looking up into the heavens, with an attention which is rivetted upon the stars. That is the kind of exercise the apostle is commending to us. Let us set our fixed attention, our meditative, continuous consideration on Christ as He is set forth in His word, dependent upon the Spirit to open up to us the person of Christ in His own

truth. Let the Bible then be a living book, speaking so that we cannot but hear, and hearing we cannot but heed. That is what Hugh Martin commends in his volume "The Abiding Presence". He writes: Thus the presence of Christ gives reality, present reality and life to the biography: the biography supplies to the otherwise indefinite presence distinct manifestation, action and utterance. The biography is enlivened by the presence: the presence is defined by the biography. The biography is very lifelike; but without the presence it is not living. The presence, on the other hand, is living; but without the biography it is far from lifelike. Yet what Christ by His promise hath joined, let not unbelief put asunder. Let the biography and the presence be conjoined and coalesce. The biography, then, is not dead; the Living One lives in it. The presence is not mysterious and vague; for He is present as in the mirror of the biography, and according to the well-defined, reflected glory there. The biography is more than a biography now. It is - THE LIFE OF JESUS.(p26) In another place Martin writes of the Spirit's unfolding this truth to us in the word. I believe there is not enough spiritual power in our religion, because the Bible is not gripping us as the word of the living God through the Spirit, transforming us into the image of Christ. Take, then, into your hands the biography of Christ; and suppose its closing promise, "Lo, I am with you always", is fulfilled by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, being given to you. The Spirit of life and truth shines in your heart while you read the biography. God who commended the light to shine out of darkness shines in your heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He cleanses and purifies your mental and spiritual eyeballs. He sanctifies and warms your affections, enables you to see in His own light the character and doings, the utterances and affections, the mind and heart of Jesus. That eternal Spirit with whom Jesus, as God, is one in the undivided substance of the Godhead - with whom Jesus, as Messiah, was anointed without measure above His fellows, is with you inwardly, dwelling in you, searching in you, shining in you. And outwardly, spread out before you, is the biography of Him of whom the Spirit has come to testify. And He testifies of Jesus by that written word, quickened by His own Almighty power, shone upon with His own marvellous light. He invests the record of Christ's life and character with heavenly radiance, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He leaves no veil on the face of Jesus. The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ He discloses to your view; even the glory of the Lord as in a glass - the glass of the word - with open face. or does He leave any veil on your face or your mind. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." With eyes anointed of the Lord, and opened to perceive wondrous things, you are free, without fear, to look stedfastly on what the Spirit, in His own light, is unfolding to your view.(p.35) So there is Christ the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. Those are the people and that is the exercise to which the apostle calls us. When the saints begin to consider Him who is set before them, they shall be more and more transformed to the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing visionary, vague, unrealistic, but God has revealed Himself in the person of His Son, truly God and truly man, and we shall see Him as the Spirit enlightens our minds. This is sanctification, that we should grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Here is the simple method: search the Scriptures. "Behold the Lamb of

God who taketh away the sin of the world." May God enable us to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. Look unto Him who is set forth so fully in His truth, and pray God that you see Him - not that you simply believe doctrines and tenets, but that you see the Person as your Saviour, and are enabled to say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 18. DAVID PHILLIPS, “The "holy brothers," were addressed here indicating that those hearing and reading the letter were of the faith. They were set apart, "consecrated to the service of God by Jesus in his priestly role as consecrator of the people of God (2:11)(Lane)." The writer then adds an additional phrase to indicate just how connected to Christ they were. He calls them "sharers in a heavenly calling." This phrase is not used anywhere else in the ew Testament, with the possibility of Philippians 3:14 giving us a parallel expression(Lane, 74). The term, "metochoi", is a "technical term for those who have responded to God's call to salvation. In 3:1 the writer describes the community as those called into the presence of God where they enjoy the privileged access to him(Lane, 74)." This corresponds to the church in 2:10. The privileged status that they enjoy is a result not of Moses nor Aaron, but of Jesus, and it is for this reason that they are commanded to "consider Jesus." This is the only place where Jesus is called apostle. He is the greatest of all apostles, for he was sent directly from God to the world. Apostle is derived from the word, "apostello", "to send forth." The noun form used here means, "one who is sent(Hughes, 127)" Louis Evans, in the Communicator's Commentary references the Theological Dictionary of the ew Testament to further expound on the meaning. It states, K.H. Rengstorf, in his article on this word in Kittel's, Theological Dictionary of the ew Testament, says its meaning lies in the authority given to a person to speak for the one who sent him... But there is another approach to this word that has helped me understand the meaning of apostle. If we break away the prefix (apo) of the Greek word, we are left with stolon. Biologists use this word to describe a type of root that shoots forth from a plant having the capability of putting down a new set of roots.... Jesus was sent out by the father to establish a new "colony of heaven" called the kingdom of God. Christ in turn has given us that same authority to establish new colonies or churches all over the world. (81-82) Therefore Christ is the one sent to establish this new way of living and to establish the new kingdom of God. Also, Jesus is the "archierea," or high priest of the confession. "Jesus as the one sent by God," Donald Hagner states, "represents God to humanity. Jesus as high priest represents humanity to God. Jesus is therefore God's revelation and makes possible human response.(59)" John Macarthur says that ...the priests of ancient Israel were appointed by God to be mediators between Himself and his people. Only the high priest could offer the highest sacrifice under the Old Covenant, and that he did only once a year on the Day of Atonement. All the sins of the people were brought symbolically to the Holy of Holies, where the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat as a sacrifice to atone for them. As no other human instrument could, he represented God before the people and the people before God. (109)

“Verse 1 In chapters 1 and 2 we saw how Jesus is greater than the *prophets and the *angels. This is because of his own greatness and because of what he has done for us. So now we are to think about him both as the *apostle and as our chief priest. To the Hebrews, Moses was the first *apostle and Aaron was the first chief priest. The word ‘*apostle’ means someone whom God sends. An *apostle comes to people as the agent of God. So God sent Moses to the Hebrews when they were slaves in the land of *Egypt. He came to set them free and to lead them out of that country. To do this he had to go to the king of *Egypt and persuade him to let them go. At first, the king refused. But after God had done many powerful works, he sent them out. God sent Jesus to lead people out from the rule of the devil and to bring them to God. Jesus came to us to show us what God is like. He overcame the devil and set us free from his power. The chief priest was a man who went to God as the agent of the people. He had to make sacrifices for all their *sins. Then he asked God to forgive them. Aaron was the man whom God made the first chief priest. He had to make the sacrifices for his own *sins as well as for the *sins of the Hebrews. Once every year he took the blood of an animal into the most holy place, and then God forgave the people their *sins. Jesus is the one who is our chief priest. He made a *sacrifice of himself for all our *sins. He did not need a *sacrifice for himself, because he was without *sin. Because Jesus took his own blood to God, God forgives us our *sins. (The word blood here is instead of the word *sacrifice).

19. Philip Mauro, “The word “Apostle” signifies one sent forth on a special mission. Hence, the work of the Son of God as the Apostle embraces all that He did in the days of His Flesh as the Sent One of God. His work as the Apostle of our confession is finished. He, being eternal Deity, came forth from God, assumed the form and nature of man, and thus brought to man all that man required of God. Having finished that work, He, as true Man, returned to God, bringing to God all that God required of man. That is His present office and work as High Priest within the true sanctuary. It is not His character of High Priest after the order of Melchizedek that is spoken of here. He will not appear in that character until He comes forth again to assume the office of King in addition to that of Priest. His present ministry is rather the fulfillment of what is typified by the ministry of the Aaronic high priest on the Day of Atonement, when he entered into the Holy of Holies with the blood of the sin-offering. This clearly appears from chapters 810, in which Christ is revealed as a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, but is not spoken of as High Priest of the order of Melchizedek. evertheless, He has been already “saluted of God as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (verse 10), though yet waiting to be revealed as such. What He is awaiting is, amongst other things, the perfecting of the “many sons” who are to be associated with Him in that Royal Priesthood. The work of the Son of God as the Apostle of our confession is not specially described in Hebrews. For that we must refer to other Scriptures. It embraces all His words-the words which the Father gave Him to speak-and all His works, especially His work on the Cross, where He bore the sins of many, and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself . This redemption-aspect of the work of the Cross is mentioned in Hebrews, though not specially described there (Heb. 9:12). The following passages, among others, refer to features of His work as the One sent forth from God. 20. STEDMA , “As in many chapter divisions in the ew Testament, the opening words could as

well have been the closing words of the previous chapter. The therefore ties them together and introduces a fifth title for Jesus thus far in Hebrews: Son, Firstborn, Lord, High Priest and now Apostle. We are encouraged to fix [our] thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. The recipients of this encouragement are called holy brothers and those who share in the heavenly calling. These phrases represent a delicate shift from a well-known Jewish-Christian description ("brothers") to that which is distinctively Christian, and not Jewish ("heavenly calling"---Eph 1:3; 2:6). This explains his plea to look beyond Moses and Jewish things to Jesus, who combines, in his divine-human person, both functions which Moses exercised (apostle and high priest). However, Jesus fulfilled these to a loftier and far greater level.” 21. “Call, Calling - Invitation, summons, commission, or naming. The ew Testament refers to the Christian life as a calling (Eph. 1:18; 4:1; II Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; II Pet. 1:10). The basic call is to Christ as Lord and Savior; thus, all Christians are "called ones." The noun "calling" takes on great significance in the ew Testament. First, there is the goal of calling. We are called to salvation, holiness, and faith (II Thess. 2:13-15), to the kingdom and glory of God (I Thess 2:12), to an eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15), to fellowship (I Cor. 1:9), and to service (Gal 1). The means of calling is clearly stated as being through grace (Gal. 1:6) and through the hearing of the gospel (II Thess. 2:14). The nature of God's calling is described as an upward (Phil. 3:14), heavenly (Heb. 3:1), holy (II Tim. 1:9) calling. It is filled with hope (Eph. 1:18, 4:4). Finally, the "called, chosen and faithful" are with the Lamb (Rev. 17:14) indicating that those whom God called (saved) He glorified (Rom. 8:30). The stress is on the initiative of God.” author unknown 22. CALVI , “First, the word "consider", is important, for it intimates that singular attention is required, as he cannot be disregarded with impunity, and that at the same time the true knowledge of Christ is sufficient to dissipate the darkness of all errors. And to encourage them the more to pursue this study, he reminds them of their calling; as though he had said, "God favoured you with no common grace when He called you into his kingdom; it now remains that you have your eyes fixed on Christ as your leader in the way." For the calling of the godly cannot be otherwise confirmed than by a thorough surrender of themselves to Christ. We ought not therefore to regard this as said only to the Jews, but that it is a general truth addressed to all who desire to come into the kingdom of God; they ought sedulously to attend to Christ, for he is the sole instructor of our faith, and has confirmed it by the sacrifice of himself; for "confession", or profession, is to be taken here for faith, as thought he had said, that the faith we profess is vain and of no avail, unless Christ be its object.” 23. J PRESTO EBY, “As our APOSTLE Jesus Christ proclaims and opens up the way before us, and as our HIGH PRIEST He reconciles us fully to God that we may walk in the calling ordained for us. And what is that calling? TO BE PARTAKERS WITH HIM I HIS OW HEAVE LY CALLI G! Here are indeed great words! "Calling" here, as always in the epistles, has reference not to an invitation to go to some far-off heaven somewhere, but to a PRESE T heavenly state of being. For ew Creation men, according to Col.1:12, have already been made "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," and our "citizenship IS in heaven" (Phil. 3:20), and God nath "raised us up together, and made us sit together I THE

HEAVE LIES in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). The heavenly calling is the calling unto the Priesthood of Christ. Hebrews is very clear about this. " ow the main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a HIGH PRIEST, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic God I HEAVE , an officiating PRIEST, a MI ISTER I THE HOLY PLACES and in the true tabernacle which is erected not by man but by the Lord" (Heb. 8:1-2, Amplified). Hear it! O ye Sons of God Christ is the great High Priest OF THE HEAVE S and we are called to be PARTAKERS WITH HIM I THAT HEAVE LY CALLI G. The notion, held by the vast majority of evangelical Christians, that the Priesthood of the Christ is an I DIVIDUAL, SI GULAR PRIESTHOOD exercised by Himself alone in some far-away heaven, is an absurdity. The term "High Priest" is a relative term, "high" being translated from the Greek word ARCHIEREUS, meaning "chief" in order or rank. It is the same word translated "chief priest" or "chief priests" in numerous passages. It is a title denoting the CHIEF OR HEAD OF A ORDER such as the terms "Chairman of the Board," "Archangel," "Chief of Police," "Speaker of the House," "King of Kings," etc. It should be clear to every thinking mind that you cannot have a High Priest without a Priesthood any more than you can have a Chairman of the Board without a board for the Chairman of the Board to be chairman over. You cannot have a High Priest without a Priesthood any more than you can have an Arch-angel without an order of angels for the Arch-angel to be leader of. You cannot have a High Priest without a Priesthood any more than you can have a Chief of Police without a police force for the Chief of Police to be chief of. You cannot have a High Priest without a Priesthood any more than you can have a Speaker of the House of Representatives without a House of Representatives for the Speaker of the House to be speaker for. You cannot have a High Priest without a Priesthood any more than you can have Jesus as King of Kings with no kings for Him to be the King over. High Priest! The High Priest in heaven! Ah, yes, and we are holy brethren, PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVE LY CALLI G, having Received the vision of becoming O E I HIM, to share in this heavenly Priesthood, and as we follow on to know HIM in all His glorious fullness we shall see a ministry unfold before us which leads to deliverance and restoration for all God's creation. Our task will not be left undone, for we shall have the ages before us to carry it through to victory, and to HIS praise! In the Old Testament, although there was a work for the whole priesthood to do, there was one specific work to be done by the High Priest, that no other priest could perform. This work of ATO EME T that the High Priest performed once each year, could be done only by himself, but the whole priesthood would manifest that work through the whole year. We read in Heb. 8:1-2, " ow we have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens: A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man." Paul makes the definite statement in this passage that we OW possess such a High Priest . ow Peter tells us that WE ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD. Under the law the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies once a year and made atonement for the people. THE HIS WORK WAS DO E until another Day of Atonement came around, at which time he would go through it again. But for the year, THE PRIESTHOOD ministered to the people. The priesthood ministered to the people THAT WHICH THE HIGH PRIEST HAD DO E BEFORE GOD I THE HOLIEST. The sinner would bring his offering for the sin he had committed and turn it over to the priest. Then the priest would offer it and there was nothing the priest could do but go to the sinner and say, "YOUR SI IS FORGIVE ." ow all that the priest had done WAS TO MI ISTER THAT WHICH THE HIGH PRIEST HAD ACCOMPLISHED I THE HOLIEST. With great

earnestness I pray that God will open your understanding, for that, precious friend of mine, is precisely what the Royal Priesthood is commissioned to do to minister to a lost and dying world that which our great High Priest has accomplished through the power of His precious blood in the heavens! The entire body of Priests under the great High Priest is the extension and projection and fulfillment of His own High Priestly ministry.The Lord Jesus lived here on earth under a deep consciousness of having a mission from His Father to fulfill. He continually used the expression, "The Father hath sent Me." He knew what this mission was. He knew the Father had chosen Him, and sent Him into the world with the one purpose of fulfilling that mission, and He knew the Father would give Him all that He needed for it. Faith in the Father having sent Him was the motivation and power for all that He did. In earthly things it is a great help if an ambassador knows clearly what his mission is; that he has nothing to do but to care for its accomplishment; and that he has given himself undividedly to do this one thing For the members of the Royal Priesthood it is of no less consequence that they should know that they have a mission, what its nature is, and how they are to accomplish it. Our heavenly mission is one of the most glorious parts of our conformity to our Lord. He says it plainly in the most solemn moments of His life: "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you" (Jn. 20:21). After the Lord had fulfilled His mission on earth He ascended into heaven, and became to the world the Unseen One. And now He has given over His heavenly mission to HIS ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, having entered into them in mighty spirit power to perform it. They must so represent Him, the Invisible One, that from seeing them men can judge what He is. Every Priest must so be the image of Jesus must so exhibit in his person and conduct the same love, grace, and power, as animated the Christ, that from them the world may know what Christ is like, and be touched by Him. Oh, my soul! take time to realize these heavenly thoughts: The purpose of the Royal Priesthood is to reveal glory and minister the work of the great High Priest of the heavens. His seed has come into us, we have been born of the Spirit of God, God is having a people in whom is the Spirit of His Son, so that there is a relationship with the Father and a forming and a revelation and an outflow of the Father's character, mind, and will. For what reason? So that God can appear I THE MIDST of His apprehended ones and so that God can appear THROUGH His people at any time He wants and in any form He needs to appear. "When He shall come to be glorified I HIS SAI TS, and to be ADMIRED I ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE in that day" (II Thes. 1:10). Long centuries ago the prophet Malachi asked the burning question, "Who may abide the day of HIS COMI G? and who shall STA D when HE APPEARETH? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi (the priesthood), and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness" (Mat. 3:23).Jesus Christ wants to reveal Himself, not only as Saviour. You know the old story: "Jesus is my Saviour, Healer, Baptizer, Sanctifier, and thank God - I rejoice over this more than anything else He is my coming King." Is it not because we have not been sure whether we wanted this Man to RULE over us? We do not mind Him ruling over Castro and the devil and the millenium, but we have not wanted to be totally conquered and ruled by Him. That is why we have kept Him coming. The Lord wants to be King OW. But He wants to be more than that. You first have to know Him as King. We have sung through the years a little chorus that goes like this: "Oh King of glory, We bow before Thee Take Thy throne and reign within our hearts." We first have to know Him in His Kingship, in His authority, in His government. We have to first know Him as King. But why does He desire us to know Him as King? Why does He desire to set up the throne of His Kingdom in our hearts? So that He can make US to become kings!

But that is not the end. He is not setting up His throne in us, just to make us kings. But He is establishing His throne in us - "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and bath made us kings and priests unto God" - He is making us kings in order that He shall now be able to appear and manifest Himself in the midst of the kings as THE KI G OF ALL THE KI GS. The world will never know Him as the King of Kings until there are kings among whom He can stand and reveal Himself as King of Kings. Do not think you will be puffed up in pride or use the power for your self-interest when you become a king. "Oh, when I become a king I will..." When you become a king, that is just the beginning. It is just the beginning of the opportunity for the REVELATIO OF JESUS CHRIST AS KI G OF KI GS. I want to tell you that that is a life-changing concept, yet, some of you have never even begun to touch the hem of its garment. Our Captain, our King, has WO the victory! He has conquered death! He has conquered hell! He has conquered US! And now, we partake of His victory. We need to know that we can never conquer with Christ until we have been conquered by Him. We will never reign with Christ until we are REIG ED OVER by Him. "Well," you say, "why does He not appear as King of Kings?" Because most of us are beggars. "Oh, God, please bless us; Lord, do this, do that; give us this, give us that." And if He appeared as King of beggars, we would be ashamed before Him. In all our poverty, in all our need, in all our self-pity, in all our limitation, foolishness and carnality, should suddenly the Majesty of the heavens, the blessed and only Potentate appear, why right away we would fall with our faces in the dust in shame before Him. But if we are standing as kings in the presence of God, reigning in life, undefeated and victorious, overcomers and conquerors in all things, rejoicing because His throne is in our hearts, then we welcome the King of Kings n the midst of the kings. "Who shall stand when He appeareth?" I tell you in truth that it is those who have been MADE O E I HIM in that in which He is appearing. Those are able to stand with Him when HE appears. God is teaching us the way of overcoming, the reality of His authority and Lordship. Why is He establishing that authority and that Lordship in the hearts of His people? Because He is the Lord and the Head of the body, the Church. Of course you will never know His Lordship, except by the Holy Spirit: " o man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." The Lordship of Jesus Christ must be set up in our hearts, where His will becomes our delight. Why does He want us to come into lordship and authority? So He can appear in the midst as the LORD OF LORDS! If we are not lords, He cannot come as Lord of Lords. He is not Lord of Slaves. He is Lord of Lords. Why is God bringing Sons to glory? That in the midst of all Jesus Christ might appear as the pre-eminent One, THE SO among the Sons! Do we love His appearing? Do we want God to make us a people for Himself, so that in whatever form He desires to appear, He can appear in the midst? The inspired apostle John has taught us that when HE APPEARS, WE MUST BE LIKE HIM. It says, "We shall be like Him," but it also means, "We must be like Him." Can we not see that if we are not like Him in the way He wishes to appear, He cannot appear in that form? We are the body, the vehicle, the expression and manifestation of the Christ. Because we are HIS BODY, whenever He manifests Himself, He will manifest Himself in the form of that body, in what ever form the body is. Among the saved He appears as Saviour. Have you not noticed that the only manifestation of the Christ through saved people is salvation? Go to any Church on any corner where all the people have experienced of Christ is the gift of salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and what will they be preaching and ministering? Why, salvation, of course! He appears there as the Saviour. But go among people who have found Him in healing power, and in what form does He appear in the midst? Why, as the Healer! Among those baptized in the Spirit, He appears as the Anointed and the Anointer, the Christ, and His anointings are manifest in power and glory.

But there is one form in which He will and must appear in these last days and throughout the ages to come. If He must appear as Saviour, He must appear among Saviours. If He must appear as Deliverer, He must appear among Deliverers. If He appears as the Chief Cornerstone, He must appear among living stones. If He appears as the Son of God, He must appear among many brethren conformed to His image. If He comes as Lord, He must be Lord among other lords. If He comes as King, He must be King among other kings. If He is going to be revealed as God, He must be revealed among the gods (Ps. 82:2,6). And if ever creation is to see and know Him as the great High Priest of the heavens, HE MUST BE REVEALED AMO G THE PRIESTS! "Who shall stand when He appeareth?" When He appears as King, only the kings can stand with Him, everybody else has to fall before Him. When He appears as Lord, only the lords are able to stand with Him, the rest will bow before His appearing. When He appears as Judge, only the judges (I Cor. 6:2; Dan. 7:22) can stand with Him, all the rest will cringe before Him. And when He appears as High Priest, only the priests, those elect saints born of a priestly heart, possessed of the priestly nature, are able to stand with Him! But because His priests are polluted, corrupted, undeveloped, and immature, He comes first to "SIT as a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness" (Mal. 3:2-3). Ah - He sits among those being purified and prepared as His Royal Priesthood, He appears among those being refined as the great Refiner, But in due time, praise His name, He appears among them as the High Priest and they stand with Him unto the blessing of all the ends of the earth! THE HIGH PRIEST A D THE PRIESTSThe priesthood of Aaron foreshadows Christ in a very striking way. The honour of being High Priest is not open to man's ambition. o man can take it to himself (Heb. 5:4). The High Priest ministers in such holy matters that only God can appoint him. Thus it was that Aaron was called of God to this task. He did not take it to himself; nor did Moses make him High Priest. God called him to do this work, and no one else could have done so. In the same way, "Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest"(Heb. 5:5). He was a High Priest because God made Him so. He was "called of God" (Heb. 5:10) to this office. It is inspiring to meditate upon the thought given us in Ex. 28:1: "And take thou unto thee AARO THY BROTHER, A D HIS SO '; with him from among the children of Israel, that HE may minister unto Me in the priest's office, even Aaron, adab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons." God chose five men, Aaron and his four sons, and then referred to them in the singular pronoun "that HE may minister." The ministries of these five men were inseparably wrapped up in each other, so that God saw them as one. Aaron did not minister without the priests (except on the Day of Atonement), and the priests could not minister without the High Priest. This is all very wonderful, for Christ does not minister alone. God has called us to be priests that we might share in the ministry of reconciliation. We, too, like the priests of old, cannot minister apart from our great High Priest upon whom we depend at all times. The Father has called us unto Sonship that we might stand with Him and cry, "OUR VERY OW Father!" He is apprehending many for the authority of Kingship that He might be "the King of Kings." He is making many to be Priests after the order of Melchizedek that He and they may stand in O E MI ISTRY unto the Father - satisfying the heart of the Father for the fellowship of Sons through whom He may reveal His person unto the whole creation. And even now, all creation is standing on tiptoe to behold the glorious sight of God's Sons coming into their own. And because of the wise and gracious councils of God from eternity, Christ now has no identity APART FROM US, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. The Father looks at His Son A D His Sons, His High Priest A D His Priests, and says, "that HE may minister unto Me!"

In my meditations upon the Order of Melchizedek, I find it impossible to separate between the High Priest and the Priests. Under the Aaronic Order the HIGH PRIEST was the one who went into the Holy of Holies. He passed through the veil and entered into the place unseen by all others. The PRIESTHOOD did not do this. But, precious friend of mine, if you think that Jesus is keeping all the glory of that realm to Himself, then you just haven't read Heb. 6:19-20. "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the FORERU ER is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the Order of Melchizedek." Let me repeat - the only person permitted an entrance BEYO D THE VEIL was the High Priest. While manifested on this earth plane, Jesus Christ left us His personal example that we might follow in His footsteps. It is a way that leads BEYO D THE VEIL into the glories of the Father. It was necessary that He tread all the course that we might be able to follow all the way into divine fullness. HE IS THE WAY unto the Father, and by our union with Him we find it i& first a way of humiliation before it becomes a way of exaltation. Thus we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, assured that in due time HE will lift us up, and we shall live in His sight. A FORERU ER is one who goes ahead of others. He goes ahead as a sample of those who are to follow. Jesus is our FORERU ER, which clearly indicates that others are expected to follow on into the same realms of glory. Christ, a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek, is our FORERU ER, He went first, and where He went, we are to go. The Forerunner blazed the trail all the way, and we rejoice in this fact, but then He also came back, by HIS SPIRIT, to escort us all the way into the glory beyond the veil, the glory of a PRIESTHOOD AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. Full well He knows the route, for He has travailed it all the way through to victory, and now is able to guide us down the same path into the glorious victory which He obtained. It is HIS daily enabling that gives us strength to carry on until the consummation is reached. WE HAVE A HOPE. That hope is the anchor of the soul. Our hope in the Christ is the anchor of that life both sure and firm, and it has entered into the veil, taken there by our FORERU ER, even Jesus. He is the Forerunner. He ran ahead of, or before us. This being true, it is evident that WE ARE GOI G TO RU ALSO. What He entered into we also will come into. He simply has opened the way for us and He is the A CHOR or the HOPE of that LIFE which is behind the veil. This is all an accomplished fact. Let us remember, however, that in the Old Testament order it was only the High Priest who could enter into the Holy of Holies. one else could enter, and even the High Priest would enter in with fear and trembling and only after much preparation and vested with special garments. But how glorious the word! "And having an High Priest over the house of God, LET US draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:21-22). In verse nineteen of this same chapter we read, "Having therefore brethren, BOLD ESS TO E TER I TO THE HOLIEST by the blood of Jesus." We, the Royal Priesthood, DO HAVE BOLD ESS TO E TER I . We need not wait, and we do not have to go to some far-off heaven somewhere. This thing is taking place WITHI US right at this time, blessed be HIS wonderful name! For us it is a glorious privilege to enter in because Jesus Christ, our High Priest and Forerunner, has opened the way and bids us enter. Multitudes know Jesus Christ as their Saviour, Baptizer, Healer, Sanctifier and Blesser, but do you know Jesus as your Forerunner? Do you know Him as the Forerunner of the MELCHIZEDEKIA PRIESTHOOD? ow we hear the word to us and it is that we are to come in with BOLD ESS. Come right into the Holy of Holies. Come right into the presence of God.

Come right into the glory of God. Come right into that high and holy realm that only HIGH PRIESTS enter! We need not be afraid, for we have a High Priest who is OW appearing in the presence of God FOR US, not I OUR PLACE, but O OUR BEHALF, for that is the true sense of the words "for us." This wonderful High Priest ABIDES in the presence of God and we are to come right in. Yet many stand without. Some dwell in the Outer Court while others tarry in the Holy Place. The High Priest continues to invite us to come in. We have been standing outside and we have said to one another, "Isn't that wonderful and glorious and mighty - that place within the veil!" Multitudes do not dare because of fear to even look into the place. But the word is to come right in, even into the Holy of Holies. Sit down in the presence of the living God. Sit down with the Christ as a Priest upon His throne. For the great High Priest is there ministering, and we are to minister with Him, the Royal Priesthood, those who are made PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVE LY CALLI G. If we can ever see this, if we somehow by God's grace and the quickening of the Holy Ghost can get ahold of it, we will not hesitate to yield ourselves unto the call of God to the PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST. God has a people in the earth today who are not ordinary people. They are not people of this earth, but people of the Celestial Kingdom. They are God's dwelling place and they dwell in God. The High Priest, the One after the Order of Melchizedek, HAS E TERED THE HOLY PLACE OT MADE WITH HA DS. He is there appearing in the presence of God for us, on our behalf. The great invitation to God's elect now is, "COME I ." After such an awesome revelation as this we find it impossible to RETUR to the old way. The old religious systems, the old preaching of manmade doctrines and creeds and petty religious traditions has become an abomination, it holds nothing for us. We can have nothing to do with such things. The ways of babylon are the ways of death to us. WE HAVE A HIGH PRIEST OVER THE HOUSE OF GOD. The High Priest is OW ministering over the house of God, WHOSE HOUSE WE ARE. You will find the High Priest ministering in His temple, and know ye not that YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVI G GOD? He is appearing in the presence of God for us, and IT IS ALL GOI G O WITHI US, in our experiencing of God. PRIESTS I DEED I must emphasize with all solemnity, beloved, that when God chooses men to be Priests He means for them to BE PRIESTS. Priesthood is not an honorary title, a gift, a reward, or some emotional blessing to be worn like a merit badge for show. Priesthood is real. Priesthood is ministry, to God and to men. Priesthood is work. Priesthood is caring, loving, touching, interceding, forgiving, healing, changing, transforming, teaching, and doing all necessary to bring lost and dying, sick and sorrowing, tormented and hostile men back to God. Priesthood is praise and worship and consecration and holiness unto the Lord. The priesthood of Aaron was set apart, sanctified unto the Lord, that they might serve in holy things. There was to be no life of luxurious IDLE ESS, of worldly EASE and COMFORT. They were, it is true, to lack nothing, for we find that full provision was made for all their needs; but their life was to be A LIFE OF SERVICE, and that service in the very presence of God.I am convinced that great numbers of people today think that Sonship is a matter of the head; that it is believing theoretically and intellectually certain "end time truths." These kind of folk want a constant diet of exotic "revelations," but no inworking or outworking of His life. "What is your latest revelation, Eby?" "Give us something rich," is their cry., But they are not the least bit interested in BECOMI G THE REVELATIO . You can believe all the "Kingdom Message", and be on the highway of the devil, just as in the Churches today a man can be a first-class theologian and be the bondslave of a first-class devil. You can

know all the points of Calvinism and never know God. You can know all the answers in the Catechism and never touch God. And you can know intellectually all the "deeper teaching" of this hour and be spiritually bankrupt. You can understand theoretically the whole thing and never possess anything. You are like a man who has a beautiful picture of a magnificent estate, and all the title deeds to that estate, but they are not in his name. He has no rights of property there at all. There are multitudes of people today who describe, and truth@ fully describe, many great and wonderful things connected with the Kingdom of God, but they do not possess any of them. What is the use of talking about a thing unless you possess at least something of it? What is the use of talking about a religion that does not possess you? Why talk about a God and a realm that is afar off, and does not possess you? What is the use of talking about a calling and a ministry that is mere theological theories? That may do something for a moment, but a theory never did ‘ anything until it was put into some practical form. You may have a very fine theory, and it may, if properly applied, become a very powerful thing; but as long as it remains a mere theorem, what is it? Of no use at all. I know men who are theoretical engineers, and practical fools. I know men who are theoretical educationalists, and do not know how to teach anybody anything. I know men who are theoretical financiers, and they have not a dollar to bless themselves with. I know men who are theoretical politicians, and could tell President Reagan and his Cabinet how to manage the nation, and they cannot manage their own families. What is the use of a theory that is not embodied in practice? What is the use of a revelation that cannot be demonstrated in a tangible shape? That is the question. I am very glad that I am living in a practical age. The world understands practical things quite well, thoroughly well. It is far better up than the Church -is. Jesus said, "The sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of light." They are wiser, far wiser for their own generation. They do notitalk theo-ries. They do not take any stock in the man who does not reduce the thing to practice. Has any man down town time to waste on a fellow who comes into his office, gassing and talking? They say, "Have you anything practical to tell us? If not, get!" If they were to say that on Sunday morning to their ministers, how many ministers would have to get! I do not hesitate to tell you that there ate no arm-chair Priests in the Kingdom of God! There are no Country-Club elite Priests. There are no playboy Priests. There are no honorary Priests. There are no theoretical, self-styled Priests. Ifyou have received the call to the Royal Priesthood then God is very practically inworking into your life something of the priestly nature and life. It is real. It works. It works right here and now, and in the nitty-gritty of everyday living. Priesthood is mercy. Priesthood is compassion. Priesthood is forgiveness. Priesthood is blessing. Priesthood is love, divine love. Priesthood is reconciliation. Priesthood is healing. Priesthood is tenderness and sympathy and the power of HIS LIFE to change things. Ah, your dog will know it, if you are a Priest! I do not need to ask God, my brother, my sister, whether you are a Priest; I need only to ask your wife, your husband, your children, your neighbor whose dog killed your cat, your boss, your associates, yes, and your enemies! Priesthood is the spirit of the High Priest. Jesus lives, and Jesus has loved us, and has Himself cleansed us in His blood. He bestows upon us the disposition of priesthood by His indwelling. His indwelling is but the first step, then follows the I WORKI G by which we BECOME that which has first entered into us as an embryonic life. The spirit of Priesthood is love. Love is the queen of all the graces of the Christ life. Love is the passion of self-giving. It never stops to ask what it can

afford, or what it may expect to receive in return; but it is ever shedding its heart's blood. It will pine to death if it cannot give. The love of Christ, which went out so tenderly to those who walked and talked with Him when He was upon earth, is no less far-reaching and eternal to usward. It is this fathomless love of Christ that conquers; and His all-conquering, boundless love, is the banner unfurled in the lives of His Kingdom of Priests. O precious love divine, higher than the heavens, deeper than the abyss, broader than all the ages of time! O mighty love that reached through countless ages and brought Christ down from the bosom of the Father to redeem creation; which brought Him to the tomb; which brought Him back to the right hand of God, as the High Priest of the heavens who ever liveth to make intercession for us; which is now shed abroad in OUR HEARTS by the Holy Ghost! "Love your enemies," said Jesus. Can you not love even your enemies with the love of God which is perfected in you? ot with your own love, but with God's love. God loves the world - and gave His Son to die for it. He loves the world, notwithstanding its vileness and sin and hostility. It is easy enough to love that which is amiable, pleasing, and lovely; but true Love - the Love of God surpasses that, and loves the unlovely and the loveless, and if you are a Son of the Highest, possessing His Love, you will love like Him and thus demonstrate your divine lineage. You shall be a fitting representative of your Father which is in heaven, for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust and is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Love is bound to triumph in the end and all humanity, however rough and coarse now, is but the raw material out of which the great Master Workman makes beings higher than the angels. Blessed is the man who has come near enough to the heart of God in His plans and works to see in the rudest and most unsightly block of unfinished humanity "the Perfect Man" - and to love and serve that ideal - God's finished man regardless of his present stage of development. Viewing all humanity thus, out of the heart of God, and out of the heart of God's great High Priest, you, as a child of God, and a member of the Royal Priesthood, can afford to treat all mankind, irrespective of their attitude toward you, or God, with the most magnificent and lavish generosity, for you have the infinite resources of your Father to draw upon. It is no wonder that the natural man cannot love his enemies, since he has a very slim stock of love anyway, even for his friends, and what he has is a very inferior article, the blemished love of an unregenerated heart. It is not likely that he is going to bestow any of this stuff upon those who hate and curse and abuse and persecute him. or is it any great loss to them either! But you - a child of God ~ a Priest of the Most High - with the same nature as His who is Love - with an unlimited supply of perfect love to draw upon - you can afford to love everybody. You can be a perfect spendthrift in love and never fear of exhausting the store. Love your enemies? Why, of course you can! God your Father loved YOU when YOU were HIS E EMY! I love the story of Leonardo da Vinci. According to the legend, some lads were visiting the famous artist. One of them knocked over a can of paint. It upset the artist because he was working very quietly and sensitively. He became angry, threw his brush, and hurled some harsh words to the helpless little fellow who ran crying from the studio. The artist was now alone again. He tried to continue his work. He was trying to paint the face of Jesus, to portray in that face the strength of His character, but he couldn't do it. His creativity had stopped. Leonardo da Vinci put down his brush. He went out and walked the streets and the alleys until he found the little boy. He said, "I'm sorry, son. I shouldn't have spoken so harshly. Forgive me even as Christ forgives. I have done something worse than you. You only spilled the paint. But I, by my anger, blocked the flow of God in my life. Will you come back with me?" He took the boy who sat in the studio with him. They smiled as the face of Jesus came quite naturally from the Master's brush.

"Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a MERCIFUL and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people" (Heb. 2:17). As Jesus is a faithful and merciful High Priest in things pertaining to God, so His body must be the same. A merciful Priesthood! How this world needs mercy, and how little of it there is! So He is raising up a new creation Man who is merciful. Many are concerned about the qualifications necessary to be a part of this new creation Man. Some seem to think that you must have great revelation, or gifts, or abilities. ot so! But you must have mercy. The unmerciful man shall not be a part of this Priesthood. "Blessed are the MERCIFUL: for they shall obtain mercy," is one of the principles of the Kingdom of God. It is the property of God to always have mercy. His mercy is above the heavens. It is from everlasting to everlasting. He has provided a way that the banished may always return. There can be no limits to God's mercy. Men have limits to their mercy, but our God has none. The mercy of God is not only mercy, but it is tender mercy. It is mercy of the utmost tenderness and love. It is mercy which reaches to all. Christ Himself manifested that mercy. It is mercy without any alloy, pure, and without any holding back. It is mercy without any remembrance of the transgression. It is the blotting of it out. It is the casting of it into the deep sea of eternal forgetfulness. Those who would be Priests of God and of Christ must exercise that mercy. When you exercise mercy it must be in great tenderness; not grudgingly, not by force, but because you desire to do it. "The quality of mercy is not strained." Gentle and heavenly mercy is of God. When God speaks of mercy, He uses a figure which is of the sublimes" character. He says not only that His mercy endures forever, but that His mercy is above the heavens, as if it were the dome of Infinite Love over all. "I say to thee, do thou repeat, To the first man thou mayest meet, In lone highway or open street, That he and we and all men move Under a canopy of love, Broader than the blue sky above." Mercy is a jewel. It shines brightest in the fair crown of God Himself. It seems as if it were the central diamond in the diadem of heaven. On the brows of all who are God's children there is no brighter gem. He sets a crown of forgiveness and tender mercies upon our brows. When we are merciful and kind and compassionate, we are most like God. This mercy must extend in all directions and in connection with all things. It must extend to the lower creation, which is a subject we do not, perhaps, sufficiently touch. Man is placed in a position of great power and can exercise great kindness or great cruelty. God says the merciful man is merciful even to his beast. When mercy is given and kindness is shown to the lower creation, how they respond to it! How oftentimes a kindness shown to a dog, for instance, has been the means for saving a life! A child is kind to a dog and cares for it. How many lives have been saved by grateful and faithful dogs! Ah that is why I say your dog will be among the first to know when your heart is embued with the priestly nature. All about you will know. If men were merciful how different the world would be! Wars would cease, strikes would cease, crime would stop, the divorce rate would drop to zero, greed and envy of men would disappear, and none would speak ill of another. It is the man without mercy; it is the unkindness and cruelty of the unregenerated nature which has made this world so sad. Thank God! through the Christ sin shall pass away and the earth shall be filled with the glory of God. The Royal Priesthood is but the firstfruits of this wonderful redemption, the harbinger of glorious things to come as that which is first wrought out in them is in turn ministered unto the creation until all things are made new in the Christ. Praise HIS AME!

24. Unknown author, “Holy. The author of Hebrews calls those to whom he is writing, "holy brethren." What does "holy" mean to you? It may sound like anything that is associated with religion. But in fact, the Greek words for "holy," "sanctified," "hallowed," and "saint" all come from the same root word, which means, "that which is set apart, pure, and kept for God's use." To be holy means to be set apart. And while that root word is used to describe such awe-inspiring things as the Holy Spirit, the hallowed name of God (Matt 6:9), Jesus, Who is sanctified (John 10:36), and the holy angels (Luke 9:26), it is also used to describe us as Christians. We are called holy! When we became Christians, we were set apart, purified, and kept for God's use. We have a special purpose in the kingdom of God. Compare this to other things that are sanctified for certain uses. Like fine china or silverware that is kept only for special occasions, you would never throw a frozen burrito on it and toss it in the microwave. Like the family silverware passed down through generations, you would never grab the knife to use as a screwdriver. Like a military "dress blues" uniform worn only during formal ceremonies, you would never throw it on to mow the lawn or paint the house. o one would ever dream of doing these things, for they would be despising the sanctity of the items. Christian, you are sanctified for God's use. You are holy. Although misusing these items may ruin or destroy them, it does not change the fact that they are set apart. Christians are the same way. When misusing themselves with sin, believers are damaging themselves, but they are not changing the fact that God has set them apart. There is no greater example of a group of sinning Christians than the church of Corinth. Yet, even they were described by the apostle Paul as being... 1Cor. 1:2 ...those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling... The words "sanctified" and "saints" are that same root word. Even the Corinthians are called holy, sanctified, set apart for God's use. Do you look at your life this way? You have a special calling on your life, and God has set you apart. This is why Peter wrote, 1Pet. 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts {which were yours} in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all {your} behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” Brethren And we are not just holy, but holy brethren. By being united in salvation, we have been united as a family. All through the ew Testament, we see believers referring to one another as "brother" and "sister." This is more than Christian terminology, it is how God desires us to see one another. James pointed out, James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for {their} body, what use is that? Most of us would never dream of seeing our own siblings suffering from need without doing anything about it. And yet, on a regular basis, we neglect the needs of fellow Christians. If you look around you this morning, you will be looking at your brethren, your brothers and sisters in Christ. God desires that we would... Rom. 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; (and) give preference to one another in honor

Partakers Of A Heavenly Calling The holy brethren are partakers of a heavenly calling. We have been called by God not only for this life, but also to another life - one which will last for eternity. We have been called to the age to come - a call to heaven. Heaven is something that we don't spend a lot of time pursuing. Maybe that is because we can't picture it. After all, 1Cor. 2:9 ...eye has not seen and ear has not heard, A D HAVE not entered the heart of man, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” It seems like a good excuse: "If I can't picture it, why should I pursue it?" But even though our minds can't conceive of what is waiting for us, we are to dwell on it, to pursue it, to make it our goal. I have heard the expression, "she's so heavenly-minded, she's no earthly good." I disagree with that. If we are heavenly-minded, then our priorities are in order. Paul certainly felt that way, telling the Philippians, Phil. 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of {it} yet; but one thing {I do} : forgetting what {lies} behind and reaching forward to what {lies} ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory... Pressing on for the prize of the upward call. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are eagerly waiting to be there. When we are heavenly-minded, we live holy lives and become much more earthly good. Consider Jesus The Apostle We are told to consider Jesus. Remember, the larger context is to consider Jesus in relation to Moses, and we will look at that next Sunday. But first, we are called to consider Jesus in two roles: as apostle, and as high priest. Does it sound strange to describe Jesus as an apostle? After all, didn't He have apostles? Didn't He name them and send them out? Luke 6:12-13 And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles Indeed, Jesus named twelve apostles. But there was no rule saying that this was the limit. In fact, we see that many more men were called apostles as the Bible progresses. It is no mystery to think of Jesus as an apostle when we understand what an apostle is. The word "ap-OS-tol-os" in Greek simply means, "one who is sent out with a message." With that understanding, we see that Jesus is a perfect example of an apostle. He was, after all, sent out with a message. He said, Luke 4:18-19 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPO ME, BECAUSE HE A OI TED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SE T ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, A D RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLI D, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOW TRODDE , TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” The Father sent Jesus to us with a message - the message of the gospel, of forgiveness of sins, of faith for salvation. This is the message we have received and believed. Thus, He is the apostle of our confession. Consider Jesus The High Priest He is also our High Priest. The Jews knew exactly what role the high priest played in their

religious lives - He was the one who was the mediator between God and the nation. He was the one who confessed the sins of the people, and offered sacrifice for them. He was the one who entered into the presence of the glory of God. Jesus is all these things for us. Much of this book is dedicated to explaining Jesus' role as our high priest, and we will have a firm grasp of this by the time we finish. ext week, the author will encourage us to consider Jesus in comparison to Moses. Read ahead, stay in prayer, but most of all, be sure this week to consider Jesus. 25. Jesse Gistand, “"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house." Hebrews 3:1-2 Here we are! The Apostle has put the issue right back in the face of the Hebrews. Are you a Hebrew? Then here is what the Apostle has asked you to do; consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. What a wise word. Here has been the whole objective of the Apostle from the start, to consider Christ. The word consider, means to behold. "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." (James 1:23-24). "When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold." (Acts 7:31-32). To behold the Apostle sent from the Father and to behold the High Priest present with the Father is exactly what all GOD's people will do. They have no interest in anyone else. They are willing and ready to consider, ponder, heed, and follow that man sent from GOD, Jesus Christ. For they know that when they behold him, they are beholding the Lamb that took away their sin. The Apostle has already identified Jesus Christ as the last word to men from GOD. If we refuse to hear him we have no hope of eternal life. That man or woman is greatly misled to believe that GOD will have anything to do with them if they lightly esteem his Son. If they place anything or any one with or above him, they stand as objects of GOD's displeasure and wrath. The Apostle also has established Christ's Deity and redeemer-hood, so that He ought to be the more earnestly heeded. ow the Apostle's goal is to teach the Hebrews, right where it ought to be the most offensive, the most effective in getting their attention, at Moses. You see they were proud to be Moses disciples. "Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples." (John 9:28). They ruled under Moses' administration. "Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:" (Matthew 23:2). And they trusted in Moses. "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust." (John 5:45). But you see child of GOD, Moses' house was complete when Christ appeared. Christ was the capstone of the old testament and He is the foundation stone of the new testament. "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." (Psalm 118:22-23). As soon as the eternal SO of GOD took on our nature, Moses' house, rule, way, and Moses' influence began to dissolve. The covenant GOD made with Israel through him began to wax old and fade away. The Son has come, and He is the heir. This truth was hard to receive by those Hebrews, as it is today by the eo-Jews, who can't seem to live without the picture. What is the problem? They need to consider Him, more diligently.

26. DAVID WILKERSO , “Yet we don't want this kind of discipline. We want the easy way! We're like schoolchildren who want to stay on the playground rather than go back into the classroom. We'll spend years disciplining ourselves in learning to become a doctor, a nurse, a minister, a teacher. We know that any career or calling takes great study and effort. But when it comes to actually serving Jesus, we choose to be airheads! We follow Him as spiritual simpletons. Perhaps today you testify, "I'm reading my Bible now and praying a little each day. I'm doing battle in my life and at home. I'm trying hard to do better!" Dear saint, let me tell you straight: That is not enough! one of these things will keep you through the coming storm. It's not enough to try hard, to make promises to God, to strive and struggle to be better. It's not enough to say, "I'm more diligent than before." o - it's all about going after a revelation of what Jesus did for you at the Cross! Something should cry out in all of us: "Oh Jesus, Your Word says I can live in total rest, peace and security. I don't have to strive in my flesh or live in an up-and-down state, tossed about by guilt or fear. You have set before me the promise of a life at rest. 1. Because Christ is superior in His position - "Apostle and High Priest" VIII.An apostle occupied the highest office in the ew Testament. The High Priest occupied the highest office of the Old Testament. IX. Today, Christ alone occupies both positions. X. As an Apostle, Christ was sent to represent God to man. John 1:14, 18 XI. As a High Priest, Christ represents man to God. 2. Because Christ is superior in His performance XII.Moses was faithful, but not perfect. XIII.Christ was both faithful and perfect. See John 8:29 3. Because Christ is superior in His person XIV.Moses was only a servant serving I the "house" of God. Christ is the Son serving OVER His own "house." 27. JOH HOLT, “The heavenly and holy calling, then is two-fold: 1. First it is a call to a person. In the Old Testament the focus was on the place to which God had called His people = the promised land. In the ew Testament the focus is on the Promised Person we are called to follow. We are called to Christ. In the Old Testament you had to be "in the land" to be in the place of blessing. In the ew Testament you have to be "in Christ" to be in the place of blessing. The blessings of salvation come to us in Jesus. The blessings of God upon our lives and futures and families come to us in Jesus.

2. The second part of this calling is to serve the living God. It is a call to good works. In the last two studies we taught about God's design for our lives. Eph. 2:8-10 tells us that part of God's design and calling is the good works that God designed in advance for us to do. In Jesus, God has saved you from your sin. In Jesus, God has called you to holy and productive living...to goodness, to righteousness, to do God's good works on this planet. Good works is not a "do the best you can" approach to live. Good works is "live out God's design for your life by fixing your thoughts on Jesus." "Consider Jesus", the King James says. A livelier translation would be "Bring your mind down on this One called Jesus". In other words focus on and concentrate on Jesus and who He is and what He has done. He is the apostle and high priest whom we confess. We don't pray to anyone else or confess anyone else....no apostles like Peter, Paul, Thomas, John, etc....no Old or ew Testament Priests. o...Jesus is the apostle and high priest Whom we confess. An apostle is one sent with authority and Jesus certainly deserves that title. But the word apostle is also derived from two greek words which describe the biological process by which one plant sends out a type of root or shoot which pushes into the ground and starts another plant. So one plant starts another colony...another plant...and it starts another and so on it spreads. Jesus was sent out by the Father to establish a new "colony of heaven" on this planet. The new colony was called the kingdom of God. Jesus then gave us that same authority to establish new colonies or churches all over the world. This is our apostle Lord leading the way and giving us authority to follow and do the same good works...to continue the apostolic work of our Lord. Jesus was faithful in His ministry as apostle and high priest. ow He calls us to follow in His steps. (In future studies we will teach on His high priestly ministry) If we as a church are going to accomplish God's will for us...we must fix our thoughts on Jesus. If you as an individual are going to fulfill the good works God designed for you to do...you must fix your thoughts on Jesus. When we become consumers and users and takes instead of servants and lovers and givers....then we have gotten our eyes and our mind off of Jesus and on to the temporary. When the church struggles to do God's will because of lack of workers and lack of funds....the Biblical reason is that God's people get their eyes off of Jesus and soon He gets the left overs of our lives instead of first place in time, energy, and finances. Whenever I get my eyes off Jesus it is harder for me to minister; it is easier to look for reasons to give up on some thing that God has called me to do. Whenever I get my eyes off Jesus, I find other things calling me to give my time, talent, and treasure. Whenever I get my eyes off Jesus it

is harder to faithfully tithe, harder to give to Missions...harder to do the good that God has called me to do with money because my eyes are on other things. Folks, when that happens...Jesus gets the left-overs of your life. And when that happens both you and the church are hindered from running the race and reaching the goals God sets before us. People say: "Pastor why doesn't the church do..." "Why doesn't the church buy..." "Why doesn't the church have money for..." But, the church is not some abstract entity. The church is you. It is you keeping your eyes on Jesus and doing, giving, going according to God's will. That's how the church reaches the goals God sets before us. ILLUS. Have any of you ever done any competitive running. You know that you cannot win a 100 yard dash or any other race by watching your feet. You also do not win by watching the other runners. You must keep your eyes on the goal...on the finish line...on that tape stretched across the track. That's the goal and watching it keeps you going the right direction and motivates you forward. Whenever God sets His will before us...we must keep our eyes on Jesus who is our goal and example. Looking at Him we know why we are running and where we are running, and in Him we find the power and joy to keep on running. When we do this...we are called "Faithful"! 28. PIPER, “We eed a Word from God and a Way to God Christians are people who have heard and believed a heavenly calling, and are therefore partakers of it, sharers in it -- "holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling." It is a heavenly calling because it comes from heaven -- from God. And it is a heavenly calling because it invites us and leads us to heaven -- to God. In other words this "heavenly calling" relates to the two great needs that we have: a word from God and a way to God. It's a heavenly calling, which means it is a word from heaven, a word from God. And it's a calling, which means it is meant to show us the way home to God. Christians are people who have been gripped by this calling. The word of God broke through our resistance, and took hold of us with the truth and love of Christ, and reconciled us to God and is now leading us home to heaven. This means that Christians are people of great hope. God has spoken from heaven, and made a way to heaven, and we have believed and our hope and confidence are firm. Jesus is the Word and the Way The reason is that he is the only answer to the two great needs that we have. We need a word from God and way to God. We need revelation from God and we need reconciliation with God. And the point of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus is both. This is why verse 1 ends with two descriptions of Jesus: "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession." These two descriptions of Jesus correspond to our two great needs: Jesus is our Apostle, and Jesus is our High Priest. Apostle means "one who is sent." So Jesus is the one sent from God to earth with the revelation of his heavenly calling. "High priest" means one who is a go-between,

who offers a sacrifice so that there can be reconciliation. So Jesus is our high priest. Look back two verses to Hebrews 2:17 to see what this more clearly: "He [Jesus] had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." That great phrase, "make propitiation" means "make a sacrifice for our sins that brings God's anger at us to an end" and makes us friends. So what the writer is saying is: You Christians, you who share in the calling of God from heaven to heaven, you have great confidence that you have heard from God (through your apostle) and you have great hope that you are going to God, loved and reconciled and secure, you Christians consider Jesus, think about Jesus, meditate on Jesus, listen to Jesus. Why? Because he is the Apostle from heaven who brought you your calling. And he is the final, once for all High Priest of God whose sacrifice of himself reconciled you to God and guarantees your homecoming to heaven. Consider Jesus, God's Apostle -- the final word from God -- and God's High Priest -- the final way to God. 29. Dr. John Allan Lavender 1-3, “The writer of Hebrews was a literary genius. He possessed a remarkable way with words. This becomes obvious when we tackle chapter three. In the short span of a single sentence, he tells his readers who they are and who Jesus is: "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession."(3:1). The phrase "holy brethren" does not refer to their daily performance. In terms of actions and attitudes those first-century saved-sinners, like ourselves, were far from being holy in the traditional sense. Rather, it describes a relationship. A very special kind of relationship existing between themselves and the Heavenly Father. The word translated "holy" literally means "set apart to God in a unique way." The fact they shared in "a heaven1y calling" indicates this set-apartness was not something they maneuvered or managed on their own. It was something God had conferred upon them. The Lord Himself had made them members of His family. They had received a call to God -- from God. Their invitation to heaven was from heaven. Good ews for Saved-sinners When we remember this invitation is both timeless and universal, including all people in all ages and areas who come to God through Christ, we have to realize there is something very positive and personal in this for Christians today. We, too, share a heavenly calling. We, too, have been set apart by God to God in a unique way. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to walk upon the earth with a special kind of dignity and humility. The intimate relationship existing between ourselves and the Lord is something He has initiated. "You did not choose Me," said Jesus. "I chose you" (John 15:16). God has made a great investment in us. To take that fact lightly is to misunderstand the full measure of His mercy, love and grace. Having told these Christians (and us) who they (and we) are, the author adds still another dimension to their awareness of who Jesus is. He is "apostle and high priest" (3:1). There is such a tremendous amount of truth in those few words, we shall only touch the surface. They tell us Jesus was, at one and the same time, God's way to man (apostle) and man's way to God (high priest). "Apostle" literally means "one who is sent." A representative. An Emissary. An Ambassador

invested with the right and the authority to speak for the one who has sent him. When the writer of Hebrews refers to Jesus as apostle, he is saying there is nothing we need to know about God and the will of God beyond what Jesus has said. There is no more evidence of God's love and forgiving grace than Jesus has revealed. The Good ews God wants the world to hear is heard loud and clear in the person of Christ. He is the perfect emissary. The perfect ambassador. The apostle! God's way to man. Jesus is also "high priest." That is to say, He is man's way to God. The Latin word for "priest" is "pontifex." It means "bridge builder." A priest is one who builds a bridge between God and man. As William Barclay notes, to do that successfully, a priest must know two things: he must know man; he must also know God. "He must be able to speak to God for men, and to speak to men for God."1 Here we begin to see the deeper significance of everything said in Hebrews chapter one and two. Barclay continues, "Jesus is the perfect high priest because He is perfectly God and perfectly man. He can represent God to man. At the same time, He can represent man to God." God finds Himself in this Person and is with man. Man finds himself in this Person and is with God. Jesus is the only person through whom God comes to man (apostle) and man makes his way to God (high priest). That's awesome! What has all this to do with Christ's superiority over Moses (3:3)? Before getting into that, notice how the writer of the book of Hebrews is not only a skilled debater, he is a sensitive one. Before dropping his bomb, he takes time to build a bomb shelter! He was not unaware of the high place Moses held in the thoughts and affections of the Hebrew people. So, before presenting his argument for Christ's superiority to Moses, he takes time to point out Christ's similarity to Moses. Jesus "was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as, that is, (like) Moses also was (faithful) in all His house" (3:12). In my various educational experiences, I've been privileged to sit under two or three really great teachers. These were people who were not only aware of their intellectual superiority, their ability to nail me to the wall with logic and knowledge, they were also sensitive to my interior integrity, my right to be what I was and believe as I did. They did not overwhelm me with their obvious superior knowledge. Instead, these great teachers met me where I was, respected my convictions, and helped me to expand my understanding. Whether or not I ultimately agreed with them, the end product was a better reason for "the hope that is in me" (1 Peter 3:15). They could do this because they were intellectually and emotionally mature. The reason most of us are so dogmatic and belligerent about our beliefs, so unwilling to talk about differing and sometimes disturbing ideas, is because we lack intellectual and emotional maturity. We do not have the knowledge we ought to have. We know it. This makes us feel insecure. We cover our insecurity with a bombast of dogmatism. Like the preacher who had his sermon notes marked in red, "Argument weak at this point. Pound the pulpit and yell." The writer of Hebrews had no such hang-up. He had done his homework. He could confidently meet his readers where they were. He acknowledged the greatness of Moses before attempting to show Jesus to be greater still. This could be done with integrity. Moses was a great man. He had poured out his very life in service to Israel. He had made every sacrifice for his nation. On one occasion, for the sake of his people, Moses was willing to be blotted out of the Book of God forever (Exodus 32:32). Like all public figures, however, he had his critics. In the twelfth chapter of umbers we're told

of the jealousy of Miriam and Aaron. Jehovah came to these two jealous critics. He told them He would speak to the children of Israel through prophets, but it would only be through dreams and visions. However, when He spoke to Moses, it would be, as the Old Testament puts it, "mouth to mouth" ( umbers 12:8). Moses alone would behold the form of God. The reason for this special treatment is that Moses alone was "faithful in [entrusted with] all My household" ( umbers 12:7). The word "household" means Israel, the household of God. We speak of the house of David. Or the house of Rothschild. Or the house of Hanover. By these phrases we mean the family of David. The family of Rothschild. The family of Hanover. As far as the Old Testament era was concerned, Israel was the family, or "house," of God. She was His unique and special possession. In that "house," Moses was a faithful apostle and high priest. Our author has not forgotten about Aaron. He will get around to him later. First, as F. F. Bruce suggests, the author wants us to see Moses as one of the few Old Testament characters who blended these two roles of apostle and high priest. That Moses was apostle, speaking to the people for God, goes without saying. lt is equally true, however, that Moses was priest. As such, he spoke to God for the people. As Bruce points out, "After the idolatrous festival in honor of the golden calf in which Aaron himself was implicated, it was Moses whose prevailing plea procured pardon for his guilty people."2 Later still, when the spies brought back an evil report which aroused rebellion in the camp of Israel and caused the people to be inclined to return to Egypt, it was the prayer of Moses that led God to extend pardon. Moses was his people's most effective intercessor with God. This point is often overlooked, partly because Moses did so many things, and partly because the priestly function of the Old Testament is generally associated with Aaron. But before the appointment of Aaron, Moses fulfilled those duties. It was Moses who appointed Aaron, thus conferring upon his brother many of the functions which had previously been his. While the writer of Hebrews will later talk about Aaron and show how Jesus put meat on Aaron's bones, at this point he compares Jesus to Moses, giving them both the title of high priest. Thus, he traces the origin of the Old Testament priesthood back to its true fountainhead: Moses. Showing the greatness and the faithfulness of Moses in these two functions, he now moves on to nail down his point about Jesus' superiority to Moses. He does so in a most interesting way. "For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. ow Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are . . ." (3:3-6). As we have already seen, the word "house" refers to the family of God. In the ew Testament, the "house" is the church, made up, as it is, of saved Jews and saved Gentiles. Using this metaphor, the writer of Hebrews shows that, great as Moses was, he was inferior to Jesus for two reasons. First of all, Moses was a member of the house. He was one whom God included in His family. Jesus was the maker of the house. The founder of the family. The progenitor from whom all family members derive their very existence. In Hebrews 1:2, our author revealed Jesus to be the architect of creation. In Hebrews 3:4 he

declares the builder of all things is God. His point? You cannot distinguish between Father and Son in the creative enterprise! As progenitor from whom all members derive their very existence, Jesus is obviously superior to them. As the builder of a building is greater than the building he builds, however beautiful it may be, Jesus, the builder, is greater than Moses, who is a part of the building! Second, the superiority of Jesus is linked to the fact Moses was servant, while Jesus is Son. " " ow Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant . . . but Christ was faithful over God's house as a Son" (3:5,6). Moses served in the household (3:5); Christ serves over the household as the Son whom the Father hath made "heir of all things" (1:2). Moses was faithful as servant; Jesus is faithful as Son. Thus, the second reason for His superiority. About now you may be asking, "So what? What does all this business about Christ's superiority to Moses have to do with good news for saved-sinners? Well, what was obvious to those Jewish Christians is less clear to us. We have to do some real "skull work" to get the point they grasped immediately. As we've seen, Moses held an utterly unique place in the thoughts and affections of the Hebrew people. It was he with whom God spoke face to face. It was he through whom God gave Israel the law. Therefore, to the Jew, the law and Moses were identical. They were one and the same. When our writer says Jesus is greater than Moses, those first-century folk immediately knew he was saying Jesus is greater than the law! What's the point of that? Just this: the temptation confronting those early Hebrew Christians was to return to the legalism of the law. To believe in Jesus, but to be on the safe side, to practice a religion of Jesus plus certain practices and provisions of the law. They who had begun in faith were now tempted to continue in the flesh. Having been saved by grace, they were now hoping to be kept by works. Does that ring a bell with you? Have you ever had the impulse to pick up a few "brownie points" by a bit of human effort on God's behalf? Have you ever harbored the thought that in this way you might atone for some of your failings as a sinner-saint? This is absolute folly, the writer of Hebrews says. Don't put yourself under the law again. Jesus is greater than the law. He is greater than Moses. His grace is greater than your sin. To turn from Jesus to legalism is to leave the best for second-best. Furthermore, it accomplishes absolutely nothing. Everything needed by sinners (both saved and unsaved!) was provided when Jesus tasted death for every man. Don't turn back the clock, our author pleads. Turn to Jesus. Jesus sets you free. Don't put yourself back in bondage again. Instead, grow, Christian, grow. Grow up in grace. Claim the freedom which is yours in Christ. Use it. Revel in it. Go forward with it. Take the risk of it. For, only through a full and responsible exercise of your freedom in Christ, will you enjoy abundant life here on earth and have the hope of a Christian's reward in heaven. I paraphrase the last half of verse 6: "We, that is, the church, are His house, if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope" (3:6). On the surface this seems to suggest someone who has been saved can be lost again unless he perseveres to the bitter end. The perseverance of the saints is taught in this text, but not for the purpose of salvation! The reason for a Christian's persevering is that he might have a sense of assurance. Confidence. Joy. Hope. Hebrews 3:6 does not say, "if we hold fast our sa1vation," but "if we hold fast our confidence." It

was not a question of losing their salvation, but of losing their assurance. And, as a by-product, their joy in time, and their hope of reward in eternity. Perseverance as Christians That's a peril you and I also need to be on guard against. If, by a deliberate act of the will, we receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior, our eternal salvation is secure. We need not be concerned about that anymore. But, it's one thing to be received into heaven with joyful commendation; it's another to get into heaven by the skin of your teeth. So, following conversion, we persevere as Christians, not to stay saved, but because we are saved. We engage in works of righteousness, not to round out a salvation Jesus didn't quite finish on the cross, but to earn spiritual rewards so we'll have an appropriate means of saying thank you to Jesus when we meet Him face to face. Perhaps you are wondering, "How can I be sure I am laying up treasures in heaven? How can I be sure I'm earning a reasonable spiritual reward so I need not fear the grim prospect of meeting Jesus with empty hands?" The answer comes from Jesus Himself. He is recorded as saying that anyone who meets a human need with something so insignificant as a cup of cold water will not lose his reward (Matthew 10:42). On another occasion, recorded in Matthew 25:35-40, when Jesus was describing the inheritance awaiting the faithful, He said the glory of God's Kingdom will go to those who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, provide shelter to the homeless, clothing to the naked, comfort to the sick, and friendship to the lonely. If you do these gentle acts of kindness to even the least of people, He said, "you (do) them to Me" (Mathew 25:40). There may be some question as to the enduring value of a large deed done in a loud way. There is positively no question about the enduring value of a small deed done in a loving way. It will merit reward. It will result in spiritual treasure which can be turned into a love offering to Jesus. I suppose all of us would love to be in a position to write a thousand dollar check to missions. But in the last analysis, it may be some tiny otherwise overlooked act of thoughtfulness and courtesy which has the greater value. Writer A. John astari relates a heartrending story reported in the press.3 A Chicago father called a newspaper, told a reporter he was going to commit suicide, and then hung up. The reporter quickly tried to trace the call. By the time the police arrived at the particular telephone booth in the tavern from which the man had made the call, he was dead with a bullet through his head. His name was James Lee. In one of Lee's pockets they found a child's crayoned drawing, much folded and worn. On this drawing, James Lee had written, Please leave this in my coat pocket. I want to have it buried with me. The drawing was signed in a childish print, "Shirley," his six-yearold daughter who had perished in a fire just five months before. The grief-stricken father had gone up and down the streets of Chicago literally begging total strangers to attend his daughter's funeral service. There was no one left in the family. Shirley's mother had died when the child was only two. But, when the service was held, not a soul showed up. People were too busy. Too involved. Or just didn't care. Before he shot himself, James Lee told the newspaper man he was alone, had sold everything he owned, and wanted the proceeds given to the church where Shirley had gone to Sunday School, as a memorial to her. "Maybe in ten or twenty years," he wrote, "someone will see that little memorial plaque, wonder who Shirley Ellen Lee was, and say, 'Someone must have loved her

very, very much.'" Of course, there is something in a story like that which pushes our sensitivity button. All of us are moved to compassion. We readily say, "If I had only known, I would have shown that man love and friendship." But, my friend astari points out, "The James Lees are all around us. Open your eyes. Unplug your ears. Look and listen if you dare. They may not pick up a phone and call you. They may not go up and down Main Street with a sandwich board sign saying, LOOK! I EED HELP! I'M ALO E. WO 'T SOMEBODY LOVE ME? But the signs are there just the same." When you look into a man's face, see a need there and respond, you not only show love to that man, you show love to God. For, "to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me" (Mt. 25:40). And wonder of wonders, when you give, you receive. You receive a new sense of confidence. A new sense of joy. A new sense of hope. You have assurance of the rewards of faithfulness. So, persevere. ot to keep your salvation, as if, saved by grace, you are now kept by works. o! Persevere to enjoy the rewards of faithfulness. Right Use of Freedom Likewise, our reaping is related to our sowing. "For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" (Gal. 6:7). The purpose of sowing is reaping. We are free to choose what we sow, where and how we sow it. But the harvest we reap is governed by the seeds we sow. If you sow criticism, you are not free to reap friendships of an enduring nature. If you sow dishonesty, you are not free to reap trust. On the other hand, sow kindness, reap kindness. Sow gentleness, reap gentleness. Sow compassion, reap compassion. Sow loyalty, reap loyalty. Sow love, reap love. Sow the deeds of righteousness, reap the crown of righteousness! So go do your gentle, anonymous deeds in Jesus' name. ot to be saved, but because you are saved. ot to add something to complete Christ's work on the cross. What Jesus did there was sufficient. He paid it all. He set you free from the necessity of any kind of twentieth century counterpart to the ancient legalism of the law. Instead, because Jesus has been faithful, be faithful yourself. Use your freedom in Christ in such a way as to gain a golden crown. And remember -- Given in the right way, a cup of cold water forms the pure gold from which heaven's crowns are made! The word confession is an interesting word as it is used in this book. In every use of this particular Greek word in the book (3 times) it is used in conjunction with the ministry of Jesus as High Priest. We are already looking at 3:1, look at: Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 10:19-23 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; {consecrated: or, new made} 21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an

evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) The profession or confession that the writer speaks of refers to the testimony of Christ acknowledged, publicly, by the believers to whom he wrote. The believers agreed on the facts that Christ was apostle and High Priest. This was their public confession before all others. Since that was true, then a response was needed, a response of faithfulness, obedience, submission, and endurance, reflected in the other two usage’s of the word in the book itself.

30. Joe Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, “The early Christians were all and only about Jesus. We reduce our Christianity to the lesser things, to the details. We identify with the denomination that we belong to. We focus on our theological persuasions: "I'm reformed," or, "I'm dispensational," or, "I'm Arminian," or, "I'm Calvinist." I think about going to some of the old ballparks. There are only a few great ballparks left--one is Wrigley Field, in Chicago, where I live. At Wrigley people talk about having an obstructed view behind a pole where you can't see the whole field. You're in the ballpark--a member of the crowd--but instead of seeing a player score, you only hear the roar of the crowd. You miss part of the action. Jesus is the action. But our view of Him is often obstructed. Suppose that your dad were a deacon, a churchman, and suppose that he were not kind to the family and didn't live like a Christian at home. Your thinking about Christianity might focus on Dad, not on Jesus--it's an obstructed view. When people say, "I didn't like my pastor's sermon--it didn't do anything for me," they've missed the point. I want to reply, "Get a grip. It may have been for the person sitting behind you." Or we didn't like the music or the choir robes. Church quickly becomes about "me," instead of about Jesus. It's the tyranny of the lesser things: The building, the programs, a head count or our style of worship. Satan loves it. When Jesus is out of the picture, we become divided and discouraged. Jesus rightly demands that life be all about Him. The challenge of the follower of Jesus is to be just that--a follower of Jesus--and to rise above the tyranny of the lesser and focus on Jesus alone. My wife and I periodically go to a country village in England. There is an old church in the village where people have been worshiping God for 1,000 years. In this church there's no worship team, no choir. The organist is seated in the balcony, behind the congregation. The pastor doesn't stand up front; he stands off to the side. At the front of the church is a statue of Jesus. On either side of Him are two people who are looking at Him with adoring, intense gazes. It reminds me that church is not about the pastor or the worship team. It's about Jesus. 31. FUDGE, “The holy brethren are Christians. The phrase literally means "brothers who are set apart (from the world and sin) and are dedicated (to the service of God through Christ)." Christians are saints or holy ones, not because of their own achievements in attaining purity of life (see I Corinthians 1:2; 6:11), though that is a necessity, but because God has called them holy,

in Jesus Christ. Christ is made unto us "sanctification" or holiness (I Corinthians 1:30). We are holy in Him. Yet we are commanded to become holy, just as God is holy (I Peter 1:15-16). We are to perfect holiness in the fear of God (II Corinthians 7:1). Without holiness no man can see God (Hebrews 12:14 <hebrews.html>). In the economy of the ew Testament, however, God first pronounces men to be what He desires (on the basis of the finished work of Christ and their union with Him) and then causes them to become what He has already called them. The term "saints" is one of the most frequently used descriptions of God's people in the ew Testament. The word is always in the plural; one does not read of "Saint So-and-so." All God's people are saints, as described above. It is possible that the tendency of modern Christians to neglect this term in their common vocabulary has contributed to the lack of sanctification in the church today. We will do no harm, and perhaps a great deal of good, to revive the usage of Scriptural terms and phrases. The saints are partakers or partners in the heavenly calling. Their heavenly invitation to be God's people leads them, in response to the gospel, to become partners and sharers in a heavenly way of life. ow the writer urges them to consider Christ Jesus. The word translated consider means to look at something or someone with great care. It involves not only looking at, but thinking about. One must spend time to fulfill this word. The object of such contemplation is here Christ Jesus. Many times in Scripture the writer makes a point of emphasis by the order of words. Frequently the term Christ Jesus points to Jesus, not in His earthly ministry, but as the Christ at God's right hand -- the resurrected and glorified Jesus of azareth. On the other hand, the expression Jesus Christ sometimes (but not always) stresses the work, or ministry, or person of Jesus as a man and as one of us. Here we are to consider our heavenly Lord: in all His offices, His splendor, His rank and His glory. We are specifically to consider Christ as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. The term apostle means one sent or a messenger. Jesus was sent by the Father to be Savior of the world (I John 4:14 and other passages). Moses also was sent by God to accomplish a typical "salvation" of God's people from bondage (Exodus 3:10), though Moses is never called an apostle. Jesus is also our High Priest, and the writer has spoken briefly of this office in the previous chapter. Later he will develop the thought in detail. Here he entreats us to reflect on Christ Jesus: as Apostle -- sent by God's authority to man; as High Priest -- going before God on man's behalf; in all things -- superior to every previous agent of God. Our profession or confession is first our oral acknowledgement of faith in Jesus as Christ and Lord (see Matthew 16:16; Romans 10:9-10; II Corinthians 9:13; I Timothy 6: 12-13; Hebrews 4:14 <hebrews.html>; 10:23 <hebrews.html>). Then it is our state of life based on that confession, a profession or declaration of the faith which has been confessed.

32. FI

EY, “In remarking upon this text, I shall attempt to show:

I. What constitutes true religion. II. That the true idea of religion is rare. III. That the existence of the true idea of what constitutes religion is indispensable to the existence of true religion in the soul.

IV. The great danger of losing this idea. V. How to retain the true idea, and the practice of true religion. I. What constitutes true religion. 1. It does not consist in any course of outward action. Outward actions, when viewed apart from the intention of the mind, can have no moral character at all. They are always necessitated by the acts of the will. Therefore religion cannot consist in mere outward actions. 2. Moral character does not consist in inward emotions or mere feelings, for these are involuntary states of mind, produced by directing our attention to objects that excite these feelings, by a natural necessity. So that mere feeling or emotion cannot, in itself, possess moral character. 3. True religion cannot consist in opinion, or in holding any system of doctrine. Our opinions are the necessary result of giving or refusing our attention to evidence, and therefore can have no moral character in themselves. 4. True religion does not consist in desire as distinguished from choice. Men often desire what, upon the whole, they do not choose. But desire, as distinguished from choice, can have no moral character, because, it is an involuntary state of mind. 5. But true religion does consist in obedience to the law of God, or in living in conformity with our nature and relations. Universal reason affirms, and no one can doubt, that men are under a moral obligation to understand, as far as possible, their nature and relations, and to conform to them. Reason also affirms the obligation of all moral beings to exercise disinterested benevolence. By disinterested benevolence is intended the willing of the highest good of being in general, for its own sake--that every good is to be regarded, willed, and treated, according to its relative value, so far as we are able to understand its value. Disinterested benevolence constitutes that which is required by the law of God, and is expressed in the term love. It is choice as distinguished from mere desire. It is willing, as distinguished from mere emotion or feeling. It is willing good for its own sake, as distinguished from willing the good of others for some selfish reason, that is, it is willing the good of being as an end, and not as a means of promoting our own good. It is willing universal good as opposed to willing partial good. It is willing every interest according to its relative value, because it is the willing of good for its own sake, and on account of its intrinsic value. It is synonymous with ultimate intention. By ultimate intention is intended the subjective motive of the mind, or the mind's choice of an ultimate end, to the promotion of which it devotes itself. Let it then be understood that virtue, or true religion consists always in the supreme ultimate intention of the mind--that a man's character is as his subjective motive, or ultimate intention is. The Bible again and again affirms that all the law is fulfilled in one word, love. And this love, when the term is properly defined and understood, is synonymous with intention, or disinterested benevolence. We therefore judge rightly when we say, that a man's character is as his motive or intention is. Lest it should be thought from what I have said, that outward action and inward feeling have no necessary connection with true religion, and that it may exist without corresponding feelings and actions, I remark, that the actions of the will, as we know by our own consciousness, necessitate outward actions. If I intend to go to a certain place as soon as I can, that intention will beget those volitions that give motion to the muscles. Therefore while the intention exists, corresponding outward actions must exist. So intentions necessitate corresponding feelings. The attention of the mind is governed by the

will. If I intend to feel upon a certain subject, I direct my attention to it, and corresponding feelings are the necessary result. Therefore where intentions exist, corresponding feelings must exist. It should be observed, however, that sometimes outward actions and corresponding feelings cannot be produced by efforts of the will; for example, outward actions cannot be produced, when there is a paralysis of the nerves of voluntary motion. In such cases, the muscles will not obey volition. So where the excitability of the mind is exhausted, emotions will not be the necessary result of giving the attention of the mind to certain subjects which in other cases would produce them. But except in such cases, feeling and outward action are the certain and necessary results of intention. Where, therefore, religion exists, it will of necessity manifest itself in corresponding outward actions and inward feelings. II. The true idea of what constitutes true religion is rare. This is evident, 1. From the fact that the common notion of men seems to be that true religion consists in emotion or feeling. Consequently when they relate their religious experience, they almost universally give an account of their feelings, or emotions, and so speak of them as to show that they suppose these to constitute religion. And nothing is more common, than to hear persons, in giving an account of what they call their religious experience, pass over entirely, and not so much as once allude to that which constitutes true religion. It is most manifest in such cases, that if they indeed have any true religion, they do not know in what it consists--that if their ultimate intention is really holy, and if they do truly intend to glorify God, and promote the highest good of being, they do not look upon this intention as constituting true religion, but suppose their religion to consist in that class of feelings which are produced by their intention. 2. It is common, and almost universal, for professors of religion to speak of it as something to be experienced by us, rather than to be done, something in which we are passive rather than active. This shows that they do not consider religion as consisting in intention; for who would speak of experiencing an intention? Does any one ever speak of experiencing a choice? 3. It has been a common and almost universal idea that sin and holiness can co-exist in the same mind. But if true religion or holiness consists in supreme or ultimate intention, sin can by no means co-exist with it; for certainly a moral being cannot, at the same time, have a supremely benevolent intention, and a selfish intention. If virtue consists in intention, so must sin. Sin consists universally in a supremely selfish intention, or in aiming at the gratification of self, as the supreme end of life. Selfishness then and true religion, as I have more than once said in former lectures, consist in opposite ultimate intentions, and cannot co-exist in the same mind. When therefore it is supposed that sin and holiness can co-exist in the same mind, it is manifest that the true idea of true religion is not before the mind. 4. The current phraseology of men shows that they suppose religion can really exist in the mind in a dormant state--that like a coal of fire covered up by ashes, it can remain smothered and inactive, and yet be true religion. It is common for all classes of persons to speak of having religion, but not in exercise--that their religion is not active--that it is not in exercise, &c. ow this phraseology shows that at the time they have not the true idea of true religion in their minds, for true religion is nothing else but action, voluntary action, choice, intention. Intention is an act of the mind, and true religion is a supreme ultimate intention, or act of the mind. To talk, then, of a religion not in exercise, a religion not active, is to talk stark nonsense. And when persons use such language, they show to a

demonstration, that, at the time, they have not the true idea of religion in their minds. 5. It is very common to hear persons speak of religion as consisting in mere desire, in distinction from choice. Choice always controls the outward conduct. But mere desire, as distinguished from choice, never does. Many persons speak of desiring to live, and act better than they do, and speak of those desires which do not produce corresponding action, as constituting religion. ow, this is a sad and fatal mistake. 6. Only certain gross sins are generally regarded as being inconsistent with the existence of true holiness. It seems to be generally understood that habitual drunkenness, licentiousness, lying, theft, murder, &c., would demonstrate that a person had no true religion. But it does not seem to be at all the general opinion that one form of habitual selfishness is just as inconsistent with true religion, as another. Men may transact business on selfish principles; they may live in vanity, in various forms of self-indulgence, and these forms of selfishness may be habitual with them, and yet they may regard themselves, and be regarded by others, as being truly religious. But this cannot be. A man can no more be truly religious, and transact business upon selfish principles, and for selfish reasons, that he could be truly religious, and be drunk every day in the week; for it makes no difference, whether he devotes himself to the promotion of self-gratification in the form of obtaining wealth, or in the form of gratifying appetite for strong drink, or in other sensual indulgences. It matters not whether a woman devotes herself to dress, or to the gratification of licentious appetites. A vain woman can no more be religious than a licentious woman. It does not seem to be understood, or hardly so much as dreamed of by the Church in general, that one form of selfishness is just as inconsistent with true religion, as another; and that no form of selfishness whatever can consist with true religion. 7. If often happens that nearly all the reasons urged by ministers and others to induce men to be religious, are mere appeals to their selfishness. ow this shows that often-times religious teachers themselves, have not the true idea of religion developed in their own minds. I might appeal to my readers and ask you, is it common for you to hear true religion accurately defined? Do your teachers make such discriminations as generally to develop in the minds of their congregation, the true idea of what constitutes religion? I hope in many instances they do. And yet I am sure that in many instances they do not. It is the very general fault of religious teachers that they do not succeed in developing in the minds of their hearers the true idea of religion. 8. What is called "revival preaching" often consists very much in appeals to the sensibility of men, while it leaves entirely out of view the idea of what constitutes true religion. In such revivals men are not made disinterestedly benevolent. It is a revival of feeling and not of true religion. There are a great many excitements, often-times, and a great many professed converts, where the idea of disinterested benevolence is not developed, and scarcely a vestige of true religion exists. Every year I live, I am more and more impressed with this, and can have no confidence in the genuineness of those revivals in which the true idea of religion is not thoroughly developed, until it carries the will, and men become truly, disinterestedly benevolent. 9. Sin is often denounced without telling what it is. It is almost always spoken of as something different from selfishness. And when selfishness is spoken of at all as sin, it is only spoken of as being one form of sin. It often happens, that selfishness ceases to be regarded as sin, and very little will be said of it as constituting sin at all, whereas selfishness, under its various modifications, is the whole of sin. 10. Were not the true idea of what constitutes true religion rare, hopes could not possibly be entertained by nor for the great mass of professing Christians. If it were generally understood that religion is nothing else than supreme benevolent intention, that

necessarily begets corresponding feeling and action--were it also generally understood that one form of habitual selfishness is just as inconsistent with true religion as another, and that the habitual existence of any form of selfishness whatever, is proof conclusive, of the absence of true religion, how impossible would it be that hopes should be entertained, either by or for the scores of selfish professors, that fill our churches. 11. The common old school notion that sin and holiness consist in the constitutional tastes, or appetites of the mind, and lie back of voluntary intention, is a demonstration that they have not the true idea of religion. By this I do not mean that none of them can be Christians, for they have the idea of supreme benevolent intention, but they do not understand that this constitutes true religion. I trust that many of them know by their own consciousness, what true devotedness to God is, but in theorizing, they make that to constitute virtue, which does not: and hold the "taste scheme," that is, that sin and holiness instead of consisting in choice or ultimate intention, lie in the involuntary appetites and propensities. 12. The words that represent the Christian graces are seldom understood by those that use them; for example, the term love, as used in the law of God, is generally spoken of, as if it meant a mere emotion, or feeling of the mind. Humility is spoken of, as if it consisted in a deep sense of unworthiness, whereas it consists in no such thing. Love, as we have seen, as used in the law of God, means disinterested benevolence. If humility consisted in a sense of unworthiness, the devil might be humble, and doubtless is. Convicted sinners might also be humble, and doubtless are, if this is humility. I scarcely ever in my life, heard a minister speak of humility as if he had any definitely developed idea of what it is. Humility must consist in a willingness to be known and appreciated according to our real character. The same mistakes are made in regard to repentance and faith. Repentance is generally spoken of as if it consisted in emotions of sorrow, whereas it consists in a change of mind, choice, or ultimate intention, and is precisely synonymous with a change of heart. Faith is very commonly spoken of as consisting either in mere intellectual conviction, or in a felt assurance of the truth of a proposition, whereas it consists in an act of the will, or in confiding, or committing the whole being to the influence of truth. 13. The fact that the 7th chapter of Romans has been so generally understood as descriptive of the Christian warfare, is evidence conclusive, that the true idea of true religion is rare. In that chapter the Apostle is speaking of a legal experience, as contrasted with a gospel experience, of which he proceeds to speak in the 8th chapter. And the fact that the Church have so generally stopped short, and claimed the 7th chapter, as descriptive of a Christian's experience, because it was their own experience, shows to what a limited extent the real idea of true religion has been developed. I might adduce a great many other reasons, showing that the true idea of true religion is a rare idea: but I must pass to say, III. That the true idea of religion is indispensable to the existence of true religion. By this, as I have already intimated, I do not mean, that persons may not be religious, and yet in theory make a mistake in regard to what constitutes real religion. But I do mean, 1. That unintelligent action has no moral character. 2. That the true knowledge of God consists in having correct ideas of Him. 3. God cannot be truly loved, worshipped, or served, any farther than He is truly known. 4. True religion, as we have seen, consists in the choice of a right end. 5. This end must be distinctly apprehended by the mind; that is, the idea must be distinctly developed and kept in view. 6. If this end be lost sight of, there can be no true religion; for if the end be not in view, the intention cannot be right. And as virtue consists in intention, it is self-evident, that where

the true idea or end to be aimed at is not kept in view, there can be no true religion. IV. There is great danger of losing the true idea of true religion. This is evident, 1. From the fact that the true idea of religion is so rare. 2. All ages and nations have manifested a tendency to lose the true idea of God and of true religion. Even the Jews, who had the living oracles of God, had, before the coming of Christ, almost entirely lost the true idea of religion, and supposed it to consist in outward works. 3. The selfishness of mankind creates in them a strong tendency to make religion consist in some modification of selfishness, and to overlook the fact, that religion consists in disinterested benevolence. 4. The selfishness of men creates in them a strong tendency to misunderstand the Bible. The Bible every where promises reward to virtue, and threatens vice with endless evil. But the Bible no where makes virtue to consist in aiming at the reward as an end. It always represents virtue as consisting in disinterested benevolence. ow as mankind are selfish, they are extremely liable to make escape from the penalty of sin, and the rewards of virtue, the great and most influential reasons for their attempts to be virtuous. They set up the rewards of virtue as an end--aim at getting to heaven--and set about the service of God for the sake of reward. But this is not virtue. It is only serving for the loaves and fishes. There is not a particle of true benevolence in it. It is amazing to see to what extent men set about what they call the service of God, from purely selfish motives, and really understand the Bible as an appeal to their selfishness. 5. Unconverted men are universally committed to the indulgence of their feelings rather than swayed by the affirmations of their reason, and decisions of their conscience. Consequently there is a strong tendency in them to consider religion as consisting in strongly excited feelings, rather than in conformity to the law of God as revealed in the reason. 6. The selfishness of men with which we are perpetually surrounded, tends strongly to divert the attention from that which constitutes true religion. 7. Among the millions of aims and intentions which men have, but one of them is virtue or true religion. Christ said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to death, and many there be which go in thereat: while strait, is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it." There is great emphasis in this truth. The wide gate and broad way includes every one that is actuated by any other than a disinterestedly benevolent spirit. While the narrow way includes those only who have a single eye, and are living for one end, namely, the highest good of universal being. 8. In the text the Apostle says, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we let them slip." By slip, as it is rendered in the margin, is intended to leak out, to escape. Men are extremely apt to act without considering their ultimate motive, or the great and fundamental reason of their conduct, and therefore to be entirely selfish, without understanding that they are so. 9. Men constantly hear religion represented, in a great variety of ways, as consisting in feelings, in outward courses of conduct, and in almost every thing else, than supreme disinterestedly benevolent intention. 10. Men dislike to retain the true idea of religion just as they dislike to retain the true idea of God. V. How to retain the true idea and practice of true religion. 1. Inquire after the fundamental reason of your conduct. Reader, do nothing, and commit yourself to no course of action, without raising the inquiry, what is the great fundamental

reason by which you are actuated; and suffer not yourself to go forward without the testimony of your own consciousness, that you are disinterestedly benevolent in what you do. 2. Keep Christ's life and temper before you as the great exemplar, the great and powerful instrument of making you benevolent as He was. Faith in the truths of the gospel, unwavering confidence that those things recorded of Christ are true, gives the life and example of Christ the greatest power over you to make you benevolent like Himself. 3. Pray much in the Holy Ghost, and remember, that unless you pray in the Spirit, you are sure to let slip the true idea and practice of true religion. 4. In order to pray in the Holy Ghost, you must watch unto prayer. Unless you watch, you will be sure to grieve the Spirit of God away. 5. Be sure that you neglect no duty. Remember that neglect is just as absolutely a violation of the law of God, as any positive crime is. 6. Maintain a consciousness that you do every thing for the glory of God. This is perfectly practicable. A worldly man is conscious of the great end he has in view in all his ways. He knows why he labors and toils, why he refuses to make this expenditure, and why he makes that speculation. 7. either engage nor continue in any business, but for the glory of God. Unless you are conscious that it may be pursued and that you are actually pursuing it, for the glory of God, you cannot be truly religious. 8. Aim not merely at being useful, but at being so in the highest degree. If you are disinterestedly benevolent, it will follow, of course, that you will prefer a greater to a less good, and not satisfy yourself with doing some good, when it is in your power to do more. Therefore remember that unless in your own honest estimation, you are living so as, upon the whole, to promote the highest good you are capable of promoting, you are not in a truly religious state of mind, and if you think you are, it is because you have let slip the true idea of what constitutes true religion. Such inquiries as these should be started and honestly answered. Is my present employment one in which I can be most useful? If not, is there any opening in providence for me to change it for one in which I can be more useful? And in settling these questions, be careful that you are not influenced by any selfish considerations. So on the other hand, take an enlightened view of the subject, before you decide to change your employment, if it be one that is lawful in itself. If your employment be one that is inconsistent with the highest interests of mankind; nay, if it is not one that is useful, you are to abandon it at all events. But if it be one that is useful to men, whether you should exchange it for one that is more useful, must depend upon your qualifications, and all the circumstances of the case. If in deciding all these questions, 'your eye is single, your whole body shall be full of light'; but if your eye is evil, in other words, if you are selfish, you will wander on in perpetual error. You have already lost sight of the true idea of religion, and fallen from all real virtue. 9. If you have not done so, make a public profession of religion. Remember that Christ expressly requires this of you, and that you cannot live in the neglect of this duty, when you have an opportunity to perform it, and still retain the idea and practice of true religion. The very neglect is itself disobedience, and is inconsistent with the existence of true religion. 10. In making a profession of religion, be sure that you are not selfish in joining one or another particular church or denomination. o doubt, as a matter of fact, some persons are guilty of heart apostacy in the very act of making a profession of religion--in uniting with the visible church they actually apostatize from God. Sometimes they are influenced by political motives, sometimes by pecuniary considerations, having an eye upon how their

relation to such and such a congregation, will affect their business transactions. Sometimes they are influenced by fear of expense in supporting the gospel, if connected with a particular church or congregation, or, on the other hand, by the hope that in uniting with a particular denomination, their church expenses will be small. Oftentimes, in making a profession of religion, persons are influenced by a regard to the respectability of the church or denomination to which they attach themselves. And indeed there are multitudes of selfish considerations, by which you are in danger of being influenced, and by which, if you are influenced, you really apostatize from God, in the very act of making a public profession of supreme attachment to Him. One of the great reasons why many professed converts immediately backslide, after making a profession of religion, is, that in selecting the church or denomination to which they attach themselves, they were influenced by some selfish consideration, and actually lost both the idea and practice of true religion in making a public profession of it. Be sure, then, always in making a profession of religion, see to it that you are honest, that your eye is single to the glory of God, that you aim at doing the highest good in your power. 11. Avoid sectarianism. Sectarianism is as far as possible from the spirit of true religion. And all the arguments by which the dividing of the Church into different denominations, and continuing them in this state, are supported, are utterly futile, as might easily be shown, were this the place for the discussion. In recommending it to you, however; to join some church, it is of course expected that you will join some of the existing denominations. The thing intended here, is, that you avoid a sectarian spirit, that you love all Christians as such, that you have no zeal to build up a party, but that you live for the universal Church, the world, and the glory of God. 12. Avoid every form and also the spirit of papacy. There is an alarming tendency in the different [P]rotestant denominations to adopt and carry out the fundamental error of papacy. The grand mistake of papacy is this: It assumes that the Bible is not a sufficiently popular standard of morals for the multitude. And that therefore there must be some authoritative exposition of its meaning. It assumes that if the unlearned are allowed to form their own opinions of the meaning of the Bible, it will led to endless divisions and heresies. Consequently the Pope and the decisions of councils were set up as authoritative standards by which the Bible is to be interpreted. The next step of course was to take the Bible out of the hands of common people inasmuch as it had been assumed that they were unable to understand it, and were therefore not allowed to interpret it for themselves. Consequently any thing, with papists, is heresy, that is not consistent with this standard, and in trials for heresy papists are not allowed to appeal from those human standards to the holy scriptures, inasmuch as by the general consent of papists, those standards are an authoritative exposition of what the Bible means. This I say is the fundamental error of papacy. And as I said, there is a growing tendency among all [P]rotestant denominations to adopt and carry out this very error. For example: take the Presbyterian confession of faith. That does not in itself, assume to be an infallible standard. But Presbyterians treat it as such, speak of it as such, and in all their public acts they place it above the Bible. Especially is this tendency increasing since the great division of the Presbyterian church. The time was when multitudes of Presbyterian ministers professed nothing more than to receive the confession of faith as upon the whole a correct system of doctrine, while they did not hesitate to declare publicly and positively that there were several points in that confession, from which they dissented. But so much has been said about the "Standards" of the Church, so many accusations have been made of departure from the "Standards" and so many flat denials of this have been reiterated, that it has come now to be common to treat the confession of faith as an authoritative standard from which if men depart in

any particular they are regarded as heretics. That they give to the confession of faith all the authority which papists attach to decisions of councils and the pope, is evident from the fact that in all the trials that have been had for heresy, the accused is arraigned for dissenting from the "Standards" of the Church and from the holy scriptures. But in no instance that has come to my knowledge, have they allowed the accused to defend himself by an appeal to the scriptures which would set aside the confession of faith. For it is assumed, as far as I know, in all cases, that the confession of faith has settled the meaning of the scriptures. And it is considered as entirely inadmissible to attempt to set aside the confession of faith by an appeal to the Bible. Indeed to such lengths has the Presbyterian church proceeded, to say nothing of other churches, that on trials for heresy, it is assumed both by the accused and the accuser, that the ultimate appeal is to the confession of faith, and consequently the accused feels himself obliged to show that his sentiments are not inconsistent with the confession of faith. Let the trials of Mr. Barnes and Mr. Beecher be looked at as illustrations of this fact. Were they allowed or did they even attempt to justify their sentiments by an appeal to the Bible, or did they defend themselves by attempting to show that what they held was consistent with the "standards?" Were they allowed to say that, whatever the confession of faith might say, such and such was the doctrine of the Bible? By no means. The fact is that it is high time for the Church to open her eyes upon the appalling fact that the [P]rotestant denominations are assuming the truth of the fundamental error of papacy, are talking about their "Standards" and are using their spiritual guillotine wherever and whenever there is a departure from their "standards." The next step will be to substitute their "convenient manuals of doctrine" and their human standards in the place of the Bible in such a sense as that the laity may as well be deprived of the Bible. ot long since I received an invitation from the session of a Presbyterian church to come and preach to them upon the condition that I would preach nothing inconsistent with the Bible as interpreted by the confession of faith. I of course treated such an invitation in the manner in which I supposed I was bound to treat it. I felt shocked that matters had some to such a state in the Presbyterian church that they dared to demand of a minister that he should interpret the Bible by their confession of faith. What is this but exalting the confession of faith into the very place of the Pope? ow beloved, if you intend to preserve the idea and practice of genuine religion, be careful that you do not either in theory or practice adopt the great error of papacy and assume that some human standard is to be regarded as an authoritative exposition of the word of God. Read your Bible. Let the opinions of good men, whether expressed in catechisms, confessions of faith, or in any other way, orally or in writing, have with you what weight they really deserve, but call no man master in your views of theology, and let inspiration alone be authoritative with you in matters of faith and practice. 13. Aim at nothing short of universal consecration to God. By universal consecration, I intend the devotion of your whole being and of all over which you have control to the service and glory of God. And remember that nothing short of entire consecration is true religion--that if you hold back any thing from God, you are and must be, for the time being, in a state of rebellion against Him. 14. If you would attain the true idea and practice of religion make every thing give place to communion with God. So arrange all your business affairs, as to have ample time for much secret prayer and communion with God. You will never retain the spirit of true religion unless you make as real and as sacred a calculation, in all your movements, to have time for reading your Bible, secret prayer, and communion with God, as you do for

taking your daily food. Men do not enter into such business transactions as to have no time to eat. They know very well that they cannot live without eating. Therefore whatever business they engage in, whatever course of life they devote themselves to, they always make calculation to take sufficient time for their meals. ow it should be universally understood that spiritual life can no more continue without regular and frequent seasons of prayer and communion with God, than natural life can continue without daily food. 15. Beware of conferring with flesh and blood. By this I mean, take heed that you do not give way to a spirit of self indulgence in any form; and remember that the moment the indulgence of any appetite or passion, the love of ease, reputation, or any form of self indulgence whatever comes to be consulted by you and suffered to have a controlling influence, you have already let slip, if not the true idea, yet the practice of true religion. 16. Beware of the influence of the customs of society and of your own habits. Examine narrowly all your own voluntary habits of eating, drinking, exercise, rest, conversation, the manner in which you spend your time, hours of rising and retiring, intercourse with friends, and in short the whole round of your habits, private, domestic, public, and see that every thing is just right. 17. Beware of the influence of public sentiment. With many, public sentiment is the rule rather than the law of good. Their inquiry seems to be not what will please God but what will please men. This is as far as possible from true religion. 18. Let the Bible be your companion and the man of your counsel. Make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the mind of the Spirit so far as possible in every passage. 19. Seek the most spiritual instruction within your reach. If you live in the neighborhood of different preachers, hear those who are the most spiritual, and decidedly the most evangelical. Let your reading be of a very select character. Be sure that you do not devour and swallow down the mass of the periodical literature of the day. It is as a general thing so sectarian, that it will poison you to death. Select the most spiritual memoirs, and writings of all kinds within your reach. Acquaint yourselves, as far as possible, with books on natural science. Examine works on anatomy, physiology, natural, mental, and moral philosophy, and such books as will make you thoroughly acquainted with the structure and laws of the universe; for all these things declare the wonderful works of God. 20. Do not shrink from reproach for Christ, and for truth's sake. A great many professors of religion seem afraid even to form an opinion, and much more, publicly to avow it, on any unpopular question. This shows that they have a supreme regard to their own reputation, that they love the praise of men more than the praise of God. It is a demonstration that they have no true religion. 21. Above all, learn to live by faith upon the Son of God. You will never practice any of the things I have recommended, only as you live by faith. And do not make a mistake and think you live by faith, when you do not know what faith is. To live by faith is not merely to hold the opinion that you are to be pardoned and saved through faith in Christ, but it is to repose continual and implicit confidence in Him, and to really expect him to give you continual grace and help in every time of need, and enable you to walk in all his commandments and ordinances blameless. It must be a matter of experience with you and not of opinion and profession merely. You must know what it is to be united to Him as the branch is united to the vine, and to receive constant nourishment and spiritual life from Him, as the branch does from the vine. And when you are exhorted to do any thing else, remember that you will not do it aright, only as Christ strengthens you, which strength you are to receive by faith. 22. Learn to walk in the Spirit. If you read the Epistles, you will find much said of walking in the Spirit. You must know what this is by your own experience, or you will not retain

the true idea or practice of true religion. 23. Beware of declining on the one hand, into antinomianism, and doing nothing for the conversion of sinners, and on the other, of running into legality, and bustling about with a legal zeal, devoid of the peace and rest of the gospel. Keep at an equal remove from a sickly quietism, on the one hand, and of a bigoted pharisaism on the other. 24. Aim to be all, as a Christian, that you can be, to exert the highest and best influence upon all around you, and upon the world, that is possible. Keep the thought before you, that to be a Christian at all, your aim, end, or supreme intention must be, to devote your whole being, all that you have and are, to the glory of God and the good of the universe. By this I do not mean that you must intend to be holy, for this in reality is nonsense. You must be benevolent, instead of intending to be benevolent. You must intend good, and aim at doing good. This is holiness; and always remember that it is one thing to be holy or benevolent, and quite another to intend to be so. Almost every sinner expects and intends to be holy at some time. It will not do for you to aim to be benevolent, but you must continue to be so. 25. Remember that you are a witness for God, that you are a living epistle known and read of all men, that unless your life and lips bear testimony in accordance with the grace of God, you are a false witness--a perjured wretch. REMARKS. 1. True religion, in the lowest degree, implies living up to the best light you have. I say this is not to be looked upon as some high and rare attainment in religion, but is in fact essential to the lowest degree of true religion. He that does not habitually live up to the best light he enjoys, lives habitually in sin, and cannot be a Christian. By living up to the best light you have, is intended, that you do every thing which you acknowledge to be duty, and act up to the standard of right which you acknowledge to be your rule of duty. If you allow yourself in any omission or practice which you acknowledge to be wrong, (I mean where this is habitual with you in opposition to occasional,) you are not, and cannot be a Christian, as the Bible is true. 2. True religion of course hails every branch of reform that promises glory to God, and good to men. 3. The radical principle of all false religion, whatever be its name, is selfishness. o matter whether it be Judaism, Christianity, Mahommedanism, or by whatever name you call it, the radical principle, that which constitutes the end and aim of every false religionist, is some form of selfishness. 4. You see why it is that study, business, &c., are often a snare to the soul. It is not because persons do too much business for God, but because they do business and study for themselves. 5. The state of the world and of the Church is such, and the general strain of preaching such, that even true converts are very apt soon to let slip the true idea, and consequently to fall from the practice of true religion. They see so little of real benevolence, they hear so little about it, they witness such universal selfishness, that they soon get confused, backslidden, and fall into the snare of the devil. How striking and appropriate, then, is the admonition of the Apostle in the text, 'Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we let them slip.'

33. Unknown author, “The most frequent title applied to Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews is "High Priest" (archiereus). Taken together with the simpler form, "priest" (hiereus), the title is used of Jesus thirteen times (2:17; 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5:5, 10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:11; "priest," 5:6; 7:21; 10:21). Only once (3:1) is the definite article used ("the high priest"), thus indicating it is the essential quality or function of priesthood which the author intended to stress as characteristic of Jesus. owhere else in the ew Testament is Jesus called our High Priest. This, however, is the distinctive feature of Hebrews and the main point of the book (8:1). It is to the Epistle to the Hebrews that we owe this potent conceptual imagery, now so familiar to Christian thought. The doctrine of Jesus' High Priestly ministry is directly bound up with the reality of his humanity, and cannot be understood apart from that doctrine (see especially chapters 2 and 4). This is so because it is the essence of priesthood to form a link between humanity and God: they are selected from among human beings to function on their behalf in Godward matters (Heb. 5:1). Because Jesus is at the same time both man and God, he is himself the perfect ideal of which every form of priesthood is a symbol. He fully represents God to humanity, and humanity to God. Because of this, the writer insists that distraction from Jesus is out of the question, since every alternative is empty by comparison. Jesus' priesthood is better than the Aaronic (5:1-7:28), is related to a better covenant (8:1-13), involves a better sanctuary (9:1-12), as well as a better sacrifice (9:13-10:18), and is based on better promises (10:19-12:3). In fact, the Christian's sole confidence in addressing God is that, and only that, he has "a great priest over the house of God" (10:19-22). Therefore, when we see Jesus we see our High Priest. We see accomplished in him God's ideal for humankind, the ideal union between God and humanity (2:10ff). We see him whose perfect humanity makes representation for us before God (7:24, 25), and whose perfect sacrifice makes us pure for personal access to the throne room itself (9:14; 10:1922). 34. Kevin Hartley, “Wherefore... (3:1a) In the first verse of the third chapter we encounter an unusual causal conjunction translated 'wherefore' in the English. The word is inferential in its employment. From it we can conclude that the author's polemic is proceeding from the previously demonstrated superiority of Christ over the administrators of the Old Covenant to the mediator of the covenant itself; that is, from the angels to Moses. holy brethren (3:1b) The author addresses his readers as 'holy brethren,' a title indicating that the author still has not lost all hope for his readers. Perhaps from this we can derive a method in which we should approach the seemingly wavering apostate. Should we not present Christ in His superiority? Whether Judaizer, legalist, sophist, or worldly man, let us turn and fix the listener's attention ever to Christ. For if electing grace should give them eyes to see, no man having seen Christ can with effectual, irresistible grace, turn his eyes from Him. consider [Jesus] (3:1b)

Thus in the first verse of this new comparison, the author again commands his readers to look unto Jesus. The imperative command, katanohsate ("katanoasate") in the Greek literally means to 'mind accordingly.' The prefix intensifies the directive of the verb, stressing the need for the reader to perceive and fully understand the object. It is the same verb used for Abraham, who 'considered not his own body now dead, but believed God and it was accounted to Him as righteousness.' It speaks of a faithful consideration, a pondering of faith, as though the eyes of faith were being set upon the object of desire. Perhaps this accounts for the use of the aorist in this term, as the author desires that we with full eyes, thought, and all consideration will not quickly pass by Christ in unbelief, but by faith shall have all trust placed in Him alone. Surely if we could consider and esteem Moses a worthy man of honor, how much more shall we not consider this, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession? Faith shall find its object in the One sent from the Father, that faithful High Priest of our confession. consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus (3:1c) Clearly the word 'apostle' in application to Christ speaks of His role in redemption. He is sent by the Father to deliver His own, just as Moses was sent to lead forth Israel from bondage. The title 'high priest' has broader application to the book as a whole and shall be dealt with at length later. We could understand this verse then as a precursor to the discussions to follow. The reading of the Textus Receptus of the phrase 'Christ Jesus' then would appropriate the order of His name: first Christ the Messiah, who was sent, and then Jesus the God-Man, who wrought atonement according to the demands of the covenant. Who was faithful to him that appointed him (3:2a) The translation that begins this verse with the relative pronoun 'who,' detracts from the force of the 'to be' verb in the Greek. We have the participle that demonstrates the lasting obedience of Christ in His full service as the Mediator of this the ew Covenant. As Moses did but serve a shadow, in a house that was temporal, and a covenant that was fading away, Christ instead, has mediated and served a lasting and abiding covenant. He was 'being faithful' to Him, that is, Christ our Lord who is faithful, was faithful, and shall ever be faithful. In this then do we find a greater cause to consider Christ over Moses. For Moses was but a man, Christ is the abiding Son of God. Moses served faithfully as appointed, Christ is much more faithful in a lasting ministry. In passing, the translation 'appointed' serves better than the translation 'made.' Athanasius's acceptance of this latter translation only led to an unnecessary defense of a matter that bears forth no cause for defense. Christ was appointed and served as Apostle and High Priest. Such was the proper conclusion of Chrysostom, "What did He make Him? ...Apostle and High Priest" (Hughes, p. 130). We need not haggle with Arius or any other gainsayer of Christ. For let us not loose sight of the intent of this book; it is not to prove the deity of the Son, even though this is implied and demonstrated, rather, it is to show the superiority of the Son. If we but for a moment take our eyes off of the polemic of the Holy Spirit in His inspiration and presentation of this matter in the Holy Writ, we shall miss Christ. Consider Him. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. {4} For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. (3:3,4) The coordinating conjunction further explains the comparison between Moses and Christ drawn up in the second verse. Christ is declared to be of much more honor and glory than Moses. How was Christ considered to be more worthy than Moses? In that He who builds is far greater than

he who serves in what another has built. Moses served in the shadows of Christ's reality. Moses was but a stone in the mason's wall. Ephesians says, ow therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22) Moses was but a servant of the true and lasting house of God. Concluding Observations Time nor space will permit the mind to grasp the full import of this text. Hebrews continues to contrast and exalt the ew Covenant and Christ its mediator. It is as stark a difference as night and day. With utter amazement and disbelief, the author of our book wonders at anyone whose eyes could stray from the Lord Jesus Christ. Moses's face we had to cover, lest our hearts fail us in seeing the fading glory of the Old Covenant, but Jesus's face shall never shadow. Forever the glories of our Covenant shall be found in Him. He is not only our covenant and our Mediator, He is also our covenant keeper. Consider Him reader, by faith fix all hope upon Him. Look to none other with straying, vagrant eyes. Adulter yourself in no harlot's house in the night, do not wander the streets of disbelief in the shadows of death. Ah, many worldly fruits and religious delicacies look so pleasing to the eyes in the dim lights of eyes turned from Christ, but in the light of day their putrefying rot shall bring sorrow to your vagrant soul. How miserable a story it is that so many have been as that of Dinah, who went out from the household of Jacob to consider another. How sad that there are those who have adulterous eyes. Oh, how grievesome to think that those as Dinah, who have set their eyes upon the wonders of Shechem, have been defiled by the prince of the land. He has seen the eyes of her that casts longingly upon the daughters of the land; his soul has clung to her in love, and she has been brought unto his bed, to be the shameful lover of that wretched Hivite forever. Ah, consider none other reader, keep your eyes from any other but Jesus alone. Consider Him; by faith fix all your desires and longings upon His flowing righteous robes. Look to none other, for they are filled with poison as the asp. Consider what the proverb declares, keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. (Proverbs 6:24-26) Such is the heart of the self-righteous and self-made man. Your whorish laws and bindings of a man's conscience, religious man, how they are as the lips of the harlot. Your legal wranglings, your Sabbaths, your baptisms, your indulgences, your sacraments, all your trappings, yea even your own demands for freedom of the will that rails against the sovereignty of heaven's own, how they are but bitter words from the sepulcher's belly. O how precious is the sight of Him, Jesus Christ, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. Consider Him; consider none other. Sing with me reader, with faith, saying,

Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee. My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies. (S. of S. 6:1-3)

35. Donald Blind, 3 1-4, “Working backwards, we must ask what was the house? I think we must say the house was Israel, the shadow of good things to come. It was the shadow of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Col. 2:16,17) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, .... (Hebrews 10:1a) It is axiomatic that the sum of the parts is the whole; the land and government included. As Moses was instructed, Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. (Hebrews 8:5) The land flowing with milk and honey was to be a part of it. What Moses was commanded was handed down to Joshua. Of course, Moses became the concept of that Covenant. He was there on the mount of transfiguration, along with the great prophet Elijah, to speak of the Death of our Lord Jesus Christ, who would be the fulfillment and purpose of the house over which Moses was a servant. In fact, Christ is the house, He built it to be an habitation of God through the Spirit. "Glory" means a statement made by God, His revelation of Himself. Christ was worthy of a better revelation than Moses, because Christ was the architect, builder and maker. Heb. 11:10, "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Christ was not the replacement of Moses, but the very purpose for which Moses was sent. As Moses saw, and understood this, he stated or glorified Christ: The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) In this Moses was faithful to the uttermost. In Hebrews 12:28 we are told that we have received a kingdom which cannot be moved. This, after having just been told,

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12: 27) This therefore tells us that the Apostle and High Priest of this confession, Jesus Christ has come to fulfill all things. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:29-36) God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:33-39) And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Acts 15:1318) The Tabernacle of David is raised up, and the residue of men, who are the partakers of the heavenly calling, must now consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:32-36) Donald E. Blind

2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.
1. Barnes, “Who was faithful - see the note, Heb_2:17. He performed with fidelity all the functions entrusted to him. To him that appointed him - Margin, “made.” The word “made,” however, is used in the sense of constituted, or appointed. The meaning is, that he was faithful to God. Perhaps Paul urges on them the necessity of considering “his fidelity” in order to keep “them” from the danger of apostasy. A leading object of this Epistle was to preserve those whom he had addressed from apostatizing from God amidst the temptations and trials to which they were exposed. In doing this, what could be a more powerful argument than to direct their attention to the unwavering constancy and fidelity of the Lord Jesus? The “importance” of such a virtue in the Saviour is manifest. It is seen everywhere; and all the great interests of the world depend on it. A husband should maintain inviolate fidelity toward a wife, and a wife toward her husband; a child should be faithful to a parent, a clerk and apprentice to his employer, a lawyer to his client, a physician to his patient, an ambassador to the government that commissions him. o matter what may be the temptations in the way, in all these, and in all other relations, there should be inviolate fidelity. The welfare of the world depended on the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus. Had he failed in that, all would have been lost. His fidelity was worthy of the more attentive consideration from the numerous temptations which beset his path, and the attempts which were made to turn him aside from his devotedness to God. Amidst all the temptations of the adversary, and all the trials through which he passed, he never for a moment swerved from fidelity to the great trust which had been committed to his hands. What better example to preserve them from the temptations to apostasy could the apostle propose to the Christians whom he addressed? What, in these temptations and trials, could be more appropriate than for them to consider the example of the great apostle and high priest of their profession? What more proper for us now in the trials and temptations of our lives, than to keep that great and glorious example continually before our eyes? As also Moses was faithful - Fidelity to God was remarkable in Moses. In all the provocations and rebellions of the Jews, he was firm and unwavering. This is affirmed of him in um_12:7, to which place the apostle here alludes, “My servant, Moses, is not so, who is faithful in all his house.” The word “house,” as applied to Moses, is used probably in the sense of “family,” as it

often is, and refers to the “family” over which he presided - that is, the Jewish nation. The whole Jewish people were a “household,” or the family of God, and Moses was appointed to preside over it, and was faithful in the functions of his office there. 1B. Calvin, “Who was, or is faithful, etc. This is a commendation of the apostleship of Christ, in order that the faithful may securely acquiesce in him; and he commends it on two grounds, because the Father has set him to be over us as our teacher, and because Christ himself has faithfully performed the office committed to him. These two things are always necessary to secure authority to a doctrine; for God alone ought to be attended to, as the whole Scripture testifies; hence Christ declares, that the doctrine which he delivered was not his own, but the Father's, (John 7:16;) and in another place he says, "He who received me, receiveth him who has sent me." (Luke 9:48.) For we say of Christ, that as he is clothed with our flesh, he is the Father's minister to execute his commands. To the calling of God is added the faithful and upright performance of duty on the part of Christ; and this is required in true ministers, in order that they may obtain credence in the Church. Since these two things are found in Christ, doubtless he cannot be disregarded without despising God in him. As also Moses, etc. Omitting for a while the priesthood, he speaks here of his apostleship. For as there are two parts in God's covenant, the promulgation of the truth, and so to speak, its real confirmation, the full perfection of the covenant would not appear in Christ, were not both parts found in him. Hence the writer of the epistle, after having mentioned both, roused attention by a brief exhortation. But he now enters on a longer discussion, and begins with the office of a teacher: he therefore now compares Christ only with Moses. The words, in all his house, may be applied to Moses; but I prefer to apply them to Christ, as he may be said to be faithful to his Father in ruling his whole house. It hence follows, that none belong to the Church of God except those who acknowledge Christ.

2. Clarke, “Who was faithful to him - In um_12:7, God gives this testimony to Moses: My servant Moses - is faithful in all my house; and to this testimony the apostle alludes. House not only means the place where a family dwells, but also the family itself. The whole congregation of Israel was the house or family of God, and God is represented as dwelling among them; and Moses was his steward, and was faithful in the discharge of his office; strictly enforcing the Divine rights; zealously maintaining God’s honor; carefully delivering the mind and will of God to the people; proclaiming his promises, and denouncing his judgments, with the most inflexible integrity, though often at the risk of his life. Jesus Christ has his house - the whole great family of mankind, for all of whom he offered his sacrificial blood to God; and the Christian Church, which is especially his own household, is composed of his own children and servants, among and in whom he lives and constantly resides. He has been faithful to the trust reposed in him as the apostle of God; he has faithfully proclaimed the will of the Most High; vindicated the Divine

honor against the corrupters of God’s worship; testified against them at the continual hazard of his life; and, at last, not only died as a victim to cancel sin, but also as a martyr to his faithfulness. Christ’s faithfulness, says Leigh, consists in this: “That he has as fully revealed unto us the doctrine of the Gospel, as Moses did that of the law; and that he hath faithfully performed and fulfilled all the types of himself and all the things signified by Moses’ ceremonies, as Moses hath faithfully and distinctly set them down.” But there is a sense given to the word ‫ נאמן‬neeman, um_12:7, which we translate faithful, by several of the Jewish writers, which is well worthy of note: it signifies, say they, “one to whom secrets are confided, with the utmost confidence of their being safely and conscientiously kept.” The secret of God was with Moses, but all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were in Christ. Life and immortality were comparatively secrets till Christ revealed and illustrated them, and even the Divine nature was but little known, and especially the Divine philanthropy, till Jesus Christ came; and it was Jesus alone who declared that God whom no man had ever seen. Moses received the secrets of God, and faithfully taught them to the people; Jesus revealed the whole will of God to mankind. Moses was thus faithful to a small part of mankind, viz. the Jewish people; but in this sense Jesus was faithful to all mankind: for he was the light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel.

3. Gill, “Who was faithful to him that appointed him,.... Or "made him"; Christ, as man, was made, but not as God; nor is the apostle speaking of the divine nature of Christ, but of his offices: wherefore this phrase designs the constitution and settlement of him in office; which may take in the eternal appointment of him as Mediator; the open promise of him in time; his mission, unction, and attestation from God; and his manifestation and declaration as such, at his ascension and session at God's right hand, when he was made Lord and Christ. ow, as Mediator, he had a trust reposed in him; as the persons of all God's elect, and a fulness of all grace for them; the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and eternal life and happiness; and also the glory of God in their salvation: which trust he has faithfully discharged as an apostle, and high priest; in a declaration of the whole will of God; in acknowledging it was his Father's doctrine he brought, and in seeking not his own, but his Father's glory; in redeeming and saving the persons committed to him; in distributing his grace to them; and in bringing them safe to glory; and in taking care of things pertaining to God: as also Moses was faithful in all his house; the passage referred to is in um_12:7 and which seems not so much to intend the fidelity of Moses in managing the affairs of God's house, as the largeness of the trust reposed in him, the dignity and honour conferred on him, and the power and authority he was invested with, in having the whole house of Israel committed to his care and charge, in which he exceeded all other prophets; and so the faithfulness of Christ is not so much to be understood of the discharge of his trust, as of the trust itself; and the sense is, that he was trusted much by God the Father, who constituted him Mediator, even as Moses was; and this sense best agrees with Heb_3:5. And De Dieu has observed, that the Hebrew word ‫ ,נאמן‬in Misnic writings (t), signifies, as it does, one that is trusted, or is fit to be trusted, as Christ and Moses were; though the former is much more worthy than the latter, as follows. 4. Henry, “We have several arguments drawn up to enforce this duty of considering Christ the apostle and high priest of our profession. 1. The first is taken from his fidelity, Heb_3:2. He was faithful to him that appointed him, as

Moses was in all his house. (1.) Christ is an appointed Mediator; God the Father has sent and sealed him to that office, and therefore his mediation is acceptable to the Father. (2.) He is faithful to that appointment, punctually observing all the rules and orders of his mediation, and fully executing the trust reposed in him by his Father and by his people. (3.) That he is as faithful to him that appointed him as Moses was in all his house. Moses was faithful in the discharge of his office to the Jewish church in the Old Testament, and so is Christ under the ew; this was a proper argument to urge upon the Jews, who had so high an opinion of the faithfulness of Moses, and yet his faithfulness was but typical of Christ's. 5. Jamison, “He first notes the feature of resemblance between Moses and Christ, in order to conciliate the Hebrew Christians whom He addressed, and who still entertained a very high opinion of Moses; he afterwards brings forward Christ’s superiority to Moses. Who was faithful — The Greek implies also that He still is faithful, namely, as our mediating High Priest, faithful to the trust God has assigned Him (Heb_2:17). So Moses in God’s house ( um_12:7). appointed him — “made Him” HIGH PRIEST; to be supplied from the preceding context. Greek, “made”; so in Heb_5:5; 1Sa_12:6, Margin; Act_2:36; so the Greek fathers. ot as Alford, with Ambrose and the Latins, “created Him,” that is, as man, in His incarnation. The likeness of Moses to Messiah was foretold by Moses himself (Deu_18:15). Other prophets only explained Moses, who was in this respect superior to them; but Christ was like Moses, yet superior. 6. JAMES FOWLER, “The similitude of faithfulness between Jesus and Moses in their respective covenantal arrangements is made in the statement, "as Moses also (was faithful) in all His house." The faithfulness of Moses is not questioned, minimized or criticized, even though his double-striking of the rock at Kadesh could have been cited (cf. umbers 20:1-13; Deut. 32:5052). The point Paul wanted to make was that Moses was faithful in the implementation of God's provisional plan of the old covenant, as God pictorially prefigured His Christological intents through His household, the People of Israel, in the Old Testament. The faithfulness of Moses in God's House appears to be an allusion to umbers 12:7 where God declares (after Aaron and Miriam had faulted Moses), "My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My household." Moses was faithful as the mediator (Gal. 3:19,20) of the covenant based on the Law, even though the Israelite people who followed him were unfaithful. Jesus, on the other hand, was faithful as the "one mediator between God and man" (I Tim. 2:5) to establish the new covenant of grace, and His faithfulness was exhibited in His being "obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:8), allowing for a "better ground of faithfulness" for Christians living by the dynamic of His resurrection-life. In the ew Testament, the name Moses occurs over 70 times! This is remarkable-almost 3 times per book of the ew Testament. We see both comparison and contrast between Moses and Jesus. They were alike and different. Jesus had a deeper relationship for he was more than a servant, He was a Son. umbers 12:7 "My servant Moses [is] not so, who [is] faithful in all mine house." We see an almost identical Scripture in umbers here. We know if we were looking at types and shadows, we would be able to say that Moses was a type of Christ. Moses led his people out of bondage - Jesus led his people out of bondage. Mighty signs and

wonders followed Moses - even mightier signs and wonders followed Jesus. We do not want to belabor this point, but, the Father sent them both on a mission. The difference in the two {possibly the smallest difference} is that Jesus was the real Deliverer and Moses was His shadow. The last statement on this that I will make now, is that Moses was leading his people to their promised land - Jesus is leading us to our eternal promised land. Christ was faithful in the deeds that the father gave him to accomplish just as Moses was faithful in fulfilling what God had asked of him. From a standpoint of obedience alone, Moses and Christ are equal, but there is more to this story: umbers 12:6-7 6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses [is] not so, who [is] faithful in all mine house. The word, house refers to the affairs of God's people. In Moses overall life he was faithful over the household of God, His people Israel. Christ is compared to Moses in that He was faithful to His people, the church. 7. STEDMA , “What Is God's House? (3:1-19) The reference to Moses' faithfulness in God's house looks back to umbers 12:7-8 where God describes to Aaron and Miriam how he spoke to prophets in visions and dreams. He continues: "But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles." Though several commentators take "God's house" to refer to the nation of Israel, it is better to link it to the tabernacle. Its precursor is the Tent of Meeting, where God spoke these words, and the typology of which is developed more expansively in Hebrews 9. The tabernacle is called "the house of God" at least six different times in the Old Testament, and its successor, the temple, is so designated 43 times. Moses is especially connected with the tabernacle as the one who received its design on Mount Sinai and oversaw its building and ritual. If the tabernacle was the symbol of the dwelling place of God in the midst of his people, as will be seen more fully in 3:6, then we may view the phrase God's house as referring both to Israel and the building itself, each standing for the other. At any rate, the meaning of verses 3-5 is clear: the builder of a house is more worthy of honor than the house which he builds. The house is only the product of the builder's skill and wisdom. Overall conception and the design of infinite detail originates in the mind of the architectbuilder; the house simply makes it visible. Thus, Jesus, as the agent of God in building all things, is more worthy of honor than Moses, who was just a servant in the house which the Son was building. This is support for the argument of the existence of God. Cornell University astrophysicist Carl Sagan and many others today insist that we are alone in the cosmos; the cosmos is all there is. If every earthly house shows the design and craft of a builder, how much more does the universe reflect, in its complexity and interrelatedness, a Mind and Hand that put it all together? This Mind and Hand belongs to Jesus as John 1:3 and other Scriptures attest. As the builder of everything, he outranks even a faithful servant like Moses, who served in the house Jesus made. The phrase testifying to what would be said in the future supports the idea that the tabernacle, with its intensive typology, would teach future generations much about human nature, God and

redemption. Stephen, in Acts 7:44, says, "Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen." This is expanded in chapter 9 where we shall learn much more about this idea of testifying about the future. 8. MCI TOSH, “Secondly, consider Him as COMPARED WITH MOSES. We understand so much from comparison and contrast. From things that we know we can infer things that we cannot demonstrate. From things that we see we can infer things that are unseen. Here is a comparison with Moses similar to that with the angels in chapter 1. The faithfulness of Christ to God is compared with the faithfulness of Moses to God. In umbers 12 we see the particular reference in connection with the revolt of Miriam and Aaron against the authority and commission of Moses. God had presented Moses at the door of the congregation, and in verses 6-8, He said, "Hear now my words: if there is a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto Him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house..." Moses was distinct from all other prophets. He was the greatest of all the prophets. "With him will I speak mouth to mouth even apparently, and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold; wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" Moses saw what no other prophet saw. By Him God spoke to Israel, as their lawgiver and leader, and revealed God's will. To the Jew, there was no greater. In Deut. 18:15 Moses said to Israel: "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren, LIKE U TO ME: unto Him shall ye hearken." And in verse 18, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee and will put my words in His mouth, and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him." So "Moses verily was faithful" in all God's house, to Israel in every respect, faithful as a servant. He was a servant but outstanding among all servants. There was no greater than Moses, and that was for a testimony of these things that were to be spoken afterwards. Moses prefigured Christ. He was one with whom God spoke face to face, not in dark sayings. He gave to Moses as authoratively as He gave to Christ His own word. Faithfulness marks the type and the antitype. If to the Jew Moses was faithful, Christ is much more so. There is one reference more in Deut. 34:10 - a reference which would weigh with the Jew. "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants, and to all his land, in all that mighty hand and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel." Let us now refer to the apostle's argument in the earlier chapters. "Wherefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard lest at any time we should let them slip," because, in verses 2-3, "if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard it?" If Israel did not escape the word of angels who spoke according to God's own word, how shall we escape if we neglect Him who speaks from heaven? If they did not escape the word spoken by Moses, how can we escape if we reject the word spoken by Christ? It is exactly the same argument. If we are to have the fear of God in our souls, we must have understanding of the authority, the commission, the faithfulness of Christ who spoke in the words of Moses. Both are the words of God. Our appreciation of the glory of Christ will

determine the weight and the power of the gospel which He proclaims, the word which He fulfils. If we refuse Him, we refuse the Father who sent Him. That is the apostle's argument. Also, if we refuse the gospel preached by His ministers, we refuse Christ who sent them, and God who sent both. If we preach according to the truth of God it is the very word of God. If Israel did not escape who refused the word of the angels and the word of Moses, how can we escape if we refuse the gospel which is the word of Christ? Ah brethren, there is no escaping it. We contemplate the glory of Christ by comparison with Moses, of whom God said to Aaron and Miriam, "Wherefore then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" Wherefore are you not afraid to speak against Jesus Christ in His word, which is preached to you? the apostle argues. Luke 9:29-31 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing {became} white {and} gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. At this point, Peter, James and John woke up. ever the one to observe in silence, Peter said, Luke 9:33-36 ...“Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah ” - not realizing what he was saying. And while he was saying this, a cloud formed and {began} to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, {My} Chosen One; listen to Him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone... God had informed Peter that Jesus was higher than Moses and Elijah. These were servants of God, but Jesus was the Son of God. 9. Jesse Gistand, Pastor II WHE YOU THI K OF FAITHFUL, WHAT COMES TO MI D? A. A Yellowstone ational Park geyser? "Old Faithful" B. A faithful spouse? 1. but how would you define that? 2. a good provider? not having a sexual "affair"? committed to spouse? C. A faithful friend? 1. no reservation? keeping trust? bearing burdens? 2. a faithful friend is a rare treasure D. A faithful "thing" - a tool, a gadget, a machine 1. we occasionally use "faithful of such" 2. does its job? dependable? consistent? III WHAT DESCRIPTIVE WORDS COME TO MI D? A. Some of my "favorites" are: 1. dependable, reliable, constant 2. integrity, loyalty, concern B. Some of God's descriptive words are: 1. endure, stedfast, patient, continue 2. stand fast, hold fast, confidence C. Are you faithful to the Lord in this "now" life? IV FAITHFUL I WHAT WAYS? A. Faithful in love to the Lord 1. Rev 3:15,16 versus Rom 12:11b "fervent"

2. a love that is "glowing"; constant; affecting us 3. S of S 7:10 is our desire toward the Lord? ... or Isa 26:8,9 is this our love for Him? a desire that is undying, insatiable? B. Faithful to His body, the church (Col 1:24) 1. "church" has become such a generic, vague term 2. His church ... the church of which we read in .T. ... the church described there, revealed there ... His church 3. is one spouse as good as another? is one friend as good as another? is this a matter of indifference? a. listen: 2 Cor 11:1-4 no indifference here! b. we must be faithful to Christ's church ... not some imitation or substitute c. Eph 4:4 there is one body ... are we faithful to that one body? C. Faithful to His teaching - (Titus 1:4) 1. occasionally I wonder if we don't look for ways to dilute, minimize, neutralize His word 2. yes, there are some unpleasant realities in the word (Heb 4:12) ... I am not at liberty to change that 3. "as he hath been taught" (Titus 1:9) ... faithful D. Faithful to His work (1 Cor 15:58) 1. touching lives of others with kindness; with supply of their needs; with the gospel 2. we are, like Jesus, servants who minister 3. "self" can certainly get in the way ... so, we ask ourselves, "Who really is my Master?" - is Jesus? CLOSE: In the life we now live the only option is faithfulness. Are you faithful? 10. Cecil A. Hutson The faithfulness of Jesus by Scott Grant Hebrews 3:1-6 Thirsty woman The woman who met Jesus at the well of Sychar wasn't sure she could trust him. She was a woman; he was a man, and men didn't have much dealings with women. She was a Samaritan; he was a Jew, and Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. When Jesus spoke to her, she was surprised - and no doubt a little wary, holding back personal information as they talked. After all, she had already had five husbands, the whole lot of whom were likely unfaithful. As Jesus began to talk with her about the internal waters of her life, why should she trust him? But instead of running, she began asking questions. As she asked questions, she began understanding things about him, perceiving that he was a prophet. In the end, she was convinced that Jesus was trustworthy, and even speculated that he might be the promised Messiah. She took a good, hard look at Jesus and found him faithful (John 4:1-29). Like the woman at the well, we too perhaps are wary. Perhaps we haven't had five unfaithful spouses, but our trust has been betrayed often enough that we wonder who we can trust. The

writer of Hebrews tells us we can trust Jesus. How do we know we can trust him? There's only one way, really. Investigate. Like the woman at the well, check it out. Take a good, hard look at the faithfulness of Jesus. In Hebrews 1, the writer emphasized the deity of Christ. In Hebrews 2, he emphasized the humanity of Christ, calling Jesus a "merciful and faithful high priest" (Hebrews 2:17). He then expounds on the mercy and faithfulness of Jesus. In Hebrews 4:14-5:10, he treats the mercy of Jesus. But first, in Hebrews 3:1-4:13, he treats the faithfulness of Jesus. In Hebrews 3:7-4:13 he postulates the appropriate response to the faithfulness of Jesus, while in Hebrews 3:1-6, the section that concerns us presently, he illustrates the faithfulness of Jesus by contrasting him with Moses. Why we should consider Jesus (3:1) Hebrews 3:1: (1) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. The new section begins with the word "therefore," offering a conclusion based on the previous unit that encompasses the first two chapters. Verse 1 draws on themes treated in the first two chapters. What did the first two chapters concern? The writer simply presented Jesus - in all his deity and all his humanity, with a concluding emphasis on what he did for us. The writer wants us to "consider" Jesus, then, based on who he is and what he's done for us. The manner in which the writer addresses his readers recalls words and themes from Chapter 2. The words "holy," "brethren," "partakers," "heavenly" and "calling" are all evocative of Chapter 2. Each word also works together with the others to offer incentive for the writer's exhortation to "consider" Jesus. First, the writer addresses his readers as "holy" brethren. Jesus is the one who "sanctifies," and we are the ones who are "sanctified" (Hebrews 2:11). The adjective "holy" (hagios) comes from the verb "to sanctify" (hagiazo). To be sanctified, then, is to be made holy, which means to be set apart for something. In the context of Chapter 2, Jesus set us apart for the purpose of reigning over the new creation. In sanctifying us, Jesus removed our sin, making us holy. So often, it seems, we're trying to get to some "holy" state. We're trying to live well enough to be considered holy, beating ourselves up in the process. The truth of our present holiness means we can stop beating ourselves up, because Jesus was beaten up for us on the cross. He made us holy. When we consider our holiness, we are given a whole different way of looking at ourselves, one that is aligned with the reality of our dignity, worth and beauty from God's perspective. More importantly, when we consider our holiness and what Jesus did to make us holy, we are given a whole different way of looking at Jesus - one that fills us with thankfulness. We are not just holy, we are holy "brethren," or brothers. Jesus is not ashamed to call us "brothers" (Hebrews 2:11). Jesus, who is the Lord God Almighty himself, stoops down, takes on human flesh and publicly calls us brothers. It causes him no shame to do so; in fact, it gives him great pride to do so.

We are "partakers" of a heavenly calling. Jesus our brother "partook" of flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14), which enables our "heavenly" participation. The words "heavenly" or "heaven" were not used in Chapters 2, but the theme of heaven is present. We will reign in "the world to come" (Hebrews 2:5). Because we have a heavenly calling, we have an eternal destiny. Because we have an eternal destiny, we are enabled to live at a higher level on earth, one that is not so consumed with earthly gain but is concerned with eternal treasures, namely, people. It is a "calling." Jesus "calls" us brothers (Hebrews 2:14). In verse 3, he calls his brothers to heaven. One day, we will join our Brother in the new creation. Because Jesus has made us holy, because he calls us brothers, because he has enabled us to participate in a heavenly calling, we should consider him. What he has done for us merits consideration. The writer identifies Jesus as "the apostle and high priest of our confession." Our "confession" is our belief in Jesus, a belief strong enough that it warrants the "boldness" and "boast" of being spoken about (Hebrews 3:6). The identification of Jesus as "the apostle" of our confession is evocative of the description of Jesus in Chapter 1. An apostle was an envoy, one who conveyed a message. God's final, greatest word was spoken in Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-4). The identification of Jesus as the "high priest" of our confession stems from the writer's description of Jesus as a high priest in Chapter 2, particularly Hebrews 2:17. The high priest in Israel offered up sacrifices for the people's sins. As an apostle, Jesus came from God to man. As a high priest, he goes from man to God. In fulfilling both offices, Jesus effects our salvation, first communicating the gospel and then embodying it. With just a few words, the writer speaks volumes about who Jesus is and what he has done for us, all the while motivating us to consider Jesus. What does it mean to "consider" Jesus? The word (katanoeo) is an intensified version of the word noeo, which also means to consider. Thus, the word here means to strongly consider. Therefore, we are to strongly consider Jesus, to immerse ourselves in this effort, to investigate and observe carefully, and to reflect upon our observations. How do we go about doing this? Here are some possibilities: - Purposefully read the gospels with the intent to investigate Jesus. - Simply think about Jesus. - Walk and think about Jesus. Sometimes walking stimulates the thinking. - Write down thoughts about Jesus. Writing, as opposed to just thinking, can help with focus. - Talk to yourself. We are always doing this, anyway. In the background of our lives is a constant inner dialogue. Interject thoughts about Jesus in that inner dialogue. Talk to yourself about Jesus.

- Ask God to reveal to you truth about Jesus. He wants to do this (John 16:14, 2 Corinthians 4:6). The writer has such confidence in the content of what he encourages us to consider that he simply says "consider." He is confident that if we truly consider Jesus, we will grasp his significance. When Philip told athaniel about Jesus, athaniel remarked, "Can any good thing come out of azareth?" Philip simply responded, "Come and see." Apparently, Philip didn't think any salesmanship was necessary. He thought a simple invitation to investigate was enough, and he was right. athaniel, barely moments into his investigation, told Jesus, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel" (John 145-49). This, then, is not an invitation to a wild goose chase; rather, it is more akin to an invitation to a treasure hunt. There is something to be found that merits our investigation, and if we look for it, we will find it. What does the writer expect us to find? He expects us to find Jesus faithful. What we should consider (3:2-6) Hebrews 3:2-6: (2) He was faithful to him who appointed him, as Moses also was in all his house. (3) For he has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. (4) For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. (5) ow Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; (6) but Christ was faithful as a Son over his house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Most translations begin a new sentence with verse 2, but is actually part of the sentence that began in verse 1, demonstrating definitively that the writer's point about the faithfulness of Jesus in verses 2 through 6 is connected with his exhortation to consider Jesus in verse 1. He wants his readers to consider the faithfulness of Jesus. In the first two chapters, the writer used angels as a point of comparison with Jesus. Here, he uses Moses. They are not arbitrary selections. Both angels and Moses were associated with the Sinatic, or Mosaic, Covenant, and the readers of this letter were considering returning to it. Clearly Moses was an important person with an important message, but the readers had an inflated opinion of both Moses and the law. Perhaps they were even thinking, as they thought before they came to Christ, that Moses and his words were superior to Jesus and his words. Therefore, the writer compares Jesus with Moses to show the superiority of Jesus. In these verses, he wants to show his readers that Jesus was superior to Moses in faithfulness. We, then, benefit from observing the comparison by understanding the faithfulness of Jesus - first, his faithfulness to God, and second, his faithfulness to us. The comparison breaks down this way: Moses Worthy of glory (v. 3) Part of house (v. 2, 3, 5) Servant (v. 5) Servant in house (v. 5) Testimony for future (v. 5) Jesus Worthy of more glory (v. 3) Builder of house (v. 3, 4) Son (v. 6) Son over house (v. 6) Fulfillment of testimony

(implied) The sphere of faithfulness for both Moses and Jesus is "his house" - that is, God's house (Hebrews 10:21). Clearly, this is not a literal house, but something more akin to a household, or family. Thus the writer continues the family theme that he began in Hebrews 2:11. The house is God's people - his family. When Moses served God's household, it was Israel, primarily descendants of Abraham. With the advent of Christ, God's household expanded significantly to fully embrace those who were spiritual descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29). In verse 2, the writer alludes to umbers 12:7, where the Lord himself distinguishes between Moses and other prophets and says, "He is faithful in all my household." The writer thus acknowledges the faithfulness of Moses and his words. He does so, however, to point out the faithfulness of Jesus and his words. If Jesus is even greater than one who stood out in such a way, he is great indeed! The writer in verse 2 seemingly makes no distinction between Jesus and Moses. Jesus is faithful to God, just as Moses is faithful to God. The writer thus establishes the faithfulness of both in order to explain the difference. Verse 3 begins with the word "for," offering an explanation for verse 2. In verse 3 the writer explains the faithfulness of Jesus as being somehow superior to that of Moses. Jesus is worthy of "more glory" than Moses. Glory, in this case, is more like recognized glory, or, as the writer says, "honor." To illustrate the honor that Jesus is worthy of, the writer says that the builder of a house is deserving of significantly more honor than the house itself. We may cheer a play wildly, but at the end we cry "Author!" To the degree that the playwright is deserving of more honor than the play is the degree to which Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses. Moses, in a sense, is part of the play, but Jesus wrote the script. Verse 4 offers an explanation of verse 3, beginning with the word "for." How precisely it explains verse 3 is difficult to assess. The existence of every house implies a builder. The existence of "all things" implies a creator, identified by the writer as God. Perhaps the writer is saying that the degree to which Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses is comparable to the degree to which God is worthy of more honor than his creation. At any rate, the glory and honor that Jesus is worthy of, in this context, stem from his faithfulness. Verses 3 and 4 thus contribute to the writer's point by showing the significantly greater honor that Jesus is worthy of because of his significantly greater faithfulness. The writer distinguishes between the faithfulness of Moses and Jesus in verses 5 and 6. Moses was faithful "in" God's house "as a servant," whereas Jesus was faithful "over" God's house "as a Son." Moses was a servant among God's people; Jesus is in authority over God's people. Greater responsibility necessitates greater faithfulness. Moses certainly wasn't unfaithful as a servant, but neither was he given the responsibility of a son. Moses is like the butler; Jesus is like the owner. The butler doesn't have to worry about paying the bill; the owner does. How specifically was Moses faithful as a servant? He offered "a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later." This is what he served up. The law that came through Moses spoke of things to come. What things? Things concerning the Son! The writer earlier said that God "spoke" long ago in the prophets, and the Lord, in umbers 12:6-8, portrayed Moses as superior to any prophet. Later, though, he "spoke" in his Son, and it is treated as a significantly greater message (Hebrews 1:1-4). The former message was preparatory for the latter message. The law, then, with all its stipulations and ceremonies, was in a sense prophetic, designed by God to lead people to his Son. So Moses served God's house by pointing those in it to Jesus. When we read the

writings of Moses today (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, umbers, Deuteronomy), they serve us in the same manner. From the perspective of the writer at this point, we are specifically served by understanding the faithfulness of Jesus. Before we consider the faithfulness of Jesus, what are we to make of the conditional clause at the end of verse 6, which says that we are God's house "if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end." God's house "we are." The verb is in the present tense. We right now are God's house, or part of God's house. But if we don't continue to believe in Jesus, we are not God's house. If we are part of God's house, nothing can change that. But if we are part of God's house, it will be evident through perseverance. The "if" then is not conditional; it is evidencial. Perseverance in faith proves the validity of faith. How is Jesus faithful? First, he's faithful "to" the one who appointed him, namely God (verse 2). Second, he's faithful "over" God's house, namely us (verse 6). The two aspects of this faithfulness are intertwined. God entrusted his house to Jesus. That was the task God gave him. So, being faithful to God means being faithful over God's house. Both aspects of this faithfulness are understandable in the decision Jesus makes to go to the cross. It was the task God gave him to do, and Jesus was faithful to it (Mark 10:45). Therefore, he was faithful over God's house, rescuing it from sin and bondage and death and condemnation. His faithfulness to God was not strictly a vertical affair between him and God. It not only benefited us eternally, it was actually motivated by our need. When Jesus began to teach his disciples that he would be killed, Peter rebuked him, trying to persuade him that such talk was nonsense. Only after "turning around and seeing his disciples" did Jesus rebuke Peter (Mark 8:31-33). The temptation to avoid the cross was great, and Jesus was motivated to resist the temptation and move toward the cross by looking at his disciples and seeing their need for a savior. His faithfulness was motivated by his love for us. Jesus paid the bill! This, of course, was the most terrifying thing anyone has ever had to do, yet Jesus was faithful to do it - faithful to God, faithful for us. God entrusted our eternal destiny to Jesus. God knew he was trustworthy, and he was. The cross, then, proves that Jesus can be trusted. More specifically, it proves that you can trust him. If you can trust him with your eternal destiny, you can trust him with this day. You can trust him with the next week and month and year. You can trust him with the dreams so sacred that you dare not tell anyone. If you can trust him with your heavenly future, you can trust him with your earthly future. You can trust him with areas of your heart so tender that they bleed when anyone even comes close. You can trust him when your life is falling apart. Others have betrayed your trust, but you can trust him. If you can trust him to go to the cross for you, you can trust him to be there for you. If you can trust him to die for you, you can trust him to live for you. If you can trust him with your soul, you can trust him with your life! In the summer of 1985, I was at a crossroads. The future was a blank. Without a job, I took a sixweek camping trip. One day I went for a cross-country hike in Yellowstone ational Park in search of a river channel. I was looking for a river, but Jesus was looking for me. Scenes of my life passed before me - scenes that I understood as being authored by God. They were good scenes that caused my heart to well with thankfulness, but each of them passed, fading into the next. At the end of it all, I simply thought about Jesus. People had faded in and out of the scenes, but I understood that he was present for all of them. He was the one who was always there. I eventually found the river channel, but more importantly, Jesus found me. And I found him faithful. Again.

Check it out Jesus is faithful, and the scriptures encourage us to see for ourselves. We are given plenty of incentive. We know enough about who he is and what he's done for us to look further, deeper and harder. Consider Jesus. Take a good, hard look at his faithfulness. As Philip told athaniel, "Come and see." 11. Mike Bradaric Hebrews 3:1-6 I TRODUCTIO

XV. ote the word "house" is used 7 times in this text. In the original Greek text it actually appears only 6 times. But the writer is not talking about a building but a household. In particular he is talking about God's household. XVI.Every believer is part of God's household (Ephes. 2:19); we are his adopted children (John 1:12; Ephes. 1:5); we are heirs with Christ to God's kingdom (Rom. 8:14-17). XVII.God's family is different….. "God's kids" are different from the rest of the neighborhood….different in a way that is not so much strange is as it is attractive. XVIII.And that is they way it should be. Jesus said, "So let your light shine that men will glorify God because of your behavior." (Matt. 5:16) Paul wrote, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Col. 4:6) Peter wrote, "In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord, always being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…" (1 Pet. 3:15,16). XIX.The simple fact is that Christians are beautifully different. But it is a difference that makes a big difference. THEY ARE PEOPLE WITH CHARACTER (1) XX."Holy" to most of us means religious, formal, stuffy, pretentious, self-righteous, sanctimonious…. ot quite real XXI.But holy really means the idea of different, unique, special, ….pure beauty XXII.Holy is talking about who you are on the inside…Character XXIII.What does that character look like….Colossians 3:12-15

XXIV.It looks like the fruit of the Spirit….Gal. 5:22,23 XXV.Christians are people possessed of character…that is attractive XXVI."CHARACTER IS THE FRAGRA CE WE GIVE OFF WHE LIFE STEPS O US." THEY ARE PEOPLE WITH PURPOSE (1) XXVII.Heavenly Calling-Ephes. 4:1 XXVIII.What is a "calling"….it is a person's purpose in life. XXIX.But here it is our "heavenly calling"…. "heaven's purposes"….What are those purposes? Matthew 6:10.…"Thy kingdom come, they will be done…" Matthew 6:33…. "Seek first the kingdom of God…." Phil. 3:12…. "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." XXX.My purpose should be: To do my best for God's best. THEY ARE PEOPLE WITH PERSPECTIVE (1-5) XXXI."Fix"…."Thoughtfully and attentively consider Jesus" (Amplified Bible) XXXII.The same word is used in Hebrews 12:1,2 for the Christian's race of faith: "Run the race set before us….looking unto (fixiing our eyes upon) Jesus, the author and perfecter (or 'captain and coach') of our faith." XXXIII.Means I measure my life by the finishline…. XXXIV.Means I look to the finish to guide the start, the middle, and the end of my race (or walk) of faith XXXV.Means that for the Christian, all gain, all pursuit, all desires, all achievements are held up to the standard of Christ. To gain the world and not have Christ is to lose the victory. XXXVI.Matt 16:26…."What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" XXXVII.Jim Elliott: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." XXXVIII."I must decrease and He must increase."

THEY ARE PEOPLE WITH CO VICTIO (6) XXXIX.Courage here means confidence, even outspoken bluntness; assurance; something we deeply believe and hold to. XL."THE GREATEST KI D OF COURAGE IS THAT WHICH IS BOR E OUT OF CO VICTIO ." XLI.For the Christian, it is the deep belief and quiet confidence that God can be counted upon…. "That he will never leave nor forsake us." XLII.Christians don't live life like tumbleweeds; they live like oaks. Tumbleweeds are easily uprooted and roll from one side of the road to the other with every new wind that comes along. Oak trees, with their deep roots, remain strong, no matter what stormy wind blows through their life. They are people of conviction. THEY ARE PEOPLE WITH HOPE (6) XLIII.What is this hope? In ultimate sense, it is what we read in Titus 2:11-13 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say " o" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." XLIV.And what does that hope do to us? ….. "We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts." Rom 5:3-5 XLV.What does this hope do to people….Listen to a letter talk show host, Larry King, received on December 31 of 1987, not long after he had open heart surgery. "Dear Larry, I'm so glad to hear that everything went well with your surgery. I want you to know that God was watching over you every minute, and even though I know you question that, I also know that one day it will be revealed to you. My prayer is that you remain open and God will touch your life as He has mine. Once I was a disbeliever. When I could not fill my life with basketball, I would simply substitute sex, liquid drugs, or material things to feed my internal shell-like appearance. I was never satisfied. I have finally realized, after 40 years, that Jesus Christ is in me. He will reveal His Truth to you, Larry, because He lives." The letter was signed by Pete Maravich, BA Great….A few days later, on Jan. 5, 1988, Pete died playing a pickup game of basketball at just the age of 40. To what do you pin your hope today? WHAT CA YOU DO?

XLVI.Simply trust in God and receive his gift of forgiveness. XLVII.Begin to follow and trust for each moment of your life. XLVIII.Tell someone else about your discovery. XLIX.Be a good neighbor…..a different neighbor….Remember you belong to God's household.

12. PI K, “"To speak of Moses to the Jews was always a very difficult and delicate matter. It is hardly possible for Gentiles to understand or realize the veneration and affection with which the Jews regard Moses, the man of God. All their religious life, all their thoughts about God, all their practices and observances, all their hopes of the future, everything connected with God, is with them also connected with Moses. Moses was the great apostle unto them, the man sent unto them of God, the mediator of the old covenant" (Saphir). Admire then the perfect wisdom of the Holy Spirit so plainly evidenced in our passage. Before taking up Christ’s superiority over Moses, He points first to a resemblance between them, making mention of the "faithfulness" of God’s servant. Ere taking this up let us dwell on the first part of the verse. "Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him." The chief qualification of an apostle or ambassador is, that he be Faithful. Faithfulness signifies two things: a trust committed, and a proper discharge of that trust. "Our Lord had a trust committed to Him... this trust He faithfully discharged. He sought not His own glory, but the glory of Him that sent Him; He ever declared His message to be not His own, but the Father’s; and He declared the whole will or word of God that was committed unto Him" (Dr. John Owen). Christ was ever faithful to the One who sent Him. This was His chief care from beginning to end. As a boy, "I must be about My Father’s business" (Luke 2:49). In the midst of His ministry, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me" (John 9:4). At the finish, " ot as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39). "As also Moses was faithful in all His house." "The key to the whole paragraph is to be found in the meaning of the figurative term ‘house,’ which so often occurs in it (just seven times, A.W.P.). By supposing that the word ‘house’ here is equivalent to edifice, the whole passage is involved in inextricable perplexity. ‘House’ here signifies a family or household. This mode of using the word is an exemplification of a common figure of speech, by which the name of what contains is given to what is contained. A man’s family usually resides in his house, and hence is called his house. This use of the word is common in the Bible: ‘The House of Israel,’ ‘the House of Aaron,’ ‘the House of David,’ are very common expressions for the children, the descendants, the families of Israel, Aaron and David. We have the same mode of speech in our own language, ‘the House of Stuart,’ ‘the House of Hanover.’ Keeping this remark in view, the verse we have now read will be found, short as it is, to contain in it the following statements:-Moses was appointed by God over the whole of His family: Moses was faithful in discharging the trust committed to him. Jesus is appointed by God over the whole of His family: Jesus is faithful in the discharge of the trust committed to Him" (Dr. J. Brown). "The house, the building, means the children of God, who by faith, as lively stones, are built upon Christ Jesus the Foundation, and who are filled with the Holy Ghost; in whom God dwells, as in His temple, and in whom God is praised and manifested in glory. The illustration is very simple and instructive. We are compared unto stones, and as every simile is defective, we must add, not dead stones, but lively stones, as the apostle in his epistle to the Ephesians speaks of the building growing. The way in which we are brought unto the Lord Jesus Christ and united with

Him is not by building, but by believing. The builders rejected the ‘chief corner-stone’ (Ps. 118:22); but ‘coming unto Christ’ (1 Pet. 2:4, 5), simply believing, ‘ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ When we go about the works of the law we are trying to build, and as long as we build we are not built. When we give up working, then by faith the Holy Ghost adds us to Christ, and grafts up into the living Vine, who is also the Foundation. We are rooted and grounded. The house is one, and all the children of God are united in the Spirit" (Saphir). That which the Spirit has here singled out for mention in connection with Moses, the typical "apostle," is that he was faithful in all God’s house, faithful in the discharge of his responsibilities concerning the earthly family over which Jehovah placed him. Although he failed personally in his faith, he was faithful as an "apostle." He never withheld a word which the Lord had given him, either from Pharaoh or from Israel. In erecting the tabernacle all things were made "according to" the pattern which he had received in the mount. When he came down from Sinai and beheld the people worshipping the golden calf, he did not spare, but called for the sword to smite them (Exo. 32:27, 28). In all things he conformed to the instructions which he had received from Jehovah (Exo. 40:16).

13. Author unknown, “The Hebrew Christians to whom this book was written-because they were Jews-would have held an awesome reverence for Moses. Moses was revered as the greatest of all Hebrews, and indeed, the greatest man of history. And so, as the writer of the book of Hebrews developed his description of Jesus as Savior and deliverer, as God’s representative among men, as High Priest for God’s people, the Hebrew readers of the book would naturally have thought about Moses.    Moses was chosen and sent by God to deliver His people from bondage. Moses was Israel’s greatest prophet. Moses was the lawgiver; it was Moses who mediated the giving of the law from God to man.  It was Moses who wrote the first five books of our Bible.  Moses enjoyed an intimacy with God that no man has had since the fall.

Listen to what God said about Moses in umbers 12:6-8. “When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.” The Jewish Christian would naturally wonder, “How does this Jesus compare to Moses?” In chapter 3, the writer affirms that Jesus is greater than Moses. Though Moses was great indeed, nevertheless, Moses was a servant in God’s house. Jesus is a son over God’s house. Jesus is greater than Moses. The salvation He brings is greater than the law of Moses. The writer of Hebrews has painted a vivid portrait of Jesus as our majestic and merciful Savior. God has uniquely equipped Jesus to help us, to be our champion. Jesus is the champion of our salvation. Jesus is our trail-blazer. The picture is that of a pioneer blazing a trail; he takes his machete and he cuts his way through the overgrown vines and tangle of growth in the jungle, blazing a trail for us. Charles Swindoll has said, “And Jesus, having cut a swath through the jungle of sin, stands at the

end of that trail, bidding us to follow in His steps.” Jesus leads his brothers to glory-through suffering, past the fear of death, through every kind of testing and temptation. Jesus leads us, His brothers and sisters into glory. He is our trail-blazer. He is our champion. He is our great High Priest. So what should be our response to all we’ve learned about Jesus? The answer is given in Hebrews 3:1. Let’s read it together. Hebrews 3:1. “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” Fix your thoughts on Jesus. Make Him the focus of your life. Love Him, serve Him, know Him-that is the path to true fulfillment. 14. BILL BRITTO , “An amazing truth has come to light as a result of a study on the “House of the Lord”. After digging into more than 30 scriptures, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we have found that many times when the Bible speaks of a “house”, it does not mean a house in the sense of a building made of lumber or bricks in which we live. When is a house not a house? When it is a human body, or a place of habitation for the human spirit, or a realm of life. Let us go to the scriptures to clarify what I am saying. Look at oah in Genesis 7:1… “and the Lord said unto oah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark, for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Was God telling oah here to tear down his physical dwelling house brick by brick, or board by board, and put it on the ark so that he would have the materials to build another house after the flood? Of course not! oah might even have lived in a tent for all we know, the Bible doesn’t say. But at any rate, the house oah had built on this earth realm was a way of life. It was a house of righteousness, faith, grace and obedience. The people who shared this way of life with oah were his wife, his sons and their wives. They constituted his household. They lived with oah in a house of faith and righteousness, and they brought this house into the ark and were saved from the flood. The world around oah lived in a different kind of house. They lived in sin, rebellion, wickedness, debauchery, and idolatry. Their house was corrupt, and God determined to destroy it. But oah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and his faith and obedience saved his house. For had oah perished in the flood, his way of life, his habitation, would have perished with him. Turn to Hebrews 11:7… “By faith oah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” The House of Israel Each of the patriarchs in the Old Testament “built a house”. In Genesis 18:19 the Bible speaks of the household of Abraham, those who will follow him on this earth in the promises of God. In Genesis 46:27 it says: “all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.” Verse 26 says that these are those “which came out of his loins”. That is, they were those whom he had brought forth with his own life, in his own image, and they were continuing his life in the earth. They were “the house of Jacob”. They were the fruit of his 147 years of pilgrimage here. The elders spoke to Boaz in Ruth 4:11-12, and said: “The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel; and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem; And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this

young woman.” How did Rachel and Leah build the house of Israel? Laying bricks, or nailing boards? Of course not! They did it by giving Jacob 12 sons to carry on his life in the earth. They built the house of Israel! And the house of Boaz was to be built of the seed which the Lord would give him of Ruth. Leviticus 10:6 speaks of “the whole house of Israel”, meaning all 12 tribes. But within that one “house of Israel” were 12 houses. For each son built a house for himself. We read in Exodus 2:1: “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.” This is speaking of Amram and Jochebed, the parents of Moses. They were of the house of Levi. Exodus 6:14 speaks of the house of Reuben. In Genesis 50:8 we read of the house of Joseph. In 2 Samuel 2:4 it says: “And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.” The house of Judah is also spoken of in Hebrews 8:8 in the ew Testament. The house of Benjamin is mentioned in 2 Samuel 3:19. ow we see King David building a house, or realm of life in the promises of God, for God made a covenant with him. David’s house is mentioned in 2 Samuel 3:1 and in Luke 1:27. These scriptures make it plain that when the Bible speaks of a “house”, it is not always talking of a building where men go to eat their meals and get their sleep. Here we see that it is a habitation or realm of life for those who enter into the covenant of the Lord. “Many Mansions” ow we come to a very interesting scripture concerning “the house of God”. In John 14:1-2 we read: “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. I MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MA Y MA SIO S; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” “My Father’s house”! ow the natural mind gets a picture of heaven’s golden streets with all the beautiful mansions. Surely the Father’s house will be the largest and most beautiful in all heaven! How long will it take us to get our minds cleansed and be able to understand truth? God is Spirit, and no structure ever built, in heaven or earth, could ever contain Him. Then what does this mean? What about our mansions? You won’t take away our beautiful big mansion will you? o, for you never did have one. ot the one you imagined. For the human imagination, filled with materialism and greed, has dreamed of moving out of these dirty little houses with all their high rents or back-breaking payments, and getting a great big free mansion on Glory Avenue, a beautiful home in the sky. This is not what the Bible is saying at all. When we check the original language of scripture, confirmed by all other translations, we see that God’s house consists of many rooms or dwelling places, or realms of abode. The Amplified Bible says: “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” The ew English Bible and Wuest’s translation says the same. The Revised Standard Version, Phillips translation, Goodspeed, and the Jerusalem Bible all say “there are many rooms in my Father’s house.” Rotherham’s Emphasized ew Testament (very accurate) says: “In the house of my Father are many dwellings”. Just as there was a house for each of Jacob’s sons within the house of Jacob, so there is a house or dwelling for each of God’s sons in the House of God. Each of Jacob’s sons were different, with different promises and different ministries. Judah had the promise of the scepter and produced the kings, starting with David. Levi was the house of priesthood, beginning with Aaron. But they were all the House of Israel. The truth portrayed to us here is that there is a realm of life where God lives, where He makes

His habitation. And in this same dimension of the Spirit, there is a place being prepared for us, that we might live in the same realm that God lives in. Jesus said: “That where I am, there ye may be also.” We have lived in a realm where there is death, pain, sickness, sin, doubts, fears, loveliness, tears, tormenting spirits, pain, misunderstandings, and all other human difficulties. But Jesus has come to where we are, shared His life with us, and spread a table for us in the presence of our enemies. This has been wonderful, but it is not all He is doing for us. He is going to change our address. We are moving into a new house, the Father’s house… the realm where God lives. A place where there is only eternal victory and glory. Just as the sons of Jacob were born of him, reproducing his life, and receiving each one a house within the house of their father, even so the sons of God have been born of their Father, reproducing His life in the earth, inheriting all things, and each one having a house, a ministry, a realm of dominion in the Father’s house. “I Will Dwell in the House of the Lord” “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalms 23:6). This is a psalm of David. Does this indicate that David is going to leave his palace on Mount Zion and go to live in the temple on Mount Moriah? Turn to Psalms 27:4… “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.” This too is a psalm of David. In one psalm he says that the thing he is seeking is to be able to dwell in the house of the Lord, and in the other he says: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Someone might say: “But he is speaking about the temple on Mount Moriah.” In fact, no temple was built during the lifetime of David. ot until after David’s death did Solomon build the temple, the “house of God”. Then what was David speaking of here by the Spirit? He was crying out in the Spirit to be able to live in that same place where God lives, in that place Jesus spoke of in John 14:2. Again we read in Psalms 84:10: “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness”. To be a means of opening the door for others to come into the High Calling, into God’s House, is far better than the greatest thing offered by this sinful world. “The tents of wickedness”. A tent is symbolic of a temporary dwelling place. This sinful age, with all it’s glitter and attraction to the natural man, is only temporary. “The pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). A tent always speaks of a passing order. Turn with me now to 1 Chronicles 17 for a tremendous revelation of God’s dwelling place here on this earth… From Tent to Tent King David talks to athan the prophet about his desire to bu8ild a house for the Ark of the Covenant. This golden ark and mercy seat represents the presence of God Himself, and is symbolic of the ew Testament Christ in the midst of His people. Up to this point, in 1 Chronicles 17, the Ark had never had a permanent resting place, but had dwelt under tents and tabernacles from the time of it’s construction. ow David feels that it has reached the place where it will be moved no more, and he wants to build a beautiful temple fitting to the glory of the Ark. “Then athan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.” (verse 2). Here athan speaks out of his own heart, and tells the king the thing that is convenient and pleasant for David to hear. It is a good project, it is for the glory of God; it is an unselfish motive on David’s part, and it seems so right to the prophet and to the king. But it is not the will of God.

How many times have good prophets, prophets of God, spoken things outside of the true word of the Lord because they seemed so good, so right to his own mind. athan is not an evil prophet trying to mislead David. He is God’s prophet, the voice of the Lord to the king. He is not afraid to tell David the truth, for it is this same athan that puts his finger in David’s face and says: “Thou art that man”, concerning his sin of adultery and murder. It is only that in this case athan did not wait for the word of the Lord. This is the reason why all prophecies have to be judged and put under the two-fold search-light of the Spirit and the scripture. But God is faithful. And that night the word of the lord came to athan. He is to tell David what he does not want to hear. He cannot build God a house. “Go and tell David my servant; Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in; For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from once tabernacle to another.” What did God mean that He had dwelled in tents, going from one tent to another? A tent is a temporary dwelling place. See what the Bible says about Abraham in Hebrews 11:9… “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Abraham was rich, the richest and most powerful man in the country. Why live in a tent, when he could have built the finest house, the strongest walled city of any in the land? He had seen a city. othing he could build would ever compare with it. He was a type of those spiritual pilgrims who refuse to build their own kingdom on this earth realm, having seen the glorious promise of God for a realm of life, a dominion, far above anything man could accomplish here. “For here have we no continuing city” (Hebrews 13:14). By building a city, Abraham would have been saying: “I have reached my expectations. This is what I am searching for. I do not expect to move again.” But dwelling in tents signify that his present life is only temporary, that he is ready to pull up stakes and make another move, that he is expecting far more than what he now has. When God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham was God’s witness in this world. And God lived with him. Abraham’s life was one of constant wandering, traveling through the land of Canaan which had been promised to him. But this was a temporary situation, a tent. And God lived with him in this tent. But He never let Abraham build a city on this realm. He let him see the city of glory. Jesus said: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad”. (John 8:56). Sometimes we find ourselves wandering through a world of sin, surrounded by enemies of all kinds, yet always victorious in Christ. We know the power and glory of His constant presence, and this is indeed a wonderful place to walk. But it is not God’s ultimate for us, there is a greater glory ahead. Aren’t you glad that Abraham never built God’s permanent dwelling place on this realm? Tents of Israel “Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?” (1 Chronicles 17:6). God is saying that wherever Israel went, God walked with them, lived with them. But he dwelled in tents. That is, every stage of Israel’s journey was only temporary, was a passing order. A tent. But God was with them in every tent. God was with Jacob and his twelve sons, shepherding their sheep, raising their families. A family was being built. But building the family of God’s people is not the eternal order for us, and must someday come to an end. So God did not build His house on this realm. Then Israel went to Egypt, eventually came into slavery and tribulation. In their trials and bondage, God was with them, dwelled in this tent with His

people. But it was only a tent, and God would not build His house in Egypt’s bondage. Praise God for that! Aren’t you glad that we do not have to eternally exist as God’s people dwelling in Egyptian or Babylonian bondage? Glory to God, there is a day when all bondages are removed! Then through the ministry of Moses, God took them into the wilderness for 40 years. They were free of bondage, but in a wilderness place. Haven’t you appreciated the glorious presence of God in this place we are passing through? But praise be to God that it is a passing order, and that God’s House was not built in this wilderness! He dwelled with them in a tent. That wilderness tent was a passing order. A new tent was erected when they crossed Jordan and came into the promised land. It was a better tent than they had in the wilderness, or in Egypt’s bondage, but it was still a tent. For though God was with them while they lived in Canaan under the judges, yet He did not tell the judges to build Him a house. Gideon, Barak, Jepthah, Deborah, Samuel and the other judges were the voice and leadership of the Lord to Israel. Living under the judges was being led by the Spirit. Being led by the Spirit is a marvelous realm of life, but there is something higher, something eternally permanent where God will “build His House”. David Pitched a Tent “But the Ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 1:4). David knew by the Spirit that the Ark (God’s glory and presence) belonged in the city of God, Jerusalem, and not in the tabernacle down at Gibeon. He knew that God’s permanent house should only be built when Israel was in divine order, under a King. He though he was that King. But God tells David that he is not going to build the house of the Lord. God tells David that though He had made him a mighty man in the earth, and had been with him in all his battles, David was a bloody man, a man of war. And this house is not going to be built on that realm. It is wonderful to have God with us in all our battles and trials of life, so that we come through victoriously. But thank God this is a passing order, a tent. We shall not always be fighting the devil, overcoming temptations, casting out devils. For God has prepared for His people a rest. There is a realm in God where there is no more war, no devil to fight, no temptations to overcome. And in this place will God build His permanent home, His house. “Thy Son Shall Build My House” “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” (1 Chronicles 17:11-12). Some may think that Solomon was the fulfillment of that promise, but only partially and temporary. Some of the things God said were never fulfilled in Solomon. That scripture was never fulfilled until Jesus came. We read in Luke 1:31-33... “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Here is the one that God said would build His house. Here was the one who was a Son to the Father, the one who established the realm of Sonship. More than 300 years after Solomon had built the temple, the Lord spoke through the prophet in Isaiah 66:1-2 and said: “Thus saith the Lord the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my

footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? And where is the place of my Rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” He thus signifies that His promise to David has not yet been fulfilled, and therefore that Solomon was not that son that He spoke of that was to build His house. Jesus Builds a House God says two things in 1 Chronicles 17, verses 12 and 14 concerning a house. “He (the Son) shall build me an house”, and “I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom forever.” Jesus was the first man on the earth realm to ever build God a habitation where He could live and reveal Himself in His fulness. Jesus built Him a house of holiness, of obedience, of sinless perfection, of humility and compassion and true Godly love. This is a place where God can live. And for the first time He has a habitation on the earth. He could not live in a temple made by the hands of sinful men. Solomon’s temple was only a shadow of the real and permanent House of God. “God was in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19). The Father has a house in heaven, a realm of life, a habitation and means of expression. For heaven is perfect, sinless and eternal. And this is the only kind of habitation that God could have. But no one had ever built such a house on the earth realm, in the physical world. Until Jesus came. Jesus built the Father a house to live in, a life so sinless, so perfect, so full of wisdom and grace that even God could feel at home in it. Everyone has certain requirements for any house they might live in. If you said to me that you had built a house for me, and that it was free and all I had to do was to move in, I would certainly take a look at it. But if it was just an oversized dog house, no doors, no windows, just one room with straw on the floor, and a hog trough out front to eat out of, I would tell you very quickly that I would not feel at home in such a place. I am not a dog, I like a kitchen in my house, a rug on the floor, a bed in the bedroom, and a few other things pertaining to human life. Then I would feel more at home in the house. God cannot feel at home in a house full of gossip, lust, fears, profanity, and all the other things connected with a life of sin. The house Jesus built had none of that kind of furniture in it. His life was a place where God could feel at home. A Stranger and a Pilgrim The Bible tells us that Old Testament men of faith recognized that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth, and that our citizenship is in heaven. We are not citizens of this dying world of sin, this mortal realm where death reigns. We have been given a new birth, and made citizens of a realm of life, righteousness, divine health, wisdom, love, joy, peace, etc. Though my spirit has been lifted into the heavenlies where I am a citizen, my body still dwells in the realm of mortality, and I don’t feel at home here any more. I am an heir of immortality and eternal life, and I am groaning in my spirit for my body to be redeemed to this glorious place. I’m pressing toward the place where my body can provide God’s habitation on this physical earth (as Jesus did) where He can fully express Himself again in His house. I want to be a house fit for the Father to dwell in. And thank God, beloved, the day is at hand when we are changing our address from Mortality to Immortality, from Corruption to Incorruption. We are ready to put on our house from heaven. Our House from Heaven

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). ow it is evident in this scripture we just read that the “tabernacle” spoken of is our physical bodies. But the “building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” is not just another body already created and stored up, as it were, on a shelf in heaven, waiting for us to put this one in the grave so we can put the other one on. For you see, you’re not really going to get rid of this present body… If you put it in the grave, it is coming out at the resurrection. If you remain till Jesus comes, this present body will be changed and made immortal, and you’ll have to keep it from then on. What about that “house eternal in the heavens”? This is the realm of God that our present bodies and our spirits must come to. So we groan, desiring to be loosed from the realm of mortality and death, and released into the habitation of life, immortality, and eternal perfection in God. The truth is that the house from heaven will clothe us over, “that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” This earthly house where our present bodies or tabernacles dwell, is to be dissolved. This realm that we have known as our “earthly life” is actually a drying life, a passing order, a temporary tent. Jesus said in John 14:2: “I go to prepare a place for you”. Had He not already provided God a house, a habitation on the earth during His 33 years in His physical body? But now He indicates that there is a higher order than this, and it can only come by His death, burial, and resurrection. So that the life He brings us into is a resurrection life. “That I may know Him in the power of His resurrection”. “What House Will Ye Build Me?” Stephen preaches his final sermon on this earth to the Jewish council. ow if you were going to preach your final message, and it was going to cause your death, you would surely want it to be of great importance and a weighty subject. Stephen preaches about the House of the Lord. He tells them in Acts 7:44-50 that the temple Solomon built is actually not the real House of God, and certainly not Herod’s temple, now sitting up on Mount Moriah. This strikes at the very heart of their ecclesiastical system, and enrages them as nothing else can. To infer that our beautiful temple is not where God dwells, that we are not His people, His habitation… it is blasphemy and worthy of death! But what Stephen is telling them is that Jesus the Christ is the habitation of the Father, and only in Jesus can they find God. And he quotes the prophet Isaiah to prove his point. They cannot argue with Isaiah, so they stopped their ears, cast out Stephen and stoned him to death. This is the way every earthly system reacts to the reality of God’s truth. They cannot stand before the living Word of God, so they stop their ears, cast out the men of God and brand them as heretics. “Destroy this House…” When the Jews asked Jesus for a sign (John 2:18-21), Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and sic years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” The

word for temple used here is the Greek word: “naos”, which means a dwelling place. What Jesus is saying to them is: “You go ahead and destroy this house that I have built for God to live in on this earth, you kill my physical body, but in three days I will raise it up”. And when He raises it up again here on this earth, it will be a many membered Body. ow I know that the physical body of Jesus was resurrected on the third day, but it was never established again as a temple on this earth for a habitation of God. He never went out in His resurrected body to preach the gospel or heal the sick and manifest the Father. After appearing a number of times to some 500 of His disciples over a period of 40 days, He ascended with that body into heaven where He will remain until the times of the restoration. But we have now come to that third day. Jesus said: “Go ye, and tell that fox (Herod), Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."”(Luke 13:32). He will again raise up the House of God, which is the Body of Christ. They destroyed one body, as a corn of wheat, but He is raising up a many-membered body, as a great harvest. This many-membered body, the sons of God, the Overcomer, the Zion of God, is the place where God will live on this earth. He shall rule out of Zion. His throne shall be in His sons. Kings and priests unto God and our Father. Glory to God! Ye are the House of God Back to Hebrews chapter 3 again to confirm this great truth. “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ, as a son over his own house; WHOSE HOUSE ARE WE, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” otice here that the house of Moses was a house of a servant, a house of doing, a realm of servitude and obeying the laws of God. But Christ established a new house, a house of Sonship, a house of “becoming” His likeness and His habitation. You are that House. Read with me in Ephesians 2:19-22… “ ow therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”. eed I say more: Is it not plain and simple, yet powerful and life-giving? The Anointing Filled the House In John chapter 12:1-5, we read the story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly. Verse 3 says: “The house was filled with the odour of the ointment”. Let me tell you here that the House of the Lord (which house you are) will be filled with the odour of this glorious last day anointing of the fulness of the Spirit poured out upon the “feet” of the Body of Christ. This anointing is for the deliverance of groaning creation. For in verse 5 Judas tells us that the value of it is “300 pence”. We know that 300 is the number of divine deliverance… Gideon’s army, oah’s ark, Solomon’s golden shields, etc. Jesus spoke to the Jews in Luke 13:35 and said: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” That is, the realm that the Jews had lived in and known God in, was finished. God would never deal with them again through the blood of bulls and goats. God would never again accept their

sacrifices in the temple. “The law and the prophets were until John (the Baptist)” said Jesus. ow a new house is established. A House Divided When the scribes from Jerusalem accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power of the devil, He said (Mark 3:23-27)… “How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. o man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” ow Jesus here is talking about Satan’s house. He is spoiling Satan’s house by casting devils out of people. To bind a strong man, you must be stronger than he. And Jesus proved that he was much stronger than Satan. I declare unto you that Satan is to be bound by the sons of God, and his house is to be completely spoiled. Every devil cast out, every sickness healed, every sin eradicated, every bondage delivered, and every prison door opened and the captives set free. This is the purpose of this great anointing upon the sons of God in these last days. A man can be a house or dwelling place for evil spirits. In Matthew 12:43-45 we read the words of Jesus: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first”. When a devil is cast out of a person, his house needs to be destroyed, and a house of godliness and righteousness built in it’s place. The man in the story remained in the same realm of sin after the evil spirit was gone, and it wasn’t long until he was filled with more demons than he had ever had before. When you are delivered of a demon of lust, or alcohol, or tobacco… do not continue the unclean acts which gave expression to that spirit and formed him a habitation. Turn away from smoking, drinking, etc., lest you open the door to many other things even worse, and end up in terrible demon possession. The House of the Harlot In the book of Proverbs is a story of a young man being enticed into the house of a harlot. Proverbs 2:18-19 says that her house inclineth unto death, and that none that go unto her can take hold of the paths of life. ow a harlot is a type of the false system of religion, ecclesiastical denominational order of man-made churchianity. Beware, sons of God, that you are not enticed into her evil ways of division and bondage. I am not the first prophet that ever cried out against the harlot system. In Jeremiah 5:7 we read: “How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are not gods; when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.” The house of the harlot is built upon sinking sand. Matthew 7:24 says: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” Yes, friend, the rain is coming, the storm will beat upon your house. Only that built upon the Rock will stand through the last day storm.

The Glory of the Latter House ow we come to the great climaxing truth of this message. Let us read Haggai 2:3… “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do you see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” You see, Haggai was a post-captivity prophet. That is, he prophesied to the remnant that had returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple and restore the city of Jerusalem. But once out of Babylon and back in Canaan, they settled down to build their own houses, and failed to build the House of the Lord. In Haggai 1:2 the people said: “The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built”. But in verse 4 the Lord spoke through Haggai and asked them if it was time for them to build their own houses and let the house of the Lord lie waste. Yes, men today are building their own houses, their own little kingdoms, their churches, fellowships, little denominations, and communes. But they are not building God’s house. The people said that the work was too great, they did not have the substance or strength to build. And even if they did, it would not compare with the glory of Solomon’s’ temple, built in the zenith of Israel’s wealth and power. That is what folks are saying today about building God an earthly habitation, a body to live in. We could never, they say, attain to the glory of the house or life of Jesus Christ, that first temple of God. We have too many enemies within us, too little of the nature of God (gold), and it is just impossible for anyone today to be like Jesus. Also it is really impossible to have a many-membered body of people who measure up to a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. That will just have to wait for heaven, they say. But God said (Haggai 2:3)… “Look at this mess around you here, look at the so-called church… the stones all broken down and separated by barriers of many kinds. How does this compare with the glory of that first temple, the firstborn Son of God in all His glory?” Yes, the Lord says, be strong, for I will do what I have promised, and you shall build me a house. And the glory of the latter (last) house will be greater than that first house. Read it (verses 6-9): “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver (redemption) is mine, and the gold (the nature of God) is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts, and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts”. Five times in this short scripture the prophet uses the phrase: “Saith the Lord of hosts”, for he certainly did not want Israel to think that these were his own words. They are the words of God. What are you saying Haggai? That out of this pile of rubble, this poor weak people are going to be built a greater and more glorious temple than that of Solomon? Why, that’s ridiculous, in fact, it’s almost blasphemy! Surely you don’t know how glorious that temple was! Yes, I do, but I also know what God is saying. He is saying that in spite of how glorious that house was that Jesus built for God to live in, the last house that He will build out of the living stones of His people will be even more glorious, and the glory of God shall fill it here on this earth. “Greater Works from a Greater House” Jesus Himself said: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; A D GREATER WORKS than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12). That first house that God lived in on this earth was only one body, could only be in one place at a time, was subject to many limitations of earthly life, could be subjected to death. But because He went to the Father, through death, burial, and resurrection, He prepared a place for us. He made it possible for another house to be built. He builds the house, and becomes a Son over His own

house. This latter house comes into resurrection glory, receives immortality, and defeats every enemy in living bodies here on this earth. God will live in this many-membered house in His fulness, and pour His glory into that house. It is your opportunity to be a part of that great latter house, beloved… rejoice and praise God for it! Everything brings forth after it’s own kind. This is a principle that is true in the natural as well as in the spiritual. To get corn, you must plant the corn. You can only get cattle from other cattle. Fallen man can only produce other fallen men. And Jesus is bringing forth sons in His own image. But notice something… He never sent the Holy Spirit upon them, never gave them this birth in the Spirit, until after His resurrection. John 7:39 says that “The Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” For it was to be His resurrection life that they were to receive. Isaac never had any sons until after his trip with Abraham to Mount Moriah where “in a figure” (Hebrews 11:19) he was raised from the dead. And the sons of God could not be brought forth until after the resurrection. The Old Testament saints looked forward to it, and though they received a good report through faith (Hebrews 11:39), they could not receive the promise until after the resurrection. God’s House is to be built on the foundation of a resurrected Christ, after the power of an endless life… a true Melchisedec priesthood! So this is why the latter house will be greater than the former. The first house, in the body of Jesus Christ, though it was perfect and glorious and a fit place for the Father to dwell in… it was in a body that had not yet come through the resurrection. He did not bring forth sons on that plane, in that image. It was after the resurrection that He poured out His Spirit, and began bringing sons to glory. And it is children of the resurrection that will make up this glorious last house of God! What a high calling we have received, beloved! Be faithful! You are the house of the Lord! Walk in holiness, in sincerity. Provide the Father the furniture in His house that will make Him feel at home… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, faith, etc. Let God by His Spirit build in you a way of life, a realm of living, that is above the corruption and confusion of this present age. We are citizens of another way of life, another world. But our city is coming down! And the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. Our house shall rule and reign on this earth, and every other house, every other realm of life other than God’s life will be shaken and destroyed. All creation shall shout for joy at the manifestation of the Sons of God, the end-time House of the Lord! Glory to God, hallelujah! The Hearing Ear In the first six verses of this chapter we found that Moses was faithful in his house as a servant, but that the house of Christ was the house of Sonship. We dealt with the fact that we, the body of Christ, are the house, the habitation of God through the Spirit. ow in the rest of this chapter, God gives a solemn warning lest we let unbelief keep us from going on with God into the fulness of His promises. Beginning in verse 7, God uses the Israelites in the wilderness as the example of how we can miss God through unbelief. The first point he brings out in verse 7 is to hear the voice of God. Beloved, this is the first requisite. If we cannot hear God’s voice, if we cannot recognize the sound of the trumpet, if we cannot know the true message when it comes forth, then we will be in no position to believe and to enter in to the promises of God. We must be able to hear and to hear with the ear of the Spirit. Jesus continually said to the people: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear…” In Proverbs 20:12 it says: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them”. Here

we see that those who have a hearing ear have it because God gave it to them. Oh, beloved, bear this in mind. If you have heard the voice of the Lord, if you have recognized the message of the hour, let this not bring forth in you a boastful heart. Let not your own spirit become exalted, as though you had accomplished something in yourself. If you have a hearing ear, it is because God has given it. Let this bring to your heart a humility. Let this bring to your heart a recognition of the marvelous grace of God who has chosen you, a vessel of clay, to whom He would make known His marvelous, eternal truths. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.” The first requisite to supping with the Lord and having that beautiful fellowship in the Spirit is to hear His voice. How can you expect to have the secrets of God made known to you if you cannot recognize His voice? Jesus said in John 10: “My sheep know my voice, and another they will not follow”. Many people today cry: “wolf” at anything they hear preached that does not sound like what they had been hearing all their lives. They are afraid to listen to new truths for fear that they will be deceived and be swallowed up by false doctrines. How, in heaven’s name, can people expect to go on into the unsearchable riches of Christ and to understand the unfolding and progressive purposes of God if they refuse to hear? We read in Hebrews 12:25: “See that you refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.” There is a voice of one this day speaking from heaven. Though He is using human vessels through which to sound the trumpet, yet it is the voice of Him who ruleth in the heavens. Those who have ears to hear will hear what He has to say to us today, and thus have faith to believe to enter in to God’s rest. “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation in the day of temptation in the wilderness.” Here in Hebrews 3:8 we find the second requisite to entering in to our promises, and that is, “harden not your hearts”. Oh, beloved, there is such a temptation as we are marching through this wilderness journey, to get a hardness of heart through all the manifold tribulations that come upon us. Recognize that everything that comes is coming from the hand of God. Be ready to praise God for it, and do not become embittered in your heart towards the Lord our God. Those who become bitter think they are bitter at their enemies, when in reality, they are becoming embittered at God who has allowed the tribulations to come upon them. The hardness of heart must be removed. God said through the prophet Ezekiel, “I will take out the stony heart and put in a heart of flesh.” God is not looking for great deeds or great exploits, but God is looking for that one who has a contrite spirit and a softness of heart, a tender heart, a kindness and longsuffering. People are becoming defiled and missing the purposes of God because of bitterness in their hearts, and they know it not. Beloved, I know what I am talking about. You would have to live in the midst of religious hypocrisy where very pious, religious people were making every effort to destroy your work for God, to understand the temptation that can come upon the heart to become bitter. If you could see the inward workings of religious hierarchies where political maneuverings are carried shamelessly and men of God become ensnared in a system that causes them to become animalistic in nature, devouring one another and destroying their brother for their own political advantage. Yes, even in Israel’s journey through the wilderness, there were men who tried to overthrow the authority of Moses and to take over the leadership for themselves, though they were not called to

this by God. Entire houses were swallowed up by the earth in the judgments that came as a result. And today entire churches and ministries are being swallowed up by the spirit of this world. God says: “I was grieved with that generation…” How grieved He must be in this, our generation, who have the greatest light since the Son of God ascended up on high, and yet who are, in so many cases, striving only to build a man-made kingdom. Yes, today as then, it is a day of provocation, but He warns us, “harden not your hearts”. Then, as now, the people saw the mighty works of God. Miracle-working powers were performed among them; yet, they hardened their hearts against God. Therefore, God says in verse 10 that He was grieved with that generation. He says the error was in their heart, not in their head, but in their heart. It was not their understanding that was deficient; it was not that their doctrines were wrong; it was their desires, their inward life. They would not allow the Holy Spirit to conform them to the image of Christ. God says, “they have not known my ways”. Oh, God give us people who learn the ways of the Lord! The Bible says that the children of Israel saw His acts, but to Moses He made known His ways. There is a Moses company in this hour who are learning the ways of the Lord. Beloved, when you know how God operates, when you know how He thinks, when you know what the principles are He works by, then you have no trouble knowing whether this thing or that thing is from God or not. Learn to know the ways of God. Get acquainted with our Lord. He wants you to become intimately acquainted with Him. “know Him”. Paul cried out in Philippians 3:10, “Oh, that I may know him”. This is the cry of our hearts today. To know the Lord and to become acquainted with His ways. Many have seen the miracles; many have seen the great works of God; but to those that are learning His ways and are becoming acquainted with Him and the principles by which He operates, those are the ones He is calling into Sonship. Although the promise had been given to all and Canaan’s land had been prepared for them, yet, because of their unbelief and hardness of heart, God swore in His wrath that that generation would not enter into His rest. ow we come to verse 12 and it says, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God.” There are many people who would sanctimoniously inform you that they were born again and Spirit-filled and did not indulge in the gross sins of smoking, drinking, sex-lust, narcotics, stealing, and profanity. But, if the truth were known, they have evil hearts full of unbelief because they resist the truth when it comes to them. Beloved, it takes a heart of unbelief to resist the truth of God. If your heart is right with God, when you hear the truth, it will witness to your heart, and you will gladly embrace it and grow thereby. If you resist the truth of God, it is because you have an evil heart of unbelief. This, my friend, will cause you to miss the promises of God. Verse 13 tells us that sin is deceitful. If sin were only those things that were listed in the constitution and bylaws of the church system, then we could easily know what to avoid. But sin is deceitful. I must relate here a personal experience I had with this chapter. One time, years ago, we were living in a little house at the edge of a village in Carney, Oklahoma. Our only bathroom was an outdoor privy, or an outhouse, as some call them. We had no hot water in the house. In fact, until we were able to have a well dug, we had no water at all and had to carry water from a neighbor’s house. It was during this time that our youngest girl, Rachel, was born and seeing my wife have to take care of herself and her newborn baby under these conditions, began to do something to me. I had been successful in the insurance business and was zone manager for a very fine company, but the Lord had pressed on my spirit to quit my job and give full-time to the ministry

of writing and radio preaching. Our expenses were heavy and had been sufficiently met by my earnings at my job. But when I was without a job, the expenses went on while the money coming in was cut off. Things got in very bad shape. Financially, it seemed that the door to heaven was closed. ight after night I would stand in the field behind our house and look up at the stars and say, “Father, I know you own every one of those stars. I know you own the cattle on a thousand hills. You have in your hands the hearts of millionaires who would not even miss the amount that it would take to bring us through this financial crisis. Father, I do not doubt your ability to meet our needs. The question in my heart is, why are you not meeting those needs? Why are you letting us go like this?” ight after night I cried to God. Our bills were getting behind. We hardly had money to feed our children. We lost our car and it looked as though we would lose our little home. Unknown to me, a bitterness against God was beginning to creep into my heart. I did not recognize this until one night I went to a service in Oklahoma City. The preacher was preaching on the first part of Hebrews 3. I had with me an Amplified ew Testament, and began to read this chapter in the Amplified, reading ahead of where he was preaching. I came to verse 8, and in the Amplified it says: “Do not harden your hearts, as happened in the rebellion of Israel and in their provocation and embitterment of Me in the day of testing in the wilderness.” I stopped and read that phrase again, “embitterment of Me”. Then I realized that the children of Israel in the wilderness were bitter at God. I said, “God, why were they bitter at you?” And the Lord spoke to me as I sat there in the service that night and said: “They became embittered at Me because they knew I could do better than give them bread and water. I gave them manna from heaven and water from the rock, but they lusted after flesh. They knew that if I desired, I could give them quail, and they were bitter at Me because I was not doing as much for them as they knew I was capable of doing.” I though to myself, “what a wicked and rebellious people. They did not deserve to go into the promised land, becoming embittered like that at God.” Then the voice of the Lord spoke to me and said: “Son, that’s the condition you are in. You are becoming bitter at Me.” I cried out in horror, “Oh no, Lord, not me, I’m your son. I wouldn’t be bitter at you no matter what”. He said: “You are becoming bitter because you know in your heart and have faith to believe that I am able to meet all your financial needs; and yet, you are wondering why I am not doing it, and bitterness is coming into your heart.” As the light of His Word shined upon my heart, I recognized that it was true, and right there in my seat, while the preacher in the pulpit was continuing his message, I had an altar call and cried out to God for repentance and for forgiveness. I said: “God if you will cleanse me from this awful thing, I will never complain or become bitter at my circumstance you bring me into, regardless of what it is”. God graciously forgave and cleansed my heart; and I went from that service victorious. I committed the future, financially and otherwise, into His hands. And do you know what friends? My victory opened the windows of heaven; and before the week was out, the financial bondage was broken, and I began to receive substantial gifts from unexpected sources all over the country. (These came in spite of the fact that we had made no mention to anyone of our needs. God will not allow us to tell of any need that we might have). As soon as I had won the victory in my spirit, God began to speak to those who had the ministry of giving and who could hear His voice. Yes, beloved, sin is deceitful; and sometimes we get ensnared without even knowing that we are guilty until the Word of the Lord exposes us. So, as we finish up the third chapter of Hebrews, we see God emphasizing the awfulness of unbelief and warning us that this will keep us out of the land of rest. The chapter ends by saying: “They could not enter in because of unbelief.” ow, as we get ready to go into chapter 4 and take a look at the rest of God, let us cleanse our hearts from unbelief, and ask God’s Spirit to search us and illuminate our hearts by His Word, that we might see ourselves as He sees us.

Another principle is stated in verse 13: “Exhort one another daily”. Beloved, whether you believe it or not, you need me, and I need you. We need to exhort one another. Sometimes folks write to me and tell me of some trend they see in my writings. Perhaps they feel that I am putting too much emphasis on one phase of the message. Or perhaps they feel that I am getting hardness of heart because of my message against the Babylonian system. But there are those, and I thank God for them, who are concerned enough to write me and to exhort and rebuke me in the Spirit. They cannot know how seriously I take these exhortations. I do not cast them aside as just another complaint; for, beloved, I want to be right. I want to enter into God’s rest, and one thing we need in order to make the grade is to exhort one another daily. So if I hit you where it hurts, if I stir you up, thank God for it; I am doing it for your benefit, and I am doing it because I love you. Verse 14 points out the absolute necessity of stedfastness. It is not enough to have revelation of coming Sonship. It is not enough to feel the anointing and to enter into an experience with God. It says we must continue, and to hold fast the beginning of our confidence, stedfast unto the end. Oh, beloved, there is much tribulation in the world today. There are many pressures coming against those who are pressing into Sonship. But I exhort you, hold fast your confidence, stedfast unto the end. The one who wears the crown is not he who starts the race in a flurry of enthusiasm, nor he who is out in front at the end of a half mile, but it is the one who crosses the finish line. So bear in mind that all things are coming to an end; and that God intends in His purposes for us to remain stedfast to the end of this race. He has the power to bring us through. Blessed be His ame! We are all running in a race, but the crown is given to him that finishes. So run that you may obtain! In many places in the Bible it says: “And it came to pass”. And let me say to you friends, no matter how hard your trials are, they have come to pass and in God’s time they shall pass. Hold stedfast to the end, and remain faithful to Him Who has called you.

3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.
1. Barnes, “For this man - The Lord Jesus. The word “man” is understood, but there can be no doubt that he is referred to. Was counted more worthy - Was more worthy; or is more worthy. The word used here does not refer to anything that had been said of him, or to any estimate which had been made of him. It means simply that he was worthy of more honor than Moses. how he was so, Paul proceeds to show.

̄ Of more glory - - δόξης doxes. Honor, dignity, regard. He really had a higher rank, and was worthy of more respect. This was saying much for the Messiah, and that it was proper to say this, Paul proceeds to show. He did not attempt in any way to undervalue Moses and his institutions. He gave him all the honor which the Jews were themselves disposed to render him. He admitted that he had been eminently faithful in the station where God had placed him; and he then proceeds to show that the Lord Jesus was entitled to honor superior to that, and that hence the Christian religion had more to attach its friends to it than the Jewish had. Inasmuch as he who hath builded the house - The idea here is, either that he who is the maker of a house - the architect - is worthy of more respect than the house itself; or that he who is the founder of a family is worthy of more honor than the family of which he is the founder. It seems to me that the former is the meaning - for the latter is not always true. The founder of a family may be really deserving of much less respect than some of his descendants. But it is always true that the architect is worthy of more respect than the house which he makes. He exhibits intellect and skill. The house, however splendid, has neither. The plan of the house was drawn by him; its beauty, its proportions, its ornaments, are what he made them, and but for him they would not have existed. Michelangelo was worthy of more honor than “St. Peter’s Cathedral” at Rome; and Sir Christopher Wren worthy of more than “St. Paul’s Cathedral” at London. Galileo is worthy of more praise than the telescope, and Fulton more than a steam-engine. All the evidence of skill and adaptedness that there is in the invention had its origin in the inventor all the beauty of the statue or the temple had its origin in the mind of him that designed it. An author is worthy of more honor than a book; and he that forms a work of art is worthy of more respect than the work itself. This is the idea here. Paul assumes that all things owed their origin to the Son of God; Heb_1:2, Heb_1:8,Heb_1:10. He was the author of the universe; the source of all wise and wellfounded systems; the originator of the Jewish dispensation over which Moses presided. Whatever beauty or excellence there might have been, therefore, in that system, was to be traced to him; and whatever ability even Moses displayed was imparted by him. Christ is really the head of the family over which Moses presided, and has claims, therefore, to higher honor as such.

2. Clarke, “For this man was counted - As Jesus Christ, in the character of apostle and high priest, is here intended, the word apostle, or this person or personage, should have been supplied, if any, instead of man. Indeed, the pronoun οὑτος should have been translated this person, and this would have referred immediately to Jesus Christ, Heb_3:1. More glory than Moses - We have already seen that the apostle’s design is to prove that Jesus Christ is higher than the angels, higher than Moses, and higher than Aaron. That he is higher than the angels has been already proved; that he is higher than Moses he is now proving. He who hath builded the house - There can be no doubt that a man who builds a house for his own accommodation is more honorable than the house itself; but the house here intended is the Church of God. This Church, here called a house or family, is built by Christ; he is the Head, Governor, Soul and Life of it; he must therefore be greater than Moses, who was only a member and officer in that Church, who never put a stone in this spiritual building but was even himself put in it by the great Architect. Moses was in this house, and faithful in this house; but the house was the house of God, and builded and governed by Christ.

3. Gill, “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses,.... Moses was counted worthy of glory and honour, and had it given him, both by God and by men; by God, as appears

from the work he called him to, to deliver his people Israel, to reveal his mind and will to them, and to rule and govern them; and from the favours he showed him, as the miracles he did by him, the near converse he admitted him to, and the view he gave him of his glory, which he made to pass before him, and his regard to him at his death and burial, as well as the testimony he gave of him; and he was counted worthy of honour by men, and who gave it him, as Pharaoh and his people, and the Israelites. The Jews give very great commendations of him; they call him a father in the law, a father in wisdom, and a father in prophecy (u); and say, that he is the father, master, head, and prince of all the prophets (w); yea, the great prophet expected in the last days, they say, will be but next to Moses, their master (x): they observe, that there were more miracles wrought by, and for him, than were wrought by, and for all the prophets that have been since the world began (y); so that he not only exceeded them in the excellency and sublimity of prophecy, but in the multitude of miracles; but Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses, and has it given him by God, angels, and men: he is a greater Saviour than Moses; Moses was but a temporal saviour, but he is the author of spiritual and eternal salvation: he is a greater prophet than Moses, being the only begotten Son of God, who lay in the bosom of the Father, and has declared him, his mind and will, his Gospel, grace, and truth, as Moses never did: he is a greater King than he, being made higher than the kings of the earth: he did more miracles than Moses, and had a greater testimony from God than he had, as that he was his beloved Son, and to be heard; he was also raised, from the dead, and is set down at the right hand of God, and is appointed Judge of all; he is ministered to, and worshipped by angels, is believed on by men, who ascribe the whole glory of their salvation to him. Inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house; this "house", or "temple", as the Arabic version renders it, is the church, of which Christ is the builder; though not to the exclusion of the Father and the Spirit, who are coefficient builders with him, nor of ministers of the Gospel as instruments, nor of believers in a private capacity, who build up one another; but he has the chief concern in the building, which lies in the conversion of souls, and in the edification of them, and is carried on by his Spirit in the ministry of the word and ordinances, and from hence he has a glory; see Zec_6:12 a greater glory than Moses, seeing he was but a part of this house, at most but a pillar in it; but Christ is the builder, foundation, and cornerstone. 4. Henry, “Another argument is taken from the superior glory and excellence of Christ above Moses (Heb_3:3-6); therefore they were more obliged to consider Christ. (1.) Christ was a maker of the house, Moses but a member in it. By the house we are to understand the church of God, the people of God incorporated together under Christ their maker and head, and under subordinate officers, according to his law, observing his institutions. Christ is the maker of this house of the church in all ages: Moses was a minister in the house, he was instrumental under Christ in governing and edifying the house, but Christ is the maker of all things; for he is God, and no one less than God could build the church, either lay the foundation or carry on the superstructure. o less power was requisite to make the church than to make the world; the world was made out of nothing, the church made out of materials altogether unfit for such a building. Christ, who is God, drew the ground-plan of the church, provided the materials, and by almighty power disposed them to receive the form; he has compacted and united this his house, has settled the orders of it, and crowned all with his own presence, which is the true glory of this house of God. 5. Jamison, “For — assigning the reason why they should “consider” attentively “Christ” (Heb_3:1), highly as they regard Moses who resembled Him in faithfulness (Heb_3:2). was — Greek, “has been.”

counted worthy of more glory — by God, when He exalted Him to His own right hand. The Hebrew Christians admitted the fact (Heb_1:13). builded the house — Greek, “inasmuch as He hath more honor than the house, who prepared it,” or “established it” [Alford]. The Greek verb is used purposely instead of “builded,” in order to mark that the building meant is not a literal, but a spiritual house: the Church both of the Old Testament and ew Testament; and that the building of such a house includes all the preparations of providence and grace needed to furnish it with “living stones” and fitting “servants.” Thus, as Christ the Founder and Establisher (in Old Testament as well as the ew Testament) is greater than the house so established, including the servants, He is greater also than Moses, who was but a “servant.” Moses, as a servant, is a portion of the house, and less than the house; Christ, as the Instrumental Creator of all things, must be God, and so greater than the house of which Moses was but a part. Glory is the result of honor. 6. Calvin, “ For this man (or, he) was counted worthy, etc. Lest he might appear to make Moses equal to Christ, he reminds us of his superior excellency; and this he proves by two arguments, Moses so ruled the Church, that he was still a part and member of it; but Christ being the builder, is superior to the whole building, -- Moses while ruling others, was ruled also himself, as he was a servant; but Christ being a Son possesses supreme power. It is a frequent and wellknown metaphor used in Scripture to call the Church the house of God. (1 Timothy 3:15.) And as it is composed of the faithful, each of them is called a living stone. (1 Peter 2:5.) They are also sometimes called the vessels with which the house is furnished. (2 Timothy 2:20.) There is then no one so eminent that he is not a member, and included in the universal body. God being the builder, alone is to be set above his own work; but God dwells in Christ, so that whatever is said of God is applicable to him. If any one objects and says that Christ is also a part of the building because he is the foundation, because he is our brother, because he has a union with us and then that he is not the masterbuilder because he himself was formed by God: in reply to these things we say that our faith is so founded on him that he still rules over us that he is in such a way our brother that he is yet our Lord, that he was so formed by God as man that he nevertheless by his Spirit revives and restores all things as the eternal God. The Scripture employs us various metaphors to set forth Christ s grace towards us; but there is no one which derogates from his honor mentioned here by the Apostle; for what is stated here is that all ought to be brought down to their own state because they ought to be in subjection to the head and that Christ alone is exempt from this submission, because he is the head. If it be again objected and said that Moses was no less a masterbuilder than Paul who gloried in this title: to this I reply that this name is applied to prophets and teachers but not with strict correctness; for they are only the instruments and indeed dead instruments, except the

Lord from heaven gives efficacy to what they do; and then they so labor in building the Church, that they themselves form a part of the structure; but the case is wholly different as to Christ, for he ever builds up the Church by the power of his own Spirit. Besides, he stands far above the rest, for he is in such a way the true temple of God, that he is at the same time the God who inhabits it.

7. “Despite the similarity of faithfulness between Moses and Christ, the redemptive and restorative efficacy of Christ's faithfulness is the reason that Paul encourages the Palestinian Christians to "consider Jesus" (3:1). "For He (Jesus) has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses." Moses had seen the glory of God on Mt. Sinai, and the Jewish people considered Moses worthy of much honor and glory. Some rabbinic literature indicated that Moses had more glory than the angels. Even Joshua explained that "no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses" (Exod. 34:10). But Paul had written earlier to the Corinthians explaining that the glory of Moses and the old covenant that he administered was a fading glory (II Cor. 3:7,11), whereas the glory of Jesus Christ and the new covenant has "even more glory" (II Cor. 3:8) for "the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory" (II Cor. 3:9). "For indeed what had glory (Moses and the old covenant), in this case has no glory on account of the glory (Jesus and His work) that surpasses it," (II Cor. 3:10). The superiority of the glory of Christ is based on the fact that while Moses' glory was merely reflective of the presence of God, Jesus is the essential reality of the presence of God, the self-revelation of the all-glorious character of God, and the self-generating source of God's glory. The glory of Jesus is that "which He had with the Father before the world was" (John 17:5), and was "beheld" in the incarnate Word (John 1:14). He is also "counted worthy of more glory than Moses" because He conveys and imparts His glory to those united with Himself as Christ-ones, those who have "Christ in them, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27), and are thus being "crowned with glory and honor" (2:7). Employing a truism or general principle of the construction trade, Paul wrote that Jesus is "worthy of more glory than Moses, by just as much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house." The analogy of a "house" merges the concepts of a material building structure and an interpersonal community of a "household," allowing for a double entendre of meaning. It is difficult to understand precisely what Paul meant by this analogy. Since the contrast has been made between the superior glory of Christ and the lesser glory of Moses, how is Jesus to be identified as "the builder of the house" and Moses with "the house"? The analogy necessitates an interpretation that transitions from the original material meaning to a figurative meaning of "house." If "the builder of the house" is the Divine builder (looking ahead to the next verse), then God certainly has more honor than the physical universe that He created (otherwise we have monistic pantheism), and more honor than the community of His people identified with Him (who are what they are only because they are related to Him). Jesus, as "the builder of the house," is the Divine builder, creatively active in constructing the universe as well as God's arrangements for the restoration of fallen mankind. Jesus was instrumental in the development of the provisional House of Israel which is connected with Moses, therefore has more honor as the Divine builder than the Judaic "house." author unknown

8. JAMES FOWLER, “Though it was Moses' brother Aaron who was high priest of Israel by title, it was Moses and not Aaron who interceded for the people before God (Ex 32:11-14). (Exodus 4:14-16) indicates that God permitted Aaron to share the ministry which was originally

intended only for Moses. There are many similarities between Moses and Jesus. Jesus almost died at birth, Jesus also left his father’s house. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness. Jesus came to set the people free from a slavery and hard bondage. Jesus came to bring the chosen people to the promised land. But Jesus entered the promised land. "In relation to God's household, Moses was never more than a member of the family, but Christ was the architect who built the family (Hebrews 3:3 ). In relation to role, Moses was an important servant, but Jesus was the Son and heir. In relation to ministry, Moses spoke of what would happen; Jesus was the future he foresaw. In every way Jesus was superior as a human being to Moses, the towering figure most honored in Judaism." Richards. The Bible Readers Companion. Victors Books

In verse 2, the writer uses Moses and Christ as comparisons of faithfulness to the plan of God. In verse 3, the writer contrast the reality that Jesus is better than Moses in that Jesus is the builder of the house or household. ot only was Christ faithful in that He carried out the plan of God, but it's clearly evident that the writer states that Christ was the one who builded the house or the household, the people.

9. PI K, “"For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house" (verse 3). The apostle now proceeds to present Christ’s superiority over Moses. But ere considering this, let us admire again the heavenly wisdom granted him in the method of presenting his argument. In the previous verse he has acknowledged the greatness of Moses, and here he also allows that he was worthy of glory, or praise. This would at once show that Paul was no enemy of Judaism, seeking to disparage and revile it. Equally striking is it to note how, in now turning the eyes of the Hebrews to One who is infinitely greater than Moses, he does not speak of his failures-his slaying of the Egyptians (Exo. 2), his slowness in responding to the Lord’s call (Exo. 3,4), his angered smiting of the rock ( um. 20); but by presenting the glories of Christ. This third verse presents to us the first of the evidences here furnished of the superiority of Christ over Moses: He is the Builder of God’s house; this, Moses never was. Its opening "For" looks back to the first verse, advancing a reason or argument why the Hebrews should "consider" the Apostle and High Priest of their confession, namely, because He is worthy of more glory than Moses the typical apostle. "The phrase, ‘to build the house,’ is equivalent to, be the founder of the family. This kind of phraseology is by no means uncommon. It is said, Exodus 1:21, that God ‘made houses’ to those humane women who refused to second the barbarous policy of Pharaoh in destroying the infants of the Israelites: i.e. He established their families, giving a numerous and flourishing offspring. In Ruth 4:11, Rachel and Leah are said to have built the house of Israel. And athan says to David, 2 Samuel 7:11: ‘Also the Lord telleth thee that He will make thee a house;’ and what the meaning of that phrase is, we learn from what immediately follows, Hebrews 5:12’ (Dr. J. Brown). The contrast thus drawn between Christ and Moses is both a plain and an immense one. Though officially raised over it, Moses was not the founder of the Israelitish family, but simply a

member of it. With the Apostle of our confession it is far otherwise. He is not only at the head of God’s family (Heb. 2:10, 13-His "sons," His "children"), but He is also the Builder or the Founder of it. As we read in Ephesians 2:10, "for we are His workmanship, created in (or "by") Christ Jesus." Moses did not make men children of God; Christ does. Moses came to a people who were already the Lord’s by covenant relationship; whereas Christ takes up those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and creates them anew. Thus as the founder of the family is entitled to the highest honor from the family, so Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses.

10. Author unknown, “A young Jewish boy starts attending public school in a small town. The teacher of the one-room school decides to use her position to try to influence the new student. She asks the class, 'Who was the greatest man that ever lived?' A girl raises her hand and says, 'I think George Washington was the greatest man that ever lived because he is the Father of our country.' The teacher replies, 'Well...that's a good answer, but that's not the answer I am looking for.' Another young student raises his hand and says, 'I think Abraham Lincoln was the greatest man that lived because he freed the slaves and helped end the civil war.' ... 'Well, that's another good answer, but that is not the one I was looking for.' Then the new Jewish boy raises his hand and says, 'I think Jesus Christ was the greatest man that ever lived.' The teacher's mouth drops open in astonishment. 'Yes!' she says, 'that's the answer I was looking for.' She then brings him up to the front of the classroom and gives him a lollipop. Later, during recess, another Jewish boy approaches him as he is licking his lollipop. He says, 'Why did you say, 'Jesus Christ'?' The boy stops licking his lollipop and replies, 'I know it's Moses, and YOU know it's Moses, but business is business.' Your top 10 1. Mahatma Gandhi 2. Leonardo da VinciI 3. Jesus Christ 4. elson Mandela 5. Sir Isaac ewton 6. Albert Einstein 7. Martin Luther King 8. Sir Winston Churchill 9. Charles Darwin 10. Karl Marx

Mahatma Gandhi has been voted the greatest man of the past 1,000 years in a poll by BBC ews Online. India's independence leader was the front-runner throughout the poll - pushing Leonardo da Vinci and Jesus Christ to second and third place. Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses in the same manner as God has more honor than the universe he created. The following passage from 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 gives great insight into the contrast between the old and the new covenant. " ow if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! The remainder of verse three reasserts this point in the analogy of the house and its builder. Obviously, Christ is the builder of the house and Moses was but part of the plan rather than an architect. 11. CALVI , “It is a frequent and well-known metaphor used in Scripture to call the Church the house of God. (1 Tim. 3: 15.) And as it is composed of the faithful, each of them is called a living stone. (1 Pet. 2: 5.) They are also sometimes called the vessels with which the house is furnished. (2 Tim. 2: l0.) There is then no one so eminent that he is not a member, and included in the universal body. God being the builder, alone is to be set above his own work; but God dwells in Christ, so that whatever is said of God is applicable to him. 12, “Schillebeeckx finds the comparison of Jesus with Moses throughout all four Gospels. Like Moses, Jesus is an intimate of the God he preaches. Like Moses he "speaks to God face to face, even mouth to mouth."4 Since Jesus' God is credible, what one does by way of response to this eschatological greater-than- Moses prophet is critical. If one responds positively, one will know the saving power of God. If one does not, the experience of salvation remains foreign. Hence Jesus as eschatological prophet is central to all subsequent Christologizing, no matter how "high" it becomes. 13. PIPER, “Last week we saw that Jesus Christ is greater than Moses in at least two ways. First, Hebrews 3:3 says that he is greater than Moses the same way a builder of a house is greater than the house he built. In other words Jesus is greater than Moses because he made Moses. And verse 4 makes the implication explicit: God is the maker of all things. Therefore Jesus Christ is God. Which is what the writer had said in Hebrews 1:8, "But of the Son He says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." Second, Hebrews 3:5-6 say that Jesus is greater than Moses the way a son over a house is greater than a servant in the house. The Son is heir of the house. He owns it, rules it and provides for it.

In other words what we have in Hebrews 3:3-6 is a restatement of Hebrews 1:2, "In these last days God has spoken to us in His Son, (1) whom He appointed heir of all things, and (2) through whom also He made the world." The same two glories of Christ we saw in Hebrews 3. Christ is the Creator of all and the Heir of all. That is, he made all things including the people of which Moses is a part, and he is the heir of all things, including the house in which Moses is a servant.

14. John A. Holt, Senior Pastor, “As you stand in Red Square in Moscow your eyes take in contrasting scenes. You see the red brick walls of the Kremlin rising before you on one side. Except for the gate towers and imposing entrances, the walls continue for one and one-half miles surrounding the Kremlin, which is somewhat like a small city behind walls. The designer and builder of this complex and its walls built something that for centuries stood as a symbol of greatness and power to the Russian people. (built in 1492) As you turn away from the walls, you see a far more awesome sight. The eight varied colored domes of St. Basil's Church rising majestically into the sky speak of a greatness beyond the Kremlin and a power greater than the Kremlin. (build around 1572) To me it is a word picture that says, the power of the Kremlin may be great, but the church of Jesus Christ is greater. In every area of life we make such comparisions. We say that Yogi Berra was a great baseball player, and that Babe Ruth was greater, but that Hank Aaron was the greatest. For us "Burgh Folks" we would say that Roberto Clemente was the greatest. We describe people, buildings, artist, athletes, statesment, etc using adjectives like great, greater, and greatest. The Jewish people had their heroes also. Of them all, Moses was considered the greatest. In poetry, a Jewish dramatist of 300 AD described Moses as sitting on a throne that reached to the heavens. His mind was able to survey all things in time past, present, and future. The tendency to exalt and deify our heroes is certainly not new to our culture. Some of Judaisms greatest rabbis considered Moses to be superior to all other Old Testament prophets. The writer to these Hebrew Christians understands their Jewish roots and some of the difficulties they are experiencing as they follow Jesus. The believers of that day needed to understand that following Jesus was not like following Moses. Yes, Moses was greater than all Old Testament prophets, but Jesus is the greatest. The ew Testament church in Corinth had to understand that although Paul, Appollos, and Peter were great men of God; still they were only human servants through whom the gospel message came to them. Jesus is the greatest! (I Cor. 3:5-7) Believers today, who are just as tempted to heroe worship in the church must understand that there is no one who can be our substitute for Jesus. Yes, we have all been blessed by some great men and women of God. But they are only humans. Jesus is the greatest. 15. "Dr. E.M. Blaiklock, a longtime professor of classics at the University of ew Zealand and a noted biblical historian, made the startling statement: 'Of all the centuries, the twentieth is most like the first.' If that is true, it is evident that twentieth-century Christians should thoroughly understand first-century Christianity. All the ew Testament books help us in this regard, but perhaps none so practically as Acts and Hebrews. Preeminently in these two books appear fleshand-blood believers struggling to overcome the stranglehold of past traditions and adjust to the

fresh movements of God in their fast-changing world. Readers of Hebrews in the twentieth century will identify with the first recipients of this letter when they see how they struggled to hold on to their faith in Jesus in the midst of growing world chaos and powerful cultural pressures to return to a more comfortable past." - Ray C. Stedman: Hebrews ( Volume 15, The IVP ew Testament Commentary Series ) 16. PI K, “Of all the godly characters brought before us in the Old Testament scriptures, there is not one who has higher claims on our attentive consideration than the legislator of Israel. Whether we think of his remarkable infancy and childhood, his self-sacrificing renunciation (Heb. 11:24-26), the commission he received from God and his faithfulness in executing it, his devotion to Israel (Exo. 32:32), his honored privileges (Exo. 31:18), or the important revolutions accomplished through his instrumentality; "it will be difficult to find," as another has said, "in the records either of profane or sacred history, an individual whose character is so well fitted at once to excite attachment and command veneration, and whose history is so replete at once with interest and instruction." The history of Moses was remarkable from beginning to end. The hand of Providence preserved him as a babe, and the hand of God dug his grave at the finish. Between those terms he passed through the strangest and most contrastive vicissitudes which, surely, any mortal has ever experienced. The honors conferred upon him by God were much greater than any bestowed upon any other man, before or since. During the most memorable portion of their history, all of God’s dealings with Israel were transacted through him. His position of nearness to Jehovah was remarkable, awesome, unique. He was in his own person, prophet, priest and king. Through him the whole of the Levitical economy was instituted. By him the Tabernacle was built. Thus we can well understand the high esteem in which the Jews held this favored man of God-cf. John 9:28, 29. Yet great as was Moses, the Holy Spirit in this third section of Hebrews calls upon us to consider One who so far excelled him as the heavens are above the earth. First, Christ was the immeasurable superior of Moses in His own person: Moses was a man of God, Christ was God Himself. Moses was the fallen descendant of Adam. conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity; Christ was sinless, impeccable, holy. Again; Christ was the immeasurable superior of Moses in His Offices. Moses was a prophet, through whom God spake; Christ was Himself "the Truth," revealing perfectly the whole mind, will, and heart of God. Moses executed priestly functions (Exo. 24:6; 32:11); but Christ is the "great High Priest." Moses was "king in Jeshurun" (Deut. 33:5); Christ is "King of kings." To mention only one other comparison, Christ was the immeasurable superior of Moses in His work. Moses delivered Israel from Egypt, Christ delivers His people from the everlasting burnings. Moses built an earthly tabernacle, Christ is now preparing a place for us on High. Moses led Israel across the wilderness but not into the Canaan itself; Christ will actually bring many sons "unto glory." May the Holy Spirit impress our hearts more and more with the exalted dignity and unique excellency of our Savior. This is what it means in verse 3 that "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. When you and I look at a beautiful house and the architecture of it, we marvel at how block and mortar and wood can take the form it does. And yet our praise shouldn't be directed at the house as much as it should be directed toward the one who engineered it and built it. Moses did not engineer the house of God. By the way, the tabernacle and the tent of meeting is

not what is meant here. The house of God are those people who were called out by God as we'll see in verse 6. 17. Does Christ serve in the same house as Moses? L. Morphology The word house is used in various ways throughout the canon of Scripture. It can refer to a physical structure, specifically to the tabernacle or temple of Israel, metaphorically to refer to a group of people, or by metanomy to reference a community and family. The author defines what morphology he intends, when in the relative clause he says, 'whose house we are.' The household is metaphorically being used. LI. Syntax The word house is bound syntactically to the genitive in both clauses. Each use of the word house is embedded within a prepositional phrase and is set in contrast by the adversative conjunction. We then have the added complication of the adjective 'whole' included in the first phrase. This further adds separation to the two adjoining and contrasting phrases. Thus we see contrast between the house of Moses and the house of Christ, both in reference to their servile roles, one as a servant and one as a Son. Is the genitive here a genitive of possession? Most scholars see a clear link between umbers 12: 7 and this reference, but in umbers the possession is God's. Here it refers to the possession of Moses and Jesus over their perspective houses. The genitive of possession appears to have the clearest sense when we understand the possessive relationship of Moses and Christ over two houses. This then gives definition to the contrast between the two houses. The houses are defined covenantally, legally, communally, governmentally, and structurally. LII.Contextual matters and conclusions The context clearly has supported a conclusion of discontinuity between the two covenants. Clearly the author's intent in this book is to prevent any equation between the two covenants, as he clearly exalts the status of Christ and His covenant to a far higher position than the covenant of old. Thus the household of Christ can be defined in this sense, as a commonwealth, a family, a government, and a covenant. Christ the Son over His household, Moses the honorable servant over his. They cannot be equated at this time contextually, grammatically, or syntactically. Still there is the matter of God's rule over both households. To accept the conclusion of discontinuity does not immediately demand the putting away of continuity. Clearly the household Moses served was typical of Christ's household. Thus much is similar in relation between physical and spiritual Israel, between the community of Sinai and the household of faith. Both are a covenant people, ruled by law, mediated by atonement and a priesthood. There is continuity in type, for the covenant of old is but a passing shadow of the reality of the true household of God found in Christ, but there is discontinuity in qualitative reality. It is the difference between looking at Moses and looking at Christ; one is but a man administering the law to a

physical community of Israelites, the other is the God-Man administering His law to a spiritual community of heavenly Israelites. Does Christ serve in the same manner as Moses? LIII.Morphology "Sonhip" is a concept that implies liberty, uniqueness, inheritance, and preeminence. Again the concept of family and relation is stated by this term. There is also the thought of the lasting quality and nature of the relationship. A servant is but an administrator, who serves but has no claim upon the promises of the head of the house. The Son has all such due rights. LIV.Syntax otice that the matter of service here is in relation to what is spoken and transmitted to hearers. The prepositional phrase, 'to witness of the things spoken,' defines the manner in which service is referenced in this passage. Thus the author is still turning the attention of the reader to listen to the Son. "Hear Him" continues to be the applicatory intent of the author. LV.Contextual matters and conclusions The text is clear in establishing the differences between Moses and Christ in relationship to serving in their perspective houses. There is continuity in the roles of both Moses and Christ, as both serve the Father of the house. There is discontinuity between the roles of Moses and Christ, as each serve the Father in a different manner: Christ as heir and free Man, Moses as administrator and honorable servant. This concept is clearly drawn up in the epistle to the Galatians, where Paul at length expounds the differences between a servant and a Son in a household. While the author does not disparage Moses but exalts him with the use of the term "therapon" rather than "doulos," still this term does not ascend to the heights of Sonship. The author appears to go to extreme measures in this passage to maintain the special and blessed position and obedience of Moses, but never to the end of equality with Christ. For even when Moses is called 'faithful over the whole house' and the clause is preceded by the emphatic particle 'indeed,' still Moses falls far short of the position of Christ the Son of God. How interesting that the Heir of the household, Christ, was first put in subjection to the law as a servant of the house, that He might by His obedience free us from that bondage. A servant is subjugated, a Son is free from the weak and beggarly elements of the law. We then, who are in Christ, are no longer slaves but free. Does Christ have a better house than Moses? This question shall serve for application to the reader. Hopefully the intent of our author is clear: Rather than devaluing the lofty position of the law, the covenant of old, Moses, or the angels who served, Christ is herein exalted. The aspects of the Old Covenant were lofty and glorious, but how much more glorious is it to gaze and hear our Lord Jesus Christ? Does Christ have a better house? Who can answer such a question? For there is no comparison. Christ's house is lasting, true, eternal, and free; Moses's was passing, a shadow, temporal, and bound. Which house would you prefer to live in? Conclusion:

Our conclusion must be the same which the author arrives at in this text. Using a third class conditional sentence, the warning of this book remains a prominent matter in the intent of the Holy Spirit, whose household we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. We could choose to delight in the demonstrated superiority of Christ in our text, but the text is written with the intent of warning and will not support such a primary application. Much like the epistle to the Galatians, the issue of devaluing Christ is perilous and of grave consequence to the reader. ow that the Son of God has come, He cannot be ignored. ow that the shadows have met with reality, the darkness should not again ebb the flow of the grace of God found in Jesus Christ our Lord. How sad and ominous it is, when our theology decreases the importance of Christ and exalts the relevance of Moses. How equally sad is it when men live as though the day of the church was but another shadow of a coming reality. How much greater the folly of any who would claim this day to be past, looking beyond the clear day in which we dwell. In every age, in every way, men have shaded their eyes from the blinding glory of Christ and His ew Covenant, as loathsome insects fleeing from the hint of light. Some turned to Moses, others to another day, some changed Christ into a specter, others simply to a man; many made Him but an icon of potentiality. Ah, how the troubled soul cannot stand the glorious, unfading reality of this ew Covenant, preferring the shade of shadows over Him. Systematic theologies that do not stress the vital importance of our day in Christ fail to do justice to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our eyes should not be set upon shadows of the past or the future; they must be set upon Christ today. When we read the Old Testament, we should have eyes that are gazing at the shadows to see Christ, delighting in our knowledge of the mystery revealed. When we read of His return, we must delight in our position in Him and the knowledge we have of our surety this day and not looking away too quickly that we miss Him. How pitiful is the man who would desire to leave the house built upon Christ for the crumbling house of Moses. How equally wanting is the man who lives this day neglecting the present reality and joy of our ew Covenant and Covenantor, Christ Jesus our Lord. May he show us His glory!

18. Kevin Hartley For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. (3:3) Christ holds a greater place of honor than did Moses. We know (from verse two) they were equally obedient, so the greater place of honor for Christ must come from the nature of Christ and the new covenant in his blood. We have a covenant that is superior to the "ministration that brought death" for it comes by the giver of life himself (John 5:21). The following passage gives great insight into the difference between the old and the new covenant: {7} ow if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, {8} will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? {9} If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings

righteousness! {10} For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. {11} And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! (2 Cor. 3: 7-11)) The remainder of verse three reasserts this point in the analogy of the house and its builder. Obviously, Christ is the builder of the house and Moses was but part of the plan rather than the architect. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. (3:4) Christ is more than simply the builder of one part of God's plan, i.e. Moses, but He is the builder of it all. This is a wonderful reiteration of John 1:3, "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." What more do we need than a brother with this kind of power? "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...."

4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
1. Barnes, “For every house is builded by some man - The words in this verse are plain, and the sentiment in it clear. The only difficulty is in seeing the connection, and in understanding how it is intended to bear on what precedes, or on what follows. It is clear that every house must have a builder, and equally clear that God is the Creator of all things. But what is the meaning of this passage in this connection? What is its bearing on the argument? If the verse was entirely omitted, and the fifth verse read in connection with the third, there would be apparently nothing wanting to complete the sense of the writer, or to finish the comparison which he had commenced. Various ways have been adopted to explain the difficulty. Perhaps the following observations may remove it, and express the true sense: (1) Every family must have a founder; every dispensation an author; every house a builder. There must be someone, therefore, over all dispensations - the old and the new - the Jewish and the Christian. (2) Paul “assumes” that the Lord Jesus was divine. He had demonstrated this in Heb_1:1-14; and he argues as if this were so, without now stopping to prove it, or even to affirm it expressly. (3) God must be over “all things.” He is Creator of all, and he must, therefore, be over all. As the Lord Jesus, therefore, is divine, he must be over the Jewish dispensation as well as the Christian - or he must, as God, have been at the head of that - or over his own family or household. (4) As such, he must have a glory and honor which could not belong to Moses. He, in his divine character, was the Author of both the Jewish and the Christian dispensations, and he must, therefore, have a rank far superior to that of Moses - which was the point which the apostle designed to illustrate. The meaning of the whole may be thus expressed. “The Lord Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses. He is so, as the maker of a house deserves more honor than

the house. He is divine. In the beginning he laid the foundation of the earth, and was the agent in the creation of all things; Heb_1:2, Heb_1:10. He presides, therefore, over everything; and was over the Jewish and the Christian dispensations - for there must have been someone over them, or the author of them, as really as it must be true that every house is built by some person. Being, therefore, over all things, and at the head of all dispensations, he must be more exalted than Moses.” This seems to me to be the argument - an argument which is based on the supposition that he is at the head of all things, and that he was the agent in the creation of all worlds. This view will make all consistent. The Lord Jesus will be seen to have a claim to a far higher honor than Moses, and Moses will be seen to have derived his honor, as a servant of the Mediator, in the economy which he had appointed.

2. Clarke, “For every house is builded by some man - The literal sense is plain enough: “Every structure plainly implies an, architect, and an end for which it was formed. The architect may be employed by him for whose use the house is intended; but the efficient cause of the erection is that which is here to he regarded.” The word house, here, is still taken in a metaphorical sense as above, it signifies family or Church. ow the general meaning of the words, taken in this sense, is: “Every family has an author, and a head or governor. Man may found families, civil and religious communities, and be the head of these; but God alone is the Head, Author, and Governor, of all the families of the earth; he is the Governor of the universe. But the apostle has a more restricted meaning in the words τα παντα, all these things; and as he has been treating of the Jewish and Christian Churches, so he appears to have them in view here. Who could found the Jewish and Christian Church but God? Who could support, govern, influence, and defend them, but himself? Communities or societies, whether religious or civil, may be founded by man; but God alone can build his own Church. ow as all these things could be builded only by God, so he must be God who has built all these things. But as Jesus is the Founder of the Church, and the Head of it, the word God seems here to be applied to him; and several eminent scholars and critics bring this very text as a proof of the supreme Deity of Christ: and the apostle’s argument seems to require this; for, as he is proving that Christ is preferred before Moses because he built this house, which Moses could not do, where he to be understood as intimating that this house was built by another, viz. the Father, his whole argument would fall to the ground; and for all this, Moses might be equal, yea, superior to Christ. On this ground Dr. Owen properly concludes: “This then is that which the apostle intends to declare; namely, the ground and reason whence it is that the house was or could be, in that glorious manner, built by Christ, even because he is God, and so able to effect it; and by this effect of his power, he is manifested so to be.” 2B. Calvin, “He that built, etc. Though these words may be extended to the creation of the whole world, yet I confine them to the present subject. We are then to understand that nothing is done in the Church which ought not to he ascribed to Gods power; for he alone has founded it by his own hand, (Psalm 87:5;) and Paul says of Christ that he is the head, from whom the whole body, joined together and connected by every subservient juncture, makes an increase according to what is done proportionally by every member. (Ephesians 4:16.) Hence he often declares that the success of his ministry was God's work. In a word, if we take a right view of things, it will appear that how much soever God may use the labors of men in building his Church, yet he himself performs everything -- the instrument derogates nothing from the

workman.

3. Gill, “For every house is built by some man,.... Or by some one; for a house does not build itself: this is true of houses properly taken, or improperly, as nations, tribes, families, and kindred, of the whole church in general, of particular congregations, and of individual believers; the greatest saints, even apostles and prophets, such an one as Moses, are built by and upon Christ; their persons are built on him; they receive all their gifts for edification from him, and their success is owing to him; though they are to be esteemed of in their proper places: the apostle's design is to bring down the high esteem the Jews had of Moses, that they might rightly value Christ. But he that built all things is God; Christ has built all things, and therefore he is God, and must be infinitely above Moses; for this is not to be understood of God and of the creation of the world, and of all things in it by him; but of Christ, and of his building the church, and of his ordering and managing of that, and all affairs relating to it; such as the constitution of it, settling the worship of God, and the ordinances in it, the redemption and salvation of the members of it, and its rule and government; all which prove him to be God, and above Moses. 4. Jamison, “Someone must be the establisher of every house; Moses was not the establisher of the house, but a portion of it (but He who established all things, and therefore the spiritual house in question, is God). Christ, as being instrumentally the Establisher of all things, must be the Establisher of the house, and so greater than Moses. 5. “The Most Expensive Home: The final touches were put on the palace of HM the Sultan of Brunei in 1984. His new home cost him $350,000,000. The palace has 1,785 rooms in it including 257 bathrooms. Also it has a 110 car garage. Here is clear proof again that Jesus is God. In verse 3, it is clearly stated that Jesus is the builder of the house, in verse 4 the builder is called God. Jesus is the creator of the universe and everything therein. He is the builder, the architect, the master planner of all things. Again, the word, Theos, is used to describe God, and keep in mind that Theos is the same word as we saw in chapter 1 which is used to describe both the Father and Jesus. Jesus is the second person of the Godhead. It isn't that the facts are not available, it is rejection of them that keeps men and women blinded to the truth of who Jesus is.” author unknown 6. JAMES FOWLER, "3:4 To further explain the analogy he was using, Paul wrote (perhaps parenthetically), "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God." Again, we have the double entendre of a general truism: "For every house (whether a material structure or a figurative community of people) is built by someone." Houses do not just self-germinate, sprout and grow. They are the result and product of a personal builder. The personal builder that Paul is thinking of is God, who is "the builder of all things" through the creative agency of His Son, Jesus Christ (cf. 1:2). God in Christ (any reference to the deity of Christ here is implicit rather than explicit) has created and constructed "all things" (cf. John 1:3), including the physical construct of the universe as well as the figurative households of the People of God in both the old covenant and the new covenant. God, the Divine builder, was at work in the

construction of both "households," the old covenant People of God and the new covenant People of God, but the one in which Moses played a part was but the prototypical blueprint, the preliminary prefiguring, the provisional preparation for the new covenant household enacted by the saving work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in what He was appointed to do (3:2) is "counted worthy of more glory" (3:3) than the faithfulness of Moses in what he was appointed by God to do, for Christ's work serves as a "better ground of faithfulness" by which Christian people function as God intended, individually and collectively. 7. PI K, "For every house is builded by some man; but He that built all things is God" (verse 4). Here the Spirit brings in a yet higher glory of Christ. The connection is obvious. In the preceding verse it has been argued: the builder is entitled to more honor than the building: as then Christ is the Builder of a family, and Moses simply the member of one, He must be counted worthy "of more glory." In verse 4, proof of this is given, as the opening "for" denotes. The proof is twofold: Christ has not only built "the house," but "all things." Christ is not only the Mediator, "appointed" by God (verse 2), but He is God. To how much greater glory then is He justly entitled! "For every house is builded by some one," should be understood in its widest signification, regarding "house" both literally and figuratively. Every human habitation has been built, every human family has been founded, by some man. So "He that built all things" is to be taken without qualification. The entire universe has been built ("framed," Hebrews 11:3) by Christ, for "all things were made by Him" (John 1:3), all things "that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible" (Col. 1:16). Therefore Christ made Moses, as the whole family of Israel. "He that built all things is God." The Holy Spirit here designedly uses the Divine title because the work attributed to Christ (building the family of God) is a Divine work: because it proves, without controversy, that Christ is greater than Moses; because it ratifies what was declared in the first chapter concerning the Mediator, that He is true God. Therefore should all "honor the Son even as they honor the Father" (John 5:23).

5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”[a] bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.
1. Barnes, “Moses was faithful ...as a servant - ot as the head of the dispensation; not as having originated it; but as in the employ and under the direction of its great Founder and Author - the Messiah. As such a servant he deserves all the honor for fidelity which has ever been claimed for him, but it cannot be the honor which is due to him who is at the head of the family or house. Paul “assumed” that Moses was a “servant,” and argued on that supposition, without attempting to prove it, because it was so often affirmed in the Old Testament, and must have been conceded by all the Jews. In numerous instances he is spoken of as “the servant of the Lord;” see Jos_1:12; Jos_9:24; 1Ch_6:49; 2Ch_24:9; eh_10:29; Dan_9:11; Exo_14:31; 1Ki_8:56; Psa_105:26. As

this point was undisputed, it was only necessary to show that the Messiah was superior to a “servant,” in order to make the argument clear. For a testimony - To bear witness to those truths which were to be revealed; that is, he was the instrument of the divine communications to the people, or the medium by which God made his will known. He did not originate the truths himself; but he was the mere medium by which God made known his truth to his people - a servant whom He employed to make his will known. The word after here is not necessary in order to a just translation of this passage, and obscures the sense. It does not mean that he was a witness of those truths which were to be spoken “subsequently” to his time under another dispensation, nor those truths which the apostle proposed to consider in another part of the Epistle, as Doddridge supposes; but it means merely that Moses stood forth as a public witness of the truths which God designed to reveal, or which were to be spoken. God did not speak to his people “directly,” and face to face, but he spoke through Moses as an organ, or medium. The sense is, Moses was a mere servant of God to communicate his will to man.

2. Clarke, “As a servant - The fidelity of Moses was the fidelity of a servant; he was not the framer of that Church or house; he was employed, under God, to arrange and order it: he was steward to the Builder and Owner. For a testimony of those things - Every ordinance under the law was typical; every thing bore a testimony to the things which were to be spoken after; i.e. to Jesus Christ, his suffering, death, and the glory which should follow; and to his Gospel in all its parts. The faithfulness of Moses consisted in his scrupulous attention to every ordinance of God; his framing every thing according to the pattern showed him by the Lord; and his referring all to that Christ of whom he spoke as the prophet who should come after him, and should be raised up from among themselves; whom they should attentively hear and obey, on pain of being cut off from being the people of the Lord. Hence our Lord told the Jews, Joh_5:46 : If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me; “namely;” says Dr. Macknight, “in the figures, but especially in the prophecies, of the law, where the Gospel dispensation, the coming of its Author, and his character as Messiah, are all described with a precision which adds the greatest lustre of evidence to Jesus and to his Gospel.” 2B. Calvin, “ And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, etc. The second difference is, that to Moses was committed a doctrine to which he, in common with others, was to submit; but Christ, though he put on the form of a servant, is yet Master and Lord, to whom all ought to be subject; for, as we found in chap. 1:2, he is constituted heir of all things. For a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after, or which were afterwards to be said or declared. I explain this simply in this way, -- that Moses, while a herald of that doctrine which was to be published for a time to the ancient people, did at the same time render a testimony to the Gospel, the publication of which was not as yet to be made; for it is doubtless evident, that the end and completion of the Law is that perfection of wisdom contained in the Gospel. This exposition seems to comport with the future tense of the participle. The meaning indeed is, that Moses faithfully delivered to the people

what the Lord had committed to him, but that limits were prescribed to him which it was not lawful for him to pass. God formerly spoke at different times and in various ways by the prophets, but he deferred to the fullness of time the complete revelation of the Gospel.

3. Gill, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant,.... Moses was not only a servant to the Israelites, but he was also the Lord's servant, a servant of his choosing, sending, and approving; he was a servant in holy things, and served the Lord heartily, sincerely, and ingenuously, with all becoming fear and reverence, respect, and honour, and with all ready and cheerful obedience; the house in which he was a servant, was not his own, but belonged to God, even the Son of God, as appears from the following verse; he was not a servant in the world, and with respect to civil things, and the affairs of Providence, but in the church of God, and in divine things; and he was faithful here, and that in all things; he did all things exactly according to the pattern showed him in the Mount; and the apostle strongly affirms all this, as well he might, since there was full proof of it, and God himself had bore a testimony to it: and the end of his being a servant here was, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; these words may regard his faithful testification of God's will to the people of Israel, after he was fixed as a servant in God's house; or what he said afterwards concerning the Messiah, of whom he spake and wrote, and of whom he bore an honourable testimony, Deu_18:1 or they may have respect to the things spoken after Moses's time, by the prophets, Christ, and his apostles, which agreed with the testimony of Moses; or to the things afterwards spoken of in this epistle; to which may be added, that Moses in his office was typical of things to be spoken and done by the Messiah, when he came; as his deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt; his leading them through the Red sea and wilderness, to Canaan's land; his giving them the law from Mount Sinai; the erection of the tabernacle, with all its furniture, and the institution of sacrifices and the like. 4. Jamison, “faithful in all his house — that is in all God’s house (Heb_3:4). servant — not here the Greek for “slave,” but “a ministering attendant”; marking the high office of Moses towards God, though inferior to Christ, a kind of steward. for a testimony of, etc. — in order that he might in his typical institutions give “testimony” to Israel “of the things” of the Gospel “which were to be spoken afterwards” by Christ (Heb_8:5; Heb_9:8, Heb_9:23; Heb_10:1). 5. PI K, "And Moses verily was faithful in all His house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a Son over His own house" (verses 5, 6). These words bring before us the next proofs for the superiority of Christ over Moses: the typical apostle was but a servant, Christ is "Son;" the one was but a testimony unto the other. The position which Divine grace allotted to Moses was one of great honor, nevertheless he ministered before Jehovah only as a "servant." The words "in all His house" should be duly pondered: other servants were used in various parts of the family, but the glory of Moses was that he was used in every part of it; that is to say, he was entrusted with the care and regulation of the whole family of Israel. Still, even this, left him incomparably the inferior of the Lord Jesus, for He was a Son not "in all His house," but "over His own House."

"And Moses verily was faithful in all His house, as a servant." Here again the apostle would subdue the prejudices of the Jews against Christianity. He was not discrediting the greatness of Moses. So far from it, he repeats what he had said in verse 2, emphasizing it with the word "verily." Yet the faithfulness of Moses was as a "servant," a reminder to all, that this is the quality which should ever characterize all "servants." The word "as a servant" has the same force as in John 1:14, "we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father:" thus the "as" brings out the reality of the character in view. Moses faithfully conducted himself as a "servant," he did not act as a lord. This was evidenced by his great reverence for God (Exo. 3:6), his earnestly desiring an evidence of God’s favor (Exo. 34:9), his preferring the glory of the Lord to his own glory (Heb. 11:24-26, Exo. 32:10-12), and in his meekness before men. ( um. 12:3). "For a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after." This was a word much needed by the Jews. So far from the revelation of Christianity clashing with the Pentateuch, much there was an anticipation of it. Moses ordered all things in the typical worship of the house so that they might be both a witness and pledge of that which should afterwards be more fully exhibited through the Gospel. Therefore did Christ say, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me" (John 5:46). And on another occasion we are told, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27). "But Christ as a Son over His own house." Here is the final proof that Christ is "counted worthy of more glory than Moses." The proofs presented in this passage of our Lord’s immeasurable superiority are seven in number, and may be set forth thus: Moses was an apostle, Christ "the Apostle" (verse 1). Moses was a member of an "house:" Christ was the Builder of one (verse 3). Moses was connected with a single house, Christ "built all things," being the Creator of the universe (verse 4). Moses was a man; Christ, God (verse 4). Moses was but a "servant" (verse 5); Christ, the "Son." Moses was a "testimony" of things to be spoken after (verse 5), Christ supplied the substance and fulfillment of what Moses witnessed unto. Moses was but a servant in the house of Jehovah, Christ was Son over His own house (verse 6). The Puritan Owen quaintly wrote, "Here the apostle taketh leave of Moses; he treats not about him any more; and therefore he gives him, as it were, an honorable burial. He puts this glorious epitaph on his grave: "Moses, a faithful servant of the Lord in His whole house." 6. William Most, “In the Old Testament, only Moses seems to have had both roles, as envoy and as priest. But Moses was unique. In umbers 12. 7-8, when Aaron and Miriam claimed they were sent by God as well as Moses, God called them before the Tent of Meeting, and proclaimed that with an ordinary prophet, He revealed Himself in visions and dreams: "But not so to my servant Moses, who is faithful in all of my house. I speak to him face to face, clearly , not in riddles. He sees the form of God." There is of course a bit of Semitic exaggeration here even it be words of God, for although Exodus 33. 11 says also that God used to speak to Moses "face to face", yet that is clarified in 33. 18-22. For when Moses asks to really see God's face, God places Moses in the hollow of the rock, and covers Moses with His hand, so Moses might see only God's back, not His face. In Dt 18. 18 God said that He would later raise up a prophet like Moses. The T readily understood this to refer to Jesus. priests and levites asked John the Baptist (Jn. 1. 19-26 if he, John, was the prophet who was to come. In Acts 3, 22 Peter quotes this line of Dt, and says it refers to Jesus. As we just noted, Exodus tells us that Moses did want to see the face of God, and was refused. But

Jesus, far greater than Moses, always saw the face of God. For the Church has taught repeatedlyin spite of determined denials by unfaithful persons- that from the first instant of conception, Jesus' human mind saw the vision of God (cf. Wm. Most, The Consciousness of Christ, especially Chapter 7). Even without the help of the Church we can sees that His human soul not only happened to have that vision, but could not have lacked it. For just any soul will have that vision if its power to know is raised by grace, and if the divinity joins itself directly to the mind/soul without even an image in between. This had to be the case in Jesus, for not just His human mind, but His entire humanity was joined to the divinity even in the unity of one Person! It is tragic that so many deny this truth today, for in doing so they miss a major part of His suffering for us. By that vision He knew from the first instant everything He was to suffer. That would wear on Him all through His life. He could not, as we could, say: Perhaps it will not come, perhaps it will not be so bad. o, that vision was infallible, and mercilessly clear on all the hideous details of pain. He let us look inside Himself, as it were, in Luke 12. 50 and in John 12. 27. We might add that Matthew's Gospel in various ways seems to intend to think of Jesus as that new Moses, especially in His exodus from Egypt, and in His giving the law: "You have heard it was said to them of old, but I say... ." It is not only that Christ was faithful in all His house, but He Himself, as divine was the maker of that house, and thus far superior to Moses. For Christ is the maker of the house, He is the Son Since the context is the superiority of the person and work of Christ, then the testimony must refer to Him. Which means that the faithfulness of Moses as a servant of dignity and faithful personal service, pales in comparison to the person and work of Christ Jesus. This is very important as you study the gospels because Moses is continually being compared to the ministry of Christ. The Jews needed to see, not only the superiority of Christ PERSO , but also of Christ WORK. Even Moses Himself wrote about Christ. Moses knew his role as a servant. John 1:15-17 15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:45 45 Philip findeth athanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of azareth, the son of Joseph. John 3:14-18 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 5:45-47 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] that accuseth you, [even] Moses,

in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (** We will see exactly what Moses wrote about Christ when we see the reference in the book of Acts. **) John 6:30-36 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. Acts 3:13-23 13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let [him] go. 14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. {Prince: or, Author} 16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers. 18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, [that] every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Acts 13:26-39 26 Men [and] brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him]. 28 And though they found no cause of death [in him], yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took [him] down from the tree, and laid [him] in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are

his witnesses unto the people. 32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, [now] no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. {mercies: Gr. holy, or just things: which word the Septuagint in many places, uses for that which is in the Hebrew, mercies} 35 Wherefore he saith also in another [psalm], Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: {after...: or, after he had in his own age served the will of God} 37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 38 Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts 28:23-28 23. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. 25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.

Spoken by whom in the future? Other prophets? Consider the following texts and judge for yourself. The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deut.18:15, KJV) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27, KJV) And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (Luke 24:44-45, KJV) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of

me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:46-47. KJV) For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (Acts 3:22, KJV) Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (1 Pet. 1:10-11, KJV)

7. JAMES FOWLER, "3:5 Continuing to explain the contrast, Paul writes, " ow Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant,..." Moses is not to be denigrated or depreciated. He was a faithful servant (cf. umbers 12:7) in the "house" that God built among the Hebrew peoples. The "house of Israel," the household of the People of God in old covenant Judaism, was purposed by God, built by God, and is referred to as "His house" (3:2,5,6). Though not a servile slave (doulos), Moses freely, willingly and voluntarily rendered his service to the Divine superior as commanded (cf. Exod. 7:6; 16:16; 34:4) in order to build the household of Israel; and he thus ministered with faithfulness, honor and dignity. But the old covenant "house of God" was preparatory "for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later." Moses' ministry in Israel was a provisional witness of "those things", the "last things" (1:2) of God's last Word for man in the "last Adam" (I Cor. 15:45), Jesus Christ. Every detail of the old covenant which is identified with Moses and the Law was a figure, a type (cf. I Cor. 10:6,11; Heb. 8:5), a symbolic representation of the "better things" that God would do to redeem and restore mankind in Jesus Christ. The Jewish people of the old covenant household had great difficulty in accepting that they were but the preliminary picture-people of God's eternal plan. They considered themselves to be racially, religiously, and nationally "God's chosen people," an end in themselves. That is why Jesus had to explain to the Jewish leaders of the first century, "...if you believed Moses you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me" (cf. John 5:45,46). The Mosaic writings of the Torah dealt with the prototypical prefigurings of the spiritual realities of Jesus Christ. The "testimony of those things which were to be spoken later" refers to the new covenant wherein "in these last days God has spoken in His Son" (1:2), in the full self-revelation of Himself and His intent for mankind.”

6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. Warning Against Unbelief

1. Barnes, “But Christ as a Son over his own house - He is not a servant. To the whole household or family of God he sustains the same relation which a son and heir in a family does to the household. That relation is far different from that of a servant. Moses was the latter; Christ was the former. To God he sustained the relation of a Son, and recognized Him as his Father, and sought in all things to do his will; but over the whole family of God - the entire Church of all dispensations - he was like a son over the affairs of a family. Compared with the condition of a servant, Christ is as much superior to Moses as a son and heir is to the condition of a servant. A servant owns nothing; is heir to nothing; has no authority, and no right to control anything, and is himself wholly at the will of another. A son is the heir of all; has a prospective right to all; and is looked up to by all with respect. But the idea here is not merely that Christ is a son; it is that as a son he is placed over the whole arrangements of the household, and is one to whom all is entrusted as if it were His own. Whose house we are - Of whose family we are a part, or to which we belong. That is, we belong to the family over which Christ is placed, and not to what was subject to Moses. If we hold fast - A leading object of this Epistle is to guard those to whom it was addressed against the danger of apostasy. Hence, this is introduced on all suitable occasions, and the apostle here says, that the only evidence which they could have that they belonged to the family of Christ, would be that they held fast the confidence which they had unto the end. If they did not do that, it would demonstrate that they never belonged to his family, for evidence of having belonged to his household was to be furnished only by perseverance to the end. The confidence - The word used here originally means “the liberty of speaking boldly and without restraint;” then it means boldness or confidence in general. And the rejoicing - The word used here means properly “glorying, boasting,” and then rejoicing. These words are used here in an adverbial signification, and the meaning is, that the Christian has “a confident and a rejoicing hope.” It is: (1) Confident - bold - firm. It is not like the timid hope of the Pagan, and the dreams and conjectures of the philosopher; it is not that which gives way at every breath of opposition; it is bold, firm, and manly. It is. (2) “Rejoicing” - triumphant, exulting. Why should not the hope of heaven fill with joy? Why should not he exult who has the prospect of everlasting happiness? Unto the end - To the end of life. Our religion, our hope, our confidence in God must he persevered in to the end of life, if we would have evidence that we are his children. If hope is cherished for a while and then abandoned; if people profess religion and then fall away, no matter what were their raptures and triumphs, it proves that they never had any real piety. o evidence can be strong enough to prove that a man is a Christian, unless it leads him to persevere to the end of life.

2. Clarke, “But Christ as a Son over his own house - Moses was faithful as a servant In the house; Jesus was faithful, as the first-born Son, Over the house of which he is the Heir and Governor. Here, then, is the conclusion of the argument in reference to Christ’s superiority over Moses. Moses did not found the house or family, Christ did; Moses was but in the house, or one of the family, Christ was over the house as its Ruler; Moses was but servant in the house, Christ was the

Son and Heir; Moses was in the house of another, Christ in his own house. It is well known to every learned reader that the pronoun αυτου, without an aspirate, signifies his simply; and that with the aspirate, αὑτου, it signifies his own: the word being in this form a contraction, not uncommon, of ἑαυτου. If we read αυτου without the aspirate, then his must refer to God, Heb_3:4. But Christ as a Son over his (that is, God’s) house: if we read αὑτου, with the aspirate, as some editions do, then what is spoken refers to Christ; and the words above convey the same sense as those words, Act_20:28 : Feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Some editions read the word thus; and it is evident that the edition which our translators used had the word αὑτου, his own, and not αυτου, his. The Spanish and London Polyglots have the same reading. From the most ancient MSS. we can get no help to determine which is to be preferred, as they are generally written without accents. The two first editions of the Greek Testament, that of Complutum, 1514, and that of Erasmus, 1516, have αυτου, his; and they are followed by most other editions: but the celebrated edition of Robert Stephens, 1550, has αὑτου, his own. The reading is certainly important; but it belongs to one of those difficulties in criticism which, if the context or collateral evidence do not satisfactorily solve it, must remain in doubt; and every reader is at liberty to adopt which reading he thinks best. Whose house are we - We Christians are his Church and family; he is our Father, Governor, and Head. If we hold fast the confidence - We are now his Church, and shall continue to be such, and be acknowledged by him If we maintain our Christian profession, την παρῥησιαν, that liberty of access to God, which we now have, and the rejoicing of the hope, i.e. of eternal life, which we shall receive at the resurrection of the dead. The word παρῥησια, which is here translated confidence, and which signifies freedom of speech, liberty of access, etc., seems to be used here to distinguish an important Christian privilege. Under the old testament no man was permitted to approach to God: even the very mountain on which God published his laws must not be touched by man nor beast; and only the high priest was permitted to enter the holy of holies, and that only once a year, on the great day of atonement; and even then he must have the blood of the victim to propitiate the Divine justice. Under the Christian dispensation the way to the holiest is now laid open; and we have παρῥησιαν, liberty of access, even to the holiest, by the blood of Jesus. Having such access unto God, by such a Mediator, we may obtain all that grace which is necessary to fit us for eternal glory; and, having the witness of his Spirit in our heart, we have a well grounded hope of endless felicity, and exult in the enjoyment of that hope. But If we retain not the grace, we shall not inherit the glory.

2B. Calvin, “ Whose house are we, etc. As Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, after having prefaced that he was appointed to be the Apostle of the Gentiles, adds, for the sake of gaining credit among them, that they were of that number; so now the author of this epistle exhorts the Jews who had already made a profession of Christ to persevere in the faith, that they might be deemed as being in Gods household. He had said before that God's house was subject to the authority of Christ. Suitably to this declaration is added the admonition that they would then have a place in God's family when they obeyed Christ. But as they had already embraced the gospel, he mentions their condition if they persevered in the faith. For the word hope I take for faith; and indeed hope is nothing else but the constancy of faith. He mentions confidence

and rejoicing, or glorying, in order to express more fully the power of faith. [59] And we hence conclude that those who assent to the Gospel doubtfully and like those who vacillate, do not truly and really believe; for faith cannot be without a settled peace of mind, from which proceeds the bold confidence of rejoicing. And so these two things, confidence and rejoicing, are ever the effects of faith, as we stated in explaining Romans the [12]5^th chapter, and Ephesians the [13]3^rd chapter But to these things the whole teaching of the Papists is opposed; and this very fact, were there nothing else, sufficiently proves that they pull down the Church of God rather than build it. For the certainty by which alone we are made, as the Apostle teaches us, holy temples to God, they not only darken by their glosses, but also condemn as presumption. Besides, what firmness of confidence can there be when men know not what they ought to believe? And yet that monstrous thing, implicit faith, which they have invented, is nothing else than a license to entertain errors. This passage reminds us that we are always to make progress even unto death; for our whole life is as it were a race. 2C. Calvin's editor adds, “It is better for "hope" here to be retained in its proper meaning; for in verse 12 the defect of it is traced to unbelief. Were the words "confidence" and "rejoicing" rendered adjectivally, the meaning would be more evident, -- "If we hold firm our confident and joyful hope to the end." So we may render a similar form of expression in verse 13, "through deceitful sin," as "newness of life" in Romans 6:4, means "new life." The most common practice is to render the genitive in such instances as an adjective, but this is not always the case. Hope is "confident" or assured, while it rests on the word of God, and is "joyful" while it anticipates the glory and happiness of the heavenly kingdom. But Beza and Doddridge take words apart, "freedom of profession and boasting of hope," or according to Beza, "the hope of which we boast." Macknight renders them "the boldness and the glorifying of the hope." The secondary meaning of the word parresia is confidence, and of kauchema, joy or rejoicing, and the most suitable here, as it comports better with holding fast, or firm.

3. Gill, “But Christ as a Son over his own house,.... As Moses was not, though the Jews say that he was ‫( מאריה דבית‬a) and ‫( בעל הבית‬b), "lord and master of the house"; yea, and ‫" ,בן בית‬the Son of the house" (c); but this he was not: Christ is the Son and heir, the Lord and master; he is a Son, not by creation, or by adoption, or by office, but by nature: hence it appears that he is God, and is equal with God; and this his sonship is the foundation of his office, and he becomes the heir of all things: and when he is said to be "as a Son", it does not intend mere resemblance; but is expressive of his right to heirship and government, and of the esteem and reverence he had in his house, and of his fidelity as a Son there; and though he was a servant, as man and Mediator, and

had a great piece of service to perform, and which he has performed with diligence and faithfulness, yet he was also a Son, Lord and heir, as Moses was not; and he is over the house of God, as King, priest, and prophet in it, and as the firstborn, Son and heir, and as the master and governor of it; and which is called his own, because given him by the Father, purchased by himself, and which he has built, and in which he dwells: whose house are we; believers in Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles; who, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, in whom Christ dwells by faith, and over whom he presides and reigns: if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. These words are not to be understood as a condition of the former assertion; nor is a final falling away from grace to be inferred from hence, for the supposition proves not such an inference, but the contrary; namely, that they that have true faith, hope, and confidence, shall keep them to the end; and therefore are the house of Christ: besides, the doctrine of apostasy is quite repugnant to the apostle's argument; according to which, Christ might have no house, and can have none till men have persevered: but the apostle's design is to give a word of exhortation to himself and others, to hold fast the confidence; and so the words are rather descriptive of the persons, who are the house of Christ; such who have a good hope, through grace, wrought in them, and can rejoice in hope of the glory of God; and can use freedom of speech and boldness at the throne of grace; and have an holy confidence of interest in the love of God, and salvation by Christ, and go on in the exercise of these graces to the end of their days. 4. Henry, “Christ was the master of this house, as well as the maker, Heb_3:5, Heb_3:6. This house is styled his house, as the Son of God. Moses was only a faithful servant, for a testimony of those things that were afterwards to be revealed. Christ, as the eternal Son of God, is the rightful owner and sovereign ruler of the church. Moses was only a typical governor, for a testimony of all those things relating to the church which would be more clearly, completely, and comfortably revealed in the gospel by the Spirit of Christ; and therefore Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses, and of greater regard and consideration. This argument the apostle concludes, [1.] With a comfortable accommodation of it to himself and all true believers (Heb_3:6). Whose house we are: each of us personally, as we are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and Christ dwells in us by faith; all of us jointly, as we are united by the bonds of graces, truths, ordinances, gospel discipline, and devotions. [2.] With a characteristic description of those persons who constitute this house: “If we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope, firmly to the end; that is, if we maintain a bold and open profession of the truths of the gospel, upon which our hopes of grace and glory are built, and live upon and up to those hopes, so as to have a holy rejoicing in them, which shall abide firm to the end, notwithstanding all that we may meet with in so doing.” So that you see there must not only be a setting out well in the ways of Christ, but a stedfastness and perseverance therein unto the end. We have here a direction what those must do who would partake of the dignity and privileges of the household of Christ. First, They must take the truths of the gospel into their heads and hearts. Secondly, They must build their hopes of happiness upon those truths. Thirdly, They must make an open profession of those truths. Fourthly, They must live so up to them as to keep their evidences clear, that they may rejoice in hope, and then they must in all persevere to the end. In a word, they must walk closely, consistently, courageously, and constantly, in the faith and practice of the gospel, that their Master, when he comes, may own and approve them.

5. Jamison, “But Christ — was and is faithful (Heb_3:2). as a son over his own house — rather, “over His (God’s, Heb_3:4) house”; and therefore, as the inference from His being one with God, over His own house. So Heb_10:21, “having an High Priest over the house of God.” Christ enters His Father’s house as the Master [OVER it], but Moses as a servant [I it, Heb_3:2, Heb_3:5] [Chrysostom]. An ambassador in the absence of the king is very distinguished - in the presence of the king he falls back into the multitude [Bengel]. whose house are we — Paul and his Hebrew readers. One old manuscript, with Vulgate and Lucifer, reads, “which house”; but the weightiest manuscripts support English Version reading. the rejoicing — rather, “the matter of rejoicing.” of the hope — “of our hope.” Since all our good things lie in hopes, we ought so to hold fast our hopes as already to rejoice, as though our hopes were realized [Chrysostom]. firm unto the end — omitted in Lucifer and Ambrose, and in one oldest manuscript, but supported by most oldest manuscripts. 7. Can't is a word that is foe to ambition; An enemy ambush to shatter your will. It's prey forever to a man with a mission; And bows only to courage, and patience, and skill. So hate it with hatred that's deep and undying, For once it is welcomed twill break any man. And whatever the goal you are seeking, Keep trying! And answer this demon by saying, "I Can!" Author Unknown 8. CHRIST, "Christ" in Greek is "Christos" (Cristos), which means "anointed" (Thayer). Christ is the anointed One. He was anointed with the anointing oil (the Spirit of God) just as the kings and the priests had previously been anointed with oil. It was God Himself who commanded this anointing in the Old Testament (1 Sam. 9:16; 10:1; 16:3) (Kittle). Such an anointing denoted legitimacy in God's eyes - the one who was anointed was legally authorized by God Himself (Kittle). The anointed one had authority, and was commissioned and legalized to represent the people. In particular, the priests were anointed with a commitment, and the kings were anointed with authority. In the ew Testament Christ, the anointed One, is our Savior. He has been legalized by God with a commitment that gives Him authority. This implies that our Lord Jesus Christ is today our legitimate King, having been legally committed with the goal of God’s economy. At the same time Christ is able to represent all the believers in, for, and unto God’s economy. He is both our legalized King and our High Priest. As a legalized King He has authority over everything to carry out God’s economy. As a High Priest He represents us, allowing us to be in, for, and unto God’s economy. Because He is both our King and High Priest, His commitment becomes our commitment. His purpose becomes our purpose. We are in Him, for Him, and unto Him. 1 Pet. 2:5 says that we have become a holy priesthood, and Rev. 1:6 says that Christ made us a kingdom of priests. This means that Christ is no longer alone as a Priest. We, the many priests, are one with Him in His economy, for His economy, and unto His economy.

The root of the word "Christ" (Cristos) is "chrio" (criw), which is related to furnishing (Thayer). While Christ’s anointing is for the execution of His administration, His anointing was also a furnishing. His anointing furnished Him not only with authority but with all the necessary elements for the execution of His administration. Christ was furnished by God with everything that was needed to carry out His economy, and was anointed by God as Lord and Christ to legitimately execute God's economy with authority. In eternity past He was already Christ, the anointed One. After His incarnation, Christ testified that He had been anointed to announce the gospel (Luke 4:18). God the Father unveiled to the disciple Peter that Jesus was the Christ, and the Lord confirmed this by stating His commission, "I will build My church" (Matt. 16:16-18). In resurrection He was designated and manifested as Christ (Acts 2:36). This means that His person, His commitment, and His operations on this earth, including all the saints throughout the centuries, are in the life of resurrection, substantiating the reality of Him being the Christ. In eternity past He always had the reality of being the Christ. But after His resurrection He comes to execute authority by being designated as Lord and Christ. ow, as a resurrected King and High Priest, He operates as the Christ. 9. Ray Stedman wrote, “When I was a boy in Montana I was invited to visit a well known, wealthy ranch, by one of the hired men. As we came up to an imposing ranch house, he did not take me into the house: instead, he took me to the bunkhouse out in back. I asked him what it was like in the ranch house, and he said, "Well, I can't take you in there; that belongs to the family." I saw a beautiful palomino horse in the pasture, and I told him how I would love to ride on that horse. And he said, "I'm sorry, you can't; that belongs to the family." All day long, I was frustrated, because everything I wanted to do, he could not let me do, because he was only a hired man. But later on, I got to know the son of that family, a boy of my own age, and do you know what we did? We rode that palomino horse all over the place, and we went into the house, and we even went into the kitchen and helped ourselves to food in the refrigerator---anything we wanted---and we made ourselves perfectly at home. A son has greater liberty than a servant. Moses was just a servant, but Jesus was the master. Moses led the people of God out of Egypt towards the land of Canaan, which was the symbol of the rest of God---the rest which God wants people to learn to live on inside their hearts.”

10. JAMES FOWLER, "3:6 "But," in contrast to Moses who was faithful in God's old covenant household as a servant, "Christ" is faithful "as a Son over His house whose house we are,..." Jesus Christ, the Son, supersedes Moses, the servant, and is thus "better than Moses" a similar argument to the Son (1:5,8) superseding the ministering service (1:7,14) of the angels. Whereas Moses was faithful "in" God's household of Israel as a servant, Jesus is faithful "over" God's household of the Church as the Son of God, implying His authoritative supremacy as Divine Lord over Christian people. The Son has been "appointed heir of all things" (1:2), to sit on the eternal throne of God (1:8,13), whereas Moses simply performed his service in the temporary preparation period of the old covenant. But let it be noted that both covenantal arrangements were "His house," God's covenantal relation with His People. There is both a continuity and

discontinuity of God's house. The continuity is in the recognition that both the people of the old and new covenants were God's People, and there was no intent or need for them to be antagonistic one with the other. The discontinuity is to be recognized in the provisional nature of the Mosaic covenant and the completed fulfillment of all God's promises (cf. II Cor. 1:20) in Jesus Christ, evidencing the superiority of the new covenant over the old covenant, and the necessary distinction between the nation of Israel and the Church of Jesus Christ. Paul explained to the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem that they (along with all other Christians in every age) constituted the new covenant "house" over which the living Lord Jesus reigns "whose house we are." It is now made quite evident that "house" is being used figuratively as a community of people. The "house of God," "the temple of God," and "the people of God" can be used synonymously in the spiritual context of the new covenant. Christians are "being built up as a spiritual house" (I Peter 2:5), the "household of God" (I Tim. 3:15; I Peter 4:17), "which is the church of the living God" (I Tim. 3:15). The Gentiles along with the Jews are "fellow-citizens...of God's household" (Eph. 2:19). "We are the temple of the living God" (II Cor. 6:16; I Cor. 3:16), and "the people of God" (I Peter 2:9,10; Titus 2:14). In this case a house, a temple and people are all figures that represent receptacles of the personal presence and residence of God within them. This was likely a difficult concept to assimilate for the Jewish Christians to whom Paul wrote. As ethnic Jews they were part of the household of Israel which regarded their physical race as Hebrews to be the primary criteria for being "the people of God," and considered the "house of God" and the "temple of God" to be primarily a physical structure in Jerusalem. As Christians who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, they were now of the "household of faith", the Church of Jesus Christ, and were the "People of God" based on a spiritual identification and relationship with Jesus Christ whereby they were "holy brethren" (3:1), "sons" (2:10) and "children" (2:13,14) of God. The "temple of God" and the "house of God" were now to be spiritually understood as the abiding presence of Christ within them. This required a radical transformation of perspective, and Paul wanted his kinsmen in the faith to understand that they were now in the "better household" of God's People which was more glorious than that associated with Moses. These people were being sorely tempted to focus on the physical elements of Palestine, to fight for the physical preservation of the Jewish nation, and to fall back in reversion to the religious practices in the physical structure of the temple in Jerusalem where they lived. It would have been most difficult for the Jewish recipients of this letter to choose the unseen spiritual realities of Christ over the visible physical phenomena of Judaic religion. With that in mind, Paul explains the conditional contingency of remaining a part of the household of faith: "if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of hope until the end." The Christian relationship with Christ is based on the dynamic function of His life. It is not a statically fixed connection enacted by a static mental assent. There was the possibility that the Jerusalem Christians might lapse and revert back to the Mosaic Law system and the Levitical priesthood still practiced in the temple there in Jerusalem. Paul was encouraging them to "hold fast," to persevere and endure, to accept "the better ground of faithfulness" in Jesus Christ and to live by the reality of the grace of God (cf. John 1:17), expressed in the faithful manifestation of the life of the indwelling Lord Jesus. This was not something that had to be generated out of their own resources and resolve, however. The grace-dynamic of Christ provides everything necessary for faithfulness, for as Paul explained to the Galatians, faithfulness is part of the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22,23). But, at the same time, these Christians were responsible to make the choice of faith whereby they would be receptive to God's activity of grace unto faithfulness. Only thus could they "hold fast their confidence," by "drawing near with confidence to the throne of grace, that they might receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (4:16). In a similar

conditional statement that serves almost as a parallel to this phrase, Paul writes later in this section telling the Jerusalem Christians that they "have become partakers of Christ, if they hold fast the beginning of their assurance (a synonym for confidence) firm until the end" (3:14). "Do not throw away your confidence...for you have need of endurance" (10:35), Paul adds later in the epistle. Paul encourages the Christians of Judea to hold fast to their confident assertions of faith in Christ and to their "boast of hope." Both of these are verbal expressions of their faith in Jesus Christ. "Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope" (10:23), Paul writes later, for "we have laid hold of the hope set before us, and this hope we have as an anchor of the soul" (6:18,19). "Christ Jesus is our hope" (I Tim. 1:1), and Christians should "always be ready to make a defense...to give an account for the hope that is in them" (I Peter 3:15). Despite the difficulties and lack of visible assurance in the "enigma of the interim" between Jesus' cry of victory (cf. John 19:30) and the final consummation of that victory, Christians confidently expect that the sovereign faithfulness of God in Christ will prevail. Such divine faithfulness is the basis for consistent Christian faithfulness which remains "firm until the end", whether that "end" be the end of our lives, the end of time, the end of the world, or the end of the "last days" (1:2) in Christ. The Jewish Christians to whom Paul wrote did not know how it would "end" for them, but Paul encourages them to persevere in the expression of faithfulness whatever might happen. This conditional clause serves as the transition in Paul's argument from Christ's faithfulness to the necessary faithfulness of the Christian people to whom Paul wrote. The remaining verses of this section emphasize the need for the readers to evidence a better faithfulness than that exhibited by the followers of Moses, having the "better ground of faithfulness" in Christ Jesus.

11. PI K, “"But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house are we" (verse 6). Here the "house" is plainly defined: it is a spiritual house, made up of believers in Christ. ot only are the "brethren" of verse 1, partakers of the heavenly calling, but they are members of the spiritual family of God, for in them He dwells. How well calculated to comfort and encourage the sorelytried Hebrews were these words "whose house are we!" What compensation was this for the loss of their standing among the unbelieving Jews! "If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (verse 6). Do these words weaken the force of what has last been said? In nowise; they contained a muchneeded warning. "There were great difficulties, circumstances calculated especially to effect the Jew, who, after receiving the truth with joy might be exposed to great trial, and so in danger of giving up his hope. It was, besides, particularly hard for a Jew at first to put these two facts together: a Messiah come, and entered into glory; and the people who belonged to the Messiah left in sorrow, and shame, and suffering here below" (W. Kelly). The Hebrews were ever in danger of subordinating the future to the present, and of forsaking the invisible (Christ in heaven) for the visible (Judaism on earth), of giving up a profession which involved them in fierce persecution. Hence their need of being reminded that the proof of their belonging to the house of Christ was that they remained steadfast to Him to the end of their pilgrimage. "If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." As the same thought is, substantially, embodied again in verse 14, we shall now waive a full exposition and

application of these words. Suffice it now to say that the Holy Spirit is here pressing, once more, on these Hebrews, what had been affirmed in Hebrews 2:1, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." Let each Christian reader remember that our Lord has said, "If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31). "If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." The "hope" mentioned here is that made known by the Gospel (Col. 1:23), the hope which is laid up for God’s people in Heaven (Col. 1:5), the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Christians have been begotten unto a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3), that "blessed hope" (Tit. 2:13), namely, the return of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, when He shall come to take us unto Himself, to make us like Himself, to have us forever with Himself; when all God’s promises concerning us shall be made good. The reference to the holding fast the confidence of this hope is not subjective, but objective. It signifies a fearless profession of the Christian faith. It is to be "ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you, a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15). Stephen is an illustration. Then, this hope is also to be held fast with "rejoicing" firm unto the end: Paul is an example of this, Acts 20:24.

12. STEDMA , “. The role of a servant and of a son in a house are worlds apart. I recall in my high-school days in Montana a visit I made to a large cattle ranch on the Missouri River as a friend of one of the cowboy employees. We slept in the bunkhouse with the rest of the help and had no access to the main quarters. We rode a couple of rather scruffy horses, and I was involved in helping him do certain assigned chores. Later I visited the same ranch as a friend of the son of the ranch's owner. What a difference! We had the run of the big house, ate in the main dining room, rode the best horses on the ranch and could go anywhere at any time. It made me forever aware of the difference between a son and a servant. The author wants to make this difference clear to his readers' minds also. It will become readily apparent in chapter 9 that the reality which the tabernacle pictures (and which harmonizes the two peoples of God, Israel and the Church), are human beings themselves. The writer declares: "We are his house!" It is redeemed humanity who is to be the dwelling place of God (1 Cor 6:19; Eph 2:22; Rev 21:3). The writer has just presented Jesus (in chapter 2) as the Man who fulfills God's intent for the human race. That ultimate intent is that we may be indwelt by God. This is surely the meaning of Jesus in John 14:20, "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." Again, in John 17:22-23, he prays to the Father, "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me." These concepts are revolutionary to the Jewish mind, as Jesus himself understood in trying to teach them to his disciples, and as the writer of Hebrews realizes as he seeks to lift his readers to views of themselves which they had only grasped dimly, if at all. At this point he ventures to use for the first time the Greek term for the Messiah (Christ---literally, "anointed") and so help turn their minds from Jewish hopes to the "better things" of which the Jewish shadows spoke. We [believers] are his [Christ's] house, he asserts, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. This if has troubled many people for it seems to imply that being a member of

Christ's house can be lost after it is gained by wavering in our courage or hope. But the statement is more likely descriptive rather than conditional It tells us that courage (parresian) or boldness, and the demonstration of hope in word and deed is the continuing mark of those who belong to Christ. It does not rule out periods of weak faith and struggle. Bruce comments, " owhere in the ew Testament more than here do we find such repeated insistence on the fact that continuance in the Christian life is the test of reality." The true members of Christ's house are those who show the reality of their faith by holding on to courage and hope, even though they may waver at times. He further adds that stumbling from faith "is precisely what our author fears may happen with his readers; hence his constant emphasis on the necessity of their maintaining fearless confession and joyful hope" (1964:59). In He 3:6, the writer to the Hebrews affirms that "we" are the house of Christ... a. Referring to the church, which is the house of God - 1 Tim 3:15 b. For in Christ, we are now "members of the household of God", and together with the faithful saints of old (including Moses) we are now "fellow-citizens" in the commonwealth of Israel! - cf. Ep 2: 11-22 13. PIPER, “Then at the end of last week's text (Hebrews 6b) the writer draws us into the picture. He says to his readers that they (we) are the very house of God -- the house his Son made and inherits -- "if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end" -- "Whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end." ow this "if" is a tremendously serious thing. We are his household -- we are God's people, we are God's possession and inheritance, that is we are saved -- if . This "if" is so serious and so important that the rest of chapter three is a support and explanation of it. In fact much of the rest of this book is meant to make this "if" plain. And here at the end of the twentieth century in America it is even more important that we hear it and understand it, because we are confronted by voices in books and radio and sermons and songs that use the term "unconditional" carelessly -- as in the terms, "unconditional love" and "unconditional acceptance," for instance. And very often when it is used there is no effort to make sound Biblical distinctions between what is unconditional -- like God's electing love -- and what is not unconditional -- like God's justifying and glorifying love. One of my main motives for writing Future Grace was to help clarify this important Biblical teaching. But now we have it right here before us in Hebrews 3:6. We are God's house, "if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end." So let's get into this big "if" and then let the rest of the chapter explain this and show us why it is important.

A Condition for Being, not Becoming otice first that this condition -- "'if' we hold fast to hope" -- is a condition for being something now. Verse 6 does not say: you will become God's house if you hold fast to your

hope. It says, "We are God's house" if we hold fast to confidence and hope. It's like saying, "You are a Southerner if you pronounce Ronald Reagan's wife's name ' aintsy' instead of ' ancy." Talking like this does not make you a Southerner; it shows that you are one. So I think Hebrews 3:6 teaches that "if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm to the end, we show that we are God's house." This is what defines the household of God: God's people hope in God. God's people are confident in God. They hold fast to God as their boast. That's the human trait and evidence of belonging God's household. If you want to be assured that you are of God's household test to see if you hope in God and have confidence in God and look to God for the security and happiness of your future and the satisfaction of your heart. Here is another support for this: in verse 1 the readers are called "partakers of a heavenly calling." It says, "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling . . ." So the writer is assuming that his readers are already partakers of God's heavenly call. They are heaven-bound. They are not just hearers of the call; they are partakers of -- sharers in -the call. So when he puts a big "if" on this in verse 6 -- if you hold fast to your confidence in God -- he means: you are partakers of the call, you are the household of God, and the evidence of this is your persevering confidence and hope in God to the end. ow jump ahead to verse 14 to confirm that this is the way the writer is thinking. In verse 14 we have an "if" statement very much like the one in verse 6: "We have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end." Being "partakers of Christ" in verse 14 is virtually the same as being "partakers of the heavenly calling" in verse 1. And both are the same as "being God's house" in verse 6. But notice the wording carefully here in verse 14, because it is a strong confirmation that we are on the right track. It says, "We have become partakers of Christ, if we hold our assurance to the end." The condition is future: "If we hold fast assurance to the end." But the effect of the condition relates to the past: "We have become partakers of Christ." So it's clear that the point here is not: hold fast to your assurance in order to become in the future a partaker of Christ. The point is: hold fast to your assurance in order to show (prove, evidence, demonstrate) that you are a partaker of Christ. Salvation Can't be Lost ow this is utterly crucial because it shows that this writer does not believe that you can truly partake of Christ, share in his heavenly calling and be a part of his house and then lose that salvation. This is tremendously important because, Lord willing, we are going to see other parts of this book that could easily be taken to mean that we can lose our salvation. But ask yourself this question: If verse 14 says, "We have become partakers of Christ (in the past), if we (in the future) hold fast our assurance," then what conclusion should we draw if we do not hold fast our assurance (in the past)? I believe the answer is: Then we have not become partakers of Christ. It would be wrong to say, "If we do not hold fast our assurance, then even though we were once partakers of Christ, nevertheless now we lose our part in Christ." That is the opposite of what this verse says. It says, We have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast our assurance to the end; and if we do not hold fast to our assurance to the end, then we have not become a partaker of Christ. ot holding fast to our assurance does not make us lose our salvation; it shows that we were not truly

saved.

Maintaining Assurance Everything in chapter three (and I would argue that everything in this book) is written to encourage and empower you to be earnest and vigilant and focused in the fight to maintain strong assurance in Christ. Let me show you this so that you get a feel for how important this is to the writer to the Hebrews. Over and over again the writer urges us to persevere in our hope and not to throw away our confidence, because this is the living evidence that we tryly have become partakers of Christ. For example: Hebrews 2:1 -- For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 3:6 -- We are his house , if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Hebrews 3:14 -- For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end . . . Hebrews 6:11-12 -- And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 10:23 -- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful . . Hebrews 10:35 -- Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 12:1 -- Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The Strength to Persevere is God's And as we come to the end of the book he delights to bless us and remind us that the strength to persevere to the end is not our own, but God's. This is the point of Hebrews 13:21. [ ow the God of peace] . . . equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. The surety of believers lies not in the absence of conditions in the promises of power. But the way we experience the power of God through Christ to work this persevering grace in us is through the warnings and promises of the word of God. That's why the book was written. God doesn't work in us the endurance apart from the word. He works by the

word. Our great salvation and our great Savior (which is what this book is about) are the inspiration the Spirit uses to hold us fast. So we must consider Jesus (3:1) and not neglect our great salvation (2:3). That's what this book is written to help us do. So let's look just briefly at how the writer helps us in Hebrews 3:7-19, and then we will come back to this text again next Sunday.

Example and Warning to Persevere His main approach in these verses is with a very serious warning of the way God worked in the past, namely, in the way he dealt with Israel after they came out of Egypt and then in spite of all that power and mercy on their behalf, they tested God with grumbling and unbelief. The result was that he gave them up to die in the wilderness and swore that they would not enter the God's rest in the promised land. The point is that the people of Israel are a example or a picture or a lesson-book for these readers. They had been treated with great mercy as God brought them out of Egypt by signs and wonders. And these people had seen signs and wonders (Hebrews 2:4). They had tasted the powers of the age to come (6:5). The Holy Spirit had been at work in their midst and they had participated in his power (6:4). All this is like what the Israelites experienced as they came out of Egypt. And for a short while they were very happy and seemingly confident in God. But it didn't last. And that is why this example is so important to the writer of Hebrews. He wants the professing Christians to last, to persevere. Because that's the only way they will prove they are truly God's house and truly share in Christ's salvation. So he says look at Israel and don't be like them. Pick it up at verse 8: Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me [or perhaps better, "as in the embitterment"], as in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers tried me by testing me, and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, "They always go astray in their heart; and they did not know my ways;" 11 as I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter my rest." In other words they had seen God's gracious works; they had seen signs and wonders and miracles of mercy, they had tasted the heavenly gift, but instead of being softened to trust God in the day of trial when things were difficult, they became hard and unbelieving and did not trust God's goodness, but murmured. The result was that God was angry and cut them off from the promised land. ow the point is that this is what will happen to us, if -- the big "if" of verse 6 and 14 --If we harden our hearts in the day of trial and murmur against him and throw away our confidence and hope in God. The story of Israel is an example for the professing church. Do not treat the grace of God with contempt -- presuming to receive it as an escape from the Egypt of misery, but not being satisfied with it as guidance and provision in the wilderness of this life. O how many professing Christians want the mercy of forgiveness so that they won't go to hell, but have hard hearts toward the Lord when it comes to daily fellowship with him!

Belief for Living, not Just for Escape ote well, the issue of perseverance is not first an issue of behavior. Don't be asking first: What actions does God want me to do? The issue in this text is one of the heart. It is a matter of believing or trusting or hoping in God. Look at verse 10: "Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, "They always go astray in their heart.'" Why didn't the people get to enter the promised land? You could say, they sinned and they rebelled and they murmured. Yes. But look at how this writer ends the chapter. Verse 19: "And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief." Persistent sin in the face of God's mercy is a sign of unbelief. Yes, the people were embittered because of God's testing them (v. 8); yes, they sinned (v. 17); but beneath all that was the root problem: they didn't believe God, that is, they didn't trust his goodness -- to lead and protect and provide and satisfy. Even though they saw the waters of the Red Sea divide and they walked over on dry ground, the moment they got thirsty, their hearts were hard against God and they did not trust him to take care of them. They cried out against him and said that life in Egypt was better. That is what this book is written to prevent. O how many professing Christians make a start with God. They hear that their sins can be forgiven and that they can escape hell and go to heaven. And they say: what have I got to lose, I'll believe. But then in a week or a month or a year or ten years, the test comes -- a season of no water in the wilderness. A weariness with manna, and subtly a growing craving for the fleeting pleasures of Egypt, as umbers 11:5-6 says, "We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna." This is a terrifying condition to be in -- to find yourself no longer interested in Christ and his word and prayer and worship and missions and living for the glory of God. And to find all fleeting pleasures of this world more attractive than the things of the Spirit. If that is your situation this morning, then I plead with you to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in this text. Give heed to the word of God (2:1). Do not harden your heart (3:8). Wake up to the deceitfulness of sin (3:13). Consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our great confession (3:1). And hold fast to your confidence and the boast of your hope in God (3:6). And if you have never even made a start with God, then put your hope in him. Turn from sin and from self-reliance and put your confidence in a great Savior. These things are written (and this sermon is preached) that you might believe and endure, and have life.

14. STEDMA , “Some time ago a group of tourists were visiting in the city of Rome, and came to an enclosure where a number of chickens were penned. The guide who was taking them through the city said, "These are very unusual and distinctive chickens. They happen to be descendants of the rooster that crowed on the night in which Peter denied the Lord." The tourists were very much impressed. One Englishman among them peered at the chickens and said, "My word! What a remarkable pedigree!" An American

immediately reached for his checkbook and said, "How much do they cost?" But an Irishman there turned to the guide, and said, "Do they lay any eggs?" He was not interested in apostolic succession, but in apostolic success! This is the attitude many have toward the Christian faith, and properly so. Can it do anything for me right now? Does the good news of the gospel have anything really helpful to say about the problem of nervous tension, for instance? Can it aid me in the matter of an inferiority complex? Will it do anything for my terrible habit of anxiety and worry when things do not go right? These are the problems that more desperately affect our lives than any other. We may be concerned about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare but the problems of nervous tension and inferiority, perhaps resentment or bitterness are the ones which take their bitter toll of us each day. In our last study in Hebrews, Chapter 2 closed on that practical note. The Lord Jesus, in his coming to earth, became a man for four mighty reasons. Among them, and the one last stated, was that he might be a compassionate and merciful High Priest in order that he might help those that are tempted, in the midst of their temptation. Chapter 3 picks up that theme and develops it, asking us to consider the astonishing solution that is offered by Jesus Christ to this plaguing, nagging problem of frustration, hypertension, anxiety, and all the neuroses and psychoses that are so familiar today. Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in God's house. Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) ow Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to all the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ was faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope. {Heb 3:1-6 RSV} Six times in that short section the word house appears, "the house of God." There is a very common misunderstanding abroad in our day, especially among Christians, which uses the term, "the house of God" to mean a church building. In my opinion there is nothing more destructive of the greatest message of the ew Testament than that belief! A building is never truly called the house of God, either in the ew Testament or the Old Testament, in the present or in the past. Certainly no church building, since the days of the early church, could ever properly be called "the house of God." The early church never referred to any building in that way. As a matter of fact, the early church had no buildings for two or three hundred years. When they referred to the house of God they meant the people. A church is not a building, it is people! Even the temple or the tabernacle of old was not really God's house. Let someone point out the fact that no building today can properly be called the house of God, and some Bible-instructed Christian nearby wisely nods his head and says, "Yes, you're right. The only building that could properly be called 'the house of God' was the temple or the tabernacle." It is true that these buildings were termed that in Scripture -- I recognize that -- but it is meant only in figure, only as a picture. They were never actually meant to be the place where God dwelled. In the sixty-sixth chapter of his magnificent prophecy, Isaiah records the words of the Lord, saying, "Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool -- where is the house which you would build for me? ... All these things my hand has made," {cf, Isa 66:1-2 KJV}. Paul, in preaching to the Athenians, reminded them that "God does not dwell in temples made by hands," {cf, Acts

17:24 KJV}. Even as he said those words the temple was still standing in Jerusalem. o, God does not dwell in buildings. Then what is the house of God that is mentioned here? The answer is very clearly stated in Verse 6. "We are his house." We people. God never intended to dwell in any building; he dwells in people, in men and women, in boys and girls. That is the divine intention in making men, that they may be the tabernacle of his indwelling. In that beautiful scene recorded in the 21st chapter of Revelation, the next to last chapter of the Bible, the mighty vision of the prophets is fulfilled, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men," {Rev 21:3b RSV}. Paul refers to this in First Corinthians, "Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you which you have of God?" {cf, 1 Cor 6:19a}. This is the focus toward which all Scripture is directed. God's purpose is to inhabit your body and to make you to be the manifestation of his life, the dwelling place of all that he is; so that, as Paul prays in Ephesians 3, "you may be a body wholly filled and flooded with God himself," {cf, Eph 3:19}. The great message of the gospel is that it takes God to be a man. You cannot be a man without God. It takes Christ to be a Christian, and, when you put Christ into the Christian, you put God back into the man. That is the good news, that is the gospel. ow in this house of God which is ever people, Moses ministered as a servant, but Christ as a Son. Therefore, the Son is much more to be obeyed, much more to be listened to, much more to be honored and heeded, than the servant. Moses served faithfully as a servant. What is the ministry of a servant? A servant is always preparing things. He must prepare meals, he must prepare rooms, he must prepare the yard. He is always working in the anticipation of something yet to come. His work is in view of that which is yet future. So, "Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later (yet to come), but Christ ... as a Son." What is the role of a son in a house? To take over everything, to possess it, to use whatever he likes. The house was made for him. So Christ has come to inhabit us, as Paul again prays in Ephesians, "that Christ may make his home in your hearts by faith," {cf, Eph 3:17}. ow, the writer declares, "We are that house -- if." At this point he interjects the little word, if: "And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and.. our hope." And again in Verse 14: "For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end." ow a cloud passes over the sun. The possibility is raised of being self-deceived in this matter of belonging to Christ, of being his house. It all hangs upon that word of uncertainty, if. What does this mean? Well, there are two possible views of this that are usually taken by the Christian world: There is that view which says, we can enter the house of God and become part of it, that Christ can come to dwell in our hearts and we can be the tabernacle of the Most High, and then, later on, because we fail to lay hold of all that God gives us and we sin, we lose all we have gained, Christ leaves us and we lose our salvation. This is the view that is called Arminianism (not Armenianism) after a man named Arminius, a theologian in the Middle Ages. This view suggests that it is possible to lose our faith after we have once become the habitation of the Most High. But, if we take that view, we are immediately in direct contradiction with some very clear and precise statements elsewhere that declare exactly the opposite. There is no possible way to hold that view without putting Scripture into contradiction with Scripture. For instance, in John 10:28, Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." Why? "Because no one is able to take them out of my Father's hand," he says. "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand," {John 10:29 RSV}. Romans 8, Verse 35, asks, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Paul goes on to list all the possibilities, then he declares, " o in all these things we are more than conquerors

through him who loved us," {Rom 8:37 RSV}. It is impossible, you see, to take that view of it. Then what is the correct view? There is another possible meaning here which suggests that, once having professed to receive the Lord Jesus, once having him come in, if then we do not manifest signs of new life, if nothing happens to our behavior as a result of this, we have simply been selfdeceived. We never had faith despite the external appearance, the religious observances that we have gone through. This is the danger this whole book faces. We will return to it again and again. The book of Hebrews is addressed to a body of people among whom were certainly some whose Christian life was highly in doubt because they were not growing, they were not going on, they were not entering in to what God had provided for them. This was not mere hypocrisy. The writer is not speaking of one who deliberately tries to pass himself off as a Christian, knowing in himself he is not. There are those who join a church because they think it is good for business, or it helps their status or prestige in the community, but they know they are not Christians. They do not believe what they hear, they do not have any interest in what is said. Such people stick out like sore thumbs among the saints. They deceive no one but themselves. But he is talking here about some who have fallen into a self-confident delusion and who feel themselves to be Christians. They have gone through every possible prescribed ritual to identify themselves with Christianity. Because of this they feel they are Christians. They believe the right things, they hold the right creed, they have orthodoxy in every bone of their body. They are rigid about the proclamation of the truth and conform to doctrine in every degree. But they are selfdeceived, for as they are unable to manifest what God has come into human hearts to produce, they reveal that there never was faith in the beginning. So, in Hebrews, continuance is the ultimate proof of reality. The illustration he gives confirms this very clearly. If it is properly understood, it is designed to shake us to our eyeteeth. It is the story of the rebellion of Israel in the wilderness: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.' As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" {Heb 3:7-13 RSV} Further, in Verse 16: Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? And with whom was he provoked forty years? What it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. {Heb 3:16-19 RSV} The writer points out this people comprised almost the whole number of those who left Egypt under Moses. They had fulfilled every prescribed symbol of deliverance, but they were not delivered. While they were in Egypt they had killed the Passover lamb, and had sprinkled the blood of it over the doorposts. On the terrible night when the angel of death passed through the

land and took the life of every first-born son in every household, they were safe. They had followed Moses as they left Egypt and had come to the borders of the Red Sea. As the waters flowed before them and the armies of the Egyptians were fast approaching from the rear, Moses lifted up his rod and the waters parted and they all passed through the sea as well. As Paul says in First Corinthians, they were "baptized unto Moses in the sea" {cf,1 Cor 10:2}, they were united unto him. Many of us, perhaps, have likewise looked to the cross of Christ and in some degree counted his death as valid for us, as the blood of our Passover lamb. We have gone through the waters of baptism, testifying by that we believe we have been baptized by the Spirit of God into the body of Christ, made to be part of him. These people, as they wandered through the wilderness on the way from Egypt to Canaan, had enjoyed the protection and guidance of the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day, speaking of the protection, guidance, and fatherly care of God. They had even been fed every day by the manna as it came from the skies, fresh every morning. Centuries later, when the Jews of our Lord Jesus' day heard him refer to them as children of the devil they said to him, "We are not children of the devil, we are children of Abraham. Don't you know what happened to our fathers? Talk about people of God! We are the true people of God. Our fathers ate bread in the wilderness for forty years; if that is not a sign that we are the people of God, I don't know what could be!" {cf, John 6:30-66}. But the writer says, "With whom was he provoked forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness." When the test finally came and they stood on the borders of the promised land, they were given the word of the Lord through Moses to advance and take the land. But they held back because they were afraid of the giants that inhabited the cities of that land. When they were asked to face the giants and, by the principle of faith, overcome them and enter into the rest of the land, they refused to do so. They turned back and for forty years wandered in the wilderness. The test came when for the first time they were asked to come to grips with the thing that could destroy their life in the land, the giants, and their failure to do so revealed the bitter truth that they never had any faith. They had never really believed God. They were only acting as they did to escape the damage, death, and danger of Egypt. But they had no intention of coming into conflict with the giants in the land. The Word of God is pointing out to us that we may profess the Lord Jesus, we may take our stand in some outward way at least upon the cross of Christ and claim his death for us, we can profess to have been baptized into his body and say so by passing through the waters of baptism ourselves, we can enjoy the fatherly care and providence of God and see him working miracles of supply in our life, and even find in the Scripture much which sustains the heart, at least for awhile. Yet, when it comes to the test, when God asks us to lay hold of the giants in our life which are destroying us, those giants of anxiety, fear, bitterness, jealousy, envy, and impatience and all the other things that keep us in turmoil and fret and make us to be a constant trouble to our neighbors and friends -- when we are asked to lay hold of these by the principle of faith, and we refuse to do so, the writer says we are in danger of remaining in the wilderness and never entered the promised rest. 15. JOH HOLT, “As you stand in Red Square in Moscow your eyes take in contrasting scenes. You see the red brick walls of the Kremlin rising before you on one side. Except for the gate towers and imposing entrances, the walls continue for one and one-half miles surrounding the Kremlin, which is somewhat like a small city behind walls. The designer and builder of this complex and its walls built something that for centuries stood as

a symbol of greatness and power to the Russian people. (built in 1492) As you turn away from the walls, you see a far more awesome sight. The eight varied colored domes of St. Basil's Church rising majestically into the sky speak of a greatness beyond the Kremlin and a power greater than the Kremlin. (build around 1572) To me it is a word picture that says, the power of the Kremlin may be great, but the church of Jesus Christ is greater. In every area of life we make such comparisions. We say that Yogi Berra was a great baseball player, and that Babe Ruth was greater, but that Hank Aaron was the greatest. For us "Burgh Folks" we would say that Roberto Clemente was the greatest. We describe people, buildings, artist, athletes, statesment, etc using adjectives like great, greater, and greatest. The Jewish people had their heroes also. Of them all, Moses was considered the greatest. In poetry, a Jewish dramatist of 300 AD described Moses as sitting on a throne that reached to the heavens. His mind was able to survey all things in time past, present, and future. The tendency to exalt and deify our heroes is certainly not new to our culture. Some of Judaisms greatest rabbis considered Moses to be superior to all other Old Testament prophets. The writer to these Hebrew Christians understands their Jewish roots and some of the difficulties they are experiencing as they follow Jesus. The believers of that day needed to understand that following Jesus was not like following Moses. Yes, Moses was greater than all Old Testament prophets, but Jesus is the greatest. Moses was good. Jesus is better and best! Moses was great. Jesus is greater and greatest! A contrast is made between the house and its builder. The writer says that the builder of the house has greater honor than the house. ILLUS. -According to history the builder of St. Basil's Church in Red Square was executed upon the completion of the building because the Czar did not want him honored or given the chance to build another church which might have been of equal or greater beauty. Killing him certainly stopped him from doing any further building. The enemies of Jesus killed Him also. They were threatened by the kingdom He was building. But killing Him was already a part of God's plan for an on-going building project. Jesus, who said He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it...is still building today. Jesus is not a dead, by-gone, once upon a time builder of history past. Jesus is still building. And you and I have become a part of His household. He has designed and built this house and put you and me in it. Jesus is filling His house with the living community of the redeemed from all generations of time, all peoples, all races, all tribes....we are all in the house He is building.

The Builder of the house is Jesus Christ, who by His own sacrifice has laid the foundation for the house; the foundation of forgiveness and redemption. o one could come into that house because of his or her own efforts. Only the Son could set humanity free from sin to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. God saw it all; God planned it all; God did it all through Jesus Christ. You became a part of that house because God used some human instrument to witness to you of Jesus. But the instrument or tool is not the greatest...Jesus, who builds you into God's household is the greatest! To the Jewish believers and to us the message is: "Hold on to Jesus." To hold on to the forms of Judaism or even to hold on to Moses, it's great leader is to hold on to a symbol or to a tool used in building instead of holding on to reality. To hold on to a "saint", to Mary, to the person who introduced you to Jesus, to a pastor, evangelist, some gifted minister, etc. is to hold on to the tool the Builder used instead of holding on to Jesus, the Builder. To hold on to Jesus is to hold on to reality itself. The last verse of our study is not meant to lead us to believe that we can somehow earn our salvation if we hold on. Our salvation is not to be earned and neither is it to be lost. Our salvation has been won on our behalf by Jesus and what He has done alone! John MacArthur writes in his commentary on Hebrews, We can neither save ourselves nor keep ourselves saved. The meaning is simply that continuance is the proof of reality. We can tell if we are really the house of God because we stay there. The one who falls away never belonged in the first place (1 John 2:19). The problem with the above argument is that it is too easy and is without evidence to say that departing is proof they were never really believers. This is like saying when people leave their commitment to a marriage, which is a lifetime commitment that they were really never married at all if they get divorced. 16. DR. S. L. JOH SO “And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:6) Due to the fact that there are translations of the Bible that read "And again when He brings the firstborn into the world…" (which could point to the Incarnation or to the resurrection); thus, I tried to point out that the "again" probably goes with the verb and so we are looking at a text that has to do ultimately with the Second Coming of our Lord (as opposed to the First Coming or the resurrection). The ASB translation of the English Bible translates this verse with such an interpretation in mind: "And when He again brings the firstborn into the world." What the author is trying to point out in the text of Deut. 32 if the angels worship that Being there referred to, then that Being is greater than the angels! Also, we pointed out that Deut. 32 was something of a summary of the history of Israel. It is one of the remarkable OT prophetic passages. I referred specifically to verse 39 of it which reads: "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand."

There is no questioning the fact that this text refers to the eternal God in heaven. I tried to point out that the term Yahweh in the OT (translated by LORD in the King James' Version with capital letters) is a reference to the covenant keeping God of the OT who led the children of Israel out and brought them into the land. He is called by scholars, Yahweh. Frequently, Christians think of Yahweh as simply a term that refers to God the Father. However, that term in truth refers to the One God in his Being and therefore it is a term that applies to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In other words, there is a Yahweh the Father, a Yahweh the Son, and a Yahweh the Spirit. ow all that we know here in Deut. 32:39 is that "He" is Yahweh-"See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me…" But then we continue on for a few verses and we will see that this Yahweh is going to intervene in human society. We know enough about Yahweh the Father, to say that he does not have a "body" and never shall have a "physical body" nor does he personally intervene in our history in the sense of coming down into our midst. (Though he is, of course, in a sense right here with us.) But this Yahweh is the Father who is "spirit." But then we proceed to read in verses 40-43: 40 ‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, And say, as I live forever, 41 If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me. 42 ‘I will make My arrows drunk with blood, And My sword will devour flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the long-haired leaders of the enemy.’ 43 “Rejoice, O nations, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And will render vengeance on His adversaries, And will atone for His land and His people.” LA GUAGE OTE O YAHWEH Jehovah. The Heb. word Yahweh is in EVV usually translated ‘the LORD‘ (note the capitals) and sometimes ‘Jehovah’. The latter name originated as follows. The original Hebrew text was not vocalized; in time the ‘tetragrammaton’ YHWH was considered too sacred to pronounce; so "ad_oµnaµy" (my Lord) was substituted in reading, and the vowels of this word were combined with the consonants YHWH to give ‘Jehovah’, a form first attested at the start of the 12th century AD. The pronunciation Yahweh is indicated by transliterations of the name into Greek in early Christian literature, in the form iaoue (Clement of Alexandria) or iabe (Theodoret; by this time Gk. b had the pronunciation of v). Strictly speaking, Yahweh is the only ‘name’ of God. In Genesis wherever the hebrew word for name is associated with the divine being that name is Yahweh. When Abraham or Isaac built an altar ‘he called on the name of Yahweh’ (Gn. 12:8; 13:4; 26:25). In particular, Yahweh was the God of the Patriarchs, and we read of ‘Yahweh the God (Elohim) of Abraham’ and then of Isaac and finally ‘Yahweh, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’, concerning which Elohim says, ‘this is my name for ever’ (Ex. 3:15). Yahweh, therefore, in contrast with Elohim, is a proper noun, the name of a Person, though that Person is divine. As such, it has its own ideological setting; it presents God as a Person, and so brings him into relationship with other, human, personalities. It brings God near to man, and he speaks to the Patriarchs as one friend to another. A study of the word *’name’ in the OT reveals how much it means in Hebrew. The name is no mere label, but is significant of the real personality of him to whom it belongs. It may derive from the circumstances of his birth (Gn. 5:29), or reflect his character (Gn. 27:36), and when a person puts his ‘name’ upon a thing or another person the latter comes under his influence and protection. [ J. Douglas, ew Bible Dictionary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1996,

c1982). p 429.] In other words, the Yahweh of Deut. 32 is the Yahweh who intervenes in human society in judgment and we know that this is a reference to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus; thus we are reading of Yahweh the Son. ow without the writer of the epistle of the Hebrews, we would probably agree with his interpretation if we thought theologically about it; however he has settled the matter for us. For in verse 6, he says, "And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” The "firstborn" is, of course, a reference to our Lord Jesus Christ. And when He brings the "firstborn" into the world He calls upon all the angels of God to worship Him, that is the Second Person of the Trinity! So our author understands this and he understands that the Yahweh who speaks in Deut. 32 is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for He is the One who comes in judgment. 17. FUDGE, “But Christ is a son (not a servant) over (not in and part of) his own house (not that of someone else). ow we learn what is meant by the house so far as Christ is concerned. We, the church, God's people under Christ are the house of God (I Timothy 3:15). Christ promised to "build" it (Matthew 16:18), and He began that work on Pentecost. The church is composed of "living stones" (I Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:20) -- those individuals who by faith and baptism have come into union with Christ, have become members of His spiritual body and, collectively, are His church. Moses was a faithful servant in the Old Testament "house" of God (and of Christ), but Christ is the faithful Son over His own house. He is far superior to Moses, though Moses was a great and faithful man of God. But there is a divine if, so far as we are concerned. We are His house, if we hold fast the confidence, the boldness based on inner assurance, and the rejoicing or boasting of the hope firm unto the end. This is the message of the tire Bible and is particularly the theme of the book of Hebrews. The reward is of grace, but it depends on faith And a saving faith is one which trusts and obeys until the very end. It is not enough to begin, only to fall along the way. Saving faith, true grounds of rejoicing, a genuine hope -- all these depend on steadfastness and continue trust throughout life. The Hebrew Christians urgently needed that lesson. We are no less in need of it today.

18. STEDMA , “The writer declares, "We are that house -- if." At this point he interjects the little word, if: "And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and.. our hope." And again in Verse 14: "For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end." ow a cloud passes over the sun. The possibility is raised of being self-deceived in this matter of belonging to Christ, of being his house. It all hangs upon that word of uncertainty, if. What does this mean? Well, there are two possible views of this that are usually taken by the Christian world: There is that view which says, we can enter the house of God and become part of it, that Christ can come to dwell in our hearts and we can be the tabernacle of the Most High, and then, later on, because we fail to lay hold of all that God gives us and we sin, we lose all we have gained, Christ leaves us and we lose our salvation. This is the view that is called Arminianism (not Armenianism) after a man named Arminius, a theologian in the Middle Ages. This view suggests

that it is possible to lose our faith after we have once become the habitation of the Most High. But, if we take that view, we are immediately in direct contradiction with some very clear and precise statements elsewhere that declare exactly the opposite. There is no possible way to hold that view without putting Scripture into contradiction with Scripture. For instance, in John 10:28, Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." Why? "Because no one is able to take them out of my Father's hand," he says. "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand," {John 10:29 RSV}. Romans 8, Verse 35, asks, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Paul goes on to list all the possibilities, then he declares, " o in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us," {Rom 8:37 RSV}. It is impossible, you see, to take that view of it. Then what is the correct view? There is another possible meaning here which suggests that, once having professed to receive the Lord Jesus, once having him come in, if then we do not manifest signs of new life, if nothing happens to our behavior as a result of this, we have simply been selfdeceived. We never had faith despite the external appearance, the religious observances that we have gone through. This is the danger this whole book faces. We will return to it again and again. The book of Hebrews is addressed to a body of people among whom were certainly some whose Christian life was highly in doubt because they were not growing, they were not going on, they were not entering in to what God had provided for them. This was not mere hypocrisy. The writer is not speaking of one who deliberately tries to pass himself off as a Christian, knowing in himself he is not. There are those who join a church because they think it is good for business, or it helps their status or prestige in the community, but they know they are not Christians. They do not believe what they hear, they do not have any interest in what is said. Such people stick out like sore thumbs among the saints. They deceive no one but themselves. But he is talking here about some who have fallen into a self-confident delusion and who feel themselves to be Christians. They have gone through every possible prescribed ritual to identify themselves with Christianity. Because of this they feel they are Christians. They believe the right things, they hold the right creed, they have orthodoxy in every bone of their body. They are rigid about the proclamation of the truth and conform to doctrine in every degree. But they are selfdeceived, for as they are unable to manifest what God has come into human hearts to produce, they reveal that there never was faith in the beginning. So, in Hebrews, continuance is the ultimate proof of reality. As I read Stedman’s view, which is Calvinism, I see that there is no way to distinguish between the real Christian and the self-deceived Christian, and so the only evidence one is a true believer is their endurance. If you make it to heaven you are truly saved. This is not much of a foundation for a sense of security, for the self-deceived will persist thinking they are saved, and this leaves all feeling doubts and uncertainty. It does not make an improvement on the Arminian view, which leaves people filled with insecurity. Both Calvinism and Arminianism fail to give the assurance of salvation to anyone. There must be a third view that will do this, and my conviction is that the only true view is that both systems are right and must be combined. Each has only half of the picture, and they need to be combined to have the full revelation of God. Calvinism is no joke, but is the only reasonable answer. There is perfect security in Christ, and yet there is the danger

of slipping away and falling into apostasy. It is a paradox, but the Bible is filled with them, and they must be accepted with both sides of the paradox being accepted as a valid perspective. \ 19. If Ella Wheeler Wilcox From: Custer and Other Poems, 1896 TWIXT what thou art, and what thou wouldst be, let o "If" arise on which to lay the blame. Man makes a mountain of that puny word, But, like a blade of grass-before the scythe, It falls and withers when a human will, Stirred by creative force, sweeps toward its aim. Thou wilt be what thou couldst be. Circumstance Is but the toy of genius. When a soul Burns with a god-like purpose to achieve, All obstacles between it and its goal-Must vanish as the dew before the sun. "If" is the motto of the dilettante And idle dreamer; 'tis the poor excuse Of mediocrity. The truly great Know not the word, or know it but to scorn, Else had Joan of Arc a peasant died, Uncrowned by glory and by men unsung.

20. S L JOH SO , “WHOSE HOUSE ARE WE?Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. ow the Christian, who has believed in the security of the believer, has always been troubled by the "If's of the Bible". I have heard, from very noble men, attempts to eliminate the "Ifs" of the Bible, but we can't do it. Whose house are we IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. You ARE in God's house IF YOU HOLD FAST. You ARE OT in God's house IF you don't hold fast. What he is saying is simply this: continuance in the house of God, that is continuance in the faith, is the proof of the reality of our faith. If we continue, we have surely believed. If we do not continue, then we have not truly believed. 1 John 2:19. They went out from us because they were not of us. If they had been of us, they would have continued with us. In other words, continuance in the faith is the proof of the reality of the faith. One does not

become a Christian by continuing. He does not say "whose house we become if we continue" but whose house we are if we hold fast. The greatest Calvinist that the United states ever produced was probably Jonathan Edwards who said; "The sure proof of election is that one holds out to the end". This is precisely what our author means. He does not mean you can believe in Jesus Christ, and then live as you please. The ew Testament doctrine of Eternal security is not that. It simply says that God guarantees the eternal safety of the one who truly believers in Jesus Christ. He guarantees him security and guarantees that he will continue to the end. When we talk about "the perseverance of the saints", we are really talking about "the perseverance of the Savior". ow turn to Heb. 3:14: For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. I want to tell you that I have been a Christian for over 25 years and I have had the privilege of preaching to a lot of people. I have preached the word for over 20 years in orth Dallas. Through the years I have seen some fall away for the pleasure of this world which choke the seed, and they fall by the wayside. And I have seen the seed fall on "good ground" and the fruit coming as 30 fold, 60 fold and 100 fold. Our Lord explains that some seed falls on rocky ground and, springing up, they wither and fall away, apostatize. They seem to be the reality. They seem to have responded, but there was no perseverence to the end. Our author says, "whose house we are IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." I am grateful for that "if" because I have been buffeted a good bit in my Christian life, and will surely be buffeted in the future, but I know that in the final analysis that if I have eternal life within me, I have assurance that He will preserve me. He will hold me because I belong to Him. CLOSI G WORDS To belong to God's house is to be "the habitation of God in the Spirit. "Our hearts, God's dwelling. God's heart, our dwelling. This house that I belong to has Jesus Christ as its Master. He is "over the house". Remember that to know Jesus Christ and to trust Him is the secret of life. "Consider Him, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession". Christ Jesus who was faithful to Him that appointed Him. We are to consider Him in His faithfulness for this is precisely where many fail. As Christians, we enter the house of God and then find out that it is nothing which I do to obtain eternal life. It is what Christ has done-that He died for me. If we will simply say, Thank you Lord, you will taste of that tremendous joy that comes when we receive Christ by grace. But what about after we are "in the house?" How do we live the Christian life? Is it by striving, by working and by serving, by doing? If so we have lost the one principle because we fail to understand this: We get into the house by trust, and we stay in the house by trust. Our entire Christian life is "from faith to faith". We live by faith every minute and every hour of the day. keep trusting, we receive power from God so that the same power that brought us "new life" will bring us transforming supernatural experiences day by day and moment by moment so that all the glory will go to the Lord Jesus Christ .

Have you bowed your heart to Christ? Closing Verse. Heb. 13:20-21 20. ow the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant, 21. Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen 21. Donald Blind Surely verse six is needed here to fill the context: But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (3:6) The whole text has to do with that one word; "if." To many, this is extraordinary. They think if they were considered as part of the house of God, they would be spared the "if." Once saved, always saved, they say. Well, this is the answer: we believe in the perseverance of the saints, and so does our inspired writer. The "if" means "if you are in Christ, then you will abide." This mainly has to do with the Hebrews "on the fence," which permeates this entire epistle. All of the narrative concerns the Exodus experience, like unto 1Cor 10, Just a few verses: 11) ow all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. 10:11,12) The whole chapter should be read. In Hebrews 3:18, the inspired writer brings up the concept of rest. Along with the "if," he carries it through to verse eleven. The rest of the promised land and everything that has to do with the First Covenant, is the shadow of Christ. 16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Col 2:16,17) ow therefore the writer quotes David from Psalm 95 about not entering God's rest, and then another day by Joshua. A physical rest, whenever or wherever, will never do. For those Hebrews there remained a rest, because they, we, and everyone must cease from their own works, which of course is sin. Faith in Christ Jesus is the only answer. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:27-30)

I don't believe the rest here is the Heavenly rest (so called future), not unless it is in Christ Jesus, and now, here on earth. As believers, and according to the scripture, we, in Christ, are already in heaven: Eph 2:6, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" katapauo: G2664 (LXX translation at Genesis 2:2) which is translated rest in verses 1,3,4,5,8,10 and 11 and sabbatismos: G4520 which is translated rest in verse 9, and anapausis: G372 , translated rest in Matthew 11:30, are all referring to the same rest; that is in Jesus Christ. Verse 9, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God," is from the stand point of the Hebrews of that time, who have not as yet embraced Christ, as the following two verses expound. Hebrews 4:12 and 13, tell us that The Logos of John one, The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, is the judge to prove whether a person is truly at rest in Him. The following verses will let us know if we are at rest in Him. In verse five we are assured that Moses was true to his calling by God. He is seen as obedient in all God gave him to do. In other words, he accomplished all God had planned for him and gave prophecies that were accurate as to what would happen in the future. Of this we can be sure: Moses was counted as righteous. The author uses the example of a house, and he states that as a servant within the house of God, Moses was indeed faithful. But verse six delivers the striking contrast that is missed by many. Here we see that Christ was faithful over the whole house of God, not merely as a servant, which surely he was, but he was faithful in ruling over the house in which Moses was a servant. And the next part of this verse is most breathtaking when we learn that we, the children of God, are the house in which Moses served and over which Christ rules. Those who persevere, by God's grace, are the redeemed house of Israel - the bride of Christ - of which Christ is the head. 22. Michael Cruz All too often students of the Bible trip over English words that, over the years, have lost much of their original meaning. The word “house” is one such word. As used in our text, the word “house” essentially means "family." If we look to Luke’s gospel, we can see that Mary was espoused to marry Joseph, who, it is said, was of the “house” of David. It should be obvious that the Spirit of God does not have in view a wooden or brick structure. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. (Luke 1:27, KJV) whose house are we (3:6b) Here the Spirit of God reveals the great and marvelous truth that the house of Christ is made up of the faithful. ow therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye

also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Eph. 2:19-22, KJV) who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12-14) We, who should have been rejected, discarded, and burned, as unprofitable building material, He has purchased for His good pleasure. That for which man was originally designed - to bring God pleasure - He has accomplished in His wisdom. Christ has become for us righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Only the Master Builder could make something of beauty out of such good for nothing material. Who else would have such patience or ability? O, when we stand in glory, with a beauty not our own, then won't we proclaim His praises! Let us now proclaim His praises, for when He takes us up and chooses us for His own, He finishes the work (Phil. 1:6). We can be confident of this very thing. We stand complete in Jesus Christ and one day shall be like Him. Like a jewel reflects light, we will reflect the very image of the One who is light. This will not just be for a time, but for all eternity. What sheer delight to have such a purpose and place for being. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:35-36) The freedom that Moses gave the people of God's house (Israel) was glorious. After years of slavery and bondage in Egypt, the freedom was sweet. How much more glorious is the eternal freedom found in the Son. The Owner does what a servant would never and could never do. But the hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. (John 10:12-14) Yes, as the One who owns the sheep, Jesus Christ lay down His life for the sheep. "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:16). There will be one grand and glorious house! Those who are truly of this house, belonging to Christ, will "hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." If we have really seen this Son in unveiled glory, we will never leave. Other gods have lost their luster. There is but One Lord, One Savior, and One Son. To be purchased by Him - to be His own is to be free indeed! Would we run and escape to dwell in the tents of wickedness? We can have absolute confidence in the Son. It is His own house, designed for His own glory. He will take care of it. He is faithful. Our hope is certainly something to rejoice in. We who hear the Son's voice, we who have had the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shine in our hearts, are

delighted. May we rejoice in a world that is at enmity against God, for God is no longer our enemy. o, He is our Father. The Son has set us free and thus, we are free indeed. Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say rejoice! There is complete safety in this house - for it is built on the Rock. A wise man builds his house on the rock. Who is wise like our Elder Brother? "A wise son makes a glad father" (Prov. 10:1). Oh how glad the Father must be, for Jesus is His Son! "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand" (John 3:35). To ensure that His house will never fall, Jesus Himself became the chief cornerstone. Though we are hard pressed on every side, we who believe will endure. We're not about to leave this house, for it has foundations, and its builder and maker is God. "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward!" (Heb. 10:35). Moses is a faithful servant. He is a great teacher - a tutor. Let him lead you to the Son, Jesus Christ. Otherwise he will rise up and accuse you, for he faithfully taught his lessons. Jesus said in John 5:45-46, Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you - Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:24-26) Think of it. Through the gift of faith, you are not a slave, who does not abide in the house forever, but a son who does abide forever! But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal. 4:4-7) A son? An heir? Through Christ, this seeming impossibility is our reality! O, Abba Father! The fullness of time has come. We are the household of God. He has given us the reality of the Holy Spirit even now as the downpayment. And He has given us the assurance of His Word, in these last days, spoken to us by His Son. To be a servant in the household of God would be an exalted and undeserved position for us, who have sinned against the glorious God of heaven and earth. But no, this captain of our salvation so unites us with Himself that we are "all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call [us] brethren" (Heb. 2:11). "Behold (what an astonishing thing) what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God" (1 John 3:1). What a high and holy calling! Will we not hold fast to the One who delights our heart - the One who holds fast to us?

23. "The House that Christ Built" (Pastor Drew Worthen, Calvary Chapel Port Charlotte, Fl.) Last week we ended with HEB 3:6 "But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are

his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." This morning I want to start with this idea of us being Christ's house and the significance of that regarding our role in the Kingdom of God. First we notice that this particular house has as it's head the Son of God. Paul would concur with this as he writes in COL 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." And the Son is seen to be faithful over this house which Paul identifies as the church. One of the greatest ways the Son is faithful over this house lies in the fact that He established the house with His blood shed on our behalf. He was faithful to the end. But the end of course was not the grave. His faithfulness towards us was culminated in His resurrection from the dead. It is in His resurrection that this house, this body, gains its life. We read in 1CO 15:45 "So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit." This last Adam, who represents us before the Father, has given us a life with Himself which will last forever. But there would be no life to give unless He had life to give, which is found in Himself, and the resurrection verifies His victory over the grave and death and sin. And we as His people share in this resurrection life as we place our faith in the One who say's, "I am the way, and the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me." This life is designed by God to demonstrate itself in the world to His glory. And this life is best seen through His Body or house which is to be a living organism as it faithfully represents the Life-Giver. Often when people hear about the church they think of a religious organization or a building which houses this religious organization. But the church is made up of dead people who have been called out and now given life. In fact the word church in the .T. is ekklesia in the Greek and means those who are called out. We are a called out people; called out of the darkness of sin and brought into His marvelous light where there is life in Christ. Unfortunately, the church today, in many quarters of Christendom, is not much more than a building housing a religious organization where the Life-Giver has been replaced by programs, agendas, and man's wisdom. Instead of a living organism thriving on the rivers of living water, it's has become a carcass, bloated and lifeless bobbing up and down in a stagnant pool. Whenever the life goes out of the body, the body dies and becomes useless. The same holds true in the Body of Christ where the body detaches itself from the vine and tries to grow in its own way. Once the branch has been removed from the vine the life ceases to supply the branch with the nourishment it needs to grow God-ward and it will then necessarily grow man-ward. Jesus put it very clearly in JOH 15:4 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. o branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. either can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." When Christ ascended to the Father after His resurrection He sent the Comforter to be with you and me in Christ. This comforter is a person who is life and this person is the Holy Spirit of God. It is the Spirit who has been given to us for our ability to grow in this new life we have in Christ.

When we replace the things of the Spirit with the things of this world we have in essence tried to build on a spiritual house with earthly means. The Galatian church ran into this problem and Paul addresses this in GAL 3:3 "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing - if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?" It is God who builds His church, not some marketing firm in ew York who knows best how to make your church successful with the latest in growth methods. Addressing false teachers, Paul says in COL 1:24 " ow I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church." COL 2:19 "He (the false teacher) has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow." It's beyond me why anyone would want to try to usurp the work reserved only for God regarding the growth of His body. How can you improve on what God has done and will continue to do as we seek to grow according to His word? Again, Paul's words ring in my ears as I look at how people try to do this. GAL 3:3 "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" If we've begun with the Spirit, the question should be how do we continue in the Spirit to be this spiritual household, these living stones, this Body which Christ has formed and has breathed life into by giving His life and rising from the dead for the penalty of our sins? Well, it begins by seeking the things of the Spirit. One of the main things of the Spirit is the very word the Spirit has given us. We know it as the word of God. He has given us His word with the express purpose of directing us in the things of the Spirit. And in this we have the ability to be spiritually nourished. And if we are being spiritually nourished, guess what happens? We grow spiritually. And when we grow spiritually in accordance with the things of the Spirit we are able to accomplish the works of the Spirit which is to love and serve Christ. What happens so often in the church is that men try to speed up the process of the Spirit by cutting in front of Him and leading the way in their own strength. We become impatient, or we believe we have a more effective way of doing the Spirit's work. Doing the Spirit's work is submitting to the Spirit according to the Spirit's Word which you hold in your hands. As we seek the things of the Spirit we will be led by the Spirit. And as we're led by the Spirit we will be sensitive to do the work of the Spirit in His power, not ours. And whatever the outcome we can have a clear conscience that we were faithful witnesses, and what the Spirit decides to do with our efforts for Him will be according to His will and is therefore a good work. Sometimes we associate a good work for God as only something we can measure, be it the number of converts to the faith, the number of warm bodies we can get into Sunday school, or the sanctuary, or the way we expect people to react to our counsel. And yet we see time after time that what would appear to be an unsuccessful work for God turns out to be something used by the Spirit to accomplish things which we couldn't have imagined.

There aren't many churches today who when interviewing for positions in the church, would consider someone whose resume included: former accessory to murder; one who started riots in many cities he preached in. When asking this individual how effective his preaching was, if this individual answered, my preaching resulted in many cases, people stoning me, beating me with rods and tracking me down to the ends of the earth to try and discredit me and kill me. His chances of being on staff at that church might be slim. The question of course would be asked of him, how long did you spend in your former churches? If this individual answered, well, one of my longest pastorates was two and a half years, but in most of my churches I was there were between 6 months and a year. I wonder if that would been seen as a liability? This individual might be accused of not following prescribed and proven techniques of being a successful servant of God and instead of being brought on staff would be turned down as a failure and a disaster waiting to happen. This church would have turned down the apostle Paul. What made Paul's ministry so successful was the way the Spirit of God measured it. And it was measured by Paul's faithfulness to follow Christ and be obedient to Him as he was led by the Spirit to do the work, no matter how unsuccessful the world thought it to be. Because you see what appeared to be unsuccessful and unproductive in the worlds eyes was the very ministry that allowed you and me to come to Christ. Paul's ministry was to the Gentiles. Because he was faithful to Christ the Gentile world was given the message of hope found in the Savior. This is why it's essential we seek the Spirit and take comfort in the fact that as we are faithful to do His work in His power according to His word, He will be faithful to Himself and accomplish those things only He can do, be it turning the heart of a person to Christ or turning a believer back to the ways of Christ. The heart can only be the Spirit's work. And when man thinks he can turn the heart through his own means he has misunderstood his role in the Kingdom of God. It's not as though we don't address the heart through giving people the heart of God found in His word, but the results must ultimately be left in the hands of the one who formed the heart and brings life where there was darkness. Believe it or not this brings us back to our text. We are the house of God and if we're going to live in God's house then we must conform to the way in which He wants this house to run. This house is to run according the direction of the One who has been placed over the house. That one is the Head, even Jesus Christ, who desires to use you and me in this spiritual house to accomplish His will, not ours, unless of course our wills conform to His which is what He desires. So, this means that each one of us have been given the responsibility to seek Him and follow Him and do what He wants of us. This necessarily means that no one in His spiritual house can opt out of participating in His house and still be in His will. But, as we've said before it's not as though He expects us to do anything in our own strength which can be pretty scary if we truly want to serve Him. o, He wants us to understand that

since He has chosen us to be part of His house this world no longer has any claims on us and we are now free to serve Him and are given the ability to do so. Paul shows us how we now belong to One who has every intention of building us up in this house. EPH 2:19 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." In other words Jesus Christ Himself is joining you to the Body and Jesus Christ Himself is building you up in the Body so that you can effectively represent Him as the Holy Temple He has called you to be. He's got a very deep interest in you and your ability to represent Him. He doesn't expect you to do it on your own, and He doesn't expect you to reinvent the wheel when it comes to how we should serve Him. He's given us His life and His living word to give us everything we need to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter points this out in his second epistle. 2PE 1:2 "Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." I know this may be tough, but think back when you got your first job as a teen-ager. Remember how it was when you had to go and speak to an adult with authority and power. It was a very intimidating experience. But he hired you and set a time for you to start. You came in wondering what would be expected of you and then they told you what your task would be. What if they didn't do anything else. What if they pointed you to your task and said, have at it. Figure it out yourself. What a cruel way to start a new job. o, in most cases, someone spends some time with you and shows you what to do. In most cases they start you out with simpler tasks as they work you up to more important roles. This is what God does with His people in His household. He gently guides us and directs us and equips us. But He does want us to pay attention so that when He gives us a task we don't have to try and enter into it in our own wisdom and strength. He always there and He knows that we don't always get it the first time. But He's patient and only wanting our best. But He wants us to understand that being part of His spiritual house is not only for our own benefit but, most importantly, for His benefit as He desires to use us. I'd like to give you a montage of verses all dealing with this truth. I will attach them all and simply read them as one thought, because it is. But the point the Holy Spirit is making in these verses is to show us how important each one of us is as we are willing to be used by Him.

ROM 12:4 "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." 1CO 12:18 "But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 1CO 12:27 ow you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." EPH 4:11 "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. EPH 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." We as living stones are part of this spiritual house, this living Body, and when the Body is functioning as a body all the members are working together in unity for a common goal. This is why it's such a privilege, as well as a great responsibility, to understand that no matter where you are in your spiritual walk, God wants to use you. ow it's true that there are circumstances where our usefulness can be hindered, but it's not because of any lack on God's part. But God knows this and He knows our weaknesses. But He doesn't want us to stay in that state of being babes in Christ. Every believer starts as a babe in Christ, no matter at what age you come to Him. But as we partake of spiritual food, which is the word of God, and we appropriate the means of growth in prayer, and worship and fellowship with the saints and service in the Kingdom of God we will find ourselves growing. It's often a slow process, but it's a process none the less. And, as in life, you may even find yourself going through spiritual spurts of growth where God allows you to stretch by faith to go forward in areas you might have avoided in the past. And as you seek Him you might even find yourself turning away from the things of the flesh to embrace more of the Spirit and you marvel at how God can change your heart. And those things which were once enticing begin to fade into insignificance. But they will not happen unless two things take place in our lives. #1) We seek and love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. #2) We are willing to obey when that seeking results in Him showing us what He wants according to His word. But even there Jesus will take our desire and enable us to act on His behalf by faith as we love Him and desire to please Him. He tells us in JOH 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."

This was spoken to the disciples prior to Christ's resurrection. But He was faithful to His promise and He has given us His Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to be with us and is now in us, the Spirit of truth. This brings us back to the way in which Christ is building His spiritual house in each individual and in any particular local church and His Body as a whole. He's building it on a sure foundation and the One given the responsibility to grow us up is the Holy Spirit as He is continually pointing us back to the One who has given us this new life, Jesus Christ. 1PE 2:4 "As you come to him, the living Stone -rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." A priest is chosen of God to represent Him before the world. And you and I are given the high calling of being Christ's ambassadors to the world, but only as we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. o worldly sacrifice will do. o worldly or earthly substitute will be accepted. Only that which is prompted by the Spirit, in accordance with the word of the Spirit in the power provided by the Spirit. This is a spiritual house governed by our God who is Spirit. We're sometimes tempted to bring to God the work of our hands, which can be motivated by the flesh and the wisdom of the world and offer that as though it pleased God. Listen to what pleases God and what doesn't. 1SA 15:22 "But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." These next words were directed to the house of Israel by God Himself, but I believe they could be directed to those leaders in the church today who would rather tickle the ears of men rather than listen with spiritual ears to what the Spirit says to the churches. Instead, in many cases, they are compromising God's word and attempting to build a foundation which is sinking sand. AMO 5:21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice peace offerings I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" In other words, what will please God are the things which proceed from Him, not from the intentions of the flesh centered heart. The prophet Micah understood what pleased God. It wasn't what men think pleases God, but what God says that pleases Him. Micah said in MIC 6:6 "With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act

justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." This is a spiritual house to which we belong. The ways and the wisdom of the world are idols before Him if we try and replace His ways with these worldly things. And like the prophets of old who confronted Israel with the command to tear down their idols, we need to be tearing these idols down and replacing them with the One who has given us eternal life. Remember, "Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end." (HEB 3:6 ) We're in this for the long haul, which is not very long at all if we compare it to eternity. But we must "hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end." ext week I want us to look at what it means to hold fast firm until the end. And I hope that in the process we'll have a greater appreciation for what a great and faithful God we have who will never leave us or forsake us. But we'll also have a better appreciation of what our responsibility is to hold fast and the need to allow the Spirit to accomplish that task in our lives as we seek Him. You are a spiritual house whom God loves to dwell in and who will one day bring us home to Himself where the reality of this spiritual house will take on a whole new meaning. Be encouraged that God is working in and through us for His good pleasure. Let me end with an exhortation from the writer of Hebrews himself found in HEB 13:20 "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

24. Zane Hodges, op. cit., p. 786: "By a natural semantic shift to which the Greek word for house naturally lends itself, the writer moved from the thought of the house as the sphere where priestly activities transpired [i.e., the Temple] to the thought of the 'house' as consisting of the people who engaged in these activities [to all believers who each have their own priesthood]. His readers, he affirmed, comprise His (the Son's) 'house' contingent, however, on one important consideration: if they hold on to their courage... ...and the hope of which they boast... [which is a sure hope in eternal life]... [In other words] ...if some of the writers' Christian "brothers" should fall prey to an unbelieving heart which turns away from God] ...They would forfeit their roles... [not their salvation] ...in the Son's priestly house, which is only maintained by holding firmly to their Christian profession...." So a Christian who loses courage and thereby would become faithless becomes useless as an ambassador to Jesus Christ and is useless to himself relative to his future life in heaven. For at the Judgment Seat of Christ he will receive few if any rewards, (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:9-15). As a matter of fact, a Christian can remain in the royal family of God, (1 Pet 2:9; Gal 6:10), but lose his inheritance in heaven. And all believers each have a unique inheritance set aside for them, (ref. Col 1:9-12). A Christian will also lose his inheritance in heaven for living an immoral life but not his salvation, (Eph 5:1-6; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Cor 6:9-11). And Mt 25:14-30 illustrates that a believer's position, rewards and state of happiness I HEAVE are highly affected by what he

does on earth. There are going to be differences even to the point that for a time there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all of those who were faithless. They will be cast into the relative darkness outside the place of the marriage supper of the Lord Jesus Christ and His bride the church. Imagine that those believers who at long last reach heaven's shores and who receive their immortal bodies and who are married to the Lord Jesus Christ, (in heaven before the Second Coming), are then cast out of the joyful marriage supper, outside the brilliance of His glory and loving presence for the time of the marriage supper, a millennium, due to a wasteful immoral faithless life here on earth. They surely will weep and gnash their teeth in utter disappointment and sorrow! (Compare re: marriage supper: Mt 22:1-14; 8:11-12; Rev 19:7-9; 7:17.) <mt22.htm>. Finally, Lk 19:12-27 illustrates the same principles of rewards and position in heaven relative to faithfulness on earth. ote that the wicked servant remains a servant but ends up with nothing for a whole eternity! For he wasted his short life on earth. Zane Hodges states, (op. cit., p. 786): "As long as the readership held firmly to their Christian commitment, they also functioned within this priestly arrangement [being members of the house of God, i.e., the Body of Christ]. But just as one was a true Levite by birth could withdraw from participation in the Tabernacle of Moses' day, so too one who is truly a Christian by new birth may withdraw from his priestly role... [via sin, unbelief, lack of divine good works, wrong theology, etc.] within the functioning household [of God - the body of Christ]..." So faithlessness is OT the cause for one to lose ones salvation: [Compare 2 Tim 2:11-13]: (v. 11) "Here is a trustworthy saying: 'If we died with Him we will also live with Him; [By trusting alone in Christ alone, an individual is viewed by God as having died with Christ on the cross in order to have appropriated to him the payment and forgiveness for all of his sins, thereby being justified unto eternal life, (cp. Acts 10:43; Ro 6:3-10)] (v. 12) If we endure, we will also reign with Him. [ otice that an enduring faith will result in the reward of co-ruling with Christ] (v. 13) If we are faithless... [But if a believer is without faith, he cannot lose his salvation because of Christ's promise of eternal life to every believer] ...He will remain faithful... [to His promise of eternal life to the believer] ...for He cannot disown Himself" ["Himself" = His body = He cannot disown the body of believers, the Church, who are His body and are eternally secure no matter what]

So in one sense, only faithful Christians are His house - i.e., properly representative as Ambassadors of Jesus Christ.

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,
1. Barnes, “Wherefore - In view of the fact that the Author of the Christian dispensation has a rank far superior to that of Moses. Because Christ has claims on us far greater than those which Moses had, let us hearken to his voice, and dread his displeasure. As the Holy Ghost saith - In Psa_95:7-11. This is full proof that in the estimation of the author of this Epistle the writer of this Psalm was inspired. The Holy Spirit speaks through the word which he has revealed. The apostle quotes this passage and applies it to those whom he addressed, because the admonition was as pertinent and important under the Christian dispensation, as it was under the Jewish. The danger of hardening the heart by neglecting to hear his voice was as great, and the consequences would be as fearful and alarming. We should regard the solemn warnings in the Old Testament against sin, and against the danger of apostasy, as addressed by the Holy Spirit to us. They are as applicable to us as they were to those to whom they were at first addressed; and we need all the influence of such appeals, to keep us from apostasy as much as they did. Today - ow; at present. At the very time when the command is addressed to you. It is not to be put off until tomorrow. All God’s commands relate to “the present” - to this day - to the passing moment. He gives us no commands “about the future.” He does not require us to repent and to turn to him “tomorrow,” or 10 years hence. The reasons are obvious: (1) Duty pertains to the present. It is our duty to turn from sin, and to love him now. (2) We know not that we shall live to another day. A command, therefore, could not extend to that time unless it were accompanied with “a revelation” that we should live until then and such a revelation God does not choose to give. Every one, therefore, should feel that whatever commands God addresses to him are addressed to him now. Whatever guilt he incurs by neglecting those commands is incurred now. For the present neglect and disobedience each one is to answer - and each one must give account to God for what he does today. If ye will hear - In case you are willing to hearken to God, listen now, and do not defer it to a future period. There is much in a “willingness” to hear the voice of God. A willingness to learn is usually the precursor of great attainments in knowledge. A “willingness” to reform, is usually the precursor of reformation. Get a man “willing” to break off his habits of profaneness or intemperance, and usually all the rest is easy. The great difficulty in the mind of a sinner is in his will. He is unwilling to hear the voice of God; unwilling that he should reign over him; unwilling now to attend to religion. While this unwillingness lasts he will make no efforts, and he sees, or

creates a thousand difficulties in the way of his becoming a Christian. But when that unwillingness is overcome, and he is disposed to engage in the work of religion, difficulties vanish, and the work of salvation becomes easy. His voice - The voice of God speaking to us: (1) In his written word; (2) In the preached gospel; (3) In our own consciences; (4) In the events of his Providence; (5) In the admonitions of our relatives and friends. Whatever conveys to us the truth of God, or is adapted to impress that on us, may be regarded as “his voice” speaking to us. He thus speaks to us “every day” in some of these ways; and every day, therefore, he may entreat us not to harden our hearts.

2. Clarke, “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today - These words are quoted from Psa_95:7; and as they were written by David, and attributed here to the Holy Ghost, it proves that David wrote, by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit. As these words were originally a warning to the Israelites not to provoke God, lest they should be excluded from that rest which he had promised them, the apostle uses them here to persuade the Christians in Palestine to hold fast their religious privileges, and, the grace they had received, lest they should come short of that state of future glory which Christ had prepared for them. The words strongly imply, as indeed does the whole epistle, the possibility of falling from the grace of God, and perishing everlastingly; and without this supposition these words, and all such like, which make more than two-thirds of the whole of Divine revelation, would have neither sense nor meaning. Why should God entreat man to receive his mercy, if he have rendered this impossible? Why should he exhort a believer to persevere, if it be impossible for him to fall away? What contemptible quibbling have men used to maintain a false and dangerous tenet against the whole tenor of the word of God! Angels fell Adam fell - Solomon fell - and multitudes of believers have fallen, and, for aught we know, rose no more; and yet we are told that we cannot finally lose the benefits of our conversion! Satan preached this doctrine to our first parents; they believed him, sinned, and fell; and brought a whole world to ruin!

2B. Calvin, “As the Holy Ghost saith, etc. This availed much more to touch their hearts than if he had quoted David by name. And it is useful for us to familiarize ourselves with such expressions, so that we may remember that the words adduced from the books of the prophets are those of God and not of men. But as this sentence, Today, if ye will hear his voice, is a part of a former verse, some have not unsuitably rendered it thus, "Would to God you would this day hear his voice." It is indeed certain that when David called the Jews God's people, he immediately drew this conclusion, that the voice of God ought to have been heard by them; for as to those whom he there invited to sing praises to God and to celebrate his goodness, he reminded them at the same time that obedience was the chief worship which he required, and that it was

better than all sacrifices. The chief thing, then, was to obey the word of God.

3. Gill, “Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith,.... In Psa_95:7 today if you will hear his voice; either the precepts of Christ, to hear which is to obey them; and this is an acknowledgment to Christ as King of saints, and is a testimony of love to him, and is wellpleasing in his sight; and in which the saints find pleasure themselves, and profit also: or the Gospel of Christ, which is a voice of love, grace, and mercy; of peace and reconciliation; of pardon and righteousness; of liberty, redemption, and salvation by Christ; and to hear it, is not only to hear it externally, but internally, so as to understand it, and distinguish it from the voice of a stranger, and to approve of it, and believe it, and put in practice what is heard: and "today" may intend some festival day in David's time, when, and on account of which, this psalm was penned; as the feast of tabernacles, which was a type of Christ tabernacling in human nature; or it may regard the time of man's life, while it is day, or the present instant of life: or rather the whole Gospel dispensation. The psalm from whence these and some following words are taken, belongs to the Messiah; for the person the subject of it, is called the rock of our salvation; and every thing in it is applicable to him; as the ascription of deity, and divine worship; the creation and preservation of the universe; yea, he is represented as a shepherd, and the saints as his sheep; which plainly points at the office of Christ; and these very words are often made use of by the Jews, and applied to the Messiah, showing that if the Jews would repent but one day, or keep the sabbath but one day, the son of David, the Messiah, would come; since it is said, "today if you will hear his voice" (d); which the Chaldee paraphrase renders ‫" ,מימריה‬his Word", his essential Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. 4. Jamison 7-11, “Exhortation from Psa_95:7-11, not through unbelief to lose participation in the spiritual house. Seeing that we are the house of God if we hold fast our confidence ... (Heb_3:6). Jesus is “faithful,” be not ye unfaithful (Heb_3:2, Heb_3:12). The sentence beginning with “wherefore,” interrupted by the parenthesis confirming the argument from Psa_95:7-11, is completed at Heb_3:12, “Take heed,” etc. Holy Ghost saith — by the inspired Psalmist; so that the words of the latter are the words of God Himself. To-day — at length; in David’s day, as contrasted with the days of Moses in the wilderness, and the whole time since then, during which they had been rebellious against God’s voice; as for instance, in the wilderness (Heb_3:8). The Psalm, each fresh time when used in public worship, by “to-day,” will mean the particular day when it was, or is, used. hear — obediently. his voice — of grace. 5.William Barclay 7-19, “The writer to the Hebrews has just been striving to prove the unique supremacy of Jesus and now he leaves argument for exhortation. He presses upon his hearers the inevitable consequence of this unique supremacy. If Jesus is so uniquely great, it follows that complete trust and complete obedience must be given to him. If they harden their hearts and refuse to give him their obedient trust the consequences are bound to be terrible. The way in which he buttresses his argument is for us very difficult for it is doubly allusive. He

begins by making a quotation from Ps.95:7-11. That Psalm appeals to those who hear it not to be like the children of Israel but, as the King James Version renders it. "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation." ow the two phrases, the provocation and the day of temptation translate two Hebrew words which are place names--Massah and Meribah. The whole is a reference to the story told in Exo.17:1-7 and um.20:1-13. These passages tell of a rebellious incident in the pilgrimage of the children of Israel. They were thirsty in the desert and railed against Moses, regretting that they had ever left Egypt and forswearing their trust in God. In the umbers version of the story God told Moses to speak to the limestone rock and water would gush forth. But Moses in his anger did not speak to the rock; he struck it. The water came forth but for this act of distrust and disobedience God declared that Moses would never be allowed to lead the people into the promised land. "Very certainly they shall not enter in to my rest," means, "Very certainly they will not enter into the Promised Land." To wanderers in the desert the Promised Land was the place of rest, and it was often called the rest (compare Deut.12:9). The point is that the disobedience and the distrust of Israel debarred them from the blessings of God that they might have enjoyed. The writer to the Hebrews says to his people, "Beware lest you show the same disobedience and distrust of God that your forefathers showed, and that you do not for that reason lose the blessings you might have had, just as they lost theirs." In effect he says, "While there is yet time, while you can still speak of `today' give God the trust and the obedience that he must have." For the individual "today" means "while life lasts" and the writer to the Hebrews is saying, "While you have the chance, give God the submission you ought to give. Give it to him before your day closes." There are certain great warnings here. (i) God makes men an offer. Just as he offered the Israelites the blessings of the Promised Land, he offers to all men the blessings of a life which is far beyond the life that men can live without him. (ii) But to obtain the blessings of God two things are necessary. (a) Trust is necessary. We must believe that what God says is true. We must be willing to stake our lives on his promises. (b) Obedience is necessary. It is just as if a doctor were to say to us: "I can cure you if you obey my instructions implicitly." It is just as if a teacher were to say: "I can make you a scholar if you follow my curriculum with absolute fidelity." It is just as if a trainer were to say to an athlete: "I can make you a champion if you do not deviate from the discipline that I lay down." In any realm of life success depends on obedience to the word of the expert. God, if we may put it so, is the expert in life and real happiness depends on obedience to him. (iii) To the offer of God there is a limit. That limit is the duration of life. We never know when that limit will be reached. We speak easily about "tomorrow" but for us tomorrow may never come. All we have is today. Someone has said: "We should live each day as if it were a lifetime." God's offer must be accepted today; the trust a!nd the obedience must be given today--for we cannot be sure that there will be a tomorrow for us. Here we have the supreme offer of God, but it is only for perfect trust and full obedience, and it must be accepted now--or it may be too late. 6. ote again how concerned the writer is to identify Scripture as originating not with human beings but with God. The formula as the Holy Spirit says underscores the solemnity of the warning which marks the writer's conviction that the Psalms are the very voice of God. The Voice of the Dove by Joaquin Miller

COME listen, O Love, to the voice of the dove, Come, hearken and hear him say, There are many To-morrows, my Love, my Love,- There is only one To-day. And all day long you can hear him say, This day in purple is rolled, And the baby stars of the milky-way- They are cradled in cradles of gold. ow what is thy secret, serene gray dove, Of singing so sweetly alway? “There are many To-morrows, my Love, my Love,- There is only one To-day.”

7. JAMES FOWLER, "Therefore," to relate the faithfulness of Moses and Christ to the needed faithfulness of the readers, Paul leads into an extended quotation of Psalm 95:7-11 by writing, "just as the Holy Spirit says,..." Attributing Scripture to the Holy Spirit (cf. 10:15), though the psalm was penned by David, Paul evidences his belief that the Old Testament Scriptures were divinely inspired (cf. II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21), divinely authoritative, and continuously contemporarily applicable. This quotation of Psalm 95:7-11 is again from the Greek translation of the Septuagint (LXX). The importance of the words of this quotation for application in the lives of the Jerusalem saints is evident in Paul's repeated quoting of the text (3:13,15; 4:3,5,7) and the fact that it serves as the foundation of his argument all the way through the next section (4:1-13). The psalmist, David, was encouraging his own generation to faithfulness by referring to a previous historical occasion when the Israelite people led by Moses in the wilderness failed to be receptive to God's direction and action. "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE," David wrote, you should learn from the negative example (cf. I Cor. 10:6,11) of your forefathers. When God's people hear God's voice, however expressed, they should be receptive to what God wants to do. That was David's emphasis to his generation, and that was Paul's application of this text for the first-century Christians of Jerusalem.

8. R. A. TORREY, “THE DAY OF GOLDE OPPORTU ITY is today. Golden opportunities, opportunities of priceless worth, are open to every one of us today. But "tomorrow" has no sure promise for any one of us. "The Holy Spirit says, Today," and Conscience also cries, "Today," and the voice of Reason and the voice of History and the voice of Experience unite in one loud chorus and shout, "Today." Only the voices of indifference and laziness and folly murmur, "Tomorrow." The Holy Spirit is ever calling, "Today." Men in their folly are forever saying, "Tomorrow." “I wish to give you tonight some conclusive and unanswerable reasons why every man and woman in this auditorium who makes any pretensions to intelligence and common sense should not only accept the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior, but should accept Him here before he leaves this building tonight, if he has not already done it. What I want to get is action, immediate action, intelligent and wise action. And the only action that is intelligent and wise for anyone who has not already

accepted Jesus Christ is to accept Him right here tonight. Resolutions to do the right thing and the wise thing at some indefinite time in the future are of no value whatever. God's time is now. "The Holy Spirit says, Today." 9. PI K, “What follows in our present portion contains a solemn and practical application of that which we have briefly reviewed above. Here the apostle is moved to remind the Hebrews of the unfaithfulness of Israel in the past and of the dire consequences which followed their failure to hold fast unto the end of their wilderness pilgrimage the confidence and rejoicing of the hope which God had set before them. A passage is quoted from the 95th Psalm which gives most searching point to both that which precedes and to that which follows. The path in which God’s people are called to walk is that of faith, and such a path is necessarily full of testings, that is, of difficulties and trials, and many are the allurements for tempting us to wander off into "By-path meadow." Many, too, are the warnings and danger signals, which the faithfulness of God has erected; unto one of them we shall now turn. "Wherefore" (verse 7). This opening word of our present passage possesses a threefold force. First, it is a conclusion drawn from all that precedes. Second, it prefaces the application of what is found in Hebrews 3:1-6. Third, it lays a foundation for what follows. The reader will observe that the remaining words of verse 7 and all of verses 8-11 are placed in brackets, and we believe rightly so, the sentence being completed in verse 12: "Wherefore take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." The reasons for this exhortation have been pointed out above. First, because of the supreme excellency of our Redeemer, exalted high above all Israel’s prophets, and given a name more excellent than any ever conferred on the angels; therefore, those who belong to Him should give good heed that they harden not their hearts against Him, nor depart from Him. Second, because the Apostle, Christ Jesus, is worthy of more honor than Moses, then how incumbent it is upon His people to be especially watchful that they be not, by any means, turned from that obedience which He requires and which is most certainly due Him. Third, in view of the lamentable history of Israel, who, despite God’s wondrous favors to them, hardened their hearts, grieved Him, and so provoked Him to wrath, that He sware they should not enter into His rest, how much on our guard we need to be of "holding fast" the confidence and rejoicing of our hope "firm unto the end!" "As the Holy Spirit saith." Striking indeed is it to mark the way in which the apostle introduces the quotation made from the Old Testament. It is from the 95th Psalm, but the human instrument that was employed in the penning of it is ignored, attention being directed to its Divine Author, the One who "moved" the Psalmist-cf. 2 Peter 1:20, 21. The reason for this, here, seems to be because Paul would press upon these Hebrews the weightiness, the Divine authority of the words he was about to quote: consider well that what follows are the words of the Holy Spirit, so that you may promptly and unmurmuringly submit yourselves thereunto. "As the Holy Spirit saith." Striking indeed is it to mark the way it links up with Hebrews 1:1 and Hebrews 2:3. In the former it is God, the Father, who "spake." In Hebrews 2:3, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord?" there it is the Son. Here in Hebrews 3:7 the Speaker is the Spirit; thus, by linking together these three passages we hear all the Persons of the Godhead. Observe, next, the tense of the verb used here; it is not "the Holy Spirit said," but "saith:" it is an ever-present, living message to God’s people in each succeeding generation. "Whatever was given by inspiration from the Holy Ghost, and is recorded in the Scripture for the use of the Church, He continues therein to speak it unto

us unto this day" (Dr. John Owen). Let the reader also carefully compare the seven-timesrepeated, "he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. "As the Holy Spirit saith." Dr. Gouge has pointed out how that this sentence teaches us four things about the Holy Spirit. First, that He is true God: for "God spake by the mouth of David" (Acts 4:25). "God" spake by the prophets (Heb. 1:1), and they "spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21). Second, the Holy Spirit is a distinct person: He "saith." An influence, a mere abstraction, cannot speak. Third, the Holy Spirit subsisted before Christ was manifested in the flesh, for He spake through David. True, He is called, "the Spirit of Christ," yet that He was before His incarnation is proven by Genesis 1:2 and other scriptures. Fourth, He is the Author of the Old Testament Scriptures, therefore are they of Divine inspiration and authority. "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (verses 7, 8). Here begins the apostle’s quotation from Psalm 95, the first portion of which records a most fervent call (verses 1, 6) for the people of God to be joyful, and come before Him as worshippers. Most appropriate was the reference to this Psalm here, for the contents of its first seven verses contain, virtually an amplification of the "consider" of Hebrews 3:1. There the Hebrews were enjoined to be occupied with Christ, and if their hearts were engaged with His surpassing excellency and exalted greatness, then would they "come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms" (Ps. 95:2). Their Apostle and High Priest had "built all things" (Heb. 3:4), being none other than God. The same truth is avowed in Psalm 95:3-5, "For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land." The apprehension of this will prepare us for a response to what follows, "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" (Ps. 95:6,7). The next thing in the Psalm is, "Today, if ye will hear His voice harden not your heart." So the next thing in Hebrews 3 is, "whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Thus the Psalmist admonished those addressed in his day to hearken to the voice of the Lord, and not to harden their hearts against Him as had their ancestors before them. By quoting this here in Hebrews 3, the apostle at once intimated what is the opposite course from holding fast their confidence. "Today" signifies the time present, yet so as to include a continuance of it. It is not to be limited to twenty-four hours, instead, this term sometimes covers a present interval which consists of many days, yea years. In Hebrews 3:13 it is said, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today." So in Hebrews 13:8 we read, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever." So in our text. As that present time wherein David lived was to him and those then alive "today", so that present time in which the apostle and the Hebrews lived was to them "today," and the time wherein we now live, is to us "today." It covers that interval while men are alive on earth, while God’s grace and blessing are available to them. It spans the entire period of our wilderness pilgrimage. Thus the "end" of Hebrews 3:6 is the close of the "today" in verse 7. "If ye will hear His voice." "Unto you, O men I call; and My voice is to the sons of man" (Pro. 8:4). But no doubt the immediate reference in our text is unto those professing to be God’s people. The "voice" of God is the signification of His will, which is the rule of our obedience. His will is made known in His Word, which is a living Word, by which the voice of God is now

uttered. But, alas, we are capable of closing our ears to His voice. Of old God complained, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel cloth not know. My people cloth not consider" (Isa. 1:3). To "hear" God’s voice signifies to attend reverently to what He says, to diligently ponder, to readily receive, and to heed or obey it. It is the hardening of our hearts which prevents us, really, hearing His voice, as the next clause intimates. To it we now turn. "If ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." It is to the heart God’s Word is addressed, that moral center of our beings out of which are the issues of life (Pro. 4:23). There may be conviction of the conscience, the assent of the intellect, the admiration of understanding, but unless the heart is moved there is no response. A tender heart is a pliable and responsive one; a hard heart is obdurate and rebellious. Here hardening of the heart is attributed to the creature: it is due to impenitency (Rom. 2:5), unbelief (Heb. 3:12), disobedience (Ps. 95:8). "It appears that unto this sinful hardening of the heart which the people in the wilderness were guilty of, and which the apostle here warns the Hebrews to avoid, there are three things that do concur: 1. A sinful neglect, in not taking due notice of the ways and means whereby God calls any unto faith and obedience. 2. A sinful forgetfulness and casting out of the heart and mind such convictions as God by His word and works, His mercies and judgments, His deliverances and afflictions, at any time is pleased to cast into them and fasten upon them. 3. An obstinate cleaving of the affections unto carnal and sensual objects, practically preferring them above the motives unto obedience that God proposeth unto us. Where these things are so, the hearts of men are so hardened, that in an ordinary way, they cannot hearken unto the voice of God. Such is the nature, efficacy and power of the voice or word of God, that men cannot withstand or resist it without a sinful hardening of themselves against it. Every one to whom the word is duly revealed, who is not converted of God, doth voluntarily oppose his own obstinancy unto its efficacy and operation. If men will add new obstinacy and hardness to their minds and hearts, if they will fortify themselves against the word with prejudices and dislikes, if they will resist its work through a love to their lusts and corrupt affections, God may justly leave them to perish, and to be filled with the fruit of their own ways" (Dr. John Owen). 10. STEDMA , “When Israel Failed to Enter Rest (3:7-11) Once again the writer draws from the treasury of the Psalms to support his warning. The beginning of Psalm 95 describes worship which is acceptable to God but closes with a flashback to the false worship of Israel in the wilderness. They had outwardly seen themselves as God's flock, but in their hearts they were hard against him and complained to Moses about their lack of water. The incident is recorded in Exodus 17:1-7. After God miraculously met their thirst by ordering Moses to strike the rock and bring forth water, Moses named the place Meribah (which means "quarreling,") and Massah (which means "testing"). Unfortunately, their attitude was not one of quiet trust in God, but one of fretful complaint and querulous challenge. This outlook was repeated many times (ten times, according to um 14:22) throughout the wilderness wanderings until at last God said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest' " (Ps 95:10-11). (12) God's anger is not lightly aroused. Their grumblings and murmurings were patiently endured over a span of forty years. On occasion God sought to make them aware of their ingratitude and rebellion by visiting them with deserved punishment (fire, plagues, quails and poisonous serpents). But he always offered repentance and recovery. Still, their complaints continued and their hearts gradually hardened until, at Kadesh-Barnea, when God commanded them to enter the land of Canaan and take it for their own, they rebelled and refused to go up. Finally, God

spoke in anger and said, "Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" ote the reasons for his solemn oath: (1) They continually went astray in their heart Their inward life was askew. Rather than having a grateful spirit for astounding deliverances and limitless blessings, there was a settled attitude of complaint because everything did not go exactly as they desired each day. They saw themselves as deserving more than they were getting, and they resented it, not with an occasional outburst of displeasure, but with a constant harping that wore down everyone's nerves. (2) They had not learned God's ways. Over forty years, their real knowledge of God had not increased because their grumbling hearts blinded their spiritual eyes. A teachable spirit sustains a grateful heart. Centuries later Jesus would pray: " ow this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (In 17:23). This failure to grow in knowledge of God's ways is the very danger our author sees as a possibility for his own readers. He reminds them of this episode in Israel's history so they might heed its warning. Full apostasy is present when God says of anyone, They shall never enter my rest. This is the first use of the word rest in Hebrews. This word describes the end of wandering and restlessness, and promises calmness and tranquillity. Here it clearly refers to the land of Canaan and the promise of a settled state of peace and full supply. But, as we shall see, this Canaan rest was a symbol, a shadow, of a greater rest available to the people of God in the future. The failure to correct a habit of grumbling and murmuring against God led over a million Israelites to such a hardened state of heart that they were unable to lay hold of the opportunity to enter the land of promise when they came to its borders. They perished at an average of almost ninety deaths a day, until the generation that left Egypt (except for Joshua and Caleb) had died out. 11. HAH , “The point that Christ is superior to Moses made in Hebrews 3:6 is followed by an extended Scripture quotation from Psalm 95 in verses 7-11, a warning and admonition in verses 12-15, and a series of questions in verses 16-19 that complete the interpretation of Psalm 95 and make the author's concluding application.. “The quotation formula used by the author reflects his high view of Scripture. "Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says" is similar to expressions found in other Jewish writings as introductions to Old Testament quotations. It reveals the Jewish understanding that not only is Scripture the Word of God, it is especially the work of the Holy Spirit to inspire Scripture. Judaism understood the Scriptures to be the product of prophets and prophetic kinds of people. Prophesy was the product of the Holy Spirit in Jewish thinking. Thus there was a direct connection between the Holy Spirit and the inspiration of Scripture in Jewish thought. Even more important is the present tense of the verb says. ot only did the Holy Spirit inspire Scripture through the prophets who wrote it, the Holy Spirit also speaks now and continues to speak through the Scripture. Unless the Holy Spirit is making the word of God alive and effective in our lives, our view of inspiration of Scripture has little impact on our lives. The author of Hebrews was convinced that what the psalmist sang about the Israelites in the wilderness (centuries earlier) had relevance and meaning for the community of faith in its time of pressure in the first century. One of the chief evidences of inspiration is the Holy Spirit's ability to take words written to and about people centuries ago and make those words speak with the power of God to a new generation

“Psalm 95 has two major sections. Verses 1-7a of the psalm were a call to worship God. Verses 7b-11, quoted by our author, were a warning against disobeying God by referring back to a painful time in Israel's history. Psalm 95 has been used in synagogue worship from ancient times to the present as a prelude to the Friday evening and Sabbath morning synagogue worship. o doubt the original readers of the book of Hebrews would have been familiar with the psalm from their own experiences of synagogue worship. There is evidence the psalm was sung as part of the temple service in Jerusalem on Sabbath mornings. It is important that the two parts of Psalm 95 be kept together. The worship of God called for in the first part of the psalm is important and necessary. But that worship must come from sincere and obedient hearts. We separate the psalm into two parts - the call to worship and the warning against hardness of heart. But in reality, the psalm was one call to worship. The second part demanded searching self-examination of one's heart as part of the process of coming into the presence of God. “Hebrew poetry was written with what is called parallelism (see Hebrew Poetry: Parallelism). In this case hear his voice is a parallel thought to not harden your hearts. That is, hearing the voice of God means having hearts that are open and responsive to him rather than hard and closed. The words of the psalm are directly applicable to the readers of the book of Hebrews. Those readers were under pressure for their faith in Christ; they were being tempted to give up their faith. But to give up the faith means turning their backs to and closing both their ears and hearts to the entreaties of God. The words of the psalm say exactly what the writer of Hebrews want to say, "don't harden your heart" against God's effort to strengthen and encourage you. Don't resist God's efforts to help you in the midst of your pressure and trouble. ISRAEL HARDE ED THEIR HEARTS... 1. The quotation in verses 7-11 is from Psa 95:7-11 a. In which the Holy Spirit warned Israel not to be like the fathers in the wilderness b. A warning which the Hebrew writer found just as necessary in his day 2. In the wilderness, the Israelites had... a. Hardened their hearts in rebelling against God b. Tested (tried) God with their lack of faith 3. This they did many times during the forty years of wandering, but especially... a. At the beginning, with the incident at Massah ("tempted") and Meribah ("contention") - cf. Ex 17:1-7 b. Toward the end, with the incident at Kadesh - u 27:14; cf. 20:1-13 B. THEREFORE THEY DID OT E TER GOD'S REST... 1. God became angry with that generation in the wilderness for their persistent rebellion - e.g., Psa 106:13-33 2. So God swore that they would not enter His rest - cf. u 14: 22-24,26-35 a. Of those over the age of 20 when they departed from Egypt, only Caleb and Joshua entered the promised land b. The rest (of which there were 603,548 men) died in the wilderness!

[Because of hardened hearts Israel departed from God which led to rebellion. In turn, they fell short of the Canaan rest that had been promised them. With "A Warning From The Wilderness" fresh on their minds, the writer then exhorts his brethren by warning them of...] 12. John A. Holt, Senior Pastor, “I have a book at home called "Basic Electricity". In addition to instruction regarding electricity, the book also contains warnings. If you work around electricity, you must learn how to survive. Heeding the warnings is a great way to enjoy the blessings of electricity and to increase your lifespan. I have a book called the Bible...which I believe is God's inerrant, infallible word. I believe that my life will be judged by this Book. This book also contains warnings. Heeding the warnings is the only way to enjoy the blessings of God here in this life and to gain eternity with God in the life to come. ot many people would question the authority or validity of the book on electricity. ILLUS.-- I know a man who is an electrical "lineman". He works on the high power lines. He told me once of the strict adherence to the book that their work required. He said this was necessary because you seldom get the chance to make more than one mistake. And I heard the stories about those who became careless or somewhat cocky or unteachable in their work on the lines. Unfortunately, there are many people who would take the book on electricity and its warnings much more seriously than they would take the Bible and its warnings. People question the authority of God's Word over every area of our lives. I have heard people say regarding some biblical truth, "I don't believe that"...as if by not believing it, I negate it as truth and avoid any accountability to God for obeying it. This is the spirit of our age when it comes to truth and God's authority over every area of our lives. Our culture teaches us that we are the ones who must define what is to be believed, not some external authority. So, I become the judge of what is to be believed or not believed. I define what is reality. The basis for this decision is human experience...not the teaching of the Bible or even the church. However, the scriptures teach me that truth must come to me from an outside source because I cannot trust my heart to discern what is true and what is false. Therefore the Holy Spirit has spoken God's Word to us and the Holy Spirit has caused that Word to be written down by human agents. When I interact with these words (Bible), I am not dealing with the knowledge and authority of some human author who writes a book on basic electricity. I am dealing with the Holy Spirit, with the Creator God, with Jesus the Living Word. Thus, the warnings to not be foolish about our response to His Word. Thus the warning to hear His voice and to not harden my heart against Him and His truth. Thus the warning to not rebell and choose the path of disobedience. If with great respect I approach electricity following very carefully the written instruction; would it be even wiser still to have far greater respect for God and His Word? Let's listen to what the Holy Spirit says to us: READ: VERSES 7-11 All the weight of these warnings rests on one little two letter word. The "IF" word. "If you hear His voice...if you hold firm till the end..."

We often use the "if" word to procrastinate...to put something off until another day or time. EXAMPLES - "If I have the time...If I'm not too tired...If I have the money...If everything goes well.." The Holy Spirit uses the "IF" word to focus on today. When the great evangelist D.L. Moody began his ministry, he would often conclude his messages by saying: "Go home and think about what I've said." One night during a crusade in Chicago, he told the people to do just that. But that night the Chicago fire broke out and some who had heard and gone home to think about it died without another chance. After that, Moody began to focus on OW and TODAY. That's what the Holy Spirit is saying in these scriptures. TODAY is the moment when God is speaking to your life. TODAY, is important because when the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about your life, about salvation, or about obedience in some particular area of your life...that is the moment when your conscience is sensitive to God. When we ignore the Holy Spirit, when we put off decision and obedience for another time, when we say "no"....then hardness of heart begins to set in. One "no" leads to another "no" and soon this pattern of responsiveness to God leads to hardness, stubbornness, and unwillingness to yield to God and surrender to His Voice as the Word speaks to us. This hardening of the heart is proven by the behavior which God calls "rebellion". Our true heart condition is demonstrated by behavior. Instead of just talking about hardness of the heart, unbelief, and rebellion in an abstract way; the Holy Spirit gives us a moment in history which we can use as a reference point for our own lives. The rebellion referred to is that of umbers 13 and 14 in which the Israelites refused to obey God in taking the land He had promised them. From this story we understand that "not obeying" God is called......REBELLIO ! That sounds harsh. You mean, if I disobey God I am a rebel? Well, examine the story account. We are not talking about spiritual novices here. We are not talking about people who knew nothing about God. We are talking about life patterns that lead to hardness of heart. We are talking about doubting which led to complaining, which led to unbelief, which led to disobedience. The Bible says that these people had tested God. What does that mean in this story? We know that there are different kinds of testing. Well, this testing was the the testing of stepping out in faith to obey God's Word. At times God tells us to test His promises, but He never tells us to test His commands! So the principle is: Test His promises and obey His commands! The testing referred to in this story is the testing of repeated distrust. Distrust that led to disobedience. Look at how this spiritual pattern works: LVI.I don't believe, so I disobey. LVII.I don't see any immediate consequences. It seems that God is still helping and blessing me. LVIII.I interpret that as, "It doesn't really matter, God under- stands, therefore there will not be any consequences. LIX.I repeat the pattern. Soon instead of God's mercy bringing repentance and obedience; His mercy is an excuse for

going my own way and doing things my way instead of basing my life on what God has said. Then hardness sets in. Then judgment comes. And, as with Israel, even though they cried and repented, even though God forgave them; the consequences were irreversible! READ: Romans 2:4-11 These people had experienced blessing after blessing from God's hand. God had seen them through crisis times. God had wrought miracles on their behalf. But after each blessing they were satsified only for a brief time. Then they started to complain and doubt God. Then they wanted more proof. Unbelief never has enough proof, and asking for more proof is simply a pretext, an excuse for not believing and for disobeying. The Holy Spirit uses this story to warn us: "Don't make excuses like they did. Don't harden your hearts toward God like they did. Don't go down the path of disobedience like they did choosing to rebel against God's authority. If you do this, you will lose your opportunity; you will lose blessings God has for you, and you will bring consequences upon yourself for which there will be no escape. EXAMPLE: - Some of you have grown up in homes where the blessing of God has kept your family together. If it wasn't for Jesus, some of your parents would not be in God's family today and you might have been raised in an atmosphere of addiction, immorality, and shame. God has seen you through and brought you to the edge of your promised land...the life that God has designed for you. You can harden your heart and rebel only to wander in a tragic wilderness...OR...you can believe, obey, and enter into the future God has prepared for you. Sometimes people say, "Well, I just need more proof..." When the real need is to repent of our sins and commit ourselves to Jesus. When we resist God today, we do the same as the Israelites. We "put Him off" for some other day because we love our sin, love our own way, and love our plans too much to give it all up for God. This is the great sin of unbelief. It is an offense against God and an indictment against ourselves. Thus the Holy Spirit is saying to everyone who hears God's Word: "Respond to Jesus while your heart is still warmed and softened by His truth, while it is still sensitive. Respond to His loving kindness and His tender mercies which are designed to bring you to repentance. Respond, before hardness sets in and you begin to ignore God's voice and follow your own heart, and thus bring wrath upon yourself. READ: VERSES 12-18 "See to it"..."Take heed"..."Therefore beware" See to your heart. Watch your heart's condition. Look at the spiritual choices you make and that will give you an idea of your heart's condition. This is not an emotional matter but a behavioral one. The Holy Spirit warns about an evil heart of unbelief. This is a diseased heart. A heart filled with a dis-ease that only Jesus can heal. This dis-ease is the condition of many hearts today. It is the condition of the hearts of some who call themselves Christians. This dis-ease is the condition of a heart not trusting in and not resting in Jesus. Such a heart is turned away from God and turned toward this world and its offerings. The words "turns away" in verse 12 mean "to stand off from". This is a relational word. If I "stand off from" you...I am keeping my distance...I don't want to get too close. People with this condition sit in church pews every Sunday! They have a form of godliness...but in their life style and daily choices they stand off from Jesus, from God's Word, from the Holy Spirit, and from Christ's Lordship. I call these people "Cultural Christians". Sin's deceitfulness and trickery has invaded their lives. They don't think Biblically in running their lives...they think culturally.

They are interested in self improvement and self fulfillment, self enhancement, self esteem, etc. But, human improvement is OT our mission and message as the church of Jesus Christ. Human salvation IS our mission and message. Why am I making this distinction? Because cultural Christianity has become a way of life for many people who claim to belong to Jesus...but they are really standing far off from Him while they run their own lives according to the dictates of self, according to the popular cultural trends, according to what looks wise in their own eyes. And the result is their souls are filled with the same dis-ease that characterizes our age. A good prayer for all of us: "Holy Spirit, show me how my culture intrudes into my lifestyle and my thinking. Show me how my culture affects my capacity for truth, my desire for God, and my obedience to God. Show me and then change me!" In our culture, prayer, the Bible, the church, truth, Biblical spirituality, etc are irrelevant. They are irrelevant because they are not seen as efficient or expedient. They are not seen as practical or as enhancing the quality of life. Technoloy is good because it makes life more efficient. Prayer is not a technological efficient use of time; it is not seen as practical to our technological age. Thus our culture pulls us more and more into a material world and thus we "stand off" from the spiritual world. This is why "stress seminars" attract more people than "prayer meetings", or a "Money management and growth" seminar is more appealing than a seminar on "Understanding God's Word." David Wells warns that "the hand that gives so generously in the material realm also takes away devastatingly in the spiritual." Apply this with your own family. The more time, energy, and priority you put in to trying to give them the best of this world....means the less time, energy, and priority on what we can give them of the spiritual. We want our children to have the benefits and opportunities of our generation...but at what price? Jesus knew we would face this, so He told us how to stay on course: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...and all these other things shall be added unto you." You might be thinking: "But didn't you teach in a previous lesson that God understands the pressures of our lives? Doesn't God understand my time, energy, and money pressures?" Yes, He does and that is one of the reasons Matthew 6:33 is in the Bible. God does understand and He has given us His Word to guide us in our use of time, energy, and money. Life's pressures are reduced amazingly when we choose to put God first and obey God first. However, when we do like the Israelites and follow our own hearts, then at some point we begin to "stand off from" God and His church. At some point we begin to seek what we want for self or our family first and then we try to fit God in because, after all, we are still Christians in contrast to our partying, drinking neighbors. These temptations are not strange to any of us here. Your heart and mine is often tempted to go astray. We know how deceitful backsliding can be. Some go astray from Jesus...they stand off from Jesus...but they stay in the organized church. They just harden their hearts against God's ways, against the Spirit's moving, against the Lord's commands. Instead of sanctification...they embrace rationalization. The result is a hardened heart---a will no longer stimulated by the desires of God, a mind set on selfish comforts, emotions addicted to quick fixes and easy conveniences. And mockery and ridicule of those who want to and try to draw near to Jesus. Others go astray from Jesus and they walk out the door. Bitterness, resentment, and criticism fills their hearts. Or the desires of sin and deceitfulness of sin entices them away from Jesus. Either way, they have turned from the Living God. These scriptures are clearly a call to examine our hearts. Examine your reasons for following Jesus. If you are ready to give up on Jesus, these scriptures are a warning to you. If you are

facing trials that test your faith, these scriptures encourage you to draw closer to Jesus instead of pulling way from Him and choosing disobedience. If you are tempted to put off your spiritual need for some other time...these scriptures warn of the dangers of foolish choices...and they encourage us to not miss what God has for us...to not make light of the spiritual opportunities He sets before us. Later in Hebrews 10:25 the Holy Spirit tells us, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching." This warning speaks about lost spiritual opportunities. Why do we pass off lightly lost spiritual opportunities, but despair over lost opportunities to make money? Our heart condition and our need is exposed! Is it any wonder that the warning is repeated twice? Verse 15 "As has just been said..." Do not harden your hearts. Do not harden your hearts. People need this warning. Churches need this warning! It is shocking to see churches refuse to enter into what God has for them...to see churches make decisions based on "business sense", or political expediency rather than on spiritual truth. The tragedy is to see people and churches who have settled for ceaseless wandering, no rest, no peace, led by unbelief instead of faith...because they stood off from God's will; they chose disobedience; they chose hardness; they chose to refuse God's opportunities. They chose unbelief which leads to disobedience, for when I choose to OT believe God's commands and promises, then I excuse myself from obeying. God says that this is serious business. The judgment of 40 years of wandering and dying in the wilderness tells us just how serious this is to God. Our need is to embrace God's antidote which is: 1. verse 12 "See to it..." - You, see to your own heart. 2. verse 13 "But encourage one another daily." You, encourage others. Come alongside to give help. Get alongside each other and help each other. See Hebrews 10:25 The IF word: Contrast: "IF you hold firmly to the end..." "IF you do not harden your heart..." The Path of Unbelief - verses 7-11, 15-19 These are progressive steps on the path of unbelief, each worse than the one before. If a person persists through all three, the result will be a hardened heart. LX.Delay - "Today" 1. Today is a word of promise. LXI.It tells us that God is prepared to act in our behalf in response to our faith. LXII.He is ready to meet a need, overcome a problem, deliver from temptation, etc.

2. Today is a word of urgency. LXIII.It reminds us that delay often leads to disappointment and defeat. LXIV.When God reveals truth, He expects us to act promptly. LXV.Doubts - "if" 1. The word tempt in verse 9 means to question the character or trustworthiness of. LXVI.Israel questioned God’s goodness. They asked, "Why has God brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should be a prey?" um. 14:3 LXVII.Israel questioned God’s ability. They asked, "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" Psalm 78:19-20; umbers 11:4 2. It is not a sin to have doubts. The error is in yielding to them. LXVIII.Disobedience - "hear" 1. To hear God’s Word means to receive it and respond to it in the proper manner. LXIX.God’s will is revealed in His Word. LXX.When we refuse to "hear" God’s Word, it means that we have chosen our own way over His revealed will. That is disobedience. 2. When we refuse to obey God: LXXI.We "tempt" and "provoke" God because we doubt His ability to provide our needs and keep His word. See verses 8, 9, 16 LXXII.Others are hurt by our disobedience. (Their children spent forty unprofitable years in the wilderness.) LXXIII.We forfeit God’s best for our lives. (God swore that they would not enter into His rest). LXXIV.The Israelites were saved, but they never enjoyed the "milk and honey" of Canaan. LXXV.They didn’t lose their salvation, but their unbelief caused them to forfeit the abundance and victory Canaan represented.

13. Today Is The Day!Hebrews 3:7-19 Today is the day. o, I'll do it tomorrow. You better get it while you can! Don't hesitate! Don't wait! Don't procrastinate! This is a deal you can't pass up. Get it while you can. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Hurry, for the next twelve hours we're letting 'em go at a price you can't refuse. Call now for your special reduced price. We've only got three of these priceless gems left. Don't let this opportunity pass you by! Call now! Stop what you are doing and head on over right

away! Send in your registration today! Today! Today! Today! You've seen them before coming across your television screen. You've seen their ads in the newspapers. You may have met them at the car lot. As a matter of fact, you may run into them just about anywhere. They are the tightly wound, fast-talking, urgent sounding, slicked-up, never laid back town criers hocking their wares as fast as they can, anywhere they can, and to whomever they can as the clock ticks on, as time winds down, as time runs out. They are seeking to convince you and me that what we need, we need now. We can't let a day go by. We can't live without it for another minute. We must act while the opportunity presents itself or we will forever miss out on the chance of a lifetime. An opportunity that could forever change our life and bring us everything we've ever longed for in life. Who knows what devastation and despair will visit our house if we fail to act today? With so much on the line we rush out and get it, whatever "it" happens to be at the time, whatever "it" is fashionable that day, and we get it while we can so that we can experience whatever has been promised. We don't want to delay. We don't want to hesitate. We don't want to miss out on the best things in life so we go get it - however we must, whatever we have to pay, whatever we must sacrifice. Lay away, pay today, the installment plan, hand me your credit card man! We simply must have it. There is an urgency that is present in our society today. There is electricity in the air. There is expectation waiting around every bend. Every ten minutes on the television, programs are interrupted in order to inform us about "new" and "improved" items that will revolutionize our lives. Everyday in the newspapers we read ads extolling the excitement that these items will bring to our lives. Everyday on the radio we hear things lauded and applauded for the potential that they could unlock in our lives. We must act now! I've got an idea! Let's let church out early so that we can rush out and get it now, before the Baptists get out and it's all gone! Speaking of church, every Sunday preachers around the world, Sunday school teachers in millions of classrooms, evangelists traveling the globe, and passionate Christians from every walk of life seek to invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who hear the plea, those whose ears are filled with the cries of God's people, they sit back and say, " ot today. ot until I get my life together. ot now. The time is not right. I don't feel like it is the thing to do. I want to do a few other things first. I'll get around to it. ot today, but maybe tomorrow." " ot today, but maybe tomorrow." Those are absolutely the saddest words spoken by any individual today. While God continues to call us into His glorious grace and mercy, while He offers us salvation for our sin sick souls, while He desires to deliver us from our slavery, while He longs to bless us, lead us, and use us to bring glory and honor to His holy name - so, so many of us are turning a deaf ear to God and putting off until tomorrow what God is desiring for us today. This morning we are continuing our study of the Book of Hebrews. "Today" is the key word for our study this morning and my prayer for you is that if you hear the voice of God calling you this morning that you will respond to His great voice and offer your life to the King. Let's take a look at Hebrews 3:7-19. 7So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.' 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' " 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the

rebellion." 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. (Hebrews 3:7-19 IV) Today is the day that we are called upon to say, "Yes Lord!" There is no room for tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come and it is too great of a gamble for you and for me to assume that we will get right with God tomorrow. We need to get right with God when we hear His voice of mercy and grace, His voice of conviction call. If you hear urgency in my voice then, my friend, you are hearing right. I want you to know that my urgency is not rooted in one man trying to get you to do something that I want you to do. The urgency you sense in my voice is because God has raised my level of awareness. He has shown me how important it is for us to act upon His call today. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Take a look at Hebrews 3:7-11. 7So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.' 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' The opening phrase of our study for today should get our undivided attention. The writer of Hebrews says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts..." The phrase that is used by the author of Hebrews originated long before he was ever born. It is a direct quotation from Psalm 95 and it shows us so clearly that God's Word is divinely inspired. You may say, "How do we know that God's Word is divinely inspired just by reading a quote from Psalm 95?" That is a great question. If you will notice, David is the human author of Psalm 95, but we read in Hebrews 3:7, "So, as the Holy Spirit says:" We are told in God's Word that Scripture did not come about by some grand plan of man, but through God's Sovereign plan. In 2 Peter we read, 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21 IV) God's Word is a gift from God to you and me. It is not man that is calling us to act on God's voice, but God Himself who is calling us to act today. Both Psalm 95 and Hebrews 3:7 call us to respond to God's voice now. Both also point to the same incident in which people neglected God's voice and how their neglect caused their hearts to harden. Take a look at Psalm 95:7-11. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways." 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest." (Psalm 95:7-11 IV) The incident that David writes about, and that which we read about in Hebrews 3, is the hardening of the hearts of those who had so clearly seen God's marvelous, mighty power displayed before them night and day. They had seen God act on their behalf over and over again and in ways that would cause anyone to stop and marvel. Yet, they continued to test God. They didn't fall down before Him in worship, they continued to test Him over and over again. John MacArthur writes, Israel had been in Egypt for more than 400 years, the last 200 years or so as slaves. Afraid that the Hebrews would become a threat, the Egyptians tried to weaken them and deplete their numbers by hard, oppressive labor in building cities and perhaps even pyramids. They were overworked, underfed, and regularly beaten. As both punishment and as an inducement to let

His people leave this land, God afflicted the Egyptians with a series of ten plagues, the last and worst of which caused the death of all their firstborn. At this, Pharaoh pleaded with the Israelites to leave, which they hurriedly did under Moses leadership. By the time they reached the Red Sea, Pharaoh had changed his mind and had led his troops to bring them back. God performed another miracle, allowing His people to travel through the parted waters, which afterward engulfed and drowned the pursuing army of Egypt. (John MacArthur, Hebrews, pg. 89) If this were not enough, God continued to display His mighty power before His people over and over again. He gave them a pillar of fire to lead them by night and a cloud to lead them through the wilderness by day. He provided manna and quail everyday for them to eat. Water flowed out of a rock to give them something to drink. With God continually showing Himself faithful what did the people do? They grumbled. They made idols out of things that didn't matter, things that had no power. They fussed because they had to eat manna everyday. They grumbled because of the leader God gave them. Finally, God had enough. The Bible describes God as being longsuffering and He certainly was towards the Israelites. For forty years God forgave their unbelief, He continued to provide for them, and He showered them with grace, but they kept grumbling. The day came when "Today" ended and it became too late. Tomorrow came and the voice of God spoke, not an invitation, but a judgment against them. Look at umbers 14 and follow along with me. 1That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! 3Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" 4And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt." 20The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 evertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times-23not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. o one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 35I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die." ( umbers 14:1-4; 20-23; 35 IV) Over and over again in Scripture we are told to act on God's call "Today." When does today end? How long is "today?" Is it only twenty-four hours? Could a day be forty years as it was for the Israelites? Is a day a thousand years and a thousand years a day? How long is a day? When does God's invitation end and His judgment begin? Those are questions that if we had the answer to them we could all rest more easily, but the fact of the matter is that we don't know when the day ends, we don't know when God will cease striving with us. Because of that fact we must act now when we hear the voice of God calling us to salvation. There is a fable told about Satan and his angels. Satan asked them, "How can we destroy the souls of men?" One said, "I will tell them there is no God." Satan answered, "That will never do because creation testifies to a Creator and man innately knows there is a God." A second said, "I will tell them there is no heaven." Satan replied, " o, that won't work either. Since Jesus was raised from the dead, men believe in heaven." A third said, "I will tell them there is no hell." Satan responded, "Your plan will not work because Jesus made it plain there is a hell." A fourth said, "I will tell them that there is no hurry to make their life right with God." Satan cried out, "That will do it--go." (Source Unknown) Why do today what we can get around to taking care of tomorrow? Why, because we do not know when our life on this earth will come to an end. Dwight Moody can testify. Early in his ministry, the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody would often end his message with, "Go home and think about what I've said." One night in Chicago he told the people to do this and to come back

the next night ready to make a decision. That night the great Chicago fire broke out, and some who had been in the audience died. That was the last time he told anyone to think over the claims of Jesus and make a decision later on. o one knows if he or she will have a tomorrow in which to decide. When the Bible says, "Today," it means the moment. ot twenty-four hours, not fortyyears - not even tomorrow. We must act today when we hear God call. Take a look at verses 12-13 and listen closely to the urgency, to the seriousness that is being communicated to you and me. 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. In these two little verses we find direction that is of absolute importance to you and me. We must pay heed to God's voice calling us away from what we think we want and into His purposes for our lives. First of all, we are told to see to it that none of us has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from God. We must make every effort to make sure that we are in touch with what we are doing. There is no room for apathy, lackadaisical attitudes, or a casual approach to faith in Jesus. There are many folks who believe in their head that Jesus is the Son of God, but they have never bowed their knees before Him as Lord and King. We must surrender our hearts, heads, and every aspect of our lives to the Lord or we will possess an unbelieving heart. Many people come close to accepting Jesus, they attend church, they may pray, they can sing the songs of faith, but they have never surrendered their hearts. When they consider the cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus they turn away. We are told to see to it that none of us has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away. Don't turn away, run into the arms of the Father who is calling your name. When we consider the wondrous grace and mercy that God has demonstrated throughout history we must ask, "Why would anyone turn away from God?" That is a great question and there are many answers. Folks turn away from God because they want to live their own life, they want to call the shots. Folks turn away because their understanding of God is something other than who He really is. Folks turn away from God because they feel like they've got to clean up their lives before they could be acceptable to God. Folks turn away from God because they believe that He is out to get them, whenever they mess up they feel guilty and they are convinced that God is waiting to bop them on the head. Oh my friend, God is just the opposite of your misconceived ideas. He is out to rescue us, to save us from ourselves, and to deliver us into His glorious purposes for our lives. Secondly, we are to encourage one another daily so that none of us may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. This verse is rich with application for you and me. We are told to encourage one another. The Greek word for "encourage" is a form of the word used by Jesus for the Holy Spirit in John 14:16. The word means, "to come alongside to give help." We are called to come alongside of one another so that we do not become hardened by sin's deceitfulness. He is saying, "Pull up alongside of folks and help them to avoid becoming hardened and to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior." How are we hardened? We are hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Sin is sneaky, tricky, and deceptive. It disguises itself and tries to convince us that it is something other than what it really is. Sin will draw you and me in and then it will devour us. Sin snares us with its shimmering, shining, seductive attraction and then it saps us of our very lives. Paul wrote in Romans, 11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. (Romans 7:11 IV) We are to encourage each other every day so that none of is lead to our destruction by sin's deceitfulness. We need our brothers and sisters to walk with us, steer us away from the snares of the Enemy or

we will find our selves strolling down Sin Avenue until we are crawling and clawing to find release from the shackles of sin. Diane was a beautiful young mother of three. She had always wanted a family, but now that she had what she wanted she felt trapped. It seemed like all she ever did was take care of kids. She used to feel beautiful. She once thought of herself as a competent person who was able to do many things. ow, she wondered if she was even attractive to her husband who rarely showed her any affection. She didn't have time to do anything since she was always tending to the needs of the kids. One day Diane got a call from a man in her Sunday school class who was wondering if she would be willing to work on a committee with him. Diane thought it would be a good opportunity to get out of the house so she said, "Yes." When she showed up for the first meeting there were about six or seven other people present. As time went on, one of Diane's friends noticed that one of the men on the committee seemed to be showing Diane a little too much attention. She also noticed how Diane seemed to like it, but she didn't say anything. As the months rolled by, she continued to sense that something wasn't right with the relationship so one day she called Diane and asked her to lunch. The friend was so nervous about going to lunch with Diane, but she sensed the Lord leading her to visit with Diane. When the two women went to lunch the anxiety was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The woman tried to find an opportunity to talk about her concern, but it just didn't seem to fit. Finally, as lunch was drawing to a close she blurted out, "Diane, I am concerned about you." She spilled her heart and it caught Diane off guard. Diane acted offended, but she listened and assured her friend that she was making too much out of nothing. The friend could see that Diane wasn't responding so she dropped it and lunch ended. After Diane got home she thought more and more about what her friend had to say. God began to convict her heart and show her that she was seeking attention and approval from the man on her committee. Diane wept before the presence of God and called her friend. Diane told her what God had shown her and thanked her for being willing to risk their friendship so that she could be used by God. The two women experienced a depth in their relationship that they had never known. Oh how we need one another. We need to be the eyes of our friends to recognize hidden snares the Enemy has set before them. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to be our eyes and ears so that we will not fall prey to sin's deceptiveness. When we sense that God is calling us to step out in faith, to receive the forgiveness and salvation that has been made available to us only through Jesus then we need to respond immediately. Don't wait another day. I will close with a poem that so powerfully illustrates for you and me the lesson of our Scripture for today. As you listen to the poem also listen for the voice of Almighty God calling you this very day. The Spirit came in childhood and pleaded, "Let me in," But oh! the door was bolted by thoughtlessness and sin; "I am too young," the child replied, "I will not yield today; There's time enough tomorrow." The Spirit went away. Again He came and pleaded in youth's bright happy hour; He came but heard no answer, for lured by Satan's power The youth lay dreaming then and saying, " ot today, ot till I've tried earth's pleasures." The Spirit went away. Again He called in mercy in manhood's vigorous prime, But still He found no welcome, the merchant had no time; o time for true repentance, no time to think or pray,

And so, repulsed and saddened, the Spirit went away. Once more He called and waited, the man was old and ill, And scarcely heard the whisper, his heart was cold and still; "Go leave me; when I need thee, I'll call for thee," he cried; Then sinking on his pillow, without a hope, he died! Our Daily Bread, February 22 Today, if you hear the Lord calling you won't accept Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior. Don't wait another day my friend.” author unknown 14. Rev. CHARLES G. FI EY

"Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." -- Hebrews 3: 7,8 In speaking from these words I inquire, I. What is it to harden the heart? It is to commit the will or mind against the claims of God and of humanity. To harden the heart is to commit the soul in a spirit of disobedience, and self-will, and stubbornness, against God and His government. II. How men harden their hearts. I. It is always a voluntary act to harden the heart, and a voluntary state when the hardness of heart is continued. It is being an act of the mind or of the will, the mind always assigns to itself some reason for taking this position of self-will, and for maintaining this position of stubbornness against God. It is a matter of consciousness that the will has indirectly a great control of the feelings. If the mind commits itself by an act of will to any position, the feelings are brought to adjust themselves to the will's position; not always directly and instantly, but the feelings will soon come to sympathize with the attitude taken by the will. The reason is very obvious, the feelings are influenced by the thoughts, and the thoughts are directed by the will. When the will, then, is committed to a dishonest position, it will always use the intellect dishonestly; and by a dishonest use of the intellect will foster such thoughts as to prevent the feelings. This is common experience, as every one knows who has paid any particular attention to his own state of mind. A voluntary stubbornness always locks up the sensibility, and closes it against that class of emotions that would naturally result from a different attitude of the will. If the mind takes a position against God, it will use the intellect to justify its position, or to excuse it; consequently it will indulge only in thoughts, and arguments, and reflections, that justify its position, and therefore that poison and pervert the feelings and bring them into sympathy with the will. Men harden their hearts, then, by an uncandid and selfish use of the intellect, assigning to themselves such reasons for their conduct as to justify their taking this position. 2. Men harden their hearts by indulging prejudice against God. They commit themselves to a one-sided view of the whole question of God's claims, and government, and works. They are selfish, and therefore not candid. They

designedly take a narrow view of all the questions between themselves and God, and indulge a host of prejudices with intent to justify their rebellious state of mind. 3. They often harden their hearts by indulging prejudices against the church, against the ministry, against the truth. Press them to repent, and you will find in fact that they immediately betake themselves to finding fault with Christians and ministers. You will find their minds a perfect nest of prejudices against God's people; and they evidently resort to these as a reason for their position in regard to religion, to justify themselves in neglecting the claims of God. You cannot go and talk with one of these impenitent men without finding that he will instantly reveal to you a perfect nest of prejudices, which he harbors in his mind against God's people, and ministers, and truth, for the purpose of strengthening himself in his position of disobedience. I say, these are prejudices -- they are pre-judgments. There may be some foundation in fact for many things which he will say; but upon the whole you will clearly perceive that it is prejudice. He is unfair, uncandid. Much that he says is not true; though he persuades himself that it is true. He has not fairly and charitably examined the subject. He has jumped to a conclusion from a very partial examination of the facts, and is hedging himself in with prejudice. This course of conduct, with those that harden their hearts, is so notorious that you will find it on every side. When this meeting is out, converse with your impenitent neighbors, and you will find them resorting to these prejudices to strengthen themselves against the claims of God. 4. Men harden their hearts through a pride of consistency. They have taken a stand; they have committed themselves in something; they have set themselves against religion and against the claims of God. And it is remarkable to see, if you converse with an impenitent person before others, and especially in the presence of those before whom they have taken a stand and committed themselves against God's claims, how they will instantly gather up their strength, and through pride of consistency maintain their position. 5. Men harden their hearts because they are ashamed to forsake the ranks of the ungodly, and openly confess Christ. They are ashamed of Christ, and ashamed of religion; ashamed to avow themselves the friends of God. This is truly wonderful, but it is a fact. So true is this that you can scarcely find a sinner, with whom you can converse in the presence of his family or friends, that will not resist, because he is ashamed to manifest any feeling on the subject, or any regard for Christ in their presence. You can scarcely find an impenitent man that will allow you to talk with him in the presence of his wife, without resisting your importunity through his own pride. You must get him alone, and away from his friends, or he will resist you, because he is ashamed to have them know that he has any feeling on the subject of religion. This is almost a universal fact with sinners. I find if I would do them any good in conversation, I need to see them alone. They have scarcely a friend before whom they will be candid enough to acknowledge the truth as they really believe it. So great is the pride of their hearts, that they are ashamed to have it known, even to

those who are most interested in them, that they pay the least regard to the claims of God. 6. Men harden their hearts through an unwillingness to confess and make restitution where they have wronged their neighbors. They are too proud to confess a wrong to a neighbor; and they are too selfish to make restitution where they have taken an advantage of another in trade, or where they have in their possession that which belongs to another. If, therefore, they have any restitution to make, or any confession to make to man, this consideration will lead them to gird themselves, and to resist the claims of duty and of God. They will often keep themselves for years in an attitude of stubbornness, because they know that if they yield to God, they must make confession and restitution. ow, is not this the fact with some of you? Are you not covering some sin that ought to be confessed to man, as well as to God? Are you not refusing to make some restitution where you have wronged some one? Do you not know that if you ever repent, you must confess and make restitution? And whenever the question of repentance comes before you, do you not gird and strengthen yourself in your impenitence? Do you not harden your heart, because you know that if you repent, you must make confession and restitution? Do you not often resort to cavils and subterfuges, to strengthen yourself in the attitude you hold towards God? 7. Men harden their hearts by yielding to their temper. If you press them with the claims of God, they become angry; and giving way to temper, they take a stronger stand than ever, and gird themselves to the uttermost to resist the claims of duty and of God. They will sometimes go so far as to affirm, and even to swear, that they will never become Christians; they will not yield to the claims of God, do what He may. Have not some of you, when pressed by the claims of God, given way to anger, strengthened yourself in your position, and resolved that you would have nothing to do with the claims of God? 8. Sinners often harden their hearts by indulging appetite. For example: they are accustomed to the use of tobacco, or intoxicating drinks; or they are accustomed to indulge in the use of various luxuries. ow if the claims of God are presented to them, those claims come directly into competition with appetite. For example: I heard of a man, who, through the use of intoxicating drinks, was likely to lose his eye-sight. His physician told him that he must abandon the use of intoxicating drinks, or entirely lose the use of his eyes. Upon this information he girded himself instantly, and said, "Then fare you well, old eyes." Thus he settled the question, hardened his heart, and probably lost his soul. 9. Men harden their hearts through the "fear of man that bringeth a snare." You often see cases in which persons are called to the performance of duty, and resist the claims of duty through the fear of man. If in meeting, those who are anxious are invited to come forward and take a certain seat, or to go into another room for instruction, if they are aware that certain persons are present, though greatly pressed with the claims of God, they will harden their hearts and refuse to go.

10. Men harden their heart in obedience to public sentiment. If the claims of God come into collision with the views and practices of men on a large scale, so that public sentiment is strongly adverse to the claims of God, many men will bow right down before public sentiment and harden their hearts against God. They are afraid to take a stand against men, when in their wickedness they will take a stand against God. With most men public sentiment is omnipotent, and has far more power with them practically than all the claims of God. And whenever they are called to resist public sentiment and to sympathize with the claims of God, they gird themselves and resist God's claims. 11. Men harden their hearts by indulging erroneous views of God and His government. In this they are uncandid; but nevertheless they persist in charging certain things upon God, in stumbling at certain things in God's providence, or government, or dealings. They hedge themselves round about with lies, and hide themselves under falsehood, and thus strengthen themselves in their opposition to God. 12. The same is true of religion generally. It is striking, and awful sometimes, to see what views men will persist in entertaining of religion. Their perverseness in this respect is sometimes appalling. Hear them talk, and it would seem they must have been assisted by Satan himself to conjure up so much that is false, ridiculous, absurd, and often wicked, and charge it to religion. 13. Men often harden their hearts through a proud determination to receive nothing incomprehensible. They will not believe, they say, what they cannot understand. But this they apply only to religion and the claims of God. They cannot comprehend their own existence; and there is nothing in all nature around them that is not full of mystery, as absolutely beyond their comprehension as any mystery in religion. They can swallow an ocean of mystery on any other subject. But come to religion, the claims of God, the high policy of His eternal government, the mode of His own existence, and those great and wonderful things too high for us, where mystery is to be expected of course -- there, the sinner will stumble; there he proudly entrenches himself, and says, "I will not believe what I cannot understand" -- meaning, that unless he can understand the philosophy and the how, he will not believe the facts. 14. Men harden their hearts by withholding confidence in God. Unbelief is their great crime. If God takes never so much pains to gain their confidence, they proudly and persistently withhold it, and thus harden their hearts against God. 15. Men often harden their hearts by withholding confidence in man. They seem to throw away their confidence in everybody; and with the psalmist in his haste, they say, "All men are liars." ow, whenever you find a man who has lost confidence in everybody, you may know that he himself is a wicked man. This is exactly the opposite of the good man's state of mind. "Charity hopeth all things, and believeth all things." The truly good man may be too confiding. He is himself truthful, and not ready to suspect others of being false. He is himself honest and simple-hearted, and not in a state easily to suspect others of double-dealing and dishonesty. He loves everybody, and therefore wishes to think well of everybody. He is disposed to do so, and it is very easy and natural for him to do so. His error will naturally be in

the excess of confidence. He will confide, sometimes, where he has not reason to confide. He has more confidence in man than man is entitled to; and this from the very nature of his simple-heartedness, of his own conscious honesty. Whenever, therefore, you see a man that has no confidence in anybody, you may know that he deserves the confidence of nobody; he is a wicked man. "Charity thinketh no evil;" is not pre-disposed to think evil of others, but the contrary. It is a wicked man who hardens himself by casting away his confidence in man. You go to some men with the claims of God -- they immediately resist everything you say, because everybody who professes religion, is a hypocrite. 16. Some men harden their hearts through a habit of self-will. They have never been governed by their parents; they have never really submitted themselves to anybody's government; consequently they are in the habit of having their own way. To government of any kind, they will not submit. Persuade them, especially in the sense of flattering them, you sometimes may, to some extent; but the moment the idea of authority is presented to them, even if it be the authority of God, they resist it, because the claim comes in that shape. Their will is always girded; it is up, and strong, the moment anything comes before them as an obligation -- something to which they ought to submit. To moral obligation they have never yielded; and the moment it comes before them in the shape of an "ought," they resist it. 17. Many harden their hearts through a habit of delay. They have long put off the claims of God; they have indulged in this from their earliest childhood; and it has become a thing of course. They have heard sermon after sermon, have had the claims of duty presented so often and so long, and have been so uniform in their habit of delay, that now it is a thing of course. You press them never so hard, and they will say, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Is this not a fact with some of you? Have you not so long accustomed yourselves to put off God's claims that it has become with you a thing of course? When you came to meeting today, you expected to hear the claims of God: but did you expect to comply with them, to yield to these claims? Did you not as much expect to set the church on fire today, as you expected to become a Christian, and yield to the claims of God today? Did you not as much expect to reject these claims, as you expected to hear them presented? You did expect to be presented with them: but did you not as much expect to delay obedience as you expected to live? Such has been your habit of delay, that when God's claims are urged, you instantly repeat what you have so often done; you gird yourself and go your way, resisting these claims. 18. Many resist the claims of God through spiritual indolence. They are too spiritually indolent to make any effort for their own salvation, or to comply with the claims of God. These claims come home upon them, and press them to instant action and decision; but it is easier to resist them, as they have been in the habit of doing so long, than to comply. They have only to gird themselves up, to remain in disobedience. But to rule out every objection, and break down before God, will cause them more effort than they are disposed to make; hence they draw themselves up in the attitude of resistance, and growl out their " ay," to the claims of God.

19. Men often harden their hearts on account of the real or supposed sins of professors of religion. These sins may be real, or they may be only supposed; nevertheless, they are made the occasion of caviling, and of resistance to God's claims. Such a man has wronged them, or wronged somebody else; such a professor has done so and so. He betakes himself to these by way of strengthening himself in his position. He "eats up the sins of God's people as he eats bread, and will not call on the name of the Lord." Sometimes in dealing with them he has supposed them to be selfish. Perhaps they have been so; perhaps they have manifested an unchristian spirit and temper. If they have been wrong; if they have wronged God and dishonored Him; strange to tell, sinners will gird themselves, justify their position to God, and will harden their hearts, because God's professed people have dishonored Him. 20. Men will often harden their hearts on account of the censoriousness of professors of religion. They have heard professors of religion find fault with other professors of religion, speaking censoriously of them, and thus prejudicing them against professors of religion in general. I have often been struck with the fact that the children of censorious parents are seldom converted. Especially if the parents are professors of religion, and if they are in the habit of speaking freely of the faults of others, real or supposed, before their children, and particularly if they speak of the faults of professors of religion and complain of ministers, their children will always harden their hearts. If you approach them on the subject of religion, they have been poisoned to death by their censorious parents. Father, or mother, or both, have said so and so about their minister, about such a one, and such a one; and this is made by them an occasion of strengthening themselves and hardening their hearts against God. I know a family where censoriousness, I am sorry to say, seems to be the whole of their conversation. The mother, especially, thinks almost all professors of religion hypocrites; particularly those in the place where she lives. Her mouth is full of complainings of the members of the church to which she belongs; or at least of the church in the neighborhood in which she resides. Her children, consequently, are entirely opposed to religion. They have no confidence in it; they laugh, and even scoff at it; and although the mother herself is a professor of religion, by her censoriousness she has taught them to despise it. This is awful; but so it is. Parents cannot do their children a greater injury than by allowing themselves to be censorious. They really do them a greater mischief than Satan can do them. They are in fact more the enemies of the souls of their children than the devil himself is. They have something to say against almost every professor of religion. The deacons of course are all wrong; the minister neglects them, they say; and as for the business men of the church, they are all defrauders or defaulters; and as for the women, they are all out of the way. obody is right; the church are all hypocrites; and this their children are taught to believe. ow how could the devil do worse than this? You may almost as well go into a nest of serpents to try to make an impression on them with truth, as into a family where they are censorious. You will find the household, from the oldest to the youngest, hardening their hearts; and the moment you

approach them, they begin to pour forth their prejudices and their complaints against others. 21. Sinners still more frequently harden their hearts by yielding to their own censorious tendencies. They have a bitter, sour spirit themselves. They are selfish, and suspect everybody else of being selfish. Judging others by themselves, they have little confidence in anybody, and are strongly disposed to attribute the worst motives to almost everybody. This is the tendency of some minds; and they often harden their hearts by indulging this spirit. They grieve and resist the Spirit of God by the free manner in which they let their tongues loose and slander their neighbors. 22. Men harden their hearts by holding fast their schemes of ambition. They mark out for themselves certain courses of life, and propose to accomplish certain ends. These ends are selfish; nevertheless, they commit themselves to realize them. The moment you bring before them the claims of God, and they are seen to conflict with the carrying out of their ambitious schemes, they immediately resist. For a time, I did so myself. Success in my profession was a thing to which I had committed myself; and I was aware that if I became a Christian, I might be called to preach the Gospel. At any rate, I thought I could not, for conscience's sake, successfully carry out my ambitious projects in my profession. This, for a time, was conclusive against my yielding to the claims of God. I girded myself, and hardened my heart, and resisted these claims for a season, that I might carry out and realize my ambitious projects. 23. Men often harden their hearts through fear of being ridiculed, or persecuted, if they become religious. Sometimes they have friends to whom they are strongly attached, and to whom they stand committed not to become religious. I have known cases of this kind, where persons were found to be committed to their irreligious, and perhaps skeptical friends; and they would withstand the claims of God, and harden their hearts like an adamant stone, because of these committals to their ungodly friends. 24. Sometimes through strong attachments, and entanglements in love affairs, men will harden their hearts against God. Lovers are very apt to withstand the claims of God, unless the parties can mutually agree to become Christians. Sometimes husbands and wives will each withstand the claims of God, because the other party is not a Christian. I have known cases repeatedly, where the wife would resist the claims of God, because her husband was not a Christian; and the husband would resist the claims of God, because his wife was not a Christian. Indeed, in some instances, I have known them to affirm that they would rather go to hell with an unconverted companion, than to be saved without them. A lady of decided standing in society once told me that she was not going to become a Christian; that it would destroy all family happiness; and she would sooner go to hell with her unconverted husband, than give up her sympathy with him in his impenitence and become a Christian.

Sometimes they fear persecution from the other party, or from friends, or from enemies; and will, therefore, harden their hearts whenever the claims of God are presented. 25. Sometimes sinners harden their hearts through the insane assumption that Christians will triumph over them, if they submit to the claims of God. I know a young lady, who, when pressed with the claims of God, after weighing the matter for a time, decided against these claims and hardened her heart, because she said that a certain Christian lady who had talked often with her, and prayed much with her, would triumph over her if now she became a Christian. "I will not submit," says she, "for mother so and so," naming her, "will shout, 'victory, victory through the blood of the Lamb,' I will not have Christians triumph over me, that I have at last submitted." 26. Sinners often harden their hearts, because it does not suit their present convenience to repent and become Christians. They are determined to make no sacrifice, and to be at no pains to become Christians at present. They have some objections; therefore, they treat the claims of God contemptuously, and intend to harden their hearts against Him, until it is in all respects convenient for them to yield to His claims. 27. Sinners often harden their hearts through a spirit of presumption. As the Bible says, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore, the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." This fully setting the heart is the same as hardening the heart. They think there is time enough; they presume that God will wait upon them; that they shall live long, or at any rate, shall not die speedily. They, therefore, resolve upon putting it off, presuming that there will be time enough before they die; and thus they trifle with the claims of God, commit the horrible sin of presumption, and often bring upon themselves swift destruction. III. I will briefly consider the guilt involved in hardening the heart against God. 1. Observe that it is a voluntary act, and an act of direct resistance against God's most righteous claims. It is a direct refusal to obey and acknowledge duty to the blessed God; and is, therefore, as dishonest and wicked as possible. It is saying to God, "I know the claim is just, but I cannot pay it." And, then, to aggravate the guilt of this hardening of the heart, resort is had to reasons the most ridiculous, unreasonable, and blasphemous. Just consider all the reasons to which I have alluded, for a man's hardening himself against the claims of God. In every case the reason assigned for resisting God's claims is but adding an insult to an injury. First to refuse to obey God, and then to assign such reasons for disobedience, is a direct and horrible insult to the blessed God. 2. It is a direct resistance to His earnest and honest offers of mercy. The sinner is not satisfied with refusing to obey God; he is not satisfied to trample on His authority and His law, and to harden himself against every commandment of God; he also directly resists and pours contempt upon His offers of mercy. And he not only resists the commands, but the importunities and entreaties of God.

God commands, expostulates, entreats, beseeches, urges by every moving consideration; pours His love and mercy as an ocean around him; but he hardens himself against them all, contemns alike justice and mercy. Present to him the commands and threatenings of God, and he hardens himself, and says, he is not going to be moved by threatenings, he is not going to submit to authority. Present to him the compassion, the urgent mercy of God, and then he will cavil, that he does not deserve the punishment supposed in the offer of mercy; or, Christians have done something wrong. Thus he will resort to every miserable and provoking shift conceivable, to justify himself in rejecting mercy. 3. It is setting the worst possible example; and example is the highest moral influence that can be exerted. Actions speak more emphatically than words. If a man resists the claims of God, he virtually invites all others, over whom he has influence, to resist these claims also. He need not say in words, "Come, let us resist the claims of God;" to persist in resisting them himself, is the loudest call on others to resist them, of which he is capable. o thanks to the sinner if God has a virtuous subject in His kingdom. The man that hardens his heart against God, does the utmost he can to lead all others to do so. 4. But what is the real guilt involved in this course? Wherein does the guilt of this dishonesty consist? I answer, it consists in its being a violation of our obligation to love God and our neighbor; that is, to exercise good-will to God and our neighbor. ow, how great is our obligation to love God and our neighbor? I answer, it is as great as God's desire of our love; it is as great as His righteous claim upon our obedience; it is as great as the intrinsic value of the good of Himself and His universe which He requires us to will. The fundamental reason why we would will the good of God and His universe, is the intrinsic value of this good to God and His universe. This is the fundamental reason that imposes the obligation on us. It is the intrinsic value of this good, in view of which God commands us to will it. ow, if this is the reason we should will it, if this reason imposes the obligation, the obligation is as great and broad as the reason that imposes it. ow the reason that imposes the obligation, or the consideration in view of which the mind affirms the obligation, is the intrinsic value of the good of God and the universe. This good we necessarily affirm to be of infinite value; the obligation, therefore, is infinitely broad; and we ourselves cannot but affirm that there is no limit to our obligation to love God, to obey Him and confide in Him. The guilt, then, of refusing to comply with this obligation must be as great as the obligation; and the obligation must be equal to the reason that imposes it. But the considerations that impose the obligation are absolutely infinite; there can, therefore, be no bounds to the guilt of hardening the heart against the claims of God. IV. I will notice briefly the danger of hardening the heart against God. 1. It is dangerous, because, if you continue it, you will never be converted. The fact is, the course you are pursuing, sinner, is an insane war upon your own soul.

3. The same is true if you are a backslider; if you harden your heart and continue to do so, it will surely be fatal to you. There is no power in the universe that can save you, if you will persist in hardening your heart against God. 4. It is dangerous, because you have already contracted the habit of hardening yourself; and it is of course more natural for you to do it now, than it was at first. Indeed it has become highly probable, that with respect to many of you, you never will do otherwise than to continue to harden your heart till you find yourselves in hell. 5. You are in great danger of being given up of God. If you read the verses in connection with the text you will see that this is the use the apostle makes of the conduct of the Jews. They continued to harden their hearts against God, during their journey in the wilderness. They would murmur through unbelief, and strengthen themselves in their unreasonable prejudices and opposition. God bore with their manners for a long time; and finally brought them up to the borders of the promised land, and commanded them to go up and take possession. They had frequently hardened their hearts before; but now, doubtless, they thought God had borne with them so long that they might tempt Him once more; and they hardened their hearts against Him once more. They sent up spies, and these came back and reported that they were unable to go up and posses the land. This produced a murmur and a hardening of heart throughout the whole camp of Israel. The time had arrived for God to make this generation an example. He swore in His wrath that they never should enter into His rest; He turned them back and wasted their carcasses in the wilderness. Hear again, then, what He says, "He limited a certain day; as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart." Some of you have often hardened your hearts against the claims of the mercy of God. If you do it today again, it may seal your doom. If you go from this house hardening your heart today, it may be the Lord will lift up His hand and swear that you shall never enter into His rest. I beseech you, therefore, I conjure you by the mercies of God, that today you hear His voice, and harden not your heart.

REMARKS

1. In the light of this subject we can see why so many persons have little or no religious feeling. The fact is, their will is committed in the attitude of disobedience and self-seeking; consequently they divert their thoughts from all that class of truths that would make them feel. 2. Please remember that men are the authors of their own hardness of heart. Sinners often complain of their hardness of heart, as if it was not of their own creation. They speak of it as if it were not their own persistent act. In such cases, they mean by hardness of heart simply the apathy of their sensibility, their want of feeling. But this is only a result, a natural consequence of the hardness of their

hearts. It is the stubbornness of their will, their willfulness, that constitutes the hardness of their hearts; and, as we have seen, this want of feeling is a result. To be sure, they cannot feel while their will remains girded and embraced in its opposition to God. Or, if they do feel, their feelings will be those of remorse, and regret, and agony; the tender emotions cannot be brought into exercise while they harden themselves, and make their wills obstinate in resistance to God. 3. We see many persons trying to feel by making efforts to feel; trying to excite emotions of sorrow, and love, and gratitude, while the controversy is not yielded, so far as the attitude of their will is concerned. They have not submitted themselves to God, have not adjusted themselves in His will, have not yielded the controversy; and yet they are endeavoring to feel as if they had yielded the controversy. Their voluntary stubbornness remains, and they are vainly endeavoring to feel. This, I, fear, is the case with many of you. You complain that you do not feel; you spend your time in trying to feel. You would feel sorrow for your sins, while you persist in holding fast to them. You would force the tender emotions towards God into exercise, while your will cruelly braces itself against Him. In this you labor in vain, and spend your strength for naught. 4. By what innumerable shifts men harden their hearts and secure their own damnation. I might as well preach a month as an hour, in enumerating the innumerable ways in which men manage to harden their hearts against God. Men manifest a kind of infernal sagacity and cunning in resorting to every possible excuse that shall justify their stubbornness towards their heavenly Father. They make constant resistance to His claims and offers of mercy. 5. Sinners use their free agency, even the whole strength of it, to resist their own salvation. This is the only reason why men are lost. Christ has died for all men, and offers salvation to all. The fact that men have sinned, is no sufficient reason that they should be lost; but if they will harden their hearts against the claims and mercies of God, it is impossible for Him to save them. It is forever impossible, in the nature of the case, that a man should be forced to submit to the claims of God. God cannot by any possibility force him to heaven. Forced action is not moral action. Where force begins, moral action ends. o moral change, or change involving moral character, can possibly take place in man without his own free consent; and every change implies the power of resisting any possible amount of motive that can be presented. Let no man suppose that God will ever, or can, by any possibility, force his will, in making him a Christian. And now, sinner, I conjure you to remember, that if you persist in hardening your heart, you render your salvation impossible, even to God Himself. If you harden your heart as you have done, if you persist in this course but a little longer, your judgment which now of a long time lingereth not, and your damnation that slumbereth not, will overtake you. O, will you remember this? will you lay it to heart? will you be wise, and this day hear His voice, and no longer harden your

hearts? 6. How astonishing is the long-suffering of God? How many ways have you hardened your hearts against Him! How many times have you betaken yourselves to the most absurd, unreasonable, provoking reasons for girding yourself and resisting the claims of God! And God's forbearance is still lengthened out, even to this long-suffering! Will it not suffice you thus far to have resisted the mercy and compassion of God? I beseech you, now let the controversy cease. Lay down your weapons; accept God's claims; humble yourself under His mighty hand; lay down your sins, and accept the offer of eternal life. But let me ask, if today you refuse to hear His voice, and again harden your heart, will you have any reason to complain if God gives you up to a reprobate mind, and lifts up His hand and swears that you shall never enter into His rest? Will you have any claim upon God, if now today, after so long a time, you harden your heart? Can you object if His Spirit is withdrawn, and the offer of mercy is made no more! Take care what you do! Act in view of the solemn judgment! Remember what the text speaks to you, "Today, after so long a time, saith the Holy Ghost, as it is said, Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart."

14. OUR PARTICIPATIO I CHRIST IS CO DITIO AL... 1. Once again we see the conditional nature of our participation with Christ a. We are the house of Christ "...IF we hold the fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." - He 3:6 b. We have become partakers of Christ "...IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end," - He 3: 14 2. What about the security of the believer? a. The "believer" does indeed enjoy the assurance of his salvation b. But we have seen that a "believer" can develop "an evil heart of unbelief"; i.e., become an "unbeliever" - He 3:12 c. When a "believer" becomes an "unbeliever", what promises of security and salvation there may be to the believer are no longer applicable! -- Thus the many warnings to remain faithful, including that of our Lord's - Re 2:10 [The danger of departing from God is so great, that the writer of Hebrews returns to "A Warning From The Wilderness"...] III. THE EXAMPLE OF ISRAEL I THE WILDER ESS REVISITED (15-19) A. A OTHER APPEAL IS MADE... 1. Quoting again from Psa 95:7-8

2. The Hebrew writer applies the quotation to Christians a. They need to "hear His (God's) voice" - remember He 1:1-2; 2:1-4? b. That is, hear with a desire to hearken, for they too can easily harden their hearts "as in the rebellion" B. THE EED FOR CHRISTIA S TO BELIEVE, A D OBEY... 1. In the case of the Israelites, who was it that rebelled? a. All those who came out of Egypt (save Joshua and Caleb)! b. Though led by Moses, they still rebelled! -- We may have been delivered by Christ from the bondage of sin, but rebellion is still possible! 2. In the case of the Israelites, with whom was God angry forty years? a. Those who sinned b. And who died in the wilderness as a result of their lack of faith -- If we become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, shall we escape judgment? 3. In the case of the Israelites, who did God not allow in the promised land? a. Those who did not obey! b. Those who developed unbelief! -- Shall we enter our promised rest if we disobey through unbelief? CO CLUSIO 1. When the apostle Paul related some of the same experiences of Israel in the wilderness, he wrote: " ow all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." - 1 Co 10:11 2. It is for our own admonition that we have such warnings as that found in our text... a. For the deceitfulness of sin is just as strong today b. For the hardening of one's heart is just as dangerous today c. For departing from God is just as possible today -- Thus the potential for falling short of our promised rest is just as much a reality for us as it proved to be for the Israelites in the wilderness! 3. That is why we need to "exhort one another daily"... a. To encourage one another to remain strong in faith - He 3:19 b. To encourage one another to remain strong in obedience - He 3:18 -- Have you exhorted your brother or sister lately?

Finally, did you notice how "faith" and "obedience" were used interchangeably in these last two verses? These terms are not opposed to one another, for in fact Paul himself wrote about "obedience to the faith" (Ro 1:5; 16:26). Faith is dead unless there is obedience (Ja 2:17,26), and so those who truly believe will obey. That is why Jesus can be described as "the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (He 5:9). Have you obeyed Jesus by obeying His gospel? - cf. Ro 10:16; 2 Th 1:7-8; 1 Pe 4:17 << Previous | Index | ext >> The "Executable Outlines" Series, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 1999 15. Tim Clifton, “These verses are very important and I will take a departure from what man might see as the traditional Calvinistic perspective in order to handle this. I will state first off that I believe man is dead in his trespasses and sins. He is deaf, dumb, and blinded by the god of this world. His only hope for salvation is that the Holy Spirit will regenerate him and allow him to freely choose the Saviour which is his only hope. But the scripture is clear: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,..." I think it is immensely important that if, by the grace of God, we are able to hear the calling of our Saviour, then we are obligated to come. If we don't, what excuse do we have for God sending us to the lowest part of hell to experience the worst that it has to offer its denizens? Wherefore... (3:7a) Verse 7 starts off from the context of Christ being a son over His own house, and us being a part of that house, 'if'. The 'if' in v.6 is, "if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." The 'wherefore' of v.7 ties that thought to the coming of God's people to Himself in Psalm 95, where the Psalmist exhorts us to come cheerfully before the Lord, unlike the people of the provocation. ow, here in Hebrews, we take the end of Psalm 95 for verses 7 to 11 (the same verses in both of them) to present the thought, 'wherefore, if...', and insert the thought of the perseverance of the saints. "To day, 'if' ye will hear His voice, ...."; places those in Christ's house who actually 1) do freely come to Him, and 2) hold fast their confidence unto the end. The Hebrews of the provocation, which the audience of this book are well acquainted with, become an example of the temporary nature of Moses vs. the permanent nature of Christ, even in the lives of believers. The, 'if ye will hear His voice,' becomes the dividing line between the two, and faith, which is a product of the new covenant, will satisfy the conditional 'if' according to the outworkings of the grace of God ...as the Holy Ghost saith... (3:7b) Here, it should not be missed, that the writer of Hebrews attributes the words of Psalm 95 as being the very words of God! Thus, we see the first and most fundamental of all our beliefs: "the Bible is the Word of God." We are not 'bibliolaters,' but are Christians, and yet, Christ, for us now, is inseparable from His written truth.. We know about Christ through the written word the Holy Ghost has penned. o wonder God says in Psalm 138:2, I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and

for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy ame. Take heed, brethren, (3:12)

16. Diane Dew, The Hearing HeartIt takes a keen ear and a determined heart to hear the whisper of God's voice. "Be still," He says, "and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10). The Lord does not require us to do anything or go anywhere to meet with Him. Rather, His simple command is for us to "be still" - to cease from our own efforts and from all that would distract - and to allow Him to reveal Himself to us............ There is a sense of hearing beyond the natural capacity. When Jesus said to His disciples, "Let these sayings sink down into your ears" (Luke 9:44)He was referring to the ear of the spirit, in the inner man. Isaiah "heard the voice of the Lord ... And (God) said, Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of these people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Isaiah 6:8-10) Though at the time these words were originally spoken they fell on deaf ears, it is significant to note that the same passage of scripture in which they were recorded was quoted in every gospel account.1 It was only because Isaiah heard the voice of God himself that the prophet could deliver such a word. God speaks through those who have learned to listen. It is a process. We learn to discern the voice of God by listening to Him. The more we hear, the more we spend time in His presence, the more surely will we be able to recognize when He is speaking. Hebrews 5:14 says that our spiritual senses are sharpened "by reason of use" - that is, with experience. In the same way, repeatedly refusing to respond to the call of the Spirit results in a spiritual condition that leaves our hearts hardened before Him - calloused, so to speak - and insensitive to His voice. This grieves the heart of God. (Hebrew 3:7, 8, 10) To maintain an adequate level of spiritual sensitivity we must learn to respond without delay to the gentle beckoning of the Spirit. God requires an immediate response within the hearts of His people: "Today, when you hear His voice, harden not your hearts . . ." This verse is three times repeated, for emphasis, in the third and fourth chapters of Hebrews. "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh . . ." (Hebrews 12:25) Similarly, Isaiah 55:6 exhorts us: "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near." "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Hebrews 2:1) Jesus was continually having to repeat Himself, because His words fell on deaf ears. At least eight times in the gospels we read of Him exhorting the people, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (or, Listen!)." This same verse is also quoted eight times in the book of Revelation. Though each of the seven churches of Revelation was at a different stage in the development of their spiritual experience, his invitation to them all was the same: "He that hath an ear, let him hear ..." (Revelation 2, 3)

To each of the seven churches He was, in effect, saying, "There is more." All but one had either settled down or fallen away at one point or another along the path, and He wanted them to move on. Many in our own day have become satisfied with the knowledge that they will "someday" inherit the promise of eternal life. However, that is barely enough to get them through the "here and now." Jesus said, "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath (that is, now possesses) everlasting life, and ... is (already) passed from death unto life." We must learn to come to know Him with whom we will spend eternity, if this life is to have any meaning or purpose at all. Unless we learn to know His voice and fellowship with Him now, we shall never come to experience the abundant life of which Jesus spoke.2 God's greatest complaint in this matter is not with the unregenerate world, for He does not expect from them the same sort of respect for His word: they are "uncircumcised in heart and ears." (Acts 7:51) The Lord's deepest concern is for His own people - those who have the ability to hear, but refuse to listen. They "have ears to hear and hear not."3 Many have "stopped their ears" and have by choice turned "away their ears"4 from hearing the word of the Lord. Others have become "dull of hearing"5; their "heart is waxed gross."6 So we see that the famine in Amos 8:11 is "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." Churches are plentiful; the Word has gone forth - but the famine or lack is for those who would hear His voice. God has not stopped speaking; the problem is that His people have failed to listen. When the message becomes too demanding ("Forsake all?" "Deny myself?") many try to avoid the issue by seeking an escape: any excuse that will allow them to continue in their own ways. However, the claim upon our lives remains the same and we cannot find true, lasting peace apart from His best. "The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Samuel heard His voice and responded: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." It was Abraham whom God called His friend, because He knew he was trusting and could be trusted. They two communed together often. Hence, when God was contemplating the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He first discussed it with His friend Abraham. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing except He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." ow "I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." Jesus said, "God is no respecter of persons." He speaks to those who will listen.7 "He that (1) hath an ear, (2) let him hear ..." Two very significant implications are revealed in this scripture. First, to single out "he that hath" implies that some did not have. All do not hear, nor do all have the desire to hear. Many are content in the performance of their religious pageantry (mere "empty show") and because of a lack of interest and commitment are not even aware that there is anything better than what they have seen. To them God has nothing to say. However, to those who will hear He speaks imperatively: "Let him hear!" It is a command. This implies that even of those who could hear, who have the capacity within them ("that hath an ear"), some do not. The response is a matter of choice, an act of the will.6 It is one thing to have an ability or even the knowledge of something, but quite another to put it into practice. Many can recite the scriptures from memory (even cultists; even Satan himself!); but not all will allow the working of the Holy Spirit to make the application of those truths real in their lives.

In the time of Moses, Scripture says, the people of God did not want to hear from the Lord Himself, because they feared they would then be held personally accountable to both hear and do it. (Exodus 15:26; Leviticus 26:14) They were content to hear from God through His prophet, Moses. (Exodus 20:19; Deuteronomy 5:2; 18:16) Oh, let us never be satisfied with the secondhand revelation of any man, but ever seek the Face of God for ourselves. It is the Lord's intent to awaken "them that are at ease in Zion," to arouse from slumber those whose relationship with Him has become spiritually stagnant.9 Consider the sense of urgency that is expressed in Jeremiah 22:29, where we hear the mighty voice of our Creator shouting to attract the attention of His spiritually deaf creation: "O earth! Earth: EARTH! HEAR the word of the Lord!" In Revelation 3:20 we are given the picture of Jesus standing outside the doors of His own church, seeking entrance, waiting for someone to hear His voice and open the door. Although many have used this scripture with reference to the unbeliever at salvation, it was written to believers. The Lord continually knocks at the door of our heart, daily seeking entrance into new areas of commitment and surrender. He desires to be welcomed by waiting hearts. It is this same picture that we are given in the Song of Songs 5:2-3. Here the attitude and response of the Shunamite, typifying the church, are revealed: "I sleep but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me ... I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" We must beware lest our hearts be overcome by an attitude of complacency and spiritual laziness. The Lord does not always call at a convenient time, and unless we keep ourselves "watching" and ready, ever listening for His voice, we shall miss out. Moreover, so long as we consider His calling an inconvenience, all we can meet with will be disappointment: "I (later) rose up to open to my Beloved ... but my Beloved had withdrawn Himself, and was gone: my soul failed when He spake; I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him, but He gave no answer." (Song of Songs 5:5, 6) How can we better hear God's voice? As it is in the natural, Paul says, so it is in the spiritual. When we have trouble hearing, we can (1) get closer to the speaker; or (2) close out the distracting sounds or voices which interfere or compete for our attention. In other words, the problem often is not hearing, or even listening, but discerning His voice. "The Lord God ... wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back." Isaiah 50:4, 5 Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, but to His own He communicated the reality of those truths. (Luke 8:10) "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." "... many prophets and righteous men have desired ... to hear those things which ye hear and have not ..." (Matthew 13:16, 17) "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired ... to hear those things which ye hear and have not ..." "My sheep hear My voice..." (John 10) Only those whose hearts have been tuned to hear the call of the Spirit can hear the whisper of His voice, the secrets of His kingdom. Only those who have attained an appreciation of the Truth will know to grasp the hidden treasures of darkness and bring them to light. (Isaiah 45:3) With loving

anticipation and determination of heart will they respond to the call of the Spirit. And the secrets of many generations shall unfold before their eyes as they behold the King in His beauty!
Footnotes:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Matthew. 13:13-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40 John 5:24; 10:3; 10:14; 10:10 Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2; Mark 8:18; 2 Timothy 4:4; Romans 11:8; Hebrews 5:11 Acts 7:57 Matthew 13:15; Hebrews 5:11 Acts 28:27 Exodus 33:11; 1 Samuel. 3:9; Isaiah 41:8; Genesis 18:17-19 Acts 7:57; Romans 11:8; 2 Timothy 4:4 Amos 6:1; Jeremiah 48:11; Zephaniah 1:12

17. Drew Worthen, HEBREWS 3:7-19 "He who stands firm to the end will be saved." Last week we saw how Christ has made us into a holy temple for Him to dwell in that He might be magnified in our lives. As such this holy temple is also referred to as living stones in 1Pet.2:5. Here in our text we are called Christ's house. In Eph.2:19 we are seen as members of God's household. But so as not to relegate our relationship to God as some cold and sterile building which houses His Holy Spirit we see that this household is family. We are in God's family and we together are family. GAL 6:10 "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." But this family, this house is to be loyal to Christ to the very end. And this is why the writer of Hebrews exhorts his readers to understand that "we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." There is always the danger of people thinking that now that we're in it makes little difference how we walk together with God and His family. And so salvation becomes a sort of fire insurance for some people with that attitude. And thus the term "Once saved always saved" can be used as an excuse for sin. With this fire insurance attitude can come a false sense of security. And simply because at some time in someone's life they walked down an isle or made some sort of profession of faith, or they signed on the dotted line that on such-and-such a date you gave your life to Christ, they have in many cases placed their faith in that event rather than on the One who says in MAT 10:22 ".....but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Many, if not most of the those receiving this letter were Jews, thus the title handed down to us, the letter to the Hebrews. This was a time in church history which was very volatile because many of the Jews who came to Christ still had much of their baggage they brought with them. This is why Paul was so adamant not to allow anything to cloud over the one true gospel, and the reason for this is because this all has to do with life and death. The wrong message will produce a false security when that security is placed in anything man can add to his salvation which is in Christ alone.

Thus, when he wrote to the Galatian church, which was made up of many Jews, he warned them not to try and incorporate the law of Moses as a prerequisite for entering into life with Christ. They were trying to force the Gentile converts to be circumcised according to the law if they were truly to have eternal life in Christ. In addition to that they wanted the law to be the focal point in their daily activities as it related to worship and life. Paul told them in GAL 1:6 "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not to be tampered with in any way, shape or form. Again, the reason is because there is only one way of salvation and this salvation is of the Lord not of man or anything man could bring to it to make it more effective. To alter it in any way is to create a false gospel with eternal ramifications. In turning away from the one true gospel and embracing anything other than what was delivered to us by Christ is to fall into the danger of turning away from God. This is what Paul meant when he wrote in GAL 1:6 "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel..." The Jews who were being addressed in this letter to the Hebrews were potentially in that danger of going back to the ways of the old covenant, and thus would in fact, be turning away from Christ. This is what the writer of Hebrews refers to as the hardening of our hearts to the things of God as we substitute our ways of reaching Him with the only way found in Christ alone. The question comes up however, can a true believer in Christ turn away from his Savior and eventually reject Him as the only way to the Father? And can a true believer harden his heart to the degree that he would fall away from the living God and be lost forever? The answer lies in what the word of God tells us about the nature of our salvation and our God who is faithful and who is Sovereign to call us out of darkness never to leave us or forsake us, and the personal responsibility of each individual to walk humbly with his God all the days of his life persevering to the end. ow this idea of God saving us and holding us as long as we persevere to the end, may sound like a contradiction in terms when we look at certain verses such as JOH 6:39 "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." This is very strong evidence from God Himself, that of all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they may know without a shadow of doubt that they will be with the Lord forever and that we shall not be lost, but will be raised up at the last day. But then you come to verses like PHI 2:12 "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always

obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence -continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,..." Or what about what we find in this letter to the Hebrews? HEB 10:26 "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God." We look at these verses and it sounds confusing because on the one hand we have the truth that if we have placed our faith in Christ we will not be lost, but have the certainty of our salvation, and yet on the other hand it sounds like we have to do something to hold on to that salvation so we don't lose it. Where's the certainty there? This issue of eternal security as opposed to the possibility of losing one's salvation has been debated for years and both camps have pointed to many verses in the bible to bolster their positions. And in the process they have often been polarized from each other and this has caused much division in the church over this issue. I believe much of the reason for this has been a misunderstanding of how God views the whole thing. God's ways are beyond our ways and His understanding beyond ours. In our finite brains we have tried to figure out the infinite instead of simply believing what God has said. God has very clearly said, 'I have called you to myself and I will never leave you or forsake you. I have sealed you for the day of redemption and you will not be lost.' And yet He also says that 'he who stands firm to the end will be saved.' So which is it? Does God hold us to the end or do we have to stand firm to the end to find our salvation? The answer is both. I've used this term before but it's worth noting again. Antinomy. Antinomy can be defined as two apparently opposing truths which are each derived from correct reasoning. In other words both statements are true even though they appear to contradict each other. Let me give you a quick example. Suppose you were trying to explain a natural phenomena in this world concerning the behavior of water to someone who knew only one fact about water. This fact that they understand is that water is wet and soft. Living in the tropics they would not know anything else. But what if you came along and said, well it's true that water is soft and wet but it's also hard and cold. To that person you would be considered out of your mind. How can both statements be true. ow, for you and me we know how those apparently contradicting statement can be true. But with an incomplete knowledge there is no way they can reconciled. In a sense this is the way it is with God's truth concerning this apparent dilemma. Though you and I may not fully understand how such opposing truths can be reconciled it does not mean they can't. If God teaches them we must accept them. But then someone may say, well can anyone really know if they're saved? And the answer is a resounding, yes. But can any true believer really lose his salvation? The answer is a resounding, no! How does all of this work? The writer of Hebrews shows us as the Holy Spirit gives us insight into this whole issue of salvation and the assurance we can have in Christ. From verses 7-11 the writer of Hebrews is quoting from the O.T. with the express purpose of giving an example of how those

who were called out by God rejected Him and turned away from Him. This is taken from Psalm 95 which speaks of God's chosen people as being the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand and yet it ends with what we're about to read in our text. HEB 3:7 "So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.' 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" Verses 7 through 11 are a parentheses placed strategically between verse 6 and 12. Let's put 6 and 12 together and I think you'll see where the thought is going. HEB 3:6 "But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." The writer of Hebrews is, on the one hand, encouraging these people with the hope we have in Christ and yet on the other hand he's pointing out that it must be a sure hope, not a false hope which acknowledges Christ intellectually, but whose heart was never really turned to Him, which will be evident over the long haul. This is what happened to Israel in the desert. They saw the wonders of God and accepted it as truth. And yet their hearts never really left Egypt and the old ways which depended on their own wisdom and strength. When they were asked to live by faith in this awesome God when the testings came, their true faith became evident. It was a faith in themselves for deliverance, not in God. You'll notice that twice in verses 7-11 the hardness of their hearts was the cause of them not trusting God and wanting to follow Him. Again, it was not an intellectual problem. They witnessed the miracles from God with their own eyes. Their brains computed the evidence. It was indisputable. But it was their hearts which rejected the notion that God was their only way of salvation, not only from the desert but from their sins. And in verse 13 the same thought is applied to those Jews who are being addressed by our writer. 13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." This was a warning to the church and its individuals that this is not a game. This is not a club we were called into by God. He has purchased our lives, we no longer belong to ourselves. We belong to our King and Lord, Jesus Christ who has given us His life. But again, the question remains. If these are true believers being addressed how can they find themselves having their salvation being jeopardized through disobedience and unbelief which is what the hardening of the heart toward God is as we see in HEB 3:18 "And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief." Keep in mind that the church as a whole is being addressed. And so the writer of Hebrews is

addressing everyone who finds themselves in the called out community which we know as the church. And what we find is that there will always be those who do not truly believe and yet they still enjoy the blessings, to some degree, associated with the Body of Christ. This doesn't mean they are necessarily trying to deceive anyone about their salvation, it's just that their faith is not a faith that will endure to the end because their faith is not placed on the Rock of their salvation.. Their faith is not a saving faith. They're content to think that going to church, meeting with God's people, listening to the word of God is their ticket to heaven. It's a works oriented, performance oriented approach to their salvation. It's not a trust in Christ alone and a surrendered life which depends on the Spirit's strength to follow Him by faith. And what did Paul say to the Galatian church when they took this approach of undermining the Gospel as they walked according to their own understanding in replacing Christ alone with man's approach to God? "Let him be accursed or eternally condemned." Paul is not creating a judgment of his own, he's simply stating the fact that if you believe this false gospel of your works, which adds to what Christ did, then you've created a false gospel which can't save and will result in eternal condemnation. And the message to the Hebrews is that if you would not believe God and you disobey His gospel which is by faith in Christ alone, then you have something to worry about in falling away from the living God. It's not as though this person is falling out of salvation, because he hasn't really believed. Rather he's falling away from where God has been leading him to Himself. And in one's quest for reaching out to God they are in a sense falling into His grace as they receive the truth. The question is are they willing to embrace the truth by faith and then live in that truth to the end, or will they continue to fall away from God through disobedience and unbelief? The point the writer of Hebrews is making is that there are only two camps. Those who truly believe and those who do not believe. He's not suggesting that one can have a true faith and then lose it. Remember, even the faith we have in Christ is a gift. There was nothing we could do to earn the gift of salvation and to suggest there's something we can do to lose it is to misunderstand the gift we have. A gift is given by God and it is God who will keep that gift alive in us to the end. So, why warn the church in this way of holding firm until the end? I believe there are a couple of reasons. #1) There will always be those in the church who need to be challenged to quit trusting in themselves for their salvation and turn exclusively to Christ. But I also believe that every believer must always be reminded that this gift is not to be taken for granted and that this gift of life must produce life in us so as to prove the existence of Christ's life working in us. I quoted a verse earlier to demonstrate that we are personally responsible to endure to the end. PHI 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence -continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,..." What I didn't do was to continue what Paul said there as the personal responsibility of each believer is coupled with the grace of God which will assure that each of us will endure. PHI 2:13 "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

And so you see the warning goes out to all of us in the church. To those who are nominal and on the fence in unbelief this warning is designed to urge them to stop the unbelief and disobeying the command to trust Christ alone for their salvation. But, this is also addressed to believers to consider their responsibility to walk with Christ and demonstrate His fruit in our lives as we trust Him daily. The hope for those who fit in the first class of people is found in HEB 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." Today is the day of salvation for those who have hardened their hearts in unbelief. But for the believer the same holds true. Today is the day we stop hardening our hearts to the things God wants to take control of. Today is the day God wants us to trust Him for everything. Today is the day He wants us to look to Him as the deliverer that He is. What's interesting about this is what we read in HEB 3:7 "So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,..." The Holy Spirit of God is saying this. Our Creator and God is saying this. We might say to ourselves periodically in life, ' I wish God would speak to me and make my path straight. Here it is. The Holy Spirit says. And what the Holy Spirit says to you and me in Christ is what we find in 2PE 1:4 "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." You may have noticed that the list given in 2Peter is very similar to the list given by Paul in GAL 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." What both Peter and Paul are saying is that if you have been saved by Christ through faith then you have His Spirit. And if you have His Spirit, His Spirit will begin transforming your life to be more like Christ and the fruit of that life is what we find in 2Peter and Galatians. You can't make that up. Only God can produce that kind of life in Christ. And so when Peter say's, "make your calling and election sure he simply means to say measure

the life you have in Christ by His word and be assured that His Spirit is doing the work in you as only He could. On the other hand if one does not possess the fruit of the Spirit in any measure than the question needs to be asked if that one has truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ with his heart or simply with his head. This is similar to what Paul said in 2CO 13:5 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -unless, of course, you fail the test?" This is a spiritual gut check. But it's not as though Paul means to say, test to see if you have salvation today. And then if you answer in the affirmative you check again tomorrow as though it were some fleeting sort of salvation. He's simply saying dwell on this salvation and consider how this new life in Christ is working itself out in your life as you submit to Christ by faith, and allow His Spirit to produce His fruit in your life. The only way someone could fail the test is by not truly believing that Christ died for the penalty of your sins and then rose from the dead. But if you've believed then there will be His fruit. And the fruit and the desire to please Him will last a lifetime. It may be up and down at times but the desire to get back up will be there. Grieving over sin will be more prevalent than a cavalier attitude toward sin which doesn't care. In fact when we sense we grieve the Spirit it's precisely because the Spirit indwells us. But our desire to get off the path of displeasing our Lord and back on the path of turning to Him will take the day, because He will make sure it will, because you're His child in Christ. He loves us too much to let us wander very far. This is why Paul tells us in EPH 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." It is possible for God's people to grieve Him and yet we are not unsealed. The Spirit of God Himself has sealed us for the day of redemption, which means we're gonna make it home by God's grace. Jesus' words should encourage every child of God found in JOH 10:27 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." If you've placed your faith in Christ for the remission of your sins then you can be assured that you have salvation and that you are a child of God and that no one will snatch you away from God. But what that should do is humble us before God and in gratitude want to grow in this grace and follow our great Shepherd wherever He leads as obedient children because we love Him. That's the mark of a true believer. A believer will persevere to the end because God perseveres with us and will enable us to walk with Him faithfully because He is faithful to us. Paul put it this way in PHI 1:6 "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." For the unbeliever it's a struggle and it's frustrating trying to make salvation happen with their supposed good works which they offer to God. Only the shed blood of Christ will satisfy the Father as we place our faith in the Son who came to take our place.

John makes it abundantly clear in 1JO 5:11 "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." There is life in no one else. And if you have life in Christ you can be assured that He has every intention of giving you everything you need to honor Him. You will persevere to the end in His grace and strength, which is a great motivation for seeking Him diligently. Let me close with an encouragement from this letter found in HEB 10:22 "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." We're in this fight together and together we can encourage each other to take one more step when we feel we don't have any more to give. But don't every forget, it's not our strength God wants us to move in but His. Like Paul may we say "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (PHI 4:13)

8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
1. Barnes, “Harden not your hearts - Do not render the heart insensible to the divine voice and admonition. A hard heart is that where the conscience is seared and insensible; where truth makes no impression; where no religious effect is produced by afflictions; where preaching is listened to without interest; and where the mind is unaffected by the appeals of friends. The idea here is, that a refusal to listen to the voice of God is connected with a hardening of the heart. It is in two ways: (1) The very refusal to do this tends to harden it. And, (2) In order to resist the appeals of God, people must resort to the means of “voluntarily” hardening the heart. This they do by setting themselves against the truth; by the excuses which they offer for not becoming Christians: by plunging into sin in order to avoid serious impressions; and by direct resistance of the Holy Spirit. o inconsiderable part of the efforts of sinners consists in endeavoring to produce insensibility in their minds to the truth and the appeals of God. As in the provocation - Literally, “in the embittering” - ἐν τῶ παραπικρασµῶ en tō parapikrasmō. Then it means what embitters or provokes the mind - as disobedience. Here it refers to what they did to “embitter” the mind of God against them; that is to the course of conduct which was adopted to provoke him to wrath.

In the day of temptation - In the time of temptation - the word “day” being used here, as it is often, to denote an indefinite period, or “time” in general. The word “temptation” here refers to the various provocations by which they “tried” the patience of God. They rebelled against him; they did what put the divine patience and forbearance to a trial. It does not mean that they tempted God to do evil, but that his long-suffering was “tried” by their sins. In the wilderness - The desert through which they passed. The word “wilderness” in the Scriptures commonly means a “desert;” see the notes at Mat_3:1. “One provocation was in demanding bread at Sin; a second for want of water at Massah or Meribah; a third time at Sinai with the golden calf; a fourth time at Taberah for want of flesh; a fifth time at Kadesh when they refused to go up into Canaan, and the oath came that they should die in the wilderness. A like refusal may prevent us from entering into rest.” - Dr. John P. Wilson, Manuscript otes.

2. Clarke, “Harden not your hearts - Which ye will infallibly do, if ye will not hear his voice. Provocation - Παραπικρασµος· From παρα, signifying intensity, and πικραινω, to make bitter; the exasperation, or bitter provocation. “The Israelites provoked God first in the wilderness of Sin, (Pelusium), when they murmured for want of bread, and had the manna given them, Exo_16:4. From the wilderness of Sin they journeyed to Rephidim, where they provoked God a second time for want of water, and insolently saying, Is the Lord God among us or not? Exo_17:2-9, on which account the place was called Massah and Meribah. See 1Co_10:4 (note), note 1. From Rephidim they went into the wilderness of Sinai, where they received the law, in the beginning of the third year from their coming out of Egypt. Here they provoked God again, by making the golden calf, Exo_32:10. After the law was given they were commanded to go directly to Canaan, and take possession of the promised land, Deu_1:6, Deu_1:7 : God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vales, and in the south, and by the seaside, to the land if the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, and unto the great river, the river Euphrates. The Israelites, having received this order, departed from Horeb, and went forward three days’ journey, um_10:33, till they came to Taberah, um_11:3, where they provoked God the fourth time, by murmuring for want of flesh to eat; and for that sin were smitten with a very great plague, um_11:33; this place was called Kibrothhattaavah, because there they buried the people who lusted. From Kibroth-hattaavah they went to Hazeroth, um_11:35, and from thence into the wilderness of Paran, um_12:16, to a place called Kadesh, um_13:26. Their journey from Horeb to Kadesh is thus described by Moses, Deu_1:19-21 : And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which you saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us; and, we came to Kadesh-barnea. And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee; go up and possess it. But the people proposed to Moses to send spies, to bring them an account of the land, and of its inhabitants, Deu_1:22. These after forty days returned to Kadesh; and, except Caleb and Joshua, they all agreed in bringing an evil report of the land, um_13:25-32; whereby the people were so discouraged that they refused to go up, and proposed to make a captain, and return into Egypt, um_14:4. Wherefore, having thus shown an absolute disbelief of God’s promises, and an utter distrust of his power, he sware that not one of that generation should enter Canaan, except Caleb and Joshua, but should all die in the wilderness, um_14:20; Deu_1:34, Deu_1:35; and ordered them to turn, and get into the wilderness, by the way of the Red Sea. In that wilderness the Israelites, as Moses informs us, sojourned thirty-eight years, Deu_2:14 : And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea,

until we were come over the brook Zereb, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the Lord sware unto them. Wherefore, although the Israelites provoked God to wrath in the wilderness, from the day they came out of the land of Egypt until their arrival in Canaan, as Moses told them, Deu_9:7, their greatest provocation, the provocation in which they showed the greatest degree of evil disposition, undoubtedly was their refusing to go into Canaan from Kadesh. It was therefore very properly termed the bitter provocation and the day of temptation, by way of eminence; and justly brought on them the oath of God, excluding them from his rest in Canaan. To distinguish this from the provocation at Rephidim, it is called Meribah-Kadesh,” Deu_32:51. See Dr. Macknight.

2B. Calvin, “Then follows, Harden not your hearts By which words is intimated that our rebellion against God flows from no other fountain than willful wickedness, by which we obstruct the entrance of his grace, We have indeed by nature a heart of stone, and there is in all an innate hardness from the womb, which God alone can mollify and amend. That we, however, reject the voice of God, it happens through a spontaneous obstinacy, not through an external impulse, a fact of which every one is a witness to himself. Rightly, then, does the Spirit accuse all the unbelieving that they resist God, and that they are the teachers and authors of their own perverseness, so that they can throw the blame on none else. It is hence, however, absurdly concluded that we have, on the other hand, a free power to form the heart for God's service; nay rather, it must ever be the case with men, that they harden their heart until another be given them from heaven; for as we are bent towards wickedness, we shall never cease to resist God until we shall be tamed and subdued by his hand. As in the provocation, etc. It was for two reasons necessary for them to be reminded of the disobedience of their fathers; for as they were foolishly inflated on account of the glory of their race, they often imitated the vices of their fathers as though they were virtues, and defended themselves by their examples; and further, when they heard that their fathers were so disobedient to God, they were thus more fully taught that this admonition was not superfluous. As both these reasons existed even in the Apostle's time, he readily accommodated to his own purpose what had been formerly said by David, in order that those whom he addressed might not imitate their fathers too much. And hence may be learnt a general truth, that we are not to defer too much to the authority of the fathers lest it should draw us away from God; for if any fathers have ever been worthy of honor, no doubt the Jews possessed that preeminence; and yet David distinctly commanded their children to beware of being like them. And I have no doubt but that he referred to the history recorded in Exodus 17: for David uses here the two names which Moses relates were given to a certain place, mrvh Meribah, which means strife or

provocation, and msh Massah, which means temptation. They tempted God by denying that he was in the midst of them, because they were distressed for want of water; and they also provoked him by contending with Moses. Though indeed they gave many examples of unbelief, yet David selected this in an especial manner, because it was more memorable then any other, and also, because in order of time it followed for the most part the rest, as it evidently appears from the fourth book of Moses, where from chap. 10 to 20 a series of many temptations is described; but this narrative is given in the twentieth chapter. This circumstance increased not a little the atrocity of their wickedness; for they had often experienced the power of God, and yet they perversely contended with him, and renounced all confidence in him: how great was their ingratitude! He then mentioned one particular instance instead of many.

3. Gill, “ Harden not you hearts,.... There is a natural hardness of the heart; the heart of man is like a stone, destitute of spiritual life, motion, and activity; it is senseless, stupid, impenitent, stubborn, and inflexible, on which no impressions can be made, but by powerful grace: and there is an acquired, habitual, and voluntary hardness of heart, to which men arrive by various steps; as entertaining pleasing thoughts of sin; an actual commission of it, with frequency, till it becomes customary, and so habitual; an extenuation or justification of it, and so they become hardened against all reproofs and sermons, and to all afflictions and judgments; are insensible and past feeling, and openly declare for sin, and glory in it: and there is a hardness which God's people are liable to, and should guard against; and which is brought on by a neglect of private and public worship, and by keeping bad company, and through the ill examples of others, and by giving way to lesser sins; for all sin is of an hardening nature: as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness; the Jews provoked God in the wilderness by their unbelief, murmurings, ingratitude, and idolatry; and they tempted him there by distrusting his power and goodness; hence one of the places in which they murmured against him was called Massah and Meribah, Exo_17:7 and it is an aggravation of their sin, that it was in the wilderness, after they had been just brought out of bondage into liberty, and had lately had such an instance of the power and goodness of God, in bringing them through the Red sea; and where they could have no human supplies, and therefore should have been entirely dependent on God, and trust in him. 4. Unknown author, “The highest risk for spiritual disease of the soul is the hardening of the heart in verse 8. We all know about the hardening of the arteries but here is the hardening of the heart. A soft heart is sensitive and can be moved, but a hard heart is insensitive and unresponsive. David was a man after God’s own heart, and so we see that God has a heart with affections. Gen. 6:6 says it grieved the Lord at his heart that He had made man. We see both negative and positive emotions are in the heart. If the heart hardens you become an emotionless being that cannot be touched by joy or sorrow. We are love God with all our heart, and we are not able to do this if the heart if hard. It becomes like a stone as in Ezek. 11:19. A stone is not very responsive and has no feeling. Pleading and threats do not move a stone, and so such a heart will not listen to the voice of God. Do not do it it says in verse 8. God is warning believers because it is something you can prevent. Man is responsible for the texture of his heart. He can keep it soft or let it harden as in Ex. 9:34-35. This is a choice of free will. The hard heart is then

equivalent to being stubborn. See Eph. 4:17-19. We need to work at keeping our hearts soft and responsive.”

5. JAMES FOWLER, "3:8 "DO OT HARDE YOUR HEARTS AS WHE THEY PROVOKED ME, AS I THE DAY OF TRIAL I THE WILDER ESS,..." David and Paul wanted their kinsmen to have open hearts that were receptive to God's action in their lives, individually and collectively. They were not to "turn a deaf ear," refuse to hear God's direction, and develop a fixed attitude of rebellious disobedience, "as when they (previous Israelites) provoked" God. Who are the "they" that David referred to in this psalm, and what is the particular occasion to which he referred? Was he referring to Moses and Aaron and the provocation when Moses struck the rock twice at Meribah toward the end of the forty year wilderness wandering and Moses and Aaron were disallowed from entering Canaan ( umbers 20:1-13)? Or was David referring to "they," the Israelite people, and their rebellious quarrel with God about the need for water early in the wilderness journey prior to the giving of the ten commandments (Exodus 17:1-7)? Or does "they" refer to the people of Israel in the incident of their rebellion against God when ten of the twelve spies who surveyed Canaan gave a negative report of their likely success, and God responded by declaring that they would spend forty years wandering in the wilderness during which time the entire generation would die and only Caleb and Joshua would enter the land ( umbers 13:1 14:45)? The traditional rabbinic interpretation of the Hebrew text of Psalm 95:7-11 understood David's words to refer to the historical occasion in Exodus 17:1-7 when the people of Israel demanded water, and in obedience to God Moses struck the rock to produce water, but Moses named the place Meribah (Hebrew for "quarrel") and Massah (Hebrew for "test"). The Hebrew text of Psalm 95:8 is usually translated, "Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness." The Greek translation of the Old Testament (translated in the third century B.C. by 70 (LXX) Jewish elders in Alexandria, Egypt), however, translated these words with their generic meanings, rather than as place names, and it is the Septuagint that is quoted in this epistle to the Hebrews. Utilizing the Greek text of this epistle that has been preserved, it seems preferable to allow the words of this quotation to refer to the narrative recorded in umbers 13 and 14. If this be the case, then we can observe the logical progression of Paul's thought from the allusion to umbers 12:7 in 3:3,5 to umbers 13 and 14 in the remainder of the chapter. The Israelites who followed Moses in the exodus from Egypt "hardened their hearts," rebelling against the Lord ( umb. 14:9) and blaming God for their plight ( umb. 14:3,27). They "provoked God" by their grumbling and complaining ( umb. 14:27) and by their spurning of Him ( umb. 14:11). They put Him to the test at least ten times ( umb. 14:22), refusing to "listen to His voice" (3:8; umb. 14:22).

6. Dr. Charles Revis, "I don't know if there is anyone in our modern world that hasn't heard about the dangers associated with the bad form of cholesterol. The kind that's suspected of leading to "hardening of the arteries." If our coronary arteries get clogged with plaque we run the risk of a heart attack. In a similar fashion our author is concerned about heart damage, too. ot physical damage of the

physical heart, but spiritual damage resulting in irreparable damage to the soul. The writer speaks of "hardening of the heart" in v. 8; of a "straying heart" in v. 10; of a "sinful, unbelieving heart" in v. 12 othing has changed in 2000 years. Christians are constantly in danger of developing an "unbelieving heart". Or, an"unfaithful" heart; or a "hardened" heart as the term is often translated. As a pastor it is one of the most troublesome things I observe in the lives of people who claim Christ as their Savior. ow, what does it mean to have a hardened heart? Is this the heart of a pagan, who lives like a wild-man, giving no thought whatsoever to God? Well, certainly an unregenerate pagan can be described as having a sinful, unbelieving heart. But, in this context, the term describes the heart of a believer who has turned away from God. At one time the believer was on fire for God, excited about Jesus Christ, careful to obey the Word, and to please the Holy Spirit. But, now her heart is far from God. She has closed Him out of her life. She doesn't obey His command. She willfully sins against Him. If you point blank asked her if she believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, she would quickly respond in the affirmative. But, her response is based on her mental knowledge of Christ and her past walk with Him. It doesn't reflect the present state of her heart, that in reality her heart is cold towards Christ. Perhaps the best, brief definition of a "hardened", or "unbelieving" heart is that it is a "rebellious heart." It's not so much a knowledge deficiency, as a will deficiency. A person with a hardened heart rebels against God, ignoring Him, resisting His promptings, doing their own thing, habitually engaging in sin, and living without faith. Prayer is absent. So is heart-felt worship. There is no desire to serve God. There is no desire to study the Word. It's a terrible place to be as a Christian, and yet, any believer can develop an unbelieving heart, if we are not careful. How can this happen? Primarily it happens when a devoted, follower of Christ falls into sin and continues in sin. Look with me at v. 13: But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. The second part of this verse indicates that "sin's deceitfulness" is the active ingredient which hardens the heart. Sin is deceitful. It promises pleasure, power, and prestige. In the short term some of this may be true, but such things are "passing". We fool ourselves into thinking that we can dabble in sin, and also keep a pretty good thing going with God. Believe me, this is a losing proposition. If you play around with sin, over a period of time, sin will capture your heart. Sin will separate you from God. It will erode your walk with your Savior. Sin creates a backlog of guilt which renders you prayerless. Rather than delighting in spending time with your Lord you will avoid Him, because of sin's shame and guilt. We tend to see sin as mainly a problem at the front end of our Christian experience. Until we receive Christ it is our sin that keeps us from knowing the Living God. In actuality, resisting sin is a life-long struggle. We never get to a point where we have complete victory over sin. We must remain aware of the fact that sin, willfully engaged in, can lead to disastrous consequences for our Christian walk. Sin, which goes unconfessed, shifts our walk with Christ into neutral. Over time, it hardens our heart, and before long we discover that we have drifted away from God. So,

we must on our guard against sin, and its spiritual dangers. How to Avoid Developing a Hardened Heart vv. 1 & 6 So, if we are smart we will take God's Word seriously by being extra careful to guard against developing a sinful, unbelieving heart. How can we avoid an "unfaithful heart?" There are several encouraging helps in the passage. 2.1 Be Aware of the Continuous Downward Pull of Unbelief. The force of gravity is what holds the universe together. In our experience, pressure is always exerted on everything to fall to the center of the earth. There is also what we might call a spiritual gravity that exerts its force. If we cease paying attention to spiritual matters, that force will begin to pull us downward. We must pay attention so that we will grow upward in Christ because the natural drift in life is downward. A balloon filled with helium will float upward and rest against the ceiling. Within a couple of days, however, as the gas works its way out of the fabric of the balloon it will drift down to the floor. That is the power of gravity having its effect. If we are not aware of our capacity for unbelief, for an "evil, unbelieving heart," we too will find ourselves being pulled downward. The first step, then, in resisting an unbelieving heart is to be aware of the natural downward pull of the heart when it's not trusting in Christ. 2.2 Keep Focused on Your Captain, Jesus Christ. Last week we learned that Jesus is the "trailblazer of our salvation", or the "captain." In verse 1 the writer commands, "fix your thoughts on Jesus." This is "Basic Christian Living 101." If you want to nurture a heart full of faith, then keep your eyes on Jesus. As the trailblazer He shows us the way. We must follow hard after Him. We must trust in Him, and place our faith in Him. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, will result in a vibrant and living faith. 2.3 Remember Your Identity! This point comes out of an interesting thing the author does that would be easy to overlook. All along I have been saying that most likely he's addressing people who have been returning to the Jewish faith because they have been persecuted for professing Jesus Christ. This was more than what they bargained for, so to escape the heat, they return to a less controversial belief. ow, the author could have addressed them in a negative way! He could have said, "You cowards! You wimps! You backsliders! You unfaithful people!" Something like that. But he doesn't. He addresses them as "holy brothers who share in the heavenly calling" (v. 1). That's an impressive way to address spiritual deadbeats, isn't it. Down in verse 6 he says, "We are his house". That is, his readers and other believers together, including the drifting believers, make up the people of God. Again, he calls them "brothers" at the beginning of verse 12. Why does he do this? He is reminding his readers of their true identity. This is a smart psychological and spiritual tactic. By calling them "holy brothers" he is calling their attention to their true identity in Christ. This is a great way to motivate believers to take pride in who they are, and to make every effort to live up to their name. This is one of the principals that eil Anderson stresses in his teaching. By claiming our true identity as new creations in Christ, we establish a positive target to shoot for in our daily living.

On the other hand, if we think of ourselves as merely "sinners saved by grace" our identity concepts will be based primarily on sin rather than on righteousness. How we perceive ourselves is a strong determiner for who we are becoming. That's why Paul consistently addressed believers as "saints" even when they were living like pagans and he was going to confront them for doing so. So, think of yourself as a "child of God" rather than a "sinner." The Bible is full of affirmations of our new identity in Christ, and they are all helpful for guiding us to live up to the full measure of our new life in Christ. 2.4 Remain Active in the Community of Faith. "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today." (v. 13) God has a plan for helping us stay on track with Jesus and avoid falling away because of an unbelieving heart. That plan is the Church. God places us in His family as we discovered in chapter 2. In this chapter God's people belong to God's house; or the house of His Son. The tabernacle, which Moses served in, is a type of the house to come, namely, the Church. The creator of this house, the church, is Jesus. He is over this house. Collectively, we are the house of Christ. In Christ, we are now "members of the household of God", as Paul says in 1 Tim 3:15. Do you realize that 78% (and 70% of churchgoing people) believe "you can be a good Christian without attending church" (Roof/McKinney, page 57) We assume that living out the Christian faith is our sole responsibility. We conceptualize of following Christ in a radically individualistic way. Involvement in church is simply optional. This isn't the Bible's perspective on discipleship. In fact, as you carefully study this issue, you'll find that the Bible teaches that it's impossible to live an effective Christian life apart from the household of God. We live within this household, not as solitary, disconnected individuals, but as brothers and sisters in God's family who are responsible for one another. One of our responsibilities as members of God's household is to "encourage one another". This word "encourage" carries the meaning of "support" and also of "loving confrontation". We encourage one another to grow in the faith. We also exhort the brother, or sister, who is messing around with sin. If a brother is drifting away from the faith, it is our responsibility to go talk to him. Hopefully, hef will come to his senses and get back on the right track. This is to be done with vigilance! It is to be our daily practice. The urgency of this is emphasized in the phrase, "As long as it is called Today." This is another way of saying "as long as we have the opportunity because Christ hasn't returned!" Don't minimize this work of encouragement! It's important that we do this for one another on a daily basis. The Boston Marathon is among the world's best-known races. One of the most infamous portions of the 26-mile, 385-yard course is "Heartbreak Hill." Thousands of spectators gather along that hill. They stand and cheer as they see tired runners about to collapse. During one race a young man was near total exhaustion as he approached the foot of Heartbreak Hill. It was doubtful he could go a step farther. About halfway up the hill an older man, who was obviously in better shape, came alongside the younger man, put his arm around him, and spoke quietly to him. Together, step by step, they painstakingly made their way up Heartbreak Hill. o doubt it's tough to talk to another believer about their lifestyle. Our culture conditions us to mind our own business. After all, we reason, their life is their own private business. And,

certainly, we don't want to be sticking our noses into everybody's life in a judgmental, hypercritical spirit at the drop of a hat. one-the-less, after careful prayer and soul-searching, we must summon up the courage to talk to our brother or sister if we observe that they are drifting away. This is a critical spiritual issue that requires love, concern, courage and actively looking out for one another in Christ. So, here we have four ways that we can avoid developing an unbelieving heart: Be aware of the constant downward pull of unbelief Keep focused on Jesus Christ. Remember your identity Keep active in the church. 3. This Is Extremely Important Because the Christian Life Is a Marathon ot a Sprint vv. 6 & 14 We've seen that the author takes great pains to point out the serious problem of developing an unbelieving heart. We've looked at some of his ideas for avoiding this malady. He also provides motivation to do this! The possibility of developing a hard heart and falling away from God is very real. So, the writer seeks to motivate his readers to remain focused on Jesus Christ by stressing the importance of finishing well. v. 14 "We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first." This idea is also found earlier in the chapter in v. 6, "But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." otice the conditional aspect of both statements: "IF." "If, we hold firmly till the end. . . If, we hold on to our courage and hope." Being a Christian is more than walking the aisle and "getting saved." It begins with giving your life to Jesus Christ. It continues as you give your life to Him each day. Being a Christian involves a life-long walk of discipleship. We must finish as well as we started! We have to keep-on-keeping on. We must not give up. In this respect, the Christian life is more like a marathon, than a sprint. We begin the Christian life fully aware that this is a life-long commitment. We're in this for the duration. When you give your life to Christ, it's not just something you lightly do in a moment's attraction, although many people do this, and then forget about it. It requires daily focusing on Jesus, and living for Him each moment of each day of each of week of each month of each year of our lives. Certainly there will be times when our zeal flags, but this should be a temporary condition at most. If we take our eyes off Jesus, and fall into disobedience, we run the risk of "falling away." And, then we face God's judgment! This is what happened to Israel. Their attention span was too brief; their memories too short. God would perform a miracle for them. Their faith would momentarily increase, then in a flash of an eye their hearts would turn cold against God. They would grumble against God. They claimed that there were giants in the land, impossible to defeat. Although they were the chosen people of God, in their hearts they were rebellious and sinful. Finally, after patiently leading them, and encouraging them, God's patience ran out, and He judged them with severity! Look again at vv. 16-19

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. We may be very religious and very involved, but underneath there is a spirit of complaint and grumbling, a refusal to be thankful - and that makes all of the outward activity a sham. Furthermore, many of us refuse to fight our giants. We go to meetings, listen to broadcasts, buy books and jump through spiritual hoops, but when it comes down to facing deep-seated resentments, habits that have gripped us, bitternesses, and deep and controlling patterns of sin in our life-our giants-we refuse to fight. We don't believe that the power of God is sufficient to face them. "The Enemy has guarded him from you through the first great wave of temptations. But, if only he can be kept alive, you have time itself for you ally. The long, dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather. You see, it is so hard for these creatures to persevere. The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves and youthful hopes, the quiet despair (hardly felt as pain) of ever overcoming the chronic temptations with which we have again and again defeated them, the drabness which we create in their lives and inarticulate resentment with which we teach them to respond to it-all this provides admirable opportunities of wearing out a soul by attrition. If, on the other hand, the middle years prove prosperous, our position is even stronger. Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is 'finding his place in it' while really it is finding its place in him. . . . That is why we must often wish long life to our patients; seventy years is not a day too much for the difficult task of unraveling their souls from Heaven and building up a firm attachment to the earth." (C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI /0684831171/universitybaptis>, pages 143-144)

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7. PI K, “"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness" (verse 8). The reference here is to what is recorded in the early verses of Exodus 17. There we are told that the congregation of Israel journeyed to Rephidim, where there was "no water for the people to drink." Instead of them counting on Jehovah to supply their need, as He had at Marah (Exo. 15:25) and in the wilderness of Sin (Heb. 16:4), they "did chide with Moses" (verse 2), "and when they thirsted, the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?" (verse 3). Though Moses cried unto the Lord, and the Lord graciously responded by bringing water out of the rock for them, yet God’s servant was greatly displeased, for in verse 7 we are told, "And he called the name of the place Massah (Temptation) and Meribah (Strife), because of the chiding of the children of Israel and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not". Once more we would point out the oppositeness of this quotation to the case of the Hebrews. "The thought of Moses (in verses 1-5 A.W.P.) naturally suggests Israel in the wilderness. Faithful was the mediator, through whom God dealt with them; but was Israel faithful? God spake: did they obey? God showed them wonder signs: did they trust and follow in faith? And if Israel was not faithful unto Moses, and their unbelief brought ruin upon them, how much more guilty shall

we be, and how much greater our danger, if we are not faithful unto the Lord Jesus" (Saphir). It is not only true that the difficulties and trials of the way test us, but these testings reveal the state of our hearts-a crisis neither makes nor mars a man, but it does manifest him. While all is smooth sailing we appear to be getting along nicely. But are we? Are our minds stayed upon the Lord, or are we, instead, complacently resting in His temporal mercies? When the storm breaks, it is not so much that we fail under it, as that our habitual lack of leaning upon God, of daily walking in dependency upon Him, is made evident. Circumstances do not change us, but they do expose us. Paul rejoiced in the Lord when circumstances were congenial. Yes, and he also sang praises to Him when his back was bleeding in the Philippian dungeon. The fact is, that if we sing only when circumstances are pleasing to us, then our singing is worth nothing, and there is grave reason to doubt whether we are rejoicing "in the Lord" (Phil. 4:4) at all. The reason Israel murmured at Meribah was because there was no water; they were occupied with their circumstances, they were walking by sight. The crisis they then faced only served to make manifest the state of their hearts, namely, an "evil heart of unbelief." Had their trust been in Jehovah, they would at once have turned to Him, spread their need before Him, and counted on Him to supply it. But their hearts were hardened. A most searching warning was this for the Hebrews. Their circumstances were most painful to the flesh. They were enduring a great fight of afflictions. How were they enduring it? If they were murmuring that would be the outward expression of unbelief within. Ah, it is easy to profess we are Believers, but the challenge still rings out, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?" (James 2:14). 8. William Most, “The words of the Holy Spirit here are from Psalm 95. 8-1. |The Psalm, and Hebrews urge them not to harden their hearts as they did more than once in the desert wanderings. Special mention however is made of Meribah ("rebellion") and Massah ("testing" of God). The incident was the murmuring of the Hebrews in Exodus 17. 1-7. There the people had said: "Is the Lord in our midst ot not?" They had already seen the power of the Lord i miracles more than once, yet they still did not have faith. It reminds us of the call by the Pharisees to Christ for a sign - when they had already seen so very many. In this incident Moses is told to strike the rock with the rod which he had used in miracles before. The water did come out at once. There is a very similar incident- for the Israelites murmured so many times-- reported in umbers 20. 1-13. Then Moses was told merely to speak to the rock, but instead he struck it, struck twice. It seems his faith weakened. At any rate, in umbers 20, 12 the Lord told Moses and Aaron that since they did not honor him by faith at that point, they would not be allowed to lead the community into the promised land. Therefore Aaron died soon after. umbers 20. 27-28 tells how Moses, at command of God, took off the priestly garments from Aaron, and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron himself then died. Moses later died, as narrated in Deuteronomy 34, on Mt. ebo, form which he could see the promised land, but was not allowed to enter it. The second incident seems to have taken place in the last year of their wanderings, the first, sometime earlier. The location of this first incident is said to be at Rephidim, and it seems to be close to Mt. Horeb-- which seems to be the same as Sinai. There is a problem about the location of Rephidim. umbers 13-14 the Israelites stopped at Kadesh-Barnea while spies scouted the land. Because of their faithless reaction there, after the false report of the spies, God condemned them to wander for years, so none of the generation there would enter the promised land, except Joshua and Caleb. There is a problem of lack of remains near the probable site of Kadesh-Barnea: Cf. R. Cohen,"Did I excavate Kadesh-Barnea"

in BAR, May- June, 1981. pp 21-33. However, Frank Moore Cross, retired from Harvard, in an interview in Bible Review, August 1992, pp. 23-32, 61-62 thinks the Israelites really wandered in the area of Midian, where many remains have been found. Also, Moses had the vision of the Burning Bush in Midian, and seemingly Sinai was there. Moses married a woman from Midian. God swore they would not enter into His rest. What would have been understood at the time of the desert wanderings by that word? Most likely the promised land. Later, around the end of the OT period, there was a tendency to reinterpret material images to make them stand for spiritual realities, as St. Paul does in Galatians 3. 15 ff. But although the Jews did know of survival after death during the desert period, they may not have known much about retribution the future life then. Many scholars today argue that the early Hebrews seem to have had a unitary concept of man - a body with the breath of life, so that after the breath goes into the air, and the body decays, nothing is left. Hence the modern conclusion of no survival. Yet we are certain that they did know of survival very early. Three times in the OT -- Lev 19. 31; 20. 6; Dt 8. 11 - necromancy is prohibited, which makes clear they did know of survival. Jesus Himself in replying to the Sadducees, appealed to the burning bush text: "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." He reasoned: He is not the God of the dead but of the living. While of course accepting His words, we still may ask: Did the early Hebrews pick up that implication in Exodus 3. 15. How did they reconcile the two things? We do not know. It seems that they did not know, but most likely did not concern themselves about it. Semites could be quite comfortable with a pair of seemingly contradictory statements, without asking how to reconcile them. A fine example is found in Matthew 6. 6 tells them top ray in secret. But Matthew 5. 16 tells them to let their good works be seen so they may glorify the Father. There are even some passages in the Psalms - admitted by all -which seem to speak of the vision of God after death: In Psalm 17. 15 the psalmist says that when he awakes: "I shall behold your face." Psalm 73. 24:"You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards will receive [laqah the same word used for the cases of Enoch in Gen 5. 24 and Elijah in 2 Kings 9-10] me to glory [kabod]." Psalm 49. 15:"God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me" - Again, laqah is used. Further, Mitchell Dahood, in the introductions to each of his three Anchor Bible volumes on the Psalms, argues for revising about 30 Psalm lines with the help of the Ugaritic. If he is right, knowledge of retribution must have been found at least early in the period of the kings. So, picking up on the word today, the author of Hebrews wants them to encourage one another, so long as it is still Today. In making the exhortation of the OT present to his own time, the author is following a very old tradition. In Dt. 5. 2 Moses told the people: "The Lord God made a covenant with us at Horeb. ot with our fathers did the Lord make the covenant, but with us all, who are living today." The reason is clear: God intends each one of His children to make the covenant with Him. A similar thought appears in 2 Cor . 2:6 "Behold, now is the a acceptable time, now is the day of salvation." The author urges them not to be taken by the deceit [apate] of sin. Sin deceives since it promises what is cannot give, since as St. Augustine (City of God 14. 4) explains well, to sin is to fail to be "true to form", the form or pattern God intends for each of us. To do that is to move in the direction of non-being, since one thereby recedes from Being and the source of being. That deceit

is epitomized in the story of Eve in the garden. She looked at the fruit - or whatever command of God it may have been - and said in effect to herself; God may know what is good in some things, but right now, I can just SEE that this is good. I know better than God. -- What consummate deception! The author says we have become sharers metochoi with Christ if only we hold on until the end. We are partners with Him, since as Hebrews said above, He is our brother, since by divine adoption He and we are sons of the Father. But this is valid only in the condition expressed in Romans 8:17: "We are heirs of God, fellow-heirs with Christ, provided that we suffer with Him, so we may also be glorified with Him." God was vexed with the Hebrews in the desert "for forty years", that is, for the entire period of their wandering. It is an evidence of the veracity of the author of that account that he does not hesitate to portray the people of Israel as murmuring and rebelling against God so very frequently, that Moses and God both called them several times "stiff-necked." So it was because of lack of faith that they could not enter into the rest of God. The word used for their faithlessness is apistia which is explained by saying "they disobeyed" Again, Hebrews is in line with the certain Epistles of St. Paul, for whom faith includes not only belief in what God says and confidence in His promises, but also and especially obedience to His commands, as in Romans 1. 5,"The obedience of faith', that is, the obedience that faith is. The fact that our author thinks of faith as including obedience, like St. Paul in Romans 1. 5, is clear especially from the examples of faith he gives in chapter 11, especially of the faith of Abraham, who not only believed in His mind, had confidence in God's promises, but acted in obedience, in leaving his home land, and in being willing to sacrifice Isaac. What of the fact that St. Paul insistently says faith alone justifies, without works? We reply: Faith in the Pauline sense includes obedience, even as Hebrews does here and in chapter 11. St. Paul seems unwilling to mention these two examples -- leaving his home land, and sacrificing Isaac-- for they might be called works . But a distinction was in order: these works were things produced by the "obedience of faith", Romans 1. 5, that is, the obedience that faith is. But they did not earn justification or salvation. That is a free gift of God, as we see in Romans 6. 23: "The wages of sin [what we earn] is death; the free gift of God [what we do not earn] is eternal life." In line with all of this, the T tends to picture the work of Christ as a new Exodus, by the new Moses. In Lk 9. 31 at the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah are speaking with Jesus about the exodos He is to fulfill in Jerusalem. That word fulfill may well point to the final words of Jesus on the Cross: "It is completed, fulfilled". St. John's Gospel (19. 30), so fond of working with evocative uses of words, has Jesus say: "tetelestai: it is teleios", reminding us of the words of Hebrews that He was made teleios (Heb. 2. 10) by suffering. (We recall too our comments above on Heb. 2. 10 that that word, teleioo in Greek was used to reproduce the Hebrew expression meaning to ordain).

9. CALVI , “By which words is intimated that our rebellion against God flows from no other fountain then wilful wickedness, by which we obstruct the entrance of his grace, We have indeed by nature a heart of stone, and there is in all an innate hardness from the womb, which God alone can mollify and amend. That we, however, reject the voice of God, it happens through a spontaneous

obstinacy, not through an external impulse, a fact of which every one is a witness to himself. Rightly, then, does the Spirit accuse all the unbelieving that they resist God, and that they are the teachers and authors of their own perverseness, so that they can throw the blame on none else. It is hence, however, absurdly concluded that we have, on the other hand, a free power to form the heart for God's service; nay rather, it must ever be the case with men, that they harden their heart until another be given them from heaven; for as we are bent towards wickedness, we shall never cease to resist God until we shall be tamed and subdued by his hand. “ And I have no doubt but that he referred to the history recorded in Exod. 17: for David uses here the two names which Moses relates were given to a certain place, |merivah|, Meribah, which means strife or provocation, and |masah|, Massah, which means temptation. They tempted God by denying that he was in the midst of them, because they were distressed for want of water; and they also provoked him by contending with Moses. Though indeed they gave many examples of unbelief, yet David selected this in an especial manner, because it was more memorable then any other, and also, because in order of time it followed for the most part the rest, as it evidently appears from the fourth book of Moses, where from chap. 10 to 20 a series of many temptations is described; but this narrative is given in the twentieth chapter. This circumstance increased not a little the atrocity of their wickedness; for they had often experienced the power of God, and yet they perversely contended with him, and renounced all confidence in him: how great was their ingratitude! 10. HAH , “The author of Hebrews continued to quote from the Greek translation of the Old Testament in verse 8. Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness. The literal translations of the Hebrew text of Psalm 95:8 read, "Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day of Massah in the wilderness." The references to Meribah and Massah connect the psalm to Exodus 17:1-7 and several passages in umbers (14:20-23, 28-35 and 20:1-13). At that time Israel had bitterly complained against God (and falsely accused him of bringing them out of Egypt to kill them) at a time when the people had run out of water. Exodus 17:7 states that Moses named the place Massah and Meribah - Hebrew words meaning "testing" and "quarreling." Massah and Meribah became code words for a testing, testy, cantankerous spirit that was never satisfied with what God provided. It was a quarreling, complaining, bitter attitude. That Israel could have fallen into such an attitude so soon after God had brought them out of Egypt should be a reason for humility rather than criticism. If Israel could so quickly and easily fall into griping and complaining against the God who had delivered them, so can we. The spiritual issue at stake here is trusting God. Surely, after God had brought them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, he could supply water for them in the desert. How could they fail to trust him? After God had sent Christ and revealed him to be the Messiah to the first readers of Hebrews, surely they could trust him to preserve them through persecution, couldn't they? After all that God has done for us, how could we not trust him in any and every circumstance of our

lives? But we don't! Sometimes after God has performed the greatest miracle of helping us out, we stew and fret and worry that we just can survive the next problem coming down the line. The issue for Israel, for the first readers of Hebrews, and for us, is trust. Will we trust the God who has brought us safe thus far? Will we believe that he can and will safely carry us home? Or will we begin to scheme and connive to solve our problems and relieve the pressures upon us in our own strength with our own wisdom? 11. Author unknown, “HEART ATTACK Hebrews 3:7-14 Our text this morning reveals to us a serious problem many Christians have. Spiritually speaking, those that the writer was confronting had severe heart problems. The heart is one of our most precious organs. The average persons heart beats about 72 times a minute. Each time it beats it squeezes out about 4 oz. of blood. In one year it will beat close to 40 million times. Over a lifetime your heart will beat about 2 l/2 billion times! The heart is a valuable organ and because of this we must take care of it. Humanly speaking a heart can become hard. Doctors have gone in to repaired hearts and have found them so hard that they could tap on it and it would make a noise. Physically speaking, hardening of the heart is not good. The Bible teaches that spiritually speaking we can have hard hearts. vs. 8 The Bible speaks of the heart often. * "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." * Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. * God seeth not as man seeth. Man looketh on the outward appearance but God looketh on the heart. We live in a day and age where it is very easy to have spiritual heart problems. Everywhere you look, the heart is under attack. * Jesus said, "In the last days iniquity shall abound and the love of many will grow cold." * Sin doesn't just exist today, it abounds. * Sin is what hardens the heart. I. THI K WITH ME FIRST ABOUT THE CURSE OF THE HARDE ED HEART.

When you let your heart get hard, several things happen. A. Leads you into the path of trouble! vs. 7-10 When God delivered Israel out of Egypt, it was not his intentions for Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. * What happened? They saw God work but they weren't willing to do God's will. * God had something far better for them than just leaving Egypt! * He had a place filled with milk and honey. * But no sooner had Israel been delivered from Israel did they start straying. Israel was infatuated by God but not in love with God. They had a "what have you done for me lately" attitude when it should have been a "what can I do for you" attitude. B. Leads you into the path of trouble. Leads you out of the path of blessing. vs. 11 * Think for a minute what the children of Israel missed because of hard hearts. Vs. 11 says they missed God's rest. Rest here does not mean inactivity, it means activity with a meaning. * Israel had no meaning. * A hard heart leads to a lack of meaning in life. II. THE CAUSE OF HARD HEARTS - vs. 13 "The deceitfulness of sin" The devil never reveals sin as it really is. The devil knows how to bait a hook! Sin begins by: 1. Doubting God's Word -- Adam & Eve 2. Defying God's warning. " If you eat of this tree, thou shalt surely die." They didn't believe God. People are like that today! III. THE CURE FOR HARD HEARTS A. Hear the Word - vs. 7

If you want to keep your heart tender, stay in God's Word. What is the primary cause of heart attacks? 1. Wrong diet 2. Lack of exercise Spiritually it's the same way. 1. Wrong diet 2. o exercise - finding a place to serve God. B. Exhort one another - vs. 13 Means to comfort, encourage Hebrews 10:25 IV. CO CLUSIO - vs. 12 How's your heart this morning? * Is it becoming hard because of a constant rejection of God's truth? • Is God speaking to you about taking better care of it?

12. Les Walthers HARDE I G OF THE HEART Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO OT HARDE YOUR HEARTS Heb 3:7,8 In our day, we often hear of those who are suffering from a disease known as "arteriosclerosis" which means a hardening of the arteries. In order to avoid the onset and consequences of this disease, many are willing to exercise vigorously and subject themselves to strict diets. There is a condition which the Bible speaks of which is far more dangerous than the physical affects of the hardening of the arteries. The condition is described as a "hardening of the heart." This condition is spiritual rather than physical. That which affects us spiritually is of much greater significance than that which affects us physically. That which affects us physically is for this life only; while that which affects us spiritually is for all eternity. When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is not a reference to that organ which pumps the blood throughout the body. The word "heart" as used in the Scripture refers to every aspect of one's personality such as mind, emotion and will. So when the heart is hardened, it means that there has been a hardening of the mind, the emotion and the will. Many things have a hardening effect upon the heart, not the least of which is the pervasive presence of sin. Constant exposures to the various forms of immorality which constantly bombards our society via the media gradually harden the heart. Things that would have shocked our sense of modesty a few years ago no longer bother us. We must, however, realize that just because we are no longer bothered doesn't mean that what was once considered to be immoral has suddenly become moral. The fact that we are no longer bothered only means that there has been a change in the heart, not for the better but

for the worse. The heart can also be hardened against the gospel. Those who are often exposed to the preaching of God's word and yet refuse to respond to the revealed will of God are hardening their hearts against God and His word. There are those who go to church determined that they will not be persuaded by the sermon and secretly boast as they leave that they remained unchanged. The fact is that a change did occur. Their hearts were hardened in even greater measure. It is a fearful thing to harden one's heart against his Creator and Judge. The Bible not only warns against the dangers of a hardened heart; it also describes the blessing of a broken heart. Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

13. Ron Rhodes: avPress Bible Study on the Book of Hebrews"We think of the heart as the seat of the emotions, but the Hebrews thought of it as the core of a person -- emotions, intellect, and will. The heart is the wellspring of motivation. When the author speaks of the heart believing something, he is talking about deep convictions held in the core of one's being, the beliefs that really determine what one does. Likewise, to harden one's heart is to make one's will, intellect, and emotions all insensitive to God's presence and truth." Having a hard heart. A. Any heart can be hardened - and all are. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago" "If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" #695 B. Signs of a hard heart. 1) Selfishness. Root of most sin. We must become others-centered, and God-centered. 2) Harsh words. "Out of overflow of heart, mouth speaks." Matt 12:34 3) Bitterness. Root of bitterness can harden heart. 4) Hatred. If you hate people, you can't love God. 1 John 4:20 5) Seared conscience. o more feelings of guilt, little hope. C. What happens to hard hearts. 1) Pharaoh consistent disobedience. a) He hardens his heart: Exod 8:15, 32; 9:34 b) God hardens his heart: 9:12; 10:1,20,27; 11:10; 14:8 1> Don't shut God out of your life. 2> He may accept it. 2) The longer we resist, the harder we become. a) California serial killer, playing games with case... III. Softening a hard heart. A. Kindness and love can do wonders. Steve Sjogren conducted a "Free Lawn Care" outreach. He loaded a mower and rake into a truck and drove around until he saw long grass. He approached the house and knocked on the door to tell the owner what he was up to. Through the screen door a man barked, "What do you want?" Steve gave him a brief explanation and, without even looking up, the man's response was simply, "Yeah, whatever...." The man sat motionless in front of the TV, watching a Reds baseball game. Steve mowed enthusiastically - he sometimes calls it "power mowing" - and finished in about 30 minutes. When he stopped by to tell the man it was done, Steve asked if he could pray for any needs in the man's life. The man said he didn't have any needs. As Steve began to walk away, he felt sure this man had some emotional need and that he ought to insist on praying for him. He turned around, went back to the man, and prayed, "Come, Holy Spirit, and touch this man's pain, whatever it is." The response was instant and surprising - the man erupted in deep sobbing that continued for some time. As the crying died down, he told Steve his son had been arrested the night before for stealing a car in order to support a drug habit. That day God's presence and power penetrated this man's heart in a dramatic way - because a Christian was willing to cut a little grass. #3820 B. Expose yourself to God's Word. 1) Hebrews 4:12 - The Bible strikes deep into our hearts. a) We must let ourselves be exposed to God's commands. b) Proverbs 3:1 - let God's commands live in your heart. c) Even if we never crack a Bible, God can speak to our hearts

through our conscience. Rom 2:18 2) Acts 2:37 - Pentecost crowd had hearts cut by gospel. a) Sermons have a reputation for being long, dry, boring, and irrelevant. b) Real preaching should change lives. c) We must let ourselves be exposed to solid preaching. C. Learn to forgive and be an instrument of God. There was a 12-year-old boy in California who witnessed the brutal murder of his father and mother. His life seemed ruined. Sent to a state institution for boys, he was apathetic and withdrawn, and did poorly in his work. He was paraded through the offices of several psychologists and attended numerous therapy sessions. But nothing seemed to break through the shield of defenses his young mind had thrown up. Then, shortly after graduation from high school, he attended a church youth meeting. He heard the accounts of several young people about the difference Christ had made in their lives. They emphasized how they gave up trying to get even with people who had sinned against them in some way. He listened intently, naturally, since it touched on his problem. In time he began to grasp this enlightened approach and his life began to turn from the bitter to the better. His personality brightened. Where he had been introverted and withdrawn, he gradually made new friends. But something still gnawed at him. Luckily, he was able to pinpoint the source of his incompleteness - he still harbored a residue of hatred toward the murderer who had killed his parents and messed up his life. So, while he was in law school, he arranged to visit the man in prison who had committed what most would call "an unforgivable crime." The first visit was not a good one. They were both nervous and had a hard time talking to one another. But the young man was determined, and went back a second time. It proved to be a breakthrough. "I've made a bargain with God," the young law student told the prisoner. "If God will wipe the slate clean for the awful hatred I've had for you, I'm willing to personally acquit you for the terrible crime you committed against me." The prisoner was astonished ... and deeply moved. It softened his hardened heart and after four more visits broke it open enough to where he wanted the same power that the law student had found. Some years later, when the prisoner was paroled, the law student, now an attorney in Modesto, California, helped him to get a job and start a new life. #2588 IV. How is your heart? A. Take a spiritual EKG test. 1) Back in the 1700's the great preacher Jonathan Edwards analyzed the evidence of revivals. 2) Some signs did not impress him as being from God: a) Lots of emotion, especially if it accompanied involuntary effects like barking or shouting. b) Self-oriented forms of love. c) A slavish fear of God. d) Intense religiosity. e) Making other religious people impressed with you. 3) These were what he saw as signs of genuine revival: a) A love for God, not just for what he has done for us, but for who he is. b) A sensitivity to sin. c) Genuine humility. d) Vigorous social conscience. e) The practice of charity or Christian love. #3676 B. Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. C. Is Jesus in your heart? James Dobson tells this story: A three year old girl told her mother she learned that Jesus will come to live in the heart of those who invite him. That is a difficult concept for a little girl to grasp. The mother was sitting on the couch and her three year old came over and put her ear to her mother's chest. "What are you doing?" asked the mother. "I'm listening for Jesus in your heart," replied the child. The mother let the little girl listen for a few seconds and then asked, "Well, what do you hear?" "He's there," replied the little girl, "and it sounds to me like he's making coffee." #1363 1) Accept him. 2) Obey him. 3) Love him. V. The time to soften is today, OW.

14. Change my heart, O God Make it ever true. Change my heart, O God May I be like You. You are the potter, I am the clay Mold me and make me, This is what I pray. Change my heart, O God, Make it ever true. Change my heart, O God May I be like You.

15. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love. Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Bought me with His precious blood. O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above. 16. THE HEART I THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIA SPIRITUALITY In the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, the term heart is used to describe the root of all personal life. The term serves a unitive function, insofar as it does not describe emotion or affection as separated from intellect or reason. It describes the whole, total person.

Prominent figures in the medieval period tended to distinguish between intellect and will, but they did not separate the two. Though terms such as cor, cordis and affectus bear a largely affective connotation, and the heart at this time did become associated with the will, the person was not viewed as being constituted by separate faculties. Heart, as understood by Bernard of Clairvaux, William of St. Thierry, Aelred of Rievaulx and Bonaventure, is the locus for personal life and union with God through love. However, this is not separated from reason or intellectus. Only in the seventeenth century French school of spirituality, notably represented by Berulle, de Colombiere, Eudes, and the school of devotion to the Sacred Heart, do we find a separation between intellect and will, and an alignment of the heart and affectivity with the will. Further, in this seventeenth century school, the heart was viewed as superior to the intellect. By reason of its own inclinations and proper end (union with God through love) the heart was understood to be able to attain what the intellect on its own can not. Here let it be noted that Vanier recovers an earlier understanding of heart wherein it describes the deepest and most fundamental root of all personal, moral, and religious life antecedent to any distinction between intellect and will as faculties, or distinctive operations of thinking and willing by choice. Voluntas ut atura I SCHOLASTICISM (5) Though Thomas Aquinas does not much use the term, voluntas ut natura is used in scholasticism to describe the original, primitive, radical impulse toward the good within the human being. Prior to the deliberative operations of intellect and will is the impulse within human being toward the good. That in human being which is described by voluntas ut natura is an affective tension, as distinct from the pursuit of the good which follows deliberation and choice. Voluntas ut natura specifies the radical impulse toward the good and the true at the root of being. It is a synthetic concept because it designates a unity prior to specific operations of intellect or will. Both the image of the heart in Christian spirituality and the scholastic notion of voluntas ut natura are operative, even if only implicitly, in Vanier's understanding of the person as heart. Both notions convey insight into the understanding of the human person as constituted at a deep and fundamental level, and in a mysterious way, by an intuition, instinct, or impulse of love, which, at root, is affective. In speaking of the heart, Vanier himself does not refer to voluntas ut natura, nor to the various understandings of the heart in Christian spirituality. Rather he spells out an understanding of heart by analyzing human needs of an affective sort. These affective needs for light, life and love (or knowledge, freedom and love) are met precisely through the activities which Aristotle exalts: contemplation, justice and friendship. That is to say, there is a type of correlation between the deep affective needs of the human being and the activities by which they may be met. The need for knowledge is met through contemplation, life through the pursuit of justice and love through friendship. These take on a particular nuance in light of the priority of love and the gifts of the Spirit, but they nonetheless constitute the Aristotelian triad which Vanier treated at length in his doctoral dissertation. To find out how Israel tempted the Lord, we need to look briefly at the record of their wilderness wanderings. umbers 14 records some of the murmuring and complaining that provoked the Lord and caused him to conclude he would not allow them to enter the Promised Land. In spite of having seen his miraculous deliverance when he brought them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, they tempted him ten times by not hearkening to his voice. (vs.22. For the ten times

Israel provoked the Lord, see Ex.14:11-12; 15:23-24; 16:2; 16:20,27; 17:1-3; 32:1-35; um.11:1; 11:4; 14:2) Exodus 17:7 gives the primary manner in which Israel tempted the Lord: "And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, 'Is the LORD among us, or not?'" In complete disregard of God's daily provision and mighty deliverance, every time they encountered something out of the ordinary, they questioned whether he was with them or not! Psalms 78 outlines some of the marvelous things the Lord did for Israel in the wilderness. I'll cite only a few examples of how he provided for them: "He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through;" "In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire;" "He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths;" "He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers;" "He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed;" "And... [He] rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven;" "He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea;" But in spite of all God had done for them, "they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works." (See also I SIGHT, Vol.8 o.1 "The Paralysis of Unbelief") Can you see why the Lord was provoked with them and finally determined "that they shall not enter into my [his] rest"?

17. Hebrews 3:7-19 by Mike Bradaric I TRODUCTIO One of the important principles of Bible Study is paying attention to statements or phrases that are repeated in a passage. If something is repeated twice within a few verses, we should always take that statement very seriously. If the statement is repeated three or more times in the same set of verses, we ought to fall all over ourselves trying to understand what the text means. Such an occurrence takes place in Hebrews 3:7-19. The sobering words, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts," is repeated three times in this passage (vv. 7-8, 13, 14). These same words are also repeated again in Hebrews 4:7. We don't need to be hit over the head with a 2X4 to get the point that God is trying to get our attention. The Book of Hebrews is written to attenders of the Jewish Church, some of whom were considering a return to traditional Judaism. Keep in mind that some had genuinely professed faith in Christ while others simply admired the teachings of Christianity but had never made a commitment of faith. To sound a serious warning about what they were contemplating, the writer reminds them of the example of God's dealings with Israel in the wilderness following their deliverance from Egypt. Over and over again, amidst God's mighty miracles on their behalf, Israel continued to rebel and disobey the Lord. Some even wanted to return to Egypt. For their lack of faith and rebellion, Israel received serious judgment and the entire generation that experienced the Exodus was never allowed to enter the promised land ( um. 14:1-23).

Disobedience and unbelief are serious sins, particularly in the face of God's abundant grace. Every person who professes to be a Christian needs to heed the teachings of this text. The only proof that one is a Christian is that he perseveres to the end. That is the clear teaching of this text. It is the reason for the thrice repeated warning, "Do not harden your hearts." The passage is a little like a sermon. It has opening illustration followed by a statement of the "big idea." Then there is exhortation and instruction followed by a concluding repetition of the theme. This is a biblical sermon that every believer needs to hear and heed.

18. S. L. JOH SO , “"But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” (Heb. 1:8-9) The primary point is that the angels are unstable. They may be reduced to "wind" to "fire"; they are menial; they serve the saints. But the Son, on the other hand, is royal, immutable and divine. This is very interesting because he is set up in verse 4 as having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. When we talked about this in our first study, I mentioned that the name is fundamentally in this particular section the name of the Son of God, that is He is one who has the being of God. That is why the Lord Jesus is called the "Son of God" for He bears God's nature wherever He is. ow we have already seen to this point that He is called "Son." We see the Son's divinity in the quote in Heb. 1:8, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever"-for He is addresses as God. Furthermore, we see that over and against the angels, He is immutable. So already, the more exact name that this author attaches to our Lord Jesus Christ may be said to be the name of God, the name of the Son of God, the Divine Son, and the Eternal Son for all of these things apply to Him. It is no wonder that the author says that the Son has a more excellent name than the angels! Thus, the ephemeral, evanescent angels cannot stand comparison with the ever-present abiding Son whose "anointing" is superior to their "angelic anointing."

19. Story of T.T. Shields, “T. T. Shields was a great preacher in the downtown area of the city of Toronto and was a light for the gospel for about 40 years. The evangelicals loved him but the Roman Catholics hated him because one of the great themes that Mr. Shields sought to present was the fact that the Roman Catholic doctrine of the sacraments violated the principle of the grace of God and salvation by grace. He preached free grace boldly for years in the pulpit and over the radio. One friend of mine shared with me an illustration used by Mr. Shields and I want to share it with you. Mr. Shields came to a place in his message and said, " I grew up in northern Ontario where they had stone fences around the farms. One afternoon a group of children were coming along the road after school. Among them was a crippled boy on crutches, dragging himself along with them and trying to keep up. As the students came near our farm I could hear some of the boys beginning to heckle the crippled boy. Then they took away the crutches from the little crippled boy and pushed him up against the rock fence and made him stand there. Then they stood off in the road and began to "pepper" him with stones. Of course, the boy began to weep and cry from

being hurt. But across the field there was a great big man who was hoeing out in the field. The little boy hurt and weeping looked off and saw the man and recognized him and shouted out one agonizing cry: Father! He said the man looked over, recognized the boy, dropped his hoe and raced to the fence; he jumped over the fence and came to the boy held him in his arms. Then he went out and picked up the crutches, handed them to him and kissed him. It was his father. Then T.T. Shields said, 'I have been like that little boy. Satan has been heckling me and stoning me and I have cried that one word "Father" and he has scattered the demons and delivered me." When I read a passage like the one from Psalm 45 and from Heb. 1:8: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever." When I realize that this is MY SAVIOR in all of the experience of life; He is my God and my Savior. The cry of "Father" and "Son" to the Triune God ALWAYS receives and answer! May God help us to remember that and never, ever forget it! 20. FUDGE, “The Hebrew Christians were in danger of leaving Christ for Moses. The analogy here suggests that back of their threatened apostasy was a basic lack of trust in the work of Christ as perfect sacrifice, priest and Savior. They were not confident of their standing before God. Because their basis of salvation was the finished redemptive work of the Son, such lack of confidence reflected a fundamental lack of faith in Christ. This unbelief was sinful -- and ft was the same kind of sin which led to the Jews' destruction centuries before in the wilderness.

21. S.L JOH SO , “It has been said that the saddest word in the Bible is not death, hell, depart, or lost, but sin. It is the fountain of woe, the mother of sorrows, as universal as human nature, as eternal as human history. If so, then "unbelief" is a word that should cast a dismal pall over everyone. For "unbelief" is the root of sin. Unbelief is the Root of Sin As we read Genesis this is one of the things that stands out most sharply. When Adam and Eve were placed in the garden of Eden, they were given a simple little test, and God gave them every opportunity to keep it. He did not make it difficult for them to keep it, He made it, humanly speaking, as possible to keep as He could, and they had every advantage for obedience to the Word of God. You can never say that God made the situation in which man had a "pull towards sin." It is just the opposite! Satan came to the woman and said to her, "Is it really true that God said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" The woman said, we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden we may not eat, nor shall we touch it, lest we die. The serpent said, "you shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day that you eat thereof that your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil." ow it seems evident from this that Eve's sin was basically the sin of unbelief. She did not really believe the statement "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die" and because she did not believe it, she acted independently, and as a result, she sinned. The Progression: Unbelief, Independence, Disobedience In other words, it was unbelief, then independence , and then specific disobedience. I am often told that "Sin is independence of God". I would like to suggest that independence is a result. Sin is unbelief which leads to independence, which in turn leads to specific disobedience. ow Jesus confirmed this. When speaking to the disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit, He said, "It

is expedient for you that I go away. If I do not go away the Comforter will not come. But if He comes, He will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment." Does the Holy Spirit convince the world of sin, because they do wrong? o, but rather because they believe not on Christ. Unbelief then is the root of sin which is the saddest word in all of the Bible. A GREAT EW TESTAME T CHARACTER Think of Peter, one of the great characters of the ew Testament. I love to study Peter! Peter not only reflects my life, but there are many things to be learned from this fumbling saint. It was midnight on the night of nights. A fire burned in the courtyard and an apostle of Jesus Christ was warming himself. A little girl was nearby and she said "You are one of them". Then off in the distance you hear a cock crowing . Jesus said, "before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice." As the cock crows, the door opens and out walks Jesus led away by some Roman soldiers. As He passes, Jesus hears Peter say, "I never knew the man". And you want to stop and say, "Peter, is it really you?" Are you not the one to whom Jesus spoke saying, "Your name is Simon, but you shall be called Cephas," which means "a rock". Is this the person who was in the boat when Jesus calmed the storm, who fell at His feet and cried out "Depart from me O LORD, for I am a sinful man?" Is this the Peter who gave the answer to the question "Whom do men say that I am? " And Peter replied, "Thou art the Christ the Son of The Living God". And of whom our Lord said, "Flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee Peter, but my Father which is in heaven. Blessed art Thou. Is this the Peter that said to the Lord, "LORD to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of Eternal Life?" Is this the one who was on the mount of Transfiguration, and saw the glory of the Son of God and said, "Let's build three tabernacles, one for Thee, one for Moses and one for Elijah"? Is this the one who said, "Though all forsake Thee, I will never forsake Thee"? The same one who said, "I never knew the man!". I think that you an see the sadness in the eyes of our Lord, and you could certainly see it on the face of Peter, for when he looked upon the face of Jesus, realizing what he had done, he turned and went away weeping bitterly. Unbelief-perhaps that is the saddest word in all of the Bible, even sadder than the word sin, sadder than death, sadder than lost. Unbelief! A Book of the Exaltation of Christ and Stern Admonition to Believers Hebrews is a book that is devoted to the exaltation of Jesus Christ. But also, of all the books in the Bible, this is the most solemn! The book contains the most heart-rending admonition addressed to professing Christians, that is to professing believers, warning them against the danger of rejection of light and of apostasy-a stern warning against unbelief. Why? Because Unbelief cancels the promises of God. Unbelief voids the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Unbelief separates men from the Promiser, that is from the human standpoint. That is why unbelief is so bad. Our author has compared Moses and Christ and says that Christ is greater. It is only natural then, that he should compare those who received the words of Moses, and those who received Christ's words. In the Old Testament, it is Israel who received Moses's words, and they did not believe. In the ew Testament, it is you, who heard the words of Jesus Christ-a greater Person

than Moses, and His words hold a greater penalty. How will you receive them? Our author is a very logical man, a very intelligent man and a very human man. He knows our danger! ow he begins with "wherefore" this is the "Stop, Look, and Listen" word. Just as you draw up to a sign on the road which says "Stop", and you look before and behind and to the side; so when you see a "wherefore", in the Bible, stop, look and listen. Why? It is in the light of the greatness of Jesus Christ, in His superiority to Moses! otice that after the "wherefore" in verse 7 the remaining part of verse 7 and through verse 11 mark out the citation from Psalm 95. The word "wherefore" then really is conncected with verse 12: Remember that Psalm 95 invites the worship of the LORD, but it warns against disobedience as the Psalmist wrote "I want to warn you against disobedience and he turned to Israel and looked at their past history. A Look at Israel's History This history included possibly three great events. One, the experience of Israel just after they came out of Egypt at a little place called Rephidim. Turn to Exodus 17:1-7. This is a great "typical event." I am going to pass by the typology this morning. If the Holy Spirit should lead, I may expound it to-night at the Lord's Supper. Exodus 17:1-7: Temptation in the Wilderness Remember it is in the second year of their journey from Egypt, and they have had some great miracles performed. Yet the people murmured against Moses. Oh, how human was the nation of Israel! I have heard the saints murmur the same way that Israel murmured. It is true because I have murmured, and still murmur the same way. Ex. 17:1"And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin (what a fitting name) and pitched in Rephidim (that means resting places); and there was no water for the people to drink." To have no water is a terrible thing. Hunger gnaws in one organ of the body, but thirst rages like a fever in the blood and it draws the moisture from every part of the body, and so to be thirsty is a terrible trial. And they came to the place where they were thirsty, and Israel was deeply disturbed. do you respond to thirst? Ex. 17:2-3 "Wherefore the people did chide with Moses and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted and murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hath brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children, and our cattle with thirst?" ow how fitting that they have been brought out of Egypt, and the terrible bondage, and brought into the fellowship of God with all the promises of the blessings of God relative to the present, the Kingdom, and on into the future. All of the past cared for, and all of their future cared for, and they want to go back to the old days! Have you ever felt like that? I remember the first time I felt like that. I had been converted and brought by the Holy Spirit to Dallas Theological Seminary. I didn't like the book of Hebrews, and I discovered that Dallas Seminary was not heaven on earth. This began to work on me, and ow, how

finally, I became very disappointed in everything that was going on. I didn't like my teachers, nor the work, and I didn't like Dallas. I thought, now I would love to be back in the insurance business. Couldn't I serve the Lord there? Yes, I could. I wanted to go back to the old life. Imagine that-go back to the old life where I knew where the next dollar was coming from, and was very certain about it! Have you ever thought like that? Have you ever thought that your old friends, before you were converted, were much nicer friends than your friends you have now? Be honest! And Moses cried unto the LORD saying, "What shall I do unto this people? " They be almost ready to stone me. Why is it that the Psalmist looks back on this, and says that Israel proved God and tempted God there at Rephidim? Why? Because of unbelief. It is a denial of the presence of God in their midst. It was if they were saying, "God is dead after all." That is why it was such a great provocation. And even greater is to recall the kind of miracles they had seen up to this point. They had seen a great "WATER MIRACLE" they had seen the Red Sea part and the whole company hundreds of thousands of them went through the columns of water to safety. ot long after this, they came to a place called Mara and the waters were bitter, and it was God who directed them to cast in a stick and it became sweet so that they could drink. That is why this is such a provocation to God because they had already experienced "Two Great Water Miracles" and now they come to the place where there is no water and they want to blame it on God! Unbelief, the terrible sin of unbelief! Ex. 17:7 "and he called the name of the place Massah and Merihah because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?: That is the temptation! You know what happened. Moses, smote the rock. What a beautiful picture! Moses, the representative of the Lord, takes the rod which he had used to turn the river into blood, and he smites the rock, which represents our Lord Jesus Christ, turning that rock into the blood of Calvary that washes away the sins of men. And out of that rock there comes water-the water of the river of life, in the antitype whereof men may drink. Everything comes from Christ! Paul says that that rock was Christ.

22. A LESSO O A PARK BE CH FROM DR. BAR HOUSE Years ago Dr. Barnhouse said in a message that "Jesus Christ was in the Old Testament, and He was alive and working then." The next day he was sitting on a park bench, reading his Bible, and a woman came up and said, "Last night in your message you said a ridiculous thing. You said that Jesus Christ, before he was born, was living and active in the Old Testament days". Dr. Barnhouse said, "Will you read the Bible with me. He handed her his Bible and said, ow turn to 1 Corinthians. She turned to chapter 10 and began to read:1 Cor. 10:1-4 1. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3. And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4. And did all drink the same spiritual

drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ. Remember our author of the Epistle to the Hebrews said, Heb. 3:7-8 7. Wherefore as the Holy Spirit said, To day if ye will hear His voice, 8. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness. Do not do like Israel did at their resting places. Don't act as if God doesn’t exist. Believe His word and trust Him. In the Old Testament we read, "Today if you will hear His voice." Whose voice? The voice of God. In the ew Testament whose voice-the voice of Jesus Christ. The voice of the one who is over the house of God, not in the house. The one who is the Son, not the servant-His voice. The voice of the Son of God is the voice of God. The Voice of the Son You see it was the Lord Jesus, who in the Old Testament was pleading with the children of Israel through the Psalmist by the inspiration of the Spirit. It was the voice of the Son, through the Spirit, addressed to the people. You can see how this author of Hebrews has a high view of Jesus Christ-for Jesus Christ is God. ow he says in verse 10 "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation (in the Hebrew that word "grieved" means "I loath that generation". They made me nauseous! So I swear in my wrath They shall not enter into my rest. When did He say that? It was at Kadish Barnea where they were right on the boarder of the land which flowed with milk and honey. What they needed (so they thought) was a little strategy to go into the land, and see if it really is as God said-even though God had told them that it was a land filled with milk and honey. So they formed a little search party, and 12 entered into the land. In umbers 13-14, the majority report was that it surely was a land flowing with milk and honey, nevertheless the people be strong and the cities are walled and very great and there were giants, great big giants. (However, they failed to mention that fact that God was on their side.) The minority report said, "Let's go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it." Here is a startling thing. Then report of the majority and that of the minority were identical. But one said, " evertheless, let's go up and possess it, for we are well able". One group looked at God and then looked at the difficulty. The other group looked at the difficulty, and consequently could not see God. One put the difficulty between themselves and God. The other put God between themselves and the difficulty! ow mind you, Israel was prevented from going into that land because they were disobedient. Twice in the next chapter it is said that they provoked God. They exasperated God! Why? Because they had committed a great sin like murder? O, they just didn't believe God. That is all. They just didn't believe God. I want to tell you that the sin of unbelief is the saddest of all sins, for it is the sin that severs man from the promises of God! And ultimately from God Himself. ow we turn back to Hebrews. You see that you cannot understand the ew Testament text unless you know something of the Old Testament text cited. ow, the application is made in his

admonition in verse 12. Heb. 3:12. Wherefore, Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Oh, I know that you have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and I believe that you are a Christian. However, it is possible to have a great deal of light, and to turn away from the light. And if you turn away from a great deal of light, never having made it your own, and apostatize from it, that sin may be a an irretrievable sin. You see the reason why he had to warn his readers is that they had made a great profession of faith, but their profession was not so real. He saw that they were dull of hearing and that they could not understand. And because of this, he wondered is this really the "faith of a man who has received the truth" and has back-slidden? Or is it a man who has never really received the truth to the edification of life? Being a good shepherd of the flock, he wants to be sure that everyone of them has really acted on the truth that has come to them. My dear friends who listen to good solid preaching Sunday after Sunday, you have been exposed to a great deal of light, you have looked at the Scriptures, and you know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. He is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Have you truly believed or are you just a "mere professor" enjoying the benefits of a godly atmosphere and good Christian friends? It is just possible there is someone reading this who has not yet believed in Jesus Christ. Oh I want to plead with you, that if you turn away from the light that you have, there comes a time, in the good wisdom of the everlastingly merciful God, when He cannot save, because you will not come. Your heart will have become hardened, dead, listless, dull of hearing because you will have rejected the light once and for all. If you have not yet believed in Christ, Oh I plead with you that you come to Him and say, "Thank you Lord for dying for me, I take you as my personal Savior, and by your grace, I want to serve you acceptably." Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you and evil heart of unbelief. You know there are some who think that unbelief is just a trifling kind of sin. There are some who even take pride in unbelief. They say, "you know I find it so difficult to believe God and they feel that they are very humble persons for saying so. I want you to know that unbelief is OT a trifling sin! Did you know that unbelief is also deceitful? "But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Satan came to Eve and said, "It is not wrong. It is not fatal. You shall not surely die. It is not even bad. He just doesn’t want you to become like God, knowing good and evil." Oh the deceitfulness of sin! It is the one damning sin because it is the sin that exasperates God, and it touches every one of us. It cancels the promises of God for recall when Jesus Himself went to azareth He could do no miracles there because of the unbelief of the people. It voids the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for from the human standpoint, it is as if He had not died. It voids the benefits of that work for yourself, and it surely separates you from God. Take heed lest there be in you and evil heart in apostatizing and standing off from the living God! You remember Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, a religious man, a priest in the temple

offering sacrifice. And the angel Gabriel appeared to him and announced to him that his wife was going to have a child, and his name will be John, and he will be a great man. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and make ready a people prepared for the Lord. How did Zechariah respond? ot "How shall this come to be?" like Mary's response, but "How shall I come to know it?" In other words, Zechariah did not believe the angelic message. And so until John is born, you are going to be dumb, that is not able to speak. Actually he became a deaf-mute. The reason we know that was when John the Baptist was born, the people said, "Let's call his name Zechariah" but his mother said, " O, his name shall be called John". So they turned to Zechariah and began to make signs to him. We know from this that Zechariah could not hear. He took a writing tablet and wrote, "His name shall be John". And as soon as he had written these words, his tongue was loosed and he spake and praised God. ow because he was an unbeliever, his ears were closed and his mouth was shut. For you see, when a man does not believe God, his ear toward God is closed, and his mouth toward men is also shut, he cannot testify for God. But when the time comes when he believes God, then his mouth is opened and he hears God, and speaks for God. Oh, the wickedness of the spirit of unbelief!

23. Gary DeLashmutt, The Hardened Heart Hebrews 3:7-4:2 Introduction We all understand the importance of regular physical check-ups. We can contract certain physical conditions which, if left untreated, can result in serious problems. This passage is a spiritual check-up. It warns us of a spiritual condition which, if we leave it unattended, will result in serious spiritual damage to our lives. Read vs 7-11. The condition is called (vs 8) a "hardened heart." The author quotes extensively from Ps. 95. The author of that psalm warns his audience against contracting this condition by referring to an incident in Israel's history which occurred 450 years earlier. Let's go back and examine this incident which so clearly illustrates what it means to have a hardened heart . . . THE I CIDE T: Kadesh-barnea ( umbers 13,14) >> SETTI G: After God delivered Israel from Egypt, he led them across the northern Sinai Peninsula to the border of the promised land - Canaan. Here, at a place called Kadesh-barnea, an incident occurred which decisively altered the history of these people's lives. otice four elements in this A ATOMY OF A HARDE ED HEART . . . Read um. 13:1,2. The first thing to notice is that they heard God's voice. God told them to send out 12 leaders to spy out the land. But they were not to go on this reconnaissance mission to determine the feasibility of conquest because God had promised "I am going to give it to you." In other words, God has made a promise to them ("I am giving you this land"), and he issued a command on that basis ("Go into this land"). Before we go on, there are two important things to note.

It wasn't like suddenly, out of the blue, Moses said "God wants us to take this populated territory for ourselves." God had already confirmed Moses as his spokesmen to these people through a variety of ways (PLAGUES; RED SEA; SOJOUR ). They had more-than-adequate evidence to trust the authenticity of this message. God was not playing favorites and unjustly kicking out the natives of this land (PARALLEL TO I DIA S' DISPOSSESSIO BY EUROPEA -AMERICA S). God had long ago warned the people of this land that they were becoming so depraved (CHILD-SACRIFICE - Lev. 20:2-5) that unless they turned around he would judge them. He had also told Abraham that his people would not inherit this land until the day came when these people forfeited it through their depravity (Gen. 15:16). That day had come, and God was doing two things at once: judging Canaanites through the agency of Israelites, and fulfilling his promise to Israelites concerning this land. So the spies are sent out (read um. 13:21-24), and they return with their report (read um. 13:25-27). They chose to disbelieve God's Word. Read um. 13:28,29. What's going on here? From a solely human perspective, this information is very relevant: the land is occupied by many people who have fortified cities and strong armies. But that isn't the point! The same God who fulfilled his promise to deliver them from powerful Egypt has promised to give them this land. They weren't sent out to determine the feasibility of this project; they were sent out to examine the land God was going to give them - and he expects them to trust him. This is Caleb's point (read vs 30). But the ten reject his perspective and reiterate their objections (read vs 31,32). And the rest of the people choose to follow their counsel and reject God's Word (read 14:1). Because they chose to disbelieve God's Word, they became self-deceived. Read um. 14:2-4. An amazing thing happens to their thinking once they choose to disbelieve God's promise. otice how irrational they become. They wax nostalgic about life in Egypt (vs 2-4). Aren't these the same people who hated life in Egypt and cried out to be delivered from Egypt? How could their memory have deserted them so quickly? They turn against God's spokesmen. They accuse Moses of being a bad leader (vs 2,4). What had he done to deserve this? Where had he made even one error up to now? Rather than just admit "We reject God's Word," they blame God's spokesman. When Joshua and Caleb weigh in again with God's perspective at this point (read vs 5-9 >> "God + one = a majority"), they respond by voting to stone them (vs 10). As a result of their unbelief, they forfeited God's rest - entry into the land. God speaks up at this point and he is not sympathetic with their response (read vs 11). He considers their decision a personal rejection of trust in him which is completely unwarranted ( OTE: MIRACLES DO OT CREATE FAITH). And so God renders his verdict (read vs 28-35). He gave them "40 laps around the wilderness." They succeeded in squeezing a one year trek into 40 years. God's purpose for their nation was held up for that long, and they never experienced the benefits they could have experienced. >> otice how the author of Hebrews sums up the reason for this misfortune (read Heb. 3:16-19). But this is simply an Old Testament history lesson; it has personal, practical application for us. Read Heb. 4:1,2. THE LESSO is crystal clear: God has a rest (spiritual blessings) he wants to give to us, but we cannot receive spiritual blessing from God except by choosing to actively trust in

his Word. This incident at Kadesh-barnea is a picture of cross-roads which we have with God in our dealings with him. He brings us to one "Kadesh-barnea" after another - and how we respond at these points is as crucial for us as it was for them. This is why he says 4:11 & 3:12,13. ow let's APPLY this lesson in 2 COMMO "KADESH-BAR EAS" . . . The Decision to Receive Christ We hear God's voice through the message of the gospel. This message consists of a diagnosis (our biggest problem is separation from God because of sin), a promise (we can be reconciled to God through Jesus' death), and a command (humble yourself before God and actively receive his gift). If you are at all open, God will provide sufficient evidence of the truthfulness of this message for you (APOLOGETICS; CHA GED LIVES), and his Spirit will personally convict you of your need to receive Christ (ME AT 15). Our response to this message is our response to God. There is no middle ground when we come to this place (Mt. 12:30). I know I tried to say that I was open to God, but that I couldn't receive Christ because there wasn't enough evidence. But the real issue was that I wanted to do some things that I knew God would disapprove of. In doing so, I hardened my heart against God. Our rejection of this message will lead to distorted thinking about God. Sometimes people receive distorted information about God which leads them to reject him (e.g., SALVATIO BY WORKS). But sometimes the opposite is true. Most of us are psychologically unable to walk around knowing that we have volitionally rejected God's will (COG ITIVE DISSO A CE). So we must either change our response to God's will or find a way to rationalize our rejection of it. I readily seized on distortions of Christianity (SUPPOSED CO TRADICTIO S I THE BIBLE) and supposed scientific evidence against it (BISHOP USSHER: 4004 B.C.). And in rejecting Christianity as "irrational," I ironically adopted a position of blind faith and ultimate despair (ATHEISM). This is the kind of thinking hardness of heart produces (Rom. 1:28). We forfeit God's acceptance until we choose to receive Christ. God never gave up on me. He continued to send his people to remind me of his offer, and he continued to convict me that I needed it. But I remained separate from God until I humbled myself to receive Christ. >> CHALLE GE: The choice you make about Jesus Christ is the most important decision you will ever make. If you need more understanding or evidence, by all means take the time to get it. Don't let anyone push you into a premature decision. But realize that you will reach a point when God says " ow it's time for you to receive Christ." When you reach that point, you are at Kadesh-barnea, and if you refuse to receive Christ you will begin to harden your heart - which is a very dangerous thing to do because it can lead to eternal alienation from God. The Decision to Follow Christ >> Once we have received Christ, God wants us to follow his loving leadership of our lives. As we begin to do this as Christians, we find ourselves at "Kadesh-barnea" over and over again. We hear God's voice through his Word on many issues and in a many ways. Caution against excessive subjectivity - God will never lead you contrary to his written Word. But the Holy Spirit will personally apply God's Word to your life. His voice may come to you through PERSO AL READI G, DIRECT CO VICTIO , THROUGH TEACHI G OR EXHORTATIO . Usually it will be about a central biblical issue and usually there will be a practical step to take (MORAL CORRECTIO : FORGIVE OFFE DER; BREAK OFF IMMORAL RELATIO SHIP;

CHA GE ATTITUDE TOWARD SPOUSE [initiate love; take a stand on truth]; SPIRITUAL SERVICE: GET I VOLVED I FELLOWSHIP/MI ISTRY; SHARE CHRIST WITH SOMEO E). Our trust in God is revealed by our response to God's Word in this area. When God speaks to us about an issue in our lives, it is this issue that matters. In a sense, what we have trusted him for in the past about and what we trust him in now don't matter. We should never use these as an excuse to blow God off now. What matters is: will we actively trust him in this issue??? Our refusal to actively trust God's voice will lead to spiritual self-deception. There are remarkable parallels to Israel in this area (SOUR GRAPES ABOUT THE BE EFIT; OSTALIC FOR EGYPT; FAULT-FI DI G WITH HUMA SPOKESMA ). We forfeit spiritual vitality & growth as long as we remain in unbelief on this issue. God's acceptance is not in jeopardy for the Christian - but vitality and growth are important issues. The longer you stay here, the worse it gets - SYMPTOMS of a hardened heart in advanced stages include: VICTIM ME TALITY; AVERSIO TO MEA S OF GROWTH; SPIRITUAL CO FUSIO & LACK OF ASSURA CE; I CREASED VUL ERABILITY TO TEMPTATIO . Some think, "I'll eventually get so miserable I'll have to turn around." This is another deception! You can get used to being in the wilderness (SPIRITUAL CALLOUS) and waste your Christian life there! >> If you've contracted a hardened heart, you can change it!! In this respect, we are not like the nation of Israel. They had to spend 40 years in the wilderness for this decision, but you don't have to spend even 40 seconds in this place!! Simply acknowledge to God that you have called him a liar, thank him for forgiving you, and agree to actively cooperate with him - and even though you may have to live with the consequences of your decision, you can have a restored relationship with God. >> PRACTICE PREVE TIO !! Cultivate a soft heart before God by regularly asking yourself these questions: What is God calling on you to do? What has God promised you in reference to what he is calling you to do? Have you ever regretted following God's voice before? How are you going to respond?

9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.

1. Barnes, “Proved me - “As if they would have made an experiment how much it was possible for me to bear.” - Doddridge. The meaning is: “they put my patience to a thorough trial.” And saw my works - That is, my miracles, or my interpositions in their behalf. They saw the wonders at the Red Sea, the descent on Mount Sinai, the supply of manna, etc., and yet while seeing those works they rebelled. Even while sinners look on the doings of God, and are

surrounded by the proofs of his power and goodness, they rebel, and provoke him to anger. Men sin when God is filling their houses with plenty; when he opens his hand daily to supply their wants; when they behold the manifestations of his goodness on the sea and on the land; and even in the midst of all the blessings of redemption, they provoke him to wrath. Forty years - The whole time during which they were passing from Egypt to the promised land. This may mean either that they saw his works forty years, or that they tempted him forty years. The sense is not materially affected whichever interpretation is preferred.

2. Clarke, “When your fathers tempted me - It would be better to translate οὑ where than when, as the Vulgate has done in its ubi; and this translation has been followed by Wiclif, Coverdale, Tindal, and our first translators in general. In my old MS. Bible the 7th, 8th, and 9th verses stand thus: Wherefore as the Holy Gost seith, to-day gif yhe han herde his voyce: nye yhe herden ghour hertis as in wrath-thinge, after the day of temptacioun in desert. Where ghoure fadris temptiden me: provyden and saiden my werkis. Wherefore fourtye yeere I was offendid or wrothe to this generatoun. In behalf of this translation, Dr. Macknight very properly argues: “The word When implies that, at the time of the bitter provocation, the Israelites had seen God’s works forty years; contrary to the history, which shows that the bitter provocation happened, in the beginning of the third year after the Exodus: whereas the translation where, as well as the matter of fact, represents God as saying, by David, that the Israelites tempted God in the wilderness during forty years, notwithstanding all that time they had seen God’s miracles.”

2B. Calvin, “ Tempted, etc. This word is to be taken in a bad sense; it means to provoke in a proud and insulting manner, which we express in French by saying, defier comme en depitant For though God had often brought them help, yet they forgot all, and scornfully asked, where was his power. Proved, etc. This clause is to be thus explained, "When yet they had proved me and seen my works". For it enhanced the guilt of their impiety, that having been taught by so many evidences of divine power, they had made so bad a progress. For it was a marvelous supineness and stupidity to esteem God's power as nothing, which had been so fully proved. [61] Forty years. These are connected by David with what follows. But we know that the Apostles in quoting passages attend more to the general meaning than to the words. And no doubt God complained that the people had been vexatious to him for forty years, because so many benefits had availed nothing for the purpose of teaching them; for though God did good continually to them who were wholly unworthy, they yet never ceased to rise up against him. Hence arose his continual indignation, as though he had said " ot once or for a short time have they provoked me, but by their incessant wickedness for forty years." Generation means race, or men of one age.

3. Gill, “When your fathers tempted me,.... This the apostle cites and repeats, to expose the glorying of the Jews in their ancestors; to dissuade them from following their sinful practices; to deter them from the same by observing both their sin and punishment; and to heighten their regards to the voice and Gospel of Christ: proved me; this is either an explication of the former phrase; or it may design the experience this people had of the power and goodness of God, notwithstanding their tempting and provoking the Lord by a distrust of them; which is an aggravation of their sin and ingratitude, and shows the forbearance of God, and that wicked men may partake of outward favours: and saw my works forty years; that is, God's works of providence, in furnishing them with the necessaries of life, in guiding, protecting, and supporting them for the space of forty years, in the wilderness; and his miracles, and the punishment of their enemies; yet they saw and perceived not, but all this time sinned against the Lord, see Deu_29:2 the space of time, forty years, is in the psalm placed to the beginning of the next verse, and is joined with God's grief and indignation at the people, as it is also by the apostle, in Heb_3:17 but the people's sin, and God's grief at it, being of equal duration, it matters not to which it is placed, and therefore to both; perhaps, one reason of its being repeated, and so much notice taken of it is, because there was just this number of years from Christ's sufferings, to the destruction of Jerusalem; which the apostle might have in view. 4. Jamison, “When — rather, “Where,” namely, in the wilderness. your fathers — The authority of the ancients is not conclusive [Bengel]. tempted me, proved me — The oldest manuscripts read, “tempted (Me) in the way of testing,” that is, putting (Me) to the proof whether I was able and willing to relieve them, not believing that I am so. saw my works forty years — They saw, without being led thereby to repentance, My works of power partly in affording miraculous help, partly in executing vengeance, forty years. The “forty years” joined in the Hebrew and Septuagint, and below, Heb_3:17, with “I was grieved,” is here joined with “they saw.” Both are true; for, during the same forty years that they were tempting God by unbelief, notwithstanding their seeing God’s miraculous works, God was being grieved. The lesson intended to be hinted to the Hebrew Christians is, their “to-day” is to last only between the first preaching of the Gospel and Jerusalem’s impending overthrow, namely, FORTY YEARS; exactly the number of years of Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness, until the full measure of their guilt having been filled up all the rebels were overthrown. 5. PI K, “"When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years" (verse 9). The "when" looks back to what is mentioned in the previous verse. The "Day of Temptation in the wilderness" covered the whole period of Israel’s journeyings from the Red Sea to Canaan. "The history of the Israelites is a history of continued provocation. In the wilderness of Sin they murmured for the want of bread, and God gave them manna. At Rephidim they murmured for the want of water, and questioned whether Jehovah was with them and He gave them water from the rock. In the wilderness of Sinai, soon after receiving the law, they made and worshipped a golden image. At Taberah they murmured for want of flesh and the quails were sent, followed by a dreadful plague. At Kadesh-barnea they refused to go up and take possession of the land of promise, which brought down on them the awful sentence referred to in the Psalm; and after that

sentence was pronounced, they presumptuously attempted to do what they had formerly refused to do. All these things took place in little more than two years after they left Egypt. Thirty-seven years after this, we find them at Kadesh again, murmuring for want of water and other things. Soon after this, they complained of the want of bread, though they had manna in abundance, and were punished by the plague of fiery flying serpents. And at Shittim, their last station, they provoked the Lord by mingling in the impure idolatry of the Moabites. So strikingly true is Moses’ declaration: ‘Remember, and forget not, how thou provoked the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place ye have been rebellious against the Lord’, Deuteronomy 9:7’ (Dr. J. Brown). "When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years" (verse 9). Israel’s terrible sins in the wilderness are here set forth under two terms: they "tempted" and "proved" Jehovah, the latter being added as an explanation of the former. To tempt one is to try or prove whether he be such as he is declared to be, or whether he can or will do such and such a thing. By tempting God Israel found out by experience that He was indeed the God He had made Himself known to be. In this passage the tempting of God is set down as a sin which provoked Him, and so is to be taken in its worst sense. Instead of believing His declaration, Israel acted as though they would discover, at the hazard of their own destruction, whether or not He would make good His promises and His threatenings. "In particular men tempt God by two extremes: one is presumption, the other is distrustfulness. Both these arise from unbelief. That distrustfulness ariseth from unbelief is without all question. And however presumption may seem to arise from overmuch confidence, yet if it be narrowly searched into, we shall find that men presume upon unwarrantable courses, because they do not believe that God will do what is meet to be done, in His own way. Had the Israelites believed that God in His time and in His own way would have destroyed the Canaanites, they would not have presumed, against an express charge, to have gone against them without the ark of the Lord and without Moses, as they did, umbers 14:40, etc. Alas, what is man! "Men do presumptuously tempt God, when, without warrant, they presume on God’s extraordinary power and providence; that whereunto the devil persuaded Christ when he had carded Him up to a pinnacle of the temple, namely, to cast Himself down, was to tempt God; therefore, Christ gives him this answer, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,’ Matthew 4:5-7. Men distrustfully tempt God when in distress they imagine that God cannot or will not afford sufficient succor. Thus did the king of Israel tempt God when he said, ‘The Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab,’ 2 Kings 3:13. So that prince who said ‘Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be’, 2 Kings 7:2’ (Dr. W. Gouge). "And saw My works forty years." This brings out the inexcusableness and heinousness of Israel’s sin. It was not that Jehovah was a Stranger to them, for again and again He had shown Himself strong on their behalf. The "works" of God mentioned here are the many and great wonders which He did from the time that He first took them up in Egypt until the end of the wilderness journey. Some of them were works of mercy. In delivering them from enemies and dangers, and in providing for them things needful. Others were works of judgment, as the plagues upon the Egyptians, their destruction at the Red Sea, and His chastening of themselves. Still others were manifestations which He made of Himself, as by the Cloud which led them by day and by night, the awesome proofs of His presence on Sinai, and the Shekinah glory which filled the tabernacle. These were not "works" done in bygone ages, or in far-distant places, of which they had only heard; but were actually performed before them, upon them, which they "saw." What clearer evidence could they have of God’s providence and power? Yet they tempted Him! The clearest evidences God grants to us have no effect upon unbelieving and obdurate hearts. An unspeakably solemn warning is this for all who profess to be God’s people today. A still more

wonderful and glorious manifestation has God now made of Himself than any which Israel ever enjoyed. God has been manifested in flesh. The only-begotten Son has declared the Father. He has fully displayed His matchless grace and fathomless love by coming here and dying for poor sinners. When He left the earth, He sent the Holy Spirit, so that we now have not a Moses, but the third Person of the Trinity to guide us. God made known His laws unto Israel, but His complete Word is now in our hands. What more can He say, than to us He has said! How great is our responsibility; how immeasureably greater than Israel’s is our sin and guilt, if we despise Him who speaks to us! A further aggravation of Israel’s sin is that they saw God’s wondrous works for "forty years." God continued His wonders all that time: despite their unbelief and murmuring the manna was sent daily till the Jordan was crossed! Man’s incredulity cannot hinder the workings of God’s power: "What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid" (Rom. 3:3). An incredulous prince would not believe that God could give such plenty as He had promised when Samaria by a long siege was famished; yet, "it came to pass as the man of God had spoken" (2 Kings 7:18). or would the Jews, nor even the disciples of Christ, believe that the Lord Jesus would rise again from the dead: yet He did so on the third day. O the marvelous patience of God! May the realization of it melt and move our hearts to repentance and obedience. 6. James Fowler, "3:9 The Psalmist explains that it was there in the wilderness ( umb. 14:2,32,33,35), "WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED (ME) BY TESTI G (ME),..." Their forefathers of a previous generation (1:1) repeatedly tried and tested God's patience ( umb. 14:22), "A D SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS." As a consequence of their testing God, they observed God's works for the next forty years in the wilderness ( umb. 14:33,34). The Hebrew text, on the other hand, seems to connect the "forty years" with God's anger in the following phrase, as Paul does later in 3:17.” 7. HAH , “Verse 9 describes Meribah and Massah as the place where the Israelite fathers tested God by trying to make him prove himself. The demand that God prove himself is the opposite of trust. It is the opposite of obedience. And the response of God according to verse 10 is anger. They always are deceived in their hearts and they did not know my ways. The idea of being deceived in their hearts is a powerful word image. The word deceived speaks of wandering off track so that person, animal, or thing is not where the observer expects it to be. Tempting God to prove himself is thus described as being off track and deceived. The Hebrew parallelism suggests that being off track also means not recognizing God's ways. God uses the difficult times of life - whether it be the desert, persecution, or the pressures we face in life - to test our trust and obedience. To try to turn the tables on God and test him in those times is to usurp the role and way of God. That is sin. As a result God swore that the Israelites would not enter my rest. In the context of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings not entering God's rest meant not entering the promised land. But the use of the word rest immediately draws Genesis 2:2-3 to mind where God rests at the end of the process of Creation. To refuse to trust God, to usurp God's own role in testing, and to harden one's heart is to get stuck in the creation process. It is to not reach the goal of God's work in one's life. It is to be incomplete, immature, and unfulfilled. It is to say, " ot only is God not finished with me yet, he's not going to finish with me."

10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
1. Barnes, “Wherefore I was grieved - On the word “grieved,” see the notes at Eph_4:30. The word here means that he was offended with, or that he was indignant at them. They do always err in their heart - Their long trial of forty years had been sufficient to show that it was a characteristic of the people that they were disposed to wander from God. Forty years are enough to show what the character is. They had seen his works; they had been called to obey him; they had received his Law; and yet their conduct during that time had shown that they were not disposed to obey him. So of an individual. A man who has lived in sin forty years; who during all that time has rebelled against God, and disregarded all his appeals; who has lived for himself and not for his Maker, has shown what his character is. Longer time is unnecessary; and if God should then cut him down and consign him to hell, he could not be blamed for doing it. A man who during forty years will live in sin, and resist all the appeals of God, shows what is in his heart, and no injustice is done if then he is summoned before God, and he swears that he shall not enter into his rest. And they have not known my ways - They have been rebellious. They have not been acquainted with the true God; or they have not “approved” my doings. The word “know” is often used in the Scriptures in the sense of “approving,” or “loving;” see the notes at Mat_7:23.

2. Clarke, “Wherefore I was grieved - God represents himself as the Father of this great Jewish family, for whose comfort and support he had made every necessary provision, and to whom he had given every proof of tenderness and fatherly affection; and because, they disobeyed him, and walked ill that way in which they could not but be miserable, therefore he represents himself as grieved and exceedingly displeased with them. They do alway err in their hearts - Their affections are set on earthly things, and they do not acknowledge my ways to be right - holy, just, and good. They are radically evil; and they are evil, continually. They have every proof, of my power and goodness, and lay nothing to heart. They might have been saved, but they would not. God was grieved on this account. ow, can we suppose that it would have grieved him if, by a decree of his own, he had rendered their salvation impossible? 2B. Calvin, “And I said, etc. This was God's sentence, by which he declared that they were destitute of a sound mind, and he adds the reason, For they have not known my ways. In short, he regarded them as past hope, for they were without sense and reason. And here he assumed the character of man, who at length after long trials declares that he has discovered obstinate madness, for he says that they always went astray, and no hope of repentance appeared.

3. Gill, “ Wherefore I was grieved with that generation,.... ‫" ,דור המדבר‬the generation of the wilderness", as the Jews often call them; and which they say was more beloved than any generation (e); and yet they will not allow them a part in the world to come; See Gill on Heb_3:11. When God is said to be grieved with them, it is to be considered as an anthropopathy, as speaking after the manner of men, as in Gen_6:5. The word signifies, that he was wearied by them, and weary of them; that he loathed them, and was displeased with them; it shows the notice God took of their sin; the heinousness of it, his displicency at it, and determination to punish it: the cause of his grief and indignation were their unbelief, ingratitude, and idolatry: and said, they do alway err in their heart; all sins are errors, or aberrations from the law of God; all men err in this sense: these people erred in their hearts, for there is error in the understanding, and will, and affections, as well as in life and actions; and they may be said to err in their hearts, because their sins not only sprung from the heart, but they were done heartily, or with their hearts, and that continually; which shows the sottishness of this people: their stubbornness and rebellion; their want of integrity, and their constancy in sinning: heart sins, as well as others, are taken notice of by God: and they have not known my ways; they did not take notice of God's ways of providence towards them; nor did they approve of, and delight in his ways of worship and duty, or in his commands. 4. Henry, “The just and great resentment God had at their sins, and yet the great patience he exercised towards them (Heb_3:10): Wherefore I was grieved with that generation. ote, [1.] All sin, especially sin committed by God's professing privileged people, does not only anger and affront God, but it grieves him. [2.] God is loth to destroy his people in or for their sin, he waits long to be gracious to them. [3.] God keeps an exact account of the time that people go on in sinning against him, and in grieving him by their sins; but at length, if they by their sins continue to grieve the Spirit of God, their sins shall be made grievous to their own spirits, either in a way of judgment or mercy. (6.) The irreversible doom passed upon them at last for their sins. God swore in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest, the rest either of an earthly or of a heavenly Canaan. Observe, [1.] Sin, long continued in, will kindle the divine wrath, and make it flame out against sinners. [2.] God's wrath will discover itself in its righteous resolution to destroy the impenitent; he will swear in his wrath, not rashly, but righteously, and his wrath will make their condition a restless condition; there is no resting under the wrath of God. 5. Jamison, “grieved — displeased. Compare “walk contrary,” Lev_26:24, Lev_26:28. that generation — “that” implies alienation and estrangement. But the oldest manuscripts read, “this.” said — “grieved,” or “displeased,” at their first offense. Subsequently when they hardened their heart in unbelief still more, He sware in His wrath (Heb_3:11); an ascending gradation (compare Heb_3:17, Heb_3:18). and they have not known — Greek, “But these very persons,” etc. They perceived I was displeased with them, yet they, the same persons, did not a whit the more wish to know my ways [Bengel]; compare “but they,” Psa_106:43.

not known my ways — not known practically and believingly the ways in which I would have had them go, so as to reach My rest (Exo_18:20). 6. JAMES FOWLER, 3:10 "THEREFORE I WAS A GRY WITH THIS GE ERATIO ,..." God, who is "slow to anger" ( umb. 14:18) was angry and provoked ( umb. 14:12,28-35) with that "evil generation" ( umb. 14:27,35) of Israelites, "A D SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY I THEIR HEART; A D THEY DID OT K OW MY WAYS';..." That particular generation of Hebrew people rebelled ( umb. 14:9) against God in unfaithfulness ( umb. 14:33), iniquity ( umb 14:19) and sin ( umb. 14:40). They did not believe that God would be faithful to His promises ( umb. 14:3,16), and they did not know His ways. Though "our ways are not His ways" (Isa. 55:8) and His ways are unfathomable (Rom. 11:33) to finite thinking, "His ways are always right" (Hosea 14:9) in accord with His Divine logic wherein suffering facilitates sanctification, humiliation leads to exaltation, and tragedy is often the way to triumph. 7. PI K, “"Wherefore I was grieved with that generation" (verse 10). In these words, and those which follow, we learn the fearful consequences of Israel’s sin. "When God says He ‘was grieved’ He means that He was burdened, vexed, displeased beyond that forbearance could extend unto. This includes the judgment of God concerning the greatness of their sin with all its aggravations and His determinate purpose to punish them. Men live, speak and act as if they thought God very little concerned in what they do, especially in their sins; that either He takes no notice of them, or if He do, that He is not much concerned in them; or that He should be grieved at His heart-that is, have such a deep sense of man’s sinful provocations-they have no mind to think or believe. They think that, as to thoughts about sins, God is altogether as themselves. But it is far otherwise, for God hath a concernment of honor in what we do; He makes us for His glory and honor, and whatsoever is contrary thereunto tends directly to His dishonor. And this God cannot but be deeply sensible of; He cannot deny Himself. He is also concerned as a God of Justice. His holiness and justice is His nature, and He needs no other reason to punish sin but Himself" (Dr. John Owen). "And said, They do always err in their heart" (verse 10). To err in the heart signifies to draw the wicked and false conclusion that sin and rebellion pay better than subjection and obedience to God. Through the power of their depraved lusts, the darkness of their understandings, and the force of temptations, countless multitudes of Adam’s fallen descendants imagine that a course of self-will is preferable to subjection unto the Lord. Sin deceives: it makes men call darkness light, bitter sweet, bondage liberty. The language of men’s hearts is, "What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto Him?" (Job 21:15). ote Israel "always erred in their hearts," which evidenced the hopelessness of their state. They were radically and habitually evil. As Moses told them at the end, "Ye have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you" (Deut. 9:24). "And they have not known My ways" (verse 10). The word "ways" is used in Scripture both of God’s dispensations or providences and of His precepts. A way is that wherein one walks. It is not God’s secret "ways" (Isa. 55:9, Rom. 9:33), but His manifest ways are here in view. His manifest ways are particularly His works, in which He declares Himself and exhibits His perfections, see Psalm 145:17. The works of God are styled His "ways" because we may see Him, as it were, walking therein: "they have seen Thy goings, O God" (Ps. 68:24). ow it is our duty to meditate on God’s works or "ways" (Ps. 143:5), to admire and magnify the Lord in them (Ps. 138:4,5), to acknowledge the righteousness of them (Ps. 145:17). God’s precepts are also termed His way and "ways" (Ps. 119:27, 32, 33, 35), because they make known the paths in which He would have us

walk. Israel’s ignorance of God’s ways, both His works and precepts, was a willful one, for they neglected and rejected the means of knowledge which God afforded them; they obstinately refused to acquire a practical knowledge of them, which is the only knowledge of real value. “These verses are interesting in that they clearly show the depravity of the natural man. Even though God's people had seen the miracles of God as they were brought out of Egypt; even though they had seen the handwriting of God at Mt. Sinai; and even though they had seen family members and friends cut down before them, they still hardened their hearts to God's voice. They did not seek God due to the fall of Adam which hopelessly stained their hearts so that they would not follow God. 8. "The description of the recalcitrant Israelites is twofold: their habitual straying from God and their ignorance ( 'They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.' ). The one plays on the other. Ignorance of God's ways will naturally lead to people straying away from them. But the writer of the psalm mentions them in reverse order, as if the habitual attitude of straying had contributed to their ignorance. A hardened state of mind becomes impervious to God's voice and leads to increasing ignorance of his ways, not because God does not make them known, but because the hardened mind has no disposition to listen. What was true of the Israelites is a commentary on all who resist the claims of God." - Donald Guthrie: Hebrews ( Volume 15, Tyndale ew Testament Commentaries ) 9. Eli Miller, “God’s anger comes very slowly, but none will escape if they act in folly against His will. Solomon's reign had begun gloriously and his riches increased to such a degree that silver was so common that it was valued as practically nothing. So much gold and extravagance were evident in the king's court that the pomp, glitter, and protocol even overwhelmed visiting monarchs. In addition to his lavish natural surroundings, "all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart." (See 1 Kg.10:1-29) However, as he got older and more entrenched in the luxury of his office, "Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; "And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. "And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice." (1 Kg.11:1, 3-4, 9) Soon after the kingdom divided, Jeroboam, the northern king, "made two calves of gold, and said unto them, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.' "And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. "And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. "And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.

"So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense." (1 Kg.12:28-33) A Parallel Of Modern Religion The above scenario generally parallels church history. The early church had a glorious beginning, but it wasn't long before undue structure, idolatry, and apostasy began slipping into it. Pomp and hierarchal protocol soon replaced a true calling from God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Over time, "golden calves" were set up in "Bethel" and "Dan" as alternate places of worship. ew feast days replaced those appointed by the Lord. "Bethel" means the house of God, and "Dan" means judgment. These two cities were at the northern and southern ends of the northern kingdom. Jeroboam set up his golden calves in these cities, telling the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem." In other words, he told them it wasn't necessary for them to pay the price and take the time to journey all the way to the appointed place to worship the Lord, they could do it much easier right where they were. Putting a golden calf in Bethel and making "priests of the lowest of the people" represents the decline of the church to the point of putting people in the ministry who had no calling or anointing for it. All they needed was the approval and appointment of the ruling hierarchy of the day. Soon after that, intellectual seminaries and godless humanism prepared priests to serve at these treasonous altars. Doctrines of devils gradually replaced the true revelation knowledge that can only come by the Spirit of the Lord. The golden calf in Dan is symbolic of corrupting the truth that God will judge all sin and disobedience, and "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Eze.18:4) Worship at that altar symbolized flagrant disregard for holiness with no fear of the Lord. Similarly today, "apostate priests" proclaim that holiness and complete victory over sin are oldfashioned myths of the distant past which have no present relevance. "Grace covers everything," they teach their followers. "God knows your weaknesses and certainly doesn't expect you to be perfect, " they wisely [sic] declare. They teach that God is love and tolerant of all, therefore, we must also be inclusive and tolerant of devious religions and aberrant lifestyles. As that apostate system became more entrenched into the fabric of the northern kingdom, a southward exodus began as"the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the LORD: "And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers." (2 Chron.11:14,16) Does that sound familiar? Just as the Lord called a remnant of His people out of the apostate northern kingdom as it sank into deeper depravity, He has also called a remnant out of the present day's religiously organized church system. Paying the price to "go up to Jerusalem" is not too costly for them! Some of the people "going south" were ministers who left prominent church positions, salaries, and retirement programs as they embraced a walk of faith in the true liberty of the Spirit. Others were young professionals, as well average working men and women of all walks of life. Their conscience would not allow them to remain in an apostate religious system that promised great liberty, but in actuality, brought an ever-increasing spiritual bondage to programs, politics, personality cults, and idolatrous paganism. Then just when it seemed that things couldn't degenerate further in the northern kingdom, Jeroboam ordained a feast on the 15th day of the eighth month in flagrant defiance of the Feast of Tabernacles that God ordained for the seventh month! But then, if you already have man-made gods, man-made priests, and man-made altars, why not also devise man-made feasts? They all might have vague similarities to the true, but God takes no

part in any of it. To save time and space, I'll allow you to draw your own parallels to this outrageously sacrilegious observance. The Man Of God Suddenly, without fanfare, pedigree, precedent, or pomp, "there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. "And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, 'O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.'" (1 Kg.13:1-2) Talk about a surprise! Jeroboam was standing at his sacrilegious altar preparing to burn incense to the golden calf when this unannounced prophet walked up and spoke a prophetic word against it. And what a word it was! ot only did this nondescript prophet declare judgment against the pagan altar, he named the man who would bring the judgment, and how he would do it! Over 300 years would pass before his word would be fulfilled, but that didn't distract from its absolute accuracy and precise fulfillment. (See 2 Kg.23:14-16) The bold directness of the prophet certainly got Jeroboam's attention! The idolatrous king was not about to allow some wandering "doomsayer" to tell him that his altar would be destroyed He would see to that! So"he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, 'Lay hold on him.' And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him." (1 Kg.13:4) ot only did the Lord immediately smite Jeroboam's arm, "the altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD." (vs.5) Observe the patience and longsuffering of the Lord in the next verse: "And the king answered and said unto the man of God, 'Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again.' And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before." ( otice that Jeroboam could not call the Lord his God.) Oh, the mercy of our God! He is "not willing that any should per ish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Pet.3:9) The Lord had not only wanted to authenticate the word He sent through His prophet, He also wanted to let Jeroboam know that He could deliver him from his own pernicious ways. Having come face-to-face with the power of God - and lived - Jeroboam mellowed a bit and offered to bring the man of God home with him and give him a reward for restoring his arm. However, the prophet adamantly refused, telling the king that the Lord had charged him, saying, "Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. "So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel." (vs.8-9) (Joesphus, the renowned Jewish historian, says that this visit of the prophet took place as Jeroboam was observing his counterfeit feast in the eighth month!) A Fatal Mistake " ow there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. "And their father said unto them, 'What way went he?' For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. "And he said unto his sons, 'Saddle me the ass.' So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, 'Art

thou the man of God that camest from Judah?' And he said, 'I am.' "Then he said unto him, 'Come home with me, and eat bread.' "And he said, 'I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, 'Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest." "He said unto him, 'I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.' But he lied unto him." "So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water." (1 Kg.13:11-19) There are several important points to consider in the above verses, because in them we see the man of God making a fatal mistake. Although he had passed the test when Jeroboam wanted to reward him for praying for him, he made several serious errors of judgment when he was faced with a so-called "old prophet." First, this old man was a false prophet. A true prophet of the Lord would not have remained in Bethel when idolatrous worship became the order of the day. Remember that as idolatry had swept across the northern kingdom, all the priests, Levites, and people who had "set their hearts to seek the Lord," had gone into the south so that they could "sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers." (2 Chron.11:13-17) The man of God should have realized that and been alerted. ( ote that the old man's sons told him what took place at the altar. If the true prophet left immediately after delivering the word of the Lord, how did they know what he had said, and the direction he had gone, unless they were likely engaged in idolatry with Jeroboam? Although the sons' activity doesn't automatically implicate their father, a logical connection can be made.) Secondly, if the old man had been a true prophet of the Lord, he would probably have discerned that the stranger he met on the road was the man of God from Judah. But when he had to ask if he was that man, the prophet should have received "warning flags" in his spirit that this traveler might not be what he was pretending to be. Thirdly, the old man lied and claimed that an angel had told him to bring the prophet back home with him, contrary to what the Lord had personally instructed him to do. Angels brought instruction and revealed many things to people in scripture - but not to prophets. God spoke to His prophets directly, as well as through dreams and visions. (See um.12:6) That dubious claim should also have alerted the man of God to question what he was being told. Another reason I believe the "old prophet" was not a true prophet is because of the way later scriptures refer to him. In 2 Kings 23:18 he is called "the prophet that came out of Samaria." Although the northern kingdom was not referred to as Samaria until some time after the events of 1 Kings 13, the old prophet even referred to the cities of the region as "the cities of Samaria." (vs.32) Many years later Jeremiah prophesied, saying, "I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err." (Jer.23:13) Apparently "the prophets of Samaria" was a phrase that was coined to refer to false prophets during the time of the divided kingdom. The Prophet Deceived What made the man of God susceptible to the false prophet? Was he feeling the sense of rejection that the prophets of old - and sometimes ministers of God today - often had to deal with? Was he having doubts that he had really heard such specific instructions from the Lord that he couldn't even refresh himself until he returned to his home? Could this have been the reason he was sitting under a tree on his way home - or was he just resting? We need to carefully note the compromise that had taken place in the man's thinking as he responded to the old prophet's request that he return with him to have a meal. When he responded to Jeroboam's offer to give him a reward, the prophet had said, "It was charged me by

the word of the Lord...." (vs.9) But when he answered the old man's request, he toned down his words considerably, saying, "It was said to me by the word of the Lord..." The Hebrew word translated "charged" was usually used by a superior giving orders to a subordinate. It's interesting to note that the word was first used in Genesis 2:16 where God commanded Adam that he was not to eat of the tree of knowledge. However, the word translated "said" is used generally of something spoken. It is used in Genesis 8:15 when God spoke to oah after the flood. The word is also used to express that before the dispersion at Babel, the whole earth was of one speech. (Gen.11:1) That bit of concession in the prophet's spirit was his downfall. Had he steadfastly held to the instructions he'd received from the Lord, this account would have ended quite differently. But now that he had allowed questions to creep into his mind and heart, he was vulnerable to the deceiver. "After all, this man is also a prophet," he probably reasoned. "I need to take his age into consideration and the wisdom of his many years of experience," was likely the next step of his contemplative thinking. "Surely just taking a meal and little refreshment would be understood by the Lord...." "So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water." (1 Kg.13:19) God's Judgement The two men were sitting at the table when the word of the Lord came to the man of God. He must have been devastated by what he heard: "Thus saith the LORD, 'Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, 'Eat no bread, and drink no water;' thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers." (vs.21-22) After their meal, the old prophet had compassion on man of God and sent him on his way with his personal donkey. We're not told how far he had traveled when suddenly, "a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase." (vs.24) otice that the lion didn't devour the man, nor cause the donkey to run away. Both the lion and the donkey stood by the body of the man, even as other travelers passed by. It was as though both animals had fulfilled their part in the mission of judgment and were standing by for further orders! Generally I don't like to make a play on words, but there are several things to consider in relationship to these verses. Judgment came to the man of God because he went back to Bethel in direct disobedience to the instructions he had personally received from the Lord. In doing that, he turned "out of" the way of holiness. Scripture says that on the highway of holiness, "no lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isa.35:9-10) o lion would have met the prophet if he had continued on his journey on that highway of obedient holiness. But when he turned aside and followed the word of the false prophet, he in essence "forgot" the Lord. Unfortunately, to all who forget Him, the Lord said He would "be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them." (Hos.13:7) When word reached the old prophet that the man of God had been killed, he brought his body back and buried it in his own grave site. He then instructed his sons that when he died, they were to bury him in the grave with the godly man. Why did the old man make such a strange request? Because he knew the that words the true prophet had declared "against the altar at Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places...

would surely come to pass." (1 Kg.13:32) He hoped that if his bones were buried with the prophet's bones when that judgment took place, they would be spared the humiliating desecration of being burned on the idolatrous altar. A little over three centuries later, that is exactly what happened! (See 2 Kg.23:15-18) Important Lessons The above account illustrates the utmost importance of heeding and following through with a word the Lord gives us. Although the prophet had an accurate prophesy that took over 300 hundred years to fulfill, he missed God's blessing when he put more confidence in the word of another man than he did into what he had heard from the Lord. That mistake cost him his life. This should be a sober reminder that we must heed the word of the Son, even at times when others might try to tell us otherwise. This is not to allege that what other people tell us is unimportant and shouldn't be considered. or am I implying that we should have an arrogant attitude that we're the only ones who can hear from the Lord. But as this age gives way to another, each of us MUST learn to "go up to Jerusalem" to hear the word of the Son for ourselves. Ultimately, no source of instruction or directive outside of our personal relationship with Jesus can give us the word we need. Although God might have "winked" at our reliance on other people for direction in the past, the time has come when we must hear Him directly. There has been such an interest in angels in recent years that national news magazines have carried feature articles about them. But hearing the voice of the Son is far more important than seeing or hearing from angels - as wonderful as that might be. This brings us back to the second chapter of Hebrews: "For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away {from it.} For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" (vs.1, 3 AS) It doesn't matter whether we disregard the word the Son speaks right after we hear it, or after it has been subjected to the test of time. If we're to benefit from what He has given us we must follow through with it. If we do, we'll be blessed, but if we don't, we can be assured that there'll be consequences. Every word we hear from the Son is ultimately connected with our present deliverance and eternal salvation. Accordingly, He says nothing without relevant significance. Even now I hear Him saying, "Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." (Isa .5:3) This study written by:Eli Miller,

11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”[b]
1. Barnes, “So I sware in my wrath - God is often represented in the Scriptures as “swearing” -

and usually as swearing by himself, or by his own existence. Of course this in figurative, and denotes a strong affirmation, or a settled and determined purpose. An oath with us implies the strongest affirmation, or the expression of the most settled and determined purpose of mind. The meaning here is, that so refractory and perverse had they showed themselves, that he solemnly resolved that they should never enter into the land of Canaan. They shall not enter into my rest - Margin, As in the original, “if they shall enter.” That is, they shall not enter. The word (‫‛ אם‬im) “if” has this negative meaning in Hebrew, and this meaning is transferred to the Greek word “if;” compare 1Sa_3:17; 2Sa_3:35; 2Ki_6:31. It is called “my rest” here, meaning that it was such rest as God had provided, or such as he enjoyed. The particular “rest” referred to here was that of the land of Canaan, but which was undoubtedly regarded as emblematic of the “rest” in heaven. Into that rest God solemnly said they should never enter. They had been rebellious. All the means of reclaiming them had failed. God had warned and entreated them; he had caused his mercies to pass before them, and had visited them with judgments in vain; and he now declares that for all their rebellion they should be excluded from the promised land. God speaks here in the manner of human beings. Men are affected with feelings of indignation in such circumstances, and God makes use of such language as expresses such feelings. But we are to understand it in a manner consistent with his character, and we are not to suppose that he is affected with the same emotions which agitate the bosoms of people. The meaning is, that he formed and expressed a deliberate and solemn purpose that they should never enter into the promised land. Whether this “rest” refers here to heaven, and whether the meaning is that God would exclude them from that blessed world, will be more appropriately considered in the next chapter. The particular idea is, that they were to be excluded from the promised land, and that they should fall in the wilderness. o one can doubt, also, that their conduct had been such as to show that the great body of them were unfit to enter into heaven.

2. Clarke, “So I sware in my wrath - God’s grief at their continued disobedience became wrath at their final impenitence, and therefore he excluded them from the promised rest.

2B. Calvin, “ So I sware, etc. It was the punishment of their madness, that they were deprived of the rest promised them. Moreover, the Lord calls the land, where they might have had their dwelling, his rest. For they had been sojourners in Egypt and wanderers in the wilderness; but the land of Canaan was to be, according to the promise, their perpetual inheritance; and it was in reference to this promise that God called it his rest: for nowhere can we have a settled dwelling, except where we are fixed by his hand. But their right to a sure possession was founded on what God said to Abraham, "To thy seed will I give this land." (Genesis 12:7.) By God swearing, If they shall enter, etc., the atrocity of their evil conduct is made more evident and is more forcibly set forth, for it is an evidence of wrath greatly inflamed. "If they shall enter," is in the form of an oath, in which something is to be understood, as an imprecation, or some such thing, when men speak; but when God speaks, it is the same as though he said, "Let me not be deemed true,", or,

"Let me not be hereafter believed, if such a thing shall not be so." However, this defective mode of speaking recommends fear and reverence to us, so that we may not rashly swear, as many do, who are often in the habit of pouring forth dreadful curses. But as to the present passage, we ought not to think that they were then for the first time denied entrance into the land by God's oath, when they tempted him in Rephidim; for they had long before been excluded, even from the time they had refused to march forward at the report of the spies. God then does not here ascribe their expulsion from the land to this instance of tempting him as to the first cause; but he intimates that by no chastisement could they have been restored to a sound mind, but that they continually added new offenses: and thus he shows that they fully deserved to be thus severely punished, for they never ceased to increase more and more his wrath by various sins, as though he had said, "This is the generation to which I denied the possession of the promised land, for during whole forty years afterwards it betrayed its obstinate madness by innumerable sins."

3. Gill, “So I sware in my wrath,.... Swearing is ascribed to God, to show the certainty of the thing spoken of; as of mercies, when he swears in love, and by his holiness; so here, of punishment, when he swears in wrath, in indignation, in sore displeasure, and the threatened evil is irrevocable and inevitable: they shall not enter into my rest; into the land of Canaan, called God's rest, because he promised it, and gave it to the Israelites as their rest; and where he himself had a place of rest; and where he gave the Messiah, the author of peace and rest; and which was a type of heaven, that rest from toil and labour, which remains for the people of God; and into which it is said this generation did not enter; for the Jews say (f), "the generation of the wilderness have no part in the world to come:'' but this seems too harsh, for doubtless there were many who died in the wilderness, that went safe to heaven, notwithstanding all their sins and provocations. 4. Jamison, “So — literally, “as.” I sware — Bengel remarks the oath of God preceded the forty years. not — literally, “If they shall enter ... (God do so to me and more also),” 2Sa_3:35. The Greek is the same, Mar_8:12. my rest — Canaan, primarily, their rest after wandering in the wilderness: still, even when in it, they never fully enjoyed rest; whence it followed that the threat extended farther than the exclusion of the unbelieving from the literal land of rest, and that the rest promised to the believing in its full blessedness was, and is, yet future: Psa_25:13; Psa_37:9, Psa_37:11, Psa_37:22, Psa_37:29, and Christ’s own beatitude (Mat_5:5) all accord with this, Heb_3:9.

5. PI K, "So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest" (verse 11). This was the fearful issue of Israel’s sin. The patience of God was exhausted. Their inveterate unbelief and continued rebellion incensed Him. The sentence He pronounced against them was irrevocable, confirmed by His oath. The sentence was that they should not enter into Canaan, spoken of as a "rest" because entrance therein would have terminated their wilderness trials and travels; "God’s rest," because it would complete His work of bringing Israel into the land promised their fathers, and because His sojournings (see Leviticus 25:23) with His pilgrims would cease. "We may observe, 1. When God expresseth great indignation in Himself against sin, it is to teach men the greatness of sin in themselves. 2. God gives the same stability unto His threatenings as unto His promises. Men are apt to think the promises are firm and stable, but as for the threatenings, they suppose some way or other they may be evaded. 3. When men have provoked God by their impenitency to decree their punishment irrevocably, they will find severity in the execution. 4. It is the presence of God alone that renders any place or condition good or desirable, ‘they’ shall not enter into My rest" (Dr. John Owen). 6. Philip Mauro, “Turning to umbers 14 we find at verse 11 the words “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people PROVOKE ME?” and how long will it be ere they BELIEVE Me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” And at verse 23: “Surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that PROVOKED Me see it.” Here we have the provocation and the penalty. The provocation was-not a single act, butthe culmination of a series of acts. The Lord’s question was “How long will this people provoke Me?” And in verse 22 He spoke of them as “those men which - have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened unto My Voice.” Therefore, it will be profitable to trace the steps which culminated in provoking the irrevocable punishment inflicted on those whom God still owned as His people, and over whom He still continued to watch in the wilderness where they were condemned to remain. If we take care to avoid the first step of the provocation we shall not incur the indignation. In the latter part of umbers 10 we read of the journeys of the Israelites under the guidance of Jehovah, the Shepherd of Israel, the Ark of the covenant going before to search out a resting place for them; and we read also the words that Moses uttered when the Ark set forward, and when it rested. evertheless, the beginning of umbers 11 we find a record of the people complaining, and of the Lord’s displeasure threat. The occasion or subject of the complaint is not stated. Any complaint, therefore, concerning the incidents of our pilgrimage, may be the starting point of departure from the living God. We need to learn obedience and contentment by the things we suffer; as the Apostle Paul could say, “I have LEAR ED, in whatsoever state I am, to be content” (Phil. 4:11). This contentment does not come by nature, it must be “learned.” Let us, then, watch ourselves and check every tendency to complain of the hardships of the journey. The next incident is recorded in umbers 11:4-6: “And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting; and the children of Israel also wept again, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic. But now our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all beside this manna before our eyes.”

So the next step in the provocation came through the “mixt multitude” which had come up with them out of Egypt (Ex. 12:38). It is dangerous for the people of God to have a “mixt multitude among them.” These are sure to give voice to their desires, and thus stir up the flesh in the believer. Recollections of Egypt were revived. And here the deceitful heart and memory played a trick that is common enough, though hard to explain. All the asperities of their oppression in Egypt, the cruel servitude, the bitter bondage, the task-master’s lash, the harsh increase of the burden, were entirely forgotten. The great wonders wrought by the Hand of the Lord and His mighty deliverance out of the house of bondage, were also forgotten. They recalled only the things of Egypt which serve to satisfy the natural appetite. They despised the bread of God, which He supplied daily for their recurring needs, and craved the food of Egypt. They were thus the types of those whom Paul characterizes as “enemies of the Cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, who glory in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Phil. 3:18, 19). The manna which God supplied to His people in the wilderness stands for the Word of God on which His people are privileged now to feed, that they may be “nourished up in the words of faith” (1 Tim. 4:6). From this we may learn that it is a very serious matter to slight the Word of God. To do so is to neglect the appropriate spiritual food which God, in His goodness, has supplied, in order that we may be nourished and strengthened to bear the trials of the way. Disinclination to feed on the Word is a common complaint among Christians, particularly among such as have fellowship with the mixed multitude of Christendom, who have no taste at all for the bread of life. Let us take careful note of this, and not permit either the habits of our neighbors or the pressure of things about us, to divert us from the daily, deliberate, meditative reading of the Word of God. Regular attention to this important matter will go far towards fitting us to overcome the severe trials that surely lie in our path. The reading matter of the day, that is devoured by the people of the world, and by the mixed multitude, is utterly unfit for the people of God. ot only is it quite void of spiritual nutriment, but it vitiates the taste therefor. Much of the religious literature of the day is no better, and some of it is even worse. The attempt to make spiritual things palatable, by means of artistic and literary expedients, is sure evidence of a state of spiritual decline, which may end in apostasy. It is written of the Israelites that they subjected the manna to culinary expedients in order to make it more palatable, not relishing it in the state in which God gave it to them. For “the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it” ( um. 11:8). But that did not satisfy them; for eventually they came to such a pass as to say, “Our soul loatheth this light bread” ( um. 21:5). It is safe to say that, of the literature of the day, not the thousandth part contains any spiritual nutriment; and beside that, it must be remembered that the very soundest and most spiritual books cannot take the place of the Word of God. This admonition applies to the old and young alike. To despise the provision which the Lord has made for His people is to despise the Lord Himself, as He said on the occasion we are now considering, “Ye have despised the Lord Who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? ( um. 11:20). God has taken pains to teach us very plainly and forcibly the seriousness of neglecting our spiritual food, which He supplies, namely, the words of eternal life. The incident of the preference of the Israelites for the food of Egypt is rehearsed in Psalm 78. There it is written, “And they sinned yet more against Him by provoking the Most High in the wilderness. And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust” (Ps. 78:17, 18). And the reason is given, “Because they BELIEVED OT in God, and trusted not in His salvation, though He had

commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of Heaven, and had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of Heaven. Man did eat angels’ food (Ps. 78:22-25). The brief explanation is that “THEIR HEART was not right with Him” (Ps. 78:37). Again in Psalm 106 the incident is recited in detail; and, as we have already seen, Psalm 95 prominently and pointedly to the provocation in the day of temptation in the wilderness. Proceeding with the record given in umbers, we find in chapter 12 the sedition of Aaron and Miriam against Moses, which amounted to rebellion against the Word of God, Who spoke through Moses. Aaron and Miriam wished their utterances to have the same authority as those of Moses. “And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us?” Many among professed Christians are saying the same thing to-day, putting the uninspired words of man on the same level with the Word of God. Those who were most closely related to Moses “refused him that spake on earth” (Heb. 12:25), and they did “not escape” punishment. umbers 13 relates another step in the departure of the Israelites from the living God, giving a further manifestation of the existence in themselves of “an evil heart of unbelief.” The subject of this chapter is the sending of the spies to investigate and report upon the Promised Land. They believed not God’s report concerning the land. His announcement did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard. So they sent chosen leaders to spy the land, with instructions to “SEE the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents or in strong holds; and what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein or not” ( um. 13:18-20). From Deuteronomy 1:22 we learn that the sending of the spies was the act of the people, God permitting them in all these matters to have their own way, which they preferred to His. They saw His works, but did not know or desire His ways. Moses in his farewell words to the people said: “And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee. Go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee. Fear not, neither be discouraged” (Deut. 1:20-22). This surely should be enough for those who had faith in God. But “their heart was not right with Him.” They did not hold the beginning of their confidence, in which they set out from Egypt, steadfast unto the end. They wished to “see the land,” not believing the word of the report concerning the “things not seen.” So the account continues: “And ye drew near unto me, every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land and bring us word again by what way we must go up and into what cities we shall come” (Deut. 1:23). Two things are prominent in this action of the congregation of Israel; first, that they had more confidence in the report of men than in that of God; and, second, that they had more confidence in the guidance of human leaders than in that of God, notwithstanding that He, as Moses reminds

them, “went in the way before you to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night to show you the way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (Deut. 1:33). Taking the two accounts (that in umbers and that in Deuteronomy) together, we may see that God was virtually ignored by His people. They did not consider His purpose or will in the matter, or even consider whether He had a will as to their entering the land of their inheritance. They disregarded His promise made to them in Egypt that He would “bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex. 3:8). They acted as if they lacked trustworthy information concerning that land; as if their entering or not was a matter for their own choice after due investigation and deliberation, and as if, in case they should decide to enter, they would have to determine for themselves the route to take. Can it be denied that there are Christians-in name, at least, and probably in fact as wellwho are acting similarly with reference to “the things which we have heard” concerning the habitable earth to come, the Rest that remaineth unto the people of God? We apprehend that the number of such is great. “Let us fear, therefore, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” Let it be noted that it was those who had heard the announcement of God that provoked Him by the way in which they acted with regard to the things announced. “For some, when they had heard, did provoke” (Heb. 3:16). The announcement was perfectly plain. It could not be misunderstood, although it could be treated with indifference, slighted and neglected. ow, it is expressly stated that good things have been announced to us, “as well as unto them” (Heb. 4:2). This is not the preaching of the gospel of God’s grace to the unconverted. It is the announcement by God Himself of good things to come, which He has prepared for those who love Him and manifest their love by holding fast the beginning of their confidence in Him steadfast unto the end. This is the “word” which will not profit, if not mixed with faith in us who have distinctly heard it. The action of the congregation of Israel in the matter of the spies teaches plainly the lesson that when the people of God are lacking in the energy of faith, by reason of insufficient spiritual nourishment, due to their own neglect of the Word of God, the effect is to throw them back upon the resources of nature, and upon the methods and means of the natural man, even in matters connected with their spiritual concerns. This is a condition that widely prevails at the present day. On every hand we see attempts at producing spiritual results by means of natural agencies, and the consequences are deplorable indeed. All these fleshly activities are outward manifestations of the inward presence of an evil heart of unbelief; and the source of it all is the failure to heed, believe, and obey the Word of God. The spies returned and reported to the congregation the things that they had seen, which, in the state of their heart towards God, outweighed the things that He had spoken concerning the land. “They brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched” ( um. 13:32). God describes the action of the spies as “bringing up a slander on the land” ( um. 14:36). In Psalm 106, God says, “Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His Word” (verse 24). And this unbelief culminated in the rebellion recorded in umbers 14: “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” This was the last step in their departure from God, and brought upon them the judgment of being shut out from the land which they had despised.

In studying this incident, in the light of what is said of it in the Psalms and in Hebrews, we observe that the action of the congregation of Israel was the natural outcome of the state of their heart. “Their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant” (Psa. 78:37). Accordingly, in applying the lesson to us, the Holy Spirit has much to say about the state of our hearts. These are the exhortations that are spoken in our ears: “The Holy Ghost saith, Today, if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts.” “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” “While it is said, To-day, if ye will hear His Vice, harden not your heart.” “Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To-day, after so long a time; as it is said, To-day, if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb. 3:8, 12, 15; 4:7). The Word of God which lays everything bare, as the two-edged knife of the priest exposed all the inward parts of the offering, pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). All our hidden thoughts and intents are laid open to the Eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. And it is because of this that God has given to us the services of “a great High Priest Who has passed through the heavens,” and a throne of grace to which we have access by His ame and in the merits of His Sacrifice on our behalf. Special attention should be paid to the consequences of the provocation, as announced in these words of the Lord to Moses: “Surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it.” “As I live, saith the Lord, AS ye have spoken in My Ears, SO will I do to you. Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against Me, doubtless ye shall not come into the land which I swore to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of un” ( um. 14:23, 28, 29, 30). Briefly, then, the punishment visited upon the Israelites consisted in giving them what they had preferred. They preferred not to enter the land; and God granted them their choice. It seems that, when the people of God desire their own ways, in preference to His, He often allows them to have their desire. When they longed for the food for Egypt, He gave them a surfeit of flesh; but “while the flesh was between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague” ( um. 11:33). So in the Lord’s dealings with His people to-day, those who long for the enjoyments, indulgences, pleasures etc., which this world affords, are often permitted to have them; but sometimes ere they can derive any satisfaction therefrom-“ere it was chewed”-they are cut off in the midst of their carnal pleasures according as it is plainly declared, “if ye (believers) live after the flesh ye shall die” (Rom. 8:13). In the words of Psalm 78:29-31: “So they did eat, and were well filled; for He gave them THEIR OW DESIRE; they were not estranged from their lust. But while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.” And in the words of Psalm 106:13-15: “They soon forgot His works; they waited not for His counsel; but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. A D HE GAVE THEM THEIR REQUEST; but sent leanness into their soul.” Once more, when the people wished to investigate the land for themselves by chosen representatives, God again gave them their desire. He allowed the whole congregation to be halted for forty days, while the leaders of Israel, one man from each tribe, searched the land

concerning which God Himself had given them a report. But for every day they thus hindered the carrying out of His promise-a promise made four hundred years previous to Abraham, and renewed to them through Moses-they were condemned to spend a year in the wilderness. “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise (or estrangement)” ( um. 14:34). And finally, when the people turned back and tempted God, and limited the “Holy One of Israel” (Psa. 78:41), and said, “Would God we had died in this wilderness” ( um. 14:2), God again gave them their wish, saying, “As ye have spoken in Mine Ears so will I do to you” ( um. 14:28). This should teach us to search our hearts, by the light of God’s Word, for any desires which are not in accord with His revealed purpose for us. In the particular case which we are now studying, it is God’s revealed purpose to lead many sons unto glory; and it is necessary to the accomplishment of this purpose that they should give heed to, and obey, the word spoken to them. This purpose of God is not for their satisfaction only, or chiefly. It is primarily for His own satisfaction, and for the glory of His First-Begotten, Who glorified Him in the earth, and Who is now waiting for the joy that was set before Him when He endured the Cross. It is an exceedingly serious matter to hinder this purpose of the Father. He has graciously made it known to us, and great will be our loss if we set not our hearts in line with its accomplishment. If, therefore, we allow and cherish in our hearts desires for the seen things of this age, giving them preference over the things “which we have heard” but have “not seen as yet,” then, regardless of our Christian name and profession, we do provoke God, and render ourselves liable to such consequences as the Israelites brought upon themselves; that is to say, we may fail to enter into the “Rest” that God has announced to us, and be condemned instead to have our portion in the wilderness of this age, and in the things that pertain to it, according to the desire of our hearts. It is important to observe that those who provoked God in the wilderness by their unbelief and disobedience, and who were in consequence shut out of the Promised Land, did not cease to be the Lord’s people, and that He did not refuse to pardon their iniquity. Moses interceded for them, as he had done at Sinai, and said, “Pardon, I beseech Thee, the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of Thy mercy, and as Thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I HAVE PARDO ED according to thy word” ( um. 14:19-20). By this we are taught that God’s pardon to His children does not mean the remission of the appropriate consequences of their wrong-doing. That is what we usually mean when we ask forgiveness of our sins; but God’s pardon is something different from that. It is written that every transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward (Heb. 2:2); and again, that whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7). And again, that everyone shall receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). And again, “He that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done” (Col. 3:25). God’s pardon means that He does not cast away His people though He punishes their sins; as said the Psalmist: “Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though Thou tookest vengeance of their inventions” (Psa. 99:8). He shut the disobedient people out of the Land of Promise; but He Himself accompanied them. The pillar of cloud and fire never left them. The manna never failed. For “about the time of forty years suffered He their manners in the wilderness” (Acts 13:18). We often think of what they suffered, and seldom of what God suffered. evertheless, “in all their affliction, He was afflicted.” See also

ehemiah 9:19. God’s dealings with David impressively teach the same lesson. Immediately upon David’s confession of sin, athan said, “The Lord also hath put away they sin” (2 Sam. 12:13). evertheless, the punishment for the sin was not remitted or abated. The sword never departed from David’s house, and the other items of his punishment were fully carried out, according to the Word of the Lord (2 Sam.12:10-12). As we have seen, the righteous retribution which God visits upon His people, frequently takes the form of permitting them to have the preference of their own hearts. It was thus when the people said, “Give us a king to judge us” (1 Sam. 8:6). God first warned them clearly by His prophet Samuel what would happen to them if they rejected Him and chose a human king to rule over them (verses 9-18). “ evertheless, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and they said, ay, but we will have a king over us, that we may be like all the nations” (verses 19-20). So God gave them a king in His anger, and not only so, but He gave them just such a king as their own hearts desired. On another greater and more solemn occasion, a choice was presented to the people. The choice then offered them lay between Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Barabbas, the murderer. And they all cried saying, “not this man, but Barabbas” (Jn. 18:40). The Apostle Peter subsequently reminded the people of Israel of that choice saying, “Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you, and killed the Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). That choice was in reality the choice of “the princes (or rulers) of this world” (1 Cor. 2:8); and accordingly, God allowed the world to have the ruler it preferred; for the Devil, who has the power of death, is “the prince (or ruler) of this world” (Jn. 14:30); and “he was a murderer from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44). Before leaving the record of the provocation in umbers 14, we would direct attention to the remarkable promise found in verse 21: “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” It is a very significant fact that the Lord, in pronouncing the judgment that excluded the disobedient people from the land of Canaan, should have uttered and recorded an oath which is to have its fulfillment in the habitable earth to come, whereof Canaan was the type. The essence of the lesson put before us in the incidents of the “Provocation” is that, when God, having redeemed for Himself a people at a great price, and having revealed to them His might power and His tender mercy, speaks to them of a place of wondrous blessing which He Himself has chosen for them, and into which He purposes to bring them; and when those to whom this purpose is revealed despise “the pleasant land” and manifest a preference for the things they are leaving behind them, God’s fiery indignation is aroused against them, insomuch that He shuts them out of the promised blessing, and leaves them to a dreadful alternative. The same lesson is taught by the Lord Himself in the parable of the great supper (Lk. 14:16-24). The Lord had been speaking of recompense at the Resurrection of the Just whereupon one of those that sat at table with Him said: “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God” (verses 14, 15). The general subject of the parable, therefore, is the Kingdom of God, which will be introduced at the Resurrection of the Just; and the specific subject is the blessing of eating bread (which signifies the satisfaction of the soul) in that Kingdom. “A certain man made a GREAT supper and bade many.” This great supper represents the “good things to come,” to

which the saints of this era are invited. But the invited guests were more interested in the things of their immediate surroundings than in the great supper. There conduct revealed the preference of their hearts. Therefore the lord of the household was “angry,” and sent out his servant to bring others in (“seeing therefore that some must enter therein” Heb. 4:6), in order that his house might be filled. And concerning those who lightly esteemed his invitation, he declared, “I say unto you that none of those men that were bidden shall taste of my supper.” They preferred not to come, and he left them to the consequences of their choice. How, then, shall we escape if we, after the same example of unbelief, make light of and neglect “so great salvation,” whereof a beginning was spoken by the Lord? 7. CALVI , “But as to the present passage, we ought not to think that they were then for the first time denied entrance into the land by God's oath, when they tempted him in Rephidim; for they had long before been excluded, even from the time they had refused to march forward at the report of the spies. God then does not here ascribe their expulsion from the land to this instance of tempting him as to the first cause; but he intimates that by no chastisement could they have been restored to a sound mind, but that they continually added new offenses: and thus he shows that they fully deserved to be thus severely punished, for they never ceased to increase more and more his wrath by various sins, as though he had said, "This is the generation to which I denied the possession of the promised land, for during whole forty years afterwards it betrayed its obstinate madness by innumerable sins." 8. STEDMA , “ ote the reasons for his solemn oath: (1) They continually went astray in their heart Their inward life was askew. Rather than having a grateful spirit for astounding deliverances and limitless blessings, there was a settled attitude of complaint because everything did not go exactly as they desired each day. They saw themselves as deserving more than they were getting, and they resented it, not with an occasional outburst of displeasure, but with a constant harping that wore down everyone's nerves. (2) They had not learned God's ways. Over forty years, their real knowledge of God had not increased because their grumbling hearts blinded their spiritual eyes. A teachable spirit sustains a grateful heart. Centuries later Jesus would pray: " ow this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (In 17:23). This failure to grow in knowledge of God's ways is the very danger our author sees as a possibility for his own readers. He reminds them of this episode in Israel's history so they might heed its warning. Full apostasy is present when God says of anyone, They shall never enter my rest. This is the first use of the word rest in Hebrews. This word describes the end of wandering and restlessness, and promises calmness and tranquillity. Here it clearly refers to the land of Canaan and the promise of a settled state of peace and full supply. But, as we shall see, this Canaan rest was a symbol, a shadow, of a greater rest available to the people of God in the future. The failure to correct a habit of grumbling and murmuring against God led over a million Israelites to such a hardened state of heart that they were unable to lay hold of the opportunity to enter the land of promise when they came to its borders. They perished at an average of almost ninety deaths a day, until the generation that left Egypt (except for Joshua and Caleb) had died out.

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). The author goes to great lengths in 4:1-10 to discuss all the various understandings of the "rest" of which he spoke in 3:18. "This way of using a word in two or three different ways, of teasing at it until the last drop of meaning was extracted from it, was typical of cultured, academic thought in the days when the writer of Hebrews wrote his letter." - William Barclay: The Letter to the Hebrews a. There is reference to this "rest" as the rest of God after the sixth day of creation, when all God's work was completed. The original Greek term should is most accurately translated as "Sabbath-rest," and appears only here in all the ew Testament. That God instituted this rest at the very dawn of creation is an indicator of its eternal availability to those who trust Him. b. There is reference to the "rest" from the wanderings of the children of Israel which settling the Promised Land might accomplish for them. But the writer also reminds us that Joshua did not provide for them the "rest" he is talking about. If that had been the case, why did God speak in the future tense of this "rest" to David many generations after Joshua? "The promise is not fulfilled, because in Psalm 95:7-11 David hears God's voice saying to the people that if they do not harden their hearts they can enter into his rest. That is to say, hundreds of years after Joshua had led the people into the rest of the Promised Land God is still appealing to them to enter into his rest. There is more to this rest than merely entry into the Promised Land." - William Barclay: Op. cit. c. Yes, there remains....a rest for the people of God ( 4:9 ). But what, exactly, is it? Is this rest the final ceasing from our earthly labours which occurs when we Christians finally enter into heaven? Is the promise, after all, purely eschatological -- relegated to the "last times?" I believe the answer is: absolutely not! C. APPLICATIO 1. There is a "rest" for the people of God. We do not have to die in order to receive it; it is made available to us in this life. That rest has a name: it is the p __ __ __ __ of God. a. Isaiah 26:3-4 [ KJV ] Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord God is everlasting strength. b. John 14:27 [ KJV ] {Jesus said:} "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." c. Philippians 4:4-7 [ KJV ]

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. d. I Peter 3:10-12 [ KJV ] For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 2. It is within the power of every believer to refuse God's rest -- His very best for them. a. The children of Israel, relegated by God's judgment to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness, were not abandoned by God. He still worked mightily in their midst. Yet it must be said that they lived their lives having missed God's intended best for them. And the writer of Hebrews knew how many of his readers were settling for less than God's best for them, too. b. "We who read [Hebrews] may not be battling with pressures to return to a previously held faith, but many church members today are content to live lives that are essentially no different than the lives of non-Christians around them. They easily forget Paul's plea, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" ( Romans 12:2 ). Also, "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking" ( Ephesians 4:17 ). All who ignore these words today are in great danger of repeating the ancient error of Israel." - Ray Stedman: Op. cit 3. The third command provided by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews in our text passage is found in 3:13. ...but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. a. THERE IS POWER I CORPORATE FAITH! Two vitally important ministries in the local church: (1) e __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ( "the giving of courage, hope or confidence" ) (2) e __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ( "urging earnestly; entreating" ) b. But there is often a TIME LIMIT involved, one set according to God's unknown timetable. The opportunity to obey God in a specific way may pass from a hesitant believer, just as the opportunity to encourage and exhort a specific person may pass from a local church body or another individual Christian. 4. In summary: 1. God's promises requires a r __ __ __ __ __ __ __. We read in 4:2 that, for modern-day

believers, God's promises are contained in the g __ __ __ __ __. We also read that the proper response to these promises comes only from those whose hearing of it is mixed with f __ __ __ __. Even the most eloquent, truthful message is of no effect unless it is both h __ __ __ __ and r __ __ __ __ __ __ __ by those to whom it is given! 2. The time for the response is T __ __ __ __. 3. F __ __ __ __ enables us to enter into the promised rest of God; u __ __ __ __ __ __ __ and d __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ prevent us from entering into it. DISCUSSIO GUIDE

1. Read Romans 5:1-2 and Philippians 4:4-7. What is the difference between "peace with God" and "the peace of God?" 2. Read Romans 10:17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:19-20, and Galatians5:1-6. a. Explain the difference between the work of faith in one's salvation and the work of faith in one's Christian walk. b. When do you tend to be anxious and uncertain in your faith? c. Is any and all unbelief condemned by God? ______________ Explain. 3. Read Hebrews 4:1-2. Explain how the preached gospel can be "mixed with faith." 4. Write down your response to this statement: "Hard spots in a believer's heart produce soft spots in a believer's discipleship." 5. Read Psalm 62:1-2. List three practical steps you might take to develop the discipline to rest in God alone. Hardening of the heart, or a steady and determined unbelief is my idea of a sin that cannot be pardoned for it will not receive pardon even when it is offered. It is unforgivable because it is not open to the grace of God. 9. Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White let's examine some verses that show clearly the rebellion and hard-hearted nature of the people of Israel in the wilderness. Exodus 17:6-7 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of

the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? Deuteronomy 6:15-16 (For the LORD thy God [is] a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted [him] in Massah. umbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? umbers 14:22-23 22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: Psalm 78:16-19 16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. 17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. 18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Psalm 78:55-57 55 He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: 57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. Psalm 95:6-11 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For he [is] our God; and we [are] the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, [and] as [in] the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 10 Forty years long was I grieved with [this] generation, and said, It [is] a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. Psalm 106:12-15 12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. 13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. 15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. |The problem was not with God, or that He didn't display enough of His love and provision for His people. The problem then, as it is today, is a heart problem. What was their problem in the wilderness? 1.) They put God to the test, daring and challenging Him, presuming upon Him. 2.) They were eyewitnesses to God's work long enough to trust and obey Him, 40 years. 3.) Their hearts always went astray, went a wandering, going after their idols and their lust. 4.) They never learned God's ways or understood who He was by what He did. They did not want to know Him personally, they just wanted to see what He could do for them.

5.) They never entered the rest (Canaan & blessings from God) that God promised them. 6.) God killed them in the wilderness. This was the problem with the Jews in Moses day and the Jews to whom the writer wrote to were very familiar with the facts concerning their own people. We are going to look at this issue of God's rest at a later time. The record of the Jews past behavior and destruction was a perpetual warning to the readers not to do the same things that caused their forefathers to receive judgement instead of blessing from the Lord. This is clearly seen in the next verses. Here comes the next parenthetical warning given to the readers of this epistle. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of un. ( um 14:28-30) JAMES FOWLER, "3:11 God's response to the sinful waywardness of the people of the exodus was "AS I SWORE I MY WRATH, THEY SHALL OT E TER MY REST." God's character of lovingkindness and forgiveness ( umb 14:18) must, of necessity, be balanced by an intolerance for sin and iniquity ( umb. 14:18,19,40) which is contrary to His character. The Divine "Yes" must have its opposite Divine " o!" The anger and wrath of God are not inconsistent with His character but are demanded by the absoluteness of His character, or else God becomes a sloppy sentimental sop. God was angry ( umb. 14:12, 28-35) with the recalcitrant Hebrews who found Him faithful enough to get them out of Egypt, but would not trust Him to get them into Canaan. God determined that the consequences of their unbelief and unfaithfulness would be that they would not enter into the promised land ( umb. 14:23) of "milk and honey" ( umb. 13:27; 14:8), the land of Canaan, the place of rest (cf. Deut. 3:20;12:9,10). The entire generation of Jewish people, those twenty years of age and older, would perish in the wilderness ( umb 14:29-35) during forty years of wandering ( umb. 14:33,34), with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, the two spies who believed that God would keep His promises ( umb. 14:24,38)

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
1. Barnes, “Take heed, brethren - In view of the conduct of the rebellious Jews, and of their fearful doom, be on your guard lest you also be found to have had the same feelings of rebellion and unbelief. See to it, that under the new dispensation, and in the enjoyment of the privileges of the gospel, you be not found to manifest such feelings as shall exclude you from the heavenly world. The “principle” has been settled by their unbelief that they who oppose God will be excluded from his rest. That may be shown under all dispensations, and in all circumstances, and there is not less danger of it under the gospel than there was when the fathers were conducted to

the promised land. You are traveling through a wilderness - the barren wilderness of this world. You are exposed to trials and temptations. You meet with many a deadly and mighty foe. You have hearts prone to apostasy and sin. You are seeking a land of promise; a land of rest. You are surrounded by the wonders of Almighty power, and by the proofs of infinite beneficence. Disobedience and rebellion in you will as certainly exclude you from heaven as their rebellion did them from the promised land; and as their great sin was unbelief, be on your guard lest you manifest the same. An evil heart of unbelief - An evil, unbelieving heart. The word “unbelief” is used to qualify the word “heart,” by a Hebraism - a mode of speech that is common in the ew Testament. An unbelieving heart was the cause of “their” apostasy, and what worked their ruin will produce ours. The root of their evil was “a want of confidence in God” - and this is what is meant here by a heart of unbelief. The great difficulty on earth everywhere is a “want of confidence in God” and this has produced all the ills that man has ever suffered. It led to the first apostasy; and it has led to every other apostasy - and will continue to produce the same effects to the end of the world. The apostle says that this heart of unbelief is “evil.” Men often feel that it is a matter of little consequence whether they have faith or not, provided their conduct is right; and hence, they do not see or admit the propriety of what is said about the consequences of unbelief in the Scriptures. But what do they say about a want of confidence between a husband and wife? Are there no evils in that? What husband can sleep with quietness on his pillow, if he has no confidence in the virtue of his wife? What child can have peace who has no confidence in a parent? How can there be prosperity in a community where there is no confidence in a bank, or an insurance office, or where one merchant has no confidence in another; where a neighbor has no confidence in his neighbor; where the sick have no confidence in a physician, and where in general all confidence is broken up between man and man? If I wished to produce the deepest distress in any community, and had the power, I would produce the same want of confidence between man and man which there is now between man and his Maker. I would thus take away sleep from the pillow of every husband and wife; every parent and child; and make every man wretched with the feeling that all the property which he had was insecure. Among people, nothing is seen to be productive of greater evil than a want of confidence or faith - and why should not the same evil exist in the divine administration? And if want of confidence produces such results between man and man, why should it not produce similar, or greater, miseries where it occurs in relation to God? There is not an evil that man endures which might not be alleviated or removed by confidence in God; and hence one great object of the Christian religion is, to restore to man his lost confidence in the God that made him. In departing from the living God - Manifested in departing from him; or leading to a departure from him. The idea is, that such a heart of unbelief would be connected with apostasy from God. All apostasy first exists in the heart, and then is manifested in the life. They who indulge in unbelief in any form, or in regard to any subject, should remember that this is the great source of all alienation from God, and that if indulged it will lead to complete apostasy. They who wish to live a life of piety should keep the heart right. He that lives “by the faith of the Son of God” is safe; and none is safe but he.

2. Clarke, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you - Take warning by those disobedient Israelites; they were brought out of the house of bondage, and had the fullest promise of a land of prosperity and rest. By their disobedience they came short of it, and fell in the wilderness. Ye have been brought from the bondage of sin, and have a most gracious promise of an everlasting inheritance among the saints in light; through unbelief and disobedience they lost their rest,

through the same ye may lose yours. An evil heart of unbelief will head away from the living God. What was possible in their case, is possible in yours. The apostle shows here five degrees of apostasy: 1. Consenting to sin, being deceived by its solicitations. 2. Hardness of heart, through giving way to sin. 3. Unbelief in consequence of this hardness which leads them to call even the truth of the Gospel in question. 4. This unbelief causing them to speak evil of the Gospel, and the provision God has made for the salvation of their souls. 5. Apostasy itself, or falling off from the living God; and thus extinguishing all the light that was in them, and finally grieving the Spirit of God, so that he takes his flight, and leaves them to a seared conscience and reprobate mind. See Leigh. He who begins to give the least way to sin is in danger of final apostasy; the best remedy against this is to get the evil heart removed, as one murderer in the house is more to be dreaded than ten without. 2B. Calvin, “Take heed, (or See,) brethren, lest there be at any time in any of you a wicked heart of unbelief, etc. I have preferred to retain literally what the Apostle states, rather than to give a paraphrase as to the wicked or depraved heart of unbelief, by which he intimates that unbelief would be connected with depravity or wickedness, if after having received the knowledge of Christ they departed from his faith. For he addressed them who had been imbued with the elements of Christianity; hence he immediately added, By departing; for the sin of defection is accompanied with perfidy. 2C. Calvin's editor adds, “ The word connected with "heart" is en to, which properly means diseased and hence corrupted, depraved, wicked. Depraved or wicked would perhaps be the best rendering of it here. "Unbelief" is a genitive used for an adjective or a participle, -- "a wicked unbelieving heart." It is unbelieving owing to its wickedness or depravity. Grotius says, that there are two kinds of unbelief, -- The first the rejection of the truth when first offered, -- and the second the renouncing of it after having once professed it. The latter is the more heinous sin. "The departing," etc.; en to is rendered "by" by Macknight: it is considered by Grotius to be for eis to, which word makes the meaning more evident, "so as to depart," etc.

3. Gill, “Take heed, brethren,.... This exhortation is grounded upon the state and case of their ancestors before given, as a warning and caution to the then present Hebrews; and whom the apostle styles "brethren", to show that he had no hard thoughts of them, and that his jealousy was a godly one, and not an evil suspicion; and may teach us that all exhortations, admonitions,

and reproofs should be given in love: lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief; or such an evil heart, in which unbelief prevails, and is predominant: there is in every man, whether a profane sinner, or an hypocritical professor, an evil heart, and an unbelieving one; and there is unbelief in regenerate persons, which when cherished and encouraged by them is a great evil, and should be avoided; and this sin is aggravated by the many instances of God's grace, and by the many declarations of it, and by the exceeding great and precious promises God has made, and by the great discoveries of his love to their souls in times past: and this sin, when it gets ahead, has a very great influence on the heart, to make it evil; and unbelief was the first sin of man, at least it very early appeared; it is the mother sin, and puts persons upon every sin; it defiles the conscience, hardens the heart, renders the word unprofitable, unfit for duty and makes men unstable, and therefore to be shunned; and especially because of the dreadful effect following: in departing from the living God; that is, from Christ, who is the Son over his own house, and whose voice is to be heard; for of no other is the apostle speaking in the context; and who is not only the Son of the living God, but he is himself the living God; he is life in himself, and is the fountain and author of life, natural, spiritual, and eternal. This is mentioned to exalt the person of Christ, the apostle and high priest of our profession; and to discover the greatness and heinousness of the sin of such as depart from him and his Gospel, and to deter men from it: there is a final and total departure from Christ, from his Gospel and ordinances, from his people, and from a former profession of faith, which is never to be found in true believers; for they are as Mount Zion, which can never be removed; but there is a partial departure, and for a while, which they are liable to, and is attended with bad effects to them, and should be guarded against: saints should take heed of themselves, and of their hearts, and of the unbelief of them, that they do not in the least depart from Christ, by letting go their hold of him, or by a non-exercise of faith upon him; and this should be the care and concern of every individual member of the church, and at all times; unbelief is very dishonourable to God and Christ; contradicts the word and promises of God; is uncomfortable to the saints; it is a sin that very easily besets, and is very provoking to God, and is highly resented by him. 4. Henry, “What use the apostle makes of their awful example, Heb_3:12, Heb_3:13, etc. He gives the Hebrews a proper caution, and enforces it with an affectionate compellation. 1. He gives the Hebrews a proper caution; the word is, Take heed, blepete - look to it. “Look about you; be upon your guard against enemies both within and without; be circumspect. You see what kept many of your forefathers out of Canaan, and made their carcasses fall in the wilderness; take heed lest you fall into the same sin and snare and dreadful sentence. For you see Christ is head of the church, a much greater person than Moses, and your contempt of him must be a greater sin than their contempt of Moses; and so you are in danger of falling under a severer sentence than they.” Observe, The ruin of others should be a warning to us to take heed of the rock they split upon. Israel's fall should for ever be a warning to all who come after them; for all these things happened to them for ensamples (1Co_10:11), and should be remembered by us. Take heed; all who would get safely to heaven must look about them. 2. He enforces the admonition with an affectionate compellation: “Brethren, not only in the flesh, but in the Lord; brethren whom I love, and for whose welfare I labour and long.” And here he enlarges upon the matter of the admonition: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Here observe, (1.) A heart of unbelief is an evil heart. Unbelief is a great sin, it vitiates the heart of man. (2.) An evil heart of unbelief is at the

bottom of all our sinful departures from God; it is a leading step to apostasy; if once we allow ourselves to distrust God, we may soon desert him. (3.) Christian brethren have need to be cautioned against apostasy. Let those that think they stand take heed lest they fall. 3. He subjoins good counsel to the caution, and advises them to that which would be a remedy against this evil heart of unbelief - that they should exhort one another daily, while it is called today, Heb_3:13. Observe, (1.) We should be doing all the good we can to one another while we are together, which will be but a short and uncertain time. (2.) Since tomorrow is none of ours, we must make the best improvement of today. (3.) If Christians do not exhort one another daily, they will be in danger of being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. ote, [1.] There is a great deal of deceitfulness in sin; it appears fair, but is filthy; it appears pleasant, but is pernicious; it promises much, but performs nothing. [2.] The deceitfulness of sin is of a hardening nature to the soul; one sin allowed prepares for another; every act of sin confirms the habit; sinning against conscience is the way to sear the conscience; and therefore it should be the great concern of every one to exhort himself and others to beware of sin. 5. Jamison, “Take heed — to be joined with “wherefore,” Heb_3:7. lest there be — Greek (indicative), “lest there shall be”; lest there be, as I fear there is; implying that it is not merely a possible contingency, but that there is ground for thinking it will be so. in any — “in any one of you.” ot merely ought all in general be on their guard, but they ought to be so concerned for the safety of each one member, as not to suffer any one to perish through their negligence [Calvin]. heart — The heart is not to be trusted. Compare Heb_3:10, “They do always err in their heart.” unbelief — faithlessness. Christ is faithful; therefore, saith Paul to the Hebrews, we ought not to be faithless as our fathers were under Moses. departing — apostatizing. The opposite of “come unto” Him (Heb_4:16). God punishes such apostates in kind. He departs from them - the worst of woes. the living God — real: the distinctive characteristic of the God of Israel, not like the lifeless gods of the heathen; therefore One whose threats are awful realities. To apostatize from Christ is to apostatize from the living God (Heb_2:3). 6. PI K, “"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (verse 12). Here the apostle begins to make a practical application to the believing Hebrews of the solemn passage which has just been quoted from the 95th Psalm. He warns them against the danger of apostatizing. This is clear from the expression "in departing from the living God." The same Greek verb is rendered "fall away" in Luke 8:13, and in its noun form signifies "apostasy" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Such apostasy is the inevitable outcome of giving way to an "evil heart of unbelief," against which the apostle bids those to whom he was writing to "take heed." Thus the contents of this verse at once bring before us a subject which has been debated in Christendom all through the centuries-the possibility or the impossibility of a true child of God apostatizing and finally perishing. Into this vexed question we shall not here enter, as the contents of the verses which immediately follow will oblige us taking it up, D.V. in our next article. Suffice it now to say that what is here in view is the testing of profession; whether the profession be genuine or spurious, the ultimate outcome of that testing makes evident in each individual’s case. "Take heed brethren." The introducing here of this blessed and tender title of God’s saints is very searching. Those unto whom the apostle was writing, might object, "The scripture you have cited

has no legitimate application to us; that passage describes the conduct of unbelievers, whereas we are believers." Therefore does the apostle again address them as "brethren;" nevertheless, he bids them "take heed." They were not yet out of danger, they were still in the wilderness. Those mentioned in Psalm 95 began well, witness their singing the praises of Jehovah on the farther shores of the Red Sea (Exo. 15). They too had avowed their fealty to the Lord: "all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (Exo. 19:8); yet the fact remains that many of them apostatized and perished in the wilderness. Therefore the searching relevancy of this word, "take heed brethren lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief." "In departing from the living God." The reference here is plainly to the Lord Jesus Himself. In Matthew 16:16 the Father is denominated "the living God," here and in 1 Timothy 4:10 the Son is, in 2 Corinthians 6:16 (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16) the Holy Spirit is. The reason for the application of this Divine title to the Savior in this verse is apparent: the temptation confronting the Hebrews was not to become atheists, but to abandon their profession of Christianity. The unbelieving Jews denounced Jesus Christ as an impostor, and were urging those who believed in Him to renounce Him and return to Judaism, and thus return to the true God, Jehovah. That Christ is God the apostle had affirmed here, in verse 4, and he now warns them that so far from the abandonment of the Christian profession and a return to Judaism being a going back to Jehovah, it would be the "departing from the living God." That Christ was the true and living God had been fully demonstrated by the apostle in the preceding chapters of this epistle. The extent to which and the manner in which the warning from Psalm 95 and the admonition of Hebrews 3:12 applies to Christians today, we must leave for consideration till the next chapter. In the meantime let us heed the exhortation of 2 Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure," and while attending to this duty, let us pray the more frequently and the more earnestly for God to deliver us from "an evil heart of unbelief." 7. DAVID PHILLIPS, “Hagner believes that these verses are in fact, a Christian commentary on the Psalm. He states: The exodus typology that underlies this quotation is not only found at several places in the T(e.g. 1 Cor. 5:7; 10:1-12), but even within the OT where, for example, Israel's return from the exile is deliberately described in language derived from the exodus narrative. The complex events associated with the exodus are of such great importance that they become paradigmatic for later events in the history of redemption. In particular, the exodus and the deliverance accomplished through the cross stand in special relationship. If the Jews were delivered from slavery in Egypt, God has through the cross delivered humanity from a greater slavery. God has acted gloriously and triumphantly in both instances, the earlier foreshadowing the later. And similarity exists not only in the redemptive events, but also in the aftermath of those events. Our author would be in perfect accord with Paul when he writes: "these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us"(1 Cor. 10:11; cf. Rom. 15:4). The people that God led into the wilderness had experienced the great deliverance of the exodus and yet they fell away. Those who have experienced the redemption of the cross my find themselves in a similar situation. The basis of all typology is analogy, the similarity in pattern between past and present. This method of warning the readers is far more powerful than any other the author could have employed(64). 12 The author begins verse twelve with the word, "Beware(blepete)." This word followed by a negative particle and the verb in the indicative mood proclaims to the reader a strong warning. The writer is concerned that the Christians will fall prey to the same problem that the Israelites had, that of unbelief. The word order of the phrase, "evil, unbelieving heart" is "evil heart of unbelief." The phrase could associate evil with heart or unbelief. The word unbelief, "apistia," is of importance for it opens the commentary on the Psalm in verse

twelve and is the last word in the commentary at verse 19. This would create an "inclusio" and the word would define itself in the section. The idea of unbelief is not mentioned in the Psalm, but added by the writer using an understanding of the actual incident in umbers 14. The word evil is also an reference back to umbers and not the Psalm. These are indeed allusions to the event in umbers 14. This is significant "because they indicate that unbelief is not a lack of faith or trust. It is the refusal to believe God. It leads inevitably to a turning away from God in a deliberate act of rejection(Lane, 86)" This phrase interprets the phrase in verse ten, "their hearts are going astray," which is described in OT terms as "turning away from the living God(Lane, 86)." The word used for "turning away," apostenai, is the root of the English word apostasy. "It involves a deviation from the truth(Guthrie, 105)." 8. STEDMA , “Don't Miss Your Opportunity (3:12-19) In verses 12-13, this example is now applied to all who read Hebrews. The writer's argument is: If unbelief kept Israelites out of the land of Canaan (a picture of God's rest), how much more serious is it today to give way to unbelief and thus miss the greater rest (the rest of justification and salvation). The warning is addressed to the whole assembly (See to it, brothers, . . . encourage one another daily). These phrases recognize individual responsibility to act (that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart, . . . none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness) and describe accurately the terrible result of sin's hardening (turns away from the living God). Bruce puts it powerfully, "a relapse from Christianity into Judaism would be comparable to the action of the Israelites when they 'turned back in their hearts unto Egypt' (Acts 7:39); it would not be a mere return to a position previously occupied, but a gesture of outright apostasy, a complete break with God" (1964:66). We who read this may not be battling with pressures to return to a previously held faith, but many church members today are content to live lives that are essentially no different than the lives of non-Christians around them. They easily forget Paul's plea, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom 12:2). Also, "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking" (Eph 4:17). All who ignore these words today are in great danger of repeating the ancient error of Israel. For the first time in Hebrews the power of corporate faith is recognized with the words encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today. (13) It will be highlighted again in 10:24-25. Those who profess to share life in Christ are urged both to caution and encourage one another. This is done whenever it is needed (Today used eight times in Hebrews) and consists, not of stem rebuke, but loving admonition against a complaining spirit, and helpful illumination of sin's deceptive approach. "Sin is an extremely dangerous power confronting the believer. It always attacks the individual, much as wolves stalk a single sheep" (Kistemaker 1984:95). Its terrible danger lies in the deceptive ease by which it gradually hardens the heart, as it lessens the will's power to resist evil. As the first warning passage (2:1-4) dealt with the danger of drifting past truth, this one warns of the danger of failing to deal with a grumbling and complaining spirit. Verses 14-19 recapitulate the warning from Psalm 95 and support the declaration of verse 14, We have come to share in Christ if we hold firm till the end the confidence we had at first. This verse

looks back to verse 6, "we are his [Christ's] house." Believers share in Christ (metokoi, "become partakers of") through a dual relationship: "You in me, and I in you," that is, Christ dwelling in us as a Son in his own house; and believers dwelling in Christ, as sharers of his divine-human life. But this is made evident only by persevering as a Christian until the end of life itself! (See John 10:28 where Jesus says, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish"). Once again the if is descriptive, not conditional. If we hold firmly . . . the confidence we had at first envisages deliberate efforts made to renew faith and trust on a daily basis. As we read the Scriptures thoughtfully and closely every day, or when we pray regularly with and for one another, or when we worship with other believers in a shared experience of God's wonder and glory, when we serve people's needs out of love for Christ, we are doing the things that cause us to bold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first. The rhetorical questions of verses 16-18 show how an outward facade of belief can be maintained while the heart is still unrepentant, and therefore unredeemed. (14) It is possible to participate in and benefit from the great miracles of God, as the Israelites did who came out of Egypt with Moses (v. 16). Yet, despite such evidence, the heart can remain unchanged for a lifetime. God sees that inner hardness and warns continually against it until he is forced to judge it (v. 17). ow the growing stages of unbelief: general rebellion (v. 16); sin, punished by physical death (v. 17); and disobedience (Gk: "being unpersuadable"---v. 18). The cause of this recalcitrance lies deeper than a wrong attitude or wrong behavior; it lies in a disobedient will. Therefore, the loss of promised blessing is traceable only and solely to long-continued unbelief (v. 19). This word apistian, "disbelief") is the platform upon which the writer's more positive explanation of rest is founded He gives us the other side of disbelief in chapter 4. 9. HAH , “Verse 12 begins the application of Psalm 95 with an abrupt and stern warning. "Watch out!" would be an accurate translation of the first word in verse 12. It is very interesting since the first readers of Hebrews were facing persecution that the warning deals with their hearts. "Watch out lest you have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." The problem of giving up on God and turning back is ultimately not a persecution problem; it is a heart problem. To describe the heart as unbelieving taps in on all the concepts alluded to in Psalm 95. An unbelieving heart is a heart that does not trust God. It is a heart that tries to manipulate God into accomplishing the human will instead of the divine will. It is a heart that gripes and is bitter because it does not see the ways of God in the painful circumstances of life. A heart that turns from the living God has no place to turn to except to one's own self. The apostasy of turning away is doubly tragic because there is nothing to turn to when one turns away from God. Verse 12 The writer warns us to take care that we do not turn away from God. It is possible for Christians to go back to their old ways and to forget God. We must make sure that we do not do that. To God that would be the action of an evil heart that does not trust in God. To go back from following Jesus would be to fight against the God who is alive and active. All who do turn back will one day have to stand before him and face his judgment. 10. STEDMA , “. The writer's argument is: If unbelief kept Israelites out of the land of Canaan (a picture of God's rest), how much more serious is it today to give way to unbelief and thus miss the greater rest (the rest of justification and salvation). The warning is addressed to the whole assembly (See to it, brothers, . . . encourage one another daily). These phrases recognize individual responsibility to act (that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart, . . . none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness) and describe accurately the terrible result of sin's hardening (turns away from the living God). Bruce puts it powerfully, "a relapse from

Christianity into Judaism would be comparable to the action of the Israelites when they 'turned back in their hearts unto Egypt' (Acts 7:39); it would not be a mere return to a position previously occupied, but a gesture of outright apostasy, a complete break with God" 11. THE SCRIPTURAL MA DATE TO EXHORT #3 HEB 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. >>As we continue to consider the occasions of this duty to exhort, let's see the urgency in the exhortation in our text to HEB 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. >>We are so responsible to our brethren for their soul's sake to exhort them if we see them departing from the living God through an evil heart of unbelief. EZE 33:12-13 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. 13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. >>We must realize the urgency of our responsibility to "...exhort one another daily, while it is called To day." EZE 33:8-9 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 evertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. >>As the direct result of our neglect in exhortation the heart is "...hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." >>God's clear command is to plead with and "...exhort one another daily, while it is called To day," saying EZE 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? >>When we see one of our brethren with "...an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God," we are exhorted in GAL 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. >>We must plead with and "...exhort one another daily, while it is called To day," to hear God's voice, i.e., through the exercise of saving faith. HEB 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. >>To hear God's voice and do His will is to exercise faith, but to harden the heart in rebellion is "...an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." LUK 6:46-48 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the

ruin of that house was great. >>This is why "...an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. [is the first, and greatest occasion to] exhort one another daily, [i.e., frequently] while it is called To day; [i.e., without delay] lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." >>Oh beloved, the necessity is so great, it is so urgent! See what the Apostle Paul says in GAL 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, >> ow see the urgency in Paul's exhortation to the church at Philippi for what appears to him as their "...evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." PHI 3:17-19 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) >>See how this exhortation was prompted by their lack of the mind or Spirit of Christ which was revealed by their conversation. PHI 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. >>Exhortation is not pleasing to the flesh, but when we see that neverdieing souls are becoming "...hardened through the deceitfulness of sin," then we must remember the voice of God in EZE 33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, [i.e., in his experience] and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. >>This is synonymous with the admonition of our Saviour in REV 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. >>Balaam was very rich in experience; he was widely known as a prophet of the Lord, UM 23:5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak. >>Balaam was not a stranger to the nearness of God's Spirit! UM 24:2-5 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! >>Balaam saw how precious it was for those who died in Christ. UM 23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! >>The danger of "the doctrine of Balaam" was not a lack of experience, but it was his "...evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God," as we see in 2PE 2:14-17 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. >>This is why we are admonished in our text, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin," >>This is so urgent because every step our poor unbelieving brother takes in departing from the living God makes his recovery all the more difficult. >>"The deceitfulness of sin" has such a hardening effect which causes him to loose his love for the truth; this places him beyond the reach of your voice of exhortation because we read. 2TH 2:10b "...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. >>It would not be as important to warn a brother that his house is on fire as it is to "...exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." >>As we see our text in context let's be admonished with HEB 3:15-19 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. >>Who can you find to tell of more, or richer experiences than the children of Israel? >>So what was there sin of unbelief? It was departing from the authority of God's Word after having seen so many deliverances from His hand! DEU 29:2-3 And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; 3 The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: >>With all this experience they were the more accountable, yet they believed not. DEU 9:23 Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice. >>The Lord calls to us daily, where is thy brother? Can we answer as the first murderer. GE 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? >>Our text says, HEB 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. >>Every passing day that we neglect exhorting our brother who is departing from the Lord through an evil heart of unbelief he becomes all the more "...hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." >>Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour through his deceit. MAT 24:24 For there shall arise false Christ's, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. >>There is such a blessed consolation for those whom the Lord has chosen, although now in this lifetime we are often bowed down with heaviness through manifold temptations. 1PE 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven

for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: >>We may not govern our lives by the secret will of God, but we do have such a blessed consolation in our heavenly Father's unchanging love. 2TI 2:19-21 evertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet [i.e., fit in character] for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. >>Along with such blessed consolation also come this admonition 2TI 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. >>Following after righteousness includes the admonition which is synonymous with our text. GAL 6:1-3 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 12. Tom Harding, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (Heb. 3.12). Here, the Holy Spirit gives us the evidence of that God-given faith of God's elect, and the evidence of phony faith which the flesh produces. True faith will take heed to the warnings of scripture, and search the heart for evidences of unbelief and cry out to God for aid. On the other hand, counterfeit faith is full of presumption and looks to something other than Christ for assurance. True faith will persevere to the end because it is fastened to a living person, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4). While counterfeit faith will end in failure because it is resting on some false grounds of hope(Isa.28.17). True faith in time of trial will bring the believer closer to His Lord, knowing the trial is from His hand and for our good (Rom. 8:28). On the other hand counterfeit faith in time of trouble will result in the person departing from the gospel and from those who believe. An evil heart of unbelief is always manifested by departing from the living God. John said, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (John 2:19). Let us not be afraid to examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). True faith is willing to submit to the word of God because it is the foundation of faith. 13. In 1956, C.S. Lewis, a confirmed bachelor, married Joy Davidman, but after four intensely happy years, Joy died, and Lewis was alone again. Inconsolable, he faced a crisis of faith. He wrote: " ot that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about him. The conclusion I dread is not, 'So there's no God after all,' but, 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer.'" Having quoted Psalm 95, the writer begins his exhortation based on it. Care should be exercised among the community so that none of them has an "evil, unbelieving heart," or, literally, "an evil

heart of unbelief." This condition describes the root of sin. Many different terms are used to describe sin in this passage: hardening the heart (verses 8, 13, 15), rebellion against God (verses 8, 15, 16), testing God (verses 8, 9), going astray in the heart (verse 10), not knowing God's ways (verse 10), an evil heart of unbelief (verse 12), falling away from God (verse 12), sinning (verse 17), disobedience (verse 18) and unbelief (verse 19). Most are descriptions of actions, but the root of those actions is "an evil heart of unbelief." We don't usually connect evil with unbelief. Evil is more commonly associated with murder, rape, genocide and the like. But murder, rape and genocide stem from unbelief. The root of all evil, then, is the evil disposition of the human heart not to believe in God or believe him. Insofar as the writer of Hebrews is concerned at this point, it is the evil disposition of the human heart to not believe in the value of the gospel. Such unbelief gives rise to hardening of the heart, rebellion against God, testing God and the like. But if we were to hear the voice of God as it concerns the value of the gospel, the stranglehold that unbelief has on our hearts would be significantly weakened. So the writer exhorts us to "take care" against an evil heart of unbelief, which would result in "falling away from the living God." The writer has in mind here someone who has received persistent exposure to the gospel but is in danger of ultimately rejecting it. But it is also applicable for those of us who have received the gospel but are doubting its value, particularly in light of the circumstances we encounter at places like Rephidim and Kadesh.” author unknown 14. THE DA GER OF DEPARTI G (12-14) A. THERE IS A EED TO "BEWARE"... 1. A believer can develop "an evil heart of unbelief" a. Remember that the recipients of this epistle were "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" - He 3:1 b. The warning against developing a heart of unbelief presumes a real possibility c. Thus a "believer" can become an "unbeliever"! 2. Unbelief is produced as one is "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" a. Sin is deceitful... 1) Promising pleasure, power, and prestige 2) In the short term that may be true, but such things are "passing" (temporary) - e.g., He 11:25; 1 Jn 2:17 b. Because of its deceitfulness, it is easy to become "hardened" 1) I.e., to be stubborn and not heed the Word of God 2) It happened to Israel, and it can happen to us! 3. The consequence of unbelief is "departing from the living God" a. As one grows in unbelief, so they drift away from God b. While a believer remains in fellowship with God, an unbeliever can only depart further and further away from God! B. THE SOLUTIO IS TO "EXHORT O E A OTHER DAILY"... 1. This is how a believer avoids becoming an unbeliever!

2. Through mutual edification on a daily basis, we can prevent the "hardening" that comes from sin's deceitfulness 3. An important part of such exhortation is our assembling together - cf. He 10:24-25 a. Which should certainly involve our assemblies on the first day of the week - e.g., Ac 20:7 b. But with a need for "daily exhortation", should we be content to limit our assembling to one service a week? c. If we have the opportunity to assemble more often, shouldn't we? 4. Even if it is only by phone, we should seek to "exhort one another daily"! C. OUR PARTICIPATIO I CHRIST IS CO DITIO AL... 1. Once again we see the conditional nature of our participation with Christ a. We are the house of Christ "...IF we hold the fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." - He 3:6 b. We have become partakers of Christ "...IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end," - He 3: 14 2. What about the security of the believer? a. The "believer" does indeed enjoy the assurance of his salvation b. But we have seen that a "believer" can develop "an evil heart of unbelief"; i.e., become an "unbeliever" - He 3:12 c. When a "believer" becomes an "unbeliever", what promises of security and salvation there may be to the believer are no longer applicable! -- Thus the many warnings to remain faithful, including that of our Lord's - Re 2:10 [The danger of departing from God is so great, that the writer of Hebrews returns to "A Warning From The Wilderness"...] 15. Unbelief Hebrews 3:7-19 “We do not understand the devastating effects of unbelief on our lives. People talk about terrible sins, and the unforgivable sin, and we may not even speak of them around our children. But it will not be the sin of stealing that will send us to Hell, nor murder, nor fornication or adultery. If we took a poll in our congregation today, one of these might be voted as the "worst" sin. But if I ask how many have trouble with the sin of unbelief, probably all of us would have to come down the aisle. Vs. 9 says "They could not . ." because of unbelief. Whether in the spiritual or secular realm, most people cannot do the things they want because of unbelief. In these verses, four things are either directly or indirectly indicated about this sin. I. Unbelief ever has Enough Proof. 3:9-10 A. Basically we all have the same information from which to draw. 1. The same promises, the same Word of God, the same people to look at for examples, etc.

2. But some people have gotten a hold of it, and others haven't, even though they have the same proof. 3. Are you waiting for one more thing? 4. What will make you a believer? B. ote the example of the Children of Israel: 1. They found themselves in slavery for 400 years. 2. They cried out to God, Moses delivered them and then two million people witnessed all kinds of miracles--the plagues, lice, all the water turned to blood, the angel of death. . .they saw it all. 3. They watched the Egyptians let them go, the water roll back in great walls, and they watched it close behind them. 4. They still didn't believe. 5. Unbelief never has enough proof. 6. Forty years in the wilderness of seeing God's mighty works was still not enough. 7. And if God had done more, it still would not have been enough. C. ote the example of the Rich Man and Lazarus. (Luke 16:19- 31) 1. The rich man begged the Lord to send someone to speak to his five brothers still living, but the Lord said even if one were raised from the dead, they would still not believe. 2. Unbelief is never filled, but continually must feed--must see something bigger, better. II. Unbelief Robs Us of Opportunities. 3:11-16 A. Children of Israel and the Promised Land 1. God smiled at them and called them into partnership with Himself. 2. After they crossed the Red Sea, they saw the coastline littered with bodies of Egyptian soldiers, turned around and saw the pillar of fire or cloud-- they had everything going for them. 3. Except they still had unbelief and wandered in the wilderness with it for forty years. B. Judas Iscariot 1. He had the opportunity to walk and talk with the Lord, but one word describes the life of Judas... wasted! 2. When we don't believe God will take care of us, then we take things into our own hands... 3. And that brings us no closer to Him than we were when we started. C. Americans: 1. One reason we don't believe is because maybe we see too many miracles. 2. Maybe we have it too good. 3. While tending the flocks on the western side of Mount Horeb, Moses turned aside to look at a burning bush. 4. Because of the sun's spontaneous combustion of the dry desert bushes, the sight was quite common. 5. o one paid any attention to what seemed a common, insignificant event, until Moses turned aside to look, and it was then that God spoke to him, gave him opportunity. 6. Pay attention to the small straws that it takes to make up a broom; little things add up. III. Unbelief Brings God Grief. 3:17 A. It is likened to the grief we feel at the sight of a loved one in pain. 1. The generation of Israel saw God's works for forty years and still had unbelief. 2. This grief affects God. 3. God has always meant only good for us, but still we disbelieve, we balk and question, "But, but. . ." 4. We are actually suspicious of God. B. God feels as if He is actually losing us, like we grieve when we see our loved ones just before they pass on. 1. Unbelief is the only sin that limits God and draws a perimeter around what He can do.

2. "Because of their unbelief..." cf Mt. 13:58 3. "Because of your unbelief..." cf Mt. 17:20 IV. Unbelief Brings Destruction. 3:17-18 A. Children of Israel: 1. Only two out of 600,000 remained. 2. That means there was an average of 41 deaths per day. 3. There was wailing, weeping, crying for days on end, for forty years. 4. The young people finally said "This is no good!" and believed God. B. Tribulation Period: 1. During this time there will be many calamities. 2. One out of every three people on earth will die, and yet the remainder will still not repent! "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: either repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." (Rev 9:20-21) C. America: 1. We are on the decline because of unbelief. 2. Destruction will eventually follow. Belief is a limited offer. If there is a real bargain in town, a genuine good offer, there will be a limit on it. That's how it is with salvation. God said His spirit will not always strive with man. But don't make the mistake that unbelief deals only with salvation. It goes much farther than that. Don't let the last verse be our epitaph "We could ot" because of unbelief. What we must do with our unbelief is repent, say we're sorry to the Lord, turn our trust back to Him. Unbelief has a higher price than anyone can pay. We would be deeply hurt if our children said, "I’m not going to obey you because I don’t believe you." God is looking for our trust and belief, which is manifested in our obedience to Him. Three Priorities of the Faithful - verses 12-14 b. Exercise caution - verse 12 1. Any believer can become "infected" with an evil heart of unbelief. c. This warning is addressed to "Holy brethren," truly born again believers. d. We need to continue to examine our hearts for delay, doubts, and disobedience. 2. The Christian who falls into a pattern of unbelief will eventually depart from the Living God. e. This doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation or necessarily fall into a life of sin. f. It means they abandon God, the O E PERSO who can satisfy their every need, and live by their own wits in dependence upon their own abilities. g. Encourage others - verse 13 1. Because of what it will do for them h. There are those in our fellowship who are struggling in their Christian walk today. i. We need to be sensitive to the needs of those around us and quick to offer a helping hand (not an accusing finger) - a word of concern (not of criticism). j. We never know when our encouragement may be the lifeline needed by someone who’s at the end of his rope. 2. Because of what it will do for you - "lest …" k. When we are concerned for others, it keeps our heart sensitive to the things of God. It makes us ask Him for wisdom and offer ourselves to meet the other person’s need. l. When we can ignore the needs of others, it’s a sign that our ears are closed to the voice of God and our heart unwilling to be used by Him.

m. Endure in your "first" faith - verse 14 1. How did you begin your Christian life? By believing that Christ alone could save you. 2. It is that same simple faith that allows us to be partakers of Christ every day. n. Partaking of Christ is compared to the "rest" of Canaan. o. It means receiving from Him all that we need to experience God’s best. In this chapter, the writer has emphasized the importance of trusting Christ alone to provide all we need for a victorious Christian experience - the "rest" which God has promised to His people. ext week, we will look at the nature of God’s rest and learn how we can experience the fullness of God’s "so great salvation" that the Israelites missed who died in the wilderness because of their unbelief. . Early detection is important for threats to our SPIRITUAL health. a. Apostasy, like cancer, gives warning signals. b. We need to be educated for early detection. c. PURPOSE: Identify 7 danger signals of SPIRITUAL CA CER (Apostasy). I. LOSS OF APPETITE FOR THE WORD OF GOD . A. Bible is clear that Spiritual Growth is connected w/ Bible Study. 1. "Faith comes by hearing, hearing by WOG" (Rom. 10:17). 2. "As newborn babes, desire sincere milk of Word ..." (1 Pt. 2:2). 3. Read Heb. 5:11-6:3. B. You may have this danger signal of apostasy if: 1. Bible study of any kind is not exciting to you. 2. ot engaged in some kind of PERSO AL BIBLE STUDY. a. OT going to learn all you need to from B.C. & Sermons! b. Is extent of B.S. being "spoon-fed" or learning to feed self? 3. Does it bother you if someone challenges you to deeper level? II. EGLECT OF PRAYER . A. Prayer is basic to the Christian life. 1. Commanded to "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). 2. Popular Interp.: ot 24 hrs. a day .... "prayerful attitude." 3. My Interp.: Don't allow times of non-prayer to develop in life. B. True prayer is difficult ... painful ... may require discipline.

III. FAILURE TO ATTE D CHURCH ASSEMBLIES . A. "Coming to church" should be a DELIGHT & not just a DUTY. 1. Early X's gave priority to frequent gatherings (Acts 2:42, 46). 2. Habitual non-attendance is sin (Heb. 10:23-26). B. Failure to attend church services one of the most noticeable danger signals of apostasy. IV. O -I VOLVEME T WITH THE WORK OF THE CHURCH . A. Every church has a struggle to involve its members in God's work. 1. What is God's work? (teaching, serve LS, BS, public prayer...) 2. ALSO involves some other things (Rom. 12:6-8; Matt. 25:35-36). B. One of the most common complaints of Christians is: 1. "I don't feel a part of church, I don't feel involved." 2. Solution: GET I VOLVED! Don't wait to be asked. Volunteer! V. A CRITICAL SPIRIT . A. There's not a one of us who doesn't need to watch out for this one. 1. Matt. 7:1-5. 2. Gal. 5:13-15. B. Can we extend mercy God has given to us to others? (Eph. 4:29-32). VI. LACK OF REGARD FOR THE TRUTH . A. What is truth? (John 17:17). 1. Are we willing to allow God's Word to tell us we're wrong? 2. If not, we have a lack of regard for the truth. B. It's painful to admit we've been out of step with God's Word. 1. Some of us are never able to do it. 2. Evidence of PRIDE and not LOVE OF TRUTH (2 Thess. 2:10-12, KJV). VII. ABSE CE OF CO CER FOR OTHERS . A. Hallmark of Christianity is self-giving love (Phil. 2:4). B. To be unable to look outside of our own narrow interests to the needs and concerns of others is a serious thing indeed.

Conclusion: 1. As with physical cancer, spiritual cancer has WAR I G SIG ALS. a. Important that we know what they are. b. Important that early detection leads to treatment. 2. An isolated, short-term appearance of one of these symptoms does not mean we have fallen away from Christ. a. Our security is far greater than that. b. Persistence of the problem over a period of time is serious! 16. ( Largely based on an article by Rubel Shelly ) When I was young in Christ Jesus, I prayed and asked God for many things, mainly because I was in dire straits and wanted God to move me or move my situation. I thought being saved meant God would come to my rescue WHE I asked Him to. When He didn't come through for me when I wanted Him to, I began to lose faith. I began praying in unbelief. I prayed because I was supposed to but I didn't expect God to hear or answer me. I didn't believe He was with me because I saw no evidence of it. It was perfunctory; I didn't think He would really help me. When I was at my lowest point, bewildered, confused and discouraged, God gave me today's scripture. While reading it, the Spirit of God said to me "they (the Israelites) didn't believe Me so I killed them". Whew! If you know the story, you know, that because of the Israelites unbelief, God declared they would not enter the promise land. He said their carcasses would fall in the wilderness, that their children would inherit what they could not believe Him for. And it happened just as he said it would. When God was dealing with me using this scripture, He was teaching me that He is sovereign and that He does everything to the counsel of His own will. He wanted me to know that He was not a celestial Santa Claus. He was teaching me that without faith it is impossible to please Him. He taught me that my deepest, most heart-felt desire should be just that, to please Him. I learned when I focused on Him and not my problems, He handled the problems - by Himself! God cannot resist strong faith! It will get Him to move on your behalf every time, in His time frame. Your job is to keep the faith. Have you been asking God to move on your behalf in your workplace? Perhaps you want a promotion or salary increase, or want a "bad" employee replaced with a good one. Have you been languishing in discouragement and are now praying with far less faith than when you started because the answer has not manifested yet? Watch out! You may be praying in unbelief; just doing it by rote and your faith is playing a diminished role in your prayers. You must BELIEVE God; you must trust God; you must have faith in God. The wording in today's scripture is very harsh. God talks about not having an "evil heart of

unbelief". In my opinion, not having a heart filled with faith is evil. Perhaps you can't "see" what God wants you to do before you get that promotion or raise because unbelief has crept in wearing a mask of discouragement or disappointment. You know, "why should I keep praying about this. othing has happened anyway". Maybe there is a task He wants you to perform before you move ahead. It could be that you are not hearing God about the "bad" employee because you faith has waned because of this employee's attitude or insufficient work ethics. Remember, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This is a faith walk. Our hearts must be toward God and we must be tuned in to find out what His will is. It is then our prayers will be filled with faith to hear from Heaven and to accept the way God wants to change things. sin is ultimately unbelief in the superiority of Christ (3:12, 19; 4:2) A. Left unchecked, the sin of unbelief leads to the hardening of the heart (3:7, 10, 12) B. Left unchecked, the sin of unbelief leads to rebellion and disobedience (3:7, 15-18; 4:6, 11) C. Left unchecked, the sin of unbelief leads to the exclusion from God's rest (3:11, 16-18; 4:3, 5, 6) WHAT FUELS BELIEF A D U BELIEF? What fuels unbelief? Many factors. I may consciously rebel against God, loving the pleasure of sin more than obedience. I may neglect a quality quiet time and run out of fuel for my spirit. I may allow personal spirituality to degenerate into meaningless ritual and duty. As I. Howard Marshall points out, "apparent outward conformity to the faith is useless if it is not accompanied by heart belief." Unanswered prayer or absorbing a secular worldview that desensitises my mind to the lies that prevail in a godless culture may foster unbelief. A negative attitude toward other Christians may lead to a sapping of spiritual power, failure to hear God, bitterness and unbelief. Or I may simply be lulled into a lack of expectation where I don't believe God will act, or I don't expect God to work in or through me, or my church. What counteracts unbelief and fuels belief in God? Conscious obedience, maintaining spiritual vitality, practicing spiritual disciplines, developing faith and trust in God to respond to my prayers in his sovereign time and manner. Belief is further fuelled by encouraging a positive sense of biblical community among my fellow believers, and living with a sense of expectation about what God will do if I allow him to reign as Lord in my life and church. ineteenth century English minister and social reformer Charles Kingsley said, "I do not want merely to possess a faith; I want a faith that possesses me!" That's the kind of faith that empowers us to "hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first" (verse 14). As Scottish minister and songwriter Horatius Bonar cogently expressed, "Faith takes up the cross, love binds it to the soul, patience bears it to the end." We are not left alone in the fight. We have the Word of God, the work of Christ, the ministry of the Spirit. God asks us to rely not only on his power to forgive and regenerate us, but to keep us. And his keeping power is limitless! THE JOUR EY OF FAITH We are not only "his house" in the sense of participation in God's family (verse 6b), but we "come to share in Christ" himself! (verse 14a). Enjoying partnership or relationship with Christ is crucial to perseverance. A passionate spirituality, and a good, balanced spiritual diet, are essential to maintaining direction, keeping fit and winning the endurance war.

In Future Grace, John Piper reflects on the struggle to persevere: It's like the monkey with his hand caught in the jar. It would be easy for him to slip his hand out of the opening except that he has his fist clenched around a nut. If he loves the nut more than he loves freedom from the jar, then getting his hand out of the jar will be hard, even impossible . . . But what could be easier than dropping a nut? The battle [the ew Testament talks about] is the battle to love the freedom of faith more than the nut of sin." It's about saying "Yes" to God, and saying " o" to sin. Piper goes on to suggest two reasons why people may be tempted to give up the Christian life. First, they may not be truly born of God. Second, "They may be poorly taught about what the Christian life really is. They might think that things are going wrong, when they are going right. They might think that they are losing, when in fact they are winning. They might not know the biblical categories for understanding what God is really doing in their lives." St Patrick, the fifth-century "Apostle to the Irish," made the following observation about his journey of faith: When by misfortune I came to Ireland, every day I used to look after sheep. I used to pray often during the day, and the love of God and the fear of him increased in me more and more; my faith began to grow and my spirit was stirred, so that in one day I would say as many as one hundred prayers. I used to rise at dawn for prayer, in snow, frost or rain, because of the glow of the Spirit in me. Patrick learned by experience the secret of spiritual vitality: it lies in persistence, in discipline, in sacrifice; and it results in transformation, blessing and power. o unbelieving heart for Patrick, for the living God dwelt within him. o hardened spirit for Patrick, for sin's deceitfulness was silenced and conquered by his continual communion and unbroken relationship with God. What was true for Patrick can be true for you and me today. "Encourage one another daily . . . so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first" (Hebrews 3:13-14). Pursue the vision; keep the faith!

17. Rod Benson, “The author of Hebrews gives a stern and solemn warning to the recipients of the letter. He is concerned about them falling into sin and some falling away. The sin they were tempted towards was the same sin that the Jews fell to in the desert prior to entering Canaan. Many of the Jews wanted to return to Egypt; back to the bondage that they were just delivered from even though God had manifested himself in awesome ways. The author warns these people not to do the same thing. They were tempted to return back to Judaism and it's system although it was about to be judged and destroyed. 18. Lambert Dolphin, “The Christian life is described in Scripture as a journey of pilgrims to the heavenly city of ew Jerusalem, our Paradisical garden, palatial, celestial home. To help us on our way, readers of the ew Testament are informed that the entire record of the Old Testament was recorded for their instruction in finding their way along the perilous path out of death into everlasting life. Paul the Apostle tells us, "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope." (Romans 15:4) First Corinthians Chapter Ten contains a remarkable short commentary on the Exodus---that entire forty-year journey, the Exodus of the Jews out of Egypt to the Promised Land. This

passage is quoted below with a few running notes added, followed by a listing of the Old Testament events referred to by the Apostle in this chapter: I want you to know (or, to not be ignorant) [agnoia = ignorant, without knowledge, as in agnostic], brethren, that our fathers (our spiritual progenitors, the descendants of Abraham) were all under the cloud [nephele = the Shekinah cloud, the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night], and all passed through the (Red) sea, and all were baptized [baptizo = to immerse, to place into] into Moses in the cloud and in the sea (The Red Sea), and all ate the same supernatural [pneumatikos = spiritual] food [broma] and all drank the same supernatural drink [poma]. For they drank from the supernatural Rock [petra] which followed them, and the Rock was [the] Christ. evertheless with most of them God was not pleased [eudokeo = to be well reputed]; for they were overthrown [katastronium = strewn over the ground, laid low] in the wilderness. ow these things are warnings [tupos = types, figures, from tupto = to strike, also in v11] for us, not to desire [epithumetes = to crave, intensely long for] evil [kakos = evil or base things] as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance." (Ex. 32:6) We must not indulge in immorality [porneu] as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put the Lord to the test [ekpeirazo = to prove, put to the test], as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; nor grumble [gogguzo = to grumble, confer secretly together, discontentedly complain], as some of them did and were destroyed [apollumi = not the idea of extinction but of ruin and wasting, loss of well being] by the Destroyer [from olothreutes = to destroy, especially by slaying]. ow these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction [nouthesia = admonition, to bring to mind for correction or encouragement], upon whom the end

[telos = goal, purpose, the end in terms of fulfillment] of the ages [aionon] has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. o temptation [peirasma] has overtaken you that is not common to man [anthropinos]. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape [ekbasis = a way out, an egress], that you may be able to endure it. [hupophero = to bear up or carry by being under] Therefore, my beloved, shun [pheugo = to flee (whence "fugitive")] the worship of idols [eidololatreia]. (1 Corinthians 10:1-14) The Set of the Sails by Ella Wheeler Wilcox One ship drives east, and another west With the self-same winds that blow; 'Tis the set of the sails And not the gales That decides the way to go. Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate, As they voyage along through life; 'Tis the will of the soul That decides its goal, And not the calm or the strife. 19. JOH HICKS Teaching Options There are, of course, many ways to teach this material. The following suggestion is only one. I think I will begin with Psalm 95. Let the class sink into the mood of worship/praise that begins the text and reflect on the nature of worship a bit. Then, the text will also press the exhortation upon us-don’t harden your heart. We are invited to worship, but we are also warned against apostasy. umbers 14 will help illuminate the text in this setting. Then, I will move to the exhortations of Hebrews 3:12-19 and talk about their application in the context of the original hearers of this sermon. The preacher encourages them to persevere in the face of opposition. Then, I will move the application to our context. We have our own wilderness experiences. We move through tragedy, death, temptation, persecution, etc. Will the wilderness create a heart of unbelief, or will we persevere by faith through the wilderness? How does this text encourage us to persevere? What perspectives emerge from the text that enables perseverance? How does Hebrews 3:1-6 provide the ground of perseverance? What is a “hard” heart? How does is it hardened? What does it mean to encourage each other

daily? How is sin so deceitfully attractive? What does it mean to partner with Christ? How does this encourage us? In the final section (Hebrews 3:16-19), I will reflect on the rebellious character of Israel in contrast to the weakness that we so often experience. Can we feel assured if we sense weakness? Does this text apply to the weak or only to the rebellious? It seems to me that when we sense weakness, this means that we are still alive. We sense the contrast between Christ and ourselves, and yet we yearn to be like Christ and want to be like him. Rebellion, however, reflects no desire to be like Christ. Your discussion in class, then, can focus on any number of things. You can discuss this distinction between weakness/rebellion and the nature of assurance. You can discuss ways that we can encourage each other as a community (practical things we can do). You can discuss the ground/basis of the perseverance of faith and what sorts of things/actions do we need to consider as we seek to persevere. Part of that discussion could focus on what makes a heart “hard” and how does a heart become “hard.” What does that mean? It is absurd that God would love people after centuries of His grace and sacrifice of His Son they still rebel and forsake Him. It is absurd, but as Max Lucado says the only thing more absurd is our unwillingness to receive His gift of love. That is insanely absurd. The Grasshopper Philosophy by Peter Wade Self-image psychology has become popularized in recent years under a variety of names. A simplification of the principle might go like this: "You are what you think you are." It is not at all surprising to find that God's Word gives much more information concerning what we really are and what we think we are. One aspect of this truth is brought to life in an incident recorded in the Book of umbers. It concerns the ever-present problem of people who will always speak and think less of themselves than they really are. There is a term for the condition: self-denigration. This basically means to blacken your own reputation. In the light of the record I want to share with you, I will use the more expressive term "the grasshopper philosophy".

20. The record in umbers chapters 13 and 14 concerns the nation of Israel immediately after their deliverance from Egypt. There are some matters in the record that are not applicable today in the Church age, but many things apply to every age or administration. I want you to keep your eyes open to the principles demonstrated, and to especially notice the consequences of the attitudes held by the various people. "The Lord said to Moses, 'Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.' So at the Lord's command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites" ( umbers 13:1-4a). Why did God give Moses permission to send out men to search Canaan? God's command as declared by Moses was this: "See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 1:21). But the leaders of the people, the heads of the family, came to Moses and suggested that he should send some men ahead and find out what the country and its inhabitants were like. Then the whole nation would go into Canaan. This did not agree with the concept Moses had of God's provision for the nation, and so he sought God's guidance regarding this request. God gave

Moses permission to carry out the leader's suggestion. However, let us note that the sending of the spies into the promised land was actually a manifestation of the unbelief of the Israelites in the Word of God. This is the first of ten occasions they queried God's Word, from the time they left Egypt to when they turned back into the desert again. "When Moses sent them to explore the land of Canaan, he said, 'Go up the egev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.' (It was the season for the first ripe grapes [about July])" ( umbers 13:17-20). one of the items listed for checking were of any importance, since God had declared they should go up and possess the land. Did it make any difference to God whether the people were strong or weak? Did it worry God if the people were few or many, if the crops were good or bad, if the people lived in tents or in fortified towns? Of course not. Then the desire of the leaders of the people to check out the land in this way was nothing less than unbelief. God has already provided for the nation in their journey from Egypt. They had been fed by the biggest quail hunt in history and by manna [bread] from heaven. The people had no problems, there was no sickness in their midst, and yet, in the face of abundance, they wanted to check out first if what God had said was a certainty. We cannot experiment with God's Word, but we should accept His gracious invitation to experience and enjoy all that He makes available to His children. "So they went up, and explored from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob... When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs... At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land" ( umbers 13:21, 23, 25). Forty days of unbelief, searching to see if God's Word was true. There is surely a parallel in modern times, for some of us have taken far longer than forty days to discover that God's Word is true. The report of the spies "They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. They reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: 'We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit' " ( umbers 13:26-27). Here we have the only statement on which the twelve spies could agree: it was a land that flowed with milk and honey, and hanging from the staff was proof in the form of a magnificent bunch of grapes. Then they continue with the report: "But..." Have you noticed how often people are inclined to first say something good about a person or situation, but before long they come out with a negative statement that cancels out the good? "Yes, he's a good man, but..." "Sure, he's alright but I don't like the way he combs his hair (or something)." Remember aaman the leper? " aaman was a mighty man... but he was a leper." The fruit is marvelous... but you should see the people. "But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw the descendants of Anak there" ( umbers 13:28). Certainly the people might have been strong, but how strong is God? And the cities may have been fortified, but did that make any difference at Jericho? And the descendants of Anak may have been considered giants in relation to their own height, but height was no problem when David overcame Goliath! Yet that is not all. In verse 29, "The Amalekites live in the egev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan." Oh yes, the neighbours. Whenever there is a choice between believing God's Word or following the dictates of sense knowledge, a barrage of little "ites" will surround us with negative ideas. What will my family think, what will my friends think, what will the neighbours think? Yet what did God promise? He promised them the land, He said that wherever the soles of their feet were placed it would be theirs, yet they were concerned because there happened to be a few people around. Although all twelve spies had covered the same ground and seen the same sights, two of them did not share

the negativism of the majority. When it is a matter of truth, the majority is not always right. "Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up at once and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it" ( umbers 13:30). Isn't that beautiful? At last we have a positive statement that aligns itself with God's Word about the situation. ow we have two denominations: on the one hand the cold First Church of the Refrigerator with its majority proclaiming a negative viewpoint, and on the other hand the Church of Action with a positive message in spite of its minority. Yes, it does take courage and conviction to stand against any majority and proclaim what you consider to be right. Perhaps the greatest need today is for believers to take a stand for the truth, the integrity of God's Word. However, the ten negative spies pressed their majority to have the final word: "But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are' " ( umbers 13:31). There is nothing unusual about unbelievers being stronger than negative Christians, for Satan has delighted in staging this situation throughout Church history and even to this present day. Yet the people of Canaan were not stronger than God. A positive and believing nation of Israel would have run all over the Canaanites. "And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, 'The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size' " ( umbers 13:32). Did you notice how the negative attitude of verse 28 has now grown until the people are now viewed as giants? Doubt and worry breed unbelief, and unbelief snowballs until it dominates the person. "All the people... are men of great size... " This is the figure of hyperbole, exaggeration; and here we see it taken to the fullest measure. Unbelief always exaggerates; belief always stand on the truth. " 'We saw the ephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the ephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them' " ( umbers 13:33). There is the Grasshopper Philosophy! Selfdenigration, low self-esteem, inferiority complex! It did not matter what they were in the sight of the Canaanites, the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, or the Amorites. And it is still the same today. It does not matter what my neighbours think of me, what the people I work with think of me -- all of this has very little to do with my making a success of life. The one thing that does count is what God thinks of me and whether I believe it or not. The spread of negatives What started as a low attitude regarding their abilities and resources has now spread like a bushfire at the height of summer. "That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud" ( umbers 14:1). It was a night of howling, frustration and depression. And guess who got the blame! ot their own unbelief but the man of God. "All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, 'If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?' And they said to each other, 'We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt' " (verses 2-5). It must surely be the depth of unbelief to want to die rather than follow the guidance of God's Word! God did not bring them to the border of the land in order for the inhabitants to stomp on them like they would on grasshoppers. His desire for His people was that they might enjoy the rich and fertile land, and have a prosperous and happy life. However, if they consider themselves to be grasshoppers, they will soon start acting like grasshoppers, and will experience the results of their unbelief. Believers are not to react to circumstances, but to act upon God's Word regardless of limiting circumstances. We now have a third denomination: the Back to Bondage Church. "Let's elect a new leader who is in step with the times. We didn't realize how well off we were back in Egypt. Oh, if only we could have the 'good old days' again -- 'the fish... the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic' " ( umbers 11:5, 14:4). Unbelief drags people down, lowers their sights, destroys their initiative. The people now thought that bondage in Egypt was good and that milk and honey in Canaan would spell disaster! They were by now so accustome