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church it was addressed. I have read a lot of material concerning these two things. As best as I can determine for my own satisfaction Paul wrote it originally in the Hebrew language to the Jews in Jerusalem and later on Luke translated it to the Greek language. The Nazarenes have a program they call “quizzing” for the young people of that denomination. And the youngsters compete locally, regionally and nationally. Four of my grand children have participated in that program and one of them, who is 13, told me that they will be Quizzed on the book of Hebrews this year. This grandson wants to be a theologian so I was talking to him about the author of Hebrews. I told him I thought it was Paul. He replied that he thought it was Barnabus. This really surprized me because I had never heard anyone say they thought it was Barnabus. Now I find out that some of the early Christian scholars also thought that Barnabus may have written it. For all practical purposes it doesn’t matter and all we can do is speculate. No one knows for sure. The reason it was written was that the Christians it was addressed to seemed to regard Christianity as an add-on to the Jewish faith. They seemed to regard the teachings of Jesus the same as the teachings of other great Rabbis which they had incorporated into their belief system. I suppose it was natural for them to do so because Christ had followed the pattern of other Rabbis by attending the Temple and
teaching in the synagogues. And after His ascension the apostles continued to do the same. Luke tells us in the book of Acts: Acts 2:46-47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Whenever Paul would enter a city he would first go to the synagogues for he knew that he would find his core group in those places. Using the synagogue as a base, he could then branch out into the city. We see this in Acts 18 where Paul came to Corinth: Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. But then when he tried to testify to them that Jesus is the Christ the Jews opposed him so Paul went to the house of Justus, which was next to the synagogue, and continued teaching there for 18 months. It was during this time at Ephesus Paul declared “...henceforth I will go to the Gentiles.” The Christian Jews still held on to their old customs and were slow to open up their fellowship to the Gentiles. Peter did not want to go to the home of Cornelius, a Gentile, and he would not have went had he not received a vision and a message from the Lord while he was at Simon’s house in Joppa. (You can read an account of what took place in Acts 10) The biggest complaint against Paul was that he was preaching “a
lawless gospel” by not requiring the newly converted Gentiles to follow the Jewish Law; in particular to be circumcised, and his association with the Gentiles. Which eventually resulted in the Jews accusing him of bringing Gentiles into the temple, which was against their customs. Paul stood firm in asserting that Chirstianity had become independent of Judaism and yet he too bent a little by declaring: 1 Cor. 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; But then he went on to include the non-Jews too: 1 Cor. 9:21-22 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. The date of this epistle to the Hebrews is estimated to be somewhere around 30 years after the Ascension. The time had come for a complete severance from the customs and rites of the past. Can you not imagine how different our worship would be had it not been for Paul or someone else like him who was willing to accept a new thing. We have experienced the unwillingness to accept a new thing in our own denomination There are some things we need to hold on to but there are also some that are subject to change and rightly so. Eight souls wanting to be free from man made creeds and traditions joined together and promised (1) to take the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice (2) give each other equal rights
to follow their conscience as directed by Scripture and (3) sit together as the Church of God. Ten years later in 1896 as the church was praying the Holy Spirit began to baptize them in the Spirit for they began speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. It didn’t stop there. The Spirit moved upon others as well until there were, as Bro Conn writes, “quite a number” that had experienced this new thing which was not a new thing. In some cases they were disfellowshipped from their churches and not allowed to meet in other buildings. On at least one occasion a church house was dismantled and burned. Their homes were a target for drive by shootings. I read where John and Charles Wesley had the same problem as Methodism spread through the Ireland and England. “Chapels rose rapidly in most of the country. Hostilities also arose; mobs assailed the itinerants; their chapels werre pulled down; for months, and even for years, riots were of almost constant occurrence. In some sections the rabble moved in hosts from village to village, attacking preachers and people, destroying not only the churches, but the homes of Methodists.” (METHODIST QUARTERLY,1864,p275) Hanging on to the old and rejecting the new seems to be the norm for human beings. The church is doing a new thing now. I don’t like it because I believe the pendulent is swinging to far. We need to come back to a balance church. Not all the way back but back to lifting up the name of Jesus without showing off the talents He has given us and back to letting the Spirit move instead of seeking to stir up a move on our own. This is not to say that the beginnings were pure and undefiled. There where abuses in the old days as well. But it seemed the
abuses were seen as such and rejected. I believe our denomination is important. I also believe there is a greater church, the Church of Jesus Christ. Many have left the Church of God and have gone other places to worship. I pray they have not left the Church of Jesus Christ. Within a short period of time, that some have said was as little as two years after the writing of this book, the Temple was destroyed and the sacrificial system connected to the temple ceased. The Jews were scattered throughout the then known world losing their home in Palestine along with the cultural and customs associated with that home place. They had to learn to adapt not having the Temple as a base or touching stone. I would imagine the book of Hebrews took on a new meaning to those that considered themselves to followers of Christ. The writer wants his readers to know this new thing happening in their lives introduced by the ministry of Jesus Christ and then later by His disciples is a continuance, a progression of God’s relationship with the Jews, the descendents of Abraham. God had spoken many times in their history by many different ways. In the beginning He had spoke to Adam in the Garden. He spoke to Noah and gave him instructions on how to build an Ark. He spoke to Abraham and told him to leave his father’s country and go to a new place that He would show him. He spoke to Moses and told him to go to Egypt and tell Pharoah to let God’s people go. And when they exited out of Egypt God spoke again to Moses on Mt. Sinai and gave him the ten commandments along with a lot of other instructions on how this new nation, coming out of slavery, was to conduct themselves with each other
and, more importantly, with God. With the passing of time God spoke to the Judges and then to the prophets beginning with Samuel then to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and others. Then He sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, born of a woman. He spoke to those disciples He chose, to the multitudes that followed Him, to Pilate that tried to wash his hands to be free of Him and for the last 2000 years God is speaking to us through His Son, the Word, that was in the beginning with God. (v2) “...whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” and continuing in (v3) “...had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” The new does not contradict the old; the new has its roots in the old. The new develops the old and completes the old. It had been almost 400 years since the last prophet was heard in Israel, 1500 years since Moses had heard the voice of God calling him to come up to Mt. Sinai and 4000 years since God had spoke the world into existence. Everything in their past had prepared them for the present and given them hope for the future. Step by step, God was preparing them for the coming of His Son who would reveal God the Father in His clearest form: “... he that hath seen me has sen the Father...” One writer has said the Old revelation was multiform, like a painted window, covered over with many-coloured and beautiful emblems; the new revelation is like a window of pure clear glass, through which we gaze upon the unveiled glory of heaven. The old was mysterious and in shadows, the new is substance.
The veil of the old has been rent. The mystery has been revealed. Mankind can now approach the throne of God boldly through Jesus Christ our High Priest, the Mediator between God and mankind.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Christ, the Son of Man is so much more than man; He is the Son of God: Hebrews 1:4,8 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. The words of God to the first Adam, while in the Garden of Eden, were meant to bring mankind into maturity in the knowledge of the Lord. Made in the image of God Adam and Eve was progressing in that knowledge, step by step, which was a natural progrssion. Satan entered into the domain of the garden and inticed them to take a shortcut to maturity by telling them if they ate of the forbidden fruit they would be as gods, knowing good and evil. In other words the gulf between God and man would be crossed. They disobeyed God and took action contrary to the Word of God. Because of their disobedience God expelled them from the Garden with a curse upon them and the penalty of death to haunt them.
Man went his own way, away from God doing every imagination of his own heart until God saw the wickedness of man and that man’s heart was on doing evil continually: Genesis 6:6-8 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. After the flood God promised “neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. Then in these last days John 1:6-9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (v12) to as many as received Him, (That is: the One who was in the beginning with God and the Word was God,) to them He gave power to become the the sons of God... If we will but receive the Word of God He gives us power to become the sons of God. Just as it was with the first Adam who had communication with God, we have the Spirit of Christ that has come to lead us, to teach us, In other words, to enable us to mature in Christ: (1 Pet 2:2-3) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: [3} if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
God sent His Son to us in the image of mankind so that we might know the Father. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son...” His Son showed us the love of the Father by giving His life for us causing us to wonder why our heavenly Father, Creator of the universe, Maker of everything that is made, would love us so much?
God called Abraham “His friend” and Jesus told His disciples John 15:15 Henceforth 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. When you consider how God blessed His friend Abraham and gave to him and his descendents the promised land it underscores the fact that Jesus has called us His friends and He has also promised us that He will return to take us to a place He has prepared. Doesn’t it make you want to say to the Father as did Christ: “...nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” Christ, being the only begotten Son of God, means He had equality and oneness with the Father. The One who commands “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only,” says also of Christ (Heb 1:6) “...when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” John saw Christ in the midst of the throne: Rev. 5:11-12 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and
honour, and glory, and blessing. Angels escorted Him in His ascension and when He comes in judgment He “will bring all the holy angels with Him.” How great is our Lord, How great is our Lord. God said of Jesus Christ “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” And the writer of Hebrews speaking of the greatness of our Lord says (v9) “...God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Christ is greater than the angels (v13) “But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Philip. 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. God has exalted Christ our Mediator, our represenative. (Eph 2:5-6) Even when we were dead in sin God has given us life and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The Psalmist has said: (Ps 102:18-20) “...and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord because He has looked upon earth to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem. God has spoke to us through His Son. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: As a son of God, joint-heir with Jesus Christ, I acquire greatness through Him because I am the object of His love. He is mindful of me. When I was young and single with no attachments, no responsibility to anyone other than myself I could live entirely to and for myself. I was acquainted with many people but I don’t think any of them, outside of my family loved me. I know there was not anyone that thought I was great. Then one day I met a young lady that looked at me with shinning eyes and all of a sudden I became somebody greater than what I had been before. As our family increase so did my greatness. One Son gave me a book for a present and on the inside cover he wrote, among other things “You’re my hero” underlined and an exclamation point at the end. God has exalted Jesus Christ, Son of Man, in whom all that are His shall be made alive and He has become the firstfruits of them that slept. He has set Christ down at His right hand and we are in Him which is our perfect admittance into the presence of God. The knowledge that we are currently in the presence of God should undergirth our faith and lift up every child of God to receive Joy and strength and cause us to say we are more than Conquerors thrugh Jesus Christ our Lord. In Him we are exalted to a degree of greatness never known of man: Hebrews 1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any times, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them
who shall be heirs of salvation?
ACTS 2:46-47 ACTS 18:4 1 COR 9:20 1 COR 9:21-22 HEBREWS 1:2 HEBREWS 1:3 HEBREWS 1:4,8 GENESIS 6:6-8 JOHN 1:6-9 HEBREWS 1:12 1 PETER 2:2-3 JOHN 15:15 REVELATION 5:11-12 HEBREWS 1:13 PHILIPIANS 2:9-11 EPHESIANS 2:5-6 PSALMS 102:18-20 JOHN 1:12 HEBREWS 1:13-14 LESSON PLAN God speaks to man.
Jesus is the Word of God God has exalted Jesus We, as joint heirs, share in that exaltation.
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