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Saturday, September 15 2012
The Epistles: Hebrews
The author of the epistle (as with all of the epistles in this series, please read the entire epistle from your own Bible, along with this lesson) is unstated in the epistle itself. While many believe that the apostle Paul is the most likely and logical source, there remain other possibilities, some who are known by name from other Scriptures. Whoever it was, it seems that the author was as much a Hebrew as the intended readers, and was a recognized and respected teacher of the Gospel.
"1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son [see Who Is The LORD?], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2 KJV);
The key ancestor of "the chosen people" was Abraham. It was from him that the Messianic "seed of Abraham" would come (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches).
"2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved 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. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." (Hebrews 2:14-18 KJV)
Moses knew Jesus Christ as well as, and as clearly as, Abraham did centuries before him (see Who Is The LORD?).
"3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses]. 3:3 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. 3:4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 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; 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 unto the end." (Hebrews 3:1-6 KJV)
Abraham knew Melchisedec as he knew Jesus Christ. The identity of "the LORD God" is the key to understanding the Holy Scriptures (again, see Who Is The LORD? and carefully prove from your own Bible that Jesus Christ was "the LORD God").
"4:14 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. 4:15 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. 4:16 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 4:14-16 KJV)
Everyone will get one opportunity, sooner or later (see the Fact Finder question below), to understand the Truth and obey it. Those who choose to reject the Messiah's offer of salvation will, according to their choice, be rejected for salvation.
"6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame [see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners].
The Levitical High Priest was an office created by Jesus Christ to portray Jesus Christ.
"9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves [see The Blood Of Bulls And Goats], but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place [see The Day Of Atonement: It's All About Christianity], having obtained eternal redemption for us. 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews chapter 11 has become known as "the faith chapter" of the Bible. It moreover provided the information of why those people were faithful.
"11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Fact Finder: When will the "promise" to all of the faithful, who lived through all of history up to that day, be delivered?
This Day In History, September 15
76 BC: Alexander Jannaeus (Alexander Yannai), the Hasmonean / Maccabean king of Judaea, died (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea and Christ's Hanukkah). The Maccabees led the people of Judah to independence after the original "abomination of desolation" was committed in Jerusalem by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation). Alexander Jannaeus succeeded his brother Aristobulus in 103 BC. He was an ally of the Sadducees and persecuted their opponents, the Pharisees (see The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees).
668: Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated at Syracuse, Italy.
1620: A group of 102 English settlers, later known as "pilgrims," including some who had been living in Holland, left Plymouth, England, bound for the New World. The name of their ship was the Mayflower.
1648: The Larger and the Shorter Catechisms, both produced by the Westminster Assembly the previous year, were approved by the British Parliament. These two documents have been in regular use among various Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists from that time.
1697: Augustus II, elector of Saxony, was crowned king of Poland.
1776: During the revolution of the New England colonies that had been established by English pioneers over 150 years earlier, British forces under General William Howe captured New York City (named after England's Duke of York).
1821: San Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala declared themselves independent of Spain.
1830: The first railway fatality occurred when British Member of Parliament William Huskisson was run down by "Stephenson's Rocket."
1835: The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, arrived at the Galápagos Islands (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1916: The first deployment of tanks in battle - 49 British "Big Willies" participated in the Battle of The Somme during the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1928: Scottish researcher Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic effect of penicillin.
1935: In Germany, the Nazis under the leadership of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) enacted the Nuremburg Laws, beginning a program of violent religious and racial persecution. All Jews were deprived of their citizenship and the "ghettos" were created. The same day, the Swastika became the national flag of Germany.
1938: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, the first of two meetings to try and avoid the crisis over the Sudetenland.
1940: At the height of the Battle of Britain, Royal Air Force Hurricanes and Spitfires shot down 185 Nazi planes. The day has since been celebrated as Battle of Britain day.
1945: A hurricane destroyed over 350 military aircraft at a naval air station in Florida.
1959: Nikita Khrushchev became the first Russian head of state to visit the U.S.
1963: During the struggle for civil rights of black people in the U.S., four black children died when their church in Montgomery, Alabama was destroyed by a bomb.
1968: The unmanned Soviet Zond 5 spaceship was launched. It became the first vehicle to fly around the Moon and then return and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.
1972: Two former White House aides, Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, were added to the five men already charged with the break-in at the Watergate building during the Nixon regime.
1982: Despite Israel's protest, Pope John Paul II had a private meeting with Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat in the Vatican (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
2008: Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history to date.