Thursday, March 14 2013
Hebrews: The Seed Of Righteous Abraham
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews is unstated in the letter itself. While many believe that the apostle Paul was the most-likely and logical source, there remain other possibilities, some 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 The Kingdom Of The LORD God], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [see also Colossians: By Him Were All Things Created]" (Hebrews 1:1-2 KJV)
The key ancestor of "the chosen people," the people from whom the Messiah would be born, was Abraham. It was from him that the Messianic "seed of Abraham" would come (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?).
"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 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem).
"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)
"5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 5:1-6 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].
6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned [see The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?].
6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love [see Works Means Obedience], which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:4-12 KJV)
The Levitical High Priest was an office created by Jesus Christ to portray Jesus Christ (see Leviticus: The Prophecies Of Christianity).
"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?
9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant], that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:11-15 KJV)
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.
11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?], so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain [see The Sins Of The World's Oldest Profession], by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death [see What Happened To Enoch?]; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
11:7 By faith Noah, 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 [see The Voyage To The New World; also How Did The Flood Happen?].
11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went [see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan]. 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 [see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?]: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable [see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah].
11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city [see The True Gospel Of Christ].
11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come [see A Biography Of Jacob: Peace With Esau].
11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph [see Jacob's Blessing Of Ephraim And Manasseh]; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
11:22 By faith Joseph [see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt], when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment [see The River Of Moses].
11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt [see Moses Of Midian], not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land [see The Night Crossing]: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not [see The Faith Of Rahab], when she had received the spies with peace.
11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." (Hebrews 11:1-40 KJV)
Studies For The Book Of Hebrews
Fact Finder: When will the "promise" to all of the faithful, who lived through all of history up to that day, be delivered?
See What Will Happen On Your Next Birthday?
This Day In History, March 14
44 BC: On the night before the assassination of Julius Caesar, Casca, Cicero and Cassius declared that Mark Antony should not be killed (see The Politics Of Rome, A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and The Cleopatra Connection).
313: Chinese Emperor Jin Huidi was executed by Liu Cong, ruler of the Xiongnu state.
1369: During the Castilian Civil War, Henry of Trastamare defeated Pedro I of Castile at the battle of Montiel.
1489: Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus and last of the Lusignan dynasty, sold her kingdom to Venice.
1558: Ferdinand I assumed the position of Holy Roman Emperor without being crowned by the pope (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1590: During the French Religious Wars, Henry IV, with a force of 13,000, defeated the 25,000-strong army of the Duc de Mayenne at the battle of Ivry.
1647: During the Thirty Years War, a Treaty of Neutrality was signed at Ulm between Sweden, France, Bavaria and Cologne.
1757: British admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad for his failed attempt to relieve the island of Minorca when threatened by the French fleet.
1883: Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto, died.
1891: The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links to Europe.
1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German cruiser Dresden was sunk by the Royal Navy in the Pacific.
1936: Adolf Hitler told a crowd of 300,000 that "Germany's only judge is God and itself" (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1937: Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Mit brennender Sorge ("with burning anxiety") against Nazi Germany; it charged that Germany had violated their 1933 concordat whereby Roman Catholicism was not to be hindered under the Nazis.
1938: After his anschluss of Austria, Adolf Hitler made his triumphal entry into Vienna, where he had spent his hobo years.
1945: The heaviest explosive of the Second World War, the 22,000-pound (9,980 kilogram) "Grand Slam," was dropped by the RAF's Dambuster Squadron on the Bielefeld railway viaduct in Germany.
1964: Jack Ruby (actual name Jacob Rubenstein; the son of Polish-immigrant Jewish parents, he grew up in Chicago where, as a boy, he ran errands for the gangster Al Capone) was found guilty of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John Kennedy. Ruby reportedly had expected to be regarded as a "hero" for shooting Oswald and not face murder charges.
1965: Israel agreed to West Germany's request to establish diplomatic relations.
1978: An Israeli force of 22,000 invaded south Lebanon, hitting the PLO terrorists based there.
1995: Norman Thagard became the first U.S. astronaut to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle. By 2012, with the termination of the Space Shuttle program and no other launch vehicles in existence or in immediate development, all U.S. astronauts now depend on riding along on Russian space launches.