INTRO TO CHAPTER 1. HEBREWS
This EVIL world system is, almost certainly, entering the final stage where the great judgment of the Lord God must fall! The seven years of the Tribulation cannot be far away. The signs are in the Middle East, the planet is poised ready to form a unity of EVIL across the globe, wickedness is as black as the pit in our societies – godlessness is now so bad in 2002 that it rivals the rebellion against God that erupted at the Tower of Babel! Therefore, it is even more imperative than ever that the CORRECT message goes out from the Church of Jesus Christ regarding the Gospel of Grace found only in the sacrifice of God’s Son. All retrograde steps that lead people away from Grace, back into Judaism, or the Law, or self-works to be saved, must be resisted with much prayer. With this imperative in mind Endtime Ministries continues its presentation of the book of Hebrews, that thrilling book of the Grace of God. May the Lord open our eyes anew to the wonders that are in His Son, and are revealed in this Age of Grace in which we live.
Firstly, let us deliberate together. Why does evil continue? Why does God not end it all and send Satan, and his rebel followers, straight to eternal fire and be done with it? The Truth about this is shown clearly in the Bible. The authentic Church is the Bride of Christ, and this Church must one day sit with the Lord in authority, upon thrones (Rev. 3:2; 1 Cor. 6:2,3; Matt. 19:28). This present age must continue until ALL the Body of Christ has been gathered out from the wicked world. God also has to complete a final trial and testing of every false claim of His enemies. Many developments must take place on the earth before God has completed His actual trial of His adversaries. Only when this age, and the Tribulation period, have been brought to a close can every test be through and every chance be given to all sinners to repent, then finally all mouths will be stopped! The entire world of wicked rebels, and the spiritual adversaries of God will know their ultimate failure and sin before the Almighty. ALL who dwell on this earth have been already found guilty before the awesome court of the Ruler of the universe, but the purposes of God must be completed in full. Only Grace found in Christ Jesus withholds our own instant execution, for we too have been found guilty of high treason against the rightful Ruler of all creation! (John 3:18; Romans 5:18, 19). Praise the Lord for His unspeakable gift of His Son (Ephesians 2: 8, 9).
The New Age New World Order has empowered powerful, wealthy, godless men and has set them up as self-enthroned god-kings! Soon He Who really reigns alone will bring awful devastation upon His enemies (1 Cor. 15:24). The King Who will come, Jesus Christ, shall arise and take over the nations of this earth; He will “break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:9). Beloved of God, blood-bought ones, keep the true message of God intact as we see that day approaching. We have a great commission; we dare not drift away into error. Present GRACE alone for salvation , as the Bible teaches, our responsibility is enormous.
(Acknowledgement is given to Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, Lewis
Sperry-Chafer, Scofield’s reference Bible, Emery Bancroft and other scholars
and works in the preparation of the studies of the Book of Hebrews).
W. B. Howard … editor
of Despatch Magazine
“ Hebrews 1:8, a quotation is used
as addressed to Christ, (and verse 10 which follows), -
‘Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, ‘ – by applying to Christ an Old Testament ascription of Jehovah, implies His absolute Godhead.” (Emery Bancroft).
“A believer who puts himself back under legalism would be like a son admiring the photo of his father, but ignoring his father’s actual presence.” (Willmington).
What is the remedy for this perversion of Grace?
KNOW WHO JESUS IS! And let HIM be your Lord and Friend.
Let us begin our study today reminding ourselves of Who Christ Jesus is – the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily with us. Where were the verses Hebrews 1:8-10 taken from? Psalm 45:6,7 and Psalm 102: 25-27. See Colossians 2:9. No wonder the book of Hebrews stresses dynamically that Christ Jesus is greater than all, and superior over all others.
READ: Hebrews 1:1-4.
Angels are termed “the sons of God” in the Old Testament, we Christian believers are called “the sons of God’ in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is called “The Son of God” and “the only begotten Son [of God]” in the N.T. – let us, then, investigate this “son of God” designation for the angels, saved human beings and the Lord Jesus Christ. What are the differences, what does the term mean in every case?
The GOOD angels have already been through their probational period, the good angels have retained their integrity, and are thus not fallen angels. They are called the “elect” angels, and their election is “unto obedience.” 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Peter 1:1,2. These are confirmed in their holiness, they have obedience, which is habitual, and their goodness is a permanent quality of character. Matthew 6:10; 18:10. 11 Cor. 11:14. It appears that they will never be in probation again, no chance of falling. The evil angels have no chance of repenting and being reinstated.
Angels were called “sons of God” because the Lord God created them distinctively. Each one makes up a “race” as an individual. In the O.T. the term “sons of God” is used exclusively for angels, and is used five times. Genesis 6:2-4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. Satan is classed along with “sons of God” in the book of Job.
A “sons of God” term denotes being brought into existence by a specific creative act of God. The angels are called this term because they were brought into being this way. Adam was a created by a special act of God, but his descendents were all born in ADAM’S likeness, not in God’s image (See Luke 3:38; Genesis 5:1). All humans born after Adam and Eve were “sons of men”, and it is only after the new birth in Christ that this is changed.
When we are born again in Christ Jesus, we become the “sons of God” in the New Testament sense (John 3:3-7). New birth – John 1:12; Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3:1-2.
2. JESUS CHRIST.
He is THE “Son of God.” He is the second Person of the Trinity, called the Father Himself His “Son.” (See Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7). He is in no way a created being, however, for He is God and has existed always. John 1:1-5; 8:58; 17:5, 24; Col. 1:13-17; HEBREWS 1:2; 2:10.
What about the “begotten Son”
Emery H. Bancroft D.D. tells us that John 1:18 must be read “the only begotten God”,
“He is not simply the only revealer of God, but He is Himself God revealed” Bancroft comments.
“Son of God.” When used with reference to creatures, whether men or angels, this word is always in the plural. In the singular it is always used of the second Person of the Trinity, with the single exception of Luke 3:38, where it is used of Adam.
What about Eve?
Eve also was part of the designation “sons of God.” She was created along with Adam; she was not a descendent of Adam, not an offspring of the man. Very interesting study has been done on this. See the appendix one with this Hebrews chapter one study.
In these verses alone there are EIGHT successive statements about Christ.
1. He is the eternal SON;READ HEBREWS 1:5-14.
2. He is Heir of all things;
3. He was the creator used of the Father;
4. In His eternal being He is the brightness or VISIBLE OUTSHINING of God’s glory. “effulgence.”
5. Christ is the “express image” of God’s person. He is an identical expression of deity. Some translate the Greek “the impress of His substance.” This is what the Divine “Son” is! “Very God of very God.”
6. Christ is AUTHOR, SUSTAINER and END. He has made the universe, he upholds the universe,
and He is its heir.
7. In regard to men Christ is shown as PROPHET, PRIEST and KING. He does not take a low place with the O.T. prophets, through whom God spoke; He is the ultimate, incarnate prophet who is GOD! We cannot say, “Ah, here is another prophet of God, and a good one at that!” In Christ God speaks His FINAL WORD.
There is no more, all spoken now. Verse 2. Compare 3:1. Christ brings GOD to men. John 1:14 & 18. He did not offer up sacrifices as the O.T. priests did. Christ WAS the blood sacrifice Himself, and all other sacrifice has ceased with His mighty act. (Hebrews 9:25-28). Christ is not a king like King David, or King Solomon.
As the exalted God-Man he has an inheritance far beyond all others, who came before Him. He is on Hi Heavenly Throne right now – at the right hand of God. (Ephesians 1:20, 21; Philippians 2:9-11).
8. Christ Jesus is the CONSUMMATION of the continuing revelation of God. There is a divine continuity between the Old Testament and the New. The FIRST revelation (O.T.) prepares for the SECOND revelation.
But the SECOND CONSUMMATES the FIRST. IMPORTANT VERSES are Hebrews 10:7-9. What does ‘consummate” actually mean? In this instance, to perfectly complete. If Christ has perfectly completed God’s revelation, why seek to go back and major on the FIRST, and declare it to be greater than the N.T.? As many are doing in our day! No, we see and study the “Divine Shadow” in the FIRST revelation of the Old Testament. See Hebrews 10:1. We can never fully understand the O.T. until the greater and consummate revelation of the N.T. shows us what it all really meant!
THE PROMISE TO DAVID.
In verse Hebrews 1:5b, we see a promise to David concerning his “seed” is fulfilled in Christ, although many would see it fulfilled only in Solomon. Read 11 Samuel 7:14. This is a part of the Davidic Covenant. There is another quotation we should note in verse 6. Shows that Christ’s office as prophet, Priest and King will be completed at His Second Advent God brings His “firstborn” into the inhabited earth to fulfill His mission. He will come to judge! The Greek word here is oikoumene, or “inhabited earth.” This Creator Redeemer, at His Second Coming, will be manifested throughout the world as Divine, and therefore all the angels will worship Him. See verse 7, for judgement. Would angels worship a mere man? Never. What do the Jehovah’s Witnesses make of such verses? Compare Psalm 104:1-5.
Here we see a remarkable contrast between the angels and the Son of God. The angels act in this material world in total subservience to the Heavenly Father, Almighty God. But, the Son, Christ Jesus, is a free moral agent, operating the very Throne of God forever. He freely depends utterly upon the Father; He does not act in any way like the created beings, angels. He has been anointed as the One Who has pre-eminence. See Psalm 104:4; Psalm 102:24-27. There are SEVEN O.T. quotations in the verses 5-14. ALL show Jesus Christ to be GOD!
The seventh quotation shows that Jesus Christ is not only superior to the angels and the O.T. prophets because He is actually GOD Himself, but He is superior because of what Father God is doing for Him now, as the exalted MAN, and the resurrected and enthroned Messiah! GOD has said, “sit down on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Never would God say that to a mere angel, or to an O.T. prophet, even Moses or Abraham. Jesus Christ has a Divine appointment, he is to occupy the Throne of the Almighty with sure expectation of triumph over His enemies, it will happen, nothing can fail with the Almighty Father and victorious Christ on the Throne. Psalm 110. The angels, however, are just servants of the “heirs of salvation.” We will one day take our own place with Christ as He brings ALL to completion, ALL His enemies will be defeated. This will be the time of mankind’s FULL SALVATION, praise God. These angelic spirits minister to us, while we await our time, we who are the redeemed – the “heirs of salvation.” What a wonderful title!
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” (Hebrews 3:1).
GRACE EXPLAINED – FIRST LESSON.
The book of Hebrews brings before us the superiority of GRACE over the LAW, all because of that Man of Grace, Jesus Christ our Lord.
SALVATION IS ENTIRELY BY GRACE ALONE.
“ It may be concluded that the word grace, as used in the Bible in relation to divine salvation, represents the uncompromised, unrestricted, unrecompensed, loving favor of God toward sinners. It is an unearned blessing. It is a gratuity. God is absolutely untrammeled and unshackled in expressing His infinite love by His infinite grace (1) through the death of His Lamb by whom every limitation which human sin could impose has been dispelled, (2) through the provision which offers salvation as a gift by which human obligation has been forever dismissed, and (3) through the divine decree by which human merit has been forever deposed. Grace is the limitless, unrestrained love of God for the lost, acting in full compliance with the exact and unchangeable demands of I-1 is own righteousness through the sacrificial death of Christ. Grace is more than love; it is love set absolutely free and made to be a triumphant victor over the righteous judgment of God against the sinner.
Having examined into the meaning of the word grace, the threefold divine ministry and undertaking in grace should be considered. It will be observed that:
I. God saves sinners by grace,
II. God keeps through grace those who are saved, and
III. God teaches in grace those who are saved and kept how they should live,
and how they may live to His eternal glory.” [page 32]
Extracts: “Grace: An exposition of God’s Marvelous Gift”
- “Salvation is the work of God for man; it is not the work of man for God.
- Salvation is the bestowal and actual impartation of eternal life; it is not the beauties and artificial imitations of ethical living.
- Salvation is the imputed righteousness of God; it is not the imperfect righteousness of man.
- Salvation is according to the faithful calling of God; it is not according to the fitful carefulness of man.
- Salvation is a divine reconciliation; it is not a human regulation.
- Salvation is the canceling of all sin; it is not the cessation from some sin.
- Salvation is being delivered from, and dead to, the law; it is not delighting in, or doing, the law.
- Salvation is divine regeneration; it is not human reformation.
- Salvation is being acceptable to God; it is not becoming exceptionally good.
- Salvation is completeness in Christ; it is not competency in character.
- Salvation is possessing every spiritual blessing; it is not professing
- any special betterment.
- Salvation is always and only of God. It is never of man. It is the unsearchable riches of Christ. It is to good works, in which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” [page 52]
by Lewis Sperry Chafer ©1922. Pub. 1995, Kregel Pub.
Editor of `Despatch' Magazine & "Beauty for Ashes" Booklet
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