Sunday June 5th 2011
The Letter to the Hebrews
1). Heb 2:5 ? For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 ? For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
a). Chapter 1 of the Book of Hebrews is primarily made up of 7 OT quotations, all of which deal with the coming Kingdom of Christ, that period of time that follows on from the conclusion of Man?s Day ? the Day of the Lord, the Millennial Kingdom.
b). And just in case we had missed the focus of this Chapter, Chapter 2:5 states categorically what the subject of the letter to the Hebrews is, ?He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjections to angels?.
c). If we were ever in any doubt as to the content of this remarkable book then this verse leaves us in absolute certainty.
d). And then following on from this our writer draws from Psalm 8 to reveal that which we are supposed to know about the world to come ? that it will be in subjection to Man ? the Man Christ Jesus and His companions.
e). And what is pertinent for us to note here is that our writer once again goes to the OT scriptures in order to reveal the plan and purpose of God. This is therefore that which God has said and as such it leaves no room for speculation and should not allow for misinterpretation ? then as we think about this we will realize that what is stated in v5 is after all God?s stated purpose from the opening Chapter of Genesis - Ge 1:26 ? Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
f). A purpose that God had intended from the deep distances of eternity past
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
2). Now we should also note from the quotation from Psalm 8 that Man was ?made a little lower than the angels? ? and this is helpful for us as it clears up any misconceptions we may have about the creation of the Man and the Woman and their placement in the Garden. Both Adam and the Woman were from their beginning a little lower than the angels. That is they were not created in a position of rulership and did not automatically exercise dominion. Satan and his fallen angels were at this point still the rulers of the earth therefore Man?s fall did not give rulership to Satan, it just enabled him to continue, for a little while, in that position.
a). However, although sin in the Garden brought about Man?s disqualification to rule in Satan?s place it in no sense changed the purpose of God. Man was crested to rule in Satan?s place and rule in his place He shall ? hence the promise of the Seed of the Woman who would be the Redeemer of Mankind ?
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
b). And it is exactly this whole scenario that the writer of Hebrews is presenting to us. In the commentary that is given on the quotation from Psalm 8 our writer says this - Heb 2:8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
c). There is nothing, even from the ages of eternity past, that God has not placed under Man?s authority ? ?but we do not yet see all things put under him.?
d). Although God?s purpose for Man has never changed, that purpose still remains unfulfilled. We are all potentially heirs apparent, but for the time being, for a little while longer, we remain ?lower than the angels?. This is neither the time nor the place for us to exercise dominion. Dominion awaits us in the 7th Day ? but the certainty of that Day and the dominion that accompanies it are made abundantly clear in the verse that follows - Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
e). Jesus ? the promised Seed of the Woman ? the second person of the Godhead ? voluntarily came to the earth in a subordinate position to the ruling angels for a specifically stated reason, ?for the suffering of death?, ?that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone?.
f). And as a result of His suffering He is now ?crowned with glory and honor?, awaiting the Day when He will exercise the dominion that has been given
to Him - Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
g). Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"?
3). Heb 2:10 ? For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
a). God is the reason for all things and Jesus is the first of ?many sons? who will be brought to glory. And according to our scripture ?it was fitting?, it was absolutely right, for God to bring about the completion of His purpose for the Son through sufferings.
b). And Jesus being ?the captain of their salvation? ? literally the leader, the One who goes first, has clearly marked the road that we must travel if we are to fulfill the purpose for our creation and the reason for our salvation - Ro 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
c). Mr 8:34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
d). Although the God?s purpose for His Son was completed through the Son?s suffering we will remember that the Son still remains incomplete with regards to the rulership of the earth as He is still awaiting the time that His Bride will be taken from His body. As it was in the type so it is in the antitype ?
Ge 2:18 ? And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
e). And of course it will be through the suffering of dying to the flesh that those who will make up the Bride will have their faith brought to its completion, the salvation of their souls, thereby bringing to completion God?s purpose from the beginning ? ?Let them have dominion?.
4). Heb 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."
a). In v11 ?He who sanctifies? is of course Christ, and ?those who are being sanctified? would be the ?many sons? being brought to glory ? those who will be found worthy to enter a position of rulership in the Kingdom as Christ?s Bride.
b). Now our verse says that both Christ and the many sons ?are all of one?. This phrase should literally read, ?are all out of one? as the Greek words demonstrate a point of origin. Simply then, they both come from the same source.
c). And this is simple for us to understand ? it is according to Hebrews 2:10, God the Father who is responsible for bringing the ?many sons to glory? ? and as we have seen this would include the Lord Jesus Christ as well as His companions.
d). The source from which they draw in order for God?s purpose to be accomplished is then God the Father Himself - Joh 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
e). 1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
f). Therefore, both the source of sonship and the means of sonship, resulting in rulership, is God the Father which means that ?both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one?.
g). On another level we could also see both the Lord and the many sons as being ?out of one? in that they all have their origin in the Woman. Christ is the Seed of the Woman and in one sense the Woman is the mother of us all. We may come back to this thought later.
h). Now, our verse from Hebrews 2:11 ends with a remarkable statement,
for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren ? because Christ and the many sons ?are all of one? the Lord has no problem with calling the many sons His brothers.
i). We might like to tie this in with that which the Lord said recorded in ?
Lu 9:26 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.
j). Those then who will comprise the many sons will be those who will have demonstrated their allegiance to Christ through their faithful obedience to His word. Just as the Son was faithful to the words of His Father so will the many sons have been faithful to the words of the Son.
5). Then in Chapter 2:12 the writer of Hebrews once again draws from the OT scriptures, quoting from Psalm 22 - 12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."
a). Now the context in which we find this quotation in Psalm 22 is most interesting for us. The Psalm begins with words that will be very familiar to us
Ps 22:1 ? My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
b). The opening question here in v1 are the very words spoken by the Lord whilst on the cross - Mr 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
c). The Psalm itself sets out in graphic detail the anguish of the isolation and separation that the Lord experienced at His crucifixion as He became sin for us ?
Ps 22:2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. 5 They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. 7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 "He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!" 9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. 10 I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God. 11 ? Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. 13 They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; 17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. 18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots. 19 But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! 20 Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. 21 Save Me from the lion's mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen!
d). It is the concluding words to v21 that lead us directly into our quotation
Ps 22:21 Save Me from the lion's mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me. 22 ? I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
e). Just how awesome are the words ?You have answered Me?. Although the Lord did not use these words on the cross His quoting from this Psalm would make it abundantly clear that God would hear His cry and would raise Him from the
dead - Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
f). What we have here then is the assertion of God?s absolute faithfulness and the certainty of the fulfillment of His promise.
g). And so, as a result of His being raised from the dead, and because of God?s absolute faithfulness in this the scripture says ?I will declare Your name to My brethren?.
h). Now with respect to ourselves a moment?s reflection will show us that this is exactly what the Lord has done. After all, what did we learn over and over again in our study of 2 Peter? Whatever circumstances you find yourself in trust in God because He is faithful. We should realize that faithfulness is not just what God is but rather who He is. What an encouragement that is for us.
i). 1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
j). 1Th 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
k). 2Ti 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
l). And then if we continue to look at the context for our quotation in Psalm 22 we find ourselves in the Millennial Kingdom. Once again we see that suffering precedes glory - Ps 22:23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. 25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. 26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! 27 All the ends of the world Shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You. 28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S, And He rules over the nations.
m). And then if we think about the nation of Israel for a moment what a glorious promise is contained here for them as they have yet to experience the horror of the time of Jacob?s trouble.
6). Heb 2:13 And again: "I will put My trust in Him." And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."
a). And then, following on from this, the writer of Hebrews draws once again from the OT scriptures to further confirm that which has already been said.
b). The first quotation here, ?I will put my trust in Him? can be found in two locations. The first that we shall look at is a record of these words spoken by David the king, and the context will take us right back to that which we learnt from Psalm 22 ? 2Sa 22:1 ? Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day
when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 ? And he said: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. 4 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. 5 'When the waves of death surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. 6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. 7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears.
a). So what do we see here? God is faithful to deliver those who are faithful from the hands of their enemies.
b). The second location for this is in Isaiah and leads us directly into the next quotation, ?Here am I and the children whom God has given Me?.
c). Isa 8:17 And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him. 18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the LORD of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion.
d). Now the historical context for these verses is the Assyrian invasion during the days of king Ahaz and basically Isaiah is admonishing the nation to put their trust in God and nowhere else.
b). Again, in the midst of that which could be considered a national disaster, God is faithful and can be trusted - Isa 8:6 "Inasmuch as these people refused The waters of Shiloah that flow softly, And rejoice in Rezin and in Remaliah's son;
7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up over them The waters of the River, strong and mighty-The king of Assyria and all his glory; He will go up over all his channels And go over all his banks. 8 He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel. 9 ? "Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from far countries. Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces; Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us." 11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 "Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.
c). And God?s faithfulness and trustworthiness are demonstrated through Isaiah and the children God had given him ? and they are, according to our scripture ?for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts Who dwells in mount Zion?.
d). And again as we know, signs and wonders have to do with Israel and the Kingdom.
e). Isaiah had 2 sons and in their names we see the promise of God ?
Isa 8:3 Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, "Call his name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz; 4 "for before the child shall have knowledge to cry 'My father' and 'My mother,' the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be taken away before the king of Assyria."
f). Maher Shalal Chash Baz, mah-hare' shaw-lawl' khawsh baz = hasting (is he (the enemy) to the) booty, swift (to the) prey;
g). Here in the name of this child, brought about as a result of the nation?s actions [a just reward], we have the absolute certainty of the all consuming power of the king of Assyria.
h). However, although this great calamity is certain there is another certainty declared through the name of Isaiah?s first son - Isa 7:2 And it was told to the house of David, saying, "Syria's forces are deployed in Ephraim." So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind. 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller's Field,
i). Sh@'ar Yashuwb, sheh-awr'yaw-shoob' = a remnant will return
j). Even before the Assyrian captivity has begun God has promised that a remnant will return ? and who would comprise that remnant? Those who will trust in the Lord. And Isaiah and his sons are the living proof of the certainty of God?s faithfulness in this.
7). And so to bring all this back to our own experience within the context of
Heb 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You." 13 And again: "I will put My trust in Him." And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."
a). The Lord ?is not ashamed? to call the many sons who will be brought to glory His brethren as He and they have their source in God the Father. The Lord will declare the faithfulness of God the Father to His brethren. Christ Himself trusted in God the Father to deliver Him from the powers of evil and because of His faithfulness in bringing about the Lord?s deliverance we see Christ and the children God has given Him.
b). Now in one sense we would need to see the ?children?, because of the use of the word itself, as being all the eternally saved ? those who are now ?children of
God?. And the very fact that we see the Lord and the eternally saved is proof positive of God?s faithfulness to His word.
c). However we would also need to see this within the context of the world to come as this is the stated subject of our Book. Now we know that no one has yet appeared at the Judgment Seat of Christ and therefore no one has been adopted as a firstborn son. However, it would be foolish not to realize that there are those, who through their faithfulness, are already assured of their adoption in that Day. The Apostle Paul had that very confidence ? and his words are given to Him by the Lord - 2Ti 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
d). Then if we go further into the Book of Hebrews we find ?
Heb 12:1 ? Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
e). So who are these ?so great a cloud of witnesses? other than those who have already laid aside every weight and the sin of unbelief and have run their race with endurance and like Paul have laid up for them the crown of righteousness.
f). Here then is our encouragement as we see our Lord exalted because of His suffering through the faithfulness of God the Father with the children God has given Him who will, in that Day, be exalted with Christ because of their suffering through the faithfulness of God the Father. Their number will ever increase and it is incumbent upon us to be counted with them.
g). La 3:21 ? This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" 25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. 26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.