Sunday February 5th 2012
7th Annual Word of the Kingdom Conference
Therefore Brethren Stand Fast
1). Heb 1:1 ? God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds[ages];
a). The beginning of the Book of Hebrews lays out for us some truly remarkable things that we might easily gloss over in our reading if we don?t pay close attention.
b). The most important thing to note is that God Himself has spoken to His people, which would be both Israel and the Church at various times and in various ways by [in the person of] the prophets, through that which we know as the OT ? the Prophets recording not their own words but God?s words given to them under inspiration of the Spirit ?2Pe 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
And then in these last days He has spoken to us by [in the person of] His Son.
c). And that which He has spoken by His Son is the same thing that He has spoken by the prophets ? it is not just that Jesus spoke the words that God the Father had given Him to speak while on the earth, which He certainly did ?
Joh 12:50 "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."
d). But also the Son?s very presence on the earth was the embodiment of that which the Father spoke by the prophets ? He is of course the ?Word made flesh? ?
Lu 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
e). That which is written in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning the Son, that must be fulfilled, is the very thing succinctly and profoundly stated in the beginning of the Book of Hebrews ? God the Son has been appointed ?heir of all things? and through the Son, God the Father set in place the ages.
f). The countless ages of eternity past, this present age, the age to come and the endless ages of eternity future have all been set in place by the Son and for the Son ? Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are
in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Everything that has taken place in ages past and continues to take place throughout this present age have one thing only in view ? Christ will inherit all things ? this is the point to which the whole of history, both temporal and eternal, inexorably marches ? it is the culmination of God?s eternal purpose ? Eph 1:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him.
So how do we know all this to be true? Well, scripture itself gives us the answer ?
Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,
g). It is ?by faith?, by believing that which God has said about the Son inheriting all things which was spoken in times past in the person of the prophets and in these last days in the person of His Son recorded in His word and revealed by the Spirit.
h). And most particularly, because this is the focus of all scripture, it is believing God with respect to that which He has said concerning the 7th Day, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, when His inheritance will be realized with respect to Himself and His joint heirs - Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
i). Ga 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
j). And then within the whole scope of that which is encompassed by the 7th Day we are to believe that which God has said concerning the salvation of the soul ? the salvation to be revealed in the last time - 1Pe 1:8b??????. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls. 10 ? Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
Heb 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? 5 ? For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
k). This is ?so great a salvation? as there is nothing more incredible that the God of the universe could by His grace bestow upon His created being ? the salvation of the spirit, the free gift of eternal life, is no small thing and yet when you set the free gift next to the salvation of the soul, the salvation of the soul is
exponentially greater ? so why would the salvation of the soul be regarded by God after this fashion? Well, simply, because of that which it brings to fulfillment.
2). 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." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Ge 2:21 ? And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
a). Following the restoration of the earth after Satan?s rebellion God established His plan for the rulership of the earth in the place of Satan and his fallen angels ? a man and a woman in a marriage relationship, having dominion, ruling together in Satan?s stead. And as in the type it is God who builds the woman from a part of Adam?s body and Adam who gives himself for the Woman because of her sin, so in the antitype it is Christ who gives Himself for His Bride because of her sin and God who builds the Bride from part of Christ?s body - Joh 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
b). 2Co 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
c). And it is the blood and water coming from the Lord?s side after His death that immediately take us to Christ?s present High Priestly ministry in the Heavenly Tabernacle on behalf of the sins of the saved and most especially with regards to those who are believing God, who have faith, to the salvation of their soul.
d). Heb 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
e). Heb 10:19 ? Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
f). God cannot countenance sin and therefore the whole sin issue is in the process of being resolved, something that can only be accomplished by Deity. It is resolved for us every day through our High Priest as we confess our sins, receive forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness, and will ultimately be
eradicated in its entirety at the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom when there will be a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
f). In the meantime as we continue to receive forgiveness and as we continue to be washed with the washing of water by the word we are to draw near to our High Priest in the Heavenly Tabernacle, approaching the throne of grace with boldness, in full assurance of faith, holding fast the confession of our hope without wavering in order to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need.
g). And if we continue in this practice through the course of our pilgrim journey, if we continue to receive with meekness the implanted word, if we continue to be transformed by the renewing of our mind; if we continue to fight the good fight, continue running the race according to the rules and if we continue to keep the faith, that which is the present part of our salvation, then we will in that Day, still future, when we stand before our Lord at His Judgment Seat hear the words, ?Well done, good and faithful servant? ? we will be called out of the called, receive the salvation of our soul, the eradication of our sin nature, and become a joint heir with Christ. Our body will be redeemed by receiving the covering of glory that was lost in the Garden of Eden ? and right here is where God?s purpose for the ages is brought to fulfillment with the Man, Christ Jesus and His Bride, who will now be completely and totally redeemed from sin, standing together on the cusp of the 7th Day with the glorious Kingdom of Christ just a hair?s breadth away.
h). It is for this reason that the salvation of the soul is the most incredible, the most superlative, the most remarkable event that can await the eternally saved.
i). However, the superlative greatness of the salvation of the soul is not the automatic possession of every Christian - 1Co 3:11 ? For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
j). Mt 7:21 ? "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
k). It is then those who believe God, who have faith to the saving of the soul, who do the will of the Father, working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and those alone who will be adopted as firstborn sons of God receiving the reward of the inheritance - Ga 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you
beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
l). It is only by faith, by believing that which God has spoken, that is in our possession through the word, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that this is possible - Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
3). Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen [by faith] were not made of things which are visible[with the natural eye].
a). The world that surrounds us is a world in disarray and chaos; a world that exists in its present condition because of the introduction of sin in the Garden of Eden. It is, so to speak, the tangible manifestation of the corrupted kingdom of its incumbent ruler and as such it has no connection whatsoever with that which God will bring to pass with the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ and the endless ages that will follow.
b). Knowing from the outset that this would be the case God presently uses the circumstances of this world in order to bring about the stated purpose for His Son ? that He will inherit all things.
c). As we look around us at this world of chaos we cannot see with the natural eye that which God has set in place neither the past, the present or the future, therefore we cannot live our lives by sight, we must instead live our lives by faith - Heb 10:38a Now the just shall live by faith;
d). We find this in - Ro 1:16 ? For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
e). 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
f). Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
g). Our lives in this present age then are to be governed not by what we see or perceive through the natural man, but that which is perceived by faith by the spiritual man ? this is why we are admonished not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind ? this is why we must look from this world unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith ? this is why we must continue to draw deeply from the spiritual well of the word.
h). That which we can only see with the eyes of faith must become more real to us than that which we see with the natural eye ? we must go from faith to faith.
i). Just look at what the Lord says with respect to Abraham in ?
Joh 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
j). Now, by the eyes of faith, not only did Abraham see Christ?s day, the day of His sacrifice, when he took Isaac to the mountain, but he also saw Christ?s Day, the 7th Day, the coming of His Kingdom, pictured for us in - Ge 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
And substantiated in the commentary given in - Heb 11:9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
k). The city for which Abraham waited is the New Jerusalem and Abraham, by faith, by believing that which God had said saw it with the eyes of faith and waited for the Day when that which he believed becomes the reality ? literally manifested within the boundaries of time and space.
l). And as we continue in Hebrews Chapter 11 we see this - Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
m). You see the fact that all those mentioned here died without receiving the promises is of no consequence, they all died in faith, being assured of the promises, having seen them afar off, believing God that they would in that Day receive what was promised with respect to the salvation of the soul, because He who promised is faithful.
n). You see, whether the Lord returns in our lifetime or not is of no importance as the validity of God?s word, that which we believe to the saving of our soul, is not dependent upon us experiencing the rapture.
o). Have you ever wondered about the verse in Hebrews where the writer says - Heb 10:37 "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
p). Were those he was writing to expecting the Lord to return imminently? Absolutely not ? the writer of Hebrews knew, as they knew, as we know that there was another 2000 years before the Lord would return ? And here is the encouragement, ?For yet a little while?.?, in the overall scheme of things it?s just a little while to wait, but be absolutely certain that ?He who is coming will come?; and when He does that which we have believed, that which we may need to go to our death bed believing will be realized - Mt 16:27 "For the Son of Man will come
in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
q). Do you believe it? Even to the saving of the soul? Even if we don?t personally experience the rapture?
4). Now with respect to our believing God, our having faith to the salvation of the soul the scriptures provide 2 possibilities - Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone [who has been justified and has been living by having faith to the salvation of the soul, then] draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
a). Drawing back to perdition, even for those who are at this moment believing God, having faith to the salvation of the soul, is an ever present possibility. That?s why v36 of Hebrews Chapter 10 says - Heb 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
b). This is why there is one admonition that is repeated over and over again in the scriptures in respect to this - 1Co 15:1 ? Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
c). 2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
d). Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
e). Heb 3:6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
f). Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
g). Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
h). Re 2:25 "But hold fast what you have till I come.
i). Re 3:11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
j). Now our holding fast, our being steadfast, is not just a matter of rhetoric and has nothing to do with the common expression of ?hanging in there?.
k). Within the context of the Book of Hebrews ?holding fast? would be specifically related to the progressive warning against neglecting so great a salvation ? It would then involve giving the more earnest heed to the things we
have heard, which would take us back to the place we started today ? hearing His voice and not hardening our hearts, going on to maturity by receiving with meekness the implanted word ? not falling away ? not treating our birthright as being something of no consequence ? all of these would encompass ?holding fast? ? requiring that our thoughts, our heart, our manner of living are in complete harmony with the stated purpose of God; that which He spoke in time past by the prophets and in these last days by His Son.
l). Neither should this be seen as static or passive, but rather as that which is involved in going from faith to faith ? it is seeing the Day approaching, loving His appearing.
m). And then, in addition to ourselves, it would be the passion that we would have for each other to be found worthy at the Judgment Seat as we consider one another to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together and exhorting one another to remain faithful amidst the trials and tribulations of this world.
n). And as we consider this with respect to ourselves there are some verses that Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica which lay out what should be the experience and the testimony of all who would believe God to the saving of the soul??
5). 2Th 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 ? which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 11 ? Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
6). And so as we close we are left with one question ? ?Will you believe God, have faith to the saving of the soul no matter what the cost or will you turn back?? Will you hold fast that which God has given us or will you let it slip away?
a). Let me encourage you - Ga 5:1 ? Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
b). Php 1:27 ? Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
c). Php 4:1 ? Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.