Sunday March 4th 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Thirty Five
1). Heb 10:37 "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone 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. 11:1 ? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
a). Chapter 10 of the Book of Hebrews contains the fourth part of the progressive warning found in this Book, that concerning the willful sin. And within the context of this warning we see those who would commit this sin, those who would ?draw back to perdition?, set alongside those who would ?believe to the saving of the soul?.
b). Chapter 10 then concludes with a specific reference to believing, or having faith to the saving of the soul, and what is taught here is that to sin willfully, is to choose to turn away from that which God has said concerning the salvation of the soul, that which is called ?so great a salvation?, which is an inseparable part of God?s plans and purposes for the 7th Day.
c). And what we would then realize is that the salvation of the soul is the implicit subject of the three preceding facets of the warning in Hebrews also.
d). Not giving the more earnest heed to the things we have heard and therefore drifting away in Chapter 2 is to drift away from faith, from believing God to the salvation of the soul by drifting away from God?s stated purpose in the scriptures.
e). Hardening our hearts through the deceitfulness of sin and therefore not hearing His voice, within the context of Chapter 3, has to do with the sin of unbelief, not believing God, not having faith to the saving of the soul.
f). And similarly not going on to maturity and falling away is a choice not to progress from faith to faith and therefore a choice to turn aside from having faith to the saving of the soul.
g). And as we have noted, Chapter 10 ends with specific reference to believing God, having faith to the saving of the soul which leads us into Chapter
11, a Chapter which is devoted entirely to faith to the saving of the soul; and this Chapter in turn is itself the precursor to the fifth and final part of the warning found in Chapter 12.
h). And so we will keep in mind here that faith to the saving of the soul and believing that which God has said about the 7th Day and the Kingdom of His Son must be seen as one and the same thing. In other words, it would be impossible to have one without the other.
2). Now we had also seen last week that those who patiently endure through the trials, tribulations and persecutions that are experienced in this age, while at the same time maintaining their confidence and boldness with respect to the hope set before them - Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
a). Those who do this can look forward to the promise that ?yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry?.
b). And this of course takes us to believing God with respect to the certainty of the One who is coming and the certainty of the establishment of His Kingdom when He does - 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.
c). And this is exactly what we see with respect to the hope set before as described in ? Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing [lit. the appearing of the glory] of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
d). It will of course be at the appearing of Christ?s glory, as we look to the establishment of His Kingdom rule, that our hope is realized and our faith, having believed God concerning the appearing of His glory, is brought to its goal, to its completion - 1Pe 1:9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
Col 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance;
1Co 3:14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
e). In the meantime though, as we wait for the Lord?s coming and all that His coming will bring to pass, we are to ?live by faith? ? by faith to the saving of the soul as we progress from faith to faith; maintaining our boldness, our confidence with respect to the hope. And should we choose to live by faith after this fashion now, we will in that Day have life in the age to come through our faith.
3). Now it is of course the same faith to the saving of the soul at the end of Chapter 10 that we see at the beginning of Chapter 11 - 11:1 ? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
a). In this opening verse we see that two specific things are said about faith to the saving of the soul ? firstly, it is the ?substance of things hoped for?; and secondly it is ?the evidence of things not seen? ? And as we have noted these two things do not provide us with a definition of faith, but rather that which is the outcome of having faith to the saving of the soul.
b). Substance = Greek ? Hupostasis = to stand under.
c). This has the idea of a foundation underlying a superstructure ? that is, faith to the saving of the soul is the foundation upon which the ?things hoped for? [the superstructure] rests.
d). This hope, as we saw in Titus, is in connection with an inheritance in the coming age at the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
e). Earlier in Hebrews this same hope is described as - Heb 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
f). Then with our soul anchored in this way so that we should not drift away we are admonished to ? Heb 3:6b hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
g). And - Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
h). Our hope then, concerning the appearing of the glory of Christ and all that is associated with that appearing, rests upon the foundation of our faith to the saving of the soul. This is why our faith to the saving of the soul and our faith in the coming of Christ?s Kingdom are inseparable ? our hope then rests upon and remains upon that which is believed rather than that which is seen - Ro 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
i). Faith to the saving of the soul is also said to be ?the evidence of things not seen?.
j). Evidence = Greek ? ?elegchos? = bringing to light.
k). So then faith to the saving of the soul is not only the foundation upon which our hope rests, but it is also that which brings to light the things not seen with the natural eye within the present world system connected with this hope.
l). In other words having faith to the saving of the soul then is the one thing that can bring to light, from the Word of God, that which we cannot see in the present world system under the ruler of this age.
m). These things can only be seen ?by faith?, only by believing that which God has revealed in His Word. And it is only through this means that all the various things having to do with the saving of the soul, the hope set before us, are brought to light.
n). And of course this faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the antitype of Abraham?s oldest servant searching for a bride for his master?s son ? Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
o). 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
p). Joh 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
q). It is in this way then that the things which cannot be seen except through the eyes of faith are revealed to those who are believing God, having faith, to the saving of the soul. And this has been our experience.
r). And, according to our opening scripture, it is through having faith to the saving of the soul that the elders were commended by God - 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
s). Jas 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
t). And as we progress beyond the opening verses of Chapter 11 we will see numerous examples of the of the faith to the saving of the soul of these ?elders? that caused them to receive a good testimony from the Lord. And in like manner if we conduct our lives from faith to faith, having faith to the saving of the soul then we can confidently expect a good testimony from the Lord also - Mt 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
u). 1Pe 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
4). 3 By faith we understand that the worlds [ages] were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen [with the natural eye in the present world system under Satan] were not made of things which are visible [only with the eyes of faith].
a). Here in v3 we see how the outcome of faith to the saving of the soul provides the evidence of the things not seen.
b). It is by faith to the saving of the soul alone that we understand that the ages were framed by the word of God.
c). The word translated ?understand? has to do with perceiving with the reflective mind and is never used in the NT in connection with things that can be understood by seeing with the natural eye.
d). The word ?framed? has to do with setting in place in an orderly arrangement and as we see this was done by ?the word of God? ? the audible utterance of Deity. In other words, God said, just as we see in - Ge 1:3 ? Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
e). God said, and instantly the ages of eternity past, the present age, the age to come and the endless ages of eternity future were set in place, were structured, in order and perfection in accordance with the Divine plan and purpose for these ages.
f). And because of this v3 also takes us back to the beginning of the Book of Hebrews ? 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];
g). And by comparing scripture with scripture we can find additional commentary on v2 here - Joh 1:1 ? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
h). John 1:1 of course begins in the same place as Genesis 1:1 - Ge 1:1 ? In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
It takes us to the creation of the universe and the framing of the ages; all of this being done by God the Father, ?through? God the Son whom ?He has appointed heir of all things?.
i). And what we might find particularly interesting to note here is that it is the One who is ?the Word?, that which was spoken at various times and various ways in time past to the fathers by the prophets ? the Word which became flesh and dwelt amongst us - the embodiment of the Word that has at its focus the 7th Day, who was instrumental in framing the eternal ages.
j). And just as the eternal ages are structured in perfect order, so is the written word that became the living word structured in perfect order also in order to reflect God?s purpose.
k). Scripture begins in a specific place and ends in a specific place with a specific structure between these two points so that the eternally saved, with eyes to see, can know by faith God?s plans and purposes not only by what He says in His word but also through the way His word is put together.
5). Ge 1:1 ? In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
As we have seen, scripture begins with the creation of the material universe, a universal Kingdom that is perfectly ordered in line with God?s eternal purpose ?
Ps 103:19 ? The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
a). And God has administered His universal Kingdom from ?His throne in heaven? located in the most northerly part of the universe from the time of beginning to the present day - Isa 14:13 For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
b). And then into God?s perfectly ordered universal Kingdom and structure of the ages sin enters through one of the provincial rulers causing this ruler to be disqualified to rule and his province to fall into chaos - Ge 1:2 The earth became without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.
c). It is at this point that the focus of scripture then turns from the universe as a whole to the ruined province in particular ? the earth and the replacement of the disqualified ruler by a new creation ? Man.
d). And as we know, following the creation of Man sin enters once again into this province of the universal Kingdom through the fall of Man at the hands of Satan ? resulting in Man being disqualified to take the scepter of rulership from Satan and the ruin of the province over which he was created to rule. What follows from this point onwards in the scriptures is the process that God had set in place to redeem the new creation created to rule in Satan?s place, a redemption that would address all three parts of Man?s being ? spirit, soul and body; and in addition to this, to bring about the restoration of the ruined province also. And if we go back to Hebrews 11:3 for a moment we can clearly see that the ruined, chaotic world in which we live was not part of God?s original organization of the ages, but came about through the introduction of sin ? this is why there is nothing in the present world system that can show us anything concerning God?s organization of the ages.
b). And then at the end of scripture we find reference once again to God?s universal rule, but now this rule is taking place from the New Jerusalem located on
the new earth that is to be brought into being following the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ - Re 22:1 ? And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
c). Scripture begins with the endless ages in perfect order and ends with the restoration of the perfect order that existed in the beginning.
d). Apart from very sparse reference to the ages of eternity past and the endless ages of eternity future, the bulk of scripture concerns this present age with its focus on the age to come with respect to one province in God?s universal Kingdom ? the earth.
e). And again the structure that we find in the scriptures concerning this conforms to God?s Divine pattern. Ge 2:1 ? Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done??..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. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
f). God sets out 6 days of work followed by a 7th Day of rest and at the conclusion of the 6th day a Man is created and a Woman built from a part of the body of the Man in order that they may rule together, over the earth, during the 7th Day. This pattern of 7 days is the perfect pattern for the restoration of a ruined creation and would then have to be used whether restoring the ruined creation after Satan?s rebellion or restoring the ruined creation after Man?s fall ? there is no alternate or better method than this. And we would also note that it is only after the light has shone in the darkness on day 1 that events can then move to the Man and the Woman ruling together in day 7.
g). And then at the end of scripture, after 6000 years of work, that which is pictured in the Man and the Woman is brought to fulfillment as Christ and His Bride enter the Millennial Kingdom to rule over the earth together, just as God had set in place from the beginning. And just as the light shining in the darkness was the beginning point in Genesis so is eternal salvation which the day 1 account pictures, the beginning point for those who will be the Bride. The intervening days
then, days 2-5, picture the eternally saved?s progress from faith to faith resulting in the salvation of the soul, the salvation to be revealed in the last time; the reward that must be received by those who would reign with Christ.
h). Scripture then begins with a marriage relationship with respect to rulership in the 7th Day and scripture ends with a marriage relationship with respect to rulership in the 7th Day sandwiched between God?s perfectly ordered universal Kingdom from the past and God?s perfectly ordered universal Kingdom of the future ? And there is no wonder of this as the same God who set in place the Divinely ordered structure of the endless ages is the same God who inspired the writing of the scriptures that tell of these very things.
i). This is how scripture concerning Man and the earth was given, this is how scripture concerning Man and the earth is written, all conforming to the pattern of 7 days as set out in the foundation; and if we would go back to John?s gospel that we referenced earlier, that began in the same place as Genesis Chapter 1, we would see that after 7 days, on the 3rd Day Christ attends a wedding in Canna of Galilee, where He gave the first sign to be recorded in the scriptures ? a sign given to Israel concerning their restoration and the Millennial Kingdom.
j). It is only by having faith to the saving of the soul that we are able to see these incredible events laid out for us in the scriptures ? it is only by having faith to the saving of the soul that we can patiently endure and maintain our diligence, as this faith gives us the absolute, irrevocable certainty that Christ will fulfill God?s plans and purposes for the ages ? the 7th Day must come after the 6th day, just as Revelation must come after Genesis. There will be a wedding at Canna of Galilee and Israel will be restored and He who is coming will come and will not tarry ? there must be no doubt in our mind.
k). Re 19:6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
6). As we see all of this and understand the significance of it, it is not difficult to see why the major result of the leavening process in the 3 measures of meal has been to call into question the promise of His coming and to deny God?s structure of the ages - 2Pe 3:3 ? knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the
beginning of creation." 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 ? But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 ? The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 ? Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
a). But as we close for today let?s just remember this - Heb 11:6 But without faith [to the saving of the soul] 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.