Sunday April 22nd 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Forty One
1). Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 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.
a). Within a few short verses at the beginning of Hebrews Chapter 11 God has laid out for us a complete panorama of the events relating to both the Church and Israel within a dispensational framework which shows events as they pertain to Christians in this dispensation and events as they relate to Israel with the conclusion of the previous dispensation - the fulfillment of Daniel?s 70th week which will follow the rapture of the Church. And then going beyond the close of Man?s Day as the Lord?s Day, the Millennial Kingdom is established on the earth - Re 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
b). Through this panorama of events, fraught with spiritual significance and meaning, we are transported from the place where two offerings occurred, those of Cain and Abel, to the place where we are given further commentary relating to that which we see in Noah?s experiences seen now in Abraham?s subsequent experiences. And I think as the scriptures have opened to us again in this Chapter of Hebrews we are once again in awe of that which God has put together - Ps 119:162 ? I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.
c). And our beginning point for this panorama, as we have seen in previous weeks, is the point of eternal salvation ? Abel being slain typifies Christ being slain ? the sacrifice that makes it possible for those who believe
on Him to pass from death to life; to be saved on the basis of Christ?s death and shed blood.
d). And although this is a perfectly correct way to view these events we must also realize that these events as they are given to us with respect to Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham, must also be seen from a different perspective ? a perspective that begins beyond the point of eternal salvation and takes us to the salvation of the soul ? a salvation that is inextricably linked to the coming 7th Day.
2). Heb 11:4 ? By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
a). That which we see in this verse is not of course Cain?s slaying of Abel, but the presentation to the Lord of two offerings. Abel?s is given ?by faith? ? an action that is only possible by someone who has passed from death into life, and therefore of itself has nothing to do with eternal salvation.
b). Cain?s offering, as we know, is rejected as it was given apart from faith, again something that is only possible for someone who has passed from death into life.
c). And therefore to put these two together we see different outcomes for events that take place after eternal salvation ? one resulting in acceptance and the other in rejection - events that have the 7th Day as their focus.
d). There are of course obvious teachings that can be drawn from these two offerings with regards to ourselves and our own race of faith ? teachings that are extremely pertinent, but we must keep at the forefront of our thinking that the typological picture here in Genesis Chapter 4 primarily concerns Israel. Israel?s offering at Christ?s first coming, had been in the preceding years as it was when Christ was on the earth, rejected, as it was offered according to the letter of the law apart from faith - 2Co 3:6b??.for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Whereas Christ?s offering was accepted, being offered according to the will of God - Ac 2:23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
e). What we don?t see, either in Hebrews 11 or Genesis 4 is the event showing Cain?s and Abel?s eternal salvation ? Given the events that follow, this is just a given ? God would expect us to understand this and to understand where His focus is ? on acts of faith beyond eternal salvation as they relate to the 7th Day.
3). Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death,
a). And of course the same is true for Enoch ? He acted ?by faith? and therefore had already passed from death into life before he believed God with respect to naming his son Methuselah and his own translation into heaven, but no mention is made of his eternal salvation either in Genesis or Hebrews or elsewhere for that matter.
b). And although what is seen in the picture of Enoch exclusively concerns the church, as only the church is to be raptured, this event has to be seen in the overall panorama of God?s dealing with Israel.
c). And perhaps we should pause for a moment here and take note that God?s dealings with the human race is centered upon Israel - Ro 3:1 ? What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.
d). In order to bring to pass His plans and purposes with regards to mankind God chose one man, Abraham ? who was a descendant of Shem, the only one of Noah?s 3 sons possessing a God. And these plans and purposes will ultimately be brought to pass through 3 firstborn sons who would come from the loins of Abraham ? the nation of Israel - Ex 4:22 "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn.
e). Jesus the Christ - Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"?
f). And the church following the adoption - Ro 8:23 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.
Ga 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
g). Israel has given to us the written word of God revealed through Jewish prophets ? Israel has given us the Living Word, the Word made flesh, the Jewish Messiah ? and Israel has been called to be God?s witness to the Gentile nations of the earth; to share with them that which God has revealed in the written Word and that which is available through the Living Word?s finished work at Calvary and His continuing work in the Heavenly Tabernacle today, as well as that which is seen through the written Word concerning that future Day when the Living Word is revealed for all to see as the ?King of kings? and the ?Lord of lords?. That which we have in our possession today, the scriptures and the promises, are only in our possession because of God?s dealings with His chosen people - Israel.
h). To remove Israel from this central position in God?s plans is the most dire act of anti-Semitism; and that which the church has come to call
replacement theology is one of the grossest Satanic deceptions that Christians have embraced.
4). Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear,
a). And just as we saw with Abel and Enoch, Noah acting ?by faith? presupposes that he had already passed from death into life, again an event which scripture doesn?t record, showing that his actions, which are recorded in the scriptures, were determined by events that would transpire beyond eternal salvation. And this of course is borne out by that which we studied last week ? that which we saw in - 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.
b). As we saw last week Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham beyond the point of their eternal salvation believed that God is exactly who He says He is and their acts of faith were carried out believing that God would prove Himself to be a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him ? And that they looked for this reward not in the present, but in the 7th Day which was yet to come.
c). Then, as we have seen, within the panorama of events that God presents at the beginning of Hebrews Chapter 11, Noah?s experience pictures Israel center stage, as we would expect, passing through the Great Tribulation Re 12:14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
Mr 13:20 "And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
d). The promise that is given through the picture of Noah?s ark is seen in both our scriptures from Revelation Chapter 12 and Mark Chapter 13 and is exactly that spoken to Cain, who is a type of Israel, in Genesis Chapter 4 ?
Ge 4:7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you shall rule over it."
e). It must be that Israel will be brought to the place of repentance so that they shall rule over their sin and be forgiven just as God has foretold in His word - Jer 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
f). And although it will be just a remnant of the total number of Jews alive when the Tribulation begins, just as only eight, Noah?s family, are saved through the flood, it is enough.
g). Ge 7:23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days. 8:1 ? Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. 3 And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. 4 ? Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, above the mountains of Ararat.
h). And what we will note right here is that Noah and his family go through the flood, not just for the purpose of saving them from destruction, but because of the new beginning following the flood. The picture given in our Genesis scripture is the ark floating on a shoreless sea above the mountains of Ararat depicting that coming day when Israel, after the destruction of Gentile world power and the nation?s conversion following Christ?s return will be in a place of rest above the Gentile nations as God had always intended ?Es 9:22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.
i). What we would know then is that a remnant of Israel is saved out of the Tribulation, not just to prevent the nation?s destruction, but because of the new beginning that is to follow with the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom when Israel will take God?s Word out to the Gentile nations and the Gentile nations will be blessed through Israel.
j). God?s view is always the long term view whereas ours is inevitably parochial.
5). Then as we see that presented through Noah we come to Abraham who,
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
a). And as we have seen earlier, Abraham gives us commentary on that which we have just seen in Noah as he leaves the land of his birth to go to the land that God will show him in order to receive it as an inheritance.
b). Before we deal with this picture in any detail let?s just note some things concerning what is recorded here in Hebrews about Abraham.
c). No doubt we will notice immediately that Abraham obeyed ?by faith? and therefore his actions were those of a man who was already eternally saved before he left Ur of the Chaldeans. And again, as with the others we have mentioned this morning, scripture makes no note of the time or place of his eternal salvation ? again it is just a given that it has happened.
d). What we will also realize then is that everything that is recorded in the scriptures with regards to Abraham, record the events in the life of a man who is in pursuit of an inheritance that God had promised him after he had passed from death to life.
e). We see that Abraham obeyed by faith when he was called and the way this is written in the Greek language would tell us that his obedience came at the same time as his calling ? in other words he obeyed the moment he was called - Ge 11:31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran. 12:1 ? Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 4 ? So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
f). We see at the end of Chapter 11 that Terah is exercising patriarchal headship in taking the family out of Ur, but according to the beginning of Chapter 12 it was Abraham who received the call to leave.
g). And although we see Abraham?s obedience in leaving his country the same can?t be said of leaving his family as both Terah and Lot left with him.
6). So, to go back to the picture of Abraham we would see that he was 70 years old when he received the call and then left the land of his birth. And his age would not be insignificant. 70 is of course 7 X 10 demonstrating a divinely complete period of time. To understand the significance of this we need to set Abraham?s calling within its scriptural context.
a). So, let?s go back for a moment to Noah - Ge 9:8 ? Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 "And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10 "and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth
with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 "Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."
b). Following the complete destruction of the inhabitants of the earth, except for those which God preserved ? both man and beast ? there is a new beginning and a new covenant, picturing that time at the end of the Tribulation when there will be a new beginning following the complete destruction of Gentile world power and a new covenant with the nation of Israel ? after the complete period of time of 6 days, 6000 years.
c). Genesis Chapter 10 then gives us the genealogy of the sons of Noah which introduces Nimrod who was ?a mighty hunter before the Lord? who was the first king of Babylon.
d). Then in Genesis Chapter 11 as events move forward historically they drop back typologically to give us commentary on the days preceding the flood and the flood itself - Ge 11:1 ? Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." 5 ? But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
e). Here we see all the people of the earth joined together as one building a city, Babylon, with ?a tower whose top is in the heavens?. Here we see the self-exultation of man to reach into the very place of heavenly rulership after a similar fashion to Satan wanting to exalt his throne above the stars of God; picturing for us the coming day when Antichrist will do this very thing.
f). Before this can come to pass however, God, in Genesis, ?came down to see the city and the tower?. What He sees He cannot tolerate and so He confused their language and ?scattered them abroad from there over the face
of the earth?; picturing of course the destruction of Gentile world power, just as was pictured in Noah?s flood, when God will once again ?come down to look at the city and the tower? ? and what He sees in that future day He will no more tolerate than He did in that past day. And the scattering of the nations speaks to what will happen to the remnant of the Gentile nations after Christ has trodden the winepress at the conclusion of the Tribulation ? the very scattering spoken of in ? De 32:8 When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
g). And - Ac 17:26 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
h). So if we combine that which we see preceding the flood with that which we see in Genesis Chapter 11 we see the activity of the fallen angels, a king in Babylon and an attempt to thwart the plans of God.
7). In the account of Noah, following the flood, we saw the new beginning and this is exactly what we see pictured for us at the end of Genesis Chapter 11 and the beginning of Chapter 12, following the scattering of the nations, with Abraham called to leave a Gentile land and go to a land that God would give him as an inheritance and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
a). And here we are once again with Israel being removed from the Gentile nations at Christ?s return and being taken to the land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to receive as their inheritance and bring blessing on all the Gentile nations - Eze 11:16 "Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone."'
b). Jer 23:7 "Therefore, behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "that they shall no longer say, 'As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' 8 "but, 'As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.' And they shall dwell in their own land."
c). Zec 8:23 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'"
d). And then within the historical account of Abraham we have two more events that give us more commentary on this overall type. These are the events following the battle with the kings in Genesis Chapter 14 and the destruction of the cities of the plain in Genesis Chapter 19.
e). But both of these will have to wait until next time ? if the Lord is willing.