Sunday October 14th 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Sixty One
1). Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
a). Hebrews Chapter 11, as with much of the rest of the Book of Hebrews, presents great spiritual truth to us through a type/antitype structure ? that is, using pictures from OT history to reveal things to us with regards to future events as they relate to the coming Kingdom of Christ ? and this is exactly what we see in our 3 verses here.
b). There are so many places where we could go in the OT to find reference to the destruction of Gentile world power at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation, but in putting together this 11th Chapter of Hebrews the Holy Spirit has seen fit to draw from just two examples, the examples of the destruction of the forces of the Assyrian Pharaoh during the days of Moses and the destruction of Jericho during the days of Joshua.
c). Viewing both of these together we are then able to see this event from the perspective of the Jews who are alive, repentant and restored at the end of the Tribulation along with the resurrected OT saints and from the perspective of those Gentiles who have been eternally saved during the Tribulation and have also managed to survive.
d). And it is with a view to this group of eternally saved Gentiles that we find the experiences of Rahab the harlot.
2). Jos 2:8 ? Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,
9 and said to the men: "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 "And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone
because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 "Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token, 13 "and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." 14 So the men answered her, "Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you."
a). Rahab had ?heard? what God had done 40 years prior to this at the Red Sea passage and she had ?heard? in more recent times what had happened to the ?two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan?.
b). Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
c). What she had heard then caused her to believe, to have faith ? she believed, the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath ? she believed that because of who God is He would without question give the city of Jericho and all within it and the land into the hands of His people Israel and here in her house were the spies, the messengers of God, confirming all that she believed.
d). Because of the certainty that came from the faith that she had she hid the spies gave them protection and provided for them a way of escape.
e). So certain was she about what was going to happen to the city that she would rather risk the wrath of the king of Jericho and risk her own death at his hands than turn against the people of God ? which would in fact be to turn against the One who she knew to be ?God in heaven above and on earth beneath?.
f). The actions that she took in hiding the spies caused her to ask boldly for her and her father?s house to be spared upon the overthrow of the city. Now her request could appear presumptuous, or even motivated only by fear, but the truth is that what she asks for is completely in line with the promise of God to Abraham recorded in - Ge 12:3 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."
g). She does then in effect ask for the blessing that God had promised because of the blessing she had given to Abraham?s descendants.
h). And this ?blessing? for her would have to do with having life in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob within the Theocratic Kingdom that was to be established there.
i). The extent of the blessing she receives may be seen in the following ?
Mt 1:5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.
j). Rahab then, the Gentile harlot with faith, is the great, great grandmother of David the king.
3). Now in the antitype of the picture given through Rahab, as we saw last week, there is a time coming when Israel will once again be poised to enter the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob having been brought to repentance and restored. Israel?s return to the land under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ will be the precursor to the complete destruction of Gentile world power, anticipating the establishment of the Theocratic Kingdom in the land once again.
a). During the final 3 ? years that lead up to this point in time there will again be Jewish ?spies? in the land with a message concerning the overthrow of Gentile world power on the earth and the establishment of the Kingdom with Israel in the place of supremacy.
b). These are the 144000 that we saw last week in - Re 7:2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
c). These constitute the male child that is delivered of the woman and caught up to the throne of God in revelation Chapter 12.
d). Whilst caught up to the throne of God the message they are to take to the Gentile nations is committed to them - Re 14:1 ? Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads????..
6 ? Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people?
e). It is that which is called here ?the everlasting gospel? that Christ identifies with regards to the sign of the end of the age in - Mt 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
f). It is ?this gospel of the Kingdom? that ?will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations? that will be a sign of the ?end of the age?.
g). We will remember that - 1Co 1:22 For Jews request a sign,
h). Signs are exclusively for the Jewish people and are inseparably connected to the Kingdom.
i). And within the context of the Tribulation this would be entirely correct ? remember the 7 years of the Tribulation are the final 7 years that remain to be completed from the previous dispensation, a dispensation when God was and will be dealing with the Jewish people. And although there are numerous things to be seen during this period of time that impact all the inhabitants of the earth, all are inextricably connected to the Jews being brought to the place of repentance with a view to the establishment of the Kingdom.
j). During the Lord?s earthly ministry, after John the Baptist had been imprisoned, the Lord proclaims this message - Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
k). This is the same message that He sent out the 12 to preach, and then the 70 and this is the message that will be preached by the 144000 to the Gentile nations in fulfillment of that seen in - Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
l). Because of the timing of this message ? during the final years of the dispensation of the Jews - the Kingdom is once again ?at hand? and therefore this is the message to be proclaimed amongst the nations.
m). This is not the message concerning the Kingdom that the Church receives during this present dispensation. The Kingdom is not at present ?at hand? and therefore the message we receive, in relation to the Kingdom is the gospel of the glory of Christ ? a message concerning that future day which would be anything from 2000 ? 7+ years away ? a message concerning positions of rulership with Christ in His Kingdom when He comes in His glory and sits on the throne of His glory.
4). The 144000 are described as being the ?first fruit? to God, because they are the ones who begin to fulfill God?s commission to the nation, something to be completely fulfilled during the Millennium. The experience of Israel with respect to this commission is pictured for us through the account of Jonah ?
Jon 1:1 ? Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence
of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
a). The Prophet Jonah forms a dual type ? he is a type, a picture of Christ, who is in the place of the dead 3 days before being resurrected ? Mt 12:39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
b). But, Jonah is also a type, a picture of the nation of Israel as a whole. Israel as a nation was to take the message of the living God to all nations and the nations were to be blessed thereby through them. As with Jonah however, the nation did not accept this responsibility and has therefore found itself in the place of death. On the 3rd Day though the nation will be resurrected and like Jonah will fulfill God?s commission during the 1000 years of the Kingdom
Jon 3:1 ? Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" 5 ? So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
c). We might also note that the sending of the 144000 [12 X 12000] parallels the sending of the 12 disciples and that the sending of the whole nation of Israel parallels the sending of the 70 [7 X 10 ? showing completeness]
5). We have seen from the account of Rahab that the Jewish spies find a place of refuge and safety in the house of a Gentile woman and we have previously seen that Rahab gives this protection because of that which she has believed. Now if we go back to what she told the spies - For we have heard ? we will realize that she was not the only one in Jericho who was aware of what God had done and was therefore about to do ? but she is the only one, along with her family, who believed and then acted in a positive way. Because of her actions she was rewarded with life within the Theocratic Kingdom ? but not so for the others as the scripture records they were all slain with the edge of the sword.
a). The 144000 in like manner to the spies will only find a place of refuge and safety with individual Gentiles amongst the Gentile nations to whom they go with the gospel of the Kingdom.
b). Antichrist will be determined to annihilate those bringing the message and those receiving it, as well as the nation of Israel as a whole, the firstborn son to whom the message points.
c). To give safety and protection to any Jew during this time would be a death sentence for anyone found doing so.
d). There will then be eternally saved Gentiles on the earth like Rahab who would rather risk death at the hands of Antichrist than turn against the people of God ? thereby turning against God Himself. And there will also be those eternally saved Gentiles on the earth who will fear losing their own life more than they will fear God who will refuse to offer safety and protection to the Jews.
e). And just as we see Rahab brought out from the city following the city?s destruction thereby being granted life in the Theocratic Kingdom, so in the future day, following the overthrow of Gentile world power, all eternally saved Gentiles from every nation will be brought out and gathered together for judgment with respect to life or death in relation to Christ?s Kingdom.
6). It is this gathering together of all the eternally saved Gentiles from every nation, tribe, tongue and people, who are still alive on the earth following the destruction of Gentile world power, that Christ speaks of in ?
Mt 25:31 ? "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
a). What we see straight away here is that a division is made between those who will receive an inheritance and those who won?t.
b). And again straight away we will realize that an inheritance is only something that may be obtained within the family and therefore both the sheep and the goats must represent the eternally saved the only ones in a position to receive an inheritance.
c). Not only this, but it is also only the eternally saved who are judged prior to the Millennial Kingdom ? all the eternally lost are all judged together at the Great White Throne at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ.
d). Then if we continue with the Lord?s account here in Matthew we will see the basis upon which ?the sheep? will ?inherit the Kingdom? ?
Mt 25:35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
e). What is judged here of course is works, as works form the basis of all judgment, but these are works of a specific nature, works with regards to the treatment of the Jewish people in the midst of the time when they are hated and persecuted beyond measure.
f). And these works, following the type given by Rahab, are done ?By Faith?.
g). And in the treatment of the Jewish people here Christ considers this to be treatment given to Him personally - 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
h). From God?s perspective then it is as if these eternally saved Gentiles had ministered to Christ in the days when He was hated and persecuted beyond measure.
i). But, for those eternally saved Gentiles alive on the earth who did not exercise faith in this way there is condemnation - Mt 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "And these will go away into everlasting[age-lasting] punishment, but the righteous into eternal[age-lasting] life."
j). It is clear then that this group of the eternally saved had the opportunity to minister to Jews, by faith, in the midst of their persecution, but didn?t do so, instead turned back, showing unbelief.
k). And again, from God?s perspective, this is seen as a refusal to minister to Christ Himself.
l). This group then receives no inheritance in the Millennial Kingdom; they do not have ?life? for the age to come and all of this is described as going ?into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels?.
m). And both the ?sheep? and the ?goats?, just as we saw with Rahab, find themselves the recipients of the promise given to Abraham ?
Come, you blessed of My Father - Depart from Me, you cursed ?
Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;
7). And then just as we find Rahab in the lineage of David the king, showing her connection with regality because of her faith, so must an inheritance in the Kingdom for the ?sheep? speak of a connection with rulership after some fashion, because of their faith. Scripture does not specify after what fashion and so anything we would say about it would be pure speculation. But, what we can say for certain is that any connection to a position of rulership for them will be with regards to rulership on the earth and not in the heavens and will relate specifically to the Gentile nations still on the earth, not to Israel.
a). Rulership from the New Jerusalem in the heavenly realm over the earth is clearly delineated in the scriptures and is divided into 2 groups ? there will be those who will rule over Israel and there will be those who will rule over the Gentile nations, with Christ ruling over all, but these groups do not include ?the sheep? from the ?sheep and goats? judgment.
b). With respect to rulership and Israel from the heavenly realm we would firstly see David - Jer 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.
c). David in resurrection will sit on his own throne in Jerusalem on the earth ? however David is also a prophet and according to - Lu 13:28 "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
29 "They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God [Kingdom of the heavens].
d). According to the scripture the prophets will have a part in the heavenly realm of the Kingdom ? and so the scriptures clearly place David in both the earthly and the heavenly realms. In this David?s rule will follow that of Christ who will also rule in both realms of the Kingdom ? from David?s throne in Jerusalem and His own throne in the New Jerusalem.
e). After David would come the 12 Apostles as Christ had promised recorded in - Mt 19:28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the
regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
f). The 12 Apostles receive their authority from the Lord and would seemingly occupy positions of rulership over the 12 tribes directly under David - Eze 37:24 "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.
g). Next would come the OT saints ? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the rest who qualified, by faith, to rule from the heavens. These will all return to the land to receive that given to them as an ?everlasting possession?; who will then have a part in the ?better resurrection? that we find in Hebrews 11:25. And presumably this group will rule directly under David as well.
8). Rule over the Gentile nations from the heavenly places is given to faithful Christians, those who make up the Bride of Christ as we see promised in ?
Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
a). Christians who have qualified to rule will occupy various positions of power and authority as we see recorded in Luke Chapter 19 [10 cities ? 5 cities]
b). Next we would see the 144000 Jewish witnesses. The 12 who proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom to Israel for about 3 ? years at Christ?s first coming, as we have seen, will occupy positions over Israel. The 144000 who will proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentile nations for a comparable period of time immediately before Christ?s second coming will occupy positions directly under Christ over the gentile nations ?
Re 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.
c). After this would come the Tribulation martyrs. We might assume that their rule would be from the heavens although this is not specifically stated. What is said about them is - Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.