Message NotesHebrews ? Part 74 Page 1
Sunday February 3rd 2013
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Seventy Four
1). Heb 12:25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." 27 Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
a). When God shook the earth and spoke in an audible voice at Mt. Sinai He had already established Israel as His firstborn son and had overthrown the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Those nations other than Israel were put on notice so to speak that it would be Israel alone who would be the preeminent nation in the earth holding the scepter of rulership.
b). However, from our scripture and our previous studies we know that Israel refused Him who spoke, an attitude of heart and mind that existed throughout their generations even to the time of Christ?s first advent -
Joh 5:46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
c). Because of the nation?s continued refusal to hear, Israel was progressively taken into captivity, first with the northern 10 tribes by the Assyrians and finally, making their captivity complete, the southern 2 tribes by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar and it is at this point in time that the glory departs the temple, the Theocracy ends and the scepter of rulership passes from Israel to the Gentiles and the times of the Gentiles begins.
d). This period of time, ?the times of the Gentiles?, is pictured through the use of figurative language describing the great image seen in Nebuchadnezzar?s dream, recorded in - Da 2:32 "This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 "its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the
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gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
e). What we see here are 4 ?Babylonian? kingdoms that must come to pass before the ?great mountain? fills ?the whole earth? and everything in this image focuses on the Gentiles and Babylon on the one hand and the Jews and Jerusalem on the other.
f). And then the specific timeframe for this, as it relates to the Jewish people, is given through Daniel?s prophecy of the 70 weeks - Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
g). And even though a remnant of the nation returned to the land following the exile, this was not the time when the scepter of rulership would return to Israel therefore the Lord speaks through the prophet Haggai concerning a future day when it will and it is Haggai?s prophecy that is quoted in v26 of Hebrews 12 - Hag 2:4 'Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,' says the LORD; 'and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,' says the LORD, 'and work; for I am with you,' says the LORD of hosts. 5 'According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!' 6 "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 'and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts. 8 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' says the LORD of hosts. 9 'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD of hosts."
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h). Despite Israel?s refusal to hear that which God had spoken about the nation and His purpose for Man through them still remains immovable ?
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
i). And so then, as we have seen, at the time of Israel?s complete exile when the southern 2 tribes are taken into captivity, the scepter of rulership passes from Israel to the Gentile nations, the times of the Gentiles begins; this time continues today and will only come to its conclusion with the repentance of Israel and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom following the shaking of heaven and earth prophesied by Haggai ? when the final form of Gentile world power, the 4th ?Babylonian? kingdom, the world wide kingdom of Antichrist, will be utterly destroyed for all time.
j). And this is the very same thing the Lord speaks of in ?
Lu 21:23 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 "men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. 27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
2). Re 6:1 ? Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
a). The beginning of Revelation Chapter 6 takes us to the events of the first 3 ? years of the Tribulation, when having made a covenant with Israel, just as we see in Daniel - Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week ? the Antichrist sets about establishing world domination under his rule.
b). Having established his worldwide kingdom he then turns against Israel - But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate ?
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The same thing that we see described by the Lord in Luke Chapter 21 and again in ? Re 6:3 ? When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
c). With the opening of the first 4 seals on the 7 sealed scroll, with the accompanying horse and rider, we see a progressive and shocking deterioration of conditions on the earth such as have never been seen before in the whole of human history, all of which come about through the downward spiral of governance within Antichrist?s worldwide kingdom.
d). As He has done before, so we see Him doing again recorded in the scriptures ? God steps into the affairs of Man?s Day to overthrow Man?s wickedness and assert His will and purpose.
3). Re 6:12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake [shaking]; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
a). Here then with the opening of the 6th seal is the ?great shaking? prophesied by Haggai and referenced in Hebrews Chapter 12.
b). And as a result of the shaking of ?heaven? we see the sun becoming black, the moon becoming like blood and the stars falling to earth.
c). And as a result of the shaking of ?the earth? we see ?every mountain and island? moved out of its place.
d). And the shaking of both these realms is inextricably connected as ?the heavens do rule? and so we are looking here not only at the complete collapse of Gentile world power on the earth but also the angelic forces behind this power in the heavens - Hag 2:22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots And those who ride in them; The horses and their riders shall come down, Every one by the sword of his brother.
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e). Isa 24:19 The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again. 21 It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth. 22 They will be gathered together, As prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished. 23 Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously.
4). Ge 1:14 ? Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
Re 1:1 ? The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
a). As we had seen last week reference to the sun, moon and stars, particularly in Revelation Chapter 6, is to be taken figuratively and not literally ? they are used metaphorically to picture something else that is literal.
b). The sun in this instance would represent the supreme governing authority on the earth, that upon which everything else depends and within this context it would be Antichrist?s kingdom.
c). With this in mind look what we find in - Ge 15:12 ? Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." 17 ? And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates- 19 "the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 "the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 "the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
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d). This whole incident recorded in Genesis Chapter 15 then is not just history, but also typology. There are echoes of God descending on Mt. Sinai to establish the old covenant, but more particularly a foreshadowing of the new covenant to be made with Israel following Israel?s repentance after ?the sun went down and it was dark? - and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair.
5). So then, as Gentile world power with its angelic base is shaken, the sun, which represents the supreme authority of this power is seen to become black ? that which gave light, in the sense of direction and control no longer does so.
a). The reference to ?sackcloth of hair? draws from the use of this material, which was made from goats? hair or black camel hair, as a means of demonstrating despair and calamity - Ge 37:34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.
b). In conjunction with the darkening of the sun in despair and calamity ?the moon became like blood?. Within the context of Gentile world power the moon would represent a secondary authority under Antichrist, a secondary authority which relied upon ?the sun? for its ?light?. And the darkness that comes through the downward spiral of Antichrist?s kingdom into chaos is pictured from another perspective through the reference to blood. Now blood is seen in scripture to demonstrate both life and death, but within this picture death is the only possible interpretation - Re 6:8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death,
c). Then within the same framework we see ?the stars of heaven?, picturing another level of authority, also dependent upon ?the sun?, falling to earth - 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;
d). And so, within that associated with the heavens, as a result of the great shaking, we see darkness, death and falling ? further described in ?
Re 6:14 Then the heavens [referring to rulership from the heavens] receded as a scroll when it is rolled up.
e). Then within that seen associated with the earth we are told that ? ?every mountain and island was moved out of its place.?
f). And just as with the sun, the moon and the stars, the mountains and islands are also to be understood figuratively and not literally; and they must be seen in conjunction with the power and authority depicted through the celestial imagery of the sun, moon and stars.
g). Mountains as we know represent kingdoms and within the realm of power and authority exercised by Antichrist these mountains would represent the 10 kingdom confederacy through which he rules the world - Re 17:12 "The
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ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 "These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
h). The islands are part of these kingdoms and represent centers of trade and commerce - Eze 27:3 "and say to Tyre, 'You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands [lit. Isles].
i). Both ?the mountains? and ?the islands? would be dependent upon ?the sun? and as the governance of the world under Antichrist plunges into chaos so that which is dependent upon it is dislodged and moved out of its place, again giving the idea of collapse - Re 18:10 "standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' 11 "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: 12 "merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 "and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. 14 "The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.
j). Here then is economic meltdown and governmental collapse the like of which will make the present economic woes of the world seem as nothing.
k). And of course governmental chaos and economic meltdown do not exist in a vacuum but directly affect everyone associated with them ?
Re 6:15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
l). The description at the beginning of v15 is all inclusive, encompassing all, from the ?kings of the earth? to ?every slave and free man?. As anarchy, chaos and terror engulf the earth so those on it look for safety ? this safety being pictured through ?safe? places, ?the caves and the rocks?. But we will note that ?the caves and the rocks? are ?of the mountains? ? they are looking then to the governing authority, now in a state of utter collapse to save them, they are looking to all that which previously gave them security and stability ?
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however, no such help and no such security and stability is possible ? ?For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?? ? Answer, ?No one?.
m). There is no escape from the Judgment of the Lord ? as God steps into the affairs of Man?s Day once again, His will and His purpose are irresistible. And this of course is the very circumstance that we have seen prophesied at the beginning of Psalm 2 - Ps 2:1 ? Why do the nations [Gentiles] rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
n). And this is the same circumstance that is also graphically described by Isaiah - Isa 13:6 ? Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man's heart will melt, 8 And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames. 9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. 11 "I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger.
o). This is a situation so extreme that even the Lord Himself draws particular attention to it - Mt 24:21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
6). Heb 12:27 Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
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a). Now the Lord?s shaking of the earth and also heaven is for the purpose of removing or changing that which is being shaken ? Gentile world power along with the angelic powers that orchestrate it are utterly destroyed, leaving only those things which cannot be shaken. And that which cannot be shaken is given to us in v28, it is ?a kingdom?, it is the Kingdom ? the Millennial Kingdom of Christ ? this is the stone pictured in Daniel Chapter 2 which strikes the image and becomes a great ?mountain? filling the whole earth.
b). Rulership on the earth will now come to those for whom it was always intended, Christ and repentant Israel and will go forth from Jerusalem, and from the heavenly realm rulership will go forth from Christ and His co-heirs from the New Jerusalem. A complete change in the government of the earth will have taken place ? just as God had promised in Genesis 3:15 ? prophesied here in - Mic 4:1 ? Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.
2 Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
c). And God?s governance during the Millennium and beyond can never be shaken - Re 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.
1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Re 21:1 ? Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Re 22:3 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.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
d). And so, as we are receiving this Kingdom that cannot be shaken, as it is to be ours by inheritance, provided we do not turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, then we are admonished to have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
e). And if we don?t, we are reminded - For our God is a consuming fire.
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Ex 24:16 Now the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
7). We will continue next time ? if the Lord is willing.