Wednesday, February 28, 2018

eschatology, Until the End, the Unshakable Kingdom (Heb.6-13)

Hebrews 6 begins by explaining that if we truly believe, we cannot lose our salvation because of Christ's work on the cross;  so for those who are believers and stray away from the faith, they still cannot lose their salvation, but all their "good" works are worthless and are burned away.  And to return to Christ simply requires a change of heart.  In other words, we cannot become a Christian twice!  Jesus only had to pay for all sins once!  To think otherwise, is to diminish the power of God.

God keeps His promises, just as He has not forgotten about the Israelites and their covenants...

(Hebrews 6:13-20) For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7 then explains how the Law (the Mosaic covenant) did not save, but revealed our sins;  therefore Jesus came to earth to establish a better covenant, which saves us and forgives our sins, thereby fulfilling the Mosaic covenant...

(Hebrews 7:18-28)  For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him,
The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever’”);
22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Because of the new covenant through Christ, believers live in Christ and take on His righteousness, therefore we are seen as obedient through Jesus' perfect obedience.  So when the Israelites become believers during the Tribulation, they will obtain Christ's perfect obedience, and therefore will see their Abrahamic and Davidic covenants fulfilled in the Millennium...

(Hebrews 8:7-13)  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says,
Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;  for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.
12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

Because of the new covenant through Christ, we are saved for eternity because our debt has been pardoned - for all people of all ages must die and must be judged.  Jesus only came once in order to pay for our debts.  The second time He comes will be to collect those who are saved.  For us, this will be at the rapture.  For those who become believers during the Tribulation will be when Jesus gathers them together after the battle of Armageddon to bring them into the Millennium...

(Hebrews 9:23-28)  Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Right now Jesus waits in heaven until the time of His Second Coming at the battle of Armageddon, and then He will set up the Millennial kingdom...

(Hebrews 10:11-18) Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:  I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,”
He then says,
17 And their sins and their lawless deeds will remember no more.”
18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Everything "shake-able" will pass away;  but all believers will inherit an unshakable kingdom...

(Hebrews 12:25-29)  See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Today's takeaway:  after reading the scriptures above, we should know - without a doubt - that we cannot lose our salvation.  As believers we have been adopted into an unshakable kingdom!  With an eternal, all-powerful Savior!  We can be VERY confident in Him,,,

(Hebrews 10:19-25)  Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:35-39)  Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37 For yet in a very little whileHe who is coming will come, and will not delay.
38 But My righteous one shall live by faith;  and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

(Hebrews 13:1-8)  Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say,
The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What will man do to me?”
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

(Hebrews 13:20-21)  Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

eschatology, In These Last Days (Heb.1-4)

The book of Hebrews begins with a recap of Jesus and His work.  Firstly, He was there in the beginning and created all things.  Secondly, it mentions Jesus' ministry on earth.  Then thirdly, after His work on the cross, Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at God's right hand...

(Hebrews 1:1-5)  God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels did He ever say,
You are My Son, today I have begotten You”?
And again,

will be a Father to Him and He shall be a Son to Me”?

Fourthly, one day, Jesus will bring the firstborn into the world.  This is referring to the His Second Coming.  At that time, Jesus will come down from heave to earth - with all His angels (as well as with all those believers who have been raptured and have been given heavenly bodies).

All unbelievers will be removed form the earth, and all demons will be locked up for a thousand years.  And because of that, right at that point, only believers will be left on earth - who will all worship God.  And, only angels will be left - who will all worship Jesus...

(Hebrews 1:6-7) And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
And let all the angels of God worship Him.”
And of the angels He says,
Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.”

Fifthly, Jesus is eternal and has the ultimate victory, and all believers will share in that victory for all eternity in heaven...

(Hebrews 1:8-12)  But of the Son He says,
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;  therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.”
10 And,
You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands;
11 They will perish, but You remain;  and they all will become old like a garment,
12 And like a mantle You will roll them up;  like a garment they will also be changed.  But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.”

Now we go into a recap of mankind's  story.  Firstly, when we were created, we were created a little lower than the angels.  Our earthly bodies do not have the same capabilities as a spiritual being.  But we were given the responsibility of taking care of everything created on earth.

Secondly, verse 8 explains that we lost our dominion over the earth because of sin...

(Hebrews 2:6-8)  But one has testified somewhere, saying,
What is man, that You remember him?  Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him?
You have made him for a little while lower than the angels;  You have crowned him with glory and honor,  and have appointed him over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

Thirdly, because of our sin, Jesus came to earth in flesh in order to redeem us, so that - fourthly - mankind will be able to one day rule the earth again with success - in the Millennium, alongside Jesus, fulfilling the Abrahamic and David covenants...

(Hebrews 2:9-18)  But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angelsnamely, Jesusbecause of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying,
will proclaim Your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.”
13 And again,
will put My trust in Him.”
And again,
Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”
14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Today's takeaway:  God never gives up!  Below it says, "He again fixes a certain day..."  Which is really - "TODAY!"  In THESE last days - - - we do not know how long we have on earth, so for each one of us - today is the day.

Below we have some powerful verses.  In verses 4:11-13, we are challenged and told what God expects of us - and He sees everything!  Nothing is hidden!

And then in verses 4:14-16, we are comforted by the good news!  Jesus is our Advocate!  He has experienced every sort of temptation yet WITHOUT SIN.  Therefore, He understands everything we might possibly be going through!  As well, He is able and desires to help us get through everything!

And let's be very clear here though - God wants us to enter into His REST!!!  Why do we resist that???  Why would we not want that???  Lord, I'm so very tired from trying to do things in my own strength!  As well, I struggle to find my own rest!  Help me find and experience Your rest!  Then, help me find and experience Your strength to do what I must!...

(Hebrews 4:1-16)  Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.