HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Book of Hebrews
Theme: Christ is superior to Joshua; Christ is superior to the Levitical priesthood
Second Peril: doubting: Heb.3:7-Heb.4:2
In the first two verses of chapter 4 we have a continuation of the warning about doubting which was given in chapter 3.
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (KJV)
Let us therefore fear . . . we come to the first of 13 "Let us" in this Book of Hebrews. The writer urges the Hebrew believers to continue on with the Lord. He is constantly challenging them. Let us therefore fear, not with terror, but with godly fear and trembling (Phil.2:12). Since so many have fallen in days gone by, we have cause to fear (Heb.3:17-19). I think the writer is speaking of a good fear, not with a fear of wrath and damnation; nor with a fear of distrust of the power, grace, and goodness of God; but with a cautious fear, a godly wariness, a careful caution, and watchfulness,
Lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest . . . I think this means the land of Canaan, the type of Heaven. There is a rest of the body in the grave, from work, service and labor, and from pains and diseases, where it rests under the guardianship of the Spirit, until resurrection morning. And there is a rest of the soul before the resurrection, in the arms of Christ, with whom it immediately is, upon its departure from the body (2 Cor.5:6,8), and there is a rest both of soul and body after the resurrection, from sin, from afflictions, from Satan's temptations, from unbelief, doubts, from fears, and from all enemies. Death, then what? . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_3.3.htm
Any of you should seem to come short of it . . . the writer is going to talk a lot about rest in this chapter. The word rest occurs eleven times here. There are several different kinds of rest, including Sabbath day or Creation rest, and Canaan rest. Here he speaks of Canaan rest. He is saying to believers, therefore fear . . . because you do not want to miss it. How many believers are missing rest today? Have you entered into rest? Do you know what it is to really trust Christ and rest in Him?
Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (KJV)
For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them . . . the Gospel is the good news and glad tidings of salvation by Christ. This is the rest of salvation, the rest of trusting Christ as Saviour.
But the word preached did not profit them . . . they heard the Gospel but did not believe it.
Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it . . . this verse could mean that the good news of rest produced no benefit to the rebellious Israelites, because they could not agree with Caleb and Joshua in their faith. They heard, but only with the ears, not with the heart.
The Gospel is spiritual food, and faith is the hand that receives it, takes it, tastes it, eats it, and digests it. This being the case, they sat down at the table but did not eat! Many people hear a tremendous sermon but it goes in one ear and out the other! The word preached did not profit them because it was NOT being mixed with faith in them that heard it. This is so sad!
Christ Is Superior to Joshua (Hebrews 4:3-13)
Moses led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but he was not permitted to lead them into Canaan (Num.20:12; Deut.34:1-12). Joshua led them into the land, but he could not give them rest. Many of them NEVER found rest . . . they never really laid hold of their possessions in the land. The world, the flesh, and the devil rob so many people of the blessings God has for them. We live in a hateful, mean, wicked world. This world knows nothing of God’s grace, and it certainly is NOT the friend of the TRUE children of God. Too bad that so many have not realized this yet.
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (KJV)
For we which have believed do enter into rest . . . the writer is discussing here salvation rest, the rest of trusting Christ.
I want you to think about the following: If you knew someone who claimed (professed) to be a Christian, and you really thought was a born-again believer, and he suddenly stopped living the Christian life and began acting like those of world . . . he stopped going to church and stopped participating in Christian activity, would you think that he had lost his salvation? What if YOU were that person . . . would you feel that you had lost your salvation?
I have been called a false teacher because I believe . . . ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED! To me, eternal life means ETERNAL! It means EVERLASTING! It means NO END to it! It means you cannot have it one minute and that next you have lost it!
IF a person is truly saved, and has believed God and accepted His only begotten Son as their Saviour and Lord, and have been baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:13; Tit.3:5-6), these have REST in their trust in Christ! IF you think you could lose your salvation, I have only one thing to say . . . you do NOT, in your mind and deep down in your heart, trust Christ. You believe that you must add something to your salvation, but that is NOT true! We are to trust Christ totally. Do NOT misunderstand me. I believe that if you are trusting Christ you are going to be doing those things, BUT doing those things has NOTHING in the world to do with your salvation. My dear friend, have you really entered into rest? See our OSAS article:
If you want more, see: . . . . . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/a_1_a_license_to_sin.htm
As he said, as I have sworn in wrath, if they shall enter into my rest . . . these words are in (Ps.95:11), and are before quoted in (Heb.3:11). I think the meaning of this Passage is that God made a Promise of rest to those who believe. The people to whom this offer was first made, failed. They did NOT enter the Promised Land. Please consider this dear one . . . that the offer extended to others that followed them, since God planned that some should enter in, or that it should NOT be provided in vain. To them it was a solemn declaration that unbelievers would NOT enter in, and this implied that believers would enter in.
Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world . . . the rest into which God will enter with His redeemed people is not that which succeeded the works of creation. This caution is added because the words used by David in Psalm 95:11, and result from Gen.2:2-3. Although the same words are used, yet, the thought is widely different. The next two verses simply expand and support the thought contained in this: we read in one Scripture that God ‘rested’ on the seventh day, another records His sentence on the disobedient people, ‘They shall not enter into My rest.’
Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. (KJV)
For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, and God did rest the seventh day from all his works . . . Moses, the writer of that Book spoke, rather God by him (Gen.2:2; Ex.31:17). The writer quotes these verses, because they show that the seventh-day rest is rightly called God’s rest, and that the seventh-day rest was observed from the Creation of the world. God ceasing from His works of Creation is called his resting from all his works, because, according to our way of thinking, God had exerted an immeasurable power in creating the worldly system.
Hebrews 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. (KJV)
And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest . . . in (Ps.95:11), he speaks again of another rest, different from that of the seventh day rest . . . that is, the rest of Canaan, to be entered about three thousand years after the first one. This is called God’s rest: #1. Because, after the Israelites got possession of that country, God rested from His work of leading them; #2. Because they were there to observe God’s Sabbaths, and to perform His worship free from the fear of their enemies (Lk.1:74).
Seeing therefore it remained that some must enter . . . it is clear that besides the rest of God from the foundation of the world, and a seventh-day Sabbath rest as a pledge, there was yet another rest, which some persons were to enter into, that being the rest in the land of Canaan; this was published and offered by Moses in the wilderness. They entered not in because of unbelief (Heb.3:19). Besides the two times of rest mentioned, that of the Creation and of Canaan, God afterward, through David in this Psalm, speaks of another, that the Holy Ghost specifies and appoints another determined time or season of rest besides those mentioned. After they had entered into the rest of Canaan, and had possessed it for about five hundred years, he yet again calls upon them to seek after another rest. ‘Therefore’ (another swinging door), means to look back and ahead to what shall be said . . . there is another rest besides that of Canaan.
The writer of Hebrews proves that after the original rest at the Creation, there was a second rest promised and suggested to the people of God, that being in Canaan . . . but yet neither of these was that the rest intended in the place of the Psalm; but a third rest, which still remained for them, and was now offered to them, and that under the same promises and warnings with the other, that is, to be: #1. Conferred on obedient believers, and #2. Withheld from the unbelieving and disobedient. God does NOT change!
Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: (KJV)
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief . . . UNBELIEF robs you of the rest of salvation, robs you of the rest of contentment and blessing which only Almighty God can give you. Jesus made this rest for us possible, and it is this awesome rest that He wants to give to us! The Israelites in the wilderness, entered not in because of unbelief (Heb.3:19). BEWARE!!!
Unbelief: (Heb.3:12,19; 4:6,11).
Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (KJV)
Again he limiteth a certain day . . . since the seventh day of the Creation was a day of rest which God entered into, and not man; and since the land of Canaan was a symbolic rest, which the unbelieving Israelites did not enter into, because of unbelief; there must be some persons, and there must be a time for them to enter into the true rest which God has given a Promise of; therefore God has limited, fixed and appointed a certain day, the Gospel dispensation, for believers to enter into it.
Saying in David . . . God spoke by David, who was the author of the 95th Psalm, as may be learned from this, and agrees to, and confirms a rule which the Jews give, that those Psalms which are without a title were written by David. The Spirit of God spoke in David and by David, and plainly points out another day of rest from the above mentioned.
Psalm 95:7-11 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. (KJV)
To day, after so long a time . . . a certain day, a particular time; he mentions to day particularly, meaning in the time of David, he uses the word "to day," as if there was then an offer of rest, and as if it were then possible to enter into it. The object of the additional thought was to show that the offer of rest was NOT confined just to the Israelites, to whom it was first made; that David regarded it as existing in his day; and that man might even then be invited to come and partake of the rest that was promised. Nearly 500 years after the time when the Israelites were going to the Promised Land, and when the offer of rest was made to them, we hear David still speaking of rest. This rest which was offered in his time, and could then be lost by hardening the heart. Therefore, it could not be, that the offer of rest pertained just to the Promised Land. It has to be something after that. It has to be something existing in the time of David. It has to be an offer of Heaven. We must consider that there WAS a rest spoken of long after the offer of the Promised Land, and that all the Promises of God could not have applied to just that.
Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (KJV)
For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day . . .
that is, God, in David's time, and by him, would NOT have so long afterwards appointed another day of rest; meaning, not any particular day of the week, but the time of the whole Gospel dispensation, in the times of the Messiah; wherefore the writer concludes as follows.
Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (KJV)
There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God . . . NOT all mankind; NOT just the Jews only; but instead, the TRUE people of God, BOTH Jews and Gentiles, red, yellow, black, white, brown, etc. In the New Testament, it is the people whom God has loved with a special love, has chosen in Christ, and given to Him (Jn.10:25-30). Here the writer projects into the future when all the TRUE people of God are going to find a heavenly rest. Heaven will be a place of deep satisfaction, real joy and real blessing. Dear one, There does remain a perfect rest to ALL the TRUE children of God.
See end of this chapter for TRUE children of God.
Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (KJV)
For he that is entered into his rest . . . I do not think this refers to believers, nor of their entrance into the Gospel rest, or into eternal rest, but to the Lord Jesus Christ, because a single person is only spoken of, and not many, as in verse 3, and the rest entered into is his own, which cannot be said of any other. He ceased from His works, and rested the seventh day, which can only agree with Jesus, and too, Christ is directly spoken of, and in general described in verses 12-14. Now He entered into his rest, NOT when He was laid in the grave, but when He rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God, having finished His work on the cross . . . this being the basis and foundation of the saints' rest under the Gospel dispensation. When TRUE believers believe in faith, they rest in Christ!
He also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his . . . Christ Jesus had work to do, such as preaching the Gospel, performing miracles, and obtaining the redemption and salvation of His people. These jobs were given to Him to do, and He assumed the responsibility of them, and He had completely finished them. So, ceasing from them, He never has to repeat them again, for they were done effectually, so as He could take delight and satisfaction in them. Just as God ceased from the works of Creation, when He had finished them, He rested; so too Jesus ceased from His works of redemption and salvation! He never has to repeat them again, because His work was once for all (Heb.10:10).
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (KJV)
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief . . . I think the utmost satisfaction that can ever come to a TRUE child of God is that he is in the will of God, willingly serving Him and just resting in Him. Trusting God in faith is an awesome place to be! We need to learn that there is great contentment sitting at Jesus' Feet. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest. . . . Question: Do we really have to labor to enter into rest? YES! You do! We must win a war before we can have peace. We have to have a victory before we can have peace. When we work at something, is there not great satisfaction in what we have done? We need to lay hold of God in prayer and in faith, and be obedient to Him. We need to be used of Him. Oh, my Christian friend, let us labor toward that end.
Lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief . . . what is it that can rob you of that rest that is promised? UNBELIEF! We must NOT be fearful and unbelieving (Rev.21:8). We must simply lean back and trust Him. How awesome He is! He most certainly is worthy of our trust. The SIN of unbelief leads where you do NOT want to go; that being God’s holy wrath and the punishment that follows. When the Israelites refused to believe God, their carcasses fell in the wilderness, and they entered not into God's rest, just as He swore they would not. TRUE believers may fall into sin, many times, and too, they may fall from a degree of the exercise of grace, and fall from their commitment to the Gospel . . . BUT . . . they CANNOT finally and completely fall away, because they are kept by the power of God (2 Cor.13:4). They may fall, they may come short, they may think they come short of enjoying the rest and peace of the Gospel state, but once a person is TRULY saved, they are ALWAYS saved. They will reach the eternal rest of Heaven, BUT their rewards may come up short! 1 Cor. 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (KJV)
Whereas FALSE children of God who are external professors only, may fall from the Gospel, and the religion they have professed, and come short of the glory they expected; and fall into the just and deserved punishment of Almighty God, the same as the unbelieving Israelites did. BEWARE!!!
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)
For the word of God is quick and powerful . . . the writer used the words like for, wherefore and therefore as cement to hold his argument together. The word of God . . . there are some who consider the "word" here NOT to be the written Word, but the Living Word who is the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the reference here is mainly to the written Word of God, for the written Word reveals Christ Jesus, and it reveals the Living Christ . . . but in reality, the reference here could be to both the written and living Word. Quick means living. The Word of God is living, is alive! Powerful means potent and energizing. The Word of God lives and it energizes us. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (KJV) . . . The Word here is Jesus! The written Word was given to mankind by Jesus. For the word of God is quick and powerful . . . Both the Living Person (Jesus) and the written Word of God are alive and powerful.
And sharper than any twoedged sword . . . it is a two edged sword, cutting the congregation and the preacher! It will cut the other guy, but it will also cut us. The Word of God is a two-edged sword, and it will penetrate. It has been said, "The Word of God will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Word of God." So many believers do NOT spend enough time in the Word of God, and neither do many preachers spend enough time in the Word of God.
Piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow . . . many people try to make a distinction between soul and spirit. I suggest that you forget it. ONLY the Word of God can divide the soul and spirit? We cannot do that. There are times in the Bible when soul and spirit are used identically, then there are other Passages where it is clear that the soul and spirit are separate and are NOT the same thing. Only the Word of God can divide soul and spirit. Of the joints and marrow . . . the Word can get right down even to this flesh of ours and make a distinction (Ps.32:3).
And is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart . . . Christ Jesus knows what is in us, for He is the searcher of the hearts, and the trier of the reins of the children of men; and this will be more and more obvious at the last day, when He will make clear the counsels of the heart, and will disapprovingly inquire, and accurately judge people. A discerner actually means "critic." We have SO today many critics of the Word of God. BUT, dear one, it is the Word of God that is the Critic that shall win in the end! (Jn.12:48). It criticizes you, and me! There is NO man anywhere that is in a position to sit in judgment on the Word of God.
The Lord Jesus said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Mat.15:19). A filthy list . . . but friend, that is what is in your heart and mine. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer.17:9). No man can know it, but God does. The Word of God gets down into the very deepest depths of our hearts.
Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (KJV)
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight . . . Christ is the Lord God is omniscient! There is NO creature, anywhere that is not known to Him, and seen by Him; for ALL creatures are made and upheld by Him. He is also omnipresent, and there is NO man anywhere that is not manifest to Him. All openly profane men, are enemies to Christ Jesus and His people, and all are under His watchful eye. He knows these people, He sees their actions, even those actions that are so secretly planned and performed against Him and His saints. These shall be brought into judgment for them, for He knows ceremonial professors of religion, and why they have taken up their profession, and how they keep their lusts with their profession. He sees between false and true.
And as for TRUE believers, He knows them to be His; He sees their sins and their weaknesses; He sees their graces, discerns their wants; and there is nothing in them, or belonging to them, that is before Him, even the secret desires of their souls He sees.
But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do . . . we cannot conceal anything from God. We do not need to let Him know our motives because He already knows it. He knows the thoughts of our heart, everything is wide open to Him. Your life is an open book to Him. Do you think we need to confess everything to Him? You may as well, because He already knows!
Christ Is Superior to the Levitical Priesthood
Beginning with verse 14 of this chapter through verse 28 of chapter 7, the writer of this Book is going to show that Christ is FAR superior to the Levitical priesthood. This was extremely important for Hebrew believers to understand, because they were accustomed to approaching God through their high priest of the Levitical order. These priests first served in the tabernacle in the wilderness, and then later in the Temple. It was only through these priests that the Jews made their commitment to God and brought their sacrifices to Him.
Our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)
The Hebrews now must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is now their Great High Priest. The writer was very concerned and passionate about the priesthood of Christ. In Hebrews 3:1, he said, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus". He wanted to get the people who were reading this Book, to immediately consider their High Priest (and ours). This will be the subject of much of the rest of this Book, and too, there will be application of this great Truth.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (KJV)
Seeing then that we have a great high priest . . . that Christ is a Priest, and a high priest, has been already observed (Heb.2:17; 3:1). He is referred to as priest 30 times in this Book. But here, He is called a great high priest, because of the majesty of His Person. Christ is our High Priest. The pagan idea of priesthood shades our thinking in reference to a priest. A pagan priest really bars the approach to God, claiming they possess some magical power needed to bring a person to God. A person had to go through this priest who claimed to have this particular access. That type of priest totally denies the finished work of Christ and the priesthood of all believers. We all need a priest because we have a deficiency! We need help. Christ is that Mediator, that Priest, through whom EVERY believer has personal access to God. See Matthew 27:51 for the importance of the Temple veil being rent from top to bottom:
That is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God . . . the Lord Jesus Christ was NOT a priest while He was here on the Earth. The only mention in the Bible of Jesus ever making any kind of sacrifice was the time He told Simon Peter to catch a fish and take the piece of money out of its mouth (Mat.17:27), that He might pay a necessary Temple tax from which the priests were exempt. I think, He did that, to make it very clear that He was not a priest here on earth. To be a priest you had to be born in the line of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. The Lord Jesus was a member of the tribe of Judah. He was not in the priestly line. He was in the kingly line. When He was here on earth He came as a Prophet speaking for God. But, when He went back to Heaven, He went as a Priest to represent us to God. He became a Priest when He ascended into Heaven. He died down here on Earth to save us, and He lives up there to keep us saved. It is true that when He was here He offered Himself upon the Cross, and that is the function of a priest, but to be a priest to represent you and me He had to wait until He returned to Heaven.
Christ Jesus holds a threefold office: #1. He was a Prophet when He came over nineteen hundred years ago . . . that is the past; #2. He is a Priest today . . . that is for the present; and #3. He is coming someday to rule as a King . . . that is for the future. He holds all three of these offices, and He is the Great Subject of this Letter to the Hebrews.
Let us hold fast our profession . . . profession could be confession. The writer is challenging us, to us to hang in there! The writer does not say, "Let us hold fast our salvation," because he is NOT talking about our salvation, but about our testimony, what we witness down here in this life. He is talking about our living for Christ Jesus. Christ died down here to save us, and He lives up in Heaven to keep us saved and to enable and empower us witness for Him. NONE of us can live the Christian life without the help of Jesus! We cannot do it in our own strength, but dear one, He does not ask us to! He is there for us, He never leaves us, He never forsakes us, ever (Heb.13:5).
When we come to chapter 11 we will see a roll call of the heroes of the faith which shows what faith has done in the lives of men and women in all ages. All of those listed there had a good profession, a good confession, a good witness for Jesus! Theirs was a good witness through faith. They lived by faith, as we should.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (KJV)
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities . . . it is possible that the nation of Israel felt the death of Aaron was of greater importance than the death of Moses. Aaron was their great high priest. Aaron could sympathize with them. But when Aaron died, they probably wondered whether that new priest, the son of Aaron, would understand. Would he be able to sympathize and to help? We have a Great High Priest who is always available, and He does understand. He was tested, and He was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." He knew what it was to hunger. He knew what it was to be touched with sorrow, Jesus wept! (Jn.11:35). He was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities . . . yet without sin.
But was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin . . . there was NO sin in Jesus’ nature; even though He was surrounded with infirmities, yet NOT with sinful infirmities, only SINLESS ones. There was NO sin in any of His temptations; even though He was tempted by Satan himself! But that old devil could find NO place in Jesus to work upon; nor could he get Jesus to fall for any sin. (Heb.2:18). Some day we will have bodies like Jesus that will NEVER sin again! (1 Cor.15:42-44,48-54; Phil.3:21). Thank You Jesus!
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace . . . to me boldly means with confidence. WHY can we come to God’s Throne of grace boldly? Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (KJV) . . . we can go to God in prayer with confidence and speak freely to Him because we have been justified by faith in Jesus! Justified = just as if I never sinned. Declared not guilty in the courts of Heaven. I can tell Him things that I cannot tell you. He understands me. He knows my every weakness. My dear friend, JESUS IS GOD! I can come to Him in worship and with reverence. I am free to speak, because He is also a Man. He is God, but He is a Man, and I can come to Him with great freedom. I can tell Him what is on my heart. I can open my heart to Him. We must come to Him being open and sincere. We can go to the Throne of grace and plead to either God the Father, in Jesus’ Name, or we can go directly to the Lord Jesus Christ because He IS God! http://www.godcannotlie.org/is_jesus_god.htm
The result of coming to the Throne of grace is,
That we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need . . . the sure mercies of David, the blessings of the everlasting covenant (Heb.13:20), especially His pardoning mercy, and the fresh application of it daily, and every other blessing of grace that we need. We do have a reason to expect it, since there is mercy with God; and it is with Christ Jesus, as the Head of the covenant, and it is prepared and ready for those that ask for it; and it has been obtained by many, and is everlasting! We need mercy. And we need a lot of it. Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (KJV) . . . Dear one, we are redeemed by the mercy of God.
Have you been to His Throne of grace today? What did you tell Him? Or did you just demand something? Demanding will NOT get it done! May I say to you, tell Him that you love Him. Tell Him that you appreciate all the wonderful things He has done for you! Thank Him! Confess your sins to Him! You might as well confess them because he already knows what you have done! Go to Him with humility and sincerity. Go to Him with confidence and freedom, talk to Him as if He were sitting next to you. There is mercy and grace to help in time of need.
TRUE Children of God
Some of the scariest verses in the Bible are Jesus’ words in: Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)
Only God knows what is in human hearts, so we have to be very cautious when we decide if someone is a TRUE or false child of God. Sometimes we don’t even know our own hearts, so how can we possibly know someone else’s heart?
- FALSE children of God follow Satan and his evil ways because they have not been born of God (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8).
- TRUE children of God love Jesus and obey Him because they have been born of God, and are adopted into the family of God (Rom.8:15-17,23; 2 Cor.6:18; Gal.4:5-7; Eph.1:5).
FALSE CHILDREN OF GOD
***** False children of God think that they are following God, but they are actually following Satan and his evil ways. What makes this really scary is that these Jews who were actually children of the devil (1 Jn.3:10) were very religious people, and they PROFESSED to believe in Jesus. These Jews professed to believe in the God of Abraham and outwardly they were zealous for their religion. But Jesus plainly tells them above that they were deceived. They were in Satan’s corner. There are millions of FALSE children of God today, both Jew and Gentile!
They PROFESS to be Christians, but they do NOT have Christ in their heart and life.
***** False children of God depend on their religion (denominations) to put them in good standing with God. These Jews were counting on their Jewish heritage and religion to put them in right standing with God. The apostle Paul did the same thing when he was a Pharisee
***** False children of God are deceived into thinking that they really are children of God, but all the while their actions, their lifestyle, their speech, really show them to be children of the devil. John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. (KJV)
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (KJV)
***** False children of God make every effort to eliminate Christ and His Word from their lives because they do NOT want to hear the Truth about their sin. These Jews were seeking to kill Jesus because His Word had no place in them (Jn.8:37). John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (KJV) . . . It is the same today! People do NOT want any part of Jesus or His Gospel. The TRUTH threatens them because it exposes their sinful hearts. Do not think that it is just the wacky liberals that do this today, because there are some professing evangelicals who may be eliminating Christ and His Word from their lives because they do not want to hear the truth about their sin. One way to do this is simply neglecting the Word of God. People do NOT read it, and they do NOT obey what they do know. Another way people eliminate or dilute Christ’s Word so that they can do what they want, rather than what God wants, is listening to FALSE teachers and FALSE preachers who corrupt the Truth of the Word of God. They teach damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1), that are in direct opposition to God’s Holy Word! BEWARE!!! Yes! God is love (1 Jn.4:16) absolutely! BUT God is ALSO a God of wrath (Mat.25:41,46; Jn.3:36; Eph.5:6; Col.3:6).
***** False children of God attack or look down on those who convict them of sin. People want to divert the issue of sin away from their need to confront their own sin by accusing and pointing to others and their supposed faults. False children of God do not let God’s Word challenge their sins (Jn.3:19-21). TRUE believers allow the light of God’s Word to expose their sins so that they can repent of them, turn from them and grow in holiness.
***** False children of God are not able to understand or obey Jesus’ Word because they are not born of God (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8). The Bible is clear that because of sin, unbelievers cannot do anything that pleases God (Rom.8:8). They are unable to understand the Gospel or any other spiritual truth (1 Cor.2:14; 2 Cor.4:3-4). BUT God holds them responsible for their unbelief (Acts 2:23).
TRUE CHILDREN OF GOD
True children of God love Jesus and obey His Word because they have been born of God.
***** TRUE children of God give God’s Word the top place in their lives. This is the exact opposite of false believers (Jn.8:37). TRUE children of God wholeheartedly agree with the psalmist: Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (KJV)
***** TRUE children of God obey God’s Word. He that is of God heareth God's words (Jn.8:47). My friend, to hear God’s Word does NOT mean just to let the words go in one ear and out the other! The Pharisees did that. To hear God’s Word is to OBEY it! God is well pleased with obedience! Do YOU obey God?
***** TRUE children of God love Jesus. The Lord Jesus repeatedly asked Peter when He restored him, after his denials (Jn.21:15-17), “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” the apostle Paul also shows the importance of this. 1 Cor. 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJV) . . . This means cursed! LOVE is a heartfelt commitment, a pledge, to seek the highest good of the one loved. Love for Christ is a promise to seek His glory through any and all that I do. It involves my deep down feelings, in that I am very happy when I see my Lord honored and glorified. But the bottom line of biblical love is NOT feelings, it is the obligation to seek the highest good of Jesus! Have you made that commitment? Do you love Jesus enough to forsake your sin?
***** TRUE children of God love Jesus and obey His Word because they have been born of God. John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (KJV) . . . At the heart of WHY false children of God are not able to understand or obey Jesus’ Word is that they are not of God. They are not born again into the family of God. But the flip side of the above Passage, “He that is of God heareth God's words” means being “born of God” through the new birth (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.4:16; Eph.2:15; 4:23-24; Col.3:10; Tit.3:5). The reason that TRUE children of God now love Jesus and obey His Word is that we have a new nature. The Spirit of God dwells in us (Jn.14:16-17; Rom.8:9), and opens up to us the treasures of God’s Word (1 Cor.2:9-10) to us. In reality, it is the new birth that sets us apart and separates the TRUE children of God from the false ones.
What words do you want to hear one day?
I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mat.7:23) . . . OR . . .
Well done, thou good and faithful servant. (Mat.25:21)
Judgment day is coming. You CANNOT hide from it! You shall stand before Judge Jesus one day! You will hear a version of one of the two phrases above. Which will it be? . . . 2 Cor. 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (KJV) . . . Make sure that you are a TRUE child of God!
Book of Hebrews
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch. 11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13. . Special Comments