Let’s turn now to Hebrews, chapter ten.
Now we have made mention how that there seems to be a bridge between each chapter, as he sort of carries the thought from the previous chapter through to the next chapter. In the ninth chapter, he is talking about the heavenly sanctuary.
In verse twenty-three, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; (So the tabernacle was only the pattern, the model, of heaven. It should be purified with the various sacrifices.) but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy place that is made with hands, (He didn’t enter into the temple here in the holy place of the temple, because that is only a figure of the true. It’s only a model of the true. But Jesus entered into heaven itself.) which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, (Of which this is a model.) now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Our great High Priest! He didn’t enter into the Holy of Holies with, you know, behind the veil, but He entered into Heaven itself to appear in the presence of God for us!) Nor yet that He should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others (Various sacrifices); For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Annually the high priest would offer the sin, the offering for the sin of the nation, year by year, on Yom Kippur.) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many (God laid on Him the iniquities of us all.); and unto them that look for Him (soon and very soon), shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
So he goes right in, For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, It is only a foreshadowing. It was a type of and it foreshadowed the good things to come. Paul, talking about the holy days, the sacrifices for the new moons, the sabbath days and all, he said that the things were a shadow of the things to come. The substance is Jesus! These were all foreshadowing Jesus and His sacrifice for us. So these were only a shadow of the things to come. They were not the very image of the things. They were just foreshadowing. They were speaking of that, which is to come.
And they can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. The law could only provide a covering for your sin. It couldn’t put away your sin! It could only give you a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God., who would take away the sins of the world. You remember when John announced Him, he said, behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world! Not covers the sin, but takes away the sins of the world. The sacrifices of the Old Testament, under the law, could not take away sin. They could not make you perfect.
2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? If the one sacrifice had been sufficient, then, why would they have to do it, year after year after year after year? If they could be perfect, if they were complete, would they not have then just ceased to be offered? They would have done it once and that would have been sufficient.
because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. Once your sins have actually been put away, you shouldn’t have a consciousness of your sins any longer.
3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. Actually they give you a constant reminder of your sin. They didn’t put away your sin, but only reminded you of how sinful you really are.
4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin. The Hebrew word is, kaphar. He shall make an atonement, in our English Bible, but in the Hebrew, he shall make a kaphar. And the word literally is a covering. Under the Old Testament sacrifices, their sins were covered. They were not put away. It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could put away sin. Thereby those who died under the law, the Old Testament saints, died in faith, as we will, the crossover into the next chapter. He is going to talk about all of these men of faith. They died in faith, but they didn’t receive the promise because it was impossible that their sins could be put away in the sacrifices of bulls and goats. The blood of bulls and goats could not put away sin. They could only cover the sin.
But Jesus, in His sacrifice, has put away our sins! Therefore it is not necessary for Him, every year, to be crucified. It is not necessary for His sacrifice to be made over and over again. His sacrifice is complete! It is perfect! It is sufficient! And once He gave Himself and for all! Never again will it be necessary for the Son of God to give Himself for sin! That is an accomplished fact! Once and for all!
5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Now this a quotation of Psalm 40:6-8. Let me read it out of Psalm and you read it out of Hebrews. You will notice a slight difference.
In Psalm 40:6-8, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”
Now you say, how come, when he is quoting from the Psalm, it is different from the Psalm itself? Most of the New Testament quotations from the Old Testament are taken from the Septuagint.
Two hundred and forty years before Jesus was born, when the Jews returned from their captivity, very few of them spoke Hebrew. Greek was the language of the world at that time because of Alexander the Great, spreading the Greek culture throughout the world. And so, Greek was the common language in the times of Jesus.
When they had returned from the Babylonian captivity, they actually were speaking, of course, the Babylonian language. Later, Greek became the universal language. And because the Jews could not read Hebrew, they could not read their own law. They could not read their prophets. They couldn’t read the Old Testament. So they felt that they needed to give the people the Scriptures in a language that they could read. So there were seventy scholars that set upon the task of translating the Hebrew into Greek. Septuagint is the seventy, referring to the seventy scholars. And they translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, so that the people could read the Scriptures for themselves because they could read Greek, but they didn’t know Hebrew. So possibly outside of Jesus and Paul, probably none of the other apostles even knew the Hebrew language. But because the people were acquainted with the Septuagint and knew the Greek Septuagint, most of the quotations in the New Testament come from the Greek Septuagint rather than the original Hebrew Scriptures.
Now, there is really no basic change in the meaning. Words sometimes are different. Mine ear hast Thou opened is the Septuagint. A body thou has prepared me is the Hebrew in the Psalms. But they basically, mean the same thing. As you take a look at the original Hebrew and the Septuagint, basically they mean the same thing. Mine ear hast Thou opened is a reference to the committing of yourself to the will of God as a bondslave.
You remember if a person had served out his allotted time as a slave and he said, well, I like it here. I really am quite satisfied. I have no place to go. The food is good. The wages are good. I mean I have a nice place. And I have borne children and all. I would like to just stay here. The master would bring you to the doorpost of the house. He would take an awl and he would pin your earlobe to the doorpost with the awl. He would drive the awl through the lobe of your ear, up against the doorpost. And then they would put the ring in your ear. That ring was a sign that you were a slave by choice. You were submitting to the will, by choice.
So Jesus, in the ear being pierced concept, is that He willingly submitted Himself to the will of the Father, especially in going to the cross and dying for our sins. So, when He came into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me (Or you have pierced my ear, in the Hebrew): In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book as it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Now 8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; It is interesting that in the Old Testament, God did speak of the fact that He really was not pleased with their sacrifices. He said, when you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not hear you because your hands are filled with blood.
1 Samuel 15:22, when Saul had been commanded of God to utterly wipe out the Amalekites, animals and everything else, when he brought back some of the finest sheep and cattle and brought back some of the people, Samuel came out to meet him. Saul greeted Samuel and said, as the Lord liveth, I’ve done everything the Lord commanded me to do. And Samuel said, if you’ve done everything the Lord has commanded you to do, how come I hear the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the cattle?
And he said, oh well, they were so nice, I thought I’d bring them back and offer them as a sacrifice to God. They were so wonderful. They would make great sacrifices. And Samuel answered, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken is better than the fat of rams! He said has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying His voice? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice and to listen unto God is better than the fat of rams.
What the people had come to do is just, the sacrifices became a ritual. They were no longer truly meaningful. They would go on and do their own thing, but then they would sacrifice to the Lord. But it didn’t go beyond that.
There are many people today that do their religious thing. They go to church on Christmas and Easter, or they go to church on Sunday morning and that’s their religious thing and once they’ve done that, that’s it. It’s a rote. It’s a pattern. It’s a habit. It isn’t really a meaningful gathering to come into contact with God!
And thus, with the Old Testament, they were offering the sacrifices, but it wasn’t a thing of the heart. They weren’t really living in obedience to God. They were doing their own thing, but faithful in sacrifice. But the Lord says, look, it’s better to obey than to sacrifice. God would rather have you obedient to Him, than offering sacrifices. And to listen to God is better than offering the fat of rams.
In Psalms 51:16, after David had sinned, after he had gone into Bathsheeba and that whole nasty episode. When faced with his guilt, he confessed. And then he prayed this penitent prayer of Psalm 51. And in the prayer, verse 16, he said, you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it, thou delightest not in burnt offering. David recognized that his sin was so grievous. It was a sin that he had committed knowing that he was doing wrong. And so he just said, you know, what you want is a penitent heart, that you won’t despise.
Now God actually spoke of despising their sacrifices. It came to that place where they were totally meaningless.
God said in Isaiah 1:11-12, to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? I am full of the burnt offering of rams and of the fat of fed beasts. And I delight not in the blood of bullocks or of lambs or of he goats. When you come to appear before Me, who had required this of your hand to tread My courts? Bring no more vain oblations. Incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assembles, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meetings.
Their heart wasn’t in it. God wants our hearts! He doesn’t want just outward perfunctory kinds of service from us. He wants our hearts! He longs to fellowship with us! He wants a deeper relationship than just lip service or just perfunctory types, of, well, I was there. Were you really there? Where was your heart when you were sitting there, you see? And they were offering the sacrifices. But God said, no your heart’s not it. I’m sick of it! I’m tired of it! Don’t bring me any more of your sacrifices, your new moons, your appointed days, feasts, My soul hates them! They are a trouble to Me! I’m weary of them! When you spread forth your hands, I’ll hide My eyes from you. Yea, when you make many prayers, I’ll not hear you. Your hands are full of blood.
Through Hosea the prophet, God said, for I desire mercy, not sacrifice. And the knowledge of God, more than the burnt offerings.
Put into practice. I’d rather that you’d show mercy unto others, that you would be loving and kind and forgiving to others, than to do some great service for Me, if your heart is not in it.
In Amos, He said, I hate! I despise your feast days! And I’ll not smell of your solemn assemblies. God said, I hate it! I detest it! I loathe it! When religion becomes a thing of rote, a meaningless ceremony, God hates it! He desires really our hearts. He said, though you offer Me burnt offerings and your meal offerings, I will not accept them. Neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fastings. I’ve had it! I won’t accept any more!
So, here in Hebrews, wherefore when He came into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body you have prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, you’ve had no pleasure.
9Then said he, Lo, I come (In the volume of the Book it is written of Me.) to do thy will, O God. That’s quite a statement! The statement is, that the volume of the Book is written of Jesus. The Old Testament is written concerning Jesus. He is there in types, in shadows, foreshadowing Jesus. He is there in the various types, those that were types of Christ. Types of His life, types of His ministry, as well as the direct prophecies concerning Jesus. The whole Old Testament is pointing toward Jesus. All of the sacrifices were pointing toward Jesus.
I’ve come in the volume of the Book, it is written of Me! The whole Book is really written of Jesus. They say that history is really His story! HIS STORY. Put an extra “s” in there and you’ve got it. History is His story! And it is interesting that He divides history and we divide time by Him. The years before He came and years since He has come. Before Christ (B.C.) and in the year of you Lord, A.D.(Anno Domini). So the division of history.
The volume of the Book is written of Me, to do Thy will, O God. Obedient, you see, to obey is better than to sacrifice. And He came to do the will of the Father. Now when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.
He taketh away the first, He took away the first, that is the first covenant. That approach to God by the offerings and the sacrifices, which God said He was sick of.
that he may establish the second. That is, access to God for all, through Him. He became the Mediator between God and man! He became our great High Priest. He didn’t enter into the holy of holies of the temple, but He entered into heaven itself of which the temple was just a mere foreshadowing of the real, the true, which is heaven itself. And Jesus entered into heaven for us!
10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. As I said, not an annual thing like the high priest and Yom Kippur. It’s not an annual thing. But, Jesus, once for all, sacrificed Himself for us!
So much better it is this new and living way in Jesus? It isn’t an annual event, where we are annually reminded of our guilt, but it is a “once and for all”. But we look back at the finished work of Jesus. And we realize that He was the perfect sacrifice, the complete sacrifice. Nothing more is needed and nothing more can be added to it.
11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: Now again, the repetition, they can’t take away sin! The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin! They cover! Jesus took away our sin! We need to realize that.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus.
Jesus said, the Father did not send Me into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Me might be saved. He that believeth in Me is not condemned. Your sins have been taken away!
As Paul quotes David there in Romans 2, as David saith, oh how happy is the man whose transgressions have been forgiven, whose sins have been covered! Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity!
You, who are in Jesus Christ, you have put your trust and faith in Him and are walking in faith in Him, though we may stumble, though we may falter, God doesn’t even make a record of it! Our sins have been covered! Our sins have been forgiven! They’ve been put away!
Jesus took away our sin in His death upon the cross, something that the Old Testament sacrifices could never do, weren’t designed to do, all they were designed to do was to point ahead to Jesus, who would be the perfect sacrifice for man’s sin.
12But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; It’s done! The redemption is a finished work! On the cross, He cried, it is finished! The work of redemption, it’s a finished work. There’s nothing that you can do to add to what God has already done, as far as your redemption is concerned. It is a finished work. You are complete in Him!
13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. From now on, He is waiting until His enemies be made His footstool. In Psalm 110, he is quoting here. You know, sit Thou at my right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. So He is just sitting there at the right hand—forever! He is waiting now until the enemies become His footstool.
Right now, the earth, the world is under the power of Satan. Satan rules in this evil world. Paul said at one time you lived after the things of the world. One time you were just meandering according to the course of this world, according to prince of the power of the air, that even now is working in the children of disobedience, among whom we all once lived. Recognizing that the world is under Satan’s influence, under Satan’s power. It’s very, very obvious today, when you hear the popular music, when you hear what is going on in the world today. It’s obvious that Satan is in control.
But one day, Satan’s rule is going to come to an end. But as men today are rebelling against God’s authority more and more, the world is ripening now for the judgment of God. God is very patient, very long-suffering, but right now the world is ripening for the judgment of God. Once God judges the world in what we call the Great Tribulation, then God will subdue all of the rebellion and the enemies of Jesus. And Jesus will come to reign over the earth. And He will establish His kingdom of righteousness and joy and peace. And when the Lord, who is our life, shall appear to reign, then shall we also appear with Him in glory to reign with Him as kings and priests throughout the millennium of His kingdom reign.
Right now, He made the sacrifice and He is just there—waiting, until the Father has accomplished His purposes and subdued the enemy. The Lord will then come to reign, expecting until His enemies are made His footstool.
14For by one offering (That is of Himself.) he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Isn’t that glorious! By His one offering, your sins have been taken care of forever—by His one offering!
15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them (Quoting from Jeremiah 31, now.) after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. You know, that’s the glorious thing about God’s forgiveness. When we talk about God’s forgiveness, we don’t understand the term because we think of it in our terms. Yes, I’ll forgive you. But I don’t forget! And when a person comes and says, oh, I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I told those lies about you. I don’t know what got into me. Would you please forgive me? Yes, you’re forgiven. But then I hear that they’re telling the same story still. And so I say, someone called me the other day and said you were talking to them and said you told them the same thing. How come? I thought you said you were sorry and you were lying and you asked me to forgive you. But how come you’re doing it again? Oh, I’m so sorry, please forgive me. Well, wait a minute! You know, you see, I remember.
We remember too, ourselves. And Satan so often is using our past sins as a hammer to beat us down. He is reminding us of the evil that was in our hearts, the evil that we did. And he puts us into remembrance to bring us into condemnation.
But the glorious thing is that God said He won’t remember them! Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more! I mean if that doesn’t make you want to shout, I don’t know what will! God doesn’t remember my sin. Now for that reason, I think it’s not a good idea to remind Him! Accept the fact that you’ve been cleansed. You’ve been forgiven and He doesn’t remember them.
18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. There is no necessity to have the annual, Yom Kippur. There is no necessity of having the daily sacrifices any more. The sacrifice is complete. Thus there isn’t the constant remembrance year after year of oh, we sinned, oh, we sinned, oh, we sinned, you know. That’s gone because it’s a complete sacrifice and we just rest in that finished work of Jesus.
19Having therefore, brethren, boldness (So, this is the result of it all now.)
It gives us boldness to enter into the holiest (Or into the holy of holies.) by the blood of Jesus, We can come into the presence of God through the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. But not only can we come in, but we can come in boldly. Now the Old Testament high priest went in fearfully. He never knew if he would come out. If there was a flaw within the sacrifice, he would be smitten dead in the presence of God. So he went in with great fear, but we can come in boldly because of the sacrifice of Jesus, His blood, which was shed for our sins.
And we come in 20By a new and living way, Not under the old covenant of the law, with all of its prescription. But we come in by this new and living way. Jesus died for our sins! But He rose again for our justification! And He ever lives to make intercession for us! So we come, not with the dead sacrifices, but we come in the living Lord. And He is the door into the sheepfold. And we enter, by Him, into the presence of God, boldly, by the new and the living way—the living Lord!
which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; In the Old Testament, the things were consecrated by the sacrifice, by the blood of the sacrifices. But Jesus has consecrated this way for us, through His own body. The veil, so to speak, that separated man from God, in Jesus, was removed. And so, we have access, boldness of access through Him.
21And having an high priest over the house of God; Also, the second thing we have, we have boldness to enter, secondly we have a high priest over the house of God.
So you and I are the house of God. That is, God dwells in the midst of His people. God dwells in the church. Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst. There He dwells among His people. And so the Bible speaks of the church as being the dwelling place, the household of God, the dwelling place of God and dwelling among us. Our High Priest over the house of God.
So, as the result, 22Let us (first of all,) draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, Draw near unto God. He’ll draw near unto you. But you can do so in full assurance. Faith in Jesus, He completed the work! Nothing can be added. So, I can be fully assured, no doubts, no qualms, no hesitation.
I can come into the presence of God, in full assurance drawing near to Him in full assurance, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, That is, through Jesus Christ, the evil conscience, the conscience of the evil that I have done is gone. My conscience is clear! I can sleep at night. Jesus bore my sins for me! He has put them away! He doesn’t remember them.
And so our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. The priest would go through the bathing processes in this laver that was outside. And he would wash himself, take a bath, and put on the clean robes and so forth, to go into the presence of God. But we are washed through Jesus Christ and made clean.
So we have the entrance, but secondly, 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) The Book of Hebrews was basically written to call many of the Jews back to a full trust in Jesus Christ. Tradition is something that is very difficult to break, especially, religious tradition. There are many people today who are all bound up in religious tradition, but they are far from God. And the religious traditions mean more to them than the Word of God! And even within Christianity, there are those traditions that have developed within the various churches that people hold tenaciously to. They are not Biblical. They are not Scriptural, but they are tradition. But they are so engrained in the people that they would take the tradition over the Word of God. And that’s really a sad state to be in.
And that was the condition of the Jews. They were bound by tradition to the law, to the ordinances, the sacrifices, and all of the law. And though they had embraced Jesus Christ as the Messiah, realized that He was indeed, the Messiah. Yet, there was that hesitancy to leave the traditions completely. And they were sort of, well, maybe wanting to have a little insurance. Oh yeah, I believe in Jesus, but I’ll take this little lamb and I’ll go offer this little lamb and I’ll go offer the sin offering, you know. And just sort of a kind of an insurance policy. But he is saying no! It doesn’t work that way! Jesus is complete! His sacrifice is complete! Nothing can be added! You are complete in Him!
And so let us hold fast this profession. Let’s not go back to Judaism. Let’s not go back to the law and try to be justified by the law any longer. Even in the early church there developed a real problem because of the converts in Jerusalem. Many of them were priests. They had come to a faith in Jesus Christ, but they were holding onto the traditions.
Then they decided that they would put the Gentiles under the same tradition. So, when they came to the church in Antioch, and they saw the liberty of the Gentile believers, they said, wait a minute! You can’t be Christians and do that! You’ve got to be circumcised! You’ve got to keep the law of Moses in order to be saved!
And Paul heard what was going on. He said, wait a minute! You guys are bringing division within the body here. You’re denying the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Well, we have orders from Jerusalem.
Paul said let’s go back to Jerusalem! We’ll get this thing settled. So Paul took them back to Jerusalem, along with Barnabas. And the church called a council, to determine this very issue of what place the Gentile believers had to the law. And it is interesting that Peter told how God called him to the Gentiles, to the house of Cornelius. Peter said, I don’t see any reason to put on the Gentile believers, a yoke of bondage, that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear. All of the traditions and all, why should we try and put it on them? We haven’t been able to handle it. Why should we put it on them? And so it was finally decided that the Gentiles could be saved without keeping the law, without the doing the sacrifices and so forth. But with the Jews there was that danger of realizing that Jesus is the Messiah, but still held and bound by the traditions of the laws and sort of migrating back towards that kind of a legal relationship with God, rather than the loving relationship that God desired.
Of course that’s where the whole thing broke down in the Old Testament. They developed a legal relationship with God. They were doing the legal things. They weren’t doing the loving things. And God didn’t want a legal relationship. He wants a loving relationship with each of us. And that, of course, He provided in His love in giving His Son for us, to bring us into a loving relationship.
And so let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. Don’t be on the fence! Don’t be wavering on this issue. For God is faithful, who has promised! He has promised us redemption through Jesus. He is faithful! The sacrifice of Jesus is complete! And so God is faithful.
Then thirdly, 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Let us consider one another, how to provoke one another to love and good works. The purpose and part of the purpose of the church is for exhortation, that we might be encouraged to good works, encouraged to seek the Lord, encouraged to forsake the things of the world, encouraged to walk close to Christ. That’s a part of the reason for our gathering is for the exhortation, as well as edification, being built up in our faith, and to be comforted in the Scriptures. To grow in our understanding and knowledge of the purpose and will of God for our lives. So, let’s consider how that we can just encourage one another to love and to good works.
25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; Some had forsaken the assembling with the church.
but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. How much more as we are living in the last days and evil is abounding? Jesus said, evil days shall wax worse and worse. And truly they are! Look at where we are today, morally, compared to where we were fifty years ago! Twenty-five years ago! I mean we are going down to the pit in an exponential rate of speed! Moral decay, decline!
Now some interesting verses, 26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. The sin that he is referring to here, is the sin of apostasy! Turning your back on Jesus! Turning away from Jesus and seeking now, salvation through the law or by some other process.
If you sin wilfully, that is turning your back on Jesus, who died for our sins, there after you have received the knowledge of the truth in Jesus, there remained no more sacrifice for sin! That little goat, that little lamb, that ox that you take to the priests and you lay your hand, confess your sins, that doesn’t do it! There is no other sacrifice. There is only one sacrifice for our sins that God will accept, and that is the blood of His only begotten Son, that was shed for us! There is no more sacrifice. So this is the sin of turning away from the truth of Jesus Christ, turning your back on Him.
28He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: If you would say something blasphemous against the law of Moses, being in Israel, if two or three people would testify that they heard you blaspheming the law, they would take you out and stone you to death.
You remember the story of Jezebel and her husband, Ahab. He wanted the field of Naboth, the vineyard of Naboth. And of course Ahab had all kinds of property, lots of vineyards, but Naboth had just a lovely vineyard, that he had really taken care of. And Ahab coveted that vineyard.
So he came to Naboth. He said, I would like to buy your vineyard. Naboth said, I could never sell it. It’s the families vineyard. I inherited it from the family and I have to pass it on to the family. It’s the families. I would never even consider selling it. So old Ahab went around sulking. Instead of enjoying everything he had, covetousness, it just leads to sulking. He went around just sulking all the time.
His wife, Jezebel, said, what’s the matter with you? I want Naboth’s vineyard. He would just go around sulking. She finally said, okay, I’ll get it for you. So she hired a couple of crooks to go to the judges and say, we heard Naboth blaspheming the law. These guys were liars, but they came to the judges. And so Naboth was brought to trial. And they testified, we heard him speak against the law of Moses. So Naboth was stoned to death. And Jezebel said, there’s your vineyard, honey—an evil, evil thing.
But that was, he that despised Moses’ law, was put to death under two or three witnesses, without mercy. They didn’t show mercy on him.
29Of how much sorer (worse) punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? If under Moses’ law, you died without mercy because of two or three witnesses against you, how much worse do you suppose the punishment will be for those who have trodden underfoot, Jesus Christ and have counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and they have done despite unto the Spirit of grace—God’s Spirit that had called them? The punishment that will be meted out by God, is unthinkable for those who would despise the Son of God and God’s provision for their salvation. Count the blood of His covenant an unholy thing! They’ve done despite unto the Spirit of grace.
30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense (repay), saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It’s a fearful thing!
You say, have people actually done that? Have they turned their backs on Jesus, denied the faith that they once professed, count now the sacrifice of Jesus as just nothing, have done despite to the Spirit of grace?
I think one of the most shocking things that I’ve come across in recent times is this book that has been written by Charles Templeton, who was once a close associate with Billy Graham, who once was a tremendous evangelist, who was used of God in big campaigns in Canada. He was very active in the Youth for Christ movement. I’ve heard him speak at giant rallies. He is a brilliant man. He turned many people to Jesus Christ. But he recently has written a book, in which he denounces the belief in God. He denounces the Bible. He denounces, as folly, the faith he once had in Jesus Christ. He said he has developed intellectually beyond the ability to any longer, accept the myths and the fallacies of the Bible!
The Scripture here is speaking about such people. And it is a warning! How much worse punishment do you suppose the person is thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, has done despite to the Spirit of grace? It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
So the warning against turning away, turning your back on Jesus, on the faith that you once had in Him!
32But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Remember when you first accepted Jesus Christ, the afflictions, the persecution that you went through, the former days?
33Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. Your new friends and the new fellowship that you had, the things that you endured, the sneering remarks and all? Remember those, Paul, or the writer, said, and I think that it was Paul. I think we have here the proof in verse 34 or at least evidence.
34For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, Paul spent a lot of time in prison. This could very well be one of Paul’s prison epistles. His knowledge, his knowledge of the Old Testament law, really came from a background of a rabbi. I agree with most commentators that Paul, no doubt, is the author of the Book of Hebrews.
For you had compassion of me in my bonds and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Took joyfully the spoiling of your goods. You know it’s an interesting thing how that when we declare our faith in God and our love for God, that oftentimes God allows our love or our faith to be put to the test.
Satan said, concerning Job, he only loves you and serves you because you’ve given him so much. Take it away and he’ll curse you. And sometimes God allows our faith to be tested.
I think of how Don McClure, who was talking one day about how God took him through difficult situations and idea was, will you still love Me if? And Don went through these tests. His most recent of course has been the loss of the sight in his right eye as the result of a stroke. The pressure, the blood pressure, just sort of blew out the retina in his right eye. And Don no longer can see out his right eye.
And he said, it was as if the Lord was saying, will you love Me even if you don’t have a right eye? Of course Don was commiserating with Kay the other day, and said, Kay, I’d do anything for you. I’d give my right eye for you, Kay. Thanks a lot Don! How about your left?
But Don has said that the things that the Lord has taught him, the closeness of the relationship that has developed because of the loss of his right eye, he said I would gladly give my right for it. In fact, I would rather have my eye as it is and now have the relationship and the depth of the relationship that I gained than to have my eye back, if I had to lose this depth of relationship that I’ve come to.
Remember, the writer said, what it was, for you had compassion to me in my bonds, and you endured the hardship because you know that in heaven you’ve got an enduring reward. These things on the earth are going to pass anyhow, but you know, in heaven, you’ve got an enduring reward. These shall enjoy the spoiling of your goods.
So now the exhortation that ties in with this previous warning against turning away, sinning willfully, turning your back on Jesus once you have received this knowledge. 35Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. Don’t cast away your confidence in Jesus. It’s great reward!
36For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Now this is the promise of the coming again of Jesus Christ. And the exhortation is toward patience.
In talking of the second coming of Jesus, James said, that we should have patience as we wait for the coming of our Lord. For the Lord is waiting for the complete fruit of harvest.
Now I have to say that I’m becoming very impatient for the coming of the Lord. As I look at the conditions of the world and how they are so rapidly deteriorating, I am becoming impatient. But the Lord of harvest is waiting for the complete fruit of harvest and has great patience towards it. Have patience brethren, establish your soul, James said.
Peter said in the last days there would be scoffers. They would say, where is the promise of His coming? Since our fathers have fallen asleep, all things continue at they were from the beginning. But he said that God is not slack concerning His promises but He is faithful to us. And he gives then the reason for the delay, He’s not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord knows those that are going to come to Jesus Christ tomorrow night in the Monday night study, here. He knows those that will be coming to Jesus Christ on Saturday when the men will gather there in Anaheim. And He’s waiting for them, hopefully, one of them will be the last of the Gentiles to be saved. But the Lord is waiting for the complete fruit of harvest and has great patience towards it.
So you have need of patience that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. 37For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. So you have need of patience, a little while, He is going to come. He won’t tarry.
38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, And this is what we are talking about earlier, what’s he is talking about—a person that draws back from his faith in Jesus Christ. A man who willfully sins, wilfully turns his back, denies Jesus, once having been in the family of God.
If any many draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. He is quoting actually from Habakkuk 2:3-4.
39But we are not of them (the writer assures) who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Oh yes! Hang in there! The Lord is going to come soon! Have patience! Hang in! And in the meantime, enjoy the access that you have to the Father! Have a loving relationship with God, made possible through Jesus Christ, because He loves us and He has provided once and for all, for our guilt and our sins.
There is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus!
Father, how grateful and thankful we are for this wonderful salvation that You have offered to us through Your Son, the forgiveness of sin, the washing and cleansing, the blotting out of the past. Lord, thank You, for opening the door to us and inviting us to come in to fellowship with You. And for the access that we have, where we can come boldly into Your presence, into this throne of grace to receive mercy. Lord, You are so good and we thank You for it. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8215, (KJ Version)