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Genesis 2:4-25

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Adam’s Twofold Headship: The Garden & The Woman Genesis 2:4-25   A Twofold Headship. Adam was to be head in two capacities; as head of creation and head to the woman. He failed in both headships. Nevertheless, these two headships were part of God’s eternal counsels. God purposed to have a creation, and bless […]

Hebrews 3 – 4

Christ is Superior to Israel’s Leaders: Moses and Joshua
Hebrews 3 – 4
Ch.3-4. Asks to consider Jesus in contrast with Israel’s leaders. Christ is faithful as Son over house of God in contrast with Moses a servant. Digresses thru end of ch.3 warning against unbelief. Superior to Joshua, will bring children into His rest! God’s rest still future, meanwhile a difficult wilderness, some will apostatize. Not left alone. Three great provisions.

Moses and the House of God (3:1-6)

v.1 Apostle and High Priest. Two titles correlate to previous chapters. Apostle, Christ as Son of God, coming from God to man. As  High Priest, Christ as Son of man, from man to God. In rest of epistle, compares apostleship with Moses, priesthood with Aaron. Two resources: Word of God (brought by Moses), and intercession (Aaron). The writer writes as teacher, expertly opening up typical teaching. Only room for One Apostle! “Our confession” used to allow professors, but addresses the believers. Not “natural brethren, partakers of an earthly calling”, but believing Jews (and all Christians) are “holy brethren” and partake of a “heavenly calling”. The Principle of Calling, earthly not confused with heavenly. Earthly not stolen from Israel (Rom. 11:29).
v.2 Faithful. Christ compared to Moses as sent to Israel with authority from God. A parallel: both were faithful in their sphere (Num. 12:7). Moses in a general sense, Christ perfectly so. Something more than faithfulness: the glory of His Person (vv.3-4). “His” at the end of v.2 is God, not Moses, as Num. 12:7 shows.
vv.3-4 Builder and Building. Moses didn’t build the house (i.e. tabernacle). He followed the pattern. The builder was Jehovah, now manifest in flesh! The builder has more honor because a work emanates from a person. A person is superior to his creation. Christ built the universe is His house! The tabernacle a type of the heavens. Connects with ch.1, Son is creator and sustainer. In v.4 the argument from design. Observation of the universe, scope, variety, balance, fine-tuning for life, etc. gives overwhelming evidence. Every house has a builder. It requires faith to see that the builder is God.
vv.5-6 Son vs. Servant. Relative position of Christ and Moses. Moses “a ministering servant”, Christ is “Son over his house”. Christ over the house of God because of who He is, the Son. Universe is the house of God, but saints collectively are His house in a higher sense (1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:7; Eph. 2:22). A condition: will the house be faithful to Him? Many “ifs” in Hebrews: a danger of apostasy, genuine faith will hold fast. The “ifs” and “whens” show the wilderness pathway manifests reality, or apostasy. No “ifs” in Ephesians.

The Wilderness: Warning Against Unbelief (3:7-19)

vv.7-11 Warning Against Unbelief. Quotes Psa. 95:7-11 warn against unbelief. Israel’s old besetting sin. Ten temptations. Saw His deliverance, erred in there hearts. Three phases. (1) The “day of provocation” at the beginning in Meribah (Ex. 17:7). (2) Journey for 40 years. (3) Last temptation at Kadesh. Jehovah angry, swore in wrath. Psalm prophetic of Jehovah inviting Israel to enter kingdom. A new day, His old anger now gone. The cross opened a way. Old sins will not bar them; but a fresh repetition will. Unbelief must be avoided. Application to the Jews professing Christianity. 
vv.12-13 Carefulness and Encouragement. Not doubt, or weakness of faith, but a heart that ultimately refuses to take God at His word. Turning away from God for a professor is apostasy. Influenced by the spirit of apostasy. Need to “encourage” ourselves, remind that God is to be trusted and obeyed. Still called “today”, God’s grace and patience continue. If give into sin of unbelief once, effect of hardening us to Word of God. Ultimate sense, completely “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”, only possible for an unconverted.
vv.14-19 Reality Proved By Steadfastness. In Hebrews salvation proved out by steadfast devotion to Christ through life. Asks important questions to highlight difficulty of maintaining confidence. Who provoked? Not just part of Israel, but the whole congregation. Who was Jehovah angry with? Those who refused to believe (Deut. 2:14-15). Sin emphasized: not a mistake, but positive willful sin. Caleb and Joshua the exceptions. Who did He promise not enter His rest? Those who heard and refused to believe. Common theme: sin of not believing. A progression: provoked at beginning, then angry forty years, finally swore in His anger. No one can argue, they deserved judgment. Rest only shared with believers. Unbelief the root of sin. Death a type of apostasy, only possible for unsaved. A parallel condition is apathy.

The Rest of God & Need of Faith (4:1-11)

vv.1-2 Application to Christianity. Now begins apply lessons of Israel to professing Jews in Christianity. We too have a promise. “Rest” viewed as future. Have “rest” in our conscience, a future rest when God Himself rest, we with Him. Not looking for rest in this world; become a wilderness to us. Will fail to enter it if not receive glad tidings, just as Israel.
vv.3-5 A Future Rest for the People of God. A second application. Point in vv.1-2 that faith is required to enter rest, point in vv.3-10 that true rest is future. Two facts brought together. God rested once (Gen. 2:2), but speaks of His rest as future (Psa. 95:11). For Israel, God’s rest still future at time of David. Unbelief of Israel barred them, but in grace the “today” of David is still open. Joshua (called Jesus, Greek) not able to bring them in. Christ’s superiority to Joshua. The great point: rest is future. Must refer to the Millennium, when Israel enters, and heavenly saints enter, Christ vindicated. The “rest” begins in the Millennium will fade into eternal state. It is “his rest”, therefore perfect, God finds His satisfaction. No work, no conflict. Very nature of God satisfied… we look forward to it.
v.11 Exhortation. Applies “same example” to the Hebrews, a powerful exhortation. Same refusal to listen caused Hebrews’ ancestors to fall could now cause some to apostatize from the profession of Christian faith. “Use diligence” by believing the Word of God.

Three Provisions to Help Us Reach the Rest (4:12-16)

vv.12-13 The Word of God: It’s Effectual Penetrating Power. A number of attributes of the Word make it a vital instrument to bring us into presence of God. An invaluable resource.
  • An Active Agent. “Living”, never becomes dead or outdated, carries means of giving spiritual life, adapts to different needs and situations (John 6:63). “Operative”, works (by Holy Spirit), accomplishes God’s purpose (Isa. 55:11).
  • A Discerning Agent. Compared to a sword (Eph. 6:17), pierces, also cuts or makes divisions. Word of God is “sharper”. Two edges: works on the external level (actions), and on the internal level (motives). Division of soul and spirit takes supernatural discernment. Soul: seat of consciousness, identity, responsibility, and desire (Rom. 7:15). Spirit: above the soul, capacity to reflect on his soul, gives God-consciousness. Animals have no spirit (Psa. 49:20; Isa. 31:3). True worship (John 4:24). Humanly impossible to discern, by scripture can. Illustrates with a physical image: “of joints and marrow”, intricate parts of the skeletal system, difficult to locate from periphery, hard to distinguish where one ends, other begins. Only the Word of God can penetrate and separate. Motives and intentions are often disguised (Jer. 17:9; 1 Cor. 4:5). The Word through Holy Spirit identifies the activity of the flesh with conviction.
  • A Revealing Agent. Brings us into the presence of God, our soul is laid bare (1 John 3:20; Jer. 17:9; 1 Sam. 2:3). We are fully known of God. Nothing of the flesh is allowed to pass unnoticed, new nature rejoices, any sin we tolerate spoils communion (Psa. 139:23-24). Puts us into responsibility, “with whom we have to do”.
The proper response is self-judgment, vital to maintaining communion.
vv.14-15 The Priesthood of Christ: Our Sympathetic High Priest. Pick up from end of ch.2, also introduction to next section (Heb. 5-7). The comparison here, as with Heb. 2:17-18, is with the high priest in the Old Testament. Ch.2 focused on day of atonement, here on normal function as intercessor. No OT priest called great. Tabernacle a type of “the heavens” passed through, just as Aaron through tabernacle into sanctuary. Two things required: (1) to be in heaven, and (2) to first tread the earth, with trials and temptations (both Moses on mountain and Joshua in valley, Ex. 17). Majestic Son of God, no mere transient visitor or associate. Always tendency of priests to elevate into privileged upper class. Not so; “able to sympathise”. Tested beyond us. Deity did not shield from suffering. Important qualification: “sin apart”, not “without sinning”. Sinless perfection. Temptations never from within (Jam. 1:14). A “holy thing” (Luke 1:35). Peter says He “did no sin” (1 Pet. 2:22), Paul says He “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21), deepest John says “in him” is no sin (1 John 3:5). Nature holy. “He was not alone perfectly man but the perfect man” – W. Kelly. Sin within blinds and dulls. Christ’s sinlessness meant a better sympathizer! Experiences and sufferings coupled with glory qualify only Him to be our sympathetic High Priest. Intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), brings down grace and mercy, gives us endurance, preserves us from falling. His advocacy different from intercession (1 Jn. 2). Can’t take one successful step apart from Christ’s continued intercession (“Aaron’s rod that budded”, Num. 17:8). Exhortation, “let us hold fast”. Why turn back to Judaism with such a resource? Every reason to press on. How awful to take other men as priests!
v.16 Prayer: the Ever-Approachable Throne of Grace. Privilege of prayer. Not confused with Christ’s prayer or intercession. He prays continually (Heb. 7:25), we do not. His presence there makes the throne available to us, approachable continually. Without fear, “with boldness”, we should approach throne of God of the universe, of a holy God “with whom we have to do”, but cross has made it “the throne of grace”. How precious! At any season, find help “seasonable”, or suited to needs. Two forms: (1) “mercy” or deliverance from a trial, or (2) “grace”, strength to pass through the trial in communion (2 Cor. 12:8-9). Always help available!

Hebrews 11

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   The Life of Faith: A Great Cloud of Witnesses Hebrews 11   Hebrews 11. Having brought out the principle of Hab. 2:4 that “the just shall live by faith”, the writer enters into a digression on the subject of the life of faith. The principle that a believer can only continue for God’s […]

Psalm 19

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Psalm 19 The Revelation of God in Creation and His Law   Psalm 19. This is a Psalm of David in which he reflects on two revelations of God: (1) the general revelation of God in creation, and (2) the special revelation of God through His Word, specifically to Israel. Prophetically, this Psalm describes […]

Psalm 33

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Psalm 33 Israel’s Joy in the Millennium: the Nation Whose God is Jehovah   Psalm 33. This Psalm does not have a title, but it would seem that it is an appendix to the preceding Psalm, making it a Psalm of David. Prophetically, this Psalm gives us the praise of redeemed Israel for […]

Psalm 96

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Psalm 96 The Nations Invited to Worship Jehovah   Psalm 96. Although this is an orphan Psalm, we know the author was David because it is part of the Psalm David wrote when the ark was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 16:7-36, specifically vv.23-33 are parallel with Psalm 96). This historical connection reinforces […]

Psalm 104

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Psalm 104 Israel Praising Jehovah for His Glory As Creator and Sustainer of All Things   Psalm 104. As Psalm 103 was Israel’s praise of Jehovah for His delivering grace, so this Psalm (also of David, as the style and language implies, v.1) give us Israel’s praise of Jehovah for His glory as […]

Romans 1:19-32

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Man’s Guiltiness Established Romans 1:18 – 3:20   The subject of the first eight chapters of Romans is God’s righteousness in justifying believers. However, before Paul speaks of the cross (the means by which God can save guilty man and still remain just) he must first establish the fact that there is no […]

Colossians 1

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   Introduction: Christ the Preeminent One Colossians 1   Colossians 1. In this chapter, Paul points the saints to the glory and preeminence of Christ. The danger they were faced with from the false teachers was of getting occupied with angels, rituals, and other false objects. Paul addresses these errors in ch.2, but before […]

Hebrews 1 – 2

Christ is Superior to Israel’s Messengers: Prophets and Angels
Hebrews 1 – 2

Ch.1-2 sets forth Christ in supreme glory, fulfillment of Israel’s hopes they couldn’t see, now glorified man. Son of God (ch.1, deity) and Son of Man (ch.2, humanity).

God’s Revelation through Son vs. Prophets (1:1-3)

v.1 Revelation Through Prophets. Begins majestically. The revelation of God in the Old Testament was fragmented and partial (directly, in dreams or visions, Hosea 12:10, 13). Never intended to be complete or final.

vv.2-3 The Son & Seven of His Glories That Set Him Above the Prophets. God Himself speaking, in the Person of the Son. Much greater than words given! At the very end God spoke to Israel face to face. Only the Son was competent to reveal God fully. “Speaking” began with Christ on earth, continued from heaven.

  1. The Heir of All Things. Heir has to do with Who He is (Eph. 1:10).
  2. The Creator of the Universe. Son is the special agent. Divine wisdom and infinite power.
  3. The Out-Shining of God’s Glory. Visible manifestation of God’s glory. God’s attributes reflected.
  4. The Expression of God’s Substance. Had to be Divine. Substance of the Godhead. ‘Homoousios’
  5. The Upholder of All Things. Sustains all… because His word! Swaddling clothes, crucified in weakness.
  6. The Purifier of Sins. Sin-bearing specific to “Himself”. Glory of completed works rests on Him alone. Work of redemption far greater than creation.
  7. The One Seated at God’s Right Hand. In v.13 Son invited, in v.3 His right. A place He won.

Christ Superior to the Angels (1:4) – So Much Better

v.4 More Excellent Name. More excellent name is “Son”. Always had a better place, inherited name “Son” as man. Name never given to angel. Heb. 1:5 – 2:18 expound this superiority.

Seven Old Testament Scriptures Showing Christ Superior to Angels (1:5-14)

Angels figure prominently in the Old Testament (Acts 7:53, Ex. 3:2). The greatest of God’s messengers. A tendency to exalt angels. Essenes (Colossians 2:18-19). Earthly prophets, heavenly angels!

As the Son: His Relationship and Preeminence (vv.5-6)

v.5 A Unique Relationship. Angels called “sons of God” (Job 1:6), never “You are my Son”. Exclusiveness, like “My Father” (John 5:17). Psa. 2 shows incarnation didn’t annul the Sonship. “This day” is incarnation, sonship carried into time! 2 Sam. 7:14 or 1 Chron. 17:13 was Jehovah about Solomon, applied to Christ. Father-son relationship enjoyed as man on earth! No angel. We share (John 20:17)!

v.6 The Place of Firstborn. Angels must worship (Rev. 22:8-9). “Firstborn” is preeminence (Psa. 89:27; Ex. 4:22; Col. 1:15 – not a creature). God’s firstborn: must have highest place, even as man! Quote either LXX of Deut. 32:43, or Psa. 97:7. First coming (Luke 2:13), foreshadow of final fulfillment, shift in administration.

As the God-Man: His Deity and Perfect Humanity (vv.7-9)

vv.7-9 His Deity and Holy Humanity. Angels are servants, the Son a Divine Person! “O God” proves His deity. Angels created beings; God “makes” his angels. A “flame of fire” (Gen. 3:24; Ex. 3:2). Son never made. Co-equal Person, eternal. Character of Messiah’s kingdom; in keeping with the character of the Man. A good definition of holiness: love for right and hatred of evil. Messiah’s walk was perfect, God marks Him, distinguished from faithful remnant. Begins “O God” (deity), ends with “God, thy God” (perfect dependent humanity). “Oil of gladness” is joy of rightful Messiah taking His place (2nd coming), foreshadowed by sealing (Matt. 3:17). This Man lifted above the greatest (1 Sam. 16:13).

As Jehovah: The Eternal, Unchanging, Self-existing One (vv.10-12)

vv.10-12 His Eternity and Immutability. Psalm 102 is the suffering Christ in extremity; anticipating the cross. His deity was not immunity. Christ “poured out his soul unto death” (Isa. 53:12). Natural repulsion to death; especially premature, His rights as Messiah. Middle of v.24 is the answer. Jehovah assures Him of His Godhead glory. Jehovah the Father addressing Jehovah the Son! All Christ suffered as man – including death – did not rob Him one iota of His glory as God! Jehovah “the Same”, a Divine name (Heb. 13:7). The creation perishable. A worn-out garment changed – not self-destruct, but His sovereign will (2 Peter 3:10-13). Things appear permanent will pass, eternal self-existing I AM continues forever! The Psalms are perfection of Christ as man. So fully man that this “encouragement” from God to His Son was “warranted”.

As the Glorified Man: His Place and Prospect (vv.13-14)

vv.13-14 The Glorification of Christ. Psalm of suffering on earth (Psa. 102) followed by Psalm of glorified in heaven (Psa. 110). Scene follows ascension. Enters heaven a glorified man, rejected by earth, accomplished atonement. Psa. 110 answer to Psa. 109; what Jehovah said unto “my Adonai” (David’s Lord). Jehovah as God the Father, speaking to His Son. From ascension until final victory. The royal Son received and crowned. Not the Son seating Himself (v.3), invited to sit. The address or salute (Heb. 5:9-10). Where are angels? God’s right hand never offered… just attendants at a coronation. If angels are great, how much greater the Son! Serve in the capacity of guardians for the saints, even before conversion! There in royal glory, He thinks of our needs. What grace! Epilogue: Christ will share His future throne with friends and co-heirs (Rev. 3:21), His seat now never shared, His alone.

(If You Listened to Angels in the Past, Listen to the Son Speaking Now) (2:1-4)

Warnings against Apostasy. Some made a profession without reality, in danger of abandoning their profession. Apostasy is irrecoverable. Hebrews 2:1-4, 3:7–4:11, 5:11–6:20, 10:26-39, and 12:16-27.

v.1 Danger of Slipping Away. Imperative to be true to the gospel; things heard of the Son. Already known Old Testament, danger of letting go of Christ. Easier to let slip of what is heavenly, spiritual, by faith.

vv.2-4 Neglecting Great Salvation. Moses’ Law “spoken by angels” (Acts 7:53, Deut. 33:2). Word of greater Person, Son vs. angels, warrants greater judgment. Despising grace. Great “salvation” announced when Christ came (Lk. 2:30-32; Lk. 4:16-21; Matt. 1:21). Deliverance of Israel from consequences of sins: wanted external escape instantly (Matt. 21:15); suffering for sin needed first. Confirmed by apostles (Acts 2:40), not Paul’s gospel. Outward signs (1 Cor. 1:22). Judgment fell A.D.70 (worse coming). Some heeded warning Lk. 21:20-21.

Christ as Man in Suffering and Exaltation (2:5-9)

Four Reasons Christ Became Man. (1) to make propitiation (v.17), (2) to fulfill the counsels of God (vv.7-8), (3) to annul the devil (v.14), and (4) to become a sympathetic captain of our salvation (v.10, v.18).

v.5 Angels and the World to Come. A great coming change in this world (Eph. 1:10), “world to come”. God always purposed to put the universe under the headship of a man. Satan attempts to usurp the inheritance. Today God rules through angels. His purpose is steady. The transfer of administration (Rev. 4 – 5).  

vv.6-8a The Son of Man in the Counsels of God. Manhood of Christ necessary to fulfill God’s purpose for man: head over all created things, including the angels! In Psa. 8, God’s grace to puny man (‘Enosh’). Adam is the type: steward of the garden, he transgressed, failed in headship. Second man succeeds. “Crowned” in heaven now. Psa. 8 begins with small man, ends with small universe. “Son of man” title in rejection and glory.

vv.8b-9 Christ as a Man in Suffering and Exaltation. All things subject, including angels (Eph. 1:20-21). Angels above men in creation-order. Incarnation a great stoop. As fully Divine “so much better” (Divine Person, (Heb. 1:4), yet fully man “some little inferior”. In resurrection, beginning of new creation. A new race of men, above angels! We are part, but does not yet appear (1 Cor. 15:49; 1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:21). Suffering of death necessary (angels cannot die, Luke 20:36). Restored God’s honor. By faith we see Psa. 8 partly fulfilled, His coronation (John 13:32). This is guarantee of final fulfillment! Fully displayed in Millennium. He tasted death “for every thing”, dealing with issue of sin in general, covering the havoc the outbreak of sin has caused in creation (Col. 1:20). Connected with purchase (Matt. 13:44). He purchased the right to inheritance by vindicating the rights of God concerning sin. Holds title as Redeemer and Creator. The Son’s future dominion is wide as the scope of His past sufferings; universal! We See Jesus: as “view” into opened heavens.

What Christ Has Done for Believers (2:10-18)

v.10 A Perfect Leader. “Sons” resemble God in character (Matt. 5:9; Judges 8:18). God so pleased with His Son wanted to make many more, He the “firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). Fitting to God’s character to give “many sons” a perfect Leader! He passed the Captain through every experience – a full resume (v.18). He felt everything without the flesh. E.g. David (1 Sam. 22:2). He is “author of eternal salvation” in the ultimate sense (Moses from Egypt a type, Heb. 5:8-9), and “captain of our salvation” in present, ongoing salvation (Joshua into Canaan a type). What angel could bring sons to glory?

vv.11-13 Of One Kind with Us, His Brethren. Oneness of the Son and “many sons”. Quotes indicate a oneness beginning with disciples after His resurrection. “Oneness of kind”, not we “are one” but we “are of one”. E.g. Adam in Gen. 2, “no helpmate, his like” (compatibility). Mistake to limit to incarnation. Atonement needed to produce oneness of kind. Christ sanctifies, we “all of one” as men totally set apart for God (John 17:19; Heb.10:14). Christ “not ashamed” to call us “brethren”! Psa. 22:22 is answer to cry of suffering seen in resurrection! Partially fulfilled in John 20. Christ leading praises. Lord of all, the Son still a dependent man (Isa. 8:17 LXX). God’s children entrusted to Christ’s care (Isa. 8:18). Not Christ’s children, but with Him.

vv.14-15 Annulled the Devil and Freed Us. Incarnation and reason for it. Compassion for children; i.e. the saints. He “took part”, fully man yet fully God (1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9). Union involved addition, not subtraction. Power of death is Satan’s power to press fear of judgment after death, and sin as “wages of death” on the conscience (Heb. 9:27; Rom. 6:23; Job 18:14). Not His death “for every thing”, but for us. (Luke 22:53; Psa. 22:21). He undermined the Devil’s plans accepting death in perfect submission (John 18:11). David slew Goliath with giant’s own sword. Claims of sin are gone, death no longer holds terror.

vv.16-18 Our Merciful and Faithful High Priest. “Take hold of” means took up the cause of. Seed of Abraham are earthly people under curse of law (John 8:37-39). Incarnation necessary, but goes beyond. Parallel Lev. 16:

  • Faithful towards God, make propitiation. God’s glory regarding sins. Day of Atonement (once a year) high priest wears “holy linen coat”, offers to satisfy God’s claims. One-time sacrifice, laid foundation for v.18.
  • Merciful towards man, help those being tempted. After, high priest changes into glorious garments, ongoing role of intercessor. Not a sheltered life; like unto his brethren, can sympathize. Suffered “being tempted” (sin apart, Heb. 4:15) without yielding. He is able to help. We too suffer if we do not yield.

Both functions required He be one of the people. We have a perfect High Priest in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 4 – 5

Bk Sec Outline Sec Bk   The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter: Prophetic Events Revelation 4 – 22   O U T L I N E – The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter: Prophetic Events Revelation 4 – 22 – Prologue: Christ’s Rights to the Inheritance Revelation 4 – 5 – The Beginning of Sorrows (Seal Judgments) Revelation 6 […]