Jude

(Overviews posted yesterday for both books)

Verse 4 states 2 reasons this book was written.  Jude says people have slipped into the church and have perverted the Gospel by:

  • preaching a “license to sin”
  • denying Jesus as Lord

Jude writes about groups of people:

The first set:

  1. The people saved in the Exodus-but next generations did not believe
  2. Angels- who rebelled when Lucifer did
  3. Those in Sodom and Gomorrah-gave into a life of sexual immorality-craved it

All three are destined for Hell


The next set: (Jewish Tradition has them categorized as “those that teach evil”

  1. Cain-Murder
  2. Balaam- (He was the one on the talking donkey).  He not only betrayed Israel, but he lured them into a trap (Num. 22)
  3. Korah- A Levite that caused an uprising against Moses and Aaron.(1 Chron 2)

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Now Read 2 Peter who must have read this letter first.

2 Peter Overview

On December 19th, I posted an overview on 1 Peter (if you want to go back to it).  His first letter was about what was happening around the church, outside.  This book is very different.  Actually, I think it is written as a ‘Sermon’ to be used at their church (it ends in a doxology, rather than the standard ending).  Peter, who died around 68AD at the hands of Nero (hung upsidedown on a cross), writes this letter/sermon because of teachings that were infiltrating the church.  It is called: Epicurean.  (Feel free to see how this is still taught today)

Epicurean belief teaches people to relax and enjoy life without worrying so much. They believed God or gods did exist, but they lived so far away from the affairs of man, in a permanent state of ataraxia, that they didn’t interfere with humans.  They just sat up there in their world or Heaven.

There are two advantages (for them) having this mindset:

  • First, there is no judgment after death; therefore, death shouldn’t be feared.
  • Second, there is no judgment during life. There is no way to appease a god who doesn’t know you personally exist.  Therefore, you are free to find fulfillment in life outside of religious rules and expectations.

They believe in the “golden mean.”  The ‘golden mean’ means to maximize your pleasure without leading to negative consequences.  Yup, that about sums up our world.

So, in true Epicureanism, the best life is characterized by sufficient food, a comfortable dwelling, peaceful relationships, and good friends. But, wait, it gets MORE relevant.  They back it up by taking scriptures and applying them to their lives.

  • “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
  • “Give us this day our daily bread.”
  • “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Shall I go on?  You get my point.

You KNOW this is going to be a good book!

Jude Overview

Obviously, I googled the Beatles song to see if there was any correlation, and there isn’t.  BUT now the song is stuck in my head.  Click here if you want it stuck in your head too!  (and if you are too young to know this song, go away!)

This book opens with:

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

So I went back and looked at the book of James, which opens with:

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Let me show you how prideful I am.  If I was James or Jude, I would have said, “I am Jesus’ brother!”.  😳


We know practically nothing about Jude other than his love for Jesus (and proud of his brother James).  James was martyred around 62 AD.  According to other writings and traditions, James (not officially an apostle because he did not become a believer till after the Resurrection) was the church leader in Jerusalem. He was thrown from the southeast pinnacle of the temple (over a hundred feet down) when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a club. This is thought to be the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the temptation.

So the fact that Jude is willing to write this letter proves that he too is willing to die for Jesus if the letter gets in the wrong hands. 

The Book of Jude is an important book for us today because it is written for the end times, for the end of the church age. The church age began on the Day of Pentecost. Jude is the only book given entirely to apostasy. (fancy word, I know 😂). But now that we are not on milk but mature enough in the Word, we can start using “meat” words.   From the Greek term apostasia, apostasy means “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.”   Ummm what? This will help:

  • there are two main types:
    •  a falling away from key and true doctrines (I ask you, without reading the Bible, how do people know True Doctrine?)
    • a complete renouncement of the Christian faith.

Jude is a small but important book worthy of study, written for today’s Christian.

2 Timothy

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (In short, thank you ladies for raising a godly man)

  • Eunice was a Jewish believer who had been married to a Greek man, which would explain that, as an infant, Timothy was not circumcised as all Jewish boys were. It was the responsibility of Jewish fathers to oversee that rite, and since Timothy’s father was Greek, circumcision would not have been his custom. Paul had Timothy circumcised before they began their missionary journeys together to not offend their Jewish audiences.
  • Lois was either Eunice’s mother or her mother-in-law. The fact that she helped raise Timothy may indicate that Timothy’s father had died or that the family all lived together, which was not uncommon in those days. The father may have died while Timothy was young since Paul takes on a fatherly role with Timothy and often refers to him as “my true son in the faith.”

If I start quoting scripture on this book, this post will be longer than the Bible!  Click here (if you don’t have a Bible in front of you) and reread verses 6-12.  Now that you are a week away from reading EVERY word God wrote, what are you going to do?

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.


Phygelus, Hermogenes, and Onesiphorus. Onesiphorus was from Ephesus and probably came to know the Lord during Paul’s 3rd mission trip.  The other two knuckleheads deserted him.  We don’t know anything about them, but I assume they “fell away” from all the false teachings preached from the “The Way.” The flesh is weak!


Chapter 2- Three great examples are given soldier, athlete, and farmer.

  • No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs but instead tries to please his commanding officer.
  • Anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
  • The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

Dealing With False Teachers (verse 14-26)

  • don’t quarrel about words; it is of no value and only ruins those who listen. 
  • BUT do not be ashamed of correctly speaking the word of truth
  • Avoid godless chatter; it only adds fuel to their fire (their teaching will spread like gangrene 😂 verse 17).
  • Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus?  Free yourself up a little when words fall on deaf ears: “The Lord knows those who are his,” 
  • Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels. BUT be kind in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Chapter 3

So I hear people say all the time, “Look around, we are definitely getting closer to the End Times.”  Umm, here is my advice: Each day we check off the calendar-we are 1 day closer.   😂

Even Paul says, “MARK MY WORDS.”

“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

Ummmm. Jesus said:

Matthew 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.


So what are Paul’s final words to Timothy?  The same ones to us: (here are a few that stood out) for January 1, 2022, for you and me:

  • 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it (from God’s Word), 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 
  • I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

A few names if you are interested:

  • Demas– was one of Paul’s fellow co-workers (once) (Phil 1:24)
  • Crescens and Titus-they have left, but it does not say they left him.  Maybe they went to share the Good News.
  • Luke is still with him.  Probably as his Dr.
  • Bring Mark back!
  • Tychicus is actually mentioned quite a bit.  He is called a “dear brother” of Paul’s and a “faithful servant” of the Lord’s.  He was with Paul on Mission trips and stayed with him during a time of Prison. He was also entrusted to deliver Paul’s epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians. While traveling to Colossae, Tychicus accompanied Onesimus, the former slave who was returning to Philemon.  Finally, Tychicus was sent to Ephesus as an “interim pastor” to free up Timothy to visit Paul.
  • Some guy named Carpus clearly borrowed his coat! And his parchment paper 😝  JK.
  • Alexander 🤬.  Do you remember way back in Acts 19 when Paul was in Ephesus, and there was a silversmith that was selling his trinkets at the Temple?  This guy rallied up other silversmiths and said, “Dude, if they become believers, they won’t buy our fake idols” (clearly not a direct quote).  Well, this is the guy!
  • Idols for Sale
  • Priscilla and Aquila-I think you remember them!   The Power couple! (Acts 18)
  • Erastus-worked with Paul in Corinth- He was also an influential man in Public Works. So it made sense for him to stay in Corinth and represent.
  • Trophimus sick in Miletus, Covid maybe??
  • Eubulus, Prudens, and Linus  (historical writings have them as the ‘bishops.’
  • Claudia- this is fascinating.  She knows Timothy, but hang with the 3 musketeers listed above. However, the name Cladia is only given to women in Rome that come from Royalty.  Some rumors have her as Pruden’s wife; others suspect she may have been Pilate’s wife.  (remember she was against the crucifixion).  She may have just been a woman of Royalty who left her comfortable life behind to serve the Lord through Paul.  Interesting possibilities.22 

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

2 Timothy Overview

Last week we read 1 Timothy and the overview was quite long, so I will keep this short 😂 I promise!

Paul,  imprisoned in Rome, recognized that his earthly life was likely coming to an end soon. The Book of 2 Timothy is essentially Paul’s “last words.” Paul looked past his own circumstances to express concern for the churches and specifically for Timothy. Paul wanted to use his last words to encourage Timothy, and all other believers, to persevere in faith.  What would your last words be for the ones you love? ❤️

See, I told you.  Short. (I know what you are thinking…why can’t all her posts be that short!)😝

 

Hebrews 11-13

I drove around in the car all day (Christmas shopping) and tried to think about “Why does chapter 11: “The Hall of Faith” follow chapter 10.  So I went back and read how it ended (I could not remember).  Two verses stuck out:

34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

and

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.


Christian persecution was getting intense under Caesar Nero.  How easy would it be to “shrink back” and blend in with the unbelieving Romans?  So easy for me to say they should “persevere” since the only form of persecution I go through is being “mocked” by family members for being a “born again Christian” as if I joined a cult.

Faith: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Faith is not a loophole to explain the unexplained.  It is knowing that The Lord’s promises WILL be fulfilled.  We have full confidence.  Some of these examples are about knowing His promises WILL be fulfilled…and we may not live to see it. There is a big picture because we serve a big God.  They will also be fulfilled regardless of our circumstances or the world’s circumstances.

The Israelites had Faith but lacked trust.  Think about that for a minute.  Ok, let me stop rambling….


Chapter 11:

The first set: Pre-flood: Abel, Enoch, and Noah – They were all commended for their Faith.

The second set: The Patriarchs.  Their Faith, the best way I can think of it was “being blindfolded”.  They never looked back, they let God direct their path.  Amazing Faith and Trust!  They all went to the grave with unfilled promises of their generation, and they held their Faith to the grave that His Promises would be fulfilled in the generations to come.

The third set: The Exodus to the Conquest.  Time after time Israel’s deliverance was accomplished in defiance of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  In the same section, ‘The Moses’ transitions to a gentile prostitute.  Oh I bet the Jewish Leaders reading this had an aneurism😂!  Salvation is not based on identity nor your history.  Salvation is based on Faith.

The next section says 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets….

What?  sure you do!  I was excited that I recognized all the names… (lies Patricia! 🤥  You had to look back to see who Jephthah was!). What did they have in common?  They had Faith yet made huge mistakes!  (See, there is Hope for everyone!)

So what is the point of this chapter??

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.  

The entire chapter has been written as an encouragement to those being persecuted to preserve the view of the fact that God’s promise remains unfulfilled. Their Hope lay beyond the grave, and so do ours.  Chapter 11: “Hall of Faith” is not about the ancestors, it is about the God who keeps His Promises.


Chapter 12

A decade later, 'The Passion' still raises questions of anti-Semitism | National Catholic Reporter Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, SO THAT you will not grow weary and lose heart.


I think the rest of the read is really amazing, and I have babbled on long enough…Feel free to end hear, but my random ADHD thought are below.


  • (4-12)Discipline.  How we have made that un ugly word.  When you hear it do you think punishment??  I think it is important to reflect to discern the difference between discipline, consequence, and punishment.  Very different circumstances.
  • (14-16)…or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Esau, oh Esau.  Just like kids today!  He exemplifies the person who exchanges the “unseen future” for an “immediate pleasure”.
  • (18-29) Ummmm that was like reading another language…very confusing.   I read it a few times and I pulled out the contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.  Fear verse Grace.

The Conclusion (This conclusion is SO good, we could have skipped the 1st twelve chapters and just read this!

  • loving one another
  • Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.   👼🏼👼🏼👼🏼
  • remember those in prison/mistreated as if it were you (have empathy)
  • Honor your marriage (if you are currently married).  It is an oath you made.
  • Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

    • I pulled out the above scripture because I have seen people pull this one apart and use parts of it in their lives where they want it.  READ the whole thing in context.  VERY POWERFUL.
  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
  • Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. 
  • Continually praise the Lord with your mouth
  • 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
  • 1Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority
  •  Pray

Hebrews 7-10

Earlier I put a post about Melchizedek.  It will make Chapters 7 and 8 crystal clear if you read them before today’s read.

This book is from a Jew to a Jew, telling them not to be a JewRemember the audience.  Since Moses came down the Mountain from Mt. Siani, the Jewish people had a priesthood.  Telling them to throw everything they ever knew out the window was hard. So it would be for you and me too.

Verse 1-7- the explanation.  I felt like the author says these seven verses without taking a breath!  Justifying why the Levitical line did not matter today and ending in verse 7 with…there weren’t even Levites when this even happened!

Click here to print this:

Matthew Dowling: Jesus Christ, Melchizedek, and Hebrews 7:1-10

So let’s put one of the arguments on the table: Verse 11

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the Law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

Let’s get the conversation out of the way about WHO Melchizedek is:

  • Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. 
  • He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.
  • The name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness.”
  • also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
  • Without father or mother,
  • without genealogy, 
  • without beginning of days or end of life,
  • resembling the Son of God, 
  • he remains a priest forever.

So is Melchizedek a Typology or a Theophany?

  • A typology is a form of symbolism that is prophetic; for example, in Old Testament typology, people and objects may point to something yet to happen or someone (most often Jesus) who is yet to come.
  • A theophany or Christ is a physical appearance of God/Jesus to a human being.
    • Non-human form (like the burning bush)
    • Human form (like when Jacob wrestled with the man in Peniel)
    • Angel form (Angel of the Lord)

I could argue both if I was on a debate team, but I have an opinion of my own.  Do you think typology or theophany?  I have heard many defend their side and love hearing it.


Back to Hebrews 7 😁

Why do we need a NEW Priesthood??

  1. 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the Law must also be changed. (It was Changed.  From External Law to Internal Law, written on our hearts)
  2. 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life
  3. .18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced,
  4. 20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind:
    ‘You are a priest forever.’

25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Jesus as High Priest:

  • one who is holy,
  • blameless,
  • pure,
  • set apart from sinners,
  • exalted above the heavens.
  • He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day (first for his own sins and then for the people’s sins).
  • He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the Law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Chapter 8 is AMAZING.  Can I cut and paste the whole thing right here to underline and bold my favorite parts??  Ok, I won’t, BUT I have to do at least one!

I will start with the last verse:

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Now back to verse 8:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors

when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,

This reminds me of Matthew 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”


Chapter 9 and 10: Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up.”

Do you miss the OT as much as I do? (I mean studying it, I don’t want to be under the Law)😂

Peeling away the south wall to look inside Holy PlaceMost Holy Place

The Tabernacle was just a foreshadow of Christ.  That is why the blueprint was set up like a Cross.  Not just the furniture inside the Tabernacle, but the arrangement of the tribes by population.

Three Crosses In The Midst Of God's People: A Look At The Tabernacle Of God – Truth Ignited Blogs

The Tabernacle/Temple worship has been fulfilled!

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.


Let’s clarify a point:  Levitical sacrifices in the OT did not take away sins.  However, the faith that the sacrifice was an atonement (a covering) did.  Both Covenants relied on faith.  However, the Old Covenant was temporary and required continual sacrifice.  Salvation is the same before the Cross and After.  Your sin was covered by FAITH that the shedding of blood from something innocent covered your sin.

The New Covenant fulfilled all the rituals and regulations of the Law.  The Perfect Sacrifice was made to cover the sin of those with faith, but it was done once and for all!

To reject the sacrifice in both the old and the new systems leads to death.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 2How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

This is a very serious passage!  A reality check!✅


9 days left

 

Post #1- Melchizedek

Think of this post as a movie trailer for Chapters 7 and 8.  I will give the background to the mysterious chapter 7 of Hebrews (because we are human and curious), but the whole time the focus is not on Melchizedek; it is on the Lord.

Genesis 14- (Oh, how I wish we could now go back and reread the entire Bible…the gems we would see now)

Background: Before Genesis 14, Abram (Abraham) left his home and headed to Canaan (obeying the Lord).  He took with him his nephew Lot.  They had too many possessions, and to avoid arguments, they split the company.  Lot, being young and wild, headed towards the region of Sodom, the party town.

Genesis 13 Bible Pictures: Abram with his nephew Lot | Bible pictures, Abraham and lot, Bible

In the meantime, rulers and kings were fighting for land called.  For about 12 years, 4 kings:—Elam, Shinar, Ellasar, and Goiim—had ruled in and around Canaan. Finally, the five kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar have gathered their forces to stand against the eastern kings.  To make a long story short (too late), the 5 kings defeated the 4 kings.  HOWEVER, Lot got swept up in the plunder in all the chaos.

A survivor comes and tells Abram what has happened. Then, without hesitation, Abram—who is more than seventy-five years old, gathers a mere 318 men trained for the battle to save Lot.

What could Abram’s small army do against this force that had conquered all in their path without a loss? With God’s help, they could win. They do so in one night! Abram’s forces chase down the enemy and retrieve Lot, all of his possessions, and everything else the eastern kings had plundered along the way.

As Abram returns home, two kings come out to meet him.

  • One is the king of Sodom (Genesis 13:13), who survived the battle.
  • The other is a mysterious figure identified as Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of God Most High.
    • Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness,” was a king of Salem (Jerusalem) (Peace) and priest of the Most High God.
    • Melchizedek brings Abram bread and wine and a blessing from God.
    • Abram immediately responds by giving ten percent of all the plunder to God’s priest.
    • Melchizedek is both a High Priest AND a King.

Why are we talking about Melchizaeke in Genesis, and why does he get a whole chapter in Hebrews? (chapter 7)

Read part of Genesis 14: (Click here to read the chapter…it’s so good)

17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was the priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Who Assumed Melchizedek's Priesthood? - TheTorah.com


The LAST scripture in yesterday’s read (Hebrews 6) was: He (Jesus) has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Here are what we know and some questions…

  • The priests in the Old Testament come from the line of Levi (Melchizadek does not)
  • The High Priest comes from Aaron’s (Moses’ brother) descendants (Melchizadek does not)
  • If God put the Levitical priesthood in place- why would we need a Priest from a different order?
  • Was the old order weak and flawed?
  • Finally, who is this guy??

 

Hebrews 1-6

God has used prophets and various ways (vision, dreams, even through the mouth of a donkey) to speak to people.  But now He speaks to us through Jesus. So why does this book open with this?  False teachers during this time were preaching that we could only approach God through angels.

Then the author begins to quote from the Old Testament often.  One specific quote was from Psalm 102:

25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.

Greek Philosophers were teaching that the Earth was indestructible and permanent.  The Hebrew author says:

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

Oh, it will happen, my friends….in Revelation 21. 🌎


The last verse in chapter 1 should rock your world and fill your heart!!

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Is this where we get the lingo “Guardian Angel”?  I am so so so careful not to think of anything but the Trinity even though I obviously know there are angels.  However, as a Christian, angels: under God’s authority, minister to us, serve us!  How amazing is that!!


So what do we know about them? (Other than my husband thinks I am one 😜👼🏼)

We know that angels are significant in God’s plan. Thirty-Four books in the Bible mention angels:

Over 300 references to Angels in the entire Bible

The New Testament uses the Greek word “angelas”-meaning “one who is dispatched or a messenger.”

Other terms they are called in the Bible:

  • Holy Ones (Psalm 89)
  • Watchers (Daniel 4)
  • Dominions, principalities, powers, and authorities (Paul’s Letters)
  • Cherubim (‘special agent’ angels) were guards in Eden and on the tabernacle,
  • Seraphim- musically talented
  • Living creatures (in Ezekiel and  Revelation)-they were the ones with the 4 faces
  • Ministering Spirits-Hebrews

Three are called by a name:

  1. Michael (Archangel, top-ranked)
  2. Gabriel (I call him the “Public Speaker”)
  3. Lucifer (his name before his fall)-means son of the morning, the light bearer, morning star,  or shining star.

We don’t know how many there are, but they are referenced as a ‘multitude’ or ‘innumerable,’ so I think A LOT!


Ok, off-track…Back to Hebrews.

Chapter 2 continues to distinguish Jesus from angels. The chapter includes Old Testament quotes to make these points. In addition, the writer of Hebrews warns against the dangers of ignoring the message of Christ and refers to the way Jesus became human to perfectly serve as our ultimate high priest. An angel could not experience true humanity—they cannot call us “brothers.” Christ became a man to completely destroy the Devil’s power of death and sin over us.


Now that he taught Jesus was superior to angels, the author needs to tackle another topic: Moses.  Moses was revered and honored among Jews (Hebrews).

Is there a scientific explanation behind Moses and the Burning Bush? | Office for Science and Society - McGill University

Moses' First Miracles – TravisAgnew.org

Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the moun… | Biblia imagen, Imágenes religiosas, Arte cristiano

 

Yes, Moses’ works were important but he doesn’t compare to Jesus. Moses pointed to the great things that God would do, but Jesus actually did those great things.

Remember the audience of the book. The recipients of this book were NOT at Pentecost.  (maybe as very young children).  It was 35ish years ago.  They are just like the recipients of Deuteronomy; after the wandering in the desert, they did not have a 1st hand account; they had to TRUST the scriptures. Unfortunately, the Hebrews did not trust the Lord, and 40 years of wandering was the consequence.  This author is warning the readers of the same possible outcome, figuratively.

The author is speaking to Christain Jews (already converted). This kind of doubt does not imply a loss of salvation. In the book of Exodus, “salvation” is represented by the Passover escape from Egypt. God did not send Israel back to the Egyptians when they doubted it. Instead, He withheld from them the victory of entering the Promised Land (an abundant life, a Rest, A Sabbath from their hard work).

Think about that.  Re-read that.


Chapter 4.  We, as believers, read the Scriptures, believe them, obey them by trusting in Jesus.   Our ‘rest’ is our Peace because we have Hope.  We trust his Word.  There was a time God said to their ancestors:

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

And they did not… They wandered until the entire generation passed away.  They never got their ‘rest’ in Cannan like God had PROMISED them.  They did not trust God.  But now they have an opportunity to have the Rest their ancestors did not.  Believe in the fullness of the Scriptures.  Allow the scriptures to change you: your belief, heart, and behavior.  Can the Word do that?

12 For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


This will be the hardest concept for people under “Judaism.”  The topic of High Priest.

The Priests were from the tribe of Levi.  The High Priest was appointed by God from the line of Aaron (Moses’ brother).  The qualifications were:

  1. Appointed by God to represent men before God; and God before men.
  2. Offer gifts and sacrifice for sin.
  3. Full of compassion for those who willingly or ignorantly sinned (unintentional sin on the Day of Atonement)
  4. The High Priest must offer sacrifices for his own sin before offering sacrifices for the people.
  5. The High Priest cannot be self-appointed.

The author quotes Psalm 102 and 110:

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father.”

And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

  • He was appointed by God
  • As a sacrifice for sin
  • He was tempted too, so he is compassionate
  • He is sinless
  • He is greater than any Levite- he comes from another order’-Melchizedek (we will get into this tomorrow)

Chapter 6 (MY FAVORITE FOR TODAY)

  • It is time to grow up (time to put down the baby bottle and eat solid food)
      • 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil
    • Just because you have strayed from Truths does not mean you can’t come back.
      • It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance
  • Stop putting Jesus on the Cross every day.  Once was all that was needed.
  • To their loss, they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

If a human High Priest is needed, and Jesus did not make a sacrifice for our sins, out of compassion, according to God’s will, then why was he on the Cross.  If they continue to make sacrifices at the Temple,  it is saying Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough. (I vote: Destroy the Temple!)


The chapter ends with the Faith of Abraham.

Scratch that.

The Chapter ends with the Oath of God.

16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

YOU have Faith.  God confirms your Salvation with a Covenant.  His Promise is Greater than ours.  He entered the Presence of God behind the curtain on our behalf.  He tore the veil for us.  Forever.


In that, we have Hope.19 We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

15+ Bible Verses and Anchors (Having Faith & Hope in God)

 

 

Hebrews overview

The author of this book is unknown. Suggested authors have included Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, or Apollos. The most common opinion is that the letter was written by Paul. (that’s not my opinion…what is yours?)

Much is unknown about the audience of Hebrews. Though it is addressed to both Jewish and Gentile Christians (since it mentions the Gentile Christian leader Timothy), much of the book emphasizes Christianity in relationship to Jewish teachings. Maybe that is why they titled it “Hebrews.” The theme of persecution is strong, and the temple sacrificial system appears to still be in practice, indicating a time before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. In Rome, a likely audience was Jewish converts to Christianity during Nero’s persecution of Christians between AD 64 and 68.

The thirteen chapters of Hebrews address five main themes:

  1.  The superiority of Jesus.  Jesus is superior to the angels and is greater than Moses.
  2. The priesthood of Jesus.  Jesus, Himself is The High Priest.
  3. The ministry of Jesus as the High priest.
  4. The many privileges believers have through Jesus.
  5. The behaviors that are important to living for Jesus. These include how believers treat others and how they are to relate to the Lord.

Just like Romans was a foundational book for the Gentiles, this is the counterpart to the Jews in Jerusalem.


Something to chew on…

Think about this for a minute, before Christ came, all Jewish people were taught to make atonement for their sins through animal sacrifice.  It is an extremely important part of religion and their way of life.  So Christ comes as the Promised Messiah to fulfill all the ritual acts, specifically handed down from God himself.  Before Christ, they lived a legal life of order, sacrifice, hierarchy, priests…etc. So now that Jesus did come, and many Jews came to believe, what do you do with all they were taught their whole life? (some of you may be going through this personally as we read this New Testament together).

As long as there is a standing temple (and it won’t be for long), the Jews (even Christian Jews) will feel this human effort to make sacrifices to the Lord.  It makes sense; it would be tough to literally change everything taught for 2000 years.  So God breathes this letter through an unnamed author,  confirming all the Law was a SHADOW of The Christ to come.  ALL of it. 

  • The tabernacle,
  • The temple,
  • The animal sacrifices,
  • The feasts,
  • The Priests

Shortly after this book is written to the Christian Jews, the Temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed, so God is preparing them for what is to come since only sacrifices and priests are part of a Temple Worship. (that is why Jews do not currently make sacrifices.

God needs to eliminate the temple to focus on Christ, not on ritual.  See, all that we learned in the Old Testament WAS a Shadow of Christ.  Partaking in any exercise that we think earns favor with the Lord in Salvation eliminates our Faith in the Messiah.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6


Of course, I had to put this…

My dad just sent me this Jewish dad joke : dadjokes