“But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”
But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” Hebrew 1:6-9 NKJV
You and I live so far removed from the days Jesus walked the earth that we, more easily understand Jesus as fully God. Most of us do not see Him like we do not see God or the Holy Spirit. It is harder for us to understand Him as also (at the same time) being fully man. But every December we celebrate Christmas and try our best to remember that He came as a man, as a baby in a humble situation.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Hebrews 1-6 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). The book of Hebrews is written to the Hebrews believers (also called the Jewish believers) to address a few problems which are developing. It seems all the letters were written to address problems and corrupted doctrines trying to slide into the church – this is still happening today although these compromises and corruptions are not addressed and confronted as a global modern church.
Jews and gentiles developed different problems and different corruptions from each other when it came to following Jesus. We are already very familiar with the gentiles wondering if they had to come under the laws of atonement and Paul’s letters correcting that. But if you are a gentile, the book of Hebrews can still be nourishing meat for you, even though it isn’t addressed to you. And the timing (coming up on Christmas) is so appropriate for us. You see, like we sometimes struggle understanding Jesus was not just fully God, but also fully man – along with understanding why that is even important to understand… this book was written to people who knew (or knew of) Jesus as fully man, and to speak against those who are teaching that Jesus was just another prophet. The overall theme of the Book of Hebrews is Jesus, fulfilling prophesy, is the messiah – fully man and fully God.
Getting to know Jesus better on His birthday in in a deeper way is amazing!
The book start out with the heavenly conversations placing Jesus high above angels. And then the conflict in chapter 2 when Jesus becomes man which is lower than angels. This conflict is prefaced with the warning NOT to neglect your salvation!
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” 2:1
I have written pages on this topic with more words than are contained in the book of Hebrews! It is a vital concept to our journey. In these few verses beginning this chapter – basically what is said, I will re-explain in a parable:
If you are married and you do not get to know your spouse, for example not knowing they are fully King (or Queen), but married and living with you in some rural servant home with minimum means. And then, as you continue to NOT get to know your spouse, you also just stop talking since you both must rise early and get to work to manage life, them work hard all day, then go to bed late. So, conversation just fades away. But your spouse is sweet and loving so they leave you long love notes. And as the cares of life and business pulls, you stop reading them. Who has time to read long stupid love notes anyway?! And if this trend continues you wouldn’t even notice if your spouse did not return home one night. You wouldn’t notice if they left you. You drifted completely away.
So the shortest version of me explaining the importance of this book is that the author is saying that what is written in this book will not only help you get to know Jesus better, but understanding it may very well be the difference between you making it to heaven or not.
We have read that John, Peter, Paul, and Jesus have all warned us to hold onto our relationship with God. Not just our salvation – but the whole kit-n-caboodle.
Another example of drifting is my real life aunt. She rehearses conversations in her head, before she speaks to others. Plans it out and all the various answers. I am sure this habit came from just filling the time from when she decides she has something to say to someone and when she sees them (since she spent a good about of her adult life working and isolated from her family and friends). Now as she is older, she plays the conversations until she actually thinks it is a memory and the conversation has already happened. She has drifted away from us and she thinks she is closer than ever – as she has retired and no longer works and, therefore, is no longer forcibly isolated from us. We too can have full conversations with ourselves and think we were speaking with God and we can imagine all his possible answers and select one and play it in our heads until we believe it is so. And until we have actually slipped away without realizing we did.
Another means of slipping is falling asleep – like we saw in the book of Romans. They compromised little by little until their eyes were completely closed and they fell asleep. You can try to sleep though the chaos of today’s world – but that leads to death. Death.
As we read through the book of Hebrews we see all of these examples and more.
Written with true Hebrew logic and argument style – bathed in references to the Old Testament – this book says: once upon a time, God said something would happen and it did. This happened over and over and over again. Therefore, look and see it is happening again. God promised a savior – and Jesus, even though He isn’t a military leader, is that savior and fulfilled those scriptures. The book goes on to say they started off hot, believing. They not only need to get back to being HOT – but they need to maintain it! God is faithful – so be faithful back. However…
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” 5:12-14
And we finish today with the peril of not progressing in your relationship with God through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. So gentiles, aren’t you glad that you are reading this book even if it isn’t addressed to you. Because we ALL can slip away. It is the enemy’s number one strategy for destroying us is to try to convince us that we are ok when we are not. So dig into today’s reading while praying that God opens our eyes and ears and understanding. That we can receive wisdom and discernment to know how to apply this to ourselves.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse – this one will give you peace that passes understanding as the world around us spins out of control we know our sovereign God still has a plan! We may not be able to comprehend, but hang in there His way is better!!
NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
NLT – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
ESV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
KJV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
NKJV – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
NAS – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
AMP – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Hebrews 1-6 NKJV
God’s Supreme Revelation
1 God, who [a]at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the [b]worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had [c]by Himself [d]purged [e]our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
The Son Exalted Above Angels
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You”?
“I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son”?
6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
7 And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A [f]scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
11 They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment;
12 Like a cloak You will fold them up,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail.”
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Do Not Neglect Salvation
2 Therefore we must give [g]the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just [h]reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts[i] of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
The Son Made Lower than Angels
5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:
“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
7 You have made him [j]a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
[k]And set him over the works of Your hands.
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made [l]a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Bringing Many Sons to Glory
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who [m]sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
13 And again:
“I will put My trust in Him.”
“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not [n]give aid to angels, but He does [o]give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being [p]tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
The Son Was Faithful
3 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope [q]firm to the end.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but [r]exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Failure of the Wilderness Wanderers
16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The Promise of Rest
4 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, [s]not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if [t]Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
The Word Discovers Our Condition
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Our Compassionate High Priest
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Qualifications for High Priesthood
5 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can [u]have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. 3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. 4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
A Priest Forever
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.”
6 As He also says in another place:
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek”;
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the [v]oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are [w]of full age, that is, those who by reason of [x]use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The Peril of Not Progressing
6 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to [y]perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this [z]we will do if God permits.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 [aa]if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
A Better Estimate
9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and [ab]labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become [ac]sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
God’s Infallible Purpose in Christ
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the [ad]immutability of His counsel, [ae]confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two [af]immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we [ag]might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
- Hebrews 1:1 Or in many portions
- Hebrews 1:2 Or ages, Gr. aiones, aeons
- Hebrews 1:3 NU omits by Himself
- Hebrews 1:3 cleansed
- Hebrews 1:3 NU omits our
- Hebrews 1:8 A ruler’s staff
- Hebrews 2:1 all the more careful attention
- Hebrews 2:2 retribution or penalty
- Hebrews 2:4 distributions
- Hebrews 2:7 Or for a little while
- Hebrews 2:7 NU, M omit the rest of v. 7.
- Hebrews 2:9 Or for a little while
- Hebrews 2:11 sets apart
- Hebrews 2:16 Or take on the nature of
- Hebrews 2:16 Or take on
- Hebrews 2:18 tested
- Hebrews 3:6 NU omits firm to the end
- Hebrews 3:13 encourage
- Hebrews 4:2 NU, M since they were not united by faith with those who heeded it
- Hebrews 4:8 Gr. Jesus, same as Heb. Joshua
- Hebrews 5:2 deal gently with
- Hebrews 5:12 sayings, Scriptures
- Hebrews 5:14 mature
- Hebrews 5:14 practice
- Hebrews 6:1 maturity
- Hebrews 6:3 M let us do
- Hebrews 6:6 Or and have fallen away
- Hebrews 6:10 NU omits labor of
- Hebrews 6:12 lazy
- Hebrews 6:17 unchangeableness of His purpose
- Hebrews 6:17 guaranteed
- Hebrews 6:18 unchangeable
- Hebrews 6:18 M omits might