THE NEW TESTAMENT
Epistle to Hebrews #9
The duty of the High Priest in religion is to offer both
gifts and sacrifices - of course we are speaking in times past
before the New Covenant age of Christianity.
A High Priest being human, can also have compassion on those
who are not perfect, who sin, and who miss the mark of holiness.
The Priest being not perfect either, must also give offerings for
Under the Old Covenant in Israel, the High Priest was
appointed by God as Aaron was, the calling not being men's ideas,
but the calling and service was from God. The Hebrews knew all
this truth, hence Paul leads into the same arguments of truth for
Jesus Christ. It was not some fancy vain idea of Christ to become
a High Priest for mankind towards God the Father. It was the
Father's will and plan and desire to have Jesus born through the
Holy Spirit into a human man. Hence the Scriptures can say, "You
art ny Son, this day I have begotten you" (Psalm 2:7).
And also the Scripture says, "You are a Priest after the
order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:6).
We shall come back with Paul later, to a more detailed
connection and typology with Christ and Melchizedek, in chapter
Jesus was human as well as divine. Yes fully human and fully
divine. Jesus needed to be close to the Father in prayers and
supplications, with at times strong crying and even tears, unto
Him that was able to save Him from sin and death. And the Father
was indeed well pleased and did hear and did provide Jesus with
the Holy Spirit without measure, we are told in the Gospels.
Jesus needed mighty strength and power to withstand the
temptations and power of the Devil, and the pull of human nature.
Together with those factors and the factor of living in a society
that was sinful in many ways, it is mighty difficult to remain
sinless. Think about it. You may at times be close enough to God
to have no wrong thought, no wrong word, no wrong action. Maybe
you can be like that for an hour, maybe a few hours, maybe a half
day, possibility even a whole day. But think about having to try
and live like that day after day, week after week, month after
month, year after year!
Surely living perfect and holy all your life, would take
MUCH prayer, MUCH supplication, many heart-felt TEARS at times.
It was no easy cake walk for Jesus to remain sinless, why
just one sin from Him, and it would have been all over, and
mankind would or could never be saved to eternal glory in the
family of God.
Jesus had to put forth great personal effort of mind to be
always so close to the Father, that with the help of the power of
the Holy Spirit, He could remain sinless. Yes, he was the Son of
God in a miraculous way, but He learned day after day just what
it meant to be OBEDIENT. Jesus learnt from the daily situations
of life that we encounter and which can effect our thinking and
our words and our actions, what it was like and what was needed
to continually be obedient to the will and way of the Father.
Then when it was all finished for Him in this physical flesh
and blood life, He was glorified to eternal PERFECTION, where sin
could never again even be a temptation. Paul tells us also an
important truth here. Jesus was the AUTHOR - the one to write the
book so to speak - for eternal salvation. It is a truth that
clearly tells us that NO OTHER physical person who has EVER
lived, has EVER gained as yet, eternal salvation in glorious
perfection. No, not Enoch, no not, Moses, no not Elijah - NO ONE
except Christ has been glorified to eternal perfection of
salvation. Elsewhere in the writings of Paul he tells us that
Christ Jesus has PRE-EMINENCE in ALL things. And here in Hebrews,
part of that pre-eminence is being the AUTHOR or salvation. Jesus
has written the book on how physical people can obtain and
inherit eternal salvation. On this Website I have a full in-depth
study showing that Enoch, Moses, and Elijah, are NOT in heaven,
they are STILL dead, in their graves, and await the resurrection
of the dead. Paul also again clearly tells us this is so at the
end of Hebrews chapter 11.
If we OBEY Christ we can also inherit eternal salvation in
Christ Jesus was called of God, and He was called to be a
High Priest AFTER THE ORDER of "Melchizedek." Paul said he could
say many things about this truth, but it would be hard to utter
these things to them, because they had dulled their ears to
hearing such wonders and truths. Paul got into some straight
talk, shoot from the hip words, at times, with people who had
closed their ears and mind to wonderful truths of God.
Paul told them that THEY, those Hebrews should by now have
become TEACHERS of these truths, yet they themselves needed to be
taught AGAIN, the FIRST principles of God. They needed the MILK
of the word of truth, and could not digest strong meat.
What a sad state in the life of a Christian to be at the
point of not hearing God's word speak to you, revealing to you
deep and deeper things of the meat of the Father's truths. It is
something we need to be watchful with all of our lives, to never
be dull of hearing, complacent, having a "oh hum, ain't
interested in exploring deeper into God's word" attitude. We are
told by the apostle Peter to "grow in grace and knowledge" - we
can not do that if we are not "thinking" - "reading" - studying"
- "meditating" - "searching" - and always open to let the Holy
Spirit lead us into all truths. It's the attitude of having an
open mind, yet at the same time not so open that our brains fall
out, and then being pushed around with every wind of doctrine,
tossed here and there. It is having a fine balance between the
two. It can be done. It is not easy, and many have not learned
HOW to be balanced, and many have made shipwreck their eternal
salvation. But with God all things are possible. I personally
have experienced the wonder of it all, as God has led me, via His
Holy Spirit into all truths, certainly all truths that are
required for salvation, and many truths that are just great to
know, and open up and bring to life the power, and majesty, and
plan of the Almighty, as He works His work on this earth here
Paul says that STRONG MEAT belongs to those who have MATURED
in spirituality, who have been exercised by God's word, who use
it daily to exercise their spiritual muscles and build up their
strength of correct senses to discern both that which is evil and
that which is good (verses 1-14).
Paul urges his readers to now leave the basic principles and
truths of God and move on to greater perfection. Yes, the basic
truths we need to clearly know, but after knowing them, we do not
stand still, we do not "tread water" but we SWIM on!
The foundational, tread the water truths of God, are now
listed for us. They are: REPENTANCE from dead works, FAITH
towards God, the teachings of BAPTISMS, the LAYING ON OF HANDS,
the RESURRECTION of the dead, and eternal PUNISHMENT.
All these foundational truths are FULLY explored in the form
of IN-DEPTH studies on this Website.
Paul gives a grave and sober truth here. Those two have been
called and chosen, who have truly been partakers of the heavenly
gift, who have been enlightened, who have had the Holy Spirit,
and who have indeed tasted the good word of God and the very
power of the age to come. IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, TO RENEW THEM
AGAIN TO REPENTANCE, as they have crucified the Son of God once
more, and so have put Him to open shame.
What words to meditate upon! What soberness they contain!
What seriousness is in them! They are there in the holy word of
God. How many have lived and died being a part of this company
that cannot be renewed to repentance, only the resurrection will
The illustration of the physical earth is now given. The
water from God comes on the earth, without partiality in the
general terms of it all, and some lands dressed and cared for by
men, bring forth foods fit for eating, but some parts of the land
bring forth thorns and briers, which are rejected, and even
cursed sometimes, whose end is to be gathered and burned in the
As we read through the Gospels and the rest of the New
Testament, such illustrations of the good and bad, the wheat and
tares, the sheep and goats, are repeated often times. The bad,
the thorns and the briers, are one day to be gathered together
and cast into the furnace of fire, to be burned up, in the second
death that is spoken about in Revelation 21.
Paul does not want to leave them in utter despair and
downcast, as if he is telling them that THEY are in a hopeless
position, and can only face the fire of destruction. No, he does
NOT believe they are beyond all hope of salvation. In fact he
knows they have done well in the past, have had good works, labor
of love, showing it in the way they have served God and served
the saints, even ARE STILL serving the saints. He wants them to
CONTINUE to show the same DILIGENCE, to the full assurance of the
hope, unto THE END! He wants them to not be SLOTHFUL, lazy,
sleepy, in their spirituality, but to be followers of those who
through FAITH and PATIENCE (living and practicing what is right
in the sight of God) will INHERIT the promises pertaining to
He gives them the example of one of their great old fathers
- Abraham. He was faithful, he believed God, he obeyed God, he
served the Almighty. God had promised that his very descendants
in the flesh would be multiplied as the stars of heaven. Abraham
patiently endured, walking with God, serving Him, obeying Him,
and he finally received the son of promise.
The Eternal had first PROMISED to Abraham, then God SWORE by
Himself, to Abraham that this would be so. There is none greater
than God, hence God swore by Himself. Men can make contracts with
each other, swear by this or that, to give some kind of assurance
to other men, that it will be so. But God has no greater to swear
by, so he swore on Himself, and it is written God cannot lie.
The AMPLIFIED BIBLE gives the sense of the last verses of
"Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more
convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit
the promise, the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan,
intervened (mediated) with an oath. This was so that, by two
changeable things (His promise and His oath) in which it is
impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who
have fled (to Him) for refuge, might have mighty indwelling
strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the
hope appointed for us and set before (us). (Now) we have
this (hope) as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (it
cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps
out upon it - a hope) that reaches farther and enters into
(the very certainty of the Presence) within the veil (Lev.
16:2). Where Jesus has entered in for us (in advance), a
Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the
order (with the rank) of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4)."
Paul again ends his thought by bringing his readers back to
Jesus as being HIGH PRIEST in heaven above. The very High Priest
of the rank of the famous Melchizedek to whom their great father
Abraham gave homage.
Paul will now go on in chapter 7, with the important
connection between Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. The connection
is far greater than any spirituality that could be given to Aaron
and the Levitical Priesthood or any High Priest coming from that
line of Aaron and Levi.
Written December 2006