Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 47
Christ, The Seed of Abraham – Part 2
Hebrews 2:10-17 & II Corinthians 5:14-20
We are presently in the book of Hebrews. Years back we started in Genesis and we have been coming up through the Bible, as our title of the program implies, and we have already finished 13 lessons in Hebrews. Now we’re going to pick right up where we left off after the last lesson, and that would be Hebrews chapter 2 verse 11.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:…”
Alright, I’m going to stop there first. Here again we have this whole concept that God does something and we are the recipients, in this case it is sanctification. God sanctified those of us who are His own. We have that same connotation in Romans chapter 3. It follows all the way through, that the God of Glory, the God of Creation, the One Who is Sovereign, everything He does is based on that Sovereign Grace. He can show mercy to whom He will show mercy. And in order to pick up the flow, let’s just pick up in verse 23. You remember that verse 23 is the capstone of the judicial decree as God finds the whole human race guilty.
“For all (every last human being) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” But, we follow that up just like we did in Genesis. Just as soon as Adam sinned, God followed it up with what? A plan of redemption. The same way here. He comes to the conclusion that ALL have sinned. Every human being, but He follows it right up with a remedy. Being justified! Just as if we had never sinned!
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood (that shed blood of the Cross) to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:” In other words, through His mercy and grace. Now here is the verse I wanted to come to. The word is ‘sanctified’ in Hebrews but here we are looking at justification.
“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: (that is the righteousness of God) that he (God! Usually in the Person of the Son. The One Who fulfilled it all on our behalf.) might be just, (totally fair) and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Do you see the same connotation? In Hebrews, we find that God is the One Who sanctifies, He’s the One Who acts on it and we are the recipients. Now it is the same here with justification. God is the One Who declares us just! And He is the justifier of those of us who believe and then become justified. So you have this whole idea throughout the Scripture, how that God Himself precipitates everything and we just rake it in, don’t we? Oh, we just rake it in and too many times we don’t realize how much God has done on our behalf. Come back to Hebrews chapter 2, once again.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:…”
That is hard to comprehend, isn’t it? Do you know what that is saying? That just as soon as God saves us, justifies us and sanctifies us, we come into the Body of Christ. And as a member of the Body of Christ, we are all what? One! Whether we are rich or poor, whether we are black or white, Jew or Gentile, when we become a member of the Body of Christ of which He is the head, then we are all one!
I have mentioned on the program over and over, that’s why believers are never strangers very long. You can go into a home of a believer that you have never known before but if they are a true believer, in five minutes you feel like you have known them all your life! That’s the reason! Because we have all become one. Now the last portion of the verse is probably, once again that which most people totally miss, where it says:
“…for which cause (because He has justified us. Because he has sanctified us. He has made us all one in Christ. So for that cause) he (Christ) is not ashamed to call them brethren,”
This is interesting! Jesus was born into the Nation of Israel. So, for all practical purposes, we can say that He was born a Jew. As such, Jesus could refer to the Jews of his day as his brethren. But, as I was looking at this, I couldn’t help but think, is there ever an instance in Scripture where they called Him brother? Never! Never did they call Him brother Jesus. Never did they call Him “our brother.” So, we have to be carefule how we use some of these things. But, He could very well speak of fellow Jews as His brethren, but they would dare not call Him their brother.
A good example is in Matthew chapter 25 which is when Christ has set up His Kingdom, still in the future, and He is seated on His throne in Jerusalem. This is at the end of the Tribulation. Actually the Tribulation is over and we have begun the glorious earthly Kingdom. He is separating the lost survivors of the Tribulation from the saved survivors of the Tribulation, in order to determine who can go into the Kingdom.
It is pretty well established that the ones who are believers have become that because of the 144,000 Jews who were the evangelists during the Tribulation. So let’s look at these verses, in light of that word ‘brethren.’ Chapter 25, verse 31 of Matthew. I didn’t intend to do this but I guess the Spirit is leading in that direction, so we will just follow. Here we are now after the Tribulation has run it’s course.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”
We all know that Christ is not on a throne today. He is at the Father’s right hand. He’s the Head of the Body, but He is not a King on a throne. But, the day is coming at His Second Coming where he will establish His throne in Jerusalem and all the prophecies made concerning Israel, especially, will be fulfilled. Yes the day is coming when he will be the King of Israel. But, He is NOT a King to the Church. I don’t think anyone can ever show me a verse that shows that Christ is a King to the Church. If you can, you will have to show me because I just can’t find it! Here, in these verses, He is on His throne, and He is the King! Let’s read on, verse 32.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations:…” Survivors at the end of that horrible seven years, when all of the billions of the planet have lost their lives. But there will be a few left, Isaiah says in chapter 24:6. These few will be a mix of believers and unbelievers, as always. Christ will bring them before Him in Jerusalem. All this, remember, is to show the term “brethren!” This is a long way around, I know it is!
“…and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” That is a simile! Just like a shepherd will divide sheep from goats, Christ is going to separate the lost from all these nations (which are Gentiles), from the saved. The saved are likened unto the sheep and the lost unto the goats. That’s all it is, just a simile. Now verse 33.
“And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Now here it comes, verse 34!
“Then shall the (The King! Because it says, He’s going to sit on the throne of His Glory.) King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom(the one He is setting up on earth) prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” This is what the whole program of God has been working toward. The day when Christ would return and set up His glorious kingdom promised primarily to the Nation of Israel. Then He says in verse 35.
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat (food), I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in:” And so forth as it continues in verse 37.
“Then shall the righteous (these believers) answer him, saying Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?” Now, verse 40:
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my (what?) brethren,…” Who were his brethren that were instrumental in the salvation of these Gentiles? The 144,000 Jews who were commissioned to go out around the planet, during that seven years. But Jesus refers to those Jewish young men as His BRETHREN! That’s why we know that they had to be Jews. He doesn’t call Gentiles His brethren. We are not the brethren of Christ in the flesh. Israel was by virtue of His being born into the family of Joseph and Mary.
I just wanted you to see how Jesus referred to these Jewish young men, the 144,000, as His brethren. But we never in Scripture see a Jew of any status calling Him their brother. So I think it’s a point to be taken that back here in Hebrews, it is just exactly like we see here in Matthew where he can refer to the Jewish people as his brethren. And that of course, is who we are addressing in the book of Hebrews. Come back to Hebrews then, chapter 2, verse 12.
“Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, (that is to the Jewish people) in the midst of the church (I prefer the word assembly, the ecclesia) will I sing praise unto thee.”Verse 13.
“And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children (the born ones) which God hath given me.”
I’m not going to take time to go back, but I think most of you who are Bible students, you know there is one chapter in our New Testament where you see Jesus referring to those who were given him. Remember where it was? John 17. In His high priestly prayer, what did He pray? “I thank you Father for those whom you have given me.” Well, I think He is referring primarily to the Twelve, but all of this fits together, that when God makes reference to His brethren, He is primarily keeping the Jewish people in mind. Again, He is referring to the fact that these Jewish believers were given to Him as a work of God. Now verse 14.
“Forasmuch then as the children (the offspring) are partakers of flesh and blood, he also (speaking of His birth through Mary at Bethlehem) himself likewise took part of the same;…”
What’s He referring to? How that He became flesh, not through a creative act like He made Adam. He could have! But you see Christ didn’t just suddenly appear, 30 years old, as a creative act of God, ready to begin His earthly ministry. Instead, God brought Him about how? Through the virgin Mary, so that He could be identified with the human race and with Israel in particular.
So, all of this is just part of the amazing plan of redemption. We depend on it, but I am afraid that most of us never really stop to think. The best word I can find for it is ‘amazing!’
A word comes to mind. Come back to Ephesians. I can prepare for weeks for these programs and I never use what I prepare. But, anyway, this verse comes to mind and I hope it fits. In Ephesians chapter 3, coming down to verse 8. This is beyond human comprehension. The only little bit that we can get is by faith anyway, but it is just so far beyond us. Paul writes:
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, if this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;”
Do you know what that word ‘unsearchable’ means? Unfathomable. There is no way that you and I can contemplate and understand the unfathomable riches and love of Christ. It is beyond us. What little bit we can grasp, yes, we take by faith. Now read on in verse 9 – Paul’s whole emphasis for living:
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (the secrets that had been revealed to this Apostle) which from the beginning of the world (ages) hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10. To the intent (it is not an accident. Everything has its purpose) that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church (the Body of Christ) the manifold wisdom of God,”
What does that word manifold mean? If you have a manifold on your engine, what is it? All the different ducts out of which your exhaust flows. Manifold – many! Not just one. If you have an eight cylinder, you are going to have eight. If sixteen cylinder, you will have sixteen. Alright, this is manifold! It’s just so numerous. We can’t contemplate it. Now, one more verse before we go back to Hebrews. All of this is:
“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our LORD:”
Who purposed it? God did! Who set the whole thing in motion? God did! Another verse comes to mind, I wasn’t going to use it, but I think it is appropriate. Acts chapter 2, jump in at verse 23. I have used it before, quite awhile ago now. But, oh, what a verse! Again, I don’t think we can contemplate it all, it is just beyond us! Acts chapter 2 verse 23, this is Peter preaching to the Nation of Israel. He says it in verse 22 – Ye men of Israel!
“Him, (speaking of Jesus of Nazareth) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” Think of that a minute. When I taught in Acts, I had somebody write and say I used the word counsel as it was spelled “council.” But it is counsel. You know the difference.
The council is the group and the counsel is what comes out of that group. So I was still alright! I didn’t feel guilty! I still feel I was appropriate, because you see the council would have been the triune God, way back in eternity past. They came together and in that council of the three, the end counsel was that they would create the universe. They would put a little planet down at the tip of the Milky Way and on that little planet they would put two people and they would set the whole ball of wax in motion.
That’s what came out of that original determining council of God. Isn’t it amazing. How many times have I told the television class, as well as my other areas of teaching, that I can’t comprehend how that God set it all in motion. He left men and nations with total freedom. They sign treaties and they build armies, and Navies and Air Forces and all of that. Total freedom! And, yet here we are 6,000 years after all of that began and it is right on God’s timetable! How did He do it? I can’t explain it! But, I believe it!
He hasn’t made puppets out of anybody. But, here the world is after 6,000 years, just exactly where this book says it would be. And all determined by that original council of God. Mind boggling, isn’t it? Yes it is! It is unsearchable!! Back to Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;…”
He became flesh. A human. Listen! I’ve stressed that so often. He was totally God. He could still the wind and the waves of Galilee. He could raise a dead Lazarus. Yet, He was totally human. He got hungry! He got tired! He wept! Why? Because the human part of Him sorrowed just like Mary and Martha did. He was totally human.
What Hebrews is showing, is that the God Who created everything is also the God Who took on human flesh and became the man from Glory. That is why Paul writes to Timothy that we have One Mediator between God and men, Who? The man, Christ Jesus! The MAN, Christ Jesus. The man in Glory. So now He also took part of flesh and blood:
“…that through death he might destroy him (Satan) that had the power of death, that is, the devil:”
In a previous taping, I made mention of the fact that the only way you can get new life is to confront it with death! Death is the only thing that can precipitate new life. All through the plant world, and, I think, also in the reproduction within the woman, that when the sperm penetrates the ovum, I’m almost positive that one or the other of those die. I don’t know whether it is the sperm or the ovum, but one of them dies. I am quite convinced and out of that comes the new life.
Well, you see it is the same way with Christ. There was only one way that He could remove death from the human experience. What was it? He had to die. He HAD to die. He had to overcome death with death. Life is in the blood. So what had to happen? He had to shed it. And so it is His shed blood then that became the very linchpin of our plan of redemption.
Now I have one more verse I use quite often. Back up a few pages to Philippians chapter 2, starting at verse 5. Oh, this says it so explicitly. Paul writes.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, (Christ Jesus) being in the form of God, (absolutely, He never stopped being God) thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But (as God, He) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, (as a result of that determining council back in Acts chapter 2) and became obedient unto death, (not just an ordinary death) even the death of the cross.”
Remember, it had to be a death that could be likened to the serpent in the wilderness, that as it was lifted up, so also must the Son of Man be lifted up.