590 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 50 - Our High Priest - Part 2

590: Our High Priest – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 50

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Our High Priest – Part 2

Hebrews 6:11 – 7:19


Alright, now let’s go right into where we left off in Hebrews in the last lesson. I ran out of time and didn’t get to finish chapter 6 the way I wanted to, and so for just a moment or two before we go into chapter 7, let’s go back to chapter 6. Let me put a few more comments on verse 20. Getting back to that word “forerunner.”

Hebrews 6:20

“Whether the forerunner (the captain or the Author of our salvation, Jesus the Christ ) for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

Remember, for those of us in this Age of Grace, we are in a totally different scenario than Israel was in Christ’s earthly ministry. And so I’m going to bring you back to I Corinthians chapter 4 where Paul makes a statement that a lot of people don’t like. But when people say, “Well I follow Jesus,” then that’s making a pretty strong statement. And I don’t say it to be superfluous or anything like that, but I always put it this way. If you’re going to follow Jesus, what are you going to do when He comes to the shore of the Sea of Galilee and keeps going?” You can’t follow Him. You can’t walk on water. And the same way with a lot of things that He did in His earthly ministry.

But, here we have the Apostle of the Gentiles, the Apostle Paul, who never, never attempts to take the place of Christ in anything. In fact, that’s all Paul suffered for for twenty-five years, was to lift up the name of Jesus Christ. But here he says in I Corinthians chapter 4 verse 16, and take this to heart because, after all, all of our doctrines for this Age of Grace come from the pen of this Apostle. That doesn’t mean, as I’ve said over and over on this program; we don’t throw the Old Testament away. You don’t throw out the Four Gospels, and you don’t throw away the book of Revelation or any of that. But when it comes to basic doctrines for us in this Age of Grace, Paul is the Apostle for the Gentiles. So he says, in verse 16:

I Corinthians 4:16

“Wherefore I beseech you, (I beg you) be ye followers (he doesn’t say of Jesus, but of who?) of me.” Alright, now what does he mean by that? To pick that up you’ve got to turn and look at another verse. This should make it easier to swallow – I Corinthians 11 verse 1 where again the admonition is:

I Corinthians 11:1

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

So it stands to reason that the Apostle is not taking anything away from Christ’s leadership or from the fact that He is the Captain of our salvation. But you want to remember that as Paul came in, he too was the “head of the line” of lost sinners saved by grace as he made so plain:

I Timothy 1:16

“That in me (Paul) first, Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

Since Paul was the first (and a pattern for the Church), we’d better pay attention to the instructions that he gives for salvation. Our Lord used Paul to write these great doctrines of Grace based on the finished work of the Cross. And so, since he is the one to whom all these things were revealed, you see, this is why the Holy Spirit inspired him to write, “be ye followers of me.” Paul is the one who has truth for this day and age. Now then, let’s just finish verse 20 and get ready for chapter 7.

Hebrews 6:20

“Wherefore the forerunner…”

The Lord Jesus Himself is the One Who opened it up and as most of you know when the darkness fled and Christ gave up the ghost there back in the crucifixion, what happened to the veil at the Temple? Well, it was rent in twain. Not from the bottom up where men could have done it, but from the top down, showing that it was an act of God. Well this is all tied together, that as He opened up the veil and we are now given access into the very throne room of God, but we do it through the teachings of the Apostle Paul who was our particular leader as a member of the human race.

Alright chapter 7 verse 1, as we come back to Melchisedec. I say back to Melchisedec because we mentioned Him back in chapter 5. Let’s look at those verses beginning with verse 9.

Hebrews 5:9-10

“And being made perfect, (or totally complete. He brought everything to fruition) he became the author (there’s that word again instead of Captain) of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10. Called of God, an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”

But, then we drop Melchisedec, as not another word is spoken throughout all of chapter 6 or the rest of chapter 5 until we get to chapter 7. Now why? Well, next verse in Hebrews 5 verse 11 tells us. These people were not ready for any teaching concerning Melchisedec. They were too unspiritual. They were still babes in Christ. They couldn’t comprehend this priesthood of Melchisedec, and I imagine that’s most of church people today. Most people haven’t got a clue as to this priesthood of Melchisedec. And who he was and what he accomplished. And here’s the reason:

Hebrews 5:11

“Of whom (he says) we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing.” They weren’t ready for anything concerning Melchisedec. And then he goes on and he brings them to task, that even though they should have by now had enough handle on all of these things to go out and teach others, could they? No. No, they couldn’t teach anybody, they didn’t know it themselves.

So, everything down through here and then all the problems that we covered with those who were apostate up in chapter 6 and all these other things, he had to bring them down to the place where we just finished now in chapter 6 that they now understood. They now understood that the way into the Holiest of all had been opened up because of what Christ had accomplished on the Cross. And so now then, if we understand that much, hopefully, we’re ready to study Melchisedec. Now that’s the way I have to look at it. All of a sudden, because they were carnal believers and still on milk, Paul had to drop the subject of Melchisedec in chapter 5, until he got to the end of chapter 6, and hopefully they are becoming more mature, and getting there, and ready to understand about Melchisedec. Now let’s look at chapter 7 verse 1.

Hebrews 7:1a

“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God,…” Now if you don’t mind marking your Bible, underline those three words. The “most high God.”

Hebrews 7:1b

“…who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2. To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;”

Which means in the Hebrew ‘Shalom,’ he was the King of peace. Let’s go back and pick all that up in Genesis chapter 14. Here we will be introduced for the first time to this high priest of the most high God. In the Hebrew I think it was El Elyon. Now, we’re going to take this rather slowly because, like Paul indicates, you can’t understand these things concerning Melchisedec if you don’t have a pretty good handle on mature spiritual things.

Genesis 14:17-18

“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him (that is Abraham) after his return from the slaughter of the Chedorlaomer, (who had invaded Sodom and Gomorrah and had taken Lot and all of his family with them) and the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh which is the king’s dale. Remember Abraham is coming back having been victorious, and had rescued Lot and his family.

Genesis 17:18

And Melchizedek king of Salem (The King of Peace, which of course are the last letters of the city of Jerusalem, and would be the city of Jerusalem in a later day) brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.”

Now the most high God is a term that is never used concerning the children of Israel. The children of Israel were more acquainted with the term Jehovah, or El Shaddai but “the most high God” you see, as I’ve stressed in other lessons is the term of God that was not unique just to Israel, but to the whole of creation. He’s “the most high God” of everything. Jehovah is primarily the God concerning Israel. But this is the “most high God” and you’ll see this throughout Scripture.

I’m going to make a couple of points before we leave and chase down this title. We have this first introduction to Melchizedek with Abraham here at about 2000 BC. I say about,because we don’t know within a hundred years or so. But here we’re introduced to this high priest of the most high God at about 2000 BC. Now we might as well follow the Scripture so that you’ll follow me there and then we’ll come back. Jump all the way up to Psalms 110, and I think it’s verse 4. There is no mention of him in between from Genesis to Psalms. And now the Psalmist writes:

Psalms 110:4

“The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Let me give you a thought provoking question. How many years have passed by since Abraham was introduced to the priest of the most high and until David puts it here in the Psalms? About a thousand! A thousand years have gone by from Melchizedek’s introduction to Abraham until David. Now then, how many years went by from David until Paul brings him up again in Hebrews? Another thousand. Thousand year intervals, that we are introduced to this high priest Melchizedek. Amazing isn’t it?

Alright let’s come back to Genesis and let’s just pick this apart a little further. This Melchizedek, the priest of the “most high God,” meets Abraham and he brought forth bread and wine. Now, number one, was it a practical gift? You don’t know what I’m driving at do you? How many people are in this particular little unit with Abraham at this time? How many soldiers did he take out of his hired help? Three hundred. So he’s had three hundred men who have just come back from battle and they’re famished and they’re thirsty and so in the physical realm, what does this Melchizedek provide? Food and water for Abraham’s troops!

But then it goes so much further than that. Where does bread and wine become a high point in the life of the believer? Well at the Lord’s table. The Lord’s table and what did it speak of? His shed Blood and His broken body. And so, all these things have ramifications. Now, we don’t see anything concerning Melchizedek in the operation of God in Israel because Melchizedek is not in the line of Levi and the priests of Israel. He’s the priest of “the most high God.” Who was not just the priest of Israel, he was the priest of all. And that’s what I want people to see. This Melchizedek was a high priest of “the most high God.”

Now we’ve done this before but let’s do it again. So turn with me now to Daniel because I want you to see that we have no references to Melchisedec’s priesthood throughout Israel’s history because Israel wasn’t connected per se with “the most high God.” Don’t take me too literal on that. Of course, “the most high God” was the same God as Jehovah and El Shaddai and all that. But, in terms of language for our own understanding, we have these different names of God. The same God. They’re not different, they’re the same One, but in the role, in the operation, God has given us these different nomenclatures to show that He is dealing with the non-Jew as He is with the Nation of Israel. Alright here in Daniel chapter 4, start with verse 1.

Daniel 4:1a

“Nebuchadnezzar (Jew or Gentile? Gentile!) the king, unto all people, nations, and languages,…”

Is that just Israel? Now I think most of you, especially if you’ve been watching the programs lately in the morning in the book of Acts, what do I stress? Is there any Gentile language in here? No, there isn’t any Gentile language in Acts chapters 2 ,3 or 4. It’s all Jewish. Now I can ask the same question in reverse. Are there any Jews in here? No. This is Gentile. And so he says:

Daniel 4:1b-2

“…that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. (He’s not talking directly to the Jew. He’s talking to the nations. So Nebuchadnezzar says) 2. I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath shown toward me.” Who’s he talking about? “The most high God” of Whom, Melchizedek was the high priest.

You can come on over in that same chapter to verse 17. Now this isn’t by accident. This is by design, the intricacy again of the Scriptures. That everything is so intricately put together.

Daniel 4:17a

“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand of the word by the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,…” Drop down to verse 34:

Daniel 4:34

“And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar (the Gentile king) lifted up my eyes unto heaven, and my understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most high, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, (He’s the most high God) and his kingdom is from generation to generation:”

Alright I’ve got one more while we’re in Daniel chapter 5 – verse 18, because I want to drum into you that this is a term or a name of God as He is associated with the non-Jewish world. Now I probably should qualify that. The Jews are part of the whole big picture, but they are more concerned with Jehovah God and El Shaddai and some of these others, but “the most high” is always connected with the non-Jewish world.

Daniel 5:18

“O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty and glory, and honour:”

You can go all the way through Scripture then, and whenever you have a reference to the “most high God,” you’re dealing with the non-Jewish world. And that’s why Paul speaks of it now with regard to the Melchisedec priesthood back there in Hebrews that he was the priest of “the most high God.” Alright let’s come back to Genesis, because when the Scripture repeats and repeats and repeats, it’s for a reason. It’s not here just to fill the page.

Genesis 14:19a

“And he blessed him, and he said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God,…”

You want to remember, has the Nation of Israel appeared yet? No, Israel isn’t on the scene yet. God is just now beginning to deal with Abraham, and there’s no Law. There’s not even circumcision yet, and so the relationship between this man who is not yet part and parcel of the Nation of Israel is “the most high God.”

Genesis 14:19

“And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth;” You have almost the same kind of language in Matthew concerning Christ, how that He too was Lord of all. Alright, verse 20:

Genesis 14:20

“And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” Then once more in verse 22.

Genesis 14:22

“And Abram again said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,”

Okay, now I’ve already touched on the one in Psalms. A thousand years later, but nothing associated with it. It’s just that God designates the Messiah, the Son of God as the One Who will be Melchizedek the priest of “The most high God.” Alright, in the moments we have left let’s flip back to Hebrews if you will. Chapter 7 verse 2.

Hebrews 7:2a

“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all;”

Which of course we know, and I’ve made reference to that in previous programs. That the giving of the ten-percent or the tithe, began with Abraham in Genesis. It funneled into the Law as part of the Levitical provision and then of course the Apostle Paul tells us that we are not under Law, we’re under Grace. Which takes away the responsibility of the ten-percent in our giving. Now Paul says, that we give as the Lord lays on our heart. Big difference. And there is no demand to give a flat ten-percent. But that’s beside the point on this program.

We want to go on now – that He is the King of Righteousness, He’s Holy, He’s Omnipotent, but here’s the part I want to spend the next few moments on. He is the “King of Salem,”which, like I said a few moments ago, are the last letters of Jerusalem, or the city of peace, which is to say the King of peace.

Hebrews 7:2b

“…first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;”

I want you to stop and think for a moment – in all the thousands of years that we know Jerusalem has been on the scene beginning with Abraham at 2000 BC, how many days of peace has Jerusalem enjoyed? Not one. It has been a city of turmoil from day one. And especially in the last 2000 years. Just stop and think of all the various empires that have overrun Jerusalem. It has been anything but the city of peace.

Then especially when Israel came back into the land after World War II and fought their war of independence in 1948. Jerusalem was besieged again and she has been over and over up through the centuries with bloodshed and mayhem. It’s unbelievable that the city of peace has never enjoyed peace. Well, look at her tonight. Look at Jerusalem tonight. Is it a city of peace? Anything but. It’s in constant turmoil. Well, you have ask, “Why?” When God has designated it as the city of peace, why has it been a constant city of turmoil. Well again, what do we have to do? Patiently wait. God has promised that it’s going to be a city of peace. Do you believe it? Yes!

I know one time on one of our tours, we had a rather orthodox Jewish guide and at breakfast one morning I asked him, “When will you settle all these Middle Eastern problems?” And I’ll never forget, with his chubby finger said, “When He comes.” And he’s so right. There’ll be no peace in Jerusalem, I don’t care who tries to broker it. There will be no peace in the city of peace until Christ returns. And so a logical prayer for us is, “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

589 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 50 - Our High Priest

589: Our High Priest – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 50

YouTube video


Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Our High Priest

Hebrews 6:11 – 7:19


We’re going to jump right in at Hebrews chapter 6 verse 11. Just for a little bit of review so that we can pick up the flow, we have been coming through those verses that dealt with a portion of Scripture that has confused a lot of people. It is not a matter of being saved and lost, and saved and lost. But for those who have deliberately scorned and turned their back, they have no more opportunity for forgiveness, as we have seen in verses 4-6, which of course, was applied primarily to Jewish people who were not willing to let go of all the ramifications of the Law here in this Book of Hebrews. They had come far enough to recognize that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, but to step on into the doctrines of Grace as we understand them, they were having a problem. Then for some, of course, they just deliberately turned their back on everything and went back into Judaism. And that’s why the term was used ‘there is no further repentance,’ and sacrifices and so forth.

Then we saw in verse 10 where we left off, that God is not unrighteous. He’s never unfair. And God will never forget the work of the believer in love. Now, before I go any further, I guess I might as well point it out right now. You can do this in your own Bible. Remember when we were back in I Corinthians 13, the very last words of that chapter are:

I Corinthians 13:13

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, (love) these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (love)

Now I made the point when we were teaching, that if you’ll watch all through Paul’s epistles, you constantly see those three words popping up. Sometimes one at a time, maybe here and there, and sometimes all three together. But here’s another good example. Up here in verse 10, we have “He will never forget your work and labor of (what?) love.” Then you come down to verse 11 and “…to show diligence to the full assurance of (what?) hope.” Then to verse 12, “…that you be not slothful but followers of them who through faith….”

If you’re looking for them, they’ll just jump off the page at you. “Faith, hope and love.” See, these are little tidbits of Scripture that just show us how intricately this whole Book is put together. It’s not just a bunch of stuff thrown in by various authors. This Book is Divinely inspired. It has been Divinely programmed so that everything fits. Alright, let’s jump in in verse 11 where Paul writes to these Jewish people:

Hebrews 6:11

“And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:”

Now who is he talking about? Well, he’s talking about the “beloved” up in verse 9. He’s not talking about those who had turned their backs and went back into Judaism and became apostate, but rather about the believing element. Let me read it. “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you,” Alright it’s to those believers that he says, “they have the full assurance of hope.” For how long? “Unto the end.” Now we know eternity has no end, so in this case he must be talking about what? Their sojourn on earth until death, and that God will never forsake them. Now a verse always comes to mind with a thought like that. Just back up a few pages to Philippians. Because even though Hebrews is written to Hebrews, never lose sight of the fact that the whole concept is the same as what Paul has written to us as Gentiles. And in Philippians chapter 1 verse 6, we have that same concept, as he writes to us as Gentiles.

Philippians 1:6

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you (in other words, he has brought us to the place of embracing our salvation, and we know that we’re saved. Now here’s a promise) will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

He will never let us go, nor will He will ever forget about us, and it’s the same concept here in Hebrews 6. Even with these Jewish believers who had stepped right on into this same concept of Paul’s Gospel now, that they were full of the assurance of hope.

Now verse 12 – here is an admonition to these believers, as well as believers today, as we pointed out in our last taping in those previous four programs, that they were to move on. They were to keep growing in grace and knowledge and unto a maturity, and leave the elementary things behind. Now verse 12:

Hebrews 6:12

“That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the (what?) the promises.”

Oh, the promises of God! Most of us are aware of the Old Testament promises given to Israel which, of course, were all earthly promises, and they’re still waiting for a good portion of it. But even for us in this Church Age or this Age of Grace we, too, have a multitude of promises. Paul’s letters are full of them. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we have the assurance that we are His. And he tells us in Romans chapter 8 that we’re what? “We’re joint-heirs with Christ.” Well, those are promises that we can hang on to and know that they are ours. Now when it comes to promises, I’ve already said, the first place we normally go is the Old Testament. And so does Paul in verse 13:

Hebrews 6:13a

“For when God made promise to Abraham,…”

That’s why we call that period of time, in between Abraham and the giving of the Law, a time of promises. Because over and over, God promised the patriarchs. Number one to Abraham, that out of him would come a nation of people. In the next chapter God promised that He would give them a geographical area of land. And then later on as He comes to King David, He gives David the promise that out of him would come the royal family which would bring forth the Messiah. All promises of God!

And then all the promises concerning the coming Kingdom, that age of peace and prosperity of which the Nation of Israel has always longed for. Promises. And so, it’s just to show us that when God makes promises, even though His wheels grind slowly, they grind surely. Okay, so reading on in verse 13:

Hebrews 6:13

“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,”

Now you see, only God could do that! And so God can swear on the veracity of His own Person, that these things will come to pass. I always tell people, don’t ever give up on God, just because things don’t move as fast as we think they should. My, how long did Abraham have to wait before he even got the first fulfillment of the promise of a son, Isaac? Almost fifty years as far as we can determine. You can’t put that in concrete because we don’t know exactly how old he was when God spoke to him down in Ur.

But we know he was seventy-five when he went from Haran down into Canaan. And we also know that he was a hundred before Isaac was born. So it was somewhere between and 25 and 50 years that Abraham patiently waited for the promise of a son. Of course, we know that in the meantime, Abraham took things into his own hands for a short spat of weakened faith, but nevertheless he came back and he waited until finally his wife Sarah brought forth Isaac. So with that as a backdrop, that God will never go back on His promises, this is what God told him in verse 14.

Hebrews 6:14

“Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”

Always stop and think. What are we talking about? We’re talking about one man who is already 75 years old. His legitimate wife is already 65, well past the normal age of expecting children. And then God makes them wait another 25 years. By that time you would think they would have totally given up. But you know, isn’t that the way it works.

I always tell people when they ask, “Why do we have to go through pressures and so forth before God answers.” I always use this comparison – I don’t know how many of you like to eat the blue concord grapes like I do. But the first thing I do when I put a blue concord grape in my mouth is, I squeeze out the pulp, you know what I’m talking about. And how that pulp in your mouth just pops out of the skin. Alright, That’s how I feel when God deals with me a lot of times? I feel like the pulp in that grape skin. He just squeezes me into the corner, tighter and tighter and I finally get to the place, “God aren’t you ever going to hear me?” Then ‘fsssst’- there’s the answer! And so this is what He did even with Abraham. He just squeezed him and squeezed him and I suppose Abraham was almost thinking he could never have a son by this 90 year-old wife.

And what happened? The miracle of God, she had the promised son Isaac! And so this is what we have to constantly remember, that God will never go back on His promises. And that’s what makes our Christian experience so exciting. Now verse 15.

Hebrews 6:15

“And so, after he had (what?) patiently endured, and he obtained (what?) the promise.” Here it came! A hundred years old – his wife 90, and here came the promise. Up until that time, he must have agonized, how will a nation of people possibly come from me when there’s no chance that my wife can have a child. But you see, Abraham, just like we, underestimated the power of God, but it came. And he got the promise. Verse 16.

Hebrews 6:16a

“For men verily swear by the greater:…” In other words, the more authority you can get backing you up the better we like it. I imagine if you deal with corporations, I’ve found that you don’t like to make the underlings angry or anything like that but I’ve found one thing, if you want to get something done, you go as far up the ladder as you possibly can. Even if you have to bypass a few people that won’t like it. You go to the top if you want to get something done, and so, this is the same way here. Why go to anything less than the God of Creation, because He is the greatest that can give a word of promise.

Now then the two things that are mentioned here are the two immutable witnesses which would be His Word and His Oath. He not only spoke it but He promised it! He put an oath on it.

Hebrews 6:16b

“…and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.”

Now, the casual reader probably reads right over that. What does that really mean? Well, until you get somebody to sign on the dotted line, what is there still room for? Negotiation. But once you get them to sign on the dotted line, there’s no more argument. That’s what you signed, and that’s what you agreed to.

Well, that’s what God has done. God has sworn it with an oath, that these things are going to come to pass and there’s no room for argument. Oh, they can scoff all they want. The unbelieving world can ridicule it but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Sovereign Creator God is in total control. It’s going to happen according to His timetable and you can rest on it. Verse 17.

Hebrews 6:17-18a

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, (and He) confirmed it by an oath: 18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie (God cannot lie) we might have a strong consolation,…:” In other words, we can rest on these promises. I think for us today, the world is in a turmoil like I don’t think it has ever been before. When I pick up my weekly news magazines and it’s the Philippines, it’s Indonesia, it’s China, it’s Taiwan, it’s India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel – you just go all around the globe and it’s conflagration. Never have I seen it, at least in my lifetime, so completely global.

Now we know everything else is “global,” and so, are the problems. Now, the secular world out there doesn’t have an answer for it. All they do is worry and lose sleep and wonder whether there’s going to be another Enron debacle tomorrow. Well, we could care less, because you see, we haven’t got all our money tied up in earthly stocks – we as believers have got ours put up in Heaven. And it’s from there that we look for all of our final returns.

But, here we have it that since God cannot lie, He has given us all these promises that, yes, all the turmoil of the world has to happen. That doesn’t surprise me, and I hope it doesn’t surprise you. Because out of all this you see, the world is just getting set. The stage is getting prepared for the coming of the Anti-christ. And oh, he’s going to bring in a pseudo peace, he’s going to bring in what they normally think the Messiah would bring and so we know all these things are coming. And now, finish the verse, and so we are like those: “…who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”

When I saw that word refuge, as I was preparing this, I thought of the Cities of Refuge in Israel’s history. Let’s go back to Joshua chapter 20. Here Joshua has now taken up the reins of leadership and Israel is moving into the Promised Land. And all the laws of civility are being laid upon the nation. How to get along with our neighbors as well as all the spiritual ramifications of the Law. But, in the midst of all their civil law was a unique one. And that was that Israel was to establish three cities of refuge on both sides of the Jordan Valley. Three between the Jordan the Mediterranean and three others between Jordan and the land to the east and around the east side of Galilee. Now these three cities of refuge then were just exactly that. They were a place where a person could flee and be totally protected in a unique circumstance.

Joshua 20:1-3a

“The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying, 2. Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 3. That the slayer that killeth any person unaware and unwittingly…” In other words, he has no idea. I always use the example, there used to be a lot of hedgerows, I’m sure in Europe and the Middle East. And I can just picture this farmer cleaning the rocks off of his field. Because after all, Israel has their share of rocks. And I can just see him cleaning the rocks off of his field and he probably just threw them over a hedgerow to get them off his field. And one of them happened to hit a passer-by on the head and killed him.

Well, he had no intentions of killing anybody. Never even entered his mind. But, the fact remained that he had killed someone. So now what could he do? He could run to one of these cities of refuge, lest some avenger come and take advantage of him. Now that’s the picture. Not anybody with any malice. No premeditation but he has without any knowledge of his own killed someone unawares. Alright so that this person in verse 3 could do what?

Joshua 20:3b

“…may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.”

So it goes on to say that he can be there in total safety. No one can come into that city of refuge and try to arrest him, or deal with him or anything else. The only thing is, of course, he’s not going to get off all that easy – he has to stay in that city of refuge until the high priest of that present day dies. Then, as soon as the high priest dies, he is free to go back to his own farm or whatever. Now, let’s drop down to verse 6 so you see where I’m coming from:

Joshua 20:6

“And he shall dwell in that city, (the city of refuge) until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come into his own city, unto his own house, and unto the city from whence he fled.” Now, that was refuge in a time of distinct need. That’s the first thing I think of when see that word. Now you can come back with me to Hebrews again. So here we have that blessed hope that we, too, have been able to “flee to the refuge” that the Lord Jesus Christ has made available, and we have entered into that refuge with our faith. Alright, and then again, reading verse 18, so as we flee to that place of refuge:

Hebrews 6:18b

“…to lay hold upon the hope (there’s that word again, faith, hope and love. And now) set before us:” Oh, what is it? The promises of God! I just told a young man earlier this morning, “He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.” Regardless of what may happen, He is always there and He will never leave us. Alright, and this hope then becomes:

Hebrews 6:19a

“Which hope we have as an anchor or the soul….” An anchor that is steadfast. Immovable. And that anchor then is that which will permit us to enter into that which is behind or“within the veil.” Now, always stop and think as you read Hebrews – since Paul is dealing with primarily Jewish people, he uses all of his examples coming out of the Old Testament economy, because they knew what he was talking about then. Now, when he spoke of going in “within the veil” he was talking about that huge curtain across the Temple or, earlier, the Tabernacle that separated the front sanctuary from the Holy of Holies. So Paul is telling us that we are now able to enter in within, behind that veil, into the very Holy of Holies, the presence of God. In other words, there, behind the veil that every Jew understood hung there in the Temple:

Hebrews 6:20

“Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

I want you to underline that word “Forerunner,” because in the next chapter, in the next verse we’re going to come back and pick up Melchisedec the high priest of all, who Jesus personified when He went in behind the veil. Now the word forerunner is a unique Greek word again, and it doesn’t just mean that he went in and accomplished the work of the high priest, but when he went in as a forerunner, he opened the way for everyone that follows him. What do I mean by that? You remember, in an earlier chapter in Hebrews, Paul called Christ the ‘captain of our salvation.’? And I pointed out that again, in the Greek, that word captain was really better translated “a file leader.”

In other words, I think I’ve used the analogy, if you can think back when the cavalry were still working in the west and I think we’ve all seen movies where the officer was up at the head of that line of horseback-riding cavalry, what was that? That was a “file” of soldiers going to battle, and the leader was out in front. Well now, that’s the way we can picture Christ. He is the Captain of all of us who are following as believers. As that Captain of our salvation, He then has become the forerunner, or again the word implies, someone who is at the head of the line. And He has led the way in behind the veil. Let’s look at Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 16, and these aren’t empty words. This is because the Captain of our salvation has been the forerunner Who has taken us through the veil right into the Holy of Holies whereby He tells:

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us there for come boldly into the throne of grace, (See that?) that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in our time of need.”

Why, because the forerunner has opened the way. He is the file leader Whom we are following and that takes us right into the throne room. Now, when the high priest of Israel went in behind the veil it was nothing like that. He had to come back out and no one else would dare go into the Holy of Holies except the high priest, once a year. It was a closed room, but for us, the file Leader has opened it up. The forerunner has gone ahead and now we have complete access to God. We don’t have to go through anyone else. Wherever we are, however we are, we can pray and know that He hears us.

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