624 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 52 - Hebrews 12:18 - 13:25 - Part 2

624: Hebrews 12:18 – 13:25 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 52

Hebrews 12:18 – 13:25 – Part 2

We’re just going to get right back into the Book and Hebrews chapter 13 verse 10. Remember I’m always stressing I feel Paul wrote this Book of Hebrews, especially when he made mention of the Body, back there in one of the previous verses. Alright now he’s says in verse 10:

Hebrews 13:10

“We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” (or the Temple.) In other words, those still under the Law. Now don’t forget, and I mentioned this before, that while Paul is writing this, the Temple in Jerusalem is still going. It won’t be destroyed for another several years. Now I don’t know exactly when Hebrews was written, I doubt that anyone does, but if it was written in the early 60’s then the Temple isn’t destroyed until 70 AD. So never forget that the Temple is still going while our New Testament is being written.

In fact, I think I made mention of it in one of the earlier lessons in Hebrews; that it just struck me while we were taping that day – that wasn’t it amazing that God didn’t permit any of the other empires or even the Romans to destroy the Temple until Paul’s epistles were completed. Because, after all, until Paul’s epistles were completed, and the Age of Grace was now made available, the Temple was necessary. It was the only approach to God. But now with the Age of Grace opened up and Paul’s epistles finished, God could permit the Temple to be destroyed, and it was. Alright, but now then, when he’s writing, it’s still operating. So we have an access to God that those who were still under Temple worship didn’t understand.

Hebrews 13:11

“For the bodies of those beasts, (those sacrificial animals) whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, (now that of course was a reference to the Day of Atonement) are burned without (or outside) the camp.” Now the same here in Hebrews is a reference to the city of Jerusalem. And even in the Temple worship those beasts’ bodies were not burned there in the Temple complex, they were taken outside the city wall. Now verse 12.

Hebrews 13:12

“Wherefore (wherefore since even the sacrificial animal for the Day of Atonement had to be burned outside the city wall) Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, (in other words, his work of the cross, his death, his shed blood, he too) suffered (where?) without (or outside) the gate.” In other words, the Jews would have never agreed to have such a horrible spectacle as the crucifixion take place inside their hallowed ground. So they made sure that the Romans carried out the crucifixion outside the city wall. Alright so it was all in a fulfillment of God’s divine purposes, so Christ also, you see, suffered outside the city walls.

Hebrews 13:13

“Let us (now then as believers) go forth therefore unto him without (or outside) the camp, (or outside the city) bearing his reproach.” Now you see, present day Christendom has almost glorified the cross, haven’t we? We’ve glorified it. We’ve taken away the enigma and the shame and the reproach of the cross. But oh, it was a place of horrible shame and reproach. All the sin of the world, all the filth of mankind’s sin was laid on Christ as He hung on that cross, and we can’t comprehend it. There isn’t a man alive that can understand all that took place at that cross. You and I can’t comprehend it. When God reckoned all the sin of mankind as having been placed on the sin-bearer.

Now listen, you and I have got a vague notion of sin, but we can’t fathom the depths of it like God does. And yet, He laid it all on Christ, and so it became a place of horrible, horrible reproach. Nothing glamorous about it whatsoever, nothing. And yet it’s in that place of reproach that God poured out, not only His wrath, but also His what? Mercy! See, that’s why I maintain it’s no longer mandatory for us to pray the so called “sinners prayer – God be merciful to me a sinner.” Hey, that’s already done. Why ask for something that’s done? It becomes ridiculous. God poured out His mercy. All of heaven’s mercy was poured out to compensate for the wrath of God; and for us to come back and say, “Oh God, be merciful to me.” Hey, it’s ridiculous, it’s already done. And so we say, if you’re going to cry out for mercy, then you’re telling God He didn’t, but yes He did. And so His mercy has already been accomplished and so there is the admonition now then in verse 13 again, so “let us go out and bear that reproach that He bore.”

Christianity has never been popular; you know that. From the very onset of Paul’s apostleship it was almost a guaranteed step leading to persecution. I can’t comprehend that, as I go back and look at Paul’s early believers who came out of paganism with all of its lust and all of its sexuality and all of its immorality, they turned their back on all of that and stepped into God’s saving grace; but at the same time, they stepped right in to the jaws of persecution. It’s amazing that they withstood it. And the Thessalonians were the epitome of all that, and that’s why Paul wrote to them first – that they were withstanding the pressures of persecution as new believers. Now most of us have been raised up in it, we’ve been Christians all our life and if persecution comes, I imagine most of us will be able to withstand it. I don’t think all of us would, but most of us. But even for us, it’s something we don’t like to think about. But in the early days of Christianity, it was a guarantee to step out of that into persecution. It was a place of reproach. And how many believers today would be willing to do that? Now verse 14.

Hebrews 13:14a

“For here (in this earth, in this life) have we no continuing city,…” We’re just here for a little while, we’re just passing through; we’re strangers. We’re not even citizens of the planet. Now on the way up here today, I just happened to hear them quote our former president, and he claimed to be a citizen of this world. Well, so be it, but I’m glad I’m not in his shoes.I’m not a citizen of this world. The Bible says, I’m a citizen of heaven, and every believer is. Our citizenship, Paul says, is already in heaven. So we can’t be looking for a continuing city on this earth. Now Abraham did, we saw that back in chapter 11. Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God.

Well Abraham was of the earthly promises, and he will yet one day experience those earthly promises. But for us, our citizenship is in heaven. We’re looking for that which is heavenly. And our citizenship is up there and we’re just strangers. You remember, I always use something different instead of the Great Commission (going out into all the world and baptizing people). I like the one a lot better that Paul gives in II Corinthians 5:20. What is it?

II Corinthians 5:20a

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,…” Be an ambassador, because if our citizenship is in heaven and you’re here on this earth, where are you? Well, you’re in foreign territory. Well if you’re a citizen of one country and you are representing that country in a foreign area, what do you have to be? An ambassador. We are a reflection of our homeland, at least we’re supposed to be.

Alright and so the Apostle Paul is bringing out that when we identify ourselves with the reproach that was the cross and the world knows that now because we’re identified with His death, burial and resurrection; that we’re different, that we’re not like they are and hopefully that they can see we’re different in a better vein. But see this is what I think gets to be such a reproach to the Lord – so many Christians are not good ambassadors, they’re anything but. They are a bad reflection.

In fact, whenever I speak of our being ambassadors I’m always reminded of one of our bestsellers ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, and the title of it was, “The Ugly American.” Maybe some of you remember reading it. What was it? It was an exposure of the horrible lifestyle of our American foreign service people, how that they lived lives of drunkenness and immorality in their places of duty in foreign countries. They were a bad reflection of America. And so the title was “The Ugly American.” Well, you could write the same thing of Christians. Ugly Christians are Christians who are a bad reflection of their homeland in heaven. And so here we are to identify with the reproach of the cross, not a place of something beautiful. It’s a place that becomes glorious when He overcomes all this with His resurrection power. But the cross itself was a thing of reproach. It was God’s wrath being poured out for sinful men on God the Son. Now verse 15.

Hebrews 13:15

“By him (in other words, because of what Christ has done for us in the horrors of the cross) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our(what?) lips giving thanks to his name.” Now that’s the kind of sacrifice God is looking for. The fruit of our lips, giving thanks to Him continually. Now I think I made a comment on one of the previous programs – there is nothing that God demands more or appreciates more from the life of a believer than, what? Thanksgiving. If you’re not living a life of thanksgiving, don’t expect God’s blessings, because God has every right for a believer to just constantly be thankful. Whenever I think of this verse, I have to think of Romans 12, and you know it backward and forward. But come back with me to Romans chapter 12, and I think this will make sense. Here Paul writes to you and I as blood-bought believers.

Romans 12:1

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies (your flesh and blood body) a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Now we normally think of a sacrifice as something that what? Gives up its life. But Paul isn’t talking about us going out and laying down our lives and all that. But we are to be “a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” In other words, it isn’t something that God is being unreasonable about. This is something that every believer should be able to do without any problem whatsoever, and that is to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him. Now, keep that thought as you come back again the Hebrews chapter 13, and see why I make the connection. Verse 15 again:

Hebrews 13:15a

“By him…” Because of what he has done in that place of reproach, outside the city walls, where the religious community would have nothing to do with Him. Does that ring a bell?Most of Christendom today doesn’t want that much to do with the cross. They like a social gospel, but they don’t like the cross anymore. They sure don’t want the blood, because it’s a place of reproach. Alright, but now then, because of the place of reproach at what He’s accomplished, now we can come back and offer a sacrifice of praise.

Hebrews 13:15

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Well goodness sakes, what are the lips a part of? Your body! And I think you can rightfully tie these two portions together. If you want to live a life that is pleasing to God, a living sacrifice, all you have to do is just use your lips in praise and thanksgiving and God will be pleased. I know He will. Alright, so we offer up the sacrifice of praise once a month? Once a quarter? No! “Continually,” Every waking moment of our lives we should be just simply praising God in one way or another. That’s not asking a bit too much. I dare say there isn’t a parent sitting here that just wouldn’t swell with pride if every day one of your kids would call from some distant place and just say, “Thank you Mom, thank you Dad, for all that you’ve done for me.” Wouldn’t that just swell your whole being? Well, you think God’s any different? There’s nothing He likes better than to have His children approach Him with praise and thanksgiving for what He’s done, or what He’s doing, for what He is. Do you see that? Now when you do that the next verse just naturally follows.

Hebrews 13:16

“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Now, maybe that could entail some financial sacrifice to help someone in need. Maybe it would involve sacrificing some of your time and using it for the good of someone else. You can use your own imagination for that. Now verse 17. He comes back to the same admonition that he had up there in verse 7. It’s almost a repetition.

Hebrews 13:17

“Obey them that have the rule over you, (now for the Hebrews this, of course, was the leadership of especially the Jerusalem church – Peter and the Eleven) and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” In other words, if you want to bring it in to your own church situation, there’s certainly nothing that’s saying you can’t. But if you do, then that tells the whole story. What is the purpose of your church leadership? Welfare of the membership – for the person in the pew, for the young people and so forth, that they can become more spiritually minded. And so always remember that these things all fit together. Now then, in the closing verses of Hebrews, verse 18 to the end. These are just simple requests from the Apostle.

Hebrews 13:18

“Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.” Now you know the Apostle, especially in the Corinthian letters, emphasized the fact that he never brought them a perverted Gospel. He brought them nothing but truth. He said, “I didn’t bring to you a perverted product.” And remember, way back in Corinthians, I chased the word down in the Old Testament and what it really amounted to – he did not sell them wine that was watered down, 50-50, remember that? Alright, he’s saying the same thing. Paul never approached people with something that was less than honest and that was less than the truth and honorable in everything he said and did. Now verse 19.

Hebrews 13:19

“But I beseech you (or I beg you) the rather to do this, (to pray for them) that I may be restored to you the sooner.” In other words, the more people would pray for him, the further he could get making his rounds of all the people with whom he had a part. Now verse 20:

Hebrews 13:20a

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,…” Now what does that tell you? Paul is always reminding us of the Gospel, that for salvation, you must believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose again. All through his letters, over and over and over, we find this beautiful Gospel that was given only to him for us, the Church Age believer. And you know I had a gentleman call, I think it was from the twin cities quite a while back. And he had come out of a different background than what I’m teaching here. And he said, “Les, when I saw the truth of all this, I started asking the people that I use to associate with in my church environment, what’s the Gospel? And they didn’t know.”

Some even thought the whole Bible was the Gospel. Now the Bible contains the Gospel, but you can’t just say, “Well, believe the Bible and be saved.” But it’s ridiculous what people, who have been in church all their lives, can come up with and not even come close to the truth. And so Paul just says the same thing, “that the Lord Jesus who was brought again to life from the dead,” which is the crowning point of our salvation. That great Shepherd of the sheep. Now there again, he’s talking Jewish language.

Now I don’t set this in concrete and I don’t just get all shook up if people don’t agree with me, but if I understand the Scripture, you know that Gentiles were not referred to as sheep. It’s always Israel. It was the Nation of Israel, to whom the 23rd Psalm was really spoken. “The Lord is my shepherd…” The Lord Himself was always referring to the sheep and the shepherd. And when you get to the last sign miracle of John’s gospel and they’re having the fish on the fire and the Lord puts Peter on the spot and He says, “Peter, lovest thou me more than these?” And I’m sure He was pointing to the fish. And Peter says, “Lord, thou knowest I love thee.” Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep.” And the Lord comes back again with “Peter, lovest thou me more than these?” And Peter answers again, “Lord you know I love you.” And again Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.” And the third time and every time it was the same answer, “Feed my sheep.”

Now isn’t it amazing that Peter, a man’s man, agreed to that with a handshake. You don’t know what I’m talking about do you? And I don’t expect you to know. Come back with me to Galatians. A gentlemen’s handshake. You know what that involves? Honesty, integrity.

Galatians chapter 2; and remember the setting. Paul has been out ministering to Gentiles for about 15-18 years, but what’s been happening? The Judaisers from the Jerusalem church are coming under his teaching and confusing the issue by telling Paul’s congregation that they had to keep the Law and practice circumcision and all that. (Acts 15:1-5) So here we come to this Jerusalem counsel to settle the question. And Paul is saying, “Stop having people come and tell my Gentile believers that they have to be circumcised and keep the Law.” So they have this counsel and Peter and James and John finally see the light. I say, finally, because I think it took a long time. But anyway, now look what happens in chapter 2, and verse 8.

Galatians 2:8

“(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, [or Israel, the Jew] the same [Lord] was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” Now here comes that gentlemen’s handshake between Peter and Paul.

Galatians 2:9

“And when James, Cephas, (Peter) and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived (or understood) the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; (what does that mean? They shook hands! And what did they agree as they shook hands?) that we (Paul and Barnabas) should go unto the heathen, (or the Gentiles) and they (Peter, James and John and rest of the apostles would go where?) unto the circumcision.” (The Jew or Israel). Now that was the gentlemen’s agreement. You think Peter ever backed off of that? I don’t think so, because he was too much of a man. And now back to Hebrews chapter 13 again. So here we have the whole concept that these Jews are under the control and headship of the chief shepherd. Now verse 21.

Hebrews 13:21a

“Make you perfect (in other words, get mature) in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, (how?) through Jesus Christ;…” Now what does Paul tell us in one of his other epistles? “I can do all things through Jesus Christ my Lord.” So this is what he’s admonishing. Now, we’ve got to read on and wind it up just in time.

Hebrews 13:21-23a

“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen. 22. And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. 23. Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty;…” Now who would naturally call Timothy his brother? Paul. And so here’s another reason I feel Paul is the writer.

Hebrews 13:23-25

“Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. 24. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints, They of Italy salute you. 25. Grace be with you all. Amen.” And so we come to the end of the Book of Hebrews.

623 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 52 - Hebrews 12:18 - 13:25

623: Hebrews 12:18 – 13:25 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 52

Hebrews 12:18 – 13:25

We’ve got several people here today. In fact, we’ve got a couple here from Oregon. I really should mention that. That’s probably as far as anybody has ever come. We’ve had a lot from Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio; but Oregon, that’s fabulous. We appreciate that. Now let’s get back to where we left off in Hebrews chapter 12 and we are presently in verse 26. Remember we were talking about how that, if God Who spoke while dealing with Israel on earth was something to be feared, how much more we should respect that Voice that speaks from heaven. And of course, for the most part, for us today in this Age of Grace, that comes through the epistles of the Apostle Paul, to whom God revealed all of these doctrines that are for us today. Now that doesn’t mean the rest of scripture isn’t appropriate or that it’s not valid. All Scripture, even Paul himself writes, “All Scripture is profitable for reproof in instruction, in inspiration and so forth.” But for those of us living in this Age of Grace, Romans through Philemon becomes our paramount place of instruction. Alright now in verse 26:

Hebrews 12:26-27

“Whose voice then shook the earth: (well God was dealing from Mt. Sinai) but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” Now, in my own mind (being the farmer that I am), I couldn’t help but think of shaking and sifting grain. And whenever you sort grain with the sieve, the chaff and the junk falls through and the good remains. Well, I think you’ve got the same analogy here – that God’s just going to shake things and that which is superfluous and is unimportant will disappear and only that which counts will remain.

Now of course, we think Paul is probably making reference here, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to what Peter writes more in detail in his little epistle of II Peter chapter 3. Now you might want to turn over to that passage, and we’ll start with verse 10 – and of course, this is way out into the future, but nevertheless, it’s coming when God is going to judge this planet.

II Peter 3:10-12

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements (that is all the things that make up the planet)shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things (that is the things of this earth) shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” But don’t give up – don’t despair, because that’s not the end. Let’s look at the next verse:

II Peter 3:13

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Which of course is looking all the way past the 1,000 year Kingdom Age, which you and I as believers are going to be part of, and into eternity. So now if you’ll come back to Hebrews 12 once again we know that God is going to deal harshly with this planet someday. And the day will even come, I feel, that it will be totally melted down and destroyed and made over for the eternal earth that’s still coming. But be that as it may, now verse 28:

Hebrews 12:28

“Wherefore…” Seeing that the Creator God can do whatever He wants to do, and yet we are under His protective care –

Hebrews 12:28

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, (cannot be destroyed) let us have grace, (oh, that favorite term of the Apostle Paul) whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” Now, you remember for us as believers, we don’t shake in our boots in the presence of God. Quite the opposite. We are instructed to come boldly into His presence because He has already removed everything that stood between Himself and us. That’s been done through the finished work of the cross. And we are now made at one with Him. We are, as we saw in an earlier program, joint heirs with Christ. Never forget that. And so we don’t have to serve Him, shaking in our boots with fear – but it is a reverential fear knowing that He is still the God of all creation. And then verse 29, as we’ve already seen from Peter.

Hebrews 12:29

“For our god is a consuming fire.” He’s going to destroy this earth with fire one day and prepare everything for the eternal. Alright, now we will go into chapter 13 and hopefully, be able to wind up this study in the next half hour after this. He says in verse 1:

Hebrews 13:1-2

“Let brotherly love continue. (that is between the believers) 2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: (one of the earmarks of Christianity is hospitality) for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Now, I think there’s two ways you can look at this. We know that back in Biblical history, angels were entertained by mortal man. The first time was Abraham in Genesis 18. And he saw three men coming down the path and he hasted out to meet them, having no idea who they were. They were just wayfaring strangers, so far as Abraham was concerned. He set the table, killed the fatted calf and come to find out, who were his three visitors? One was the Lord Himself and the other two were angels. So he actually entertained angels unawares. And I think Lot probably did, not realizing who was escorting him out of Sodom.

Well, I don’t think that the Scripture teaches that if we’re hospitable, that we’re actually going to have angelic creatures visiting our abode – but I think Iris and I can testify to the fact that you know when people stop in from all parts of the country (total strangers, and they sit down at the table with us and when they leave), it’s like having had angels in our attendance. It’s been a joyful experience and I think that’s what the Apostle Paul is talking about here. Don’t close your door to strangers. Be hospitable, because you might be experiencing an angelic experience, even though it won’t be in the winged variety. It will just simply be fellow believers. Alright, so “some have entertained angels unawares.” Now then, verse 3, and this was especially appropriate in Paul’s day and, of course, in some areas of the world now – and will also be appropriate in the Tribulation period, when he says:

Hebrews 13:3a

“Remember them that are in bonds,…” Or those who are in prison. Because back in Paul’s day, the authorities didn’t provide the food, not even the swill that the BC character gets. They got nothing unless their friends and relatives brought them food. And so Paul says don’t forget those folks who are in prison for their faith. And I’m sure it’s probably that way in some areas of the world even today. And I know it will be in the Tribulation. Now, you say, how do you know that? Well, I always have to do everything with Scripture, don’t I? Come back with me to Matthew 25. Here in Matthew 25, we have the survivors of the Tribulation and remember, they are brought to Jerusalem, supernaturally, of course. We know this is after the Tribulation because the King has just established the Kingdom and He’s ready to get the ball rolling to re-populate the planet. And we know from Isaiah 24 that there will be some survivors after the horrors of the Tribulation. Alright, here they come, supernaturally brought, and let’s begin with verse 31.

Matthew 25:31-32a

“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: (in other words, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And as King, on His throne there in Jerusalem) 32. And before him shall be gathered all nations:…” These survivors of the Tribulation from all the nations. Now there won’t be all that many. Just a few, and so he brings them all to Jerusalem – and since there will be saved and lost amongst the survivors, the first thing he does is separate them. He puts the saved on one side and they’re likened to the sheep, the lost go to his left and they are likened to a shepherd dividing his goats. But all I want you to see is that they are going to be visiting people in prison during the Tribulation and nourishing them with their gifts of food when he says in verse 34:

Matthew 25:34-36

“Then shall the King (Christ) say unto them on his right hand, (the believers) Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom (they can go into this thousand-year reign with Him) prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (now, here it comes) 35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took me in: 36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Now of course, we know that the ones he’s talking about were the 144,000 Tribulation witnesses that God will seal – that no doubt suffered the privations listed here. But when these people became believers as a result of hearing those 144,000 Jews’ message, they risked their own neck in order to visit them in prison. Well, so much for that. That was just what I call sometimes in Oklahoma, “free for nothing.” Now back to Hebrews.

Hebrews 13:3

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” “So remember those who are in bonds,” Paul says: if they need food, take it to them. And “as bound with them; and those who suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body” That’s why I’m sure that Paul wrote this. Only Paul speaks of the Body of Christ in Scripture. And so this is what he’s telling these believers, that if they step on in and experience Paul’s salvation offer of faith in our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection, then they become members of the Body of Christ. This is just one of the few times in Hebrews that he says something that is intrinsically Paul. Now, Paul shifts gears, as I’ve said so often.

Hebrews 13:4

“Marriage is honourable in all, the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Well that falls right in line with what he says in Galatians 5, that those who live by the flesh are adulterers and fornicators and so forth, and they will have no part in the kingdom of heaven. Alright now, verse 5:

Hebrews 13:5

“Let your conversation (the word here is manner of living. Let your manner of living) be without covetousness; (in other words, we’re not to live by keeping up with the Joneses.) and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

We’ve got to take this with a grain of salt. Paul does not say, “Just throw your worries to the wind and don’t worry about where your next day’s bread comes from.” He doesn’t say that. In Timothy he admonishes the parents to take care of their families. “Lay up for the children,” so that children don’t have to take care of the parents. And so always remember that you have to look at more than one portion. When he says here, “Just be content with what you have,” and he says, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you,” that doesn’t mean that you can just carelessly say, “I don’t have to worry about tomorrow, God will take care of me.” That’s not the name of the game in this Age of Grace. We are to work, Paul says, if you don’t want to work, you don’t eat! That’s plain and simple. But on the other hand, we have the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Now verse 6. When we enter into this kind of a relationship with the Lord, constantly meeting our needs, then we can speak boldly,

Hebrews 13:6

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Now let’s take a verse again out of Romans. Go back to Romans chapter 8, and you’ll see this is in the same vein.

Romans 8:31-32

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, (and Hebrews just told us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.) who can be against us? 32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” See, that’s the promise. That’s what we have – that God will see to our every need. Then verse 33:

Romans 8:33-34

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge (or who can accuse) of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, (which is where? In the heavenlies!! See, we come right back full circle every time. All of these things fit.) who also maketh intercession for us.” Well, now I just like to do that to show that Scripture fits; it dovetails from one end to the other. Alright, back to Hebrews again, chapter 13, and verse 7. Now of course, this was especially applicable to these Jews who were under the priesthood first, and then came under the authority of the Twelve, especially back there in the early Acts. So this is especially appropriate to this kind of Jew.

Hebrews 13:7

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” (or their manner of living.) Now if you want to bring that on in to the local church, I won’t object to that. But since he is still talking to the Hebrews, I prefer to think he’s still talking to the leadership of the Jerusalem church in particular, and to some of the other Jewish congregations, which of course, these people were a part of. Now verse 8:

Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” In other words, He never changes, He’s immutable. You know if people have an argument with me, they don’t like the fact that I separate Paul from Peter and the Church from Israel. And they’ve now picked it up in the word dispensational. I didn’t use the word for the first several years, but now they know I’m dispensational. And that makes a few people up tight. And this is my main obstacle when somebody opposes me. Their first argument is, “Well, he’s dispensational.”Well, of course I am. I make no apology for it.

But without using the word, you can do this as well as I can, you just go back to these people that just almost detest dispensational teaching, which is rightly dividing the Word of Truth, and say, “Now look. Do you mean to tell me that when Adam and Eve came out of the Garden of Eden after the fall, everything was the same as it was before?” “No.” “Well, you agree that everything changed?” “Yeah.” “Alright, let’s go a little further. When Noah and the families came off the ark, are you going to stand there and tell me that nothing had changed? Everything is the same? Is it? No!” Everything is different. Now they can kill food and have meat. They now have to institute capital punishment. They now have a whole change in weather. Everything is different. But what has remained the same? God. God doesn’t change. He’s immutable. He’s the same, yesterday, today and forever. But He changes the modus operandi of mankind.

In other words, when Adam and Eve were in the garden, they didn’t have to worry about dealing with sin. It hadn’t been committed yet. They didn’t have to worry about death. They hadn’t faced it yet. But as soon as they came out of the garden, now God has to make provision for what? For their sin problem. And how does He do that? He introduces the blood sacrifice. And He gives them clothing to wear. Well the same way after the flood. Now God makes provision for a whole new economy that they knew nothing of. Well, what is that?It’s a change in dispensation. It’s a change in administration.

Now you come up through history. Here comes Abraham – and any student of Scripture has to admit that now, all of a sudden, you’ve got things totally different. What is it? You’ve got the appearance of a whole new race and nation of people through which God is going to send the Word of God, through which the Redeemer would come. That’s never been heard of before. And oh, I could just go on and on. You come out of the Old Testament and into the New, and Israel is under the Law, Temple worship, and they’re under the sacrifices.

Now here we come; and here comes the Apostle Paul going to the Gentile world now, after the work of the cross, and he says, “You’re no longer under the Law!” You’re going to tell me nothing has changed? Everything has changed. We’re no longer under the Law. We don’t have to go to the Temple. We don’t have to have a priesthood. We’re under Grace. Well you see, that’s all dispensationalism so far as I’m concerned. It’s just simply breaking the Scriptures down to realize that God’s immutable, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes! But He changes His dealings with mankind, according to the circumstances that have come about on the planet. And so now we are in what we call the dispensation of the Grace of God. It’s never been this way before. Mankind never had full access to the Father like we have.

Unheard of! Because the Jew had to approach Him through sacrifice and priesthood and so forth. And so that’s all dispensational means. You will hear somebody throw that word out at you, and say, “Don’t listen to Les Feldick, He’s dispensational.” And listen, it’s happening. Don’t think I don’t know that. It doesn’t bother me a bit, because see, I can just blow them out of the water with what I’ve just said. How can you tell me that things have never changed when I know everybody realizes it has. And every change is just a change in administration. And so don’t let that disturb you when someone says, “Oh don’t listen to that fellow, He’s dispensational.” To me it’s almost laughable.

But alright, the part that got me started here is that even though all these changes have come upon the human race, God never changed. He’s the same, yesterday, today and forever.Now then verse 9. The people who think I am teaching strange doctrines are the ones to whom I’ll have to say, “Hey, wait a minute. Let’s put the shoe on the other foot.” I’ll come back and say, “Don’t you follow strange doctrines, cause that’s what the Scripture says.” “Rightly divide the Word of God.”

Hebrews 13:9a

“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines….” Hey, I don’t surf the Internet. I don’t know what’s out there, but I hear it from every direction. Do you realize that you can pick and choose everything from soup to nuts in the realm of spiritual things off the Internet – let alone in the book stores? And what’s it doing? It’s confusing the issue. People don’t know what to believe. I wrote one fellow a while back after he had written a couple of questions and I said, “Look, you people are getting pied pipered.” Oh, he wrote back, “What do you mean by that?” Evidently he didn’t go to the same school as a kid that I did. You all remember the story of the pied piper don’t you? Well, he played the flute and I guess it was the rat (Iris finally decided), it was the rat that said, “Follow him into the river.” That’s exactly what the human race is doing today. You got pied pipers piping the tune and people are just following them to their doom. And the Scripture is so plain, “Don’t be led away with every strange doctrine,” but get rooted in the Word of God.

Hebrews 13:9

“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. (teachings. That’s the other word for doctrine) For it is a good thing that the heart be established with (not Law but with what?) grace; (the freedom, the liberty, see.) not with meats, (or foods) which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” What’s Paul saying? Hey when you’re under Grace, you’re not under a set of rules and regulations of how to approach God with this particular sacrifice or how to be in the Temple at this particular day and hour and so forth. We’re set free from all that. We now have free access into the throne room, any moment of any day. And I point out to people every once in awhile that back there in the Book of Acts, the disciples went up to the Temple to pray about the 9th hour. Why? Because for them it was a stipulated hour of prayer under the Law.

622 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 52 - The Believer’s Sacrifice - Part 2

622: The Believer’s Sacrifice – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 52

The Believer’s Sacrifice – Part 2

Hebrews 12:18 – 13:25

Many have written and said you feel like you are sitting there on the back row of our class, and that’s just exactly the way we want you to feel, that it’s a learning experience and we trust you’ll do as everybody does here. They have their own notes and Bibles and we just trust that we can show what the Scriptures say. It doesn’t matter what Les Feldick thinks or what anybody else thinks, it’s what does the Word of God say.

As this class begins, we’re in Hebrews chapter 12, and let’s pick right up where we left off in our last program. We were in the middle of verse 23, and reading the whole verse, remember, we pointed out that there were seven things that pertained to the physical and the visible aspect of Mt. Sinai. And the flip-side was these seven that are associated with our spiritual relationship and position in the heavenlies. And so we came through verse 22 where we have come to the city of the living God, “the heavenly Jerusalem,” not the earthly one, and “to an innumerable company of angels” which is part of the heavenly abode:

Hebrews 12:23a

“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven,…” Which of course in Paul’s language is a reference to those of us in the Body of Christ.

Hebrews 12:23b

“… which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all,…” Now we covered that at the close of the program – how that every believer will come before the Bema Seat to be judged for reward.

Hebrews 12:23c

“…and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” I couldn’t just pass that part up. We have to stop for this. Who are the spirits of just men made perfect? Well, let’s go back to Romans chapter 3 so that we pick up the scriptural account of what Paul is talking about. I always like to drop down to verse 23 where we have, what shall I say, the culmination of everything that has been building in the first three chapters here in Romans – and that is the conclusion that mankind are sinners, with none excepted – Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, good or bad; it doesn’t make any difference.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” But it doesn’t stop there. You move right into the next verse and here we have that glorious hope of salvation that is extended to every human being, none excepted – and that is that we are justified by His grace.

Romans 3:24

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Being justified by His grace, His unmerited favor! God didn’t have to do this, but He did. And so now we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption, or the process of paying our sin debt, that is in Christ Jesus. Now verse 25.

Romans 3:25

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, (that shed, atoning blood of the cross) to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” And verse 26 is the verse I wanted to come to for “of just men made perfect” back in Hebrews. How? Paul says, at this time, that the righteousness of Christ, and because He, as the righteous One, has finished the work of redemption – He died the death that every sinner should have died.

Romans 3:26

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” It’s something that anybody can do. There are no strings attached. That’s what makes it so simple. That God, the Righteous One, Who paid the price of redemption for every human being, finished the work of the cross that He, in turn, might be the One to justify anyone who believes in that finished work. It’s that simple. And oh, my goodness, as I have used the illustration over and over since we’ve come past Hebrews chapter 1, that twice in all of Biblical history, starting back in Genesis, God did something so perfect, so immaculately perfect, there wasn’t anything He could do but sit down to show that it was finished. The first one was creation and He looked at creation and everything was so perfect, there wasn’t anything He could correct.

In fact, I used this analogy in one of my classes the other night. I said, “How many of you have built a new home and, after you’ve moved in, you have to call your contractor back to correct mistakes?” I had one guy really nodding his head. Well, he wasn’t the guy who had the new home – he was the contractor! He knew only too well what it was to go back and correct little errors that they had made. A cupboard door didn’t fit or something like that. But God didn’t have to do that. It was perfect and He sat down. The second time was, as Hebrews places it then, that when He had purged us from our sin, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty. And again, why? Because the work of salvation, the work of the cross was so perfect there wasn’t anything He could do; it was all done.

And then I used this analogy. How would you like to have a little two-year-old come along, after you had a brass lamp perfectly polished, and smear it up? Well, that’s what man has done with God’s perfect plan of salvation. They have smeared it all up with their additions of “do this” and “do that.”

How it must break the heart of God when He has made it so available that no matter who it is, no matter how vile they are, or how steeped in a false cult they may be – the moment they believe in that finished work, God justifies them! He declares them just. He declares them righteous. Oh, that’s beyond human comprehension and I don’t expect people to understand it, just believe it; God will take care of the rest. Just believe it. So now, if you’ll come back with me to Hebrews, maybe that verse will just jump off the page at you the next time you see it.

Hebrews 12:23c

“…and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” He’s the “Judge of all and the spirits of just men,” or righteous men. That’s what the word “just” here means. “Of righteous men made perfect.” That is in God’s eyes. Not in the eyes of men, but in God’s eyes, the righteous Judge. Now let’s move into verse 24, and that also would be numbers 6 and 7 of these seven items that are in the area of the spiritual, now, instead of the physical. Verse 24:

Hebrews 12:24

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, …” There’s the 6th item. It’s in the realm of the spiritual. It’s not a physical mountain like Sinai. It’s not thunder and lightening and voices like they heard. But these are things that we take by faith. So the fact that He is the mediator of this new arrangement, this new covenant as He uses the word right here. The New Testament is the word that we’re accustomed to hearing.

Hebrews 12:24

“And to Jesus the mediator …” Well, we’ve used it before so let’s use it again. Come back with me to I Timothy, chapter 2, because I prefer to let the Scripture do the talking. I think I’ll just start with verse 1 so we pick up the flow – and of course this is Paul admonishing his son in the faith, Timothy. And so he says:

I Timothy 2:1-2a

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2. For kings,…” That’s why I’m always stressing in my classes in Oklahoma, you pray for that president every day. You pray for him. The Scripture instructs us to.

I Timothy 2:2-5a

“For kings, and for all that are in authority; (and the end result is for our own pursuit of happiness, as our Constitution puts it) that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4. Who will have all men to be saved, ( God’s not willing that any should perish) and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.. 5. For there is one God,…” One! Not several! Don’t you believe this old hogwash that you can pick and choose and take your own way. There is only one. Someone said to me one time up in Minnesota that he appreciated my teaching an exclusive gospel. At first I didn’t know what he meant, but I do now. And when I say exclusive, I mean there is no other. The Scripture is full of it – “There is no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved.” Paul says in I Corinthians, “Lord I have laid the foundation. There is no other foundation, but Christ Jesus.” Here it is again.

I Timothy 2:5

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Now remember, as we’ve come through Hebrews, Paul has been stressing the position of God the Son. The Son, but He was man, He was human, He walked, He talked, He ate; but He never stopped being God. And as such then, He can be the mediator between men and the invisible God. Alright, so read it again, verse 5: “There is one God, one mediator between that one God and man, and it’s the man Christ Jesus.” Which of course, comes back to the fact that as a member of the Trinity, God the Son is just as much God as God the Father; and in their Triune headship, they are one. But nevertheless, Jesus the Christ is the Mediator between man and God. Alright, back to Hebrews chapter 12, then, and so this is one other part of the seven attributes there in the spiritual realm:

Hebrews 12:24a

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling,…” That we already saw referenced in Romans chapter 3, that it was that blood that was the price of redemption that had to be paid for the satisfaction of our sin debt.

Hebrews 12:24b

“…that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” The blood of Christ is far better than that animal sacrificial blood of Abel. Now I hope you haven’t been misled in Sunday school or anywhere else – that the comparison here is between the blood of Christ and the blood of Abel, who was murdered. That’s not what it’s teaching. That has nothing to do with it whatsoever. What we’re saying is that the blood of Christ was so far better than the animal blood that, of course, was used by Abel? It had to be. Animal blood was the requirement in the Old Testament economy. Now remember, just back up a page or two and we’ll see how God was satisfied with that animal sacrifice offered by Abel, and that’s in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 4:

Hebrews 11:4a

“By faith (because this is what God instructed and that’s what Abel did) Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,…” Now we are not going to take time to go back to Genesis, but why was Abel’s more excellent than Cain’s? Abel brought the firstling of his flock, which implies (it doesn’t say it was a lamb, but it implies) that it was a lamb. Maybe a goat, but I prefer to think it was a lamb. Whereas you see, Cain brought of that which grew out of the ground, a bloodless offering, and God rejected it. Alright, now, so the comparison is, here the blood of Christ is so far above the animal blood of the sacrifice that Abel offered, because of what God has now done. Let’s look at it and we’ll move on.

Hebrews 12:24

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” The blood that He shed, was from the perfect Lamb of God. And it was far better than the blood sacrifice that Abel offered. Now let’s go on to verse 25. Now, this is a warning, and remember who He’s talking to. These verses are written first and foremost to Jews who were having a hard time breaking away from Judaism. He’s not talking so much to us Gentiles, as I said at the beginning of the study of Hebrews. This is primarily to Jews who were fighting the battle of making the break from legalism and Judaism and the Temple worship. Remember, the Temple is still going, and they had to step out of all that into this glorious Age of Grace. That’s the whole purpose of the Book of Hebrews. But, as we’ve seen now in the last two years, there is so much for us to learn. My, I’ve learned, I hope you have. I’ve learned as I’ve prepared these lessons out of the Book of Hebrews, even though it is not directly written to me, it’s written to Jews. Yet, oh, how we learn.

Well, you see we studied the Old Testament on the same basis. The Old Testament isn’t written to us. When the Old Testament speaks of sacrifices and offerings and so forth, we don’t do that. But we certainly learn from it. And that’s the purpose. Well, the same way in the Four Gospels. Our Gospel of Grace isn’t found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – you can’t find it. Does that mean we throw it away? No! My goodness, we can learn so much of Christ’s compassion, of His power, and of His miracle working. But that’s not the plan of salvation. It’s just simply things for our learning, that prepare us, then, for this apostle of Grace who brings out then, this glorious Gospel of Grace in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and Romans 10:9-10 and many other places in his writings. So now then, verse 25. The warning is to these Jews, to these Jews who were having a hard time making the break.

Hebrews 12:25a

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn from him that speaketh from heaven:” Now the casual reader will just gloss right over that, not having the foggiest notion of what he was talking about. But what’s he saying? You know that when God was dealing with Israel in the Old Testament economy, and Israel would just simply spurn God; and they would go on their own way and go into idolatry, what did God do? God judged them!When they went into the depths of idolatry, He sent old Nebuchadnezzar from the east and Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple – and the city and the nation was uprooted and taken captive all the way out to Babylon for 70 years. Why? Because His wrath fell upon a disobedient people. And over and over God would do that throughout Israel’s history. And He was speaking with them while they were, you might say, His objects of affection and everything, on earth. But now we’re under a far greater responsibility – now read on: “if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn from him that speaketh from heaven:”

Now you’ve got to look at the big picture again. While God was dealing with Israel in the Old Testament, there were a lot of things that they didn’t have going for them that we do. For example, they didn’t have the indwelling Holy Spirit. They didn’t have that benefit. All they had was that table of Law set in stone and all it could do was condemn them. And then they had the sacrificial system, which wasn’t always that easy to keep. But nevertheless, they didn’t have a lot of the advantages that we have today, and yet God held them responsible. God punished them when they turned in unbelief. Alright so now the comparison is, if God would punish Israel back in those days when they didn’t have all this going for them, how much more will His wrath fall on these who reject Him as He speaks from heaven.

Now when we say He speaks from heaven, let’s come all the way back so we get the big picture. You can’t just pick and choose, you have to look at the whole scenario. Back in Acts chapter 1, He has just finished His 40 days after the resurrection. He’s been with the Eleven and now they’re on the Mount of Olives and He was about to ascend back to glory. The Father is now beckoning Him to come and sit at His right hand. So, look what it says: Verse 9.

Acts 1:9-11a

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; (we’re speaking of Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified, resurrected Christ) and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven (now have you got the picture? He is leaving earth and He is going up to heaven) as he went up, behold, two men(angels) stood by them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,…”That’s what I wanted you to see. So where is He? He’s in heaven! And so from this point on whenever He speaks, He speaks from heaven! That’s obvious isn’t it? Alright, now then, the Apostle Paul is constantly letting us know that that’s where he got his marching orders; from the Christ in heaven. Let me stop while you’re still in Acts, let’s jump over to chapter 22 and this is just an example of how Christ spoke to him from heaven. Acts 22 verse 17.

Acts 22:17-18

“And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 18. And saw him (Jesus the Christ, in heaven) saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me,” Now just jump across the page to chapter 23, verse 11. And Paul is under all the pressure now from these hateful fellow Jews.

Acts 23:11

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” Where is he speaking from? From heaven! Alright now you come all the way up and stop with me at Galatians chapter 1 and again, he’s rehearsing his experience on the road to Damascus and he’s letting us know that everything that he’s writing now in the Pauline epistles comes from the ascended Lord Who is in heaven. Galatians 1 starting at verse 11, and all I want you to see is that Hebrews says how that so much more responsibility is upon us in this Age of Grace because He’s speaking from heaven (but through the Apostle Paul).

Galatians 1:11-12

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, (by men, but how did he get it?)but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” From where? From heaven! So everything now comes back quickly to Hebrews as we close out this half hour. Hebrews 12 again, verse 25:

Hebrews 12:25b

“…For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:”

621 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 52 - The Believer’s Sacrifice

621: The Believer’s Sacrifice – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 52

The Believer’s Sacrifice

Hebrews 12:18 – 13:25

Always remember that when other groups claim to have truth, you can compare what they use with this Book. No other book on earth can prophesy things hundreds and hundreds of years in advance and have them be fulfilled to the last detail like our Bible does. And one of the examples I gave the other night was, “Do you realize that King Cyrus, the Meade and Persian king that sent the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple after the 70 years of captivity, was named by an Israeli prophet 150 years before he was born?” Now, no other book on earth can do that. And even as we just see the whole Middle East scenario tonight, everything that we’re seeing in the world today has been prophesied in this Book like no other. So this is why we study – to prepare hearts and minds for even tomorrow’s newspaper.

Alright, we’re going to wind up the Book of Hebrews in these next four lessons. So, Hebrews chapter 12 and where we left off in our last program, which was verse 18.

Again, the whole Book of Hebrews is directed to Jews who were battling the spiritual warfare of coming out of Judaism with all of its law and demands and “works religion,” and stepping into Paul’s Gospel of Grace. Now, of course, Paul doesn’t reveal himself because the Jews hated him, and so he wasn’t about to show his card. But, nevertheless, we’re convinced that Paul is the writer of this epistle. He uses several Pauline statements, as well as what Peter says in his little epistle “remember what the Apostle Paul has written unto you.” And we know that Peter is addressing Jews so that sort of puts the frosting on the cake that Paul is writing to Jewish people who are fighting this battle of overcoming the draw back into Judaism. Consequently, all the way up through Hebrews (and I’ve been pointing it out whenever it comes along, that yes, the past in the Old Testament and Law and the Four Gospels was good, but) pure grace under Paul’s teachings is so much better. So as we begin Paul is going to make a reference to Mt. Sinai in verse 18.

Hebrews 12:18-19

“For ye are not come unto the mount (that is, Mt. Sinai back there when God was on the mount. with thunder and fire and all of that) that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest. 19. And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word not be spoken to them any more:” In other words, the Law as I’ve said over and over even in the Four Gospel accounts, was what? Severe! The Law had no room for argument. If someone was taken in adultery, what did the Law demand? Instant death! No trial by jury and 15 years of appeals. The Law was severe. And here, too, when God came down on Mt. Sinai, it wasn’t with love and mercy and grace. It was with power and might and it scared the Israelites to death. And then the warning was, “Don’t even touch the mountain lest you die. Don’t let an animal touch it. If he does you’re to put him to death.” So this is what we have to understand.

Now it’s interesting, as I’ve said before back in Romans and other areas where Paul writes, that he divides these things into groups of seven. Now there are seven visible things concerning Mt. Sinai, and I’m sure that Paul didn’t sit down and think before he started – I think he probably dictated most of his letters. And I don’t think Paul sat down and racked his brain and said, “Now, how can I put up seven points?” Now you know, a lot of preachers make a big deal over a three-point sermon. And that’s all well and good. But my, they’ll spend hours putting together a three-point sermon. I don’t think Paul did that. Paul didn’t have to sit back and say, “Well now, how can I put all this in groups of seven.” I don’t think it even entered his mind. But the Scripture says that he, like all other writers of Scripture, were moved by the Holy Spirit.

And so, here again, this is what I’m always referring to as the intricacy of Scripture. There is again, no man-made book can do it like the Holy Spirit has done with this one. And here we have seven visible things concerning Mt. Sinai, so let’s look at them. “For you are not come to the mountain.” Now everybody knows what a mountain looks like and Mt. Sinai in particular. And that it could not be touched and it burned with, what? Fire! Now, when God came down, the flame was up on the top of the mountain. Alright, so there’s two. “nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.” The mountain, the fire, the blackness – and you know some explorers feel that they’ve found the evidence of this on top of a mountain there in Arabia where it had a burnt rock that was black.

Hebrews 12:19

“And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:” All of these things were outwardly visible and they could hear it and it just made the children of Israel quake. And the voice of words, God spoke – it was scaring them to death. Now verse 20:

Hebrews 12:20a

“(For they could not endure that which was commanded,…)” God was absolute, He was Holy, He was Righteous. And Israel feared and quaked in His presence. Even Moses, the great man that he was, just feared being in the presence of this Almighty God. Now completing verse 20:

Hebrews 12:20b

“(…And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:…)” Now what is that? That’s severe. That’s driving the fear of God into these people. You were not just fooling around with some pagan idol here. You are dealing with the Almighty, living God. The God with power, and might, and holiness, see? The world, today has lost a lot of that, which of course, is as it should be. We’re not dealing with a God of wrath and anger today. We’re dealing with a God of grace. But nevertheless, this is what Israel came up against when they came around Mt. Sinai and were waiting for the Law to be given. Now verse 21.

Hebrews 12:21

“(…And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)” Even Moses (let alone the poor everyday Israelite) said, “I exceedingly fear and quake.” Why? Because of Who God was! The Almighty, see? Alright, now we come to seven better things. Now this is where we are. And here again, it’s in a group of seven. Isn’t it amazing how Scripture does that over and over and over. Now verse 22, what’s the first word? “But!” Now, I think I’m known for saying the “flip-side.” Whereas Israel was dealing with this frightening experience with God, the flip-side brings us to where we are.

Hebrews 12:22-24

“But ye are come unto Mt. Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, (which we feel is the Body of Christ, fellow believers) which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just (or righteous) men made perfect. (and I’m going to read it on to the end of these seven) 24. And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better (see there it is again) things than that of Abel.”

Now let’s go back and count them. Come back and look at verse 22 and the first tangible thing that we come to that is completely opposite from the visible manifestations at Mt. Sinai – we step now into the spiritual realm, because after all, everything for us in the new Age of Grace is a spiritual connection. Not earthly. Not material. Not physical. Alright, and so we have “come to the city of the living God.” The city, that’s the first one. “And to innumerable company of (what?) angels.” We’re actually going into the angelic realm. Alright, “to the general assembly of the first born.” And of course, that’s you and I as believers. We are the first born because of our relationship with Christ, “who are written in heaven and to God the(what?) Judge of all, and to the spirits just (or righteous) men made perfect.” Verse 24: The sixth one I think now is the “Mediator of the new covenant” and then the seventh, “the blood of sprinkling.”

Now I’m just pointing that out – not that you have to remember the seven of seven, but just to show you how intricately the Holy Spirit puts Scripture together. It’s not haphazard. It is beautiful in its construction. Alright let’s go back up and pick the verses apart now. Come with me to verse 22. As Grace Age believers now (members of the Body of Christ), we have been made accessible to the city of the Living God.

Now, I’m going to have to bring you back in order to clarify it from one of Paul’s other epistles. And that would be back to Colossians chapter 1, and let’s just drop in at verses 12 and 13. Now here is our heavenly connection. Everything under the old covenant, everything pertaining to God and Israel, was earthly. They were an earthly people with earthly promises, an earthly temple and an earthly priesthood. Everything concerning God and Israel was earthly. For us, everything is heavenly. We’re connected to the Head, Who is in heaven. Our citizenship is in heaven. Our rewards are piling up in heaven. And we’re just strangers in this earth. We’re not citizens of this planet at all.

Colossians 1:12

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:” Now what’s an inheritance? It’s something you gain by being an heir. Now I didn’t intend to do this but we’ve got to tie all of this together. Come back with me to Romans chapter 8 because I want people to see that we’re not just digging something and making something of it without showing that it’s tied all the way through Scripture. Now for us, of course, the main parts of Scripture are Paul’s epistles. Paul alone deals with this Age of Grace. All the rest of Scripture deals with the earthly people, Israel. But here this apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle of grace, or as one author put it, I think, in the title of his book, “The Apostle of Souls Set Free.” Hey, I like that. That’s what he’s done. It’s through Paul’s writings that we’ve been set free.

Somebody told me in one of our seminars up in Minnesota how he had come out of this religious background of “do this and do that.” And he said, “Now I’m free.” And I suppose I looked kind of quizzical, so he said, “Les have you ever carried a bag of potatoes on your back?” I said, “Well, something close to it. I carry feed every day.” He said, “What does it feel like when you drop it?” Well, there’s the example. He said, “That’s what it’s like. You come out of all that legalism and all that demands and you’re set free.” Well, yeah, that’s what the apostle was. He was the apostle of the souls set free. He’s the apostle of grace. Don’t you love that? You know, I just told a lady this morning who came out of one of these backgrounds, “You know, you folks are so much more exuberant than a lot of the people that I have generally grown up with, because you have experienced being set free.” And many of you here know what I’m talking about.

Romans 8:14

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or the children) of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit (that’s capitalized, which is a reference to the Holy Spirit) of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Now then we find that same Spirit beareth witness with our spirit. Now that’s a communal relationship.

Romans 8:16

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we (hope to be?) are the children of God.” Can you see the difference? How many of the religions of the world tell their people, “Well you can’t really know. The best you can do is hope.” That’s not what my Bible teaches. My Bible says the Holy Spirit communes with me and convinces me, confirms with me that I am, you are, not “hope to be,” see? Alright, now here it comes. That’s why I came back here.

Romans 8:17

“And if (you’re) children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” You’re an heir! You’re an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. Now that’s our relationship as believers in this new Age of Grace. We’re not under the Law. We’re not under bondage. We’re not under the heavy burden of works, works, works. But we’ve been set free and now we are under that joint heirship with Christ. Now, back to Colossians 1.

Colossians 1:12

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:” That’s what took me back to Romans 8. Now verse 13. This same God:

Colossians 1:13

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us (already) into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Now goodness sakes, where’s the Son? Well, He’s in heaven, not here on earth. And we are connected to His kingdom in heaven – not the earthly kingdom promised to Israel, but that heavenly connection that we have with Christ. Now let’s come back to Hebrews chapter 12; and so we have not come to a physical mountain, Sinai, that can’t be touched by man or beast, but we have come to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and that brings us into consort with what? “The innumerable company of angels.” or in the margin of your Bible, probably says the myriads of angels. That’s part of heaven.

You know, in part of our retreat in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago, one morning in particular) I don’t know why (whether it was the songs we sang or whatever), but it was a taste of heaven. And I told the young lady that put it together afterwards, “You know, this has been as close a taste of heaven as I have ever experienced.” It was just goose-bump producing.

Alright, now to just get a glimpse of the glory that’s waiting for us. Now I wish I could get Christians excited. It seems everybody’s in the doldrums. I know the world is tough and I know that the news is never good, but listen, like one person wrote a while back, “The worse it gets, the closer we are to the Lord’s coming. And so you and I can rejoice. The worse it gets, the closer we are to His coming. It has to get bad before the end comes. And so here we are, introduced into the heavenlies with that innumerable company of angels. Now verse 23.

Hebrews 12:23a

“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn,…” We had just gotten back from two weeks up north, and every place we go, we meet people for the first time. We step into the front door and it’s as if we’ve known each other all our lives. Why? Because we’re like-minded believers. You’re not strangers. We’re not strangers. And Paul is expressing that, and this is the difference. I hope you’re catching it now. What a difference from the fear and the admonition of the roaring God on the top of Mt. Sinai compared to our relationship as members of the Body of Christ – and we enter into the heavenlies constantly in the realm of the spirit, without fear, without trepidation. And we’re immediately in consort with like-minded believers. What a difference, see?

Hebrews 12:23a

“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all,…” Now you know for the unbeliever that would be frightening – to have God one day judging their life. But not for us as believers. Now let me take you back to II Corinthians chapter 5 and let’s just drop down to verse 9.

II Corinthians 5:9-10a

“Wherefore (Paul says) we labour, (as believers now. Not for salvation, because of it) that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. 10. For we must all (believers)appear before the judgment seat (now in the Greek I like it better. It’s the Bema Seat. The seat of the judges) of Christ;…” Now there won’t be any unbelievers at this judgment. This is strictly for the believers and members of the Body of Christ.

II Corinthians 5:10b

“…that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Now, the consoling thing here is that never, when we come before the Lord Jesus as our judge, will we be confronted with our sin. Never again will we have to meet Him with our sin. That’s been forgiven. It’s been placed under the blood. And in Micah, our sins have been what? They’ve been buried in the deepest sea, never to be brought back up to us again. But we will come before Him to be judged for our rewards according to what we have done as a believer. Have you been wasting your time or have you been out there doing the things for Christ for all the right reasons? Let’s go back to I Corinthians chapter 3, and here is just another view of that same event when we’re going to come before the Lord Jesus, not as our judge concerning eternal doom or eternal life (that’s settled), but we will come before Him to determine our reward. What have you done as a Christian to gain reward?

I Corinthians 3:12-13

“Now if any man build upon this foundation (which of course is Christ and His finished work) gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: 13. Every man’s work (as a believer)shall be made manifest: for the day (this judgment day for the believer at the Bema Seat) shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; (that is the fiery eyes of the Lord Jesus)and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.” Is it gold, silver, and precious stones which fire can’t touch, or would it be wood, hay or stubble which will go up in a puff of smoke. Well, that’s obvious, then, that if you have works that are counted as gold, silver and precious stones, they will abide and you’re going to receive reward for all eternity.

620 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 52 - Hebrews 11:24 - 12:17 - Part 2

620: Hebrews 11:24 – 12:17 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 52

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 52

Hebrews 11:24 – 12:17 – Part 2

I had one young lady write a while back saying, “I saw you on television for a minute or two and I thought, how boring, and so I moved on.” She continued, “Several days later I happened to catch you again and I thought, ‘well maybe I should listen,’ and in five minutes I was hooked. Now I watch you every day.” I imagine a lot of people see this program and think, “How boring. No music, no entertainment.” But anyway, we appreciate all your letters and your prayers and your financial help because, after all, it does take money to pay the bills. So now coming back to where we left off in Hebrews, chapter 12, let’s start at verse 2.

Hebrews 12:2a

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” So we continue on with this whole concept that Christ is not only our Savior and our Lord – He is the author, He is the file leader of everything that we believe and “for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame…,” (and as a result of having finished that glorious work of the cross, He what?) sat down.”

Remember several month’s ago I said that twice in all of human history God did something so perfect, so flawless that even He Himself could add nothing to it. And what did He do?He sat down, and rested. The first time was after creation. The last verse of Genesis 1 says, “and He looked and it was very good.” Which in the Hebrew just means, it was perfect. He couldn’t do another thing to make it any better. And then we don’t have that repeated until the book of Hebrews when it says, “and after He had purged us from our sins” or He had finished the work of the cross, again it was something so perfect, so flawless. Something to which nothing could be corrected or improved upon and again, there was nothing left to do but what? Sit down. It was done.

And so all through Scripture then we have this constant repetition that after he had finished the work of the cross, He sat down at the right hand of the Father having finished the work of the cross. And here’s another one – in fact, the first one, just flip back a few pages to Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3, because this is what we have to realize, that when He finished it, it was so perfect that He could sit down. But, you see, that was not enough for mankind. And people have come along, and have preached and taught “But you’ve got to do that, you have to do this.” No. If that’s the case, then He didn’t finish it. If you have to do something else besides believe it, then it was not perfect. There was something left to be done. But it was finished. And we dare not try and add to it, or Christ will profit you nothing. All right, Hebrews 1 verse 3 says it even plainer than Hebrews 12:

Hebrews 1:3

“Who (speaking of God the Son) 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 by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty of high;” Why? Because it was perfect. There wasn’t anything more to be done. And so all through the book of Hebrews we have this emphatic statement that He was the Son. He finished the work of redemption and when He finished it, He “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” All right, now then, let’s move on into Hebrews chapter 12 verse 3.

Hebrews 12:3

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” In other words, go back and experience some of the things he went through leading up to the crucifixion. And Paul says to these people:

Hebrews 12:4

“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” What’s it speaking of? I think it’s speaking of those sweat drops of blood that came on His brow as He was approaching the work of the cross. Now verse 5;

Hebrews 12:5

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:”Now of course, Paul as I’ve said so often, can shift gears. Now all of a sudden he’s coming back to the response of the people to whom he’s writing and he says, “You haven’t gone through anything like this, but you have forgotten a lot of things, one of which was that God is going to chasten the one that He loves.” Now many people don’t like to accept that. But you see, whenever God puts the believer through a hard situation, it isn’t because He doesn’t love Him; it isn’t because He has left off taking care of him – but rather it’s for what purpose? To increase their faith. It’s to increase our trust that, come what may (yes it may entail suffering, it may entail some sickness, it may entail the loss of a loved one, but), through it all what’s the promise? “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.” He’ll never leave off being all that He has claimed to be. All right, so he says, “Don’t despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked.” Now here’s the reason in verse 6.

Hebrews 12:6

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” He’s going to discipline us from time to time. And He’s going to “scourge every son whom he receiveth.” Now it isn’t because of meanness. It isn’t because he likes to see us grovel and suffer, but He is disciplining us in order to have us walk a stronger walk of faith. And again, you take all the witnesses of chapter 11, they didn’t have a rose-petaled pathway and I’ve used that expression over and over on the program. When we become a believer it is not that all of a sudden everything is going to go our way. Most of the time it’s the opposite. It’s tougher to be a believer than it is to be out there in the world, because we’ve got all the opposition of satanic forces against us. Satan has hated everything that pertains to God ever since Adam and Eve were in the Garden and that hasn’t changed. And so we have to be aware that things are going to come up in our lives that we think are rather uncomfortable. Some of it God permits as a chastening process to increase our faith, to increase our Christian discipline. All right, verse 7:

Hebrews 12:7a

“If ye endure chastening,…” He’s going to use the example of physical parents. Why do we discipline our kids? Why, because we love them. Not because we love to disappoint them. We discipline them because we love them. All right, and he’s bringing it right into the Christian experience.

Hebrews 12:7

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” If a father never disciplines, he’s not a father. His kid becomes a wastrel. All right, verse 8:

Hebrews 12:8

“But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, (illegitimate) and not sons.” “If you be without chastisement…” In other words, if nothing ever happens to make you run to the Lord for help, then we have every right to doubt that maybe we’re not a child of God, because we’re going to have problems. Satan’s not going to leave us alone if we’re a true child of God. Now verse 9:

Hebrews 12:9a

“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh (see, here he brings it into the earthly experience) which corrected us, and we gave them reverence:…” I bet I can make everyone in this room smile. When did your parents lay the switch to you? Sure, every one of you can remember. I can remember one in particular, and I imagine I can strike a cord with all of you. After Dad had given me a good whipping, I’ll never forget, he sat me on a concrete well base where the water pump stood and he says, “Give dad a hug.” I wouldn’t do it. (Laughter) And so he told me what had happened was because he loved me. And you’ve all been there. Every one of you.

And so parents do these things because they love their kids, and a child should respond knowing that this is why they got it, for their own good. All right, Paul is saying the same thing spiritually. See? So he says, “We’ve had fathers in the flesh which corrected us” or spanked us, whipped us, switched us, whatever the case may be. I always say switched because my Mom’s favorite weapon was a willow stick. Have you ever been hit with a willow stick around the calf of your leg. Yeah, stings like fire. Doesn’t hurt you all that much but it sure stings. All right, that’s what God does to us – He chastens us. All right, now then, if our earthly fathers got that kind of response:

Hebrews 12:9b

“…shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” Now verse 10, he comes back again to the earthly scenario.

Hebrews 12:10

“For they (our parents, our Mom and Dad) verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; (that was their responsibility. But, what was their reason?) but he for our profit, (for our own good) that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Now verse 11 – oh, this is so true.

Hebrews 12:11

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Is it joyous to chasten? Of course not. When we were kids and we got that whipping, we cried our eyes out, right? It was awful. But the end result, hopefully, was for our good. All right, now Paul is bringing it right back into the spiritual, “Nevertheless afterward it yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Verse 12. What’s the first word? “Wherefore.” In other words, learn the lesson that as a child is disciplined for his own good, God does the same thing with us, to increase our faith.

Now ,I’ve always made a warning as long as I’ve been teaching – always be careful that when a believer is going through hard times, that you don’t say (in your own mind, or even speak it to others), “Well they must be guilty of some sin and God is spanking them.” No, not necessarily. Because there are two reasons God brings adversity into the life of the believer – two, not one. The one is, yes, he needs disciplining and needs to be brought back into fellowship and God will discipline for that. The second one is as Abraham was told to give up Isaac – it wasn’t because Abraham needed discipline. What was the purpose? His faith. To exercise his faith. And so always remember that. If a believer is going through hard times (health, finance or whatever), God may be just doing all this to increase their faith, and just strengthen them spiritually. And I always tell people, the individual himself knows what it is. The individual believer knows if God is spanking him because he’s been a disobedient child. He knows it. It’s not for you and I to determine and so we just look at it that God in His own purposes deals with the believer as He sees fit. Now verse 12.

Hebrews 12:12-13

“Wherefore (because of what we should learn from this experience) lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” In other words, bring all of these things into the right perspective. Now verse 14, and admonition in our everyday experience.

Hebrews 12:14-15

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” Now, I’m going to come down quickly to the next verse because here’s to me, the meat of this chapter.

Hebrews 12:16a

“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau,…” Now you’ve got to reflect back. You go all the way back to Genesis again. What was Esau’s problem – if you remember my teaching back in Genesis? He was destitute of faith. Esau never saw any good in anything that God said. He may have been a nice guy (you know I’ve said that over and over. Esau was probably a nicer young man than his brother Jacob), but he had no faith.

What God said meant nothing to Esau. Now if you have a man destitute of faith, what is he – not always – but what is he most apt to be morally? The pits. Because faith is what maintains biblical morality, and without it there’s no constraint. That’s what’s the matter with the world today. They no longer believe this Book. It’s no longer relevant. And so, consequently, their morality is accordingly. All right, that was Esau. Esau had no biblical morality, and the reason he didn’t have any morality was because he had no faith. All right, and so this is the example:

Hebrews 12:16

“Les there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright.” Well, why did he give up the tremendous future opportunity of the birthright for a bowl of beans? Because he had no faith. That birthright didn’t mean a thing to Esau because it was a spiritual thing. And spiritual things mean nothing to people who have no faith. And so Esau is the perfect example through Scripture of a man destitute of faith – and, consequently, becomes immoral and he counts for nothing spiritually. And so that was Esau. He gave up the birthright for a bowl of red beans because he saw no value in it. But Jacob, with what little faith he had, knew that there was something to be gained spiritually, not materially, but spiritually. And Esau said, “Who cares?” Now verse 17.

Hebrews 12:17a

“For ye know how that afterward, (after he had given up the birthright for a bowl of beans, then sometime later you remember,) when he (could have or) would have inherited the blessing, (which was the material part of the estate,) he was rejected:…” Now of course, you’ve got to go all the way back and pick up the story. It was literally preordained by a Sovereign God that this should fall into place – but you remember how Jacob sort of befuddled Isaac, and got there before Esau and got the blessing. Now here comes Esau. The spiritual aspect meant nothing to him, but the material? Hey, that meant everything. Look what he did:

Hebrews 12:17b

“…when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” He cried his eyes out as a man. Why? Because he lost the material part of the estate that was going to be his. Now you have to read this verse carefully when it says that he was rejected “for he found no place of repentance.”It wasn’t that Esau was looking for repentance for himself. Who was he expecting to repent or change his mind? His father. See he was trying to get Isaac to change his mind and Isaac wouldn’t. And so this is what the Scripture is showing us. Esau isn’t trying to repent himself. Esau is only trying to convince Isaac to change his mind and take it back from Jacob and give it to Esau – but it was all for nothing. And so even though he sought it carefully with tears, well, what’s the lesson? Don’t be caught in unbelief. Unbelief is devastating. Unbelief causes people to lose the peace with God, the tranquility, the joy of this life – but far more important, eternity. In fact, come back with me to Romans chapter 5 verse 1. And see, this is what we have to learn from examples like Esau. He was destitute of faith – spiritual things didn’t mean a thing to him. Oh, he was a tremendous deer hunter. Didn’t take him long to go out and come home with the venison. But, spiritually he had nothing, so he couldn’t care for anything spiritual. But for us who believe, look at the difference – Romans 5 verse 1 – my, what a promise.

Romans 5:1

“Therefore being justified by (what?) faith, (the same thing we’ve been talking about here in Hebrews 11) we have (in the here and now) peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” What more could we ask for? To be at peace with the Sovereign, Eternal, Ruler of the Universe, Who no longer has one ounce of controversy against us. Why? Because we’ve believed. We’ve placed our faith in that finished work of the cross.

Romans 5:2

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” I have to always go from here right over to Romans 8 verse 1 – one of my favorite verses.

Romans 8:1a

“There is therefore now no condemnation (do you see that? Because of what he’s just been saying, including this verse in chapter 5. Therefore, there is now no condemnation) to them which are in Christ Jesus,…” Isn’t that a fabulous position to be in? God cannot make one accusation against us because it’s under the blood. Our faith has caused Him to cancel it. Now that’s not license. That doesn’t tell us to go and do as we please. Quite the opposite. But, nevertheless, this is that whole concept of faith that causes God to give us peace with Himself and takes away all condemnation. And that makes us totally opposite, coming back to Hebrews, of people like Esau. Now remember, Esau isn’t the only man like this. This is the world in general. The world, in general, is more like Esau than they are anything else. They have no faith. They have no concern about what God says. My, they’ve got money in the bank and got a roof over their head and food to eat. That’s all they care about. But for us who know better, our faith becomes everything.

Hebrews 12:18a

“For ye…” Never forget that Paul is speaking to these Hebrews, and is trying to convince them that the whole concept of salvation is through grace by faith alone! It is so much better than the Law and Judaism and all the things that came from the Old Testament believers.

Hebrews 12:18a

“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire,…” Where’s he taking them? Back to Mount Sinai – and what happened at Mount Sinai? The Law was given. And he says, you’re not under that.