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Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

A series of verse by verse studies by Gunther von Harringa Sr

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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Hebrews 3 - Part 21

March 13, 2022


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask God’s blessing upon our time together…This will be Hebrews 3 - Part 21, and today’s date is March 13, 2022. I’ll read Hebrews 3:12-19,


Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.


In our previous lesson we left off  at the word, of unbelief, in the warning of verse 12. This term unbelief or apistia is found in 11 other references, and is always rendered as unbelief. The alpha prefix  (“a-”) in Greek denotes a negation like the “un-” in unbelief. The following passages illustrate some of the ways that God employs this expression. Please note again that both unbelief as well as belief or faith is a matter of the heart. By nature we have a heart that is described, among other places, in verse 9 of Jeremiah 17:9-10 and 14,


The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately [incurably] wicked: who can know it? {10} I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings. ... {14} Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou [art] my praise.


The only change that can take place in the human heart that is deceitful or incurably wicked has everything to do with God’s will - not man’s. Mankind is woefully incapable of such a profound spiritual change; in fact it is impossible, as Jeremiah 13:23 poses these rhetorical questions:


Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. 


However, the elect recognize that …with God all things are possible… as we read in verse 27 of Mark 10:23-27, regarding the “day” of salvation:


And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! {24} And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! {25} It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. {26} And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? {27} And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.


In the Old Testament, God highlights  the impossibility of man’s endeavors to become saved by their own works by giving a command (which He did from time to time) that was impossible for man to carry out, as Deuteronomy 10:16 and Jeremiah 4:4 commands and warns respectively. Notice the emphasis on the heart or soul of man:


Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.


 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench [it], because of the evil of your doings.


What only God can accomplish - as the Great Physician -  involves a type of surgery that is spiritual in nature;  one that no human being is capable of undertaking, as Deuteronomy 30:6 and Ezekiel 36:25-28 decree: 


And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.


This statement in Deuteronomy 30:6 helps to clarify the only way that an individual could obey the first (and great) commandment as the Messiah explained in Mark 12:29-31,


And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: {30} And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. {31} And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.


Ezekiel 36:25-28 contains the Gospel in a nutshell, and keep in mind Who is doing all the action:  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. {26} A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. {27} And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. {28} And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 


Now that we understand where the heart of unbelief comes from, let’s explore some of the ways that God employs this word of unbelief: 





Of Unbelief [apistia:G570]


It should be noted that this word appears again in verse 19 of Hebrews 3, as God continues to emphasize this point: 


So we see that they could not enter [Canaan - typifying Heaven] in because of unbelief. [apistia:G570]


Verse 58 of Matthew 13:54-58 reveals how those in Nazareth viewed their “favorite son”: And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this [man] this wisdom, and [these] mighty works? {55} Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? {56} And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this [man] all these things? {57} And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. {58} And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. [apistia:G570]


Verse 24 of Mark 9:17-29 includes the expression, I believe (pisteuo:G4100), which is related to the main term, belief, in the word unbelief,  underscoring the great contrast that these two terms embody, and the even greater dichotomy that exists between  man’s inability to truly believe or have have faith, without God’s indispensable intervention to bequeath the gift of saving faith when that was still available: 

 

And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; {18} And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. {19} He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. {20} And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. {21} And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. {22} And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. {23}  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst [dunamai:G1410]  believe [pisteuo:G4100], all things [are] possible to him that believeth. [pisteuo:G4100] {24} And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe [pisteuo:G4100]; help thou mine unbelief. [apistia:G570] {25} When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, [Thou] dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. {26} And [the spirit] cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. {27} But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. {28} And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? {29} And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting [i.e., the Gospel]


I would also like to draw your attention to the word, thou canst, in the conditional phrase… if thou canst believe… This Greek term, thou canst denotes the ability to believe, which is impossible without the gift of saving faith.


Verses 20 and 23 of Romans 11:11-32 also contain the expression unbelief, and in verse 20 the term faith as well:  


I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. {12} Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? {13} For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: {14} If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them. {15} For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead? {16} For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches. {17} And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; {18} Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. {19} Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. {20} Well; because of unbelief [apistia:G570] they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. [pistis:G4100] Be not highminded, but fear: {21} For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee. {22} Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. {23} And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief [apistia:G570], shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. {24} For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree? {25} For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. {26} And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: {27} For this [is] my covenant [Gospel] unto them, when I shall take away their sins. {28} As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes. {29} For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance. {30} For as ye in times past have not believed [apeitheo:G544] God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: [apeitheia:G543] {31} Even so have these also now not believed [apeitheo:G544], that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. {32} For God hath concluded them all in unbelief [apeitheia:G543], that he might have mercy upon all.


Please note that in verses 30-32 two other sets of words are utilized for not believed (apeitheo:G544) which is an adjective, and unbelief (apeitheia:G543), which is a noun. Both of these expressions contain the alpha negative  (a-) and the main word peitho (G3982) which is the “great-grandfather” term for the expression that we have been examining, of unbelief (apistia:G570).


Let’s now consider the rest of verse 12… in departing from the living God. 

The five terms that make up this phrase are only found here, so we will have to investigate the first three… in departing from…and then the last two…the living God. 


In [en:G1722] Departing [aphistemi:G868] From [apo:G575]


The first three expressions only surface together again in verse 9 of Acts 19. I’ll read verses 1-10 and 20 to pick up the context;   


And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, {2} He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed [pisteuo:G4100] ? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. {3} And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. {4} Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe [pisteuo:G4100]  on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. {5} When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. {6} And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. {7} And all the men were about twelve. {8} And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading [peitho:G3982 - the “great-grandfather” word for apistia (G570)] the things concerning the kingdom of God. {9} But when divers were hardened, and believed not [apeitheo:G544], but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed [aphistemi:G868] from [apo:G575] them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in [en:G1722] the school of one Tyrannus. {10} And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. ... {20} So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.


I would like to make an observation about …the school of one Tyrannus (Turranos:G5181). We note the wise action that Paul took by leaving the unwelcome atmosphere of the synagogue, and taking the 12 or so disciples to this school of Tyrannus. In the historical context we can understand what took place in this new environment in which they were at liberty to discuss …the things concerning the kingdom of God. We know practically nothing regarding this man Tyrannus himself. What is interesting is the fact that apparently his name which means sovereign or tyrant (and you can see the similarity between the English and the Greek) stems from the Greek word, kurios (G2962). Kurios is rendered Lord over 650 times in the New Testament, so the Lord’s School is what this entails spiritually; and all of God’s elect are enrolled in that glorious “academy” to learn from Him, as Jesus commented to Martha on the course of action that her sister Mary chose in Luke 10:38-42,


Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. {39} And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. {40} But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. {41} And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: {42} But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.  


The Lord certainly did a great work in Ephesus and in Asia Minor using the Apostle Paul …by the space of two years… as evidenced by what we read in Acts 19:20, So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.


This brings us to the last two words in Hebrews 3:12 …the living God. 


These two expressions are a tremendous affirmation of God Himself, and are found together in close to 50 references in the New Testament. But before looking at those let’s consider some Old Testament Scriptures that highlight this magnificent Title, in which God uses the singular form for God (’El), as well as the plural form, (’Elohiym), and also Jehovah; 


Psalm 42:2 describes the spiritual yearning of each genuine child of God: My soul thirsteth for God [’Elohiym:H430], for the living [chay:H2416] God [’El:H410]: when shall I come and appear before God? [’El:H410]


Psalm 84:2 expresses this same sentiment: My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living  [chay:H2416] God. [’El:H410]


Jeremiah 10:10 proclaims: But the LORD  [Yehovah:H3068] [is] the true God [’Elohiym:H430], he [is] the living [chay:H2416] God [’Elohiym:H430], and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.


Verse 26 of Daniel 6:25-26 includes these words of King Darius, under divine inspiration; these Aramaic terms are identically spelled but pronounced slightly differently: 


Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. {26} I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God [’elahh:H426] of Daniel: for he [is] the living [chay:H2417] God [’elahh:H426], and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion [shall be even] unto the end.


By contrast, all other gods are no gods at all as Psalm 115:1-8 testify:


Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, [and] for thy truth's sake. {2} Wherefore should the heathen say, Where [is] now their God? {3} But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. {4} Their idols [are] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {5} They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: {6} They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: {7} They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. {8} They that make them are like unto them; [so is] every one that trusteth in them.


The Living [zao:G2198] God [theos:G2316]


The following citations include the two Greek expressions, the living God:


Verse 23 of Matthew 22:31-32 includes the term God 5 times (as that number represents both salvation as well as judgment), and living once:   But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God [theos:G2316], saying, {32} I am the God [theos:G2316] of Abraham, and the God [theos:G2316] of Isaac, and the God [theos:G2316] of Jacob? God [theos:G2316] is not the God [theos:G2316]  of the dead, but of the living. [zao:G2198] 


In John 6:66-69 the Savior poses this question to His disciples: From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. {67} Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? {68} Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. {69} And we believe [pisteuo:G4100] and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living [zao:G2198] God. [theos:G2316] 


Acts 14:8-15 records this incident that occured in Lystra where Paul and Barnabas were ministering: And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: 9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, {10} Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. {11} And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. {12} And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. {13} Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14 [Which] when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard [of], they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, {15} And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living [zao:G2198]  God [theos:G2316], which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:


Hebrews 4:12 solemnly announces:  For the word of God [theos:G2316]  [is] quick [living] [zao:G2198], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


Similarly, verse 23 of 1 Peter 1:18-25 acknowledges: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. {22} Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: {23} Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God [theos:G2316], which liveth [zao:G2198] and abideth for ever. {24} For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: {25} But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.


The last citation that we can turn to is in verse 22 of Hebrews 12:22-29, which brings us right to our present “day” of judgment, in which God is shaking both the heaven and the earth; once again, these words are rendered as of the living God: 


But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living [zao:G2198] God [zao:G2198], the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, {23} To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, {24} And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel. {25} 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 away from him that [speaketh] from heaven: {26} Whose voice then shook the earth: 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. {28} Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: {29} For our God [is] a consuming fire.


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study, we will examine verse 13. Please stay tuned for the remainder of our Hymn Sing.

Hebrews 3 - Part 22  

March 20, 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask God’s blessing upon our time together…This will be Hebrews 3 - Part 22, and today’s date is March 20, 2022. I’ll read Hebrews 3:12-19,

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Today we want to examine the exhortation found in verse 13 that follows on the heels of the warning in verse 12, in which verses 13-15 are “bookended” by the danger of unbelief that crops up in verses 12 and 19. And what constitutes unbelief? It is a lack of Faith. And Who is Faith? Christ is the very essence of Faith, and He secured the salvation of His elect Bride at …the foundation of the world. There is a most beautiful illustration of the Faith of Christ in the account of Mary (Martha’s sister and brother of Lazarus) who anointed the Lord’s head and feet in preparation for His burial in Luke 7:36-48,

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. {37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, {38} And stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed [them] with the ointment. {39} Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. {40} And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. {41} There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. {42} And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? {43} Simon answered and said, I suppose that [he], to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. {44} And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped [them] with the hairs of her head. {45} Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. {46} My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. {47} Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little. {48} And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 

This account emerges in all four Gospels as a memorial for what Mary had done (as she typifies God’s elect) who have been saved by the Faith of Christ. John 11:1-2 certifies which Mary this was in the historical context:

Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. {2}  (It was [that] Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

 The alabaster box of ointment we are told in John 12:3 was very costly due to the nature of its contents,

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly [polytimosG4186], and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 

This expression very costly is only found in one another Scripture in which it is translated of great price in the parable of the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:45-46,

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man [Christ], seeking goodly pearls: {46} Who, when he had found one pearl [representing the elect] of great price [polytimosG4186], went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 

The term of great price is a compound word, consisting of the words poly- (much or many) and timos (honor, price). No wonder we read in 1 Corinthians 6:20,

For ye are bought with a price [time:G5092]: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

In the historical setting this ointment or perfume was equivalent to the 300 days wages. The reason it was so expensive is because each drop was obtained from the thousands of crushed flowers and herbs that was required to fill this alabaster box. And what happened to the box? It was broken even as Christ’s body was broken at… the foundation of the world, according to 1 Corinthians 11:24,

 And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 

Christ’s broken body in the Atonement is likened to the rending of the veil of the Temple (He is also the Temple) in Mark 15:38;  

And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Hebrews 10:12 and 19-20 capitalize on the imagery of the veil by comparing it to His flesh that was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, on behalf of His beloved Bride:  

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God... {19} Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, {20} By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

 Exhort [parakaleo:G3817] One Another [heautou:G1438]

These Scriptures in Hebrews 10 tie into our present study of the two terms, exhort and one another, which are found in verse 25 of Hebrews 10:21-25,

And [having] an high priest over the house of God; {22} Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. {23} Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) {24} And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {25} Not forsaking the assembling [episunagogue:G1997] of ourselves [heautou:G1438] together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [parakaleo:G3817] [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

Please note the positive  action that is conveyed by the verbs at the beginning of each of these verses in this passage: Let us draw near…Let us hold fast…Let us consider… along with the one negative command in verse 25, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves. The thrust of verse 25 is the fellowship of each individual saint with the Triune God, not with each other. This is also borne out in the only other place in which the term assembling appears, in 2 Thessalonians 2:1,

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together  [episunagogue:G1997]  unto him,

These two expressions, exhort and one another also surface in verse 11 of  1 Thessalonians 2:10-12, in which Paul, typifying God’s elect acknowledges; these words are expressed as we exhorted and his: 

Ye [are] witnesses, and God [also], how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: {11} As ye know how we exhorted [parakaleo:G3817]  and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his [heautou:G1438] children, {12} That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Today [semeron:G4594]

The word today in our verse is an important one, so I would like to spend some extra time investigating it. For one thing, all we have is “today.” We have no guarantee that we will be alive “tomorrow,” as James 4:13-15 is quick to point out:

Go to now, ye that say, To day [semeron:G4594] or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: {14} Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. {15} For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 

Hebrews 13:8 includes this word, today in that powerful declaration regarding the eternal character of God the Son:  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day [semeron:G4594], and for ever.

In Luke 2:11, God links this word rendered as this day with the Savior’s birth: For unto you is born this day [semeron:G4594] in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Going back even further to … the foundation of the world, this expression finds fulfillment in the resurrection of the Messiah (and all the elect in Him) as Hebrews 5:5 and Acts 13:33 respectively insist; these words are again translated as today and this day: 

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day [semeron:G4594]  have I begotten thee.

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day [semeron:G4594]  have I begotten thee.

Similarly, Luke 23:43 associates this word with paradise or Heaven, as the Lord lovingly told the thief on His right hand at Golgotha: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day [semeron:G4594] shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Luke 19:9 speaks of this day as it relates to the salvation of Zacchaeus: And Jesus said unto him, This day [semeron:G4594] is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

Incidentally, Zacchaeus’ name is derived from the Hebrew word, clean or pure, as we read for instance in Lamentations 4:7, because this is the result of what takes place in the regenerated souls of God’s elect:

Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing [was] of sapphire:

This depiction of the spiritual status of God’s beloved reminds us of that beautiful affirmation in Isaiah 1:18 which uses much of the same imagery:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

As Christ is the Bread of Life, God’s saints partake of His blessed Word on a daily basis as this verse in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:11 maintains:  

Give us this day our daily [semeron:G4594] bread.

In Hebrews 3:7-8a we spent some time exploring this warning, in which this word emerges again as Today: 

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day [semeron:G4594]  if ye will hear his voice, {8} Harden not your hearts… 

Lord willing, if we get to verse Hebrews 3:15 and Hebrews 4:7 respectively we will encounter this term again (repeated twice in Hebrews 4:7) and the serious admonition to not harden one's heart: 

While it is said, To day [semeron:G4594]  if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day [semeron:G4594] , after so long a time; as it is said, To day [semeron:G4594]  if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Romans 11:8 is a quotation taken from Isaiah 6:9-10 which appears about 6 times in the New Testament: 

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this [semeron:G4594] day.[hemera:G2250]

In this reference today is rendered simply as this, and the word day is a different word altogether (which has cropped up in a number of the foregoing verses) but predominantly surfaces as day, but in this instance God combines them.

Another warning - similar to Isaiah 6:9-10 -  arises in 2 Corinthians 3:14-15, in which God uses the interesting analogy of the vail as a substitute for spiritual blindness; in both of these citations our word is translated this day; I’ll read verses 13-18, 

And not as Moses, [which] put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:{14} But their minds were blinded: for until this day [semeron:G4594] remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [vail] is done away in Christ. {15} But even unto this day [semeron:G4594], when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. {16} Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. {17} Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. {18} But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

There is a unique contrast that God is making in this passage. On the one hand the non-elect are blinded (by God) to His truth, hence the analogy of the vail. But on the other hand, God’s elect are receiving Truth that has been sealed up …from the foundation of the world, according to Matthew 13:34-35,

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: {35} That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

In our day and for quite some time we are spiritually celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, which is really the Feast of the Bible, and during this time and season, God’s elect have a learned a great deal of Truth since the “unsealing” of the Bible took place as recorded in Revelation 5:1-6,

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. {2} And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? {3} And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. {4} And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. {5} And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. {6} And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

In light of this, it is critical to understand that the seal[ing] of the Bible or …things which have been kept secret, is mentioned in Daniel 12:4 and 9 respectively.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. ... {9} And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

The same One that sealed the Bible is the same One that opened it, namely the Lord Jesus Christ - not Daniel the man - as Revelation 5:3 testifies:

 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

The main point that I am trying to emphasize is this. As the vail that covers the understanding of the non-elect becomes more and more dense in this “day” of judgment, in which, even so called “true believers” have had the truth they once possessed taken away from them, as Luke 19:26 ominously warns,

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

…at the same time the understanding of the elect grows as they continue looking into the mirror (or glass) of God’s Word, as the Lord continues to reveal layer after layer of Truth, according to His Divine timing and purpose, as was mentioned earlier in 2 Corinthians 3:18,

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

And who knows what mysteries God will reveal to His elect between now and 2033?

Lest [me:G3361] Any [tis:G5100] Of [ek:G1537] You [humon:G5216]

The next phrase in Hebrews 3:13 is …lest any of you… which introduces another warning in the last phrase…be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. The phrase …lest any of you… emerges is a few other places, and we will consider just one of them in John 6:64, in which these terms are expressed as some of you and not:

But there are some [tis:G5100] of [ek:G1537] you [humon:G5216] that believe not. [me:G3361]  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 

Be Hardened [skleruno:G4645] Through The Deceitfulness [apate:G539] Of Sin [hamartia:G266]

This brings us to this last phrase in Hebrews 3:13…be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, in which the heart (or soul) is again in view, because that is where the harden[ing] takes root. These three words are only found together in our verse, so we will have to consider them individually. However, since we discussed the first expression be hardened in Part 7, we can focus on the last two terms.

Through The Deceitfulness [apate:G539] 

This word is found in six other citations, and we will consider three of them:

In Ephesians 4:22 it is rendered as deceitful in this portrait of man’s unsaved state:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation [lifestyle] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful [apate:G539] lusts;

This deception also extends into the arenas of worldly philosophy…after the tradition of men as Colossians 2:8 acknowledges, in which this word is expressed as deceit:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit [apate:G539] , after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Verse 10 of 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 includes this term as deceivableness: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness [or sin] in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: {12} That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Please note how in this passage these individuals …received not the love of the truth… which is a gift that comes with salvation; instead God gave …them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.

Of Sin [hamartia:G266]

The last word in Hebrews 3:13 is sin, and the very insidious nature of sin is the fact that it is deceitful, which our first parents, Adam and Eve, found out firsthand, very quickly, as God had warned them in the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 2:16-17,

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: {17} But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [literally, dying thou shalt die]

 Not only is sin deceitful, but it leads, ultimately, to certain death (and annihilation), as James 1:14-15 illustrates by means of an analogy of the birth process:

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin  [hamartia:G266]: and sin  [hamartia:G266], when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

This is the human dilemma. Thankfully God’s elect have been delivered from the penalty of sin, as the closing verses of 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 so beautifully summarize:

O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? {56}  The sting of death [is] sin [hamartia:G266]; and the strength of sin [hamartia:G266] [is] the law. {57} But thanks [be] to God, which gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. {58} Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study, we will examine verse 14. Please stay tuned for the remainder of our Hymn Sing.

Hebrews 3 - Part 23  

March 27, 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask God’s blessing upon our time together…This will be Hebrews 3 - Part 23, and today’s date is March 27, 2022. I’ll read Hebrews 3:12-19,

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

We have arrived at verse 14 in our examination of Hebrews 3. As I mentioned in one of our earlier lessons this verse is very similar to the latter part of  Hebrews 3:6, 

But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Introduction

Before we investigate the two terms that are different in the latter part of verse 14, I want to reiterate something very important about both of these verses in the overall context of this warning in verses 12-19. A casual reading of this passage might give the impression that these verses, which are conditional in nature, require a response on the part of the individual. In other words, someone might wrongly conclude: “I mustnot have an evil heart of unbeliefI mustnot depart from the living GodI musthold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the endI mustnot be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin…. The focus is completely misplaced because it rests on the work of the person in view who is attempting to accomplish something that is impossible, which only God can perform, as He works in and through the lives of His elect as Philippians 2:13 instructs,

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

This is also highlighted in Philippians 1:6, Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

From the foundation of the world when the Savior secured the salvation of all the elect to the application of that salvation at some point in their physical lifetime, and throughout their life until the resurrection of their bodies, God is orchestrating all things in the lives of each of His beloved saints, and conforming them to the image of His Son, according to Romans 8:29, 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 

This would also include the idea of enduring to the end (in Matthew 24:13) which Jude 24-25 explains is all within the realm of God’s sovereignty - not man’s:

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, {25} To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

In sum, every single aspect of salvation and sanctification is rooted in the Work and Faith of the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively.

With that in mind, let’s now turn our attention to the two terms in verse 14 that are different from those found in Hebrews 3:6.  These are beginning and of our confidence.

The question we want to ask is: Who is the beginning of our confidence? We recognize that this can only be the Messiah. 

Who… Is The Beginning [arche:G746] Of Our Confidence [hupostasis:G5287]?

I think we’ll start with the expression of our confidence first, then we’ll consider is the beginning.

Of Our Confidence [hupostasis:G5287] 

We have actually encountered this word before in Hebrews 1:3, in which it is translated person, and takes us back to the …foundation of the world:

Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person [hupostasis:G5287], 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 on high;

This underscores what I was emphasizing in the introduction since the confidence for every child of God rests in a Person - the Person of God the Son. This is also verified by another major statement in Hebrews 11:1 regarding Faith (Who is Christ), in which this same term, confidence, is rendered the substance; we can substitute Christ for the expression Faith since Christ is Faith:

Now faith [Christ] is the substance [hupostasis:G5287] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Thus the Lord Jesus Christ is the Confidence or Person or Substance …of things hoped for. And what do God’s elect hope for? Among many things…

The hope of eternal life. (Titus 1:2)

The hope of an eternal spiritual marriage. (Revelation 21:2-3)

The hope of serving God with a perfect soul and body. (Revelation 22:3)

The hope of seeing our Creator and Savior face-to-face. (Revelation 22:4)

The hope of our spiritual home in the New Heavens and New Earth …wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3:13). 

The hope of no more death, sorrow, crying, and pain. (Revelation 21:4)

In light of these future realities that God’s redeemed people can look forward to with great expectation, Romans 8:23-39 offer these words of comfort, strength, and encouragement:

And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body. {24} For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? {25} But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it]. {26}  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. {27} And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. {28} And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. {29} For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. {31} What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for 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? {33} Who shall lay any thing to the charge 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, who also maketh intercession for us. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. {37} Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. {38} For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Christ Jesus Our Lord…Is The Beginning [arche:G746] 

Christ Jesus our Lord is the beginning of our confidence. 

The fact that Christ is the beginning is very evident as the subsequent citations testify, particularly in four places in the book of Revelation, and notice how God couples the beginning with the end, and again the Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet), and again with the first and the last

Revelation 1:8 declares: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning  [arche:G746] and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Revelation 3:14 likewise affirms: And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning  [arche:G746] of the creation of God;

Revelation 21:6 also includes this word as beginning: And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning  [arche:G746] and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning  [arche:G746] 

 and the end, the first and the last.

We also ran across this expression, the beginning when we were studying Hebrews 1:10 as well as Hebrews 2:3,

Hebrews 1:10 renders this as in the beginning: And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning [arche:G746] hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

In this verse we see that the foundation of the earth and the heavens are not just a reference to physical Creation, but parabolically, refer to the Atonement at …the foundation of the world, in addition to …the heavens are the works of thine hands, which also points to salvation through Christ’s works.

However, in Hebrews 2:3 the beginning is translated at the first; please note how God again links at the first with so great salvation:  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first [arche:G746] began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];

Hebrews 7:3 describes the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the High Priest Melchisedec, which echoes what the passages in Revelation revealed about the beginning and end, the Alpha and Omega, and the first and the last: 

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning [arche:G746] of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

 John 1:1-2 includes this term as the beginning twice: In the beginning [arche:G746] was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} The same was in the beginning [arche:G746] with God.

In Colossians 1:16 we find a different translation - principalities - but in verse 18 once again it is rendered  the beginning: 

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities [arche:G746], or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: ... {18} And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning [arche:G746], the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

Notice how God is associating the Savior with the head of the body and the beginning, along with  the firstborn from the dead which points to the Atonement at …the foundation of the world, in addition to Christ’s glorious Divine preeminence. This also connects to 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which is when and where salvation was secured for all God’s sheep: 

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning [arche:G746] chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Even though we have already examined all the words in verse 15, I should point out that this is the third time in this chapter that God continues to underscore the point of hardening one’s heart (as we discovered in verses 8 and 13). 

Now we can proceed to verse 16: 

For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 

If we turn back to Numbers 14:29-33 we witness who were the ones provoking and who did not, which included the children (under the age of 19) of those who murmured and rebelled in the wilderness:

Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, {30} Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, [concerning] which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. {31} But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. {32} But [as for] you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. {33} And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.

We want to remember that Israel is called the church in the wilderness in Acts 7:38. Those that died in the wilderness represent those that were the tares in the churches and denominations that came under God’s wrath. Those that made it to the Promised Land or the Land of Canaan (or Heaven) typify God’s elect. Moses (who was saved) was not able to enter into the Promised Land, only because he is such a great representation of God’s Law (as well as of Christ) and one cannot gain access to Heaven by keeping the Law, according to Galatians 2:16,  

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Most of the words verse 16 have already been discussed in some of our previous lessons, except for the last two expressions, …out of Egypt by Moses, which we can now address.

These two words, out of and Egypt constitute one of the major themes that runs all throughout the Word of God. This is because Egypt is a spiritual portrait of being a slave to sin and to Satan. As such, the coming out of Egypt was the greatest miracle in the Old Testament, because it points to salvation by the Work and Faith of Christ, which is indeed the greatest miracle! This is corroborated in Deuteronomy 4:32-35; please note the 7 events listed in verse 34:

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and [ask] from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been [any such thing] as this great thing [is], or hath been heard like it? {33} Did [ever] people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? {34} Or hath God assayed to go [and] take him a nation from the midst of [another] nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? {35} Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he [is] God; [there is] none else beside him.

Another aspect related to the coming out of Egypt is the parabolic fulfillment of the Great Commission when all God’s elect were saved by May 21, 2011. This is in view spiritually in the accounts of Exodus 12:36-38, 40-42, and 51, as well as in Exodus 13:19, with respect to Joseph’s bones, who exemplify all the elect who died in Christ, so we have a complete picture of all the Body of Christ - living and dead - in this historical parable: 

And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians. {37} And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children. {38} And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle. ... {40} Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, [was] four hundred and thirty years. {41} And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. {42} It [is] a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this [is] that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. ... 51 And it came to pass the selfsame day, [that] the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies… {13:19} And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

Out Of [ek:G1537] Egypt [Aiguptos:G125]

These next references incorporate these two terms, out of and Egypt:

Verse 15 of Matthew 2:13-15 is a most interesting verse because Christ is in view spiritually as well as historically: 

And when they [the wise men] were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord [Christ!] appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child [Christ!] and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. {14} When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:{15} And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of [ek:G1537] Egypt [Aiguptos:G125] have I called my son.

Historically Christ was in Egypt as Stephen, under divine inspiration, recounts in Acts 7:38 which I quoted earlier because in this passage Israel is called the church in the wilderness; but in this same verse we learn that Moses spoke with Christ on the mount: I’ll read verses 38-41, since verse 40 also contains these two words: 

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: {39} To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust [him] from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, {40} Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for [as for] this Moses, which brought us out of [ek:G1537] the land of Egypt [Aiguptos:G125], we wot not what is become of him. {41} And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 

But there is at least a third occasion (and perhaps more?) in which Christ was in Egypt spiritually. When was that? When He took upon Himself the sins of all the elect at …the foundation of the world and became completely identified with bondage to sin and to Satan (which Egypt represents) along with the penalty of death and annihilation, as 2 Corinthians 5:21 maintains: 

For he [God the Father] hath made him [God the Son] [to be] sin for us, [the elect] who knew no sin [God the Son]; that we [the elect] might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Christ]

Acts 13:17 likewise speaks of this same incomparable deliverance: The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt [Aiguptos:G125], and with an high arm brought he them out of [ek:G1537] it.

If God allows us to get to Hebrews 8:9 we will be exploring this verse in more depth: Not according to the covenant [or Gospel] that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of [Aiguptos:G125]the land of Egypt [Aiguptos:G125]; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Lastly Jude 1:5 declares: I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of [Aiguptos:G125] the land of Egypt [Aiguptos:G125], afterward destroyed them that believed not.

What is being stated in Jude parallels what happened to Lot’s wife - in spite of the fact that she was one individual - but all of those hundreds of thousands who died in Egypt were also individuals like Lot’s wife. Just as she had left Sodom physically, but her heart was still there because she was not saved. In the same manner, those Israelites that perished had physically left Egypt, but their hearts were still in Egypt. Hence the powerful three word reminder in Luke 17:32,    

Remember Lot’s wife.

Why don’t we stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will commence with verse 17. Please stay tuned for the remainder of our Hymn Sing.

Hebrews 3 - Part 24  

April 10, 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask God’s blessing upon our time together…This will be Hebrews 3 - Part 24, and today’s date is April 10, 2022. I’ll read Hebrews 3:12-19,

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

I ended our last study by saying that we would begin today’s lesson by looking at verse 17. But before we do that, I would like us to consider the last two words in verse 16… by Moses. We encountered Moses in verses 2-3 and 5 of this chapter, in which he is being contrasted with the Lord Jesus:

Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [Moseus:G3475] [was faithful] in all his house. {3} For this [man] was counted worthy of more glory than Moses [Moseus:G3475], inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. ... {5} And Moses [Moseus:G3475] verily [was] faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

By [dia:G1223] Moses [Moseus:G3475]

These two terms only emerge again in the following three passages:

John 1:17 acknowledges the distinction between Moses and the Messiah as Moses represents the Law of God:  For the law was given by  [dia:G1223] Moses [Moseus:G3475], [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

These two divergent aspects of Law and Grace also remind us of of the two sides of the twoedged Sword of the Spirit that is described in Hebrews 4:12-13, designed to cut to either salvation or judgment, as God sovereignly wielded His Word  throughout the very long “day” of salvation:

For the word of God [is] quick [or living], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. {13} Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

The next reference surfaces in verse 22 of John 7:21-23 following the feeding the five thousand, and during the Feast of Tabernacles in which a discussion ensues  regarding Jesus healing an impotent man (in John 5) on the Sabbath versus circumcision that the Jews performed on the Sabbath:  

Jesus answered and said unto them, and ye all marvel. {22} Moses  [Moseus:G3475] therefore [dia:G1223] gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses  [Moseus:G3475], but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. {23} If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses [Moseus:G3475] should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

The third entry appears in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 3:7-18, But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away: {8} How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? {9} For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. {10} For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. {11} For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious. {12} Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: {13} And not as Moses, [which] put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: {14} But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [vail] is done away in Christ. {15} But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. {16} Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. {17} Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. {18} But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

I wanted to read this entire account because it impinges on our study. For one thing, notice in verse 9 where we find another reference to the Law versus Grace. However the terms that are employed to express these two truths are: 

 the ministration of condemnation  and the ministration of righteousness. The former points to the Law, the latter to Grace. Why is the Law called the ministration of condemnation? We have to go back to 2 Corinthians 3:6 and there we discover a very important statement:

Who [God] also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

This is yet another way of characterizing Law versus Grace: the letter killeth…the spirit giveth life. The purpose of the Law is to condemn, unless one could keep it perfectly, (and nobody could except the Savior) as Galatians 3:21-26 insists:

[Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. {22} But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. {23} But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. {24} Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. {25} But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. {26} For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1-4 elaborates on this theme: [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk [live] not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Once again God is reiterating the difference between Law and Grace, using the expressions: the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus  along with the law of sin and death.

Now let’s turn our attention to verse 17, in which the question is posed to drive home God’s displeasure with the majority of His corporate people in the wilderness which as I have mentioned various times is a warning for us:  

But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 

Was He Grieved [prosochthizo:G4360]

We encountered the term, was He grieved, in verse 10 of this chapter in which it is translated I was grieved. These are the only two places in which this expression arises. You might recall that in some of our earlier studies we spent some time comparing Hebrews 3:7-11 with Psalm 95:7-11 which it quotes. We discovered that this term, I was grieved  in Hebrews 3:10 is rendered long was I grieved in Psalm 95:10,   

Forty years long was I grieved [quwt:H6962] with [this] generation, and said, It [is] a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

Even though we already looked at some of the verses in which this term surfaces, it might be good to revisit three of them:

Psalm 119:158 declares: I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved [quwt:H6962]; because they kept not thy word.

Verse 21 of Psalm 139:19-22  speaks of God’s judgment against the wicked: Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. {20} For they speak against thee wickedly, [and] thine enemies take [thy name] in vain. {21} Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved [quwt:H6962] with those that rise up against thee? {22} I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

In Ezekiel 6:9 this word is expressed as and they shall lothe, introducing another nuance of this word that highlights God’s intense disgust with sin: And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe [quwt:H6962] themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

We have already considered the terms, forty years, in our previous studies having to do with God’s testing programs, so let’s proceed to the expression, with them that had sinned, referring to those in the wilderness that died, and never made it to the land of Canaan that typifies the Kingdom of God.

With Them That Had Sinned [hamartano:G264]

This word surfaces in 42 other citations predominantly as sin, trespass, offend, and faults; here are a few illustrations of its usage:

Luke 17:3-4 includes this expression as trespass and he trespass: Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass [hamartano:G264] against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. {4} And if he trespass [hamartano:G264] against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

However in Acts 25:8 as Paul testifies to Festus, the governor of Caesarea, this word is rendered have I offended:  While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended [hamartano:G264] any thing at all.

Romans 2:12 translates this as have sinned twice: For as many as have sinned [hamartano:G264] without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned [hamartano:G264] in the law shall be judged by the law;

Lastly 1 Peter 2:20 expresses this as for your faults:  For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults [hamartano:G264], ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

Carcases [kolon:G2966]

The next word that we want to explore in verse 17 is carcases, which is only found in our verse. It is a noun that stems from a Greek verb (kolazo:G2849) that appears in the following two Scriptures, as punish or punished:

Punish(ed) [kolazo:G2849]

Acts 4:21 records how the Jewish council treated the Apostles who had been preaching and had healed the lame man that sat at the Beautiful gate of the Temple; this word is translated they might punish [kolazo:G2849]: 

So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish [kolazo:G2849] them, because of the people: for all [men] glorified God for that which was done.

2 Peter 2:9 renders this term as to be punished: The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished [kolazo:G2849]:

Carcases In The Old Testament

In our examination of Hebrews 3, we ran across Numbers 14 a few times and I would like for us to turn back there again with respect to the Hebrew term for carcases, which helps to supplement our understanding of the Greek word. I’ll read verses 26-35 to pick up some of the historical context which forms the backdrop for our study in this section of Hebrews 3. Please note the threefold usage of the Hebrew word for your carcases in verses 29, 32, and 33, underscoring the “purpose of God”:

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, {27} How long [shall I bear with] this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. {28{ Say unto them, [As truly as] I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: {29} Your carcases [peger:H6297] shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, {30} Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, [concerning] which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. {31} But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. {32} But [as for] you, your carcases [peger:H6297], they shall fall in this wilderness. {33} And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases [peger:H6297] be wasted in the wilderness. {34} After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. {35} I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.

The next passages illustrate some of the ways that God uses this Hebrew word, your carcases:

Your Carcases [peger:H6297]

One thing to note as we read through some of these references is how God associates this term carcases with idols, as God lays out his judgments that He would bring against His corporate people for their rebellion:

Verse 30 of Leviticus 26:13-35 makes this pronouncement: I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. {14} But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; {15} And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [but] that ye break my covenant: {16} I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. {17} And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. {18} And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. {19} And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: {20} And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. {21} And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. {22} I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your [high] ways shall be desolate. {23} And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; {24} Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. {25} And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of [my] covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. {26} [And] when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver [you] your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. {27} And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; {28} Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. {29} And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. {30} And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases [peger:H6297] upon the carcases [peger:H6297] of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. {31} And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. {32} And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. {33} And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. {34} Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye [be] in your enemies' land; [even] then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. {35} As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

Verse 5 of Ezekiel 6:1-7 is another denunciation of God’s corporate people, in which this term is expressed as the dead carcases:  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, {3} And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, [even] I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. {4} And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain [men] before your idols. {5} And I will lay the dead carcases [peger:H6297] of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. {6} In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. {7} And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

The following Scriptures also relate to what is taking place in our world today spiritually: 

2 Chronicles 20 is the account of the battle of Jehoshaphat and in verses 24-25 these two terms emerge again as dead bodies:  And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they [were] dead bodies [peger:H6297]  fallen to the earth, and none escaped. {25} And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies [peger:H6297], and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

The entire chapter of Isaiah 34 speaks of judgment “day” and in verse 3 of Isaiah 34:1-6 we learn: Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. {2} For the indignation of the LORD [is] upon all nations, and [his] fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. {3} Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases [peger:H6297], and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. {4} And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree. {5} For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea [= Edom = Esau = Adam = mankind spiritually], and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. {6} The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, [and] with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah [= Edom = Esau = Adam = mankind spiritually], and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. [= Edom = Esau = Adam = mankind spiritually] 

Isaiah 66:24 repeats this theme and ties into the three injunctions regarding death and annihilation (“hell”) in Mark 9:44,46, and 48: And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases [peger:H6297] of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

The last two expressions in Hebrews 3:17 are fell and wilderness referring to the carcases of those who did not trust God wholeheartedly. They only appear together in this verse. We have already investigated the word wilderness, in verse 8, so I won’t go over that material again. Instead, let’s focus on the word fell: 

Fell [pipto:G4098] 

If God allows, when we get to Hebrews 4:11 we will encounter this word again which is translated as fall, and once again God links it to unbelief:   

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall [pipto:G4098] after the same example of unbelief.

Luke 6:49 likewise declares: But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell [pipto:G4098]; and the ruin of that house was great.

These next three notices concern our present “day” of judgment:

Matthew 24:29 explains what occurred when the time and season of the 23-year Great Tribulation ended and shifted to the last time and season which is our present, prolonged “day” of judgment:

 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Part and parcel of the “day” of judgment involves the systematic dismantling or dividing of Satan’s kingdom as Luke 11:17 describes: But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a house falleth.

Revelation 18:2 likewise speaks of the “fall” of this world or Babylon, formerly known as Satan’s kingdom, but since May 21, 2011, has been under the domination of the Lord Jesus Christ, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS: 

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation [katoiketerion:G2732] of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

I would also like to draw your attention to the expression, the habitation (or dwelling place) in this verse. This depicts the spiritual status of the unsaved inhabitants now living on the earth. By contrast, this same word is only found again in verse 22 of Ephesians 2:19-22 as an habitation, and highlights the spiritual status of God’s elect who are …alive and remain… on the earth (according to 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 17), as well as those who have died in Christ:   

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; {20} And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; {21} In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: {22} In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation [katoiketerion:G2732] of God through the Spirit.

On that most blessed note we have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study we will look at verse 18. Please stay tuned for the remainder of our Hymn Sing next.

Hebrews 3 - Part 25/ Hebrews 4 - Part 1  

April 17, 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship, and a Blessed Resurrection Day to all. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask God’s blessing upon our time together…This will be Hebrews 3 - Part 25 and Hebrews 4 - Part 1, and today’s date is April 17, 2022. I’ll read Hebrews 3:11-19,

So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) {12} Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it He is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Incidentally I was listening to one of Brother Camping’s  studies and he made the point that the it in verse 13 should be translated He and is referring to the Lord Jesus Who is Today, as this expression has cropped up numerous times in our examination of Hebrews 3. 

We have arrived at verse 18 which is similar to verse 11. Since we have already looked at some of the same words in verse 11, I would like to start with the two terms, that they should enter, along with rest, which I alluded to in Part 19, but since it was at the end of that study I did not develop those two words, which I would now like to address:

That They Should Enter [eiserchomai:G1525] & Rest [katapausis:G2663] 

Curiously these two words only surface together again in five other Scriptures (besides Hebrews 3:11 and 18), and they are only found in Hebrews 4:1, 3, 5, and 10-1. It’s worth noting that these two words that have to do with entrance into the Kingdom of God emerge in seven verses:  

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering [eiserchomai:G1525] into his rest [katapausis:G2663], any of you should seem to come short of it. ... {3} For we which have believed do enter [eiserchomai:G1525] into rest [katapausis:G2663], as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter [eiserchomai:G1525] into my rest [katapausis:G2663]: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. ... {5} And in this [place] again, If they shall enter [eiserchomai:G1525]  into my rest. [katapausis:G2663] ... {10} For he that is entered [eiserchomai:G1525] into his rest [katapausis:G2663], he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. {11} Let us labour therefore to enter [eiserchomai:G1525] into that rest [katapausis:G2663], lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

It is vital to understand that entering into rest  is language that signifies access into eternal rest or salvation, which is a gift from God, and His sovereign prerogative.  What I would like to highlight is God’s usage of certain key words and phrases in these verses. I just want you to be aware of these, and we will explore them in more detail when we get to Chapter 4, starting with verse 1, later on in today’s study.

  • Verse 1 -  a promise … any of you should seem to come short of it
  • Verse 3 -  we which have believed
  • Verse 5 -  although the works were finished from the foundation of the world
  • Verse 10 - he also hath ceased from his own works
  • Verse 11 - Let us labour … lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief

We have discovered that the book of Hebrews is a magnificent book of contrasts, and this is certainly true with respect to these seven Scriptures. Notice the interplay between: 

  • entering into rest and not entering into rest 
  • belief and unbelief
  • ceasing from [human] works and works finished at the foundation of the world
  • a promise and falling short of it

To Them That Believed Not [apeitheo:G544] [uh-PIE-thay-oh]

At this point we can now turn to the last word in verse 18, which is …to them that believed not. Let’s think about that for a moment……to them that believed not. What does it mean to believe not? We have learned that to not believe is to not have Faith, and Faith is a gift from God; it is the personal property of the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the essence of Faith (in fact that is one of His Titles, Faithful, or “full of Faith”). To not have the Faith of Christ indicates that the individual is not saved. This particular Greek verb, to them that believed not, stems from an adjective that is always translated as disobedient (apeithes:G545) [uh-PIE-thace] six times; in turn, that adjective is derived from another compound verb (alpha:G1) (peitho:G3982) [PIE-tho] that is rendered primarily as persuade, but also as trust, obey, have confidence, believe, etc. and it is preceded by the alpha negative prefix (“a-”); in fact all three of these words have the alpha negative prefix as the first letter in the word. Let’s consider how God utilizes this word, to them that believed not:

John 3:36 is an excellent citation to show the distinction between faith and unbelief, which is expressed in this manner:  He that believeth and he that believeth not: 

He that believeth [(verb) pisteuo:G4100 - from faith (noun) (pistis:G4102)] on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not  [apeitheo:G544] the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

By the way, the word He that believeth is a verb that is derived from the noun, Faith, in contrast to the word we are investigating, to them that believed not.

Here are some more examples of its usage:

In Romans 2:8 this term is translated as do not obey But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey [apeitheo:G544] the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Similarly, Romans 10:21 renders this word as a disobedient:  But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient [apeitheo:G544] and gainsaying people.

Then in Romans 11:30-31 this term is expressed twice as not believed; please note the word unbelief in verse 30 which is another related noun in this “word-family”: 

For as ye in times past have not believed [apeitheo:G544]  God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: [apeitheia:G543] {31} Even so have these also now not believed [apeitheo:G544], that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Hebrews 11:31 provides the illustration of the Faith of Christ that was given to Rahab the harlot (who was in the lineage of the Savior Himself!) and her family, as opposed to everyone else in Jericho that perished in the overthrow of the city. At that time the Israelites had encircled the city 13 times over the course of a week which typifies the beginning of God’s judgment program after 13,000 years of earth’s history in 1988; this term is included as with them that believed not:

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not [apeitheo:G544], when she had received the spies with peace.

We’ll look at one more notice in 1 Peter 2:7-8, in which the same word believe crops up, even as it did in John 3:36, along with our word that is rendered twice as unto them which be disobedient and being disobedient:

Unto you therefore which believe [(verb) pisteuo:G4100]  [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient [apeitheo:G544], the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, {8} And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient [apeitheo:G544]: whereunto also they were appointed.

Let’s proceed to verse 19, So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief, which brings us full circle back to verse 12 in which the same word for unbelief  in the phrase, an evil heart of unbelief  forming two “bookends” if you will for verses 12-19. In Part 21 we spent some time investigating this term for unbelief (apistia:G570), so I won’t go over that material again. So let’s proceed to Chapter 4.  

Hebrews 4 - Part 1 

                                                   April 17, 2022

 

I’ll read verses 1-12,  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. {2} For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. {3} For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. {4} For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. {5} And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. {6} Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: {7} Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. {8} For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. {9} There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. {10} For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. {11} Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. {12} For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Chapter 3 repeatedly warned those who profess to know Christ to take serious stock of the  spiritual condition of their heart or soul by the phrases, harden not your hearts…be hardened through the deceitfuness of sin… err in [their] heart… and an evil heart of unbelief. Furthermore, this warning continues into Chapter 4 in the first expression in verse 1, Let us fear… (Incidentally, our English word, phobia is derived from this Greek term.) Let us fearWhat is the object of this kind of fear? The answer is in the last phrase: …any of you should seem to come short of it. We can also ask another question: What are we coming short of? Again the answer is: … a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest… There are two elements in this last answer: 

a.) …a promise being left [us]…

b.) …of entering into his rest…

Let Us Fear [phobeo:G5399]

I would like to begin by researching the term, Let us fear… One passage that I mentioned earlier in today’s study was Romans 11:30-31, and I would like for us to go back there and review the larger context of the Gospel being for Jew and Gentile alike, which was God’s intention all along. Our word Let us fear…arises in verse 20 as fear. I’ll read verses 5-7 and 11-24, 

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. {6} And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. {7} What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded ... {11} I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. {12} Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? {13} For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: {14} If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them. {15} For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead? {16} For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches. {17} And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; {18} Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. {19} Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. {20} Well; because of unbelief [apistia:G570] they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. [pistis:G4102] Be [hupselophroneo:G5309] not highminded [hupselophroneo:G5309], but fear [phobeo:G5399]: {21} For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee. {22} Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. {23} And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief [apistia:G570], shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. {24} For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree?

Again, please note the contrasts: unbelief and faith; highminded and fear; goodness and severity; goodness and if thou continue; if they abide not and thou also shalt be cut off.

The same kind of warning that is so pervasive in Hebrews 3 and 4 is also very clear in Romans 11:20-23. One truth that is quite apparent in all three of these chapters is humility versus pride. The expression, be [not] highminded in Romans 11:20 is a good example. This word, be [not] highminded, is only found again in 1 Timothy 6:17,

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be [hupselophroneo:G5309] not highminded [hupselophroneo:G5309], nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

Over and over again throughout Scripture, God makes a point of this, as James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 respectively maintain: 

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Mankind’s sinful desire to worship the creature/creation rather than the Creator Who made everything in this complex universe exemplifies man’s innate wickedness and self-centeredness as Romans 1:18-32 depicts:

 

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; {19} Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. {20} For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: {21} Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. {22} Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, {23} And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. {24} Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: {25} Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. {26} For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: {27} And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. {28} And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; {29} Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, {30} Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, {31} Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: {32} Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

A Promise [epaggelia:G1860]

Let's now consider the noun promise. It stems from the verb form (epaggello:G1861) which gives us its spiritual meaning in 1 John 2:25, in which both forms appear together:

And this is the promise [epaggelia:G1860] that he hath promised [epaggelo:G1861] us, [even] eternal life.  

Two books in the New Testament contain the greatest number of references of the noun form, promise. The most prolific is Hebrews (14 times), followed by Galatians (8 times), as these next citations reveal; I’ll read Galatians first.

Galatians 3:14, 16-18, 21-22, and 29 teach: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise [epaggelia:G1860]  of the Spirit through faith. ... {16} Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises [epaggelia:G1860]  made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. {17} And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise [epaggelia:G1860]  of none effect. {18} For if the inheritance [be] of the law, [it is] no more of promise [epaggelia:G1860] : but God gave [it] to Abraham by promise. ... {21} [Is] the law then against the promises [epaggelia:G1860]  of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. {22} But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise [epaggelia:G1860]  by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. ... {29} And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. [epaggelia:G1860] 

Besides Hebrews 4:1, there are 12 other references in the book of Hebrews that include this word, promise, spanning Chapters 5-11, with Chapter 11 having the most occurrences of this word:

Hebrews 6:12, 15, and 17 record: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. [epaggelia:G1860]  ... {15} And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. [epaggelia:G1860]  ... {17} Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise [epaggelia:G1860] the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:

Hebrews 7:6 acknowledges: But He [Melchisedec = Christ] whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. [epaggelia:G1860] 

And Hebrews 8:6 adds:  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. [epaggelia:G1860] 

Hebrews 9:15 states: And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise [epaggelia:G1860] of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:36 gives this admonition to the elect: For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. [epaggelia:G1860] 

Hebrews 11:9, 13, 17, 33, and 39 testify:  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise [epaggelia:G1860], as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise [epaggelia:G1860]: ... {13} These all died in faith, not having received the promises [epaggelia:G1860], but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ... {17} By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises [epaggelia:G1860] offered up his only begotten [son], ... {33} Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises [epaggelia:G1860], stopped the mouths of lions, ... {39} And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [epaggelia:G1860] 

I think we’ll stop here. Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will continue our examination of verse 1. Please stay tuned for the remainder of our Hymn Sing.