The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet 1948 Hebrews kc 9-1

There is much more to God's Word than most Christians have been taught.

To believe or not believe, that is the question!" Sounds a little like a quote from Shakespeare, doesn't it? But it actually sums up a great deal of what Paul has been teaching us in this great Book of Hebrews concerning our confidence and conviction in claiming to be Christians. You see, there is much more to God's Word than most Christians have been taught. Some have always had a sense of that while others remain blinded and in a stupor and have no clue (Rom. 11:7-8). In fact, Paul is going to address that issue at the end of chapter five and admonish those who are still unskilled in His Word, at a time when they should now be able to teach others, to grow up and move beyond the basic doctrines of Christianity and begin to mature in the Word.

In chapter four Paul began teaching us concerning what a great high priest we have in Jesus Christ who now sits at right hand of the Father, and because of what He has done for us we need to "hold fast" (as in strengthen) our profession, which is our confession to trust and obey in Him. Hebrews 4:14 "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."

Paul now continues with his teaching concerning our high priest in chapter five beginning with some knowledge of the priesthood in general.

Hebrews 5:1
For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
The "for" in this verse connects it with the subject continued from the previous chapter which was that our high priest, Jesus Christ, having humbled Himself to come to this earth to dwell and be tempted and suffer in the flesh, has compassion and understands all of our weaknesses and infirmities. Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Therefore when we fall to temptation or have need of repentance we have the confidence and trust in knowing that we can go directly to the throne of grace and obtain forgiveness and mercy. Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
[2] Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
Paul explains to us that the duty of every (legitimate) high priest, which is to serve men in the things pertaining to God, i.e. to speak for God and offer up sacrifices on behalf of the people, is performed by human beings who also have weaknesses and infirmities. Being human just like everyone else does give one the ability as a priest to relate to what others are going through and to be compassionate (deal gently) with both those who are ignorant of His ways and those who are out of the way, i.e. those who have "erred" and who have been deceived by Satan. The point is that a priest is merely a flesh man (taken from among men) performing the duties which God has chosen him to do. In that sense, he is no better than anyone else (being himself also a sinner) and must therefore likewise include himself when making sacrifices for sin!
[3] And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
Remember this well if you are ever tempted to exalt or elevate some man or woman because of the duties he or she performs for God. There is none among us who is perfect... no not one... no matter how exalted the title is that one may carry nor how much alphabet soup trails one's name. To that end, you will never see a true man or woman called of God exalt or elevate himself or herself above the brethren pretending to be something he or she is not... like holier than thou! That is Satan's way, the one who exalts himself (Isa. 14:13) and takes glory and honor unto himself, and as it is written, anyone who does that shall surely be abased (Luke 14:11 "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.")

Therefore take heed and idolize no man and realize that any church or religion who sets up or holds men or women in positions of exaltation instead of service certainly do not follow the example of Jesus Christ nor of His servants who are called forth according to His will. Paul was a prime example of a man called of God who was humbled by His calling, even declaring himself to be unworthy and chief among sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). Or take the apostle John for another example. Here is how he looked upon himself:

Rev. 1:9
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This John, the one who was taken in the spirit to the day of the lord, even to the first day of the Millennium, was still an humble and "down to earth" kind of person who considered himself one of the brethren with trials and tribulations like the rest of us.
Hebrew 5:4 

And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 

Man is not the one who decides or calls forth the priest any more than Aaron made that decision for himself. It is rather Almighty God who chose Aaron and it is Almighty God who does the choosing and calling forth of His servants according to His will and His plan established even before the foundation of this earth age (Eph. 1:4). In other words, the example set forth is that it was not given to any family other than through the one whom God chose (i.e. Aaron's) to be the high priest or of that Levitical priesthood. Exodus 28:1 "And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons." 

So we see that it remains a matter of whether or not one has a purpose and a destiny according to His plan and whether it was man or Almighty God who has called you into His service. Perhaps you are among those who have a purpose and a destiny according to will of God. Nevertheless, let there be no doubt in your mind that men as priests ALL have weaknesses and shortcomings, but we as obedient brethren all have as our high priest one who is perfect. Let's see if He set Himself up and glorified Himself as high priest. 

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

No, Jesus Christ was humble to the point that He even stooped down and washed the "dirt" off the feet of His own disciples (John 13:5-17). He did not glorify Himself as high priest but as it written, He was declared to be made the High Priest by the Father. 

[6] As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 

Where is the other place the Word of God declares Christ to be the high priest? Oh! In the Old Testament, imagine that! However, before we go there let's look at the compound name Melchi-sedec which is #4442 in Strong's Concordance. "Melchi" in Hebrew means "king", even "royal king", and "sedec" (zadok) means "just" or "righteous". Therefore "Melchisedec" means the king of the just or the righteous, even the king of the just or righteous ones who are His elect. Paul has already established that Christ was the Word from the beginning, "for whom are all things and by whom are all things (Heb. 2:10)". You see, it was that One, who now sits at the right hand of the Father with all power and authority, who came down from above to not only pay the price for our sins but to become an high priest. It was declared long ago in Ps. 110:4. Let us read it in context.

Psalm 110:1
A Psalm of David.
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 

Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father following His resurrection and that is where He is right now! He is the King on high who will soon come to rule this earth with a rod of iron.

[2] The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 

[3] Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 

Christ is now not just the High King of kings, He is now also become the High Lord of lords... the high priest forever... declared by God to be so!

[4] The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek

"After the order of" means "after the rank of". Again, Jesus Christ is both the High King and the High Priest. In chapter seven of Hebrews Paul is going to teach us much about Jesus Christ through that which is written of "Melchisedec, the King of Salem, which is the King of Peace" (Heb. 7:2). Who was Melchisedec? Well, his name along with the fact that he had no earthly mother or father should give one a major clue. We will discuss him in an upcoming study.  

[5] The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 

The day of His wrath when He shall strike though (destroy) kings occurs at the 7th Trump when the 7th vial is poured out of His cup upon the ungodly. 

[6] He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries. 

We even see in this a fulfillment of the first prophecy in Gen. 3:15 concerning Christ who shall come and wound the head of the serpent. To that end, it is written that those fallen angels who come rule with Satan when he is cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) shall not only bite the dust when the King of kings and Lord of lords returns, but they shall surely be slain (Rev. 11:13). It is also written that every knee shall bow to Jesus Christ (Rom. 14:11, Philip. 2:10).

[7] He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. 

The "brook in the way" is that living water which gives us life. 

And so we see it was written long ago that Jesus Christ would be made high priest. Let us now return to Hebrews where Paul is showing us Christ's reverence (love) and obedience and what He went through in becoming high priest.

Hebrews 5:7 
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared*; 

The Father heard the reverence (not fear*) and saw the obedience of Jesus Christ in ALL that He did. You see, contrary to what is commonly taught Jesus Christ was never at any time afraid of dying on the cross, and not because of what we call bravery, but because of the immeasurable love He has for you and me. (The spirit of God is not of fear - 2 Tim. 1:7) It was because of that love that He WILLINGLY suffered and endured the cross and laid down His life, even though He was the Son of God. For it was the will of God to which Christ was trustworthy and faithful in ALL things given unto Him. 

[8] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 

*The word translated "feared" in vs. 7 is "eulabeia" in Greek and means "reverence". Here is Strong's definition:

feared = eulabeia yoo-lab'-i-ah  Strong's #G2124 
From G2126; properly caution, that is, (religiously) reverence (piety); by implication dread (concretely):—fear (-ed).

What were those "prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears" to the One who was able at any time to save Him from death, which means at any time Christ said so? Mature in wisdom and understand that they had to do with the verses following vs. 4 in the 110th Psalm we just read! The sacrifice was about to made and those prayers and supplications were the prayers and supplications of an high priest on behalf of the people! They had to do with the "cup", the cup of wrath that He knew would have to be poured out, a task much more sorrowful and painful to a loving person than the fear of facing death in the flesh. Jesus Christ did not pray to the Father to spare Him from fulfilling that which He was expressly sent to this earth to do! In other words, it was not Himself He was thinking of and praying and weeping for. Do people know so little about the nature of Christ? He even quoted the 22nd Psalm and brought salvation to the thief on the cross while He Himself was hanging there to die! How could anyone even think Christ was thinking of Himself and not of those He loved? 

Do you remember what He said to those who were weeping for Him as He walked up the hill to Golgotha? Read Luke 23:28-31 and it will not only document that Christ was still thinking about the last days but that He was still not thinking of Himself:

Luke 23:28
But Jesus turning unto them said,
Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 

Christ was reverent (loving) and obedient right up to His very last breath. What a wondrous and magnificent example set forth by our Savior, Jesus Christ! Thank you Father so much for what you have done for us! 

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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