The American Wisdom Series

Presents pamphlet #2605
 Hebrews chapter 5

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. We repeat, 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.

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 to 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!
Hebrew 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Christ was brought to perfection in His obedience and suffering culminating in His glorious resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. He is the author (the one who made possible, the causer) of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, not those who only say they believe and worship Him with their lips (Isa. 29:13). How about you? Do you obey the Word of God and trust and rely in Him, having that sure confidence and conviction. Sure, we all have weaknesses and infirmities and we all sin and fall short and have need of repentance. Thankfully, when we come to that point we do not need to dial an 800 number, nor pledge $30 a month, nor knock three times on the ceiling! We can go boldly directly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and forgiveness (Heb. 4:16) for our King and our Lord, our High Priest, sits at the right hand of God as our advocate.

Notice now that Paul once again quotes verse 4 of Psalm 110.

[10] Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
This word "called" is not the same word used in vs. 4. This word is "prosagoreuo" in Greek which means to "address". In other words, now being made perfect God called or addressed Jesus Christ as High Priest!
Note: If you would like to "see" and know more of the perfection of God's plan and of His Son, Jesus Christ, and how it is that Christ could become an high priest if only those of the tribe of Aaron could become high priests (Remember?) you should read the little booklet titled (Live Link to-) "Christmas" which was published by Lancelot C. Knight on his King's Chapel website some years ago and documents that Christ's mother Mary was only half of the tribe of Judah through whom the kingship line came, for she was also half of the tribe of Levi through whom the priesthood line came! That's right! Christ qualified as King of kings and Lord of lords right down to His perfect genealogy. (We have a copy of that booklet here on our website under Constitutional rights and other stuff of interest to Americans or just open it by clicking the following live link. Christmas)
 
Paul is now going to take a little digression before continuing his teaching about Melchisedec to drive home a major point. You see, in as much as he would like to bring forth the meat of God's Word and teach us "in depth" about Christ by relating the things written concerning Melchisedec, it seems the people are so Biblically illiterate and dull of hearing that he cannot relate those things which are written of old. Here is what he has to say about using Melchisedec in his teaching.
Hebrews 5:11-14
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
The word "uttered" means "discourse" or "to relate". In other words, Paul is saying that he cannot effectively communicate or relate, as in draw the connection between Christ and Melchisedec in his teaching, because the people are so Biblically illiterate and void of understanding spiritual things on a deeper level.
dull = no˘thros no-thros'  Strong's #G3576
From a derivative of G3541; sluggish, that is, (literally) lazy, or (figuratively) stupid:—dull, slothful.
The truth of the matter is that our people just do not care to take the time to study the letter (BIBLE) their Father wrote to them giving them all the wisdom and knowledge they will ever need to be blessed and happy in the flesh and enter into His eternal rest!

Many claim they are just too busy and do not have the time to study His Word. I suppose the reality of it is, that really is "stupid" seeing that it is their eternal salvation which is at stake.

Paul continues:

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
How long have you been a Christian? Can you handle the depth of what Paul is going to teach concerning Melchisedec, the king of the just and king of Salem, or have you never learned of him?
 Many of our brothers and sisters who have gone to church for many, many years have never heard any thing taught other than salvation and baptism and repentance which Paul identifies as basic principles (vs. 6:1-2) symbolized by MILK, the stuff babies live on!

In other words, those doctrines we just mentioned, like salvation and baptism for instance, are the first and basic steps in Christianity, but after that it is time to grow and mature in the Word of God and partake of strong meat and taste the hidden manna! Of course we all start out as babes. However, after 20 or 30 years of going to church one should be able to relate on a deeper spiritual level to the things written of old in the Word of God instead of saying "Melchisedec who?" Paul says we should mature and come to the point that we have the understanding and knowledge of a teacher, not that of a babe.

[13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Again, "milk" represents those basic Christian doctrines of salvation and baptism, etc. If you have been a Christian for some time now and that is all you know about... then friend, you are not only unskilful (ignorant) of His word, Paul has already documented that you are disobedient and unfaithful to Christ!

It just seems rather fitting that those of this final generation of the fig tree (which began May 15, 1948) are called "Baby Boomers"! Nevertheless, Paul said that if you are still on the milk of His Word and are unskilful in it because of your ignorance (which comes from ignoring His Word) then you are unable to tell the good guys from the evil. It is evident, by the fruit we see, that the majority of our Christian brothers and sisters fall into this category, else how is it that a predominantly Christian nation with the power to vote (choose) can allow such liberalism and "evil ways" to flow through our house? Our Father is not interested in our religious appearances. He wants truth and justice to flow like a river throughout our land:

Amos 5:23-24
Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. [24] But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
It is the increased knowledge of our Father's Word that gives us the ability to discern between the "good" and "evil" (which so often "looks good" and "feels good"). Therefore Paul says, it is time to grow up and mature in His Word and become STRONG in Christ, the Word of God!
Hebrew 5:14
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Again, the reality is that babies are unskillful (unknowledgeable) and cannot relate to the deeper truths and ensamples of God's Word and since they have immature minds they therefore cannot "discern" between good and evil. Quite frankly that means that they cannot tell the difference between the "tree of life" and the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" which also means they surely will be easily seduced by the "anti-christos", the instead of Jesus, when he is soon cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) at the sound of the 6th Trump and comes to this earth claiming to be the real Jesus Christ, who does not return until the 7th Trump sounds. Yes, the great imposter and deceiver of men shall come with great power and the ability to back up his claim by showing forth great signs and wonders and performing miracles in the sight of men. Unfortunately, multiple millions of those "aged babies" who are dull of hearing and unknowledgeable in God's Word are expecting Jesus to return at any moment and rapture them away!
Well, since the number "6" comes before the number "7" and since they neither know the chronological order of the events of the last days nor can they discern the good from the evil or the true from the fake, antichrist will come swoop them into his arms and just hug them and squeeze them and seduce them to death... to their
 spiritual death that is
!

What is the conclusion of the matter? Paul says to get away from constantly dwelling on the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, like salvation and baptism, which in some churches is all you hear about week after week after week! Get into the meat of God's Word and come to full age whereby you can discern between good and evil and between the real Jesus and the fake Jesus! Here are the first two verses of the next chapter which document Paul's admonition to grow past those basic doctrines. (We will pick these up in our next study.)

Hebrews 6:1-2
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection [full age]; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

[2] Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

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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