Hebrews chapter 13
With the time frame of these last days now having been established in our minds after reading the first 12 chapters of the book of Hebrews, let us complete our study of this great Book of Hebrews, written as instruction to all Christians but also on a deeper "scholarly" level to those who came from "across the river" (Eber) to bring the strength of His Word to those whose hands hang down and whose knees are feeble. If you do not understand that, do not worry about it. Just keep studying our Father's Word and you will surely increase in grace and knowledge and understanding. Many of you know that Paul taught on different levels (for not all can handle the meat of God's Word as he explained in Heb. 5:11-14) and for that reason we shall deem the first level of understanding to be easily discernable and teach this 13th chapter on the deeper level concerning "serving Him acceptably" in the work to be done in this final generation.
The subject Paul is going to discuss in detail in this chapter is the 'endurance' of the work of the church of "brotherly love", which is "philadelphia" in Greek. The word "continue" is "meno" which means to endure, abide, to tarry, remain.Hebrews 13:1
Let brotherly love continue.
You "see", this is what it is all about in running "the race which is set before us", not for self gain nor for self glory but for the love of the brethren.meno, men'-o, Greek 3306; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) :- abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), × thine own.
The sons and daughters who serve God acceptably in this final generation know and "see" that many of our brothers and sisters, though they claim to be Christians and they cry "Lord, Lord, Praise the Lord", are spiritually blind and spiritually deaf and have become spiritually weak and lame indeed for they have been "drawn away" after the traditions of men and led down the wrong path which leads right into Satan's camp. To that end, always remember that we too were born in and were called out of spiritual Babylon, the land of confusion, like as Zerubabbel. Therefore since we were once lifted up ourselves and by His grace given eyes to see and ears to hear, always keep in mind when dealing with our brothers and sisters the saying "There for but the grace of God go I."philadelphia, fil-ad-el-fee'-ah, Greek 5360; from Greek 5361 (philadelphos); fraternal affection :- brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that our people are right now being starved to spiritual "death" by the MANY false preachers and ministers Christ warned about in Mat. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, who WOULD COME and deceive our people. Oh yes, those preachers hold praise and worship services but they just never quite get around to teaching God's Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse whereby our people can be nourished and strengthened by the true bread of life. You "see", we are right now in the midst of the great famine of the last days and most Christians have so little knowledge and spiritual discernment that they do not even know it. That is not a "put down", just a fact of observation coupled with the truth from His Word. To wit, Amos clearly explains to us what the famine is in these last days:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
[Amos 8:12] And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
We have "ensamples" written where God's servants such as Abraham and Lot did entreat angels. At the same time we are also cautiously reminded of the fallen angels of Rev. 12:9 who come with Satan when he is cast out of heaven to this earth. However, in as much as the subject here is "enduring" (continuing) in brotherly love which concerns running the race set before us and the bringing forth of His truth to this starving spiritually captive world, then what Paul is explaining concerning the stranger and them that are in prison (spiritually) refers to the same thing Christ explains to us in Mat. 25:Hebrews 13:2
Be not forgetful* to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
We look toward and await our inheritance, even the kingdom! Meanwhile we are here to entertain in His Word and receive all those who hunger and thirst, etc., i.e. all who will hear the truth of God's Word.Matthew 25:34
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
took me in = sunago, soon-ag'-o, Greek 4863; from Greek 4862 (sun) and Greek 71 (ago); to lead together, i.e. collect or convene; specially to entertain (hospitably) :- + accompany, assemble (selves, together), bestow, come together, gather (selves together, up, together), lead into, resort, take in. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
That last verse says it all! And of course we know that salvation is open to "whosoever will", be they family, friend, or even foe (kenites), of any race, color, tongue or status in life! So don't forget, Paul is telling us, to extend that same brotherly love in bringing forth the Word of God to strangers and to those who are in bondage to ignorance through the traditions of men whenever the occasion arises. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Receive strangers also because you never know who it is you might be entertaining with the Word of God. In fact, some of the most unlikely folks have been brought in and entertained in His Word and have grown in such grace and knowledge to where they became excellent ministers and teachers of God's Word, acceptably so!
* Note: Take notice to some of the key points Paul emphasizes in this 13th chapter with "don't forget" (vs. 2), "remember" (vs. 3), remember" (vs.7 ), and "don't forget" (vs. 16)
Hold fast to the truth of God's Word and stay the course and do not wander off after the traditions of men and their seducing spirits (doctrines).
In these few words (Hebrews 13:22 ... for I have written a letter unto you in few words.) Paul is speaking to those who "serve God acceptably" concerning the precious (honourable) spiritual marriage to Christ and remaining chaste (pure, undefiled) while awaiting the true Bridegroom, warning us about those who become harlots and sell out their inheritance by jumping in bed with the false messiah and "defiling" themselves by becoming spiritually impregnated by the flood of lies spewed forth by the false bridegroom.Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Note: The word "whoremonger" in verse 4 is the Greek word "pornos" which if you recall in our last study was the same word used of Esau "prostituting" himself by selling out his birthright. That is the subject here!
Jesus Christ Himself gave warning concerning being "defiled" in Matthew 24 where He gives the signs and warnings concerning the events leading up to His return, the same timeframe Paul gave us in Heb. 12:27-28. Matthew 24:19 "And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!" Christ wasn't talking about becoming physically impregnated by your own spouse, which is a blessing indeed, but rather of being spiritually seduced and impregnated by the other Jesus who is preached in the Beth-avens, the instead-of-Jesus, the false messiah, i.e. Satan.
Paul uses a few more words to explain all this in his second letter to the Corinthians.
You make sure in your "entertaining" that you do the same and espouse others to only one husband, to the true Messiah and not the false one. You hold fast to the truth of God's Word and stay the course and do not wander off after the traditions of men and their seducing spirits (doctrines). Do as John teaches us in 1 Jn. 4 and try the spirits, i.e. test (assay) every doctrine with the fire of His Word and see whether it stands as precious gold or is consumed as worthless stubble.2 Cor. 11:2-4
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Stay with the simplicity of His Word. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Read it for yourself!
That may not be popular to teach since it goes against what is so commonly 'espoused' in the churches today, but then neither was what Jesus Christ taught found to be popular by the "religious community", and you know what they did to Him for speaking the truth! You "see", those who serve God acceptably, who truly love the brethren, teach His Word as it is written regardless of whether or not it pleases men! In other words, they teach not for covetous reasons, neither for money nor for self glory but to the glory of God and of His Christ in bringing their brothers and sisters back home to Father's house.
If you do His will, doing the work which is laid before us, entertaining them by teaching them in His Word as it is written, then there is nothing and no one to fear for He has promised to be with you until the end. Do you believe His promises? Do you trust and have faith in Him to be true to His Word?Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
You entertain them and fully immerse (baptize) whosoever will in His Word, whereby they become sealed in their minds with His truth.Matthew 28:19-20
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
The duty of God's elect is the same now as it shall be in the Millennium, which is to "teach His people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean (Ezekiel 44:23)". And they do it with confidence and with boldness (frankness), with godly fear and reverence... not fearing what man might do unto them. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
That is the type of assuredness that a man or woman possesses who has his or her faith founded upon the Rock, which is the faith of substance Paul described in chapter 11. They fear not those who can harm only the flesh for they love and revere their Father who has ALL power in both heaven and earth. Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him Which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."Hebrews 13:6
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
The connection with the next verse shows us that Paul is not talking here about present day teachers who walk in the flesh at this time. He will address them later on in verse 17. What he is telling us here is to remember, to be mindful of, those men and women of faith who have led you and spoken unto you the pure Word of God. That would be Moses and David and all the prophets and the disciples too! You stick with the those men of faith and follow in their footsteps, considering the victory they all obtained in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of their faith. Remember that Paul took the entire 11th chapter of this Book of Hebrews to remind us of many of them and show us the "end of their conversation (i.e. conduct)"! So "follow" their examples of faith, i.e. mimos which means to "mimic" or "imitate" them, and you will NEVER go wrong. That's right! We have their testimonies that they all trusted and believed in the promises of God, that He was faithful to His Word and you know what? He is just as faithful today as He was yesterday to them, and He will be just as faithful when tomorrow comes no matter what may befall us in these last days.Hebrews 13:7
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
That same Rock that was with our forefathers in the wilderness is with us today! 1 Cor. 10:4 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." And He is with you now and He will be with you 'till the end of this age if you do His will and keep His Word. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
So be "Rock solid" and do not be shaken by men's words with their fancy talk and their fairy tale traditions of apples and snakes and Ishtar bunnies, etc. Study God's Word and don't be like a weed shaken in the wind and carried about with divers and strange doctrines, lest others see your unbelief and follow after you as you race down the wrong path.
 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
Do you understand why Jesus Christ was slain on the cross outside the city gate, away from the temple?
You "see", you are complete in Jesus Christ (Col. 2:10) who did away with all the shadows, the earthly tabernacle and all the meat (animal) sacrifices and all other religious ceremonies, etc., etc. So grow and mature in the Word of God and be ESTABLISHED by His grace, His Spirit, for it is by that Word that you are strengthened, remember? The vain (empty) traditions of men and being busy bodies will not profit you one iota! Read again in Mat. 7:21-23 what churchianity will get you... the door to the wedding feast slammed in your face. Then read what follows concerning those who are wise and built their houses upon the Rock, i.e. who established their faith in His Word.Ephes. 4:14
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
What Paul is doing here is drawing a comparison of the Old Covenant and the earthly tabernacle where priests made sacrifices and the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies, etc., to the New Covenant where there are no earthly priests who mediate between you and God. 1 Tim. 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." If you do not think that many churches do not want you to fully understand that verse, then you need to obtain a copy of the "Letter to the Reader" which the translators of the King James Bible wrote to you, the English reader. The fact that the churches and publishers have succeeded in having it removed from the pages of the Bibles you purchase today ought to be sufficient evidence to cause to you ask some questions and seek some answers.Hebrews 13:10
We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
Here is an excerpt from that "Letter to the Reader*" which used to appear in all 1611 King James Bibles:
"Now the Church of Rome would seem at the length to bear a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift: [Sophecles] they must first get a License in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth that there should be any License granted to have them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the Fourth. [See the observation (set forth by Clemen. His authority) upon the 4. rule of Pius the 4. his making in the index, lib. prohib. pag. 15. ver. 5.] So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (Lucifugae Scripturarum, as Tertulian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn men, no not with the License of their own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the people's understanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confess, that we forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touchstone, but he that hath the counterfeit; [Tertul. de resur. carnis.] neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be reproved [John 3:20]: neither is it the plain dealing Merchant that is unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and return to translation."
The sacrificial animals (beasts) were slain outside the camp, away from the temple, just as Jesus Christ was slain on the cross outside the city gate, away from the temple. In other words, there is no altar in the church . The true church, the true temple, is the many membered body of Christ. Are you part of that temple? Did you know that the brothers and sisters who overcome in this final generation will be made pillars in that temple? Rev. 3:12 "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
The blood of Christ was not sprinkled inside the earthly tabernacle, was it? And did He not suffer outside the gate of the city? Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
We expect persecution outside the camp, but nevertheless we will gladly bear His reproach in pleasing our Father, holding fast to His Word and doing His will. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
We seek the same city our father Abraham sought, the heavenly city of Jerusalem. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
It is your love for your Father, which you do show by serving Him acceptably, by keeping His Word and bearing fruit among the brethren, that pleases Him. He does not want nor need your "sacrifices" of material things, etc. He wants you to love Him and walk in His ways. Hosea 6:6 "For I desired mercy [love] and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
The fruit of our lips is what grows as a result of the seeds we plant with them. So don't forget to fellowship, be hospitable, and communicate the Word of God to others and bring forth fruit. It pleases your Father very much!
Plant seeds and be hospitable to those who need strengthening, entertaining whosoever will with the Word of God. Also, be supportive of good teachers who labor in the Word and teach His truth as it is written, chapter by chapter and line by line. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
We are one body serving Christ in these last days and we must all "run the race which is set before us" helping to lift up and strengthen each other along the way. "Obey" doesn't mean to believe or follow every word of some man or woman. God forbid we should believe someone, even a good teacher, without first checking him or her out in the Word of God. Rather give assurance to, be agreeable with, by helping and being supportive of each other as well as those who lead (teach) others in the Word of God by rightly dividing the Word of truth. We all have responsibilities and gifts and duties but teachers are foremost accountable to God for what they teach and those teachers who mislead His children down the wrong path after the traditions of men and false doctrines and cause them to stumble and fall when the flood of lies and deception sweep the world during the reign of the Instead-of-Jesus shall pay dearly. Just wait until they hear His thundering voice. May God have mercy on those who lead His children astray.
May God have mercy on those who lead His children astray.
Again, the point is, we are all of one body so when we help each other and support good works and good teachers who bring forth the truth of His Word, thereby declaring His righteousness, we also help ourselves and others who are brought in by all sharing in the same reward. To "watch out for your soul" means they help "keep souls awake" so they do not fall asleep and slumber.
Paul said "pray for us" meaning himself and others who know they a have a good conscience in teaching the truth of God's Word, even in teaching that those who follow after shadows (according to the old way) and the traditions men, do so in vain! Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
This is an example of brotherly love, of brother helping brother. As one of the brethren, Paul asked them to pray for him that he might be restored to them sooner, to continue the work of God. Then he closed with a prayer for them, which is for you also in these last days, that through the grace of God made possible by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you might also be able to "run the race set before you", to do the "good and acceptable work" of the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna, that it may be pleasing in His sight. What a beautiful and touching prayer this is indeed which shows the deep abiding love Paul had for Christ and the brethren. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Again, if your goal as a son or daughter is to glorify God by serving Him "acceptably", doing the "work" according to His will by loving our brothers and sisters, then whatsoever you ask in Christ's name to further that work, He will see to it that you have it, i.e. that you have a part in His plan. May God grant you all you need in fulfilling your destiny.John 14:12-14
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Again, the condition (IF) means you ask "in His name", for His name's sake in bringing forth the glory of the Father in Christ. In other words, do you "see" that you are really asking Him for the sake of your brethren, not for yourself? Jesus Christ works in these last days by and through those who have the faith that pleases Him, i.e. who love and serve Him according to His will! What a privilege and honor it is to serve Him acceptably, for a crown awaits those who "endure" and give testimony in declaring His righteousness, by "calling upon His name (authority)" and asking for those things to accomplish the work according to His will. Acts 2:21 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Here are Paul's final words of exhortation to the brethren, the brothers and sisters, the sons and daughters of this final generation:
One more time! If you are one of God's elect then you are of part of that church of brotherly love, Philadelphia! So pay real close attention to what Paul has written in this great Book of Hebrews to those who are spiritually rich in God's Word and understand the labor which is yet to be done. God has given us all a part helping set at liberty all those who are in bonds that one day soon we may all join together with Christ as one big happy reunited family! What a glorious reunion that will be!Hebrew 13:22
And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
 Grace be with you all. Amen
If you would like to have your essay
as part of the American Wisdom Series
submit your manuscript to Rhine Publishing Co
at the address above for consideration, or e-mail us
at the address shown on our home page.
Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.