Introduction to Hebrews part 4

Teaching by Richard Jordan
Transcribed by Bev Pratt

There is a tendency among Grace believers, or Mid-Acts Dispensationalists, to have a wrong idea about the cross in prophecy. It causes people a problem when they do come to understand that the cross does exist in prophecy. If you tell people the cross is never preached until you come to Paul's writings, then what do you do with all the prophecies that are fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Christ? Those people in Time Past didn't happen to know what those prophecies meant, but Peter, in Acts 2 and 3, could look back to the Old Testament and pull out verses of scripture showing what God said and pointing to the fulfillment in the crucifixion of Christ, his resurrection and his ascension into heaven. All of those events are clearly prophesied.

How can the events of Calvary be prophesied, be foretold, yet Paul say that the preaching of the cross as he proclaimed it was a secret? The answer is that there is a difference between the events of the cross being prophesied and the full meaning of those events being prophesied. The coming of the redeemer was prophesied as far back as Adam and Eve. The fact that a redeemer was coming and then the fact that the cross was involved in his coming, etc. That's why a passage like Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22 are constantly referenced in relationship to the cross. Psalm 22 tells about the cross and the nails in his hands. It is the only passage that tells you his feet were pierced. It tells just about everything about the cross work but you can read that whole passage and you will never see there that Christ died for anyone's sins. That is because Psalm 22 tells about the events but not the meaning of the cross. The impact of it all is that Israel will get her kingdom in the Ages To Come; she will get her new birth then. In Isaiah 53, when it does talk about his death for sins, it limits his death for sins to only the nation Israel.

(Isa 53:6 KJV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The "all" there is not just anyone. Verse 8 points that out:

(Isa 53:8 KJV) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Isaiah's people - Israel.
So then, even in prophecy, when a meaning is attached to the cross, it is always limited to the nation Israel and the means whereby she will receive her blessings from God.

When you come to Paul's epistles, you get the final installment of the understanding of the meaning of the cross. (Only the events are prophesied.) That is why Romans 1 says:

1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

People stumble over those the understanding of these verses because of verse 2. However the elements of the cross were prophesied. That is what Paul is saying in verse 2.

The gospel of the good news that God proclaimed concerns his Son who died and was raised again. All of that which prophecy entails, Paul comes along and adds on a meaning to it that was not prophesied.

(1 Cor 2:6-8 KJV) Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: {7} But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: {8} Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

If they had known the meaning God was going to attach to the events of the cross, Satan would never have crucified Christ, therefore God kept the meaning a secret, though the event was prophesied. It is important that you and I not fall into the trap of wrong-headedness in understanding this issue. Sometimes we play into the confusion people have when we don't clearly express matters through right division.

How the cross affects Israel (not just us) is also found in Romans, but not in detail. The details of how the cross work affects Israel is laid out in the book of Hebrews. You discover the finality of the cross work in Romans. Hebrews comes along and applies the finality of the finished work of Christ to the prophetic program.

Heb 10:1-4 KJV) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. {2} For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. {3} But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. {4} For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

That is, not permanently. They did cover them for a time. They did carry on for the year, but there was no permanent satisfaction in the blood of bulls and goats.

(Heb 10:5-9 KJV) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: {6} In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. {7} Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. {8} Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; {9} Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

In the cross work of Christ, He will take away the Mosaic Covenant and will establish the New Covenant. He will take away the Old Covenant he made with Israel when he took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt into the wilderness and became a husband to them. He will do away with that covenant and establish a New Covenant through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Heb 10:10 KJV) By the which will (the will of God - verse 7,8, 9) we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The finality of the act of the cross sanctifies the nation Israel just as it does us. Paul tells us in Romans 6:10 that He died once for all.

(Heb 10:11-12 KJV) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: {12} But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

That comma in that verse, after the word "forever", is critically important. It does not say that he forever sat down on the right hand of God. It says that he offered one sacrifice for sins - forever. Therefore he sat down. The work was finished, so he sat down. Not like a priest. That passage is devastating to a Catholic priest.

Several years ago, I was on an airplane with a man sitting next to me. I learned years ago that when you sit on a plane and pull out perhaps a Playboy magazine, everyone will be busy looking over your shoulder. But should you pull out a Bible, everyone will stay away from you. So if you are tired and don't want to encourage conversation, (which is usually my status when I'm flying home) I'll take out my large bible and set it down beside me or open it up on the tray in front of me. People really leave you alone to do your reading when they see that bible. However, the fellow sitting next to me this day couldn't leave me along. He turned out to be a Roman Catholic priest, a professor at some school. He asked me if I had seen the John Ankerberg Show on which there had appeared a Jesuit priest arguing with Walter Martin, the so-called, Bible Answer Man - debating justification. I said, "Yes, I saw a piece of that but was so embarrassed I turned it off and didn't watch the rest of it. If Walter Martin is the Bible Answer Man, brother, there aren't any answers." Walter Martin's way of answering something is: "Well, the historic position of the Christian church has been. . ." You're shot if that's the way you are arguing with a Jesuit because the Jesuits wrote the historic position of the Christian Church. That's kind of dumb! Martin would then flee to the bible and when he would turn to the bible, this Jesuit would just beat the britches off him. I was amazed. This guy was sharp.

So I said to this priest, "Yes, I saw it but I was embarrassed by Martin's handling of it." He had no real understanding of the bible.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well, I said, I'll tell you what to do. You are a Professor. Why don't you teach me a passage?" I asked him to read me verse 10 through 14 and then teach it to me. So he read,

(Heb 10:10 KJV) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

"Well," he said, "that doesn't really mean that. Those words, for all, are in italics. Maybe they shouldn't be there."
Now the next time you hear someone say that the words in your bible that are in italics shouldn't be there, remember who they agreed with. They agreed with the Roman Catholic Jesuit trying to get around the cross. When I hear people stand in a pulpit in a fundamental, bible believing church sounding like a lost man on the street sounds, it bothers me a bit!

(Heb 10:11 KJV) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

In my bible I have those phrases "once for all" and "which can never take away sins" highlighted. This man knew the part of the verse I wanted him to talk about. I already had it highlighted.
"Which can never take away sins:" So he said, "Hmmm, isn't that interesting."

(Heb 10:12 KJV) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, He looked up at the sky thinking. Continuing, he read, (Heb 10:12-14 KJV) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; {13} From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. {14} For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

That dear guy sat there thinking and thinking. Then he laid the bible on the seat between us, sitting there quietly while I said nothing. Shortly he said, "Will you excuse me? I need to go to the rest room." "Sure", I said, getting up to let him out.

You know, he never came back! I didn't look for him. Instead, I went to sleep. I have often wondered what he did with the thoughts he must have been thinking. That appeared to be the first time he had ever read that passage. Do you know that the manuscripts that the new bibles are translated from leave that passage out? They don't mention that when they encourage you to get one of these new bibles. Someone sent me an article by a so-called Grace preacher about why the King James Bible is an inferior, poor translation that ought to be discarded. There are always only one or two of two reasons they give: it is either "a better translation" or "a better text". You need to know when you hear them saying that, what they are telling you is the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts are the best manuscripts. You need to remember that neither one of those manuscripts have this passage of scripture in them. I wonder why? That priest understood why not. He just didn't want to discuss it.

In order for you to understand how the writer of Hebrews is going to apply the finished work of the cross, you need to keep reading. Is he going to tell you, like Paul does, that the finality of the cross and the finished work of Calvary results in you and me, as Gentiles, being made one with believing Jews in one body, in a dispensation of Grace? That it was an unprophesied dispensation not covenanted by God with anyone? Is that what this writer is going to say the cross produces? Let's see.

(Heb 10:15-23 KJV) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, {16} This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; {17} And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. {18} Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. {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; {21} 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;)

(Heb 10:15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: Here's the finality of the cross; the once for all sacrifice. Christ finishes the work and sits down in heaven to wait for the time he will come and establish the kingdom on earth (in Jerusalem). That is why the Holy Spirit wrote back in Jeremiah 31:31-34 what he quotes in Hebrews 10, verses 16 and 17. That's why the New Covenant can tell you about sins and iniquities not being remembered any more and where the remission of these is there is no more offering for sin. That's why we have this new way, not the offering of Moses. That's been done away with and a new way, this New Covenant, a new a living way that is a life giving covenant, because the living Holy Spirit of God is ministered through the blood to you. You can read that passage until you are blue in the face and you will never find the writer of Hebrews telling you that the cross is the basis for the setting aside of Israel, the interrupting of covenants and promises and an unprophesied, uncovenanted program being put into effect. He says the cross is the basis upon which the New Covenant that God is going to give to Israel will be established and that they will get their kingdom - out there in the millennium.

In his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ prepared the Jews for this new and living way. He prepared them to understand that the Old Covenant would be set aside and the New Covenant would be established.

(John 4:19-21 KJV) The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. {20} Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. {21} Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

He's telling this Samarian woman at the well, that the hour is coming when worship in Jerusalem is going to be of no more value than the apostate Baal worship up there in Samaria. Woo! He is saying that the worship in Jerusalem is going to become apostate, making it no better than the worship going on in Samaria. "Ye worship ye know not what." People miss that verse. At least we know down here in Jerusalem what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. However, the hour is coming and now is when the true worshippers - not the apostate, vain worshippers like in Matthew 15 and Mark 7, who make void the word of God through their traditions - but the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth.

How would you worship God in spirit and in truth? They will worship God through the New Covenant; by the excess of the Holy Spirit of God, who was given to them on the basis of the execution of the New Covenant. No one ever has had the possession and indwelling of the Holy Spirit until the New Covenant goes into effect. In Time Past up until the time of Acts 2, no one was ever regenerated spiritually. The reason some people believe that folks in the Old Testament were regenerated like people under the New Testament are regenerated is because the theological convictions of _________ theology demands that all people all the way back to Abel (Not Adam) be regenerated before they could believe. That is nothing but theological wranglings as they try to shore up bankrupt positions. In your bible, regeneration for the nation Israel comes through the New Covenant. You and I get regeneration on the basis of God's grace alone, not through any covenant and it only comes in our program. In Israel's program there is no regeneration, no impartation of the new nature back in Time Past under the old covenant. That is the whole problem back there; they didn't have the divine enabling and divine empowerment. This is based on scripture, not on a theology.

So Christ was telling them that this new and living way would not be in Samaria and that Jerusalem is going to as bad as Samaria.. By the way, that is going to happen in the Great Tribulation. The day is going to come when Jerusalem is apostate and rejected; when people wonít be going to Jerusalem to worship. Samaria went into apostasy and Jerusalem will follow during the tribulation. The true worshippers will be those that stick by the truth of God. They will need a new covenant and the Holy Spirit will have to be the one that does it.

Christ starts out telling them that in his earthly ministry. In Acts 2 the Spirit of God comes and the new and living way is demonstrated in their midst. Stephen in Acts 6:8:

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

Jesus Christ did say that the temple would be destroyed. (Matt. 24 - where he said, Not one stone would be left standing.) And Jesus Christ is going to change the customs of Moses. (Matt. 15 and Mark 7). The customs of Moses is just another title for the tradition of the elders. The customs and the traditions that they had applied onto what Moses had taught them. Moses didnít give them customs and traditions; he gave them commandments.

They want to hang Stephen but watch how he preaches to them, first reminding them of Abraham, then Joseph: the first time they were not accepted and the second time they were the deliverer. This makes a parallel between Christ coming the first time and being rejected and the second time to deliver them. Before he goes on to make that application he starts talking about the temple. He talks about some weird things that Israel was doing, for example in verse 40:

(Acts 7:40-43 KJV) Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, 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. 42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? 43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Heís saying, "You guys have been apostate since back in the wilderness." They were going around with that golden calf and the six-pointed star of Molech, your god, ("star of David" as they call it today) - religious symbols. The golden calf was designed to take the place of the cherubim and the star to take the place of the shekinah glory of God. These religious symbols are even used today in Israel as on their flag. They actually carried around with them in the wilderness a tabernacle to worship that god in. They actually had an alternative meeting place in the wilderness.

(Acts 7:44-45 KJV) Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus (Joshua) into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

They bring that tabernacle that God has built into the land, but there is also the tabernacle of verse 44 out there. "The tabernacle of Molech, the star of your god." They had that alternative religion working there in Israel. That was a mixed multitude - a bunch of apostates with Baal worship going on right there in the nation. Instead of the nation stamping it out like they should have, they tolerated it, assimilated it and partook of it. 2 Cor. 6:17 "Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate;. . . touch not the unclean thing" is a quote from Isaiah where it says, Donít be a part of that false religious system in your midst. It just went right on, corrupting Samaria.

(Acts 6:47-50) But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? Saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all things?

When he comes to the temple, part of his message is: You arenít going to worship any more in the temple. What will they do?

51: Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost:
What did they do? They tried to kill him. But Stephen (vs. 55) looks steadfastly into heaven and sees Christ standing on the right hand of God. Thatís Isaiah 3:13 when the Lord stands up to judge. In chapter two he stands up ready to judge. Do you see who the first people he judges in chapter 3? The priests of the unclean priesthood. So those people knew why they were killing Stephen. They understood what Stephen was saying about Jesus Christ being the Messiah and that they had polluted the temple. God Almighty isnít dwelling in that temple he told them. In Matthew 23 Jesus told them, "Behold your house is left to you desolate. Prior to that he spoke to them of My Fatherís house and My house. He left and it became your house, and itís desolate. God Almighty wonít have any presence in this house until I (Jesus) come back. Malachi 3:1. He was claiming to be the skekinah glory of God, the presence of God and he walked out and left them desolate - empty. When he died at Calvary, God the Father reached down and rent the veil of that temple from top to bottom to show them that there was no more presence of God on the cherubim in the Holy of Holies; that God had left.

When you get the Book of Hebrews you are in a book written to a people that donít have anywhere to go; they donít have a Temple. They know they will have one. They are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God but it isnít there yet. All of the warnings in this Book of Hebrews are designed to tell those people that temple up there is apostate - it is in the hands of the wicked one. The ultimate manifestation of Baal worship is the antichrist; the idol shephard. This book warns them not to go back there and motivates them to go on to where they should go.

Hebrews 13:10 - We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

They are to go outside the camp; outside the flock; outside the religious system; outside Moses and the Judaism. Hebrews offers the Lord Jesus Christ to the nation Israel as the better alternative. Donít go back to the Old Covenant; go on to the New. Thatís why the key word in the book of Hebrews is often said to be the word, "better". There is a better testimony, better promises, better substance, better hope, better sacrifice, better country, better resurrection and on and on.

Heb. 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Thereís the warning. This situation fits the Great Tribulation exactly. It doesnít fit the Body of Christ or the Dispensation of Grace. It does fit the Jewish situation in the Acts period, looking forward to the tribulation period, expecting it to come. If we sin wilfully. . .Tell me, what sin would that be? Did you ever commit a sin that wasnít wilfull? No. All sin is wilfull. So then the writer is not talking about just any sin here; heís talking about some specific sin. So what specific sin is he referring to here that when you commit it there is no longer any sacrifice for sin? This sin excludes them from the things of God and has them looking for the fiery judgment of God. Look at verse 38:

(Hebrews 10:38-39) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Well, that sin is involved in "drawing back". Letís look at it again in 1 John 5:16:

(1 John 5:16-17) If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

But there is a sin unto death. Not ALL unrighteousness. Itís a specific sin for which there is no forgiveness.

(1 John 5:18) We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not

That "wicked one" is the antichrist. This is the sin connected with the antichrist.

(1 John 5:19-21) And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Do you know anyone that worships an image associated with the antichrist? They take a mark. And in Hebrews, he says "there remains no more sacrifice" for that sin. The cross wonít be accepted for these people as an offering for their sins. Thatís why Hebrews 10:29 is another terrible warning:

(Hebrews 10:29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Thatís the Holy Spirit that was given as a fulfillment of the New Covenant. The other place in the Bible where He is called "The Spirit of grace" is Zechariah 12:10, where He is poured out upon the nation Israel in connection with His coming back to bring them to repentance and set up His Kingdom. So you can see here in Hebrews where they are right there in that great tribulation. The Holy Spirit, the new covenant, - all connected together. The way into the Kingdom is established and put into effect at the second advent. He says, Donít draw back from the Holy Spirit, given at Pentecost. Hebrews 10:15 - Donít draw back from the Holy Spirit who has come at Pentecost with the signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit was the witness of the new covenant blessing that Israel was to get. Well, How am I going to make it through to get it? "Looking unto Jesus." That is what the book of Hebrews does. It presents the cross; Godís provisions through Calvary as a complete, total provision for the nation Israelís blessing in the Kingdom and her motivation in time, looking unto it. Theyíll get through the persecutions and difficulties is by "looking unto Jesus", the "author and finisher of their faith". If that is true of Israel, how much more of us?