Clarifying Jewish Christian Changes of Dispensation
Jesus is declared superior to the prophets, angels, Moses and to Joshua (1:1-4, 4:13; Jesusí priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood (4:14-7:28); and Jesusí new covenant and sacrifice is superior, replacing the old system (8:1-10:18). Chapter 11 shows the importance of faith; finally we are exhorted to listen to this message!
HEBREWS CHAPTER ONE
[The former and current majestic service of Jesus Christ!]1. God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, 2. Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the ages; 3. Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His own power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; (See 2 Peter 1:20 and Proverbs 3:5-6)
[Mankind is offered a position greater than the angels!]4. Having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them. 5. For to which of the angels did He ever say, "You are My Son; this day I have begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me"? 6. And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, "Let all the angels of God worship Him." 7. Now on the one hand, of the angels He says, "Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire." 8. But on the other hand, of the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 9. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions." 10. And, "You, Lord, in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands. 11. They will perish, but You remain forever; and they will all grow old like a garment, 12. And You will roll them up like a covering, and they shall be changed; but You are the same, and Your years will not end." 13. But unto which of the angels did He ever say, "Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet"? 14. Are they not all ministering spirits, being sent forth to minister to those who are about to inherit salvation?
HEBREWS CHAPTER TWO
[An exhortation to remain steadfast; as we suffer and endure unto the end for salvation's reward!]1. For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away. 2. For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense, 3. How shall we escape, if we have neglected so great a salvation; which was first received when it was spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him; 4. God also bearing witness with them by both signs and wonders, and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? 5. For it is not to the angels that He has placed in subjection the world that is to come, of which we are speaking. 6. But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, "What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him? 7. You did make him a little lower than the angels; You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands; 8. You did put all things in subjection under his feet." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. 9. But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels,crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; 10. Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, andby Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
[Jesus Christ was tempted and overcame the devil; Jesus is able to help us overcome temptation too.]11. For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12. Saying, "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the church I will sing praise to You." 13. And again, "I will be trusting in Him." And again, "Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me." 14. Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death-that is, the devil; 15. And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. 16. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham. 17. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation (pay for through His death sacrifice) for the sins of the people. 18. For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted. (Philippians 2:5-11)
HEBREWS CHAPTER THREE
[Jesus Christ is our faithful and merciful high priest.]1. Because of this, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of the faith we profess-Jesus Christ, 2. Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, even as Moses was in all His house. 3. For He has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, even as He Who built the house has so much more honor than the house itself. 4. For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God. 5. Now on the one hand, Moses was faithful in all his house, as a ministering servant, for a testimony of those things which were going to be spoken afterwards. 6. But on the other hand, Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
[We are warned not to have a spirit of unbelief!]7. For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8. Harden not your hearts, as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, 9. Where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years. 10. Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, 'They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.' 11. So I swore in My wrath, 'If they shall enter into My rest-' " 12. Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God. 13. Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called "today," so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14. For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end. 15. As it is being said, "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion." 16. For some, after hearing, did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. 17. But with whom was He indignant for forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness? 18. And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, except to those who had disobeyed? 19. So we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.
HEBREWS CHAPTER FOUR
[We are exhorted to obey and keep the Sabbath Day Rest holy as God commanded!]1. Therefore, we should fear, lest perhaps, a promise being open to enter into His rest, any of you might seem to come short. 2. For truly, we have had the gospel preached to us, even as they also did; but the preaching of the word did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in those who heard. 3. For we who have believed, we ourselves are entering into the rest, as He has said, "So I swore in My wrath, 'If they shall enter into My rest-' " although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4. For He spoke in a certain place about the seventh day in this manner: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; 5. And again concerning this: "If they shall enter into My rest-" 6. Consequently, since it remains for some to enter into it, and those who had previously heard the gospel did not enter in because of disobedience, 7. Again He marks out a certain day, "Today," saying in David after so long a time (exactly as it has been quoted above), "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." 8. For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken long afterwards of another day. 9. There remains, therefore, Sabbath-keeping for the people of God. 10. For the one who has entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his works, just as God did from His own works. 11. We should be diligent therefore to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.
[We may approach the throne of mercy and grace of our High Priest, Jesus Christ.]
12. For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13. And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. 14. Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. 15. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin. 16. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (See Psa. 139:7-16)
HEBREWS CHAPTER FIVE
[Jesus has become a High Priest greater and beyond the Aaronic order as according to the order of Melchisedec that existed before Moses.]1. For every high priest, being taken from among men to act in behalf of men, is appointed to serve in the things pertaining to God in order that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2. And he is able to deal gently with those who sin in ignorance and those who have been led astray, since he himself is also encumbered with many weaknesses. 3. And because of these weaknesses, he is obligated also to offer sacrifices for his own sins, exactly as he does for the people. 4. Now no man takes the honor of the high priesthood upon himself, but only he who is called by God, in the same way as Aaron also was called. 5. In this same manner also, Christ did not glorify Himself to become a High Priest, but He Who said to Him, "You are My Son; today I have begotten You." 6. Even as He also says in another place, "You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec"; 7. Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. 8. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; 9. And having been perfected,He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, 10. After He had been designated by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec;
[Admonition to those who refuse to heed the word of God, who refuse to discern good and evil, and thus lack growth because of their lack of understanding!]11. Concerning Whom we have much to say and hard to explain, since you have become dull of in hearing. 12. For truly, by this time you ought to be teachers, but instead you need to have someone teach you again what are the beginning principles of the oracles of God, and have become those in need of milk, and not of solid food. 13. For everyone who is partaking of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness because he is an infant. 14. But solid food is for those who are fully grown, who through repeated practice have had their senses trained to discern between good and evil.
HEBREWS CHAPTER SIX
[A sincere warning for us to grow beyond basic teachings, to remain loyal to God and produce good fruit so we can avoid the destruction of hell fire if we grow thorns and thistles!]1. Therefore, advancing beyond the beginning principles of the doctrines of Christ, we should go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, 2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3. And we will do this, if indeed God permits. 4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and who personally obtained the heavenly gift, and became partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5. And who have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6. If they have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt. 7. For the ground that soaks up rain coming often upon it, and also produces useful plants for those for whom it is tilled, receives a blessing from God. 8. But that which brings forth thorns and thistles is rejected and near to being cursed, the end of which is for burning.
[Have hope and encouragement as we imitate Christ Jesus, we also have Him as our intercessor.]9. But, although we speak these things, beloved, we are persuaded of better things concerning you, even the fruits that accompany salvation. 10. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and the labor of love by which you have showed honor to His name, in that you have served the saints and are continuing to serve them. 11. But we earnestly desire that every one of you be demonstrating the same diligence, unto the full assurance of the hope until the end; 12. So that you do not become lazy, but that you be imitators of those who through faith and steadfast endurance inherit the promises. 13. For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself, since He could swear by none greater, 14. Saying, "Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you." 15. Now after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16. For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. 17. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath; 18. So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; 19. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil; 20. Where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.
HEBREWS CHAPTER SEVEN
[Scriptures would have us understand that Jesus has interacted as a Priest in earlier times.]1. For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, Who met Abraham as he was returning from his slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, 2. And to Whom Abraham gave a tenth part of all; on the one hand, being interpreted King of Righteousness; and on the other hand, King of Salem, which is King of Peace; 3. Without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but having been made like the Son of God, remains a Priest forever.
[Melchisedec priesthood existed in the time of Abraham, before the levitical priesthood.]4. But consider how great this one was to Whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. 5. For on the one hand, those from among the sons of Levi who receive the priesthood are commanded by the law to collect tithes from the people-that is, from their brethren-even though they are all descended from Abraham; 6. But on the other hand, He Who was not descended from them received tithes from Abraham, and blessed him who had the promises. 7. Now it is beyond all doubt that the inferior one is blessed by the superior one. 8. And in the first case, men who die receive tithes; but in the other case, He received tithes of Whom it is witnessed that He lives forever. 9. And in one sense, Levi, who receives tithes, also gave tithes through Abraham; 10. For he was still in his forefather's loins when Melchisedec met him.
[The levitical priesthood was not perfect, but flawed therefore a change of the law occurred.]11. Therefore, if perfection was indeed possible through the Levitical priesthood-for the law that the people had received was based on it-what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchisedec, and not to be named after the order of Aaron? 12. For since the priesthood has changed, it is obligatory that a change of the law also take place; 13. Because the one of Whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one was appointed to serve at the altar. 14. For it is quite evident that our Lord has descended from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning the priesthood.
[The order of Melchisedec brought about an annulment of the old law due to its weakness and unprofitableness.]15. And it is even more evident because a different Priest arises according to the order of Melchisedec; 16. Who was not invested according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but by the power of indestructible life. 17. For He testifies, "You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec." 18. Forthere is indeed an annulment of the earlier commandment delivered to Aaron because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19. Because the law brought nothing to perfection; rather, perfection is brought about by a superior hope, through which we draw near to God.
[Jesus Christ has qualified to be our High Priest forever because He suffered, yet without sin and does not have the weaknesses and failures that carnal sinners had.]20. And according to this superior measure, it was not without the swearing of an oath that He was made a Priest. (For those who descend from Aaron are made priests without the swearing of an oath; 21. But He was made a Priest with the swearing of an oath by Him Who says concerning Him, "The Lord swore and will not revoke His word, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.' ") 22. By such a greater measure then, Jesus was made the Guarantor of a superior covenant. 23. Now in the one case, there were many priests because they were not able to continue to serve by reason of death; 24. But in the other case, because He is living forever, His priesthood never changes. 25. Therefore, He has the power throughout all time to save those who come to God through Him because He is ever living to intercede for them. 26. For it is fitting that we should have such a High Priest Who is holy, blameless, undefiled, set apart from sinners and made higher than the heavens; 27. Who has no need, as do the other high priests, to offer up sacrifices day by day, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people; for this He did once for all time when He offered up Himself. 28. For the law makes high priests of men who have weaknesses; but by the word of the swearing of the oath, which supersedes the law, the Son, Who has been perfected forever, has been made High Priest.
HEBREWS CHAPTER EIGHT
[The former tabernacle on earth was patterned after the model in heaven.]1. Now here is a summary of the things being discussed: We have such a High Priest Who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2. A minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord set up, and not man. 3. For every high priest is ordained to offer both gifts and sacrifices; therefore, it is necessary for this one also to have something that He can offer. 4. Now on the one hand, if He were on earth He would not even be a priest since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law; 5. Who serve as a representation and shadow of the heavenly things, exactly as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to construct the tabernacle: "For see," says He, "that you make all things according to the pattern that was shown to you in the mountain."
[Such earthly tabernacle model became obsolete because we now have access to our Father Godís throne directly through Jesus Christ our mediator establishing a new covenant within our hearts and minds to know God.]6. But on the other hand, He has obtained a supremely more excellent ministry, as much greater as the superior covenant of which He is also Mediator, which was established upon superior promises. 7. For if the first covenant had been faultless, then no provision for a second covenant would have been made. 8. But since He found fault with them, He says, " 'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah; 9. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them,' says the Lord. 10. 'For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their minds, and I will inscribe them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 11. And they will no longer teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord" because all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them; 12. For I will be merciful toward their unrighteousnesses, and their sins and their lawlessness I will not remember ever again.' " 13. In speaking of a new covenant, He has made the first covenant obsolete. Now that which has become old and obsolete is about to disappear.
HEBREWS CHAPTER NINE
[The old carnal sacrificial ordinances had to become obsolete to make way for Godís new spiritual order.]1. Truly then, the first tabernacle also had ordinances of worship and an earthly sanctuary. 2. For the first tabernacle, which is was called holy, was furnished; in which were placed both the lampstand and the table, and the loaves of showbread. 3. But behind the second veil was a tabernacle which is called the holy of holies, 4. Which contained a golden censor, and the ark of the covenant, which was overlaid on all sides with gold; in which was the golden jar containing the manna, and the rod of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant; 5. And arching above it were the cherubim of glory spreading their wings over the mercy seat, concerning which now is not the time to expound in detail. 6. Now with these things prepared in this manner, the priests entered into the first tabernacle at customary times in order to perform the services; 7. But the high priest entered alone into the second tabernacle once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins that the people committed in ignorance. 8. The Holy Spirit signifying this: that the way into the holiest had not yet been made manifest, while the first tabernacle was still standing; 9. Which was a symbol for that present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices were being offered that were not able to perfect the one performing the service, as pertaining to the conscience. 10. These services consist only of meat and drink offerings, and various washings and physical (carnal) ordinances, imposed until the time of the new spiritual order.
[By the shed blood of Jesus the Christ; He has become our savior offering Himself as an innocent sacrifice once for all humanityís salvation!]11. But Christ Himself has become High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by human hands (that is, not of this present physical creation). 12. Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by the means (sacrifice) of His own blood, He entered once for all into the holiest, having by Himself secured everlasting redemption for us. 13. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are defiled, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh, 14. To a far greater degree, the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15. And for this reason He is the Mediator of the New Covenant (New Testament): in order that through His death, which took place for the release of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16. Now where there is a covenant, it is obligatory to bring forth a symbolic sacrifice to represent the death of the (the testator) one who personally ratifies the covenant; 17. Because a covenant (testament) is ratified only over the dead sacrificial animals, since there is no way that it is legally in force until the living ratifier has symbolically represented his death. 18. For this very reason the first covenant was inaugurated with blood of animals 19. Because after Moses had spoken every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and he sprinkled both the book of the covenant itself and all the people, 20. Saying, "This is the blood of the covenant (testament) that God has ordained for you." 21. And in the same manner, he sprinkled with blood the tabernacle, too, and all the vessels of service. 22. Now almost all things are purified with blood according to the law, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. 23. Therefore, it was indeed obligatory for the patterns of the heavenly things to be purified with the blood of these animals, but the things in heaven themselves with superior sacrifices than these. 24. For Christ has not entered into the holy places made by human hands, which are mere copies of the true; rather, He has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25. Not that He should offer Himself many times, even as the high priest enters into the holy of holies year by year with the blood of others; 26. For then it would have been necessary for Him to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now, once and for all, in the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested for the purpose of removing sin through His sacrifice of Himself. 27. And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgment; 28. SoChrist, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear the second time without sin unto salvation to those who are eagerly awaiting Him.
HEBREWS CHAPTER TEN
[God did not delight in the sacrifices of bulls and goats that could not take away sin!]1. For the law, having only a shadow of the good things that are coming, and not the image of those things, with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, is never able to make perfect those who come to worship. 2. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? For once those who worship had been purified, they would no longer be conscious of sin. 3. On the contrary, in offering these sacrifices year by year, there is a remembrance of sins 4. Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5. For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. 6. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. 7. Then said I, 'Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book) to do Your will, O God.' " 8. In the saying above, He said, "Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin (which were offered according to the law) You did not desire nor delight in";
[The carnal covenant of Moses with the levitical priesthood was taken away to establish the covenant of God and His son Jesus Christ.]9. Then He said, "Lo, I come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant; 10. By Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11. Now every high priest stood ministering day by day, offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which were never able to remove sins; 12. But He, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13. Since that time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet. 14. For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified. 15. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, 16. " 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds; 17. And their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again.' " 18. Now where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin.
[Take opportunity to approach our Father in heaven with a clean heart and serve Him faithfully, encouraging one another. We have received the atonement. (See Romans 5:11).]19. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20. By a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), 21. And having a great High Priest over the house of God, 22. Let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. 23. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful; 24. And let us be concerned about one another, and be stirring up one another unto love and good works; 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, even as some are accustomed to do; but rather, encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
[Remain faithful to Godís way of life, rejecting the carnal pulls of the flesh.]26. For if we willfully go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, 27. But a terrifying expectation of inevitable judgment and of fierce fire, which will devour the adversaries of God. 28. Consider this: anyone who rejects the law of Moses dies without mercy under the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29. How much worse punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, as an unholy thing, and has scorned the Spirit of grace? 30. For we know Him Who has said, " 'Vengeance belongs to Me. I will recompense!' says the Lord." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." 31. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
[Press on towards the goal, persevere knowing your Savior draws near!]32. But remember the earlier days when, after you were enlightened, you endured much conflict in your sufferings. 33. On the one part, you were made a public spectacle by both insults and severe trials; and on the other part, you became companions of those who were enduring the same things. 34. For you not only showed compassion to me in my bonds, but also gladly endured the plunder of your possessions, knowing within yourselves that you have a greater and more enduring possession in the heavens. 35. For this very reason, do not cast away your confidence, which is bringing a great reward. 36. For you need to have endurance, so that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. 37. For it is but a short time until He Who is coming will come, and will not delay. 38. Now it is written, "The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul does not delight in him." 39. But we are not of those who draw back unto destruction; rather, we are of faith unto the saving of the soul.
HEBREWS CHAPTER ELEVEN
[Without faith and subsequent works, it is impossible to serve God.]1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. 2. For by this kind of faith the elders obtained a good report. 3. By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the word of God, so that the things that are seen were made from things that are invisible. 4. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it, though he died, he is yet speaking. 5. By faith Enoch was transported so that he would not look upon death, and was not found because God had transported him; for before his departure it was testified of him that he pleased God. 6. Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 7. By faith Noah, after being divinely instructed by God about the things he could not yet see, was moved with fear and prepared an ark for the salvation of his house; through which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8. By faith Abraham, being called of God to go out into the place which he would later receive for an inheritance, obeyed and went, not knowing where he was going. 9. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, like a foreigner, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the joint heirs of the same promise; 10. For he was waiting for the city with the foundations of which God is the Architect and Builder. 11. By faith also Sarah herself received power to conceive seed, and gave birth when she was well beyond the childbearing age because she esteemed Him faithful Who had personally promised her a son. 12. Because of this faith, there came into being from one man-and moreover, one who was reproductively dead-descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens, and as countless as the sand on the sea shore.
[The promise of salvation could not be awarded until Christ had been accepted upon His ascension to His Father in heaven after the resurrection of Christ.]13. All these died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar, and having been persuaded of them, and having embraced them, 14. For those who say such things make it manifest that they seek their own country, as promised by God. 15. And if, on the one hand, they had let their minds dwell fondly on the place where they came from, they might have had opportunity to return. 16. But now, on the other hand, they are aspiring to a more excellent country-that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God because He has prepared a city for them.
[Examples of faith continue to encourage us to also remain faithful unto God.]17. By faith Abraham, when he was being tried, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son 18. Of whom it was said, "In Isaac shall your Seed be called"; 19. Because he reckoned that God was able to raise him even from among the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative way. 20. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things that were to come. 21. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped God, leaning on the top of his staff. 22. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, spoke of the coming exodus of the children of Israel, and gave a command concerning his bones. 23. By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden three months by his parents because they saw that he was a beautiful little child; and they did not fear the king's decree. 24. By faith Moses, after becoming a great leader, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25. Choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the temporary pleasure of sin; 26. For he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking intently to the reward. 27. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as if he were seeing the one Who is invisible. 28. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not slay them. 29. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as through a dry land in which the Egyptians, while making the attempt, were swallowed up by the waters. 30. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after being circled for seven days. 31. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who disobeyed because she had received the spies peaceably. 32. Now what more can I say? For time would fail me to relate the accounts of Gideon, Barak also, and Samson and Jephthah, David also, and Samuel, and the prophets; 33. Who by faith were victorious over kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34. Quenched the fury of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were strengthened from weakness, became mighty in war, and turned back the armies of foreigners. (James 2:14).
[By faith throughout the ages saints have remained steadfast, seeking the government of God and His righteousness.]35. Women received their dead restored to life; and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a superior resurrection; 36. And others endured the trial of cruel mockings and scourgings; yes, and moreover, of chains and imprisonment. 37. They were stoned to death, they were sawed in two, they were brutally interrogated, and slaughtered by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being destitute, oppressed, and ill-treated; 38. Of whom the world was not worthy; they wandered in deserts and in mountains, living in caves and in holes in the earth. 39. But these all, though they had received a good report through faith, did not obtain the promise 40. Because God had determined in advance to provide something superior for us so that without us they would not be made perfect.
HEBREWS CHAPTER TWELVE
[Follow Christís example to endure and overcome.]1. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance, 2. Having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. 4. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin.
[Accept correction and endure chastening from the Lord so our deeds may be pleasing to our God.]5. And you have already forgotten the admonition that He addresses to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor grow weary of being reproved by Him; 6. For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He severely disciplines every son whom He receives." 7. If you endure chastening, God is dealing with you as a Father with His sons. For who is the son whom the Father does not chasten? 8. But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons. 9. Furthermore, we have had our fleshly fathers who chastened us, and we respected them; should we not all the more willingly be subject to the Father of spirits, and live forever? 10. For in the first case, they chastened us for a few days in whatever way seemed good to them; but in the second case, He chastens us for our own benefit that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11. Now truly, no chastisement for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who have been exercised by it. 12. Therefore, lift up the hands that are hanging down, and revive the weakened knees; 13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned aside; but let it rather be healed.
[Seek peace and avoid the bitterness of lost salvation as some practice godlessness and become defiled.]14. Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; 15. Looking diligently, lest anyone fall from the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and through this many be defiled; 16. Lest there be any fornicator or godless person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright; 17. Because you also know that afterwards, when he wished to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; and he found no room for repentance, although he sought it earnestly with tears.
[The weakness and display of the old covenant is contrasted with the new covenant of power and endurance able to shake both heaven and earth and become a kingdom that can not be shaken!]18. For you have not come to the mount that could be touched and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; 19. And to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words, which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. 20. (For they could not endure what was being commanded: "And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow"; 21. And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am greatly afraid and trembling".) 22. But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; 23. To the joyous festival gathering; and to the church of the firstborn, registered in the book of life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected; 24. And to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel. 25. Beware that you do not refuse to hear Him Who is speaking! For if they did not escape judgment, who refused to hear the one Who was on the earth divinely instructing them, how much more severely will we be judged, if we ourselves apostatize from Him Who speaks from heaven; 26. Whose voice then shook the earth, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven also." 27. Now the words "once more" signify the removing of the things being shaken, as of things that were made, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, through which we may serve God in a pleasing manner with reverence and awe; 29. For our God is indeed a consuming fire.
HEBREWS CHAPTER THIRTEEN
[Have love and conduct befitting saints for God is faithful and will neither leave you nor forsake you.]1. Let brotherly love be present among you continually. 2. Do not forget to show hospitality; for by this some have unknowingly welcomed angels as guests. 3. Be mindful of prisoners, as if you were imprisoned with them; and think of those who are suffering afflictions, as if you yourselves were in their body. 4. Let marriage be held honorable by all, and the marital union be undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5. Do not allow the love of money to influence your behavior, but be satisfied with what you have; for He has said, "In no way will I ever leave you; no-I will never forsake you in any way." 6. So then, let us boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" [See Matthew 6:31-33.]
[Look to the true teachings of Jesus and seek after Godly ways.]7. Remember your leaders, who have spoken the word of God to you, considering the outcome of their conduct; and imitate their faith. 8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. 9. Do not be carried about by all kinds of strange doctrines. For it is good for the heart to be confirmed by grace and not by foods, which have brought no spiritual benefit to those who have been preoccupied with them.
[Those who adhere to the old tabernacle, reject Jesus and have no authority for access to salvation through Jesus.] 10. We have an altar from which those who are serving the present earthly tabernacle do not have authority to eat; 11. For pertaining to those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest for a sin offering, the bodies of all these are burned outside the camp. 12. For this reason, Jesus, in order that He might sanctify the people by His own blood, also suffered outside the gate. 13. So then, let us go forward to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14. For we do not have a continuing city here on earth; rather, we are seeking the one that is coming.
[Be aware of the true sacrifices that God desires!]15. Accordingly, let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually to God through Him; that is, with the fruit of our lips openly professing our faith in His name. 16. Now do not forget to do good and to fellowship, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17. Follow your leaders, and be submissive, because they are looking out for your spiritual well-being, as those who must be ready to give an account to God in order that they may do this with joy, and not with groaning because that would be unprofitable for you.
[We all need prayer and to have Jesus shepherd us to peaceful pastures.]18. Pray for us; for we are certain that we have a clear conscience, in all things desiring to conduct ourselves well. 19. Now I am earnestly exhorting you to do this more diligently that I may be sent back to you more quickly. 20. And may the God of peace, Who raised our Lord Jesus from among the dead-that great Shepherd of the sheep-through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21. Perfect you in every good work in order that you may do His will; accomplishing in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen.
[Heed admonition, greet fellow saints, meditate on the letter to the Hebrews and to the saints of God for this present end time.]22. Now I admonish you, brethren, to patiently listen to this message of exhortation, for I have written to you in only a few words. 23. I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released; with whom, if he comes soon enough, I will see you. 24. Greet all your leaders, and all the saints. Those from Italy send greetings to you. 25. May God's grace be with all of you. Amen.
[To the Hebrews, written from Italy, delivered by Timothy, author presumed to be Paul. Amended translation source is the Original Order Bible.]