The Last Days Calendar – Bible Prophecy & The Rapture

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The Last Days Calendar truly interprets end time Bible prophecy concerning the last days within the context of Jewish culture and the Hebrew calendar.

Studying Scripture in light of the historical setting and culture in which it was first proclaimed reveals fresh insight into events of the last days, the Book of Revelation, the timing of the Rapture, the identity of the Two Witnesses and the nature of the Millennium. Our web site provides detailed teachings concerning these topics.

Bible prophecies that concern the events of the last days, including the rapture, are foreshadowed in the Festivals of the LORD. The Festivals of the LORD are the ordained “Appointed Times” of God’s ceremonial calendar for Israel. These seasonal feasts are prophetic pictures of the Messiah.

The four spring Festivals of the LORD: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and The Feast of Weeks all take place within the first three months of the Hebrew calendar. The spring cycle of biblical festivals was literally fulfilled by the First Advent: Redemption (the Passover), Sanctification (The Feast of Unleavened Bread), Resurrection (Firstfruits) and the birth of the Church (Pentecost).

The first of the fall cycle of the Festivals of the LORD is the Feast of Trumpets. Yom Teruah (the day of shofar blasts) foreshadows the Rapture when God’s elect will be translated in the blinking of an eye and gathered into His presence to be forever with the Lord. The most solemn and holy day for the Jewish people is the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which is the day on the Hebrew calendar when Yeshua (Jesus) will return and rescue God’s chosen people. The final festival of the fall cycle of biblical festival and the final of the seven annual feasts is Sukkoth – The Feast of Tabernacles. This feast foreshadows the wedding supper of the Lamb and the Millennial reign of Christ.

To learn more about The Festivals of Yahweh (the LORD) check out the blogs in our “Feasts & Festivals” category.

A cult is a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. Our “Cults and Religions” category (at the top of the page) includes:

  •        Christianity versus Cults and Counterfeits – Defining Cults   
  •        Church of the Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith & the Mormons  
  •        Is Catholicism True Orthodox Christianity or a Christian Cult?  
  •         Is this the Dawn of a New Age or just Old Fashioned Paganism?  
  •        Is Seventh-Day Adventism Christianity or is SDA Cultism?    
  •        ISLAM:  The Religion of “Peace” Bent on Conquest  
  •        The Claims of Freemasons vs. the Hidden Truth of Freemasonry  
  •        The Jehovah’s Witnesses: True Christianity or Christian Cult?  
  •        The True History and Practices of the Church of Scientology!  

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Isaiah 46:9-10

Only the one true God and Creator is omniscient and knows the end from the beginning. Our expository teachings from the book of Genesis are not only historical accounts, but are often prophetic pictures of future events. Each month a new chapter from the book of Genesis will be posted until a verse-by-verse commentary on entire book of Genesis is completed.

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Hebrews Ch.7 – Jesus is a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek

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This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Hebrews 7:1-2

Four kings from Mesopotamia went to war against five Canaanite kings who rebelled after having been subjugated to them for 12 years. Abram’s nephew Lot was taken captive and his possessions were taken as plunder by the four kings from Mesopotamia. Lot exposed himself and his family to danger by preferring to live in a fertile area near Sodom, even though the people who lived in the region were workers of iniquity. Not only did Lot suffer being taken captive, but so was his entire family. Ironically Lot, who sought to enrich himself by living in the plain of the Jordan, ended up losing of all his property.

Abram had a company of three hundred and eighteen trained men, born in his own house. This number of men is an indication of Abram’s wealth and power. Including women and children, there were probably more than 1,000 persons under his authority and enough corresponding numbers of flocks and herds to feed, clothe and provide shelter for all of them.

Although the armies of the five ungodly kings of the cities of the Valley of Siddim had fled in defeat, Abram was victorious. Gideon with a mere 300 men routed a great multitude of Midianites and Amalekites. In a similar fashion, because the LORD was with him, Abram not only defeated the armies of four kings with only 318 men but all the stolen goods and kidnapped people were recovered.

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Genesis 14:17-20a

This is the first recorded appearance of the priest of the Most High God (Hebrew – Kohen El Elyon). The name Melchizedek is the compilation of three Hebrew words, melek, iy and tsedeq. Melek means “king.” Meleky or melchi means “king of. Tsedeq” means “righteousness.” The meaning of the name Melchizedek is “King of Righteousness.” Salem (shalom) means peace. The King of Righteousness was also the King of Peace.

Melchizedek brought out bread and wine which are the emblems of the communion table and blessed Abram.

The term “chazal” refers to the rabbinic sages who served as commentators on the Hebrew Scriptures. According to the Chazalic literature, specifically Targum Jonathan, Targum Yerushalmi, and the Babylonian Talmud, the name Melchizedek (מלכי־צדק) served as a title for Shem, the son of Noah.

He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.” Genesis 9:26-27

Noah declared that Yehovah – the Great I AM – was the God of Shem. Through Shem, the middle son, the “promised seed of the woman” (Messiah) would be transmitted. Shem not only was still alive during the days of Abraham, but actually outlived Abraham.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 110:4 which declared: The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:20b

Abram gave a tithe of the recovered goods to Melchizedek.

Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. Hebrews 7:3

Jesus being 100% human has a genealogy that proves He is the promised descendant of David who is the promised seed of Eve. Jesus had both a natural mother and a father. But also being in very nature, 100% God the Son, Jesus is eternal. The phrase translated as “like the Son of God” in the NIV is translated as “resembling the Son of God” in the English standard Version and “but made like unto the Son of God” in the King James. The inspired author was trying to communicate the idea that God intentionally presented Melchizedek as a type of Christ, who foreshadowed the Son of God who was to come. The purpose of the phrase was to emphasize the unique nature of Melchizedek’s priesthood; that it did not pass from one person to another as did that of the Aaronic priesthood.

And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:6

The Scripture states that Jesus is our eternal High Priest “in the order” of Melchizedek, not that Jesus was Melchizedek.

Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. Hebrews 7:4-7

Abraham the patriarch of Israel received several exceedingly great promises.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

Abram, who was later named Abraham, became the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. Jacob went down to live in Egypt where he and his offspring were referred to as the Hebrews. When the Hebrews were delivered from the bondage of Egypt after 400 years of slavery, they emerged as the nation of Israel.

When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates — the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” Genesis 15:17-21

The LORD’s covenant promise of land given to the descendants of Abram, the children of Israel, was made while Abram was in a deep sleep. This covenant was a unilateral, unconditional promise. There were no terms that Abram or his descendants had to fulfill to earn the right to the land of Canaan. The LORD told Abram that he should know for certain that the LORD would give his descendants the land. It was the LORD himself who verified the covenant through the testimony of two witnesses. God is a consuming fire. He himself, symbolized by the smoking pot and the blazing torch, passed between the pieces. The smoking fire pot also pictures the furnace of affliction that the Hebrews would endure in Egypt; while the blazing torch represents the Shekinah glory that would dwell among them during their wilderness journey and in the Promised Land.

the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. Romans 9:4-5

From God through the nation of Israel came the patriarchs, the divine covenants, the Law of Moses, the prophets, the apostles and Messiah Jesus. Surely all nations have been blessed through Abraham.

Although it was the high priests from the tribe of Levi, who would be among Abraham’s descendants, were the ones who received the tithes, as great Abraham was, he gave a tithe to Melchizedek and was considered lesser than Melchizedek who blessed him.

In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor. Hebrews 7:8-10

The high priests from the tribe of Levi who collected tithes eventually died. In Genesis there is no record of Melchizedek’s birth, death or ancestry. Therefore, he is presented symbolically as “a priest forever” (him who is declared to be living).

For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him. Therefore, in a sense Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid the tithe to Melchizedek through Abraham.

 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? Hebrews 7:11

This is a rhetorical question. There was a need for another priest in the order of Melchizedek. Perfection could never be obtained through the sacrifices of bulls and goats by the Levitical priesthood, because the blood of animals could only temporarily cover sin.

It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:4

For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. Hebrews 7:12-14

The Torah clearly states that the priesthood was given to the tribe of Levi.

The Levitical priests–indeed, the whole tribe of Levi–are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the LORD, for that is their inheritance. Deuteronomy 18:1

The Levites did not receive an allotment of territory because they served in the temple and ate from the offerings. Jesus, the King of the Jews, did not descend from Levi.

And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:15-17

What has been said and been made even more clear is the impossibility for perfection to come through the Levitical priesthood, therefore the priesthood and the law must be changed. In addition, Jesus was from Judah and the Messiah would be a priest like Melchizedek, not like Aaron.

Levitical priests were priests according to mortal flesh, but Jesus is a priest because of “the power of an indestructible life.” While the Levitical priesthood was temporary and a type of the coming reality based on physical ancestry, Jesus is eternal and the reality.

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’”

Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:18-22

Because the priests of the order of Levi were not sufficient, there was need of a still greater priesthood. This is the inspired testimony of David in Psalm 110, where he speaks of the LORD (Yehovah) Jesus as his Lord (Adonai), and exalts Him as king and priest. The Lord Jesus Christ was ordained to the priesthood, according to Psalm 110, in a manner distinct from all others. His ordination was unique, for neither Aaron, nor his sons, nor were any of the priests of the tribe of Levi ever ordained by an oath. But our Savior is made a priest by an oath. And it is written, as if to make it exceeding sure, that the Lord “has sworn and will not change his mind” (Psalm 110:4). By an oath that stands fast forevermore Christ is made a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:23-25

Numbers 20:28 makes it clear that Aaron’s priesthood was not forever. This is where Moses, Aaron and Eleazar go up the mountain, Aaron’s priestly garments are removed and given to Eleazar and Aaron dies there on Mt. Hor. Later in Joshua 24:33 Phinehas replaced Eleazar.

Josephus said that there had been 83 high priests from Aaron until 70 AD.

For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Romans 5:10

Jesus is the eternal mediator between man and God. He is the eternal savior who saves to the uttermost. He truly meets our needs.

Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:26-28

HALLELUJAH!

Hebrews Chapter 6 – The Things that Have to Do with Salvation

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Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. Hebrews 6:1-3

In chapter 5:12, the writer of Hebrews chastises his readers saying, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”

The purpose of “The Letter to the Hebrews” was to demonstrate the superiority of faith in Messiah and salvation by grace as opposed to the keeping of the Mosaic Laws. Again, He exhorts the Hebrew Christians to strive towards spiritual maturity and to move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ.

The first of these six basic teachings of the New Testament begin with the foundational doctrine of repentance from dead works. Even among these converted Jews there was a struggle because they had believed that keeping God’s laws was the only means of maintaining a right standing with God. They relied on the sacrificial system and strict law keeping to somehow pay for past sins and justify themselves to God. Later in the book of Hebrews the Jewish Christians were reminded that temple rituals had had their purposes, but that “the blood of Christ” was the only way to “cleanse your conscience from dead works” (Hebrews 9:14). Animal sacrifices could never forgive sin or cleanse one’s conscience.

Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:21

The second teaching concerns faith in God. The Jews believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but the acceptance of “One God in Three Persons” was foreign to them.

A stumbling block for Jews concerning belief in the Trinity is a misunderstanding of the “Shema.” Shema means “Hear O” and is taken from the first two words of Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is One” (Shema Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai ehad).

The Shema is an affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God. An observant Jew is obligated to say Shema in the morning and at night according to Deuteronomy 6:7 – Impress them (the commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

The Hebrew language has two words that can be translated “ONE”: echad and yachid. Whereas yachid (yah-keed) refers to the number one (i.e., absolute unity), echad (ek-kawd) refers to a composite unity. An example of this is in the book of Genesis chapter 2 and verse 24, where it says that a couple joined together in marriage shall become one flesh (baw-sawr echad). The one flesh is comprised of man and woman – a composite unity.

In Numbers 13 the twelve spies returned from Canaan – And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes….One cluster (eshkowl echad) of grapes is a composite unity of many grapes.

In Judges 20 verse 8 it reads: And all the people arose as one man, saying, “We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn into his house” One man is ‘iysh echad in Hebrew. All the people – the many soldiers from the other eleven tribes were as one in purpose to fight against the tribe of Benjamin. As one man but many people – another example of echad meaning a composite unity,

Yehovah is one – Yehovah is echad. There is only one true God, but He is a composite unity of one God in three persons

The third foundational principle is instruction about cleansing rituals also translated as baptisms. The regulations concerning ceremonial cleansing were outward washings so that a person would be ritually clean in order to enter into the temple in Jerusalem and participate in the sacrificial system.

For from within the hearts of men come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. All these evils come from within, and these are what defile a man.”… Mark 7:21-22

As believers in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah (the Christ) we know that it is what is in a man that makes him unclean. Ritual washings only concern the cleansing of the flesh, not the heart.

He is to lay his hand on the goat’s head and slaughter it at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered before the LORD. It is a sin offering. Leviticus 4:24

The laying on of hands is the fourth principle that the author of Hebrews addresses which is no longer necessary under the New Covenant. When each Jew offered up an animal sacrifice, he laid his hands on the head of the substitutionary animal in a symbolic transfer, confessing his sins. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would lay his hands on the scapegoat in a symbolic transfer of the sins of the nation of Israel.

The fifth element refers to the resurrection from the dead. The Jews, with the exception of the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection from the dead according to the prophet Daniel.

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2

The foundational principle in Christianity that the Hebrew believers needed to understand more fully is the critical significance of Jesus’ resurrection.

who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, Roman 1:4

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him. 1 Corinthians 15:22-23

Jesus proved He was the Messiah and the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead. We who are born-again by the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead are assured of our resurrection to eternal life as well.

The last of the basic principles is the doctrine of eternal judgment. Eternal judgment encompasses both judgment for degree of eternal reward for the believer and judgment for degree of eternal punishment for the unrighteous. While those who have rejected God’s gracious gift of eternal life through the substitutionary sacrifice of His Son, will be sentenced at the White Throne Judgment.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

The righteous will appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work.

If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as one being snatched from the fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-14

The believer’s rewards are based upon the quality of his works. When a believer’s intentions are out of pure motives by considering the needs of others, desiring to share the gospel and to disciple others in the faith, his works will be acceptable in the eyes of God.

If his works are revealed to be worthless because his motives were impure and his works were done out of selfish ambition and vain conceit, he will suffer the loss of rewards but not his salvation.

The unrighteous must face the White Throne Judgment.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

Among the books that were opened (the words and deeds of each individual) as well as the Old and New Testament, was the Book of Life. There will be some at the White Throne judgment who will be spared from the Lake of Fire. The second resurrection, for the most part, will unite disembodied, spiritually dead souls with transformed immortal bodies. They will be ushered into the presence of God to be judged for degree of punishment. They have been resurrected to life (spiritually alive/no longer separated from God), only to be cast from his presence for eternity. They will suffer the second death as they are cast into the Lake of Fire. They will go from the glory of his presence to eternal separation and great torment.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Hebrews 6:4-6

Judas was among the twelve disciples when Jesus gave them to authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10:1).

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:5-8

Judas spent over three years with Jesus. He listened to Jesus’ sermons and he witnessed many miracles that Jesus performed. Judas tasted the goodness of the word of God and even tasted of the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit who empowered him to heal the sick and cast out demons. Yet, Judas betrayed the Lord.

Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Matthew 26:34

Peter denied the Lord three times, but repented as was restored to an intimate relationship with Christ. Judas had fallen away. He was not brought back to repentance and hung himself.

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica… 2 Timothy 4:9-10a

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 1 John 2:15

The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy stating he was abandoned by Demas because he loved the world. If Demas did not love the Father, Demas was not saved.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 1 John 2:18-19

Just because a person studies God’s word, fellowships with believers, and is aware of the message of the gospel, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are born-again children of God.

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Hebrews 6:7-8

The work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel of Christ is a work on the human heart intended to cause its recipients to bring forth fruit. Thorns and thistles were a result of sin and of God’s curse on the ground (Genesis 3:18). The writer of Hebrews warns that those who do not produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8), are in danger of hell fire.

But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things for you, and things that accompany salvation, even though we speak like this. Hebrews 6:9

The writer addresses the believing Hebrews, as “beloved.” They are loved by the Lord, not because they are the descendants of Abraham, but as the elect of God. They have been called by grace and chosen in Christ unto salvation. They were beloved by him, not merely as being his countrymen, but as fellow saints.

The previous warnings and admonishments to the Hebrew believers in this letter were to alert them not to stumble. The case for the supremacy of Christ above Moses and the high priest Aaron made it evident that they should not be tempted to return to the ceremonial law and offer up sacrifices for sin.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:10-12

God is just and true. He remembers how the Hebrew saints out of their love for him have been charitable and ministered to God’s people.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

The Hebrews are encouraged to remain steadfast in their labors of love. They must be patient and remain faithful as were their forefathers who awaited the settlement of the Promised Land and the coming of the Messiah. What they must wait patiently for is the promise of the return of Christ in spite of persecution for their faith.

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Hebrews 6:13-15

When God made this promise, Abraham believed it, despite being quite old and his wife having attained the age of menopause. Abraham, after 15 years of waiting for the promise, was visited by God who assured him that the promise would be fulfilled in due time. It took another 10 years when Abraham was 100 years old for Sarah to give birth to their son who was named Isaac.

Abraham lived 175 years. He lived seventy-five years after Isaac’s birth and thirty-eight years after Sarah’s death. Keturah was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons. After awaiting 25 years for the birth of Isaac, he awaited another 37 years to have his first son with Keturah.

People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. Hebrews 6:16-18

God is uniquely supreme and holy and there is no one that is superior to Him. Since there was no one greater to swear by, He swore by himself and confirmed his promise to Abraham with an oath. God bound himself by his oath in his covenant promises to Abraham

 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20

Here are two illustrations that are beautifully combined to encourage believers of their secure and firm hope. For the non-believer, the word hope means that something desired may or may not come to pass. But for the child of God, hope is the confident expectation that God will perform His word and work all things for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

The soul is the ship and the world is the sea. The distant coast is heaven. The hope resting on faith is the anchor which prevents the vessel being tossed to and fro. The encouraging consolation through the promise and oath of God is the cable connecting the ship and the anchor.

The world is the outer court of the temple, while the Holy of Holies represents heaven. Christ is the High Priest who has gone before us. So, through Him the veil was rent and now we can enter into the Most Holy Place.

Hebrews Chapter 5 – A High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek

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Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. Hebrews 5:1

God first appeared to Moses by means of a burning bush on Mount Horeb (which is another name for Mount Sinai). As Moses approached the bush God told him not to come any closer, but to take off his shoes for he was on holy ground. God met with Moses, called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery, and revealed that His name is Yehovah. Among the signs that Yehovah gave Moses was that one day the Israelites would worship Yehovah on this mountain.

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Exodus 19:10-11

Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. Exodus 19:16-17

After the Exodus, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai. Instead of meeting with just Moses, the LORD (Yehovah) was going to meet with the all the people of Israel. Instead of just a burning bush, the whole mountain was on fire

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Exodus 20:18-19

The people of Israel trembled in fear and they refused to have God speak to them directly. Moses became the first mediator between God and the children of Israel. Moses in his roles of redeemer and mediator is a type of the Messiah (the Christ). His brother Aaron became the first high priest.

Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), could the High Priest enter into the Most Holy Place. He would enter through the curtain and stand in front of the atonement cover (mercy seat) where the Shekinah (the manifestation of the glory of the LORD) appeared in a cloud.

The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the LORD. The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

“This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on.” Leviticus 16:1-4

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Philippians 2: 5-8

Jesus our Messiah is not only the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, but is also our High Priest. Aaron, the brother of Moses, had to remove his ornate priestly garments and put on plain white linen garments before he could enter the Most Holy Place. Bathing and then putting on clean white linen was symbolic of being purified from sin and then being clothed with righteousness. Only after purification, could Aaron come before the mercy seat to first offer up an atonement offering for himself and then for his people Israel.

Just as the earthly high priest removed his ornate priestly garb on the Day of Atonement, Jesus removed His garments of glory and took on the nature of a man in order to provide atonement for sinful mankind.

He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was. Hebrews 5:2-4

As a fallible mortal, the high priest was imperfect and had to first offer up sacrifices for his own sins before he acted on behalf of the people of Israel.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10

The high priest could emphasize with those who committed sins of ignorance (not knowing particular laws and regulations in the Torah), because he knew the Law of Moses and yet was unable to obey all of it.

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:5-6

In the same way that Aaron and his sons were chosen by God among the Levites to hold the office of the high priest during their lifetimes, the Son of God was chosen by the Father to be an eternal priest not in the line of Levi.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7

On the night that he was betrayed by Judas, Jesus and his disciples headed to the Mount of Olives after partaking of the Passover meal. They entered into the Garden of Gethsemane

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:38-39

Jesus was obedient to the Father’s will even unto His suffering, humiliation and death.

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:8-10

How could the Son of God who is omniscient and knows all things learn anything? Although Jesus understood that He would have to endure mental and emotional anguish, and excruciating physical pain leading up to and including His crucifixion and death, in obedience to the Father’s will, He actually experienced it. Through living a sinless life of obedience, He was uniquely qualified to be the source of eternal salvation as an acceptable sacrifice for our sins.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Jesus is not only the Lamb of God who was sacrificed but also the high priest in the order of Melchizedek who offers up sacrifices. He is the Alpha and Omega. Jesus is the Beginning and the End. Jesus is both the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah He is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who came and the Conquering King Messiah who will be returning. Hallelujah!

According to Israel’s temple ceremonial system, a tremendous weight of significance and emphasis was placed upon the glorious office of the high priest. The writer of Hebrews understood that it was necessary for the encouragement of Jewish Christians who were tempted to revert to Judaism, to show that Christ was and is indeed a great high priest, not merely equal, but vastly superior to any of the high priests of Israel.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Hebrews 5:11-12

These Hebrew believers had many great advantages over the Gentile converts. They were descended from Abraham, had the Law of Moses, and the writings of the Old Testament. Some of them experienced the ministry of Christ or His apostles. It was now about thirty years from the day of Pentecost when the gifts of the Holy Spirit were poured out. At that time, a large number of Jews were converted and the congregation of Jerusalem was established. Considering the length of time, the opportunities and advantages they had enjoyed, it might have been expected that many would have been sharing their knowledge of the gospel. Instead, they needed to learn the basics principles of the faith all over again.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14

After fasting for 40 days, Jesus was incredibly hungry. When tempted by the devil in the wilderness to turn stones into bread, He did not give into temptation:

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

Physical nourishment is not sufficient in itself for a healthy and godly life. Mankind also has spiritual needs that are only met by hearing and obeying the Word of God. The Hebrew believers were immature in their faith. The author of Hebrews chastised his readers for spiritual immaturity. Because they were not grounded on the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, they were not ready to consume the deeper concepts of the Word of God.

Hebrews Chapter 4 – A Sabbath Rest for the People of God

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Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Hebrews 4:1-2

The writer of Hebrews proceeds with his exhortation to the Hebrews, and all professing Christians, to faith, obedience, and perseverance. As God finished his work, and then rested from it, so He will cause those who believe, to finish their work, and then to enjoy their rest. There is a more spiritual and excellent Sabbath remaining for the people of God, than that of the seventh day. This rest is, a rest of grace, comfort, and holiness that is available to everyone who receives the gospel of their salvation.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

The good news of the forgiveness of sins and the promise of heavenly reward has no value unless it is received by faith.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. Hebrews 4:3

The writer of Hebrews was quoting from Psalm 95:

Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation: I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” Psalm 95:7b-11

“Massah” means trial or temptation and “Meribah” mean “quarreling or strife.” Exodus 17:1-7 gives the details of the account where the children of Israel provoked Yehovah to anger in their wilderness journey.

The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Exodus 17:1-7

The LORD had delivered the children of Israel out of the bondage in Egypt with a mighty hand. He redeemed them from the land of slavery and from the power of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Not only did they witness ten plagues that the Egyptians endured, they and their animals were not affected by them. When the Egyptian army pursued them, God miraculously brought them through the Red Sea on dry ground, but drowned their enemies. The LORD had repeatedly demonstrated His power and goodness towards them.

When they Israelite community became thirsty when they camped at Rephidim, they could have waited on the LORD in faith or asked Moses to inquire of the LORD. Instead, they protested and complained angrily to Moses and accused him of bringing them out of Egypt only to die of thirst in the wilderness. They questioned the faithfulness and goodness of Yehovah by saying. “Is the LORD among us or not?”

When the LORD delivered Israel from slavery, He intended to bring them into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. The children of Israel, because of their lack of faith, complained and fought against God almost every step of the way. When Moses was receiving the law on Mount Sinai, they worshipped a golden calf. They complained about being thirsty, about being hungry, about the manna and about the leadership. In fear because of the bad report of ten of the twelve spies sent into Canaan, the people refuse to enter into the Promised Land. So the LORD declared on oath in His anger that that generation of Israelites would never enter His rest.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:11

We who are born-again believers in Christ are admonished to learn a lesson from the failings of the Israelites who provoked God to wrath by their unbelief.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

In Christ, we have authority in His name, in the Word of God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit to stand in faith and not be anxious. Instead, we can let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15).

For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” Hebrews 4:4-5

God rested from all his works on the seventh day and made it holy.

“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:11

The LORD is omnipotent. He is all powerful.

The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. Isaiah 40:28

God is the sum of perfection; He is never diminished in any way, and that includes being diminished in power. The Hebrew word translated “rested” in Genesis 2:2 includes other ideas than that of being tired. In fact, one of the main definitions of the Hebrew word Shabbat is “to cease or stop.” In Genesis 2:2 the understanding is that God “stopped” His work; He “ceased” creating on the seventh day. All that He had created was good, and His work was finished.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews again was referring to Psalm 95 when he wrote that God rested on the seventh day but the rebellious children of Israel would not enter into His rest.

The “rest” originally intended was that of Canaan, when “the LORD gave rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about.”

After a long time had passed and the LORD had given Israel rest from all their enemies around them, Joshua, by then a very old man, Joshua 23:1

Canaan was a type of God’s heavenly rest. The warning given to the Israel of his day by the psalmist is to be regarded as a warning that, if they followed in the steps of their forefathers, they might miss that final and crowning “rest.”

Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, Hebrews 4:6

Once we have passed through the wilderness of this sin-stained world, there is an eternal rest that awaits those who by faith receive the promise.

God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:7-11

There was a period of time of nearly five hundred years between the peace established by Joshua’s victories over the inhabitants of Canaan and the inspired words of King David speaking about another day. The writer of Hebrews reveals that there still remains a Sabbath-rest for God’s people apart from the weekly Sabbath. Disobedience will disqualify any person from entering into that heavenly rest and that person will perish.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:1

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

Puritan Writer Thomas Brooks said, “The Word of the LORD is a light to guide you, a counselor to counsel you, a comforter to comfort you, a staff to support you, a sword to defend you, and a physician to cure you. The Word is a mine to enrich you, a robe to clothe you, and a crown to crown you.”

Since God is the living God, and His Word cannot be separated from Him, that Word is a living Word. It is eternal. As Isaiah 40:8 proclaims, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Since God is the author of life, His living Word imparts life in two ways. His Word imparts life to those who are dead in their trespasses and sins and His Word renews and refreshes His saints.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

The truth of God is all-penetrating and searching, and that the real thoughts and intents of the heart will be brought to light; and that if there is insincerity and self-deception, there can be no hope of escape.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:14-15

Since Jesus is 100% God and 100% man, He is the perfect mediator between God and man. Since Jesus has experienced every type of temptation, He can identify with the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of mankind. Although Jesus was sinless, He can sympathize with us sinners.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Because our great High Priest empathizes with our weaknesses, we can approach God’s throne of grace boldly and receive mercy and grace in our time of need.

What an honor and privilege that believers in Christ can speak to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God anytime, day or night in prayer.

Hebrews Chapter 3–Jesus is Worthy of Greater Honor than Moses

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Fix your thoughts on Jesus. He has been found worthy of even greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house. 

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. Hebrews 3:1

An apostle means the “one sent forth.” He is an envoy, ambassador, or messenger commissioned to carry out the instructions of one who is in a position of higher authority. In the New Testament originally “apostle” was the official name of those twelve of the disciples whom Jesus chose to send forth first to preach the gospel and to be with him during the course of his ministry on earth.

Jesus our apostle is the Sent One of God. Although there is only one explicit reference to Jesus as an apostle found here in the first verse of Hebrews chapter 3, there are implicit references to his having been “sent” by the Father. These references are found throughout the New Testament and especially in the Gospel of John. A few examples are:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. John 3:34

“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. John 5:36-38

Jesus in turn “sends out” his disciples to continue and extend his mission. Thus, all apostleship finds its meaning in Jesus the Apostle, sent by God to be the Savior of the world.

When Jesus is called our high priest, it is with reference to both the priesthood of Melchizedek and that of the Aaronic high priests from the tribe of Levi.

The first scripture referring to Melchizedek is in chapter 14 of the book of Genesis after Abram returned from rescuing his nephew Lot who had been taken captive by the armies of the four kings of Mesopotamia:

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”    

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:17-20

The second mention of this priest of God is in the book of Psalms referring to the prophesied Son of David:

The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Psalm 110:4

Chapters 8 and 9 of the book of Leviticus detail the ordination of Aaron and his sons as high priests. Verses 1 to 4 of chapter 8 speak of God’s command to Moses concerning the elements of the ordination ceremony:

The LORD said to Moses, “Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” Moses did as the LORD commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Leviticus 8:1-4

The last verses of chapter 9 of Leviticus record the closing activities of the ordination ceremony:

Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.

Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. Leviticus 9:22-24

Like Melchizedek, Jesus is ordained as a priest apart from the Law given on Mount Sinai. Like the Levitical priests, He offered a sacrifice to satisfy the Law of God when He offered Himself for our sins. Unlike the Levitical priests, who had to continually offer sacrifices, Jesus only had to offer His sacrifice once, gaining eternal redemption for all who come to God through Him.

He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. Hebrews 3:2-6

The faithfulness of Jesus is made evident by both his first words that are quoted in Scripture and by some of his last words He uttered before His death on the cross.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He accompanied his parents to the temple for the Feast of Passover. When the festival was over Mary and Joseph headed back home, but they were unaware that Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. After three days of searching for Him, they discovered Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. When His anxious mother questioned Jesus about why He had done this thing, His answer revealed His faithfulness to God who had sent Him. These are the first words of Jesus that are recorded in the New Testament:

And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49

His Father’s business was for Jesus to be a suffering servant who would lay down His life and pay the price of redemption with His own blood.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

On the cross just before Jesus yielded up His spirit He said, “It is finished.” The Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.” When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Not that Jesus wiped away any debt that He owed to the Father; rather, Jesus eliminated the debt owed by mankind—the debt of sin. Jesus was faithful and completed His Father’s business.

In this chapter of Hebrews, the message of the superiority of Jesus to Moses would have been particularly important to Jewish followers of Yeshua in Rome. Many of them were struggling under Nero’s persecution and were considering moving back toward the Mosaic Law. The writer to the Hebrews showed these Jewish believers that, though they were faced with suffering, they were indeed following a much better way and they should persevere.

 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. Hebrews 3:7-9

By nature, the heart of man is like a stone, destitute of spiritual life, impenitent, stubborn, and inflexible.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

The Holy Spirit calls out to those who have ears to hear, “Do not harden your hearts.” God desires to give us a heart of flesh.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

In John 16:7-9 Jesus declared:

But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:

There are those people who resist the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. To resist means: to run against, to be adverse, oppose, strive against.

Stephen, a man full of the Holy Spirit, was arrested and spoke before the Sanhedrin. Stephen, by the power of the Holy Spirit, challenges these men with the Old Testament and how they have been responsible for not listening to God.

“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Acts 7:51

After their miraculous deliverance from their bondage in Egypt, the Israelites rebelled at Mt. Sinai and worshipped a golden calf presented to them by their high priest Aaron. The Israelites murmured and complained during their years in the wilderness. They complained about food, they complained about water, and they challenged God’s appointed leader Moses.

In spite of God’s miraculous provision of manna from heaven and water from a rock, they did not trust that God would fulfill His promise to subdue their enemies and bring them into the Promised Land.

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. Numbers 13:31-32

All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Numbers 14:2

…not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. Numbers 14:22-23

Except for Caleb and Joshua, who believed that the LORD would fulfill His promise, none of the Israelites aged 20 years or older who were delivered out of Egypt would live to see the Promised Land. Their lack of faith led to fear, their fear led to rebellion, and their rebellion resulted in their destruction.

That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” Hebrews 3:10-11

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: Psalm 103:6-7

Although the people of Israel saw the mighty deeds of Yehovah in both their deliverance from Egypt and His miraculous provisions in the wilderness, unlike Moses they did not know His ways. They did not have an understanding or desire to follow His precepts, walk in faith by believing in His promises, or submit to His will.

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:12-13

To be hardened emotionally means to become cold, insensitive, unfeeling, and unwilling to be submissive. A hardened heart is a stubborn and unyielding attitude that leads a person to reject God’s will. Sin causes hearts to grow hard, especially continual and unrepentant sin.

Fire is a picture of the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is like a fire in at least three ways: He brings God’s presence, God’s passion, and God’s purity. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God as He indwells the heart of the believer (Romans 8:9). In the Old Testament, God showed His presence to the Israelites by overspreading the tabernacle with fire (Numbers 9:14-15). This fiery presence provided light and guidance through their journey in the wilderness (Numbers 9:17-23).

The Holy Spirit creates the passion of God in our hearts. After the two traveling disciples talk with the resurrected Jesus, they describe their hearts as “burning within us” (Luke 24:32). What seemed to be tongues of fire rested on those at Pentecost. After the apostles receive the Spirit at Pentecost, they had a passion that land impelled them to speak the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).

The Holy Spirit produces the purity of God in our lives. God’s purpose is to purify us (Titus 2:14), and the Spirit is the agent of our sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). As the silversmith uses fire to purge the dross from the precious metal, so God uses the Spirit to remove our sin from us (Psalm 66:10; Proverbs 17:3). His fire cleanses and refines.

The Holy Spirit is a fire dwelling in each believer. He wants to express Himself in our actions and attitudes. When believers do not allow the Spirit to be seen in our actions and attitudes, when we intentionally sin, we suppress or quench the Spirit.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:30-31

Sinful thoughts and actions grieve and quench the Holy Spirit.

The words of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, were spoken to a hostile audience. The message of the risen Christ was being rejected. “You stiff-necked people,” he says, “with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 7:51)

The writer of Hebrews urges his audience to learn a critical lesson from the generation of Israelites that perished in the wilderness due to their sinful and unbelieving hearts. They resisted the Holy Spirit, and their complaining, bitterness, anger, and lack of faith caused their hearts to become hardened resulting in their failure to enter into God’s rest.

Unlike those who perished, we are to be aware of the condition of our hearts and we are to strive to build up one another in our most holy faith.

We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:14-15

Perseverance in faith in Christ is the best evidence of the sincerity of our confession of faith. As we hold firmly to our belief that Jesus, the Son of God and Messiah, came to save us, we continue to share in the nature, graces, righteousness, and life of Christ.

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Hebrews 3:16-18

Faith in God is the fundamental element that enables us to acknowledge, revere, and embrace His absolute existence and divine presence. One’s confidence in God will lead to doing the will of God by faith and then receiving what is promised. Unbelief was the downfall of those Israelites who perished in the wilderness. Their lack of faith prevented them from doing His will and therefore they did not enter into the Promised Land. Each time the people sinned by complaining bitterly, their every act of disobedience, and their resisting the Holy Spirit progressively hardened their hearts until they provoked God to wrath.

Many of us are familiar with the parable of the boiling frog. It describes a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arise gradually.

Sin’s great deception is that each unrepentant sin gradually dulls a person’s conscience and incrementally hardens one’s heart. Sin progressively leads a person to rebel against God. May we all take to heart the writer of Hebrew’s admonition not to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews Chapter 2 – How Shall We Ignore so Great a Salvation?

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How shall escape if we ignore so great a salvation? God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? Hebrews 2:1-3a

In this chapter, the author is exhorting the reader to play close attention to and to heed two critical issues that were presented in the first chapter of the Book of Hebrews. First, is that in these last days God has spoken to us through His Son. Secondly, the writer presented scriptural evidence that the Son of God is far superior to the angels whom He had created and who worship and minister to Him. Therefore His message is far superior to theirs.

This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. He said: “The LORD came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from his mountain slopes. Deuteronomy 33:2

The message spoken through the angels was God’s word, but angels were the means through which it was given to men. The binding message they presented was the Mosaic Law with its commandments, rules, and regulations. Every act of disobedience and violation of the law was met with its just punishment.

The superior message of the Messiah was the gospel. If the violation of the written code was met with just punishment, how much more so should we regard the gospel of our salvation? If we ignore so great a plan of salvation we will not escape eternal punishment.

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. Hebrews 2:3b-4

A miracle is a supernatural act that takes place in the natural realm. A miracle is a divine activity in which God provokes people to marvel at His power and bears witness to Himself. A sign is a visible phenomenon witnessed in the natural that attests to its divine origin and may confirm God’s will or portend a coming event. A wonder is a type of miraculous event that evokes awe and amazement.

Jesus performed miracles over nature. An example of His sovereignty over nature is found in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Luke:

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:22-25

Yeshua the Messiah performed miracles of provision. He miraculously fed thousands of people on two occasions:

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Matthew 16:8-10

He also performed many healing miracles:

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23

The Lord also demonstrated his power over the demonic realm:

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Mark 1:32-34

The Messiah also was able to miraculously raise the dead:

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:38-44

The purpose of the signs, wonders, and miracles performed by Jesus was to affirm that He was the prophesied Messiah and the Son of God who would proclaim the good news and provide salvation through His own shed blood.

“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” Acts 2:22

God performed many supernatural acts through Jesus to publically attest to the fact that Jesus was indeed who he proclaimed to be, “The Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. Hebrews 2:4

In addition to signs and wonders, God also affirmed the message of the gospel of salvation announced by Jesus by the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.1 Corinthians 12:7-11

These gifts serve to demonstrate the workings of God’s power and affirm that the message of the gospel is true and of divine origin.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.” Hebrews 2:5-8a

Man and woman were created with natural bodies and therefore were made a little lower than the angels who possess heavenly, spiritual, incorporeal natures. Even so, the angels will not be ruling during the Millennium. Instead, it will be the resurrected and translated saints who rule and reign with Christ.

See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Isaiah 32:1

As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:4

Man was created in the image of God. Adam and Eve were to have dominion over the earth and they and their offspring were to increase in number and fill the earth. Prior to the fall of Adam, God expressly gave Adam (and therefore mankind) charge to rule over all the creation.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:26-28

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. Hebrews 2:8b

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6

The reason that presently we do not see everything subjected to mankind is because of the fall. Adam’s act of rebellion brought a curse on both mankind and upon the earth. Adam had listened to his wife who has disobeyed God and instead they both had obeyed Satan. The authority and dominion over the earth and its creatures that had been given to man was now transferred to Satan. He is the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air.

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Christ was made a little lower than the angels for a little while by becoming man and taking on a frail mortal body so that that He could suffer an atoning death which would satisfy the wages of sin.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11

Because the Messiah was obedient unto death, He is now crowned with glory and honor.

 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Hebrews 2:10

That the Messiah should die was ordained by God for whose glory and through whose power all things exist. The Son of God, the source of the salvation of many sons and daughters, was perfected (His goal completed) through the suffering He endured.

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

 And again, “I will put my trust in him.”

And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Hebrews 2:11-13

Jesus is the one who sanctifies. The children God has given Him are set apart for holy purposes. The Son of God is in unity with those who are His by grace through faith in the New Covenant. Jesus and His brothers and sisters are both of one God and Father, Christ’s God is their God, and his Father is their Father. They are of one body, Christ is the head, and they are members. They are of one covenant. Christ is the Mediator, and the messenger of it, and they share in all its blessings and promises. They are all of one nature, of one blood because Christ has taken part of the same flesh and blood with them.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15

The pre-existent, eternal Son of God, manifested in the flesh to destroy the works of the devil.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:1-3

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 1 John 3:8

If you have the assurance of eternal life you no longer fear death. Yeshua shared in our humanity so that He could serve as a kinsman redeemer and free us from the fear of death. The Book of Ruth illustrates the role of a kinsman redeemer. Boaz married the poor Moabite Ruth. He acted as a kinsman redeemer. The law of the kinsman redeemer was given in Leviticus 25:25: “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold.

The kinsman-redeemer is a prophetic picture of our Lord Messiah Yeshua. The account of Ruth is a picture of our redemption. There were several requirements a man had to meet in order to qualify as a kinsman-redeemer. First of all, he must be a near kinsman. Second, he must be willing to redeem. Third, he must be able to redeem. Yeshua, the Son of the living God, became like us so that He could be a near kinsman. He was willing to lay down his life and redeem us with his own blood. Because He led a sinless life, He was able to redeem.

For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:16-18

The writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote to Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua to express Yeshua’s superiority to the angels. The writer also presents the evidence of His superiority as a High Priest in the order of Melchezidek to those who served as High Priest from the Tribe of Levi. The Son of God being fully human as well as fully God experienced humanity and temptation. This experience enabled Him to empathize with us in our weaknesses. Being a sinless man qualified Him to be an acceptable sacrifice for sinful man. Having experienced suffering, rejection, and shame, Yeshua became a merciful and faithful High Priest. Being 100% man and 100% God made Yeshua the perfect mediator between man and God.

Hebrews Chapter 1 – These Days He Has Spoken to Us by His Son

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In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. Hebrews 1:1-2

According to the Web Bible Encyclopedia on ChristianAnswers.net, the English word, “prophet” is translated from the Hebrew word, “navi,” from a root meaning “to bubble forth, as from a fountain,” hence “to utter.”

Navi is is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro’eh, “seer,” began to be used (1 Samuel 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, hozeh, “seer” (2 Samuel 24:11), was employed. In 1 Chronicles 29:29 all these three words are used: “Samuel the seer (ro’eh), Nathan the prophet (navi’), Gad the seer” (hozeh). In Joshua 13:22 Balaam is called (Hebrew) a kosem “diviner,” a word used only of a false prophet.

The “prophet” proclaimed the message given to him, as the “seer” beheld the vision of God. (See Numbers 12:6, 8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spoke in God’s name and by his authority (Exodus 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jeremiah 1:9; Isaiah 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Peter 1:20-21).

In the past, before the ministry of Messiah Jesus, God’s prophets received a divine message which they proclaimed in His name and by His authority.

According to Acts 2:14-17, the last days began at Pentecost:

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Recorded in the Old Testament is the word of God spoken through the prophets. In these last days, recorded in the New Testament, are the words of Yeshua (Jesus) and the account of his ministry, death, burial and resurrection that comprise the Gospels as well as Messiah’s instructions to the body of believers recorded in the epistles.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:15-16

Jesus’ relationship to His Father begins with the phrase “the image of the invisible God.”

The word “image,” meaning copy or likeness, expresses Christ’s deity. This word involves more than a resemblance, more than a representation. He is God. Although He took on human form, He has the exact nature of His Father.

Note that Jesus is called the first-born, not the first-created. The word “first-born” (Greek word “prototokos”) signifies priority or preeminence. In the culture of the Ancient Near East, the first-born was not necessarily the oldest child. First-born referred not to birth order but to rank. The first-born possessed the inheritance and leadership.

Therefore, the phrase expresses Christ’s sovereignty over creation. After resurrecting Jesus from the dead, God gave Him authority over the Earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus created the world, saved the world, and rules the world. He is the self-existent, acknowledged Head of creation.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory. The glory of God is the revelation of His character and presence. It is the manifestation of His infinite beauty and worth.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Just as sunshine is a combination of bright light and radiant heat that is emitted from the solar sphere of hot plasma called the sun, the Son of God is the ultimate revelation of God’s character, presence and infinite worth. Jesus is the light of the world that emanates from God’s glory.

The Greek word, “charakter” which is translated in English as the “exact representation” references an instrument used for engraving or carving. It is the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise in every respect. Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Jesus is the agent of and sustainer of all creation. After Jesus was crucified and provided redemption by the shedding of His own blood, he resurrected from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. Hebrews 1:4

Jesus laid aside some of His glory in His incarnation and was made lower than the angels for a little while, but is now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death (Hebrews 2:9). The Messiah, being in very nature God and creator of all things, is much superior to the created heavenly beings known as angels. Angels are ministers and servants of God. As a class of beings, angels are known as “sons of God” written with a lower case “s,” while Jesus is the only begotten Son of God written with a capital “S”.

The Archangel Michael’s name means, “Who is like God?” The Archangel Gabriel’s name means, “Champion of God”. The names of these angels point to God. Yeshua’s name means “salvation.” The name of the Son of God is much superior to the names of the angels because His name exemplifies His mission as the divine author of salvation.

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? Hebrews 1:5

Acts 13:32-34 makes it clear that the prophecy found in Psalm 2 concerning the resurrection of the promised seed of David was fulfilled when Jesus was raised from the dead.

And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.’ As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

The Only Begotten Son of God is the eternal Son of God in His divinity. When Jesus incarnated, He put on the element of humanity. In His humanity Christ was not yet the Son of God. But in His resurrection – “today I have begotten You” – Christ brought His humanity into His divinity and was begotten by God in His humanity to be the Son of God.

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Hebrews 1:6

Angels are commanded to worship Jesus.

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:11-12

In Matthew 8:2 a leper came and worshipped Jesus.

In Matthew 14:33 after Jesus had calmed the storm the disciples worshipped Him saying He was the Son of God

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!” Revelation 22:8-9

Note that men were rebuked for worshipping other men or angels but they were never rebuked for worshipping Jesus because Jesus is in very nature God.

In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”Hebrews 1:7

It is emphasized in verse 7 that God made the angels and they are spirit beings. Angels are created beings that serve God.

But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. Hebrews 1:8

This quote is taken from Psalm 45:6. The Son is called “God” by the Father. God the Son rules justly for eternity. The Messiah is the ultimate fulfillment of the LORD’s promise that David’s line would never end and his throne would be established forever.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Psalm 103:19-21

Messiah Yeshua is the eternal King of kings, while the angels do His bidding.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” Hebrews 1:9

Psalm 45:7, quoted here in Hebrews 1:9, emphasizes the moral status of this king. The Son of God loves righteous people and righteous works, faithfulness and integrity, a just administration of government and everything that is holy, just, and good. He hates iniquity, unrighteousness people and unrighteous acts which are contrary to both his sinless human nature and the holiness of His divine nature.

During biblical times, kings and priests were consecrated to their office by pouring oil on their heads. The expression “to anoint,” therefore, comes to mean to consecrate to office, or to set one apart for God’s purpose.

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

Psalm 45 concerns the office of the king. “The oil of gladness” is a reference to the perfumed oil that was poured on the king’s head while those in attendance rejoiced. The inauguration of the Messiah as king would be an occasion of rejoicing and triumph. God has set King Messiah above his companions. He would be more exalted than all other kings. The Son of God is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

 He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Hebrews 1:10

The creation came from God the Father, through God the Son, and was given life by God the Spirit.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:1-3

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

Through the Holy Spirit, God gives birth to and supports both natural and spiritual life.

If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust. Job 34:14-15

The Spirit gives physical life though natural birth.

he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5

The Spirit gives supernatural life through spiritual rebirth.

They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
Hebrews 1:11-12

Although the present heavens and the earth will wear out, the Son of God is eternal.

as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:12-13

 To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet”?
Hebrews 1:13

Hebrews 1:13 is quoted from Psalm 110:1 and reads:

The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

When Peter addressed the crowd on the day of Pentecost he said:

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Acts 2: 32-36

Biblically a matter is established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. These three passages of Scripture taken both from the Old and New Testaments establish that Jesus will not return until the Lord’s enemies are under His feet and will not return until that event occurs.

The prince of the power of the air, the god of this world, the adversary is he who presently controls the kingdoms of this world:

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Matthew 4:89

The god of this world, the prince of the power of the air will rule the earth until:

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come.

The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the   prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:15-18

At the seventh trumpet, the rapture occurs and the prophets and the saints are rewarded as God pours out His bowls of wrath upon His enemies.

Chapter 18 gives the account of the destruction of Babylon:

Verse 10 – Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’

Chapter 19 continues with the events that follow the fall of Babylon the Great Prostitute.

Verses 1-2: After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.

The chronology following the Fall of Babylon (towards the end of the Tribulation period) – Chapter 19 verses 6-8:

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

The rewarding of the saints takes place after the seventh trumpet. The wedding of the Lamb comes after the Fall of Babylon. The bride is made ready by enduring through the time of great persecution and not loving her life as to shrink from death.

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14

The last verse of Hebrews chapter one again emphasizes the superiority of the Son and the subservience of the angels. The Son is the author of salvation, while the angels are spirits who minister to the heirs of salvation. He is God’s eternal Son; angels are God’s created beings. He is “the firstborn” who receives worship from angels. He is God enthroned and anointed, angels are merely servants of God. He is the Creator of the heavens and earth. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Judges Chapter 18 – In Those Days the Danites Had No King

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In those days the Danites were seeking a place of their own where they might settle. They had not yet come into an inheritance amid the tribes of Israel

In those days Israel had no king. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. Judges 18:1

The assigned inheritance for the tribe of Dan is described in Joshua 19:40-46. Although their territory had been assigned to them, they had not been able to conquer it completely because of the fierce opposition of the Philistines and the Amorites. The Danites did not acquire the full possession of their allotment, since a considerable portion was wrested out of their hands by the encroachments of their powerful neighbors. As a result of the need for more territory, a number of Danites sought a new and additional settlement in a remote part of the land.

As we shall see, without a king to serve as supreme magistrate, and before the time of the judges, there was no deterrent or accountability for the evil actions of the Danites.

So the Danites sent five of their leading men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out the land and explore it. These men represented all the Danites. They told them, “Go, explore the land.” So they entered the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah, where they spent the night. Judges 18:2

Zorah and Eshtaol were the first cities that were assigned to the Danites when the territory of their inheritance was determined by lot. These cities were located on Dan’s border adjacent to the territory of the Philistines. The frequent raids by the Philistines provoked the Danites of Zorah and Eshtaol to seek territory in the north of Canaan. Five of the leading men of these cities were sent to spy out the land. When they entered into the hill country of Ephraim, they bedded down for the night in the vicinity of Micah’s house.

When they were near Micah’s house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite; so they turned in there and asked him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? Why are you here?”

He told them what Micah had done for him, and said, “He has hired me and I am his priest.” Judges 18:3-4

It is obvious that the Danite men were personally familiar with this Levite since they recognized his voice. The young Levite told the five men that Micah paid him ten shekels of silver a year and provided him with clothes and food in return for his serving as Micah’s priest.

Then they said to him, “Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.”

The priest answered them, “Go in peace. Your journey has the LORD’s approval.” Judges 18:5-6

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2

Since the priest was serving in a household where there were teraphim (household gods) and a

silver covered idol, it is quite doubtful that Yehovah actually responded to his inquiry. The LORD had already determined the Danite’s territory by lots. It is improbable that He would approve a different location for their habitation.

So the five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonians, at peace and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous. Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else. Judges 18:7

Laish was situated at the furthest northern border of the land of Canaan. Unlike the ten spies who returned from searching out the Promised Land and spread a bad report because they were in fear of the great size of the people there, these five men were encouraged that the people of Laish were peaceful, prosperous and located far from any potential allies.

When they returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their fellow Danites asked them, “How did you find things?”

They answered, “Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over. When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people and a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever.” Judges 18:8-10

Hearing their report, their fellow Danites concluded from both the Levite’s claim of God’s approval, and from the peaceful state of an unsuspecting population that God made the people of Laish easy prey for the Danites.

Then six hundred men of the Danites, armed for battle, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol. On their way they set up camp near Kiriath Jearim in Judah. This is why the place west of Kiriath Jearim is called Mahaneh Dan to this day. From there they went on to the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house. Judges 18:11-13

The six hundred armed warriors set up their camp near Kiriath Jearim which means the “city of woods.” After their encampment the place west of Kiriath Jearim was named Mahaneh Dan which means “the camp of Dan.” From that location in Judah, they travelled to the hill country of Ephraim and arrived at Micah’s house.

Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, “Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.” Judges 18:14

These lawless adventurers were covetous idolaters.

So they turned in there and went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and greeted him. The six hundred Danites, armed for battle, stood at the entrance of the gate. The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods  while the priest and the six hundred armed men stood at the entrance of the gate. Judges 18:15-17

These Danites who cowered in fear of the Philistines and sought to live as far away from them as possible, are emboldened by their overwhelming numbers and brazenly steal Micah’s possessions.

When the five men went into Micah’s house and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?”

They answered him, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?” The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods and the idol and went along with the people. Putting their little children, their livestock and their possessions in front of them, they turned away and left. Judges 18:18-21

The Danites were so assured of their ability to defeat the unsuspecting people of Laish and take their land and goods by force that they brought their families, livestock and possession with them confident that they would not return to Zorah and Eshtaol. The priest was very pleased with their offer and went along with them.

When they had gone some distance from Micah’s house, the men who lived near Micah were called together and overtook the Danites. As they shouted after them, the Danites turned and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?”

 He replied, “You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have? How can you ask, ‘What’s the matter with you?’”

The Danites answered, “Don’t argue with us, or some of the men may get angry and attack you, and you and your family will lose your lives.” So the Danites went their way, and Micah, seeing that they were too strong for him, turned around and went back home. Judges 18:22-26

Like most bullies, these Danites were cowards. They fled from their fight with their Philistine neighbors but were bold and brash when the odds were overwhelmingly in their favor.

Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else. Judges 18:27-28a

Not only did these Danites steal from a fellow Israelite but they had no compunction slaughtering a peaceful people and burning down their city.

The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and settled there. They named it Dan after their ancestor Dan, who was born to Israel—though the city used to be called Laish. There the Danites set up for themselves the idol, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land. They continued to use the idol Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh. Judges 18:28b-31

Beth Rehob means the “house of spaciousness.” This city was located in a valley within the territory of the tribe of Asher, in the extreme north of the Holy Land. Moses’ grandchildren were priests for the tribe of Dan who continued in idolatry until the defeat and dispersion of the northern ten tribes by the Assyrians.

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,  from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
Revelation 7:4-8

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. Revelation 14:4-5

The tribe of Dan is not listed among the 144,000 – the firstfruits of Israel. The Danites were disobedient to the LORD’s command to possess their allotted portion of the Promised Land (Jdg 18:27-31), and they continued in idolatry until the time of the Assyrian captivity.

Jacob’s blessing over his children includes a prophetic description of Dan as a serpent and a viper that bites the horse’s heels causing the rider to tumble backwards (Gen 49:16-17).

Deuteronomy 33:22 contains the account of Moses’ prophetic blessing of Dan which describes Dan as a lion’s cub springing out of Bashan. Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm which describes the future crucifixion. Verses 12-13 is a symbolic picture of the enemies of Christ:… strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing at their prey…. Dan is described as a serpent and a roaring lion seeking to devour.

Antiochus Epiphanes, a type of Antichrist, was a Selucid King (Greek ruler of Syria). The city of Dan is the northernmost city in Israel, just below the Syrian border. Idolatry marks the worship of the beast and the Danites were idol worshippers. Based on these facts concerning the tribe of Dan, It is speculated that the Antichrist may be a Danite. In any case, the tribe of Dan is excluded from the listing of those who were sealed from all the tribes of Israel.

Judges Chapter 17 – Micah from the Hill Country of Ephraim

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Micah from the hill country of Ephraim returned eleven hundred shekels of silver he took from his mother. She used some of the silver to make an idol.

Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.”

Then his mother said, “The LORD bless you, my son!” Judges 17:1-2

The events of chapter 17 and the next four chapters of the Book of Judges did not occur after the death of Samson, but much earlier, after the death of Joshua. This and the other narratives that follow form a miscellaneous collection, or appendix to the Book of Judges. It belongs to a period when the Hebrew nation was in a greatly disordered and corrupt state before the time of the judges.

The name “Micah” is a shortened form of the name “Micaiah.” Micaiah means, “Who is like Yehovah?” The account of this man from the northern territory of Ephraim was recorded to illustrate the lawlessness of the times in which he lived. The love of money made Micah so disrespectful to his mother as to rob her, and made her so unkind to her son, as to curse him.

When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.” Judges 17:3

Micah’s mother falsely believed that she could both consecrate her silver to Yehovah and then use some of it to as a covering for an idol and it would be pleasing to the God of Israel.

What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? 2 Corinthians 6:15-16a

Using a graven image in the worship of Yehovah breaks both the 1st Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” as well as the 3rd Commandment, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”

Aaron used a “golden calf” to hold a festival to Yehovah.

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. Exodus 32:1-6

Was the God of Israel who brought the nation out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, pleased with this festival held in His name? No! His anger burned against them and except for Moses’ intercession, He would have destroyed them as a nation.

So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house. Judges 17:4

This woman’s silver was her god, before it was made into a graven or a molten image.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

It is incongruous that the mother whose son was named, “Who is like Yehovah?” pays to make an idol and then puts this idol into her son’s house.

Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. Judges 17:5-6

Micah was an Ephraimite.

Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community. You are to bring the Levites before the LORD, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them. Aaron is to present the Levites before the LORD as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the LORD. Numbers 8:9-11

According to the LORD’s command, both the priesthood and temple workers in Israel were supposed to come from the tribe of Levi. Micah not only disregarded this ordinance, he made an ephod; a priestly garment and established idol worship in his family. His actions exemplify the moral corruption of the times when everyone did as they saw fit. Then they soon did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.

Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”

“I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”

Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food.” Judges 17:7-10

When Micah discovered that the young man was a Levite, he thought that his house of worship would be more credible by having a Levite serve as his priest as well as his spiritual father.

So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him. Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. And Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.” Judges 17:11-13

One of the important regulations that a Levitical Priest is to observe is found in Ezekiel chapter 44:

They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. Ezekiel 44:23

Ironically, this young Levite who was commanded by Yehovah to teach the difference between the ceremonially clean and unclean was willing to utilize his holy office in the service of an idolater.