Today we’ll start a new series of study through the Book of Hebrews. This series is called “Better Than”, which is a key thought found throughout the Book of Hebrews. The Writer (who I believe was the Apostle Paul) was writing to Israel. The Israelite thought they were saved because they kept the Law, because they were “chosen”, because they were descended from Abraham. In fact, they are just like many people today.
Every time a celebrity dies the newspapers and television media put out opinions and cartoons and articles that say that they think that this person went to Heaven. A certain Business Magnate went to Heaven because of all the good he did on this earth through his corporations and philanthropy. A certain Musician went to Heaven because of all the good her music did while on the earth. A certain Comedian or a certain Warrior or a certain Actor all went to Heaven when they died because of acts that they performed on this earth. A young person dies and someone writes “Heaven gained another angel”. Dearly Beloved, angels are angels and humans are humans.
The tiny acts we do on this earth do not earn the admiration of an Immense God. God owns “a thousand cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). God is everywhere. “The Heavens and the highest Heavens cannot contain Him” (2 Chronicles 2:6). God knows everything we do, and even knows our hearts. “I the lord search the heart and examine the mind” (Jeremiah 17:10).
I can be a Law Abiding Citizen, a Taxpayer, a Respected member in the community. But if I go up to the Baymont Inn to get a room several things must be true.
- I must have made a reservation.
- I must have the payment they desire.
- I must have a form of identification.
What will get me into God’s Kingdom? What payment can I bring to a place where the Street is:
Revelation 21:21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
There is no work that I can do to get into a place like that. I have stayed in hotels where they supplied robes and fruit baskets, but at a cost I could not sustain for even a week. None of those places had a street of Gold, or a gateway of Pearl. Never have I been in a place where “The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone”. Never have I been in a place where God was it’s Manager.
The only way you can get in such a place is if the Manager allows you in. What has the Manager of Heaven said? We must have Jesus. We must see Jesus.
Hebrews 1:1-9 (KJV) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1 God Spoke To Us Through His Prophets Because He Loves Us. Our God Not An Impersonal God. The first word in our Hebrew text is “GOD”. God is a PERSON. The text says “GOD, WHO”. Animals are not WHO, they are IT. We may personalize them, but they are not persons. A Force of Power is not a WHO, it is an IT. God is not animal, vegetable, or mineral. God is not force of power.
God is a WHO Who speaks to us.
God Has Spoken To Us From The Beginning.
He has been speaking to us from the very beginning. God has spoken to us through select people that He has raised up. We read:
Hebrews 1:1 (KJV) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
The Bible tells us that God has been speaking to us from the beginning. From the very first words of the Bible which read …
Genesis 1:1 (KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
God has been speaking to us. The text tells us that God spoke “in sundry times and in diverse manners”. That’s Old English for “in many times and in many ways”. God raised up people that He called “Prophets”, and He sent word through these Prophets in many different ways. These Prophets were:
These Prophets had many messages but one central truth they kept repeating. God created our world and made us to walk with Him but we wandered from His side.
We need a Savior.
In the Garden of Eden God promised that “the seed of the woman” would “crush the head of the Serpent”. God gave the animal sacrifices through the Prophet Moses – a Lamb without spot or blemish was to be slain for sin. Every sacrifice given, every Feast and Holy Day pointed to the coming of Something Better. The Prophet Balaam was moved of God to say …
Numbers 24:17 (NASB) I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel …
There would be a Better King rise up, a King from God Who would establish a Righteous Kingdom. Who was this Star of Jacob, this Scepter of Israel? No one knew, but the Prophets continued to speak. God reprimanded the Shepherds who destroyed and scattered His people, and promised through the Prophet Jeremiah that …
Jeremiah 23:5 (ESV) Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
A Righteous Branch was coming. How would He come? His birth would be singular, a birth like no other. The Prophet Isaiah said:
Isaiah 7:14 (ESV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
A Virgin would bear a Child, but this Child would be called Immanuel, which means “God with us”. God was speaking through His Prophets, telling humanity that a Savior was coming. This Savior would do something unprecedented. Though He would rule and reign as a Righteous Branch of David, the Prophet Isaiah saw this Savior first suffering. The Prophet said:
Isaiah 50:6 (ESV) I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
This Suffering Savior would come. God would be with us. He would do wonderful things that only God could do. He would bring the dead to life, the leper to health, the cripple to his feet. The Suffering Savior would cause the blind to see and the deaf to hear. This Suffering Savior would walk on water. This Suffering Savior – with no pillow to call His own – would calm the storm. This Suffering Savior would do all these things, but greater still, He would suffer for our sins. He would make payment for us. The Prophet Isaiah said:
Isaiah 53:2-11 (KJV) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
God spoke to us by His Prophets. He foretold the Coming of a Savior. He foretold the Coming of Immanuel, God with us. He foretold the Coming of Jesus Christ.
2 God Is Speaking To Us Now Through Christ His Son. The Old Testament declares that God would some day come to us. The New Testament tells us that God has come to us through Christ. God …
Hebrews 1:2 (KJV) … Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, …
Who is Jesus Christ? He is the HEIR OF ALL THINGS. Jesus owns everything in Heaven and in earth. If you expect to get into God’s Heaven then you must know the Heir. He is the only One Who can give you entrance to Heaven. Saint Peter does not stand at the Gateway to Heaven, but Christ does. You enter God’s Presence only through Christ. The Father has declared:
This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am WELL PLEASED. HEAR HIM! (Matthew 17:5)
Jesus is the Word of God. John wrote:
John 1:1-4 (KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Light of the world.
Jesus is the Living Water.
Jesus is the Heir of Heaven.
Jesus is Creator God.
Yes, that’s right. He IS the Creator. God the Father ….
Hebrews 1:2-3 (KJV) … Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
When God said “Let There Be Light” He spoke this to Christ Who made the Light. Jesus is the Light of the World who made the Light of the World. God made the world through Christ. When God separated the atmosphere from the earth He did so through Christ. How can this be?
Because Christ is Creator God. The Bible says:
Hebrews 1:3 (KJV) … Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,
There are three things said here of Jesus Christ.
- He is the “brightness of God’s glory”. Christ perfectly reflects the glory of God. Philip asked Jesus to “show us the Father and we will be satisfied” (John 14:8 ESV). Jesus replied “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (John 14:9-10 ESV).
You cannot know the Father if you do not know Jesus. You cannot see the Father unless you see Jesus. Jesus Christ is the only Way to the Father.
John 14:6 Jesus said …. I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There is no other door but Him. He is the Brightness of God’s glory.
- Jesus is the “Express Image Of His Person”. We are told in John 1:18 that
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.
No sinner from Adam onward can look on the perfect Holy God and live. When Isaiah caught just a glimpse into Heaven he despaired, saying in Isaiah 6:5:
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
How foolish it is that people think they shall gain Heaven without going through Christ! A sinner cannot stand before a Holy God. When Moses was in the Mount of Sinai God placed him in the cleft of the rock, and covered him with His hand, for God said
Exodus 33:20 no man can see me and live …
God is immense, and pure, and holy. No one can see God. But God can see God. And God the Father is seen of God the Son. And God the Son is the express image of His Person. We see God through Christ. We know what we can know of God through Jesus Christ.
- Upholding All Things Through The Word Of His Power. Jesus Christ is in the middle of stability. The farther a person gets from Christ, the more unstable that person will be.
FAMILIES Fall Apart Because They Will Not Hear Him.
MARRIAGES are in ruins because we trust FEELING rather than FAITH in Him.
Our COMMUNITIES are crashing.
Our SCHOOL CHILDREN filled not with knowledge but emptiness.
Our NATION trembles under the weight of sin because Christ has been rejected.
God is not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace, and He offers Peace and Stability to all Who will come to Christ by faith.
3 God Is Telling Us There Is But One Savior, And We Need To Heed Him.
Hebrews 1:3-4 (KJV) …. His Son …. when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Jesus Christ is not an Angel, but He made the Angels. But He did not come to this earth to save Angels, nor even to make Angels. Jesus Christ came to this earth to save whosoever believeth in Him.
Christ the Son of God came to make sons of God.
Christ came to change SINNERS into SAINTS.
He BY HIMSELF Purged Our Sins!
He BY HIMSELF Purged Our Sins!
HE – JESUS CHRIST – BY HIMSELF – Purged Our Sins!
How did He purge – blot out – our sins? He did this by Himself. Jesus Christ …
1 Peter 2:23-25 (KJV) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
The High Priest of Israel never sat down in the commission of his duties. Each year on the Day of Atonement a Lamb without blot or blemish was slain. The Blood of the Lamb was taken into the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled on the Altar the sins of the people were covered. But this covering – this man made work -was only a temporary covering. The High Priest went into the Holy of Holies trembling, for he was but a sinful man carrying the symbolic blood of an animal. No animal can pay the penalty for man’s sin.
But Christ died for us.
God Incarnate gave Himself for us.
He bore our sins on Calvary’s Cross and then He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High. He sat down, for the work was finished. He sat down on the right hand of God, because this is the place of honor, and God accepted His life’s work.
Hebrews 10:12 (KJV) But THIS MAN, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
There is no other offering for sin. If you are God’s Child and have fallen into sin there is no work you can do to cleanse yourself, no penance, to “fifteen Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Marys”. There is no work you can do to cleanse yourself but reliance on the Work of Christ. The scripture declares:
1 John 1:8-9 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The stumbling Saint does not need to work harder. The fallen Soldier does not need to fight more. When sin has tripped us up run, RUN, run RUN to the Arms of the Savior. Let His embrace cover you with His Blood. Let He Who loves you bless you once more. Rest in the arms of Christ.
And Sinner – I say SINNER without Christ, hear what I say. You are damned where you sit. You are damned when you rise.
John 3:16-18 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Every day you go without Christ is a day that you reject what God is saying. He speaks to us through His Son. He calls and bids you come. The proof of your coming is your following. The Father said to the Son:
Hebrews 1:8-9 (KJV) But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Do not believe you are His if you are not following Him. Do not believe you are His if you love unrighteousness and hate righteousness. Christ the Son of God is God, and His Kingdom is marked by a scepter of righteousness. He and His people love righteousness and hate iniquity. When you come to Christ, come repenting. When you come to Christ, come with empty hands and kneeling heart.
God speaks to us.
What is the mark of His people?
His people HEAR HIM and FOLLOW HIM.
John 10:26-28 (KJV) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
The brand on the sheep is that God speaks through Christ and we who are His HEAR.
The brand on the condemned is the unhearing ear, the disobedient heart.
If you die with that brand on your soul you will be lost forever!
Please hear Him.
Please come to Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior!
May God touch your hearts with His Word.