The Book of Hebrews – Melchizedek Part 3

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“The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on.  In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 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.” Hebrews 7:8-10 We do need an understanding of Melchizedek; here is a list of facts about Melchizedek. The times he is mentioned in the Bible are Genesis 14:17-24, Psalm 110:4 and in Hebrews. He is a contemporary of Abraham’s. He had no recorded family. He was a priest of the God Most High. He gave a blessing to Abraham. He is the king of Salem. His name means “king of righteousness. The order of Melchizedek is royal and everlasting. He was greater than Abraham and Aaron. Melchizedek was an Old Testament type of Jesus Christ.  Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of his possessions when he saw the greatness of this High Priest. The author of Hebrews is drawing the connection that the gifts the Levitical priesthood received also ended up with Melchizedek because Levi, the father of this line, was still in the body of Abraham when this offering was made. This shows us that our gifts and offerings, when given in faith, really go to God. There are scriptures in the Bible that we at times wonder how does that apply to me. To me Melchizedek is one of those scriptures. I have read this scripture and wondered just why this is part of the Bible; but as I studied and looked at this scripture, I changed my mind. If I don’t understand Melchizedek, I […]

The Book of Hebrews – Melchizedek Part 2

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“Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham. But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.” Hebrews 7:4-7 No one would dispute the greatness of Abraham. Throughout the entire Scriptures he is mentioned, his covenant with God is referred to and his faith is talked about. He was the only Old Testament patriarch that was called a friend of God. We can learn a lot from Abraham. His faith paved the way for righteousness for all who believe. As Abraham returned from redeeming Lot from captivity, Melchizedek went out to meet him. As great as Abraham was, he still recognized the greater one and paid due respect. As Melchizedek blessed him, Abraham gave him one tenth of the choicest portions of the spoils. He responded appropriately to Melchizedek’s position and greatness. Abraham was a great man, which is why it is important for us to pay attention to what happened between himself and Melchizedek. He gave him a tenth of everything. Now the law, which was introduced 430 years later described the tithe. The tithe was brought to God and then dispersed to the priests. The priests were of the line of Levi, who came from Abraham. Melchizedek was before this, without family ties […]

The Book of Hebrews – Melchizedek

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“This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.”  There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.” Hebrews 7:1-3 I know that most of us are not highly motivated to learn about Melchizedek. It is important to learn about Jesus being our high priest and our king. If we don’t understand the priesthood, we cannot understand what Jesus is doing for us in heaven. Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians to whom were tempted to abandon their Christian faith and return to Judaism under the threat of persecution. Some of them have lost their property and had suffered public reproach on account of their faith. They were thinking, “Hey, we didn’t have it so bad as Jews. The Jewish religion was a good system. It spelled out how we should live. The rituals were familiar and satisfying. Maybe we should just go back to the way things were. We think that way today. We become a Christian and things get bad; we think, maybe we should just go back to the world. The writer of Hebrews was making appoint that Jesus is our high priest. But He was not just the fulfillment of the Levitical priesthood. He was something more, a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. To view Him on par with the Levitical priest […]

The Book of Hebrews – God is our Anchor

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“Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.  So, God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.  This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.  Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:16-20 We can draw strong encouragement from this since we too live under the blessing promised to Abraham. Everything God has said, has come to pass. Even in the midst of the trials of this world we have a hope that is unparalleled by any other. This hope is an anchor for the soul and it is guaranteed by both the promise made and the oath taken. In the midst of life, we can rest securely knowing that our future is secured, our hope sure and our God faithful. In the middle of a pandemic or in the middle of unrest in our nation we have an anchor. An anchor that will hold us on course. As believers, we also have an anchor that is steadfast and secure, it is hope. This hope is placed upon Jesus Christ himself. This is because this hope rests on God’s promise to Abraham and the oath taken that this promise would come to pass. […]

The Book of Hebrews – God’s Promise

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“For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.” Hebrews 6:13-15 I am really not a very patient person. I have learned more patience during this pandemic. I don’t like drive-thru at fast food places, but I have had to use them if I wanted to eat there. Many times, the last couple of months I have sat at a drive thru and told myself, have patience. Patience is a virtue. The ability to wait for something without frustration is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality. I know this and I need more patience and I am working on it. Abraham had patience. He waited years on God’s promise. The amazing thing about all of this is that Isaac was really just the down payment of the promise.  Even the great number of people descending from Abraham was merely one of the blessings that came along with the promise. The real implication of this promise was that through the line of Abraham and Isaac the Messiah would come. “What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would make the Gentiles right in his sight because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.” (Galatians 3:8-9) God promised this to Abraham with an oath. In court, when giving testimony, the witness is sworn in with the Bible, the promise is that […]

The Book of Hebrews – Hope and Assurance

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“Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.  Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.” Hebrews 6:9-12 The scriptures leading up to this scripture were not very up lifting. This scripture gives us hope and assurance. Being confident of better things the writer also pauses to remind us that God is not unjust in noticing the labor of love shown the world through them for His name sake. Which is amazing considering that we are Christ’s ambassadors on this earth. Perseverance is a necessary characteristic for believers. Judging by the world around us it would be easy to become discouraged by the events continually surrounding us if we did not know the hope we have in Jesus and cling to it until the very end. Salvation is accompanied by lots of fringe benefits. In fact, salvation is the entrance point for all the good things that God has in store for us. The moment we were born again every promise that was made belonged to us as heirs of this kingdom. Although the warning at the end of Hebrews 5 and beginning of chapter 6 is a strong warning, the […]

The Book of Hebrews – Bearing Fruit

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“When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.” Hebrews 6:7-8 The two fields represent two kind of persons: one a fruitful person; the other a fruitless person. When we are walking with God, we will produce fruit. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23) The fruitless person has come so far that his heart is hardened and cannot see that he is doomed. If you allow yourself to drift into sin, there is a point of no return. We must pursuit holiness and grow in grace.  This is the great folly of those who profess to be Christians but live a carnal life thinking that they will clean things up in their old age. We are not promised the next moment. God’s Word is full of warnings about falling back into the world. “Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.” (1 John 2:18-19) “So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.  Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord […]

The book of Hebrews – Falling Away

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“For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—  and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6 God gave us a free will. We have a choice to follow Jesus or not. The day that I chose to follow Jesus, the Spirit of God filled my life and I never wanted to go back to my old life. I have not always been in the will of God in my life, but God has always been in my life. I believe the scripture in Romans, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) When I felt the love of God in my life, it was where else could I go and feel that love.  If the only way into the kingdom of God is by choice, then it also makes sense that the only way out of the kingdom is by choice. Remember you cannot lose your salvation, no one can take it from you, God will never […]

The Book of Hebrews – Lets Move Forward

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“So, let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely, we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.” Hebrews 6:1-3 When I was saved and started walking with God I could not get enough of God and things about God. I wanted to know God and grow in my walk with Him. I have been walking with God for nearly forty years and I still want more of God. I still want to move forward with God. We need to build our foundation before we can move forward with God. If our foundation is not solid, we will fall. Our foundation must be well constructed. We must know and understand certain things first in order to receive the deeper things of God later. The foundation always comes first. The cornerstone of this entire belief system is built on Jesus. Then as we get to know Him and read His Word certain principles are laid, solidifying the base we are building. What is being formed will support the many deep and wonderful truths of God in the future. This list of elementary truths should be the foundation of our lives. These doctrines are important to know so well we could teach them to others. Understanding these things concerning repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, the resurrection and eternal judgment are the base things of God, they are beginning truths. But having these as our foundation of faith assures that the […]

The Book of Hebrews – Dull of Hearing

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“There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” Hebrews 5:11-14 This is a word for the modern church today. We have congregations of people who neither know the truth of the Word or the power of God. They remain in infancy, hovering around the door of salvation without desire to walk into the fullness of God to which they have been called. Placing no importance on God’s Word in their own lives. They starve on half-truths and “feel good” sermons. They cannot accept the deep things of God because they haven’t strived to understand even the foundation. The church today wants members more than disciples. To be a disciple takes work and study. God will always help us in understanding His Word, but we must be open to the Holy Spirit. This scripture is saying that how can you know the deep things of God when you don’t even have the foundation of what you need to know. Jesus tells us that we must build our foundation on rock. “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24)  The wonderful truth being explained of Jesus’ […]