(Hebrews 5: 9-10) 9….to all who obey Him (Jesus), 10 called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek,
Do not doubt and never let go of the faith in our King and High Priest Jesus.
An explanation using the book of Hebrews (all quotations from the NKJV translation)
Don’t be overcome by doubt when conditions get tougher.
The Hebrew Christians were reviled by the Jewish people and some weakened.
Also in this time a similar period begins, the period of the Antichrist.
When global calamities come and martial law comes into effect, changes will follow very quickly. Also the planned new temple in Jerusalem.
For this temple, see: 7. Conquering Satan’s world just as Jesus did. How can we do that?
Then comes the foretold showing of the Antichrist as high priest and king, as a God:
(2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4) 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
The theme of this article is; The preparation for the coming of the Antichrist and the discerning of the greatness and glory of Jesus.
A temple similar to the one below will be rebuilt in Jerusalem;
After Stephen’s death, the Jewish Christians in Judea were severely persecuted by Herod, resulting in the death of the Apostle James and capturing of Peter (Acts 12: 1-5).
The temple in Jerusalem was still in use in those days. The apostles stayed in Jerusalem and strengthened the local communities. Probably the letter to the Hebrews was written by Paul during his capture in Rome:
(Hebrews 13:24) 24 ….Those from Italy greet you.
(Acts 28:16) 16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
Many Jews in Judea had become Christians after the most severe persecution was over, but they still had to learn to persevere under trial:
(Hebrews 12: 4) 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
In those days, the Jews of Judea went to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Passover, to have a male lamb slaughtered in the temple.
The Hebrew Christians in Judea saw that happening around them every year.
Also, the Jewish Christians in Judea were sharp on Jesus’ words of the abomination that causes desolation (Mark 13:14). Jesus had said they had to be watchful so shortly before the destruction of the temple (Luke 21: 20-21), to flee when necessary. The same is also true for Christians today. We, too, must watch out for the disgusting thing that causes desolation, to protect ourselves from the worship of Satan. (see 3. Youth)
Jesus found His disciples among the most ordinary Jews, among the poor people, the lame, beggars and tax collectors. He found only few among the temple servants and Jewish leaders. Even His own family members did not immediately respond well:
(Mark 3: 32-35) 32 … and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” 33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
Just as the Hebrew Christians were to keep separate the influence of the Jewish priesthood with their temple, so Christians must now keep the influence of a new Talmud Jewish priesthood with their new temple separate from the true faith in Christs words:
(John 15:14) 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We live in a time when the son of perdition, the Antichrist, will soon manifest.
Steadfastness as a Christian begins with an unshakable faith in Jesus’ actions and words, in gratitude that Jesus gave us ‘life’.
Paul tells in a nutshell in the Hebrews letter why we should esteem Jesus so high.
The glory of Jesus in heaven
Hebrews chapter 1
The Son of God, the Word, created all creation in consultation with His Father:
(Hebrews 1: 1-2) 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
(Colossians 1:16) 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
So we can be sure that the Prince of Peace is the Heir of all creation.
Angels are referred to as God’s sons in Scripture (Gen. 6: 2), but Jesus is the only truly begotten and thus true Son of God. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory.
Jesus is as firstborn of pure Divine origin, a long time ago, before the foundation of the world (John 17:24):
(Hebrews 1: 3-5) 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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
(John 14: 9) 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Jesus as Firstborn is the visible Image of the invisible God (YHWH):
(Hebrews 1: 6) 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
(Colossians 1:15) 15 He is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation.
The angels are urged to acknowledge and honor Jesus.
With this, Jesus is in fact equal to God. Yet Jesus never equated himself with God (YHWH), but always exalted the Father (‘Father in heaven, Your name be sanctified’ Luke 11: 2).
In Isaiah 9: 5 it is written about Jesus: Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Also in Hebrews 1: 8 (and Psalm 45), the Peace King Jesus is described as ‘God’, Gr. Theos.
However, the designation ‘God’ should not be confused with the Almighty God (YHWH).
Jesus receives the eternal throne with the scepter or staff of the righteous Kingdom:
(Hebrews 1: 7-9) 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” (See also Psalm 45: 7-8)
The present heaven and earth will pass away and be made new:
(Hebrews 1: 10-12) 10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.” (See also Psalm 102: 26-27)
(Matthew 24:35) 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
The cosmic planet Earth itself will continue to function as the wearer of a ‘new’ cloak or garment. The only thing that will be exchanged is the top layer:
(Isaiah 51: 6) 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.
How that changing will be done is written in (2 Peter 3: 7,10,12), which states that the heavens and the earth are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment.
Angels are personalities with their own language and are often assigned with ministering tasks like messengers of God:
(Hebrews 1: 13-14) 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
(1 Corinthians 13: 1) 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,….
Hebrews chapter 2
The unique gospel was given to us by the Word, along with the unique miracles:
(Hebrews 2: 1-4) 1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
(John 8:12) 12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
(Mark 5:41) 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
It says a lot about God’s love for humans, that God (YHWH) cared about Jesus when He stayed on earth as a human being, as the Son of Man:
(Hebrews 2: 5-6) 5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man (Jesus) that You take care of him?
(Psalm 8: 3-5) 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man (Jesus) that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
On earth, Jesus has been lower than the angels for a short time:
(Hebrews 2: 7-8) 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”….
(Matthew 28:18) 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
The Messiah has overcome the world, thereby overcoming Satan’s world of death (John 16:33). The children of the promise, the seed of Abraham, were given to Jesus by God:
(Hebrews 2: 13-16) 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
(Galatians 3: 26-29) 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Jesus, by resisting Satan’s actions, crushed him (spiritually speaking) in the head:
(Ephesians 2: 1-2) 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
(1 Corinthians 15: 21-22) 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Jesus’ earthly career was the preparation for His task as a faithful High Priest. Through all the matters in which Jesus himself was tested by Satan, He is also able to help God’s children:
(Hebrews 2: 17-18) 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
(Acts 8: 32-33) 32 The place in the Scripture which he (the Ethiopian) read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” (Isaiah 53: 7-8)
Long for the High Priesthood of Jesus and do not develop an unbelieving heart
Hebrews chapter 3
Jesus is our High Priest, the faithful High Priest of the gospel we confess:
(Hebrews 3: 1-3) 1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.
(Matthew 17: 5) 5 While he (Peter) was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
As Son of God, Jesus is considered worthy of greater honor and glory than Moses as servant (Heb. 3: 5-6). Christians should not become rebellious and unbelieving as the Jewish people had been repeatedly. Therefore, the Jewish unbelieving generation will not enter God’s rest or 1000-year kingdom:
(Hebrews 3: 10-11) 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’
(Exodus 20:11) 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
(Revelation 20: 6) 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Infidels go astray with their hearts. Also among Christians, the filling of the heart is different.
The conscience, sometimes the gnawing conscience, is completely dependent on this spiritual heart:
(1 Timothy 1: 5) 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
(Matthew 15: 18-19) 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
With a weak or lukewarm faith, there is a chance that the heart will be filled with apostasy:
(Hebrews 3:12) 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
(2 Timothy 4: 3-4) 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Hebrews chapter 4
The Jewish Sabbath was a shadow of a ‘new’ Sabbath with Jesus as Lord of the Sabbath:
(Colossians 2: 16-17) 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come,…..
(Matthew 12: 8) 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
The future rest or Sabbath, as said before, is the 1000-year kingdom.
God’s people, faithful Christians, will enter God’s rest or the 1000-year kingdom with certainty:
(Hebrews 4: 4-5,8-9) 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”…. 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God….
Jesus as spokesman was ‘the word of God’, the light of the world:
(Hebrews 4: 12-13) 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
(John 1:14) 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Christians are encouraged to fight the good fight for eternal life, by showing faith in Jesus’ words and doing these. Despite all our weaknesses.
The High Priest Jesus was tempted until He died, He will certainly help us when that is needed:
(Hebrews 4: 14-16) 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(1 Timothy 6:12) 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The apostasy of Christians (2 Thess. 2: 3) is followed by the foretold Antichrist on the world stage. With all the pomp and wonder of the Antichrist, the false high priest, this ordeal will come soon. However, we as Christians already have our faithful High Priest whom we obey and under no circumstances want to have another:
(Revelation 13:11, 13) 11 Then I saw ‘another’ beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon….13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
He will sow a rebellious spirit among Christians with cunning thoughts and stories:
(1 John 4: 2-3) 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
This Antichrist (‘another’ beast Rev. 13:11, the false prophet) will certainly try to deceive Christians and compel to accept a mark:
(Matthew 24: 23-24) 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
(Revelation 13: 16-17) 16 He (‘another’ beast Rev. 13:11) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Christians know what they can expect, but do not need to have fear for that:
(Psalm 118: 6) 6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
In the second part we will continue how we can arm ourselves spiritually against the coming Antichrist and we will further consider Jesus’ task as an exalted High Priest.