Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 46
Why Hebrews Was Written – Part 2
We started the last program in the Book of Hebrews, and I’m going to keep repeating some of these introductory remarks. So remember that Hebrews was written to Jewish people. Hopefully, most of them were believers, but also a lot of them were still on the fence; they just couldn’t turn their back on Judaism, and the Law. They were also probably having some problems understanding Who Jesus of Nazareth really was, and so this Book is written primarily to lift Who the Son really was and is in the overall working of God.
Also, remember, it’s not a Book necessarily for Church doctrine, nor a Book where you will find the Gospel of Salvation. There are not admonitions to straighten up and come out of Law and legalism like you have for example in the Book of Galatians. There are not other stipulations for corrections in the Christian experience like you have in the Books of Corinthians. But rather this letter was uniquely written to these Jewish people who were having problems turning their backs on their past.
So now I think we’re ready to go on into verse 2. In the last program we showed how that God, the Triune God, was the One Who was instrumental in everything that was created. But we also showed from the various Scriptures it was always God the Son Who was given credit for the actual calling forth of everything that was created. Now before we go into verse 2, let’s go ahead and finish verse 1. We read it at the end of the last program, but I didn’t make any comment.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.”
Now what’s he referring to? The Old Testament! And before we go back for a moment to the Old Testament I want you to stop in Romans chapter 15, where I’m going to use a verse for the basis of teaching the Old Testament. Because like I’ve already said with regard to Hebrews, there’s no plan of Salvation as such in the Old Testament. There’s also no Church doctrine found in the Old Testament. It was a secret that God had not yet revealed. But that doesn’t mean we throw the Old Testament away or ignore it. No, we study it and rest on it for this reason.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (back in the Old Testament) were written for our learning,…”
Remember in our last program, I said, “How in the world could you take a kid that had never had grade school arithmetic, nor high school math, and then all of a sudden have him attend a university level calculus class? Why he’d be lost immediately.” Well it’s not that much different with the Word of God. If you haven’t got an understanding of how all of this came about, it’s pretty hard to just step in and say, “Yeah, I can believe that.” But I don’t think God expects that, so we use the Old Testament over and over as a background for our New Testament teachings. Now we’re going to look at how the prophets spoke of these things.
So I’m going to take you all the way back to Genesis chapter 3, and we’re just going to take a run up through the Old Testament as to how many times even the Old Testament writers made a reference to the Son. A lot of people think He’s just a New Testament invention. No, No, No, God the Son was already evident throughout the Old Testament. This passage we’re going to look at here in Genesis is right after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, and they are now a fallen race. But God comes right back immediately with a promise of a redeemer. That of course is going to be in the Person of the Son. We always call this the beginning of that line of the Redeemer that will culminate with the coming of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem.
“And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; (which is a reference to Christ when you go to Galatians) it (the Seed of the woman)shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Which of course was a reference to God the Son at the crucifixion and resurrection – in particular defeated all the power of Satan. Now I’m going to bring you all the way up to Psalms chapter 2. Now this was written by David about 1000 B.C. And here I’m just going to use verse 7, because I just want to show how the Son has been constantly referred to all through our Bible. This is not just a New Testament thing, but rather it’s all of Scripture.
“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Like I said in the last lesson we’re going to look at that begotten part at a little later time this afternoon. So from Psalms chapter 2, I think we can go all the way up to Isaiah chapter 9, and we’ll jump in at verse 6. Now remember this is a Bible study and we’re not trying to lecture through these things, but rather we’re just comparing Scripture with Scripture to see how God spoke of the Son even in the prophets.
“For unto us (Israel) a child is born, unto us (Israel) a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, (see how plain all of this is? The prophets are speaking of the Son in this way) The everlasting Father,…”
Remember I said in the last lesson, “What did Philip ask in John 14? ‘Show us the Father and it suffices us.’” And what was Jesus answer? “Philip, have you been so long time with me, and yet hast thou not known, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Well here it’s laid out in the Old Testament, that God the Son would be called The Mighty God, The everlasting Father,
“… The Prince of Peace.”
Well now let’s just go on up to the Book of Daniel chapter 7. Now of course we’re looking at an end-time scenario, but nevertheless, it’s still in the prophets, and it’s still Old Testament.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him (the Son) dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
Now then, let’s just come on up into Matthew chapter 1. And as you know, I look at the Four Gospels of course as an extension of the Old Testament. Because it’s still all Jewish, it’s still under the Law, and we’re going to show the same thing, even in the Four Gospels.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Now let’s see how Luke chapter 1, treats it. Oh, my goodness, I don’t even know where to come in. I guess we’ll start with verse 30.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.” Now come on down to the last part of verse 35.
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
So you see this is all part and parcel of the theme of Scripture introducing us to the Son. Now in fulfillment of what we just read in Genesis 3:15, let’s go to Paul’s Book of Galatians chapter 4, and look at verse 4. Now I hope this isn’t just an exercise in futility, I hope you’re seeing how the theme all the way from Genesis has been introducing us to this Person of the Godhead that is called the Son.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God (the Triune God) sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
What did He send forth? His Son, and He was made under the Law of Moses. Well I guess we could even look at some other verses, even in Paul’s writings, but this is how the Old Testament and the Four Gospel accounts, as well as Paul’s letters, are referring to this Person of the Godhead then, that we have to lift up as the Son. The Son is unique in that role of the Godhead. Now I’m going to take you on into verse 2 of Hebrews chapter 1. The same God, the same Triune Father, Son, and Spirit that spoke to the fathers concerning the Son:
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,…”
Now I’m going to throw a curve at you. The first time I read that verse sometime ago, I couldn’t quite fathom it. And it will take a long time to really have an impact on you. But in that verse 2, the word “his” has been added by the translators, have you noticed that? I never did for years and years. That word “his” is not in the original, and neither is there an article in the Greek, so the Greek reads like this.
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by Son,…”
You’ll probably say, “Now that doesn’t sound right.” Well it does after you really start thinking about it. Because you see, Son by itself can be a title. How many fathers haven’t you heard instead of calling their son by his first name, what do they call him? “Come on son, let’s do this or that.” Son becomes his title, and that’s the way I’m beginning to look at this.
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by Son,…”
The title! And the emphasis has to be just the way I’m putting it. Now let’s go back and see if we can pick up a little bit by that. So come all the way back to the Book of Acts, when Christ was dealing with the Apostle Paul. I think a good place would be Acts chapter 22.
And while you’re looking that up I’m going to put something on the board about another phrase in that verse, concerning “the last days.” This usually shakes up people also. When the Scripture speaks of the last days, we’re speaking of His first advent. The three years of His earthly ministry, His crucifixion, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension back to glory, as you see in Psalm 110:1. So all of that which took place in that first advent is considered in Scripture as “the last days.”
Now I know that sounds confusing at first, but you see this is the only thing that the Old Testament looked forward to, that, after His ascension, then would come the 7 years of Tribulation, and then He would return and set up His Kingdom. So, this first advent then according to the Old Testament accounts, was the last days. Also remember that Paul is in this last days period of time. It was just a matter of years from the crucifixion until he begins his ministry. So Paul, too, is considered part of the last days, because they had no idea that there would be 1900 + years of the Church Age. That was completely unknown to the Old Testament writers. So they just spoke of it over and over as the “last days.”
Now here’s where I think we can jump in now and see various ways that the Son spoke now in these last days. Paul has now been out among the Gentile world, establishing his little congregations of Gentile believers, and has come back to Jerusalem, and he’s always having a heavy heart for his kinsmen according to the flesh, the Jewish people. Here again Paul goes before this great multitude of Jews to try to convince them that he wasn’t just a renegade, he wasn’t an imposter to the truth, he wasn’t a heretic, but rather he was proclaiming everything that the Old Testament had prophesied, and that Christ had fulfilled. So he comes back to Jerusalem, and he’s in the Temple. Now verse 17.
“And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 18. And saw him (the Son, the ascended Lord) saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 20. And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. 21. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.”
Now this was unheard of! A lot of people just can’t get that through their heads, and I know they can’t. They can’t believe that Jesus never had a ministry to the Gentiles. Someone was just sharing with me that in their Sunday school material last week, there was something about Jesus going to Gentiles. No He didn’t go to Gentiles, and He was careful that He never did, except in those 2 exceptions, because this mission was left to the Apostle Paul to take care of. So from the words of the Son, what did He say?
“…Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.”
That was totally unheard of, that was a whole new beginning. Now let’s come on over to the Book of Galatians chapter 1, and let’s just jump in at verse 11.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, (by man) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
What does that mean? The Son spoke to the Apostle Paul. The Son was not speaking through the prophets, but rather through this apostle. And it is the Son Who is now speaking. Now come on over to the Book of Colossians chapter 2, and to pick up the flow, let’s pick up at verse 8. Now remember as Peter admonished us, that the Apostle Paul’s writing is Scripture, it’s the Word of God. And you can just sink your teeth into it and rest on it. So Paul writes:
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9. For in him (in Christ, in the Son) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
Isn’t that amazing? And oh, that’s hard for people to see. How can it be? Because He was manifested in the flesh as God, and He went to the cross as God. How many people realize that the hill on which He was crucified was of His creation? How many people realize that the wood of the cross on which He was nailed, He created that tree. How about the Romans that drove the spikes, He created them. He’s the Creator of everything, and oh it’s so hard for people to see this, and yet He has spoken from that ascended place in glory now through this apostle, who is lifting Him up in the Book of Hebrews now as “Son.”
Now coming back to Hebrews chapter 1 for just a little bit. So this same God that spoke in the Old Testament, this same God is now speaking through “Son,” His title. And we have to understand Who He is. He’s not just the carpenter’s son, He’s not just Someone Who was martyred, He’s not Someone Who simply wasted His life and was crucified, but rather He was the Eternal Creator, Son! And in another lesson we’re going to see how that when He was raised from the dead, He just literally exploded with power, the likes of which the universe has never seen. Even the power of creation does not compare with the power of His resurrection. And oh, let’s never lose sight of that. Now let’s just finish the program in verse 2. So this same God Who spoke through the Old Testament prophets:
“Hath in these last days…”
With Christ’s first advent, His suffering, His death, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension is the One Who is speaking us today!