Three things are taught us in this chapter; 1. The Christian life is like a race. 2. The privilege of being a son of God 3. The reality and character of the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ.
1. The Christian Race The first two verses of this chapter provide for us a classic illustration of the Christian life. It is similarly used by Paul in 1 Cor. Ch. 9. The Christian life is like a race. It is not a sprint, more a marathon, in fact, a steeple chase marathon. Certain phrases lend themselves to very important facts concerning the Christian life.
1. The race is “set before us” The track is not something we choose ourselves. A definition of Sin is “going one’s own way”. The Christian life is about going God’s way and therefore it is well set out. New converts take note, the path is set. The scriptures clearly mark the boundaries and direction of our Christian race. The scripture speaks often of the importance of “obedience”. In racing terms it means keeping to the track set down. If we call him Lord, we should do what he tells us and not please ourselves. Sadly because we associate church with our “free” time and work with our “ slave” time, we tend to regard our commitment to His work, and to our fellow believers, (who are either encouraged or discouraged by our fellowship or absence), as optional. We are commanded in Hebrews, “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together”. If we do forsake it, then we are not running the race “set before us”
2. “Cast off every weight”. We would certainly not expect and athlete to start a race with a brief case in his hand, or bag of garden manure over his shoulders. Even less would you expect it, if you were depending upon the athlete to win. When gamblers back their favourite horses they are little pleased when they see that the horse has been handicapped by having extra weight thrown upon it. Why then should we expect the Christian life to be any different (though I agree we are not horses). Some think the race is too hard, and are tempted to give up. May be they should think of unloading some baggage. More often than not it is because they are trying to run the race while at the same time are wrapped up and committed to things which do not help, nor are conducive to spiritual growth. Jesus said it was hard for people with riches to enter the kingdom, so there we have at least one thing which can be a hindrance. Jesus said it was “hard”. That is why he told a rich young man to sell all he had. He was only trying to make the Christian life easier for him. Sometimes when the Lord strips us of something we love and hold dear, we allow our love and devotion to him to grow cold. We almost take a tit-for-tat attitude. Yet all He is trying to do, s make the Christian life “easier” for us. If only we could get the right perspective on things. If this book is about anything it is about seeing the invisible as more important than the visible, and amongst other things, this refers to riches. If only we could “see” the invisible prize, we would really go for it, no matter how much weight we had to shed.
3. Looking unto Jesus; It is very significant when watching top athletes lining up to a race on a track. Their concentration is fixed. Their mind is set solid. They are about to invest every ounce of strength and the desire of their heart burns intensely within. Looking to Jesus, means to keep him always in your mind to serve him with all your strength and love him with all your heart. In Peter's epistle we are called to "follow in his steps"; No distractions: In every situation you should ask “what would Jesus do? Or, “what would be the attitude of Jesus in such a situation?” In John ch. 21, Jesus calls Peter to follow him, and outlines what will happen to him in the future. Then, Peter takes his eye off the Lord and looking at John he asks "What shall this man do?" and Jesus answered, "What does that matter to you - you follow me!" It may be hard as we follow in his steps. If it is not hard then one has reason to doubt if one is on the right track. In looking to Jesus we know that we will never suffer as He did. We have not resisted against sin to the point of sweating blood, as Jesus did.
4. “The joy that was before Him” There has to be some motivating force in all of us to make us go on. The scriptures call this force “hope.” The hope of the Christian is a certain future. Just as folk will endure all sorts of pain and discomfort in order to achieve some cherished end, so we should be stimulated by the scriptures which tell us that the tribulation and trials of this present day, if you were to weigh them could not even be compared with the exceeding weight of glory we shall receive The athlete endures for an earthly glory that soon fades away, but our glory will be an everlasting glory. We might be a short time suffering but we will be a long time enjoying, that’s for certain. As labour pains are forgotten at the birth of a child so the church will reap the rewards of such endurance. The Christian life is a matter of discipleship, or following. If we are to follow Christ fully we also will go the way of the cross. That cross must be endured, as Christ endured. He despised the shame. There was no place for ego, or personal earthly glory. However, He is now sat down at the right hand of God, in glory. Sharing his glory is our prize. No doubt when an athlete competes in a gruelling race, there must come moments, when the thought crosses their mind to give up. Likewise in the Christian race the Hebrews had eased off in their faith in Christ, and were returning to their old religion. Paul uses this illustration to continue the one great purpose of this letter, which he refers to in chapter 13 as an “exhortation”. He encourages them to go on. They only need look to Jesus and see how much hostility He had to endure, to recognise that they were called to much less suffering. They certainly had not yet been called upon to shed their blood in resisting their persecutors.
2. The Privilege of being a Son of God
Authority and Discipline: (Author & Disciple?)
Lest anyone should have fallen away because they mistakenly thought that as Christians God should have treated then more kindly, Paul reminds them that one of the signs of parenthood is that they are the ones who chasten their children. There is something basically sinful in the nature of us all, in that we do not immediately react kindly to authority. Parents soon learn this with their first child. They seem to say “No”, more readily than “Yes”. Sometimes we stand in amazement when a child barely 2years of age , not only says “No”, but also stamps their foot in defiance. Who taught them that? we ponder.
Fights in the home, riots on the streets, wars across the lands, usually are a reaction to authority.
The Bible has much to say about authority, in the Home, in the church, in our place of employment, and in society. Primarily, authority starts at the top with God. we are his children and he would not be a good parent if he did not know what was best for us and did not try to knock us into shape, as a potter moulds the clay.
If we were to be asked the question, ‘which authority do you more readily submit to?’ we would probably settle for the authority at work, rather than home of church. The reason being, that we reap the rewards when we receive our monthly cheque. So Paul is not slow to point out that God’s authority over us, and the discipline we undergo at times to keep us on the right lines, has great rewards also. They yield “the peaceable fruits of righteousness”. Which simply means, you get things right. If you get things right with God and man then life works for the better. God’s Kingdom (family/ business) certainly works for the better. He is a loving and all wise father. If we fail to accept the rebuke or chastisement we will become bitter instead of better. If you read from Ephesians ch 5 v. 17 onwards, you will see for yourself what God says in his word concerning these specific areas of authority. In our modern society, feminism is rampant. Seldom will a girl think of marriage on any other grounds, other than equality of authority and assets. No doubt there is a very good argument for such thinking, considering the amount of abuse that women have endured throughout the centuries because of men who loved themselves more than their wives. So when the bible says that the husband should love his wife as Christ loves the church, then the scales are more than balanced. For with the authority invested in the husband, comes the responsibility for the spiritual growth and guidance of all his family. Later in chapter 13 we read of the authority we should respect within the church, and in other places of the New Testament we read of sanctions being placed upon believers by those in church leadership. Certainly it is hard for some to accept such admonishment within the church environment as obviously they will feel that they attend willingly and in their “own” time. It is however, just as hard for those in authority to administer certain sanctions at appropriate times. Here, in this chapter, we are dealing with our loving heavenly father administering his chastisement upon his own children, at the appropriate times. A minister was once asked by a man in the street, why did the Jews suffer so much persecution, yet they were supposed to be “God’s chosen people” “Surely that doesn’t seem like love” he argued. The minister asked him if he had any children and if he loved them. He said he did. “Do you punish them? “ asked the minister. “Sometimes,” said the man. “Does your next door neighbour love your children?” asked the minister“”Not really” said the man.“Does he punish your children” enquired the ministered.“No of course not” said the man.“Well isn’t that strange ? your next door neighbour has no love for your children and causes them no pain, yet you love your children and you cause them pain.” The man in the street got the message. Paul makes note of the human factor in child discipline. Quite often fathers will chasten the children for their own benefit. i.e. they might be making a noise which is getting on his nerves. But God chastens us for our own good. An American couple ran a children’s home in Ireland. They had a son called Jason. One of their “adopted” children questioned them one day as to whether they loved her and the other children as much as they loved Jason. The couple tried to re-assure her that they certainly did, and asked why she would think any differently. Her reply was most revealing; “Ah but you smack Jason, but you don’t smack us” This exhortation from Paul obviously comes from Psalm 89 verse 20-37. This is a very clear prophecy about Jesus. Verses 30-33 tell us how God will deal with Christ’s offspring; Ps 89:30-33 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 1Peter 5:5 Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Obedience is learnt by suffering in terms of chastisement, so says the scripture. Many of today’s human philosophies deny such truth, and consequently we have a nation of rebellious teenagers who have little or no concept whatsoever of discipline, respect or obedience. The spirit of rebellion can be quelled by chastening, a loving father will chasten his children. That is scriptural truth and here in this passage we are to recognise the value of such chastening especially in God’s dealing with us. To humbly submit to a higher will or authority even though you don’t agree with it, is good medicine for a proud spirit. It is therefore often necessary for God to place us in circumstances which would naturally avoid. To accept such circumstances in the full knowledge that God could easily change them but has chosen not to, gives us an immediate choice of spirit. We can rebel or respond in submission. We are assured that God’s dealings with us are truly not just to satisfy God’s personal feelings or to satisfy his anger. They are for our good and we are told clearly here that they will produce “the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are trained in them” The word “trained,” in verse 11, should not fall unnoticed, especially within the analogy of athletes and their disciplined life. Furthermore, verses 12 and 13 could well be continuing the “race” analogy, when referring to strengthening the knees and the hands that hang down, and making straight paths etc. Some years ago an athlete called Jim Peters, came into the Olympic stadium as he was completing the marathon and he was at the point of utter exhaustion. So much so that officials ran on the track to help him stand. This of course disqualified him from the race, but the picture of him staggering from side to side is still vivid in the mind to all who saw it on T.V. His hands were almost touching the floor and his knees were almost bent at right angles. He was exhausted. Such were some of the Jews in their Christian race. Their fellow Jews were against them and such little help seemed to come from God, it might seem that God was against them at times. Verse 12 is surely a spiritual exhortation to prayer. The hands that hang down, remind us of Moses who was aided by Aaron and Hur in the battle against the Amalekites. When we pray we accomplish things. When we don’t pray we are also doing something; - we are giving ground to the enemy. The feeble knees of prayer need to be strengthened, the hands of praise need to be lifted high. Those who are feinting by the way, need to redress their prayer and praise life, and soon they will be up and running again. Prayer is an act of dependence. It comes from a humble spirit. Pride will keep us off our knees, for we determine that we are well able to manage on our own. Never forget the importance of praise. Once again it is an acknowledgment that everything we have, we have received from the giver of all good gifts. We often hear men boast of being “self-made” men. There are no “self-made” sons of God.
If in EVERYTHING we give thanks and offer praise, we set up for ourselves the right environment for Christian living. Even in adversity, if we enter into the spirit of praise to the Lord then we close the door on other spirits, such as the spirit of resentment or unbelief, or even prevent us from questioning God’s love for us. If we only praise or pray when things are going well we will never prove what a major part these things play in our spiritual warfare. So many folk foolishly stay away from the meetings if they are not feeling “good” as a Christian. That is the very time you should be running to the fellowship, not staying away. This only adds to any problems!!
Verses 16 -17 constitute one of the severest warnings in this book to the backslider. Paul’s exhortation is to renew one’s spiritual strength and continue the race, chasing after peace and holiness. It is the greatest privilege afforded in life, when we come to know the grace of God in Christ. To be a Son of God has no equal standing among all the prizes, accolades and honours that humans can bestow upon a fellow human, on this earth. The very term grace shows us that we do not deserve any blessing from God. However, as is often the case we only value those things we have paid for, and anything we are born with or receive free, we tend to diminish. We have a supreme example in Esau. He had received a “spiritual” blessing at birth. He hadn’t worked for it nor earned it, but it was his nevertheless. Because it was spiritual and Esau was a very down to earth character, he failed to appreciate it’s value. Rather did he value a hot meal, because he reasoned that the “spiritual” blessing wasn’t much good if you were dying of hunger. How wrong can you be? Jacob on the other hand reckoned the value of the blessing more easily, and coveted it. In a few rash moments, probably within the space of half an hour, Esau sold his birthright and not only ruined his own life but destined millions of his descendants, many of them making up the Arab world today, to a life outside of the blessings of God. Verse 15 speaks of a root of bitterness springing up and causing untold trouble to thousands. Note that Paul refers to Esau as a fornicator. In other words, he was a man of the flesh rather than the spirit; a man for the immediate pleasure of the body rather than a man for the reward of the spirit for eternity. If only we could see the future consequences of our earthly actions. Not only to see where they lead to in this life but to see those things which will figure in eternity as well. Eternal things are by definition not earthly. They are invisible and outside the appetite of the natural senses. What good are they down here? we might be tempted to ask. If you offered a child an empty box or a box full of goodies to choose, there is no question, as to which would be chosen. The box might contain the most exquisite, unique and longest lasting perfume on this earth, but being “empty” it would seem worthless. Worse still we might become resentful (a root of bitterness) against God, falling to the temptation to argue that all we seem to have is promises, promises, but when it comes to practical solutions or concrete answers there doesn’t seem much around to comfort. Certainly there are times when eternity and its rewards seems far, far away and of no practical use whatsoever. But that of course is the very nature of the test. There are eternal rewards for those who will look to the future as Jacob did. Jacob’s life was no easier for all his spiritual blessings, indeed the anger of Esau against him made it worse. But we can now see what Jacob saw then. Like Moses (in ch. 11.) he chose temporal suffering because he had an eye for eternal rewards. That should surely be our motivating force. The hymn-writer wrote these words of encouragement, “Just one glimpse of Him in glory. Will the toils of life re-pay.”
3. The reality and character of the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ
Note the overall theme of this wonderful chapter. The race is concerned with the future prize and glory. To be a Son of God has most if not all it’s joys in the future. God is more concerned with our spirits and our understanding of spiritual riches, rather than out temporal blessings. Esau choose foolishly. In another place the scripture says “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated”. Sadly there are those of the Calvinistic persuasion who seize upon this verse and give it more weight than it really has, to hammer home their beliefs. However, we should ask ourselves WHEN did God love Jacob and hate Esau? Before they were born? Hardly, surely it was because of their personal choices regarding spiritual things. If anyone was predestined for blessing it was Esau, but Jacob by hook and crook contrived to snatch it from him.
So now Paul moves on to finalise this wonderful exhortation.
Verses 18-21: Two covenants, Earthly & Heavenly, compared again;
If you read again the account in Exodus chs.19 & 20, when God gave the law to Moses, you will be impressed at the awesomeness of the occasion. God told Moses, HE was coming down to earth and would come on Mt. Horeb. That very thought is awesome enough. But God told Moses to bring the 70 leaders near the mountain, and all the people should hold their place around the mountain. Moses and Aaron went up the mountain, as did Joshua at one point. During the whole procedure of Moses going up and down the mountain the people were warned not to touch the mountain or they would have to be put to death. However, so awesome was the sight of the mountain when God descended that even Moses was terrified. The whole mountain went on fire and shook as an earthquake, and then a great cloud covered the mountain. Loud trumpets heralded God’s descent, a voice thundered from heaven, and a tempest blew throughout the heavens. Moses sacrificed many animals and sprinkled the blood around the mountain. So you see the first covenant was to say the least an auspicious, if not terrifying occasion.
It is with this majestic and fearsome meeting with God, that Paul contrasts the wonderful New Covenant of Grace. It is not an earthly covenant, but a heavenly. All that happened on earth was just a picture of the real thing in the heavenlies. Note in Exodus the specific reference that “God spoke with a voice” Exodus 19:19; And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. This voice was “speaking on earth”. That is the Old Covenant, under the New Covenant Jesus is speaking from heaven. Which is the greater?
Under the new covenant we come not to physical things, which we can appreciate with our natural senses. We come not to Mt. Horeb, but Mt. Zion, the heavenly mountain - NOT the earthly one. We exist and live in the real Jerusalem in heaven of which the earthly is only a copy or figure. The creatures of heaven are with us in abundance, the angels. These are not earthly figures. We are not numbered among the earthly nation of Israelites but among the citizens of Zion, children of God whose names are written in heaven, significantly referred to as the church of the “firstborn”. Surely, this is a reference to Esau who lost his inheritance as the firstborn in his family. We have a sure inheritance. Millions across the world are attracted and fascinated with books and films about wizards and mysterious dark dungeons of the spirit world. Most of it is probably lies and falsehoods, but there is undoubtedly much enjoyment to those who allow themselves to be enveloped, be it only imaginary, into this hidden world. How much more should we as children of God, within the Kingdom of the King of kings enjoy the spiritual reality of our worship and fellowship with other sons of God. We might with the natural eye see only a handful of believers, candles, shiny brass, banners pictures, texts on walls, arranged flowers and a minister who finds it difficult to hold one’s attention. If only we could see the spiritual reality that Paul is showing us here. This is what we come to as we gather together in worship. We are a vast congregation of the most privileged people on earth. We were born in Zion. We are children of the real Jerusalem. We are surrounded not by a handful of believers but trillions of spirits of just men made perfect and angels singing praises unto our God. We are in the presence of God the judge of all who knows everything about us but according to Romans ch 8:33 “Justifies us.”. and if that is not enough we have in our presence the Greatest man, the highest individual, the most honoured personage that every walked the earth. We are in the presence of our one and only Saviour, who has conquered sin and death for us, who now sits in majesty and splendour beside the throne of God, interceding for us on terms of the new covenant which he has mediated with his own blood. What a difference it would make to our worship and service if we could get enveloped in all this wonder and beauty. Check out Psalm 87; read it carefully until your soul rejoices. His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when he writes up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. People boast of being born in certain towns or cities. Their football teams are their gods as they seek some corporate glory. But we boast that we were born in Zion. We don’t just support the victors we are the victors. We are the future. The future belongs to us. The Kingdom in which we serve will outrun all other earthly kingdoms however much glory they heap upon themselves. What a thrill that is. Most people live their lives with nothing but the mundane and ordinary to boast about. Sometimes someone will admit that the highlight of their entire life was when they shook hands with a famous pop star, or met a famous golfer face to face. What delight some would have if they thought their names were written in a worthy book in Buckingham Palace, in the monarch’s own handwriting. How much more wonderful to know, that your name, YOUR own special unique name, is written in heaven. If you were to go to the Government official records office in London and searched through the records, you would find your name written in the register on your day of birth. It is there now, whether you have seen it or not, you can believe that it is there. Rejoice then, that your name, YOUR own special unique name is in God’s register of births in heaven. When the disciples went out at the Lord’s command to preach the gospel, they were amazed and delighted to see that even the devils were subject to them. Jesus was no doubt happy to see them so delighted but he exhorted them to greater delight in reminding them that they should much rather rejoice because their names were written in heaven.
“To God the judge of all”
The God who gave the law at Sinai will be the same God who welcomes us into His presence. There is no fear of this judge, for He is our father.
“The spirits of just men made perfect”
We wrote earlier of the “father of spirits” dealing with his children and fashioning them into spiritual beings, empty of all evil spirits of unbelief, pride, resentment, etc. These are the spirits of men, justified, made righteous, and then made perfect, or mature. They had grown spiritually; they had been made perfect (complete) through suffering, as was Jesus Himself. Suffering perfects faith.
As if the gathering wasn’t splendid enough with all those previously mentioned, verse 24 offers this glorious thought -
“and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant;”
Not Moses, not Aaron, not Joshua, - these men were but poor counterparts. They were the imperfect ministers of the old covenant. Jesus, the perfect mediator of the new, sprinkles not with the blood of animals as Moses did but with His own indelible blood which is the “ink” of the New Covenant. In the last supper, Jesus said when He took the wine; “This is the New Testament in my blood, shed for you.”
This new covenant is a blood covenant. The blood speaks to us today; It speaks as surely as the blood of Abel spoke from the ground. Abel’s blood spoke condemnation, Jesus’ blood speaks redemption; the price is paid.
To reject it, and to reject its message is surely the worst act of rebellion a sinner man can make against God. The Old Testament records the punishment of those who rebelled or rejected the message of the old covenant. That should be a clear warning to all who have heard the message of the blood. The awesomeness of Sinai is nothing to be compared with the awesomeness of the future when God shakes not only a mountain, but the whole earth and the heavens. Included in this “second” shaking, are all the spiritual forces which now operate and exert power in the heavenlies. He will shake it as a gardener shakes a sieve. All temporal things, all earthly things, all copies, all types, will pass away and only the spiritual, eternal, invisible things will remain. The Kingdoms of the world will pass away with a fervent heat, but the Kingdom of Jesus, which is not of this world will remain. This is the kingdom that the Lord is now giving to us. In other words we now have the opportunity to establish that kingdom, by living for eternal things and counting the invisible which is grasped by faith, to be of greater worth than material things. It surely will be the only thing that will pass away with a fervent heat, but the Kingdom of Jesus, which is not of this world, will remain. This is the kingdom that the Lord is now giving to us. In other words we now have the opportunity to establish that kingdom, by living for eternal things and counting the invisible which is grasped by faith, to be of greater worth than material things. It surely will be the only thing that will survive the judgement. Let us live for eternity; Let us seek this kingdom first above all other kingdoms for our God is a consuming fire. Everything outside of his purposes will be burned up. Much that goes on within the church must almost of necessity be human and earthly, which will bring human and earthly rewards, but when God tries all that we have done with his consuming fire only then will we know for certain that which is wood hay and stubble. Much that we professed we did “for the Lord” could well turn out to have been done for self. The eternal day will declare it. Only that which is of eternal value will survive the judgement. Let us live for eternity; Let us seek this kingdom first above all other kingdoms for our God is a consuming fire. Everything outside of his purposes will be burned up. Much that goes on within the church must almost of necessity be human and earthly, which will bring human and earthly rewards, but when God tries all that we have done with his consuming fire, only then will we know for certain that which is wood hay and stubble. Much that we professed we did “for the Lord” could well turn out to have been done for self. The eternal day will declare it.
BOARD SUMMARY ch. 12.
1. The Witnesses, mentioned in chapter 11 are like the crowd at an athletic stadium
2. The Race is set: We do not make our own track. “Going our own way” Is a definition of Sin.
3. We Follow Jesus. He is our role model and our inspiration, from beginning to end
4. It is not a sprint, rather a marathon steeplechase
5. We should unload baggage, and things which hinder our progress in the Christian life
6. Be prepared for suffering, and sacrifice. See also 1 Cor. 9: 26-27
The Privilege of being a Son of God;
A Right relationship between father & Son is essential
PERSECUTION & TRIBULATION:
There are many reasons why things go wrong for the believer.
One of the many is outlined here.
It is The Father’s way of chastising his sons. The purpose is to bring them into a right relationship with Him once again.
The prophecy of Psalm 89: 29-31 is specifically for the “children” of the promised Messiah Saviour. (See also ch. 2 v 13-14)
This Psalm also shows the tribulation that Jesus endured- (see end v. 38 -52)
His faith was greatly tested for many times it would seem that the prophecies in verses 19-37 were just words without substance.
Our Reaction to Chastisement:
We can either Respond and repent
Rebel and reject
or be Resentful in bitterness We get Better or Bitter
Esau is a prime example of a bitter and resentful person
He despised his spiritual birthright- His Sonship.
He chose the natural, the earthly and fleshly satisfaction, rather than the “invisible” heavenly inheritance.
His bitterness and choice has defiled millions ever since.
If we sell our eternal spiritual birthright for earthly Gain or pleasure- we lose out for eternity.
We are called to better, higher, more lasting things:
Authority and discipline in the church.
The Reality and Nature of the Spiritual Kingdom
The contrast between the two covenants;
Please read Exodus ch. 19 to see the marvellous amazing wonder, when God gave the first Covenant to His people.
Mountain was on fire, earthquake, loud trumpets and the voice of God on earth.
Yet the second covenant far out shines the first, For Christ speaks with his own blood from heaven.
We come to Mt Zion: see Psalm 87. That is our Home. We were born there.
EXODUS Ch.19; A physical, visible world
“For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched and burned with fire, to blackness darkness, tempest and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words. Which voice those who heard it entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:”
But you have come unto;
The Invisible, Spiritual, Eternal world.
To Mount Sion unto the city of the living God the heavenly Jerusalem. (see again Psalm 87)
To an innumerable company of angels, (see refs to angels in chs. 1-2)
See that ye refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven
THE CONCLUSION- TWO SHAKES
SHAKE 1:- THE EARTH- By His VOICE- Exodus 19
SHAKE 2: - THE EARTH AND HEAVENS
Everything earthly and material, including religions and evil powers now operating in heavenly realms will be destroyed by fire.
ALL THAT WILL REMAIN IS THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST
Much that goes on in the name of the kingdom will also be tested by fire- it could be just wood, hay and stubble (1 Cor. Ch. 3.)
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, (See Psalm 87 again)
To God the Judge of all. (Checkout Rom 8:31-33)
To the spirits of just men made perfect, (v 23 cf. v 9 again)
To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, (see chs. 8 & 9 again)
To the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel. ( v 24 cf. ch 12:24)
Ch. 12 Sum of SUMMARY:
The Christian life is likened to a Race (v 1-4)
The Privilege of being a Son of God ( v 5-17)
The Reality and Nature of the Spiritual Kingdom ( v 18-end)