Hebrews Chapter 10 Third Continued
Hebrews 10:28 “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:”
Numbers 15:36 “And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.”
In Numbers here, and in the Scripture above, we see the swift justice of the Old Testament. It appears to me that if we had some swift justice today, there would be fewer crimes against society. It seems today that sympathy lies with the criminal, in our society.
God’s law dealt with the criminal in the way it would stop crime. People did not get off, without paying a penalty for their crimes.
Hebrews 10:29 “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
“How much sorer punishment”: There will be degrees of punishment in hell. This is also clearly indicated (in Matt. 11:22-24).
“Trodden”: In the ancient Near East one of the gestures used to show contempt for someone was to “lift up the foot” against or toward them (Psalm 41:9). To walk on top of someone or something was a more extreme gesture showing utter contempt and scorn (2 Kings 9:33; Isa. 14:19; Mica 7:10; Zech. 10:5). Such contempt demonstrates a complete rejection of Christ as Savior and Lord.
“An unholy thing”: To reckon Christ’s blood as something “unclean” is the same thing as saying that it is defiled and implies that Christ was a sinner and a blemished sacrifice. Such thinking is truly blasphemous.
“Blood of the covenant” (see notes of 9:14-15). Christ’s death inaugurated or ratified the New Covenant.
“Sanctified”: This refers to Christ, in that He was set apart unto God (John 17:19). It cannot refer to the apostate, because only true believers are sanctified.
“Despite unto the Spirit of grace”: The same title is utilized (in Zech. 12:10). Rejecting Christ insults the Spirit who worked through Him (Matt. 12:31-32), and who testifies of Him (John 15:26; 16:8-11).
In the last few lessons, we have been discussing how the grace of God-covenant was so much better than the law-covenant. The blood of animals could not do away with sin, they could only cover the sin. The blood of the precious Son of God washed the sin away.
We used the word abolished in the last lesson, and that is the best description of exactly what Jesus did, for all who believe in Him. In (verse 29 above), it is explaining just how terrible it is to count this blood sacrifice of the Son of God as nothing of any value. The value that they are regarding it is, in fact, so low that they are trodding it under foot.
To not obey the law of God, which was the lesser covenant, was punishable by death. This would imply that there should be a much worse punishment for the total disregard of the grace-covenant which is greater.
Verses 30-31: These verses, along with (verses 27-29), reveal the severity and certainty of God’s judgment. At times, some express the idea that God’s punishment ought to be milder during this age of grace. They entertain the notion that judgment was more severe under law. These verses should shatter that impression.
This harmonizes with what Jesus often taught. The man who has greater revelation will receive greater judgment (Matt. 11:20-24); and to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
One’s knowledge of God ought to strengthen, not weaken, his awareness of God’s inevitable judgment. His divine character demands justice and holiness; His divine attributes can perform punishment. The fifth warning passage; (12:18-29), further reveals God’s judgment.
Hebrews 10:30 “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”
(Quoted from Deut. 32:35-36; Psalm 135:4; Rom. 12:19).
We have discussed in these lessons before that the Judge of all the world is Jesus Christ. The desire of every Christian, that I know, is to hear the Lord say (Well done thy good and faithful servant). We are cautioned over and over not to judge each other, because we will be judged with the same judgment we dish out.
We see in this next Scripture that Jesus Christ is the Judge of all.
Acts 10:42 “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God [to be] the Judge of quick and dead.”
I will give one more Scripture to show that there are more than two witnesses to the fact, that Jesus Christ is Judge.
2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.”
These Scriptures leave no doubt that Jesus is the Judge.
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
We see from this that God will take care of whatever punishment should be done, we have no need to take vengeance.
Hebrews 10:31 “[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Pharaoh of Egypt was one of many in the Bible who found that it was not good to go against God or God’s people. The 10 plagues that came on Egypt, not only showed that Pharaoh was no match for God, but that all the false gods of Egypt were no match for God either.
Lucifer, who was the most beautiful angel in heaven, found that he was no match for God. God threw him out of heaven when he rebelled against Him. When Moses came down from the mount of God with the 10 Commandments, and found the people practicing idolatry, three thousand people lost their lives in payment for these sins.
Exodus 32:28 “And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”
Aaron’s 2 sons found that God will severely punish those who disobey Him also. God killed them both for carrying strange fire into the temple.
It is bad for the devil to be attacking you, but you can pray and God will help you if this happens. If you have angered God, and He is punishing you, there is none above Him to call on for help. The best policy is obey God at the beginning and have no problems. I could go on and on, but I believe the point is made.
Verses 32-39: In this section, a word of encouragement is presented to counterbalance the preceding grave warning (verses 19-31). The writer points out that the Hebrews’ former experiences should stimulate them, the nearness of reward should strengthen them, and the fear of God displeasure should prevent them from going back to Judaism.
Hebrews 10:32 “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;”
“Remembrance”: Carries the idea of carefully thinking back and reconstructing something in one’s mind, not merely remembering (Acts 5:41; 2 Cor. 7:15).
“Illuminated” (see note on 6:4 “knowledge of the truth” in verse 26).
“A great fight of afflictions”: The word is only here in the New Testament. It is a picture of the struggling athlete engaged in a rigorous contest (2 Tim. 2:5). After being enlightened, they suffered (verse 33), became offended, and began to fall away.
Perhaps, no one had more afflictions to call to remembrance than Paul. Illuminated; in the verse above means: “made to see”. This next Scripture gives the meaning even more fully.
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Remember that this Light shone so brightly on Paul that he was blinded for 3 days, until God miraculously opened his eyes. Paul fought the good fight, but look at some of the things he endured along the way.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.” “Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one.” “Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;” “[In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren;” “In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”
If Jesus suffered, it is reasonable that His followers would suffer. We are no better than our leader.
2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:”
Hebrews 10:33 “Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.”
“A gazingstock”: The theater is alluded to with regard to the actors being placed on a stage where they can be observed by everyone. In the context of this verse, the idea is exposure to disgrace and ridicule, a spectacle (1 Cor. 4:9).
“Companions”: These unconverted Hebrews had been close to persecution when it happened to the believers they associated with. They perhaps had suffered for that identification, including the seizure of their property, but had not yet turned away because they were still interested in the prospects of heaven (verse 34).
In the New Testament, there are examples of those who willingly exposed themselves to possible arrest and harassment because they sought to help those who were persecuted for their faith. Surprisingly, on one occasion, the Pharisees were among them.
The Pharisees warned Jesus about Herod’s pending attempt on Jesus’ life (Luke 13:31). Among genuine believers who might be given as examples of helping the persecuted, there was Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 1:16-18).
1 Corinthians 4:9 “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”
2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
It was not a popular thing to be a follower of Jesus. Many, like Stephen, lost their life following Jesus. Even today, if you are very serious about following Jesus, you are classified as a fanatic. Christianity is just as unpopular with the world as it was then. We are not stoned, but we are criticized.
Hebrews 10:34 “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”
“My bonds”: This is one of the supposed indicators used for identifying the author of this epistle as the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3:1; 2 Tim. 1:8). However, many other Christians were also imprisoned.
Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Hebrews 10:35 “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.”
“Cast not away”: Due to their current persecutions, they were tempted to run away from their outward identification with Christ and Christians and to apostatize (verse 23; Deut. 32:15, 18).
“Reward”: They are closer than ever to the eternal reward. It is no time to turn back.
Hebrews 10:36 “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
“Done the will of God”: To trust in Christ fully by living daily in the will of the Father.
“Receive the promise”: If they would remain with the New Covenant and put their trust exclusively in Christ, they would obtain the promise of salvation for themselves.
This is saying; patiently await the coming of the Lord. Do not stop doing the job God has called you to do. Move forward for God. If we do not move forward for God, we will be going backward. We never stay the same.
Christianity involves day to day living. Many people, who put a date on the coming of the Lord, lose their faith when He does not come at that time. Our Bible warns us about people who question the coming of the Lord.
2 Peter 3:3-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,” “And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.”
Read the rest of 2 Peter chapter 3 to get the full impact of this. The promise is of eternal life with Him. When it happens is not our concern.
Verses 37-38 The loose reference to (Hab. 2:3-4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 31), is introduced by a phrase taken from (Isa. 26:20). This is the second reference to the Isaiah passage (verse 27), which is part of a song of salvation. The passage (in Isa. 26; or its greater context, Isa 24-27), is perhaps uppermost in the writer’s mind.
The Habakkuk reference is altered considerably so that it is more of an interpretive paraphrase drawing on the other Old Testament concepts and contexts. (Habakkuk 2:4-5), is descriptive of the proud who do not live by faith. It is the proud who are self-sufficient and who fail to realize the necessity of patient endurance and trust in God.
The proud Jew will be rejected if he does not exercise faith. He will be judged along with the nations.
Hebrews 10:37 “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”
At the time that was established at the foundation of the world, Jesus will come for His bride (Christians). God is not delaying, but is waiting that one more might repent and be saved before Jesus comes.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Hebrews 10:38 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
“The just shall live by faith”: The opposite of apostasy is faith. This is a preview of the subsequent chapter. It is faith which pleases God. The individual who draws back from the knowledge of the gospel and faith will prove his apostasy.
This is a subject, few can agree on. In my opinion, this Scripture, along with many more in the Bible, states that once we have been saved, we must walk in that salvation.
2 Peter 2:21 “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”
Luke 12:47 “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes].”
Hebrews 10:39 “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
“Draw back unto perdition”: The writer expresses confidence that believing readers (“we”), will not be counted among “those” who fall away to destruction. Apostates will draw back from Christ but there are some who are near to believing who can be pulled “out of the fire” (Jude 23).
“Destruction,” also translated “perdition,” is commonly used in the New Testament of the everlasting punishment or judgment of unbelievers (Matt. 7:13; Rom. 9:22; Phil. 1:28; 3:19; 1 Tim. 6:9). Judas is called the “son of perdition” (a Semitism meaning “perdition bound”; John 17:12). That man of lawlessness is referred to as the “son of destruction,” i.e., destruction bound (2 Thess. 2:3).
“Saving of the soul”: Preservation from eschatological destruction is the concept of “preserving” in this context. In the context of (Isa. 26:20-21; verse 19), the eschatological preservation includes resurrection from the dead. The writer connects faith and resurrection in the example of Abraham (11:19).
Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
The word believeth means to continually believe.
1 John 5:5 “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Overcometh means to continually overcome. Perdition above means ruin or loss. Some of the adjectives that describe that loss are; spiritual, eternal, damnable, destruction, die and perish. This shows the severity of going back into a sinful way of life after you have chosen Christianity as your way of life.
Hebrews Chapter 10 Third Continued Questions
- He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under ___ or _____ witnesses.
- What lesson can our society learn from this?
- Who has been trodden under foot in Hebrews 10:29?
- What are 2 other terrible things this person has done in verse 29?
- What are the 2 covenants God has made with man?
- Which of the covenants is the better covenant?
- What is the difference in the 2 sacrifices?
- What word, completely covers what happened to our sin, when Jesus shed His blood for us?
- Who is the Judge of all the world?
- What does every Christian want to hear when they stand before God?
- We must all appear before the judgment seat of ______.
- It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the _______ ___.
- Name someone who fell into the hands of God, and found out how terrible it can be.
- How many people lost their lives in one day, when Moses found them practicing idolatry?
- Which is worse, to have the devil attacking, or to have God attacking you?
- Who was persecuted almost beyond endurance in the Bible?
- Name some of the terrible things that happened to him.
- The responsibility of whom lay heavy on Paul?
- Who did it seem God had put in last place in popularity?
- If you are very serious about God today, you are classed as a _______.
- What is the penman trying to do in 10:34?
- What do we have need of, to stay with God to the end?
- Where do we find the Scripture that says in the end times we will have scoffers asking where is the promise?
- When was the time of Jesus’ return established?
- What is God called in 2 Peter 3:9?
- The just shall live by ______.
- Once we are saved, we must ____ in that salvation.
- What does believeth mean?
- What does perdition mean?