The book of Hebrews is often quoted to demonstrate
that God's law, specifically the levitical
priesthood, has been abolished and no longer applies
to us today. We will see, through careful
study, that this simply is not true and has no merit
whatsoever. The writer of the book of Hebrews
is unknown. The two most popular theories to
it's authorship are the Apostle Paul or Apollos, a
church leader at the time. Though it is not
the point of this article to prove one or the other,
it is important to note that whoever wrote the book
of Hebrews was well-educated in the scriptures and
specifically, the Mosaic law. We need to
remember, in order to understand the book of
Hebrews, we need a good understanding of the Mosaic
law as well. The purpose of this series of
articles is to demonstrate that the writer of
Hebrews is in no way advocating the abolishment of
God's law, but rather endorsing the following of
God's law. The specific chapters to address
are chapters seven through ten, but we will start
with a quick overview of the previous six chapters.
The epistle opens with a statement regarding the
place of the Messiah. In the past God spoke to
us through the prophets, but in recent times (last
days) He has spoken to us through His Son (Heb.
1:1-2). This Son is none other than the
predicted Messiah, God Himself in the flesh.
He is the, "brightness of his glory, and the
express image of his person." His
accomplishments were the, "purge[ing] of our
sins" and He, "sat down on the right hand
of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3). This
position has made him, "better than the angels."
He is better because, as a Son, He has an
inheritance with the Father (Heb. 1:4-8). How
did He obtain this? Because He, "hast
loved righteousness, and hated iniquity" (Heb.
1:9). The Messiah loved righteousness (dikaiosunē
- justification - Strong's Concordance G1343), that
is, He obeyed and followed the law of God. But
He also hated iniquity (anomia -
illegality, that is, violation of law - Strong's
Concordance G458). From the start we see
support for God's law and not the removing of it.
The writer concludes chapter one by demonstrating
God's eternal nature. Even though His creation
will perish, God is eternal (Heb. 1:10-12).
this understanding, we, "ought to give the more earnest heed
to the things which we have heard" (Heb. 2:1). If
God's word delivered by angels always gave a, "just
recompence of reward," then we ought not to neglect such a
great salvation and receive the same (Heb. 2:2-3).
This we know for God confirmed this through, "signs and
wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy
Ghost" (Heb. 2:4). The future of this world was not
given to the angels, but to the Messiah. He was, "made
a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death"
so that He might be, "crowned with glory and honour"
2:9-10). The Messiah had to become, "flesh and blood"
for the children He was redeeming, "[were] partakers of flesh
and blood" (Heb. 2:14-18). This He had to do to become
an acceptable sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. The
Messiah is now the, "High Priest of our profession" (Heb.
3:1). He was counted, "worthy of more glory than Moses"
(Heb. 3:3). Why, because He was, "faithful" (Heb. 3:2).
Therefore we should, "harden not [our] hearts" as was done in
the past (Heb. 3:7-11), but rather we should believe and
beware of a, "heart of unbelief" which turns us from the
living God (Heb. 3:12). We should be diligent and
exhort one another daily to avoid hardening our heart and
missing out on God's "rest" (Heb. 3:13-18). How does
this happen? By the, "deceitfulness of sin" (Heb.
3:13). The key to entering God's rest is belief.
Those who miss the rest of God, "could not enter in because
of unbelief" (Heb. 3:19). Therefore, chapter two and
three are showing us that the Messiah was faithful to God in
his calling to his father, so we should be faithful in our
calling to the Father as well.
four, the Messiah reminds us that He offers a, "rest" for
those who believe in Him. We should fear lest we
suffer the same fate as those who came before us (Heb. 4:1).
For the gospel was preached to the Israelites as well, but
it was not mixed with faith (Heb. 4:2). Those who
believe do enter His rest (Heb. 4:3), and just as God rested
on the seventh day, so we rest on the Sabbath day (Heb.
4:4-9). The Greek word for, "rest" in verse nine is
sabbatismos (Sabbath) and should be translated as
Sabbath. Just as we enter the Sabbath with no work, we
are to enter the rest of the Messiah by ceasing from our
justification by works. This change of heart from
unbelief to belief comes by the word of God, which is, "quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). And
the Messiah is the very High Priest to deliver this faith
through, "mercy" and, "grace" (Heb. 4:16).
five discusses the job of the High Priest. His purpose
was to, "offer gifts and sacrifices for sins" (Heb. 5:1).
He would offer sacrifice for himself first and then for the
people of God (Heb. 5:2-3). However, the Messiah, is a
High Priest, "after the order of Melchisedec" (Heb. 5:6-10).
This priesthood is eternal for the Messiah is a son and an
heir of God. Unfortunately, these concepts are hard for the
Hebrews to understand because they are still, "babes" and not
mature in their faith (Heb. 5:11-14). The writer urges
the Hebrews to "go on unto perfection" (Heb. 6:1-3).
That is, leave the basic doctrines of the Messiah and move
on to sanctification and the life they were created for.
They are to move onto perfection so as to not be rejected
(Heb. 6:4-8). God, however, will not forget their good
works if they should do them (Heb. 6:9-12). Just as
Abraham, "patiently endured" to the end, the Hebrews were to
do the same (Heb. 6:13-15). The end result will be a
blessing from God. We can be certain of these things
because it is, "impossible for God to lie" and our Messiah is
a, "high priest for ever" (Heb. 6:16-20).
brings us to chapter seven, which is the beginning of the
chapters in question. The writer has addressed the problem
at hand, which was the Hebrew's immaturity as believers.
They were, "babes" in their faith drinking only milk and not
meat of the word (Heb. 5:12-14). They were, "unskilful
in the word of righteousness" and needed to press onto a
greater understanding beyond the basic doctrines of their
faith like, "baptisms" and the, "laying on of hands", and of
the, "resurrection of the dead" (Heb. 6:2). The writer
is now going to teach them the meat of the word, which is
the topic of chapters seven through ten. To continue