Sunday, October 15, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 21: A Tale of Two Mountains

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 21:
A Tale of Two Mountains
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels
·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray
·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)
·        Paul’s warning about unbelief
·        A Sabbath Rest for the People of God
·        Jesus the Great High Priest, Jesus the Perfect High Priest
·        Therefore, It is Time to Grow Up
·        The Certainty of God’s Promise
·        Melchizedek the Priest, Jesus like Melchizedek
·        The High Priest of the New Covenant
·        Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle
·        The Blood of Christ, Christ’s sacrifice, Once for All
·        A Call to Preserve Faith
·        Faith in Action
·        God Disciplines His Children
·        Be Holy

“A Tale of Two Mountains”

Hebrews 12:18-29
 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”

a. The mountain that can be touched
                                                                 i. Anyone “can” touch or reach Mount Horeb (Sinai)

                                                              ii. The Hebrew meaning of Horeb is
1. desert
2. solitude
3. destruction

                                                           iii. The Hebrew meaning of Sinai is
1. bush
2. hostility
3. enmity

b. Burning with fire, darkness, gloom and storm
                                                                 i. A trumpet blast, or such a voice speaking words

                                                              ii. Those who hear it begging it speaks no more because they cannot bear what was commanded

c. If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death
                                                                 i. The sight so terrifying Moses said he trembled with fear

d. This is the line God drew in the sand dividing those who belonged to Satan, and those who belong to Him
                                                                 i. Genesis 3:14-15 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he (
Jesus) will crush your head (command, control, leadership),
    and you will strike his heel.
(a small wound, and price to pay, compared to the serpents destruction of command over the woman’s offspring)”

a. The city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem

                                                                 i. The Hebrew definition for Zion is
1. from the root word Tsahah “to be dry”
2. Zion means “to set up”, “to protect”
3. Used as “Under the Word” or citadel
4. Perhaps from the root “to be dry” because NOW you have the Holy Spirit!

                                                              ii. Jerusalem means City of Peace

b. You have come to Thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly
                                                                 i. You have come to the Church of the Firstborn!

1. By the way...if coming to church on earth once a week is too much for you, do you think you will fit in at the Church of the Firstborn?

2. You must make God and worship a priority here on earth if you expect to be accepted where they will do this for eternity!

                                                              ii. You have come to those whose names are written in heaven
1. This is where the Lambs Book of Life is located

c. You have come to God
                                                                 i. Judge of all

                                                              ii. Where the Spirits of the Righteous made perfect

                                                           iii. To Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant

                                                            iv. And where the sprinkling of blood speaks the Word better than the blood of Abel

a. See to it you do not refuse Him who speaks
                                                                 i. Who is speaking now?
1. The one whose blood was sprinkled (Jesus)

2. Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant (the one who speaks now)

3. From Mount Zion in the Church of the Firstborn

b. If they did not escape Him who warned the earth
                                                                 i. Who did not escape? Those who refused Him who spoke at Mount Sinai

c. Once more I will shake not only the earth, but the heavens
                                                                 i. God once shook the earth in judgment (the flood)

                                                              ii. He will “once more” shake not only the earth, but the heavens

                                                           iii. Revelation 21:1aThen I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Isaiah 65:17)

                                                            iv. Revelation 21:2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem (Mount Zion), coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

                                                               v. The New Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the Church of the Firstborn, the TRUE temple, are all in Heaven right now awaiting the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth right after Judgment Day!

CONCLUSION – therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Fire represents God’s Judgment in scripture. Consuming denotes the overwhelming, intense, unbearable and completeness of that Judgment.
God IS the one who Judges completely.

Revelation 20:11-15
  11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

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