OK, lets go back to the first principles of the oracles of God to the Hebrews.
Abraham, the father of the original assembly of post-flood international believers before there was a nation of Israel, is stated in the New Testament to continue to be the father of the same assembly of believers after the establishment of the nation of Israel.
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?…what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness… faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness…the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was…through the righteousness of faith…of Abraham; who is the father of us all…
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4)
Can we understand that becoming Abraham’s seed / children is a real national identity, based on established social principles, in effect during – and since – Abraham’s day? When we apply the full meaning of father as we’ve come to understand it in ancient culture (see post on Father Abraham if you don’t understand this), we understand the extent of Paul’s claim to Gentile believers. He is not allegorizing a relationship. He is stating a fact that Gentiles have equal standing with the physical descendants because all the children only qualify as legitimate children when they are acknowledged by the Father.
Notice that Paul inserts a plug for his unique ministry of eliminating apartheid within the body of believers when he states that Abraham is the father “of us all.” More to the point here, notice exactly what it is that Abraham and his seed are promised – to be heirs of the world, not just a piece of it as given to Israel. Paul is claiming the inheritance lost to Satan in the garden of Eden.
“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, For God is the King of all the earth…God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham.” (Psalm 47)
Those who are identified with The Promised Seed / Messiah / Christ through the faith of Abraham are granted fellow-citizenship with all the saints, including Abraham’s godly ancestors like Shem, Noah, Enoch, etc. back to Adam back in the day when there was only one language, ergo one nation. God is restoring his one world government.
“The elders” referenced in the letter to the Hebrews, the ancestors of all humanity, were justified by acting on their faith in the word of YHVH – which is whatever God said to that recipient in his time and culture – and this remains the way of salvation for believers of all time.
“who shall stand when he appeareth?…I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against [those] that…fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. For I am YHVH, I change not; (Malachi 3:2-6)
“the gospel of Christ / Messiah / Promise of Redemption from sin and death is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: The just shall live [vs be condemned on the day of judgment] by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
Hebrews Chapter 11 tracks the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. It is the same righteousness, and the same faith. Not the faith of Judaism to the faith of Christianity.
- [Genesis 1-2] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
- For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:16-20)
- [Genesis 4] By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh [in the present].
- the first of many men to be persecuted and killed for acting on God’s notice that “without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin. (Hebrews 9:22)
- [Genesis 5] By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death…for…he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is [in the present] a rewarder of them that diligently seek him under the direst circumstances testing our faith.
- Three references to “translation” from mortal to immortal without going through death allow us to establish a pattern and determine that translation occurs to believers during times of great tribulation from the followers of false, i.e. lying, gods. The following is a bare bones summary elaborated upon in a later post.
- “The words of the blessing of Enoch, according to which he blessed the chosen and righteous, who must be present on the Day of Distress, which is appointed, for the removal of all the wicked and impious…Behold! He comes with ten thousand Holy Ones, to execute judgement upon them, and to destroy the impious, and to contend with all flesh, concerning everything that the sinners, and the impious, have done and wrought against Him…you sinners, you have not persevered in, nor observed, the [antediluvian] Law of the Lord…for all you sinners there will be no salvation. For the chosen; there will be light, joy, and peace, and they will inherit the Earth…And then the Most High, the Great and Holy One, spoke, and sent Arsyalalyur to the son of Lamech…”Say to him, in My Name; hide yourself! And reveal to him the end, which is coming, because the whole Earth will be destroyed. A deluge is about to come on all the Earth; and what is in it will be destroyed.
And now teach him, so that he may escape, and his offspring may survive for the whole Earth…And from everything, Enoch had been hidden, and none of the sons of men knew where he was hidden, or where he was, or what had happened. And all his doings were with the Holy Ones, and with the Watchers, in his days.” (Book of Enoch)
- “the word of the LORD came unto him / Elijah, saying…hide thyself…when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD… [Obadiah] hid an hundred men of the Lord‘s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water… the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table…Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there…Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life…and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (I Kings 17-19, II Kings 2:11)
- “in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure...it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” (II Thessalonians 1:1-11) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall…he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)
- [Genesis 6] By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
- great-grandson of Enoch and heir to his preaching ministry during a time when wickedness escalated to such a degree that by the time God brought judgment only 8 persons were left to save. This will be the same situation in the future for believers. “then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened…as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:21-22, 37)
- [Genesis 12] By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned [rented, not purchased his home] in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
- [Genesis 21] Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
- [Genesis 22] By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
- [All throughout history] Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but…were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
- Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto YHVH’s Savior the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
I spent 60 years defining myself as a Christian while, as a biblically literate individual, struggling with the inconsistencies between the Bible and Christianity – even the brands that claim to be rock solid Bible-believing followers of Jesus Christ.
The new covenant doesn’t do away with the tiresome commandments of the old, it empowers God’s people, the saints of the Most High, to fulfill the commandments! And this is what sets God’s people apart from all the other nations!
“Peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah…I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people [in a theocratic kingdom].” (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
Christianity has degraded the whole purpose of the new covenant with the false gospel that Jesus’s death took away the punishment for sin so we can go about our merry way secure in the knowledge that, since we ‘asked Jesus to come into our heart’, no matter what we do, we don’t face judgment. This is a dreadful lie.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?…our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin…Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body…but yield…your members as instruments of righteousness unto God…Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?…
Adultery and fornication are two behaviors most denounced as sin in the Bible. The is not because because of an arbitrary ruling by a God who invented house rules. This is a fact of life – or death – of the body in conditions like AIDS and infertility caused by STDs. If we can recognize that choices made to pursue a short-term pleasure of drug use leads to long-term destruction of the body, soul and spirit, can we not extrapolate the personal, family, social, and international damage caused by physical drug abuse to the abstract but same pursuit of any self-absorption expressed on a spectrum of ignoring to neglecting to ruthlessly exploiting those whose quality of life, or very life itself, depend on us meeting their needs in our tightly interconnected web of life? Self absorption is easy enough to see when it ruthlessly exploits others in pornographic dehumanization, pedophilia, and rape and Me Too! but is also the root cause of broken families, poverty, and war.
Why is it so hard to understand the righteousness can’t be simply declared, it must a choice resulting in changed behavior.
- “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH – BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT!
- God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH – BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT..
- For to be carnally / physically minded / focused is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
- Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
- So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
- Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ / Mashiach, he is none of his [mashiachs].” (Romans 6, 8:1-9)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.“ (Hebrews 11-13)