And it was through Moses that the tabernacle was set up and the dimensions and all declared. When Solomon built the temple, he called it the house of the Lord. The Jewish system, no less than the Christian, was divine in its origin; and many New Testament passages emphasize the connection of Old Testament references with that new Israel which supplanted the old (1 Corinthians 10:6,11; Romans 15:4; John 5:39; Acts 17:2,3). He was a servant and he declared unto us the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, the worship, the ordinances, which were all a shadow of Jesus Christ. People of the present day are confronted with exactly the same danger. The Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus. It is the argument of cause and effect. Because you failed to represent Me before the people, Moses, I just can"t let you lead them into the land." [11] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Biblical Illustrator (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967), p. 264. Hebrews 3 – Jesus, Superior to Moses A. In Hebrews 2:17, Jesus had already been mentioned as a merciful and faithful high priest, and it is his "faithfulness" that needed stress here. Rather, here is a reference to the spiritual and eternal inheritance of Christians, as contrasted with the mortal and earthly goals of Judaism. For Moses, a servant in the house bringing them the testimony of God and the law of God, could not lead them into the rest. Hebrews 3:8 has been an interesting example of a couple of Hebrew proper names being translated as common nouns, Meribah and Massah, being rendered "provocation and temptation." Moses delivered Israel from Egypt; Christ delivers from sin all who follow him. Here we have the exhortation towards perseverance. They have not entered into the rest. [4] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. A noted research chemist, Thomas David Parks, said: Christians ought not to be ashamed of the argument from design; for here it is in the word of God itself, commending itself to the unbiased mind, and standing absolutely uncontradicted by any vaunted achievements of science. (14-19) Commentary on Hebrews 3:1-6 (Read Hebrews 3:1-6) And with whom was he displeased forty years? It featured Peter's noble confession (Matthew 16:16); Caiaphas used it when he administered an oath to Jesus (Matthew 26:63); it was frequently in the writings of Paul (Romans 9:26; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:15; etc. nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? And so tonight as we lift our voices in worship and praise unto Him, God dwelling here in the midst of His people. In other words, God established His house, the spiritual house, through Moses. Is this commandment heeded today? Consider is a common word in English, but it has a rich etymological significance, being formed from two Latin words, "con" (with) plus "sideris" (stars or constellation), thus having a literal meaning related to observing the stars. An additional implication in the meaning of the word "apostle" is that the person sending is greater in dignity than the one sent; and to make clear just what is meant by its reference to Jesus, the author of Hebrews uses the term "Jesus," that being the usual scriptural word where the human nature of our Lord is meant. As Paul wrote in Colossians, "These things were all a shadow of things to come. The same sunshine melts butter and hardens concrete; and the same gospel saves some and destroys others (2 Corinthians 2:12). I sware in my wrath calls attention to God's making an oath; and although mentioned elsewhere by Zacharias (Luke 1:73), Peter (Acts 2:30), and Stephen (Acts 7:17), it is in Hebrews that this fact receives the greatest attention, there being no less than six references to it, the others being Hebrews 3:18; 4:3; 6:13; 6:16; 7:21. These people attended different congregations until the time mentioned; and neither of them had the slightest idea that the other was a Christian! In the Old Testament Israel was the house of God and the temple was known as the house of the Lord. The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET CHAPTER 3 Hbr 3:1-19.THE SON OF GOD GREATER THAN MOSES, WHEREFORE UNBELIEF TOWARDS HIM WILL INCUR A HEAVIER PUNISHMENT THAN BEFELL UNBELIEVING ISRAEL IN THE WILDERNESS. Moses a Servant in the House; Christ the Son. . The climate for the proper maintenance of faith is not exclusively produced by, nor does it depend solely upon, external conditions. In fact, "confidence" contains the thought of "glorying"; and this is indicated by the translation "in this confidence of glorying" (2 Corinthians 11:17). Hebrews: New Testament Commentary Series, by Ray C. Stedman. Moffatt commented on this in these words. One steals who presumes upon tomorrow; tomorrow belongs to God; "Behold now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). "Yes. Now Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after ( Hebrews 3:4-5 ); So Moses was faithful; he gave to us the laws of God. The first miracle of each had a startling resemblance. Now he is going to declare we have a high priest, and in time he is going to show the superiority of our High Priest over the priests who are after the order of Levi. We are the royal priesthood. And the simple question simply means that intelligence that has not been corrupted accepts the argument from design as truth; and the axiomatic nature of that truth was affirmed twice in the word of God: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalms 14:1; 53:1). But God said, "Moses, come here, son. The living God identifies the God of the Christians as the creator, upholder, and governor of all the universe; and this expression is used several times in the New Testament. The Book of Hebrews makes a great thing of obedience, affirming that even Christ was made perfect by it (Hebrews 5:8,9) and that the salvation he authored is "unto all them that obey him"; and also marking especially the obedience of so illustrious a person as Abraham (Hebrews 11:8). The quotation here is from Psalms 95:7ff and introduces the second of a series of exhortations designed to bolster the lagging faith of the Hebrew Christians and to warn them against apostasy, the warning being strongly reinforced by the appeal to the analogous falling away which took place in that generation which entered the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt but were cut off from entering the promised land. ", So they never entered into God"s rest. That rest will be deeply detailed in the next chapter. They came to the wilderness to the area of Meribah and they cried unto Moses and said, "You"ve brought us out here to die. cit., p. 81. I didn"t produce all these people and I"m sick of trying to carry them." The word is always used in the plural, and we should note that we never hear of “Saint So-and-So.” 1 All God’s true people are called saints or … SUMMARY.--Our Apostle and High Priest. And if you"ve got a house, you have to have a builder of the house. It is strongly to be feared that it is forsaken. So he was a faithful servant as he testified of those things which were to be spoken after. Thomas was aware of this when he wrote: Thus there devolves upon the believer himself a frightful responsibility for the preservation and development of his own faith; and this coincides with the fact that faith, rather than being exclusively intellectual, also rests upon and flows out of moral considerations of the highest order (John 3:19). They came to Kadesh-Barnea in the beginning. ", "You"ve brought us out here to die. Harden not your hearts is another admonition that affixes the responsibility and blame for hardness of heart upon the hardened himself. I believe it is Paul. Sin promises the transgressors happiness, only to plunge him in sorrow. But Christ as a son over his own house ( Hebrews 3:6 ); Moses was a servant in the house, faithful, but Christ is as the son over the house. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus. Regarding the possibility of apostasy so forcibly mentioned here, it should be noted that the Bible nowhere authorizes any confidence to the contrary. The law cannot bring you into the rest of God. Moses, you misrepresented Me. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end ( Hebrews 3:13-14 ); Again, the exhortation towards perseverance twice here in the text. Because He is superior over the angelic beings being the Son of God. The question rises as to how their defection was applicable to the situation confronting the Christians to whom Hebrews was addressed. We are told in the New Testament that the church is the building of God. While it is said, Today if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. (2) They exaggerated the dangers that confronted them, saying, "The land eateth up the inhabitants thereof" (Numbers 13:32). (4-14) Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-3 (Read Hebrews 1:1-3) [13] Brooke Foss Westcott, op. And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were disobedient? (3) The difficulty of obedience is only multiplied and compounded by delay. He built God’s house just as he was commanded to do. Indeed, if there is no such thing as the possibility that a true child of God might fall away and be lost, how could the author of this epistle have introduced such a subject, and how could he have warned them to "take heed" against a non-existent danger? David, as the human instrument through whom the words came, is not mentioned; and thus the author of this epistle takes his place alongside other New Testament writers in making God the author of the Old Testament (2 Peter 1:21). So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest ( Hebrews 3:7-11 ). Since this is a quotation from Psalms 95:7, it is possible the author means, "As long as the Bible says Today." The most determined atheist, in his tenderest and most thoughtful hours, cannot escape the persuasive eloquence of that argument from design which demands a Designer. He took his rod and he smote the rock. The issue isn"t the deliverance from sin, the issue is the entering into the fullness that God has for you. You"d say, "You"re crazy, man." They"d come out of the bondage of Egypt. Moses, you are my representative to those people. cit., p. 85. The multitude of Israel looked at the ten instead of the two, blindly following the majority, feeling that wisdom was in that course, and unaware until too late that ignorance, defeat, folly and death lay with the majority. [⇑ See verse text ⇑] This chapter points out that Jesus is a greater example than Moses. And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, as a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken. I, p. 245. They shall not enter into my rest refers to the prohibition by which God refused admittance of Israel to Canaan and immediately loomed in the author's mind as a type of that rest the Hebrew Christians were in danger of forfeiting, a thought that he at once developed and made the basis of the remainder of this second admonition. Far more dreadful, therefore, was the danger threatening the Hebrew Christians who, if they fell away, stood to suffer the loss of even "all spiritual blessings" that are in Christ. (4) God has commanded obedience NOW. God said, "Moses, they"re thirsty. (7-13) And of necessity of faith in Christ, and of stedfastly following him. Right out of the earth here this thing is; beautiful dormers and stainglasses and the whole thing, just marvelous." The hardening of the heart through sin's deceit is a danger enhanced by the fact that "The heart is deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9). It mocks the ship of Alexandria with the gentle zephyrs of the south wind (Acts 27:13), only to smite with the full fury of Euraquilo when the unwary ship has ventured out of its haven. You can"t be serious." Roddy put it squarely thus. Chambers was a dedicated Communist; but after he was enlightened, he gave a touching account of how that first ray of light penetrated his soul. They did not believe God was able to bring them into the land. We can"t take the land. "Is not my word like a fire, saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock into pieces?" The Greek pronoun rendered here "one another" is variously translated in the New Testament, as in "be at peace AMONG YOURSELVES" (1 Thessalonians 5:14); "Fervent in your love AMONG YOURSELVES" (1 Peter 4:8); "And be ye kind ONE TO ANOTHER" (Ephesians 4:32); and "Forbearing ONE ANOTHER and forgiving EACH OTHER" (Colossians 3:13). Christ was rejected and crucified. ); and the apostle John saw an angel "having the seal of the living God" (Revelation 7:2). So he who has built the house is greater than the house itself. They would not enter His rest: 11 times in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4, Hebrews speaks of entering rest. The interesting thing to me, the glorious thing to me is that God desires to dwell with His people. "[11] The deceit of sin and also the deceit of the heart combine to visit ruin in people's lives. (2) Some are ashamed of Christ. It promises to be nothing serious. Unbelief is indeed a sin, damning and destructive enough; but it is followed by overt and willful actions against the laws of God, such actions being of themselves fatal to the receiving of God's approval, no matter if founded in unbelief, as Israel's were, or not. Thus the warning in this place is dramatically intensified by an appeal to the historic disaster that prevented a whole generation from entering Canaan. It was long centuries after God had built or established that house in which Moses served, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem; and the identification of Jesus in this verse as the builder of that house places him upon an equality with God. If you hear his voice raises the question of how God's voice may be heard today; and following are some suggested answers: (1) the voice of God through the holy scriptures as read or preached; (2) the admonitions of faithful loved ones and friends; (3) through conscience which, however depraved, must inevitably retain some vestiges of regard for duty toward God; (4) through the message of God as revealed by consideration of the creation in the light of reason; (5) through God's providential blessings upon every man; and (6) through the spiritual hunger that rises in every heart and which instinctively reaches for a knowledge of God and longs for his approval. (2) There may never be a tomorrow for any man. A three-year-old will ask, "Mommy, who made the cow?" People may go a little at a time, further and further into sin, until finally they become hardened and confirmed in their rebellion against God. —Rather, over His house. Because He is superior over the angelic beings being the Son of God. Jesus, the Son, ruling over the house, the builder of the house. The inauguration of the Law of Moses and that of Christ had this in common: that three thousand souls were involved in each case, three thousand being lost at Sinai, three thousand being saved at Pentecost (Exodus 32:38; Acts 2:38ff). For every house is builded by some one; but he that built all things is God. "Lord, that"s been the ambition of my life. [6] W. H. Griffith Thomas, Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. For we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. Not wishing to write flatly that they were in mortal danger of being lost, he proposes such an awesome possibility as something that just might "haply" befall them. "No way." ", "These things were all a shadow of things to come. (1) Some perhaps fail through natural timidity, but that is a weakness that should not be allowed to stand. Jesus, our chief priest. The "generation" mentioned in Hebrews 3:10 is that of the Israelites who provoked God and were prohibited from entering the promised land. EasyEnglish is a system of simple English designed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). You look at a house and you like the architecture and the style and you say, "I wonder who built that house. There was a danger and it was happening that some of the Jews who had come out of Judaism and all of its traditions, they were beginning to slip back into Judaism, going back to the traditions. Moses labored in a house he did not build, Christ in the house he built, his own house. But Christ as a son, over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope firm unto the end. The tragic case of that lost generation in the wilderness is of epic proportions. Their Christian experience is a wilderness experience, as they wander through the wilderness. Wherefore, holy brethren (Hebrews 3:1), The word wherefore immediately leads us back to that which is immediately preceding, and that is the declaration of the superiority of Jesus over the angels. Every house has a builder, the cause and effect, and the builder of all things is God. Jesus is superior to Moses 3:1-6. v1 Brothers and sisters in Christ … Moses brought only the patterns of things to come, Christ the realities. And we see is a transitional phrase which means, "We see in the familiar record of the Pentateuch," or "We see in the details just mentioned." Furthermore, Moses delivered the Christian system embryonically, as well as the Judaic. Moses couldn"t bring them into God"s rest, and so he quotes from this Psalm. People's deceitful hearts subconsciously desire to be deceived, thus making the deception far easier and more extensive than otherwise. Again, our problem is our looking at our own resources and looking at the power of the enemy. You can"t have a house without a builder. Moses' mission pertained only to Israel, Christ's, ultimately, to the "whole creation" (Mark 16:15). I"m not angry and upset. Hebrews, p. 88. Moses appeared with Christ on the mount of transfiguration but was caught away, so that people saw "Jesus only" (Matthew 17:8). If you go back in the law, if you go back in the sacrifices, if you go back in the ordinances and in those things, you will find that Jesus is behind it all. They had begun so gloriously, led of God himself, seeing their enemies humbled by a series of shocking plagues, crossing the Red Sea on dry land, arming themselves from the wreckage of Pharaoh's drowned army, engaging in the most dramatic instantaneous exodus of all time, overcoming all obstacles, and singing the songs of triumph and victory; how could they have failed after all that? ", "I wonder who built that house. For he hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by so much as he that hath built the house hath more honor than the house. One who takes the time to behold the beauty and majesty of the night sky is literally WITH THE STARS in his thoughts and emotions and cannot fail to receive deep impressions of awe, wonder, and appreciation. (Jeremiah 23:29). Thus their holiness was not in any sense a consequence of their being born of Jewish parents, a preponderantly Gentile congregation receiving the same designation (1 Thessalonians 5:26, margin). "Oh, please!" I"m cognizant of their need. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of … Moses had been hearing this stuff for forty years, and he had had it. And I said, They have not known my ways, so I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."". 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. Five definite facts emerge from this verse: (1) that it is possible for Christians to fall away from the living God; (2) that such a disaster is due to an unbelieving heart; (3) that an unbelieving heart is evil (not merely `smart'); (4) that God is not a mere influence but a living person; and (5) that there are adequate grounds upon which a Christian may avoid falling away. The author pointedly reminds his readers that the wilderness failure of Israel was on a national scale, supported by the overwhelming majority, and popularly led and advocated by the great princes of Israel (Numbers 13:3-16). The offering for sin and all, they are all pointing to Jesus. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), p. 77. The message of the entire Psalm is that people should worship God, but that mere worship, unaccompanied by obedience, will not avail. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house. "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Psalms 19:1). I wonder who drew up the designs." Many times we find that it is our unbelief that keeps us from entering into that full rich life that God would have us to experience and to enjoy. c. In a serious pathetic exhortation that this great high priest, who was discovered to them, might be seriously considered by them (v. 1-6). Take heed, brethren, lest haply there should be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God. Charles Spurgeon, as quoted in Biblical Illustrator, noted that "When these two deceitful ones lay their heads together to make up a case, there is no wonder if man, like a silly dove, is taken in their net. The death of Christ is called "an exodus" (founded on Luke 9:31); Christ is the true Passover sacrifice for his people (1 Corinthians 5:7); he is the lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19); Christians during their probation are said to be, like Israel of old, "the church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38); and, as Bruce pointed out: They do always err in their hearts; but they did not know my ways. Must I take my rod and smite this rock again to give you water?" He was upset. Holy brethren is the third term of endearment already used in this epistle to describe God's people, the other two being "sanctified" and "sons" (Hebrews 2:11-13). B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), p. 59. Chapter Contents. "Why did you smite it?" They were saying, "We can"t do it. He couldn"t take it any more. It promises liberty, but binds the sinner with the most disgusting chains of slavery. Moses gave bread from heaven to sustain physical life, Christ bread from heaven that gives and sustains eternal life. In their birth, both became sons of virgin princesses, Moses through adoption by Pharaoh's daughter, Christ by means of the incarnation, and his birth by miracle, of the virgin Mary. This idea of the house of God being the church, God"s people, where God dwells. It is extremely appropriate that the Being within whom the life principle is self-contained, and whose existence is eternally in the present tense ("I AM that I AM" - Exodus 3:14), should be called the living God. And so he"s going to show the superiority of Jesus. See more on this under Hebrews 11:6. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. It is all pointing to Jesus. This is going to be the longest funeral procession in history. One might call that "the grasshopper complex" and find a great many examples of it today. Unbelief Caused Their Fall. Commentaries for Hebrews Chapter 3 The Christian Hebrews reproved for their little progress in the knowledge of the gospel. and to whom sware he that they should not enter into the rest, but to them that believed not? They said, "We can"t go in. So there is the prophetic aspect to the writings of Moses that were fulfilled in Jesus. Wherefore, holy brethren ( Hebrews 3:1 ). Partakers of a heavenly calling is a reference to the universal and eternal dimensions of the Christian vocation, which is a heaven-centered faith, its emphasis being emphatically upon the things in heaven, rather than upon the things of earth. Moses' body was buried and saw corruption; Christ's was spared that by means of the resurrection. was it not with them that sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? Is warning them to maintain their hope that they have come to in Christ and hold fast that confidence and the rejoicing of hope unto the end. Paul calls them, "holy brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling." It was the Lord who built the house; thus, He is greater than the house. They haven"t entered into that full, rich, abundant life of the Spirit that God has promised unto us. Shall we turn in our Bibles now to Hebrews the third chapter. This basic unity of God's heavenly establishment, changed though the covenant was, is attested by the deliberate judgment of mankind in binding both the Old and New Testaments into a single volume to form the Bible. So he is going to make reference to this ninety-fifth Psalm a couple of times here in chapters3,4, as he is going to be pointing out the superiority of Jesus over Moses. True, the Old Testament states that God "hardened Pharaoh's heart" (Exo.7:13); but the next verse declares that Pharaoh was STUBBORN. We"re unable to go in." Chapter 3 In this chapter the apostle applies what he had said in the chapter foregoing concerning the priesthood of Christ, I. [7] Encyclopedia Britannica, 1961Edition, Vol. The overwhelming power of the admonition delivered by the Holy Spirit in this paragraph is seen in the rules, or techniques laid down, by which a truly successful Christian life may be achieved and strengthened. It was in view of this unity that Jesus said. He went in before God and said, "God, I"ve had it. was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? One cannot pass this verse without regarding the essential unity of God's children in all ages. In a serious pathetic exhortation that this great high priest, who was discovered to them, might be seriously considered by them (v. 1-6). Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, a. Here is a solemn warning against trusting in a majority or what is popular. Here"s the church. Both offered themselves to die for Israel (Exodus 32:32; John 10:17). 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