From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/26:

Today Jude, the brother of James and half-brother of Jesus, also warns the churches of false teachers who have crept in unnoticed “and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude encourages the Christians to hold to the doctrine of Christ. “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts… But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

And that’s a wrap on the Missions Era! Last up is the End Times / New Beginnings Era! 

“John wrote Revelation from the island of Patmos, where he was exiled for preaching the word of God and for his testimony about Jesus.” (OYCB) God gave John the Revelation of Jesus Christ “to show His servants – things which must shortly take place… Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

God gave the Revelation as a blessing to man so that we may be assured of Jesus’ ultimate victory! Per the book “Four Views on The Book of Revelation” there are four major interpretations of Revelation:

1) preterist – views “the events of Revelation in large part to have been fulfilled in the first centuries of the Christian Era”

2) historicist – “views the events of Revelation as unfolding in the course of history”

3) Futurist – views “events of Revelation are largely unfulfilled, holding that chapters 4-22 await the end times for their realization”

4) Idealist – views the book of Revelation as symbolic. “For this school of thought, Revelation sets forth timeless truths concerning the battle between good and evil that continues throughout the church age.”

So we see that this book is highly debated and extremely difficult to interpret. However, it was written as a blessing to us, so that we know the story ends with King Jesus victorious over all evil. 

One day Jesus is returning “with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.” Then the Lord will say, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End… who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Jesus instructs John to write seven letters to seven churches in Asia. These churches are representative of all churches. When John turned his head to see Jesus, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass… His voice as the sound of many waters… out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Jesus is not returning as a lamb to be slaughtered; He is returning as King of heaven and earth!

Jesus instructs John to, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

Today we read the first four of the seven letters written to the churches:

1) Ephesus – Jesus commends them for staying true to the doctrine of Christ but rebukes them for leaving their first love, their passion for Christ. He tells them to “repent and do the first works”, which is not just checking a religious box but doing the work of the ministry out of a burning love for Christ. Jesus goes on to say, “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”

2) Smyrna – Jesus commends them for being faithful and enduring persecution. He tells them to “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life… He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

3) Pergamum – Jesus commends them for holding fast to His name and not denying His faith. However, he rebukes them for allowing those in the church to teach false doctrine. Jesus tells them to repent and “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

4) Thyatira – Jesus commends them for their works, love, service, faith and patience. But he rebukes them for allowing “Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” He tells them to repent and “hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations… and I will give him the morning star.” 

Tomorrow we read the letters to the remaining seven churches, and we get a glimpse into heaven. Keep reading!  (Jude 1:1-25, Revelation 1:1-2:29)

14 Eras: 

Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26) ✔️

Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️ 

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️

Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️

Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️

Kingdom Era (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️

Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✔️

Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) ✔️

Return Era (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) ✔️

Silent Era (Inter-Testament period) ✔️

Gospel Era (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) ✔️

Church Era (Acts, the Epistles, Hebrews) ✔️

Missions Era (Acts, the Epistles, Hebrews) ✔️ 

End Times/New Beginnings Era (Revelation) is up now!

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/25:

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” John explains that “We love Him because He first loved us,” which was displayed by His perfect, innocent Son going to the cross to die for wretched sinners like we are.

John tells the church that the “whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” John is speaking of Satan, who took the dominion of the world from Adam and Eve back in the garden. However, Jesus came to rescue us from the evil one and provide us with eternal life. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?… And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

John’s second letter is written to “the elect lady” which is more likely a church congregation rather than one specific woman. In this letter John once again encourages a church body to love one another. “And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.”

John concludes the second letter, warning them of deceivers who are antichrists and exhorting them to abide in the teachings of Christ.

John’s final letter is written to his friend Gaius. John commends him for being hospitable to traveling missionaries and for walking in truth. But John rebukes a man named Diotrephes who loves power and position and putting himself above others. Then he tells Gaius, “do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”

Tomorrow we read a letter written by Jude, brother of James and half-brother of Jesus, and we begin the final book of the Bible, Revelation. We are in the home stretch of this magnificent story, so keep reading! A(1 John 4:7-5:21, 2 John 1:1-13, 3 John 1:1-14)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/24:

John’s first letter helps answer the question of whether or not you are a child of God. He gives several characteristics of those walking with the Lord:

1) “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

2) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

3) “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”

4) “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”

5) “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

6) “He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

Then John says, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 

In point 2 above, John said if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and make Him a liar. Then John says if we sin we are of the devil. Therefore, we have to look at point number 6. Do you see the word “practice”? Those who are in Christ are practicing righteousness as an ongoing way of life. No one is going to nail this perfectly. So yes, we are still sinners, but a genuine Christian, who has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, will not continue in a lifestyle or prolonged pattern of sin without conviction, and conviction leads to repentance.

Jesus died on the cross to take away the sins of the world, and He rose three days later, defeating death and providing a way for our eternal salvation. Therefore, whoever puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ has their sins covered by His bloodshed and is deemed righteous. And those who are truly in Christ, the righteous, grieve their sin and repent out of love for their Savior.

John also says that the wicked will always try to kill the righteous. We saw this in the beginning of the story, when wicked Cain killed his righteous brother Abel, and the pattern continues and will continue until Jesus returns. But we also see throughout the story that what sets the righteous apart from the wicked is their love for one another, not just “in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.”

Tomorrow we finish John’s first letter and also read his next two letters, so keep reading! (1 John 1:1-4:6)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/23:

In Peter’s second letter, he tells the Christians to live disciplined lives out of their love for Jesus Christ. Since our faith is a gift from the Lord, we are not able to do anything to obtain our faith or our salvation. However, we are to partake in the battle of denying self and living for Christ – “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”

Peter, knowing that death is quickly approaching, urges the Christians to hold firm to the truth of Jesus Christ that is revealed in the Holy Spirit inspired prophecies of the Scriptures, and is verified through eyewitness testimonies – “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place… knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, every time we open our Bible and read Scripture, we are hearing directly from the Lord, and His word is what transforms us.

Peter warns of false teachers “who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.” However, the Lord will eventually bring judgment upon these false teachers because “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”

Peter is certain that this day of judgment is coming. And on this day, the Lord will bring judgment upon all of the wicked, just like in the days of Noah when he wiped out the entire world with the exception of Noah and his seven family members who were saved by grace through faith. “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

God is delaying this judgment because “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance… Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.”

Our best defense against falling for the lies of false teachers is becoming Bible literate so that we know the truth for ourselves. And the truth is that Christians are at peace with the Lord and declared blameless through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are given the ability to live lives turning from sin toward the Lord and reflecting the characteristics of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Christians do not have to fear this coming judgment upon the depraved world. 

Tomorrow we begin the first of three letters written by John, so keep reading. (1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/22:

Peter talks about submitting and suffering and often those go together. Submitting can be very hard, especially when we are submitting to what we see as wrong, unfair, or just plain ridiculous. However, the Lord still calls us to submit and trust Him.

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

Peter calls wives to “be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct… as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.” Remember that Sarah’s husband, Abraham, selfishly and foolishly passed her off twice to foreign rulers to save his own neck (Gen 12 & 20). However, despite her husband’s foolish decisions, Sarah submitted and trusted God with her life and with transforming her husband. The Lord protected Sarah and used her to grow Abraham into a godly man who fully trusted the Lord and walked by faith. So we see that submission isn’t a form of weakness at all. It actually takes a person strong in their faith to be able to submit and trust the Lord.

So even if we are suffering unjustly, we can trust God. And during our trials, we can point others to the One, Jesus Christ, that gives us hope so we may endure – “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.”

Pain and suffering are part of living in a fallen world, and suffering for the sake of Christ in this dark world is to be expected – “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you… Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Tomorrow we will read Peter’s second letter, so keep reading. (1 Peter 2:4-5:11)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/21:

Today we read the final words to the Hebrews where the writer tells them that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Therefore, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines… Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Then we begin reading the first of two letters written by Peter shortly before his death during the persecution of Nero in Rome. His first letter is written to Christians dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

Peter encourages the Christians, who are under great persecution, to endure and remain faithful to Jesus, whose life and death provide them with living hope of eternal salvation. Therefore, they do not need to fear their persecutors because no one can take away their eternal salvation that is kept by the power of God for those who have faith in Jesus Christ.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love… Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’”

More from Peter tomorrow, so keep reading. (Hebrews 13:1-25, 1 Peter 1:1-2:3)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/20:

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/20:

Today the author of Hebrews tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

The writer says it is by faith that we believe that the universe was created by the word of God. Then he gives the Hebrews a history lesson of people who walked by faith, beginning in the Creation Era.

Creation Era:

“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous…”

“By faith Enoch [Seth’s descendant] was taken away so that he did not see death…”

“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

Patriarch Era: 

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance…”

“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age…”

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son…”

“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.”

“By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph…”

“By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.”

Exodus Era: 

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents…”

“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter…esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”

“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king…By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood…By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land…”

Conquest Era: 

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.”

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.”

Judges Era and forward: 

“Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

“Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment…”

“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.”

The promise of the coming seed was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Those in the Old Testament were saved by faith, looking forward to the coming Savior, the final sacrificial Lamb, just like we today are saved by faith looking back at what Jesus did for us on the cross. So although the ones in the Old Testament did not see the fulfillment of all of God’s promises in their lifetime, God did deliver on His promise He made back in the garden to Adam and Eve, to send a Savior. So we can be assured that He will deliver on the promise that one day Jesus Christ is returning, and in that day He will restore all that is broken. 

Therefore, the writer of Hebrews tells us to live our lives, enduring this day, trusting in the Lord and His promises, and expectantly looking forward to that Day, the Day Jesus returns – “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Tomorrow we conclude the letter to the Hebrews and begin a letter written by Peter. Keep reading. (Hebrews 11:1-12:29)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/19:

Today the author of Hebrews tell us that Jesus Christ is the High Priest of a new covenant which is better than the old covenant under the Law of Moses; for he “has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”

Under the first covenant, the high priest went alone inside the tabernacle behind the veil to the “Holiest of All” once a year to offer sacrifices “for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.” This act was symbolic of the work that was done through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice and foundation of the new covenant. “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

Back in the garden, after the fall, the Lord established the way to approach Him when He killed an innocent animal to atone for the sins of Adam and Eve. Then He covered them in that animal’s skin, illustrating that the shedding of the blood of the innocent atones for the sins of the guilty. In the wilderness with Moses, Aaron, and the Israelites, the Lord gave rules and regulations regarding the sacrificial system. “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Therefore Jesus “appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself… so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many… By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

We end the reading with a word of encouragement to the Hebrews to persevere and draw near to Christ “with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching… Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

More to the Hebrews tomorrow. Keep reading. (Hebrews 8:1-10:39)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/18:

Today the author of Hebrews says that we have a High Priest, Jesus Christ. And because Jesus suffered many trials and temptations while on earth, as we do, He can empathize with our suffering. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 

Our inclination can be to run to family and friends with our problems instead of first going to the One who is in charge, the Lord. We have a Savior who knows us and loves us more than any other person. In fact, Jesus loves us so much that He went to the cross and died a horrific death for us becoming “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” So we can trust Him with our lives, and we can trust that His ways are for our good regardless of our feelings.

The author continues by rebuking the Hebrews for being lazy Christians – “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

All Christ followers should be growing in the knowledge of Jesus and sharing with others. We are not called to be lazy, passive Christians who want to be entertained and who constantly have to be fed by others like a baby. We are called to be ones who are actively pursuing the knowledge of our Savior to help mature other Christians and to share the good news of Christ with this lost and dying world.

The author then compares Jesus to Melchizedek, a king and priest who entered the scene of this story in the beginning, during the Patriarch Era (Gen 14:17-24). Melchizedek was without genealogy, just like Jesus who entered the scene without genealogy as a seed from outside of the human race – “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.”

Melchizedek, who has no recorded ancestry and was both a priest and a king, was a foreshadow of the coming Priest, King Jesus Christ. As Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, so the Levites receive tithes from the people according to the law. But these tithes would not provide salvation, just as the Levitical priest could not provide salvation. The Levites were broken sinners just like everyone else. Therefore, they had to offer sacrifices for themselves before they could offer sacrifices on behalf of others. There was still a need for a Savior to come from the outside – “For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.”

Mary and Joseph are both from the tribe of Judah. Jesus came as a seed from heaven, was birthed by Mary, and became the perfect High Priest and “a surety of a better covenant… For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”

The perfect work of our salvation was completed on the cross when Jesus Christ, the perfect High Priest, laid down His life as the final sacrificial Lamb. The free gift of eternal life is now available to anyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus as their Savior. More to the Hebrews tomorrow. Keep reading. (Hebrews 4:14-7:28)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 12/17:

The letter to the Hebrews explains that, in the past, the Lord spoke through prophets. But in these last days, God has spoken through His Son, Jesus Christ, “the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Jesus is more excellent because He is the Son of God, whom even the angels worship.

In the beginning of this story, the Lord gave dominion to Adam and Eve over all things on the earth. But when they did not exercise their dominion over the serpent and gave in to the temptations from Satan, that dominion was transferred to Satan and his evil powers. These powers are described in Ephesians 6:12 as the rulers of darkness of this age and the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. However, God sent Jesus “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).

Jesus came so “that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” And one day Jesus will return and destroy all evil for eternity.

Jesus “has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”

The author warns the Hebrews not to go astray in their hearts as the Israelites did in the wilderness with Moses during the Exodus Era – “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). A sign of a true believer’s faith is their endurance to the end. God promises an ultimate rest for those who endure, trusting in Jesus and His word – “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

More to the Hebrews tomorrow. Keep reading. (2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13)