Submission to Truth

13:7-9

There are a number of different areas mentioned in this last chapter that pertain to the believer’s conduct. Here is a list of those things that are mentioned: brotherly love, #Heb 13:1; hospitality, #Heb 13:2; sympathy with those in bonds, #Heb 13:3; fidelity in the marriage relation, #Heb 13:4; contentment, #Heb 13:5-6; submission to those in authority, #Heb 13:7-8; stability in the doctrines of religion, #Heb 13:9-15; benevolence, #Heb 13:16; obedience to those entrusted with office, #Heb 13:17; and special prayer for him who wrote this epistle, #Heb13:18-19. The epistle then closes with a beautiful and impressive benediction that should serve to challenge each of us to a personal commitment to the Lord in regards to our personal conduct, #Heb 13:20-21.
(Alderman)

This section opens with a reminder to be thoughtful of and grateful for the leaders of the church who faithfully speak the truth, “the word of God.”

Verse 7. Remember them which have the rule over you. Marg., "are the guides." The word here used means, properly, leaders, guides, directors. It is often applied to military commanders. Here it means teachersР—Рappointed to lead or guide them to eternal life. It does not refer to them so much as rulers or governors, as teachers or guides. In #Heb 13:17, however, it is used in the former sense. The duty here enjoined is that of remembering them; that is, remembering their counsel, their instructions, their example. (Barnes)

Throughout Scripture, God’s people are compared to an army on the move against the dark forces of this world. The leaders of God’s people are responsible to train His people in the fine art of using God’s supplied weapons in the spiritual warfare, with the intent of conquering the gates of hell, subduing the enemy under His footstool, and enthroning Christ as King in the hearts of His people. (Eph 6)

And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. (Josh 5:14 )

And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years , even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (Ex 12:41)

Hosts: 1) that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host.
The Lord delivered His people as an army, for which he fought. The Lord delivers his people today from the bondage to sin for the purpose of subduing the world to authority of Christ. (Mat 28:19, 20)

The church is to be a “Christian Boot Camp” that prepares God’s people for serious warfare to the death.

“Am I a soldier of the cross”

Must I be carried to the skies?On flow’ry beds of ease,?While others fought to win the prize,?And sailed through bloody seas?

Has not the faithful, godly pastor or religious leader spoken the Word of God, which is not only the way of life but also the way of conquering the gates of hell? Does he not lead an exemplarily life?

Respect should be shown to the Biblical office regardless of who is in it. (I dread calling unfaithful men who occupy the high office of pastor, “Pastor”. “Mister” would be far more appropriate. That dread also includes “women” who seek to occupy a leadership office in the church.)

After spending time in the South, one thing I have never been able to get accustom to is calling a pastor by his first name, unless it is “Pastor….”. It seems like all respect for legitimate Biblical authority in the religious realm is gone. Though the context is authority in the church, proper respect should be shown to all who are in authority. First name among pastors/teachers is a much different story. (I have always considered calling someone in authority, particularly secular authority, by the first name a sign of disrespect.)

Respect

Trump speaking to congress:

First, speaking as president, he was dressed the best he could be dressed, dark “power suit,” tie, &c.

Second, those listening to the president were also dressed in their best dark “power suit.”

What caught my attention was that all were dressed in their best. Yet when speaking for the Everlasting King of Eternity, men dress very casually, e. g., jeans and sport shirts. Those who attend to hear from God many times are much worse, as they dress as though they might be going to an amusement park or to a ball game. Respect for high earthly authority is readily shown, but respect for the King of kings’ authority seems to be totally ignored.

Malachi 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

Respect certainly does not mean we must agree with wrong, even sinful decisions, but it certainly means a respectful attitude at all times toward all men, e.g., Daniel. Did not God defend Daniel and Moses as they remained humble before the Lord? Remember, Michael did not rail against the devil, which is a call for us to remain humble before the Lord. (Jude 1:9)

V. 7. We are to consider and follow the examples of godly leaders, as they glorify God in all things, exalting Jesus Christ above every name that is named. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

V. 8.
Yesterday, that is, the days of his flesh, walking among men.
Today, that is, in the then present crisis which was confronting the Hebrews.
Forever, that is, he is eternally the same.

“that is, that he is unchangeable. The evident design of this independent proposition here is, to encourage them to persevere by showing that their Saviour was always the same; that he who had sustained his people in former times was the same still, and would be the same for ever. The argument here, therefore, for perseverance is founded on the immutability of the Redeemer.” (Barnes. See He 11)

The immutable Tri-Une God formed the Redemption plan in eternity past: It will not change any more than the Everlasting God will change.

V. 9. The danger of apostasy is emphasized, for the apostate will meet the everlasting Christ from whom he turned. Christ’s immutable attribute is a “consuming fire” against apostasy, and the everlasting God will not change his attitude toward sin. Nor will His call of and care for the Redeemed change.

Probably the principal reference here is to the Judaizing teachers, and to their various doctrines about their ceremonial observances and traditions. But the exhortation is applicable to Christians at all times. A religious opinion, once embraced on what was regarded a good evidence, or in which we have been trained, should not be abandoned for slight causes. Truth, indeed, should always be followed, but it should be only after careful inquiry. (Barnes. See 1 Pet 1:18.)

Note that even at that early age while many eye witnesses of Christ’s resurrection were still alive, the air was already filled with new and strange teachings that caught the fancy of many who professed Christ. Those strange teachings about Christ have only increased. They have become more confusing; they have become bolder in their war against the TRUTH. The apostates tell the people what they want to hear, and the people love it. Our Lord said that the natural man is willfully blind and deaf to the truth. (Mat 13:15, Acts 28:27)

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto [Jewish?] fables. (2 Timothy 4)

Thus, even self-professed “Christians” seek leaders after their own heart; they go to the “church” where they hear what they want to hear; they follow leaders who are going in the direction they want to go.

“A MAN’S MORALITY WILL DICTATE HIS THEOLOGY.”

Only a thorough knowledge of the word of God will enable one to be steadfast in the faith, and enable him to avoid being influenced by strange teachers and doctrines. (See Acts 20:20, Rom 16:17, 18, 2 Cor 11, Gal 1, Eph 4:14, 5:6, Col 2, 1 Tim 4, 6, 1 Jn 4:1, Jude 1:3, &c.)

From our reference point in history, 2000 years later, we read the many warnings from the Apostles against apostates, false teachers, false shepherds, wolves in sheep’s clothing, &c., as well we should. The many warnings were all given to the very early church within 35 years after the Resurrection of Christ, not only while the Apostles were still living, but many who personally witnessed Christ were still alive. It is absolutely amazing how quickly men turn from the truth; the tower of Babble was built in the shadow of the Ark.

2000 years worth of corrupting the Word of God, including corruption by various “translations” by wicked men, has refined the corruptions, and made them very appealing to those who do not know Scripture. (The angels of light warning was given to the first church.)

Mere Jewish ceremonialism and ritualism failed to build up the spiritual life. It was sheer folly to give up Christ for Pharisaism or for Moses. (RWP) That is, give up Truth for novel ideas and doctrines about Jesus Christ and about meats offered to idols. (The doctrine of “meat” as presented by Paul has been twisted beyond recognition. Paul was clearly dealing with meat offered to idols in 1 Corinthians 10. See Lev 11.)

Ceremonial rites and rituals cannot establish the heart in holiness any more today that it could while the Temple was still standing.

“For ye are saved by grace through faith”, and that same grace must establish the heart in holiness. Why does the Spirit establish some more than others?

The following warning was given to the first church before Judaism was destroyed:

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

And such were some of you: Each of us knows from experience that people do not want to come to the knowledge of the truth; they enjoy the comfort in their sins that they find under apostate teachers, until the Spirit issues His call to come to the TRUTH. (1 Cor 6:11) One can only accept Truth as the Spirit leads and gives understanding.

The warnings from 2000 years ago is all the more true today, as the enemy has had many years to refine his deceptive techniques. One’s acceptance of the truth is revealed by, among other things, his words and spirit towards others.

What is our attitude toward the Truth as revealed in the ENTIRE Word of God?