Though there are many practical illustrations in the New Testament, it can only be properly understood in its context of the Old Testament. We will look at some of those practical illustrations, but we must not ignore the context as established in the Law and Prophets. So please bear with me as we deal with the teaching of Hebrews according to its context.
The purpose of Hebrews is to cause the church of the redeemed to understand and submit to its purpose in Christ; its purpose is far more than just salvation of souls as important that that is. The purpose of salvation is to call and equip those who have been recreated in the image of Christ to mans original created purpose. We are not saved for "flowery beds of these," but for God's holy purpose. Hebrews does not focus on men, but rather it focuses on the expansion of the kingdom of God and his righteousness or justice under Christ. Matthew 6:33.
The kingdom of God, and the righteousness suitable to that kingdomÐ Ð seek these first and foremost, and then all that you can possibly need shall be your portion. To promote the reign of Christ, and to practice righteousness, are but one object, and may that be the one aim of our lives! Let us spend life on the one thing, and it will be well spent: as for the twenty secondary objects, they also will be ours if we pursue the one thing only. (Spurgeon)
Let your principal care and study be how to get to heaven, and how to promote the kingdom of God in the world; to bring your hearts into subjection to the will of God, that the kingdom of God may be within you, and how to bring others to the obedience of faith and of the will of God. And for the things of this life, it shall fare with you as it did with Solomon, 1Ki 3:12, who asked not riches and honour, but had them. You shall have for your necessities, Ps 37:4 Mr 10:30 1Ti4:8. (Matthew Pool, 16241679)
Our principle care is to subject our own hearts to the will of God, the kingdom of God within you, obedience to the faith. Then how to bring others into this kingdom, or promote the reign of Christ in their heart.
The kingdom of God is expanded over the earth through the preaching of the gospel of Christ, and by bringing others to the obedience of the faith. They are to be taught how to apply their new found Christian faith into their everyday life. They are to be taught how to do all things to the glory of God as they are empowered by the Grace of God.
The Hebrews are reminded that God the Spirit is equal in power and authority with the Son and Father.
We saw in Hebrews 2:5-8, that the author quotes Psalms 8:4-6. The psalmist tells us that it is man not angels who is the heir to God's grace and salvation. The purpose of mans creation is established in Genesis; that is, to do all things in obedience to God, or to the glory of God. They are to promote the reign of Christ over the hearts of men through preaching the gospel. Changed hearts means changed actions.
Let me give some quotes from AW. Pink on Hebrews 2:5
For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
Commentators are by no means agreed on the signification of this term "the world to come." Many of the older ones, who were post-millennarians, understood by it a reference to the present Gospel dispensation, in contrast from the Mosaic economy.
Hebrews 2:7 "that madest him a little lower " To this we may add, all prophecy speaks from the standpoint of Gods eternal purpose, and so certain is this of accomplishment, the Past tense is used to show it is as sure as if it were already wrought out in time: compare "glorified" in Ro 8:30, and see Ro 4:17. Thus we understand the second part of this 7th verse as referring to the coming glorification of Christs redeemed. (That is, the redeemed.)
Hebrews 2:5. The "world to come" is the renovated earth under the reign ofthe Messiah.
[L]let us summarize that whichhas been before us in 2:5. In 1:14 the apostle hadaffirmed that the angels are in a position of subjection to theredeemed of Christ; now he declares that, in the Millennial era also,not angels, but the "heirs of salvation," shall occupy the place ofgovernmental [authority]. The "world to come" is mentioned here because itis in the next Age that the Inheritance of salvation will be enteredinto and enjoyed. In view of what follows from Ps 8, He 2:5 maypossibly set forth a designed contrast from the pre-Adamic earth,which, most probably, was placed under the dominion of unfallen Satanand his angels. The practical bearings of this verse on the Hebrewswas: Continue to hold fast your allegiance to Christ, for the time iscoming when those who do so shall enter into a glory surpassing that ofthe angels.(Pink, He 2:5)
The Hebrew's author use of Psalms 8 shows that the salvation accomplished by Christ mediation work establishes a new order of things. Psalms 8 had no reference to the Son of Man, but to man the son. However, Hebrews tells us that Psalms 8 can only be fulfilled in Christ. That new order, or mans new creation in Christ, equips man to pursue and fulfill his original purpose which is to promote Christ. He is to promote the Christian religion over the entire earth. Go into all the world and preach the gospel, and thereby change the hearts and actions of men.
In 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Paul tells us that the general resurrection will take place when Christ mediation work is finished, and all things are set in their proper order. That is to say, when all the elect are brought into the Christian fold, or his church.
All enemies shall be put under his feet; and such as resist the melting influence of his grace, shall be crushed beneath the iron rod of his power. By spiritual conversion or judicial destruction, he shall effect the entire subjugation of the globe . William Symington, 1763-1831.
Romans 8 assures us that in this pre-second coming world, Jesus Christ from his position at the right hand of all power and authority is working all things according to his sovereign will, for the praise of his own glory, and for the benefit of the Elect.
If anything is taught in Scripture, it is that the wrath of man brings praise to God:
Ps 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
Several times, we are told that Christ must reign from his exalted position at the right hand of the Father until all powers and authorities are put under his feet, and then cometh the end.
Re 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were
great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are
become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall
reign for ever and ever.
Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
We cannot ignore the clear words of the prophets
According to the prophets, the second coming does not at once follow Christs triumph over his enemies. Rather, there will be an era of triumph commonly identified as the Millennium, when Christ shall reign (Spurgeons words) through His people. This is prophesied to be a multitude of years that will precede the end. The redeemed, those who are new creatures in Christ and are ruled in their spirit by Christ, will do what Adam failed to do, obey the Word of God.
They will be faithful and obedient ambassadors of Jesus Chris. Because of Christ in them, their hope of glory, (Col 1:27) His ambassadors will do only what their Sovereign would do if he himself were present in the flesh.
There are more prophecies of Victory in Jesus than we can cover in our short time.
I am slow to get things into my mind enough to be able to place them in proper order. The 66 books that make up the Word of God is a large book, and at times hard to read, and even more difficult to understand. So I found that only after several hundreds of hours and many times through the Word, did all these various doctrines begin to fit together as one. Pastors are responsible to take the vast amount of time needed to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the entire Scripture, time which the average believer does not have.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
[Spurgeon] Timothy was to divide rightly the word of God. Every Christianminister must do this if he would make full proof of his ministry,and if he would be clear of the blood of his hearers at the lastgreat day.
The Lord was good to me to allow me to be full time for over 25 years, giving me almost unlimited time to study the Word of God. The majority of pastors do not make such use of their time.
I also found that after my heart attack and the resulting medication I must take, the scriptures do not come to mind near as easily.
The Person of God the Spirit must be the one who properly applies these prophecies to last days---the age which started with the enthronement of Christ after his physical work on earth was complete.
Let us look at three out of a great many prophetic passages before we move on to Hebrews 2:9. The New Testament revelation of Christ must fit within these prophecies:
Psalms 72:1 «Ð A Psalm for Solomon.Ð » Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the kings son. 2 ¶ He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. 3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. 4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. 5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. 6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. 7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. 8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. 11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. 12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. 13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. 14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. 15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. 16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. 17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. 18 ¶ Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. 19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. 20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. (Chrst said that a greater than Solomon is here.)
In addition, we have
Isaiah 2:2-4, And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. 24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpents meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Did God mean what he said in these prophecies? Where do these prophecies fit? How do they work out in regard to filament in the New Testament?
Keil and Delitzsch (1861):
V. 20. He who dies as a youth, or is regarded as having died young, will not die before the hundredth year of his life; and the sinner (... as in Ec 8:12, 9:18; Ges. §75, Anm. 21) upon whom the curse of God falls, and who is overwhelmed by the punishment, will not be swept away before the hundredth year of his life.
The effects of sin is death. The prophet Isaiah tells us that as Christ's kingdom will triumphs in history, sin replaced with righteousness or justice, death itself is rolled back, and man's life expectancy lengthens. But the last enemy death, which was conquered by Christ, will not be completely destroyed until his visible second-coming.
Isaiah speaks of the millennium peace as the result of Christs triumph. Isaiahs prophecy promises longevity of life, prosperity, the end of sorrows, and much more. In this world, men, women, children, nations, gentiles, and all are made members of Christ's new heaven and new earth which began with His resurrection from the dead. They are made members by the power of the gospel. And by the power of the indwelling Spirit, they do all things to the Glory of God. They then do what Adam failed to do because they are the new creation in Christ.
Isaiah 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall build houses and inhabit them. In these verses he mentions what is written in the Law; for these are the blessings of the Law, that they who have obeyed God shall dwell in the houses which they have built, and shall gather fruit from the trees which they have planted. (Le 26:10). On the other hand, the disobedient shall be expelled from the houses which they built, and shall give place to foreigners, and shall be deprived of the fruits of the trees which they planted. "The Lord," saith Isaiah, "shall protect you from that curse, so as to enjoy your property." Now the Prophets hold out those things which relate to the present life, and borrow metaphors from them; but it is in order that they may teach us to rise higher and to embrace eternal and blessed life. We must not fix our whole attention on these transitory blessings, but must make use of them as ladders, that, being raised to heaven, we may enjoy eternal and immortal blessings. To the Church, which has been renewed, and which rests on nothing but Gods good pleasure and undeserved favor, is justly promised the enjoyment of those blessings of which unbelievers had deprived themselves.
In other words, our attention is not to be placed on the promised temporal blessings as found in the Old Testament prophets, but our attention is directed toward the eternal blessings that are promised to the Church through the mediation work of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 65 (vv. 8-16) tells us that the biblical mandate for the People of God is a call to knowledge, holiness, righteousness or justice, and holiness.
Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
Man was created to be Gods vice-regent on earth. He is to represent Gods authority on earth. Sin separated man from God, and rendered him incapable of fulfilling his calling. Redemption restores that fellowship. The covenant head in our calling is the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. The redeemed are the new humanity of the last Adam, and they are the heir to his righteousness. The Kingdom requires submission to Christ and faithful service to Him.
1 Corinthians 15:27, "Thou hast put all things under His feet" is fond in Hebrews 2:8, Psalms 110:1, 72:7-11 and 17-19.
V. 27, is taken from Psalm 8:6. As we saw in Isaiah 65:20-25, the promise to the Son is that all things will be subdued to him because of and through his redemptive work.
Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the Law, be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect.15 For the Law causeth wrath: for where no Law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is by faith, that it might come by grace, and the promise might be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the Law: but also to that which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations) even before God whom he believed, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they were.
(Romans 4:13) Charles Hodge:
If they who are of faith are the seed of Abraham, and heirs of the promise, Ga 3:9, 29, then will the promise, as stated by the apostle, have its literal accomplishment when the kingdoms of this world are given to the saints of the most high God, Da 7:27, and when the uttermost parts of the earth become the possession of Christ. In this sense, the promise includes the universal prevalence of the true religion, involving of course the advent of Christ, the establishment of his kingdom, and all its consequent blessings.
Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 29 And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the holy people of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all powers shall serve and obey him. (See also Ps 25:13, Ps 37:11, Mat 5:5)
First, heirs of the promise given to Abraham. Paul tells us that the promise said that Abraham would be heir to the world. This literal promise of heirship is made to all those who have the faith of Abraham, and are thereby the children of Abraham.
Second, the literal accomplishment of the promise that they will be heirs of the world will be accomplished when the kingdoms of this world are given to the saints of the Most High God. (Dan 2:34, 35, 44, 45)
Third, the promise includes the universal prevalence of the true religion of Christ.
Forth, we have already seen that only Jesus Christ can fulfill the promise, and it will be fulfilled through his Mediation Work from his throne on high.
Christ himself commanded his people to take back this world which Adam gave to Satan by disobedience. The redeemed, as they live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, will do what Adam failed to do, subdue the world for the King of kings.
Paul tells us that all things will be put under Christ's feet before the end, and then death itself will be destroyed. In other words the power of sin on earth is replaced by the power of Jesus Christ.
Both Psalm 8 and Hebrews looks ahead to the triumph of the faith. All things are to be put under Christs feet, and the redeemed are to exercise Christs authority in all areas of life. We are to rejoice in that his promise that we are more than through him that loved us.
We have looked at only a few of the prosthetic Scriptures which speak of a long period of victory and triumph when the people of the Lord, from pole to pole. The Spirit of Christ will exalt the humble to places of civil and religious authority where they will govern as ambassadors of Christ. And then the end shall come when the last enemy, death, is destroyed.
Our call is not to go to heaven on flowery beds of ease, but our call is to fulfill Gods holy purpose. The focus of the new creature in Christ is to be on the kingdom of God and his righteousness or justice. The book of Hebrews is emphatic that Jesus Christ is the only mediator. The emphasis is on Christ, not on any Church, nor on angels, nor on politics. To seek anything less then his righteousness is dangerous and abandons our calling in Christ. (Mat 6:33.)
Since the garden, man has looked to the wrong mediator for ways to be happy, trouble-free and have a paradise on earth. Rather than a paradise on earth, he has created a hell for himself.
Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure