Five Warnings in Hebrew, Part 5
DANGER OF DENYING. w/
Doctrine of Grace & Doctrine of Divine Discipline
The Danger of Drifting – Don’t let the New Testament truth slip away, (Heb 2:1-4). The Warning to Pay Attention to the information you once believed and now are rejecting.
The Danger of Doubting – Don’t Harden your heart against the Holy Spirit, (Heb 3:7-19).
The Danger of not going on to Spiritual Maturity. The Danger of Deformity due to Immaturity – A Warning against Turning Away. Don’t Degenerate from Christ, (Heb 5:11-6:12).
The Danger of Despising Christ – Don’t commit the willful sin of trampling under foot the Son of God; counting His blood as common blood and doing insult to the Holy Spirit, (Heb 10:26-31).
The Danger of Denying – Don’t neglect his Person, work, or the results of His work. Warning against Refusing God, (Heb 12:12-29).
First the exhortation: As we’ve seen throughout this book and the warnings, there are many exhortations to the believer: Heb 12:12-17.
Heb 12:12-17, “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16that there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”
Heb 12:15-16, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16that there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau,”
The phrase “See to it” is the Greek Verb, ἐπισκοπέω – episkopeó (Epi-skop-e-o) in the: Present, Active, Nominative, Participle (Imperative sense) of, Episkopountes – ἐπισκοποῦντες = “to look upon, inspect, oversee, look after, care for. The care of the church which rested upon the elders. To look carefully, beware.”
Signifies searching out carefully or minutely just like the Israelites searched their homes before the Passover to rid them of all leaven. It is constant spiritual oversight by each one of us of our own lives.
The reason we are to have constant spiritual oversight of our lives is three-fold, brought out by the next word “No,” and its following three occurrences as the Greek word “ME.”
ME = “Not, is the negative of thought.”
ME – “Says that one thinks a thing is not.”
ME – Introduces three dangers: related to denying the person, work, and results of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ that every believer may face, and for which he must be constantly on guard.
“…comes short of the grace of God;”
This is failure on the part of the child of God to appropriate His grace. If we fail to appropriate His grace for the needs of the day, we will fail to appropriate His grace when testing and temptation come. If you haven’t exercised and practiced, you won’t be able to run the race or play in the game.
Appropriation = Positive Volition. God has provided His grace to meet our failures, but we fail to appropriate it. That is when we enter into reaction mode according to our old sin nature vs. appropriating His grace.
If God brings something into our lives, He has also provided His grace to overcome it and gain the victory (2 Cor. 12:9-10), rather than to be overcome by it. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
All Christians go through trials and testing, but most fail to appropriate God’s grace, so as to stand up under the testing. Most Christians fail to appropriate God’s grace and stand up under the testing. If we don’t appropriate God’s grace for situations in life, we will live defeated lives. Because you have fallen short of the grace of God.
The Doctrine of Grace
Those who fail to appropriate grace can fall into the two-fold danger in the Christian life.
- Careless irresponsible sins of the liberals. Liberals say: “Sin it up” and God takes care of it all. – This is an abuse.
- Cold legalistic thinking of legalism. Legalistic people say: “Set up do(s) and don’t(s).” – This is approbation lust.
The Doctrine of Grace provides the proper perspective to the Christian way of life, as well as the proper balance. The term “Grace” or its corrected terms, is used 200 times in Scripture.
One of the most powerful tools of grace we have available to us is found in 1 John 1:9. 1 John 1:9 is not the Christians license to sin, but a grace provided liberty to serve. It’s not there so you can play rebound with God. It’s there in order to serve Him.
1 John 1:9, EAN: 3rd class “if.”
1st Class = If and you are – (positive)
2nd Class = If and you aren’t – (negative)
3rd Class = Maybe you will, maybe you won’t – (neutral)
4th Class = I wish you would, but you won’t – (wish list)
HOMOLOGEO: “Name, site, acknowledge, state, and confess.”
Active Voice: Each believer has to rebound for self.
Subjunctive Mood: It’s up to you; choose to be blessed or disciplined.
Definition of Grace: Grace = CHARIS – All God is free to do for man on the basis of Christ’s efficacious work on the Cross apart from man’s abilities or merit. It’s the work of God on behalf of mankind and is the title of His plan in three phases.
Phase One: The work of Christ on the Cross.
Phase Two: The ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Phase Three: The completion of the Father’s Plan; everything God will do for the believers in eternity future.
Grace solely depends on who and what God is, never on who and what man is. Grace depends on the essence and attributes of God.
Essence of God:
- Sovereignty (kingship)
- Eternal Life (no beginning, no end)
- Omniscience (all knowledge)
- Omnipresence (everywhere at one time)
- Omnipotent (all powerful)
- Immutability (never changing)
- Veracity (truth)
The issue is Grace vs. Legalism (Human ability, effort, and viewpoint):
- In Grace: God is glorified, because God does the work, and God receives the credit.
- In Legalism: Man gets credit, because man does the work.
* Even a right thing done in a wrong way is still wrong = human good. wrong/wrong; wrong/right; right/wrong; right/right.
Turn to Rom 8:28. The greatest thing God can do for regenerate (saved) man is to make him like His Son (Christ), this is accomplished in all three stages of Christ life, and God decided this in Eternity Past.
Gal 4:19, Rom 8:28, 29.
Gal 4:19 = “Christ formed in you.”
Rom 8:28-29, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”
Phase One – Positional Sanctification (Set apart, at the point of being saved.)
Phase Two – Experiential Sanctification (Edification Complex of the Soul – Christian walk.)
Phase Three – Ultimate Sanctification.
- Father = Planner
- Son = Executioner of the Plan
- Holy Spirit = Breathing Ministry Provider
Every Believer Without Exception has Tasted the Grace of God.
- At least once (at salvation), positive response to Grace.
- You’ve been reconciled from man’s standpoint when Christ died on the Cross. You are no longer condemned with man; you are in union with Christ. He did the most He could for us by obtaining our peace through the purchase, now He does much more, Rom 8:32; Rom 5.
Rom 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
- You tasted grace in relationship to the Father’s propitiation; God’s satisfactorily sacrifice. This is God’s viewpoint. God’s Holiness (Righteousness with Justice) was satisfied by the work of the Son on the Cross. Now, the believer is past the point of propitiation. God is free to love the believer without having to tamper with His holiness on the basis of propitiation. His sovereignty is able to make a “Holy Bridge” and still be consistent.
Rom 3:22-25, 1 John 2:2
Rom 3:22-25, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”
This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God, He passed over the sins previously committed.
God is constantly but patiently waiting to pour out His grace on every believer;
The Only One Holding it up in Your Life is You, Isa 30:18,19. How?
- By being out of fellowship, which result in carnality. Carnality starts at the point of sin. As a result, …
- He has to spend so much time disciplining you, He can’t pour out His grace, until you appropriate it and you’re producing divine good, 1 John 1:9.
Point: The greatest occupational hazard for the believer in Phase 2 is disorientation to grace. Heb 12:15, Gal 5:4
- It begins by being out of fellowship –
- Leading to negative volition toward doctrine –
- Then MATAIOTES sets in (a vacuum, sucking up legalism (false doctrine, human viewpoint) –
- On to occupation with or slavery to the details of life –
- And end with complete Reversionism or Black out of the Soul –
Point: Grace is involved in salvation – Phase 1, Psa 103:8-12; Rom 3:2b, 24; 4:4, 5:20; 2 Cor 8:9; Eph 3:8,9; Titus 2:11; 3:17; Heb 2:9.
Point: Grace is involved in Phase 2.
- In Prayer – Heb 4:16, “Draw near to the throne of Grace.”
- In Suffering – 2 Co 12:9, 10, “My Grace is sufficient for you.”
- In Divine Strength – 2Ti 2:1, “Be strong in Grace,” i.e., Christ Jesus.
- In Growth – 2 Pet 3:18, “Grow in the Grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (TLJC).”
- In Stability – 1 Pet 5:12, “true grace of God, Stand firm in it.”
- In Our Way of Life – Heb 12:28; 2Co 1:12, “show gratitude, in grace of God.”
- In Production of Divine Good – 1Co 15:10; Eph 2:8-10, “Labored more by the grace of God,” “By Grace a workman.”
Grace is the only answer to the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict (intensified because Christ died). 2Co 12:7-10 (sealed the victory)
There are 7-Theological Implications of Grace:
- God is perfect. His plan is perfect.
- A perfect plan can only originate from a perfect God.
- If man can do anything meritorious in the Plan of God, it is no longer perfect.
- A plan is no stronger than its weakest point. Grace excludes human merit, ability, and good.
- Legalism and religion are the enemy of grace.
- There is therefore no place in the Plan of God for human good.
- Human good is associated with the mental attitude sin of pride.
There are 4-Areas of Pride, which Reject Grace.
Pride of a believer who rejects the Doctrine of Eternal Security; he thinks his sins are greater than the flawless Plan of God. Acts 16:31
Pride of the believer who succumbs to the pressure of adversity; he thinks his sufferings are greater than God’s Plan and provisions of grace.
Pride of pseudo spirituality; he thinks his works, morality, taboos, personality changes, experiences, hours logged in at bible study or church are greater than God’s Plan.
Pride of the emotional believer; this believer thinks his feelings are more important than Bible Doctrine.
As Heb 12:15 says, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God;
…that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”
Apart from the concept of “bitterness” of taste, the Greek noun Pikria, always refers to; “animosity, hostility, jealousy, and is a part of anger and harshness.”
Thayer Definition: “Bitterness”
1) Bitter gall:
a) Extreme wickedness.
b) A bitter root, and so producing a bitter fruit.
c) Metaphorically bitterness, bitter hatred.
It’s root word has the meaning of, “piercing or setting up with a peg.”
- Bitterness as a noun in the English language means, “intensity of suffering of mind and body, something that is difficult to bear, and something that causes animosity and reaction.”
- Bitterness causes fragmentation in the believer’s life, apart from rebound and the other problem-solving devices. It results in the fragmented life of hatred, cruelty, antagonism, self-pity, implacability, vindictiveness, revenge motivation, revenge modus operandi, inordinate ambition, and inordinate competition.
- Bitterness is inconsistent and irrational. It is a major cause of marital problems, problems in any kind of human relationship. You cannot have a rational relationship with bitter people.
- The greatest source of bitterness is arrogance. Bitterness is the greatest form of arrogance in the soul.
- Bitterness is A-social. A-social means, “selfish, inconsiderate of others, withdrawn from society, indifferent or adverse to conformity with conventional standards of social behavior.”
- Bitterness in the heart leads to murmuring with the tongue. Murmuring is one of the most dangerous sins because it always affects others and leavens the whole lump.
Gal 5:9, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.”
1 Cor 5:6-7, Your boasting is not good. “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”
It starts out inflicting just one, but it ends up defiling many. This is what happened in Israel over and over again, and has occurred throughout the Church Age – Royal Family, and will eventual happen to you! When we fail to appropriate God’s grace, the root of bitterness springs up, and we now blame God for the trouble in our lives. This is open infidelity / unfaithfulness toward God. In other words, “Cheating on God.” It starts with a subtle mental attitude and inevitably comes out in our speech, if we allow it to fester, by not appropriating God’s grace.
Heb 12:15, “…that there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.”
This final step and condition is open contempt of what is our responsibility or our privilege. The entire passage hinges on this one illustration. It is very significant.
“Immoral or Godless” – pronos or bebelos – πόρνος βέβηλος.
“Immoral” = pronos – πόρνος, Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular = “A man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire.” The root word means, “to sell.”
Esau’s birthright was not merely being heir of flocks and herds, which he rejected. This is not the issue. God had made a Covenant with Abraham, and that Covenant promise was going to be fulfilled through Isaac’s heirs. Esau was the one in direct line, and being the elder son of Isaac would have received the elder son portion, i.e., two-thirds. But he surrendered for himself and his descendants the covenant promises of God for one meal. That is what he thought of God’s promises, and that is how much he wanted to wait, or patiently endure for them.
Esau is the example of the Christian today, who doesn’t appropriate the free offer of the Grace of God, and instead prostitutes himself to the cosmos system. For the quick satisfaction of our perceived need or hunger, we sell out. Esau sold out for a single meal; we often sell out for much less.
E = either or than.
“Godless” = bebelos
“Accessible” = Can be obtained.
“Lawful to be trodden” = To be or allowed to be trampled over.
“Profane” = unhallowed, common, ungodly men – irreverence, worldly.
“A man whose virtue has no regard for the things of God”
This believer has been given everything, yet thinks nothing of it. One who places absolutely no value on God’s grace and God’s gifts. He just as soon piss it away.
Heb 12:16, “that there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau,” – “that there be no man (or woman) who prostitutes to anyone who comes along, the things freely given to him by God, or who’s virtue is irreverent towards the things of God.”
What was Esau’s Problem? He failed to appropriate the grace of God (12:15a). Consequently, there was in Esau a root of bitterness against God. Esau was in trouble and hungry. He was angry with God, because God could have prevented him from being hungry. This bitterness of heart expressed itself, and he became materialistic. He recognized nothing but his own problem here and now.
Esau focused his whole attention on self and material things, not on invisible and eternal things. He thought more of one meal now, than receiving the fulfillment, at a later date, of all the promises God had made. God calls this being profane. This is cursing God in the heart (right lobe), and God looks upon the heart.
Heb 3:10, “THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;”
Heb 3:12, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.”
Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
So, don’t come short of the grace of God. By failing to appropriate God’s grace. Recall to mind and apply – (Rebound and Faith Rest Drill). Don’t let a root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble, and defile many by Cheating on God, and murmuring with bitterness in your heart and with your tongue. And don’t allow immoral or Godless actions to occur, through open contempt of what is our responsibility and our privilege.
Notice that by failing to rebound and claim the promises and the grace of God, leads to mental attitude sins, which leads to verbal sins, which leads to overt acts of sin. All shown here in our verse:
Heb 12:12-17,” Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; (Rebound, and Faith Rest), that no root of bitterness (Mental Attitude Sins) springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled, (Verbal Sins); 16that there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. (Overt Sins insulting God’s Grace Provisions) 17For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”
Now, let’s focus on Verse 17. Esau represents a covenant son here. This is essential for us to realize, or we will miss the point of the illustration.
There are Five-Covenants to Israel: Four-Covenants are unconditional and one is conditional.
The Abrahamic Covenant defines the race for client nation Israel. Abraham became a Jew at age 99; circumcision was the sign, Gen 12:1-3; 13:15-16; 15:18; 22:15-18; 26:3-4; Ex 6:2-8.
The Palestinian Covenant defines the land for client nation Israel, Gen 15:18; Num 34:1-12; Deut 30:1-9; Josh 1:3-4. This is the real estate of the client nation.
The Mosaic Law defines the policy for client nation Israel (both spiritual and temporal policy). This is the one conditional Covenant.
- Codex 1: 10 Commandments, Decalogue, Freedom Code
- Codex 2: Ordinances, Spiritual Code
- Codex 3: Judgments, Establishment Code, And National Heritage
The Davidic Covenant defines the dynasty for client nation Israel, 2 Sam 7:8-16; Ps 89:20-37.
The New Covenant defines the restoration of the client nation Israel at the Second Advent and its millennial modus operandi. Jer 31:31-34. This part of the contract and is not operational until the Second Advent.
Even though the people covenant was going to be passed down to Esau, he rejected it on the basis of his continued negative appropriation of God’s Grace. This decision was irrevocable, because he remained in a negative state of seeking God first. Even though he later sought to change the decision with tears, Esau was regretting what he realized he lost personally. He saw a loss for himself vs. loss of God’s will and plan for the Jewish Race.
Like the believer in Heb 6:6 who won’t repent from legalism and cannot cleanse the evil in his life by participating in legalistic worship, Esau did not repent (change his mental attitude) of his self-indulgent ways, and therefore was rejecting the plea to reverse what God had already sealed, even though humanistically he seemed sincere. God knew his heart just as he knows ours.
Heb 4:12, You can’t give lip service to God. He wants your Body, Soul, and Mind to truly call upon His grace and appropriate it to yourself.
Luke 10:27, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND;” Trust in Him completely and whole-heartedly.
In addition, God’s justice, righteousness, veracity, and immutability would not allow Him to change the Covenant with Jacob.
Now, Salvation is not in view here, as it has not been in view anywhere beyond the first warning, but eligibility for blessing is in view. In Heb 10:26, we found that the willful sin will bring temporal judgments upon the person who commits it. Now the added truth is stated here that this decision of sinning willfully is an irrevocable decision.
If we fall out of God’s plan, we can’t redeem that time. It is lost for all eternity. Sin(s) can be forgiven, but the effects of lost blessings will continue on and on.
Esau, for one moment of negative volition, was cut off from God’s blessing. “For whom much is given much is required!” It all starts with a little thing of failing to appropriate the grace of God. But there are no little things in the Christian life.
Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”
We are not immune to failure. Our problem as believers is not a matter with sin that would cause us to lose our eternal salvation, but it is with the old sin nature that would cause us to lose the Lord’s blessings in time and eternity, and may even cause us to lose our lives in physical death.
Our problem is:
- With time—not eternity.
- With our physical life—not our eternal soul.
- With physical death—not eternal death
DOCTRINE OF DIVINE DISCIPLINE
Definition and Description: Divine discipline is the sum total of punitive action taken by the justice of God in grace; to correct, to punish, to encourage, to train, and to motivate the believer’s free will toward the Pre-Designed Protocol Plan of God (P3G).
Therefore, Divine discipline is distinguished from Divine judgment, in that discipline is for believers only, but judgment is directed toward all categories of the human race and angels under certain circumstances.
Prov 3:12, “for whom the Lord loves He judges by punitive action; therefore, like a father to a son in whom He delights.”
When believers get out of fellowship through sin, human good, or evil, we bring suffering on ourselves. If we do not use the most basic problem-solving device of rebound, we will continue in a state of carnality, cosmic living, or reversionism.
- Carnality is a brief stay in the cosmic system.
- Reversionism is a prolonged residence in the cosmic system.
Only in time are we, members of the Royal Family of God, disciplined in the form of suffering. Divine discipline must also be distinguished from the Law of Volitional Responsibility with its self-imposed, self-induced, and self-indulged forms of misery. Bad decisions not only destroy future options in life, but they result in tremendous misery manufactured by ourselves, for which we must take the responsibility. The resultant discomfort, misery, and unhappiness may last for a short or long period of time.
Turn to 2 Peter 2:20-22, “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.””
If the believer persists in the three categories under the Law of Volitional Responsibility, i.e., self-imposed, self-induced, and self-indulged misery, it is obvious that God will add to it, if you do not come around through rebound.
Heb 12:5-6, “and so you yourselves have forgotten a principle of doctrine which teaches you as sons.”
Prov 3:11-12, “My son, do not make light of corrective discipline from the Lord, nor be fainting when you are reproved by Him (intensive discipline); 12for whom the Lord loves He disciplines (warning discipline), and He skins alive with a whip every son whom He receives (intensive discipline).’“
Punishment from God often follows the failure to rebound from our sins. I didn’t say punishment from God is because of our sins. Our every sin originates from our own free will. Though temptation may come from the old sin nature or another source, we make the decision to sin! All wrong decisions come from some form of arrogance or lust.
While God is the source of Divine discipline, man’s free will is the source of suffering under the Law of Volitional Responsibility. God uses His sovereignty and His perfect judgment to know when it’s time to warn us that we are persistently out of fellowship, and to bring us back to reality with varying categories of punishment.
God’s Essence: Sovereignty, Righteousness, Justice, Love, Eternal Life, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, Immutability, Veracity.
All Divine discipline, except the sin unto death, is always designed to correct, to train, and to motivate.
Turn to: Heb 12:7-14.
Heb 12:7-8, “because of corrective discipline, endure in Divine Dynasphere; as a result, God will deal with you as sons; for what one is a son (Royal Family of God) whom the Father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all believers have become participants, then your bastards are not sons.”
Rev 3:19 states the purpose of Divine Discipline: Rev 3:19, “those whom I love (God’s personal love for all believers with perfect righteousness) I reprimand (warning discipline) and I punish (intensive discipline); therefore, be zealous (motivation from Divine discipline) and rebound.”
Another purpose for Divine discipline is as a motivator, to rebound and reside in our palace. We’re given certain passages, such as:
1 Cor 11:30-31, “for this reason (believers taking communion while residing in the influence of the cosmic system), many believers are weak (warning discipline) and sick (intensive discipline), and a number of believers sleep (administration of the Sin Unto Death). 31But if we would judge ourselves (rebound), we should not be judged.”
When the believer uses rebound, God exercises one of three options on his behalf, though the purpose for the suffering has changed from discipline to blessing.
- The removal of all disciplinary suffering.
- Discipline suffering is diminished, but is now designed for blessing. The reason the suffering is reduced is so that you can bear it. God never gives us more than we can bear in fellowship.
- Disciplinary suffering continues at the same intensity, but is now designed for blessing. It continues at the same intensity because you can bear it and gain blessing from it.
Job 5:17-18, “Behold, happy is the man whom God reproves. Therefore, do not despise the discipline of el shaddia (many-breasted God, Provider of Logistical Grace); for he inflicts pain and he bandages the wound. He wounds (intensive discipline) and his hands heal.”
All suffering for blessing is designed to accelerate spiritual growth. There are three categories of divine discipline administered to the cosmic or carnal believer.
- Warning Discipline.
- Intensive Discipline.
- Maximum or Dying Discipline, with the option of installment discipline if one rebounds.
Warning Discipline, Rev 3:20, Refers only to warning discipline, “now hear this! I (Lord Jesus Christ) stand at the door and knock (opportunity for rebound), and I keep knocking (warning discipline). If anyone (cosmic believer) hears my voice (motivation to rebound from warning discipline), then he opens the door (rebound), and I will enter (face-to-face with him, restoration to fellowship), and he with me (back in Divine Dynasphere).”
In this stage, the believer has not been in the cosmic system long enough to have lost too much doctrine. Therefore, the recovery of residence in God’s power system simply means a continuation of his fellowship. Warning discipline hurts enough so that you become alert to the fact that something’s wrong in your life. So, the opportunity for rebound means that the purpose of warning discipline is to motivate you to rebound. You hurt so much that you finally remember 1 Jn 1:9. Warning discipline is exactly the same as punitive, preventative suffering, in that it restrains sin and motivates rebound. Punitive preventative suffering is identical to warning and intensive discipline.
Intensive Discipline, Ps 7:14 indicates that failure to rebound, or open the door of warning discipline results in intensified discipline.
Ps 7:14 (corrected translation) “Behold, he (cosmic believer) shall have labor pains (warning discipline) of vanity (involvement in cosmic system), because he has become pregnant with frustration.”
This means you use your own volition to create problems. Then instead of solving the problem through rebound, you dig in deeper by piling wrong decisions on top of wrong decisions, caused by wrong thinking and wrong motivation, all of which results in wrong actions.
“therefore, he has given birth to a life of deceit.” Intensive discipline results in a life of deceit.
Rev 3:19, “Those whom I love (believers), I reprimand (warning discipline) and I punish (intensive discipline); therefore, be zealous (motivation from either warning or intensive discipline to rebound and rebound).”
Heb 12:6, addresses both warning and intensive discipline.
Job 5:17-18, “Behold, happy is the man whom the Lord reproves (warning discipline), and do not despise the discipline (intensive discipline) from el shaddai (many-breasted one, God’s logistical grace title). He inflicts pain (warning discipline); he bandages the wound (rebound); he wounds (intensive discipline), and his hands heal.”
God provides many wonderful logistical grace blessings we may not regard as blessings, such as Divine discipline. Ps 38:1-14.
Dying Discipline or the Sin unto Death.
At this point, there is no more use for you.
1 Jn 5:16, “there is a sin terminating unto death.”
In Ps 118:17-18, David said when he was close to the Sin unto Death; “I shall not die but live; I shall live and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely (intensive discipline), but he has not given me over to death dying discipline.”
Phil 3:19, “whose end of life is ruin (dying discipline), whose god is his emotions.” People who die this way are always ruled by their emotions. If they had a doctrinal thought, they forgot it years ago.
Rev 3:16, “Therefore, because you are lukewarm (cosmic believer), neither cold (believer with refreshing ministry), nor hot (believer with soothing ministry), I am about to vomit you out of my mouth (administration of the Sin unto Death).” 19‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
Triple-Compound Divine Discipline.
This is the worst type of self-induced punishment. This begins with the believer’s decision to become involved in mental attitude sins, as motivation for sins of the tongue. These sins of the tongue are motivated by such mental attitude sins as; arrogance, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, vindictiveness, implacability, self-pity, guilt syndrome, and revenge tactics.
While these sins of motivating evil begin with bad decisions from human volition, they are also subject to Divine discipline. Therefore, bad decisions to commit verbal sins bring about this worst category of divine discipline.
Mt 7:1-2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by what measure you measure to others, it will be measured back to you.”
You Receive Triple Discipline for:
- The verbal sin; gossip, judging, maligning, slandering.
- The mental attitude sin that motivated the verbal sin.
- Every sin mentioned about them, whether true or not is put on you.
Prov 13:1, “A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”
Prov 17:10, “A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding, than a hundred blows into a fool.”
Prov 27:5, “Better is open rebuke, than love that is concealed.”
Eccl 7:5, “It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man, than for one to listen to the song of fools.
Prov 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
Prov 13:18, “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.
Prov 15:5, “A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.”
Prov 19:20, “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.”
Prov 19:27, “Cease listening, my son, to discipline, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”
Some sins are small, but others are not. Some things we do are relatively unimportant, while other things are very important. This is why 1 John 5 speaks about sin not unto death, and about sin unto death.
1 John 5:16, Believers are capable of committing any possible sin. This is why we are to take heed to ourselves lest we fall.
1 Cor 10:11-13; 1 Tim 4:16; Heb 4:11.
1 Tim 4:16, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
“Salvation” – Sozo – σῴζω =
- Of Persons; to save from death, keep alive, preserve,
- Of Things; to keep safe, preserve, to keep or preserve for oneself, Sophocles.
- Of Laws; to keep, observe, maintain,
- To keep in mind, remember, Euripides and Plato.
We Have Seen that the Route of Any Failure is a Progression Involving Three Stages.
(1) It begins with failing to appropriate grace. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God;” (12:15a).
(2) The next step is having bitterness in the heart. “that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;” (12:15b). Bitterness in the heart leads to murmuring with the mouth, and this leads others to sin also.
(3) The final step is open contempt of what is our responsibility or our privilege. “…that there be no immoral or Godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.” (12:16)
Concerning these three things, we are to search out ourselves and our hearts carefully, to give inspection, to oversee continually, lest these things come into our lives unexpectedly and undetected.
Rev 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;” no one sins any other route. Subtle and deceitful.
We fail to appropriate God’s grace for the situation or trial. This leads us to have bitterness in our hearts toward God, for allowing this hardship or difficulty to come upon us. What is in our hearts ultimately comes out and it defiles others. All this in turn causes a final state in which we settle for the temporal rather than the eternal; for the here-and-now rather than the hereafter; and for the material rather than the spiritual.
We fail to patiently endure. This is what Esau did, and his loss was irrevocable. We are capable of doing the same thing. We can miss the perfect will of God and we must settle, for the remainder of our lives, for that which is His second best, His 20th best, or His 200th best.
So, having given the exhortation not to fail (Heb. 12:12-17), we come to our next point.
Next, we see: The Believer’s Privileges and Position (Heb 12:18-24)
Heb 12:18-24, “For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” 21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”
The believer must understand his privileges and his position today, or he cannot understand why the Lord will judge him so severely for disobedience.
The author of this book states this truth both negatively and positively.
- Negatively, (Heb 12:18-21): To go back to religion (legalism and rituals) is to go back to a system of guilt and fear. The Law was a system of terror. “Do you not hear the law,” the writer is saying.
The Contrast here is between the Old Testament revelation and its responsibilities, with the New Testament and its responsibilities and privileges.
- Positively, (12:22-24): The one was “fear,” the other is “grace” and far superior privileges. The emphasis is not on the city, but on the one living in the city. Look at the occupants of the city.
(1) Angels, i.e., the holy angels.
(2) The Church (which began at Pentecost and will end at the rapture).
(3) God, the Judge of all.
(4) Spirits of righteous men made perfect (the Old Testament saints who are not a part of the church).
(5) Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant.
(6) Sprinkled blood, (i.e., the mercy seat or the throne of grace, as it is called in Hebrews.) This is the city we are looking for, not some earthly city.
Now, Abel was the very first person mentioned to offer blood sacrifice. It was a testimony from then on, even though he was dead, that this is God’s only method of acceptance and only way of approach (cf. Heb 11:4). But now there is a greater witness than that of Abel, because there is greater blood, in a greater place, that is continually speaking to men. The blood of Jesus Christ is God’s only means of acceptance and only way of approach to that city.
The Final Warning (Heb 12:25-29): In light of the better blood in a better place, and all the superior privileges we possess, there is a far greater obligation and responsibility for the church age believer.
Heb 12:25, “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.”
“See to it” = Blepo – βλέπω – Present, Active, Imperative = “see to (something); gain one’s sight; consider, perceive, discover, find.”
“Refuse” = Paraiteomai – παραιτέομαι -Aorist, Middle Deponent, Subjunctive = “refuse to hear, decline his invitation.”
Literally it is: “He Who is Right Now Speaking,” (laleo – λαλέω), present tense.
This ties the Epistle of Hebrews and its message into one unit.
Heb 1:1-2, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son,”
Heb 2:3, “Therefore … how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”
Believers in grace, who reject the present voice of the Lord, are guilty of a far greater sin than our fathers. Our fathers did not escape; so much more will we not escape.
Heb 10:29, “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
“The Lord will judge His people,” (Heb 10:30). It is not salvation, but temporal punishment that is in view here (cf. 1 Cor 11:31-32).
Heb 12:26 – The One Who Spoke on Sinai is Now the One Who Speaks from Heaven in Grace. He will speak again in judgment. This prophecy refers to the two-phased Second Coming of Christ when the judgment of believers occurs. w/ Hag. 2:6. It pictures judgment that precedes the coming of a new age. The shaking of the earth will be the purifying judgment and the removal of all things not in conformity to the holiness of the Lord. That is… all human good production.
Heb 12:27 – Those Things that can be Shaken Show They are Temporary. What is unshakable is eternal. Divine good production will not shake off and the resultant reward will remain forever.
“The removing of things” – Present tense – The shaking is viewed as already in process. i.e., God’s discipline in time to potentially avoid dead works and produce eternal Divine good.
Heb 12:28 – The Final Appeal is Given to “Believers.” All Believers have been given entrance into the eternal kingdom.
Eternal Inheritance: We receive an eternal inheritance which is reserved in heaven (1 Pet 1:4; Heb 9:15).
Royal Family of God: Every Church Age believer has been made a member of God’s Royal Family (Rev. 1:6; 1 Pet 2:9).
Royal Priesthood: Every Church Age believer represents himself before God (1 Pet 2:5; 2:9a; Rev 1:6a; 5:10a).
Royal Ambassadorship: Every Church Age believer represents the Lord Jesus Christ in the devil’s world (2 Cor 5:20).
Transferred into the Kingdom of God: Every believer is transferred into the kingdom of God (Col 1:13b; Heb 12:28).
Since we have been given so great a gift, we should reciprocate the Giver. Abide faithfully and obtain grace to patiently endure for our reward until He comes. In the meantime, we are to serve the Lord acceptably with reverence and Godly fear.
You do not love someone, you do not respect. You cannot love the Lord, unless you respect Him.
The Lord will discipline and judge His children. Serve Him and avoid discipline, disobey and receive righteous judgment with resultant loss of reward. DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER!
Heb 12:29 – The Exhortation Closes and the Warnings are Over. This is not spoken in reference to unbelievers. God is not, and never will be a consuming fire in reference to unbelievers. For unbelievers, He will be an eternal fire that will consume nothing.
Rev 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Mat 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;”
However, in reference to the believer, He is a consuming fire that will consume all that is wood, hay, and stubble, and all that is thorns and briers.
1 Cor 3:13-15; Heb 6:8 – He will even take away our lives through the Sin unto Death if we are completely useless to Him.
Hebrews begins with the Son speaking, and it ends with the blood of the Son continuing to speak from heaven as an eternal witness. Reference: Heb 13 all
We have considered the five warnings of Hebrews. Here are five flashing red lights on the road of disobedience. They are five stop signs on the freeway of backsliding. Each one of these warnings may be illustrated by the nation of Israel in covenant relationship with the Lord. Just as these things happened to the nation of Israel under the blood of the 1st Covenant, so these things may happen of the church under the blood of the New Covenant.
(1) The Danger of Drifting (Heb 2). The children of Israel who were redeemed by blood and by power, drifted from the truth at Mount Sinai, and they made a golden calf. It cost the physical life of 5,000 saved Israelites. So, the question is asked of us: Warning 1 – Heb 2, “How shall we escape if we neglect (drift from) so great salvation?”
(2) The Danger of Not Entering into Rest (Heb 3-4). After leaving Mount Sinai, the nation of Israel wandered for 40-years in the wilderness. The nation and generation that accepted His salvation perished in the wilderness, because they refused to continue a life of faith – Over a million perished. We are not only saved “by faith,” but “the just shall live by faith.” Warning 2 – Heb 3-4, The Danger of Doubting, of not walking by faith as a believer, and of missing His rest and His best.
(3) The Danger of Not Going on to Maturity (Heb 5-6). This was the state of the nation after entering into Canaan under the judges, the kings, and the prophets. They never grew up as a nation. They were never able to use the Word of God in their lives. They never applied it to life’s situations. The result was that thousands upon thousands perished in the sieges and conflicts of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Warning 3 – Heb 5 – 6, The Danger of Deformity or the Danger of not growing in the grace and knowledge or our Lord Jesus Christ
(4) The Danger of the Willful Sin (Heb 10). Here is a picture of the nation at the time of the first coming of Christ. They kept on sinning willfully. Christ even spoke a parable against those of His generation (Luke 20:9-16, 19; cf. Mat 21:43). Consequently, the Lord Himself said: “The blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world (shall) be required of this generation” (Luke 11:50). Josephus tells us that millions of Jews perished in A.D. 70 under the Roman, General Titus. The nation had committed the willful sin of not knowing the living word of God. Warning 4 – Heb 10, The Danger of Despising or The Danger of not valuing the word of God and instead trampling it under foot.
(5) The Danger of Indifference (Heb 12). This is the sin of the nation of Israel today, culminating with the coming tribulation. The Lord speaks in Mat 25:1-13 of the five wise and five foolish virgins, and shows the indifference on part of even those who profess. Many will not patiently endure. The Old Testament prophets have prophesied that two-thirds of the nation of Israel will perish in the tribulation period, because they are indifferent to spiritual realities. Warning 5 – Heb 12, Danger of Denying/refuse, due to indifference, the One who is speaking to you.
You may have noticed that each of these warnings is greater than the previous one, and that failure to heed them brought in each case more severe discipline. This same progression of sinning that is possible in the life experience of these second-generation believers, and that which may be illustrated in the history of the children of Israel, may also be illustrated in the prophecy of the history of the Church, as seen in Revelation 2 & 3. We need not make the same mistakes. We can learn the easy way from their example, or we can learn the hard way from the divine discipline of the God.