The Subject of Hebrews is the Speaking of God in the Person of His Son, which concerns His Person and His Work. This is the Gospel.
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
The First warning
to believers in the letter to Hebrews is to not neglect this speaking, but to give more earnest heed to the things we have heard lest we should let these things “slip”:
Heb 2:1-3 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (2) For if the Word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; (3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
The Hebrew BELIEVERS are told that this speaking concerns the Son of God’s living on the earth and even more is a speaking FROM Heaven.
Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from Heaven
The Gospel which we have received not only speaks of the earthly incarnation, human living, death and resurrection of Christ. It also includes His exaltaiton to the right hand of God and His heavenly ministry as Our High Priest after He purged our sins and was enthroned with all authority. The Second Warning in Hebrews is that we would not, through neglect of the Gospel, fail to enter a present enjoyment of the Rest of God.
Heb 3:7-15 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, TODAY if ye will hear HIS VOICE ( Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: (9) When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. (10) Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. (11) So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my REST (12) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (13) But exhort one another daily, while it is called TODAY lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (14) For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (15) While it is said, TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Notice that the Rest is held forh as TODAY and is associated with the VOICE of the Lord. Again, this is the Gospel, which is said to be His present speaking from Heaven.The deceivers are using this verse to say that if we had believed the Gospel (were actually saved), we would have no need of exhortation because of this verse:
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into Rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my Rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.However, they neglect the fact that this epistle, which contains thesse exhortations to enter Rest, is written to recipients whom he addresses as “holy brethren” and “partakers of the heavenly calling”, of whom he says he is persuaded that they are saved and have all the evidence of it (Heb 3:1; Heb 6:9-12)
They also willingly neglect the verses before this verse which tell the believers that they should fear lest a promise of entering Rest any of them should seem come short of it (Heb 4:2) and the verses after that tell them that we must labor to enter that Rest (Heb 4:11).
The Rest is not eternal salvation, but a ceasing from dead works and an entering into the enjoyment or the service of the living God (Heb 9:14). The Rest is said to be TODAY, and therefore remains for the people of God to enter into TODAY; (Heb 4:8-11).
Heb 4:7-11 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. ( For if Jesus had given them Rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into his Rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (11) Let us labour therefore to enter into that Rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Entering into the Rest is associated again with the Speaking of God through the living and active Word, which is able to divide between “soul and spirit” (which those who are saying we are under the new covenant and new heart refuse to distinguish). Further this living Word is the PERSON with whom we have to do, and nothing is hidden from HIM:
Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Furthermore, Christ has been established as our high priest in the hoilest to bring us into this Rest. As such He is our heavenly “Joshua” and our intercessor for our weakness, and He is the apostle and the High Priest of our “confession” (Heb 3:1).
Heb 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our Profession. (15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The Third Warning in Hebrews
again concerns the Word, the Gospel, the speaking of God in Christ concerning our great salvation. We are warned that we would not be “superficial” in our understanding of it, but that we would go on from the milk to the meat, going from the mere elementary principles (baptisms, laying on of hands, repentance from dead works, faith towards god), and understand the great High Priestly ministry of Christ after the order of Melchizidek, who has been established according to the Word of God’s Oath, which is the anchor for our soul to bring it into the presence within the veil (Heb 5:11-6:19)
Again, we are shown the preeminence of the Gospel. The Gospel tells us not just that Christ incarnated, lived a human life, died on the cross, and rose, but that after He purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of God, and is now the High Priest. He has been given all authority and has been established by God’s oath. There is speaking from Heaven concerning this Person in His glory which is the present truth we are to stand in and is the content of our Profession. This speaking is God’s oath and is the anchor of for our SOUL to distinguish it from our spirit (Heb 4:12) and bring it into the presence within the veil (Heb 6:19). (which is the Spirit) through faith.
The purpose of the speaking in Hebrews is to bring our SOUL INTO REST, which is the enjoyment of the Person of Christ and the presence of Christ. It is to cease from dead works (typfiied by the labor of the priests in the holy place) to serve the living God (carried out in the Holiest). We are told to not neglect this speaking, but to give more earnest heed to it, and to advance in our understanding of it. We are told not to be superficial in our understanding of it (milk) but to go on to understand the depths of this speaking) and to understand that the speaking itself is to bring our soul into the presence of a Person, Christ Himself.
This is the true “discipleship”, according to Jesus’ words,
Mat 11:27-30 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (28) Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you Rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.No one knows the Son in this way except by revelation. This is Christ Manifesting Himself to us as the glorious Rest, our portion and enjoyment, and it is through His Word, which is the Gospel.
This corresponds with JEsus promise in John 14:
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.This Word that we are to not neglect, but to give heed to, and grow proceed in, is for the manifestation of Christ to us.
It is God’s speaking in His Son, who is the brightness of His glory and the exact representation of His Person (Heb 1:3). It is the living Word, sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is able to divide asunder between soul and spirit and pierce to the thought and intention of the heart (Heb 4:12). It is the Word of the oath from which the Gospel comes, which establishes Christ as Abraham’s seed (And us as heirs of the promise) (Heb 6:13-14) and establishes Christ (as the seed of David) as the High Priest according to the order of Melchizidek forever(Heb 6:19-20.)
In His High Priesthood, He lives to bring us the enjoyment of His presence. By His intercession, and by the sure Word of His promise, which we are to not neglect but to give more and more heed to, our soul is to be brought into Rest and into the presence within the veil so that His presence characterizes our life here on earth.Hebrews is not about the hope of “future glory.” It is the promsie that today we can enter His Rest through faith. For that reason it is full of admonishments and encouragements that we should draw near TODAY based on His speaking in faith (Heb 4:16; Heb 7:19; heb 10:19-23)
We need to have our conscience purged TODAY from dead works so that we would serve the living God in His presence (Heb 9:14). The Gospel is not about just sending you to “heaven when you die”. According to Hebrews, the Gospel gave us access to the Holiest, and by faith in the Gospel, we should come near and enjoy the privilege of sons and heirs. This includes a present cleansing from defilement of flesh and spirit and a present washing of our body with “pure water (Heb 10:22), given to us as a gift by our high priest who actually lives to minister to us and performs His service through the “Washing of the water of the word.”To that end, we are to hold fast to the Profession of our faith without wavering (Heb 10:22) and to heed the last warning, which is not to cast away our confidence and drawback but to live by faith, and believe unto the “saving of the soul.” (Heb 10:39).
Again this is not eternal salvation but is refers to salvation in the present, which PAul calls “reigning in life” in Romans 5:17 and Peter refers to as rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
1Pe 1:8-9 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.In philippians, Paul refers to this salvation in terms of “Christ being magnified in his body” with “all boldness” and that for him to “live is Christ.”
Php 1:19-21 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (20) According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.The Gospel is not just for “going to heaven.” It is for living Christ.
You can either be miserable, wandering around in the wilderness, complaining and saying “God did you just bring us out here to die?” begging and pleading for the rapture to come and wasting your time playing “Rapture bingo” with the Rest of the railers, or you can enjoy Christ in the Present and strive through faith to enter the present enjoyment of His Rest and allow Him to settle your soul in His presence.
Which do you think is more pleasing to the Lord and more satisfying to the soul?