The Ultimate New Beginning
In a matter of a few days we will be entering a new year and I dare say that it will be a year of uncertainty with the new Marxist president taking office on January 20th along with his Marxist cabinet. We have already had a foreshadowing of things to come during the very lengthy campaign as well as in the horrific speeches given by those already in power. Harry Reid is happy that he will not have to “smell the tourists at the capital anymore.” If this isn’t a statement of “I am superior to you” then I don’t know what is. The concept of “Government of the people, by the people and for the people” is all but dead.
God is ordering all things according to His Sovereign good pleasure. The scriptures are full of declarations of this truth. Consider a few with me if you will. In Php 2:13 Paul tells us “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” The Psalmist declares that But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Ps 115:3.
One of my favorite passages is found in Daniel 4:34-35 which declares the Sovereignty of God in unequivocal terminology. From former pagan king Nebuchadnezzar we read thus: 34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
I would like for you to turn now to Heb 1:1-14 which I have chosen as my text for this morning. In this passage God declares that He truly is God and that He is causing all things to work together for good, for those who love Him, for those who are the called according to His purpose. I believe that, in the face of all the uncertainty of the future, we will find comfort in these words.
As we look at verse 1 we are reminded of who the Author of the Book is. We read, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, lets stop there and examine what has just been said. The first thing we learn is that God has spoken. There are those who believe and teach that the Bible is merely the work of men and as such it is a flawed book. In the late 1800’s the ‘higher education’ crowd had declared the Bible to be worthless. And then the ‘savior’ came. His name was Karl Barth. He decided that he would rescue the Bible from the hands of the liberals. But being a liberal himself he couldn’t do the job. You see, he too believed that the Bible was the work of men. He believed that it was the best that man had to offer.
But being flawed themselves, the work they had done in the Bible was flawed as well. But then he came up with the idea that even though the Bible wasn’t the word of God: that the Holy Spirit was able to make it become the word of God whenever He wanted to. In other words the Bible was a worthless piece of literature but suddenly the Holy Spirit would come along and make it the very Words of God. Doesn’t this line of reasoning sound familiar? What this is is a theory. Karl Barth came up with a theory, his best guess: the best he had to offer as to what he thought of the Bible.
Doesn’t this sound a bit arrogant? I mean the whole line of reasoning suggests unbridled human arrogance. First there is a group of men who decide that the Bible is worthless. Then some guy comes along and declares himself to be the savior of the Bible. But he doesn’t save anything. He merely puts a band aid on the cancer inflicted by the liberals. It is nonsensical in every respect. Barth did nothing except get himself a seat at the table of like minded fools.
Why do I call them fools? Specifically “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1:19-23
Jude also reveals the character of those who deny the truth when he says in Jude 1:4 “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In the face of these wicked men God has spoken! He spoke through the Old Testament Prophets declaring the truth and warning sinners to repent of their wicked ways. But then He sent His Son to reveal the truth about Himself in a way that transformed this world from B.C. to A.D. Before Christ God spoke through prophets in dreams and visions. But in the year of our Lord “Anno Domini” God came to earth. The Word who was face to face with God, who was indeed very God of very God, became flesh and dwelt among us! Jesus Christ revealed the Father to us and He who has seen the Son has seen the Father.
You remember the conversation between Jesus and the disciples in the upper room don’t you? It’s found in John 14. Beginning at verse 1 Jesus tells them and us “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. Did you hear that? Listen to it again: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. Jesus is pointing to Himself and saying “You trust God, you can trust Me as well. Why? Well we will see. In verse 2 Jesus tells us “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
He has prepared a place for all of His children. What a wonderful truth this is! We may have much uncertainty while we dwell below in this vale of tears but glory to God we will never be completely homeless. Indeed we have an eternal home in heaven with a treasure that will never fade away. And we have this promise from Jesus that 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. This is what I mean by my title. We are looking forward to an ultimate new beginning.
But there is great mystery here is there not. We don’t know everything. By God’s grace we know in part but we only behold through a glass darkly. This is why Thomas responded in the manner that he did. We read in verse 4 “And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” As I said, we only know that which has been revealed to us. De 29:29 declares that “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
Therefore in verse 6 Jesus lifts the veil of mystery and said to him, to Thomas and to us: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus is the revealed truth about God. And He is the life that is to be found in God. Apart from Him there is no way to God, no knowledge of God and no life at all. Apart from Jesus Christ men are without hope being without God in this fallen world. Apart from Jesus Christ sinful men only have a fearful looking forward to judgment for their sins as they have spent their whole lives storing up wrath unto the day of wrath when Jesus will be revealed to the world as the judge of all the earth who only does right.
In verse 7 Jesus scolds Thomas for his unbelief. But in the midst of this rebuke He also speaks words of comfort. He says “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Verse 8 reveals that Thomas is not the only one with doubts. Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Now this verse is quite telling as it demonstrates that the disciples were mere men like us. Philip and the others had walked with Jesus for 3 ½ years. They had watched Him turn water into wine, call the fish from the Sea of Galilee into Peter’s nets, calm the Sea with the mere spoken word, heal the sick, raise the dead and speak like no man before or since has ever spoken. Yet for all this, he didn’t understand who it was that stood before him.
But our Savior is so gentle is He not! Even with the cross only hours away, He is still teaching, still leading men to an understanding of Himself. Listen as He speaks in verse 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Last week we heard in the prophesy of Isaiah the declaration that Jesus Christ is the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. See how all this is tied up in Jesus’ response to Philip who undoubtedly was voicing what the others were thinking. He tells us that “He who has seen Jesus has indeed seen the Father.
If you know Jesus today then you also know the Father. If Jesus has revealed Himself to you, then He has also made the Father known to you for Jesus and the Father are one.
Returning to our text in Hebrews 1 and verse 2 we read that “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, (the last days began with the coming of Jesus to this earth) whom He (the Father) appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Do you understand what has just been said? We must look at the Gospel of John chapter 1 and verse 1 where we read “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.
As we have already seen these verses establish Jesus as none other than God. And then in verse 3 we read the parallel passage to what we have just seen in Hebrews 1. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Who spoke the world into existence? It was our Lord Jesus Christ “through whom also He made the world.”
Again I ask you to remember what Jesus just told Philip and the rest of the disciples. He who has seen Jesus has seen the Father. He who knows Jesus knows the Father too! Verse 3 “And He (Jesus) is the radiance of His (The Father’s) glory and the exact representation of His nature, can there be any more discussion as to who we are speaking of here? It is Jesus Christ, Immanuel: God with us. He is the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father and He upholds all things by the word of His power.
I always find that last section fascinating. If you listen to men like Algore or Richard Dawkins or any number of worldly wise-men, you’d think that everything was in chaos. One of the latest statements made by Algore is that Global Warming is a five alarm fire that must be dealt with immediately.
If you were to look away from Jesus and focus on the wind and the waves of our nation; what with Barack Obama and others about to seize power, well things do look pretty bleak don’t they! But then if we return to the scriptures we find comfort in the truth that Jesus Christ upholds all things by the word of His power. And we remember those words of truth from Nebuchadnezzar that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Everything that has taken place from the beginning of creation to the recent election to the final moments of this world and on into eternity; all these things have been ordered from the heavenly Throne and all things will bring glory and honor to God.
Continuing in verse 3 we turn to the new beginning we entered into when we were born again and received the earnest our inheritance as the Holy Spirit came to dwell within our hearts. We read that “When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Notice that this purification is a done deal. The statement is in the past tense for it was done in eternity past. Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Our names were written down in the Lambs book of life from eternity past and when He hung on the cross, Jesus declared that “It is finished.
Our sins have been forgiven, the god of this world is defeated and we are looking forward to the day when we will be ushered into the presence of God, never to leave again. Jesus work was a one time event for when God does something, it is perfect. The Catholic church ‘sacrifices’ Jesus many times each week revealing that they have no faith in Christ but great faith in the works of men for they declare that the priest stands in the place of God before the people and has the power to bring Christ down from heaven, to forgive sins etc. They worship angels and saints and artifacts galore and hope by their works to gain entrance in to heaven after a lengthy stay in Purgatory. What an utterly hopeless and miserable people they must be for they are trusting in empty air that cannot save.
But we are trusting in Jesus Christ, God Himself to deliver us from the wrath to come. Our hope, our confident assurance is in Jesus Christ who made purification for our sins and sat down, having accomplished the work that God set before Him.
To those who would look to angels for assistance we point them to Jesus the Son of the Living God who accomplished our salvation 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. His Name shall be called Wonderful, Councilor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace! Amen.
Verses 5 and following should forever put to rest the notion that we are to look to angels for salvation. We read 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”? This of course is a rhetorical question for the answer is none! God never called any of the angels “Son!” And again, “I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”? This never happened.
In contrast to the angels we read in verse 6 “And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.” Let us return to the Christmas story in Luke 2 for a moment and see, beginning at verse, the angels announcing the birth of Christ. We read in verse 8 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The lyrics of “O Come All Ye Faithful” declare that Jesus was “born the King of angels” and indeed they were sent at His behest to declare to Mary and Joseph that He was coming and that Mary would be the vessel in which He would come forth, “Born of a woman, born under the Law, that He might so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Ga 4:4-5
Here are some contrasting verses that differentiate between the Savior of Men and mere angels who minister to His children. We read in verse 7 And of the angels He says, “WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS, AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.” If you read through the scriptures you will see angels being dispatched to do just this; minister to God’s people. They bring messages of comfort and words of warning and sometimes fill the countryside with flaming chariots and horses.
8 But of the Son He says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM. Here again, from God the Father we have the declaration of who Jesus Christ is. He is God! In 2Pe 1:1 we read the words of “Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
Then in verses 9-13 the eternal nature of Christ is declared in so clear terms that only those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness could misunderstand what is being said. We read 9 “YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; a statement of the holiness and purity of our Lord Jesus, THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.” 10 And, “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; 11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT, 12 AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP; LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.”
The final few verses once again reveal the task assigned to angels. We read in verse 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”? Again, the answer is none. No angel has ever heard such words…only Jesus Christ. Indeed 14 “Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
Yes there are strange days ahead and probably troublesome, even perilous times but our God is in control of all things. He upholds all things by the word of His power. It is He who raises up kings and deposes them. He reigns supreme in the affairs of men and overrules all the decrees of finite mankind for even though a mans heart plans his way, the Lord directs his steps and even the king‘s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. The New Year is fast approaching and it is a new beginning. But it is only a picture of the ultimate new beginning when we step out of this sphere of existence into the glory of our Father where every tear will be wiped away and all things will be made new. “And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Re 21:5 Amen! Even so come Lord Jesus. Come Quickly!