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Volume 1, Sermon 16

Hebrews 5:8-10  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

    Lord willing, and only from the Scriptures, this Sermon is about the body of Christ. Before Christ descended to earth, a) I have no idea of "a body" for him because he was 'begotten' of God who is 'spirit'; and b) my little earthly mind does not pretend to fathom the things of heaven.
    Yet, I do delve into the Scriptures with the ongoing hope that he feeds me tidbits ... of which I greatly appreciate ... even as I desire further light about them. In other words, long ago the Lord proved to me that I had better continue looking to him instead of leaning upon further gain of
understanding. Dear reader I hope you will join me.

4:12,13 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.
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.
14,15 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. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling (i.e. 'sympathize') of our infirmities; but was in (i.e. 'according to') all points (i.e. 'all = all things, all men) tempted (i.e. 'assayed, examined, to prove') like as (i.e. 'according to and similar to') [we are, yet] (he was) without (i.e. 'separate, apart from') sin.

    Let me redo verse 15: 'For we have not an high priest which cannot sympathize with our infirmities; but according to all (things and men) was assayed for proving ... both according to and similar to (our infirmities), (though both) separate and apart from sin.' The essence of this verse is that Jesus, having gone through his walk to the cross, can very well sympathize with you and me in our infirmities .... not to mention the ongoing agony of torture and slaughter in the world ... though he was both separate and apart from the sin of mankind.
    Verse 12 has 'the word of God is quickening, powerful, sharper, piercing, dividing, a discerner' ... etc; and of course we think of the Bible. Yet, these words depend not on how we read the Bible or which version or how often. These words describe the Only Begotten who is God's Word. When we pick up the Bible and when we put it down and walk, these words can be working by means of the Living Word as we walk on in spirit. Lord may it be so.
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.

5:5  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made (i.e. earn) an high priest; but he (i.e. God the Father) that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

    Here the Writer of Hebrews takes us back to the initial planning by God the Father of God's Plan of the Ages for earth and its world. Moreover, he plainly tells that the Son, even by and within his glory, chose not and could not earn the right. Indeed, it was and is his through having become 'Begotten' of, in, and from he Father.
    The word 'to day' means 'this very day'. It applied to God's Plan of what He was going to do with the earth. Therefore,
at some point God created of Himself a Son and immediately He confided to him 'Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.' From the Son's beginning, then, the Father held him within the utmost confidence. This is why on earth (while the Son was in the physical form of a male Israelite of the lineage of King David in the tribe of Judah) that the Father was always in connection with His Only Begotten.
    The 'begotten' is of Almighty God Himself to join with Him and serve Him in everything that would come about within God's Plan of the Ages for the earth and its world. Father and Son worked together in the Planning. In this, then, the Son accepted that he would become the mediator between the Father's Will and all things of earth and its world. From that very 'to day' he has operated above, toward, regarding, and amid everything of the earth and its world ... including their creation according to the Plan. It is in this that he became the mediator (priest, etc.) between the Father and humans.

 6  As he (God the Father) saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who (i.e. the Son) in the days of his flesh (on the earth and in its world), when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he (properly) feared (before the Father)
    Thus, (even more than expressed in verse 4:15) the Son sympathizes with those having the proper fear of God. This verse tells us that amid infirmities the child of God is 'heard'. Agreed to by the Son, God's Plan of the Ages includes the Son's Own Infirmities toward the Wondrous Salvation of the earth and its world.
 8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he (i.e. 'became appraised of' such) obedience by (means of) the things which he suffered;
    When in heaven gazing down upon and working with humans, then the Son sympathized with them in their trials and infirmities. Yet, to the Wondrous Son there would arrive a time (earthly and worldly) when he would by his Own Infirmities become truly 'appraised' of the trials and infirmities of the children of God, such that he would even more Perfectly Fit into the Purpose of the True High Priest ... such that his Offering for their sins would be complete and acceptable to the Father. That is, Jesus fulfilled completely that which was required of him.
 9  And being made perfect (i.e. 'complete, accomplished'), he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
    As the Son obeyed the Father, so the child saved out of the world is expected to obey the Son, in that the only way to the Father by earthlings is through the Son ... which includes obedience. While in the flesh and in the world, each such child walks (falteringly and failingly) before the Son ... and thereby into the Father's good pleasure. In this is the way 'we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need'.
     Scripture shows us both why and by which means Christ's Compassion is toward us. Therefore, I repeat: it is how 'we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need' ... one of our Wondrous Benefits in Christ.
    From the Beginning forgiveness of sin was and is 'by the blood'. While still in the garden of Eden, the sins of Adam and Eve required the Lord God to slay animals to provide each with skins to clothe this their new nakedness.
    Moses' Law of Righteous emphasized God's requirements to Israel (i.e. if they were to remain His people as a nation). Yes, it was 'by the blood' of sacrifices each year, also within each year, that by faith in God and His commandments each person received forgiveness.
    This, then, was the true fear of God in each Israelite toward his or her God. It was God and not the Law that saved each. This is why the Apostle Paul explained that not all Jews by the flesh were true Jews in heart and deed.
    The Law taught (when the Only Begotten would arrive)
that the Son must first pass through that which the innocent animals of sacrifice had passed through. Therefore, as a sheep-led-to-slaughter, and within God's Plan of the Ages, the Son would become obedient unto the Father.
    This was accomplished by means of the 'flesh' of our Lord; that is, it was accomplished by the 'body and the blood' of his holy flesh ... which flesh was of heaven ... not of earth.
    Revealed throughout Scripture, this fact is what so much of Christianity has missed and still misses by thinking that Jesus' Offering was accomplished by a sinless man going through suffering and death to be raised up by God.
    Indeed, too many of us think this is our hope to also be raised up by God. However: It is our High Priest ... His own Flesh of Heaven that was Given Up and Offered Up for our one-day-arrising. A child of God arrising-in-Christ is the essential core of the 'The Whole Christ'. Why else did the Father send the Son ... and by this save the world also?

    But let us continue -

10. Called of God an high priest after the order of
(i.e. 'fixed arrangement') Melchisedec.
    Here is where we shall delve into the varied manners in which the Only Begotten Son has appeared unto earthlings. But first consider the next few verses -
11-14  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use (within the word of righteousness) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
    It is one's walk 'in the word of righteousness' that 'exercises the senses to discern both good and evil'. Consider Hebrews 1:1,2 and 2:1. As mentioned in other Sermons on 'The Whole Christ', the Writer of Hebrews wrote unto the leaders of the churches spread throughout the lands north and east of Israel. These churches began in towns and cities as split-offs from Jewish synagogues where Israelites and Gentiles had been together worshiping the God of the Old Testament..
    Ah, but in becoming believers in Jesus as their Messiah, Jews and Gentiles together were unwelcome in the synagogues. Leaders of such new gatherings were chosen by the Lord through the Spirit and placed such that all new believers accepted them as chosen-ones and they therefore followed their teachings ... assuming their teachings to be Truth.

    Yet, by these verses we see that many leaders were 'not of strong meat' and not 'true discerners of both good and evil'. At that time (as always and today) real discernment is often lacking among leaders. Are we not split into churches that "discern things" quite differently from brethren in other churches. From the very beginning of the Church, it has always been so.
    Ah, but thankfully one's salvation remains to each as in verse 9 above ... which is the reason I study and write to encourage myself and encourage brothers and sisters to delve into the Word for themselves ... and not to major on separation from brethren ... but major in '
love the Lord our God and your neighbor as yourself' ... ... within which all the Word works Itself out. Indeed, to a degree we are all 'unskilful in the word of righteousness'. Differences (though well intended and dear to each of us) should be small so as to abide within the 'word of righteousness' that motivates toward 'love the Lord our God and your neighbor as yourself'.

Let us consider '
the fixed arrangement of Melchisedec' (verse 5:10) -
    Genesis 14 has the story of Abram's victory over a group of eastern kings that came into the land (which later would become Israel) and they conquered the local kings and took off much spoil and people, including Lot with his family and his wealth.
Genesis 14:13  And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
    The Lord had brought Abram and his nephew Lot into this land and due to their huge herds and many shepherds they had chosen separate parcels of the land where to dwell. These local kings 'confederated' with Abram and his many shepherds for self protection. The kings respected Abram, wealthy in the hills with his flocks. Each king lived in his own city in a castle of sorts.
14-16  And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house (i.e. estate), three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto (the northern region of) Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus (in Syria). And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
17  And the king of Sodom (defeated and lost his wealth and his people) went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the (local) kings (also defeated) that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.
    The local kings, lead by the king of Sodom, met in their normal place of meeting with Abram, and ...
18  And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
    The word 'Salem' means 'peace' ... and most Jewish commentators affirm that it is the same as Jerusalem, later referred to in Scripture as 'the holy city'. By this text it seems that this king of Salem and his small kingdom had not been attacked and plunder by the foreign kings, whom I suspect had heard of Melchizedek and had stayed clear of him.
    The Writer of Hebrews has taken us well back in time to the writings of Moses about Abraham when as Abram he received a Covenant from the Lord. This early Covenant is the One to which Israelites trace back their heritage. Of all the people groups that had become established from 'the loins of Abraham', the sons of Jacob (renamed Israel) were the people chosen by God to work out His Plan of the Ages for the earth and its world.
    The Only Begotten Son
would arrive to the people of the lineage of Abraham by and through the 'chosen line' of Jacob. This developing line included 'chosen' King David of the 'chosen' tribe of Judah. Both 'chosen' Mary and 'chosen' Joseph were in David's lineage by different sons. All of it to be worked out according to The Plan.

    Melchizedek 'was (a king-)priest of the most high God' ministering among the small kingdoms of the inhabitants of the land which would become Israel. From Creation and within God's Plan of the Ages this land was 'chosen'. Moreover, the Lord's Ongoing Presence in this land (in some form or other) always had been representing 'the most high God'. Thus, for a very long time the people of this land had been blessed and chastised by 'the most high God'. Thus, the people greatly respected 'the most high God' (though at times did not hold Him is proper fear) and now they greatly respected King/priest Melchizedek.
    Ah but, the very presence of a
kingdom of peace with its priestly king among the small kingdoms of the land made for no excuse when
later the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed due to their rebellious sins. (Had not 'the most high God' already destroyed the lineages of Adam and Seth except for Noah, his three sons and their wives?)
    The people knew the history, knew their land was 'chosen', knew the King/priest, and knew they should properly fear
'the most high God'. Blessed and having received the Covenant, Abraham loved and had compassion and sympathy toward the people ... and so he tried to defer the Lord from their destruction.
    We see in Genesis 11:25 that the whole of that land was 'Canaan', named after Noah's son that had been 'cursed' by the Lord. In knowing this, then, Abraham thought this Covenant entitled him to try to change God's mind ... reminding Him how compassionate and sympathizing He had always been.
    Throughout the ages, a great many in Christianity have been trying to do the same ... 'not discerning' what is and what is not by means of God's Plan of the Ages ... 'not discerning the good from the bad'.

King Melchizedek existed in a physical form having no father or mother and no beginning and no ending. Obviously this was not similar to the people of the land. Who do you think was also in a physical form in the holy city of Jerusalem crucified on a cross? Even the Roman centurion charged with killing Jesus recognized him - 27:54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God (i.e. no human of this world).

    Many Christians believe "Melchizedek was not Jesus". Well of course he was not, since the Son, as Christ, had not yet received the Name Jesus until having arrived to Israel in the womb of a young maid of the preplanned lineage of David of the tribe of Judah; that is, when Christ came and was introduced to earth.
    According to God's Plan of the Ages, the Son arrived from heaven to earth in a physical form of 'flesh'. It was this heavenly 'flesh' along with its Holy Heavenly Sanctifying 'blood' ... of a Holy Heavenly 'body' ... that would satisfy the Heavenly Arrangement of Sacrifice given by a Heavenly High Priest.
    In Hebrews 5:10 is the 'arrangement' within God's Plan of the Ages regarding both Melchizedek and Jesus ... '(Jesus) Called of God an high priest after (i.e. 'according to') the order (i.e. 'fixed arrangement') of Melchisedec.' In other words, 'according to a fixed succession observing a fixed time'.
    It was Melchisedec (physical being and priest of heaven) who ministered to and blessed the people of that land. Therefore, when Abram returned from the war, Melchisedec ministered to him and then blessed him such that (in the Spirit) Abram discerned the God-given-blessing as a continuance of the God-given-victory. Indeed, Abram understood that he was being chosen for Something.
19  And he (Melchizedek) blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of (i.e. from or by) the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And (therefore) he (Abram) gave him (Melchizedek) tithes of all.
    The giving of 'the tithes of all' was a Spirit-inspired reaction amid what was happening to Abram. Let us compare what Melchizedek said in this verse to what Jesus said, Luke 6:20-22  And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
    All would become true for these disciples. But let us continue Abram -

21  And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons (you saved), and take the goods to thyself.
22  And Abram (however) said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD (perhaps in the giving of the tithes and partaking of the 'bread' and the 'wine' in verse 18), the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

    Abram, in the giving of the tithes to the 'priest of the most high God' was, in fact, honoring 'the most high God' before the kings of the land. (Here is real testimony toward our Lord.)
    In these verses, Moses briefly wrote about Melchizedek ... which writing would later become expanded to us by the Writer of Hebrews. Why didn't Moses mention more about Melchizedek? Moses (in hearing the Lord's actual words) wrote to the new nation of Israel about how the Lord had been choosing 'chosen ones' out of Abraham's lineage ... Issac, Jacob and his twelve sons, Moses himself, etc. Thus, in teaching about Abram, it was the relationship between God and Abram that Israelites needed.
    The Lord, accompanied by two others, later actually 'appeared' and walked and talked with Abraham and spoke with Sarah (Genesis 18). This interaction between them, then, continued in a physical manner.
    We know that the Son of God was 'the Lord' unto Abram / Abraham. And by the Writer of Hebrews, it seems that the Son of God also was the everlasting 'priest of the most high God' dealing with Abram. Therefore, it was the Writer and not Moses who emphasized the 'fixed arrangement' of Christ Jesus being 'Called of God an high priest after the order of (the everlasting) Melchisedec'.
    In these separate Biblical texts and times, should humans observe a 'priest of the most high God' then each 'priest' (in a heaven-sent-body) would not look the same. Consider: The body of Melchisedec was honorable as King-priest while the other 'priest' had 'no noticeable features to be admired ... even as a lamb led to the slaughter'. Only Jesus' sheep recognized him as their Shepherd.
    Yet, set in God's Plan of the Ages, each in physical form was the Only Begotten Son working in Obedience to the Father.

    The Writer of Hebrews tells us in 7:1-3  'For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without (human) descent (i.e. 'genealogy or pedigree'), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto (i.e. 'to express oneself in it, or to copy oneself') the Son of God; abideth a priest continually (i.e. 'continually into').

Back to Abram in Genesis -
23,24  That I will not take (to myself anything) from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and
(also) that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich (with my wealth): Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion (of spoils personally taken) of the men which went with me, (also from) Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion (after the tenth is taken out of their spoils). 
    At this point in time, Abram had become the wealthiest man in all the land and was considered the mightiest man ... mightier than all kings combined.
    Yet, mighty Abram would not allow any glory unto himself that might defer from the obvious startling fact that 'the most high God' was in charge of him and had energized him and had greatly blessed him above all men. In this, the Lord God had given witness unto His own Glory by making Abram a glorious object to be viewed by all ... and He did it by saving the local kings and their wealth and their people.
    In the Book of Genesis, Moses was telling Israelites about Abraham who by faith had become the father of all who would in faith seek the Lord God. As well, by the Lord God, Moses had given them the Law of Righteousness. Furthermore, as well, for some forty years the Lord God had given Israelites the man Moses as a living portrait of righteous faith. In their history, then, Israelites knew the portrait of Abraham's faith.
    At the time of the Writer of Hebrews, Israelites and Gentiles in the new assemblies north and east of Israel were experiencing the portrait of Moses' faith observed in the apostles of Jesus.
    We Christians think "this is Great", the things the Lord had been doing with Abraham and with Moses! But how about the poor and lonely oft-despised prophets? How about the poor godly peasants pushed out of their lowly abodes to presently travel from country to country trying to keep families together?
    What about the poor missionary used by the Spirit in a far off land? What about the poor-in-money (though wealthy-in-work-and-spirit) pastor of a small church in a small rural town? I suggest that such "poor" ones love the place and the people of the place where-the-Lord-has-placed-them ... such that they accept their "poorness" as something to be exchanged for 'riches in glory'. Who will such folk as these be sitting with and among in the heavenlies?

Genesis 2
7  And the LORD  God formed (i.e. 'formed as a potter fashions a vessel) man (i.e. 'adam, of the ground') of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
     'Lord' is 'Yahweh or Jehovah' the Ever Existing One. 'God' is 'plural gods with a singular verb' meaning 'the God of Father, Son, Spirit ... i.e. God of multi-personalities or as I have mentioned in other Sermons the multi-personalitied God. Let me be clear: God is not three individual persons. Consider this example: I am a father, also a son, also I have a spirit; but also I am a husband, a brother, and I used to be an electronic design engineer, and before that I was in the Navy, and then a college student, and have long been a student of the Bible, and now I continue studying and sometimes writing and maintaining this website, etc. Each of these mentioned things can by others be seen as a personality; yet all is me.
    The Lord God 'fashioned' the first male human from the ground. Then by creation-speaking,
from the ground also he 'formed' the land animals. Yet, the forming of this human was an individual work (indeed, as is every child of God) for a special purpose ... to manage the Garden in eden.
2:21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs (i.e. 'side'), and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    Again the Lord God created ... out of the 'side' of Adam ... which implies that the woman was to be much a part with Adam as to be 'one flesh'. Thus, Eve also was of the ground ... yet by means of the Lord God plus Adam.
2:23  And Adam (having named the animals in the garden) said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man (i.e. 'eesh', a 'male human' or often 'mankind').
    In Adam's words, 'now bone of my bones' is the reason English translations changed 'side' to 'rib'.

    Now let us consider Genesis 1 where we read 'God', and in Genesis 2 we read 'Lord God'. In his teaching (writing) Moses emphasized the far-back-beginnings-of-Israel; that Israel was by way of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Jacob. Thus, Moses began with the God-of-many-personalities, because
even in Egypt Israelites had come to know some of the personalities of God. And from the time of leaving Egypt, they would be introduced to more such personalities.
    In other words, the beginning of our Bible is an unfolding by Moses of who and what God is, such that the Creating process (as all Scripture repeats it) was of a particular-personality of God ... the 'Lord' the Everlasting One which Israelites and all mankind would come to understand as 'the Only Begotten Son'.
'the Only Begotten' has represented 'God' to the earth, to the world, and to all mankind. As we have studied here, Creation was and always has been a fashioning-of-something out-of-something ... and not out-of-nothing.
    Moreover, as far as 'the Lord' has informed us, 'God' has always existed.  Yet, through Moses, God introduced Himself as having multi-personalities (Elohim).
    Furthermore, through Moses, He also informed us (Genesis 2) that out of Himself He had 'fashioned' an 'Only Begotten Son' to be the Particular Personality of Himself that would deal with everything outside of Heaven (i.e. everything of earth, its heaven, the world, and mankind).
    Therefore, it is 'the Son' who is revealed in Scripture as the 'Lord (of) God'. We know from all Scripture that the Son is 'the Creator'. Yet, in the unfolding of God's Plan of the Ages he is also 'the lamb slain from the foundation of the world'.
    Furthermore, throughout Scripture he is the 'God of Israel' and therefore Israelites had come to know him as 'Yahweh or Jehovah, the Ever Existing One' ... because from the Beginning, the Lord had
always had Israel in view as 'chosen within' The Plan. The entire lineage of Abraham is blessed; yet, by the Lord, Isaac became the 'chosen son' to Abraham walking in his faith.
    Note: For personal pronouns, many English Bibles use, 'He' for God and 'he' for the Lord.
    In Genesis 5:1 '... in the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him' ... which 'likeness' had to do with management of what the Lord God had created in the garden. Ah, but Adam fell from that high position to become a tiller of cursed ground outside the garden.

    Now let us consider some of the physical bodies (i.e. physical 'fashions') of the Lord in Genesis:
    First He came to Adam and Eve within a presence of some kind (probably Spirit) and in a voice (3:8) ... also he came thus to the Serpent. He continued as a Personal Voice
with Cane and Able such that each also could approach the Lord with sacrifices and for conversation.
    The Lord continued this with individuals until in Genesis 5:22 'Enoch walked with God', which occurred after Enoch had many sons and daughters and thus, with that part of his life behind him, his 'walk' must have become much like with Adam and Eve in the garden ... entirely unique with Enoch. Perhaps the Lord had raised up Enoch from the cursed condition of the lineage of Adam and Seth to an un-cursed condition whereas then, Enoch 'was not, for God took him'. With what God had in mind for all the living lineage of Adam and Seth, including Enoch's own family, perhaps the Lord decided to spare Enoch from seeing their deaths in the soon impending flood.
Noah also 'walked' with God (6:9) such that the Personal Voice occurred also with him. Then later The Voice occurred with Abram ... that is, until Abram entered the land of the Canaanites (the land promised to Israel).

    Indeed, in Genesis 12: 7 'the Lord appeared (i.e. 'to see') unto Abram'. Here, then, is the very first time that the Lord 'appeared' ('to be seen') unto a human. Since this 'appearance' was a Spirit of the Personal Voice, we can understand how the translators of the King James Version
often gave to such incidents the term 'Holy Ghost' for translation instead of 'Holy Spirit'. Through the whole story of Abram / Abraham, 'the Lord appeared unto' him five times.
    In the story of Jacob 'the Lord appeared' unto him in a dream standing at the head of the wondrous dream of a ladder from heaven to earth with angels
descending and ascending.
    'The Lord appeared' unto Moses in a flaming bush. The Personal Voice of the Lord spoke to Moses then and also for a total of four times in the early part of his story. Thus, we see in
Exodus 6:3 'And I (i.e. the Lord) appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (i.e. 'Elohim or God of multi-personalities'), but by my name Jehovah (i.e. or Yahweh the Ever Endless God) was I not known to them.' Interestingly, Israelites often spoke and wrote of Elohim, but they considered 'the name Jehovah or Yahweh' as too sacred to speak or write fully because 'the Name' had been given to Moses ... whose face shined and had to be covered before the people the rest of his days.
    Therefore, 'the Name' appears in Scripture only in an abbreviated form, which English translators have given as Jehovah or Yahweh. It is this Personality of God that is Ever Endlessly with Israel, which knows is also 'the Lord', 'God of Israel', 'the Only Begotten'.
    Thus, in the beginning of our Bible, written by Moses, we can see why he gave 'God' in Genesis 1 ... and then in Genesis 2 he began using 'the Lord God' ... and not long after he began using simply 'the Lord' ('Yahweh or Jehovah'). Indeed, this was the very progression in which Israel by their history had come to know God the Father, God the Son, and many of His other Personalities.

    Yet, let us again consider Abraham in Genesis 18
:1-3  'And the LORD (i.e. 'Jehovah') appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men (i.e. 'humans') stood by him (i.e. Abraham): and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord (i.e. 'Adonay' said in adoration of a person of high rank), if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:'
    Here Abraham could 'see' Jehovah and two others as they 'appeared' unto him (i.e. the same Hebrew word for both 'see' and 'appeared'). Though (as mentioned just above) 'the Name of Jehovah' was not 'known' to Abraham, Moses nonetheless used the Name for this appearance to Abraham so that Israelites might know that the Ever Endless One had especially and physically appeared to Abraham. It seems that this 'appearance' was the point of time in God's Plan of the Ages when the Lord began to inspire, motivate, or lead this 'chosen man of faith' toward becoming by Covenant 'the father of many families of the earth'. I do not know for certain that this was the case, but here it is. Indeed, the long relationship of the Lord with Abraham was very special such that 'chosen Israel' and all Israelites came to know of 'father Abraham'.

See Exodus 33-34 --   Moreover, Moses also was permitted to see, (verse 11) 'The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man (i.e. 'male human') speaketh unto his friend. (verse 20) And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face (i.e. 'forefront') shall not be seen' ... i.e. as 'the Lord' passed in Glory on the mountain. The word 'face' means 'before' or 'front', 'forefront'; i.e.when looking at a person you see his forefront; or it can be used to indentify that which is in front of the person (you in this example).
Exodus 24:9-11  Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw (i.e. 'with the eye') the God (i.e. 'Elohim') of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body (i.e. actually the 'bone') of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw (i.e. 'with the eye') God (i.e. 'Elohim'), and did eat and drink.
    This seems strange to see Spirit which was physical enough for Moses here to use the word 'bone'. Yet, how do you describe a physical Something that is Spirit and not body. Bone is the essential part of a body upon which all else hangs. Elohim (the multi-personality One) presented Himself physically to these men.
    Since we are studying physical appearances of the Lord, we can here consider also the 'body' of Christ Jesus ... also of heaven ... yet, its purpose was to be years among men ... and it had 'flesh' which was to be the heavenly Sacrifice for men ... and so this 'body of flesh' talked and walked among men ... taking their abuse even while performing miracles among them ... so that Jesus was representing the Whole Purpose of the Father toward men.
    Therefore, it seems to me that the concept of a physical human-looking body (to be a Sacrifice) was kept within God's Plan of the Ages until Christ would descend to earth. But let us continue.

Joshua 5:2  At that time the LORD (i.e. 'Jehovah or Yahweh') said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
Joshua 5:13-15  And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked (i.e. 'with the eye'), and, behold, there stood a man (i.e. 'man, human male') over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said (i.e. 'spoke') unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain (i.e. 'prince') of the host of the LORD (i.e. 'Jehovah or Yahweh', the Everlasting One) am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord (i.e. 'Adonay', as a servant speaks unto a revered lord) unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
    Considering Exodus 24: 9-11, Joshua had been with Moses on many in-the-mountain occasions and had been speaking with the Lord within the tabernacle along with Moses; thus, upon now actually seeing a physical being he was not surprised and he humbly fell on his face. Yet, like Moses with the burning bush, Joshua was surprised to be standing upon holy ground. It seems to me that this 'prince' actually was the Lord, but did not want Joshua to think he was more priviliged than had been Moses; thus, Joshua reacted as would a servant unto his lord. What was holy about this ground? Like with Moses in the mountain in  the wilderness of Sinai, the place was holy because the Lord was there.
    Later in Israel's warfare the Lord would introduce himself as '
the Lord of Hosts'. Thus, at the time of this verse the 'prince' did not say he was going to fight with the enemy, but rather he inferred that he was joining the host of Israel as commander. Later the 'Lord of Hosts' would actually fight some the battles, in that the 'Lord of Hosts' became the obvious Victor with Israelite warriors along for the ride.

Now let us see what Jesus said -
John 8:56-59   Your father Abraham rejoiced to see (i.e. 'with the eye') my day (i.e. 'the period between sunrise and sunset'): and he saw it (i.e. 'with the eye'), and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen (i.e. 'with the eye') Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
    The Jews knew full well what Jesus meant in saying 'I am', meaning 'I Exist' (i.e. not in the past, because the word is present tense and has always meant Yahweh the Ever Existing One ... the Name so Sacred to Israelites).
    Above we saw 'to appear' which means to appear so that others can 'see'. 'See' is the other side of sight, meaning 'to see, observe, discern, etc.'. 'See' applies to physical sight or mental sight; that is, to the eye or to the mind or to the spirit.
    Jesus' phrase 'Your father Abraham rejoiced to see (i.e. 'with the eye') my day' was an obvious referral to Abraham's mind and spirit as regarding the Promise of the Lord to descend to earth to establish a Kingdom and to rule over Abraham's lineage in Righteousness ... by means of 'chosen Israel'.
    So then, what did Abraham 'see'? He saw, by hope and faith, the Promise as worked out totally ... such that ... ... well, we shall also see what the Writer of Hebrews has to tell us.
    The Promise, of course, had been Planned for Two Separate Parts of 'my day'. Consider -
    Part 1 lasted from the sunrise of Christ Messiah descending to Israel in the womb of a virgin of the lineage of David of the tribe of Judah ... ... lasting unto the sunset of the Cross when Christ Messiah dismissed his Spirit from the flesh/body.
    Part 1, therefore, was the Promised earthly representation of the Father unto Abraham's lineage by the means of His Only Begotten Son. Moreover, it was the heavenly sacrifice by and of a heavenly high priest worthy of the heavenly temple.
    Part 2 began, upon Jesus' Spirit leaving that heavenly body for three days and three nights to preach to the souls in hades whom he had destroyed in the Noah Flood ... which would have seemed very strange to see the Spirit of the Lord preaching to them. Then terminating the preaching, Jesus' Spirit reentered the entombed body ... ...  transforming it into the body fit for Christ's return to be Glorified in heaven and receive his Inheritance of Kingship with the Father.
    Christ (thus now Christ Jesus) had always been and remains Spirit of the Only Begotten. That which the disciples' eyes saw of this Transformation was understood to them as 'risen from the grave'
    Therefore, Jesus Christ reigns in Righteousness over all that he Created for the Father, and over all else that shall come with the conclusion of Part 2 ... which in the Father's timing will become an established Kingdom on earth among and for Abraham's lineage ... the headquarters of which will be in the Holy City of Jerusalem in Israel.
    Jesus' victory over death is the harbinger of your and my victories over death.

Hebrews 11
1,2  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (the Only Begotten), so that things which are (presently) seen (of earth) were not made of things which do appear (i.e. 'appear' infers what 'will come into the light so as to be seen').
    This means that things of earth now seen 'were not made' from things of earth, but made with the same Power that shall make the things that shall appear.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
    In verses 5-11 we see Enoch, Noah, and Abraham; and in verse 6 is how these men worked their lives toward God's reward ... 'But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe (i.e. 'the verb form of faith', 'faith in action') that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' This then, is how 'the elders obtained a good report'.
    So many of us actively have faith 'that he is', but so few of us in our busy daily walk 'diligently seek him' as did those in verse 16 below.
    An example of this is the difference between a glass of water at rest and drinking the water. The word 'faith' is the noun (i.e. a thing). Yet, the word translated here as 'believe' is actually 'the movement or action of faith' upon something.
    My book God's Hook is about Biblical faith ... a study of many Bible stories demonstrating faith's definition as an ongoing connection between the Lord God and a person. The book is large and is down-loadable free from this website.
12  Therefore sprang (forth) there even of one (i.e. of Abraham), and him as good as dead, so many (who would walk by faith) as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13-16  These all (as just mentioned) died in faith (i.e. the action), not having received the promises, but having seen (i.e. 'by eye or perceive by mind and/or spirit') them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them (i.e. the very definition of faith's interplay between God and His child), and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly (i.e. by their walk in faith) that they seek a country (i.e. 'own country')...
    ...And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

17-19 (And so) By faith Abraham, when he was tried (i.e. 'tried, or tempted' ... that is, 'to see if perhaps it can be done'), offered up Isaac: and (thus) he that had received the promises (of God) offered up his (i.e. Abraham's) only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
    Here of course is God's picture worked out within Abraham's faith of the very thing He would accomplish with His own Only Begotten Son. Abraham had many sons, but the only begotten son was with barren Sarah ... these two together begot Isaac in faith and then offered him up in obedience.
20  By faith (action) Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning (the promised) things to come.
21 By faith (action) Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph (toward the promises); and worshiped (the Lord), leaning upon the top of his staff.
22 By faith (action) Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel (from Egypt); and gave commandment concerning his bones (to be taken with them and buried in the Promise Land).
23-27  By faith (action) Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused (action) to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ's greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect (action) unto the recompense of the (promised) reward. By faith (action) he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing (i.e. 'intently perceiving') him who is invisible.
    How many Christians 'endure' by means of 'intently perceiving' 'him who is invisible' to others?
28-31  (Moses as the Lord's commander to Israel) Through faith (action) he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn (i.e. the Angel of Death in Egypt) should touch them (i.e. Israelites). By faith (action) they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith (action) the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith (action) the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

32-38   And what shall I more say (about the workings of faith)? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through (the workings of) faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted (i.e. tested), were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39,40  And these all, having obtained a good report (as in verses 1and 2) through faith (action), (and) received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect (i.e. 'completed').
    On earth's side of life's equation ... walking in faith is the only means to please Him ... who is on heaven's side of life's equation.

    Christ reigns in Righteousness over all that he created for the Father and over all that shall come with the conclusion of Part 2 within an established Kingdom on earth by means of anciently having chosen Isaac and Jacob, son and grandson of old Abraham and barren Sarah.

Hebrews 6: 1.  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on ... ...

Sincerely, Ron

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