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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
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
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
better continue looking to him instead of leaning upon further gain of understanding. Dear reader I hope you will
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.
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.
of our infirmities; but was in (i.e.
all points (i.e.
'all = all things, all men) tempted
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.
therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
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.
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.
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 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
etc.) between the Father and humans.
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
Though he were a Son, yet learned he (i.e.
'became appraised of' such)
obedience by (means of) the things which he suffered;
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.
And being made perfect (i.e.
he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey
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
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
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
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
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 -
Called of God an high priest after the order of (i.e.
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
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
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
in other churches. From the very beginning of the Church, it has always
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'.
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.
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
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.
And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his
trained servants, born in his own house (i.e.
three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto (the
northern region of) Dan.
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.
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 ...
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought
forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
... and most Jewish commentators
affirm that it is the same as Jerusalem, later referred to in Scripture as 'the
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.
(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.
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.
Ah but, the very presence of a kingdom
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
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'.
And he (Melchizedek)
him, and said, Blessed be Abram of (i.e.
from or by) the
most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy
hand. And (therefore) he (Abram) gave
him (Melchizedek) tithes
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
of David of the tribe of Judah; that is, when Christ came and was introduced to earth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons (you
and take the goods to thyself.
All would become true for these disciples. But let us continue Abram -
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
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.
In these separate Biblical texts and times, should humans observe
of the most high God' then
(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.
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
of Christ Jesus being 'Called of God an high priest after the order
of (the everlasting) Melchisedec'.
Yet, set in God's Plan of the
Ages, each in physical form was the Only Begotten Son working in Obedience to the Father.
Writer of Hebrews tells us in 7:1-3
this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met
Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
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)
(i.e. 'genealogy or pedigree'),
having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto
'to express oneself in it, or to copy oneself') the
Son of God; abideth a priest continually (i.e. 'continually into').
to Abram in Genesis -
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
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
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?
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
'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.
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.
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.
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'.
Indeed, '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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 5:13-15 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
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
The Jews knew full well what Jesus meant in saying 'I am
', meaning 'I
' (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
' is the other side of sight,
meaning 'to see, observe, discern, etc.
' 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.
Promise, of course, had been Planned for Two Separate Parts of 'my day
'. Consider -
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
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
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.
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'.
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
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.
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')...
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
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
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
Part 2 within an established Kingdom on earth by means of anciently
having chosen Isaac and Jacob, son and grandson of old Abraham and
Hebrews 6: 1.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go
on ... ...
can also download this study as a pdf file.
Wilderness Press -