Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
There is a cloud of witnesses in the preceding chapter, and there is a cloud of witnesses surrounding us as well. If there is faith with us, we will follow in the steps of men and women of faith who have gone before. These declared the superior advantages of a life of faith, not yet having the promise fulfilled.
Enabled to turn from every difficulty, we can look unto Jesus, Who has run the whole course of faith, was preserved by the joy set before Him, and has taken His place at God's right hand. The work that He did was for the glory of the Father and for us.
Joys and future rewards are not the object of faith, but simply encouragement in the way. The One Who has suffered is our example in the path of faith. He has attained to the reward which was to be with the Father and hear His "well done." When Jesus is the Object of the heart, nothing is easier than casting off the weights which hinder our progress, but when not looking at Jesus, all is impossible.
The heart naturally has its affections in this world, and it was rightly so in Eden before the fall and will be so in the millennium. "He (God) hath made everything beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart." Eccl. 3:1111He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Sin has come in and spoiled both man and all that has been created. Having a new life in Christ and God having provided something better, a heavenly inheritance with Christ, we walk as pilgrims and strangers down here until the Lord comes for us. The life of Christ is the energy and endurance of faith which all true believers have. To not have this life proves that there is not faith.
Christ resisted unto blood against sin; this is martyrdom. Those who suffer martyrdom will receive a reward.
A new affection takes away all that the natural heart would covet and gives a new Object which fills the heart with joy and courage.
But there are other trials, such as chastening, which come our way. God has a purpose in this, but His love is also in it, and to endure is the great point here. It is those whom He loves who are chastened. To despise this is to be ignorant of His motive for our blessing. Chastening is needed that we may be partakers of His holiness. The Father of spirits is contrasted with fathers of flesh.
As Christians we are not come to Mount Sinai with all of its terrors, but to Zion, the city of earthly blessing for Israel in a coming day. What is spoken of here is millennial blessing in all of its parts. We will belong to it all, when the following are established: • "Ye are come unto mount Sion" (on the millennial earth)
• "and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (includes the martyrs and Old Testament saints)
• "and to an innumerable company of angels, the universal gathering" (transfer of power from the angels to Christ and the Church)
• "and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven" (the body and bride of Christ)
• "and to God the Judge of all" (the highest authority of all)
• "and to the spirits of just men made perfect" (have their bodies at the time spoken of)
• "and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant" (covenant of grace)
• "and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Abel's blood cries for vengeance-Christ's for salvation).
The Apostle Paul warned of turning away from Him that speaks from heaven, a warning of apostasy. All will be shaken that can be shaken, only that which cannot be shaken will remain. Receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, we should serve God with reverence. God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:28,2928Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28‑29)).