Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 7
WE will read to-day a part of the twelfth chapter, and meditate on the two mounts and the two shakings. Now in this very weighty scripture there are several contrasts. There are two mounts, and two voices; and there are two shakings, and the shakable things and the immovable things. The first thing we come to is the two mounts; one of which is a symbol of the dispensation of law, and the other of the dispensation of the grace of God, which bringeth salvation. When you look at the first of these, you see that there is not a feature that gives it character that is not against you. We know that it was so in Ex. 19; but the Spirit rehearses it here in a very striking form. There is great propriety in God coming down to earth to speak of law, and speaking from heaven when He speaks of grace. Because when He speaks of law He speaks of ourselves, and He comes down to our level to do it; but heaven is the birthplace of grace, where was conceived the salvation of God. So when He speaks of this, He speaks of Himself, and therefore Be speaks from heaven.
To return to the first mount, all was against man. Darkness and thunder and earthquake are things that strike terror to the heart of man. If so much as a beast touched the mountain it was to be stoned or thrust through with a dart; because all creation was in the condemnation with man, its head and representative. Now your title and mine is to turn- our back totally -to that hill, and our face to the other hill, and faith does not know how to take up any other attitude. I do not say the quickened soul is not often glancing back, but faith turns its back to Sinai, and greedily drinks in the light of Mount Zion, whence was the voice that tells us about God and not about ourselves.
Now when you turn to the second mount, everything is for you. There is not a rumble of the thunder, or a fork of the lightning. From the top of the hill to the foot, there is not one single thing that is not for you. Now we will inspect the material of the second hill, and we shall discover that we travel from the top of it to the foot. " Ye are come," etc. Now I read this beautiful and wonderful description of our calling, as though the Spirit were conducting us first to the top of the hill and then down to the foot. Supposing we look at it in inverse order, which is often the Spirit's way. When we look to the hill, the first thing we see is the blood of the Lamb, speaking better things than that of Abel. That is the foundation of our calling, and of all that is immovable; all depends on the blood of Christ, which achieved the victory that the resurrection published. Whatever the risen Lord touches He imparts infallibility, immovableness to it—the priesthood, the covenant, the kingdom, the throne. He imparts the virtue of His own eternity to them. So when we look at the mount, we begin with the blood. The Lamb must speak good and comforting things to me, a sinner, before I can take a step in company with God. Then we are introduced to " Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant." The moment by blood I get relief from my sins, I am introduced to Jesus in another character, as having undertaken the cause of the one who has trusted in the blood. Christ my sacrifice introduces me to Christ my mediator in heaven. The third 'object is " The spirits of just men made perfect," or, perfectly just men. When you got the question of sin settled with God, and began to look round about at the saints, how were you introduced to them? Was it to their circumstances in the flesh? I do not want Christ to introduce me to a man's beautiful house, but to his spirit. He introduces me to my brethren, and whether those spirits be embodied or not, it is the same thing. Then the next thing is " God the judge of all." There is a future thing, and is it for you as well as everything else? It is. Have you an interest in the day of the manifestation of all things? If you are hiding any naughtiness that day will be against you, but if you are passing by slights and neglects, and saying Christ will settle it all, that is having an interest in that day. Are we conscious that we are carrying ourselves in such a way that we can welcome the day of manifestation? Then God, the judge of all, is just as much for you as the blood of
Then, still going upward, we reach " The Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven." This is the Church glorified. We are introduced to one another now in spirit. Then it will be in glory. Then the general assembly,-the innumerable company of angels lies next door to you, as we find in Revelation. The exultation of the angels followed in the track of the harpings of the Church. There they are-their ministering service is over, and they constellate themselves into the general assembly. When we get there, we are in the presence of " the city of the living God." There you see is a graphic, vivid picture of our calling in grace and in glory We only want a spiritual eye to gaze upon it, and as we gaze to bless Him who has given such a calling to the poor sinner who will but lay his sins on Jesus.
We are introduced now to the two shakings, and they are connected with the two voices. The first mountain itself is a symbol of the dispensation of law. The voice of shaking symbolizes the result of the dispensation; which is judgment on the breach of law. God knew from the beginning what the result of the testing would be, therefore shaking accompanied the delivery of the law.
The other mount is accompanied by a voice which speaks from heaven. That voice says, Take care: everything on the mount is for you, but take care that you—do not refuse it, for the result of such a refusal will be more terrible than the result of the breach of the law.
The voice of the second mount is this: If you refuse the dispensation of grace, there will be a more terrible shaking than that which waited on the breaking of the law. All scripture bears witness to this second shaking. It will affect everything that is made. It will shake the whole creation out of the creation of God, and leave nothing but that which has connection with Christ. Isa. 2 gives you a terrible account of it; Isa. 13 gives a similar account; Joel 2 and Hag. 2 give it to you; the Lord tells you of it in Matt. 24; here it is commented on; and the Apocalypse, in one part of it, is the story of God arising to shake terribly the earth. And this terrible process will be just at the close of the present earth's history, the close of man's world and the introduction of Christ's world. We can easily see why it is more terrible than Mount Sinai. That said, If you do not fulfill the demands of God you are treated as a leper and put out of His presence. But if the Lord has come down to give salvation for the mere receiving of it, and I refuse it, God will arise to shake far more terribly the earth. The judgment that rests on Christendom will be a consuming fire. The God of this dispensation, the God who has arisen in the riches of His grace to bring home His banished one, that very God will be a consuming fire. But, in contrast with all this, we get an immovable kingdom, and on the title of that immovable kingdom the blessed Lord Jesus will take His way into the world to come. The Lord keep us in the thoughts of these things, and let us ask ourselves, with what is our heart forming its daily associations? The things to be shaken, or the things to remain? The things in man's world, or the promises and expectations of Christ's world? The Lord give us to trust in the, simplicity of His grace, and to walk in the power of the calling. Amen.