The author of Hebrews says what kept him (Jesus) going was "the joy set before him" (Hebrews 12:2). The joy of accomplishing what had been lovingly planned from the beginning... the joy of pleasing his Father. And you. Your face was before him. He was willing to bear the terrible irony of obscurity to accomplish the plan, to please his Father, and to win you.
Part of our skittishness about Christian perfection is linguistic confusion. The English word "perfect" has absorbed the Greek notion of "teleos". When the Greeks looked at a building's blueprint, they pictured the building whole and complete. They envisioned the blueprint finished down to the bathroom tile and announced, "Ah, this is perfect." The problem is that "teleos" suggests that perfection is something we can build or achieve. The Hebrews looked at the same blueprint more practically. They envisioned the process of building from hard hats to hammers, from scaffolding to skylights. "Ah, " the Hebrews said. "This is perfect." The Hebrews and the early Christians understood perfection as a process, not a product. Our identity as Christians depends upon life lived in relationship with God, not upon the quality of our achievements.
Kenda Creasy Dean
Many parents lack a biblical view of discipline. They tend to think of discipline as revenge - getting even with the children for what they did. Hebrews 12 makes it clear that discipline is not punitive, but corrective. Hebrews 12 calls discipline a word of encouragement that addresses sons. It says discipline is a sign of God's identification with us as our Father. God disciplines us for our good that we might share in his holiness. It says that while discipline is not pleasant, but painful, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace. Rather than being something to balance love, it is the deepest expression of love.
When members unite with the church, they should not only make a profession of faith in Christ (that is essential), but in light of 2 Corinthians 10:6 and Hebrews 13:17, etc., they should also agree to submit to the authority and discipline of the church, should they be found delinquent in doctrine or life.
The more time that passes without an answer and the longer we wander through the wilderness of silence and shadow, the more fearful we become that maybe God isn't all we have believed him to be. It's in those moments that Satan plants in us the temptation to 'throw away this confident trust in the Lord.' The enemy wants us to forget 'the great reward it brings you' (Hebrews 10:35).
Kasey Van Norman
The Hebrews have a saying that God is more delighted in adverbs than in nouns; it is not so much the matter that is done, but the matter how it is done, that God minds. Not how much, but how well! It is the well-doing that meets with a well-done. Let us therefore serve God, not nominally or verbally, but adverbially.
People in the United States, including me, are naturally inclined to support Israel. I'm an evangelical Christian who teaches the Bible every Sunday at my church. I teach half the Old Testament and half the New Testament. We Americans identify the Hebrews, the Israelites, with ourselves.
The Hebrews knew that by rest, God meant not only the protection of their boundaries from invading hordes but the emotional, mental, and spiritual confidence they would have knowing that God was irreversibly with them. Rest was inseparable from God's presence. One always accompanies the other.
Will Davis Jr.
We are not bringing Christ to poor communities. He has been active in these communities since the creation of the world, sustaining them, Hebrews 1:3 says, by His powerful Word. Hence, a significant part of working in poor communities involves discovering and appreciating what God has been doing there for a LONG time.
If you fear the unknown you are certainly not alone. Many of God's children refuse opportunities to step through doors and into gloriously new territories. They are either too comfortable in life, or unwilling (mind you I did not say unable) to trust Him with the stretching of their faith. 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' Hebrews. 11:1 (NKJV)
The God of the Hebrews is a God that human language, we're not even supposed to speak the holy name. We were told in the Second Commandment we could make no images of this God, and I don't think that means just building idols, I think that means also trying to believe you've captured God in your words, in the Creeds, in the Scriptures.
John Shelby Spong
Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day.
Christ is the eternal Son of God, and He is in His divine attributes the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). If therefore He loved in the days of His flesh, He loves now; if He cared then, He cares now; if He healed then, He heals now. It does not necessarily follow that He will do now all that He did then, or that He will do what He does now in the same way as He did then, for His purposes in some things are different at present from what they were in the past. Nevertheless, Christ is changeless in character, and we may be sure that He is infinitely interested in us and concerned about us.
William Henry Frost
May the same wonderworking Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors and planted them in the promised land, whose Providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.
We must learn that competence is better than extravagance, that worth is better than wealth, that the golden calf we have worshiped has no more brains than that one of old which the Hebrews worshiped. So beware of money and of money's worth as the supreme passion of the mind. Beware of the craving for enormous acquisition.
C. A. Bartol
Hebrews 3:19 tells us why the children of Israel did not enter into the promised land. Their problem was the same thing that keeps children of God today from enjoying the full benefits of their salvation: UNBELIEF I point this out not to condemn; rather, my desire is to see the children of God fully possess all of their benefits in Christ.
It is difficult to look at any newborn baby and accept that he or she will necessarily encounter pain, challenges, disappointments, and hardships in life. Yet even the Savior needed to "go forth, suffering pains and afflictions . . . of every kind" (Alma 7:11), the only difference being that Jesus, though tempted, did not sin (Hebrews 4:15; see also D&C 45:4). Even harder to comprehend, however, was how that precious Babe of Bethlehem, whose birth we celebrate each Christmas, would one day bear the weight not only of our sins but also all our infirmities.
Eric D. Huntsman
The ancient Hebrews had a word for this awareness of the importance of things. They called it kavod. Kavod originally was a business term, referring to the heaviness of something, which was crucial in weights and measures and the maintaining of fairness in transactions. Over time the word began to take on a more figurative meaning, referring to the importance and significance of something.
To worship God 'in spirit and in truth' is first and foremost a way of saying that we must worship God by means of Christ. In him the reality has dawned and the shadows are being swept away (Hebrews 8:13). Christian worship is new covenant worship; it is gospel-inspired worship; it is Christ-centered worship; it is cross-focused worship.
D. A. Carson
Do you want to be safe from the influence, ways, and lusts of the world and the flesh (I John 2:16)? From the sins which so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1)? Then delight in yourself in the Lord, in His provision, in His Word. Faithfully feed on the things that possess true substance and real meaning. When you remember that "all Scripture is given by inspiration by God and is profitable" (2 Timothy 3:16) and partake of such divine substance, then you are fed, you are led and you are safe!
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God' (Hebrews 12:1-2). Jesus was motivated to endure by anticipating the joy of His reward. No amount of hardship and struggle could deprive Him of that anticipation.
We find that alchemy has to do with magicians or magic and may even have roots in the Chaldean people who lived in the land that we now call Iraq.Abraham emerged and took a flock of people with him into Egypt. They were later called the Hebrews because of the valleys that they came out of. The alchemy that they saw was a transformative power within the individuals to affect the "out there" reality - and that, of course, is the basis of shamanism and is the basis for most magical and so-called Third World belief systems.
Fred Alan Wolf
In the Bible (Hebrews, 6:19), hope is 'an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.' Here [in Watts painting], Hope is blindfolded, seated on a globe and playing a lyre of which all but one of the strings are broken . . . Hope's attempts to make music appear futile and several critics argued that the work might have been more appropriately titledDespair. Watts explained that 'Hopeneed not mean expectancy. It suggests here, rather, the music which can come from the remaining cord'.
George Frederic Watts
I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations ... They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.
Martin Luther arrived at his earthshaking conclusions imbued with biblical exposition. As a professor, he taught the book of Psalms verse by verse from 1513 to 1515, Romans from 1515 to 1516, Galatians from 1516 until 1517, the book of Hebrews from 1517 to 1518 and then the Psalms again from 1519 until 1521.
Alister E. McGrath
I John Hancock, . . . being advanced in years and being of perfect mind and memory-thanks be given to God-therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die [Hebrews 9:27], do make and ordain this my last will and testament...Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth . . . nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God. . .
The best definition I can find of faith is the dependence upon the veracity of another. The Bible definition in the 11th chapter of Hebrews is, 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' In other words, faith says amen to everything that God says. Faith takes God without any ifs, If God says it, Faith says I believe it; Faith says amen to it.
Dwight L. Moody
Did Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews furnish structural material for Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon? It has been pointed out in these pages that there are many things in the former book that might well have suggested many major things in the other.Not a few things merely, one or two, or half dozen, but many; and it is this fact of many things of similarity and the cumulative force of them that makes them so serious a menace to Joseph Smith's story of the Book of Mormon's origin
B. H. Roberts
Since I was 18 years old, I have taught the Bible. For the last 15 or 20 years, I have taught every Sunday when I was home or near my own house, so that would be 35 or 40 times per year. Half of those Sundays, the text comes from the Hebrew Bible. I have had a deep personal interest in the Holy Land and in the teachings of the Hebrew people. God has a special position for the Jewish people, the Hebrews, or whatever. I know the difference between ancient Israel and Judaea, and I know the history. I don't have any problem with the Jewish people.
Every poet knows that the gift of the gods is not fire but language. 'Man dwells poetically on this earth, ' He¶lderin wrote. Language is the essence of being human. We can think, thanks to language, for thought exists only by the grace of words. Our experiences and emotions are molded by language. It is language that allows us to name and know the world. We ourselves are known by language, through prayer, confession, poetry. Language gives us a world that reaches beyond the reality of the moment, to a past (there was...) and a future (there shall be...). It is through language that eternity has a space and that the dead continue to speak: 'Defunctus adhuc loquitur' (Hebrews 11:4). Thanks to language, there is meaning, there is truth.
We are asking if thought can be aware of itself. That is rather a complex question, and requires very careful observation. Thought has created wars through nationalism, through sectarian religions. Thought has created all this; God has not created the hierarchy of the church-the pope, all the robes, all the rituals, the swinging of the incense, the candles. All that paraphernalia that goes on in a cathedral or in a church is put together by thought, copied, some of it, from the ancient Egyptians, from the ancient Hindus, and Hebrews. It is all thought. So "God" is created by thought.
Since Oliver Cowdery was born in 1806 and was in Poultney from 1809 to 1825, he was resident in Poultney from 3 years of age until he was 19 years of age - 16 years in all. And these years encompassed the publication of View of the Hebrews, in 1822  and 1825. His three little half sisters, born in Poultney, were all baptized in Ethan Smith's church. Thus, the family had a close tie with Ethan Smith.
it is a mistake to reduce every decision about Christian living to a "Heaven-or-Hell issue." For example, some ask if the Bible specifically says a certain action is a "sin" or will send them to "Hell." If not, they feel free to indulge in that action unreservedly and ignore any scriptural principles involved. But this approach is legalistic, which means living by rules or basing salvation on works. It treats the Bible as a law book, focusing on the letter and looking for loopholes. By contrast, the Bible tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, not by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace teaches us how to live righteously, and faith leads us into obedience. (See Titus 2:11-12; Romans1:5; Hebrews 11:7-8.)
David K. Bernard
For the Hebrews, names provided a direct link with the Creator. They understood words as being the creative fire of God, the 'black fire on white fire' of His Law. Every utterance and every act of creation through which He revealed Himself was not only word made flesh but fire made flesh. The word for 'being', yesh, 'to exist' or 'to have substance' was flame-breathed. The word for 'fire', esh, was embedded in the word for 'being' and in the very notion of 'being human'. The rabbis were said to have asked: Why is the word for 'woman', ishah? Because she is fire, esh. Why is the word for 'man', ish? Because he too is fire, esh. They noted that when the Hebrew letters for 'man' and 'woman' came together they produced a new word as part of the union: yah, a reference to Yahweh, the Name of God.
Men speak of God's love for man... but if providence does not come in this hour, where is He then? My conclusion is simple. The Semitic texts from Bronze Age Palestine of which Christianity is comprised still fit uncomfortably well with contemporary life. The Old Testament depicts a God capricious and cruel; blood sacrifice, vengeance, genocide; death and destruction et al. Would He not approve of Herr Hitler and the brutal, tribalistic crusade against Hebrews and non-Christian 'untermensch?' One thing is inarguable. His church on Earth has produced some of the most vigorous and violent contribution to the European fascist cause. It is synergy. Man Created God, even if God Created Man; it all exists in the hubris and apotheosis of the narcissistic soul, and alas, all too many of the human herd are willing to follow the beastly trait of leadership. The idea of self-emancipation and advancement, with Europe under the jackboot of fascism, would be Quixotic to the point of mirthless lunacy.
Daniel S. Fletcher
Thank GOD for His Grace and Mercy. The Grace of GOD provided The Lamb of GOD slain from before The foundation of The World."... without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sin." [ See Hebrews 9:22]. We are Redeemed by The Grace of GOD. We are Redeemed by The Shed Blood of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach The Lord Jesus Christ. "We are saved through Faith by The Grace of GOD, which is a Gift from GOD, not of works lest any man or any woman would boast." [ see Ephesians 2:8]. It has been said that "..we don't get good to get GOD, we need GOD to get Good..". Without The Grace of GOD we would all be lost and undone dead in trespasses and sin. The Grace of GOD is Priceless.The Grace of GOD cannot be bought in the free market. Religious works do not provide Redeeming Grace... We are Saved by The Grace of YHWH GOD manifested in His Only Begotten Son Yeshua Ha-Mashiach [ The Lord Jesus Christ ], The Kinsmen Redeemer of Adam's Fallen Race.
Errol Anthony Smythe
If the bible be true, God commanded his chosen people to destroy men simply for the crime of defending their native land. They were not allowed to spare trembling and white-haired age, nor dimpled babes clasped in the mothers' arms. They were ordered to kill women, and to pierce, with the sword of war, the unborn child. 'Our heavenly Father' commanded the Hebrews to kill the men and women, the fathers, sons and brothers, but to preserve the girls alive. Why were not the maidens also killed? Why were they spared? Read the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, and you will find that the maidens were given to the soldiers and the priests. Is there, in all the history of war, a more infamous thing than this? Is it possible that God permitted the violets of modesty, that grow and shed their perfume in the maiden's heart, to be trampled beneath the brutal feet of lust? If this was the order of God, what, under the same circumstances, would have been the command of a devil? When, in this age of the world, a woman, a wife, a mother, reads this record, she should, with scorn and loathing, throw the book away. A general, who now should make such an order, giving over to massacre and rapine a conquered people, would be held in execration by the whole civilized world. Yet, if the bible be true, the supreme and infinite God was once a savage.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Religious intolerance is an idea that found its earliest expression in the Old Testament, where the Hebrew tribe depicts itself waging a campaign of genocide on the Palestinian peoples to steal their land. They justified this heinous behavior on the grounds that people not chosen by their god were wicked and therefore did not deserve to live or keep their land. In effect, the wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian peoples, eradicating their race with the Jew's own Final Solution, was the direct result of a policy of religious superiority and divine right. Joshua 6-11 tells the sad tale, and one needs only read it and consider the point of view of the Palestinians who were simply defending their wives and children and the homes they had built and the fields they had labored for. The actions of the Hebrews can easily be compared with the American genocide of its native peoples - or even, ironically, the Nazi Holocaust. With the radical advent of Christianity, this self-righteous intolerance was borrowed from the Jews, and a new twist was added. The conversion of infidels by any means possible became the newfound calling card of religious fervor, and this new experiment in human culture spread like wildfire. By its very nature, how could it not have? Islam followed suit, conquering half the world in brutal warfare and, much like its Christian counterpart, it developed a new and convenient survival characteristic: the destruction of all images and practices attributed to other religions. Muslims destroyed millions of statues and paintings in India and Africa, and forced conversion under pain of death (or by more subtle tricks: like taxing only non-Muslims), while the Catholic Church busily burned books along with pagans, shattering statues and defacing or destroying pagan art - or converting it to Christian use. Laws against pagan practices and heretics were in full force throughrout Europe by the sixth century, and as long as those laws were in place it was impossible for anyone to refuse the tenets of Christianity and expect to keep their property or their life. Similar persecution and harassment continues in Islamic countries even to this day, officially and unofficially.
IT is worth remembering that the rise of what we call literary fiction happened at a time when the revealed, authenticated account of the beginning was losing its authority. Now that changes in things as they are change beginnings to make them fit, beginnings have lost their mythical rigidity. There are, it is true, modern attempts to restore this rigidity. But on the whole there is a correlation between subtlety and variety in our fictions and remoteness and doubtfulness about ends and origins. There is a necessary relation between the fictions by which we order our world and the increasing complexity of what we take to be the 'real' history of that world. I propose in this talk to ask some questions about an early and very interesting example of this relation. There was a long-established opinion that the beginning was as described in Genesis, and that the end is to be as obscurely predicted in Revelation. But what if this came to seem doubtful? Supposing reason proved capable of a quite different account of the matter, an account contradicting that of faith? On the argument of these talks so far as they have gone, you would expect two developments: there should be generated fictions of concord between the old and the new explanations; and there should be consequential changes in fictive accounts of the world. And of course I should not be troubling you with all this if I did not think that such developments occurred. The changes to which I refer came with a new wave of Greek influence on Christian philosophy. The provision of accommodations between Greek and Hebrew thought is an old story, and a story of concord-fictions-necessary, as Berdyaev says, because to the Greeks the world was a cosmos, but to the Hebrews a history. But this is too enormous a tract in the history of ideas for me to wander in. I shall make do with my single illustration, and speak of what happened in the thirteenth century when Christian philosophers grappled with the view of the Aristotelians that nothing can come of nothing-ex nihilo nihil fit-so that the world must be thought to be eternal. In the Bible the world is made out of nothing. For the Aristotelians, however, it is eternal, without beginning or end. To examine the Aristotelian arguments impartially one would need to behave as if the Bible might be wrong. And this was done. The thirteenth-century rediscovery of Aristotle led to the invention of double-truth. It takes a good deal of sophistication to do what certain philosophers then did, namely, to pursue with vigour rational enquiries the validity of which one is obliged to deny. And the eternity of the world was, of course, more than a question in a scholarly game. It called into question all that might seem ragged and implausible in the usual accounts of the temporal structure of the world, the relation of time to eternity (certainly untidy and discordant compared with the Neo-Platonic version) and of heaven to hell.