Daily Archives: October 26, 2020

Evangelical Elites Try to Demonize Votes for Trump | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

Notoriously, Baptists supported Hitler at the August 1934 Berlin meeting of the Baptist World Alliance and many maintained a positive assessment of der Führer in succeeding years. The gist of one type of Baptist Hitlerism ran something like, “Well he don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew, and don’t run with them that do.” Baptists and many others lauded Hitler’s evocation of a desperately needed new esprit de corps in Germany post-Versailles, improvements in transportation, and his kindness to his beloved German Shepherd Blondi, whom he had raised from a pup. It’s easy today to stand incredulous and appalled at the colossal collective blind spots that accommodated so much support for Hitler for so long from so many. But it was harder to see the truth about his horrible rise to power then, and many Baptists weighed Hitler in the scales of moral rectitude and weighed in with their support.

Retired Baptist pastor and evangelical luminary John Piper has weighed in, at least for now, for supporting neither Biden nor Trump — though, too clever by half, without mentioning the candidates’ names or the names of any political party. But Piper’s oblique references to Biden, Trump, Democrats, and Republicans are crystal clear to every reader of his blog post, and my analysis shall treat them as such.

Elite Evangelical Goose Step

By legitimizing a vote for a third-party candidate or for sitting the election out, Piper separates himself somewhat from perhaps the most urgent and unifying public priority of many elite evangelicals who also stand accused of being woke by a growing number among their constituencies and erstwhile followers. These elites mean to sanctify votes for Democrats by evangelicals in spite of that party’s aggressive support of abortion on demand. Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore did his part four years ago when he insistedthat evangelicals who support Trump would have to “repudiate everything they believe.” Pastor Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church made his contribution by contrasting the sophisticated multi-issue voting of African Americans with the straw-man stereotype of simpleton, single-issue (read: anti-abortion) voting by white Christians. Pastor David Platt arrives at the shared destination of the elites in his new book, Before You Vote. Now Piper pipes in on the eve of the election with what amounts to a cop-out response that helps Joe Biden and abandons murder-marked babies.

Piper assumes Trump’s pronouncedly inferior character compared to Biden’s. But on what basis?

But no Christian, Piper insists, “who sees things differently” than he does “is necessarily sinning by doing so.” The whole lot of these elites seem to have backed away in varying degrees from Moore’s warnings to Trump voters of their possible apostasy and idolatry. The new posture is more: well, you could vote Trump, but there are lots of good reasons not to. And Piper plans not to.

Piper and the other elites know that some Christians believe Biden’s and the Democrat Party’s support for abortion on demand compels a vote for Trump on moral grounds. These evangelicals recognize, as did pastor, theologian, and martyr at the hands of the Third Reich Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that “destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb … is nothing but murder” (see Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995, p. 174). Piper agrees that abortion is “child-killing … Planned Parenthood is code language for baby-killing and … ethnic cleansing.”

How then to legitimize any action or non-action that helps Biden, as Piper plans to do “unless something changes”? Biden and the Democrats have made support for the abortion clinic death camps an article of faith. What could possibly justify withholding support from the only candidate who can stop Biden? Piper sees a special opportunity to blaze a new path to the shared elite destination with the emergence of Trump — because, he argues, the president is obviously a moral degenerate. Piper insists that, while abortion is indeed deadly, so is Trump’s character, thus burdening Christian voters with a moral calculus the outcome of which is not at all clear.

Making Trump Deadly

Trump’s deadliness, Piper admits, lodges not in the policies he pursues, but in his very person. Piper is “baffled that so many Christians consider the [Trump’s] sins of unrepentant sexual immorality … unrepentant boastfulness … unrepentant vulgarity … and the like, to be only toxic for our nation, while policies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as deadly.” The straw man who considers “freedom-limiting” etc. to be either as deadly or deadly in the same way as abortion may serve Piper’s repeated confession of “bafflement,” but has anyone ever met such a person?

Piper marshals an array of biblical passages admonishing Christians that the harm inflicted by various sins that are not abortion but more like those of moral miscreant Trump may spread to others, corrupt nations, and bring eternal punishment. Does Piper’s citation of 1 Kings 14:16, which speaks of the sins of King Jeroboam which then “made Israel to sin,” help Piper drag Trump’s character into a moral zone deadly enough to have it compete with baby-killing?

Indeed, the Bible teaches that all sorts of sins, including Trump’s, potentially do harm far beyond what one might naively suppose. The whole of Christian tradition understands this. Sins great and small drop like rocks into the pond of the populace and generate waves of harm, perhaps deadly ones, that may reach far beyond the scope of their proximate and visible commission. But the same Bible recognizes the difference between the harm threatened by pebbles compared to boulders and every size in between. Jesus speaks of some sins being greater than others (see Matthew 11:21-22 and 12:31-32, and John 19:10-11). Punishments for sins vary throughout the Bible according to their comparative heinousness. Failure to reckon with the biblical pattern in which assessment of culpability, expected harm, and proportional punishment coinhere too often results in what Baptist theologian Timothy George has referred to as the “moral ambiguity of false equivalence,” and this is exactly what Piper lapses into here.

Biden Versus Trump Character Sweepstakes

The problems with Piper’s argument extend beyond the false moral equivalence supposed between Trump’s deadly character and Biden’s deadly pro-abortion stance. Why, for instance, does Piper keep silent on Biden’s character compared to Trump’s — a datum essential to calculate the deadliness quotient Piper blames for the cop-out response he plans to opt for next week? Piper assumes Trump’s pronouncedly inferior character compared to Biden’s. But on what basis?

After almost four years as president, do not Trump’s character flaws, those displayed while in office at least, look more and more like Trump’s character follies compared to the long-documented lying and racistcomments that punctuate Biden’s almost half-century in public life? What about Biden’s penchant for jumping down the throats of ordinary Americans with profanitylaced rebukes when he finds their questions inconvenient? What about the accumulating and explosive evidence of Biden’s graft and pay-to-play influence-peddling with China and Russia? What deadliness score does Piper assign to Biden’s on-camera braggadocio in the wake of securing the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor charged to investigate the firm on whose board his son Hunter sat?

By not addressing Biden’s character, Piper tempts us to strain out the gnat of Trump’s follies while swallowing the camel of Biden’s decades of public dishonesty and corruption. Piper’s argument fails on the moral equivalence front alone. But even on his own illegitimate terms, having acknowledged that abortion is murder, Piper needs a clear unassailable win for Biden in the personal character sweepstakes with Trump — but he can’t secure that either.

Not All Deadliness Is Equal

Piper’s reasoning sanctifies Christian abandonment of the unborn on November 3 in favor of using the election as a pedestal on which to display the personal virtue of the voter, a pulpit to chastise the world as sinners, and a platform on which to spank two political parties that cannot clear some undefinably high hurdle of righteousness.

Many Christians, along with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, know that the ovens at Auschwitz and Dachau and the reach into the uterus of bone-crushing metal instruments toward the instinctual flinch-back of doomed but still-living little arms and legs belong alike to killing machines. Body counts matter. Piper offers no estimate of the number of corpses we might expect Trump’s sins to generate. We do know that more than 50 million unborn baby corpses have piled up in America since the passage of Roe v. Wade, dwarfing the number of Jews exterminated by the Nazis several times over.

The commitment of evangelical elites to legitimize Christian votes for Democrats and now Piper’s and others’ to delegitimize Christian votes for Trump is intense and has been years in the making. I have explored elsewhere what might account for it. But Piper’s attempt to conjure some moral equivalence between abortion and Trump’s character is preposterous on its face and finds legitimation neither in the Bible nor in 20 centuries of moral teaching in the church of Jesus Christ.

— Read on spectator.org/john-piper-evangelical-vote-trump-biden/

How Decades Of Media And Faculty Bias Have Pushed America To The Left | Zero Hedge

…astute observers of the current scene have long recognized that ”politics is downstream from culture.” In other words, if we want to change politics, we have to change the worldviews of political actors first.

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

It’s been clear for decades that national news organizations such as CNN and the New York Times tend to be biased in favor of social democracy (i.e., “progressivism”) and what we would generally call a “left-wing” ideology. Journalists, for instance, identify as Democrats in far higher numbers than any other partisan group. And political donations by members of the media overwhelmingly go to Democratic candidates.

This is why even as far back as the 1940s, libertarian and conservative groups felt the need to found their own news sources, publishing houses, and other outlets for the distribution of information.

Similarly, in recent decades, higher education faculty have been shown to be overwhelmingly in favor of the Democratic Party, both in affiliation and in donations. In addition to providing instruction at colleges and universities, these people are the ones who write textbooks, history books, and the scholarly publications that influence other faculty members, secondary school teachers, and current students.

It would be shocking if the net effect of this clear bias were not to push the public—at least those members of the public who view news media broadcasts, read textbooks, and attend college classes—in the direction of the ideology favored by the journalists and professors.

But the means for manufacturing an ideological bias don’t end there. In recent years we have increasingly been seeing other institutions—outside newsrooms and universities—that are taking an active role in shaping the public’s ideology. These include social media firms, and even online sources of information once considered relatively outside the reach of political controversies.

This is what is to be expected when a single ideological group controls educational institutions and major media outlets over a period of several decades. Under these conditions—and unless other institutions provide an effective alternative—the ideology that is dominant within schools and newsrooms will spread to become the ideology of the larger general public. Thus, we should expect to see more and more doctrinaire ideological activism in the larger society, in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Controlling the Message outside the Media and Academia

We’ve seen a few examples of this over the past week.

The first example is Twitter’s concerted and admitted effort to hide the NY Post’s exposé on potentially damaging emails from Joe Biden’s son. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, first claimed that the company’s efforts to prevent Twitter users from sharing the story were a “mistake” and offered some rather implausible explanations. After the Post and a variety of right-leaning groups expressed outrage over the affair, the company backed down. This is just the latest of many cases of media companies making efforts to edit, curate, and control the information being communicated on their websites.

Another example comes from Wikipedia, where—in spite of the apparent veracity of the Post’s story on Hunter Biden—the claims against Hunter Biden are casually dismissed as “debunked.” No evidence has been presented to support this claim, and the Biden campaign has not denied the claims made in the Post’s story.

A third example comes from the editors at Merriam-Webster (continually updated online). After US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett used the phrase “sexual preference,” she was denounced for using “offensive” language by US senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. This was confusing to many observers, since the term has long been used as a nonpejorative term and has even been used in recent years by both Joe Biden and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

However, by a startling “coincidence,” editors at Merriam-Webster apparently modified the definition of the phrase “sexual preference,” adding the word “offensive” in reference to use of the term following the spat between Barrett and Hirono. Use of the Wayback Machine shows that two weeks earlier the word “offensive” had not been included in the definition.

These examples likely illustrate a growing role for left-wing ideologues outside official news media in shaping and manipulating public opinion for purposes of promoting one political faction over another.

These examples are certainly not the only evidence that companies that deal in internet-delivered data have very clear political preferences. Studies have shown that political donations coming out of Silicon Valley overwhelmingly favor Democrats. At Twitter, from the company’s founding to 2012, 100 percent of political donations made by company employees were to Democrats. In 2016, 90 percent of political donations coming out of Google went to Democrats.

The Natural Outcome of Years of Educational Bias

None of this should surprise us. For decades, the public’s predominant source of information about the nation’s history and political institutions has been the establishment “mainstream” media, public schools, and America’s higher education system.

This has a sizable effect on the public’s views and ideology. Staffers at tech companies, dictionary editors, and managers at Google are all part of this public.

Moreover, the sorts of people who work at Silicon Valley companies, and who work as editors and website designers, tend to have degrees obtained from colleges and universities. These are the same colleges and universities that today’s journalists and pundits attended. They’re the same colleges and universities that public school teachers attended, and which today’s attorneys, corporate CEOs, and high-level managers attended.

Moreover, over time, the share of the public attending these colleges and universities has grown. Fifty years ago, only around 10 percent of Americans completed college. Today, the total is around one-third.

Also not surprising: more schooling apparently tends to translate into more left-wing political views. Data from a wide variety of sources has shown that Americans with more schooling tend to self-identify as “liberal” more often. According to the Pew Research Center, from 1994 to 2015, the percentage of college graduates who were “mostly liberal” or “consistently liberal” increased from 25 percent to 44 percent. At the same time, those who were “mostly conservative” or “consistently conservative” remained almost unmoved, from 30 percent to 29 percent. In other words, the number of college graduates with ”mixed” views has shifted overwhelmingly to the left. This trend is even stronger among Americans who have attended graduate school.

This would seem to be only natural. After all, the faculty has shifted to the left in recent decades. In 1990, according to survey data by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, 42 percent of professors identified as ”liberal” or ”far-left.” By 2014, that number had jumped to 60 percent. Journalists have moved in the same direction.

So if it seems to you that corporate employees, college grads, and the media-consuming public is moving to the left, you’re probably not imagining things.

Why It’s So Important to Build Institutions That Offer an Alternative

More astute observers of the current scene have long recognized that politics is downstream from culture.” In other words, if we want to change politics, we have to change the worldviews of political actors first. For example, if we want a world which reflects a Christian worldview, we need a large portion of the population to actually believe in that worldview. If we want a world where voters and legislators support private property rights, we need a world where a sizable portion of the population was raised and educated to believe private property is a good thing. There are no shortcuts around this.

Unfortunately, the activists who often get the most traction are those who take exactly the opposite position. They offer a ”solution” that involves nothing more than closing the barn door long after the horse has escaped. Yet this position is nonetheless often popular because it offers a quick fix. This position takes this basic form: ”If we can get the right people into political office for the next couple of elections, then everything will be fixed.” Never mind the fact that the ”wrong” people got into office precisely because the voting public had been educated in such a way that they find those politicians’ ideas and positions attractive.

Perhaps the most recent purveyor of this futile and shortsighted view is one-time Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon embraced the idea that ”culture is downstream from politics,” insisting he could deliver a ”permanent majority” in political institutions in opposition to the Left-controlled zeitgeist. All that was necessary, we were told, was to vote for Bannon’s favorite politicians for a few years. Then the public would magically start adopting Bannon’s preferred conservative views. Bannon, however, never offered a strategy any more sophisticated than buying off voters with even bigger welfare programs and crushing government debt. Bannon apparently missed the fact that the votes he needed for this vision had to come from millions of Americans who have already imbibed decades’ worth of major media content and left-wing faculty lectures.

It’s easy to see how Bannon might have thought the message could resonate. After all, we live in a country where millions of self-described ”conservatives” willingly send their children to sixteen years of public schooling and then are mystified when little Johnny comes home and announces he’s a Marxist. Apparently these people are very slow learners.

But Bannon’s more insightful colleague Andrew Breitbart knew better. As noted in a profile of Breitbart for TIME magazine in 2010:

As [Breitbart] sees it, the left exercises its power not via mastery of the issues but through control of the entertainment industry, print and television journalism and government agencies that set social policy. “Politics,” he often says, “is downstream from culture. I want to change the cultural narrative.” Thus the Big sites devote their energy less to trying to influence the legislative process in Washington than to attacking the institutions and people Breitbart believes dictate the American conversation.

Although I often disagreed with Breitbart’s editorial and ideological positions, he was certainly right about how political institutions are changed.

But to accomplish this goal, it is necessary to create organizations and institutions that can offer an alternative to the ”entertainment industry, print and television journalism and government agencies that set social policy.” This requires research, writing, podcasts, and videos. It requires educational institutions (like the Mises Institute’s graduate school) that offer views that go against what is usually taught in universities. It requires revisionist historians and scholars who can write books that counter the views pushed in the endless stream of books and articles churned out by professional academics at state-supported institutions. It requires cultural institutions like churches that provide a compelling intellectual vision that can compete with what’s taught in the colleges.

Until that happens, expect institutions like social media, Wikipedia, the mainstream media, and even corporate America to keep moving left and doing it at an increasingly fast pace. And expect the people who control those institutions to be increasingly hostile to those who disagree with them.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/how-decades-media-and-faculty-bias-have-pushed-america-left

Trump takes lead nationally in latest Rasmussen poll | WND

President Donald J. Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, en route to Erie International Airport in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

In a rapid reversal, President Trump has taken the lead nationally over Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Rasmussen’s daily “White House Watch” poll.

Last Wednesday, the poll of likely voters had Trump down by 3 points, but the latest survey, Monday, indicates he’s now ahead by 1 point, 48% to 47%.

Among the major polls, Rasmussen’s was among the most accurate in 2016.

In addition, the latest Rasmussen favorability survey, shows 52% of likely voters approve of Trump’s performance.

The most accurate pollster in 2016, Raghavan Mayur of TIPP, told investigative reporter Paul Sperry the enthusiasm gap has widened over past two days.

“Trump’s intensity of support has hit a peak of 79% compared to Biden at 66%,” Mayur said. “This divergence may indicate tightening [in the race] in the coming days.”

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both had an approval rating of 50% when they won reelection.

The Rasmussen poll Monday showed 27% of blacks would vote for Trump if the election were held today. He won only 8% of the black vote in 2016.

Two other polls, Trafalgar and John Zogby Strategies, also show Trump’s support rising nationally while mass media polls continue to show Biden holding a sizeable lead, as they did in 2016.

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/10/4864758/

They are going to go all-out in a desperate attempt to try to stop Trump from declaring victory — End Of The American Dream

Can you think of any other time in the history of the United States when measures have been taken in advance to try to prevent a presidential candidate from declaring victory on the night of the election?  It is difficult to believe that this is actually happening, and it is yet more evidence of how badly our system has deteriorated.  Of course President Trump may decide to declare victory anyway if he has a significant lead on election night, but any such declaration will immediately be branded “illegitimate” by the mainstream media, the big tech companies and everyone else on the left.

For months, pundits on the left have been trying to convince us that President Trump may have a lead initially but that Joe Biden will surely be victorious once all of the mail-in ballots are finally counted.  They are going to be pushing that narrative no matter how large Trump’s lead is, and they are absolutely determined to squelch any talk that Trump has officially won.

For example, on Monday Twitter announced that it will be “pre-bunking” election misinformation.  In particular, Twitter will be “warning that there may be delays in full election results” and that there may be “misleading information” about mail-in votes…

Twitter said Monday it would take the proactive step of alerting its users to potential misinformation in preparation for unverified claims about the November 3 US election.

The short messaging service said it would place notices at the top of user feeds warning that there may be delays in full election results and that people might see “misleading information” about voting by mail.

Do you think those notices are directed at Democrats?

Of course not.

Their goal is to keep President Trump and other Republicans from declaring “premature” victories, and Twitter has stated that no such claims will be allowed until races are “authoritatively called”

It has also said candidates for office may not claim an election win before it is “authoritatively called” and that premature claims would be labeled with a link to the platform’s election page.

So exactly who will they be relying on to “authoritatively” declare that races have been won or lost?

The ultra-liberal Associated Press?

In 2000, the Associated Press called Florida for Al Gore very early, and if George W. Bush had not contested that result he never would have been the president of the United States.

Knowing the AP, they may try to call some states for Biden based on assumptions about “uncounted mail-in ballots” even though Trump is leading in the actual vote count.

Personally, I am in favor of not declaring a winner in each state until it is mathematically impossible for the other candidate to catch up, but that is just me.

Other social media companies are also preparing for contested election results.  As I discussed yesterday, Facebook has announced that they are ready to implement “emergency measures” that are usually reserved for the most “at-risk” countries.  They will not be allowing any “premature” declarations of victory either, although I have a feeling that their standards will not be applied equally to both parties.

While the big social media companies work hard to try to control the narrative, activists on the left will be storming D.C. in order to “make sure Trump leaves the White House”

Ringleaders of protesters are organizing an effort to “make sure Trump leaves the White House” by any means necessary after the Nov. 3 election, according to website posts from the group Shut Down DC and their allies.

Even if Trump gets the votes that he needs to win, these protesters have absolutely no intention of recognizing the result as legitimate.

Instead, they are planning an “uprising” that will go “from election night on”

“On Election Day, when you’re done voting, doing election protection, or getting out the vote, come join us at Black Lives Matter Plaza. We’re inviting everybody who agrees with these organizing principles to work together to make this uprising happen. We’re going to make sure Trump leaves. From election night on, as the situation changes and evolves we all work together to make that happen,” they tell their supporters on the webpage.

The group also tells its followers that if they are not in DC, “Organize in your community! Find out where the votes will be counted where you live. Make a plan with others to get there and stay until all the votes are counted. And come up with a plan to create serious disruption if Trump really tries to steal the election!”

Do you remember all of the people that marched and held signs that said “not my president” after the election of 2016?

Well, that was nothing compared to what we will witness if Trump wins again.  As I warned yesterday, we could be on the verge of the biggest emotional meltdown in U.S. history.

At this point, so many Americans are concerned about rioting and violence after the election that it has forced the mainstream media to do stories about it.  For example, the following comes from a USA Today article entitled “Americans worried about Election Day violence and chaos are buying guns and toilet paper”

Tabitha Converse is quietly preparing for Election Day and the weeks beyond by stocking her basement pantry with canned goods, toilet paper and other basic supplies. She even persuaded her husband to buy a hunting rifle, just in case.

Like millions of Americans, Converse, 43, fears the potential for violence that experts say may accompany this year’s presidential election. A mother of two who works as a dental hygienist, Converse is trying not to worry too much, but with a pandemic, civil rights protests and raging wildfires piled atop the election’s boiling-hot rhetoric, well, who knows what might happen?

That sounds like it could have come right out of one of my articles.

This is how bad things have gotten.  We are on the verge of widespread civil unrest following a presidential election, and nobody has any idea how to stop it from happening.

If chaos does erupt in our streets in November, I would strongly advise avoiding it, because it is likely to get really, really ugly.

They are going to go all-out in a desperate attempt to try to stop Trump from declaring victory — End Of The American Dream

October 26 Life-Changing Moments With God

The Lord reigns.

Lord God, You ask, “Do you not fear Me? Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.” Exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. You, God, are the Judge: you put down one, and exalt another.

You change the times and the seasons; You remove kings and raise up kings; You give wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. I will hear of wars and rumors of wars. I will not be troubled.

If You, Lord God, are for me, who can be against me? Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from Your will, my Father. The very hairs of my head are all numbered. I do not fear therefore; I am of more value than many sparrows.

Almighty God who reigns over all history, all creation, and all of my life, I praise You for Your power—and for Your love which You let guide Your use of that power.

Psalm 99:1; Jeremiah 5:22; Psalm 75:6–7; Daniel 2:21; Matthew 24:6; Romans 8:31; Matthew 10:29–31[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 321). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Hillary Clinton: Four More Years Of Trump Would Literally ‘Make Me Sick To My Stomach’ | LifeZette

Hillary Clinton admits the very idea of a victory for President Trump on Election Day makes her literally “sick to my stomach.”

Clinton, the former Secretary of State who lost to Trump in embarrassing fashion in 2016, said the notion that he could win again is nauseating.

“I can’t entertain the idea of him winning, so let’s just preface it by that,” Clinton said in a podcast on the New York Times network with journalist Kara Swisher.

“Well, because it makes me literally sick to my stomach to think that we’d have four more years of this abuse and destruction of our institutions, and damaging of our norms and our values, and lessening of our leadership, and the list goes on.”

Abuse and destruction – some would say – have been an institution wholly owned by the Democrat party since Trump took office.

Hillary Clinton Claims Trump Is Illegitimate President – Makes Her Sick

Clinton went on in the interview to suggest President Trump did not winthe 2016 election through legitimate means.

“Remember, as I said, he lives with this specter of illegitimacy,” she claimed without evidence. “He knows more about how he got really elected than we still do. Hopefully, we’ll learn more in the years ahead.”

The former presidential election loser then made a wild claim that the Electoral College victory by President Trump means the election was ‘stolen.’

“I was the candidate that they basically stole an election from,” Clinton alleged. “I was the candidate who won nearly three million more votes.”

You were the candidate who didn’t understand how the process works. You were the candidate who couldn’t find Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on the map leading up to Election Day.

Hillary Justifies Liberals Not Accepting Trump’s Presidency

Clinton continued to attack the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency claiming black voter suppression and Russian media were responsible for her loss.

“I think that Trump and a lot of the people around him know that his victory was not on the up and up,” she asserted in the podcast. “They had an extensive campaign to suppress black voters. We now know much more about that than we did.”

She again accused Jill Stein of being a Russian asset.

Clinton claimed, “They (the Trump campaign) had third party candidates boosted, particularly by Russian media.”

The bitter former presidential candidate proceeded to justify actions by those who refuse to accept the fact that Donald Trump won.

“No matter how they cut it, it wasn’t the kind of win that people said, ‘OK, it wasn’t my candidate, but OK,’” she projected. “This election is still front and center in people’s psyches.”

“People fight about it every day online, because there is a deep sense of unfairness and just dismissiveness toward his victory, and he knows it,” Clinton continued.

This is the same woman who once insisted that failure to accept the election results is “a direct threat to democracy.”

Clinton seems unaware that a declaration that Trump winning makes her “sick to my stomach” is motivation to get out the vote for the President.

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

Read more at ThePoliticalInsider.com:
Jake Tapper Rips Trump Over Comments About The Black Community, Van Jones Fires Back ‘He Doesn’t Get Enough Credit’
Kamala Harris Struggles To Respond To Being Called ‘The Most Liberal’ Senator During ‘60 Minutes’ Interview
Trump Announces New Middle East Peace Deal As His Approval Rating Zooms Past 50%

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2020/10/hillary-clinton-four-more-years-of-trump-would-literally-make-me-sick-to-my-stomach/

Hillary Clinton says most Republicans are “cowards, spineless enablers” of President Trump | Disrn

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton derided Republicans in a recent New York Times Opinion podcast, calling them “cowards” and “spineless enablers.”

— Read on disrn.com/news/hillary-clinton-says-most-republicans-are-cowards-spineless-enablers-of-president-trump/

Early voters want to change vote after Hunter Biden exposés | New York Post

The Post’s exposés on Hunter Biden appear to have helped spark a rush of early voters seeing if they can change their minds — with New York one of a handful of states giving some that unexpected right.

More than 58.5 million have already cast their ballots, and searches for “Can I change my vote” started trending over the last few days — linked to searches for “Hunter Biden,” according to Google Trends data.

The biggest interest has come from Arizona, Tennessee and Virginia, all states that — like most of the US — only give residents one shot at the polls.

But “in some states, you can submit your ballot, have a change of heart and, and submit a new ballot,” Matthew Weil, director of the Election Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told Newsy.

That includes New York, at least for those who mailed in an absentee ballot.

“The Election Law recognizes that plans change,” the Empire State’s Board of Elections says.

“Even if you request or cast and return an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person,” the rules state.

“The Board of Elections is required to check the poll book before canvassing any absentee ballot. If the voter comes to the poll site, on Election Day or during early voting and votes in person, the absentee ballot is set aside and not counted.”

Those who change their mind after mailing in a vote can also go to the County Board of Elections to request a new ballot to override the initial one, with the last one sent in counting.

But those who voted early in-person do not get the same second chance. “Once you’ve voted at a machine, that’s it,” a Board of Elections spokesperson told The Post. “You cast one vote and that is complete.”

People voting early in Queens today.

People voting early in Queens today.Matthew McDermott

Michigan, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin all have specific election laws allowing residents to change their minds after casting an initial vote — with those in the Badger State even getting three chances.

In a recent update, the Wisconsin Elections Commission also noted that “many voters” had been getting in contact to see how they could revoke their initial absentee ballot — something they can easily do.

“A voter, whether voting by absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or by mail, or at the polling place, can receive up to three ballots (the first two are spoiled),” the commission notes, saying it “has been the law in Wisconsin for many years.”

Michigan also has clear-cut rules allowing an early mailed-in vote to be overridden.

“If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote … a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk,” state law says.

Minnesota voters also get a chance — though not if they have left it this late.

“You can ask to cancel your ballot until the close of business two weeks before Election Day,” the office of Secretary of State Steve Simon says. If they contact the election office before then, though, they can have a new ballot mailed or vote in person on Election Day.

Washington state also allows voters to “cancel a ballot at any time before Election Day,” said Weil, the Election Project director, with the state not counting any mailed-in votes until polling closes.

— Read on nypost.com/2020/10/26/early-voters-want-to-change-vote-after-hunter-biden-exposes/

Attorneys for John MacArthur Denounce Headlines Reporting COVID Outbreak – Ministry Watch

Attorneys for Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church are condemning recent headlines declaring a coronavirus outbreak in the megachurch that has defied public health orders since July.

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday reported that three confirmed COVID-19 cases had been tied to the church. The headline for that story read: “Coronavirus outbreak strikes L.A. megachurch that defied public health orders.”

Jenna Ellis, attorney for John MacArthur and Grace Community Church, in a statement said the cases shouldn’t be characterized as an ‘outbreak.’  She called the LA Times headline “grossly misleading.”

“Three very mild positive tests among more than 7,000 people is hardly news,” Ellis said. 

Less than 1 percent is not an outbreak, she said.

“It has never been the Church’s position that it is only safe to hold services if no one ever tests positive, or for example, if no one ever gets the flu during flu season,” continued Ellis.

Los Angeles County’s health protocols for places of worship require that Grace Community Church report to the Department of Public Health when at least three cases of coronavirus are reported or identified within a span of 14 days.

That way, public health officials can determine if there is an outbreak and provide infection control guidance, technical support and site-specific outbreak control measures.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Sept. 10 granted a preliminary injunction against Grace Community Church, prohibiting MacArthur from holding indoor worship services. MacArthur, however, has continued to hold in-person services with congregants singing and sitting next to each other without masks.

The county said Grace Community Church is not only violating the county’s public health order, but also the court’s preliminary injunction.

“These types of large gatherings (especially indoors) jeopardize the County’s efforts to control spread of the virus and keep people safe,” the county said. “Parties cannot violate court orders with which they don’t agree.”

But, according to Ellis’s statement, the county is being selective in who it restricts. “LA County shutting down churches indefinitely amid a virus with a 99.98 percent survival rate, especially when state-preferred businesses are open and protests are held without restriction, is unconstitutional and harmful to the free exercise of religion.”

Church leaders have said they will follow the Bible instead of health regulations.

“We will obey God rather than men. We’re going to be faithful to our Lord,” MacArthur told his congregants in a July 31 video. “We’re going to leave the results to him.”

— Read on ministrywatch.com/attorneys-for-john-macarthur-denounce-headlines-reporting-covid-outbreak/

‘You’ll Bury Everyone Involved’: Bobulinski Recorded Biden Operatives Begging Him To Stay Quiet, Set To Release Tues | Zero Hedge

How much longer can the MSM ignore this?

Former Biden insider Tony Bobulinski allegedly has a recording of Biden family operatives begging him to stay quiet, or he will “bury” the reputations of everyone involved in Hunter’s overseas dealings.

According to The Federalist‘s Sean Davis, Bobulinski will play the tape on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday, when Carlson will devote his show ‘entirely’ to an interview with the Biden whistleblower.

As The Federalist notes:

The Federalist confirmed with sources familiar with the plans that Bobulinski, a retired Navy lieutenant and Biden associate, will be airing tapes of Biden operatives begging Bobulinski to remain quiet as former Vice President Joe Biden nears the finish line to the White House next week.

Bobulinski flipped on the Bidens following a Senate report which revealed that they received a $5 million interest-free loan from a now-bankrupt Chinese energy company.

According to the former Biden insider, he was introduced to Joe Biden by Hunter, and they had an hour-long meeting where they discussed the Biden’s business plans with the Chinese, with which he says Joe was “plainly familiar at least at a high level.” 

Text messages from Bobulinski also reveal an effort to conceal Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter’s business dealings, while Tony has also confirmed that the “Big guy” described in a leaked email is none other than Joe Biden himself.

Of course, aside from the corruption allegations, Hunter Biden’s laptop allegedly contained child porn, which the FBI sat on for nine months after a Delaware computer repair shop owner turned it over to them, only to approach Congress – and finally Rudy Giuliani, when nobody else would take action.

And while we take no position on the “Q” phenomenon – we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that the MSM is panicking to cover up what appears to be yet another elite pedophile who may have had an incestuous relationship with his niece – whose mother (his brother widow) Hunter was ‘intimately’ familiar with.

What’s going on with these people?

Imagine if Donald Trump Jr. was smoking crack while getting footjobs from potentially underage family members, whose pornographic photos were found on his laptop.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/youll-bury-everyone-involved-bobulinski-recorded-biden-operatives-begging-him-stay-quiet

Tucker Carlson: Tony Bobulinski is about to tell us what he knows about Joe and Hunter Biden | Fox News

On Tuesday night, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” will have an extensive interview with a man called Tony Bobulinksi. 

— Read on www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-tony-bobulinski-is-about-to-tell-us-what-he-knows-about-joe-and-hunter-biden

Third Stop – Battleground Pennsylvania: President Trump Make America Great Again Rally – Martinsburg, PA – 4:30pm EDT Livestreams.. — The Last Refuge

The third stop of President Trump’s march on Pennsylvania takes place today as our president holds a Make America Great Again Rally at Altoona-Blair County Airport in Martinsburg, PA. Anticipated start time is 4:30pm EDT [Livestream Links Below]

Trump Campaign Livestream – RSBN Livestream Link – Fox News Livestream

.

The Pennsylvania surge happens at the same time as The New York Times reports President Trump capturing 24 percent of Philadelphia voters. That result is nearly a 10% increase from 2016 and would destroy the Biden hopes in the state. Further empirical evidence of this Philadelphia outcome was reflected last Friday when former President Obama could only draw a crowd of a few hundred amid the city of brotherly love.

Similar in motive to the FL strategy, perhaps this PA campaign push is to extend the size of the victory beyond the reach of voter fraud in the Keystone state.

.

.

{NYT Source Link}

Third Stop – Battleground Pennsylvania: President Trump Make America Great Again Rally – Martinsburg, PA – 4:30pm EDT Livestreams.. — The Last Refuge

Lifting the Veil on George Soros — VCY America

Date:  October 26, 2020  
Host:  Jim Schneider  
​Guest: Dr. Frank Wright 
MP3  ​​​| Order

https://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/102620211191086/

We have seen things unfold in this nation over the last few years that many never dreamed possible and it’s escalating quickly.  We see activist Islamic groups at work, we see the uprising of the Antifa groups and Black Lives Matter.  We see the battle in society over how we define marriage and how we define terms like ‘male’ and ‘female.’  We see the battle for the life of the unborn and those who are so committed to killing the most vulnerable among us that they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal.  There is the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling Christian groups and traditional family groups as ‘hate groups.’  We see the eruption of so-called ‘peaceful protests’ that rioted, looted, and destroyed businesses in cities across the nation.  

All of these things describe anarchy and it’s descended upon virtually every aspect of American life.  This push for anarchy is coming on multiple fronts but under the surface there’s a vital thread holding it all together.  According to the guest interviewed on this program, it’s an enormous flow of funding coming from radical leftist billionaire, George Soros among others.    

For more on this issue, Jim welcomed Dr. Frank Wright.  He’s president and CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries as well as CEO at the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship.  Dr. Wright has worked 24 years on Capitol Hill.  He’s the former President and CEO at National Religious Broadcasters.

George Soros was born a Jew in Hungary in 1930.  His parents had some evidence to believe that a holocaust that was coming so they placed young George with a Gentile man who claimed that George was his adopted son.  George later helped his Gentile mentor/adopted godfather confiscate some of the property left behind by Jews who were transported.

Winston Churchill once described Russia as a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma.  That’s the way Dr. Wright described the George Soros of today.  He’s Jewish by birth yet hates Israel.  He denies God (he’s an atheist believing God was invented by man), yet claims himself to be some kind of a god which is not surprising as his personal goal is to be the conscience of the world.

Soros has given an estimated 32 billion dollars to left-wing causes here in America and around the world.  20 billion of that went to his ‘Open Society Foundations.’  This organization generates a billion dollars in income each year which he uses to promote his ‘values.’  According to Dr. Wright, those ‘values’ include abortion, LGBTQ activism, open borders, euthanasia, the legalization of prostitution and drugs, he’s against the Second Amendment and he’s for defunding the police.

Why is all of this significant if it involves just one man?  Find out as Dr. Wright ‘lifts the veil’ on George Soros on this vital edition of Crosstalk.

More Information 

djkm.org

877-962-7677

Lifting the Veil on George Soros — VCY America

Evidence in the Flesh for Apologetics — Cross Examined.org | Christian Apologetics Organization | Dr. Frank Turek

By Dawn Simon

I was raised in a family and a community where religious beliefs were considered personal and virtually never discussed. I attended a Catholic grade school and continued with religion classes through high school. I was a good student and knew what I was supposed to believe – but no matter how hard I tried, I just could not convince myself that any of it was true.

Evidence in the Flesh for Apologetics

I had a long list of questions but mostly kept those to myself. I was pretty sure that these doubts made me a bad person and I was not eager to advertise this fact. The few times I did seek help left me feeling that there were no answers to my questions. I developed an idea that belief in God was some sort of magical thinking – and while I too desperately wanted this magic, it clearly was not meant for me. Another difficulty I faced was that believers always seemed so sure about their faith. I am not a person who is certain about anything – this too made me think that Christianity – or faith of any kind was not for me.

Moving ahead to my time now in Kearney, Nebraska – I moved here in 2009 and met Tim Stratton a few years later when he was in the early stages of developing his FreeThinking Argument for the existence of God. At this time, there was a fair bit of noise being made in the local newspaper about issues related to evolution and it was attracting attention at work. Because of this I started regularly reading the opinion pieces, as well as associated comments. The name Tim Stratton appeared frequently. To be clear, I did not agree with a single thing he wrote. However, he was unfailingly kind, whereas some people on “my side” were behaving atrociously. This was the first thing I noticed about Tim – and if not for that, I truly might still be an atheist today.

I was able to meet Tim in person at a local public outreach event about evolution. This was a brief meeting – but a short time later he added me as a Facebook friend. This is when the arguing started in earnest (and to be honest has not completely ceased to this day – we just argue about different things now). For a period of about two months, we exchanged messages almost daily that initially were centered on his FreeThinking Argument for the Existence of God. Those discussions could probably best be summarized as exchanges where I would tell him I was not convinced of some specific point (which is my default position) and then Tim would both encourage me and try to convince me. If you know either of us, you already know that these were not short discussions.

About a month into this I was forced to admit — contra many scientifically-minded atheists — that while I was not certain, I did think humans possessed libertarian free will. It is worth noting here that in my discussions with Tim, I had already been relieved of the notion that one needed to be absolutely certain to believe something was true. The natural extension of this was that if I believed I had free will, according to Tim’s argument (which despite my best efforts seemed strong) meant I also believed in God. This realization took my breath away (and the memory of it still does the same) – I know exactly where I was and what I was doing when for the first time in my life I felt like God was talking directly to me. 

This was just the beginning though – it took at least 6 months more before I called myself a Christian (Mike Licona’s work on the historical Resurrection eventually sealed the deal). It was an incredibly tumultuous time in my life. I was starting to really believe that Christianity was probably true and while part of me found that exciting, a bigger part was truly terrified at the prospect. Tim helped me at every single step of the way – I have countless stories of doubts and fears that he helped me through with reason and kindness.

During this time, I could not help but compare my conversion story to that of others – and I will admit I found it frustrating. Tim would tell me about other people he had helped and how in a 24-hour period they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. It was hard for me to understand how this was possible and to be honest, I didn’t think it was fair. Why was it so much work for me? What I came to realize – surely with God’s help – was that my conversion story had to be different because of how I am wired. If God had appeared to me in the flesh, I am certain I would be more convinced of a brain tumor than God’s existence. Reason and argument was the only way it could work for me. I am not proud of that, but it is the truth. I am profoundly grateful that God is able to reach people in a myriad of ways – and specifically that he used Tim and apologetics to reach me. 

Recommended resources related to the topic:

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Paperback), and (Sermon) by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek 

Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl (Book)

Defending the Faith on Campus by Frank Turek (DVD Set, mp4 Download setand Complete Package)

So the Next Generation will Know by J. Warner Wallace (Book and Participant’s Guide)


By Dawn Simon earned her Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Iowa and completed subsequent postdoctoral research at the University of Calgary. She is currently a Professor of Biology at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Original Blog Source: https://cutt.ly/egpNPJ7

Evidence in the Flesh for Apologetics — Cross Examined.org | Christian Apologetics Organization | Dr. Frank Turek

October 26 Thoughts for the quiet hour

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people

Luke 2:10

It is true that these good tidings of great joy were to be “for all people,” but not first. The message falls on our own ears, and is first for our own souls.

Oh, ponder this well! Take all God’s truths home first to thine own heart. Ask in earnest prayer that the Spirit may write them with the pen of Heaven on thine own conscience. Then wilt thou be a vessel fitted for the Master’s use, and carry His message with spiritual power to the souls of others.

F. Whitfield[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

October 26, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. - Hebrews 1:2 ESV

The Superiority of Christ

(1:1–2)

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (1:1–2)

The writer does not delay in getting to his point. He makes it in the first three verses. These verses are very simple. They tell us Christ is superior to everyone and everything. The three primary features of His superiority are: preparation, presentation, and preeminence. Keep in mind that all through the book Christ is presented as being better than the best of everyone and everything that was before Him—absolutely better than anything the Old Testament, the Old Covenant, provided.

The Preparation for Christ

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways. (1:1)

Here is an indication of how God wrote the Old Testament. Its purpose was to prepare for the coming of Christ. Whether by prophecy or type or principle or commandment or whatever, it made preparation for Christ.

The senses of man, marvelous as they are, are incapable of reaching beyond the natural world. For us to know anything about God, He must tell us. We could never know God if He did not speak to us. Thus, in the Old Testament, the writer reminds us, “God … spoke.”

Man’s Ways to God

Man lives in a natural “box,” which encloses him within its walls of time and space. Outside of this box is the supernatural, and somewhere deep inside himself man knows it is out there. But in himself he does not know anything certain about it. So someone comes along and says, “We must find out about the supernatural, the world ‘out there.’ ” And a new religion is born. Those who become interested run over to the edge of the box, get out their imaginative mental chisels and start trying to chip a hole in the edge of the box—through which they can crawl, or at least peer, out and discover the secrets of the other world.

That, figuratively, is what always happens. The Buddhist says that when you have worked and thought yourself into Nirvana, all of a sudden you are out of the box. You have transcended the natural and have found your way into the supernatural. The Muslim says basically the same thing, though in different words. So do all the other religions—Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Confucianism, or whatever it may be. These are all attempts by man to escape from the natural to the supernatural, to get out of the box. But the problem is, he cannot get himself out.

God’s Way to Man

By definition, natural man cannot escape into the supernatural. We cannot go into a religious phone booth and change into a superman. We cannot in ourselves or by ourselves transcend our natural existence. If we are to know anything about God, it will not be by escaping, or climbing, or thinking, or working our way to Him; it will only be by His coming to us, His speaking to us. We cannot, by ourselves, understand God any more than an insect we may hold in our hand can understand us. Nor can we condescend to its level, or communicate with it if we could. But God can condescend to our level and He can communicate with us. And He has.

God became a man Himself and entered our box to tell us about Himself, more fully and completely than He was able to do even through His prophets. This not only was divine revelation, but personal divine revelation of the most literal and perfect and wonderful sort. All of man’s religions reflect his attempts to make his way out of the box. The message of Christianity, however, is that “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

When God burst into the box, He did it in human form, and the name of that human form is Jesus Christ. That is the difference between Christianity and every other religion in the world. That is why it is so foolish for people to say, “It doesn’t make any difference what you believe or what religion you follow.” It makes every difference. Every religion is but man’s attempt to discover God. Christianity is God bursting into man’s world and showing and telling man what He is like. Because man by himself is incapable of identifying, comprehending, or understanding God at all, God had to invade the world of man and speak to him about Himself. Initially, He told us He would be coming.

By the Prophets: Many Ways

This He did through the words of the Old Testament. He used men as instruments, but was Himself behind them, enlightening and energizing them. The deists teach that God started the world going and then went away, leaving it to run by itself. But God is not detached from His creation; He is not uninvolved in our world. The true and living God, unlike the false gods of man’s making, is not dumb or indifferent. The God of Scripture, unlike the impersonal “First Cause” of some philosophers, is not silent. He speaks. He first spoke in the Old Testament, which is not a collection of the wisdom of ancient men but is the voice of God.

Now notice how God spoke: “in many portions and in many ways.” The writer uses a play on words in the original language: “God, polumerōs and polutropōs …” These two Greek words are interesting. They mean, respectively, “in many portions” (as of books) and “in many different manners.” There are many books in the Old Testament—thirty-nine of them. In all those many portions (polumerōs) and in many ways (polutropōs) God spoke to men. Sometimes it was in a vision, sometimes by a parable, sometimes through a type or a symbol. There were many different ways in which God spoke in the Old Testament. But it is always God speaking. Even the words spoken by men and angels are included because He wants us to know them.

Men were used—their minds were used and their personalities were used—but they were totally controlled by the Spirit of God. Every word they wrote was the word that God decided they should write and delighted in their writing.

Many ways includes many literary ways. Some of the Old Testament is narrative. Some of it is poetry, in beautiful Hebrew meter. The “many ways” also includes many types of content. Some is law; some is prophecy; some is doctrinal; some is ethical and moral; some is warning; some is encouragement; and so on. But it is all God speaking.

Progressive Revelation

true but incomplete

Yet, beautiful and important and authoritative as it is, the Old Testament is fragmentary and incomplete. It was delivered over the course of some 1500 years by some forty-plus writers—in many different pieces, each with its own truths. It began to build and grow, truth upon truth. It was what we call progressive revelation. Genesis gives some truth, and Exodus gives some more. The truth builds and builds and builds. In the Old Testament God was pleased, for that time, to dispense His gracious truth to the Jews by the mouths of His prophets—in many different ways, developing His revelation progressively from lesser to greater degrees of light. The revelation did not build from error to truth but from incomplete truth to more complete truth. And it remained incomplete until the New Testament was finished.

Divine revelation, then, going from the Old Testament to the New Testament, is progressive revelation. It progressed from promise to fulfillment. The Old Testament is promise; the New Testament is fulfillment. Jesus Christ said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets,” that is, the Old Testament, “… but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). His revelation progressed from promise to fulfillment. In fact, the Old Testament itself clearly indicates that the men of faith who wrote it were trusting in a promise they had not yet understood. They trusted in a promise that was yet to be fulfilled.

Let me give a few supporting verses. Hebrews 11 speaks about many of the great saints of the Old Testament. “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised” (v. 39). In other words, they never saw the fulfillment of promise. They foresaw what was going to happen without seeing it fully realized. Peter tells us that the Old Testament prophets did not understand all of what they wrote. “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you” (1 Pet. 1:10–12).

We must, of course, clearly understand that the Old Testament was not in any way erroneous. But there was in it a development, of spiritual light and of moral standards, until God’s truth was refined and finalized in the New Testament. The distinction is not in the validity of the revelation—its rightness or wrongness—but in the completeness of it and the time of it. Just as children are first taught letters, then words, and then sentences, so God gave His revelation. It began with the “picture book” of types and ceremonies and prophecies and progressed to final completion in Jesus Christ and His New Testament.

from god, through his messengers

Now the picture is set for us. Long ago God spoke to “the fathers,” the Old Testament people, our spiritual ancestors—also our physical ancestors if we are Jewish. He even spoke to some of our Gentile predecessors. He spoke to them by the prophets, His messengers. A prophet is one who speaks to men for God; a priest is one who speaks to God for men. The priest takes man’s problems to God; the prophet takes God’s message to men. Both, if they are true, are commissioned by God, but their ministries are quite different. The book of Hebrews has a great deal to say about priests, but its opening verse speaks of prophets. The Holy Spirit establishes the divine authorship of the Old Testament, its accuracy and its authority, through the fact that it was given to and delivered by God’s prophets.

Throughout the New Testament this truth is affirmed. Peter, for example, tells us that “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:21). “Prophecy” in that text refers to the Old Testament. No human writer of the Old Testament wrote of his own will, but only as he was directed by the Holy Spirit.

Paul also tells us that “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The American Standard Version reads, “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable,” implying that not all Scripture is inspired. But all Scripture is fully, not simply in part, inspired by God. God has not hidden His Word within man’s words, leaving His creatures to their own devices in deciding which is which. The Old Testament is only a part of God’s truth, but it is not partially His truth. It is not His complete truth, but it is completely His truth. It is God’s revelation, His progressive revelation preparing His people for the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ.

By the Son: One Way

In these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (1:2)

God’s full, perfect revelation awaited the coming of His Son. God, who used to speak in many different ways through many different people, has finally spoken in one way, through one Person, His Son Jesus Christ.

The whole New Testament is centered around Christ. The gospels tell His story, the epistles comment on it, and the Revelation tells of its culmination. From beginning to end the New Testament is Christ. No prophet had been given God’s whole truth. The Old Testament was given to many men, in bits and pieces and fragments. Jesus not only brought, but was, God’s full and final Revelation.

Coming in These Last Days

There are several ways to interpret the phrase, in these last days. It could refer to the last days of revelation. It could mean that this is the final revelation in Christ, there being nothing else to add to it. Or it could mean that in the last days of revelation it came through God’s Son. But I think the writer is making a messianic reference. The phrase “the last days” was very familiar to the Jews of that day and had a distinctive meaning. Whenever a Jew saw or heard these words he immediately had messianic thoughts, because the scriptural promise was that in the last days Messiah would come (Jer. 33:14–16; Mic. 5:1–4; Zech. 9:9, 16). Since this letter was written first of all to Jews, we will interpret the phrase in that context.

The woman at the well, though a Samaritan, told Jesus, “I know that the Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us” (John 4:25). She knew that when Messiah arrived, He would unfold the full and final revelation of God, as indeed He did.

The writer, then, is saying, “In these promised Last Days Messiah (Christ) has come and has spoken the final revelation of God.” Jesus came in these last days. Unfortunately, Messiah’s own people rejected Him and His revelation, and so the fulfillment of all of the promises of the last days has yet to be fully realized.

True and Complete

The Old Testament had been given in pieces. To Noah was revealed the quarter of the world from which Messiah would come. To Micah, the town where He would be born. To Daniel, the time of His birth. To Malachi, the forerunner who would come before Him. To Jonah, His resurrection was typified. Every one of those pieces of revelation was true and accurate; and each one related to the others in some way or another. And each one in some way or another pointed to the Messiah, the Christ. But only in Jesus Christ Himself was everything brought together and made whole. In Him the revelation was full and complete.

Since the revelation is complete, to add anything to the New Testament is blasphemous. To add to it The Book of Mormon, or Science and Health, or anything else that claims to be revelation from God is blasphemous. “God has in these last days finalized His revelation in His Son.” It was finished. The end of the book of Revelation warns that if we add anything to it, its plagues will be added to us, and that if we take anything away from it, our part in the tree of life and the holy city will be taken away from us (Rev. 22:18–19).

In the first verse and a half of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit establishes the preeminence of Jesus Christ over all the Old Testament, over its message, its methods, and its messengers. It was just what those Jews, believing and nonbelieving, needed to hear.

And so is established the priority of Jesus Christ. He is greater than the prophets. He is greater than any revelation in the Old Testament, for He is the embodiment of all that truth, and more. God has fully expressed Himself in Christ.[1]


2 “The universe” at the end of v. 2 renders τοὺς αἰῶνας (tous aiōnas, GK 172), which elsewhere more often means “the ages.” In Jewish thought time was divided into two “ages,” “the present age” and “the age to come” (see 6:5), so that “the ages” taken together represent the totality of time but by transference can also be used of the whole physical creation. See 11:3 for the same use of τοὺς αἰῶνας, tous aiōnas, with reference to the original creation of the universe; cf. the title “King of the Ages” used for God, e.g., in 1 Ti 1:17. Paul speaks of this αἰῶν (aiōn) in parallel with this κόσμος (kosmos, “world,” GK 3180) in 1 Corinthians 1:20 and 3:18–19.[2]


God’s Final Word

Hebrews 1:1–2

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. (Heb. 1:1–2)

A scene from Jesus’ life and ministry wonderfully depicts what the Book of Hebrews is all about. Matthew 17 tells us that Jesus took his three closest disciples up onto the mount, where they saw him transfigured in glory, speaking with Moses and Elijah. Peter proposed building a tabernacle for the veneration of these three spiritual giants. But just then the Shekinah glory cloud enveloped them in brightness and the voice of God said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matt. 17:5). When the disciples rose from their terror, they did not see either Moses or Elijah, but they saw Jesus alone. A.W. Pink comments: “The glory associated with Moses and Elijah was so eclipsed by the infinitely greater glory connected with Christ, that they faded from view.”

This is what the Book of Hebrews is about—the supremacy of Christ, along with the sufficiency of his work and the necessity of faith in him for salvation.

Background to the Book of Hebrews

We should begin studying a book with a consideration of its background. Who wrote the Book of Hebrews? To whom was it written and when? What prompted the writing of the letter, what is its literary genre, and on what basis is it included in the biblical canon?

When we consider the authorship of Hebrews, we must first observe that the answer is not stated in the letter itself. There is no opening greeting, nor do the closing remarks identify the writer. There is, however, no shortage of candidates for the honor of authorship.

Throughout church history there has been a strong impulse to name the apostle Paul as the author of Hebrews. There seem to be two main reasons for this, the first of which is that much of the letter’s content sounds Pauline. Hebrews 13:23 refers to Timothy, one of Paul’s protégés, and chapter 10’s theme of joy amidst suffering strongly reminds us of Paul. Therefore, it is argued, the author of Hebrews must at least have been a member of the Pauline circle. The second reason to support Paul has to do with the canonicity of the book. The inclusion of Hebrews in the Bible was not without controversy, and arguments for Paul’s authorship naturally strengthened its case dramatically.

Nonetheless, there are many indications that Paul almost certainly did not write Hebrews. First, in all of Paul’s other letters he identifies himself, blatantly asserting his apostolic authority. The writer of Hebrews does not identify himself, although some speculate that because of Jewish hostility Paul may have wanted to remain anonymous. More telling is the nature of the Greek in Hebrews, which is of a high literary style in striking contrast to Paul’s more common Greek. The structure of Hebrews, with its interspersed exhortations, contrasts with Paul’s tendency to save practical applications for the letter’s end. Most conclusive is the statement of Hebrews 2:3, which says the author’s message “was attested to us by those who heard.” In other words, the writer received his message from those who heard it firsthand from Jesus. This is the very thing Paul always denies in his letters, insisting that he received his revelation directly from the Lord and not from the other apostles (see Gal. 1:12).

With Paul ruled out, other candidates are drawn from his circle and include Luke, Silas, and Priscilla. Most persuasive are the arguments in favor of Barnabas and Apollos. Hebrews 13:22 describes the letter as a “word of exhortation,” and Barnabas’s name means “son of exhortation.” Not only was Barnabas a close associate of Paul, but as a Levite he would likely have had the kind of interest in the Jewish priesthood that shows up in Hebrews. An even more intriguing suggestion was made by Martin Luther in favor of Paul’s sometime associate Apollos. Acts 18:24 identifies him as “an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures,” which qualifies him to write such an extraordinary epistle. Furthermore, Apollos hailed from Alexandria, and Hebrews shows an interest in theological themes known to have been popular there.

So who wrote Hebrews? In the end, we must agree with the ancient scholar Origen, who concluded, “Who wrote the epistle is known to God alone.” All we can say with confidence is that it came from an apostolic figure who was likely a colleague of the apostle Paul. It did not please the Holy Spirit to have us know the human author’s identity, so we must content ourselves with knowing that the letter is the Word of God.

Also important is the identity of the recipients. The title “To the Hebrews” is not in the text, although it is found in all the earliest manuscripts. This, along with the letter’s content, argues persuasively that these were Jewish Christians who were under pressure to renounce the faith and return to Judaism.

As to their location, the two main options are Palestine and Rome. Those who argue for a Palestinian audience point out that Christians are known to have suffered at the hands of their fellow Jews, and also point to the detailed references to the Jewish temple ritual. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some have tried to show similarities to the writings of the Essene community in the Judean desert. Opposing this theory is the fact that all of the Old Testament citations in Hebrews are from the Septuagint, the Greek version common in that time, which was not used in Palestine as much as elsewhere. Also opposing a Palestinian background is the statement that the recipients of the letter had only heard of Jesus secondhand (see Heb. 2:3). Furthermore, Hebrews 12:4 states that earlier persecutions did not involve the shedding of blood, whereas those in Palestine certainly did from the very beginning.

Scholarly consensus has recently shifted in the direction of Rome. Clement of Rome, writing around a.d. 95, shows close familiarity with Hebrews, and the books of Acts and Romans speak of a large Jewish church in Rome from early on. The Jewish Christians there were persecuted in a.d. 49 under the emperor Claudius, and then again in the 60s under Nero. What we know of the former of these persecutions seems to fit the description of 10:32–34 and 12:4 (in that Claudius’s persecution involved loss of property and imprisonment, but not bloodshed), and the anticipation of violence fits the latter, with Nero’s notorious violence against Christians. Finally, there is the statement of Hebrews 13:24, “Those who come from Italy send you greetings.” It could be that a pastor now in Rome was writing to Jewish believers in Palestine. But the more natural reason for Italian Christians to send their greetings is that the readers were themselves from Italy.

If Rome was the location of the audience, then the letter would have been written shortly before a.d. 64, when Nero’s persecution broke out. Under almost all theories, Hebrews was written prior to a.d. 70, when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by the Romans. Not only does Hebrews speak of the temple rituals as a present reality, but it is hard to imagine its writer passing up such an opportunity as the fall of Jerusalem to prove the passing away of the old covenant religion.

The purpose of Hebrews is made clear by its content. The writer warns Christians not to fall back from faith in Christ in the midst of trials and exhorts them instead to press on to full maturity. The letter should not be thought of as a theological treatise, but as a sermon written by a pastor to a congregation from which he is separated. The writer describes it as “my word of exhortation” (13:22). His method is to point out the supremacy of Christ over everything to which the readers might be tempted to turn; he is superior to angels, to Moses and the prophets, to Aaron and the Levitical priests, to the blood sacrifices of the old covenant, and to the tabernacle and temple themselves. Since Jesus is the true messenger, the true prophet, the true priest, and the true sacrifice, to renounce him is to lose salvation altogether. Therefore, the readers must hold fast to Jesus Christ. The author’s plea is summed up in Hebrews 10:23: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

The final matter of background to consider is the place of Hebrews in the New Testament canon. The early church’s basic test of canonicity was proof of apostolicity. This did not mean that a book had to be written by an apostle, as is shown by the ready inclusion of Mark, Luke, Acts, and other books. It was sufficient for the author to be an associate of an apostle, so long as the teaching was apostolic in character. We should not think, however, that it was the church that created the canon, since really it was exactly the opposite. The canon—that is, the apostolic teaching of the New Testament writings—created the church. Hywel Jones aptly summarizes, “The canon was drawn up … by way of response to the effect which sacred literature had on those who heard it. The church’s formal acknowledgement of a piece of literature was an ‘Amen’ to the Holy Spirit’s testimony in it, and not a bestowing of its own imprimatur.”

Any introduction to Hebrews ought to conclude with an appreciation of its outstanding excellence. Here the last word is best given to John Calvin, who wrote in the dedication of his commentary: “Since the Epistle addressed to the Hebrews contains a full discussion of the eternal divinity of Christ, His supreme government, and only priesthood (which are the main points of heavenly wisdom), and as these things are so explained in it, that the whole power and work of Christ are set forth in the most graphic way, it rightly deserves to have the place and honor of an invaluable treasure in the Church.”

God Has Spoken

As soon as we begin the Book of Hebrews, we encounter what is perhaps the single most important statement that could be made in our time: “God spoke” (Heb. 1:1). This is one of the most vital things people today need to know. Ours is a relativistic age; as many as 70 percent of Americans insist that there are no absolutes, whether in matters of truth or morality. Secular society having removed God, there no longer is a heavenly voice to speak with clarity and authority. The price we have paid is the loss of truth, and with truth, hope. Even when it comes to those things we think we know, we now consider them mere constructs of thought amidst the constant flux of uncertain knowledge and belief. Really, we are told, we don’t know anything for sure, nor can we.

All this is especially the case when it comes to our knowledge of God himself. Can we know our Creator, if there is one? Is there a Savior to help us? Unless God has spoken, we cannot even be sure he is there; unless God is there, there is no ultimate hope for us as individuals, and no answer for the ultimate problem of death. Job asks, “Can you find out the deep things of God?” (11:7) and answers No. By definition, God is beyond the realm of our senses, from which all our self-gained knowledge has to come. Therefore, if God is there and wants us to know him—if he has an answer, a plan, or a salvation—he is going to have to speak to us. And he must speak in a way we can understand. Therefore, there is nothing more important, nothing more essential, than what Hebrews says in its very first verse: “God has spoken.”

This is the uniform testimony of the Bible about itself, that it is God’s very Word. The Bible’s books were written by human authors, who spoke and wrote in human language. But the Bible insists that through them God himself spoke and speaks to us still. Peter explained, “Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). This is what we refer to as the Bible’s inspiration. God has communicated to us through the Holy Spirit’s leading of its human authors. The point is not that these books contain the inspired insights of men; the point is exactly the opposite. Indeed, we might better speak of the Bible not as being inspired but as being expired. It is God’s Word as from his very mouth, given through the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of human servants. This is what Paul emphasizes in 2 Timothy 3:16, where he says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God.”

The divine authorship of Holy Scripture needs to be emphasized today, especially since contemporary scholarship tends to focus on the human authors. It is right, of course, to realize the human contours God used to give different shape to different Bible books. Moses had his own experience and calling and personality and gifts, and God used them to craft a particular message in the books that Moses wrote. The same is true of Paul and John and all the other biblical writers. But while the Bible itself affirms this, its own emphasis is on divine authorship. Hebrews 1:1 says that God spoke “at many times and in many ways,” and that God employed “the prophets” to do this. But in all of this it was still God who spoke. It is not Moses who spoke in Genesis, nor David who spoke in the Psalms, nor Paul who spoke in Romans. God spoke in the Bible, and we must regard all Scripture as his holy Word.

The Book of Hebrews gives the Bible’s own slant on the process of revelation. Whenever the writer cites Scripture, it is never the human author whom he credits but the divine Author. In Hebrews 2:12 he cites Psalm 22:22 and ascribes it to Jesus Christ speaking in the Old Testament. Hebrews 3:7–11 cites Psalm 95, but prefaces it not by saying “as David said,” but “as the Holy Spirit says.” So it goes all through Hebrews. The point is not to deny the significance of the Bible’s human authors, but to show that our emphasis, following the Bible’s own emphasis, must always be on God speaking in his Word.

This has several important implications. First, if God speaks in the Bible, then the Bible carries divine authority. Today, many want to set aside the Bible’s teachings when they collide with current cultural standards. But just as God commands our obedience, so he also demands that we humbly obey his Word. There is nothing so important for Christians to recover today as the awe and respect that Scripture deserves as God’s own revelation to us.

Second, if God wrote the Bible, then it is enduringly relevant. After all, if God does not change—and by nature he cannot—then his Word does not change either. It is true that some things said in the Bible were intended only for its original recipients. God told Moses, not us, to “Go down to Egypt.” But the teaching given all through the Bible—on God’s character, on sin and on his moral standards, on the good news of salvation and how it comes to us—abides forever for the simple reason that God abides forever. The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 13 that Christian standards of conduct remain the same because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (13:8).

God not only spoke in the Bible to those who first received it, but he speaks as well to those who read it today. This is emphasized in Hebrews. In Hebrews 3:7, for instance, the writer cites Psalm 95, written a thousand years before, and writes, “as the Holy Spirit says.” He uses the present tense. It is not merely what the Holy Spirit said back when David wrote it, but what the Holy Spirit says now as God speaks to those who read it. This is why the Bible is fully relevant to all our needs today.

Third, since God has spoken in the Bible, even though he did so with great diversity—“at many times and in many ways”—we also hold to the unity of the Bible. The Bible consists of sixty-six books written over at least thirteen hundred years by over forty different people. And yet it is one book with one unified message. James Boice explains:

These people were not alike. Some were kings. Others were statesmen, priests, prophets, a tax collector, a physician, a tentmaker, fishermen.… Yet together they produced a volume that is a marvelous unity in its doctrine, historical viewpoints, ethics and expectations. It is, in short, a single story of divine redemption begun in Israel, centered in Jesus Christ and culminating at the end of history.… Behind the efforts of the more than forty human authors is the one perfect, sovereign and guiding mind of God.

This provides us with an important interpretive principle, namely, that Scripture is best interpreted by Scripture itself. Since the Bible is one message spoken by God, we should understand the teaching in one passage in light of the way that teaching is given elsewhere in Scripture. To be sure, the Bible’s message is progressively revealed, so that the gospel appears in bud in the Old Testament and in bloom only in the New Testament. Many doctrines are therefore progressively revealed. Nonetheless, the clear teaching God gives in one place constrains our interpretation of the same subject elsewhere in the Bible. This is most relevant to our study of Hebrews, where the author not only finds numerous Old Testament passages to be relevant to his readers, but under the Holy Spirit’s control also gives us an authoritative guide as to how we should understand them (as well as the whole Old Testament).

The Final Revelation in God’s Son

These opening verses tell us not merely that God has spoken, but that his final and definitive revelation is in and through his Son, Jesus Christ. The writer makes this point through three contrasts in Hebrews 1:1–2. First, there is the when of revelation: “long ago,” in contrast to “in these last days.” Second, there is the to whom of revelation, “to our fathers,” versus “to us.” Third, there is the how of revelation, namely, “at many times and in many ways … by the prophets,” versus “by his Son.”

The author’s point, which is the burden of the entire Book of Hebrews, is to show the superiority of Christianity to the old covenant religion. He wastes no time getting to this point, arguing the supremacy of Christ over the prophets. This supremacy does not in any way malign the Old Testament faith. Unlike pagan religions, it was a legitimate revelation and a true faith. In the Old Testament “God spoke,” and it was God-given religion. Nonetheless, Christ is superior and with his coming there is now no excuse for reverting back to Judaism.

The author describes former revelation as coming “at many times and in many ways.” His point is not merely the diversity of revelation in the Old Testament, but its fragmentary, incomplete, and gradual character. Take any one book of the Old Testament—perhaps Genesis, with its rich scenes of creation, fall, and redemption; or Esther, with her courageous faith in an unseen God; or Psalms, with its heart-lifting poetry—and you will read true divine revelation, even necessary revelation. But each book is fragmentary and incomplete. The Old Testament is unfulfilled. It expectantly longs for the answer that comes in Jesus Christ. By contrast, God’s revelation in Christ is not partial or incomplete. This is why the Christian era is described as “these last days.” The point is not that Jesus is about to come back any minute, as many take this to mean (though other New Testament passages tell us to have this perspective), but that this is the age of fulfillment when God’s revelation has been made complete. This is what makes the when of Christian revelation so much better. Calvin comments, “It was not a part of the Word that Christ brought, but the last closing Word.”

Another reason for the superiority of the Christian faith is the contrast in the channel of its revelation, that is, the how. In the Old Testament, God spoke by the prophets, but in the New he speaks by his own Son. One could hardly find a greater group of spiritual giants than the prophets of the Old Testament. Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah—these were outstanding bearers of divine truth. Yet how they pale compared to the very Son of God come to earth. As Jesus put it, “He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all” (John 3:31).

The revelation in Christ, then, given not merely to our forefathers but preserved for us in Scripture, is superior to that given formerly through the prophets. Martin Luther concludes: “If the word of the prophets is accepted, how much more ought we to seize the gospel of Christ, since it is not a prophet speaking to us but the Lord of the prophets, not a servant but a son, not an angel but God.”

Jesus the Truth

Whenever we think of Jesus as the ultimate, final truth, we may remember the confrontation at his trial before Pontius Pilate. The Roman governor had demanded to know if Jesus really thought himself a king. Jesus replied that his kingdom was not of this world. When Pilate responded doubtfully, Jesus related his kingship to the revelation of God’s truth in the world. He said, “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). Christ reigns through God’s Word, because in Christ God has fully and ultimately revealed himself.

What a confrontation that was! Pilate represented the philosophy and wisdom of the world, with its relativism and cruel utilitarianism. Pilate was not able to accept that there could be truth at all. Looking into the very face of God’s Son, through whom God has revealed the ultimate truth, Pilate replied, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). This not only shows that what we call postmodernity, with its denial of truth, is really nothing new, but it also dramatizes the tragedy of our unbelieving world. Jesus put it this way: “This is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). There before Pilate stood the very Truth of God, and there was Pilate denying even the possibility of truth.

Pilate thought he was judging Jesus, but with the Truth before him it was the governor who really was on trial. The same is true today. When you read or hear God’s message through his Son Jesus Christ, you stand before the Truth. If you reject him, God’s final Word, you consign yourself to darkness—the darkness of spiritual blindness now and the eternal darkness that comes in God’s final judgment.

But if you look to Jesus Christ, and if in him you see and believe the very Truth of God, then God’s redemptive work of the ages will be fulfilled in you. “At many times and in many ways,” God began preparing the world through the prophets for the coming of his Son. Why? So that in these last days—these days of God’s redemptive fulfillment in Jesus Christ—we might enter into the fullness of salvation. This is what Jesus said to the disciples as they struggled to know the truth on the night of his arrest. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” he told them (John 14:6). And so he is for us. When we receive Jesus as the Truth, then he becomes the Way for us to enter into Life everlasting. This is why Jesus is God’s final Word, and why even if all else in this world is lost we must hold fast to him in faith.[3]


1:2 / In these last days (lit., “at the end of these days”) God has spoken through his Son. The writer uses eschatological language, that is, language of the last or end time, thereby affirming that we have entered the eschatological age. In other words, God’s plan has now come to fruition; we have entered a new age (cf. 9:26). A fundamental turning point has been reached as God speaks climactically, definitively, and finally through his Son. Any further speaking about what remains to happen in the future is but the elaboration of what has already begun. All that God did previously functions in a preparatory manner, pointing as a great arrow to the goal of Christ. This is the argument our author so effectively presents throughout the book. Christ is the telos, the goal and ultimate meaning of all that preceded.

But in what sense was the writer, or any of the writers of the nt for that matter, justified in referring to his time as the last days? The key to understanding this kind of statement (see also 4:3; 6:5; 9:26; 12:22ff.), is found in the theological ultimacy of Christ. There is no way our writer can have recognized the reality of Jesus Christ—who he is and what he has done—and not have confessed this to be the last time. The sense in which it is “last” is not chronological but theological. The cross, the death, and the exaltation of Jesus point automatically to the beginning of the end. Theologically we have reached the turning point in the plan that God has had all through the ages, so by definition we are in the last days. Eschatology is of one theological fabric: when God has spoken through his Son, the eschatological age has begun, and we are necessarily in the last days theologically. These are the last days because of the greatness of what God has done. The surprise is, of course, that this period of eschatological fulfillment is so prolonged that these last days are not necessarily (though for any age it may turn out that they are) the last days chronologically.

This book, this opening passage, and particularly verse 2, point to the centrality of the Son and the superiority of the Son to all that preceded, all that exists now, and anything that might exist in the future. God has now spoken to us climactically by his Son, in whom, as Paul puts it, all of God’s promises are “Yes” (2 Cor. 1:20). The very mention of the Son has strong ot messianic overtones, as is evident immediately in verse 5, which quotes Psalm 2:7, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father,” and 2 Samuel 7:14, “I will be his father, and he will be my son.” Indeed, the remainder of the chapter, with its numerous ot quotations, points to the unique identity of the Son as the Promised One, the Messiah designated by God to bring about the fulfillment of God’s great plan and purpose.

The true nature of the Son is then expounded in seven glorious phrases that portray his incomparable superiority. He is, in the first instance, the one whom he [God] appointed heir of all things. In the Hebrew culture, to be a son means to be an heir, especially when one is the only or unique son. Therefore, the Son of God, by virtue of his sonship, is appointed the one who will finally possess everything. To the messianic Son of Psalm 2:7 (quoted above) are also spoken the words, “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession” (Ps. 2:8). The Son is thus of central significance at the beginning, in creation, and at the end, in inheritance. Paul’s language is parallel: “all things were created by him and for him” (Col. 1:16).

Second, the Son is described as the one through whom he [God] made the universe. The Son is God’s agent in the creation of the universe of all space and all time—in short, of all that exists. This view of Christ is present also in the Fourth Gospel (John 1:3, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”), and in Paul (Col. 1:16, “all things were created by him”; 1 Cor. 8:6 “through whom all things came”). The background of this view possibly lies in the concept of Divine Wisdom, which, personified, is instrumental in creation according to Proverbs 8:27–31 (cf. Wisd. of Sol. 9:1f., 9).[4]


1–2. From the opening of the Epistle, in the solemn and striking manner, in which we have the Son of God introduced; I humbly conceive, that God the Spirit, intended thereby that the Church, should have proper conceptions of the dignity of his Person, before we are brought acquainted with the nature of his offices. Hence a line of everlasting distinction, is at once drawn, between him, and the highest order, of all his servants, whether angels, or men. And whereas in all former revelations, God spake in time past, through the ministry of the Prophets; now in this last and final dispensation, he speaks openly to the Church by his Son.

Now before the Reader goes a step further, I pray him to pause and consider, in what a glorious display of dignity and power, the Son of God is here introduced. In no method, but the Gospel method, could this manifestation be made. When God went forth in acts of creation, there was nothing of a personal nature in relation to the manner of existence, in the divine essence made known. The Holy Three in One, are represented indeed, as confering on the subject of forming man’s creation, different from what is said at the creation of other inferior creatures: but nothing more, by which the personal manifestations of each might be known. Gen. 1:26. It is in redemption, the several distinct acts of each glorious Person, in the Godhead, become manifest: so that we may truly say, the first footsteps of the Holy Persons of the Godhead are first traced in Christ; and the love of God in Christ to his Church here first broke forth, in open revelation to the Church. The Son of God comes forth from the invisibility, in which God in his threefold character of Persons by his very nature, and essence dwells; and makes known the sacred purposes of his will. God hath spoken to us by his Son. To this agrees in beautiful correspondence, what another inspired Apostle hath recorded: No man hath seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John 1:18. How the Son of God comes, and through what medium, his communications are made; is spoken of elsewhere. We are informed of his incarnation, and all the blessed events connected with that mysterious act, in those scriptures, which sum up the account of his wonderful Person, and character, by saying, that in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Coloss. 2:9. But in this place, no more is said, in relation to the difference between him, and his servants, than that the last days revelation, are not as were the former. This glorious truth, marks the striking distinction; and here it stands, as the title page, and contents of this whole book of God; God hath spoken to us by his Son. I pray the Reader, to note this, in the deepest memorandums of his heart, in proof of the Godhead of Christ and then prosecute what next follows, concerning his Person and Offices.

He is said, to be appointed heir of all things. This cannot be said of him as God; for his heirship, if it were supposed taken in this sense, could not be an appointed heirship: for by birth-right it is his. But in the mystery of his Person, it is spoken of him as God Man. And in this sense, he is truly, and properly appointed heir of all things. And the Church, are made heirs in him. Heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Rom. 8:17. Oh! the privilege of God’s children!

By whom also he made the worlds. Yes! this is a most clear, and decided doctrine, of scripture. God created all things by Jesus Christ. Ephes. 3:9. And according to the Holy Ghost’s account, by Paul, to the Church of the Colossians: not only all things were created by Him, but for Him; and by Him, all things consist. Indeed from that most blessed scripture, as well as some others, we are led to conclude, that without this mysterious Person, in his double nature, God and Man, in One; there could have been nothing, for creation to have rested upon. Nothing could have stood, or subsisted, but by dependence upon God. And yet nothing could have stood, in any way of subsistence with God. In the person therefore of God-Man alone, we find an adequate foundation to rest upon. And of Him, and Him only, as is soon after said, in this chapter, and confirmed by other scriptures, we find One competent to the Almighty work, of upholding all things by the word of his power. John 1:3, 4. I pray the Reader not to pass away before that he hath looked for further confirmation, to Colossians 1:15–17, with Commentary.[5]


Ver. 2.—In these last days. The true reading being ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων, not ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων, as in the Textus Receptus, translate, at the end of these days. The Received Text would, indeed, give the same meaning, the position of the article denoting “the last of these days,” not “these last days.” The reference appears to be to the common rabbinical division of time into αἰὼν οὖτος, and αἰὼν μέλλων, or ἐρχόμενος: the former denoting the pre-Messianic, the latter the Messianic period. Thus “these days” is equivalent to αἰὼν οὓτος, “the present age,” and the whole expression to ἐπὶ συντέλειᾳ τῶν αἰώνων, “at the end of the ages” (infra, ch. 9:26); cf. 1 Cor. 10:11, “for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.” The term, αἰὼν μέλλων, is also used in this Epistle (6:5); cf. 2:5, τὴν οἰκουμέγην τὴν μέλλουσαν. For allusions elsewhere to the two periods, cf. Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; 20:35; Eph. 1:21; Titus 2:12. Cf. also in Old Testament, Isa. 9:6, where, for “Everlasting Father,” Cod. Alex. has πατὴρ τοῦ μελλόντος αιῶνος. A subject of discussion has been the point of division between the two ages—whether the commencement of the Christian dispensation, ushered in by the exaltation of Christ, or his second advent. The conception in the Jewish mind, founded on Messianic prophecy, would, of course, be undefined. It would only be that the coming of the Messiah would inaugurate a new order of things. But how did the New Testament writers after Christ’s ascension conceive the two ages? Did they regard themselves as living at the end of the former age or at the beginning of the new one? The passage before us does not help to settle the question, nor does ch. 9:26; for the reference in both cases is to the historical manifestation of Christ before his ascension. But others of the passages cited above seem certainly to imply that “the coming age” was regarded as still future. It has been said, indeed, with regard to this apparent inference from some of them, that the writers were regarding their own age from the old Jewish standing-point when they spoke of it as future, or only used well-known phrases to denote the two ages, though they were no longer strictly applicable (see Alford’s note on ch. 2:5). But this explanation cannot well be made to apply to such passages as 1 Cor. 10:11 and Eph. 1:21, or to those in the Gospels. It would appear from them that it was not till the παρούσια (or, as it is designated in the pastoral Epistles, the ἐπιφάνεια) of Christ that “the coming age” of prophecy was regarded as destined to begin, ushering in “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:13) Still, though “that day” was in the future, the first coming of Christ had been, as it were, its dawn, signifying its approach and preparing believers for meeting it. “The darkness was passing away; the true light was already shining” (1 John 2:8). Hence the apostolic writers sometimes speak as if already in the “coming age;” as being already citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20); as already “made to sit with Christ in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:6); having already “tasted the powers of the age to come” (ch. 6:5). In a certain sense they felt themselves in the new order of things, though, strictly speaking, they still regarded their own age as but the end of the old one, irradiated by the light of the new. To understand fully their language on the subject, we should remember that they supposed the second advent to be more imminent than it was. St. Paul, at one time certainly, thought that it might be before his own death (2 Cor. 5:4; 1 Thess. 4:15). Thus they might naturally speak of their own time as the conclusion of the former age, though regarding the second advent as the commencement of the new one. But the prolongation of “the end of these days,” unforeseen by them, does not affect the essence of their teaching on the subject. In the Divine counsels “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Hath spoken unto us (more properly, spake to us) in his Son. “His” is here properly supplied to give the meaning of ἐν υἱῷ. The rendering, a Son, which seems to have the advantage of literalism, would be misleading if it suggested the idea of one among many sons, or a son in the same sense in which others are sons. For though the designation, “son of God,” is undoubtedly used in subordinate senses—applied e.g. to Adam, to angels, to good men, to Christians—yet what follows in the Epistle fixes its peculiar meaning here. The entire drift of the earlier part of the Epistle is to show that the idea involved in the word “Son,” as applied to the Messiah in prophecy, is that of a relation to God far above that of the angels or of Moses, and altogether unique in its character. This idea must have been in the writer’s mind when he selected the phrases of his exordium. Nor is the article required for the sense intended. Its omission, in fact, brings it out. Ἐν τῷ υἱῷ would have drawn especial attention to “the personage in whom God spake; ἐν υἱῷ does so rather to the mode of the speaking—it is equivalent to “in one who was Son.” Son-revelation (as afterwards explained), is contrasted with previous prophetic revelations (cf. for omission of the article before υἱὸς, ch. 3:6; 5:8; 7:28). Whom he appointed (or, constituted) heir of all things; not, as in the A.V., “hath appointed.” The verb is in the aorist, and here the indefinite sense of the aorist should be preserved. “Convenienter statim sub Filii nomen memoratur hæreditas” (Bengel). Two questions arise. (1) Was it in respect of his eternal Divinity, or of his manifestation in time, that the Son was appointed “Heir of all things”? (2) When is God to be conceived as so appointing him? i.e. What is the time, if any, to be assigned to the indefinite aorist? In answer to question (1) the second alternative is to be preferred. For (a) his eternal pre-existence has not yet been touched upon: it is introduced, as it were parenthetically, in the next and following clauses. (b) Though the term Son is legitimately used in theology to denote the eternal relation to the Father expressed by the Λόγος of St. John, yet its application in this Epistle and in the New Testament generally (excepting, perhaps, the μονογενὴς υἱὸς peculiar to St. John, on which see Bull, ‘Jud. Eccl. Cath.,’ v. 4, etc.), is to the Word made flesh, to the Son as manifested in the Christ. And hence it is to him as such that we may conclude the heirship to be here assigned. (c) This is the view carried out in the sequel of the Epistle, where the Son is represented as attaining the universal dominion assigned to him after, and in consequence of, his human obedience. The conclusion of the exordium in itself expresses this; for it is not till after he had made purification of sins that he is said to have “sat down,” etc.; i.e. entered on his inheritance; having become (γενόμενος, not ὢν) “so much better,” etc. This is the view of Chrysostom, Theodoret, and the Fathers generally (cf. the cognate passage, Phil. 2:9). (2) It seems best to refer the aorist ἔθηκε, not to any definite time, as that of the prophetic utterances afterwards cited, or that of the actual exaltation of Christ, but indefinitely to the eternal counsels, which were indeed declared and fulfilled in time, but were themselves ἐν ἀρχῇ. A similar use of the aorist, coupled with other aorists pointing to events in time, is found in Rom. 8:29, 30. What this heirship of all things implies will appear in the sequel. By whom also he made the worlds. Interposed clause to complete the true conception of the Son; showing who and what he was originally and essentially through whom God “spake” in time, and who, as Son, inherited. Here certainly, and in the expressions which follow, we have the same doctrine as that of the Δόγος of St. John. And the testimony of the New Testament to the pre-existence and deity of Christ is the more striking from our finding the same essential idea under different forms of expression, and in writings differing so much from each other in character and style. He who appeared in the world as Christ is, in the first place, here said (as by St. John 1:3) to have been the Agent of creation; cf. Col. 1:15–17, where the original creative agency of “the Son of his love” is emphatically set forth, as well as his being “the Head of the body, the Church.” This cognate passage is of weight against the view of interpreters who would take the one before us as referring to the initiation of the gospel ages; with respect to which view see also the quotation from Bull given below under ver. 3. Here τοὺς αἰῶνας is equivalent to “the worlds,” as in the A.V. For though the primary meaning of αἰών has reference to time—limited in periods, or unlimited in eternity—it is used to denote also the whole system of things called into being by the Creator in time and through which alone we are able to conceive time. “Οἱ αἰῶνες, sæcula, pro rerum creatarum universitate est Hebraismus” (Bull); cf. ch. 11:3, καταρτίσθαι τοὺς αἰωνας ῥήματι Θεοῦ: also 1 Cor. 2:7, πρὸ των αἱώνων: and 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2, πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων.[6]


2. Whom he hath appointed heir, &c. He honours Christ with high commendations, in order to lead us to shew him reverence; for since the Father has subjected all things to him, we are all under his authority. He also intimates that no good can be found apart from him, as he is the heir of all things. It hence follows that we must be very miserable and destitute of all good things except he supplies us with his treasures. He further adds that this honour of possessing all things belongs by right to the Son, because by him have all things been created. At the same time, these two things are ascribed to Christ for different reasons.

The world was created by him, as he is the eternal wisdom of God, which is said to have been the director of all his works from the beginning; and hence is proved the eternity of Christ, for he must have existed before the world was created by him. If, then, the duration of his time be inquired of, it will be found that it has no beginning. Nor is it any derogation to his power that he is said to have created the world, as though he did not by himself create it. According to the most usual mode of speaking in Scripture, the Father is called the Creator; and it is added in some places that the world was created by wisdom, by the word, by the Son, as though wisdom itself had been the creator, [or the word, or the Son.] But still we must observe that there is a difference of persons between the Father and the Son, not only with regard to men, but with regard to God himself. But the unity of essence requires that whatever is peculiar to Deity should belong to the Son as well as to the Father, and also that whatever is applied to God only should belong to both; and yet there is nothing in this to prevent each from his own peculiar properties.

But the word heir is ascribed to Christ as manifested in the flesh; for being made man, he put on our nature, and as such received this heirship, and that for this purpose, that he might restore to us what we had lost in Adam. For God had at the beginning constituted man, as his Son, the heir of all good things; but through sin the first man became alienated from God, and deprived himself and his posterity of all good things, as well as of the favour of God. We hence only then begin to enjoy by right the good things of God, when Christ, the universal heir, admits us into an union with himself; for he is an heir that he may endow us with his riches. But the Apostle now adorns him with this title, that we may know that without him we are destitute of all good things.

If you take all in the masculine gender, the meaning is, that we ought all to be subject to Christ, because we have been given to him by the Father. But I prefer reading it in the neuter gender; then it means that we are driven from the legitimate possession of all things, both in heaven and on earth, except we be united to Christ.[7]


2. In these last days could be understood to mean at the end of these days, which points most clearly to a crisis, a new decisive revelation contrasted both with the variety of modes and the necessity in the past for repetition. A once-for-all revelation is clearly superior. The writer may have been thinking of the last days as the concluding days of the pre-Christian period, much as the Jewish teachers divided time between the present age and the age of the Messiah. According to this view, since Christians believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the ‘last days’ were the end of the old era. But in view of the corresponding expression ‘at the end of the age’ in 9:26, it is more probable that ‘these last days’ refers to the Christian era, which involves a new era compared with the old. When God spoke to men by a Son, it was meant to mark an end of all imperfect methods. The curtain had finally fallen on the previous age and the final age had now dawned.

When, in the Greek text, the writer says a Son rather than his Son, he does this to show the superior means used. He is certainly not saying that God has more than one Son. He is implying that the finest of the prophets cannot stand comparison with a Son as a means of revelation. Of course, the idea of God’s Son coming to men is a stumbling-block to many, but the writer does not defend his statement. He sees no need to do so, in spite of the fact that his own contemporaries would have been no more used to the idea than we are. The pagans thought sometimes of the offspring of the gods, but this is a very different idea from Jesus as Son of God. Our writer must have assumed that his readers would acknowledge this without question. But he does not say at first that he is thinking of Jesus. That comes later in 2:9.

There is naturally a language problem here. For it may be questioned how meaningful the father-son idea is in reference to God, however valuable it is in human affairs. But in the attempt to put divine truth into human language, the best that can be done is to use the nearest approximation; so long as this is borne in mind, it becomes full of meaning. The essence of the Christian revelation is that God is best seen in his Son. The human analogy is of course imperfect, because no human father is completely reflected in his son. But Jesus Christ perfectly shows all that is knowable about the Father. No wonder our writer is struck by the superiority of this kind of message compared with the means used in the past! He knows that if men cannot learn about God from the Son, no amount of prophetic voices or actions would convince them.

Before he identifies the Son as Jesus Christ, he gives a description of the Son. It is a profound description for it tells us about what he is and not about his appearance. The writer wants us to know first of all about the Son’s relationship to the world of nature. It is understandable that he should begin with this, for the world of nature is our environment, our home. For many this is true to such a degree that they feel themselves encased in it and cannot conceive that anyone could be more powerful. This author’s view of the world agrees with that which is seen throughout the New Testament. It is a view which begins with God as creator and goes on to see Jesus Christ as closely linked with him in the creative act. In this way the impersonal universe at once becomes personal. The writer declares that God has appointed his Son, which is an act of personal initiative here (the Greek aorist ethēken must be regarded as timeless). The important truth in this passage is that everything goes back to God.

Why is it said that God appointed the Son the heir of all things? Does this mean that he became what he was not before? Time elements are apt to confuse. It is best to think of the created order as it is, and then to be reminded that it belongs to Jesus Christ. It is the present reality of the appointment that the writer is concerned about, and not about when it was made. Indeed, it is clear that the writer wants us to understand that there was never a time when the Son was not the heir. The two ideas, Sonship and heirship, are closely linked. In human affairs the eldest son is the natural heir. In the analogy a more profound thought is introduced. The heir is also the creator. He is not inheriting what he has not been connected with. He inherits what he himself made. The writer has at once plunged us into deep thinking about the origin of the world. Yet his interest in it is not theoretical but practical, reminding us of the teaching of Jesus about God and creation. It is his creation; he even notes the falling of the sparrows. It is reassuring to know that the Son has the same personal interest in the world around us. What this letter proceeds to say about Jesus Christ is clearly based on a high view of him.

The statement that God created the world through the Son is staggering. There is no denying that God could have made the universe apart from his Son, but the New Testament is at pains to show that he did not do so. The Christians were convinced that the same person who had lived among men was the one who created men. A letter such as Hebrews, written from this conviction, could not fail to present a more than human picture of Jesus Christ. It is noticeable that this writer uses the word for ‘ages’ (aiōnes) and not the usual word for worlds (kosmoi) when speaking about God’s creative acts. The reason is that the word for ‘ages’ is more comprehensive, including within it the periods of time through which the created order exists. The more science discovers about the universe, the more marvellous is the thought that Christ is the agent through whom it was made. Rationalists may contend that scientific discovery makes the New Testament view of the world untenable, but the Christian claims the opposite. The greater man’s understanding of the marvels of the universe, the greater the need for an adequate understanding of its origin. The belief in a personal creator is not less credible as man’s penetration into space grows.[8]


1:2 “in these last days” The Jews saw two ages: the current evil age of rebellion and sin and the coming age of righteousness inaugurated by the coming of the Messiah in the power of the Spirit. The OT emphasizes the coming of the Messiah in judgment and power to establish the new age. However, it failed to see clearly the first coming of Jesus as the “Suffering Servant” in Isa. 53 and the humble One riding the colt of a donkey in Zech. 9:9. From NT revelation we know that God planned two comings of the Messiah. The period between the Incarnation (the first coming) and the second coming involves the overlapping of the two Jewish ages. This is designated in the NT by the phrase “last days.” We have been in this period for over 2000 years.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THIS AGE AND THE AGE TO COME

The OT prophets viewed the future by an extension of the present. For them the future will be a restoration of geographical Israel. With the continued willful rejection of YHWH by the descendants of Abraham (even after the exile) a new paradigm developed in Jewish intertestamental apocalyptic literature. These writings begin to distinguish between two ages: a current evil age dominated by Satan and a coming age of righteousness dominated by the Spirit and inaugurated by the Messiah (often a dynamic warrior).

In this area of theology (eschatology) there is an obvious development. Theologians call this “progressive revelation.” Both Jesus and Paul affirm this new cosmic reality of two ages:

 

Jesus

 

Paul

 

Hebrews

 

Matthew 12:32

 

Romans 12:2

 

1:2

 

13:22 & 29

 

1 Cor. 1:20; 2:6, 8; 3:18

 

6:5

 

 

 

2 Cor. 4:4

 

11:3

 

 

 

Galatians 1:4

 

 

 

Mark 10:30

 

Eph. 1:21; 2:1, 7; 6:12

 

 

 

 

 

1 Tim.othy 6:17

 

 

 

Luke 16:8

18:30

20:34–35

 

2 Timothy 4:10

Titus 2:12

 

 

 

In NT theology these two Jewish ages have been overlapped because of the unexpected two comings of the Messiah. The incarnation of Jesus at Bethlehem fulfilled the OT prophecies of the inauguration of the new age. However, the OT saw His coming as one of Judge and Conqueror, yet He came at first as the Suffering Servant (cf. Isa. 53), humble and meek (cf. Zech. 9:9). He will return in power just as the OT predicted (cf. Rev. 19). This two-stage fulfillment caused the Kingdom to be present (inaugurated), but future (not consummated). See Special Topic at 2 Tim. 2:12. This is the NT tension of the already, but not yet!

 

© “His Son” The ANARTHROUS phrase “a son” should not be capitalized because the reference here is to the manner of revelation, not a title for Jesus (cf. 3:6; 5:8; 7:28). Jesus is not a servant like Moses or the prophets, but a family member.

© “whom He appointed” This is an AORIST ACTIVE INDICATIVE which implies simple action in past time. When did God appoint Jesus heir? Was it at His baptism (cf. Matt. 3:17) or resurrection (cf. Rom. 1:4)? This question led to the heresy of “adoptionism” which said that Jesus became the Messiah at some point in time. This, however, contradicts John 1:1–18; 8:57–58; Phil. 2:6–7; and Col. 1:17. Jesus has always been deity (cf. John 1:1–2); therefore, heirship must even predate the incarnation in an ontological sense.

© “heir of all things” As the “Son of God,” the unique son of God, He is the heir (cf. Matt. 21:33–46; Ps. 2:8). The amazing thing is that sinful humanity, through faith in Him, shares His heirship (cf. 1:14; 6:2; Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:7).

© “through whom also He made the world” It is always difficult to know for certain how related terms are to be interpreted. There is only a certain semantic overlap between synonyms. The technical Greek term for creation out of nothing is ktizō, yet the word in this text is poieō, which meant to form something from a pre-existing substance. Is the author using these terms synonymously or is a specific distinction intended? It is doubtful that a technical distinction is intended because the theological context refers to creation by the spoken word (ex nihilo, cf. Gen. 1:6, 9, 16, 20, 24, 26, but in 2:7 god formed man).

The term “world” is literally “ages” (aiōnos). This can refer to the earth (cf. Matt. 28:20) or to the ages (i.e. time). Jesus is surely the creator of both (cf. John 1:3; Col. 1:16; 1 Cor. 8:6). The author of Hebrews uses both aiōnos (cf. 1:2; 6:5; 11:3) and kosmos (cf. 4:3; 9:26; 10:5; 11:7, 38), apparently as synonymous terms.[9]


2a. But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.

Although the contrast between the times before the coming of Christ and the appearance of Christ as the completion of God’s revelation is striking in verses 1 and 2, the continuity of this revelation is also significant. Both parts of God’s revelation form one unit because there is but one Author. There is but one God who reveals, and there is but one revelation. The Word spoken by God to the forefathers in the past does not differ basically from the Word spoken to us by his Son.

Yet in many ways the contrast between the first and the second verse is obvious. We may show the contrast graphically:

God has spoken

in the

  OLD TESTAMENT ERA

 

NEW TESTAMENT ERA

 

how?

 

at many times

 

 

 

and

 

 

 

in various ways

 

when?

 

in the past

 

in these last days

 

to whom?

 

to our forefathers

 

to us

 

by whom?

 

through the prophets

 

by his Son

 

The figure appears to be incomplete: the “how” on the Old Testament side does not have a New Testament counterpart. The phrase “at many times and in various ways” lacks a parallel. The writer is pointing out that the fullness of revelation is unique, final, and complete. He is not implying that the piecemeal revelation given through the prophets was inferior and that the revelation provided by the Son was without variation. Not at all. The many-sided revelation of God that came repeatedly to the forefathers in the ages before the birth of Christ was inspired by God. It was a progressive revelation that constantly pointed toward the coming of the Messiah. And when Jesus finally came, he brought the very Word of God because he is the Word of God. Therefore, Jesus brought that Word in all its fullness, richness, and multiplicity. He was the final revelation. As F. F. Bruce aptly remarks, “The story of divine revelation is a story of progression up to Christ, but there is no progression beyond Him.”

Jesus himself did not write a single verse of the New Testament; men designated by him and filled with the Spirit wrote God’s revelation. Jesus, the living Word, speaks to us because no one else possesses equal authority; “for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). By his Son, God addresses all believers. In these last days God has spoken to us by his Son. The phrase in these last days is set over against the phrase in the past and refers to the age in which the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies has taken place. This age waits for the liberation “from its bondage to decay” to be “brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).

In the first two verses of Hebrews there is a contrast between the prophets, who were a distinct group of people chosen and appointed by God to convey his revelation, and the Son of God, who surpasses all the prophets because he is Son. In fact, all the emphasis in verse 2 falls on the word Son. There is, strictly speaking, only one Son of God; all others are created sons (angels) and adopted sons (believers). As God has spoken by his Son, so the Son has spoken by the apostles who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the books of the New Testament. The new revelation that God has given us in his Son is a continuation of the revelation given to the forefathers. God’s revelation, completed in his Son, is a unit, a harmonious totality in which the Old is fulfilled in the New.

2b. Whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

To express the excellence of the Son of God, the writer of Hebrews describes what God has done.

God appointed his Son heir of all things. An heir rightfully inherits whatever the father has stipulated in his will. As the one and only Son, Jesus thus inherits everything the Father possesses. Incomprehensible! Unfathomable!

The time when God appointed the Son heir of all things cannot be determined. The Son may have been appointed heir in God’s eternal plan. Or Jesus may have been appointed heir when in the fullness of time he entered the world, or when he pronounced the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18).

The writer of Hebrews immediately clarifies the term all things by saying that God made the universe through his Son. The phrase obviously refers to the creation account in the first chapters of Genesis. Many people think that the New Testament, which speaks about redemption, has nothing to say about creation. However, the New Testament is not entirely silent on this subject; both Paul and the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews teach that Jesus was active in the work of creation. In his discussion about the supremacy of Christ, Paul teaches: “For by him all things were created …; all things were created by him and for him” (Col. 1:16). And John in his Gospel confirms the same truth: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (1:3).

Through his Son, God made the universe. It is impossible for man to understand the full import of this statement, but complete understanding is not the objective at this point. However, it is important to recognize the majesty of the Son of God, who was present at creation and is the sovereign Lord of all created things. He is God.

The word universe signifies primarily the cosmos, the created world in all its fullness, and secondarily all the stars and planets God has created. But the meaning is much more comprehensive than this, because it involves all the events that have happened since the creation of this world. It concerns the earth and its history throughout the ages. The word has been interpreted as “the sum of the ‘periods of time’ including all that is manifested in and through them.” It refers not to the world as a whole but to the entire created order that continued to develop in the course of time.[10]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 1–7). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 39). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Phillips, R. D. (2006). Hebrews. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 5–15). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[4] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (pp. 22–23). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s New Testament Commentary: Philippians–Revelation (Vol. 3, pp. 203–204). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Hebrews (pp. 2–4). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 33–34). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Guthrie, D. (1983). Hebrews: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 15, pp. 67–70). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Utley, R. J. (1999). The Superiority of the New Covenant: Hebrews (Vol. Volume 10, pp. 8–10). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[10] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 27–29). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

October—26 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem.—Zech. 14:4.

My soul! pause over this blessed promise. To whom could it refer, but to Jesus? That day, through all the Old Testament dispensation, meant the gospel Church of the New Testament dispensation. And when the Son of God came, the day was come also. And did not Jesus stand often, during this day of his grace, in his own ministry, teaching the people on the mount of Olives? Yea, was it not the very last sacred spot on which his holy feet stood, when from thence he ascended to heaven, having finished redemption-work upon earth? My soul! do thou often, by faith, visit the hallowed ground, and from thence let thy meditation take wing, after thine ascended and exalted Saviour. And while, like the wondering disciples, looking after Jesus as he went up, thou art contemplating the glory of thy Lord, who is now above, carrying on all the blessed designs of his love, for which he came below; recollect the assurance that the angels who attended their Lord to grace his triumph, gave of his return: his feet shall again stand at the last day upon the earth. “He shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe.” Oh! for grace to be always on the look-out for my Lord’s return! Give me, blessed Jesus, to know thee as my Kinsman-Redeemer; to know thee as the Lord my righteousness; to be living upon thee now by faith, that then I may enjoy thee by living upon thy fulness, as in grace here, so in glory to all eternity. Amen.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 306). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

October 26 – See Three Things God Cannot Do! — VCY America

October 26
Jeremiah 49:23-50:46
Titus 1:1-16
Psalm 97:1-98:9
Proverbs 26:13-16

Jeremiah 49:23Hamath is an interesting city that nobody has heard of. It’s mentioned 39 times in the Old Testament and is the 4th largest city in modern Syria. It was a city state that sent gifts to David (2 Samuel 8:9). Sennacherib had conquered them as he went towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:34). By Jeremiah’s time it was considered part of the Syrian lands.

Jeremiah 49:28 – Nebuchadnezzar was used by God. But Solomon knew that already (Proverbs 21:1). All we have is under the Providence of God. I was just at Plimouth Plantation and a guide pointed out that the Pilgrims saw the Providence of God in every action of life. God has a plan for His people.

Jeremiah 50:2 – Psalm 75:7 exemplifies this and the previous chapter. God exalts and brings down nations.

640px-Ishtar_Gate_at_Berlin_Museum
The Ishtar Gate of Babylon By Rictor Norton – https://www.flickr.com/photos/24065742@N00/151247206/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1409322

Jeremiah 50:19 – God is not done with Israel! He will return Israel to the land!

Jeremiah 50:34 – This is my Redeemer too!

Titus 1:2 – This isn’t modern “hope I win the lottery” but sure confidence because God cannot lie!

IMG_1878
Many outreach ministries like this from 180Outreach invite people to see the 3 things God Cannot Do!

Titus 1:12 – Paul is quoting a pagan prophet. Paul was a Pharisee, skilled in the Jewish law, but also in pagan customs. He read greatly (2 Timothy 4:13).

Titus 1:13 – Rebuke them sharply! Paul is encouraging Titus in spite of the challenges in Crete.

  • “things that are wanting” (Titus 1:5),
  • “selfwilled…angry…given to wine… striker…given to filthy lucre” (Titus 1:7)
  • “gainsayers” (Titus 1:9)
  • “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers” (Titus 1:10)
  • “teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” (Titus 1:11)
  • “alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” (Titus 1:12)
  • “Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14)
  • “their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15)
  • “abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).

Psalm 97:9 – This is a key verse in understanding the nature of God in regards to his transcendence – “existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.”

Psalm 98:3 – In Joshua 2:10-11, the Jerichoites heard about how God parted the Red Sea. We have a responsibility today to take His message to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20).

Proverbs 26:14 – Not just fools, but sloths. Those who prefer their bed will not be used to their fulness by the LORD.

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

October 26 – See Three Things God Cannot Do! — VCY America

October 26th The D. L. Moody Year Book

And He mid unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.—1 Corinthians 12:9.

I FIND that many Christians are in trouble about the future; they think they will not have grace enough to die by. It is much more important that we should have grace enough to live by. It seems to me that death is of very little importance in the meantime. When the dying hour comes there will be dying grace; but you do not require dying grace to live by. If I am going to live for fifteen or twenty years, what do I want with dying grace? I am far more anxious about having grace enough for my present work.

I have sometimes been asked if I had grace enough to enable me to go to the stake and die as a martyr. No; what do I want with martyr’s grace? I do not like suffering; but if God should call on me to die a martyr’s death, He would give me martyrs’ grace. If I have to pass through some great affliction, I know God will give me grace when the time comes; but I do not want it till it comes.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 189–190). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Cartoons and Memes · Oct. 26, 2020