It has been quite a while since I have shred anything on this site, but I perceive it may be time to begin again.
This is a piece that I wrote quite a while ago on Hebrews 12:18-24 where the writer of Hebrews is comparing the First Covenant (the Law) and the Second Covenant (the Blood of Yeshua (Jesus).
As has been my practice in the past, please contact me if you find and error according to the Bible.
The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
When we accept Yeshua ben-Elohim (Jesus, Son of God) as Adonai (Lord) of our lives, where have not arrived at spiritually?
If we look at Hebrews 12:18-20 provides the answer:
- A mountain that can be touched.
- A blazing fire
- Blast of a shofar
- A Voice that whose words made those who heard it beg that not another word be spoken to them
When we accept Yeshua ben-Elohim (Jesus, Son of God) where have arrived spiritually?
If we look at Hebrews 12:22-24 Adonai (the Lord) provides the answer. It is as follows:
- Mount Zion.
- The city of the living Elohim.
- The heavenly Jerusalem
- Myriads of Angels
- A joyful gathering
- The assembly of the first born
- To Elohim the Judge of all
- To the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect.
- To Yeshua
- To the Mediator of the new covenant
- To the sprinkled Blood that speaks something better than the blood of Abel.
The writer of Hebrews takes the beginning of Chapter 12 to speak about the discipline of Adonai (the Lord) for the believer. At the end of this chapter he takes a turn to a new area. The Hebrews that had become followers of Yeshua (Jesus) would have been well aware of the differences between the First Covenant (delivered through Moses) and the Second Covenant (delivered by the Blood of Yeshua (Jesus)) To the Hebrews the difference of the two Covenants would have been as different as day and night. He writes to remind them where they are spiritually since they have turned their lives over to Yeshua (Jesus). One must remember the writer is addressing those of the Hebrew faith.
Earlier in this book, the writer began this differentiation. Nowhere that I could find in First Covenant are the Hebrews ever referred to as sons of God (I could be wrong). In the Second Covenant, however it is laid out in Hebrews 2:5 – 18. They are referred to as “sons and daughters” and ‘brothers and sisters”:
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
Furthermore, In Paul’s writing to the Galatians, it is stated:
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:5-7
So now he begins to again demonstrate the differences between the First Covenant and Second Covenant by reminding them of how the First Covenant was delivered in comparison with the Second Covenant which was initiated by the Blood of Yeshua ha-Mashiach (Jesus Christ). He begins by comparing the mountain which signifies both Covenants. In the First Covenant, it was mountain that can be touched. It was a physical thing. It represented things of the earth. In the Second Covenant, it called Mount Zion, a reference to the spiritual representation of the Kingdom of Elohim (God).
Next he calls it a blazing fire for the First Covenant. It is a thing that invokes fear and is unapproachable. For the Second Covenant he calls it “the city of the living Elohim (God)”. It is a place where we will live with Elohim (God) forever. Elohim (God) will be approachable instead of a “blazing fire”.
He continues by describing where the First Covenant was as a place of “darkness”. There was no light at the giving of the First Covenant. Things were hidden. They were needed to be sought out and to be grasped after. In the Second Covenant it is “the Heavenly Jerusalem”. This is place that is always engulfed with light. It is described as not needing the sun or moon because the “Lamb” will be its lamp.
The next description the writer is gloom to describe the first covenant. The entire law which was handed down to Moses covers much more than the Ten Commandments. I will not take the time to go into detail on this, but I challenge you to go into Exodus and Leviticus and find all the laws that applied to the First Covenant. Furthermore, when the writer of Hebrews, through his study and learning, realized the Law was created to point to sin and the ability to attain perfection through the total obedience of the Law was unattainable. I cannot speak with certainty, but his own life as a Hebrew and his attempt to follow the law may have led him to this conclusion even before he became aware of the Gospel. The Second Covenant provides joy instead of gloom as it provides total forgiveness for sin.
The word “storm” is used to signify the conditions on Mount Sinai when the First Covenant was delivered. It is described as “thunder and lightning”. Again it was sign to be feared. If you look at one of the key events of the Second Covenant, the conditions were that of sound of a mighty rushing wind that filled the whole house. Note it says it was a sound; therefore it was the sound that filled the whole house. But there was no storm of anything that would cause fear. This is a big difference.
He continues to describe the sound when the First Covenant was delivered as a “Blast of a shofar”. The sounding of a Shofar could symbolize a call to battle from among other things. Was that what the writer was saying in this description, that the First Covenant would be a call to war for the individual, a war between doing what the Law required and the self-seeking of the Human condition? I will ask you to seek the Lord on this. As mentioned above, the Second Covenant had the sound of a “rushing wind”. One of the uses of the wind in biblical times was during the wheat harvest, where they would thresh wheat and then toss it in the air to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you look in the bible, this is often used to symbolize the removal of the bad or unusable from the good or usable. This is a good description what happens during the discipleship process of the Second Covenant.
The last descriptive is “A Voice that whose words made those who heard it beg that not another word be spoken to them”. Remember it is stated in various places that a person could see the Face of Elohim (God) and remain alive. Just the sound of the Voice of Elohim (God) in the delivery of the First Covenant was one that the people could not receive. It frightened them. In the Second Covenant, it speaks of a “joyful gathering”. This is much different than the dread that was felt at the voice of Adonai (the Lord). In the Second Covenant here is instance after instance where Adonai (the Lord) speaks to individuals covered under the Second Covenant and there is no sign of fear or dread as Adonai (the Lord) speaks.
In some of further descriptions of the Second Covenant, the writer notes that “a Myriads of Angels” accompanies the Second Covenant. In the First Covenant, there was no mention of angels in these verses (although earlier in Hebrews it does speak of the First Covenant being
“spoken through angels” Hebrews 2.2). Remember in the Bible angels are described as “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” in Hebrews 1:14. The Second Covenant speaks of having ministering spirits to serve us. The First Covenant does not have this condition.
The Second Covenant was also characterized as “The assembly of the first born”. This was a comment of a new group that Adonai (the Lord) would claim to be His in the stead of the Hebrews.
It also lists the participants in the Second Covenant, Elohim (God) the Judge of all, the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect, Yeshua (Jesus), and the Mediator of the new covenant. In the delivery of the First Covenant, it did not mention any participants in the Covenant, but required obedience to the Law without exception. In the Second Covenant we will see Elohim (God) face to face and those that we knew here on earth that accepted the Lordship of Yeshua and better yet, they will be completely perfect. Finally Yeshua (Jesus) Himself will be there to greet us and He will show himself as the Mediator that bridged the gap between Elohim (God) and mankind so we can participate in this Second Covenant.
Finally it speaks of “the sprinkled Blood that speaks something better than the blood of Abel”. We come to full realization of the Blood that was shed to cleanse us of all unrighteousness when we enter the Second Covenant.
So why was the writer making all these comparisons after speaking of the discipline of Adonai (the Lord)? From the viewpoint I have, it was to give another reason not to be complaining or disheartened by this discipline. It is as if he is saying to the Hebrews “Even if we are being disciplined and it appears to be tough, do not complain. Look at what we have now in the Second Covenant in comparison to the First Covenant.” Furthermore if you refer back to the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 11 and the trials they went through, you must also take into consideration that all those people mentioned were under the First Covenant, not the Second. It was also a point of reference and comparison to give another viewpoint of how we are to accept and handle Adonai’s (the Lord’s) discipline.
Okay, who can trace their heritage back to Abraham? I did not think anyone could. So if we are considered “gentiles” and this was written to Hebrews, why should it concern us? If the Hebrews who were the chosen people of Elohim (God) were to draw the conclusion that the discipline of Adonai (the Lord) under the Second Covenant was to be endured without complaint because it was highly superior to the First Covenant, we who were not even considered during the First Covenant, should have even less to grumble about since we have been offered a Covenant that far surpasses anything we had had in our past history.
So when the discipline of Adonai (the Lord) comes into life, and it will, if you are true sons and daughters reflect on these things and do not grumble.