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Trip 1078:  Necessity of Endurance and Godliness—Part 2; Benediction; The Book of 2nd Peter (67/68 A.D.): Countering Heresy; Evidence of a True Knowledge of Christ

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:      __Hebrews 13        __2nd  Peter 1

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 13:4:  “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

Love for our fellow man must be an outward sign of our faith in God.  We should offer hospitality to strangers, because God may send some angels disguised as humans.  We should minister to those in prison and others who have been ill-treated or suffered persecution with as much compassion as if we were in their circumstances.  God holds the bonds of marriage in high esteem and those who break these bonds through sexual immorality face the judgment of God. The Christian life and covetousness cannot be mixed, so Christians must be free from the love of money in order to effectively serve the Lord.  We are to imitate the faith of the great Christian martyrs Stephen, Christ’s brother James, James the brother of John, and others who faced suffering and martyrdom and were faithful to Christ to the very end.  We are to continually offer the sacrifice of praise with joy to God.  Our lips are a spiritual indication of what is in our hearts and we are also to offer to God the sacrifices of good works and service, being submissive to our spiritual leaders in order to achieve maturity in the faith.  The book of 2nd Peter is written to Jewish Christians and emphasizes the sufferings of Christ.  All believers receive divine power from God to take care of all things necessary for living a life of godliness.  God’s Word has been given to us and we are guided by His Holy Spirit, having escaped the corruption of the world. Because of these gifts from God we should make every effort to cooperate with Him, being disciplined and growing in faith, self-control, patience, fellowship, and in service and Christian love…these things are the signs of spiritual maturity.  By exercising these gifts, Christians will assure themselves of not stumbling in the Christian life and failing in God’s calling for them. When believers accept Christ into their hearts they spiritually enter the kingdom of God and will enter bodily into heaven at their glorification at Christ’s Second Coming.  Believers’ works of grace on earth will be crowned with rewards of grace in heaven.  In order to stay on track and not get sidelined, God’s people must be constantly reminded of their glorious future.  Peter knew of his coming death and felt an urgent need to keep reminding the saints of their future in Christ and assured his readers that after his death his letter would help remind them of the instructions he had given to them in gospel truths.  Peter reminded his readers that the Word of God is based on truth and has the testimony of the apostles who were eyewitnesses to rule out any made up stories or myths from human wisdom.  The Word of God has also been proven by the fulfillment of the prophecies about Christ, described in this passage as “the Day Star” or “Morning Star” when Christ comes back for His own.  All Scriptures have been divinely inspired and given to men by the speaking of the Holy Spirit.  It is easy to understand this by simply reading the Bible through and seeing how impossible it would be for scores of men from different countries and hundreds of years apart to write prophecies and stories that fit together perfectly as one unit!

 
 

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Trip 1077:  Superiority of Faith—Part 2; Necessity of Endurance and Godliness

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Hebrews 11:17 through Hebrews 12:29

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 12:1:  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Abraham’s faith was severely tested when he was told by God to present his only son Isaac as a sacrificial offering (Genesis 22:1-10). His faith conquered the fear of death because he was obviously confident that God would raise up Isaac from the dead.  This was a beautiful analogy of the resurrection because Isaac was symbolically dead through his potential sacrifice.  Isaac showed his great faith by assigning things still in the future when he blessed his sons Jacob and Esau.  Joseph by faith mentioned the exodus of the Israelites on his deathbed, believing that God would keep His word to deliver His people.  Moses by faith refused the riches of Egypt and endured hardship with God’s people.  He began the Passover by faith, knowing that God’s death angel would “pass over” the Israelites.  Joshua had faith that the walls of Jericho would fall. Rehab the prostitute showed her personal faith in God by admitting the Israelite spies and showing them kindness.  Other heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews chapter eleven are: Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel. More saints and their works are mentioned, including the many who suffered for the cause of God.  People were not worthy of these great saints of God and condemned themselves by mistreating them.  When Christ returns He will bring salvation to both Old Testament and New Testament saints who have shown their great faith in God.  All believers should “run the race of faith” because all the saints that have gone before us are cheering us on from the grandstands of heaven!  Just as a runner focuses his eyes on the finish line, so we as Christians are to fix our focus on the Lord Jesus as we run the race of faith. Just as a runner is disciplined by his coach, so we must be disciplined and chastened by God and are to understand that this is necessary for our own good, just as the discipline of a human father to his son is a necessity.  Even though discipline seems painful at the time, it yields the great results of the fruit of righteousness in the long run.  Through grace, the Hebrew believers would come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, also known as the New Jerusalem.  A warning is given for those who refuse to obey the voice of Christ:  If those Israelites who refused to obey Moses were punished by God, how much more punishment will be given to someone who refuses to obey God’s own Son?  Believers are to show their gratitude for the grace they have received from God through Christ by serving God with reverence and awe because God is “a consuming fire” but Christ is our “fire escape”.

 
 

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Trip 1076:  A Better Sacrifice—Part 2; Superiority of Faith

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Hebrews 10:11through Hebrews 11:16

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 10:24-25:  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews continues to prove why the new covenant is superior to the old because the continued sacrifices of the Levitical priest could never actually remove or take away sins.  Christ’s work was complete and now He waits in heaven to return and see His rule established throughout the earth.  Because Christ’s sacrifice wiped away sins for those who accept Him, there is no further need for continual “sin offerings” to be made.  Believers can now boldly enter the very presence of God because the blood of Christ has “torn the curtain” and made new access to God for all Christians.  Christ is our High Priest, enabling us to draw near to God personally because He is in our hearts. The writer of Hebrews warned the readers against lapsing back into Judaism, being careful not to regress into worn-out rituals and ceremonies in order to atone for their sins.  To do this would be an outright rejection of Christ’s finished work for us on the cross.  The Hebrew Christians were called on to continue to stand firm in the midst of persecution from legalistic and unbelieving Jews.  The theme of the Christian’s life is faith rather than legalistic rituals and rites. The famous 11th chapter of Hebrews is known as the “faith chapter” or the “roll call of the faithful” because of the writer expounding upon this theme.   Faith is to be the main ingredient of things hoped for and hope is faith in action with regard to future promises.  Faith is also being convicted of things not yet actual, yet certain they will happen.  Abel’s sacrifice was more excellent than Cain’s because he was obedient to God.  Enoch’s walk with God was so obedient that he was taken to heaven without dying physically!  Noah had so much faith that he built an ark without any visible signs of rain and therefore saved his entire family!  Abraham displayed an obedient faith in leaving his home for Canaan even when the Canaanites still possessed that land.  Sarah displayed faith to conceive Isaac even though far past the age of child bearing.  All of these Old Testament saints died in faith without seeing the promises of God fulfilled!  Reading this “faith chapter” is a great way to strengthen your own faith if it needs bolstering.  How long has it been since you’ve had to take a “faith step” or “faith leap”?  Many times God wants us to step out on faith before He will bless us.  An example of that kind of faith is when a missionary comes to your church and you feel a burning desire to go to that country as a volunteer missionary but you don’t have the finances.  Many who have been in that situation simply stepped out on faith and made the commitment, knowing that if God had put the desire in their heart, He would also supply the resources they needed.  I have talked to many people who made such a step and in every case the money was provided, including a trip to Kenya, Africa made by my wife and me!

 
 

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Trip 1075:  Better Promises; Better Sacrifice

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Hebrews 8:6 through Hebrews 10:10

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 8:6:  “But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.”

The old covenant was enacted on promises which were inferior to the new covenant which was established on Jesus Christ.  The old covenant or Mosaic Law was founded on conditions of obedience which had to be met in order to receive blessings from God but the new covenant is unconditional and God does the work.  The old covenant did not have finality and had it been satisfactory, a new covenant would not have been necessary.  The old covenant was bogged down with rituals and laws which became meaningless to the Israelites, such as the daily repeated activities relating to sacrifice and worship.  These ordinances served as symbols and illustrations for the future ministry of Jesus Christ until He could set things right through His death on the cross.  Christ’s coming as High Priest fulfilled the types of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods.  Christ replaced the need for the earthly high priest to enter the holy of holies once per year because He entered the real Holy of Holies in heaven for us and presented His own blood as atonement for our sins.  Without Christ’s death there could have been no new covenant, nor could we have Him as Mediator between a holy God and guilty sinners in order for us to be reconciled to God.  The only way a covenant could be sealed in the Old Testament is though a blood sacrifice and Christ sealed the new covenant with His own blood, giving us the promise of eternal life.  The one final sacrifice of God’s own Son is better than all the Levitical sacrifices because Christ entered into heaven Himself to present His sacrifice to God for us.  This perfect sacrifice was foretold by David in Psalms 40:6-8 when he said that animal sacrifices were powerless to remove man’s sins.  Being infinite, Christ was able to take all the sins of the world, both present and future, upon Himself at one time.  There is nothing more that can be done on Christ and God’s behalfs….now the rest is up to man whether or not to accept the free gift of eternal life the Lord offers us!

 

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Trip 1074:  Jesus as a Better Covenant Administrator—Part 3; Superiority of the New Covenant to the Old Covenant — A Better Tabernacle

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Hebrews 6:9 through Hebrews 8:5

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 6:10:  “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” 

The author of Hebrews expressed his confidence that the Hebrew Christians would remain strong in their faith despite all the apostasy that had surrounded them. They must resist the temptation to laziness and apathy and be imitators of the saints like Paul.  These Hebrew believers had God’s covenant with Abraham as their assurance of continuing in the faith as did Abraham because he knew God’s promises never fail.  Christ is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, the assurance of all believers and the object of our hope.  Melchizedek, known as “king of Salem”, which is an ancient name for Jerusalem, is “priest of the most high God”, and he received tithes from Abraham.   Melchizedek symbolizes Christ’s unending priesthood and his appearance in the Old Testament is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.  Aaron paid tithes to Melchizedek, but Aaron’s priesthood was temporary whereas the order of Melchizedek is permanent.  Christ’s priesthood from the order of Melchizedek is therefore a permanent and eternal priesthood, superior to the priesthood of Aaron and perfectly suited to the believer’s needs.  In comparison to the daily sacrifices needed in the Aaronic priesthood, Christ’s one sacrifice is the ultimate and final sacrifice needed to redeem all mankind.  Christ has now taken His seat at the right hand of God the Father in heaven thereby superseding the Aaronic priesthood.  Whereas the high priest in Israel could only go into the holy of holies once a year, Jesus sits permanently on the throne of heaven.  The earthly tabernacle was only a shadow of the heavenly tabernacle which is built by the Lord and not man.  Just as every priest must have something to offer, Christ offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for all eternity in order to remove sin.  The high priest could not enter the holiest place without a blood offering, and Jesus used his own blood as an offering in order to enter heaven where he now ministers as Priest.  Earthly priests in the Old Testament were merely a shadow or type of the true Priest, Jesus Christ.

 
 

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Trip 1073:  Jesus as a Better Covenant Communicator—Part 2; Jesus as a Better Covenant Administrator

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Hebrews 3:14 through Hebrews 6:8

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 4:12:  “For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Hebrews gives man a strong warning against rejecting the calling of the Holy Spirit. In commenting on Hebrews 3:7-19, John MacArthur Jr. says, “The Holy Spirit seems to be giving a supernatural push to anyone on the edge of accepting Jesus Christ.  Many people intellectually accept the gospel.  They believe its message, but never commit themselves to the One whom that gospel proclaims.  They do not repent of their sins and turn wholeheartedly to Him as Savior and Lord. It is no favor to God and no benefit to us to like, to admire, to praise His gospel, without accepting and obeying it.  To know the truth and not accept it brings worse judgment than never to have known it at all.” *   The book of Hebrews tells us that the New Testament is more important than the Old Testament because of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we must be careful not to let unbelief allow us to fall away from God like the Israelites did.  Because they disobeyed God, all the males 20 years and older had to die off before they could enter the Promised Land, which took 40 years.  We still have the promise of God of entering the Promised Land by receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord.  The plain and simple truth is that if people do not have faith, they cannot receive the Good News of Christ.  The conquest Joshua made in Canaan did not lead to a permanent possession, but the conquest that Christ made on the cross leads to the permanent victory of eternal life in heaven!  Although God’s Word is a serious instrument of judgment, He is also full of grace and mercy.  Christ’s qualifications for the role of our High Priest are outlined in the 5th chapter of Hebrews.  Christ is a priest because he is sympathetic to our needs as humans since He lived in a human body for more than 30 years and was appointed to the office of priest by God through the order of Melchizedek.  Melchizedek is a type or “shadow” of Christ, because he has no beginning or end, has never seen death, and the permanence of his priesthood is continued by Christ.  Hebrews, along with Daniel and Revelation, is one of the most difficult books in the Bible to understand.  The MacArthur Commentary cited from the earlier quote would be an excellent book for your library and for further study!

* John MacArthur, Jr., “The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Hebrews” (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1983), p. 86

 
 

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Trip 1072:  Avoiding Apostasy — The Book of Hebrews (68/69 A.D.): Superiority of Jesus to the Old Covenant; Jesus as a Better Covenant Communicator

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Hebrews 1:1 through Hebrews 3:13

Focal verse(s):  Hebrews 3:4:  “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”

The authorship of Hebrews is uncertain.  It may have been written by Paul or Apollos, but no one is sure.  It is not known to which church the letter was directed, but the reason for writing it is clearly to comfort Christians being persecuted and to keep them from the disbelief which surrounds them.  In the first 2 chapters a comparison is drawn between Christ and the angels and also Christ and the prophets.  Christ is God’s Son, heir of all things, creator of the world, and equivalent to God.  He cleansed our sins through His death on the cross, upholds all things, and sits at the right hand of God.  Christ is superior to the angels, only being made lower than them during the time of his humiliation and crucifixion.  Christ is coming again to rule the world during the Millennium when all things will be put under His feet.  In chapter 3 we see the superiority of Christ over Moses:  Whereas Moses was a servant over God’s house, Christ is the Son over His own house.  All believers are the temple or “house” of God because Jesus built that house and paid for it with His own blood and then “moved-in” when we accepted Christ as our Lord!  Hebrews warns believers not to harden their hearts against obedience to God as the Israelites did, because they paid dearly for their disobedience with 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.  Believers are to encourage each other daily so that their hearts will stay tender and yielding to the will of God.

 
 

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