EPISTLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Chapter 1: Outline of God's Master Plan from before creation to judgment
Chapter 2: Don't drift. All this was for you to make you sons of God.
Chapter 3: Remain faithful. Though the Jews were led out of Egyptian slavery, they went astray.
Chapter 4: God rested the 7th day when through with his work. You can rest only when thru with your work.
Chapter 5: Jesus understands. He begged God with loud cries, then submitted to the persecution.
Chapter 6: God keeps his promises, just like he did to Abraham millineums ago.
Chapter 7: Originally Abraham worshipped through a priest named Melchizedek. The Levi priests came later.
Chapter 8: God eventually reinstated the superior Melchizedek priesthood through Jesus in the N.T.
Chapter 9: Don't fall back into O.T. worship; it's obsolete. God gave us a N.T. with our tabernacle in heaven.
Chapter 10: This was God's will and we must persevere and not fall, or else there awaits only hell.
Chapter 11: All those great men in the Old Testament who faced obstacles stuck with it and arrived in heaven.
Chapter 12: You, too, can endure. So don't be weak-kneed and fall back. Heaven's right around the corner.
Chapter 13: No matter how bad things got, Jesus never forsook us, all the way to the cross; so no matter how bad things get for you, never forsake Jesus.
The author of Hebrews is unknown, being written after both Peter and Paul were executed. The author, apparently writing from prison in Rome, can say first hand what it is like to endure persecution. "Pray so that I may be restored to you soon....Those from Italy send you their greetings" (13:19, 24). "Our brother Timothy has been released" from prison (13:23).
Thus far, persecution had originated primarily from the jealous Jews [Hebrews] who in turn sometimes convinced the Romans Christians were traitors. So many Christians were tempted to return to Judaism. But a year after this was written, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. This epistle (1) explained that when Christ died, he put in place God's New [Last Will and] Testament [Covenant] not requiring the Temple, and (2) helped Jews [HEBREWS] to not lament because Judaism with its Temple is no longer needed, for Christianity is here to stay.
Josephus described the downfall of the Old Testament Temple in his Wars of the Jews, Book V thusly: "[While Jerusalem was surrounded] Titus...sent a party of horsemen and ordered they should lay ambushes for those that went out....first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city...while they caught every day five hundred Jews....He hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight....when their multitude was so great that room was wanting for the crosses...." [11:1]
"Then did the famine widen its progress and devoured the people....[looters] were still more terrible...thrust some of those through that lay still alive....they had them cast down from the walls into the valleys beneath. However, when Titus, in going his rounds along those valleys, saw them full of dead bodies and...gave a groan; and spreading out his hands to heaven, called God to witness that this was not his doing" [12:1-3].
The Jews refused to open the gates and come out of Jerusalem, so Titus alternately tore down a wall and asked Josephus to beg the people to surrender. The account continues in Wars of the Jews, Book VI:
"...the Jews were so distressed by the fights they had been in, as the war advanced...creeping up to the holy house itself, that they cut off those limbs of their body which were infected in order to prevent the distemper's spreading farther; for they set the north-west cloister...on fire...and thereby made a beginning in burning the sanctuary: two days after...the Romans set fire to the coister when the fire went fifteen cubits farther. The Jews, in like manner, cut off its roof....even when it was in their power to have stopped the fire; nay, they lay still while the temple was first set on fire...."[2:9].
"Titus gave the orders that the battering-rams should be brought and set over against the western edifice of the inner temple...battered the wall for six days....But when Titus perceived that his endeavors to spare a foreign temple turned to the damage of his soldiers and made them be killed, he gave orders to set the gates on fire....the silver that was over them quickly carried the flames to the wood that was within....This fire prevailed during that day and the next also; for the soldiers were not able to burn all the cloisters that were round about together at one time...."[4:1-3].
"On this day the Jews...gathered their whole force together and ran upon those that guarded the outward court of the temple....Hereupon the Jews found themselves not able to sustain their onset...shut themselves up in the inner court of the
temple. So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia and resolved to storm the temple the next day...but as for that house, God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come according to the revolution of ages....Those that guarded the holy house fought with those that quenched the fire that was burning in the inner court of the temple...and proceeded as far as the holy house itself....As the flames went upward the Jews made a great clamour, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it...."
"Titus...rose up in haste and...ran to the holy house in order to have a stop put to the fire....when they were come near the holy house, they made as if they did not so much as hear Caesar's [Titus'] orders to the contrary....Now round about the altar lay dead bodies heaped one upon another; as at the steps going up to it ran a great quantity of their blood, whither also the dead bodies that were slain above on the altar fell down.
"And now, since Caesar [Titus] was no way able to restrain...fury of the soldiers and the fire proceeded on more and more, he went into the holy place of the temple, with his commanders, and saw it with what was in it....prevented Caesar [Titus] when he ran so hastily out to restrain the soldiers, and threw the fire upon the hinges of the gate in the dark; whereby the flame burst out from within the holy house itself immediately...and thus was the holy house burnt down...." [4:4-7].
"While the holy house was on fire....the flame was also carried a long way and made an echo...one would have thought that the whole city had been on fire. Nor can one imagine anything either greater or more terrible than this noise....Perea [on the other side of the Jordan River nearby] did also return the echo, as well as the mountains round about the city....
"[Jews] who might have saved themselves by going over to the Romans...threw themselves into the fire and were burnt together with the holy house....The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters that were in the outer court of the temple, whither the women and children and a great mixed multitude of the people fled, in number about six thousand....Nor did anyone of these escape with his life...."
"Thus were [in the recent past] the miserable people...belied God himself; while they did not...give credit to the signs that...did so plainly foretell their future desolation....Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet that continued a whole year....Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner court of the temple, which was of brass and vastly heavy and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men...was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night....But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle that was found in their sacred writings how about that time one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth...." [5:1-4].
"Now, when Titus was come into this upper city, he admired...strength...strong towers...solid altitude...largeness...he expressed, 'We have certainly had God for our assistant in this war, and it was no other than God that ejected the Jews out of these fortifications; for what could the hands of men or any machines do toward overthrowing these towers!'....Now the number ...carried captive during this whole war was collected to be 97,000; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege 110,000...for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread [Passover] [9:3].
Christ's Revelation is Superior to O.T. Prophets
1:1-2 In the past, God spoke through _________________________________, but in these latter days, he spoke to us directly through God the ________________________.
1:4 Christ is superior even to the ______________________.
Christ is Superiority Over Angels
1:5 a. Eternal Child: "You are my __________________."
1:6 b. Earthly Child: "Let all God's angels ________________________ him" [which they did to the Shepherds].
1:7 c. Birth of Church: "He makes his angels winds [the rushing mighty wind], his servants flames [cloven tongues] of ____________________."
1:9 d. Rule from Heaven: "Your God has set you above...by anointing [that's what Messiah means] you."
1:10-11 e. Creation & Destruction of Earth: "You laid the ____________________ of the earth....they will __________________."
1:13 f. Judgment: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your ___________________________ your footstool."
1:14 Besides children having "guardian angels," who else does? ____________________________________________________
2:1-2 Can a Christian drift away and be punished? ________________________ "We" indicates that included the author.
2:3-4 What was the purpose of signs, wonders and miracles? _______________________________________________________
2:9 Jesus tasted of what for everyone? __________________________________ He was our proxy.
2:11,14 Jesus made us his brothers and sisters by sharing in our _________________________________.
Christ is Superior to Moses and His Law
3:3 Jesus is worthy of _______________________________ honor than Moses.
3:5-6 Moses was just a faithful ______________________, while Christ was a faithful _____________________.
3:14 We must _______________________________________ until the end.
3:16-18 The Israelites were led out of Egypt to the Promised Land by Moses, having faith in God's promise. But after all that, they did not believe God was with them, so God refused to let them enter the Promised Land. They all died in the desert. Entering the Promised Land meant entering God's ______________________.
4:1 So, too, Christians will not be able to enter our "rest" heaven if we fall _______________________.
4:4 When God created the world, he called the ____________________________ [to]day the day of rest.
4:9-10 There is yet another Sabbath rest for Christians in heaven, but only after our work is done.
4:11 Let no one __________________________ by following the [wandering Jews'] example.
Christ is Superior Over O.T. Priesthood
4:14 Who is the Christian's high priest? ______________________________
5:4 Old Testament high priests had to be in the order of who? _________________________
5:10 Our New Testament high priest, Jesus, is in the order of who? ________________________________
6:6 Christians who fall away are ____________________________________ the Son of God all over again. (6:4,7: The word "impossible" here in Greek means feeble with lack of strength.)
6:11 We must stay faithful to the very end in order to make our hope ___________________.
6:19-20 Although only high priests were allowed behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year, Jesus our high priest went there______________________________________ us, so we can enter it too later.
7:11 God created the ______________________________ priesthood in the Law of Moses, and the ________________________ priesthood at the time of Abraham and resumed through Christ.
7:12 In order to change the priesthood, there had to be a change of the _____________________ of God.
7:13-14 Jesus belonged to the wrong tribe to be obeying the Law of Moses. Our Lord descended from the tribe of _____________.
7:18 The ______________________________ regulation was set aside, for the law of Moses made _______________________ perfect, and a _________________________ hope was ________________________________.
7:22 Jesus became the guarantee of a ___________________________ covenant [testament].
Christ's Sacrifice is Superior to the O.T. Ones
8:2 Jesus, our high priest, serves in ________________________ in that sanctuary, the ______________ tabernacle.
8:5 The sanctuary/tabernacle on earth served as a ______________ and shadow of what is in ______________________. That is why Moses warned them when building the tabernacle, "See to it that you make everything according to the ญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญ__________."
8:6 Jesus is mediator of a covenant [testament] that is _________________________ to the ______________ one.
8:7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that _____________________ covenant, no place would have been sought for _______________________.
8:8 God predicted through his prophet that he would make a ___________________ covenant.
8:13 By calling this covenant/testament ______________________, he has made the first [old] one ________________________, and it eventually _________________________________________. [The "soon" here probably referred to the impending destruction of the Temple where they had been commanded to worship according to the Old Testament.]
9:1 The _________________________ covenant/testament had _____________________________ for worship and an earthly __________________.
9:11 Christ went through the _________________ and more ______________________ tabernacle not man-made. Verse 24 says the Christian's sanctuary is where? __________________________________
9:15 Christ is the mediator of a _____________________________ covenant/testament. Christ died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the ______________________________ covenant. [In other words, Christ's death was retroactive to believers under the Old Testament Law.
9:16-19 To put the first/old will/testament into effect, what animals died? ____________
9:23 They were copies of ________________________________ things.
9:25 How often did the earthly high priest of the old testament have to offer sacrifices? ________________________________
9:26 But Christ appeared _____________________________ for all by sacrificing _________________________.
10:1 The law of Moses was only a _________________________ of the good things to come. Sacrifices offered endlessly _________________ after year could not make us ___________________________.
10:4 It is ____________________________ for the blood of bulls and goats to take away _______________.
10:5 So Christ came in a body so he could become our perfect ____________________________.
10:9 Jesus set __________________ the first to establisha the ____________________.
10:11 Priests under the old law of Moses went to the tabernacle ____________________ after day, and offered the same sacrifices _____________________________ and again.
10:12 But Christ, our priest, offered for ________________ time _____________________ sacrifice for sins.
10:15-16 Think about this: The Holy Spirit testifies to us how? [Hint: Read John 14:17 and 17:17] _________________________
10:20 The curtain hiding the Holy of Holies from all but the High Priest, represented who in the new covenant/testament? _______
10:25 Therefore, let us not give up __________________________________ ______________________________ as some are in the ___________________________ of doing, but meet all the ___________________________ as we see the Day of Judgment approaching.
10:26-27 If we deliberately ___________________________________________ sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no ___________________________________ for sin is left, but raging _____________________.
10:29 When a Christian falls, we ______________________ the Son of God under foot and insult the _______________________.
10:33 The author warns them not to fall away, even though they were exposed to _________________________ and persecution, sympathized with those of their number in ________________________, and joyfully accepted the ______________________ of their __________________________.
Plea to Remain Faithful
11:4 Even though Abel was persecuted and killed for being righteous, God spoke ___________________ of him.
11:5 Because of Enoch's faith, he did not experience ______________________.
11:7 Noah's actions of faith of getting into the ark condemned the ___________________ who refused to.
11:8-10 Abraham left home and went to another country, even though he did not know where he was ________________________, because he was actually looking for the city built by __________________________.
11:13 Even though now dead, all these people are still _________________________ as examples of persistence.
11:33-37 Now-dead followers of God shut the mouths of ________________________, quenched the fury of the ____________________, escaped the edge of the ___________________________. Others were _____________________ and refused to be __________________________ [by denouncing God]. Some faced ______________________ and _______________________, while still others were ____________________________ and put in ______________________.
11:38 The world was ____________________________________________ of those they killed. They ________________________ in deserts, mountains, caves and holes in the ground.
11:39-40 Yet none of them received their promised reward while on earth; God had planned something ______________________.
12:1 Some people believe this verse means that the righteous now in heaven witness what we are going through.
12:3 We must consider Jesus who endured sinful men, so we will not grow weary and ___________________ heart.
12:4 You think things are hard for you now, but you haven't yet resisted to the point of shedding your _____________________.
12:7 We are to endure persecution and hardship as _______________________________.
12:12 Therefore, strengthen your ___________________________ arms and _________________________ knees.
12:14 Despite persecutions, we must make every effort to live in ______________________ with ________________ men.
12:18,22-23 We haven't come to a __________________________ [Sinai] that can be touched. We have come to Mount _______________, the
______________________________________________________, the city, which is the ________ of the first born, whose ___________________
are written in heaven.
13:6 The Lord is my ___________; I will not be _______________ of what man can do to me.
13:9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of _______________________________ teachings.
13:11-12 Just as animals sacrificed in the Most Holy Place as sin offerings were later taken outside the camp/city, so Jesus was sacrificed
________________________ the city of Jerusalem.
13:13 Let us be willing to bear the ___________________________ Jesus bore.
13:15 What is one sacrifice we can offer to God? ___________________________
13:16 What is another sacrifice we can offer to God? _________________________________________________
13:17 The church's leaders who watch over us must give an ______________________ to God.