Hebrews 1:1-3 (Outline)

Note: If you did not get the “Introduction to Hebrews” read it first.
http://wdunaway.blogspot.com/2016/05/introduction-to-hebrews.html

HEBREWS – CHAPTER ONE

I. CHRIST IS SUPERIOR TO THE PROPHETS (Heb. 1:1-3)

He is the complete and final revelation of God to man and for man.

Verse 1: God, who at various times – That is, many times or many parts. God revealed His will in many parts on many occasions little by little.

(1) For example, the prophecies concerning Christ were revealed little by little. See Gen. 3:15; 12:1-3; 49:10; Deut. 18:15-18; Isaiah 7:14; Isa. 9:6-7; Isa. 53; etc.

and in various ways – Different ways or methods. This refers to the different ways the prophets made known the revelations to the fathers about Jesus.

(1) For example, types, figures, dark sayings, as well as plain language, were used by the prophets in revealing the message of God about Jesus.

spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,- A prophet is “one who speaks for another.” This refers to the prophets in the O.T. and includes the heads of the family in the Patriarchal Age. God spoke “through” them (O. T. prophets) “to” them (O. T. saints).

Verse 2: has in these last days – The Christian Age – the last dispensation of time on this earth. In the beginning there was “The Patriarchal Age;” next was “The Mosaic Age;” and then finally there was the last age or the “Christian Age” which began in Acts 2 and ends when Jesus returns the second time (Heb 9:28).

(1) Acts 2:15-17 Spirit was to be poured out in the “last days.”
(2) Luke 24:46-47 Authority of Jesus over the church began on Pentecost in Acts 2 and continues until the “end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).
(3) Acts 11:15 Peter referred to Pentecost in Acts 2 as “the beginning” of the “last days.”

spoken to us by His Son – Jesus spoke the words that the Father gave Him to speak. The authority to preach remission of sins “in Jesus name” had it’s “beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lk. 24:46-47).

(1) John 14:10 – “The words I speak, I speak not of myself….”
(2) John 8:28 – As the Father taught, He spoke.
(3) John 3:34 – Jesus spoke the words of God.
(4) John 12:49 – The Father gave Him commandment what to speak.
(5) Matt. 28:18 – Jesus has the authority to speak.

whom He has appointed heir of all things – An heir is one who inherits what the Father has. Jesus is the “heir” of the world and so are all saints (Rom. 4:13).

through whom also He made the worlds – Jesus was the active agent in creation.

(1) John 1:1-3, 14 – All things made by the “Word.”
(2) Col. 1:16 – By Christ were all things created.
(3) Eph. 3:9 – God created all things by Jesus Christ.
(4) Gen. 1:26 – “Let us” – This shows that more than one member of the Godhead was in on creation.

Verse 3: who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person – All that God is, has been expressed in Christ.

(1) John 14:8-9 – “He that bath seen me bath seen the Father.”
(2) John 1:18 – “No man has seen God; the Son has declared him.”
(3) NOTE: When we see Christ, we see the Father. His attitude and the way He acted when He was on earth is the same as the Father would have acted if He had come to earth instead of Christ. The way Christ acted in time of trouble, temptation, etc. is the same identical way the Father would have acted. The way Jesus loved and cared for others is exactly the way the Father loves and cares for others.

and upholding all things by the word of His power – Christ keeps things going. He not only created the world but He keeps the world going.

1. Rev. 1:5 He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.

when He had by Himself purged our sins – He took away our sins. He cleansed us from our sins by His death.

(1) John 1:29 – Takes away sin.
(2) Matt. 1:21 – He saves from sin.

sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
– He sat down on the right hand of God.

(1) Acts 2:33 — Peter said that is where He is.
(2) Heb. 8:1 – He is on right hand of Majesty in the heaven.
(3) Heb. 12:2 – He is on “right hand of the throne of God.”

CONCLUSION: Why is the Son superior to the prophets? Because:

(1) He is the Son (v. 2a).
(2) He is heir of all things (v. 2b).
(3) He made the worlds (v. 2c).
(4) He is the express image of God (v. 3a).
(5) He upholds all things by the word of His power (v. 3b).
(6) He is seated at the right hand of God (v. 3c).
(7) He is more than just a prophet. He is also Priest and King.
(a) Prophet – He spoke (v. 1).
(b) Priest – He made purification for sins (v. 2a).
(c) King – He sat down on throne (v. 2b).

(8) Christ is superior to the prophets because these things cannot be said about the prophets, but they can be said about the Son.

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

The Security of the Saints

THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS

I. SAINTS ARE PARDONED.
II. SAINTS ARE PROTECTED.
III. SAINTS ARE PRESERVED.

Body:

I. SAINTS ARE PARDONED. (Ps. 37:39)

A. Our salvation is “from the Lord” (v.39).
B. It is not from perfect law keeping or from legalism. It is from the Lord.
C. He saves His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).
D. We “feed on His faithfulness” (v.3).
E. And He is “faithful to forgive our sins” (1 Jn. 1:9).
F. Our “lawless deeds are forgiven.”  Our sins (the ones we commit as saints) are covered. (Rom. 4:7-8).  (Note:  Not were covered, but are covered).
G. When it comes to the saints God is “not imputing their trespasses to them” (2 Cor. 5:19).

II. SAINTS ARE PROTECTED. (Ps. 37:39-40).

A. God “is their strength” (v.39).  He “shall help them” (v. 40a).  He shall deliver them” (v. 40b).
B. The Lord “upholds the righteous” (v.17).
C. Though he falls he will not be utterly forsaken “for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (v. 23-24).
D. We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Pet. 1:5).
E. He is able to “keep” what we have committed to Him until that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
F. Jesus said concerning His sheep (saints), “I know them…and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand” (Jn. 10:27-28) (See also Psalm 37:17-18).
G. Paul said that nothing in the world around us, above us, beneath us, nor anything present or to come, can separate us from the love that God has for His saints (Rom. 8:33-38).

III. SAINTS ARE PRESERVED. (Ps. 37:28)

A. He will not forsake us (v.28c). (See also Heb. 13:5-6).
B. Saints are “preserved forever” (v. 28b).
C. Saints are “preserved in Christ Jesus” (Jude v.1).
D. As many as have been “baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27).
E. And our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
F. He will present saints to Himself “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Eph. 5:27).
G. Because we are preserved in Christ we will be presented “faultless before His presence” (Jude v. 24).
H. God has sanctified us completely.  Our whole spirit, soul, and body will be “preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23).
I. The next verse says “He who calls you is faithful, who also will (not might, may, or should, but will) do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).

Conclusion:  Psalm 37 teaches the faithful not to fret.  Because of our faith we have a tremendous future.  We are pardoned.  We are protected.  We are preserved blameless in Christ.  Therefore all saints should “delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:11).

A related article: What a believer who becomes unbeliever? https://waynesblogsite.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/the-security-of-the-believer-2/

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

Introduction to Hebrews

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF HEBREWS

(The title of the book is not inspired, but was added by translators)

I. WHO WAS THE BOOK WRITTEN TO?


The book was written to “Hebrew Christians.”

A. They were “holy brethren” (Heb. 3:1).


B. They had been “enlightened” (Heb.
10:32).

C. They were Christians who could “pray” (Heb.
13:18).

D. They were “good Christians” (Heb.
10:32-34).

E. They were not new converts (Heb.5:12)

F. It was written to Jewish Christians probably living in and around Jerusalem.

II. WAS THE BOOK WRITTEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL?


The book, while addressed to the Hebrews, was written for all Christians.

A. What Jesus said to apostles, He said to all. (Mark 13:17).


B. The letter Paul wrote to Titus was for the benefit of all. (Titus 1:4 &
3:15).

C. All the epistles were written for all to read and observe. (Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27)

D. What Jesus said to the church in
Ephesus was for all to hear. (Rev. 2:1 & 7)

E. The above references are enough to show that Hebrews (as well as all the books of the New Testament) was written for the benefit of all Christians.

III. WHAT IS THE THEME 0F THE BOOK?

The theme of the book is “the superiority o£ Christianity over Judaism” or “the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant” or as I would say it, “
The Superiority of the Lord’s Authority
.”


A.  Hebrews deals with the Lord’s authority over the devil and death.
1. Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death. (Heb. 2:9)

B. The book deals with the Lord’s superiority over the Law of Moses.
         

1. He took away the old covenant in order to establish the New. (Heb. 10:9)


2. He replaced the “first covenant” (old) with the “second” (new). (Heb. 8:6-12).

C. The book also deals with the Lord’s authority over sin and temptation.

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1. He helps those who are tempted. (Heb. 2:14-18)

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2. There is always grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:15-16)
IV.

WHAT IS A GOOD OUTLINE OF THE BOOK?

(A) The superior PERSON of Christ (Chapters 1-4).

1. Christ is superior to the prophets. (1:1-3)


2. Christ is superior to the angels. (1:4-2:18)

3. Christ is superior to Moses. (3:1-19)

4. Christ is superior to Joshua. (4:1-15)

(B) The superior PRIESTHOOD of Christ (Chapters 5-10).

1. Christ a superior High Priest. (5:1-7:28)


2. Christ has a superior covenant. (8:1-9:22)

3. Christ has a superior sacrifice. (
9:23-10:39)

(C) The superior POSITION of those in Christ (Chapters 11-13).

1. Christians receive superior blessings. (11:1-40)


2. Christians are in a superior kingdom. (12:1-28)

3. Christians offer superior sacrifices. (13:1-25)

V. WHY WAS THE BOOK WRITTEN?

The book was written to warn against falling away from Christ. It was written to discourage these Jewish Christians from leaving Christ and the gospel and returning to Judaism. It was written to encourage them to remain faithful to Jesus and His message.

A. This explains the many warnings against apostasy.

1. They are warned against “neglecting so great salvation.” (Heb. 2:3-4)


2. They are warned against “departing from the living God.” (Heb. 3:12)

3. They are warned against “falling away.” (Heb. 6:1-6)

4. They are warned against “forsaking the assembly of the saints” and “sinning willfully” (Heb.
10:25-31).

5. They were warned against “turning away from Him who speaks from heaven.” (Heb. 12:25)

B. This also explains the statements about the “better” things of Christianity.

1. Better than angels. (Heb. 1:4)


2. Better hope. (Heb. 7:19)

3. Better testament. (Heb. 7:22; 8:6)

4. Better promises. (Heb. 8:6)

5. Better sacrifices. (Heb. 9:23)

6. Better substance. (Heb. 10:34)

7. Better country. (Heb. 11:16)

8. Better thing. (Heb. 11:40)

VI. WHO WROTE THE BOOK?

Only God knows for sure.  Some have suggested: Clement of Rome; Luke; Barnabas; Apollos; and Paul (See Dickson Bible, pg. 1387). I favor the idea that it was Paul.

A. The strongest evidence against Paul being the author (with my response).

1. The language of Hebrews 2:3-4 implies the writer was not an apostle.

 My response: In I Peter 1:12 Peter referred to “those who have preached the gospel to you,” but he was not excluding himself.

2. The writer was associated with the
Jerusalem church, while Paul is mostly associated with Antioch and Gentile Churches. (Heb. 13:19).
 My response:  In Acts 9:26-28 and 15:25Paul was considered part of the Jerusalem Church at times.

3. The writer did not sign it as Paul usually did his letters.
 My response: The author of the book probably had a good reason for not signing his name to it.  The reason could very well be that he didn’t sign the epistle lest it might discourage his Jewish brethren from reading it and judging it by its merits other than its inspiration. This reason applies to no one else so well as to the apostle Paul.  There was strong and general prejudice among both the converted and unconverted Jews of that day against Paul. That is possibly why he didn’t sign it. (See Gospel Advocate Series, pg. 17 & 18).

4. Paul said that his “salutation” was in every letter that he wrote. (2 Thess. 2:17).
  My response: The word “salutation” does not mean “signature.” He did not say he “signed his name” to every letter, but he did give the “salutation” of Paul which is, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all” (2 Thess. 2:18). In every letter he wrote he invoked “grace” to those to whom he was writing and he did this also in Hebrews 13:25.

B. The strongest evidence for Paul’s authorship.

1. Heb. 10:34 – The writer refers to his “bonds.”  This surely fits Paul.

(See Acts 28:16, 30 & 31; Philemon v.10; Col. 4:18; Phil. 1:16; & Eph, 6:20.)

2. Heb.
13:24 – The writer was in Italy when the book was written. Paul was also in “bonds” and in “Rome” (Italy).  See Acts 28:16, 20, 30, & 31.

3. The writer wanted them to “pray for him.” (Heb. 13:18). A request for prayer is common for Paul. (See Eph. 6:18, 19; 1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 3:1; Rom.
15:30; 2 Cor. 1:11; Philemon v.22.)

4. The writer seemed to be a close friend to Timothy (Heb.
13:23).  Paul was close to Timothy.  (See 2 Cor. 1:1; Col. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; & 1 Tim. 1:2.)

5. Peter said Paul had written an epistle to the Jews. (2 Peter 3:15).  This may refer to “Hebrews” (Scholars like Pink and others say it does).

6. The writer invokes “Grace” on his readers. (Heb. 13:25). This surely sounds like Paul.  (See Romans 16:24; 1 Cor. 16:23; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 6:24; Phil. 4:13; Col.4:18; 1 Thess. 5:28; 2 Thess. 3:18; 1 Tim. 6:21; 2 Tim. 4:22; Titus 3:15; Philemon v.25; & Hebrews 13:25).

7. The writer uses the word “mediator” (Heb. 8:6;
9:15; 12:24).  Paul is the only New Testament writer to use this word. See 1 Timothy 2:5 & Galatians 3:19, 20.

8. Many words and expressions used in Hebrews are used by Paul elsewhere.

a. Heb. 5:12,13 – Milk and meat.

1 Cor. 3:1 – Paul refers to milk and meat.

b. Heb. 10:1 – “Shadow of things to come.”
Col. 2:17 – Paul says, “Shadow of things to come.”

c. Heb.
12:14 – “Follow peace with all men.”
Rom. 1.2:18 – Paul says, “Live peaceably with all men.”

d. Heb.
13:20 – God is called “the God of Peace.”
Rom. 16:20 –Paul refers to “the God of peace.” (See 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 4:9; & 1 Thess. 5:23.)

e. Writer quotes Psalms 2:7. (Heb. 1:5).
Paul quotes Psalms 2:7 in Acts 13:33.

f. Compares Christian life to a “race”. (Heb. 12:1).
1 Cor. 9:24-25 compares Christianity to a race.

g. Writer appeals to his “good conscience.” Heb. 13:18.
Paul appeals to his “good conscience” (Acts 23:1).

h. Acts
9:15 – Paul was to bear the name of Jesus, not only to the Gentiles, but also to the Jews.

9. The external evidence favors Paul. Boatman says, “Tradition of the church in the East, where the epistle was first received, is unanimous in ascribing authorship to the apostle Paul (Commentary on Hebrews, pg. 11; College Press Series).


10. It really does not matter who actually wrote the book as long as we understand that that the one who did write it was “moved by the Holy Spirit” to write (2 Pet.
1:20-21).
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org

MDR: Can the Guilty Person Remarry?

CAN THE GUILTY PERSON WHO IS PUT AWAY BECAUSE OF FORNICATION MARRY SOMEONE ELSE?

This is from my book “Just As I Am: Married, Divorced and Remarried”

But the question is: Can a man (and the same would be true of a woman) who has been guilty of “sexual immorality” (Matt. 19:9, NKJV) or “fornication” (KJV) and who has already been “put away” (divorced) be forgiven of that sin? Can he later marry someone else without sinning? In other words, can a man who has been divorced by a mate because he has been guilty of adultery then later marry someone else without being guilty of sin when he does so? Does he have a right to be married to another person? Does God recognize/approve/sanction the marriage to the other person? Will he be married in “God’s sight” to his new wife?

3. The Bible answer to all of these questions is: YES! Of course he can be forgiven if he repents and seeks forgiveness. And yes he can marry again. According to Jesus, when a person is “put away” because of fornication (KJV) or sexual immorality (NKJV) or marital unfaithfulness (NIV), he is “put away” (Matthew 19:9). He is not “partly” put away, or “nearly” put away, or “somewhat” put away, or “almost” put away—He is “put away.” He is divorced and the marriage is formally terminated, totally and completely. That means that he is not still married to her in any sense. He is not married in man’s sight. He is not married in God’s sight. And he is not married in anybody’s sight that can see things as they are! Most all agree that the wife who put him away is free to marry someone else because she put him away because of his fornication. But if she is free from that marriage and, therefore, no longer married to him, then he is no longer married to her. Both are unmarriedafter the divorce. The idea that the “guilty party” is somehow still bound to the woman who divorced him, or that he is bound by some “mystical magnet” or “invisible clamp” or to some (unknown) “law of God demanding his celibacy,” is not only wrong and unscriptural, it is downright ludicrous. One mate cannot be free from a marriage and the other mate still be bound by that marriage. The idea that “she” is not married to “him,” but he is somehow still “married to her” in some sense, makes absolutely no sense! In fact, it is nonsense! There is no “invisible clamp” that God places on a “marriage covenant” that cannot be broken if they divorce. If they are divorced then they are both “unmarried.”

4. The question then is: Can a person who has been “loosed from” or “released from” (divorced from) a wife marry someone else without sinning? Read the answer from the Bible for yourself. It is in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28:

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. (New American Standard Bible)

5. Notice carefully that the Bible clearly says if you have been “loosed” or “released” (divorced), and are therefore unmarried and do not have a wife, then “if you do marry, you have not sinned.” Why is that the case with the one who is guilty of unfaithfulness in a divorce for fornication or adultery? It is because he no longer has a wife. He has been “put away” and is, therefore, “unmarried.” The marriage to his first wife is as though it never happened. His former wife is totally free from that marriage because she “put him away,” and he is totally free from that marriage relationship because he has been “put away.” It would be impossible for him to still be married to her, but her to not be married to him. If she is free from the marriage, then he is as free as she is. There is no possible way that he can “commit adultery against her” (Mark 10:11) when he remarries, because she is not his wife and he is not her husband. He has been “put way.”

6. Another thing that needs to be pointed out is that Jesus did not contradict Moses on this subject. He did not change what Moses said about it (Matthew 5:1-20). In fact, He upheld what Moses taught. In Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Moses wrote:

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife,…..

7. Observe that Moses taught that the one guilty of “uncleanness” could go out and marry and when she does she “becomes another man’s wife.” Even though she was “guilty” of “uncleanness,” she was nevertheless free to remarry because she had been properly and formally divorced.

8. Jesus taught the same thing but He used the words “sexual immorality” instead of “uncleanness.” (Matt. 19:9). In doing so, He was actually explaining what kind of “uncleanness” to which Moses was referring.

9. Jesus said in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 that in a case where the marriage ends because of fornication, the “one flesh” relationship is over—totally and completely. Therefore, both parties (the innocent and the one guilty of fornication) in a divorce because of fornication (or adultery) are free to remarry someone else without sinning when they do.

10. God “hates divorce” in such cases (Malachi 2:13-16). But these things happen. Those who sin in ending marriages in an unscriptural way should repent and seek forgiveness. But there is nothing they can do about the past. What’s done is done! A person who has believed and been baptized is forgiven of all sin (Mk. 16:16), including marital unfaithfulness. A Christian, who has repented and confessed, has been forgiven of all sin, including marital unfaithfulness (1 John 1:9).

11. David was forgiven of this very sin (2 Samuel 11, 12; Psalm 52, 32). Those today that deliberately violate God’s marriage law can also be forgiven just as David was when they repent and seek God’s forgiveness. Acceptance of those who have committed this sin is not an approval of the sin that they have committed. God certainly did not approve of David’s sin with Bathsheba and David suffered for it, but He forgave David and blessed him in his subsequent marriage to her.

12. Paul committed many sins, including murder, which most of us have not done. But he said that he was “forgetting those things that are behind” (past mistakes, sins, and bad decisions), and “reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil. 3:6-13). Paul refused to live in the past and so should the rest of us. In First Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul said that some in the church in Corinth had been very sinful. Some of them had been “fornicators” and “adulterers” in the past but, having been forgiven, they were “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified” by the power (in the name) of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. This is what knowing Jesus and the salvation that He freely gives us is all about!

13. Forgiveness is for those who have failed, not for those who are faultless.

WHAT HAVE OTHERS IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST SAID ABOUT THE “GUILTY PARTY” REMARRYING?

Numerous leaders in the Church of Christ in the past believed (at least at some point in their studies) that the guilty party who is put away for fornication can remarry. Among those are:

1. Gus Nichols: “May the guilty party marry again? I see no way in the world for it to be true that the ‘innocent party’ may PUT AWAY the ‘guilty’ party and the ‘guilty party’ not really be put away. I see no way for the ‘innocent party’ to have a right to another marriage, but the ‘guilty have no such right. If the ‘guilty’ is REALLY “put away’, he is no longer married to the ‘innocent party’. How could the ‘innocent party’ be loosed from the bonds of wedlock, and the ‘guilty person’ still be tied to the ‘innocent’?…It seems to me impossible for the innocent to have the right to another marriage, and the guilty person have no such right.” (Words of Truth,” July 27, 1973, p. 2).

2. J.W. McGarvey: “Whether it would be adultery to marry a woman who had been put away on account of fornication, is neither affirmed or denied. No doubt such a woman is at liberty to marry again if she can, seeing that the bond which bound her to her husband is broken” (emphasis added). (Commentary on Matthew and Mark, p. 165).

3. Bobby Duncan: “Is he (a brother) an enemy to the church because he believes that the Bible allows the guilty party in divorce action to remarry under certain circumstances (emphasis added) (“Words of Truth,” April 13, 1979; It is common knowledge among many of us that Brother Duncan believed that the “guilty party” could remarry in certain circumstances.)

4. Foy E. Wallace, Jr wrote, concerning the permission to divorce in cases involving fornication: “The treatment of the permissibility of divorce, not a mere separation, but a separation so complete that the marriage tie, or bond of union, is null and void, leaving both parties free to marry again” (emphasis added)(The Sermon on the Mount and the Civil State, p. 42).

5. G. C. Brewer, one of the most influential preachers from the early to mid-1900s, wrote: “If the ‘innocent party’ can marry again, can the ‘guilty party’ be forgiven of this guilt? If he is forgiven, can he marry again? If not, is he forgiven? How is he forgiven if he is punished for life for his sin?” (The Truth About Divorce and Remarriage, Weldon Langfield, p. 58).

6. Homer Hailey: The contention that Genesis 2:18-24 was recognized as law which demanded that the person who takes the wife of another must give her up as demanded by repentance is disputed in the case of David…..Surely no one would deny that David repented, yet he was permitted to keep the woman as his wife. Repentance did not demand that she be put away or that the two live apart for the remainder of their lives, for she bore him four sons (1 Chron. 3:5). Will not the same God of loving-kindness and tender mercies forgive and blot out sins under a system of grace? Even then it was an act of grace. Would anyone argue that God was more merciful under law than He is under grace? Surely not! . (The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God, pp. 72, 73).

Hope this helps! Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

The Tragedy of a Tree

“The Tragedy of a Tree”
A Sermon Outline from Daniel Four

Introduction:

1. In this chapter is recorded a confession that King Nebuchadnezzar made after he had been insane for about seven years (Dan. 4:1-3).
2. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream which made him troubled and fearful.(Dan. 4:4-5).
3. He called for his wise men to make known the interpretation of the dream, but they could not do it. They had probably learned their lesson from the events recorded in chapter two, and therefore they knew better than to make up a lie to tell the king. (Dan. 4:6-7).
4. At last, Daniel came in and the king told him the dream. The dream concerned a tree that was cut down — leaving only a stump. The title of this chapter could very well be “The Tragedy of a Tree” (Dan. 4:8-9).

I. THE TREE (Dan. 4:10-17).

A. In the dream the king saw a tree. From the king’s description we learn that:

1. The tree was in the middle of the earth (4:10).
2. The king saw the tree growing (4:11).
3. The tree was strong and so high that it reached to heaven (4:11).
4. The tree was visible to all the earth (4:11).
5. The leaves were fair, the fruit much, and it served as a source of food for all (4:12).
6. The animals camped under it, the fowls lodged in its branches, and all were fed from it (4:12).
7. An angel came down from heaven and commanded that the tree be cut down. The tree was to be destroyed leaving only the stump and roots. (4:13-15).
8. The angel further commanded that some man would be given a beast’s heart for seven years, in order that he might be taught that the God of heaven rules in the kingdom of men (4:16-17).

B. This was the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had concerning the tree. Daniel was then to interpret the dream.

II. THE TRAGEDY (Dan. 4:18-27).

A. After being stunned (so to speak) for one hour, because he evidently thought well of the king, Daniel told the king that the dream would please his enemies, because it was exactly what they would want to happen (4:18-19).
B. After repeating part of the dream, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the one represented by the tree. The size and position of the tree represented the world-ruling dominion of the King of Babylon (4:20-22).
C. Daniel further explains that the cutting down of the tree meant tragedy for the king. He would loose his sanity, he would dwell with the beasts, eat grass like an ox, not have sense enough to come in at night or get out of the rain, and he would remain insane for seven years. It seems to me that the seven times means seven years, because in order for his fingernails and toenails to grow as long as they did, it would take a considerable amount of time (Dan. 4:33). This was to occur in order to show the king that the God of heaven rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He pleases. Bear in mind that the Babylonians thought that when they defeated Judah and brought them captive to Babylon, that that proved their gods were stronger than Israel’s God. (Dan. 4:23-25).
D. Daniel further explained that the leaving of the stump indicated that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom would not be taken over by another and after seven years it would be returned to him (4:26).
E. The dream that Nebuchadnezzar had concerning the tree meant tragedy for him.

III. THE TREATMENT (Dan. 4:28-37).

A. All that Daniel predicted came upon Nebuchadnezzar about twelve months later. As the king was walking in the palace telling himself how great, honorable, and powerful he was, he heard a voice from heaven repeating the thing that Daniel had said about a year earlier concerning his insanity (Dan. 4:28-32).
B. The same hour the king lost his mind. He went completely insane—he was driven from humans, he ate grass like an ox, did not have sense enough to come in out of the rain or in at night, his hair grew long as also did his fingernails and toenails. He was evidently a horrible looking creature who was completely mad (Dan. 4:33). One minute he is gazing…and the next minute he is grazing.
C. At the end of seven years, Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity returned to him and he exalted the God of heaven. God’s treatment had worked, and Nebuchadnezzar admitted that God does rule in the kingdoms of men (4:34-36).
D. Nebuchadnezzar praised and honored the God of heaven because he had learned that God is the “King of heaven, all whose works are truth and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (4:37).
E. The treatment that God gave Nebuchad­nezzar evidently cured him of his pride and he wanted all people to know the “signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me” (Dan. 4:2).

NOTE: SOME THINGS TO SEE FROM THE DREAM ABOUT THE TREE.

As we observe the tree, the tragedy, and then the treatment that Nebuchadnezzar received we should learn some very valuable lessons that should help us today (Rom. 15:4). For example, we should see the Lord’s

A. Power.
1. The theme of the dream is that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomsoever He will” (Dan. 4:17, 25, 26, 32).
2. He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and no one can restrain His hand, or say unto Him, what have You done? (4:35). See also Dan. 2:21; 5:26; Rev. 1:5; Rev. 4).

B. Patience.
1. The Lord gave the king twelve months to change and do better with the assurance that there “Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity” (4:27-28).
2. The Lord gave Jezebel “time to repent” but she repented not (Rev. 2:20-21).
3. He is also patient with us (2 Peter 3:9).

C. Pity.
1. The Lord had pity on the king. The kingdom was not taken from the king permanently (Dan. 4:26).
2. One lesson Jonah learned was that God has pity on all (Jonah 4).
3. Again and again we read how Jesus was “moved with compassion” (Matt. 9:36; 14:14, etc.).

D. Punishment.
1. The thing that the Lord said was ful­filled and the king was driven from among men (Dan. 4:33).
2. Our God is a consuming fire to the wicked (Heb. 12:29).
3. We need to behold the goodness and severity of God (Rom. 11:22).

E. Pardon.
1. The Lord was willing to pardon the king if he would change (4:27). He did re-establish the king in his kingdom (Dan. 4:36).
2. He pardoned the entire city of Nineveh (Jonah 3).
3. He is a “God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness” (Neh. 9:17).

NOTE: WE SHOULD ALSO LEARN SOME THINGS ABOUT:

A. Pride.
1. One of the main lessons in chapter four is that “those that walk in pride He is able to put down” (4:37).
2. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18).
3. God will not only “resist” the proud, sometimes he will “dismiss” the proud (James 4:6; Dan. 4).

B. Preaching.
1. It is not always easy to preach the truth. Daniel was troubled because of what he had to tell the king (Dan. 4:19).
2. It is not easy to “reprove and rebuke” but sometimes it is necessary (2 Tim. 4:1-2).
3. We must always preach to please God, not men (Gal. 1:10).

C. Praise.
1. The king praised God for what God had done for him and so should we (Dan. 4:37).
2. Actually the king went from gazing to grazing to praising.
3. The church began by “praising God” and we need to make sure we keep it up (Acts 2:47; Eph. 3:21).

CONCLUSION:

These lessons from THE TRAGEDY OF A TREE…can be helpful to you and helpful to me. Let’s make sure that we take them to heart. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.wordpress.com

Three Lessons From Job

Introduction:

1. The Old Testament was written for our learning (Rom. 15:4).
2. The main lesson from 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 is that we should not make the same mistakes that those in the Old Testament made (v. 11).
3. Job is specifically mentioned as an example of faith in spite of his suffering and affliction (James 5:10-11).
4. In Job, chapters 1 & 2, the Bible reveals the character of Job, the conversation about Job, and the calamity of Job.
5. The result was that he had days that were “full of trouble” (Job 14:2). His family, fortune, and flesh were affected, but he never lost his faith (Job 13:15).
6. In this study I want us to learn three important lessons from Job that ought to help us when it comes to facing problems and handling the troubles that we encounter in life.

I. DON’T DEMAND TO UNDERSTAND.

A. We can seek to understand when bad things happen to us.

1. It could be because of our sins (II Sam. 12:10-13).
2. It could be because of the sins of others (Joseph).
3. It could be because we live in a world of suffering (Gen. 3:16-19).
4. It could be chastisement (Heb. 12:5-11).
5. It could be for righteousness sake (I Peter 3:14-17).
6. It could be because of the work of God (Joseph, Blind Man in John 9:1-3).
7. It could be for other reasons.

B. We are not going to understand why bad things happen to good people. There is no real satisfactory answer to the problem of human suffering.

C. One mistake Job made was that he wanted to demand to understand.

1. He wanted to plead his cause and understand (23:3-5).
2. He wanted God to answer him (31:35).

D. Job had to admit that he had “uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not…” (42:3).

E. Job finally understood that he should not demand to understand. Some things were beyond his ability to understand. However, if he understood that God was wise enough to create and control the world and cares for everything in it, then that should be sufficient (Job 38-41).

F. God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9).

G. His judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out (Rom. 11:33).

H. We must recognize that there are “secret things” that belong only to God and it is not for us to know all of His dealings (Deut. 29:29).

I. Just because something doesn’t make sense to us does not mean it does not make sense. (Illust. A Watch to man in jungle or computers, television, telephones, etc.).

J. One lesson from the life of Job is that we should never demand to understand but rather determine to trust God no matter what (13:15).

II. DON’T BE DEFEATED BECAUSE YOU ARE MISTREATED.

A. As long as we are in the world with other people we are going to be mistreated.

B. Since the beginning of time the righteous have been mistreated by others:

1. Abel was mistreated by Cain. (Gen. 4).
2. Israel was mistreated by Pharaoh. (Ex. 1).
3. David was mistreated by Saul and others. (1 Samuel).
4. The three Hebrew were mistreated by Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan. 3).
5. Daniel was mistreated by the presidents and princes in Babylon. (Dan. 6).
6. John was mistreated by Diotrephes. (II John).
7. Jesus was/is mistreated by us all (Isaiah 53).

C. Job was mistreated by:

1. His wife (2:9; 19:17).
2. His friends (12:2-4; 13:4; 16:2).
3. His kinfolks (19:13-14).
4. Young people (19:18; 30:1-10).
5. Those he loved (19:19).
D. Yet he knew his redeemer lived (19:25) and he was determined to “trust in him” no matter what (13:15).

E. Paul was perplexed, troubled, and persecuted, but not defeated (II Cor. 4:8-10).

F. Joseph was mistreated but not defeated (Gen. 39-50).

G. Job, Joseph, and Paul remained faithful in spite of their opposition and won out in the end and so will we (Gen. 50:20-21; Job 42:5-13; II Tim. 4:6-8).

H. Sometimes we will be mistreated by husbands, wives, children, parents, brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends, business associates, etc. But we can’t be defeated because we are mistreated.

I. The Holy Spirit promised tribulation to those who trouble us and refuse to repent (II Thess. 1:6-9).

J. Jesus said we are “blessed” and should “rejoice and be exceeding glad” when we are persecuted for righteousness sake (Matt. 5:10-12).

K. In short, He said “don’t be defeated because you are mistreated.” Job wasn’t and neither should we be.

III. DON’T CUT A TRAIL BECAUSE YOU FAIL.

A. Don’t leave it all because you fall.23
B. Some of God’s greatest servants have been failures at times. Think about:

1. Noah … Gen. 9:20-27
2. Abraham … Gen. 12:10-20
3. Moses … Num. 20:7-13
4. David … II Sam. 11-12
5. Jonah … Jonah 1
6. Peter … Matt. 26:69-75
7. Barnabus … Gal. 2:13
8. John Mark …Acts 13:13
9 Job failed and admitted it …Job 42:1-3

C. Job was ashamed and repented in dust and ashes (42:5-6).

D. He failed, but he did not cut a trial (i.e., he didn’t leave God or quit).

E. There is a big difference in the response of Job (42:5-6) and the one of Judas (Matt. 27:3-5). Both failed, but their response was totally different.

F. A good man, though he fails, will not be utterly forsaken, but God will uphold him with His hand (Ps. 37:23-25).

G. We must learn to face our failures with faith. We must learn that failures don’t have to be fatal or final, but can actually help us be more faithful than ever before (42:5-6).

H. So, don’t throw in the towel because you committed a foul. Get back in the game with a greater determination than ever to finish the Christian race (Heb. 12:1-2; II Tim. 4:6-8).

I. Learn this from Job – Don’t “cut a trail” because you fail. (James 5:19-20; II Peter 2:20-22).

Conclusion: Don’t demand to understand the problem of human suffering. Don’t be defeated because you are mistreated by others. Don’t “cut a trial” because you fail in you own life. Remember the lessons God taught Job with all of those questions in chapters 38-41. God created His world and everything in it. God ultimately controls His world and everything in it. And, most importantly, God cares for His world and everything in it. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org