HEBREWS: THE BOOK OF BETTER THINGS
BY: BILL BRITTON
GOD SPEAKS IN A SON
THE EVENING SACRIFICE
GOD SPEAKS IN A SON
The book begins with a glorious declaration as to how God speaks or reveals Himself to us. Once He spoke through prophets, or those who spoke for Him and in His name. But now He speaks or reveals Himself in Sonship. Moffatt’s and Phillips’ translations and the Amplified New Testament are especially beautiful and revealing in this portion of scripture: “Many were the forms and fashions in which God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these days at the end He has spoken to us by a son–a Son whom He has appointed heir of the universe.” (Moffats) “God, who gave to our forefathers many different glimpses of the truth in the words of the prophets, has now, at the end of the present age, given us the truth in the Son.“ (Phillips) “In many separate revelations–each of which set forth a portion of the truth–and in different ways God spoke of old to our forefathers in and by the prophets. But in the last of these days He has spoken to us in the person of a Son, whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things.“ (Amplified)
Now dear friends, if you think that Jesus is keeping all the glory of this Sonship and heir-ship to Himself, then you just haven’t read Romans 8:17 where it tells us that we are “Heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ”. Verse 29 of that chapter states plainly and emphatically that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, but that He is the “firstborn among many brethren.” Then turn to Revelation 21:7 and read that: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my Son”. The unveiling of God in the person of a Son did begin in our Lord Jesus Christ, for He was the beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14). But it did not stop there. God ordained that Jesus would be the first, and that because of Him and through Him, there would be a great harvest of the precious fruit of the earth. The Sonship of Jesus is complete, “it is finished”, but God is still waiting patiently “for the precious fruit of the earth.“ (James 5:7) This harvest of Sons will be joint-heirs with Jesus, “Heir and lawful Owner of all things”.
THE EVENING SACRIFICE
First of all we are talking here about Jesus Christ, the begotten Son of God. The Bible refers to this entire dispensation of grace as “the last days”. The apostles wrote of their own days being the last days, and yet we know that today (almost 2,000 years later) we are in the last days. We read in Mark 15:25 that Jesus was lifted up on the cross as our sacrifice at the third hour of the day, the time of morning sacrifice. He remained on that cross unto the ninth hour, the time of the evening sacrifice (Mark 15:33-34).
In other words, the work that He came to do (provide a way of salvation from sin for mankind), was being done until the time of the evening sacrifice, when He cried: “it is finished”. Now we see another son, a many-membered corporate son known as “the Church His Body” come into view. Jesus said that because of what He did for us, that we would do His works, as well as “greater works”. So we see a son coming forth in the morning time of these last days, the dispensation of grace, and doing a work in the souls of men. And now, in the time of the evening sacrifice (the closing hours of these last days), we see the begotten Son of God crying: “it is finished”, taken down from the Cross, and pouring Himself (by the Spirit into a waiting body of sons. What the whole world now shall see is the ministry of “greater works” that Jesus promised. It is the time of the evening sacrifice. It is the time for the younger son, the many-membered son, the Church His Body, to be manifested. It was the first born Son who created this world and brought life to it. Now it is the younger, many-membered son, who shall (in cooperation with Christ) restore the creation to divine order. They shall be joint-heirs together. This is why He is bringing many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10), and why we must be conformed to the image of God’s Son (Romans 8:29). This is what all creation is groaning and travailing for with earnest expectation (Romans 8:19-22).
So at the time of the morning sacrifice, God spoke in a Son, Jesus Christ. He expressed Himself fully in Jesus. The Son was the express image of the Father, the brightness of His glory. And now, at the time of the evening sacrifice, God shall again speak and manifest Himself through a son. This time it is a corporate son, of which Jesus Himself is the Head.
Old Testament people knew God as Creator, Lawgiver, and Punisher of sins. He was their strength in battle, and a Savior from their enemies. But it was Jesus who came and unveiled God’s true nature as a Father to His children. It was through a Sons that God could reveal Himself most perfectly. Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus was the “image of the invisible God”. The Amplified Bible says: “He is the exact likeness of the unseen God–the visible representations of the invisible.” And in Hebrews 1:3 we read that the Son is the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of God’s person. The Amplified is very expressive: “He is the sole expression of the glory of God–the Light-being, the out-raying of the divine–and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature”. Moffatt’s translation says that the Sons reflects God’s bright glory and is stamped with God’s own character. For anyone to deny that these scriptures are speaking of Jesus, the Sons of God, is only to expose their ignorance of basic truth. But to say that He is the only one who is included in this glory of Sonship, this unveiling of Deity in this realm of humanity, is to reveal a lack of understanding in the purpose of God in creation. Jesus has overcome, not for Himself alone, but for all of us. That we might share His inheritance, sit with Him on His throne, rule and reign with Him, and become partakers of the divine nature of God (2 Peter 1:4).
The redemptive work of Christ is unique and exclusive. Only Jesus, the Lamb of God, can take away the sins of the world by the shedding of His own blood. But aside from that redemptive works, all the works that Jesus did are to be done by other sons also. “The works that I do shall ye do also…” (John 14:12) So please remember that, as we go through this book of Hebrews, what is said about Christ, the Son of God and the Melchisedec order, is actually speaking of things that pertain to the Body of Christ, the many-membered corporate Son. Also remember that all this glory comes through our Lord Jesus.
HEBREW’S CHAPTER 1 [Bill Britton] ~ BIBLE STUDY 1