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Hebrews 2:14-18
By Brother Mike (3-11-16; 37 minutes)    

   

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil ;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage .
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham .
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people .
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted
 

INTRODUCTION     
 
In Hebrews 2:14-18, which are the last five verses of Chapter 2, the focus is on Christ having become flesh and blood in order to become like His children (the elect) who are also flesh and blood. This was so that through death in the flesh, He might destroy him that had the power of death; that is, the devil or Satan; and, as a result, deliver them (the elect) who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Furthermore, He became flesh and blood as the seed of Abraham, and not as an angel, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people (the elect). And, because He Himself has suffered as flesh and blood being tempted, He is able to succour (help) them that are being tempted. 
 

Verse 2:14

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil . . .  

Let's look more closely at the Greek. First, our verse begins with the word, Forasmuch. This word can simply be translated as Since. In addition, the verb translated as are partakers in the sentence, Since then the children are partakers of flesh and blood is in the Perfect Tense of the Greek. This means that the action of the verb, are partakers was completed in the past, and the result of having fully partook of flesh and blood in the past continues to the present so that the children (the elect) could be said to be partakers of flesh and blood (see Perfect Tense ). Therefore, the verb of our verse can be translated just as the King James Translators have translated it, but it should be kept in mind that the children actually partook of flesh and blood in the past. Our verse reads, 

14 Since then the children are partakers of flesh and blood [as a result of having partook of flesh and blood in the past], he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil . . .   

Now, the only other part of this verse that I would change is the participle translated here as that had in the sentence, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death. Whereas in the King James it is made out to be a past tense participle, that had, it is actually in the present tense, and should be translated as that has. Therefore, our verse should now be translated,

14 Since then the children are partakers of flesh and blood [as a result of having partook of flesh and blood in the past], he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that has the power of death, that is, the devil . . .

Next, let's seek to understand the main meaning of this verse. It first states, Since then the children are partakers of flesh and blood. The idea is that since the children (the elect) partook of flesh and blood beginning at conception in the womb, and they continue to partake in flesh and blood to the present so that we can say that they are partakers of flesh and blood (see Perfect Tense ), he also himself [Christ] likewise took part of the same. That is, Christ also became flesh at conception in Mary's womb. Why? Well, we are told, That through death He [Christ] might destroy him that has the power of death, that is, the devil.  

Now, just how is it that through death Christ could destroy the devil that has the power of death? Why, we know that Christ died in order to pay for the sin debt of the elect. We read in Matthew 20, 

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many [the elect] .  

Therefore, because Christ died to pay the ransom for the elect, the elect are no longer under that sentence of death which originated through Satan's deception of the human race into sin, which brought death. Instead, the elect have been freed from having to die due to their sins, and they have been brought to life eternal through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In that Jesus Christ took the elect's place on the cross under the wrath of Yahweh to pay for their sins, the elect are no longer subject to death, for the penalty has been paid. And, because Christ rose from the dead to live forevermore, the elect have been brought to life eternal in Christ Jesus. This has all nullified, or destroyed, what the devil had accomplished by deceiving the human race into sinning, which had resulted in death, and, now, all those who Christ died for are freed from the power of death and the devil to live lives without the fear of death, but in the confidence of eternal life in Christ Jesus. So, by death Christ annulled, or destroyed, the work of the devil, which freed the elect from bondage to death, and by resurrection Christ guaranteed that the elect would never die, but rise to eternal life in Christ Jesus.  
  

Verse 2:15:

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage

So, not only did Christ become flesh and blood to die for the elect in order to nullify, or destroy, the devil that had the power of death over them as we discovered in the previous verse, but He did so in order to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Now, just how does the fear of death bring about bondage? In response, we can understand how that before they were saved, the elect were in fear of death, and this is because the wages of sin is death, and all had sinned, so all deserved death. So, before the elect were saved, they all had a fear of death as they knew that death is what they deserved as punishment. What's more, the elect knew that there was no way of escaping death, so their whole lives were centered on the fact that they would some day die. This all created a bondage to this life with no hope for anything after this life, but only punishment for the sins committed, so let's eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. And, because the fallen human nature of the elect continued to sin, the due punishment of death was always a thorn of torment to their minds; the result being a bondage to death with no apparent way of escape.  

But, then, Yahweh became flesh as the Christ in order to suffer and die for the sins of the elect on the cross, and the result was that the elect - once they became spiritually resurrected - no longer had a fear of death because none of their sins could any longer be counted against them, and they knew now that they would never die; that they would just shed their earthly bodies in transition from this life to the next, and they would be given new bodies on the Last Day fit to live in a new heaven and earth where only righteousness dwells. Indeed, they were freed from the bondage of sin and the fear of death, for sin could no longer condemn them to death, which meant that they would never die, except, of course, their earthly bodies, but their new resurrected spirits would live on for all eternity in new sinless bodies that would be granted to them on the Last Day to the glory of the Father, amen.
 

Verse 2:16:   

16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham .

In this verse we learn that Christ did not become an angel in order to deliver the elect from the bondage of sin and the fear of death, but He became of the seed of Abraham. Christ is everything that the immediate seed of Abraham, Isaac, typified. This is why we read in Romans 9, 

Ro 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called .  

Isaac, here, is a type of Christ, and so we read, Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac [Christ] shall thy seed be called. In other words, in Christ are all the spiritual seed of Yahweh; that is, everyone who has been spiritually born into Christ is the true seed of Abraham. People who are descended from Abraham, but who are not in Christ are not the true seed of Abraham, but they are the earthly seed that does not go to heaven. The true seed, on the other hand, the spiritual seed in Christ, does go to heaven because Christ, the seed of Abraham, became flesh to die for the sins of all the elect, whether Jew or Gentile, in order to free them from the bondage of sin and death, and, thus, free them from the fear of death that had held them in bondage all their lives.

What we are saying in all this is that people are not true Jews - descendants of Abraham - because they are literally descended from Abraham, but they are a true Jews because they are in Christ, whether or not they are literally descended from Abraham, Jews and Gentiles. We read in Romans 2,

Ro 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh :
29
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God .

So, therefore, the true Jews are all the elect who have been spiritually circumcised by Yahweh, who have had the old heart cut off so that a new heart could be manifest in Christ, which is spiritually one with the heart of Christ Himself who is both a literal Jew and a true spiritual Jew wherein all the elect, whether a Jew or a Gentile, are true Jews as well.

Now, in that Yahweh chose to become flesh as the Christ, the nature of the seed of Abraham instead of the nature of angels, Christ was made so much greater than the angels. Therefore, we are reminded of our theme to Hebrews chapters 1 and 2, and that is that Christ is superior to the angels. And, since the New Covenant or Testament was ushered in by Christ, whereas the Old Testament was ushered by angels, we must conclude that the New Testament is so much better and greater than the Old Testament because Christ is so much better and greater than the angels. So, if a newborn babe were to ask what part of the Bible they should first start reading, it would have to be the New Testament because it is so much greater than the Old Testament. Not that the Old Testament is unimportant, it is in that it points to Christ by figures and types, but the New Testament reveals Christ. So, the Old points to or typifies Christ by the administration of angels, but the New reveals Christ by the administration of Christ Himself. And, since Christ is God who created all things both in heaven and on earth, who is the king of all creation, and who upholds all things by the Word of His power, He is so much greater than the administration by angels, which means the New Testament is so much better and greater than the Old Testament. Both are the Word of God, yes, but one anticipates the coming Christ whereas the other reveals Christ. So, let's move past all the figures and types which pointed to Christ, and move on to maturity, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 
  

Verse 2:17:  

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people .

In this verse, the first word we read is, wherefore, which let's us know that what is about to be said is a further explanation of what was being spoken of in the previous verse, namely that Christ took on the nature of the seed of Abraham. Therefore, since Christ took on the nature of the seed of Abraham, in all things, it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren. Because the verb translated as it behoved him is in the Imperfect Tense of the Greek, its action took place in the past over and over again (see Imperfect Tense ). To see this in our verse, we might translate it like this:  

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him over and over again to be made like unto his brethren . .

Now, the Verb Infinitive, to be made in the phrase, to be made like unto his brethren is in the Aorist Tense and the Passive Voice. The Aorist Tense means that Christ was made like unto His brethren at some point in the past from the time that Hebrews was written, which we know was at the point of conception in the womb of Mary. The Passive Voice means that in having been made like unto His brethren, Christ was completely passive in the matter (see Aorist Tense and Passive Voice ). So, Christ was not made like unto His brethren by anything of Himself, but by the power of the Holy Spirit as we read in Matthew 1,

Mt 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost .

Next, we discover why it behoved Christ to be made like unto His brethren, we read, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Now, why is it that Christ had to be made like unto His brethren? The first thing we are told is, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest. This makes us wonder why Yahweh had to become a man in order to be merciful and faithful. Couldn't Yahweh have just remained as a Spirit and have been merciful and faithful to His brethren without having to have become a man? After all, this is what the Muslims and the earthly Jews believe. They believe that their Yahweh can just forgive sins and so be merciful just by a person requesting His mercy. To them, Yahweh didn't have to become a man to be merciful, but He can just grant mercy without ever having to have become flesh and blood. In fact, they would say, it is foolishness to even think that an infinite Yahweh could become a finite man.

But, is this true? Is it true that Yahweh can be a merciful and faithful to His brethren without having become a man? Of course not! Yahweh had to become a man to be merciful and faithful to His brethren, and there are at least two major reasons: first, He had to win back His elect from the bondage to Satan and sin. If you will remember, Satan won the right to rule over humankind when in the beginning He deceived them into eating of the forbidden fruit, which resulted in all who are descended from Adam (humankind) being in bondage to sin from conception, and so under the rule of Satan who was a sinner from the beginning.     

But, then, Yahweh became a man, known as the second Adam, in order to, unlike the 1st Adam, live a sinless life that could not be deceived by Satan. This resulted in Christ having won back the right to rule over all those of mankind who were predestined to be in Him from the foundation of the world, namely the elect. Therefore, Christ had to have become a man to win back His rule over the elect: it was a man who fell into sin and so plunged the human race into bondage to sin and Satan, so it had to be a man to win back that freedom from Satan and sin.   

Second, Christ had to become a man to be merciful and faithful to the elect in order to pay for their sins. It was the man, Adam, who fell into sin and so deserved the wages of sin which was death, so it also had to be a man, the 2nd Adam, Christ, who came under the deserved wrath of Yahweh, which was death, in order to pay for the sins of all the elect. It had to be Yahweh (God) made into the flesh because only Yahweh could bare the sins of many, for one man can only bare the punishment for the sins of himself, but Yahweh who is infinite can bare the sins of a multitude. Whereas, it had to be a man because a man is the one who fell into sin and so deserved the wages of sin which was death. So, whereas the first Adam brought in sin, which led to death, the 2nd Adam removed sin by paying for the sins of all the elect, which has led to life.  

So, unless Yahweh had become a man, there could be no mercy and faithfulness toward any human being. And, because both the Muslims and the earthly Jews reject the notion of Yahweh becoming flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, neither of them possess any mercy, and Yahweh has not been a faithful High Priest toward any of them, but He has been a faithful and merciful High Priest to the elect who were chosen to be in Him from before the foundation of the world through faith in Jesus Christ, for as we read in John 6, 

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent .  

Now, we are told what in means to be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God: it means to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. In the Old Testament, this meant that the High Priest would make atonement for the sins of the people through animal sacrifice that would really never pay for all the sins of the people, but, in the New Testament, this meant that the High Priest, Jesus Christ, would make atonement for the sins of the elect through the sacrifice of Himself that did pay for the sins of all the elect, once and for all. The sacrifices of the Old never really did pay for sins as can be seen in that the sacrifices continued to have to be offered year after year, but the one sacrifice in the New, Jesus Christ, paid for sins forever for all those who through the gift of faith believe.  

Next, the Verb Infinitive, to make reconciliation in the phrase, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people is in the Present Tense and the Passive Voice. In that it is in the Present Tense means that the action of making reconciliation is continuous or ongoing, and in that it is in the Passive Voice means that Christ in making reconciliation was passive in the matter. The idea is that Christ was not active in making reconciliation for the sins of the people, but He was passive as we know that it was the Father who poured out His wrath upon Christ; not Christ who poured out wrath upon Himself in atoning for, and, thus, making reconciliation for the sins of the people. Furthermore, the Verb Infinitive, to make reconciliation can more literally be translated, to make propitiation. And, the word propitiation means appeasement. Therefore, our verse now reads, 

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him [over and over again] to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make appeasement for the sins of the people .   

Well, let's move on to our last verse in this study, which is verse 18 of Hebrews, Chapter 2.
  

Verse 2:18:

18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted .

In this verse, we read, For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. The verb, has suffered in the sentence, For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted is in the Perfect Tense of the Greek. This means that the action of the verb, has suffered was completed in the past, and the result of Christ having suffered in the past continues on, in full effect, which means, as we read in our verse, that Christ is able to succour them that are tempted (see Perfect Tense ).  

Now, what in the world does it mean that He is able to succour them that are tempted? The word translated as succour simply means help. So, in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to help them that are tempted. What this all means in practical terms is that because Christ became a man and experienced what it is like to live and suffer as a human being - even death on a cross - He can help us make it through the trials and temptations that we undergo because He understands what it takes to make it through them. This is part of being a faithful and merciful High Priest, which He became for His elect by becoming flesh and blood. So, Christ had to become a man not only to win back His elect from the bondage to sin and Satan, as well as to pay for the sins of His elect as we have already mentioned in our discussion of the previous verse, but He also became a man to experience the trials and temptations in the sufferings of human beings so that He would be better prepared to help His elect in their trials and temptations as human beings. Indeed, Christ has become a faithful and merciful High Priest.

Next, perhaps it is important to mention about our verse that the verb, being tempted in the sentence, For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted can be translated as being tried or tested. It wasn't just that Christ was being tempted to sin during His sojourn on earth, but He was being tested or tried. Will He pass the test that Adam failed? Adam, as the representative of the entire human race, failed the test, and so the whole human race was plunged into sin and death. But, the 2nd Adam, Christ, as the representative of all the elect, passed the test, and so guaranteed that all of the elect would be brought to eternal life. And, now, because Christ has been fully tried and tested with the result that He passed the test with flying colors, He is able to help all those who are now being tempted and tried to also pass the test, for He knows what it takes to pass the test, and He is able to pass that wisdom and power on to all of His elect because He is not a God far off, but He is a God who is within each and every one of His elect.

This is powerful information: we, the elect, do not have to sin in any situation because Christ is able to help us. Once we have been born from above with Christ now dwelling in us, we have everything that we need not to sin. The only reason that we do sin is because we are not in accord with that which is in us, but we are in accord with our flesh, which wars against our soul. So, what we need to do is walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. And, the way we do that is to regularly subject ourselves to the hearing and reading of the Word of God and prayer, and fully submit ourselves in obedience to what we have learned, knowing that Christ is fully able to help us in all our temptations and difficulties. 

Okay, let's end here. So in conclusion,  
 

CONCLUSION    

Hebrews 2:14-18 clearly reveals to us that Yahweh became flesh as Christ Jesus in order to win back what He had lost to Satan in the beginning when Satan deceived the representatives of the human race into sin, which plunged the human race into sin and death, and gave Satan rule over the entire human race. But, Yahweh became flesh as Jesus Christ to prove that He, as the 2nd Adam, could live a sinless life, and so win back the right to rule over the human race, namely the elect. He also paid for the sins of the elect by dieing for them on the cross, which freed them from the fear of death and the devil that held them in bondage all their lives. Furthermore, Yahweh became flesh and blood as the seed of Abraham in order to become a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, and in relation to the elect. Because He suffered as a man being tempted, He is able to help the ones being tempted, namely the elect, because He now knows what it takes to remain sinless as a man, and He is able to share His power and wisdom with the elect so that they, too, can live a more and more sin free life as they learn to walk in the Spirit and to crucify the flesh.  

So, may we, the elect, look to Jesus in all situations so that we may be helped in all temptations and trials. Amen. 

Now, to the true elect of Yahweh, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .

2:1-4 
2:5-9 
2:10-13 
2:14-18  
3:1-6 

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