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Hebrews 3:12-13
By Brother Mike (6-25-16; 43 minutes)
   


12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God .
13
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin .   


INTRODUCTION 

In verse 12 of Hebrews, Chapter 3, the Hebrew Christians and we are commanded to tune in, to pay careful attention, to take heed to ourselves that we not have an evil heart of unbelief in falling away from the living God as virtually all of the Israelites did after they came up from Egypt, which resulted in their not being allowed into the Promised Land, but, instead, resulted in their having to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until they died. These Israelites are a picture of virtually all so-called Christians today who think that they have been delivered from sin and Satan for heaven, but who actually have not. Therefore, they have evil hearts of unbelief in departing from the living God, and they will not be allowed into heaven, but will simply die sometime during their journey in this world. 

Furthermore, in verse 13 of Hebrews, Chapter 3, the Hebrew Christians and we are commanded to beseech, exhort, and comfort one another every day, starting immediately during this day so that none of us might be hardened, as the Israelites were, by the deceitfulness or seduction of sin. Sin makes us feel like we are missing out on something unless we sin, and this process hardens our hearts and deceives us into believing a lie rather than the truth. And, the end of believing a lie is not that we will go to heaven, but that we will perish in this world; we will, indeed, die. End of story!   


Verse 3:12
:  

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God .   

We first read, Take heed, brethren. The two words Take heed are actually a translation of the one word normally translated as to see. Here, in the Greek, it is in the form of a command to be seeing, or to be looking. So, literally, our verse reads as a command,

12 Be seeing, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God .

In other words, be looking, be paying attention, or as the King James translates it, be Taking heed, brethren.     

Now, why are we being commanded to be seeing? Why we read, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. That is, be looking or pay careful attention not to have an evil heart of unbelief as the Israelites who were in the wilderness had, which resulted in them not being allowed into Yahweh's Promised Rest or Promised Land. And, since to enter into Yahweh's rest or Promised Land spiritually symbolizes salvation - that is, to enter into Yahweh's rest or Promised Land in one respect is the same thing as being spiritually saved as we learned in verse 11 of our last study - what we are really being commanded to do here is to make sure that we are saved. If upon self-examination we find that our hearts have little interest in studying and obeying the Word of God, and we have difficulty believing what it says, then we can be assured that just like the Israelites, we have not been saved, and we will not enter into Heaven, which is what the Promised Rest or Land typifies. Yes, it typifies salvation, but it also typifies Heaven as we had learned in verse 11 of our last study

It is important to recognize that to not believe what Yahweh says in His Word reveals an evil heart. So, for instance, if a person will not believe that sex before marriage is sin after being shown the scriptures that clearly teach it, it is because they have an evil heart. Their evil heart has blinded them to the truth of the Word of God so that they can just go on living their lives in rebellion to the one who created them. This is what the Israelites did. Even though Yahweh promised them by His Word that He would lead them into and conquer the peoples of the Promised Land, they constantly rebelled against Him, which revealed that they had unbelieving and evil hearts. And, this, in turn, revealed that they were not saved, and so they would not be allowed to enter the Promised Rest or Land, but their bodies fell in the desert, and only their children were finally allowed into the Land except, of course, Joshua and Caleb who were the only ones of that first generation who came out of Egypt that were allowed into the Promised Land because they were the only two saved individuals. Indeed, these two men typify the eternal church (see spiritual meaning of number two ) consisting of the elect who will be let into heaven on the Last Day.   

Now, our verse says, Be seeing, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. The phrase, in departing from the living God could also be translated as in withdrawal or in falling away from the living God. What we are being told here, then, is that unbelief is a withdrawal from or a falling away from the living God, and we are commanded to be seeing, or take heed, lest there be in any of us an evil unbelieving heart, which results in our not being allowed into heaven because we are not actually saved.

Now, before we go onto our next verse of Hebrews chapter 3, verse 13, let's read the entire Old Testament account when the Israelites hardened their hearts against Yahweh, and Yahweh finally refused to let them into the Promised Land, but made them wander in the desert for 40 years until they all died. We read from Numbers 13:21 all the way to Numbers 14:39:

17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain :
18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many ;  
19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds ;
20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes .
21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath .
22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt .) 
23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs .
24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence .     
25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days .
26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land .   
27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it .
28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there .  
29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan .
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it .  
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we .
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature .     
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight .
14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night .   
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness !
3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt ?  
4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt .
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel .   
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes :
7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land .  
If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey .
9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not .
10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel .
11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them ?   
12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they .
13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them ;)  
14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night .
15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying
16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness .
17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying ,
18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation .
19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now
20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word :
21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD .    
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice ;
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it :  
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he went; and his seed shall possess it .
25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea
26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying ,
27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me .
28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you :
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me ,   
30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun .
31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised .     
32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness .
33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness .
34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise .
35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die .    
36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land ,
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still .
39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly .  

So, there you have it: the Lord sent twelve of the leaders of the Israelites, including Joshua and Caleb, to spy out the land that He had promised them. He did this as a test to see if they would trust in Yahweh to believe that the land was good, and to believe that they would be able to conquer the people who were in the land as the Lord said that they would be able to do. Well, as the story goes, they did see that the land was flowing with milk and honey; that it was good, but they all, except Joshua and Caleb, were in fear of the people who lived there, and so they discouraged the other Israelites in not going up to fight the people of the land. The result was that the Israelites were not willing to conquer the land, which the Lord had promised them, due to unbelief in that the Lord would be with them to conquer the people. This was the tenth time that the Israelites hardened their hearts against Yahweh, and it was the final straw. Because this Israelite unbelief wherein they always sinned in their hearts, and did not know the ways of the Lord, Yahweh says that the entire Israelite generation, twenty years and older, which came out of Egypt would not be allowed into the Promised Land, but they would, instead, wander the wilderness for 40 years until each and every one of them died. Only their children along with Joshua and Caleb would finally be allowed into the Promised Land, but only after they bore the sins of their parents by wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.

Now, what can we learn from this account? Certainly, there are many things of which we can learn, and one thing we can learn is that many are called, but few are chosen (Mt. 22:14). Although there was probably a million to two million Israelites who were called out of Egypt in that first generation, only two of them were actually allowed into the Promised Land, namely Joshua and Caleb. Likewise, although there are more than 2 billion Christians who all claim to have been delivered from spiritual Egypt, namely sin and Satan, only a remnant is actually saved and will finally enter into heaven. Yes, the whole idea of universal salvation is completely contrary to scripture. But, although compared to the whole, there are few saved who will go to heaven, there are still a lot of saved individuals in the world today. Certainly, we can know that there are millions of saved people who were saved before and during the Latter Rain from September 7, 1994 to May 21, 2011.

Well, let's consider what else we might learn from the account of the Israelites when they spied out the Promised Land and saw that it was good, but then feared all the people so that they would not go in and conquer what the Lord had given to them. Certainly, we can learn that we should never fear human beings no matter how strong they may seem to be. In fact, Christ said,

Mt 10: 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell .
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father .
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered .
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows .    

When we were saved, we were brought into rest (Promised Land), and now we must conquer the earth with the gospel of the Bible. We should not be like the Israelites who feared men, but as we bring the gospel, we should fear no man, but only Him who can destroy our souls in hell. Of course, if we are saved, then it is not possible that our souls will go to hell, but, nevertheless, the point is made that we should never fear human beings in speaking the truths of the Bible, but only Him who has commanded us to declare that Babylon (the world and the churches) has Fallen, and that salvation has ended as of May 21, 2011. It is spiritual Judgment Day; the wrath of God has come upon the whole world, and the time when this world shall go up in flame is near, even at the door. 

Even now the sheep are being separated from the goats in preparation for the end. There are many who have fallen for the God Is Still Saving Gospel (the GISSG - Is God still saving? ), and there are many who have fallen for the Demonstration Gospel, which says that Christ died for sins at or before the foundation of the world, and that He came to earth to die on the cross merely to demonstrate what He had already done ( The Demonstration Gospel is a false gospel ). Both of these gospels are tools that the Lord is using to reveal to the principalities and powers just who the elect really are; that the manifold wisdom of God might be clearly seen as the things of this world are being summed up toward their final end, which is soon to be revealed wherein the elect will receive new resurrected bodies as this world is destroyed by fire, and the new heaven and earth is made manifest for the elect to dwell therein in glory forevermore.  

Now, we know that the Lord tests us in this world even as He tested the Israelites to see who will believe and trust in His Word. First, He revealed to us the Timeline of History with infallible proofs and evidences (see proofs ). Even so, many have now rejected the timeline in order to manifest that they are not of the elect. Second, the Lord clearly revealed that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 with the end to salvation worldwide ( Is God still saving? ). But, nevertheless, there are many who have now fallen away to believe that salvation is still possible, and that we are still, therefore, in the gospel age instead of Judgment Day. Even Mr. Camping, before he died and after May 21, 2011, began to teach this, which should not be surprising because Mr. Camping had been teaching a false gospel for some years previous to this, namely that Christ died for sins before the foundation of the world, and that He came to earth to die on the cross merely to demonstrate what He had already done before the world began (see The Demonstration Gospel is a false Gospel ). It is this false gospel that the Lord is finally using as a last test to separate the sheep from the goats (see The Final Test ). Those who join with Mr. Camping to believe in the Demonstration Gospel are revealing that they are not the elect while those who reject this foolish teaching; who stand firm in that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 with the end to salvation; who came out of all the churches in obedience to the Lord's command (see Why leave all churches? ); these are the elect. They may just be a very small remnant of all those who initially came out from the churches, but, nevertheless, they, like the remnant of Joshua and Caleb, will enter the Promised Land (heaven). Indeed, as we have seen in previous studies, there is a sense in which they have already entered the Promised Land (heaven) due to their already having been spiritually saved, and so they have already entered into spiritual rest.  

But, now, let's return to Hebrews, chapter 3. We read,    

12 Be seeing, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God .   

Here, as previously mentioned, we are being commanded to be seeing, to tune in, to pay careful attention to ourselves so that there not be in any of us, like there was in the Israelites, an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from or falling away from the living God. The point being that all we who believe that we have been delivered from spiritual Egypt, namely from Satan and sin, should carefully examine ourselves to see if we are saved, lest during our sojourn here on this earth it is revealed that we have an evil heart of unbelief, and we depart from the living God in that we actually deny what His Word teaches, and so perish in the wilderness of this world without ever being allowed to enter the Promised Land; that is, into heaven.    

Now, we already covered this verse previously, so let's move on to verse 13 of Hebrews 3. There we read,     


Verse 3:13
:  

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin .  

Here, we are first commanded to exhort one another daily. Literally, it says, But be beside calling yourselves daily. The intended meaning is that you should exhort, beseech, and comfort yourselves daily; so that not anyone should be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Now, we are told to exhort one another daily, while it is called today. In other words, don't wait until sometime tomorrow, or sometime down the road, to exhort and beseech one another away from sin, but start doing these things today, immediately, while it is still today. Obviously, we are being commanded to get busy with exhorting and beseeching the brethren to remain faithful to the teachings of the Word of God. Especially during this time of Judgment Day when many are being tempted to return to the churches, to believe the false teaching that salvation is still possible, and to believe the false teaching of the Demonstration Gospel as well as many other false teachings, we must be working to get out the truth and to maintain sound doctrine for the sake of the elect; that they might be encouraged and refreshed to remain faithful; that they might fully know that Yahweh has others out there who are of the same mind as we, and that we should all gather together to strengthen and encourage one another for the good of the whole body of Christ.  

Next, when our verse says to exhort one another daily, lest any of you be hardened, the verb translated as be hardened is actually in the Passive Voice, so, to express this, our verse can be translated,  

13 But exhort yourselves daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you should be being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin .  

It is not that they could be hardened due to themselves for they are passive in the matter, but, rather, that they could be being hardened - an ongoing process - through the deceitfulness of sin. The idea is that sin can so deceive you until you begin to reason that a particular sin is okay because of this or because of that. For instance, we might know that sex before marriage is sin, but, nevertheless, sin can deceive an individual into thinking that sex before marriage is okay because, for instance, we believe that we are already married in our hearts. Therefore, because a couple may think that they are already married, and that they are already committed for life in their hearts, they can go ahead and have sex before they are actually married. Of course, in most cases, the relationship does not last, and so it becomes clear that their sex was just a deception of sin, but they just move onto the next person to repeat the same sin once again. As we read,   

2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire .   

Yes, sin can be so deceitful. Consider the married person who commits adultery. Because he and his wife no longer feel as if they are one, he or she may conclude in his or her heart that he or she is no longer married. And, this becomes his or her excuse for his or her having an affair with another person. As a result, marriage is no longer defined as a lifelong commitment regardless of one's feelings, but it becomes solely based on feelings as to whether one feels united with their spouse or not. Once the feelings have left, so has the marriage as sin seduces a person into committing sin.   

Remember, Eve in the garden. We read in Genesis 3,   

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden ?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden :  
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die .
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die :    
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil .
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat .    

In this instance, Eve was seduced by sin and Satan into believing that by eating of the fruit, she would not die as Yahweh said she would, but she would become as God, knowing good from evil. So, here, the commandment of God, which was good, was made to be something evil that would deprive her of becoming like God in knowledge and wisdom. And, this is the way that sin works: it seduces people into believing that they are missing out on something if they don't sin. It convinces them that they are missing out on life and happiness if they don't sin even though the truth is exactly the opposite; sin brings death and trouble! But, because sin can be pleasurable for a season, many people are seduced into sinning only to discover later that they now have more trouble in their lives than they ever thought possible. And, sin leads to more sin. And, more sin leads to more sin. And, this all leads to more and more trouble. And, finally, it all leads to eternal death. So, that which was thought to bring life and happiness, in the end, only brings death. Who shall save me from this seduction or deceitfulness of sin? Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ, who through whom we have the forgiveness of sin and the power to sin no more. Amen!    


CONCLUSION  

We began our study with verse 12 of Hebrews 3 where we read, Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. We found that this verse was a command for us to tune in, to pay careful attention, to take heed to ourselves to make sure that we are saved, and so not find ourselves departing from the living God as the Israelites did who came up from Egypt, and who, because of their evil hearts of unbelief, were not allowed into the Promised Land. These Israelites were a type of all the so-called Christians today who claim to have been delivered from Satan and sin (from spiritual Egypt), but who are not actually saved. Like the Israelites, these people have evil hearts of unbelief, which results in their falling away from the living God as they wander through the wilderness of this world. These people will never be allowed into the Promised Land of heaven, but they have been commanded by Yahweh to wander the wilderness of this world until they die due to their evil hearts of unbelief in falling away from the living God.  

Then, in verse 13 of Hebrews 3, we were commanded to be beseeching or exhorting one another daily to remain faithful to Yahweh. We aren't to wait until tomorrow or sometime down the road from now to begin our exhorting or beseeching, but we are to start exhorting our brethren now, immediately. Procrastination is not an option! This will help our brethren to not be hardened by the deceitfulness or seduction of sin. Sin may lure us into believing that we are missing out on something by obeying the Lord, and even deceive us into thinking that disobedience is not so bad, but we must exhort our brethren to remain faithful. This is what our Lord has ordained to keep His people faithful. If there is no exhorting of the brethren to remain faithful in sound teaching, then unbelief would abound, and scarcely would any be saved. But, thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ who has not only saved His elect, but also beseeches and exhorts them through the reading and teaching of Holy Scripture to remain faithful, and through the Holy Spirit strengthens and confirms them in the truth. Amen, and 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 .

2:14-18  
3:1-6 
3:7-8 
3:9 
3:10-11 
3:12-13 
3:14-19 
4:1-6

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