Chapter 5

Embrace Your Father’s Correction

From the book The Book of Hebrews: What Jesus Christ Is Doing Today
By Gerald Flurry

Herbert W. Armstrong called Hebrews the most neglected book in the New Testament. Traditional Christianity largely ignores this message for two reasons: Hebrews depicts a living Savior, and it delivers a lot of correction. Carnal humans want a dead Savior so they can do whatever they want and still call themselves Christians. And they naturally hate correction.

Remember, again, the Apostle Paul’s purpose in writing this epistle. He was trying to awaken a group of spiritually lethargic Christians. He was reminding them of their incredible potential. He was showing them just how deeply involved in their lives their High Priest, Jesus Christ, really was.

And all of this, through God’s inspiration, was intended most of all for this end time. Paul’s message is very corrective for God’s people, particularly His lukewarm saints, during this Laodicean era of God’s Church.

Keep this in mind as we go through the final chapters of this epistle. Paul still had some strong correction to give. In fact, he had to remind the Hebrews just how important it is that we embrace God’s correction! They were not accepting it, and it was putting their eternal lives in danger!

But in the same way that Paul started this letter with some of the most inspiring material in the Bible, here again he prefaced that correction with some wonderful encouragement—giving the most luminous examples of spiritual victory in history!

Build Your Faith!

Hebrews 10 crescendos into what is known as the faith chapter. The Laodiceans are having a crisis in faith! In this materialistic age, we all need more faith! Christ even questioned whether, at the time of His Second Coming, He would find faith on Earth (Luke 18:8). So this is a crucial subject for true Christians to understand.

Paul begins with a definition: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Mr. Armstrong explained this beautifully in “What Is Faith?”, a chapter in his booklet The Plain Truth About Healing. “Now notice, faith is the substance—the marginal rendering says ‘assurance’—of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). So faith comes before possession. Once you have received the possession, you no longer hope for it. But even before you receive it, you have it in substance; and that assurance that you shall possess it—is faith.”

Faith has only to do with God’s Word!” Mr. Armstrong continued. “The one question is, Has God promised it in the Bible? If He has, then probabilities, possibilities, feelings, convictions, impressions, have nothing whatsoever to do with it. God has a thousand ways we know nothing of, of answering and providing whatever He has promised. We don’t need to see how He is going to do it or even when!

“And that’s another thing: He almost never will do it the way we expect. So don’t try to figure out how it is possible for God to do it. You are trusting supernatural power! God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. What He promised He will perform; but He will do it His way and in His time. Leave all that to Him and just trust Him. Rely upon His Word.”

Faith is spiritual power, founded on biblical truth. You must educate your faith.

I urge you to read the Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong to learn how God tested his faith through 28 years of poverty and in countless other ways. Every time all hope seemed crushed, God worked miracles to sustain Mr. Armstrong and the Work. God will do the same in your life. This is the way you must learn to live, now and forever. (Just ask us, and we will send you a free copy of this wonderful book.)

“For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good report” (verse 2). The heroes of the Bible would never have chosen to suffer as they did, in many cases even losing their lives, unless they were absolutely sure of God’s promises.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (verse 3). Look around you at the glorious creation. Admire pictures of the universe captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Even your own mind and body are marvels of creative genius, impossible for humans to replicate. The invisible God has done all this. We cannot understand the incredible human potential until we recognize Him. It is beyond the scope of the five senses.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (verse 6). Do you believe God? It is impossible to please Him if you lack faith! God wants to build in you the same faith that Jesus Christ had on this Earth. That is a lot of faith! And think of all that Christ was able to accomplish by that faith!

Look how God rewards those who diligently seek Him. We are the most blessed people on Earth, with all the rewards God gives us as we seek Him. He wants to fulfill your every desire, as long as it is good for you spiritually. He wants to raise the lowly of this world to the positions of highest honor. He wants to anoint you a world leader! Soon, people will be begging God’s loyal people to lead them (see Zechariah 8:20-23). They will learn through hard experience how incapable they are without God. Man cannot rule over man—but God’s Family can.

The ‘Hall of Faith’

God has memorialized men and women of action in Hebrews 11, the “hall of faith” as it could be called. Paul bombarded the Hebrews with one example after another of real faith, which he wasn’t seeing in the Church members.

These spiritual pillars made profound changes in their lives, and so can you. God will supply you with the faith, hope, love, character and mind of Jesus Christ.

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (verse 4). Are you allowing these biblical examples to speak to you? Are you listening to their message to you?

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (verse 7). Sometimes, obeying God will cause you to stand out. Noah built a massive ark for 100 years. People taunted and jeered him every day, yet it was through Noah that humanity survived! Everybody would have been destroyed—just like they would be in this end time if something doesn’t stop the process. And God will reward Noah tremendously when he is resurrected.

The great patriarch Abraham was also tested by God for years (verses 8-10). God told him to uproot his entire life and move to Canaan without even telling him where he was going—and Abraham just went (Genesis 12:1-4). God promised Abraham a son, but then made him wait 25 years until he was 100 years old before blessing him with Isaac. Hebrews 11:11 talks about how Sarah “judged him faithful who had promised”—she believed God. She really wanted that child, but God made her wait. He doesn’t always give us these blessings when we want them.

Then, God commanded Abraham to take that cherished son and sacrifice him. Imagine that! Isaac could not have been more precious to Abraham. Yet here and in practically every other case, Abraham obeyed without question. Abraham was a type of God the Father sacrificing Jesus Christ. He could see that God would be willing to give up His Son, and he wanted to be just like God. Isaac also understood and obeyed splendidly.

God stopped him just before he sacrificed Isaac, but Abraham was completely committed to following through because he believed God’s promise to multiply his line through this son—meaning that God would have to resurrect him immediately to fulfill the promise! (verses 17-19). That is real faith! This is why Abraham is called the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11). It is an example we must follow. Whatever God tells you, just do it.

Overcome Materialism

Early in his life, Abraham had been as ensconced in the wealth and materialism of society as anyone could have been. But he obeyed God and turned his mind wholly to God! By faith, Abraham understood God’s promise about new Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:10; Revelation 21). He locked his vision on that city where he will be ruling with God. As a result, he realized he was just a pilgrim on Earth. Abraham vividly saw that magnificent world—a world ruled by spirit beings that is still more than a thousand years away! What a marvelous example of living faith!

“Peter, Stephen, Philip, Paul—common, humble, ordinary men themselves—all had that power, the same identical power Jesus had, because they lived and walked close to God and were filled with the Holy Spirit!” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “And we seem to lack that power today, not because God denies us that power, but because we are so close to a modern, materialistic world …” (ibid).

It is only through faith that we can have the spiritual power, godly confidence and boldness we need. Yet too much of the time, we are so tapped into this materialistic world. That can destroy our faith! We must guard against that! To build strong faith, we must come out of this world!

Mr. Armstrong continued, “… our minds are so filled with the material interests of this life; our minds and our hearts are so far from God; we are so out of touch with Him, through lack of enough time spent in the study of His Word and lack of enough of the right kind of surrendered, submissive, earnest and heartrending prayer—and, consequently, because we are not filled with the Holy Spirit …!”

Paul rebuked the Hebrews for not relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, it is so much easier to fall into the same trap. The world around us is far more frenetic and distracting due to modern technology, commotion and clamor.

Moses is another fine example of having overcome worldly distractions and given his life over to God. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26). Moses was a Hebrew raised as an Egyptian and destined to become a royal ruler. Yet he forsook the life of luxury to become God’s instrument of destruction upon Egypt and of freedom for the enslaved Hebrews. Can you imagine that? He decided he would rather suffer affliction with God’s people than rule the most powerful nation in the world! He chose temporary persecution and eternal glory over temporary pleasures and eternal death.

“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible” (verse 27). We have to see the invisible God! He must be real to us! We simply will not leave Egypt if God isn’t real! We won’t give up our idols unless we see “him who is invisible.” That is faith!

Paul concludes this chapter with a spectacular catalog of spiritual triumphs wrought by the faith of Christ. “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again …” (verses 32-35). When you walk by faith, you should expect some magnificent miracles!

These individuals had phenomenal faith, and you can see why they will fill such powerful positions in the World Tomorrow.

A Better Resurrection

There are times, however, when God tests us by not immediately delivering us from a grievous trial. This passage continues: “… and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:35-40).

God will absolutely fulfill every last one of His promises, whether healing, deliverance or other victory. But many of those promises, He will not fulfill until the resurrection. This is a truth that many Laodiceans have forgotten. They have grown tired of waiting on God and have lost faith (Matthew 24:48-51; 2 Peter 3:3-4).

Realize what is at stake here. All the spiritual heroes in this chapter qualified for “a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35)—the first resurrection. And God’s firstfruits will join them: Both the dead and the living saints will transform into spirit and rise to meet Christ in the air as He returns to end all suffering and establish His perfect world government (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This resurrection is “better” because those who are in it will share the throne of David with Jesus Christ forever!

A thousand years later, the second resurrection will include all those who never knew God during this physical life (Revelation 20:11-12). They will be resurrected back to physical life. They will have the opportunity to learn God’s Word, and finally, should they choose to submit, become spirit-born sons of God.

Then comes the third resurrection. That is the second death, reserved for those who refuse their opportunity to know and become one with God (verses 13-14). God wants to save all humanity, but He will not force anyone to accept and apply His truth. It is to this resurrection that a terrifying number of God’s people are heading today! We want to make sure we are not in that category!

Paul is challenging God’s saints to think seriously about which resurrection they will come up in! This is an eternal-life-and-death question!

Every one of us must strive and strain, and live by the very faith of Christ, and follow these inspiring examples, if we are to be part of that “better resurrection”!

Consider Christ

Now look at how Paul uses those examples to transition into more much-needed correction: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Paul again points us back to Jesus Christ, who is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, serving as our High Priest. He succeeded because of “the joy that was set before him.” He ran the course Himself, and we must look to His example. Christ is the Author of our faith because He pioneered the path from mortal flesh to spirit-born Son of God. He is the Finisher because it is only by His Holy Spirit power that we can follow that path.

Again, this is not some dead Christ we are looking to. In traditional Christianity, far too much emphasis is placed on a dead Jesus, or on a helpless baby Jesus. You cannot trust a baby or a dead person! You need a powerful, living Christ!

If you really consider His example, you will take a great deal of correction from that. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (verses 3-4). Thinking on how hard Christ worked to remain perfect, even while He faced the limitations and struggles of the flesh, should motivate you to do everything you can to purge the sin from your life!

You see how Paul is transitioning to this crucial subject of accepting correction from God our Father. In some ways, this is among the most valuable advice God’s people could receive in this Laodicean era!

The Father Corrects His Sons

Paul began the book of Hebrews by reminding the Laodiceans that they had lost the God Family vision. When he starts talking about correction in Hebrews 12, he immediately returns to this theme and puts it in its beautiful family context.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (verses 5-6).

God is a Father! He loves His sons deeply. He is trying to prepare us for life in His Family. That means He must correct us. We all must receive correction. If you are being corrected by God, then you are a son of God!

Not that God is always correcting us—but we will never qualify to enter His eternal Family, let alone to be Jesus Christ’s Bride, without correction from our Father! If we, as the future Bride of Christ, are not moving past the basics, then we must be corrected—or we will not make it! This is a fundamental truth the Laodiceans have forgotten.

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (verse 7). Who doesn’t receive correction from his physical father? Spiritually, the principle is the same: Either God corrects us, or we will turn away from Him. Correction is the only means to convert you from sinner to sinless. We must embrace it!

Christ was brutally punished—even though He never sinned! Shouldn’t we, as sinners, expect correction?

“But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (verse 8). If you continually reject correction, you will lose your Father! That means God will not correct us anymore.

Our greatest curse is when our Father no longer corrects us. Then we are no longer a part of His Family! God ceases to be our Father.

Our greatest blessing is being corrected by our Father! That means we are not spiritual bastards.

The Laodiceans will not allow God to measure them! Like tantrum-throwing children, they tell their Father, You don’t correct ME like that! They are so pleased to escape God’s correction—but they actually haven’t. Their correction will come, and it will be far worse than if they had just listened and obeyed before the Great Tribulation!

Considering how sinful mankind is, doesn’t it make sense that God would have to correct us at times to prepare us to be born into His Family?

God’s correction yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness (verse 11). We must thank God for it!

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (verses 12-13). Each of us is lame. We are weak and beset by problems. We need correction, or else, spiritually, we grow weary and turn away from God.

But God wants to heal all of that. And He will do so, if we will only let Him correct us! How can Christ save us if we do not accept His correction? How can you start as a terrible, evil, ugly human being and expect to be a God being, perfect in character, without getting some correction?

Don’t make any excuses. Ask God for help! Continually seek that correction, especially when you are struggling. Set big goals like God does. I can tell you from personal experience that God’s way works.

My Life-Changing Correction

When I was in my early 20s, my life was a hopeless mess. God probably lowered me to that frustrated state. I met a man around this time who, despite never attending college, had read some amazing books—books I couldn’t even understand. Inspired by his example, I decided to start taking nighttime classes at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and eventually accumulated over a year’s worth of credits.

Shortly after that, God called me into the Worldwide Church of God. I wanted to continue my education. I dreamed of attending Ambassador College. It was one of the strongest passions I have ever had. I applied and was rejected.

One of my local ministers told me that there were many ways I could serve God and His Work in Missouri, so I focused on that for a year.

Then I went to talk to Dr. Herman Hoeh, who supervised the students at Ambassador College. He asked me a very challenging, somewhat humiliating question: “Why haven’t you done more with your life?”

This was hard correction to take. He could have said, “You have a year of college credits and a good job. Just keep it up, and you’ll be OK.” Instead, he told me the truth! It proved to be wonderful for my growth.

I prayed about that correction. There was no opportunity for advancement at my company, so I couldn’t improve in that area right away. Before long, the company was having problems and laying off some workers. I decided to accept a severance package to part ways with the company. That gave me enough money to start an advertising business. Because Dr. Hoeh made me face reality, I tried to do more with my life. I worked hard to serve both inside and outside the Church. Three years later, I was ordained a deacon.

That business venture fell through. I then got a job in direct-mail advertising. In that position I learned more about advertising than at any time before or since. It was a high-stakes job: If you don’t get results in direct mail, you’re a failure. Eventually, I was fired.

By then, I was married and had a 6-month-old daughter. I heard that Ambassador College was beginning to accept married students. My minister told me to apply and see what would happen. Just five days before the academic year began, college admissions called my minister and explained why they would have to reject me again. My minister interceded for me. A college official relented and told him to send me out to California. Thankfully, I had prepared to move on short notice.

My physical father never taught me much, but he did instill the habit of submission to authority. I had listened closely to Dr. Hoeh’s rebuke. I even felt that God had allowed me to be fired a couple of times so I would have more humility at college. Though the trials were tough, God had made my dream of attending Ambassador College come true.

It turned out that was only the start of much more correction and counsel from many ministers. Off the top of my head I can name five evangelists, three pastors, a preaching elder and a local elder in the wcg who gave me hard correction, and I believe there were more. I am not exaggerating when I say that their correction was a blessing every time! Every one of them had a positive impact on me. Even when correction and direction weren’t given perfectly, they gave me something I needed to work on, along with some humility and other lessons God was teaching me.

I have been in God’s Church for awhile now, and I am truly thankful to God that I know what I know. I hope and pray I will never disappoint God in any way. Many times I have been corrected due to my own stupidity. I still make mistakes I shouldn’t. But my track record of obeying the ministry is pretty solid. God taught me how to submit to His government. Of course, we are to follow the ministers only as they follow Christ. But God’s true and loving ministers are here to help. They want to see you enter the Kingdom of God!

Always remember that you need God’s help. Get it, and you will have an impact! God always keeps His promises—but you have to do your part.

When you have the honor of being corrected by your Father, you are on the path to glory! God is guiding us into His Family. We now have the new throne of David, from which we will rule alongside Jesus Christ forever. (For more information, request my free book The New Throne of David.) Can you comprehend that—the very throne of God? How blessed we are to be the servants of the Almighty God. This reward is worth any amount of correction!

Beware Bitterness

Again Paul reminds us that there are people who are losing their opportunity to be in the Family of God. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:14-15).

Many people in this end time have been defiled by bitterness! Perhaps it is because of a people problem, an offense taken at some kind of slight—maybe even some correction that was given to help a person. We have to know that if God corrects us, it is for our benefit. We must not get bitter. If you fail to accept that correction, it is only a matter of time before your attitude will turn to bitterness. Mr. Armstrong said if you let yourself get bitter, it is harder to kick than an addiction to heroin! It can take people away from God very quickly.

Never let that happen. We have nothing to be bitter about! We have everything to thank and praise God for, considering all that He has given us.

It is right after this Paul talks about Esau, a prophecy about 50 percent of the Laodiceans losing their eternal lives (see Chapter 1).

We live in an age when eternal life is at stake for God’s people! Paul underlines this point by contrasting with ancient Israel. At that time, God was working with the people in a physical way; they could not relate to God on a spiritual level because they lacked God’s Spirit (verses 18-21). But that is not the case with us! “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (verses 22-24).

What an inspiring description of the magnificent opportunities God gives to those who accept His correction! We are come to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God! Can you see that reality? We are of “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven”! What a calling we have! We are among those faith-filled warriors of Hebrews 11! And we have the spiritual aid and power of “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant”—our living High Priest!

Yes, everything is at stake—but God gives us all the spiritual power we need if only we will avail ourselves of it! Nobody need fail!

The Government of God

Paul then continues talking about accepting God’s correction. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25). Anciently, the Israelites were terrified at God’s voice, and they didn’t want to hear God (Exodus 20:18-19). God is speaking to us in this end time just as surely as He did them. We must not turn away from His voice! Yet that is what the Laodiceans are doing. We must hear Him!

Don’t lose sight of the magnificence of our God and of the Kingdom we serve. Hear God’s voice, and serve Him with the right kind of fear. Not trembling and running away from God—but trembling at His word and running from sin—doing all we can to obey God! “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).

The Laodiceans have lost this fear! (Malachi 1:6). And unless they repent, they are going to be burned up in consuming fire! (Malachi 3:2-3; 4:1).

Paul gets even more specific and talks about the importance of submitting to the government within the Church.

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Hebrews 13:7).

If we lack faith, or have lost our faith, then we cannot faithfully follow God’s leaders. Satan will use men to deceive us. This is exactly what has happened to thousands of God’s own Laodicean people!

So let’s understand. God uses a man to lead His Church, and He gives men the rule over His people. But He tells us to follow their faith, not their carnal ideas! God expects us to submit to His human government in faith. But we still cling to Christ—not men. God doesn’t want us to follow human government. If the leaders are not walking by faith, then do not follow them. We are only deceived when we follow government that is not walking by faith. You will never be deceived if you follow the leader as he follows Christ!

The Bible is Jesus Christ in print! We can prove from the Bible who is following Christ.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (verse 8). Christ uses the same government today that He used under Mr. Armstrong. In terms of numbers of members, God probably built His greatest Work in 2,000 years through that man. To say that it was done without God’s government is casting aside all logical reasoning! It is also a rebellious attitude.

“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein” (verse 9). We are warned not to be carried away by “strange doctrines.”

We were taught God’s government under Mr. Armstrong. Yet, as we saw in Chapter 1, some Laodicean groups, led by men who had been ministers in the Worldwide Church of God for years, were organized using “collegial government.” That is the strangest, most abominable doctrine of all! God’s government is the head of Christ’s body. If someone wants to cut off the Head of the body, he is terribly rebellious and deceived!

If you lose God’s government doctrine, then many other doctrines will also become strange! How could it be any other way when you lose your Head—Jesus Christ?

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (verse 17). God says we must submit to those men who are accountable for our eternal lives, or the leaders cannot serve you with joy. This is another way of saying follow those who point you to Christ and His government.

If Satan could only destroy one doctrine, which one would it be? Governmentevery time! That way Satan can destroy God’s Work! And the rest of the doctrines will become tarnished at best.

What wonderfully practical instruction Paul has for this Laodicean era! If only God’s people would humble themselves to accept it!

‘I Will Never Leave You’

So many of God’s people have rebelled against God in this Laodicean era. Many have given up on God. But God has not given up on them, and He will not until they have proved themselves completely unreachable. He is still looking for ways to reach them! What a marvelous, faithful God He is!

God says in Hebrews 13:5, “I will NEVER leave thee, nor forsake thee.” In the Greek, this literally reads, “I will never, no, never leave thee, nor ever forsake thee.” Matthew Henry’s commentary says, “Here are no fewer than five negatives heaped together, to confirm the promise; the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him in life, at death, and for ever.” I will never, never, NEVER forsake you! That is the loyalty God has toward His Family.

The book of Hebrews is a message we need during these days just before the Second Coming. Our High Priest is actively working on our behalf. He is in the third heaven, helping us right now to make it into the Family of God. He is our Savior—He is saving us! That is a major part of His Work!

Jesus Christ is making us perfect. Revelation 19:7 says that “his wife hath made herself ready.” When He gets here, the wife will be ready! Of course, that means we are going to be corrected. That is how God makes us ready!

We are running out of time to get ready. Hebrews shows us the urgency of the time. Again, Paul wrote it just a few years before the Romans plunged Jerusalem into a terrifying holocaust. Anyone who didn’t go to a place of safety was slaughtered! That is a picture of what modern-day Israel will experience very soon.

Those who stay loyal to God in this Laodicean age will not have to experience the Tribulation. We will be taken to a place of safety, a place of final preparation before Christ’s return. “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).

Keep your mind focused on the future God is preparing for you! God’s faithful saints are about to marry Jesus Christ and then rule beside Him on the throne of David at headquarters in Jerusalem. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). The very elect will be at headquarters forever, ruling over all the universe, through all eternity! There can be no greater blessing and greater reward than that!