THE WORLD TO COME
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? 5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
This phrase, “The World to Come” was that which the Jewish community used to refer to the Messianic kingdom. And even though they anticipated it, it was far different from what they had imagined. This is reflected in the last question which the disciples posed to the Lord at the very time of his ascension. Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? His answer implied a gospel kingdom in which they were to be witnesses, not warriors. And the leader of the gospel forces was to be the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
In the Hebrews 2:5 verse of our text the lesson is that, unlike the first dispensation of the law, this second and final dispensation would not be put in subjection to the angels. The only mediator now between God and man is the Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
He alone is to have all authority and dominion, both in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Jesus Christ is the God-man. There is no other Being in the universe like him. And when he had accomplished the recovery of the glory of God in the universe, he sat down on God’s royal throne! Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We find our title phrase once again in this Hebrew letter. Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
In our first encounter of our title phrase we learned that this second and final dispensation would not have such a relation to the angels as did the first. Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
But here in Hebrews six, in this second recorded reference to the kingdom of the Messiah, we are made to understand that a light esteem of the kingdom’s gospel will be eternally fatal. For it is impossible to ‘unhear’ that word, just as one cannot unring a bell! Therefore whenever one hears the gospel and falls away from the sincerity of belief, they cannot be renewed to their original condition as if they had never heard it.
There is a far difference in one who just wants a taste of a food than one who is hungry and needs nourishment. To have a sincere hunger for God’s righteousness is said to be a blessed condition. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Only those with soul-hunger shall have Christ, as life’s Bread to fully and eternally satisfy them. John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Also the Apostle Peter writes of this present gospel age as being “new heavens and a new earth.” First he writes of the coming destruction of the present physical world by fire. But then he says, “Nevertheless” we, according to his promise, are presently looking for the developing of the world of gospel righteousness. 2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
And that world wherein dwelleth righteousness is only to be found as one enters it by the new birth from the Holy Spirit. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
THIS is the new heavens and earth which John saw that proceeded from God out of heaven, which came down at Pentecost. Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
To be very clear, according to God’s word there are only two dispensations of time. There is that of the law, and that of the gospel. These are the very separations of your Bible – the Old and New Testaments! And they are also revealed in the inspired word. The first is listed as “in times past” in Hebrews 1:1. And the second is listed as “in these last days” in Hebrews 1:2. (Be careful, for the Scofield Bible states that there are seven.) Therefore we are presently living well into the second and last dispensation, which is “The World to Come.” We are presently living in the time of Christ’s gospel kingdom, which only those who are borned again, or born from above, can either see or enter.
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. The Amplified reads, “… the kingdom of God is within you (in your hearts) and among you (surrounding you).”
And what was the dividing line? What made the difference between the two dispensations? It was the bringing in of the Eternal Son of God! For the first age, marked by the “disposition of angels,” (see Acts 7:53), ended as the Father brought in the first begotten into the world. Take careful note of the difference in God’s relating to the angels after his Son is brought into the world in these verses. Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Our GBC members were instructed last Lord’s Day by our song leader that Jesus Christ was the firstbegotten as he was the first human ever born without sin. For Adam was not born. He was formed! So Jesus Christ was the first begotten by the Holy Spirit in a long line of his brothers to be borned again by the same Spirit.
Christ fulfilled the law, ending the Old Economy and began “The World to Come,” which shall issue in the eternal age. Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed (“the seed which is Christ:” – verse 16), should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
He not only fulfilled the morality of the law by his perfect life, but he fulfilled the historical prophesies of the law in his death. Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
And since “The World to Come” is not to be put in subjection unto the angels, to whom is it to be put into subjection? It is to be made subject to man! That is, both the Redeemer and all who are redeemed in the human race. Consider these verses:’ Hebrews 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
The Lord God started out to have a paradise with a human made in his own image having dominion and authority over it. That was lost in Adam. But he shall have it in eternal glory in Christ Jesus and with all those he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. (Romans 8:29) Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, (The spiritual resurrection of regeneration), seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
They shall be brought from regeneration, spiritually sitting in heavenly places in Christ, unto eternal glorification so that the Father might show them the exceeding riches of his grace. Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Pastor Gene Breed
October 31, 2019