Church of Christ
at
Locks Cross Roads
48) Hebrews - Chapter 13:8 and following
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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever Jesus Christ is the same, for there is no need for
Him to change.  He is the same, His love and His saving power.  The Christ that sits at God's right hand is as
immutable as the Father Who promises Abraham.

Yesterday, He came from the Father to do the will of God and finished it; Today He serves as Priest before God on
man's behalf.  He has not changed in His attitude toward sin.  He hates evil and loves man as always.  Some try to
define the time element, when today began, but this is beside the point.  "Yea and forever" refers to the ages.  This
is for the eternity to come.  Change with us is constant, but our Lord is wonderfully perfect.  Perfection cannot
change for the better.

Be not carried away by divers and strange teachings.
The Christian has Christ who is unchanging truth; therefore he should avoid all other teachings.  Those who have
latter day revelations always conflict with other latter day teachers as well as with the scripture.  God's revealed
Word is able to furnish us completely, so what more can a strange teaching do?  See 2nd Timothy 3:15-17.

If we are anchored in Christ we will not be carried like a ship into a sea of false doctrine, with waves of error.  Paul
warns about winds of doctrines, Ephesians 4:14 for it is good that the heart be established by grace.  This is in
contrast to the worldly ones who are drifting, shifting, to one pleasure, doctrine, etc.  Strange doctrines, foreign to
the truth, will never establish one.  This verse suggests the anchoring of the soul, as seen in Chapter Six.  Not by
meats, wherein they that occupied themselves were not profited.  This refers to the meats used in sacrifices, which
no longer is a method for atonement.  Christ was the perfect Sacrifice, made once and for all, so no other sacrifice
is needed.

The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, says Paul in Romans 14:17.  Only one sacrifice profits the sinner, and
that is Christ's.

We have an altar.  What is our altar?  Several opinions are listed here.  Some say that this is a general statement,
and no particular thing is meant.  It is only imagery.  Christ is the altar, some say.  Others suggest the Lord's Table.  
Some say the heavenly place where Christ offers the virtue of His own blood.  The cross on which Christ was
crucified is suggested.  It signifies the divine nature of Christ on which the human nature is supposed to have been
offered.

The altar was the place where the victim was placed, so what could be referred to but the cross?  It is the cross
where blood was shed for the remission of our sins.  Very likely he does not refer to the Christian at all.  The author
is referring to an Old Testament altar, for the next expression has no meaning otherwise.  Whereof they have no
right to eat that which serve the tabernacle.  If the altar was the Lord's Table, this would be a good proof for closed
communion.  This is an allusion to the Old Testament custom.  Those who served the tabernacle could eat of the
sacrifices.  The exception was on the Day of Atonement.  The bodies which gave the blood carried into the Holy of
holies were burned without camp.  See Leviticus 6:26 and 30, Leviticus 4:7.  These animals were not eaten for meat
as were others.