The Berean Expositor
Volume 41 - Page 170 of 246
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which is immediately followed by a reference to the greater and more perfect Tabernacle
over which Christ presided as the High Priest of good things to come (Heb. 9: 11). At
verse 6 of Heb. 3:, the apostle turns from the house built by Moses to the house ruled
over by the Son and says "Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the
rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end". This new facet of truth we must now consider
in our next article.
The Provocation.
pp. 206 - 212
Chapters 3: and 4: are bounded by the word "confession":
"Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession" (3: 1 R.V.).
"Let us hold fast our confession" (4: 14 R.V.).
It is evident that the Hebrew believers were exhorted to consider Christ as an Example
in the matter of this "confession".  A somewhat parallel double occurrence is
I Tim. 6: 12-14 where Timothy's "good confession" is associated with that of Christ
before Pontius Pilate. The word contains an element of danger and opposition, and the
exhortation is to hold it fast unto the end. The one great feature which is singled out by
the apostle in the case of Christ Himself is that He "was FAITHFUL" (Heb. 2: 17; 3: 2).
Therefore within the bounds set by 3: 1 and 4: 14 will come some further teaching,
example, exhortation, encouragement and warning, such as will, by the grace of God,
help the tried believer to hold on his way.
The one characteristic of Christ which the Hebrew believers were called upon to
consider was His faithfulness; the one great warning which follows is that against
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of UNBELIEF, in
departing from the living God" (3: 12).
"So we see that they could not enter in because of UNBELIEF" (3: 19).
"The word preached did not profit them, because they were not united by FAITH to
them that heard" (4: 2 margin).
The great example is "the provocation". This word comes from pikraino--`to be
bitter', and illuminates Heb. 12: 15, 16, where another type for the believer's warning
(Esau) is closely linked with a `root of bitterness'. The great `text' of the writer in these
two chapters is taken from Psa. 95:, which he introduces with the solemn words, "As
the Holy Ghost saith".
It is evident that we must know something of this `provocation' on the part of Israel if
we would profit by the Scripture before us. In Numb. 14: we have the record. Caleb
and Joshua had urged upon the people a confident faith in the Lord with respect to the
entry into possession of the land of promise.