When Paul wrote Hebrews, he already knew that the church would be raptured, that the Tribulation would be principally directed toward the Jews, and that a person in the Tribulation would have to endure to the end to be saved, Matt 10:22, Heb 3:6, 14.
In v.1 Holy brethren are those who are partakers of the heavenly calling, and partakers of Christ, v.14. “Brethren” here is principally Jewish (Hebrews). Paul is going to quote a pertinent Old Testament passage comparing the wilderness journey before entering Canaan to the Tribulation before entering the millennial reign and their inheritance in Israel.
Consider Christ Jesus…
Who is The Apostle and High Priest
Apostle – apostle means to send away, to send. Jesus is the one sent by the Father, Jn 20:21. Therefore he is the Apostle.
High Priest – see Heb 2:17; 4:14-15; 5:5, 10. He is not of the Levitical priests of the old covenant with Moses.
Profession – this is the collective body of persons engaged in a calling (our heavenly calling). So, Paul is writing to those who already profess Christ to be their Messiah and Savior.
Who is Faithful like Moses
v.2 Faithful like Moses was faithful. Now not only is Paul going to show that Jesus is better than Moses, but that the same problem that kept some of the Jews out of the promised land is the same problem that can keep these who believe in Jesus from entering their rest in the millennial reign of Jesus.
Who is worthy of more glory than Moses
v.3 Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses. He who builded the house hath more honor than the house. v.4 every house is built by some man. But God built all things. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh and the creator of everything.
v.5 Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant. It wasn’t his possession; he built it for Israel. His was a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after. According to Deut 18:15-19, Jesus is that Prophet who came after and spoke God’s words to them.
v.6 But Christ is a son over his own house, rather than a servant like Moses.
Whose house are “we”, if “we” endure to the end
v.6 It’s his house, which is a reference to Eph 2:19-22, the household of God, “whose house are we”. Here Paul is not referring to the body of Christ. We’re gone. We are his body in the church age. They are in his house in the Tribulation.
v.6 If (conditional) we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope. In Acts 23:6, the hope is the resurrection. In Acts 26:6-8, the resurrection is the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God say and night, hope to come.
v.6 firm unto the end, v.14, 6:11. The end is a reference to the end of the world, Matt 24:3, 14-21, 29-31. Clearly the end is connected with the second coming of Christ. See Ezek 7:2-7. And notice Matt 24:13 they must endure unto the end to be saved. See comments on v.14.
v.7 Wherefore is followed by a parenthesis which continues to the end of v.11. Then in v.12, Paul picked up the sentence again with “take heed”. So, wherefore, take heed, brethren.
v.7-11 the parenthetical is from Ps 95:7-11. See Num 14:22-23. They tempted the Lord, Ex 17:2, 7. Their rest in Deut 12:9 is the promised land in Canaan.
v.12 take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. This is the sin that will keep them out of their Hope just like unbelief kept those Jews who fell in the wilderness from entering Canaan.
v.13 to prevent departing from the living God, Paul instructs them to exhort one another daily, Heb 10:24-25.
v.13 while it is called To day. Today is the present day. However, “To day” is like the wandering in the wilderness. It encompasses the day(s) leading up to the promise. Lest they are hardened through deceitfulness of sin. Hardened is obstinate (fixed firmly in resolution), confirmed in error. Hardened against the truth. The deceitfulness of sin. Paul said in Rom 7:11, sin deceived me.
For example, in Gen 2, God said don’t eat the fruit, you’ll die. In Gen 3, sin said you won’t die. Here’s the “real deal”, in the day you eat, your eyes will open and you’ll be as gods, knowing good and evil. God’s keeping you from the fruit because he doesn’t want you to be like him. This wasn’t true; it’s the deceitfulness of sin. Mormons say, for instance, keep all these commandments and you’ll be just like God; you can’t be saved by just believing in Jesus. Anyone who believes this is deceived.
In the Tribulation, sin will say something like, you’re crazy for not taking the mark! Look at those fools who haven’t; they’re dying of starvation and the sword because they didn’t take this mark and worship “God”, 2 Thes 2:4. Sin will sound like the ten spies. Are you crazy, we’re like grasshoppers in their sight? They’ll kill us. And no matter that Joshua and Caleb testified the truth that God would give them the victory, the ten were hardened in unbelief. And some Hebrews who believe on Jesus will be hardened by unbelief in the Tribulation.
Of whom “we” are partakers, if “we” endure to the end
v.14 if (conditional) we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.
v.14 we are made partakers of Christ, see Rom 11:15-27. In Rom 11:17 those in the tree are partakers of the root and fatness of the olive tree. Rom 11:20 By unbelief they were broken off. Rom 11:23 they can be grafted in again if they abide not still in unbelief. In Rom 11:25 Israel is saved (see the reference in Matt 24:13), which happens at the second advent. So they have to endure to his coming to be “saved”. In the church age, on the other hand, we are saved and made members of Christ, 1 Cor 12:12, 27.
v.15 Paul repeats the quote about “To day”.
v.16 some did provoke the Lord, but not all. See the context of Ps 95. If all had been denied the rest in Palestine, there would be no Hebrews to whom to write this letter.
v.17God was grieved with them that had sinned, 1 Cor 10:5, and they fell in the wilderness
v.18-19 God sware that he would not let them that believed not enter rest. They could not enter because of their unbelief. They who continue to believe through the Tribulation will enter rest. By contrast, we who are saved in the church age have already entered heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph 2:6.