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Thoughts on Meat and milk (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Hebrews 6: 4-6


It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (Hebrews 6: 4-6, NIV)


Impossible is a very rare word in God's vocabulary for there is nothing that is impossible with God.
Where then does the impossibility come from? Let's look at scripture and see if it interprets itself.


"for those who have once been enlightened,"
Enlightened is the Greek word photizo, which means to shed light upon, or to be illuminated.
The obvious point here is that the people in this reference were instructed and furnished with a clear view of Gods life. Hopefully that life was a part of them.


It seems that you cannot have a discussion about this without Judas Iscariot coming up. The assumption is that a man that had that close of a contact with Jesus would have surely belonged to God. In a sense we all do and we will all answer to him some day. Judas was not the only one to put Jesus on that cross, we did too. Judas was not the only man to betray Jesus, we do that also when we refuse his voice and deny him access to our lives.
Jesus said, "Did not I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil." We are all tools, the sad part is you think you are in control. Scripture tells us "that the heart of the king is guided by the hand of the Lord, and he guides him like a river, wherever the Lord wants him to go."(Proverbs 21:1) God chose Judas for a purpose; it is not yours to question why. You can try to understand but you will be limited at best because you are a human.
Consider this in light of Judas Iscariot. Jesus goes into the synagogue. There a man, a Jew, amongst the religious, we presume he is learned or learning just as the others, and he is known among them. In other words he blends in and seems to be accepted. Almost immediately this one man screams out "Let us alone(1); what have we to do with you,(2) you Jesus of Nazareth?(3) are you come to destroy us?(4) I know you who you are, the Holy one of God.(5)"


1. "Let us alone,". Assuming that Jesus was known to some degree, and that he was, in the religious mind, contrary to their system. It would not have been surprising to hear several espouse their agreement.
(Remember the leprous man that ask Jesus to cleanse him. That was over and above merely healing the man. He had asked Jesus to circumvent the religious system. Jesus seemed to hesitate at that one only because he knew the wrath that would come upon him prematurely, and Jesus knew it was not his time yet. If you choose not to believe this then why did Jesus instruct the man to tell no one? (Which by the way, the man did not pay attention to.) Why wouldn't God have wanted the world to know that he could not only heal, but restore a man to his community - that seems odd to say for it implies an obsession with stature. God is not interested in your position within the community as much as he is with the impact upon your mental well being. For the priest to reintroduce a banished man back into the community would mean the community had accept him once again. No more ostracization, and the freedom to be communicative and accepted. The restoration of fellowship.)


2. "What have we to do with you". Mary had stood her ground. If she had said Joseph was the father of the child there would have been the usual grumblings about improprieties, but they would have subsided. Instead Mary stands her ground saying that the baby was God's. That was impossible in their minds and she was deemed a prostitute. That made her a marked woman and Jesus a marked man. The term applied was mumser (as far as they knew he was a bastard child). He would not have been allowed in the synagogue nor allowed to be trained by any respected teachers from there. He would have never been called a Rabbi by those of that community. This is speculation only because scripture does not speak specifically to it, but it is based upon known customs of the day, so I am probably not that far off. If they had any knowledge of Jesus as a youth this would have one of the weapons they used against him.
3. "You Jesus of Nazareth". As I said, this would have been the tie in with the questionable heritage. You think that is not true? Jesus, in his 30's, challenges the pharisees by saying you are of your father the devil. They responded with "we know who our father is". This was a direct shot implying that he was a bastard child. There is no doubt that many thought nothing of this comment and grumbled in agreement.
4. "are you come to destroy us?" The word the demon(s) used was apollumi, which meant to destroy fully; even the demons know that there is an end to all things, and then their reign of terror will be over.
The Jewish mind would not have said this, for they knew they were the chosen people. Even though God had punished them throughout the years, God had always promised to leave them a remnant and yet this man used the term for utter destruction.
This comment brought all eyes back on speaker, for how could he think that this one man could possibly bring a stronghold of religion down, beside that Jesus had been around them long enough for them to know that he was not running around with swords trying to bring anarchy.
The un-spiritual ear would not have heard the demonic nature of the comment. Jesus knew exactly what he was dealing with, not a religious man with a big mouth, but multiple demons. Those demons had reacted immediately to his presence. The Jewish mind is very in tune with the concept of Angels, but that certainly does not mean that they are perceptive of demonic activity; they merely acknowledge their existence.


5. "I know you who you are, the Holy One of God." This was the comment that Jesus had to do something about. None of those men would have made that statement. This was the truth, and truth was something that they would not have admitted. When Nicodemus came to Jesus he said "we know that you are come from God", but yet we know of only two who choose to believe in Him. These men did not believe, but we know that the demons did, and that was who was addressing Jesus now.
James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that, and shudder." Jesus was keenly aware of the timing of the cross. Daniel had prophesied a precise day and no demon was going to force his hand. Much to the surprise of the religious people in that room Jesus cast the demon(s) out of the man. (They rarely go quietly) Surprisingly those who witnessed this changed little about the way they thought of Jesus; if anything their level of fear probably rose, and some clearly felt that Jesus operated out of the devil's power, because they accused him of it later.


Now let's bring it home, suppose this is us, as it could well be. We could be playing either of these roles, the religious community or the demon possessed man. How often do we sit in bible study or a church service, surrounded by what we assume are people of a like mind. No doubt there are those who among us that appear to be like us and yet you do not know their hearts. We all sin daily; Paul was brave enough to say that he was the chiefest of sinners. Did that make him demon possessed? Not hardly; it made him aware of his need for a savior, and that on a daily basis.
So how far do we have to step away from God to be considered a person who was once enlightened? A few feet, or miles; perhaps it does not matter; perhaps the only person that has put any distance between God and you, is you.


"and have tasted of the heavenly gift,"
Merely having Jesus as part of your life could well be what the writer is talking about. No scripture is of private interpretation, but some things are relatively obvious.
How many different things could the heavenly gift encompass? How many of those aspects lead you to the throne of grace? There in you will find your answer.


The short answer to what the gift is, is eternal life, but in truth you sort of have that already.
Read your scriptures and you will find that your soul will never die. You will find that death in reality means separation from the one that loves you with an everlasting love. When you experience a moment of what that love feels like then you have tasted. How does one taste fine cuisine and choose to go back to eating a meal out of a box? That is what we do when we turn our backs on the heavenly gift.


A gift is free, often handed to you for you to unwrap. A good deal of the time the person giving you the gift is just as excited about your reaction as you might be to see what it is. Why would you choose to put that precious gift in the closet awaiting the right moment in time to open it? One of the things about this gift is that we know what some aspects of that gift are. Why do we know that? People have gone on before us and explored it. They have spent time experiencing the gift and have related to us how that gift impacts their life. What we do not know is how magnificent any of the rest of it will be. If you have tasted the gift that certainly does not mean you have sat down and eaten the meal. Scripture tells us that no eye has seen what God has in store for us. Beyond the wildest imagination, and anything Star Trek could ever dream up.


"who have shared in the Holy Spirit," (NIV)
Merely to taste only wets your appetite for more. These have been under the fountain, but they are not there now. Why not? We all have our excuses. The primary one would have to be our own desire to serve ourselves.


"who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,"
I was involved in an outpouring of the spirit that lasted about two years almost 16 years ago. People came from everywhere, stood under the fountain of God and tasted the goodness of the word of God, and experienced the powers of the kingdom. Where are they now? I could not get enough, my heart has always longed for more. I long for his face, his voice, and his touch upon my body.
Many of those who came were merely spectators, just like people who chase ambulances. They come to see the drama and how God affects people, but to be involved is not part of their intent. Watching others get blessed can make you feel good or make you jealous. The only way to have a lasting impact is to allow God to have his way and let him flow through you.


"if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."
You come to the Lord, and for a moment life is good, but you got married and their heart was not were yours was. Perhaps you got that great job or you found yourself stuck in a lousy one, and you either turned your back on God because money became a good substitute for God or you became disgruntled at God and life because of the sorry situation life put you in.
Jesus is not going back on the cross for you. He already did all that he needed to do, and for him to have to be re-crucified for you would mean that his actions upon that cross were not enough. It was enough. That is exactly what the letter to the Hebrews is all about. The writer is declaring that Jesus is superior in every way, and because of what he did (you are going to have to find that out) you can have a confidence that will not allow you to be shaken.
That pretty much puts the ball back in your court. Sure, we have to live in a place where we keep ourselves in constant communication with Him by turning to him and repenting of the sins we commit against him, but nothing you have done has ever changed His heart toward you.
So, can you be brought back to a place of repentance, the type necessary for the first timer? No. The concept that you can do that comes from your lack of understanding about God's love toward you, and what you did to receive him.
God sent his Son to die for a world filled with people that could do nothing to deserve his love, and yet he, out of love, gave himself regardless of your condition.
His death upon the cross secured your forgiveness and made you able to become his son through adoption. Did you choose to become his by accepting the fact that he did all this for you? Then you are his, always will be.


"to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame."
You might soil the family name with your antics, but you will never put God to shame.
You might make a fool out of yourself, but you will never make a fool out of
God. So this statement is purely conjecture. There is no way to validate such a claim. Moses used a line like this on God when God was about to destroy Israel for their rebellion and lack of faith. What Moses's statement seemed to accomplish was God withholding his judgment against many. God will not allow anyone to put him to shame. Satan tried that trick; read the end of the book and you will see what becomes of him and those who choose to follow him.
The objective is to live in state of forgiveness, covered by his precious blood. If you find yourself away from him, merely run to him.
An example for us is the story that we call the Prodigal son. When he returned to his senses and chose to come back home, where he had determined that he would take the job as a servant, the Father saw him coming from a long way off and ran to his son who had returned. There was no room for repentance, the fact that he had returned demonstrated the humbleness of the young man's heart. Come back to the Father's arms.

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