WHOSE HOUSE ARE WE, IF. . .
ARLEN L, CHITWOOD
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus Christ; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a Son over his house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Hebrews 3: 1-6).
Hebrews, chapters three and four cover the second of the five major warnings to believers in this book. And different things in these two chapters have been an enigma to numerous Bible students over the years.
For Example, what does the Scripture mean when it states:
"But Christ as a son over his house; whose house are we if . . . " (3: 6)?
"For we are made partakers [‘companions,’ ‘sharers.’] of Christ, if . . . " (3: 14)?
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (4: 1)?
"There remaineth therefore a rest [‘Sabbath rest’] to the people of God" (4: 9)?
The problem which most students of the Word encounter when studying passages such as these in the Book of Hebrews is actually self-induced. Individuals seek to understand these and other passages in this book apart from two main things: (1) Understanding that Hebrews deals, not with the salvation which we presently possess, but with the salvation of the soul, and (2) understanding that Hebrews draws extensively from Old Testament typology at almost every point.
That is to say, issues in the Book of Hebrews have to do with millennial rather than eternal verities. The warnings in this book have to do with the Messianic Era alone, not with one’s presently possessed eternal salvation. And the spiritual lessons surrounding these issues are drawn mainly from the Old Testament types.
This is what the book is about, this is the manner in which the book has been written, and the book must be studied accordingly.
Teachings surrounding the house of Christ are drawn from those surrounding the house of Moses. The latter constitutes the type and the former the antitype. And the antitype must follow the type in exact detail - from the death of the firstborn in Egypt (Ex. 12) to the overthrow of an entire generation (save Caleb and Joshua) in the wilderness or the entrance of the saved generation into the land of Canaan (Num. 14: 29ff; Joshua 1: 1ff).
The house of Moses is spoken of as consisting of all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership (cf. Num. 12: 7; Heb. 3: 5). Those comprising this house were all "under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And all were baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink . . . " But, "with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness" (1 Cor. 10: 1-5). They were cut off from the house of Moses. They fell as excommunicated pilgrims - on the right side of the blood, but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling.
Then, immediately following these words reiterating the experiences of the Israelites in 1 Cor. 10: 1-5, the Spirit of God moved the Apostle Paul to write, "Now these things were our examples [lit., ‘Now these things happened as types for us’] . . ." (v. 6; cf. v. 11). Israel under the leadership of Moses forms the type, and the Church under the leadership of Christ forms the antitype. Nothing could be plainer than that.
With these things in mind, it is also clear that if the house of Moses consisted of all who came out of Egypt under his leadership, then the house of Christ must consist of all who have been separated from this world under His leadership. That is, if the house of Moses consisted of all Israelites, the house of Christ must consist of all Christians. And such is exactly the case, for there must be this parallel between type and antitype.
But with this in mind, note that Heb. 3: 6 speaks of the house of Christ in a more limited sense than consisting of all Christians. This verse places a condition on Christians being members of Christ’s house -". . . whose house are we [Christians], if . . ."
And the reason Heb. 3: 6 speaks of the house of Christ in a more limited sense is because this verse looks ahead to a time spoken of as "the end," which could only be the end of our present pilgrim journey. In the type, most comprising Moses’ house were cut off during their pilgrim journey, prior to "the end"- the end of their pilgrim journey, which would have been at the end of the nation’s realization of the rights of the firstborn in the land of Canaan. * And it will be the same for those in the house of Christ in the antitype. In both instances, individuals (Israelites, Christians) were / will be cut off from their respective houses (house of Moses, house of Christ) under their respective Heads (Moses, Christ).
[* Could this 'realization of the rights of the firstborn in the land' be a clue to the meaning of the expression the salvation of the spirit? "Hand this man over to Satan, so that his sinful nature (or his body) may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the lord" (1 Cor. 5: 5). In other words, "saved" in the sense that he was released "on the day of the Lord" from spiritual blindness relative to the realization of the rights of the firstborn: "Nevertheless as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times - not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No-one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it" (the land). "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit" (that is, Caleb's spirit was saved in the sense that he released the importance of what God had promised on oath - an inheritance in the land.) "and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land . . ."(That is, at a later date before his death; but much more importantly after resurrection, he will "inherit it". He will rise from the dead at the first resurrection and be given an inheritance in the "kingdom of God" - in the millennium.] (Num. 14: 14: 21-24). - Ed.]
The Israelites’ being cut off from the house of Moses had nothing to do with the previous death of the firstborn occurring in Egypt. The firstborn had died, God was satisfied, and that was the end of the matter. But being subsequently cut off from the house of Moses had everything to do with entrance into the land of Canaan. They fell as excommunicated pilgrims in the wilderness, on the right side of the blood (eternally saved) but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (outside the land of Canaan).
And the matter will be exactly the same for Christians who one day find themselves cut off from the house of Christ. The matter will have nothing to do with the death of the firstborn. Christ - the Passover Lamb, the antitype of the paschal lambs slain in Ex. 12 - has "died for our sins. . . " (1 Cor. 5: 7; 15: 3, 4). And any person applying the blood (through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ) is eternally secure simply because God is satisfied with the finished work of His Son at Calvary. Nothing can ever nullify that which occurred at the point of belief (Rom. 8: 38, 39), for it is based entirely on Christ’s finished work.
But the person applying the blood can be cut off from the house of Christ in the antitype of those who were cut off from the house of Moses. He can fall as an excommunicated pilgrim in the wilderness, on the right side of the blood (eternally saved) but on the wrong side of the goal of his calling (outside the land to which he was called).
In order to be a member of Christ’s house in that coming day, one must, according to Heb. 3: 6, "hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." And the spiritual lesson concerning exactly what is meant by this statement must be drawn from the type.
The Greek word translated "hold fast" (katecho) refers, contextually, to keeping something constantly in mind or in one’s possession as that person presses toward the goal out ahead. This word is used two other places in the Book of Hebrews - once again in the second warning (3: 14), and once more in the fourth warning (10: 23). In each instance the thought is the same, though different facets of the overall subject matter are in view.
The word katecho is used in nautical circles in the sense of "holding one’s course straight." Luke, in Acts 27: 40, used the word relative to the crew of a ship holding the ship on a straight course in a storm. The crew discovered a bay along the shore of an island, which they later found to be the island of Malta; and they sought to ground the ship in the bay near the shore in order to escape the stormy sea. Thus, they held the ship on a straight course headed for the bay and the shore.
The backdrop to Heb. 3: 6 is the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan under Moses (vv. 2-5, 7ff). The Israelites had been removed from Egypt for a revealed purpose, which had to do with an inheritance in another land, the land of Canaan. And as they moved from Egypt to Canaan, they were to keep their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, which was to be realized in the land of Canaan out ahead, not in the land of Egypt behind them.
And with Christians in the antitype under Christ, the thought is the same. We have been separated from this world for a revealed purpose, which has to do with an inheritance in another land, a heavenly land.* And as we move from this world toward that land, we are to keep our eyes fixed on the goal of our calling, which is to be realized in that heavenly land out ahead, not in the world behind us (note the position which the "world" is to always occupy in relation to all Christian activity when viewed from the perspective of the type).
[*After resurrection we will be be "like the angels" (Luke 20: 36), that is, able to ascend into the heavens - the heavenly sphere of 'the kingdom of God' - and descend on to the earth - the earthly sphere of 'the kingdom of God'. - Ed.] All who "gain a better resurrection" (Heb. 11: 35), that is, "the first resurrection" will inherit the kingdom of "a thousand years" (Rev. 20: 6). - Ed.]
This overall thought is expressed many different times in various ways throughout Scripture. The end result of "holding fast" though, no matter how it is expressed, is always the same - ultimately occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in the kingdom, realizing the rights of the firstborn therein.
In Matt. 22: 2-14, for example, in the parable of the marriage feast, proper attire was required for admittance to the festivities surrounding a royal wedding. A wedding garment was required, and only those clothed in this garment were allowed inside the banquet hall. But, despite this requirement, a man sought to attend the festivities improperly clothed. He didn’t have on a wedding garment. And the King coming in and seeing this man questioned him concerning why he had sought to attend the festivities without being clothed in the proper attire (the manner in which the question is worded in the Greek text shows that the man knew he was supposed to be clothed in a wedding garment but had wilfully refused to provide himself with one). The King then instructed His servants to bind the man "hand and foot" and cast him into the darkness outside.
The wedding garment, according to Rev. 19: 7, 8, is made up of "the righteous acts of the saints" (ASV). That is, the wedding garment is constructed of works emanating out of faithfulness (James 2: 14-26) - the faithfulness of household servants in the house of Christ as He leads them from this world to that heavenly land.
A Christian under the headship of Christ must exercise faithfulness in seeing that nothing during the present time interferes with his one day attaining the goal set before him. His every move in life must be in only one direction; he must move toward that heavenly land wherein Christians will realize the rights of the firstborn. And faithfulness after this fashion will result in the type works which form the wedding garment.
This same thing is illustrated after another fashion in the parable of the Householder and His servant in Matt. 24: 45-51. In this parable, faithfulness is shown through providing other servants in the house with "meat in due season" (v. 45), and unfaithfulness is shown through refusing to provide this meat (v. 48).
"Meat" in Scripture, as distinguished from "milk," has a particular reference to those things pertaining to the Lord’s return and the coming kingdom. "Meat," for example, in Heb. 5: 11-14 has to do with Christ exercising the Melchizedek priesthood, a ministry as both Priest and King, reserved for the coming age. And that which is meant by giving "meat in due season" in the parable of the Householder and His servant is shown by everything in the parable revolving around the Lord’s return, with either reward or chastisement (with the kingdom in view) awaiting the household servants.
Then, in the parables of the talents and the pounds (Matt. 25: 14-30; Luke 19: 11- 27) the basic picture is again the same - faithfulness in the Lord’s house during the present time with a view to occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in His kingdom.
In these companion parables, the Householder has gone "into a far country [heaven, into His Father’s presence] to receive for Himself a kingdom [from His Father], and to return [back to earth]" (Dan. 7: 13, 14; Matt. 25: 14, 19; Luke 19: 12, 15). During the time of the Householder’s absence - between the time of His departure to receive the kingdom and His return after receiving the kingdom - He has left His household business in charge of His servants. Those servants acting after a responsible fashion to the charge left them will be rewarded upon the Householder’s return, but those servants acting after an irresponsible fashion to this charge will suffer loss at the time (Matt. 25: 20ff; Luke 19: 16ff)
There will be "a just recompense of reward" for all servants when the Householder returns (Heb. 2: 2; 11: 26). That is, each servant will receive exactly what he deserves, "according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5: 10). Judgment will be based solely on the actions of servants relative to the charge left them by their Lord. They will be judged on the basis of whether they acted responsibly or irresponsibly, and each servant will, accordingly, be justly recompensed.
The goal is dwelling in that heavenly land as co-heir with Christ in the kingdom which He has gone away to receive. From a Biblical standpoint, this is the goal toward which everything in the Christian life must move; and being rewarded for faithfulness or suffering loss for unfaithfulness has to do with the manner in which a servant in the house governs the course of his life as he moves toward this goal.
Accordingly, holding fast in Heb. 3: 6 is responsible action on the part of the individual household servant as he exhibits faithfulness to his household duties during the time of the householder’s absence. Having so governed his life, he will have acted after a fashion which will result in a commendation by his Lord. He will be told, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt. 25: 21, 23; Luke 19: 17-19).
But the opposite will be the case for unfaithful servants, those refusing to act after a responsible fashion during the time of the Householder’s absence. They will not only be rebuked upon the Householder’s return but they will suffer loss; and, accordingly, they will occupy no position of honour and glory * with Christ in His kingdom (Matt. 25: 24-30; Luke 19: 20-26).
[* The scripture makes a stronger statement: "Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 25:30). -Ed.]
Introducing the last of the five major warnings in Hebrews (12: 1, 2) - which specifically warns household servants about the possibility that they can, as Esau, forfeit their birthrights (12: 16, 17) - the servants are pictured as being in a race during the time of the Householder’s absence. And they are to run the race after a certain revealed fashion. They are to run the race with "patience * [‘patient endurance’] . . . Looking unto Jesus. . . "
[* as a general rule, it has been said that the word "patience" as used in the K.J.V. (1611) translation, should be translated, "perseverance": today's equivalent meaning.- Ed.]
This is a race set over a lengthy course, covering a long period of time; and the runner is to pace himself after a fashion which will allow him to successfully compete the race. And, during the entire course of the race, he is to focus his attention only in one direction - upon the One Who has gone away "to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return."
The literal Greek rendering is "Looking from unto Jesus. . . " He is to look from all surrounding things - things which could distract him in the race - as he looks straight ahead unto Jesus.
The thought was expressed by Christ after another fashion in Luke 9: 62. Jesus said, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
One’s attention is to always be focused on the goal out ahead. We’re not to look back to Egypt; nor are we to allow our attention to drift onto surrounding things in the wilderness. Rather, our attention is to be focused in one direction alone - on the land to which we have been called; it is to be focused on one person alone - on the One Who will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords in that land; and it is to be focused on one goal alone - on that of one day being accorded the privilege of ascending the throne with the King of kings and Lord of lords when He returns from the heavens over the earth for 1,000 years.
The Confidence And Rejoicing Of The Hope
According to the text, that which we are to "hold fast" under the headship of Christ, in the antitype of the Israelites under the headship of Moses, is "the confidence and rejoicing of the hope."
The Israelites under Moses, after having passed through the experience of the death of the firstborn (a substitutionary death, effected through the death of the paschal lambs), had been "baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor. 10: 2). They had been buried on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt and raised to "walk in newness of life" on the eastern banks in the wilderness (cf. Rom. 6: 4; Col. 2: 12). And the Israelites had a hope set before them, which centered around the land of Canaan out ahead, not around the land of Egypt which they had left and from which they had forever been separated.
And exactly the same thing can be said relative to Christians under Christ. Christians have passed through the experience of the death of the firstborn in this world (a substitutionary death, effected through the death of the Passover Lamb), and the next thing which is to occur is the immersion of the individual in the waters of baptism, typified by the Israelites passing through the Red Sea. He is to be buried "by baptism" and raised to "walk in newness of life," and the only way to fully understand exactly what is involved is to view the matter from the perspective of the type.
The Christian has been separated from this world (buried on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt) and raised in resurrection* to life (the first [birth] has been set aside and the second [birth] established) in an entirely new realm (on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in the wilderness). The person in this new realm has a hope set before him, which centers around a heavenly land (typified by the earthly land of Canaan, wherein the Israelites’ hope lay), not around the world which he has left and from which he has forever been separated (typified by the Israelites’ separation from Egypt).
[* The expression: 'Raised in resurrection,' is used here by the author in a spiritual sense. - Ed.]
There is no difference whatsoever in the manner in which the Israelites under Moses were to view their earthly calling and the manner in which Christians under Christ are to presently view their heavenly calling. The Israelites under Moses and Christians under Christ possessed/possess a hope, and they were/are to view this hope, as expressed in Heb. 3: 6, with confidence and rejoicing. Problems developed in the house of Moses when the Israelites refused to view their hope after this fashion, and problems presently develop in the house of Christ when Christians refuse to view their hope after the same fashion.
(Note several things in passing relative to the death of the firstborn and baptism. "Baptism" portrays a burial, followed by resurrection [Rom. 6: 4]; and only the dead are to be buried, to subsequently be raised. This sets two undeniable truths: (1) the experience surrounding the death of the firstborn in Exodus, chapter twelve must be looked upon as having to do with exactly the same people who passed through the Red Sea in Exodus, chapter fourteen, and (2) baptism [Ex. 14] must be looked upon as a separate, subsequent experience to that of the death of the firstborn [Ex. 12].
The entire house of Moses - all the Israelites - passed through the Red Sea [1 Cor. 10: 2]. Therefore, it is clear that the previous death of the firstborn had to do with the whole house of Israel, not just one member of a family. If the death of the firstborn did not have to do with the entire nation, then the entire nation could not be included in the Red Sea passage. The simple truth of the matter is that the blood in Ex. 12 was shed and applied for God’s firstborn son, the nation itself [Ex. 4: 22], though this was expressed after an individual fashion through the slaying of numerous lambs in Israel - "a lamb for an house," with the firstborn of that household specifically in view [Ex. 12: 3].
Then it should be noted that baptism, according to the type, has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s salvation experience. Salvation occurs within the scope of Ex. 12, not Ex. 14. Salvation is contingent entirely upon applying the blood of the Passover Lamb, not upon any subsequent experience, whether it be baptism, works, etc. Baptism is to immediately follow one’s salvation experience, showing the same thing that the Israelites’ passage through the Red Sea showed; but, according to the type, it can have nothing whatsoever to do with this experience.)
1. THE HOPE
According to 1 Peter 3: 15, Christians are to be "ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." This is called, in introductory verses to the book, "a lively [‘living’] hope"; and it is made possible through "the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1: 3). Christ lives, and those "in Christ" will live with Him.
Hope in 1 Peter is associated with "an inheritance" (1: 4), a future "salvation" (1: 5 ["the salvation of your souls"; v.9]), and "honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1: 7; cf. 4: 12, 13). When Christ appears, Christians will appear with Him in glory; and it is different facets of this entire matter - ruling as co-heirs with Christ, realizing the salvation of our souls - that Christians are to always be ready to discuss with anyone who asks "for a reason of the hope that is in you."
In Heb. 6: 11, 12, the "hope" to be held by Christians is laid out in a very simple fashion: that "through faith and patience [present]" they would be able to "inherit the promises [future]."
Exercising "faith" is simply believing what God has to say about a matter, resulting in the person exercising faith acting accordingly. Hebrews 11 is the great chapter on faith, toward which everything in the preceding part of the book builds: "By faith. . . By faith. . . By faith. . . By faith Abraham . . ."
Then Heb. 12, immediately following, forms the capstone to the whole matter. The fifth and last of the five major warnings comes into view - a direct reference to the rights of the firstborn (all the warnings have to do with these rights, though viewed from different facets of the overall subject) - and Christians are exhorted to run the race set before them after a fashion that will one day be accorded the privilege of realizing these rights.
Exercising "patience [lit. ‘patient endurance’]" has to do with the manner in which one runs the race (cf. 12: 1). This is a race of 'the faith' (1 Tim. 6: 12; Jude 3), to be run continously for the entire duration of the Christian life. This is a race over the long haul - not one for sprinters, but one for marathon runners (though runners may be called upon to sprint in the race at times). And Christians are to properly pace themselves so they will be able to victoriously compete the race.
The inheritance lying out ahead is the object of our hope, and one day realizing that which God has promised is, within the text, to be wrought through patient endurance in the race of the faith. "Faith" and "patient endurance" are inseparably linked after this fashion with inheriting the promises.
Heb. 10: 23-25 presents a companion thought. In verse twenty-three Christians are told, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering [lit. ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering’]." And the whole idea, contextually, behind Christians assembling together today (v. 25) is to "consider one another" and "provoke [one another] unto love and to good works," with this hope in view. We are to assemble together to talk about that which lies out ahead, pray for one another, and exhort one another; and we are to do this "so much the more," as we "see the day approaching [that coming day when one’s hope will be realized]"(vv. 24, 25).
This is "that blessed hope" in Titus 2: 13, which is to be a purifying hope as Christians are exhorted to "live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (v. 12). "That blessed hope" is not Christ’s return per se (particularly not His return for Christians at the end of this present dispensation, as is often thought). Rather, "that blessed hope" has to do with "the glorious appearing [lit., ‘the appearing of the glory’] of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (v. 13), a glory which will not be revealed until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation. And the "hope" surrounds the thought of our having a part in this glory. Actually, the Book of Titus is built around this whole overall teaching (cf. Titus 1: 1, 2; 3: 7 [translate "eternal life" as "life for the age."]
2. WITH CONFIDENCE AND REJOICING
Christians are to hold fast the hope set before them after a revealed two-fold fashion - with confidence and rejoicing. The word "confidence" is a translation of the Greek word, parresia, meaning "to be bold, courageous, open, or plain" about a matter; and the word "rejoicing" is the translation of the Greek word, hauchema, meaning "to take pride in something," resulting in the person having "something to boast about."
Parresia is used a number of times in the New Testament in the sense of being "open or plain" about matters, with nothing being hidden. Jesus spoke openly and plainly to His disciples and the people of Israel (Mark 8: 32; John 16: 29; 18: 20), though, because of the nation’s rejection of Him, the day came when He "walked no more openly among the Jews" (John 11: 54). And it was because of this same rejection that Jesus previously begun to teach through the use of parables (Matt. 13: 10-15).
Parresia is also used in the New Testament a number of times in the sense of being "bold or courageous" about matters. Peter and John, standing before Annas the high priest, and others, exhibited "boldness" as Peter spoke; and those hearing Peter "marvelled," recognizing that both men exhibited these qualities because "they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4: 5-13; cf. v. 31). Then Paul, at the end of his epistle to the Ephesians, requested prayer on his behalf: "that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel" (6: 19).
(Note that the thought of "openness" or "plainness" would also have to be included within the idea conveyed by "boldness" in the preceding passages [cf. 2 Cor. 3: 12; 7: 4; see also Phil. 1: 20; 1 Tim. 3: 13; Heb. 4: 16].)
Then the word hauchema (translated "rejoicing"), or the verb form of this word (kauchaomai), is also used a number of different times in the New Testament. The word is translated three different ways in the KJV - "boast," "glory" [used in the sense of ‘boast’ or ‘pride’]," and "rejoice" (cf. Rom. 2: 23; 4: 2; 5: 2; 2 Cor. 1: 14; 5: 12; 9: 3).
The thought of "rejoicing" (as in Heb. 3: 6; cf. Phil. 1: 26; 2: 16), rather than being derived from the meaning of hauchema, appears to be derived more from the result of what this word means. That is, kauchema means "to take pride in something, resulting in the person having "something to boast about"; and "rejoicing" would emanate out of the person being placed in this position.
Thus, when a Christian is told to be "ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you," he is to be open about the matter, he is to exhibit plainness of speech, he is to be bold and courageous as he expresses himself, and he is to take pride in the matter, for he has something to boast about.
He has been extended an invitation to ascend the throne with the King of kings and Lord of lords to rule as co-heir with Him in His kingdom. He possesses the hope of having a part in what Scripture calls, "so great salvation" (Heb. 2: 3), which is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man.
And this is what we are to be open and plain about. We are to tell it exactly like it is, regardless of what others may say or think. And we are to be bold and courageous as we tell it as it is, knowing that we have [hope for] something of incalculable value, something we can boast about (cf. Matt. 10: 32, 33; 2 Tim. 2: 10-13).
FIRM UNTO THE END
Drawing from the type, everything from the death of the firstborn in Egypt throughout every subsequent experience in which the Israelites were led, occurred for a purpose. And that purpose had to do with the goal of their calling, to be realized in the land of Canaan.
The death of the firstborn, the Red Sea passage, and the wilderness journey with all its experiences occurred with one goal in view. And the Israelites, within every single experience, were to keep their eyes fixed on this goal. They were to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating; and they were to hold their course, after this fashion, "firm unto the end," allowing them to one day realize the goal of their calling.
And this is exactly what is in view within the Christian experience. Christians, as the Israelites, possess a hope, which has to do with a realization of the goal of their calling in another land. They were saved for this purpose; and every experience in life, beginning at the point of salvation, has this one goal in view.
Christians are to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating; and they are to hold their course, after this fashion, "firm unto the end," allowing them to one day realize the goal of their calling.