Whenever we see a “but” in the scriptures it is necessary to a proper understanding of the context of the argument set forth to look at what is being contrasted or compared. In this case here in the book of Hebrews we need to look back to verse 18, where we read, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart.” (Heb 12:18-20)
In this he constrasts that to which the quickened and called out sons of GOD, are drawn unto, with that to which the sons of Abraham, after the flesh are brought. The children of the flesh, (i.e.; the natural born descendants of Abraham) were put under the law of Moses which was given on Mount Sinai, a “mount that might be touched” (that which is seen by the natural eye, i.e.; of the flesh). The letter of this law was unto condemnation, “for they could not endure that which was commanded” (see Rom.8:3). This was a mountain of fire, smoke, and threatening.
Even though this law of Moses was given for the primary purpose of uncovering and revealing the wickedness of the hearts of men, yet these Jews in their religious blindness assumed that they could and would keep it in order to be found favorable in GOD’s sight. The writer of Hebrews, shows the folly (of any who would profess faith in CHRIST) of seeking to return back to that which could supply nothing for them but a “certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Heb 10:27)
The sons of GOD are not called unto duty works and obligation but rather unto the “mountain of the LORD’s house.” (Isa.2:2) This is a kingdom, not of “flesh and blood”, not one which can be “touched” or inherited by the carnal man but one which can only be inhabited by those who are “born from above” by the power of the ETERNAL SPIRIT of GOD. This is not a “mountain” of condemnation, but rather one of peace, deliverance, and freedom, as Paul described to the Romans, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom 8:1-2)
Thus we read here the most beautiful description of that kingdom of which the sons of GOD are made heirs and joint heirs. A kingdom not made with hands but one which is built by and upon the only FOUNDATION that can be laid, that one CORNERSTONE, JESUS CHRIST the RIGHTEOUS. Some have looked at this description as a delineation of the various types of individuals in this kingdom, but I believe it more accurately describes the kingdom as a whole.
“Mount Zion, the city of the Living GOD, the heavenly Jerusalem.” These are all speaking of that CITY which John saw coming down out of heaven as a bride adorned for her HUSBAND. (see Rev.21:1-4) “Mount Zion” is that fortress which David took from the Jebusites, (II Sam.5:7). Even as that ONE who is greater than David, has triumphed over all of HIS enemies and delivered HIS people, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:14-15)
This is the “city of the Living GOD”, wherein, HE who cannot be seen by carnal men, and WHO inhabiteth eternity, is pleased to make HIS abode with those whom HE has loved with an everlasting love. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev 21:3) This is both now and forever.
This is that “heavenly Jerusalem”. Jerusalem is where David was installed as a King over Israel and that city wherein Solomon built the temple. This is the place where the SON of David, has dominion forever. “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isa 9:7) “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Rev 21:22-23) Every knee shall bow.
“To an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven,-----and to the spirits of just men made perfect. These are descriptive of the those who make up that “holy congregation” which is gathered in this “city”, which is the Kingdom of GOD, “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
They are synonymous with the “bride of CHRIST’, “the elect” and the “called according to HIS purpose.” These are those who believed, having been ordained to eternal life. (see Acts 13:48) They are those for whom the blood of CHRIST was shed as HE “obtained eternal redemption” for them. They are an “innumberable company of angels” (i.e.; messengers) who are ready to give to every man that asks a reason of the hope that is within them. (see I Pet.3:15; Rom. 8:20) They are a “general assembly” which is made up of those from every tribe, kindred, and tongue. They are the “church (ekklesia, gathering of those who are called) of the FIRSTBORN (i.e.; CHRIST) which are written in heaven”. Their names are in the LAMB’s book of life, having been recorded there from before the foundation of the world. They are HIS possession, bought with blood.
They are those who are described as the “spirits of just men made perfect”. CHRIST is their JUSTIFIER and their JUSTIFICATION. They are made “perfect” by HIM who is become their SANCTIFIER and their SANCTIFICATION. They are called “spirits” because they are born of the SPIRIT and inherit the kingdom of GOD as spiritual men. This also references the fact that they are appointed unto the second resurrection; wherein that which is theirs by nature, a corruptible body, shall be changed into that which is incorruptible. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” (1Cor 15:44) “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1Cor 15:53)
They are those who are brought “to GOD the JUDGE of all”. For indeed, all both small and great must stand before HIM who is the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, to receive those things done in the body. Those who are reprobates, standing alone in their sin and shame, shall be forever cast out from HIS presence. Yet those sons, for whom JESUS CHRIST is an ADVOCATE, “the MEDIATOR of the new covenant” does adjudicate them to be those who have never sinned. Their standing with HIM is truly a matter of JUSTICE, for HE is both just and the JUSTIFIER of those who rejoice in that “blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Whereas the offering which Abel made was that of a mere man and was necessary to be repeated as a reminder of sin; this offering, which HE made once, has put away the sin of those covered by it, forever. This is that holy congregation to which they are called by grace.mam