Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Heb. 3:12, 13

Take heed!

While it is called TODAY!

Pay very close attention, be exceedingly circumspect, watch your every step, be careful how you hear, what you speak, whither you go! And watch and exhort one another constantly!

For, brethren, we are in the house of God, and over that house none less than the Son of God is appointed Lord and High Priest. He is the Son over His own house, far more glorious than even Moses, so much more honorable, in fact, as he that builded the house has more honor than the house!

And it is still today!

And while it is today, we cannot afford to live in the house carelessly, as if all were well, just because we are in the house of the Son of God as it is established in the world. On the contrary, there still is much flesh in this house of God. Not all are Israel that are of Israel, and even those that are really Israel are not wholly spiritual, but largely carnal. And nowhere does the wrath of God burn more fiercely against the attitude and works of the flesh than here, in the house of His Son. . . .

Take heed, therefore, lest there be in any of you that evil manifestation of the flesh that is highly displeasing to the Lord!

Wherefore. . . .

Because you see the terrible example of those that were in the house of God Yesterday, and departed from the living God. . . .

For such is the connection of the twelfth verse, of the entire exhortation in our text: the wherefore of the seventh verse introduces it, and all that lies between the wherefore of that verse and the exhortation of verse twelve is a parenthesis, supplying the contents and meaning of the wherefore, pointing us to the dreadful example of those that were in the house of God Yesterday, but in whom was found an evil heart of unbelief, and who were hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Wherefore:

As the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the days of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their hearts; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. . . .

Therefore, since today ye have before you the terrible example of yesterday. . . .

Since you see how dreadful it is for the flesh to be in the house of the Son of God as it is established today. . . .

If you will hear his voice, harden not your heart!

Beware! Take heed! Walk circumspectly!

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling!

And exhort one another daily!

While it is today!


Take heed!

For you are in the house of God!

And the Lord of this house, that is appointed over all its economy and activity, with whom, therefore, in that house ye have to do, is the Son of God!

On this falls all the emphasis, as is plain from the context. Ye, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, must consider, must have regard to, the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. For, in this one respect, he is comparable to Moses, the great mediator of the old dispensational house of God, that He was wholly faithful to him that appointed him. But, as to the rest, He is far more glorious than Moses. Moses, after all, though, for a time, he was appointed over the typical house of God, belonged to, was part of the house God built. But this man, Christ Jesus, is the Son. He is the builder of the house. He is worthy of so much more honor than Moses, as “he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house.” Moses was a servant, He, however, is the Lord”. Moses was only a steward; but in Christ Jesus you stand in direct contact with the Lord, the Son over His own house. The house is His!

That house is His Church!

It is God’s holy covenant of friendship, according to which He dwells with His people under one roof, opens to them His heart, makes Himself and all the mysteries of His counsel of salvation known unto them, is their friend-sovereign, and they are His people, His friend servants, called out of darkness into His marvelous light, in order that, they should be a kingdom of priests, wholly consecrated unto Him, and showing forth, in all their conversation and walk in the midst of this world, His marvelous praises! And the builder of this house is God Himself, represented by His Son, Jesus Christ, the absolute Lord over His own house.

Hence, always, in that house, the voice of the Son of God is heard!

Take heed, that ye refuse Him not that speaketh in the house of God!

He speaks, the glorious Lord! As ye live in that house, you live in the sphere where that voice is constantly heard!

He speaks of salvation, of blessed promises, of glorious benefits of grace, which He bestows, by sovereign good pleasure, upon the dwellers in His house. For, this Lord over His own house speaks in the name of the Triune, Who doeth all His good pleasure. He proclaims that God the Father establishes an eternal covenant of grace with the indwellers of that house, adopts them for His children and heirs, cares for them, leads them, averts all evil or turns it to their profit. He assures His people that the Son washes them in His blood, incorporating them into the fellowship of His death and resurrection, so that they are freed from all their sins, and are forever righteous before God, heirs of eternal life. He promises them that His Spirit will dwell in them, apply unto them all the blessings of salvation in Christ, actually make them children of God and heirs of eternal salvation, sanctify them, preserve them even unto the end, until they shall appear wholly perfected and cleansed in life eternal, among the assembly of the elect!

Blessed voice of the Son of God!

Blessed, because it speaks of unspeakable bliss and glory!

Blessed, because it speaks with power, and with authority. It realizes what it expresses. It does what it declares. It fulfills what it promises, sovereignly, freely, unconditionally. It never fails! It cannot be made of none effect! His faithfulness is not put to naught, not even by the unfaithfulness of men!

But hearken!

For He still speaks! Exactly on the basis of His glorious promises of salvation, through the very power of them, as the fruit and manifestation of their realization, He continues to address those that dwell in His house.

He proclaims the other part!

Your part!

The part unto the which you are not only obligated, but also enabled through the realization of His part: the establishment and perfection of His eternal covenant with you.

And of this part the voice in the house of God speaks constantly also: Love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; trust in Him completely, put all your confidence in Him only; forsake the world, crucify your old nature, fight the good fight of faith even unto the end, walk in a new and holy life!

Take heed!

Beware, lest your deceitful flesh induce you to imagine that you really heard the first part, and that, therefore, all is well; but that, having heard it, you turn away your ear from the second part. . . .

Today, if you will hear His voice, harden, not your heart!

Attend unto the voice!


Exhort one another!

Taking heed unto yourselves, also admonish one another in the house of the Son of God, where the voice is constantly heard!

Constantly, daily, exhort one another, while it is called today!

So admonish one another that, as far as you can ascertain, there is not found among you anyone in whom there is an evil heart of unbelief, and that none of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin!

An evil heart of unbelief is simply a wicked, unbelieving heart. The heart is the very center of all our life from an ethical spiritual viewpoint. In an ethical sense it is that from the heart are the issues of life. A heart of unbelief is a heart that is motivated by unbelief with relation to the voice that is heard in the house of God. And unbelief is not a certain intellectual doubt, “honest”, innocent in its helplessness; but is rebellion against the living God, enmity against the Most High, conscious and willful rejection; of the Word of God. Unbelief is, therefore, disobedience, the willful transgression of the law, that inner disposition of the heart in virtue of which one despises and tramples underfoot the holy things of God’s covenant. Hence, it is evil, and it manifests itself in seeking and striving after evil things, after the fleshpots of Egypt, the treasures and pleasures of sin, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. . . .

Take heed, lest there should be found any such one, revealing an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God!

And be diligent in daily exhortation, lest in the house of God any should be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin!

O, especially in the house of God, sin is extremely subtle in its approach, deceitful in its devious ways, so that, before you are even, aware of it, you become hardened to the voice! For, in the house of God, the voice is heard. And because that voice is heard there is a deeply penetrating judgment, distinguishing the light from the darkness, and implacably condemning the latter. When you sin in that house, you sin in: the bright light of that all discerning voice. Hence, sin is doubly deceitful. When, in the house of God, your flesh lusts after sin, and you feel that the particular evil after which you lust, can be committed only in the exposing light of the voice, sin is ready to offer a thousand excuses! It whispers to your deceit-loving fleshly nature, that, after all, “it is not so bad,” or that “others do the same thing, and much worse,” or “that you are not yet perfect, and that it is to be excused if you yield to infirmities of the flesh,” or that “you cannot go out of the world, that you must live, and maintain your positon, even if it means that you deny the faith”. . . .

And, before you know it, giving heed to these deceitful arguments of sin, you become hardened.

At first, you clearly heard the voice, and, disregarding it, you were filled with fear and trembling. Then, gradually, as you continued to walk in your evil way, it seemed as if the voice did not speak so definitely any more, was silenced, left you in peace. . . .

You are being hardened: O, dreadful, and inescapable judgment of the voice!

Exhort one another daily, lest this should happen to anyone of you!

Let your voice be constantly in the exclusive service of the voice! Exhort one another incessantly, through the preaching of the Word, in the catechism room, through the official admonitions of the watchmen over the house of God, in your personal fellowship and contact with one another. . . .

Let your daily exhortations, in the service of the voice, be such that no one with an evil heart of unbelief be known in your communion, that no one be permitted to become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin in. the house of the Son of God!

By your daily exhortations, through the power of the voice, the fornicator in God’s house must either repent or be expelled!

The matter is extremely serious!

Take heed, therefore! Be constantly on the alert against any manifestations of the flesh!

And exhort one another!


Today!

While it is called TODAY!

O, let your deceitful heart not corrupt the naked truth of this tremendous word: today!

Let the deceitfulness of your flesh not induce you to deprive this word of its deep seriousness. Do not understand it to signify that, after all, you have a day, and all through your day it matters little what your attitude toward the voice may be, as long as you finally heed it, before evening, and before the night of death spreads its horrible wings over your earthly existence.

Today definitely does not mean: “accept Jesus, please, before it is too late!”

On the contrary, every moment of today it is too late to disobey the voice! Today refers to this entire new dispensation, and that, too, in distinction from yesterday, and the day before yesterday, There was a day before the flood: at that time it was today, and the voice spoke: “Today, harden not your heart.” There was a day of Abraham, of Moses, in the desert, in the land of Canaan; and always it was today; and always the voice spoke: “Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden mot your heart. And still it is today. But today, all things have been fulfilled. The shadows have fled away, the dawn of reality is come. And with increasing emphasis, with new seriousness, the voice now speaks: “Love the Lord your God, crucify the flesh, forsake the world, harden not your heart as in the provocation!”

That means, too, that it is not yet tomorrow, the day of final and glorious perfection! Tomorrow, you need take heed and exhort one another no more!

But today, there is still much flesh in the house of God as it is manifest in the world.

Hence, while it is called today, and it is not tomorrow, take heed!

Lest the flesh corrupt the house of the Son!

Exhort one another!