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Let Us Go On

By Arlen L. Chitwood


Chapter Three


From Milk to Meat


Called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek,


of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.


For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food [KJV: strong meat].


For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe.


But solid food [strong meat] belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

(Hebrews 5:10-14).


In Hebrews 5:1-6 there is a progression in thought from the present ministry of Christ in the sanctuary (after the order of Aaron) to the future ministry of Christ when He ascends the throne (after the order of Melchizedek).


Christ’s ministry in the sanctuary occurs in heaven, He is ministering on behalf of those destined to ascend the throne with Him, and this ministry will extend throughout the present dispensation.


At the conclusion of this ministry, Christ will come forth from the sanctuary as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek; and His co-heirs, for whom He had previously ministered in the heavenly sanctuary, will then reign as kings and priests with Him.  Christ’s ministry, in that day, will occur from locations both in the heavens and on earth — in the heavens in relation to the earth (from the place where Satan and his angels presently rule) and upon the earth (from the land of Israel, among the Jewish people).


Thus, when Christ exercises the Melchizedek priesthood, He will have a dual reign.  He will sit on His own throne in the heavenly Jerusalem, ruling over the earth with His co-heirs, His consort queen; and He will also sit on David’s throne in the earthly Jerusalem in the midst of His people, Israel (the nation that will look upon the Pierced One and be saved at His second advent).  Occupying a dual reign of this nature, Christ will thus be a King-Priest in both the heavenly Jerusalem and the earthly Jerusalem.


This will be in perfect keeping with both heavenly and earthly promises associated with Abraham and his seed, first brought to light in connection with the first mention of Melchizedek in Scripture (Genesis 14:18, 19).  Melchizedek blessed Abraham as “possessor of heaven and earth”; and the seed of Abraham, both heavenly and earthly, are to “possess the gate of [rule over] his enemies” (Genesis 22:17, 18).


Beyond Genesis 12:1-3 in Scripture (i.e., beyond the call of Abraham and God’s promises to Abraham), all divine blessings that mankind receives must flow through Abraham and his seed (through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons and their descendants).  The nation of Israel is Abraham’s seed (through Jacob and his twelve sons).  Christ is Abraham’s Seed (through Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David); and Christians, because of their position “in Christ,” are likewise Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:16, 18, 29).


            (Blessings of the preceding respect, through Abraham, actually go back to Shem, nine generations preceding Abraham [Genesis 9:25-27].  It is through Abraham, Shem’s  descendant, that God brings to fruition His previously-introduced national work in this respect.


            That is, a nation emanating from the loins of Abraham, which, following the creation in Jacob [Isaiah 43:1], and the subsequent adoption [Romans 9:4], could be seen as Gods  firstborn son [Exodus 4:22, 23], the nation in possession of the rights of primogeniture.)


Thus, during the coming age, Abraham’s Seed (Christ and His co-heirs) will rule from a heavenly sphere; and Abraham’s Seed (Christ and the nation of Israel) will rule from an earthly sphere.  And by means of this rule, from both spheres, the Gentile nations of the earth will be blessed, in fulfillment of Genesis 12:3; 14:19; 22:17, 18.


Corresponding with the preceding, Hebrews 5:7-9 deals with a “salvation” in connection with the One who has been,


            Called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

            (Hebrews 5: 10; cf. v. 6).


Predating His present ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (after the order of Aaron), Christ learnedobedience by the things that he suffered”; and with God bringing matters to a predetermined goal in the person of His Son through this process, Christ “became the Author [‘source’] of eternal salvation [‘salvation for the age’] to all them that obey Him” (vv. 8, 9; ref. previous chapter in this book, Chapter 2, pp. 28-30).


This salvation is being extended to those for whom Christ is presently ministering in the heavenly sanctuary; and this salvation, contextually, has to do with that future time when Christ exercises the Melchizedek priesthood.  This is the salvation of the soul (cf. Hebrews 6:19, 20; 10:36-39), and it has to do strictly with the “kings and priests” who will ascend the throne with the great King-Priest in that coming day (Revelation 4:10; 5:8-10).


            (Note in Hebrews 5:6 that Christ is said to be “a priest forever after the order of  Melchizedek.”  “Forever” is a translation of the Greek words eis ton aiona, which appear twenty-nine times in the Greek New Testament.  Depending on the context, this expression   can be understood either one of two ways — “with respect to the age [one age],” or “with  respect to eternity [all the ages].”  It is used both ways in the Greek New Testament  [cf. Matthew 21:19; 1 Peter 1:23].  The word aiona [the word aion in a different case form] is the singular noun form of the adjective aionios, which is also used both ways in  the Greek text [ref. Chapter 2 in this book, pp. 30, 31].


            The four times this expression appears in the book of Hebrews relative to Christ being “a    priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” [5:6; 6:20; 7:17, 21] should, contextually, be understood, as Christ being “a priest with respect to the age after the order of Melchizedek.”  The reference is to the coming age, that with which the book of Hebrews deals.


            It might help to note a plural form of this same Greek expression in Hebrews 13:8eis     tous aionas, “with respect to the ages.”  This verse, literally translated, would read, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and with respect to the ages [all the future ages, i.e.,‘forever’].”  Christ exercising a priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” in Hebrews chapter five through seven has to do with one age, but Christ being unchangeable [for the Father and the Son are “one,” and God is unchangeable (Malachi 3:6)] has to do with all the ages — past, present, and future.


            Christ will continue to reign beyond the Millennium, but matters as they will exist during      the Millennium [one age] and beyond the Millennium [the succeeding unending ages, comprising eternity] will be quite different.  Christ’s reign “over the house of Jacob”  [Luke 1:33], for example, is expressed in the Greek New Testament by the same words which appear in Hebrews 13:8, eis tous aionas [with respect to the ages]; but there will  be differences between His reign “over the house of Jacobduring the Millennium and beyond the Millennium [note that this is the natural man, “Jacob,” not the spiritual man,  “Israel.”  The nation will thus evidently dwell on earth in natural bodies of flesh, blood, and bones throughout not only the Millennium but the eternal ages that follow as well].


            During the Millennium, Christ will occupy the role of King-Priest after the order of   Melchizedek, seated on His own throne in the heavenly Jerusalem and on David’s throne in the earthly Jerusalem. Conditions during that coming age will necessitate a King-Priest.  There will be sin, resulting death, etc.  And Christ must reign until He has “put all things under His feet.”  “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”  And when “all    things” have been brought under subjection, the kingdom will be “delivered up” to the Father “that God may be all in all” [lit., “that God may be all things in all,” i.e., that God may be all things in all of these things (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)].  This is actually the purpose for the Messianic Era — to rectify conditions in the one province in the kingdom of God where ruin, resulting from sin, ensued.


            Then, when “all things” have been brought under subjection to the Son, and the Son has delivered “the kingdom” up to the Father, conditions will be quite different.  During the ages beyond the Millennium [the eternal ages] there will be “a new heaven and a new earth,” the New Jerusalem will be on the new earth [probably a much larger earth than presently exists, easily accommodating a city of this size as its capital (a city some 1,500  miles across and in height)], and God Himself will reside on the new earth [ruling the           universe, from that time forth, from this new location rather than from the present  location].


            Sin and death, along with all the former associated things, will no longer exist.  And it will no longer be necessary for God to have a Priest dwelling among men to represent man to God and God to man [Revelation 21:22].  In that day, God “will dwell with them  [with mankind, on the new earth], and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” [Revelation 21:1ff].


            And Christ, in that day, will continue to reign in a kingly position [which will be of a universal nature rather than restricted to this earth, as during the Millennium].  He will be seated on “the throne of God and of the Lamb [a throne from which universal rule will  emanate]” [Revelation 22:1, 3], others will continue to occupy the throne with Him  [Revelation 21:5], and Christ will also continue to occupy “the throne of His father David” [Luke 1:32, 33].)


In Hebrews 5:11, the writer moves into a section of the book that has to do with spiritual growth, from immaturity to maturity.  The broader picture — moving beyond the Millennium — is really not what the writer had in mind though.  Rather, he concerns himself with the Messianic Era, not with the eternal ages beyond.  The broader picture has been presented only to show that Christ’s ministry “after the order of Melchizedek” is a ministry having to do with activity during one age alone, activity during the Messianic Era.


The writer of Hebrews, leading into his statements in 5:11ff, had called attention to a progression in God’s economy from Christs present ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (after the order of Aaron) to His future ministry (after the order of Melchizedek), crowned and seated on His own throne in the heavens and on David’s throne on earth (vv. 1-6).


Following this, the writer called attention to a salvation awaiting those presently obeying Christ (v. 9); and this salvation, contextually, is to be realized during the coming age when Christ exercises the Melchizedek priesthood (vv. 6, 10).  It is to be realized by Christ’s co-heirs through/by their ascending the throne with Him (His own throne in the heavens, not David’s throne on earth).


It is this whole line of thought — centering on Melchizedek (v. 10) — which the writer had in mind when he stated,


            Of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull     of hearing. (v. 11)


The writer wanted to say many things about that future day when Christ would be the great King-Priestafter the order of Melchizedek,” with others occupying positions as kings and priests alongside Him.


But, there was a problem . . . .


Many Things to Say


The writer of Hebrews could not just come out and begin relating to his readers various truths about Christ’s coming rule and reign over the earth “after the order of Melchizedek.”  This is what he wanted to do, but such was not possible; the recipients of this epistle lacked the necessary background in their spiritual growth to comprehend these truths (5:11-14).


Though they were on the foundation, which is Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11), they had not built upon this foundation after a fashion that would allow them to understand things about Christ drawn from type-antitype teachings concerning Melchizedek.


1)  Hard to Explain


The things pertaining to Christ’s coming ministry “after the order of Melchizedek” were things “hard to explain.”  That is, these things were “difficult to be explained.”  And, to be able to grasp these things at all, it was absolutely necessary for a person to have grown enough spiritually that he could easily partake of solid food.


Things surrounding the antitype of the Melchizedek priesthood were not simply meat or solid food per se, but these things were said to be strong meat, food not easily digested and assimilated (vv. 12, 14 [there is a qualifying word used only here in the Greek text in connection with the word for “food” — stereos, meaning, “strong,” “solid,” “firm”]).  And these were, accordingly, not things for those still on the milk of the Word, which presented a problem for the writer of Hebrews.


Those to whom he was writing were still on milk and, correspondingly, “unskillful in the Word of righteousness.”  And not only did they need to be weaned from the milk but they also needed to be able to partake of solid food, after at least some fashion, before they could go on into and understand things surrounding the “strong meat” associated with Christ’s coming reign as King-Priestafter the order of Melchizedek.”


At the beginning of the Christian life a person can only partake of what Scripture calls, the “sincere [unadulterated, pure] milk of the Word” (cf. Hebrews 5:12, 13; 1 Peter 2:2).  Milk is for “newborn babes,” whether in the spiritual or physical realm.  And, as in the physical realm where individuals grow physically and leave the milk for solid food, so must it be in the spiritual realm to assure proper growth.  A “newborn babe” is to begin on milk, but he is not to remain on milk indefinitely.  He is to grow spiritually; and through this growth he is to progressively, in what could only be considered a natural sense within this growth, gradually leave the milk and, in its place, partake of solid food.


The solid food that he first begins to partake of is more easily digested and assimilated than solid food that he may partake of after additional growth.  Growth is always progressive, and the object of growth is always the same.  Whether in the physical or spiritual, progressive proper growth always leads toward the same goal.  It always leads toward maturity, adulthood.


The whole panoramic picture of growth after this fashion is set forth in spiritual lessons drawn from events occurring during the six days of Genesis chapter one; and the purpose for this growth is intimately connected with that which occurred during the seventh day in chapter two.


Events occurring during the first three days set forth divisions.  Viewing the antitype, events occurring during the first day pertain to man’s presently possessed eternal salvation, wherein a division is established between the soul and the spirit (cf. Genesis 1:3, 4; Hebrews 4:12).  Then, events occurring on days two and three (a division of waters from waters, the land from the water, etc.) picture the newborn babe in Christ learning divisions, distinctions in the Word — i.e., learning the basics — elementary teachings that would have to do essentially with milk rather than solid food.


It is only when one reaches that point in his spiritual growth depicted by events on days four through six that solid food of any real substance comes into the picture.  At this point in his understanding of Scripture he can begin to sink deep shafts down into the Word and mine its treasures. 


He can begin to scale the heights or the depths in his spiritual understanding, as the birds are able to ascend into the heavens (day four), or as the marine creatures are able to plunge to the depths of the sea (day five); or he can begin to roam through the Word with ease in his spiritual understanding, as the giant land creatures are able to easily roam the earth (day six).


And all of this is for a purpose, which has to do with man, on the seventh day, realizing the reason for his existence:  “. . . let them have dominion.”


It has to do with man, on the seventh day (the seventh Millennium, the earth’s coming Sabbath, the Messianic Era), being placed in a position to exercise dominion with the second Man,” the last Adam” (cf. Genesis 1:26-2:3; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47; Romans 11:29).


It has to do with the same thing that the writer of Hebrews had in mind when he referred to things that were “hard to explain [‘difficult to understand’]” (5:11).  He was writing to individuals who were, in their spiritual understanding, still in that period typified by events on days two and three in Genesis chapter one.


And this whole matter was not something that could be discussed with individuals still on the Milk of the Word.  This was strong meat, which, insofar as one’s spiritual growth and understanding were concerned, could fit only within the framework of that depicted by events on days four through six, for it had to do with the seventh day.


            (For a detailed discussion of Genesis 1:1-2:3, as these verses pertain to the Christian life [birth, maturity, purpose] within a type-antitype framework, see the author’s book,  From Egypt to Canaan, Chapters 5-8.)


2)  Dull of Hearing


The word, “dull” in Hebrews 5:11 is the translation of a Greek word (nothros) that means, “lazy” or “careless.”  This is the same word also appearing in Hebrews 6:12, the only other occurrence of this word in the New Testament:


            That you do not become sluggish [nothros, ‘lazy,’ ‘careless’], but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.


The word nothros, as it is used in chapter 5, has to do with hearing and receiving the Word of God.  Those addressed had become “lazy,” “careless” in this respect.  Thus, the thought of sluggish in hearing or hard of hearing because of “laziness” or “carelessness” would best describe what is meant by the use of nothros in this section of Scripture.


Such an attitude toward the Word on their part would, in turn, have negative ramifications in two interrelated realms:


1)      Their present spiritual growth.


2)      Theend [goal]” of their faith, the salvation of their souls (James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:4, 5, 9; cf. Hebrews 6:11, 12, 19; 10:36-39).


Then a verb tense used in the Greek text shows that the individuals being addressed in Hebrews 5:11ff had not always been in this spiritual condition.  Rather, they had become this way.  The latter part of the verse should literally read,


            . . . you have become sluggish in hearing [because of your carelessness, laziness (as it pertains to the reception of the Word of God and your spiritual growth)].


The same thought (their having become this way) is set forth in the latter part of verse twelve, which should literally read,


            . . . you have become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (solid food).


Thus, though the text deals with spiritual babes “in Christ,” it does not deal with spiritual babes who had never made a concerted effort to grow spiritually.  Rather, the text deals with Christians who, at one time, were receiving the Word and growing in a spiritual manner.  But something happened, which is very common in Christian circles today.  They had become “lazy” and “careless” in the spiritual realm of their lives; and, correspondingly, they had become “sluggish in hearing” the Word.


They had been saved long enough that they should, themselves, have been teaching the Word.  But such was not the case at all.  Rather, because of the spiritual condition in which they had become, they needed someone to take the Word and begin at the very basics of the Christian faith, teaching them once again things that they had previously been taught (v. 12).


When for the Time


The whole area of spiritual growth from immaturity unto maturity, as it is presented in Hebrews chapters five and six, needs to be understood contextually.  Beginning on milk, being weaned from the milk, and partaking of solid food is not just moving from something relatively simple to something more complex in biblical doctrine.  Rather, proper spiritual growth involves moving from what could be termed the letter of the matter to the spirit of the matter (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6-18).


When Christ, following His resurrection, instructed the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He followed a certain procedure.  Christ began “at Moses and all the Prophets”; and, using the writings of Moses and all the Prophets, “He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”  And by so doing, He showed these disciples, from the Old Testament Scriptures, a dual picture of Himself.  He showed them both the sufferings that He had just endured and His glory that would one day be revealed (Luke 24:25-27).


How did Christ do this?  How did He go to the Old Testament Scriptures and draw spiritual truths from these Scriptures that not only dealt with His past sufferings and future glory but that also resulted in the eyes of these two disciples being opened?


The answer is very simple.  Christ first went to the historic accounts in the writings of Moses, and then He went to the writings of other Prophets (the writings of the other Prophets could have been both historic accounts and/or prophetic accounts).  And using these Scriptures to arrive at teachings of this nature, Christ could only have followed one procedure:  He could only have dealt first with the letter of Old Testament revelation and then with the spirit of this revelation.


In this respect, to illustrate a basic distinction between “milk” and “meat” (solid food), the letter would have to do with the historicity of the account itself.  It would have to do with simply viewing the account as it is presented in Scripture from a literal, historic perspective.  And this is where one must begin, for no progress in spiritual growth can possibly be made until one first learns and understands basic things about that which is stated in the letter of the Word.


Then the spirit has to do with going beyond the simple historic account within the framework of the manner in which Scripture has been structured.  God has interwoven within the historic account an inexhaustible wealth of spiritual truth.  All Old Testament history is fraught with types and meaning, which, after some fashion, reflect on the person and work of Christ in His three-fold office.  Note in Luke 24:27 — “. . . in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).


            (One could take a lesson concerning proper biblical interpretation from Stephen’s address to the Jewish religious leaders in Acts chapter seven.  Stephen began by calling attention to particular historic accounts in the Old Testament.  Then, account by account  [7:2ff], once he had these Jewish religious leaders’ attention properly focused on the letter of the matter, he drew spiritual lessons from the historic accounts.  And, though the lessons were relatively simple, those whom he addressed got the message because Stephen opened the Scriptures to them after the fashion in which they had been written, moving from type to antitype.


            And because Stephen opened the Scriptures to their understanding in this respect, allowing them to understand the proclaimed message,they gnashed at him with their teeth” [an Eastern expression showing deep contempt (which not only showed their attitude toward Stephen but toward the proclaimed Word itself)].


            Note that which a proper proclamation of the Word had done — they had been “cut to the heart,” resulting in their action [7:54].


            These religious leaders did exactly the same thing to Stephen that they had previously done to Christ, and for the same reason.  In a vain effort to do away with the whole of the matter, they killed Stephen [7:57-60].


            And, relative to the preceding, the one daring to do this in Christian circles today might want to keep one thing in mind:


            The religious leaders today, as the religious leaders during Stephens day, or during the previous time when Christ was upon earth, are not going to like that which the Word really has to say when the Word has been proclaimed after the manner in which it has been recorded and structured.)


The preceding is the evident manner of progression from milk to meat (solid food) in Hebrews 5:10ff.  First, attention is called to Melchizedek from the Old Testament Scriptures.  In this respect there is the brief historic account in Genesis chapter fourteen.  Then there is the account of Messiah’s coming reign over the earth in Psalm 110, which draws from the type in Genesis.  And this is the extent of that which is directly stated about Melchizedek in the Old Testament.


The writer of Hebrews though went far beyond a reference to the historic account in Genesis and the use of this account in the Psalms when he stated that he had “many things” which he would like to relate concerning Melchizedek.


First, he had to have in mind understanding things about numerous other Old Testament Scriptures, for properly understanding the things surrounding Melchizedek would, of necessity, be contingent on understanding numerous other parts of the Old Testament.  Then, second, the writer had to have in mind going beyond the letter within one’s understanding.  And from that which is revealed in Hebrews chapter five, it is evident that going beyond the letter had to do with moving into the type-antitype relationship involved in the Melchizedek priesthood.


In other words, there are two corresponding things that one must do in order to properly understand the various things about Christ’s coming reign over the earth as the great King-Priest “after the order of Melchizedek”:


1)      He must relate that which is taught in Genesis chapter fourteen and Psalm 110 to Old Testament revelation as a whole.


2)      He must study the matter after the fashion in which the Old Testament has been structured, moving, in this respect, from type to antitype.


The account in Genesis chapter fourteen, in reality, comprises the heart of the whole matter.  This account, in the antitype, deals with that coming day when Christ, as the great King-Priest, will bless the descendants of Abraham (both heavenly and earthly); and these blessings will, in turn, flow out through the seed of Abraham to the Gentile nations of the earth.  In this respect, the whole account is fraught with meaning, which the writer of Hebrews called solid food” (KJV: “strong meat”).


1)  The Word of the Kingdom


Another feature about proper Christian growth in its true New Testament sense is the fact that solid food (meat) appears in passages having to do with Christs return and Christian accountability in relation to His return.  This can be seen quite graphically in two passages of Scripture — the text under discussion in Hebrews 5:11ff and the account of the Householder and His servant in Matthew 24:45-51.  And both are companion passages.


In Matthew 24:45-51, the command of the Householder to the servant placed over His house was to give those in the house “solid food (KJV: meat [same word as in Hebrews 5:12]) in due season” (v. 45).  And, textually, “solid food” has to do with a spiritual diet that will properly prepare the recipients for the Householder’s return.  Thus, “solid food,” as distinguished from “milk” in this passage and in Hebrews 5:11ff, has to do with the same thing.  It has to do with the things surrounding Christ’s return, the coming kingdom, and the place that will be occupied by both the great King-Priest and the kings and priests in that coming day.


The purpose for the entire present dispensation has to do with the coming kingdom.  The call is presently going forth concerning proffered positions as co-heirs with Christ during the coming age, and the present dispensation covers that period of time when fruit relating to the kingdom will be brought forth by those destined to comprise the co-heirs.


The faithful servant, dispensing “solid food (meat) in due season,” teaches those placed under his care about the Lords return and proffered positions in the kingdom, with a view to fruit bearing by both the one proclaiming the Word and the ones hearing the Word.  Then, at the time of the Lord’s return, fruit will be in evidence; and not only will the faithful servant be positioned as “ruler [co-heir with Christ in the kingdom],” but through his previous ministry in the house others will be brought into this position as well.


Should the servant become unfaithful though, the opposite will be true.  He will not teach those placed under his care about the Lord’s return and proffered positions in the kingdom.  Then, at the time of the Lord’s return, there will be no fruit; and not only will the unfaithful servant face severe chastisement, but those who had been placed under his care, failing to bring forth fruit (as a direct result of the unfaithful servant’s ministry), will find themselves in similar straits.


In this respect, an awesome responsibility falls on the shoulders of those whom the Lord has placed in positions of household responsibility to dispense “solid food (meat) in due season,” for faithfulness or unfaithfulness in properly carrying out their calling will have far-reaching ramifications, affecting not only them personally but others as well.  By a proper response to their calling, the salvation of not only their souls (lives) will be realized but the souls (lives) of others as well.  But through an improper response, the opposite will be true.


2)  Beyond the Veil


The strict letter of the Word, apart from the spirit of the same Word, could, in a sense, be likened to an intrinsic view of the strict letter of the Law given to Israel through Moses.  In the words of Scripture, pertaining to the latter, “the letter kills . . . .”  And insofar as the understanding and interpretation of Scripture are concerned, there would be no difference in applying the same words to the former should the spirit be removed, for it is the spirit alone that “gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).


Because Israel viewed matters from the letter alone, the minds of the Jewish people were blinded, there was a veil over their eyes, and “until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament [‘old covenant’].”


But, there was/is a solution.  The veil could/can be done away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14-16).  And such was/is accomplished through simply looking beyond the letter.


That is exactly what occurred when Christ dealt with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus following His resurrection.  He opened the Old Testament Scriptures to their understanding.  That is, He carried them beyond the letter to the spirit.


Through looking beyond the letter in the Old Testament Scriptures, when they were later breaking bread, they saw their Messiah.  They then turned to the Lord, the veil was removed, and their eyes were opened (cf. Luke 24:25-31; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16).


And therein is Jewish evangelism presented in its true biblical form.  The evangel (the bearer of “good news”) must present the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people from their own Old Testament Scriptures, through more than the letter.  He must move beyond the letter to the spirit.


Then, beyond the present day and time, the account in Luke chapter twenty-four forms a type of Israel’s future salvation.  The nation will one day turn their attention to the Lord, the veil will be removed, and the eyes of the Jewish people will be opened; and this will be the direct result of Messiah Himself, in their midst at the time of His return, opening the Old Testament Scriptures to their understanding.


And therein as well lies the simple secret that will allow anyone to understand the God-breathed Word given to man.  Study Scripture after the fashion in which it was written.  Know the letter, but don’t stop there.  Rather, look beyond the letter to the spirit, for this Word, unlike any other writing, is “spiritually discerned” (cf. John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:14).