(From: HEBREWS #13 - 12:1-29)
M. 12:1-29 STRONG EXHORTATIONS TO LIVE THE VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE
1. 12:1-13 OT EXAMPLES ENCOURAGE US TO ENDURE ALL TESTINGS
a. 12:1-2 JESUS AND PAST SAINTS: OUR EXAMPLE FOR ENDURANCE
Toi-gaROUN kai heMEIS, toSOUton Echon-tes pe-riKEIme-non heMIN NEphos marTUron,
Therefore now we also, having so great a cloud of witnesses encompassing us,
OGkon  a-poTHEme-noi  PANta, kai ten eu-peRIsta-ton ha-marTIan,
let us lay aside every weight, and the easily besetting sin,
di' hu-po-moNES TREcho-men ton proKEIme-non heMIN aGOna ,
andlet us run with patience the race set before us,
a-phoRONtes eis ton tes PIste-os ar-cheGON kai te-lei-oTEN IeSOUN,
2looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of the faith,
hos anTI tes pro-keiMEnes auTO chaRAS huPEmei-nen stauRON ,
who for the joy set before him endured a cross,
aiSCHUnes ka-ta-proNEsas , en de-xiA te tou THROnou tou TheOU keKAthi-ken .
despising shame, and has sat down at theright of the throne of :God.
b. 12:3 JESUS: OUR EXAMPLE IN ENDURANCE DESPITE PERSECUTION
a-na-loGIsas-the  gar ton toiAUten hu-po-me-me-neKOta huPO ton ha-mar-toLON 
For consider him that has endured such gainsaying of :sinners
eis he-auTOUS an-ti-loGIan  HIna me KAme-te , tais psuCHAIS huMON ek-luOme-noi .
against himself that you weary not, fainting in your :souls.
c. 12:4-6 CHASTENING: GOD'S TOOL TO REFINE US
OUpoMEchris HAIma-tos an-ti-kaTEste-te , pros ten ha-marTIan an-ta-go-niZOme-noi :
You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against :sin:
kai eKLEles-the tes pa-raKLEse-os HEtis huMIN hos huiOIS di-aLEge-tai ,
5and have forgotten the exhortation which reasons with you as with sons,
HuiE mou, meo-liGOrei paiDEIas KuRIou, meDE eKLUou hup' auTOU e-legCHOme-nos;
My son, regard not lightly the Lord's chastening, Nor faint when reproved of him;
hon gar a-gaPA KUri-os paiDEUei , ma-stiGOI  de PANta huiON hon pa-raDEche-tai .
6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, And scourges every son whom he receives.
d. 12:7 CHASTENING: A PROOF OF SONSHIP
eis paiDEIan  hu-poMEne-te ; hos huiOIS huMIN prosPHEre-tai ho TheOS;
It is for chastening that you endure; :God deals with you as with sons;
tis gar huiOS hon ou paiDEUei  pa-TER?
for what son is there whom a father chastens not?
e. 12:8 BASTARDS: MARKED BY THE ESCAPE FROM CHASTISEMENT
ei de choRIS es-te paiDEIas, hes MEto-choi geGOna-si PANtes,
But if you are without chastening, of which all have been made partakers,
Ara NOthoi , kai ouch huiOI es-te.
then are you bastards, and not sons.
f. 12:9 ALL CHASTENERS: WORTHY OF RESPECT
EIta, tous men tes sarKOS heMON paTEras EIcho-men pai-deuTAS ,
Furthermore, we had the fathers of our :flesh as chasteners,
kai e-ne-trePOme-tha : ou poLU MALlon
and we gave themreverence: shall we not much rather
hu-po-ta-geSOme-tha ton paTRI topneuMAton, kai ZEso-men ?
be subject to the Father of the spirits, and live?
g. 12:10 GOD: SUPERIOR TO ALL OTHER CHASTENERS
hoi men gar pros oLIgas heMEras kaTA to doKOUN auTOIS ePAIdeu-on ;
For they indeed for a few days chastened usas seemed good to them;
ho de ePI to sumPHEron , eis to me-ta-laBEIN  tes ha-giOte-tos auTOU.
but he for :profit, that wemay be partakers of his holiness.
h. 12:11 RIGHTEOUSNESS: THE FRUIT OF CHASTISEMENT
PAsa men paiDEIa  pros men to paRON ou doKEI chaRAS EInai alLA LUpes ;
Now all chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous;
HUste-ron de karPON ei-re-niKON tois di' auTES ge-gum-nasMEnois a-poDIdo-sin di-kai-oSUnes.
yet afterward yields to those exercised by it peaceable fruit of righteousness.
i. 12:12-13 UNDERSTANDING GOD'S WAYS - BRINGS POISE
di' ho tas pa-reiMEnas  CHEIras , kai ta pa-ra-le-luMEna  GOna-ta a-norTHOsa-te ;
Wherefore straighten the hanging down hands, and the paralyzed knees;
kai tro-chiAS  orTHAS  poiEIte tois poSIN huMON,
13and make straight paths for your :feet,
HIna meto choLON ek-traPE, i-aTHEde MALlon.
that what is lame be not turned out of theway, but rather be healed.
2. 12:14-17 THROUGH HOLINESS AVOID APOSTASY AND SENSUALITY
a. 12:14-16 PEACE AND SANCTIFICATION: TO BE GUARDED
EiREnen diOke-te meTA PANton, kai ton ha-gi-asMON 
Follow after peace with all, and the sanctification
hou choRIS ouDEIS Opse-tai ton KUri-on:
without which no one shall see the Lord:
e-pi-skoPOUNtes  me tis hu-steRON aPO tes CHAri-tos tou TheOU;
15looking carefully lest there beany that falls short of the grace of :God;
ME tis 'RIza piKRIas Ano PHUou-sa e-noCHLE ,
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
kai di' auTES mi-anTHOsin hoi polLOI;
and by it the many be defiled;
ME tis PORnos , e BEbe-los , hos E-SAU,
16lest there beany fornicator, or profane person, as Esau,
hos anTI BROse-os miAS aPEdo-to ta pro-toTOki-a he-auTOU.
who for one piece offood sold his own :birthrights.
b. 12:17 BITTERNESS OF ESAU IN HIS REAPING
ISte gar HOti kai meTEpei-ta THElon kle-ro-noMEsai  ten eu-loGIan , a-pe-do-kiMASthe;
For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was disapproved;
me-taNOIas  gar TOpon  ouch HEUren, KAIper meTA daKRUon ek-zeTEsas auTEN.
for he found no place for repentance in his father,though he sought it diligently with tears.
3. 12:18-29 WARNING: BIRTHRIGHTS CAN BE LOST
a. 12:18-24 THE HIGHER TERMS FOR NEW COVENANT SAINTS
Ou gar pro-se-leLUtha-te pse-la-phoMEno,
For you are not come to a mountthat might be touched,
kai ke-kauMEnopuRI , kai GNOpho , kai ZOpho , kai thuELle ,
and that burned with fire, and to blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
kai SALpig-gos  Echo, kai phoNE'reMAton;
19and sound of a trumpet, and voice of words;
hes hoi aKOUsan-tes pa-reTEsan-to pro-steTHEnai auTOIS LOgon;
which voicethey that heard entreated that no word be added for them;
ouk Ephe-ron gar to di-a-stelLOme-non ,
20for they could not endure what was enjoined,
Ka' 'n theRIon THIge tou Orous, li-tho-bo-leTHEse-tai ;
If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned;
kai HOUtopho-beRON en to phan-taZOme-non , Mo-uSES EIpen,
21and so fearful was the appearance, thatMoses said,
EK-phoBOS  ei-mi kai ENtro-mos :
I exceedingly fear and quake:
alLA pro-se-leLUtha-te ZiON Orei, kai POlei TheOU ZONtos ,
22but you are come unto Mount Zion, and unto thecity of theliving God,
Ie-rou-saLEM, kai mu-riAsin ag-geLON,
heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
pa-neGUrei kai ek-kleSIa pro-toTOkon a-po-ge-gramMEnon en ou-raNOIS,
23a general assembly and church of firstborn enrolled in theheavens,
kai kriTETheO PANton, kai PNEUma-si diKAIon te-te-lei-oMEnon ,
and to God, Judge of all, and to spirits of perfected just men,
kai di-aTHEkes NEas meSIte , IeSOU,
24and to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant,
kai HAIma-ti 'ran-tisMOU  KREITton  laLOUNti paRA ton HAbel.
and to blood of sprinkling that speaks better than :Abel.
b. 12:25a See you refuse not him that speaks.
BLEpe-te mepa-raiTEses-the ton laLOUNta.
c. 12:25b-26 A WARNING OF FUTURE TRIALS
ei gar eKEInoi ouk eXEphu-gon  ePI ges pa-rai-teSAme-noi ton chre-maTIzon-ta ,
For if THEY escaped not when they refused him that warned on earth,
poLU MALlon heMEIS hoi ton ap' ou-raNON a-po-strePHOme-noi:
much less we who turn away from him that is from the heavens:
hou hephoNEten gen eSAleu-sen TOte: nun de ePEGgel-tai ,
26whose :voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised,
LEgon, Eti HApax eGO SEIsoou MOnon ten gen, alLA kai ton ou-raNON.
saying, Yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also the heaven.
d. 12:27 THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE FUTURE TRIAL
to de, Eti HApax, deLOI ten ton sa-leu-oMEnon meTAthe-sin ,
And this, Yet once more, signifies the removing of the thingsshaken,
hos pe-poi-eMEnon , HIna MEIne ta me sa-leuOme-na .
as of thingsmade, that those not shaken may remain.
e. 12:28-29 THE SOBER WALK IT BEHOOVES US TO TAKE IN THE LIGHT OF THIS
Di' HO, ba-siLEIan  aSAleu-ton  pa-ra-lamBAnon-tes , Echo-men CHArin ,
Wherefore, receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have grace,
di' HES laTREUo-men eu-aREStos to TheOmeTA eu-laBEIas kai DEous:
whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to :God with godly fear and awe:
kai gar ho TheOS heMON pur ka-ta-naLIskon .
29For our :God is indeed a consuming fire.
NOTE: 12:1 - “So great a cloud of witnesses!” - This word came to Rees Howells by his pastor in a very crowded evening congregation just before as a young man he was leaving Wales to go to America to make much money. It was a phrase that he hadn't remembered hearing before. But the pastor said it as if he knew Rees was listening in the crowded foyer - “Young man, you may be leaving home where relatives and friends will not know what you are doing, But- the cloud of witnesseswill be on your side, and aware of what you do.” This had a marked effect on Rees, and kept him trueto his convictions and faith all the time he was in America. Every time he was tempted to leave his former life-style, he remembered “the cloud of witnesses”.
And who were in this cloud? The writer of Hebrews states, “Thereforenow we also, having ...”One has said, “Ask - What is that thereforethere for?” It is referring back to Hebrews 11 and the cloud of OT witnesses mentioned there.
Another has asked - “but do we today not have NT saints in that cloud also?” I should not doubt but that is so. But the writer of Hebrews is specifically referring to the cloud of thatday, and is referring to examples he mentioned in the previous chapter. I believe it is important that we strive to be true to the context. By outlining sentence by sentence the entire NT according to Panin's Bible Numerics, and summarizing these into paragraphs and sections, we learn the importance of “context” according to God's thinking. In our humanity, we will all miss this general rule at times - but nonetheless, it is good to keep it in mind and strive to be accurate.
12:1-13 is a strong exhortation for all of us to understand the mercy of God in chastening us for our good. Even Jesus as the Son of Man underwent this. How much more will weprofit from this mercy. Without merciful chastening and discipline, weare the losers. One of our sons said to me after a spanking, “Dad, I know why you spank us when we need it. You don't want us to turn out to be brats like those kids who don't get spanked.”
12:14-17 - The Spirit through the writer exhorts us to seek peace and sanctification! Interesting! Without these two we won't see the Lord! Blessed are the peace-makers, for theyshall see God! How encouraging, and how confirmatory. See some of the dangers eliminated through sanctification: a root of bitterness; a fornicator; a profane person!
12:18-29 - This is an an amazing passage. Actually, it is a fearful or fearsome passage. It should put the fear of God into us. And -“The fear of the LORD is the beginningof wisdom and understanding.”Israel and Moses at Mount Sinai, felt tremendous fear at His presence when the Angel of the LORD, (pre-incarnate Jesus - we believe) gave the 10 commandments. This is an example here.
This remarkable passage ends with reference to an Unshakable Kingdom. God strongly quickened this description to E. Stanley Jones, plus Hebrews 13:8, referring to Jesus as “the Unchanging Person.” Dr. Jones put the 2 descriptions together and wrote a book entitled “The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person.” It has recently been reprinted. By all means find it on the “Net” and make it yours. Bob Mumford felt it was one of the most important books he had ever come across. I agree. It will change, or at least affectyour life. It did mine.
In 12:22-23 we read of the heavenly Jerusalem, and the church of the firstbornenrolled in theheavens. My first mentor in 1944 sent to me by God, was Sister Mary Bertha Allquist. Verse 23 was one of her favorite Bible verses. She as a converted Jew had literally memorized the entire Bible, much of it in Hebrew. I saw 4 of her former Bibles, so literally worn out that the pages and binding were loose, and her fingers turning pages had literally worn the page back to the print. It was Sister Mary Bertha who opened the mysteries of the Urim and Thummim to me, and the deep significance of the Feasts of the Lord as recorded in Leviticus 23. - J.A.W.