We are going to go into the book of Hebrews to show you how an understanding of the concept “I see him, but not now” and the contrast between the Olam ha Zeh (This Present Age) and the Olam Haba (the World to Come) will help you interpret this book. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, you will need to go back and read it in order to pick up the definitions you will need. A lack of understanding of these things has caused many verses in Hebrews to be misinterpreted and “made” to say things that it was never intended to say. There is a ministry that says this book should not be in the Epistles and the “new testament.” We reject that view in every way. The book of Hebrews is one of the most spiritual and mystical books you will find in the Scriptures. So, we are going to get into Hebrews and bring out these concepts concerning the Olam ha Zeh and the Olam Haba that will help properly interpret verses that are still misunderstood today. This will not be an exhaustive examination of Hebrews overall, but we are going to zero in on the concepts concerning the Olam ha Zeh and the Olam Haba and how an understanding of the concept “I see him, but not now” is essential in properly interpreting these passages.
Heb 1.1-3 says that God spoke to the fathers in the prophets in many ways. Now, in the last days (this will relate to the Olam ha Zeh and the Olam Haba) he has spoken to us in a son, who is the heir of all things. It says in v 3 that he is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s nature and upholds all things by the word of his power. When he had made purification of sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty (God the Father) on high. Now, if you go and read 1 Cor 15.20-28 you will see many related concepts. What we are talking about in just these two verses is two phrases in Hebrew called the Olam ha Zeh and the Olam Haba. Before we go on, we must know these terms and where they fit in to God’s plan. Which is better, the Olam ha Zeh or the Olam Haba? It would be the Olam Haba because there is no sin, death, sickness nor pain. The Lord will be living among us and we move on into eternity future.
Heb 1.4-12 has coronation terms. Verses 10-11 talk about a new heavens and a new earth (there will be five total by the time we get to the Olam Haba chronologically), but the Lord remains because he is in the Olam Haba and “become much better than the angels.”
Heb 1.13-14…You will see more expressions for a king like “sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool” and how the angels are sent out to proclaim and to serve the people of the king.
Heb 2.1-7…Messiah has been made a little lower than the angels, but in Heb 1.4 it says Messiah is “much better” than the angels. Is that a contradiction? No, in 2.7 it means that he was created in the Olam ha Zeh which has limitations as we all know. But, in 1.4 he was elevated through kingship and is “better than the angels” because he is now in the Olam Haba with no limitations.
Heb 2.8…it says “You (Messiah) have put all things in subjection under his (God the Father) feet” and it is exactly what 1 Cor 15.24 says.
Heb 2.9-18…But we “do see him” who has been made for a “little while” a little lower than the angels (in the Olam Ha Zeh). These verses basically say that he took on a human nature in the Olam Ha Zeh (v 14) and verse 17 now has him as a high priest, and made with a human nature so that he can be merciful and faithful in things pertaining to God, and to make propitiation for our sins. So, now we have him as a king and high priest. In the Jewish Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Judaica it says that there were people in the first century that were expecting three messiah’s. These messiah’s would fulfill the role of king, high priest and prophet. Hebrews is telling us that Yeshua will fulfill all three of these roles, and we have two already.
Heb 3.1…says we are “partakers of the heavenly calling” in the Olam Haba (Heb 6.5) and have “tasted ” of the heavenly powers “now” but not the fullness (here now, but not yet). It says that Yeshua is “the apostle” which means a “shaliach” or “sent one” of the redemption like Moses. There are many apostles (shaliachim), but Yeshua was in a category by himself, like Moses was. Moses was separate from the Aaronic priesthood, but performed its duties. Moses was the Lawgiver, Deliverer and Prophet.
Heb 3.2…Israel was committed to his care, just like Israel was with Moses.
Heb 3.3…Yeshua is worthy of more glory because the “lesser” redemption was from Egypt and the builder of the house is worthy of more glory than the house. Moses, at best, is a pillar in that house. The “house of the Lord” is also an idiom for the Olam Haba.
Heb 3.4-6…Messiah “as a son” meaning king, and over the house (the Kahal), with some in the Olam ha Zeh physically, but spiritually in the Olam Haba, and others who are in the Olam Haba already.
Heb 3.7-11…The term “rest” used in these verses is the word “m’nuchah” and is quoting Psa 95.7-11 basically. It denotes a resting place, and alludes to the Olam Haba. Psa 95 is a Sabbath Psalm (Atid Lavo) and the first one recited as the Sabbath begins, called “Kabbalat Shabbat” or “receiving the Sabbath.”
Heb 3.12-13…”Today” refers to those still in the Olam ha Zeh.
Heb 3.14…”until the end” refers to the end of the Olam ha Zeh (for them).
Heb 3.15-18…The m’nuchah (rest) they are being promised in these verses is the land of Canaan.
Heb 4.1-2…The Basar, or gospel/good news, preceded Yeshua and did not start when he came. It started when the first sin was committed in Genesis. The redemption and restoration was promised. Messiah will be the agent of the Basar. The generation that was entering Canaan failed to enter his rest because of unbelief and a lack of faith.
Heb 4.3-5…The weekly Sabbath is a weekly “m’nuchah” and (a type of the Atid Lavo).
Heb 4.6-10…We also have a literal seventh day of God called “The Day of the Lord”. It is a 1000 year period called the Atid Lavo, which we have already mentioned. It is also called a “m’nuchah.” But, this passage is not talking about that, it is talking about the Olam Haba in v 9. Yeshua is already in the Olam Haba, and so will the believers at the Natzal, the Gathering or “rapture.”
Heb 4.11-16…we must be diligent to enter that rest lest any fall like they did before they entered Canaan. The Word of God is like a two edge sword and can pierce the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It then goes on to emphasize that we have a high priest who understands our problems and our weaknesses in the Olam ha Zeh, because he was in it with a physical body, too.
Heb 5.1-6…The current high priest is human and beset with weaknesses because he is in the Olam ha Zeh.
Heb 5.7-9…How could the Messiah be made “perfect” by his suffering? By letting his physical body in the Olam ha Zeh die, and getting a glorified body in the Olam Haba. That is the meaning of “perfect” in Hebrews. You will also see the concept in 1 Cor 13.10 where it says “but when the perfect has come (the Olam Haba), the partial will be done away (the Olam ha Zeh).
Heb 5.10-14…the writer of Hebrews (we don’t think Paul wrote Hebrews for several reasons) is saying in these verses that you can’t look at the message on the surface alone, but there is a deeper mystery and message. However, the Hebrew people he was dealing with were “dull of hearing” and they need “milk” instead of “meat” (deeper meanings). He is saying that what he is writing about is not for the immature, but there are concepts that need to be understood in order to get the true meaning out of what he is trying to communicate.
Basically, what Hebrews is teaching is that there is a contrast and difference between the Olam ha Zeh and the Olam Haba, and why it is better to have a king, high priest and prophet who is in the Olam Haba, rather than the Olam ha Zeh. That is the underlying message so far. In Part 3 we will pick up here in Hebrew 6 and continue to bring out what this book is saying, and trying to correct some wrong interpretations of these verses. A simple understanding of the contrast between the Olam ha Zeh and the Olam Haba will go a long way in interpreting Hebrews in the right way, and will steer you clear of many of the wrong interpretations that are still being taught out there.