Last summer I read a tantalizing article with this thought, plus a question for its readers.

“A lifetime without seeing a reward….”

Tremendous thought today from ______, based on Malachi 3:13. In his full page of meditations, he says, “The reluctant say that it is “futile” to serve Him. There is no “gain” in keeping His commands, Malachi 3:14,15. These people believe religion ought to pay big dividends now. It ought to bring great rewards immediately. The general feeling is that folks surely will not serve God for nothing, Job 1:9. In spite of that sentiment, the faithful may live a lifetime without seeing a reward, Hebrews 11:13.”

Focus question: When it seems there’s no advantage to faith, what’s wrong with my thinking?


New Testament encouragement does not promise earthly rewards for obedience, and if the Old Testament were given for our schoolmaster, why don’t we read to find answers there?

Even without consulting a concordance, we can remember details of God’s promises to Abraham along with Abraham’s faithfulness and belief in the Father and his promises—without doubting.

What about Job and his resolute affirmation, “I have not sinned?” Was God his defender? Who proved to be right about Job’s affliction, Job or the friends?

There are two Psalms I don’t like to read – by Heman and one other like him, considered to be wise compared to Solomon. They don’t have any hope throughout the entire Psalm. This may not be a necessary study, but here are some references in case you want to check who these men are (1 Chr. 2:4-61 Chr. 15:16-19).

Those who claim there is no reward from God seem to forget that all their ‘blessings’ or ‘rewards’ come from the one they despise (Psa. 73:1-28). They fail to see they are not plagued like others. Therefore, they are blinded – willingly so – and give credit to their own hands for all the good God gives them (see also Sennacharib, etc.).

Second, God put more joy in David’s heart than the others when their wine and oil were increased (Psa. 4:7). Note also from where David’s reward came (Psa. 19:7-11). Paul’s joy (of which he boasted) was in seeing himself growing in the image of Christ – for an eternal reward in the here and now. Actually, all the other joys that could come on Judgment Day pale in comparison to the fact that we are getting the major reward right now, through trials and tribulation, in which we grow in the image of Christ, the image of the Divine Nature (if we are indeed growing).

We are saved by hope, and if there is no ‘evidence’ of eternal reward here, it could make one wonder if there is any hope.

Yet, we still see hope and a grand lesson in Abraham’s promises and his not setting foot on the soil he was promised.

● Acts 7:5—Abraham didn’t inherit enough to put his foot on

5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

● Genesis 28:4—Abraham did walk in the land he was to inherit

4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.

● Hebrews 11:13

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

● Hebrews 11:39-40

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Jesus, nor Paul, saw their reward in this life, but they acknowledged that the resurrection was THE proof that they and we will inherit!




By the time we finish this study, we should know the characteristics of God’s two covenants with His chosen people. We should know the purpose behind His laws and the difference between how He deals with His people in the Old and New Testaments. 


The Old Testament was given to the Israelite nation after they left Egypt.

  • Law of Works
  • Circumcision
  • Physical Sacrifices
  • Cleansing of Flesh

The New Testament is for a spiritual nation—Christians.

  • Law of Faith
  • Circumcision of Heart
  • Spiritual Sacrifices
  • Cleansing of Heart
  • Belief in Jesus

OT-NT DIFFERENCES is a mini-course. By that you may understand that the lessons are not as long as they are in some other courses. However, the memory work (listed at the bottom of this introduction) should be studied regularly in order to learn those valuable facts.



Rarely does anyone consider that there might be more spiritual beings in heaven than just God and His angels. Generally, the average Christian acknowledges that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are spiritual beings in heaven, but do they consider who or what else might be there?

Some have quoted Habakuk 1:13 to say nothing unholy would ever be in the presence of the Heavenly Father, but they fail to see that the prophet is using his best argument to keep God from using an evil nation to punish Israel.  The ones who pull this verse out of context to say the LORD could not bear to see anything unholy forget the account in the book of Job, where Satan appeared before God. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it” (Job 1:6-7).  By this we know that Satan went from the earth to appear before the LORD in heaven.  This did not happen before the world began, nor was it before Christ.  It happened during Job’s time after the creation of the world.


Considering the statement in Psalm 110:4 about Christ’s priesthood, and the profound implications it has for us, how could Melchizedek be an ordinary man? “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4). Melchizedek should be understood to be a guarantee of our Lord’s priesthood! He is a guarantee to us that there will not be an end of Jesus’ priesthood. What point do the ones take from the doctrines concerning Melchizedek if he were a mere man? Besides that, if Melchizedek were a man, the statement is clear that Melchizedek was greater than Abraham. If that were true, then why are we not children of Melchizedek instead of children of the second best man (Abraham)?

The importance of this verse is indicated both by the fact that it is a Psalm, which is quoted at least 12 times in the New Testament, and is also central to the main theme of Hebrews, chapters 5–7. It is quoted no fewer than five times in the book of Hebrews. Melchizedek (spelled Melchisedec in the New Testament) is mentioned nine times. Each time, it refers to the strange appearance in Genesis 14:18-20. The Lord makes the point that when Melchizedek’s name is translated, he is the “King of Righteousness.” When the remainder of his description, the “King of Salem,” is translated, he is also the King of “Peace.” Some claim that Salem was a former name of Jerusalem, but there is no evidence for such an assumption—at least not in association with a heavenly being. Such hardly does justice to the exalted descriptions of Melchizedek in Scripture. He is the “priest of the most high God” (Heb. 7:1), suddenly appearing, and then disappearing as mysteriously as he came—like the other spiritual beings we have studied.

The Lord makes the point that Melchizedek is greater than Abraham (Heb. 7:4), and greater than Aaron, the founder of the Levitical priesthood. Furthermore, he was without father, without mother, . . . having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually (Heb. 7:3). Such a description is not consistent with the claim that his genealogy is simply not recorded.

Some have postulated that this Melchizedek was a pre-incarnation of Christ. If that were true, they must explain why the Scriptures make a strong point of the Father’s declaring with an oath that Jesus would be after the order of Melchizedek. Why swear with an oath if Melchizedek were Christ himself? He would not need to swear but merely declare that Christ is Melchizedek. Secondly, they must explain the present tense language that Melchizedek is made like unto the Son of God who abides a priest continually (Heb. 7:3).

The only point one can take of such a description is that, because Christ was made a priest after the order of Melchizedek, this proves that his priesthood is eternal. There is no other point made in these verses concerning Christ. Can we assume that throughout eternity there has never been any other being beside men or angels? Consider that eternity is a long time, and to think that God has done nothing forever and ever before he created the earth may be assuming too much.

When it comes to religion, two a-priory assumptions prevail because 1) men today have been taught not to take the Scriptures literally and 2) men believe that the only celestial beings are the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and the angels who serve them. As modern day man reads these verses about Melchizedek, he cannot imagine any other possibility than that the scriptures are mistaken or that the language is somehow figurative or allegorical rather than literal (thanks to Origen). He cannot imagine that Melchizedek was a being who really had neither father nor mother nor beginning or end. Once that dam of doubt is opened, men can, without a conscience, assume other scriptures also are not literal or true.

Could there be, would there be, another heavenly being with whom we are not familiar? Those who read carefully have read about the scenes in Daniel, chapters 10-12, where the angel Michael spoke in a vision, telling Daniel where he had been and what he had been doing. Notice how many different heavenly bodies were mentioned in those chapters. You may also like to read a recent blog article about more than one unusual being in Daniel.


What about the angels? Are they not already greater than any man and do they not count in the total picture (Heb. 2:5-10Heb. 2:17)? The Bible, the revealed Word of God (2 Tim. 3:162 Pet. 1:21) actually speaks of only one archangel, Michael (Jude 1:9), though he is called “one of the chief princes” (Dan. 10:13). Only two angels are specifically named. Those are Michael and Gabriel. The Scriptures clearly describe fallen angels as those who chose to rebel with Satan against the only true and living God (Eze. 28:12-19Matt. 25:41). What form do angels have?

Who are the Angels? We all look at the world through colored glasses that affect how we view reality. Those glasses are called our worldview. The Bible—the divine revelation of God—informs us about the truths of our earth and the God who created it. A complete biblical worldview recognizes the reality of God, the Creator; and of angels, good and evil. As we have seen, they are personal beings with intellect, emotions, and will, and they have a distinct nature are in spiritual forms and are only seen if they take on a physical form.

Who are the watchers? What or who are the beings described without names? Who are the cherubim in Ezekiel? We are told that the cherubim have wings, and not just two, like the modern artists paint for angels. Who/what are the wheels and the wheels within wheels—each filled with eyes (Eze. 1:15-16Eze. 10:9-1013)? Both Revelation and Isaiah (Isa. 6) describe the Seraphim. The Beasts in Revelation seem quite different even if they had 6 wings). Joshua didn’t describe what he saw, and it may have been Christ (Joshua 5:13-15). An interesting side note: the beings we remember from Genesis 3:24 were not angels, but cherubim. Although some try to say cherubim are just angels with a fancy title, Scripture differentiates between the two types of celestial creatures.

Go back to Hebrews 7:4 for a minute. “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” The word man is not in the original Greek text. The passage should read: Now consider how great this was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” The KJV translators obviously thought a noun needed to be supplied, so they supplied the word man. They could just as easily have supplied the word being or creature.

If we understand that there is more than one kind of spiritual being in heaven, more than one type or kind of what men call angels, then perhaps we could read Hebrews 7:4 with the understanding that “this being” was indeed a heavenly being. Try reading the verse with one of those nouns supplied and see if your understanding of these events broadens. “Now consider how great this being was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.


Isaiah 14:12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

OT: Hebrew #1966 heylel (hay-lale’); from OT:1984 (in the sense of brightness); the morning-star:



The origin of the word “Lucifer” appears to be included in a literal translation in the Latin Vulgate which (word) Wycliffe {and/or others} transliterated and included in the first English translation of the Bible (published from 1382-1395 AD).

According to Webster’s dictionary the origin and etymology of “Lucifer” is from Middle English, and is defined as 1) the morning star, 2) a fallen rebel archangel, and 3) the Devil. The word ‘lucifer’ is originally a Latin word which is literally translated as “bright, shining or clear.”  It was first known to be used in English before the 12th century.

According to an article in Wikipedia under the title of “Fallen Angel,”[i]The fall of Lucifer finds its earliest identification with a fallen angel in Origen (182-254 A. D.)… (in) the image of the fallen morning star or angel (and) was applied to Satan both in Jewish pseudepigrapha and by early Christian writers…”