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Hebrews 12 : The two mountains

v18 You have not come to a place that you can touch, like the Sinai mountain. That mountain burned with fire. But where the people stood, it was very dark. It was so dark that it was black. There was a very strong wind and a storm. v19 There was the sound of a *trumpet and a powerful *voice that spoke to them. When the people heard that *voice, they were very afraid. So they asked strongly that the *voice would not speak to them any more. v20 They remembered what God had already told them. So they were very afraid. ĎIf even an animal touches the mountain, you must kill it with stonesí, God had said [Exodus 19:12-13]. v21 Even Moses was very afraid. ĎI am so afraid that my body cannot stop movingí, Moses said [Deuteronomy 9:19].

Verses 18-21 *Israelís people came near to Sinai mountain. That was where Moses received Godís rules for the people. (See Exodus 19:10-25; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:22-26.)

Verse 19 A *trumpet is a metal pipe with a wide end. People hold the other end in their mouths and they use it to make music.

v22 But you have come to Zion mountain and to the city of God, who is alive. You have come to the Jerusalem city that is in *heaven. You have come to a place where there are thousands and thousands of happy *angels all together. v23 All Godís people, who are like his first and most important sons, meet here. God has written their names here in *heaven, because they belong here. You have come to where God is. He will decide what is fair for all people. You have come to where peopleís *spirits are. These are the *spirits of all those people that God has made right. God has made those people be as he wants them to be. v24 You have come to Jesus, who brought the new *agreement from God to his people. Remember also the blood that Jesus lost. He bled when he chose to die. That was how he made us clean. Jesusí blood shows us about better things than Abelís blood.

Verses 22-23 Zion mountain is part of Jerusalem, the capital city of *Israelís people on this earth. The Bible often uses the name Zion to mean Jerusalem. But Christians belong to Godís city in *heaven. They belong with all of Godís people, who will live with God always. Godís people include everyone who believed God in earlier times. Those people are dead now, and their *spirits are with God. We are not dead yet. But it is like our *spirits are already there too, with them.

Verse 24 Jesus chose to die. But Abel died when his brother killed him. Abelís brother, Cain, killed Abel, and Abelís blood came out on to the ground. (See Genesis 4:8-10.) So, Abelís blood only shows us about bad things. It shows us that God had to *punish Cain. But Jesus died for us so that God does not have to *punish us any more.

v25 So be careful. Always be ready to listen when God speaks. God spoke to *Israelís people by his servant on this earth. He told them that they must obey God. But they refused to obey, so God had to *punish them. They could not get away. Now God speaks to us from *heaven. So if we turn away from him, God will have to *punish us. We will even more certainly not get away from him. v26 At that time many years ago, Godís *voice caused the earth to move. But now he has promised this: ĎOnce again I will cause the earth to move. But this time I will also cause *heaven to moveí, he said [Haggai 2:6]. v27 These words, Ďonce againí, show us that God will take away some things. Everything that he causes to move will finish. That means all the things that he has made. So then, everything that he does not move will continue to be there.

v28 But we receive a place where we will rule with God. And nobody can ever move that place, so we should thank God. We should *worship God in a way that makes him happy. We should *worship him because he is so great and so powerful. v29 Our God is like a fire that can destroy everything.

Verse 27 At some future time, God will destroy this earth and this sky that he has made. After that, he has promised to make a new earth and a new sky. (See Isaiah 65:17; 66:22 and Revelation 21:1.) All the things that we can see must come to an end. But the things that we cannot see are much, much more important. They will never come to an end. They include the place that God has prepared for us.

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