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25 Make very sure that you never refuse to listen to God when he speaks![a] For the God who spoke on earth from Sinai is the same God who now speaks from heaven. Those who heard him[b] speak his living Word on earth found nowhere to hide, so what chance is there for us to escape if we turn our backs on God and refuse to hear his warnings as he speaks from heaven?

26 The earth was rocked at the sound of his voice from the mountain, but now he has promised,

“Once and for all I will not only shake the systems of the world,[c]
    but also the unseen powers in the heavenly realm!”[d]

27 Now this phrase “once and for all” clearly indicates the final removal of things that are shaking, that is, the old order,[e] so only what is unshakable will remain.

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  1. 12:25 Or “don’t turn your back on the speaker.”
  2. 12:25 The Greek is somewhat ambiguous with the possibility that it is Moses or even Christ who is speaking. The context seems to imply however that it is God himself who speaks both from Sinai and from heaven.
  3. 12:26 Or “earth.” Although earthquakes are prophesied to come (Matt. 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11; Rev. 8:5; 11:13, 19; 16:18) the prophet is most likely using a metaphoric term for the world’s systems (finance, military, governments, religious, etc.). The message of the gospel has shaken the world’s foundations as it includes an unshakable kingdom rising on the earth. Kings of the earth have placed their crowns down before the cross of a man who was crucified as a common criminal. The power of the gospel is still shaking the world.
  4. 12:26 It is not God’s power or throne being shaken, but invisible forces of darkness in the heavenly realm. See Hag. 2:6; Eph. 6:12.
  5. 12:27 Or “things that have been made.”

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