1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
The presence of the censer in the Holiest of all, as one of its permanent furnishings, is a proof that prayer is not confined to the present dark and evil state, but has a place in the immortal state. We assume in our first impressions of these subjects that
"when that which is perfect is come"
the necessity for prayer will have passed away. This idea is based on the erroneous supposition that prayer consists exclusively of request to be delivered from evil.
The largest part of prayer is thanksgiving and praise; and it is manifest that there can never come a time when these will be out of place. Indeed, we may say that the true time for them does not arrive till we are clothed with that immortal strength that will enable us to indulge in them with true effectiveness, both as regards our own enjoyment of them and God's pleasure in them.
"Burdened", is the apostolic and true description of our present state. "The spirit of heaviness", is the prophetic counterpart of this description. When the change to the immortal comes, we are said to receive
"the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isa. 61:3).
Praise, therefore, is the natural adjunct of the emancipated state, and always appears in this light in the apocalyptic exhibitions of the saints in glory, e.g.,
"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and honour and power (be ascribed) unto the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his judgments".
If the prayers of feeble mortals, whose words often die on their lips from very weakness, are a source of pleasure to Almighty God, it stands to reason that He must find great delight in the praises of a host of strong and glad and fully enlightened immortals. The presence of the golden censer in the Holiest of all tells us as much.
Law of Moses Ch 13.
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8 The holy spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
The general significance of the tabernacle and its ordinances...was a negative one.
...God had taken the seed of Abraham according to the flesh to Himself as a nation; and it was natural for them to assume that He had taken them into complete communion.
Any assumption to this effect was constantly barred by the tabernacle and its ordinances, whose effect was to hold the nation at a distance and make them feel that their union with God was far from perfect.
A way of reconciliation, peace, and union was in purpose, but it was "not yet made manifest" while the tabernacle was in use.
Law of Moses Ch 13
...we are told that the Holy Spirit signified by the Tabernacle ordinances that the way into the holiest of all - final perfection - was not yet made manifest, or opened to man, as long as the condition symbolised by the restrictions of the Tabernacle existed.
The way must be opened. The veil of the flesh which obstructed man's access to God must be taken out of the way. The Tabernacle showed that something stood between God and man, but in itself it contained no provision for correcting the condition. Quite obviously, if perfection was ever to be reached, the repetitious and never-advancing shadows of the Tabernacle must be superseded by one final and ever - effective reality. *
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Paul says the offerings of the Law could not make the worshipper perfect in conscience.*
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
"Many Jews believed," but many were still "zealous of the Law," and herein lay the problem. They were patriotic to the Mosaic economy at a time when it was about to close and pass away. Therefore they must appreciate the need to seek for the Faith in the work of Yahweh through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The epistle was designed to show the need for such a separation from the ritual of the Law, because there had been a revival of Judaism, and a renouncing of the principles of faith in Christ. This certainly could be expected when, with a background of poor understanding of the Faith, Jewish believers were suddenly presented with the choice and made a decision on the basis of patriotic zeal rather than upon the Truth.
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
The evils which came upon the race as the consequence of Adam's disobedience came upon
all, including Jesus himself.
He accomplished by his obedience deliverance for himself-and God for his sake shows mercy to others.
Berean May 1923.
'Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered' (Heb. 5:8).
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The first lesson connected with baptism is that the subjects of it, having been buried with Christ, become dead to sin, and rise to newness of life. It is much to be feared that in the discussion of abstractions, for which the human intellect is not fitted, the practical object of the hope in purifying the believer from "all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord," is lost sight of, or, at all events, not realized in practice.
That it is so in many cases is unquestionable, which calls for fear. The unpurified zealot, who compasses sea and land to make a proselyte; the mere theorist who is glib in the phrases of the spirit, but in practice unsubject to the law of Christ, is a bastard, and not a son.
It will not be a wonder, if in our day, just emerged from all pervading darkness, there be many such. Let all examine themselves.
...The Pharisees outwardly appeared righteous unto men, and thought themselves righteous, for they thanked God they were not as other men; yet, behold the Lord's verdict, which is, doubtless, applicable in many modern instances. Doing things to be seen of men is a practice not yet extinct.
Bro Roberts - Unprofitable questions
In this we are getting very close to the heart of the Truth, and the great distinction between the shadowy Law of Moses and the living Law of Christ. The Law of Moses was strictly a law for the regulation of the flesh. It was on the level of the flesh. The Law of Christ sweeps away all restraints and restrictions of the flesh, but-it also sweeps away the flesh itself as an influencing factor of the mind and conduct. The Law of Christ does not regulate the flesh-it obliterates it. The believer in Christ is no longer "in the flesh." Paul says-
"When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death" (Rom. 7:5).
"They that are in the flesh cannot please God, but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:8-9).
"In the flesh dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. 7:18).
This is all-embracing. There are wide degrees of badness in the flesh, and the flesh has its own standards of good and bad, but to God "in the flesh" nothing is good. All is carnal and unholy. The first step toward goodness is to step right out of the flesh. This parallels the truth that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The flesh has its own standards of wisdom and folly but to God all "in the flesh" is folly. All the works of the flesh are "dead works."
Christ takes us out of the flesh. He agonized through a perfect life of renouncing and condemning "the flesh," though in the most intimate contact with it right in himself; and finally, by death and resurrection, he came actually and physically out of the flesh. Now He calls us to Him-out of the flesh, into the Spirit. That is why he, and he alone, can purge our conscience, or consciousness of sin. The enlightened, spiritual conscience can never be clear in the flesh. The motions of the flesh will continually disgust and humiliate it. Paul cried-
"In my flesh dwelleth no good thing-who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 7:18, 24-25).
There is no condemnation to those which are in Christ-those who are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1).
But what necessarily follows? What is required to maintain the consistency of the picture and to avoid destroying all its meaning and bringing on a bitter anti-climax? "How shall we that are dead to the flesh live any longer therein?" We have launched out. We have staked everything. We cannot falter or go back. "The just shall live by faith." That is true. But the Scriptures immediately continue-
"but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:38).
There must be no drawing back into the flesh. Once purified, we must, as He says earlier, "go on to perfection."
The test of success is in actual, measurable results, not hopes and feelings. "The tree is known by his fruits" (Matt. 12:33). "The fruits of the Spirit are these"-and specific qualities are listed: gentleness, meekness, holiness, patience, hunger for divine knowledge. "The works of the flesh are these"-and again we have definite characteristics-pride, greed, worldliness and the love of pleasure. The works of the flesh include everything that the flesh does naturally-all the things we do whenever we are not specifically and consciously seeking the guidance and help of the Spirit. No one can perfectly follow the Spirit, but two things are essential. First, the fruits of the Spirit must predominate-they must shape the main course of our life, and second, they must constantly increase and gradually invade and purify the whole fabric of our existence. "On to perfection" is Paul's watchword.
It is a common misconception that because we are under grace, and justified by the blood of Christ, works are not necessary to salvation. Works are absolutely essential to complete the process that Christ has begun in us. But we don't do them - they are done through us.
"I am the vine and ye are the branches, He that abideth in me bringeth forth much fruit. Without me ye can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5).
"He that beareth not fruit is cast forth and burned."
To the Romans, Paul says (Rom. 8:3-4)-
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
But is that the end? No, as far as we are concerned, it is the beginning, for He continues-
"That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).
Unless that happens, the sacrifice of Christ has, in our case, failed.
"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us."
The end has not been changed, only the means. The Law was a carnal commandment. It took the power of the flesh and attempted to direct it toward godly ends. The corruptness of the flesh made that impossible. The Law merely succeeded in exposing that corruptness - the exceeding sinfulness of sin - the great pretensions of the flesh to goodness but the actual emptiness and deception behind those pretensions.
God lifted up Christ that all who keep their eyes and mind fixed upon him may be healed. The chief priests said-
"By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" (Acts 4:7).
The Apostle answered, "Jesus Christ." We must go back at the old problem - the mortification of the flesh - armed with a new and invincible sword of God's providing, the Name of Jesus Christ. Everything must be faced and solved with Jesus Christ kept purposely in the forefront of the consciousness. Paul says (2 Cor. 10:5)-
"We must bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
It is God's expressed will that all things should be by Him and through Him. "I can do all things," says Paul, "through Christ" (Phil. 4:13). Jesus said, "I am the way." This is the answer to all questions as to "How can these things be?" "I am the way."
"The mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints-Christ in you, the hope of glory"
This does not apply just in specific and larger activities - belief, baptism, breaking of bread. No matter how finely we subdivide the analysis of our time and activities, "I am the way" still is the only hope of success. No matter how small or unimportant the matter may be, it is either Christ consciously present or a victory for the flesh.
Of course, it must be the real Christ. There are Christs many, but only one true Christ - the Word made flesh. The Christ we have must correspond with the Word we have recorded, and the image must be constantly refreshed from that appointed source. Of the Tabernacle, God said, "I will meet with you there." It was useless to seek elsewhere, however earnestly. The Scriptures are the present appointed meeting place. Christ and the Scriptures are synonymous. They permeate each other. We cannot have Christ in our hearts unless we have the Word continually renewed in our minds. And we cannot get any living power out of the Scripture unless we see Christ shining through every word of it.
Let us then, with boldness - not presumption, but the boldness of intimate love - enter into the holiest by the blood of Christ, in the full assurance of faith, never looking back but going on to perfection, drawn irresistibly forward and upward out of the flesh and into the eternal immensity of the Spirit. *
Bro Growcott - The Mission of Jesus
16 For where a testament (will or covenant) is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
This is a principle which necessitated the institution of the mediatorship; and which caused Yahweh so readily to grant the petition of the Israelites to appoint Moses as his representative in his future dealings with them. Yahweh is the testator in both the covenants; but the principle says they are "of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
In this case, Yahweh must die, or find a substitute. The former supposition is out of the question; for if "God the mighty maker died," the universe would die with him. All life would perish, and all nations cease; for in Him do all things live, and move, and have their being. His wisdom, however, never at fault, has well provided for the emergency. Let us see how he has met the difficulty.
The law of Moses was added to the covenant-promise of the land to Abraham till his seed should appear, to whom with himself the promise was made. The law was added "because of transgression." The nations had all apostatized from the way of the Lord expounded and inculcated by Noah, and afterwards by Melchizedec; and there were but few even of Abraham's descendants who refrained from the worship of other Gods besides Yahweh. (Gal 3:17-19).
The law was therefore added to preserve the truth from entire extinction; and not only so, but to kindle a light that should shine until the dawning of "The Day." In the meantime, the day appointed had arrived to put Abraham's descendants in possession of the land, to a limited extent, though the time had not come for the manifestation of the seed, that is, Christ.
Until he appeared the tribes could not inherit under the will made to Abraham and Christ, which promised to them and those who should inherit with them, an everlasting possession of the country. A codicil, or supplementary will, as it was added to enable them to occupy the land until the Christ should appear. But, though the original will was confirmed, though not purged, it had no strength at all. It could therefore impart none to the supplement. Yahweh was the testator of the supplement, of course; for no one but he had a right to add to this will. But the supplement had no more force while the testator lived than the original will.
It was therefore ordained in the hand of a mediator who should occupy the place of Yahweh. This mediator, as we have seen, was Moses. The case therefore stood thus. The supplementary testament is of no strength at all while Moses, the mediatorial testator, liveth. This brings out the reason why the anger of Yahweh kindled against Moses to the prevention of his entering into the land of Canaan, under his own law. No man can be a legatee under his own will.
Hence, when Moses obtains an everlasting inheritance in Canaan, it will be as a legatee under the New Will, and not under his own. Being mediatorial testator it was necessary for him to die; for as long as he lived even the tribes could not cross the Jordan to possess the land. But he died, and without delay the country was invaded and possessed.
But the death of Moses did not purge the supplemental will. It was necessary to purge it with blood, and also for the testator to purge it himself; for the will was not only to bequeathe a conditional temporal-life interest in the land but to give to the inheritors a hypothetical remission of sins.
Had Moses dedicated it with his own blood, his blood must have been shed in the article of death. But this was out of the question. His blood would have answered no better than the blood of a calf or a goat, and not so well; for Moses had transgressed, and the blood of a transgressor could purge nothing: calves were at least innocent of transgression though without communicable virtue or spirituality.
The blood of animals was therefore appointed for the purging of his will. He was to sprinkle it and the people with a bunch of scarlet wool and hyssop, emblematic of the sprinkler of the covenant, which should come into force when his should be ready to vanish away; even of Him, "whose head and hairs are white like wool, as white as snow' (Rev 1:14), on whom was laid the scarlet robe, emblematic of the sins of his people (Isa 1:18).
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Sept 1855
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Covenants are of no force until purged. To purge anything in the Scripture sense, is to cleanse it from legal or from moral defilement; and to impart to it a virtue co-efficient with the detergent or cleansing principle.
This is a general definition which may not apply in every case, but it is sufficiently precise for the subject in hand. The covenant made with Abraham was confirmed with Yahweh's oath, saying, "Know of a surety, and by the consumption of sacrifices by fire from heaven (Gen. 15). This was confirmation, not purgation.
It was not purged until 2 089 years after, when a virtue was imparted to it co-efficient with the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel; that is, the blood of Jesus, which he says is "the blood of New . .(Testament) shed for many for the remission of sin.
The history of the death and resurrection of Jesus is that narrative which relates the story of the purging, or the rendering effective of the covenant, testament . . . through which remission of sins, eternal life, and an everlasting possession of the land, with all its inseparable attributes, may be obtained by every one who believes the things promised therein.
Four hundred and thirty years after the confirmation of the New Covenant (styled new because of its coming into force at a time when that of Moses had waxed old), and sixteen hundred and fifty-nine years before its incipient enforcement, Moses dedicated or initiated "the law ordained by angels." This he did with blood.
"For when he had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the Book and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath
enjoined upon you" (Heb. 9:18-20). Here was a solution of blood in water, into which a sprinkler of scarlet wool and hyssop was dipped, and the Book and people sprinkled by the hand of Moses.
These materials were purification emblems. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission," or sending away, as if sin and uncleanness were sent away into a land not inhabited (Lev. 16:21, 22). This is a first principle of God's religion under both covenants.
Blood is therefore regarded as purging, purifying, or cleansing.
The only answer that can be given to the question, why is there no expiation without blood-shedding?-is that Yahweh wills it. The blood of the living creature is the life thereof; and as it has come under sentence of death, God wills that life shall make satisfaction for sin (Lev. 17:11, 14).
"It is the blood that maketh anatonement for the soul." Water is also cleansing. Hence, "Wash you, make you clean" (Isa. 1:16). The water and the blood with which Moses sprinkled the Book of the Covenant and the people, find their antitypes in the blood and water that issued from the pierced side of Jesus, with which he sprinkled the new covenant . . . But the efficacy of a covenant depends on the virtue of the blood with which it is purged.
This principle is fatal to the idea of perfectability by the law of Moses; for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4). Hence it was weak and unprofitable, and made nothing perfect (Heb. 7:18,19). This defectiveness of the law, which even faith in the unpurged Abrahamic covenant could not remedy (Heb. 9:15) was referable to the nature of the sacrifices with whose blood it was dedicated; and to the weakness of the flesh (Rom. 8:3), which it could alone sanctify (Heb. 9:13) without reaching the inward man.
Calves and goats were as destitute of righteousness as they were devoid of sin. Their blood therefore was a negative principle, and could impart no virtue to a covenant by which those who were sanctified under it could obtain a title or justification to eternal redemption.
And furthermore let it be observed, that besides this defect, their blood was unprofitable for everlasting results, as being the blood of the dead, and not of the living. It was therefore ceremonially incommunicative of any kind of vitality.
Mystery of the Covenant of the Holy Land Explained.
Why? Because sin is a destructive, infectious plague that cannot be ignored. It must be dealt with and eradicated. The sacrifice of Christ is God's way of dealing with this plague, and eventually removing it completely from the earth.
It is not a magic wand, or just a technical ritual. It is not just a form of words, or an arbitrary arrangement, or a rubber stamp. It is a practical method, an orderly procedure, a beautiful, effective contrivance of divine love and wisdom.
Christ -- that is, of course, God in Christ -- laid the essential foundation: something we ourselves could not do. He was specially provided and specially strengthened to do that work. We are required to build our own salvation on that foundation--
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12).
The promise of life is to "him that overcometh" (seven times in Revelation 2 and 3). Whatever that means, it clearly means that we must do something, we must accomplish a certain task, we must achieve a certain victory -- on Christ's foundation, and with God's help.
The eternal principles of holiness, righteousness, justice, and truth required a perfect sacrifice for sin, a perfect condemnation of sin and upholding of holiness, to lay a sound foundation for the extention of God's mercy to fallen mankind. God and His holy law of life had to be honored and vindicated openly, publicly, eternally. This was done in the crucifixion of sin's flesh on the cross -- a voluntary cooperation and manifestation of joint love by God and Christ for mankind.
Christ's perfect life-long obedience and sacrificial death provided one real, sound, holy, perfect man out of the whole race of fallen mankind, in whom and upon whom God could build His divine family. Until Christ destroyed the devil in himself on the cross, he was not the completed, purified, victorious man that God required as the foundation of His plan--
"That through death he (Jesus) might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14).
All his life he held the devil within himself completely powerless by the strength of his perfect love and perfect obedience. But that war had to be brought to a climax and settlement. Sin, the devil, had to be not only held off, held powerless, but utterly destroyed.
It must be a sacrificial death -- a voluntary, obedient submitting to a death that was otherwise escapable. If Christ had just lived a perfect life and then died a natural death, he would not have been voluntarily giving up his life, laying down his life, pouring out his blood, choosing in obedience to be a purifying sacrifice for mankind. Nor would it have clearly and dramatically and openly and publicly manifested God's holiness and the repudiation and condemnation of sin.
In Christ -- THE man, the perfect sacrifice, the complete example, the central reality of the whole divine purpose --the body of sin had to be put to death, really and truly and literally and actually, as it was typically and figuratively in the Mosaic shadows. It had to be lifted up before all the world in condemnation and repudiation.
The crucifixion of Christ is the most public event of all time. All mankind's history is dated from Christ -- forward and backward -- AD and BC. This present entire heathen, pagan world in international dealings dates every act according to his birth. Diverse as they are, it is their common point of reference. This is no coincidence, no mistake, no accident or oversight. It is a providential, condemning witness. From God's point of view, Christ's life and death form the pivot of all human history; all radiates from it, all revolves around it.
Sin, the Devil, the Diabolos -- in the Romans, in the Jews, in the world of mankind --openly rejected him, openly rejected the perfect Son of God who had never done anything but good, and put him to a cruel death, cut him off violently from the land of the living. The Seed of the Serpent and the Seed of the Woman -- the eternal enmity -- begun in Eden, brought to a climax at Calvary, finally resolved when the last enemy, death, is destroyed, and God is all in all.
Christ, in his death, did not appease or satisfy or put away God's anger. Rather he manifested God's love and holiness and goodness. God's anger against sin is never appeased. He will be angry with sin till sin is eliminated from the earth. But anger is more properly applied to responsible living creatures, not inanimate principles. God's anger at sinners is appeased when they repent and change and put away and repudiate their sins, and wholeheartedly serve Him.
Christ's sacrifice was not to appease God's anger. The whole conception was all of God's Own love and wisdom and initiative, for man's reconciliation--
"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himse!f not imputing their trespasses unto them... We beseech you, be reconciled to God ... He (God) made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:19-21).
There is nothing here about anger being appeased, but rather God and Christ working together in love to manifest Truth, and to open a way of holiness for man to escape death and achieve the divine nature. THEN, with the flesh of sin condemned, and holiness upheld and vindicated, mercy could be soundly extended without violating righteousness -- as long as the perfect Christ-foundation is always kept prominently in view and recognition as the only doorway to life. Therefore, we always pray, always approach God, always seek His attention and help and communion "in Jesus' Name."
Mosaic sacrifice has long since passed away in actual use, but its lessons and instructions are just as current as ever as to what God requires of those who seek Him.
The ordinances of sacrifice in general, and Christ's supreme sacrifice in particular -- the one great reality which fulfilled all the shadows -- were representative, NOT substitutionary. This is an essential and fundamental distinction. The substitution idea leads to all sorts of error. The representative principle guides us both in true understanding and true action. Christ's sacrificial death was not as a substitute, instead of us: it was as a representative, on beha!f of us. He was one of us. He stood for all mankind. Only as part of him can we approach unto God. All are wrapped up and included in him:
"If one died for (on behalf of) all, then were all dead" (2 Cor. 4:14).
This reasoning does not follow if "for" is taken as "instead of.
As a representative, as one of us, a strong one of the sin-stricken race, his death was beautiful and fitting, and a manifestation of God's holiness, and an opening up of a way out of death through travail unto joy, for himself and for us in him.
As one of us, our representative, he opened up the way of life. And we can follow him in that way to eternal life only by dying completely to ourselves and becoming a part of him, completely enclosed in him and covered by him. As a representative, a strong loving Elder Brother to lead the way and carry the weak, he manifested God's love and provision for man.
"BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12).
"God brought Jesus again from the dead THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT" (Heb. 13:20).
Bro Growcott - Living Sacrifice
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
CHRIST NEEDED, WAS SAVED BY, AND CLEANSED BY, HIS OWN SACRIFICE
[Yahoshua] needed a bloodshedding sacrifice for salvation, and were cleansed by it in God's sight. When we say "need," we mean: according to God's all- wise ordinance...God ordained sacrificial blood-shedding for the cleansing of mankind from the defilement brought on the race through Adam.
This was to glorify God and humble man, and so to prepare the ground for God's infinite mercy and man's infinite blessing. This applied to all mankind. If it did not apply to Christ, then he was a substitute for man (as the Apostacy says), and not a representative of man (as brethren Thomas and Roberts so strongly insist).
The scriptures (and brethren Thomas and Roberts) clearly state that Christ, by his sacrificial life and death (they are inseparable) first obtained eternal salvation for himself, so that he might then offer it to those who humbly and self-renouncingly come to God by, and through, and IN him.
"It was necessary that Jesus should offer for himself for the purging of his own nature, first, from the uncleanness of death, that having by his own blood obtained eternal redemption for himself, he might be able afterward to save to the uttermost those that come to God by him."
(Berean ecclesia at Los Angeles, 1940)
Among the passages to which brethren Thomas and Roberts appealed, time and time again, are:
"Every High Priest taken from among men ... for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins" (Heb. 5:1-3).
"Such an High Priest became us ... who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's, for this he did once, when he offered up himself" (Heb. 7:26-27).
"Into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people" (Heb. 9:7).
"By his own blood he (Jesus) entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption" - for himself, as the reflexive form of the verb requires (Heb. 9:12).
"It was necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these (animal sacrifices), but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices" (v. 23).
"God... brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant" (Heb. 13:20).
"The Prince shall prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering" (Ezek. 45:22).
Pattern of things in the heavens
Brethren Thomas and Roberts strongly emphasized that Christ was the fulfillment of all the shadows of the Law of Moses: that everything in the Tabernacle service (each symbolizing Christ) had to be cleansed by sacrificial blood. Here are some statements by them (and many others could be produced: their writings abound with them):
"The flesh (of Christ) had been purified by the sprinkling of its own blood." -Catechesis, page 12
"When was the Jesus-Altar purified and Jesus- Mercy Seat sprinkled with sacrificial blood? After the veil of his flesh was rent ... Jesus entered the true, through his own blood." - Catechesis , page 14
"The flesh made by the Spirit out of Mary's substance, and rightly claimed therefore as His flesh, is the Spirit's Anointed Altar, cleansed by the blood of that flesh when poured out unto death on the tree. The Spirit- Word made his soul thus an offering for sin, and BY IT sanctified the Altar-Body on the tree." -Eureka II, page 224
"Did Christ offer for his own sins?" Answer: "As antitype of the high priest, who offered first for his own sins and then for the people's, there must have been a sense in which he did, even as Paul says, 'This he did once, when he offered up himself' (same verse)." - Christadelphian, 1873, page 321
"The Son of God ... had to offer for himself ... Jesus had himself to be saved ... 'By his own blood he entered the Holy Place, having (thus) obtained eternal redemption' ('for us' not in original) ... It follows (from Heb. 7:27) that there must be a sense in which Jesus offered for himself, a sense apparent when it is recognised he was under Adamic condemnation." -Christadelphian, 1873, page 404
"The whole system of the Law prefigured Christ ... the whole had to be atoned for once a year ... Jesus was the 'heavenly things'... they had to be purified by his sacrifice." - Christadelphian, 1873, page 407
"Jesus was personally comprehended in his offering for sin ... unfortunately perverted are those who suppose he was not himself included in the entire operation. . . He offered for himself, first, by reason of his participation in Adamic mortality." - Christadelphian, 1873, page 554-5
"He offered 'first' for himself ... He obtained eternal redemption in and for himself, as the verb implies ... He was 'brought from the dead through the blood of the Covenant." -Christadelphian,1875, page 139
"It was for us that he came to be in the position of having first to offer for himself." -Christadelphian, 1875, page 139
"It was 'necessary that ... the heavenly things be purified with better sacrifices' . . . the heavenly things all center in Jesus ... Jesus is the beginning of the purification. Deny the necessity in his case and you displace him from his position .. . and destroy the reason for his being a partaker of our common nature. In fact, you hide the wisdom of God, and substitute the confusion of the sectarian 'atonement' which in past ages has caused many to fall." -Christadelphian, 1877, page 376
"In what way was Christ involved in sin, that his own shed blood was required for his exaltation to the divine nature? By being born of a sin-stricken daughter of Adam." - Christadelphian, 1897, page 63
"Christ's own sacrifice was operative on himself first of all ... Christ should first of all be purified with better sacrifices than the Mosaic." -Law of Moses, chapter 10, page 90
"There must be a sense in which Christ (the antitypical everything) must have been purged by the antitypical blood of his own sacrifice." -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 170
"He must have been the subject of a personal cleansing in the process by which he opened the way of sanctification for his people." [Brother Roberts quotes Heb. 9:23; 8:3; 5:3; 9:12: "better sacrifices ... so for himself ... by his own blood, etc."] -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 171
"He did these things for himself first ... it was by doing them for himself that he did them for us. He did them for us only as we may become part of Him." -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 173
"He 'obtained redemption', but not till his own blood was shed." -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 173
"Christ himself was included in the sacrificial work...'For himself that it might be for us."' -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 177
"We see Christ in the bullock, the furniture, the Veil, the High Priest ... all the Mosaic patterns ... All were both atoning and atoned for." -Law of Moses, chapter 19, page 181
"Let me call your attention to the priesthood Christ received, 'He ought, as for the people, so for himself, to offer for sins' (Heb. 5:2-3). If Christ's offering did not comprehend himself, how are we to understand Heb. 7:27? As Christ was the antitype of the high priest who 'offered for himself' (Heb. 9:7), is it not required that his sacrifice should comprehend himself? If you deny this, how do you explain Ezek. 45:22, 'The Prince shall prepare for himself a sin offering'? Do you deny the future age sacrifices are memorial?" -Christadelphian, 1873, page 466
"The Christ of your theory needed no 'purging'. Does it not follow he is not the Christ of Paul, who required purging from the law of sin and death by his own sacrifice? ... It was a necessity that he should offer up himself, for the purging of his own nature." - Christadelphian, 1873, page 468
"Christ required redemption from Adamic nature equally with his brethren; and the mode of redemption which God had ordained was a perfect obedience culminating in a sacrificial death." -Christadelphian, 1895, page 262 (This last quotation is not by brother Roberts but published and approved by him. All the previous quotations are directly by brethren Thomas and Roberts themselves.)
Bro Growcott - The Purifying of the heavenly.
24 For Christ is not entered into the [Most] holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
The Mosaic Tabernacle was about 60 feet long and 20 feet wide. It was entered from one end and divided into two rooms. The outer room (the "Holy Place" where the priests ministered daily) was twice as large as the inner room (the "Most Holy" where only the High Priest could go once a year). Here is the same lesson as the parable of the virgins: there were 10 virgins in the Holy Place tending the lamps of God; but when the Most Holy was opened only 5 went in-5 were left outside, beating vainly on the door.
These rooms were separated by the veil. This was the veil that was miraculously torn in half when Christ died on the cross, signifying the opening of the way to the Most Holy-the presence of God. In the Most Holy was the ark of the covenant, upon which were the two golden cherubim-representing the eternal covenant-purpose of God-manifestation in a holy, perfected multitude.
Bro Growcott - The Day of Atonement
The "Holy Place, Heaven Itself"
The holy place in the Mosaic tabernacle, with its appurtenant ordinances of sacrifice, blood, and priesthood, all have their substance or spiritual significance in Christ (Col. 2:17). The priest carried the actual blood of slain victims into the holy place, and sprinkled it on the altar, or on "the unclean," if the case demanded it, to the legal purifying of the flesh of the subject of the operation.
It is not so with Christ, the "high-priest of good things to come," though the process was typical of his work. His blood "purges the conscience from dead works" (verse 14), not by a literal sprinkling upon us, but by an understanding of what his blood-shedding means. We are "washed from our sins in his own blood" (Rev. 1:5), not by a literal ablution, but by enlightenment with regard to what was accomplished in his death; for his shed blood (symbolised in the memorial wine) is but the symbol of his death.
"He poured out his soul (life or blood-"for the life of all flesh is in the blood"-Lev. 17:14) unto death."
When Christ said "This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you, " he but explained the gospel fact that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scripture" (1 Cor. 15:4). He did not mean that the crimson fluid in his body would literally be of any value to us, but that the laying down of his life for us would secure our salvation.
A similar parallel is observable in the chapter which is the basis of the question; and this parallel contains the answer to the question. Having spoken of "the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot unto God" (verse 14), Paul says it was not necessary he should
"offer himself often, like the high-priest who entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others, for then must be often have suffered" (verses 25-26);
showing that his "suffering" was the "offering" of himself, and that his blood is the symbol of his suffering.
"But now once (hath he offered) . . . . to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (verse 26). He was "once offered to bear the sins of many" (verse 28).
It was in this offering of himself in sacrifice that he accomplished what Paul describes as
"entering once by his own blood into the holy place."
Not by the blood (or sacrifice) of bulls and goats, like the Mosaic priests, but by his own blood (or sacrifice of himself). "Laying down his life for the sheep," he pleased the Father (John 10:17), and "opened a new and living way through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Heb 10:20).
Here Paul identifies the flesh-and blood nature of the Messiah as the antitype of the veil. That this is right was shown by the rending of the temple veil at the moment Christ died on the cross. It was by the rending of his veil-nature that the way was opened.
On the other side of the veil-the resurrection side-was the holy place which he entered by means of his death, therefore, "by his own blood;" for had he not laid down his life, the antitypical holy place, or spiritual state, must have remained barred against both him and those he died to save.
He did not take his actual blood into this state, any more than we make use of his actual blood when with
"boldness we (spiritually) enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19).
He entered the antitypical holiest by means of his death, and, therefore, figuratively, entered "by his own blood." His literal blood was absorbed or assimilated, so to speak, by the Spirit, when he was
"declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead"
It may seem a difficulty that "heaven itself," and the "presence of God," should appear to be applied to the state which Jesus entered by the Spirit, instead of to the locality of the Eternal Person of the Deity. But this will only be a difficulty with those who narrow their view of the matter to mere locality. It must be remembered that, although there is a local habitation to the person of the Creator, there is a very important sense in which there is no locality in the relation of things to Him. He
"fills heaven and earth" (Jer. 23:24). "We cannot flee from His presence" (Ps. 139:7; Acts 17:27).
This is because the Spirit is everywhere, as the Psalm teaches. Hence, to enter into His presence, it is but necessary we should be "in the spirit;" that is, that our nature should become so assimilated to the universal spirit that we are made as conscious and perceptive of the presence of God as He is of ours. The local "heaven" is but a part, so to speak, of this universal heaven; for there is heaven, and "heaven of heavens."
Jesus entered into "heaven," as our forerunner (Heb. 6:20), implying we shall follow; which we shall-into the antitypical holiest-the spirit state or nature, in which, as "the first born," he has preceded us, but not necessarily into the locality of the Eternal Abode.
Jesus was in the bosom of the Father in the days of his flesh, though he was on the earth (John 14:10-11); and he was "on the right hand of God," when he appeared to persecuting Saul, near Damascus. It is the dynamical rather than the mechanical relation of things that is expressed in such phrases.
The Christadelphian, Sept 1898
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Why are brethren Thomas and Roberts so strongly insistent that Christ needed and was purified by his own blood-shedding sacrifice?
Because that is the heart of the Divine Plan.
Because that is the vital link between him and us.
Because that makes the accomplishment of his sacrifice ("holy work") a reality, and not just one more type or shadow.
Because his whole life's "holy work" (sacrifice) was to destroy the diabolos in himself - to overcome it, to cleanse himself from it - so he could be a pure Ark of safety for all his brethren. And his voluntary, obedient, blood-shedding death on the cross was inseparable from his life of sacrifice. It was the completion, the climax, the victorious culmination of that lifelong "offering" or "holy work."
Because sin had to be actually (not just typically) "condemned" - that is, judged, sentenced, and put to death - IN the body of Christ. And to be put to death there, it had to be there. Christ was not just typifying what had to be done to sin, he was DOING it: fulfilling all the types, once for all. There had been types and shadows for 4000 years. The time had come for the reality to happen: the Diabolos, Sin-in-the-flesh, to be destroyed.
Bro Growcott - The Purifying of the heavenly.