Enter subtitle here
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:
...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obviously, if perfection was ever to be reached, the repetitious and never-advancing shadows of the Tabernacle must be superseded by one final and ever - effective reality.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 worshiper perfect in conscience.*
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?
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
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
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