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Four Great Blessings of the New Covenant
We have been dealing with the teaching of the New Testament as to the significance of the tabernacle in the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, as I’ve been teaching myself I’ve come to realize more clearly than ever before that the tabernacle is a pattern of things in heaven. Under the Old Covenant they only had the pattern, the example, the shadow. Under the New Covenant we have the reality. But otherwise, they’re directly related. The writer of Hebrews says under the Old Covenant the way into the holiest was not yet made plain. Then he says in the New Covenant we have boldness to enter into the holiest. So, this is something real. It’s not metaphorical. It’s not abstract. It’s experiential. We have the right to enter into the holiest. The holiest is absolutely real. It’s not just an Old Testament figure. The Old Testament was the figure. The New Testament, we have the reality. But, the Old Testament is like a map: it shows us the ground plan, it shows us the way.
We studied the tabernacle as a triune building or a triune edifice or construction. The outer court, the holy place, the holy of holies. We’ve compared this to the nature of man: spirit, soul, and body. Our destination is there. We start here at the outer gate, the east, with its four pillars which we have likened to the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The four aspects of Christ’s person and nature: the lion, the servant, the man, the eagle the Son of God.
The first thing we come to is the great altar of brass with the blood sacrifice, four sides typifying the cross in four aspects. The first side, the forgiveness of past sins; the second side, the dealing with sin as a spiritual power, putting away sin; the third side, the execution of the old man, the death of the rebel; the fourth side, the presentation of ourselves as a burnt offering to the Lord, total surrender.
We go on from the brazen altar to the brazen laver which was made of brass taken from the looking glasses of the Israelite women typifying the place of the word of God. First of all as a mirror showing us our true inner nature. In brass, the means of our judgment of ourselves. “If we would judge ourselves we would not be judged of God.” And the water: the cleansing, sanctifying operation of God’s word. Both are essential. We sum these up in 1John 5:6, Jesus came by water and by blood. Not by water only but by water and by blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness. When we come to this area we have the witness of the Spirit to the blood shed on the cross, to the water of the word. Jesus is the redeemer who died in our place on the cross, shed his blood. He’s the teacher who cleanses and sanctifies those whom he has redeemed. Ephesians 5, “that he might cleanse and sanctify the church with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church.” It is very clear that if we are to be in that company which is to be presented to Jesus as a glorious church we must be cleansed and sanctified with the washing of water by the word. To be redeemed by the blood essential but not sufficient.
We go on from here into the holy place, the first of the two inner areas, through the five pillars which I’ve likened to the five ministries of Jesus: apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, teacher; which are the ministries that operate within this area. We have the three patterns of the shewbread representing the will set out before God: ground, molded, baked, displayed, sanctified, protected and ordered. That’s your will. You can do well to ponder over that, we’ll not go into it now.
The candlestick, the source of light: your intellect. You must be renewed in the spirit of your mind. The old worldly ways and thoughts must be purged away. The pure oil of the Holy Spirit must come in in his sevenfold manifestation. Being kindled with the fire of dedication, it illuminates your inner being.
When your will and your intellect have been brought into line, you move on to the golden altar of incense which typifies your emotions. They must be purified, controlled, directed, offered up to God in dedication and worship as a sweet savor.
And at this point we come to the dividing line between the holy place of the soul, the holy of holies of the Spirit. The transition is made by the blood from the sacrifice and the incense from the altar. We go in through the blood of the cross with the incense of adoration, praise and worship. There is no other way in through the veil. Those that do not know how to worship have no access beyond the holy place.
We come here where there are two items of furniture: the ark that typifies Christ, the mercy seat that typifies the atonement of Christ but also the throne of God. In the ark there were the two tables of stone of the Ten Commandments, the golden pot with manna and Aaron’s rod that budded. The tables of stone typifying God’s eternal, unchanging law to which we bow in worship and submission as we enter. The golden pot of manna signifying our fellowship, feeding upon Christ in the heart. “He that eateth me shall live by me” Jesus said.
Let me point out—which I didn’t say—that the three entrances typify the three aspects of Jesus: the way, the truth, the life. Here he is the life. Christ is our life. What a wonderful statement that is in Colossians 3. “Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” When Christ who is our life shall appear, then the pot of manna will be taken out of the ark. It won’t be the hidden, secret communion but the open revelation of Christ. “When Christ who is our life shall appear [be seen], then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
The third thing in the ark is Aaron’s rod, a type of authority, comes by divine revelation and attestation setting apart Aaron as the appointed priest. So the three activities of the Spirit in relationship to God in the holy of holies are worship, fellowship and revelation. And revelation comes by the route of worship and fellowship. Beware of revelation that does not come through worship and fellowship.
Then the mercy seat again brings forth the same two truths. On either end of the mercy seat were the two cherubs or the two cherubim, turned inwards towards each other, their wings extended over the mercy seat meeting tip to tip in the middle. Their bowed bodies, their extended wings signifying worship. Their faces toward one another and toward the mercy seat signifying fellowship, a face to face encounter. And there is the place of revelation. God said to Moses when everything has been ordered exactly right from here to here and when the blood is sprinkled, then I will appear to you over the mercy seat under the wings of the cherubim. The shekinahglory will come in and there I will speak to you and commune with you. Worship, fellowship, revelation.
Now we’re going from the patterns, the types, to the New Testament plain teaching. But actually, I think you’d agree with me that the epistle to the Hebrews doesn’t make any sense to you if you’re not familiar with the tabernacle because the whole thing really is based on the tabernacle and on the priesthood. You can’t understand Hebrews till you know Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. Somebody has said Leviticus is the Hebrews of the Old Testament. Or, Hebrews is the Leviticus of the New Testament. Whichever way you like to say it.
Now we’re going to chapter 10 of Hebrews. Hebrews 10:19–22. Here you’ll see is the clear application of what I’ve been teaching out of the types.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; [this veil is the one referred to, the final veil] and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
We’re going to deal with two themes: the four great blessings of the New Covenant and the four chief requirements of the true worshipper. Both these, let me say, are taken from Andrew Murray’s book The Holiest of All. Though my exposition of them is mine but the thought initially was given me by that book.
The four great blessings of the New Covenant and the four chief requirements of the true worshipper. The four great blessings of the New Covenant, first of all, the holy of holies is opened up. Under the Old Covenant the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest. But here we have the clear statement the way into the holiest has been opened up. Secondly, we have boldness of access in the blood of Jesus. Thirdly, we have a new and living way by which to make access. And fourthly, we have a great high priest over the house of God.
The four chief requirements of the true worshipper: a true heart, fullness of faith, an heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and a body washed with pure water.
Now time necessitates that we stop there but I want to point out to you that the rest of the epistle to the Hebrews essentially unfolds the results of having gained entry into the holiest, how it outworks in our lives and our relationships thereafter. This is not the terminus of everything, this is the terminus of the inward journey and that’s as far as I’m able to take you in this series of studies here at this time.
First of all, the holy of holies is opened up—direct access into the immediate presence of Almighty God. The most incredible privilege. It really staggers my powers of expression that we have this right to approach directly, right to the presence of Almighty God. The barrier to this access is man’s sinful, fleshly nature. This was dealt with by Jesus on the cross. Let us look at a few simple scriptures to this effect. Romans 8:3:
“For what the law could not do in 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.”
The law could not do it not because there was anything wrong with the law. Paul says the law is holy and just and good. Every commandment of the law was right. But I could look at those tables of stone and all the other writings of the law and say, “I’ll do it,” but there was something in me that said, “Oh, no, you won’t do it.” And furthermore, the harder you tried to do it, the worse you failed. Romans 7 says, “I find then a law that when I would do good, evil is present with me. The good that I would, I do not. The evil that I would not, that I do. If then I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it but sin that dwelleth in me.” So I say, “Yes, I’ll keep God’s law. I’ll do everything God requires.” I’m sincere, I mean it. But the moment I try to do it my carnal, rebellious nature asserts itself and the harder I try to be good the worse I am. Did you discover that? I discovered that at age 15 when I was confirmed in the Anglican church. I really decided it was time for me to be a lot better than I’d been for a long while. I said, “This is it, I’ll be confirmed, brush my teeth, go to communion and be good.” I never was so bad as I was after that! It’s exactly the truth.
What’s the problem? It’s very, very subtle. I wish I could spend about five hours on Romans 7. The problem is self confidence. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” See? When you say “There’s the law, I’m doing it,” you’re putting your confidence in yourself. And you come under a curse. Everybody that seeks to keep the law and doesn’t keep it is under a curse. “Cursed by every one that continueth not in all the words of this law to do them.” You know, if you’re going to be under the law you have to do all the law all the time. If you can’t do that it’s of no avail. If you break one point of the law once, you’re the lawbreaker forever. It’s either all or nothing.
The law was good but there was something in me, a rebel. If you want to look back at Romans 7 for a moment, verse 22–23:
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man...”
There’s something in me that says, “That’s right, that’s the way I should be living.”
I don’t know whether you’ve noticed about justice today, that people have got a very warped idea of justice. Justice is if somebody does me wrong he should be punished. That’s our present idea of justice. But we never stop to ask ourselves what happens if I do somebody else wrong? Well, I could go into this a long while but I won’t. You know why the legal enforcement agents and society as a whole is so permissive of lawbreaking today? Shall I tell you why? It’s because the church has been permissive of unrighteousness. The salt has lost its savor, the barrier to lawlessness is broken down and it floods our society. But it starts with the church. When the church sets aside the inviable law of God’s righteousness and scoffs at it, it’s opening up the way for a torrent of lawlessness to flood society. And we suffer.
Going back to Romans 7:
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man...”
There’s something in me that says that’s right.
“...but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
The word captivity there is a prisoner of war. Paul said:
“I set out to fight for God and I end up on the wrong side fighting against him. But I’m a prisoner of war, I don’t do it deliberately, it’s something that takes me captive. I can’t help it. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from of this death?”
I thank God there is a way out. Look at the last half of Romans 7:25:
“So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
That’s a poor translation. Left to myself I can serve the law of God with my mind, but with my fleshly nature I’m a slave of the law of sin and I cannot change it. So what’s the remedy? Romans 8:3:
“What the law could not do...”
It couldn’t change my nature. It told me what to do but it couldn’t give me the power to do it.
“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.”
In whose flesh? The flesh of Jesus. God dealt with sin in the body of Jesus. His body became the sin offering. That’s where sin was dealt with once and forever. When we appreciate that, we’re free from the bondage and guilt of sin.
So, going back to Hebrews 10:20:
“By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh...”
Our fleshly nature is the veil. We cannot through that veil come near to God, the veil has to be taken away. The fleshly nature has to be dealt with. It was dealt with in the body of Christ. When his flesh was rent on the cross for our sins, the veil was rent. The actual veil of the temple was rent.
Turn back to Matthew 27:50–51. You remember on the temple are in Jerusalem there was the outer court, the holy place, the holy of holies. And in accordance with divine ordinance the holy of holies was separated by this tremendously glorious, thick, impenetrable curtain. But when Jesus, outside the city, died on the cross, something at that moment happened to the curtain in the holy of holies. Matthew 27:51:
“When Jesus had cried again with a loud voice, he gave up his spirit [he yielded up his spirit]. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom...”
Let there be no doubt about where the initiative came from, it came from God and not from man. Rent from the top to the bottom. The veil was rent, the way was opened into the holiest through the death of Jesus because in his flesh on the cross God condemns and put away sin. Now, the holy of holies is open to us.
The second blessing, we have boldness in the blood of Jesus. The word boldness, I believe there, is not primarily subjective, it’s objective. It’s not that I feel bold but that it’s I have absolute unquestionable legal right of access. Whether I feel it or not is secondary. It’s very important to understand that. The word boldness, really, in my opinion, is somewhat misleading. I would say absolutely unquestionable right through the blood of Jesus for access.
Now, in Leviticus 16 we have in the Old Covenant the ceremonies appointed for the day on which the high priest could go into the holy of holies. Only once every year, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur as the Jews call it today, the day of covering, a day of fasting and mourning—which it still is for Orthodox Jews today—the priest went in. You need to read the whole of Leviticus 16, it’s another tremendous presentation of the truth of entry into the holiest. We’re not able to deal with it, I just want to point out about the blood of the sin offering. Leviticus 16:11–15:
“And Aaron [the high priest] shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement [that’s the word kippur: atonement, covering] for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: and he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord [the golden altar], and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail...”
Notice it’s the blood from this altar and the incense from this altar that must be united for access through the veil. Verse 13:
“...and he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not...”
This was no empty religious ceremony, this was life or death—for the priest and for the whole nation. And if at any time he was not accepted, the whole nation lost its standing before God. He was their representative. Verse 14:
“...and he shall take the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward [the point of approach, from the east. The blood was sprinkled upon the mercy seat], and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.”
Seven tells us that it’s through the Holy Spirit. So, Jesus, through the Eternal Spirit [Hebrews 9:14] offered himself without spot unto God.
Now, the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, before the mercy seat. Actually, there’s a train of blood all the way from here to here. Without blood there’s no access.
Let’s go to the New Testament. This is something which, I believe, will surprise some of you, but it’s very clearly stated in the Bible. For years I just knew it was there but gave very little heed to it. Recently it’s become very real to me. The atonement of Jesus was not terminated on earth, it was consummated in heaven. This is very clearly stated. Hebrews 6:19–20:
“Which hope [the hope in Christ] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, which entereth into that within the veil [this veil, the final veil]; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus...”
Now we’re not talking about the earthly tabernacle, we’re talking about the temple in heaven, the tabernacle in heaven. Jesus has entered in within the veil. Forerunner, our representative. Forerunner is someone who comes and says, “There’s others coming after me.” So he’s come there to say, “My brethren are coming after me Father. From now on the way is open for them to follow me.” He’s our forerunner. He’s entered in within the veil.
Then we read in Hebrews 9:11–12:
And you should read the previous verses but I’ll leave you to do that for yourselves.
“...being come an high priest of good things to come...”
A better translation is “good things that have actually been accomplished. In other words, it’s contrasted with the law which only had the types and shadows and promises, patterns. Now it’s real, it’s happened.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come...”
Somebody asked me—let me just use this as an illustration and then I’ll come back—the difference between the shadow and the substance. Don’t be offended if I tread on your theological or denominational corns, it’s not my intention to offend anybody. But somebody said, “Brother Prince, what do you think about the use of incense? Are you in favor of it?” I said, “Well, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to go using incense, you’re going back into the Mosaic order.” Incense was a type. I’m not saying don’t use incense but understand what you’re doing. Incense was the type, it was a shadow. But the true worship in the Spirit is the substance, it’s the real thing. I said to this young man, “If you went home one day, you’re married and your wife is waiting for you on the doorstep and she stands there and the light is shining down, your wife is standing there, her shadow is in the doorstep. Which are you going to kiss? Your wife or the shadow?” Going back is like kissing the shadow. I mean, do it if you want, there’s no law against kissing shadows! But remember, that’s what you’re doing. Just get it right. Your wife may be a little astonished! I think Jesus is a little astonished sometimes when we kiss the shadow and leave him.
Verse 11 of Hebrews 9:
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle [that’s not on earth, not made with hands but the real tabernacle in heaven], that is to say, not of this building; 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.”
Jesus took his blood with him into the holiest. All right? If you don’t understand it, still believe it. This is going more and more clearly, verse 23–24 of the same chapter, Hebrews 9:
“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of bulls and goats]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”
The heavenly things had to be purified but not with the blood of bulls and goats. Verse 24:
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us...”
It’s very clear the heavenly things had to be purified with blood but not the blood of bulls and goats. How did Christ enter into the holiest? With his own blood. And this is even clearer when we turn on to Hebrews 12:22 and following.
“For ye are not come to mount Horeb, to mount Sinai...”
Which could be touched, it was a physical mountain. And it shook and it was covered with black smoke and there was a voice and a trumpet. When the people heard it they said never bring us that close again, we don’t want to hear that voice. Once is enough for all our lives. That’s not where we’ve come. Can you imagine anybody so foolish to want to go back to Sinai? A lot of people do it. Verse 22:
“But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem...”
Please not this is not the earthly Jerusalem. There is an earthly Jerusalem, there’s also a heavenly Jerusalem. And we have come. Not physically but by the Spirit.
“...to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn...”
That’s you and me. Our headquarters is heaven where our head is.
“...who are enrolled in heaven...”
In the Lamb’s book of life. Are you enrolled in heaven or are you just on the roll of the church? It’s all right to be on the roll of the church but it isn’t sufficient.
“...and to God the Judge of all...”
That’s a fearful thought, isn’t it? How can we approach God the judge.
“...and to the spirits of just men made perfect...”
To me that’s the Old Testament saints made perfect through a lifetime walk of faith. Died and brought up with the resurrection of Jesus out of Hades. Maybe you feel otherwise but that’s the way I understand that.
“And to Jesus [praise God] the mediator of the new covenant...”
But we still couldn’t come there if there wasn’t something else. What’s that?
“...the blood of sprinkling...”
Where’s that? In heaven.
“...that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
You see, Abel’s blood was sprinkled on earth. What did it call out for? Vengeance. Jesus’ blood is sprinkled in heaven. What does it speak for? Mercy. This is the most tremendous thing if you could believe that the blood of Jesus is always speaking on your behalf in the very presence of God. If it weren’t, you couldn’t get there. You take that whole list of things, and there are nine things listed in those three verses, if it weren’t for the blood you wouldn’t be there. God wouldn’t bring you there are judge. Even Jesus wouldn’t bring you there unless it was through his blood. It’s the only access, it’s through the blood of Jesus sprinkled in heaven.
Just like Aaron sprinkled seven times on the mercy seat, seven times before the mercy seat. Then he went in with the incense of adoration. To me it’s very vivid that the cloud of incense had to fill the house, otherwise he died.
We can’t stop at any one point. The third of the great blessings of the New Covenant is the new and living way. The new and living way is the Jesus way. Jesus becomes the way, he becomes the truth, he becomes the life but he’s the way all the way right the way through. Jesus is the new and living way. The way that Jesus went is the way that we go, there is no other way. That’s a way of self denial, obedience, sacrifice and death. That’s the new and living way.
Let’s look at a few scriptures. 1Peter 2:21:
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.”
The steps of Jesus are the new and living way.
What’s the first step when you want to follow Jesus? Matthew 16:24:
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself...”
Self denial. Now that doesn’t mean giving up radishes for Lent! I mean, if you do, that’s all right. God bless you. But that isn’t self denial. Self denial is saying no to the ego. Self says I want, you say no. Self says I like, say no. Self says I think, you say no. What you think isn’t the least bit important. It isn’t! Nor is what I think important. You have not denied yourself when what you think matters to you. Denying yourself is saying no to that old goat inside you. The but’s come from the goat. You don’t say but to God when you’ve denied self. You say amen.
In the Scandinavian languages, the word for but is ?men?. So they say don’t say ?men?, say amen. Faith says amen, it doesn’t say but. All the promises of God in him are yea and not but, yea and amen.
Self-denial isn’t giving up the vile sin. That may be involved. Self-denial is denying the ego, the I that asserts itself and makes itself important and demands that the world center around itself. What I want, what I think, what I feel. It’s irrelevant as far as God is concerned.
The first step in actually following Jesus is saying no to all that. If any man will take up his cross, let him deny himself. Deny is say no in simple English. Self says I, you say no. Somebody said to me once if you can’t learn how to say no and mean it, you’ll never get to heaven. I think that’s very true.
In Matthew 26 we have the climax for self denial and I think we should read it. Matthew 26:39–42. This, of course, is in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou will. [verse 42] He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
Every new move in God begins with repetition of “not my will but thine be done.” Jesus didn’t just renounce his will once. Every time he was confronted with the choice between his will and the Father’s will he repeated the renunciation. “Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou will.” That’s the new and living way.
The wonderful thing about this is if your heart is set on following God, you rejoice. Though it sounds hard, it fills you with joy. But if your heart isn’t set on following God then all you can see is the unpleasantness of it. Hebrews 2:10–11:
“For it became him [that’s God], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things [God the Father], in bringing many sons unto glory [that’s you and me], to make the captain [but the real word is leader] of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Jesus was made perfect through sufferings. And he’s our leader. We’re made perfect the same way he was made perfect: through the sufferings that come from obedience, from saying not my will but thy will be done. Not the suffering that comes from disobedience, I said that yesterday but let me say it again. The suffering that comes from disobedience don’t purify you, don’t refine you, don’t make you perfect. The suffering that comes from obedience is what makes you perfect.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one...”
Now then, be careful. Who is he that sanctifieth? Who’s they that are sanctified and who’s the one? He that sanctifieth is Jesus. They who are sanctified is you and I. And the one of whom we both come, Jesus and you and I, is the Father. So we are sanctified by the Father in the way that Jesus was made perfect. It’s the Jesus way that leads to sanctification, holiness, perfection. That’s the way. You’ll have to read those scriptures for yourselves because if you’re not familiar with them it will take a little while. They’ll be snow to some of you and rain to others. But if you just let it warm up a bit, the snow melts and you’ll get the benefit, too.
Hebrews 5:8–9—well, we’ll read 7 because that’s too good to miss over. This is speaking about Jesus in the days of his flesh, while he was still in human flesh.
“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared...”
The New English Bible says “because of his humble submission he was heard.” His prayer was heard. That’s the spirit of access to God. Jesus is the perfect pattern. Go in with your spirit bowed before Almighty God. He was heard because he feared. This is the root reason why prayers aren’t answered. I can give you half a dozen other reasons but God showed me this summer, here is the root problem. You can teach them all the principles of getting their prayers answered but if their attitude is wrong the principles don’t work. The attitude comes first. He was heard because of his humble submission. Verse 8:
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered...”
He found out what it was to obey by suffering as a consequence of obeying. That’s what it says. And verse 9:
“And being made perfect, he became the author [source] of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him...”
The same way he went is the way, the new and living way.
Listen, I’ll say something that as Brother Mumford could say, would blow your mind! I cannot dwell on it but it’s one of the deepest truths of the New Testament. Jesus is God, was God and always will be God. And he’s perfect God. And he became man finally and forever. Don’t forget, he’s still man. Do you believe that?
“...and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
The second man is the Lord from heaven. In becoming man he started as a baby. And he had to be made perfect. He wasn’t perfect, he was sinless but not perfect. He was made perfect how? Through suffering. In other words, he developed into perfect manhood and that’s the way you and I develop into perfect manhood, the same way he did. This is tremendous.
Let me tell you something else that’s tremendous. He earned his promotion. When he emptied himself he didn’t do it conditionally, he just emptied himself. He went down to the lowest, he was obedient unto death and then the next verse of Philippians 2 says “wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.” He had to earn his way back. The wherefore indicates it was the result of his obedience. If he had disobeyed he would never have got back. So he’s the perfect pattern of development, maturity, perfection. He had to be made perfect as a man. How was he made perfect? Through obedience. How will you be made perfect? Through obedience. Leave the theology on one side and just obey.
The fourth great blessing: we have a great high priest, Jesus. What have we got so far? We’ve got the holiest open. Objective right of access through the blood. A new and living way to avail ourselves of the access. Now we have a great high priest waiting there for us. Who is he? Jesus. He’s high priest in two respects and I’d like to show you those. Hebrews 8:2, we’ll read verse 1, the latter part.
“We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens: a minister of the sanctuary...”
First of all, he’s a minister of the sanctuary. Take this example: Has it ever occurred to you that the high priest had to know a lot? He had a whole lot of rules to observe. How to kill the animal, what to do with the liver, what to do with the legs, what to do with the heart, what to do with the head, what to do with the skin, where to sprinkle the blood on which side of the altar. All the way through there were a great many precise requirements that had to be complied with. Jesus is a minister of the true sanctuary. When he went in he did everything right. He met all God’s requirements as a priest all the way through. So our access is guaranteed because he did the right things. He didn’t miss a stage, he didn’t do the wrong thing at any part. He went all the way through right into the presence of God for us. He’s the great high priest that knows what to do for every ceremony in every phase in every part of the sanctuary.
It’s really worth thinking about the amount of skill and knowledge that was required of the Levitical priesthood when you think how exactly they had to know to divide up the sacrificial beast and many, many things. How to skin them and so on. Put the sheep in front of me and I’d be embarrassed. I just read these parts in Leviticus and I think it’s good I don’t have to know the difference between the liver and the (unintelligible) because I wouldn’t know. What I’m pointing out is exact knowledge and skill was required. Jesus fulfilled it. We can trust him. He didn’t make any mistakes.
Have you ever made a journey overseas and trusted a travel agency to book you in a hotel and find out the room was never booked? They weren’t efficient. Jesus met every requirement all the way through.
Secondly, he’s a mediator of the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:15:
“For this cause he’s the mediator of the new covenant...”
And I think it says that in Hebrews 12:24. “The mediator of the New Covenant.” He ministers the benefits of his sacrifice to you and me by the Holy Spirit. He imparts to us, he works out in us as we follow in this way what’s required in each phase of access. So he’s the one who makes the covenant work in you and me. Having done all the ground work, having gone into God he turns around and does everything that’s needed in everyone who obeys him to make our access perfect. He mediates the covenant. You want to think on those words but time doesn’t permit us to dwell on them.
Let’s just sum that up once more. The four blessings of the New Covenant: the veil is rent, the way is open: number one. Number two, we have objective, legal, unquestionable right of access through the blood. Number three, we have a living way to go in, the way that Jesus went. Obedience, self denial, sacrifice and the death of the old man. Jesus said whosoever will lose his life shall find it. The Greek word for life there is soul. You’ve got to lay down that soulish ego and say no. Then you find the way in here. And fourthly, we have the great high priest who knows exactly what to do.
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