Father, that You would lead us through this by Your Spirit; that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the called-out ones To-Day. Father, thank You that You are patient and long-suffering with us, and thank You for the afflictions that we may learn Christ and be ever decreasing as He ever increases.
It has been six weeks since the last post in a series that first came about as I worked on some Facebook posts on the blood of Jesus. You may need a refresher (as I most certainly did). If so, please click here and read before continuing.
Hebrews 9 and 10 were given as suggested reading. In preparing to write I re-read those chapters and added Hebrews 8 as well.
What a glorious thing God has done, friends!
What a glorious thing, indeed!
Let it be made clear that this is neither pro-brick & mortar church or anti-brick & mortar church. Brick & mortar church is not the focal point, Christ is. It is my heart to show the meaning of Hebrews 10:25 as it pertains to the context of the letter to the Hebrews and the two chapters leading up to it, as well as chapter 10 itself; in the hopes that it will serve to free those who are in the shackles of religious bondage. Hebrews 10:25 tells us, Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
You might consider what is to follow as an urging to assemble together, and all the more faithfully as we must all see the day approaching. But to what or to Whom are we assembling in these intense and difficult days?
Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8
And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; John 1:14
The tabernacle of wood and cloth pointed ahead to the true tabernacle of flesh and blood, in which the covenantal throne and altar of sacrifice would be united in the crucified Christ. ~ Chris Powers, Full of Eyes.
Photo courtesy of Chris Powers – Full of Eyes
In the wilderness Moses used two silver trumpets; their loud & significant blasts would summon the whole community or chiefs as a signal to assemble before the tabernacle. Keep this in mind as we go on.
Hebrews 9:6b-9b shows us that:
the priests enter [habitually] into the outer division of the tabernacle in performance of their ritual acts of worship.
But into the second [division of the tabernacle] none but the high priest goes, and he only once a year, and never without taking a sacrifice of blood with him, which he offers for himself and for the errors and sins of ignorance and thoughtlessness which the people have committed.
By this the Holy Spirit points out that the way into the [true Holy of] Holies is not yet thrown open as long as the former [the outer portion of the] tabernacle remains a recognized institution and is still standing,
Seeing that that first [outer portion of the] tabernacle was a parable (a visible symbol or type or picture of the present age).
I had read that a number of times and didn’t catch that the outer portion of the tabernacle was a parable until recently, and then it shot off the page like a lightning bolt. Let’s go to Luke 8:9-10 to see what Jesus says about parables:
And when His disciples asked Him the meaning of this parable,
He said to them, To you it has been given to [come progressively to] know (to recognize and understand more strongly and clearly) the mysteries and secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that, [though] looking, they may not see; and hearing, they may not comprehend.
Jesus tells us plainly that the mysteries of the kingdom of God are given to His disciples; to those whom He has chosen to learn from and of Him. But for others, for those who are not His disciples, the mysteries of the kingdom of God are in parables. Undoubtedly we have experienced both in our journey. Even presently there are things which, looking we may not see, and hearing we do not comprehend. But as His disciples, we trust our Teacher to teach us in His timing, not our own.
Now the outer portion of the tabernacle was a parable. The inner portion, the holy of Holies, was only entered once a year by the high priest. By this the Holy Spirit points out that the way into the true Holy of Holies is not yet thrown open.
Not yet thrown open.
The way is closed.
The message is death to those who draw near.
Hebrews 8:1-2 tells us:
Now the main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic [God] in heaven,
As officiating Priest, a Minister in the holy places and in the true tabernacle which is erected not by man but by the Lord.
In Hebrews 8:2, 6 we found two names given to our Lord Jesus, indicating the twofold work He does, with God in heaven and in our heart on earth. As a Minister of the Sanctuary, He is in God’s presence, ministering the grace of the sanctuary to us, giving us the enjoyment of that presence. As Mediator of the new covenant, He works in our heart on earth, giving God’s law within us, as the law of the Spirit of His own life, and fitting us for the worship and fellowship of the sanctuary. ~Andrew Murray, The Holiest of All
We have such a High Priest in the holy places and in the true tabernacle which is erected not by man but by the Lord. This is reason to rejoice! Whether we are able to meet in a brick & mortar building or partake of any of the religious traditions we may be accustomed to or believe we must adhere to, we have such a High Priest! When the brick & mortar church as we know it is shaken where is this High Priest? He is seated at the right hand of God, in the true tabernacle. Where is our life, friends? Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God, so rich in His mercy, raised us with Christ and made us sit together with Him in the heavenly sphere. Colossians 3:3 tells us that our real life is hidden with Christ in God.
To what or to Whom is our life attached to? To what or to Whom is our heart and soul and strength and mind focused on and assembled unto? To what do we attach our identity to? Family? Relationships? Religion? Church membership/attendance? Tithing? Politics? Education? Emotional validation? Career? Has the Lord been revealing the very personal answer to you in deeper and more poignant ways as of late? He is being faithful to His promise that He will accomplish the work He has begun in us. We can be thankful that He is faithful and He is true. I pray that the Holy Spirit would make us a willing people, humble and adjustable to His life in and through us.
The letter to the Hebrews was written to a people who were in danger of going back to a system the Lord had done away with (Hebrews 8:13). Furthermore, what we now know is that the entire sacrificial system with its priests and temple was leveled in 70 AD; this letter was written between 50-55AD. Imagine the shock & horror of those whose lives were intertwined with all of that which was now no more. Now imagine those whose lives were intertwined, not with the great earthly religious system, but with the great High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of God in the holy places and in the true tabernacle erected not by man but by the Lord, and who knew their life was by God’s mercy with Him there.
What was the author of the letter to the Hebrews working towards? In the book, The Holiest of All, Andrew Murray writes this:
In the previous part of the Epistle (chapter 1-4), the author has been dealing with what he considers more elementary truths, the divinity and humanity of the Saviour, and His fitness as a merciful and faithful High Priest for the work He has to do for us. He (the author) is about to enter on the higher teaching he has to give us on the heavenly priesthood of Christ (chapter 7 through chapter 10 verse 18) but feels that many of his readers are incapable of following or appreciating such spiritual truth.
On May 10, 2018 I jotted down: If this was true then, at the writing of the letter to the Hebrews, it is most assuredly true today! If chapter 7 through chapter 10 verse 18…a mere 7 verses prior to the infamous verse 25…could it be possible we have allowed traditions of men and our own ignorance to interpret these verses, making them appear to say one thing when in fact they mean something quite contrary with depth and higher teaching? And, could it be, like the days of old, that we, too, are in danger of missing this new & living way?
Friends, I must stop here. It is much too comprehensive to gather into one post without making it cumbersome to read.
Until next time,
Lord, help us not to miss the new & living way You have made freely accessible.