ANSWERS: 5
  • Good Question, maybe this will Help??? Enjoy! John DOCTRINE OF FORGIVENESS A. Introduction. 1. There is a difference between redemption and forgiveness. a. Redemption is the salvation ministry of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Redemption is directed toward sin. Redemption is the means of salvation. b. Forgiveness is the result of the salvation ministry of Jesus Christ on the Cross. There is no forgiveness on the Cross. The Cross was all judgment, and judgment is not forgiveness. c. There are two categories of forgiveness for believers. (1) All pre-salvation sins were blotted out the moment you believed in Christ so you could receive the filling of the Spirit and thirty-nine other things. (2) All postsalvation sins are forgiven at the moment of rebound. Failure to use the grace provision of 1 Jn 1:9 results in perpetual carnality. That means the status quo of grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) and squelching the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). 2. All sins of human history were entered into the computer of divine decrees and the printout occurred at the Cross. They were imputed to Christ and then judged. Jesus Christ in His perfect humanity was qualified to receive this judgment from God the Father. He accepted the imputation of these sins because of His impersonal love for all mankind. Then He received the judgment for every sin because of personal love for God the Father. 3. The righteousness of God condemned every sin in eternity past. What the righteousness of God condemns, the justice of God judges, so that the love of God provides the solution to the problem of sin as expressed in the grace of God. Personal love for God the Father in our Lord's humanity motivated Him to stay on the Cross and be judged. 4. All of this took place because Jesus Christ made four great decisions in eternity past as eternal God. a. The first decision was atonement. Atonement means that the Lord Jesus Christ was judged for the sins of the world. He was judged as a substitute for us (the Greek preposition HUPER plus the genitive of advantage). b. The second decision was propitiation. Propitiation is the judgment of our Lord satisfying the righteousness of God the Father. c. The third decision was reconciliation. Anyone can be reconciled to God the Father through the salvation work of Jesus Christ. d. The fourth decision was redemption. Redemption is our Lord paying the price for our eternal salvation, purchasing us from the slave market of sin. Mankind makes the decision to take the redemption solution. 5. All presalvation sins were forgiven and blotted out the moment you believed in Christ. You could not have the filling of the Spirit at the moment of salvation unless your sins were all forgiven. God could give you nothing at salvation if you were still tainted with sins. 6. All postsalvation sins are forgiven at the moment you use the rebound technique of 1 Jn 1:9. You have to rebound because there was no forgiveness provided on the Cross. 7. What Jesus Christ did on the Cross did not provide forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a part of the Cross. The work of Jesus Christ on the Cross did not include forgiveness. Presalvation sins were forgiven the moment you believed in Christ. Postsalvation sins are forgiven the moment you rebound. But if you do not rebound, you continue in a state of carnality until you die the sin unto death. The unbeliever's sins are never forgiven because he never believes in Christ. But they are judged for their works at the last judgment which include their failure to believe in Christ and not for their sins. 8. There is no forgiveness in redemption. There is the opportunity of freedom through faith alone in Christ alone. 9. In Jn 19:30 we have the statement of our Lord on the Cross, "It is finished." This is the perfect tense of the Greek verb TETELESTAI, which means "Finished now with results that go on forever." This verb divides the work that Jesus Christ did on the Cross with forgiveness. Forgiveness does not occur in the courtroom, the basis for forgiveness does. No one is ever forgiven because Christ was judged for their sins; they are forgiven because they believe in Christ. TETELESTAI is the separating line between redemption and forgiveness. 10. When a person rejects salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, he rejects the love of God completely, but the love of God never rejects the unbeliever. Forgiveness is a decision made by mankind. You have to respond to what was done for you. B. The Distinction Between Redemption and Forgiveness. 1. Gal 3:13, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, 'Cursed [judged] is everyone who hangs on the wood [Cross].'" a. This passage discusses redemption and does not mention forgiveness in the process. Redemption and forgiveness are not the same thing. There was no forgiveness in the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The Cross was a time of judgment, not forgiveness. Forgiveness is a decision made by human beings. Salvation is a decision provided by God. b. Redemption provides the spiritual freedom to fulfill the unique plan of God or to fail to use the equality of freedom to execute the unique plan of God. Redemption is freedom from the slave market of sin as a result of faith alone in Christ alone. There is a relation between redemption and forgiveness, but they are not the same. c. Redemption comes at the Cross. Forgiveness comes at the point of faith alone in Christ alone. The result of believing in Christ is forgiveness. (1) All pre-salvation sins were forgiven the moment we believed in Christ. (2) All postsalvation sins are not forgiven unless we fulfill 1 Jn 1:9 to name our sins to God. (3) All the sins of all unbelievers reject salvation and their sins are never forgiven, but are also not used for the indictment of the unbeliever. They are not judged for their sins; for Christ was judged for their sins. They are judged for their refusal to believe in Christ. d. The curse of the Law is sin. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. All forgiveness is a result of redemption. Once you believe in Christ you are free from slavery to the lusts of the sin nature. Forgiveness does not come until you acknowledge, name, cite your sin or sins to God the Father. Forgiveness is always a result of salvation; it is a result of the spiritual life. Redemption is a part of judgment, and the curse of the Law is judgment. e. Forgiveness is not a part of redemption, but a result of redemption. All pre-salvation sins are forgiven at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone. All postsalvation sins are forgiven at the point of rebound as per 1 Jn 1:9. f. There is no forgiveness described in this redemption passage (Gal 3:13), only judgment. God never mixes judgment and forgiveness. Forgiveness always follows judgment as a result of our Lord's decision to go to the Cross and be judged for our sins. 2. Eph 1:6-7, "to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He [F] has graced us out in the Beloved [Jesus Christ]; by agency of Whom [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, [we have] the forgiveness of trespasses on the basis of the riches of His grace," a. Faith responds to atonement and redemption and believes in Christ. The moment we believe in Christ we receive thirty-nine irrevocable things plus the filling of the Holy Spirit. We could not receive these things unless something happened at the moment we believed in Christ, and that something that happened was the forgiveness of all pre-salvation sins. God blesses us because we have believed in Christ. b. Forgiveness occurs at the moment of faith in Christ, not at the Cross. The moment of salvation is the first time God ever forgave you anything. You could not be forgiven anything until you were filled with the Spirit. God cannot give you thirty-nine irrevocable absolutes unless you are forgiven. There is no forgiveness at the Cross. You are forgiven after the Cross, when you believed in Christ, and every time you rebound. Some pastors erroneously teach that all forgiveness occurred at the Cross and therefore rebound is not necessary. c. We are commanded to stop grieving and stop squelching the Holy Spirit, which can only be done through rebound. We are forgiven after salvation whenever we name or cite the courtroom case of having believed in Christ. d. The judgment of our sins and forgiveness were separated by our Lord's statement on the Cross, "It is finished now with the result that it stands finished forever." No one ever has forgiveness of sins until he believes in Christ. e. The word "redemption" and the word "forgiveness in verse seven are both in the accusative case and there is no such thing as an accusative of apposition in the Greek. There is a nominative of apposition and a genitive of apposition, but not an accusative of apposition. Therefore, the phrase "the forgiveness of sins" is not an explanation (in apposition) of the phrase "the redemption through His blood." (1) The word "forgiveness" is an accusative of result, and not an accusative of apposition. The word "redemption" is the accusative of direct object. Forgiveness is a result of redemption. (2) These two accusatives are a double accusative: the accusative of direct object and the accusative of result. They can also be described as a double accusative of primary and secondary object. The primary objective is redemption. The secondary objective is forgiveness. One follows the other; they are not simultaneous. Forgiveness follows redemption. Forgiveness is separated from redemption. (3) The concept is the same as we have in Col 1:14, "By agency of Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." There is no concessive connotation here at all. f. The salvation ministry of Jesus Christ on the Cross must be distinguished from the doctrine of forgiveness. g. Redemption was the decision of Jesus Christ in eternity past as eternal God and fulfilled on the Cross as true humanity. h. Forgiveness is the decision of mankind in time under two categories related to human sins. Category one is the forgiveness of all pre-salvation sins at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone. Category two is the forgiveness of all postsalvation sins results from the fulfillment of the protosis of 1 Jn 1:9, "If we acknowledge our sins." i. Forgiveness depends on redemption and is the result of redemption. There is no forgiveness of sins in redemption and atonement, only the judgment of all sins. j. God the Father judged all human sins of history at the Cross with the result that sins are forgiven under two conditions--faith alone in Christ alone and rebound when necessary. k. All sins of the unbeliever were judged at the Cross, but never forgiven because of rejection of Christ as Savior, Jn 3:18,36. If you reject Christ as Savior, you have rejected the love of God, but the love of God has not rejected you. The sins of the unbeliever are never mentioned at the last judgment, only his failure to believe in Christ and human good. l. The judicial case of the Cross established precedence for the function of forgiveness of sins. It produced precedence based on unlimited atonement. n. Which person of the Trinity has precedence for the function of forgiveness? (1) God the Father is the chief justice of the supreme court of heaven and imputed all the sins of mankind to the impeccable human nature of Christ and judged every one of them. The courtroom of the Cross was strictly a matter of judgment. All the decisions of God the Father related to the Cross were decisions related to judgment. (2) In Eph 5:2, "Begin walking in the sphere of virtue-love just as Christ also loved you and delivered Himself over as a substitute for us, an offering [food offering] and sacrifice [burnt offering] to God resulting in the aroma of fragrance [propitiation]." This indicates that God the Father is the judge and our Lord is the recipient of the judgment. (3) 1 Jn 2:2, "but He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the entire world." God the Father was satisfied with His judgment of our Lord. (4) 1 Jn 4:10, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins." (5) The precedence for forgiveness is unlimited atonement. All sins had to be judged on the Cross and God the Father had to be satisfied with that judgment. Precedence is based on the doctrine that God the Father as the judge had to be satisfied with the judgment. Only the judgment of the Cross satisfies the Father. God the Father also rules in every case of rebound. (6) In 1 Jn 1:9 we acknowledge our sins to God the Father, and He is the member of the Trinity who forgives us. God the Father is the member of the Trinity who always deals with sin. The issue is not sin, but forgiveness. Forgiveness is based on a decision you make to believe in Christ and on the decisions you make after salvation to acknowledge your sins to God the Father. (7) Rebound functions because the impeccable human nature of Jesus Christ accepted the imputation and judgment of our sins on the Cross. (8) In every case of postsalvation sinning, the believer uses volition lust to sin. Consequently, he must use grace volition for recovery of his spiritual life. Lust precedes grace, but grace overcomes lust at the point of rebound. B. Definition of Forgiveness. 1. The principle of legal pardon is no different from the principle of personal pardon and forgiveness. 2. This means that if someone asks for your forgiveness, and in honor you forgive them, then integrity and loyalty to doctrine demands that you forget whatever was done against you, and that never again do you recall this in your mind or penalize the individual for it. 3. However, arrogance has no ability to forgive. C. Illustration of Forgiveness: Joseph. 1. Gen 50:21, "`Therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.' So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them." 2. Joseph had no intention of ever seeking revenge. He was a magnificent mature believer. He is functioning under doctrinal orientation plus grace orientation. 4. Doctrinal orientation plus grace orientation means spiritual self- esteem and a personal sense of destiny. 5. For the believer who has a personal sense of destiny, he never reacts in bitterness or vindictiveness; he never seeks revenge. 6. A personal sense of destiny related to God from maximum perception of Bible doctrine means you live your life as unto the Lord. 5. Note that Joseph forgave his brothers long ago. He forgives as Christ forgave. This is grace orientation combined with +H (sharing the happiness of God) as a problem solving device. 6. Joseph did not feel threatened by his brothers or by the injustices of the past. He was not in any way handicapped because he had a "difficult childhood" and a disastrous youth. Environment is not the issue; the issue is God's timing. 7. Under God's perfect timing, He prepares us one step at a time and eventually promotes us. 8. In other words, Joseph also used the faith-rest drill. He did not, in any way, take vengeance upon his brothers. He deferred any punishment that might come to them to the wisdom of the sovereignty of God. D. Scripture Passages on Forgiveness. 1. The pattern for such pardon and forgiveness is found in Isa 43:25. "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake [because of My honor and integrity]. Furthermore, I will not remember your sin." 2. The pattern of forgiveness is applied to the believer as part of the royal family honor code. Col 3:13, "Bearing one another and forgiving each other. Whoever has a complaint against anyone else, just as the Lord forgave you, so also you should forgive others." 3. Eph 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ has also forgiven you." That mandate is for the believer who has attained spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. This describes the winner. He is tender-hearted and forgives others on the basis of the fact that God has forgiven him. 4. Rom 12:19, "Beloved, do not take your own revenge, but defer to the wrath of God. For it stands written [Deut 32:35], `Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.'" E. The Two Forgivenesses. 1. The Problem of Two Forgivenesses. a. The first forgiveness is salvation forgiveness for eternal life. The second forgiveness is forgiveness for the spiritual life. b. The problem occurs because we are born again. All sins were judged on the Cross. The decision to believe in Jesus Christ means the forgiveness of all sins prior to that moment. (1) If the unbeliever never believes in Christ, he is not judged for his sins at the Great White Throne judgment. His sins were judged on the Cross. The only sin for which the unbeliever is judged is the one sin of not believing in Christ. Their name is not in the book of life. They are indicted on the basis of their good deeds, which do not add up to the perfect righteousness of God. (2) The unbeliever does not have forgiveness of pre- salvation sins. c. For the believer, however, all presalvation sins are blotted out at the moment of salvation and God never remembers them again. Isa 43:25, "I, even I, am He who blots out your sins for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins." d. Postsalvation sins are blotted out by the use of the rebound technique, 1 Jn 1:9. e. There is forgiveness for sins committed before the Cross and for sins committed after the Cross. The Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed before faith in Christ is CHARIZOMAI. The Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed after faith in Christ is APHIEMI. 2. The Problem of True Forgiveness. a. The first forgiveness, salvation forgiveness, is for your eternal life, and is taught in Col 2:13-14, "And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven [CHARIZOMAI] us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which were hostile to us; He has taken it out of the way and nailed it to the cross." The decrees against us are all of the sins which were ever committed in human history. God the Father imputed these sins to Christ on the Cross. The judgment of our sins on the Cross is the basis for our forgiveness. b. The second forgiveness, postsalvation forgiveness, is for your spiritual life. This is taught in 1 Jn 1:9, "If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all wrongdoing." (1) This is the experiential forgiveness related to postsalvation experience, in which the spiritual life is set back until rebound takes place. God has provided options to offset every contradiction to His plan for your life. When you choose sin, you destroy your spiritual life. (2) Postsalvation forgiveness cancels the repercussions of sin and restores the status of your spiritual life. This forgiveness qualifies you to continue your spiritual life and fulfill the two power options of the spiritual life--the filling of the Holy Spirit and doctrinal orientation. Sin causes divine discipline from the supreme court of heaven. (3) "Purifying us from all wrongdoing" is forgiveness for sins of ignorance. c. The first forgiveness qualifies you to live in the eternal state in a resurrection body. The second forgiveness qualifies you to continue your spiritual life in time. d. The first forgiveness is related to time and the second forgiveness is related to eternity; for your spiritual life is designed to make your eternal life in heaven a most significant thing. e. Both forgivenesses are based on the salvation work of Christ on the Cross. f. Once you rebound, you are forgiven in the sense of APHIEMI, cancellation of punishment. All the suffering does not go away, but whatever suffering is left over is designed for your blessing and spiritual growth. 3. The second forgiveness is also taught in 1 Cor 11:30-31, "For this cause many are weak [warning discipline] and sickly [intensive discipline] and many sleep [the sin unto death]. If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." The supreme court of heaven has three categories of discipline against the sinning believer. Judging ourselves is tantamount to naming or citing your sins. Naming our sins to God is tantamount to self- judgment, which is compatible with the divine judgment of our sins on the Cross. 4. Principles. a. God the Father judged our sins on the Cross. Therefore, the sins we commit today already went to court over 1900 years ago. b. Consequently, postsalvation sins of the believer must be dealt with through a non-meritorious function--the rebound technique. Good decisions are always grace decisions. c. This means using the privacy of your priesthood for acknowledging, admitting, citing, naming our sins to God without promises that we will do better, without emotion, without crying, without begging for forgiveness. d. Acknowledgement of our sins to God is totally apart from any human works being added, such as: penitence, public confession, feeling sorry for our sins, or promising God that we will do better. e. No system of penitence, no lustrations (ceremonial purification rites), no self-imposed or ecclesiastical punishments are included in the function of the rebound technique. f. Just as nothing can be added to faith in Christ for salvation, so nothing can be added to acknowledging or admitting our sins to God for the recovery of our fellowship with God and the opportunity to again be filled with the Spirit. g. Both believing in Christ for salvation and naming our postsalvation sins for forgiveness are totally non-meritorious functions on our part. They depend entirely and completely on what God has done. What God has done is to impute every sin to Jesus Christ on the Cross and judge those sins. Legalism always wants to help God by adding some form of human works which cancel out grace. The moment we acknowledge our postsalvation sins to God we have forgiveness and restoration to fellowship with God; we have recovery of the filling of the Holy Spirit. God forgives both the sins of cognizance and the sins of ignorance. h. No category of postsalvation sinning, no matter how extreme, implies lost of eternal salvation. No sin, no denial, no renunciation or category of degeneracy can cancel the forty things every believer receives at the moment of salvation. i. The culprit in personal sin is the volition of the individual believer guilty of a personal sin. The old sin nature is not the source of sin, but the source of temptation. Human volition is the source of all personal sin. Personal sins are either sins of cognizance, in which volition recognizes temptation as a sin and commits a known sin, or sins of ignorance, in which the volition is not aware that the temptation is a sin, but lusts to do it and does it. Therefore, the believer must take the responsibility for his own decisions, for his own choices, including all sins of ignorance or cognizance. j. Without rebound as the basis for problem solving devices, personal sin will destroy your spiritual life. Without rebound as your number one problem solving device, it would be impossible to be filled with the Spirit, learn doctrine, and avoid Christian degeneracy. k. The antithesis of the rebound technique is the denial of postsalvation sinning, 1 Jn 1:8-10, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous with the result that He forgives us our sins and to purify us from all wrongdoing. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." To deny postsalvation sinning is to deny reality in postsalvation experience. 
  • I wonder the same thing, esp with all of the scandals. Also being as the concept of sin is simply a ancient means of keeping people under thumb is quite fascinating
  • Good Q.! It needs a Good A. & here it is! Enjoy! John DOCTRINE OF THE PRIESTHOOD A. Definition. 1. A priest is a member of the human race who represents some portion of the human race before God. He was always a male until this dispensation, never an angel or female. 2. A priest must partake of the nature of the persons for whom he acts or represents. Heb 7:4-5, 14, 28, 10:5, 10-14 all state that a priest must be a member of the human race. Heb 5:1-6, "For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he is able to moderate his feelings with regard to the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is subject to weakness, and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins as a substitute for the people, and so also for himself. And no one takes the honor for himself, but receives it when he is appointed by God, even as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, [Ps 2:7 `You are My Son, today I have begotten You'; just as He also says in another Scripture [Ps 110:4], `You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.'" a. We do not offer gifts and sacrifices for sins because our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ offered himself as the one sacrifice for sins. b. A priest had to be a human being. This is how we know that our Lord Jesus Christ prior to His first Advent was not Melchizedek. 3. There were three categories of priesthood in the Old Testament and one category in the New Testament. All four priesthoods are mentioned in the book of Hebrews. a. The patriarchal or family priesthood in which the patriarch of the family functioned as the priest for the family. This operated from Adam to Moses. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are examples of this priesthood. They built altars, offered sacrifices, purified and consecrated themselves and their households, Gen 12:7; 13:18; 26:25; 23:30; 35:1-2. b. The Old Testament king-priest is represented by Melchizedek. (1) The historical pattern is found in Melchizedek, a king who was the head of his family and a priest, Heb 7:1-3. He was the king of Salem, which later became the city of Jerusalem. He was both a king and a priest with no emphasis on his genealogy. He was a priest as the head of his family, not by birth. He was a Gentile believer-priest living in the time of Abraham. The relationship between Melchizedek and Christ are what we would classify as type and antitype, a New Testament reality prefigured in the Old Testament. Each was a human being, a king, and a priest. Both in their humanity were superior to Abraham as the father of the Jewish race and are without priestly genealogies related to Israel. Heb 7:3, "Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but having resembled the Son of God he remains a priest perpetually." (a) This verse means a priesthood not based on physical birth, a priesthood without recorded genealogy related to the priesthood of Israel. Melchizedek also offered bread and wine, another tie in to the Lord Jesus Christ. Melchizedek was a priest perpetually because he was a believer with eternal life. (b) Heb 7:12-16 interprets this, "For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change in the Law also. For the One [the Lord Jesus Christ] concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord has descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests, and this is clearer still, if another priest arises similar to Melchizedek, and there has, Who has become a priest not on the basis of physical requirement but on the basis of indestructible life." (c) Heb 7:17 quotes Ps 110:4, "For this reason it is witnessed, `You are a priest forever similar to the order of Melchizedek.'" This the Father's appointment of the humanity of Christ to the royal status as king-priest. (d) Gen 14:18-19, "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; furthermore he was a priest of God the Most High." "God the Most High" is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. "Then he [Melchizedek] blessed him [Abram] and said, `Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.'" (2) The superiority of this priesthood is noted by the fact that Abraham was ministered to by Melchizedek with bread and wine and Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, Heb 7:9-11. Melchizedek had the right to bless Abraham because he was both a priest and a king. Abraham was only a priest, but not a king. This means that your priesthood is far greater than the Levitical priesthood. (3) The cross is symbolized through bread and wine as the only ritual of the royal priesthood. (4) The Levitical priesthood was based on natural generation while the royal priesthood is based on regeneration. A priesthood based on physical birth is inferior to and can never be as effective as a priesthood based on regeneration. A priesthood based on physical birth has no effective function related to the postsalvation spiritual life. (5) Rev 1:6, "He made us a kingdom of priests to God, even His Father; to Him be glory and ruling power forever and ever." c. The Levitical priesthood of Israel. The concept of their ministry in spiritual things is found in Num 16:5. "Tomorrow the Lord will show you who is His priest and who is holy, and will bring him near to Himself..." Aaron was chosen along with the tribe of Levi. (1) This priesthood is limited to the Jewish Age and the Millennium. (2) This priesthood was perpetuated through natural generation. (3) This priesthood was supported by thirteen Levitical cities, Josh 21:13-19. Plus there was a special annual tithe to the Levites as well as the redemption money of the firstborn, Num 18:6. (4) The spiritual function of this priesthood was related to ritual and to the teaching the Word of God, Heb 10:1-4. d. The one priesthood of the New Testament is the universal priesthood of all believers after the pattern of Melchizedek. Jesus Christ is the high priest of the royal priesthood. All the priesthoods in the Old Testament were specialized priesthoods. In the New Testament, there is no priesthood of a few people, that is, a specialized priesthood like the Roman Catholic Church. A spiritual life is no better than its priesthood. Heb 5:9-10, "And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being appointed by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek." (1) Having been born a king in Israel as a Jew from the tribe of Judah, He was not even qualified for the Levitical priesthood. (2) Both Melchizedek and our Lord were not appointed on the basis of genealogy. Melchizedek was appointed on the basis of regeneration. Our Lord was appointed a royal high priest by divine decree in eternity past and at His resurrection, ascension, and session. Therefore, Christ is a king-priest after the order of Melchizedek. (3) The Unique Characteristics of Jesus Christ as our High Priest. (a) Jesus Christ is the first and only high priest in all of human history to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth. No one before the hypostatic union was ever filled with the Spirit. (b) Jesus Christ is the first high priest and the only priest that has been resurrected. He functions as a high priest in resurrection body, seated at the right hand of God, not standing in the Holy of Holies as the Levitical priests. The next resurrection in history will be the resurrection of the royal priesthood. You precede the greatest of Old Testament believers because you have the greatest spiritual life that has ever existed in history. (c) Jesus Christ is the only high priest who offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin. All other high priests offered animal sacrifices, but never offered themselves. True spiritual life is almost a total absence of ritual. The only ritual we have is the remembrance of the sacrifice of our High Priest for sin. (d) Jesus Christ is the only priest who can provide eternal life for the human race. (e) Jesus Christ is the only priest who is not only perfect humanity but eternal God in one person forever. (f) Jesus Christ is the only priest who has tested and proved the prototype spiritual life for the Church Age. This spiritual life is an infinitely greater spiritual life because every believer in this dispensation is a priest. (g) Jesus Christ as our high priest is the One who originated this unique spiritual life in all of history. There will never be another spiritual life like it, not even in the millennium. There is nothing comparable to your spiritual life. (4) As our high priest, He is the minister of spiritual things, Heb 5:1. (5) Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin, Heb 9:26-27, 10:10-14. The priestly sacrifice of Christ includes redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation. (6) He makes intercession as a high priest for each one of us, Heb 7:25. (7) He has an eternal and non-transferable priesthood, Heb 7:20-21, 24. (8) Christ fulfilled the necessary requirements of the priesthood. (a) He was qualified for the office, Heb 1. (b) He was appointed by God, Heb 5:1-10. Heb 5:5- 6, "So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He [God the Father] who had spoken face-to-face with Him [Ps 2:7], `You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.' Just as He said in another Scripture [Ps 110:4], `You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (c) His priesthood was a higher order than the Levitical priesthood, Heb 5:6-10, 7:1-8:6. (d) All functions of the priesthood were performed by Christ, Heb 7, 9, 10. (e) His priesthood is eternal and superior, Heb 7:25, "He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession as a substitute for them." (f) With the ascension and session, Christ had a new royal title, but no royal family and no priestly order. Both were combined on the Day of Pentecost. (g) You are in union with Christ. Therefore, you are royalty and priests forever. We represent ourselves before God as royal priests. (h) Christ's sacrifice on the cross was a priestly sacrifice, but His high priesthood came after the resurrection. (i) You are not designed to lean on others or to be counseled by others, but to lean on your own priesthood, your own spiritual self-esteem, and the Bible doctrine in your own soul. (j) You are a royal priest and royal family of God because of union with Christ. B. Rebound is the basic function of the royal priest, 1 Jn 1:9. 1. Rebound is not a part of your spiritual life, but is a function of the privacy of your priesthood. 2. You cite or name your sin to God, who forgives you and cleanses you from all sin. At the same time you are removed from the cosmic system. You don't have to tell your sins to anyone else, as the believers in the Old Testament did to the priests. C. The Priesthood and Operation Z. Your major function as a priest is to learn doctrine as a part of operation Z. Your positive faith perception allows God the Holy Spirit to metabolize the doctrine taught by the pastor. This is the basis of momentum in the function of your royal priesthood. D. The priesthood demands the function of prayer and intercession. E. The Sacrifices of the Priesthood, Heb 13. 1. Separation, v.13. 2. Praise, v.15. 3. Production from momentum, v.16. 4. Enforced and genuine humility, v.17. 5. Developing spiritual self-esteem, v.18-19. F. Old Testament Versus New Testament Priesthoods. 1. There never has been a priesthood in the history of the world that required the priest to be a believer. Every priesthood prior to the Church Age was based on physical birth not spiritual regeneration. 2. The priesthood of the Church is the only priesthood based on being born again. Old Testament priesthoods were based on the head of every family before Israel and then the Levitical priesthood based on the sons of Aaron. 3. No high priest in Israel ever functioned in resurrection body as does our High Priest--the Lord Jesus Christ. No one in history ever had a high priest who functioned in a resurrection body. Only the royal family of God has a High Priest in resurrection body. 4. Jesus Christ was never a high priest to Israel. He is only a high priest to the Church. Therefore, your spiritual life is unique. Our Lord was not even qualified to be a high priest in Israel because He was from the tribe of Judah. 5. Our priesthood is composed of every member of the Church. You are a member of the highest priesthood that will ever exist, including the millennial reign of Christ. Only in the Church Age could a woman ever be a priest. 6. The faith-rest drill gave reality to the Old Testament believers related to their extensive ritual. The doctrines were real because they saw them being portrayed in the ritual. 7. The humanity of Jesus Christ, as the better hope, executed the better spiritual life of the Church Age. The better hope of Heb 7:15 in the dispensation of the hypostatic union became precedence for the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. The better spiritual life was tested and proved in prototype. The better hope begins when the Church Age believer enters the door of hope on God's agenda. We have the unique heritage of all human history. We have a better hope, a better priesthood, and a better spiritual life. 8. Heb 7:11-16, "If therefore, on the one hand fulfillment had come through the Levitical priesthood but it did not (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need for another priest to arise similar to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change in the Law also. For the One concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe [Judah], from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord has descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises similar to the likeness of Melchizedek, Who has become a priest not on the basis of physical requirement but on the basis of indestructible life." a. Indestructible life is God deciding the time, place, and manner of your death. You are going to be on this earth with your spiritual life until your High Priest takes you out of this life. Your indestructible life has already started now. You are guarded by the power of God. b. The indestructible life then goes into the eternal state where you are absent from the body and face-to-face with the Lord in an interim body, but still you have no resurrection body. 9. Lev 21:17-20 teaches that no man of the tribe of Levi could function as a priest if they had physical defects. Men were also disqualified for immorality, Lev 21:3-4, 7, 9. No one was disqualified for being an unbeliever. Mt 27:12,41; Mk 14:1, 55; Lk 22:2; Jn 19:15 shows that the Chief Priest at the time of our Lord was trying to kill Jesus, therefore, probably an unbeliever. No Church Age believer is disqualified for having a physical defect. a. The divine mandate to Israel authorized a priesthood related to physical birth, not regeneration. b. The divine mandate which authorizes the Levitical priesthood carries a disqualification clause based on birth defects or subsequent physical defects. The reason for this was that there must be nothing that distracted the Jews when they were watching the ritual, and physical defects are distracting. c. There was no disqualification clause about being an unbeliever. Therefore there were three categories of Levitical priests who could officiate at the altar: the believer-priest, the unbeliever- priest, and the carnal believer-priest. 10. The Levitical priesthood was authorized under the Mosaic Law, Ex 6:18, 20; 28:1. The universal priesthood of the believer is based on believing in Jesus Christ. For us to function under our High Priest we must have perfect righteousness, because our priesthood can never be nullified or rescinded. 11. The Church has one High Priest--the resurrected humanity of Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father. The royal priesthood of the Church Age with one High Priest forever is better than the Levitical priesthood based on many high priests and physical birth. Our High Priest is in the real Holy of Holies on our behalf. He is the only high priest who has indestructible life and serves in resurrection body. Our Lord will function as the only High Priest on earth during His millennial reign after His second Advent. 12. Why all of this? a. Ritual without reality is meaningless. b. In the case of Israel, the unbeliever priest or unbelievers in the congregation of Israel who witness the ritual could not possibly profit from it doctrinally. The Jews could never profit from the rituals representing codex two of the Mosaic Law unless they could relate the ritual to the doctrines. Many Jews considered the rituals as "good luck" charms. For believers negative to doctrine the ritual was also meaningless. c. Codex two of the Mosaic Law was fantastic for positive believers; for they associated ritual with reality in their spiritual life of the faith-rest drill and they developed doctrinal rationales they could apply. 13. Heb 7:18-19, "For, on the one hand, there is a rescinding of the former commandment [the Mosaic Law that authorized the Levitical priesthood] because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law brought nothing to completion), but on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope [the second door of hope for the Church Age believer--a personal sense of destiny--by which we enter the adult spiritual life] through which we draw near to God." a. The former commandment authorized the Levitical priesthood in client nation Israel. b. The weakness of the Levitical priesthood is that it did not require regeneration for its modus operandi. c. The uselessness of the Levitical priesthood was the perpetuation through genealogy and physical birth rather than regeneration. The Law brought nothing to completion because it takes one High Priest who is permanently a High Priest to bring everything in human history to completion. d. The better hope refers to the new covenant to the Church administered by our Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest. e. Our spiritual life of the Church Age is personalized. The spiritual life of Israel under the Mosaic Law is ritualized. The new covenant to Israel given by our Lord to Israel at the second Advent will change that. When the new covenant to Israel is fulfilled at the second Advent it will not be based on physical descent or physical birth but on regeneration. The new covenant to Israel in the millennium is different from the new covenant to the Church. The new covenant to the Church is the greatest thing that God has ever done in history because it relates to the angelic conflict. f. The Law brought nothing to completion because it was only the shadow of coming good things (Heb 10:1), but not the real image of the universal priesthood of believers. It was not the image of the indwelling of the Trinity. g. Principles. (1) The new priesthood of the Church means a new spiritual life for believers that never existed before in history. A new priesthood means a new modus operandi. We have a greater spiritual life, a unique spiritual life. (2) A priesthood based on physical birth has no effective function related to a postsalvation spiritual life. (3) The unique spiritual life of the Church Age is based on the prototype spiritual life of the humanity of Jesus Christ in hypostatic union. (4) The Church has one High Priest, the resurrected humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father with indestructible life. No high priest is going to die on us as with Israel. (5) The royal priesthood of the Church Age believer with one High Priest is better than the Levitical priesthood, which was based on many high priests and physical birth. 14. A better hope demands a better covenant, Heb 7:20-21, "And inasmuch as it was not without an oath (therefore on the one hand they have become priests without an oath, but He [God the Son] on the other hand with an oath through the One [God the Father] who said to Him, `The Lord [God the Father] has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever."')." a. This is an oath from God the Father, which is part of the two immutable things in the last few verses of Heb 6:18-20. The first immutable thing is a sacred oath from God, Ps 110:4. God swears by Himself, since there is nothing and no one greater by whom He can swear an oath. The second immutable thing is God Himself. Our priesthood was given under two immutable things: the oath of God and God himself. b. There was no divine oath attached to the Levitical priesthood because it was based on physical birth and genealogy, but there is a divine oath with regard to the royal priesthood. Our priesthood is the only priesthood with a sacred oath attached to it, the only priesthood with a High Priest in resurrection body, the only universal priesthood, and the only priesthood based on faith in Christ. c. The royal priesthood of the Church Age serves under one High Priest as a forever priesthood. Therefore, every royal priest of the Church Age has forever life through regeneration. The spiritual life must match the priesthood. The spiritual life is only as good as its priesthood, and we have the greatest priesthood in history. Only the royal priesthood is not stopped by death. Our death does not stop our priesthood. We continue to be priests forever in our resurrection body under our High Priest. 15. Heb 7:22, "to a greater degree Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant." a. "Jesus" is the title of our Lord's humanity. He serves as a High Priest in His humanity. b. The new covenant to the Church is better than the Mosaic Law and the Levitical priesthood. Therefore, we have a better hope. A better hope demands a better covenant. A better covenant demands a better spiritual life. Our spiritual life is better than any spiritual life that has ever existed or will ever exist. 16. Heb 7:23-25, "On the one hand therefore, the former priests existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, but on the other hand, because He abides forever, He holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." a. We have and always will have only one high priest, and He is perfect forever. His priesthood goes on forever because of resurrection body. The only operational priesthood for all eternity is the one given to you. You will still be a priest in eternity no matter how you fail or succeed in time. b. Many of the high priests in the Old Testament were bad and it reflected in the spiritual life of the country. You have a greater hope, a greater priesthood, and a greater spiritual life. c. You draw near to God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You must believe in Christ to qualify for this priesthood, in order to possess the necessary eternal life for the perpetuation of the priesthood into the eternal state. d. Heb 7:16-17 compared with Heb 7:25 gives an amazing conclusion--we have an indestructible priesthood. Only one priesthood survives beyond the grave to become operational in the eternal state. Heb 7:16 says our Lord has "indestructible life." Heb 7:17 says that our Lord is "a priest forever." Heb 7:25 says that He always lives to make intercession for us. 17. Heb 7:26-28, "For it is fitting that we should have such a high priest, impeccable integrity, the One who cannot do evil, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; Who does not need daily, like those priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of His [God the Father's] oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, who has become perfect forever." a. Our High Priest gave us a spiritual life which is infinitely greater than anything found in the Old Testament. Our High Priest is unique. Jesus Christ is the only high priest who is perfect humanity and eternal God in one person forever. He is the only high priest who was ever sinless. He is the first high priest ever filled with the Spirit. He is the pioneer and perfecter of our spiritual life, Heb 12:2. He is the only high priest who offered Himself as a unique and efficacious sacrifice. He is the only high priest who offers eternal salvation. (1) Our High Priest was born perfect, but was brought to completion (the verb TELEIOO) through the function of the same unique spiritual life given to you. (2) In the prototype spiritual life Heb 4:15 says that our Lord, "was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." There never has been a temptation in the human race that was not faced by our Lord and overcome by the same spiritual life you have. In addition to that, He was tempted far beyond anything we would ever face. (3) TELEIOO is used in seven passages in Hebrews and is translated to bring to completion. The translation "to be made perfect" cannot apply to our Lord since He was created perfect as Adam was created perfect. (a) Heb 2:10, "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in having led many sons to glory, to bring to completion the author of their salvation through sufferings." Our Lord was brought to completion by the sufferings for blessing in the advance to spiritual maturity and by the sufferings on the Cross. (b) Heb 5:8-9, "Although being a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been brought to completion, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation." As God there is no need for Jesus Christ to be brought to completion, but as perfect humanity He had to learn doctrine under the filling of the Spirit just as we must do. (c) Heb 7:18-19, "For on the one hand there is a rescinding of the former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law brought nothing to completion), but on the other hand a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." "The Law brought nothing to completion" means that observing the Mosaic Law cannot save. You are saved by faith and not by the works of the Law. The Law cannot provide the spiritual life after salvation, Gal 3:2-3,5. The spiritual life of the Old Testament was the faith-rest drill, not keeping the Law. You can never complete the spiritual life without the four mechanics of the spiritual life (the filling of the Spirit, metabolized doctrine in your soul, the ten problem solving devices, and the execution of the protocol plan of God. Drawing near to God is believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for personal salvation. (d) Heb 7:28, "For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of His sacred oath, which came after the Law, [appointed] the Son, Who has been brought to completion forever." The high priests of the Mosaic Law were weak because some were carnal believers or unbelievers. Our Lord was brought to completion by His perfect execution of the prototype spiritual life, by offering Himself once for all on the Cross, and by His resurrection. The result was His ascension and session at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ as our high priest offers completion to us in three stages. i. Stage one completion is salvation through faith alone in Christ alone. ii. Stage two completion is the execution of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age resulting in maturity. iii. Stage three completion is resurrection. (e) Heb 10:1, "For the Law, having a shadow of coming good things but not the real image of those events, can never by the same sacrifices, which they kept on offering year by year, bring to completion those who draw near." The "coming good things" is the fantastic spiritual life given to us. Jesus Christ brought to completion the greatest spiritual life in human history during the dispensation of the hypostatic union, and this spiritual life has been given to you. The Law could not bring personal salvation to completion through the animal sacrifices, nor could it bring the spiritual life to completion through its ritual. (f) Heb 10:14, "For by one offering He brought to completion for all time those who are being sanctified." The offering of Jesus Christ on the Cross relates to the new covenant to the Church, 1 Cor 11:24-25, not to the new covenant to Israel. i. We, the Church, are the ones being sanctified. We are taken by God the Holy Spirit and entered into union with Christ forever. This is positional sanctification. We share the life, righteousness, heirship, destiny, election, and priesthood of Christ. Experiential sanctification is the postsalvation experience of advancing from the point of spiritual birth to maximum glorification of God. Ultimate sanctification is the resurrection of the Church. ii. The application of sanctification is found in Heb 10:35-36, "Do not throw away as worthless your confidence, which keeps on having rich distribution of blessing; for you keep on having need of perseverance, so that when you have accomplished the will of God, you may receive the promise [escrow blessings]." iii. Compare 1 Pet 1:2, "According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by Him blood." Believers who fulfilling the unique spiritual life are being sanctified experientially. iv. Rom 15:16, "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (g) Heb 11:39-40, "And all of these, having become witnesses through faith, did not receive the promise [resurrection], because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be brought to completion." b. A better priesthood is based on virtue and values of perfect integrity. We have a better priesthood because we have a better spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the highest form of virtue and values that has ever existed or will exist in human history. Therefore, our spiritual life is absolutely different under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness. c. Our priesthood has greater escrow blessings for time and eternity. d. Our impact as priests is better because it is invisible heroship. 18. Heb 10:1-10, "For the Law, having a shadow of coming good things, but not the real image of those events, was never able with those sacrifices which they kept on offering year by year to bring to completion those who continued to approach the altar. Otherwise, they would not have ceased being offered. Why? Because the worshipers, having once been purified, would no longer be having a consciousness of sins. But in those same sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He says, `You have not willed sacrifice and offering [as a solution to the problem of sin], but a body You have prepared for Me; You have not been propitiated by whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.' At that time [the virgin birth], I said, `Behold, I have arrived (in an Old Testament scroll of a book it stands written concerning Me) to accomplish Your will, O God.' After saying the above, `Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not willed as a solution, nor been propitiated by them' (that which is being offered according to the Law), then He said, `Behold, I have arrived to do Your will.' He has rescinded the first that He might establish the second [the new covenant to the Church]. Through the agency of which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." a. The shadow offerings included the burnt offering-- propitiation with emphasis on the salvation ministry of our Lord, the food offering--propitiation with emphasis on the perfect humanity of Christ in hypostatic union, the peace offering--reconciliation, the sin offering--rebound with emphasis on the unknown sins, the trespass offering--rebound with emphasis on known sins. b. These offering were offered for 1511 years from B.C. 1441 until 70 A.D. c. God the Father prepared a human body for our Lord Jesus Christ so that our Lord would be able to carry our sins in His own body on the Cross. That was the end of the Levitical priesthood, but they would not quit offering sacrifices. d. Jesus Christ had to have a human body to be true humanity in order to become the efficacious sacrifice for sin. e. There are two whole burnt offering, Lev 1. The first is a picture of the salvation work of Christ from the standpoint of propitiation. The second is the sin offering, a picture of rebound. f. There is a new covenant to the Church which was never known to the Old Testament believers. You have a new covenant that was never known before, that never existed before. This new covenant includes a new priesthood, a new spiritual life, the filling of the Spirit, a completed canon of Scripture with mystery doctrine now revealed. (1) The new covenant of the blood of Christ was announced by our Lord at the last supper and is a part of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age. We do not have a new will and testament, but a living covenant. Our new covenant could not even be mentioned during the age of Israel. The new covenant to the Church is the best covenant because it gives the best spiritual life of all human history to the Church. (2) In Jer 31:31-34 the new covenant to Israel was given. It was revealed in the Old Testament and is not a part of the mystery doctrine of the Church. During the millennium the Jews will offer animal sacrifices as their memorial of the Cross. The Levitical offerings of the old covenant to Israel will be integrated into the new covenant to Israel, which is going to be fulfilled in the millennial reign of Christ. The new covenant to Israel takes the filling of the Holy Spirit from the new covenant to the Church because we have a better covenant. We take nothing from the new covenant to Israel because we have a better covenant. The filling of the Holy Spirit in the millennial for the new covenant to Israel is different than the filling of the Holy Spirit during the Church Age. The filling of the Holy Spirit during the millennium is designed to appreciate the presence of Jesus Christ on earth. (3) Jesus Christ became true humanity to function as a royal high priest for the Church Age believers as a universal priesthood, 1 Pet 2:5,9 "You also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." Rev 1:5-6, "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, furthermore the ruler of the kings of the earth, to Him who keeps on loving us and released us from our sins by His blood. And He made us a kingdom of priests to God and His father. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever." He is also the mediator between God and mankind, Job 9:2, 32-33. He is the mediator of the old covenant and of two new covenants. g. Sanctification has integrated you into a new covenant with God as a priest. You are confirmed as a priest by positional sanctification at the moment of salvation by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Postsalvation experiential sanctification occurs by the unique spiritual life of human history. Ultimate sanctification is the extension of our universal, royal priesthood into the eternal state. There are three agents of this sanctification: God the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2; God the Son, Heb 10:10; 1 Cor 1:2,30; Bible doctrine, Jn 17:17. G. The New Covenant to The Church. 1. There are two new covenants, one which is operational right now--the new covenant to the Church, and one which is eschatological and will not be operational until the millennial reign of our Lord. A priesthood demands a covenant. We have a new covenant to go with our priesthood. Our new covenant is based on the Eucharist. a. A covenant is defined as God's gracious promises and provisions for the Church. A covenant is a contract with a favorable disposition. The favorable disposition is our salvation, our unique spiritual life, and our resurrection. b. There are two parties in this covenant to the Church and one mediator. God the Father is one party. All Church believers are the other party. Jesus Christ is the mediator of the new covenant to the Church. 1 Tim 2:5-6, "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom substitute for all, the statement brought out in testimony of its own time." Heb 9:15, "And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place resulting in the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, those who are being called may receive the promise of an eternal inheritance [a priesthood in a resurrection body in the eternal state]." Our Lord is an intermediary between two parties to effect reconciliation and to provide special benefits [your portfolio of invisible assets] to the ones being reconciled. A mediator is an intermediary between two parties to effect reconciliation. Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God the Father by removing the barrier between God and man. c. Your spiritual life is based on what God the Father provided through the mediator, God the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit. You are insulting all three members of the Trinity when you do not execute this spiritual life. 2. The new covenant to Israel is used as an eschatological illustration to challenge us to our spiritual life in the new covenant to the Church. This is an illustration for application to the Church. a. Heb 10:15-17 quotes Heb 8:8-12 and Jer 31:33-34, part of the new covenant to Israel. "And the Holy Spirit bearing witness to us; for after He said [Heb 8:8-12], `This is the covenant that I will make with them [Israel in the millennium] after those days [Tribulation],' says the Lord. `I will put My laws upon their hearts and upon their minds I will write them [Operation Z], Both their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.'" b. Heb 10:18, "Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer an offering for sin." Jesus Christ was the offering for sin, and we are forgiven all past sins the moment we believe in Christ. There is a offering for sin in the millennium, Ezek 43:19, but not in our spiritual life under the royal priesthood of the new covenant to the Church. There is no sin offering during the Church Age. c. Heb 10:19-23, "Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way [the unique spiritual life of the Church Age] which He opened for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of doctrine, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our body washed with pure water [rebound]. Let us hold fast the acknowledgement of our hope without wavering, for He is faithful who promised." (1) Only the Levitical high priest could enter the Holy of Holies during the old covenant on the day of Atonement. But now that Jesus Christ has fulfilled the Law we can enter the Holy of Holies. (2) We, as priests, can now enter the Holy of Holies by a new and living way. The "new and living way" is the new covenant to the Church. There must be metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness and consistent use of rebound as the new and living way. The quote from Jeremiah is used to illustrate this. (3) Our Lord opened the veil for us into the Holy of Holies. Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38 says that the veil was opened at the moment of His physical death. After the destruction of Solomon's temple by Nebuchanezzer the Holy of Holies was empty. There was no ark of the covenant and no mercy seat. Jesus Christ opened the veil to let people into the empty room. The high priest kept going into an empty room and sprinkling blood from the time of Zerubbabel's temple. The veil was at least thirty feet high (Josephus says it was ninety feet high; the Midrash says it was sixty feet high; others said it was thirty feet high) and eighteen inches thick. Why was it empty? Because the Holy of Holies was no longer the Holy of Holies. It was empty to represent the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to the true Holy of Holies in heaven. It was empty because our High Priest is in heaven and there is a new covenant to the Church. When the Jews came back to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel they had to operate on Bible doctrine in the soul. The empty room meant they did not need the furniture any longer; they had a soul full of metabolized doctrine, an anchor in the soul. (4) We have an absolute confidence based on the empty room, a reminder of the importance of metabolized doctrine in the soul, Heb 6:18-20, "in order that by two immutable things [the sacred oath of God and God Himself], by which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge might have strong motivation to seize the hope [absolute confidence in the word of God] that is set before us, which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul both secure and reliable, and one which enters [the Holy of Holies] behind the veil, where Jesus, our advanced guard, has entered for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." We take refuge in the doctrine in our stream of consciousness. The Bible doctrine that fills your soul gives you a full room in the soul. The empty room behind the veil is filled by you. The anchor inside the veil is our Lord Jesus Christ. Our High Priest does not dwell between the cherubs but is seated at the right hand of the Father in the true Holy of Holies. The empty room is a reminder that we will enter the true Holy of Holies in heaven at the resurrection. (5) The "house of God" is the true Holy of Holies at the right hand of God in heaven. (6) Our hope is brought to completion by eternal security related to salvation, by the unique spiritual life of history, and by that day when our place in heaven will be fulfilled in our resurrection body, which is represented on this earth by an empty room. Tit 2:13; Rom 5:5; Rom 15:4, "...that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope." Our absolute confidence is that we as priests are operating out of the true Holy of Holies. (7) Your body is now the veil and the anchor in the soul is the indwelling of the person of Jesus Christ. Compare Col 1:27. The anchor represents a problem solving device for the storms of life. The anchor prevents the ship from drifting off course and stabilizes the ship in storms. 3. Lk 22:20, "And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, `This cup which is poured out as a substitute for you is the new covenant with My blood.'" a. This is the announcement of the new covenant to the Church, not to Israel. We provide blessing for the new covenant to Israel. The new covenant to Israel provides nothing for us. b. The new covenant to the Church supercedes the old covenant to Israel. c. The Lord's table or Eucharist was performed after the last passover meal and was separate from it. d. The new covenant to the Church is signed with the Lord's once and for all sacrifice on the Cross. 4. The priesthood of the new covenant is explained in Heb 8. a. Heb 8:1-2, "But in addition to what is being said the main point is this: we keep on having such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a priest of the Holy of Holies even the true tabernacle, which the Lord has irrevocably established, not mankind." (1) The session of our Lord is the transfer of the Holy of Holies on earth to the throne room of God in heaven. This is why the veil of the Temple was split from top to bottom to reveal an empty room. The Holy of Holies will never be moved again or be destroyed. The true Holy of Holies is irrevocably established in the third heaven forever. We have the only High Priest who has ever sat down in the presence of God the Father, compare Heb 12:2, 9:12, 7:26, 10:12. Jesus is sitting down in the true Holy of Holies because He has done everything He can for you until the Rapture of the Church. (2) The new covenant to the Church is different than the new covenant to Israel because our High Priest is seated in resurrection body in heaven. The only priesthood that will exist in the eternal state is the priesthood of all Church Age believers. (3) We have a high priest who is the only savior. He is resurrected and making intercession for us. Jesus Christ is the high priest of the new covenant to the Church. He is never a priest in Israel. The descendants of Zadok are the priests of the new covenant to Israel. Zadok was the high priest in the time of David. Jesus Christ can never be a high priest to the old covenant. Ezek 43:19, "`And you shall give to the Levitical priests who are from the descendants of Zadok, who draw near to Me to minister to Me a young bull for a sin offering,' declares the Lord God." (4) The new covenant to Israel fulfilled in the millennium is an extension of the Levitical priesthood of the old covenant. The new covenant to Israel, which is not even operational yet, can never rescind or supercede the old covenant to Israel, Heb 7:18. The new covenant to the Church supercedes the old covenant to Israel. b. Heb 8:3, "For every high priest is authorized to offer both gifts [food offerings] and [animal] sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this One also have something that He may offer." (1) Our Lord cannot offer anything in the Levitical priesthood since He is not in the tribe of Levi. He will not be a priest functioning in Israel in the millennium. He has His own priesthood in the millennium--you in a resurrection body. The only thing He has to offer is Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He offers to those who believe in Him salvation, resurrection, eternal life, a unique spiritual life, and a unique, eternal, royal, high priesthood. (2) There were five Levitical offerings. (a) The salvation offerings. i. The burnt offering, which taught salvation with emphasis on propitiation, Lev 1. ii. The food offering, which taught salvation with emphasis on the unique person of Jesus Christ in hypostatic union, Lev 2. iii. The peace offering, which taught salvation with emphasis on reconciliation, Lev 3. (b) The rebound offerings. i. The sin offering, which taught rebound with emphasis on the unknown or forgotten sins of the believer, Lev 4:13, 22, 27. ii. The trespass offering, which taught rebound with emphasis on the known sins, Lev 5. c. Heb 8:4, "If on the one hand therefore He were on earth, He would not even be a priest, for there are those who continue to offer gifts in conformity with the Law." (1) This verse shows that this epistle was written prior to the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. Our High Priest was not on earth, but already ascended and in heaven. Yet from 30-70 A.D. the Levitical priesthood kept on offering animal sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law, which had been rescinded by its fulfillment by our Lord on the Cross. (2) Jesus Christ will never be a priest to Israel in the millennium. He is not from the tribe of Levi and the Levitical priesthood will be revived during the millennium, Ezek 48:9. The priesthood of Christ is for the Church Age and eternal state only. (3) At the time of writing of Hebrews, Herod's temple was still operational with its perpetual offerings. Under the old covenant to Israel, the Mosaic Law, Jesus Christ was and always will be the royal high priest but never a Levitical priest. The descendants of Zadok, son of Aaron, was the operational priesthood under the old covenant to Israel in the past and the descendants will function as the Levitical priesthood during the millennium. Because the humanity of Christ was not descended from the tribe of Levi, He will never be qualified to serve as a priest in the millennial Temple. When Jesus Christ was appointed royal high priest forever in the divine decrees (Ps 110:14), His royal high priesthood belongs exclusively to the Church. d. Heb 8:5, "who have been and still are serving as a shadow-copy of heavenly things, just as Moses was warned when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, `See to it,' he says, `that you make all things according to the pattern which was made known to you in the mountain.'" (1) The temple and all of its functions were a shadow copy of our Lord seated in the Holy of Holies. Compare Heb 10:1, "For the Law having a shadow of coming good things but not the real image of these events." (2) The reality of the shadow copy is our Lord's work of salvation on the Cross and His session in the third heaven as the High Priest of the royal priesthood. e. Heb 8:6, "But as the case now stands He has gained a more excellent high priestly office by so much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on the basis of better promises." (1) Jesus Christ can only perform His high priestly office outside of and separated from Israel. Therefore, the high priestly function of Jesus Christ is for the Church Age only. (2) The superiority of the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ explains why there must be a new covenant to the Church. (3) He had to be a priest to offer an efficacious substitutionary sacrifice on the Cross and He had to be a mediator for reconciliation of mankind to God. (4) The superiority of the high priesthood of our Lord explains the necessity for a new covenant to the Church. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and mankind, therefore, He is the only savior of mankind. It was as mediator and royal high priest that Jesus Christ provided the efficacious, once-and-for-all sacrifice, Heb 7:26- 28, 9:13-14, 10:12-14. This sacrifice had to be offered by a priest- mediator. (5) Why is the new covenant to Israel quoted twice (Heb 8:8-12, 10:15-16) in the book of Hebrews, which deals with the new covenant to the Church? (a) It is quoted to demonstrate the doctrine that the royal high priesthood of Christ under the new covenant to the Church provides a better spiritual life for the Jews living in the millennium under the new covenant to Israel, which is a better spiritual life than the Jews had in the Old Testament. The Jews in the millennium have a better spiritual life because of the new covenant to the Church. It is the new covenant to the Church that provides the spiritual life for the new covenant to Israel. (b) The unique spiritual life of history belongs to the new covenant to the Church under the sponsorship of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, Heb 8:6. (c) It was the prototype spiritual life of the humanity of Jesus Christ as a royal high priest and mediator of the new covenant to the Church which provided the efficacious sacrifice for sin. (d) This same prototype spiritual life was given to every Church Age believer as the operational type spiritual life of the royal priesthood of the dispensation of the Church. (e) Furthermore it was the new covenant to the Church with its unique spiritual life which rescinded and superceded the old covenant to Israel. The reality replaced the shadows. (f) In rescinding the old covenant to Israel by the new covenant to the Church we now have history in contrast to prophecy. When the new covenant to Israel is fulfilled in the millennium, the two power options of that new covenant to the Church (the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine in the soul) will be given to every born again Jew as a restored client nation. (g) The blessing of the new covenant to the Church overflows to the new covenant to Israel in the millennium, Ezek 39:29; Joel 2:28-9; Zech 4:6; 12:10. We are living the spiritual life that will be given to the Jewish believers in the millennium. (6) Why is Jesus Christ unique as a high priest? (a) He is the only high priest who was appointed in eternity past, Ps 110:4. This appointment did not become operational until the virgin birth. (b) Jesus Christ is the only high priest in history to be born as Adam was created--perfect in His true humanity. This was necessary for mediatorship. (c) Jesus Christ is the only high priest in history to be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth. (d) Jesus Christ is the only high priest in history to offer one efficacious sacrifice for sin, and He did it under three principles. i. As a priest, His substitutionary atonement on the Cross resulted in propitiation, which is directed toward God. ii. As a mediator, His substitutionary atonement on the Cross resulted in reconciliation, which is directed toward mankind. iii. As impeccable humanity His substitutionary atonement on the Cross resulted in redemption, which is directed toward sin. (e) Jesus Christ is the only high priest in history to be both a priest and a mediator, 1 Tim 2:5-6; Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24. Our Lord made the decision to be a mediator. He was appointed as a high priest by God the Father. Priesthood emphasizes the work of salvation. Mediatorship emphasizes the way of salvation. (f) Jesus Christ is the greatest hendiadys of all human history, our priest-mediator. A hendiadys is a historical representation in which a complex idea is expressed by two words connected by a copulative, for example, "pastor-teacher." Another hendiadys in this context is "shadow-copy." Another hendiadys is Jesus Christ as the "God-man." (g) Jesus Christ is the only priest-mediator who is both perfect humanity and undiminished deity in one person forever. The reason for His humanity was to be a priest, to be a mediator, to be a savior, to be a son of David. (h) Jesus Christ is the only high priest in all of human history to have a resurrection body and to be living in the true Holy of Holies. 5. The new covenant to the Church rescinds and supercedes the old covenant to Israel. a. Heb 8:7, "For if that first [covenant] were faultless but it was not, there would have been no place sought for a second [the new covenant to the Church]." (1) The new covenant to the Church supercedes and rescinds the old covenant to Israel, Heb 7:17-28. Our spiritual life is the greatest reality in relationship to God that has ever existed. (2) The first covenant was not faultless because it was based on physical birth. The old covenant to Israel is rescinded and superceded by the new covenant to the Church, Heb 7:18-19. (3) The Mosaic Law could not bring anyone to salvation. The Mosaic Law does not produce the filling of the Spirit, Gal 3:2,3,5. The Mosaic Law could not bring anyone to completion spiritually. The baptism of the Holy Spirit and indwelling of the Trinity bring us to completion in the execution of our spiritual life in the Church Age. b. Heb 8:8-12, "For finding fault with them, He says `Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will bring a new covenant to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not persevere in My covenant, and I neglected them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will be giving My laws for the purpose of their thinking, and I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach every one his fellow-citizen, and every one his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," because everyone will know Me from the least to the greatest of them, because I will be merciful with reference to their wrongdoings and I will remember their sins no more.'" (1) This is a quotation from the Septuagint of Jer 3:31-34. (2) The spiritual life in every dispensation is always a system of thinking. The spiritual life is given for the purpose of thinking. You cannot think without prior cognition. If you cannot think because of no prior cognition, you have no spiritual life. The filling of the Holy Spirit is the based for the spiritual life during the dispensation of the hypostatic union, the Church Age, and the Millennium. All three dispensations have the two power options--the filling of the Spirit and metabolized doctrine in the soul. (3) Nothing of the past will ever be held against Israel. They get a fresh start in the millennium with a new spiritual life. c. Heb 8:13, "With reference to what is said, `New,' He declares the first [covenant] obsolete. Then becoming obsolete and growing old, it is near to the vanishing point." (1) The fact that the old covenant was near to vanishing at the point of time of the writing of Hebrews indicates that the new covenant to the Church superceded it. (2) The basis for rescinding the old covenant to Israel is the fact that the royal High Priest is infinitely and eternally superior to any other high priest in history. The royal high priesthood of the new covenant to the Church has provided a unique spiritual life superceding any spiritual life before. (3) We have a better High Priest, Heb 8:1-6. (a) Jesus Christ as priest-mediator is perfect and impeccable humanity in hypostatic union. (b) As our High Priest, He offered Himself as the only efficacious sacrifice, the basis for eternal salvation. (c) As mediator between God and mankind in conflict, He reconciled every human being in history who believes in Him. (d) Jesus Christ was the first High Priest in history to be filling with the Holy Spirit. (e) As our royal High Priest, Jesus Christ is the first person in history to be resurrected. (f) Only in the Church Age does our High Priest- Mediator indwell the body of every believer, Col 1:27. (4) We have a better covenant, Heb 8:6, 13. (5) We have a better temple, Heb 8:6-16; 1 Cor 6:19. (6) We have a better sacrifice, Heb 10:12, 14, "But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right had of God,...For by one offering He has brought to completion for all time those who are being sanctified." d. The second quotation of the new covenant to Israel is found in Heb 10:14-17, "For by one offering He has brought to completion for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us for our advantage; for after saying, `This is the covenant that I will make face-to-face with them after those days,' says the Lord. `I will put My laws upon their heart, and upon their mind I will write them. Both their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.'" (1) Jesus Christ is the only one qualified to offer a sacrifice for sin. He is qualified because He was born perfect and by the modus vivendi of His human life, living the prototype spiritual life with temptations beyond anything we will ever face and remaining perfect. He was qualified by the divine decrees, being appointed as a high priest in eternity past. He was qualified by making the decision to become a mediator. God the Father was satisfied with only one sacrifice for sin. He was satisfied because He imputed all of our sins to Christ for judgment. Only God the Father had to be propitiated, no one else. (2) Even though the believers of the millennium have the filling of the Spirit, they do not have a sanctification in the spiritual life such as we have. The spiritual life of the royal family of God in the Church Age is unique. The spiritual life of millennial believers has similarities, but our spiritual life is unique. Millennial believers will have a similar spiritual to that of Church Age believers, but the spiritual life of the Church Age is absolutely unique. (3) All believers will be brought to completion spiritually by resurrection, whether winner or loser believer. This quotation is given about the Jewish spiritual life in the future to indicate that we have a present spiritual life under the filling of the Spirit, indwelling of the Spirit, and faith-rest drill. Every believer is sanctified (set apart unto God for the special purpose of glorifying Him) at the moment of salvation. (4) All past failures of Israel are blotted out forever and they get a complete new start in the millennium. Salvation and rebound are common to all believers in all dispensations. Everyone is saved by faith alone in Christ alone, and everyone is restored to fellowship by the rebound technique of 1 Jn 1:9. There is no spiritual life apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. e. Heb 2:8b-10, "But now we do not yet see all things having been subjected to Him. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, having been crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of [spiritual] death, that by the grace of God He might taste death as a substitute for all. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to bring to completion the leader of their salvation through sufferings." (1) The ultimate of the spiritual life is occupation with Christ, but first you must learn and use the power options, the spiritual skills and the problem solving devices. (2) Christ tasting death was His substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross. (3) Our Lord is the leader and originator of our spiritual life and he brings us to completion in our spiritual life just as He was brought to completion in His spiritual life. Being brought to completion begins at salvation, continues in our spiritual life, and ends in our resurrection. Compare Heb 12:2 (see below). 6. Heb 9:11-15, "But when Christ arrived on the scene a high priest of the good things that have come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; but not through the blood of goats and young bulls, but through His own blood, He entered the Holy of Holies once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the purpose of the purity of the flesh [and they did], how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the agency of the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were (committed) under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." a. Jesus Christ is the anchor inside the veil. He has been brought to completion by His spiritual life, by His efficacious sacrifice for sin, and by His resurrection. He is the only human high priest seated at the right hand of God in the true Holy of Holies in resurrection body. The greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands is the true Holy of Holies in heaven. b. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of a young bull once for himself, Lev 16:11, and he entered a second time with the blood of a goat for the sins of the people. These sacrifices were a picture of substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord offered Himself as a willing sacrifice. Reality replaced the Old Testament ritual. c. The dispensation of the hypostatic union is a wall between the Old Testament spiritual life and the royal priesthood of the Church with its unique spiritual life. The shadow offerings are replaced by the efficacious offering of our High Priest. The blood of animals could not save. They could only teach the reality of the future offering of Christ Himself as the salvation offering for sin. d. Heb 9:1-5, "Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle, the first room was prepared, in which the lampstand, the table of shewbread; this was classified the holy place. And behind the second veil, there was a sacred room. This was classified the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holing the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant. And above it were the cherubs of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail." e. The lid on the ark of the covenant is called the mercy seat because of Rom 3:22-25, "even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe, (for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God has publicly displayed a mercy seat through faith in His blood, a demonstration of His righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins previously committed." (The phrase "by the forbearance of God" belongs to verse 26.) All personal sins of human history are passed over by God until all sins could be poured out on Christ on the Cross for judgment. f. The efficacious substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross is greater than the shadow offerings of the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. Therefore it follows with stronger reason that the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ has an infinitely greater doctrinal significance. The high priesthood of Jesus Christ has the greatest offering from the greatest power of the greatest spiritual life that has ever existed. If God accomplished the greater at the Cross, it follows a fortiori, that the lesser can be accomplished in the postsalvation spiritual life of every royal priest through the same spiritual mechanics that Christ used to endure the Cross. If God accomplished the greater at the Cross, it follows a fortiori, that He can provide the lesser in the unique spiritual life of all human history. g. Heb 12:2, "Be concentrating on Jesus, the leader- originator of our doctrine, who because of His exhibited happiness He endured the Cross, disregarding the shame, then He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." The result is a unique and universal royal priesthood of the Church Age. In 1 Pet 2:5 we are called a holy priesthood, set apart unto God. In 1 Pet 2:9 we are called a royal priesthood. In Rev 1:6 we are called a kingdom of priests. This is why there was an empty room in the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem. 7. The Empty Room and the Sacred Temple of the Church Age. You are the sacred temple of the Church Age. God the Holy Spirit indwells your body and creates a temple for the indwelling of Christ. This is the basis for a phenomenal spiritual life. a. The indwelling of God the Holy Spirit provides a temple, a sacred building for the indwelling of Christ as the Shekinah Glory. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in indwelling. (1) 1 Cor 3:16, "Do you not know that you are a temple [sanctuary, sacred building] of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (2) 1 Cor 6:19, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" The only sacred room on earth is your body after salvation. The only sacred room in heaven is at the right hand of the Father. b. The prophecy of the indwelling of Christ, Jn 14:20, "In that day [Church Age] you shall come to know that I am with My Father [session], and you are in Me [baptism of the Holy Spirit], and I in you [indwelling of Christ in the body of every believer]." (1) The Greek preposition EN plus the instrumental of association indicates that a second party (in this case Jesus Christ) furnishes the means by which our association with God the Father takes place. (2) Our Lord is not in the Father, He is with the Father. Our high priest [the humanity of Christ] is at the right hand of the Father in the Holy of Holies. The disciples would come to know this because the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem remained an empty room. (3) Jn 14:26 is the application, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." c. The cognition test relates to the sacred building of the Church Age, 2 Cor 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the doctrine; examine yourselves! Or do you not know this about yourselves [from metabolized doctrine], that Christ is in you--unless you fail the test?" (1) You are a priest, which means you have a responsibility to God that can only be fulfilled by your responsibility to yourself. You have a responsibility to yourself to test yourself to see if you understand Bible doctrine. You have the right in privacy to determine your own status spiritually. The spiritual life is a private matter between you and God. You are free to live your spiritual life in private before God. Taking responsibility means correcting yourself when you are wrong. (2) In the spiritual life you have to understand yourself and know when you failing. You examine yourself in the mirror of the word of God in your soul. But you do not have a mirror in your soul unless you have Bible doctrine resident in the seven compartments of your stream of consciousness. (3) You have to know that Christ indwells your body as He indwelt the sacred Temple. If you do not know that you are indwelt by Christ and the purpose for it, then you have failed the test. d. The believer can execute the divine mandate of 2 Cor 13:5 because he is a priest. e. From the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, our mentor and our teacher, we learn about the indwelling of Jesus Christ, our High Priest and Shekinah Glory, resulting in the transformation of our lives. 2 Cor 3:17-18, "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord [is, there is] freedom. But we all, with unveiled face looking into a mirror to produce a reflection--the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory [the prototype spiritual life of our Lord] to glory [the operational spiritual life of the Church Age], as it were by the agency of the Lord, the Spirit." (1) The word "Lord" here is used for the deity of the Holy Spirit. (2) Where is the Holy Spirit located during the Church Age? Indwelling your body to create a new Holy of Holies. (3) You have freedom to live the spiritual life because God the Holy Spirit indwells your body. You have a freedom as a believer that no one can ever take from you though people may try through gossip, legalism, and other things. Only you can destroy your spiritual freedom. (4) We are being transformed into the same spiritual life which our Lord had during the Incarnation. Our spiritual life is an image of His spiritual life. (5) Our spiritual life is unveiled because there is no fading glory in the spiritual life of the Church Age. If you live the spiritual life, it is not a fading glory, but an increasing glory and will reach its peak in the resurrection body of the eternal state. f. There is only one sacred building or temple in the Church Age--the believer's body, Col 1:27, "to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the absolute confidence of glory." g. The motivation from the indwelling of Christ is related to the indwelling of the Spirit, 1 Jn 3:23-24. (a) Your soul can either be an empty room with no doctrine or it can be filled with the greatest things that have existed in the history of the human race. The soul of the believer is the sacred room in the Church Age. The believer is the only sacred building during the Church Age. Jesus Christ as God indwells the body of every believer ("Christ in you, the confidence of glory"). Your body becomes a sacred body because God the Holy Spirit indwells your body to make it a temple of God. (b) Jeremiah made a great prophecy about the new covenant to Israel concerning the ark of the covenant not being remembered during the millennium, Jer 3:16, "`And it shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,' declares the Lord, `that people shall no longer say, "The ark of the covenant of the Lord." It will never even enter their minds or be remembered. It will not be missed nor will another one ever be made.'" In the millennium there will be a temple and a priesthood, but there will be an empty Holy of Holies because the reality is in the person of Christ. The ark of the covenant has not existed since 586 B.C. and will never exist again. The ark was created by the enduement of the Holy Spirit and could never be duplicated once destroyed. (c) The message of Jeremiah to Israel is that in the future they will not need the ark of the covenant. They will know the doctrine in their souls. The new covenant to Israel is that the law of God will be in their minds and written in their hearts. The Holy of Holies is empty because the Jews in the millennium have Bible doctrine in their souls. 8. The Empty Room and the Sacred Temple of the Millennium. a. There is a new temple constructed in the millennium, but it is not a sacred building. It is described in Ezek 40-44. It has a Holy Place, a veil, and an empty Holy of Holies. b. It is an empty room because believers in the millennium will have a similar but not the same as spiritual life of the Church Age. The empty room represents the spiritual life of the millennium. Ezek 39:29 and Joel 2:28 explain the spiritual life and resultant empty room of the millennial Temple. (1) Ezek 39:29, "`And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall pour out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' declares the Lord God." (2) Joel 2:28, "And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions." c. The Lord first pours out His Spirit on all Israel, and then on all mankind. He can do this because every person who comes out of the Tribulation alive will be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. d. The empty room in the millennial Temple indicates that the spiritual life of Israel in the millennium is related to the new covenant to Israel. The New Covenant to Israel is a prophecy that describes the spiritual life of Israel in the millennium. We have a unique spiritual life in the Church Age that is greater than the spiritual life of the millennium, but we do have one thing in common-- the filling of the Holy Spirit. The empty room indicates that the two spiritual lives a similar but not the same. e. Heb 8:10 quotes Jer 31:33 concerning the New Covenant to Israel, "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days [Tribulation],' says the Lord. `I will put My laws in their minds; I will write them upon their hearts, then I will be their God and they shall be My people.'" This explains the revival of the Levitical priesthood and sacrifices during the millennium. This also explains the total forgetfulness of the ark of the covenant during the millennium, Jer 3:16. It will not be missed, nor will another ark ever be made. f. The true Holy of Holies of the millennial Temple is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth as the God of Israel, as the Shekinah Glory. 
  • Catholics confess their sins to priests because as it is clearly stated in Sacred Scripture - God in the Person of Jesus Christ authorized the priests of His church to hear confessions and empowered them to forgive sins in His Name. To the Apostles, the first priests of His Church, Christ said: "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20:21-23) Then again: "Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 18:18) Catholics confess their sins to priests because priests are God's duly authorized agents in the world, representing Him in all matters pertaining to the ways and means of attaining eternal salvation. When Catholics confess their sins to a priest they are, in reality, confessing their sins to God, for God hears their confessions and it is He who, in the final analysis, does the forgiving. If their confessions are not sincere, their sins are not forgiven.
  • probably when people confess what they did wrong

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