Insights #13 Dec. 28, 2013
Fourth Quarter 2013 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
“Exhortations From the Sanctuary”
For the week of December 28, 2013
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:19-25.
“From the Holy of Holies, there goes on the grand work of instruction. The angels of God are communicating to men. Christ officiates in the sanctuary. We do not follow Him into the sanctuary as we should. Christ and angels work in the hearts of the children of men. The church above, united with the church below, is warring the good warfare upon the earth. There must be a purifying of the soul here upon the earth, in harmony with Christ's cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven. There we shall see more clearly as we are seen. We shall know as we are known.” 15MR 24.
God’s purpose of the “grand work of instruction,” what our lesson this week calls “exhortations,” is that we enter into the Most Holy experience with Christ. The key that opens this door, or veil, is the humanity of Christ. Only the Creator could enter in with such depth into the human experience, “tempted in all points” like as we are, yet without sin.
The Greek word for flesh in Hebrews 10:20 is sarx, which has among other meanings the following:
The sensuous nature of man, “the animal nature”
i. without any suggestion of depravity
ii. the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin
iii. the physical nature of man as subject to suffering
Now most of us have no problem with (i) and (iii), but when it comes to (ii), we become a little nervous, because the root for the battle for the mind and heart often lies right here.
We tend to blame our great desire or longing for sin on some depravity, habit, or tendency (hereditary or cultivated) in such a way that we are exempted from the experience of Jesus in denying sin.
But look at these verses:
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires (craving, onging) and enticed.Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:12-15
If this is the way in which temptation comes to mankind, then the point of denial of self for us and for Christ as our representative is at the point of saying “no” to sinful desires, aborting the growth of desire into sin. When we sin, it is often because we view the ownership of these problematic desires as ours apart from our Sin-bearer, who has already died to those desires as us.
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Is. 53:6
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor 5:14,15
He who redeemed all humanity took all of our sinful desire and laid it upon the Sin Bearer, who became sin for us and died the ultimate death of self-denial, without ever submitting to the forceful power of those desires.
The faith Jesus had in trusting in His Father while dying this ultimate death to sin as the Representative of the race is linked to His faith in us as He looked for the reward of our responsive faith in Him.
Truly then, as we enter in to this appreciation of how close Christ has united Himself to us, we gladly let His mind, His faith, be in us. He alone brings sincerity of heart, assurance of faith, cleansing from an evil conscience, and purification of the body. As we might infer from Revelation 14:12, we must have the Faith of Jesus in order to keep the Commandments of God.
Exploring and sharing this message of righteousness by faith, the Faith of Jesus, is the best way to “stir up love and good works,” as we gather together to study these things.
“By this true faith every soul who is of this true faith can certainly know that in him and in his life transgression is finished and an end of sins made, that reconciliation is made for all the iniquity of his life, and that everlasting righteousness is brought in to reign in his life for evermore. This he can know with perfect certainty, for the Word of God says so, and true faith cometh by hearing the Word of God.
“All who are of this true faith can know all this just as truly as they can know that Christ is at the right hand of the throne of God. They can know it just as truly as they can know that He is Priest upon that throne. They can know it just as truly as they can know that He is there a "minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man." and all this can be known just as truly as any statement of the Word of God can be known, for the Word of God plainly states it all.
“Therefore in this time let every believer in Jesus rise up in the strength of this true faith, implicitly trusting the merit of our great High Priest in His holy ministry and intercession for us.
“In the confidence of this true faith, let every believer in Jesus take a long breath of restfulness forever, in thankfulness to God that this thing is accomplished, that transgression is finished in your life, that you are done with the wicked thing forever, that an end of sins is made in your life and that you are free from it forever, that reconciliation for iniquity is made, and that you are cleansed from it forever by the precious blood of sprinkling, and that everlasting righteousness is brought into your life to reign forevermore, to uphold you, to guide you, to save you in the fulness of that eternal redemption which, through the blood of Christ, is brought to every believer in Jesus our great High Priest and true Intercessor.
“And then in the righteousness, the peace, and the power of this true faith, let every soul who knows it spread abroad to all people and to the end of the world the glorious news of the priesthood of Christ, of the cleansing of the sanctuary, of the finishing of the mystery of God, of the times of refreshing come, and of the soon coming of the Lord 'to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe . . . in that day' and to 'present to Himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing' but 'holy and without blemish.'” 1905 ATJ, CWCP 127-8.