Archive for February 20, 2013


tide-blood-stain-shirtHebrews 9_the _power_of_the_bloodJerry Seinfeld poked fun at laundry detergent commercials in one of his comedy routines. He’s particularly amazed at the commercial that boasts in the power of Tide. Tide is so powerful it can remove even the toughest of bloodstains – to which Jerry Seinfeld responds, “Hey, if you’ve got bloodstains on your clothes, laundry detergent isn’t your biggest problem”.

Lets’s review a bit about Hebrews 8 and then examine what questions we will answer in Hebrews 9.

1. Our High Priest is a Minister – to God first, then to Man

Main Point of Hebrews 8That is the main point of Hebrews!

2. He Delights in Bringing Us into the Majesty

His delight is to bring man into the Majesty. As we will see, God’s desire has always been to dwell among men in righteous fellowship. While He cannot do that until this world is finally redeemed and transformed, Jesus makes it possible for us to dwell with God in righteous fellowship. Jesus Christ brings us into the presence of the majesty. He doesn’t just bless us like the old Priest did. He places God in us! In the Majesty, we enjoy God’s concern and blessing. All because of our Minister. His ministry is founded upon better promises and a better covenant.

MInistry to the MajestyNow to Hebrews 9:1-14. However, in order to better understand Hebrews 9, we must look at verses 13 & 14 first.

The practical & powerful effect of Christ’s “better ministry” is given in these words, “to purify your conscience from dead works”. The problem that is faced in this passage, therefore, is how to handle a guilty conscience.

3. WHAT IS OUR PROBLEM?

Our problem is the effect our sin has upon our conscience. You may think the conscience is:

  1. “That still, small voice that makes you feel smaller still.”
  2. “It is that which feels bad when everything else feels good.”
  3. Conscience is that internal voice that sits in judgment over our will.

Our Problem is our ConscienceHowever, God reveals the power of our Conscience in the New Testament. Just how important is our Conscience? The vitality and power of our Christian walk depend upon a Good Conscience!

Conscience is described in the New Testament as Good, Clear, Evil or Seared:
  • Pure Heart & Sincere Faith is anchored by a Good conscience (1 Tim 1:5)
  • Your conscience can shipwreck your faith (1 Tim 1:19)
  • Faith flows from a clear conscience (1 Tim 3:9)
  • Seared conscience produces liars (1 Tim 4:2)
  • Clear conscience is foundation of honorable behavior (Heb 13:18)
  • Good conscience is the best defense against slander (1 Peter 3:16)
  • Our conscience bears witness with our heart when we transgress God’s moral law (Rom 2:15)
  • Our consciences can sense the truth of a minister (2 Cor 4:2)
  • Pure conscience is power in prayer (2 Tim 1:3)
  • Someone with a good conscience sees the good. An evil conscience produces unbelief and agnosticism (Titus 1:15)
  • A Conscience can’t be cleared by gifts or sacrifices or good works (Heb 9:9)
  • Only the blood of Jesus can clean us of an evil conscience (Heb 10:22)

Clearly God designed our conscience to be much more than what we normally think it is. I believe that our conscience is key to our mental health, our depression, even some conditions such as bi-polar and other psychoses. The world attempts to deal with our conscience through pills, drugs, music, sex and possessions. However, nothing works with the power of the Blood of Christ!

The sad truth is that our conscience can be conditioned, which the Bible describes as becoming “seared” and even “evil”.

4. How Does Christ Deal With Our Problem?

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14

Only the Blood can purify our conscience
The problem with the Hebrews is not wrongdoing, but dead works
. They know how to confess their sins. That aspect of a troubled conscience can easily be taken care of by Christians as they accept the forgiving grace of God. But the problem here is a conscience plagued with guilt over good left undone – not sins of commission, but sins of omission. They have launched a program of intensive religious activity, which may range from bead counting and candle burning to serving on committees, passing our tracts, and teaching Sunday school classes. But as anyone who has become super busy in churchy activities, they never really satisfy, and indeed, they can leave us wanting more. We may even find ourselves wondering what did it accomplish, what good was done.

but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:7-10

The Entrance to the Tabernacle

What difference is there in a pagan who crawls endlessly down a road to placate God, and an American Christian who busies himself in a continual round of activity to try to win a sense of acceptance before God?

“I don’t know what the matter with me is. I do all I can to serve the Lord but I still feel guilty, and then I feel guilty about feeling guilty”

It is discouraging to think that much of our activity is “dead works” and that such effort is not acceptably serving God. The problem is not what we do; it is not the activity itself, because under the Law, there was a God authorized place of activity.

5. How Shall We Worship and Work for God?

a.  Look Beyond the Fleshly Substitutes!

tentofmeeting-480The Diagram of the TabernacleIn the tabernacle everything points to the holiness of God & the sinfulness of man! – In fact, no one could enter God’s presence without the shedding of blood! The very first thing you saw as you entered the court of the Tabernacle was the Brazen Altar, with the continually burning fire, the smell of burning flesh, the copious amounts of blood. To enter the Tabernacle was to be confronted with your sinfulness!

The 1st part (The Holy Place) – Lampstand (menorah); Table of showbread. (also the golden incense altar). Behind the 2nd veil (the Holy of Holies) – Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark was the

  • Pot of manna – God’s miraculous loving care to feed them in the wilderness for many years. God’s (Hesed) Steadfast Love!
  • The Stone Tablets of the Law – God’s (Mishpat) Justice!
  • Aaron’s rod that budded – God’s (Tsedaqah) Righteousness that brings Life!

In the Ark was Testimony to the three things that God Practices here on Earth (Jeremiah 9:24)!

Tabernacle Articles-crop_lampstand (1)

b. Every Part of the Tabernacle Breathed Jesus Christ!
  • Tabernacle (And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us);
  • Lamp stand (light of the world);
  • Showbread (I am the bread of life);
  • Veil (which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh);
  • Mercy seat (redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation);
  • Manna (I am the bread of life);
    • Loving provision from God-Mercy
  • Tablets/stone (perfectly fulfilled) – Justice God’s Way
    • Word of God
  • Aaron’s rod (Jesus the High Priest); – Righteousness
    • Life from death
    • Ark stepping into the Jordan River

The Tabernacle and the CorssAll of these objects and activities were God-designed and God regulated, but they were only shadows of the REALITY of CHRIST!

6. Realize there can be no faith in works to clear your guilt (6-10)

What an endless repetition of sacrifices & ritual. Every day, & year by year…which meant nothing permanent was ever accomplished!

a. We see limited access & limited efficacy (effectiveness!)
    • Regulations only benefited the body-no change in the inner man.
    • Regulations are of no value to God. God has no delight in rituals-Heb 10:6
    • Result was continual labor in search for peace.
      • Like a man who buys new clothes every time he needs a bath.
      • Total Worthlessness of Outward observances.
      • David saw it in Ps 51:16-17 (Man after God’s Own Heart)
b. (vs 9) Their consciences would know no relief!

„ “Many people have only their bad memory to thank for their clear conscience!”

„ “The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all physicians of all the countries of the world.”

Adolf Hitler verleiht Albert Speer Fritz-Todt-RingAlbert Speer was once interviewed about his book on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Speer was the Hitler confidant whose technological genius was credited with keeping Nazi factories humming throughout WWII. In another era he might have been one of the world’s industrial giants. He was the only one of 24 war criminals tried in Nuremberg who admitted his guilt. Speer spent 20 years in Spandau prison. During the interview, Speer was asked, “You have said the guilt can never be forgiven, or shouldn’t be. Do you still feel that way?” The look of pathos on Speer’s face was wrenching as he responded, “I served a sentence of 20 yrs, & I could say, ‘I’m a free man, my conscience has been cleared by serving the whole time as punishment.’ But I can’t do that. I still carry the burden of what happened to millions of people during Hitler’s lifetime, & I can’t get rid of it. This new book is part of my atoning, of clearing my conscience.” The interviewer pressed the point. “You really don’t think you’ll be able to clear it totally?” Speer shook his head. “I don’t think it will be possible.” – For 35 yrs Speer had accepted complete responsibility for his crime. His writings were filled w/contrition & warnings to others to avoid his moral sin. He desperately sought expiation. All to no avail.   (Charles Colson; Who Speaks for God”; pg.76, 77)

7. Step into Guilt Free Worship and Service – through the Power of the Blood of Christ  (11-15)

The Good News of Christ means the need for copies is past! We are to embrace the “reality” that the Holy Spirit points us toward-full forgiveness of sins through the New Covenant. This results in intimacy with God, the Majesty, for we are in Jesus Christ! This guilt-free worship is dependant not upon my works, but the works of Jesus Christ!

  •  Activity adds nothing to our acceptance before God.
  • „ God Loves us because He is Love and He loves His Son!
  • „ God accepts you only if you are in His Son!

„ SERVING IS NO MORE DUTY, IT IS DELIGHT!

8. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE BLOOD OF JESUS COMPLETELY SATISFIES GOD ABOUT YOU!

„ When-I-see-the-Blood-Jesus-on-the-CrossWhat was the contrast between Jesus Christ & the old system?

  • What He offered! – His own blood (12).
  • Where He offered it! – In Heavens Tabernacle (11, 12).
  • How often? – Once & for all (12).
  • With what Results? – Eternal Redemption & Eternal Inheritance (12, 15).

His Blood provides 3 Eternals! – Eternal Redemption! – Eternal Spirit! – Eternal Inheritance!

It was so with Jesus Christ. It was his death on Calvary that made him the master of our souls. “There is power in the blood.”

Jesus Christ is both our Passover Lamb and our Scapegoat. He has satisfied the Holy and Righteous demands of Jehovah God through HIs sinless sacrifice. He also took upon Him all our sins, as our scapegoat!

9. So NOW, How does the Blood impact our Worship and Service?

Continually cleanse your conscience – in the Blood of Jesus.

You only be cleansed once, because He only offered ONE sacrifice. After your initial justification, you need only live in the power of the Blood of Christ. All you need do is acknowledge the truth of God’s Word and the truth of your failure to obey, and know that the you Minister Jesus Christ is faithful to continually forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, for that is the Power of His Blood!

Instead of constantly focusing on our failures, we should focus on Jesus Christ, as we walk with our Minister. As we walk with Him, we will find continual cleansing through the power of His blood!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9

Your conscience acts as a barrier to God’s presence. Satan uses it to accuse you and diminish your confidence in God. Your conscience cannot be nullified by your will or your efforts.„ You can muffle it for a time.„ But it can only be silenced with Christ’s cleansing! Satan is speechless in the presence of the Holy One!

Scapegoat HuntWe are meant to be the dwelling of God…the Holy of Holies!

„ Rev.21:3, 4 “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Today…Lay your hands on Jesus’ head as your scapegoat! Confess your sins. He will take them away today! He will continually take them away, because He is your Minister and His delight is to bring you to the Majesty!

Jesus Christ took the impact for our sin, and his blood now permanently covers our lives.[2]

[1] John Stott

[2] Jeffrey Ebert in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.

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Hebrews-this-is-the-main-point
What is the Main Point of Hebrews? Hebrews 8 is the pivotal chapter in this “Better Book.”

Now the main point of what is being said is this: We have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister …Hebrews 8:1-2a

    • We have (this kind)
    • of High Priest
      • Right hand (Place of honor)
      • Throne
      • Majesty
      • Heaven
    • a Minister (vs 2)Main Point of Hebrews 8

The important thing for us to take away this morning, is not that we have a high priest, not that the High Priest is Jesus, not that He is indestructible, not that He is even beside the Majesty in heaven. The important thing we must see is that He is THIS KIND OF HIGH PRIEST – a MINISTER!

How you see Jesus Christ will determine your success as a disciple, as a Christian and as a Kingdom subject. If we can view Him as He is for us, then we will see that He places us (in all our humanity) in the very presence of the Majesty!

The Minister of the Sanctuary

holy tabernacleHebrews 8:2 describes Jesus as the “minister of the sanctuary” It further describes this Sanctuary as the “True Tabernacle”

Minister (liturgy) = Service to God and to Man

We Need to grip into our hearts “What is that Service?” and fully see “What is His Ministry?”

Sanctuary = True Tabernacle

  • Sanctuary is “hagion” meaning “holy place”.
  • It could refer to the Holy of Holies, but in this context, it has a bigger place in view-because we see the throne of the “Majesty of the heavens”

Holy Place = True Dwelling of God

  • Jesus is the minister of the true dwelling
  • His ministry involves providing for the majesty
  • His ministry involves providing for man

Minister_of_true_tabernacleJesus Christ is the Minister at the very Center of God’s Creation.

  • „ He alone provides what God’s Holiness required.
  • „ He alone provides what man requires.

„ He alone increases the “Majesty of the Heavens” by bringing increase to man.

Jesus is at the throne of the Majesty, serving as a minister to God and to Man. As a minister, He is providing something that is life changing. His ministry magnifies the Majesty by providing for you and me. If the Holy Spirit brings this truth into your heart, it will literally stop it in awe. This goes far beyond what we normally see.

  • Do not get caught up in the shadow.
  • Do not limit your faith to the physical.
  • Do not fall in love with the building,
  • You will miss the Majesty!

Verse 9: For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. (KJV –regarded them not).

They were given a covenant, a means of living with the Majesty and Power of God, yet they chose not to continue in it. So God showed no concern for them.

The important thing we need to take away is what Jesus is doing as MINISTER and how understanding that will change the way you live your life! Chapter 8 has an impact that will change the way you view Christianity.

This morning, the Holy Spirit wants to show you something that will bring vitality and power to your life, as well as open your eyes to the Majesty, and will reveal to your heart how you can always know He regards your life with concern!

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6

More excellent: to be superior, better[1] (Heb. 1:4; 8:6).

What was the result of the ministry of the earthly High Priests?

Purpose of Minister (1)God could put His Name on the people and Bless them…

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27

Result: They shall put my name upon them and the people would be BLESSED!

  • The Old Covenant administered by the Priests resulted in what?-God’s Blessing!
What was the problem with this?
  • You could lose God’s Blessing
  • God’s blessing was conditioned upon your obedience.
  • God’s concern and care was conditioned upon my continuing to be in right standing with the Priests.
  • People started elevating the Priests and the Place of Worship
How do we know this?
  • More concerned about where to worship rather than who (this was what the woman at the well brought up to Jesus)
  • More concerned about beauty of building than the beauty of the one you worship (The Pharisees screamed blasphemy when Jesus said he would build the temple again after three days. They thought He was referring to their beautiful Temple)
  • Allow the Priest to do whatever he wants, even if it corrupted the worship (This is mentioned in Malachi)

What did the Old Law and High Priest fail to provide the People?

Christ ministers a New HeartA New Heart

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. Hebrews 8:10-11

Two Betters – the Basis of his “more excellent” Ministry.

A. Better Covenant

Window to the MajestyBasis of better Covenant – blood of God’s Son, sinless sacrifice, God Himself was torn asunder.

Read Genesis 15 – With Abraham, God guaranteed His Word with His Strength and His Promise, that He would be torn asunder just like the animal sacrifice if He failed to perform. Jesus proved His power by allowing Himself to be torn asunder to satisfy the Holy demands of His Father, therefore proving to us there was nothing left to be done. The promise would stand for all eternity, for Jesus had already been torn asunder.

  • The basis of a Covenant is the ability to deliver! Christ’s Covenant is not subject to ‘Act of Terrorism’ or ‘Act of Nature’ clauses.

B. Better Promises

Basis of a promise-strength, ability, what that promise cost, trust in the ability to deliver!

1.    Is your Faith in Christ resting in His Better Promises?

    • The Promise of the Holy Spirit

And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Luke 24:49

    • Promised in the Old Testament

until the Spirit from heaven is poured out on us. Then the desert will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest. Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. Isaiah 32:15-17

    • The Holy Spirit will teach you all things

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26

    • He is our Seal

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13

2.  Are You In Constant Connection with our Minister?

He is constantly calling and encouraging, but you must see Him by faith! You must answer His call by faith! Do not make excuses, for you have a NEW HEART! If you fail to respond to His calling, then perhaps you do not, and your Christian Life is fake, devoid of His ministry!

The Result – HIS SURPASSING MINISTRY!

The True Meaning of His Better Ministry

MInistry to the Majesty1.    Provision for Us

  • They will “Know me in themselves

And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

2.    Provision for God

God’s Holiness was never compromised as He showed sinful men mercy and forgiveness, for the Better Ministry of Jesus Christ meant that the righteous demands of His holiness could be met and satisfied, thus allowing His Glory to be maintained even in mercy!

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:11-12

So What Does His Surpassing Ministry Mean for You?

As long as you abide in Christ, you are in the Presence of God even NOW! If you turn to yourself and rely on you flesh for righteousness, you are settling for your own glory, and missing out on the majesty! This is why we must apply the truth and message of Hebrews 8 to our lives, so that we may continue to abide in the power of the Blood!

1. The What

of Hebrews 8 is that we now have a Minister, a very powerful minister who has the power and ability to bring us into the presence of the Majesty through His better covenant and promises. (This is the Way of Jesus)

2. The So What

that will bring backbone to our Christian walk in the form of the Truth is that we are in the very Presence Of The Majesty in Jesus Christ! This is truth that defies our rational thought, our sighted walk. This is truth that only Faith can visualize and touch! (This is the Truth of Jesus that sets us Free)

  • Through Christ and His ministry to us,  God can shower us with care and concern, even when we sin!

3. The  Now What

We now live with a clear vision of the Ministry of Jesus Christ, that He brings us into the presence of the Majesty even when we fail, even when we are diseased, even when we are down and distressed. The Majesty is where we live and breathe! In Jesus Christ! This is the Life of Jesus-that we have His Life regardless of our circumstances!

What do we count on when we are in the presence of the Majesty?

  • Know that in His presence, He regards you and He is concerned for you. He cares for you! Just as He cares for His Son!
How do you actuate the Promise of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Be Diligent to experience Him no matter the Circumstance!

  • Know Me in the majesty
  • Know me in the tragedy
  • Know me in the mediocrity
  • Know me in your family

We must keep the windows of our Heavenly Minister clean, so that we may always see that we are living in the presence of the Majesty! We must focus on the Better Promises rather than the world, and we must focus on His body and blood as our righteousness!

Do not let this be the epithet of your Christian Life:

HE DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR HIM, SAYS THE LORD. Hebrews 8:9

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[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “diaphoros”.