Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 50
Hebrews 7:20 – 8:10
We just trust that you can sit down and study your Scriptures with us. And as the Bereans of old in the Book of Acts searched the Scriptures daily, they did this to show that the Word of God was true. And that’s all we ask. We don’t try to force people to agree with us. I always have a cliche that I’ve used for many, many years. ‘Convince a man against his will and he’s unconvinced still.’ So, we just trust that the Holy Spirit will do the work.
Alright, I think we’re ready to get back into Hebrews chapter 7 and we’re still on this priesthood of Christ after the order of Melchisedec. Remembering, I’ve got to keep repeating it, that we’re dealing primarily with Jewish people who were still having a hard time separating themselves from any part of Judaism. And that’s understandable. You know, it’s no different for people today, especially if they’ve been in a cult and they’ve been brainwashed for a lifetime. And then to see these truths and all of that that they’ve been taught was contrary to Scripture. So it’s not easy to just turn their backs on what they’ve been taught for years.
And so, this is exactly the mentality of these Jews. They’d been steeped in Judaism, the Old Testament, and then to have to accept the fact that all that has been fulfilled, it’s got to be laid aside; it wasn’t easy. So always keep that in mind, but at the same time remember, as Paul writes in Romans, that all these things were written for our learning. So I trust we are, even as we study Hebrews, learning a lot of the things that pertain even to us today. Alright, so let’s just jump in at verse 25 where we finished the last half-hour, but use it as a flow.
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him. (in other words, by believing that finished work of the Cross) seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Now I didn’t really get time to comment on that last part of the verse. But it’s just simply to tell us that God will never stop being all that we need. Even when we get to that eternal state when there’s no longer the necessity for interceding for us as we struggle through this life. Yet, the confidence that we have is that this relationship with our great high priest will never end. It is forever and ever and ever.
Now then, we can go into verse 26.
“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;”
Now if you’ll just analyze that for a moment, could any of that apply to a priest of Levi? No. No human can measure up to this. This was something that only Christ Himself could fulfill. And that’s the kind of a high priest we have. He is harmless, undefiled, totally separated from sinners. He didn’t have that old sin nature that we’re born with. He was always God. And of course, “…made higher than the heavens.” Now then, verse 27.
“Who needeth not daily, as those high priests,…”
See how this is constantly showing us that he’s talking to Jews. And they knew the role of the priesthood in Judaism. The ordinary priest who went in the daily ministrations of the sanctuary from the altar out there at the gate and then stopped at the laver of cleansing. And then into the little front room of the sanctuary wherein there was the table of showbread that had to be changed every day. And the candleholder that had to be trimmed and filled with oil every day. The altar of incense, that had to be kept burning with incense. And that was their routine day in and day out from the human element. And, of course, when they died someone else would have to take their place. Alright, but every day they would have to go through the ritual of this maintaining the temple worship.
“…to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, (because they too were sinners, even though they were priests.) and then for the people’s.(the Nation of Israel. But Christ didn’t have to do this) for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
Now I’ve always stressed when I teach Hebrews, look for the number of times where it tells us that Christ did these things “once.” Once for all, as the old hymn put it. So “for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” And we’re going to see in another chapter where the blood of animals, bulls and goats couldn’t do it but His singular sacrifice finished everything. Verse 28.
“For the law (the Mosaic Law) maketh men high priests who have infirmity; (they’re human. They’re going to sin, they’re going to fail and one day they’re going to die and they’re out of the priesthood.) but the word of the oath, which was since the law,…” In other words, His priesthood kicked in after the work of the Cross, not before. And I mentioned in the last program, that it’s on this side of the Cross that our salvation is consummated because He had to die. He had to be buried. And He had to arise in resurrection power in order for our salvation to be possible.
Now, a lot of folks have a hard time understanding that I maintain that the Four Gospels cannot have our Gospel of Grace in them because Christ hadn’t died yet. I think some try to come back with “Well, they must have known that He was going to.” Oh did they? Turn back with me to Luke 18 and let the Scripture speak for itself, and this isn’t the only place, this is just one of the easier ones to remember.
So if you’re ever appealing to some lost person on some of these things and they come back and say “Oh well, they must have known that He was going to die. They knew that He was going to rise from the dead.” No they didn’t. They had no idea. Now granted the Old Testament did; now after the fact, see we can go back into the Old Testament and we can see that it was evident that Christ would die and be resurrected, but His followers didn’t know that. Alright you got it? Luke 18 verse 31. This is toward the end of His earthly ministry. They’ve been with Him now three years and they are on their way back up to Jerusalem for the final days.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and he said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished.”
Jesus said all these prophecies will be fulfilled and we know they were. And now to see that He knew exactly what was coming, He tells them:
“For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, (the Romans) and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on. 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”
Now look at verse 34. Those of you who have been in my classes, you know these verses but a lot of people out there don’t know this. Look what the Scripture says,
“And they (the Twelve who’d been with Him now for three years) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
Well, you know, I always ask the question. Who hid it? God did. It wasn’t for them to know. Because can you imagine what these twelve men would have done even in these intervening days between this and the crucifixion if they would have known? It would have just upset the whole apple cart. But they didn’t know. Remember the events of the crucifixion and how that they ran for their lives. They scattered as I’ve said before, like a flock of quail. But it wasn’t until AFTER the resurrection that Peter got bold as bold can be, because now with the power of resurrection, confirming, regardless of what those Romans could do to him, he had resurrection power. He had resurrection life. He had nothing to fear.
But they did not know. And all you have to do is just search your memory. My when they put those Roman guards around the tomb, did the eleven and did Mary and Martha, some of those, just camp out a little further away and wait? No, they weren’t around. They had no idea He was going to be raised from the dead.
And remember, in John chapter 20, when Mary Magdalene comes to anoint the body as was the custom, did she have any idea He would be raised from the dead? Well, of course not. It just took them all by surprise even though the Old Testament was adamant that He would be raised from the dead. So always remember these things and that it wasn’t until after the death, burial and resurrection that this amazing Gospel of Grace was able to be promoted.
And even then, for the first several years after and Peter and the others are proclaiming to Israel, they don’t attach salvation to this death, burial and resurrection. All they can understand is that the King can still be what He promised to be because He’s not dead, He’s alive. But, it isn’t until the Apostle Paul comes that he now has the revelation that this has become The Gospel for the salvation for the whole human race.(I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10) Not just for Israel, not just for the Gentiles but for everyone and through all of that then, we come up with this high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Alright, now verse 28 again of Hebrews chapter 7.
“For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; (they’re going to die) but the word of the oath, which was since the law, (on this side of the Cross) maketh the Son,(Who we’ve been emanating all the way through Hebrews.) who is consecrated (or has finished everything) forevermore.”
Nothing more now needs to be done. Everything that God required to satisfy the sins of mankind is accomplished. Now, I’m sure very few of us (and I certainly don’t even claim to) understand the workings of the mind of God with regard to the shed Blood and the forgiveness. We understand the workings of it but the very mind of God behind it, why, why did He have to have a blood sacrifice? Oh, I’ve got an idea, but to be able to just sit down and to lay it out so that almost anybody can understand. No, I can’t do that.
But there are a lot of things. In fact, we were just talking about the Triune God – what we call the Trinity. There again the word Trinity isn’t in your Bible, but the whole concept of a Triune God is and listen, there’s no way you can understand that except by faith. We just can’t fathom it. How can three personalities be in three different places and yet operate as one? I can’t understand it but I can believe it. I know it because the Book says it.
In fact, I was just telling somebody at break time, that the more I look at this, the more I understand that, had God not been a Triune God, none of this would have worked. Have you ever thought of that? It wouldn’t have worked. Because you see, while Christ was dead on the Cross, if He was the only person of the Godhead, then God would have been what? Dead. Who would have called Him from the tomb if He was the only One? Nobody.
But you see, we have a Triune God. And while Christ was dead and in the tomb, we still had God the Father and God the Spirit with all the power necessary to raise Him from the dead. Well, the same way when Christ went back to glory. Who came down? The Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit as a third Person of the Trinity, my, we’d be destitute of a lot of these things. And so, we have to have everything just exactly the way God laid it out but it’s hard to understand unless we can take it by faith. The Bible says it. The Bible teaches it.And we rest on it, even though we can’t understand it.
Alright now the same way, the Son now had been set at the right hand of the Majesty on High and we pick that up now in chapter 8 verse 1.
“Now (on this side of the Cross) of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: (don’t you like that? I’m going to recap, Paul says. Now this is the sum of the matter. We still use the statement today. This is the sum of the matter) We have (not hope to have, we have) such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;”
Now I always emphasize to people that Christ is not on a throne tonight. That’s why we don’t address him as King. He’s not a King on the throne. That’s still future, when He returns. But He’s at the Father’s right hand. Again, I always like to emphasize, don’t picture Him sitting on a little chair and God the Father’s up here on some big throne. That’s not what we’re to do, but positionally in the heavenlies, we have God the Son, a Priest after the order of Melchisedec placed at the right hand of the Majesty on High.
Now maybe Daniel chapter 7 will help a little bit in that. Again, this just points out that all Scripture dovetails together. None of it stands off by itself. But in Daniel chapter 7 we have a little different view and yet it’s all the same thing. You see, that’s the beauty of Scripture, we get all these different viewpoints, pointing up the same thing. Let’s drop in at verse 9. I’m just doing this to show that Scripture fits with Scripture. And Hebrews has just told us again, that He’s at the right hand of the Majesty.
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, (that is all earthly thrones) and the Ancient of Days did sit, (now that’s a little different title, isn’t it? Which of course, is a reference to God the Father) whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne (that is His place of authority) was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire “
There again, that’s just beyond our human understanding. Now verse 10, just to give us a little glimpse of this throne room of heaven.
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: (now look at this next statement) thousand thousands (that’s millions. Millions) ministered unto him, (millions of what? Angels. The Angelic hosts.) and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
And then of course, we leap to the end of the ages, when the White Throne Judgement is set and the books are opened, but that’s beside the point for us today. Now jump over to verse 13.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold. one like the Son of man (see here it is, way back here in the Old Testament. Here we have the Son) came with the clouds of heaven, (now whether those clouds are angelic hosts as I think, that’s probably debatable but) came to the Ancient of Days, (the same one he spoke of in verse 9) and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him (the Son) dominion and glory, and a kingdom, (this of course, is leading up to His millennial reign) that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and a kingdom which shall not be destroyed.”
Well, that’s not the point we’re making. What I want you to see, is this relationship between God the Father on the throne at this time and God the Son as He comes before Him.
Alright now back to Hebrews chapter 8, you’ve got this same picture of how this high Priest after the order of Melchisedec is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. Where’s Heaven? Well when you find out, you tell me. We don’t know, but it’s out there someplace, and it’s real. It’s visible, it’s physical, and one day, we’re going to be there and I think we’re getting closer all the time. Now verse 2 of Hebrews chapter 8.
“A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
Now I’m going to take a two-fold approach to that. As a “minister of the sanctuary” it could possibly take the point that God the Son is at the very core of the Body of Christ. He is the Core of the true dwelling place of God, which is you and I as believers. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Now maybe somebody out there in television has never heard any of this before, maybe we’d better go back, and look at it in I Corinthians chapter 3. You know, I always have to keep remembering, I’ve told Iris more than once as I teach these programs that I have a big hang up. I feel if I’ve taught it once everybody knows it, but on the other hand I have to realize that we have new listeners coming in every time. And a lot of our listeners have only heard it once, and that’s not enough. So bear with me and we’ll repeat some of these basic fundamentals of the faith over and over.
I Corinthians 3:16
“Know you not that ye (now remember, Paul always writes to believers) are the temple (see, the dwelling place) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”
See that’s what makes us what we are. Come over to chapter 6 in the same book, and it’s repeated in verse 19.
I Corinthians 6:19-20
“What? (Paul writes) know ye not that your body (this physical body of flesh and bone) is the temple (or the dwelling place) of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. (why?) 20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Well, now I have never gotten on the soapbox and jumped at people for their bad habits. But, when a believer continues to practice a bad habit, what is going to be the end result physically? Well he’s going to lose his health. He’s going to lose his health probably faster than the unbeliever because we are defiling something that is no longer ours. It now belongs to God. So you believers out there that think you can smoke and enjoy it, you go ahead. But I had one lady call one time and she said, “Les I just can’t quit these stupid cigarettes. Does that mean that I’ll go to Hell?” And I said, “No. It just means you’re going to get to Heaven quicker than you would have otherwise.”
But see, this is exactly what we have to realize – that we are to treat this body special. We’re to take care of it, and nurture it. And Paul says in Ephesians, “we’re to love it because this is what God has given us. It’s His dwelling place.”
Alright, now you can come back to Hebrews chapter 8. So He’s a minister of the sanctuary first and foremost, this temple, in which He is dwelling in the Person of the Holy Spirit. But so far as the Jew was concerned he’s still got the Temple on his mind, hasn’t he? And the Temple of course, was divided with the front part, the sanctuary, which if I remember correctly was 30 feet by about 15. And in the back behind the veil was 15 feet by 15 and that’s what the Jew understood. But this man, this high priest (Melchisedec) is a minister of the “true tabernacle,” not the Temple there in Jerusalem.
Now again, as I was looking at all this the last few evenings. You’ve got to remember the Temple is still operating in Jerusalem when this is being written. See, too many of us have got the idea that the Temple is long gone and it doesn’t play a role. Yeah, it still was operating when Paul was writing his letters. And of course, it was destroyed within a matter of two or three years after his death. But as Paul writes, the Temple is still going, as I say, full speed ahead. They were sacrificing animals by the thousands.
And so the Jew had the Temple on his mind when anything was brought up “religiously” as they would call it. And so here again Paul is addressing that. That this high Priest is not of that Temple operating up there on the Mount but of the “true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man.”
What’s he talking about? Well, come all the way back to Exodus chapter 25 and again I think this is a concept that very few professing believers, unless they become students, understand. This is the chapter where the Lord is going to give Moses instructions for building that first little tabernacle out in the wilderness, that little tent which, of course, became later the Temple. Alright in Exodus chapter 25 and he gives all the materials that they’re going to need in the first eight verses. Now look at verse 9.
“According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
What’s a pattern? It’s the original! Manufacturers have what they call ‘prototypes.’ What is it? Well, it’s just a similar version of what they’re going to have at the end. But here’s what God is telling Moses? “You’re going to make a tabernacle patterned after an original not pitched with hands.” The Book of Hebrews tells us it’s in heaven. And so there is a likeness of the Temple format ‘in the heavens’ not made by men but created by God Himself. And it was into that Temple that Christ went in as our high priest.