Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 50
Hebrews 7:20 – 8:10 – Part 2
Let’s begin where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be Hebrews chapter 8, and verse 3. But again, I don’t like to just jump in like that, so let’s go back a verse or two. We might as well go back to verse 1.
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
I told you in the last program you could take a two-way approach on verse 2. He could be speaking of the body of us as believers, who is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And Christ is the very Core and the makeup of that. But it could also be talking to, a reference to, the Old Testament tabernacle or temple, which was set in those two rooms the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies. And which was pitched according to the pattern in Heaven. And we’ll look at that again further in this chapter. Now verse 3.
“For every high priest (whether it was of the Aaronic or whether it’s this high priest, Melchisedec) is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.” He has to have a reason for fulfilling His priesthood. Now verse 4.
“For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:” He couldn’t do that. See that? He couldn’t operate in His priesthood if He had to do as Israel’s priests did because it just wouldn’t fit. He could not offer animal sacrifices. He could not fulfill the priesthood in the temple because His work was so totally, totally above and beyond the animal sacrifices of Judaism. Now verse 5.
“(these priests of Israel, Judaism) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle:…”The tabernacle at Mt. Sinai, in the wilderness. In other words, God is making sure that Moses builds that tabernacle according to the floor plan of the original, which is in Heaven. We looked at it in the last moments of our last program and we’re going to look at it again in a moment. Now finishing verse 5.
“for, See, (take note) saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” As Moses is about to build that tabernacle at Mt. Sinai, in the wilderness, the Lord spoke and said, “See, (take note) that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”
Now let’s go back again for just a quick review of where we were in the last program, but a different verse. Let’s go to Exodus chapter 25 and verse 40. In the last program we looked at verses 8 and 9, but now we’re going to look at the last verse. And this just shows the importance of it. Moses could not take this lightly. He couldn’t just throw up a tent and build and altar and start killing animals. It all had to be according to God’s divine purposes. And those of you who have studied the tabernacle with me remember that everything, with nothing excepted, was all a picture of this work of the Cross.
Every instrument in the sanctuary. Every bolt of cloth, every piece of gold and silver, it all spoke of the coming of the work of the Cross. So this is why God was so adamant that Moses did everything in a particular way. Now verse 40, and God is giving Moses instructions:
“Look, (make sure) that thou make them (that is all the things that are going into this tabernacle) after their pattern, (in other words, he couldn’t just make-shift it. It had to) be exactly as God had given him the pattern) which was shewed thee in the mount.” (when he was up there in Mt. Sinai.)
Alright now then, come to the last chapter of Exodus, chapter 40, and we’ll look at verse 33. And again the language is such that it just sends you flying to the finished work of the Cross. Now in all these intervening chapters, they’ve been crafting the materials that went into this tabernacle. The gold, the linen, the animal’s hair, the altar of incense and the brazen altar made of brass, all these things were crafted by craftsmen that God had raised up out of the Israelites. Now Exodus 40:33:
“He (Moses) reared up the court round about the tabernacle (in other words, the outer fence that went clear around the perimeter) and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. (in other words that was the last thing that was finished) So Moses finished the work. 34. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” In other words, God put His stamp of approval upon everything that the Israelites had now made with their craftsmanship and they erected it and set it up. And in verse 35 we find the presence of God was so awesome.
“And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” Well, anyway all of that was set in motion to give us a preview of what Christ would accomplish in His work of the Cross. Alright, let’s come back to Hebrews once again finishing verse 5.
“…for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Everything exactly as God had instructed. Now verse 6, here we come again, what’s the word?) But, (the flipside. Yes, Moses and all the craftsmen of Israel worked almost a year formulating all the things that went into that earthly tabernacle there out in the foot of Mt. Sinai.)
“But now (on this side) he hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a (what?) better…” You see the constant comparison of that which was good, the Mosaic system, the Mosaic Law. It was good up to a point but it could not be perfect. But now, now on this side we have that which is perfect because Christ Himself established it and finished it.
But now he hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”
My, aren’t we fortunate? I try to impress on people that you and I, as believers in this Age of Grace, as members of the Body of Christ, have it so far above the promises made to Israel. Now we know God’s going to do wondrous things yet with Israel someday, but the promises that He has given to us as believers, as members of the Body of Christ are beyond comprehension. You and I can’t begin to get a glimpse of the glory that’s going to be revealed to us because all this is so much better than what God promised Israel. Now verse 7. Right off the bat I just see something that just thrills me:
“For if that first covenant had been faultless,…” You know what I’m going to ring the bell on? Was it faultless? No, it was full of fault. My, it was weak; it was beggarly. That first covenant of Law wasn’t faultless, but if it had been; had it been faultless:
“then should no place have been sought for the second.” That stands to reason doesn’t it? What’s our expression? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you’ve got something that’s perfect, leave it alone. You know, I wrote to a carmaker one time. I had an automobile that I thought was as close to perfect as humans could make it. And they dropped that one from their line of cars. In fact it’s the one I’ve been driving, with over 230 thousand miles on it. That was as perfect a car as automobiles could be made and then that’s the one they dropped from their line. And I wrote to the company, I don’t suppose it got any further than the ‘round file’ but I told them, “For the first time in the history of your company you made an automobile that is almost perfect, and then you drop it.” I said, “Typical American business.”
But nevertheless, see, when something is perfect you don’t have to ask for anything more. But the Law and temple worship wasn’t perfect. It was full of faults and so consequently there had to be room for a second covenant. Now let’s go into verse 8, then I’m going to stop and digress.
“For finding fault with them, (Who did? God did. God found fault with His own system of Law) he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah: 9. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; (which was the covenant of Law) because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”
Now just stop and rehearse for a minute. As soon as Israel came through the Red Sea and they congregate down there at the base of Mt. Sinai, God calls Moses up in to the mountain and gives him the Ten Commandments (and I’m going to even skip over the horrors of what took place when he came down and he broke the first set). But later on he gets the second set, set in stone and Israel comes under the Law.
They’ve got that beautiful little tent out in the wilderness, they now have a priesthood, hey, they’re ready to go. They’ve got everything going for them. The Shekinah Glory is right up there above the Tabernacle. Can you imagine it, can you picture it? The presence of God is right there above them, a cloud by day to give them shade in that desert heat. It was a pillar of fire by night to protect them from any predators. Boy, they had it made.
And so God leads them up to Kadesh-barnea. And what happens. Oh, they floundered and they failed in what? Unbelief! Remember when we were back there in chapter 3 of Hebrews, I made mention of the fact that there’s probably no other concept of Scripture that is repeated so often as how disgusted God was with Israel when they would not go in and take the Promised Land. All because of their unbelief.
Well, what was part of the problem? The system of Law. It was not perfect. Had they had the indwelling Holy Spirit, had they had that relationship with their God that we have, I don’t think they would have fallen in unbelief. But they didn’t. All they had was the weak system of Law. Alright, let’s go back and look at a few of them. Now we had one here a few programs back and we’ll look at it again, too. But as you go back there, stop at Galatians. Now these are the Scriptural concepts of the system of Law, and what Israel was so proud of, but oh, it was weak. Galatians 4:8-9.
Now again, what was the problem with the Galatian believers? Well, they were Gentiles, but they were being coaxed to go back under certain aspects of the Jewish Law. The Judaizers from Jerusalem were not content that these Gentiles could be saved by faith alone, but they had to keep the Law. They had to keep temple worship, they had to practice circumcision and all the rest. And so Paul writes this little letter of Galatians, just almost beside himself how these Galatians come out of such a glorious position in grace and even be tempted to go back under the Law; and here’s why:
“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, (they were pagans remember) ye did service unto them who by nature are no gods.” What’s he saying? You were worshipping dead idols: wood and stone and silver and gold. They were dead, they couldn’t do anything for you. And these Galatians had come out of that. Now verse 9.
“But now, (again, after they had come out of paganism, out of idol worship, they’d stepped into the Grace of God and Paul’s Gospel) after that ye have known God, (the true God) or rather (he says) are known of God,…”
I just pointed out to someone again last night. One of the ramifications of our faith today is that God knows us as if we’re the only person on earth. Do you feel that way? That’s how God feels about you, the believer. It’s just as if you were the only one! And we have this confidence that when we pray, we’re not just coming up with multitudes of millions of prayers. My, I wouldn’t even bother to pray if I thought that’s what it was. But we don’t, we come up as an individual. When Christ died, He would have died that death if YOU would have been the only person living. Now that’s what we call a personal salvation. So now this is what Paul is saying:
“…how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”
How could you, when you came out of paganism and not only did you know God but God knew you. What a difference. What were the weak and beggarly elements? The Law. That’s all it was good for. It was weak and beggarly. It couldn’t give men power to live a good life. All it could do was condemn them, as we saw in the first program this afternoon. Alright, let’s just turn the page while we’re in Galatians and go to chapter 5 verse 1. And Paul is still on the same premise. Don’t go back under the Law. Don’t embrace any kind of legalism.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ (through His finished work, remember) hath made us free, be not entangled again with the (what?) yoke of bondage.” Now we covered that a few weeks ago here on the program. What does a yoke always make you think of? To me, a yoke of oxen. Why? Because around their neck they had that piece of wood that was their burden, with which they pulled. And that’s the whole concept. The Law was just like a yoke around an oxen’s neck. It burdened them.
Alright now, even Peter uses the same language, and I think we can go all the way up to Acts 15, when Peter finally, after I think, a long day of confrontation, disputation, comes to Paul’s defense. Now this is at the Jerusalem counsel when Paul has finally confronted the leaders of Jerusalem not to try and put his Gentile believers under the Law. And so Peter finally gets his own eyes opened and what does he tell us?
“He put no difference between us (Jews) and them (Gentiles) purifying their (Gentiles) hearts by faith. (now here it comes, from the lips of Peter) 10. Now therefore, why tempt (or test) God, to put a (what?) yoke upon the neck of the disciples,…” (these Gentile believers)
Well, what kind of a yoke is Peter referring to? The oxen. Same thing. Why put your believers under a yoke like oxen pulling a plow, that’s what the Law did. Now the word disciples in that verse, I don’t like to use, because too many people will immediately think of the Twelve. No, we’re talking about Gentile believers. And so he says:
“…which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” What’s Peter admitting? The Law never helped them. The Law was not a successful thing for the Nation of Israel. They were constantly under the yoke of it and it had no power to help them. And so he says, “don’t put a yoke upon the neck of those Gentile believers, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear.”
Now let’s go back to Galatians chapter 4, because there’s another verse back there that I think we should look at. All in this concept that the Law can do nothing except put us in bondage. Let’s just start with verse 1 because I want you to see how that all through, especially since Paul’s revelations have come on the scene, how that we see this constant reference to the Law as something that was less than perfect.
“Now I say, That the heir, (the child) as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2. But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3. Even so (he’s just using this as an example) we, when we were children, we were in (what?) bondage under the elements of the world:” That was the Law. And so you see, this constant reference through Scripture that to live under a legalistic system is not freedom, it’s not liberty; but rather it’s bondage. And that’s why Paul comes out then and says, “you’re not under the Law; you’re under grace.” And oh, what a difference!
Let’s come back to Hebrews once again, to verse 8. Since the Law was full of faults. Since it was a system of bondage. Since there was no liberty in it.
“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come….” Now that was prophecy, that was foretold in the Old Testament that this thing of the Law was a stopgap only leading up to the coming of Israel’s Messiah and the Savior of the world. And so his promise was:
“…Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:” Now whenever you see God saying “I will”whether it’s back in Abrahamic Covenant or any other time, what is it? It’s a promise of something future that’s coming. And so here He’s promising the Nation of Israel that the day is coming when they will come out from under this covenant of Law. And they will go into a new covenant that God is going to make with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.
“Not according to the covenant that He made with the fathers…” Speaking again of Moses and Aaron and the Tabernacle and so forth in the wilderness. And then verse 10.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord.; I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”
Now let’s go all the way back to where we had the promise of that new covenant. And that’s in Jeremiah chapter 31 and, by the way, we in this Age of Grace are getting the overflow of the promise of this covenant, but we are not actually under the covenant. That’s waiting for the Kingdom Age when God will set up His Kingdom here on the earth, and believing Israel will become the top-dog of the nations and they will enjoy this covenant.
“Behold, the days come, (here’s the prophecy) I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.” Now this is the covenant in verse 34.
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” When will that happen? When Christ sets up His 1000 year earthy kingdom, that I feel is coming soon.