The Meaning, Majesty, Ministry, and Maintenance of the Mediator

February 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Hebrews | 7 Comments
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Jesus, the Great High Priest, ministers in a better sanctuary than the Levitical priests of the Old Testament.

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;

Hebrews 8:1

Jesus sits on the throne of God at the Father’s right hand, but He is not seated because He doesn’t care about us. He is seated because He is doing an everlasting job. He has been ordained to an everlasting ministry. He is also seated because of His majesty. He is the King, so He sits on a throne. He sits on a throne of truth and of grace.

His Heavenly tabernacle is better than the earthly Tabernacle known to the Hebrew believers. Jesus is a High Priest who is perfectly suited for us because we need something more than the blood of bulls or lambs. We need a better sacrifice.

For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 8:4-5

The Law showed a picture of the eternal reality in Heaven. Earthly priests were suited to that ministry. They gave gifts and made sacrifices for themselves. But our Great High Priest did not need to sacrifice for Himself, and He does not need to repeat the sacrifice each year for atonement.

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

He is a better Priest, with a better ministry, ministering a better covenant, established upon better promises. His role as “Mediator” reminds us of the “daysman” longed for in Job 9:32-33. Our Mediator/Daysman brings us into eternal loving peace and familial relationship with God. Job had a desire to draw near to God – to “come together in judgment” – but he lived in the time of shadows – shadows of better things to come. He had the desire to draw near to God, but not the means.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Hebrews 8:7

Was the old covenant wrong? No. It’s “fault” was that it was temporary and it led to what was to fulfill it. If the Old Testament Israelites had obeyed it, they would have been blessed, but it didn’t have the power to transform – to create new hearts.

Does the Law have any ministry for believers today? Yes, the righteousness of the Law should be fulfilled in us as we yield to the Holy Spirit.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:1-4

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

I Timothy 1:8-11

What better way to draw nigh unto God than by letting Him (His Holy Spirit) completely take over? If the Spirit glorifies Christ, and we let the Spirit have control, where will we be drawn?

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 into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Hebrews 8:10

This shows the fulfilling of the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34. The laws of the Old Covenant are inside Christians (Zechariah 8:8) in righteousness and in truth, as the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and to our minds and actually lives inside us.

Lord, thank You for Your saving grace. I praise You because You can not lie, and because You do not change Your plan of salvation. Lord Jesus, we are grateful to You for making intercession for us before the Father. As You do so, let us draw ever closer and closer to You. Make me more like You today than I was yesterday. Amen.

Order in the Church

April 13, 2010 at 10:41 am | Posted in I Corinthians, Zechariah | 13 Comments
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One day Jesus Christ will rule and reign over this earth in a very visible way. He will be physically present in Jerusalem as King. This reign will last for 1000 years, and is sometimes called the “millennial kingdom.” People from all the nations of the earth will travel to Jerusalem to worship the King.

Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

Zechariah 8:22

This will be a fulfillment of the one of the Lord’s great purposes for the Jewish people: to be a witness of God’s glory to the gentiles. This does not mean that today the Jewish people hold a privileged position over everyone else. Under the New Covenant everyone becomes a child of God the same way: by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. There is “no difference” between Jews and gentiles when it comes to salvation (Romans 10:12).

When Jesus Christ went to the temple in ancient Israel, He was angry about what the Jews had done to the “Court of the Gentiles.” This was supposed to be a place where gentiles learned to worship the One True God, but instead it had become a way for the temple priests and leaders to make a profit (Matthew 21:12-13).

It is clear from the Bible that those who know God are to share that knowledge with those who do not know God. Under the Old Covenant, the Jews were supposed to be good examples to gentiles, and to share their faith with unbelievers. Under the New Covenant, Christians are supposed to do likewise toward those who are without Christ. This is a sharp rebuke to those who would gear their church services toward either profit or entertainment. Certainly people who trust in Christ have every reason to be joyful – especially when we congregate together. But we must be very careful of the external appearance of our worship.

If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

I Corinthians 14:23

The proclamation of the Word of God and prayer – not exuberant confusion – should be given the most time, the most attention, and the most emphasis whenever there is the possibility of an unbeliever coming in among an assembly of believers.

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

I Corinthians 14:24-25

The Possessiveness of God

April 6, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Zechariah | 6 Comments
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Lord, please make those of us who have received Christ to be a people that do not love the world. Help us to crucify our love for material things. Help us to use the gifts You’ve given us not as toys to play with, nor as weapons to fight each other with, nor as trophies to admire – but as tools to build with for Your glory. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Zechariah Chapter 7 tells us that, once the walls and the Temple had been rebuilt, the people wanted to know from Zechariah if they needed to continue celebrating the fast that commemorated the burning of the Temple.

Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?

Zechariah 7:4-6

Traditions are often good, even though traditionalism is bad. We have about 2000 years of Christian tradition, documented history, and writings. Even more important than that, we have the immutable Word of God. No Scripture is of private interpretation. If my interpretation disagrees with 1900 of the 2000 years of Christian scholarship, it does not automatically mean my interpretation is wrong, but it certainly means that we should scrutinize my interpretation very carefully in light of the Bible. For the people in Zechariah’s time, God did not want to address the issue of the fasts that commemorated tragedies right away. First He wanted them to know that it’s more important to repent of the sins that caused the tragedies.

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

Zechariah 7:9-10

In Zechariah 8 God begins to speak through Zechariah, not as if this was a starting-over of His covenants, but as if this was a renewing of His covenants.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

Zechariah 8:2-3

It is as if God is saying, “You’ve been away from Me, and I had to chasten You. But I am a jealous God. I am jealous of my people, and I am coming back.” It was a great blessing for the Lord’s presence to dwell among His people, for it meant that they were safe. But He is not speaking euphemistically when He says “My” people. These people were His favorites. They belonged to Him – He owned them. He considered them to be married to Him.

It is a terrible thing to cheat on an earthly spouse, but people do it and take their chances. To cheat on a jealous God Who rules the universe is another matter – far more serious. This doctrine of “I will be your God, and you will be My people” runs all through Scripture.

And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

Zechariah 8:8

This is the love of God. He loves His people. He doesn’t plead with them to know that He is God – He wants to be their God. And He does not need to change so the people will like Him better. He must give His people a new heart because sinful hearts are not just indifferent about God. They are God-hating and God-mocking.

As Christians, we live on promises, not explanations. When I am sick, I go to the doctor and I want him to give me medicine, not a medical book. The love of God is beyond our ability to explain. But we must receive it by faith. Looking in the mirror of God’s Word and seeing my sin, and believing by faith that God loves me, is a great miracle. We will be His people and He will be our God.

The Lord answers the questions about the fasts in Zechariah 8:19: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.” His answer is that fasting will turn into feasting.


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