Jesus, the Testator of the New Testament – 9-21-22

“For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” Hebrews 9:16-17 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 9 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Earthly Sanctuary

Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the [a]sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

Limitations of the Earthly Service

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various [b]washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

The Heavenly Sanctuary

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things [c]to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, [d]sanctifies for the [e]purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without [f]spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

The Mediator’s Death Necessary

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every [g]precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are [h]purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no [i]remission.

Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice

23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be [j]purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are [k]copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 9:2 holy place, lit. holies
  2. Hebrews 9:10 Lit. baptisms
  3. Hebrews 9:11 NU that have come
  4. Hebrews 9:13 sets apart
  5. Hebrews 9:13 cleansing
  6. Hebrews 9:14 blemish
  7. Hebrews 9:19 command
  8. Hebrews 9:22 cleansed
  9. Hebrews 9:22 forgiveness
  10. Hebrews 9:23 cleansed
  11. Hebrews 9:24 representations

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I switched up our prayer of humility and repentance. I was personalizing it and switching it up and so I did so for all of you as well. I am sure if you are praying this every day that you are also not continuing in any of these sins, at least not knowingly. Since the sins of the parents and grandparents are passed down through the generations, as we pray, we should break that curse off of ourselves, repenting of these sins on behalf of our family line and rehousing any attachments to these sins.  The anointing of the Lord will release you and deliver you from these chains. Let God do a work in you today:

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things You count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on You, and fall in love with You in a new and deeper way. I desire to lay down my life for You, Lord Jesus, as You sacrificed Yourself for me. Help me to die to self and pour myself out as an offering. Give me more grace to trust You and accept Your will for my life and not my will. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

The book of Hebrews was written to a bunch of Jews who had accepted Jesus and the purpose was to provide undeniable proof that Jesus is who He said He was and challenge them to trust the Lord more fully, to persevere.  This audience has attended Hebrew School as a child – they knew the Torah and prophets better than most of us. They knew the structure of the temple and how it mirrored the tabernacle. They could even go to the temple and look around – except into the inner sanctuary. And they knew repentance (and sacrifice) was needed to even go near the outer part of the sanctuary and that they needed the high priest to go into the inner sanctuary on their behalf. You and I must learn these things in order to understand this book. I did not go to Hebrew school as a child and I think most of you did not either.

1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.”

The reason they cannot speak in detail is because they are holy things. One cannot take holy things lightly. Like when God gives us visions and prophecies and such – do not release them back out carelessly. They are holy things and details do not belong to everyone.

I have always said I wish I could see these things – lost to time. Some say they are kept and hidden. It would be like God to remove them from us so we do not start to worship things instead of Him. He made sure that after Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that the sacrifices ended. He ensured these thing were gone – so we would not seek God in a place, instead seeking Him in our hearts.

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;”

As the author kindly reminds the Hebrews of the process, educating those who are not familiar with the process, I wanted to point out 4 words: “sins committed in ignorance”. I always pray asking for forgiveness of all known sins and unknown sins. And I have often been asked about this. Sometimes we have not matured enough in the Lord to understand that something is a sin. It is a growing process and we are ALL learning. And most people accept that answer – But since I am a “give me the chapter and verse” kind of person, occasionally I find people who try to challenge me and as me where in the Bible does it say we can ignorantly sin. Well, here it is.

the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

The clause was grace that covered the multitude of human error that could happen in the old temple system. Duty and fear of God outweighed loving service and changed hearts. Humans to like to perform rituals instead of do self-reflections and changing our hearts. Our first world healthcare system proves that. (not the way it is managed – but the way we approach healing) You see I have been having these terrible headaches. First thing most people do is head to the doctor for a magic pill to heal them. First thing I did was pray for healing. Finally, I had to see a doctor who blew me off thinking I was after a pill and just needed a Tylenol.  This is why the doctor was not first on my list. They said if I keep complaining they can do MRI’s and tests and more tests and so on. But I am in an intimate relationship with the healer. So I went back to Him.
God connected me with a different Doctor and she said I am the picture of health and nothing was wrong. But this doctor is a spirit filled believer and I said: “No. We pray!” and we prayed that God would reveal this. And God did! She laid hands on me and through that felt how hot the area was and upon further investigation she found an infection and got me medications. Well, the healing process is slow and I am still tired and sore – but it is localized and God is working.
The point is – God’s ways are not our ways. We should not get caught up doing it man’s way. Some rituals, or ways, begin as God’s ways. But God doesn’t always do things the same way. He shakes it up. He keeps the enemy on His toes.
I knew I was not supposed to see the first doctor and I was right. I needed to wait on God to lead me to the second. Who has helped, and keep her in prayer because God is working something in her as well! It was God ordained.

There is a worship song that says ‘Lord forgive me when I just go through the motions…’ and it is true today. We get into the religious routine and check off the boxes of the things we need to do and forget the Reason, the Person, the Who – that we do it all for. I created this blog so we would not get caught up with the ritual – I just threw a bunch of those check boxes in one place so we can get them done – but also we can focus on God and let Jesus do a work in us without us focusing on all the things we must do.

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.”

I say it often – when we see a symbol in the Bible we can ALWAYS pull in from everywhere that symbol is in the Bible for a more full and richer understanding of the text. Tabernacle is one of those symbols and it includes the temple. Pre-Jesus there was one temple. Post-Jesus the temple became two different meanings. One was the future temple described by Ezekiel and the other is Paul explaining to the Corinthians that our Bodies are The Temple! (1 Corinthians 6:19) Our bodies are a greater and more perfect tabernacle. It is true. So stop looking at yourself as flawed and broken. The symbol is a very important one. The tabernacle then temple were the place where God and man could commune – could be together. Now we can be together at all times with His Holy Spirit filling us to overflowing.

The final temple is in heaven. It is not one to come but one that always is. And the author words these symbols in such a way that a Hebrew with lessons from Hebrew School would be connecting all these symbols and understanding the connection and how they are all not referring to a place but they are referring to the communion with God. And it is this (communion between God and man) that is made new by the resurrected Jesus returning to the father’s right hand:

12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

GLORY! This is good stuff! Yes, I know it is a slowly developing argument that seems repetitious at times. But with each pass and each circle the scope take more ground. We have gone from sacrifice to our consciences being cleaned of dead works to serve The Living God. Finally, having failed to have the correct level of compassion for the sacrifices, we have an understanding of what the cross really means and in that we are given an eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Now, when I try to explain Jesus to people who were not raised with any religion – the idea of blood sacrifices and ghosts and people coming back to life and demons fighting us while angles try to rescue us all sound so very absurd. I mean there is even a talking donkey in the Bible. I admit, these thing sound like a weird evil movie and not a good church like thing. This is it should never be about religion, and instead about relationship with God through Jesus, while filled with the Holy Spirit.
But this book was written to a group of people who were just learning they no longer needed to kill an animal for their sins – and this is a difficult change for them as well. They miss the nostalgia and the good feeling of obeying God – and now there is a new command not to because Jesus, the testator of promise has died (and rose again) and through death, not only conquered sin – but gave us a new testament in His blood. So it is important that these Jew understand the atonement law is finished. Since at the time, the temple was still standing and performing sacrifices – it must have been a huge temptation to go back.
But when the temple was destroyed – those without Jesus who practiced these sacrifices were devastated – and they also being God’s children, needed care and support. This letter prepared these Hebrews to be witnesses of Jesus the final sacrifice to the Jews that fled Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple on that horrible day – and bring comfort and salvation.

23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

That is a whole LOT – the greatness of what His sacrifice has accomplished! Glory to God!
Verse 28 – Our salvation is for us in Christ when we run the race set before us and live a humble and repentant life dedicated to His service. When Jesus arrived the second time, sinless, “for salvation” doesn’t mean we are waiting for that to happen for us to be able to inherit eternal life. And this is speaking of the second coming not the rapture. The rapture can come right now or at any moment between now and the second coming. And it could be at the second coming, although I like to think it will happen sooner.
The second coming is the Lion of Judah – the Warrior Messiah – the Armageddon winning, demon slaying, riding in on horses on clouds and an army of saints. Yeah. The second coming is what the Jews were expecting is first coming to look like. And since he has already died once and “it is appointed for men to die once”, he will not die during His battle for the earth.  

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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