(Concludes the Series)
OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST:
Jesus is our Great High Priest.
Following His ascension to sit enthroned at the ‘right hand’ of His Father (this Jesus), the Christ of the Living God intercedes perpetually before God the Father for the soul of every sinner who has called, in brokenness, upon His name.
He is the one and only propitiation for sin.
He is of the Godhead itself; being God: Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. His very nature being triune (three-in-one).
He is the only way through which the Living God now permits Himself to be approached in all three facets of His own being.
Jesus forgives our sin in the name of God, which is His own name.
Herein lies great mystery. We accept it as truth because Jesus so told us.
At the link below, I counted 59 translations that, without equivocation, confirm this claim of Jesus.
“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:9, KJV).
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST:
Please do first read this link:
All of us face judgment, but there is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus.
The judgment seat of Christ involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ.
The judgment seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All of our sins are forgiven, and we will never be condemned for them (Romans 8:1). We should not look at the judgment seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives.
On the day of Judgment, sin will not be found in us, for we have been accepted/reconciled and reunited with our Father Creator.
We should understand that the issue of forgiveness at Judgment has two sides or two ends, if you so wish.
- Those appearing before Jesus at the Bema Judgment are there to receive their reward – greater or lesser according to that done or left undone. These are they who declared their faith in God when they called upon the name of Jesus to forgive their sins, and who, in consequence, are already judged guiltless before the throne of God.
- Those multitudes of the world who will be judged before the Great White Throne of God remain unshriven. They lived their lives in denial. They sought not the Living God through His Son. They sought not forgiveness for their sins. In guilt convicted; they now are to do that which they were never prepared to do:
i.e. ‘bow before their God in the name of Jesus.’
No plea, no abeyance, no confession will save them. Eternal, separation from God through the medium of eternal death awaits them only. They had a lifetime of chances but chose not to avail themselves of that which was offered so freely.
Friends, did you ever go to an auction or sale at which you identified a magnificent purchase being offered at a bargain-basement price? Though it may have appeared (on the surface) nondescript, you instantly knew it to be very valuable.
You realized immediately that, to you, it was the ‘buy of the century.’ And yet you couldn’t bring yourself to raise your card (the one with your name or number printed thereon) to place your bid to confirm the purchase. In this case, the ‘saving blood of salvation offered to you by the paschal lamb of God.’
‘The Buy of the Century’ is then purchased by another to his great wonder, delight and thanksgiving. For you, only the memory of that which might have been.
THE PROCESS OF INTERCESSION:
This Jesus sits before His Father within the ‘holy of holies’ as the highest of High Priests in the set- aside Order of Melchizedek, and He is both King of Kings AND High Priest of the Order.
Jesus’ intercession is always accepted by God on three counts:
He is the only accepted High Priest. (Only He has earned the right AND distinction to make the intercession before God for any soul that, in flesh, has called upon his name.)
He is also the accepted blood sacrifice of atonement. This is because He is the eternal, flawless/sinless lamb that was offered for all who call upon His name and thus are accepted as by God, because the price has been paid for their purchase.
He is, then, at the moment of intercession, both ‘intercessor’ and the vessel of sacrifice.
JESUS IS A HIGH PRIEST FOREVER IN THE SANCTIFIED ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK: (Hebrews 5:6)
God appointed Christ and exalted Him with the honor of becoming our High Priest. God also appointed Him a rank in the Order of Melchizedek.
There was a reason God prophesied these very words through David,
“The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek'” (Psalm 110:4).
Hebrews 7 gives much more detail about this. “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means ‘king of righteousness’; then also, ‘king of Salem’ means ‘king of peace.’ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God, he remains a priest forever” (Hebrews 7:1-3).
Jesus shares the same attributes attributed to Melchizedek in Hebrews 7. First, he was appointed by God.
A previous verses states, “No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father'” (Hebrews 5:4-5).
Second: John writes to record the established fact of his genealogy as eternal God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2).
Lastly: the names given to Melchizedek were also given to Jesus. It was Isaiah who prophesied that Jesus would be called prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). And the author of Hebrews, quoting from the Psalm, stated that righteousness would be the scepter of his kingdom (Hebrews 1:8, Psalm 45:6-7).
This is important to us, because our faith in God rests in Jesus and the finished work of the cross.
Our faith rests in the fact that Jesus is alive and seated in heaven interceding on our behalf.
“Because Jesus lives forever, he holds a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:24-25).
And because He is the paschal lamb slain in sacrifice for our sins, we are judged guiltless, for the blood of the Lamb has washed us clean.
My hope is built on nothing else,
but Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
On Christ, the solid rock I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
GRANTED ENTRY TO THE ‘HOLY OF HOLIES’:
When we renounce the sin of our denial, falling before Jesus in repentance, we are permitted entry before God into the real Holy of Holies before His throne. And no ‘inner veil’ stands between us and His Throne.
This is not the facsimile ‘Holy of Holies’ that comprised the most sacred portion of the Jewish Temple in ancient Jerusalem. We stand now as suppliants, worshiping before the Living God in ‘His own House.’
That right was granted us as Jesus died upon the Cross and gave up His spirit. At that time, according to the account of both Matthew and John, the inner veil located within the Temple (that shielded the Holy of Holies in which was held the Ark of the Covenant and other sacred items) was rent from top to bottom.
This ‘inner’ veil was the line of separation, past which no ordinary man, in his fallen, unreconciled state, might enter.
Until the occurrence of the crucifixion, the High Priest only could enter the Holy of Holies, and that, once a year on the Day of National Atonement. And before he alone could enter, he had to undertake an intensive ritual preparation. This ritual ceremonial was to cleanse him (both internally and externally in spirit and flesh) and allow him to enter without being consumed by the very Spirit of God. All this because, even as the High Priest of the Temple, he was still man in his fallen state.
To even permit this latitude, God was granting all high priests, from Aaron onwards, a great privilege. Do not forget that even the Ark of the Covenant was so holy that he who touched it, even accidentally, was instantly killed.
The story of Uzzah and the Ark of the Covenant is found in 2 Samuel 6:1-7 and 1 Chronicles 13:9-12. As the ark was being transported, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, and a man named Uzzah took hold of the ark. God’s anger burned against Uzzah; and He struck him down, and he died.
God is loving and merciful, but He is also holy, and He defends His holiness with His power, and affronts to His holiness sometimes bring about His holy wrath. “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
True wisdom is ‘fear of the Living God!’
How holy, then, must we ‘see’ the real Holy of Holies?
As Jesus gave up His spirit, crying “It is finished,” He consummated the ultimate sacrifice to wash away our sin and the sin of all men who come to God through Him, forever. It was complete.
This, then, is what it truly means when we read that He gained for us the right to enter before God into the Holy of Holies ‘beyond the veil.‘
DO WE NEED TO BE IN A SPECIAL TYPE OF PURIFIED STATE TO ENTER THE HOLY OF HOLIES?
No; we are already purified through Jesus.
We don’t have to don the robes of purification of High Priest or perform an associated ritual. Cleansed and accepted, we are always welcomed because, within our own repentance, the sin of denial is not found in us, and our prayers are acceptable. In this state only may ‘we’ come directly before God in His Holiness.
DENIAL IS THE STATE OF FALLEN MAN:
Because the World lies within its chosen state of denial, it is dying. As previously illustrated in the series, ‘we have struck the iceberg; our vessel – souls – have been struck a death blow, but we don’t yet know it.’ That, in and upon which we have placed so much hope and store, is fast sinking underneath us.
ANOTHER TYPE OF EXAMPLE:
Many years ago, I was an active hunter. I participated mainly in the destruction of feral animals that have, unfortunately and through our own neglect, reached plague proportions throughout Australia and which require almost constant thinning-out.
This slaughter has to be undertaken annually to attempt to obviate what has become a big problem for primary producers in Australia’s huge land mass.
There are tens of thousands of camels, wild horses, wild goats and feral pigs wreaking much damage to this hot, brown land. They vie with stock to over-graze our sparse fodder lands. And at the same time, they pollute drying water holes, billabongs and dams to the extent that the water fouls and becomes undrinkable for stock.
On lands where it may take 50/100 acres to produce enough fodder to feed one sheep (and grazing properties are each counted in Hundreds of thousands of arid acres), feral pests can send the landowner broke very quickly.
Having been continuously hunted, they are very gun-shy and require some skill to approach them, as poised for flight, they are on the move almost immediately.
Hunters generally use a high-powered rifle with a telescopic sight. The magazine of the rifle is normally loaded with bullets of great velocity and stopping power. The purpose is to mortally wound the animal (usually on the run) with a hit that, striking its heart, will shortly bring it to earth.
A quick, ‘clean’ kill is always the desire of those that participate in eradication hunting. This is simply a distasteful task that must be undertaken as humanely as possible, for the only other alternative is poisoning. Neither our people nor our State Governments favor that except in a last resort.
I can assure you that the fleeing animal will, in many such cases, keep running with their sundered heart, now devoid of most of its life-blood, until they fall dead in their tracks.
Having witnessed this type of death many times, I am sure these creatures have little understanding of their state. They run on reflex, their body in high shock and also having suffered huge blood loss. Suddenly they ground, though they were dead when the bullet struck them.
When your soul is lost completely in denial, to the extent that you will never seek salvation in Jesus (nor want to), you also are ‘still running,’ but you race in death.
I am utterly convinced that many non-believers now see that this World is breaking apart. They accept it’s happening but account for it in other ways.
In the West, depravity has sunk to its lowest depths, and the emerging ‘New World’ wants to get at our kids from the cradle. The aim? To teach them things that can only add to their own destruction and further the demise of family, marriage, morality and chastity.
Upon these pillars were previously cradled and rested, the comparative success of the western nations that hitherto considered themselves Christian. And because of this, I am convinced, lay under God’s protection as we fought to overcome our fallen nature and stop Satan dead in his tracks.
In the absence of these supporting pillars, society is imploding upon itself, leaving itself buried under the debris of its own destruction. For, literally, these pillars constitute and are drawn from the rules that God gave us to live by.
How ironic that we are being buried by the collapse of the very pillars that God created to support those same communities and nations He established.
Metaphorically, we are buried just as surely as the Philistine nobility were destroyed when the blinded and chained Samson, using the last of his great strength, pulled the two main supporting pillars out from out under the crossbeams they supported. Thus, allowing the structure to fall inwards on itself, and all were killed.
SAMSON’S VENGEANCE AND DEATH:
“Then Samson called out to the LORD: ‘O Lord GOD, please remember me. Strengthen me, O God, just once more, so that with one vengeful blow I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes’ And Samson reached out for the two central pillars supporting the temple. Bracing himself against them with his right hand on one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ Then he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people in it. So in his death, he killed more than he had killed in his life” (Judges 16:28-30, Berean Study Bible).
To the believer, these things that are presently occurring are clear evidence of Satan’s agenda to destroy not only Christians but mankind in general. From this agenda, Satan has never resiled. Nor will he until our King of Kings ends the foul reign of this awful usurper who would supplant God Himself, were he able.
OUR PRESENT STATE OF BEING:
We presently advocate the sacrifice of the unborn (and now, coming soon, the recently born) upon the altar of the god of ‘self.’
Our Almighty God and Father is denied.
The Saving Grace offered us by His Son, in order that we might be preserved from eternal death, is mocked by the World with knowing sniggers and winks. And so, God is derided.
‘Both metaphorically and literally, Jesus is spat upon.’
History repeats itself.
Jesus was spat upon during His ‘mock’ trial, scourging, and more than likely, as He walked the ‘way of the Cross’ to His execution.
Our maker well knew which way we would jump following Adam’s expulsion, along with Eve, from the Garden. It unfolded as He knew it would.
As our creator, God knows all there is to know about what He himself divinely designed.
And from the moment first man and woman ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, God instantly knew the perfidy that, as a consequence, would arise in our hearts.
That knowledge is part of our DNA.
We are not born innocent, but be assured, we inherently know the difference between ‘right and wrong.’ That is the legacy from the fruit of the tree that first man and his woman ate. It poisoned their souls and so passed into their seed.
THE CHARACTER OF GOD:
Though just and righteous, our Father/Creator possesses and experiences ALL the emotions that are characterized within ourselves.
In ‘His’ image were we made as sons of Gods. Fallen as we now are, we remain (until reconciliation) but a very pale facsimile of the emotional and spiritual perfection of our glorious Maker and of that which we are promised we will become.
The LORD can truly be personified as the ultimate manifestation of every emotion that we ourselves experience. He is, at once, infinite:
‘Everlastingly ‘Righteous’ in all matter and things throughout His creation.
The Earth is His footstool. God suffers that nothing will thwart His will over that which, of His own hand, He created.
THE SEED OF ABRAHAM:
Later, we can postulate perhaps that an earlier end might also have befallen us were it not for the grace that the Lord found in Abraham and the righteous seed that flowed from the faith of that godly man. For it was faith in God that inspired Abraham to trust Him implicitly and do God’s will.
Thus, was Abraham found righteous before the throne of Heaven; and as God promised him, his seed was multiplied as the stars.
From the seed of Abraham come the nations. And from the nations, God established a nation that would not be counted amongst the nations but would be set aside to serve Him alone. That nation, Israel, will, though to be chastened further, still stands when, prophetically, the nations themselves are ultimately destroyed.
For, this fallen world, having plumbed the depths of every imaginable evil (as prophesied), is to be swept to oblivion. However, of that few remnant who survive that which is to come, we must not forget the part that Israel is still to play in the world that the returned Jesus, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is to play.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ISRAEL IN GOD’S PLAN:
Bible-based Christians know that everything that happens in the world starts and ends in Israel. Literally, Israel will be the center of the world over which the Christ King will rule in the millennium.
Even as it lay fallow for centuries of Shabbat Rest (because of the sin of ancient Israel), the land was Holy unto God. From the time of its re-emergence as a nation in 1948 until now, though partially restored but still sundered by the world, the land of Israel presents as holy ground. Holy also shall ultimately be the set-aside, saved remnant of those that are to inhabit her.
‘CHURCHIANITY’ HAS LED TO APOSTASY:
As a biblical marker of these present ‘times,’ we see that many of the allegedly ‘Christian’ churches have, in the main, along with their erstwhile congregates, fallen. Apostasy and heresy are fast replacing the essential Jesus, as the literal truth of the Bible is scorned as almost meaningless.
‘Churchianity’ sneers at our ‘uneducated’ effort to take God at His Word. It holds that by attempting to understand the Bible from a literal standpoint, ‘Bible-based’ believers are distorting Scripture.
Why are we meant to learn God’s Holy Word from a literal standpoint?
When Jesus spoke to the multitudes that gathered to listen to Him, He taught them from the literal truth of the Old Testament Scripture. He made it understandable to them so that the common man, mostly illiterate, could understand it. He made it understandable so that error (from which grows sin) might be minimized.
Yet, from their beginning, the formal churches have been blinded by conceit.
Almost unanimously, they have given the impression that only ‘they’ have and merit a special relationship with God to the extent that only they have been granted ‘understanding’ of the ‘mysteries’ of the Word. From this standpoint did they develop their ‘special’ doctrinal beliefs, some of which changed or omitted parts of the Word.
It seems as though there was a determination to construct a church wherein the form of worship followed the doctrine that best represented their own views.
That meant that the emergent church, whilst prepared to take aboard some ‘truths’ of a doubtful nature, were not, at the same time, prepared to work more actively to give Jews a place at their own banquet table – not even the crumbs.
They have convinced untold millions that only the scholarship of their own intellectuals have ever possessed the knowledge to truly understand the Scriptures. And this, of course, seen through the prism of allegory.
Why do we need the use of allegory (as developed by Plato to better understand the known Greek World) to know God? And then, in turn, using this tool, attempt the teaching of the masses? I’m afraid the reasons, whatever they are, completely escape this little pixie?
Unless, of course, you take the view that it is used to ‘water down’ and obscure the hard truths of prophecy.
THE HERESY OF ALLEGORY – What it is, and its foul impact upon the literacy of the Word:
The definitions of allegory, symbolism, and figurative meaning evolved over time. The word allegory (Greek for saying other) became more frequent in the early centuries CE and referred to language that had some other meaning in addition to its usual or literal meaning.
Earlier in classical Athens, it was common instead to speak of ‘under-meanings’ (Gk., hyponoiai), which referred to hidden or deeper meanings. Today, allegory is often said to be a sustained sequence of metaphors within a literary work.
This was not clearly the ancient definition, since then a single passage or even a name could be allegorical. Generally, the changing meanings of such terms must be studied within each historical context.
Beginning with Philo of Alexandria (1st c. CE), these views influenced Jewish, Christian and Islamic interpretation of their holy scriptures.
This link below specifically discusses the deep effect that allegory had on the ‘so-called’ church fathers and how it influenced how they viewed the Scriptures. The seeds having been sown, scriptural interpretation passed quickly from literal understanding to the mysticism of ‘hidden meanings’ and under-meanings so beloved of classical scholars.
If you take the time to plough through the grounds for some of this heretical rubbish (as it pertains to the alleged understanding of our Scriptures), you will then, in consequence, understand why the established churches of ‘Churchianity’ march to the sound of a different drum than do we who take and digest our Scripture from the literal standpoint.
We can no longer even (nor should we) attempt to ‘break bread’ with them; to attempt to do so soon sours the stomach.
However, if their view is correct, then, of course, we are going the ‘wrong’ way. Personally, I see little difficulty in making the choice. Literal understanding makes sense. Allegory is like applying copious quantities of under-arm deodorant to a basically dirty torso. You can hide the smell for a while; but, sooner or later, the stench will out.
The doctrines held by ‘Churchianity’ either hold us in contempt or look upon us as sad fools for our lack of scholarship.
‘What would we know!”
Pardon my terse attitude. I rate them all (past and present) as a bunch of intellectual twerps, so far into themselves that it’s a wonder they can reconcile their belief systems to the Christ at all? Actually and increasingly, I have come to the view that many of them don’t.
No wonder we ‘see through glass but darkly.’ I sometimes think that it’s not God who obscures our view of Him, but the latter-day Sanhedrims of Rome and her illegitimate daughters. The latter, of course, are personified within much that remains of the Reformation, as typified by High Anglicanism and the Episcopalian Sees of America.
WITH EXTREME MALICE:
Not the least is the disparagement by ‘Churchianity’ of the idea of there being any place for Israel, either now or in the future.
This is a ‘legacy’ of the theological positions taken by the early ‘church fathers’ and later accepted at the great councils conducted within the early years of the practice of our faith.
It was by intent.
The object being not simply to marginalize the Jews, but the removal of all things Jewish from the formal church, as managed by Rome and Orthodoxy.
It’s a small wonder, perhaps, that they didn’t relocate the Bible origin to Italy and call Jesus, Luigi. That, at least, would have permitted them to properly deal with a Messiah born into mankind as a Jew.
I would also make this observation. That in taking administrative and theological control of the Christianity, Rome was (originally as steered by the last of the Roman Emperors) endeavouring to create a church that could control the mass of its followers. The use of indulgences, refusal to recognize marriage to anyone outside the faith, and the punishment of excommunication from participation in the alleged sacraments of the faith were the weapons they applied. Later, it would be the tortures applied by the Inquisition/s.
Were it within their power, I sincerely believe they would return to hasten down the same track if they could. It gave them unlimited power over the masses AND their rulers particularly (during that period of history where European kings/queens could not rule without the sanction of the papacy).
Nowadays, an increasing number of pastors/priests, paying only lip-service to Our Lord Jesus Christ, have begun to depreciate His sacrifice. They have steadily replaced the essential Jesus with a gospel of ‘social justice.’ Some who follow the social justice focus have come to believe and state publicly ‘that this is what Jesus was really all about!’
In metaphor, ‘they continue to spit on the Christ of God.’
THE ADULTEROUS UNION BEING CONSUMMATED BETWEEN ROME AND ISLAM:
The ‘great’ prelate in Rome both endorses and advances not only World Government, giving it control of all world resources, but now, One-World religion. This abomination has been spawned through the heretical creation of ‘Chrislam.’
This pre-supposes an idolatrous union between the Christian faith and Islam. With Rome in charge, of course!
I see it as adultery.
The proponents of this union propose that the ‘Bride’ of Christ remove herself from her betrothed bridegroom to play the harlot with a ‘lover’ who has no legal claim to her or even the right to pay the bride price.
This is unadulterated blasphemy, for there can be no common ground between Islam (sworn to murder and subdue all Christians as apostates) and the gospel of our Lord, The Christ of the Living God.
It is particularly noteworthy that this foul, adulterous union does not include the Jews (thank God).
It appears to be a ‘toss-up’ as to whether Islam loathes the Jew even more than the churches representing ‘Churchianity.’
Islam has tolerated Judaism only because of their acknowledgement that Jews are the ‘people of the Book.’ The ‘Book’ being the Scriptures given the Jew, called Torah that we know as the first five books of the Bible. The ‘prophet’ of Islam plagiarized parts of the Quran from the Scriptures. And Islam still venerates several of the apostles as prophets.
Significantly, even the Quran acknowledges Jerusalem and Israel as the ancestral home of the Jews. That includes the Temple Mount.
Little wonder that Jews continue to view Christians with the greatest suspicion. Given our historic track record, I don’t see how or why the Jews would remotely wish to come under this satanic umbrella proffered either by the papacy or the Reformed Church as it is constituted today.
Those that will happily accept such a union are, from our perspective, certainly not of Christ Jesus nor pertain to His Gospel message of redemptive grace.
As I come to the end of this series, you could easily form the conclusion, ‘this guy hates Roman Catholics and most Protestants!’ Why would I hate those that constitute most of my immediate family and friends? My contention is only my belief that they have, for centuries, been betrayed. I pray, as do we all, for a revival of true, faith-based belief in Jesus as the only source and propitiator of redemptive grace – the way home to God.
THE SOCIAL ISOLATION OF THE VIRUS PANDEMIC Vs MANKIND’S ISOLATION OF GOD:
And so, this is the point at which we had arrived until the emergence of this Pandemic pestilence commonly called Coronavirus and several other more scientific names, such as COVID-19.
As many of us, increasingly in self-isolation, contemplate a horrifying future or, indeed, no future at all, it is perhaps timely to gaze upon the path along which we walked to arrive at this point.
You might also pardon me if I suggest that maybe it is fitting that ‘we‘ (of the World) who have long attempted to ‘isolate’ God and belittle Him in the arrogance of our hateful rejection, are now to endure similar isolation as the structure of our world crumbles around us.
Until then, unless ‘our’ call (as the given bride to Christ our bridegroom) comes sooner, we remain in a world that truly appears to be reaping what man has sown.
And that, friends, brothers, sisters all, is not where ‘we’ wish to remain any longer.
Let me close the series with that wonderful benediction:
“May the LORD bless and keep you. May He cause His face to shine upon you and grant you peace. And may you with thanksgiving always, prayerfully seek Him through Jesus, our Christ King and Living God!”