Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle which was written unto the Hebrews. More specifically, today’s selected passage is found in the first eight verses of the tenth chapter. As you approach this particular passage of scripture you are immediately struck by the language the author uses concerning shadows and types. Building upon that which the author has already written in previous chapters—specifically that which is written in chapters seven, right and nine—we find that the Old Testament was full of shadows and types, patterns and mysteries. We cannot, we dare not, we must not read the Old Testament and not be immediately caught up in the fact that it is absolutely saturated by and inundated with a wide variety and array of shadows and types—that which pointed to the Messiah and the Christ who was to come. Absolutely everything in the Old Testament was a signpost that punted men and women to the awesome and powerful reality of the manifestation of Jesus who is both Christ and Lord. From the very first book found and contained within the Old Testament we find shadows and types and that which points to the coming Messiah in the bruising of the heels of the seed of the woman, and the crushing of the head of the serpent. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that when we read the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Hebrew Old Testament—we recognize and understand the tremendous amount of shadows and types that are found within and throughout its pages. It would be very easy to read the Old Testament and lose sight of everything that pointed men and women to the anticipation and expectation of the coming Messiah. What’s more, is that we would be crazy to read the Old Testament and not see in its figures, it’s patterns that absolutely everything was designed and intended to serve as shining lights and burning torches pointing men and women to the fullness of the manifestation that would take place in latter times and in latter years.
When you read the words which the author of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews wrote you will find countless examples of the patterns, shadows and types that are found in the Old Testament. Within and throughout the entire epistle the author writes concerning the various shadows and types that were hidden and concealed within the various practices and figures found within the Old Testament. The author specifically references and writes concerning the mysterious Old Testament figure by the name of Melchizedek who appeared only once in the Old Testament book of Genesis. And only after Abraham returned from the slaughter of the kings of the plain. There are only three verses found within the Old Testament book of Genesis that speak to this mysterious figure by the name of Melchizedek, and yet not only is he spoken of multiple times within this epistle, but the entire seventh chapter of the epistle is devoted and dedicated to this figure. What’s more, is the seventh chapter paints a powerful picture that Melchizedek was a shadow and type of Jesus the Christ and the priesthood Ge was given by the Lord of heaven and earth. The author of this epistle alluded to the fact that Jesus Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, and that his priesthood endured forever and is both eternal and immortal. This is actually quite interesting when you consider the fact that Jesus Christ descended from the lineage of David, which was the tribe of the kings. What’s more, is that Aaron’s and his sons thereafter were appointed, ordained and anointed as high priests and priests of the Lord in their ministry within the Tabernacles. Despite the fact that Jesus descended from the line of David, and despite the fact that He did not descend from the tribe of Levi, which was the priestly tribe, He was not only a priest after the order of Melchizedek, but He was also a king after the order of David king of Judah. Thus, just as Melchizedek appeared in scripture as the king of Salem as well as priest of the most high God, thus making him a priest-king, so also was and is Christ a priest-king after the order of David king of Judah and Melchizedek, priest of the most high God.
WHEN THE PRIEST IS A KING AND A KING IS A PRIEST. Only in the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews do we find and see the tremendous and awesome reality that Jesus Christ is this heavily, thus glorious, and thus eternal priest-king after the order of David and Melchizedek. Even just in the account if Melchizedek we see this figure who was the king of Salem or peace, as well as the king of righteousness. What’s more, is that in Melchizedek we find the first example and account of an Old Testament figure who was a priest of the most high God. Long before Levi would descend from the loins of Jacob, and long before the tribe of Levi would be separated at Sinai in the wilderness for their bravery and courage to stand with the Lord on His side and execute righteousness we find this figure who was priest of the most high God. Long before the tribe of Levi was anointed, ordained and appointed as priests and ministers of the tabernacle and its sacrifices and services, there was a priest of the most high God who appeared unto Abraham after coming back from a tremendous laughter and victory of the kings of the land. This Old Testament figure was a pattern and shadow of a future priest-king who would descend from the lineage of David—one that would not only have a throne that would endure forever, but also one who would have a priesthood that would endure forever. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of this reality and concept, for not only does and will the authority and dominion of the Christ endure forever, but so also does His ministry and service within the heavenly temple and tabernacle endure forever. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this absolutely incredible reality, for not only will the authority of the messiah endure forever, but so also will the intercession of the messiah live forever throughout all eternity. How absolutely wonderful and amazing it is to stop and consider this reality, and to know that we have a king an priest who will endure forever. Thank God—not only for the shadow and type that is found in Melchizedek, but also that which is found in David as well, Rhode throne the Lord established forever.
Perhaps one of the greatest realities surrounding the epistle written unto the Hebrews—besides that reality of Christ being far better and far superior than angels in heaven, than Melchizedek, than Aaron and his sons, than the tabernacle and all its sacrifices—is that the entire Old Testament is filled with shadows and types which point men and women to the undeniable reality of the emergence, the arrival, and the coming of the messiah. The New Testament epistle which was written unto the Hebrews is one that takes the Old Testament, presents certain and specific shadows and types contained within it, and demonstrate how they were shadows and types of Jesus Christ, and/or of the heavenly reality of a temple and tabernacle that was made without human hands. I absolutely love reading the epistle written unto the Hebrews, for within its pages and through it we find just how much the reality and the manifestation of Christ was hidden and concealed within the Old Testament shadows and figures. What’s more, is that I am convinced there were certain men and women who lived under the Old Covenant who looked beyond the natural and who looked beyond the physical and the temporal and saw the supernatural and the spiritual. Oh how absolutely wonderful and amazing it is to read and consider this tremendous reality—especially when we come to the account and description of the tabernacle which was built by human hands. Before I delve into that which is found in the ninth and tenth chapters, I feel it necessary to present specific references found within the eleventh chapter of this epistle which point to the reality that men and women were looking and living for something greater and far better than that which was before them during that time. The eleventh chapter is replete with examples of how those under the Old covenant were looking for and expecting something far greater and far beyond that which they experienced during their time. Consider if you will the various references which are found and recorded in the eleventh chapter of this epistle, which point to the awesome reality that men and women were looking and living for something much greater and far beyond that which they witnessed and experienced:
“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10).
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
“By Father Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:24-27).
“And what more shall I say? Fore the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barack, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mocking and scourging, yea, more over of bonds and imprisonments: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented: (of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better than for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:32-40).
OBTAINING A GOOD REPORT THROUGH FAITH, YET NOT RECEIVING THE PROMISE! If there is one thing this passage of Scripture reveals unto us it’s that it is possible to walk by faith, it is possible to walk according to faith and to allow it to govern our lives, and even to obtain a good report through faith, and yet not receive that which was promised by the Lord. The entire Old Testament is filled with example after example, account after account of men and women who obtained a good report through faith, and who obtained a greater testimony in the earth among men, and yet they did not receive that which was promised by the Lord. Consider Moses who knew the children of Israel were promised the land of Canaan, and he was able to see the land with his own eyes from the plains of Moab, and yet he could not enter into that promise and that rest. Of course we know and understand that this was due to his disobedience before the Lord, but Scripture still presents us with the reality that he obtained a good report through faith in the earth, and he is even found in this particular chapter containing the heroes of the faith. The more I read and consider this particular chapter, the more I am confronted with the reality that it might actually be possible that we obtain a good report through faith, and that we bear a powerful and wonderful testimony of faith within and upon the earth, and yet we do not receive that which was promised unto us—perhaps in this lifetime. Though those in the Old Testament obtained a good report through faith during their generations and days, they would not receive that which was promised until later when the Messiah would come, would lead captivity captive, would give gifts unto men, and would usher in a far better and far greater reality. Within this passage of Scripture we find men and women dying in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and yet were persuaded of them, and embraced them, thus confessing that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. There is within this passage of Scripture a powerful declaration made by men and women that they are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and that they are seeking a country—one that is far different from the one which was before them. What’s more, is that such individuals did not have their eyes, nor their focus on the country from which they came, but rather the country to which they were headed, for they desired something entirely and altogether better than what they left behind. This is one of the greatest truths surrounding the exodus from the land of Egypt, for they were leaving one country for one that was far better, and one that was far beyond that which was even before them. Even Abraham left the land and country of his nativity, and the house of his father in order that he might journey toward a country that was far better and far greater than the one which he left behind. Thus, there is this powerful expectation and anticipation that is found and contained within the Old Testament, as men and women were clearly looking for something far greater and far better than that which they were presently experiencing. There is a powerful and pervasive expectation and anticipation found within the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah, as well as a better country and better reality that what they left behind, and even more than what they were presently experiencing.
When we come to the tenth chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews we find the author writing and speaking of the law having a shadow of a good things to come, and not the very image of the things, which could never with the sacrifices which were offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. Please don’t miss what the author of this particular epistle is declaring, for what he is writing of and declaring is that while the Tabernacle with all its sacrifices and offerings were shadows and types of something better, they could not make perfect those who came year after year to find atonement for their sins. What’s more, is that although countless sacrifices were offered year over year at the tabernacle as the priests arranged the sacrifice on the altar in the midst of the fire, such sacrifices were not able to purge their conscience of sin. In fact, consider that which the author of this epistle writes in the second verse of this particular chapter: “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (Hebrews 10:2). This reality was further expressed in the previous chapter—specifically in the first portion of the chapter where the author writes concerning the first covenant which had ordinances of divine service was in and of itself a shadow and type which contained a worldly sanctuary. Consider if you will the words of the author which are found and recorded beginning with the first verse of the chapter:
“Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation” (Hebrews 9:1-10).
As you continue reading this epistle—particularly in the ninth chapter—you will find the author writing and speaking of the reality which Christ brought with Him as a priest which was far greater than the sons of Levi, and even than Aaron and the high priests which came thereafter. What’s more, is that the single sacrifice which our Lord presented and offered unto the Lord upon the cross of Calvary was far greater than all the sacrifices and offerings which were presented upon the altar within the Old Testament. Beginning with the eleventh verse of the ninth chapter we find the following words concerning the sacrifice and offering of Jesus the Christ upon the cross: “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:11-14). There is this pervasive notion and concept within this epistle that the Old Testament tabernacle with all its sacrifices and offerings was faulty in that it could not purge men’s conscience from dead works to serve the living God. The Old Testament tabernacle with all its sacrifices and offerings could not purify men’s conscience as it pertained to sin, for there was always the knowledge of sin and transgression against the Lord. Under the Old Testament it was possible to find atonement, yet not find freedom and deliverance within our conscience concerning that which we committed against the Lord against His commandments and word. In other words, the high priest might have entered into the Holy of holies once a year on the day of Atonement to make atonement for the sins of the people, but despite the sacrifice and offering which was made and the blood that was brought beyond and behind the veil, there was absolutely no purifying the conscience from sin and from transgression and from dead works. ATONEMENT WITH MEMORY! ATONEMENT WITH RECOLLECTION! I would dare say there were countless men and women who continually and regularly brought sacrifices and offerings unto the Tabernacle because they were so immersed, so caught up in, and so engulfed with guilt, and shame, and condemnation, that they perceived no other action as being necessary than to continually come to the Tabernacle and present their sacrifices and offerings. This is what is so absolutely incredible and powerful about the sacrifice and offering of Jesus Christ—a reality which we not only find in the eighth chapter of the epistle written unto the Romans, but also the fifth chapter of the second epistle written unto the Corinthian congregation, as well as the fifty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah. Consider if you will that which is found in each of these passages within Scripture:
“There is therefore 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. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, ineither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:1-11).
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:31-39).
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
“Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord” (Isaiah. 54:16-17).
I would also present unto you and submit unto you for your consideration the words which Jesus Himself spoke and declared unto Nicodemus who came to Him by night—Nicodemus himself being a Pharisee and perhaps not wanting to be seen associating with Jesus in broad daylight. In the third chapter of the New Testament gospel of John we find the following words which were spoken by Jesus and recorded for us by the gospel of John. Consider if you will the words which are recorded in this particular chapter beginning with the fourteenth verse:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:14-21).
Within the New Testament epistle which was written unto the. Hebrews there was, and there is this pervasive concept that the Old Testament sacrifices and offerings were imperfect and flawed in that they could not purge men’s conscience from the guilt, the shame, and the condemnation that was directly linked and joined to their sin and trespass against the Lord. Even though the high priest entered into the Holy of holies once a year in order to make atonement for their sins first, and then sins for the people, it still could not purify, purge and sanctify their conscience as it pertained to acts committed before and against God. Thus, it was entirely possible that countless men and women under the Old Testament continually and repeatedly dealt with the guilt and shame that was connected to their sin and transgression against the Lord. There was absolutely nothing that could purify, cleanse and purge their conscience, for the way had not yet been made into the Holiest of all. The author of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews wrote concerning the Old Testament pattern of the Tabernacle with all its sacrifices and offerings writing and declaring that it was flawed in its ability to throughly purge one’s conscience concerning and pertaining to sin. One thing I absolutely love when reading the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews is that it indirectly brings us face to face with the reality that in Christ there is no condemnation to those who walked according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. What’s more, is that even Jesus Himself declared that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Even the apostle Paul wrote that if any man is in Christ they are a new creation, for old things have passed away, and behold all things have become and are becoming new. The sacrifice which Jesus made, He not only made once and for all, but He also made His sacrifice which was able to throughly purge the conscience of men, and to completely eliminate and eradicate all guilt, all shame, and all condemnation. Through the sacrifice which Jesus made, and through the blood which He shed on the cross we find His blood being able to cleanse men’s conscience, and to throughly bring them into a place of complete and total freedom, which can only be found in Him, and in the sacrifice He made through His flesh and through His blood which was shed once. ONE SACRIFICE: NO MORE GUILT! ONE SACRIFICE: NO MORE CONDEMNATION! ONE SACRIFICE: NO MORE SHAME! The question I can’t help but ask is whether or not you are sick and tired of living your life being plagued and held captive to all the guilt, all the shame, and all the condemnation that Christ died to set you free from. Are you willing to truly allow yourself to not only be set free and delivered from sin, transgression, iniquity, and rebellion against the Lord—and not just the act of sin itself, but also the guilt, the shame and the condemnation that was directly linked and connected to it?