FOUR GLORIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST – 2

FOUR GLORIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST
(From the Book of Hebrews)

Part 2 – The Claims of Divine Righteousness Fulfilled Because of the Finished Work of Christ

By His own blood, Christ entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb 9.12. The Holy Place (mentioned here) is that within the veil of the tabernacle; it was where God dwelt, where His throne was. It is more familiarly known as the Most Holy Place, or the Holiest. The cherubim (who stood for God’s holy government) overshadowed the Mercy Seat upon the Ark, wherein were the tables of the Law setting out God’s righteous requirements from man. The cherubim are seen looking down on the Mercy Seat, where the blood was sprinkled. The blood of the sacrifice was proof of the execution of the claims of divine justice.

In the Old Testament, the blood was carried into the Holiest on the great Day of Atonement, and served for the whole nation. Unless atonement was made, God could not dwell among a naturally sinful people. The blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled not upon the erring people to satisfy their consciences, but upon the Mercy Seat – God’s Throne – to satisfy His righteousness about their sins.

The claims of divine righteousness were met by the shed blood. God is a holy God and He can never tolerate sin; sin must be punished. God sits upon a throne of justice. God can never make light of His holiness and justice and righteousness. Sin is defiance of God’s holiness, and therefore rebellion against a righteous God. God cannot deny Himself. The full requirements of God’s holiness and justice were met by the shed blood of Jesus. Now God is satisfied with the great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary; hence our Lord was raised to the Throne in heaven. If God is satisfied, who are we to find fault with Him? Our consciences rest where God rests. God is satisfied with the Blood; the cherubim of divine holiness and justice look down in wonder at the blood-sprinkled mercy seat.

Our Lord Jesus has obtained eternal redemption, and having obtained eternal redemption He has entered into the Holiest by His own blood. He has gone into the presence of God as our heavenly High Priest, having poured out His sacrificial blood upon the cross, and He has gone in in the virtue of the atoning blood. It is the blood that makes atonement for your sins and your souls, Lev 17.11. If there is no atonement, we would perish in our sins. The soul that sins must die, Ezek 18.4

The sacrifices of the Day of Atonement were repeated every year, and the veil ever remained as a barrier, hiding the Mercy Seat and the Throne of God. Until there should be a sacrifice capable of magnifying divine majesty, there could be no access for man into the presence of God. But when the Lord Jesus shed His blood, the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom. We now have access with boldness into the very throne-room of God.

The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had magnified the nature of God about sin, and therefore God unveiled the Holiest. God has now revealed His righteousness to us in the gospel, and has shown us the death of Christ satisfying His righteousness. Hence the very throne of God’s justice becomes the security of our salvation.

We see the righteousness of God in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross. The high priest of old could enter into the Holiest only once a year, and that too with fear and trembling. But Christ entered into the Holiest of all, the presence of God in heaven, and He has entered in our behalf. His sacrifice was made on our behalf; He is our Representative in heaven. His sacrifice has been accepted. He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. It is a finished, complete, once-for-all, accomplished work, perfect in all respects, and fully satisfying the righteousness, justice and holiness of God.

Christ has entered into the Holiest and we have boldness to enter into the Holiest, because of the efficacy of the precious shed Blood of the LJC. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and lving way which He consecrated for us, through the rent veil of His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” Heb 9.19-22.

H.F.W. (adapted)

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FOUR GLORIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST – 1

FOUR GLORIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST
(From the Book of Hebrews)

Part 1 The Efficacy of the Precious Blood

Sins are forever gone, because Christ once – and once for all – shed His blood. Under the law there was a daily need for sacrifice. There was the morning and evening sacrifice for Israel, Exod 29. 38.

The sins of the people required sacrifice. The sacrifices in the O.T. did not cover future sins; fresh sins called for fresh blood. But the conscience of the guilty one was never at rest. Every time he sinned he needed to offer a sacrifice. What he obtained was only temporary relief. The OT Law made nothing perfect.

But the sacrifice of Jesus was different. The sinless Offerer offered Himself once and forever. It was a once-for-all sacrifice that was accomplished on Calvary. Such was the greatness of the sacrifice of our LJC, such was the completeness of the sacrifice (hence the utterance, “It is finished”) – that there was no need for Him to offer Himself up again on the Cross.

He obtained eternal redemption for us. His sacrifice fully satisfied the righteousness of God. Hence He was raised from the dead and lifted up to the throne of God, where He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He sits, because the work is finished, never to be repeated.

What should we do then? We must magnify the LJC for His great sacrifice on the Cross, by worshipping and praising Him just as the 24 elders do in heaven, Rev 5.

There is something here that we must understand. It is the eternal efficacy of the precious Blood. He does not have to sacrifice Himself again, He does not have to shed His precious Blood one more time. The Blood avails throughout eternity for the forgiveness of sins. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us. If we fall or fail, we can resort to the precious Blood, confessing our sins and availing forgiveness, 1 John 1.9. Indeed we need to claim the cleansing power of the precious Blood at all times. And such is the power of that precious Blood that our conscience is fully purged and there is no more guilt. We are forgiven and we can experience this. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow, Psalm 51.7. Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven, Psalm 32.1

H.F.W. (adapted)

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ERRORS IN MODERN BIBLE TRANSLATIONS

I began my Bible reading (after I was born again) with the NKJV. I read that for many years. Then I went on to the NASB. That too I read for many years. Then I went on to the ESV; I have been reading the ESV for 4 years at least, may be more.

Today, while reading 1 Chron 6.57 and 67, I was shocked to find the term ‘cities of refuge’ in both these verses, when actually there is only one ‘city’ of refuge in 6.57 (Hebron) and one ‘city’ of refuge in 6.67 (Shechem). Anyone with basic reading of the Bible will know that there are six cities of refuge, as we can see from Joshua 20.7,8. So when give a list in 1 Chron 6.57 which contains names like Libnah, Jattir, Eshtermoa, etc and in 1 Chron 6.67 which contains names like Jokmeam, Bethhoron, Aijalon, etc….then there is something wrong somewhere! There are only SIX cities of refuge. Everyone with a common understanding of the Bible knows that.

But the ESV and the NASB are culprits in this respect. They follow a so-called ‘literal’ translation of the Bible. The KJV translators were wiser and they added ‘the city of refuge’ (Hebron or Shechem, as the case may be). High time that a perfectly accurate and sensible translation of the Bible is made. Otherwise we need to get Bibles having the KJV, NKJV and NASB/ESV/NIV/NLT, i.e. three translation in one edition, or a 3-in-1 Bible.

I am writing this post, knowing fully well that hardly anyone will commisserate with me, because 0.01% of FB Christians actually read their Bibles seriously. But I have to vent out my feelings, since I am disappointed with the gross error that I found in the ESV. I am now faced with the problem – in my Bible study – of reading at least 3 to 4 translations to get the correct meaning and sense.

I gave up daily reading of the KJV (though I strictly use it for my preaching ministry) since I found the language to be quaint and difficult to follow.

Are there any Bible scholars here who will respond to this post? Or should I put it up as a bit.ly link on Twitter and other sites?

CH

P.S. I do NOT endorse the NIV, which I found to be an uninspiring translation – a total disappointment. I never felt the urge to read the NIV version. I felt that there was nothing of the Holy Spirit in that translation. But in the case of the NKJV, NASB and ESV there is a ‘modicum’ of the Spirit. Thought I wish they were more accurate and meaningful (giving the full sense of the passage). ~ CH

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CAN A BELIEVER EVER BE LOST?

It has been announced that I will speak to you on a subject which has occasioned a good deal of controversy among the people of God. I want to take as a starting-point—not exactly as a text, because we shall be looking at a good many scriptures—Romans 8:38,39: “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 our Lord.”

This is the inspired answer to the question of verse 35: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” That is, once we are Christians, once we know the love of Christ, once we have been justified by faith, who is there, what power is there, that can separate from the love of Christ? And the answer, how full, how clear, not a shadow, not a doubt, not a question left when the apostle says that neither death nor life shall separate! Can you think of anything which is neither included in death nor in life?

Neither death nor life shall separate! Then, no unseen powers can separate the believer from Christ, “Neither angels, nor principalities, nor powers.” These terms are used again and again in the New Testament, particularly in the Epistles, for angelic hosts, good and evil. When our Saviour rose from the dead He spoiled principalities and powers, that is, He defeated all the hosts of evil led by Satan; and so we may take it that the angels referred to here are good angels, and the principalities and powers are possibly evil angels. But there is nothing that good angels would do, and nothing that evil angels can do, which will result in the separation of the believer from Christ. And then further, he says, “Neither things present nor things to come.”

Again let me put the question, Can you think of any experience through which a believer might ever go which is neither a thing present nor a thing to come? And the Holy Ghost says that neither things present nor things to come shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ. As though that were not enough, He speaks in a more general way when He says that neither “height nor depth [nothing in heaven, nothing in hell], nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It looks to me as though we are pretty safe if we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

HARRY IRONSIDE
(from his pamphlet The Eternal Security of the Believer)
(P.S. The reader is urged to take a print-out of the pamphlet, which is available online, and read it carefully, going through all the Bible references. We are living in times when all kinds of strange doctrines have entered into mainline churches and are corrupting the faith.)

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THE FACEBOOK FOOL

I have just been studying the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21. The rich man lived for the present, for that which was temporal and material, rather than for that which was eternal and spiritual. He had an abundance of crops, but was he content with this rich harvest? Not really. His life was busy; he wanted to enjoy a cosy comfortable future on earth. He was neither thankful to God, nor content with what he had. What shall I do with all this abundant harvest? I must tear down my barns and build bigger barns. ‘Soul, take your ease; eat, drink and be merry!’

Then what happened? God intervened. He called him a fool, because his mind was so set on earthly things; he had completely removed God from his thinking. Alas, his life was taken away that very night and he entered into eternity penniless, because he had laid up all his treasures on earth and he had nothing to take with him into God’s presence. He had never been ‘rich to God’. He was seeking his own selfish comfort and pleasure.

Now suddenly called into eternity, he found himself bankrupt. He was like that rich man in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. This rich fool of Luke 12 had not considered eternity. He had not understood that his life was in God’s hands – and could be taken away at any moment! Yes, my friend; your life is not in your hands. The sovereign God of heaven and earth, who has given you life, can also cut short your life at any time. Alas, millions in this world live without a care for God or for eternity!

Now we look, not at the rich fool, but at the Facebook fool. He has lots of time on his hands. So what does he do? He visits Facebook where he whiles away his life with silly posts and stupid comments. How shocking that so many so-called Christians spend hours in idle conversation. They have no friends in real life; they are not busy with work; so much leisure; all they need is a laptop or a smartphone or tab and the trivial talk can go on forever. In one sense, it’s an escape from loneliness and boredom. But in another sense, it reflects the absurdity and meaninglessness of life. There is nothing real about Facebook; it is all an illusion. But does the Facebook fool realize his folly? Not at all! He has so many friends (thousands of them!). But sadly, God was not in his thoughts and certainly, God was never his Friend!

This is the Facebook fool. He has been living for himself, seeking pleasure in idle chitchat and promoting selfies. He calls himself a Christian, but knows nothing of Christ. He lives in a delusional Facebook world, and is completely oblivious of eternity. It has never struck his mind that he has to live for God. Never once has he cared to preach the gospel on Facebook. He says, “Soul, take your ease; chat, gossip, promote yourself and be merry.” Then, in steps God into his life, and takes away his soul. What shall this fool do? He has spent years on Facebook, killing time, indulging in fruitless ‘social networking’. Now, all of a sudden, he enters eternity. What shall he do? It is too late! His time on earth is over. At the Great White Throne, he has to confess that he was never ‘rich towards God’. He was never a witness for Christ. He never lived for Christ. He had destroyed himself by his Facebook addiction.

JK

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NIGHT PREACHERS

I have heard them in the middle of the night
At the street corners. When all is asleep
And the moon hangs heavy in the torpor of no-thought
Tongues break –
Whips lash the wrath of heaven on the heathen,
And the minds walled with the fear of God will tomb.
The heart must cringe and the eyes shrink,
For the ecclesiastic fury of the voices with no face
Will pound and grind the mills of doom
With no teeth.

What is the wrath of God that must break
In the horror of the images of hell? that must lash
In the scorpion’s tail? that must grill?
God is no mad preacher;
The all-embracing arms will fold the stray sheep
That dud doomsayers kill.

Tan Pratonix

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THE ARK, THE MERCY SEAT, THE CHERUBIM

“… the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).

In Rev. 21, we see the New Creation. The old things are fully passed away, and the Heavenly Jerusalem comes forth as the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. It is by the Lamb and by His blood that a wife has been prepared for Him. The city is only for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for those who are walking in the light of the Lamb, and those who have taken the Lamb for their foundation. The thought is that full preparation for the New Creation is only by the Lamb. The life of the Lord is in His blood, and only by that blood we have been cleansed, washed and purified. That is why we see the cherubim always looking at the blood on the mercy seat of the Ark.

In Exo. 25:18,20,21, we read about the Ark. The Ark was the type of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was made of ordinary shittim wood, and not of teak wood or rosewood, because the Lord Jesus Christ became a man like us. Shittim wood is found in every part of the world. The Lord was born in a manger and took upon Himself the form of a man for us. That is the meaning of shittim word. We read that the ark was covered with gold inside and outside. Even though the Lord had the form of a man, He was perfect God, pure gold. On the top of the box was the mercy seat of pure gold, and from the same golden piece were formed the cherubim. That tells us that the same life of the Lord Jesus Christ is given to His people. These two cherubim are a type of the Church and show how both the Jews and the Gentiles are made partakers of the same life. God said to Moses, “I will commune with thee…from between the two cherubims” (v.22). In Eph. 1:23 we see that God’s fullness is the Church, of which the cherubim are a type. We all become one, because of the one life which we share.

We are told that the faces of the cherubim were to look constantly on the mercy seat, where the blood was sprinkled. We too must keep our eyes on the blood. God was saying from between the cherubim, “I will speak with thee and meet with thee,.” but it was possible only because of the blood. If there has been no blood on the mercy seat, God would not have been there. Communion with God was possible only where the blood was sprinkled. Then the glory of God came down and He spoke from between the cherubim. We too can commune with God only through the blood of the Lamb.

All God’s thoughts of eternity are only revealed by the Lamb. You will find that the preaching of that blood is criticized much more than anything else in the Bible. The devil knows that he is going to be defeated by the blood. If you want to enjoy abundant life then learn all that you can about Lamb of God and the value of His precious blood. It is then only that you will understand the meaning of the New Creation, and the part that God has for you in that Creation, as the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. The Lamb has given to His Bride His own name the “Lamb’s wife”. That is the highest expression of God’s love for His Church. It is a heavenly mystery, the mystery of divine love – the sharing of God’s life in fullness and becoming a part of God’s New Creation, beholding His face and sharing His glory as His partners.

B.S.

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