Lesson 37 - Chapter 9:23-28

Lesson 37 - Chapter 9:23-28

Lesson for February 8, 2015

The Book of Hebrews

Chapter 9:23-28

Verse 23

“Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

The better sacrifices were the ones that Christ made on behalf of all mankind in fulfillment of the types and images (copies) under the Law of Moses. The cleansing of the types and images was accomplished with the blood of animals which represented the reality of the “blood of Christ” (His spiritual death on the Cross). The heavenly things refer to the spiritual assets secured for every believer by better sacrifices - the spiritual death of Christ, His physical death, His resurrection, His ascension and His session.

Verses 24-26

“For Christ did not enter the holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

Now we have the typology of the Levitical priesthood. Christ had to complete the fulfillment of the types and images of the Mosaic Law by not only dying spiritually, but by dying physically, rising from the dead, ascending into Heaven and sitting down at the right hand of the Father. On the Day of Atonement only the high priest could offer the sacrifices. Seven days before he offered those sacrifices he went through a very strong system of purification. After seven days, on the Day of Atonement he came to the altar. First he offered for himself a young bull. Then he carried the blood past the first veil, past the second veil, and he sprinkled that blood in the Holy of Holies on the Mercy Seat. Then he came out, and the second time he sacrificed one of the two goats. One goat was turned loose and one goat was sacrificed, and he took the blood of that goat and sprinkled it on the altar so they had the Cross portrayed by those sacrifices —redemption and reconciliation. But the sprinkling of the blood on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies portrayed propitiation. God was satisfied with the work of Christ, evidenced when the Father said “Sit down at My right hand.”

The high priest appeared at the altar many times and each time it portrayed the Cross. Christ appeared at the “altar of the Cross” only once, not numerous times like the rituals portrayed over and over. The animal sacrifices on the altar were images pointing to the one-time saving work of Christ. It was a once and for all sacrifice. Part of the divine decrees of the Father was for His Son Jesus Christ to appear at the perfect time in history and fulfil the plan of salvation. This Christ did as the payment for all sin for all time. Sin is not an issue with regard to salvation. The only issue regarding salvation is whether or not a person will believe in Christ, and nothing more. Any form of legalism or human effort only distracts from the real issue of faith alone in Christ alone.

Verses 27-28

“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”

Appointed means to have a destiny. Physical death is a result of spiritual death. It is not the penalty of sin; it is the result of the penalty of sin. A person who lives on this earth and dies physically without believing in Jesus Christ has an appointment with Him at the Great White Throne Judgment. Physical death has an entirely different meaning to a believer. To a believer, physical death is a very wonderful thing because he will be absent from the body and face to face with the Lord. Believers will also face a type of judgment, which is really not a judgment, called the Judgment Seat of Christ. This judgment is an evaluation based on a believer’s response to Bible doctrine and its application.

The appearance of the high priest to the people of Israel after entering the Holy of Holies was a type of Christ leaving Heaven (the true Holy of Holies) and returning to earth at the Second Coming. A better translation would read, “a second time apart from sin He will appear to the ones waiting for Him, resulting in deliverance.” In other words, “without reference to sin” means that when Christ had paid for our sins by becoming sin for us, His work was completed and He returned to the status of sinless (apart from sin). So he remained in Hypostatic Union, and from the time He ascended and was seated at the right hand of the Father, He was still in Hypostatic Union. He will be in Hypostatic Union on the day He stands on the Mount of Olives at the Second Coming. So “without reference to sin” indicates that He is in a state of impeccability now and forever.

Christ will appear as the King of kings to Israel. He will appear as David’s “greater son,” just as the high priest left the Holy of Holies and came through the Holy Place to stand in front of the Brazen Altar and appear to the people, as they let out a cheer. Eagerly await means to wait in great anticipation. It means to think about someone you love and know that they are coming to see you very shortly. It is used in Hebrew to express the expectation of Israel in the future. Here it means to anticipate by means of the doctrine in your soul. During the Tribulation, those who have the most doctrine anticipate the Lord the most. This means that Christ is going to come back to deliver the Jewish believers who are all being persecuted. This occurs at the Battle of Armageddon.

The Second Coming of Christ results in praise breaking out in Heaven because God’s deliverance has come and He will avenge the murders of believers in the Tribulation. The angels will begin a song of praise (Revelation19:1). Then all believers will be commanded to join the song of praise to God. And finally, a voice from Heaven will declare the omnipotence of God. The word for praise in Greek is “espainos,” which means approval or commendation. (Ephesians 5:19-20; Revelation 19:1-21)

Revelation 19 describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation to execute judgment upon the satanic forces. The description of Christ, Who is riding on a white horse, is as follows: “faithful, true, righteous judge, eyes of fire, crowns on His head, the name written that no man could understand, clothed in a robe dyed by dipping it in blood and His name is called the Word of God.”

Jesus will come with His army of believers and angels clothed in fine, clean, white linens and they will also be riding white horses. Ready for war, Jesus Christ need only speak the word and nations will be destroyed. He will come to execute the wrath of God through fierce battle. And He will destroy His enemies with a rod of iron and tread them down in battle. He is the Kings of kings and the Lord of lords and no one can stand against Him.

Revelation 19:17-21 describes the Battle of Armageddon. It will be the final battle for those upon the earth during the Tribulation. The angel will cry with a loud voice and gather the birds to feast upon the dead after the Battle of Armageddon is complete. The Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will be seized and cast into the Lake of Fire. The remaining unbelievers will be destroyed by Jesus Christ.

Personal Sense of Destiny

The appointment with death for a believer is not to be feared, if he has developed a personal sense of destiny. If so, it gives a believer capacity for life by producing spiritual self-esteem. Spiritual self-esteem means that you have discovered who you are in Christ. God never gives us more blessing than we have the capacity to receive. (James 4:1-8, Isaiah 30:18) God also never gives us more testing than we are able to endure. (I Corinthians 10:12-13; Romans 14:10-13) Capacity for life replaces the temporary pleasures of the world with the eternal happiness of God. (Galatians 6:6-10) Capacity is increased by spending a maximum amount of time in fellowship with God, consistent intake and application of Bible doctrine and using Divine Viewpoint Thinking.

A personal sense of destiny should change the way we think and talk:

  1. To self - when we know who we are in Christ we begin to replace negative self-talk with positive spiritual self-esteem talk. Thinking about what God has done and is doing for us. (Ephesians 5:19, Philippians 4:8)
  2. To others - when we get our thinking right we begin to talk differently to and about others. Our talk becomes less about “me” and more about “you.” We think of others the way God thinks and we begin to look for opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. (II Corinthians 5:18-20)
  3. To God - when we have a personal sense of destiny we stop trying to coerce God into a course of action. We become thankful for what God has given us and we learn how to pray effectively for others and ourselves. This brings the peace of God into our lives. (Philippians 4:6-7)

A personal sense of destiny takes you from spiritual babyhood to the beginning stages of spiritual adulthood. You begin to grow up in Christ and realize all the wonderful things that God has done for you, is doing for you and is going to do for you. You begin to see His work in your past, your present and your future. This causes you to put aside anything in your life that is a distraction to your spiritual life. And it causes you to keep looking to Jesus as your only real hope (confidence) for lasting peace and happiness. Finally, a personal sense of destiny will cause you to live your life in the light of eternity. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Along with a personal sense of destiny is occupation with Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. You become occupied with Christ when you obey the same mandates that He obeyed, concentrate on what He concentrated on (Divine Viewpoint Thinking), make positive decisions from a position of strength as He did and use the Problem-Solving Devices constantly, as He did. Christ was our example for the execution of the Christian Way of Life: our perfect role model. Therefore, it is our responsibility to learn all that we can about Christ. We do this through the study of what is called in theology, Christology. Christology is the study of Christ our Savior, the God-Man. Christology is one of the most essential doctrines that we have studied because it reveals to us the Person and the work of Jesus Christ on behalf of us all. We know that the Bible is a progressive revelation of Jesus Christ and it is God’s desire that we all come to really know Him. This is why we must be consistent in studying and applying God’s Word. (Hebrews 12:2; I John 4:2; II Timothy 2:15)