Saturday, June 28, 2014

The New Testament church is compared to Israel in the wilderness. Part 6

By Joe Daniels and Terry Cropper

After Israel left the Egyptian bondage God immediately set into motion a priest hood to minister to Himself. God chose Aaron, brother of Moses, to be his first high priest, and Aaron's sons to be priests to assist him Exodus 28:1 “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Garments were to be provided for them,

As we read through this eighth chapter, Moses emphasizes each particular act that is to be done in the consecration of Aaron and his sons. Remember that this book of Leviticus takes place before the forty year journey through the wilderness, and these laws and instructions for the priesthood was given to Moses while he was up onMount Sinai communing with Yahveh. The complete Mount Sinai revelation actually begins at Exodus 19:1, runs through the entire book of Leviticus, and continues until Numbers 10:10.

Aaron is anointed and sanctified. Leviticus 8:12 "And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him." Not just touching the head of the Aaron, but actually pouring much over his head as we read in Psalms 133:2, 3 "It is like the precious ointment upon the head, That ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments: As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion. For the Lord commanded the blessing, Even life for evermore." This marked him in public as being the priest.

To reveal Himself as a merciful God, He provided a way for the Israelites to escape death. His way of escape was through the Passover which started in Egypt. ( Exodus 12:7; 13) When Aaron made sacrifices in the tabernacle, he acted as the representative of the people of Israel. Leviticus 9:7 And Moses said to Aaron, “Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded.”

When Aaron and his sons put their hands upon the head of the sin sacrificial animal, it transferred the sins from them to the sacrificial animal. Leviticus 8:18 "And he brought the ram for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram."

Once each year, the High Priest, in this case, Aaron, would offer the sin offering for himself and the people. In Leviticus we read were Moses called Aaron the High Priest to going into tabernacle to make atonement for yourself and for the people sins. So they brought what Moses commanded before the tabernacle of meeting. And all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. Then Moses said, "This is the thing which the LORD commanded you to do, and the glory of the LORD will appear to you. "And Moses said to Aaron, "Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the LORD commanded." (Leviticus 9:5-7)

According to the pattern of the Old Testament, forgiveness of sins (was not realized when the High Priest went into the tabernacle) but when the (High Priest came out of tabernacle and blessed the people of Israel). In Leviticus 9: 22-23 we read. Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, (and came out and blessed the people). Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. [emphasis added]

Notice here that the Israelites did not know their sins were forgiven until Aaron the High Priest (came out of the tabernacle to bless the people). Question how could the people of Israel have known their sins had been forgiven if Aaron had not came out of the tabernacle to bless them with the good news that God had accepted their atonement for sin another year? No one dear go into the tabernacle to see what happen because they know they would die on the spot. So Aaron had to come out of the tabernacle and blessed the people of Israel with the good news.

These types and shadows are of vital importance, to understand how complete salvation was accomplished by the antitype – the High Priest Christ Jesus in the New Testament. Indeed, in all the Old Testament Scriptures, as Christ Himself taught, are "things concerning himself" John 5:39 (NKJV) “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”

Let's look at some comparisons between the priest hood of Aaron and Christ. In Hebrews 9:24-26 we read, 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. [emphasis added]

This is a picture of Christ our High Priest (going into the Holy place to appear in the presence of God. This fulfilled the type and shadows of Aaron the High Priest (going INTO the earthly tabernacle). (Leviticus 9:5-7)

Then we read in Hebrews 9:27-28 were it says, 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). (Hebrews 9:27-28) [emphasis added] This fulfilled the type and shadows of Aaron the High Priest (coming OUT of the earthly tabernacle to bless the people). (Leviticus 9: 22-23)

The Apostle Paul understood this simple as a fulfilment of the Old Testament types and of Aaron’s Priesthood and his writings reflected that truth. Paul understood the Parousia or reappearance of Christ was the fulfillment of all the types and shadows of Aaron’s priest hood coming out of the Holiest of all during the same generation but unto complete salvation. Paul tells us that Christ is the substance of all the shadows that were under the Old Covenant. Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

The New Testament was not written to introduce a new concept of the work of Jesus as “High Priest” into salvation that is totally alien to the teaching of the Old Testament. God introduced his plans of salvation, to Israel in the types and shadows of Aaron’s priesthood under the old covenant system. Notice how Paul described in the Old Testament priesthood of Aaron, then how Paul associates that work to Jesus as our High Priest unto complete salvation.

First the work of the priesthood of Aaron. Hebrews 9:6-7 NKJV 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

Now the work of the priesthood of Christ. Hebrews 9:24 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; The priest hood of Aaron under the Old Covenant of the law was a type and shadow of Christ’ priesthood. Hebrews makes this fact abundantly clear.

The Apostles know they had not received all that was to be theirs until the Parousia of Christ and their writing reflect that truth. The Day of Atonement was a complex series of events—including the Parousia. The Cross of Christ is the power to save us but the fullness of salvation was not complete until the Parousia. (Hebrews 9:28) That day was already dawning on them and the great Apostle Paul that was hand picked by God was preaching, teaching, and writing under the inspiration of God Himself of this fact! Paul who wrote Rom.13:11-12 tells us that The day of salvation was near and the “DAY” was at hand! (written about A.D.63) And at the same time 2 Peter 1:4-5 penned about the year 64 -65 A.D stated that the day of salvation was then dawning for the church. 1 Peter 1:4-5 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for (salvation ready to be revealed) in the last time. [emphasis added] This was written years after the cross. Yet many don’t see this or refuse to!

Where would Israel have been if God had not immediately set into motion a priesthood to minister to Him. They could not approach God directly. Even the high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (Hebrews 5:1). The high priest was a great thing for Israel, but it was also not without problems. First of all, he was a sinner. Jesus, on the other hand, was sinless. Second of all, the person selected as high priest had a way of dying on a regular basis: but because Jesus lives forever, he has 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). No more getting used to a new high priest. No more is there a revolving door involved. Our high priest is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek! (Hebrews 7:17)

Isn’t it interesting that the author of Hebrews notes that Melchizedek was “made like unto the Son of God” Heb.7:3 he is said to have no mother or father! He cannot be a Theophanie of God the Father. But certainly is said to be: "made like unto the Son of God” “ He was made like the Son of God” but not “The Son of God because Christ was born of the virgin! There was only one “Incarnation”! Melchizedek was not that! (Terry and I have covered this topic in past studies.) But notice that in verse 15, the Son of God was seen to be in the likeness of Melchizedek”. Some claim this as evidence that the person of Melchizedek is in fact an example of a Christophany. We agree! We have pointed out in previous studies that Melchizedek had no genealogy and per the law you would be disqualified for priesthood even if it meant simply that your genealogy records were lost!

(Ezra 2:62) Now some have shouted to us that since this was prior to the Law we can not appeal to yet we will state emphatically that it holds true because this all ties into the types and figures of law & freedom of the law both prior & after! As a matter of fact – if this isn’t true why is the author of Hebrews even making a contrast between the high priest , Jesus, and even speaking of Melchizedek … And if he is in fact a Christophanie as many have believed even in the early church in regards to Heb. 7:4why do so many today not grasp the high priesthood duties fulfilled in the salvation at the second coming as a result of the cross?! (Heb.9:28) It’s not about the cross without the second coming or vise a versa!

Jesus taking his seat on the throne is as He always was before His incarnation – God and now God and forever on the throne! The Father himself states this:

Hebrews 1:8 (NKJV) 8 But to the Son He says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

Truly we present to you that the Gospel is eternal. (Rev.14:6) Truly the priesthood of Christ is eternal as well as we have already noted! Concerning His Deity in many of our studies both together and singularly we have affirmed this truth! Concerning the church, it is to give God glory through Christ in all generations forever. (Eph.3:21) The church at His coming had entered into an eternal Day. (2 Peter 3:21) This kingdom of Christ came, His will was done, on earth as it is in heaven! It is and was to be an eternal kingdom. (Dan.7:14; 27) At His coming it was foretold that the overcomer’s (The faithful church) would have power/ authority over the nations! Not come to an end! And of course salvation would be completed due to the cross and the coming as a type – antitype of the Day of Atonement

 Revelation 2:25-29 (NKJV) 25”But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Or our ultimate favorite scripture where Peter understood that they were entering the eternal day … our English versions are not clear, but if you read the Greek its clear:

αὐξάνετε δὲ ἐν χάριτι καὶ γνώσει τοῦ κυρίου
Grow but in grace and knowledge of the Lord

ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα
of us and savior Jesus Christ t o Him the glory

καὶ νῦν καὶ εἰς ἡμέραν αἰῶνος ἀμήν
and now and into ( the) day of eternity. Amen

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