Vol. 29, No. 11 November, 2005
CHRIST, THE PERFECT HIGH PRIEST FOR AN IMPERFECT PEOPLE.
By Pastor George Mills
“God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son..”
(Heb. 1:1-2) God’s final word to the world is Jesus Christ. Every “prophet” every ” prophesy” MUST come in line with what God has spoken through His Son.
We have been studying a most blessed book in the New Testament. I can think of no other book of the Bible (KJV) that offers the believer more hope, more assurance than does the Glorious Book of Hebrews. THE PERFECTIONS OF CHRIST. What Glorious teachings. I shall try, in this brief space that I have in this publication, to bring to our attention some of these great truths. We have, today, at the right hand of our Heavenly Father, our Eternal High Priest. God Himself swore, when He could sware by no Higher power, He swore by Himself; “Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb 5:6, Psa 110:4) Melchisedec is the priest
Abraham met in Genesis 14:18.
Melchisedec is the Old Testament type
Of our Lord Jesus in several ways; The name “Melchisedec” means, King of Righteousness, and King of Peace.”(Heb 7:1-3) He had no recorded beginning or ending of days. So, in many ways, he is the type of our Lord Jesus. Jesus is Prince of Peace, and king of righteousness. (Isa 11:1-9). Our Lord had no beginning, or ending. He was, and is, and always will be. He appeared on earth for awhile. Now, He is our Eternal High Priest. Now, if you like one of these new ‘versions’ you can read in Micah 5:2 where His “origins are from ancient times” Of course, this is just another attack on the Eternality of Christ. Every believer should be acquainted with Christ as our Living High Priest. This is really where our victory lies. Recently I was listening to a national televangelist try to explain how to have victory over our sin nature. Of course, we still have that nature. There are just too many Scriptures that verify that we still have it. And I know right well that the ‘flesh’ the ‘old man’ is still with me. Well, the speaker said that our victory over the old nature is at the Cross. He went on to say that “There is nothing beyond the Cross.?” I wonder, did he not know that somewhere near
The Cross that there is an empty tomb. That everything we have is dependent upon that empty tomb. Did he not know that Jesus Christ is alive and seated at the Right hand of the Father? Did he not know that Jesus Christ is our Faithful High priest, and that He is on the job 24 hours a day? THIS IS OUR VICTORY!
Now, I believe that the speaker knew these things. I just think that he knows the preaching of the Cross always gains the attention of every believer. We know what happened there. God forbid that I should ever take away one iota of our attention from the Cross. I know that Jesus Christ bore all our sin on His Cross. I believe that. But our victory is in the Living Lord Jesus. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, (the cross) MUCH MORE being reconciled, we shall be saved by His Life.” (Ro 5:10). Our life as a Christian begins at the Cross where Christ died. Our life as a victorious Christian is in our looking unto our High Priest “Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2). I believe that the Bible (KJV) teaches that…
(A) In His death on the cross we have victory over SIN’S PENALTY.
(B)In His Life, we have victory over SIN’S POWER.
(C) In His coming back for us, we will have victory over SIN’S PRESENCE.
1. CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE CROSS IS OUR VICTORY OVER THE PENALTY OF SIN. Let us see what the Bible (KJV) says about the Work of Christ. Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin without an earthly father. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life. He did not violate the Law of God in any point. God Himself said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus Christ was rejected by man, and given history’s mockery trial. All of the sin of man from Adam to the last person to be born of woman was placed upon Christ as He was nailed to the Cross. (Isa 53:5-6). He bore all sin. He paid the sin debt. He died, He was buried, and on the third day He arose from the dead, victorious. The Bible says that He ascended into Heaven, and there on the Heavenly Mercy Seat, He entered with His own blood, and placed that Blood upon the Mercy seat, (Heb 9:11-14). After He placed His Blood upon the Heavenly Mercy Seat, He sat down at the right side of God to be our Eternal High Priest. Now, don’t believe this new teaching that says that the Blood of Jesus was just human blood, like everyone else has. The Bible gives strong warning, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith He was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace.” (Heb 10:29) . Do NOT count the blood of Christ as common, or unholy. His blood placed there on the Heavenly Mercy seat is the guarantee of our eternal salvation. Far above and beyond the reach of man, principalities and powers. The penalty for sin has been paid in full. If you are a believer in Christ, that is, if you have received Him as your Personal Saviour, if you have believed with your heart His finished work as stated above, your sin has been forgiven. Your record in Heaven is clean. Christ offered Himself the sacrifice for your sin. You will never face your sin again. Jesus paid it all! Thank God for His finished work on the Cross.
2. AS WE WERE SAVED FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN BY HIS WORK ON THE CROSS, WE ARE SAVED FROM THE POWER OF SIN BY HIS LIFE.
“Much more being reconciled we shall be saved by His Life.” MUCH MORE!
The Cross is our starting place on our journey to forever. His Life gives us Power, strength, and direction for our journey. The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Romans and told us about our wonderful Salvation. In Chapters 1-3 Paul told us that we are sinners. In Ch 4, he told us that we are Justified by Faith, just as Abraham was justified. In Ch 5, Paul begins to list the results of Justification. “We shall be saved by His Life.” However, when we read Romans 6 and 7, we see a problem. We should be enjoying the greatness of Romans 8, but we must stop by Ch 6, and settle the question about the sin nature we still have. I must understand that, I must know that. (Ro 6:1-10). We start out fine, but one day soon, we learn that we still have the ability, BUT NOT the appetite for sin. Sometimes we fail God, and then just give up without ever understanding some things about our nature. We must reckon, or count these things to be true in our lives, (Ro 6:11-12) And we must learn to yield our members, our hands, feet, eyes, ears, our speech, or bodies to Christ, (Ro 6:13-23). I must learn that I am dead to sin. And then, Romans 7 teaches me that I am dead to the Law. Dead, not only to the Law, but dead to any law intended to produce righteousness in me. The Bible (KIV) teaches me that I am saved in Christ, I am dead to sin, I am dead to the Law, and I am alive in Christ, (Romans 8). Now, this is where I want to begin with our lesson on the High Priestly Ministry of Christ. If you have an Old Schofield Bible, you can follow the outline. Christ is better than the Prophets. Christ is better than the Angels. Christ is better than Moses. Christ is better than Aaron, and the earthly high priest lineage. The language of the Book of Hebrews is, “Christ is Better.” And since Christ is better, why go in any other direction. The Hebrews Paul was addressing were wanting to return to the basic things of the Law. Why? Christ is the fulfillment of the Law. The Law contained only shadows, Christ is the reality. Now, let us see the Life and Work of our Eternal High Priest.
(A) IN TEMPTATION. “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren that He might be a merciful and faithful HIGH PRIEST in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted He is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb 2:17-18).
The word ‘succour’ means, ‘to run to when called for.’ There are many times when I have to call for His help. Remember the problem of the sin nature we spoke about? Sometimes sin raises it’s ugly head and we are tempted. I have heard some say, “Now you Baptists with your eternal security teach people that it is OK to sin. You are saved, so a little sin is alright.” I have heard Baptists from the most liberal, all the way to the most conservative. I have read books written by Baptists of every persuasion, but I have never heard one time where a Baptist preacher preached, or wrote that it is alright to sin. However, we do sin. We do not intend to, but the old nature is strong. Listen to the Bible (KJV) “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye SIN NOT. And IF any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. And He is the Propitiation (Mercy Seat) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1Jn 2:1-2)
“If we (Christians) confess our sins, He (Christ) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn 1:9) This is no excuse for sin, nor does it offer some ‘easy way out.’ If you fail God. If you fail, do not give up, don’t be discouraged. Talk to Christ about that failure, whatever it may be. Confess it a hundred times if you have to. If you deal honestly with Christ, you will gain the victory. That fact that this thing troubles you is a sure sign that the Holy Spirit is dealing with you about it. In Christ, you will find a Merciful, Faithful High Priest. Talk to Him. You do not have to talk to some earthly priest, or preacher, or counselor, or dial some ‘prayer hot line.’
(B) IN TESTINGS. “Seeing then we have a Great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of Grace that we may obtain Mercy and find Grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14-16) Help, in time of need. The Bible (KJV) says that all temptation is along three avenues. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1Jn 2:15). ALL temptation comes from these three avenues. I am tempted, tested, on one of these avenues, and you may be tempted, tested from another of these three avenues. Therefore, you may not understand my fault, and I may not be able to understand your fault. But there is ONE who understands all, because He bore the entire weight of ALL SIN, ALL TEMPTATION. Isn’t that great, that we have a Faithful High Priest? “Much more, we shall be saved by His Life.”
(C) IN TRIALS. “Wherefore He is able to save them from the uttermost that come to God by Him seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest became us, who is Holy, Harmless, Undefiled, Separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” He is able to save to the uttermost. Whatever you may be facing today, TESTINGS, TEMPTATIONS, TRIALS, Take it to your Heavenly High Priest. He will comfort you. His Holy Spirit will enlighten you, and His Word (KJV) will guide you into all truth. He is a LIVING SAVIOUR, and FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST. Thank God that you trusted Him with your soul, and you can trust Him with your life.
3. AS WE ARE SAVED FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN BY HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS, WE ARE SAVED FROM THE POWER OF SIN BY HIS LIFE; WE WILL BE ULTIMATELY SAVED FROM THE PRESENCE OF SIN BY HIS COMING BACK FOR US. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much more as ye see the day approaching,” (Heb 10:25) What day is Paul referring to? He is speaking about the dawning of a new day when Jesus Christ returns in the air to receive the Church unto Himself. Then, HE will present to HIMSELF a Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. THEN, AND ONLY THEN WILL WE BE PERFECT. Until then, nothing is to keep us from being pure, honest, and Holy. Let us encourage one another. Let us help one another. We need each other. We need to pray one for another. And we must be busy in finishing the task He left for us. Remember dear Christian, You have a FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST in Heaven who waits to hear from you. And perhaps YOU may not be a Christian today. I would invite you to open your heart and receive Him into your life as your own Saviour. He came to earth for you. He bore your sin on His Cross, He died for you, and He arose from the dead for you. You must believe that. You must receive that. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” (Jn 1:12) You receive Him by asking Him into your heart. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” I cannot tell you words to say, He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. Then you too, like so many, many more have found through the ages that Christ is the PERFECT HIGH PRIEST FOR AN IMPERFECT PEOPLE.
THINK ABOUT IT..If we could reach perfection down here, (and imperfection is NOT our goal, nor an excuse) then we would have no need of a High Priest.
THINK ABOUT IT..We are free, only because of what Christ did. Never could we be good enough.
THE HEAVENLY MERCY SEAT
By Pastor George Mills
“And over it the Cheribims of Glory shadowing the Mercy Seat.” (Heb 9:5)
“Which was a figure for the time then present.” (Heb 9:9)
There is a place where we can meet,
Beyond all worldly care,
A place that’s called The Mercy Seat,
We can meet The Saviour there.
I cannot work and win my way,
And then the Saviour meet,
But freely meet Him, day by day,
There, at the Mercy Seat.
I cannot give my worldly fare,
And earn the Saviour’s meet,
But freely I can meet Him there,
There, at the Mercy Seat.
Upon the Mercy Seat above,
The Blood was sprinkled there,
Salvation sealed with God’s Great Love,
There, in Heaven fair.
Beyond the powers of the air,
Where we, our Saviour meet,
Secure because the Blood is there,
There, on the Mercy Seat.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. But we have a friend, beyond this world. An unfailing Friend. The world saw Him, Rejected Him, and Crucified Him. The world will do the same to you. “Seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” ( Col 3:1-2)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY
November 24, 2005
“But where are the nine?”
In Luke 17:12-19, is the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed from their leprosy. The ten asked Christ to have mercy on them. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests. “and it came to pass that as they went, they were cleansed. One of the lepers turned back and Glorified God and gave thanks for his healing. Jesus said, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Only one of the ten expressed gratitude. At this time of year, I know of no other passage of Scripture that will be used like this text will be used. I believe that the base of all sin is the sin of ingratitude. Romans 1:21 says, “Neither were they thankful.” Your degree of service is determined by your degree of gratitude. What keeps you going on for Jesus after others have stopped? It’s your gratitude that keeps you going. I am grateful that Christ saved me, and I want to spend my life for Him. Let’s see some of the conditions in this text..
1. THE CONDITION. “They were lepers.” The human body is exposed to all kinds of diseases and maladies. We hear about new virus outbreaks almost daily. Today, we are concerned about ‘Bird Flu’ Some of these virus’ such as AIDS are not new. They have been around a long time. They just called them by other names. LEPROSY, like no other malady is a type, or picture of sin in several ways…
(A) Leprosy was a disease of the blood. This disease was carried through the body by the blood stream. Sin is a condition of the blood. Adam passed his sinful blood to the human race. His sinful blood affected all men.
(B) The surface symptoms of leprosy at first appeared small.
According to Leviticus 13: 2, Leprosy started as a small rising, or scab, or bright spot. Just a small thing that will not go away. And so it is with sin in our lives. At the first it appears so small?just a little thing here, or a little drink, or a little joint, just one little rock, just a little innocent petting here, just a little white lie. Just little small things, and soon the whole life is consumed with sin.
(C) Leprosy was contagious. The most dreaded of all diseases. Sometimes leprosy was inflicted upon habitual criminals. No one would dare go anywhere near leprosy. A victim of leprosy lived a painful, lonely life. Like leprosy, sin is contagious. As we have already noted, it was a blood disease. We inherited sin from our father Adam Sin is spread to every creature. “Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Ro 5:12)
(D) Leprosy was painful. As we have noted, it started very small, then it spread and affected the entire body. Fingers, various limbs would fall from the body. The victim lived a painful existence. SIN IS PAINFUL! It starts small, then it engulfs. “Then when LUST hath conceived it bringeth forth SIN, and SIN when it is finished bringeth forth DEATH.” (Ja 1:15) I wonder how many readers of this text today are living that painful existence? You have found that sin in very, very painful. Like a victim of leprosy whose limbs would just ‘fall off’ how much of you has just ‘fallen off” A marriage? A career? A home ? Life itself has just ?fallen apart.? There is GOOD NEWS in Christ.
(E) Leprosy was incurable. I am sure that the victims tried the various ‘cures’ of that day, only to see their condition worsen. Sin is incurable, humanly speaking, that is. We try everything education, reformation, dedication, and nothing works. Sin is to the soul what leprosy is to the body. “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” The only cure for sin is the shed blood, the finished work of Calvary.
(F) The victim of leprosy was banished from society. These 10 men stood ‘afar off.’ They had to live away from everybody. They had to completely cover themselves, and cry out ‘Unclean’ ‘Unclean’ from the family of God. The good news is, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who were sometimes far off have been made nigh by the Blood of Christ.” (Eph 2:12-22).
2. THEIR CRY. “They lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have Mercy on us.” This was a cry of desperation. The Psalmist said, “The sorrows compassed me. The pains of hell gat hold of me. I found trouble and sorrow. Then Called I upon the name of the Lord. O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul.” Their cry could very we be your cry. Jesus is never far away. He sent His Holy Spirit to speak to your heart today. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart.
3. THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST. In His great compassion, Christ came to them. He came to where they were. In that, He identified Himself with them. In His work on the Cross. He took our sin. He identified Himself with us. He became sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in Him.
4. THE CURE. In obedience to the voice of the Son of God, as they went, they were healed. Jesus said, “go show yourselves unto the priest.” Why? The priest had to declare them unclean in the first place, and only the priest could pronounce them clean. 3 reasons why He sent them to the priests..
A. For the leper’s sake. According to the Law, the priest had to examine them before they were accepted back into society. The Law that once condemned them, now had to set them free. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Ro 8:1)
B. For the priest’s sake. That the priests may see the Glory of God. These lepers had called Christ ‘MASTER’ Now the priests had to see His work themselves.
(C) For Jesus’ sake. Here are His credentials as Messiah. Many Old Testament promises concerning the coming of Messiah taught that when He came, He would heal the sick, he would open blinded eyes. In Luke 4:17-20, the Lord Jesus opened the sixty first chapter of the Book of Isaiah and read this to the nation, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He hath sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering the sight of the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the lord.” Here is your proof. Here is your Messiah. In gross ingratitude, the Priests, the People, the Princes Crucified the Son Of God.
5. THE CRIME. It is criminal for anyone whom the lord has cleansed to walk away in ingratitude. Here are ten helpless, hopeless, homeless men who Christ cured, and only one came back to give God Glory. That’s criminal! But I see it all the time. I suppose the ratio is about the same today, WHERE ARE THE NINE?
Personally, I am very thankful for what God has done in my life. I want to spend my days serving Him, not for what I can get, but because of what He has done. Join me in renewing our vows together. Let us rededicate our lives to the One who “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
I am glad that this nation has set aside a day of Thanksgiving. But to the Christian, every day is THANKSGIVING DAY! God Bless you. Begin today, to live forever!
THANK YOU! Thanks for every call, every letter, every offering. Thank you for every encouraging word. Thanks!