“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5
The High Priest of Good Things to Come
“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 (KJB)
Chapters 7 – 9 of Hebrews deals much with the priesthood of a mysterious man, called the High Priest of God in Genesis 14; Melchizedek. The priesthood of Jesus far exceeds even Melchizedek.
The following study is one I shared from Genesis 14, and I pray will aid us in seeing better “The High Priest in Good Things to Come”…
LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (3)
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him [Abram], and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth: And blesssed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abram] gave him tithes of all.” (Genesis 14:18-20).
We can see Jesus on every page of Scripture when we have the heart for Him. We have seen Him in creation. We have seen Him in the fall of Adam and Eve, and in God’s provision for them through the death of the victims of that first sin of rebellion. Now I want us to see a shadow of Christ in the person who is named above. That is Melchizedek, king of Salem.. Just who is this king of Salem. He is a mysterious character who is mentioned only about three times in all of Scripture. He is first mentioned in the above text. He is mentioned again in Psalm 110:4, and then, there is practically a whole chapter in the book of Hebrews dealing with him. He is a shadow of Jesus in His priesthood.
Jesus’ priesthood is not after that of the Levitical system. He is like that of Melchizedek whose priesthood was unchanging.
The Levitical system required a changing priesthood. Hebrews speaking of Melchizedek says,
“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Hebrews 7:3
Let me try and make this as simple and easy to understand as I possibly can.
The system of the Levitical priest required a continuing offering for sacrifice. The priests had daily duties to fulfill for themselves, and for the people concerning their sins. Daily they would offer a burnt offering at the altar of burnt offering, wash their hands and feet at the brass laver, then proceed to the lampstand (Menorah) making sure there was plenty of oil, and then putting fresh bread on the table of showbread, and keeping the altar of incense fragrant before Holy God. It was a daily task. Once each year the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies with the blood sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat, which served as a cover for the Ark of the covenant. Now, I do not know about you, but it would have been very difficult for me to remember all of that ritual ceremony. It would have been amazing just to get out of the tabernacle alive. Daily offerings, daily sacrifices, daily ministry in the holy place, and no place to rest. That is right there is no place to sit down. The duties of the Levitical priesthood was never finished. There was also a change which happened within the priesthood. There would be a new priest ever so often.
The priesthood of Melchizedek was eternal in type, because there is no genealogy for him – “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life…”. It is my opinion that there is no record of Melchizedek’s lineage for this specific purpose – Scriptures are inspired by God. He gave us what we needed to know.
He was a Gentile, because there were no Jewish people as of yet. He is said to be the Priest of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth. He was appointed a priest by God.
It is a promise given to the Son of God,
“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4).
The Priesthood of Jesus is unchanging.
“…But this man [Jesus], because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them…” (Hebrews 7:24-25).
Jesus finished the work of salvation. He has entered the Holy of Holies. The veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom to show us that, now there is a way to God. This happened as Jesus became the sacrifice for sin, died, taking the wrath of the Father for the judgment of sin. This was what all the sacrifices of the lambs, goats, bulls, red heifers, doves, and unleavened cakes were about. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the law.
When the sacrifice was finished and Jesus was in the Most Holy Place He sat down. That is why, “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin…” (Hebrews 10:26). When you have trusted Jesus the work for salvation is done. How do we know Jesus sat down? When Stephen was being killed by the angry mob, we see Him “standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), which in my thinking means, that before the event with Stephen, He would have been seated at God’s right hand.
There is so much more that could be written of Melchizedek and his being a shadow of Jesus, but I will not attempt to go any further. Trusting Jesus and His finished work on the cross will give you an unchanging Priest, who cares for you, who intercedes for you, and will see that you will spend eternity with Him.
The Steward of God’s Stuff (3)
Stewardship Of Repentance
I. LOOKING FOR HIS COMING WITH UNREPENTANT SIN (vv. 1-2).
II. THE COMING OF THE LORD IS LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE, PURGING THE DROSS OF SIN FROM THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE (vv. 3-4).
III. A LETHARGIC PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEY HAVE DEPARTED FROM THE LIVING GOD (vv. 5-12).
IV. IN THE WRONG ATTITUDES OF THEIR HEARTS, THEY ARE ANGRY TOWARD GOD (vv. 13-15).
V. GOD WILL SANCTIFY HIS PEOPLE, AS PRECIOUS JEWELS (vv. 16-18).
Thus far we have saw the STEWARDSHIP which Malachi teaches in chapter 1 we saw THE STEWARDSHIP OF WORSHIP; in chapter 2 THE STEWARDSHIP OF RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP; and now in chapter 3 we will see THE STEWARDSHIP OF REPENTANCE.
Are these things really a matter of personal stewardship? This may be a whole new way of looking at the book of Malachi, and I do believe that God’s people are to be responsible stewards of what God has entrusted to our care. This message is as much, or more to me, as it is to others, and is much needed by all God’s people.
The stewardship of the people of Israel was not in good order. It is sad to say that the stewardship of the church today, is not in good order either. There are people who have their names on church rolls as members of that church, but rarely if ever attend services. If they do it might be on Easter Sunday, for a special program, or for the Christmas program. There are over 16,000,000 (sixteen million) names on the rolls of more than 40,000 Southern Baptist Convention churches, yet, we would be extremely blessed to have half of them in attendance on Sunday. There is certainly a need for repentance for the neglect of the worship of Jesus Christ. There is also a need for repentance for lacking in fellowship with fellow believers. How can you encourage your brother or sister in Christ when you are absent from worship? How can you be encouraged when you are absent?
I. ABIDING IN SIN AND LOOKING FOR THE COMING OF JESUS.
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:“ Malachi 3:1-2 (KJV).
A. God’s messenger has come to prepare the way for the coming of Christ.
1. That messenger was sent to every believer following the ascension of Christ to the Father.
2. That messenger is God’s Spirit who will convict of sin, righteousness and judgment.
B. There are many Christians who will say they long for the coming of the Lord, yet abide in sin.
1. The coming of Jesus would not be the longing of their hearts – it would be more like that of Lot’s wife whose heart was still in Sodom, and she turned into a pillar of salt, due to her lack of faith and obedience, “Remember Lot’s wife” JESUS (Luke 17:32).
2. The Lord will come to His temple – how will He find His vessel?
C. “He is like a refiners fire, and like fullers soap…” When you are in the faith of the Lord Jesus you will stand, endure, and be cleansed in His sight.
II. THE COMING OF THE LORD IS LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE, PURGING AWAY THE FILTH, AND WASTEFULNESS OF SIN FROM THE HEARTS OF GOD’S PEOPLE.
“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.“ Malachi 3:3-4 (KJV)
A. There must be a cleansing of Christian leadership, then, it will pass to rest of God’s people.
1. When the leadership is living as the world, it is no wonder the Church is worship less, weak, and weary.
2. When the leadership is clean, then, there will be a worthy offering unto the LORD in righteousness.
B. There will be pleasant offering unto the LORD, just as it was in the beginning.
III. A LETHARGIC PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEY HAVE DEPARTED FROM THE LIVING GOD.
“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’
‘Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:5-12 (KJV).
A. It is almost as though these religious leaders copied their behavior from the church of Sardis in Revelation 3:1, Jesus said, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” (NKJV).
B. The people had gone to trusting the word of sorcerers, adulterers, and had gone to oppressing the poor, the widow, the orphan, and turning strangers away.
1. This was all being done due to a lack of fear of the LORD.
2. They had changed, and forgotten that God is IMMUTABLE, ie., Unchanging.
C. God in His grace still calls for His wayward people to return to Him, and at His call to return, they wonder how, or why they need to return (v. 7).
D. His people have deserted the tithe, thus robbing God, and again wondering, “How have we robbed Thee?”
1. “In tithes and offerings” was God’s answer.
Now some are going to say, “That was law. The law has been done away. We are not under law any longer, but under grace”. My answer to that is this; The law has not been “done away”, rather it has been fulfilled in Christ. If Christ fulfilled the law, then, we are to let it shine forth from our lives. That means that the tithe is only the place that the Christian is to begin. If the ‘tithe’ is of the law, should the ones who are the fulfillment of the law in Jesus Christ give less than the requirement of that law. The Christian should begin with the tithe which is ten percent (10%) of one’s income.
If we look into the lives of the patriarchs of the Old Testament, like Abraham, w see that he paid tithes unto Melchizedek, and Jacob vowed to give God a tithe of all his possessions. These were before the law.
2. God’s people have been cursed by over indebtedness, and that due, at least in part, to lack of faith in God, and putting trust in perishable, material goods, and gain.
3. God says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…” and that for God’s people today, is His local church.
a. The tithe does not go for missions offering, building fund, a television ministry, or the Red Cross, or any other charitable organization – it belongs to God and goes into the local congregations general fund, and to be distributed as God directs that congregation.
b. When someone “Gives” with stipulations, [as long as you have it where you can control it] it has not been given to God.
4. God will bless those who give to God as He directs, and as He says, “…That there shall not be room enough to receive it”.
E. When God’s people begin recognizing God’s ownership of all things, then, God will bless us in the eyes of others (vv. 11-12).
IV. WITH THE WRONG ATTITUDES IN THEIR HEARTS, THEY ARE ANGRY TOWARD GOD.
“Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.“ Malachi 3:13-15 (KJV)
A. The people of God have the attitude that it does no good to serve the Lord – “What profit is it…” accusing God of being unjust.
B. By declaring God unjust, they have the wrong attitude about holiness, righteousness, justice, peace, joy, and God.
1. How can the people of God get to the place where they question His faithfulness, His sustenance, His providence, His power, His presence, or His knowledge?
2. We can get in that way by becoming bored in our “Worship”, faithless in our work of ministry – losing our love for Jesus – and lacking repentance for our sins.
V. GOD WILL SANCTIFY – SET APART – HIS PEOPLE AS PRECIOUS JEWELLS.
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.“ Malachi 3:16-18 (KJV).
A. A book of remembrance is written for those that feared the LORD, and thought on His name.
B. God says, “They shall be Mine”.
C. There is coming a day when God will make Israel His precious jewels; His people are a treasured possession, and He will have all those who are His as such.
D. There is coming a day when He will spare His people and give discernment of the righteous and the wicked, and of those who serve the LORD, and those who do not.
E. You are called to be separate, apart from the world of sin and wickedness; you have the power of the Spirit of Christ to discern good from evil, godliness from wickedness.
F. God has set you apart as a precious Jewel
I. THE STEWARDSHIP OF REPENTANCE IS TO AWAKE FROM SINS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN REPENTED OF, AND REPENT.
II. THE STEWARDSHIP OF REPENTANCE IS TO BE PREPARED FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD, AND TO KNOW HE IS COMING LIKE A THEIF.
III. REMEMBER TO WORSHIP THE LORD IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH, AND TRUST THE LORD, LEAN ON HIM, AND LETHARGY WILL FLEE.
IV. TRUST YOUR FAITH; NOT YOUR FEELINGS, AND WRONG ATTITUDES, AND YOU WILL HAVE NO ANGER TOWARD GOD.
V. LET GOD SANCTIFY HIMSELF IN YOUR LIFE, AND BE HIS PRECIOUS JEWEL.
-Tim A. Blankenship
When We Look Into the Distance
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto You will I pray. My voice shall You hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto You, and will look up. Psalm 5:2-3 (KJV)
For a reading of Psalm 5:1 you may follow this link.
We so often call on God in prayer. Even many who will publicly proclaim “I do not believe in God” will call out to God when some traumatic event happens.
In these two verses of Psalm 5, the Psalmist cries out, “Hearken unto the voice of my cry…”. Which is a yearning for God to hear. The sweet Psalmist of Israel calling out to the One He knew would hear, and answer his call, his cry. The honor, respect, and devotion is seen in the prayer. “My King, and my God” would only be the One whom he loved, trusted, and to whom he has committed his life.
The words of faith spoken in this prayer, “My voice shall You Hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto You, and will look up.” By his faith in the Living God he is able to look into the distance, and from the events of his past know that GOD will hear him. Not just today, but every time he prays.
Every time the Christian prays to the One who has made all things, and made us in His image, we can know that God does hear and answer our prayer. Knowing that we can look into the distance… into the future, and know that He will hear, and answer.
Camp Delight – Christmas Day Two Hundred and Seven
What do I want for Christmas?
I want the Youth at camp to hear the clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that the Holy Spirit would speak to their hearts and minds to understand, know and believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God who died on the cross, was buried and rose bodily from the grave; and is to return to take us to Himself.
And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:65-69 (KJV)
Day Three Hundred Thirty and Two
What do I want for Christmas?
If there is to be any boasting which comes from my mouth let it be of the power, wrath, love, grace, mercy, peace, awe, beauty, the cross, burial, resurrection power, etc. of the Almighty, Living God.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” Psalm 34:2 (NKJV)
“In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever.” Psalm 44:8
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galations 6:14
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1 (KJV)
This Rock is not speaking of a former World Wrestling Federation “champion”, or a movie star. It is speaking of One who has made all things from nothing.
There is only one who is worthy of our song, our music, our joy, and our praise. His name is Jesus the Christ; Son of the Living God. He is the Rock.
Paul the apostle mentions this Rock;
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4
Let us forever sing to the One who is Lord. He is the Rock of our salvation. Let us sing.
Also see Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:8-11.
Abiding In the Presence
“LORD, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?” Psalm 15:1 (KJV)
These are two very important questions. They could have been asked by David after attempting to move the Ark of the covenant to Zion’s Hill in the wrong manner, it was touched by Uzza, and he perished (1 Chronicles 13:7-11).
There is this one thing that professing Christians of 2014 seem to forget and that is that GOD is still holy. He is still a “Consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29), and it is still a “Fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Those references are from the New Testament written and quoted after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So do not go off on a tangent saying, “We are no longer under the law” which has absolutely nothing to do with it. God is still holy. He is still Jehovah [YaHWeH].
The questions “Who shall abide in Thy tabernacle?” None of us are worthy. “Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?” Again none are worthy.
O, but the death of Jesus Christ; God’s perfect, sinless, spotless, undefiled, pure sacrifice paid the sin debt that was mine and yours. Jesus was the sin-bearer for me, and for you. Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus we can abide in His tabernacle; we can dwell forever in His holy hill.
No I am not worthy, you are not worthy to abide with God. We cannot dwell in His presence, but through His Son Jesus Christ. Believe Him. Call on Him, and come into His presence and abide forever.
Words for Christian Living 060713
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (KJV)
We know that none of us are perfect in the sense which we understand the word “Perfect”. In the text above it has to do with being complete in Christ Jesus. When it comes to salvation by grace through faith we are complete in Him.
No matter how hard we try we cannot open the eyes or ears of those who refuse to see, hear and understand that Jesus is the Christ Son of the Living God. It is a work of God. As Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:17,
“…For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.”
Part of our “Perfection” is understanding that all of salvation is God’s doing. By the Spirit of God; not by flesh and blood. Our commission is to Preach the gospel…
-Tim A. Blankenship