10. The Comfort of the High Priest

By John Thiel, Audio: The Comfort of the High Priest

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;   A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.  3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore [it is] of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.  4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:  5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. 

The sanctuary that Moses was told to build was what was he was shown in the mountain of the true tabernacle. He saw the true tabernacle that the Lord pitched and not man. He was told see you make it according what you were shown. The earthly sanctuary was the example and shadow of the heavenly one. In heaven the sanctuary is there. The court is a different situation. The court is where the sacrifice was done where Jesus came to die on the cross was on this earth. When He died and rose again, He became the priest and went into the heavenly sanctuary.

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  14 His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;

The First Apartment Furniture

Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.  4 And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

The Second Apartment Furniture

Revelation 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

They were functioning as a shadow of the heavenly things. As you look at the shadow, everything that was done at the cross was only the beginning for the work of the sinner. After that the work continued in heaven. The first apartment work of Jesus was done when He first went to haven and He sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples and they had fire on their heads. The altar of incense was the work of Jesus ministering our prayers to the father in heaven. The work in the second apartment was a time to measure the people, to measure the pattern. The finishing of our salvation is being concluded in heaven since 1844.

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Like they did in the Hebrew sanctuary every year in heaven, it was after 2300 days from 457BC ending in 1844. The question is often asked, how does heaven need to be cleansed? People can’t understand that.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  23 [It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

What does heaven need to be cleansed of; the record of all of our sins. This is the books being opened and the judgment commencing in the book of Daniel. Jesus the Son of man comes in the clouds of heaven to the ancient of days. In heaven the sanctuary is huge and He comes from the holy to the most holy.

Reflecting from the shadow of the Day of Atonement, let us examine our appreciation of this serious time. The judgment is set and the books were opened. If you were a Hebrew on the Day of Atonement imagine yourself there. God told the priests to blow the trumpets for ten days which was the feast of trumpets. Why? The Day of Judgment is coming. If you have not cleansed your sins you would be punished. It was a day of fasting where He called them to afflict their souls and examine them.

If they didn’t confess all their sins beforehand, the priest would go in and drop dead. It was a time of serious anxiety. Is everything right between me and God? We don’t want to see anyone dying. It was an affliction time, a solemn day. It was symbolic of the hour of Gods judgment. Here is the warning to the world of this very serious time.

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Here is a direct reference of warning to the people on earth that Daniel 7:9-10 has commenced. The judgment has set and the books are opened. This is the warning message.

Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

That is what happened on the Day of Atonement. The measuring of sin in symbol is now in reality.

Revelation 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.

The people on this earth that do not go in by faith with Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary, the people that don’t care about the gospel, don’t measure them. They will be judged after the one thousand years. How serious then is this time that the measuring of the temple was taking place.

The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. By His law He measures the character of every man. As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

God’s books are in picture form. There are character records in video streaming from this earth. A persons living personality is there. As this heavenly measuring is taking place, as the living characters are pictured on the heavenly computer screen or the books of heaven, God reveals to man his defects. A picture of our character is there and it’s compared to the law of God. That is what is associated with the cleansing of the sanctuary.

There are pictures of the foul characters we are and its marring His heavenly imagery. As He compares it against his law, He says the high priest is praying for you, repent. Use the sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse your life. The depiction of the Hebrew seriousness of the Day of Atonement now becomes real to us.

 As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses: “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.” Exodus 32:33. And says the prophet Ezekiel: “When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned.” Ezekiel 18:24. {GC 483.1}

 All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. {GC 483.2}

You can see something serious is going on. The Lord is eager to save us. If He was not so eager, He would say forget about them. But He says let us work with them to overcome their sins.

How anxious are you to remove the record of the past, to have your wrong-doings blotted out? {RH, January 13, 1891 par. 11}

Judgment finishes with the living. It is a living transaction to finish when we and the sanctuary have been cleansed. It is an anxious time. Do I have to walk around with an anxious look all the time or is there relief in this? Is there comfort for me to deal with these character defects?

The word to the Laodicean church is in direct reference to this period of time. The seven churches take us from the time of Christ to the finishing work of Christ. The church of Laodicea is the last one. It is called this as it was a city of judges. The court houses were there.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Here is Jesus the priest and He says I know exactly all about you. I am the true witness.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

The priest calling us, you need to overcome. How? As I have overcome. Here is the note of comfort. You are not on your own. You need to overcome but as I overcame. We are to measure up with Jesus and overcome as Jesus overcame. He said let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.

Ezekiel 43:7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, [neither] they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

As He came and dwelt among us, His place is defiled. His place where the record of the souls of the people are is unclean. This is why it needs it cleansing.

Ezekiel 43:8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.

43:9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.

He wants them to put away sin.

Ezekiel 43:10 Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.

Show the sanctuary to the people. What for? As they examine it, they begin to become ashamed, oh my sins are recorded there. God says yes you have defiled my throne but put away your defilements so we can dwell there forever. He says measure the pattern. What is that referring to? We know the pattern which is to measure us is the law. How beautiful is this portrayed when Jesus says overcome as I have overcome. Here you see the ministry of Gods church is geared so that ultimately we will measure up with whom?

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Measure the pattern. What are we to measure up with; the full stature of Jesus Christ the perfect man. This is what God wants us through His ministry to reach. Put away your abominations so I can live with you forever. Measure the pattern. This is what the pattern man Jesus wants us to measure up to.

Romans 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Here is what Jesus did. He came down in his atonement with us. In becoming one with us He conquered the flesh. As He conquered the flesh, He condemned sin in the flesh which was so weak which we couldn’t achieve. He says overcome as I have overcome. We can learn through Him that if I walk in harmony with Him not according to the flesh there will be no condemnation. This is the everlasting gospel. The measurement of the pattern man is what we are called upon to participate in.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:  24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

The whole work of the sanctuary is to heal us through the sacrifice of Jesus, to be in tune with Him and to use Him as my example. As I use him as my example I see how he lived and I measure up to Jim. That is what we are called to in this transaction. It is His example that cheers us that if he could do it in the flesh we are in then I can learn of him to do it. What are we to do? Measure the pattern, look to the pattern.

Hebrews 12:2 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.  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Did Jesus do that? Did He strive against sin resisting unto blood? When He had all our sins upon Him, He died with them and obliterated them. If we embrace that pattern we will die to the old life. That is the new birth concept. When the Revelation 14 angel spoke and announced the everlasting gospel he said it is come now. We have to measure up those that are alive now. We are to look to Jesus in the everlasting gospel.

Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

What is so special about what Jesus just said? He has died and He rose again. That is a comfort to us. But what else is a comfort to us? He is alive forever more. When we studied Melchisedec what made that so important? He was a priest for ever because He lives eternally. He was not only the sacrifice that can comfort us in this judgment but He lives forever. Comfort that I need in such a serious time. Am I still wrong somewhere? Do I fear or find comfort in that situation? If you have found help in the fact that He took humanity upon myself and lived and died with your sins, He is He that was dead, now find help in this other dimension – I am alive forever more.

Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.  23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:  24 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  25 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.  26 For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

The earthly priests died and others had to take their place. Here is the pattern. This priest is holy, harmless and undefiled and he died because of our sins. What he did at the cross and what he now does as our priest is a double comfort. To be comforted that He died is wonderful but now He is a priest who will save me. Do you see the difference between people who say I’m born again, I’m saved? Are they? He is a priest who is working to save us now. Explore the uttermost and see what comfort we can find in this. He became one with us.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

When Jesus was on earth He was made perfect through sufferings. He is my brother. He came down here and was a brother with us in our suffering and the wages of sin is death. He suffered the death of a sinner.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

That is a tremendous comfort. He became one with us to become our brother to be someone who is beside me suffering and learning to be perfect. Jesus went through the learning process to become perfect. Some say He was perfect all the time. He was a baby and had to grow. After His death when He was resurrected, He is now in heaven. Has He turned and become the Word and not a man anymore? His experience of learning by the things which he suffered, is that the past and He doesn’t think about it anymore?

1 Timothy 2:3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Our high priest is who? A man. Jesus was never lost His manhood. He was the word before He became a man but when He became a man He retained that forever. He is now a man who learnt obedience but what is He now? A solicitor in the judgment. Imagine a solicitor who suffered your crimes.

As a man, Christ ascended to heaven. As a man, he is the substitute for humanity. As a man, he liveth to make intercession for us. He is preparing a place for all who love him. As a man, he will come again with kingly power and glory to receive his children. And that which should cause us joy and thanksgiving is that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” {ST, October 10, 1892 par. 3}

He did not lose His manhood experience. It’s with Him what He experienced while He was on earth. In eternity He will be there and the people will talk to Hhim in this way.

Zechariah 13:6 And [one] shall say unto him, What [are] these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, [Those] with which I was wounded [in] the house of my friends.

On the earth made new there will be people who won’t know why He has wounded hands. They are people who have lived up to the light they had as per Romans 2. The poorest wheat offering people. They will say you still have your marks in your hands, you are still a man. As you meditate on this, what is the saving significance of this fact?

We have the mediator who is a man before God. Am I left to my own resources to help me look to Him to be able to overcome sin as I have to measure the pattern? I’m so weak I can’t even measure the pattern, I can’t do it. How many people try. They love Him, they accept justification but to change the patterns of life is just too hard. What is the priests work?

Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things [pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:  2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

Was Jesus compassed with infirmity? Was he taken from among men? He can have compassion. He can know exactly what our guilt experience was.

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;  2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house.

Remember what we were called to? We are to follow his example. Consider the concept that He is our high priest as he wants to save us to the uttermost. Not only by justification but save us into sanctification.

Hebrews 2:17 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.  18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

The word succour, it is just glibly translated as help but that word is more than just help. It is comforting help. As I’m struggling to measure the pattern, the judgment is on and I don’t want to miss out and God doesn’t want me to miss out, God says I have given you a priest who can help you. What does the high priest do? He has compassion on us. He knows how weak we are, He knows the weakness of the flesh.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.  15 For we have not an 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.

In the time of the judgment what should we do?

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

I come to the throne and my character is shown up and I’m going to be judged on the things I would have done had I opportunity. The high priest knows what I went through. I can’t plead properly and He is pleading for me. The high priest is pleading on my behalf as we can’t even pray properly. If I feel so anxious about the judgment and my condition, what should I do with my anxiety? Let the comforter, Jesus Christ, the two Melchisedec’s do their work. Let them keep on stirring me to not give up. Here is Jesus showing us the way. He is not only showing us in terms of what is written He comes and prods us, keep on going. Jesus is our priest because he suffered with us. Look how He suffered.

Hebrews 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as [was] Aaron.  5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.  6 As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;  8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;  10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

We have often read verses 7 and 8 but not in context. The fact in the days of His flesh pleading to God to save Him, was so He could be a priest crying for me.

Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.” Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10. {DA 483.1}

As Melchisedec number two works with Melchisedec number one, you can hear Him speaking to you deep inside. It is what you do with that. He is pleading inside don’t give up. When you feel desolate and forsaken, remember how I felt. Please don’t give up as I didn’t give up. As I work for you in the sanctuary at this serious time, you don’t have to be anxious. I’m going to get you through. If we would remember this in our low moments. When Jesus was in His low moments at Gethsemane He nearly didn’t want to go through with it and this is often how we feel. He says, “I’m right at the depth with you, I’m pleading your case in heaven.”

The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, “whither the forerunner is for us entered.” Hebrews 6:20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. The salvation of man is accomplished at an infinite expense to heaven; the sacrifice made is equal to the broadest demands of the broken law of God. Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God. {GC 489.1}

This is living truth. The final product of being saved to the uttermost by the cross and the priesthood work is that we will overcome as He overcame and we will sit on His throne as He sits on His father’s throne. What throne does He sit on? His father’s throne.

 All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us. {DA 668.3}

  As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. Whatever was given to Christ–the “all things” to supply the need of fallen men–was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And “whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22. {DA 668.4}

Here is a High Priest who will save us to the uttermost. Do we need someone else to do some counselling with me? Many Christians have counsellors. What do we need that for? Can’t we go to Jesus who gives counsel in His word and be comforted? Jesus has been there, done that and suffered with us. Come, keep on going. We will feel Him drawing near to us and as you feel that go with it and the Lord will help us to the end.

Amen.

Posted on November 1, 2009, in The Sanctuary Series and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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