POETRY OF GOD’S WILL

Heb.10:36 – You need the strength of endurance to reveal the poetry of God’s will and then you receive the promise in full.

This verse is a promise with a condition. I love God’s conditions. Why would I say that? Because the Lord will fulfill the conditions He puts on us Himself. Like Augustine declared, “Command what you will, give what you command”. Today’s verse has a great promise for our endurance, the poetry of God’s will is the promise. God’s plan for our lives is like a poem or a beautiful song that is being composed and performed simultaneously. How do I go about doing my part, the endurance part? This is where Paul’s promise in Hebrew 6:19 comes into play.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,”

Hope is the sure key to perseverance. If I don’t lose hope I won’t give up. In this verse we see that Jesus Himself is my hope, He is my anchor of hope. He has entered into heaven itself on my behalf so that I can enter in also. As a result my hope is strengthened, and God’s poem, or song of my life is fulfilled. The Passion Translation notes describe the phrase in today’s verse that displays God’s plan like a poem in my life. Here is how the TPT describes it.

“Or “to do God’s will.” The Greek word for “do” is taken from the Greek word poeima (poem or poetry).”

So maybe the song of God’s promise seems out of reach for you today. The message of the book of Hebrews is that I need endurance that I can obtain that promise. How do I get endurance again? Oh yeah, Christ has to do it in me. How does that work? I grab hold of Christ, the anchor of my hope, who has entered behind the veil into the presence of God for me.

Did you catch that? I have access into the very presence of the Lord. I can come boldly before God’s throne to find grace in my time of need. Better than that, I now have the new and living way. In other words, I don’t come into the presence just for special needs, I can actually go in and camp out there. This is my new way of life. I find strength in His presence to press on. Let the poem begin !!!

ENTER THE HOLIEST

Heb.10:19 – Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,

This is the ultimate treasure available to all of us, we have been called to enter into the holiest of all. To the Old Testament Hebrew this is unthinkable. The holiest was the inner sanctum of the temple only accessible once a year by the High Priest. He would come in on the Day of Atonement and offer blood for the covering of their sins. The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus did this one time so that anyone who believes in Him could enter into the holiest, into Christ Himself, and make this his new home. We don’t need a priest to go in for us, we can go in ourselves and live in this new way of life. Unthinkable!!!. Here is how Andrew Murray described it.

“The blood of the Lamb! Oh think what it means. God gave it for your redemption. God accepted it when His Son entered heaven and presented it on your behalf. God has it for ever in His sight as the fruit, the infinitely well-pleasing proof, of His Son’s obedience unto death. God points you to it and asks you to believe in the divine satisfaction it gives to Him, in its omnipotent energy, in its everlasting sufficiency. Oh, will you not this day believe that that blood gives you, sinful and feeble as you are, liberty, confidence, boldness to draw nigh, to enter the very Holiest? Yes, believe it, that the blood and the blood alone, brings you into the very presence, into the living and abiding fellowship of the everlasting God. And let your response to God’s message concerning the blood, and the boldness it gives you be nothing less than this, that this very moment you go with the utmost confidence, and take your place in the most intimate fellowship with God.”

This is why Jesus became a man, He offered His blood and entered into heaven itself on our behalf. Now man can not only approach the throne of God to receive answers to prayer, we can come into His presence and live in this new and living way. Christ opened up heaven for us, this is way more than just everlasting life, it is life in the immediate presence of Almighty God. This is a brand new way to live our lives.

LIVING BEHIND THE VEIL

alex-iby-280624.jpg

Heb. 10:19,20 ¶ Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…

One of the most awesome characteristics of revival is the obvious presence of God. Many people touched by revival have learned how to walk in the awareness of His presence. In Hebrews 10, the author talks about entering behind the veil. He says that the veil in the Old Testament temple symbolizes the flesh of man. Even though Jesus has opened the way into the presence of God for us, most Christians never learn how to enter behind the veil, and only a small number have learned to live there. What separates Christians from the presence of the Lord? What does this veil of flesh represent?

First, this veil speaks to us about the cares and desires of this present world. There are so many distractions to keep us from His presence in the natural world. We have worries, fears, entertainment, personal goals, and ambitions, to mention “just a few. These distractions separate us from the tangible presence of the Lord. These desires have to be replaced with a hunger for the Lord. When we begin to hunger and thirst for Him, we can push behind the veil.

This veil of flesh also speaks of religious traditions. Many of us are caught up in traditions, programs, and formats that make it highly unlikely for there to be a move of God. The traditions of man, regardless of how spiritual they appear to be, keep us from experiencing the real God. These traditions keep us from what Jesus called worshiping Him in spirit and in truth, or in reality. Many ministers have a set form and purpose in their services. These forms become a hindrance for the move of the Holy Ghost. For many years, I experienced this frustration in my ministry. I believed that I was on the cutting edge of worship and that I had a progressive full-gospel ministry. Little did I know that our progressive services were very predictable and rigid. Only after I was changed did a spontaneous expression of worship and ministry begin to flow in our church. The veil of religion had blocked the move of the Holy Ghost. But now we are moving in the freedom and reality of the Holy Spirit. We are pressing in behind the veil.

The veil also speaks to us about time. In our fast-paced society, we have become extremely time conscious. The services in most churches can be predicted to end at a certain time. If the meeting goes much past that time, the people become restless and begin to look at their watches. How can God move in such a carnal environment? In order to move behind the veil, we must move beyond our user-friendly short services. We must take the time to wait upon the Lord. We must learn to sit quietly in His presence. As Isaiah wrote, “But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”. Many times people do not want to leave our services. Many linger for hours, enjoying the presence of the Lord. When you get one taste of life behind the veil, of life in “His presence, time will begin to lose its importance.”

SPOT THE DRIFT

kate-tandy-1576.jpg

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

-“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” Heb.10:23

There is something special about going to the corporate assembly and experiencing corporate worship. But you should know by now I am biased. It’s been a neat journey since the age of 16 waking up every Sunday and going to church to experience worship with my brothers and sisters, hear a Holy Ghost message and meet with the living God. I did so many godless things before that didn’t do me any good. I found out going to church and gathering with church folks beat the devil and the old self right out of me. HALLELUJAH! Paul in Hebrews must have known that in our generation we would fight against the corporate assembly or the church. We would rather sit at home in our PJS having “our weekend” going to some sport event or a music festival.

But the “day is approaching”. Yes, my friend this is when we will stand before the Lord and give an account of the life we lived and he isn’t talking about “your doing good things” either. Paul even says to exhort one another when he says in Heb. 3:12 “Take heed brethren, lest their be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” In other words we need to “spot the drift” in our brothers and sisters in the faith. He comes as a thief in the night. When all the world sleeps, that is when he will come. Just make sure you’re not among the sleepers.

“Christianity seems to be concentrating on what we can get by with rather than how much of Christ can we contain. There is no limit to that growth. It is like a spiral which goes up and up and up, and in every convolution ‘draws nearer to the centre, but never reaches it. Our hearts and spirits are wonderfully elastic. They can take in a great deal more of God than we think they can, or than they ever have taken in. We can receive just as much of that infinite Life into our finite spirits as we will. Let us each strive to get more and more of Jesus Christ in us, that we may know Him, and the ‘power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings,’ more fully, more deeply, and may keep it more constantly. Oh, brethren! If we are not ascending the ladder that reaches to heaven, which is Christ Himself, we are descending; and if we are not growing we are dwindling; and if we cannot say that we are being sanctified, we are being made more and more common and profane.” Mcclarens Expositions

DRAW NEAR

annie-spratt-261998.jpg

Heb. 10:19-22¶ Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

This passage is the very heart of the book of Hebrews. This church in Jerusalem had once known the pentecostal power of God like no other. After all, this is where it all started. This was the church with tongues of fire on everyone’s head and stammering lips and other tongues in every mouth. This was the epicenter of that explosion that had spread Christianity throughout Israel, Syria, Northern Africa, Asia Minor, and even to the shores of Europe. That explosion had happened a long time ago. Those that were still alive when Hebrews was written remembered those early days but the next generation really had no clue. It had been over thirty years since that initial outpouring and tradition and formalism now replaced the spontaneity of the pentecostal experience. Paul was begging them to return to their roots. In this passage he is reminding them that they have access into the very Shekinah presence of the glory of the Lord. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on today’s passage.
“Enter into the Holiest. It is a call to the Hebrews to come out of that life of unbelief and sloth, that leads to a departing from the living God, and to enter into the promised land, the rest of God, a life in His fellowship and favor. It is a call to all lukewarm, half-hearted Christians, no longer to remain in the outer court of the tabernacle, content with the hope that their sins are pardoned. Nor even to be satisfied with having entered the Holy Place, and there doing the service of the tabernacle, while the veil still hinders the full fellowship with the living God and His love.”
The call seems especially relevant in today’s church. Many churches who had once been characterized by the power of God and the beauty and passion of God’s outpouring have settled for a quick ‘feel good’ service that just gives its participants a soothed conscience and an empty heart. We need His presence, we need Him. Let’s heed the call of the Apostle and determine that we will exercise all of our strength and passion to enter the rest found in the presence of the Lord.

TRUE HEART

michal-grosicki-366027.jpg

Heb. 10:19-22¶ Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…

Jonathan Edwards wrote a book (considered by experts as a masterpiece) in defense of the Great Awakening called Religious Affections. The premise of the book is that the very nature of the Christian faith deals with the heart; or our emotions, preferences, and feelings about spiritual things. He taught that true faith was more than mental ascent, our heart has to be deeply effected by the love of God. It wasn’t just Edwards that took this position, it was actually part of the Christian tradition that Edwards was raised in. He was a Puritan, raised by a Puritan pastor (his father), and served his first ministry position under his Puritan pastor-grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. True conversion converts our hearts, the result is that our hearts are impassioned for the Lord. John Owen was another Puritan pastor from England in the 1600’s. Here are his thoughts from today’s verse.

“The main qualification of the people exhorted to draw near to God is to have a sincere heart, literally, a “true” heart. In a special way, God requires inner truth. “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place”. This is particularly the case in worship. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth”. In the mind, truth opposes falsehood: in the affections, truth opposes hypocrisy. In the first case all false worship is rejected, all means of worshiping God in ways he did not intend. But the truth of the heart, which is meant here, is the sincerity of the heart that is opposed to all hypocrisy. From this it follows that the heart is what God is most interested in when we approach him, and that universal, internal sincerity of heart is required of everyone who comes close to God in holy worship.”
If you think about it, where does this true heart come from if our hearts are desperately wicked? A true heart is the fruit or testimony of grace. The Lord attracts our hearts, our affections are awakened by Him. As we draw near, our hearts are consumed with His love. So let’s give heed to today’s word in Hebrews. Let us draw near with a true heart, a heart fully consumed with love for Jesus.

ONCE AND FOREVER

Heb. 10:11-14 ¶ And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

What a statement, “One sacrifice for sins forever”. What are the implications of that powerful statement? How does it effect our lives today? First, every sin I ever committed has been dealt with by the offering of Jesus on the cross. There is nothing left for me to do but accept His sacrifice. It doesn’t require any religious observances from me. All I must do is humble myself and receive His gracious gift once and forever. Secondly, this sacrificial death has permanently opened a new life for me beginning now. It is not just a free pass to live forever, it is an invitation to enter into a new supernatural life. Jesus has opened heaven for us, it is open now for “whosever will’. Andrew Murray teaches about this in his book HOLIEST OF ALL. Check this out.
“What is true of Christ is true of His people. The law of His life is the law of theirs. Of the once for all and the for ever of His work on earth and in heaven, their lives and spiritual experience will feel the power and bear the mark. See it in conversion. How many have struggled for years in doubt and fear, simply because they did not apprehend the once for all of Christ’s atonement. They could not understand how it was possible for a sinner once for all to believe and be saved. No sooner was it made plain to them that the punishment was borne, that the debt was paid, once for all, all became clear and they counted it their duty and joy at once to accept what was so finished and so sure. And they could see, too, how the once was for ever—the power of the endless life bearing them on into the for ever of God’s presence.”
Once and forever, these are some of the greatest words in the Bible. My sins are gone once and forever and I can enter into this new and living way once and forever. When does it start? It starts the moment you believe.

THE TORN BODY OF CHRIST

Therefore, brothers, we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place,
by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened

for us through the curtain, that is, his body.

Heb. 10:19–20
Why such suffering? Why was Jesus beaten so mercilessly? The prophet Isaiah said that He was marred more than any other man. This visual and public beating of Christ was important. God was speaking to all of us with visuals that are hard to ignore. Just as the Old Testament temple was filled with illustration, so was the death of Christ. Just as the veil in the temple spoke to us about being separated from God because of our sins, the beating and death of Christ speaks to us about the price involved to redeem us from our sin. When the beating and crucifixion was complete an earthquake tore the veil in two. Flesh had been torn, the veil was rent, the way into God’s presence was now open. Here are some words from Andrew Murray on this new and living way.
“In the temple the veil hung like a curtain between the Holy and the Most Holy Places. At the altar in the entrance, the blood for the forgiveness of sins was sprinkled. The sprinkling of blood gave the priests permission to enter the Holy Place to burn incense there as part of the offering. But into the Most Holy Place only the high priest could go, and only once a year. The veil can be seen as a symbol of the sinful nature. In spite of the forgiveness of sins by the sprinkling of blood, entry and fellowship with God were forbidden. But when Christ died, the veil was torn. Christ showed the new, living way to God through the torn veil—His body. The new way, through which all believers now have access to the Most Holy, always goes through the torn veil, the body of Christ. There is no other way to God than through the torn body of Christ.”
This is the message of Easter, we have been given a new way to live our lives. What is this new way? It is life behind the veil, life in the very presence of God. This is why Jesus died, there is no other way to approach the Lord. We must come as Murray says, “through the torn body of Christ”.

NEW WAY TO LIVE

Heb. 10:19-22 ¶ Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the veil, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…

If I really evaluate where I was at in 1973, I was looking for a new way to live my life. I was disillusioned with the lifestyle of the 60’s and 70’s. I was tired, confused, and bored. The message of the gospel came at the perfect time in my life. Not only did Christ offer forgiveness for my sins and total acceptance, He offered me a challenge and a new way to live my life. I was discovering that we were made for a supernatural life and we were made to face big challenges. The Great Commission sounded like something I could give my life to. This life all starts in a place Paul called the holiest of all. This is where we meet God and this is where our hungry heart is finally satisfied. Here is a quote from Andrew Murray’s classic book ‘The Holiest of All’.
“Enter into the Holiest. With these words the second half of the Epistle (of Hebrews) begins. Hitherto the teaching has been mainly doctrinal. The glory of Christ’s person and priesthood, of the heavenly sanctuary which He, through His own blood, has opened and cleansed and taken possession of for us, of the way of obedience and self-sacrifice which led Him even to the throne, has been unfolded. Now comes the practical part, and our duty to appropriate the great salvation that has been provided is summed up in the one thought: Having boldness to enter into the Holiest; let us draw nigh. Access to God’s presence and fellowship, the right and the power to make that our abiding dwelling-place, to live our life there, has been provided in Christ: let us draw nigh, here let us abide.”
This is the message of Hebrews, we can live our lives in the Holiest of all. We don’t just go there on special occasions or when we are in trouble, we can actually live our lives there. This is the new and living way. That day of days in 1973 when I was saved I received more than you can imagine; forgiveness, satisfaction, and a reason to live. Today the holy of holies is open for you, it’s the place where life begins.

AN ALIEN RIGHTEOUSNESS

MERRY WEDNESDAY-BY PARRIS BAILEY -Hebrews 10:38 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

I never tire of reading about Martin Luther’s conversion. A monk becoming born again and turned Germany and the world upside down! I love the fact how he beat upon the words of Paul. I pray you too today beat upon the word of God and make it RHEMA to you. How can we ever come to the end of this precious salvation? Grab a hold of this ALIEN RIGHTEOUSNESS. IT IS THE POWER OF God that leads us to salvation.
Read again this amazing story and I pray that you too will see paradise open and enter into the joy of the Lord.
Luther called RIGHTEOUSNESS–iustitia alienum or a alien righteousness that belongs properly to somebody else. It’s a righteousness that is extra nos, outside of us. Namely, the righteousness of Christ. And Luther said, “Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, “As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the decalogue, without having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteousness and wrath!” Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ ” There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory. I also found in other terms an analogy, as, the work of God, that is, what God does in us, the power of God, with which he makes us strong, the wisdom of God, with which he makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God. (Luther’s Works, Volume 34, P336-337).