(I’m currently reading the NINTH SECTION from Hebrew 19 etc. about living in the Holiest, having boldness to enter, our bodies washed with water and our hearts “sprinkled from an evil conscience” with the blood by the High Priest. These are areas of guilt that many Christians do still struggle with.Hope this will bless others too?)
We all know that there are two Testaments—the Old and the New. These represent two dispensations, two modes of worship, two sorts of religions, two ways in which God has intercourse with man, and man draws nigh to God. The one was provisional, preparatory, and intended to pass away. What it gave and wrought was not meant to satisfy, but only to awaken the expectation of something better that was to come. The other was the fulfillment of what had been promised, and destined to last for ever, because it was itself a complete revelation of an everlasting redemption, of a salvation in the power of an endless life.
ln both Old and New Testament it was God who spake. The prophets in the Old, and the Son in the New, were equally God’s messengers. God spake in the prophets no less truly than in the Son. But in the Old everything was external and through the mediation of men. God Himself could not yet enter and take possession of man and dwell in him. ln the New all is more directly and immediately divine—in an inward power and reality and life, of which the Old had only the shadow and hope. The Son, who is God, brings us into the very presence of God.
And wherefore was it that God did not, could not, from the very beginning, reveal Himself in the Son? What need was there of these two ways of worshipping and serving Him? The answer is twofold—lf man were indeed intelligently and voluntarily to appropriate God’s love and redemption, he needed to be prepared for it . He needed first of all to know his own utter impotence and hopeless wretchedness. And so his heart had to be wakened up in true desire and expectancy to welcome and value what God had to give.
When God speaks to us in Christ it is as the Father dwelling in the Son. “The words that l say unto you, I speak not from Myself, but the Father abideth in Me doeth the works.” Just as God’s speaking in Christ was an inward thing. So God can still speak to us in no other way. The external words of Christ, just like the words of the prophets, are to prepare us for, and point us to, that inner speaking in the heart by the Holy Spirit, which alone is life and power. This is God’s true speaking in His Son.
lt is of the utmost consequence for our spiritual life that we should rightly understand these two stages in God’s dealing with man. In two ways, not in one; not in more than two; in two ways has God spoken.
They indicate what, in substance, is God’s way with every Christian.1 There is, after his conversion, a time of preparation and testing, to see whether he willingly and heartily sacrifices all for the full blessing. lf in this stage he perseveres in earnest effort and striving, he will be brought to learn the two lessons the Old Testament was meant to teach. He will become more deeply conscious of his own impotence,
“The characteristics which before marked the revelation itself, now mark the human apprehension of the final revelation.”—Westcott.
and the strong desire will be wakened after a better life, to be found in the full revelation of Christ as able to save completely. When these two lessons are learned—the lesson of despair of self and hope in God alone—the soul is prepared, if it will yield itself in faith to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to enter truly into the New Testament life within the veil, in the very Holiest of All, as it is set forth in this Epistle.