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The Epistle to the Hebrews.
#42. The principal thing.
A seated priest in a heavenly sanctuary. (7: 26 - 9: 20).
pp. 5 - 14
Returning to chapter 9: we learn that the way into the holiest was not made manifest
because of the character of the sacrifice and the service connected with that period. It is
stimulating to observe the sturdy faith of the apostle in Holy Scripture--"The Holy Ghost
this signifying." However varied and strange "the sundry times and divers manners" may
have been, the teaching of Heb. 1: 1 is that "God spake". So in Heb. 3: 7, where
Psa. 95: is quoted, the apostle says, "As the Holy Ghost saith".
To come now to the peculiar character of the earlier dispensation. Before the
coming of Christ all were "shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed"
(Gal. 3: 23). The service of the priests is called "the example and shadow of heavenly
things" (8: 5). The law is said to have " shadow of good things to come, and not the
very image" (10: 1). So here the tabernacle and its services are said to be "a figure" (9: 9).
The word is literally a "parable". A reference to Ezek. 20: 49, Psa. 49: 4, 78: 2,
Matt. 13: 10-13 and John 16: 28, 29 will show that an element of obscurity is
connected with a parable. Heb. 9: 9 tells us that this particular parable remained "unto
the present time" (which we believe to be the true rendering of this passage). Now that
Christ has come the shadows vanish. All the offerings, sacrifices and services of the
tabernacle, while most wonderfully adapted to their purpose, could never lead to the goal
"They could not make him that did the service PERFECT as pertaining to the
conscience" (Heb. 9: 9).
The purpose of the parable.
The dispensational truth related to the use of the parable is too important to pass over
without a fuller note. A type sets forth with more or less clearness the reality which it
foreshadows. A parable veils truth. It will be remembered that the parables of Matt. 13:
are closely associated with the Lord's rejection (Matt. 12:), and with the "mysteries" of
the kingdom of the heavens.
We have shown elsewhere ("The Reconciliation of All Things") that the word
"mystery" is introduced as a result of failure, and must be kept distinct from the original
plan and will of God. When Israel came out of Egypt, they were led by Moses to Sinai.
There they were assembled to enter into solemn covenant with the Lord. Here are the
terms of that covenant:--