The Berean Expositor
Volume 42 - Page 178 of 259
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A Figure for the time (7: 26 - 9: 20).
pp. 212 - 219
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". How impossible it is for one who denies the inspiration of all
Scripture really to benefit by its study! 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" (Heb. 8: 5). The law is said to have "a 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
of Hebrews:
"That 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 and demands an antitype elsewhere. A parable veils truth. It will be
remembered that the parables of Matt. 13: are closely associated with the Lord's
rejection (Matt. 11: and 12:) and with the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens. We
have shown elsewhere that the word "mystery" is introduced as a result of the failure of
some of the agents 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
"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall
be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: And ye shall
be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exod. 19: 5, 6).