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Glorious Symbols (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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February 28, 2022 6:00 am

Glorious Symbols (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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February 28, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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He says that, here again, Philippians 2 15, that, This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher, Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Hebrews.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in Hebrews chapter 9 as he begins his message, Glorious Symbols. And behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle, which is called the holiest of all, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant, and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat of these things we cannot now see.

These things we cannot now speak in detail. Now, when these things had been thus prepared, the priest always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part, the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic of the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to conscience.

Concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. Now, we did not go to verse 11 through 15, which would have began to contrast to everything he was saying. Here in verses 1 through 10, he is talking about Moses' tabernacle in the wilderness, and then he's going to contrast that with Jesus Christ in the new covenant, of course.

That's where we've been going. And as has been necessary through our discussion in Hebrews, I have to give a little background for those of you who may not be up to speed on what's going on in this document, this Hebrew letter. Here we have Christians in the first church, in the beginnings of the church, and they were coming out of Judaism into Christianity, and then they were beginning to slip back now into Judaism for various reasons, much of it because of the pressure put on them in their culture and by their family members drifting backwards. And so the writer of the Hebrew letter is now reasoning with them about the superiority of Jesus Christ and the inferiority of everything else that is out there, and that if they take this fatal step back, it will be just that, fatal.

It will be spiritually fatal for them. And so he's been holding up the beauty of Christ. He's been contrasting it with the old system, the Old Testament, all of its symbols pointing to Jesus. Well, Jesus has come now, and he has fulfilled those things. And so from verses 1 through 14, we have the contrast between the two covenants. We're going to take verses 1 through 10, which summarizes the old system of worship. And if we get to verse 11 forward, we will summarize the new covenant. But looking back at chapter 8, the last verse where he finished there, he said, in that, he says, a new covenant. He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. So he had been talking about Jeremiah's prophecy, God speaking through the prophet, promising to bring in another covenant, a new covenant to replace the old.

And so now the writer is saying, well, it's happened. And that old covenant is obsolete. We have the new covenant according to the Lord. So now we look at verse 1 of Hebrews 9. Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. I look at this and I think back when I was a new Christian, I didn't know what all of these things meant, and I certainly didn't know about the symbolism behind them. Now I know a little bit more about it myself and enjoy it very much.

It is quite action-packed. We never have enough time to open up everything as much as we would like, but I hope you get something out of this. The law, as I mentioned, meaning the law of Moses, that system under Moses, Judaism, it is fading away and it is unlike the finished work of Christ, which will never fade. Paul wrote to the Corinthians in the second letter about this very thing. He said, for if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. He's saying, you think the Old Testament was something? You think it was powerful? Well, it was. It's beautiful. But, Christ, he's gone beyond that.

He's even more so, more so wonderful. And we as Christians, Gentile Christians or in a Gentile influenced world, we enjoy so many freedoms that the law would have prohibited us from practicing. That would have been impossible to upkeep in this present age. You go to Israel today and you find they're making an effort to honor the Sabbath and they cannot do it. For instance, they go on the elevators and they don't push the buttons for the floors because the rabbis have told them that's labor and you're not supposed to labor on the Sabbath. So the elevator stops at every floor, whether you want to go there or not.

And if you're in a hurry, forget about it. But it's almost, it's a joke. It's like, you're kidding me. You see, you think that you have now overcome the word of God. Anyway, it's a tangled up thing, but Christ has brought us this freedom to love and to worship and to redirect all those energies into serving him. Which I think we do a poor job of so often. For example, love and patience with others. We're not so loving and patient with others. I know when someone gets under my skin, I'm ready to go to arms. Still, after all these years in Christ, you think I would bless you, my child. It's like, what? The work that we are called to do as Christians with the superior faith is worth it.

It is worth the effort and to continue going forward in it. And so he says, even in verse one, the first covenant had ordinances of divine services. So exclusive were the rules that belonged to Judaism that our Lord Jesus Christ, the maker of all the universe, himself could not act as a priest according to the line of Aaron in the Jewish temple.

Now, he put that on himself. The writer of Hebrews talked about it in the seventh chapter of Hebrews in verse 18. He said the very thing. But they had rules. And how many Christians think there are no rules? That we're just free in grace. And we can have as much disorder as we want, praise the Lord.

Well, that's not accurate and it's very dangerous and I hope that none of you have that attitude. Rules, when they are wise, when they are born out of care and obedience and order, are very helpful. He says here that they served divine services. He says ordinance of divine service is serving the Lord and the earthly sanctuary. Now this in contrast to the spiritual sanctuary in heaven.

But here's an interesting thing. Now we're going to begin to dig into the mosaic tabernacle, the dwelling place, the tent that the Lord would meet his people at in ancient times. The floor, the floor was desert sand. It was not, you know, travertine tile or something like that.

It was the ground, dirt. Reminding the priests always that this place is temporary. That their ministry lasts only one lifetime for them.

And then they themselves will be in the presence of God. A very significant factor that belonged to the worship of the Jews, which the priest experienced and the people certainly not as much because they weren't allowed to go in there. They knew about it because it was documented in their scripture but they could not go into the holy place or the holiest of holy places that belonged with it. And so verse two, for the tabernacle was prepared, the first part in which was the lampstand, the table and the showbread which is called the sanctuary. Now he's not, he's not talking about Solomon's temple.

That will come later. And he's not talking about the temple that existed at the time of the writing. A reminder, he's going all the way back to the days of Moses, that first tabernacle. And we in the church, we assemble, we worship in a building or wherever we find ourselves, we'd be out in a field. We had no central place of worship as the Jews did. The tabernacle was the place where your sins were dealt with, not the synagogues.

The synagogues was where the education took place and they came later. But going back to Moses, he says we had a central place to come to God to have our sins dealt with. And he's going to begin to tell them that we have something greater in Christ because it's not locked into one place. And all the restrictions that blocked sinners from coming into the presence of God symbolically have been removed factually in Jesus. So the kingdom of Christ, no sacred days, no sacred seasons. Believe it or not, Christ did not lay these things on us. The early church began meeting on the first day of the week because that's the day Christ rose.

They began to meet at sunrise because that's the time he rose. And it became a tradition, a good one. It was not mandated by God.

The only thing that was really mandated by the Lord as far as ordinances go, the communion table, do this in remembrance of me, and the water baptism. So we're free. Many of the things that have crept into the church, they are cumbersome, some are good, some are bad, and you're not going to do anything about it. But the contrast is that we do not have these things laid on us as they had them laid on the nation. And so we in this freedom, no special sanctuaries.

Why is that? Because Christ is everywhere. He warned about this. I don't know, Warren might be too strong, but he mentioned this before it happened. John's gospel, chapter 4, Jesus said to her, woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. Worship will not be centralized to Jerusalem.

It will be expanded, which the writer is getting at with the people. We have no priestly system to God. We serve as priests in the kingdom of God. All believers do that.

It's open for all of us to reach those who are lost, to intercede for those who even are saved. We have no special class of servants as the Jews did. They had the Levitical order, the Aaronic order.

We don't have that. We're free from these things. And each one is able to lead someone else to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He says here in verse 2, the first part, in which was the lampstand. Very dark in that old tabernacle with those coverings on it. No natural light, no natural light getting in. The only light inside the sanctuary was from this lampstand. Now if you had gone farther into the inner sanctuary, the holy place, there would have been the Shekinah, but you likely would not have gotten a look at that. That was only for the high priest once a year. But we'll stay with this lampstand for now. No natural light illuminated the work of the priest.

That is the idea behind this. Only the lampstand, and that was symbolic of God's enlightenment, God's knowledge made available to men so that they could see what they should do and how they should go about doing it. Psalm 18, 28, For you will light my lamp, Yahweh my God will enlighten my darkness. We are told in the writings of the ancients amongst the Jews that they were more afraid of darkness than going without food.

It was a big thing with them. They felt that if your tent was not lit or your dwelling place did not have a light burning at night, it sent a signal that it was unoccupied and that would invite trouble. And so they were very careful about keeping light in their dwelling places. And so the writer of Proverbs, he praises his wife for this very thing.

Proverbs 31, 18, The lamp does not go out by night. She took care of business. The important things she didn't neglect.

Oh, I meant to pick up the oil for the lamp. I forgot all that. I got carried away on the Internet. And that was not it.

It was a natural thing. But the point is that she knew what was important and she dealt with that. And many of us have wives like that and many of you wives have husbands like that. You're looking at one. All right, that's enough of that. Anyway, the church, the church, we as a priesthood of believers, we are to bring light to lost souls. We should have an element of fear of darkness too. We should have to, we should understand what darkness symbolizes in scripture.

Darkness in the sense of no light. We are to bring the light. Philippians chapter 2, verse 15. Paul's wish for those believers is that you may become blameless and harmless. How many of us are blameless and harmless?

Remember the prayer of Jabez? That I would not cause pain. That was unnecessary, malicious pain. He did not want to be guilty of that.

He wanted to be blameless before God. And when you preach the gospel to those who don't want to hear it, you're going to cause pain. But that's on them. There's nothing wrong with the message.

There's something very wrong with rejecting the message. He says that, here again, Philippians 2, 15, that you may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world. Ask yourself in the workplace, do you shine as a light in the world? Are you a bringer of that spirit, that holy spirit into your work environment?

Or are you one that drains the spirit out? And it is something that we should be very concerned with and never dismiss and never get used to. He says the table of the showbread. Literally in the Hebrew, when Moses was writing this law down, the showbread, that word meant the bread before the face. Or the bread in the presence. The bread in the presence of God. Two stacks of six pieces of bread.

One for each tribe of the Jews. So the lamp, it spoke of enlightenment, but the bread spoke of enablement. You know, you can't make steam without water. You got to have fuel. God is the one that supplies this.

We are the ones that are grateful for it. He says, which is called the sanctuary. Now, so you go into the ancient Hebrew temple if you were a priest, and you'd walk into the sanctuary.

People weren't allowed in there. Only the priest. And to your left, a few paces forward, midway up, would be the lampstand. And then straight across from that, to your right, would be this table with the twelve loaves of bread in two different stacks and the utensils that went with it. And straight ahead would be the golden altar where the incense was offered up, representing the prayers of the people to God. If you took a line and you drew from the lampstand across to the bread, to the table, that straight line, and then you took another line from the doorway to the golden altar, you would form a cross. I'm just saying, it works out that way. But there is another section, and we're going to be coming to that.

Verse three, and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the holiest of all. Now, he's not going to dwell on any of these. He knows his audience understands what all of this means. We're the ones that may not understand because of the cultural differences, and so that's why we're talking about it. But he's not going to elaborate it.

He would never get done, and he says that. He says we don't have time to get into this. We're going to take a little bit of the time. So you walk into the first part of the sanctuary, and there was the lampstand, the table of bread, and the golden altar for the incense. And then there was another curtain.

It separated the two sections. Well, if you were to go beyond that second curtain, you would end up in the holiest of all, according to Exodus, that's its name. And that is where the Ark of the Covenant sat, a chest with a lid on top, and on top of the lid were the cherubim facing each other, those spiritual beings. And the articles within the chest will come to all of that in a moment, but he says behind the second veil.

No one could see that mercy seat back there. It was hidden behind the curtain, that partition. And it was the most holy place. It is a type of Jesus, as everything in this room is, the lampstand, the bread. Jesus said, I am the bread of light. I am the light of the world, the incense altar, all of these things. He stands to make intercession for the saints continuously.

The prayers of the saints go up. So all of this speaks of him, his hidden beauty. Occasionally, occasionally men get a glimpse at this beauty of Christ, but the fullness of it, that belongs to the Godhead, but it is shared to some degree. Matthew chapter 11, verse 27. All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him. It's quite powerful, how everything fits in, in scripture, how everything makes perfect sense. How it makes sense because we can see it, we can experience so much of these things that come to us in our Bible. And yet outside these walls, there are those that are worshipping the Lord, there are those that are bad-mouthing him, there are those that are indifferent about him, there are those that need the ones who are inside the walls to come outside and share the light.

And again, I hope I don't stress it enough. All Christians should be praying for some lost soul to be saved, and that God would bring someone into their life, that they could be used by the Lord to shine the light. He says the part of the tabernacle, the bottom of verse 3, which is called the holiest of all, that is right out of Exodus 26, verse 4. Now he's going to continue with what's in the room, in that inner sanctuary. Which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Everything in that chest, Aaron's rod, the pot of manna, the tablets, everything had a story, a history behind it. In my office, I have a little shelf, and I've got all sorts of things on there. Each one has a history about the people that have been involved in this ministry. One of my favorites is just one little stick pin.

It's this little pin, and it's just stuck there on the shelf. We had a young couple, and they attended church here, and went off to the military. They got married. They had to expedite things, so they were married by a chaplain.

But they wanted to be married also in the house of God where they worshiped. And so when they came back, I performed a ceremony for them. And when they came into my office, he had a little flower he's going to put on his lapel, and he had these pins.

He had two of them. Well, I'm not wearing a flower. Anyway, I took the pin and I put it on his lapel, because he didn't know what to do with this thing. I got the pin, I got the flower, I don't know what's next.

I just had water. Well, anyway, I had the pin left over, and I stuck it there, and I remember this moment. This powerful moment where someone said, I want a man of God to marry, to perform the ceremony in the house of God, where the people of God come to worship God's house.

I don't know how fully they grasped it, but they grasped it enough. And whatever they left out, I put in. Would to God we'd have more people in Christ with that attitude. Marry me in the house of God. Let a man of God stand reading from the scriptures, giving me the vows.

My bride and I, my husband and I. Well, God in his covenant, Ark of the Covenant, he had these items to be remembered also. They were to have impact on people. They were to influence the thinking. They were to have force behind them. Aaron, his priesthood was challenged by Dathan and his group.

The ground would later open up and swallow up the rebels. You would think many Christians who start trouble in churches would read that section of scripture. So you know what, maybe we better not, this might not be a good idea. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Yastin of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-29 02:51:44 / 2023-05-29 03:00:49 / 9

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