Christ as High Priest

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Previously I have attempted to help you understand the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. In those prophecies we learned how close we are to the end of time. We learned that the coming of Christ "is near, right at the door". (Mark 13:29)  However, this is two thousand years after He arose from the grave. Two thousand years after His ascension into heaven. What has Jesus been doing during these last two thousand years?

If you will come with me on a journey, I think we will discover what our wonderful Friend and High Priest has been doing these last two thousand years.

"He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God." Mark 16:19

"But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God." Luke 22:69

"Exalted to the right hand of God…" Act 2:33

"God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel." Acts 5:31.

"But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." Acts 7:55, 56.

"Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:34.

"...which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms…" Ephesians 1:20.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1.

"After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:3.

"Who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him." 1 Peter 3:22.

"But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God." Hebrews 10:12.


Okay, where did Jesus go after rising from the dead? 

According to all these texts He went into heaven to be by the Father’s side. Now some have argued that He is "sitting" on a throne. That for two thousand years Jesus has "just been sitting" on this throne. That is dumb.

When Queen Elizabeth of England became queen, she took her seat during the coronation and became Queen of England. That act represented her assuming authority as head and Queen of England. But I hope you do not think that she has been sitting on that throne since the 1930's. That would be awfully tiring. No I think she has gotten up off that throne a few times and slept in beds, traveled in cars and airplanes and even sat at tables and walked in the garden. In fact, the only time she sits on the throne is for very important "state" occasions. Other than that she never even sees the throne room.

The same with Jesus. He is not "sitting" on a throne. The concept of "sitting" is the same as with the Queen of England. It is a statement of fact that Jesus has taken authority. We find that in 1 Peter 3:22 (see above text). When Jesus stood before the high priest and council of the Jewish nation on the night He was arrested, they saw Him as a "man". Jesus told them they would see Him at the "right hand" of God. That concept of "right hand" has to do with power and authority and acceptance.

Notice how the concept of "right hand" is used in the biblical sense. "James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship…" Galatians 2:9.

"When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid." Revelation 1:17.

"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.'"  Luke 1:11-13.

What you will find in the Bible, is that the right side was considered the side of acceptance, approval and favor. So, the angel standing on the right side of the altar showed favor to Zechariah. Placing the right hand on John showed approval, favor. Giving the right hand of fellowship to Paul showed approval and favor. This is a very important biblical concept. When we shake hands, normally, the custom is to shake with the right hand, again showing approval and favor.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He found the disciples fishing and said to them, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." John 21:6. Why the right side? Because that was the side Jesus was standing on. By throwing the net toward Jesus, "they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."


Same in our lives. 

If we will "fish" on the "right" side of Christ, we will be perfectly successful.

The same Jesus went to the Father, the "sitting down" was a verbal concept of power and authority. Being on the "right side" showed approval and favor. But equally important as the symbolic language, is the actual fact that Jesus is on the "right side" of the Father.

Christ 3I want you to "see" what Peter, Stephen and John saw when they looked into heaven to see Jesus standing, "sitting", on the right side of the Father. Look at the diagram to the left and imagine yourself looking into heaven.

Remember the earthly tabernacle is a copy of the heavenly tabernacle. You learned this in section I. So, let’s take a look again at the earthly tabernacle, the parts that would represent the heavenly tabernacle.

"These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lamp stands." Revelation 2:1.  Here we see that Jesus is walking among the seven golden lamp stands. In the illustration to the right, you see how the golden lamp stands were in the Holy Place of the earthly Temple. Therefore, in Revelation when John saw Jesus, he saw Him in the Holy Place of the heavenly Temple. Holy Place

In the illustration of the earthly temple you can see that the Ark of the Covenant is in the Most Holy Place. That is where the Ten Commandments are kept. That is also where the presence of God was. The glory of God resided above the Ark. That Ark represents the throne room in Heaven where the Father sits. The Ten Commandments are the foundation of His throne. Psalm 89:14, Psalm 97:2, Psalm 119 (is all about the Ten Commandments).

 

Christ 1Looking into heaven now, using the Ark as the throne, Jesus would be standing to the right of that throne. (Not your right as you are looking at it, but to the right of the throne if you were sitting on it, looking at you looking at it). Jesus would be standing where the "arrow" is. That is where the earthly priest would be standing while ministering in the Holy Place. That is what Jesus was doing when He went to heaven. He was ministering in the Holy Place as our High Priest.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2.

As our High Priest, He would be standing in front of the Altar of Incense offering up His prayers on behalf of us, His children who had forsaken their sins and confessed them.

"The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a High Priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man." Hebrews 8:1, 2.

So what is Jesus doing as High Priest? He is working very hard for our salvation. He is continuing the work He began while here on earth. He is directing the army that is attempting to stem the tide of evil on this planet.

"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14.  Since Jesus is the Archangel, He is the director, the Leader of the angels. He directs them and sends them to minister to those who are fighting the good fight of faith. When we come into difficult situations He sends us the angels to help us fight the temptations. These angels will serve us and help us if we will just pray and request their help.

Jesus also sends the Holy Spirit to "teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26.  Notice that the Spirit doesn’t tell us anything new, but to "remind you of everything I have said to you." Those who run around claiming to have the Spirit and don’t need the Bible or anyone to teach them, are not of God. They do not have the Spirit of God. They have the spirit that was cast out of Heaven. The Spirit of God is in those who are teaching the teachings of Jesus: Stop sinning, be perfect and Keep the Ten Commandments, including the 7th day (Saturday) Sabbath, in order to earn "get" your eternal life.

 

Last but not least,  Jesus is directing His servants on earth. "It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13.  Notice, nothing there about building a "church". No denomination mentioned. Just individuals doing the work of God.

That is what these three volumes are all about. Jesus has used this little Bible study of His to help build you up so you can reach the unity in the faith and to mature and attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. I am simply fulfilling my duty. I am nobody special, just a simple servant of Jesus doing as He has directed and dictated to me.

Again, the temple on earth in the Old Testament did the same things. God gave His messages to the priests who then passed them on to the people. "They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel… And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law." Nehemiah 8:1, 3.  Notice, no mention of entertaining the people.

Jesus takes the message as given by His Father and gives it to us to give to the people. "But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me." "That I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me." "For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them." John 14:31; 8:28; 18:8. Are you accepting the words of this book since they have come from Jeaus?

Any church who does not "speak just what the Father has taught" is not of God. There is no room for opinion, church doctrine, committee declarations or any other man-made wisdom. The true disciple of Jesus ONLY holds to the teachings of Jesus. "If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:31, 32.

"The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again, because He had pity on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against His people and there was no remedy." 2 Chronicles 36:15, 16.

The same thing is happening today. The churches of the world are rejecting the messengers sent by God to bring the people back to His Ten Commandments and His 7th day Sabbath. The worldly churches despise and scoff at His prophets and messengers. His wrath is now falling upon the world. It will increase until the whole world is destroyed and His obedient people are taken off to be with Jesus.