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8 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. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—



There is a contrast between the purpose of the tabernacle and heaven itself. There is a radical distinction between the time when worship in the tabernacle was in vogue and what Christ offered by His entrance into the presence of God as High Priest.

9:8

the Holy Spirit indicating this,

The Holy Spirited provided special revelation to the author of Hebrews for the understanding that Christ would fulfill the symbolism of the Mosaic system. The symbolism in types was no accident but came by divine design.

that the way into the Holiest of All [in heaven] was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.

The way into God’s presence was not fully revealed in the Old Testament; that remained for the coming of Christ. The antitype to the “holiest of All” is heaven. As long as the tabernacle stood, God’s work to save people from their sin was not complete.

9:9

It was symbolic for the present time

The Holy Spirit indicated that free access into the presence of God could not be made by symbols. A symbol merely points to the reality beyond itself. The “present time” was the time when temple-worship is in vogue.

in which [tabernacle] both gifts [non-blood] and sacrifices are offered

The entire Mosaic symbolic system could not fulfill God’s purpose.

which cannot make him who performed the service perfect

Full fellowship with God was not perfect under the symbolism of the tabernacle. The Old Testament economy failed to give full and free fellowship with God to all. All the sacrifices in that dispensation failed to accomplish their full purpose.

in regard to the conscience—

The conscience is a person’s knowledge about his or her’s personal standards. These are the principles to which we give account to ourselves.

Old Testament sacrifices could not give an inner sense of being cleansed because their sacrificial system failed to finally pay for sin. They were merely rituals that never concluded the resolution of the sin issue. The old system touched the outer life but the new could change the person himself. Ceremonial purity is not the same as moral purity.

No one who trusted in the sacrifice of an animal could have confidence that their blood could adequately deal with their sin, especially since the sacrifices occurred over and over.

PRINCIPLE:

A cleansed conscience is necessary to serve God.

APPLICATION:

Full fellowship with God was not possible until Christ came. Levitical arrangements did not convey the true way into God’s presence; they only symbolized the way. There is a contrast between the limited access to God and the free access to Him under Christ.

The new covenant by Christ rendered the old covenant obsolete. The old had restricted access to God’s presence but the new covenant provides open access to God.

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