Chapter nine: Verses 1 through 7 describe the Tabernacle/Temple that Moses built by hand according to the instructions God gave him on Mt. Sinai. Certain ceremonies/services were held within the Tabernacle according to a regulated schedule. The Tabernacle was divided into three parts: the courtyard, the Holy Place (room) and the room called the Holiest of All. A veil separated the courtyard from the first room into which only priests were allowed to enter. Inside the Holy Place were the implements used by the priests as they performed the ceremonies.
Behind the Holy Place was the Holiest of All. A veil separated this room from the Holy Place. Only the high priest could enter the Holiest of All. He entered the sacred room once each year bearing the blood of animals with which to cover his own sins and the sins the people which he and they had committed during the previous year. Inside this room were the censor and the Ark of the Testimony (Covenant) which contained a pot of manna, Aaron’s staff and the tables of the covenant–the Ten Commandments God Himself had written on stone with His own finger.
Neither the priests nor the people were allowed to enter the Holiest of All. Only the high priest was allowed to enter the presence of God Who resided within it. The prescribed rituals performed by the priests and the high priest were to continue until “the time of the reformation” when the Almighty’s Messiah would enter His spiritual Holiest of All bearing His own blood which would totally cleanse true God seekers of all of their past sins and empower them to keep sin out of their lives until His return to earth. IF a saint happened to sin Jesus, the Mediator, would intercede on his behalf. In verse 14 the Hebrews are told that Christ’s blood would purge (thoroughly and permanently cleanse) a true saint of all sins. Only then would he be fit to serve the living God. Note that man cannot continue to sin and serve God. This includes “sinners saved by grace” which those of professing Christendom profess to be? Verse 15 continues the narrative by stating that, once thoroughly cleansed of sin and empowered to keep sin out of his life, the true God seeker must continue in that spiritual condition until death or the return of Christ, at which time He will award the seeker with his promised inheritance–eternal life.
In verses 16-22 the Hebrews were told that all redemptive covenants required the shedding of blood, and that in order for true redemption (freedom from sin) to take place, the Testator (Jesus Christ) must die. Anciently, Moses sprinkled the tabernacle, its contents and the people with animal blood in order to meet the blood requirement, for “without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness) of sins.” This ritual would suffice until the Messiah would shed His own blood for man’s sins.
Verses 23-26 reveal that the high priest entered the man-constructed Holiest of All once each year bearing animal blood with which to cover the people’s sins. Jesus has entered the spiritual Holiest of All once for all time bearing His own blood which removes all past sins permanently, empowers man to overcome Satan’s temptations and to live as He lived (“walk as He walked”) while on earth. Only those who do so will sit with Him on His throne in the Kingdom of God (Rev. 3:21/1 Jn. 2:6).
Verse 27 tells us that converted man remains in a probation period until he dies, that only after that does God judge him relative to eternal life. This contradicts the church’s contention that salvation is awarded at the moment one completes a prescribed ritual. Verse 27 shows this not to be the case. As long as he lives the God seeker must prove himself worthy of salvation. This period was symbolized by the one-year engagement period practiced by the Israelites. Notice that during this period Joseph could have legally “put away” Mary if she proved to have been unfaithful. The convert is “engaged” to Jesus and will remain engaged (on probation) until His return at which time the faithful saint will “marry” Him and be taken into His Father’s kingdom which He will establish in the Holy Land. See The Kingdom of God. At any time during the convert’s probation period God can put him away for continuing to sin. SALVATION IS GUARANTEED ONLY IF THE CONVERT BELIEVES AND OBEYS GOD UNTIL THE END (Mat. 10:22). At Christ’s return the faithful saint will be born again and awarded eternal life. See Born Again and Hope and Salvation. L.J.