Series: Doers of the Word
Message – Beyond the Veil II
Beyond the Veil
We ended last week by mentioning the veil guarding the way to the Holiest of Holies in the temple. Tot he dwelling place of the manifest presence of God.
We introduced the idea that there are actually three veils in total and two veils we are immediately addressing…
The two we are addressing are…
- the temple one which was torn at Jesus’ cry “It is Finished”
- The inner temple one which we erect when we follow after the dictates of the flesh.
The third is mention in scripture metaphorically as Jesus’ flesh which represented the veil in the temple. When Christ’s flesh was torn for us, the veil blocking God’s presence from mankind was torn as well!
“(19) Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, (20) by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); (21) and since we have a great high priest over the house of God,”
Today we are going to talk about GOING BEYOND the veil!
Now, in the past few months we’ve learned a lot about why believers often hear a lot but do very little.
We’ve found that a large part of the problem boils down to DESIRE.
Our problem is that we have more than one desire!
Paul said this as well, Rom 7:15-25,
“(15) For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. (16) And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. (17) So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. (18) For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. (19) For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. (20) Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. (21) So I discover this principle: when I want to do good, evil is with me. (22) For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. (23) But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. (24) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.”
The key is clearly to live by the influence of the Spirit and not the dictates of the flesh
“(16) I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (17) For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.”
Over the last few weeks we’ve spent time with HOW this process of desire works both FOR us and AGAINST us.
I’ve stated over the past few weeks that,
“The child of God was intended to press on beyond the veil into God’s presence and live our whole lives there.”
But we concluded that while the spirit will never be satisfied with anything less than God – our souls are cheap dates! Our souls are about PERCEIVED satisfaction….and so, any old spiritual fast food will do. The very idea of exerting effort to press beyond the veil of the flesh is rejected out of hand – largely due to being satisfied with the desires of the flesh (and laziness).
However, because we have a strong inner desire to love, honor and do life WITH God, we’ve found that it is simply a matter of REMEMBERING – as in NOT FORGETTING.
James told us to not be a forgetful hearer…because the forgetful are drawn away!
One of the last passages we read last week was Deut. 4 where “drawing near was shown to be a prerequisite to being a DOER”!
Jesus lamented the religious devotion of His people whose hearts were far from Him…
“(8) ‘THESE PEOPLE DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. (9) AND IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.’ “
Listen to that – why was their worship vain?
Because THEIR words (teachings) replaced God’s words!
In other words they did NOT hold on to (or remember) what God told them!
Which brings us full circle to FORGET NOT His words so you can be a doer.
The Israelites suffered from the same affliction of saying they’d obey – but they didn’t!
“(22) The LORD spoke these commands in a loud voice to your entire assembly from the fire, cloud, and thick darkness on the mountain; He added nothing more. He wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me. (23) All of you approached me with your tribal leaders and elders when you heard the voice from the darkness and while the mountain was blazing with fire. (24) You said, ‘Look, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and greatness, and we have heard His voice from the fire. Today we have seen that God speaks with a person, yet he still lives. (25) But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us and we will die if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer. (26) For who out of all mankind has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the fire, as we have, and lived? (27) Go near and listen to everything the LORD our God says. Then you can tell us everything the LORD our God tells you; we will listen and obey.’ (28) “The LORD heard your words when you spoke to me. He said to me, ‘I have heard the words that these people have spoken to you. Everything they have said is right. (29) If only they had such a heart to fear Me and keep all My commands, so that they and their children will prosper forever. (30) Go and tell them: Return to your tents. (31) But you stand here with Me, and I will tell you every command–the statutes and ordinances–you are to teach them, so that they may follow them in the land I am giving them to possess.’”
Listen to what happened! It is the SAME THING that happens in nearly EVERY church in this century. It happens right here in THIS church!
Israel said, “Moses – YOU go near and listen….and tell us what God says!”
Why…they had already heard His voice and lived?
The dying they were instinctively afraid of was not mere physical – it was fear of having to die to physical desire!
What was the lesson of the manna? Man shall not live by bread alone!
You might ask, but what if I cannot hear? Ah, but you can!
To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,
“If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us…if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling.”
Hearing and treasuring what we hear is how we draw near to God! It is part of going beyond the veil!
Now the “veil” I mentioned last week, when I said,
“The child of God was intended to press on beyond the veil into God’s presence and live our whole lives there.”
“(34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (35) Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” (36) Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” (37) And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. (38) Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
(John 19 tells us that what He cried with a loud voice was “It is Finished”)
NOTE: For the growing number of Christians who out of their feeble faith in God’s acceptance of them, have distorted the clear teaching of scripture of Christ being forsaken on the cross know this – That is Jesus was delusional when He said, “My God why have You forsaken Me?” He was also delusional when He later said, “It is finished”. You cannot have it both ways!
I know that Psalm 22:24 says “God has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He hear.” However, this was AFTER He had already been forsaken as mentioned in verse 1. The words here in verse 24 do not mean that Jesus was not forsaken on the Cross by the Father, but that He was not abbhored by God, nor neglected when He cried out to Him. In fact, the words “hide the face” expresses that very idea – one of a studied neglect of one’s cause and a refusal to aid or give sympathy.
The sequence of events was as such – The Father laid upon Christ the iniquity of us all and Christ bore the consequences for our transgressions – WHICH IS SEPARATION FROM GOD. This is when Christ cried out in anguish and torment of soul, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?Why are You so far from the words of my groaning?” But upon hearing the cries of His Son, justice had been satisfied and the Father heard Him.
“(10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (11) Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the Righteous One, My Servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities.“
Heb 7:19, tells us that through Christ as our High Priest
“there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we DRAW NEAR to God.”
Here the writer introduces HOPE as a means of going beyond the dictates of our flesh to draw near to God.
What is HOPE? A favorable expectation. Something you look forward to – DESIRE!
It is recorded in Acts 2:26-27,
“(26) THEREFORE MY HEART REJOICED, AND MY TONGUE WAS GLAD; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL REST IN HOPE. (27) FOR YOU WILL NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HADES, NOR WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION.”
Was Jesus saying, “My flesh will wring it’s hands and pace the floor in anxious desire that perhaps You will not leave my soul in the grave?” NO!
I will REST in CONFIDENT EXPECTATION!!!!
“(3) My defense to those who examine me is this: (4) Don’t we have the right to eat and drink? (5) Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a Christian wife, like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas? (6) Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? (7) Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink the milk from the flock? (8) Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn’t the law also say the same thing? (9) For it is written in the law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. Is God really concerned with oxen? (10) Or isn’t He really saying it for us? Yes, this is written for us, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes should do so in hope of sharing the crop.”
Was Paul and God saying here that ministers have a right to wring their hands, and pace the floor in anxious concern over whether those they’ve invested spiritual truth into might minister to them financially? NO! It is their right to expect it with confidence!
In the same way the Jewish forefathers looked forward with HOPE – GREAT anticipation to all the promises realized at the coming of the Messiah. He was the culmination of ALL their hopes and NOW under the New Covenant ratified in HIS blood, we have both REALIZED some of their hopes and join WITH THEM in maintaining those hopes we still look forward to with anticipation.
We have GOT to begin to look at HOPE the way the BIBLE describes it!
Paul talks of these HOPEs.
- Acts 17:27 – To FIND God – though He is not far from each one of us.”
- Act 23:6 & 24:15 Rom. 8:23,24 – the hope of the full redemption & resurrection of the body
- Rom. 5:1-2 – the Glory of God IN us
Paul said in 1Cor. 15:19 that, “(19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
- Col. 1:5, – the hope which is laid up for you in heaven
We are even told of UNREASONABLE Hope in Abraham!
- “(18) who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” – Rom. 4:18
So How does hope help us…
- draw near
- remember and therefore
- become devoted DOERS?
In short, how does HOPE cause us to press on beyond the veil?
“(16) For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. (17) Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, (18) that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, (20) where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
We GO where the Israelites did NOT go…beyond the veil RIGHT INTO HIS PRESENCE!!!!
We will pick up here next week…Blessings!
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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