by C. Parker Thomas

(The following is an edited transcript of a message preached by Bro. Thomas on Jan. 6, 1974.)

“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:11-25.

This came to me as I was driving over this morning. The Priesthood of Christ, our Great High Priest. It never dawned on me exactly like it did this morning, but understanding his sacrifice — what he has done for us and what he is doing for us — is the key to entering into the salvation rest. I believe that ignorance of this great truth is the reason that so many are striving and struggling and never coming to rest — though they be religious and they are trying, and though they have put forth all kinds of religious effort seeking experiences and seeking somehow to be justified other than coming unto God by him — and realizing that it is a finished work, and that they cannot add anything to it, or take anything away from it.

Perhaps this is why the Lord himself said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32. No doubt this is why he said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15. No doubt this is why Paul said, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” I Cor. 2:2. That would speak, of course, of Christ in his humiliation, Christ in his ascension, Christ in his intercessory work, and Christ in his sacrificial death.

So, I believe that this is a great truth, and when one comes to see this and believe it, the yoke of bondage will be broken. He will cease from his own labors and enter into His rest. I am persuaded that this is the great truth that men have got to see before they will ever be saved. They may have religious experiences, they may put forth many efforts, they may join churches, they may do a lot of things, and yet fall short of salvation. And I believe most people that have any kind of profession at all have not entered into his rest. And it is because they have not understood what we are talking about this morning.

The book of Hebrews is occupied primarily with this one theme, “Christ the better covenant,” because of his sacrifice — of which the carnal sacrifices of the Old Testament were mere types and just a pattern of things to come (the Aaronic Priesthood, in contrast to the Melchisedec Priesthood.) This is why we started out where I started reading, that perfection is not by the Levitical Priesthood, and how that there was of necessity a change in the priesthood when there was a change in the law. He speaks of the carnal commandments and that the weakness of the law is because of our flesh. That’s what hinders and keeps man from attaining righteousness through the law — because of the flesh. So, there had to be another way.

Then it speaks of Christ being after the power of an endless life. It’s a life, you see. Not a matter of commandments and ordinances, but literally a life. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12 “...but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36. It is Christ in us, the hope of glory. It is not “do’s and don’ts.” (And yet there is a constraining influence upon us and in us, if Christ is in us.) It is a matter of receiving this life through him.

Then he points out that he is a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec, and that there is a disannulling of the commandments going before, for the weakness and the unprofitableness thereof. Then in verse 19 he said, “For the law made nothing perfect.” It never did the work — never, never completed the job, it was never finished — it could not. “But the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God.” Isn’t that wonderful! And of course, it goes on to say, in verse 22, “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament,” a better will. And then verse 25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Now, a priest, even in the Old Testament, was a man that stood between man and God. He was one who had access to both. He was one who bridged the gap between a holy God and sinful man. God could not be touched, except through the priest. I know some of you think I’m preaching Catholicism, right now, but there is a truth there that is corrupted. You could not go to God yourself. You had no power. You had no means, no access to God.

In the Old Testament, there were many priests. But the High Priest alone could go into the Holy of Holies, and he couldn’t go without blood. He had to offer blood for himself and also for the people. This is why in Hebrews chapter 5, verses 2 and 3, the scripture says, “Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.”

Now the question is posed, Who can have compassion? (Who is in a position? Who has the right?) Who can have compassion on the ignorant, on them that are out of the way? Two types there: I would say the ignorant there has reference to sins of ignorance. And some are out of the way. No doubt that applies to all of us. We have, perhaps, both types of sin that we are guilty of, and we need somebody to have compassion on us, somebody who can touch God for us.

Now as the perfect Son of God, he can go into the presence of God. He has access to God. He dwelt with the Father before the world was. As Christ said in John 17:5, “...glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” He came from the very presence of God as God’s Son. He could walk the courts of heaven.

But he had to become man before he could reach up, and this is the reason for the incarnation. This is why Hebrews 2:14-16 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Now God makes it plain here that he took on the seed of Abraham. He became man, very man. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, [and here is why] that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Heb. 2:17.

This is how and why he can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way. He not only was God, but he was also man. When we preach anything else we get men’s eyes off of him who is the way, who is the truth and who is the life. He is the very embodiment of truth. He is the way. Not a commandment or ordinance, but he. All of these things serve to do one thing, to point to him, center in him. The Bible says “...let God be true, but every man a liar...” (Rom. 3:4) and Jesus is the very embodiment of truth.

There is no access to God apart from him. Cry and pray and humble yourselves and do all that you can do, but you will finally come to the place where you will come to God through him. That’s the only way that you can come to God and be drawn into that light that no man can approach unto. A sinner going into the very presence of a holy God would be consumed instantly, because God cannot look upon sin. He is a holy God.

This is why they sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat in the Old Testament. It was a type of his blood that was sprinkled upon the mercy seat in heaven — the mercy seat which contained the commandments that man had broken, and the seraphim on each end of the mercy seat that looked down upon it, symbolic of the eyes of God looking upon God’s commandments, looking upon the broken commandments, looking upon sin. Only when the blood was sprinkled and sacrifice was made was the law taken care of.

In John 20:15, when Jesus rose from the dead and met Mary Magdalene at the tomb, at first she did not recognize him. She didn’t literally believe or see that it was he, Christ, the one she’d known, the one she’d loved, the one who had had mercy upon her and saved her. This one out of whom had gone seven devils — the one that had believed in him — had gone there, and supposing him to be the gardener, she said, “...Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him...” (that we might get his body and give him a respectable, decent burial).

Christ does not reveal himself to us until he sees fit. Our eyes are blind to the truth until he opens them. He will not show us his covenant until we understand the truth of the sacrifice. I believe that as long as we try to be holy and try to be like him, or try to obtain salvation through some other means, we will never find the covenant of God. And that’s why men are blind to this great truth; they do not understand that Christ is our sacrifice, our only way to God.

And Jesus finally called her name, and said, “Mary,” and she said “Rabboni.” And then she started toward him and he said, “...Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17. He was going then, into the very Holy of Holies — of which the Holy of Holies here was a mere type — to take his own blood. Nothing could stop him. He could not be detained, touched, because in a figure, the sacrifice had to be perfect. Human hands could not contaminate it. That’s why he said, “Touch me not.” He was about to ascend to the throne on high, and there to sprinkle his own blood on the mercy seat, thus signifying that the sacrifice was made, the work was finished, and the way was open and the sin question had been taken care of.

In Hebrews 9:16-28, he speaks of this testament again (the same as a will) “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.” Now, he is speaking here of the first, the Old Testament, which is, of course, a type, that it was dedicated with blood. When you dedicate a thing, it’s supposed to be then in force, or be in use. From that point on you put it into service.

And then he said, “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Heb. 9:19-22. Now notice this. Under the law all things, including the tabernacle and the vessels, were sanctified, purged by blood. And then he said, “...without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things [of which those earthly things were a type] themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Heb. 9:22-26.

Isn’t that wonderful! Now you see, this is the thing that people have got to understand. They have got to see this. They will never enter into rest until this becomes real to them. But now, “once in the end of the world,” or the age, “hath he appeared to put away sin,” put it away, do away with it, cancel it, “by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Heb 9:26-28.

So, we see, beloved, that the sacrifice that he made was an all-sufficient sacrifice. It is a complete work. It was a precious work, never to be done any more. It brought an end to all the figures and all the types. Once in the end of the age he appeared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself. It is a finished work. When we strive and struggle, we haven’t come to the end of ourselves. We haven’t seen, we haven’t understood that it’s complete. The document has been signed, it’s been notarized, and it’s finished. It’s all over when we believe. Thank God for that.

This is a hard thing for people, because Satan uses the law to condemn us. His approach to us is through the law. And he forever points out that we can’t measure up, and he’s telling the truth. The devil doesn’t always lie. He tells some truth in the things he says. He is a liar, it’s true. And he misapplies the truth, but he does tell the truth. He told Eve, “You shall not surely die.” (That was a lie.) But she would be “as gods, knowing good and evil.” (That was the truth.) And that’s the way he works today. And that’s the way he has the power of death, as the scriptures say in Hebrews 2:14, Christ likewise took part of the same flesh and blood, “...that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

You see, it’s transgression of the law that brings death: “the soul that sinneth it shall die,” and “sin is transgression of the law.” So, how does God take care of the sin question? He takes care of the sin question and the law through the death of Christ. Amen! Our sins are placed upon him. He bore in his body our sins. All of them. Not just past sin, for that would mean that he would have to go to the cross next year again. He would have to go over and over again, and be offered over and over, like the Old Testament sacrifices. But not so. Once in the end of the world he’s appeared to put away sin, by the offering of himself. This is a hard thing for people to believe, but when Jesus took care of the sin question, it wasn’t just past sins. It was sins, period.

You’ve got to believe it, because it’s so. And he — our Lord, our savior, our elder brother, the Son of God, who became flesh to come down to this realm — on the cross he bore in his body our sins on the tree. He was the sacrifice that satisfied the law and the demands of the law, and made void the law to them that believed. And this is how he destroyed him who had the power of death and this is the way the devil had the power of death. Because when man sinned he died. Death was passed on to all men, “for all have sinned,” as the scripture says. So, the sin question had to be taken care of.

And then God, signifying that he was pleased with the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross and that it did satisfy the demands of the law, raised him from the dead (after three days and nights in the tomb) and exalted him to his right hand. That was proof positive. That was evidence that the job was done and the way was open. This is the significance. This is the meaning for the veil in the temple being rent in twain. The temple (veil) separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. When Christ died on the cross — when he shed his blood, when he offered himself there as a sacrifice for your sins and for mine, that day when God Almighty shook the very heavens and the earth — he caused the veil of the temple to be rent in twain from the top to the bottom, thus signifying that God, this great God, had provided salvation.

Oh, we preach it as though it were man that provides it, as though it were man that saves himself, as though it were man that lifts himself by his own bootstraps. We make a big man and a little God. We emphasize nine tenths of what man has to do and not do, and not what God has done.

I don’t believe it will make you any better people by imposing the law upon you. We may restrain you to some degree out of fear, but it won’t make a believer out of you. It might make a hypocrite and Pharisee out of you, but not a believer. A believer is going to believe because he has faith and because he understands what we are talking about. “...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom. 10:17.

And then when we believe, if we have the right kind of belief, we should confess him. We simply confess what God has done, and we confess the Son he has given, the sacrifice that was made, and the high priest intercedes. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” I believe that we have to confess him. We come to the place where our conviction is so great that we no longer walk apart from him but we bow and confess him as our Lord. We confess him as our savior. We confess him as our sacrifice. We confess him as our great high priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father. Confession is important. Confession! I’m not talking about confession from guilt, but confession of him.

Then he said, “...whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 10:33. There is a belief that stops short of what I’m talking about. A belief that men have that is with them in the church-house, but when they leave the door, it stays behind. The confession that comes from the belief that we have to have is the confession that you have on your job. It’s a confession that you have in school. It’s a confession you have in your business. I don’t mean you’ll go around unwisely mouthing off religious things. But you’ll stand up and you’ll confess the Lord. You will be counted with them that believe on him, when the need arises. You’ll confess him as your Lord, as your savior, and that’s why confession is important — very important. It’s part of believing, really.

Did you know that you find out how strongly people believe in a cause or a thing when they are put on the spot? It’s very easy for someone to crawfish when put on the spot, you know, and deny the thing they believe. But if they have something in their hearts, all they can do is just say what is there, tell what is there, confess what is there.

In John 12, we have a group of people who believed on him. Many of the important people, which we refer to as the chief rulers, believed on him. The Bible says, “...but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.” John 12:42. And this is always what makes men back up (crawfish). They are afraid of something, and they hold back. You’d be surprised at how influenced you are by what men think about you, by what men might say about you.

But when the chips are down, a real Christian, one who believes whether he’s put out of the synagogue or not, will confess. He won’t care, because to him it’s more important that he stand true and confess his Lord than to keep his place in the synagogue, or on the job or anywhere else.

This is why in Romans 10:10, the Bible makes a distinction of belief, and it says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness....” It’s one thing to believe with your head. Now those chief rulers believed with their heads, but not with their hearts. Their place in the synagogue was more important to them than identifying themselves with Christ. Amen.

And, beloved, I want to say this to you. This is also true of Christ’s body — if you believe it to be Christ’s body. Oh, maybe somebody will say, “It’s everywhere.” In a sense that’s true, but you can’t be everywhere. Part of it is in heaven. You may be there, positionally, in Christ, seated with him in the heavens. I understand that, but you still have to go there. I believe it’s important. I believe identification with his body is identification with him, because he’s the head of the body. He calls the body himself, as part of him, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Genesis 2:23. And you have to believe that with your heart.

I’m going to say this to you. As long as you believe that there is somebody else that is moving in God, and in new revelation, greater power, greater holiness, or any other adjective that you want to use to describe the presence of God in a people, you cannot identify yourself with a secondary church. You will not. Those that walked the face of the earth when Christ was here, if they had thought there was one a little better than him, and he was a junior Christ, they would have said “I believe he’s Christ, but...”

And I tell you, you need to do something. You need to make up your mind. If you believe the Catholic church is the body of Christ, then go and join it. And when you meet the Pope, kiss the ring. Do everything else. Get in there. If you believe it’s the Methodist church, get in there. If you believe it’s the whoop and holler group, get in there and whoop and holler with them.

I believe confession is important. I don’t believe it’s just identification with the people. I believe it’s identification with Christ. Do you believe that? I believe it with all my soul. Now, this wasn’t in my message, but it’s coming out anyway, because there’s a way you have to identify with Christ today, you see. Not just He that’s in the sky. Oh, everybody’s got that kind of religion: Jesus in the sky, or Jesus back yonder in the manger, or Jesus walking the shores of Galilee. They’ve got him coming in the clouds, but they know very little about him now. They don’t see him now. They don’t understand him now. They don’t believe him now.

If he, by the Spirit and through truth is in the world, working, then we need to be with him, even if it’s in a bunch of what we might think are ignoramuses. We need to be there, if he’s condescended to come down to those ignoramuses and bless them with his truth, with his word and with his presence, then we ought to be pleased whether they wear their collars turned backward, or whether they wear overalls or tuxedos. It doesn’t make any difference so long as he sees fit. Amen!

And you have to believe with your heart. Reservation, many times, is just another way of saying “unbelief.” That’s why you need to jump on in, dive in head over heels, and see your toes go down. I believe in that. Hallelujah! You can’t straddle the fence forever. You’ll do the split one of these days, because God’s going to pull it apart.

So, it’s with the heart that a man believes unto righteousness. If you believe in your heart, then you’ll confess. You shouldn’t linger. Oh, some of us wish that Jesus were here today. I can just see “that” Jesus, humble Jesus; with all the power and words of wisdom that he spoke, healing the sick and doing this and doing that. John didn’t do miracles. Amen! And Jesus said he was a bright and shining light. He also said if you believe on John you believe in me. Amen? Absolutely. Hallelujah!

Now, as I’ve said, the sacrifices of the Old Testament can never take away sin. They were never intended to take away sin. I’ve already given you the scriptures, Heb. 9:16-22, where there was need for a New Testament, and the death of the testator, and how that all things were by the law purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. How necessary it was for Christ to come and be offered once for all, for our sins to die upon the cross! I want to emphasize that it was one sacrifice. So, Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation.

As we go on over to the 10th chapter in this same book, the Bible says, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” Heb. 10:1-9.

He took it away, that was the end of it. Christ was the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe. Now this is the new covenant, the new sacrifice by Christ: “by the which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.” Only one time. Never to be done any more.

This is why he said in the 26th verse, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” That means that if we reject Christ, if we refuse the sacrifice that would put an end to all sacrifice, there is no more sacrifice for sin.

And, I will repeat again, this is why Paul said, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” I Cor. 2:2. Oh, beloved, when you go into heathen lands — when you go into places where people are living in benighted darkness, and devil power and everything else — I tell you the one truth you need to preach to them is not so much about what they are doing or not doing, not so much about the nakedness of their skin, but preach Jesus Christ.

It’s like the devil in that woman confessed. The truth that’s done the kingdom of darkness the most damage is the cross and the blood that was spilled there. I tell you that’s the truth that will defeat the devil. When people see this great truth, and when they believe it, when they embrace it, the work is done. “...sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever,” watch it now, “sat down on the right hand of God;” Heb. 10:10-12.

His work is done. It is finished. It is complete. He sat down on the right hand of God, thus signifying that it was a complete work, it’s all over. The only time that I know of that he got up was when he looked and saw Stephen down there. Acts 7:55-56. He sat right back down again, though. He just did that as a courtesy to Stephen, for he wasn’t ashamed of him, but had been confessing before that religious group that killed him. Hallelujah! “...for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Heb. 10:12-13.

This is where the blood was dropped. This is where the battle was won. “The battle is the Lord’s and it’s already won; at the cross, at the cross it was done.” I believe it, don’t you? I believe the power of the devil was destroyed right there. I believe it was made void. I believe he was defeated at Calvary. It’s just a matter of the process of time until the truth is known, and the people enter into rest.

“From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering”, one offering, “he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Heb. 10:13-14. And that’s why in verse 19 he says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,”

Oh, brother, if we can see this. You say, “Well, I’m not ready.” No, you’re not, you never will be either. You can bawl and squall from now to judgment day, and that won’t make you worthy. That won’t take away one sin. You can be baptized in a public pool, and that won’t help you either. You can crawl on your hands from here to the Rocky Mountains and that won’t take away your sins. You can pray from now to doomsday, but that won’t take away your sins. Because Jesus bore in his body our sins on the tree. He paid the price, and if you could add one single thing to it, you’d spoil the sacrifice. You’d have something to boast of — but there will be no boasting.

It’s easy to understand why the Lord said what he did in Matthew 7. The man was bragging on what he did: Lord, I’ve prophesied in thy name, I’ve cast out devils (and I don’t doubt that maybe he did) I’ve done many wonderful works. Don’t you know me? “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:23

You’ve got two gospels being preached in this earth. One of them is “Do” and the other is “Done.” Amen! And the “Do” gospel people are ever doing, but never arriving. They’ve never seen what we are talking about. Hallelujah! One sacrifice for sins.

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil....” Heb. 10:19-20. See. That’s referring back to the veil of the temple. His flesh is a type of the veil. See. As his body was rent on the cross, that veil was rent.

And in this holy place, where the glory of God resided, we see this was that light that no man can approach unto. We go into that light through him, even as the high priest went into the light through the veil. His flesh is the veil. Hallelujah! Thank God for the cross! Thank God for the cross!

And, beloved, this is why Paul said what he did in Romans. These are familiar scriptures. Maybe the Lord can speak them unto us in just a little different way. Romans 8:28. We quote this so often. Sometimes people preach it to me, and I need it sometimes. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God....”

Now then, Christ is in you. The love of God is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost no matter what condition or state that you may be in. You may be among those who are ignorant or out of the way in some manner. But at the same time, I do not believe that the love of God leaves your heart. I believe that when you reflect, I believe that when you meditate, when you think of the goodness of God, you end up saying, “Lord, I love you.” And no matter where you are, or what physical infirmity you may be suffering, or mental harassment, I believe that when you meditate on him and his goodness you find inside that you love him.

And you know that “...all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Rom. 8:28-30.

Now Paul is aware of the fact that some people would not like this part of scripture. And some don’t. They want to put the emphasis on what man has to do. That’s why he says, “What shall we then say to these things?” Well, he says: In view of this, what kind of an answer do we have? He knew that some people would have the wrong answer. Then he says, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Rom. 8:32. Do you believe it? Freely! Because it is freely given.

And then he says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Somebody wanted to charge somebody. Somebody wanted to point a finger. Maybe that’s what Isaiah meant when he spoke of taking away of the pointing of the finger. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Rom. 8:33.

How are you going to lay anything against those God justifies? Like Balaam — he wanted to accommodate Balak. He wanted to do his very best to curse Israel. And it wasn’t within his power to curse them that God had blessed. God said to him: You can’t curse them. You may feel anger, but you can’t curse them, because I’ve blessed them. I don’t care what you see, but I don’t see any iniquity in Israel. I don’t see anything wrong with them, because I see them in Christ. Christ’s righteousness, not their own.

So, if you’ve got any righteousness, get rid of it, will you please, and get his. Turn from it like a stinking rag fished out of the bottom of a garbage can. That’s what Isaiah said all of our righteousness is like — filthy rags. No sir, it doesn’t help you a bit. “So, I’ll live like the devil then.” Go ahead if that’s the way you feel about it, because you’re not doing any good anyhow. Amen? I believe the love of Christ constrains us, too.

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” He’s pointing to this fact that if it is God that justifieth, how are you going to lay anything to their charge? “Who is he that condemneth?” Who is going to condemn these now that God has foreknown, predestinated, and called, and justified and glorified? Already in God’s mind it’s an established fact that the work is complete. Who are you? Who are you going to condemn? It is Christ that died. How can you condemn when Christ has died?

Your sin was condemned in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ on the cross. “Who is he that condemneth?” This is why you can’t condemn. That’s why he asked the question. “It is Christ that died.” There is no way you can condemn. Your elder brother has risen again, and then it goes on, “...who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Rom. 8:34.

Then lastly, I want to deal with this aspect of truth, namely that he is our great intercessor. Oh, beloved, he doesn’t just save us, then turn us loose down here and say, “Now, boys, you’ve got to make it by yourself.” It is true he desires our cooperation. He desires our response, and he works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. I’m aware of that fact, but that does not make void one bit his intercessory work.

And this is why Heb. 7:25 says, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” You see, beloved, he doesn’t die; he doesn’t grow old; but he is at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us. He ever liveth. And this is how our salvation is secured, because he does ever live to make intercession for us.

Do you think he intercedes for us because we are perfect? Or because we don’t need it? He intercedes for us because we are his and because we do need it. Amen. We confess him, we own him, we acknowledge him, we believe in him. We may grieve his Spirit or we may quench his Spirit, but we don’t stop his intercession. And this is how our salvation is secured.

This is why John says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate....” I John 2:1. That’s an intercessor. That’s a high priest.

You know, beloved, we need to intercede for one another in the same manner. I believe that we have the power, through our own prayer, our own intercession, to help people in the time of need. By prayer I believe that we can intercede. If God doesn’t hear and answer prayer, we are in trouble.

Christ — the Son of God, the son of man, the great high priest — intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. He’s praying for you and he’s praying for me. Amen. We confess him. He confesses us before the Father and before the angels. He looks down upon us. He sees us in this pilgrim walk and he knows about every high place we go through and he intercedes. He ever lives to intercede for us.

That is why the scriptures say, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God.” How? “By him.” Heb. 7:25. This may sound strange to you what I am about to say, but I am going to say it because I believe it is so. I believe God permits people to try to be saved different ways to show them that they can’t. I believe he permits them and gives them liberty to do a lot of things. I believe he will give them experiences that they are seeking. I believe he gives them a measure of his presence. That may sound strange to you, but if they do not have the understanding of what we are talking about and do not rely upon the finished work of Christ — understanding where their help comes from, you see — even that will fail. When the trial and the test comes, it will fail because they will forget. Beloved, we can’t forget because we live by faith.

Thus John says, “...these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. [that you not give yourself to it] And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” who not only saves us, beloved, but he intercedes for us. He confesses us. I John 2:1

We need to look to him. This is why he goes on over there in Hebrews, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross ... and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:1-2. We must look to the author and the finisher. Amen! I believe that, don’t you? May we come into a new dimension of understanding about why we are saved, and how we are saved, and how we are blessed. I believe it is through one person. That person is Jesus Christ.

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