From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

A Better Way

Have you ever wondered what might have happened if Adam and Eve had kept on eating the fruit from the Tree of Life, and not from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

How far could they have gone in their lives with a greater understanding that the fruit from the Tree of Life would have given them?

It did not happen; so I guess we will never know.

But what is the upper limit mankind can reach while we have our sinfulness constantly making its presence felt?

Salvation is dependent on faith in Jesus Christ, and is certain by this fact alone. However there is scope for us like Adam and Eve to keep on exercising our faith and improving our lives by an equivalent to the Tree of Life.

The proof there are levels that some can reach that other will not is seen in 1 Corinthians 10:3- where there will be a judgement for every believer. All believers build a house on the foundation of Jesus Christ; and in every case the foundation and the believer survives to spend their eternity in heaven. But what about the structure they build? It will be tested with fire, and the gold, silver and precious stones will remain, but the wood, hay and stubble will be destroyed.

But what is gold, silver and precious stones?

God has two mutually exclusive attributes that cannot be used at the same time. When he uses “Love”, it gives him a certain characteristic, and “Justice” makes him someone completely different. To overcome this problem he became two different personalities.

Jesus Christ on the one hand is the “Love” of God personified; so that it was God’s love that solved the problem of our sinfulness on the cross. While God the “Father” lives out “Justice”.

When Jesus was resurrected he was told to sit at God’s (justice) right hand while justice sorts out all “Love’s enemies.

The only contact we can have with God is with his Justice and he makes all his decisions on his righteousness. Righteousness is his only criteria and nothing else matters. So for example if I would like to have any contact with God; I have to be perfectly righteous or else he will have nothing to do with me. Happily I have believed in Jesus so I have this righteousness through my salvation. But I also have the sinfulness I received from my father and if this is my motivation; God will ignore me.

However if I confess my sinfulness as stated in 1 John 1:9 God is faithful and just to forgive me my sinfulness and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Now I have the righteousness I need and can boldly approach God with freedom and confidence according to Ephesians 3: 12.

Also with righteousness I am filled with the Spirit and its fruits are love, joy, peace, patience ect. ect.

While I am living under these conditions I am building my life using gold, silver, and precious stones. However I am sad to say this is not always the case and time will tell how much wood, hay, and stubble I have used instead.

The question this article is designed to answer; how much of the house I am building will consist of gold, silver, and precious stones? What is a reasonable upper expectation?

I live while the Church is functioning and after the death of Jesus who procured the righteousness I was given when he was judged for my sinfulness (as well as everyone’s) on the cross.

Immediately after this occurred, the curtain in the Temple that separated the Holy place from the Holies of Holies was torn down according to Matthew 27:51.

The Holy place was where the Levitical Priests worked to perform the various sacrifices and rituals. The significance was to teach the correct procedure whereby sinful man can function in a righteous manner doing certain things involving their relationship with God.

Everything revolved around the death of Christ on the cross, so blood was usually used as a symbol for it.

The New Testament aligns the work of the Priests with the “Shadow of Christ”. Because time was hiding the reality, God demonstrated everything he would do down to the finest detail in symbolic form. When the reality of Jesus came, he did exactly what the “Shadow” taught at exactly the same time.

However, the “Shadow” was not as good as the reality as it only taught all the “Reality” would do, but not doing anything in itself.

Therefore the function of the Priest did not bring anyone closer to God, but it taught how this was achieved. So in the Temple there was a curtain between the Holy Place and the Holies of Holies.

The Priests could function within the Holy Place as they performed their priestly duties, but could not go over to the other side of the curtain, to the Holies of Holies where God resided.

The Priest were never expected to be believers as they were chosen from the tribe of Levi, but they taught the function of those who had believed in the Messiah (Jesus Christ). The tribe of Levi were only teachers and as such only taught. Whether they were believers and had learned from what they were doing was a totally different issue.

However, if the “ordinary” people did what they were taught by the Priests; then they became functioning priests in their own right, and their background had nothing to do it, only their faith.

So anyone could believe in the sacrificial death of the Messiah as everyone knew him in the Hebrew of The Old Testament.

The “shadow” demonstrated they were all sinful because the commandments God had given them were impossible to keep while they were are sinful.

Then the “shadow” demanded they pass their sinfulness to a sacrificial lamb and it was killed as the judgement for their sinfulness, so the righteousness of God could be given to them.

However the “shadow” was only a shadow and it never gave anyone righteousness, it only taught the way it was done.

Therefore it never allowed anyone to come anywhere near God because it never gave anyone the righteousness they needed. So part of the “shadow” was a curtain in the Temple that stopped people from going into the Holy of Holies where the “shadow” had the presence of God.

But! When the reality of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) died on the cross as the “shadow” taught, his death could give anyone the righteousness to go into the Holy of Holies and the presence of God.

This was always possible because there was an exception to the rule because the “shadow” allowed the High Priest to enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement; (The tenth day of the seventh month every year.)

The High Priest had to make atonement for himself first in a complex ritual with an offering for his own sinfulness, so he had the righteousness to be with God, and then make atonement for all the people.

If the “ordinary” people did exactly what the actions of the “High Priest” taught, then they could come into the presence of God too.

The lesson the Day of Atonement teaches has not yet happened, and for more information concerning it read “From the Beginning” also found on this website.

There will come a time when salvation is no longer available, but God has given one whole year as notification before it does. A Day of Atonement sometime in the future will start this clock ticking and it will go through to the next Day of Atonement. This year is the last chance anyone has for their salvation.

The High Priest entered the Holies of Holies at a time which was considered as the Last Chance; the lesson he taught was that everyone has a chance, but it will not last very long.

Salvation is only available for a certain time; God will terminate it at the second Day of Atonement after the reality of the first has come and gone. Also salvation will no longer offered when we are dead, so our lifetime is the last and only chance we get to procure it.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross and made righteousness available to all, the curtain in the Temple was torn down so after his death as anyone can come face to face with God.

The teachers came from the tribe of Levi and all they did was teach, and none of them were saved because of what they did. However if they took notice of what they taught they were just as much saved as all those “ordinary” people who put their faith in the Messiah (or Jesus Christ).

“Ordinary” people everywhere can do the same thing, and they have the chance to do so.

Just to prove a point there was an “ordinary” person who met Abraham after Abraham had been at war, and to show he was superior Abraham gave him a tenth of the spoils he had gained in the fighting.

Melchizedek (Hebrews:7) believed in the coming Messiah and was a priest in his own right. How he learned of his death and resurrection of Jesus The Bible does not say, but it does confirm that everyone regardless of when or where they have lived can be saved if they believe in Jesus Christ.

Long before there was an organised way of learning through those of the tribe of Levi; there were some who applied what was taught even before they taught it. So Melchizedek was a superior priest to any of those who belonged to the Levitical Priesthood.

To conclude; Jesus Christ did not belong to the Levitical Priesthood; he was the reality that all the teaching of the Levitical Priesthood taught.

There is no curtain separating anyone from the presence of God, it was torn down immediately after the death of Christ, but remember there is a time limit.

Gold, silver, and precious stones are the potential for everyone, but first things have to be first.

 

Trevor Topsfield

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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