VEIL PART IV
April 6th , 1993
Our consciences likes to remind us we are sinners. They make us feel worthless due to our failures. And man's greatest need is to feel loved and needed by someone. Condemnation from the conscience so mars us that our need for attachment with others is never realised in some extreme cases.
Now, we cannot sear our consciences in order to stop the condemnation. Not that it isn't possible, but that such a route is not the one to choose. One can sin so much that one's conscience can't even function properly any more. The conscience is like a nerve which warns us of the danger caused by sinning. Hell is where sinners will wind up. And God built in a warning device to steer us from hell toward help. That device is the conscience.
There would not be a warning of danger from the conscience, if no danger existed. And, likewise, if there were no hell, why would our consciences warn us of a danger ahead? Why do we feel condemned when we commit evil?
The police officer would not give you a speeding ticket if it was not dangerous to speed. And the law is only trying to keep us from destroying ourselves. There are little police forces in our beings called our consciences.
Warnings only point us to safety.
Since some believe conscience can never be at rest - there is no place of peace of mind at all - they are putting a paradox into effect. The conscience urges us to go to a place of safety from condemnation. Why have a conscience if we can never live above condemnation? Why be pestered by something that tells us, "Stop sinning! It's wrong!", if we can never stop sinning and ease our consciences?
Let me explain myself more clearly. We know that our nerves help us stay away from danger. They're punishing us for our own good. We go near the danger of fire and our nerves let us know that such an act is wrong and will damage us. They do this by shooting impulses into our brains that trigger the sense of pain in our minds. And these triggered sensations of pain point to the origin of the impulses from which the damage occurred. Thus, our nerves keep us from danger and effectively cause us to remain in a place of safety from damages of fire.
However, it seems that our consciences are ALWAYS condemning us. It's rare for us to be physically burned because we all know how to successfully stay away from fire. How many people are free from condemnation, though?
Check the clientele of the psychiatrist's rosters, and discover that condemnation is alive and well in humanity everywhere!
Is it possible there is a place of safety where there is no condemnation? Most would say no. Paul said yes.
In Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1), if one refuses to walk after the flesh after one is in Christ. So, many believers have not truly found that place of freedom from condemnation since they are in Christ, but are still walking after the flesh.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Notice that it isn't enough to be in Christ. There is a further stipulation to those in Christ. They must not be walking after the flesh also. And there you have it. The problem. How many believers are walking after the Spirit?
What is "walking after the flesh"? You must know this answer before you can be free of condemnation. You must know what it is to not walk after the flesh, but to walk after the Spirit. Walking after the flesh is depending upon fleshly, natural, fallen humanity to live right. In fact, that's exactly how they lived in the Old Testament days!
God didn't assist them to live godly in the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments said, "Thou shalt not." Not, "I will empower you to not."
If one would abandon one's natural abilities when confronting hardships one is not attempting to overcome in fleshly power. One is not walking after the flesh. One enters hardships, but holds onto the power of the Spirit of God as the means of overcoming and one is walking after the Spirit. You overcome by faith - not flesh.
We need faith in grace. Grace is God doing something for you.
Walking after the Spirit sees flesh cast away by God in a kind of circumcision. The flesh is not needed, spiritually speaking, since one has relied upon God. And one sees God overcome our hardships. And our consciences see no failure in existence to condemn.
Since weak, incompetent flesh is left unused, flesh can't fail. How can it fail if it isn't even used? Therefore, there is nothing there for the conscience to condemn. The conscience is finally at rest! And one is safe from condemnation due to refusal to depend upon the flesh to overcome. Biblically speaking, this is refusal to walk after the flesh.
So, the conscience is beneficial to us by driving us to safety of being in Christ and depending upon His Spirit to overcome our hardships.
Unless one knows about Christ, one's conscience will always condemn. And one will never know how to see it rest.
Since the conscience was activated by man's consumption of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, when man sinned, - and this cost him the expulsion from the garden and God - man must get back to God-- in order for the conscience to rest from condemning us.
To get back to God, though, one will confront a veil of cherubim at the garden door. This represents our flesh. We must nor keep ourselves away from rest by continuing to use weak flesh to overcome our obstacles. The human spirit within us wants to get back to God. It craves to get back to God. The human spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. It stops us. It fails, and we continue to feel condemnation as it hinders us from living right.
Like the priest holding up the ark in the Jordan River, we will not be free of condemnation until we hold up faith in Christ's power. This act of walking after the Spirit, and not after the flesh, is an act of faith. It scares the flesh. The flesh likes to have control of things. It is comfortable in your unbelief, since it can control everything. It is disturbed when someone else, like the Lord, drives our vehicle. It doesn't trust. And that makes it enmity against God. God is only pleased by faith, and the flesh is comfortable in unbelief.
That act of faith removes the veil of flesh. Jordan then splits. The cherubim have no need to strike you down. And we enter the garden freed from condemnation.
When the priests held up the ark in the midst of the turmoil of Jordan, the River divided. Our flesh will be in turmoil as we walk into what we fear the most. But our faith in Christ's power will only start the defeating process against the giants in Canaan once we enter fear and hold onto our faith and confidence.
Only after the priests walked into the turmoil of Jordan did the Jordan cease its turmoil and divide. The Jericho, which caused us to fear, will be brought down. Earlier, fear of Jericho caused our flesh to roar in turmoil. It scared us and succeeded in stopping us from seeing Jericho fall. And we remained intimidated and condemned. When Israel doubted God, and failed to take the land, their veils remained. When God told them they were then cursed to wander in the wilderness for forty years, they changed their minds. They decided to enter the land anyway. They didn't want to live in a wilderness, and then die there. They went ahead to fight their enemies.
In Numbers 14:40-45 Moses warned them that they would be defeated had they attempted to fight the Amelekites and Canaanites. Their defeat would result from their weak, human ability being used to fight the battle. Flesh is not strong enough to defeat giants of sin. You need faith in God to see Him defeat them. Only He can defeat them.
When they went to fight, they left the ark - God's power - behind.
Caleb told the people they could overcome Canaan in Numbers 13:30, after the spies inflicted doubt, and before God cursed them. God waited for their reaction to Caleb before he would curse them.
The people said they were as grasshoppers in the enemies' eyes. And this was true. They were as grasshoppers, and that would never change. But faith in God puts God to the battle against our enemies. And as grasshoppers approach giants with faith in God to overcome, giant fall!
Goliath fell before the boy David.
The armies of Midian were defeated before Gideon's three hundred men!
And all our obstacles, that are too big for mere humanity to handle, will fall before the people who believe in God's power.
Caleb followed God fully, the Bible says. He entered the "fullness." Numbers 14:24. As believers we must see that the fullness of the Godhead is in Christ! In other words, realise that all we ever need from God is in Christ.
We enter the Garden and our consciences rest. The Garden of Canaan, with its grapes of Eshcol, speaks of the Garden of Eden to which we must return. The Jews lived in Canaan in their ancestor, Abraham. They left and became slaves in Egypt. They had to return to Canaan again, by the blood of the Passover Lamb over their doors. So, too, has man lived in Eden by being in Adam. Man left and became slaves to sin. Now man is returning to Eden, spiritually speaking. And the great Exodus of the Spirit is occurring today. The blood of Jesus has rescued us from Egypt. How many believers are doubting, though, and are living cursed lives in the wilderness of misery outside the Promised land?
We must choose this day whether we decide to eat the forbidden fruit of fleshliness, and run our own lives after the flesh, or, choose to partake of God's Life and live by faith after the Spirit. Its reminiscent of the choice in the Garden and the choice Moses gave at the two mountains. One mountain was cursing and the other was blessing - Ebal and Gerizim. And the ark of the covenant stood between the mountains.
We confront the presence of God giving us a choice. (But that's another study.)
The conscience rests, for it has done its job in getting us to stop relying on our flesh. We rely on God's Spirit. Doubts are removed and our consciences are at rest. This was symbolized by our veils being removed, and our mercy seat sprinkled with blood.
The Mercy Seat was sprinkled with blood by the high priest. And Hebrews uses words describing our consciences being sprinkled with blood.
And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; He. 9:3
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience. He. 9:7-9
Notice the interesting reference to the conscience. And that the passing beyond the veil, which was not possible in O.T. days, represented passing the barrier that hindered one from fulfilling the conscience. The Old Testament Law could not make one complete, as far as the conscience was concerned. Perfect means complete.
Tie this up with:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? He. 9:14
Speaking of the Old Testament:
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 ceased to have been offered? - because that the worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins. He. 10:1-2
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." He. 10:22
See the correlation between the drawing near into the Holiest and sprinkling the ark with the conscience being sprinkled? The veil is breached in both cases, before the sprinkling occurs.
This is our rest. In fact, Hebrews 4, the same book that speaks of the sprinkling of the conscience, speaks of our spiritual rest.
Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. He. 4:1
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. He. 4:9-10
Isn't it amazing! The same book that describes the purging of the conscience in chapters 9 and 10, mentions the rest for the child of God in chapter 4!
When we rest we are freed from condemnation of the conscience. We're freed from sin. When we are outside the Garden we're in the land of sin and death. And condemnation hollers at us. Its trying to tell us to get out of there and enter the Garden of Eden.
Everybody hears the condemnation from their heart. Only the ministry of God can tell you what the warning really means. Its telling you to get out of the wilderness of condemnation and have faith in God for Him to overcome for you. In that manner you will remove the veil of doubt and fear, and you will rest from condemnation. This is the initial step in salvation.
When you believe this, you get the blood from the sacrifice on the altar of Christ's death, as the high priest took the blood from the altar in the outer court. You then wash in baptism, just as the laver of water was the next article in the tabernacle after the altar. And you then carry faith just as the High Priest carried blood. With that faith alone will you pass the veil. And you throw that faith on your conscience and you enter rest from condemnation with God in the Garden of Paradise!
The High Priest could not enter the holiest without the blood. That's where the presence of God was. And we will not enter that garden where God is without faith in God's divine influence upon our lives - i.e. grace. Grace is divine influence.
Jesus died so you could have God's divine influence work and overcome all your obstacles for you. Trust in His death. It has accomplished and provided you with blessing. Believe this. Believe that He had to die so that you could get this blessing, and run with that faith into the Garden!
Without that blood, there is no remission of sins. That is, without faith in the necessity of Christ's death to give you divine influence from God, you will never enter the garden again!
Leviticus 16:11-14 tells us that only with blood are you to enter the Garden!
Jesus entered the Holiest by His own blood (He. 9:12; 6:20). And if we want to enter there we must also take His blood!
We'll traverse the veil and purge our consciences by the same blood!
His veil, His body was filled with our fears and sins. He passed that veil with His blood. We must pass by our veils - our doubts, fears and sins with His blood.
Its a new and living way, because the blood is the LIFE of His sinless flesh (Lev. 17:11). We have His blood, faith in His necessary work! So, we have a LIVING way!