Benefits of Christ's Atoning Sacrifice

Benefits of Christ's Atoning Sacrifice

Scripture: Hebrews 7:25, 1 Corinthians 15:16-18, John 16:8-11
Date: 12/13/2008  Lesson: 11
Christ's priestly work in the Heavenly sanctuary magnifies and solidifies what He did on Calvary's cross.

El Camino a Cristo by Ellen White

El Camino a Cristo by Ellen White
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Good morning, and welcome to "central study hour," coming to you from Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. A wonderful and welcome Happy Sabbath to those of you who are joining us from across the country and around the world. I am very excited this morning 'cause we're going to be singing my favorite, 143. Those of you at home, pull out your hymnals. Those of you here, we're going to sing "silent night.

" And there were so many requests for this song and the next song that we're going to sing today that we get to do them twice during this season. So, we will--if your name isn't read today, don't worry, it will be next time; 143, "silent night," verses 1, 2, 3 and 4. [Music] I forgot to say who requested that song. From the gulf coast conference in Alabama, David and donna in Alaska, judy in Arizona, eddy, jeanie and caleb in australia, barbara, Daniel and aidan in California and it was requested for me by somebody, helen and sophie also in California, James in england, jim, diane, jamie and buffy in florida, John in Oklahoma, don and cindy in Pennsylvania, abel in puerto rico, joyce in st. Lucia, Christa in Virginia, and bob in Washington.

Our next request is right across the page. You don't have to turn very far, . We're going to do, "angels we have heard on high." And if you have a favorite request that you would like to send in, please go to our website at saccentral.org. Click on the "contact us" link and you can send in your favorite request; 142, we will do verses 1, 2 and 4. [Music] That was a request from someone in Alaska, enid in australia, charles and audley in the bahamas, ismaia in brazil, evangeline in California, marge in florida, dionne in grenada, darsa and allison in guyana, and the springland Seventh-day Adventist Church in guyana, shernet in jamaica, tina in Montana, florine in North Carolina, elizabeth in New York, John in Oklahoma, abel in puerto rico, jose is Texas, Matthew in Washington, and herman, mava and eric in trinidad and tobago.

At this time, let's bow our heads for a prayer. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for bringing us here this morning to worship you in music and also in opening up Your Word and studying together this morning. I pray that you'll send your angels to fill this place, come and live in our hearts and be with our speaker as he brings us our lesson study. I want to pray for those that sent in song requests this morning that you'll be with each and every one of them. We don't know who they are, but you do.

And one day, we look forward to all meeting together and singing on the streets of gold and spending eternity with you in heaven. We thank you so much for dying on the cross for us and loving us. In Jesus' Name. Amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Thank you, debbie and Joel, our singers, musicians, for the music. This is always a fun time of year when we sing these holiday songs. They often bring back a lot of memories of family time and kind of a special season. I want to welcome our friends who are watching, our extended class. It's always exciting when we hear about the people who are sending in their requests from all over the world that are studying with us.

And I want to remind everybody, this is a time when we study the quarterly--and I call it a quarterly 'cause we get it four times a year. It takes us through the primary foundational teachings of the Bible. Right now, we're dealing with the last quarterly for the year 2008, talking about the atonement of the cross of Christ. And if you'd like to study along with us, we just encourage you to go and visit your neighborhood Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ask them for one of these.

We'd encourage you to worship with them and study with them, but also study with us right here. If you don't have a church that you can attend, maybe you're isolated or there may not be one in your neighborhood, we have a lot of people watch this program on two or three satellite networks. You know satellite, you can get way out in the country, all you need is sky reception and solar panels, and we hear some interesting stories of people isolated out there or some folks are shut-ins. We hope that you'll adopt Sacramento central church as your church. A lot of people tell us that they sing along with us.

The words are on the screen. When we kneel to pray, they kneel to pray and they sort of have adopted us. We'd love to have you be part of the family. If you want to know more about how to do that, just go to the website. It's saccentral.

org, saccentral.org. With each study guide, we typically--or each presentation, we have a resource to help enhance your study, talking about the atonement of Christ and the heavenly sanctuary. We're giving away a classic book by Joe Crews called "blood behind the veil," talks about the sacrifice of Jesus. If you'd like a free copy of "blood behind the veil," just call the number on your screen. For those on radio, that's -788-3966.

An acronym for that is 866-study-more. Ask for offer number 130. We'll send it to you, free, simply for just asking. We're getting into our lesson study now, dealing with the subject--of lesson number 11, you got your quarterlies there? I trust you've got your Bibles. Lesson number 11 is talking about the benefits of Christ-atoning sacrifice.

And it's based on a plethora of different Scriptures. We're not going to have time to probably cover all of them, but we'll get as many as possible. We do have a memory verse. And just to let me know you're all out there, I hope you'll say the memory verse with me. The memory verse comes from the book of Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 7:25, and I'll be reading that from the new international-- no, I'm going to read it from the new king James version.

New king James version, Hebrews 7:25, you want to say it with me? Are you ready? Here we go: "therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." Now, I may leave some things out in today's lesson. I hope that you'll forgive me. I know a lot of teachers kind of follow along to see if they can glean anything worthwhile. I'm going to wander a little bit today, and one of the main things that I'm going to be talking about is intercession. Now, I'm going to cover some of the high points that are on the various pages, but I want to talk about intercession because we're dealing with what Jesus does for us in the heavenly sanctuary.

And the main thing, the main focus of our memory verse, is he ever lives to make intercession for us. Now, in the lesson, it does a good job of gracefully trying to address a big concern a lot of Christians have with--well, with Seventh-day Adventist theology. I'll just come right out and say it. Because Seventh-day Adventists believe that the plan of salvation is not over yet. We believe that yes, when Jesus died on the cross, he paid a complete price for our redemption.

But it's not over yet. Our salvation is not complete. Now, that might sound like a contradiction. It's not. Our justification was paid in full at the cross.

But how many parts are there in the theme of salvation? Justification, what's the next word Paul uses? Sanctification. And the final realization of salvation is glorification. Children of Israel were justified by the lamb in Egypt, sanctified through the sanctuary and the experiences in the wilderness, glorified when they entered promised land and received the promise. You know, there's a lot of different ways that I might try to illustrate this, but I bought a piece of property this year. I couldn't remember if it was last year or this year.

And it was very exciting. And I did not deal with the buyer directly. I dealed with someone who intermediated for me. It's called a real estate agent. And but before I could get the land, I had to pay the price in full as far as they were concerned, but they didn't get the money right away.

The money went to a real estate office or actually, it's a title company. And it sat there and it is processed there. I took care of my part in full, but they didn't get their money yet because while it stayed there at the title company, they do a title search. They check out to make sure the property--they're going to insure the property, they make sure that title is clear. They make sure there are no encumbrances.

They check out the easements. They're going to give a report that it is ready for complete transfer of ownership. You got that? Salvation is something like that. If everything was done at the cross, then how come we're still in the world? You see what I'm saying? Yes, Jesus paid a complete price at the cross. He doesn't need to die again.

His salvation, his blood was efficacious, it was completely potent enough to cover the sins of the whole world, no question. We're 100% on board. But he's not done with his work of saving us. He's working and serving now as our intercessor. If it was all over, then why would he be now continuing as our high priest? So, some people have a very--they almost think that it's a contradiction of faith in the sacrifice of Jesus to say, "it ain't done yet.

It's not over yet." That's why he hasn't come back yet. That's why he's continuing his work for us as our high priest. That's why we're still going through the wilderness down here of sanctification. So, is that clear to everybody? Another point that people struggle with is the idea that there is some investigation, some judgment, that takes place prior to Christ coming. That never--i never could understand why people had a problem with that.

And keep in mind, I'm coming from the outside. I'm coming from, first of all, a non-Christian background. Then, when I came became a Christian, I was a non-Seventh-day Adventist Christian, a lot of spirit-filled, heaven-bound Christians in many different churches and I fellowshipped there. But when I learned the truth and about the atonement of Christ, it never even caused a wrinkle for me. I mean there were things I had questions about in the adventist message, but that wasn't one of them because it was always so clear to me that when Jesus comes, he gives out rewards, right? We together so far? When he comes, "I'll reward every man according to his work.

" That in order for him to reward people when he comes, there must be some kind of an investigation, some kind of a judgment, that takes place before he comes. And the Bible says, "judgment must begin at the house of God." Well, that makes it clear. Judgment begins at the house of God before he comes. And so, this just always seemed like Christianity 101 and yet, boy, folks really get upset about that, "you mean there's some kind of investigation that even Christians go through prior to the coming of Christ?" That's what Jesus said. He said, "judgment begins at the house of God.

" You remember reading Ezekiel 9. It says, "begin at the sanctuary with the ancient men." And when those men brought that woman, we believe mary magdalene, into the temple, John chapter 8, through at the feet of Jesus, there was a judgment taking place there in the house of God. He said, "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone." And Christ begins to write down the sins of her accusers in the house of God, beginning at the eldest with the ancient men. They went out one by one, even unto the least, just like Ezekiel 9. So, the Bible's filled with this principle.

And then, the idea that, you know, Jesus is done; well then, why does it call him our high priest? What's he doing? He's interceding. He's our mediator. A matter of fact, the heavenly priesthood of Jesus did not even really begin until he laid down his life because prior to the sacrifice of Jesus, Christ was not in heaven pleading the blood of goats and bulls and pigeons. Is that right? Those were all symbols of when he would be pleading his own blood. That didn't happen until he died on the cross.

So, the heavenly priestly ministry of Jesus did not even begin until his sacrifice. So, the most important part of his ministry as our high priest didn't even start until he died on the cross. Does that make sense? So anyway, I wanted to say that for the record 'cause I hear all kinds of strange, confusing things about that and this is just basic Christianity. In Sunday's lesson, dealing with the resurrection and ascension, it's asking a valid question: how important is the resurrection of Jesus in the continuing redemption of the plan of salvation? Somebody look up for me, Romans 8:34. "Who is he that condemneth? Is it Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

" Alright, so here it's telling us that Jesus rose and why did he rise? The he makes intercession for us. So, how important is the resurrection to the ongoing mediation and atonement of Jesus? Also, you could read Corinthians 15. I'm going to read verse 16 to 18, "for if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen: and if Christ is not risen, then your faith is futile; you're still in your sins. Then also, those who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished." You see, even though Jesus died on the cross and he sacrificed his life for our sins, if he doesn't rise, he can't continue his ministry, we are perished. Now, I'm going to say that again because you didn't have that "a-ha" look on your face.

There are people out there that believe that all we need for our salvation was complete when Jesus said, "it is finished" on the cross for our eternal salvation. It's true, his sacrifice was 100% adequate, but it's not over yet. How do we know that? Jesus died, but if you don't believe that he rose to continue his work for us in heaven, Paul says, "we have perished." Yes, he died. He paid for our sins, but if he didn't rise to continue his work, we're doomed. So, it must not be only the death that saves.

Did you get that? I think it's a powerful argument. So, that's another one you'll want to just make a note of; Peter 3:21-22, "there is also an antitype here which now saves us; baptism--not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven," he rose with a purpose, "who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him." Now, I don't know, there's probably a lot of people who've already clearly the issue of where did Jesus go when he ascended to the heavenly temple. I'll add my voice one more time 'cause sometimes people get these programs in little checkerboard segment, and you may not catch this important point. When Christ first ascended, listen very carefully or you're going to write me letters about heresy if you miss even a little word or two here. When Jesus first ascended to heaven, after mary saw him, he said, "don't cling to me.

I have not even gone to heaven yet." He ascended all the way into the very presence, the core, the center, the zenith of heaven into the presence of God, the holy of holies, where he was coronated; his sacrifice was declared successful and adequate, received, and Jesus brought his blood for the first time to activate the heavenly temple. Now, you realize when they built the temple on earth, there was a special service at the end of the year on the day of atonement. And only at the end of the year did the high priest go in and plead on the day of atonement, right, went into the holy of holies. But when they first built the earthly sanctuary, Moses, who was also a priest of the tribe of levi, he went in and he sanctified, activated all of the furniture that had been built so they could been their regular intercession in that heavenly sanctuary. It had to be sanctified by blood.

When Christ first ascended, he went into the presence of The Father, he was coronated at his right hand and at the right hand, you don't want to make too much of that. In the Bible, that Benjamin was called the "son of Jacob's right hand," that doesn't mean he always was hanging around the right hand of Jacob. It's a symbol of favor, a sign of favor, of approval, of acceptance, that Jesus' sacrifice was accepted. And Christ always--he is God. Is Jesus omnipresent? Well, in his mind, through his spirit, is.

Is The Father omnipresent? Yeah. Are they ever separated? Once, when Jesus was on the cross, they were separated. That means every other time, they're like this. When Christ comes, he's coming on the right hand of power. Who's that? God The Father.

So, people all get twisted up trying to figure out where Jesus is geographically in relationship with The Father. Don't let that make your brain explode, friends. But when he first ascended, he ascended into the holy of holies, his sacrifice was declared victorious, accepted. He came back to earth that same Sunday night and appeared to the disciples and then he said, "all hail." He told mary, "don't cling to me." He came back after being declared victorious. Then, he said, "all hail," then they worshipped him.

See what happened? Activated the heavenly sanctuary. Then when he ascended after days of meeting sporadically with the disciples, he began his work as our high priest as the priest would on a daily basis, interceding for us. Does that make sense? If you understand that, it clears up a lot of conundrums people have tripped over. And by the way, this is not original with me. This was taught at andrews university for years, dr.

Leslie harding. He understood this and many others. Once people--i won't go down that road anymore. Anyway, okay, another verse, Hebrews 9:28, I'll have someone read that. I think maybe we--you've got that right here, mike? "So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.

To those who eagerly wait for him he will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." Alright, when Jesus died, he died to bear the sins. When he comes back, is he still bearing sin? No. Something happens to the sin between the time he died and the time he comes back. Does that make sense? If you walk into a building and you're carrying a backpack and you walk out without the backpack, something happened to the backpack in the building, right? This is real simple. And so, Christ was burying our burden of sin when he ascended.

He's coming back without sin and so, there's a process that takes place in the sanctuary. What was the other verse I gave out? Hebrews 4:15-16, are you ready with that, birdie? "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." You know, my favorite part of that verse is the last part. It's saying that--well, both parts, Jesus, we have a high priest who is tempted in every way as we're tempted. He knows what it means to be tempted like we are.

Now, I want to ask you a question: does God know everything? Before God comes to earth, does he know everything? So, did God need to come to earth to know how we feel? Does he already know how you feel? In fact, he knows how you feel better than you know how you fell. So, 'cause God knows everything. You can't teach God anything. So, if God is all knowing and God can't learn, then when Jesus came to be tempted in all points as we are tempted, was it for his benefit or for ours? It's so we will know that he knows. And it's so we can relate to him better saying, "you know, he was a man.

He really does know." 'Cause sometimes, we have problems believing that he really knows. You know, politicians tell us they feel our pain, but they live there in the stratosphere of Washington and you wonder how in touch they really are with our pain. But when you see one of 'em come down and live 33 years with all the experiences that we have, working with the same kind of levels of work and trouble in jobs that we have, then they go back to Washington. It's a little easier to think, "they can resonate with us now," right? So, Jesus did that for us so we'd know. But then, I like the part of the verse that says, "so, we can come boldly before the throne.

" How do we do that? You know, they've got a new program. They're developing a way where private citizens that have to have a lot of money can go into space, and it goes up there and you can float around and be weightless and say, "I've been to space." And it's actually a few minutes you're up there and it comes back down, lands on earth. It's a very expensive process, getting out of the earth's atmosphere. So, when it tells us that we can come boldly before his throne, do you need $32,000 for a space trip? How do we go before his throne? By faith. I'll tell you how I do it is, you know, I just--when I'm by myself, and you can be driving down the road, you can be with other people, it's better when you're by yourself because your mental screen is less distracted and I just see myself coming before Christ and, you know, I place my sins on him.

I place my requests for him. I ask him to intercede on behalf of others. And I see him there before The Father pleading his blood. And so, I with Christ am going boldly before the God of the universe. Boy, it takes a lot of audacity to just think that you can have an audience with the God of the universe.

And we can do that through Jesus. You know, it's wonderful when you think about it. I remember hearing a story back from the civil war that there was a soldier who was fighting with the north and in the course of the war, his father who was also fighting for the north was killed. His brother, older brother, was badly wounded and crippled. He knew back at home he had a mother and three sisters that ran a farm, and that they were really going to struggle if he couldn't get home to help them with the spring planting that they were going to starve when winter came.

So during a break, he went to Washington d.c. He was stationed not too far away, and he actually--back then, you could go to the white house. They didn't have all the secret service that they've got now. That's why lincoln got shot. And he went to the door of the white house and he knocked and said, "I'd like to see a president.

" And of course, there was a whole entourage of people that were waiting to see the president from all these high positions in Washington, wanting to get some bill passed or dealing with the war. And they said, "you're out of your mind, private." They said, "he's the president. He's really busy, and we've got a lot of things we're dealing with." "But I've really got to see the president." He said, "you know, my family's life depends on it." He said, "look, there's lots of trouble these days and he can't see you. He's busy." So, they sent him away. Well, this soldier was then sitting not far from a park and he was just weeping and wondering what he was going to do.

He had to get home to help for at least 1 month with the spring planting. His sisters and mother couldn't run the plow. They just weren't strong enough. And he saw a boy playing not far away, and the boy saw the soldier kind of crying. And he came over and he said, "what's the problem, mister?" And he poured out his heart to this 9-year-old boy and says, "you know, I just-- I gotta get home.

" He says, "I can help you see the president." He said, "come with me." So, the soldier was like, "what's going on here?" And the boy--he said, "I'll try anything." So, he follows this boy. This boy takes him around the back of the white house, brings him through a kitchen service entrance and Marches right through all of his corridor of halls and takes him off into the oval office where the president's there. The president said, "todd, how can I help you?" It was todd lincoln, the president's son. He said, "daddy," he said, "you really need to talk to this man. This is very important.

" And so, he said, "alright," he said, "I'll take a moment." So, he talked to the president. The president wrote something on a piece of paper. He gave him a furlough for days so he could go home and help with the spring planning. And it made a big difference when you had that relationship with The Son to get into the presence of The Father. And that's what we're doing.

Now, the question is: is Jesus more important to The Father than todd lincoln was to abe? Yes. If you have the hand of Jesus when you go in before The Father, what are your chances of getting an audience with the King? I'd say pretty good. The question is: do you believe Jesus loves you? Does he care about your problems? So, does the work of Christ in heaven go on now? Is he interceding for us? Is he too busy? That's the good news is that you can always know that he's there and he's available for you. Next page we've got, it talks about the mediation of Christ and atonement, the mediation of Christ and atonement. And that's back to our memory verse, Hebrews 7:25.

As a matter of fact, I didn't give that out but who wants to read that for us? Andrew, you go that. Let's get you a microphone. Hebrews 7:25. "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." His job in life is he lives to make intercession for us. Now, have you ever struggled before in your prayers, knowing what to pray or how to pray and sometimes, I'll be in a group where a lot of prayer requests are made and I'm not maybe writing them all down and I can't remember them all.

And then when I'm praying, I might forget and--but I know that this person said something and there's a family member, I can't remember their name and--you know, you shouldn't worry about that. Do you what you can to remember, but the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit knows what things you have need of and he will present your prayers before The Father "with groanings that cannot be uttered." A grandfather was walking by the bedroom of his granddaughter one day, and heard her fervently praying the alphabet. She was saying, "a, b, c, d, e--" when she got done, he interrupted her and said, "dear, what in the world were you doing?" "Well," she said, "grandpa," she said, "I've got so many things to pray about, I just couldn't find the words. So, I thought if I just prayed all the letters, Jesus would put 'em in the right order. He'd know what to do.

" [Laughing] that's sort of a crude illustration of what we do. I think we ought to try and do better than just praying the alphabet. But it helps us understand that, you know, sometimes we're not eloquent. Even Moses said, "I don't know what to say." And, but God knows what's on our heart. And sometimes, all you can do is just come before the Lord and you've got so much weighing you down that you just groan.

There are groanings that can't be uttered. You can't find words for it. And, you know, I sometimes-- I really like listening to good prayers. You know, some people pray and it sounds memorized. It sounds mechanical.

It sounds stiff, you know, or it sounds like they're praying for the benefit of those listening. And every now and then, you'll hear a person pray and you know that their prayer is baptized in the Holy Spirit and they are not thinking about anyone around them. They are in the presence of God and their prayer, they realize they're talking to God. And just in the words and the trembling and the awe in their prayers. You ever heard--you know, there's some people, you hear 'em pray like that and you say, "wow.

" They used to say Joseph bates-- any of you know who Joseph bates is? Remember me asking you that a few weeks ago? I hope you've read his autobiography. But Joseph bates, people used to say they loved to hear him pray because they just felt like that he transported them into the throne room of God with his prayers. He just went there, and he took whoever was around him with him into the throne room of God. So, Christ's work is there. He's our intercessor.

Mediation of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is the next section. Somebody read for me John 16:23-24. "And in that day you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask The Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name.

Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." Name dropping. Does it make a difference? Sometimes it's what you know and sometimes it's who you know. You know, it's salvation, it's not just what you know. It's who you know. Isn't that right? Now, people abuse these relationships, this name-dropping relationship.

You get to Washington and you know someone, "can you get me in?" Or "can you get this bill through because I know somebody?" Hollywood, you want to get invited to a party? My mother was a film critic, and I grew up and she used to tell all these stories of the name dropping that would go on. Somebody would act like they knew someone and try and get into some premiere of some film or some tickets to something. And they'd throw the names of the rich and the famous around or people of power and influence. And it was just kind of a pathetic game, a lot of abuse. And a lot of people were name dropping.

They didn't know the person, but they'd use their name and they'd act like they're friends or they'd read a little article about them and they'd share some tidbits and make it seem, "oh yeah yeah, we're close friends and I know about this and this and this." And, but when you go before The Father and you're going to use Jesus' Name, are you just name dropping or do you know him? The name dropping works when you end your prayer with Jesus' Name. It's not a little special code. You know, it's like these spies meet in some foreign land covertly and they've got some, you know, word, "fly swatter." "Fly swatter, okay that's the word we're looking for." You know, and that's supposed to get you in. And some people act like the mentioning of Jesus' Name at the end of a prayer, it's the secret word. But does that secret word do you any good if you don't know the person or are you just name dropping? It's really about a relationship with him.

So, praying in Jesus' Name is more than the mere mention of his name like "abracadabra" or some special incantation. You're supposed to punctuate your prayer with Jesus' Name. Praying in Jesus' Name means in the mind and the Spirit of Christ because you know him. It is who you know. What is everlasting life? This is everlasting life that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

What will Christ say to the lost? "I don't know you." So, it's appropriate to pray and close your prayer in Jesus' Name. Even the times you don't feel like you know him very well, that's still appropriate because you can't plead your own merits. You plead his merits. And you know, that's a good way to do it. Don't get into a habit.

Can I just--while I'm on the subject, I may as well take it all the way home. It bothers me when people when they pray, they kind of slur their prayers, you know? And I hear a lot of kids do it, "deavenly father." Say, "what was that?" "Deavenly father." I said, "what? Slow down." "Deavenly father," "dear Heavenly Father." And they get so used to saying, it's like "I gotta get my prayer." And they do that at the end of the prayer too with "Jesus' Name." Don't say the name of the Lord in vain. And don't slur it. Amen? That's the name of God. Say it with reverence.

Articulate. Take the time to say the whole thing. And speak to him with--i mean it's God we're talking to. And so, we ought to be reverent when we speak to him. But change it up sometimes.

Keep yourself out of a rut. You might close your prayer by saying, "in the name of Jesus, I pray, amen." You might say, "in the name of your son." You'll still get credit for that. You might say, "in the name of Christ" or "for Christ's sake." The principle is you're not asking God to answer your prayer because of your goodness but for his sake, because of his sacrifice, because he's interceding. There's a thousand ways you can say that. It's the principle.

It's like with the Lord's prayer. People just repeat it by habit. They don't even think about the words. Jesus didn't say, "repeat this" 'cause he said, "pray not in vain repetition." He said, "pray in this manner." It is an outline for prayer. There are principles of prayer in the Lord's prayer.

And it's okay if you want to repeat it from time to time, but think about what you're saying. But if you pray like the heathen and just say the same prayer over and over again, there's no virtue in that. God doesn't want you to be mindless when you pray. He wants us to think. And so, when you close your prayer in the name of Christ, think of him as your intercessor.

Think about what it means that I'm asking God to hear my prayer because of Jesus, not because of me. And what it means to know him as well. Ezekiel 22:30. "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." Mmm. Only way you can answer that is go, "mmm.

" You know what that means? God says, "I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap," what is this wall? Judgment was rolling towards God's people. He wanted someone among them to stand up and intercede on their behalf and there was no one. Now, Christ is ultimately the fulfillment of this. He is the man who stands in the gap to intercede for us. You know, I think of a number of stories in the Bible.

When God was going to destroy the children of Israel, God says to Moses, "stand aside. Let me alone. Get out of my way, so I can get at 'em." Have you ever seen two men? They get hot and they act like they want to start swinging at each other, and someone gets between 'em like a referee, "whoa, whoa" and stops 'em. And one's saying, "let me at 'em," you know? And this is how God was saying. He says, "you know, stand aside.

Don't try and stop me, Moses. I'm going to wipe them out. I'll make a great nation out of you." But what did Moses do? And of course, the Lord knew what he was going to do. God was testing Moses. Moses stood in the way like a wall to prevent the judgment from coming, to stand in the gap.

There's a gap. We're separated from God by our sins. Jesus ultimately is the one who stands in the gap, right? But he's wanting all of us to stand in the gap. Now, Christ is interceding in heaven. He stands in the gap.

The Bible says, "there is a great gulf fixed." And the Lord comes between us and The Father. He's the bridge. Christ, his cross is a bridge. It's the ladder that stretches from heaven to earth that was seen envisioned, right? By Jacob. And Christ referred to that, but he wants us to also be intercessors.

Moses says in Exodus 32:32, "yet now, Lord, if you will forgive their sin--; but if not, I pray blot me out of your book, which you have written." Wow. He's not only standing in the gap. He's standing in the gap and offering himself. What does Jesus do as our intercessor? Doesn't he stand in the gap and offer himself? That's wonderful when you think about it. Are there others in the Bible who have done that? You know, I wanted you to really capture what it means to be an intercessor.

What is Jesus doing? We deserve death. We deserve judgment. We deserve punishment. You know, I like the story of Joseph when Joseph told his brothers, he said, "you can't see my face again unless you bring your younger brother with you." Well, they went back home. They took some food to Jacob.

And after a while, they ran out of food. They said, "Jacob, we gotta go back to Egypt. We're starving, but we better bring Benjamin with us." Jacob said, "not on your life. I lost Joseph. I'm not losing him.

Sounds like that prime-minister in Egypt is a little unstable to me. I'm not sending Benjamin--" and judah said, "look, we're going to all starve." And they argued and finally, judah said to Israel, his father. By the way--Genesis 43:8, Genesis 43:8 and I'll read verse 9, "then judah said to Israel his father, 'send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we might live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. I myself will be surety,'" I will be the guarantee, I will stand in place for him, I'll guarantee that he'll come back, "from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, let me bear the blame forever.

" Judah said, "I am willing to be the substitute. I'm willing to be the sacrifice. I'll put my neck on the line." His other brothers, I mean ruben was the oldest, how come he didn't offer? Simeon's the one who wanted to kill him. He should've offered. Wanted to kill Joseph.

Then, you know, the story of Joseph's very clever. He's wanting to see if their hearts are changed. And he puts his golden cup in the bag of Benjamin. And as they're all leaving, pretty soon the cavalry comes from Joseph and they said, "stop, you can't go back home. Someone stole--they stole Joseph's cup.

" "Ah, no, we would never do such a thing." And so, they put down their bags of grain, took 'em off the donkeys, and one by one, the guards from Joseph's house, they deliberately started with the eldest and they went down to Benjamin at last. And they kind of sifted through. And right there on the top of the--in the grain, hidden, was this silver and gold cup that Joseph, it says they divined with. They used to have this cup they claimed that if you put any poison in there that he would see who poisoned him. It was really to scare anyone from trying to poison the royalty.

But he took this royal cup and it was in Benjamin's sack and all, they said, "Benjamin, why'd you steal it?" And Benjamin goes, "well, I didn't do anything" and you know, 'cause it was all planted there. And all of them went back to Joseph. And they tore their clothes and they're mourning. They think, "we're all going to be slaves. What are we going to do? What's our dad going to do? Why has this happened to us?" They're getting to feel a little bit of the anguish they had put their brother through, but nothing like what he had gone through.

And then in this beautiful appeal that judah makes, as a matter of fact, turn in your Bibles to Genesis 44:18, Genesis 44:18. You'll find this prayer of intercession that judah makes before Joseph. Of course, he doesn't know it's Joseph yet. "Then judah said," I'm in verse 16, "what shall we say to my Lord?" He comes back to Joseph and they found his cup that was stolen. "What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants," well that's true.

They had sold their brother. "'And we are, my Lord's slaves, both we and he with whom the cup was found.' But Joseph said, 'far be it from me that I should do this; but the man in whose hand the cup was found, he will be my slave.'" And judah's basically saying anyone but him. "As it is for you, you can go to your father in peace," Joseph's testing to see, just like God tests us to see if we love our brother. Joseph's testing to see if they love their brother. "Then judah came near," from what tribe did Jesus come? This is a type of Christ.

"Judah comes near to him and says: 'o my Lord, please let your servant speak a word in my Lord's hearing, do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like pharaoh.'" He's going near, he's risking the wrath of this ruler. Do you remember when God said to Abraham, "I'm going down to destroy sodom because of its wickedness"? And Abraham says, "don't be angry, but can I say a word?" 'Cause why? Lot was down there. So, Abraham intercedes. He stands in the gap like a wall for his nephew. He intercedes for the righteous.

This is what judah's doing. And he rehearses the story of what had happened and he says, verse 25, "and our father said, 'go back and buy a little food.' But we said, 'we can't go down; if our younger brother is not with us, then we'll go down; for we may not see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.' Then your servant my father said, 'you know that my wife bore me two sons; and the one went out from me, and I said, 'surely he's torn in pieces'; and I have not seen him since." Ooh, you know what that tells us? All those years, Jacob never really had found out yet what happened to Joseph. They had never told their father the truth. "But if you take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you'll bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave. Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad's life," what is the relationship between The Father and Jesus? The Father's life is bound up in the life of his son.

"It will happen that when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servant will bring down the gray head of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave." How much did The Father suffer when Jesus was on the cross? "For your servant," now listen to what judah's saying, verse 32, Genesis 44:32, "for your servant--" "me," judah's saying-- "I became surety for the lad to my father, saying, 'if I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame before my father forever.' Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad," not only is he interceding, he's offering himself as a substitute. "Let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my Lord, and let the lad go free with his brothers. For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that will come upon my father?" Now, that's the end of the chapter. The end of the chapter 44 is judah interceding in behalf of Benjamin before Joseph, and he's saying, "take me as a slave.

I will offer my life. I will pay for this supposed theft." And now, what does that do to Joseph? Then, he knows they've changed. This is the moment when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers when he sees that one of them has become so sacrificial; he'll not only protect his brother, but he'll take his punishment. They've changed from the scheming, jealous boys that he knew some 20-odd years earlier. He then reveals himself to them.

"Joseph could not restrain himself before those who stood by him. He cried, 'make everyone go out from me!' And he put everyone out when he made himself known to his brothers." What was it? It was the intercession of judah that broke his heart. What is Jesus doing for us right now? That picture that you see. What do we deserve? Judgment. Yeah, you found out the sin of your servants.

We're like lot, camping in sodom. I mean we're doomed. And it's the intercession of Abraham that saves. It's the intercession of Moses. It's the intercession of judah.

And there's other stories. And oh, you know, I like this other story. I got a minute, the story of ebed-melech. They took Jeremiah. They put him in the dungeon.

Bad enough he's in the dungeon or in the prison, they lower him down in a cistern and he sinks in the stinking mire at this dry well. And this Ethiopian servant, he's a eunuch, he's goes to the King and he braves--i mean he's going to plead on behalf of someone who's just been condemned. And he braves this condemnation and he says, "he's going to die there." And he pleads on his behalf, and the King is moved and he decides to have mercy on Jeremiah because of the intercession of ebed-melech. And so finally, he gets permission and he goes and pulls him out of the cistern and makes sure that he has food to eat until the city's liberated by Nebuchadnezzar. At least, he's liberated by Nebuchadnezzar.

Many cases like this. I don't have time to cite them all of where people are interceding there in the Bible. Acts 5:31, "him God has exalted to his right hand to be a prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." So, Jesus is at the right hand, interceding. He's giving forgiveness for sins. Ephesians 2:18, "for through him we both have access by one spirit to The Father.

" Through Christ, you and I have access to The Father. Isn't that wonderful when you think about it? That good news that because of Jesus' sacrifice, we can go before him. Let me see here. Oh, I've got that verse in Romans, I already read this to you. Roman 8:26-27, it says, "the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.

For we do not know how to pray as we ought to, but the Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God." So while we're here on earth and we're praying, we don't pray alone. Jesus is right now at the right hand of The Father and in a very real sense, he's at the right hand of The Father now because he is completing his work as our high priest in the holy of holies. The final part of the mediation work of Jesus is this investigative judgment, and we're living during that time right now where the sins of God's people are being cleansed in the sanctuary above. And God's people are being cleansed in the sanctuary below. What is the sanctuary below? What? Don't you know that "ye are the temple of God.

" That the church of God on earth is his people. And when those two sanctuaries are cleansed, Christ is going to stand up and he'll say, "it is finished." And I think we're finished. It says here that--i want to just remind our friends one more time the free offer if you did not catch the beginning of the broadcast. We have a free offer. It's called, "blood behind the veil" by Joe Crews.

If you just call the number that's on the screen, we'll be happy to send that to you. And that number once again is --toll free, 866-788-3966, "blood behind the veil." God bless you, friends. We're out of time for today's study. And God willing, we'll be back to study His Word together again next Sabbath. If you've missed any of our "Amazing Facts" programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There, you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents." One location, so many possibilities, amazingfacts.org. A website whose roots date back to the beginning of time, Sabbathtruth.com is the definitive resource for Bible light on the Lord's day. Clear Bible answers for every question you've ever had about the Sabbath. Seven key topic headings guide you through the purpose of the Sabbath, which day is the Lord's day, the Sabbath and prophecy, questions about the Sabbath, how to keep it holy, the Sabbath and history and many Sabbath resources.

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