Growing In Christ - 2012

Scripture: Colossians 2:15
Date: 11/03/2012 
Lesson: 5
"Christ's victory on the cross defines the scope of the victory into which the Christian may grow."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. Wherever you're joining us from across the country, around the world, listening on radio, watching live on our website at '' or the various television networks, it doesn't matter. We're just glad that you are tuning in and joining us for another central study hour coming to you from Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church here in the capital city of California. Every week we hear from you - you love to sing songs with us. We love to sing songs with you and, of course, we always open up God's word and we study together.

It's part of our program. So let's start with #526 - wonderful song in the hymnal and it is a favorite of many people: randy in belize, joy in the cayman islands, jako in iceland - and he had sent - I read all the messages that come with the songs each week and he has been waiting to hear his song request and I saw that so I said, 'okay, we're going to sing it for everyone in iceland and everybody else this morning, Jeremiah in papua new guinea, brana in yugoslavia, and raul in south korea, and many other states and countries. It only has two stanzas so we're going to do both of them. #526 - 'Because he lives'. Thank you so much.

I know that is a favorite of many people here at central church as well. If you have a song that you want to sing with us on an upcoming program, it's very simple. Just go to our website at '', click on the 'contact us' link, and any song that's in the hymnal is right there and you can pick it and you can go ahead and start sending in your Christmas requests - it won't be long until we start singing those. But if you have a favorite, send it in and we hope that we can sing that for you soon. Our next song, as we continue working our way through the hymnal singing all The Songs we don't know and some of them we do, is #76 - 'o love that will not let me go' - so this is the one we're going to do today.

We're going to sing all four stanzas - it's not very long. This is from andrew in australia, angela in italy, glenda in florida, sandra in Idaho, and a few more around the world. #76 - All four stanzas. Were you paying attention to the words that you just sang? Weren't those beautiful? 'O joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee, I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be.' Are you looking forward to that day? This world is a horrible place but God is good - that's right - and one day you trace - what does it say? - The rainbow through the rain and one day it will be a tearless day. Let's bow our heads for prayer.

Father in Heaven, you do have a love that will not let us go. And no matter how horrible we treat you, you still love us and I pray that each of us today that can hear my voice - that we will feel you speaking to us and that even if we're going through painful situations - that we can trace the rainbow through the pain and hold on because one day it will be that tearless day. Father, we thank you for the hope that you've given us as Christians - that you are coming soon. And we love you and I pray that you will be with our speaker this morning as he brings us the lesson study. We thank you so much for his ministry here at central church, amen.

At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, our senior pastor here at central church. Happy Sabbath. How is everybody? Debbie almost got me crying before I came out to teach. I choked up. I love that song.

It's a beautiful song. 'O love that will not let me go.' Welcome if you're visiting Sacramento central church. We're glad you're here. I want to welcome our regular members - any that may be visiting, we know that we have some of our online members that are watching from around the world and, periodically as I travel, I meet them and it's just encouraging to know that we're able to minister to these folks. We were in - Karen and I were in Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and we met some folks there that are on the remote end of one of the islands and they said satellite church is often how we are able to fellowship and so I want to welcome our friends and our online members and others that are part of our - the tv Sabbath school class.

We're glad that you tuned in. In a minute we'll get to our lesson. We have a free offer, as always, that kind of helps enhance our lesson. Today we're talking about the atonement and purification and we have a special offer. It's a book written by joe crews called 'blood behind the veil' and this is really appropriate for our lesson today.

We're going to be talking about blood and cleansing in the blood. And if you want to understand that idea of the sacrifice and the atonement, we'll send you a free copy of this - just call the number that you see on the screen. Or you might be listening on radio - that's 866-study-more - -788-3966. This book - ask for offer #130 - it makes it easier when you call for them to know. Ask for offer #130 - we'll send it to you.

We only ask that you read it and then pass it on. Share it with somebody else. We want to get as much mileage out of the truth as we can, amen? Lesson today is #5 in our quarterly, dealing with the subject of the sanctuary. Now we know we have people who are watching on tv and online from all different Christian backgrounds and maybe you're part of a church - you've never really studied the sanctuary before. This is a very important subject that you're going to find taught in part or in whole or in reality or symbol all the way from Genesis to Revelation.

The theme of the sanctuary - you can see shadows of this all through the stories of the Bible and many of the visions in the Bible take place in the context of the sanctuary and so you really want to understand this subject. It helps us understand salvation. If you'd like a copy of this, you can go to your neighborhood seventh day adventist church and I bet they'll share one with you. You can also just go to - type in 'Sabbath school' online - go to Google or yahoo and type that in - and you can see the study guide online. That's typically how I study it, to tell you the truth, because then I can copy and paste the notes from there into my notes, right off the internet so that's kind of neat.

Alright, we have a memory verse and the memory verse is from 1 Peter chapter 1, verses 18 and - 1 Peter 1:18 and 19 - and if you would say this with me I appreciate you're joining along. I'm doing it from the new king James version here in my notes. Are you ready? "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." You know, I thought it was interesting, he said you're not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold. Yeah, a couple of things that last pretty well is silver and, especially, gold. You can dig up gold after 5,000 years and it's still gold.

It does not oxidize. It does not corrode. But compared to the blood of Christ, gold and silver are corruptible. And so I thought that was very interesting - these things - the heaven and earth will pass away but Christ and His Word they do not pass away. And he says we're redeemed with blood.

Now in this lesson there is quite a bit that talks about sacrifice. Now this is not pleasant - I used to wonder, when I first began to go to a Christian church, they would sing songs like 'there's power in the blood'. I thought, 'why would I want to go to a church and be part of a religion where people are all singing and talking about blood?' I mean, doesn't blood sound a little gory? It sounds violent and, you know, even from the earliest stages of life - how many of you remember the first time you cut yourself and noticed you were leaking? Did it kind of horrify you? And I remember my uncle harry, my father's brother, he was a little rough around the edges. He ran an indian trading post for 40 years, but one of the kids came in one day saying, 'I'm - I've cut myself' - and they'd cut themselves and they were bleeding a little bit and he said - he'd have fun with it - he'd say, 'wow! Look at that. I have never seen so much blood in my life!' And he'd say, 'that's really neat!' You know, and he'd just - the kids would never get the reaction from him that they expected - you know, sympathy or horror or something - and he'd say, 'look at all that blood.

' I'm sorry, but I'm laughing now and the reason is because naturally kids think there's something wrong and we think 'that's not supposed to be on the outside of my body.' And I think we know - the Bible teaches - that the life is in the blood. We'll have these verses, actually, we'll be sharing - matter of fact, someone look that up for me. I'm going to get you involved right away. Someone look up for me Leviticus :11. We've given out some slips - over here - where's our microphones? You got it? Take a microphone to that man right there.

Hold your hand up, richard. And, I tell you what, let me see - who has Romans 5:9? You? Alright, we'll pass it up to you. You'll be in a few minutes though. Alright, we're going to talk - we're talking a little bit at the beginning of this - about blood and the importance of blood because it's mentioned quite a bit in our lesson and I think it's a subject we need to understand. Alright, are we ready for richard? We are.

Go ahead richard, why don't you read that for us? "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." So when we're singing 'power in the blood', what is it that makes atonement? The blood. Why blood? Why not ears? Why not skin? Why not brain tissue? I mean, why blood? The blood feeds every cell in your body. The blood cleanses every cell in the body. The blood is what takes away the bad gases and supplies the oxygen - fresh - the good gases. It's the blood circulating - the blood is the sap of your body and I don't know if you've ever seen - it's not pleasant, but an animal cut and bleed to death or shot and bleed to death.

But as the blood flows out, the life flows out and when someone pours out their blood - you know the thing that happened to Jesus at the very end - they pierced him with a spear and water and blood ran out. Cleansing - of course water is a type of baptism. John emphasizes that a lot in his gospel. But the life is in the blood. If you look, for instance, in Genesis - you got your Bibles? Look in Genesis 9.

It's not the first place you find blood. The first place you find blood is - who knows? In the Bible? The brother of cain, what's his name? Abel. It says 'the blood of your brother abel cries to me from the ground. So cain did not strangle him. He did something that made him bleed.

Maybe he bludgeoned him or we don't know, but he struck him it says and he killed his brother. And he says, 'the blood of your brother abel' - and it's interesting that if you go to - don't lose your place in Genesis, I just thought of another verse. If you go to Matthew 23, verse , Jesus, when he walked away from the temple, he turned back and he said something that should have made everybody shudder. He said, 'that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth.' He said, 'on this generation - all the righteous blood - innocent blood that has been shed on the earth. From the blood of righteous abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of berichiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

' King joash killed The Son of jehoiada the priest - Zechariah, in the temple, he shed his blood. And these were innocent people. Abel was innocent. Zechariah was - all the innocent blood - it's like it had been pent up and Jesus said this generation is going to pay for that. There's an account made for any innocent blood in the Bible.

They had a law that if a person had been found slain - you know, periodically it happens in our culture, you'll hear on the news that there was a murder. They don't know who's responsible but somebody was slain. The Bible says that there is guilt upon that land until the guilty party is punished. And they had a whole sacrifice they would go through if they couldn't find the guilty party. They would offer this - you've heard about a sacrifice of the red heifer? They'd go through this sacrifice and this animal would be offered to try to cleanse the land because the people were saying, 'look, we didn't know about it.

We had nothing to do with it and we didn't want to be guilty of this innocent blood. And so, this is the first reference of blood - is talking about the blood of abel there. Now, in Genesis, I mentioned that a minute ago. Genesis 9, verse 4, God says to Noah, "but you shall not eat the flesh with its life, that is, its blood." - Well, the life of the flesh is in the what? Do not eat the flesh with the life - "surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man.

'Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God he made man.'" You know, it's not only a health law - why don't we eat blood? Well, there's obviously health problems with it. Disease can be transferred from animal to animal via the blood. But blood is different. It's not just a health law. The blood goes beyond that.

There's something symbolic there. It's through the blood of Christ that we're cleansed. The life is in the blood and God says, 'of man, of beast you are not to eat blood.' Do you also find that in the new testament? In acts chapter 15 does it say that you command them to abstain from? From blood. I remember when we were working with the navajos and one of the things - I'd not heard of this before - they made blood sausage. Any of you ever heard of that before? Oh - that gave me the creeps when I was a meat eater - is the idea that you would make a meal out of blood.

And that's a good reason for every Christian to avoid eating any meat is because most meat in America is not butchered in a kosher way - there's still blood in it. And it tells us that there's something sacred about that - the life is in the blood. Alright, who - I think I gave you mike - you've got Romans 5:9. Do you have your microphone? We're not quite ready so I'm going to read some other verses. Hebrews 9:22, "and according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

" How can you be forgiven without the shedding of blood? According to the Bible there is no forgiveness. So when they sacrificed lambs and when the blood of these victims - or goats or bulls - it might even be - if you were real poor and you could not afford a goat or a lamb - the bull was sort of the cadillac offering. It was the most expensive. The poor people would offer a clean bird like a dove. What did Joseph and mary offer for Jesus for the purification after he was born? It was a dove.

That's because they were very poor and - but they all had to be clean animals. And the blood of these animals was all a symbol for the blood of Christ. Isn't that right? And for his cleansing. Alright, go ahead and read for us then Romans 5:9. Romans 5:9, "much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

" Alright, so there's a justification that happens through the blood. So how does this work? You remember the model of the sanctuary? You walk through the door - you begin to approach God - the first thing you saw when you walked in the door was what big article of furniture? There's an altar. Now what happens at an altar? Well, there's worshiping that happens at an altar but the Jewish altar actually had a fire going on it because there was something being consumed there. They did not toss the animals on the altar alive. Wouldn't that be awful? There was actually compassion.

The quickest way possible is they would tie them up, they would cut their throats and, you know, once the blood is lost - pressure is lost from the brain - unconsciousness sets in almost immediately and then they would catch most of the blood - the other was spilt upon the ground and that blood would be sprinkled before the Lord in a variety of ways depending upon what ceremony it was - whether it was a daily sacrifice or whether it was a weekly Sabbath sacrifice or if it was a day of atonement. But that blood, basically, was presented to atone for the sins of the people. And so they were declared forgiven because of that blood. Now we're going to get into how that happened practically in just a minute. Under the section in your lesson 'sin and mercy' there's a story I want you to turn to.

Turn in your Bibles to 2 Samuel and I've got to give you the background. The Son of David, absalom, was separated from his father because he had murdered his brother amnon. Now absalom, he's got a bad ending and other things happen, but at this point, as you're reading your Bible, if you don't know how the rest of the story goes, most of us would empathize a little bit with absalom because amnon was even worse than absalom in some ways. Amnon - absalom had a beautiful sister - now we already know absalom was a very good looking young man and it says he had a beautiful sister - her name was tamar. Amnon had a crush on his half sister tamar - same father, different mother - and he seduced her - tricked her into coming into his room.

He thought someone was trying to poison him, pretended that he was sick - he said, 'look, I want you to cook my food in front of me because I can trust you.' He sent everybody out and he raped his sister. Well, especially in Bible times, if that happened it meant that you were defiled. There's no record she ever married. She went out in mourning. And then after that he said, 'no, I don't think I want her.

' She said, 'now we need to get married.' He said, 'no, I don't want to marry you. Now I actually hate you.' It's amazing how quickly this infatuation and love turn to hate in this story - within a few verses. And absalom heard about it. He said, 'my sister, don't let this destroy you. I'll take care of it.

' Nothing happens for two years. And amnon - everybody figures that, you know, everyone was dealing with it and things were going to be okay. Absalom throws a party because he's shearing sheep and that was the time of celebration. You remember the story of nabal - when they'd shear sheep they were celebrating, giving gifts - he invites all his brothers. All his brothers come.

Absalom tells his brothers, 'when I give you the signal' - he said, 'don't be afraid. I want you to rise up and I want you to kill amnon.' He gives the signal, they do it, and then absalom flees to live with his grandfather in geshur - in another country bordering Israel. He runs away. Years go by, absalom is gone, David is now grieving for his son because he realizes why absalom did it. David did nothing to punish amnon when he killed his brother - when he raped his sister.

David realized 'if I had dealt with it absalom probably wouldn't have done this' and so he's missing his son. He's wanting his son to come home and every day they can tell he's distressed and worried about his son that is separated from him. Now, isn't that kind of what sin is? David is a king. He represents God. He's got a son that is separated and he wants him back.

So joab knows - joab is not only David's nephew, he's his general. He said, 'David's not himself. He can't focus on the Kingdom. He can't focus on the wars we're fighting. We've got to get absalom back.

' And so joab tells this woman - he gets a wise woman of tekoa - that's a region not too far from Jerusalem - but someone from out of town that David won't recognize and she comes in asking for judgment from the king. the King used to sit, sort of, as the supreme court judge. There were Judges in every town, but if that wasn't satisfying you could take it to the King. He was the final arbitration. So she comes before the King and she makes up this story joab has given her.

She said, 'your maidservant is a widow. I've got two grown sons and they're not married. They were out in the field one day and they had an argument and it got out of hand and they fought and one struck the other so that he killed his brother. And now he's hiding but the neighbors are telling us 'you've got to turn over your other son so that we can execute him for killing his brother.' And then I will have no husband, I will have no children, no heirs and I'll be destitute.' And she's pleading before the king and the King says, 'okay, that's not good.' He says, 'I'll forgive you.' And so there's a statement made here - now I told you that whole story to understand this verse: Samuel 14:9 - I love it when I see your heads all bob down. That means that your Bibles are open.

2 Samuel 14:9, "and the woman of tekoa said to the king, "my lord, o king, let the iniquity be on me and on my Father's house, and the King and his throne be guiltless." In other words, show mercy to me and, - you know, if a king renders a judgment where he seems to be condoning guilt, that judgment, biblically, falls on the King. And so this woman of tekoa is saying, 'the judgment - the guilt for this will not be on you. If there's any guilt it'll be on me. You'll be innocent.' And so, basically, she was painting a picture for the King to then see, 'well, if that's true now' - she says - 'why have you not called your son absalom to come home? If you're going to forgive me and say that my son should live, perhaps you're guilty in not forgiving your son and bringing him home.' And it's very clever the way - and then finally David says, 'is joab behind this?' And she said, 'oh, you're like an angel of heaven, king. You're so discerning.

You're' - but he finally said, 'okay, you can tell absalom to come home.' But there's a verse that's in that same story that, to me - go to verse 14 - 2 Samuel 14:14. I bet you've not quoted or heard too many preachers quote the woman of tekoa. She makes a statement in there that summarizes the gospel, "for we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but he devises means," - God devises means - "so that his banished ones are not expelled from him." We have been banished. We are separated from God and from heaven and we'll die and become like water that has spilled on the ground.

But before that happens, God has devised the means - it's called the plan of salvation - that we should not be forever separated or banished from him. Isn't that a beautiful statement? That sort of summarizes the plan of salvation. And so, we're still under this section on the atonement made by blood. So they bring their offering - and we'll get to it in a minute - they lay their hands on the head of this offering, confess their sins - that sin was then transferred to the sacrifice, its blood was spilt, the blood was presented and applied and that made atonement for them. Now, there's something else I thought was interesting.

Let me read something to you. Deuteronomy 21:8, "'provide atonement, o lord, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of your people Israel.' And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood. So you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord." God tells us that there - you know what the word 'atonement' means? In english you just take that word, chop it up with some hyphens - you've heard this before - it means 'at-one-ment'. You take the word atonement and write it on a piece of paper. We've been separated from God and the purpose of the priest was to make atonement.

That means 'to make at one those that are separated' - at-one-ment. That's atonement. And so, God is wanting to bring us back together. Now, you'll find in your lesson it often calls it the sin offering. Many, many times you find the words sin offering.

Sin offering is not always the best translation because some of what we call sin offerings were actually purification offerings. One example - now I threw this in because I know a lot of people have asked this question - it sounds weird - how many of you knew that if a woman had a baby boy she was declared unclean for a week, but if she had a baby girl she was unclean for two weeks? And she couldn't go to the temple for 33 days if she had a boy, but she couldn't go to the temple 66 days if she had a girl. Would someone like to explain that to me? You know, people - I've got some ideas I'll share with you, but I just wanted to exercise your pure minds. Some people have said - you know, for years they would say, 'well, that's because when a woman gives birth to a girl that there's a discharge longer.' There's no medical truth to that. Dr.

Derose, do you know of anything like that? No, okay. We've got some doctors in the house, I just wanted to confirm that. But I've heard people say that. They just make these things up and they become urban myths and they circulate. There's no truth to that.

Or - and then I've heard, 'well, it's because of sin originating with eve and so that the girls are impure. You give birth to a girl well, you've got to compensate because it's a girl. You couldn't achieve a boy and so there's twice as much time for purification because they're more sinful.' That doesn't Market very well. Let me tell you right now. The best answer I have heard is this is not a sin offering.

The offering that the woman is making following a child is a purification offering. It says this I think in the lesson as much as well. And a purification offering is whenever there was any discharge from the body there was an offering of purification. Obviously, if a couple is married - this is God's plan. He says, 'be fruitful, multiply.

' If they do what they're commanded there's no sin in having children. Alright, so you're not asking for forgiveness for having a baby, right? If you're doing it by God's design in marriage. So it's not a sin offering in that respect, it's a purification offering. The reason that - the best answer I've heard for me - the reason, I've heard, that there's exactly twice as much of time waiting for the woman as giving birth to a girl as giving birth to a boy is because eight days after the boy was born - remember, she was to stay away from the temple for seven days? That means on the eighth day she would go with her son and her son would be circumcised, which required the shedding of blood and that would compensate for the other half of the time because you have two individuals here now that are shedding blood. And so that boy and that shedding of blood - the first time Jesus shed blood was not on the cross, it was in the temple when he was eight days old, right? And though it's minor, there is some shedding of blood that happens at circumcision.

And so that, to me, is the best answer that I've heard is that there's some credit, basically, that's given because she brought the man-child who's being circumcised and that's a type of Christ. Anyway, take it for what it is. But it's a purification offering and not so much a sin offering. Now, who needs sin offering? Everybody. Psalm - somebody look up for me Jeremiah 13:23 - we gave that out.

You've got that right there? Alright, hang on to it. Jeremiah 13:23 - I'll read psalm :3, "there is none who does good, no, not one." You can read Isaiah 53, verse 6, "all we like sheep have gone astray." You can read Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And then you can also read Romans 3:12, "there is none who does good, no, not one." You can read job 5:7, "yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward." There's many more that I could read to you that illustrate that every human that has ever been born with the exception of one, Jesus, has sinned. And you are going to read for us - I think we're ready. Yeah, go ahead and read Jeremiah - what is it? - 13:23. Jeremiah 13:23, "can the ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

" The reason a leopard has spots and an ethiopian's skin is dark is melanin - it's coming from the inside out. So there's a problem on the inside that is causing us to sin. It's in our natures. And we can't change those things without supernatural intervention and this is what he's teaching here. I had a quote here from seneca - it says, 'some sins we have committed, some we have contemplated, some we have desired, some we have encouraged.

In the case of some, we are innocent only because we did not succeed.' I thought that was interesting. Now, there was one sin for which there was no sacrifice. What was that? This was also in your lesson. It was called presumptuous sin. Let me read this to you.

Somebody look up for me Hebrews :26. Who's got that? Over here. Jan, let's get you a microphone. Someone over there got a mic? You're the mic man today, okay. We're going to look at Numbers , verses 29 and 30, "you shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them.

But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken his commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him." There was no sacrifice that is for presumptuous sin. Now that word presumptuous sin does not mean intentional sin by itself. Now, I want you to be very honest. I'm going to ask you a question.

How many of you have sinned knowing before that it was wrong but you did it anyway? Can you call that intentional? It was, you know, some people - you've got manslaughter, which means you kill a person by accident but you didn't mean to. You didn't go visit the person with this in mind or it was a car accident. It's unintentional killing of human life - manslaughter. Then you've got what they call premeditated - that means you picked up your gun, walked over to their house and shot them. You knew exactly what you were going to do - you planned on it.

Everybody here, I suspect, is guilty at some time or other of premeditated sin. Is that right? If there is no sacrifice for premeditated sin, we may as well pack up and go home because we're doomed. It's not talking here about there being no sacrifice for intentional sin. You'll notice the key word here - it says, 'this person brings reproach on the Lord.' This is a person who is basically - they're taking an atheistic position of saying, 'i know what God wants. I don't care.

I'm going to do my own thing.' Now, a lot of people sin - like mary magdalene - seven devils were cast out of her. And if you read in desire of ages, it implies seven different times she fell back into the old behavior and the Lord had to save her again. A person who has an addiction and they stop drinking. They know it's wrong. They know it's bad.

They know it's hurting them and they slip. They know when they pick up that bottle and take that one - that first drink again - that it's wrong. You can call that premeditated. But they're sinning because of weakness. So a lot of our premeditated sin is because of weakness.

We don't want to. We want to have victory. We want to change. He says there is no sacrifice for the sin that is presumptuous - meaning you're doing it and you don't care and you have no remorse and you have no desire to be holy. Now that's where our verse comes in.

Go ahead, jan, read for us Hebrews 10:26 and 27 too. "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." So if a person goes into sin and they say, 'i know it's wrong but I'm just going to keep doing it.' They have no desire for victory. It's not the issue of them slipping into some addictive behavior, because whether it's overeating - you pick your favorite sin - I think everybody here has knowingly sinned. I know I probably shouldn't eat one more but - we laugh about it at potluck but hey, well, you know, if you shouldn't eat one more and you do, the sin of gluttony is a sin of the flesh, right? It's the lust of the flesh. And so there's a lot of us - all of us have done that kind of premeditated sin.

But here he says, if you sin willfully after you've received the knowledge of the truth - it's a willful - not wanting victory - it's a willful going in and saying, 'you know, I'm just going to do what I want to do.' How much sacrifice is there for that? According to the Bible 'there no longer remains a sacrifice. So it's only when you have repentance and remorse and you want victory - that's what sacrifice is good for, right? Because think about it - whenever you brought the lamb you'd lay your hands on the head of the lamb, you would confess - there must be confession and repentance for that sacrifice to do any good. There needs to be remorse. So for an atheist or people that are denying God or just living in high-handed rebellion, that's not what the sacrificial system was for. Let me give you another one.

Hebrews 4 - sorry, Hebrews 6, verses 4 to 6. This verse scares people. We get a lot of questions on this. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves The Son of God, and put him to an open shame." Is this saying if a person backslides they can't be forgiven? What about the prodigal son? What about Peter? What about David? What about Moses and Abraham and all the stories in the Bible of people who knew God's will and they slid away and they repented in that far country and they came back again. This is talking, again, about the high-handed rebellion where when God gives you the best that he's got and you say, 'i don't care, I'm going to do my own thing.

' The word 'fall away' there is not fall away, it's more like turning away. And so, there's nothing God can do. If you reject the best that God offers you, what else is he going to offer, right? Okay, moving along. 'Laying on of hands' - this is under the section of 'laying on of hands'. Let me read a verse, Hebrews 6:1 and 2.

I think this is interesting. "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms," - now notice what Paul is saying - assuming Paul wrote Hebrews. Paul is saying, 'elementary principles' - he's talking about elementary doctrines - 'let's go on to the meat of the word and not just the milk.' And he says here, 'let's mature the doctrine of baptisms - that's elementary - "of laying on of hands, of resurrections of the dead, and of eternal judgment." Now, we've all heard, in evangelistic meetings, someone talk about the resurrection. Isn't that right? We've talked about baptism. We've talked about eternal judgment.

These are all fundamental foundational teachings. But, you know, I very rarely hear, as a foundational doctrine, the doctrine of the laying on of hands. But, evidently, in the time of the apostles, they taught something elementary about what happens when you lay hands. Now where in the Bible do we see people laying hands on another? I'm not talking about just, you know, where you put your arm around your friend. In a ceremonial fashion, in a religious fashion, for what purposes were hands laid on? Healing.

When a child - the first-born son was blessed, ordination - do you see the apostles and the deacons, and the sacrifice. Laying on of hands - I'm going to give you a mini-doctrinal study on it. Laying on of hands represented a transference. A transference. It could be the transference of sin.

For instance, when you place your hands or the high priest would place his hands on the head of a victim and they would confess their sins, there was a symbolic transference of the sin to that victim. And then when it was slain, it was supposedly slain for the sins that you transferred. You got that? When, as a father - when Jacob placed his hands on his sons and he blessed them, what did that represent? Or when Isaac did it with Jacob? It was a transference of this blessing that Isaac had received from Abraham and Abraham from terah and on up the line - that the Messiah was going to come through that line. When Moses placed his hands on Joshua was it a transference of sin or a transference of authority? In the presence of Israel no one questioned that God had called Moses, right? So he had this authority they recognized. There were times when they doubted it - but he then laid his hands on Joshua because he knew he was going to die.

There was a transference of authority that happened there - that he wanted them to respect and they did. And so - and likewise, when Jesus placed his hands on the hand of the apostles. Now it's interesting in the Bible, do you know it doesn't say Christ laid his hands on the apostles? But most believe that he did when they were set aside as apostles. It says in 'Desire of Ages' that he did - very clearly. But then the apostles, when they laid hands on someone to replace Judas and they laid hands on the deacons and when they received the Holy Spirit.

Why, when philip was preaching in samaria, and the people were accepting his preaching - they called for Peter and John and they said, 'but you need to come and lay hands on them. Why didn't philip lay hands on them? Because they were apostles and they had this different authority. They had received the holy spirit at pentecost from Jesus. They were transferring this. They then laid hands on these people and they received the Holy Spirit.

And so there was a transference. Any of you ever played a game where you rubbed your feet on a static carpet and went up and touched somebody? And the charge that was in your body was transferred to them. And so - you ever play tag? You ever think - you ever analyze the theology of tag? The game tag? There's very profound theology in that game. Somebody is 'it' and they run around trying to touch someone else. And as soon as you touch them, they become it and they've got to run around and touch someone else, right? And so there's this like transference of being it.

Unless you're holding home base then - you're safe. I think that's a game that must be played in every country. The rules are really simple. Well - so that's simply what's happening with this laying on of hands. So you look, for instance, in let me see here, yeah, Leviticus , verse 27, "if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge," - you notice that? You committed a sin you don't know but it comes to your knowledge - you become aware.

Any of you ever do something wrong and then the Holy Spirit tells you later? 'Oh wow, didn't realize that.' And sometimes you need someone like nathan the prophet to come along and say 'thou art the man' - or thou art the woman. A person may not know of until then. And he says if he does any of those things, it says, "then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering." - There was a place prescribed where they would do it. - "Then the priest shall take" - now who would lay their hands on it? The person who was guilty.

It was usually a man who would do it on behalf of his family because he was the priest for the family. But that sin was then confessed and then the sin was transferred to the victim - that goat or that sheep - "then the priest shall take some of its blood" - and it says - notice - "kill the sin offering at that place" - the person might do it, the priest of the family might do it, or the priest might do it depending on the occasion. "Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour out the remaining blood at the base of the altar." And so that blood is being presented in the sanctuary. So where is the sin going? Symbolically the sin is being transferred from the guilty party to the victim, from the blood of the victim to the sanctuary. So over the course of the year, symbolically, the sanctuary is becoming a warehouse of sin.

Do you see why they would have a day of atonement once a year that would symbolically cleanse - I mean, there's no gremlins running around in the sanctuary that are sin. That sin is symbolically being transferred there and so they had a service where the sin was symbolically separated from the sanctuary - it was cleansed - that was the day of atonement and we've talked about that some. We'll talk about it more. Yeah, and so it was - the priest would represent the people - the high priest in particular - and later that sin was carried away by the scapegoat. Leviticus 16:21, "aaron shall lay both his hands" - this is the day of atonement - "on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel" - so this is not one individual bringing it to a priest, this is the high priest doing a sacrifice for all of the people - the whole nation - putting them on the head of the goat.

How can one goat bear the sin of a whole nation? How can one man bear the sin of all humanity? So obviously, a goat can't do that. But Jesus, being the creator of humanity, could take the sin of all humanity. And so, there was a sacrifice made in behalf. And so that sin was transferred you can read in Jeremiah - and this is in your lesson - Jeremiah 17:1, "the sin of judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars." And so here these things are recorded and so the sin was transferred. And then there's the - you know, before I run out of time - it talks about the bearing of the sin and Leviticus 10:16, "then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was - burned up.

And he was angry with eleazar and ithamar, The Sons of aaron who were left, saying, 'why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy" - for some of the offerings the priest was to eat some of it. Now why do we have communion service? Didn't Jesus say, 'unless you drink my blood and eat my flesh you have no life in you, right? And so the priest, on some occasions, was to eat of the offering. Some of them would exploit this and take advantage of it. You remember The Sons of eli? They would take the best parts and they would take more than their portion and God condemned the priests. He said, 'you have become fat from eating - from exploiting the people and taking of the best of their offerings.

" And eli fell over and broke his neck because he was heavy. The Bible tells us that sometimes they took advantage of the people. But when they didn't do it, Moses got mad. The Sons of aaron were not just supposed to burn it, they were supposed to eat some of it. Why? They were taking it upon themselves.

They were making atonement. They were symbolically bearing the sins of the people. Did Jesus, within himself, take our sin? So the high priest would symbolize that as well. And then I want you to know, under the section under 'forgiveness'. In your Bibles - if you look in your Bible - a familiar verse - in the book of Isaiah - Isaiah chapter 1 - go there real quick - and verse 11.

Actually, I might even read - I might read from verse 10, "hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of sodom; give ear to the law of our God, you people of gomorrah:" - now sodom and gomorrah - is that good or bad? Are they known for holiness or sin? So here Isaiah's using some pretty strong language and he's talking to his people - "'to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me?'" - Wait a second, aren't we supposed to do it? He's saying, what is it? - "Says the Lord. 'I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before me, who has required this from your hand, to trample my courts? Bring not more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to me. The new moons, the Sabbaths,'" - these were the ceremonial Sabbaths - "'and the calling of assemblies - I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.

Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they are a trouble to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.'" Now, I'm getting ready to read the rest of this but I'm stopping. How did God feel about the whole sacrificial system if it wasn't combined with confession in the heart, sorrow for sin, and a turning away from sin? It was an abomination to God. It was so tiring.

If they took advantage of the system the way he intended it - now how did he intend it? Verse 16 - Isaiah 1:16, "wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good. Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

If you are willing and obedient," - he wanted them not just to offer sacrifices and keep offering sacrifices, he wanted them, through this sacrifice, to understand how awful sin was and to be transformed. It was supposed to help them realize there's to be a change in the behavior. He says, 'if you do that, your sins, though they be like scarlet, they'll be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they'll be like wool.' Isn't this what the Lord really wants? He wanted not just the sacrificial system but a transformation. He wanted them to be a holy people. I'm out of time.

I want to remind our friends we have a free offer called 'blood behind the veil' we'll send you for asking. Just ask for offer #130. Call the number on your screen, we'll send it to you for free. Please read it and God bless you until we study again together next week. Paul and Jesus both predict that church of God becomes a force against God.

The radical faith that Jesus taught had become the official religion of the empire that murdered him. The speed with which the early church tobogganed into apostasy will take your breath away.

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