Concerning the Sacrifice of Christ, as you discussed Monday night, it was, as Amy M. said, super good. I've said (to myself mostly, though) that it is my favorite message. I guess it pretty much includes the new birth, doesn't it? (That's my way of justifying it as my favorite :-) .) I am really glad it worked out that you could teach us. Thanks a lot.
When we were finishing Monday, I had a few thoughts, but it didn't work out for me to share them on tape, so you said to send an email. I know Monday night late you agreed with what I said (which is why you said I should have said it on a recording), but when I got still to write it out, more thoughts came to me, a little different from when I talked to you. Please let me know what you think about this.
Let me begin with what I said Monday, and go from there. First of all, I pointed out, as you learned from God, that Solomon's Temple, a more perfect form of Moses' Tabernacle, was a dead replica of heaven. We know that we are called the Temple now. So then we must be a replica of heaven, explaining why we are called priests, etc. But when I sat down to write this email, I had another thought. Like I say, let me know what you think.
Solomon's Temple was a dead replica of heaven. In the NT, we (those born of the Spirit) are the Temple. But from what I'm gathering now, those born of the Spirit are not a replica of heaven, as Solomon's Temple was. Rather, it would seem that heaven is a dying replica of us. Heaven is going to pass away, we know, but I also say this because when Jesus comes to clean us with the holy Ghost, the way he cleansed heaven after his ascension, it would seem that he still enters into the unsanctified Holy Place. He pushes through the veil (our flesh) to our "inner man", and then he sprinkles our hearts with his blood, sanctifying us for his ministry, just as the blood of Christ cleansed heaven after he ascended to make it fit for his ministry.
With this in mind, what happens next, after Jesus sprinkles the blood, is better explained by looking at Exodus. In Exodus, God only entered the tabernacle after it was cleansed. Now, in the NT, the glory from God still is seen over his new tabernacle (us), and this one is not made with hands, just as heaven was not. And as the pillar of the cloud that sat on Moses' replica of heaven in Exodus was a witness to the people then of God's presence, the person who is truly cleanses by the power of the Spirit of Christ also testifies to others on the outside what has happened on the inside. This manifestation of the Spirit we know to be speaking in other tongues, and it shows us what a holy thing Jesus has accomplished in his new tabernacle! The way it seems right now, everything He does is directed toward our salvation. It would seem that though heaven was a very holy place, it was still just a replica, since it must pass away. Maybe the holy Ghost isn't just a witness that Jesus cleansed heaven, but is also a witness that Jesus can cleanse us. Ha, would you call that heaven on earth? :-)
Also, I was thinking - the table is always spread to have communion with Jesus now. The OT bread was replaced every Sabbath day... and it still is, but now it is in our hearts. The bread on the table in the OT Temple was replaced only on the Sabbath day under the Law, but the Sabbath day now is rest in the Spirit for us, which is whenever. We never eat old bread with Jesus. :-)
But how do we know who is truly partaking of this mandatory Sabbath day, this rest? "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people, to whom he said, 'This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing.'" Those who have not spoken in tongues cannot be keeping the Sabbath - and if they have not received the rest, they cannot be replacing the bread on the table. And if they are not replacing the bread on the table, then they are not having communion with Jesus! The priests ate the bread and replaced it on the Sabbath day. It would seem that this rest is very essential. Also, God's Law is written on the tables of our hearts when the Spirit enters in, just as a copy of the Law was kept inside the ark in the Most Holy Room of the Temple.
So, ha, in a way, Jesus entered and left the third heaven, God's Most Holy Place, on the same day. He entered "through the veil" as our high priest, and his Spirit went out "like a mighty rushing wind" and entered into the hearts of the disciples that very day. We know that it cleansed them, too! So, maybe Jesus is the high priest not just in heaven, but in us as well. It is something to think that one of these days it is going to be an even better relationship with God. The idea that something awaits those who love Jesus now, that something is going to be even better and more real than anything so far, would appear impossible (how many times have we said that? :-) ).
Oh, wait! Sorry this is so long. I talked to Amy P the night before last about when you said that God doesn't allow Satan in heaven anymore. When he sent Satan to earth (then comes my favorite part), He sent His Spirit -- the same saving power that He used to cast Satan out of heaven, so that we won't have deceit in us either. That deceit, we see, is mostly Christianity today. But the antidote for cleaning the true tabernacle was, and is still, God's "Spirit of truth".
The other thing I told you I was thinking Monday night was this: In Leviticus, Aaron had to make two sacrifices on the Day of Atonement. One for himself and one for the people. Jesus, however, only had to make one sacrifice: for the people. Jesus was already perfect and without blemish. He didn't have to offer a lamb for himself. He only had to offer himself for us.
Let me know what you think, and thanks again for teaching us Monday.
What do I think? I think I am blessed to have been able to be there with you all for your OT class, and I think that I am blessed to have a son that has these kind of thoughts.