We have a altar

He 13:10-13 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The altar that is mentioned in He 13:10, is the altar where the carcasses of the animals used as sin offerings, were burned outside the camp of Israel, Exodus 29:14, Leviticus 4:11-12. According to Ernest L. Martin, in his book The Secrets of Golgotha, the sin sacrifice altar, where the bodies of the sin sacrifices were burned to ash, was very near where Jesus was crucified. http://www.askelm.com/golgotha/gol001.htm  It was located east of the temple, outside the camp of Israel. The encampment of the tribes of Israel, in the wilderness, was arranged in a circular pattern around the tabernacle. There was a specific area encircling the tabernacle and the encamped 12 tribes and that area was consider clean. Anything considered unclean, such as the body of the sin sacrifice, was burned outside the designated “clean” camp area of Israel. This also held true for the temple of Jerusalem. The Eastern wall of the temple was lower than the other temple walls in order that the entrance to the holy of hollies was visible from that altar, which was on the Mount of Olives. In the sacrifice of the red heifer, the high priest needed to be able to look directly to the entrance of the Sanctuary as he sprinkled the blood during that sacrifice. The lower Eastern wall also allowed God to view the sacrifices on that altar and allowed him to watch the crucifixion of Jesus. It was strictly taboo for anyone in Israel to eat flesh from the body of the sin sacrifice, whose blood was brought into the holy place, and it was also against Mosaic law to drink blood, Le 6:30 and Le 17:12. John the Baptist publicly proclaimed Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Jn 1:29 and Jn 1:36. And yet not much later in time, Jesus proclaimed that his disciples needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood, so that in his words, they would “dwelleth in me, and I in him.”, Jn 6:56.  Is it any wonder that he lost many disciples on that day, Jn 6:66,  because what Jesus was suggesting, was repugnant and taboo to the Jewish laws and cultural morality of the day. The spiritual significance of this altar cannot be, but is quite often, overlooked. The offering of Jesus Christ as a sin offering is inclusive in regards to his body, the church, which is the body of Christ, He 2:11, He 10:5. It is not a past tense event, it is a aorist tense event. Aorist is also known as the Greek indefinite tense. As a reminder, aorist means “without horizon”.  It helps to view the sacrifice and the work of salvation by Jesus Christ from this perspective of having no horizon and indefinite in regards to verb tense and time. The offering of the body of Christ for sin, in regards to the corporate body of Christ being sanctified, is not bound by past, present or future as is resides in all three. The individual members of the body of Christ have been and are being conformed to the image of Christ by God, and this has been taking place for nearly 2,000 years. It is ongoing, and will be ongoing in the future until the work is accomplished. It is quite difficult for the English language to describe this, lacking a indefinite verb tense. But the span of time covered, and our participation in this process emerges from the scriptures and a good bible translation helps. More than a few years ago I bought a Concordant Literal New Testament. One of the unique features of this translation is that it has different punctuation marks, placed before various verbs, that denote different verb tenses and verb forms. This bible has a short description of the verb forms and tenses and the following descriptions I give, are paraphrased from the information from within this bible. There are rare times when you have a combined verb form which the translator labels a Fact- State form. These verbs are designated with a small -o before the verbs as they appear in this bible. This denotes that the verb has two combined forms, Fact and State verb form. Fact verb forms are indefinite in regards to time and when conveying abstract ideas they express timeless truth. A Fact form is the Greek indefinite or aorist tense. State forms of verbs, denote a completed form that give the state resulting from an action. So a Fact-State form would be a completed form that is indefinite as regards to time. Now to see this in action.

He 9:14 how much rather shall the blood of Christ, Who, through the eonian spirit -o offers Himself flawless to God, be cleansing your conscience from dead works to be offering divine service to the living and true God? CLV
He 10:12-13 Yet This One, when -o offering one sacrifice for sins, is seated to a finality at the right hand of God,
13 waiting furthermore till His enemies may be placed as a footstool for His feet.

In both of these sets of verses from the epistle of Hebrews, “offers” and “offering” are both a Fact-State verb form and that sheds much light on the sacrifice of Jesus and the offering of his blood and body. The sin nature of the corporate body of Christ, the church, is being destroyed/sanctified, Ro 6:6, He 10:10, as a result of the offering of the body of Christ, once for all. This offering is indefinite in regards to time and is going on presently, because we are the Lords body, Heb 2:11, Eph 5:30. That is why it says to be cleansing your conscience from dead works to be offering divine service to God. Our works means nothing in regards to being justified and sanctified because Jesus, by the offering of his blood and his body, purges our sins and destroys our sin nature. Thus presenting his corporate self, the body of Christ, flawless to God. So in He 9:14 where it states that through the Spirit, Jesus offers Himself flawless to God, you should view it as a completed action and yet at the same time, a on going process.  Does this mean that Jesus was and still is offering up his body, the body of Christ, flawless to God?  And that the offering up of the Gentiles mentioned in Ro 15:16 is a part of that offering? It certainly seems so to me. But see the difficulties one has in regards to English verb tenses, specifically the past tense, in even trying to convey this! In He 10:5 the body prepared for him, is the body of Christ and the whole 10th chapter of Hebrews which follows, explains how the last verse of Hebrews the 9th chapter will be accomplished. That being so, that verse makes a good deal of more sense when viewed from the aorist tense perspective.

He 9:28 thus Christ also, being offered once for the bearing of the sins of many, will be seen a second time, by those awaiting Him, apart from sin, for salvation, through faith.

The faith of the son of God, is to have faith that his sacrifice and the offering of his blood and offering of his body is the mechanism that forgives sin and destroys our sin nature, Ro 6:6. For a good deal of time I was intent on understanding the offering of Jesus and his body as a sin offering, by rigidly trying to compare it by type and shadow to the Old Testament day of atonement sacrifice for sin. This effort was quite frustrating, as the two events by type and shadow, did not precisely line up in the scriptures. But God be thanked when I finally understood the implications of Hebrews 10:1.

He 10:1 ¶ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

You cannot expect the sacrifice and offerings of Jesus Christ to be exact, by type and shadow, to the law and its sacrifices. One glaring difference is that the New Testament sacrifices, in Christ, are better sacrifices, He 9:23. And the sacrifices offered up to God which are in Christ, 1Pe 2:5, Ro 15:16, are spiritual sacrifices. One needs to look at what the New Testament scriptures have to say regarding this matter. Since being made perfect or mature, is the goal of the sin offering, that is a good word to take a closer look at. Below is a Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated as “perfect” from a bible interlinear I download from the following URL. http://www.scripture4all.org/download/download_ISA3.php

G5048 teleioo tel-i-o’-o

from G5046;

to complete, i.e. (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character).

KJV: consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect.

I like the “consummate (in character)” part of the definition because as sinners, that is what we are sorely lacking, character, godly character. But never fear God is equal to the task at hand and will remedy that situation. As stated in previous articles, Jesus death and his blood as a propitiation, it is as if his death and his blood sprinkled, is our death and our blood sprinkled as payment for our sins. That is evident in He 7:26,

He 7:26-27 For such a chief priest did become us — kind, harmless, undefiled, separate from the sinners, and become higher than the heavens,
27 who hath no necessity daily, as the chief priests, first for his own sins to offer up sacrifice, then for those of the people; for this he did once, having offered up himself; Young’s

He became us or represented us in the crucifixion so that his death for sin would be viewed by God as our death, as payment for our past sins. But it goes even deeper than that because being dead in Christ, allows us to be judged by God, He 9:27, in order to eradicate sin in our life and make us perfect/mature so Christ can appear a second time without sin unto salvation, He 9:28, 10:1. He became us, in that sacrifice/death on the cross, so that in him we might be justified and sanctified in order to become the righteousness of God in him.

2Co 5:21 For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God’s righteousness in Him. CLV

Another strong image of what the sin offering is accomplishing is when Jesus said “It is finished”, Jn 19:30, and the veil in the temple of Jerusalem was split from top to bottom, Mr 15:38.  Couple that with the scriptures below and you will notice what was done.

Hebrews 10:19-23 KJVS
[19] Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, [20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; [21] And having an high priest over the house of God; [22] Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. [23] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

By offering his blood as a propitiation for sins past and his body/flesh as a sin offering, Jesus opened the way for the removeal of the body of Christ’s sin and sin natures. His flesh is our flesh and the corporate body of sin is being destroyed on a figurative and yet real altar that is outside the camp, He 13:10-13. So yes indeed, “it is finished”. But even though the salvation work of the cross is finished, it still needs to be worked out and worked into our flesh, 1 Pe 4:1&2. It is hard to make a clear distinction between being justified and being sanctified in regards to the changes being made in us, outside of just reading the definition of the two words. The definition for justified is to render just or innocent. The definition of sanctify is to make holy. But of late I am starting to view being justified as taking place in the heart and being sanctified as the slow destruction of the sin nature in us. We are sanctified by the offering of the body of Christ once for all, He 10:10, which destroys the sin nature in us, Ro 6:6. God is ultimately going to save all men, 1Ti 4:10 and that will entail all men being justified, but for those who first trusted in Christ, Eph 1:11-12, He has promised a inheritance, and those that are to receive that inheritance, are being sanctified, which has to do with the altar outside the camp.

He 13:12-13 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The meaning of verse 13 is somewhat elusive, but some clarity results when looking at the definition of the word “reproach”.

Strong’s Concordance-G36791) a reproach
a) such as Christ suffered, for the cause of God, from his enemies.

So what was the cause of God that Christ suffered and died for? He became sin for us who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in him, 2 Co 5:21. The insidious nature of many Christian theologies of the various denominations that are present in this world, is that they undermine God’s work in our lives. They look at the work of the cross as a past tense action by Jesus Christ, and then, in some fashion, go about to establish their own righteousness with the law and laws of their own. Very much like Israel of the flesh.

Romans 10:2-3 KJVS
[2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

We are to go without the camp and bear Jesus’s approach. We are that body of sin that he died for, we individually have a sin nature that needs to be destroyed. That can only happen by submitting ourselves to the righteousness of God. I honestly don’t know how to properly interpret the words to go without the camp and bear his reproach. Obviously the Jewish religious authorities rejected Jesus as messiah, as they were ordained by God to do, Acts 2:23. But it goes much deeper than that, the religious authorities in Israel turned a religious system, the law, that was initially a punishment for transgression into a hypocritical and posturing system of men that used the system for their own enrichment. Not only monetarily but also in regards to prestige and standing in their society. How much of this is true today with the thousands of different churches, small fellowships and splinter groups in the Christian church, I will let it up to the reader to decide. But to me the whole point of being told to going out the camp to that altar, is for us to realize we have a sin nature that needs to be destroyed, Ro 6:6. And that any actions we take toward establishing our own righteousness are futile. The altar outside the camp in the Old Testament, was a place where the carcass of the animals whose blood was taken into the holy place for sin, was burned. It was also a place where the carcasses of the various sin sacrifice animals slayed by the Levite priests were burned. Those ashes were used for purification and to sanctify, He 9:13. Which is a intriguing type and shadow in its own right, of the good things that are to come. I worked 14 years in the meat packing industry and can assure you that when a animal is dead, you have a carcass to deal with in some fashion or another. The law was not a exact type and shadow of the good things to come, He 10:1. So there is no real physical body on a literal altar being burning to ashes in regards to Jesus being a sin offering for the body of Christ. But you have a spiritual body and it is the collective body of sinful flesh, the sin nature of the body of Christ, which is presently being destroyed on that spiritual altar, outside the camp, before God. Romans 12:1 tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. The Greek word for service, G2999, appears in He 9:1&6 describing the service the Levite priest preformed in the worldly sanctuary. One should read the whole 12th chapter of Romans as it offers some excellent guidelines on offering reasonable or logical service to God. Being kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, is not always easy and grates against our fleshly nature and ego at times. That is exactly what needs to be burned up on the altar outside the camp. The fire of that altar is the trials, suffering and afflictions of life, Mt 3:11, 1Pe 4:12.  How a person treats those around themselves while in the midst of these trails can be quite indicative of the flesh that still needs to be destroyed. You can confess sin and be forgiven for sin until the cows come home. You can then take those cows and sacrifice them and then burn their carcass on a sin sacrifice altar, and still the cause of sin, our sin nature, is not being destroyed. The sin nature, flesh, can only be destroyed by incorporation into the body of Christ and becoming dead in him, so that the flesh of the corporate body of Christ might be destroyed, Ro 6:6. When that is complete, then and only then, can that body of Christ become the righteousness of God in him, 2Co 5:21. The simplicity of it is astounding. It follows type and shadow up to a point but not exactly and greatly exceeds what the Old Testament sacrifice and offerings for sin could accomplish. Namely perfection. The law made nothing perfect but the bringing in of a better hope did, Heb 7:19. That hope is Christ in you the hope of glory, which enables us to draw close to God and His throne of grace, Heb 4:16. Both of whom, God and Christ, play their parts in the destruction of the flesh. But just exactly how is this body of sin destroyed?

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  1. Pingback: For the law made nothing perfect | Justified Freely

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