You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
8 The Holy [hagios] Ghost [pneuma] this [touto] signifying [deloo], that the way [hodos] into the holiest of all [hagion] was [phaneroo] not yet [mepo] made manifest [phaneroo], while as the first [protos] tabernacle [skene] was [echo] yet [eti] standing [stasis]:
9 Which [hostis] was a figure [parabole] for [eis] the time [kairos] then present [enistemi], in [kata] which [hos] were offered [prosphero] both [te] gifts [doron] and [kai] sacrifices [thusia], that could [dunamai] not [me] make [teleioo] him that did the service [latreuo] perfect [teleioo], as pertaining to [kata] the conscience [suneidesis];
10 Which stood only [monon] in [epi] meats [broma] and [kai] drinks [poma], and [kai] divers [diaphoros] washings [baptismos], and [kai] carnal [sarx] ordinances [dikaioma], imposed [epikeimai] on them until [mechri] the time [kairos] of reformation [diorthosis]. KJV-Interlinear
8 The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, 9 which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, 10 since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. NASB
All spiritual teaching comes from the Holy Spirit. In this passage three things are being taught.
First, the worship of God was limited in the Old Covenant. There was no direct access to God. The people, and even the high priest, could come only so close. The people could not enter into the tabernacle at all. Only the priests could enter into the outer room. Only one man, the high priest, could enter into the inner room, the Holy of Holies, and he could only enter into that room on one day each year, at the Feast of Atonement.
Second, the lessons being taught were imperfect. Or in other words, the Levitical cleansing's and offerings were imperfect in that they did not wipe out sin and they did not accomplish forgiveness. They only taught the principles of cleansing and forgiveness. This is why the offerings and sacrifices had to be repeated over and over, again and again, so that all of the people in generation after generation could learn and understand the principles being taught.
There was no assurance of cleansing (the application of justice on the cross), and no assurance of forgiveness (the application of righteousness from the cross). Though the scapegoat was sent far away for the principle that all of mans sins would be sent permanently from ones life, that scapegoat might find its way back.
Third, the entire function and structure of the Levitical activities was temporary. It did not exist until after several thousand years of human history had already past, and it was wiped out before human history has been completed. If God had intended for the sacrifices to continue then we would still see this practice today, but instead we have our Christian life, which by the way seems to be declining somewhat.
I just heard a story on the news (Dec. 27th, 2005), that in twenty-five years, there are expected to be more Muslims in England than Christians. And in Europe, the Christian base seems to have declined from ninety-five percent a century ago, down to sixty percent today, with forty percent of those having never stepped inside a church. Interesting statistics to say the least. That just means that trouble (probably big trouble) is on the horizon.
Anyway, the old covenant was limited, imperfect, and temporary. Because of this, the new covenant (the work of Christ) had to sweep backwards in history in order to provide access to God, to cleanse, and to provide a permanent salvation.
Note too, that in the Old Testament, or in the time prior to the Cross, believers from the time of Adam up and until the Cross, when they died, they went to Paradise. They did not go directly to Heaven and stand face to face with the Lord as we do in our current dispensation. We have studied Paradise as one of the four compartments that exist in the underworld. That underworld is called Hades.
It was not until after the Cross and after Christ's victory, that He led all of those Old Testament believers out of captivity in Paradise, into heaven. They were in effect captives of history and were being held (again temporarily) in Paradise until Christ actually won their release by means of His work on the Cross.
8 Therefore it says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.' NASB
18 Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captive Thy captives; Thou hast received gifts among men, NASB
Once Christ's work had been accomplished, then the way was open in the Angelic Conflict for God to bring all of the Old Testament believers into heaven. And Satan would have no basis for complaint against that action.
While that old tabernacle was in effect, then there was no way for man to gain access to God. Gods work had to be accomplished in order for mankind to gain and have access to Him. Anyone wanting to keep the old ways, was in effect (perhaps even unwittingly) doing the work and bidding of Satan. Of course Satan doesn't want anyone to have access to God.
Gods plan is far better than mans ego driven lust for position, power, and approbation among men.
The whole purpose of the Levitical Priesthood was meant to prove that without a Redeemer, without a Messiah, without a Savior, there is no possible chance for access, or even a relationship of any kind with God.
Man needs a perfect prist. Man needs a perfect sacrifice. And, in order for those to occur, man needs a perfect covenant with God.
The Levitical ceremonies teach that man, on his own, can go just so far and no further. A better plan has to be recognized in order for God to bring man further in the relationship. And God has to do the work, not man.
The offerings and such dealt only with foods and drinks and ceremonial exterior washings. These things have nothing to do with the soul. They only teach the principles of mans spiritual needs.
Man has to be re-formed on the inside (of the soul) not merely cleaned (washed hands and feet) and satisfied (food in the belly) on the outside (outside of the soul).
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.