Scripture Notes and Queries

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Several questions have come to hand, and as it seems that some have had difficulties about the reply in the December number of Words of Truth, to the question, "When is a person sprinkled with the blood of Christ?"-I will take up the remarks and questions of correspondents in detail.
"Then the veil will not be rent for them" (i.e., the Jew). What Scripture can be given for this &c.
I believe that the want of understanding as to the place and standing of a heavenly people with God, in contrast with an earthly people before God, is at the root of this question about the veil. We need two things as Christians, in order to stand in the presence of God in the light: 1st, To know how what we have done has been met; 2nd, To know how what we are has been dealt with. The first thing that troubles the conscience is the former; a person finds that his sins are on his conscience, and then that they have been met by Christ bearing them and putting them away; the conscience knows it, when it believes in Him. But this does not meet what I. am-for I am still a sinner in nature. Then I am told that I am dead to this sinful nature-or " sin," and alive to God through Christ (Rom. 6). Thus both acts and nature, tree and fruit, are met; I can now stand in the light of God's presence, or within the veil if you please. Hence you will find that Paul, who alone teaches the doctrine of the Church of God, treats of this double dealing of God with the tree and the fruit-because he sets us in God's immediate presence. This is needed for the status of a heavenly people.
Now an earthly people, i.e., the Jew, will not need this as we do; they need to know remission of their " sins," so as to walk happily before God. But they are never called to stand within the veil as we are. Consequently, you find in the close of the book of Ezekiel, the priesthood is again established, between the Lord and His people (c. 44:15, 16). The sacrifices are all renewed, and the Feasts, with the exception of Pentecost, which had "fully come," and had expended all its antitypical blessing on the Church formed at Pentecost, The Passover and the Atonement are renewed (c. 15: 18-25), and the Tabernacles (Zech. 14), &c., &c.
Thus you have a nation, with a priesthood between it and God, with a divinely ordered ceremonial; but, as I gather, commemorative in its character, because the cross work of the Lord Jesus is past; rather than anticipative, or typical, which was the character of the ritual in the Old Testament.,
There is a gate "shut" continually, by which even the earthly prince of the house of David may not enter; "because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered by it." I should mention that there is a prince of- David's house, the Lord's vicegerent upon the throne in the kingdom of Israel, by and by. The Lord Jesus has appeared and set all to rights, but His place is rather on high, in the glorified church; though there may be divine visitations.
Moreover, if you examine 2 Chron. 3, you will find a "veil" characterizing Solomon's typical reign. It will be the same in the Lord's during the kingdom.
An earthly people with a priesthood and ritual do not need the truth of " dead and risen with Christ"; but they do need forgiveness of sins-the law written upon their hearts, &c., and this they will have. A heavenly people need much more, and they have it too. The total ignorance in most Christians of these things produces the kind of spurious Christianity you see around, which even at its best, only admits remission of sins and a purged conscience. Consequently, its followers walk as earthly men, as pious Jews would do, and take part with the powers that be, the wars and fightings, the politics, &c., which the least understanding of the place and standing of the heavenly calling of the church would judge in a moment.
The veil was rent at the crucifixion of the Lord. Its rending marked-first, that Judaism of the past was over; secondly, that man had consummated his guilt, and stood face to face with God; thirdly, that God had disclosed Himself in perfect grace; and fourthly, that the sins of His people were swept away by the same stroke forever. God and man are now face to face. For a saint, he is as white as snow; for a sinner, there he is in the presence of the richest grace of God, convicted by the light of God which reveals if while it exposes him.
But we must distinguish all these moral truths and facts from a dispensational order of things on earth, to be again set up on the basis of Christ's accomplished work. Still, I believe a godly Jew will draw near "by faith" into the presence of God, as a saint consciously does now when he knows his sins are forgiven.
You say again, "The paragraph on 1 Peter 1:22Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2), tacitly excludes all believers (except) out of the nation of Israel," &c.. So it does. It is addressed to the elect strangers of the dispersion, and to no one else. But they are now Christians, and occupying the same platform before God as those of the Gentiles who had been called into Christianity, consequently, all the blessings of the Epistle are to be appropriated by the faith of those who are Christians now; while several passages would only be thoroughly appreciable by one who had been a Jew.
I have already spoken of Heb. 10:2222Let 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. (Hebrews 10:22). I believe it to be a reference-though not solely-to the consecration of the priests of old. Now the consecration of a priest is not the cleansing of a sinner. Besides " blood " is not named in the passage at all, though doubtless alluded to, and, as I have noticed, the, anointing with oil is passed over in silence. The priest was first washed with water-typical of the new birth of the word and Spirit of God; secondly, he was sprinkled with blood to consecrate him; and lastly, anointed with oil-typical of the Holy Ghost's anointing.
The blood has been presented to God by His Son. We may appropriate its value in any way that faith lays hold on Christ. But it would be absurd to say that it was literally sprinkled on any one, and I am sure it is not. Faith sings, " unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." Scripture also tells us that our consciences are purged through it. But all that is faith entering on the value of the once shed blood of Jesus!
Blood was literally sprinkled on people and things in the Old Testament-never in the New. I have named the case of the leper, and the seal of the Old Covenant when the blood was sprinkled on the people, but certainly it was not for cleansing.
I do say, " because of its value He sends out the water," and rightly. For all the testimony of Scripture-the word, or water, and the gospel of God's grace is founded on, and sent out because of the value of the blood in the sight of God.
You say, " suppose there had been no blood-shedding, might there not have been the blood' (qy. water,) for condemnation!" This I pass, because it is based on a supposition.
" We often see the conscience aroused without any results following. Would it then be correct to say, that " the moment the water of the word has reached the conscience of a sinner he is clean " Is it not when the sinner looks to the blood that he is clean, although he may not know full redemption
Natural conscience is often aroused without any results-most surely. But I do, not term this what you have quoted here. If the Spirit of God, in working by the Word., has reached the conscience, and has implanted the Word there, a quickening or new birth has taken place, and in God's sight that soul is clean; but the very fact of his being quickened is to make him cry out " unclean "! Subsequently-the soul is led to look at Christ and His work and blood-shedding for peace, and then he knows he is clean. The sins that troubled him were all borne away long before, and he was clean in God's sight from them, but his eyes opened upon the fact when he believed in Christ for peace.
I would not term the arousing of a natural conscience through fear, or the like, "the water of the word (reaching) the conscience." Far from it. I believe in much, of the Revival preaching that goes on, such cases are frequently taken for conversions, and mistakenly so.
Another correspondent would kindly request the Editor, if time permits, to answer if Heb. 10:2222Let 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. (Hebrews 10:22)-" sprinkled from an evil conscience," is not sprinkling of blood upon persons, and for sins? &c.
I have already spoken as to this. Blood is not mentioned in the passage at all, though I dare say alluded to. Nor is it so much a question of sins, as of consecration, as I have said.
I have read the article in question, and regret that some have found so much difficulty in what seems so perfectly plain. I invite those who have any difficulty to communicate freely in the matter, as the very presentation of their difficulty will, through mercy, serve to bring out the truth.