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Hebrews  ◦   Chapter 9

1 The symbolic system had a precise script that all the actors were to follow in revealing the plan to heal and restore, and it also had its own mini-theater–an earthly sanctuary.2 A tabernacle–a place to act out the healing lesson–was set up. In its first (outer) room were the lampstand, the table, and the consecrated bread; this part of the set was called the Holy Place.3 Behind the curtain was the second (inner) part of the set — called the Most Holy Place — 4 in which wafted the incense from the golden altar, and which contained the gold-covered ark of the symbolic healing plan. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod that budded.5 Above the ark, on the lid, were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the cover of reconciliation; but we cannot take time now to explain how each symbol represents some aspect of God's plan to heal our minds and restore unity to the universe.

6 Once the mini-theater tabernacle had all the symbols arranged according to the script, the priests acted their part by regularly entering into the outer room to carry out their symbolic tasks.7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and then only once a year–at the end of the year–symbolic of the completion of the healing plan. And he always entered with blood–symbolic of the healing Remedy of God’s true character–which was needed to heal him as well as the selfishness of the people.8 The Holy Spirit was revealing that the true Remedy, which heals the mind and brings us back into unity with God, had not been fully disclosed as long as the symbolic system was still in operation.9 This is a lesson for us, revealing that the symbolic system was incapable of healing the mind, cleansing the conscience, or recreating the character of the worshiper.10 The symbolic system was only a variety of rituals carried out by actors to prepare the mind for the true Remedy.

11 When Christ came as the high priest ministering God’s goodness (which was already here but to which we were blind), he went through and cleansed the greater and true tabernacle–the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit that is not man-made–that is to say, not the building of stone, but the living temple built of intelligent beings.12 He entered this temple not by means of animal blood, but he entered into the Most Holy Place permanently by his self-sacrificing death, having obtained the complete victory over the infection of selfishness and having procured the perfect Remedy!13 In the symbolic stage play–acted out in the earthly, stone sanctuary–the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on those who were cast in the role of the diseased and dying, symbolically cleansed them and symbolically made them well.14 How much more, then, will the perfect character of Christ–wrought out by Jesus' great and perfect self-sacrifice according to God's will and through the working of the eternal Spirit–heal the mind, cleanse the conscience and recreate the character, so we no longer practice methods that lead to death but instead abide in constant love with the living God!

15For this reason–because he is the source of all truth and love–Christ is the administrator of the true healing plan so that all those who desire may receive the promised re-creation, healing, and eternal life. He died to provide the ransom of the truth, necessary to free our minds from the lies about God, and the perfect Remedy to heal our characters from fear and selfishness which continued unabated during the little theater enactment of God’s healing plan.

16 Consider the example of a will: In order for the true contents of the will to be known, the one who made it must have died,17 because the will of a person is revealed only when they have died. It is never made known while the one who made it is alive.18 This is why even the symbolic stage-play was not started without blood.19 When Moses had read the entire script to the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the script and all the people.20 He said, "This is the blood of the symbolic healing plan which God has given you to act out."21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and all the props used in the play.22 In fact, the script requires that nearly everything be symbolically cleansed with blood, because without the shedding of blood, there could be no restoration to God's original ideal; without the death of Christ, we would not know the true, loving character of God and could not be restored to God's original ideal for mankind.

23 For the script to be accurate, it was necessary that the earthly model of God's heavenly temple be purified with the blood of these animal sacrifices; but the heavenly-designed Spirit temple itself needed purifying with the truth and righteousness only Christ's self-sacrifice could provide.24 For Christ did not enter a man-made, stone-and-mortar sanctuary that was only a copy of the true heavenly temple designed and built by God; he entered heaven itself, and now appears as the representative from earth in God's great heavenly counsel–in the living sanctuary built by God from the billions of intelligent loyal beings surrounding his throne.25 And he entered heaven not in order to be sacrificed over and over again — the way the earthly high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with animal blood — 26 absolutely not! For that would mean he would have to die repeatedly since the creation of the world. But he appeared at the proper time, and only needed to sacrifice himself once: to reveal the truth about God, expose the lies of Satan, develop the Remedy, and bring all things into unity with God.27 Just as everyone is destined to die once and reap the eternal destiny they have chosen,28 so Christ sacrificed himself once to restore trust in God and purge selfishness from the hearts and minds of as many people as are willing; and he will come a second time–not to remove selfishness from the hearts and minds, but to remove the last residual traces of death, disease and the scars of sin, and to restore to complete perfection those who are waiting for him.