We have been looking at our access to God as Paul mentions in Ephesians 3. We know that the veil was torn and Jesus opened the way into the Holy of Holies. The way into the Holy of Holies is open for everyone, but at times in our naiveté, we seemed to exult certain people or ministries over others, causing an exclusivity to the presence of God. Prophets and Intercessors are not special as if they are the only ones praying before the throne. Everyone can enter into the Holy of Holies and come before the presence of the Almighty. As we looked at the stations of the tabernacle/temple last week, we all can approach each station, preparing our hearts for the Holy of Holies. With that in mind, we have a present day reality of entering into the tabernacle/temple, spiritually. I believe, even with best intentions, we made this far more complicated than it truly is. We also have a few people who intentionally complicated things because of their unbelief in Jesus and their unbelief in the mystery of the nations as joint heirs. We will explore that a bit.
As we noted last week Jesus made a blood offering on the mercy seat for the whole world. That opened up the veil and anyone who wanted to enter into the presence of God has access and can enter boldly, with confidence as Paul says in Ephesians 3:12. Jesus is now our mercy seat, he is the judge, he has the keys to hell and death (remember two places) and no one dies without Jesus knowing about it. The mercy seat is the place that God was reconciled with his people. Once the offering was made, there was no longer a separation between men and God.
Romans 3:25 (AMP) Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.
In Romans Paul tells us that we all sinned and fall short of the glory. He then says because of Jesus, the Father passed over and ignored our former sins without punishment. This is the definition of mercy. The passing over is like the first passover in Egypt when the blood of a lamb was put over the door posts so that the devourer/Apollyon would pass by the homes that had the blood covering and only devour the first born of those who did not atone with blood.
We don't know exactly why the temple was set up in the manner that it was. Meaning that there had to be blood sacrifices, but one of the first things that was done after the fall of man was the killing of animals to make clothes for Adam and Eve. The shedding of blood happened even though it is not mentioned as such, but animals were killed for their skin, Genesis 3:21. Blood is called the life of the flesh and people were not permitted to eat flesh that still contained the blood. However, Jesus told us to eat his flesh and drink his blood so that we would have eternal life. We see that Jesus fulfilled every aspect of the Old Covenant.
Immediately after making clothes for Adam and Eve, Elohim says now man has become like us knowing good and evil. When they did not know evil they were living in Paradise. The serpent was right, the day they ate of the fruit of the tree, their eyes were opened knowing good and evil like the elohim, Genesis 3:5. The plan to save the world was then mentioned in Genesis 3:15; Jesus’ heel was bruised, but the serpents head was also bruised. So why would the Father send his Son to save Adam’s lineage? Because He loves us.
1 John 4:10 G1722In G3778this G1510.2.3is G3588the G26love, G3756not G3754that G1473we G25loved G3588 G2316God, G235but G3754that G1473he G25loved G1473us, G2532and G649sent G3588 G5207his son G1473 G2434as an atonement G4012for G3588 G266our sins. G1473
2434LSJ Gloss:ἱλασμόςa means of appeasing
Dodson: ἱλασμός a propitiation, atoning sacrifice a propitiation (of an angry god), atoning sacrifice.
Strong’s: ἱλασμός atonement, i.e. (concretely) an expiator KJV Usage: propitiation.
1) an appeasing, propitiating
2) the means of appeasing, a propitiation
ἱλασμός hilasmos hil-as-mos' atonement, that is, (concretely) an expiator
KJV Usage: propitiation.
After the fall, all of Adam’s heirs knew good and evil. Everyone was born and grew up in the knowledge of good and evil. In the nearly six thousand years since the fall, the devil demands justice since he is legally the god of this world. A payment had to be made on our behalf because only two people actually were able to live rightly, Enoch and Elijah. Neither has died yet, and both will be back to witness to the world during the first three and one half years of the tribulation. Everyone else died and either went to hades or Abraham’s bay until Jesus set the captives free by taking back the keys to hell and death. Jesus is the atonement for the whole world.
1 John 2:2G2532And G1473he G2434is atonement G1510.2.3 G4012for G3588 G266our sins; G1473 G3756[not G40124for G3588 G22515ours G1161but G3440only], G235but G2532also G4012for G3650the whole G3588 G2889world.
Today we have a place of shelter, a place that everyone can enter into. Some have called this hiding place the secret place, however is it really a secret place? What we see is that some translations took a bit of liberty with the wording. If the Masorete’s had knowledge of a secret, and we do not, we would want to know about it. We would feel left out of this special knowledge, as if we are not good enough to know about it.
Psalm 27:5 (AMP) For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.
We see that the Masoretic Text, which the NA 27 and the TR are translated from, implies there is a secret place. If the veil was torn open there is no longer a secret behind the curtain. David was not implying that he himself was entering into the Holy of Holies to be hidden. Remember how people got all upset when David and his men ate the shewbread? David never entered behind the veil. Let’s read this in the Septuagint.
A Psalm of David, before he was anointed.
27:1 The Lord is my light and my Saviour; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the defender of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil-doers drew nigh against me to eat up my flesh, my persecutors and mine enemies, they fainted and fell. 3 Though an army should set itself in array against me, my heart shall not be afraid: though war should rise up against me, in this am I confident. 4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, this will I earnestly seek: that I should dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, that I should behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and survey his temple. 5 For in the day of mine afflictions he hid me in his tabernacle: he sheltered me in the secret of his tabernacle; he set me up on a rock. 6 And now, behold, he has lifted up mine head over mine enemies: I went round and offered in his tabernacle the sacrifice of joy; I will sing even sing psalms to the Lord.
David did eat the shewbread (1 Sam 21) while on the run from Saul. David is speaking spiritually about living in the house of the Lord and visiting his Holy Temple. Those are two different places not one. David asks one thing of Yahweh, that he can dwell in Yahweh’s house.
Psalm 27:4 G1520One thing G154I asked G3844of G2962the lord, G3778this G2212I shall seek -- G3588 G2730for me to dwell G1473 G1722inG3624the house G2962of the lord G3956all G3588the G2250days G3588 G2222of my life; G1473 G3588 G2334for me to view G1473 G3588the G5059.5delightfulness G2962of the lord, G2532and G1980to visit G3588 G3485[temple G3588 G39his holy]. G1473
2730 LSJ Gloss:κατοικέω to dwell in as a
Dodson: κατοικέωI dwell in, settle in, inhabitI dwell in, settle in, am established in (permanently), inhabit.
1) to dwell, settle
1a) metaph. divine powers, influences, etc., are said to dwell in his soul, to pervade, prompt, govern it
2) to dwell in, inhabit
2a) God is said to dwell in the temple, i.e. to be always present for worshippers
For Synonyms see entry G5854
κατοικέω katoikeō kat-oy-keh'-o From G2596 and G3611; to house permanently, that is, reside (literally or figuratively)KJV Usage: dwell (-er), inhabitant (-ter).
3624LSJ Gloss:οἶκος a house, abode, dwelling
Dodson: οἶκος a house, household (a) a house, the material building, (b) a household, family, lineage, nation.
οἶκος oikos oy'-kos Of uncertain affinity; a dwelling (more or less extensive, literally or figuratively); by implication a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively) KJV Usage: home, house (-hold), temple.
2334θεωρέω theōreō theh-o-reh'-o From a derivative of G2300 (perhaps by adverb of G3708); to be a spectator of, that is, discern, (literally, figuratively [experience ] or intensively [acknowledge ])KJV Usage: behold, consider, look on, perceive, see.
1980Dodson: ἐπισκέπτομαι I look upon, visit, look out, select.
1) to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes
1a) in order to see how he is, i.e. to visit, go to see one
1a1) the poor and afflicted, the sick
1b) to look upon in order to help or to benefit
1b1) to look after, have care for, provide for: of God
1c) to look (about) for, look out (one to choose, employ, etc.)
ἐπισκέπτομαι episkeptomai ep-ee-skep'-tom-ahee; Middle voice from G1909 and the base of G4649; to inspect, that is, (by implication) to select; by extension to go to see, relieve KJV Usage: look out, visit.
3485LSJ Gloss: ναός the dwelling of a god, a temple
Dodson: ναός a temple, shrine a temple, a shrine, that part of the temple where God himself resides.
1) used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies (in classical Greek it is used of the sanctuary or cell of the temple, where the image of gold was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure)
2) any heathen temple or shrine
3) metaph. the spiritual temple consisting of the saints of all ages joined together by and in Christ
ναός naos nah-os' From a primary word ναίω naiō (to dwell); a fane, shrine, temple KJV Usage: shrine, temple.
39ἅγιον hagion hag'-ee-on Neuter of G40; a sacred thing (that is, spot)
KJV Usage: holiest (of all), holy place, sanctuary.
David wants to live in the same house that Yahweh lives in. He wants to see Yahweh as he lives. Think about what David is asking, he wants to see Yahweh when he gets up in the morning. He wants to watch him during an average day. We might understand this as asking to live in a famous movie star’s house. We want to see them as they live, waking up, messy hair, getting coffee, putting on slippers, getting ready for bed. We want to gain an intimate knowledge of them. This is what David is asking of Yahweh. If Yahweh had children as an earthly person would, David wants to visit Yahweh’s for summer vacation. David wants to just observe Yahweh day in and day out. To David this is delightful.
Then David says he wants to look upon or inspect the Holy Temple. As we noted this word holy means a place. However this is not an earthly temple. David could see the earthly tabernacle and the earthly temple hadn’t been built yet. He ate the bread of the tabernacle. David wants to inspect the heavenly temple. Who doesn’t want to visit the heavenly temple, it sounds amazing. David goes on saying that Yahweh hides him in His tent. He shelters him and conceals him.
Psalm 27:5G3754For G2928he hides G1473me G1722in G4633his tent; G1473 G1722in G2250a day G2556of my evils G1473 G4628.1he sheltered G1473me G1722in G614concealment G3588 G4633of his tent; G1473 G1722in G4073a rock G5312he raised me up high. G1473
2928LSJ Gloss: κρύπτω to hide, cover, cloak
Dodson: κρύπτω I hide, conceal, lay up.
1) to hide, conceal, to be hid
2) escape notice
3) metaph. to conceal (that it may not become known)
κρύπτω kruptō kroop'-to A primary verb; to conceal (properly by covering)
KJV Usage: hide (self), keep secret, secret [-ly].
4633LSJ Gloss: σκηνή a covered place, a tent
Dodson: σκηνή a tent, tabernacle a tent, booth, tabernacle, abode, dwelling, mansion, habitation.
1) tent, tabernacle, (made of green boughs, or skins or other materials)
2) of that well known movable temple of God after the pattern of which the temple at Jerusalem was built
σκηνή skēnē skay-nay' Apparently akin to G4632 and G4639; a tent or cloth hut (literally or figuratively) KJV Usage: habitation, tabernacle.
614LSJ Gloss: ἀπόκρυφος hidden, concealed
Dodson: ἀπόκρυφος hidden away, secret hidden away, secret, stored up.
1) hidden, secret
2) stored up
ἀπόκρυφος apokruphos ap-ok'-roo-fos From G613; secret; by implication treasured KJV Usage: hid, kept secret.
4073πέτρα petra pet'-ra Feminine of the same as G4074; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively)KJV Usage: rock.
5312ὑψόω hupsoō hoop-so'-o From G5311; to elevate (literally or figuratively) KJV Usage: exalt, lift up.
Now David is bringing up his day of evils. This is a time when he had trouble, either spiritual or physical. In those evil times Yahweh hides him in his tent. David isn’t talking about a spiritual place here because evil is on the earth not in the heavenly holy temple. On the earth David had evil pursuing him and Yahweh hid him. It is like someone hiding someone or something in their earthly home. Rachel hid idols in her tent, underneath her. Jael hid Sisera in her tent (then she killed him). This is what David is saying, Yahweh concealed David in his hut. This is not a special secret place that only the Masorete’s know about. This is an everyday expression. Today we might say in order to hide someone we hid them in the basement, or in a secret room, like Anne Frank.
David then says basically the same thing when he says Yahweh lifted him up high in a rock. He is talking about a small cave or cleft in a rock, where birds would live safely away from predators.
Somehow in the body of Christ we made an entire doctrine of hiding in the secret place, as if it was such a special place only very few could know about it. We turned it into a doctrine of spiritual hierarchy that only people that pray fifteen hours a day can enter into. But how can Paul say that we all have access to the Father when we don’t all pray fifteen hours a day? That is the point. We all have access to the throne. If evil comes our way, we can be hidden in plain sight, just like Jesus. Remember, as soon as the people picked up rocks to stone Jesus, or lay hold of him, or push him off a cliff, it was like he wasn’t there, and he would simply walk on by.
We find shelter in front of the mercy seat. It is not a secret. It is open for all.
Psalm 57:1 (AMP) BE MERCIFUL and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed.
We find that Yahweh is that shelter, like a strong tower, were we can rest. Notice that the idea of being hid in the cleft of the rocks is a way of giving people a visual image of being sheltered.
Psalm 61:2-5 (AMP) From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me].
3 For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.
4 I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
5 For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear, revere, and honor Your name.
Again we find some misleading ideas in Psalm 91. I know this will rub many people the wrong way because they have made a doctrine out of the idea of the “secret place”, but what we see here is that the secret place is a place of help. Help is not a secret. It is instead a place of humility. Help is like mooring a boat to a dock. This word is a nautical term. We are moored to the Most High.
Psalm 91:1-4 (AMP)
1 HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
In order to understand this mistranslation in the Hebrew, we have to think about what it must have been like from 300CE to 1000CE. By the time these translations were being made from Greek back to Hebrew, there was no temple. There was no place to atone for sin. The rabbi’s may have heard that Jesus was the atonement, but they didn’t believe him because their forefathers didn’t believe he was the Messiah. The Masoretes then did what their forefathers did and tried every way possible to erase Jesus from the Old Covenant scripture. Probably the worst part during this time period was the fact that the nations of the world who did believe on Jesus as Messiah were taking, what seemed to the Masoretes to be, privileges. The people of the nations, the goyim, claimed they had access to the throne of God and were saved from their sins. Well, we do have access to the throne of God and we are atoned for by Jesus’ blood. So the translation of the “secret place” here really is the word “help” or “rope”
1G3588The G2730one dwelling G1722in G996the help G3588of the G5310highest, G1722[in G4629.23 the protection G35884of the G23165God G35886of the G37727of heaven G835shall lodge].
996LSJ Gloss:βοήθεια help, aid, rescue, support
Dodson: βοήθεια assistance, a help(a) abstr: assistance, (b) concr: (a technical term of nautical language), a help.
βοήθεια boētheia bo-ay'-thi-ah From G998; aid; specifically a rope or chain for frapping a vessel KJV Usage: help.
3772οὐρανός ouranos oo-ran-os' Perhaps from the same as G3735 (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension heaven (as the abode of God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specifically the Gospel (Christianity) KJV Usage: air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.
835LSJ Gloss: αὐλίζομαι to lie in the court-yard
Dodson: αὐλίζομαι I lodge, pass the night I lodge in the open, lodge, pass the night.
1) to lodge in the court-yard, esp. at night
1a) of flocks and shepherds
2) to pass the night in the open air
3) to pass the night, lodge
αὐλίζομαι aulizomai ow-lid'-zom-ahee Middle voice from G833; to pass the night (properly in the open air) KJV Usage: abide, lodge.
David is saying that he dwells (lives) in the [place of] help of the Highest. The word Botheia (Greek) was translated back to Hebrew eleven different ways. It is used 42 times overall. It seems strange that someone re-writing six hundred to thirteen hundred years after this was translated by scribes in the temple of Nehemiah would use eleven different words for this one word. Really the Greek is far more accurate, so this tells us that someone changed this word to fit an agenda. Really, the way this reads is: Whoever lives in the help of the highest shall lodge in the protection of the God of Heaven. Or: Whoever lives, moored to the Highest, shall lodge in the protection of the God of Heaven.
This does cause difficulty in a lot of made up doctrines of the twentieth century Christian, but they were spurred on by a group which wanted the world to believe they had a special secret knowledge of the Most High. Yet no one can have a special secret knowledge of the Most High unless they go through Jesus as Lord and Savior, John 14:6. Let’s try and undo the exclusivity that we placed on the “secret place” as we now see that the secret is that it is a place of help, like tied safely to something as with a rope. It became an unfortunate misstep due to the translation errors and our ignorance of the Greek text.
So now that I have offended all the special people, the intercessors, and the prophets, let’s read this section in the Septuagint. We will see that it does not lack in good news, even without a “secret place”.
Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the help of the Highest, shall sojourn under the shelter of the God of heaven. 2 He shall say to the Lord, Thou art my helper and my refuge: my God; I will hope in him. 3 For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters, from every troublesome matter. 4 He shall overshadow thee with his shoulders, and thou shalt trust under his wings: his truth shall cover thee with a shield.
To dwell in the help of the highest indicates that we have communication with the Highest. If we live in his help as if we are tied to Him we are sheltered, protected, and when evil people intend harm, we are hidden, even in plain sight like Jesus was.
The writer of Hebrews explains why we can have confidence to approach the throne.
Hebrews 4:14G2192Having G3767then G749[2chief priest G3173a great] G1330having gone through G3588the G3772heavens G*(Jesus G3588the G5207son G3588 G2316of God,) G2902let us keep G3588the G3671confession.
15G3756For not G1063 G2192do we have G749a chief priest G3361not G1410being able G4834to sympathize G3588in G769our weaknesses, G1473 G3985but one having been tested G1161 G2596in G3956all things G2596according to G3665our likeness, G5565separate from G266sin.
16G4334Let us come forward G3767then G3326with G3954confidence G3588to the G2362throne G3588 G5484of favor, G2443that G2983we should receive G1656mercy, G2532and G5484[favor G2147should find] G1519for G2121opportune G996help.
3954Dodson: παρρησία freedom, confidence freedom, openness, especially in speech; boldness, confidence.
1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech
1a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment
1b) without ambiguity or circumlocution
1c) without the use of figures and comparisons
2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance
3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity
παῤῥησία parrhēsia par-rhay-see'-ah From G3956 and a derivative of G4483; all out spokenness, that is, frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication assurance KJV Usage: bold (X -ly, -ness, -ness of speech), confidence, X freely, X openly, X plainly (-ness).
2362LSJ Gloss:θρόνος a seat, chair
Dodson: θρόνος a throne, seat a (king's) throne, seat; meton: power, dominion; a potentate.
1) a throne seat
1a) a chair of state having a footstool
1b) assigned in the NT to kings, hence, kingly power or royalty
1b1) metaph. to God, the governor of the world
1b2) to the Messiah, Christ, the partner and assistant in the divine administration
1b2a) hence divine power belonging to Christ
1b3) to judges i.e. tribunal or bench
1b4) to elders
θρόνος thronos thron'-os From θράω thraō (to sit); a stately seat (“throne”); by implication power or (concretely) a potentate KJV Usage: seat, throne.
5484Dodson: χάριν on account of for the sake of, by reason of, on account of.
1) in favour of, for the pleasure of
2) for, for the sake of
3) on this account, for this cause
χάριν charin khar'-in Accusative case of G5485 as preposition; through favor of, that is, on account of KJV Usage: be- (for) cause of, for sake of, + . . . fore, X reproachfully.
1656LSJ Gloss: ἔλεος pity, mercy, compassion
Dodson: ἔλεος pity, mercy pity, mercy, compassion.
1) mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them
1a) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one's self merciful
1b) of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ
1c) the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life
ἔλεος eleos el'-eh-os Of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active) KJV Usage: (+ tender) mercy.
2121εὔκαιρος eukairos yoo'-kahee-ros From G2095 and G2540; well timed, that is, opportune KJV Usage: convenient, in time of need.
We can have confidence and boldness. We have the freedom to speak openly. Unlike Esther who had to find a way to speak to her husband the king, we have an open door. We can approach the throne of favor with boldness, not like frightened children but like confident adults. We didn’t know we needed a throne of favor until we found we needed it. Now we can receive mercy and favor in well timed help or moorings. Just as a storm approaches we recognize we can enter into His presence, before His throne, and be tied onto Him. Now the storm cannot blow us away. With boldness we can walk into the throne room and grab onto a mooring. Now that is surely a secret to many people, but it is not a secret place.
In reviewing our definitions of favor, grace, and mercy, we know that favor is something that someone gives us, or something someone does for us without our asking. We may not have known we needed this thing we received, say a rope or chain, but now that we have it we can tie ourselves down so as not to get lost at sea. That is favor. Grace is given when we misstep, such as forgetting we have a rope to tie ourselves down with, so instead we leave it at home and when the storm comes we cry and complain that we got blown away. Mercy is given when we intentionally do something we should not do, yet the consequences are waived. Such as throwing away our rope, so that when the storms come we blame everyone else around us instead of recognizing our own fault in the matter.
From the time of Enoch up to the first century the Essenes/Nazarenes/Therapeutaes and the Prophets all entered the presence of God without the temple. Virtue was their way of life.
Josephus 18:1:5. The doctrine of the Essenes is this: That all things are best ascribed to God. They teach the immortality of souls, and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for; and when they send what they have dedicated to God into the temple, they do not offer sacrifices because they have more pure lustrations of their own; on which account they are excluded from the common court of the temple, but offer their sacrifices themselves; yet is their course of life better than that of other men; and they entirely addict themselves to husbandry. It also deserves our admiration, how much they exceed all other men that addict themselves to virtue, and this in righteousness; and indeed to such a degree, that as it hath never appeared among any other men, neither Greeks nor barbarians, no, not for a little time, so hath it endured a long while among them….
The Works of Flavius Josephus.
They used pure washings (lustrations) rather than temple sacrifices. This water had to be clean, living water. This is why Shem’s tabernacle was over the Gihon Springs. It is also why David put the tabernacle there and Solomon built the temple there also, because of the flow of living waters. Jesus is living water. Now to those who believe, rivers of living water will flow through them. We see here Jesus is the fulfillment of the ritual washings of the Essenes as well. The Essenes were also farmers and ranchers, and made sacrifices to God themselves apart from the temple, like Abel, Abraham, Jacob, and others did. What we know is that there were many people who dedicated themselves to the Most High who did not worship in temples. We also know that there was terrible defilement in the temple. So the example of the temple is just that, an example, but not the only way to God, otherwise we would all be lost.
Today, Jesus is our Chief Priest, who offered atonement for everyone who accepts it. Everyone has access to the shelter of the Almighty, everyone can be tied onto Him. Everyone has access, not just a special few. And we should have boldness to come before the mercy seat and receive mercy and favor. The only secret is that being moored to Him is for everyone.