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    January 7, 1890

    “LESSON 15.—Hebrews 8:2-6” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 67, 1.


    E. J. Waggoner

    LETTER TO THE HEBREWS, LESSON 15 — Hebrews 8:2-6 (Sabbath, Jan. 11.)

    1. In the Mosaic dispensation, did God have a dwelling place among his people?ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.1

    2. Where was it made? and by whom?ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.2

    3. What were its two rooms called?ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.3

    4. Who were permitted to go into the sanctuary? Numbers 18:1-7.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.4

    5. How often did the priests go into the holy place? Hebrews 9:6.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.5

    6. Who was permitted to go into the most holy? Verse 7.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.6

    7. In what does our priest minister? Hebrews 8:2.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.7

    8. Where is the sanctuary in which he ministers? Verses 1, 2.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.8

    9. Who made that sanctuary? Verse 2.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.9

    10. Where was the blood of the sin-offerings presented before the Lord? Leviticus 4:7; 16:14, 15.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.10

    11. Could Christ have any priesthood on earth? Neb. 8: 4. See note.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.11

    12. Who were the priests that served according to the law?-Ib. Exodus 28:1.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.12

    13. What was the nature of their service? Hebrews 8:5.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.13

    14. What is meant by the example and shadow? Ans.-They were typical.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.14

    15. How was the pattern or example obtained? Same verse, last part.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.15

    16. Of what is Christ the mediator? Verse 6.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.16

    17. How does this compare with the old covenant?-Ib.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.17

    18. What was the old covenant? See Exodus 19:5-8; 24:3-8.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.18

    19. What is a covenant? See note.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.19

    20. Upon what was the better covenant established? Hebrews 8:6.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.20

    21. What was the condition of the covenant in Exodus 19:5-8?—It was that which the Lord called his covenant.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.21

    22. What was his covenant which he required them to keep? Deuteronomy 4:12, 13.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.22


    At first glance it might seem that the reasoning is not good, which decides that Christ could have no priesthood on earth; for, if the law which confined the priesthood to the family of Aaron were abolished, what would hinder one serving though he were of another tribe? But it must be remembered that the priesthood and the law ordaining the priesthood stood and fell together. The only law for an earthly priesthood was that law which gave the office exclusively to the family of Aaron, and if any would act as priest on earth he must conform to the law of the earthly priesthood. It was impossible for one of another tribe to act as priest on earth. Further, it must be borne in mind that the service in the temple was still kept up by the Jews at the time when this letter was written, so that the words in this verse were conformable to the facts as they existed, as well as to the facts concerning the change of dispensations. For no one could possibly have then officiated as priest unless he were of the family of Aaron.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.23

    Webster gives two principal definitions to the word “covenant.” The first is, “A mutual agreement of two or more persons or parties, in writing and under seal, to do or to refrain from some act or thing.” The second is, “A writing containing the terms of agreement between parties. But neither of these definitions is extensive enough to cover all the uses of the word in the Bible. For instance, in Genesis 9:9-16 the word “covenant” is used with reference to a promise of God, given without any condition expressed or implies. The common idea of a covenant more nearly fits the transaction recorded in Exodus 19:5-8; yet even here we shall find that the thing called a covenant, which God made with the people, does not in every particular correspond to a contract made between two men. It is only another instance of the impossibility of a perfect comparison between divine and human things. In other places in the Bible the word “testament” or “will” is used with reference to the same transaction, although a contract and a will are greatly different. The transaction between God and Israel partakes of the nature of both. But it is of little consequence that a human covenant does not perfectly represent the affair, or that the Bible uses the word “covenant” in so widely varying senses. The main point is to understand just what is meant in each instance, and this the Scriptures themselves enable us readily to do.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.24

    Still another sense in which the word “covenant” is used in the Bible, is found in the text under consideration. Exodus 19:5-8. The condition of the covenant which the Lord made with Israel, was that they should keep his covenant. Here was something already existing, which God calls “my covenant,” concerning which he was about to make a covenant with the people. What God’s covenant is, may be found from Deuteronomy 4:12, 13. It is the ten commandments. God’s law-called his covenant-was the basis of the covenant between him and Israel. The matter is so plain that there is no necessity for confusion. It makes no difference that the same term is applied to both; it is sufficient to know that God’s covenant-the ten commandments-antedated and is entirely distinct from the transaction at Horeb-also called a covenant. That to which the apostle refers as the first covenant, was, therefore, simply this: A promise on the part of the people to keep his holy law, and a statement on the part of God, of the result to them if they should obey him.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.25

    “LESSON 16.—Hebrews 8:8-13” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 67, 1.


    E. J. Waggoner

    (Sabbath, January 18.)

    1. What was the old covenant that was made with Israel? Exodus 19:5-8; 24:3-8.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.26

    2. How does the second covenant compare with the first? Hebrews 8:6.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.27

    3. What was the necessity for the second covenant? Verse 7.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.28

    4. Since the second covenant is better than the first, in that it is founded upon better promises, wherein must the first have been faulty? Ans.-In the promises.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.29

    5. What were the promises of the first covenant? Exodus 19:8; 24:3, 7.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.30

    6. What was God’s covenant which the people promised to perform?ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.31

    7. What is said of the nature of those commandments? Psalm 19:7; 119:172.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.32

    8. What of those who do them? Psalm 119:1-3; Ecclesiastes 12:13.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.33

    9. Then could the children of Israel have promised anything better than to keep God’s commandments?ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.34

    10. Wherein, then, was the fault? Hebrews 8:8, first part.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.35

    11. What did the people really promise to do? Exodus 19:5, 6, 8. See note.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.36

    12. What cannot the law do? Romans 3:20.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.37

    13. What renders the law thus powerless? Romans 8:3.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.38

    14. What is all human righteousness? Isaiah 64:6.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.39

    15. What is the only true righteousness? Philippians 3:9.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.40

    16. In the terms of the first covenant do we find any mention of faith, or of divine assistance?ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.41


    Let the student note that the promises in the old covenant were really all on the part of the people. God said, “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant [the ten commandments], then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people.... and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” God did not say that he would make them such, but that they would be such a people if they obeyed his commandments. It could not be otherwise. The keeping of God’s holy law would constitute them a holy people; and as such they would indeed be a peculiar treasure, even as are all who are zealous of good works. All that was set before them was simply what would result from obedience to the law, and that covenant contained no promises of help in doing that. Therefore the first covenant was a promise on the part of the people that they would make themselves holy. But this they could not do. The promise was a good one; with it alone there could be no fault; the fault lay with the people. The promise was faulty, through the weakness of the people who made it; just as we read in Romans 8:3 that the law was weak through the flesh.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.42

    The first thought in the minds of many, on learning that in the first covenant the people made a promise which they could not possibly fulfill, is that God was unjust to require such a promise. And since they know that God is not unjust, they conclude that the first covenant must have contained pardon and promise of divine assistance, although it contained no hint of it. If the student will wait until the subject of the covenants is concluded, he will see the justice and the mercy of God’s plan. But right here let us fasten these two thoughts: First, if the first covenant had contained pardon, and promise of divine assistance, there would have been no necessity of any other covenant. Pardon and divine aid are all that any soul can get, and if the first covenant had had these, it would not have been faulty. But, second, let it not be forgotten that the fact that there was no pardon, and no Holy Spirit’s aid, in that covenant does not imply that there was no salvation for the people who lived under it. There was ample provision for them, but not in the first covenant. What the provision was, and why the first covenant was given, will be learned later.ARSH January 7, 1890, page 14.43

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