And almost all things are - purged with blood - The apostle says almost, because in some cases certain vessels were purified by water, some by fire, Numbers 31:23, and some with the ashes of the red heifer, Numbers 19:2-10, but it was always understood that every thing was at first consecrated by the blood of the victim.
And without shedding of blood is no remission - The apostle shows fully here what is one of his great objects in the whole of this epistle, viz. that there is no salvation but through the sacrificial death of Christ, and to prefigure this the law itself would not grant any remission of sin without the blood of a victim. This is a maxim even among the Jews themselves, בדם אלא כפרה אין ein capparah ella bedam, "There is no expiation but by blood." Yoma, fol. 5, 1; Menachoth, fol. 93, 2. Every sinner has forfeited his life by his transgressions, and the law of God requires his death; the blood of the victim, which is its life, is shed as a substitute for the life of the sinner. By these victims the sacrifice of Christ was typified. He gave his life for the life of the world; human life for human life, but a life infinitely dignified by its union with God.
And almost all things - It is a general custom to purify everything by blood. This rule was not universal, for some things were purified by fire and water, Numbers 31:22-23, and some by water only; Numbers 31:24; Leviticus 16:26, Leviticus 16:28. But the exceptions to the general rule were few. Almost everything in the tabernacle and temple service, was consecrated or purified by blood.
And without shedding of blood is no remission - Remission or forgiveness of sins. That is, though some things were purified by fire and water, yet when the matter pertained to the forgiveness of sins, it was “universally” true that no sins were pardoned except by the shedding of blood. Some impurities might be removed by water and fire, but the stain of “sin” could be removed only by blood. This declaration referred in its primary meaning, to the Jewish rites, and the sense is, that under that dispensation it was universally true that in order to the forgiveness of sin blood must be shed. But it contains a truth of higher order and importance still. “It is universally true that sin never has been, and never will be forgiven, except in connection with, and in virtue of the shedding of blood.” It is on this principle that the plan of salvation by the atonement is based, and on this that God in fact bestows pardon upon people. There is not the slightest evidence that any man has ever been pardoned except through the blood shed for the remission of sins. The infidel who rejects the atonement has no evidence that his sins are pardoned; the man who lives in the neglect of the gospel, though he has abundant evidence that he is a sinner, furnishes none that his sins are forgiven; and the Mussulman and the pagan can point to no proof that their sins are blotted out. It remains to be demonstrated that one single member of the human family has ever had the slightest evidence of pardoned sin, except through the blood of expiation. In the divine arrangement there is no principle better established than this, that all sin which is forgiven is remitted through the blood of the atonement; a principle which has never been departed from hitherto, and which never will be. It follows, therefore:
(1)that no sinner can hope for forgiveness except through the blood of Christ;
(2)that if people are ever saved they must be willing to rely on the merits of that blood;
(3)that all people are on a level in regard to salvation, since all are to be saved in the same way; and,
(4)that there will be one and the same song in heaven - the song of redeeming love.
6, 7 (chs. 7:22; 10:19, 20; 13:20; Matthew 27:51; Luke 10:27, 28; 2 Corinthians 3:6-9). Terms of God's Covenant—God's people are justified through the administration of the “better covenant,” through Christ's righteousness. A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfillment of certain conditions. Thus the human agent enters into agreement with God to comply with the conditions specified in His Word. His conduct shows whether or not he respects these conditions. 7BC 932.1
Man gains everything by obeying the covenant-keeping God. God's attributes are imparted to man, enabling him to exercise mercy and compassion. God's covenant assures us of His unchangeable character. Why, then, are those who claim to believe in God changeable, fickle, untrustworthy? Why do they not do service heartily, as under obligation to please and glorify God? It is not enough for us to have a general idea of God's requirements. We must know for ourselves what His requirements and our obligations are. The terms of God's covenant are, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” These are the conditions of life. “This do,” Christ said, “and thou shalt live.” 7BC 932.2
Christ's death and resurrection completed His covenant. Before this time, it was revealed through types and shadows, which pointed to the great offering to be made by the world's Redeemer, offered in promise for the sins of the world. Anciently believers were saved by the same Saviour as now, but it was a God veiled. They saw God's mercy in figures. The promise given to Adam and Eve in Eden was the gospel to a fallen race. The promise was made that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and it should bruise His heel. Christ's sacrifice is the glorious fulfillment of the whole Jewish economy. The Sun of Righteousness has risen. Christ our righteousness is shining in brightness upon us. 7BC 932.3
God did not lessen His claim upon men in order to save them. When as a sinless offering Christ bowed His head and died, when by the Almighty's unseen hand the veil of the temple was rent in twain, a new and living way was opened. All can now approach God through the merits of Christ. It is because the veil has been rent that men can draw nigh to God. They need not depend on priest or ceremonial sacrifice. Liberty is given to all to go directly to God through a personal Saviour. 7BC 932.4
It is God's pleasure and will that the blessings bestowed on man shall be given in perfect completeness. He has made provision that every difficulty may be overcome, every want supplied through the Holy Spirit. Thus He designs that man shall perfect a Christian character. God would have us contemplate His love, His promises, given so freely to those who have no merit in themselves. He would have us depend fully, gratefully, rejoicingly, in the righteousness provided for us in Christ. To all who come to God in His appointed way, He freely listens (Manuscript 148, 1897). 7BC 932.5Read in context »
These lessons were taught to the chosen people of God thousands of years ago, and repeated in various symbols and figures, that the work of truth might be riveted in every heart, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. The great lesson embodied in the sacrifice of every bleeding victim, impressed in every ceremony, inculcated by God Himself, was that through the blood of Christ alone is forgiveness of sins; yet how many carry the galling yoke and how few feel the force of this truth and act upon it personally, and derive the blessings they might receive through a perfect faith in the blood of the Lamb of God.... 7BC 913.1
Justice demanded the sufferings of man; but Christ rendered the sufferings of a God. He needed no atonement of suffering for Himself; all His sufferings were for us; all His merits and holiness were open to fallen man, presented as a gift (Letter 12, 1892). 7BC 913.2
(Matthew 11:27; John 14:9; 17:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; Hebrews 8:1; 9:11-14, 24; Hebrews 13:12; 1 John 2:1.) Christ the One True Mediator—Our great High Priest completed the sacrificial offering of Himself when He suffered without the gate. Then a perfect atonement was made for the sins of the people. Jesus is our Advocate, our High Priest, our Intercessor. Our present position therefore is like that of the Israelites, standing in the outer court, waiting and looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.... Type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb slain for the sins of the world. The great High Priest has made the only sacrifice that will be of any value. 7BC 913.3Read in context »
Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat as God had commanded; and in full faith of the Messiah to come, and with humble reverence, he presented the offering. God had respect unto his offering. A light flashes from Heaven and consumes the offering of Abel. Cain sees no manifestation that his is accepted. He is angry with the Lord, and with his brother. God condescends to send an angel to Cain to converse with him. 3SG 48.1
The angel inquires of him the reason of his anger, and informs him that if he does well, and follows the directions God has given, he will accept him and respect his offering. But if he will not humbly submit to God's arrangements, and believe and obey him, he cannot accept his offering. The angel tells Cain that it was no injustice on the part of God, or partiality shown to Abel; but that it was on account of his own sin, and disobedience of God's express command, why he could not respect his offering—and if he would do well he would be accepted of God, and his brother should listen to him, and he should take the lead, because he was the eldest. But even after being thus faithfully instructed, Cain did not repent. Instead of censuring and abhorring himself to his unbelief, he still complains of the injustice and partiality of God. And in his jealousy and hatred he contends with Abel and reproaches him. Abel meekly points out his brother's error, and shows him that the wrong is in himself. But Cain hates his brother from the moment that God manifests to him the tokens of his acceptance. His brother Abel seeks to appease his wrath by contending for the compassion of God in saving the lives of their parents, when he might have brought upon them immediate death. He tells Cain that God loved them, or he would not have given his Son, innocent and holy, to suffer the wrath which man by his disobedience deserved to suffer. While Abel justifies the plan of God, Cain becomes enraged and his anger increases and burns against Abel, until in his rage he slays him. God inquires of Cain for his brother, and Cain utters a guilty falsehood, “I know not; am I my brother's keeper?” God informs Cain that he knew in regard to his sin—that he was acquainted with his every act, and even the thoughts of his heart, and says to him, “Thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” 3SG 48.2Read in context »
(2 Corinthians 5:19; Philippians 2:6.) Satan Uprooted From Affections of the Universe—In carrying out his enmity to Christ until He hung upon the cross of Calvary, with wounded, bruised body and broken heart, Satan completely uprooted himself from the affections of the universe. It was then seen that God had in His Son denied Himself, giving Himself for the sins of the world, because He loved mankind. The Creator was revealed in the Son of the infinite God. Here the question, “Can there be self-denial with God?” was forever answered. Christ was God, and condescending to be made flesh, He assumed humanity and became obedient unto death, that He might undergo infinite sacrifice (Manuscript 50, 1900). 7BC 974.1
(John 3:14-17; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 9:22.) Accusing Power of Satan Broken—Christ on the cross, not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law—for whom God pardons He first makes penitent—but Christ has satisfied justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made. He suffered in the flesh that with His bruised and broken body He might cover the defenseless sinner. The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe, and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family (Manuscript 50, 1900). 7BC 974.2
11 (Deuteronomy 33:25; see EGW on 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Power to Conquer Day by Day—All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day (Manuscript 28, 1886). 7BC 974.3
The Secret of Overcoming Sin—We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept (Letter 236, 1908). 7BC 974.4
17 (ch. 14:9-12; see EGW on Isaiah 59:13-17). Satan's Masterpiece of Evil—Those who love and keep the commandments of God are most obnoxious to the synagogue of Satan, and the powers of evil will manifest their hatred toward them to the fullest extent possible. John foresaw the conflict between the remnant church and the power of evil, and said, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 7BC 974.6
The forces of darkness will unite with human agents who have given themselves into the control of Satan, and the same scenes that were exhibited at the trial, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ will be revived. Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends; and those who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil—men who reflect his own image (The Review and Herald, April 14, 1896). 7BC 974.7
Only Two Parties Upon Earth—There are only two parties upon this earth—those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion. In the twelfth chapter of Revelation is represented the great conflict between the obedient and the disobedient [Revelation 12:17; 13:11-17 quoted] (Manuscript 16, 1900). 7BC 974.8
(Ephesians 6:10-12.) The Earth a Stage for Horrors—[Revelation 12:17 quoted.] Satanic agencies have made the earth a stage for horrors, which no language can describe. War and bloodshed are carried on by nations claiming to be Christian. A disregard for the law of God has brought its sure result. 7BC 974.9
The great conflict now being waged is not merely a strife of man against man. On one side stands the Prince of life, acting as man's substitute and surety; on the other, the prince of darkness, with the fallen angels under his command [Ephesians 6:12, 13, 10, 11 quoted] (The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900). 7BC 974.10Read in context »