Read Hebrews 7:11-14:
1. What is the shortcoming of the Levitical priesthood & the law mentioned in verses 11, 12? See 1a below
2. In verse 12, what is meant by the priesthood and the law being changed? Rom 7:14. See 2a below
Read Hebrews 7:16-19:
3. Explain what verses 16 & 19 are indicating as pertaining to the priesthood. See 3a below
4. In verse 18, what are two points made about the law? (See Note at the end of the study) See 4a below
Read Hebrews 7:24-28:
5. From these verses, what comparisons can be made between the two priesthoods? See 5a below
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1a. The Greek word, teleiosis g5050, rendered in English as perfection is derived from teleioo g5048, which means to make complete. The priesthood, by ministering the law, could not make themselves nor anyone else spiritually complete. The ERV states the concept correctly: ...no one could be made spiritually perfect through that system of priests. Keeping the writing of all or any part of the law cannot give anyone spiritual life or righteousness, Gal 2:21;3:18, 21. Keeping of the letter of the law was given to the Jews only & not the Gentiles, Acts 15:5, 19-20, 28-29, & then only up to the cross, Rom 7:6; Gal 2:16; 3:19, 24 (purpose for the law, Gal 3:23-26).
2a. Most seem to think that the entire Levitical system was abolished at the cross. (More on this in future studies) However the Greek word, metatithemi g3346, rendered as changed, means transported, exchanged, figuratively: translated. Meaning what? In Hebrews 11:5, Enoch is said to have been translated g3346 (transported) from earth to heaven without seeing death. This is similar to Elijah, 2Ki 2:9, 11, 17, 20. What was changed, or translated to heaven, was not the law, but our thoughts, Isa 55:7-9, as to how we are to view the law for spiritual understanding, as explained by Jesus in Matthew, chapters 5-7. Examples Mt 5:27-28; 6:19-20; 7:13-14; 6:16-18; Isa 42:21; 58:5-9. All the law is still in tact, but we are to look at it through spiritual eyes, focusing on the keeping of the spirit of law rather than the letter, i.e. don’t actually sacrifice an animal, but understand what it means.
3a. The old priesthood was based on a carnal/fleshly commandment/law. Keeping it cannot spiritually complete a person pertaining to the conscience, Heb 9:9. In Christ we are justified from all things which the law of Moses, including the 10 commandments can not do, Act 13:39.
4a. The law is weak & unprofitable because of the flesh, Rom 8:3. Thayer & Strong give a meaning to the Greek word athetesis g115 (disannulling) as cancelled, abolished, which is taught by many. The root, atheteo g114, is to set aside, which other Bible versions translate the noun accurately as setting aside; cf ERV, DRB, CEV, BBE.}
5a. Earthly, Levitical Priesthood:
a. Men, who have fleshly weaknesses, appointed as priests by the law
b. Must offer a daily sacrifice, first for his own sins, then for the people
c. Not necessarily harmless, as he could lead the people astray, and history shows that they did
d. A priest was not permanent, as death made it necessary to appoint a new priest often
e. Not able to deliver man completely from sin
Heavenly, Christ Priesthood:
a’. Made a priest by forever by an oath of the Father, Ps 110:4
b’. Only needed one sacrifice - himself, for himself and the all peoples of the world
c’. Harmless, held completely separate from sinners - no bad influence
d’. Christ’s priestly ministry is endless, unchangeable and heavenly (spiritual)
e’. Able to save to the fullest, those that approach God; he intercedes for them
Note: At least one denomination rejects the Old Testament as having any validity since the cross, and many say that the law was nailed to the cross. Yet, they divide the law in various ways, quote it and teach from it. Jesus said that he did not come to destroy the law and the prophets, the Jews way of referring to the O.T. writings; Nor will the smallest part of the law would pass away until all be fulfilled, Mt 5:17-18. He went on to explain how to view the law, which now is to been seen as spiritual, Rom 7:14. ALL will be fulfilled when mankind comes to be in the stature and fullness of Jesus Christ, Eph 4:10, 13.
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