THE TWO APPEARINGS

 (HEBREWS 9)

BY:  ALAN McSAVAGE

JULY 10, 2004

PARTS 1-2

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THE TWO APPEARINGS

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THE TWO APPEARINGS – FOLLOW UP

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PART ONE

“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 24-28)

Well, that is certainly a mouthful! These scriptures are so very, very rich and certainly merit our attention and even meditation so that we may gain some fresh insight into their true meaning. Unfortunately for most students of the scriptures, many well meaning bible teachers short on spiritual insight have pulled this closing verse of the ninth chapter of Hebrews from its context and used it as a tool to teach man’s traditional concept of a “second coming of Christ.” If we are to rightly divide the 28th verse in the chapter of Hebrews, we must look at it within the context of the verses that precede it.

Even a cursory glance at this chapter ought to clearly show us that the writer is painting a contrasting picture for us of the symbolic divine regulations of worship performed on the Day of Atonement, those performed in an earthly sanctuary by men (old covenant), with the spiritual fulfillment of those things, the atoning works of Christ performed in a HEAVENLY tabernacle not built with human hands. He then goes on to contrast the two works or “appearances” of Christ with one another, so that one is “first”, and the other is “second.”

Verse 24 describes for us the “first” appearance:

“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”

This verse certainly does not describe Christ’s appearance as a babe in a manger in Bethlehem, just as we shall see that the “second” appearance does not describe what is traditionally taught as “the second coming of Christ.” In the types of the Old Testament the atonement for sin was not accomplished with the killing of the animal and the sprinkling on the altar, the people and the tabernacle; it was not accomplished until the High Priest presented himself in the Most Holy Place in the presence of God with the blood sacrifice. Thus in the first part of the spiritual fulfillment of this Day of Atonement ritual, Christ had to “appear” in the Most Holy Place in heaven, “in the presence of God for us” and by His own blood make atonement for our sins (forgiveness). This is part one of a two-part work, or in other words, two “appearances.”

Verse 28 speaks of another (second) appearing in connection with our salvation (full salvation). Time and space does not allow for an in depth study of this at this time but I will share a few points that you may want to study further on your own. In order to better understand the two appearances described in Hebrews chapter 9, I suggest that you study the patterns of these two works that are found in Leviticus chapter 14 and chapter 16; the two birds used in cleansing the leper (a depiction of mortality), and the two goats of the Day of Atonement. These two passages embody the laws regarding the two works of Christ. In brief: the two birds depict the two stages by which we are cleansed of our mortality. The first bird was killed to provide a blood covering for the second bird. The first bird’s death IMPUTED life to us (Christ’s first appearing); while the second bird, when released into the “field” will infuse God’s people with inherent immortality and life (Christ’s second appearing).

The goats of Leviticus 16 deal not with the death question, but rather the sin question. Again, as revealed also in Hebrews chapter 9 there is two stages in which our sin is eradicated. The first goat covered our sin; the second goat will remove it. Christ’s first “appearance” (in heaven) covered our sin; His second “appearance” (an intercessory work) will remove it altogether. This is the full salvation (body, soul, and spirit), “the salvation without reference to sin” that shall come to those that eagerly await Him.

Even though we are yet sinners saved by grace and covered by the blood of Jesus whereby we have been imputed righteousness, God has made provision by His first work for a second work (actual righteousness). This second work is a work wherein Christ “appears” again for us in the Most Holy Place for the purpose of removing sin from us completely, making us actually righteous. This will be the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement and also of the prophetic law where the second goat was led into the wilderness to remove all sin.

Oh there is so much that can be shared about this, more than time and space allows in a brief article. I encourage all who read these lines to seek the Lord for further insight regarding these things. The types and shadows of the Old Testament are full of revelation of the path to our full restoration to fellowship with God. Please beloved saints, study the feasts. The spring feasts have been completely fulfilled in Christ’s first appearance, we yet await the fulfillment of the autumn feasts (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles). Passover (justification by faith) is only the first step in the divine salvation plan…Tabernacles is the end.

The two birds of Leviticus 14 represent the Passover and Tabernacles work of Christ. When Jesus said “It is finished” from the cross on Calvary, He did not mean that there was no longer any work to be done to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth. He meant that the Passover work was finished, for He was crucified on Passover, and this was the purpose of His first “appearing.” The divine laws show that the “finished work of Christ” is in two stages, one a death work, the other a living work. Of these I have done by best to just briefly touch upon today. Please seek the Lord for understanding of these things. God is opening the eyes of many to see things that we have not been able to see before. It is from revelation of His nature and plan (glory) that we are changed into His image… so unstop your ears of all the religious wax and just sit before Him and learn. God is going to establish a righteous people on the earth who are capable of properly manifesting the character of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world. This shall be the ministry of the age of Tabernacles for which we are now receiving a clearer vision.

May God bless you all with understanding in these days.

PART TWO

FOLLOW UP TO “THE TWO APPEARINGS”

JULY 10, 2004

“And He has a name written upon Him which no one knows Except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:12-13)

This passage of Scripture shows the “Word” coming in fulfillment of the law of Leviticus 14:6; the second live dove “dipped” in the blood of the first.

Remember that the second work of Christ is based upon the first. His first work was a death work that brought to His people IMPUTED immortality (the first dove) and IMPUTED righteousness (the first goat).  There is another work where the people of God shall actually be made immortal (the second dove)… and actually made righteous (the second goat). Bless His holy name!

The “finished work of Christ” has been taught in many Christian circles for many years but with little understanding of the laws that define His “work.” As stated in a previous article, when Jesus proclaimed “It is finished” He was referring to the first part of God’s divine salvation plan for His creation man which was the fulfillment of the Feast of Passover. Certainly there was still more work to be done; for fifty days from His resurrection He did another work by sending the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. In other words, Jesus’ work on the cross did not complete the Pentecostal work, nor did it complete the Tabernacles work.

The writings of the past couple of days have been describing the two works of Christ as defined in the Book of Hebrews chapter 9; what is described as His first “appearance” and His second “appearance.” These two works describe the Passover work and the Tabernacles work. Pentecost is this interim period that connects the two… that which we have known as “the church age.”

I pray that God will bless you with understanding of these things.

 

THE TWO APPEARINGS [Alan McSavage]          1

 

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