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OUT OF THE SECOND
This is a study leading to an apocalyptic reading of Heb. 9:28 which I suggest became effective upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before reading this study, please read Heb. chapter 9 in my translation (available as a free PDF download from this website; or, on the home page of this website, select NT Commentaries on the sidebar, then select Hebrews and scroll down to ch. 9 for the complete commentary on the entire chapter)
We are God's temple, His tabernacle. In Heb. ch. 9, I want to focus on the subject of "the second." Note in vs. 3 that it speaks of a tent, or tabernacle, "after the second veil." This was entered after passing through "the first [part or compartment]" that was "called set-apart (or: a holy [place])," in vs. 2.
The whole of ch. 9 speaks in terms of the tabernacle, and the sacrifices associated with it, all the way up to vs. 26a, and in 26b refers to Christ fulfilling the Day of Atonement and the putting away of sin (or: the displacement of failure and error) from off of humanity (typified by Israel, as a nation).
This verse also says that "upon a conjunction (or: joining of [the] ends) of the ages, He has been and remains manifested" into that putting away of sin. This speaks to the type of the high priest making his appearance to the people after having applied the blood on the mercy seat in the holy of holies (vs. 25).
Verses 11-12 tell us of Christ as a Chief Priest "of the good things happening" entering into "the set-apart ones" through His own blood (vs. 12) and through the midst of, or through means of, a greater and more perfect Tabernacle (i.e., us, His corporate body) that is not made by hands and is not of the old creation (vs. 11). Note that I rendered this "set-apart ones." It is the plural of "set-apart," and refers to the type of the "holy places" of the literal tabernacle, but now refers to the set-apart people."
In ch. 10:22 He speaks of our hearts having been sprinkled, and this is by the blood of Jesus (10:19) – referring back to ch. 9, and the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement which Christ fulfilled.
Looking back at 9:7, we see that the high priest went once a year "into the second" compartment, the holy of holies. So here again, we see the term "the second." We see this term once again in vs. 28, after referring to Christ being offered (literally "being once borne or carried close into THE MANY") to carry sins and failures back up again (= to God for incineration in the Consuming Fire that He is). And here it says that He "will be made visible, or will be seen, forth from out of the midst of THE SECOND."
Now it does not say "the second time," as the word "time" is not in the Greek text. It says "from out of the midst of THE SECOND." But what has "the second" referred to in this chapter? The second compartment of the tabernacle, the holy of holies. And what is the second compartment now? It is us. He will be made visible and seen from within the midst of His corporate body, His temple. This verse does not refer to "a second coming of Christ," but to His being manifested through His called-out folks: you and me. Chapter 10:9 also uses the phrase "the second," where He takes away the 1st to establish "the second."
The writer of Hebrews does not use the phrase "the second tabernacle or temple," but he implies it when in vs. 8 he states that "the Way [= Christ] of the set-apart places (or: of the separated ones; of the Holies) [was] not yet to have been manifested (caused to appear; brought to light) while the FIRST tabernacle is having a standing." So, from this we can also imply that vs. 28 could be talking about His being made visible from out of "the second [tabernacle]," which, again, is us – the tabernacle into which He entered to sprinkle our hearts with His blood.
Finally, note my rendering of the last part of vs. 28, "apart from failure (apart from sin; apart from a sin offering; apart from error in attempting to hit the target) – in those (or: by those; to those; for those) habitually receiving (or: progressively taking) from out of the midst of Him, [progressing] into a deliverance (or: [leading] into a rescue; with a view to health and wholeness; into the midst of salvation)."
Consider that phrase "in those, by those, to those, or for those." Here I have given the possible functions of the genitive case of the present participle "habitually receiving (or: taking) from out of the midst of." This is a literal rendering of the Greek apo-ek-dechomai: from-out of the midst of-receiving/taking. The contracted prepositions apek- that are prefixed to the verb dechomai (to take with the hands and receive) have been rendered with their core meanings "from-out of the midst of," but could also be considered as an intensifier to be rendered "fully receiving from Him, [leading] unto salvation." As we habitually, continuously and progressively receive from Him, He is then made visible in us, and this leads us into a deliverance, into a rescue that has in view our being made healthy and whole – as well as those who see Him in us. Aren't you glad!
To God be the glory,
NEXT: The Message of Jonah
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GOD'S MESSAGE OF
WHICH BRINGS GOD'S
GIFTS OF HIS SPIRIT,
HIS LIFE, HIS GRACE,
HIS POWER, HIS
FAIRNESS, HIS PEACE
AND HIS LOVE