by Jerry Shugart
Having Access Into The Heavenlies
Pastor Paul Sadler, the President of the Berean Bible Society, says that the Hebrew epistles are for the time of the "coming Tribulation":
"These writings, which are numbered with the Prophetic Scriptures, have a twofold purpose. They were practical exhortations for the kingdom saints during the first century, but more importantly, they are instructions and warnings for the future kingdom saints who will be called upon to endure the coming Tribulation" [emphasis mine] (Sadler, "Studies in the Epistle of James," The Berean Searchlight, June, 2005, 5).
Pastor Sadler correctly understands that after the rapture the prophetic program will be resumed:
"After the Body of Christ is removed from the earth, God will resume His prophetic program where He left off. According to Daniel's 70 weeks of years, only one week remains (Dan. 9:27)" (Sadler, "Question Box," The Berean Searchlight, September, 2000, 6).
Under the prophetic program and before Israel was temporaily cast aside that nation remained under the Law of Moses and the priesthood was an integral part of the Law. So after the rapture the prophetic program will resume and that means that the priesthood will also resume. Pastor Sadler correctly understands that under the law "the priesthood implied that the people did not have access to God":
"In time past, the priesthood implied that the people did not have access to God...The priests always ministered on 'behalf' of those who did not have access. But consider these words of the Apostle Paul: 'But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ...For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father' (Eph. 2:13,18). On the basis of the Cross both Jews and Gentiles now have access to the Father" (Sadler, "The Life and Letters of the Apostle Peter--Part VII," The Berean Searchlight, September, 2000, 8).
However, there can be no doubt that all those who received the book of Hebrews had access to God:
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Heb.10:19-20).
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:16).
From this we can know that it is impossible that the book of Hebrews, which tells all "to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," is for the future tribulation when only the high priest will have access to God. Instead, these words are speaking of the access into the heavenlies which members of the Body of Christ enjoy now. Cornelius Stam, the founder of The Berean Bible Society, wrote:
"The Holiest place of the tabernacle, still closed to Jewish believers at that time, except representatively through the High Priest once each year, reminds us of our free entrance into 'the holiest of all' in heaven itself. By grace we enter the presence of God, '. . . by the blood of Jesus . . . a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh' (Heb. 10:19,20). Think of it! The old dead way replaced by 'a new and living way,' specially consecrated to our use through the blood of Christ! This is the great Pauline doctrine of our access to God (Rom. 5:2)" [emphasis mine] (Stam, The Berean Searchlight, Volume L, Number 2).
Even Pastor Sadler understands that those instructions apply to members of the Body of Christ. He wrote:
"The work has been accomplished on our behalf; now it is given unto us to 'believe,' at which time we are 'accepted by God' in the Beloved One, having full access into the heavenlies| (Eph. 1:6; Phil. 1:29; Heb.10:19,20)" [emphasis added] (Sadler, Exploring the Unsearchable Riches of Christ [Stephens Point, WI: Worzalla Publishing Co.1993; Third Printing], 177).
There can be no doubt that Pastor Sadler is applying the doctrine contained in the book of Hebrews to those in the Body of Christ. He does the same thing again here:
"But now, through the blood of Christ, God dwells in our midst, thus, we can 'come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need' (Heb. 4:16). It is a solemn thought indeed that every believer in Christ dwells in the very presence of God" [emphasis added] (Sadler, Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians [Stephens Point, WI: Worzalla Publishing Co., 1999], 66).
It is only those who are in the Body of Christ who dwell in the very presence of God because only those in the Body have been raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph.2:5-6).
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col.3:1).
These things are in reference to the Christian's "heavenly calling" spoken of here in the book of Hebrews:
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (Heb.3:1).
These facts in regard to access to God in the heavenly places cannot possibly be applicable to the time of the coming tribulation because then only the high priest under the Law will have that access. Instead, this doctrine applies only to those in the Body of Christ. Therefore we can know, beyond any doubt, that those who received the book of Hebrews were members of the Body of Christ. On The Berean Bible Society web site we read that J.C. O'Hair was, "without a doubt, the one person who, more than any other, was used of God to establish among believers what Paul, by inspiration calls, 'the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.'" Pastor O'Hair understood that the passages from the book of Hebrews which speak of "drawing nigh" to God are in regard to the blessings belonging to the members of the Body of Christ:
"But let us remember, even as near as God is, there is only one way to Him. That way is Christ. John 14:6. Brought nigh by Christ's blood. Ephesians 2:17. Draw nigh to God by the better hope. Hebrews 7:19. By the blood of Christ draw nigh in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10:22.
"How nigh are believers who are members of the Body of Christ? They are in Christ. Christ is in them. They are dead, buried, raised, risen and seated in the heavenlies in Him, in an unending, inseparable union with the glorified Christ; accepted in Him and complete in Him; and therefore, nothing above or below can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" [emphasis mine] (O'Hair, "Far Off - But Brought Nigh," Bible Study for Bereans, March 1936).
It is impossible to reconcile the facts revealed at Hebrews 4:16 and 10:19-20 with the teaching of today's Berean Bible Society which declares that the doctrine found in the book of Hebrews is doctrine which will be in effect during the coming tribulation.