During Sanctity of Life Month what a wonderful testimony of Marlana VanHoose to sing the beloved hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” during the pre-inaugural prayer service held in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017. Young Marlana, who was born blind and diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, has trusted Christ as her Savior and says she has no need to see while here on Earth because she knows the first face she will ever look upon will be JESUS’ in Heaven.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb donkey speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” 2 Peter 2:9-20
In the wilderness God gave Moses detailed instructions on building the Tabernacle. Once settled in the Promised Land, King David desired to replace the Tabernacle tent with a permanent structure. God allowed David’s son, Solomon, to build the magnificent Temple high on a hill overlooking the City of Jerusalem. From the time of Moses until Jesus’ death on the cross, the blood of bulls and goats was what God required to cover sin, but upon the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross He became our High Priest, obtaining eternal redemption for us through His blood.
The Book of Leviticus outlines every aspect of God’s instructions to Moses, not only for the construction of the Tabernacle but also its furnishings and function. The high priest was to be appointed from the Levitical lineage of Moses’ brother, Aaron, and was tasked with entering once each year to seek forgiveness for himself and the sins of the people into the partitioned Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant resided hidden from the people. With the deaths of the high priests throughout the centuries, others were appointed to replace them, that is, until Jesus became the final and Eternal High Priest.
The Apostle Paul writes in the Book of Hebrews of Jesus becoming the Everlasting High Priest upon His death, burial and resurrection. In Hebrews 9:11-12 Paul explains, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in ONCE into the holy place.” As the Eternal High Priest, He alone became the Mediator between God and man. At His death the veil in the Temple separating the Holy of Holies from the people was rent in two from top to bottom forever giving man access to the Father through Jesus, His Son, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” (Hebrews 9:24).
As the High Priest of our salvation, Jesus came into the world “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,” breaking down the middle wall of partition between God and man, and “after He had offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God,” ever making intercession for us (Hebrews 9:26; 10:12; Ephesians 2:13,14; Romans 8:34).
As the New Year begins and resolutions are made to read through the Bible in a year, pray more, eat less, get more exercise, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the Church at Philippi by giving them those things that would benefit them the most in the future. After encouraging them to “stand fast in the Lord” (4:1), “Rejoice in the Lord alway” (4:4), and “let your requests be made known unto God” (4:6), he gives them final words to guard their minds from the filthiness of this world, a worthy endeavor for all in this new year.
Whatsoever things are TRUE,
Whatsoever things are HONEST,
Whatsoever things are JUST,
Whatsoever things are PURE,
Whatsoever things are LOVELY,
Whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT;
If there be any Virtue,
And if there be any Praise,
Think on These Things.”