In addition to our salvation freely provided to us under the New Covenant we have full access for baptism of the Holy Spirit whereas we can be filled with the Spirit of God for life while still here on earth. Under the Old Covenant the Holy Spirit only came upon a few people, but today He is available for us all.
Hebrews 9:8, 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
For the original people reading the book of Hebrews, this verse was probably a stand out verse along with 2:4, 3:7, 6:4, and once again in 10:5. The fact that the Holy Spirit would speak, teach, or witness to people in general is another pivotal point in the New Covenant. Today there is so much rhetoric among the many denominations regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that His true significance is often overlooked. Not so with the first church, especially those who had converted from Judaism into followers of Jesus Christ. Prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus, no human was able to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In fact no one in the Old Testament was filled with the Holy Spirit because of man’s fallen nature. True He ministered as much as possible to all of the prophets of Old, but when you dig in the scriptures you will see the wording where He came upon people for short time’s in their lives. He only spoke to a few people and was not available to everyone as He is today, and no one was filled with the Holy Spirit under the Old Covenant or even prior to the Law of Moses. It was the prophets of Old who heard from the Holy Spirit as needed and in turn they spoke prophesy’s to the people. Because of Man’s fallen sin nature the Holy Spirit who is truly the Spirit of God could never dwell in a sinful vessel, but after Jesus took all of our sins upon Himself at the cross, all mankind is able to receive the Holy Spirit providing they first accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
On a side note there is a movement growing loosely across the US trying to bring back the significance of having Prophets overseeing the church to guide the people as in the days of Old. Self-proclaimed Prophets are rising up within Full Gospel denominations and non-denominational churches; others are traveling all across the US and even around the world drawing thousands of people to themselves so people can hear them speak great words from God. Nowhere in the New Testament is this practice established, but is John 14, 15, & 16 we read where Jesus told us that He would send the Holy Spirit to us as our Helper and Teacher. True Jesus gave us Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers in His ascension gifts, but their purpose is to edify the saints for the work of the ministry. There may be a time where a person could use encouragement from a prophetic word, and there is a need for prophets in the church today, but at best that is truly second rate to the will of God. His desire is that all men be filled with His Spirit where He could communicate to all of us individually. This is a point often missed in Christianity today in that Jesus did not establish a new religion; He established the ability for believers to have a personal relationship with God.
The way into the Holiest of All was not available while the first tabernacle was still standing is also a powerful statement overlooked by Christians today. In our minds we all wish the Ark of the Covenant could be found so we could show the rest of the world that what our bible says is truth compared to all of the other religions and their teachings. The biggest problem with finding the Ark is that man in general has such a difficult time walking by faith which cannot be seen, that many Christians would begin worshiping the Ark over Jesus. By nature men look for something tangible to help explain the intangible which is why we gravitate toward religion in general. At least religion gives us a pattern to follow and tangible things to do so we can feel good about our lives. Walking by faith has nothing to hold onto which is why faith is the substance of things hoped for.
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