Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
July 7, 1997
Last Updated :
March 21, 2018
More Scriptures Concerning Spiritual Blindness And Ignorance, Jewish Spiritual Leaders Refused To Abandon The Traditions Of The Past, Jewish Political And Religious Compromise With Rome, Harsh Legalism Of Jewish Religionists, Jesus Was A Threat To The Jewish-Roman Status Quo, Why Jewish Leadership Could Not Accept Jesus, New Wine Must Be Put In New Bottles, The Lying Spirit Of Antichrist, Condemned Through Unbelief, Cast Out Into Outer Darkness And Thrown On God's Scrap Pile, Wrath Of God, Temple Veil Was Ripped In Half, Incense Altar And Blood Atonement, Why God Ripped The Temple Veil In Half, We Are All One Through Faith In Jesus Christ, We All Have Equal Access To The Father Through The Veil Of Jesus' Flesh, Christ Is The Rock Foundation And Rejected Cornerstone Of God's Holy Temple
Before returning to our main discussion, allow me to share with you some additional verses regarding the subject of spiritual blindness and ignorance. As you will see, it was in fact prophesied by Isaiah -- who Jesus and the Apostles both quoted -- that spiritual blindness would befall the nation of Israel during the time of Christ:
"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."
Isaiah 6:8-10, KJV
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Matthew 13:10-16, KJV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:16, 24, KJV
"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
John 9:39-41, KJV
"But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."
John 12:37-41, KJV
"And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
Acts 28:25-27, KJV
Let me remind you again that one of the reasons why so many of the Jewish leadership remained spiritually ignorant and blind to the truth concerning Jesus, is because they failed, and in fact refused, to give up the traditions of the past. I have spent a major portion of this series to show you how the old must give way to the new, and how God's Truth is a continuing revelation. In the centuries leading up to Jesus' arrival on Earth, from the time of the return from Babylon, up to the First Century, the Jewish political and religious leadership had set up a very comfortable -- albeit corrupt -- tight-knit system for themselves.
As the First Century dawned, Jewish politicians were already in bed with the Romans enjoying an uneasy but workable status quo. King Herod - who was an Edomite -- was in fact appointed by the emperor. On top of that, the most influential of the Jewish religionists -- the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees -- appear to have been in complete control of the Temple and Jewish religious life. Furthermore, the high priest himself was selected by the king. Thus, it was a cozy, corrupt inner circle to say the least, all under the eyes and control of watchful Rome. As long as the Jewish political and religious leaders did Rome's bidding and maintained the peace, they were allowed to remain in power. That ended in 70 AD.
But concerning the Jewish religious elders, the Lord clearly exposed them in Matthew 23, as well as in other places in the Gospels. As you may recall, those religionists maintained the common people under submission -- and enriched themselves at the same time -- through a harsh, legalistic implementation of the Mosaic Law. Anyone who dared to question their laws, traditions and doctrines was asking for trouble, and that is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus represented a clear threat to their oppressive system. He offered people the freedom of the Spirit, instead of the burden of the Law. He simplified the entire Mosaic legal system by telling His listeners to love, and to forgive. As we learned in part three, He offered to lift the heavy yoke of legalistic bondage from off men's shoulders, and to take it upon Himself. This He did when He bore our sins on the Cross.
However, as I mentioned a moment ago, the Jewish religionists did not want anything to change, and neither did King Herod. But to their alarm, change is precisely what Jesus was about. If they were to accept Him, and the things which He taught, it would result in two things. First, to recognize any king other than the one appointed by the emperor would put them on a head-on clash with Rome. Second, to recognize and embrace Jesus' teachings would likewise mean that they would have to relinquish the great power they had accumulated over the past three centuries or so. Obviously, those power-hungry men were not about to do either one. Thus, they rejected Jesus and His message. They didn't want the New Wine. They were happy with the old wine, and the status quo, which afforded them so much worldly power. As Jesus taught in the Gospels:
"No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."
Matthew 9:16-17, KJV
"No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles."
Mark 2:21-22, KJV
"And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better."
Luke 5:36-39, KJV
So as we have already discussed, by rejecting Christ and the message which He preached, the unbelieving Jews were in fact rejecting the Spirit of Truth which proceeded from God the Father. They were blaspheming against the Holy Ghost. Those foolish people were accusing God the Father of being a liar when He said that He had sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for their -- and our -- sins. What a grievous sin indeed! Consider the following verses. In the first one, Jesus is speaking directly to His Jewish enemies:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
1 John 2:22, KJV
"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
1 John 4:3, KJV
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
2 John 1:7, KJV
"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV
"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV
As a result of their stubborn rejection of the truth, a veil was still upon their eyes, and they were spiritually blind. However, they could no longer claim ignorance as they had done before, because Jesus had plainly told them the truth that they needed to hear. Through their rejection of that truth, and their stiff refusal to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb of God, they condemned themselves. Consider these verses:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
John 3:16-20, KJV
Not only did the unbelieving Jews condemn themselves, but as they would discover four decades later in 70 AD, by rejecting Christ, and plotting His murder, they in fact made themselves the object of God's Wrath. As a result, they wound up being cast out, cast upon God's scrap pile, and ground to powder, as we see by the following verses:
"Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."
Matthew 21:43-44, KJV
"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 8:12, KJV
"Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 22:13, KJV
"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 25:30, KJV
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
John 3:36, KJV
". . . he that cometh after me . . . will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Matthew 3:11b-12, KJV
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 10:31, 12:29, KJV
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"
Romans 1:18, KJV
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
Ephesians 5:6, KJV
"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
Revelation 6:16-17, KJV
"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb . . . And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God."
Revelation 14:10, 19, KJV
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God . . . And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever."
Revelation 15:1, 7, KJV
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth . . . And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
Revelation 16:1, 19, KJV
"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
Revelation 19:15, KJV
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:15, KJV
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8, KJV
You will find the aforementioned events discussed in more detail in some of my other articles which deal with Bible prophecy. At any rate, we have learned that as a result of their rejection of Christ, a veil remained over the eyes of the unbelieving Jews. It is interesting to note that at the time of Christ's death on a Roman Cross, the Temple veil was ripped in half, as we see by the following three verses:
"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"
Matthew 27:51, KJV
"And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."
Mark 15:38, KJV
"And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
Luke 23:45, KJV
I believe that it is significant that three of the writers of the Gospels included this event in their narratives. As you may already know, the veil separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the interior of the Temple, which was called the holy place. The veil's construction is described in Exodus chapter twenty-six. According to Jewish tradition, the veil was four fingers' breadth in thickness, although there have been some doubts concerning this belief. It was in the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant used to be located. It was also where the Lord descended upon the Mercy Seat in order to commune with the high priest. It was likewise on the horns of a square incense altar that was situated before this veil, that Aaron the high priest -- and future high priests -- had to offer a blood atonement to the Lord once a year for the sins of the people. Consider the following verses:
"And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD."
Exodus 30:1-10, KJV
The question which arises is why God ripped the Temple veil in half. One obvious explanation is that God wanted to show the Jews that they could no longer hide behind their cloak of hypocrisy, and behind their dead religion of self-righteous works of keeping the Law and performing animal sacrifices. In other words, it seems rather evident that God used the veil incident to show them in a very graphic way that the time of the Old Covenant had come to an end, and the time of the New Covenant had just begun. Now they had no choice but to accept the Sacrifice of His own dear Son as the only valid Atonement for the remission of sins. Just as the veil had been ripped in half, Christ's flesh had likewise been torn on the Cross. Furthermore, through His death on the Cross, Jesus tore down the wall of division, or partition, so that Salvation is now freely available to anyone who believes, and we are all one in and through Him. This is made evident by verses such as the following:
"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
John 10:16, KJV
"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Romans 12:4-5, KJV
"For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."
1 Corinthians 10:17, KJV
"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit . . . But now are they many members, yet but one body."
1 Corinthians 12-13, 20, KJV
"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Galatians 3:8, 28, KJV
"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION BETWEEN US; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
Ephesians 2:11-18, KJV
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Colossians 3:15, KJV
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; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Hebrews 10:19-22, KJV
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."
Isaiah 11:10, KJV
"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. AND IN HIS NAME SHALL THE GENTILES TRUST."
Matthew 12:18-21, KJV
"And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES TRUST."
Romans 15:12, KJV
As I explain in other articles, such as the series entitled "Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?", the Epistle to the Hebrews explains in considerable detail, how Jesus became the final Sacrifice for sin, when He offered up Himself one time for the sins of all people everywhere, regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile. By so doing, He likewise became our one and only High Priest, as well as the symbolic cornerstone of God's spiritual Temple, of which we are all living stones. Furthermore, as the previous verses explain, because of what Christ did for us, we are all one in Spirit -- regardless of what we are in the flesh -- and we all have equal access to the Father as well. Let me share with you some additional verses regarding this topic. In this first set of verses, we see how Christ is the Rock, Foundation and Cornerstone who was rejected by the unbelieving Jews:
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:3, KJV
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
Psalms 118:22-23, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Matthew 21:42, KJV
"And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
Mark 8:31, KJV
"And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Mark 12:10-11, KJV
"Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 9:22, KJV
"But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation."
Luke 17:25, KJV
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
John 1:11, KJV
"This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Acts 4:11, KJV
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed [that is disapproved, rejected, repudiated] indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious . . . Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
1 Peter 2:4, 6-8, KJV
Please go to part six for the continuation of this series.
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