Anchored In Heaven
Anchored in Heaven
Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White
Sunday 20th October, 2019
I was so excited about God’s word to us last week, that I’ve carried it over into the Advocate newspaper which comes out on Wednesday. It’s in the weekly Minister’s article section. We might as well let the whole world know that “to live is Christ!” That’s what I’ve titled the article.
If you read the Advocate, you’ll know that there is a real mixture of messages that are shared by all the different ministers in the area. I get it that some ministers want to just open a gentle door, by inviting people to think about God in relation to things like climate change or lack of it, the drought, praying for rain, and all those kinds of things. There are different ways to approach those without Jesus – and to reach the hearts of people in the world.
But I’m sure some of my minister friends must think I’m just a radical/uncontained Pentecostal.
I might get in people’s faces, but I’m determined to exploit to the full this wonderful opportunity I have to write publicly about Jesus.
And this morning, I want to launch from where I left off last week as well, stirring our hearts again about what it really means to be living in a generation that has full access to the presence of God – living under a covenant of incredible, amazing grace, of complete freedom to be who we were always meant to be – sons and daughters of God – filled with all His fullness – empowered and anointed by the Holy Spirit. To really live – is Christ!
The Old Testament crew would have stood in awe of the fact that there would be believers on the other side of the cross, who would have unlimited, unhindered, unrestricted access to our Heavenly Father’s presence and love.
The moment Jesus paid the price for our sins, by dying in our place on the cross of Calvary, some amazing things happened in the natural that were symbolic of what was also happening in the spirit realm. I began to touch on this last week.
But the cross was the moment a cataclysmic shift happened in all of creation. It shifted mankind’s position for eternity!
There was an earthquake, with rocks being split in two, and the power of God was unleashed on the earth. There were corpses coming alive and rising up out of the ground – bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep, being raised to life. They came into the city and appeared to people.
The fantastical productions that come out of Hollywood have nothing on the reality of what happened that day.
But as I finished with last week, one of the most significant things that happened was that the huge thick curtain or veil that separated the people from the very presence of God – it was torn in two, right down the middle, from top to bottom.
Can you imagine this heavy curtain – made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, supernaturally being ripped down the middle?
It was a veil that completely blocked out the ark of the covenant where the presence of God dwelt. It was hung up with golden hooks on an acacia wood frame which was also overlaid with gold. Even when the ark of the covenant was transported from one place to the next, it would have this heavy veil placed over it, to continually maintain that separation – to keep the most holy of Holies out of sight and distinctly separated from anything tainted and profane.
Only the High Priest could enter behind the veil once a year to atone for the sins of the people with the blood of animals. And even then, he had to be ceremonially clean and always took the risk of being struck dead if things weren’t quite right. He’d even have a rope tied around his leg so that he could be pulled back out again in case he dropped dead before God’s presence.
I’m so glad things have changed. I’m not sure if I’m the kind of guy who could cope with that pressure. And I’m not a great fan of blood.
Leviticus 16:2, “and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.
The Message bible says, tell Aaron not to come barging inside the temple… whenever he feels like it…
So there was this sense of fear and dread, as well as awe, about going behind the veil.
But here’s the thing.
The death of Jesus caused this veil to be torn in two – which was symbolic of the ending of the old Covenant and the beginning of the new covenant that was in that moment established between God and man. Jesus made a way for the sins of men and women to be forgiven.
There was to no longer be a separation. Jesus, in one moment, opened up the way for us to come boldly and completely into the Fathers arms.
That veil was torn beyond repair. Never again would God’s presence be excluded from the hearts of men and women.
While all this was happening – the earthquakes, the dead rising, the veil being torn… the greatest of revelations came to those who were the actual perpetrators of Jesus’ death – the ones who were overseeing the crucifixion.
Matthew 27:54, “So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
And I believe there is a message here for us this morning – that it’s possible for even the the most anti-Christ, worldly, hardened of hearts, to have a revelation of Jesus as the Son of God.
The presence of God is not hidden… there are no barriers, no heavy veils… He is just a heart’s cry away from any of us – just a divine revelation away from any of our unsaved loved ones, neighbours and friends…
This gospel truth that was established at the cross and then later at the resurrection… it’s this gospel that has the power to save.
In Hebrews 7 it says that Jesus has become the surety of a better covenant…
Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
And I love what it says in Hebrews 9 about all of this:
Hebrews 9:24 (The Passion), “For the Messiah did not enter into the earthly tabernacle made by men, which was but an echo of the true sanctuary, but he entered into heaven itself to appear before the face of God in our place.”
You see, the tabernacle was a symbolic place of the true sanctuary of God in heaven.
We as mankind were not only separated from God’s presence on earth, but from His presence in heaven.
I hope I’m not going too deep here for a Sunday morning. You’re just getting what I have felt to bring. I personally think this is the most exciting thing I could be sharing with you right now.
Earlier on in Hebrews 6, it speaks about the hope we have in the promises of God and the strength, comfort and power this brings us…
Hebrews 6:19-20 (the Passion), “We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, and where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest like Melchizedek.”
Melchizedek was a type of Christ…. that’s another story.
We could spend days on this…
But for right now – I believe God is saying to us that the true mercy seat in heaven – where Jesus sprinkled His own blood to pay the price for our sin – is what we are anchored to. We are anchored to the mercy seat. We are anchored to the presence of God. We are anchored to our salvation by the Blood of Jesus Christ and the mercy of God.
If you’re a visual person – you might see this anchor as I do… an anchor shaped like a ships anchor, with one side of it firmly stuck in the mercy seat in heaven. It’s permanently and securely locked in place.
And this is described as the anchor of our soul… so the other end of the rope is firmly attached to our soul. Through Jesus, our soul is connected directly to heaven.
So not only did Jesus physically remove the separating veil in the tabernacle on earth – He removed all separation between us and the presence of God in heaven.
And this anchor is now attached with such strength that nothing can dislodge it.
Are you all still with me? There is a connecting rope – not literally – but spiritually – that connects us with God in heaven. Heaven has been opened up to us just like the veil was removed and the Holy of Holies opened up to us. We are anchored there. We are secured by heaven itself.
We are anchored to the very place where Jesus is. We are anchored to the place where all those of our loved ones who were in Christ are also residing. There’s a rope with a solid secure anchor holding us steadfast.
Nothing can now separate us…
Romans 8:35 (The Passion), “Who could ever separate us from the endless love of God’s Anointed One? Absolutely no one! For nothing in the universe has the power to diminish his love toward us. Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven’s love. What about persecutions, deprivations, dangers, and death threats? No, for they are all impotent to hinder omnipotent love,”
I’ve said this fairly recently, that our place of belonging and security in God’s presence, has come about because Jesus experienced an abandonment from His Father that should have been ours. His Father could not look upon the sin of mankind, which Jesus took upon Himself. And so for that moment, Jesus knew what true separation and abandonment was. He did it for us.
He did it so that we could know what it means to never be separated from His love. Ever! Nothing has the power to keep us from Him – from His all powerful presence and love.
All we have to do is to hold on… hold fast to that anchor that’s secured in heaven…
Hebrews 3:14 (Amplified), “For we [believers] have become partakers of Christ [sharing in all that the Messiah has for us], if only we hold firm our newborn confidence [which originally led us to Him] until the end,”
Church, sometimes it seems like we just have to hold on firm to the end. But Jesus wants much more for us than that. It’s not about holding on for dear life… it’s about holding on with confidence and security and assurance while we live out His calling and purpose for us right here – right now.
We’re already connected to heaven… and as I said last week, this life that we live is not about us. It’s about living for Him. It’s no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. That’s how close we have become to Jesus – this life is actually His.
Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
It’s not all about us holding on for dear life. Jesus has also laid holds of us. But he has laid hold of us for this life as well as the one to come.
What has He laid hold of your life for? Why has He positioned you here, in the 21st century, in the nation of Australia? You might not have already attained everything you are meant to accomplish. You may not be already perfected. But we are meant to press on and to lay hold of life.
And so… like clockwork, Venese looks across and says – listen to what Smith says this morning. Smith Wigglesworth that is. And he just happened to be saying this… oh and by the way – he’s dead – but he’s still speaking loud and clear through his words.
“I have been face to face with some of the most trying moments of men’s lives; times when it made all the difference if I kept the vision and held fast to what God had said. A man must have immovable faith, and the voice of God must mean more to him than what he sees, feels, or what people say. He must have an originality born in heaven, transmitted or expressed in some way. We must bring heaven to earth.”
So I’m already sitting there with my mouth open… in my mind I’m thinking, yes, we can bring heaven to earth because we’re anchored there. We’re connected there because of Jesus. But how did Smith Wigglesworth know that’s what I was preaching on?
and then he goes on to say:
“God has never put anything up on a pole where we cannot reach it. He has brought His plan down to man, and if we are prepared, oh, what there is for us! …there are yet heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the knowledge of God stored up for us.”
I’m thinking – next time I’ll just bring Smith with me and read straight out of his book!
Proverbs 29:18, (The Passion). “When there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.”
We need a prophetic vision for our lives. One that comes from heaven. One that is confirmed by the revelation of the Word of God.
And as Smith Wigglesworth says, we have to have an originality about our lives that is born in heaven, and we need to bring it to earth.
Afterall, we are only pilgrims wandering through this world. We don’t belong here – not the way it is – not with death and destruction and an ever spiralling decline in righteousness and love for God and His Word.
To live is Christ! To live is to have our soul anchored in heaven – anchored into the mercy of God. And it’s knowing that the anchor will never fail. It’s permanently secure.
We can hold fast because Christ has laid hold if us. He has fastened Himself to us.
Nothing can separate us – not death, the threat of death, persecution, sickness and disease, false accusations… nothing.
The fires that Terri Hourigan, and myself, and others have been speaking about – even the fires cannot separate us from the love of God.
In fact, the fires are often about cleansing and purifying our hearts. The fires often make way for regeneration, new life, fresh hope… they cause us to run into God’s presence – which we can do freely and boldly because the veil has been torn in two – both on earth and in heaven.
He has saved us to the uttermost… and Jesus lives and intercedes for all of mankind – providing grace and mercy for all to come… so take hold of this word not only for yourself but for those you love who are yet to discover Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Because “to live is Christ.”