Conscience: The Forgotten Evil
● Gen 3:5 . . God knows well that when you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.
Was the Serpent's prediction true? Yes; to a certain extent.
● Gen 3:22 . .Then the Lord God said: See; the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.
The knowledge of good and evil that Man obtained via tasting the forbidden fruit wasn't a God-given knowing, viz: Man's sense of right and wrong became intuitive rather than instructed. In other words, Man became autonomous, i.e. his own sovereign deity.
Basically; one's conscience is sort of like a moral compass, but it has the rather annoying propensity to sit in judgment on itself.
● Rom 2:14-15 . . For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending themselves.
In other words; Man's conscience is not only judgmental, but also quite adept at rationalizing.
Well; long story short, Man's conscience is an impure element of his existence and in need of de-contamination-- i.e. sanitizing --which was done on a regular basis in the Old Testament, especially on Yom Kippur, because a single sanitizing alone wasn't thorough enough.
● Heb 10:1-4 . . For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.
Christ's sacrifice is so thorough that one's conscience requires sanitizing only once in a lifetime.
● Heb 9:13-14 . . For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heiferís ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God?
● Heb 9:24-26 . . For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
● Heb 10:21-22 . . 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.
FYI: We're not talking about personal conduct per 1John 1:5-10. No, we're talking about disease, i.e. a condition at the very core of human intelligence.
NOTE: It's important to be aware that Man's intuitive conscience isn't deactivated when it undergoes sanitizing by means of Christ's blood. No, it remains quite active, but it's no longer a barrier working effectively to keep God and Man apart.