The Path to the Throne of God

 

24. THE CHRISTIAN ENTERING THE MOST HOLY PLACE


Sanctification, Our Passport into the Most Holy Place. As justification, obtained in the court, is the Christian's passport into the holy place, so sanctification accomplished in the holy place, is his passport into the most holy place. But since sanctification is not completed until life on earth ends, or probation closes, the Christian who has finished his life work, enters the most holy place for judgment, not in person, but through his life record that has been written in the books of heaven. Since the beginning of the Judgment in 1844, all, both living and dead, whose names have been written in the Book of Life, have been in the time of the Judgment - the judgment of the house of God.


The Second Veil and Its Significance. At the entrance of the most holy place, there was hung a "second veil." Heb. 9:3. This was similar to the first veil, which hung at the entrance to the holy place. God told Moses, "Thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made. And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches." Ex. 26:31-33,6,11.

That this veil with its pillars represented Christ is shown by several details: the royal colors - blue and purple and scarlet, the fine-twined linen, the "four" pillars and their sockets, the wood, the gold, and the silver, - all as previously explained, represent our Redeemer in various phases of His redemptive work.


The Veil His Flesh. Paul definitely states that the veil represented the flesh of Christ. He says, "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; . . . let us draw near with a true heart" - a heart "sprinkled from an evil conscience." Heb. 10:19-22. The veil represented Christ in the flesh, made sin for us. That it was hung on "four" pillars also indicates that it represented Christ, even as the four gospels describe and support the four phases of the earthly life of Jesus when in the flesh He lived among men.

As the veil separated the priest from the most holy place, where the presence of God was manifest in the shekinah above the mercy seat, so sin has separated us from God. But Christ in human flesh took our sins upon Himself. He took our place of separation, that we might be restored to the presence of God. Veiling His divinity with humanity, He became the Mediator between God and sinful man to make it possible for us at last to see His face. When redemption is finished, "the people of God . . . hold open communion with the Father and the Son," "without a dimming veil between." GC 676,677. Then shall be realized the long-looked-for fulfillment of the prophecy. "The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them. and be their God." Rev. 21:3.

When Jesus died on the cross. the veil was rent "from the top to the bottom," Matt. 27:51, by the hand of God. The rent veil represented Christ's torn flesh. It was the sign given by the prophet Daniel to show when ',the sacrifice and the oblation" would cease. Dan. 9:27; Matt. 27:50,51. Then the holy of holies, no longer a sacred place, was exposed to human view. The Shekinah was no longer there. By divine appointment, the holy services in the earthly sanctuary were at an end. Henceforth, Christ Himself in heaven above was to be our sanctuary. Then, all that remains of the veil, the symbol of His bruised and bleeding flesh, are the glorified scars in His feet, His hands, and His side - scars that will forever shine like 'bright beams,"' Hab. 3:4, margin, - like "a lightning blaze." Moffatt.


The Veil a Record. In the type all confessed sin was in some way transferred to the sanctuary, but not always in the same way. When the anointed priest sinned and when the whole congregation of Israel sinned, in both cases the priest dipped his finger in the blood of the sin

offering, and sprinkled it seven times (complete reconciliation,) "before the veil." Lev. 4:6,17. Strong's Hebrew Dictionary translates the expression "before the veil," on the face of the veil, on the forefront of the veil, showing that the veil was actually touched with the blood of the sin offering;it bore the "finger print" of the high priest. This illustrates the fact that Jesus, "His own self, bore our sins in His own body on the tree." I Peter 2:24.

These "finger prints" of the high priest made the veil a preserver of records, showing that sin had been confessed and forgiven, and had gone beforehand to judgment. I Tim. 5:24. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Prov. 28:13. These records of confessed sins remained on the veil until the day of atonement when the sanctuary was cleansed, and all confessed sin was in type blotted out.

Shrinking from the thought, someone may exclaim, "Surely that beautiful tapestry could not have been spotted with blood!" But was not the sinless life of Jesus more, much more, than a royal colored linen veil richly embroidered with gold? Yet, the iniquity of us all was laid on Him, that with His stripes we might be healed. Isa. 53:5,6. As the high priest sprinkled the face of the veil with the blood of the sacrifice made for "the whole congregation of Israel," Lev. 4:13,17, so Christ taking our sins in His own body, "has opened the way to the Father's throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God." GC 489.


The Veil "Renewed Yearly." We are told that the veil was "renewed yearly," SP 3:166,167. This expression evidently does not mean that the veil was taken down at the end of each year and replaced by a new one. The veil was never taken down except when the camp was moved from place to place, at which time it was most sacredly handled. If a new veil were hung up at the end of each yearly round of service, about 500 new veils, 40 of them during the wilderness wandering, were made before a permanent temple was built in Jerusalem, and more than 1500 before the veil was rent at the death of Christ. Anything, a house, a garment or anything else, can be "renewed" without being replaced by another. In fact, renewing does not mean replacing. According to Webster it means to restore, to renovate. Moreover, to replace the veil each year would certainly spoil the sense of the type that the veil represented the flesh of Christ, for then would Christ often have died, or another have taken His place. Heb. 9:25.

How, then, was the veil "renewed"? This is a proper question, and demands a clear and satisfactory answer. With equal propriety we may also ask, How were the blood stains removed from the mercy seat, the golden altar and other places where sin had, in figure, been transferred by blood?

Someone may suggest that since the Levites had charge of the sanctuary, Num. 1:53, would it not be their duty at the close of the year's service, to remove these stains? It is true that the Levites were specially set apart by God to assist the priests. Num. 8:5-24. But the only time they were allowed within either apartment of the sanctuary was when the camp was moved from

place to place. Even then, not until the furniture was covered by the priests, did they enter the sanctuary "to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation." Num. 4:15,20; 18:3. Do not these scriptures preclude the Levites from having any part in cleansing the sanctuary from these blood stains? The inspired word of Jeremiah states that sin cannot be removed by washing even

"with nitre" and “much soap.” Jer. 2:22. The removal of sin is a miracle of God's grace. Would it not therefore seem that the answer given by F. C. Gilbert, an authority on the Jewish economy, is Biblical and correct; namely, that on the day of atonement, this rich drapery, like other parts of the sanctuary where blood had been placed, ''was miraculously restored" to its original purity? The blood of the Lord's goat which the high priest used in all parts of the sanctuary on the day of atonement `was used to cleanse the sanctuary from the sins of the people. Lev. 16:19. Thus typifying the blood of Christ which alone can cleanse from sin." E.G. White in Sons and Daughters of God, Page 225.

Within the Veil. As already noted, while Christ lived on this earth, He never entered either the holy or the most holy apartment of the earthly sanctuary. Heb. 9:24. As an Israelite, He remained in the court, to which alone Israel had access. Not until His ascension when He was anointed for the priesthood, did He go beyond the court. At that time He entered upon His priestly ministry in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. When the Judgment began in 1844, He passed into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Through faith in our High Priest who is passed into the heavens, we too may come within "the second veil" into "the Holiest of all." Heb. 9:3. What does it mean to us to enter within the veil? What difference does it make whether by faith we follow Christ into the most holy place or remain outside? The answer is found in another question: What difference did it make to the Jews who through unbelief refused to follow Christ when He left the court of earth and entered upon His work in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary? We know the answer. It meant their rejection by the Redeemer. So with us, we must follow Christ where He leads the way or we cannot be benefited by His atonement, and finally we shall be cut off from His people.

To enter within the second veil means to accept the judgment message of Revelation 14:7-12, and to walk in all the light. If we don't we shall be like the unbelieving Jews. There can be no half- hearted work now, for we are facing eternity with all that is involved. Since 1844, the judgment message continues to be preached all over the world, and tens of thousands of earnest, consecrated Christians have responded and by faith have followed Christ within the second veil. for salvation.


In the Most Holy Place. The holy of holies represents the audience chamber of the Most High. It is the most sacred place in the sanctuary, containing the sacred ark, glittering with gold, enshrined within which and guarded by two golden cherubim, are the tables of stone containing the ten commandments, the "law of liberty" by which all "shall be judged." James 2:12; EW 252. Covering the ark is the golden mercy seat with its two golden cherubim stretching their overshadowing wings on high. Between and above these cherubim is the Shekinah, the visible manifestation of the glory of God. Resting on the mercy seat between the angels is the golden censer, Heb. 9:3,4; EW 32, 252, placed there by the high priest as he entered, but at other times kept in the holy place with the golden altar, both of which were for burning incense. EW 251,252. From it rises the smoke from the incense, which like a veil dims the glory of the Shekinah, and fills the room with fragrance.

On the golden walls surrounding the ark are forms of angels while the veil and the inner covering of the ceiling, are covered with cherubim richly embroidered in sparkling gold thread. These shining angels on every side, represent the "innumerable" company of angels that surround the throne of God, while the blue, and purple, and scarlet colors of the ceiling and the veil, reflected in the yellow gold, suggest the rainbow around the throne. The entire room is made dazzlingly brilliant by the presence of the Shekinah, whose glory is everywhere reflected from the surrounding gold. All this is "but a dim reflection of the glories of the temple of God in heaven, the great center of the work of man's redemption." PP 349. No wonder we are told that no language can describe the glory of the heavenly scene.


The Cleansing Room. An appropriate name for the most holy place is the cleansing room, because here on the day of atonement all confessed sin was in figure blotted out, and the sanctuary cleansed. The Bible recognizes three cleansing agencies - water, fire, and blood. Water is used at baptism; fire at last will destroy every trace of sin from the universe; blood makes effective both water and fire. "The blood of Jesus Christ . . . cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7. Since 1844, now more than a century, the inhabitants of earth have been living in the great antitypical day of atonement. Today, the Judgment is set, and the books are opened. Today, the cases of the dead who have professed to love and serve God, and whose names have at some time been written in the Book of Life, are coming in review before the great Judge. Small and great stand before Him, and are being "judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Rev. 20:12.

We are nearing the end of the journey. We are in the time when "there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel." Eze. 38:19. For many, probation is now closing. Only those who are sanctified can be accepted. All others will be shaken out and finally destroyed, cut off from among God's people. "Cut off" or "cleansed" - which shall it be for me? Which shall it be for you?


The Glory Room. The most holy place, filled with the Shekinah glory, has also been called the glory room. What does this mean in our own individual experience? Christ's last prayer for His disciples before His crucifixion was, "Now, 0 Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was . . . And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them." John 17:5,22. How may we obtain this glory? - Only through a personal and enduring Christian experience. If, through the court experience, the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us, covering all our past sins, and giving us reconciliation and justification; if, in the holy place, His righteousness is now being imparted to us, freeing us day by day from the power of sin which leads to sanctification, and if we remain true and faithful to the end of life, then, and only then, shall we be prepared for glorification, typified in the most holy place.

Justification, the work of a moment, and sanctification, the work of a lifetime, prepare us for glorification, which also is the work of a moment. It is bestowed at the second coming of Christ, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." Then, we who "have borne the image of the earthly" . . ."shall bear the image of the heavenly," I Cor. 15:51,52,49, for the image of God in which man was created will be fully restored. Then we shall be like Him, incorruptible and immortal. This is the experience typified in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary.

The life experience of every victorious child of God is symbolized in the three parts of the sanctuary, and is well expressed by F. E. Belden, an eminent hymn writer:


"Reconciled by His death for my sin, Justified by His life, pure and clean;

Sanctified by obeying His word, Glorified when returneth my Lord."


Sanctified Wholly. We who are now living are to take a definite forward step in Christian experience; we are to be sanctified "wholly." Our whole attention is to be centered on preparation for the second coming of Christ. Toward this event the full blaze of Bible truth is focused. More now is expected of us than of those who have gone before. And, why not? "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Luke 12:48.

At this time, the words of Paul especially apply: "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thes. 5:23. Goodspeed's translation of this verse reads: "May God Himself . . . consecrate you through and through, spirit, soul, and body; may you be kept sound, and be found irreprovable when our Lord Jesus Christ comes."


"Your Whole Spirit." What is the "spirit" of a person? It is his disposition, whether good or bad, - that which lies back of and influences all his words and actions. It concerns the secret thoughts and motives, even the tone of his voice. What is a wholly consecrated spirit? It is a spirit of Christlike love that in all its manifestations is “Very patient, very kind . . . knows no jealousy . . . makes no parade, gives itself no airs, is never rilde, never selfish, never irritated, never resentful; . . never glad when others go wrong . . . always slow to expose, always eager to believe the best, always hopeful, always patient.” I Cor. 13:4-7, Moffatt. David prayed, "create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me." Ps. 51:10. If we have a right spirit, our words and actions will be right.


"Your Whole Soul." What is the "soul" of a person? It is his life. When God created man He "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. 2:7. A wholly

consecrated soul is a truly consecrated life, a life whose every energy is fully dedicated to God, every unholy ambition laid aside, every plan and purpose that will not advance the kingdom

of God given up.


"Your Whole Body." What is a wholly consecrated body? It is a body under obedience to clean and healthful living habits - so that every physical power will be in the best possible condition to work for God. Such a life - spirit, soul, and body, - will bring us "blameless" and "without fault before the throne of God." Rev. 14:5. Is this too high a standard? Yes, it is, for human achievement, but the next verse tells how it may be reached: "He who called you can be relied on, and He will do this." I Thes. 5:24, Goodspeed.


The Reward Room. The most holy place is also the reward room. When all the sins of the righteous are forever blotted out and Christ comes, He says, "My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:12. This is symbolized by the "crown of gold" round about the ark in which is embosomed God's law by which all shall be judged. There is a crown for every overcomer, Rev. 2:10 - for everyone who has obeyed God's law. "When the Lord makes up His jewels, the true, the frank, the honest, will be looked upon with pleasure. Angels are employed in making crowns for such ones." 5T 96. "Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Rev. 3:11. The faithful are now preparing to be glorified at the second coming of Christ. “Whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Rom. 8:30. Justification, sanctification, glorification, - these are the three steps from the altar of sacrifice, where God called, "Come unto Me," to the throne, where He calls again, saying, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matt. 25:34.

Christ is the gate, "the way" to the court; He is "the door" to the holy place: He is "the veil" where we may enter into the most holy place. The gate, the door, the veil, is a threefold revelation of His grace and glory to all who "enter in," John 10:9, and who "come boldly" all the way unto the throne of grace. Heb. 4:16. It is His thrice repeated call to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." II Peter 3:18. It is "The Path to the Throne of God."


With humility the high priest, dressed in his plain white linen garments, entered the most holy place on the day of atonement. On the mercy seat he placed the golden censer, the smoke from which dimmed the glory of the shechinah. Within the ark, symbol of God's throne, are the tables of stone on which God engraved the Ten Commandments, the law by which all shall be judged. The overshadowing wings of the cherubim "touch each other," EW 252, and "covered the mercy seat." Ex. 37:9. Their heads bowed toward the ark, show their reverence for God's eternal law of love. 162