What do we
mean when we speak of
drawing near through the veil? It has to do
one can draw near to God through the inner veil leading into the
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answer to our question goes back to
the old Law of Moses worship. Only God’s consecrated priests
near to serve Him in His tabernacle dwelling place. The
could draw near to serve in the tabernacle outer room but only the high
could draw near to serve God in the inner room, “
The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are hidden in that old Hebrew worship. That is true because God caused that old covenant worship to happen as an earthly copy of our new covenant spiritual worship.
Peter said that when the prophets spoke ahead of our salvation, they were searching and “seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” (1 Peter 1:11)
Remember, Christ existed from the beginning as the Word and as the Creator (John 1:1-3). He is the word of all inspired scripture because His Spirit was speaking the Father’s word through those prophets.
Moses told that old high priest how he
draw near to God into the
That is why the Hebrew writer says that, “- -Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “SEE,” He says, “THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDINTO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.” (Hebrews 8:5)
Moses was warned to make the old tabernacle according to the pattern shown to him on the mountain because it was to be an earthly copy of God’s true tabernacle. We can see that when we look at the holy places in that old earthly tabernacle.
tabernacle had two holy place rooms
where the priests offered their
worship to God. The priests
served daily tending the lamps and offering incense on the incense
altar in the
outer room. Only the high priest offered worship in the inner
room, the “
On the Day of Atonement that old high priest went through the inner veil that separated the outer room from the inner room to offer atonement blood for God’s people.
His offering was never acceptable to God. God demands perfection of those who would draw near to Him. Under that old covenant worship they could never meet God’s conditions for perfection. The Law demanded blood from perfect sacrifices. God told them, “Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer” (Leviticus ), but they had none.
In addition to perfect sacrifices, only perfect priests were to offer those sacrifices. God told them that a priest with a defect, “- shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries” (Leviticus ).
A perfect sacrifice offered by a perfect priest could only happen under our new covenant. Worship was changed from earthly to spiritual when the new covenant became effective so that our High Priest could offer His perfect sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus told the woman at the well that the time had come when they would no longer worship God at an earthly mountain. He told her, "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24).
Our new covenant worship is not to be offered at an earthly house. Our worship is to be offered at God’s spiritual house. Speaking of our High Priest serving in that house, the Hebrew writer says, “Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man” (Hebrews 8:1-2).
is our true High Priest. He is now
seated by the Father in God’s true tabernacle. If
Christ is seated
by the Father in His true tabernacle, then He is in the inner room
Place” of the true tabernacle. God’s true
The writer spoke of how He entered and said, “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself” (Hebrews ).
If Christ is seated at the Father’s right hand in the true tabernacle pitched by God then that old earthly tabernacle pitched by Moses was not God’s true tabernacle. It was, “a mere copy of the true one”.
The Hebrew writer says that the Holy Spirit was signifying that “the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. - -” (Hebrews 9:8-9)
The word, “symbol”, in that verse comes from the Greek word, “parabole”. That word is usually translated as, “parable”, when it is used in the gospels. If that old worship is truly a parable then it is a true story parable because it actually happened.
writer does say, “For
the Law, since
it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form
can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by
make perfect those who draw near.” (Hebrews
10:1) A shadow is a dark
reflection of the reality.
That old Hebrew worship shows us an earthly copy of how we can obtain our promise of that heavenly home. We must go through the outer room and the inner veil of God’s tabernacle to get there.
outer room of our tabernacle is Christ’s
spiritual body, the church on earth. Christians are God's
house and we
are the serving priests in the outer room of God’s house. As Peter says, "But
you are A
We must offer acceptable service in the outer room of God’s tabernacle by tending the lamps and offering spiritual incense before God. Christians are the light of the world (Matthew -16) and the prayers of the saints are incense before God (Revelation 8:3).
If that old worship was given as an earthly copy of our true worship, we need to look a little deeper into what God required of those Israelites in their earthly worship.
If we had never been given God's old covenant word and never knew what had happened in their worship and if we saw it later, we might think those priests were cult worshippers. We would question whether our loving and reasonable God could have been the author of such worship as was being performed under that covenant.
Under that old Hebrew worship tens of thousands of animals were offered there every year. The blood of each animal (In some cases, birds) was to be taken and sprinkled, placed or poured at different places, depending on the reason for the sacrifice.
In some instances sin offering blood was to be taken into the temple and sprinkled seven times before the veil leading to the inner room (Holy of Holies). One day each year (The Day of Atonement), atonement blood was to be brought through the veil and sprinkled on and before the ark.
Why all of those bloody details. We can understand some of what they were doing but why all of those strange sacrificial and blood handling procedures.
Why did God require them to slaughter the animals and offer them before His temple doorway? Why not select a place for animal slaughter behind the temple or outside the city? What an awful thing to be doing at the doorway of God's house on earth.
Every day, scores of animals are being slaughtered. There would be a long line of people leading their burnt offering and sin offering animals through the temple court up to the altar.
Bulls and goats are crying out, animals are thrashing about and blood is splashing everywhere. It's an outdoor slaughterhouse and it is taking place at the front door of God's house, the most beautiful structure on earth.
The altar fire is burning continuously and the smell of burning flesh is awful. On some days, the smoke-filled temple courtyard would be difficult to endure. Every day, blood was being sprinkled around on the altar and it is being poured out at the base of the altar.
If we try to picture ourselves living under that old covenant Law and we are bringing our goat into the temple courts for a sin offering we can begin to understand just how awful and bloody that old worship was.
Scores of sin offering animals are being offered each day and, except for the small amount of blood being placed on the horns of the altar, all of the blood is poured out at the base of the altar of burnt offering before the entrance to the temple.
You can use your own imagination as to the bloody mess being created there. Some of the priests were serving at that altar and they were likely trying to avoid tracking blood everywhere.
One would need to have a very strong stomach to be present as his sacrifice is being slaughtered and stand before that altar as his animal is being offered by those priests.
He might also need to wear a different kind of worship attire; one that would wear well with splattered blood. And that was worship before Jehovah God!!
Think about the worship requirements that we read about in the New Testament for Christian worship and the drastic change from what God required under the old covenant. Christian worship is not like that and neither is modern Jewish worship.
Jewish worship can't compare to
that old Hebrew worship. I doubt that most modern Jews would
want to give
up their clean and dignified worship to go back to that bloody
worship. They may say, “next year in
Several years ago I asked an older Jewish Rabbi if he knew why God gave the ancient Hebrew nation all of those detailed procedures with regard to the blood handling of those animal sacrifices. The only good answer he could give me was that no one really knows why God required those procedures be done.
Those ancient Hebrews knew that sprinkled blood was a requirement for cleansing from sin but I truly believe those priests had no idea what the purpose was for most of those, seemingly, way-out procedures except that God was truly awesome, holy and unexplainable.
I can see those priests as they went about sprinkling and pouring blood here and there wondering what it was all about. They could not have known the answer but the Christian world can know if we will only listen to the New Testament scriptures as they explain it.
The answer is found in Jesus. The answer is in the spiritual, not the earthly. Remember, Christ only spoke the message of the kingdom to the crowds in parables but He explains the spiritual meaning to His disciples (Matthew -34). We need to hear Him explain the spiritual meaning.
The old covenant was for an earthly people and an earthly land. The covenant for that earthly nation had an earthly worship at an earthly temple. The earthly was an earthly copy of the spiritual. That is why God specified that everything had to be done as He commanded. They had to show the earthly copy to foretell what was to come with our true worship.
worship is telling
us how we can enter through the veil into God’s
The Hebrew writer says that we hope to follow Him through the veil, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
The writer said of that veil, “- -since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)
true veil that leads to God’s heavenly
home is Christ’s fleshly body. We must go through the outer
room of His
church body and through the veil that is also His body if we are to
Just as those serving priests were doing an earthly copy of our worship, that old high priest was doing an earthly copy of what our High Priest would do. Each time that imperfect high priest drew near to God in that inner room with his imperfect blood offering, he was unacceptable before God and he was required to be out before the day ended.
One can only enter through the veil and draw near to God in an acceptable condition if they have been made perfect. Jesus was perfect and His blood offering was perfect and “by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)
earthly copy worship required them to
offer a bull for a sin offering when the high priest or the whole
Scripture says that they were to, “bring it before the tent of meeting. `Then the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the LORD, and the bull shall be slain before the LORD.” (Leviticus 4:15).
The high priest was to take some of that blood into the outer room and sprinkle it seven times before the veil (Verse 17). He was to place some of the blood on the horns of the incense altar and then exit the holy place and go out to the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering.
If the offering was for the people, scripture says, “Then he is to bring out the bull to a place outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull; it is the sin offering for the assembly.” (Leviticus 4:21).
Speaking of that first bull offering, scripture says, “- -all the rest of the bull, he is to bring out to a clean place outside the camp where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.” (Leviticus 4:12).
The Hebrew writer was speaking of how that old sin offering was a copy when he says, “For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” (Hebrews 13:11-12)
Jesus had to suffer outside the gate because that old earthly sin offering foretold that it would happen out there. That sacrifice was to burn on wood with fire to foretell how Jesus would suffer on the cross outside the gate.
When that old high priest sprinkled blood seven times before the veil in the outer room that foretold how Christ would sprinkle His blood.
Jesus was crucified at the third hour and at the ninth hour He cried out - then someone brought a sponge of sour wine for Him (Mark ). He suffered for over six hours (Into the seventh hour) and all that time His heart was beating He was sprinkling His blood on and down before His body, the true veil.
Remember, after that old high priest had sprinkled that blood before the veil he was to exit the holy place and go pour all of the rest of the blood out at the base of the altar of burnt offering.
After Jesus had finished sprinkling His blood, He exited the holy place when His Spirit left His body. He then poured out all of the rest the blood at the base of the altar of the cross when that Roman spear pierced His side.
There was another earthly copy in what that old high priest did. Each year, on the Day of Atonement, he was to go through the inner veil to sprinkle blood on and before the Ark of the Covenant. He was to sprinkle that blood on the east side of the mercy seat on the ark and sprinkle it in front of that mercy seat seven times (Leviticus 16:14).
We saw how Jesus sprinkled His blood seven times before the veil of His flesh. He was also sprinkling it on and before the true ark. Christ’s body is the true Ark of the Covenant.
Remember, that old ark contained God’s Law written on tablets of stone. Our true ark contains the new covenant law of God but it is not written on stone. It is written on the hearts of God’s people.
through Jeremiah of a new covenant
that He would make with the house of
that new covenant, God says,
this is the
covenant which I will make with the house of
covenant law has been written on our
hearts. Our hearts must, therefore, be in the true Ark of the
Covenant. If we are in Christ’s body that tells us His
We heard the Hebrew writer say that we have a hope to draw near through the veil, “- -with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Our hearts have been sprinkled clean with His blood.
Our bodies must be washed with pure water before we can enter through the veil. Moses tells us how when he records God’s instructions for what Aaron was to do before he could enter through the veil.
God told Aaron that, “He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be girded with the linen sash and attired with the linen turban (these are holy garments). Then he shall bathe his body in water and put them on” (Leviticus 16:4)
That old high priest was not to enter through the veil unless he first washed his body in water and put on his high priestly garments. In the same way, we must wash our bodies and put on our priestly garments before we enter.
Remember, Jesus washed His body when He was baptized by John. He said it was, “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew ). We must fulfill all righteousness and wash our body in water.
Paul tells us how we do that when he says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)
We are sons of God by faith if we have believed and obeyed the gospel and been clothed with Christ in baptism. That includes everyone who has been baptized into Christ, both male and female.
He tells us that, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29).
Jesus told His disciples is to, "- - Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
Only those who have washed their body and put on their high priestly garment will be saved and brought through the veil because only the High Priest will be allowed to enter through the veil. We must be in Christ to enter into the outer tabernacle room of the church on earth and we must be in Him to enter through the veil into God’s heavenly home.
If that old Hebrew worship was just an earthly copy of our spiritual worship, does it say anything about where Jesus offered His sacrifice? Does it tell us where the cross stood?
Man has tried for centuries to find the location of the cross by combining what the Hebrew writer said about the cross being outside the gate with what John wrote about the cross being near the city and there being a garden and new tomb there.
What we may have missed is what else the scriptures said about the cross through the old Hebrew worship. The Law required that all sacrifices be offered at the doorway of the tent of meeting, meaning the tabernacle doorway. The tabernacle was God’s tent dwelling in the wilderness.
Scripture tells us that body was to be burned at the clean place for ashes (Leviticus ). That was where the ashes were poured out (Leviticus ). Those priests were to take those ashes and pour them out at a clean place outside the camp.
After the temple was built it would be a place outside the city. Did the Spirit guide those earthly priests to a convenient clean place for ashes outside the city near the future East Gate not far from the altar? Did the Spirit also guide those Roman soldiers to that same place one thousand years later?
Jesus was the true sin offering for God's people for all time. Jesus lived in perfect compliance with the Law. The old Law did not end until He died (At that moment the old temple veil was torn apart - Matthew 27:51).
While He was offering His sacrifice, the old Law was still in effect and the earthly temple was still God's house. The Law demanded that all of their burnt offerings and sin offerings be slain at the doorway of God's house and that the body of that special sin offering was to burn outside the camp. Was the cross located just east of that temple doorway, outside the East Gate?
Paul spoke of Christ’s willingness to offer His sacrifice and said that, "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8).
He was obedient until death and “- -Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:9-10).
He was perfected by His obedience at the cross. If the Law demanded that He offer His sacrifice before the doorway of the tent of meeting, I believe that He did. If the Law demanded that His body had to burn on the ash heap outside the camp, I believe that He met that requirement.
Was that ash heap located outside the East Gate at the drop-off into the Kidron valley? Jeremiah said of that valley, "the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD" (Jeremiah 31:40).
The west side of that valley, below the Horse Gate (Another east gate), was holy to the LORD. What would make a valley of ancient graves (It was a valley of graveyards) holy to the LORD?
Did those sacrificial ashes make it holy? Did those ashes wash down among the bodies (The graves)? Did those ashes make the west side of the valley holy to the LORD or was it the blood of Jesus? Did His blood wash down to the brook Kidron (By later rains) and make it holy to the LORD?
the temple was built David said
of that temple mountaintop (After he was commanded to offer sacrifices
threshing floor there),
is the house
of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for
is the true altar
of burnt offering for
bought that mountain (
Solomon began to
build the house of the LORD in
Solomon began to build the temple at the site of that threshing floor and he would place the altar of burnt offering before it but it may also be telling us something else.
The Law required an offering from the land, saying, "Of the first of your dough you shall lift up a cake as an offering; as the offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up" (Numbers 15:20).
Jesus is the bread of that new land (The bread of heaven). He tells us, "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever" (John ).
Jesus is our bread of heaven. The true bread of heaven was to be lifted up as an offering. Was it an offering of the threshing floor? Was the cross lifted up on the mountaintop where that threshing floor had been?
One of the things that Ezekiel saw in his temple vision was the glory of the LORD filling the house of God (Ezekiel 43:5). He had just mentioned how the glory came into the house. He said, "And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east".
then spoke to him,
is the place
of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell
the sons of
was not seeing
another earthly temple that will come about as many scholars believe.
will never dwell forever in an earthly temple. He is seeing
house of God, found in the body of Jesus. That is the only
God will dwell with the spiritual sons of
He is seeing Jesus being glorified by His work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Remember, just before He died on the cross Jesus said, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:23-24).
Jesus was glorified by His death, burial and resurrection from the dead. The glory of God came into the house by way of the east gate. Did it all happen outside the East Gate? Did they maintain a garden area at the clean place for ashes? Was there a new tomb nearby?
cross was the most important event
of all time.
can compare with our God giving His life for us. It was so
God had those old covenant priests do the earthly copy for fifteen
years to show the sacrifice that God would make to fulfill His covenant
to Abraham (The promise of an everlasting
Was not Christ's sacrifice so much more important than everything else that has ever happened on earth that He made the other "seemingly" important things just copies to show us the cross?
Were the earthly copies not caused to happen at the same place where the most important event of all time would occur?
That old covenant worship was a detailed and bloody worship. It was a bloody worship but it could never approach the awful, bloody worship that Jesus did for us at the cross. Without the cross, those old requirements would be forever shrouded in mystery but in Jesus it shows God's wisdom.
Every blood sprinkling and placing requirement, under that old Law worship was just an earthly copy of what happened at the cross. They spent centuries on the copy and God had it written for our instruction.
The place where He died is the most holy spot of ground on earth. It appears that His blood offering is why God selected that mountaintop as a most holy place, not the blood of tens of thousands of useless animal sacrifices and certainly not an earthly house that was a, "mere copy".
Knowing where the cross was located has no bearing on our salvation but seeing it clearly pointed out in their old covenant worship helps us to know that, "Jesus is Lord".
The details that God has hidden in the old covenant worship tell us many things about the cross that we may have never seen before. Some of those details we may not have wanted to see but we need to see them anyway. We need to see how awful the cross really was. Only then can we understand the pain that God was willing to endure for us and the love that brought it about.
To think that the God whose hands created a universe of ten thousand billion, billion stars was willing to allow those hands to become flesh so that He could open them to the nails for you and I defies earthly logic and it defies our understanding. In the eyes of earthly man, it sounds like foolishness. Only those redeemed by His blood can understand.
As a covenant and Law the old was faulty, weak and useless. As an earthly copy and shadow, however, it is the greatest story ever told because it is the gospel message in earthly form. Jesus is instructing us just as He did when He walked on earth.
While He was on earth He spoke in parables. The parables that He used were fictional stories but the old covenant story really happened. It appears that God caused it to happen for our instruction.
If God had them do the copy for more than a thousand years we need to listen to His instructions. We need to hear the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul to tell us, "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Romans 15:4)
There are no new commandments from what we can read about in the New Testament scriptures but it is sometimes difficult to understand the spiritual. He caused that true story to happen as it did to instruct us in our spiritual worship.
Jesus told that Samaritan woman at the well, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” (John 4:23)
The Christian world is full of different doctrines that tell us various ways of how we can get into God’s heavenly home. The Father is only seeking those who worship Him in Spirit and truth. His word is truth, so we must believe and obey His word.
of the cross is from FreeFoto.com
quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
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1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org )