The Holiest of All
Heb.9:7-8 - But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people. The Holy Ghost this signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.
Once a year in the fall the High Priest, dressed in the garments specified by God, went into the Holy of Holies, the place of the Ark of the covenant. The Priest would bring the blood of the sacrificial goat and sprinkle it on the mercy seat which was the top of the Ark made of solid gold. Now the ark was overlaid with gold, some solid gold, and with two cherubim overlooking the mercy seat. It was a magnificent piece of holy furniture, and it was the centerpiece of the tabernacle. But it was not the brilliance of the ark itself that set it apart, it was the chikinnah glory of the Lord Himself that dwelt powerfully and visibly above the mercy seat. Actually, it was Jesus Himself, before His incarnation that dwelt among the children of Israel.
Let's think about that. What a wonderful and sentimental little story, the Creator dwelling between the cherubim, with a nice, tidy light of friendship. Yea, right. Only one time on one day a year would God allow anyone to approach Him, and that had to be the High Priest with sacrificial blood or he would die. God dwelt with august and unapproachable brilliance and with judgment of sin. Just touching the ark incorrectly could lead to death. This place in the tabernacle was called the Holiest of All or the Holy of Holies. How many little Hebrew children gazed at the outside curtain of the tabernacle at the west end and wondered as they saw the cloud by day and the fire by night? The entire camp of the children of Israel waited and anticipated as the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement, it was an awesome and frightful day.
What if God had broken the wall of separation between the Holy Place and the Holiest of All and said now anyone could enter on the day of atonement? Not just the High Priest, but anyone. What if He had said anyone at anytime could enter? Wow, that would be a colossal act of grace. You and I could tip toe into the Holy of Holies and see the visible presence of God, how sacred would that be? But that's not what God did.
In a mystery that was hidden in the Godhead, the Lord moved the Holy of Holies into the regenerated spirit of every born again believer. Am I saying that the ark of the covenant, sprinkled with redeeming blood, and with the presence of God Himself was supernaturally implanted in every born again believer? I'm just repeating what the Scriptures declare. In the tabernacle God manifested Himself as visible light, so how does God manifest Himself today? "You are the light of the world". (Matt.5:14) We are the tabernacle of God, and our lives are His light. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us". (II Cor.4:7) The outer fence, the altar, showbread, candlestick, incense, and all the coverings and gold were Holy unto the Lord, but without God's presence it was as spiritual as a Buddhist temple, religious and hollow. Any man with good works and even religious affiliation but without God's presence living inside him is dead. Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Baptist, Pentecostal, all dead men without the indwelling of God Himself.
Can you imagine the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement with blood and finding that God's presence was no longer there? There would be no hope. Paul says that people today are, "without God in this world" (Eph.2:12). Our church leaders go on television and talk of the things of this world, the world's turf, but the unbelievers don't even know what we believe. God, the Creator of the universe, and Jesus His Son live inside us through the person of the Holy Spirit! It is the fulfillment of the metaphor of the ark established by God in the Old Testament, which was a passing glory that gave way to "Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col.1:27)." That, my friends, is the sacred, exalted truth of God's eternal redemption. We no longer have to go to a tabernacle made with hands; we no longer have to wait for one day a year; we no longer have to let another man go for us; we no longer have to slay an animal; the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HAS REDEEMED US FROM THE LAW AND WE NOW HAVE THE LAWGIVER HIMSELF SPIRITUALLY IN OUR HEARTS!!! The presence of God dwells within us. Go on television and explain that to a dark and hopeless world and maybe the Holy Spirit can use it to make people wonder. Go ahead and keep talking about this life, the coverings, the material, the candlestick, etc., etc., etc.,. Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (Jn.12:32). Some people have a brazen laver, and a table of showbread, and a candlestick, but "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His." (Rom.8:9). Therefore the issue is not do you look like a tabernacle, no, the issue is does Jesus live inside the Holy of Holies? Also, the Scriptures exhort everyone to, "examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith". Does God live inside you? How can you know?
There is a witness of the Spirit that comes with salvation. Be careful, in today's cookie cutter evangelicalism people are receiving false hope from preachers that the Devil uses to supplant the witness of the Holy Spirit. Only God Himself can truly tell you that you are saved and He is there. No one can with surety tell anyone they are saved.
There must be a change of life. The argument over "Lordship salvation" is moot, you are either a follower of the Lord Jesus or you art not. If you are you will have a desire to obey and worship Him, if you are not you will eventually not care. No one can have the Holiest of All inside him with Jesus Himself dwelling there without a change. What about backsliders? Only God knows for sure so leave them to Him. Suffice to say our entire earthly lives should be a labor of love to continue to surrender to the Lord of our salvation.
There must be some kind of hunger for God's Word. The degree varies, but if a person doesn't really care about the Word of God at all something is desperately wrong. God has allowed the Word to be printed and millions of professing believers will never pick it up and read it. They are baptized, church members with no hint of even a curiosity for God's Word. Dangerous, only God knows. What if the priests in the Old Testament never cared about God's Word? Oh, you say, they were priests, that was their calling. Who are the priests today?!(To get the answer look in a mirror)
There should be a compelling unction of worship and praise inside a true believer. I have watched church members sit during times of worship and praise to our Heavenly Father and His Risen Christ and they are never demonstrative. Never clap, never cry, never raise hands, never show any emotion. Yet I've seen these same people get teary eyed and clap on an "American" service on fourth of July weekend. Who is their God?
Everyone should have a testimony of when they were born again, even if you were raised in a Christian home. You may not know the exact time, but these revealing issues of the heart should be present. As Spurgeon once said, "It's not as important to know when you became a follower of Christ as it is to know if you are one now. One should never rely on his original conversion experience, we should daily be turning from sin to Christ!". We are not only redeemed sinners on our way to heaven, we are the tabernacles of God's presence, the ark of His testimony, the glory of God, and we should carry it around on the staves of His Word, above this world, and reflecting the drawing power of His redemption. We should be holy, by His power and grace. The distance between theology and life is either widening or coming together. Pressing, pursuing, seeking, changing, fasting, travailing, learning, praying, listening, chasing, surrendering, worshiping, finding, resting, desiring, waiting, looking, loving, following,.........................................
The glory of God dwelled upon the bloody mercy seat in the Holiest of All. But in order to let that presence manifest itself in your life you must die. Stretch out your hands, overlap your feet, bow your head, and by faith
You are now dead.
Christ lives in you and your life is now His.
Christ lives in you and your life is now His.