At this juncture of our series it can do no harm to briefly restate what we have thus far learned from this portion of the book of Hebrews.

In our first article (see September 15 issue) we called attention to the meaning of the terms: “true hearts” and “heart sprinkled from an evil conscience”. The implication of these terms, as we noticed, was, that only the pure in heart shall see God. Only those who are pure, can draw near unto God in confidence of being accepted of Him. This is not only true in heaven, but it is also true now in this present time.

Our second article (see October 1 issue) called attention to the fact, that the text teaches, that our drawing near unto God must be done in full assurance of faith. We must draw near unto God without doubtful wavering, without fear of being unacceptable to Him. The certainty of being well-pleasing to God must burn in our hearts. Faith must be carried through to the very end.

Our third installment (see October 15 issue) called attention to the legal possibility of our drawing near to God in such full assurance of faith as we have just mentioned. We have a high priest in the house of God; He is over the house of God. He is none other than the Son of God in our flesh. At this very moment, throughout the entire New Testament Dispensation, He is in the glory of the inner heavenly sanctuary, ever living to pray for us, wherefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who through Him go to the Father. Indeed, He is very God (Hebrews 1) and real, righteous man (Hebrews 2).

Such is the chain of thought as followed by us in our study of this rich and comforting portion of Holy Writ.

In this essay we wish to continue our study of this portion of the book of Hebrews. We must still give account of the following elements in the text:

1.  What is the Scriptural idea of the “holy place” and its relationship to God, the Father as we know and confess Him to be our God?

2.  What must we understand by the “new and living way dedicated by His blood”?

3.  What is the meaning of the “boldness” to enter into the holy place?

4.  And what is the sense of “having this boldness”? In what sense does the text speak of “having”?

Let us study our text.

It is quite evident from the terms “the veil” and the holy place” and also from the term “way into the holy place”, that we are here dealing in our text with highly symbolic language. These terms indicate an earthly, typical representation of a heavenly spiritual reality, of the intercourse and fellowship with God, a literal picture in earthly forms and dimensions portraying a higher heavenly reality.

The reason for this?

It is the manner of God’s dealing with us in teaching us by means of earthly forms and symbols, He causes us to see the great work of His salvation in

Christ Jesus, our Lord.

In the Old Testament tabernacle, He gives us a picture, a type, a replica of the heavenly temple, the temple not made with hands.

Thus we read literally in Hebrews 8:4 5: “Now if He were on earth He would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned of God when He is about to make the tabernacle; for, see, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern that I showed thee on the mount”. (Compare Ex. 25:40).

The underscoring in the text is of us. We have done so to call attention to the truth that the Old Testament tabernacle was made after the pattern of the heavenly tabernacle. Of this heavenly tabernacle we cannot possibly form any idea except by means of earthly forms and symbols.

Wherefore God speaks to us of heavenly things in and through the medium of the earthly. He knows which forms alone can teach us the truth as it is in Jesus. In fact, He even created and foreordained these revelational forms for us, who He also foreordained unto the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ. And in great gratitude of heart for such a display of divine goodness and wisdom we cannot but bow in reverence. We shall only thus not be wiser than God. We shall humbly study these symbols and typical representations to know the love of the Father for us His children.

From the just quoted text from Hebrews 8:4, 5 we learn that the whole of the tabernacle, the tabernacle in its fundamental structure and dimensions, its rooms and furniture, its ceremonies and liturgy, is in its totality made after the pattern shown unto Moses in the Mount. About all of this the architect and builder was and is and shall be very jealous. “See”, saith He, “that thou make all things according to the pattern, that I showed thee in the Mount.”

It is very evident from the epistle to the Hebrews, that, what is true of the whole tabernacle in its being fashioned after the heavenly pattern, is equally true of every detail of it. And so we may safely conclude, that also that which is called “the way into the Holiest” is made after the pattern of the heavenly.

It is all a picture of Christ, Who is truth and the life. None can come to the Father, except through Him, through His righteousness realized on the cross of Calvary. He who understands the import of this temple sees God revealed in Christ; sees God working in Christ, the Mediator of God and man, to bring us back to His favor. For God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. It is God bringing us unto Himself. The temple is, indeed, a picture of the way unto God in the Mediator, Christ.

It is this truth that Jesus expresses in John 5:46, which truth is no trite and commonplace saying, namely, that if the Jews had believed Moses, they would have believed in Him, “for”, says He, “he wrote of me”. For what Jesus evidently has in mind in this passage, is not that Moses wrote about Jesus here and there in the first five books of the Bible, that he mentioned Jesus too while writing about many other people and happenings, but most emphatically, that in the entire collection of the inspired writings of Moses we have only to see Christ. Moses did not write biographies of certain saints, nor did he write a mere record of human events, but he wrote only of the coming of the Son of God in the flesh, the work of the Mediator of God and man Jesus. He wrote of the sufferings to come upon the Son of Man and of the glory to follow afterwards.

We could cite many more instances in Scripture to substantiate our conviction, that the entire Pentateuch is nothing else than the revelation of God in Jesus. But the foregoing is sufficient to make our point clear.

Now this Gospel concerning the Christ, our Mediator, which is preached by patriarchs and prophets is also set forth, portrayed by the entire temple, its sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law. Also here Jesus says: “He wrote of me”! In this temple Jesus, no doubt, had His own work outlined.

Of this portraying of the Gospel, the glad tidings in Christ, our text here in Hebrews 10:19-25 speaks. We shall do well to constantly read our text against this exalted background of the purpose of the chief architect and builder of His church. Thus we shall see the way unto God the Father in Christ, without seeing a visible, creaturely form of God Himself. For the temple shows us the way unto the Father. This way unto the Father should not be changed into the way into heaven. For it ought to be evident to all, who earnestly seek to understand the truth of the Gospel, that even when we presently arrive in heaven, we shall still only be able to draw nigh unto God in Christ, the only way unto the Father.

As long as we dwell here upon earth, and only see the great truth of the Gospel in a glass darkly, we can only see our Mediator with the help of the earthly forms and symbols given us by God Himself. And, therefore, the more we study the symbolism of the temple with a believing heart, the more we shall, indeed, know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. And by means of this symbolic-revelation of the Mediator of God and man, we shall be led by the Holy Spirit to exclaim “and unto Him that loved us and loosed us from our sins by His blood, and He made us to be a kingdom, priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:5, 6).

For God, who sitteth on the throne of His holiness, is in this temple.

Let us see this in the text.

We notice, that the text speaks of the “holy place” and of the “entrance of the holy place”.

To understand what the significance of the “holy place” is in our text we should notice what the “holy place” was in the Old Testament tabernacle.

In the first place, that it was that room in the tabernacle, which was most distant from the outer court, where the congregation gathered to worship God by bringing their sacrifices to the ministering priests at the great altar. Only the priests might enter into the holy place and only the high priest might come into the most holy place once a year. Now, in order to come into the most holy place from this outer court, where the congregation met, the high priest must pass through the holy place to enter into the most holy place. The most holy place was separated from the holy place by “the veil”. It is of this “veil” and of this “most holy place” that our text speaks.

Secondly, we would notice, that this inner sanctuary is called the most holy place because here God dwells with His people. In this inner sanctuary God gives us a visible representation, a replica of the throne of God in heaven. As the throne of God in heaven is surrounded by Cherubims so also these Cherubim are pictured in this earthly tabernacle. For the throne in the tabernacle is nothing less than the ark of the covenant. On this ark Moses was instructed to place the Cherubim, which are placed upon it in a bowing, God-adoring posture. It is the same picture of the throne of God, as He rules not only over His people, but also as He rules over all in His majesty, revealing Himself as the judge of the nations, while saving His people. For in this ark we have the two tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (Evidently the first inspired writing in the Bible, and also written not through the medium of holy men, but by God Himself.) On this law the entire law and the prophets depend. They are the fundamental statutes of the throne of God whether viewed in relationship to the unbelievers as well as to the believers; both as a throne of mercy in the blood of Jesus as well as a Throne of justice outside of Him!

(to be continued)