“You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”
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Jesus Christ and the Veil
So far we have made our way through the Outer Court of the Tabernacle and into the golden fellowship of the Holy Place.
Now as we approach The Veil, illuminated by light of the Golden Candlestick, we feel a sense of awe, even fear. The inwrought Cherubim tower
above us on the four meter high Veil as if to protect the Most Holy Place. On the other side of the Veil is the Ark of the Covenant – where the presence of God, or the Shekinah glory, dwells. The Ark of the Covenant was the throne of God on the earth and it was awesome in its majestic holiness.
But we will see the beauty and divine truths of the Veil too, of how once again it is a picture of God’s precious Son Jesus Christ and His work to remove the separation between God and man.
“Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the Veil, that is, His flesh.” Hebrews 10:20
The Three Doors of the Tabernacle of Moses
The Tabernacle of Moses contained three doors, one for each area of the Tabernacle:
- The Gate – the entry point into the Outer Court of the Tabernacle
- The Door – the entry point into the Holy Place; and
- The Veil – the entry point into the Holy of Holies
Contrast Between the Door and the Veil
Separation from God
In contrast to the Door as the access point into the Holy Place, the Veil was rather a curtain of exclusion. It was designed to keep anyone from entering the holy presence of God in the Holy of Holies and thus keep sinful man from polluting the Holy presence of God.
“…The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.” Exodus 26:33
Only once a year on the Day of Atonement could one man, the High Priest, enter the Holy of Holies and not without blood. Therefore even the priests daily ministering unto the Lord within the Holy Place could not access the Most Holy Place through the Veil.
The Veil had inwrought Cherubim on it. Cherubim are not merely angels, they are seen throughout scripture in relation to types of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Cherubim speak to us of the Holiness of God.
It is Cherubim that are wrought from the gold of the mercy seat and are thus overlooking the Ark of the Covenant.
It was Cherubim that guarded the Tree of Life with a flaming sword after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
And just as the Cherubim prohibited sinful man accessing the Tree of Life, so too they prohibit entry into the Holiness of God.
The Material of the Veil
“You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, scarlet thread and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim.” Exodus 26:31
The Veil was made of woven blue, purple, scarlet and white fine linen.
Four pillars supported the Veil. These were made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The sockets for the door were made of silver.
Significance of the Materials
God specified the exact materials and proportions to Moses that were to be used in the Tabernacle, in order to convey eternal truths to us:
As Hebrews tells us that the Veil is a picture of Christ’s flesh, we see how the material used details divine truths of Him:
White fine linen- a picture of Christ’s righteousness
Blue – His heavenly nature
Scarlet – His sacrifice
Purple – His Kingly nature
The Four Pillars
Acacia wood overlaid with gold is such a beautiful picture of Christ. The incorruptibility and earthliness of acacia wood signified His incorruptible (sinless) human nature and the gold signified His heavenly divine nature. Both God and Man in the one Person.
Whereas the Door into the Holy Place had five pillars, the Veil was upheld by four pillars.
The four pillars represent the earthly ministry of Christ: when God came to earth in the flesh. The four gospels witness to His earthly ministry. Thus the four gospels uphold the earthly ministry of Jesus, as the four pillars uphold the Veil, “that is His flesh”. (Heb 10:20)
Sockets of Silver
The five pillars upholding the Door were founded in sockets of Brass, however, the four pillars upholding the Veil were in sockets of silver. Brass speaks of judgment, whereas silver speaks of redemption. The silver used to create these sockets would have come from the Israelites redemption money (Numbers 18:15, 16) and so the Veil literally stood in redemption metal.
The Significance of the Veil
The Veil as Separation
Thus we see the Veil’s effectiveness in keeping sinful man separated from a holy God. Sinful man could only enter through the Veil once a year on the Day of Atonement, with the blood of an animal shed as substitutionary atonement for the sin of the High Priest as well as Israel.
If any tried to enter the Most Holy Place by any other means than God’s proscribed way he would be struck down dead immediately.
The Veil as Intercessor (between God and man)
We see it is no trifling matter to approach God in His majestic holiness. We see He is to be approached with awesome reverence, something much of the professing Church is missing nowadays. To approach Him lightly is to make light of the blood of Christ. Just like the substitutionary animal, someone had to die for us to be able to approach the Throne of Grace. And not just anyone, God. God died so that we could approach Him.
“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” Isaiah 59:16
We see that as the Veil, Christ, as the second person of the Godhead, stands in the gap between Holy God and sinful man. We see that He is the way through to the Most Holy Place, the awesome majesty of God.
It is only through His torn flesh that we can approach God. It is through the blood that He shed on the cross that we can now come before the Throne of Grace.
“ Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…” Hebrews 10:19, 20
The Veil as a Picture of Jesus Christ
Jesus Himself said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
We must go through the Veil to approach the Father. Remember the Veil stood in redemption metal (silver) and so it is by personal faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross that we are saved. There is no other way in to the Holy of Holies, no other door, no other Veil.
It was when Jesus died, and that Veil was torn from top to bottom, that the way was made open for sinful man to be able to enter God’s presence.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom;…” Matthew 27:50, 51
Hallelujah! The separation between God and man is now removed in Christ and we have the privilege of being able to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
What an immeasurable honour that we can approach God now and boldly! That word “boldly” means “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; openly, frankly, i.e without concealment; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance”.
Because of Jesus Christ’s earthly work at the cross we can now approach God as a child approaches his father. We can go with full assurance that in Christ we are acceptable to Him. We will not be rejected because we are no longer sinful in His sight, but we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Christ Jesus is truly our Great High Priest. He stood in the gap for us, He paid the penalty of sin for us and He made the way open for us. Hallelujah to the Lamb!
Finding the Balance of Grace and Truth in an Increasingly Dark World
Jesus said that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. As society continues on its rapid descent into darkness the church is called to be salt in the earth, a preserver from evil. But we also are to be a light in the darkness – a place to where people are drawn away from evil and unto good. The thing is, because this world, its value systems and philosophies, is so quickly changing into a post-Christian mind-set, Christians are often seen as the enemy rather than the light. We are the enemies of progress, enemies of other religions, enemies of certain groups of people, such as homosexuals.
Is this right? Should this be the case?
Today Christians have to contend with issues that were never mainstream issues years or decades ago in a society based on Christian values. Today we are post-modern and post-objective truth. Thus what was unacceptable years ago – adultery, fornication, porn, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, occult practices – is now acceptable. It even may be argued that we have gone beyond mere acceptance and that these practices are now actively promoted.
In response to the post-Christian world around us one tends to find that Christians generally go one of two ways: They either accept society’s evolving standards, deny the truth, and be perceived as loving, (the “light”), in order to try to save some; or they go the other way and become so angry at the changing world and the fact that other Christians have denied the truth that they dismiss grace and preach the truth but with no love (the “salt”).
The thing is, we need to be both light and salt. We need to find the balance of grace and truth.
Okay, so this is what I can make of it: We absolutely, resolutely need to remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word. To change His Word, to dismiss parts of it, to pick and choose the easy bits is just not an option. What this world needs more than ever is clear, decisive, objective truth. As this world is decaying we need to be the salt that slows the corruption. We need to either take all of His Word or none of it. We can’t have it both ways. We need to be resolved because we will be tested on this time and again. Know that if you are going to stand by the truth of God’s Word then at times you will be perceived as sounding harsh, unloving, intolerant. For a Christian to just simply speak the truth now is an act of hate. And here’s the worst bit: Most Christians feel the same. (Generally speaking) Christians now, rather than denouncing the sinful acts, denounce the preacher who is denouncing the sinful acts.
But…..and this is a big BUT…. It all comes down to the state of our heart. As Christians we need to understand this. There is no point preaching the truth, or trying to live by the truth of God’s Word if our heart is not right.
I have seen preachers, street-preachers, Christians who seem to hate the people they are trying to save. They are so angry at them. They yell, they point their fingers at them. “It’s God righteous anger” they say. Well, maybe it is, but let me ask you this: are you so full of the Holy Spirit that you are absolutely, positively sure it is God’s anger and not your own that you’re venting?
Are we angry at our son, our daughter, our sister, our friend because of their sin? Because they haven’t done what we want them to do? Are we angry at the world for changing around us?
As we stand for the truth are we full of spiritual pride because we are right and they are wrong?
Have we let a religious or a legalistic spirit take hold of us?
Listen my friends, this is really important as we stand for the truth of God’s Word. Because sinners know. They know I tell you. They know if you hate them. They know if you are angry. THEY know if your heart is not right.
They know the anointing of the Holy Spirit too. They don’t know what to call it but they see it and feel it.
They feel the difference between someone who is telling them the truth because the love of God constrains them to and someone who is telling them the truth because they have a religious spirit.
God sent me two homosexuals the very first night I street-preached. These two young men mocked me at first, they kissed in front of me (shock horror!), they laughed at me. But God loved those boys. His love shone through me to them and they stayed with me for one and a half hours. I told them the truth. I told them what they are doing is an abomination to God. Yes I used those words, but not in anger or contempt, and God’s love held them fast. I shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. At the end we all hugged, cried and I prayed for them. One fell to the ground crying, the other clutched his chest and begged me to stop praying. Six years later I am still in touch with the one who fell to the ground. He calls me his favourite Christian. He calls on me for help when he needs it and when he does I still speak the truth to him in love. I am believing that he will be saved one day.
The thing with grace and truth is that people in the world need the truth, oh how they are starving for it! And they need the grace of God to temper it. It is speaking the truth in love that makes the difference. It is the truth that sets people free. Not one person will be truly saved by a gospel that’s been sanctioned by this world. But not one person will be saved by speaking the truth in hate.
Let’s get our hearts right before our King and be full of His Spirit. Then His light shining through us will attract others to us so that we can speak the truth to them in love.
Friend of God or Friend of the World?
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you knot know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
This is strong language…..Adulterers….Enmity with God…
Obviously friendship with the world is serious business in God’s eyes.
Definition of “The World”.
We all know John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
So God does love the world. However in this sense the scripture is talking about the world of people that Jesus died for. It was God’s love for all men under heaven that prompted Him to send His Son into this world to redeem us from the curse of sin and death that entered in with Adam.
However James 4:4 is talking about “the world” as a system. A system that is opposed to God.
The World is Opposed to God
Just as the devil is opposed to Christ and the flesh is opposed to the Spirit, so the world is opposed to all that is of the Father.
It takes its place in the “unholy trinity” as the very antithesis of all that is of the person of God the Father. This opposition to the Father manifests in a determined effort to undermine the Bible, especially Genesis. The creation account, the Flood have come under heavy fire in the last few years, even from Christians.
The World is Independent of God
The world system is not only opposed to God, it is also independent of God.
It is the spirit behind this system that attempted to build the Tower of Babel as a way to reach heaven without God. It is the spirit of independence. It is the same spirit that drives the UN and all other organisations that attempt to play “god” in this world and to re-define “good” and “evil” independent of His laws. It is the reason that God warned Adam and Eve about partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” Psalm 2:2,3
Choosing the way of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the way of opposition, independence and rebellion to God. Remember that to eat of that fruit was a sin, a breaking of a direct command of God not to partake of it.
The world is a system that is totally separate and apart from God. It’s a system that says “we don’t need God and His laws” and then makes their own.
The World is in Rebellion to God and His Laws
It is a system that rises up in defiance of God the Father, as Creator and Sustainer of Life.
God created male and female in His image and told them to be fruitful and multiply. This world system calls into question gender and sexuality. God says there are two genders. The world says there is a sliding scale with multiple gender possibilities. God says to male and female to pro-create, to bring forth life. This world says homosexuality is fine and promotes it as a way of keeping the human population under control.
This world undermines the very laws of nature. Breaking the laws of nature always brings death.
The Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of one is Life, the fruit of the other is Death.
This world is in open defiance to God. The spirit behind it knows that God is its enemy. God knows the world is in enmity to Him. It seems that it is only the believers who struggle to realise this truth.
The World System Has its Own Philosophies and Principles.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
God has His principles, laws and the way of salvation clearly laid out in His word, the Bible. But this world rejects God’s Word and instead promotes the philosophies of man, which are opposed to Christ. Atheism, psychology, nihilism, post-modernism, you name it, they are philosophies of man and each are totally opposed to God and His Word.
These philosophies of man essentially become counterfeit gospels which are opposed to the true gospel of Christ. Satan promotes them through the media, social media, books, TV, Hollywood and false Christians.
And yes that includes psychology. This deception has infiltrated the Christian church and taken the place of true Biblical counselling, deliverance from demons and healing. Do not be deceived, it is a counterfeit of the gospel of Christ and brings believers in to bondage rather than setting them free. I am aware at how deeply this has rooted itself in the Church and so I encourage further study of the roots of psychology. Briefly, it is founded and rooted in atheistic philosophy and no amount of applying Biblical words to this philosophy will change the fact that it is of man and is opposed, and therefore in enmity, to the gospel of Christ.
Man’s principles in his “gospel” include: tolerance over truth; love over sin; self over Christ; and the salvation of this planet over the salvation of man.
This World is Under Judgment
This world is under judgment my friends.
No amount of recycling and “climate change” theory will save it. It began in the garden of Eden. When man fell into sin, so too the creation fell with him. God cursed the ground at that point. Praise God that Jesus came and redeemed fallen man from the curse of sin, but this world has not be redeemed. This world and all its systems and man-made philosophies are under God’s judgment and are reserved for fire.
Jesus said “Now is the time for judgment on this world…” John 12:31
The unleashing of God’s wrath on this world because of sin is only being held back by one thing – His Word.
“…the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
But at the moment we can see the birth pangs of judgment are beginning all over the world. Jesus warned us of increasing earthquakes, pestilences, wars, rumours of wars and huge deception in Matthew 24.
Friend of God or Friend of the World?
God considers friendship with the world spiritual “adultery”. We cannot be divided, we are either a friend of God or a friend of the World.
Jesus is ever faithful to His Bride and He in turn wants us to be faithful to Him – the lover of our souls.
Just as a husband would be jealous if his wife had eyes for another man, so too “the Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” (James 4:5) for our undivided, wholly devoted love. And who can blame Him? He has laid down His life for us! How much more should we be faithful to such a loving and gracious God?
Therefore “come out from among them and be ye separate.”
We are in the world, but we are no longer of the world. We are other-worldly now. Our true home is in heaven, not on this earth. Therefore I encourage you to look up, enlarge your vision. Be a Friend of God, rather than a friend of this world.
Let us be like Paul and be able to say:
“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galations 6:14
A Tale of Two Tents
Only One Life ‘Twill Soon be Past
New Covenant Hope : Jesus our Priest
The New Covenant promises are there to be a foundation for our hope in the Lord. This is the reason I would like to share below the comfort I have found in Jesus, Him being the High Priest of the New Covenant. When “darkness hides His lovely face”, when we go through hard times, when we feel lost or lonely, then it is that this hope must be “the anchor of our soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 8:19, 20
The difference we have in the New Covenant with Jesus as our High Priest:
|Old Covenant||New Covenant|
|Moses was the mediator of the Old covenant||Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New covenant|
|No oath was made to human priests by God.“for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath…” Hebrews 7:21||Jesus was made a priest by an oath:“God has sworn and will not relentYou are a priest forever, according to the
Order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:4
|The law appoints as priests men who have weakness.||Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant because of the oath. The oath appoints Jesus as Priest, who has been perfected forever.|
|The priests were human. As such they were sinners themselves, bound to the earthly realm.||Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and is not earth-bound, but rather He is higher than the heavens.|
|The priests needed to daily offer up sacrifices for both their own sins as well as the sins of the people.||Jesus is sinless so does not need to offer up a sacrifice for Himself. At the cross He offered up a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of mankind.|
|The priests offered animals as sacrifices for sin||Jesus offered up Himself as the sacrifice for sin.|
|The priests each eventually died, and so there were many different priests at different times.||Jesus never dies so His priesthood is unchangeable. (What a comfort!)|
|The priests could only intercede for the people whilst they were alive, therefore their priesthood was LIMITED.||Therefore, because our Priest never changes, because He always lives and is always interceding for us, He will save to the UTTERMOST those who come to God through Him. His Priesthood is UNLIMITED and NEVER-ENDING.|
“His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay”
(lyrics from “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand”)
(This table is by no means exhaustive. There are so many more eternal truths about Jesus as our High priest. I have compiled this table from a study of Hebrews 6 & 7)
The Mystery of the Cross
I woke up one morning with this in my head, and wrote it in my journal:
The cross is ugly,
The cross is beautiful.
The cross kills,
The cross gives life.
The cross is God’s hatred towards sin,
The cross is God’s love towards us.
On the one hand, the cross deals a death blow to pride, vanity and selfishness
On the other hand it’s beauty is evident by the suffering of a sinless Saviour
Who can say whether it is one or the other?
It is both.
For Jesus is meant death, pain and suffering,
If we follow Him, it will for us too.
But this is the only way to life and hope
You can’t have the life of the Saviour
Without first, having the death of the Saviour
You can’t take a short-cut
First the pain, then the relief,
First the sorrow, then the joy,
First the death, then the life
“Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)