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We have seen that the two-fold service of the tabernacle is declared to be a type of Christâs salvation. Hence we give what may serve as an outline of the tabernacle, that you may see the divine way of salvation. You perceive that it presents the same two successive doors formed by the words of Paul in Romans 5:1-2.
Elder Beck of Pennsylvania, among the most able of all who employed their pens in the Church Advocate, during the holiness agitation of 1877-78, wrote two articles on the tabernacle as illustrative of salvation, in which were many good things. He did not, as some, apply the sanctum sanctorum to heaven, but to the extent of present salvation through the atonement.
Although he wrote against the second grace, the truth he here admits most unequivocally establishes it; for the only access to the holiest is through the first and second veils. He insisted much upon the fact that we haveânow haveâboldness to enter into the holiest; but seemed to forget that this is only true of those who have already entered the holy.
As an argument against the second work, he said that nothing now obstructed the way to perfect holiness; that every believer can pass directly on into the holiest. In these premises we agree; but what was his deduction there from? We might sum it up in these words: âBecause every believer has liberty to enter into the holiest, therefore, every believer is already in the holiest, and there is consequently no second grace.â The fallacy of this logic must be apparent to all. We might as well say because âwhosoever will may come;â therefore all sinners have come into the kingdom of grace.
The object of Hebrews being to lead Christians into perfection, it dwells more particularly upon the high priest because his obligations extended into the most holy place, the figure of our perfection through the blood of Christ.
Let us now follow the scarlet thread of cleansing into the tenth chapter:
Then, said he, lo, I come to do thy will, O God! He taketh away the first that He may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all. (Hebrews 9:10)
The great inheritance in the Fatherâs will and testament is our sanctification.
For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost is also a witness unto us. (Hebrews 9:14-15)
These Christians were admonished to go on to perfection and here is where they find it, in entire sanctification, and received through the one offering of Christ, our High Priest, and witnessed to by the Spirit.
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; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 9:19-22)
The âgreater and more perfect tabernacle over which Christ, as High Priest, presides, we are plainly told, is the âhouse of God,â âwhich is the church of the living Godâ (1 Timothy 3:15). The persons invited into the holiest are âbeloved brethren,â having already their âhearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.â That is, they had already received adoption and justification, the first work; and, being now in the holyââholy brethrenââ(Hebrews 3:1), they are invited to pass the second veil into the holiest, i.e., âperfect holiness in the fear of God.â
The holiest can only be entered by the blood of Jesus. Now, the blood of Christ does not change our location, but our moral state; does not transport us to heaven, but cleanseth us from all sin. And having previously wrought our pardon, this is necessarily a second work.
The beautiful veil that hung before the abode of the great I AM, Paul says, was Christâs flesh. We should suppose that this veil would represent sin, because sin separates us and God. Well, âChrist was made sin for us;â âHe bore our sin in his own body on the cross.â Hence, when His body was pierced and mangled for our sin, the obstruction was removed; and as a positive assurance that the sacrifice of Jesus was accepted in heaven as a complete satisfaction for all our sin, God Himself rent the veil of His temple from the top to the bottom announcing to all men a free and welcome return into the holiest presence of God from which sin had so long excluded the race. Hallelujah to the lamb!
That gate ajar stands free for all
Who seek through it salvation;
The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
Of every tribe and nation.
This veil also represents the great mystery, the concealed secret of the Lord that is spoken of in the Bible. Here, again, its close relation to the body of Christ is seen; for, when the Son of God was offered up as the anti-type of all legal sacrifices, angels and men beheld for the first time the real end, or design, of all those offerings. The great âmystery of His willâ is now âdone away in Christ.â And since the beautiful veil of âHis fleshâ has been rent on the cross, what do we see but the glory of God and His perfect holiness offered freely to us?
It is true that the veil is yet on the hearts of many; for âthat within the veilâ God has forever hidden from the âwise and the prudent.â No human ken, no wisdom of earth can ever penetrate this sacred place, or comprehend the mysteries of divine grace. It is only when men âturn to the Lord, that the veil is taken awayâ (2 Corinthians 3:16).
But we all, with open face (with the veil parted), beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
We are not only permitted to look into the abiding place of the divine glory, but looking steadfastly, by faith, through the Gospel mirror, we are changed by the Spirit of the Lord into the same glory, even into the perfect image of God, changed from glory to glory, or from the holy into the holy of holies.
In the latter part of this chapter the Apostle presents faith as the essential condition and vital element of this hidden life. In the eleventh he defines and exemplifies faith, that they also might possess an assurance that âentereth into that within the veil.â In chapter twelve he still urges them on to perfect freedom from sin, bringing all the preceding lesson of faith to bear on this one experience. They were also taught that God was working in them the death of nature.
They felt His keen incisive knife, and the pains of inward crucifixion led them to think that God had ceased to own them. But the Apostle assured them that the mental distress they suffered instead of indicating that they were rejected was a sure token that they were the real sons of God. âFor whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He recieveth;â and âif ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.â Strange indeed that the bitter waters of Marah should so soon succeed the joy of pardon and the song of triumph (Exodus 15). But this is the route that God leads his people, yea, âevery son that he recieveth.â But what is this chastening for? Answer: âFor our profit, that we might be partakers of His holinessâ (Hebrews 12:10).
Reader, what does this teach, if not a second work of grace? First, the grace of sonship; then follows the Fatherâs severe discipline for the destruction of the flesh: the refinerâs fire that purges away the dross of inbred sin, resulting in a new and glorious experienceâthe actual reception of Godâs perfect holiness. This fulfills in us the command of Jesus: âBe ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.â What but sheer unbelief can gainsay the second grace in the face of such unequivocal testimony? Not only our happiness and usefulness in this life, but our future bliss requires this divine holiness: hence follows the exhortation, âFollow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lordâ (Hebrews 9:14).
Once more, before closing, the great Apostle takes his brethren to the tabernacle to show them their privileges in the Gospel. He has thereby taught them the two states in the church, Christ as our High Priest, and that His blood now admits into the holiest of all. But he has reserved for the last the most touching point.
The bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary, by the high priests for sins, are burned without the camp. (Hebrews 13:11)
What does this foreshadow? Ah! Here we see our blessed Saviorâthe innocent Lamb of God, rejected and condemned of men, and led out of Jerusalem to suffer and die for our sins, that we might go in to that within the veil. âWherefore Jesus, also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate.â
Here, again, he urges them to enter the rent veil of His fleshâthe purchase of His bloodâsaying, âLet us go forth, therefore, without the camp, bearing His reproach.â As Christ was thrust out and cut off from this sinful world; so, if we would go forth unto Himâbe entirely sanctifiedâwholly assimilated to His character, we can expect nothing from this world but the reproach that fell upon Him. In connection with the above Hebrews 13:10-12, Paul says, âWe have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat, which serve the tabernacle.â This altar evidently is Christ, of whom we are now partakers.
Seven day thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it, and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy. (Exodus 29:37)
The altar that sanctifieth the gift. (Matthew 23:19)
Before this altar could sanctify, it had to be sanctified. This is true of Christ: âFor their sakes I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the truthâ (John 17:19). He was sanctified with His own blood. (Hebrews 10:29) âMade perfect through sufferingâ (Hebrews 2:10). In character, or nature, He never was imperfect, but He was made a perfect Savior by suffering and shedding His own blood for us. He made Himself an acceptable offering to God that we through Him, or upon Him as our altar might be accepted also.
Christ is the brazen altar at the entrance of the holy where we offer ourselves a dead sacrifice, and where His blood âsprinkles our hearts from an evil conscience,â or justifies; and He is also the golden altar at the entrance of the second veil, where we offer ourselves a âliving sacrifice,â and enter through His blood into the sacred of His tabernacle to âabide under the shadow of the Almighty.â
Let us examine the distinguishing features of the oblations of the common priests and those that were offered within the second veil. Read Leviticus 3 and 5, where the first order is described:
â˘ When a ruler hath sinned.
â˘ If any of the common people sin through ignorance.
â˘ If a soul sin and hear the voice of swearing . . . if he do not utter it, etc.
â˘ If a soul swear, . . . then he shall be guilty.
â˘ If a soul commit a trespass and sin through ignorance in the holy things of the Lord.
â˘ And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbid to be done by the commandments of the Lord.
These trespasses really include all manner of sin as transgression of the law; and for each and all of them an offering was to be brought by the guilty party and offered by the common priest; who sprinkled the blood of the victim upon and before the brazen altar and in each instance it is written, âIt shall be forgiven him.â What a striking figure of the pardon offered by the Gospel to all manner of sinners that approach the door of the church, pleading the blood of Christ.
Now read in Leviticus 16 the peculiar features of the high priestly service within the holiest:
And he shall take the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his fingers upon the mercy seat eastward: and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his fingers seven times . . . and he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel .â (Leviticus 16:14-16)
And he (the high priest) shall sprinkle of the blood upon it (the golden altar) with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel . (Leviticus 16:19)
And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all . . . for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you. (Leviticus 16:29-31)
Here again, the blood is sprinkled, but his time before and within the second veil, representing a second application of the blood of Christ to our hearts. The occasion and object of this application is altogether different from that of the first. Then it was because of guilt, and to obtain pardon; now it is because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and to effect their cleansingâthat they might be clean before the Lord.
O, the wonderful harmony of divine truth! Paul says that the Hebrew brethren had already made that appropriation of the blood whereby they had been saved from an evil conscience, or justified, from which standpoint they had âboldness to enter into the holiest of all by (a second application of) the blood of Christ.â
The offerings within the first veil continued daily because they foreshadowed a state of salvation incompleteâstill in progress. While the awful place of Godâs visible presence was entered but once in a whole year. Once, because it prefigured that appropriation of the blood of Christ that makes an end of sinââperfects forever them that are sanctified.â The number seven represents perfection, fullness, and completion. The sanctum sanctorum was entered on the seventh month, and the law expressly required the high priest to sprinkle the blood seven times upon the golden altar, and seven times upon the mercy seat. This may be looked upon as a mere trifle, but the more I study the precious Bible, the more I see that every particle of the law had a deep spiritual import; and what does the above speak but full salvation?
The day specified for the high priestly offerings was among the most solemn of the Jewish economy. It was called âthe great day of atonement.â What an emblem of the propitious day of the soulâs deliverance from all sin.
âIn that day ye shall do not work.â âIt shall be a Sabbath of rest unto you.â Glory to God! Behold, in the law, the beautiful dawning of the glorious Sabbath of the soul, the rest of God offered to us in the fourth of Hebrews. The correspondence between the entering of the high priest into the most holy, and the entering of the soul into entire sanctification is indeed wonderful. Since the rending of the beautiful veil in Christ, all men may become âkings and priests unto God,â and serve even in His most sacred tabernacle; but in order to do this we must wear âholy garments,â and upon our breast the âSIGNET, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.â
As Aaron was anointed with holy oil for his office, so the âcrown of the anointing oil of our God is upon us,â even âthe anointing which we have received from Him, which abideth and teacheth us of all thingsâ (Leviticus 21:12 and 1 John 2:27).
As the priests were required to offer the âsalt of the covenant of their God with all their meat offeringsâ (Leviticus 2:13) so every believer, as he offers himself a âliving sacrifice holy acceptable unto God,â must be âsalted with fireâ (Mark 9:49). The Holy Spirit is truly the salt of the covenant, because He writes the covenant upon our heart, seals and preserves it.
In the Holy of Holies there was but one object, the most sacred of all. The Ark of the Covenant and its contents have a profound reference to the Gospel dispensation. An ark denotes safety and within this second veil the purified are surrounded by âwalls of salvation,â and âkept by the power of God through faith.â It is called the âark of the testimonyâ (Exodus 40:3) for here the saints âovercome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.â This sacred chest is called a âthrone of grace,â a âmercy seat.â Thus Godâs throne of mercy and grace, covered, hid, contained and rose above the law. A seat implies a place of rest, mercy and grace denotes the divine favor; and here the soul finds a sweet and perfect rest in the full fellowship and favor of God.
This also suggests that previous states, as penitence and justification are but transitoryâno place to rest. It is only in the inner and sacred place of Godâs pavilion and glory that the soul finds its fixed repose, feeling âperfect, entire, wanting nothing.â O, the rapturous joy of âsitting between the cherubim,â where, it is written that âGod dwelleth;â having entered into âHis rest.â
The attitude of the cherubim, with their eyes directed to the ark, was significant of the desire of angels to look into the mysteries of the Gospel that were hid in the deep spirituality of the law.
Within this ark was deposited the tables of the ten commandments, called the tables of the covenant, because it is in this most holy state that God confirms His covenant with the heirs of glory. Read Hebrews 10:14-16. After stating that the Holy Spirit witnessed to our sanctification the Apostle adds, âFor after that He had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.â The distinct witness of the Spirit to our perfection, the establishment of the covenant, and writing of the divine law in our hearts, are all associated with the hidden life with Christ in God. Hence, it is after we enter the second veil that the covenant is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise in our hearts.
Aaronâs rod that budded fitly represents the wonderful power of God manifest in the life and fruitfulness of the wholly sanctified. They are âlike trees planted by the side of living waters, that bring forth their fruit in their season.â
The ark was also the depository of the golden pot of manna brought from the wilderness (Hebrews 9:4). May the blessed Spirit that has given light on this manna now aid my effort to impart it to you, dear reader. The manna that fell about the camp in the wilderness and the water that flowed from the rock represent the grace of justification; this heaven-sent food seemed to be, at first, greatly relished; they said it was âsweet as honey;â but ere long it failed to satisfy them, and they hankered after the flesh posts of Egypt . This suggests that it was only a temporary food. As milk becomes insufficient for the child, as it grows older, so the joy of pardonâthe sweets of the first loveâis a charm that must soon be succeeded by the more solid corn of full salvation truth, the richer and ever satisfying experience of the Comforter. If this is not attained the experience of a deep want and dissatisfaction in the heart soon begets a longing desire for
The sweet comfort and peace
Of a soul in its earliest love.
Again, the manna had to be gathered daily except on Sabbath. Now, justification need not be daily interrupted by sin and renewed by repentance; nevertheless it is a fact that most who have not advanced to that within the second veil find much of the above experience. Some way or another it is quite commonly acknowledged that the mannaâjustifying graceâdoes not keep will in the wilderness; hence, the most common petition that ascends from the camp east of Jordan is, âOh, Lord, forgive all the sins we have committed this day in thy sight.â
This fact is no reflection on the Author of salvation because His work is not yet finished. He would not have His host tarry here, but only pass through âthis great and terrible wildernessâ into the land of Canaan where, laid up within the holiest, we find the same manna. And behold it is preserved blameless from year to year. Is not his wonderful? Can we not all read the lesson it teaches? It seems to me too plain to need pointing out. Glory to God for the precious truth! Entire sanctification not only retains and intensifies the joy of justification, but constantly and forever preserves it in all its sweet and holy innocence.
So perfectly united are the golden links of divine truth, that when the true light of one text flashes into the mind, it soon unfolds the meaning of others. And now we have found the key to Revelation 2:17.
He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that recieveth it.
This was not Moses speaking in the wilderness, but Christ speaking through the Spirit to His church. Who then will deny that manna is a type of Gospel salvation, since the Son of God so interprets it. But here is special manna promised to the churchââhidden mannaââwhat is this but justification made glorious in perfected holiness as typified by the manna hid away in the most holy place, within the mysterious veil? Paul invited his brethren of the âchurch of the first bornâ to enter therein. And now, again, we hear the Spirit saying to the churches that, upon certain conditions, they may enter and partake of the contents of the golden pot. Only the church, therefore, has this holy calling. The conditions are: 1, Enter the church by regeneration; 2, Overcome the world by faith (1 John 5:4); 3, Enter the holiest, and eat the manna therein found.
The white stone teaches the same lesson. White denotes perfect purity. It is given to the church because it is only experienced within the church.
The new name denotes an entirely new experience known only by the recipient because it is experienced with the soul.
The golden pot that contained the manna within the ark may represent Christians who have been purified and tried in the fire as gold, such a heart is best suited to contain the rich treasure of Godâs grace.
Once more, by reference to Exodus 16:32-33, you will see that this omer of manna was laid up at the time it was first sent to the camp of Israel . Learn here that no one can enter the closer relation to God without they approach in their first love, or freely justified state as when first experienced. But few have retained this, hence, comparatively few enter the second veil and many of them have their justification renewed just before receiving the second grace.
In conclusion, dear reader, behold the camp of the Lordâs host. Behold the tabernacle; it is Godâs tent in the midst of the tents of Israel . What is this but a portrait of the great prediction âbehold the tabernacle of God is with men.â It beautifully represents the church of God on earth, with the personal indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And it is realized by the church today wherever the great Shechinah dwells in her midst and the glory of the Lord is seen upon her. Oh, that God would everywhere âshine out of Zion the perfection of beauty.â
Dear brother, we have only noticed the most salient points in the golden thread of testimony to the higher life that so much pervades this Epistle.
We have seen that the two successive veils represent the two distinct degrees of grace in the church. The offering of the blood before the first is emblematic of our deliverance âfrom and evil conscience,â and that before and within the second veil, the âpurgingâ or purification of our nature and admission into the holiest state by the blood of Christ.
We have also seen that everything connected with these two apartments find a perfect counterpart in the experience of justification and subsequent sanctification.
Finally, beloved reader, if you have appropriated the blood of Christ in the first experience, and now stand within the holy, I say unto you in the name of the Lord, you have perfect libertyâyea âBoldness to enter into the holiest of all by (a second application of) the blood of Christ.â
O, Holy of Holies! O grace sublime;
Looking to Jesus, I saw it was mine;
His blood bade me enter, cleansed me from sin.
Since God rent the veil, oh brother, come in.
My soul now reclines âneath the Cherubim,
Where naught but the glory of God is seen;
Here where He dwells, I have entered His rest,
Robed in His glory, eternally blessed.