Beyond Religion

Hebrews 9:8 (ESV)
“By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing” 

I believe we sometimes forget that we are saved not because we accepted the religion of Christianity, but rather we are saved because we accepted the actual Spirit of Jesus Christ into our hearts.

If we look at our study verse, we see that there cannot be a way to enter into God’s presence as long as the outer tabernacle is still standing. But what does this mean?

For the Jews, this meant the larger of the two rooms in the sacred tent. This was the first room the priests would enter to minister daily worship. The inner room, known as the holy of holies, was the dwelling place of God on earth. These were symbolic of our inner and outer natures, one being led by our traditions, and one being led by the Spirit.

It was extremely rare to experience the presence of God in the outer tabernacle, as this was controlled by order and systems of worship, with man being much in control of the circumstances instead of God. As we apply this concept forward, until man can break free from his outer restrictions, the way to the inner holy place will remain hidden.

For us today, it is not through our attempts at self-improvement, adherence to the Law, or any other outward act or work; but rather we enter the very presence of God through our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our way to the Holy Place (John 14:6). It is not about the Promise being some event in the future, but rather an opportunity to reconcile today in the here and now.

We are God’s holy temple, His habitation in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18-22). Remember the veils mentioned in Scripture. The veil in the holy Temple separated the world of men from the presence of God; but was torn in two when Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:51). Moses wore a veil on his face to shield the glory of God from the rest of the Israelites (Exodus 34:29-35), likely connected to a fear of God from previous encounters with God near Mt. Sinai. Paul writes of another veil in 2 Corinthians 3:15-18, which deals with the veil of selfishness and a nature not focused on God.

Only through a relationship with Christ, we can rent open our veils of self, sin, and shame and face God’s glory; a glory that will not fade, but rather one that resides within us. The final veil that we pass through is not made of linen, but the very body of Jesus Christ. He is our path back to the Father. As He ascended to the Father, He took with Him His own shed blood that cleanses us in preparation for our eternal reunion (Hebrews 9:12-13; 23-24).

Remember, the call and desire of God is for us to worship in Spirit and in Truth. Through Jesus, we can draw near to God with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith.

We can actually enter and abide in the holy place of God.