George H. Warnock: "Seven
Lamps of Fire"
CHAPTER 3 FROM HOLY PLACE TO MOST HOLY
were three areas in the old tabernacles and temples, which were types and
shadows of the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man" (Heb.
3:2). They served as "the example and shadow of heavenly things" (vs. 5). Our
Great High Priest in the heavens has a "more excellent ministry" than those
who served in the earthly temples. . .as far surpassing the priestly
ministries of that day, as the New Covenant surpasses the Old Covenant (vs.
6). Those old institutions and sacrifices and ceremonies were only intended to
be "a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things"
(Heb. 10:1). Now that the True Sacrifice has been offered, and in resurrection
has become our great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, we are
bidden to forsake the old, because a new and living way has been
"consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh" (Heb. 10:20).
There is much beautiful teaching from these older temples, if we understand
that they were all but types and shadows of a better way, a better sacrifice,
a better temple, a better covenant. . .and mediated to us by a better High
the outer court was but an open place in front of the Tabernacle, to
which the people of Israel would come with their sacrifices, and the whole
compound was surrounded with a fence of linen curtains. But the Tabernacle (or
Tent) was situated inside the compound, on the western end. The Tabernacle was
in two parts called the Holy Place and the Most Holy. Aaron and his sons would
have to go into the Holy Place in their course of ministry, having first
washed their hands and their feet at the laver. As one would come into the
Holy Place on the eastern end, you would see the candlestick there on the
south, the table of shewbread on the north, and on the west end, close to the
veil, was the altar of incense, where the priests would offer up incense
before the Lord.
the High Priest alone had access into the Most Holy Place—and this only once
in the year on the Day of Atonement. Having performed his high priestly
ministry before the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy place, he would
return to the people. . .hopefully with some very special Word that God had
given him for the nation. We have spoken considerably of all this in a
previous writing. . .and we only mention these few things here by way of
introducing some of the special characteristics of the Most Holy Place. The
apostle speaks of these two areas when he says: "the sanctuary (or the holy
place), and after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest
of all" (Heb. 9:1, 2). (See also see our writing
From Tent to Temple, Ch 1).
The Veil was Rent, that we might Go in.
Holy Place, in type, speaks of the ministration in the church, and her access
into God’s presence. And so as Aaron tended the lamps, and furnished them with
oil to keep them burning, giving illumination in an otherwise windowless and
dark area—so we see our High Priest in the midst of the seven golden
lampstands, fully graced and adorned with priestly garments, and Himself
radiant with the Light of God. John had been banished to the Isle of Patmos
because of the Testimony of Jesus Christ. On a certain day which he calls "the
Lord’s day" he was "in the Spirit". Some believe it was the first day of the
week, because the church was accustomed to gather together "on the first day
of the week" (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). But the Lord’s day in this
passage is one word in the Greek, and it is an adjective. . .as if to say
the Lordian Day, if there were such a word. I believe it is this Day that
pertains especially to our Lord Jesus, as the Mediator of the New Covenant.
Suddenly John was in the Spirit, for the Lord had a message for John
that pertained to the church in all her days, and he must see these things in
the Spirit realm, and by the Spirit.
us Go on to Perfection
John was in the Spirit in the
first part of the Book (Rev. chapters 1, 2, and 3). It was a picture of the Holy
Place, and John saw the High Priest ministering in the Holy Place of the church.
But in Revelation 4, once again he is "in the Spirit" in a Most Holy
Place, as the Voice said unto him: "Come up hither". There is a still higher
realm in the Spirit that he must see. . .and in seeing it, minister the
same to those who are "companions in tribulation and in the kingdom and in the
patience of Jesus".
whole purpose of the ministry that God has set in the church is to bring us into
the Holy Place—and from there into the Most Holy Place.
Some teach we are already in the Most Holy Place,
because the veil has been torn asunder. Yes, the way is open for us to enter,
but we are not in there just because the veil has been torn apart:
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 a 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"
The door is open for us to enter!
But we are not there just because the door is open. Rather, He bids us to
draw near, with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith. The reason we
draw back must be because the veil is now over our eyes, so that we do not see
Him in His glory. Let me illustrate it this way. When Moses came down from the
mount, having been in the presence of the Shekinah glory for 40 days—his face
radiated that glory to the people in the camp. They were afraid to come near him
at first, but he beckoned to them and they drew near, and he gave them the words
that God had given him. But as the Glory began to fade away, Moses put a veil
over his face, until he went in to speak to the Lord again. The apostle Paul
interprets this as meaning that the veil on Moses’ face really signified that
the veil was on the hearts of the people, for he said: "When Moses is read, the
veil is upon their heart, nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil
shall be taken away". The veil on Moses’ face was really a veil over their
hearts and minds when he talked to them. But when he went in to speak to the
Lord, he took the veil away (see 2 Cor. 3:14-18; Ex. 34:33, 34). The type is
very clear: the veil into the Most Holy Place has been torn asunder. But as it
was with Israel, the veil is upon our hearts if we are not abiding in His
Presence. But when we turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. We
need to ponder this. . .and seek the Lord very earnestly for the eyesalve of His
Spirit, that we might
beyond the veil, and be transfigured by the glory of His face.
So here we are in the Holy Place.
There is light from the lampstand, holy bread from the table of showbread, and
incense that we offer at the golden altar of incense. We have all the gifts and
ministrations of the Spirit. But somehow there is not that faith, that
confidence, that assurance that there is something more; because the thought
is—we have all the gifts of the Spirit, what more do we need? But the word is
very clear: the gifts and ministries that God has placed in the body, are for
the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the
body of Christ,—Till. . .Till. . .Till. . .we come to something higher.
Ministry is not the ultimate end—it is rather intended to prepare us,
nurture us, teach us, strengthen us, edify us "till we all come in the unity
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto
the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ". And the apostle
expound on this, showing us that the ultimate
end of ministry is to lead the people of God into perfect love (see Eph.
had some very powerful ministrations of gifts and ministries throughout church
history—but rarely have God’s people gone beyond the Holy Place of ministry, and
into the Most Holy Place of constant and abiding union with Him who is enthroned
upon the mercy seat. God forbid we should in any way minimize the effectual
functioning of true ministry in the body of Christ. But I know the springs of
blessing are drying up, and many of God’s people are feeling the famine—with
much church attendance, and much religious activity—but not too much of that
mighty Presence of God in our midst. We need to be encouraged! God is more
concerned about it than we are. And He is going to give more grace (perhaps in
the midst of more suffering and tribulation)—to move His people forward into the
Most Holy Place of His Shekinah glory and presence.
not think we can trust in the knowledge we have of the Kingdom of God. . .nor
consider we are closer to the Kingdom because of that knowledge. For if our
knowledge of the Kingdom does not produce the fear of God in our hearts, and
lead to repentance, to poverty of spirit, to meekness, and to humility—we
are still far from the Kingdom—because these virtues are the very essence of the
Kingdom of God. We are solemnly reminded of what Paul said of the children of
Israel: that most of those who crossed the Red Sea, and ate of the bread from
Heaven, and drank of the water out of the rock—and came to the very door of
Canaan—their hearts were hardened, and they did not enter the Land, including
most of those who had searched it out. And they died in the wilderness.
Psalmist also gives a solemn warning to those who know how to praise God, and
those who know how to worship God—but have no intention of going any further:
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: Let us make a
joyful noise to the rock of our salvation".
(see vs. 1-5).
come to worship—
"O come, let us worship and bow dow
n: Let us kneel
before the LORD our Maker". (see vs.
this is good, commendable, and the Lord delights in the praises of His people,
and in true worship. But then he gives this solemn word of counsel:
if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the
provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your
fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My work. . ."
Yet in spite of all His wonderful provisions, bread from Heaven daily, and the
pillar of Cloud by day, and the pillar of Fire by night—they grieved God’s
heart, and did not enter into His Rest. (See Ps. 95). Much as He may delight in
the praise and worship of His people—there is much more. He is looking for the
right heart, the tender heart, a heart that does not get offended at God, nor
does it test Him and try Him. He looks for the heart that is fashioned after
the heart of God, because He is looking for a Habitation for Himself.