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Monday, May 7 2012

The Holy Place In History And Prophecy

For the Israelites of the Exodus, the Holy Place was the interior entry area of the Tabernacle (a tent structure, itself enclosed by a walled courtyard, as shown in the illustration). With inside dimensions of 20 cubits (a cubit was about 18 inches / 45 centimeters) long and 10 cubits in height and width, it contained the golden lampstand for light, the table of showbread and the golden altar of incense.

At the end of the Holy Place was a curtain, or veil, that served as the entry to the Most Holy Place. A continuation of the Holy Place, but separated from it, the Most Holy Place measured 10 cubits long, wide and high. It was where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.

The Tabernacle The Creator And High Priest Of The Holy Place

Many are of the belief that the significance and purpose of the Holy Place was greatly magnified, later, in "Christian" times, but we can read from those who already understood it in those earlier times that it was always the same point of focus of something, and Someone, Who is both Holy and Eternal - it was a Holy Place because of His Presence and the greater significance of why He was present for His people (the word "church" actually means people; see the Fact Finder below). King David understood that it was a place for those who "hath clean hands, and a pure heart" - which, as we will get to by the end of this study, will be its worldwide fulfillment, not only in the Kingdom of God, but as the Kingdom of God.

"24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 24:2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." (Psalm 24:1-4 KJV)

David spoke of the same "river" from "the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High" that Ezekiel saw (as we will get to in this study) in his vision of the Earth after Christ's return i.e. "the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High."

"46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early." (Psalm 46:4-5 KJV)

The prophet Isaiah also understood that the Holy Place will be where God and His people will dwell together forever i.e. they will "dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit."

"57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15 KJV)

It is the Messiah Who will accomplish that salvation (see the Fact Finder question below). It was the Messiah Who created that tiny point of symbolism, in the "Holy Place" of the Tabernacle, of that salvation. Jesus Christ was "the LORD God" (see Appearances Of The LORD God) Who brought the Israelites out of Egypt, Who gave them His Ten Commandments, and Who commanded them to construct the Tabernacle and the Holy Place in it - and Who destroyed those who refused to obey Him because they chose not to be holy.

"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness [see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners].

10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." (1 Corinthians 10:1-9 KJV)

The symbolism of the Holy Place in the Tabernacle did not come later as some sort of an Christian interpretation of the "religion of the Israelites." It was always about Jesus Christ; it's about what He is doing as the Savior. The Levite High Priest was commanded to deliver the blood of the sacrifice into the Most Holy Place, once per year on the Day of Atonement, as a living prophecy of the Messiah delivering the blood of His own Sacrifice to the Throne of God once for all time (see The Day Of Atonement: It's All About Christianity). Until God comes to Earth (as we will get to in this study), the Holy Place is Christ's church on Earth and the Most Holy Place is God's Throne in heaven, where the Messiah Himself now sits at the right hand of the Father.

The Stars Of Heaven

"9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant [see The Stones Of Mount Sinai]; 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood [see Nisan 14: The Sacrifice Of The Lamb Of God] he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? [see Works Means Obedience]

9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 9:19 For when Moses [see Christ's Crossing Of The Sea] had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry [see also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today]. 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world [see The First Act Of Faith]: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:1-28 KJV)

The Holy Place In The Tabernacle

The understanding of the intent of the symbolism of the Holy Place (not as though the Holy Place was an end in itself, as many seem to think that it was) is that it's always been about Jesus Christ. As we read from the Scriptures above, it now becomes much easier to understand why the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, and the Tabernacle itself, was designed and conducted, as given to Moses by the LORD - Who was Christ. Christ didn't come along later; He was there from the beginning.

The High Priest

"26:30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount.

26:31 And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work [see Linen In History And Prophecy]: with cherubims shall it be made: 26:32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 26:33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. 26:34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 26:35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side." (Exodus 26:30-35 KJV)

The Levitical High Priest was created by Christ as a living prophecy of Christ (see The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood).

"28:29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

28:31 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 28:32 And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent. 28:33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates [see Pomegranates] of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: 28:34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. 28:35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not." (Exodus 28:29-35 KJV)

"28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him." (Exodus 28:42-43 KJV)

As we read in the verses above, the Day of Atonement is Christian (again, see The Day Of Atonement: It's All About Christianity). What the Levitical High priest did in symbolism in the Holy Place, the Messiah did in actuality before the Throne of God.

The Holy Place

"16:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 16:2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

16:3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 16:4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. 16:5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

16:6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 16:7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat [see Sending Away The Escapades Goat]. 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

16:11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: 16:12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: 16:13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 16:14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.

16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat [see Christ's Mercy Seat]: 16:16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 16:17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.

16:18 And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. 16:19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

16:20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

16:23 And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there: 16:24 And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. 16:25 And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar.

16:26 And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. 16:27 And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. 16:28 And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

16:29 And this shall be a statute for ever 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, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 16:30 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. 16:31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 16:32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 16:33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.

And he did as the LORD commanded Moses." (Leviticus 16:1-34 KJV)

The Holy Place In The Temple

The Tabernacle was used throughout the time of the Israelites in the Sinai and into the "promised land" where it remained in use until David took Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan and A History Of Jerusalem: The City Of David). David then obtained permission from the LORD to build a Temple, that would replace the Tabernacle (see God's Tent), as the housing for the Holy Place. The building of the Temple was completed by David's son and royal successor, Solomon.

The King's Dedication

"6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

6:2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits. 6:3 And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. 6:4 And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. 6:5 And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: 6:6 The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

6:7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

6:8 The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third. 6:9 So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar. 6:10 And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.

6:11 And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, 6:12 Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: 6:13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.

6:14 So Solomon built the house, and finished it. 6:15 And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. 6:16 And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place. 6:17 And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. 6:18 And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.

6:19 And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 6:20 And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. 6:21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. 6:22 And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.

6:23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 6:24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 6:25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 6:26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 6:27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 6:28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.

6:29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 6:30 And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.

6:31 And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. 6:32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. 6:33 So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall. 6:34 And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 6:35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.

6:36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

6:37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif: 6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it." (1 Kings 6:1-38 KJV)

The Israelites however, including Solomon (despite his pledge as quoted above), became unfaithful to the LORD, and therefore unholy to Him. Israel was divided into "Israel" and "Judah," with Judah maintaining Jerusalem as its capital (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah). The kings of both Israel and Judah became so unholy to the LORD that He had both kingdoms conquered and taken into exile. The northern kingdom of Israel became "the lost ten tribes" when taken away by Assyria (see The Galilee Captivity) and the southern kingdom of Judah was taken away into exile by the Babylonians. The Temple of Solomon and the Holy Place (minus the Ark of the Covenant, that remains hidden to this day; see Raiders Of The Lost Ark) were completely destroyed by the Babylonians at that time.

"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." (2 Chronicles 36:15-21 KJV)

The Rebuilding Of The Holy Place By Ezra And Nehemiah

The Temple and the Holy Place were rebuilt, by the people of Judah led by Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah) who were returned to Jerusalem as the LORD said that He would have them do (see Jeremiah's Field). The Temple was rebuilt, but the Most Holy Place remained empty because the Ark of the Covenant remained "lost" (but almost certainly not far away; again, see Raiders Of The Lost Ark). Centuries later, that Temple was greatly magnified by Herod the Great, in the time of the first coming of the Messiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty).

Rebuilding The Temple

"3:8 Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD. 3:9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

3:10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 3:11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel.

And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 3:13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off." (Ezra 3:8-13 KJV)

Once again, the people dedicated themselves to obedience to the LORD - so the "Holy Place" returned to them, when they returned to it i.e. "now for a little space grace hath been showed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes."

"9:5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, 9:6 And said,

O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. 9:7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been showed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. 9:9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

9:10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments, 9:11 Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. 9:12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.

9:13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; 9:14 Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? 9:15 O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this." (Ezra 9:5-15 KJV)

The Abomination of Desolation Of The Holy Place

The Old Testament record ends about three centuries before the beginning of the New Testament record. During that time, the Greek Empire rose, and then was divided (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids). A Seleucid king, Aniochus IV, committed the original "abomination of desolation" of the Holy Place (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation). The people of Judah rose up and defeated the Seleucids (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Hasmonean Kingdom) and cleansed the Temple and Holy Place - which is commemorated by Hanukkah to this day (see Christ's Hanukkah). The prophet Daniel was given to see that original "abomination of desolation" before it happened. When he wrote of it, he described not only the first that was committed by the Seleucids, but also the second that will be committed at the time of Christ's return.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

"9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:25-27 KJV)

"11:29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 11:30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." (Daniel 11:29-35 KJV)

In His famous "Olivet Prophecy" (named after the Mount of Olives upon which it was spoken; see also What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?), the Messiah specifically referred to "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place." Keep in mind all that we have read in this extra-long study (for that reason) about it has always been about Jesus Christ, and always has been about not merely the place that was Holy, but the people who were permitted to enter the Holy Place because they were holy, through obedience to the LORD (if that isn't yet clear to you, be patient - the end of the journey of the Holy Place is very clear, as we will get to).

Fallen Stones

"24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many [see Is Your Church A Cult?]. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom [see The True Gospel Of Christ and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin]." (Matthew 24:3-31 KJV)

The Holy Place Of The Messiah

The Messiah was killed, in effect, as a result of a dispute over just where and what the Holy Place truly was. Yes, it was the innermost sacred room of the Temple, but even then, as we have read consistently through this study, it was only holy because of the LORD God, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The by-then convoluted religious authorities (see How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?) blasphemed the Messiah by accusing Him of blaspheming the Holy Place - when in fact it was Christ, and those who truly obey Him, who have always been what made the Holy Place Holy.

False Witnesses

"26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 26:60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none.

At the last came two false witnesses, 26:61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

26:62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 26:63 But Jesus held his peace.

And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

26:65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 26:66 What think ye?

They answered and said, He is guilty of death." (Matthew 26:59-66 KJV)

Notice that Stephen was killed for the same false accusations as they made against the Messiah i.e. "This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law." They had made the Holy Place of the LORD into their "holy place" - exactly as the merely Christian-professing world did later (i.e. claiming to be Christian while ignoring and disobeying what He taught and commanded; see Antichristians and Is Your Religion Your Religion?).

"6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

6:11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us." (Acts 6:7-14 KJV)

The Pharisee Saul (see The Crossing Of Philip And Saul), before his conversion to the apostle Paul (see Straight Street), was among those who killed Stephen. Paul nevertheless later faced the same false accusation of defiling the Holy Place, when in fact, like the others, he had become an inhabitant of the Holy Place as it will ultimately be fulfilled in the end (as we will explain further).

"21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. 21:29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar." (Acts 21:26-31 KJV)

Ezekiel's Vision Of The Holy Place After Christ's Return

The prophets all saw the Kingdom of God. Ezekiel described the Temple and the Holy Place, that will exist at the time after Christ's return, for the church that will come to understanding at that time (see The Church In The Kingdom Of God in the Fact Finder question below). Notice that the Holy Place will still exist, in that representative form, for the people at that stage of salvation (as explained in the Fact Finder studies below - salvation is being accomplished in two major stages).

Engedi

"41:1 Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle. 41:2 And the breadth of the door was ten cubits: and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits.

41:3 Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits. 41:4 So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place." (Ezekiel 41:1-4 KJV)

There can be no doubt that the time that Ezekiel described is the future, when "the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory" and "I will dwell in the midst of them for ever."

"43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. 43:3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 43:5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.

43:6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. 43:7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. 43:8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. 43:9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever." (Ezekiel 43:1-9 KJV)

It will be from that Holy Place that all of humanity will learn to become a holy place, with the famous "let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

"4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:1-3 KJV)

The Holy Place Of The Kingdom Of God

It's in the completion of fulfillment that the Eternal meaning of the Holy Place, as it has always been, becomes clear. Notice that when all is done, there will be no need or "place" for the Holy Place because all of the world will then be Holy i.e. "I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it."

Earth

"20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)

God is coming to Earth when the Messiah has completed His task of preparing the Holy Place. God's Throne, which was symbolized by the Most Holy Place, will then be on Earth - as intended.

"21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4 KJV)

Everywhere on Earth will then be a Holy Place because there will be no evil: "the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

"21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:6-8 KJV)

With the Holy Place completed, there will be no need for a Temple to contain something that will then be everywhere.

"21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:22-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: In order to understand the Holy Place, one must understand the "church." See the studies below.

1. The Church In The Garden 2. The Church In The Wilderness 3. The Church Today
4. The Church In The End Time 5. The Church In The Kingdom Of God 6. The Church: Mission Accomplished


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This Day In History, May 7

973: German King Otto the Great died at age 61.

1274: The Second Council of Lyons convened under Gregory X, attended by approximately 500 Church of Rome bishops. It accomplished a temporary reunion of the separated Eastern Orthodox churches with the Roman Catholic Church.

1727: Jews were expelled from the Ukraine by Empress Catherine I of Russia.

1763: The Indian chief Pontiac began an all out war against the British in New York.

1915: During the First World War, the British liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. More than 1,100 passengers and crew perished.

1934: The world's largest pearl was found at Palawan, Philippines. It weighed over 14 pounds / 6.4 kilograms.

1940: Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain.

1941: Joseph Stalin became Premier of Russia.

1942: During the Battle of the Coral Sea, U.S. and Japanese naval forces attacked each other with carrier-based warplanes. It was the first battle in the history of naval warfare where two enemy fleets fought without actually having each other in sight. When it was over, the Japanese had lost 1 carrier and had another damaged; the U.S. lost 1 carrier (the Lexington) and had another damaged.

1945: Germany signed an unconditional surrender to end the Second World War in Europe. "V-E Day."

1954: Vietnamese forces took Dien Bien Phu from the French; some historians mark this event as the defeat of the French by the Vietnamese. When the French left (the divided Vietnam of "North" and "South" that the French themselves created, thereby triggering the Vietnam civil war), the U.S. involved itself in the same civil war until the 1970s - when the U.S. left and Vietnam was re-united as the single country that it had been before French and U.S. involvement.

1960: Leonid Brezhnev became President of the Soviet Union.

1999: Pope John Paul II traveled to Romania, becoming the first pope to visit a predominately Eastern Orthodox country since the "Great Schism" in 1054.





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