Hebrews 9:1-15 (KJV) Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.  And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;  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;  And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.  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:  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:  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;  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.  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;  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  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:  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?  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.
When the Book of Hebrews was written the Temple – called Herod’s Temple – still stood in Jerusalem. Pastor John MacArthur said that he believes this Book was written sometime between AD 60 and AD 69, perhaps about AD 65. If it was written in AD 65 these Hebrews had no idea that the Temple would be destroyed just five short years later in AD 70.
But God knew the Temple would be destroyed. The Temple HAD to be destroyed.
1 God Does Not Want To Live In Our Man Made Structures. Idols Live In Man Made Structures. God Is Everywhere And Eternal! The Hebrews – like many who do not understand God and His immensity – looked to the Temple, to the Levitical Priests, to the sacrifices and sacraments to see God. They believed that the rituals gave them a relationship – an unbreakable relationship – with God. Many of the Hebrews when told of Christ pointed to the Temple and said:
Why do we need Jesus? We have the Temple!
Hebrews 9:1 (KJV) Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
The mark of the First Covenant that God made with Israel was a MAN MADE Tabernacle or a Temple. Certainly God told Israel how to build the Tabernacle. Certainly God told Israel how to furnish the structure. These were “ordinances of divine service”.
But it was a WORLDLY sanctuary.
Anything that is “worldly” is temporary.
While Israel was moving and not yet in the Promised Land God decreed that they use a Tent called the Tabernacle. But once they were settle in Jerusalem God allowed Solomon to build a Temple, a more permanent structure. But notice what we see in verse 2:
Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Look at the word “tabernacle”. This is the Greek σκηνή skēnē (pronounced skay-nay’) a tent or a temporary shelter. Whether TENT or BUILDING the Temple was ALWAYS TEMPORARY. It was a SKAY-NAY!
A Little History Lesson Here:
When Israel got to the Holy Land David asked God if he could build Him a more permanent shelter. King David told the Prophet Nathan:
2 Samuel 7:2 (ESV) …. See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.
The Ark – a box that represented the Presence and blessing of God – was in a tent. David wanted to build a more permanent structure for God. David wanted to do this because David loved God.
a David Loved God, So He Wanted To Build God A Place To Stay, A Home. In his love he said “God, I want to be as good to You as You have been to me. God understood what David was saying, and blessed King David because of it.
May I say, dear Ones, that …
The Way to Blessing is to love God!
The Way to Blessing is to love God!
God told King David …
2 Samuel 7:4-11 (ESV) … ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. … 11 … Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.
The Lord told David “I have not asked you for a house – but I will build you, David, a house!” God loved David. God didn’t need a house, no more than He needed David or needs us. But God loves those who love Him.
Deuteronomy 7:9-10 (ESV) Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face.
You can’t OUT LOVE God, you can’t OUT LIVE God, and you can’t OUT GIVE God.
He told David “the Lord will make you a house” (or in the King James “He will make thee an house”. David wanted God to have a PERMANENT PRESENCE in Jerusalem. Because he desired this in his heart, God told David I WILL MAKE YOU A PERMANENT PRESENCE in history.
2 Samuel 7 was where God made an everlasting covenant with David. It is because of this covenant – the Davidic Covenant – that Christ had to descend from the family of David.
God told David “you shall not build a house for Me because you are my man of war”. But God told David:
1 Chronicles 28:6 (KJV) …. Solomon thy son, he shall build my HOUSE and my COURTS: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
God uses the word בַּיִת bayith (pronounced bah’-yith) for the word “house”. That word means “a dwelling place”. What God was saying was akin to “I’ll let Solomon build Me a Baymont Inn, a Hilton, a Ritz Plaza”. You can build Me a place to visit.
But you can’t build God a permanent dwelling place. Why? It’s impossible! God says …
Isaiah 66:1 (ESV) … “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
b Inside This “Baymont Inn” That Solomon Would Build (It Is A SKEINE or Tent) There Were Several Representative Things, Shadows That Pointed To A Greater Truth.
Hebrews 9:2 For there was a TABERNACLE made; the first, wherein was the CANDLESTICK, and the TABLE, AND THE SHEWBREAD; which is called the sanctuary.
There Was A Candlestick or Lampstand That Represented Christ
Or the Lampstand (λυχνία lychnia) a shadow of the Coming Messiah.
The Lampstand was made of pure gold, there were no impurities in it.
When the Messiah came He there would be no impurities in Him.
The lamp was to be tended by the High Priest and his successors so that its light never went out,
Exodus 27:20 (KJV) … to cause the lamp to burn always.
This Light would shine day and night so that the priest could see his way unto God in the Holy of Holies. This Lampstand symbolized the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said:
John 8:12 (KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 9:5 (KJV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Jesus Christ is the “true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9), the “Only Way a person can come unto the Father” (John 14:6). The Golden Lampstand was a shadow of the Coming Christ. The Tabernacle is temporary, beautiful as it was. The Lampstand is temporary, costly as it was.
There Was A Table Of Showbread That Represented Christ
The Table of Showbread contained twelve loaves, each representing God’s sustenance to His people. God loves you. God loves you! God will provide for you. He is in covenant with His people. But again, the Table of Showbread was only a shadow, something temporary that promised a greater tomorrow. The Table of Showbread looked forward to – once more – the Coming of Christ. Jesus said:
John 6:32-35 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Jesus is THE Bread of Life. When we gather for the Lord’s Table the broken Bread represents His Body, broken for us. The Cup is the communion of the Blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). He is what the Table of Showbread foreshadowed.
There Was A Holy Of Holies That Represented Heaven
Hebrews 9:3-7 (KJV) And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;  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;  And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.  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:
The Priests only went into the first veil of the Temple.|
But inside the Second Veil was what was called the Holy of Holies.
This place was entered into only by the High Priest, and only once a year.
The Holy of Holies and it’s contents represented God in His Heaven. It was symbolic only because the High Priest went into this place every year to cover the sins of the people.
Solomon, I am told, began building the Temple in 966 BC, some 480 years after Israel came out of Egypt under Moses (see 1 Kings 6:1). The original Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant which represented God’s Throne and His Presence. That Temple was destroyed by the invasion of the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. For 70 years there were no sacrifices because there was no Temple.
When the Temple was rebuilt (see the Book of Ezra) the Ark Of The Covenant was missing, and has never been discovered. In P.E. Hughes Commentary on Hebrews we read:
“With the destruction of Solomon’s temple in 587 B.C. the Ark disappeared from the scene, and in the second or post- exilic temple, which remained standing until the sack of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the HOLY OF HOLIES WAS COMPLETELY EMPTY, the former position of the ark being demarcated by a slab of stone known as ‘the stone of foundation.'”
Both the Temple and the Holy of Holies were temporary, representative of Someone Greater to come. That Someone Greater is Jesus Christ.
2 The Only Way To Enter Heaven – To Be With God Forever – Is Through Christ Jesus! The High Priest of Israel entered the Holy of Holies with the Blood of the Sacrifice – but the High Priest only entered a shadow Heaven. The High Priest entering the Holy of Holies represented Christ entering Heaven on our behalf. Read carefully this next section of Hebrews with me …
Hebrews 9:8-10 (KJV) 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:  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;  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Notice that first sentence – “The Holy Spirit showed that the way into the holiest of all was not yet revealed while the first Tabernacle was standing”.
“The Holiest ofAll” is not here a reference to the Holy of Holies.
The “Holiest of All” is a reference to Heaven where God is enthroned.
The High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies with animal sacrifices, but he did not enter into the holiest of all, that place we call Heaven. The Holy of Holies was a picture or a foreshadow of Heaven, and only one person entered into that place.
Listen to me … this is VERY IMPORTANT!
The word “Heaven” is found in 313 verses in the Old Testament, but the Old Testament Saint did not go to “Heaven” where God is. Why? Because Christ had not yet come.
When the Old Testament Saints died they went to a place called “Abraham’s Bosom” or “Paradise”. It was a place of comfort, where those who looked for the Coming Jesus waited for the Promise of His Blessing. Jesus spoke of Abraham’s Bosom when He spoke of the Rich Man and Lazarus:
Luke 16:22-23 (KJV) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Jesus clarifies this when He tells us in …
John 3:11-13 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?  And NO MAN HATH ASCENDED UP TO HEAVEN, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
As Jesus speaks to Nicodemus, a Rabbi, He tells Nicodemus “no one has ascended unto Heaven BUT HE THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN”. Jesus was speaking of Himself. The Old Testament Saints died looking for the Messiah, but as we are told …
Hebrews 11:13 (ESV) These all died in faith, not having received the things promised ….
You could enter the earthly and temporal Holy of Holies with animal blood once a year if you were the High Priest, but NO ONE entered the Eternal Holy of Holies which is Heaven. Why? Because the blood of animals cannot atone for sin.
Because the works of our hands cannot bring us to God’s Heaven.
But no one went into God’s Heaven under the Old Covenant nor under the Old Law. The Priest entered a shadow of Heaven, but no one entered Heaven itself.
I love the “Buts” of Scripture. Read it with me.
Hebrews 9:11-12 (KJV) 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;  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
The Old Testament Saint looked forward to the Coming Messiah, for they knew that He would be the key to Heaven. They looked for that Heavenly city. They died and went to Paradise, Abraham’s Bosom. But none entered Heaven proper until Christ entered that Heavenly Holy of Holies by His own Blood, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us. Oh the Old Testament Saint had glimpses into Heaven. Enoch walked with God and was not, for God took him (Genesis 5:24). Elijah was caught up by a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11). Isaiah glimpsed into Heaven and was horrified, for he was a man of unclean lips, in the midst of a people with unclean lips (Isaiah 6:5). There were glimpses, but none entered into that beautiful place. They died looking for the promise, and waited in Abraham’s Bosom. And they waited. They were comforted, but they waited. Then we are told in ..
Ephesians 4:8 (KJV) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Jesus entered into the Heavenly Throne-room of God bearing His Blood shed on Calvary for us. He carried the Old Testament Saints with Him when He ascended. He led captivity captive. As Shari Abbott wrote, “When Jesus offered Himself in payment for the penalty of man’s sins, His shed blood made the complete and final atonement for sins. And, when Jesus ascended into Heaven, He led the Old Testament saints from Abraham’s Bosom to their new dwelling place with Him (Ephesians 4:8) in the Heaven of heavens.”
3 The Blood Of Christ Gives Us Standing With God Both Now, And In Eternity. It is His Blood shed on Calvary that pays for our sins. It is His sacrifice that makes us right with God, not just in Heaven, but here on this earth. This is what the text concludes with, saying …
Hebrews 9:14-15 (KJV) 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?  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.
The question I now ask you is quite simple. Are you relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation, or on something or someone else? The Pharisees relied on the Temple and their strict adherence to the Law, yet Jesus called them “children of the devil” (John 8:44-45). Religion without a relationship with God in Christ makes a child of the devil.
John 1:12-13 (KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Heaven waits for those who have received Christ and His works for salvation. Heaven is coming for those who are His Children, inheritors of Eternal Life. May God use this message to draw you to faith in Christ.