“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh” (Heb. 10:19-20).
As we continue to look at the spiritual significance of the veil which Moses used to cover his face, let us consider One who is greater than Moses who inaugurated for us a new and living way through the veil.
Our Lord Jesus has opened the way into the Most Holy that all may enter and inherit the fullness of the Kingdom. But why do we not yet see the experience of the Most Holy among the Lord’s people? As the earthly tabernacle was made according to a pattern and was a copy of the heavenly (Heb. 8:5), the three parts of Moses’ tabernacle signify three progressive spiritual experiences.
The Most Holy bespeaks the highest dimension of life in the Spirit. It is a spiritual experience only attained beyond the second veil (Heb. 9:3). In establishing this truth, the writer of the Hebrew sets before us the pattern Son who not only entered the Holiest but made a way by the blood of His sacrifice once and for all. This is indeed a finished work in God.
But there still remains on behalf of the Lord’s people, an entering in by the open way into the Most Holy. Unlike the experiences of the Outer Court (new birth) and the Holy Place (baptism of the Spirit & gifts), we do not yet see among mainstream Christianity a revelation and attainment of the spiritual order of the Most Holy. Keep in mind that the Most Holy is the realm of fullness and perfection. It is a dimension where the resurrection life of Jesus Christ puts on flesh in man. The Most Holy is a realm of completeness where Christ reigns unhindered in our spirit, soul and body. It is the sphere of the third heaven where there is nothing left of our Adamic consciousness, carnality, self or flesh. Only Christ stands in that realm.
God has ordained a way into this realm, which Jesus Christ has initiated. Unlike the previous two experiences, access into the Most Holy is not something we receive as a gift. We can neither confess, pray nor claim our way into it. Anyone who desires to partake of all the richness of the kingdom of God in the Most Holy has to follow that same path which Jesus the Forerunner took. This is the one and only way. It is the way through the veil, that is, the flesh.
This new and living way which Jesus inaugurated was the way of death. We read that our Lord went through the veil of His flesh, which is in reference to His death. Thus, His blood was a byproduct of His death. Without His death there would be no access to the blood (life) that washes our sins and appropriates His life in us. In fact the word ‘new’ in Hebrews 10:20 is the Greek word ‘prosphatos’ which means “lately slaughtered, freshly killed”. The word comes from the root word ‘sphazo’ which means “to slay”. This drives home the heart of my message; that this way involves a continuous appropriation of this death freshly in our experience.
Life through death is a fundamental principle of the kingdom exemplified in the life of our Lord Jesus. For unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain (Joh. 12:29). This Jesus spoke concerning Himself. Jesus laid down His will, made Himself of no reputation, surrendered His position in the Godhead, learned obedience from what He suffered, lowered Himself as a bondservant, was proven through testing and ultimately yielded His life being obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. This is the way, the only way, the new and living way, which Jesus dedicated.
But, if there was a cross for Him, is there not a cross for you and me? If He learned obedience from what He suffered, how are we to learn obedience? If He had to lay down His will for the Father’s will, is not the same expected of us? If He was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tested, is there not a wilderness of proving for us? In His death, Jesus not only opened the way into the Most Holy for us but He also established the way by which everyone must enter. Consider the instruction of our Lord: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).
There is only one infallible way into the Holiest and that is through the rent veil of our own flesh. Some might contend that the veil is already torn. So, let me ask why then haven’t the Lord’s people entered fully into the Most Holy? Is it not because we have not entered experientially that we read: “but now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus” (Heb. 2:8-9)? Is it not the veil of our flesh that dims His life and prevents the manifestation of Christ in all its glory from being evidenced in our life? Indeed there is a finished work in Christ but it has to be worked in and appropriated in each of our lives. Paul who claimed not to have already attained to perfection instructs us to press on and to “put to death your members which are on the earth” (Col.3:5).
The death of which Paul speaks is worked in us by a cross dedicated for every son of God. One and all must bear their cross and take part in this death. Thus Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Mat. 16:24-25). It may seem ironic that this path that leads to death is called “a new and living way”.
Death is fundamentally a separation from something. Physical death is the separation of the spirit and soul from the body. The first death, which Adam died, was a separation from His union with God. Through this death Adam entered into physical and spiritual death (a state of mortality and corruption) and became separated from the nature of God. Similarly, the second death, of which I now speak, is what causes our separation from flesh and carnality (Rev. 21:8). By the second death the first death is done away. In the death of our Adamic, in the passing away of our carnal mind and when self is no more, then will we experience the resurrection life of Christ rising up with power in us and witness Him unveiled in our body.
Paul affirms this truth when he testifies: “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:10-11). The Phillips rendering reads: “Every day we experience something of the death of the Lord Jesus, so that we may also know the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours” (2 Cor. 4:10). Is this not what Paul claimed to “die daily”? Do we have any notion of this experience of which Paul speaks?
What is it to carry in our body the dying of our Lord Jesus? Is it not to be conformed to His death by partaking in the same loss and surrender He experienced? Paul refers to this dying as ‘suffering the loss of all things’ (Phil. 3:8). In the natural, to die is to let go or leave behind all things earthly. Spiritually too, losing all things means to be separated from the earthly by counting (i.e. considering) all things earthly as refuse. This is a state of mind afforded to us by the Spirit where the things of the natural, soulish, carnal no longer hold power or preeminence in our life. If a thing holds no place in your heart, then that thing is dead to you and you are dead to that thing. Paul assures us that this suffering of the loss of all things is the precondition to gaining Christ and being found in Him.
Did not the Lord say the same to the rich young ruler: “Sell all that you have… and come, follow Me” (Luk. 18:22). Some may think this requires selling all their belongings. But how many will obey when God tells them to sell all the religious traditions and activities, their old understandings, their dreams and plans, their “best version of themselves”, their earthly passions, and the countless other things they hold so dearly. In effect, Jesus was saying to the rich young ruler, if you want any part with me, you have to die the same death which I died in surrendering all my status, rank and will. This is the new and living way by which we enter into the Holiest. There is no other way. The cross is not a suggestion, it’s ordained by God. He who does not take his cross and follow after Him is not worthy of Him (Mat. 10:38).
What Jesus was teaching His disciples was not self-denial in the sense of restricting ourselves of our desires and actions. This is what Paul calls self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body (Col. 2:23). Restraining the outer man by our own self effort is a futile endeavor. Death to the self-life will start to take effect as we experience the raising up within of Christ’s Life. As He increases, the one who claimed: “I have not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matt. 10:34) begins to ride on our earth wielding a mighty two-edged sword (Rev. 1:16; 6:4). Thus the death actively working in us is by the Spirit of God. Did not Paul say that “if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live” (Rom. 8:13)?
Are you on this new and living way today? To those who hear this call, a path awaits where we partake of the fellowship of Christ’s suffering and experience daily the death of our Lord Jesus. Only when His death is actively at work in us will we begin to fully manifest His life in our mortal flesh (2 Cor. 4:12). Peter also encourages us along this path saying: “rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Pet. 4:13).
It is for this glorious end that our Lord Jesus bids us: “be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Faithfulness unto death is the mark of an overcomer. This faithfulness is not until some trial or difficulty in our life passes away. It is faithfulness unto the death of our human consciousness, our self-will, our own ambitions and devices, our soulish passions, our religious creeds and programs, our fleshly desires and everything else that does not find its source in Him. Only in this death do we qualify for the crown of life. Notice, a crown is for the victor. Hence, the encouragement of our Lord Jesus to each of the seven churches is: “overcome”.
Sadly, much of the contemporary church system has forsaken this way. Perhaps it’s not a message that will make many shout or jump, neither is it a message that appeals to those whose priority is achieving and maintaining worldly status. Those who will only follow Jesus to the extent that He will do them good know not of this way and they are no different than the rich young ruler. They miss greater experiences in God as they replace the kingdom with the comfort and preservation of the self-life.
Such a utilitarian Christianity and an expedient faith has become the order of the day and it will only profit one man – Adam. It adds nothing to the cultivation and birthing of Christ in a people. Along this new and living way the flesh profits nothing. You will lose all, be rejected and forsaken by many, endure tribulation, and partake in the suffering of Christ only to come out in the glorious realm of the Most Holy having laid hold of God Himself. There is no greater a reward, no greater an inheritance, no loftier a testimony than to stand in the glorious realm of the Most Holy having gained Christ and having been found in Him.