What is the Holiest of All?
By Let Us Reason Ministries
What does Holy mean? There are different meanings applied to this word. Certainly God being Holy would not have the same meaning as His making a day or thing holy. Holy can simply mean to be separate, set apart for God’s use. When we look at the various applications used in Scripture for the many different things God calls Holy, we can understand its meaning. The first time God says something is Holy is in Exod. 3:5: "Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."
The first command given for a Holy day is not the Sabbath but the feast of unleaven bread which commences on the first day of the week, the 2nd is the 7th day. Both are equal and called Holy convocations for Israel as they left Egypt. Exod.12:16-19: "On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them." In other words they are both HOLY and considered Sabbaths (rest days). However these were not to be repeated every week.
COMMANDS FOR HOLY DAYS
Lets look at what God calls His Holy days. Passover: Ex. 12:14-17; Lev. 23:16,23 2) 1st day of the 7th month: (Lev. 23:23-25; Neh. 8:1,9,11) 14th and 21st day of the 1st month: Ex. 12:1,6,16 3).The 15th day of the 7th month: (Lev. 23:34-38) the Sabbath day was first given to man in Ex. 16, 20:11.
Those who did not keep the feast of unleaven bread Ex.12:12-13,19 and the Sabbath Ex.31:14 are cut off for transgressing both days. The Death penalty is the same for each day showing that they were of equal importance. Yet there was a death penalty applied to other laws that were broken as well.
Both are called a "Holy" day Ex.12:16 Both are called "Holy convocations". We find both are connected with Israel's deliverance from Egypt. Lev.23:1-7 Both are "rest days" Both are called a memorial Ex.12:14 Ex. 12:17 Strangers must keep both days if they are within their gates of Israel Ex. 12:19.
Both the Sabbath DAY and the Passover Feast day are called "the Lord's" Ex. 12:11. (Christ fulfilled both of these as our rest and lamb) the earth is "the Lords "Ex.9:29 and the firstborn males Ex.13:12.
Both days are called an ordinance forever Ex.12:14. If one is obligated to keep the Sabbath and decides to dispense with the other, they are breaking the commands. They must be consistent and dispense with the Sabbath too, or keep both. We don't have the freedom to choose under the law which to uphold.
The Sabbath day did not differ from other Jewish holy days. Because it is not the only "holy day" in the Old Covenant. If we look carefully at "the holy days" in Lev.23:1-7. All of these days are described as equally HOLY and high and to be kept as eternal ordinances for Israel under the Old covenant. As long as the old covenant lasts they (Israel) were to observe these Holy days.
There were 3 holy days required for all Jews to assemble in Jerusalem. These were just as important as the Sabbath. The Passover (Exodus 12:14-20; Deuteronomy 16:1-6.) Pentecost (Exodus 23:17 Exodus 34:22 Leviticus 23:9-21 and Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34-44). On the first day of the 7th month (not a Sabbath) we read In Neh. 8:9: "And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God;" Obviously God considers other days holy besides the 7th day Sabbath.
If the Sabbath day must be kept today because God blessed it and made it Holy, Shouldn't we keep all of the other things that God made Holy. Why distinguish between them, when there is no command to do so? All the law and its priestly functions were a unit. The Aaronic priesthood, Ex. 29:21 and The Levitical priesthood, 2 Chron. 35:3 (which are replaced by the Melchizedek order). The ark, 2 Chron. 35:3, the most holy place in the tabernacle: Ex. 29:30-31, (Also replaced by Christ who is the true ark, the true tabernacle who came from heaven). If the law is intact as a function for the believer all these would need to be kept today. This poses a problem since they have been replaced by something greater according to the book of Hebrews. This book was written specifically to Jews who thought they could temporarily go back to the Old covenant and avoid persecution.
God calls numerous other items as holy and separate unto him. Things that are living such as people. Israel as a nation is called Holy, Exod 19:6: "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."(Exod.30:31) The firstborn of the womb and the Levites are his, Num. 3:12-13 "Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. V.13.... "I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast."
There are things that are not living that are also called Holy (separate). Holy Fruit, Lev.19:23 , Lev 27:30 all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S. It is holy to the LORD." Holy ground, Ex. 3:5 (wherever God's glory it is holy), the garments, breastplate, tunic, turban sash, Ex 28:2. Exod 28:6 the ephod of gold blue purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, The crown of pure gold, Ex. 29:6, 39:30, the holy oil, ointment: Ex 30:25 , the vessels, Ex. 40:9; Num. 31:6; holy Water, Num. 5:17, the mountain, Isa.11:9, 1 King 8:4. Num. 7:1 Moses sanctified the tabernacle and all its furnishings. (all of these are a typology of Christ all fulfilled in the person of the Messiah) tithes, Lev. 27:30 (replaced by giving our lives and giving cheerfully from our hearts) , Jerusalem the city, Neh.11:1 (replaced by the new Jerusalem in heaven now) Sabbath day, Ex. 20:11. (Replaced by the Lord of the Sabbath himself, every day we can enter into a Sabbath rest) Numb.15:40. Remember to do all the commandments and "be holy for your God." Rom.7: 12 "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy." There are many other things that are not specifically called Holy but would be considered Holy. Marriage of a man to a woman as well as Christ to his Church are both Holy.
The Most Holy was not the Sabbath Day!
No where does the Scripture teach the Sabbath is the "most holy day of all." Nor was it the most Holy above any of the other things God made Holy. There were numerous articles in the OT God called the most Holy. The Altar : Ex. 29:37 , the Atonement : Ex. 30:10 , The articles, Ex. 30:26-29. The mixture is the most Holy, Ex. 30:34-36 .The grain offering : Lev. 2:3. The sin and trespass offerings, Fire offerings, Lev.6:17,25, Lev. 21:22 the bread of God , Num. 18:9 "This shall be yours of the most Holy things reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me, shall be most holy for you and your sons." The Holy place, Ex. 26:33 , The most Holy place (the inner sanctuary's compartment), 2 Chron. 3:8,10: 2Chron.31:14.
The tabernacle housed the holy of Holies which allowed the Holiest of all to be there, his presence, God himself. Heb. 9:3 "and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All" It was considered the most holy because God himself was to appear there.
Lev. 16:2 and the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. Deut. 31:15 "Now the LORD appeared at the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood above the door of the tabernacle." Does a day the Lord gives to commemorate his rest ever compare to the Lord himself. Nothing God gives is greater than the giver himself. Nothing is more Holier than God.
The sacrifices, the Sabbath, the Tabernacle, the Priesthood were all intertwined in the law and temporary installments until Messiah came ( Heb.8:13; Gal.3:19). All the law revolved around the tabernacle and the priesthood functions. This is the very reason they were destroyed. God sent a message it is over. It was temporary and given for one to be brought to Jesus. Unfortunately there are many today who want to rebuild parts of it. God gave us a pledge when we believed, he gave himself, the Spirit (Eph.1:13). This seal or pledge will determine our eternal destiny, not what law we keep today.
When the whole tabernacle was replaced by the greater one. God made a point, Heb.9:8-11 states "the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience. concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation." The priest sacrificed because one sinned, this was related to the 10 commandments and also incorporated into the 613. The fleshly ordinances were also included since they were to be a guidance in their life. The whole tabernacle was removed, it was a shadow, symbolic and unless it was taken out of the way we could not enter in through the veil which is the true tabernacle, his flesh. The substance is Christ, the shadows are the priesthood, sacrifices, days, the tabernacle and the law.
The LORD IS THE MOST HOLY OF ALL, not a day
In the Old Testament there were types and shadows of the true substance to come. Everything is pointing to Christ in typology, in symbolism, in prophecy.
Under the new covenant God gave the Spirit, He gave himself to the believer, we now operate from a relationship instead of from law.
Paul states we are the temple of God because the Holy .Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:9, 8:11, 1 Cor.3:16, 6:19) 2 Cor.6:16 "For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "This is exactly what God said to Israel and was his intent all along. In Ex.29:45, God says he is "the Lord their God who delivered them out of Egypt, that I may dwell among them." Ex.25:8 "Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." 1 Cor.3:9 the church is the temple Eph.2:19-21 we are the temple (the church), the dwelling of God. Jesus is the cornerstone and the apostles the foundation stones Ps.118:2.
Rom. 6:19: "So now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness." Our whole body, mind and Spirit are to be set apart for God's use. The outcome should be vs.22 "But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life."
Rom. 12:1: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Our bodies are now holy because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
The new sanctuary replaces the old, and the new instructor is Christ through the Holy Spirit, not through tablets of stone. God is the living instructor inside us and by His Word. To go back to the 10 commandments as our instructor means we must set up the old tabernacle again. I for one certainly do not want to do that, Do You?