From the Holy Place
We have studied the earthly tabernacle--a replica of heaven--as a model for entering into the
presence of God (Hebrews 8:1-10:31). Following is a bird’s eye view of the first temple and
an overview of the worship experience. Worship in the tabernacle and the temple followed the
same pattern, as set by God. We will now begin to study the Holy Place, also known as the
Drawn into His Light
The forty years the Israelites traveled in the desert, they carried with them a movable
tabernacle designed by God through His servant Moses (see Exodus 25:8-9). This
tabernacle was the first sanctuary, the model for all temples, synagogues and churches to
follow. The Most Holy Place was the place of God’s presence and entered only once a year
by the high priest. The Holy Place , however, was the place in which the priests would minister
to God regularly. Because the tabernacle was holy, it was set apart from all that was
The three layers of coverings over the tabernacle helped to set it apart. There were tent
curtains of linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn with cherubim worked into them (to be seen
inside the Holy Place ), curtains of goat hair, and curtains of sea cows’ hides dyed red (see
Exodus ch. 26). These coverings kept the environment inside the tabernacle constant and
unaffected by the climate, weather and light outside of the tabernacle.
The Holy Place was lit only by the lampstand within it. This lampstand was made of pure gold
and it was all one piece. From the base extended a shaft with six branches extending from it.
Each branch had a flowerlike cup, bud and blossom that held a lampstand (the shaft in the
middle also served as a stand). Seven lamps sat upon each of the seven stands to provide
light for the Holy Place .
In Revelation chapter 21, we see God’s tabernacle (dwelling) come to be with man forever.
God is the only source of light and Yeshua (Jesus) is the lamp (verse 23). Revelation 1:20
clearly states that the seven lampstands are the congregations of believers. The lampstand
in the early tabernacle is, then, a foreshadowing of the oneness of believers in Yeshua and
Yeshua in the Father at the end of all things (see also John 17:20-26). The lampstand in the
tabernacle was made of one shaft with six branches, representing the congregations of
believers all stemming from the one true vine, Yeshua (see John 15:1-8). Additionally, each
of the seven stands held a lamp, which represents Yeshua. Congregations are ordained by
Yeshua and set apart for the sole purpose of lifting up Yeshua.
As we enter into a time of worship, desiring to be in God’s presence, we must remember the
example of the golden lampstand. The only light within the Holy Place is the light of God,
magnified by Yeshua. When we enter the Holy Place in our worship experience, we are being
drawn to God’s light, which is His undying love for us. This light burns forever and can never
be extinguished. The sacrifice of Yeshua magnifies God’s love for us and guides us into a
place of worship. Remembering God’s love--as demonstrated to us individually through His
mercy, provision and guidance, and collectively through Yeshua's death, burial and
resurrection--incites us to thank Him. Recalling the character of God--as revealed to us by
Yeshua--incites us to adore Him. When we enter the Holy Place , God’s love is the first thing
we see and the only light we need. All other forms of love in our lives pale in comparison
because they do not radiate the warmth and brilliance of the light of God. Each time we
receive this revelation, we are reminded to put God first in our hearts and compelled to
continue our worship experience in the Holy Place by eating the Bread of the Presence from
the golden table and offering pure incense offerings to the God of the Universe, which we will
explore in our next teaching.