Did Jesus Enter the Most Holy Place at His Ascension?
by Edwin M. Cotto
THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
If Jesus went into the Most Holy Place to cleanse the heavenly Sanctuary in 1844 according to Daniel 8:14, why does Hebrews 1:3 say that Jesus sat directly at the “right hand of the Father” at His ascension?
THE SHORT ANSWER:
This argument is based on multiple assumptions and along with a disregard for the order in which the priests did their work in the earthly Sanctuary type. The following points, though brief, should suffice to show that Jesus did ascend to the right hand of the Father, but to the HOLY PLACE, to begin His work there according to the earthly type:
- Yes, Jesus went to the right hand of the Father at his ascension, but its an assumption to say that that was in the Most Holy Place. Rev. 4-5 describes the HOLY PLACE, and we see a “lamb” in blood appearing there.
- We know Rev. 4-5 is the HOLY PLACE because it describes the seven candlesticks (4:5) and the incense (5:8), which were furnitures located in the Holy Place.
- There, in the Holy Place, is a Throne (verse 5).
- Jesus appears there, “in the MIDST of the Throne” in the Holy Place (5:6).
- There, at that Throne in the Holy Place, Jesus takes a scroll from off the Father’s “RIGHT” hand (Rev. 5:1, 7).
- Moreover, the Throne has wheels. It is an assumption that God’s Throne is stationary (Dan. 7:9, Eze. 1-10). This becomes more evident when see the Throne of God in different locations, such as in the New City (Rev. 22:1), in the Holy Place (Rev. 4-5) and, as is commonly recognized, in the Most Holy Place upon the Ark of the Covenant. Critics have to prove that there is only one Throne, or that Throne is STATIONARY
Moreover, Jesus has to follow the order of the ancient ceremonial type. In the sanctuary service, the priests first worked the Holy Place, then the Most Holy Place once a year, in that order. If Jesus skipped over the Holy Place, well, first he contradicts the type, and second critics would need to prove by the scriptures that He can do that without jeopardizing himself as the one who would fulfill it perfectly.
One more thing, Jesus did in fact anoint (or inaugurate) the entire Sanctuary first, as that is what took place in the type as well (see Hebrews 9:6, 18, 22-23). This would require entrance into the whole tent, since “all” the vessels of the ministry had to be anointed, including the Ark of the Covenant (Heb. 9:21). But according to the type, the “work” of the priests began first in the “Holy Place” and after in the “Most Holy Place.” So the order was this, first the inauguration, then the work of the Holy Place, and finally the work in the Most Holy Place. Since this is the order in which it was done in the earthly sanctuary, it follows that Jesus was to do it in this same order in the heavenly sanctuary.
THE LONG ANSWER:
The reason for this claim is to prove that nothing took place in 1844 despite the fact that the 2300 day prophecy ended at that time. This is a whole study and I would not do it justice in the limited time I have here, but let me explain a few things regarding the ascension and the throne of God, where Jesus went to at His right hand:
A. Yes, Jesus went to the right hand of the Father at his ascension, but it’s an assumption that this was in the Most Holy Place. As described in the previous question, Rev. 4-5 describes the HOLY PLACE, and we see a slain “lamb” appearing there.
B. There, in the HOLY PLACE, there is a throne (verse 5).
C. Jesus appears there, “in the midst of the throne” in the HOLY PLACE (5:6).
E. There, at the throne in the Holy Place, Jesus takes a scroll from off the Father’s “RIGHT” hand (Rev. 5:1, 7). Thus, Jesus went to the right hand of the Father in the HOLY PLACE.
Note the parallel below:
|RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER|
(Hebrews 1:3, 12:1)
|THE HOLY PLACE|
|Majesty on high (the Father).||Majesty on high (the Father). See: 4:2-3, 8.|
|Right hand.||Right hand. See: 5:1.|
|Throne||Throne. See: 4:1, 5:1.|
|Jesus||Jesus. See: 5:6.|
|“Purged our sins” by dying for us.||“Purged our sins” by dying for us. See: 5:6|
Clearly, Jesus did ascend to the right hand of the Father, but in the Holy Place.
Moreover, the throne of God is described as having wheels (Dan. 7:9, Eze. 1-10). It is an assumption that His throne is stationary. In fact, we constantly see the throne of God in different locations. We see it in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1), in the heavenly Holy Place (Rev. 4-5) and, as you already know, in the Most Holy Place above the Ark as described in the Old Testament. Additionally, Jesus has to follow the order of the ceremony as it was done in the earthly sanctuary service. The priests first worked the Holy Place, then the Most Holy Place once a year, in that specific order. If Jesus skipped over the Holy Place, well, first he contradicted the type, and second critics would need to prove that He can do that without jeopardizing himself as the one who would fulfill it perfectly.
But if Revelation 4-5 describes a throne in the heavenly Holy Place, why is there no throne in the earthly Holy Place? The answer is that there is good evidence that the Table of Shewbread represents God’s throne as well. Note this next parallel:
|On the North (Exo. 26:35, 40:22-23).||On the North (Isa. 14:12-14).|
|Hebrew lahem panim = “bread of presence.”||God’s presence on the throne.|
|Surrounded by two crowns (Exo. 37:10-12 KJV).||Father shares throne with the Son (Rev. 3:21).|
|Two stacks of bread on the table.||Two divine beings on the throne.|
1844 is not about the Holy Place, but about Christ’s move into the Most Holy Place (cf. Daniel 7). Critics assume that the throne of God is only and permanently in the Most Holy Place, but this is false.
Let me add a final detail. The Bible describes that Moses, who represents Christ, entered the entire earthly Sanctuary to inaugurate ALL its vessels before the official service began, including the Ark in the Most Holy Place. See this in Heb. 9:8, 18-23 (note the word “all” in verse 21). According to Hebrews 9:23-24, the heavenly Sanctuary had to also be inaugurated by Christ. Thus, in a sense He did enter throughout the entire Sanctuary to anoint it, but He began His heavenly priestly ministry in the Holy Place first, according to the earthly type and according to Revelation 4-5, where He appears there dressed in His own blood before the Father. This explains Hebrews 6:19-20, a text often used by the critics to say that Jesus skipped over the Holy Place to begin working “within the veil,” the Most Holy Place. They forget this first part of the service, that the entire Sanctuary had to be inaugurated by Christ first, including the Most Holy Place.