FOUR VEILS BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
What is a veil? It is a covering or curtain made from earthen fabric that hides something from being seen, or that separates two places, or prevents passage from one place to another. It can also represent a passage way from one place into another. Well, all of these things will be seen in the 4 veils that will want to study this morning.
There is a fifth veil also taught in the Bible, that we will study in the near future. This fifth veil is a head covering that is worn by the woman of God, particularly in the worship services of God. This veil covers the natural glory of the woman, and symbolizes her subjection to the leadership of the men in Godís designed order of worship. But we will study this veil in detail in another message.
This morning we want to notice 4 veils that are taught in the Holy Scriptures, which either separate men from God, or otherwise provide access for men to go to God; whether symbolically or literally. These veils include the veil of the tabernacle (and temple), the veil between Heaven and earth, the veil of Christís flesh, and the veil of the heart.
1.† The veil of the tabernacle and temple:
Exodus 26:31† And thou shalt make a vail [of] blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 32† And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim [wood] overlaid with gold: their hooks [shall be of] gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 33† And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy [place] and the most holy.
First we want to notice the nature and the purpose of this veil:
This veil was a curtain that separated or divided between the holy place and the most holy place. The holy place was the place of worship and service to God in the tabernacle and then later in the temple. Only the priests were allowed inside the holy place to do their service to God. We can find the church in type here. The closest place to God in this world today is the Lordís Church, and only true born again, baptized believers may enter in and worship and serve God in His Church. Consider yourselves to be a special people to God this morning.
Next, the most holy place, or the holy of holies, represents the presence of God in Heaven, and it was there that God met with His people, the nation of Israel. The veil separated the holy place from the most holy place. Only the high priest was ever allowed into the most holy place, and then only with the blood of the atoning sacrifice. Thus, the veil separated the people from the presence of God. This separation, or prohibition, was caused by mankindís sin. Sin, and sinful mankind therefore, are forbidden to enter the presence of God in there sinful condition. Why? Because God is perfectly Holy without sin, and He will not allow sin to enter into His presence or to defile His Holy habitation in Heaven. Thus, the veil actually separated sinful man from God in the tabernacle worship, and also typified the separation of sinful man with God in Heaven. Beloved, so much could be said here about the high priest and all that he had to do to prepare himself and the people before he entered the most holy place, and how that he typified the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice, but we do not have time this morning.
This veil was not only a means of separation and prohibition between the presence of God and man, but we should also point out that it was also the means of access and entrance into the presence of God by sinful man. The other sides of the most holy place were reinforced with boards overlade with gold and thus these other sides could not be entered through, but praise the Lord, the veil could be entered through! Oh, beloved, thank God that He made a way for man to enter into His presence through the veil! Otherwise we would be forever forbidden into Heaven. Thank God for the veil! Please keep these thoughts in our minds as we go through the message this morning.†
Secondly, we want to notice the construction of the veil:†
The veil was made of one curtain, symbolic perhaps of the one, and only one way into the presence of God. It was made of fine twined linen. They say that Egyptian linen was so pure and white that no fuller on earth could make so white. Thus the veil was constructed of pure and white linen, symbolic of Godís holiness. The fine twined linen they say was six times doubled and four fingers thick, which was symbolic of the great strength of the veil separating man from God, and also of the great strength of the only entrance into Heaven. The veil was to be of cunning work. That is, it was to be crafted with the utmost skill, which was symbolic of Godís absolute perfection.
The veil was also made of blue, purple, and of scarlet. Blue often represents Heaven as one looks up into the blue earthly Heavens toward the third Heaven. Thus blue in the veil may represent the way into the third Heaven where God dwells. Purple represents royalty as of a great King, thus purple in the veil is symbolic of the royalty of Almighty God. Scarlet represents the blood of the atoning sacrifice, or as some believe, the suffering servant. Thus, scarlet is symbolic of the atoning blood by which men must enter into the presence of God.
The veil had cherubims embroidered into it. These were perhaps symbolic of the holy angels guarding the way into the most holy place and into Heaven itself. Perhaps they served as a warning to men against trying to enter into that most holy place, except by the only means that God prescribed in His Word! Oh, there are so many religionists today who are trying to get into Heaven some other way than the way that God has designed!
The veil hung on four pillars of wood that were overlade with gold. The number four is believed by some, to be the number of the earth (4 winds, 4 corners, etc.), and wood also is symbolic of the earthly nature. Thus the four pillars may be symbolic of the earthly character of the veil. The 4 pillars were also overlade with Gold. Gold is symbolic of deity, and therefore the pillars overlade with gold are symbolic of the Heavenly nature of the veil. The veil was made of earthen materials, but it was of heavenly design and origin.
The 4 pillars were supported by sockets of silver. Silver in the Bible, is symbolic of redemption, and the sockets of silver may symbolize redemption through the veil.
Finally, the veil was hung† on gold hooks, which symbolizes that the way into Heaven was of Godís making, and the way to Heaven is kept in place by Almighty God and His deity and His power.
2.† Secondly we want to see the veil between Heaven and earth:
Hebrews 6:19† Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20† Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
The imagery in this verse is to the veil in the tabernacle, which was symbolic of the literal veil between sinful mankind on earth, and the Holy God in Heaven. There is a literal veil, I believe, which separates Heaven from earth, God from man, Holiness from sin, the spiritual world from the earthy. Beloved, we think of Heaven as being so far away. Yes, it no doubt is far away, but that is not why we canít see heaven from here. There is a veil between us and that place, which prevents us from seeing into the third Heaven, and from seeing God and His holy throne, and the Holy angels, and the holy saints of God. This veil is symbolized by the sea of glass that Ezekiel saw in his vision (Ezekiel 1:22), and that John saw in Revelation 4:6; 15:2.
I thoroughly believe, without shadow of a doubt, that if the veil between Heaven and earth were removed this very moment, that we could see directly into Heaven, and see God on His throne, and Jesus at the right hand of God, and the heavenly host worshipping their God and Creator and Savior. This Stephen saw in Acts 7:55. This all wicked men during the great tribulation period will see in Revelation 6:14-17.
The third Heaven was veiled off from earthly view no doubt because of sin. Sin has separated mankind from God. Sin is universal. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Therefore all men are veiled off from seeing into Heaven and from seeing God, because we are all unholy and sinful creatures. We are all as an unclean thing (Isaiah 64:6). The very fact that we cannot see into Heaven, and that we cannot see God is in itself a declaration of the universal sinfulness and depravity of mankind before the Holy God of Heaven.
3.† The veil of Christís Flesh:
Hebrews 10:19-20† Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20† By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Here in this passage, the flesh or body of Jesus is likened to the veil in the tabernacle. Jesus is therefore likened to the only entrance into Heaven and the presence of God. Thus the typology concludes that Jesus is the true veil and the only way into Heaven. Now let us make the analogy between the construction of that veil to Christ.
The veil was made of one curtain, so Christ is the one and only Savior and way into Godís presence. The veil was made of fine, pure white linen. So Christ was Holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. The veil was constructed of fine twined linen, so Christ is the strong and mighty Savior, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him (Heb. 7:25). The veil was to be of cunning work, so Christ was the perfect and sinless Son of God, Who possesses all of the perfections and attributes of God, because He is God the Son.†
The veil, we saw, was also made of blue, purple, and of scarlet. Blue represented the way into Heaven and to God, so Jesus is the way, the only way to the Father. Purple represented the royalty of Almighty God, so Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Scarlet represented the blood of the atoning sacrifice, so Christ is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all His chosen people.
The veil had cherubims embroidered into it, so Christ was always accompanied by the Heavenly host of angels. At His birth they announced His coming (Luke 2:13-14); after His temptations in the wilderness they ministered to Him (Matt. 4:11); in the garden of Gethsemane the angel strengthened Him (Luke 22:43-44); at His arrest in the garden, Jesus said that He could presently call 12 legions of angels to protect Him (Matt. 26:53); at His tomb two angels announced His resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:5-7); and at His ascension back to Heaven the angels announced His second coming (Acts1:10-11).† The angels will also come back with Jesus at His second coming, and take part in that great and terrible Day of the Lord. No doubt angels today also guarding the way into Heaven, by protecting the way of salvation, which is by faith in the pure gospel message of Jesus Christ and His work of redemption on the cross of Calvary. And no doubt the angels are warning men today against trying to enter Godís presence through another way, and through another gospel, which there is no other, save Christ and Him crucified for the remission of sins.
The veil hung on four pillars made of wood which pictured the earthly nature, so Christ took upon an earthly body in order to become that scarlet sacrifice for our sins. The four pillars were also overlade with Gold which pictures deity, so was Christ the deified Son of God sent down from Heaven to be our Savior.
The sockets of silver we said were symbolic of redemption. So Christ is our Redeemer. He purchased and redeemed His people with His own blood on the cross of Calvary.
Finally, the veil was hung† on gold hooks, which symbolized that the way into Heaven was of Godís keeping. So Christ, Who is the only way for sinful men to go to Heaven, is kept in place by Godís power. God keeps the way of salvation pure. He keeps and preserves the gospel message from being corrupted by sinful men, or the devil and his angels. God keeps the gospel message in place so that men may hear it and believe it and thereby approach unto God through the veil, which is Jesus Christ and His work of redemption on the cross of Calvary.
Now we want to see the veil in the temple torn in two:
Matthew 27:50-51† Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51† And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
At the very moment of Jesusí death, the veil in the temple was rent in two from top to bottom. The veil of Christís flesh was torn on that cross, thus God showed the true meaning of the type when He tore the veil in two. Thus the great barrier between sinful man and Holy God has been taken away, and the way into Heaven through the torn body and blood of Jesus has been made. The great mystery of the veil of Christís flesh, and the veil in the temple, and the veil between Heaven and earth is solved here on the cross of Calvary when Jesus died for sinners. God made the way for sinful man to go to Heaven through the death of Jesus Christ His Son. This was pictured when the veil was rent from top to bottom. This showed that God made the way, and that this way is through His Son.
4.† The veil of the heart:
2 Corinthians 3:14† But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [vail] is done away in Christ. 15† But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16† Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
The veil of the heart is the veil of spiritual blindness and ignorance and unbelief upon the hearts of the lost. Israel as a people, by and large, are veiled from the truth of the gospel.† They still donít understand MOSES and the purpose of the law to lead them to Christ, Who is the veil of salvation and the way into the presence of God.
How much different are the gentiles today. They, too, are veiled from seeing the truth of the gospel. They trust in keeping the law. They trust in their good deeds and ďrighteousĒ works. They trust in their baptism and their church membership for salvation. They, like the Jews, are trying to enter in to Godís presence another way, and not through the veil. Beloved, they too, have a veil on their hearts. They canít see the simplicity of the gospel. They canít understand that salvation is by simple faith in what Jesus did on the cross. They canít believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day for their sins. They canít believe this gospel that they might have the forgiveness of all their sins, and eternal life, and a sure hope of entering into the very presence of God in Heaven. Yes, like the Jews, and Gentiles also have this veil of unbelief upon their hearts. One day, beloved, this veil of unbelief will be destroyed from off the hearts of the people:
Isaiah 25:7† ďAnd he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.Ē
One day the veil will be removed from off the heart of Israel as a nation and she will see her Messiah, and the veil of His flesh! Yes, they shall look upon Him Whom they pierced, and they shall repent and believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. One day the vale will also be destroyed from off of the nations of the earth, when Jesus comes back to establish His millennial kingdom.
Our desire, and our hope, and our prayer to God is that He will remove the veil from off some heart this morning. That God might be pleased by His amazing grace, to show some lost and helpless sinner your need of Jesus as your suffering sacrifice for your sins.
May God grant even this morning, that some heart-broken, penitent sinner might receive entrance into Heaven through the veil; that is, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for you, and that He was buried in the tomb, and rose again the third day for you? If not, may God remove that veil from off your heart!
If you do believe in Jesus this morning, have you confessed Him before men, and have you submitted to scriptural baptism, and faithful membership in the Lordís Church?
If you are a saved member of the Lordís Church, are you thankful for the veil removed?
Is the Lord speaking to you today? If so, answer His voice in obedience to His command!