The teaching that Christ entered the Most Holy Place in the heavenly temple immediately after His ascension is faulty. It is based on the phrase “behind the veil” in Hebrews 6:19-20 which says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
This teaching assumes there is only one veil in the sanctuary. But the Bible reveals that there are three veils or curtains in the Bible Sanctuary:
- The curtain that separated the Holy and Most Holy places (Exodus 26:31, 33).
- The curtain at the door of the tabernacle, between the court and Holy Place (Exodus 26:37; 36:37; Numbers 3:26).
- The curtain for the gate of the courtyard, basically the front entrance into the court (Exodus 38:18).
So, which curtain does Paul refer to in Hebrews 6:19? Is it the first veil between the courtyard and Holy Place or is it the veil between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place?
In Hebrews 9:3 Paul specifically designates the veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place as “the second veil”:
“For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail” (Hebrews 9:2-5).
There is no such language in Hebrews 6:19, which can lead to the conclusion that in this verse it is the first veil between the courtyard and Holy Place that is referred to. In other words, immediately after His ascension into heaven, Christ entered the Holy Place, and not the Most Holy Place.
Among the different Bible translations, the King James Version gives the correct translation and affirms that Christ entered the Holy place after the ascension (Hebrews 9:12) while, the NKJV and the NIV err in their translation and say that Christ entered the Most holy place.
In order to understand this more, we need to know the sequence of events and services in the earthly sanctuary because it is given as our illustration for what happens in the heavenly Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is made of three main parts: the Courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies. The courtyard is where the sacrifices were offered. The Holy Place is where services of prayer, the shewbread, and the lampstand took place. The Most Holy Place is where judgement and the cleansing of the sanctuary would take place. Therefore, after Christ was sacrificed on earth as the ‘Lamb of God,’ He ascended to heaven and “entered” the Holy Place—the first apartment—to begin the first phase of His heavenly ministry.
Later, in 1844, Christ entered through the “second veil” to the Most Holy Place. And how can we be sure without a shadow of a doubt that in 1844 Christ entered the most holy place to start the last phase of Sanctuary services? The answer is found in the amazing fulfillment of the 2300 years prophecy. For more on that, please check the following links:
In conclusion, after Christ fulfilled the sacrificial aspect of the Sanctuary service, He entered the Holy Place immediately after His ascension. Then, after His ministry there, He entered the Most Holy Place for the sanctuary to be cleansed.
In His service,