Monday, December 31, 2007

Inside The Veil And Outside The Camp

"Charge That to My Account"

and Other Gospel Messages

by Harry A. Ironside




"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of JESUS, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of GOD; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:19-22).

"Wherefore JESUS also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach" (Hebrews 13:12, 13).

THE Old Testament is a very wonderful picture book of New Testament truths. No uninspired writer has ever produced a volume of gospel illustrations that compares with the Old Testament in type, shadow, or symbol. All through the sacred pages of the earlier books we have set forth the wonderful truths that have been made known to us by our Lord JESUS CHRIST.

Those of you who are familiar with the Tabernacle will recall the place which the veil had in connection with its furnishings and ordinances. By it the sanctuary was divided into two parts; the first was called the Holy Place, and into that particular room the priests went ministering from day to day. In it there were three pieces of furniture - the golden candlestick, speaking of CHRIST as the light of the world; the golden table of shew bread, speaking of CHRIST as the One who maintains and sustains His people through their wilderness journey; and the altar of incense, which speaks of CHRIST ever living to make intercession for us.

Then there was the inner sanctuary on the other side of the veil, called the Holiest of All. And in this room there was just one piece of furniture: the ark of the covenant, surmounted by the mercy seat. This was the dwelling place of GOD, and the mercy seat on top of the ark was the meeting place of GOD and man.

An uncreated light, the Shekinah glory, shone above the mercy seat between the golden cherubim, whose wings were spread out over it. Into this sacred enclosure, where the presence of GOD was manifested, the ordinary priests were not permitted to enter; only the High Priest, and that just once a year. He went in carrying a golden basin filled with atoning blood, which he sprinkled upon the mercy seat and before it, where he himself took his stand.

This was GOD's figure for the time then present, we are told in the Epistle to the Hebrews, when no man could have immediate access to GOD. There was a priesthood provided through which people drew nigh unto GOD in a ritualistic way, but GOD commanded that the people should stand afar off to worship Him, and the man who drew near was put to death. The only exception was the High Priest once every year.

The Veil of Separation

The veil which hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy was most significant, for we are told in Hebrews that it represented the flesh of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, that is, it represented Him as a man here on earth. The veil was composed of fine twined linen, ornamented with threads of blue and purple and scarlet, and cherubim were wrought upon it, setting forth the justice and judgment of GOD.

The fine twined linen pictures, as it always does in Scripture, perfect righteousness, the spotless and righteous life of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, the sinless One, in whom is no sin, for He knew no sin. The blue suggested His Heavenly character. He was not a mere man, born as other men are; He was the Son of man from Heaven. The purple spoke of royal dignity. He was the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the One who came to reign on earth, the righteous King.

The scarlet is most significant. It literally means, "The splendor of a worm." This seems a strange expression to us, but it need not be. In Mexico there is a little insect that feeds on cactus, called the cochineal. It is ground up in a mortar and its blood makes a crimson dye. Also in Palestine, there was a little worm called the tola. When it was crushed, it produced the scarlet dye which was used in making the beautiful garments that clothed the nobility. In Psalm 22:6, the Lord says, "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." He took the lowest place, the place of a worm, and was crushed in death that you and I might be clothed with the beautiful garments of righteousness and glory. The scarlet speaks of suffering and of glory. Think, then, how wonderfully that veil sets forth the Lord JESUS CHRIST, the Heavenly One, the kingly One, the suffering One, the righteous One.

The Way into the Holiest

But the unrent veil shut man out from GOD, and the holy spotless life of JESUS was in itself a barrier rather than a means of approach to GOD. The unrent flesh of JESUS only served to shut GOD in and to shut man out. JESUS said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24). Men seem to think that our blessed Lord came to earth as an example to show us what man ought to be or do in order to obtain GOD's favor. The life of our Lord, instead of being an example which unconverted men may follow in order that they might find their way into the presence of GOD, is simply the condemnation of all men everywhere, for in CHRIST we see what man should be, but what no man ever was, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

The unrent flesh of JESUS was a barrier into the presence of GOD. No man is perfect as JESUS was, and therefore no man has a title as He had to enter into the presence of GOD uncondemned. But now the glorious gospel is this, that the holy One, the perfect One, the righteous One, the Heavenly One, the kingly One, went to Calvary's Cross, and there His flesh was rent; there He took the place of guilty sinners; there He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, He, the sinless One, was made sin for us.

"All our iniquities on Him were laid; All our indebtedness by Him was paid."

He took the sinner's place, and bore the sinner's judgment. He drank the cup of wrath that sinners so justly deserve to drink, endured the awful forsaking of GOD, and cried out at last, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Then, having drained that cup to the bitter dregs, having borne the judgment that you and I so richly deserve, He cried in triumph, ere He surrendered His spirit to the Father, "It is finished."

When He died, we read that "the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom"; not from the bottom to the top as though some priest might have torn it asunder, but from the top to the bottom. It was the hand of GOD that rent that veil, in order to declare that now the way into His immediate presence has been opened through the rent flesh of His beloved Son. We read in the New Testament, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of JESUS, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated (or dedicated) for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Hebrews 10:19, 20).

"The Holiest we enter
In perfect peace with GOD,
Through whom we found our center
In JESUS and His blood.
Though great may be our dullness
In thought and word and deed,
We glory in the fullness
Of Him that meets our need.

"Much incense is ascending
Before the eternal throne;
GOD graciously is bending
To hear each feeble groan.
To all our prayers and praises
CHRIST adds His sweet perfume,
And Love the censer raises
These odors to consume."

And there into the immediate presence of GOD, He who died upon the Cross to put away our sins has entered as our great High Priest. We are told in Hebrews that He is entered within the veil as our forerunner. His place in the Holiest is the pledge that all who believe on Him shall be there. He has gone in as our representative. He has gone in to announce to GOD the Father that through the virtue of His shed blood untold millions shall also be there.

A Pilgrim Path

In the meantime, we are walking, the sands of the desert. We are still down here on earth, and while we are here we have our trials, our sicknesses, our sufferings, and our sorrows to endure, but that loving heart of His feels for everyone of His people in their trials and griefs, and presents the incense of His own constant intercession there in the presence of GOD on our behalf. We may well say:

"O GOD, we come with singing,
Because Thy great High Priest
Our names to Thee is bringing,
Nor e'er forgets the least.

"For us He wears the mitre,
Where 'Holiness' shines bright;
For us His robes are whiter
Than Heaven's unsullied light."

In spirit we are invited, yea, we are urgently commanded, to enter into the Holiest of All as purged worshipers. Where do you worship? If somebody were to ask you this question what would your answer be? Would you say, "In Moody Church?" That is a poor place in which to worship. How could you worship in the Moody Church, or any other church, if the veil were not rent!

Oh, dear Christian, do understand that they who worship the Father "must worship him in spirit and in truth." As we do this, where is the place of our worship? Not in any sanctuary made with hands, no matter how beautiful, how glorious, how grand, but only inside the veil. Your body may occupy a seat in some building, but if in spirit you come to GOD through the rent veil, the death of JESUS, and bow before Him in adoration, in love, in thanksgiving, in the name of His blessed Son, that is worship.

"The veil is rent - our souls draw near
Unto a throne of grace;
The merits of the Lord appear,
They fill the holy place.

"His precious blood has spoken there,
Before and on the throne;
And His own wounds in Heaven declare,
The atoning work is done.

"Tis finished! - here our souls have rest.
His work can never fail:
By Him, our Sacrifice and Priest.
We pass within the veil.

"Within the Holiest of All,
Cleansed by His precious blood,
Before the throne we prostrate fall,
And worship Thee, O GOD!

"Boldly the heart and voice we raise,
His blood, His name, our plea;
Assured our prayers and songs of praise
Ascend, by CHRIST, to Thee."

True Worship

When people talk of worshiping in some building on earth, and think of a ritualistic service as worship, and talk of worshiping GOD in music, it simply shows that they do not understand what is involved in the rending of the veil. The worship that is acceptable to GOD is the music that rises up to Him as His SPIRIT touches the heart-strings of His redeemed people and we bow before Him, the Holiest of All, singing and making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.

It is not merely that on Sunday mornings we press our way inside the veil; no, that is the place where we should be abiding in spirit constantly. Sometimes I go into a meeting where there is a very good atmosphere and some well-meaning brother rises to pray, and says, "O GOD, we thank Thee that this morning we have been sitting together in Heavenly places in CHRIST."

But it is not just when a good meeting is going on, but in every moment of the believer's life, he is sitting in Heavenly places in CHRIST JESUS. The place of our abiding is inside the veil, in the immediate presence of GOD with nothing between. All that once shut GOD in and shut man out has been removed in the death of CHRIST.

Outside the Camp

But we must now consider the other expression, "Outside the camp," for what the old hymn says is true:

"Our Lord is now rejected,
And by the world disowned;
By the many still neglected,
And by the few enthroned."

Just as His place in glory is our place, so His place on earth is our place, as we go through this sinful world. What is His place down here? It is the place of rejection, for "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."

These two expressions, "His own," are not absolutely the same. The first is the neuter; the second is personal, and the passage may be paraphrased: "He came unto his own things and his own people received him not."

Think of it, He came to His own city, Jerusalem, the city of the great King. If there was any place on earth where He might have expected to be received with gladness and acclaim, it was Jerusalem. He came unto His own temple, every whit of it uttered His glory, the very veil spoke of His perfect humanity, and every piece of furniture pictured Him. There was the altar, the laver, the candlestick, the table of shew bread, and everything spoke of Him; but as He came to His own things, the very priests in the temple joined in the cry, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" and they led Him outside the gate, the rejected One.

"Our Man's rejected, don't you know
It happened many years ago,
Yea, centuries have passed away
Since it was great election day
In Salem's city, e'en the same,
Where GOD the Lord had set His Name."

There were two candidates that day, CHRIST and Barabbas.

The people chose the murderer and rejected the Saviour.

He accepted the place they gave Him, and with lowly grace allowed them to lead Him outside the city, away from the temple, away from the palace, outside the gates, unto the place called Calvary,

"And there, He died,
A King crucified,
To save a poor sinner like me."

As far as the world is concerned it has never reversed that judgment. He is still the rejected One, and the place the world has given Him should determine the place that you and I will take. He was rejected, not merely by the barbarian world, not merely by those who were living low, degraded lives, but also by the literary world, the cultured world, the religious world. It was the religious leaders of the people who demanded His death, and all the world acquiesced. The world still continues to do so. It has its culture, its refinements, its civilization (often mistaken for Christianity), its religion (one that has no place for the Cross of CHRIST, or the vicarious atonement, or His glorious resurrection), but our blessed Lord is apart from it all, and the Word to us is this, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."

Sharing His Rejection

Do you rejoice in the salvation He purchased on the Cross, but shrink from participating in His rejection? Are you still seeking a place in the world that had no place for Him? Or, does your heart say, "We would not have joy where He had woe; be rich where He was poor"? Inside the veil - that is, the place of privilege; outside the camp - that is, the place of responsibility. A beautiful little hymn puts it this way:

"Through Thy precious body broken
Inside the veil:
O what words to sinners spoken
Inside the veil.
Precious as the blood that bought us;
Perfect as the love that sought us;
Holy as the Lamb that brought US
Inside the veil.

"When we see Thy love unshaken
Outside the camp;
Scorned by man, by GOD forsaken,
Outside the camp.
Thy loved Cross alone can charm us;
Shame need now no more alarm us;
Glad we follow, nought can harm US
Outside the camp.

"Lamb of GOD, through Thee we enter
Inside the veil;
Cleansed by Thee we boldly venture
Inside the veil.
Not a stain; a new creation;
Ours is such a full salvation;
Low we bow in adoration
Inside the veil.

"Unto Thee, the homeless stranger,
Outside the camp;
Forth we hasten, fear no danger,
Outside the camp.
Thy reproach, far richer treasure
Than all Egypt's boasted pleasure;
Drawn by love that knows no measure
Outside the camp.

"Soon Thy saints shalt all be gathered
Inside the veil;
All at home, no more be scattered,
Inside the veil.
Nought from Thee our hearts shalt sever;
We shall see Thee, grieve Thee never;
'Praise the LAMB!' shalt sound forever
Inside the veil."

(Taken from chapter 11 of Charge That To My Account by Harry Ironside)


  1. God bless you for your faithful labors for our Lord, brother!

    I know that Heaven will be richer for your work.

    Brother Virgil

  2. Brother Virgil, very good to hear from you. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

    I truly wish I had the time and resources I once had to work on this blog - with the recurring death of my computer, I find it very hard to post and edit new material through my Ipod Touch or Ipad - they are geared for reading, but not especially useful for working on articles/studies, etc.

    It is great to be able to use these tools to study the Biblle though, and I am still preaching regularly at the Gospel Mission where I work (just reached four years as staff there in September - seven years of preaching come this February 2011).

    Hope all is well with you. May the Lord continue to richly bless you too as you serve Him faithfully!