Seek Those Things Which Are Above

What is the significance of Christians seeking those things that are above? Does this have anything to do with the law of God, the ten commandments? This interesting and important Bible study is based on the following verse in Colossians:

Colossians 3:1 .....'If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.'

Ok, so this site is dedicated to proclaiming the eternal law of God, the Bible Ten Commandments. But what does this verse about seeking those things that are above have to do with keeping the law of God? Well, what is this Bible verse telling us to do? To seek things above where Christ dwells. Now to do this, we need to find out what Christ is doing above in heaven. And we find this in the book of Hebrews. I would recommend you study the whole of Hebrews, as it shows us what Christ is doing in Heaven for us, but for now we will look at the main verses:

Hebrews 8:1-2 .....'Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum. We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens; A Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.'

This is a pretty clear Bible verse telling us what Christ is doing in Heaven. Now many Christians will say that Christ's work was done at the cross, and there was nothing more for Him to do. Well, it is true that the job He came to do on earth was completed at the cross, and Satan was forever defeated at the cross, but Christ's work for us did not finish there, as we can see in the above Bible verse. All throughout the book of Hebrews it speaks of the law of God and what Christ is doing in Heaven for us. And the writer of Hebrews sums it up in the verses above, confirming that Jesus is our High Priest and a Minister of the Heavenly sanctuary. It certainly sounds like Jesus is working on our behalf in Heaven right? But why? What work is this that Jesus is doing? To answer this, we need to take a quick look at the earthly sanctuary in the Old Testament.

The Earthly Sanctuary

God gave Moses instructions to build a sanctuary in the Old Testament (Exodus 25:8), where He could dwell with the people and a priestly service could be set up for the people to come and offer unblemished animal sacrifices for their sins. Now of course, no animal sacrifice could blot out the sins of the people, it was purely a shadow of what was to come, which was the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Everything in the priestly service pointed to Jesus and the sanctuary and it's services revealed the great plan of salvation to the people. In Psalm 77:13 it says .....'Thy way O God is in the sanctuary.' What way? Well, Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life and no one could come to the Father except by Him. (John 14:6). The way to salvation through Christ Jesus is shown in the earthly sanctuary, so it's very important to learn about this. Let's look at the furnature in the earthly tabernacle, and you will see Jesus in all of them.

- In the outer courtyard was the altar of burnt offering where the animals were sacrificed for the sins of the people. This pointed to Christ on the cross. The other item in the courtyard was the laver. This was a large brass basin full of water, where the priest would wash himself to be clean before entering the sanctuary. This points to baptism in Christ, where symbolically we are cleansed and experience a new birth (Titus 3:5), leaving the old man in the water.

- In the holy place, the first room of the sanctuary, we find the table of shewbread. This points to Jesus as being the bread of life, the living bread (John 6:35) which is His Word in the Bible. Next we have the golden candlestick, which points to Jesus as being the light of the world (John 1:9) through His people on earth. We also have the altar of incense which represents the prayers of God's people that are asked in the name of Jesus Christ.

So we can see the Christian walk through the earthly sanctuary. First you come to the altar of burnt offering in the outer courtyard (the sacrifice of Jesus). Then you come to the laver of water for washing (baptism). These representing justification for a person who comes to Christ and believes in faith that through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, their sins can be forgiven. Then inside the sanctuary you come to the table of shewbread (studying the Word of God, Matthew 4:4, John 6:51, also represents communion). Next we come to the candlestick with 7 branches (7 Churches of Revelation. God's people shining the light of the gospel to the world). And then the altar of incense (prayers of God's people). These representing Bible sanctification, which is the working progress of a Christian walk in turning away from sin and living for Christ. And where does that lead us? It leads us to the most holy place, which contains the great eternal moral law of God, the ten commandments, under the mercy seat of God. Now a true Christian walk with Jesus Christ will automatically lead us to the law of God, because as He said, He would write His law upon our hearts and we would keep His ten commandments, not as on stone, but upon our hearts, in spirit.

Before the sacrifice of Jesus, when a person sinned, they would need to bring an unblemished animal as a sacrifice for their sin. Then the person would lay their hands upon the head of the animal and slay it. This showed the people how serious sin is, and how much God hates it. But that is as far as the person would go. The priest would then take over as mediator between the person and God and offer the blood of the animal for the sin.

Now the sins of the people would remain in the first apartment, the holy place, until once a year when the high priest would enter the most holy place to cleanse the sanctuary for God to blot out the sins of the people (Hebrews 9:7; Leviticus 16:14-17). This leads us on to finding out what Jesus is doing for us in heaven.

Jesus Cleansing the Heavenly Sanctuary

Remember what it said in Hebrews 8:1-2? It says that Jesus is now our High Priest and a Minister of the sanctuary in heaven. What does this mean? When Jesus died for us on the cross and shed His perfect blood, the veil of the earthly sanctuary was torn in two, and the way to the most holy place where the ten commandments dwelt was seen. No longer did we need an earthly priest to minister for us to God, the way to God was now open for us through the blood of Christ. So Christ Jesus now took the place of the earthly priests and became our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.

THE OUTER COURTYARD - In the outer courtyard of the earthly tabernacle, the priest would offer the burnt offering (animal sacrifice, or food offering for those who were poor) for the sins of the people. Also he would wash in the laver of water before offering the sacrifice. The courtyard represented the earth. Jesus did the work of sacrifice and was baptized in the courtyard (the earth).

THE HOLY PLACE - In the first room of the sanctuary, the holy place, the priest was responsible for keeping the lamps supplied with oil to burn continually (Leviticus 24). He was also responsible for keeping the coals burning in the alter of incense and for the 12 cakes of shewbread on the table. Now when Jesus offered Himself as sacrifice on this earth and ascended into heaven, He became a minister of the heavenly sanctuary as shown in Hebrews 8. First he ministered like the earthly priest in the holy place. In Revelation 1:13 John sees Jesus standing amongst the seven golden candlesticks in the heavenly sanctuary. So what did Jesus do in the holy place? Well, just as the earthly priest would have to make sure the candlesticks had enough oil to keep burning, Jesus made sure that His people had enough oil (Holy Spirit) to keep shining the light of the gospel on earth. Just as the earthly priest had to get the bread and arrange it on the table every week, Jesus supplies us the bread of life (His Word in the Bible). Just as the earthly priest had to keep the incense burning, Christ continually received the prayers of His people which the incense represented.

THE MOST HOLY PLACE - In the earthly sanctuary, the high priest needed to enter the most holy place, where the ten commandments were kept and offer the blood of the animal sacrifice once a year on the day of atonement, to blot out the sins of the people. This was a time of judgment, and the people had to afflict their souls as this solemn event took place (Leviticus 16:29). So Jesus had also to enter the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary to offer His own blood for our sins, and for the judgment of the people to take place. This judgment is now taking place and soon to end, and we should all be afflicting our souls for the sins that we have committed just like the Israelites had to, and we should urgently be turning away from all forms of sin and evil and humbling ourselves before our God.

So just to recap on the work Jesus has done and is doing for us - In the courtyard (earth), Jesus did the work of sacrifice. In the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus did the work of intercessor (mediator). In the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus does the work of Judge.

Hebrews 9:12 .....'Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.'

Our sins not only need to be forgiven, but to also be blotted out of the record books in heaven, and this is the process of the judgment in heaven that Jesus is performing in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary. When Jesus ascended to heaven after His death and resurrection, He moved from the courtyard (earth) to the holy place in heaven to interceed for His people. Then Jesus moved into the most holy place where judgment would begin for all who profess to know Jesus. And He would offer His blood for all those who truly follow Him and their sins would be forever blotted out. John alluded to this in Revelation 11:19:

Revelation 11:19 .....'And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.'

This is the great judgment scene in the most holy place, where the law of God resides in the original ark of the covenant. All who profess to be Christians are being judged at this moment in time, and when this judgment is finished and Jesus stands up and says "it is finished!", then probation will have closed and the door to mercy will forever be shut. Anyone who tries to enter into heaven after this point will be too late. Just like the five foolish virgins.

1 Peter 4:17 .....'For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God.'

Can you see the significance of the above verse? All professing Christians are being judged right now as to whether they are living according to the faith they proclaim. Which is why obedience to God's law, the ten commandments is so important in the Christian walk. Those who live according to their professed faith will have their sins blotted out of the record books in heaven by Jesus while He is cleansing the sanctuary. But those who do not OBEY the gospel of Christ (including professing Christians) will not have their sins blotted out and will have their part in the lake of fire with the rest of the wicked.

Friend, Jesus is our Minister, our High Priest, mediating on our behalf to God in the heavenly sanctuary ..... 1 Timothy 2:5 .....'For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.' ..... But He can only mediate for us if we obey the gospel. He can only mediate for us if we take up our cross and follow Him. He can only mediate for us if we obey God and keep His commandments. Friend, we are living in the end times and the judgment is coming to an end. It's time to humble ourselves before our Creator, to turn away from sin and obey His commandments. Remember what the Israelites had to do on the day of atonement? They had to afflict their souls for the sins committed. We too really need to be humbling ourselves and actively turning away from sin.

I pray that you will study this important subject, and seek those things that are above, where Christ dwells and sits at the right hand of God in the heavenly sanctuary. Judgment is happening right now, and when it ends, Jesus will take off His Priestly robes and be adorned with Kingly robes and return to earth to claim what is rightfully His. Are you ready to meet Christ Jesus your King?

'Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment IS COME.' (Revelation 14:7)