IN HIS PRESENCE
ESCHATOLOGY.COM

Exodus 24:1-3 Then he said to Moses, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. {2} Moses alone shall come near the LORD; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him." {3} Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, "All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do."
As we consider the place that Godís people presently have under the New Covenant, there is much to be seen in the above passage concerning worship. Very clearly God commanded the people to not come "near," but rather they were to remain "at a distance" or worship "afar off" as the KJV says.

Under the Old Covenant the people were separated from the presence of God who resides in the holiest of all. Only the high priest could enter that sacred place. He would offer the atonement yearly but could never bring the people of God into the holiest of all. They could only worship "afar off" or "at a distance."

What is also interesting is that the people declared, "all the words that the Lord has spoken we will do." This of course is the height of the pride of manís self-righteousness-believing that we somehow have the ability to obey all the laws of God. But God kept them "at a distance," for He knew:

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law."
They were, by nature and sin, separated from the presence of God and the most holy place. They were afar off from God. As Gentiles God considered us "afar off" from His presence when we were dead in sins:
Ephesians 2:12-13 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. {13} But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Brought near to what or to where?
Hebrews 10:14-22 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. {15} And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, {16} "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds," {17} he also adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." {18} Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. {19} Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, {20} by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), {21} and since we have a great priest over the house of God, {22} let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Obviously under the Old Covenant God was remembering their sins, hence they were told to remain at a distance. But now through the blood of Christ, His church is not merely brought into that physical OT holiest of all; she is brought into the spiritual and heavenly most holy place of God within the veil. We presently, as those saved by His immeasurable, overpowering grace, are dwelling in the holiest of all-in an unbreakable relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords. We are truly brought near to God. He has forgotten our iniquities if we are in Him. This is precisely why the writer of Hebrews described the New Covenant as he did.:

Notice in Hebrews 10:17 that only under the New Covenant their sins and their iniquities He would remember no more, and that the end result of that New Covenant would be that His people would be brought into the holiest of all-the implication being that there and there alone, all of our sins are forgotten by God. We are presented holy and unblameable in His sight:

Colossians 1:21-22 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled {22} In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
The only way we could possibly be holy in His sight and present with Him ("Present you holy...in His sight") is through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. To be in Him is to be near Him or in His presence. To be outside of Christ is to be afar off or at a distance, away from His presence.

Let us remember that we are in His presence and holy in His sight not only as we sing unto Him during our times of worship, but also as we work through the daily struggles and trials God lovingly sends our way.


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