Consequently, they do not become “holy ones” or “saints” by decree of a man or an organization, but by God, who brings them into covenant relationship with himself through the blood of Jesus Christ. The term “holy ones” applies to all those thus brought into union and joint heirship with Christ, not to a mere few considered to have exceptional holiness. It is also applied in the Bible to them from the beginning of their sanctified course on earth, not being deferred until after their death. Peter says they must be holy because God is holy. (1 Pet. 1:15, 16; Lev. 11:44) All the spiritual brothers of Christ in the congregations are frequently called “holy ones.”—Acts 9:13; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:1; 13:13.
As the “wife” of Christ, the entire congregation is represented as wearing bright, clean, fine linen, which stands for the “righteous acts of the holy ones.” (Rev. 19:7, 8) Against these, while they are on earth, Satan the Devil’s symbolic political “wild beast” is seen in vision waging war. (Rev. 13:3, 7) Thereby the endurance of the holy ones is severely tested, but they conquer by observing the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.—Rev. 13:10; 14:12.
In a parallel vision Daniel saw a wild beast making war upon God’s holy ones, followed by a court scene in which the “Ancient of Days” gave judgment in their favor and the holy ones themselves took possession of the indefinitely lasting kingdom, “the kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens” being given to them.—Dan. 7:21, 22, 27.
These “holy ones” do not exercise kingly authority while on earth, but must await their being united with Christ in the heavens. (Eph. 1:18-21) They must first be ‘conquerors.’ (Rev. 3:21; compare Revelation 2:26, 27; 3:5, 12.) They are to act as priests and to rule as kings with Christ during his 1,000-year reign. (Rev. 20:4, 6) The apostle Paul states that the holy ones will judge the world, also being given the privilege of judging angels.—1 Cor. 6:2, 3.
ATTACK ON “CAMP OF THE HOLY ONES”
At Revelation 20:7-9 Satan the Devil is foretold to lead the nations in war against the “camp of the holy ones and the beloved city” after the end of the thousand years of Christ’s reign. This account follows the vision of their resurrection to heavenly thrones, described in verses 4 and 6. The “nations,” being on earth, could not, of course, literally reach the “holy ones” reigning on heavenly thrones. The prophecy evidently refers to an earthly rebellion against the sovereignty of God’s kingdom over earth, which, in effect, is an attack on the “holy ones.”—See HOLINESS.
A term applied in several ways in the Scriptures. (1) In general, it could be applied to the camp of Israel, the people of God, and to Jerusalem and the holy places within it; also, it was specifically used in reference to (2) the sanctuary, including the courtyard and the entire tent of meeting or the later temple; (3) only the two compartments of the tabernacle or temple building itself; (4) the first interior room of the tabernacle, as distinguished from the Most Holy compartment. In each appearance of the expression “holy place” the application intended can be determined from the context.
1. The camp of Israel (Deut. 23:14); later, the land of Palestine and the city of Jerusalem in particular. God’s sanctuary was located there, his name was placed there and his people were counted holy. (Ezek. 21:2) The entire camp was to be kept holy and, later, the entire land that God gave to his people. Hence, anyone offering up a sacrifice to a false god or carrying on any unclean practices defiled God’s sanctuary or holy place located in their midst.—Lev. 20:3; compare Leviticus 18:21, 30; 19:30; Numbers 5:2, 3; Jeremiah 32:34; Ezekiel 5:11; 23:38.
2. The tent of meeting and, later, the temple. The entire arrangement, including the courtyard of the tabernacle and the temple courts, was a holy place. (Ex. 38:24; 2 Chron. 29:5; Acts 21:28) The primary items located in the courtyard were the altar of sacrifice and the copper basin. These were holy objects. Only those persons ceremonially clean could enter into the tabernacle courtyard at any time; likewise, no one could go into the temple courts in an unclean state. For example, a woman in the unclean state could not touch any holy thing or come into the holy place. (Lev. 12:2-4) Evidently even a state of continued uncleanness on the part of the Israelites was considered as defiling the tabernacle. (Lev. 15:31) Those presenting offerings for cleansing from leprosy brought their sacrifice only as far as the gate of the courtyard. (Lev. 14:11) No unclean person could partake of a communion sacrifice at the tabernacle or the temple, on pain of death.—Lev. 7:20, 21.
3. The Most Holy, the innermost compartment. At Leviticus 16:2 it is called “the holy place [Heb., qoʹdesh, holy] inside the curtain.” Paul apparently had this compartment in mind when he spoke of Jesus’ entry into heaven, saying that he did not enter into a “holy place [Gr., haʹgi·a, holies] made with hands.” (Heb. 9:24) At Hebrews 10:19 Paul speaks of “the holy place” (NW); “the holiest” (AV) (Gr., ton ha·giʹon, the holies).
4. The first, larger compartment, the Holy Place or the Holy, as distinguished from the innermost compartment, the Most Holy. (Ex. 26:33) This compartment was two-thirds the total length of the structure. (1 Ki. 6:16, 17; 2 Chron. 3:3, 8) Inside the Holy Place were located the golden lampstand on the S side of the room (Ex. 25:31-40; 40:24, 25), the golden altar of incense at the W end in front of the curtain to the Most Holy (Ex. 30:1-6; 40:26, 27) and the table of showbread on the N side. (Ex. 25:23-30; 40:22, 23; Heb. 9:2, 3) Along with these were the accompanying golden utensils, such as bowls, snuffers, and so forth. In the temple’s Holy Place were the golden altar, the ten tables of showbread and ten lampstands. The lampstands and tables were placed five on the right and five on the left.—1 Ki. 7:48-50; 2 Chron. 4:7, 8, 19, 20.
When inside the Holy Place the priest would see, through the panel frames of the walls, and on the ceiling, the colorful embroidered cherubs of the tabernacle’s inner covering. (Ex. 26:1, 15) Suspended from four golden pillars was the curtain to the Most Holy, likewise embroidered with cherubs. (Ex. 26:31-33) The screen to the tabernacle entrance was also of colorful material. (Ex. 26:36) In the temple, the walls of this room had carvings of cherubs, palm-tree figures, gourdshaped ornaments and garlands of blossoms, all covered with gold.—1 Ki. 6:17, 18, 22, 29.
The high priest was responsible to make perfumed incense smoke on the golden altar in the tabernacle morning by morning, and to dress and light the seven lamps of the lampstand. (Ex. 30:1, 6-8) He was also to make atonement for the altar of incense (cleansing it) with blood once a year. (Ex. 30:10) On this day, the annual Day of Atonement, when the high priest entered with the blood of the sacrificial animals, no other priest was allowed to be in the tent of meeting.—Lev. 16:17.
Inasmuch as the place where God dwells is a sanctuary, a holy place, the Christian congregation is likened to a holy place, the temple of God. (1 Cor. 3:17; Eph. 2:21, 22) The arrangement that God set up for man’s atonement through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is called “the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands.” Christ entered “once