In our prayerful study of the tabernacle with its furnishings, we realize that we need to become pillars in the Triune God, as signified by the nine pillars in the tabernacle, so that we may be one with Christ for many to enter into God’s building and even enter deeper into God Himself.
This whole week we saw the eightfold significance of the tabernacle and how it applies to our Christian life and church life; until now we have seen seven pairs of words that are very applicable to our experience:
- Base and standing: just as the base and standing of the boards of the tabernacle was in the sockets of silver, so our base and standing today is nothing else but the redemption of Christ, which is weighty, firm, and solid. The church is build on the basis of the redemption of Christ and it rests on the ascended Christ experienced by us. Hallelujah, the base and standing of all believers in Christ is the redemption of Christ and nothing else!
- Nature and manifestation / expression: just as the only thing you could see inside the tabernacle was the gold overlaying the acacia wood, so in the church life the nature and manifestation should be the divine nature with the life of Christ, which is God Himself. We stand on Christ’s redemption and we should experience and express nothing else but God’s divine nature in our meetings.
- Humanity and character: just as the main substance of the tabernacle was the acacia wood, so our substance and character should not be our natural man but the transformed and uplifted humanity of Jesus. We need to eat the Lord’s humanity and allow Him to transform us from within so that we may have a high and uplifted humanity, strong in character, for us to bear God’s testimony.
- Faith and balance: just as the boards were standing firm in two tenons and were balanced by these, so we need to stand firm in the faith and unshakable in the Body, and we must always be willing to be balanced by others. Our firm standing is our faith in Christ’s redemption, and we need to be willing to be checked, tested, and confirmed by others so that we may be balanced in the Body of Christ.
- Match / completion with reinforcing: just as the boards were matched and completed by the boards next to them, and the ones in the corner were reinforced, so we as members in the Body need to be completed for the building up of the church, and there’s a need for reinforcing when a turn in the Lord’s move is made. We need to be matched in the Body so that we may be completed and bear the Lord’s testimony, and whenever we move one with the Lord we experience His reinforcing with His abundant supply.
- Joining and holding: just as the boards in the tabernacle were joined by the crossing bars and were held together by the overlaying gold, so we must be joined with other saints by the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Spirit with the holding power of the divine nature. It is the Spirit of the Triune God who takes the full responsibility for God’s building by mingling His divine nature with the human nature, and on our side we need to cooperate with Him by allowing Him to mingle Himself with us and cross us out to join us with other members in the Body.
- Covering and protection: just as the fourfold covering of the tabernacle protected it from anything from outside, so the “fourfold Christ” covers and protects the church today. This fourfold Christ is Christ in His wonderful, perfect, and fine humanity, Christ as the One who was made sin for us, Christ as the One who accomplished redemption for us, and Christ as the One who is without comeliness and beauty but who protects us and covers us, enabling us to stand against Satan and all his attacks.
Today we want to see another pair of wonderful words based on the pillars in God’s house: entrance and separation.
Becoming Pillars in God’s Building to be an Entrance for others Deeper into God
In the tabernacle there were nine pillars: at the entrance of the tabernacle there were five pillars supporting the screen, and at the entrance of the Holy of Holies there were four pillars supporting the veil (see Exo. 36:36, 38).
These pillars we not like the boards but they were cut thinner (not as wide as the boards) and were strengthened, to support the veil and the screen. On the one hand we are members of the Body of Christ as the boards in the tabernacle for protection and separation, but on the other hand we need to be pillars in the house of God.
In Gal. 2:9 we see that there were some who were reputed to be pillars – James and Cephas and John; these were mature and strong ones, who were not only boards but also pillars in the church. Furthermore, the Lord promises the church in Philadelphia that he who overcomes, him He will make a pillar in the temple of His God (Rev. 3:12).
A pillar is stronger than a board, and a pillar is useful not only to protect and separate but also to be part of the entrance into God’s house.
For the building of God’s house we need brothers and sisters who are the separating boards standing for God as a testimony and being separated unto Him, and we also need pillars who are stronger in the Lord to become an entrance for many others into the building of God and deeper into God Himself.
However, if we are all boards, then there will be no entrance for people to come into God’s dwelling place. The church will be closed, and we will become exclusive. For the sake of the entrance, some of us have to be dealt with. A pillar is finer and stronger than a board. The boards must be cut and fitted to become the pillars. On the one hand, to be cut and fitted is to be reduced, but on the other hand, it is to be increased in strength. Those who have been dealt with will be very flexible. They can be for protection and support, and they can also be the entrance for others to come into God’s dwelling place. People will be free to go in through them. (Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1963, vol. 1, “Spiritual Applications of the Tabernacle,” pp. 122-123)
In order for us to be pillars in the Triune God we need not only to have the Lord’s humanity infused into us and to be overlaid with gold, but we also need to be dealt with, cut, reduced, and increased in strength to be not only for protection and support but also for others to enter into God Himself.
We need to be one with the Lord as the door for His sheep so that many would come out of any religious fold or from the world and into God’s dwelling place to enjoy Him as the light of life and bread of life.
We need to be dealt with and have our flesh rent so that we may become a pillar in the Holy Place who is one with the Lord to usher many others into God Himself, into a deeper experience of dealing with the flesh for us to be in God, in the Holy of Holies.
The Lord needs many such pillars to be one with Him to usher His people into the enjoyment and deeper experience of Himself.
In the tabernacle there were forty-eight boards, but there were only nine pillars; the majority of the saints are members of the Body of Christ protecting God’s interest and standing for His testimony, but the Lord desires to gain some who would have the deeper experiences of Christ together with many dealings so that they would become pillars one with Christ to be an entrance for many into God’s dwelling place and even deeper into God Himself.
May this be our aspiration today, and may our prayer before the Lord be something like this,
Lord Jesus, we aspire to be not only boards in the tabernacle but pillars who are the entrance for many into God’s dwelling place and into God Himself. We give ourselves to You, Lord, to have the experiences You want to give us so that we may be reduced, cut, fitted, and increased in strength so that we may be an entrance for many others into God Himself. Make us those flexible ones who have been dealt with so that others may enter through them into God’s dwelling place to enjoy God and even deeper into God Himself!
Becoming the Overcomers who are Pillars in the Temple of God with His Name written on them
In Rev. 3:12 we see a wonderful promise from the Lord to those who overcome, “He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall by no means go out anymore, and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My new name”.
Wow, hallelujah, this should be our aspiration daily, that we would become pillars in God’s temple and not go out anymore, but we would be transformed into pillars by God, and have Christ and the New Jerusalem constituted into our being!
The footnote on this verse is so wonderful,
That the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and the Lord’s new name are written upon the overcomer indicates that the overcomer is possessed by God, by the New Jerusalem, and by the Lord; that God Himself, His city (the New Jerusalem), and the Lord Himself all belong to him; and that he is one with God, with the New Jerusalem, and with the Lord. The name of God denotes God Himself, the name of the New Jerusalem denotes the city itself, and the name of the Lord denotes the Lord Himself. That the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and the name of the Lord are written upon the overcomer indicates that what God is, the nature of the New Jerusalem, and the person of the Lord have all been wrought into the overcomer. The mentioning of the New Jerusalem as a prize to the overcomer indicates that this promise will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom. The New Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom will be a prize only to the overcoming saints, whereas the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth will be the common portion of all the redeemed for eternity. Rev. 3:12, footnote 3, Recovery Version Bible
Our need today in the church life is for us to become overcomers, the pillars in the temple of God with His name and the name of His city and our new name written on us.
We need to enter into the deeper experience of Christ and of God until our flesh is rent, we are dealt with, and we are pillars built into God’s house.
Such pillars not only support God’s building and bear God’s testimony but are also entrances for many others into God Himself. They are not only separated and sanctified unto God but also function as entrances for the people of God to come in to touch and experience God in a deeper way.
May we aspire to be such ones, and may we cooperate with the Lord in all the situations He puts us in so that we may receive His mercy and be produced as His overcomers, those who are pillars in His house built into His building!
Lord Jesus, produce us as the overcomers today who are pillars in Your temple! Give us the experiences we need for us to be pillars built into God’s building who not only bear God’s testimony but also are an entrance for many others into God to experience Him in a deeper way. Lord, we give ourselves to You to be produced as the overcomers You need, those who are one with Christ as the door of the sheep for many to enter into God and enjoy God to the uttermost. Amen, Lord, do it in us!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and Life-study of Exodus, msgs. 99-102 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), msg. 10 (week 46 in the HWMR), The Eightfold Significance of the Tabernacle.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Our testimony in the church today, / Is the expression of God through man, / Let’s be the pillars for His dwelling place, / But don’t be passive — trust in His way. (Song on God expressed in man)
# Stone-ify me for Your building, / I desire a home for Thee. / Let me share Your dream of Bethel; / Duplicate Your heart in me. / Burn, refine away the nat’ral; / Transformed preciousness I’d be; / Lord, perfect me as a pillar, / Standing solid, weightily. (Song on having God’s dream)
# Lord, deeper make Thy home in me / ’Til ev’ry room belong to Thee, / That Thou might fully make me Thee / And so full rest Thou have in me. / So also deeper into Thee / I’d make my home, my rest in Thee; / A pillar in Thy temple be / And stay in Thee eternally. (Song on being in God)
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