After the Urim and the Thummim were put into the breastplate, it became not only a memorial (like the two shoulder pieces) but also a breastplate of judgment (see Exo. 28:30). This is very significant, and today we want to see what does it mean to have the Urim and the Thummim, and how can we experience the breastplate of judgment in our Christian life and church life.
The breastplate was the central and most important item of the garments of the high priest, and on it there were twelve precious stones with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel inscribed on them.
The breastplate was double: it could be open, and in between was the place where the Urim was placed (Urim means illuminators), and as it shone, the precious stones set in gold would shine or darken, conveying a message from God to His people.
Today we as believers in Christ are in the process of being transformed from clay into precious stones so that we may be built up with others in the divine nature into God’s building for God to have an oracle on earth today.
As we contact the Lord, enjoy Him, receive the speaking of the ministry of the New Testament, and experience Christ, we are being inscribed with the Spirit of the living God as the divine and mystical ink to be living letters of Christ read by all men (2 Cor. 3:3).
On the one hand, we are being transformed into precious stones and, on the other, we are being inscribed with Christ as the content so that others may see Christ in us. Also, we are in the process of being made transparent, no longer opaque, so that Christ may be seen through us.
Finally, as we are transformed, made transparent, and inscribed with Christ, we are also being built up in the divine nature into God’s building together with the other saints, and as we come together the Lord has a way to speak to us and to others through the church.
The breastplate of judgment is the fines type and revelation concerning the church, and as we prayerfully study it and apply it to our Christian life and church life, we are looking to the Lord for us all to enter into the spiritual reality of this item.
The Urim Typifies Christ as Lights shining through the Spirit and the Cross
It is quite easy to understand and picture what the breastplate looked like, with the twelve transparent precious stones set in gold, but when it comes to the Urim and the Thummim, the Bible doesn’t tell us specifically what they are and how they functioned.
David Baron, however, studied this matter in-depth and wrote concerning it in his book, The Ancient Scriptures and the Modern Jew, and today we owe the spiritual interpretation of the Urim and the Thummim to him, in the Body.
Urim means “lights” or “illuminators”; the Urim was like a lamp with twelve lights inserted into the breastplate behind the twelve stones. It had the capacity to contain oil for burning, and the fire used to burn the oil came from the altar. In other words, behind the twelve precious stones were twelve lamps of fire shining, which is the Urim.
The divine heavenly fire burned the oil in the Urim to give light, and thus a message from God was conveyed to His people through the breastplate of judgment. The Urim typifies Christ as lights, illuminators (see John 8:12; Luke 1:78-79), shining through the Spirit (the reality of the oil) and the cross (the fire from the altar).
In our experience today the oil typifies the Spirit, the fire comes from the altar – which typifies the cross, and Christ Himself is the light.
When Christ shines within us, the life-giving Spirit is burning and the cross is operating; what we sense is the Lord’s shining, and along with it there’s the burning and the cross operating to kill the negative things within us.
Lord Jesus, shine in us as the Illuminator, the Light of the world. May there be a burning within us as You shine on us so that the cross would operate and judge to remove anything that doesn’t correspond to the light. Lord Jesus, we open to Your shining, Your speaking, Your purging, and Your leading!
The Thummim Typifies Christ as the Perfecter and Completer of our Faith
Thummim means “perfecters” or “completers” (see Exo. 28:30); the names on the twelve stones of the breastplate contained only 18 of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and therefore there was the need for the remaining four letters to be provided – the Thummim was a stone with the four letters that were missing, making it the perfecter and completer (as per, David Baron).
By the shining of the Urim on the individual precious stones and by the darkening of the stones together with the Thummim, the full alphabet of 22 letters could be used to spell out words and sentences.
In our spiritual experience, the Thummim typifies Christ as the Perfecter and Completer of our faith (see Heb. 12:2); He is the spiritual alphabet for both inscribing and completing. Christ is the Author (alpha) and Perfecter (omega) of our faith, and no matter how much of Christ has been inscribed into us, we still need more of Him – He is the Thummim.
We may have a lot of experience of Christ, and together we may have much enjoyment and shining of Christ, but we still need the Lord as the completer. We need Christ to come and complete us; we need to pray, contact Him, and allow Him to complete us, so that we may read the situation and have the Lord’s leading.
Our view and understanding of the situation is partial; we need the Urim (Christ as the lights) and the Thummim (Christ as the completer) to be added to the built up church.
Lord, we need more of You! We have enjoyed You and experienced You, and we have some measure of the stature of Christ in us, but we still need You as the Completer and Perfecter! Amen, Lord, You are both the Author and Completer of our faith, and we need You more and more! Only You complete us. Only You can give us a real understanding of the situation so that we may have God’s leading!
The Breastplate of Judgment with the Urim and the Thummim give us God’s Leading
The Urim and the Thummim together typify Christ as God’s witness, God’s testimony (Rev. 3:14), as the means for God to speak to His people (see Heb. 1:2). Today, in the New Testament age, the reality of the Urim and the Thummim is the mingled spirit – the unveiling Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) indwelling our regenerated spirit (our receiving spirit) – see Rom. 8:4, 14, 16; Rev. 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10.
Hallelujah for our mingled spirit! Many times we are in darkness, but as soon as we contact the Lord in our spirit, light is there, understanding of the situation is there, and intuition is there! The breastplate is called “the breastplate of judgment” – as seen in Exo. 28:30 and Deut. 33:8, 10, God’s judgments, referring to God’s law with its verdicts and judgments, are related to the Urim and the Thummim.
The word judgment in Exo. 28:29-30 indicates that God has a regulation concerning everything among His people; the judgment leads to certain decisions, and as a result, we have God’s leading. This word, judgment, can be translated as law or ordinance; God has some law, ordinance, judgment, and regulation for everything.
This means that, when we are in our spirit contacting the Lord, the Spirit of God is always leading us; He doesn’t lead us only occasionally or sporadically, but always and at all times. We may not be always following His leading, but He always speaks to us.
He leads us not only in spiritual things or in the meetings, but in all things of our daily life so that we may have a priestly God-man living. And His leading many times involves His exposing and judgments.
According to the Old Testament, the Urim and the Thummim added to the breastplate were a means for God to speak to his people to indicate to them His leading (see the many cases in Lev. 8:8; Num. 27:21; Deut. 33:8; Josh. 7:16-21; 1 Sam. 23:6, 9-12; 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65); we may even say that the breastplate of judgment is a breastplate of leading.
When God’s people needed God’s leading, they would come to the high priest with the ephod and the breastplate, and God spoke to them specifically. God’s leading through the breastplate always involved a judgment; God’s law includes His judgments, and these judgments become God’s leading.
In our spiritual experience, for us to know God’s leading we must judge whatever is of the flesh, the self, the old man, and the world.
In Rom. 8:14 we see that those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God; the leading of the Spirit – the reality of God’s leading through the breastplate – issues from and is the totality of all the judgements in vv. 1-13 of Rom. 8.
In other words, we need to put to death the practices of the body, turn to the Spirit of life, set our mind on the Spirit and not on the flesh, walk according to the Spirit, not be in the flesh, have Christ in us, and live according to the Spirit so that we may be led by the Spirit.
The fact that God’s speaking as His leading was through the breastplate signifies that God makes His leading known to His people through the church; as a continuation of Rom. 8, ch. 12 speaks of the Body life, the practical church life, through which God’s will is made known (Rom. 12:1-2).
Lord Jesus, we want to have Your leading, Your speaking, in everything we do, wherever we are, and whatever we speak. Make Your leading and Your speaking known through us today. We judge whatever is of the flesh, the self, the old man, and the world, and we turn to You in spirit to receive Your shining and have Your fresh speaking and up-to-date leading. Lord, keep us in our spirit, setting our mind on the Spirit, walking according to the Spirit, and being in the church life, so that we may know Your leading, receive Your judgments, and have Your speaking!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Mark R. for this week, and Life-study of Exodus, msgs. 127 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), msg. 9 (week 45 in the HWMR), The Breastplate — the Central and Ultimate Point of the Priesthood.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Christ is the Author of my faith, / And its Perfecter too, / My Mediator, Guarantee, / And faithful Witness true. (Hymns #510)
# Lord, teach me how to exercise / My spirit now to contact Thee, / That in Thy Spirit I may walk / And live by Thy reality. (Hymns #493)
# By the cross discern the spirit, / Put the soul to death alway; / Bear the cross, deny the self-life, / Walk in spirit day by day. (Hymns #748)
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