This week in our crystallization-study of Exodus we come to the eightfold significance of the tabernacle, and today in particular we want to see and experience the redemption of Christ as our base and standing, and we want to see and experience the manifestation of the divine nature in the church life.
The book of Exodus is full of types and figures, and we as believers in Christ don’t practice outwardly the things that the people of Israel practiced, but we can experience inwardly the spiritual reality of the divine facts in this book.
We need to see and experience the intrinsic significance of all the items related to the tabernacle; on the one hand, we need to have a revelation of these matters, and on the other, we need to enter into their experience in the church life today.
We need to have a clear view of what these types mean and how they apply to our Christian life and church life, and we need to enter into their experience today. We care not only for the revelation of these matters but also for their experience; all the aspects of Christ and the church as typified by the tabernacle need to become our experience today.
In particular today we want to see and experience the matter of the redemption of Christ, the reality of the type of the one hundred silver sockets in which all the boards and some of the pillars of the tabernacle were set.
Our standing and strong foundation today in experiencing Christ for the church life is the redemption of Christ; we have no other merit or standing, and without Christ’s redemption we can easily fall and turn.
Furthermore, we need to see and experience the manifestation of the divine nature, the reality of the gold overlaying pretty much everything in the tabernacle. When you get into the tabernacle, all you see is gold overlaying the acacia wood; what is seen is not the wood but the gold.
In the church life today what needs to be seen is God mingled with man and expressed through man; the only thing to be seen in the church life today should be God Himself with His divine nature.
We need to See and Experience the Redemption of Christ, the reality of the Silver Sockets
The tabernacle was a portable tent which the people of Israel would take with them throughout their journey in the desert, and all the boards of the tabernacle were set in two tenons which were joined in two sockets of silver, each socket being of one talent of silver (approx. 100 pounds of silver).
These sockets held the boards and kept them standing; it wasn’t just the gold overlaying them or the bar that was joining them, but it was all the more the silver sockets that held the boards standing strong.
The first thing that we need to realize when we consider the tabernacle is the redemption of Christ; this is where everything begins. Our base and foundation in the church is Christ’s redemption.
The silver sockets formed the base and foundation of the tabernacle, being one of the most significant aspects of the tabernacle; the one hundred silver sockets (ninety-six for the boards and four for the pillars) upon which the entire tabernacle rested signify that the church is built on the basis of the redemption of Christ and rests on the ascended Christ experienced by us (see Exo. 26:19; 36:24, 26, 30, 36; 38:27).
Sockets signify stability for standing; each socket was made of approx. 100 pounds of silver, signifying the redemption of Christ as the solid base for the believers standing in God’s dwelling place. There’s a wonderful footnote on John 14:3 concerning, “I will go to prepare a place for you”,
The Lord’s intention in this chapter was to bring man into God for the building of His dwelling place. But between man and God there were many obstacles, such as sin, sins, death, the world, the flesh, the self, the old man, and Satan. For the Lord to bring man into God, He had to solve all these problems. Therefore, He had to go to the cross to accomplish redemption that He might open the way and make a standing for man, that man might enter into God. This standing in God, being enlarged, becomes the standing in the Body of Christ. Anyone who does not have a standing, a place, in God does not have a place in the Body of Christ, which is God’s dwelling place. Hence, the Lord’s going in order to accomplish redemption was to prepare a place in His Body for the disciples. (John 14:3, footnote 2, Recovery Version Bible)
The Lord Jesus went to the cross to cut the way open for man to fellowship with God, and through His redemptive death He made a standing for man. We now have a standing in the church before God to be in God’s house and enjoy all His riches, because of the redemption of Christ.
God in Christ came and purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28); He redeemed us not only individually but even more corporately as the church. Hallelujah, Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, and now we can have the base and standing of Christ’s redemption to be in God’s house, enjoying all that God is.
The church has no weightier standing than the redemption of Christ; this is a full and weighty base. Silver signifies redemption, and one hundred signifies fulness and completion; the Lord said that some would bear fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and one hundredfold (Matt. 13:8), indicating fruit bearing in fullness.
Praise the Lord, the redemption of Christ is the base of our Christian life and church life, and this redemption is absolutely full and complete!
Thank You Lord for Your redemption which gives us the standing and base to be in the house of God and enjoy all that God is. Lord, Your redemption is absolutely full and complete, not lacking but perfect and weighty. We stand not on our merit or deeds but on Your perfect redemption. Thank You Lord for dying for us, the church, so that we may now be brought back to God into His dwelling place! Hallelujah, our base and standing today is in Christ’s redemption, and our place is in the Body of Christ!
We need to See and Experience the Manifestation of the Divine Nature, the Reality of the Gold
The only thing you see when you get into the tabernacle is gold: the walls were made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, the table for the bread of the presence was of gold overlaying acacia wood, the lampstand was of pure gold, the incense altar was of gold overlaying acacia wood, the ark was of gold overlaying acacia wood, and all the tongs and utensils were of gold.
Outside, the tabernacle was covered with skins, and the most visible one was the porpoise skin; but inside, it was all gold. The foundation of the tabernacle was of silver, but the manifestation within the tabernacle was the gold; gold signifies the divine nature with the divine life of Christ, which is God Himself (see Exo. 36:13, 34, 36, 38; 37:1-28).
Within the church, the building of God, what must be manifested is not the works or doings of God but the nature and life of God, just as in the tabernacle all you could see was gold. What we should manifest, express, and show others in the church life should be nothing other than the glorious divine nature of Christ (2 Pet. 1:4).
In the church we should not see merely good and uplifted humanity but God Himself being mingled with man and expressed through man. In the church we should see nothing but God, nothing but the divine nature coming from everywhere and from every direction.
In the church life we should see nothing else but the divine nature overlaying all the saints; we should see only the divine life of Christ manifested in the human life of the believers, the members of the Body of Christ.
1 Tim. 3:15-16 speaks of the mystery of godliness, which is God being manifested in the flesh; the great mystery of God-likeness is the living of God in the church, God being lived and expressed in the church.
When others come to the church meetings and we all enjoy, partake of, and experience the divine nature, and when we come together we express God by prophesying, all they see is God. The nature and manifestation of the church must be God through and through.
May we know one another no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, and may we see Christ in the saints as we meet together!
May we be those who are being inwardly transformed and uplifted in our humanity so that outwardly we may express Christ in everything we do and say! Hallelujah, may the divine nature of Christ be manifested, expressed, and shown to others in all the church meetings!
Lord Jesus, we want to see and experience the manifestation of the divine nature. May we daily experience the mingling of God with man so that we may gain more gold, more of God. Save us from expressing ourselves by living in our natural man or in the flesh. We want to partake of the divine nature, experience the divine nature, and live out Christ so that God may be expressed, manifested, and shown among us. Lord, may the nature and manifestation of the church be God Himself expressed in all the saints!
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 Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1963, vol. 1, “Spiritual Applications of the Tabernacle,” ch. 8, 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:
# How wonderful redemption is, / My gracious Lord, in Thee! / Not seen, nor heard, nor e’er conceived / What Thou hast done for me! / Thou art divine, mysterious, / Beyond my grandest phrase! / Redemption is so marvellous, / Beyond all pow’r to praise! (Hymns #116)
# Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption; / No riches of earth could have saved my poor soul. / The blood of the cross is my only foundation; / The death of my Savior now maketh me whole. / I am redeemed, but not with silver; / I am bought, but not with gold; / Bought with a price—the blood of Jesus, / Precious price of love untold. (Hymns #303)
# The Church is Christ’s expression full, / In her Christ dwelleth bodily; / She is His duplication true, / And man in her Himself may see. (Hymns #818)
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