Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Exodus 28:9-10 says, “And you shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel: Six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, according to their birth.” We, the believers, are signified by these two onyx stones.
Adam was made from the dust of the ground. After God created Adam, He placed him in front of the tree of life, from which flowed a river. By the flow of this river there were onyx stones. As Adam stood by the river, he may have looked at himself and then at the onyx stones. Adam was altogether a composition of dust, not of onyx stone. Onyx stone signifies transformation. In our natural life we all are dust. But through regeneration we have become a stone. Now we are in the process of being transformed into the image of the Lord from glory to glory. This transformation is signified by onyx stone.
Exodus 28:12 says, “And you shall put the two stones upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, as stones of memorial for the sons of Israel; and Aaron shall bear their names before Jehovah upon his two shoulders for a memorial.” On his shoulders what the high priest bore was not two piles of dust. On the contrary, there were onyx stones on his shoulders. This indicates that what Christ as our High Priest holds is not dust; He holds the transformed saints, typified by the onyx stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod worn by the high priest.
When some saints hear this, they may feel discouraged, thinking that they have not been transformed. They may say, “If Christ holds only onyx stones, and not dust, then I am through with the experience of being held by Him. I feel discouraged because I have not yet been transformed into onyx stone.” Actually you do have the experience of being held by Christ. Furthermore, you do have some amount of onyx stone. Often you may feel as if you are falling away from the Lord. But it is the dust that is falling, not you. Sometimes the Lord raises up an environment which causes us to be shaken. We may be afraid of falling away. However, only the dust is shaken away. We ourselves as regenerated ones will never be removed, for the onyx stone in us will never fall. The onyx stone remains, placed in the beautiful and glorious settings of gold.
I admit that I am short of utterance to describe the fastening power of the divine glory and human beauty of Christ. If I had more experience and more utterance, I would try to give more illustrations. But because I am short of adequate experience, it is difficult to describe the holding power of Christ portrayed by the ephod.
The ephod with the breastplate and the shoulderplates portrays the fastening power of Christ through His divine glory and human beauty. As we have pointed out, when we read the four Gospels, we can see the Lord with His divine glory woven into His human beauty. We can also see His heavenliness, His kingliness, and His redemption. In other words, every aspect of Christ typified by the materials and colors of the ephod is revealed in the Gospels.
As we behold the Lord in His glory and beauty, we are spontaneously held, fastened, to Him. To be fastened is to be transformed. The more we are transformed, the more we are fastened. The dust is falling away, and the transformed part of our being remains fastened to Christ and upon Him. As a result, we enjoy Him and experience Him with His fastening power. We are held not only upon Christ’s shoulders, but we are also held upon His breast. This means that we are fastened by His love and also by His power. The shoulders signify power and the breast signifies love.
According to 28:12, Aaron was to bear the names of the children of Israel before the Lord upon his shoulders for a memorial. A memorial is a matter of joy. When Christ bears us on His shoulders before God, this brings joy to God. When God looks at Christ, He sees His redeemed people, who have been transformed into onyx stones held in settings of gold. Eventually the onyx stones become a beauty added to Christ. This is both a memorial before God and also an additional beauty to Christ. As we look at this picture, we see glory and beauty. This portrait is beyond the ability of human words to explain.
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