Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The outer court signifies the sphere and boundary of God’s building. The tabernacle not only typifies Christ Himself, but also typifies God’s dwelling place on earth. God’s dwelling place is in four stages: Christ, the children of Israel, the church, and the New Jerusalem. Christ is God’s dwelling place, God’s building. In the Old Testament Israel also was God’s dwelling place. Now in the New Testament the church is the building of God, His dwelling place. In the millennium the New Jerusalem will be God’s dwelling place for eternity.
The book entitled The Vision of God’s Buildingshows that the entire Bible is a book of building. In the first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis 1 and 2, we have the materials for the building. Genesis 2 mentions gold, bdellium (a kind of pearl), and onyx stones. In the last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22, we have a building made of these three categories of material. Between these two ends of the Bible there is the process of God’s building.
For the fulfillment of His plan to have an eternal building, God first created all things. Creation was a work of preparation. God’s main work is the work of building. When we read the Bible, we may pay attention to God’s creation, but not to God’s work for His building. God’s selection, predestination, calling, redemption, and salvation are all for the building. Even regeneration is for God’s building. Whatever God is doing today—in preaching the gospel, edifying the saints, or establishing churches—is part of His building work. In other words, these activities are part of God’s main work, the work of building. God has a goal, and this goal is to build a universal dwelling place for Himself. In the tabernacle in Exodus we have a type, a model, of this building.
Although the tabernacle was rather small, ten cubits wide and thirty cubits long, it is unique in every aspect. It would be difficult to change anything related to it. No human being would make such a design. As we have pointed out, the tabernacle was according to the pattern shown to Moses on the mountain. Thus, the pattern of the tabernacle was a heavenly pattern.
The tabernacle as God’s building had a sphere and a boundary. This sphere and boundary were the outer court. I prefer a house with a wall to mark the boundary of the property. Such a dwelling has a boundary with a definite sphere. We know from the book of Revelation that the New Jerusalem will have a wall one hundred forty-four cubits high. This indicates that God’s building has a boundary. God likes to have a wall to mark the boundary of His dwelling place.
The length of the court of the tabernacle was one hundred cubits. The number one hundred is composed of ten times ten. This signifies completion of completion. This expression can be compared to the expressions King of kings or song of songs, indicating that it is the best, the highest, of completion.
The width of the court was fifty cubits. Fifty is composed of ten times five and signifies complete responsibility. Ten is the number of completion, and five is the number of responsibility. Without the five fingers on our hand, it would be difficult to bear responsibility. On each hand we have four fingers plus one thumb. The number four signifies human beings as God’s creatures, and one signifies God. Man plus God gives us the ability to bear responsibility. As believers, we are human beings with God added to us. Our number is now the number five.
The area of the outer court formed a rectangle one hundred cubits in length and fifty cubits in width. This rectangle was half of a square with sides of a hundred cubits. This half of a square signifies one half of a whole unit. It also indicates that another half is necessary. Thus, it implies a testimony.
The outer court was a testimony. One half was present and the other half was yet to come. The New Jerusalem will be a complete whole, a square and not a rectangle. We, of course, are not yet in that age of fullness. We are still in the age of testimony, waiting for the coming of the other half. We are like one half of a married couple that needs the other half for completion.
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