Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Before we consider the tenons, sockets, rings, and bars, I would like to say a word about the corner boards and also about the total number of boards in the tabernacle. I appreciate the concept that there must be strengthening at the corners of the tabernacle. As we pointed out in the foregoing message, a corner is where a turn is made. Whenever the Lord makes a turn, there is the need for strengthening and reinforcement.
The Lord Jesus is not only the foundation of the church; He is also the cornerstone connecting the walls. He joins the Gentile wall to the Jewish wall. At Antioch there was a turn toward the Gentile world. Thus, there was a need for Christ to be the cornerstone to embrace the two sections of the church wall, the Jewish wall and the Gentile wall. At this corner there was the need for strengthening. If we read Acts 13 carefully, we shall see that there definitely was a strengthening when the Lord made a turn at Antioch. We are told that in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers. As they were praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (v. 2). These brothers were burdened by the Lord to take the testimony to the Gentile world. To be sure, both Barnabas and Saul were corner boards. They were doubled and strengthened in order to become stronger boards for the building of the church.
From 1922 until 1949, the Lord used China as a nursery for the planting of His recovery. But in 1949 the Lord took a major turn from the mainland of China to Taiwan. As one who participated in this turn in a full way, I was put under immense pressure, and I could say that I was thereby condensed and doubled. I can also testify that in this turn there was the strengthening. In the years to come, the Lord will probably make other turns in His recovery. Certain saints will be doubled, condensed, and strengthened in order to be the corner boards for such a turn.
There was a total of forty-eight boards in the tabernacle. The number forty-eight can be formed with either four times twelve or six times eight. I believe that with the tabernacle the correct way to make this number is six times eight. In the record concerning the boards there is no mention of the number twelve, but there is mention of the number six and an indication of the number eight. The number six refers to man created on the sixth day. This man became fallen and was later redeemed. Therefore, six refers to created, fallen, and redeemed human beings. The number eight is the number of resurrection. Thus, six times eight means that, as the standing boards in the tabernacle, the believers have been created, have become fallen, and then have been redeemed and resurrected. We all have the same history. We were created, we became fallen, we were redeemed, and now we are in resurrection. Thus, we are a redeemed people in resurrection. This is the significance of the number of the boards being forty-eight.
There must be a way for the forty-eight boards of the tabernacle to stand up. For God’s building, the boards must be vertical. They cannot lie flat. Lying flat would be a sign of defeat. In order for the boards to stand upright, there is the need for the tenons, the sockets, the rings, and the bars. The tenons and the sockets are for standing, whereas the rings and the bars are for uniting. The individual boards of the tabernacle must become a corporate entity. This requires a uniting power to join them and make them one. The tenons and the sockets are for us individually, but the rings and the bars are for us to be joined together corporately.
Verse 17 says, “Two tenons shall be in each board, connected one with the other; thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle.” We do not know the details concerning the size, the shape, or the material of the tenons. The Hebrew word rendered tenons is difficult to translate. This word actually means a hand. Thus, the two tenons are two hands. The number two here signifies testimony and confirmation for coordination.
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