Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have seen that on the ephod worn upon the robe of the high priest there were two shoulder-pieces. On the shoulder-pieces were two plates with six of the names of the children of Israel engraved on each plate. On the front of the ephod the high priest wore a breastplate composed of twelve precious stones set in gold. On each of the stones was engraved the name of one of the sons of Jacob. Thus, we have the robe, the ephod, the shoulder-pieces, and the breastplate.
The ephod signifies the expression of Christ. It portrays Christ expressed in His divinity and humanity with His attributes and virtues. Hence, the ephod is a composition of the expression of Christ in His divinity, humanity, attributes, and virtues. Then upon the ephod, upon the expression of Christ, there is the church. Both the shoulder plates and the breastplate symbolize the church. First, the church is symbolized as a testimony of the Lord Jesus. This is the function of the two shoulder-pieces, for two signifies a testimony. Thus, the two plates on the shoulders of the ephod signify the church as the testimony of Christ. The breastplate composed of twelve stones set in gold symbolizes the saints as transformed precious stones built together in the divine nature of Christ to become one entity. This is the built up church. Therefore, the ephod with all that it bears, the three plates, is actually a picture of Christ and the church. This is a matter of great importance.
What is the ephod with all that it bears? It is Christ with the church. Just as the three plates are the belongings of the ephod, so the church is the belonging of Christ. Without the three plates, the ephod would still be the ephod, but it would not have as much beauty. What beauty there is in the ephod with all it bears! The three plates are simply the additional beauty of the ephod. If these plates were removed, the ephod would still be beautiful. But when the plates are added to the ephod, the ephod has much more beauty. The entire ephod with the shoulder plates and the breastplate is a portrait of Christ with His church.
As we consider Exodus 28, we need to lay hold of this picture in an all-inclusive way. This means that in these messages on the ephod we are speaking concerning Christ with what He is bearing, that is, Christ with the church.
It is not an easy matter to study the types in the Old Testament. It is an especially difficult task to study the typology of the tabernacle, the priestly garments, and the offerings. The Brethren are experts in the areas of typology and prophecy. If you have ever studied the writings of the Brethren, you will see that they pay much attention to the two areas of typology and prophecy. I am thankful to the Lord for the years I was with them and for what I learned from them. However, I was never told that, in typology, the ephod with all it bears signifies Christ with the church.
The ephod is not merely a type of the glory of Christ or of certain of His virtues. Yes, the ephod itself does signify Christ. But what is borne upon the ephod, the shoulder plates and the breastplate, signifies God’s redeemed people, for on these plates were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. These names signify the redeemed people of God. For this reason, the ephod with what it bears portrays Christ with the church.
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