Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we need to see the experiences of Christ as portrayed by the arrangement of the furniture of the tabernacle. Many Christians think that we can only experience Christ as our Savior and Protector. According to those who have had Pentecostal experiences, Christ is a Healer and a Worker of miracles. To them, experiencing Christ is a matter of witnessing miracles. But Christ is altogether mysterious, and our experiences of Him are also mysterious and very difficult to define. Thank God that this is clearly portrayed in His Holy Word by the arrangement of the furniture in the tabernacle, His dwelling place. This arrangement is of three sections: the outer court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. In each section there was furniture. Many Bible teachers agree that the entire tabernacle with its contents is a detailed picture of Christ. When I studied the typology of the tabernacle as a youth, I was told that it was a picture of Christ, but I was never taught that it was also a portrait of our experiences of Christ. Gradually in my experience throughout the years, I came to realize that the arrangement of the furniture of the tabernacle presents a full definition of our experiences of Christ. In this message we are not concerned with learning typology which was emphasized by the Brethren teachers more than a century ago. The recovery today is not a recovery of the teachings of typology but a recovery of the experiences of Christ as portrayed in the types. We need to enter into the experiences of Christ as shown in the arrangement of the furniture in God’s dwelling place.
In the outer court are the brass altar and the brass laver. Both of these signify the experiences of Christ in an outward way.
At the brass altar, which signifies the cross (Exo. 40:29), we participate in Christ mainly as our sin offering and also as all the other offerings (Heb. 13:10, 12; 10:12). In principle, the offerings solve our problems with God, fully reconciling us to Him and making our situation with God righteous and peaceful. Through the cross of Christ, we are right with God and with one another. Christ as our sin offering has solved the problem of sin, and as our peace offering He has also made peace between us and God and with one another. Thus, through the offerings offered by Christ on the cross, our condition is one of righteousness and peace. This is the first experience that we enjoy in Christ outwardly.
After the altar is the laver, which signifies the washing of the Spirit. Both the altar and the laver were made of brass. In typology, brass signifies God’s righteous judgment. The washing of the Spirit is based upon the judgment Christ has borne for us. At the brass laver (Exo. 40:30-32) we partake of the washing of the Spirit, which is based upon the redemption of Christ (Titus 3:5). Although we have experienced Christ as the offerings, before we can come into God’s presence we also need to be washed, cleansed by the Spirit. This also is somewhat outward.
After having the two kinds of experiences in the outer court, we are qualified to come into the tabernacle. Firstly, we enter into the Holy Place, where our experiences of Christ turn from the outward to the inward. Here, in the Holy Place, we experience Christ in an inner way.
When we enter into the Holy Place, the first item of furniture is the showbread table (Exo. 40:22-23), which signifies Christ as our life supply (John 6:35, 57). On the showbread table twelve loaves of bread were displayed. The number twelve signifies eternal completion and perfection. Christ is our eternal bread. Our inward enjoyment of Him at the showbread table is eternal.
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