The Experience of the Entrances to the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies - the Pathway to Mingling and Incorporation With God

Exodus 26: 31~37
“And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet strands and fine twined linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman. And you shall hang it upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, on four sockets of silver. And you shall hang up the veil under the clasps and bring the Ark of the Testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall make a separation for you between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. And you shall put the expiation cover upon the Ark of the Testimony in the Holy of Holies. And you shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand opposite the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and the table you shall put on the north side. And you shall make a screen for the entrance of the tent, of blue and purple and scarlet strands and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer. And for the screen you shall make five pillars of acacia and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them.”

The Pathway to Mingling and Incorporation With God - the Entrances to the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies

The Entrance to the Holy Place

“And for the screen you shall make five pillars of acacia and overlay them with gold...” (Exodus 26: 37)

The entrance to the holy place is upheld by five pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on sockets of bronze, which divide the entrance into a fourfold opening. Upon this entrance hangs a veil, or screen.

According to revelation: Through the preaching of Christ’s believers, God’s dwelling place is opened to all, even to the ends of the earth.

According to experience: First, when a person has fully consecrated himself and experienced the renewing of the Holy Spirit, he experiences being drawn into a deeper understanding and experience of Christ under the judging light. Second, the four openings of the entrance to the Holy Place denote that the path of our growth is through the judging light issuing from those God-men who are mingled with God in Christ. Third, the number four denotes that the capacity of the entrance is in accordance with the capacity we possess based upon our personal growth in life. The number four also denotes that the capacity of our growth grows ever deeper. That is, as we arrive at different levels of growth, we will experience the entrance according to whatever measure we have come to possess.

More Advanced Experience of the Judgment

After passing through the pillars of bronze at the gate, we enter the outer court. Here we experience and live under God’s judgment. Then, we pass through the bronze altar of burnt offering and the laver of bronze. All along this way, the judging light signified by the bronze causes us to say, “Lord, I want to take a further step. I want to experience growth to maturity. Before You, I desire to possess a greater spiritual capacity.” At this very moment, we are united with the Lord, and have a deeper understanding and experience of Christ under this judging light.

Those Mingled with God are the Path for Our Growth

On the one hand, the five pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold typify that Christ the God-man is our entrance to the Holy Place; on the other hand, this entrance also typifies that those God-men who are mingled with God become the path for our growth. Whether or not a brother experiences proper growth throughout his Christian life very much depends upon whether or not he encounters a mature, operating God-man. Why did Watchman Nee grow so well? Because he met a God-man—Margaret E. Barber. In like manner, why did Witness Lee grow so well? It was because he met the God-man Watchman Nee.

Whether or not you grow well has much to do with whether or not you meet a God-man. Don’t just say, “I can be responsible to God on my own. I feel I am able to pursue the Lord as an individual.” While you should be responsible to God and pursue Him desperately, that’s not enough. Eventually, you will still find that you lack something. Your proper growth is closely related to the five pillars at the entrance to the Holy Place—in other words, those who pass through and abide in the judgment and who are full of the divine nature and are mingled with God. These very people are the pathway for your growth.

Hence, the brothers and sisters should tell the serving ones, “The more you develop into a God-man, the better I will grow; the more you are constituted a God-man, the better growth I will have. If you become a healthy God-man, I will grow well; if you are a sloppy serving one, I am doomed to be a lousy Christian.”

Many years ago, I was in a certain locality where the evening meetings would always be dismissed at nine o’clock or earlier. As soon as the meeting was over, one of the leading brothers would leave right away. Why? Because at nine o’clock his favorite soap opera was on. It is a sad fact that if the serving one is sloppy, the saints will very likely be sacrificed.

A Chinese proverb says, “An accomplished disciple owes his accomplishments to a great teacher.” Throughout your life, what you learn from a great teacher will become your great blessing. For instance, in my middle school days, one of my Chinese teachers had a great influence on me. Afterwards, during my college years, a very prestigious philosophy professor also greatly inspired me. Spiritually speaking, the teachers that can be of great help to us are those who are judged, beaten and constituted by God, and who are pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. They are standing there—not one, but five of them! The higher and more heavenly they are, the higher and more heavenly your growth will be.

The Four Passages are Custom-made, Growing Deeper Every Cycle

On the one hand, five pillars overlaid with gold are at the entrance; on the other hand, the four passageways signify that the capacity of the entrance is based upon what you can bear according to your growth in life. Whoever enters into the Holy Place can remain in that experience as long as he consecrates himself to the Lord, experiences the washing of regeneration and passes through the shining of the Holy Spirit. Although the experience of the “four” may be smaller for some and larger to others, it is open to all. The size of the four passages is according to the capacity of your stage of growth.

The number four also reveals that our capacity deepens with every cycle of growth. Every time we enter the Holy Place, we will experience it more deeply, for the experience of our entering brings us along an ever deepening cycle of growth. As we arrive at different levels of growth, our experience of the entrance will be at different levels as well.

The Entrance to the Holy of Holies

“ And you shall hang it (the veil) upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold…on four sockets of silver.” (Exodus 26:32)

The Holy of Holies is separated from the Holy Place by four pillars, forming an entrance of three openings. A separating veil is hung upon the pillars.

According to revelation: The believers who are one with the crucified Christ enjoy the Triune God as their entrance.

According to experience: First, those God-men who are mingled with God and constituted with Christ’s redemption become the pathway for God’s saved ones to be incorporated with God. According to Witness Lee, the apostle Paul was such a one. He said that Paul was a very essential channel between Christ as the Head, and His Body. (See Life-study of Philippians, Message Seven, pp. 63-64.) Second, healthy growth eventually results in being left with nothing other than the Triune God.

The Pathway for Our Incorporation with God

At the entrance to the Holy of Holies, there are four (instead of five) pillars, forming three passageways. These four pillars are made of acacia wood overlaid with gold and stand upon sockets of silver. This picture portrays that those brothers who stand here are God-men remaining under God’s judgment, living out Christ’s redemption, and are in some degree experiencing the Ark of the Testimony. That is, they are mature. One of the traits of such maturity would be real involvement with the “three,” which refers to the Triune God.

As we grow, we grow from the outer court into the Holy Place, and then from the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies. The experiences of the outer court signify being united with God; the experiences of the Holy Place signify being mingled with God; and the experiences of the Holy of Holies signify being incorporated with God. To become incorporated with God, we have to pass through those who are already experiencing this incorporation with God.

Such a oneness is not something of God’s judgment, but rather something of being constituted with God. Such oneness manifests the spiritual man. What characterizes him is that he is constituted with Christ’s redemption and salvation. Therefore, he becomes the pathway for others who are saved to be incorporated with God. As Witness Lee said, the apostle Paul is a very important channel between the Christ, the Head, and His Body. Therefore Paul is one of the pillars at the entrance to the Holy of Holies, Watchman Nee is another, and Witness Lee, for they are all such men constituted with God.

The Three Passages Lead Us into the Triune God Himself

How I desire one day to be a pillar standing on the socket of silver—with every aspect of my whole being able to pass through the Lord’s redemption! Such a man is able to bring about a healthy growth signified by the number three here. In other words, after entering the Holy of Holies, there is nothing left but God! If you are a healthy useful servant of the Lord standing with Him, and if you are able to operate with the Lord in God’s economy, the final result of your service will be to help others know nothing other than Jesus Christ, to know only Christ, the Triune God alone! That is the significance of the three passages that form the entrance to the Holy of Holies.

The Experience of These Two Entrances

Leading Us Step by Step to the High Peak of Growth

The entrance to the Holy Place leads you to the enjoyment of the Lord and the experience of being worked on by God. The entrance to the Holy of Holies ushers you into co-working with God until eventually you are constituted to be God (but not part of the Godhead).

The two different entrances illustrate that the more you grow, the more you enjoy God; the more you grow, the more you experience God’s working; the more you grow, the more you are united with God; the more you grow, the more constitution of God you will possess. When at last you grow into the Holy of Holies, you grow unto the highest peak of growth, for in the Holy of Holies, you have nothing left but God and Christ alone!

However, it is interesting that, although we know that our lives are only for Christ, and our declaration is: “Jesus only! Lay hold of Christ alone! Follow only Christ! Testify of nothing other than Christ!” …somehow, while passing through this entrances, unconsciously we add many other goals. Eventually, however, a real Jesus lover and follower, or a truly normal healthy church, has to experience the Holy of Holies where there is nothing except God himself, God’s supply, and Christ’s resurrection power. There is nothing else found in the Holy of Holies!

Sometimes, when young saints fervently and gloriously commit themselves to things we laud as good, I am greatly worried for them. What is truly good will always lead people into Christ and not into the thing itself. I once heard a very excited Christian “release his spirit” as he spoke about various alternative diet therapies. He made the listeners feel that to do what he taught was a really necessary. What about us? When we say we are teaching the truth in the Bible, shouldn’t we use our spirit and the riches of the truth and the high peak revelation to usher people to Christ?

Nothing But Christ in the Church Life

Brothers and sisters, what should fill the church life? Emphatically, I would like to say that only Christ must fill the church life! Apart from Christ, there is nothing! The church life must be a Christ-filled Life.

In our church life, there shouldn’t be things other than Christ. Living the church life, we must care for nothing but Christ. If in the church life we still talk about and pay attention to any other topic besides Christ, we have strayed beyond what is revealed in the picture of the tabernacle. The tabernacle picture portrays no other subject but Christ—everything in this portrait is Christ, the experiences of Christ, and the enjoyment in the church life. Eventually, the church life in our locality must be fully in the reality of the Holy of Holies.

The fact that the Holy of Holies has three passages formed by four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold indicates that we are actually led into the Holy of Holies through the God-men who are mingled with God. What do we find in the Holy of Holies? Christ! What do we enjoy? Christ! What do we gain? Christ! What do we experience? Christ! What do we ask for? Christ! What do we manifest? Christ! Eventually, what is our entire Christian life? Christ! Besides Christ we see nothing and possess nothing else! We have Christ and Christ alone!

Christ is Everything

All the servants of the Lord are like the pillars at the entrance to the Holy of Holies, including Paul, Peter, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. They are pillars greatly used by the Lord to usher us into Christ. None of them existed for themselves or for their own ministries. Each of the useful servants of the Lord simply have had one purpose, that is, to help us, the saved ones, through the New Testament ministry, to gain Christ. Christ is everything! This is the spiritual significance of the entrance to the Holy of Holies.

Brothers and sisters, the pillars at the entrance to the Holy of Holies stand as a reminder to us that it’s against God to mention or exalt any name or thing besides Christ, or to replace Christ with any other name or thing. Be careful to never exalt the Lord’s servants above Christ. Learn to pray, “Lord, we love Your servants. Even though we have received so much help from them, we want to have Christ only. Our desire is for God alone. The three passageways to the Holy of Holies reveal Christ and God only! Lord, what I want is Christ! What I want to gain is Christ! I would like to testify of Christ only! Lord, we praise You for the many servants You have raised up. They present us in Christ to God according to Your blueprint, Your will. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”

 

 

  Copyright 2006 T. Chu, The Church in Cleveland