2016 ST Message Nine


Crystallization-Study of Exodus (4)

Message Nine

The Breastplate—the Central and Ultimate Point of the Priesthood

Opening Word of the Prophesying Meeting

Reading the verses in each day.

Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

And you shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of a skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet strands, and of fine twined linen you shall make it—Exo. 28:15.

So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart when he goes into the sanctuary, for a memorial before Jehovah continually. And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the hummim…—Exo. 28:29-30.

Word of Appetizer

According to Exodus 28, the central item of the priestly garments is the breastplate. What is the function of the breastplate?

According to Exodus 28:15, the breastplate was called the breastplate of judgment. …the judgment here is not mainly to determine what is right or wrong, what is just or unjust. Instead, this judgment is so that God’s people could know His leading.

Spiritual Burden

The breastplate is the building up of the Body life and the means for us to know God’s will concerning His people. Then we will receive the Lord’s judgment of what we have to do or what we must not do. We will know the Lord’s way, and the whole church will go on according to the judgment given by the Lord.

We need to pray that every local church would become a breastplate according to the picture in Exodus 28.

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth

The breastplate of judgment is the central item of the priestly garments and the central and ultimate point of the priesthood.

The twelve precious stones on the breastplate, on which the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were engraved, signify all the redeemed and transformed people of God built together to become one entity. The engraving of the names of the twelve tribes on the precious stones corresponds to the inscribing of Christ into the believers’ hearts, making them living letters of Christ, with Christ as the content.

After the Urim and the Thummim were put into the breastplate, it became not only a memorial but also a breastplate of judgment. His way of speaking through the breastplate with the Urim and the Thummim is the opposite of what we would expect.

The Experience of Life

Rom 8:14         For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

If we are not transformed and transparent and if we have not been inscribed with the Spirit of the living God along with Christ as the content but are merely opaque stones without any letters inscribed into us, it will be impossible for God to speak through us.

Practice and Application

If we as the church would be the breastplate of judgment, we must fulfill certain requirements:

• We need to be transformed and transparent; then Christ as the spiritual alphabet must be inscribed into us clearly and definitely.

• Because there is a shortage of transformation, transparency, inscribing, and enlightening, we need to pray that we may become transparent, have more of Christ inscribed into us, and experience more enlightening.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

And you shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of a skillful workman…—Exo. 28:15

And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim…—Exo. 28:30

The breastplate of Judgment—the Central and Ultimate Point of the Priesthood

The Urim and the Thummim—a Means for God to Speak to His People

I. According to Exodus 28:15-30, the breastplate of judgment is the central item of the priestly garments and the central and ultimate point of the priesthood; the breastplate typifies the church.

IV. After the Urim and the Thummim were put into the breastplate, it became not only a memorial but also a breastplate of judgment.

Urim means “lights,” “illuminators”; Thummim means “perfecters,” “completers”.

• According to the Old Testament, the Urim and the Thummim added to the breastplate were a means for God to speak to His people to indicate to them His leading.

• The fact that God’s speaking as His leading was through the breastplate signifies that God makes His leading known to His people through the church.

Key Verses (2)

And you shall enclose in it enclosures of stones…—Exo. 28:17

…according to the names of the sons of Israel, twelve, according to their names; they shall be like the engravings of a signet, each according to its name, for the twelve tribes—v. 21.

Since you are being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ministered by us, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone but in tablets of hearts of flesh—2 Cor. 3:3.

The Twelve Stones, the Engraving of the Names of the Twelve Tribes on the Precious Stones

II. The twelve precious stones on the breastplate, on which the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were engraved, signify all the redeemed and transformed people of God built together to become one entity.

III. The engraving of the names of the twelve tribes on the precious stones corresponds to the inscribing of Christ into the believers’ hearts, making them living letters of Christ, with Christ as the content.

• Christ is inscribed into the believers through their experience of Him and by the inscribing of the New Testament ministry.

• The letters engraved on the twelve stones typify Christ as the letters in the heavenly alphabet.

Key Verses (3)

And he (Joshua) shall stand before Eleazar the priest, and he shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before Jehovah. At his word shall they go out and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the children of Israel with him, even the whole assembly—Num. 27:21.

The Breastplate of Judgment for God’s Leading—His Way of Speaking

V. The breastplate of judgment for God’s leading was like a heavenly, divine, and spiritual typewriter, and His way of speaking through the breastplate with the Urim and the Thummim is the opposite of what we would expect:

God speaks not through the stones that are shining but through stones that become dark; this means that God speaks through negative situations.

• Paul’s Epistles and the seven epistles of the Lord Jesus to the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 2—3) were all written according to this principle.

 

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1
T1 The breastplate of judgment is the central item of the priestly garments (Exo. 28:15-30).

(Please explain that the main purpose of the breastplate of judgment was for God’s leading.)

T2 God’s leading and the church are one (Exo. 28:21).

(Please explain that God reveals what we should do through the church, by the church, and with the church.)

D2

T1 The twelve stones on the breastplate (Exo. 28:17-21) (Refer to Outline II. A-B)

(Please explain the significance of the twelve stones on the breastplate.)

T2 The breastplate was borne upon Aaron’s heart (Exo. 28:30).

(Please explain that what a great comfort the picture of the breastplate on Aaron’s heart is to us.)

D3

T1 The inscribing of Christ into the believers’ hearts (2 Cor. 3:2; Rev. 22:13)

(Please explain that we need to be transformed, and we need to be transparent, and we need to have Christ inscribed into us; it will be possible for God to speak through us.)

T2 The twelve stones on the breastplate were not divided (Exo. 28:17-20).

(Please explain that the twelve stones on the breastplate were arranged in three rows of four, signifying humanity mingled with divinity to form a complete unit.)

D4

T1 The Urim and the Thummim (Exo. 28:29-30)

(Please explain what the Urim and the Thummim typify.)

T2 The breastplate of judgment is a breastplate of leading (Josh. 7:16-21; 1 Sam. 23:6, 9-12; 28:6).

(According to the verses mentioned above, please explain that the Urim and the Thummim added to the breastplate were a means for God to speak to His people to indicate to them His leading.) (Refer to Outline IV. D-I)

D5

T1 God speaks through stones that become dark (Josh. 27:21).

(Please use the examples of Paul’s Epistles and the seven epistles of the Lord to the seven churches in Asia to illustrate that God speaks through negative situations.)

T2 By reading the negative situations, we come to know God’s leading (Exo. 28:29-30)

(Please use experience to explain that in a church the leading ones need to seek the Lord’s guidance by reading the actual situation and condition of the saints.)

D6

T1 God’s speaking is always according to the negative situation, yet with the riches of Christ as the supply for His people (1 Cor. 1:1-9)

(Please explain that Paul wrote Corinthians according to the negative condition of the saints in the churches, but there are many positive things ministered to the believers at Corinth.)

T2 Every local church will become a breastplate (cf. Psa. 73:16-17) (Refer to Outline V. C. 1-4)

(Please explain what the certain requirements we must fulfill are, if we as the church would be the breastplate of judgment.)

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