AN EXPERIENCE IN OUR SPIRIT
When we carefully consider this wonderful picture in Exodus, we know where we are. The more we experience Christ in a deeper way by rejecting and denying our self, the more we will be in our spirit, which is the holiest of all today. When we are thus in our spirit, God will be so real to us in Christ, in the Holy Spirit. It is not a matter of teachings or doctrines which are real to us, but something within our spirit. It is not just an inward enjoyment to us, but an inward reality.
From our deep experience of Christ as the ark in the holiest place of our spirit, we have the reality of nourishment from the hidden manna, the enlightenment of the divine law, and the empowering of the sprouting rod. These realities are deeply within us in our spirit. The manna, the law, and the rod are not outwardly displayed, yet they are so real. We will not have words to utter, and we will not need to utter this divine reality of the fullness of the Godhead in Christ in our spirit.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS EXPERIENCE
We have seen how the ark is overlaid within and without with gold, signifying something more of Christ. When we experience Christ in a deeper way, we are overlaid with God in Christ inwardly as well as outwardly. Christ, as the embodiment of God, covers us within and without. Later we will see how the tabernacle is built up with boards which are overlaid with gold on every side, just as the ark. This means that the tabernacle issues out of the experience of the ark. This is proved in Exodus by the mentioning of the ark before the tabernacle (Exo. 25:10-22; 26:15-30). The outer court issues from the experiences of the brass altar with the brass laver, but the tabernacle issues from the experiences of the showbread table, the lampstand, the incense altar, and the ark. When we are overlaid within and without with God’s divine nature, when we are totally in God and saturated with God in Christ, we are then the proper materials, available for the building of God’s dwelling place.
All these things are just a picture of the proper way for us to practice the church life today and have the building of God. We must pass through the altar and the laver, we must experience Christ as life, light, and fragrance to God, and we must deeply experience Christ as the very embodiment of God. We must go on from the outer court, through the holy place, into the holiest of all to have the full experience of Christ with God in our spirit. Then all the old nature, the old self, will be put to an end on the cross, and our total enjoyment will be Christ, only Christ—Christ as life, as light, as everything, and as the very embodiment of God. Then we will be overlaid with God, thus becoming a board overlaid on every side with the divine gold. And then we become the very material for the building up of God’s dwelling place. This is the proper way to have the real church life, the real building of God!
(The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)