General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 3: Hebrews through Jude, by Witness Lee


Verses 12 and 13 speak concerning our portion of Christ as our offering on the earth. These verses say, “Therefore also Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us therefore go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” Christ suffered in His body on the earth outside the gate, which is the gate of the old Jerusalem, the center of Judaism, the organized Jewish religion. On the one hand, Christ opened the heavens for us to enjoy Him in the heavens, and on the other hand, He is our portion to enjoy that we may follow Him to suffer on this earth by walking the way of faith. Today, we Christians have to learn how to enter the veil by a new and living way which was opened for us by the blood of Christ to enjoy the heavenly Christ within the veil, in our spirit, and in the heavens. However, we also must go outside the camp to follow His footsteps to suffer as Jesus suffered on the earth.

The Camp Being First the People of Israel and Then Judaism

Verse 13 says, “Let us therefore go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” Although we may know what the Holy of Holies within the veil is, we may not know what the significance of the camp is. Before the record of Exodus 33:7, the people of Israel had encamped near the Tent of Meeting, because the tabernacle as the dwelling place of God was not raised up until Exodus 40. At the time of Exodus 33, the tent of Moses represented the place of the Lord’s presence. The people of Israel had committed the serious sin of worshipping the golden calf (32:1-6), so the camp was polluted and corrupted by idol worship. This provoked the Lord greatly. When Moses came down from the mountain, he called for the overcomers to stand with him to slay the idol worshippers. This indicates that by that time the entire camp of the children of Israel was polluted, corrupted, and given up by the Lord. From that time on, Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp. Before that time, Moses had always pitched his tent within the camp, but after the worship of the golden calf, Moses gave up the camp and went outside the camp.

The camp, therefore, represents the Jewish religion as an organization. In name this organization is something of the Lord’s people, but in fact within this religious organization there is corruption and idol worship, and the Lord’s presence is not there. At the time the Lord Jesus was on earth, Judaism had become a fully-established religious organization, a real camp. In its outward appearance it was an organization of God’s people, but within this camp there was corruption and idol worship. This camp even cast the Lord Jesus outside the gate of Jerusalem, which was the center of the Jewish religion. He was cast out, and He suffered outside the gate.

In the heavenly Holy of Holies we enjoy the heavenly, resurrected, and ascended Christ, while outside the camp we follow the suffering Jesus and bear His reproach. This book was written to the Hebrew believers. To them, Judaism was a religious organization, the very camp that cast out Christ. On the one hand, those Hebrew believers were enjoying the heavenly Christ, but on the other hand, they tried to remain in the camp. This became a problem to them. They enjoyed the resurrected and ascended Christ in their spirit, in the heavens, but they would not give up Judaism. They tried to reconcile these two, so the writer of this book told them that this was impossible. Those who intended to enjoy the ascended Christ in the spirit in the heavens needed to follow His steps to go outside the camp of Judaism, the Jewish religion, and bear His reproach.

(General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 3: Hebrews through Jude, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)