THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORD, THE TABERNACLE, THE LAMB, AND THE DOVE
As a sign, what does the Word, the Logos, signify? The Logos signifies God explained, defined, and expressed. The Logos, therefore, is a sign giving us a full picture of God.
As a sign, what does the tabernacle signify? The tabernacle signifies that the eternal God, after taking the step of incarnation, became one with man, who is in the flesh, and through a process of mingling became His own dwelling place. This is the significance of the tabernacle as a sign. The tabernacle signifies that through incarnation God became a man, mingled Himself with humanity, and became His own dwelling place. How mysterious this is! Because of matters like this in the Gospel of John, it is not easy to understand it.
Now we need to go on to ask what the Lamb signifies. The Lamb signifies that the incarnate God who has become His own dwelling place has also become all the offerings to take away sin from the world so that God’s chosen people may enter into Him.
What is the significance of the dove? The dove signifies that the One who became the tabernacle and who is all the offerings has become a life-giving Spirit to impart God into all those who accept the offerings in order to enter into God. This means that the life-giving Spirit imparts the divine Person, the divine Being, into the believers to be their life. How wonderful! Praise the Lord for the significance of the Word, the tabernacle, the Lamb, and the dove!
THE STONE AND THE HOUSE OF GOD
What is the issue of the Word, the tabernacle, the Lamb, and the dove? The issue, the result, is the stone. This is the reason the Lord Jesus looked at Simon Peter and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas (which translated means a stone).” Everyone who takes the offerings and enters into God, having the divine life imparted into him, eventually becomes a stone. First the life-giving Spirit regenerates the believers and imparts the divine life into them. Then He gradually transforms them one by one from clay into stone. In God’s creation we all are clay. But in God’s new creation we, the believers in Christ, will be transformed into stones for the building up of God’s dwelling place, Bethel. Therefore, the final issue of the Word, the tabernacle, the Lamb, the dove, and the stone is the house of God.
When the eternal God became flesh, He became the tabernacle. At the same time, He became the offerings to take care of the problem of sin. He has also become the life-giving Spirit to impart Himself into His believers to be their life. As a result, the believers are regenerated and gradually transformed into stones for the building up of the house of God.
In chapter one of John we see the tabernacle toward the beginning and the house of God at the very end. In between the tabernacle and the house of God, we have the redeeming Lamb to accomplish redemption through the offerings, and the life-giving Spirit to impart life into the believers to regenerate them and transform them into stones. Then these stones will be built up into the house of God.
Is this not the fulfillment of the tabernacle and all the offerings? Certainly here in the writings of John we have the fulfillment of the types of the tabernacle and the offerings in the Old Testament. All these matters are very mysterious. By the Lord’s mercy, these mysteries, conveyed in the signs of the Word, the tabernacle, the Lamb, the dove, the stone, and the house of God, have become clear and visible to us.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)