THE BREASTPLATE

EXODUS 28

The Breastplate was made of the same fabric as the Ephod. Upon the Breastplate were 12 stones with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel (by blessing).  Although Levi was one of the 'birth' sons and his name inscribed upon the Shoulder Stones, Levi's name was not mentioned because this tribe had been set apart and appointed to be the priesthood and could not own anything.  Their inheritance was to be the Lord. Joseph's name was also removed and his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim are placed upon the Breastplate by blessing. The Breastplate lists the names of the tribes by "blessing". Each stone had its OWN glory, place, and beauty a name inscribed upon each one. Each one differed from the other, but was not in competition, but rather complimented the other. There was diversity, but not division. THIS IS THE CONCEPT OF BODY MINISTRY. 

The Breastplate was foursquare (same as Brazen Altar & Golden Altar) representing to us creation, sacrifice and the power of the cross.  The Priestly duties were that of sacrifice and prayer.  Jesus was not only the supreme sacrifice for all creation but He was also the High Priest that ministered the blood covenant for the remission of sin and today, "He ever liveth to make intercession" Hebrews 7:25.  Just as Jesus left all to perform His priestly duties, so we too are to leave all for the cause of Christ and upholding that which He has given us.

The Breastplate was worn upon the heart of the High Priest.  Aaron was to carry their names (tribes of Israel by blessing) upon His heart as a MEMORIAL CONTINUALLY before the Lord. (Ex. 28:29; 25:30; 27:20; 30:8; 29:38, 42; Lev. 6:13 & Num. 4:16).  Just as the Breastplate was known as the Oracle of Judgment and was upon the breast of the High Priest, so we were carried within the breast of our Great High Priest.  And as the Golden Altar was in the heart of the Tabernacle and was a place of prayer and sacrifice, so we too died with Jesus at Calvary and He ever lives to intercede for us according to Rom. 8:34; Heb. 2:9; Heb. 3:1; and Heb. 7:25-26). As the Church and the priests of the Lord, we are to incorporate the characteristics of the Breastplate in our hearts. We are to carry one another in our hearts and pray for our brethren, upholding and making petition of their behalf before the Lord.

The material forming the front part of the Breastplate was doubled forming a pouch in which was held the Urim and Thummin which were used for judgment.  It was also bordered by gold and represents the divine nature, presence, and faith of God.  (Note that the border of The Table of Shewbread, the Golden Altar, and the Ark of the Covenant is also made of gold.)  This speaks to us of God always ever present with us, faithful to the promise that He will never leave nor forsake us. It was secured to the onyx stones on the shoulders and the Ephod by golden rings, ouches and blue laces; just as we are secured to the Lord in Mercy and Grace.  The Shoulder Stones (onyx stones) had the names of the tribes by birth inscribed in gold upon them.  The stones were the same without difference between one or the other. Because the Lord paid the price once for all by "birth", He bears all of us upon His shoulders and CARRIES us. Nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:28-35) The Breastplate also speaks of RESURRECTION and it was through the death on the cross that Jesus overcame death through the resurrection and the world was judged of its sin. Just as He was buried and raised from the dead, so were we! (Romans 6:4 & Colossians 2:12).

 

EAST GATE: LION

SARDIUS/RED......JUDAH/PRAISE

TOPAZ/TO SEEK......ISSACHAR/REWARD

CARBUNCLE/GLITTERING......ZEBULUN/HABITATION

SOUTH GATE: MAN

EMERALD/HEALING.....REUBEN/SEE A SON

SAPPHIRE/TO DISCERN.....SIMEON/TO HEAR

DIAMOND/ADAMANT......GAD/OVERCOME

WEST GATE: OX

LIGURE/MYSTERY.....EPHRAIM/DOUBLE PORTION

AGATE/DELIGHT......MANASSEH/FORGETFULNESS

AMETHYST/HARD......BENJAMIN/SON OF MY RIGHT HAND

NORTH GATE: EAGLE

BERYL/SUBDUE......DAN/JUDGE

ONYX/FIRESPLENDOR......ASHER/BLESSED

JASPER/TRANSPARENT....NAPHTALI/WRESTLER

 

URIM & THUMMIN

ISRAEL

As stated before, the material on the front of the Ephod was doubled and made a pouch so that the High Priest could place his hands on the inside.  Inside this pouch rested the Urim and Thummin which were used to determine a persons guilt or innocence.  Urim (lights) and Thummin (perfections) are plural words.  It has been said that one stone was black and the other white. When a person was brought for judgment, if the priest pulled out a black stone, they were guilty. A white stone meant that they were innocent.

Note the 8 Scriptures below:

(1) Ex. 28:30 - They were in the Breastplate (Oracle of Judgment) and upon the heart of the High Priest who went into the Holy of Holies before the Lord.  This symbolized the judgment of a nation.  On the day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies with blood of the sacrifice to be sprinkled upon the mercy seat for the sins of a nation.

(2) Lev. 8:8 – Moses put them into the Breastplate

(3) Num. 27.21 – Joshua and the nation of Israel were given divine guidance by them.

(4) Deut. 33:8 – They were with the High Priest continually.

(5) 1 Sam.28:6 – Saul (the old order, tradition) cannot partake of the Lights for he is blind.  Neither does he desire the judgment and direction of God, but rather seeks his direction from a witch.

(6) Ezra 2:63 They could not eat of the Most Holy (Holy of Holies) things (truth) until they consulted the Urim and Thummin.

(7) Neh. 7:65 Same as Ezra 2:63, therefore a double witness, an AMEN.

(8) Judges 20:26-28 - They were used to determine the mind and will of God for certain persons and situations. In order to use the Urim and Thummin to inquire before the Lord, the Priest had to stand before the Ark of the Covenant.

JESUS

Jesus, our faithful High Priest is He who has gone before the throne on the behalf of all mankind.  It is through Him that Father speaks and directs all things concerning us.  As truly as the High Priest of old would go before the Ark of the Covenant, with the blood of the sacrifice, so Jesus has done so for us according to the book of Hebrews.  He took His OWN blood as the final sacrifice for the final judgment of all sin. (Hebrews Chapter 9 and Chapter 10.  It is recommended that one read the entire Book of Hebrews)

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  Heb. 1:1-3

Jesus was the divine light and the divine perfection of the Father of lights in whom there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning.  He was the light and the life of men.  His walk was that of obedience and sacrifice.  A true and faithful Priest carrying all the nations of the world upon His shoulders and upon His breast for final judgment.  His judgment became their judgment and He returned with a decree from heaven that was eternal and without corruption.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hebrews 1:3 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  James 1:17

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  John 8:12

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John 1:4-14

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  John 9:5

Jesus is THE light and walked IN perfection. He was made perfect through His sufferings and into His hands was committed all judgment. 

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;  Heb. 8-9

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: John 5:22

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.  John 5:30

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  John 12:47

Not only did He judge sin in the flesh, but He executed judgment concerning all sin and paid the full penalty that was necessary concerning the release of all the creation of God from the sin of ONE MAN (Adam).

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  Romans 8:3-4

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  Romans 5:18-20

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,  Heb. 2:9-11

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  Hebrews 2:17

And finally, He demonstrated a judgment that the world had never known.  He judged with a righteous judgment and set the Harlot free!!!  He brought judgment into a higher realm and rather than issuing punishment upon men, He became sin for them and fulfilled all righteousness.

CHURCH


The Word tells us that "We are in the light as He is in the light" and "be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48) and " to perfect holiness".  JESUS reached into the heart of the Father and brought forth a white stone that decreed us to be innocent through His sacrifice.  Upon this stone was a new name (nature) which cannot be known by any man (carnality).

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.  Rev. 2:17

The body of Christ (Church) is one with its Head (Jesus). It is to come to fullness (maturity, perfection) and rule and reign in righteous judgment.  We are to judge with a righteous judgment that declares to another that they are not condemned but can go their way and sin no more!  (John 7:24)  One of the supreme examples of the ministry of Christ in the earth is John the 8th   chapter wherein the adulteress is brought to Jesus and He releases her from condemnation.  This occurred BEFORE the cross!!!!!!!!  He judged her without condemnation through righteous judgment, for He understood that the LAMB WAS SLAIN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings (eulogia) in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world , that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Eph. 1;3-7

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.  Heb. 10:1-2

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.  Heb. 10:14

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  John 5:24

The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.  Luke 6:40

According to Hebrews 1:1-3 as stated above, God has spoken to us.  He has declared a message to our hearts which tells us to "awaken unto righteousness and sin not" 1Cor. 15:34.  As the children of God, we are now the express image of the Son in the earth (1John 4:17 and Rom. 8:29).  Now we have a message as the true kings and priests unto God our Father, and we can live the life that Jesus lived through Him!  As men are brought before us, we can boldly announce to them that we do not judge or condemn them, for judgment has already been made and punishment exacted. We are simply the ambassadors of Christ with the 'good news' of reconciliation.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  2Cor. 5:18-21

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  1Cor. 1:10

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.  Phil. 1:9-11

And finally, let us look at John 3:16-19 which stresses so clearly the heart of our Father.  Let us forever see and understand that He did all for HE LOVES US!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  John 3:16-19

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  2Tim. 4:8

BENJAMIN - AETHYST STONE

ISRAEL

Benjamin was born in Bethlehem and was the last son of Jacob and Rachel.  The birthing of Benjamin brought the death of his mother and in her final moments, Rachel (soul) called him 'Benoni' (son of my sorrow), but Israel (spirit) called him Benjamin, meaning the son of my right hand (Gen 35:18).  This name also means in the widest sense of "son", (grandson, great-grandson, etc. thereby covering all generations to come).  It was the bringing of Benjamin to Joseph in Egypt that released the provision of food to Israel (Jacob). 

Rachel represents the FREEWOMAN, GRACE, and the NEW ORDER.  She had two sons who were named Joseph (who represents Jesus) and Benjamin (who represents the Church, the SON of the right hand. Note that Benjamin was the only son born to Israel after his name change.  Joseph was the end of the OLD ORDER. Leah represents the BONDWOMAN, LAW, and the OLD ORDER.  The other ten sons of Issac came through Leah.  According to the study of numbers, ten is the number for law and completion.  In relationship to Leah and her ten sons, God clearly shows us prophetically that He is going to bring to an end the old order and complete (fulfill) the law.

The name of Benjamin was engraved upon the Amethyst, a purple stone, which symbolized kingly royalty.  Purple is the mixture of blue (divinity) with red (man) that also symbolizes God and man becoming one. Purple also signifies royalty, kingship, and redemption.  The stone was also known as the stone of the dreamer. It was in a dream that the Lord touched Jacob (Gen. 35:11), changed his nature (name), and told him "many nations and kings will come from your body".

JESUS

Just like Benjamin, Jesus was also born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1 & Luke 2:4-7) and named by his father.  In Matt. 1:20-21, the Holy Spirit instructed Joseph in a dream concerning the naming of the child that Mary would bare. "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

In John 1:14 'the Word became flesh and dwelt among us' and in John 3:16 Jesus was the 'only begotten Son of God'.  He was also the 41st generation (descendant son) from Abraham.  He was the one who would birth the final generation in the earth, THE 42ND GENERATION, who would be 'accounted to him for a SEED', the children of God.  A generation which would begin and end in HIM.

Just as Benjamin was birthed out of sorrow and death, so Jesus walked as a man of sorrows (Isa. 53:3) for he was continually rejected and his own knew him not.  It was through his death that redemption was wrought and new life was brought forth.  Today He is seated at the Father's right hand.............Acts 7:55; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 1:13, 10:12. 

It was through the dreams of Joseph that Jesus would be protected and direction would be given to the family concerning where they were to go (Matt. 2:12 & 22).

CHURCH

By becoming identified with him, we become acquainted with his sorrows through our repentance (grieving of soul) for our sinfulness.  Through the acceptance of his sacrifice and supreme payment of the full penalty of sin on our behalf, our old nature passes away and a new creation man is born of the power of the Holy Spirit. This new birth causes us to become the sons of God, born of His Spirit!

Through water baptism, we become buried with him, and just as he raised from the dead, so we too are raised to the newness of life Rom. 6:4-7.  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

The church is the SON of the right hand of the Father in her oneness with Christ Jesus, with Jesus as the head and the church as His body.  We are seated in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6) in Christ Jesus, so if we are in Him, then we are at the right hand of the Father. 

We are the people of God the Church, and there is something that God is doing in the midst of us.  There is a labor taking place within until Christ is formed in us (Gal. 4:19).  The Spirit of Christ is in every believer, and a nature change has taken place within them. They have been given a new name by their Father.  And to those who will decrease to their own will and desires, He will increase within them with His manifested presence until all that remains is the very essence of who He is.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  And when we SEE Him, we shall be LIKE Him (1John 4:17).

Even as the patriarchs of old, we shall see visions and dream dreams (Joel 2:28; Acts 7:17), for we are a people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Not only will we dream, but we have been given the privilege of hearing His voice.  In our heart and our spirit we have the vision of God and many shall call us DREAMERS, but the day is quickly approaching when the reality of those dreams will be manifested.

When Benjamin was brought to Joseph, it was at that time that food was released to the rest of the family that was in famine!  Prophetic?  Yes!  We are in the day of Benjamin's release!

DAN - BERYL STONE

ISRAEL

The name of Dan means to rule, to judge, to minister judgment or to plead a cause.  It is most significant that this name is engraved in the Beryl stone which represents a subduing or a breaking. 

In the beginning, Adam received a mandate from God the Father to sudue and replenish the earth, to be fruitful and multiply.  Adam was to rule and reign upon the earth and upon his failure to do so, that decree then passed to the nation of Israel as a nation of priests.  But continually Israel entered into rebellion and was an idolatrous nation before God.  Had they judged their temptations and resisted, they would have subdued that which brought judgment upon them.

Dan was to judge his own house as an equal, judge his tribe. The sin of one man (idolatry), extended through a whole tribe, and it was the sin of Ai.

JESUS

All judgment is fulfilled in Christ Jesus through the work of the cross, thereby eliminating the judgment of the law to those who are found to be in Him.  Jesus was given the power over all flesh including His OWN (John 17:2) and even had the power to lay down His life and take it up again (John 10:18).

In John 12:32, Jesus declared, "Now is the judgment of this world.  Now is the prince of this world cast out".  He who was perfect, He who was spotless, He who was righteous condemned (judged) sin in the flesh.  He did it as a man subject to all the temptations of men.  What was the standard by which He judged? RIGHTEOUSNESS!  Although the law was holy, His righteousness was holier than the law, for it was from Him that the law proceeded.  He is the righteous standard by which the world is judged (Acts 17:31), and because He is the righteous standard, He is the righteous judge (2Tim. 4:8).

Jesus did not come to judge the world, rather He came to save it (John 12:47-48)!  He did not come to judge nor condemn man, rather He came to condemn and judge SIN.  And through the sacrifice of Himself, He put away sin (Heb. 9:26) judged sin in the flesh and fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law for us (Rom. 8:3-4)!  He spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly blotting out that which was charged against us (Col. 2:14-15).

In the 8th chapter of the book of John, verses 3 to 11, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus caught in the act of adultery.  He told them that whoever was without sin was to cast the first stone.  None could do so.  But Jesus was without sin and the law was His Father's, yet He exacted a higher law which didn't destroy, but rather brought life to the woman.  That law was LOVE!  Against which there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23) and it is upon the law of love that rests ALL the law and the law of the prophets (Matt. 22:37-40).  Jesus, through His love and sacrifice, destroyed him that had the power over death, that is the devil (Heb. 2:14).

CHURCH

We have been given the power to be sons of God (Ephl. 3:20) and to rule and reign in the earth through righteous judgment.  In Christ Jesus we have been judged and found to be clean.  No longer are we debtors to sin but rather we are now debtors to righteousness.  It was at the cross that we died with Him and were relieved of all the debt of sin.  Every penalty due us was paid through Christ, His judgment became our judgment, His death our death, His life, our life.  Note that the name/tribe of Dan is not on the gates of the New Jerusalem for judgment has been removed from her gates for judgment is no longer according to law, but rather unto grace and righteousness.

We are not to judge according to the appearance of a person, but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24). We are to know no man after the flesh (2Cor. 5:16), those things which we know through the natural realm, but we are only to know them after the Spirit.  Righteous judgment is a judgment that releases one from their sin and frees them to be who they are to be.  Righteous judgment can only be exacted through love.  The church has been called to a 'mercy seat' ministry for the Father desires mercy rather than sacrifice and continual payment for sin.

The ministry of condemnation is the not ministry of Christ Jesus.  It is a counterfeit and operates through a covenant of law which has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus.  John wrote that we were to sin not, but he further encouraged us and removed the cloak of condemnation by telling us that if we did, we had an Advocate, who is Christ Jesus which is just and righteous to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1John 2:12).

Yet it is true that we will judge the world and angels (1Cor. 6:2-3), but we are told, to judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes forth in us, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (1Corinthians 4:5).

God had given power unto men (Matt. 9:8) and we have been given power over unclean spirits, disease, and ALL. THE POWER OF THE ENEMY (Mt. 10:1 & Mk.6:7 & Luke. 10:19).  The focus of the church is not to be upon man, but rather to uphold the righteous standard of judgment which Christ Jesus exacted, the CROSS!  For it is in the cross that all men died in Christ and now can live!

EPHRAIM - LIGURE STONE

ISRAEL:

The name of Ephraim was engraved in the Ligure stone which was considered to be a stone of mystery.  The name Ephraim means to be doubly fruitful or productive.  Joseph brought his two sons Mannasseh and Ephraim to receive their blessing from Jacob before his death and although Mannasseh was the one that was to receive the blessing of the firstborn (Deut. 21:17) in Joseph's family, Jacob crossed his hands and laid his right hand upon Ephraim imparting the double portion blessing (Gen. 48:14). This act by his father was most mysterious and quite upsetting to Joseph, for Mannasseh was the firstborn.

Although Israel was the firstborn, chosen of God to be a royal priesthood and holy nation before God, she was to soon see that natural descendancy did not entitle her to the firstborn blessing.


JESUS

The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Jesus took the form of a servant and humbled himself unto obedience even unto death and God exalted and gave him a name above every name (Phil. 2:6-11).  Plainly He stated that He came to minister (serve) and not to be ministered to (served)  Matt. 20:27. 
Before the foundation of the world the Father had purposed in His heart the plan of salvation.  It was a mystery that was hid through the ages and was revealed only in types and shadows to the nation of Israel. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1Cor. 2:6-8).  The mystery was that God would redeem a creation through one man, fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law.  Through this grace, all men would be perfected in Him, no longer under the heaviness of the law and performance.  For through one man's obedience all are free. 

Being the first to be born of the Holy Spirit, as the progenitor of the new birth, He is the firstborn of many brethren (Rom. 8:29) and heir to the firstborn (double portion) blessing.  He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (Col. 1:18).  He is the first in all things.  He was the firstborn from the dead, the first to raise Himself, the first to be glorified, and the first to put on incorruption!

Although He was the firstborn and heir to the double portion blessing, His walk and blessings were that of fullness.  He was more than doubly fruitful in all things.  Everything that was manifested in his life and the victories he won were not only in his life but in ours as well.  The grave could not hold him & and the grave cannot hold us.  He put on incorruption and we have been given incorruption.  He was spotless and we are spotless through his cleansing.  He is life eternal and we have eternal life with him.
It was the cross that brought the double portion blessing (inheritance) to both Jesus and us.  Through the cross, the enmity between God and man was slain (Eph. 2:16) and all things were reconciled to God through the cross (Col. 1:20).

John 15:1-6  He is the vine and we are the branches.  As the Vine, Jesus is a never ending source of supply.  His very life goes forth in power bringing all the nutrients that are necessary for the branches to bring forth fruit.


CHURCH

Through coming to Jesus, God truly is causing us to "forget all of our toil and our fathers house".   We are "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14).  As the branches, we receive our life substance and the fullness of supply from Jesus Christ.  We have been born of His Spirit and now it is His life that brings forth fruit in our lives.  It is a mystery, hidden in God from the ages and it was "Christ (The Anointed One) in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:26-27). Through the cross, God literally crossed his hands and brought the 'firstborn' blessing to those who were once strangers and pilgrims.  His blessing fell upon the gentiles (sinners – regardless of race) in the world and through the redemptive work of the cross, He brought us into full sonship with His Son, causing us to be joint heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:37) of the double portion blessing.  Race was no longer an issue, nor was the gender of a person, for the call was  important,  "whosoever will come, let him come".  He made those who would be first to be last, and those who were last to be first: (Mt. 20:27; Mk. 10:31; Luke 13:30). We have been called to be servants of the Most High God and our mission is to serve and not to be served.   Not only are we a part of the mystery, but according to Mark 4:11 and Luke 8:10, we are to know (understand) the mysteries of the kingdom.  We have been given the charge to hold this mystery of the faith with a pure conscience (1Tim. 3:9) and by becoming a part of this mystery (1Cor. 4:1) we are now the stewards and the Father has commissioned us to make it known to the principalities and powers that be according to (Eph. 3:9-10 & Eph. 6:19). 

GAD - DIAMOND STONE

ISRAEL

The name of Gad which means to crowd upon, attack, invade, overcome was inscribed in the diamond.  A diamond is a very hard stone and is unchangeable and adamant in its nature.  The diamond also speaks of conquering, smiting, breaking, or overcoming.  The prophetic words which were spoken concerning Gad in Gen. 49:19 were that "a troop shall overcome him, but he shall overcome at the last".  In 1Chr. 5:18, the scripture tells us that the tribe of Gad was skillful in warfare and they were mighty men of valor.

JESUS

When we meditate upon the name of Gad and the blessing that went along with it, we can clearly see that it foretold of the Lord Jesus Christ, His sufferings, and His ultimate victory.  Truly He was overcome (Acts 2:22-36) but He overcame at the last!  He took upon Himself the sin of the world and the principalities and the powers took great pleasure in His demise, however their rejoicing and pleasure was short lived.  And the book of First Corinthians tells us that had they known what was about to happen that they would not have crucified the Christ.  In Isaiah the 53rd chapter, there is a very graphic description of His sufferings.  Jesus entered into the very bowels of death and in Rev. 1:18, he declares to John on the Isle of Patmos that He has the keys of hell and death. Ephesians 4:8-10  "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)" 

"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  Like the diamond, Jesus brilliantly shines forth. He came to conquer the stronghold of sin over the creation of God and was given an unchangeable priesthood that was forever after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:17, 21).

CHURCH

Jesus brilliantly shined forth the glory of His Father, and He has given that glory unto us (John 17:24) to be a reflection of Him in the earth.  1John 3:2 tells us that when we see Him, we shall be like Him.  The true Church of the Lord Jesus the Christ, not the system, shall arise and shine within the earth drawing all nations unto her (Isa. 60:1-3).

Corinthians II 4:7-17 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

We are to look to that which shall be that what seems to be within our surroundings.  If we faint not, then in due season we shall reap reward.  The overcoming people of God have their face set like flint and they are pressing for the prize.  The true Church will "forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before, and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil.3:13-14).  The book of Revelation reveals many promises which are given to "HE WHO OVERCOMES".  The promises are as follows to the overcomers:

a. They shall eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.  Rev. 2:7

b. They shall receive the crown of life & not hurt by second death.  Rev. 2:11

c. They will be given some hidden manna to eat, a white stone with a new name written on it that no one shall know except the one who receives it.  Rev. 2:17

d. They will receive power over nations and the morning star.  Rev. 2:26-28

e. They will be clothed with white garments, their name (nature) shall not blotted out of the Book of Life; and their name shall be confessed before the Father & His angels.  Rev. 3:5

f.  They will be made pillars in the Temple of God and shall go out no more. The name of God and His City and the Lord's New Name shall be written on them.  Rev. 3:12

g. They shall sit with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21)

The very design of evil and sin is to separate us from God, but Paul tell us in Romans 8:37-39 "….we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord". 

Corinthians II 4:16-17 "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal".

ISSACHAR - TOPAZ STONE

ISRAEL:


The name of Issachar means reward or to hire for payment and was engraved upon the Topaz stone which was golden yellow and represents seeking.  This tribe willingly accepted what was before them & were willing to work with what they had and where they were. 

     Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute. Genesis 49:14-15

The children of Issachar were mighty men in David's army and because of their ability to understand the times, all of their brethren heeded their command:

      And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.    1Chronicles 12:32


JESUS


Throughout life, Jesus worked with what He had (the disciples), and He was faithful to all that was assigned to Him. Each day of His life, Jesus sought the will of the Father and it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that His will became forever surrendered to the Father's will.  Faithfully He labored in anticipation of a reward which was awaiting Him.  It was through His obedience to the Father's will that the ultimate reward came to Him.

     Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2
     Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11

In addition to the name above every name, Jesus was seated at the right hand of the Father and entered into an eternal rest concerning His labors, and according to Heb. 2:3 He is crowned with glory and honor.  His joy that was set before Him was His inheritance, those who would become the sons of God.


CHURCH


Reward is not something that is way off in the distant future, rather it is ever present for the body of Christ.  There is a joy that is set before us which is the coming into that high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  There is a race to be run!  And the greatest reward which is before us is the Sabbath Rest.  We look many times to just the external things of life and judge the merit of our work.  But our reward is in the pursuing and obeying HIM!!!  Joy is always released to those who obey His voice.  It is through the seeking of Him that we obtain everything that we have need of, and yes, many times what we receive is greater than our needs.

     Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 
     But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.  

     But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

     Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. In the natural world, only one receives the prize upon finishing the race.  And Paul tells us that we are to pursue the Lord as if only one would get the prize so as not to miss the mark!  1Corinthians 9:24

     I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14   In essence what He was really saying was that we are never to be lax or slothful in our pursuit.  We are to be more than conquerors, however we are not to strive as man would, but rather we must strive according to God's ways.  Everyone is rewarded according to our own works and they shall be tested by the fire of God (His abiding presence for He IS a consuming fire) - 1Cor. 3:8-15.  Only that which is gold, silver, and precious stone can remain in the fire of God.  That which is wood, hay, and stubble will be consumed.  Only those works which are wrought through the divine will and purpose of the Father will stand in the fire of His presence.  We must lose our identification and die to our own will so as not to have works which are birthed through the flesh (Lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life).  Only those works purposed in the heart of the Father will glorify the Son. 

    1. GOLD – nature and character of God.  Building a people toward maturity, perfection, fullness in the Lord.

    2. SILVER – redemption, reconciliation and justification.  Teaching a people as to what TRUE redemption, salvation really is. 

    3. PRECIOUS STONES – God's jewels of Malachi 3:17.  The people are the jewels of God. 

    4. WOOD – human nature and character, fleshliness. 

    5. HAY – soulishness, psychological, the intellect, emotions, desires framework. 

    6. STUBBLE – a stalk of grain.  We think of one or some and our vision should be for all.  The gleaning of the harvest. 

So let us run our race with patience, and look to Him.  Let us beware and let none take our crown, (Rev. 3:11-12) rather let us overcome and we will receive reward and be pillars in the temple of our God.   And remember that He comes quickly and His reward is always with Him (Rev. 22:12).
Recommended reading: Heb. 4 The Rest Chapter

JUDAH - SARDIUS STONE

ISRAEL


Inscribed upon the Sardius Stone was the name Judah which means Praise of Jehovah and denotes the expression of praise. The Sardius stone was red in color symbolizing blood & man.

Genesis 49:8-12 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre (authority) shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet (walk), until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed (cleansed) his garments in wine (Spirit) , and his clothes (covering, flesh) in the blood of grapes: His eyes (vision) shall be red with wine (shall have the eye of the Spirit), and his teeth white with milk (truth).
The tribe of Judah was the Regal and Ruling tribe of God.  It was out of this tribe that the Lawgiver and Kings came, and it was from this tribe that the Messiah (the Deliverer) would come as a man and would become the final sacrifice (blood sacrifice) to be given as atonement for sin. As the praises of God would ascend from the midst of Israel, they released blessing, joy, strength, and victory was always their portion.

One illustration is that of Jehoshaphat.  When the Word of the Lord came to him, he sent out the singers to go BEFORE the army into battle:

17You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you."

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.

20So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper." 21And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever."  22Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
 

In 2Chr. 5:13-14, we see how the praises that went forth brought the glory of the Lord into the temple of Solomon and the priests of the Lord couldn't even stand on their feet to minister!
God said that David was a man after his own heart and in Amos 9:11 and Acts 15:16-17 that He would restore the tabernacle of David.  So great was David's love of God and his praises toward Him, that in 2Samuel 12:19-20 praise brought honor and restoration to him after the death of his son.
 

JESUS


Jesus had both a king and priest ministry. The very life that He lived, was a life of obedience, love, and brought glory and honor to His Father according to John 17 & Philippians 2. He was the Messiah which would come as a man and become the final blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin reconciling man back to God.  Truly He was the Praise of Jehovah and Luke 10:21 reveals a glorious picture to us of Jesus praising the Father and rejoicing before Him.  
As we look to the Sardius stone, we can clearly see the representation of Jesus as a man (John 1:14) bespeaking of His blood which was shed for the remission of sin (Heb. 9).  Jesus declared in John 15:13 " Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And again in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…."

Rev. 1:5  "and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood"

Ruling Tribe:  Jesus was born through the tribe of Judah… Heb. 7:14 "For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood."

Rev. 5:5 – "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."

Rev. 11:15 – "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

Rev. 17:14 "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings." 

In Heb. 1:8-9 Jesus was given the scepter of righteousness which declared that He had the highest of authority in heaven, in the earth and beneath the earth.  Further confirmation is given of what He received in Matt. 28:18 "All power and all authority has been given unto me….". In Col. 2:15 he conquered all the principalities and power and in Philippians we see how he was highly exalted above all things. 
Phil. 2:5-10 "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Regal Tribe:

Once again in Revelation 17:14 he declared the Lord of lords and the King of kings and in Rev 15:3 He is the King of saints. He is the Lord of glory.
Heb. 5:6-10 "As He also says in another place:
"You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," and also in Hebrews 6:20.  And Heb. 7:24 declares "But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood."   And finally in Heb. 2:17, He is our Faithful High Priest, "Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."


CHURCH

Because we are the seed of Christ, we too are of the tribe of Judah and are chosen to declare the praises of our God.  As the Sardius stone, we truly see that we are man and that we were condemned through Adam (Rom. 5:15), but now we are the redeemed of the Lord by the blood of His sacrifice (Rev. 5:9).  We are of the incorruptible seed (1Peter 1:23) and Hebrews the 10th chapter and the 14th verse tells us that we have been perfected forever. 

As a church we have been chosen of God that we may praise Him and bring Him glory and honor.  1Peter 2:9-10 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."    Our praises of Him are to be more than just singing, dancing, clapping and bowing although that will definitely be a part of our joy before Him.  But the highest praise that we can offer to Him is our lifestyle.

Praise will take us over the roughest mountains and keep our hearts stayed upon Him in the hardest of times.  And just as the praisers went before the nation of Israel into battle, so our praise for Him is to stay ever before us.  True praise will always destroy the enemy and help us to overcome the flesh nature.


Ruling/Regal Tribe
Those who love and praise God with their WHOLE heart shall be the ruling leadership in the LIVING church of our God.  They will rule because they have the ability to see through the eye of the Spirit and they have feasted upon the sincere milk of the word and are now the partakers of the meat (solid food).

With our roots in the tribe of Judah, we too are kings and priests unto our God according to Rev. 1:5-6 "and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."   We have a sacrifice to give that our Father is waiting to receive according to 1Pet. 2:5 – "also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

MANASSEH - AGATE STONE

ISRAEL

When Joseph was a young man, he shared a vision that he had with his brothers and they turned on him and sold him into slavery.  Joseph named his firstborn son Manasseh which means forgetfulness, who makes to forget, or removes.  The name Manasseh was engraved upon the Agate stone which represents delight, to become joyful, to flame a spark, or to flash or stream.  We find the name Manasseh in the 41st chapter of Genesis:  "For God has made me to forget all my toil (struggles) and all my father's house (past).  Gen. 41:51.  Although Manasseh was the firstborn or Joseph, he did not receive the "FIRSTBORN BLESSING", however, along with his brother Ephraim, he inherited his father's blessing.  He was placed through blessing, along with his brother Ephraim, upon the Breastplate of the Ephod.

When the boys were brought by Joseph to his father Jacob for blessing, Jacob crossed his hands giving the firstborn blessing to the second born son which was Ephraim.  This was a type and shadow of what was to come concerning the nation of Israel and those who would come through Jesus. A plan of redemption and reconciliation that would span the ages!

Israel was the firstborn nation of God and she received by nature of natural birth, but there was a nation to come that would receive through blessing (Abraham's seed).  A nation which would be the firstborn of the Holy Spirit through the FIRSTBORN SON!

JESUS

He was in the world, the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:10-11). All through His walk and ministry, Jesus suffered continual rejection among his creation. 

In relationship to the mission of Jesus, please note the following scriptures of Heb. 10:5-9:

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said;

     "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.  Then I said, 'Behold I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do Your will O God.'  Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), the He said, "Behold, I have come to do thy will O God".  He taketh away the first that He may establish the second.'

Jesus died to the old (mortal man) and is alive to the new (immortal man). The first man Adam was to receive all the blessings of God, but it was the Last Adam (Jesus), who came second into the earth, that received the eternal blessing and inheritance. He IS the Eternal GodMan. 

God was in Christ on the cross reconciling the world unto Himself imputing righteous-ness to our account instead of sin.  Even in the final moments of His suffering upon the cross He cried: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do".  Luke 23:34.  As the beloved Son of God, He released eternal forgiveness.  It was out of His pain and suffering, He gave birth to eternal forgiveness which brought great joy and forgetfulness to both Him and the Father.  He fulfilled the law, by meeting the requirements, whereby every jot and tittle concerning our trespasses was forever erased and He swore that He would remember (not to charge them to our account or hold us accountable)them no more! (Matt. 5:17; Col. 2:14; Isa. 43:24; Psa. 103:12).  It was the Father's heart to save and forgive ALL (2Cor. 5:14-15).

 

CHURCH

All the requirements of the law have been met by Jesus Christ on our behalf, whereby every jot and tittle concerning our trespasses was forever erased and He swore that He would remember (not to charge them to our account or hold us accountable) them no more! (Matt. 5:17; Col. 2:14; Isa. 43:24; Psa. 103:12).  The world is seeking answers and a release from hatred and suffered wrong.  They are looking for a demonstration of God's love. The only way that the love of God can be demonstrated is through forgiveness and not just words.  The Church must do more than talk the talk, they have been called to walk the walk.  To be a living demonstration of the love of God in the earth to a creation that is groaning for release.  As the children of God, we have been called to forgive and release all who have offended and transgressed us.  Not only to forgive but to forget, meaning not to impute their sin to their account or to hold them responsible for their wrongs.  Through the sacrifice of Jesus, our penalties have been answered and the law has been fulfilled in us.  It was a perfect work which should remove our sin conscious-ness and bring us into the perfect law of liberty.  Any child of God that condemns others has never really understood their own liberation.  They have never come into the understanding that they are no longer accountable and no payment is due.  When no condemnation is real in your life, all you want to do is bring others into that beautiful experience.

Not only is Jesus our supreme example, but we have the life of Stephen that demonstrates the release of sin in the midst of a suffered wrong.  Stephen was falsely accused, persecuted for his faith, and sentenced to death. But he cried out to God to lay not the sin of their wrong to their charge.  It is in the releasing and forgiving of wrongs suffered that Satan no longer is able to bring us down through them.

We are called to know God and to see Him face to face and to walk in the ways of God.  Those who walk in His ways grow to know Him and are able to behold Him in His majesty, but those who live under the cloak of condemnation will never know anything but His works until they are released.

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2Corinthians 5:19 

Trespass means to deliberately or undeliberately rebel.  God was in Christ on the cross, laying Himself down on our behalf removing our sin so that we could be set free from our shame and our pain. As the body of Christ, let us understand that we will be partakers of His sufferings, i.e. His rejection (1Peter 4:13).  When it is all said and done, He shall declare to us, "Well done thou good and faithful servant.  Enter thou into the joy of the Lord" (Matt. 25:23).

Read Hebrews 10.

NAPHTALI - JASPER STONE

ISRAEL


The name Naphtali means to be obtained by wrestling.  This name was written in the Jasper stone which was transparent and signified water and fulness of glory. Transparent means that one is seen clearly.  
Through natural birth, Naphtali was wrestling / In blessing (Gen.49:21) Naphtali is a deer let loose (released, set free) with goodly words (fruit).  Jacob wrestled with God in Gen. 32 (under the law), but when God blessed him, his name was changed to Israel (signifying the receiving of a new nature).


JESUS


Many were the trials and temptations that the Master went through and as witnessed to us through the word in the scripture of Heb. 4:15.  "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin".  In Luke the 4th chapter, He is led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  Jesus was tempted of Satan in three major areas of life that reflect the same temptations in the Garden of Eden.  First came the physical temptation, the lust of the flesh; then the mental temptation with the lust of the eye; and finally the spiritual temptation with the pride of life.  In the Garden of Gethsemene (Matt. 26:38-41) there was another trial where Jesus wrestled with His very own soul, but in the end He surrendered His will to the will of the Father.  And finally, upon the cross (John 19:30) Jesus wrestled once again, this time with the pangs of death.  Following His death, burial, and resurrection, God highly exalted Jesus to sit at His right hand and He exalted the Name of Jesus above every name!  His body had put on corruption and now was raised incorruptible never to see corruption again.  A new Man in the newness and fulness of the life of God is now seated in the heavens making the way for all to come into that same newness of life.  "For this purpose was the son of God manifested, to destroy the works of the devil (death, hell, sin, and the grave) 1John 3:8.

Just as the Jasper stone represents water, transparency, and fullness of glory, so Jesus was the water of life.  In John 7:37 Jesus is the Living water of which we may drink and never thirst again and He is our everlasting water in Luke 4:14.   


CHURCH

The gospel is to be simple and clear.  There is nothing to be hidden or kept in secret from the children of God.  The mysteries of the kingdom have been revealed to us and we have been granted an entrance into all things. We have been given freely the water of life and our thirst has been eternally quenched.  It is important for us to be as transparent as water, to be clear and pure.  To have a life flowing from us that is that of the life of God (John 7:38 & Rev. 22).  Where the river of life (Holy Spirit) is, there is Life, fruit, and healing for the nations.  This river flows from the throne of God which is in the midst of His people and the heart of every believer. 

It is only in the lack of submission and conflict of wills that one wrestles with God.  It is the carnality of man that seeks to domineer and be in control.  In the kingdom of God it is submission which brings power.  It is not by might nor by power but by the spirit of God. The carnality of Naphtali is to obtain by force, to obtain through ones own abilities and ingenuity. It is only in submission to God that the negative can be changed into a positive.  Instead of wrestling with the situation, one wrestles with God until a new walk, a new understanding is gained thereby causing one to operate and overcome through His divine nature and character.  It is in this wrestling with God that our walk becomes changed forever for it is within this wrestling that the blessing which releases a nature change takes place.  One will find that they will no longer walk the same way, even ones ways of dealing with everyday situations takes on a new persona. Through the struggles of Jesus, the way has been made for us to both live the life that God has for us and to be more than conquerors. 

John 7:37 "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water".

In our lives, there is a continual struggle with our self will.  But within that struggle there is a plan of victory to destroy the works of evil and carnality in our lives.  This final conflict between your will, your nature, your desire and His desire must occur in order for there to be only one will, one desire, one nature: HIS NATURE! In this wrestling match there is a paradox in that you overcome by submitting. You win by loosing. If you seek your life, you will loose it. If you loose your life, you will find it.

As a new creation in Christ Jesus, we are now equipped and are given the faith concerning the finished works of Christ to destroy the works of the devil in our own lives.
Gal. 5:1-25 tells us that our spirit and flesh wrestle with each other and reveals to us the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit.  Eph. 6:10-18 shows us that our real wrestling is with "principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, and wicked spirits in high places."   2Cor. 10:4-5 reveals that the "weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down vain imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God"!!!  Because we are a prophetic people and Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, we are encouraged in 1Tim. 1:18 to wage the good warfare with the prophecies which have been given to us.  Those prophecies are the Word of the Lord in our lives.  The weapons of our warfare are the Word of God, and prophetic utterance which has come to us through the Holy Spirit. 

We have received power (Acts 1:78) and we have a treasure within our earthen vessels (2Tim. 1:7) which is God's power in us (2Cor. 4:7).  We have been given the power to loose and to bind (Matt. 16:19 & 18:18) and the power to tread on serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).  Paul declared at the end of his journey in 1Tim 6:12 and 2Tim. 4: "I have fought I have fought a good fight, finished the course, kept the faith" thereby revealing to us the progressive growth and victories in Christ Jesus. 

REUBEN - EMERALD STONE

ISRAEL

Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob and his name means to  'see behold, perceive, discern, or know a son'.  His name was inscribed in the Emerald stone which represented healing life, birthing, rolling sea (water), turmoil (pangs, pain).  Its green color speaks of Resurrection (Life), Restoration (Healing), and Reinstatement (Forgiveness).

Reuben was deprived of remaining in first place because of sin. He didn't control his flesh, however, he was forgiven and reinstated in sonship (grace received). Even though Reuben was the firstborn, his stone was moved to the 4th position which is symbolic of the cross and new birth.

Just like Reuben, the natural nation of Israel was birthed through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She was a nation who was to represent and reveal God to the nations of the world.  She was called to be a nation of priests.  Israel couldn't control her passions and was deprived of blessings of sonship through their natural birth:

     Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them. Jeremiah  33:26

JESUS

It was Jesus the Son of God that would bring eternal healing to mankind and creation.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. The world would behold Him, the only begotten of the Father.  John 1:14

He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Psalms 107:20

Jesus was the first to be born of the Holy Spirit; He was the only begotten of the Father.  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. Isa. 9:6-8

     And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  Luke 1:28-35

     Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  Colossians 1:15-17

RESTORATION – HEALING

     And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. Matthew 4:24

     When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:  Matthew 8:16

     Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.  Luke 40-41

     He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  1John 3:8

RESURRECTION – LIFE

     Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Romans 6:9-10

     And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.  Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:  But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.  Acts 13:34-37

     And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  Colossians 1:18

REDEMPTION – FORGIVENESS

     And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  Colossians 2:13-15

     To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.  Acts 26:18

CHURCH

Although we were chosen by the Father before the foundation of the world, through Christ Jesus we come to experience redemption from the Adamic nature.  We have been called to arise in this generation and possess our heritage, literally beholding ourselves as the 'sons of God'.  Reuben literally means "to behold yourself as a son".  Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren which means that we have the same Father!  Consider the following scriptures:

     John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

     John I 3:1-2  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Romans 8:19-21 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.     

In relationship to the church, Reuben shows us that sin and fleshly actions will not merit us anything before God.  We must go by 'WAY OF THE CROSS'.  The experience of being 'born again', the old man dies and a new creation son is brought forth.  We actually walk through the death, burial, quickening, resurrection, ascension, and the enthronement of Jesus.  As the children of God, we are a new creation (2Cor. 5:17) being born of water (Holy Spirit) John 3:56. In Mark the 16th chapter we learn that we are to release the life of God as His sons and restore order and life in every area of an individuals life.  We too are to set the captives free and release those who are in darkness.

We have been resurrected (Col. 2:12-14), restored (Rom. 5:18-19), and reinstated (Gal. 4:5-7).  In John 3:16 we see a continual resurrection (eternal life); in 2Chr. 7:14, Joel 2:18-32, & 1Peterr 2:24 we find continual restoration (healing); and in 1John 1:9 we have continual reinstatement (forgiveness and grace).

SIMEON - SAPPHIRE STONE

ISRAEL

The name of Simeon means means to hear or to discern.  It also implies obedience, content, understanding, and witness.  His name was inscribed on the Sapphire stone which also means to discern.  Additional meanings of the name are: to declare, to write, to inscribe, to enumerate, celebrate, proclaim, show forth, and also to divide or cut.  Simeon was very self-willed and deceptive as was the nation of Israel.  It was because Israel did not want to hearken to the voice of God that she was brought under a curse and taken into captivity. God promised her in 2Chr. 7:14 that if she would repent and turn from her wicked ways He would heal her land.  Additionally He promised that He would cause the enemy to have compassion on her children in 2Chr. 30:9.
The sons of Issachar also had understanding of the times.  "And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do;"  1Chr. 12:32.  The ending of this verse states that all of their brethren were at their commandment.  The nation of Israel looked to them for direction not because they knew what day it was and what year, rather they looked to them because they understood what was proceeding from the heavens to that generation.  They had insight and clarity into what was being released by the Father and what to do.  In Jeremiah 31:33 the scripture says that the laws of God would be written upon their hearts.  But because of their rebellion and unwillingness to hear, God sent a spiritual famine of His word into their land.
"Behold the days come that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of the bread, nor a thirst for the waters, but of the hearing of the exact words of the Lord.  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from north even unto the east, and they shall run to and fro and seed the words of the Lord and they shall not find it."  Amos 8:11

JESUS


It is very important that we realize that Jesus never did anything just because He wanted to.  He told His disciples in John 4:34: "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work" and in John 6:38 "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."  In order to do this, He had to have an ear to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to obey.  The proceeding word from heaven was in His mouth and nothing took Him by surprise.  He walked in the fullness of the Spirit and knew all things.  Continually He told His disciples about the day that they were in and what would be coming in the future.  Continually He was led by the Spirit of God in all things and was ever ready to address every situation with wisdom.  In John 15:15 He told His disciples " for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you" and once again in John 8:28-29: "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him".   Additional scriptures that testify of His Father and His obedience are as follows:
     1.John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
    
2.John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
    
3.John 12:49-50  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak
.
It was through His obedience and understanding concerning the times, that Jesus was able to surrender totally His self-will in the Garden of Gethesemane.  Through His ability to hear the Spirit of His Father, He was able to endure the cross that was before Him and "spoil principalities and powers and make a show of them openly" Col. 2:15.   John 6:51 through the end of the chapter is a good example of heeding the letter of the Word, rather than the Spirit of the Word.  Those who heeded the letter could not follow on with the Lord.
John 5: 37  "And Father Himself has sent me and bore witness (evidence) of me, you have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape or form, and you have not His Word abiding in you.  For whom He has sent you believe not.  You search the scriptures, for in them you think that you have life, but they testify of Me"

CHURCH


As the children of God we are to hear, discern, and know the will of the Lord for we are called to a life of obedience, not a life of sacrifice or works.  When we begin to hear, tradition becomes separated from truth and we begin to walk in a 'pure word' that is not 'mingled seed'.

Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Today, there is not a famine for the word, but rather there is truly a famine for the HEARING of the word.  People are being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and wandering from church to church without understanding.  Many are going after knowledge and thereby miss the spirit of the Word and fail to hear the voice of Lord which is in the Word. 

It is the Holy Spirit which brings the understanding of the Word of God.  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings us into a place where we can HEAR what the Spirit saith!  It is the spirit of the Word that gives us life:  "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" 2Cor. 3:6.  To be able ministers we must be able to hear the Spirit of the Word.  The Spirit of the Word is the Father's heart.  We cannot understand or even know Him if we cannot hear as stated by Jesus in John 8:42-43 "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word".

Concerning our hearing, we would do good to heed the parable of the sower and the four types of ground that the seed (Word) is sown in.

    1. Wayside – speaks of the pathway around the planting area that has been plowed but not deeply  (preconceived ideals or understandings)

    2. Stony - a type of hard surface, takes dynamite to blow it up (half heartedness, can reason why it might be so, but then allows doctrine or tradition or persecution to come and change our minds)

    3. Thorny ground – area that has been cultivated which can be planted and can bring forth but has not been cultivated deep enough to get rid of all the weeds (now not just words, but a reality but the cares of this world remove us from it

    4. Good – this goes into the spirit our mind and reproduces the life of God within us.  The truth can no longer be denied and fruit begins to spring forth. (One receives with an open heart and presses into a new understanding).  All the experiences and thinking begins to gather and that seed that has been refused 3 times is now suddenly bringing life in you.  This heart is lead of the Spirit rather than the letter or doctrines or thoughts of others.


Consider the following in relationship to hearing, discerning, and understanding for we are to "take heed what we hear" Mark 4:24:

    1. Many are sick and sleep among us because we discern not the Lord's body - 1Cor. 11:29

    2. So we can be able teachers and discern good from evil – Heb. 5:11-14

    3. We should be able to discern the signs of the times – Matt. 16:3

    4. Don't receive an accusation against an elder – 1Tim. 5:9

    5. Avoid cunning fables 2Peter 1:6

    6. Avoid vain babblings 1Tim. 4:7

    Matthew 12:50 "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."  And a final warning in the book of Revelation  "Let he that hath an ear, hear what the Spirit of God saith"!

ZEBULUN - CARBUNCLE STONE

ISRAEL


The name Zebulun means dwelling, habitation, abiding, continuing, to reside or dwell within; a dwelling place to be desired.  The Carbuncle stone upon which the name was engraved symbolized lightning, glittering, or flashing.  The tribe of Zebulun traveled and they settled on the coastlands.  They were as a lighthouse, a guide in the dark, and their place of habitation became a welcome port. In Gen. 49:13 they dwelled by the sea and were a haven for ships. Later, we find them once again in Dt. 33:18-19 with the tribe of Issachar:  And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck (be partakers) of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.
Additional information concerning this tribe is found in Judges 5:18-20:  Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field. The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.  They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.  They were protectors and willing to lay their lives down because it was their heart to do so.

Genesis 49:13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven(a place of safety and refuge) of the sea (of the people) ; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon (a vast supply).


In Gen. 4:24, a flashing (flaming) sword keeps the WAY of the Tree of Life.  The carbuncle stone speaks MESSAGE (Word).


JESUS


Jesus, the Son of God, tabernacled Himself in human flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). He became the Son of Man and came to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).  In the book of John, the 15th chapter, we learn of abiding in Him, being a part of that eternal vine which imparts to us His life.  It is as His life flows through us that the fruit is released to glorify Him.  In John 14 He is our mansion, our abiding place. Today, He is still tabernacled within man, making His habitation in each one of us. 

John 1:4-9 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Revelation 21:22-23 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

He is the Word of God that has come down from heaven and Jesus is the WAY to the Father.  He is the MESSAGE (the Word, the sword) that KEEPS the WAY of LIFE. He is the Door that one must enter and it is the Word of Life that keeps the way to Him. 

CHURCH

It is only through Jesus (the Word, the Message) that we may approach the Father.  As we allow the sword of the Spirit to penetrate our hearts for circumcision, it now can divide soul from spirit.  Through His Word, we know that which is soulish and that which is spiritual. 

In John 15 we find the parable of the Vine and the branches.  God has always wanted a people within whom He could dwell.  2Cor 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple (the inner part of the tabernacle) of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  This profound desire of the Father became a reality through Jesus Christ.  And the plan to make it a reality was love.  John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  And He is our tabernacle, for it is in Him that we live, and move and have our being.  In John, the 14th chapter, Jesus revealed the plan to leave the natural realm and to return and set up residence in each and every believer.  We are the abiding place of Him.  God abiding in mankind and touching a creation.  Not only is our habitation in God, but His habitation is also in us (Acts 17:22-29).  We are the dwelling place that is made without hands (Acts 7:48-50); and we are being builded together a holy habitation of God through the Spirit:

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation (NAOS – a living dwelling or habitation)) of God through the Spirit.  Ephesians 2:18-22

Just as Jesus is the Light of the world, we are born of Him and descend from the Father of lights (James 1:17).  We have been called out of the kingdom of darkness and have been translated into His marvelous light (1Peter 2:9).  Our light is to shine for all men to see and not be place under a bushel. (Matt. 5:14-16).

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared as Jesus was transfigured before Peter and James.  Peter wanted to build three natural tabernacles in honor of all three of them.  What he didn't realize at the time but would realize later was that the Tabernacle of God was with men and that it would be a spiritual Temple.  What they saw was the glorified Christ (consisting of Jesus as the Head and the children of God as His body).  The Church and Christ in their glorified fullest expression! 
Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Revelation 21:9-11 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;.

Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.