The Breastplate Of Judgment: Part 4 of 6- High Priest’s Garments Series

Exodus 28:29
29 “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the LORD continually.”

As you read in part 3, the Breastplate of Judgment is the most expensive part of the High Priest’s garments and hangs on the skillfully woven Ephod.  The Holy Spirit uses this beautiful article to show us, first and foremost, wonderful truths about Jesus.  But it also reveals what God sees when He looks at you and I.

Wrong Focus.

Have you ever heard negative, condescending pronouncements from the pulpit that make you feel God is angry with you?  Here are some that I have heard:

During worship at church, our pastor said, “God is whispering ‘You’re not being real with Me.  Your thoughts are wandering all over the place.  You’re not really worshipping me.  You’re just going through the motions.”  He even said that God was angry with us!  I was appalled!

Negative and hurtful pronouncements like this can make you feel like God is angry with you or, at the very least, mildly disappointed.  But would our Father really say things like that to you?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Man, as usual, is always tying to make everything all about man.  Also as usual, it’s the WRONG FOCUS.

No Condemnation.

Those very pronouncements were from a very well-meaning, well-educated man of God; a theologian with a PhD in Divinity.  He said those exact words, to my incredulous ears, heaping condemnation on his congregation.

Church, if anyone…..ANYONE…..from the pulpit, has YOU LOOKING AT YOU, implying that somehow you haven’t quite measured up to some standard or that God is angry with you, that person is not speaking a word from God.  They have forgotten what Paul wrote, that “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Good News!
Fear not! I have good news for you!  THOSE ACCUSATIONS ARE NOT FROM GOD.  I don’t care if the person behind the pulpit has a PhD and tells you “Thus saith the Lord.”  That doesn’t mean he or she is speaking a word from God.  The truth be told, they have actually grieved the Holy Spirit.
(For more on that topic, follow the link below:
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The Holy Spirit’s Job.

How can you tell their words are not from God?  Because our Father doesn’t make you feel bad, somehow less, or condemned.  Nor does He tell you that you’ve “Fallen short.”  Jesus does not hurl insults at you or plant thoughts of condemnation in your head.  Far from it!

He Himself said in John 16:8-10, “And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more…”  If you read carefully, the Holy Spirit has two functions in this verse.  

#1 He convicts THE WORLD of sin.  Who is the world?  Unbelievers.  Why?  “BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME,” Jesus says. 

#2.  The Holy Spirit also convicts of righteousness.  Who are the righteous?  SAVED INDIVIDUALS.  He doesn’t convict this group of sin, but of righteousness.  Why?  “Because I go to my Father and you see me no more.”

You see, we need to be convicted that we have right standing before the Father because of what Jesus did.  We are already acutely aware of sin.  We don’t need to be reminded of it.   Not so the world.  Unbelievers are not so conscious of sin.  They are, by and large, unable to recognize it and may even believe there is no such thing.

Believers don’t need to be convicted of sin.  But because Jesus is no longer physically present with us, we cannot look into His eyes and see our acceptance there.  We need reminding that we are the righteousness of God in Christ.

YOU looking at YOU is actually a form of SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.  More to the point, it is the spirit of ANTI-CHRIST at work in the Church.  When you’re not looking at Jesus, you are focused 180 degrees in THE WRONG DIRECTION, meaning against or opposite of:  “Anti”-Christ.

The Accuser.

There is someone, however, who hates you, loves to accuse and condemn, and wants you destroyed.  He bends over backwards to get you to focus on you and to get your eyes off Jesus.  Hmmm……lemme think now…..who could it be?……ah, Yes:  THE DEVIL.
Well, WE DON’T CARE WHAT HE THINKS.  We want to know, “What does God think of us?”
What Does God See When He Looks At You?
The Breastplate of Judgment paints a very clear picture of exactly what He sees when He looks at you.  This understanding will put your mind and heart at ease and put to rest any thoughts of self doubt you may have.

This beautiful piece of artistic work has twelve precious stones mounted on it, one for each tribe, and two onyx stones set in gold on each of his shoulders.  All of these gems were of the finest quality on earth and far beyond price.

The Wealth Of Egypt.
Where did they get all these things to fashion the garments and the tabernacle?  As you read in the previous article, every bit of gold, silver, precious metals, and gems were given to the Israelites by their Egyptian neighbors when the left Egypt.  They used all their gifts in crafting everything for the Tabernacle, furnishings, and garments according to what God commanded Moses on Mt. Sinai.
Quite literally, the night they left their land of slavery, the wealth of the “World” (Egypt is a picture of the world) was thrown at their feet!  Back pay for those 400 years of slave labor.  Not too shabby!
(Onyx stones with tribes of Israel listed in birth order.)
The Onyx Stones.
Two brilliant onyx stones were skillfully placed in settings of gold on high priest’s shoulders.  These were not the kind of onyx we have today. They were VERY precious, priceless stones, whose brilliance flashed like fire when illuminated!
Each was engraved with the names of the 12 tribes, six on each stone, IN BIRTH ORDER.  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah…..etc.  They were identical in size, shape and setting.
Typologies.
These two stones demonstrate to us that all believers, from the newest Christian to the most seasoned believer, are equally precious and complete in His sight.The fact that the names were ENGRAVED–not written, into each stone, shows us that we are eternally secure in Jesus.  
Yep.  You read that right:  ETERNALLY SECURE.
Now, for those who don’t believe in eternal security I say that you don’t believe what the scriptures clearly say:  “Whosoever believes in me has ETERNAL life.”  Check the dictionary for the meaning of “ETERNAL.”  If it can end by ANY means, THEN IT ISN’T ETERNAL.  So, either God is a liar…..and I assure you He’s NOT…..or there is something you don’t understand.
Double Strength.
Getting back to the onyx stones, they were both CHAINED to the Ephod by solid gold chains that were braided and twistedfor double strength. The Holy Spirit is showing that WE ARE SECURELY FASTENED TO OUR HIGH PRIEST.
Engraved.
Not only that, but our names are ENGRAVED, NOT WRITTEN, into the surface of each stone. They can NEVER be removed, meaning your salvation is ETERNALLY SECURE.  YOU CANNOT LOSE IT, no matter what you do, regardless of what some well-meaning preacher may have told you.  You and I are “Double chained” to our Jesus by gold chains to His heart of love.
Shoulder speaks of power, meaning we all have equal access to Jesus’ power.
This perfectly illustrates what the Apostle Paul said that “NOTHING can separate us from the love of Jesus!”
You see, if there was “SOMETHING” that could separate us from Jesus, He would not have used the word, “NOTHING.”
The Old Revealed In The New.
 Remember what Jesus Himself said in John 10:27-30?
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; (1) neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and (2) no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
Gold braid #1:  No one can snatch them out of MY HAND.
Gold braid #2:  No one can snatch them or Of MY FATHER’S HAND.
We are ETERENALLY SECURE, doubly secured to our Great High Priest, Jesus!  HALLELUJAH!!!
(Stones on the Breastplate in order of their encampment.)

Jesus Loves YOU!

The stones on the Breastplate, unlike on the Onyx stones, were placed in order of their encampment, not birth order.  Here is why it is significant:

The gems were placed over his heart, each one unique but equally beautiful. 12 individual, PRICELESS gems.  The uniqueness of each stone speaks of how Jesus loves and relates to us as individuals. Though it’s true He loves everybody in the world, more importantly, HE LOVES YOU, His beloved child!   He knows YOU and He calls YOU BY NAME. He sees YOU as a PRECIOUS, PRICELESS GEM, forever complete in Christ.
The first stone was a “Sardius.”  Today we would call it a “Ruby.”  As in the case of the onyx stones, their names were engraved into it, not merely written on it’s surface.  The last stone listed was Jasper,” a clear stone, either closely related to or a type of diamond. Remember this for later because the order has a message that will bless you.
How To See Other Believers.
Just as Jesus sees us as precious individuals, we too, need to see fellow believers, regardless of church affiliation, race, country of origin, whether they agree with you or not, as PRECIOUS GEMS ON JESUS’ HEART.
That’s how He see us because we stand in the perfection of His Son.  And that is how we need to see each other.
Why Gems?
Why did God choose gems to depict all of us?  Because natural gems are buried deep in the earth. The “miner” {Jesus} has to diligently search for them with great purpose, dig them out of the “dirt,” and wash the dirt off (with His blood).
Then, the Master Jeweler cuts and shapes each individual gem in such a way as to to bring out it’s true, inner beauty.  The different, precise cuts on each gem are the individual trials we go through that mold and shape us.
God Is Light.
The Bible tells us God is light.  When a brilliant light shines on a beautifully cut, precious gem, it shines with fiery brilliance! That is how you and I look to God!  He sees beautiful, brilliant, priceless gems on Jesus’ heart:  Forever complete, forever beautiful, forever shining, precious, and secure!
He not only isn’t the angry or disappointed with you and I, as God is so often portrayed from the pulpit; HE IS WELL-PLEASED!

Revelation From The Book Of Revelation.

Remember that the first stone on the breastplate was ruby and the last was a clear stone or diamond?  Turn now to Revelation 4 vs 3. It says: “There was sitting on the throne (of God) One Whose appearance was like “a JASPER and a SARDIUS stone.”  

Jasper is a very clear stone, a type of diamond as I said. It is mentioned first; then the sardius, or ruby, in reverse of the order of the way they are placed on the breastplate.  Why?

Because Jesus, the pure, clear, sinless Son of God, (Jasper/diamond) came down and shed His Red blood (Ruby.) We, on the other hand, start out stained with sin and must go through the red blood (the ruby), to perfectly cleansed within to be made like clear “diamonds.”

AWESOME!  The Holy Spirit has chosen these beautiful, colorful, visual aids to help illustrate these important spiritual truths. They are a perfect portrayal of 1 Corinthians 13.  God wants us to see each other through the lens (chrystal/gem) of “love” to testify to those outside of Christ.  They will know us BY OUR LOVE…….not our “doctrine.”

So, the next time you wonder how YOU or fellow believers look to God, remember this:  He sees ALL of us as Bright, Sparkling Gems engraved on Jesus’ heart.

That, Church, is one of the lessons of the Breastplate of Judgment.

Please follow the link below to Part 5 where we’ll discuss the significance of the blue tassel:

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-blue-tassel-part-5-high-priests-garment-series/

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