The Ephod - Part #2 - The Overcomers Outward Appearance
these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and
a robe, and an embroidered coat, a miter, and a girdle: and they shall make
holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me
in the priest's office.
Exodus 28:4 (please read the rest of the chapter)
But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
[This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.
[No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
1 Corinthians 1:24 - 30
One of the things about my life is that is looks so weird, so different, so abnormal from those in the world. Here I sit, all these years, a strong large man on a disability pension and with no outward show of labor or work that people in the world would approve of. A man that has been set aside even from his teen years, and now, close to 4 decades later, that setting aside has not changed. I have not been allowed to be "normal" as the world says. Was this a matter of my own choice or did God "command" this of my life?
When my life is compared to others, I look totally unsuccessful. My physical appearance and my talents and abilities just simply do not fit in with what the world would term "normal".
When you view the image of the High Priest in the photo above, he looks absolutely weird and strange to natural thinking. But the garments of the High Priest were full of symbolism and truth which effect us to this very hour. It is not the garments the High Priest wore that effects us, but the symbolism and truths as foundational principles displayed by it that effects us. The priest was separate, weird looking to the world, but separated unto God. Just like my marriage.
By all outward appearance, the true overcomer looks weird to the world. They GLORY in the Cross of Christ, which they share in. They do not run with the same excess of riot as do the people in the world with massive parties and immoral acts. 1 Peter 4:4. They spend their time working out their lives to OBEY the Lord and the principles found in His word WITHOUT becoming "religious" about it. The overcomer in this hour is a real, down to earth person who's head is not stuck up in the clouds and who does not allow their lives to become exalted by anything other than the workings of their own personal crosses. They do not try or attempt to gain standing or wealth or riches in the earth nor do they try to make a name for themselves. They care not about reputation in business nor about the day to day life of the world as it relates to them. They have shut themselves apart unto the Lord and they do not try to escape His dealings in their lives. Plain and simple, they look weird. They are like my wife. They are OPPOSITE to what her family would approve of. Instead of looking to gain earthly wealth, they are busy standing still, waiting for God to work His purposes out IN THEM. They have no ulterior motive, no final goal other than to be found In Christ with His righteousness and they offer to God nothing more than their very lives. The world is busy saving and working for the future, the overcomer knows that there is no future outside of obedience to God alone.
The overcomer does not fit into a church system or denomination. They may be there for a time, but eventually they will not be a part of a system as they will be that square peg that won't fit the system's round hole. An overcomer will be the first one to admit they are not worthy of the Lord. They never boast of their standing in God or the promise Christ makes that they will rule and reign in Him. The overcomer, rather than rejoicing in the fact that they will be granted to sit and rule with Christ upon the Eternal Throne is much more interested in allowing God to deal with their hearts and lives and to obey His every desire for them while they traverse this earth. The overcomer knows that this world is not their home, but at the same time they live in the reality of it, in the nitty gritty of it, paying bills, keeping house or job, set to the task that is before them. They do not live as a part of the world but like the High Priest, they live separate from it.
The overcomer will also be like Daniel in the Old Testament, a prophet showing forth the end of this 2nd world creation. Daniel was SUPPORTED by Babylon. Allot of the sons of God I have seen, myself included, are so wounded, so disabled, so hurt and broken that they are actually not able to fend for themselves as relates to the work the world requires for a person to make ends meet. Some of them are carpenters, plumbers, seamstresses, housewives, secretaries. None of them have high standing or seek political office. None of them fit the groove of the world as to making things "better". They have their gaze fixed on the NEW WORLD that God has promised, the 3rd world of scripture, the New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. They are born out of time, before their time. They have no idea how or where to gain wealth here and now as they do not live here and now. They do, but they don't! They are in HOPE for the final work that God has promised wherein God will be ALL IN ALL. That is where their vision is before them and their appearance is set with faces like flints to that final goal.
An overcomer may speak of themselves just to make a point, but they love to speak of the Lord. The problem is they don't have very many they can speak to. Most of the christian world, which I call christendom has rejected them and cast them off.
An overcomer may be asked by God to walk through severe and hurtful deception. They may become wired by a wrong spirit for a time! God ORDERS the enemy of their souls to take them at times TO DEAL WITH PERSONAL PRIDE AND EGO.
They may be led by spirits of deception down a garden path. BUT IT IS NOT PERMANENT. In time they will humble themselves and the spirit of truth will show them the error of their way and they will OVERCOME IT BY REPENTANCE. Then they will have an even sharper sword, even stronger armor and even a more firm stance in faith than they ever had before! It is the heart God is dealing with in the overcomer, and sometimes they can be led wrong, to learn to be led right! An overcomer will learn DISCERNMENT that christendom and the world can never understand.
An overcomer will know they are a Priest of the Lord, even of the Melchizedek Order. The High Priest of Jesus day, Caiaphas knew that Jesus was indeed the Christ. After he delivered Christ to be crucified he wrote a letter to the Jewish leaders of his time and ordered that the sacrifices and oblations done in the temple at Jerusalem be stopped - for he had "killed" the final sacrifice. The High Priest has DISCERNMENT. By faith we know we are of the Melchizedek order - BUT WE MAY NOT ACT OR FEEL LIKE IT. Because God is still purifying our hearts.
My wife and I home educated our 3 sons for 14 years. Anyways, we joined up with the families in this area many years ago who were also home educating their children. There were in our area alone around 100 families.
Well, we found out very quickly that we did not fit in with the home education group! The same thing happened to us there that happened to us from denominational churches and from christendom in general. They REJECTED US. We were CAST OUT. Family and all.
My sons ended up with NO FRIENDS, NO AQUAINTANCES. But you know what happened? The Lord spoke to each one of them and they knew that this was "OK". The Lord had separated our entire family unto Himself. They became friends with others who were rejected and cast out to this very day!
We look weird to others, that is how it is. But that is where and how God deals with us.
I am only speaking to you of the breastplate of this Priest you see above, the Ephod as it was called. The rest of the garment is rife with meaning, but I only want to touch that one part. Think not that this is just "history". It is not just history. By understanding the foundational truths found in this study, we will know why we walk the way we do as overcomers and how it is we walk this way IN THIS VERY HOUR WE LIVE IN.
So don't think yourselves strange if you don't fit in with the world, that was the first thing the garment of the High Priest did, it separated him from the world and the religious. An overcomer is NOT religious, they are REAL.
Kenneth B Visscher