(The Five-fold Ministry as Revealed In)
The Garments of the High Priest
Exodus 28:1-6 (CJB)
1 “You are to summon your brother Aharon and his sons to come from among the people of Isra’el to you, so that they can serve me as cohanim — Aharon and his sons Nadav, Avihu, El‘azar and Itamar.
2 You are to make for your brother Aharon garments set apart for serving God, expressing dignity and splendor.
3 Speak to all the craftsmen to whom I have given the spirit of wisdom, and have them make Aharon’s garments to set him apart for me, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen.
4 “The garments they are to make are these: a breastplate, a ritual vest, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aharon and his sons, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen.
5 They are to use gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and fine linen.
6 “They are to make the ritual vest of gold, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely woven linen, crafted by a skilled artisan.
In a study of the tabernacle in the wilderness we find a pattern for worship. The process of going from outside the gate into the very presence of God is laid out by the methods and objects that we encounter. The High Priest was not only able to complete this process, but was able once that he had entered into the Holy of Holies to perform the service of ministry that was distinct to his office. The only way that he was able to perform this service was to be fully clothed with the appropriate garments. In this study we will look into the symbolism in these garments that the High Priest was required to wear to enter into the presence of God, and how they relate to the five-fold ministry.
It is important to note that in the outer gate of the tabernacle, in the veil of the tabernacle, and the veil to the Holy of Holies we find four colors; white, red, blue and purple. These four colors represent Yeshua and speak to us of His nature; white for His righteousness, red for His sacrificial blood, blue for His divinity and purple for His royalty. These four colors appear in the garments and show us that not only is He the door, but that He is the way, the truth and the life. And the gold like faith tried by fire, is throughout the Tabernacle proper as well as the garments.
In Exodus 28 and verse 1 the Lord says to take Aaron and his 4 sons to serve Him as priest. He refers to all 5 of them together as one “…take Aaron your brother, and his sons…that he may minister unto me as priest,…”, then again in verse 4 “…So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.” God saw all five of them together fulfilling one role, with Aaron being the one to come before Him. These five men functioned together to accomplish the work of the High Priest. We are not sure exactly how this was accomplished but it is clear from the Scripture that it was the Fathers intent that they all work together to achieve the result He wanted.
Ephesians tells us about five-fold ministry:
Ephesians 4:10-13 (CJB)
10 The one who went down is himself the one who also went up, far above all of heaven, in order to fill all things.
11 Furthermore, he gave some people as emissaries, some as prophets, some as proclaimers of the Good News, and some as shepherds and teachers.
12 Their task is to equip God’s people for the work of service that builds the body of the Messiah,
13 until we all arrive at the unity implied by trusting and knowing the Son of God, at full manhood, at the standard of maturity set by the Messiah’s perfection.
We see here that it takes this five ministry anointing working as one to produce the necessary results needed in the body of Yeshua. The body needs to mature and grow into His nature and fulness.
We have seen the five-fold relationship in Aaron and his sons. Now let’s look at the next example, the garments themselves.
5 They are to use gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and fine linen. 6 “They are to make the ritual vest of gold, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely woven linen, crafted by a skilled artisan.
The garments were made of materials in the same four colors that were in the veils of the tabernacle, plus gold has now been added. So we find that five colors of materials are in the garments. Each of these colors can represent one of the five-fold offices.
Faith Tried by fire
The revelation of God that Aaron received and the access that he had came thru the office that he held. It was when he put on the garments and followed the pattern of worship that had been given that he could have access to the very presence of God.
These garments represent the character and nature of Christ. The way we put them on is in the receiving of the Word from the perspective of each of the five-fold ministries.
Let’s break it down in the order it is put on:
White – The foundation garment was of fine linen. It included linen breeches, a bonnet, a belt and a woven robe. They were made of pure white linen and symbolized the righteousness of Christ. The teacher is called by God to break down the Word and instruct us in righteousness. He reveals to us the “logos” the written Word of God.
Blue – Over the linen robe was a blue robe called the robe of the ephod. It was woven to fit the one individual that it was intended for. It symbolizes the divinity of Christ. The prophet gives a direct “rhema” word from God, a right now word. The robe of the ephod also had attached to its hem pomegranates and bells which symbolize gifts of the Spirit and fruit of the Spirit.
Yeshua in referring to the “hearing of the Word” was referring to the “Law and the Prophets”.
Red – The color red symbolizes the blood and is also symbolic of the work of an evangelist. Although we all are to win souls the main thrust of the evangelist is to preach salvation. This color is seen in the ephod. There is not an entire garment of red but it is woven into the part over the heart.
Purple – The color purple stands for authority. This speaks to us of the office of the pastor who has the charge to oversee a local church or congregation. This color is also not an entire garment but is found in the ephod. Authority must be woven into the part of the garment that holds the stones that represents the tribes, the people. Without proper authority there is no unity to hold the people together.
Gold – The gold on and in the ephod stands for the apostle who has been tested and tried in the fire and found to have pure faith. It has properties that cause the ephod to become a device that lends itself to communication with God. It is also a conductor of the power of God.
The main item in the garment of the High Priest was the ephod. This item was worn over the white and blue robes, logos and rhema. It was in two pieces a front and a back, it was attached at the shoulders with a gold setting and chain, and it was held in place with a “curious girdle”. The ephod and the girdle were finely embroidered with all four colors and with gold wire.
On the shoulder settings were two stones, each with 6 names of the tribes of Israel in order of birth. On a breastplate about 9 inches square, were 12 stones which were crystals in four rows of three. These stones contained the names of the tribes of Israel according to service, Numbers 10. The whole nation was symbolized by birth and service. They became “lively stones” when touched by God’s power. Inside a pouch behind the breastplate were kept the Urim and Thummim. They were used to discern the will of God for a specific situation.
When the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies, wearing the robes and the ephod, God would speak to him what He wanted the people to hear. It is interesting to note that gold wire and plating like that of the ephod is one of the finest conductors of electromagnetic waves in the world. Most of your high end electronics that are used for audio and video have contacts made of gold wire or plating. So when the Ark of the Covenant was struck by the power of God it caused the gold thread and plate to carry the power to the stones which created light and sound.
The main purpose of the ephod was to be a communications device for God to talk to men!
How do we put on these garments which symbolize the character and nature of Christ?
They are put on through the hearing of the Word. Each of the five-fold ministries have a unique way of communicating the Gospel. The teacher and the prophet, the pastor, the evangelist and the apostle all preach from the same Word. But they teach it under a different anointing, each anointing clothing those who receive the Word in the character and nature of Christ.
John 6:28-29 (CJB)
28 So they said to him, “What should we do in order to perform the works of God?”
29 Yeshua answered, “Here’s what the work of God is: to trust in the one he sent!”
Ephesians 4:11 (AMP)
11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
Yeshua came to the earth with a specific mission. Wrapped up in Him was all of God’s provision for Him to accomplish His task. It was “the work of God” that He was doing during those 3+ years. As we saw the shadow and pattern of the five-fold gifts in the garments of the High Priest so we will see the substance of those gifts in Christ. These gifts were necessary for the mission to be completed.
Let’s look at those gifts in Him:
Apostle – a delegate; specially an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ [“apostle”] (with miraculous powers) :- apostle, messenger, he that is sent.
John 8:42 (CJB)
42 Yeshua replied to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me; because I came out from God; and now I have arrived here. I did not come on my own; he sent me.
John 20:21 (CJB)
21 “Shalom aleikhem!” Yeshua repeated. “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.”
Hebrews 3:1 (NKJV)
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
Prophet – a foreteller ; by analogy an inspired speaker; by extension a poet :- prophet.
Matthew 13:57 (CJB)
57 And they took offense at him. But Yeshua said to them, “The only place people don’t respect a prophet is in his home town and in his own house.”
Matthew 21:11 (CJB)
11 And the crowds answered, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Natzeret in the Galil.”
Luke 24:19 (CJB)
19 “What things?” he asked them. They said to him, “The things about Yeshua from Natzeret. He was a prophet and proved it by the things he did and said before God and all the people.
Deuteronomy 18:15 (CJB)
15 “Adonai will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him,
John 7:40 (CJB)
40 On hearing his words, some people in the crowd said, “Surely this man is ‘the prophet’”;
Evangelist – a preacher of the gospel :- evangelist.
Luke 4:18-19 (CJB)
18 “The Spirit of Adonai is upon me because he has anointed me to announce Good News to the poor; he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the imprisoned and renewed sight for the blind, to release those who have been crushed,
19 to proclaim a year of the favor of Adonai.”
Luke 19:9-10 (CJB)
9 Yeshua said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, inasmuch as this man too is a son of Avraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”
Mark 1:14-15 (ESV)
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Pastor – a shepherd (literal or figurative) :- shepherd, pastor.
John 10:11 (ESV)
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Luke 13:34 (CJB)
34 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused!
Teacher – an instructor (genitive or special) :- doctor, master, teacher. Rabbi
John 3:2 (CJB)
2 This man came to Yeshua by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know it is from God that you have come as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles you perform unless God is with him.”
Matthew 26:18 (CJB)
18 “Go into the city, to so-and-so,” he replied, “and tell him that the Rabbi says, ‘My time is near, my talmidim and I are celebrating Pesach at your house.’”
These Scriptures show that Yeshua operated in all of the Five-Fold ministry gifts and that He gave them to us to use in ministry as He did.