In the type of the tabernacle…the roof consisted of four layers, and every layer is an aspect of Christ. The entire roof is the revelation of Christ as the only covering. The tabernacle thus becomes an expression of Christ by this covering, which completely covers it. After the covering was put on the tabernacle, nothing but the covering could be seen from the outside. Even the boards and the utensils were inside the covering. This covering not only protected all the boards and utensils in the tabernacle but also expressed the whole tabernacle. In fact, it is the expression that protected all the boards and utensils. This means that if we do not have Christ as our expression, we do not have His protection. If we expect Christ to protect the church, we must have Him as our expression.
If we read the measurements of the tabernacle, we will discover that the covering included not only the roof but also the two sides. From the outside nothing could be seen but the covering. The sockets, the boards, and the contents within were not visible. This means that those outside must see only Christ as the covering of the church. When people come inside the tabernacle, they see nothing but the mingling of Christ with man…In other words, when I am outside looking at the church, I see only Christ, but when I come into the church and look at the people, I see the min­gling of Christ with every person. This is the real church. From without people can see nothing but Christ, and from within they see nothing but Christ wrought into many persons.
By beholding this picture of the tabernacle, we can understand the real building of the church. It is not a matter of a pattern or an organization, nor is it any kind of formation by human hands, but it is Christ wrought into many persons, and they now uplift Christ and exalt Christ and put on Christ as their expression in order to cover and protect themselves. (The Economy of God, pp. 194-195)