Carl H. Stevens Jr.
Table of Contents
- Lucifer’s Pre-Creation Covering
- True Coverings
- False Coverings
- Honoring God’s Covering
- Precept Upon Precept
In Mark 10:45 and 1 Timothy 2:6, the Word of God says that Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom, or a covering, for His people. In the Old Testament, the blood of lambs covered sins. In the New Testament, the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, did away with all of our sins. So the Blood not only covered them, it cast them away forever.
We have been given the protective covering of the blood of Christ through the New Covenant. Ever since then, the Lord Jesus Christ has provided for His people a diverse assortment of coverings, and a covering is just what it implies — it’s a covering.
Because of the law and self-righteousness, the Jewish people did not have the proper covering. Isaiah 28:20 says, “the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”
To understand the principle of coverings, we must realize this: Any area in which we reject God’s help, God’s provision, God’s given promise, or God’s presence and manifestation is an area where our lives are left uncovered. Because of human frailty, weakness, and sin and evil, it is imperative that God’s people be covered.
It is very true — and very sad — that coverings in the Word of God are so misunderstood by God’s people. We leave ourselves uncovered in so many areas. If we continue to reject any of God’s coverings then, before long, we will cover ourselves with another kind of a covering.
Lucifer’s Pre-Creation Covering
“Thou [Lucifer] hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
“All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be anymore” (Ezekiel 28:13-19).
God said to Lucifer, “Every precious stone was your covering. You had a covering! Your covering was sardius, topaz, diamonds, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle.”
There were nine stones, and according to isagogics, these nine precious jewels refer to the fruit of the Spirit, in Galatians 5:22 — love, joy, and peace; longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness; faithfulness, meekness, and temperance — derived from the essence, nature, and attributes of God.
God said to Lucifer in Ezekiel 28:13, “the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”
At one time I thought the pipes were musical instruments, but through a study of isagogics, I found that the pipes were actually jewels. The tabret, or tambourine (much different from the one we have today) was especially made to worship God with, but the pipes were jewels, and these jewels, as I’ve mentioned them, were prepared in him in the day Lucifer was created. God said to Lucifer in verse 14 and 15, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so….Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
“Light Bringer, Knowledge Informer”
Before Lucifer’s fall, his name was “light reflector.” After he fell, it became “light bringer” or “knowledge informer.” Lucifer had an amazing covering. More than all the other angels in heaven, he understood that his covering consisted of the attributes of God, represented by the nine stones. So, the fruit of the Holy Spirit became his covering. In other words, it became his outer garment. He was a teacher to the angels, the leader in doctrinal instruction and worship. For example, in Revelation 4:8 the seraphim (the six-winged beasts) were “full of eyes,” meaning “full of doctrine.”
Lucifer, under God’s leadership in Ezekiel 28:14, was a covering for the angels. That position was delegated to him by God. He was the first representative delegated to cover other created beings. God said, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so.”
In addition to teaching doctrine to the angels, as the highest-ranking cherub, Lucifer was responsible to guard the throne. Because of his position, he had access to the Trinitarian planning sessions and heard the conversations among the Trinity. After iniquity was found in his heart, Lucifer told the angels that the Trinity had a very special agenda: to send a third of the angels to hell. Lucifer told the angels that this was the Trinity’s secret plan in the eternal convention of heaven, which he had access to at one time. He not only was on the holy mountain, but he also “walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:14 b) — the attributes of God — with the Holy Spirit, who is God, mastering the provision of light as far as Lucifer was concerned. This means that the Holy Spirit, the “spirit of burning” (Isaiah 4:4), also taught Lucifer before he fell.
The Covering Stripped
Because iniquity was found in Lucifer, he fell as lightning when he was kicked out of heaven (Luke 10:18). Now he doesn’t have a covering, but he is highly informed. But I would suggest to you, his covering has been stripped.
If I reject the Lord’s help, then I’m left without certain coverings — as so many in the Body of Christ are. They are not covered. When you do not have a godly covering, and you refuse to accept the covering revealed by God’s Spirit, then, eventually, after much patience, God strips you of every covering that you have. Be sure your sin will find you out. Any covering that you’ve manufactured (fig leaves, for example, in Genesis 3), will be stripped off. The covering that is not of God will not stand.
In Isaiah 28:15, the people of Israel had made a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. Their covering was something outside of God’s life. But in Isaiah 28:18 God says that the covenant with death will be disannulled, and the agreement with hell shall not stand. This means that their coverings would be stripped.
We have so many false coverings today all because we do not understand the principle of being rooted and grounded in the faith (Colossians 2:7).
Few people esteem God’s Word more than the food they eat (Job 23:12). But I want you to see that as I have grown in understanding the coverings, I have advanced far beyond the book I once wrote on this subject. Today we’ve doubled our understanding of coverings.
Jesus Christ’s Covering
Jesus Christ, during His temptation, said in Luke 4:4, “It is written.” Verse 8: “It is written.” Verse 12: “It is written.” What was His covering? It is written. The covering for the Lord Jesus was what was written. It is interesting that He had the Father, He had the Holy Spirit, and certainly they were a part of His covering; we will not take away from that. But, in application, Jesus’ covering was doctrine.
That is why the people “were astonished at his doctrine” (Matthew 7:28). His covering was knowing how to think with God the Father. According to Isaiah 50:4, the Father woke Jesus up every morning so He might learn “how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.” The Father taught Him what to speak (a word), when to speak (in season), and to whom He should speak (to the weary).
Jesus Christ was taught categorical doctrine by God the Father from the time He was a little child. He had no outside teacher. The Father woke Him each morning to teach Him doctrine. Jesus Christ — in His humanity — was subject to doctrinal teaching daily, seven days a week. His morning time was spent learning doctrine for hours. His evening time, late at night after He had ministered, was prayer. That’s the way He did it. There’s no record of Him studying at night when He got through ministering. He may have done so, but there is no record. But the original language in Isaiah 50 says He was taught doctrine seven days a week, every morning. The Hebrew tenses reveal it was all the time in the morning: “he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
The Coverings of the Word
The Word of God produces a covering for every situation. Understanding that, the Word of God — and positive volition toward it — is my first covering. I must be extremely positive toward the Word of God. Then, when I am in Satan’s three-fold temptation of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, I’ll be able to say, “It is written! It is written! It is written!” never moving back from what is written. This reveals the value of a Bible college education. It reveals the value of receiving doctrine daily. “It is written” shows us the value of church attendance, corporate fellowship, and the continuation of receiving the Word of God.
When I use my positive volition, the first thing that God covers me with is His policy of grace — something I don’t deserve.
The second covering I have is the love that God has toward me. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
The third covering I have is mercy.
The fourth covering I have is total forgiveness.
The fifth covering I have in the government of the Trinity — the Father, Son, and Spirit residing in me — is rebound. When I fail, I can instantly rebound. I name my sin, isolate it, forget it, and go on, never being occupied with it again.
The sixth covering I have is my pastor-teacher and his messages.
The seventh covering is to be hid in the body of Christ.
These are the major coverings that God has given us.
God sends pastor-teachers. If a person doesn’t have a pastor-teacher, then he doesn’t have that particular covering, and he is losing out on what God planned for him billions of years ago in His foreknowledge. Hundreds of people who left the ministries where God called them are losing out today because they never followed up by going to any other ministry. And often, those who do go to other churches don’t stay. Therefore, they have substituted a covering that is not of God.
In Isaiah 30:1-2 a, the Lord says, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt….” Notice that God says, “You have a covering, but it is not of my spirit.”
The first covering that Satan offers is light, not darkness. He offers light — the light of the intellect, the light of experience, the light of private interpretation of the Bible, the light of practicality, the light of having to earn a living, the light of domestic affairs. In other words, a situation could come up and you may say, “I have to do thus-and-so.” That may be true to a degree, but it becomes a covering without the proper channels of Christ. So Satan brings in light because he’s the ‘light bringer’ and the ’knowledge informer’.
He doesn’t offer people a covering of known darkness; he offers them “light.” And that’s why, in 2 Corinthians 11:14, he is called “an angel of light.” Satan transforms his ministers into ministers of righteousness — not obvious devils, but ministers of righteousness. In other words, they minister with the Law, legalism, taboos, do’s and don’ts, attainment, achievement, and performance. As you understand how this works, you begin to realize that these are coverings that are not of God.
The Right and Left Emotions
When a woman is not properly covered by her husband this is how Satan’s “light” works. (Remember, this is a new correlation of divine content in perpetual truth). Just as we have two ears, two eyes, two kidneys, and two feet, there are two emotions: the right, relating to the temporal value system, and the left, which relates to God’s eternal value system. Satan hooks up with a woman’s right emotion, and that emotion is very real.
What happens to the single woman who does not have a husband as her covering? Satan hooks up with her right emotion so that she functions in the temporal value system. Now she can’t wait to get married. Certainly, marriage isn’t wrong if it’s God’s will, but this woman can’t wait to get married. She can’t wait for changes. And the woman who is married can’t wait for the husband to make better money. She can’t wait for things to work out better. It’s all happening in her right emotion!
The right emotion, or temporal emotion, is in conjunction with the old sin nature, which is in conjunction with the angel of light. The free volition — in conjunction with the angel of light — hooks up with self-consciousness, which is in conjunction with the woman’s self-essence. She could be quoting Scriptures all over the place, yet flourishing in her right emotion because she doesn’t have the proper covering.
What if her husband is not a man of God? Then she still has a provision. She draws near to the Word of God. She does whatever she can to make sure she receives from her pastor-teacher and from Spirit-filled people in the ministry.
If a woman is single, she has her pastor-teacher, her own relationship to God, and spiritual people in the ministry for her provision. But her relationships must operate through her left emotion (which relates to the eternal value system).
If a man does not operate through his left emotion, he can become very work oriented. There’s nothing wrong with being a great worker. But if he does things in his right emotion and has two bad weeks, then misses a pay-check because the company is going through a rough time, he will start acting weird. And because he comes home in his right emotion, the first one to notice the weirdness is his wife.
“How’s it going?” she asks him.
“Ah, it’s all right,” he replies, obviously downcast.
Then, during the third week, he finds fault with people in the company, and the fourth week, he doesn’t even want to speak to some of the people he works with. The fifth week, he feels like suicide would be a good way out! Now I’m exaggerating. But the thing that causes this is his right emotion. The problem for the Christian man who is an executive, a leader, or a highly skilled professional is that when he works hard, he may shift from his left emotion to his right emotion. Exhaustion and tiredness take over. The taxation of his capacity penetrates his human potential and possibilities. His right emotion is engaged in the temporal value system. Satan will always be there to use human rationalization to continue the process of the right emotion. I hope you’ll remember that. The angel of light will give you every reason to justify staying in your right emotion. The reasoning he offers is three-fold: the reality of sight, the reality of your experience, and the reality of how you honestly feel, which you cannot correct by yourself.
Losing God’s Covering
If that is your experience, somewhere along the line, you left God’s covering. You left the covering of the Blood, the Trinity within you, the Word of God in categorical doctrine, grace, love, mercy, rebound, and all the attributes of God.
Lucifer was covered with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance — the nine jewels, according to isagogics. Thus, when the angels saw Lucifer lead music and teach them doctrine, he was a picture of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit.
When you lose your covering, you’re not the same around people. What you reveal is not love, and everybody knows it. Nobody is fooled. It’s not joy, it’s not peace, it’s not longsuffering, it’s not gentleness, it’s not goodness, it’s not faithfulness, it’s not meekness, and it’s not temperance because you have a covering that is not from God. Your bed is too short, your covering is too narrow to wrap yourself in (Isaiah 28:20).
According to Job 24:7, the absence of a covering results in coldness. The Hebrew isn’t talking about the literal coldness; it means when you don’t have God’s covering, your heart gets cold.
Honoring God’s Covering
The thing that covered the law in Exodus 25 was a golden mercy seat. Once a year, the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, over the blood from the previous year (Leviticus 16). And, of course, when the high priest brought the blood in, he couldn’t see the tables of stone, Aaron’s rod, or the manna. Everything was covered by the golden mercy seat.
The rod, which hadn’t yet budded when it was put into the Ark, was covered. The two tables of stone written by the finger of God, representing the law that reveals our sin, were covered. And the manna, speaking of fresh bread from heaven, was covered.
It’s important to know that the mercy seat covered the manna, which speaks of fresh doctrine, because doctrine can condemn you very easily if you’re not oriented to the Blood. I think you can see the value of this covering.
The Consequences of Dishonor
When a wife doesn’t submit to her husband, I’ll guarantee she will live in her right emotion. She is to minister to her husband in order to produce a capacity in him. If her husband can’t cover her through prayer and love, or if he isn’t covering her like he should, then she covers him. She covers him through God, through the pastor-teacher, through what she receives from the pulpit and through the Body. Therefore, there’s never a time when she has an excuse.
The husband who will not abide under the covering of Jesus Christ and Bible doctrine will definitely be passive and filled with apathy. Then, the Word of God says in Psalm 109:18, “As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come unto his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.” This is speaking of a person’s emotions being destroyed because swearing and getting angry have become his covering. And if you do anything wrong to him, he lets you have it. Cursing and reacting to the details of life are his covering. It’s not of God. It’s not of the Spirit.
Psalm 109:29 says, “Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion….” Here is a case where, if Jesus Christ isn’t my covering, eventually shame and confusion will become my covering.
“I’ve been through so much. You don’t know all I’ve been through!” That’s what you hear from these people. They’re always confused.
They need to have medication for their “condition.” They need to have people around, and they require personal attention every day — all because confusion is their covering. They remain in that covering, and if you talk to them, they’re very confused about issues of life, ready to cry all the time. Confusion is their covering.
According to 1 Corinthians 11:10, a woman who submits to her husband in the Lord has “power on her head.” Obviously, her long hair, as beautiful as it is, isn’t the power on her head. The word for power in this case is exousia, and it means authority. If she submits, God gives her special authority from heaven for her marriage and her family, but only if she submits.
God says, “Okay. She’s in a bad situation. But she’s honoring the Word. She’s honoring love. She’s honoring joy. She’s got the covering. Her covering is the fruit of the Spirit. So I’m going to give her special authority in prayer.”
By the same token, single men, according to 1 Corinthians 7:37, have power over their sexual desire when they submit to God. They have no desire to live in their flesh or mentally lust after women. They receive exousia. If they submit to the pastor, submit to the Word, and submit to doctrine, they are given a special badge of authority against sexual lust. Their submission brings them a covering. God promises a special authority over lust. If a single man obeys the pastor who rules over him with the Word of God (Hebrews 13:7,17), that gives him a special covering. In addition, wherever he may go in the world as a believer-priest he obeys from his heart the Word of God that he has learned. He has this special authority so that he can be around women and never lust. That’s quite a victory!
Covered by Glorified Humanity
In Song of Solomon 3:10, regarding Solomon’s chariot, the Word of God says, “He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.” (In other words, for them so they would be able to see it.)
Silver speaks of redemption. And gold refers to the deity of Jesus Christ. The purple covering points to the hypostatic union of Christ — the God-man, who is now our High Priest in heaven. So the covering is the glorified, hypostatic union of Christ, human in heaven, but now glorified humanity. That’s your covering. You can understand why the road was paved with love — the love of the One who covers you.
The Covering of Love, Friendship, and Purity
“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends” (Proverbs 17:9).
God’s love is an amazing covering. Not only does it cover a multitude of sins, but it never repeats the matter unless a person refuses to get right with God. Love covers a multitude of sins (James 5:20; 1 Peter 4:8). Not sentimental love, but real love.
Friendship is also an amazing covering. We’re not talking about acquaintances or associates. We’re not talking about having mutual interests, mutual pleasures, mutual likes, or mutual dislikes. We’re talking about agape love, the love of God, which produces a friendship that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” I don’t think a man should ever get married until his love for his wife could be called “born for adversity,” until, in her worst trouble, he could say he was born for that day. That is Proverbs 17:17.
Purity is a covering against impurity; integrity is a covering against dishonesty; hard work is a covering against laziness; edification is a covering against negativity; wisdom is a covering against knowledge of the letter; healing is a covering against sickness; a sound mind is a covering against fear; and love is a covering for all.
Protection from Evil
“Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1). This is an unusual verse. Consider the people who leave a ministry and then attack it. Here in Isaiah 31 they walked away from their covering. Does that mean they couldn’t have another covering? Well, it wouldn’t have been as good, but it would have been better than nothing. (After all, some covering is better than none at all!)
“Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots…they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!” Israel made a league with Egypt. They didn’t go to the Lord for help. How many people do not go to the Lord for their precise covering? They just don’t do it. They will make fifteen telephone calls and not sleep all night, but they won’t go to the Lord.
They Don’t Call Back Their Words
“Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words.” He will not call back his words. He will not change words that he said ten or fifteen years ago. Even if he comes back to church because he’s miserable, he will not call back his words.
This person is involved with evil. He’s sick of it, but that doesn’t do any good. Even though he’s unhappy, he’ll never call back the words that he said against the people he was against — including the pastor. He will not call back his words. Even if he comes and sits in three services a week, comes to the rap sessions, and doesn’t say anything negative again, he’s still controlled by evil because integrity, truth, and a godly confession are not his covering.
Luke 17:3 says, “If he repent, forgive him.” For my sake, I forgive him mentally, even if he doesn’t repent (Matthew 6:14). But for his sake, I don’t forgive him unless he repents. Can you see this? I forgive him mentally so that what he did doesn’t eat me up, but I don’t forgive him experientially, because I have to mark him. If, however, he came and repented — even if he fell and repented seven times a day! — I would forgive him every time.
Too many people misunderstand the balance between divine counsel, the wholesomeness of divine government, and the reality of divine preciseness in the details of divine application. Mentally, you forgive because you don’t want what he is doing against you to eat you up. But you don’t forgive him outwardly until he repents. You mark him, and you’re not sentimental, but you are courteous. And if he ever calls and says, “I repent,” you say, “You’re forgiven,” and you no longer mark him. That’s the principle.
Our minds need to be covered. Our emotions need to be covered. Our attitudes need to be covered. Our plans need to be covered every morning by the grace and love of God that motivates us. We need to plan to assemble with God’s people every time we have the opportunity. Our purpose needs to be covered. We need to be covered, and if we don’t have God’s covering, I’ll guarantee you, we will have another covering.
Cover the Man of God
My favorite passage on the subject of coverings is in Genesis 9:20-27. Ham did not cover his father Noah. Ham said to his brothers, “Did you see Daddy? Didn’t you know he was drunk? He’s naked and drunk, and he’s right in there.” But Shem and Japheth didn’t see a thing. They walked into Noah’s tent backwards and covered him.
Would you be that way today if you saw a man of God out of God’s will? You should be. You should turn him over to God, because he may have failed only once. If he’s doing something really wrong, go to him alone. You have every right to — and you should. But would you do what Ham did?
Precept Upon Precept
“For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (Isaiah 28:8-9).
My son and I were in a car a year ago and we heard someone say, “Doctrine is not the issue. We don’t like that doctrine stuff.” Do you know what he was saying? He may as well have said, “We don’t like that ‘thinking with God’ stuff.” Doctrine is “thinking with God,” and categorical doctrine is “thinking with God precisely and accurately, being in tune with what He is thinking that moment in you.”
That’s why we have a doctrinal church. Our emphasis is on the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. But today, Satan has taken away the covering of many by causing people to cleave to emotional movements and religious systems.
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine?” The answer: “Them that are weaned from the milk,” the milk of emotionalism, the milk of experiences, and the milk of “working it up.” This verse is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Why else would I constantly be teaching the people in my church? It’s because of the importance of coverings and the danger of becoming familiar with the daily provision for doctrine.
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10). He does not say, “Song upon song, song upon song.” He says the issue is “precept upon precept, line upon line.” Doctrine is the issue. And we worship God by understanding doctrine.
“To whom he said, This is the rest where-with ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear” (Isaiah 28:12). What is the ‘rest’? Bible doctrine. We are a ministry of the Word, and no one is going to change that. Hearing the Word of God, hearing the precepts, hearing doctrine — this is the refreshing. This is the health. It’s not doing, but hearing. The Word of God produces the rest.
“But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isaiah 28:13). God was saying He will have His preachers preach doctrine in order to drive away those who only seek after experiences and emotionalism and to establish true disciples of Jesus Christ in the reality of truth.
The Danger of Rejecting the Word
“Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, we have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement….” (Isaiah 28:14-15 a). Let me show you what happens when people reject sound doctrine. These people don’t realize it, but they are making a covenant. Not only that, but they take on a false covering:
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth….” (Isaiah 30:1-2 a). So, they have a covering. They do have a covering.
There are people today who have a religious covering, and they are going to be ashamed when they meet God. There are also political coverings and social coverings. These are all coverings, but they are not of God.
Stones Missing from Lucifer’s Covering
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created” (Ezekiel 28:13).
In their historical frame of reference, these nine stones mentioned in Ezekiel 28:13 speak of the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. God isn’t just talking about some beautiful stones. This verse is talking about the character of God. Just as every name had a meaning, every stone had a meaning also. Before Lucifer fell, every one of these characteristics was his covering.
Now I want to show you a unique mystery of God, as we compare Ezekiel 28:13 with Exodus 28:17-20:
“And thou shalt set in [the breastplate of the high priest] settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings” (Exodus 28:17-20).
Contrary to what most commentaries say, these twelve stones do not refer to the twelve tribes of Israel. Though there were twelve stones on the breastplate of the high priest, only nine of them are listed for Lucifer in Ezekiel 28:13. Why is the third row on the breastplate of the high priest missing in Lucifer’s covering? It is because the third row speaks of obedience, faith, and steadfastness, and “three” speaks of resurrection — life out of death on the earth.
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee…. therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:15-16).
Lucifer had been covered by love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance, but he went against his covering, so God destroyed it. Lucifer had been a covering for the angels, but God destroyed that covering. Today, Satan rules people, but he doesn’t cover them. He will give drugs to kill them. He will give them alcohol, immorality, promiscuity, and pornography, but he will not cover them. Therefore, when people get into these things, they make a covenant with hell for self-destruction, covering themselves with false coverings.
If a woman doesn’t want to live with her husband, even though he doesn’t beat her up and he doesn’t get drunk, one of her girlfriends may become her covering. I will tell you, that covering is not of God.
Consider social coverings. Instead of getting close to God, some people go out to barrooms and drink with their girlfriends or boyfriends. They have a social covering, which gives them a false peace.
Washington is filled with political coverings. Much of the medical world has been filled with wrong motives that produce false coverings. They don’t want the world of nutrition mixed in as a needful alternative for good health. Thank God for all the good medical professionals, but the medical field has provided, to some degree, a false covering for sick people.
The moment God’s people step outside of God’s covering, they become damaged. Many people train up their kids to have athletic heroes as a covering. Television, with some of its weird programming, becomes a covering for the mind to become spellbound by it.
Religion is one of the most deceptive coverings in the world. When a person attends a church out of habit, tradition, or a sense of duty, especially when the church does not teach the whole counsel of God, he takes on a false religious covering. Even when a person knows he is not following precept upon precept and that it’s not doctrinal, he won’t quit because he doesn’t have the character to get right with light!
Lucifer had God’s characteristics of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance. He walked in the midst of the “stones of fire,” referring to those characteristics of God. Matthew 3:11 says that when Jesus came, He would baptize with the Spirit and with fire. In Isaiah 4:4, the Holy Spirit is the “spirit of burning.” Fire speaks of the characteristics of the power, energy, and bright light of the eternal nature of God. So Lucifer walked in the midst of the characteristics of the eternal nature of God, which always purifies by taking away every bit of the dross that is in it.
Lucifer was created perfect and had the nine stones in a gold setting — gold speaking of deity, completeness. But I repeat: Three stones that were on the breastplate of the high priest are not found in Ezekiel 28 — obedience, faith, and steadfast patience.
It’s a terrible tragedy when someone takes on a covering that is not of God. When a person’s intellect comes under an educational institution that doesn’t teach Christ as Lord and Master over education, then he is stripped of a covering.
The Mercy Seat
The tabernacle in the wilderness had to be covered with badger’s skins, which speaks of the humanity of Christ. Inside the tabernacle, the bowls had to be covered; the table had to be covered. Everything had to be covered. When Aaron, the high priest, went into the holy of holies once a year, he had to burn incense on the coals coming out from the outer altar so that he couldn’t see the mercy seat. He had to look up, because he wasn’t allowed to see the mercy seat.
Moses, however, was able to go into the holy of holies, in Exodus. He could look right at the mercy seat, and Jesus would teach him doctrine. Then Moses would come out, his body filled with glory. No one wanted to be around him until the glory faded. So Moses could look at the mercy seat, but Aaron could not, because Moses was the communicator of Bible doctrine. He wasn’t into much of a “movement” in those days. Things weren’t like they are today. Moses just went into the holy of holies, received the message from God, then came out and told the people.
According to Exodus 25:17-22, two cherubim of gold were connected to the mercy seat as they looked upon it. In Genesis 3:24, after the Fall, the cherubim kept Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. They stood for justice, purity, righteousness, and God’s holiness. But now, in Exodus 25, they are looking down at the mercy seat, connected and one with it, because the blood has been sprinkled on the lid that was covering it. They had once stood for judgment. Now they bowed, one with mercy! The blood stands for mercy; the blood on the mercy seat was for God to look upon! That’s why He said in Exodus 12:13, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The blood was for God. So, God saw the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat, representing Christ’s blood. Today, the Blood is a covering for us, so God can fellowship with us through the blood of His precious Son.
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
(James 2:12-13). This verse is saying, “When we are judged, let us be judged by the perfect law of liberty.” Way back in Exodus, the cherubim were making a declaration that whenever a soul believes in Jesus Christ, mercy rejoices rather than condemns.
Leaders and Their Covering
God gives us the covering of the pastor-teacher, the covering of the husband, the covering of the father and mother, the covering of Christian leaders who are real leaders. Every one of these people become a covering. And do you know how they become a covering? Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little. And do you know what this does? It causes the weary to rest.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:2-3).
What is it that people will not endure? Sound doctrine! They want a movement. They want emotionalism. They want experiences. They want signs. They want to make-believe because they will not receive sound doctrine. They want a religious system. They will not endure sound doctrine. They make comments like, “All they do is teach us God’s Word.”
When a husband gets on his knees and prays, Jesus, who is his Head, becomes his covering (1 Corinthians 11:3). This man takes on the nature of God through the Word of God. He takes on the character of Christ, and produces the fruit of the Spirit, which becomes a precious stone that covers him as a husband and a father.
Then, the wife takes on the covering of Christ from her husband, and she produces every precious fruit of the Spirit. Jesus is being revealed in her (Galatians 1:16), but she produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit outwardly. Every time a situation comes up, she reveals love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance. Everywhere she goes, her life covers.
She brings her children to church on Sunday nights because the Bible tells her to. She’s going to cover her kids by getting them to fall in love with obedience to the Word of God.
In 1 Corinthians 11:15, her long hair is a covering. Long hair represents the submission of the wife’s soul to her husband. This symbol of submission is what the elect angels look into to see that a wife is submitting to her husband (1 Peter 1:12). Short hair for a man is the expression that he is submitting to Christ.
The angels look in and say, “Okay, these people are taught precise doctrine. The husband has short hair. He is submitting to Christ. He understands doctrine. And the woman has longer hair. She is submitting to him. Her long hair — which reveals her submission to Christ — is her covering.”
Receiving Right Counsel
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me [meaning they don’t receive Bible doctrine]; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isaiah 30:1). They go down to be strengthened in Egypt — the world system — as their covering. They don’t want God’s precepts as their covering. They want something that a nice, “educated,” worldly person can give them for a covering. But there’s just one problem. This person has had his covering stripped.
When a woman’s husband is not what he ought to be, she applies 1 Corinthians 7:14, and her amazing, Spirit-filled life sets her husband apart so he can’t interfere with her walk with God, and her inner beauty may begin to win him (1 Peter 3:1-2). She has an alternative, an option. She has Jesus Christ and her local assembly to make up for the covering her husband is not giving her.
She doesn’t need to run around asking questions of everyone she sees. She only needs to hear the Word of God, receive it, and go to the Father. The Father was the covering for Jesus Christ’s humanity.
The Fullness that Fills All in All
The Body is the fullness of Christ because, as an organism, it has a Finished Work covering. The Blood covers all our sins — it is a Finished Work covering. We have a grace covering and a mercy covering that rejoices against judgment. We have forgiveness that forgets as our covering. We have divine patience as our covering. We have the inner covering of joy as our strength. Wisdom from above gives us the covering of peace. All of these coverings belong to the believer.
We don’t receive our counseling from the world. The Word of God says in Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly….” The psalmist said that his meditation was on the Word of God “day and night” (Psalm 1:2). You see, it’s the Word! As we meditate and reflect on what God is thinking, the Holy Spirit makes it fresh.
We don’t need a social covering. We don’t need a domestic covering in the world. We don’t need these kinds of coverings. We have the covering of the mind of God (the Word of God), the Body of Christ, the local pastor, and Spirit-filled Christians. We have God’s covering. Yet even though Satan is now uncovered, people get under him, but he is not a covering. He will give you a good time on your way to self-destruction, but he is not a covering. There is not one verse in the Bible that says Satan covers anyone.
Concerning Satan, Isaiah 14:11 says, “the worm [singular] is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.” This does not mean worms as you would normally think of them. If you study Mark 9:43-48 carefully — “their worm dieth not” — along with Isaiah 66:24, you will discover that worm means “conscience and memory.” So Isaiah 14:11 means that Satan will live with his own conscience in hell forever, and all around him the consciences of the inhabitants of hell will be screaming. If you don’t believe me, read Revelation 19:20 and 20:10.
Imagine Satan’s conscience, throughout all eternity, witnessing to him that he lost the covering of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance. He was stripped of his covering over the angels and now he’s in hell without a covering. All the people who reject Christ are in hell without a covering.
Thank God for Calvary!
The tabernacle was covered. The bowls were covered. The spoons were covered. The cloud in the wilderness was a covering for God’s people (Psalm 105:39). They had the cloud by day and the fire by night as a covering to lead them (Numbers 9:15-16).
All people who are truly saved have coverings available to them. They have their local pastor, precept upon precept, the Finished Work, and involvement in the body of Christ.
We have the Word of God and the Spirit to lead us. Glory to God, the single person has a covering! A widow has a covering. The victim of divorce has a covering. People who have lost children have a covering. Those who are sick have a covering. We have a covering when we’re tempted.
The Word motivates us supernaturally, entering into the fibers of our being in the operation of the supernatural transfer of God through the Holy Spirit. The message isn’t “deep.” Just listen to the Interpreter! The Holy Spirit will reveal it. All Scripture is profitable, and when Christians receive the Word in the Spirit, they will obey, they will be faithful, and they will be steadfast — fully adorned as royal priests because they have received their covering from the Lord.