The Tabernacle, The Golden Candlestick, Part 3 - Lesson 26
This will be our 26th lesson concerning the Tabernacle of Israel and we are not finished yet.
God has been careful to include in His word much about this structure and its furnishings and I believe he intends for us to study His word diligently that we may know His blueprint for His approach to man and manís approach to God.
The Tabernacle and every piece in it and of it is of such great importance in explaining God's plan of redemption that 50 chapters in the Bible are given to show its pattern, construction and operation.
There are as many chapters devoted to it as there are chapters in the book of Genesis so Iím sure that God would have us study it in as much detail as we do the book of Genesis.
God chose to be the Architect and as such He did not leave anything to the builderís speculation but provided to Moses every minute detail of the Tabernacle.
The book of Exodus is filled with the phrase, "as the Lord commanded Moses."
Read Exodus 24:15, and you will find that Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 1817And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
Moses went up to the mount and waited upon God for 6 days until God spoke to him on the seventh day.
Imagine that, Moses waited six days, no doubt in fear and with much trembling full of wonder and awe.
And upon the seventh day God commanded him to build the tabernacle, providing him with visual patterns and spoken details of its construction.
This was the ultimate Architect-Builder conference.
The tabernacle clearly showed Godís children that He chose to be approachable but that He was only to be approached through Holiness.
God is sovereign and he chooses, not we, how he is to be approached.
As is in all of Godís truth Satan is saying to our generation, Hath God said this, that you are to approach Him according to His way.
Surely you can approach him in your own creative way?
Satan promotes the questioning of this very principle as to how we are to approach God but we are clearly taught that we can only approach God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
The structure and service of the Tabernacle showed sinful man how he could come before a Holy God in worship and service, offer sacrifice for sin, and receive instruction and counsel from the Word of God.
God chose to give the children of Israel something they could see and learn from every day which portrayed Godís redemptive program not only for them but also for the entire world.
Within the tabernacle was a clear message that sin had to be dealt with.
One of the great hindrances in seeing boys and girls saved is that they do not have an understanding of sin.
This is the day of over looking sin.
Again a problem of not exercising that authority that God has given.
Sin is not dealt with in the home.
God hates sin but many parents never teach the horrors of sin that offend our just and Holy God for they are not offended for they are not godly.
But sin was not overlooked in the tabernacle for a brazen altar was so prominent where sacrifices were offered for sin, to the mediating high priest, who offered the sacrificial blood on the mercy seat.
Everything within pointed to God's redemptive plan and it all started with an understanding of sin.
The people could only approach God through blood atonement and a mediating priesthood.
The Tabernacle was presented as a beautiful picture of Christ, Godís only begotten Son, who came in the flesh leaving His throne in heaven to tabernacle among his people.
Jesus Christ meets all conditions displayed in the tabernacle that were required of God in order to approach Him.
In Christ, we have a high priest, a perfect blood sacrifice and access to God for all who put their trust in him!
John 1:14, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we
beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of
grace and truth.
The three pieces of furniture in the Holy Place typified our fellowship with Christ.
On the left side of the holy place stood the seven-branched Golden Lampstand, which spoke of Christ as the light of the world.
And as Christ is the light of the world so also are His children who are to share the light of God's Word to a dark, dark and increasingly dark world so that men can see our good works and glorify the Father.
The Lampstand was filled with rich symbolic teaching for Godís people.
It was of pure gold, for Christ was deity, being the divine Son of God who deigned to become a man with the blood required of the Father for the redemption of sin.
The Lampstand was not molded nor pieced together for Moses was commanded to hammer it into the form specified.
It was of beaten gold again symbolizing our Lord, who endured the harsh sting of a the whip which tore open his flesh before His crucifixion.
The light from the Lampstand in the holy place was symbolic of Christ's holiness.
The Lampstand itself also typified Christ, who lights up the walk and fellowship of believers.
And God gives to His children that light that we may walk together in fellowship and communion with God.
John, who knew intimate fellowship with the Lord, wrote, "if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another."
The fellowship John refers to is our fellowship with Christ.
His blood cleanses us to be fit vessels for fellowship and that whole transaction is displayed in the tabernacle.
Without the blood, we could never enter into the presence of a Holy God, we could never enter into the Holy Place for in order to approach God it must be through the blood!
We are but reflectors of this light to a lost, dark and dying world.
Too often our light is hidden.
Jesus posed this to his disciples in the form of a question when in Mark 4:21 he said: Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
As the candlestick in the Holy Place was well maintained and well cleaned believers' lamps are to beam brightly, as a lighted city on a hill.
The candlestick was hidden in the Holy Place and lit the Holy Place where the priests ministered and then they carried their ministry out of the Holy Place to the people.
The candlestick stayed put in the Holy Place.
You see how this points to what has taken place in the church for the head of the church, Jesus Christ, is at the right hand of God in Heaven, the place of holiness, while the body of Christ carries His light to this dark world.
Paul told us of that process using other words but it is the same for it speaks of the need for Godís children to spread the light of the Word of God throughout the world.
We read of this in: Romans 10:14, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
That phrase "bring glad tidings of good things" can also be stated as shining the light of truth.
Now the light was not to be generated from fuel of Mosesí choice but it was commanded to Moses to bring pure olive oil for the lamps.
They were instructed by God to use pure olive oil beaten for the light.
Olive oil is made by crushing the olives with a beating action in a mortar.
Sometimes it is called a olive press but included in that press is the requirement to beat the olives and this will bring the most purity to the olive oil.
Jesus fulfills this symbol in His sufferings as he was taken to Gethsemane, the sight of the crucifixion.
"Gethsemane" means "oil," or "olive press."
Jesus was pressed and beaten in the sufferings of Gethsemane and Calvary, that we might have the pure olive oil, that is, the Holy Spirit that we may be the light of witness for Jesus Christ.
Those who have been born of the Spirit are anointed or filled with oil by the Spirit to carry the light.
The Holy Spirit of God is pictured in the Old Testament as the Anointing Oil which was composed of olive oil and spices.
Christ is the Anointed One, and the followers of Christ are the Anointed Ones!
Even as the Candlestick was anointed prior to its use in the Holy Place, so must the people of God be anointed to be a light.
In order for there to be light visible, there must be a continual inflow of oil.
Jesus made it very clear to his disciples in Matthew 5:14-16, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
It is clear that Jesus wanted his followers to thing of themselves as a walking candlestick.
And as a walking candlestick we are to learn from Aaron the High Priest who was given command to dress the lamps each day which meant that wicks needed to be trimmed by using the golden tongs made for that purpose.
Every morning the priests would trim the wicks and keep the lamps filled with pure olive oil, checking them again every evening, to make sure that they were burning brightly.
The priests were provided with a pair of golden scissors and snuffers for this purpose.
The light was never to go out but was to be continually supplied with the fuel of olive oil.
This oil of course we know was a type of the Holy Spirit.
And, in order for our light as Christians to shine continually we are as Ephesians 5:18 states, "be filled with the Spirit!"
We just read the scripture "Let your light shine before men" which tells us that it is our responsibility to be filled with the oil that fuels the light, the Holy Spirit of God
And in addition to that we need a daily cleansing by Jesus Christ who is our High Priest who desires to trim our wicks so the light that we are to be does not dim but shines brightly before men that our Father will be glorified.
Jesus told Peter, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Another way of saying this in light of the candlestick is "Unless I trim your wicks thou hast no part with me."
Every day is the day for cleansing, every day if our light is to shine brightly we must submit our wicks to Christ that they be trimmed.
We have been washed in the blood but every day as we walk this earth our feet need the washing of the water of the Word of God.
So Jesus Christ, as our Great High Priest performs His ministry of trimming the wicks of the believers, taking away the burnt-out areas and supplying oil for further light-bearing.
Unless the wicks are properly trimmed there will be an abundance of smoke and improper light.
God wants a pure light and faithful witness to go forth.
Jesus offered this same message in a different way in John 15:2 when he said: Every branch in me that bears not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
We have talked some about the symbolism of the Lampstand and the Holy Spirit and the fact that the oil in the Lampstand was a beautiful type of the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit.
At the top of each branch were cups into which pure olive oil was poured.
The oil, when lit produced the glowing light that filled the Tabernacle.
The seven stems, olive oil, and flame were types of the Spirit's ministry, which was clearly taught by John in the book of the Revelation:
Revelation 4:5, And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
The "seven spirits of God" symbolize the perfection and fullness of the Spirit's ministry.
The Holy Spirit is the person of the Godhead who administers the plans, purposes, and programs of God on earth.
We have previously mentioned the seven spirits of God that rested upon Christ as described in Isaiah 11:1-5.
There is a parallel in the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit with the seven branches of the Lampstand.
In this context, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the "Spirit of the Lord" resting on Christ, who could be compared to the center shaft of the Lampstand.
Branching out of the stem were three branches on each side, corresponding to the ministry of the Holy Spirit on the Lord: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the spirit of the fear of the Lord.
This sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit is operative in the lives of Christians in a similar way.
First, He gives us wisdom and understanding through the Scriptures.
Second, He provides us with counsel to direct our lives and might to stand against the onslaught of satanic opposition.
Finally, He makes known to us the knowledge of Christ (John 15:26; 16:15) and produces in us the fear of God.
Second, the Holy Spirit executes a threefold purpose on earth.
He convinces the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.
He reveals the sin of unbelief as being the issue that separates the unsaved from God.
He makes known the righteousness of God in Christ to the world.
The Holy Spirit convinces the unsaved world of God's judgment on everyone who rejects the saving power of Jesus Christ.
John 16:7-11, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for
you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  And when he is come, he will
reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  Of sin,
because they believe not on me;  Of righteousness, because I go to my
Father, and ye see me no more;  Of judgment, because the prince of this
world is judged.
All believers are born of the spirit and baptized into the Body of Christ for service.
The same believer in Christ is then blessed with gifts for service and empowered to witness for their Lord.
Today, the light of the Holy Spirit does not dwell in a temple made with hands but in Christians.
Paul wrote, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you."
It is the Spirit of God that conforms us to the image of Christ and enlightens the word of God to us.
The Holy Spirit illuminates our worship and intercession before God and the living Bread of Life - JESUS.
Without the lighted Lampstand the priests would have worshipped in darkness.
For our prayers to be effective, they must be offered in the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit takes our unintelligible, insufficient and feeble prayers to the throne of God and expresses our needs properly, according to the will of God! (Romans 8:26-27)
We are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
This is so our light will shine on people in our world.
When un-confessed sin remains in our lives, we grieve the HOLY SPIRIT and His ministry is quenched, causing our light to shine dimly or even be extinguished.
When we are burning brightly for Jesus, we are not seen, but HIS GLORY shines through US.
It's all about being filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit!