The candlestick was placed on the south side of the first apartment of the sanctuary, opposite the table of shewbread (Ex. 26:35). This was the only source of light for the first and second apartments of the sanctuary building which had not windows. The light from the candlestick reflected off the golden walls giving a golden glow to both apartments making enough light for the priests to perform their duties. The lamps were never all extinguished at one time, but shed their light by day and by night (Lev. 24:2).
Although Scripture calls it a candlestick it is not a candlestick on which candles were burnt like one would see in most churches today, but rather a lamp stand that burnt oil. It had a main stem up the middle with three branches coming out each side. Its branches were ornamented with exquisitely wrought flowers, resembling lilies. The six branches had three sets of three ornaments each – an almond like bowl, a knop, and a flower; the main stem had four sets of three ornaments, under each of the three sets of branches was three ornaments, and there was an ornamental base (Ex. 25:32-36). Adding these all up we have seventy ornaments in all. In the Bible seven represents completeness and is considered the prefect number (e.g. 7 days of the week, 7 plagues, 7 churches, etc.), while ten represents fullness, entirety, the sum of all that exists of something (e.g. 10 virgins, 10 commandments, etc.). As there are seven times ten ornaments it could represent the complete fullness with which the lamps lighted the sanctuary, that Jesus is the light of the world, and His church is to spread His light to all the world.
lamp stand as a whole represents Jesus Christ,
the Light of the
world. (John 8:12.) He is
that true Light who John the Baptist came
to bear witness of (John 1:7-9). When we accept Jesus Christ as our
Lord and Saviour we start to reflect His character and become
light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matt.
The lamp stand was one of only two pieces of furniture in the whole of the Sanctuary that was made of solid gold. The other was the Mercy Seat. Skilful craftsmen using hammers beat one talent or 34.19 kg of solid gold into a beautiful lamp stand along with all the utensils to be used with it (Ex. 25:31, 39). These craftsmen beat and beat the gold making the stem, branches, the flowers, the knops, and the bowls of a most beautiful design for it was to be a copy of the heavenly model to teach mankind heavenly lessons (Ex. 25:40).
The beating of the gold represents how Christ as to be treated while living on this earth. Isaiah tells us :-
is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and
we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our
sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his
stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the
iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he
opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as
a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He
was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his
generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the
transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with
the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no
violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53:3-9.
If the people of Christ's time treated our Lord and Saviour so shamefully, can we expect to be treated any better? Let us read a few Scriptures :-
and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12.
the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by
Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,
stablish, strengthen, settle you. 1 Peter 5:10.
the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the
child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause
them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's
sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they
persecute you in this city, flee ye into another:... Matt. 10:21-23.
the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his
lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they
have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:20.
It is clear from these Scriptures that if we live Godly lives like Jesus did we can expect suffering, betrayal, and persecution. Note this is not talking of people being punished for doing something wrong. It is talking of innocent people like Jesus being punished like criminals.
trial and persecution the glory--the character-- of God is revealed in
His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the
world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth
they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of
affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure
self- denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn
the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. The
Acts of the Apostles by E. G. White, page 576 par. 4.
The beloved disciple John was given a vision of the heavenly holy place. Let us read what he saw :-
to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace,
from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the
seven Spirits which are before his throne; . . . And I turned to see
the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden
candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto
the Son of man, … And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of
his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the
sun shineth in his strength. … The mystery of the seven stars which
thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The
seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven
candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. Rev. 1:4, 12, 13, 16, 20.
Seven churches, seven Spirits, seven candlesticks, seven stars? What do they all mean?
to Uriah Smith in his book entitled Daniel and The Revelation pages 328
– 330, he tells us that the seven churches are the seven periods of the
Christian church, from the days of the apostles to the close of
probation. Both he and Scripture tell us that the seven candlesticks
are or represent the seven churches. Smith also says that
stars which the Son of man held in his right hand [verse 20], are
declared to be the angels of the seven churches. The angels of the
churches, doubtless all will agree are the ministers of the churches.
On the seven Spirits he has this to say,
On the interesting subject of
the seven spirits, Thompson remarks: 'That is, from the Holy Spirit,
denominated 'the seven spirits,' because seven is a sacred and perfect
number; not thus named as denoting interior plurality, but the fulness
and perfection of his gifts and operations.'
lamp stand was to burn pure beaten olive oil (Ex. 27:20).
prepared from unripe fruit 'beaten,' or pounded in a mortar rather than
crushed in a mill. As a result, it was clear and colorless and burned
brightly, with little smoke. … The seven lamps were never all
extinguished at one time, but burned continuously day and night (PP
348) except when the tabernacle was in transit from one campsite to
another. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol 1 on Ex. 27:20.
and study the fourth chapter of Zechariah. The two olive trees empty
the golden oil out of themselves through the golden pipes into the
golden bowl from which the lamps of the sanctuary are fed. The golden
oil represents the Holy Spirit. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers by E. G. White, page 188 par. 2.
are several warnings in Scripture relating to the Holy Spirit. We are
not to grieve
the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the
day of redemption. (Eph. 4:30.) Neither are we to blaspheme or speak
against the Holy Spirit for this is an unpardonable sin (Matt. 12:31,
21; Mark 3:28, 29).
The oil was clear and colourless so that you could not see it, only what it produced which was the flame. This is true of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. You cannot see the Holy Spirit in someone's life, only the effect that the Holy Spirit has on the person's character (John 3:5-8).
The High Priest was the only one who was allowed to perform the sacred duty of trimming and lighting the lamps in the earthly sanctuary (Ex. 30:7, 8). Every evening he was to snuff out the flame, replenish the oil, and relight the flame one lamp at a time. Every morning he was to trim the lamp so that it shone more brightly. The lighting and trimming of the lamps was a beautiful type with a daily lesson for us. In the morning we need the Holy Spirit to direct us during the day; and at evening we need it to enlighten our minds as we review the work of the day, that we may detect the flaws in our lives.
The care of the lamps and the burning of the incense were performed as one duty. So the way in which we receive the Holy Spirit into our lives is by prayer. Morning and evening at the altar of pray we should ask for a fresh supply of the Holy Spirit. Especially should we ask for the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Word of God. We cannot comprehend the word of the Lord without the Spirit to enlighten our minds for spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).
purpose of the lamp stand was to give light, so it should be our
purpose to our
... light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 5:16.
other light ever has shone or ever will shine upon fallen man save that
which emanates from Christ. Jesus, the Saviour, is the only light that
can illuminate the darkness of a world lying in sin. Of Christ it is
written, 'In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.' John
1:4. It was by receiving of His life that His disciples could become
light bearers. The life of Christ in the soul, His love revealed in the
character, would make them the light of the world.
has in itself no light. Apart from Christ we are like an unkindled
taper, like the moon when her face is turned away from the sun; we have
not a single ray of brightness to shed into the darkness of the world.
But when we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we come in touch
with Christ, the whole soul is aglow with the brightness of the divine
presence. Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing by E. G. White, page 39 par. 2, and page 40 par. 1.
© S. D. Goeldner
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