July 2005
Article 54 (Continued)


      17 “He also made the lamp-stand of pure gold; of hammered work he made the lampstand. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and its flowers were of the same piece.
      18 “And six branches came out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side.
      19 “There were three bowls made like almond blossoms in one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower - and so for the six branches coming out of the lampstand,”
Exo 37:17-19.
      The lampstand and its supporting equipment were made of pure gold, which represents the divine nature of God. From before the beginning of creation, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit desired to share Their divine Person (Their divine attributes and divine fellowship) with a tested and proven bride people. This required man himself have a bride and children like himself, within a societal covenant agreement relationship.
      This also required God to righteously permit man to fall into a sin and death state of being, where God could demonstrate His love, compassion, goodness, mercy forbearance, condescension, atoning justice, power, glory, etc.
      In this grand redemption process, God would give birth to a super great nation of firstborn sons, who would be filled with the full range of His divine attributes. Thereby they will constantly and eternally emanate God’s own divine excellence, to the degree of the faithfulness of each one in this short earthy lifetime, as a testing and proving period of time, Mt 25:13-46; 2Co 5:10-11; Rev 22:12.
      The Son of God came to earth, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life for 34 years, died for the sins of all mankind (even through the Millennium), and arose again the third day in a born again divine body. In all of this, He created the new divine man for all who qualify for the firstborn sonship. For the Father, for the Son, for the Holy Spirit, for the righteous angels, and for all the faithful, this is the pearl of great price, Mt 13:45-46.
      There were no doors and no windows in the tabernacle, and there were four solid coverings over the top. The two side walls and back wall were made of huge boards overlaid with gold, and obviously joined together that they left no cracks where light could get through. The front entrance curtain was such that no light could enter except when a priest passed in or out of the tabernacle.
      12 “Then Solomon spoke: ‘The LORD said He would dwell in thick darkness,’” 1Ki 8:12.
      11 "Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire into the heart of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness,” Deu 4:11.
      21 “And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and trembling,” Heb 12:21.
      5 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all,” 1Jo 1:5.
      It is interesting to trace the word “darkness” through the Bible. God created the world and it still belongs to Him, but He gave all creation to Adam by promise, fully aware from the beginning that Adam would fail the covenant agreement, and surrender all to Satan. This required a redemption process, where the Son of God would become man’s Kinsman Redeemer. He must be born of a virgin to avoid the sin nature, live a sinless life, perform an earthly ministry, prepare a New Covenant people, suffer the crucifixion cycle, and be born again in His resurrection to create a divine human body that would possess and constantly emanate the fulness of God’s divine nature and fellowship.
      God is light. He is not darkness. But He dwelt in the darkness of the most holy place. Why? Our sins block the grandest and most fulfilling fellowship we can possibility have. Sin and death stood in the way. The shed blood of the Kinsman Redeemer had to be sprinkled. Christ has now entered into the holiest of all, and has purchased a divine fellowship for the bride people beyond human comprehension.
      Through the Holy Spirit in a true church, we can share in that fellowship to the degree of our dedication to Him by His Word. Unfortunately, as the Laodicean church, we are unable to discern our lukewarm condition and stand in jeopardy of losing that firstborn sonship, Rev 3:14-22.
      The most holy place was dark the year around except for the day of atonement, on which day the high priest entered the most holy place, evidently three times: first, with one hand carrying a container of live coals of fire, and the other hand carrying incense to be burned; second, with the blood of the sacrifice for himself; and third, with the blood of the sacrifice for the whole nation, Lev 16.
      The first holy place required the lampstand with its seven bowls of olive oil, and their wicks for burning to give light for the daily activities of the priests. Exo 27:20-21; 30:7-8; Le 24:1-4. The seven lights were snuffed, probably one bowl at a time, the wicks trimmed, the bowls cleaned, refilled with the olive oil, and the lamps relit every morning and every evening, and gave light continually.
      16 “Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen,” 1Ti 6:16.
      5 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all,” 1Jn 1:5.
      There are myriads of very bright burning stars (suns) in the heavens. God created them all, and keeps them burning. Yet God dwelt in darkness in the tabernacle. Darkness represents sin, Jn 3:19-21; 1Th 5:4-8.
      Though God is light, He dwelt in darkness to portray that man in his sinful state cannot approach God. The Son of God must condescend to be a human, live a perfect life as a human, die the death of the cross, and be born again from the dead in order to provide a way of redemption. This redemption has three major applications:1) Redemption of the universe from the curse (Rom 8:18-23), and from the power and control of Satan, (Eph 2:2; 6:12; Rev 20); 2), Redemption of the nations into a servant son status (1Co 3;15; Gal 4:21-3; Rev 2:26-27), and 3) Redemption of the firstborn sons into God’s divine life and fellowship, Gen 1:26; Ps 17:15; Eph 3:19; 2Pe 1:4.
      The high priest could enter into the most holy place only one day in the year. A clean animal had to be slain, its blood sprinkled as specified, and its body burned on the altar, etc., in order to provide deliverance from death and a way of approach to God. Furthermore, we must be constantly bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord in order to live and fellowship together with Him, Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 4:7-12.


      19 “There were three bowls made like almond blossoms in one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower – and so for the six branches coming out of the lampstand,” Exo 37:19.
      The olive blossoms and the ornamental knobs (four on the main shaft and three on each of the six branches, twenty-two altogether) added to the beauty of the solid golden lampstand. Perhaps more significant is the witnessing factor. In Revelation 1:20 the seven churches are called seven golden lamp-stands. Likewise, in Revelation 11:3-4 the two witnesses are also called two olive trees and two lampstands.


      3 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
      4 “Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them,”
2Co 4:3-4.
      8 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,       9 “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
      10 “But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”
2Ti 1:8-10.
      God is light as opposed to darkness. God is also light as opposed to death and lack of understanding. Christ abolished death and brought life and immortality to light. But we see that light only through faith. Our minds having been wonderfully enlightened, we have put on Christ in baptism, and are ministering in the body of Christ by the light of the hope of the gospel. The body of Christ is our tabernacle, and the Holy Spirit with His Word gives us light, to the extent of our dedication to the Scriptures.
      22 "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
      23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Mt 6:2-3. Great indeed!