The Seven-Branched Candlestick
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 25, verse 31:

Exodus 25

31And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
32And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
33Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
34And in the candlesticks shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
35And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
36Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
37And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
38And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
39Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
40And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

We have been studying the tabernacle, which was built according to a blueprint or pattern which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, and which was an exact duplicate of the one which is in Heaven. We have found that the tabernacle and each thing in the tabernacle has a spiritual significance–a lesson–that we need to learn. We have been examining the tabernacle from that standpoint. We have been looking specifically at the seven-branched lampstand, and we have learned several things about it. We have learned that it was beaten out of one piece of pure gold, and that it had a very definite design, a very clear motif. That motif and its significance we will be considering more in detail now. We found, too, that the seven-branched candlestick had one specific purpose within the tabernacle, and that was to give light in the tabernacle itself.

The candlestick would be more accurately described as a lampstand–a floor lamp, so to speak–in which there were seven lamps that gave the light needed for the various activities in the tabernacle. We have examined the significance of the candlestick, the branches, the shaft, etc., and we found that there was a very definite lesson which we will sum up by saying that the seven-branched candlestick represents the Lord Jesus Christ and the believer, who are identified together just as definitely as are the branches of the candlestick and the shaft of the candlestick itself.

When the Lord Jesus Christ was here on the earth, He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). That is represented by the shaft and the one branch which goes up the middle. He also said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). That is represented by the three branches that came out of each side of the candlestick.

Use of the Almond for Decoration

The decoration of the candlestick was unique; it was made from an almond in three stages. We have learned in our study of the tabernacle that nothing was done by accident, nor was anything left to the imagination of man. Each thing was done according to the specific directions that were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.

We have seen references to an almond, a bud, and a flower. The word “knop” is another word for “bud”. The references have been to the almond in three stages of growth–the bud, the flower, and then the almond itself. The question which immediately arises in our minds is, why was the almond chosen for the candlestick? Why not some other flower–for example, a lily? Why not the dogwood? As we get a little bit farther on in our study and examine the curtains out of which the tabernacle was made, we will find that the pomegranate was a very special but a commonly used flower. Why was the almond used? I think we will find our answer if we will notice how the almond is used in the Word of God.

First Fruit of the Season

The first time the almond is mentioned is in the book of Genesis. In Genesis, chapter 43, the story is told of how Jacob and his sons were in the land of Canaan where there was a famine. They heard about the food in the land of Egypt, and they agreed that the best thing to do was to go down into Egypt and secure the food that was available there. Joseph was the head of the Egyptian government, and he was bringing them to the place where he would eventually reveal himself to them as their lost son and brother. But the father, Jacob, did not know that this was the case, and he was following his usual procedure of trying to buy his way. In verse 11, we find these words:

Genesis 43

11And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:
12And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:

The thing in which we are interested in this portion of the Word of God is the reference to almonds, which you realize were highly valued and also plentiful. If you were to examine the reference to almonds in a good Bible dictionary, you would discover that the almond tree was the first fruit tree that bloomed in the land of Palestine; it bloomed as early as January.

Light Out of Darkness

Anything concerning the decoration or material in the tabernacle, we have learned, has a definite significance. Immediately we ask ourselves, “What significance is there in this fruit's being the first fruit in the land of Palestine and its being used as a decorative motif on the candlestick?” I think we will find our answer if we will notice how light is used in the Bible. You remember what occurred in chapter 1 of the book of Genesis in what we refer to as the restoration of creation–not creation actually because there is no description of creation in the Word of God, you will remember. There is only a description of the restoration of creation. Do you remember the first thing that occurred in that restoration? It was the unveiling of light; out of darkness God caused the light to appear.

Turn with me, please, to II Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 6, where you will see that there is a spiritual analogy to the act of physical creation. Just as certainly as order was brought out of chaos, order is brought out of chaos in human nature when a person becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Here we find the testimony of the Apostle Paul:

II Corinthians 4

5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness (that is a reference of what occurred in the first chapter of the book of Genesis; God commanded the light to shine out of darkness) hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The first thing that was needed in the creation of the world was light. The first thing that is needed in the new creation–the regeneration of the human nature–is light.

Turn with me, please, to the Gospel of John, chapter 1, and notice how much this fact is emphasized several times over:

John 1

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

You will notice that the word “Word” is capitalized; it is another of the more than 250 titles of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible. “In the beginning was the Word”; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ was in the beginning of beginnings. “The Word was with God”; that is, Jesus Christ was with God. “And the Word was God”; that is, Jesus Christ is God.

John 1

2The same was in the beginning with God.

There are two beginnings there. The first beginning of verse 1 is the beginning of beginnings, as we refer to it. Time is infinity in this instance, and we do not know when the beginning was. But the second beginning, in verse 2, is the beginning of creation. We read in verse 3:

John 1

3All things were made by him [that is, by the Word, by the Lord Jesus Christ] ; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Notice that statement in view of what we are studying: “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

John 1

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

That is a true statement; the darkness does not comprehend the light, because most of the world is still in darkness. Actually, that is not what this verse of Scripture says. It is not as happy a translation from the original tongue as it might be. What the verse actually says is–you would see this if you were reading in the original tongue–that the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness is not able to keep down the light; the darkness is not able to put out the light; the darkness is not able to keep the light from shining. Immediately, in verse 6, we are told how the light began to spread:

John 1

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [this word is capitalized, which means it is another name for the Lord Jesus Christ ], that all men through him might believe.
8He was not that Light [that is, John the Baptist was not the Light] , but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9[What light was that?] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Here again our translation is not as clear as it might be, because it does not say that every man that comes into this world has the Light. It simply says, “That was the true Light, that lighteth every man.” Not every man has this light inherent in him; if he did, there would be no need for the spreading of the Light. But the Light has come into the world, and that Light is available to every individual who wants to walk in something other than darkness.

These passages show you, I trust, that the first thing that is needed in regeneration, the first thing that is needed in life, is light. It is a significant thing, it seems to me, if light is the first thing that is needed, and the candlestick is the source of that light, that the Holy Spirit should choose the almond as the decorative motif for the light. It proves to me that the Word of God is consistent with itself, and that the only proper way to study the Word of God is to compare Scripture with Scripture. If we will do that, we are not led astray in any way.

Symbol of Resurrection

Did you notice in chapter 1 of the Gospel of John that life and light are inseparably related? The two go together; there cannot be life without light; where there is light, there will be life. That reminds us of another use of the almond as it is mentioned in the Word of God, and we have already looked at it in connection with the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place. You will remember that in the Ark of the Covenant there were three items: Aaron's rod that budded, a pot of manna, and two tables of stone.

We turned to chapter 17 of the book of Numbers to read the story of Aaron's rod that budded, and you will remember there was a question concerning the priesthood of Aaron, that the rod was laid up before the Lord, along with eleven other rods. They were all dead sticks to begin with, but God honored the rod of Aaron, who thus vindicated his priesthood by causing that dead stick to bud, to blossom, and to bear almonds. As we studied that portion of the Word of God, we discovered that Aaron's rod was typical of the Resurrection. This is another reason the almond was used as the decorative motif on the candlestick. It was used not only because it was the first fruit to appear in the land of Palestine, but because it is the eternal symbol of Resurrection. As each piece of furniture in the tabernacle represented the Lord Jesus Christ, the candlestick represented our resurrected Lord as He is shedding forth light now through you and me, His witnesses here on the earth.

A Symbol of Vigilance

Turn, please, to the book of Jeremiah, chapter 1, verse 11. Let me remind you that the Hebrew word for “almond” is translated “vigilance” elsewhere in the Scriptures. The two words mean the same thing. The almond tree became significant in the rabbinical mind as the symbol of eternal vigilance.

Jeremiah 1

11Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.

That was his vision–a branch of an almond tree–and God explained to him immediately what it meant.

Jeremiah 1

12Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

If you were reading this in the original text, you would find that the word that is translated “hasten” does not convey the idea of speed as our English word “hasten” does today. It conveys, rather, the idea of vigilance. What God actually says here is, “I will watch over my Word to perform it.”

If I give you a promise, I may give it to you in perfect sincerity, and you may accept it because you trust me; but I am human, and I may not fulfill every promise that I make, because I may overstep myself in the making of the promise, but not God. When God makes a promise, He watches over His Word to fulfill it. So we see a third reason the almond was chosen as a decorative motif on the candlestick.

The candlestick symbolizes light, which is the symbol of eternal fellowship. We are aware, and we will see more clearly before we are through, that vigilance is a necessity today for the maintenance of fellowship.

You will remember that the story of the almond is presented in three stages in chapter 25 of the book of Exodus. There was first the bud, then the flower, then the fruit. We cannot help but wonder whether that has some particular significance. When we remember that the significance of the candlestick is light, we see why the lesson is emphasized in the three stages of the fruit.

Light is not something that an individual has in its entirety all at once. If God had given you all the light that you would need for all of your earthly existence, you would be a most unusual individual, indeed. The Bible teaches that instead of God's doing that, light is given in a progressive fashion. Light is given as we are able to absorb it or walk in it. If we find ourselves not walking in the light, the light that we once had suddenly becomes darkness, and it is even a greater darkness than before we had any light at all.

Turn, please, to the book of Proverbs, chapter 4, and notice a discussion concerning the wicked and the righteous, the born-again man and the unsaved man, the Christian and the heathen, the believer and the nonbeliever.

Proverbs 4

18But the path of the just [the path of the righteous] is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

I suppose that if we had time for testimony, a number of you could give testimony to the fact that you have much more light now than you had a year ago, or perhaps even a few months ago. We can be absolutely sure that some day we will all have more light than we have at the moment. We are told in the Word of God that “now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now we know in part, but then shall we know even as also we are known” (I Corinthians 13:12).

Arrangement of the Almonds

Go back to chapter 25 of the book of Exodus, that we may refresh our minds about the arrangement of this almond–the bud, the flower, and the fruit:

Exodus 25

35And there shall be a knop under [the] two branches of the same, and a knop under [the] two branches of the same, and a knop under [the] two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.

That suggests that each of these six branches that came out of the main shaft had immediately under it a knop–a bud, more accurately speaking. From the bud comes the flower, and from the flower comes the fruit, so we see the care of the Holy Spirit in planning this motif in decoration. If you will study the candlestick more carefully, you will find that each of these branches had a knop, a flower, an almond. A knop, a flower, an almond–this is thrice repeated. But if you will look at the branch which rises directly out of the shaft, you will find that the knop, the flower and the almond, instead of being repeated thrice, are repeated four times, which makes the central branch higher than the others. We wonder why. Is it just something to make the candlestick proportionate? Well, if the Holy Spirit had not indicated to us that everything about this tabernacle has some spiritual lesson, we might pass over it and simply say that it was done in that fashion to provide a proportionate piece of furniture for the tabernacle. But since we know that there is a spiritual lesson, we want to understand what it is, and the Spirit of God brings to mind certain Scriptures that help us to understand it.

Turn, please, to the book of Hebrews, chapter 2. I would remind you of what I said at the very beginning of our study of the tabernacle: You cannot study the tabernacle without having at least a walking acquaintance with the rest of the Word of God. This lesson should be an illustration of that. You see, too. how many different places in the Bible we have turned already to verify the truth that is taught by the tabernacle itself. Comparing Scripture with Scripture is the proper method of studying the Word. Notice verse 14:

Hebrews 2

14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

These two verses of Scripture emphasize that the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to make it possible for us to live for Him now and to live with Him eternally, became like unto the children of men; He became partaker of flesh and blood so that He was as we are, in order that we may realize our identification with Him. If you were to take just a hasty glance at that candlestick, you would find that the central branch is made like the other six branches. It is made out of pure gold, it has the same decorative motif, it has a lamp at the top. But if you would look a little more closely, you would find that it is different as well as similar. The difference lies in the fact that, instead of there being three almond gradations, there are four. We are reminded of a very interesting verse in chapter 1 of the book of Hebrews, verse 8:

Hebrews 1

8But unto the Son [that is, unto the Son of God] he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

This chapter is talking about fellows. Christ was in fellowship with humanity, but emphasis is placed also upon the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was anointed with gladness above His fellows. I believe that is why we find in this main candlestick four instead of three decorative motifs. I hope you are able to see, as we think about these things, how particular the Holy Spirit is in letting everything in the Word of God coincide with other announced truth. There are no contradictions in the Word of God. Rather, there is a beautiful pattern that we are able to discern if we are willing to take the time to study God's Word.

Light Supplied By the Holy Spirit

We have noticed the purpose of the lampstand. Very generally, the purpose of the lampstand was to give light in the holy place, the second room of the tabernacle. As we pointed out, that is of both practical and spiritual significance. We want now to notice the spiritual significance of the lampstand in relation to its original purpose. If you could visualize the lampstand, you would realize that the almond was made into a bowl; into the bowl there was poured a specially prepared oil. The description of that oil is given in the book of Exodus, but we will reserve our discussion of it until we talk about the high priest and the anointing oil, because we believe it will have more significance then.

We have learned in our study that oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. Immediately the seven branches of the candlestick, or the seven lamps of the candlestick, or the seven sources of light in the holy place, find significance in our thinking.

May I remind you that the candlestick represents the Lord Jesus Christ identified with the believer. Then remember that the Holy Spirit was very important to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ while He was on the earth. Don't jump to conclusions when I make this statement; think about it before you reject it. If you examine the earthly life of our Lord, you will find that He was helpless without the power of the Holy Spirit. The reason is that while He was on the earth, He limited His deity; He could have exercised it at any time, but He did not. The Holy Spirit had the same relationship to Him that He would have to you or me.

You remember that at the time of His baptism, the Holy Spirit came and rested upon Him in the form of a dove, and a voice from Heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Immediately after the baptism, the Holy Spirit drove Him, or led Him, or took Him–each of the Gospel writers used a different word to give you the perfect picture–into the wilderness where He fasted forty days and then was tempted of the Devil. When the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove, the Holy Spirit came upon Him in His sevenfold manifestation or came upon Him in perfection. We have learned that seven is the number of completeness or the number of perfection.

Turn, please, to Isaiah, chapter 11, where we find these words:

Isaiah 11

1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Notice the word “Branch” is capitalized. This Branch is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. That becomes significant in the light of the fact that this is a seven-branched candlestick. Notice verse 2:

Isaiah 11

2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

We find seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit in that one verse. This tells us why oil was used in the seven branches of the candlestick. Oil was used to remind us that the light in this holy place was supplied not by human effort, but by the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit was able to work through human effort.

A Message to Churches

Turn to the book of Revelation, chapter 1. In verse 4, we have the introduction to the entire book. John says:

Revelation 1

4John 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; [notice] and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne [more accurately, the sevenfold Spirit which is before his throne];

In the book of Revelation, we come to a heavenly scene, and the Holy Spirit is manifested in His sevenfold perfection in Heaven. Chapters 2 and 3 present seven messages to seven churches which actually existed in Asia Minor. Those seven churches were chosen because of their spiritual condition in order that there might be an eternal message for churches of all ages. One characteristic of this vision which John had in chapter 1 is taken by the Holy Spirit and used as an introductory phrase to each message to each individual church. In chapter 3 of Revelation, we read:

Revelation 3

1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Whenever a phrase is taken from the first chapter and used as an introduction to the message to a particular church, it was used so that there would be a contrast for the sake of emphasis. So the seven spirits of God which were before the throne were held up as perfection, and alongside them was held up the imperfection of the particular church. What the Lord Jesus is saying to the church at Sardis is what He could say to many churches today: “You are imperfect in your witness. If the Holy Spirit had complete control of your life, your witness would be perfect instead of imperfect.”

We have talked about the location of the candlestick on the south side of the holy place, and we found that according to the Word of God, the south is the place of light and the place of blessing. We told you that it was placed in that position not only because of the compass direction, but so the light would be able to shine in certain directions for specific purposes. We could dismiss all of this with a word and simply say, “Well, it's talking about how this room of the tabernacle was lighted.” If we were to do that, we would be neglecting the emphasis which the Holy Spirit placed upon it.

Turn, please, to the book of Leviticus, chapter 24, for a reference to the manner in which the candlestick was placed. Here we have a description of the work of Aaron, the high priest, in placing these various pieces of furniture:

Leviticus 24

4He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.

The first thing we notice about the light is that it shone before the Lord. The eyes of the Lord were always upon it. There is another word in this verse: This light was to shine continually. There is still another word–“order”. It was Aaron's duty to order the lamps in such a manner that the light would never go out, that the light might shine before the Lord continually.

Trimming the Wick

You remember from chapter 25 of Exodus that there were mentioned some tongs and snuffdishes. They, too, were made of pure gold. The tongs were for trimming the wick which was placed in the oil in the lamp. The snuffdishes were to contain the charred part of the wick which was snuffed off. Whenever the tongs were used to snuff the wick, the lamp burned more brightly. If the tongs were not used, the lamp eventually went out.

Keep in mind that oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. There was nothing wrong with the oil, but there could be something wrong with the wick through which the oil operated. The Holy Spirit is always able to operate through any believer who permits himself to be a channel through which the Holy Spirit can work. Sometimes, however, it is necessary for our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, to use the tongs and the snuffdishes; it is necessary, sometimes, for Him to trim the wick. That is why difficult times sometimes come into your life and mine. Some of these difficult times come because God is trimming the wick. He wants the light to burn more brightly. Instead of our complaining, we should rejoice that the wick is being trimmed, that the light may shine more brightly. If we follow this teaching completely through the Word of God, we will find that if we do not respond to the treatment of the tongs and the snuffdish, God has to do something even more drastic.

Turn again to the book of Revelation, chapter 2, for another message to one of the seven churches. This one was to the church at Ephesus, the first church that was named. This church was in much better spiritual condition than the others, but it was beginning to grow cold, and that spiritual condition was described in verse 4:

Revelation 2

4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Thou art leaving thy first love, the zeal and fervor that you originally had; you are growing cold.

This reminds us of the five wise and the five foolish virgins (Matthew 24). The foolish virgins cried out as they trimmed their wicks: “Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out”–literally, “our lamps are going out.” If you have the oil and you trim the wick, the lamp will not go out. If you do not trim the wick, the lamp does not fulfill its purpose.

Glance at verse 5 of Revelation, chapter 2. The ultimate penalty is all that remains:

Revelation 2

5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick [lampstand] out of his place, except thou repent.

What we are being taught here is that if we do not submit to the tongs and the snuffdish, eventually the lampstand itself will be removed.

Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Go back, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 40, for another reference to the manner in which the lampstand was placed:

Exodus 40

24And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward.

When we were looking at this from a physical standpoint, we said that the candlestick was so placed in the room that the light of it shone on the table of shewbread which was across the room. When the priests ministered at the table of shewbread, there would be enough light that they could obtain the proper sustenance from the table; it was their source of food.

When we studied the significance of the table of shewbread, we found that it was symbolic of the Word of God which the Lord Jesus Christ had in mind when He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We are reminded that the only way we will be able to get proper sustenance from the Word of God is to receive that sustenance through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. As the priest could not properly officiate at the table of shewbread without the aid of the seven branched-candlestick, you and I will not be able to feed properly upon the Word of God without the aid of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible stays of itself, “The natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, for they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). We are heartily in favor of every effort toward modern translation that is true to the original text and that will help individuals to understand the Word of God. But all the translations in the world will not enable the individual to understand the Word of God if place is not given to the Holy Spirit. Turn, please, to chapter 14 of the Gospel of John. Among the last words of the Savior before He left the earth were these words:

John 14

15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

In this chapter the disciples were concerned because He was leaving them, and He said, “Don't be alarmed about it; after I go away I will send you another Comforter of the same kind.” The word “Comforter” is a translation of the Greek word paraklete , and it means “one who is called alongside to help”. “I have been here to help you,” the Lord said. “I am going away, but I will send you Someone else Who will be just like Me, and He will be here to help you.” In verse 17, the Lord Jesus identifies Him:

John 14

17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Notice verse 26:

John 14

26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Here is a definite statement from the Word of God that it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Word of God. Who better can comment on a book than the Person who wrote it? The Holy Spirit is the author of the Word of God, so certainly He should be the One to explain to us what He is saying in the Word.

To Know Him More Fully

Turn, please, to the book of Numbers, chapter 8:

Numbers 8

1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Speak unto Aaron and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.
3And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses.
4And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.

Notice the phrase, twice used, “over against the candlestick”. Then notice what was revealed by the way the light shone. The light revealed the candlestick itself. The candlestick could not have been seen in all its beauty and in all its glory had it not been so arranged that the light would shine on the shaft from which the branches came. The shaft symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in all His wonder and His glory as we permit the light of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the oil of the lamp, to shine forth on Him.

Often we say to individuals, “Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?” They reply, “Yes, I do.” They mean by that that there was a time in their lives when they came face to face with reality; they recognized that they were not capable of saving themselves; they believed that the Lord Jesus Christ died for them, and they received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. They became the children of God because the Bible says, “As many as received the Lord Jesus Christ, to them gives He the power [or authority] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). No one else has that authority, only those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Oftentimes we say to individuals, “Do you really know the Lord Jesus?” Sometimes they say, “No, frankly, I don't.” Sometimes they are able to say, “Yes, I do, and I am learning to know Him better every day.” We are thinking not of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as a person does initially when he receives Him as Savior, but as the Apostle Paul expressed a desire to know Him in chapter 2 of his Philippian letter. Paul gave a short autobiography of himself, and said that everything that he was in the world, he counted refuse that he might know Christ. This was long after his encounter with Him on the road to Damascus. He was simply saying, “I want to know more about Him; I want to know Him more intimately; I want to know Him more fully.” That was why the lampstand was so arranged that the light would fall upon the shaft itself.

Notice chapter 16 of the Gospel of John. This is still the same discourse that we found in chapter 14 when the Holy Spirit was introduced as the other Comforter Who would be sent:

John 16

13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself [that is, He will not speak of His own authority] ; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Just as certainly as the light from the lampstand shone back upon the stand and revealed all the beautiful glory of the decorative motif beaten out of one piece of gold, so the Holy Spirit reveals the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His glory to those who are willing to receive that revelation.

Whenever you find an individual glorifying himself rather than the Lord Jesus Christ, he is not speaking at the instruction of the Holy Spirit. Whenever you see any movement, regardless of how many good people there may be involved in it, which does not glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, that movement is not directed by the Holy Spirit. It is the business of the Holy Spirit to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

I trust that as we have looked at the candlestick, you have been able to see the purpose of the Holy Spirit in your life–to shed abroad the light that will enable you to be in constant fellowship with the Lord, to feed on His Word, and to enjoy the glories of Christ.


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