In our last study we continued in a westward direction through the courtyard of the tabernacle and entered into the sanctuary. Here in the holy place we looked in a northward direction and examined the table of shewbread. This bread spoke very clearly of Christ, the offering of his body, and the fellowship that his sacrifice now provides for believers.
Today we will turn in the opposite direction to the south side of the holy place and there see another piece of furniture called the golden candlestick.
• Alternate reading Exodus 25:31-40 and answer the questions below.
The word candle used here does not denote the idea of a wax candle like we might use today but rather a lamp or light.
Q. What was the candlestick made from? _________________________.
Q. What type of pattern did the candlestick have on it? v31
Q. With the branches and the stem, how many lights were there?
Q. What were the vessels for the candlestick made from? _______________.
• Exodus 27:20. Q. What fuel was burned in the bowls of the candlestick?
Q. Compare Exodus 27:20 and Exodus 31:8, how are the candlestick and its oil similarly described?
It is important to remember as we look at the furniture in the tabernacle, that all of these things are highly symbolic. Because they were shadows and figures of things to come (Heb 8:5, Heb 9:9), we can draw comparisons and make applications with confidence, knowing that God intended these things to be lessons for us.
That being said, lets consider a few attributes of the candlestick. First of all, it was made of pure gold. Gold in the Bible often represents deity or God’s presence. For instance, the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat where God’s presence dwelt was made entirely of pure gold. Secondly, the candlestick featured seven lamps. The number seven is clearly representative of perfection and completeness in the Bible (Ps 12:6). Next, we see the use of oil for fuel. Oil is frequently used as a picture of the Holy Spirt in scripture. Whenever a priest was anointed for service it was done with oil (the word anointing literally means “to rub with oil”). Jesus makes this comparison clear in Luke 4:18 where he compares anointing to his Spirit fulness.
Now if we look at the candlestick with these things in mind, we see a pure and perfect source of light, powered by the Holy Spirit of God. As we will see in the rest of this study, the pure and perfect light is none other than Jesus Christ himself.
Jesus Christ – the Light of the World
• Matt 4:13-17. In this passage a prophecy is fulfilled concerning Jesus.
Q. What does verse 16 say about Jesus’ presence in Zabulon?
• John 9:5. Q. How did Jesus describe himself before he healed this blind man?
• Alternate reading John 1:1-12. Q. Who is the light?________________.
In what ways can it be said that Jesus has lighted every man that cometh into the world?
Oftentimes in scripture the conversion of a sinner is described as one turning from darkness to light.
• John 8:12. Q. How is the follower of Christ described here?
• John 12:46. Q. What will happen to the person who believes in Christ?
• 1 Peter 2:9. Q. How is our salvation described in this verse?
God describes our salvation experience as turning from darkness to light. Jesus Christ is this light. Hebrews 1:3 describes Jesus Christ as the brightness of the glory of God and the express image of his person. When Jesus walked this earth he was the very light of God, making the glory of God known to a world which sat in darkness.
As the light Jesus reproved men of their sin (John 3:20, Eph 5:13), commanding all men to “repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand”; and as the light, he revealed the Heavenly Father to men (John 14:9).
Read & Write • 2 Cor 4:6:
Christians – Little Lights until the Coming Kingdom
We have seen very clearly that Jesus Christ was the light of the world. But in • John 9:5 we see that Jesus would not always be the light of the world,
Q. How long would he be the light?
As long as Jesus walked this earth, he was the light of the world. After Christ’s death he rose again and returned to Heaven, the light was no longer among men. But Christ did not leave this world in darkness, he left behind thousands and millions of little lights!
• Ephesians 5:8 For ________ were sometimes ________________, but now are ye ______________ in the Lord: _____________________________
• Matthew 5:14-16. Q. How did Jesus describe his disciples?
Considering these verses, what do you think it means to “let your light so shine”, what will be the result?
It is true that when Jesus ascended to Heaven it was is if a marvelous light was taken out of this world, but he promised in John 14:18-20 that he would come to us and abide in us. He has done this through the giving of his Holy Spirit which now dwells in all believers (Rom 8:9). Now as a people called out of darkness, we have his light in us. We are commanded to walk as children of the light. Ephesians chapter 5 gives us many practical ways that this walk should manifest itself. Write some of these practical things below.
Eph 5:2. Q. How should we walk?
Eph 5:3-4. Q. What should not be named among us?
Eph 5:7. Q. What should our relationship with the children of disobedience be?
Eph 5:8. Q. Why should we do the things named above?
Eph 5:11. Q. What two ways should we deal with those things that do not glorify God? (unfruitful works of darkness)
What do you think Eph 5:12 means? How is this practically applied?
• Alternate reading Eph 5:16-21 where we see more character qualities of the children of light.
As Christians, Jesus has left us here with his Holy Spirit. We have become the lights of this world, reflecting the greater light of Jesus Christ himself. Just like the candlestick fueled by the pure oil, we are lights empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. As long as we walk as children of the light this world can see and glorify God (Matt 5:16). When we fail to obey Christ we become like this world and the light of our testimony becomes ineffective (1 John 1:6).
What are some unfortunate results of a Christian who fails to reflect Christ, and walks like this world?
The Lamb of God – Eternal Light
As Christians we have been left in this world to be lights, reflecting God’s glory until the coming of Christ. This is a temporary arrangement, and there is a much greater time coming!
According to 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 we have the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, but we have it here in our earthen vessels. This means that although we are saved, and although we have the spirit of Christ within us, we remain only as dim shadows of what we will be.
• Matthew 13:43. Q. According to this verse, how will our light change when Christ comes and we are finally in Heaven?
Now consider how Christ will appear in the coming kingdom. Look at this description of the new Jerusalem in these verses:
• Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the ___________________________, and the __________________________________.
• Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need _______________, neither light of the sun; for the Lord __________________________: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
When Jesus walked this earth, he only gave us a small glimpse of his true brightness. There is coming a day when Jesus Christ will be revealed in all of his glory. His unmatchable brightness will be enough to light all of the New Jerusalem and Heaven itself. Like the pure, perfect candlestick that gave light in the holy place, Jesus will ligthen all of eternity!