Understanding The Bible
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W. W. Rugh,
Bible Institute of Philadelphia
40 Page Printed Devotional Guide
1st Edition 1912
The first thing needed for priestly ministry in the Holy Place was light, for
all natural light was shut out of that sacred place.
To give this light a candlestick was beaten out of a talent of pure gold, estimated to have been worth from $25,000 to $50,000.
Of one piece with the main stem were the six branches.
Golden ornaments of knops, flowers, and fruit like almonds adorned the stem and branches, and made a bowl on the ends of the stem and branches for the seven golden lamps.
Pure olive oil, beaten for the light, was burned in the lamps continually. Leviticus 24:1-4.
The trimming of the wicks with the golden snuffers, and the refilling of the lamps with oil was a ministry performed by the high priest every morning, when he burned incense on the Golden Altar. Exodus 30:8.
To reveal the beauty and glory of the Candlestick was one particular use of the lamps. Exodus 25:37.
A blue cloth and a badger's skin covering protected the Candlestick on the march. Numbers 4:9, 10.
All was to be made according to the heavenly pattern, and was a pattern of heavenly things. Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5.
For us, the typical meaning of the Candlestick is easily discovered through Hebrews 9:24.
The Holy Places, from which all natural light was excluded, are typical of the glorious places, where "they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light." Revelation 22:5.
The Candlestick is, therefore, a dim shadow of our glorious Lord, who is the light and glory of heaven, as well as the light of the world. Revelation 21:22, 23; John 8:12.
"The beating" of the gold suggests to us the suffering which preceded the glory, for "the Lamb is the light thereof." Revelation 21:23; Romans 8:17.
But the Candlestick is not a type of Christ alone, but of "the Christ," or Christ and His Church, for the lamps which revealed the beauty of the Candlestick pre-figure those who "show forth the praise of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light," those who show forth the praise of His glory. 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14.
The Church, as the witness of Christ, the company of redeemed ones through whom the fullness of His glory is to be revealed in heaven, as well as now, is what the lamps typify. Revelation 1:20; 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15.
Our oneness with Christ in glory, as light bearers, is typified by the branches. They were one with the main stem, and were beaten out of the same piece of pure gold.
We were crucified together with Christ, and we were also raised and seated together with Him, or glorified with Him. Romans 6:6; 8:30; Eph. 2:5, 6.
This is our standing before God, and reveals in a wonderful way the grace and glory manifest toward us in Christ, that the Church of Christ should be one with Him now and throughout all the ages to come, to reveal the grace and glory of God. John 17:22; Ephesians 2:7; 3:8-10, 21.
"The power of His resurrection," manifest "in newness of life," are the ornaments which adorn us as one with Him in glory, as light bearers. Philippians 3:10; Romans 6:4.
This is the typical significance of the knops (probably buds), flowers, and bowls like almonds, for the almond is the first tree to manifest new life in the spring.
The oil for the light, or for anointing priests and kings, is always a type of the Holy Spirit, the great Illuminator, who reveals Christ to us, and empowers us for service that Christ may be revealed through us. 1 Sam. 16:13; John 16:14; Acts 1:8; 10:38; Matthew 25:4; I John 2:27.
The light of the lamps was dependent upon the faithful ministry of the high priest, in refilling them with oil and in trimming the wicks each morning with the golden snuffers, while he burned incense on the Golden Altar.
What a picture of Christ, our faithful High Priest, keeping His Church filled with the Holy Spirit, and putting away all our past experiences, as He ever lives to make Intercession for us. John 16:7; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.
Most of His children understand how absolutely necessary it Is to be filled, and refilled by the Holy Spirit, If we would behold Christ in His word and manifest Him in our lives, but very few seem to apprehend the truth foreshadowed by the trimming of the wicks. As the wicks were burned, in order to illuminate the Holy Place and reveal the glorious Candlestick, a crust formed on the ends of the wicks, which, if not trimmed off, would soon cause a bad odor instead of a bright light.
The blessed experiences, which are ours as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and used as witnesses of Christ, must be forgotten, if we would continue to behold Him and reveal Him. It is not the work of the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts and minds occupied with our feelings, however blessed they may be. Imagine a wife thinking only of the feelings of joy and delight which she finds in doing kind things for her husband. If her heart and mind are not occupied with him, she will not have any feeling of joy in serving him.
The Holy Spirit keeps those who are living by faith in the heavenly places so occupied with our glorious Lord that feelings are not thought of, though peace that passeth all understanding guards our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus, and joy unspeakable fills our hearts to overflowing. Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 1:8; Philippians 3:13.
An eye single to the glory of Christ will be ours if we are enjoying our place in glory as revealed in the Candlestick. Matthew 6:22; 1 Corinthians 10:31; I Peter 4:11. Then we will know what it is to be separated from the defiling things of the world, while as citizens of heaven we humbly serve as bond-slaves here. Philippians 3:20, 21. This is the typical meaning of the coverings of blue and badgers' skins which protected the Candlestick on the march.
By W. W. RUGH, Associate
Dean, Bible Institute of Pennsylvania
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