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Isaiah 63:14 is the verse I’d like to share, “The Spirit of the Lord gave them rest, so you led your people to make for yourself a glorious name.” So, He leads us into rest because that gives Him glory, and He does it for Himself. We thank the Lord for rest. With that in mind let’s commit our time to the Lord.
Heavenly Father we thank You this morning for the Holy Spirit that lives in each one of us. We thank You that You have given us Your life, so that we might know You more intimately. We pray that You’d turn our eyes to the Lord Jesus in a fresh way today. We thank You that we can trust You to do that. You are so faithful, so we commit our little session unto You in the matchless name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.
Thank the Lord that we’re able to gather here again to meditate on our Lord Jesus Christ. In many lands and places they don’t have that privilege. It’s impossible for some to meet like this, and perhaps, we don’t know, that day might not be far away even for us. But we thank the Lord that now we have that privilege.
In our look at Exodus, we’re seeing the Lord in the last part of Exodus. For several sessions now we’ve been studying the tabernacle. This is the final picture in the book of Exodus, and it actually summarizes the entire message of Exodus. The message of Exodus is redemption, redemption by power and redemption by blood. The tabernacle is a summary of that message, a complete summary. We need to know all about redemption, but we ought to be careful to never study redemption apart from the Redeemer. There’s a temptation to look at doctrine and get everything right, cross all the t’s and dot the I’s. We need good doctrine, but if you’re looking to Christ you are going to have good doctrine. You can have at least orthodox doctrine and miss the Lord completely. We don’t want that.
There’s a Bible verse in Psalm 42:7, “Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfall.” In the context He’s talking about the providence of God, but some have said that the deep in me calls out to the deep in God, and so way down deep I’m longing to know God intimately. In many cases it’s not the deep calling out to the deep, but it’s the shallow calling out for shallow. Some people don’t want more, and they don’t want to go deeper into the knowledge of the Lord, but I pray that is not us. We want to go deeper and deeper.
In the book of Exodus and the picture of the tabernacle we have the picture of full redemption. Full redemption is because we have a full Redeemer. Colossians 1:19, “It was the Father’s pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.” Every truth of redemption is in our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:9, “In Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you’ve been made complete.” In Him is fullness, and the measure of that fullness is God Himself, the fullness of deity. I love to connect that with John 1:16&17, “Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” We talk about being filled with the Spirit, filled with the life of God, and to be filled with the life of God, that life, according to 1John 5 is in His Son, “He that has the Son has the life. He that doesn’t have the Son doesn’t have the life.”
I don’t want to get too far away from Exodus, but I want to call attention to Exodus 25:8, “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” That’s God’s heart, to dwell in His tabernacle. That’s picturing you and me. He wants to live and dwell in us. We are His resting place and His house of skin, and we are His tabernacle. When we say, “He lives in us,” the verses I just shared, He comes into your heart in all of His fullness, the fullness of the Godhead. You might not be entering into all of that, and I might not be entering into all of that, but I have it and you have it. The fullness of the Lord is in you and is in me.
The details that are given in the pattern, in the blueprint that God handed down, they are so many, and they are so precise, and it only gives some of the fullness that’s in Him. There’s far more than is pictured here, but I think every truth of redemption is somewhere pictured in this last picture in Exodus, in the tabernacle. We’re going to continue this morning looking at a portion of the fullness that we already have in our heart in the Person of Christ.
Let me bring us quickly up to where we left off in our meditation. In our pondering some of the details in the tabernacle, we had what we called a flyover, and we just sort of in a very general way looked at the tabernacle. There we saw the Lord, and He was holy. There we saw the Lord, and He was compassionate. And then we began our walk- through. We landed the plane, and we began to look in more detail at the court, at the furniture, using two sets of eyes. We want to see with these eyes; what does the table look like, what does the lampstand look like? We need to see the facts with these eyes, but then we have these eyes, the eyes of the Spirit of God, and we see primary things, not secondary things. We see truth, and not just the types of the truth, but the actual truth, reality, not pictures. We see spiritual things, not material things, eternal things and not temporal things, heavenly things and not earthly things. All of this is in our little walk-through in the tabernacle.
I remind you that when we began our walk-through we met a friend, a priest, who was escorting us, helping us along the way. Lillian named him Ezekiel, because Ezekiel the prophet is a heart priest. Whoever this Ezekiel is, he’s helping me see the spiritual side. So, Ezekiel reminded us that in the outer court the sin question was completely dealt with. In the altar the punishment for sin, pictured by all of the blood of the animals was completely dealt with. In the laver, forgiveness of sin was completely dealt with in the outer court, the brazen altar, and the brazen laver.
When we left off, our high priest escorted us through the veil into that first room, called the Holy Place. We entered there and we were inside this sanctuary. He pointed out that this room was only for the priests. I’m quick to remind us that every Christian is a priest. So, you’re a priest; this is your room. This is for me and you. God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t put some high faluten Christians up here somewhere on a pedestal, and then everybody else down here, the common people. The Holy Place is for every Christian. Priests represent every Christian, and in this story, you had to be past the altar, past the laver, and at least mature enough to be called a priest. It represents all of us, but these priests picture those who have arrived into this Holy Place.
Ezekiel pointed out, while we are standing just inside the veil, that there were three pieces of furniture in this room. Exodus 25:31, “You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and its base and its shaft are to be made of hammered work; its cups, its bulbs, its flowers shall be one piece with it.” And then he pointed out across the room, Exodus 25:23, “You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long and one cubit wide and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a gold border around it.” And then he pointed to that piece of furniture just in front of the beautiful veil that was hanging before the Holy of Holies, the altar of incense. Exodus 30:1, “Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense. Make it of Acacia wood.”
So, we had a general look as we stood there. We looked around and saw three pieces of furniture: a golden candlestick, a table of shewbread, and an altar of incense, sitting before the veil that was hanging with the message, at this time, “Keep out. This is the throne room of God.”
Then we finally left off with this, when Ezekiel explained the main difference between this room, one of the main differences, between this room and the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies; everything in these two rooms speak about union with God, union with the Lord. Every piece of furniture shows union with the Lord. Here’s the difference; in this Holy Place it calls attention to our union with Him. We’ll see that as we look at each piece of furniture. In the Holy of Holies that piece of furniture shows us His union with us. It’s all union; I’m united to Him, and He’s united to me. That’s where we left off.
Ezekiel now is going to begin to guide us in our walk through the Holy Place. Now let me give it to Ezekiel (so now I’m Ezekiel). “You now just left the outer court, and you’ve entered the Holy Place, and we’re about to approach each piece of furniture separately. But I want to point out a couple of things, a couple of contrasts to get you in the sense, to give you a feeling for the room that you are standing in. I want to contrast this with where you have been in the outer court. I already mentioned in the outer court, that’s the place the sin question was dealt with. In other words, that’s the place where guilty hell-deserving sinners need to pass the altar and the laver. This room is filled with consecrated priests. So, you see the difference between being a guilty, hell-deserving sinner, and all of a sudden, a consecrated priest involved in service and ministry to the Lord. There’s a great contrast, and the reality of the Holy Place begins with that miracle. A sinner/a priest; what a transformation when you entered this room!
Then Ezekiel invites us to look up. Here we are in the Holy Place, and he says, “Look up, and what do you see?” And I say, “I see a roof. I see a covering. In fact, it’s several layers thick.” “Do you see the sky?” “No, I can’t see the sky.” “Do you see the outer court?” “No, I can’t, because there are no windows, and there’s no opening. I’m in this room and I see just a roof over my head.” And Ezekiel said, “That’s important and it carries a principle, because in this room, the Holy Place, there will be no room for natural light.” Oh, may God help us to understand that principle! This covering, this roof assures us that in this room there will be no natural light, and all the wisdom that it represents. How great is this principle, and how many times it’s abused, because in the Holy Place many people think that natural light can survive! It can’t.
“Let me give you another contrast,” Ezekiel says. “Did you notice that when you were in the outer court, Exodus 27;1&2, ‘You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and the altar shall be square, and it’s height shall be three cubits, and you shall make it’s horns on four corners, and the horns shall be of one piece with it, and overlay it with bronze.” It was a bronze, a brass altar. Exodus 30:17&18, “You shall also make a laver of bronze, and put it on a bronze foundation.” Ezekiel says, “Look around in here. Where’s the bronze? There’s none. What do you see here?” Exodus 25:31, “You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and it’s base and its shaft are to be made of hammered work; it’s cups, it’s bulbs, and it’s flowers shall be one piece with it.” “And then go look at the table.” Exodus 30:23, “You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and one and a half cubits high, and you shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold border around it. You shall make for it a rim of a hand breadth around it, and you shall make a gold border for the rim around it. You shall make four gold rings for it, and put rings on the four corners, which are on its four feet. The rings shall be close to the rim as holders to the pole to carry the table. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.” Everything is gold. Exodus 30:1-6, I’m not going to read it, you have it there, but once again it’s gold, gold, overlayed with gold. Everything in this room is pure gold. He said, “You’ve got to see the contrast. Out there everything was brass, a picture of God’s judgment, one side of God. Everything in here is gold and overlaid with gold, very pure and very precious.”
And then Ezekiel said, “Before we go to the furniture, I want you to do me a favor. Take a deep breath.” So, I took a deep breath. He said, “Do you remember the outer court? Out there you had to hold your nose. You had to hold your nose because it was the continual smell of dead animals and choking smoke. That was the outer court. But in here, what a change! When you passed under the veil, you came into this room. Exodus 30:7, “Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. He shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There will be a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout all your generations.” In another place he describes the fragrance of that incense. What a contrast, moving from, and I’m trying to be reverent, the stinking outer court to this fragrant Holy Place.
Sometimes when Lillian and I are walking through a tourist area, I have to wait outside because she wants to go into a candle shop. I can’t breathe. I just don’t enjoy that, but, however, there is another fragrance. One time we were visiting Tom and Darlene Wontrop. Many of you know that couple. We entered their home and there was the most pleasing fragrance. It just filled the whole house. I asked, “What is that beautiful fragrance?” He told me that it was called a fragrant fire hosta. He said there is about a hundred different varieties of hosta. This is the only one that has a fragrance. He said that it’s a beautiful fragrance. Well, right now Lillian and I are growing a fire hosta to sweeten our little home.
Anyway, that must have been a contrast, to leave the outer court with the smell of dead animals and blood and corpses and ashes and smoke, and then to come into this wonderful room. He said, “I want you to get a feel for this room, not only coming in as a death deserving sinner and becoming a priest, not only coming into a place where it’s all natural light and now no natural light, not only coming to a place that was all brass and now it’s all gold, but a place where you leave the foul smell and come into a sweet smelling fragrance.”
I said, “Wow, now are we ready to go to the furniture?” He said, “Not yet. There’s one more thing. I need to just caution you about something, because in this room you are going to see, not only the furniture – the candlestick, the table and the golden altar of incense – but you are going to also see a tremendous amount of activity because that candlestick needed the ministry of the priests, and the table of shewbread needed the ministry of the priests, and so did the altar of incense. So, the priests at the candlestick you might see them moving around, trimming the candles or bringing in oil or some of them might be gathering in the spices that are needed, and so on. Around the altar of incense, you’re going to see some bringing in four different kinds of sweet spices that have been blended for service, and some coming with coals from the altar out there to bring to the altar in here, and so on, and you’re going to see priests moving constantly. It’s a busy, busy place, hovering around the table, making sure the loaves are properly arranged. Some people will be dealing with dishes and spoons and bowls on the table. Other priests will be dealing with the vessels, the frankincense, and there’s a bottle of wine on the table, and so on. There’s going to be a lot of activity, and we want to walk through and look at the furniture, but you might be distracted with all the hub bub of the priests going around.” So, Ezekiel warns us, “Just step aside and let them do their thing, but focus on the furniture, because that’s what we want to see in this tabernacle.”
Ezekiel said, “Look around. Did you notice a chair in this room?” I said, “No chair, there’s no chair.” He said, “That’s because their work is never done. They can’t sit down.” Hebrews 10:11, “Every priest stands daily, ministering, offering every time, time after time the same sacrifice which can never take away sins.” And then Ezekiel said, “When Messiah comes, everything is going to be different.” Hebrews 10:12, “He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God.” The priests can never sit down because their work is never finished, but Jesus could sit down. Why? The answer is that His work is finished. John 19:30, “When Jesus finished the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished.’ He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.” Ezekiel said, “I don’t want you to be distracted or disturbed by all their business and activity, running back and forth, all the movement and all the motion and all the hustle. Let’s concentrate on the furniture.”
Then Ezekiel walks up to the light on the right, the golden candlestick. On the page I’ve actually given the scriptures, the passage that described it, pretty lengthy. Exodus 25:31-39. I’m not going to read that; I’m going to refer to it, and dip into it and draw from it. I encourage you to read it sometime. But we’re just getting the facts from that. Ezekiel began to point out certain elements for these eyes first, and then these eyes. Exodus 25:31, “You shall make the lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and its base, its shaft is to be of hammered work: its cups, its bulbs, its flowers shall be of one piece. Only two things,” Ezekiel says, “in this Holy Place, or in the whole tabernacle, are made of pure gold. One is the seat of the ark of the covenant. That was pure gold. And then the candlestick. That’s pure gold. That’s as far as the furniture is concerned. Now, some of the attachment, the dishes and the pans and the jars and the bowls and the snuffer were also pure gold. But as far as the furniture, only the candlestick, and the others were overlaid with gold, but this was pure gold, the candlestick and the seat of mercy.”
Ezekiel says, “For now, all I want you to know about the gold is that it’s pure and it’s precious; it’s valuable. Notice that there are seven branches. That could illustrate perfection. Number 7 often illustrates perfection. I’m going to return to that in another connection. Ezekiel showed us an amazing thing, and at first, just glancing at the candlestick, this is easy to miss. Ezekiel said, “What do you think of when you think of the ministry of the candlestick?” I answered, “To shine, to give light; isn’t that what a candlestick is for, to give light?” He said, “This candlestick is different. It does picture light, and we’ll look at that, but I want you to see that this candlestick pictures life. You wouldn’t think that something hammered out of pure gold would picture life. Gold is pure and precious, but it’s dead, just a stone. How can it picture life? How can a candlestick hammered out of one piece of gold picture life?
Look closely at this inspired work of art. In order to create this, God had to give a special gift to two different men, so that they could make this thing. It’s so tremendous. I want you to notice that as you look at this, it has a center shaft, and that shaft is called a stem, and the arms connected with it that hold the candles, did you notice they’re called branches. In the stem and on every branch there were three things: cups, nops and flowers. What’s a cup, what’s a nop, what’s a flower? Let me make it simple. A cup is a bud. A nop is a blossom. And a flower is the fruit.”
Ezekiel pointed out that this fruit hammered from gold, was not any old kind of fruit; it was an almond. Exodus 25:34, “In the lampstand four cups shaped like almond blossoms, it’s bulbs, it’s flowers.” It makes perfect divine logic that in this early picture God would have used almonds, because in the development in the scriptures, the almond becomes a picture of supernatural light, of resurrection light.
I’ll just tell one story. You probably remember it. At one time God’s people began to be discouraged because God had chosen leaders, and they were getting jealous. They said, “We’re all leaders. Why do you think you are such a big deal being a leader?” God said, “I want you to take each tribe and have a rod that represented that tribe. A rod is nothing else but a dead stick. It used to be alive, but it’s just a dead stick. Take your dead sticks and lay them in front of the tabernacle, twelve dead sticks, and I’ll tell you who I’ve chosen. In the morning you pick up those dead sticks, and the one that blossoms, that’s My choice.” So, Numbers 17:8, “On the next day Moses went into the tent of meeting. Behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms and it bore ripe almonds.” So powerful was that illustration that God said, “You take that budding rod and put it into the ark of the covenant. That will be a testimony throughout the generations, supernatural life comes. God can take a dead stick like me, or like you, and by the mighty power of God it can blossom.”
Anyway, he said, “The lampstand might look dead to the natural eye, but God designed it to be a tree. It has a stem, it has branches, it has buds, it has blossoms, it has fruit. The buds, the blossoms and the fruit were not hammered once or twice on this candlestick. That’s why you need the gift of God to build it. When you read that, you are going to find that the buds, the blossoms and the fruit (imagine hammering that out of gold)? Twenty-two times on this candlestick there were buds, blossoms and gold. It’s a marvelous candlestick.”
Ezekiel reminded us of what he told us earlier, that all of the furniture in this room is a picture of union, your union with Him. In that connection, he reminded us, to look again. The branches were not artificially connected to the stem. He didn’t make the branches and then somehow with some kind of a glue or adhesive connect it to the stem. It wasn’t fastened on with nails or screws or solders or some other kind of bond. The branches and the stem were one, hammered out of the same piece of gold. I don’t know if you can see that and not think of John 15, the vine and the branches, but I can. Exodus 25:36, “Their bulbs, their branches shall be one piece with it. It shall all be one piece of hammered work of pure gold. The branches were one with the stem.” As Ezekiel began to show us this candlestick, I just saw candles, I saw a flame, but all of a sudden, I see life in this candlestick, and it became so precious as he began to point these things out.
He said, “The branches are one. They are not connected in any other way but life, and so we are not connected to the Lord by creeds. We’re not connected to the Lord by programs, by denominations. We’re not connected by ordinances. We’re not connected by sacraments. We’re not connected by church politics, the kind of government that’s used. We have an organic connection to the living God, and it’s pictured in this candlestick. It wasn’t cast, because everything we have in our Lord Jesus, He went through a hammering for us.
After we spent a pleasurable moment there gazing at the life pictured here, he said, “It not only pictures life, but it also pictures light. You’re right, it’s designed to glow, and it’s designed to shine, it’s designed to give light and to reveal.” Then Ezekiel reminded us that light, especially in the scripture, has a double ministry, a double purpose. Light is not only given to illumine, but it’s given to dispel darkness. That’s the glory of light. Light dispels darkness. Exodus 25:37, “You shall make its lamps seven in number, and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it.” The light displayed in this candle, this wonderful menorah, was a seven-pronged candlestick. I told you that seven is often God’s number, a number of completeness, the number of perfection. So, the eyes of God, omniscience, is seven eyes, and the Holy Spirit is seven Spirits before the throne. Seven can be a divine number, but not always. Sometimes it’s just six plus one, or eight minus one. Job had seven sons. That doesn’t mean he had the perfect number of sons. Moses’ father-in-law had seven daughters. That’s not the perfect number of daughters. And Jehoash was seven-years-old when he began to reign. That’s just six plus one. In one miracle Jesus used seven loaves, and in another He used five loaves. Again, it’s not always divine, but sometimes it is, and I think that in this seven-pronged candlestick it is divine.
What kind of light has God provided in the Holy Place to dispel darkness? I’m going to say it physically, but I want you to think spiritually, seven-pronged light, perfect light to dispel darkness. If I come to the Lord, for example, in confusion, and don’t think that doesn’t happen. Very often I come to the Lord very confused. What kind of provision can I expect from God when I come in confusion? The answer is seven-pronged light, to drive away and dispel my confusion. Sometimes I come to the Lord needing guidance. I don’t know what way to turn. I’m in the dark about what I should do. I don’t know who to contact. I don’t know God’s will. What kind of light can I expect God to give me when I come in darkness, and I don’t know which way to go? The answer is seven-pronged light, to dispel your darkness.
Darkness that I need is more than dispelling confusion and dispelling ignorance, but there’s a moral darkness. Men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. What kind of light does God offer me when I come to Him with some addiction or some attraction to some sin? The answer is seven-pronged deliverance, seven-pronged guidance. He dispels darkness. There’s no other way to get rid of darkness. How are you going to get rid of darkness? You’ve got to bring in the light. That’s the only way. You can’t water down darkness, and then let it flow out. You can’t sweep it away. You can’t bring in a blow machine and blow it away. You bring in the light, and the darkness goes. So, he said, “This candlestick is light to dispel darkness.” Psalms 27:11, “Teach me Your way, oh Lord, and lead me in a plain path because of my foes.” It’s not only foes out there; there are foes in here. Lead me in a plain path. Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Light is not only to dispel darkness. It’s also to reveal, to illumine. Ezekiel pointed out that there were two other pieces of furniture in that room. There was a table of shewbread, and an altar of incense, a golden altar of incense. Ezekiel reminded us that this was the room where there was no natural light. It had no windows and no opening. The only light in this room is the light from the candlestick. Ezekiel rightly pointed out, “It’s because there is a candlestick in this room, that you’re not standing in pitch darkness right now. There would be no revelation in this room apart from this candlestick. You wouldn’t even know there was a table in this room apart from the candlestick. You wouldn’t even know there was an altar of incense apart from the candlestick. The candlestick is what lets you know there’s a table of shewbread and an altar of incense. Without the lampstand the priests are paralyzed. They can’t work and can’t serve. They need light. You have to minister and serve in light, otherwise they’d be like the plague of darkness. Remember that?” Exodus 10:23, “They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days.” “You’re paralyzed. This lampstand,” Ezekiel said, “not only reveals life, it reveals light, precious, precious lamp. The secret of life, branches united to the vine, and now light dispelling darkness with a seven-pronged perfection, all kinds of darkness.”
“Let me explain,” Ezekiel said. “This room is for the priests only, and they have to understand their ministry in terms of the furniture. t’s designed to give discernment. If they don’t see the table of shewbread, how can they minister at the table of shewbread? If they don’t see the altar of incense, their ministry is impossible. So, they need to see the significance, and this light brings it to life. The lamp stand, then, becomes very important as to illume.” Ezekiel then says, “I would like to take you to the table, but not yet. I want you to stand here at the lamp stand and look across the room, and I want you to describe for me the table as you see it from this point, and then we’ll go over and look closer. I want you to stand here and look at the altar of incense, and just in a general way what do you see, and then we’ll go closer, and we’ll see some wonderful, wonderful things.”
“So, let me give the essence of the table as we stand in the light of the candle stick.” Exodus 25:37, “You shall make it’s lamps seven in number. They shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it.” “The space in front of it contains the table. As the light of revelation falls on the table from a distance,” Ezekiel says, “just glancing at the table, tell me what you see, first what you see that strikes you,” and I say, “Gold; it’s all overlaid with gold. I’ve never sat at a golden table. That’s a pretty neat table.” He said, “What is on the table?” I began to look, and on the table, Exodus 25:29, “You shall make its dishes and its pans and its jars and its bowls with which to pour drink offering, you shall make them of pure gold.” I see a golden table, I see dishes, pans, jars, bowls, a couple of jars, one with frankincense, another with wine.
He says, “What else is on the table?” I said, “Well, I see verse 30, ‘You shall set the bread of the presence on the table.’ I see bread on the table.” Leviticus 24:5, “You shall take fine flour, bake twelve cakes with it, two tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. You shall set them in two rows, six in a row on the pure gold table before the Lord.” In the light of the candle stick I see a table, dishes, jars, pans, bowls, glasses, jars of wine, and I see food, I see bread, I see bread spread on the table, abundant food representing the entire family. And then he said, “What would you think if you saw a table set like that?” I said, “I think we’re having company, especially in the light of this candelabra. I think we’re having company.” This is a table spread, a time to eat. It seemed like a time to fellowship and get together. It seemed to me from this distance, to be a place of gathering, of communion, of fellowship. He said, “Yes, from a distance I want you to see, in the light of the candlestick, and you wouldn’t see it without the candlestick, but you need to see, the light of the candlestick illumines that this is a table, bread, wine. Does that remind you of any table? Bread, wine, a union with Christ. We’ll see more of that as we approach the table.
Revelations 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, I knock. If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I’ll come into him. I’ll dine with him, and he with me. I’ll sup with him.” This is the first glance at the table. There’s so much more. You’re going to be amazed when we get to the table what Ezekiel sees.
Just so, the lamp sheds light on the golden altar of incense standing before the beautiful veil. In the dark, perhaps you could smell the incense. You couldn’t see it, the altar, but you could smell the incense. The light revealed that this incense was continually rising to God, and it was a sweet smell. In the outer court it was a foul smell, but here it’s a sweet smell in the nostrils of a holy God. It’s acceptance. God is satisfied and He’s pleased, and he said, “You need to see that in the light of the candlestick. You need to see that there is a communion, there’s a fellowship. You need to see that all God’s people are equal and are all the same size. That’s amazing because when I think of Dan, I would have made him the same size. He’d be a like crouton sitting on the table. When I think of Reuben who through away his inheritance, but he said, “No, this is all the same size. Everybody is the same. What a room and how significant everything in this room is! Communion with God and with His people, fellowship, worship, adoration, pouring out. You are going to see later when we get closer, the incense is the prayers, and it’s just this deep heart rising up to God and God accepting it. That’s an amazing thing!”
“There’s one final thing,” he says, “I want you to see before we leave the candlestick and cross the room and go over to the table.” Exodus 27:20, “You shall charge the sons of Israel that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light to make a lamp burn continually. In the tent of meeting outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout all your generations.” Ezekiel made this amazing comment, “There can be no light in the Holy Place without the light of the lamp.” Then he said, “There can be no light of the lamp without the oil. It’s oil fed, and that becomes so very important. No oil, no light; oil is the food of the flame. Oil is the fuel for the flame.” He went on to explain, “I’m not going to get into this in detail, but if you are going to understand the tabernacle, everything had to be anointed with oil. The tabernacle had to be anointed, the tent had to be anointed, the ark had to be anointed, the table had to be anointed with oil, and even this lamp stand had to be anointed with oil. The altar of incense had to be anointed with oil. Outside in the court, the brazen laver had to be anointed with oil, the brazen altar had to be anointed with oil, the priests have to be anointed with oil, their garments have to be anointed with oil. Everything you see on the table had to be anointed with oil, not only all the furniture, but all of the vessels, all of the garments, everything with oil.
Later, and I think you already know, you will see that oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit of God. There’s nothing in this tabernacle without the Holy Spirit. I can’t see the table without the light, but I can’t have the light without the Holy Spirit. Everything depends upon the Holy Spirit, right from the time in Noah’s ark when that dove flew back with the olive leaf, all the way to Gethsemane, and that means oil pressed. It’s always the oil, the oil, the oil of the Holy Spirit. It’s not by might, and it’s not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.
Ezekiel says, “I hope our little look at the candlestick helped. Did you see life? It’s there; it’s union, the branches and the stem. It’s all union. Did you see light, dispelling seven-pronged light, dispelling confusion, dispelling ignorance, dispelling sin? Did you see the life illumining the table, communion, fellowship, intimacy, illumining the lamp stand, acceptance and worship and praise? Now, let’s go across the room. I want to show you the table. So, next week, the Lord willing, we’ll cross the room.
Heavenly Father, thank You so much that we could wait before You and trust Your Holy Spirit to open up Your Word and to teach our spirits. Lord, we do want deep to cry out to deep. We want to know You more intimately, more fully, more personally. Thank You that You are taking us forward in this, and we praise You for leaving us the picture of the tabernacle. Work these truths in our lives and in our hearts. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.