As believers in Christ, we are priests of God and members of the Body of Christ, and we meet with other believers in the church; our responsibility and privilege as we meet is that we light the lamps, that is, cause the divine light to ascend.
Our God is light, and we as believers in Christ are children of God, children of light; we received Christ as the light of life, and we are daily learning to walk in the light. As we come to the word of God, we receive the divine light, and His word is a lamp unto our feet.
Our daily walk needs to be in the divine light; we need to be saved from walking in a natural light or a self-made light, and we need to walk in the light that comes from God through His word. How much we daily need to pray over God’s word so that it may become Spirit and life to us, guiding our feet on the Christian path as the light from God!
When we meet together, we need to “light the lamps”, that is, cause the divine light to ascend; as priests, our responsibility is to be full of light and cause the divine light to ascend.
Our Christian meetings are the sanctuary of God, and the proper way for us to meet is to give off light; everything that we do in the meetings should cause the holy light to ascend. We need to be holy priests lighting the holy lamps in the holy place, the sanctuary of God; we need to be saturated with God and filled with His holy nature to give off light as we meet with the saints.
The ones who can light the lamp are persons possessed by God, saturated with God, and who live absolutely for God. Whatever such persons do in the sanctuary of God is the lighting of the lamps.
The light we should give off in the meeting is neither a natural light nor an artificial light but the divine light, the holy light, the real light which is God Himself. When the divine light shines in the meetings, we can see light and realize what is the true nature of things; we see what God sees and we know His way.
Many things may trouble us, and even our own situation may be a mystery to us, but when we enter into the sanctuary of God – our spirit and the church – we can see His way; it is in the spirit and in the church, under the shining of God’s light, that we can receive divine revelation and obtain explanation to all our problems.
Being Priests Expressing Christ in our Living to Light the Lamps in the Meetings
As the priests of God today we need to be dressed with the priestly garments and have the reality of these garments: the breastplate, the ephod, the robe, the tunic of checkered work, the turban, and the girding sash.
What is the spiritual significance of these garments? The significance of the priestly garments which we should wear daily is the expression of Christ in the priesthood. Christ needs to be daily lived out and expressed through the priesthood.
We have not only Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God, the divine nature of Christ, the uplifted humanity of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ with all the steps of Christ’s process, but we also have the expression of Christ.
If in our daily living we do not have the expression of Christ, then whatever we do in the church meetings will be hypocrisy. Our speaking and activities in the meetings will be hypocritical. If we do not have the priestly garments, we are not qualified or equipped to light the lamps. The qualification for a priest to light the lamps in the Holy Place is the expression of Christ. As priests who would light the lamps, we need the adequate expression of Christ….As a priest, what kind of garments, what kind of expression, do you have in the church meetings? If you try to light the lamps in the sanctuary without the adequate expression of Christ typified by the priestly garments, you will suffer spiritual death. This means that you will experience a divine killing because you are not properly clothed in the sight of God. Priests need a long robe to cover them completely. This priestly robe is Christ. Witness Lee, Life-Study of Exodus
The qualification for us to light the lamps in the sanctuary of God is expressing Christ. We need to live Christ and express Him daily in our living so that we may be qualified to light the lamps in the sanctuary of God.
Our daily need is to live Christ; we need to no longer live to ourselves but to the Lord, and we need to allow the Lord to make His home in us, live in us, be formed in us, and be expressed through us.
How much light we can give in the meeting depends on how much we live Christ and express Him. The extent to which we can light the lamps in the meetings of the church is the extent to which we wear the priestly garments, that is, the extent to which we live Christ.
May we be those who experience Christ and live Him daily so that we would give forth light whenever and whomever we meet. May we be saved from the hypocrisy of “putting on a mask” as soon as we meet with other believers, showing off before then while at home we don’t practice living Christ.
The priestly garments – being mainly for glory and beauty – signify the expression of Christ’s divine glory and human beauty (see Exo. 28:2). The gold in the priestly garments typify Christ’s divinity, and the blue and purple and scarlet threads typify His humanity; glory is related to Christ’s divinity, His divine attributes (John 1:14; Heb. 1:3), and beauty to Christ’s humanity, His human virtues.
A life that expresses Christ with the divine glory and human beauty sanctifies us and qualifies us to carry out the priestly service of lighting the lamps in the sanctuary of God (Exo. 27:20-21).
May we be those who express Christ in His divinity and humanity to be sanctified and qualified to carry out the priestly service of lighting the lamps in the meetings of the church.
Lord Jesus, we confess our lack of living Christ. We open to You, we come to You to be infused by You, and we take You as our garments to be clothed with You and express You. Lord, save us from being hypocrites who put on a show when they meet with the saints. May our daily living be full of enjoying Christ, experiencing Christ, and living Christ. May our life express Christ with the divine glory and human beauty so that we may be sanctified and qualified to carry out the priestly service of lighting the lamps in the sanctuary of God!
Six Practical Points concerning the Meetings of the Church with the Lighting of the Lamps
Our Christian life is a meeting life, and the purpose of our gathering as believers is to have the sanctuary of God with the lighting of the lamps by qualified priests so that we may see the different aspects of Christ and see the way for us to enter into the depths of Christ within God.
When we get together, we need to realize we are in the sanctuary of God, and we need to build up the church by causing light to ascend in the meetings. For the building up of the church, we need to take care of and strengthen the meetings of the church; if we are not careful regarding the situation in our meetings, they will slowly degrade into Christianity.
If we love the church, we need to love the meetings and be burdened that all the meetings would be full of light. We can’t let the meetings be loose or unattended. All meetings need to be full of light; whether big or small, the meetings are the sanctuary of God and all the saints should be priests of God lighting the lamps.
We must be bearers of light; as sons of light, we should walk in the light, live as children of the light, and function as priests of light, bringing light to the meeting. Here are six practical points concerning the meetings of the church with the lighting of the lamps which we should pay attention to:
1. We should honor every meeting of the church; we should never despise any meeting, and we should never dilute the essence of the meeting. The meeting is the basic characteristic of the church; here we have the sanctuary of God, the tent of meeting where God meets with man and God’s people serve God together. E
very meeting needs to be honored, and we should never consider that we waste our time by going to the meeting – rather, we should redeem the time by being in the meetings of the church!
2. We need to come to the meeting with a joyful heart. Our attitude and countenance when we come to the meeting matters. We should not come with a grim face, but come to the meeting to light the lamps (and not dim the light or bring in darkness)!
Of course, we should not pretend when we come to the meeting, or try to put on a nice and happy face, but we should turn to the Lord and let Him make our heart happy in Him, and come to the meeting with a joyful heart to light up the meeting – and not with a sad heart to bring gloom or darkness.
3. We need to come to the meeting with a pure heart seeking God. Sometimes we may come to the meeting because this is our custom or here we have our “church friends”; we need to be before the Lord and cooperate with Him to be pure in heart, seeking only Him, and we should come to the meeting with a desire to know Him more. In the Holy Place, the sanctuary of God, we can have a revelation of who Christ is, and how we can enter into the depths of Christ in God.
4. We need to come to the meetings early – at least on time. Don’t think it is OK or normal to be late for the meeting; we need to honor the Lord and the saints and come to the meeting early, at least on time. We need to realize that we are getting together with the saints not to perform some rituals or activities: we come together to enjoy the Lord, see more of Christ, and light up the lamps; therefore, we should be on time – and even early!
5. We need to come to the meeting ready to release our spirit to cause light to ascend. We need to be delivered from any kind of formality or ritual, and come to the meeting exercised in our spirit, ready to release light.
It is recommended that we deal with the Lord before the meeting, opening to Him and allowing Him to shine on us and remove any obstacles to His light, so that when we are with the saints we would simply bear the divine light and release our spirit. When the new ones come into such an environment where all the saints are shining, they will see the light and will be captured by the Lord.
6. We need to do everything in the meeting to minister life which releases light; we should never spread darkness or death in the meeting. We need to be persons of light, believers walking in the light, and always seek to minister the divine life to others so that light would be released. We should exercise to never spread darkness or death in the meeting but rather minister life and light for the building up of the church.
Lord Jesus, may all our meetings in the church be the sanctuary of God with the lighting of the lamps by all the saints as qualified priests! May we all be persons of light walking in the light, exercising to minister life and light to one another so that we may have a vision of the different aspects of Christ and see the way to enter into the depths of Christ within God! Lord, purify our heart that we may pursue only You, having a single eye and heart for You. We want to be those who are on time at the meeting, always releasing their spirit to minister life which brings in light!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother James L. for this week, and Life-study of Exodus, msgs 118, 130 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), msg. 8 (week 44 in the HWMR), Lighting the Lamps in the Sanctuary of God by Serving as Priests Clothed with the Expression of Christ.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Putting on the Lord as clothing, / Christ without he doth express; / Eating, drinking, with Him mingled, / Christ within doth him possess. (Hymns #911)
# Our life and all we are and do / Is Christ Himself, the substance true, / That every time we meet anew / We may exhibit Christ. / In meetings Christ to God we bear / And Christ with one another share, / And Christ with God enjoying there, / We thus exhibit Christ. (Hymns #864)
# If I go to the meeting, / But shy away from speaking, / There’s no life that’s releasing / Of my loving Christ. / Let’s not quench the Spirit, / But take heed to say, / Let’s not quench the Spirit, / But fan it into flame / By calling “Oh Lord Jesus“! (Song on meetings)
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