This week we are enjoying a particular wonderful matter in Exodus which is lighting the lamps in the sanctuary of God, which is done by those serving as priests clothed with the glorious garments (typifying the expression of Christ).
After God finished speaking concerning the tabernacle and the furniture, and just before the introduction of the priesthood with their services and garments, there are two verses at the end of Exodus 27 that speak concerning lighting the lamps.
These verses have seemingly nothing to do with the furniture of the tabernacle, and they are mentioned right before the priesthood is introduced. In the tabernacle there was no window or skylight, so there was the need for light; after God revealed the layout of the tabernacle with all the furnitures, and before the priests could function in the tabernacle, there was the need for light.
This was an important matter in the function of the priest. Before the people of God could function as priests in the tabernacle, there had to be the lighting of the lamps – otherwise they served in darkness. The lighting of the lamps was done not by ordinary people but by those serving as priests, wearing a certain type of garments.
This week we want to see what does it mean to light the lamps in the sanctuary of God, who can light the lamps, and what do these garments the priests wore mean. Today we want to see how God is light and in Him there’s no darkness at all, so we need to walk in the light as children of the light.
Furthermore, we need to see that as believers in Christ we are priests, and whenever we meet as the church we need to be lighting the lamps, that is, make sure the divine light within us shines through us, so that God would dwell among us and be expressed through us as His shining.
God is Light and, as Believers in Christ, we are Children of Light Walking in the Light
God is light and in Him there’s no darkness at all; the nature of God’s expression is light. The nature of God’s essence is love, the nature of God’s person is Spirit, and the nature of God’s expression is light.
Light is the nature of God in His expression (1 John 1:5); light is God’s shining, God’s expression. When God is expressed, the nature of that expression is light. Opposite of light is darkness; just as God is light, Satan is darkness, and where Satan is, there is darkness.
We were once born in darkness spiritually, but by believing into the Lord we have received His life and have become children of light; as God is light, so we the children of God are the children of light. Hallelujah, we have believed into the light and have become sons of light (Eph. 5:8; John 12:36)!
The Lord Jesus came to this world as the shining light so that whoever believes into Him would not remain in darkness but would receive God as light and even become light in the Lord. All those who believe into the Lord no longer remain in darkness but become sons of he light, the children of God.
Now as children of light we need to walk in the light, live in the light, and have our whole being in the divine light, which is God Himself (1 John 1:5, 7).
God is light, we are children of light, and we need to remain in this divine light by walking in the light. If we want to have fellowship with God we need to walk in the light and have our whole being in the light.
This is a basic and essential matter in our Christian life: we cannot go on with the Lord without being in the light. It is critical that we have our being and walk in the light so that we may genuinely know God and grow in Him.
In Genesis 1 when God came in to restore the universe and do some further creation, the first thing He did was to bring in light; later, many forms of life came out of this light. When Jesus came to the earth as the incarnated God-man, he was a great light shining in the darkness to bring salvation to man.
For our Christian life we must treasure light, live and walk in the light, and deal with anything between us and the Lord so that we may remain in the light, because light is where God is and who God is.
If we are not in the light, we are detached from God and away from Him; if we are in darkness, we are in the fall of man, away from God. If we sin, we don’t walk in the light; we need to confess our sins and deal with anything that hinders us from being in the light, and we will enjoy more light and more life.
Before we can be those lighting the lamps in the holy place, we need to be walking in the light even as our Lord is in the light.
Thank You Lord Jesus for coming as the light of life to bring salvation to us and make us children of God, children of light. Hallelujah, our God is light and in Him there’s no darkness at all, and we are sons of light! Lord, we want to live, walk, and have our being in the divine light, which is God Himself. Keep shining on us to expose anything that our hinder our being in the light. May we be in the light, walk in the light, and remain in a close fellowship with our God who is light.
Lighting the Lamps in the Sanctuary of God Signifies the Proper way to Meet as Christians
What does it mean, in type, for the priests to light the lamps in the sanctuary of God? The sanctuary of God is in the tent of meeting, the tabernacle; here it is where God dwells and where His people meet, and as He meets with His people there needs to be light.
In typology lighting the lamps in the sanctuary of God signifies the proper way to meet as Christians (Exo. 27:20-21). The sanctuary of God is God’s dwelling place, His habitation, and also the place where His people met and served together (Exo. 40:2, 34; 25:8; Lev. 1:1); it is crucial for us as God’s people to meet in the light.
The first thing we need to do when we meet with the saints is to light the lamps, to make sure the lights are turned on. When we come together to meet as the church, that meeting is God’s dwelling place (see Matt. 18:20; Eph. 2:21-22); the Lord is with us whenever we meet, and His dwelling place is in our spirit.
One of the most basic characteristics of the church is that the church meets; the church is the ekklesia, the assembly of God’s called out people, and as the church we meet all the time.
However, is God’s light shining in our midst as we meet? We need to be careful so that our meetings would not be slowly degrading toward the meetings in Christianity, where there’s no light and no life. Every proper and genuine meeting of the church must be one that brings forth light, causing light to arise.
As believers in Christ we are priests of God, and whenever we meet we need to light the lamps, that is, cause the lamps to shine by exercising our spirit and allowing the Lord to shine through us. All the singing of hymns, fellowship, reading the Bible, and praising, need to be the lighting of the lamps.
It is very important to realize that, whenever we come together to meet as the church, that meeting is in God’s dwelling place; our meeting is a sanctuary, and we are in a holy gathering of the saints.
We need to remember that we are in a holy gathering of the saints. As those whose gathering is the sanctuary of God, we need to light the lamps in the sanctuary, that is, in the tent of meeting. Of course, the physical building in which we meet is not the sanctuary, or the Holy Place; it is the gathering which is the sanctuary. No matter where we may meet, in a building or in the open air, our gathering is the Holy Place. For this reason, we should not meet in a natural way or in a secular way. Everything we do in the meeting—our speaking, singing, praising, calling, shouting, pray-reading—must cause the holy light to ascend. This is to light the lamps in God’s sanctuary so that the light may swallow up the darkness. (Witness Lee, Life-study of Exodus, msg. 115)
Therefore, we as holy priests need to light the lamps in the meeting; we shouldn’t meet in a natural way or a secular way, without the exercise of the spirit.
Everything that we do in the meeting – our speaking, singing, praising, calling, praying, pray-reading, and even sitting and not saying anything outwardly – needs to cause the holy light to ascend.
When we meet we need to exercise our spirit and light the lamps so that any darkness may be swallowed by light and the divine life would flow among us. Whenever we meet together – whether in a big or a small meeting – we must give off light.
We should not be careless in the meeting, neither should we joke around or be loose; we need to exercise our spirit and light the lamps whenever we meet!
Lord Jesus, recover among us the proper way to meet by lighting the lamps! May we be those who exercise our spirit every time we meet so that we may give light to swallow any darkness. Cause us to realize that our meeting with the saints is the sanctuary of God, the Holy Place. We believe that every time two or three meet together in Your name, You are among us. Lord, we want to learn to light the lamps when we meet so that You as the light may shine among us and be expressed through us.
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, msg. 115 (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:
# Walk in the light, and sin abhorred / Shall ne’er defile again; / The blood of Jesus Christ the Lord / Shall cleanse from every stain. (Hymns #658)
# While walking in the light of God, / I sweet communion find; / I press with holy vigor on / And leave the world behind. (Hymns #345)
# To God we offer Christ the Lord / Whom we experience; / With God we too delight in Him. / His light and sweetness sense. (Hymns #862)
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