As believers in Christ we need to daily come to the Lord in our Christian life and be shined on by Him, and we need to walk in His light. However, there’s a great danger that we would “make our own light” and walk in our own light, which leads to pain and darkness.
I was really touched when reading John 4-8 and also Malachi chapter 1, where we see that God says one thing but then His people answer back, No, we don’t agree, why would You say something like that!
In Malachi 1 the Lord told His people, I have loved you….but the replied, How have you loved us? Again and again God states the fact, showing His people their real situation, and they reply, We don’t agree, it’s actually something else, how can You say this to us?
In the gospel of John the Lord came and healed sick people, hang out with the sinners, and shepherded the sick and weary ones; but the Pharisees and the Jews – those who had the Bible in their hand – always had a problem with the Lord, criticizing Him, asking Him why did He heal on the Sabbath, etc.
There’s a great danger with us, the believers in Christ who seek Him, that we would be self-deceived, that is, obsessed. God may shine on us through His word and through the circumstances, but we may disagree with Him and argue back, being convinced that we’re not that bad.
We may sin, we may speak an error, and we may convince ourselves it is the right thing to do; furthermore, we may be so filled with doctrines and spiritual knowledge that God’s light can’t anymore shine on us, because we don’t receive it.
We may be prejudiced and refuse to come to the light, and we may even be proud of our accomplishments and what we know. We may not love the truth and we may not seek the glory that is from the only God but rather seek glory from other people.
Oh Lord Jesus! How much we need to be unveiled by the Lord and have His light shine on us! We need to give up and renounce our own man-made light or natural light, and come to the Lord to be shined on by Him. We need to turn our heart to the Lord and ask Him to search us and purify us so that we may see things as they really are in God’s light.
When light comes in, darkness is dispelled and we can see things clearly; when God’s light comes in and we are pure in heart, we will see God, we will realize where we are, and we will allow the Lord to deal with anything in us that doesn’t match Him.
When we are in darkness or walk in our own light, we stumble often, but when we are in the divine light, we will not be stumbled anymore, we will not have any expectations from others, and we will bring the divine light wherever we go.
May the Lord have mercy on us that we would be pure in heart, single in our seeking for Him, so that we may see things clearly, have a revelation concerning the desire of God’s heart, and be one with the Lord for the fulfillment of His purpose!
Experiencing Christ in His Processes and Allowing His Cross to Operate in us
One of the main functions that the priests perpetually had to perform was lighting the lamps in the Holy Place; the lamps were on the golden lampstand, and all the priests had to do is trim the wicks (when they were charred) and add the oil for the lamps to shine.
The oil the priests used was pure olive oil made of the olives who were crushed and grounded. In Judges 9 we see three kinds of trees: the olive tree, the fig tree, and the vine tree; the fatness of the olive tree honors God and man, the fig tree is known for its sweetness and good fruit for man’s nourishment, and the vine produces wine to cheer God and man.
Christ is the olive tree, the fig tree, and the vine tree. As the olive tree, Christ produced fruit which was crushed and grounded to honor God and man, and He became a pure olive oil – the Spirit of Christ, which can be used for lighting the lamps in the Holy Place.
Oil comes from olive trees, and the olive tree signifies Christ (Rom. 11:17); on the one hand we as wild branches were grafted into Christ, the cultivated olive tree, and on the other hand Christ passed through a process to become “pure olive oil”, that is, the Spirit.
Just as olives pass through a process to produce olive oil, so the Spirit of God in Christ passed through a process which involved incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection, to become the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9).
As priests to God, it is our responsibility and function to be filled with the Spirit and anointed with the Spirit, and when we come to the meetings of the church in the sanctuary of God we should bring the Spirit of Christ to the meeting to light the lamps.
Whatever we utter in the meetings must be with the pure oil of the olive tree (2 Cor. 2:12-13). We need the experience of Christ as the olive tree in His incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection; this means that the aspects of Christ’s process need to become our experience.
The only way we can be sons of fresh oil, priests of God having the pure Spirit of Christ as the oil, is by experiencing Christ in His processes and by allowing the cross to work in us. We need to allow the cross to work in our being so that we may have the pure oil – oil that has passed through incarnation and crucifixion and has entered into resurrection.
When Christ’s death operates in us, His life operates in other members of the Body of Christ, and light shines in the meeting (2 Cor. 1:8-9). Our desire should be to know Christ, experience Christ, and know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Phil. 3:10-11).
When the cross operates in us to put us to death with Christ, His resurrection life also operates in us to flow through us into others for the lighting of the lamps in the sanctuary of God, so that God’s light may shine in the meeting.
Lord Jesus, may everything we utter in the meetings be of the pure oil of the olive tree, coming out of our experience of Christ in His processes. Give us the experiences we need so that the aspects of Christ’s process would become our experience. Lord, our need is that the cross would work in us so that we may have the pure oil for the lighting of the lamps. We give ourselves to You to experience You and be filled with You as the Spirit of Christ so that we may bring a fresh supply of oil to the meetings for the lighting of the lamps!
Lighting the Lamps involves every Aspect of our Experience in the Christian Life
If we carefully study and prayerfully consider the type of the priests lighting the lamps in the Holy Place, we will come to the conclusion that meeting to light the lamps in the sanctuary of God involves every aspect of our spiritual experience in the Christian life (see Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:10; 1 Cor. 6:17).
First we need to experience Christ as the embodiment of God – the reality of the lampstand; we need to let Christ live in us and be formed in us so that we may be one with Him to express Him.
We need to experience the divine nature of God – signified by the gold of the golden lampstand – and walk according to the divine nature as we partake of the riches of God’s nature and escape the corruption which is in the world by lust (2 Pet. 1:4).
We need to enjoy and eat the humanity of Christ – typified by the wicks of the lamps – which is so rich, aromatic, wonderful, uplifted, and perfect; we need to eat Jesus and be made the same as He is in His humanity.
Furthermore, we need to experience Christ in all His processes, and we need to let His cross operate in us so that we may be filled with the Spirit of Christ and have the pure oil for the lighting of the lamps.
All our experiences of Christ – all our spiritual experiences in the Christian life – are involved in lighting the lamps in the Holy Place. When we come together we should not joke or be loose but rather pray-read the holy Word of God, call on the Lord’s name, praise Him, and speak from what the Lord has put in us.
Meeting together to light the lamps in the sanctuary comprises every aspect of our spiritual experience in the Christian life. It includes our experience of Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God, our experience of the divine nature, our experience of the uplifted humanity of Jesus that burns to give light before God and before His testimony, our experience of the Spirit of God as the oil pressed out of the fruit of the olive tree, and our experience of Christ in His process with the steps of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. Witness Lee, Life-Study of Exodus, p. 1318
We don’t just come to the meeting after days and days of not spending time with the Lord and then simply “light the lamps” in the meeting; we need to daily experience the Lord in all His processes and allow the cross to operate in us so that we may have oil to add to the lamps in the meeting.
We need to experience Christ as the olive tree in His incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection, so that we may not be short of olive oil. Daily we need to experience Christ, the embodiment of God, the One who expressed God in everything and spoke the words of God to give us life.
Daily we need to experience the divine nature, partaking the rich promises of God and living according to the divine nature so that we may be golden, filled with God as gold. We need to experience the uplifted humanity of Jesus so that we may burn and give light before God and before His testimony.
We need to experience the Spirit of God as the oil, that is, experience Christ in His process with the steps of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. All these experiences constitute us and fill us with the oil needed for lighting the lamps, and when we come together with the saints we will simply give forth light.
Lord Jesus, may our meetings be filled with the divine light as we all experience Christ daily and bring forth oil to the meeting for the lighting of the lamps! Give us the experiences we need for us to experience Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God, the divine nature, the uplifted humanity of Jesus, and the pure olive oil. Lord, we want to enter into the experience of what You are and have passed through so that we may be qualified and filled with the Spirit of Christ for the lighting of the lamps!
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, pp. 1311-1323 (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:
# Olives that have known no pressure / No oil can bestow; / If the grapes escape the winepress, / Cheering wine can never flow; / Spikenard only through the crushing, / Fragrance can diffuse. / Shall I then, Lord, shrink from suff’ring / Which Thy love for me would choose? (Hymns #626)
# It’s by our mingled spirit, Lord, / That we can shine with Thee, / And be a golden lampstand now / For all the world to see. / It’s not by forms or rituals, / Mere Christianity; / It’s by our Christ enjoyed as life / We all can shine with Thee. (Hymns #1262)
# O make Thy Church, dear Savior, / A lampstand of pure gold, / To bear before the nations / Thy light, that all behold; / O teach Thy wandering pilgrims / By this their path to trace, / Till, clouds and darkness ended, / They see Thee face to face. (Hymns #803)
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