As believers in Christ we are priests of God, and it is our function as priests to light the lamps in the Holy Place, that is, walk in the light and cause the divine light to ascend as we meet with the saints.
We need to realize that we are a holy people, we have a holy God, and we are carrying out our holy priesthood by lighting the holy lamps with the holy fire in the holy place.
The church meetings are a holy place: the Lord is among us as we meet, and whatever we do in the meeting – whether singing, sharing, prophesying, praying, and even saying Amen! – has to be done in such a way that light would ascend.
God chose us before the foundation of the world that we would be holy; we have been regenerated by believing into the Lord Jesus to become holy sons of a holy God, and now our function is to light the lamps, that is, make sure that light ascends as we get together with other saints as God’s people.
What does it mean to be a priest of God? A priest is one who is absolutely for God; he is fully possessed by God, and he lives and has his being wholly for God. As priests to God, our unique interest, occupation, business, and desire should be God Himself; we need to be saturated and permeated with God so that we may be filled with light and walk in the light even as He is in the light.
If we are filled with God, whenever we meet we will cause the holy light to ascend. If we are those who are saturated and filled with God, whatever we do and are in the meeting will cause the light to shine.
If we habitually walk in the light and have our whole being in the light, when we come together the divine light will shine in us, through us, and among us. How wonderful it is to come to a meeting where the divine light shines and all the saints cooperate with the Lord to speak His word, utter holy prayers, sing holy songs, and say Amen to the Lord’s word.
Here we have God’s life supply – the bread of life, and here we have the light of God, the divine light, which shines to bring in life and to cause life to grow.
Being Saved from Obsession and Artificial Light, and Living under the Divine Light
The light in the sanctuary of God is not natural light (coming from the sun or the moon) nor artificial light (man-made light) but a divine light, a holy light – the light from God, the light which is God Himself (see John 1:4-5, 9; 1 John 1:5; Rev. 21:23-24a).
God wants to bring us, His people, under the real light, the divine light that comes from God; we need to be saved form any introspection or man-made light, and be brought under the real divine light, the light which is from God.
It is not good enough to be enlightened; we need to see what is the source of our light – do we generate our own light or do we have the light from God? In Eph. 5:13 we see that all things are reproved and made manifest by the light; light is what manifests, making open what has been hidden.
There’s no need to search for light: when we come into the light, it shines on us, and all things are manifest.
When we have the divine light shining in us and among us, and an unbeliever or unlearned person enters, he is convicted by all, and the secrets of his heart are being made manifest; he realizes that God is among us (1 Cor. 14:24-25). This should be our normal church life; all our meetings should be full of light!
Unfortunately, many times this is not our situation, and the main reason is that there’s a disease among Christians that frustrates us from receiving the real light and entering into it. This disease is obsession, that is, self-deception.
In 1 John 1:8 it says that if we say we do not have sin (which we all do!), we deceive ourselves and truth is not in us. If a man knows he has sin yet he tells others he doesn’t have sin, he lies; but if he knows he sins and believes in his heart he has no sin, he deceives himself – this is obsession.
Being obsessed is a serious matter; believers can be obsessed by certain concepts they have; they think they know the truth in the Bible, but they don’t realize how much they are self-deceived with their own condition, and this prevents them from receiving the real light.
In Malachi 1 God was speaking to His people, exposing their real situation, and yet they denied it and questioned God’s speaking – they were self-deceived, obsessed. We need to realize that there are at least four main causes for self-deception:
- Being prejudiced and refusing to come to the light. John 3:19-20 – people would rather hide in the darkness than coming to the light, loving darkness rather than the light.
- Pride causes us to be obsessed. Obadiah 3 says, The pride of your heart has beguiled you. We may be proud about our accomplishments, about what we know…thinking we have something – which we actually don’t, and thus we’re in darkness and deceit.
- Not receiving the love of the truth. 2 Thes. 2:10-11, if we refuse to receive the love of the truth, God will send to us an operation of error that we may believe a lie. This is a serious matter.
- Not seeking the glory that is from the only God. John 5:44 tells us that if we receive glory from others, we will not be able to see correctly.
How we need to be rescued from obsession and come to the true light! The way to be rescued from obsession is:
- We need to have a pure heart (Matt. 5:8). If our heart is pure, we will see God in every situation, and we will see light. To have a pure heart is to have a single heart, a heart set on God and Him alone (Matt. 6:21-23). Our eye and heart needs to be single, having no other interest besides God. A pure heart is a heart turned to the Lord every day, throughout the day (2 Cor. 3:16). A pure heart is an open heart, a heart that is open to the Lord to be searched and known by the Lord under His light (Psa. 139:23). If we have a pure heart, we will not walk in darkness but we will see God, and we will be spared from stumbling.
- We need to receive God’s word, especially the spoken instant word the Lord speaks to us. The Lord speaks to us again and again in the Word and in the meetings, and we need to be open to receive His word and allow Him the room to settle and make His home in us. The opening of His word gives light, imparting understanding to the simple.
- We need to seek after God’s will (John 7:17). If we know God’s will, we will be enlightened and we will know; but if we are after our own interest, we will find ourselves in the dark. If we are pure in heart and seek only God’s will, everything is made clear.
- We need to be willing to be pay the price (Prov. 23:23). The Lord speaks to us and exposes us, but we need the Lord’s grace to pay the price to cooperate with Him.
Today’s Christians are divided by many kinds of natural and artificial light; many walk in their own “man-made light”, their “firebrands” (see Isa. 50:10-11; 2 Cor. 11:14). The man-made light will only lead us to torment, and it will not solve our problem; the many kinds of self-generated light brings in division, dividing the Body of Christ and the saints.
For the building up of the Body of Christ, we need to live and walk under the unique and genuine light, the light of the redeeming and shining God (Rev. 21:23; 1 John 1:5-7; Eph. 5:8-9). We need to enjoy and experience the Triune God, and we will have the fruit of the light; there will then be no possibility of division!
In the New Jerusalem we have only the light of God, the divine light shining; there’s no man-made light or any natural light, for God in the Lamb as the lamp is shining, and the entire city diffuses God as the light to the whole universe.
We need to refuse to exercise our natural ability too much in the church life; we simply need to exercise our spirit and walk and live under the divine, redeeming, and shining light through the word of God for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Lord Jesus, search us and know us until our heart is pure and single for You, seeking only You and desiring only You. We turn our heart to You, and we choose You – we open to You, we turn to You, and we want to seek only You! Save us from any obsession, self-made light, or natural light; bring us under Your divine light, and cause us to see light! Speak to us, Lord, and cause Your word to be open to us and give us light. We want to seek Your will, be pure and single in heart, and pay the price by Your grace to deal with everything that Your light exposes in us!
We see the Divine Light when we are in our Spirit and in the Church, God’s Sanctuary
Where is God’s light today? It is in the sanctuary of God, and in this light we see light and the true nature of things (Psa. 36:9). Man can only see real light and realize the true nature of things through God’s light.
In His light we see light – the first light refers to the divine light shining on us, and the second refers to the facts that are revealed under God’s enlightening. Before we can see anything we need to be in God’s light, and in His light we see all things, discerning the true nature of things. God’s way can be seen in His sanctuary (see Psa. 77:13).
We may be disturbed like the psalmist, seeing that seemingly God left His people and He is not exercising His faithfulness over His people, so we need to enter into the sanctuary to see God’s ways. God’s way is hidden and His paths with His footsteps are not known to men (v. 19).
God’s ways are not easily perceived or discovered; it seems that we may be forsaken, that God left His lovingkindness toward us….but His ways are made known in the sanctuary! God’s way is revealed to us in the sanctuary; God’s sanctuary today is our spirit (Eph. 2:22) and in the church (1 Tim. 3:15).
We shouldn’t try to mentally figure out things but simply turn to our spirit and come to the meetings of the church to be in the sanctuary of God, and we will have a real perception and understanding of the true nature of things.
This is confirmed by Psa. 73, where we read how the psalmist looked at the wicked ones prospering and the ones fearing God being dealt with and suffering…he was troubled to see such a situation, until he went into the sanctuary of God, where he perceived their end (Psa. 73:16-17).
When we look at our situation or others’ situation, we have an unbalanced view, but when we enter into the sanctuary – our spirit and the church – we have a view of the real situation.
Once we are in the spirit and in the church, we will have a particular perception of the situation; here we receive an explanation of our problems. The situation is still here, it is still the same – we are still suffering, things are not going our way, yet when we are in the spirit and in the church, we have the shining of God’s light, and we receive divine revelation and obtain the explanation to all our problems.
In God’s light we see light, and His light is in the sanctuary of God; the sanctuary of God today is in our spirit and in the church, so whenever we turn to our spirit and are in the meetings of the church, we can receive God’s light and have the solution to all our problems.
Lord Jesus, bring us into Your light; it is in Your light that we can see light. We simply want to turn to the spirit and be in the church to be in Your sanctuary and see Your way. Lord, reveal to us Your way and give us a clear understanding and perception of the real situation as we turn to You in spirit and meet with the saints in the church. Keep us in our spirit and keep us in the church life to be under the divine light and receive divine revelation, obtaining the explanation to all our problems!
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 Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 44, pp. 871-873, 897-907, 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:
# Remove my covering, Lord, / That I may see Thy light, / And be deceived no more, / But all things see aright. / Oh, may Thy living light, Lord, / Scatter all my night, Lord, / And everything make bright, Lord, / For this I pray to Thee. (Hymns #426)
# Lord, in these days I want to set my heart, / Ever and only, always on You, / That I would not defiled be, / Keeping my heart so single and pure for Thee. (Song on having a pure heart)
# Build us up, build us up, as with You we all rise up. / Hallelujah—the living Body! / As blended members / Of His one Body, / We, the Lord do glorify! / His Light does shine! / Reviving Life does flow! / And we do see that Satan is crushed! (Song on having light in the Body)
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