Sanctuary Lesson 10 - The Seven-Branched Candlestick
In the previous lesson, we followed the priest through the veil into the Holy Place. As we look around in this chamber, we notice that are no windows. No sunlight or moonlight entered the Holy Place. Yet, the Holy Place is not enshrouded in darkness. The flames from the seven-branched candlestick (or lampstand) shine their light brightly, giving us the only source of illumination in the Holy Place. Why is the seven-branched candlestick the only source of light in the Holy Place?
Let's turn to Revelation 21:23.
- According to this verse, did the holy city (New Jerusalem - Revelation 21:2) need light from the sun or moon?
- Answer (highlight to read): No
- According to this verse, what was the source of light for the holy city?
- Answer: The Lamb
Let's turn to John 1:9.
- According to this verse, what is Jesus referred as?
- Answer: Jesus is referred as the true Light that gives light to everyone.
The seven-branched candlestick pointed us to Jesus, who is the true Light and the lamp of Life.
Let's take a look into how the lampstand was made. Let's turn to Exodus 25:31-40.
- According to these verses, what material was used and how much of it was used to make the lampstand?
- Answer: A talent (~75 pounds) of gold
- According to these verses, how was the lampstand made?
- Answer: It was one piece hammered into shape.
- According to these verses, what are the bowls of the lampstand made to look like?
- Answer: Almond blossoms
- According to these verses, how many branches branched out of the main shaft?
- Answer: Six
There is quite a bit of spiritual truth we can learn from the design and making of the lampstand. For example, what is the significance behind the fact that the lampstand was hammered into shape, rather than being made from a mold? Let's turn to Exodus 32:4; Isaiah 1:25-26; Jeremiah 23:29; Philippians 1;6; and Romans 12:1-2.
- According to these verses, what does the Bible teach us about our relationship with the world?
- Answer: We should not be conformed (molded) to the world, but we should allow ourselves to be transformed by the re-lighting of our minds to follow God in faith.
God has a work He wants to do in our lives. He uses the Word as His hammer to strike down our pride, smooth out our flaws, so that we can be a presentable work that glorifies Him. We must not follow the molding of the world, but daily re-commit ourselves to Jesus Christ and let His light shine through us as his chosen vessels.
The lampstand was made with exactly one talent of gold. Does this remind you of a parable in the New Testament? Let's turn to Matthew 25:14-18.
- According to these verses, what did the servant do with the talent that was given him?
- Answer: He hid it in the ground.
The lampstand is a silent witness to us that while we may have only one talent and we do not think we can do anything with it, that talent can be transformed into something beautiful with the power of the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 3:14, 22)!
Note that the lampstand had six branches coming out from the central shaft, but they are never spoken of in the plural (Exodus 25:31; 37:17). Although the lampstand has seven separate flames, it gives off one light.
Let's turn to Proverbs 20:27; Matthew 5:14; and Revelation 1:20.
- According to these verses, what did Jesus call us to be?
- Answer: Jesus called us to be the light of the world.
We are all individual flames, but we all united in shining the same light - the light of Jesus.
At this time, let's consider the ornamental almond blossoms on the lampstand. What could be there significance? Let's turn to Numbers 17:1-8.
- According to these verses, what happened to Aaron's rod?
- Answer: It budded blossoms and ripe almonds.
The almond blossoms speak to us of the resurrection. Aaron's rod was a dead stick, yet a miracle occurred and almond blossoms budded off of it. Jesus Christ lay dead in a tomb 2000 years ago, but was resurrected to glory. Just as Aaron's priestly ministry was validated by the blossoming of his rod, Jesus' priestly ministry to minister to God on behalf of mankind was validated by His resurrection.
Let's turn to Exodus 27:20-21 and Levitcus 24:2-3.
- According to these verses, what was used to light the lampstand?
- Answer: Olive oil
- According to these verses, how long was the lampstand to be lighted?
- Answer: The lampstand was to stay lit continually.
The olive oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:11-14). Through His power, we are to be vessels to continually shine the light of Christ in our lives.
Friend, we can learn a lot more from the seven-branched candlestick, but it is time to close our lesson. Let us turn to John 8:12. You may know that Jesus said that He is the light of the world, but have you really considered what He means? Jesus made three bold claims with that one simple statement:
- Jesus is God (John 8:58; 1 John 1:1)
- Jesus' mission on earth was to guide people to Truth (John 8:31-32)
- Jesus came to bring light to people living in the darkness (John 3:19-21)