The Tabernacle of Moses – God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part II: The Holy Place – Golden Lampstand
The Tabernacle was a tent located within the Outer Court. It was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 feet high. Four curtains serve as the roof and walls of the tabernacle. The innermost curtain is made of fine linen. Four curtains serve as the roof and outer covering of the walls of the tabernacle:
(2) (Model of the Tabernacle)
- The innermost curtain is made of fine linen (represents Jesus has become our righteousness)
- This is covered by a curtain of black goat’s hair (Jesus became our sin – our scapegoat)
- Then a curtain of ram’s skin that has been dyed red (Jesus shed His blood for our Sin – our substitute)
- The outermost curtain is made from the skin of a marine animal (perhaps a Dolphin) and serves to protect the tabernacle from the harsh desert climate (Jesus our provision for all needs, including protection)
These curtains prevented any natural light from entering the Holy Place. Furthermore, only the priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place. Remember, all Christians are called to be priests unto God serving under the Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:6. Hebrews 2:17). Two rooms are contained within the Tabernacle: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (aka, the Holy of Holies).
THE HOLY PLACE
The Holy Place represents the SOUL of man. The soul (1) of man consists of our mind, emotions, and will. It is the first room entered and is 30 feet by 15 feet. It contains three pieces of furniture that are attended to by the priests daily: the Golden Lampstand, the Table of Showbread, and the Golden Altar of Incense. These three pieces of furniture represent three phases of growth in the lives of a Holy Spirit-led Christian. This room is only entered by Christians that have laid down their lives to God at the Bronze Altar and have rid themselves of a lifestyle of sinful desires (1) (not that they never sin but rather they do not live to sin 1 John 1:8. 1 John 3:6) by the cleansing of the Word of God at the Bronze Laver (i.e., they are Phase I Christians (1)).
Recall, in the Outer Court, the natural illumination of the Sun represented man’s natural ability to understand God. This is where all Christians begin after having accepted the Lord Jesus by faith alone. Flesh or carnal Christians are those that remain in the Outer Court, living like natural men, with little discernible difference between them and the world (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Consequently, they do not believe it is possible to understand the ways of God and live a life devoid of God’s character and power (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). They are full of self: self-pity, selfishness, self-seeking, self-interests, self-motivated, etc. A Christian in this condition cannot understand deeper spiritual truths (1 Corinthians 3:2. Hebrews 5:12-14).
Again, the lost people of the world that have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord will have entered the Outer Court via the narrow gate called “The Way” (Matthew 7:13,14). There they were to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and die to self at the Bronze Altar (Matt 16:24,25) then start the process of removing sinful desires from their lives at the Bronze Laver (John 17:17. 2 Peter 1:4). Once they have laid down their life and chosen to give up a lifestyle of sinful desires, then they will gain entrance to the Holy Place via the door called “The Truth.” That is, Christians that DO choose a selfless life will enter into their calling to be Priests unto God (Revelation 1:6) and will be ushered into the Holy Place. The Bible calls the Christians that enter here spiritual men juxtaposed to men of flesh (i.e., the Christians that remain in the outer court) (1 Corinthians 3:1-3. Hebrews 5:12-14).
THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND
As we enter the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of Moses, we see on our left along the Southside of the tabernacle stands a lampstand (1) (aka, Menorah) formed out of one piece of pure beaten gold (1). Therefore, it is the only piece of furniture in the Tabernacle that is solid gold. The pure gold represents the holiness of God who is Lord. It consists of an upright shaft with three branches extending from each side with a lamp atop each branch (Exodus 25:31-40). These lamps provide the only light in the Holy Place and burn continuously with pure olive oil supplied by the priests morning and evening (Exodus 27:20).
The central shaft and branches are decorated with golden bowls or cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms (Exodus 37:17-24). The one central shaft represents God who is one (Deuteronomy 6:4. Mark 12:29) and who is the vine (John 15:1). And then, coming out on either side are three branches on one side and three branches on the other side representing the church composed of Jew and Gentile Christians, totaling six which is the number of mankind (John 15:5). Also pictured is man and God in perfect union and when you have man and God together, the combination of the human and Divine (six plus one), you have seven, which is the number for perfection.
The knops, the bowls, and the flowers speak of the bud, the flower, and the fruit that grows on a branch and a very special kind of fruit: almonds. In the Near East, the almond tree is called the “wakeful tree,” or, “the tree that awakens first.” The almond tree blossoms very early in the season flowering as early as January in Israel. The flowers are of a pinkish color and are produced before the leaves making them very conspicuous. (4)
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:11,12 ESV)
This hastening of the period of flowering of almonds also represents God watching over His word to perform it.
So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a staff, one for each leader, according to their tribes—twelve staffs; the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. Then Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony. On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony—and the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! (Numbers 17:6–8 NET)
Aaron had a staff or rod that he used in the desert to strike at snakes, herd the sheep, lean upon which was simply dead wood. However, after being before the Lord, now there are leaves, buds, flowers, and fruit! All of this is a type, a picture, of life out of death. That is, it typifies, it pictures, resurrection. In the Golden Lamp Stand (Menorah), we see the same thing. We see the bud, the flower, and the fruit. It speaks to us of Christ, our life. It speaks of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! (4)
Jesus is the one who gives life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. (John 10:10 NET)
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4–5 ESV)
The life of Jesus is the light for mankind.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5 NET)
Jesus also said,
You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14–16 NET)
Now, how do we become the light of the world? I am so glad you asked! We stay attached to Jesus, who is the light of the world. It is straightforward, “I am the light of the world.” “You are the light of the world.” Why? Because the Golden Lamp Stand was of one solid piece of gold. Only as these six branches, representing Jew and Gentile Christians, abide in that central branch could they bear forth the light. Again, the seven lamps provided the only light in the Holy Place and burn continuously with pure olive oil (1) given by the Israelites (Exodus 27:20) and re-supplied to the Menora by the priests morning and evening. This pure oil represents the Holy Spirit.
Typological Meaning of Olive Oil in the Anointing
Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. Next he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times and so anointed the altar, all its vessels, and the wash basin and its stand to consecrate them. He then poured some of the anointing oil on the head of Aaron and anointed him to consecrate him. (Leviticus 8:10–12 NET)
Aaron the high priest, when he was sanctified, getting ready to be a high priest, had olive oil poured on his head. That pictures the Holy Spirit being poured out upon Aaron the high priest. Furthermore, it pictured more than the Holy Spirit being poured out upon Aaron the high priest, for it symbolized the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the Lord Jesus Christ and upon the Church. That is, the anointing oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the pure oil energizing the head of the Church, Jesus Christ, and the body of the church composed of Jew and Gentile Christians. (4)
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.” (Luke 3:21–22 NET)
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing.” (Hebrews 1:9 NET)
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, (Luke 4:1 NET)
”So when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until a more opportune time. Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all. (Luke 4:13 NET)
Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:16–19 NET)
with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38 NET)
This is the way that Jesus Christ did His work: in the power of the Holy Spirit. And what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful lesson it is for us, that the very same power that Jesus Christ used in His life is available to all Christians! And the very thing that caused Jesus to be a bright and shining light, and caused Jesus to be the light of the world, causes us to be the light of the world. Hallelujah!
Furthermore, the branches abiding in that central shaft that produce light are covered with buds and flowers, and fruit. That is, just as we abide in Him, and we bear light, when we abide in Him, we bear fruit.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 ESV)
Jesus also said,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me - and I in him - bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. (John 15:5 NET)
And that is all: that is the only business we have in the world is to bear light and to bear fruit. We are not generators producing light. We just bear light – that is all. And we are not the vine; we are just the branch. We don’t produce the fruit; we just bear the fruit. (1) And so there is only one thing necessary for us to do – and that is to abide in Jesus. Jesus is our Lord, our Life, and our Light! (4)
On the Day of Pentecost (1), when the Holy Spirit (1) was poured out, there sat upon every man’s head what? Cloven tongues of fire. You see, the Lord, when He poured out the oil, He lit the fire (Matthew 3:11). That is what it is all about, that we are to be the light of the world. We are those six branches, now unified with that one central branch, making perfection. And so all you have to do, dear hearts is to abide and shine; all you have to do is abide and bear fruit. You never saw a lamp trying to burn; it just burns. You never saw a branch trying to bear fruit; it just bears fruit, when it abides in the vine. Jesus said, “You abide in me, and I in you, and then you’re going to bring forth much fruit” (John 15:5). (4)
If this had been a candle, the candle will burn itself out in a while. And the candle gives of its own waxy substance, but the lampstand burns the oil. Is it not time we started burning the oil and stop trying to be a candle? You see, you will not make nearly as much smoke, and you will burn a lot longer. What a beautiful fire it will be when you stop burning the wick and start burning the oil! Again, the oil is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. (4)
The Golden Lampstand is also symbolic of the illumination of our MIND by God. Therefore, the message for us today is that we must have the illumination of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit in order to approach God in deeper intimacy (that is to enter the Holy of Holies – the Most Holy Place). What the Holy Spirit illuminates us with is the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ – He is the WORD (John 1:1) and Jesus is the true LIGHT! (John 8:12. John 12:46. John 1:4. John 1:9. 2 Corinthians 4:6. 1 Timothy 6:15,16). We begin the process of being transformed into Christ-likeness by the renewing of our minds via the Word of God (Romans 12:2). That is, we attain the mind of Christ! (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
The Golden Lampstand also symbolically represents the time in our spiritual journey when the Holy Spirit, who has been within us (1) since the New Birth, comes upon us (1) (i.e., He anoints us). We then begin to demonstrate the power of God through prayer in undoing the plans of the enemy and receiving God’s blessings. We discover the gifts of the Spirit operating in our life with the result that we experience the “all things are possible” of the Bible (Philippians 4:13. John 14:12). Others take notice and come to us for prayer; they are amazed at the anointing in our teaching and/or preaching, our boldness in the faith, etc. We have become a Phase II Christian (1) (i.e., experiencing the power of Jesus’ resurrection – Philippians 3:10).
Unfortunately, in this phase, we might think that God has given us His power to fulfill our plans! Furthermore, we might think that God’s power and our ability combined make a good team (i.e., we think God is fortunate to have us on His team). Therefore, God does not leave those that begin to operate in the power of the Gospel in this phase for too long. We must learn that it is God alone! (1 Timothy 1:17). This lesson will start to be learned at the Table of Showbread.
The Tabernacle of Moses Series:
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part I: The Outer Court
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part II: The Holy Place – Golden Lampstand
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part III: The Holy Place – Table of Showbread
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part IV: The Holy Place – Golden Altar of Incense
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part V: The Most Holy Place
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part VI: The Priestly Garments
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part VII: Our Great High Priest
- God’s Heavenly Pattern for our Spiritual Transformation – Part VIII: The Women of the Tabernacle
Sacrifices and Offerings of the Old Covenant Series:
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – Introduction
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Burnt Offering
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Meal Offering
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Peace Offering
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Sin Offering
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Trespass Offering
- The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Red Heifer Offering
(Security, Wholeness, Success)
Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. (3 John 1:2 NET)
(1) Select the link to open another article in a new tab with additional information.
(2) The model of the Tabernacle housed at Glencairn Museum is remarkable for several reasons. It was built over a ten-year period, beginning in 1921, and was designed to be part of an educational program for the children at Bryn Athyn Church School. it was crafted with extraordinary reverence through the efforts of an entire school of little children (Luke 18:16,17). First, the children were prepared with a yearlong series of special worship services, during which they learned about the Tabernacle’s structure and significance. At these services, the children were asked to bring one piece of precious jewelry each, as a donation from their families to help fund the project. The process was intended to reenact the donations given by the Israelite families for the original Tabernacle (Exodus 35:20-29). Children in all eight grades worked on the project and, because it took a total of ten years to complete, many of the children participated over the span of their education. While the children worked hard at making various parts of the Tabernacle model, it is clear that teachers or hired professional craftsmen created much of the final product. The gold lampstand and other metalwork, for instance, were created by an expert goldsmith under the supervision of Fred J. Cooper. Thorsten Sigstedt, a sculptor, carved the figures of the priests and Levites. And the curtains woven with cherubim had to be made by an altar-cloth company in Stockholm, as theirs was the only loom that could weave with real gold thread.
(3) Balfour, J. H. (1885). The Plants of the Bible (p. 11). London; Edinburgh; New York: T. Nelson and Sons.
(4) Rogers, A. (2017). Study of the Tabernacle #5. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Ex 25:31–37). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.
Your analogy of the tabernacle and the Christian life is "spot on!" I'm looking forward to the next segment. God bless!
Your description of the Tabernacle is incredibly enlightening and wonderful to read…like the reader above I cannot wait for the next installment.