THE CHURCH IN THE CANDLESTICK
Revelation 1:12-13 KJVR: (12) And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; (13) and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Revelation 1:20 KJVR: The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Here we see the Lord Jesus appearing to the Apostle John in an open vision, and in the middle of seven golden candlesticks, He saw the Lord Jesus who told him what the 7 golden candlesticks symbolized: the 7 churches in Asia.
So the candlestick symbolizes the church.
Now the candlestick, called in Hebrew the Menorah meaning the ‘light bearer’, is described to us in:
Exodus 25:31-37 MKJV: and you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of beaten work; its shaft, and its branches, its cups, its knobs, and its blossoms, shall be from it. (32) And six branches shall come out of the sides of it– three branches of the lampstand out of the one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. (33) Three almond-like cups on the one branch, with knob and blossom; and three almond-like cups on the one branch, with knob and blossom, so for the six branches, those going out of the lampstand. (34) And in the lampstand shall be four almond-like cups, with their knobs and their blossoms; (35) and a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, according to the six branches, those going out of the lampstand. (36) Their knobs and their branches shall be of it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold. (37) And you shall make the seven lamps of it. And one shall light the lamps of it, so that they may give light on its face.
Click here to see a picture of the candlestick.
The candlestick was made out of one piece of beaten gold with a central stem and six branches: three coming out of each side of the central stem.
We see another description of the candlestick in
Zechariah 4:2-3 MKJV: and he said to me, What do you see? And I said, I see, and behold, a lampstand, all of it gold, and a bowl on its top, and its seven lamps on it, and seven pipes to the seven lamps on its top; (3) and two olive trees beside it, one on the right of the bowl, and the other on the left of it.
Zechariah 4:11-14 MKJV: and I answered and said to him, what are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left? (12) And I answered again and said to him, what are the two olive clusters beside the two golden pipes, emptying the golden oil from themselves? (13) And he answered me and said, do you not know what these are? And I said, No, my lord. (14) And he said, these are the two sons of fresh oil who stand by Jehovah of the whole earth.
When we put these two descriptions of the candlestick together, we get an understanding of how the candlestick represents the church spiritually and functionally both individually and collectively.
Individually, the candlestick represents the individual Christian who, like the Lord Jesus had, has the 7 spirits of God operating in and through him on a daily basis:
Isaiah 11:2 ESV: and the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
The spirit of the Lord here speaks of the spirit of love since God is love (1 Jn. 4:8), then we have the spirits of: the fear of God, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel and might; so making the 7 spirits of God or the 7 attributes of the Spirit of God.
Every Christian by daily prayer for the life of God (the oil in the candlestick) should pray for these 7 spirits to be operating in and through them.
This is the spiritual substance and reality of what the Old Testament priests did on a daily basis when they went into the Holy Place of the temple to put oil and trim the lamps of the candlestick to make sure the lamps were burning properly producing light for the priests to be able to see and eat of the shew bread, which is symbolic of the Word of God (Jn. 6.35, Mt. 4:4) which we ‘eat’ spiritually by ‘seeing’ it by revelation (2 Cor. 4:6).
Collectively the candlestick represents the corporate church in a geographical region (not local or denominational churches): God sees the church as a spiritual body of the spirits of born-again Christians joined together and not as local man-made denominational assemblies.
In this corporate regional body of Christians, we will have bishops, deacons and saints (Phil. 1:1) who as individual candlesticks (as shown above) are producing light. The bishops or spiritual overseers have developing 5-fold ministry anointings (apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor and evangelist Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28-30) operating in and through them bringing the light of God’s Word (Ps. 119:130) and in addition to the deacons and saints they make up the 7 branches of the candlestick that are bringing light to the geographical region the church is placed in.
See the candlestick illustration showing the individual and corporate church by clicking on this link.
The two olive trees described in Zechariah represent developed apostolic and prophetic ministries that are used by God through covering by intercessory prayer (emptying the golden oil out of themselves) to supply oil or anointing from God to the developing 5 fold ministries, deacons and saints.
1 Corinthians 5:4 ESV: when you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
Ephesians 2:19-20 ESV: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
God’s plan is for there to be functioning candlesticks that are giving very bright light in and to every ‘ethnos’: tribe and tongue.
Next week, we will see how the candlesticks individually and collectively are to function optimally.