Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
As we consider the various types related to the tabernacle, we shall pay more attention to the aspect of experience than to the aspect of doctrine. In the past many books have been written on the furniture of the tabernacle. For the most part, these books concentrate on doctrine. Reading these expositions of the tabernacle does not afford much help on the experiential side. Throughout the years I have learned that these types are not only for doctrine, but also for our experience. Furthermore, this experience should not be general Christian experience. Rather, it must be the experience of Christ.
The title of this message is “The Lampstand—Growing, Branching, Budding, and Blossoming to Shine the Light.” Here we have six matters: growing, branching, budding, blossoming, shining, and light. In order to have the shining of the light, we must first have the growing, the branching, the budding, and the blossoming. Only when we reach the last step, the step of blossoming, can there be the shining, for we shine by blossoming. We blossom in order to shine. Then the light, of course, comes out from the shining.
The lampstand portrays Christ. However, the Christ pictured by the lampstand is not simple; He is the all-inclusive Christ. We may even say that, in a positive sense, He is a complicated Christ. This Christ is portrayed by a lampstand with one stalk, six branches, and seven lamps.
In the foregoing message we pointed out that the lampstand is actually a tree; hence, it is a tree-stand. On this golden tree we have the calyxes (the knobs), the buds, and the blossoms. Only something organic and living is able to bud and blossom. Thus, as we consider the lampstand with its branches, calyxes, buds, and blossoms, we have the definite impression that this golden lampstand is a tree.
Verse 35 is written in a very unusual way: “And a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, for the six branches going out from the lampstand.” The repetition in this verse related to the knobs and the branches indicates growth. Hence, the central stalk of the lampstand is something living and growing. As the stalk grows, the branches grow also. First, two branches grow out of the lower part of the stalk. Then as the stalk continues to grow, two more pairs of branches grow out, one pair out of the middle section and another pair out of the upper section of the stalk. Furthermore, knobs, buds, and blossoms appear on all the branches. With the full growth we eventually have the budding and the blossoming to produce flowers. The buds produce petals, and the petals are parts of the blossom. First we have the growing, then the budding, and finally the blossoming. This blossoming produces the shining of the light. For this reason, in this message we speak of growing, branching, budding, and blossoming to shine the light. The branching is implied in the growing. The shining of the light is the issue of the four steps of growing, branching, budding, and blossoming.
On the lampstand there is a total of twenty-five knobs, or calyxes. There are three knobs under the pairs of branches, one knob under each pair; three on each of the six branches; and four on the upper part of the stalk, making a total of twenty-five. The number twenty-five is composed of five times five. In the Bible five is the number of responsibility. This can be illustrated by our hand with its four fingers and thumb. The number five in the Bible is composed not of two plus three, but of four plus one. The number four signifies the creature, the creation, and the number one signifies God the Creator. Furthermore, the fact that five is the number of responsibility is indicated by the dividing of the ten virgins into two groups of five, five wise and five foolish, and the engraving of the Ten Commandments in two groups of five on two tablets of stone. The twenty-five knobs indicate five times the number of responsibility.
Although there are twenty-five knobs, there are only twenty-two buds, for the three knobs holding the three pairs of branches do not have any buds. That there are twenty-five knobs for responsibility and only twenty-two buds for blossoming and shining indicates that with the lampstand the matter of responsibility for growth is greater than the matter of budding, blossoming, and shining. This means that growth is basic. It shows that we need more growth, even growth multiplied twenty-five times.
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