I.B.1 Lamp-Stand as a Type Associated with Restoration

Part I  –  The Lamp-Stand Model

SUBPART B –  PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION

Article 1 –  LAMP-STAND AS A TYPE ASSOCIATED WITH RESTORATION

In the previous subpart we assembled the model of the Lamp-stand based upon a comparison of the redemptive-types presented in the Mosaic feast days with the witnesses of heaven and earth that are alluded-to in John’s first epistle.  Having assembled the model we can now examine it as to its various relational-aspects.  As we do, we find that a theological-system is implied.

The prophecy of Zechariah begins with a series of visions that includes an allusion to the Mosaic lamp-stand.  Zechariah’s vision of the golden lamp-stand occurs within the context of the return of God’s people from their captivity in Babylon.  Therefore we should consider what God is saying through this symbol.

& the angel that talked with me came again,& waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.                                                    Zech.  4:1

Sleep is not a positive gospel metaphor.  Sleep denotes unawareness to spiritual things, the prolonging therein being associated with sin and with death.[1]

For this reason it says, “Awake sleeper, & arise from the dead, & Christ will shine on you.”                                                                       Eph. 5:14

However, despite this very negative gospel allegory, sleep would seem a fact-of-life (if not a necessary aspect) of the kingdom of God.  This is suggested to us by the Lord’s parable of the ten virgins:

“Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy & began to sleep.”                                                                                      Matt. 25:5

as well as His parable of the growing seed:

“So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;  & should sleep, & rise night & day; & the seed should spring & grow up;  he knoweth not how.”     Mark 4:26-27

 That believers will experience a time of spiritual sleep is also indicated by the writings of the apostles:

For just as you were once disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.

For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.                                                                                     Rom. 11:30-32

The Gospel observes that there is a time when men are given to sin and death in order that mercy may be shown to them.  Therefore when the prophet is roused “as a man who is awakened from his sleep” we gather that this refers to one being awakened to spiritual things after formerly existing in sin and death under the spirit of the Law.[2]

Being thus awakened (a spiritual metaphor) spiritual things may be apprehended.  Thus the prophecy of verse six; “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’, says the Lord of hosts.”   After awakening the prophet, the angel asks him if he knows what he is looking at:

& said unto me, “What seest thou?”  & I said, “I have looked, & behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, & seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:       Zec 4:2

The prophecy uses the same Hebrew word translated in the KJV as “candlestick” that is used in Exodus [3] in reference to the lamp-stand of the Mosaic tabernacle.   The lamp-stand was taken into Babylon at the time that nation overthrew Jerusalem.[4]  Therefore at the time the prophet is awoken, there was no lamp-stand present in Jerusalem.  After the prophet recognizes he is looking at a golden Lamp-stand, the angel asks a second question:

Then the angel that talked with me answered & said unto me, “Knowest thou not what these be”? And I said, “No, my lord”.                                                Zech. 4:5

This is a repeated occurrence in the prophecy of Zechariah wherein the angel prolongs the intrigue by not immediately-providing Zechariah with the meaning behind the symbols-presented.  There is an odd exchange between the prophet and the angel as if the angel is astonished that the prophet requires explanation of the symbolism.  However, when one considers the position that Zechariah held, the angel’s surprise at his ignorance as to the symbolism of the lamp-stand becomes understandable.  Zechariah was a rare prophet who (with Ezekiel) held the office of priest, one particular duty of which, was to minister to the lamp-stand in the holy place.  For Zechariah to express unawareness of the symbolism behind the lamp-stand considering his role as both prophet and priest, would seem remarkable.  This was a cause for marveling from the divine-agency; and just-so, the inability of Israel’s leaders to discern the things of the Spirit of God was a marvel to the Lord during His ministry:

Nicodemus answered & said unto him, “How can these things be?”  Jesus answered & said unto him, “Art thou a master of Israel, & knowest not these things?                                                                       John 3:9-10

Nicodemas was a “master” of Israel, and yet had little grasp of the things of the Spirit of God!  The Lord therefore has Nicodemas pause upon this very thought, ie. the fact that as a leader in Israel he sits atop all learning of the things God’s law and yet he does not know the basics of the work of God.  But how will he know?    Presumably, through the new birth.  For the things of the Spirit of God are accessible only to the Son of God.[5]  How is the new birth to come about?  The answer is:

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” saith the Lord of Hosts.                                                                            Zech. 4:6

Oddly, this well-known prophetic proclamation seems to present “power” as a principle inconsistent with the Spirit of God.  But the Gospel clearly presents the Holy Spirit as an agency of “power”.[6]  In considering what is meant by the “power” of the Holy Spirit we might look to the Lord’s words of assurance to the disciples on the eve of His crucifixion:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.           John 16:33

Why is this statement a strong word of consolation?  Jesus is telling His disciples that He has overcome the world.  Did He overcome the world by “pulling rank” on the adversary by His authority as the Son of God?  No.  Did He overcome the world by overwhelming force or a display of power?  No.  Quite the opposite!  How did Jesus “overcome the world”?  He overcame the world by obedience to His Father in all things, including death on the cross:

. . who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, & being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.                                                                                      Phil 2:6-8

If the Lord exercised any power during His time on the earth, this is the form it took!  Therefore, when Jesus gives us His Spirit, what does that mean?  This means that we share in that same mind and that same spirit in which He walked.  Therefore, just before Paul declares the Lord’s mighty works, what does he tell the Philippians, but “be of the same mind”.[7]  He tell us to; “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”[8]  How is this accomplished?  It is accomplished through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Consider why the disciples should take hope and encouragement in the fact that Christ had overcome the world.  They have just received a discourse on the fact that they would receive the Comforter and what His purposes would be in them once He was received!  What are the  purposes of the Comforter?  This is important to know, because when He begins to proceed upon those purposes we must understand (at least in the general sense) where He is going.  He will move in one or more of three identified areas; Sin, Righteousness, and/or Judgment.

Pentecost stands singular and center as that intermediary-agency between Christ and His ChurchPentecost is universally accepted as a reference to the Spirit of God, and so represents the effectuating power of the Holy Ghost. The prophet declares;  “’Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says the Lord of Hosts”. – Zech. 4:6.  Further, when Paul commonly refers to any act of God effectuated towards the believer, the term “by the spirit” is commonly employed.  Thus Pentecost stands between the two groups of feasts as the effectuating agency between Christ and His body.  Absent this effectual-agent, the temple of God lies in ruin.  With this effectual-agent the temple of God is built-up.  Therefore the angel presents the prophet Zechariah with a vision of the Lamp-stand as signifying the return of God’s effectual-agency to restore the temple at Jerusalem.

In the following subparts we will consider how the model generally interacts with itself and whether the inferences that seem to arise by the relational aspects of the model are in harmony with the apostolic teaching so as to identify the lamp-stand as a key resource in the restoration of apostolic doctrine.

[1] e.g.   I Thessalonians 5:6  So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert & sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night & those who drunk get drunk at night.                                         

[2] Romans 7:14  “For we know that the Law is spiritual”

[3] Exodus 25:31-35, 26:35, 30:27, 31:8, 35:14, 37:17-20, 39:37, 40:4, 40:24,  Leviticus 24:4, Numbers 8:2-4

[4] Jeremiah 52:19

[5] I Corinthians 1:30, 2:11-13, Ephesians 3:5,

[6] Acts 1:8, 10:38, Romans 15:13, I Thessalonians 1:5

[7] Philippians 2:2

[8] Philippians 2:5

Advertisements

About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
This entry was posted in 1B. PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION (Lamp-Stand Model) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s