In the construction of the wilderness tabernacle God told Moses to command the people to provide the oil for the Lampstand which was placed inside The Holy Place.
Thank you for joining us today in this ongoing, chronological bible study called COME AS A CHILD. Today’s scripture reference can be found in Exodus 28:20-21.
THE PEOPLE BROUGHT THE OLIVE OIL
“Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. In the tent of meeting outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the LORD from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.”
MOSES WAS IMPLEMENTING AN ORDINANCE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME
Did you catch that last line and the ending words of the instructions God gave to Moses?
This act of the High Priest and his sons keeping the oil burning inside the Lampstand was of great significance and importance to God; so important that He commanded that it be an ordinance for the generations to come.
Why do you think this was so very important to God? I can give you many reasons.
GOD WAS PREPARING HIS PEOPLE TO RECEIVE HIS HOLY SPIRIT
I believe that God was implementing a process to prepare for the guidance of His Holy Spirit even back in the days of the wilderness tabernacle.
Even before the day of Pentecost had fully come, God was preparing the people to receive The Holy Spirit. God never does anything unless He first prepares and equips His people to be able to move and function in the thing that He is doing.
Everything that happened with the olive oil was a type and shadow for teaching us how to live as God’s children with God’s Holy Spirit functioning within us. This olive oil for the lampstand was important in providing the light for the tabernacle. It was so symbolic of the work of The Holy Spirit among God’s people.
SYMBOLIC OF PURITY OF HEART
The fire that is created by the pure olive oil in the lampstand is symbolic of a heart of purity.
Matthew 3:11 says: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
This was John The Baptist speaking of Jesus.
The things that Jesus did for us made it possible for us to be baptized with The Holy Spirit. Just as water cleanses our bodies (symbolized by baptism) God’s Holy Spirit cleanses our spirits.
THE OIL OF THE SOUL
God’s Holy Spirit living within us becomes the oil of our soul.
The lampstand was filled with pure olive oil. The fire and the light were formed from this clear, pure oil.
FIRE AND LIGHT
From one oil comes two things: fire and light. They are diametrically opposite from one another; yet when they work together they are useful for service.
The light comes from the fire and it illumines the room and shows a person how to move and how to relate to what is before them on a path.
FIRE HAS MANY USEFUL ABILITIES
Fire is very good and useful for the provision of light. It is also good for providing warmth needed to sustain life in very cold climates. Though the desert was hot in the daytime; it could drop to freezing in the nighttime.
Fire is also useful for the proper consumption of food. The fire removes the elements of disease from the meat or vegetables that it heats.
So it was that fire was used in the wilderness tabernacle for roasting the sacrifices, for maintaining warmth at night, and for light to see the path before them both in their travels and inside the tent of meeting.
The Lampstand in the Holy Place provided all of the light for the priests as they went about their service. They would not be able to perform the functions needed for worship in the tabernacle without the light from the Lampstand.
The people would not be able to move around the desert at night without the light from the Pillar Of Fire that directed them.
If fire is used for something other than providing light, nourishment or warmth; it must become destructive and burn and destroy. This destructive type of fire will burn up whatever it comes in contact with.
When not being used to provide light, food or warmth, one of the most useful characteristics of fire is its ability to destroy whatever is not useful; or whatever is not good for promoting life and well-being.
BAPTISM IS PREPARATION FOR LIFE-GIVING FIRE
Water baptism, as mentioned in the above scripture reference, is simply a preparation for a greater baptism of fire. This is the life-giving fire that provides light, warmth and nourishment which illuminates the way to God’s Kingdom.
THE DUTY OF A DISCIPLE FOLLOWING CHRIST IS TO BECOME A SERVANT OF THE LIGHT THAT GIVES LIFE
Aaron and The Sons of Aaron tended to the things of the tabernacle and kept them in the proper order; just as one who follows Christ today might work in the service of their local congregation to help keep the place of worship among God’s people of this time in order.
Some might erroneously refer to this position as “leadership” but in reality is it more a type of “servanthood.” The Leader would be Christ, which the Lampstand of the wilderness tabernacle is symbolizing. The servants of Christ follow the life-giving light, which comes from the burning of the pure clean olive oil that is symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit.
JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS A SERVANT OF THE LIGHT
Another interesting note pertaining to the scripture passage of Matthew 3:11 is that the word “after” used in its Hebraic meaning translates to mean “one who is a follower or a disciple.”
In the times of John the Baptist, a disciple of a Rabbi would be expected to perform menial chores for the Rabbi.
In that day people’s shoes (usually sandals) would get very dirty. They walked everywhere and did not have the transportation we have today. They would often be stepping in the dung of the animals that also traveled down the same roads they traveled. For this reason, shoes (sandals) were considered unclean. Someone had the dirty job of cleaning those traveling shoes. When they touched the unclean shoes; they too would become unclean.
Even though a disciple would do the menial tasks for his Rabbi; he would not even consider dealing with cleaning the Rabbi’s shoes. This was a nasty task that was given only to the lowest of the lowest of the servants.
This is how John The Baptist compared himself to Jesus, as the lowest of the lowest servant; not even worthy to clean his shoes after a long day of traveling the roads of the countryside.
ALL FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST ARE SERVANTS OF THE LIGHT
If this is how John The Baptist measured up; where do you think we stand before God on the spectrum?
Yep; that would be us; lower than the lowest of the lowest of the lowest servants. We are all so very unworthy; and that is why we need the pure olive oil of God’s Holy Spirit to clean and maintain our spirits and shed light on our souls.
GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT IS A CONSUMING FIRE
When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found at Qumran close to the area where John The Baptist was known to preach and teach; this reference of “fire” in relation to The Holy Spirit was finally confirmed. These scrolls clarified that God’s Holy Spirit did have an actual Hebraic reference, even before the day of Pentecost had fully come.
Even back in those ancient days people following God understood the concept of the cleansing fire; the fire that burned up the bad and left only the good.
ARE THERE TWO BAPTISMS?
People also wondered about the references to two baptisms in the scripture passages.
Why would there be a baptism of The Holy Spirit AND a baptism of fire?
What was the fire all about?
This is something that many have pondered over the generations. The baptism of The Holy Spirit is a great blessing; but the baptism of fire mentioned here appears to be a promise of judgment.
WITH THE GIVING OF GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT COMES A PROMISE OF JUDGMENT
You will either accept God’s Holy Spirit and let it do God’s work within your life; or you will reject it. Remaining neutral is the same as rejecting. If I stood at your door and knocked loudly for hours on end and you were on the other side listening to my knocks; it would be as if you rejected me when you did not answer the door.
Many people chose to ignore the knocking of God’s Holy Spirit on the door of their hearts. They chose to put off answering for another day; but in essence; they are choosing to reject God.
Those who reject God’s Holy Spirit will be judged by God.
The true fulfillment of this verse will come when Christ returns. Those who are living in The Holy Spirit of God will receive a crown of life. Those who are not; yet have heard the Gospel message and have been called upon to submit to it yet rejected it; will go with the rest of the incorrigible wicked into a fiery judgment.
THE SIFTING OF THE WHEAT AND THE CHAFF
The next verse of the same Matthew 3 passage clarifies this:
Matthew 3:12: His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
SYMBOLISM OF A DAY OF JUDGMENT
The day of Christ’s return is imminent; and the day of judgment for those who do not love the ways of God are fast approaching. The days of the wilderness tabernacle were a living symbolic story of this truth.
God called on Moses to instruct Aaron and his sons in the maintaining of the olive oil for the Lampstand which was standing in the Holy Place.
THE LAMPSTAND IS SYMBOLIC OF CHRIST
We have noted many times in the past that the Lampstand is symbolic of Christ. The pure olive oil is symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit which Aaron as High Priest of Israel would pour into the top of the Lampstand.
The oil would pour down and be distributed out to the many branches of the Menorah (symbolic of God’s churches who are filled with God’s Holy Spirit on the earth) and then the light (symbolic of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) would be formed from all of this process and it would shine out upon the people serving in The Holy Place.
GOD’S PEOPLE BRING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO EARTH AND PASS IT ON
Note where God told Moses to get the pure olive oil.
The olive oil for use in the wilderness tabernacle was to be taken from among the people.
It is God’s people doing God’s will that brings God’s Holy Spirit into the various places of worship on this earth. Without this ever-burning flame of God’s Holy Spirit working within their hearts; there could be no gospel message to take to the world.
THE LIGHT MUST SHINE; IT CANNOT BE HIDDEN
God’s people have a very important place in the whole process of bringing the Light of Christ to the world.
Without the people bringing the pure olive oil to Moses to give to Aaron and his sons to pour into the Menorah in The Holy Place; nothing more would have ever happened in the wilderness tabernacle, because there would have been a lack of light.
No one there could have seen what was before them. No one could have come close to God or even known that God existed among them.
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE PEOPLE
It all starts with the people who have God’s Holy Spirit living inside their hearts.
Do you have this gift working within your own tabernacle today?
If you answered “no” to this question; you need to do what God told Moses to do. Go to the people who HAVE the olive oil (those who have been baptized in The Holy Spirit) and ask them to bring it to you. Let them pray for you. Allow them to lay hands upon you and impart God’s gift to you.
Like that huge old Menorah in the wilderness tabernacle; the oil will flow out from one branch to the next until all the branches are lighted with God’s pure oil. God’s Holy Spirit is always shared and passed on in this manner. First the oil comes from God to someone; then it is passed on from that person sharing to another person who wishes to share and on and on. This is comparable to a continuous flame from one candle to another to another; with the fire never being extinguished and each light that is added making the glory of God shine out brighter and brighter.
As John The Baptist implied in his speech; this can only happen after true repentance and water baptism. Once the outside has been cleansed; the true work can begin on the inside of your soul.
If you have repented and been baptized by water; then you should be prayed for by God’s people who can impart God’s Holy Spirit into your spirit. God has allowed his disciples the privilege of passing this gift of His Holy Spirit on to others who are believers and followers of Christ as Messiah.
TWO FIRES; WHICH WILL YOU CHOSE?
Which fire will you choose?
There is a fire that cleanses the soul; a flame that burns within all repentant sinners that fills their lives with the pure olive oil that is useful for God’s Kingdom.
There is also a fire of judgment that removes all that do not belong to God in the world to come.
What is your choice?
Moses began the process that we still use today; way back with the wilderness tabernacle. His process was a symbolic process refined by God over many, many generations of time.
MOSES WAS IMPLEMENTING AN ORDINANCE THAT SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
God considered this ordinance so important to His kingdom that He commanded it should never be forgotten.
Today is the time to receive the oil from that great Lampstand called Christ. Let it flow to every part of your being.
As the good oil flows into your soul, the bad things of this world will be forced out.
God’s Holy Spirit will begin to lead you and guide you into your true purpose and your destiny in life.
You will find rest and refreshment and it will last you all through eternity.
With this gift of the oil from the Lampstand; you will live forever and ever.
It all began right there in the wilderness tabernacle.
NOTE TO THE READER: If you wish to read more about The Day of Pentecost; you may click on this link: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/pentecost/