SOURCE OR FACILITATOR?
From the inspired pages of antiquity there comes powerful, spiritual lessons for individuals and churches in today’s Christian world. Consider the symbolism of the candlestick, It is chief among the many objects used to identify and illustrate the Lord’s New Testament Church. It was the instrument of light in the Holy Place of the wilderness tabernacle and later the Old Testament Temple. Among misunderstandings about the candlestick is that it is a light source. Now hold on! Think with me!
The candlestick of Bible times references the Jewish menorah. But the menorah (candlestick) was not a light source as many presume. Rather it was a light facilitator. That is, it was especially constructed for the purpose of facilitating the flow of oil through its pipes to the terminal bowls where it was ignited. It was the fire then produced by the combustible oil that created the light. The portable construction of the candlestick allowed positioning for light in specific places. In like manner, the Lord’s church, metaphorically called a candlestick, is not of itself a light producer. It is a facilitator of God’s light of truth to a lost, dark, sinful world of condemned men. The light it can only offer is the light (truthful content) of God’s Word, and its effects in life. The church supports the veracity of the Holy Word, by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that has resided within and upon it since Pentecost. Additionally, it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to give understanding through the Word to saved men, and to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. As men repent of sin and are enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Word, they are not to obscure that light, but to be joined to the candlestick thus becoming a part of the great conduit/facilitator of truth and light.
In the first half of the last century, light in homes was furnished by burning oil in glass lamps. Sometimes that process blackened the chimneys of the lamps requiring them to be cleaned frequently. That process ignored, the lamp ceased to be an acceptable facilitator of light. Sometimes, the appearance of men to others is that of a dimmed light; a life that needs the cleaning of repentance and forgiveness. Christians are not light sources. But the question remains: how are they as facilitators? How bright or dimmed is the light of the candlestick? God help us all to be clean, excellent facilitators of the heavenly light!