He can make more of an impression on you with a few words than
most people you will ever encounter. Therefore, READ ON!! You
are in for a treat. The Spirit of God in you is about to say
"Yes - Amen!"
- Crucial to Biblical Understanding -
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST - - - These are the opening
words to the last book of the Bible (Rev.1:1). They leave no
room for doubt as to the results desired by its author which
is a complete exposition of every facet of our Lord's triumphant
ministry. An exposé of the all encompassing effects of
his Judean ministry on the eternal scene is the objective. Still,
a recent survey indicates that many laymen find this book too
mystical to be appreciated. Some scholars are now giving it
second-class billing in importance for study, considering any
interpretation of it to be purely speculation or conjecture
and therefore too controversial. Some pastors and religious
educators boast of deleting it entirely from their teaching
agenda. What accounts for this? Why the apparent paralysis of
interest and prevailing difficulty in appreciating the content
of this book with such lofty introduction?
One major cause for the limited understanding of this book's
content is the prevailing unfamiliarity of the average Christian
with *Biblical Judaism and its accompanying symbols. The *Menorah
(candlestick) is one of those important Hebraic symbols. Why
is it so important to understand the Jewishness of this book
that some refer to as the "Readers Digest" of the
Bible? Dr. John Walvoord of
*Menorah: The Hebrew term for the seven branched lampstand.
Dallas Theological Seminary has noted that "Of the 404
verses of the Apocalypse, 278 are direct quotes from [Torah],
Unfortunately, historic efforts to delete everything "Jewish"
from the doctrine, liturgy and symbolism of the first century
church and from Biblical expression has contributed to a certain
interpreting handicap. The absence of this all important
*Here we make a distinction between "Torah-centric Judaism"
[Biblical] and "Rabbinic Judaism" [Talmudic.] A Torah-centric
Judaism was the religion out of which the first century church
grew maintaining it's biblical contours in the faith and theology
dimension has left the church ill equipped to understand many
of this book's Hebraic expressions and symbolic references.
It has deprived us of some richness of understanding that would
otherwise be available if the Revelation of Jesus Christ and
the entirety of scripture, for that matter, was interpreted
from a Hebraic mind-set. What to do about it ¾ perhaps
Catholic scholar Edward H. Flannery has expressed a "touch-stone
truth" when he states: [An over Hellenized, over Latinized
Christianity needs a re-Judaising process to bring it back to
its founding Jewish roots and renew it more in keeping with
its own inherent ideals.] It is with this thought in mind that
we approach the matter of symbolism as it pertains to the candlestick
and its importance to the Christian spiritual value system.
In the final analysis, symbols such as the Menorah are not Jewish
in an ethnic sense, nor even Christian in a religious sense,
but they are simply Biblical in a divine sense, and therefore
eternal and universal (for everyone).
The book of Revelation is in large part a book of symbolism.
Those who would minimize the importance of symbolism minimize
not only the importance of that book but the entirety of scripture.
Symbolism plays a crucial role in Biblical revelation and interpretation.
One of the first symbols encountered as we begin reading the
book of Revelation is the seven-branched Menorah. Jesus [the
Son of man] is observed in the midst of seven of them.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the
Son of man . . . (Rev 1:13)
These candlesticks were not just seven isolated singular candles
as one might suppose at first glance, but they are seven (Jewish)
Menorahs - God's idea of a lampstand. Immediately we are informed
that the candlesticks represented the Judeo-Christian churches
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. (Rev. 1:20).
This declaration therefore, by association, makes the candlestick
a Judeo-Christian symbol and representative of a New Testament
Church. It is important that believers perceive the all-encompassing
message embodied in the Biblical lampstand. You may be surprised
how up-to-date this symbol of antiquity really is. As the Church
continues on it's present course of restoration and renewal,
the seven-branched candlestick could well become one of the
more prominent symbols displayed by Christendom, perhaps comparable
to the ubiquitous cross. Christians will do well to become better
informed on this aspect of Biblical heritage in symbolism. It
is for this reason that we make the effort to publish this book.
The scriptures teach that the Menorah was and is esteemed of
God a symbol extraordinaire. Indeed it has been referred to
in scripture as the "Lamp of God." If it is, then
God's people should embrace it and perceive the lessons embodied
(insert Titus Menorah and ancient depiction here)
No one knows for certain the exact shape of the original Mosaic
Menorah. We do know that it contained a numerical pattern. History
gives us the two possible renderings shown above. Both have
been used by the Jewish people in symbolism for centuries and
both have merit. The Titus Menorah seems to favor the Exodus
25 description. We are certain that the configuration of the
candlestick depicted on the Arch of Titus was the kind used
in the last Jerusalem Temple which was destroyed in AD.70. Titus
was a Roman general who sacked Jerusalem and returned bringing
many of the Temple treasures with him.
-The Lamp of God -
... I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of Gold
... and his seven lamps thereon ..."
The lampstand (Menorah) is conceivably the most comprehensive
of all Biblical symbols. As such, it is important that believers
investigate the origin, use and purpose of this symbol referenced
in both Old and New Testaments. We will discover that this lampstand
symbolizes many things such as the Nation of Israel, the Church,
the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Seven Spirits of God,
even the Lord Jesus Christ himself as "the light of the
The first direct mention and detailed description of the candlestick
(Menorah) is found in Exodus 25:31-40. Moses had just returned
from Mount Sinai where he had been in communion with God. It
was there that he had been instructed to make the candlestick.
Not only had he received detailed instructions concerning the
critical design of this instrument of light to be placed in
the Tabernacle, but also of the various other implements that
would be used for service in God's divine worship system. Many
of these symbols ceased to be used under the New Testament but
not the Menorah and for good reason as we shall clearly show.
- Divine Design -
All of the furnishings of the temple including the lampstand
were to be constructed according to the "pattern"
of heavenly things:
... for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according
to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. (Ex 25:40, Heb.
Obviously, God demands precision. Consequently, the Menorah
has a divine configuration. From the biblical description of
the lampstand spelled out in Exodus Chapters 25 & 37 (reinforced
by historical record), we discover that a numerical pattern
emerges. There were 7 lamps on the top of the Lampstand, 70
(*2) garnishings on its branches and **12 foundational divisions
of its stacked hexagon base. The specific numbers 12, 70 (2),
and 7 represent a basic numerical pattern of operation for both
Israel and the Church. In the governmental structure of Israel
there were 12 men who served as leaders or heads over their
tribes with whom Moses could communicate (Num. 1:44). Moses
chose 70 (2) elders of the people to be with him on Mount Sinai
as a support system (Num.11:16). After Moses' departure, Joshua
appointed 7 priests who led the camp of Israel into victory
blowing the rams horns (Joshua 6:4). In the same manner, Jesus
began the formation of the New Covenant Church (Heb 8:8) during
His earthly ministry by choosing 12 apostles who became the
foundational governing pillars of the church (Mk. 3:14). He
then appointed other "70" (2) and sent them out in
ministry (Lk. 10:1). After His crucifixion, the 12 appointed
a body of 7 men to assume a great portion of the care and responsibility
for the churches so that the twelve apostles could return to
Jerusalem and give themselves continually to prayer and ministry
of the word (Acts 6:2-3). These seven men were far more than
deacons as is commonly supposed. They were all powerful ministers
clearly demonstrated by Philip and Stephen. Obviously the very
framework of God's government for His people is reflected in
the design of the lampstand. We find these numerical patterns
and or multiples of them, in many Old Testament and New Testament
demonstrations. References to them are particularly noted in
the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
*The knops, flowers and bowls appear to add up to seventy plus
two. There seems to be a bit of mystery regarding the apparent
conflict in translations as to whether this is "seventy"
or "seventy- two". However, there does seem to be
a nagging presence of this nuance of a supplementary two, even
in some Old Testament passages. Be that as it may, the number
70 plays the dominant role in Biblical expression and numerology.
Concerning the candlestick the first-century Jewish historian,
Flavius Josephus confirms "It was made with its knops,
and lilies, and pomegranates, and bowls (which orna-ments amounted
to seventy in all);"
** See base explanation accompanying the two depictions of
Is it any wonder then, that God has placed such significance
on this symbol and given it "high profile" from Genesis
to Revelation when you consider that it represented the presence
of all truth, hence the light of the world? God informed Moses
that the Menorah was to be located in what was known as the
"Holy Place" in the sanctuary of God. Throughout the
many years of Temple worship, it was tended to on a daily basis
being trimmed every morning and lighted by the ministering priests.
It was the only source of light in the wilderness tabernacle
as it continued to be in all future Temples except for the annual
glowing of the Shechinah glory visitation in the Holiest of
Holies. The lampstand occupied a place of great prominence among
the instruments used in worship. I am proposing that the Menorah
should also take its rightful place in Christian symbolism.
Not that the Menorah should become an idol but rather an ever
present symbol of truth (ie, the cross).
Some may rightly question how we reconcile the following commandment
with God's subsequent orders to do what appears to be in opposition:
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness
of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth
beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Ex. 20:4).
Nevertheless, we find that Moses was charged by God with the
responsibility to do that very thing. He was commanded to build
a sanctuary according to the "heavenly" pattern. It
was to contain such imagery as the candlestick, a table of shewbread,
altars, the ark of the covenant, golden cherubims of glory,
angelic figurines embroidered on the inner curtains of the sanctuary,
and many other items that Moses had seen in his heavenly vision.
Solomon's temple would prove to be even more elaborate and ornate
than the old tabernacle, having graven images of lions, oxen,
etc. Does this represent a contradiction on the Lord's behalf?
Not at all! The answer to this question is found in the following
verse of scripture:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for
I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, ... (Ex. 20:5).
The worship of them would be a sin. While mankind was commanded
of God not to bow down and worship symbols, they play a crucial
role in promoting spiritual understanding.
The Menorah an ever present symbol of truth
The Apostle Paul expressed it unequivocally:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without
excuse (Ro 1:20).
These "things that are made" include not only those
things that God made in the creation such as the earth, beasts,
trees, stars, etc., but included those things that He commanded
men to make for revelation purposes such as the Menorah. God
is not worshiped in these things that are made but He is most
definitely revealed through them.
A UNIQUE LAMPSTAND
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And
the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no
open vision. And it came to pass at that time when Eli was laid
down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could
not see; And ere the LAMP OF GOD went out in the temple of the
LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to
sleep: (1Samuel 3:1-3).
Here the Menorah becomes identified as "THE LAMP OF GOD".
As such, the Menorah is a timeless symbol. This seven-branched
candlestick, for many Christians (if recognized at all) has
been regarded as little more than a Jewish relic. However, this
God-given symbol should not be considered something "out
of date" nor simply Jewish but divine and therefore timeless.
Notice in the foregoing scripture that the Menorah was not referred
to as the "Lamp of the Jews" or the "Lamp of
the Temple" nor the "Lamp of the Synagogue" but
the LAMP OF GOD. Why? Because it was God who designed it, had
it constructed, and commanded its use (Ex 25:31, Number 8:2-4).
The candlestick, perhaps better than any other item that God
commanded Moses to make, serves the ends and purposes of revelation
by symbolism. We will discover that the Menorah symbol regularly
surfaced in the spiritual experiences of many other prophets
and visionaries as it did with Samuel. Notice the circumstances
surrounding Samuel's prophetic call and the existing condition
of Israel. The lamp of God was going out and soon afterward
the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant. Eli, the judge
and High priest of Israel, had died and a child was born to
Phinehas his son who's name says it all, Ichabod meaning "The
glory of God has departed." In principle this story could
very well parallel many of the conditions within the Church
in history and serve as a prophetic picture of our own time.
The setting was at evening time, the light from the Lamp of
God was shining less brightly in the temple and there was "no
open vision" (revelation). It is very unusual that the
lamp of God would have been going out at the very time of day
when it normally should have been freshly fueled and burning
its brightest. The Church can learn valuable lessons from this
story. We could very well be approaching the end of the age
(evening). The Lamp of God, which is the Word of God (Psa. 119:105)
and our understanding of it, has been seriously eroded due in
great part to our forsaking the foundations of our faith rooted
in the Hebrew heritage. The judgment of God is impending as
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins,
which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. . . .While
the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. ... And
the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our
are gone out. (Mt 25:1,2,5,8).
In parabolic expression, Jesus predicts that just prior to his
coming a large percentage of the Kingdom of God will be spiritually
asleep. He seems to indicate that there would be an unawareness
of the gravity of time. A clear vision into the purposes of
God and the destiny of man would be missing. The virgins were
not aware of the eminent coming of the Bridegroom. Because the
Church seems to be experiencing storms of "every wind of
doctrine" (Eph 4:14), there is a lot of eschatological
(end-time events) confusion in our world. This is generating
complacency and serious apathy towards truth. Many seemingly
do not care ¾ that is the down side. The up side is this:
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom
cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose,
and trimmed their lamps. (Mt 25:7)
A sweet rain of pure truth has been predicted for the "pure
in heart." God has promised:
My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill
as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the
showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the
LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God (Deut. 32:2-3)
... and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former
rain, and the latter rain in the first month (Joel 2:23).
This refreshing rain of truth for the work of restoration and
renewal is central to God's strategic plans. It will cause the
lampstand (Church) to be ablaze with the light of absolute truth.
We should pray earnestly for "rain in the time of the latter
rain" (Zech. 10:1). Let it become a continuous theme in
the prayer life of us all.
We must shine forth as lamps in a world of darkness
It was at evening time when the lampstand was refueled for
greater burning in the Temple. If we are indeed in some close
proximity to the end of the age it is "lamp trimming time."
In other words, it is 'Biblical research time' for the body
There is a beautiful Hebrew idiom that suggests: "Study
is the highest form of worship." Christians would do well
to grasp the richness of that philosophical truth. If we are
to shine forth as lamps in a world of darkness as Jesus indicated
(Luke 12:35), God's word must become very precious to us and
an accelerated understanding of it a high priority. Apathy toward
truth is undoubtedly one of the subtle sins of our time. It
is this condition that God is presently addressing so that His
people are motivated toward a restoration of all things Biblical.
The Apostle Peter confirmed explicitly on the day of Pentecost
what Jesus taught us in the parable of the virgins:
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before
was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the
times of restitution [restoring] of all things, which God hath
spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world
began (Acts 3:20-21).
Another prophet of restoration in whose vision the symbol of
the candlestick appeared was Zechariah. He was one who was highly
motivated for and involved in the restoration of the walls of
Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. There is a definite similarity
between Samuel's experience and that of Zechariah. As the vision
unfolded before Zechariah, he beheld a huge candlestick (Menorah)
with seven lamps upon the top of it. While beholding the scene,
he heard a voice:
And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked,
and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the
of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the
lamps, which are upon the top thereof: . . .Then he answered
and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto
Zerubbabel,[the restorer] saying, Not by might, nor by power,
but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts (Zech. 4:2,6).
Christians from time to time can be heard reciting the inspirational
and familiar phrase from this notable scripture "Not by
might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
It has been applied in numerous ways and unfortunately, most
often out of context (salvation, healing, miracles, etc.) While
this application may be well intended, the message can be lost.
Now, what is there about the sight of the golden candlestick
(Menorah) that would evoke such an utterance? Not many Christians
would give a similar response to such a vision. Why? Because,
for the most part, we would not recognize the Menorah nor appreciate
it for what it represents. In this case it symbolized the seven-fold
spirit of God at work in the restoration efforts taking place
After being held in Babylonian captivity for 70 years, the
Jews were frail and few in number. It was only through a special
anointing from God that they were able to maintain their determination
in the face of much discouragement to continue rebuilding the
Jerusalem walls and the Temple of God. This extraordinary anointing
for restoration was symbolized by the candlestick. It will undoubtedly
take an equal measure of anointing for the Church to be successful
in declaring the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the nations
(Mt. 24:14) and bring the restoration of all things. Also, it
is only through a complete seven-fold anointing that doctrinal
unity and maturity can be brought to the body of Christ to insure
our success in God's purposes.
There is as much [in some ways more ] to be learned about God
from the Menorah symbol than from many of the more familiar
symbols such as the cross, the lamb, the dove, or the fish that
are of common use throughout Christendom today. That idea is
resident in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was a Jew and well
acquainted with His Judaic heritage. Since we know the setting
was in the season of the feast of Tabernacles when huge Menorah's
were being lighted throughout Jerusalem, some historians suggest
and it is reasonable to assume that the Menorah (Lampstand)
was what He had in mind when He declared:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill
cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under
a bushel, but on a CANDLESTICK; and it giveth light unto all
that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which
is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or
the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. ( Mt.
The church here is represented by the symbol of the candlestick.
The lesson is that the Church must become the light of the world
(a reflection of the Word of God). The book of Revelation gives
substantial affirmation to this assertion when the angel states:
... the seven CANDLESTICKS which thou sawest are the seven
CHURCHES. (Rev. 1:20)
Further confirmation is given to us in chapter two where God,
through his angel, implores the church of Ephesus to return
to its first love:
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast
left thy first love
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent,
and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy CANDLESTICK out of his place, except thou
repent. Rev. 2:4-5
A spiritual interpretation could be reasonably rendered from
this passage but evidently there is also a very practical
side to consider. There is every reason for us to conclude
that this Menorah symbol was physically on display in those
first century churches, and for good reason. First, as a congregation,
they were more "Judeo-Christian" in nature and appearance
than the subsequent church that became more Greko-Roman in
orientation. The indication is that the candlestick must have
served as an official symbol of identity with that body of
Christian churches originating in Jerusalem who had been birthed
of Judaism. The Lord did not want the Ephesus congregation,
if it remained in its existing loveless condition, to even
be considered by the public as representing the Judeo-Christian
God-given symbols are Biblical and therefore eternal and universal.
The spirit of Love is central to the very essence and nature
of God as is demonstrated in the symbolism of the candlestick.
The center lamp of the Menorah is, in Hebrew, called the Ner
Elohim the "Lamp of God" as well as Shamash. Since
the scriptures teach that "God is love" (1 Jo 4:8),
one might even call this center light the "Love Lamp"
amidst the seven. Therefore the threat of the candlestick's
removal was very significant. The absence of love was sufficient
cause to threaten the disenfranchisement of the Ephesus congregation
from the body of churches representing Christ (Messiah) in that
area. Obviously few if any Christian churches of today would
feel intimidated by the threat of losing a candlestick (assuming
on existed), considering the lack of understanding by the church
of the meaning of this symbol of antiquity. Even the familiar
interpretation of what this threat implies (departure of the
presence of Christ) requires exhaustive teaching today. Such
was not the case for the congregations of the first century.
It is quite evident that they were much closer to Biblical Judaism
in thought, practice and symbolism than is the Christian church
of today, and they clearly understood the implications of this
threat. There are, however, some indications that significant
Judaic restoration to the body of Christ is imminent. Increasingly,
pastors and congregations are becoming inspired of the Holy
Spirit to introduce many of these Judaic principles into their
teaching and worship. This is also being demonstrated by the
reintroduction of the Biblical Feast Day celebrations [seven
in all], the use of banners, the use of the Hebrew names of
God, Sabbath celebrations, etc. None of these practices were
foreign to the first century congregations. It should therefore
come as no surprise to discover that the Menorah symbol was
on display within these Judeo-Christian congregations in Asia.
Their understanding of these Biblical things is assumed in these
letters. That no doubt accounts for the abundance of Judaic
expression in the book of Revelation. Interestingly, this was
true in spite of their being predominately Gentile churches
in constituency. It was not and is not an issue of ethnicity
but one of Biblical correctness.
The circumstances and the particulars of the candlestick's mention
early on in the book of Revelation merit investigation. In the
first chapter, we discover the Son of Man (Jesus) in the midst
of the seven golden candlesticks. What does this mean? Since
we have learned that the candlesticks represented the churches,
we must conclude that it depicts those churches wherein the
spirit of Christ is truly alive and motivating. The overriding
theme of the angelic cry to the seven churches of Asia was not
redemption, but restoration to a Christ-like spirit and Biblical
order. The Apostle Paul alludes to this in his letter to the
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until
formed in you
. (Ga 4:19)
Paul is not suggesting by the term "birth" that the
people be saved again or born again * again. It was not a case
of Jesus being absent from their hearts, but rather there was
an absence of the form of Christ in their lifestyle, their value
system and in the corporate setting of the local congregation.
Jesus had travailed for their eternal salvation, but it was
Paul who had "travailed" for their birthing and development
as a church in the formative years in the city of Galatia. It
was he who had taught them the word so that they might become
a living lampstand. Paul did not say they needed Jesus formed
in them, but Christ * there is a difference. The name Jesus
means "savior", while "Christ" means the
"anointed" or "the anointed word." The "form
of Christ" means a Biblical pattern symbolized by the candlestick.
The Galatians had forsaken their Godly heritage and began taking
up the "elements [patterns] of the world." In this
same chapter, he reproached them specifically for having adopted
the celebration days and festivals of the gentiles, forsaking
the Biblical order, hence contributing to their loss of the
"form of Christ." The Apostle Paul was travailing
for a corporate restoration or rebirth. This is exactly what
God is calling for in the body of Christ today ¾ a Church
rebirthed in Biblical patterns.
The Spirit of Prophecy
Have you ever considered what all might be included in the
familiar term a "Christ-like" spirit, and in what
ways is it manifested? Well, it undoubtedly includes all of
the more familiar ways that readily come to mind (i.e., love,
joy, compassion). However, there is one character trait in a
Christ-like spirit with which the Church is much less familiar
¾ the spirit of prophecy.
... the testimony of Jesus is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. (Rev.
The entire life of Yeshua (Jesus) was an exercise in prophetic
display. Do not construe the word prophecy as meaning a spirit
to prophesy. It was not in the nature of Jesus' ministry to
go about making many grandiose predictions but rather to fulfill
the messianic prophecies of old. He was the Light of the World
because He brought to light and lived a life of fulfilling
prophecy. His entire life was a divine orchestration of fulfilled
Biblical prophecy which set him apart from all would-be messiah's.
His other (mystical) body, the Church, should do no less if
we are to become the light (candlestick) of the world. It
is the spirit of prophecy that will bring greater Biblical
mission and purpose to the body of Christ. The Old Testament
is prophecy declared, the New Testament is must be prophecy
revealed and fulfilled (Mt. 11:13, Acts 3:21) The restoration
of these Biblical symbols, celebrations and values to the
Gentile church is a prophetic mission in and of itself. Isaiah
foretold of its occurrence when speaking of the "strangers"
who would keep His sabbaths and His covenant (Isaiah 56).
Therefore, God will and is abundantly blessing those churches
that are motivated with the Spirit of prophecy and who place
an emphasis on His word being fulfilled. They understand that
a return to the Hebraic foundations of our faith is a prophetic
program being fulfilled in our time. Like Zechariah, these
congregations function in the spirit of the minor prophets
symbolized by the Menorah (Zec 4:6) They are discovering what
God is doing and work with Him. They are not working for God;
they are working with God. As a result, these believers are
becoming living LAMPSTANDS of prophetic restoration.
The Seven Spirits
Finally, we see seven flames of fire, a heavenly Menorah as
it were, blazing before the throne in heaven:
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings
and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before
the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (Rev. 4:5)
What are the *seven spirits of God and what is their mission?
Isaiah the prophet is very specific on this point:
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 of the fear of the LORD. (Isa 11:2)
The purpose for mentioning these seven spirits ablaze before
the throne of God is to show that the principles of the candlestick
are also manifested in the heavenlies. For the Church to be
a living lampstand in the earth, and the light on a "candlestick"
that Jesus predicted (Mt 5), all of these seven spirits of God
must be burning in our personal lives, as well as in the corporate
Church. The seven-branched candlestick was given to constantly
remind us of that important truth. Even a casual observer of
the scripture must draw that conclusion.
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the
four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as
it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which
are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Should we not pray "Thy will be done on earth as it is
in heaven" and participate in the process? The Menorah
symbol is a constant reminder of that imperative.
*A detailed analysis of the meaning, purpose and practical
applications of the Seven Spirits of God is available from Awareness
Ministry publishing department.
I can think of no Christian event where the Menorah would be
inappropriate for display. I would encourage the notion that
its presence in all Christian churches is not only appropriate
but practical and fundamentally useful. It can accompany any
liturgical ceremony. The following is an example of a liturgical
declaration or [any variation thereof] that could be recited
as the Menorah is being lighted in your own home or church.
Liturgy of lights
Pastor: And I saw seven spirits of God burning before the throne!
Congregation: The Spirit of Love (Lord)
The Spirit of Wisdom
The Spirit of Understanding
The Spirit of Counsel
The spirit of Knowledge
The spirit of Strength
(and) The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
Corporate: Jesus is the light that lighteth every man that cometh
into the world.
Now we are the light of the world!
We will shine forth as lights in a world of darkness!
Lord Jesus Christ, you are our light and our salvation! Amen!
(Ref. from Rev. 4:5, Isa. 11:1-2, Jn. 1:9, Mt. 5:14, Ph. 2:15,
The Menorah can be effectively used at wedding ceremonies,
infant dedications, home dedications, the dedication of a business
or any other occasion where a declaration of the *seven spirits
of God would be appropriate.
Obviously, from the preferential treatment accorded the beautiful
golden candlestick in scripture, it is indeed esteemed of God
a symbol extraordinaire`. As the body of Christ progresses in
restoration and renewal, this symbol should occupy a place of
greater prominence in our churches and our spiritual value system.
The prediction is that this will become a trend of the future.
It is fitting and proper that this symbol be displayed in all
Christian churches and in the homes of believers (Jew or Gentile).
Again, the cross has definite value in Christian symbolism as
a reminder of the suffering and shame endured by our Lord for
us as a sacrifice, but the candlestick symbolizes the grandeur
and brightness of His glory and presence.
The candlestick is the Biblical symbol of the Church.
While the preaching of the cross and its message is indeed
"the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16), so
horrible was the scene at the cross, that the Heavenly Father
could not bring Himself to look upon it. Therefore it is doubtful
that Jesus, if He was on earth, would encourage the historic
emphasis and high profile we have placed on the emblem of the
cross. Although the message of sacrifice and redemption would
have remained the same, it is unlikely that He would "cherish
the old rugged cross" any more than He would some other
instrument of cruelty that may have been used to cause His suffering
and death. Indeed, it is entirely possible that He would even
discourage its being excessively displayed. The cross would
bring back haunting memories of excruciating torment as is indicated
by the writer of Hebrews when he states that our Savior "endured
the cross despising the shame" (Heb. 12:2). Perhaps this
is why the cross is so glaringly missing, indeed totally absent,
from the abundance of symbolism to be found in the book of the
"Revelation of Jesus Christ." It is simply nowhere
there to be found.
On the other hand, He would no doubt be heartened and thrilled
at the sight of the golden candlestick, which is so profoundly
meaningful in the revelation of who He is in the power of His
resurrection and the light of His presence. As we more fully
appreciate the significance of this magnificent symbol, we will
join with the angel to declare "NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER,
BUT BY MY SPIRIT SAITH THE LORD" (Zec 4:6).
Jesus said that we were to be the "light of the world."
And that we were to put our light on a candlestick (Mt. 5:15).
Could it be that the candlestick would surpass the cross as
the symbol for representing the Christian church? Probably not,
but at the very least, it should be included.
Christians everywhere should be encouraged to display the Menorah
"Let your light so shine"
- FEAST OF THE DEDICATION -
To those unfamiliar with Jewish history, confusion
often arises as to the difference between the symbolism of
the seven-branched Menorah (candlestick) that God commanded
Moses to make for use in temple worship (Ex. 25:31) and the
nine-branched Hanukkah light of common use in many Jewish
homes. It is easy to confuse these two if you are not counting.
The Hanukkah light was created to memorialize a momentous
national deliverance of Israel from an evil invader. Hanukah
means dedication. Hanukkah became one of the many traditional
festivals of Judaism. This festival is also known as the Feast
of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. There is a reference
to it in the New Testament:
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication,
and it was winter. (Jn 10:22)
While Hanukkah is not one of the seven divinely appointed
festivals of scripture, it is historically significant with
regard to the restoration and rededication of the ancient
Temple of God. In the year 169 B.C., an evil invader by the
name of Antiochus Epiphanes, a vile and godless man, campaigned
against Egypt. Despite his victory, he was compelled to withdraw
from Egypt at the command of powerful Rome. At that time,
Palestine was under Syrian rule. Returning to Syria, Antiochus
vented his wrath upon the hapless Judeans by entering Jerusalem,
destroying a large part of the city, and slaughtering men,
women, and children. He crowned his evil deeds by plundering
the Holy Temple, carrying away the golden altar, the candlestick,
golden vessels, and other sacred treasures. To show his utter
contempt for "Yahweh" God, he sacrificed a pig in
the Temple to the god Jupiter. He forbade the Jews in the
Holy Land to observe their religion, particularly the Sabbath
and the laws pertaining to clean animals. He therefore commanded
that only pigs be sacrificed in the Temple of God. He himself
cooked a pig in the Temple and poured its broth on the holy
scrolls of the law and upon the altar, thus polluting them.
One day an officer of Antiochus arrived in the small township
of Moden, three miles north of Jerusalem and commanded an
assembly of Jews to sacrifice their swine. A man by the name
of Mattathias, the Maccabee, head of a priestly family, became
enraged by the ungodly decree and killed the first Jew who
was about to comply with this order. This caused a revolt
that was encouraged by Mattathias son of Judas Maccabee. They
eventually drove the Syrians from Jerusalem together with
the disloyal priesthood who collaborated with the invaders.
After cleansing the Holy Temple, the Maccabees rededicated
the Temple of God amidst great rejoicing and consecrated a
new altar in place of the old. In their efforts to restore
proper temple worship, they searched for some unpolluted oil
with which to trim the seven-branched lamp of God. Finally,
hidden in one of the nooks of the Temple, the Jews found a
small jar of consecrated oil used in former days. The oil
was sufficient for only one night, but lo and behold, the
little cruse of oil miraculously lasted for eight days, until
a new supply could be prepared, a procedure that normally
required seven days to complete.
Annually, in memory of this wonderful victory over the wicked
king, the festival of Hanakkah has been celebrated by lighting
eight candles consecutively for eight days in every Jewish
household. It began with lighting one on the first day, two
on the second, progressively until the eighth day. The reason
for the Hanukkah light being a nine-branched candlestick is
that one special candle is used to light the other eight.
The ninth one represented the small cruse of oil that had
been discovered in the Temple. The remaining eight candles
commemorate the miraculous eight-day burning.
One may well draw some prophetic significance from this historic
event with regard to the personal and corporate renewal of the
Church. The apostle Paul often refers to our bodies and the
corporate Church as the Temple of God. A graphic story could
be told of that first century church and its plunge into years
of apostasy. It is a sad story of deliberate efforts to divorce
the Church from it's Biblical Jewish roots and Hebraic contours
of first century Christianity, replacing [hence polluting] it
with pagan symbolism and teaching. This de-Judaising effort
is epitomized by the edicts of Constantine the Great through
political fiat. Subsequent centuries of on going spiritual and
doctrinal pollution were experienced until God moved upon the
"reformers" to begin the embryonic process of restoration
and renewal that continues until this day. Many men of great
light and understanding, people of restoration zeal and dedication
have contributed to the progress of the arduous journey for
renewal. Today the Lamp of God [the church] remains in the earth
and grows brighter and brighter because of these pioneers of
- A Rebuilt Temple? -
Some also see in this story of Hanukkah a prophetic picture
to be repeated in the last days. It is believed by some that
the false prophet will pollute the physically restored temple
in Israel prior to the second coming of Jesus. This false Messiah
[it is believed by some] will claim to be God as did Antiochus,
but he will be destroyed and the temple will either be reconsecrated
or rebuilt to be used by Jesus during the millennial kingdom
reign. Whether or not that is exactly the case I do not know.
We can be assured, however, that history has a tendency to repeat
itself in some form or fashion.
Personal applications can also be made from this historic
event with regard to the spiritual life of the individual.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple
of God, him shall God destroy for the temple of God is holy;
which temple ye are. (I Co. 3:16-17)
In the light of this scripture, we should have no difficulty
in seeing how meaningful the Hanukkah celebration can be to
the Christian believer. Again, the very word itself means "dedication."
It is only from dedicated spiritual temples [our body] that
the acceptable incense of praise and worship can flow unto our
God (Eph. 2:5). In this context, it would be quite acceptable
for the Christian to observe this feast and even display the
nine branched lampstand at this time of year as an occasion
for renewed commitment and a personal "Feast of Dedication"
for the upcoming year. We might sing with David this song of
O LORD, thou has searched me, and know me. Thou knowest
my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thoughts
afar off. Thou compasseth my path and my lying down, and art
acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my
tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou
hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon
me ... Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know
my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me ...
(Ps. 139:1-5, 23-24)
Rededicate your temple! Make it a
*While the nine-branched candlestick has historical and perhaps
spiritual significance, we have no record that God commanded
its construction. Therefore, it should not replace nor take
priority over the seven-branched Menorah. The Mosaic Menorah
retains the far greater Biblical significance.