IV. THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND
SYMBOLIZING THE TRIUNE GOD
Exodus 25 describes the golden lampstand in the tabernacle. This lampstand is a marvelous picture of the Triune God. We cannot understand this symbol in a shallow way: it is not just an object that holds some lamps to give light in the dark. With the lampstand we see three important things: the gold, the stand, and the lamps.
First, the lampstand was made of one talent of pure gold (about 100 lbs.) which was beaten into the shape of the stand. On its top it had seven lamps. The substance or essence of the lampstand, then, was gold. In the Bible, gold stands for the nature of God. Unlike iron, gold will not rust or change chemically, no matter where it is put. God’s nature is constant, unchanging. The gold, then, represents God the Father as the essence and source.
Second, the golden lampstand was not just a formless lump of gold. It was gold formed and shaped into the form of a lampstand. This means that the gold was embodied into a shape; the shape is God the Son. All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in the Second of the Trinity bodily (Col. 2:9). Jesus Christ is the form of God.
Third, there is the expression of the lampstand. The lampstand is for shining, and the shining is the expression. The expression is the seven lamps. The Bible tells us that the seven lamps are the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 4:5). The lampstand, then, also symbolizes the Triune God expressed. Its substance is the Father, its form and shape is the Son, and its expression is the Spirit.
What a wonderful picture of the Triune God—the gold, the shape, and the shining. This lampstand is seen throughout the Bible until it appears finally in the last book, Revelation. In Lesson Twelve we will see how the lampstand in Revelation shows something even more wonderful about the expression of the Triune God.
V. THE TRIUNE GOD AS REVEALED
BY THE CLEFT ROCK
The cleft (split) rock in Exodus 17 is a picture showing us that the Triune God is for our enjoyment. The children of Israel were journeying in the wilderness but had no water to drink. The Lord told Moses to smite (hit) the rock for water. When Moses struck the rock with his rod, water flowed out for the thirsty people to drink.
First Corinthians 10:4 says, "The rock was Christ." Moses with his rod represents the authority of God’s law. Moses’ striking the rock shows us that when Christ died on the cross, He was judged by the authority of God’s law. In the eyes of God, the Lord Jesus was put to death not by the Jews, but by the law of God. The water, of course, shows us the Spirit. Just as the water issued out of the smitten rock, the Spirit issued out of the judged Christ (John 19:34). The Israelites could not have the water without the smitten rock, and we cannot have the Spirit without the judged Christ. John 7:37-39 shows us that the Spirit would be available for anyone to drink after Christ was judged on the cross for our sins and resurrected to be the life-giving Spirit.
Praise the Lord for Christ our smitten Rock! He was judged on our behalf that we might enjoy the eternal life. That life is now in the Spirit and we were all given to drink of that Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Do you ever have hardships? Are you ever dissatisfied? Do you ever complain? These are signs of being "thirsty." You need to drink! No one can live without water. As Christians, we need to drink the living waters of the Spirit. Do you realize you have a Rock in your spirit? "Oh, Lord Jesus! Oh, Lord Jesus! You are my smitten Rock!" The Lord Spirit will revive us, refresh us, and make us living.
We hope you realize by this lesson that the Old Testament is not just some stories about the children of Israel. Together with the New Testament it unveils to us the infinite riches of the Triune God—and we have only covered a few points out of hundreds of pages! The pictures in the Old Testament greatly help us appreciate and enjoy the Triune God; each one is surely worth a thousand words.
- Fellowship with your companions how Exodus 3:6 refers to the Triune God.
- Write a short "100 word" prophesy on how the lampstand typifies the Triune God. Give references.
- Have you taken a drink of the living water?
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- Concerning the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, pp. 10-13.
- Stream Magazine Book Two, pp. 1416-1416.
- Life-study of Genesis, pp. 517-524.
- Life-study of Exodus, pp. 471-473, 488-496, 1067-1069.
- Life Messages, pp. 640-642.
(Lesson Book, Level 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)