..so that they light the space.. (Exo.25.37)
In the Tabernacle Moses built, only the Ark was in the Holy of Holies. In Solomon's temple, two giant standing cherubim of Olive wood, an altar incense, and an overhead chain embellishment--all wrapped in pure gold--accompanied the Ark in the inner room or Holy of Holies. God's move was from glory to glory. It kept progressing and increasing. It never stayed the same. Today the true temple of God is completely different. These are all vital to have God's flesh.
Outside the Curtain
The Holy of Holies was entered through a thick curtain (shielding curtain). Outside were the gold table, 7 gold lamps, and the gold incense altar. Further out, in the court, were the bronze sea and altars.
The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy of Holies is the head, where the mind of Christ should be seated, because Jesus is the Head of the church, the body, your body, our bodies collectively.
In the Physical
In anatomy, the head controls every part of the head and body. The commands issue from the brain and body parts merely obey it. The brain identifies everything. When a body receptor receives a stimulus, like say, a burn on the skin, the receptors send a signal to the brain.
The brain identifies the stimulus and marks it as a burn and on what part of the body. Only then do we recognize the pain and on what part of our body. Only then will the reflex operate--the muscle reacting to withdraw the burned part away from the pain source--and then we cry Ouch! The whole process is quicker than the speed of light and quite accurately. The body responds to what the brain says.
If the pain is a needle piercing the sole of a foot, the reflex will automatically move that part--not the finger nor the ears--and we grasp that sole of the foot for rescue and relief. The precision is awesome, because your body fully obeyed your mind and fulfilled its every command. This is God's flesh!
Did you know that the mind performs trillions of works a day? It does that even while you sleep. Your heart beats even if you sleep and are unconscious of it. Why? Because your brain works accurately--all at the speed of light.
Imagine if the church, as a whole, does nothing but obey Jesus a hundred percent! Accurately! In the present Move of God! It would be able to do trillions of things in the Spirit accurately in the speed of light, everyday! God's angels move like that. They are swift, like lightning, and accurate.
But as it is, the body (the church) is defiantly doing its own works for the Head while totally disobeying it. So anything it boastfully does and achieves for God is primitive, inaccurate, fleshly, and grindingly slow--in fact, nothing but trash! Only the devil benefits from it.
Problems come when the body acts on its own, disobeying the brain. In leprosy, when the nerves are dead, the brain cannot receive or send signals to the body. Thus, the body fails to recognize pain, is misled to callousness, and soon everything rots and dies.
In the Spirit, what keeps the nerves alive and accurately sending signals?
The Bread of the Presence, Lampstand, and Altar
The Table, Lampstand, and Altar are outside the shielding curtain. Body-wise, they occupy the chest area of the body, the temple. In man's heart should be the Bread of His presence, the Lampstand, and the Altar of incense.
If the Bread of Jesus' presence stays fresh 24 hours daily, and the lampstand and altar of incense are kept burning the whole day, the spiritual nerves will operate accurately. Mind and heart should be one, the heart coordinating fully and willingly with the mind, with spiritual messages flowing smoothly from one end to the other.
The Lampstand was made of a single piece. Though elaborately embellished, everything was molded as a single whole. There were no riveted or nailed or screwed joints. No bone in Jesus' body was ever broken even unto death. The Lampstand symbolized Jesus, and also us. As Jesus’ physical body was never dismembered even at the bone joints, so the church, his body should not have denominations. Jesus’ will is complete unity—as perfect as the unity of the Father and Son, says John 17. God's flesh!
The Lampstand stood for the LIFE of Jesus in us. It is our light, for He is Light. That light should be burning 24/7 in us. The light people see in us should be His light. Exodus 25.37 says, ..so that they light the space in front of them.
The Lampstand had 7 lamps--one on top and 6 on each of its extending lateral branches. These stood for the 7 spirits before God's Throne (Rev.1.4) or the 7-fold Holy Spirit. The Spirit's fire should be kept burning is us.
In the Old Testament (OT) the priests saw to it that the lamps kept burning. Today, having the universal priesthood of all believers, among our main tasks before God is to keep our lamps burning. Denominational church activities and programs are garbage. They tend to make the church forget its main tasks for God--among which is keeping the lamp burning.
Our body, God's temple, can only be updated (the nerves being fully functional) with God if the Bread (Word), Lamp (Life), and Altar (God's Throne) are all in accord with Jesus, the Head. Anything else is foolish, trash, zero, pffft! We should learn and apply full-time how to make the temple accurately operational for God. Denominational activities and programs have nothing to do with this. Peter once said, Save yourselves from this corrupt generation! Denominations belong to that generation.
In Revelations, the 7 lampstands stood for the 7 churches (not 7 denominations). The lampstands stood for the life of the church. If the spiritual lives of the churches were rotten, God's warning was that their lampstands would be taken away. No matter how lively the church seems to be with impressive memberships and incomes and programs, if its lamp is dead, God will curse it.
The altar enabled the high priests to enter the Holy of Holies. The thick incense smoke protected them. The altar had horns. Horns were symbolic of strength. The incense burned in them was of special perfume--gum resin, onycha, galbanum and pure frankincense--in equal (or accurate) amounts. Everything in Kingdom operations should be accurate. Perfect in God’s ways. It’s a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, after all. Those who say perfection is impossible are, of all people, to be pitied.
This special and exclusive fragrance symbolized the aroma of Christ. Incense was to fill the room with this fragrance so that the garments worn by the priests, and the priests themselves, would catch the scent. Nothing pleased God except the aroma of flesh burning (the ego totally surrendered and incapacitated) and the aroma of Christ. Paul said, to God we are the aroma of Christ (2 Cor. 2.15). That aroma is our spiritual horn, our strength. Saul was anointed king with oil from a man-made flask. But David was anointed with oil from a horn, which was God-made.
The Altar was for Approaching the Throne
The Altar was placed in front of the curtain, near the Ark, with the atonement cover where God had said to Moses, I will meet with you. The incense smoke from the altar made this meeting possible and safe for Moses. The Altar makes the approach to God's Throne possible. Incense smoke covered them with Christ's presence and aroma. John 6.27 says only in Jesus has the Father set his seal of approval. Only Jesus is approved in God's eyes. To approach God, God should see Jesus in us, not ourselves.
The Altar stands for fragrant prayers (prayers with Christ's aroma). Rev. 8.3-5 gives us a deep insight into the power of the Altar. First, the smoke arising from an angelic offering of "much incense" that was burned on the altar always mixes with the prayer of the saints. It has the power to go up to God's very Throne and presence. Then, this prayer has power to bring down the powers of heaven to the earth (Rev. 8.5). When we pray, we should have no less than Christ's aroma--the incense fragrance.
Relationship between the Lamp and the Altar
The Word says Aaron must offer incense on the Altar each morning when tending the lamps. Each time he managed the lamps, he must burn incense on the Altar (Exo.30.7-8). The quality of our spiritual life (Lamp) is dependent on how we are able to approach the Throne (Altar), vice versa. The Jesus LIFE is nurtured by our exposure to God's presence. That's God's flesh!
You are God's Temple
Your mind should be the mind of Christ. Your heart should have the Bread, Lamp, and Altar. All these elements also symbolize Christ because Christ is all and is in all (Col. 3.11). Paul adds that, When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory (Col.3.4).
Kingdom building is really building the spiritual lives of believers. It is not about beautiful church buildings or planting church buildings in localities—which are all garbage. Every true believer should understand Kingdom building from powerful principles found in the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple.
Remember, to God, only pure spiritual gold is acceptable. God's flesh is gold in the spirit!
Outside the temple were only elements of bronze. Why? This is for the next issue.