Further Thoughts on the Testimony in Relation to the Candlestick and the Glory

by T. Austin-Sparks

First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" magazine, Jan-Feb 1931, Vol. 9-1.

(As spoken)

Ex. 24:17, 9:34,35; Eph. 3:21; 2 Thess. 1:10; Jude 14, 15.

We see in these passages, the common element in all is the breaking in of the Lord in glory; the breaking into this world of the Lord in glory. In Zech. 4 the Lord is bringing into view, in the symbolism of the candlestick all of gold, an instrument, a vessel for His Testimony, which is utterly and wholly for God.

A candlestick - that is the instrument.

All of gold - that is, which is wholly for God.

In the sanctuary the golden candlestick occupies the place midway between the Holy of Holies and the Tent of the Congregation: midway between heaven and earth; and the testimony is maintained in unwavering light by the supply of the Spirit, God-ward, and man-ward.

From Zechariah we see the True Testimony was lost in Israel as a whole, and was recovered to God in a Remnant. Carry this over into the Book of Revelation and in the letters to the Seven Churches, you find the professing mass of Christians had lost the Testimony, and the Lord was recovering it in a Remnant; He was calling out from the rest; the Overcomers.

Zechariah had a spirit of inquiry, which was encouraged by the Angel, and he drew it out in the questions Zechariah put to him: "What are these two olive trees...? and I answered the second time and said unto him, what are these two olive branches? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these are? And I said No, my lord; then he said, these are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

Oh! we do want to get the tremendous significance in the last clause - "that stand before the Lord of the whole earth: that is - ADONAI, MASTER. The Master of the whole earth: this is the title used here by the Holy Spirit, and declares the Lord's right to the earth, and that the Lord must have His Testimony maintained on the earth to the right which is His as Master. He breaks into the earth as Master.

The two anointed Ones, are types of Joshua the High Priest, and Zerubbabel the Governor, but are really the Lord Jesus in type on two sides of His Person: it is HE on either side of the candlestick maintaining the testimony, HE the High Priest, and HE the Sovereign Lord, and the spirit in the candlestick maintains the testimony to Him as such.

In Ex. 24 we see the glory of the Lord in the mount: "The cloud covered the mount, and the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days, and the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount." It was an unspeakable, terrific glory!

In Ex. 40 we see that glory coming into the HOUSE: "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle, and Moses was not able to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle."

Pass over to Solomon, 2 Chron. 7: "Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house, and the priests could not enter into the house of Jehovah, because the glory of Jehovah filled Jehovah's house." Thus the glory of the Lord came in again.

Pass over centuries, and come to a little town called Bethlehem, and the Lord breaks in again in glory. Angels know who HE is, demons know also, if men do not! As He breaks into the earth in Bethlehem, angels sing, "Glory to God in the highest."

In John 1 it is written, "WE beheld His glory... He came unto His own things and His own people received Him not." Pass on to when He was received up in glory, and then again at Pentecost when He entered His Church, which is to be the shrine of His glory for this age.

In the breaking in of His glory, two things come into view, or two halves of one thing.

Firstly, a present place for the Lord of Glory to dwell in. Secondly, a coming in the fulness of His glory to be "manifested in His saints, and marvelled at in all them that believe" (2 Thess. 1:10). The Lord must have something in which He dwells as Lord of Glory. He wants to come in, and must have something that brings Him in, so that His glory may come in full manifestation.

Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel saw the glory of the God of Israel.

Ex. 24 shows that God wants to come in. He wants to break into the earth in His glory, but in order that He may do so, He first calls up a company to Himself, and then comes down into the tabernacle. Why go up? To get instructions of the thing in which He would dwell. He must have something absolutely in every detail an expression of the Divine mind; in which He would dwell, and in which, and through which He could express His glory. He must have a place where He is Lord of glory, before He can come as Lord of glory: and before He can come down someone must come up!

That which is typical in the O.T. is fulfilled in the N.T. there is a sense in which, after breaking into the earth in His incarnation, He never left it again; for He said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age." I am with you all the days. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord Jesus and He is here now. "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever... He dwelleth with you and shall be in you; I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you" (John 14). The Holy Spirit has been given to glorify the Lord Jesus, and to establish His sovereignty in and through the Church, His Body - His instrument, that which He is forming, and conforming; and that coming in His glory is because there is something, which He has fashioned by the energy of the Spirit, in the in working of the Cross - a House that He has constituted for Himself, and He is by that, and through that, coming to be glorified; the glory of the Lord comes, because He has already come in His saints.

The coming of the Lord is very closely related to His having something here in which He already dwells as Lord of Glory; and the glory manifested will be because of the glory already come in, but veiled; and this is not only the occasion of His coming, but the means of His coming, and how that very coming is brought about.

In Ex. 24 before the Lord came down and manifested His glory in the midst of men, He called up to Himself, "seventy of the elders of Israel." What is that? Seventy is a representative number, a number representing the Church.

Note the difference in the sending forth of the Twelve, and of the Seventy. To the Twelve the Lord said, "go not save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But for the Seventy He broadened the compass of their ministry to beyond the borders of Judaism. The church is in view.

Seventy is the number of a representative company of the Lord's people; and the Lord must have a representative company, who have the vision of His glory, and are in fellowship with Him in the desire of His heart.

He cannot come into all Israel, until He has got a representative company to leave the plains and come up to Him in the mount, and know HIM in that close, intimate fellowship, which is implied by "And they beheld God, and did eat and drink."

Yes, the Lord must be brought in by a representative company who have left the ordinary religious level, and come into a heavenly fellowship with Himself.

So the Candlestick, all of gold - altogether according to God, is brought into view with the Remnant, as fulfilling a representative ministry. The two tribes of Israel were representative of the whole of Israel. And in Rev. 2 the letter lo the Church in Ephesus is written to saved ones, but fallen from their first love: we cannot say they are done with for ever, and lost! Yet God is calling out of the Church in Ephesus a company of Overcomers to come into fellowship with His own mind about things, and be part of the Instrument for the Testimony of His glory; the Lord would call a representative company up higher into fellowship with HIMSELF.

The Principle is this, the Lord works through a representative company, you can trace this through the Word, and will find it is always God's way. The Lord maintains what is according to His mind through a small company; even though the main company have come into relationship to Him through His shed Blood, yet out of that company He is getting, as representative of the rest, that instrument which is wholly according to the mind of God; that "Seventy Company" of pure gold, wholly for God; where all is according to His mind, and who are with Him in the Ephesian heavenly places. You know what that means, that it is not just a theory, or doctrine, but a living reality, inwrought by the Spirit through His Cross; yes, beaten gold.

If you have seen the Lord, you cannot live in the plains! They went up the mountain and saw the Lord of Glory. Have we seen the LORD? I do not mean seeing with our mortal eyes, or in visions, etc. No, nothing of that kind of seeing: that is perilous; I mean that true, deep INWARD SEEING of the LORD. Have we truly seen the Lord? Are we enraptured with HIM. When you see HIM you are changed for ever, and you cannot live on the plain: you are Mountain people, you belong to the mountains! That is the secret of wonderful endurance.

What is the secret of Paul's ascendancy? He has seen the Lord, and in the light of that, goes from the stoning back into Lystra, until the Testimony is established in a little group of men and women there; he is willing to die a thousand deaths, if only the Testimony to the Sovereignty of the Lord Jesus is established.

It is a desperate fight for the Cities. What do cities stand for? Are they not centres of organised evil and iniquity, where Satan has his seat? But in those very strongholds of Satan, the Testimony to the Sovereignty must be established.

Jerusalem, a great religious centre of the world, crucified the Lord of Glory without its walls! And it was in a little upper room in that very city, that the Holy Spirit established the Testimony to the Sovereignty of the same Lord Jesus, on the Day of Pentecost.

It is very vital to see that it is a corporate Testimony. "The candlestick shall be of one piece; three branches of the candlestick out of one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof... the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold... out of a talent of pure gold made he it... the whole of it was one beaten work of pure gold" (Ex. 25:32,36; 37:22,24). How often is the reiteration, "of one piece" thus emphasising the corporateness of the testimony, and the corporate nature of the Instrument of the Testimony.

When you get vision, your ministry falls away, and it is no longer our life work, or the life work that belongs to us for the Lord, we are no longer troubled with our life work for the Lord, the only thing that matters, and is of concern to us is, not our testimony, but HIS TESTIMONY, and when it is thus, things as things will be all right and settled. Get occupied with the Lord Jesus, this will be our emancipation. A representative company eating and drinking with HIM: "And they saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet, as it were a paved work as of sapphire stone." The sapphire, the heavenly colour, symbol of the heavenly thing, the heavenly nature from centre to circumference, that is the walking place of God; that is what the Lord puts His feet on! He must have a company cut off from the things of earth, and wooed unto Himself.

It is a law. God is coming to break in, in glory, and it will be into the heavenly thing, and not into this world as yet, but into that which is according to His own mind, and has not got its roots in this world, but a cut-off people, a people who have come up to Him, the Lord of Heaven, in the mount, to prepare a way for His coming in glory, and for this He must have a company separated unto HIMSELF in a heavenly life; and of whom it can be said, all their well-springs are in Him.

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was one man in a godless world, and yet who had got a vision of His coming (Jude 13,14).

The Instrument of the Testimony, that Nucleus Company, that Remnant People, Overcomers, that Seventy Company, call them what you will, are those who have got a vision of the glory of the Lord, and in the light of that glory have fellowship one with another in the Lord. This fellowship of the Lord's people is a vital factor in the manifestation of the Lord, and a very important element in the Instrument of the Testimony to the Sovereignty; fellowship with the Lord and with His people is that which gets nearest to the heart of God, and is the target of the Devil, and Hell's master-stroke against it is division!


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