TD Jakes - The Golden Lampstand
The battle is between darkness and light. Darkness isn't a thing. It's a result. You are dark. You are blind for the absence of light. When God says, "Let there be light," the darkness comprehended it not. There are some people, beloved of God, that you will never make them able to see what you see, to know what you know, to love what you love. Don't be discouraged because you brought them to church and they went home talking about gossip, and they're riding down the street talking about gossip, and you've got the glory of the Lord on you, because just because you're in the same place doesn't mean you see the same things.
And God said, "Let there be light". Take me up in the house. When God says, "Let there be light," there will always be light. Give me lights in the house, brother. When God says, "Let there be light," there you go, there will always be light. When I had him turn the lights up in the house, I didn't have to tell the darkness to go. Wherever there is light, darkness has to go because darkness doesn't really exist. Darkness is a result of the absence of light.
How can two walk together say they agree? When I told him, "Take me up in the house," darkness had to run. Wherever light comes, darkness has to run. The darkness of drugs, the darkness of suicide, the darkness of evil, the darkness of witchcraft. You don't have to wrestle with witchcraft, all you gotta do is say, Let there be light! And wherever there's light, darkness has gotta go. Darkness comprehended it not. Darkness can't swallow light. I could tell him to turn up the light, but I can't tell him to turn up the dark. Y'all will get it when you get home. There is no apparatus to regulate darkness.
What I'm wanting you to see is that this principle between darkness and light does not start at the tabernacle. It is from Genesis to Revelations. All the way throughout the book, the thing remains the same, the war between darkness and light. So, when we come into the tent, we come into a dark room. There were no windows in the most holy place. Here there is only one source of light. One source of light. When you go in the room, this was it, the golden candlestick. Now, the problem with teaching this today is when you say candlesticks, you think wax. But you have to understand, this is feed by oil. And the Scriptures say in our text that the light is to burn continually, which means that you had to dress it in the morning and dress it in the evening, because this is symbolic of so many things I'm getting ready to teach, that God wanted it to be perpetual and not go out.
The redressing of the lamps. You remember in 1 Samuel that the Word of the Lord was scarce there in those days, and there was no open vision, and the eyes of Eli had grown dim. And Samuel has now come to serve in the temple, and the Bible says, "And ere the lamp of God went out". Samuel's job is to make sure that the oil is placed in the lamp. "And ere the lamp of God went out, he heard a voice say, 'Samuel, Samuel.'" He said, "Eli, did you call me"? "I called thee not. Go lay down again". And he keeps going back and forth, and back and forth, and all of a sudden, he understands that God has called him. The reason it brings up an "Ere the lamp of God went out" is that this lamp was to burn perpetually. And people who served in the house of God, it was their job to make sure there was always enough oil in the lamp to produce light.
Do you have enough oil to produce light, or are you like the foolish virgins who have run out of oil? You mean you gonna let them people on your job spend your oil? These light afflictions, these little problems you're going through, you lost your oil for a man? You let boo get your oil? Don't you know boo is not gonna be with you always? Boo was just with Sue. Touch somebody and say, "And ere the lamp of God went out". We understand some things here. I'm not gonna finish. I can tell I'm not gonna finish. Oh God, we understand some things. I'll go as far as I can. We understand some things. We understand in the New Testament that when we're talking about light, we're talking about knowledge, enlightenment. We understand that the condemnation comes through the choice that men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
So, I want you to write this down: willful blindness. That means if we have a choice, we are willfully blind. Look at the things that people choose not to see. You can pour your heart out talking to people about injustice, or racism, or hatred, and no matter how you explain it and how you point it out, how many pictures and how many videos, when a person chooses not to see. It took us centuries to see that women could do something other than cook. I'm talking about willful blindness, things that people choose not to see because their heart is evil.
Sight is a choice. You don't believe it? Close your eyes. People close their eyes to other people's pain, other people's problems. They close their eyes to who they could be and who they should be as a human being. They close their eyes and you can't understand for the life of you why you are pleading a case before a person that even strapped with evidence they ignore. It is willful blindness. You know to forgive your wife. You know to forgive your husband. You've cried and come to the altar. You choose to be blind. You choose to be unforgiving. You choose not to get over it. You choose not to forgive your father. You choose not to forgive your mother. It's not that there's not enough Word to preach you out of bondage, it is willful blindness, because in your heart, you decided to be evil. That's a choice.
The light had to remain. Okay, this light, this light. Let's talk about it from a spiritual perspective. Go to John chapter 9, verse 5. "As long as I am in the world". Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world. I am the light". I am. First of all, "I am". Not, "I was". Not, "I will be". "I am". Who shall I say sent me? The same I am that answered Moses is now saying, "I am". Moses saw him in a burning bush. The disciples saw him walking around in flesh. But it's still the same I am. I am the light of the world. Go to Matthew 5:14. The same Jesus who says, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world," in Matthew 5:14, he says, "Ye are the light of the world". Ooh! You are the light of the world. A city, what? "That is set on a hill". On a hill. "Cannot be hid". That cannot be hid. A city set upon a hill that cannot be hid.
You are the light of the world. God says, "What I did in you, I did it to expose". So, you don't get to hide because you don't like people. You are the light of the world. So, you cannot hide your light just because you're shy. God has something for you to do. That ought to be more important than you. Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine. You have to let it shine. There are people in this room, you have something. You have something that you hide because you're afraid. I call you out this morning. I call your ministry out. I call your gifts out. I call your talents out. I call your anointing out. I call your giftings out of the shadows. This is a morning that you are coming out of the shadows to walk in the light. God didn't do everything he did for you for you to hide your light up under a bushel.
I call you out of your comfort zone. Whether they talk about you or not, whether they bring up your past or not, whether your old girlfriend is in this church with a new man or not, come out of the shadows. God wants to use you. I don't know who I'm talking to, but I feel a spirit of release in this place today. You don't just get to come to church and watch me shine. You got a light. You got a shine light too.
The golden lampstands or candlesticks, a term used interchangeably, is really a menorah. It's really a menorah. And I want you to understand, it was made from one piece of gold. One piece, one piece. Not a little bit of this and a little bit of that, so that the integrity is consistent. Consistency is important. So, God said, "You can't be a light and be inconsistent". Consistency is important. This anointing that I'm sending out at you right now, you don't get to dilute it or pollute it. It has to be pure. The same oil that hit the head, hit the beard, hit the skirt without being diluted or polluted. You don't get to reconfigure the gospel to fit your situation. I don't get to preach what I think. I don't get to preach how I would like for it to be. It has to be one pure piece of gold or it's not light.
Whether you come up to it or not, the standard is the same. If the Word kill a man, let him die. You cannot change the Word to fit the person. I said you cannot change the Word to fit the person. It is what it is. It said what it said. It meant what it meant. Even if it crushes me, if it crushes you, it's still the truth. Let God be true and every man a liar. That's the Word. Am I doing good?
The menorah's become one of the most prominent symbols of Judaism. It continues to be a prominent symbol today. Perhaps the most powerful one is the one that we see at Christmastime, though it is a little bit different from the menorah you see. Put both of 'em up on the screen. The menorah that they celebrate at Christmastime has more branches. It has more branches because according to the Talmud, written in the Talmud, it was not permissible to take this menorah out of the temple. It is holy unto the Lord. So, anything that you're gonna shine in your house has to be distinct and different from the other menorah. Distinct in its content, distinct in the amount of branches that it has, just totally distinct, totally different.
Now, you must understand when we start talking about the menorah, we must understand that it has three different parts. It has a base, it has a shaft, it has branches. Are you hearing what I'm saying to you? I'm trying to hear. It has a base. Take the other one down. It has a base, it has a shaft, it has branches. Bowls and knops to hold the oil. Knops to turn it, to regulate the flame. It has a base. It has branches. When I saw branches... let me take it piece by piece. If you don't have a base, your base "On Christ, the solid rock". You've gotta have a base. You gotta have a foundation. You can't just preach because God call you and because you think you're anointed. You have to have a base. You have to stop to learn so that you can last. If you don't learn, you won't last. The base is that which all else rest on. For spiritual purpose, all that evolves rests on the sovereignty of God, the absolute one, no shadow of turning.
The shaft is the extension of the base. The base is in the shaft. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. One piece of gold. "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made of himself no reputation". Are you following me? So, when you understand the shaft... I would not be able to experience the base if Christ had not communicated him to us. What was that phrase earlier? One beaten... yeah. The shaft was beaten. I don't have time to go through it, Isaiah 53:1-2. 2 Corinthians 5:19, "To wit, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself". God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. God was in Christ.
The base is in the shaft, reconciling the branches unto itself. What was amazing to me about the text, what really got me all stirred up about the text is, of all, it didn't call the extensions arms. It called 'em branches. A branch, what a simile. A base and a shaft could be an object, but a branch is a living thing. Why does he call it branches? And when he said "branches," my mind leaped over the Old Testament, landed in the New Testament in the Gospel of St. John, and he said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches". The branch is you. The branch does not have oil of itself. "Say thee abide in the shaft, or the vine, without me, you can do nothing". Are you understanding what I'm saying? So, what you see in the menorah is relationship, each part depending upon its connectivity to the other part in order to give light. The base needs the shaft. The shaft needs the branches. It is the connection and the relationship that causes the menorah to function. "I am the vine, ye are the branches. Say thee abide in the vine, ye can do nothing". Everything you do and everything you accomplish in life is only happening because of your connection with him. If you lose that connection with him, you will lose everything.