The Holy Place
The tabernacle was divided into two apartments — the holy place and the holy of holies, which beautifully sets forth the two works of grace.
There were three articles in the holy place: the seven-pronged candlestick, or lamp; the table of shewbread, and the golden altar of incense.
On entering this place, the first thing that meets our eyes on the left is the golden candlestick, illuminating the room and revealing all of the articles in this place. This lamp is a type of the Holy Ghost. Its purpose in shining is to reveal not its own beauty; the Holy Ghost is given to reveal Christ. He throws all of His heavenly rays upon the face of Christ until it becomes the fairest among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely.
The only light from the holy place was from this seven-pronged lamp. The Holy Ghost alone can reveal the deep, hidden things of God. I am persuaded that if the teachers of theology of our prominent church schools had depended more upon the Holy Ghost for their light than did they on German-soaked theology, we would not have so many infidels in the pulpits today denying the virgin birth and the Deity of Christ. Instead of turning out higher critics and men tainted with evolution, they would have produced Spirit-filled, fire-baptized men with a burning message and a passion for souls.
In Proverbs 20:27, we read that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. A candle is made for the purpose of shining. God wants to so illuminate the saints that they will shine. The radiance from His Spirit will cause the eye to sparkle and the countenance to shine. Charles G. Finney had so much of the Holy Ghost light that his very face shone with it. At one time he went into a cotton mill to observe its work. The operatives began at once to gaze at his shinning face. The effect was electrifying. In a few moments every one in the whole mill was in tears. The foreman, coming through, took in the situation, and ordered the machinery stopped, saying that it was no time to run a cotton mill when the Spirit of God was at work. Mr. Finney was then asked to help the tearful, trembling souls, and scores prayed their way through to God.
In revival meetings we have witnessed the faces of the saints shining with a light that was reflected from the City of God. Dr. S. A. Keen says the gift of the Holy Ghost, as a Presence, imparts a kind of physical transfiguration to the child of God. It illumines the face, brightens the eye, sweetens the voice, hallows the manner. It shines him up. God’s people need to shine up. Sin and deviltries are putting on their best looks and best airs. If the Church is to win, it must outshine sin. The baptism with the Holy Ghost puts sunshine into the soul and sunshine into the life. Those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost are not always conscious that the light of God shines from their faces, but others perceive it. Moses’ face shone when he came from the mount, but Moses “knewist not that his face shone.” It was the people who were aware of it.
A Christian worker left his home, spending several weeks in special services for souls. After a most successful meeting he returned home. As he entered the house, his wife said, “My dear, what is the matter with you?” “Oh, nothing,” he said. “But look at your face.” “Why, what is the matter with my face? Is it soiled?” “No,” said she, “but I never saw you with such a face. It is so bright!” Then he had to confess that while abroad he had sought and found the gift of the Holy Ghost. His face had told on him before he could say a word.
Again, this light is given us to walk in. St. John says that it is only as we walk in the light that the blood cleanseth. Light calls for more sacrifice, self-denial and devotion. Men and women who used to have a glowing, red-hot experience have cooled off, and are powerless and juiceless and dead. If the truth were known, they balked on light. A man went to camp meeting shouting happy. He received light on tithing, but refused to walk in it, and lost the victory, and darkness came over his soul.
We have seen preachers face the light on Holiness, and at first they seemed to walk in it. But as light continued to shine in, revealing things that had to be given up, idols that had to be smashed, advance steps that had to be taken, and finally the reproach that was connected with Holiness, their hearts failed and they refused this light and failed to enter in. A powerless life and a fruitless ministry, after this, were theirs.
A great evangelist came to the forks of the road where he had to make a choice between Holiness and popularity. He weighed the two, finally deciding against Holiness. Some time before this he had held a meeting in which five hundred souls were converted. Five years after his rejection of light for Holiness he made this statement: “If I have had a single conversion in five years, I do not know it.” Deplorable indeed!
When souls refuse to walk in all the light the Spirit turns in, they get in a confused state and invariably lose the “keen edge” from their experience, the Bible becomes a sealed book, and religious duty is irksome. Remember that, “Light once is light forever.”
The second article in the holy place was the table of shewbread. This is typical of nourishment and soul food. “The soul has its appropriate food and its mystical way of eating and digesting, just as really as does the body. The soul feeds on truth and love and the Divine personalities. It feeds on truth through the intellect; it feeds on love through the affections.” A loaf of bread, when it is eaten and properly digested, is taken into the blood and then converted into flesh and bone. There is a correspondence to this in the soul.
The spiritual nature has five senses, as has the body, and when quickened by the Holy Ghost they are just as real. The sense of taste is just as conscious as that of the body. We read in Heb. 6:4, 5, of tasting of the heavenly gift, which means Jesus. Not only can we taste of Jesus through the Holy Ghost, but the soul feasts on Him — His Divine personality and His attributes. John speaks of eating the little book which the angel gave him, and it was sweet in his mouth (Rev. 10:8, 9). The relationship the mouth sustains to the body in taking in and masticating food for its use, this same relationship does faith sustain to the soul. Faith takes hold of the Word and transforms it into soul food, and it becomes spirit and life. What blood is to the body, feeding every part of it with nourishment, this Divine love is to the soul.
These loaves had often to be replenished and renewed. This shows our need of fresh soul food. The soul cannot live on stale bread and cold theology. The Holy Ghost makes the promises of God fresh each day. We do not have to live on old straw that has been threshed last year, while God has for us a land flowing with milk and honey.