Category Archives: The Lampstand

The lampstand in the tabernacle symbolises the glory of Christ as He represents His people in heaven.

The lampstand

TABERNACLE STUDIES Part 11 The Lampstand

The candlestick or lampstand is detailed for us in Exodus 37:17-24:

“And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick; his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same:

And six branches going out of the sides thereof; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof:

Three bowls made after the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three bowls made like almonds in another branch, a knop and a flower: so throughout the six branches going out of the candlestick.

And in the candlestick were four bowls made like almonds, his knops, and his flowers:

And a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches going out of it.

Their knops and their branches were of the same: all of it was one beaten work of pure gold.

And he made his seven lamps, and his snuffers, and his snuffdishes, of pure gold.

Of a talent of pure gold made he it, and all the vessels thereof.”

Although the candlestick did not hold candles, nevertheless the word candel is a measurement of light, hence the Authorised Version is quite correct, for the branches did support the light sources on top of them and as such were sticks for candels, meaning light beams. Since this use of the word candel is not familiar to us, we shall use the word lampstand. After all, the word candel was not familiar to the Hebrews. They would think of this item of tabernacle furniture as a stand for holding up lamps, and such it is.

The position of the lampstand: The lampstand was positioned on the left hand side as the priest approached God, which meant it was on the south side of the Holy Place, Exodus 40:24. The vessels in the court of the tabernacle symbolise the ministry of the Lord Jesus in open view when He was on earth. He was crucified in full view of the city and the passers-by, and His sacrifice in its justifying and sanctifying aspects are typified by the altar and laver. The vessels in the Holy Place, however, symbolise for us the ministry of the Lord Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary. We have noted at the outset of our studies that the tabernacle represented heavenly things, and was God’s sign to Israel that better things were in prospect than could be accomplished by earthly priests in an earthly sanctuary. The Lord Jesus has “entered…into heaven itself, now to appear (shine) in the presence of God, (like the loaves), for us” (as counterpart to altar of incense, interceding), Hebrews 9:24. Being on the south side, this meant it was “over against the table”, Exodus 26:35. But we are also told that the lamps gave “light over against the lampstand”, Exodus 25:37, meaning that the lampstand shone onto itself as well as onto the table. And since the altar of incense was between the two, before the veil, it must have lit up this vessel as well. So all three vessels were lit up by the lamps, and were thereby linked together.

Purpose of the lampstand: As far as Israel was concerned, the lamp was a constant testimony that God would introduce the Messiah. In Genesis 15:17 we read that when God was making an unconditional covenant with Abraham, (for Abraham was asleep during the process), instead of Abraham passing through the pieces of the divided covenant-victim, a burning lamp did so. Now we learn from Isaiah 62:1 that the Messiah is depicted as a burning lamp. This is confirmed in the New Testament, for Paul, referring to the covenant with Abraham, said that it was confirmed “in Christ”, Galatians 3:17, thus pin-pointing the fact that He is the guaranteeing party to the arrangement.

As far as we are concerned, we may say the following things about the current ministry of the Lord Jesus in heaven, as the one who represents us, and ministers to our needs. (a) He displays His own glory.  He is recognised for who He is, as on earth He was not. This is the aspect of glory He asked for in John 17:5. He did not lose the glory of Deity, (see John 2:11), but He did lose the recognition of it that He had enjoyed in heaven. That has been restored to Him, and as the hymn-writer put it, “Every knee to Him is bending, as the Lamb for sinners slain”. (b) He “shines” in the presence of God for us.  Just as the light of the lampstand would cause the crystals of the frankincense on the loaves to sparkle, so the shining glory of Christ lights up His people, and makes them acceptable to God. (c) He is engaged in priestly activity in heaven, and does so in the light of His own glory.  He shines upon His people, intercedes for them, and represents them all in the presence of God just as the loaves represented all the twelve tribes of Israel.

The pattern of the lampstand:

(a) It was made entirely of gold. This emphasises the fact that Christ is light because He is God. The apostle John wrote, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all”, 1 John 1:5, so since Christ is “the true God and eternal life”, 1 John 5:20, then light is the expression of His person. Whereas He ever shone as the light, His intercession and provision depend on His incarnation, hence the altar and the table are of wood as well as of gold, for they depend for their functioning that the Lord Jesus is True Man as well as True God.

(b) It was measured by weight, not size. The word glory is connected with the word heavy, and Christ is heavy with Divine glory. That glory cannot be measured except by the weight of it. It was made of a talent of pure gold. There is no impurity with God, “in Him is no darkness at all”, and so it is fitting that the gold is mentioned as being pure. Being pure, we are assured that it has no other substance with it to make it less than perfect. As already quoted, the Lord Jesus is “true God”; He is genuine and authentic. The apostle Paul could write, “in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”, Colossians 2:9. The fulness dwelt in Him down here, but it dwells in Him still, as is seen by the present tense of the verb dwell.

(c) It was like a beautiful almond tree. The shittim wood used for four of the vessels speaks of Christ in His humiliation down here. The “root out of the dry ground”, (for the shittim tree grew in the harsh conditions of the desert), and the one “despised and rejected of men”, Isaiah 53:3. The almond tree, however, is a tree of Canaan, as is seen by the fact that Jacob sent almonds from Canaan, amongst other gifts, from Canaan as a present for Joseph, Genesis 43:11. The Lord Jesus is fully fitted to minister in heaven, for that is His proper home. He came from God and went to God, John 13:3.

The word for almond means “to wake”, and “to watch”. This is because it is the first tree to bloom, and it watches for the new season after the darkness of the winter, and awakes first. We see this in Jeremiah 1:11,12, where we read, “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, “Jeremiah, what seest thou?” And I said, “I see the rod of an almond tree.” Then said the Lord unto me, “Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten My word to perform it”. So just as the almond hastens to display its glory after the gloom of winter, so the Lord promises to glorify Himself despite the adverse conditions Israel were in. We learn therefore that the Lord Jesus is ever watchful over His people, and ever hastens to their succour when they are in need.

(d) It was made of beaten work. The beauty was the result of suffering. Bezaleel must have taken a solid lump of gold, and with his goldsmith’s hammer beat out that gold until it was shaped like a golden tree. It is said that the almond tree in Palestine is strikingly beautiful, and this lampstand must have been the same. The Lord Jesus has been made perfect or fully qualified for His present ministry by “the things that He suffered”, Hebrews 2:10; 5:9. His experiences in a hostile world have given Him glories that He did not have before, and fit Him to support His people as they pass through this wilderness world.

(e) Was beautifully ornamented. The time for humiliation is over for Christ, and He shines in all His glory in heaven. There were no leaves, for that represents barrenness and false profession, as we see from. The Lord Jesus came to a fig tree, (which represents the nation of Israel after the flesh), and found “nothing thereon, but leaves only”, Matthew 21:19. There is no pretence and outward show with Christ; He is always what He seems, and always bears fruit for His Father.

The knops were like swelling buds, which in the case of a tree show the vigour of the life that is within. Trees in the depth of winter sometimes look as though they have died, but then the warmer days come, and the buds begin to swell, life bursts forth again. The Lord Jesus lives in resurrection life, as He said to John, “I was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore”, Revelation 1:18. But He said this as “He that liveth”, which amounts to a title, “The Living One”. So the life in resurrection He has is a further expression of the life He has inherently.

He has been made a high priest “after the power of an endless life”, Hebrews 7:16. In other words, His death could not deprive Him of His real life, and it is in relation to His Divine Life, which has shown itself to be endless, or indissoluble, that He ministers for His people. The priests of Aaron’s line were not suffered to continue by reason of death, Hebrews 7:23, but He has no such limitation. It is a great mystery how He who is essentially the Living One should be found in death, but it was necessary in order that He might bring His people over into resurrection conditions in association with Himself. He must deal with their mortality that they might know His immortality. We should bear in mind that the Saviour spoke of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as living, even though as to the body they are dead. “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”, Matthew 22:31.

Aaron’s rod that budded was the sign to the people that God had invested authority in him after the criticisms of Korah, see Numbers Chapters 16 and 17. So Christ’s authority to minister in the heavenly sanctuary is vested in His rising again from the dead.

The flowers were unfading, for they were made of gold. These flowers will never fade. James speaks of the rich men of earth, who shall fade away. They are like the flowers on the grass, of which it has to be said, “the grace of the fashion of it perisheth,” James 1:11. The glories of the one who, although rich, for us became poor, shall be admired by us eternally, for He especially asked that His people might be with Him, so that they might behold His glory, John 17:24. And because the basis of that prayer is “for Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world”, it is sure to be granted.

The bowls were like almonds, for the tree has achieved its object, and borne fruit. The Lord Jesus made it clear that a tree is known by its fruits. “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth corrupt fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them”, Matthew 7:16-20. By yielding the good fruit of Canaan, this almond tree showed itself to be good in nature, and as such, profitable to men and God.

There were seven lamps on the lampstand, and John refers to Christ as the Light in seven places in his gospel. He thereby shows us the character of the One who appears (shines) in heaven for us, Hebrews 9:24. His people are those who have met the test of the light, 1 John 1:7.

(i) John 1:4-10  Light not comprehended: John 1:1-10 gives us various ways in which the Word manifested Himself to the world before He became incarnate. Light radiates, illuminates, investigates, and discriminates, and we shall see these features as we proceed.

(a) In eternity, with God.

1:1,2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”

When time began the Word was, already; such is the sense of the imperfect tense that is used in the expression “in the beginning was the Word”. He is therefore eternal and uncreated. The only one who is eternal and uncreated is God, so He manifests God-hood in eternity. God is “in the light”, 1 John 1:7, so the Godhead existed in the glory of the light of their own being. And it is still the same now, with the Lord Jesus back in heaven “shining” for us.

(b) In creation, declaring God.

1:3-5 “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”.

Paul wrote of those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful,” Romans 1:19-21. Notice the underlined words, for they tell us that the knowledge of God is in the heart of man through creation, but they prefer their own thoughts. Men are without excuse, even though they think they have an excuse in evolution. The life of the Word expresses itself in the form of light, radiating and informing, for God is light, and since the Word is God, when He manifests God He does it in the form of light. Sadly, the light and the darkness co-existed, for men were not prepared to accept the testimony that creation gave about God. The Light keeps on shining, however, despite the fact that the dark and ignorant hearts of men do not lay hold of the truth He expresses. John surveys the whole of the four thousand years before the coming of Christ and says, “comprehended” in the past tense. Their foolish heart was darkened by Satan’s lies, instead of being illuminated by God’s truth. This shows the need for His personal intervention.

(c) In John the Baptist, bringing testimony near to its climax.

1:6-8 “There was a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light”.

John never calls John the Baptist by that name. To the apostle he was an important witness to the light. His baptising role was in the background. He was “a burning and a shining light”, and men were “willing for a season to rejoice in his light”, John 5:35. As long as John preached a soon-coming and glorious Messianic kingdom, the people were willing to rejoice in his testimony. But when he condemned sin, and exposed hypocrisy, their enthusiasm waned. Nonetheless he was the last of the prophets, for, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John”, Matthew 12:13. The whole of the Old Testament was summed up in his ministry. This is why the next verse surveys the whole of the Old Testament, as we shall now see.

(d) In providence and revelation, maintaining a constant testimony.

1:9,10 “That was the true light, which lighteth every man, that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not”.

The apostle has been careful to tell us that John, despite being a shining light, was not The Light. Yet he did perform a vital function in relation to the light that the Word was giving to men, and he bore witness to what had been done throughout the Old Testament. He spoke of the Messiah, the Christ, John 1:20, reminding us of the promises in the Old Testament about His coming. He spoke of “the prophet”, the one who would be like Moses, and give the word of God to the people, but without the terrors of the law accompanying it, verse 21. He referred to Elijah, for he was prophesied to come before the kingdom was brought in, verse 21. He referred to the testimony of the prophets, such as Isaiah, verse 23. He spoke of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, verse 29, a reference to Israel’s Day of Atonement. He spoke also of the Lamb of God as He walked, verse 36, a reference to the Passover lamb, scrutinised to ensure it was fit to provide the redeeming blood. All these are Old Testament concepts, and they are brought together by this last witness before the coming of the Word in person.

So it is that John the apostle tells us that the Light lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He is of universal application, and no man has ever seen a gleam of light from God apart from His behind-the-scenes activity. Says John, “He was in the world”. Now the word “was” in this text is exactly the same as the one in verse 1. It is in the imperfect tense here, as there, and means “already was”, the continuation of that which is previous. So John is saying that all down through the centuries of Old Testament time, the Word was in the world, in the sense that He was intervening for God’s glory and man’s blessing.

We could think of this in various ways: Provision: “Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness”, Acts 14:17. So the faithfulness of the Creator in providing for men is testimony to His goodness and kindness.

Intervention: When we read of man’s expulsion from Eden; of God’s judgement on Cain; of His judgement in sending the flood; His scattering of men at the Tower of Babel; the destruction of Sodom; the plagues on Egypt; the destruction of Pharoah’s cavalry in the Red Sea at the Exodus from Egypt; the many ways in which He dealt with Israel in the wilderness and in the land; the sending of Israel into captivity. All these are demonstrations of the light shining, exposing the darkness and judging it. As the psalmist wrote, “The Lord is known by the judgement which He executeth”, Psalm 9:16.

Instruction: It was not all judgement. He made known His truth by men who were faithful to Him. It is important to remember that just three men, Adam, Enoch and Methusaleh, span the period from creation to the flood. And of course, Noah and Shem continue the testimony afterwards, with the God of glory appearing to Abraham to begin a new work in the earth. Then there was the law at Sinai giving God’s principles to men in a formal way, so that Moses can say, “And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgements so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day, Deuteronomy 4:8. In that law was a system of sacrifices that pointed the way to the sacrifice of Christ, and the prophets were there all the time to exhort and challenge the people. So it was fulfilled what God said to Abraham, “In thy seed shall all nations be blessed”, Genesis 12:3; and the Lord Jesus was able to say to the Samaritan woman, “Salvation is of the Jews”, John 4:22.

So it is that the Divine light shone as the Word, as the Firstborn, administered for God before He came. And we are encouraged to think that as He shines for us in heaven, He not only maintains the truth and integrity of God as He does so, but continues His work of illumination of our hearts as we live upon the earth. If He could illumine men before He came into the world, He can do so again now that He has left the world.

(ii) John 3:16-21   Light hated:

3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 3:17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. 3:18 He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 3:19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God”.

In this further reference to Christ as the light, we see the truth that man must change if he is to be comfortable in the light. Those who are represented by Christ in heaven have thus changed. Let us notice how the Saviour deals with Nicodemus. Significantly, it is a night scene. The great test for Nicodemus will be whether he is prepared to come out of the darkness into the light. Light from Christ will shine upon him, and he will have to respond one way or the other- he cannot be neutral. The Lord Jesus explains to him that even though he is a respected Jew, and a teacher in Israel, he is not fit for the kingdom of God as he is. His natural birth has given him a nature that is unsuited to the kingdom. He must be born again to see that kingdom. He will have no true understanding of its true nature until that happens. If he is going to enter the kingdom he must be born of the Spirit of God, whose sovereign workings none can fathom or control. Understandably, Nicodemus is baffled. He exclaims, “How can these things be?” In other words, “How can they come about?” The answer is that he must have faith in a crucified Messiah, whom God has sent to die on a cross so that he might obtain eternal life. Nicodemus was expecting God to send the Messiah to judge the Gentile nations and bring in His glorious kingdom, with Israel prominent in that kingdom. Now he learns that “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”, verse 17. So there is no distinction in this matter of salvation, between being a Jew or being a Gentile. The Son came into the world, not just into Israel. His remit was to deal with all men without discrimination. The salvation, moreover, is not political, (the setting up of a kingdom), but spiritual, (the granting of eternal life through the new birth). There is another side to this matter, however, for the coming of Christ had moral implications, and to this the Saviour now refers. Whilst it true that He did not come to condemn in the sense of passing irreversible sentence on the men of the world, nevertheless His coming did distinguish between those who believed and those who did not. Those who believe are free of condemnation totally, the word “not” that is used being a very strong word, meaning “absolutely not”. But the word is also used in the next phrase, where we find people saying in effect, “I will absolutely not believe”. Such people are condemned already, for they are self-condemned by their own act of refusal. They bear testimony, unwittingly, to the verdict of a coming day. Something of the magnitude of the wickedness of this decision is seen in the next phrase. They have not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. This is their crime, which could not be greater. To not believe on His name is not only the height of folly, but also the height of rebellion. The greater the person, the greater the crime of unbelief.

Since to be Son of God is to be God, and therefore light, (for God is light, 1 John 1:5), rejection of Him is rejection of the light. And it is response to this light that determines destiny. So it is that our passage says, “this is the condemnation”. The word for condemnation used here relates to the crisis-point when the judge gives his verdict. In the mercy of God that verdict is known beforehand, so that men may have warning. The condemnation will be that light has come into the world, but men did not simply ignore it, but loved the darkness of their ignorance rather than loving the light of knowledge that the Son of God brought within their range. Why should men love darkness? The reason is that they hate the light, since it exposes their sin. Those who “do truth”, however, are characterised by love of the light. They delight in what the Son of God reveals to them. Even though they are condemned by the light at first, when they have believed on His name they come to love the light of His truth. As such, they readily come to the light, delighting to worship in His presence. As those who are born again of the God who is light, they are children of light, and are able to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. They “do the truth”, allowing it to work out its implications in their lives. Their works are “wrought in God”, for His life is now being expressed in their deeds and attitudes.

It is such people, who have believed on Him and are comfortable in the light of His presence, that the Son of God represents in God’s presence.

(iii) John 8:12-18.  Light testifying.

8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said unto Him, Thou bearest record of Thyself; thy record is not true. 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 8:16 And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. 8:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 8:18 I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me. 8:19 Then said they unto Him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know Me, nor My Father: if ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also”.

These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus in the temple courts after the Feast of Tabernacles. At that feast great lampstands were erected in the temple courts to remind the people of the pillar of fire that had guided them through the desert. But now the feast is over, and the lamps have been put out. It is at this point that the Lord Jesus announces that He is the light of the world. The lampstands only shone over Jerusalem; the pillar of fire was only for Israel, but Christ is for the whole world. Those who followed the pillar of fire as it led the way through the desert had their pathway flooded with light. So, too, the one who follows Christ shall find his pathway lit up. But the pathway now is not literal, but spiritual, for the light is the light of life, giving enlightenment as to how eternal life should be expressed in daily conduct. Instead of taking note of these important truths, the Pharisees are more interested in criticising His testimony to Himself. They said His testimony was not true to the principles of Jewish law, which said that the testimony of a man was not accepted unless supported by another. What they ignored was that the Father bore testimony of Him. Because they did not know whence He had come and whither He was going, they did not accept this. They rejected His Deity, and therefore their verdict was faulty, for it did not take account of all the facts. They showed by this that they judged Him according to the flesh, according to natural reasoning. Christ did not judge men in that way, (“I judge no man”), but in a spiritual way. And as He judged in this spiritual way, He was able to say of His testimony that it was true, for He was not alone in His testimony, but the Father was with Him in it. They were prepared to accept the testimony of two men as true, and this the law required, Deuteronomy 19:15, yet they were not prepared to accept the testimony of two members of the Godhead! The reason was that they did not know the Father, and so they did not know the Son either. The lampstand in the tabernacle gave light over against itself, Exodus 25:37, and this symbolised what we have in this passage in John 8, the testimony of the Lord Jesus to His own person.

The Son of God “shines” in heaven for those who accept His testimony regarding Himself and His unique relationship with the Father.

(iv) John 9:4,5 The light is diligent.

9:4 “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

We note the determination of the Lord Jesus to do the will of God, as expressed by the word “must”. He was devoted to His Father, and dedicated to His mission as the one sent by Him. It was the “day” of opportunity for Him, and the night would come, the night of His arrest and execution. As he Himself said at His arrest, “but this is your hour, and the power of darkness”, Luke 22:53. One of the results of His works for the Father would be light for men. The miracles He performed had deep spiritual significance, and hence were light to those who were prepared to respond to the truth they expressed. In this way He would be the light of the world.

The same determination, devotion and dedication mark Him now in heaven, as He appears in the presence of God for us, Hebrews 9:24. His work on earth is over, but He continues to minister in the heavenly sanctuary.

(v) John 11:8-10  The light is intelligent.

11:8 His disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again? 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

The Jews had sought to kill Him in Judea, but now Lazarus is dead, and He needs to go to Judea and Jerusalem to raise him from the dead. He will go to Judea even though it was dangerous, because He walked in the light (“day”) of His Father’s will, and so nothing could stumble Him. His pathway was lighted in a two-fold way. There was the glory of His own person, making it “day” for Him, this corresponds to verse 9, (“seeth the light of this world”). And there was the light in Him of the knowledge of His Father’s will; this corresponds to verse 10, (“light in him”). Because of these two things, He could see perfectly the obstacles men put in His way. If it were not so, He would be like a man walking in the darkness of disobedience. This cannot be the case, for He, unlike other men, has light in Himself, perfect insight into His Father’s will.

The pathway Christ took was in perfect knowledge of His Father’s will. He acts according to that perfect will still.

(vi) John 12:32-36 The light is constant.

12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. 12:33 This He said, signifying what death He should die. 12:34 The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them.

Verses 32-34 are a declaration of His impending crucifixion. Verses 35 and 36 are an exhortation to believe because of His impending departure. It is true that Messiah will abide for ever, once His kingdom is set up on the earth. But that kingdom will be based on the sacrifice He made on the cross. He must be lifted up, and then raised from the dead, so that death has no more dominion over Him and He may reign for ever. By speaking of His lifting up He implied that He would not abide with them for ever, for His lifting up would be, in part, because they as a nation had rejected Him. John chapter 12 is a transitional chapter, and prepares the way for a new beginning in chapter 13. The light of His glory is withdrawn whilst they are in national unbelief, yet they still had the opportunity to personally turn, and walk in the light of His person. Darkness would come upon them as a nation when they finally rejected Him. They would not know where they were going, for they would be walking in the darkness of rejection. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel”, Romans 11:25. He exhorts the individual to “believe in the light”, which explains what walking in the light involves, even personal faith. They thought that the light of the Messiah would shine upon them simply because they were of the seed of Abraham. Believing in the light brings with it the responsibility of taking character from the light in terms of purity and holiness, for those who believe have the life of the God who is light; they are children of the light, therefore, and are enabled to express that. He now departs and hides Himself from them, so that there is a brief interval when they may learn what His absence is like, and come to their senses. Unlike Israel nationally, we have the constant shining of the light for us. His ministry is constant, and He will never hide Himself so that the light is not seen. We shall never be left in the darkness.

(vii) John 12:44-50  The light is unbiased.

12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. 12:45 And he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me. 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. 12:47 And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 12:48 He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 12:49 For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

With intense feeling, (as signified by the fact that He “cried”), the Lord Jesus makes His final appeal to the nation. He does not sit on the Mount of Olives as in Matthew 24:3; He does not sit over against the Temple as in Mark 13:3; He does not weep over the city as in Luke 19:41; but in John He shines over it as the light. He gives a seven-fold summary of His ministry about Himself as the light, before the nation plunges into the darkness of unbelief. First, verse 44, to believe on Him is to believe on the Father, for they are one. Second, verse 45, to see Him for who He is means to have insight into the Father too, for Christ is the exact expression of the essence of God. Third, verse 46, the opportunity for any individual, (whether from the Gentiles as represented by the Greeks earlier in the chapter, or the Jews He was currently addressing), to believe, and be brought into the light. Fourth, verse 47, His mission to the world was not to judge but to save. The fact that the nation is about to be judged is entirely their fault. Fifth, verse 48, it is true that He came not to judge, but what He taught will be their judge in a coming day. Sixth, verse 49, the wickedness of unbelief is seen in the fact that He did not speak independently of the Father. Seventh, verse 50, even at this late stage, the commandment of His Father would result in eternal life for those individuals who were prepared to believe. That promise is valid, for He speaks in full harmony with His Father.

The light does not shine in a biased way.  All who believe, whether Jew or Gentile before, are represented by Christ equally.