Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continues his series of messages from his book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence”, with a study of the lampstand, one of the key furnishings in God’s Tabernacle.
On Sunday June 12, 2016, Presiding Bishop Blake taught the congregation at West Angeles Church of God In Christ about power of light in the life of the believer, using the symbolism of the lampstand. The lampstand, or menorah, is one of the key furnishings in the Tabernacle of God in Exodus 25:31.
Bishop Blake began with a story of his own visit to Nigeria, and the honor of being invited to attend 7 a.m. prayer at the mansion of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. But just when it was time for him to shave and dress for his visit, there was a blackout at the exclusive hotel where Bishop was staying. “Lord, help me…help me Lord!” cried Bishop Blake. “Lord, please let these lights come on!” And an instant later, light returned. “I believed the lights came on because I prayed!
“Believe that God is going to do something great in the midst of His people,” said Bishop. “To quote the late Oral Roberts, ‘Something good is going to happen to you.’ How many of you expect something good to happen?”
“Let there be light!” Genesis 1:3
“It’s difficult for us to imagine how significant light and darkness were to ancient men…Today, we can change the blackness of night into the brightness of noonday with a flick of a switch.”
“Night and darkness were a terror to ancient men, because there was always danger of wild beasts and unseen hazards and robbers…and beyond these very real dangers there were the superstitious fears that ancient men had about countless spirits and demons and haints that did their devilment under a cloak of darkness.”
“Light is the essential condition of sight.”
“Unless it was absolutely impossible to do so, ancient men ceased their activity at night.”
“Light was fire…fire was light. It was warmth; it was protection.”
“In certain ancient societies, one of the most important individuals in town was the keeper of the fire.”
“When everybody’s fires went out, they could go to the keeper of the fire to rekindle their fires.”
“For those who lived in biblical times, a lamp was a great necessity in the home. They didn’t have matches to strike…Almost every fire was started from some other fire.”
“Light is the essential condition of sight.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Only the poorest person slept without a lamp burning.”
“The light of the wicked indeed goes out. Job18:5”
“If all of one’s lights went out, he might have to travel many miles to obtain fire from someone else.”
“One of the most terrible curses of the ancient world was to predict that a person’s light would be put out.”
“Light is the essential condition of sight.”
“Given these conditions, it’s easy to understand why darkness was associated with unpleasantness and sorrow, and light was associated with good fortune and happiness.”
“When the Bible speaks of darkness, it’s not always referring to nighttime; but rather, those situations where a man finds himself where he cannot see his way; where he has no guidance, when he is lost.”
“Darkness is when a man has no moral light to guide him.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“All of us have known a darkness that had nothing to do with the light of the sun.”
“Somebody in here knows what it is to have the blues.”
“I’m glad to say today that God is a God of Fire and a God of Light.”
“It was with light and with fire that God attracted Moses’ attention.”
“When God’s children are in the fire, their sin and their bondage may be consumed, but they themselves are not consumed”.
“This fire that the Lord sent came from heaven…this ever-burning fire symbolized God’s acceptance of their sacrifices; His favor and His forgiveness his power.”
“Somebody in here knows what it is to have the blues.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“God sent the fire, but God commanded us to keep the fire burning on the altar.”
“Moses was very careful to do everything exactly as God had told him to do.”
“They did not use God’s fire, but they got some strange fire.”
“Worship is about the Lord’s glory…worship is about honoring and respecting the might and the majesty of almighty God.”
“Their action caused the wrath of God to fall on them.”
“It was an error for them to do anything without approval from God.”
“They did not use God’s fire, but they got some strange fire.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“God, through Moses, had made them priests. They should have respected Moses’ leadership.”
“New responsibility; a new anointing should not cause one to disrespect leadership.”
“Some folk think anything they do, any way they behave, anything they say, anything ought to be pleasing to the eyes of God, but you have to seek the will and the way of Almighty God.”
“Improper worship implies an improper relationship with God.”
“Those who worship God must consider God and His service to be most Holy.”
“Their punishment was a warning that those who love god must not only sanctify themselves, but also consider God and His service most Holy.”
“I never would have made it without You.”
“So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:2″
“Are there any true worshipers in the house? Hallelujah!”
“It’s time for awe; it’s time for reverence; it’s time for respect when you come into the house of the Lord.”
“Just as Moses sent the priests into the tabernacle for separation and consecration, God sent the first believers into the upper room for 10 days of consecration and prayer.”
“God is just as serious about worship in the New Testament as He was in the Old Testament.”
“Fire remains a symbol of God; fire remains a symbol of the Holy Ghost both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.”
“Let the Holy Ghost take control; let it rule.”
“There’s too much strange fire; too much strange worship, too much selfishness in the worship of the Lord.”
“You offer strange fire when you’re filled with pride, but you use God’s fire when you humble yourself in the presence of God.”
“Those who worship God must consider God and His service to be most Holy.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Humble yourself, and the Lord will draw near you; humble yourself and His presence will cheer you.”
“We offer strange fire when we don’t repent for our sins.”
“If you’re seeking miracles; if you’re seeking power, you need to be washed before you come before God.”
“If you want a miracle, let God wash you. Come on and praise Him! Hallelujah!
“Make sure you keep the fire burning. That means we’ve got to keep the Holy Ghost moving.”
“Lord, let the Holy Ghost take control.”
“No fire but your fire…We need Holy Ghost fire!”
“When the saints get together and call on the Lord, God does something in the midst of His church.”
“Lord, let the fire burn! Let the Holy Ghost move!”
“Send the power!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 25:31, Job18:5, Genesis 1:1, Exodus 3:1, 13:21; Leviticus 9:24, 6:16, 10:1-2; Psalm 100:4, John 4:23-24, Acts 2:1-4, 5:1; John 1:27, 1 Corinthians 14:15, Jude 20, Romans 8:1.
 Hymn: Humble Thyself to Walk , Johnson Oatman, Jr., pub.1908. Public Domain.
In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire… will come!”