The progressive revelation of the lampstand in the Bible portrays the eternal economy of God to make Himself one with man for His enlargement and eternal expression. In the Bible, the lampstand is first seen in Exodus 25 as a picture of the mysterious Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—while the final mention of the lampstand is in Revelation, where it signifies the local churches composed of God’s elect on earth. Ultimately these two, the Triune God and His redeemed people, become one glorious ever-shining eternal lampstand in Revelation 21.
Exodus 25:31-40 describes the lampstand as a work of pure gold, beaten into a specific form, and constructed to produce light through its seven lamps. Gold signifies the divine nature, and the form implies Christ as the embodiment of God (Col. 2:9). Thus, the lampstand here signifies Christ, fully constituted with the divine nature of the Father to express the Father as His embodiment (2 Cor. 4:4b, Col 1:15). Finally, the shining lamps signify the Spirit as expression of the Triune God, enlightening every dark situation (Rev. 4:5; Luke 15:8). This lampstand in Exodus signifies Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God expressed as the Spirit.
How then does the apostle John write in Revelation 1:20 that the lampstand is the local church? It appears that the one lampstand has become seven, and that these seven lampstands are seven local churches. In order to see the significance of this progression, we must see that the church is the reproduction of Christ. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ (Col. 2:9), and we, the believers, have received His fullness (John 1:16). Thus, we are becoming the very fullness of God (Eph. 3:19). The believers in the churches, the lampstands today, are children of light (Eph. 5:8), the light of the world (Matt. 5:14), and luminaries (Phil 2:15).
Ultimately, the history of the Triune God entering into man, becoming one with man, and expressing Himself in and through man will consummate in a glorious city—the New Jerusalem. The apostle John describes this city in Revelation 21:18 as pure gold, having the glory of God as its illumination (v. 23), and giving light to the entire earth (v. 24). This description indicates that the New Jerusalem is an eternal lampstand: a sign detailing the eternal oneness of the Triune God with His redeemed, regenerated, and glorified people for eternity!
Witness Lee, The Crystallization-Study Outlines – New Jerusalem, Outline 7
(only available for reading online).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)