Empowered by the Spirit

KEY VERSE: “He answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” —Zechariah 4:6

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Zechariah 4:1-14

WE HAVE SEEN in the preceding lesson how instrumental were Haggai and Zechariah, two prophets of the Lord, in resuming the work of rebuilding the Temple. Zechariah’s prophecy was written at the time that this rebuilding work was resumed. He, like the Apostle John, received many revelations from God through his angel.

In our lesson he is awakened from sleep to see a golden candlestick having seven lamps, with a bowl on its top feeding oil to the seven lamps. (Zech. 4:1-3) Except for the central bowl of oil, the candlestick, no doubt, was similar to that found in the Tabernacle and the Temple, which represented the church. Alongside this candlestick were two olive trees. This same symbolism is used in Revelation, where they are called God’s ‘two witnesses’, described as “two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth.”—Rev. 11:3,4

The work done of rebuilding the Temple during the fifth century BC was intended to be symbolic of the work to be done after our Lord’s First Advent, during the two thousand years of that era. Zerubbabel, who pictures Jesus, was commissioned to build the Temple in Judah; likewise Jesus was commissioned to build the antitypical temple of God in the present Gospel Age.—Eph. 2:19-22

This, then, is the great work which God is performing in the world today. Furthermore, the angel told Zechariah that this work would not be done by the ‘might or power’ in the world, “but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6) The only way that such a mighty work could be accomplished would be by a knowledge of the Lord’s Word, and by the Spirit of truth. As the Lord guided the workers who rebuilt the Temple in Zechariah’s day, so also the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles and the Early Church on the Day of Pentecost, and has continued to be given to those chosen of God to be ‘living stones’ of the antitypical temple.

Today’s work faces many obstacles. As was true of the roadblocks and interferences to the work being done by Zerubbabel, so also the Adversary endeavors to stop the work from proceeding in our time. In Zechariah’s prophecy the opposition is pictured as a great mountain of difficulty, which we recognize as the kingdom of the Evil One. But the angel asks, “Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” (Zech. 4:7) Nothing can stand in the way of the completion of the work of the antitypical Zerubbabel. The kingdom of the Adversary will be removed and made a plain!

Two other pictures are given in this prophecy which are associated with the establishment of God’s kingdom. One is the headstone being brought forth and set into place. This focuses on a geometric figure, where Jesus is the “headstone.” (Zech. 4:7; Matt. 21:42) The other picture is the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel. (Zech 4:10) This is a builder’s tool, the significance of which is described by Isaiah in his prophecy recorded in Isaiah 28:16,17. The line and the plummet are used to ensure that the structure built is truly upright. Righteousness and justice will be the true characteristics of God’s kingdom, and in that kingdom, God will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh.—Joel 2:28

Dawn Bible Students Association
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