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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

God's Reactions to Man's Defections # 29

A Candlestick All of Gold (continued)

The Two Olive Trees and the Two Anointed Ones

What next comes before us in Zechariah's vision, which is more than Jewish, but has that invariable double application of Old Testament revelation.

The symbolism here is familiar. Two is the number of testimony or witness. Trees are very often symbolic of man as witness, or men as witnesses. The olive, as is apparent in this chapter, especially relates to the oil. The position of these two trees is on either side of the candlestick. From verse 14 we learn that "These are the two anointed ones (sons of oil), that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

There is no doubt that the two olive trees bring into view, firstly and historically, Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the governor. Chapter 3 deals with the one and chapter 4 with the other. The first discourse concerned the High Priesthood and its ministry; the second (4:1) concerns the Government or Sovereignty. This, interpreted prophetically, relates to the Lord Jesus. His High Priest work and position come first into view, and are established in glory; then He is established by God as Lord and Sovereign Head. On these two sides of His one Person He ever gives the meaning of the candlestick: that is, He defines the nature of its vocation, and supplies the unfailing resource for that testimony. It is, as we have said, constituted according to Christ, and maintained by Him in all the fullness of His anointing.

The Divine explanation of this is: "This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts" (verse 6). Here we reach the central meaning of the vision as to the execution of the purpose of God. It speaks for itself. Its clear affirmation is that this instrument and this testimony must be utterly in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Not might, nor power, of brain, will, emotion, organization, machinery, committee, influence, reputation, numbers, name, personality, outfit, enthusiasm, etc., but solely the Holy Spirit! The accounting for this will never be, in truth - whatever superficial observers may say - attributable to any human force or resource, but all who ave any spiritual intelligence will have to recognize that its energy and power is Divine. This will also be proved by its endurance and persistence through the intense fires of opposition and antagonism.

Here the Holy Spirit  is allowed to govern and dictate, to direct and choose or reject, just as in the "Acts" at the beginning. To have such an instrument and such a testimony there will need to be a very revolutionary reshaping of ideas. It will be necessary to realize that all those things, upon which men have come to count as most important factors in the Lord's work, are really not necessary factors at all. It will have to be recognized that education, personal ability, business ability, worldly wisdom, money, etc., as such have nothing to do with the work of the Holy Spirit or with Christianity. The Lord may use these, call them in, and if they are kept in their right place they may serve Him greatly; but they are secondary, and He can easily dispense with them. It is of infinitely greater importance and value that men should be filled with the Holy Spirit, and if a choice is to be made, this should ever be the first consideration. There is wisdom, judgment, discernment, knowledge, understanding by the Holy Spirit which alone is equal to the demands of that which is to be wholly according to God.

Thus the Lord Jesus, as the Great Mediator and Sovereign Head, would maintain His testimony wholly in accordance with His own nature and mind in the fullness of the Spirit of His own anointing. When things are thus there is no need to be unduly oppressed by -

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 30 - (The Great Mountain)

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