Zechariah chapter number 4, the Bible reads in verse number 1, "And the angel that talked with me came again and waked me as a man that is wakened out of his sleep and said unto me, what seest thou? I said, I've looked and behold a candlestick, all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his 7 lamps thereon, and 7 pipes to the 7 lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and 2 olive trees there by it, 1 upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my Lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, knowest thou not what these be? And I said, no, my Lord. Then 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."
The book of Zechariah is a very cryptic book. What I mean by that is that it's very difficult to just look at it at a glance and readily understand it. It takes more study, it's a little bit more of the strong meat of the Word. But, it's actually not difficult to understand in the New Testament because we have the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is rightly called Revelation because that's what it is, it's a Revelation. It reveals things that were previously hidden. That's what cryptic means, it means something is hidden, something is difficult to understand.
When we compare the book of Zechariah with Revelation, the picture comes clear. But, if we only had Zechariah, by itself, it would be very difficult to understand because there's so many things that are just symbolic here. For example, in this chapter, we see Zechariah asking the angel that's showing him these things what they mean and he doesn't really get a clear answer to his question. He keeps asking the angel, over and over again and he asks them, "Okay, what's the candle stick? What are these 2 olive trees?" And the angels says, "Well, you don't know what these are?" He says, "No I don't." Then he asks again.
Then, the answer he gets does not directly answer his question, tell him what they are. He just says, in verse 6, "Then he answered." This is the answer. "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." He starts talking about Zerubbabel, but he never really answers him, what's the olive tree? What are the candle sticks, right? Then, look at verse 11, after he gets this answer about Zerubbabel, Zechariah says, in verse 11, "Then answered I, and said unto him, what are these 2 olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?"
He asks again because he didn't get an answer that he understood. "And I answered again, and said unto him." Look, I'm not repeating this, he's asking literally like 3, 4 times here. Verse 12, "I answered again, and said unto him, what be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, knowest thou not what these be? And I said, no, my Lord. Then said he, these are the 2 anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole Earth." Which is not a real clear answer, is it? That's the end of the chapter.
Zechariah, here, is perplexed by some of the things that he's been shown. He's asking for more detail and he's getting an answer that's relevant to him at that time about Zerubbabel, what he needs to know at that time. But, he doesn't really get a clear picture of the full significance of what's being taught. In the New Testament, we have the answer. Flip over, if you would, keep your finger in Zechariah chapter 4 and go to Revelation, chapter 11. Revelation, chapter number 11. A major mistake that people make when they're studying Bible prophesy is they'll take books like Zechariah, that are cryptic and books like Daniel, books like Ezekiel, that are sealed books at that time, and they'll just interpret them independently of what's taught in the book of Revelation, or what's taught in the New Testament.
They get in all kinds of error because the things in the Old Testament are not always clear, especially in books like Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah. But, if you just compare them to the book of Revelation, they come clear. Now, look what the Bible says in Revelation chapter 11, verse number 1. It says, "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot 40 and 2 months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the 2 olive trees, and the 2 candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."
Here is the answer to Zechariah, chapter 4. In Zechariah 4, the answer was given, "These are the 2 anointed ones that stand by the God of the whole earth." He didn't really know what that meant. In the New Testament, we have a reference to the exact same thing, the candlesticks and the 2 olive trees, he says that these 2 witnesses, in the book of Revelation, in the end times, he says, that's what they are. He's referring back to Zechariah 4. This is illuminating Zechariah 4 and helping us to understand what Zechariah 4 is actually about.
This is how you interpret the Bible. You don't go to a commentary and what man;'s interpretation, man's wisdom is. You compare spiritual things with spiritual. You compare scripture with scripture. It reminds me of when people read Ezekiel and they come to Gog and Magog and they preach entire sermons about Gog and Magog without ever turning to Revelation, where Gog and Magog are mentioned. If you would actually turn to the only New Testament mention of Gog and Magog, in Revelation 20, then it would all make sense, it would all come clear. When you realize that Gog and Magog takes place after the millennium, that's the context.
They just completely ignore Revelation 20, as if it just doesn't exist and just, "Oh, Gog and Magog." And they'll just study, because it's a lot easier to deceive people using a cryptic scripture than a clear scripture. The Bible is filled with things that are clear and things that are unclear, things that are open, revealed and exposed, other things that are cryptic and hidden away. The Bible says, that in the epistles of Paul, "Are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable rest, or twist, as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction."
What does the Bible tell us? That people will take difficult scriptures and twist them. Which is why we should always make sure that we base our faith on the clear things in the Bible. There are plenty of things in the Bible that are crystal clear. That should be the anchor of our soul. That should be a starting point. It's sort of like when you're doing math and you're doing algebra, you start with what you know for sure, then you start working on the unknown, right? You solve for X, X is the unknown, but you start out by simplifying what you do know, say, "Okay, we know there's a 3 here and a 5 here." We know what 3 means, we know what a 5 is. Now, let's figure out what X is.
These people just want to ignore the 3, ignore the 5, and then they're just going to tell you what X means. Just use a lot of fancy language and convincing arguments of what X means, when in reality, all you have to do is just realize, "Hey, if X plus 3 is 5, then X is." All right, I was just testing your algebra there. The point is, you have to start with what you know. You start with, "Okay, I know this for a fact, now let's interpret the thing that's hard." Not just ignore all the clear scripture and just delve in to some difficult passage, like Zechariah. If you are going to make Zechariah the mainstay of your interpretation of biblical prophesy, and ignore Revelation, you are foolish.
You have to use what God has revealed us in the New Testament, as the clearest possible starting point. Revelation. Then, when you go back to the Old Testament to Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, you use Revelation to interpret those books, not vice versa. You don't take the unclear and use it to interpret the clear. The clear doesn't need interpretation, the clear, He just tells you what it means. Revelation, He just tells you what things are. You use it to interpret the unclear, which would be, the Old Testament books. They saw through a glass, darkly, but we have the whole Bible, we have the New Testament, so let's not just go back to a time when we didn't have the New Testament and just scratch our heads and try to figure out what the Old Testament means. No, no, no, the New Testament will tell us what it means.
Any sermon on Ezekiel, Daniel or Zechariah should be interpreted through New Testament scripture that explains all that stuff. Much easier to understand, right? Isn't this a little bit clearer in Revelation 11 where he just tells you, there's these 2 guys, these 2 witnesses in the last days and after the temple basically is given over to the Gentiles and Holy city is given over to the Gentiles and trodden under foot, He says it's going to be trodden under foot for 42 months. During that 42 months, which is also 1260 days, do the math, He says that my 2 witnesses will prophesy during that time, they will preach during that time. These 2 guys, that are going to preach during that period of 3 and a half years, those are the 2 candlesticks. Those are the 2 olive trees. That's what it represents, that's what it means.
Now, what's the purpose of these guys? Why are they preaching and teaching for these 3 and a half years? Go back, if you would, to Revelation chapter number 1. Revelation chapter number 1. Obviously, in order to talk about this subject, we have to have a basic understanding of the book of Revelation. By the time you get to chapter 11, hopefully, you've read chapters 1 through 10. We understand that in the end times, there is a period of events that take place before the millennium, this period takes place over the course of 7 years.
This 7 year period is divided into 2 halves. You'll often hear about a period of 3 and a half years, 42 months, 1260 days. Then, you'll hear about another period of 1290 days. You'll see these 2 halves, together, form 7 years. 1260 days is not what we would think of as 3 and a half years, but if you take 42 30 day months, which is the way the calendar works in the Bible, that's what it comes out to. Again, if we use the Bible to interpret itself, some people will say, "Oh 1260 days, that's actually 1260 years, it's all symbolic." They'll try to say, "Oh the dome of the rock mosque was built and 1260 years later." Whatever. Hold on a second, if we let the Bible interpret itself, what is the 1260 days synonymous with? 42 months. So are we talking about literal days or what?
If it means years, it wouldn't be congruous with 42 months and it wouldn't be congruous with 3 and a half years. In Daniel, we see 3 and a half years. We also see this term, time, times and half a time. Time, times, what's that add up to? Half a time, 3 and a half. That's used as 3 and a half years in the book of Daniel. Obviously, I don't want to go too deep into this because we want to talk about Zechariah 4 in particular tonight, that's the purpose of being here. I'm just trying to give you a basic overview of the end time, there's a 7 year period. Okay?
People will often erroneously refer to the entire 7 year period as the tribulation. No place in the Bible refers to the entire 7 years period as the tribulation because of the fact that the Bible says that immediately after the tribulation, the sun and moon will be darkened, the stars shall not give their light and then the Son of man will come in the clouds, the trumpet will sound. You know, the rapture is what we would know that as, the first resurrection. Here's the thing, that takes place at the opening of the sixth seal. Here's the thing, that's not at the end of the 7 years, that opening of the sixth seal, that sun and moon being darkened, is actually only shortly after the midpoint of this 7 year period, known as, often, Daniel's seventieth week, is how it's often referred to.
It happened shortly after the midpoint. How can you say the whole thing's the tribulation when something that happened shortly after the midpoint is after the tribulation? How this breaks down is, basically, you have a period of tribulation leading up to this event at the exact midpoint, known as the abomination of desolation. Then, when the abomination of desolation happens, then we have great tribulation, the Bible says. There's tribulation, but then when the abomination of desolation takes place, we have great tribulation, so there's basically an increase in tribulation, it gets more intense. Then, we have Christ coming in the clouds. The Bible says that the days of that great tribulation shall be shortened in the sense that it will be cut short by Jesus Christ intervening, comes in the clouds, the trumpet sounds, we which are alive and remain are caught up together with them in the clouds to be with the Lord and be with the dead in Christ, et cetera.
Then, after we have been removed, then God begins to pour out his wrath upon the earth. When does the wrath begin in the book of Revelation? At the sixth seal, the great day of his wrath has come and who shall be able to stand? The wrath doesn't come until after the tribulation. Here's what you have, tribulation, great tribulation, the rapture, then you have the wrath of God poured out. That's the biblical order of events. When do these 2 witnesses prophesy? That's the question, right? The 2 olive trees. The 2 candlesticks. When do they prophesy?
Look down at your Bible there, we'll go back to ... I'm sorry, I had you go to Revelation 1. We'll go back there. In Revelation 11 it says, in verse number 2, "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not, for it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." If we say the Bible, here we see that this is in the second half of that week that they're going to prophesy. Basically, Jerusalem is trodden under foot, that is at that midpoint known as the abomination of desolation when that takes place.
They're going to start prophesying at that time of the midpoint and they're going to preach for 1260 days. They're going to preach for 42 months. That's why when you see them ending their ministry, right after they end their ministry, it's basically the millennium at that point, very shortly thereafter. Let's read some more from this chapter just to understand this, verse 4, "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies, and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."
That's more evidence that these guys are preaching in the second half. In the first half, we don't see the earth and the trees being harmed by fire and brimstone, we don't see any water turning into blood, that's all in the second half. That's all after the rapture, when those particular plagues come into play. These guys, these 2 witnesses, whoever they are, they're 2 men, they're 2 preachers, prophet means preacher. They're preaching the word of God and people don't like them, people want them killed. They basically are able to defend themselves using miraculous power where they can breathe fire out of their mouths. They basically are going to be able to smite the earth with all plagues, they can cause it to rain, not rain, turn water into blood, all these different plagues that they're going to be able to smite the earth with.
It says in verse 7, "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast." Referring to the anti-Christ. "The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." Now, let me ask you this? What city is the place where our Lord was crucified? Jerusalem. He's saying, spiritually, it's called Sodom and Egypt, so it's a spiritually wicked city where our Lord was crucified. That's the city of Jerusalem.
Say, "Well, I thought Jerusalem was a holy city?" The new Jerusalem is a holy city, but the current Jerusalem is corrupt, it's been defiled. The Bible teaches here that they will be killed and their dead bodies will lay in the streets of Jerusalem. It says in verse 9, "And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves." What's interesting about this is it's being written before modern technology. This is back when if you wanted tell someone about something, you had to send it with a guy with a letter on horseback. The post, back then, would basically be a horse taking a message. You couldn't just pick up a phone.
Isn't it interesting that the Bible is predicting, 2000 years ago, that when these guys are laying in a very physical location, they're laying in Jerusalem, that everybody in the world's going to see their dead bodies for 3 days and a half. Isn't that interesting? How could that have happened in John's day? "Oh I'm preterits, this all already happened." What? How could this have happened back then? How could people all over the world, all the nations, all the tongues, how could they all see their dead bodies laying there without modern technology? It wouldn't be possible, would it? No.
Today it is possible, isn't it? Every single year, more and more countries and more and more locations within that country are getting hooked up to what? The internet, broadband internet. We used to say, "Hey, TV." But, now it's beyond TV, now it's the internet, right? Basically, you could easily see how all the nations and tongues and peoples and kindreds would be able to watch this on TV, or watch this on the internet, and see their dead bodies laying in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 days and a half.
It says in verse 10, it says, "They shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves." They're so glad that these guys are dead they don't want to put them in the grave because then the party's over, "We want to see them laying there dead for 3 days." In order to understand this, you have to understand, during this time there's going to be all kind of cataclysmic things happening on the earth, all kinds of plagues that God is smiting the earth with, all the different trumpet and vile judgments. Remember, these guys have the power to smite the earth with plagues. Everything is blamed on these 2 guys, does that make sense? They're being seen as the enemy here, that's causing a lot of this.
It says, "They that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them." Verse 10, "And make merry and shall send gifts one to another because these 2 prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth." It's a great cause of celebration and rejoicing when these guys are killed. "And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand, and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."
This shows we're very deep into God pouring out his wrath, we're already to the third woe. Verse 15, "The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become." Meaning right now, it just happened. "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." That's the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ. The beast is no longer having a kingdom. Now, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ."
Anyway, I don't have time to go through and teach the whole book of Revelation. Revelation, chapter 11, as we study this chapter, we see that when these men are killed and then they are resurrected 3 and a half days later and they ascend up to Heaven in a cloud, people are shocked and horrified by that because they were glad that these guys had finally died. Now, what is the purpose of these guys being on this earth? People will read the book and Revelation and wonder, "What's the point of the 2 witnesses prophesying for 1000, 200 and threescore days?" I think part of the key is to understand Zechariah, chapter 4. That's where these guys are first introduced unto us.
It says in verse 4, "These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." What is the purpose of a candlestick? The purpose of a candlestick is to be a light. Often those who preach the Gospel, are referred to as a candlestick. Go to Revelation, chapter 1, where I had you turn earlier. Revelation chapter 1 says this, and again we're using scripture to define scripture here. Verse 20 of chapter 1, "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."
Were there only 7 churches in the world at this time? No. But, this book is being specifically written to 7 churches in a certain area that are all in what would be modern day Turkey. Back then, it was called Asia. Asia Minor, sometimes people refer to it as. The 7 candlesticks are the 7 churches. Why? The church is meant to be a light unto the world. It's meant to be the institution that God uses to evangelize. What is God's tool, even in 2015, to get the Gospel out to the world? To get the Gospel out to Phoenix? To get the Gospel out to Arizona? It's the local church.
We are that pillar and ground of the truth. We are that candlestick to shine the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ. He said, "If our Gospel be hid, it's hid to them that are lost, lest the light of the glorious Gospel should shine unto them." He said, "No man lighteth a candlestick and putteth it under a bushel." Says, "He lights a candle, he puts it on a candlestick and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light therefore so shine before man that they may see your good works and glorify your father [inaudible 00:25:25]." Just like the song you sang as a kid, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. Let is shine, let it shine, let it shine. Don't let Satan it out, I'm going to let it shine."
Everybody sing it, no, I'm just kidding. "Don't let Satan it out, I'm going to let it." You don't want that light of the Gospel to go out. You don't want it under a bushel. "Hide it under a bushel, no. I'm going to let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, no. I'm going to let it shine." Who sang that when you were a kid? Yeah, a lot of people. The point is, that throughout scripture, the candlestick is that which preaches the word of God, which shines the light of the glorious gospel.
Think about it. Today, what is that light? When Jesus was on this earth, you know what He said? He said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Then, you know what He says unto as believers, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid, neither do men light a candle, put it under a bushel." Jesus, when He was on this earth, He was the light of the world. He was preaching the word of God. He's left us behind to be the light of the world until he returns, right?
Think about this, though. There's going to be a time, after which we're gone, where basically we meet Him in the clouds and we're removed from this earth and taken to Heaven. At that point, who's going to be the light of the world? At that point, who's going to be that candlestick? Who's going to shine the light of the Gospel? There are 2 different groups that would shine the light of the gospel during that time. First of all, there's going to be the 2 witnesses. Secondly, there's going to be the 144,000.
Now, when do these different groups start their ministry? The 2 witnesses begin their ministry at the midpoint of the 7 years. The 144,000 start their ministry a few months later, because they start their ministry after the resurrection takes place, the first resurrection takes place, also the rapture. Then, that's when the 144,000 begin their ministry, because they are resurrected from the dead, because they're of the 12 tribes of Israel. The 12 tribes of Israel no longer exist, there are no members of the tribe of Reuben today. There's no such thing as a Reubenite, or a Gadite, or an Issacharite or a Zebulanite. All we have are Polish people who say, "We're Jews."
I'm sure that they're all part Jewish. That a lot of white person mixed in with them. Anyway, you know, they're all part Jewish, just like all of us are part Jewish. Because thousands of years later we've all been mingled, as our documentary film Marching to Zion, proved with both math and science that we all are part Jewish in that sense. But, even those of Judah, which are called the Jews of Judah, are predominantly of the 3 tribes Judah, Benjamin and Levi because the northern kingdom was predominately made up of the other 10 tribes. There's actually 13, because of the fact that there's Mannasseh and Ephraim, the 2 half tribes.
The bottom line is, that while we're gone, God does not leave the earth with no witness, with no chance to hear the Gospel, with no Word of God being preached. There are multiple calls to repentance throughout the time when God's pouring out His wrath. if you study Revelation. There are going to be 2 different groups doing the preaching. There's going to be these 2 men, the 2 witnesses and then there are going to be the 144,000. Who are the 2 witnesses? Some people will say it's Moses and Elijah, other people will say it is Enoch and Elijah because they never died and everybody has to die. Not everybody has to die because, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." Many of us will be alive and remain until the coming of the Lord and we will not sleep but we shall be changed.
Basically, we have the 144,000 and these 2 witnesses. The 2 witnesses, the identity is unknown. These could be 2 guys that are just 2 guys that are living in the end times that God anoints and equips to do this job. They don't necessarily have to be someone coming back from the dead. They could very well be Moses and Elijah. I think that the Enoch and Elijah theory has 0 basis in scripture because the Enoch never died thing, falls apart real fast because everybody who's raptured doesn't die either, it's irrelevant. The reason why the Moses and Elijah theory holds up, is because of the fact that some of the miracles that they do are similar to miracles that Elijah and Moses did.
Did it rain not in the days of their prophesy? That's something that Elijah did. Elijah also caused it not rain for 3 years and 6 months. How long are these guys prophesying for? 3 years, 6 months. You say, "Well, it could just be symbolic." You're right, it could be symbolic. The reason that I think the Moses and Elijah theory is a pretty good theory is that in Matthew 17, when they're taken up into the Mountain of Transfiguration and they see a vision of Christ coming in His glory, He's accompanies by Moses and Elijah. When you look at that, what do they have to do with the second coming of Christ? What do they have to do with the end times? This could be their role. But, it's also possible that it's not Moses and Elijah. It's 1 or the other.
I think the reason for having these 2 different groups, the 144,000 and the 2 witnesses, is that, I believe that the 2 witnesses are going to have a very public ministry. Everybody knows who they are, everybody's rejoicing when they're dead, everybody's watching it on TV and watching it on the internet. These guys are a very public figure, everybody's going to hear their preaching throughout the world. Everybody's going to hate these guys. Whereas I think the 144,000 are going to be scattered throughout the earth to basically preach unto all the towns and villages. As Jesus sent His 12 disciples throughout Israel, which is a small place, the world's a big place and there are a lot of people living in the world right now, about 8 billion. It would make more sense to send 144,00, if you're going to send them to all the towns and villages, and basically preach the Word of God on a more localized basis. Obviously, if there are 144,000 of them, they're obviously going to be spread out across the world.
I believe that's the reason for having these 2 different, 1 of them is the more public internet version, TV version, the celebrity 2 guys. Then the one, or 144,000 who are like the boots on the ground that are actually going and knocking at every door. That are going to every town and every village and preaching to maybe people who don't necessarily have the internet access or the TV access. That's why we need to be the boots on the ground, knocking doors, because guess what? Everybody's not on the internet. "Well, if they want to see it they can watch it on the internet." No, we've got to bring it to them. We've got to bring it to their door because a lot of people aren't jacked into that, but everybody lives somewhere, everybody's on a street somewhere. We can find them and give them the Gospel.
What does this represent? Let's go back to Zechariah chapter 4 now with that in mind. If some of what I said kind of went over your head and you're saying, "I don't know what you're talking about Pastor Anderson." Maybe you might just be newer to Bible prophesy, newer to the book of Revelation. We have DVDs back there that are free you could grab, after the tribulation, you could grab the Revelation series and get caught up on this. You could read the Bible, read Revelation, read Matthew 24, read Mark 13, Luke 21, a lot of scripture could teach you this. Revelation is always the key book that we should always focus on.
In Zechariah, chapter 4, and I'm preaching to you as if you understand this thing, because I think the vast majority of our church understands Bible prophecy pretty well. Those who don't, just try to get everything you can out of the sermon. Zechariah, chapter 4, hey, you came to a Zechariah Bible study, you got to expect it to be a little bit more on the advanced level. When we're in the book of Zechariah, chapter 4, what's the answer that he gets? Now, it's not the answer he wanted, was it? "Hey what are the olive trees?" He gets an answer that he didn't want. Then he asks 2 more times, right?
Let's see if we can understand the answer now that we know what Revelation teaches. I don't think that this answer is just random, out of nowhere. It says, in verse 6, "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying." It is an answer to the question. What was the question? The question was, what are these 2 olive trees? What are these candlesticks? What's the answer? Verse 6, Then 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."
Let's just stop and look at the first part of the answer here, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." In the Bible, what is something that often represents the Holy Spirit? Go to 1 Samuel 16, keep your finger here and go over to 1 Samuel 16. 1 Samuel 16 and we're going to turn to the story about David being anointed King of Israel, previously Saul had been the King of Israel, and previously Saul had been anointed. When Saul was anointed King of Israel, the spirit of the Lord came upon him. Now look at 1 Samuel 16, verse 13, "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him."
What are we seeing here? The Spirit of the Lord coming upon someone when they're anointed with oil. Look down at Zechariah, chapter 4, where we are, verse number 14 when he finally gets somewhat of an answer, "Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." These 2 olive trees, the 2 candlesticks, are the anointed ones standing before the God of the earth. What does it mean to be anointed? Anointed, it's sort of like our word ointment. Anointment is when you apply ointment, but it's also when you apply oil, they're anointed with anointing oil. What kind of oil do they use for anointing in the Bible? Olive oil. It's not canola.
They used olive oil. Here's the thing, wouldn't it make sense that 2 olive trees would represent the anointed ones? Why? Because they contain oil. Wouldn't it make sense that 2 candlesticks, which are basically fueled by oil, would represent the same thing? The oil, the Bible said, was flowing through pipes into the candlestick. That's what fueled the candlestick, was oil coming through pipes. What does that oil represent? What did the oil represent when David was anointed? It represented the Holy Spirit. It said, "When he was anointed, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him."
The Bible says of Jesus, "But unto the son he sent, thy throne o' God is forever and ever a scepter of righteousness, the scepter of thy kingdom thouest loved righteousness and hated iniquity therefore God, even thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above they fellows." Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, meaning that had the power of the Holy Spirit upon Him more than anyone else. Why? Because he loved righteousness and hated iniquity. You want to be filled with the Holy Spirit above your fellows? Love righteousness, hate sin, hate iniquity.
The Bible talks about, in John chapter 3, how the Father did not give the Spirit by measure unto Jesus. It was not given unto him by measure, it was poured out upon Him without measure. Basically, He was filled with the Holy Spirit to the maximum, beyond the max, infinity, because He's just perfect. He was fully spirit filled all the time, above anyone else, because he was one who loved righteousness and hated iniquity. What is loving righteousness and hating iniquity have to do with the power of the Holy Spirit or the fullness of the Holy Spirit? What happened when Saul was in sin? The Spirit of the Lord departed from him. What happened when David committed sin with Bathsheba? The Spirit of the Lord was not taken from him because of the fact that he prayed to God, confessed his sin and he says unto him, "Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence O Lord and take not thy Holy Spirit from thee. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free spirit." What's he saying? Don't take the Holy Spirit from me.
We of course, at this point, have to understand the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament, they were not indwelled by the Holy Spirit as believers. That was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified, John chapter 7. In the Old Testament they didn't have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit that's permanent to the believer. The Spirit of the Lord would come upon them temporarily, the power of the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, we have the same thing, Spirit of the Lord comes upon us in the New Testament. We're filled with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. He said in Ephesians 5, "Be not drunk with wine." Wherein as it says, "But be filled with the Spirit." If you were automatically filled with the Spirit, He wouldn't have to command you, be filled, be filled with the Spirit, don't be drunk, because being drunk is like the opposite of being filled with the Spirit, totally in the flesh.
"Be filled with the Spirit speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." That's another great way to be filled with the Spirit, singing the hymns, throughout the week, not just on Sunday. Singing the hymns, making melody in your heart to the Lord, good way to be filled with the Spirit. Be filled with the Word of God, you'll be filled with the Spirit. According to Colossians 3:16, in comparison with Ephesians 5:18. Also, hate sin, love righteousness. These are all things that have to do with your level of fullness of the Spirit and whether the Spirit is going to rest upon you in mighty power. Paul talked about the power of Christ resting upon him. This is something that is not part of every believer's life. Even if you are filled with the Spirit today, you might not be filled with the Spirit tomorrow. This is temporary.
You're always going to be indwelled with the Spirit, if you're saved in the New Testament because, "If any man have no the Spirit of Christ he's not of his." Christ is in you he said unto the church of Corinth, he said, "Christ is in you except you be reprobates." Unless you're just pretending to be saved and you're these wolves in sheep's clothing that have creeped in, these reprobate types. What does it represent? The Holy Spirit. The church that's going to be a light unto the world, needs to be a Spirit filled church, because as soon as that fuel stops flowing in, the candle goes out. This is not a wax candle, this is oil. Give me oil, while we're singing Sunday school songs tonight, "Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray."
These songs are based on the Bible. What is being taught here? We want to have oil in our lamp. We want to have the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We want to have the Spirit of the Lord upon us, as a church, or our light's not going to shine. The Spirit filled church is a soul winning church, because the oil is flowing through the pipes and the light is burning bright. When people are not filled with the Spirit, when it's a really sinful church, a church that does not sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, the light's going to burn out and they're not going to be a light unto the world.
The 2 witnesses in Revelation, what are they doing? They're being a light to the world, they're teaching the Gospel. The 2 olive trees, the 2 candlesticks that stand before the God of the earth. What do we do as a church? The same thing. We're preaching. They were hated of the world, we're going to be hated of the world. Jesus said, "Marvel not my brethren if the world hate you, if the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you." The Holy Spirit is what is represented. Look at Zechariah, chapter 4. What are these olive trees? What are these candlesticks? What's the answer? Verse 6, Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power." It's not by our human strength, but he says, "But by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."
This vision of the candles and the olive trees was a vision for Zerubbabel to let him know that he needs the power of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish the task. In order to build the house of God, in order to see the temple built, in order to lead God's people, he needed the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He's not going to do it by his might or by his power, it's going to be by God's Spirit. The immediate application, the actual, literal context of what's being taught in Zechariah 4, for the people of that generation, because remember, according to Ezra, Zechariah and Haggai's preaching was to strengthen the people at that time who were building the temple. It was to encourage Joshua, the high priest, and Zerubbabel, the governor of the people, the ruler of the people.
The immediate application was that these 2 guys, Zerubbabel and Joshua, the son of Jozadak, needed to rely on the Spirit of God to accomplish the task and not try to do it in the flesh. That was the immediate teaching for them of that generation. Then, there's also a further spiritual application, isn't there? About the 2 witnesses during what time? During the end times, right? During the events of the book of Revelation. That's a further out.
When you study Old Testament scripture, you have to realize, these are real guys. Zechariah was a real guy who's preaching to people at that time and he's preaching things that are relevant to them at that time. Then there's also a further out prophetic significance. At that time, hey, it's Zerubbabel, it's Joshua, the son of Jozadak, they need to be filled with the Spirit. Then, further out, it's the 2 witnesses in Revelation and we're in between, right? What's our application? We're a candlestick ourselves. This applies to us.
It applied to Zerubbabel, it's going to apply to the 2 witnesses, but it applies to us right now. If we are going to see Faithful Word Baptist Church grow, if we're going to see God's house established, which is not a physical building like it was Zerubbabel's day, but it's a congregation. If we're going to see that congregation grow, if we're going to let our light shine, it's not going to be by might or by power, it's going to be by God's Spirit. That's why the apostle Paul said, in context of preaching about the Bible, he said, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us."
"We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us." Jesus said, "Without me you can do nothing." We cannot rely on our abilities, our own talents, our own wisdom, no. We have to rely on the Spirit of God. Jesus said, "Upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We can't just say, "We're going to build this church using man's wisdom, man's methods. We've got a tried and true business model passed down to us by Bill Hybels and Rich Warren and The Purpose Driven Church and all this stuff." No. We need to rely on God to do it.
You say, "What's the difference?" When you rely on God, you just preach the whole Bible because that's what He told you to do. When you do man's wisdom, you say, "Certain things, you don't preach, because you'll offend people." When you're relying on God, you'll say, "You know what, we need to be filled with the Spirit so we better sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs because we need to be a Spirit filled church that we might have the fuel of the oil of gladness to make us burn brighter." But, then, when you take the world's view you'll say, "Let's bring in worldly music because that's what people want to hear."
There are churches that bring in all kinds of worldly music. The churches I preached against many years ago, because one of my relatives visited a church called New Spring in Anderson, South Carolina or somewhere there abouts. They went to this church and they walked in and the first song ... First, the service with the worship leader playing Guitar Hero, the video game on giant screens. The church watches while he plays Guitar Hero on giant screens. Then, they break into their first congregation song, Bon Jovi, Living on a Prayer. "Living on a Prayer." Then, at the end of that, Perry Noble, the pastor, he comes out and he's like, "Hey, wasn't that awesome? Bring back the 80s. Yeah." What's the goal there? "Oh, we're going to reach more people that way." Right?
"We're going to reach people because we're going to reach that generation that loves the 80s." If you go to stores, have you ever noticed how they play music from the 80s? But, now they're starting to play music from the 90s. Why? Because they're trying to reach that certain demographic all the time. The demographic that's in their 30s and 40s because that's the demographic who is going to spend the money that they want them to spend. They keep moving the music. They don't play the music that just came out yesterday because that's what the teenagers are in to and the teenagers don't have any money, right?
It's mom and dad that have the money. That's why you walk in the store and you're like, "Whoa, I know all these songs. I haven't listened to the radio in years, but I know all of these songs." Why? Because they're playing the stuff from your generation because the way our brains work, after we turn 30 years old, this is scientifically proven, once you turn 30 years old, you can't accept any new forms of music anymore. Exactly. You're well on the other side of that boundary so you know that's true.
There's something where if you get to age 30 without ever indulging in a particular type of music, you'll never be into that music. If you grow up and you're introduced to all types of music, then yeah, when you pass 30 you'll be open to a lot of music because you've always been in to a lot of music. If you just, let's say you never listened to jazz, any type of jazz whatsoever. I don't know about you, I've never been in to any type of jazz my whole life, not growing up. I watched the Benny Goodman story, that was about as close as I got. I never grew up listening to any type of jazz. I'm 34 years old, that music will perplex me until I go to the grave. I won't understand, like, why do people listen to this music? I don't get it.
I can understand other types of music because it was stuff that I listened to as a teenager or whatever. You can kind of understand where that 80s music is coming from, but jazz? Not so much. It's just a door closes in your mind. Basically, that's why there, it's got to be age specific. Even these guys who are kind of like mid-life crisis guys, where they're like 50, 60, but trying to pretend to be a teenager. When nobody's around, though, they revert to the classic rock. They revert to the whatever. See what I'm saying? Why? Because it's what they grew up with. So, when you go to the stores, that's what they play.
Look, you go to these churches now, they're hitting you with the 80s and 90s music because they read in a book, a marketing book. That's the same reason why Walmart is playing that, is the same reason why they're playing it. Look, this isn't Walmart Baptist. This is not K-Mart Baptist Church where we're going to play your 80s music and your 90s music because that's what we're going to psychologically to get you to like us. That's what these people are doing. They're using worldly, carnal marketing methods, they're not relying on the Lord. They're not asking themselves, "Is singing Bon Jovi going to fill us with the Spirit?" That's not the question, it's "Is singing Bon Jovi going to bring people and money into this place?" Because it's a business model that they're following. Does everybody understand?
We need to realize that it's the power of the Holy Spirit that does anything. In our personal lives, we need to hate iniquity, we need to love righteousness because we need the power of the Spirit. If you want to go out and be an effective soul winner, be filled with the Spirit. You can't be carnal and worldly and sinful and expect to be greatly used by God as a soul winner or a preacher or anything. We all need to keep this in mind all the time, that we need the power of the Holy Spirit. That means we need to get up every day and read our Bibles and pray and quote scripture and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Otherwise, what? It's not going to get done because it's not by might.
"Oh, he's such a mighty preacher. A mighty soul winner." Yeah, but it's not by might. It's not my power. It's by God's Spirit saith the Lord. That's the lesson of Zechariah 4, for today. That's the relevance of today. Yeah, there's a Bible prophecy application, but how about right now? This is what we need. The Bible says, "All scriptures given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine." But, it's also profitable for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness. This will instruct us how to live a righteous life. This will correct us when we're wrong. This will rebuke the sin in our life, when we understand this doctrine.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Verse 7, "Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain, and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." Now, let me ask you this. Was a mountain literally leveled in the days of Zerubbabel? Is there any record of that in scripture where Zerubbabel literally just leveled a mountain, just flattened a mountain? Did that happen literally? No, this is a spiritual application, this is figuratively speaking that the mountain would be laid low.
Of course, in Isaiah chapter 40, in the great prophecy of John the Baptist, you don't have to turn there, but in that scripture that talks about the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord make his paths straight." We all know that scripture, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." But if you keep reading, the next verse says, "Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain." Spiritually that happened when Jesus came. "The rough places were made plain." How about rough scriptures in Zechariah 4 made plain, made understandable?
The rough places were made plain. Every mountain and hill was made low. Jesus crushed the spiritual leaders of His day that were exalting themselves, he brought them down a notch. He exalted the poor, the needy, and the meek of the earth with salvation. Spiritually speaking, Jesus did that when he came to this earth. Spiritually speaking, Zerubbabel did that back in his day in Ezra. You know what's amazing is that when Jesus Christ returns a second time, He will literally do that. The Bible actually talks about the great earthquake. Go to Revelation and we'll see this in a couple places real quickly.
In Revelation, chapter number 6, we see a great earthquake when the sun and moon and darkened. The Bible says, in verse 12, "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." Jump down, if you would, to verse 14. It says, "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together." Watch this. "And every mountain." "And every mountain and island were moved out of their places." That's pretty amazing, isn't it? That's an earthquake. Every mountain and island are moved out of their places.
Now, if you would, also look at Revelation chapter 11, I'm sorry, Revelation 16, Revelation 16. The Bible says in Revelation 16, also, it says in verse number 18, "There were voices, and thunders, and lightnings and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." This is later. This is not the same event as Revelation 6, but this is later. "The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." Watch verse 20, "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."
What does it mean that the mountains are not found? "Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low." Spiritually, but one day, even physically, these cataclysms will happen upon the earth. That's what is predicted. In Zechariah chapter 4, just to quickly finish out because we're just about out of time. The Bible says in verse 7, "Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain." That's the literal interpretation of then and there, but it's also a prophetic interpretation of Jesus in his first and second coming. "And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." What's the headstone? The cornerstone, Jesus, the head of the corner, and salvation, which is by what? Grace. That's right there.
"Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, his hands shall also finish it." That's the literal, physical temple that they were building at that time. "And thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you." What's he saying? "Look, I'm preaching right now, I'm saying that Zerubbabel will finish the house. It's not going to be this project that goes on forever or he's not going to make it, he's going to die, or he's going to fail. No, he started it, he'll finish it." He's saying, "That's when you'll know that the Lord has sent me." What's he saying? "If that doesn't happen then God didn't send me. If Zerubbabel doesn't finish it, then I'm not even a real prophet of God." He's saying.
That's the confidence he has that what he's saying is truly going to come to pass. "For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven, they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth." We already talked about that last week. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, thank you so much, Lord, for your Word that you've given us. Thank you for these scriptures, Lord, in Zechariah, that on the surface, man, they're tough when you look at Zechariah 1, 2, 3 and 4. But, Lord, as we compare them to Revelation, they get so simple.
They get so easy to understand. Wisdom is easy to him that understandeth. Lord, thank you for church, where we can study your word and make sense of it, just by comparing scripture with scripture, just by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Help us to apply it to our lives, not to just have a theoretical knowledge where we can describe the events of the tribulation and rapture and all the events of the end of times. But, Lord, help us to apply it to our lives every day and say to our selves, every day, not by might, nor by power, but my Spirit saith the Lord. Help that to be a motto in our lives. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.