“The Visions for Israel / SBBC”
(The vision of the Candlestick and Olive Trees)
Zechariah 4:1-14 (KJV)
I. The vision of the Horses (Protection and comfort to Israel/SBBC)
II. The vision of the Horns (Judgment of those who oppose Israel/SBBC)
III. The Vision of the Measuring Line (The inspection and restoration of Israel/SBBC)
IV. The Vision of the High Priests (The cleansing and restoration of Israel/SBBC)
Now for Today…
I. The Vision of the Candlestick and Olive Trees
A) Awakened out of your sleep
- I pray and hope that each one of our members here at SBBC can realize the message here from God to Israel and also applies to us (SBBC) today. We need to see the message here of Zechariah as a message to us…
- God offers protection and comfort for those of SBBC.
- God brings judgment against those who oppose SBBC.
- God is continually inspecting and restoring SBBC.
- God is cleansing SBBC.
- Let us look at what God has for SBBC today in Zechariah 4:1…And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
- Here we notice that the angel of the LORD has awakened Zechariah “again.”
- To be “wakened” means that he had been asleep or in a deep trance. To be “asleep” means that Zechariah was tired or exhausted from all these visions and trying to comprehend the magnitude of God’s revelation to him.
- Zechariah like all pastors, priests, and ministers of God who are called of God, get tired in the ministry. Today, I believe that it is more so when you work a regular job to take care of your family’s needs and also the care and needs of the church (ministering, counseling, preparing sermons, lessons, etc.).
- For Zechariah and the O.T. priests, their work load was even greater because of all the sacrifices that they had to perform, daily ministering in counseling, and keeping of every letter of the Law (making sure of their testimony), and etc.
- Everyone in this world at some point in time becomes so exhausted from the everyday routine of work that the pressure and tension begins to build up causing a melt-down physically, mentally, and spiritually.
- This is why ministers and pastors take a sabbatical. The term sabbatical means to take a rest from normal routine and work or ministry in order to regain their focus and vision for the church or task at hand.
- In the O.T. churches, priests would take a sabbatical every 7 years. The sabbatical would last a year (Sometimes shorter) to allow the priest to rest, study, travel, and visit family, etc.
- I said all of that to say this, Zechariah was exhausted and needed an extended rest so therefore he needed to be awakened again by the angel who had a more important question and revelation (revealing of a truth) from God.
B) What do you see?
- Now look at what the angel asked Zechariah in verse 2a…And said unto me, What seest thou?
- I believe that the angel may have been testing Zechariah to see if he was awake yet by asking him… “what seest thou?” (What do you see?)
- Now Zechariah describes what he sees in verse 2b…And I said, I have looked,
- “…and behold a candlestick all of gold,” – This candlestick is like the entire 7 branched kind that was used in the Tabernacle. The candlestick as a whole represents all of God’s children. The Jews call this candlestick a “Menorah” (as of 1978 it became a national symbol of Israel. This Menorah was the Golden Candlestick in the Tabernacle (and later in the Temple) that provided light to the Holy Place (Ex.35:14). The Menorah /Candlestick is also a picture of several things…
- Scripture – Psalms 119:105… “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
- Holy Spirit – Revelation 4:5… “And there are seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Just as the Golden Candlestick shed light on the showbread in the tabernacle, so the Holy Spirit sheds light on scripture (Luke 4:4).
- The Church– If you remember anything at all in our study of the churches in Revelation 1-3, you will remember that Christ was in the midst of the seven Golden Candlesticks (the churches) inspecting them because He (Jesus) is the “True Light.”
- “… with a bowl upon the top of it, – This 7 branched candlestick was different from the one used in the Tabernacle because it had a bowl on the top of it. The bowl held in reserve the oil from the olive tree that supplied the oil to the 7 different branches off the candlestick. This oil in the bowl is Jesus Christ the mediator who supplies us with grace and mercy.
- “… and his seven lamps thereon” – The 7 lamps are the 7 small flames of fire that come out of the tops of the seven pipes. These could represent the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is what gives us understanding of God’s word. Light always represents understanding.
- “…and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: – These pipes supply the oil from the bowl to produce the fires. You will notice that the Candlestick has 1 main branch that comes from the base and of that main branch is 3 to the right and 3 to the left (6 total). The main branch is Christ which is considered the “fourth branch.” The number 6 is man, the right 3 branches are Jews, and the left 3 are Gentiles.
- Jesus (the 4th branch) is in the middle of these two divisions of man is the one who supplies salvation to both. Please note these truths…
- Jesus if the 4th branch
- He appears in a manger at Bethlehem 4 thousand years after creation.
- God created the lights (Sun, moon stars, etc) on the 4th day in Genesis 1:14-19. Jesus is “the greater light” that is referred to as the “Sun” in Malachi 4:2. Jesus is also referred to as “the True Light” in John 1:9 by John the Baptist.
- Jesus then called John the Baptist “a burning and shining light” in John 5:35.
- In the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) you will find the witness of John the Baptist to Jesus 7 times (there are also 7 branches on the Candlestick/Menorah)
- The candlestick shined it’s light on the table of showbread in the tabernacle just as John shined his light (spiritual wisdom) on the “bread of light.”
- Verse 3) And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side – The two olive trees are explained down in Zechariah 4, verses 11-14 as the two witnesses of Revelation. Who are the witnesses? They are believed to be Moses and Elijah as mentioned in Matthew 17:3, whom stood by our Lord Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. By the way, the Transfiguration was a picture of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:16-18). When you look at the closing book of the Old Testament you see those same two witnesses again in Malachi 4:4… Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
- In summary of these verses and Zechariah’s vision here… the candlestick is the Jews and Gentiles whom Christ is inspecting daily and are supplied by God through Jesus Christ with all that they need to be a light unto the whole world that is lost in darkness, blinded by Satan.
- This should be what we (SBBC) get out of this entire message from the angel to Zechariah and the builder of the temple Zerubbabel.
- The purpose of this vision was to encourage Zerubbabel to follow through with the rebuilding the temple using the resources that God will supply.
C) Zechariah asks a question
- Now look at verse 4) So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5) Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
- Here we see that Zechariah is confused as to what the two olive trees, the candlestick with a bowl on top, and the 7 pipes and lamps represents.
- The angel responded with… “What? You don’t know?”
D) The angel answers Zechariah
- Look at 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.
- Here is the breakdown of this verse…
- Not by might, meaning not by your power will the temple be built.
- nor by power, Meaning not by authority from others.
- but by my spirit, meaning that you are supposed to totally submit yourselves to allowing Me (The LORD of hosts, God) to supply you with all that you need to build the temple.
- You know what I have been personally trying to do? Build SBBC (The church) using my power or skills, the authority or resources of others, and not letting God supply our needs.
- God will build our church in His time, with His resources, on His grounds.
- It is human nature for us to try to do things our self and not depend on others to do it for us. It is called “independence.”
- What does this mean?
- How do we allow God to supply the necessary needs to build our church? We should not worry about “Joe Blow” who doesn’t tithe. Don’t hold church garage sales, or perform acts of kindness and drama in order to cover the costs of those who don’t tithe. Don’t go on choir tours and depend upon that to raise enough money to pay the pastor or expenses of the church. If all this sales and tours and etc. are for raising the support for the church to function…close the church. It is God who established His Law that demands that God’s people are supposed to support the church financially with their tithes, offerings, building funds, missions and etc. If the church is failing to do that, the pastor needs to write ICHABOD across the sign and leave. A pastor who has done all he can do to get the members to support the church, and they still continue to rob God (Mal. 3:8), then he needs to leave and not be the leader of those who continue to rob God and His church. For a pastor to continue to lead a group of “God robbers” would be a statement to God saying I am nothing more than a crime lord of those who steal from God. The church then becomes a mafia.
- What are we supposed to do, just sit back and let God do everything? NO! God wants us busy as in Luke 19:13 “…occupy till I come.”There is more work in the ministry that needs to be done than there ever has been. People today feel like the church owes them something. People are different today than when I was growing up and even more different than when my late father was a kid.
- I am talking about back when men loved to work. Men used to go to work, come home, and his wife would have a meal prepared for him and then they would dash off to some church activity, church service, visitation, or work night and come home tired. Nowadays, you can’t even get anyone to come to church at 10:00 for Sunday School and then those who do come to the 11:00 hour sleep half way through it. REALLY? No one prepares to come to God’s house and receive the word of God which is their spiritual food that keeps them alive in Christ Jesus.
E) What obstacle can stand in the way?
- Look now at Zechariah 4:7…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.
- When the angel speaks here with the wisdom of God he asks a question that really comes in the form of a statement… “Who art thou, O great mountain?”
- He is actually saying something like this… What big obstacle do you think could stand in the way of Zerubbabel building this temple for God if God wants it done?”
- This basically is a guarantee from God’s lips. This will happen. The Temple will be built and people will fill it. If God wants it to happen, it will happen.
- With this guarantee of God’s he takes it a bit farther to give satisfaction and confidence to Zarubbabel by saying… “before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:” meaning that whomever opposes the building project God will flatten them like a pancake (the plain).”
- I’m telling you right now SBBC members… if God wants our church to stay here as a pillar in the community among the deaf for the deaf in the Wichita Metro, it will happen.
- We do not need to force God’s hand, but rather “occupy till He comes.” Stay busy, stay true to His word, stay faithful, and grow in grace by allowing God to fill our pipes with His oil so that we can be a light to the deaf.
- Note these two things in the verse …
- “…and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings,” The angel is saying that God will be with the building of this project until He brings into existence the last stone to complete the project that will cause God’s people to shout with joy and jubilation.
- “…crying, Grace, grace unto it.” I believe that the angel is saying here that the people will recognize upon the completion of the Temple the mere fact that God has given them the grace to build it. His grace is applied to the Temple and its dwellers.
- God forbid that any of His children steal the glory the completion of any project in the church no matter how big, or how small.
F) More assurance for Zerubbabel
- Look now at Zechariah 4:8… Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9) The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house (house of Israel’s Temple); his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
- God (Trough the Angel of the LORD) telling Zerubbabel that he is the subcontractor and God is the General contractor on this job.
- Do you know what this verse reminds me of? It reminds me of another verse in I Corinthians 3:6…I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
- I believe that for SBBC, My father (the late Kendall A. Wilcoxson) “planted,” the deaf souls (seeds), I (Bro. Ron Wilcoxson) have “watered” the deaf souls (seeds) and now it is up to God to give the increase of deaf souls to our church.
- Please note deaf people of SBBC… God will build this church if you do the work, support the work, stay faithful, and let God fill us with His oil.