The Book of Zechariah - Part 3

5. The lamp stand and the olive trees

Zechariah's fifth vision is about a lampstand and the olive trees. We will need the whole topic to explain this vision. With this topic, one will realize how astonishing the prophecies of God are. Let us quote the full text of this vision found in the fourth chapter of the Book of Zechariah.

4:1 Then the angel who talked with me returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep. 2 He asked me, "What do you see?"
I answered, "I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. 3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left."
4 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
5 He answered, "Do you not know what these are?"
"No, my lord," I replied.
6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
7 "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of 'God bless it! God bless it!'"
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.
10 "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
"(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)"
11 Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?"
12 Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?"
13 He replied, "Do you not know what these are?"
"No, my lord," I said.
14 So he said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth."

Zechariah saw a vision of a solid gold lampstand with seven lights with a bowl on top of it. On both sides are two olive trees. The mystery of vision is about the identities of the seven lights, the two olive trees. The central message of the vision to Israel through Zerubbabel is the popular wise saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.'

The vision mentioned Zerubbabel, the appointed governor of Judah under the Persian rule. During that time, Cyrus was the king of Persia. He conquered Babylon and freed the Jews from seventy years of captivity. Read Ezra 1:1-4. The Jews returned to Judah led by Zerubbabel and other elders (Ezra 2:1-3). Zerubbabel eventually became Judah's governor (Hag 1:1) and initiated the difficult task of rebuilding Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. The amazing part is, King Cyrus was also prophesied by Isaiah, about hundred and twenty years before he freed the Jews. Cyrus was not even born then and he was already identified by name by the prophet Isaiah as the liberator of the Jews and to rebuild Jerusalem! Read Isaiah 44:28; 45:1,13.

The central message is also telling Zerubbabel that the difficult task of rebuilding Jerusalem is only possible through faith in God. He met a lot of opposition to rebuild the Holy Temple and the walls of the city. Unlike King Solomon who was very wealthy and powerful, Zerubbabel had to start with practically nothing. And yet it was God's power that he was able to accomplish God's plan purely by his faith. Zerubbabel was a governor and yet he did start the work by his own hands to inspire the people--'Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.' Likewise, the message is for modern Israel not to rely on weapons or physical might but on God alone. Today, there is so much dependence on military power for protection but the Bible says, this will fail. All nations that rely on might and power will fall. But there will come a time that God will fight for His people and that will only happen in the last days when people will start to seek God. Therefore, God also emphasized to Zerubbabel, being the governor of Judah not to rebuild Judah to become a military power but simply a nation who fears God. They were given instruction by God that the golden days of King David and King Solomon are gone when they reigned supreme over all nations. Then, they became a subject of Persian rule, having no king of their own but under the direction of the Persian king. Judah had to put their trust in God and not on their own power or might and they will be in good hands of God. Thus, started the rebirth of "Israel" that we know today. Israel of the modern age has her beginning with Zerubbabel with only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and some Levites (Ezra 1:5). They do not represent the whole twelve tribes of Israel. Read also Israel, The Divided House. Israel, though only a tiny nation today being surrounded by her enemies only survives through God's protection. Time will come that it will be trashed to the ground for relying on "Egypt" and not on God as it does so today. Read Weapons or God? for details. 

Who are the two olive trees?

The rest of the vision concerns about the last days. The seven lights are already revealed to be the seven eyes of the Lord (verse 10). The seven lights or lamps are also the seven spirits of God (Rev 4:5). The seven lights of the lampstand are being fuelled by golden oil directly fed from the two olive trees through seven tubes or channels (verse 2). This is a very meaningful passage meant for the last days. Now, the angel said that the two olive trees are "...are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth." Who are the two anointed? Fast forward now to the Book of Revelation which reveals the two.

Rev 11:2-6
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

During the tribulation proper or the 1,260 days reign of the Antichrist, God will send the Two Witnesses. As their title implies, they shall be witnesses or eyes for God and to bring testimony to all peoples, warn people of their sins and repent just as John the Baptist did. Who are these men who have great powers? Observe their abilities in verse 6 in the above passage.

There is only one person in the Bible who was given that power to shut up the sky so that it would not rain for years and he is Elijah (1 Ki 17:1). And indeed it never rained for a period of three years (1Ki 18:1).

Just as there was only one man in the Bible who was given the power to send plagues just as turning water into blood in full view of all people and he is Moses (Ex 7:19).

In the principle of confirming the covenant, the past events of Israel's history should be repeated. So Moses and Elijah will come again. But they are not the same single lampstand with seven lights in Zechariah's vision. Evidently, the Two Witnesses in the last days will be Moses and Elijah. The title of being Two Witnesses aptly described in the illustration of Zechariah's vision. The olive trees fed oil (fuel) to the seven lights (seven eyes of God), in the same way that Moses and Elijah will serve as the eyes of the Lord through all the earth in the last days. It does not mean that God will need someone to feed Him with information. It was simply God's own Spirit who is in indwelling in these Two Witnesses who empowers them to accomplish things for God in the last days.

Aside from being the eyes of God in the last days, their jobs will also be as exactly as what they did during their original stay on earth. Elijah warned Ahab, a wicked king of Israel about his sins. Elijah never tasted death (2 Ki 2:11-12), returned later as John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord (Matt 17:12-13). In the same way Elijah will warn the coming wicked kings ruling over the new Israel just as he warned Herod during the time of Jesus (Matt 14:3-5). He shall also preach repentance and prophecy to prepare the way of the Lord. His place of assignment is either the country of Israel or Europe. Moreover, Elijah was prophesied again by the prophet Malachi to come again not during the first coming of Jesus but before His Second Coming, which he described as the great and dreadful Day of the Lord (Mal 4:5). Moses and Elijah also appeared with Jesus in His First Coming (Matt 17:1-3) which served as the preview of the things to come. Jesus was transfigured on the mountain as a blinding light with the Two Witnesses.

More on the Two Witnesses

Moses will do the same as he did in Egypt. Egypt, which is now the United States, will be his place of assignment. Related: The Real Roots of America. Its king will then be the beast coming from the Abyss, the Antichrist and now ruling as Pharaoh. He will hold many people captives and slaves just what had happened in old Egypt refusing to let them go.

 Isa 14:17
“...the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”

He will campaign for the release of God’s people while sending plagues as often as he wishes. Now the story of Exodus will crop up in our minds and it will happen again but this time in a grand, worldwide scale.

Be warned again for here is Satan’s big deception. While they perform miracles to show proof beyond doubt about the power of God, fragile believers must be warned about the pre-written deception of the devil supposedly demonstrating that he is more powerful. After the two witnesses will have accomplished their mission, the beast, the Antichrist and also the “Pharaoh” who will come back from the Abyss will attack them and kill them. Read:

Rev 11:7-10
7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

We now understand that Abyss or Bottomless Pit is the biblical symbol for death or grave (Ps 30:3). To come up from the Abyss simply means coming back from the grave, death or to resurrect. The Antichrist by then has already been from the grave unleashing his full fury against Christians. Read The Powerful Delusion, A Great Lie for more on the beginning of the Antichrist.

Peoples will rejoice about their deaths for they were responsible for the plagues. God allowed His witnesses to look like defeated to test the faith of all peoples and again, to fulfill the Scriptures:

Dan 8:24
He will become very strong, but not by his own power.  He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.

Now the Book of Revelation also proves here that the US is Egypt based in the prophecies on the Two Witnesses.

We had already identified New York City as the seat of the Antichrist. Read New York City: The Throne of the Antichrist.

Now take note that the Bible calls places now by their roots or origin and Egypt is the USA. Moses is to die in US mainland while Elijah will die the second time in Jerusalem, the site of Christ’s crucifixion as prophesied in Rev 11:8:

Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Many are confused thinking that the above verse is describing only one specific place. Jerusalem cannot be described as Sodom since it is the city of the Lord. There are two places in the verse in two separate continents, the great city is New York City and the other is the old city, Jerusalem, the place of Christ's crucifixion. Then why does the bible calls Egypt a Sodom? Read Is the Gay Pride Ever Mentioned in the Bible? for a surprising answer. We are seeing the dawn of the power of the third sex, whose same-sex marriage, the U.S. president has openly declared his support. The Day of the Lord is coming nearer. Let us all be prepared.

More on Zechariah's eye-opening visions next week.

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