Sabbath, April 18, 2015

“The capacity for receiving the holy oil from the two olive trees which empty themselves, is by the receiver emptying that holy oil out of himself in word and in action to supply the necessities of other souls. Work, precious, satisfying work–to be constantly receiving and constantly imparting! The capacity for receiving is only kept up by imparting.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1180.

A symbolic vision 

1. What vision did the Lord give the prophet Zechariah? What do the candlesticks represent at the beginning of the vision in Revelation?

Zechariah 4:1, 2 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof.

Revelation 1:20, last part … The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

“It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour’s love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 419.

2. What were on the right and left sides of the candlestick?

Zechariah 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 

“In this vision the two olive trees which stand before God are represented as emptying the golden oil out of themselves through golden tubes into the bowl of the candlestick. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are fed, that they may give a bright, continuous light. So from the anointed ones that stand in God’s presence the fullness of divine light and love and power is imparted to His people, that they may impart to others light and joy and refreshing. Those who are thus enriched are to enrich others with the treasure of God’s love.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 594.

Meaning of the vision 

3. What do the two olive trees standing on the right and the left of the candlestick represent?

Zechariah 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 

“By the holy beings surrounding His throne, the Lord keeps up a constant communication with the inhabitants of the earth.” –(Review and Herald, February 3, 1903) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1179.

“From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 406, 408.

4. And what is the meaning of the golden oil that constantly flows from the two olive branches through the golden pipes so the lamps can burn and give light?

Zechariah 4:12-14 And 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? 13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. 

“The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit is represented in the prophecy of Zechariah.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 407.

“The two olive trees empty the golden oil out of themselves through the golden pipes into the golden bowl from which the lamps of the sanctuary are fed. The golden oil represents the Holy Spirit. With this oil God’s ministers are to be constantly supplied, that they, in turn, may impart it to the church. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ God’s servants can obtain victories only by inward purity, by cleanness of heart, by holiness. It is of the utmost importance that ministers set a right example. If they follow lax, loose principles, their example is quoted by those who are doing wrong as a vindication of their course. The whole synagogue of Satan is watching for defects in the lives of God’s representatives, and the most is made of every defect.” –(Review and Herald, December 22, 1904) Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 188.

5. What was the prophet told at a very difficult moment in regard to the progress and conclusion of God’s work? Will this occur through masses of people or human power?

Zechariah 4:4-6 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. 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. 

“The Lord has told us whence comes our strength…. As the Lord sees fit He imparts, to those who keep His way, power that enables them to exert a strong influence for good.” –Counsels on Health, p. 274.

“How could one of little courage and experience withstand the tempest before which the strongest and bravest had been forced to flee? ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.’ Zechariah 4:6. ‘God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.’ ‘Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ 1 Corinthians 1:27, 25.” –The Great Controversy, p. 232.

“Let us not try to work ourselves or others, but let us depend upon the Holy Spirit. Deal gently with human beings. With hearts full of spiritual tenderness, melt your way into convicted hearts. Let your words be dipped in the heavenly oil from the two olive branches. We need the golden oil emptied into prepared vessels, that it may be communicated to those who are seeking for the truth. Ever remember that it is ‘not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’” –Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 440.

The Holy Spirit and power in preaching

6. With what is the Holy Spirit often associated in the Scriptures?

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 

Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

“Will not the church awake to her responsibility? God is waiting to impart the Spirit of the greatest Missionary the world has ever known to those who will work with self-denying, self-sacrificing consecration. When God’s people receive this Spirit, power will go forth from them.” –(Manuscript 59, 1898) Selected Messages, book 1, p. 117.

“Only as they were united with Christ could the disciples hope to have the accompanying power of the Holy Spirit and the cooperation of angels of heaven. With the help of these divine agencies they would present before the world a united front and would be victorious in the conflict they were compelled to wage unceasingly against the powers of darkness. As they should continue to labor unitedly, heavenly messengers would go before them, opening the way; hearts would be prepared for the reception of truth, and many would be won to Christ. So long as they remained united, the church would go forth ‘fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.’ Song of Solomon 6:10. Nothing could withstand her onward progress. The church would advance from victory to victory, gloriously fulfilling her divine mission of proclaiming the gospel to the world.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 90, 91.

7. What glorious promise is given to all who preach the message of salvation?

Acts 1:8; 2:39 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth…. 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 

“In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit…. 

“But no man can impart that which he himself has not received. In the work of God, humanity can originate nothing. No man can by his own effort make himself a light bearer for God. It was the golden oil emptied by the heavenly messengers into the golden tubes, to be conducted from the golden bowl into the lamps of the sanctuary, that produced a continuous bright and shining light. It is the love of God continually transferred to man that enables him to impart light. Into the hearts of all who are united to God by faith the golden oil of love flows freely, to shine out again in good works, in real, heartfelt service for God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 419, 418.

For personal study

“It is not by the might or power of the human agent that truth is to be impressed upon minds, ‘but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6. It is not the temperament or the eloquence of the one who preaches the word that makes his work successful. Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God gives the increase. It is a minister’s familiarity with God’s word and his submission to the divine will, that give success to his efforts.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 251, 252.