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 ZECHARIAH 4

"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."  

Zechariah 4:6

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

Since the whole chapter (Zechariah 4) must serve as the "context" for these Bible Studies, I shall print it here:

"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: 3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 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. 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. 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. 8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. 10 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. 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? 12 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."

 

There are a total of nine lessons appearing below on this Page.  all are based on zechariah 4.

 

LESSON 1:

I am approaching this text with the view that verse 6 is its very "heart!"  Today we shall analyze that great portion of God's Word.

"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."

Now it's clear to see that the emphasis here is on the "Spirit" of God.

There are some situations and conditions and problems Israel is facing in Zechariah that can ONLY be handled by reliance on the Holy Spirit of the Lord!

These issues cannot be faced and conquered by "might." 

That noun in Hebrew is "chayil" and is translated in the King James Bible as "army" (56 times), "man of valour" (37 times), "forces" (14 times), "valiant" (13 times) and even "riches" (11 times)!

It's etymology points to a root word that means to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner) and has taken on the meaning of "force," like a tornado I would think.

Anyway, the army can't help with Zechariah's (the priest) and Zerubbabel's (the governor) and Israel's (the nation) problems here.

Nor can "power."  This noun is "koach" (pronounced "ko'-ak") and means that which is FIRM!  It is rendered the following ways in our Bible:  strength, power, might, force and ability. If it has a particular nuance of meaning, it may reside in the fact that it often suggests BIG things!  Sheer size implying strength!

God just told those men that the army can't help them!  Nor can anything big do the job!  (Nothing's big enough for this task!)

BUT One exists Who can help!

Who?

"My Spirit!" says the Lord.

"By My Spirit!"

The noun "ruach" just means by definition breath, breeze or wind (air)!  Yet that's the word picture the Bible uses for the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments!  ("Rucah" and "Pneuma!")

He is The very Breath of God!

In fact He is God!

We serve One God ... Who exhibits Himself in a Triune Manner; Father, Son and Spirit!

The SPIRIT can do things today to help us!

Mighty things apparently!

Fighting things apparently!

Things an army can't do!

Massive things too!

Things the biggest ________________ you know can't handle!

We must serve a BIG God then!

This chapter in Zechariah teaches us that the Holy Spirit is God's Source of Power for us today!

Isn't that exactly what Jesus declares in Acts 1:8 --- "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ...."

Yes!

Lord willing, more next lesson!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

In the first verse of the chapter we read:  "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep ...."  Zechariah 4:1

I believe the central truth of this whole chapter is the SPIRIT of God.

Everything that happens in these 14 verses is attributed to Him!

That "everything" includes the incident in verse one.

Zechariah was "wakened" in order to hear and see this great vision of truth.

Notice the text does not say that the Prophet was literally asleep, but that he was aroused ("waked") AS a man that is wakened our of his sleep!  A figure of speech is in use here, a simile.

The verb "waked" (in Hebrew = "ur") means to arouse, to stir or to incite!

Zechariah, as godly as he was, still wasn't in shape to receive a revelation from God! He could not discern the things of the Spirit!  So he had to be roused, incited, "touched" in order to apprehend the vision!

That's my point today!

We too will never be sensitive to the truths of God's Revelation (God's Word, the Bible) apart from the ministry of the Spirit of God!

An army (the "might" of verse six) cannot put you attune to God!  Neither can "power" (sheer bigness or awesomeness or impressiveness) do so!

No!

Only the Holy Spirit is able to do that!

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  1st Corinthians 2:14

Jesus Himself promised in John 16:13 --- "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come."

Thank God for Holy Spirit illumination!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

I believe Zechariah 4 "centers" on the Subject of "The Spirit Of The Lord."

Everything in the whole Passage (14 verses) seems to be a result of the Spirit's working.

The angel that appears to Zechariah numerous times through the Book asks the Prophet: " What seest thou?"

The Preacher had just seen a "vision" about two olive trees and a candlestick!

Now look at that question again?

"What seest thou?"

Here's the context:

"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: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof."   Zechariah 4:2-3

Now think about that question!

Again, "What seest thou?"

This just points to another of the great functions of the Holy Spirit with us.

HE KEEPS US "ON FOCUS!"

He encourages us to keep our eyes on the right things!

And to hear the right things too!  And to do them too!

How very much "poorer" we would be without the Spirit of God indwelling and directing us!

Remember what Jesus said in John 16:4 --- "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you ...!"

I sincerely pray:  "Oh, Lord, keep us focused!  Help us to hear Thy 'What seest thou?' often!  We thank Thee for such verses as Psalm 32:8 --- 'I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.'"

Folks, let's stay focused!

Let me add one more thing about this "focus" principle.  The Holy Spirit always focuses first on JESUS!  John 16 proves that.  There, in verses 13 and 14 we are told by Jesus (concerning the Holy Spirit):  "For He shall not speak of Himself; but ... He shall glorify Me."

Now, that's "focus!"

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

In an Old Testament chapter (Zechariah 4) that places the Holy Spirit at its very center, I see a Prophet of God (Zechariah) who asks a lot of questions!

In verse 4, after seeing a golden candlestick with a big reservoir on top, he asks: "What are these, my lord?"  The "lord" is an angel who has been with him during this series of visions.

Again in verse 11 the Prophet inquires:  "What are these two olive trees?"

And in 12 he asks yet another one!  "What be these two olive branches?"

Here's something to remember.

When the Holy Spirit is the center of one's life, he or she will be saturated with spiritual interest!  He will be imbued with hunger and thirst for the things of God!  He will have an insatiable appetite for the Word of God particularly!

Even at age 12 in the Temple, Jesus couldn't get enough of the Word of God! For several days He did nothing but ask questions and hear responses from the Temple doctors and teachers!  See Luke 2:46.

There is direct linkage between one's fullness of the Holy Spirit and one's love for the Bible!

Also from the same series of verses note this.  Every time Zechariah had a question ... God here provided the exact answer!  Keep in mind, these are Bible questions.  (Not questions of doubt or accusation!)

And just Who is the Teacher of the Word of God?

The Holy Spirit.

He guides us into all Truth!  John 16:13

Yes, He teaches us!  "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."  John 14:26

He in our chapter (Zechariah 4) explains to the Biblically "hungry" Preacher (again, Zechariah) the meanings of the golden candlestick and the olive trees and the branches connected to them!

So ... if a Christian yet today (2500 years after Zechariah) is "filled" with the Holy Spirit (or fully "yielded" to Him) ... get ready!  He too will have an insatiable appetite for the Scriptures and a heavenly Teacher to guide Him along the Bible way!

And this is just one of the Spirit's mighty Functions!

(See if you notice HIM teaching you at church today!)

Praise the Lord!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

Today let's look at verse seven.  It shows us several more tendencies of the Holy Spirit of God!  What great power He has!

"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."  Zechariah 4:7

In order to understand this verse we must remember one of the great problems the Jews were having at this time.  They had just returned from Babylonian captivity, arriving in a land (really a city, Jerusalem) with no walls, no gates and not even a Temple!  Enemies had gathered all around them, threatening their destruction too! They had problems!

And that's what this "mountain" in verse 7 symbolizes!  The hard issues of life! 

Keep in mind that verse 7 immediately follows the "key" statement of the whole chapter.  "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."

The Spirit of the Lord can make mountains (big problems) into plains (level places)! He can handle all life's difficulties!

This is the same idea Jesus had when (talking about hard things) He said:  "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."  Mark 11:21

And ... since the biggest problem Israel had in Zechariah's day was the fact that no Temple existed ... one could and would be built ... via the power of the Holy Spirit!

And it was!

This "Temple" idea is what introduces the word "headstone" into verse 7.  The last thing done to any building is to place the capstone, the headstone into place!  God is here promising Israel that the Temple will be re-build and the headstone put into position with rejoicing!

And the strong implication is that the Holy Spirit of God is behind it all!

I also believe that Headstone is a picture of Jesus our Saviour!  He is the Cornerstone too!  The Headstone has the most elevated position in the building! That's Jesus!  It also holds everything else in place!  That's Jesus too!  And it is praised here in verse 7 with the words "Grace, Grace!"  Amen! (Another picture of the Spirit motivating our praises and exalting Jesus!)

"By My Spirit" saith the Lord!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

The Bible is such a practical Book!

In Zechariah 4:9 the people of Judah are facing a great problem.  After returning from Babylonian Captivity, they are re-building the Temple and many obstacles have hindered them.

There seems to be some discouragement in the camp.

Then God promises them something great.

Right after that amazing verse on the power of the Spirit of the Lord ("Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.") ... our great God says to His people:  "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it."

What a boost these words would have provided to faithful men and women!

From the Almighty God:  The work is startedIt WILL be finished!

But for a minute look at the context!  Let's put some things together here.

The Spirit of the Lord can do great things!  (Verse 6)   Then, immediately ...

The Temple, by the hands of Zerubbabel the Governor, shall be completed!

It looks to me like that is saying the Holy Spirit, via His Power, will aid in the completion of that great building project!

And let me immediately add something about that.

THE HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS FINISHES WHAT HE STARTS!

He started building the Body of Christ, the Church, 2000 years ago!  He will finish It some day too!

True Christian friend, He has started forming you into the image of Christ ... and He will finish that job also!

He has in fact done everything necessary so far to fulfill the Will of the Father and Son in Heaven ... AND HE WILL BRING TO FRUITION EACH ASPECT OF THAT GREAT WILL BEFORE ETERNITY FUTURE BEGINS IT COURSE!

He never fails to complete what He started!

He is 100% successful!

He is executing the Plans of the Son of God, Who is both the Author and Finisher of our Faith!

He empowers Philippians 1:6 and other such verses:  "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Yes!

Glory to God!

Paul calls the Spirit the "earnest" of our inheritance!  (2 Corinthians 1:22)

He is the Down-Payment of what is coming!  He is the Foretaste of Glory that is yet on the way! 

And what He has begun in you and me ... will be completely accomplished for sure!

That would have encouraged those few Jews in Jerusalem long ago!  And that should even more so encourage us yet today!

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit of God seem to be especially emphasized in Zechariah chapter 4.

He (the Spirit) is the Central Focus of the whole Passage.

Let me "lift" 4 words out of verse 9 to illustrate.

"And Thou shalt know!"

Here's the whole clause:  "And thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you."

Therefore I am assuming that the Scriptures are "linking" the "Spirit" of the Lord with this clear assurance of knowledge!

Zechariah will KNOW that this angel (verse 1) is from the Lord!

This point is obvious!

The Holy Spirit is the Member of the Godhead Who delivers assurance to our souls!

I'll let Romans 8:16 prove my point:  "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ!"

Or Galatians 4:6 will do the same thing.  "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Then 1st John 3:24 --- "And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."

Plus 1st John 4:13 --- "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."

Again 1st John 5:6 --- "And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth."

If one has the Spirit of God ... one knows!

Do not base your salvation upon what someone else told you ... or some feeling you had ... or some water baptism experience ... ONLY base it upon the witness of the Holy Spirit of God!

He can make you KNOW!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

The tendency today in Christian circles is to greatly value large things ... and ignore the small things!

This is especially true when it comes to churches!  We now seem to think that little churches are --- well, "inadequate."

The "mega-churches" are what we need! They can best serve our needs! Why, they offer nearly everything!

Such an opinion can be dangerous.

If you total all the truly born-again folks being helped by the big outfits ... then do the same for all those being helped by the little churches across the land, you will soon find that more old-fashioned Bible-believing blood-washed children of God are in the little churches than the big ones!  (It's just the math that brings one to that conclusion!  There are multiplied thousands and thousands of little churches, thank the Lord!)

This "bigness" complex reminds me of Zechariah chapter four.

God had intervened (again) in the history of Judah and the Temple (Zerubbabel's) had been completed.  It had been built (more precisely, rebuilt) in the face of great opposition.  It was done "not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts!"  Zechariah 4:6

But when the old men saw how small this new Temple was (in comparison to Solomon's Temple that had been destroyed 70 years earlier), they wept according to Ezra 3:12. 

That's why Zechariah 4:10 asks:  "For who hath despised the day of small things?"

You see ... when the Spirit of God is superintending a work, the size really is NOT the issue!  He can work mightily through little things as well as big things! Verse 6 above could just as well have said, "Not by size, nor by weight, but by My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts!"

The verb "despise" (in Hebrew = "buz") means "to hold as insignificant" or "to disrespect."

To "think down" upon something!

Now look at God's argument against despising this smaller Temple.  It's in the rest of verse 10.  "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."

Do NOT despise the small Temple ... because something is there.  Better said, Someone is there!  The "plummet" in Hebrew is the word "eben," which means stone!  It is that Stone from Zechariah 3:9 that pictures Jesus Christ (our Rock and our Fortress)!  "For behold the Stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one Stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." 

A Stone with 7 eyes?  Yes!  This typology depicts an all-seeing intelligence, a God who knows everything and sees everything! (Omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present!)  Note also that this Stone (Jesus) removes iniquity!

Here's the point!  DO NOT belittle the small works of God!  A little church, if God is in the midst, can do more than a big one where God is not welcome!  (On the other hand, just to be fair, a big church where God is present can do more than a small one where God is excluded!)

By the way, the same applies for God's "little" Preachers too!  (Although He really has none of these.  All God's Preachers are significant and important!) 

What makes one "useful" to God is NOT size ... it IS the Presence of the Lord!

And knowing this fact ... practicing this fact (that size is not the issue) only comes by the working power of the Holy Spirit of God!

He (the Spirit) will not allow us to despise small things wherein God can be found!

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

Now the Prophet Zechariah needs to know something else!  (The Presence of the Spirit always excites spiritual curiosity and hunger!)

"What are these two olive trees?"  Zechariah 4:11

And "What be these two olive branches which through two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?"  Zechariah 4:12

Of course, in a chapter saturated with the Spirit of the Lord, the Prophet's answer is coming soon!  (The Spirit is The Teacher!  John 14:26 --- "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.")

Verse 14 supplies the answer:  "These are the two anointed ones!"

Now we must analyze these truths.

The "two" anointed ones must be the two men who have been the focus of the message of Zechariah so far.  In fact they are critical to the whole rebuilding process as Judah returns from Captivity!

Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Governor are in view here I believe.

Through them ... the "oil" in Zechariah's vision flows to the candlestick!

The Holy Spirit is often mediated through human channels!

The nation will be rebuilt, the Temple completed, the walls constructed, the gates repaired, BUT only as God through His Holy Spirit uses clean dedicated and yielded men to lead the work!

This is still true today!  A godly Spirit-filled pastor impacts the whole Church for the Glory of God!  Be around him much!

These two men "stand by" the Lord!  The verb "amad" here means to remain, to endure or to take one's stand!  Wow!

Spirit anointed men always stand by the Lord God Almighty!

The words "anointed ones" translate "yitzshar ben."  The sons of oil!  Literally, the sons of fresh oil!  The sons of shining oil!  The sons of pure oil!  (These adjectives come straight out of a grammatical lexicon!)  What preaching a textbook can do!

Also keep in mind this fact.

The "offices" these two anointed men held were those of ... a priest and a king!  They typify Jesus our great  High Priest after the order of Melchizedek!  Melchizedek was both a king and a priest!  So is Jesus!

JESUS is the True Source of the Oil of the Holy Spirit!

Read on.

Jesus announces in John 7 --- "He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:38-39) Get those capitalized words!  The Holy Spirit can come because of Jesus' death, burial, resurrection and ascension!

And look what Jesus promises in John 14:16-17.  "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you Another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of Truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Wow!  (The Spirit has come because Jesus has prayed!)

Jesus is the Source (the Channel) of the Holy Spirit!

Today's Lesson:  The Spirit of God is most often mediated!  Get around and stay around godly people!

Remember ... all the young preacher Elisha wanted from his mentor Elijah was "a double portion of his spirit!"  2nd Kings 2:9 tells us:  "And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."

The spirit of a man or a woman (whether a good or a bad one) is powerfully influential!  It impacts its associates greatly!

Lord, place us among "the anointed ones!"

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

WE HAVE ANOTHER SERIES OF BIBLE LESSONS ABOUT THE "OIL" OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TOO.  IT IS DRAWN FROM THE LIFE OF ELISHA.  CLICK "HERE" TO SEE WHAT I MEAN.

 

 

 

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