He Will Finish His Work
(Zech. 4:1-14, Rev. 1:12-13, Rev. 11:4, Rev. 21:1, Heb. 8:5, 9:23)
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that we prophesy in part. No one has the full picture by himself. Peter warns us of thinking that our revelation, our understanding is private, or personal. We ought to be bouncing our thoughts off one another and, more importantly, asking the Lord Himself. In this day the number of prophetic voices has increased. Along with all this understanding we need a commensurate measure of discernment. Are we hearing the Lord’s voice above all the other voices? Are we hearing Him corporately? Are the words and the spirits being tested?
Zechariah in his day hears a word directed to a ruler, Zerubbabel. He was a leader of the first group of God’s people returning from Babylon. His name indicates he was born in Babylon. But he did not stay there. He was moving on in God’s purpose in his day. I was once distressed when a brother spoke of a governor, an elected official of our present day, as a “Zerubbabel”. He spoke as if such a one could advance the kingdom. We have gone 2000 years from the pouring out of the Spirit and we still look for an earthly kingdom. To see Zerubbabel as anything other than a type of Christ misses the point. May the Lord mature us and bring us to clearer understanding.
Look at the passage from Zechariah. Keep in mind, Christ had not yet been revealed. This man saw in part without our reference point. Yet he sees and speaks of the same vision that John saw more clearly on Patmos. Zechariah tells of a builder laying a foundation. And he sees two olive trees who are pouring oil into the golden lampstands. Don’t we see what this represents? True prophetic and apostolic ministry has one purpose and function. They function to impart spiritual life. I sense the Spirit pleading with us, and working an intercession in us for such a flow of life, that the lampstands may be what the Lord Jesus spoke to His twelve and the women with them. “You are the light of the world.” That is a divine declaration, a commanding word, an identity.
The olive trees, His witnesses, are beholding Him. A literal meaning of the words for these anointed ones is sons of fresh oil. They stand before the Lord of the whole earth. The shining of the lampstands requires a flow. Under the law and the prophets, it was the job of the priests to ensure the flow of oil so that the light never went out. Similarly, David had priests who made sure the fire on the altar of sacrifice never went out. The altar of incense likewise had a continual fragrance going up to the Lord. These are all pictures of our life in Christ. These are the pictures that caused the Moravians to develop 24/7 prayer habits. Today, bowl and harp and prayer-watch ministries are growing over the entire earth.
Prayer and worship, the bowl and the harp, represent what is born of the Spirit in our spirits and is displayed by our words, our actions. I have written before, and write again, we are called to spend focused time in the presence of the Lord. We learn to pour worship and prayer, matured prayer, to the Lord. We grow and learn to abide in Him, in His presence. And we carry that presence wherever we go. Others are touched by it and drawn toward the one who inhabits the praises of His people and inhabits us. We become a praise to His name.
Moses saw the pattern, Zechariah saw the pattern, John saw the pattern. But the heavenly, the true and real, is yet to be fully seen by us. It is in Christ and revealed in measure by the Spirit for us who believe. Through each of these brothers in faith came a fresh and increasing revealing of Christ and His working in the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ is creating, and finishing the pattern in us, a people. He has no other building, no other means to accomplish His purpose in our day. Will we cooperate with Him? Will we allow all the work necessary? Let us delight to do His will. Lord, bring us to this place and keep us in it.