Not By Might
Not By Might
Reading: Psalm 8.1 and 9 & Psalm 9.1-2
Responsive Reading: Hebrews 7.1-16
Text: Zechariah 4.6 – “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.”
I. Wake up!
“The angel wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.”
A. Isn’t it amazing that the prophet had to be awakened? How could he doze off in the midst of such wonderful and glorious revelations, especially coming off the heals of the 4th Vision? Their sins forgiven, the Lord sends His Servant and removes iniquity from the land and the prophet falls asleep! Wouldn’t you think he would be on the edge of his seat?
B. However, this is a common problem. Peter and the other disciples become “heavy with sleep” while the Lord Jesus shines with glory on the mount. Three times the disciples fell asleep while our Lord prayed with vehement cries and tears to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.
C. And have you and I not also fallen into a Spiritual Stupor. Have you not experienced such a moving of God and then a week later found yourself awakened from yet another stupor? Paul admonishes the Corinthians, “Wake to righteousness and sin not, for some do not have the knowledge of God.” To the Church at Rome he warns, “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
D. We need the Spirit of God not only to reveal divine things to us, but also to wake us up to take notice of them.
II. What he saw
A. There is a lamp stand of solid gold with a bowl on top and seven lamps. The lamp stand is the church. Revelation 1.20
B. It is made of solid gold indicating its pureness and refinement, solid gold with no impurities not only in God’s sight but also in reality. This is the reality of the church because of the work of Christ – She has His righteousness. She is set apart unto God, Holy and pure. “To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine line, clean and bright, for the fine line is the righteous acts of the saints.”
C. This lamp stand had one bowl on top that collected all the oil, which feed seven pipes that transported the oil to the lamp for burning. It was not unlike the lamp stand in the old temple, except in the temple the priests constantly attended the lamp stand supplying the oil to it. The extraordinary thing about this lamp stand is that no human hands attended it. It was a function of the old priests, but there were no priests. God Himself was now carrying out the function of the priests for and in His people!
D. The oil came from two olive trees, one on the left and one on the right. They dripped heavily into the bowl supplying a constant flow to the lamps. The supply of oil was without interference. Oil was in continuous supply. The lamps received oil as fast as they burned it, never running out!
E. The oil flowing down is representative of the Holy Spirit. The word for oil is the word for anoint. In fact, in verse 14, the word is used again to describe the two olive trees. He says “anointed ones.” It is literally, “Oily ones.” Luke 4.18. Oil was used to anoint priests and kings demonstrating that the Spirit of God was poured out on them for their work. All of this was in accordance to the command of God.
F. The oil was of special properties and quality. In verse 12 it is called “the golden oil.” This is a vision, but a reality of the value and quality of the Holy Spirit. There are no impurities in the oil. It burns clean. You ever get gasoline with water in it. It won’t burn properly. This is important concerning the function of these lamps.
G. They were to provide light to a dark and sin ridden world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Every believer has the light of life and it is the only light this dark world has. Philippians 2.14-15
H. With 7 lamps the light provided is perfect. There is nothing better than the church of God. She is well-equipped to preach the Gospel of Christ because she was equipped by the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4.11-16
III. The Source of Power and Success
The design of the vision is to assure Zechariah and the people that though their enemies are many and mighty, the work of the building of His temple is influenced by Divine Providence and intervention. The Lord has taken this matter upon Himself.
A. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” The whole life of faith is not of the flesh but by His Spirit. “For to be carnally minded (or fleshy minded) is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another…” This is an absolute – if it is of God it will not be by human strength or force, political clout or intellectual ability – it is always of the Spirit! It is always supernatural. Example – The Angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and tells him, “I will be with you and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” So, when Gideon is finally convinced. He apparently gets a whole army together of 32,000 men. The Lord says, “That is too many, lest they claim the glory for themselves.” This thing is going to be a faith victory. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.”
B. Consider that Great Mountain. How great was it? They were weak and despised and in comparison, the opposition had all the strength and power. But God says, “Who are you? Before Zerubbabel, you shall become a plain!” How was this going to transpire? The mountain before Zerubbabel was indeed very great. Is not the world a great Mountain against the church? All the darkness and unbelief, who could ever shine light in such great darkness. What about your own great mountains? What about that great sin that has so plagued you? It will never go by any other way, but by His Spirit! Colossians 2.23.
C. The message is: there will be complete victory! That mountain will become a plain!
Abraham – How many times was the completely impossible overcome and the promise held sure?
Christ – The king tried to murder Him when he was but an infant. The religious leaders tried numerous times to deal with Him, not to mention the temptation of Satan and the own obstacles of His own disciples. Yet, nothing was going to interfere or stop the work of Christ.
And with the victory comes shouts of “Grace, Grace to it!” In other words, God gets all the glory. It was all of grace.
- Why would there not be victory? Can God be going about the whole thing wrong? Has He taken the wrong path? Will some greater opposition interfere now? Will He have enough resources? Will He have enough for the long haul? Verse 8 – “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.” No, The Lord assures Victory to Zechariah and the people of God! He is making sure of it Himself.
“The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid…”
- There is a psychological matter that comes up that the Lord deals with in verse 10 – “the day of small things.” In Nehemiah 4.3 we find great ridicule, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.” You may be thinking about you day of small things. It doesn’t seem I have much of a ministry. Why even if a mouse crawled on mine it would fall! Consider this, the Lord rejoice to see the plumb line or literally the “plummet stone.” The Lord looks at this phase and rejoice because He knows the finished product. He knows what He has declared from the end to the beginning. Do you remember Jesus teaching on the vine and the branches? “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears (some) fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” What do you have? If there is anything real then you have hope for more! Isaiah 60.21-22
IV. The Means
The Vision prompts the prophet to inquire again, “What are these Two Olive Trees?” What about these two who supply the golden oil? The seven lamps give their light because of a constant supply from the central reservoir, but how is that bowl kept full? The angel answers, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
A. Literally, these are the two “Oily Ones.” All throughout the Bible there were certain ones who were responsible for the conveying of God’s grace to His people, generally they were the Regal and Priestly offices, Kings and Priests. You recall David anointed by Samuel and Aaron anointed by Moses. So, in the immediate context, this is Zerubbabel, the Governor and Joshua the High Priest, although not as individuals. What do I mean by this? Not Zerubbabel and Joshua specifically but their offices and what they represented. These two men died off just like all the rest.
B. There had always been a separation of the Kingship and priesthood, except in two: Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. The King was not to offer the sacrifice, so the two were not to be mixed. However, the kingship and priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ are in view for His was after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7 He ever liveth.
C. By His sacrifice, He gained and secured the measureless grace of the Holy Spirit. His ascension to the enthronement at the Father’s right hand insured the pouring out of the influence and power of the Holy Spirit as was mightily demonstrated at Pentecost.
“It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Conclusion: If you are ever to receive aid, if you are ever to have victory over the enemy, if you are ever to have life; it must come from the King-Priest Jesus who ever liveth to make intercession
Hymn: #127 – Man of Sorrows