“Not by a Military Force, Nor by Power, But”—
1. How do Israel of Zechariah’s days and the Republic of Israel compare as to military force?
WAS there any military force under arms in the Israel of the days of the prophet Zechariah? No; unlike in the Republic of Israel of today, in which even the womenfolk are conscripted for the army.
2. How long had the repatriated remnant been without a military force, and therefore what question arises as to building the temple?
2 Back in the year 522 B.C.E., during the brief reign of Artaxerxes (Gaumata the Magian) as king of Persia, when the Samaritan adversaries stopped the Israelite temple builders “by force of arms,” the Israelites at Jerusalem did not muster out a military force to combat them. (Ezra 4:7-24) Later, in the eleventh lunar month (Shebat) of the year 519 B.C.E., on the twenty-fourth day of the month, when Zechariah received his fifth vision, there was still no military force in Jerusalem and the land of Judah. This was still in the second year of King Darius I, who had succeeded Artaxerxes as the ruler of the Persian Empire. Would it be possible for the Israelites to complete the temple of Jerusalem without operating from a “position of strength” by means of having an impressive military force? The fifth vision to Zechariah answered the question.
3. (a) Out of what kind of state is Zechariah aroused before being given the fifth vision? (b) To the interpretative angel, what does Zechariah report seeing?
3 After the faith-inspiring vision concerning High Priest Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the prophet Zechariah appears to have lapsed into an attitude of meditation and contemplation, in which he appeared to be asleep. But the series of visions was not yet over; there was more for him to see. That is why he goes on to tell us concerning the interpretative angel who was explaining things to him: “And the angel who was speaking with me proceeded to come back and wake me up, like a man that is awakened from his sleep. Then he said to me: ‘What are you seeing?’ So I said: ‘I have seen, and, look! there is a lampstand, all of it of gold, with a bowl on top of it. And its seven lamps are upon it, even seven; and the lamps that are at the top of it have seven pipes. And there are two olive trees alongside it, one on the right side of the bowl and one on its left side.’”—Zechariah 4:1-3.
4. The sight of that lampstand stirs up in us recollections of what house, and why so?
4 Do we have a mental picture of what Zechariah was shown? That golden lampstand with its seven branches topped by seven lamps that are fed with olive oil stirs up recollections of Jehovah’s house of worship. In earlier Israel, from the days of the prophet Moses down to the days of King David, that house of worship had a golden lampstand in its first compartment, The Holy. (Exodus 40:1-25) The vision of this lampstand was therefore very fitting, inasmuch as this vision had to do with the rebuilding of the temple.
5. How were the seven lamps furnished with illuminating fuel from a central reservoir, and how was this central supply kept full?
5 The seven lamps had a central supply of illuminating oil. It was that bowl on the top of the golden lampstand, from which bowl there extended seven pipes, an individual pipe running to each individual lamp to convey oil to it from the central supply. But from where did this bowl get its supply of oil, and how regularly? From those two olive trees that stood alongside the bowl, one tree to its right and the other tree to its left. Those trees could be a constant source of supply, and they were immediately at hand, with no need for transporting oil from afar.
6. Despite there being seven lamps, how was it one lampstand?
6 The lampstand being all one, its seven lamps were all connected with it by branches running from a central support.
7. What did Zechariah now ask the angel concerning the lampstand?
7 There was a meaning to this vision. So Zechariah at once responded to it: “Then I answered and said to the angel who was speaking with me, saying: ‘What do these things mean, my lord?’ So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me: ‘Do you not really know what these things mean?’ In turn I said: ‘No, my lord.’”—Zechariah 4:4, 5.
8, 9. (a) By what course can we, like Zechariah, benefit from this vision? (b) What answer does the angel give to Zechariah, and what does this convey to us as instead of explanation of details?
8 Like the prophet Zechariah, we do not care to place our own interpretation upon the vision. We are willing to be taught from Jehovah of armies, by means of his angel. Only by getting the divine truth from the right source can we benefit from the vision. On being inquired of by Zechariah, the angelic interpreter does not first go into the meaning of all the details of the vision. Rather, he gives us the force, the all-embracing lesson, of the vision as a whole. This adds vigor to a vision of just a lampstand.
9 “Accordingly,” says Zechariah, “he answered and said to me: ‘This is the word of Jehovah to Zerubbabel, saying, “‘Not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit,’ Jehovah of armies has said. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a level land. And he will certainly bring forth the headstone. There will be shoutings to it: ‘How charming! How charming!’”’”—Zechariah 4:6, 7.
THE BARRIER TO BE REDUCED TO NOTHING
10. What opposition did Zerubbabel face, and what might it seem to be like, especially in view of what circumstances?
10 How would anyone of us have liked to have the opposition of the pagan governors of the Persian provinces on this side (the western side) of the Euphrates River? Not just that, but how would any single one of us have liked to have the opposition of the emperor of the whole Persian Empire, King Darius I? That is the opposition that, for the time being, stood in the way of Zerubbabel as he went ahead with rebuilding Jehovah’s temple at Jerusalem in that year 519 B.C.E. (Ezra 5:3 to 6:2) That would indeed appear like a “great mountain” in the way of carrying the temple’s reconstruction to a successful finish, would it not? He did not have any military force among the less than fifty thousand who had returned with him from Babylon back in 537 B.C.E. How, then, could he withstand any armed invasion by protesters to stop the temple work? What power did he or his fellow Israelites have? He did not know King Darius I personally, and had no political pull or influence with him. How, then, could he ever expect to finish Jehovah’s house of worship—without being severely punished?
11. (a) What is the divine answer to the question? (b) So what did Zerubbabel need to have behind him in the temple work, and why?
11 Do we today ask or did Governor Zerubbabel ask “How”? Back comes the answer from the greatest military Commander in Chief of all: “‘Not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit,’ Jehovah of armies has said.” (Zechariah 4:6) Zerubbabel did not need to worry about having a military force or power of any human source. All he had to do was to trust in the One who had told him by his prophets to go ahead with the work and to depend upon the spirit of that One, the Supreme Authority. That spirit of that One is, to be sure, an invisible active force, but it is irresistible, overwhelming, ever successful, always triumphant. Work invisibly it does, but it does produce results as purposed by the divine Source of that spirit. All the military might in the whole earth and all the political, religious power among all mankind cannot hold their ground against His holy active force in operation. In going ahead with the temple work, Governor Zerubbabel had that spirit behind him!
12. That figurative “great mountain” before Zerubbabel was to become what, and how was the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:4, 5 an assurance of this?
12 What, then, is a figurative “great mountain” in the way? To it Jehovah of armies says: “Before Zerubbabel you will become a level land.” Before Zerubbabel and the faithful remnant that had returned with him from Babylon Jehovah had fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 40:4, 5: “Let every valley be raised up, and every mountain and hill be made low. And the knobby ground must become level land, and the rugged ground a valley plain. And the glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed, and all flesh must see it together, for the very mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.” He could now do a similar thing in the case of this “great mountain” that confronted Governor Zerubbabel in that year 519 B.C.E. Let us note how He did so, by no strenuous effort on Zerubbabel’s part, but by His spirit.
13. (a) How had Jehovah earlier, on Chislev 24, 520 B.C.E., given Zerubbabel an assurance against enemy military force, through Haggai? (b) What would the adversaries do, certainly after Zerubbabel acted under stimulation by Zechariah’s fifth vision?
13 Just two months previously He had declared how he would deal with the enemy military hosts, saying: “I am rocking the heavens and the earth. And I shall certainly overthrow the throne of kingdoms and annihilate the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariot and its riders, and the horses and their riders will certainly come down, each one by the sword of his brother. ‘In that day,’ is the utterance of Jehovah of armies, ‘I shall take you, O Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, my servant,’ is the utterance of Jehovah; ‘and I shall certainly set you as a seal ring, because you are the one whom I have chosen,’ is the utterance of Jehovah of armies.” (Haggai 2:20-23) Because of what Governor Zerubbabel and his fellow workers did that day (Chislev 24, 520 B.C.E.) at the foundation of the temple in Jerusalem, the provincial governors west of the Euphrates River may have taken their appeal to King Darius I in Shushan, Persia. But certainly those provincial governors must have protested to King Darius I after Zerubbabel went forward with the temple work under the stimulation of this fifth vision that Zechariah reported to him.
14. According to Ezra 6:1-13, what did King Darius I do on getting the appeal of the aroused provincial governors?
14 Up till then King Darius I had let the ban as imposed by King Artaxerxes stand against the temple building. But on getting the appeal of the aroused provincial governors, what did he do?
It was then that Darius the king put an order through, and they made an investigation in the house of the records of the treasures deposited there in Babylon. And at Ecbatana, in the fortified place that was in the jurisdictional district of Media, there was found a scroll, and the memorandum to this effect was written within it:
“In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king put an order through concerning the house of God in Jerusalem: Let the house be rebuilt as the place where they are to offer sacrifices, and its foundations are to be fixed, its height being sixty cubits, its width sixty cubits, with three layers of stones rolled into place and one layer of timbers; and let the expense be given from the king’s house. And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God that Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon be returned, that they may reach the temple that is in Jerusalem at its place and be deposited in the house of God.
“Now Tattenai the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues, the lesser governors that are beyond the River, keep your distance from there. Let the work on that house of God alone. The governor of the Jews and the older men of the Jews will rebuild that house of God upon its place. And by me an order has been put through as to what you will do with these older men of the Jews, for rebuilding that house of God; and from the royal treasury of the tax beyond the River the expense will promptly be given to these able-bodied men without cessation. And what is needed, young bulls as well as rams and lambs for the burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine and oil, just as the priests that are in Jerusalem say, let there be given them continually day by day without fail; that they may continually be presenting soothing offerings to the God of the heavens and praying for the life of the king and his sons. And by me an order has been put through that, as for anybody that violates this decree, a timber will be pulled out of his house and he will be impaled upon it, and his house will be turned into a public privy on this account. And may the God who has caused his name to reside there overthrow any king and people that thrusts his hand out to commit a violation and destroy that house of God, which is in Jerusalem. I, Darius, do put through an order. Let it be done promptly.”
Then Tattenai the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues, just as Darius the king had sent word, so they did promptly.—Ezra 6:1-13.
15. (a) To what alone can we assign that startling turn of events, and why so? (b) Foreknowing this, what did Jehovah say that Zerubbabel would do with the headstone of the temple?
15 Was the spirit of Jehovah of armies acting and directing in this matter? It is only to His spirit that we can assign this startling turn of events, for it was done without any military force or human power on the part of Governor Zerubbabel. The figurative “mountain” that was raised up by opposition forces in the way of Zerubbabel was made a “level land” for him. His faith in Jehovah of armies and his courage to do the temple work were amply rewarded. Foreknowing what he would accomplish by means of his invincible spirit, Jehovah went on to say in that fifth vision to Zechariah: “And he will certainly bring forth the headstone. There will be shoutings to it: ‘How charming! How charming!’”—Zechariah 4:7.
THE “CHARMING” HEADSTONE
16. How essential was that headstone, and what would Zerubbabel’s bringing it forth certify?
16 That “headstone” was the crowning stone of the temple to be rebuilt at Jerusalem. That headstone was the essential stone that would put the finishing touch to the temple. Governor Zerubbabel’s bringing it forth would certify that he would bring the temple work through to a completion. There would be no stopping of him as Jehovah’s servant now. Jehovah’s spirit would see to that!
17. Why would that day of putting the headstone in place be one of exultation, and why would the spectators cry out, “How charming!”?
17 A day of boundless exultation it would be when he put that headstone into its place, to signalize the successful finishing of the temple at the city where God had put his holy name. The enraptured crowd of spectators on beholding this crowning feat would cry out in admiration of that headstone in its prominent place: “How charming! How charming!” It was beautiful in itself, for it was the same stone that was laid before High Priest Joshua the son of Jehozadak and the engraving of which Jehovah himself had engraved by means of his agent. (Zechariah 3:9) But that engraved headstone took on added beauty as it now occupied its assigned position in the temple structure and gave to the temple structure a gratifying appearance. Not only were the charmed eyes of the temple worshipers on that headstone, but Jehovah’s “seven eyes” were specially upon that stone in undivided attention. Its being put in place was a vindication of his word of prophecy by Haggai and Zechariah.
18. According to recorded history, when did that day of exultation come?
18 That day of exultation and of vindication came on the third day of the lunar month Adar of the year 515 B.C.E., for this is what recorded history says: “And the older men of the Jews were building and making progress under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the grandson of Iddo, and they built and finished it due to the order of the God of Israel and due to the order of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes the king of Persia. And they completed this house by the third day of the lunar month Adar, that is, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.”—Ezra 6:14, 15.
19. What grand prospect does that prophetic religious occasion set before us today, and by what means will this be brought about?
19 What a grand prospect that historic but prophetic occasion sets forth before all lovers of the pure, undefiled worship of the one living and true God today! It points ahead to the time when the true worship of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will be brought to its perfected state at his spiritual temple. This will be when Babylon the Great (the world empire of false religion, including sectarian Christendom) is destroyed and all the political, military and social elements of this world who are opposed to even the pure religion are destroyed, and the cleansed earth is left with only the remnant of spiritual underpriests of spiritual Israel and their fellow worshipers out of all nations and peoples and tribes. This crowning achievement will be brought about, as Jehovah says, “not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit.”
20. What governor has a specially privileged part in that coming fulfillment of prophecy?
20 The antitypical Governor Zerubbabel will have a specially privileged part in bringing to reality the modern-day fulfillment of this divine prophecy. We know who he is—Jesus Christ, who now governs from his heavenly throne over the faithful remnant of his spiritual underpriests and their dedicated, baptized companion worshipers.
21. Zerubbabel and Joshua picture what capacities that are combined in Jesus Christ and also prefigured in Melchizedek?
21 Zerubbabel prefigured the glorified King Jesus Christ in an aspect different from what High Priest Joshua the son of Jehozadak did. High Priest Joshua (whom Greek-speaking Jews called “Jesus”) pictured Jesus Christ in his priestly functions. Zerubbabel, being appointed governor of the province of Judah, pictured the Lord Jesus Christ in his governmental capacity as of a king. These two capacities, that of high priest and that of governor, are combined in the glorified Jesus Christ, for he is also prefigured by Melchizedek, concerning whom Genesis 14:18 says: “Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine, and he was priest of the Most High God.” Hebrews 7:1 calls him “Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God.”—Psalm 110:1-4.
22. (a) Zerubbabel used his governing power in protecting and promoting what work, under whose decree? (b) Whom did Zerubbabel prefigure in a like work and as leveling what “great mountain”?
22 Zerubbabel as governor of Jerusalem and Judah would promote the rebuilding of the temple as decreed by King Cyrus. He would use his governmental power to safeguard the temple work. To him, evidently under the title of Sheshbazzar, the sacred “utensils of the house of Jehovah” were entrusted by King Cyrus, and these holy utensils Zerubbabel brought from Babylon to Jerusalem to be used in the rebuilt house of Jehovah. (Ezra 1:7 to 2:2; 5:13-16) Rightly, then, Governor Zerubbabel took the leading part in the laying of the foundation of the second temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem. (Ezra 3:8-10) In this way Zerubbabel foreshadowed how the reigning King Jesus Christ would give stimulus to the work of restoring the pure worship of Jehovah at his spiritual temple. He would protect the remnant of anointed spiritual underpriests now on earth in their efforts since 1919 C.E., to restore Jehovah’s pure worship among all mankind. The “great mountain” of opposition and difficulty in the way of their doing this he has reduced to “level land.”
23. (a) How does Jesus Christ compare with Governor Zerubbabel in promoting the temple-building work? (b) How does he fulfill the picture of bringing forth the headstone and placing it?
23 To compare with Governor Zerubbabel in bringing forth the headstone and putting it in place in the temple in 515 B.C.E., the glorified Jesus Christ will bring the work of reestablishing Jehovah’s worship at His spiritual temple to triumphant completion. By means of his invisible holy angels he will gather all the needed remnant of spiritual underpriests and will aid them in carrying out their duties in the antitypical Holy of Jehovah’s spiritual temple. He himself will fulfill the role of the “headstone” in that spiritual arrangement for Jehovah’s worship. At God’s due time he will take his own assigned place in that spiritual framework of worship and thus give the finishing touch to its completion. He is the Key One, like a figurative headstone, to the perfecting of that divine arrangement for worship, in which he serves as the Royal High Priest in behalf of all mankind. When he takes his place and reports to Jehovah God that he has completed the work on restoring the full-scale worship by means of all the necessary underpriests at the spiritual temple, that will result in a “charming” sight.
24. When will Jehovah’s worshipers cry out to the Greater Headstone, “How charming!”?
24 At that sacred moment, when it becomes manifest that the work with regard to true worship has been perfected despite the opposition of Babylon the Great and her political patronizers, all true worshipers of Jehovah on earth will be filled with irrepressible appreciation of the part that the Greater Governor, Jesus Christ, has successfully performed. Jubilantly they will shout out to him as the Greater Headstone: “How charming! How charming!”
THE “DAY OF SMALL THINGS” NOT TO BE DESPISED
25. When the postwar work of building up the theocratic organization for Jehovah’s worship began in 1919 C.E., why did it look despicable?
25 When this work of building up the theocratic organization for Jehovah’s worship began in the postwar year of 1919 C.E., it looked despicable in the eyes of religious Babylon the Great and her military, political paramours. It looked so impossible of realization to them. Why so? Because the surviving remnant of anointed spiritual Israelites was so small and was in international disrepute. (Matthew 24:9) For example, when the general convention of the International Bible Students Association was held on September 1-8, 1919, at the resort grounds of Cedar Point, Ohio, U.S.A., there were only about 6,000 that attended the weekday sessions; and other thousands, who could not attend this convention so early after World War I, were scattered all around the earth, some 17,961 (according to incomplete reports) having attended the previous celebration of the Lord’s Supper on April 13, 1919. What were these thousands of Jehovah’s dedicated, baptized worshipers in comparison with Christendom’s hundreds of millions of church members? As nothing!
26. (a) Was the surviving remnant to be despised for its smallness? (b) Who brought a corrective message, and by whom was he sent?
26 Yet, was this surviving remnant of spiritual Israelites to be despised for its smallness? Because it had no “military force”? Facts that are available today, more than fifty years later, give a resounding answer, and they prove that it was the infallible God who sent his prophet Zechariah with a message to correct all wrong ideas drawn from the early appearance of things. Listen, as Zechariah goes on to report: “And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: ‘The very hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his own hands will finish it. And you will have to know that Jehovah of armies himself has sent me to you people. For who has despised the day of small things? And they will certainly rejoice and see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of Jehovah. They are roving about in all the earth.’”—Zechariah 4:8-10.
27. When was the absolute proof furnished that it was Jehovah who had sent Zechariah to the people?
27 If there had been any doubts in the minds of any of the repatriated remnant of Jews in the land of Judah, they positively knew that it was no other than Jehovah who had sent Zechariah to His people—on the third day of the twelfth lunar month (Adar) of 515 B.C.E. The record of Ezra 6:14, 15 tells us: “And the older men of the Jews were building and making progress under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the grandson of Iddo, and they built and finished it due to the order of the God of Israel and due to the order of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes the king of Persia. And they completed this house by the third day of the lunar month Adar, that is, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.” Jehovah’s prophetic word was vindicated!
28. (a) Why did Jehovah’s eyes not fail to see it when Zerubbabel, with the plummet in hand, placed the headstone on the temple? (b) At what similar but greater event will his eyes rejoice still more?
28 Governor Zerubbabel may have had a plumb line with a plummet in his hand when he finished Jehovah’s house of worship by laying that essential headstone in its place. Eyes did rejoice at seeing that sight. Especially did Jehovah’s eyes. Nothing escapes His eyes. It is as if He has a complete set of eyes—seven—eyes that rove about in all the earth to observe everything done, whether done by His enemies or done by his dedicated people. His eyes did not fail to see the laying of the headstone by Zerubbabel with the plummet in his hand. His own eyes rejoiced with those of his faithful remnant who put the worship of the true God in the first place in their lives. How much more will his all-observing eyes rejoice when they behold the Greater Zerubbabel finish the work with regard to restored pure worship on earth at His spiritual temple!
“THE TWO ANOINTED ONES”
29. When Zechariah first asked what the vision of the golden lampstand meant, what was he told, and how are we now enabled to see the fitness of that answer?
29 At this point, do we remember what the angel told the prophet Zechariah when he asked what the meaning of the golden lampstand with seven lamps was? Yes, it was this: “‘Not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit,’ Jehovah of armies has said.” (Zechariah 4:6) Now we are enabled to see the fitness of this mighty statement by further details that appear in the vision, with further explanation. To satisfy us on the matter we are told:
30. What did the angel tell Zechariah that the two olive trees alongside the lampstand pictured?
30 “And I proceeded to answer and say to him: ‘What do these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on its left side mean?’ Then I answered the second time and said to him: ‘What are the two bunches of twigs of the olive trees that, by means of the two golden tubes, are pouring forth from within themselves the golden liquid?’ So he said to me: ‘Do you not really know what these things mean?’ In turn I said: ‘No, my lord.’ Accordingly he said: ‘These are the two anointed ones who are standing alongside the Lord of the whole earth.’”—Zechariah 4:11-14.
31. How was the supply of oil delivered to the lamps, why was the supply constant, and what did the oil picture?
31 Zechariah saw good to follow up his first question immediately with a second one, in order not to miss inquiring about a feature that he had not mentioned in his first question. Those two olive trees, we recall, stood to the right and the left of the golden bowl from which seven pipes extended out to the seven lamps on the lampstand in order to deliver to them oil from the central supply. From where did the golden bowl atop the lampstand get its own supply of illuminating liquid? From the bunch of twigs of the olive tree to the right and the bunch of twigs of the olive tree to the left, and this by means of a golden tube from each bunch of twigs. The liquid thus delivered looked golden, and it could no more be turned off than those two olive trees could be turned off. The supply was constant, just as the source of it was living and constant. That illuminating liquid pictured, not a military force, nor human power, but, as Jehovah said, “my spirit.” Oil was thus used to picture God’s spirit.—Zechariah 4:6.
32. (a) What is the source of the symbolic “olive oil”? (b) What is symbolized by the lampstand that gets such oil?
32 Just as the olive tree was created by Jehovah God and so He is the Source of its oil, likewise he is the Source of the spirit or invisible active force, that kindles the flame of the true worship of Him. The two olive trees accordingly picture the two agents by means of which he conveys his spirit to the symbolic lampstand, that is, to his “holy nation,” the anointed remnant of the spiritual Israelites. Who, then, are the two agents that are symbolized by the two olive trees?
33. How does Revelation 11:3, 4 use olive trees to symbolize God’s living creatures, and so whom do the two olive trees in Zechariah’s vision symbolize?
33 It is not going contrary to the Scriptures to say that the two olive trees picture intelligent creatures of God. In connection with the vision of the temple as reported by the Christian apostle John in the last book of the Bible, we read: “And I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy . . . dressed in sackcloth. These are symbolized by the two olive trees and the two lampstands and are standing before the Lord of the earth.” (Revelation 11:3, 4) The two olive trees of Zechariah’s vision are explained to be the “two anointed ones [literally, two sons of oil] who are standing alongside the Lord of the whole earth.” Whom, then, do these picture? Not the inspired prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, but two individuals to whom Zechariah was commanded to transmit the word of Jehovah of armies, namely, High Priest Joshua the son of Jehozadak and Governor Zerubbabel.
34. (a) How did the high priest and the governor impart the symbolic oil to the symbolic lampstand? (b) How did Zerubbabel and Joshua themselves keep constant in their supply of God’s spirit?
34 By means of the inspired prophets Haggai and Zechariah Jehovah’s spirit was imparted to Joshua and Zerubbabel. These, in turn, were to take the lead in the building of the second temple of Jehovah and to impart Jehovah’s spirit to the Israelite remnant in that behalf. These two “anointed ones” were to imbue the whole restored nation with Jehovah’s spirit constantly, by sticking to the work to the finish and by encouraging on the temple workers both by words of exhortation and by personal example. They could do this if they constantly stood alongside Jehovah, “the Lord of the whole earth.” They must stand on His side as respects the issue of the only true worship, and they must constantly attend upon Him in favor of that worship of Him exclusively. In this way the sacred work would be accomplished by Jehovah’s spirit. Being “Lord of the whole earth,” he fulfills his will toward it.
35. In the modern-day fulfillment of the vision, whom do the two olive trees symbolize?
35 In the fulfillment of this vision in the present “time of the end,” whom do the “two olive trees,” the “two anointed ones,” picture? Since, in the first fulfillment of the vision in Zechariah’s own day, they pictured High Priest Joshua and Governor Zerubbabel, they must picture just the one personage, namely, Jehovah’s Anointed One, Messiah or Christ, Jesus who was anointed with the holy spirit of God.—Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:1.
36. (a) How has Jesus Christ acted like Joshua the high priest and Governor Zerubbabel in connection with God’s spirit? (b) How has he, like the two olive trees, kept in constant supply of the spirit, and to what symbolic lampstand has he imparted it?
36 Yes, indeed, Jesus the Messiah was prefigured by both High Priest Joshua and Governor Zerubbabel. Before he left his loyal apostles on earth he promised to send them the spirit, which proceeds from the Heavenly Father. (John 14:16, 17; 15:26; 16:13, 14) Then, on the festival day of Pentecost of 33 C.E., he served like the two olive trees of Zechariah’s vision. On that day Jehovah God began to use him to channel and pour out the holy spirit upon the “holy nation” of spiritual Israel. (Acts 1:5; 2:1-35; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7, 8; Luke 3:16) Like the “two anointed ones” or “two sons of oil” in Zechariah’s fifth vision, Christ Jesus stands “alongside the Lord of the whole earth” as High Priest and Governor and constantly attends upon Him, for he is at the right hand of God in the heavens. (Acts 2:34-36; 7:56) In this position he can be the channel of a constant supply of the spirit of the Lord God to the symbolic “lampstand” on earth, the faithful remnant of spiritual Israel.
37. (a) Energized by what and under whose leadership do the remnant keep on in the temple work? (b) To whom, therefore, will the complimentary praise and credit go for success in the temple work?
37 Not by a military force, but by the unfailing spirit of God Almighty, the anointed remnant work on under their heavenly Governor and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Stimulated and energized by holy spirit they will carry on the temple work until it is fully accomplished. Accordingly, the compliments, praise and credit for the final, crowning success will go, not to the remnant of spiritual underpriests, but to Jehovah God the Source of the spirit and through Jesus Christ as His loving channel.