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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section 1 Subsection 5b
The Seven-Branched Lampstand and Olive-Trees.
Now being awake, he saw a Seven-Branched Lampstand of gold, standing between Two Olive-Trees, a branch from each tree connected with the lampstand by a golden pipe, making Two Branches and Two Golden Pipes, through which pipes the golden oil was transmitted from the Branches to the bowl of the Lampstand for the supply of the Seven Lamps. The prophet was told, that "these Seven" are the Eyes of Jehovah [Yahweh], which run to and fro through the whole earth, as the horsemen in the myrtle grove are said to do: and that the Olive Branches are the Two Anointed Ones that stand beside the Adon, or Lord, of the whole earth.
By the light of the New Testament we are able to arrive at an understanding of this enigma, which symbolically represents the nature and character of the power destined to "establish and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." The symbol as a whole is an apparatus of brightness; and the Golden Oil in combustion upon the seven burners styled in the Apoc. 4:5, "Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne," is the Spirit of God, which, in its sevenfold distribution, is styled in Apoc. 5:6, "Seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." Hence, what is accomplished "in all the earth," namely, the levelling of the great Babylonish mountain, and the bringing forth the Head Stone to lordship over the whole earth, as the word of Jehovah says to Zerubbabel, is "Not by army, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of armies;" that is, the effectuation of these results by such means alone as one nation employs to overturn the power of another, in which its success depends upon numbers, discipline, artillery, and so forth, courageously and scientifically applied, is impossible. Jerusalem will never attain to her destined exaltation as Jehovah's throne, by the mere prowess and strategy of an Alexander or a Napoleon. It is to be accomplished by "Zerubbabel," in whose hand is the plumb-line, which distinguishes him as the Builder of David's tabernacle-of "the City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God - Heb. 11:10. "By my Spirit," saith Jehovah [Yahweh], "it shall be done," even by those Seven Eye-Lamps of Jehovah [Yahweh].
But shall this post-resurrectional work be performed by Jehovah's [Yahweh's] Spirit unclothed; by pure naked spirit, as a psychologist would prevail over a subject - by afflation, and a simple exercise of will? The answer from the testimony before us is, by no means. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua the High Priest, Zerubbabel, and all the prophets, which includes Jesus and the Apostles, together with many from the east, west,
north, and south (Luke 13:28-30) will be born of the Spirit in the resurrection, and will therefore be "Spirit" -- as Jesus is now, as angels, "walking among those that stand by:" "when He (Jesus) shall appear," says John, "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (2 John 3:2). By Spirit in organic manifestation the face of the world shall be changed, and Jerusalem shall be made to shine; for "Her Righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15-17) shall go forth as Brightness; and her Salvation (that which effects her deliverance) as a Lamp that burneth" (Isai. 52:1).
Now the Organic Manifestation is represented by the Lampstand, with its Bowl on the top, and Seven Pipes projecting from it, and terminating in Seven Burners; by the Two Olive-Trees, Two Branches of the same, and Two Golden Pipes passing from the branches to the Bowl. We are told that the Seven Burnings are the Eyes of Jehovah [Yahweh]. which leads to the conclusion that the Lampstand, with its Bowl and Pipes, is representative of Jehovah [Yahweh] as manifested in David's Son and his brethren. This conclusion is ratified by Psa. 132:17, "There (in Zion, ver. 13) I will make to spring a Horn for David; I have prepared A LAMP for my anointed." David was Jehovah's [Yahweh's] anointed; and David's Son and Lord, JESUS, is the Lamp Stem, and the Lamp Bowl, or Reservoir, of the Anointing Spirit, which is thence distributed to the Seven Burners.
"Ye are the Branches," said Jesus to his disciples; "and severed from me ye can do nothing." This is true, whether Jesus be regarded as a Vine, or as a Seven-Branched Lampstand. The branches of the Olive-Trees are connected with the Bowl by the two golden tubes, which makes them thus Branches of the Lamp. The Olive-Trees represent Israel after the flesh, and Israel after the Spirit, in their post-resurrectional relation to the Lamp of David's house. "The iniquity of that land being taken away in one day" (Zech. 3:9) then, says Jehovah [Yahweh], "I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and strike forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the Olive-Tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and blossom as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard, and observed him; I am like a green fir-tree. From me (O Ephraim) is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of Jehovah [Yahweh] are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein" (Hosea 14:5-9). Here, then, is one olive-tree -- Israel in post-resurrectional relation to the Lamp of
David's house; the other olive-tree is the Wild Olive-Tree also in its post-resurrectional relation to the same. In Rom. 11:17, Paul tells us that the Gentiles are represented by this tree. Thus we are left without doubt as to the two olive-trees.
But Zechariah saw something more in detail than the Two Trees and Lamp. He saw also "two olive-branches," and "two golden tubes." By these branches and tubes a connection was established between the Lamp-bowl and the two trees. The golden colored olive-oil is exuded from the two branches through the golden tubes into the Lamp-bowl, from which it is combusted through the Seven Burners, for the illumination of all the nations of the earth, then "blessed in Abraham and his Mystical Seed," which is the Christ and all in Him.
Zechariah was told that these two branches represented the Anointed Ones, or Sons of Oil, standing before the RULER ( Adon) of all the earth. In other words, these two branches represent the Saints, who are separated, first, from the Israelitish Olive-Tree; and secondly, from the Gentile Olive-Tree, by nature wild. The Two Branches are not to be confounded with the Two Trees. These are not the Anointed Ones, but only the nationalities whence the Two Branches are developed. These two branches stand before the Ruler of all the earth. They rule with him as Kings and Priests, being all anointed with the Holy Spirit from the throne of the Invisible Father. They are His eyes, hands, body, and feet, in the subjugation and government of the world. He fills them with his spirit; in fact, they are His spirit corporealized - condensed, if we may so speak, into a multitude of living, incorruptible, and intelligent personages: "That which is born of the Spirit is SPIRIT" -- the multitudinous Spirit-Man.
These symbols, then, seen by Zechariah after he was waked up by the angel out of his typical sleep, are representative of the Spirit of Jehovah [Yahweh]; that is, of that Spirit's manifestation in the resurrected Sons of God, who are spirits. Let me simplify this idea, if possible, yet more. When a true believer dies, he falls asleep in Christ. He corrupts; and when the process of decomposition is complete, he is reduced to dust, which is all that remains of his former self. Nevertheless, he reappears, his restored consciousness claims his former self as his. The dust to which he is reduced is at once the debris of his former, and the nucleus of his future, self. In reference to this nucleus, or detritus of the animal body sown into the grave, Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:53, "It is necessary that this corruptible put on incorruptibility, and this mortal put on deathlessness." This putting on, he tells us in Rom. 8:11, is effected by the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from among the dead. The Spirit operates upon the dust of the former man, and fashions it into a new man, after
the image of Jesus as he now is. Being formed, the formation is caused to live. In commencing life again at this epoch, this renewed man is said to be "waked as a man that is wakened out of his sleep." At this awaking, he is as Adam was before he fell; because, having been pardoned, or justified from all sin by an obedient faith, perfect in kind and degree, in his former lifetime; and after that, "walked worthy of God" to the end thereof; in the resurrection he is awakened as a man without sin. Being thus renewed, he is still in the image of the earthy Adam, before he fell. But he is not always to continue in this image; for Paul says, "As we bear the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." A change must, therefore, take place; as a change must have been operated upon the first Adam in order to transform him from "a living soul" or animal, into an incorruptible and deathless creature, or SPIRIT. In his case, this would have resulted from eating of the Tree of the Lives in Paradise, if he had been permitted. Through that appointed medium, the Eternal Spirit, self-named Jehovah [Yahweh], would have changed the body of his lower estate, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," into a like form with that which Jesus now possesses, and the Saints are hereafter to possess. But transgression prevented this; and postponed the spiritualization of the Adamic Nature until the resurrection era, in which, instead of two persons only becoming spirits, a multitude of their descendants, numerous as the stars of heaven, will bear the image of the heavenly, who is "the Lord the Spirit."
The dead saints being awakened to renewed bodily existence, they are prepared for bodily change. "This corruptible must put on incorruptibility; and this mortal, immortality;" but at what precise moment, or point of time, after being brought up out of their graves the saints shall be immortalized, does not appear to be explicitly revealed. This is certain, -- those who are among the dead will be awakened first; and afterwards the saints among the living will be, "together with them," exalted to the Aerial, where the Ruler will have appeared. This "together with them" indicates to my mind, that the saints from among the dead and the living will be simultaneously exalted to dominion, and therefore immortalized in the same epoch; the saints among the living must wait for their glorification, till the saints are awaked from among the dead; but how long it will be from the awakening to the immortalization of the whole body, does not distinctly appear. I say, exaltation to dominion, and therefore immortalization, because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Now, the "meeting the Lord in the Air," as Paul expresses it, is in the style of Daniel, "the Saints possessing the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the
kingdom under the whole heaven"; which they cannot do until immortalized, or flesh and blood be changed into spirit. Neither will this dominion be possessed till it is conquered; for, it is a great mountain, that has to be reduced in the presence of Zerubbabel to a plain. This reduction, I apprehend, occurs before the saints are glorified, and after their resurrection; so that several years may intervene after the awaking from death to the shining as the sun in the kingdom.
This seems to be indicated in Zech. xiv. 5; there he says, "Jehovah [Yahweh] my Elohim, all the saints shall come with thee. And it shall be in that day there shall not be brightness, the splendid ones drawing in. And it shall be one day that shall be made known by Jehovah [Yahweh], neither a day nor a night; but it shall be at the time of evening, there shall be brightness." From this we learn, that the Eternal Spirit, or Jehovah [Yahweh], and the saints will be in the midst of mankind in a period called "the time of evening," or Daniel's "time of the end;" but that when here they will not therefore be in their brightness, after the example of Moses' face, and that of Jesus when transfigured. To shine out thus, would be incompatible with the work to be performed upon the nations, and upon Israel; which is to be conducted on the principle of faith and judgment. This will require that mankind at large should have to deal with the saints as if they were contending against ordinary men. They must "walk by faith and not by sight"; and they must come to know the power of the saints, by feeling the sharpness of the two-edged sword to be placed in their hands for judicial purposes. When the Saints shall have "executed the judgment written," the "moment" of the Evening Time will have arrived for them to draw themselves in no longer, and "brightness" will be displayed; and thenceforth they will be resplendent in glory as well as immortal.
In a moment we shall all be changed," says Paul. The judgments of the last trumpet being exhausted, Jehovah's changed ones enter into their glory. But the judgments must first be finished; and while these are smoking from the glory of the Eternal Spirit, and from his power, "no man can enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the Seven Angels be finished" (Apoc. 15:8). To enter into that temple is to rest from labor in glory. The epoch comes, then, at the end of the Seventh Seal; at the end of judgment; and consequently, not at the instant of awakening from death.
To be in glory is to have eaten of "the Wood of Life," when quickened, and to enter into the peaceful and glorious rest of the Millennium. This is the consummation. As the leaves and branches feed upon the sap that circulates through the vessels of the tree; so do the saints, as the Leaves of the Wood, feed upon the Spirit, which will circulate
through the Two Branches of the Two Olive-Trees; through the leaves of which branches the spirit will breathe its healing influences upon the nations.
The Lamp and Olive-Trees, then, are an organization of spirit manifested in the Saints and nations of the earth blessed in Abraham and his seed, after the resurrection - the Spirit in full evening tide manifestation. The symbol does not exhibit the details of spiritualization spoken of above, and occurrent between the waking up of the saints, and the establishment of blessedness in all nations consequent upon their enlightenment. The Eternal Spirit, or Jehovah, is to do everything, but through what organization? By His spirit through the Two Olive-Branches, or Jesus and his Brethren, as represented in the visions of the Apocalypse. If this be understood, the connection between the question and answer in Zech. 4:5,6, will be readily perceived. The angel asked the prophet, if he knew what the Lamp and Olive-Trees signified? He replied, "No, my Lord." The angel said no more about them at that time but proceeded to remark saying, "This is the word of Jehovah [Yahweh] unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by power, nor by strength, but BY MY SPIRIT, saith Jehovah [Yahweh] of armies." That is, as indicated in the seventh verse, there will exist contemporary with the resurrection, when Zerubbabel shall stand up again, "a great mountain" in the political world, which is to be reduced to "a plain." But that this will not result by the power and strength of Israel under any organization they might constitute; for at that crisis their power and strength will have been utterly scattered; but it shall be accomplished by Jehovah's [Yahweh's] Spirit, which will raise Zerubbabel and his companions from among the dead, to be the captains of Israel together with the living believers; and will be the strength and power energizing them all to the complete reduction of the Great Political Mountain of the Gentiles to the level of a summer threshing-floor: even to cause to go forth the Head, or Chief Stone, with shoutings of "Grace, grace unto him!"
In the vision we have been considering, the prophet contemplated a great crisis, which may be termed, the fall of GENTILE DOMINION; and the full establishment of THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Such is the future catastrophe of the vision of the Great Mountain, and the Lamp and Olive-Trees. But the vision had not revealed to him any particulars concerning the mountain. Contemporary with his own times, the great Gentile dominion that dominated Jerusalem and Judah, and all the rest of "the Earth" from India to Ethiopia, being one hundred and twenty
seven provinces, under the three presidencies, or "ribs in the mouth, and between the teeth of it" (Dan. 7:5), was that of THE BEAR under the dynasty of Darius the Persian. Zechariah knew from Daniel that this was not the "Great Mountain" to be destroyed before Zerubbabel; but by the Leopard-power that would succeed it. He also knew from Jeremiah, and the history of his own times,that the Lion, standing upon its feet, with a man's heart, was not the constitution of the Mountain Power under which it is to "become a plain before Zerubbabel." This Lion-manifestation of the great mountain had passed away betore Zerubbabel had become Governor of Jerusalem. Jehovah [Yahweh] had said concerning the Chaldean Babylon that had done evil to Zion in the days of Jeremiah, "Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith Jehovah [Yahweh], which destroyeth all the earth; and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a Burnt Mountain. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolations of an Olahm, saith Jehovah [Yahweh]" (Jer. 51:25,26). In this decree was the sentence which has been practically illustrated for the past 2400 years. From the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, the Chaldeans and their city began to decline, until the two have ceased to have any more existence racially, politically, or architecturally, than if they had never been. The site of the old citv of Nimrod on the Euphrates is literally "a burnt mountain - a mound of ruins made by fire "; and a type of the dominion peculiar to the Chaldee race and dynasty, in all the countries where they formerly ruled in power and great glory. Architecturally, a stone of the ruins has not been taken for the corner and foundations of any new edifices; nor has a Chaldean, by his own prowess, nor by the voice of a people, been made the corner, or foundation stone of a new political institution. This is what has not been for 2400 years; and the prophecy decrees the continuance of the same condition without limit, in saying to the Burnt Mountain, "desolations of an Olahm shalt thou be, saith Jehovah [Yahweh]" -- an Olahm, which began with the building of Babel, and ended with the fall of Belshazzar, Lucifer Son of the Dawn, who was hurled from the heavens by Jehovah's [Yahweh's] "sanctified ones," the Medes and Persians, under Cyrus his Anointed Shepherd ( Isa. 13; 14.; 44:28; 45:1-4).
Many of Zechariah and Haggai's countrymen, who had witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple of Solomon by the Chaldeans, had lived to see the fall of Nebuchadnezzar's dynasty, and the completion of the new temple, which was finished shortly after Zechariah had the vision of the Lamp and Olive-Trees (Hag. 2:3). They knew that the Burnt Mountain was among the things of the past; and that Zerubbabel had had nothing to do with its burning, and its downfall
from the rocks: what, then, could the eternal spirit mean by the "Great Mountain" he apostrophized, as destined to become a plain before Zerubbabel after his resurrection from among the dead? It was not the Chaldean, nor the Bear, nor the Leopard; for they saw by Dariel that all these were removed by conquest in the ordinary way. What else could it be, then, but that Fourth Beast dominion which is to be destroyed by the Saints? To this, then Zechariah's attention was turned. The dominion was "diverse" from all that preceded it. "It spoke great words against the Most High, and wore out the Saints of the Most High Ones, and thought to change times and laws." This was a very peculiar dominion; and it was judged proper to give the prophet, and his readers, some idea of its origin; of the original of its peculiarity. Hence, the prophecy of the "FLYING ROLL" and "THE EPHAH."