"Not by Might, nor by Power"
after Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel, the prophet received a
message regarding the work of Zerubbabel. "The Angel that talked with
me," Zechariah declares, "came again, and waked me, as a man
that is wakened out of his sleep, 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
answered and spake to the Angel that talked with me, saying, What are
these, my Lord? . . . 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."
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? 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? . . . Then said He, These are the two anointed ones, that
stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Zechariah 4:1-6, 11-14.
vision the two olive trees which stand before God are represented as
emptying the golden oil out of themselves through golden tubes into the
bowl of the candlestick. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are fed,
that they may give a bright, continuous light. So from the anointed ones
that stand in God's presence the fullness of divine light and love and
power is imparted to His people, that they may impart to others light and
joy and refreshing. Those who are thus enriched are to enrich others with
the treasure of God's love.
the house of the Lord, Zerubbabel had labored in the face of manifold
difficulties. From the beginning, adversaries had "weakened the hands
of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building," "and
made them to cease by force and power." Ezra 4:4, 23. But the Lord
had interposed in behalf of the builders, and now He spoke through His
prophet to Zerubbabel, saying, "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."
the history of God's people great mountains of difficulty, apparently
insurmountable, have loomed up before those who were trying to carry out
the purposes of
obstacles are permitted by the Lord as a test of faith. When we are hedged
about on every side, this is the time above all others to trust in God and
in the power of His Spirit. The exercise of a living faith means an
increase of spiritual strength and the development of an unfaltering
trust. It is thus that the soul becomes a conquering power. Before the
demand of faith, the obstacles placed by Satan across the pathway of the
Christian will disappear; for the powers of heaven will come to his aid.
"Nothing shall be impossible unto you." Matthew 17:20.
The way of
the world is to begin with pomp and boasting. God's way is to make the day
of small things the beginning of the glorious triumph of truth and
righteousness. Sometimes He trains His workers by bringing to them
disappointment and apparent failure. It is His purpose that they shall
learn to master difficulties.
Often men are
tempted to falter before the perplexities and obstacles that confront
them. But if they will hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast
unto the end, God will make the way clear. Success will come to them as
they struggle against difficulties. Before the intrepid spirit and
unwavering faith of a Zerubbabel, great mountains of difficulty will
become a plain; and he whose hands have laid the foundation, even
"his hands shall also finish it." "He shall bring forth the
headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it."
Zechariah 4:9, 7.
and human might did not establish the church of God, and neither can they
destroy it. Not on the rock of human strength, but on Christ Jesus, the
of Ages, was
the church founded, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it." Matthew 16:18. The presence of God gives stability to His cause.
"Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man," is the
word that comes to us. Psalm 146:3. "In quietness and in confidence
shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15. God's glorious work, founded
on the eternal principles of right, will never come to nought. It will go
on from strength to strength, "not by might, nor by power, but by My
Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6.
"The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his
hands shall also finish it," was literally fulfilled. Verse 9.
"The elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the
prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they
builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of
Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and
Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of
the month Adar [the twelfth month], which was in the sixth year of the
reign of Darius the king." Ezra 6:14, 15.
afterward the restored temple was dedicated. "The children of Israel,
the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the
captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy;" and
"upon the fourteenth day of the first month" they "kept the
Passover." Verses 16, 17, 19.
temple did not equal the first in magnificence, nor was it hallowed by
those visible tokens of the divine presence which pertained to the first
temple. There was
manifestation of supernatural power to mark its dedication. No cloud of
glory was seen to fill the newly erected sanctuary. No fire from heaven
descended to consume the sacrifice upon its altar. The Shekinah no longer
abode between the cherubim in the most holy place; the ark, the mercy
seat, and the tables of testimony were not found there. No sign from
heaven made known to the inquiring priest the will of Jehovah.
And yet this
was the building concerning which the Lord had declared by the prophet
Haggai: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the
former." "I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all
nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord
of hosts." Haggai 2:9,7. For centuries learned men have endeavored to
show wherein the promise of God, given to Haggai, has been fulfilled; yet
in the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, the Desire of all nations, who by His
personal presence hallowed the precincts of the temple, many have
steadfastly refused to see any special significance. Pride and unbelief
have blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet's words.
temple was honored, not with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the
presence of the One in whom dwelt "all the fullness of the Godhead
bodily"--God Himself "manifest in the flesh." Colossians
2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16. In being honored with the personal presence of Christ
during His earthly ministry, and in this alone, did the second temple
exceed the first in glory. The "Desire of all nations" had
indeed come to His temple, when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in
the sacred courts.