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Sunday, February 14 2016
Zechariah 4: The Lampstand And Olive Trees Of The Messiah's Return
"Behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon ... And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof ... These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth"
As in all of the LORD-given writings of the prophets (see also Where Did True and False Prophets Originate?), the Books of Zechariah and Revelation provide a great amount of information about the return of the Messiah to establish the Kingdom of God over the rebellious nations of Earth (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?).
"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:11-16 KJV)
The Books of Zechariah and Revelation also provide much detailed information about world events that will occur in the time prior to the return of the Messiah. As we will read, not only is the terminology that is used the same, but the prophecies within, and beyond, their fulfillments are the same. Consider the "measuring rod" prophecy in Zechariah (see The Angel With A Surveyor's Measuring Line) whose meaning and fulfillment are also recorded in the Book of Revelation.
"2:1 I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2:2 Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof." (Zechariah 2:1-2 KJV)
Note carefully the "two olive trees" and "two candlesticks" (i.e. lampstands; see Lampstands Or Candlesticks?) of Zechariah whose meaning and fulfillment are found in the two witnesses of the Book of Revelation (the 42 month ministry of the two witnesses is the only Biblical clue as to when the return of the Messiah will occur - when their ministry begins, the return of Jesus Christ will be 42 months away; see the Fact Finder question below).
"11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Zechariah's immediate description of the rebuilding of the Temple (see What Temple Did Ezekiel See? and When Will There Be No More Temples Built In Jerusalem?) was for the time of the return of the exiles to Jerusalem, but it ultimately prophesies the return of the Messiah to Jerusalem - the description of Zerubbabel and Joshua (see Haggai's Message To Zerubbabel And Joshua) is identical to the fulfillment of the prophecy by the two witnesses i.e. "These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth" (Zechariah 4:14 KJV) and "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth" (Revelation 11:4 KJV)
Zerubbabel was the first governor at the time of the return (see Zerubbabel's Return). Joshua was the High Priest at the time of the return (see Joshua's New Garments). Both prophetic offices will be fulfilled at the Messiah's return, by the Messiah ("1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:16-18 KJV; see also Colossians: By Him Were All Things Created).
"4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 4:2 And said unto me, What seest thou?
Fact Finder: What will be the circumstances of the 42 month ministry of the two witnesses?
This Day In History, February 14
842: Charles the Bald and Louis the German swore the Oaths of Strasbourg.
1014: Pope Benedict VIII crowned Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1076: Pope Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor (see Emperors and Popes).
1349: 2,000 Jews were burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.
1400: The deposed King Richard II died "under suspicious circumstances" in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.
1658: The Battle of Bahadurgarh; it helped to decide the war of succession among the sons of Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor of India.
1779: British explorer Captain James Cook was killed by natives in Hawaii.
1797: The British fleet, under Admirals John Jervis and Horatio Nelson, defeated the Spanish at the battle of St. Vincent off Portugal.
1804: Karadjordje led the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.
1876: Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately for U.S. patents related to the telephone. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled that Bell was the rightful inventor.
1879: The War of the Pacific began between Chile and Bolivia.
1896: Der Judenstaat ("The Jewish State" - see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism) by Theodor Herzl was published in Vienna; English and French translations soon followed.
1922: Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi began the first regular radio broadcasting transmission from England.
1929: The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" in Chicago. Al Capone's gang, in order to prevent the hijacking of whiskey shipments, killed 7 members of the Bugs Moran gang in a Chicago garage.
1939: The German navy launched the battleship Bismarck.
1942: The German Afrika Korps was organized under the command of Lt. Gen. (later Field Marshall) Irwin Rommel. It consisted of two armored divisions and one motorized infantry division. After initial successes, the Afrika Korps was defeated by British and Canadian forces under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
1944 The Mark I, the first computer that could perform arithmetical operations without human intervention, was completed by inventor Howard Aiken. It was 51 feet long, 8 feet high, and weighed 35 tons. It had about 500 miles of wire and 3 million connections.
1946: An "electronic brain", or "computer", began working at the University of Pennsylvania, taking seconds to do calculations which normally took hours. It was called ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.
1946: The Bank of England was nationalized.
1947: British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin announced that Britain was turning the "Palestine situation" over to the United Nations (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1949: The first session of the Constituent Assembly (later entitled the Knesset) of the new state of Israel was opened (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1958: The Arab Union, a federation of Jordan and Iraq, was formed to counter the formation of the United Arab Republic by Egypt and Syria 2 weeks earlier. King Hussein of Jordan dissolved it August 2 of that same year.
1971: Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House to record conversations of political enemies. The recording system later provided much of the criminal evidence that brought down Nixon himself.
1989: Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a worldwide death sentence for writer Salman Rushdie for his book "The Satanic Verses (see also Has Another Haman Arisen?).
1992: The European Community and the seven-nation European Free Trade Association struck a final deal, clearing the way for the creation of the world's biggest single free market, exceeding that of the combined markets of the United States and Canada.