The "Vision of the Lampstand and Olive Trees"
The reason we bring up this particular lesson is due to a statement made by our friend Jacob (on the
Bible Students Forum) where he states:
“I notice you use reprint quotes to support your thoughts I use to do the same but try now to think
out of the box and find the answers through my direct connect by the anointing with and from spirit
and mind of Christ.”
You are not the first my friend to have attempted this method of study; however the flaw in this type
of study is that each individual (professing to be led by the Holy Spirit) is left to his own mind, his own
imaginings as to what the spirit is saying, thus two different individuals might interpret the scriptures
completely different. Are we to believe the Holy Spirit gives out a different answer depending on the
individual? Heaven forbid!
Others claim that their intention is simply to divest themselves of all outside materials less these
inadvertently influence their thoughts, such claim they rely solely upon the Holy Spirit to teach them.
It is however important to note that the Holy Spirit does not teach us the truth, but rather
guides us to the truth, this through such divine channels as the Lord is pleased to use. History itself
has shown that the Spirit often uses human agencies in communicating the truth; therefore we would
be negligent in our search if we did not heed the counsel of these agencies.
In Zech 4:1-14 a valuable lesson is taught in these regards. In the narrative Zechariah was given a
vision, and the angel (messenger) asked him, “What do you see?”
Zechariah answered saying, “I am looking, and there is a lamp-stand of solid gold with a bowl
on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive
trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” Zechariah was at a miss as
to what this vision represented, and sought answers.
Now in the account only part of what is seen has been explained, the rest is left up to us to decipher
using what we have learned from our studies of God’s Word. God often does this; He would have us
exercise our God giving ability to reason things out.
The two olive trees are said to be “dripping” oil (Verse 12). We understand that the “oil”
represents the Holy Spirit, the “spirit of truth” in other words the “Word of God”.
Where does this oil come from? It comes from the two olive trees, which the angel refers to as the
“two anointed ones” (Verse 14). The answer as to what or who is being referred to here is found in
Rev 11:3-12, these two anointed ones are none other than the Lord’s “two witnesses”, also
referred to as the “two olive trees”, the Old and the New Covenants or Testaments.
As for the lamp-stand all should agree that this represents the church as a whole from its first to
its last, it’s every member complete, as is alluded to by our Lord in Rev 1:20, the only difference there
being that the church was pictured as seven separate distinct lamp-stands, representing the seven
stages or periods of the church throughout its history.
Now for the difficult part, we know that the Word of God, the “truth”, the “oil” comes to us
through the “two anointed ones”, but what does the bowl represent, and what do the seven
pipes below the bowl represent?
The answer should be obvious, God is the author of the divine plan as it is recorded in his word,
(the two olive trees), but He has chosen Jesus Christ our Lord as the hub or central channel
(the golden bowl) through which understanding and blessings (the oil) of this plan should flow
to the Church, and subsequently to the world in general.
Now as the work of preparing the Church has been committed into the hands of our Lord,
our Lord has seen fit to choose seven specific “stars”, angels, messengers, channels (the
seven pipes) to dispense the “oil” or truth to the body.
That is to say, “The seven pipes represent the seven channels of outpouring or distribution of
the Holy Spirit from the head (Jesus) to the Church throughout the seven stages of its
development, the seven stars or messengers to the Church being the agencies used to
convey this supply of oil. All the anointing oil was poured upon, or emptied into, the bowl; from
there the oil was distributed to the various branches.
Here then is an important lesson: Whereas the Bible contains all the necessary oil to supply a
person’s every need, it becomes available only in proportion to his relationship with Christ
(his identification as a member of Christ’s body, the Church, pictured by the candlestick) and to his
harmony with the agencies or channels which God uses, His chosen messengers or Stars.”
Another very important observation which confirms this fact: “It is interesting to note that in all
of the seven church messages the direction is “To the angel… write.” It is as if the angel himself,
more than the church, needs to know these things. Historically the angels seem very much to have
acted and preached based on the content of these messages. It is not, of course, that these
messages are not to the churches themselves, but rather that they are to the churches THROUGH
the angels. Without recognizing (identifying) the angel (the specific messenger chosen by the
Lord to each stage of the Church, specifically appointed to relay the message, i.e. to give to the
household “meat in due season”), and what he has been given in the way of understanding, the
Church cannot hope to receive much of the message.”
If we chose to ignore God’s chosen channels, then we have cut ourselves off from receiving
the “oil” the truth, which flows from the Father through his Son and then through the various
human agencies the Lord has chosen.
I know that many are wary of human teachers, but the Lord has made used of them all throughout
the age, it is for us to “test the spirits”, to “prove all things” to verify that the channel through
which we are receiving our nourishment is of the Lord and not of man.
“To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word there is no truth in them”